The System menu, in the top-right corner, will give you almost everything you need to configure your online store. Almost everything, because some settings, such as taxes for instance, will be set up somewhere else. More about taxes later on in this chapter, but let’s first have a look at what the System menu has to offer:
|System Menu item||What you will need it for|
|My Account||A simple screen holding your login details, e-mail address, and
|Notifications||The messages screen we already visited above.|
|Tools||Holds a tool to create and manage backups of your store. We
will cover more on maintaining your store later in Chapter 11,
Maintaining and Administrating Your Store. Keep in mind that
making backup copies of your store is essential! There’s also a
tool for compiling Magento, to increase performance, but using it
during the set up and development of your store isn’t useful.
|Web Services||These are tools to let your store interact with other systems.
Using these requires a deeper technical knowledge and is beyond
the scope of this book.
|Design||Holds a tool to add temporary design changes to your store. This
could be used to display banners during a certain period, but
normally you would handle that kind of things in a different way.
We will cover more on using designs for your store in Chapter 9,
Customizing Your Store’s Appearance.
|Import/Export||These are tools to export data from Magento to another solution,
or to import data from other sources. This could be used to
import a customer- or item-database for instance. This requires
some technical knowledge to make use of it.
|Manage Currency||This tool can be used to maintain currency rates. It could be
important if you want to offer automatic currency calculations.
You’ll often see that you will prefer manual price changes, even if
you’re working with multiple currencies. That is caused by the fact
that automatic currency changes would result in prices like $14.91
instead of $14.95 or simply $15. But, it is possible to use and
maintain this table manually as well as automatically.
|Transactional Emails||This is an important area, because in here you’ll be able to control
the contents of the automatic messages that Magento will send
to your customers. More on Transactional Emails can be found in
Chapter 9, Customizing Your Store’s Appearance.
|Custom Variables||These can be used in your Transactional Emails. By defining some
custom HTML code here, you’ll be able to simply call that piece of
code from within your e-mails. This is especially helpful to make
sure that you do not have to change every single e-mail template
if only one item, (such as a banner for instance) is to be changed.
Custom variables can also be used on content pages.
|Permissions||This gives you the possibility to define users and their roles in
order to make sure that employees can only access the parts they
need. This is helpful in larger companies, when you’re working
with multiple people on the same store.
|Magento Connect||In here you’ll be able to add extensions to increase the
functionality of Magento. Working with extensions through
Magento Connect is really great, but you have to be careful as
well. We’ll cover this part in depth in Chapter 11, Maintaining and
Administrating Your Store.
|Cache Management||Caching is important to keep Magento running at a reasonable
speed. In this area, you can refresh your caches. This is often
helpful when you’re in the process of setting up your store or
making changes to it. For now just remember that if you make
changes to your store that are not visible to the visitor, please go
here to refresh the cache.
|Index Management||The same is applicable to (database) indexes, as they make sure
that the information being retrieved from your database is found
quickly. Every now and then you need to refresh the indexes of
|Manage Stores||An important area if you want to run multiple online stores. More
on this topic in the next section.
|Order Statuses||A table holding the different statuses an order could have.
Normally you do not need to touch it.
|Configuration||This is where the action is. In this menu item, there are lots and
lots of settings that control your store. The most important ones
will be discussed during the remaining part of this chapter.
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