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How to Create an Online Store (E-Commerce Website) for Free Using Magento and Openshift

Magento Openshift Logo

The e-commerce industry is booming worldwide. The United States, the world’s largest e-commerce market, generated $395.28 billion in e-commerce sales in 2013 (internetretailer.com). This tip will present a step by step tutorial on how to setup your online store for free, the only skill you’ll need during the tutorial is your ability to use a web browser.

The online store we’re going to create is using Magento as a commerce Management system (don’t let the names stop you, they’re just names after all) and Openshift PaaS (Platform as a Service) as a hosting service, without further ado let’s start.


  1. A free Openshift account, just go to Openshift website and register using your email, no credit card is required.

1 - create openshift account


  1. After registering; go to Openshift through this link (https://www.openshift.com/quickstarts/magento-community-edition#comment-39267), and click on the “Deploy Now” tab.Deploy Magento on Openshift
  2. You’ll be directed to a new window, in the public URL; type the name of the project/application name (e.g. MyAwesomeStore, Amazon, etc.) in the first space and the domain name (it’s not your real domain name, just any identification name e.g. AwesomeGuy/AwesomeGal) in the second space.5 - openshift application name
  3. Leave everything as it’s and click on “Create Application” tab at the end of the window.6 - create aplication
  4. Now you might be prompted by the message shown below, don’t worry just wait a couple of minutes and refresh the page.Magento error on openshift
  5. A new tab will appear with the name of your store just click on it.6
  6. You’ll be directed to a new window where you shall find all of your credentials (MySQL password, database name and root user, etc.), copy them to a safe location on your local computer.7
  7. Now you’ll need to add phpMyAdmin; click on the blue “Add phpMyAdmin” located at the bottom of the same window.9 - create phpmyadmin gear
  8. You’ll then be directed to a new window to confirm the addition of phpMyAdmin, just click on the “Add Cartridge” tab.joomla phpmyadmin add cartridge
  9. You’ll be directed to the main window again, to visit your online store simply click on the blue link at the top of the screen (that’s your URL).10
  10. You’ll be directed to your store.

Magento on openshift home screen

Now, you’ve a fully functional and free hosted online store, if you don’t now how to use Magento then you should start from here. There are some side notes:

  1. To direct your new website to your own domain (e.g. www.example.com), simply put your Openshift address (xxxx-zzzz.rhcloud.com) in your CNAME field in your domain registrar panel, then open your panel and click on the blue “Change” link.Change magento DNS
  2. You’ll be directed to a new window; type your domain name in “Domain Name” field on Openshift.Change magento CNAME

Now, to create a public key to connect to the server; follow the following steps (the steps are for Windows machines):

  1. First download PuTTY and PuTTYgen.2 - WordPress AWS Amazon Linux
  2. Download Git.
  3. Download RubyInstaller.
  4. Go to the command prompt in windows (go to the start menu and type cmd in the search bar then press enter), and type the following commands:

gem install rhc

gem update rhc


  1. Go to the command prompt (make sure that you’re at the Git directory) and type the following command:

rhc setup

17 - rhc DOS

  1. Your public key will be created and uploaded to Openshift; you can find the key on your local computer in the following directory “C:Usersyour_computer_username.ssh”.18 - openshift key
  2. Open PuTTYgen you’ve downloaded in the step (a), and go to the conversion on the top menu then go to “import key” and browse to your public key (the one from the previous step id_rsa).13
  3. Then click on the “save private key” tab and save it with your public key.14
  4. Go to your Openshift panel and click on your Openshift application, on the right hand side and lick on the blue “Want to log in to your application?” and the following drop down menu would appear, just copy the line that starts with “ssh” and paste it in a notepad.magento on openshift ssh connection
  5. Open PuTTY (you’ve downloaded in step “a”), and paste the values after the (@) from the ssh number you’ve just copied in the Host-id in PuTTY.21
  6. Inside putty go to “Data” in the sub-menu under “connection” and paste the values before the (@) you’ve copied from step (i) in the auto login-username tab; note don’t paste (ssh).Connect to openshift gear 3
  7. Inside PuTTY go to “SSH”, then “Auth” sub-menu and browse to the key you’ve created in step (h); then click on the “open” tab.

Connect to openshift gear 4Now, you’ve a fully functional online store that’s hosted for free on Openshift and you’ve full access to your gear in case you want to access anything.