In this tutorial, we will discuss the benefits of using Magento to operate multiple stores. I will also explain how to configure this feature.
What is Magento Multi Store?
Magento multi store is a convenient feature that enables you to have multiple shops connected to the same Magento installation. In other words, you can use a single web interface to manage the inventory and orders of many different stores (web sites).
Advantages of Using Magento with Multiple Stores
Magento offers many advantages for medium and large business owners. Multiple web sites allow the managers to easily target different market segments by creating specific websites, storefront designs and marketing strategies for each segment. Entering new markets is also made easier by creating a separate web site for each market and taking advantage of local search engine optimization techniques.
All of that is possible while keeping the order and inventory management efficient and minimizing operating time and costs.
How to Configure Magento with Multiple Stores
Before configuring multiple stores on Magento, you will have to set up a regular Magento installation first. If you are unsure how to do that, check Magento’s web site for server requirements and installation instruction.
After that, there are three more steps: add a website, add a store and create a store view.
To add a new Magento website, login to your admin interface and go to System > Configuration. On that page, enter your website’s name and domain. After that, you would need to create a new store. Do that by going to System > Manage stores and clicking Create store. Choose the website of the store and its root category and enter the name of the store. And last, but not the least, create a store view. In the code field, enter a string that will uniquely identify this view and set the status to enabled.
The final thing that you need to do is the domain setup. For example, you want to use one Magento installation for two domains. You have installed Magento on your first domain and now you need to connect the second one. Copy .htaccess and index.php files from Magento installation to the root folder of the new domain and edit the last line of index.php to:
Yourstore is the unique string identification you’ve entered while creating a new store. Also, run the following Linux commands to create symbolic links in the document root of the second domain:
ln -s /home/example/example.com/html/app/ app
ln -s /home/example/example.com/html/includes/ includes
ln -s /home/example/example.com/html/js/ js
ln -s /home/example/example.com/html/lib/ lib
ln -s /home/example/example.com/html/media/ media
ln -s /home/example/example.com/html/skin/ skin
ln -s /home/example/example.com/html/var/ var
ln -s /home/example/example.com/html/404/ 404 # this is only in 1.3x
ln -s /home/example/example.com/html/reports/ reports # this is only in 1.3x
And that’s all. You should now have a working Magento multi store feature and enjoy its benefits.