Magento is one of the more complicated platforms to install and configure, but once it’s working, it’s a great, powerful and flexible platform for ecommerce growth, with a large support community and a plethora of plugins and extensions available to help you accomplish basically anything you need it to do. Their showcase of customers is quite impressive.
Here I mention some important tips and tricks from my experience through the whole process of installation and configuration, from finding a host to, to increasing performance, to setting up taxes to automatically update in real-time and more.
Finding a good host was an important piece to the setup of Magento. You will need to find a host that is willing to make configuration changes and that supports Magento, because there are often quite a number of parts that need to be configured. From my research and experience, InMotion hosting was a perfect solution. I signed up with a VPS solution which came with 2 dedicated IPs. InMotion comes with cPanel and a separate control panel (WHM) for the VPS. Control is what you get, and if there is something that is not available in the control panel, InMotion‘s support is there to answer each and every question and request you throw at them.
Configuration and Optimization
Magento setup with InMotion hosting required a few custom configuration requests.
- Dedicated IP: I needed a dedicated IP pointing to my server and for SSL. InMotion‘s default URL comes in the form of http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/subdirectory. I basically requested that the subdirectory become the root and that the IP xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx point to the root.
- Install Errors: I encountered some installation errors which were corrected finding solutions to my issues in Magento Forums
- Optimization: By default, Magento runs a little slow and laggy. You can ask InMotion or your host to make the following configuration tweaks which should help improve the speed and performance of your online store.
- Enable magento caching (This can be done on your end)
- Enable APC (We can do this for you)
- MySQL Query caching (We can also do this for you)
- Increase your total php.ini memory limit by increasing the php_value memory_limit to a higher number (IE from 128 to 256). Please let us know if you would like us to assist with the above items.
Tip: Make sure to flush cache often when making changes; not flushing your cache can also slow down performance when doing development
One of the concerns for my setup was regarding Taxes. We needed to update taxes every quarter which was a pain, having to download tables and do vlookups in excel to match zip codes and replace taxes tables, and ultimately in the end hope for no errors. I found the perfect solution for this which now my tax tables update in real-time. Avatax’s integrated, cloud–based products and services make it simple to calculate rates, manage exemption certificates, and file and remit state sales taxes. Best of all, AvaTax provides seamless compatibility with dozens of ERP, accounting, e–commerce and POS systems.
More about AvaTax >>
Shipping from Multiple Origins
By default, Magento only allows the option to ship from one origin. So what if you have products drop shipping or warehouses in multiple locations? Here is a good and affordable plugin for allowing you to accomplish just that at an affordable price: Shipping Origin by Product
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