If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.
From the outside, creating an online store looks simple enough. Choose the cheapest hosting, install Magento 2 and a cute theme, fill in the product data, and get revenue. But in fact, this process includes many pitfalls and thinking in advance. Today, we’ll show you a recipe on how to create a new Magento website that will serve you for many years.
Step #1. Make a research
First off, you need to understand what you want to have in your MVP:
- what your goals are
- what features will help you achieve them
- how your website should look like to attract your audience
- how you will bring traffic to your products, etc.
To find ideas and inspiration, visit the websites of your competitors. Carefully go through every page on their website and ask yourself questions: Do I need this feature? May I need this feature within the next year? Screenshot every idea you like and save it.
Thus, you will have a set of examples that you can show to your designers and developers. This will make communication easier and will give you a better idea of what you'll have at the end.
After you've finished the research, it’s a good idea to make a plan. Split all the features you found into 2 groups: must-have and nice-to-have. Thus, you will be more flexible when it comes to Magento 2 website building, and you can launch your store as soon as possible, even if some of the features are still in development.
If after finishing this step, you feel overwhelmed, because it seems like a nightmare. And you think you will never be able to do this on your own, don’t panic. We can not only help you with cheering words but also give you a hand in the Magento website development. Our custom development team can help you with every technical step and make your Magento store turnkey.
See also: Data security vs. network security: What should your business prioritize?
Step #2. Choose the hosting for growth
If you want to build your website on the Magento Open Source version, you need to get hosting. For this, check out Magento technical requirements and look through the offers by popular hosts. Besides prices, take into account other components like performance, security, SSL certificate, and other useful features. Also, don’t choose the hosting that covers the minimum requirements. Otherwise, you risk the following:
- if your traffic will double or triple during the holiday season, your website may go down, and you lose your income;
- your website might be slow, especially if you have thousands of products and plan to install 3-rd party extensions;
- your store can grow very quickly, and because of this, you will have to change hosting to a more efficient one. Moving from server to server is always a process, which is impossible to do without downtime and risks.
Check out other tips on how to choose a hosting→
Step #3. Download and install Magento
After you are ready with the hosting part, and your server meets the technical requirements of the system, you can download and install Magento 2 shop. We won’t stop on the details of this process here. If you need step-by-step guides on how to do it, please check the official Magento documentation, or look through our articles on this topic:
Step #4. Choose, install, and customize a template
Magento site design is the moment when your previous research comes in the first place.
Where do you want to place a logo?
How many banners do you want on your home and catalog pages?
What fonts and colors do you want to use?
Do you need a blog page?
Do you want an Amazon-style menu or a classical mega menu?
Do you need popups?
If you have done deep research in advance, you already know the answers to these questions. Choose the most suitable theme, install and customize it according to your needs.
How to install Magento 2 theme step-by-step →
And don’t forget that the design of your Magento store should be not only visually attractive but also convenient, user-friendly and optimized.
Check out 12 common UX mistakes in the web design of Magento stores →
See also: Top 10 free Magento themes to jumpstart your e-store →
Step #5. Fill up your website with products and payment methods
Next, you need to set up all the basic settings and features of your store like:
- products information
- available payment methods
- shipping options
- contact information
- customer account settings
- and more.
But not to make any mistakes, you need to understand your store hierarchy. It has 4 levels:
- Store View
On each level, you can set up different settings. See the difference between the levels→
Step #6. Install 3rd-party plugins
If you need extra functionality for your store, you can add it by installing 3rd-party plugins. You can find them on Magento Marketplace or in online stores of Magento extension vendors.
What extensions do you need? It’s individual, but here are 30 must-have functionalities that will help you convert users to loyal customers on each step of the marketing funnel. But if you can't find the extension that meets your requirements, you can always develop a custom module by yourself or with the help of the professional custom development team.
Step #7. Fill in your store with details
Finally, you need to upload your products and other information to your store. Upload pictures and videos, set up prices, manage stock. Start your blog to get more traffic from search engines and to help potential customers to find more info about your shop and your products. But don’t forget about SEO when creating content. Use keywords, rewrite URLs, customize meta title and meta-description. To automate this work, you can use our SEO Toolkit.
See also: A full overview of default SEO features in Magento 2 →
Step #8. Test and start
When the development of your company’s website on Magento is ready, it’s time to take the final tests. Make sure you've optimized everything you could to make your website load fast and smoothly. Visit every page of your site, complete an order, test email notifications, etc. Check how the store looks on the frontend for mobiles, tablets, desktops. And when you are satisfied with the result, start the work.
That’s it for today! And what problems did you face when starting your store on Magento? Share your experience with us in the comments below.
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