Magento Multi Store vs Website vs Store View

Ok, I tweaked the title a little for SEO purposes. If you’d like to learn the differences, Magento Website Pros & Cons, Stores and Store Views, this is the article.

I set out to learn the absolute differences myself in order to determine if I should create a new Magento Store view, Store or Website for a new wholesale website. My client wants their retailers to log in as a retailer in order to see specific pricing and specials for retailers. You can also use the Magento multi store functionality in order to create completely different store looks, with different products, or the same exact store with a completely different set of benefits. Let’s see what those benefits are.

Magento Store Views

The purpose behind the Magento Store Views was to provide store owners with the ability to have granular localization support. You could very easily create a Store View for nearly every language right out of the gate. The only difference is that you’d need to have a native speaker of the other language re-write your product descriptions.

You’ll notice that most of the store view functionality is isolated to adjust the customer facing text of a setting. Orders and a few export options are offered for Store Views, but not text changes.

Themes

What you can do:

  • You will be able to assign different themes to each store view.

Payment Methods

What you cannot do:

  • You will not be able to have specific payment methods for each store view

What you can do:

  • You will be able to adjust the naming conventions of your payment methods

Shipping Methods

What you cannot do:

  • You will not be able to have separate shipping methods for each store view

What you can do:

  • You will be able to adjust the naming conventions of your shipping methods

Categories

What you cannot do:

  • You cannot change the category structure between store views

What you can do:

  • You will be able to adjust the titles and descriptions of your categories

Products

What you cannot do:

  • You cannot change the tax structures within store views

What you can do:

  • You will be able to adjust the titles and descriptions of your products

Orders

What you can do:

  • You will be able to see orders that have been processed from a specific store view
  • You will be able to manage orders based upon their store view

Reports

What you cannot do:

  • You will not be able to view most reports based upon store view segmentation

Magento Stores

The primary purpose behind the Magento Store layer is the ability to sell various different products, structured within different categories to the same user base with the same checkout parameters.

Because the Magento Store Layer requires that you create a new Magento Store View you will have all of the functionality of the aforementioned, plus some additional functionality.

Payment Methods

What you cannot do:

  • You will not be able to have specific payment methods for each Store

Shipping Methods

What you cannot do:

  • You will not be able to have separate shipping methods for each Store

Products

What you cannot do:

  • You cannot change the tax structures within Stores
  • You cannot manage a separate inventory with Stores

What you can do:

  • You will be able to manage a completely different catalog between Stores

Categories

What you can do:

  • You will be able to manage a completely different category structure for each Store

Configuration Settings

What you cannot do:

  • You will not be able to manage ANY configuration settings between Stores

Multiple Magento Websites

The primary purpose behind the Magento Website layer is the ability to change every aspect of the customer experience, including the ability to manage a completely different set of customers for each Website.

There’s essentially nothing that you cannot do with multiple Magento Websites. From the reporting and orders to the customer base and checkout configurations, you can manage everything with different parameters.

Keep Reading

    Rachel

    September 10, 2015 - 3:11 pm

    So, to create a new wholesale website with the benefits you listed that your client wants – would you create a new Magento Store or a new Magento website? I’m trying to do the same thing and am wondering if I’ll be able to accomplish it without constructing a whole new site.

    Reply

      Sysop

      September 13, 2015 - 8:52 pm

      Well, it all depends on the pros that you need for your particular instance. I needed to go with a new store in order to offer different payment options to the customers.

      Reply

        Agustin

        July 28, 2016 - 9:41 am

        But you said on your article that different stores did NOT allow different payment methods, and here you say that you used different stores because you needed to have different payment methods… I don’t understand.

        Reply

          Carleigh Clendenin

          July 28, 2016 - 10:19 am

          At the store level, you can enable and disable different payment methods. On the store view level, however, you cannot have different payment methods.
          I hope this helps.

          Reply

            Victor

            August 12, 2016 - 4:42 pm

            What about product price? Do you need to go full website or will store be enough to set a different product price.

            Carleigh Clendenin

            August 12, 2016 - 4:46 pm

            Store would be enough, but we’ve written Store View Pricing that gives you the ability to have prices based on the store view.

    Serena

    January 19, 2016 - 5:03 pm

    Thanks for this, plus your SEO title was exactly what I searched for! We have a client that will have many re-seller websites all connected to the Magento backend. So would that be multiple Magento Websites in that case? I believe the products and payment would be largely the same, but the URLs and look of each frontend would be different. Thanks again.

    Reply

      jonathonbyrd

      January 19, 2016 - 5:43 pm

      If your payment method, shipping methods, product categories and products are all the same, then you can do one website with different stores. Each store can have it’s own URL.

      Different websites would make it possible to have different payment and shipping methods.

      Reply

    Ann

    June 5, 2016 - 2:39 am

    So, if we want to create different versions of the site for different languages, we should use store views? Would the multiple store views share the same URL? For example, they will share the same URL for a product http://www.domain.com/product_A_description, but the contents of each view will be in different languages. Would this setup cause an adverse impact on SEO?

    Reply

      jonathonbyrd

      June 7, 2016 - 12:54 am

      Yes you would use store views to setup multiple languages of your store. That’s what the store views are designed for. The store urls can sometimes have the store view code appended as a query parameter on the url, but I believe that they will use the same urls. I don’t believe that you’ll have any negative effects on your seo because of that. It’s not duplicate content, it’s localized, so if anything you should get an seo boost.

      Reply

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