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I have been researching about multi website/store setups and am a little confused.

I completely understand how stores and store views work but my confusion is on the differnece between websites and stores.

From what I can see, websites allow customers to be shared between stores but not products or sales data and this is the primary difference. Either if this is true or not i am confused either way.

If it is true then why would you want to have customers shared over websites but not anything else

If it is not true then what is the point in websites?

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Magento 2 has a 4-level hierarchy: Global, Website, Store (Store Group) & Store View.

This is the highest level in the Magento pyramid. Here you can set the only 3 options that will be the same for all stores:

  1. Stock - configure the main product settings.
  2. Price - define the same price for the products in all stores.
  3. Buyers - Merge all store customer data into one big database for all websites.

Global

Global values are values that are out-of-the-box if the user has not specified. These values are usually defined within a modules etc/config.xml.

By default, a vanilla Magento install features:

  1. System configurations (dependent on their scope in declarative schema showInDefault, showInWebsite, showInStore) available in Admin > Stores > Configuration.
  2. No Products
  3. No Customers
  4. 1 Root Category + 1 Default Category without any products
  5. 1 Tax Rule: "Taxable goods", 3 Tax Zones / Rates: US-CA. A Non-taxable goods class is also available.
  6. 1 Website, 1 Store (Store group), 1 Store View.

Website

With one Magento base, you can design various websites, for example, hats.com and pants.com. The following can be configured per Website:

  1. Separate Payment methods.
  2. Separate Shipping methods.
  3. A totally separate Product base - products are required to be assigned to websites individually. They can have different prices / currencies / attribute values etc.
  4. Separate tax classes.
  5. Separate (base) currencies.
  6. Separate Customer base - It's up to you whether your customers can log in to all shops with the same credentials.
  7. System configurations (dependent on their scope in declarative schema showInDefault, showInWebsite, showInStore) available in Admin > Stores > Configuration. Mostly all configurations are configurable at this level.

For each website, you can create multiple stores, but all the information will be gathered in one admin panel.

Store

It's possible to create several stores on one Magento 2 website. The following can be configured per Store:

  1. Different Root Categories which allows for different products to be assigned.

The following CANNOT be configured per Store:

  1. All the stores within one website share the same customer accounts.
  2. All stores share Shipping Methods.
  3. All stores share Tax Rates / Zones.
  4. All stores share Product stock.
  5. All stores share Product prices.
  6. All currencies are identical for all the stores.
  7. System configurations available in Admin > Stores > Configuration.
  8. EAV attributes across entities Customer (including Customer Address), Products, Categories cannot be configured on a Store Group level.

Store View

Finally, for every store, you can create several store views. The following can be configured per Store View:

  1. Different languages.
  2. Different currencies.
  3. Different design themes
  4. Certain Product EAV attributes can be different such as name, or tax class (dependent on their is_global / scope / is_user_defined properties).
  5. Different Category EAV attributes (such as name, or URL key).
  6. System configurations (dependent on their scope in declarative schema showInDefault, showInWebsite, showInStore) available in Admin > Stores > Configuration.

The following CANNOT be configured per Store View:

  1. All store views within one website share the same customer accounts.
  2. All store views share Shipping Methods.
  3. All store views share Tax Rates / Zones.
  4. All store views share Product stock.
  5. All store views share Product prices.
  6. All store views share the same Root Category.
  7. All currencies are identical for all the store views.

References

Here is more information on the subject with infographics!

Here is some information regarding Scope System Configuration

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  • Ok thanks thats cleared things up a bit for me. Im interested to know how you determined about the list you have posted about when to decide a website over a store i.e. different prices, different tax classes etc. Where did you discover this - is it documented? Aug 31 '13 at 9:03
  • I don't know of an official documentation. A part is experience (look at the scopes in "System > Configuration"), a part is useful articles like these: fabrizio-branca.de/… (English) shoptrainer.de/shopsysteme/magento-shopsysteme/… (German) (not available anymore) Aug 31 '13 at 14:47
  • Thanks @Matthias for the very helpful post, I've a query according to you for different price we should go for "Website" but as i checked i can also change product price for each "Store View" then why should i go for the website in this case? Nov 1 '18 at 9:14
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    @wakarAhamad You can save the price in the "Store View" scope but it will be saved on the Website level. If you have two store views for one website and you save the price in one store view, it will also be applioed to the other store view. Sounds weird but this is how Magento 1 implemented it. Nov 23 '18 at 16:46
  • yes @Matthias,you're right.thankyou so much for the information. Jun 18 '19 at 5:29
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Websites

It can be referred as the basis of the shop. Basically, you can think of a website as a domain/subdomain (though, this is perhaps an oversimplification). From one administration you can manage a few shops.

For different Magento websites it is possible to:

  • to maintain a separate customer base, or can share the customer accounts within all websites.
  • make different currencies.
  • create different product pricing or make prices global (shared for all websites).

Stores

Stores are ‘children’ of websites.They are your actual product catalogue. Products and Categories are managed on the store level. A root category is configured for each store. They can be used to define for example different (looking) shops with the same information.

Managing stores it is worth to know:

  • All the stores within one website share the same customer accounts.
  • Currency and prices are identical for all the stores.
  • Different shops can have different products assigned.

Store Views

Store Views are mostly used to handle different languages on your website. You will typically have one Store View per language. This way you can “showcase” the goods in the language more convenient for the client (if you are selling goods worldwide).

With store views you can:

  • have the same root category for all store views;
  • set different prices depending on view.

Source: mag-manager

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  • Thanks it was really nice to get this useful information. I wanted to know , what will be better idea to implement below scenario.suppose we have one Website , contains 100 number of stores. Product price may vary in different stores. Some product will not be available in all stores. Taxes may vary in different store. If we create website and store view for each 100 store , DB performance affected ? What should be best practice to achieve above. Create single website and 100 stores + view OR 100 website + stores + view ? Root website is single domain only. Aug 8 '18 at 6:40
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    You can't assign different prices in multiple stores for a website,you've to create multiple website for the same. Nov 1 '18 at 8:39
  • @PrincePattel can u help me on this magento.stackexchange.com/questions/309861/…
    – Nagaraju K
    Apr 8 '20 at 6:55
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Generally storeviews should only be used if you want a different language or different (themed) design. As soon as you need anything else different like prices, products, shipping etc you're best off going for a website which allows you a lot more flexibility.

So anything that can be done only using the design / template directory on the server or a language pack a shopview will do.

But again, this is a shorthand rule and different cases might need different solutions. All in all this worked pretty well for quickly deciding what to use.

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  • For Multi website store in localhost, is necessary to create symbolic links?
    – zus
    Feb 22 '18 at 6:01
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Websites

You can set up as many websites as you need, and each can have a different domain.

Stores

A single website can have multiple stores—all are managed from the same Admin. Each store can have a different main menu, product selection, and appearance

Store Views

Store views are usually used to present the store in different languages, although they can be used for other purposes, as well. Customers use the language chooser in the header to change the store view.

Source : http://docs.magento.com/m1/ce/user_guide/store-operations/stores-multiple.html

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