Before we jump into the configuration part, it is good to know about the concept of Websites, Stores, and Store Views in Magento.
One of Magento’s strong points is the possibility of adding multiple online stores within the same Magento installation. Using this, for example, you have the possibility of running multiple stores in several languages, offering the same (or a similar) set of products. These stores can even use the same settings if you’d like to, or only change those parameters that are important to be different. Magento uses the following naming convention, to set up a structure of online stores:
- Website: This is the main level. A Website should contain at least one Store with one Store view underneath it. In the default setup, there is one Website, one Store, and one Store View as shown in the following screenshot:
- Store: One level lower you’ll find the Store. It’s good to know that these three levels are just abstraction levels that you can use to organize your content and settings. The Store level isn’t very important, since most settings can be altered on Website or Store View level.
- Store View: The Store View is the lowest level in the hierarchy. Store Views are generally used to create exact copies of a store, but using different languages.
When you’re maintaining your store’s settings or products, you’ll notice that every option may be set on one of these levels. This is what we call the scope. If the customer is visiting a certain Store View, the system tries to use options set on that particular level (the Store View scope). If nothing has been set, Magento will fall back to the Store scope and if nothing is set on that level as well, then the Website scope will be used.
Even above the highest level (Website), there are also settings that are ”Global”, which means that such a setting is the same for your entire Magento installation and there’s no possibility to use a different setting on a lower level. This is currently somewhat abstract, but you’ll soon see how these levels can be used in practice.
If you’d like to add Websites, Stores, and Store Views, this is the area to do so. Please choose names that make sense as soon as you’re going to add anything. The ”default” names should only be used if you’re sticking with one single setup.
It’s important to know that this setup doesn’t mean that there’s a direct connection with the URL/domain names you’re using. You can route URL’s to Websites or Stores, as well as Store Views. The different possibilities for your domain are as follows:
- myonlinestore.com: This sets up your store on a new domain.
- myonlinestore.com/newstore: This sets up the new store in a subfolder on your existing domain.
- newstore.myonlinestore.com: This set up your store on a subdomain of your existing domain.
In practice, we often see the first option, where we have a single instance of one Website,one Store and one Store View. This is what we’ll be doing throughout this book. The second and third options are often used to offer the same website in a different language, for different Store Views. Using the principles above we can create the following structure:
In our example, we’re working with the simplest form: one Website, one Store and one Store View. This is the right part of the previous image.
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