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Magento Beginner's Guide

Book Description

Create a dynamic, fully featured, online store with the most powerful open source e-commerce software

  • Step-by-step guide to building your own online store

  • Focuses on the key features of Magento that you must know to get your store up and running

  • Customize the store's appearance to make it uniquely yours

  • Clearly illustrated with screenshots and a working example

In Detail

Magento is the world's most evolved e-commerce solution. It runs on the Apache/MySQL/PHP platform. From one installation, you can control multiple storefronts, all sharing customer and product information. Magento's templates and themes enable you to customize the look and feel of your store, even optimizing it for mobile phones. Extensions enable you to connect Magento to a large number of payment gateways and shipping services. Modular code enables you to upgrade your Magento installation while retaining your customizations. Support is provided free by an active open source community and by subscription to Varien, the company behind Magento.

Magento is one of the most exciting, flexible, and customizable e-commerce systems. It offers you an extensive suite of powerful tools for creating and managing an online store. As your online store grows, you can be sure that this robust e-commerce system can handle your needs. However, getting started with Magento can be difficult without the right guidance.

This book provides that guidance in the form of a step-by-step approach to building a simple, effective online store. The book covers the key features of Magento that will help you get your store up and running. It guides you through installation, configuration, populating your store with products, accepting payments, maintaining relationships with your customers, and fulfilling orders.

When you create an online store with Magento, you usually follow a defined series of steps. This book is arranged to support that process. Each chapter shows you how to get the most from one step.

You will learn to customize the default Magento storefront so that it becomes your store and also about Magento's directory structure and where some of the elements of a store are customized. This experience will help you if you decide to go beyond this book and install new themes or create your own themes.

As you work your way through each chapter, your store will grow in scope and sophistication. By the time you finish this book, you should have a basic but complete, working online store.

A step-by-step plan for creating your online store with Magento, the most powerful open-source solution for e-commerce

Table of Contents

  1. Magento
  2. Credits
  3. About the author
  4. About the reviewer
  5. Preface
    1. What this book covers
    2. Who this book is for
    3. Conventions
    4. Reader feedback
    5. Customer support
      1. Errata
      2. Piracy
      3. Questions
  6. 1. Introduction
    1. The scope of this book
      1. Beyond this book
    2. Time for action: Tour the demo store
      1. What just happened?
    3. Summary
  7. 2. Installation
    1. System requirements
      1. A list of requirements
      2. Determining which PHP version and extensions your web server has
      3. Do you have Apache's mod_rewrite and SSL?
        1. mod_rewrite makes user-friendly URLs
        2. Do you need SSL?
    2. Installing Magento
    3. Time for action: Downloading Magento
      1. What just happened?
    4. Time for action: Uploading Magento to your web host
      1. What just happened?
    5. Setting rights (permissions) for some of Magento's directories and files
      1. About owners and groups
    6. About rights
        1. Using numbers (octals) to state permissions
    7. Time for action: Setting the rights
      1. What just happened?
    8. Time for action : Creating a database and database user
          1. Using cPanel to create a database and a database user
          2. Using DreamHost to create a database and a database user
          3. Localhost
      1. What just happened?
    9. Time for action: Pointing your browser to the Magento directory and stepping through the installation wizard
      1. What just happened?
    10. Check
    11. Summary
  8. 3. Categories and Attributes
    1. Categories, Products, and Attributes
      1. Is it a Category or an Attribute?
      2. Examples
      3. Categories
        1. Categories and the Navigation Menu
        2. Making best use of Categories
      4. Attributes
        1. System versus Simple Attributes
        2. Attribute Sets
      5. Three types of Products
        1. Simple Product
        2. Configurable Product
        3. Grouped Product
    2. Putting it together
    3. Time for action: Creating Categories
          1. Before you begin
      1. What just happened?
      2. Have a go hero
    4. Time for action: Creating Attributes
          1. Before you begin
      1. What just happened?
        1. What's next?
    5. Time for action: Creating Attribute Sets
      1. What just happened?
      2. Pop quiz
    6. Summary
  9. 4. Taxes
    1. Anatomy of a Tax Rule
      1. Customer Tax Class
      2. Product Tax Class
      3. Tax Rate
      4. Priority
      5. Sort Order
    2. Why create Tax Rules now?
    3. Creating a Tax Rule
    4. Time for action: Creating a Customer Tax Class
      1. What just happened?
    5. Time for action: Creating a Product Tax Class
      1. What just happened?
      2. Creating Tax Rates
    6. Time for action: Creating a Tax Rate in Magento
      1. What just happened?
    7. Time for action: Exporting and importing Tax Rates
            1. Exporting Tax Rates
            2. Adding the new Tax Rates and/or editing the existing ones
            3. Checking the file in a text editor and converting it to a UNIX format
            4. Importing the file and checking that Magento has updated the Tax Rates
      1. What just happened?
    8. Time for action: Creating a Tax Rule
      1. What just happened?
      2. Pop quiz
    9. Summary
  10. 5. Adding Simple Products
    1. Part 1: Adding the Product and assigning an Attribute Set
    2. Time for action: Creating the Product and selecting an Attribute Set
      1. What just happened?
    3. Part 2: The General tab
    4. Time for action: Filling the fields on the General tab
      1. What just happened?
    5. Part 3: The Prices tab
    6. Time for action: Entering pricing for the Product
      1. What just happened?
    7. Part 4: The Meta Information tab
    8. Time for action: Entering Meta information
      1. What just happened?
    9. Part 5: The Images tab
            1. Before you upload: Resizing images
    10. Time for action: Uploading images
      1. What just happened?
    11. Part 6: The Inventory tab
    12. Time for action: Setting the global and Product inventory options
      1. What just happened?
    13. Part 7: The Categories tab
    14. Time for action: Selecting Categories
      1. What just happened?
    15. Covered elsewhere: Promotions
    16. Summing up
      1. Pop quiz
    17. Summary
  11. 6. Minimum Customization of Your Store's Appearance
    1. Our store so far
      1. The default Category page
        1. The Layered Navigation Menu
        2. Blocks: My Cart, Compare Products, and Recently Viewed Products
        3. Callouts
        4. Newsletter
        5. Community Poll
        6. Welcome message
        7. Store name
      2. The default front page
        1. The default About Us and Customer Service pages
        2. The Site Map, Search Terms, Advanced Search, and Contact Us links
    2. Customize the Layered Navigation Menu
    3. Customize the Callouts
    4. Time for action: Replacing the default graphic for a callout
      1. Replacing the default alt text for a callout
    5. Time for action: Replacing the alt text for the right callout
    6. Time for action: Replacing the alt text and the link for the left callout
      1. What just happened?
        1. Turning off the cache and testing the page
    7. Time for action: Turning the page cache off
      1. What just happened?
    8. Disabling the Newsletter or Poll
    9. Time for action: Disabling the Newsletter or Poll
      1. What just happened?
    10. Customize the welcome message
        1. The HTML Head section
            1. Default Title
          1. Default Description
          2. Default Keywords
        2. The Header section
          1. Logo Image Src and Alt Text
          2. Welcome Text
        3. The Footer section
    11. Using new themes
    12. Time for action: Installing a theme
      1. What just happened?
    13. Changing your store's name
    14. Time for action: Change your store's name
      1. What just happened?
    15. Summary
  12. 7. Beyond Simple Products
    1. Related Products
    2. Time for action: Adding related Product(s) to a Product
      1. What just happened?
    3. Grouped Products
      1. Creating a Grouped Product
    4. Time for action: Creating a Blank Grouped Product
      1. What just happened?
    5. Time for action: Completing the General tab
      1. What just happened?
    6. Time for action: Completing the Meta Information tab
      1. What just happened?
    7. Time for action: Uploading images
      1. What just happened?
    8. Time for action: Completing the Inventory tab
      1. What just happened?
    9. Time for action: Assigning a Category
      1. What just happened?
    10. Time for action: Selecting Associated Products
      1. What just happened?
    11. Configurable Products
      1. Creating a Configurable Product
    12. Time for action: Designating some Attributes as configurable
      1. What just happened?
    13. Time for action: Creating the first Simple Product that will be associated to the Configurable Product
      1. What just happened?
    14. Time for action: Duplicating the first Simple Product and creating other Products
      1. What just happened?
    15. Time for action: Creating a blank Configurable Product
      1. What just happened?
    16. Time for action: Associating the Simple Products to the Configurable Product
      1. What just happened?
    17. Tiered pricing
      1. Giving discounts for minimum quantities to all customers
      2. Looking ahead: Giving discounts to specified customer groups
      3. Pop quiz
    18. Summary
  13. 8. Customer Relationships
    1. Configuring store email addresses
    2. Time for action: Entering email addresses for your store
      1. What just happened?
    3. Configuring Contact Us
    4. Time for action: Configuring the Contact Us form
      1. What just happened?
    5. Managing customers
      1. Advantages of having customer accounts
        1. Advantages for the customer
        2. Advantages for the administrator
    6. Time for action: Configuring customer account options
      1. What just happened?
      2. Pop quiz
    7. Summary
  14. 9. Accepting Payment
    1. Checkout and Sales configuration
      1. The Sales Tax page
      2. The Checkout page
    2. Time for action: Configuring Checkout options
      1. What just happened?
      2. The Sales configuration page
    3. Time for action: Setting the Sales configuration
      1. What just happened?
      2. The General configuration page
      3. Currency Setup page
    4. Time for action: Configuring Magento for your location and currency
      1. What just happened?
    5. An overview of the online payment process for credit cards
      1. Shopping Cart
      2. Payment Gateway
      3. Merchant Account and business Bank Account
      4. Where do PayPal, Authorize.net, and Payflow fit in?
        1. Payflow Pro is a Payment Gateway
        2. PayPal and Authorize.net are Gateways plus Merchant Accounts
        3. Which option is the best for credit card processing?
    6. Payment methods in detail
      1. Saved CC
      2. Zero Subtotal Checkout
      3. Check/Money Order
      4. Purchase Order
      5. Authorize.net
      6. Payflow Pro
      7. PayPal Express Checkout
      8. PayPal Website Payments Standard
      9. PayPal Website Payments Pro—Direct Payments
      10. PayPal Website Payments Pro (Payflow Edition)—Express and Direct
      11. Google Checkout
        1. Advantages and disadvantages of Google Checkout
      12. Configuring a payment method
    7. Summary
  15. 10. Configure Shipping
    1. Decisions you must make
      1. Will you allow multiple addresses?
      2. What shipping methods will you offer?
        1. Flat Rate shipping
        2. Table Rate method
        3. UPS, USPS, FedEx, and DHL
        4. Offering multiple shipping methods
      3. Where can the buyer send the items to?
      4. Will you charge a handling fee?
      5. Do you offer free shipping for a minimum dollar amount?
    2. Configuration settings and issues
    3. Time for action: Setting the overall configuration settings that affect shipping
      1. Select countries to which you will ship
      2. Set the shipping origin and multiple address options
      3. What just happened?
      4. Configuring Flat Rate shipping
      5. Configure the Table Rate
    4. Time for action: Creating a shipping rate table
      1. What just happened?
      2. Configuring Free Shipping
      3. UPS
      4. USPS
      5. FedEx
      6. DHL
    5. Time for action: Configuring and testing the shipping rates
      1. What just happened?
      2. Pop quiz
    6. Summary
  16. 11. Fulfilling an Order
    1. The lifecycle of an order
      1. Step 1: Customer places the order
      2. Step 2: You create an invoice
      3. Step 3: Locate the orders that need to be shipped
      4. Step 4: Print orders and pack them
      5. Step 5: Create a shipment
    2. Tips for managing orders
          1. Ship orders paid for with checks/money orders as you process the check
          2. Be proactive and look for orders that have the status Pending or Pending Paypal for too long
          3. Include a "You're paid up" comment on invoices that you email to your customers
    3. Practicing the complete order process
    4. Time for action: Practice processing an order
    5. Summary
  17. A. Abbreviated Step-by-Step Directions
    1. Categories and Attributes
      1. Creating a Category
        1. The General Information tab
      2. Creating an Attribute
        1. The Properties tab
      3. Creating an Attribute Set
    2. Taxes
      1. Creating a Customer Tax Class
      2. Creating a Product Tax Class
      3. Creating a Tax Rate
      4. Exporting and Importing Tax Rates
      5. Creating a Tax Rule
    3. Simple Products
      1. Adding a Simple Product
        1. Part 1: Adding the Product and assigning an Attribute Set
        2. Part 2: The General tab
        3. Part 3: The Prices tab
        4. Part 4: Meta Information tab
        5. Part 5: Images tab
        6. Part 6: Inventory tab
        7. Part 7: Categories
    4. Customizing your store's appearance
      1. Page Cache
        1. To turn the page cache off and on
      2. Callouts
        1. Replacing the default graphic for a callout
        2. Replacing the default alt text for a callout
            1. To replace alt text for the right callout
            2. To replace the alt text and link for the left callout
      3. Disabling the Newsletter or Poll
      4. Customizing the Welcome Message
      5. Customizing the HTML Head section
          1. Default Title
          2. Description
          3. Default Keywords
        1. The Header section
            1. Logo Image Src and Alt Text
            2. Welcome Text
        2. The Footer section
        3. Changing your store's name
      6. Customizing the front page
    5. Advanced Products
        1. To add Related Products to a Product
        2. To create a Grouped Product
            1. Part 1: Creating a Blank Grouped Product
            2. Part 2: The General tab
            3. Part 3: Meta Information tab
            4. Part 4: Images tab
            5. Part 5: Inventory tab
            6. Part 6: Categories
            7. Part 7: Associated Products
        3. To create a Configurable Product
            1. Part 1: Designating some Attributes as Configurable
            2. Part 2: Creating the first Simple Product that will be associated to the Configurable Product
            3. Part 3: Duplicating the first Simple Product and creating the other Products
            4. Part 5: Creatinge a blank Configurable Product
            5. Part 6: Associating the Simple Products to the Configurable Product
        4. Tiered Pricing: Discounts for minimum quantities
    6. Customer relationships
      1. Configuring store email addresses
      2. Configuring the Contacts Function
      3. Configuring customer options
    7. Accepting payment
    8. Configuring shipping