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From Beginner to Advanced in Magento: Introduction & Installation

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In this series, we will cover all the basic to advanced concepts of Magento. It is one of the most powerful and trending PHP open source eCommerce platforms in the market. In this article, we will look at the following topics:

  1. What is Magento?
  2. Requirements of Installation
  3. Downloading Magento
  4. Setting up the Administrator Dashboard
  5. Creating a Client Account
  6. Conclusion

What Is Magento?

Magento is an eCommerce platform that provides online merchants with various modules that are flexible and that has dynamic contents that the merchant can change to suite his or her needs depending on the required features. 

In addition, it is an open source technology that has a powerful online marketing capacity with easy to search tool optimized to suit each business' needs. It is completely scalable and widely used platform because of its stability and its customizable nature.

Requirements

Before one starts installing Magento, there are a set of minimum requirements:

  1. PHP 5.4 or higher
  2. Apache 2.2.x or higher
  3. MySQL DBMS platform of version 4.1.20 or higher
  4. Make sure you have the administrator rights for the installation of any program

Downloading Magento

There are various ways one can download Magento depending how you're most comfortable. To make this guide simple, I will use Bitnami Magento as it has has all of the functionality and basic modules to start the program. 

Further, Bitnami is simple and direct to install since it has default connection settings on its installation panel. One big advantage of Bitnami is it comes with its own apache and Mysql services; therefore, there is no need to install a local server on your computer. In addition, it is free and open source for any person.

Download the Bitnami Magento from here. This site has various Bitnami Magento setups depending on the operating system you are using. For my case, I will download the one for Windows.

Installation

Installation involves a number of steps. This article explains systematically on how one can install Bitnami Magento on Window. I am using Windows 7 in my case. It is the same case with Windows 8.

Step 1:

Run the downloaded file to start the program. It will start by setting up the Bitnami Magento stack with a window similar to the one alongside. Just click on Next.

Step 2:

You will be asked to select components; all are usually selected by default. Just leave them the way they are. Click Next.

Step 3:

Your IP address shall be automatically detected. If you are on LAN network, it will enter the address of your LAN network, but if you're offline, it will simply show you 127.0.0.1 which is a default address for localhost.

Step 4:

You will now be asked to specify some login credentials so input your name, email address, user name, and password as shown alongside. Make sure you remember the user name and the password because you will use them to access the administrator dashboard.

Step 5:

On the next window you will be asked if you want to learn more about Bitnami Cloud Hosting. You can uncheck this, because it may not be important for now then click Next. 

The software will start installing and prompt you to allow access of httpd.exe file, which is the Apache server of Bitnami. If you uncheck that option, the firewall will be blocking this program. Check all and click Allow Access.

Step 6:

The next window, you will be prompted if you want to learn about integration of Bitnami on Facebook. You can uncheck this since it is not important for now. 

Step 7:

At this step, two things will happen:

  1. The Bitnami Magento stack will pop up
  2. Your default browser will open with the administrator's PC address as shown in the diagram.

Step 8:

This step is only important if you have installed more than one program that uses the same default port number of 80. 

On the Bitnami Magento Stack pop-up manager window, you can configure your Apache and MySQL configuration by clicking on manage servers tab then click on Apache or MySQL depending on the one you want to change the port number. 

A pop up will show up that prompts to change the port number. Change the port number then click ok and click restart on the parent window shown alongside in order to save the settings and restart the apache with new settings.

We're Done!

We are now done with installation. As shown in the following screenshot:

Setting Up the Administrator Dashboard

Back on the welcome window on your browser shown above, Read through the welcome instructions and  you will get the line “You can access Magento’s administration panel here”. Click on “here” to open the administration panel for login as shown below:

Enter the user name and password as you did in Step 4.4

The default IP address that was input during set up shall be shown depending on the individual’s case. In this case, it is 127.0.0.1. You can now access various administrator set-ups and save like the one shown alongside:

Setting Up a Client Account

After setting up the administrator account, you will need to set up a client account so that you can access all the products and services registered by the administrator. To do this, enter the following address on your browser.

Enter the address 127.0.0.1/magento/index.php/customer/account/login. You will see a window similar to the one below:

Click on Create An Account then Login and start enjoying how to use Magento. My default IP address is the localhost address 127.0.0.1. Change this accordingly to how it is applicable in your case.

Conclusion

Magento remains one of the best eCommerce platforms for online merchants across the globe. As you have gone the installation steps above, you have seen how easy it is to set up and get started with Magento on your machine. 

In our upcoming articles, we will cover some basics of the Magento system and we'll then move forward with going up to the advanced level.

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