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Basic Configuration Options for Magento

One of the benefits of using Magento is that it is highly customisable. There are so many different settings you can customise and configure to meet the needs of both you and your customers. Whilst some configuration options most definitely require the help of a Magento expert, others are pretty straightforward. Here we will talk you through some of the basic configuration options to give you a helping hand in setting up your Magento store.

If we’re a step ahead of you and you haven’t actually downloaded Magento yet, see our instructions how to download Magento. You can also visit the link to Magento hub page to find out more about the different versions of Magento available.

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There are so many configurations you can make to Magento in order to create a unique shopping experience for your customers.

How to add products to your Magento store

As a Magento merchant, we understand that you want to be able to run and manage your ecommerce store yourself, without constantly having to rely on the help of a developer, especially when it comes to adding new products, which you’ll need to do on a frequent basis. Luckily Magento makes it super easy to add new products to your store. Follow the simple instructions below:

Login to the Magento Admin are using your username and password.

Navigate to Catalog > Manage Products > Add Product (top right of the page)

Select the product’s attribute set and product type and press continue.

On the next page fill in your product details e.g. name, SKY, weight, status, tax class, visibility etc. On this page you can also add custom attributes such as colour. Click save and continue edit when you are ready.

You will then be able to fill in the price information for your product. Here you will see there are a number of different options including tier price and special price. Click save and continue edit.

On the next page you will be required to write a product description. Remember the product description should be unique and of a high quality in order to have SEO benefits. Click save and your product will be added to your Magento inventory.

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Accepting a wide range of payment methods can help to increase conversion rates. Magento makes setting up and configuring payment methods pretty straightforward.

Setting up payments

One of the great things about Magento is that it is compatible with a wide range of payment methods from different payment processors like PayPal, as well as traditional credit cards like Visa, Master Card and Switch.  The latest version of Magento is also integrated with two payment gateways (Payment Pro and Authorize.net). When setting up your Magento store you will need to configure your payment methods and below we’ve explained how it’s easily done:

Login to the Magento Admin area.

Navigate to System > Configuration > Sales > Payment Methods

Click on Authorize.Net to expand it.

Make sure Enabled is set to Yes and fill in the relevant boxes.

You will need to select what types of credit cards you accept – do this by holding down ctrl and clicking with your mouse.

Choose the level of validation you require e.g. security code, 3d secure card validation.

Once you are done, press save and you’ll have set up a new payment method.

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Magento makes it fairly straightforward to set up and configure your shipping methods.

Setting up shipping methods

Want to add different shipping costs and methods to your Magento store? 

In the Magento admin area go to System > Configuration > Sales > Shipping Settings. There you will be able to customise the settings of any shipping methods you have already set up. For example, you will be able to enable shipping to multiple addresses and define the terms for multiple-address shipping.

To view your shipping methods go to System > Configuration > Sales > Shipping Methods. Click on the shipping method you would like to offer and make sure it is enabled. You can integrate your Magento store with various different shipping companies such as UPS, using Magento extensions. Integrating these extensions with your Magento site often makes it much easier to calculate the cost of shipping, saving you time and effort.

For Magento shipping extensions visit the Magento Connect website and look for ‘Shipping & Fulfilment’ under the Integrations category. 

Configuring your CMS

Magento also comes with an inbuilt content management system that makes it easy for you to add and edit your web pages. Here we will explain how to create and manage pages in Magento.

1. Navigate to the CMS section in the Magento admin area and click on Manage Pages.

2. Select a page and click Edit Page to make a change. It will pop up in a new window.

3. From there you will be able to edit the existing content, add new content and remove any content that you no longer want on that page.

In your CMS you can also add and edit static blocks (the footer of your pages where links often go), widgets (e.g. a mini Twitter feed) and polls. 

It really is one of the most user-friendly content management systems out there, so even if you find technology a real challenge, configuring your CMS will be a doddle. The key is to just try it out and familiarise yourself with it.

Conclusion

So there we have some of the basic configuration options for Magento. Of course, there are so many other configuration options for you to customise and tweak, however if you do not have developer experience or are not familiar with the Magento platform, we highly recommend seeking expert help!

The Magento developers here at Online Media Direct are widely experienced in configuring the platform to meet clients’ individual needs and requirements. Whether you need help optimising your Magento store for search engines (more on optimising Magento for SEO here) or need to speed up Magento to offer users a better experience, we are the guys for the job! Simply give us a call on 01706 830 965 and we’ll have a chat about what we can do to help you get the most out of the Magento platform.

Image credits: Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta, Fosforix and ePublicist

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