The Difference Between Magento Store View, Website and Magento Multi Store

magento website vs store vs view

One of Magento’s attractive benefits is the opportunity to manage multiple sites and stores within just one installation. Many users wonder if there is any principle difference between such Magento features as Multi Store, Store View, and Website. If you’re about launching a new online store, this question is especially relevant for you. Whenever you wish to implement original store looks or differentiate the benefits of your website, Magento is an excellent choice. But each of the listed above has own advantages and disadvantages, so we have prepared this article to point to the major similarities and differences and help you with your further decision.

Magento Website

Basically, we can call it “a parent of store” as a Website consists of one or several shops. Website signifies the source that hosts multiple stores.

  • When speaking about Magento Website, its basic advantage is having unique customers and order base. Possessing a separate customer base is not the only plus – as a business owner, you can share customer accounts with all sites. You can divide customers into completely different sets to work with them all effectively.
  • Website allows choosing any payment and shipping methods that you need for your shop. The same works for the currency.
  • In case you need to input many prices, you can do it easily through the configuration setting. It is also possible to share the price globally.
  • The main difference between Magento Website and Store is that the first one contains only customer data with no products and categories.

Magento Multi-Store

When you wish to manage a range of stores at the same time, this option is right for you. For example, you own one brand which is offering both male and female clothing. You can have two separate sites for women and men respectively with only one admin interface to control two stores.

Mind that having a Website is not enough: working with the front-end specific components like categories and product displays is possible only from the stores.

  • Do you want to sell many different categories of goods and services through a single web domain? Magento Multi-Store can handle it. You will be able to control all the products from a single admin panel. Product browsing, as well as catalogue management, will make your assortment look even more attractive.
  • Second, the Store reflects a real shop with all offered products and services well described.
  • This feature makes it easier and faster for your customers to find the desired product on your website.
  • Such attributes as check-in, check-out, selective pricing, and add to cart option are all included.
  • Magento multi store setup requires a minimum of efforts – you can install it from the first attempt. There is no need to log-in to various admin panels of each website to track purchases and customer behavior. You receive a total control of all your online stores under different domain names and IP addresses.

The structure of your categories will remain the same for different store views.

By the way, here is how you can launch a new store. Setting up Multiple Store can be done in several ways, so it’s up to you to decide.

First, you can choose possessing two completely different stores operating on the same domain. They can also have own domains. When the primary domain is the way to access various stores, you deal with a mall type. Anyway, URL structure does not influence the installation method dramatically.

Shared hosting caveat is another approach. This method exists for all those site owners who do not wish to share a single check-out and have an individual SSl certificate for each store. But in case you require an SSL certificate for all domains, you have to be in a dedicated hosting environment.

Adding up another Magento store can be done by following this step-by-step instruction:

  1. Log-in to your Magento admin panel.
  2. Find the Catalog tab where you need to select Manage Categories.
  3. Click on the Add Root Category button placed on the left.
  4. It’s recommended to enter your title (i.e. on the right where it says Name. Set the dropdown to Yes for both Is Active and Is Anchor.
  5. Press on the Save Category button.
  6. Move on to the System tab and choose Manage Stores.
  7. Click on the Create Website button.
  8. You have to insert for the Name once again; for the Code, you simply enter word shoes. Keep this value in mind for the future.
  9. Press Save Website.
  10. Click on the Create Store button.
  11. For the Website, pick from the dropdown menu. For the Name, enter Main Store. For the Root Category, select the from the dropdown once more.
  12. Click on the Save Store button.
  13. Click on the Create Store View after.
  14. For the Store, pick Main Store from the dropdown menu, but make sure it’s exactly for the website. For the Name, enter English. For the Code, put in shoes_en. For the Status, select Enabled from the dropdown.
  15. Click the Save Store View button.
  16. Move to the System tab and select Configuration.
  17. For the Current Configuration Scope (it’s on the top left), change the dropdown from Default Config to
  18. Select Web from the sidebar on the left under the General heading.
  19. For both the Unsecure and Secure sections, uncheck the Use default box next to the Base URL item, and enter the URL for your store, e.g. Don’t forget the trailing slash!
  20. Click the Save Config button.

Magento Store View

Each store should contain at least one store view. To explain, think of this feature as store’s translation (however, it’s a lot more than that). The purpose of the Store View is usually used in order to store alternative values for such informative content as product/service titles, their descriptions, features, and more.

  • Magento Store View is recommended for handling multiple languages at your site. It works this way: one Store View is per language. So, if you want your customers to switch quickly between one or more languages, Store View is exactly for you. It works great for multinational online stores.
  • This feature is also necessary for all those who wish to have different store themes and original designs. In other words, Store View will cope with everything that can be solved only applying the design / template directory on the server or language pack.
  • As a Magento store owner, you can always enjoy granular localization support. It considers not only languages but the locations of your customers.
  • Also, because this feature is focused on the adjusting the facing text of a setting and other elements of design, its functionality is isolated.
  • No specific payment methods are allowed for every store view.
  • No separate shipping methods involved.
  • Category structure will remain the same.
  • Finally, you won’t view the majority of reports based upon store view segmentation.
  • The main disadvantage might be a need for a native speaker to rewrite your product information in the particular language. However, with the variety of choices today, it shouldn’t turn some problem.
  • Thus, Store View is simply a way your online shop is being presented/positioned.

So, it’s up to you to decide what matters more for your online business: a pretty design with the numerous available languages, or extended functionality for further speedy growth.

If you have any questions about anything I’ve mentioned in this blog post or anything else related to Magento, please feel free to drop me a message via this form. I am on the team performing Magento development for large Magento projects.

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Oleg Yemchuk

Oleg Yemchuk


Oleg Yemchuk is a SEO Manager at MavenEcommerce sharing office space with Magento business experts in NYC and software developers worldwide. Oleg is SEO expert by day, and geek by night. Favorite pastime: traveling in TARDIS.

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