Chapter 11. Magento, Part 1: How to Install Magento

Here at PayPal and the developer community, we’re very excited about PayPal’s recent purchase of the Magento ecommerce platform. There is so much change happening here on, and much more is planned for the future.

To celebrate, I’m launching into a rather extensive and long series on Magento. The system is extremely powerful, and there is a lot to cover. But, to start exploring, you need to have an installation of Magento that you can test with or experiment with, so that’s what we’ll set up here today. Then, as we progress through this series, you’ll be able to tweak and modify your installation as necessary—testing out themes, extensions, tools, configuration options, and more.

Comparing the Editions

For this article, we will use the free edition of Magento, called the Community Edition. If you’re just starting out with Magento or if your needs aren’t too substantial, this is really a great way to get started. Keep in mind that you’re on your own when you roll with the Community Edition; you don’t get the luxury of support that you would with either the Professional Edition ($2,995/year) or the Enterprise Edition ($12,900/year).

There are very few differences between the Community Edition and the Professional Edition in terms of functionality. You’re really paying for enhanced security, support, and a few other features that may or may not be important for you depending on your specific needs. The major ...

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