How to Develop a Multi-Store Ecommerce Website?

Magento is an incredible platform for ecommerce. It is the right choice for those who ever thought about setting up an electronic store online. Thanks to its flexibility and scalability, it suits a whole type of businesses ranging from small, medium to large sized ones.

Running several electronic stores simultaneously is really a great challenge in terms of time and effort. But with Magneto, one can efficiently run a multi-store and multi-language website from only one backend. Here is how to develop 3 stores with three different domains (, and and manage them from the same Magneto backend.


  1. We assume that you are already running a Magneto store, and if it is your first experience with Magneto, you need to firstly install Magento at your server.
  2. We are targeting three stores with three different domains
  3. The three stores will be using the same catalog
  4. Our categories are Furniture, Electronics, Apparel, and Gift Cards for first store.

And basically we are going to work on three configurations:

  1. Categories
  2. Store Configuration in Magento Admin
  3. Store Configuration in the Server


1. Categories


We are going to create our categories under the default Root Category as all the stores will use the same catalog.

Hint: if you would prefer creating a different catalog for each store, you need to create a Root Category for each catalog, meaning, for three stores with three catalogs, you need to add 3 root categories and add your categories for each catalog as subcategories under them.

      1. Navigate to Catalog -> Categories -> Manage Categories
      2. We are going to create our categories Furniture, Electronics, Apparel, and Gift Cards under the root category
      3. At the Display Settings tab, set the categories (Furniture, Electronics, Apparel, and Gift Cards) as “Is Anchor”
      4. from the General Information tab set the categories (Furniture, Electronics, Apparel, and Gift Cards) as “Is Active”

Hint: step 3& 4 are essential for showing those categories on the frontend of your Magento shop.


2. Store Configuration in the Magento Admin

Creating a website

      1. Navigate to System -> Manage Stores and press the “Create Website” button.
      2. In the popup menu insert the following information
        1. Name –
        2. Code – domain01_com ( it is just a parameter to indicate to that particular domain)



Creating the corresponding store

      1. Navigate to System -> Manage Stores and press the “Create Store” button.
      2. In the popup menu insert the following information:
        1. Website:
        2. Name:
        3. Root Category: Default category ( root category)


Creating the store Interface

      1. Navigate to System -> Manage Stores and Press the “Create Store View” button.
      2. In the popup menu, fill in the following information:
        1. Store:
        2. Name: English or (German Version, Italian Version, etc.)just give it a suitable name
        3. Code: domain01_en ( I tried to differentiate this version from other version by adding _en and you can change accordingly)
        4. Status: Enabled ( so that it become accessible to customers)


Configuring the Secure Base URL and Unsecure Base URL 

      1. Navigate to System -> Configuration -> General -> Web.
      2. Assure that the ” Current Configuration Scope:” is showing ””admin_sys_config_scope
      3. Set the Base URL for the UnSecure to be
      4. Set the Base URL for the Secure to be


Hint: uncheck the checkbox next to ”Use default [STORE VIEW]” and then save the configuration.

Creating the other two stores

      1. Repeat step 1 to 10 under “Store Configuration in the Magento Admin” for and


3. Store Configuration in the Server

1. To set theDocumentRoot for all domains to our Magento directory, it is essential to inform the Apache configuration file about the new configuration.

Our Magneto directory is /var/www/http, so let’s re-configure the httpd.conf

<VirtualHost *:80>


    DocumentRoot /var/www/http



<VirtualHost *:80>


    DocumentRoot /var/www/http



<VirtualHost *:80>


    DocumentRoot /var/www/http



      1. At /var/www/http/.htaccess, update the .htaccess file with the next codes:

SetEnvIf Host www\.domain1\.com MAGE_RUN_CODE=domain1_com

SetEnvIf Host www\.domain1\.com MAGE_RUN_TYPE=website

SetEnvIf Host ^domain1\.com MAGE_RUN_CODE=domain1_com

SetEnvIf Host ^domain1\.com MAGE_RUN_TYPE=website

SetEnvIf Host www\.domain2\.com MAGE_RUN_CODE=domain2_com

SetEnvIf Host www\.domain2\.com MAGE_RUN_TYPE=website

SetEnvIf Host ^domain2\.com MAGE_RUN_CODE=domain2_com

SetEnvIf Host ^domain2\.com MAGE_RUN_TYPE=website

SetEnvIf Host www\.domain3\.com MAGE_RUN_CODE=domain3_com

SetEnvIf Host www\.domain3\.com MAGE_RUN_TYPE=website

SetEnvIf Host ^domain3\.com MAGE_RUN_CODE=domain3_com

SetEnvIf Host ^domain3\.com MAGE_RUN_TYPE=website

      1. Restart Apache Server
        1. Type service apache restart, this is for a Red Hat based distribution
        2. Type apachectl restart, this is for other distributions

Hint: we used apachectl restart” instead of “apachectl graceful”, because the latter is useful in case we have already visitors


4: Now we are done

Now you should successfully see all the 3 websites existing in the backend of your Magneto website. All you need now is to fill your catalog with products.


In a few Words

Magneto incredibly allows people with just average skills to set up multiple electronic shops and multi-language stores that can be managed from one back end. So do not miss it out!


About Author:

Mark Wilston is a Content Writer and marketing professional working with PixelCrayons (a reputed Web & Mobile Application development company). He loves to read and write different blogs related to web design and technologies. Contributing in a blog post aids him spreading the words online with a new set of people.


  1. YDeveloper (@Ydeveloper) says:

    Magento is popular in multistore ecommerce. It looks simple from the steps above to create multiple stores. The question here is about the capability of managing multiple store built on a platform other than Magento? Does Magento support? Here is an example of platform which I am talking about, e-Smart eCommerce Suite.