Magento – Install pointers

Magento – Install pointers

Magento has a cool logo!

Seriously, it does. But that has nothing to do with anything. I decided to finally check Magento out because of all the stuff I keep reading. I’m here to give you a couple pointers. The instructions for installation, which you can read here, are actually pretty good. With a few exceptions of course. So if you are interested in trying out Magento, read this before you start.

NOTE: If you are installing this live (meaning not locally to test), do NOT import the sample data.

Setting up the database

Before you actually do the install of Magento, you must create a new database. I’m not going to walk you through how to do that, but if you use phpAdmin, it is easy even for a noob. You also must import sample data into the database. Do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT download the one they provide, as you will most likely get an error message. Go to this forum thread, download the sample data from the last post on the page (1.2.0 revised). Import went fine after that.

The full release

There are a couple of options on how to download Magento. I picked the Full Release option. If you go that route, download it, unzip it, open it up, and you will find a folder called ‘magento’. That is the folder you want to upload. Unless you are installing into the root, in which case, I can’t help you. But it wasn’t unclear if I had to unzip the file first or not. Through some searching, the answer is no. You just need all of what is in that folder. Be warned, it is a lot.


First and foremost, do NOT use Dreamweaver to ftp your files to your server. I don’t care how fast your connection is (mine is like 25mbs), DW’s ftp for the size of what you have to upload is pure crap. I got the “Wating for Server” like every 20 seconds. Finally said to hell with it, and used FileZilla. From there it went way faster. I like DW for putting up a few files, but I will never again use it for something like this. Aggravating as hell.


You must change the permissions on three folders: app/etc , var , and media, so that they are writable to the server. Go here for better instructions on how. Mine had to be changed to 777.

Actual Installer

Once you have done all of that, then go to, and click the Start the Download Process. This will take about 5 minutes or so. After that is successful, you should then be able to mess around with the admin options and everything else. I plan on writing more about it as I dig deeper into Magento.

If you have any experience with Magento, I would certainly like to hear about it. Pros, cons, just plain comments. Let me hear your thoughts.

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