Magento Website/ Store / Store View Explained
If you are the site owner and selling different kinds of goods, usually you place them all in one place. No matter how many products are there, that's the business for you and it is more practically to manage them in one place. However, your clients might not like a website with too much content and products that have completely nothing in common on a single web page. The reason is that general navigation and finding the needed item becomes struggle for them.
Magento's killing feature will help you. The shopping cart allows you to link multiple websites within a single administration area. This way you can avoid the necessity to log in to separate web site installations to manage different content. This makes a huge difference in terms of management ease.
Magento multi store functionality is definitely solid, since widens possibilities of person who takes care about website maintaining, but at the same time it makes the system more complex. Many people seem to get confused with main concepts of multi store - website, store and view.
In this tutorial we will try to logically explain them using examples.
The best way to get the better understanding of these notions is to treat them as “levels” in the hierarchy. At the top of it is “global” scope and it is invisible at the front-end, but is used in admin. It defines default values for various attributes that products or categories can contain.
For the reason that it refers to entire installation, default values scope is usually not separated and is treated to be on the background.
It can be referred as the basis of the shop. Basically, you can think of a website as a domain/subdomain (though, this is perhaps an oversimplification). From one administration you can manage a few shops.
For different Magento websites it is possible to:
- to maintain a separate customer base, or can share the customer accounts within all websites;
- make different currencies;
- create different product pricing or make prices global (shared for all websites).
Stores are ‘children’ of websites.They are your actual product catalogue. Products and Categories are managed on the store level. A root category is configured for each store. They can be used to define for example different (looking) shops with the same information.
Managing stores it is worth to know:
- All the stores within one website share the same customer accounts.
- Currency and prices are identical for all the stores.
- Different shops can have different products assigned.
Store Views are mostly used to handle different languages on your website. You will typically have one Store View per language. This way you can “showcase” the goods in the language more convenient for the client (if you are selling goods worldwide).
With store views you can:
- have the same root category for all store views;
- set different prices depending on view.
Concept Practically Explained
Imagine that you sell electronics, software and DVDs. For that you want to create 3 websites. You would like them on separate subdomains, so we have electornics.companyname.com, software.companyname.com and dvds.companyname.com.
In electornics.companyname.com store you would like to sell mobile devices and computers, thus you create 2 separate stores for them - Mobiles and Computers. Each of them has lots of categories and subcategories, so it makes sense to create separate category tree with own root category for each. From one website your clients can switch between the strores.
Additionally, Mobile phones you you need to be available in English and Spanish and Computers in English, Spanish and French. Thus, for ‘Mobiles’ you create 2 store views and for ‘Computers’ 3 Magento store views.
The following scheme illustrates the mentioned above:
Like many things in Magento, Multi Store system can be, from the first sight, complex and we really strongly recommending to plan out your website structure before you start actually adding items, so that you ensure you are building a nice logical system that is going to scale up as you grow.