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#11 General settings for your new store

Once this is clear, it’s time to actually go through the settings of Magento and make changes wherever needed.

Navigate to System | Configuration using the menu. In there, the first screen you’ll see is the General section holding data, such as your base country and countries that are allowed. Note that if you’re not selling internationally, it would be good to limit the available countries here, so that visitors are not able to select countries that you do not want to do business with.



There are two things here that refer back to the topic we learned in the previous section:

1. In the top-left corner you can see that it is possible to select a different Website or Store View, if you have any. This is called the Scope Selector. If you do not change anything, you’ll be changing the Default Config option which means that the settings being done will also be saved for any Website or Store View that you may add in the future. For our single online store, it’s fine to keep this setting as Default Config, but pay attention when you are running multiple stores! Keeping an eye on the correct scope is in that case very important! Changing settings in the incorrect scope will almost certainly lead to unexpected behavior.

2. On the right-hand side of every form setting, you will see [GLOBAL], [WEBSITE], or [STORE VIEW]. This means that the particular setting can be changed at that level. The Postal Code is Optional for the following countries section in the example above for instance is a [Global] setting. This means that if you decide to turn off postal (ZIP) codes for Ireland (they do not use such a system), for instance, then all websites and stores within your Magento installation will stop asking for the postal code. On the other hand, the Allow Countries section is changeable to Store View level, which means that it is possible to run an international and national online
store next to each other within the same Magento environment.

Scrolling down a bit shows some other settings that you need to take care of:


In here, set the Timezone you’re in and determine your regular working days. Don’t worry, as your online store will also be available during weekends. Below that, enter your Store Name and contact details. The VAT Number field is important for EU businesses, and we will cover more on that topic later on.

Don’t forget to save your changes! If you jump from one section to the other in the Configuration screen, you will lose the settings you just made, without any warning. So just save after every change!

Next, we’ll have a look at the settings of the Web section (click on the Web menu on the left):


In this section you’ll see the Base URL of your store, and in this case our local installation. If you installed Magento at a hosting provider, probably this is already showing your domain name. Although the setting can be changed, please be careful, because changing it without taking the correct steps could break your store! To explain better what the default content of these fields means, the {{unsecure_base_url}} value used in first field, Base URL, is used in the fields below. Note that all fields below the Base URL field use that variable. Hence, changing the first field, will automatically change the others as well.

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