Magento Tutorial: A Beginner’s Guide

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If you want to create a reliable online store, Magento can be a great eCommerce platform choice. It provides excellent features, performance, and customizability. In this Magento tutorial, we’ll help you get started and show you how to set up an eCommerce site.

What is Magento?

Magento is an open-source content management system that provides robust features to create an online store. From the different payment methods, product management panel, to the shopping cart system, Magento has it all.

You can create any type of online shop with Magento, be it for a small business or a large enterprise. It has a wide array of control options that lets you design websites that are customer and SEO friendly.

The flexible modular architecture makes it easier for you to scale up your online store as well. There are over 5000 extensions available on the Magento Marketplace, ranging from payments, security, to marketing. You can also find themes, though there’s only a small collection of them.

Many big brands like Nike, HP inc., and Canon trust Magento to build their websites. Thanks to them, the platform handled $155 billion of transactions in 2018.

Why Should You Choose Magento?

Magento has an intuitive dashboard that contains all the features you need for store management. From catalogs, content, to customer options — you won’t have any problem navigating through the elements.

Upon entering the dashboard, you’ll be greeted with the sales report. It includes the total number of orders, customers, search terms, and popular products.

You can even run multiple stores simultaneously under one installation, and manage them on a single admin area. Furthermore, organizing the products into categories is straightforward, too.

Plus, Magento is SEO friendly. It lets you add target keywords, edit products’ URL key, meta titles and descriptions with no hassle. The canonical link meta tag can also be set to prevent duplicate content.

Other than that, it supports multiple languages that can help in expanding your target customers. Some examples include German, Chinese, and Arabic. To add more languages to your site, simply search the marketplace and install your preferred language packs.

In terms of security purposes, Magento regularly releases security patches to prevent brute force or DDoS attacks. If you want additional protection, install a security extension like Watchlog.

Since the platform is open-source, there’s a growing community of developers that are improving and updating the software. You will have the support that you need to run your online business.

How to Install Magento Manually

Before we get any further with this Magento tutorial, please note that the platform can only be installed on Hostinger Cloud Hosting. Make sure that the server has fulfilled these basic requirements as well:

  • Web server: Apache 2.2 or 2.4
  • Operating systems: Linux distribution, such as CentOS, Ubuntu, or Debian
  • Database: MySQL 5.6 or 5.7
  • PHP version: 7.1.3 or 7.2.0

Now let’s get on with the tutorial of installing Magento on your website manually.

1. Download Magento

First off, visit Magento’s download page. If you’re new to the platform, make sure to create an account first, then you can download the latest version under the Full Release with Sample Data section.

Sample data is a template that will help you to get used to Magento. It includes the Luma theme storefront, products, and categories. If you’re done using the sample data modules, you can remove or update it.

You can choose which format you want the installation file to be in ‒ .zip, .tar.gz, or .tar.bz2. Afterward, click Download.

2. Install Magento

Before installing Magento, keep in mind that you should have a domain address ready. You can use Hostinger’s domain name search to find and register a domain in no time. There are two ways to manually install the platform — uploading the files to the server via an FTP client like FileZilla, or through the file manager in hPanel.

In this Magento tutorial, we’ll be explaining the latter:

  1. First, create a database. Go to your hPanel’s dashboard, scroll down to find the Databases section, and click MySQL Databases.
  2. Fill in the required information — database name, username, and password. Then, press the Create button.
    Creating a MySQL Database to install Magento
  3. Head back to the dashboard, and navigate to the File Manager under the Files section.
  4. Enter the public_html directory, and click the Upload Files button on the top right corner.
  5. Select the Magento archive file that you downloaded earlier and press Upload.
  6. Right-click the file once it’s uploaded, and choose Extract.
  7. Type a dot (.) as the location, then click the Extract button.
    extract magento compressed file in file manager
  8. Access your domain name to be directed to the installation page. Select Agree and Setup Magento.
  9. Continue with pressing the Start Readiness Check button. Complete all the requirements, then click Next.
  10. Input the database information that you’ve made earlier — database host, name, username, and password.  To proceed, press Next.Create a database to install Magento
  11. For web configuration, fill in your chosen store’s address (domain name) and the admin address. Do make the admin address hard to guess to prevent security breaches.
  12. Set the default time zone, currency, and language of your store.
  13. Create an admin account by filling the required fields — username, password, and email.
  14. Click the Install Now button, and you’re ready to go!

How to Set Up Magento

Now we can move on to the fun part of this Magento tutorial: adding products, payment methods, and shipment. As a starter, let’s create new pages for your store!

1. Set Up New Pages

  1. Enter the admin dashboard and click Content located on the left sidebar.
  2. Choose Pages, then select Add New Page.
    adding new pages in magento admin dashboard
  3. Type in the Page Title, and proceed to customize the page based on these options:
    • Content – has a text editor where you can create your content.
    • Search Engine Optimization – provides settings to help your page get indexed on SERPs, such as adding URL key, meta title, and description.
    • Page in Websites – lets you select the site where you want to display the page if you’re managing multiple stores.
    • Design – offer options for you to use the in-built page layouts, or insert your own XML layout code.
    • Custom Design Update – allows you to set specific dates for automatic page layout and design changes.
  4. Once you’re done creating the page, don’t forget to Save it.

2. Add Products

  1. Click Catalog -> Products.
  2. Press the Add Product or the down arrow to select what type of product you’re selling.
  3. Fill in the required information — Name, SKU, and Price. You can also insert additional information like Stock Status, Weight, and Categories.
    Adding new products in Magento
  4. Customize other settings like uploading Images and Videos, adding Meta Title and Description for SEO, or personalizing the Layout Design.
  5. Click Save when you have everything in place.

3. Set Up Payment Methods

You can provide various payment options, whether it’s offline or online to ease the customers’ purchasing process. Follow the tutorial below to know how to do so in Magento:

  1. Navigate to Stores -> Configuration.
  2. Press the Sales section, then pick Payment Methods.
    payment methods in magento admin dashboard
  3. Set your store’s location by adding your country to the Merchant Country bar.
  4. Tap the Configure button beside the PayPal and Braintree payment solutions. Complete the required settings to activate them.
    paypal configuration in magento
  5. Head over to the Other Payment Methods section to enable other payment options as well, such as Amazon Pay, bank transfer, and cash on delivery.
  6. Don’t forget to press the Save Config button when you’re done.

4. Set Up Shipping Methods

  1. Click Store -> Configuration.
  2. Navigate to the Sales section and select Shipping Methods. You will see the options:
    • Flat Rate – charge a fixed rate per shipment or item.
    • Free Shipping – you can set shipping free of charge for promotional purposes.
    • Table Rates – lets you display a table of shipping rates based on conditions such as weight, number of products, destination, and so on.
  3. Expand on each section and edit the settings based on your needs.
  4. Feel free to enable third-party logistics services as well, like UPS, USPS, FedEx, and DHL.
  5. Tap the Save Config button.


Magento is one of the best alternatives if you prefer an ecommerce platform with exceptional customizability. You can easily add functionality and scale up your online store by adding extensions.

Let’s quickly recap what you’ve learned in this Magento tutorial:

  1. Install Magento – through hPanel’s File Manager, or FTP.
  2. Set up new pages – add content and relevant information to your online store. As a starter, you can create pages like “About Us” or “Contact Us“.
  3. Add products – set your products’ details and attributes. Customize the layout, then insert images and videos to make them visually appealing.
  4. Set up payment methods – provide different types of payment options, such as bank transfer, PayPal, and COD.
  5. Set up shipping methods – add shipping rates based on a flat rate or table rates. For promotions, you can also activate free shipping.

That’s it! If you have any questions regarding our Magento tutorial, share them in the comment section below!

The author

Edvinas B.

Edvinas is a professional mentor and trainer of customer support agents. When he's not teaching the secrets of providing exceptional service, he likes to travel the world and play basketball.