Installing Magento

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Installing Magento One of my clients wanted an E-Commerce solution for his website and after a little bit of analysis we opted for the community edition of Magento.

We wanted something based on the usual LAMP stack, that was OpenSource so it could be extended, was free as in beer, had great international support, was fully featured and enterprise ready, could pass PCI DSS compliance, allowed reasonable payment gateway options, could scale and was easy to extend as well as backup. Also we wanted complete control of the deployment, rather than integrating with a 3rd party cloud service provider such as Shopify to keep costs down and retain flexibility.

Installing Magento

With out going in to the specifics of configuring an Apache VirtualHost or installing MySQL here’s a rough guide on how to install Magento.

Download Magento from their download page. Always opt for the latest version as it includes important security fixes. You will need to create an account on their site for this.

Create a new MySQL database for the installation and note it’s credentials for later use.

Extract the Magento archive to your document root.

You will need to set write permissions for the web server to write to the following files and directories.

  • var
  • var/.htaccess
  • app/etc

You can either chmod 777 or get a little cleverer about ownership. e.g.


sudo chmod -R 777 var var/.htaccess app/etc

Assuming Apache is correctly configured you can now use your web browser to visit the install directory at the URL you’ve installed Magento at and follow the online install guide. e.g. http://www.shopidimmu.net/, then the wizard will be located here: http://www.shopidimmu.net/install/.

Choosing A Credit Card Processor

After we’d correctly installed and configured Magento, I left it to the web team to get on with populating it with products and get it to look pretty but we still had to find the best credit card processor to accept payments as we didn’t want to use Paypal. We also wanted someone who offered physical solutions to accept card payments with chip and pin.

After checking out some reviews for Merchant Warehouse and Charge.com we decided to opt with Merchant Warehouse as they offer really easy integration with Magento with their MerchantWare plugin.

Installing the Magento Connect MerchantWare plugin was trivial and just required copying and pasting our extension key in to the Magento Connect Manager and clicking install.

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