Among the first things you will want to do is plan your store hierarchy, that is, the arrangement of websites, stores, and store views. When Magento CE is installed, a “Main Website,” a default store, and a default store view are created. You will want to create additional websites, stores, and store views, depending on the breadth of the items you are selling and the composition of your target markets.

To be able to create these entities, you need to create at least one root category first. See “Managing Categories,” page 81, for more information about creating root categories. For now, determine how you want your store hierarchy set up.


Suppose you want to sell machine shop equipment online, and your spouse wants to sell handmade baskets. It is unlikely that you would sell both of these product lines in a single store, but in a single Magento CE installation, you can do both by setting up separate websites. Each website can have its own domain name. The websites can be set up to share customer data, or not to share any data.


For your handmade baskets website, you might want to set up two stores, one specializing in wicker and one for other materials. You can set up two root categories (one for wicker items and one for other items) and assign one to each store. (See “Managing Categories,” page 81, for more information about setting up root categories). Several stores of one website can have different independent domain names as well, but it should be configured on the store view level of each store.

Store Views

Your market research indicates that about half of your potential customer base speaks English, and the other half speaks Spanish. Within each store, you can create separate store views, one for English and one for Spanish. The store views share the same catalog, but each is presented in its respective language. Customers use a drop-down list on the frontend to switch from one store view to another.

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