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Are you planning to add a website to your brick-and-mortar store? If Yes, then running your site on Magento could be one of your best choices.

You have several options to install Magento. In this tutorial, you will learn what you need to know before installing it.

Magento is not like many other software programs. It can’t just run on any computer. It requires a server to run successfully. That means you normally have the choice of installing Magento in one of two places:

  1. A local server
  2. A web server

Choosing the best place to install Magento is important. Here is an explanation of the difference between the two options.

Option #1. A Local Server

We do not recommend that beginners use a local server installed on your computer. It can be tempting to choose this route.

More advanced users find several useful advantages to working on your computer:

  • Working offline: You can work without an Internet connection.
  • Privacy: Your Magento site will be safe and private, accessible only to people who can access that computer.
  • Free: There are no fees to pay.

However, there are also several important disadvantages to using a computer:

  • Extra installations needed: You need to download and configure special software for your computer.
  • Difficult to get help: You can’t easily show it to other people and ask for help.
  • Only one computer: You can access it only from the computer you used to install it.
  • Need to move to launch: When you’re ready to make your site public, you need to move everything to a web server and adjust for any differences between the two locations.

Because of these disadvantages, installing on your computer can present significant obstacles for a beginner.

Do not take this route until you have more experience.

Option #2. A Web Server

Unlike your computer, a web server is specifically designed for hosting websites so that they are easy to visit for anyone who’s online. If you work for a company, it might provide a server.

However, many people need to rent space from a hosting company. Your server will need to run PHP and MySQL.

Magento is written in PHP and MySQL because it is the type of database Magento normally uses.

These are the minimum versions needed:

  • PHP: 5.6 or above
  • MySQL: 5.6 or above

Magento runs best on an Apache or Ngnix server. It is also possible to run Magento on a Windows server.

Our Hosting Recommendation? A Web Server with Magento Experts

You can install Magento on almost any server that has PHP and MySQL installed. However, Magento is a large platform and many hosting companies struggle to run it correctly.

I recommend you choose a hosting company that specializes in Magento. We recommend https://nexcess.net as a Magento host.

There are many advantages to choosing a Magento-specific hosting service, such as Nexcess:

  • Ease-of-installation. Good hosts will often install Magento for you automatically, as soon as you sign up. With Nexcess, as you're signing up, they'll ask if you want to use Magento. If you say, "Yes", they will automatically install Magento for you. Your Magento site will be ready to use as soon as you log in.
  • Support. You don't want your hosting company to offer support only 9 am to 5 pm. Your site could go down at any time. Nexcess has 24/7 phone and email support. Their team knows what they're doing.
  • Expertise. Many hosts only have a few Magento sites. Nexcess hosts over 40,000 Magento sites and are official Magento Technology Partner. They know Magento.
  • Servers. It's not easy to run an e-commerce server, and particularly for Magento, which has some quirky requirements. You need servers that are managed by Magento experts who know exactly what Magento sites need to run well.
  • CRON jobs. Magento sites need to have CRON jobs set up in order to run correctly. Nexcess has CRON jobs set up and correctly configured for you.

Getting Help with Installation

If you do want to install Magento on a web server, check out the instructions in our video class below: 

 

 

Additional Help with Installations

There are three places you should go to for help if you get stuck at any point during the installation:

  • The Magento Forum: It’s almost guaranteed that someone has experienced the same Magento installation problem as you and has asked about it on http://ostra.in/magento-install. It’s a great place to search for solutions and ask for help.

What's Next?

You now have a Magento site ready to use. In one of the future posts, you will tour your new site. You will be introduced to the most important things you need to know.


About the author

Born from Ukrainian mother and Russian father, Alex migrated to the United Kingdom in 1999. He is a self-taught Microsoft Certified Professional. He enjoys learning content management systems and helping web site developers make the most of them.