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Latest Magento Headlines, GoMage Updates and eCommerce Best Practices

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  • Editing prices in a few clicks

    Editing prices in a few clicks

    Magento system offers the widest opportunities for online store owners. There are many functions which are available in the system by default and do not require any additional Magento extensions.

    All the merchants have to review their prices once in a while, not only in usual stores but in the online stores, as well. Magento offers the functionality which can simplify this process. You can edit all the prices at once using a .csv file, thus saving a lot of time and effort.

    In order to do this, you need to go to your admin panel, then to System > Import/Export > Profiles. Use ‘Add New Profile’ button to create a new import/export profile. To make the process even simpler, you can export only a few fields (e.g. SKU and price) instead of exporting all information about a product. After you create a new profile, save the settings and click ‘Run Profile’ button. After that the .csv file with the necessary data will be saved on the server in var/export folder. In order to modify this file you need to download it using FTP, then open it using Dreamweaver, Excel, or any other software capable of creation and edition of electronic tables.

    After the file has been modified you need to upload it back to the server using “Upload File” button:

    After you save the settings and run the file, all modifications made in it (e.g. product prices) will be applied in your store. If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact us directly. You may learn more information about Magento functions and possibilities in our blog. Please share the most interesting and useful articles with your friends and colleagues.

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  • Redirection to account login page and back

    Redirection to account login page and back

    One of the parameters an online store sales level depends on is how simple the ordering process is. For security reasons, some online stores allow making orders for registered customers only. How can we make a user stay on the product page which they wish to order after they login or register on your site? Such configuration is possible in Magento backend without any additional Magento extensions.

    In order to configure such option you should login to your admin panel and go to System -> Configuration -> CUSTOMERS -> Customer Configuration -> Login Options. Set the value ‘No’ for redirect. The option will look as follows:

    Redirect Customers to Account Dashboard after Logging in = No
    

     

    You can also use these options to allow specific pages be viewed by registered users only. First, you need to send a user to a login page with the help of login.phtml file:

    if(!Mage::helper('customer')->isLoggedIn()) {
    	Mage::getSingleton('customer/session')
                ->setBeforeAuthUrl(Mage::helper('core/url')->getCurrentUrl());
    	$this->_redirect('customer/account/login');
    }
    

     

    And then send them back to the page where they were:

    if(!Mage::helper('customer')->isLoggedIn()) {
    	Mage::getSingleton('customer/session')
                ->setBeforeAuthUrl(Mage::helper('core/url')->getCurrentUrl());
    	echo '<p>Please <a href="'.Mage::getUrl('customer/account/login').'">Login</a> 
    to view the page.</p>';
    }
    

     

    Save the changes in the file and check the functionality. If you have any questions or need assistance please feel free to contact our GoMage Magento experts who will be glad to assist you.

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  • How to change a set of attributes for a product

    How to change a set of attributes for a product

    Sometimes different product groups or categories require individual set of attributes. In this article we will review how to change a set of attributes for existing products without additional Magento extensions.

    First, you need to open the file app/code/core/Mage/Adminhtml/Block/Catalog/Product/Grid.php.

    Then, locate the line $this->getMassactionBlock()->addItem('attributes', array(.

    You need to paste the following code above that line:

    $sets = Mage::getResourceModel('eav/entity_attribute_set_collection')
          ->setEntityTypeFilter(Mage::getModel('catalog/product')->getResource()->getTypeId())
          ->load()
          ->toOptionHash();
      array_unshift($statuses, array('label'=>'', 'value'=>''));
      $this->getMassactionBlock()->addItem('attribute_set', array(
           'label'=> Mage::helper('catalog')->__('Change attribute set'),
           'url'  => $this->getUrl('*/*/massAttributeSet', array('_current'=>true)),
           'additional' => array(
                  'visibility' => array(
                       'name' => 'attribute_set',
                       'type' => 'select',
                       'class' => 'required-entry',
                       'label' => Mage::helper('catalog')->__('Change attribute set),
                       'values' => $sets
                   )
           )
      ));
    

    In order to continue modification - open the file app/code/core/Mage/Adminhtml/controllers/Catalog/ProductController.php.

    Locate the line ‘protected function _isAllowed()’ and paste the following code above that line:

    public function massAttributeSetAction()
    {
        $productIds = $this->getRequest()->getParam('product');
        $storeId = (int)$this->getRequest()->getParam('store', 0);
        if(!is_array($productIds)) {
            $this->_getSession()->addError($this->__('Please select product(s)'));
        } else {
            try {
                foreach ($productIds as $productId) {
                    $product = Mage::getSingleton('catalog/product')
                        ->unsetData()
                        ->setStoreId($storeId)
                        ->load($productId)
                        ->setAttributeSetId($this->getRequest()->getParam('attribute_set'))
                        ->setIsMassupdate(true)
                        ->save();
                }
                Mage::dispatchEvent('catalog_product_massupdate_after', array('products'=>
                $productIds));
                $this->_getSession()->addSuccess(
                    $this->__('Total of %d record(s) were successfully updated', 
                    count($productIds))
                );
            } catch (Exception $e) {
                $this->_getSession()->addError($e->getMessage());
            }
        }
        $this->_redirect('*/*/', array('store'=>(int)$this->getRequest()->
        getParam('store', 0)));
    }
    

    After the changes in those files are saved the option ‘Change attribute set’ will appear in Catalog -> Manage products -> Actions menu and you can use it further to make the necessary changes.

    If you have any problems or additional questions please feel free to consult with our Magento experts. Please share the most interesting articles with your friends and leave your comments, we highly appreciate your opinion.

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  • How to protect your store from hacker's attack

    How to protect your store from hacker's attack

    Magento is one of the most popular systems for online store creation. It has gained users’ trust not only due to its wide possibilities and various configurations but also due to its high security. Nevertheless, there are skilled programmers who try to hack Magento online stores and, unfortunately, they succeed. One of the first steps to protect your business is changing the admin panel login URL. The most widely-spread URLs are those like http://domain.com/admin or http://domain.com/administrator. That is why the stores with such URLs are hacked most frequently. So, it is recommended to make the admin panel URL as much unique as possible. Let us review how to perform this. This does not require any additional Magento extensions.

    In order to modify the admin panel URL you need to open the file app/etc/local.xml using any text or code editor. Locate the following code in that file:

    <admin>
        <routers>
            <adminhtml>
                <args>
                    <frontname><!--[CDATA[admin]]></frontName-->
                </frontname></args>
            </adminhtml>
        </routers>
    </admin>
    

     

    Now you need to replace <![CDATA[admin]]> with <![CDATA[new_admin_url]]>. Let it be <![CDATA[manager]]>, for example. After you save the settings, your admin panel URL will change to http://domain.com/manager. In order to make sure that all changes are applied it is necessary to clean the cache. This is done with the help of deleting all folders in var/cache folder. Once all actions are complete you can access your admin panel using the new URL.

    Please feel free to contact us directly in case you have any questions. If you know other ways to protect your online store please share them in the comments to this article. Please also review other themes in our blog.

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  • GoMage Social Connector 1.2 released!

    GoMage Social Connector 1.2 released! The list of supported social networks has been extended with Amazon Login, and from now on, the extension can be used with Magento CE 1.9. And it is still FREE!*

    * Please note that free support is not offered for this extension.

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  • Editing slider

    Editing slider

    Animated banner is a good marketing tool. If it is used, the first thing your store visitors see will be the most profitable and interesting offers. However, sales and discounts are changing so it is necessary to update the slider from time to time. In order to modify it you should go to the admin panel, open CMS -> Pages-> Home page. In Content tab you can view and edit the code of your slider. This line contains the slider name:

    <a><img src="https://www.gomage.com/skin/frontend/base/default/images/media/slider_img_1.png" alt="" title="#htmlcaption" />
    </a>
      

    Slider consists of several images which are stored in folder /skin/frontend/default/theme291/images/media. In this path ‘291’ is the number of the template being used. All images have the same name with different order numbers, e.g. slider_img_1.png, slider_img_2.png, etc. In order to change the image all you need to do is upload the necessary image of the same size to this folder using FTP. In order to use this image in slider it is necessary to change the image name in the code:

    <a><img src="https://www.gomage.com/skin/frontend/base/default/images/
    media/slider_img_new.png" alt="" title="#htmlcaption_2"/></a>
      

    The following code will determine the text and logo for the slider:

    <div id="htmlcaption" class="nivo-html-caption">
    <a href="'workstations/vpcsa33gx-si-laptop-computer-44.html"><img src="https://www.gomage.com/skin/frontend/base/default/images/
    media/slider_product_1_logo.png" alt="" /></a>
    <h3>VPCSA33GX/SI<br /> Laptop Computer</h3>
    <p>Intel Core i5-2430M 2.40GHz, 4GB DDR3, 128GB SSD, DVDRW, 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6630M, 
    Backlit Keyboard, 13.3" Display, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit</p>
    <span class="save-price">SAVE $499</span>
    <span class="price">$1,299</span>
    <button onclick="setLocation(''workstations/vpcsa33gx-si-laptop-computer-44.html')" 
    class="button btn-cart" title="shop" type="button">
    <span>&nbsp;</span></button>
    </div>
      

    In order for your clients to be redirected to the necessary page when they click on slider you need to copy the product name from the address bar after /index.php and paste it into the following code:

    <div id="htmlcaption" class="nivo-html-caption">
    <a href="'at-nulla-pariatur-excepteur-sint-occaecat.html"><img src="https://www.gomage.com/skin/frontend/base/default/images/
    media/slider_product_1_logo.png" alt="" /></a>
    <h3>VPCSA33GX/SI<br /> Laptop Computer</h3>
    <p>Intel Core i5-2430M 2.40GHz, 4GB DDR3, 128GB SSD, DVDRW, 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6630M, 
    Backlit Keyboard, 13.3" Display, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit</p>
    <span class="save-price">SAVE $499</span>
    <span class="price">$1,299</span>
    <button onclick="setLocation(''at-nulla-pariatur-excepteur-sint-occaecat.html')" 
    class="button btn-cart" title="shop" type="button">
    <span>&nbsp;</span></button>
    </div>
      

    You can change the slider text in the same code. It is important to preserve the tag structure for a specific layout.

    The following code indicates that the template contains a logo:

    <img src="https://www.gomage.com/skin/frontend/base/default/images/media/slider_product_1_logo.png" alt="" />
      

    In order to change other slider images you need to perform the same actions for other sliders. If you have any additional questions or need any assistance please contact our Magento development company. We will be glad to assist you.

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  • A short review of Magento possibilities and advantages

    A short review of Magento possibilities and advantages

    Magento is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms. Due to its wide possibilities it has been selected as an online store base by such well-known brands as Samsung, Lenovo, Olympus, Gucci, Skype and many others. Using the customization of Magento extensions, templates and blocks, this engine can satisfy the requirements of online stores of any scale. According to alexa.com analysis, Magento has taken the first place among the most popular online store platforms in 2014.

    In order to install Magento on your computer you will need any UNIX-compatible OS, Apache, MySQL version 4.1.20 or higher. You will also need to install Simplexml and email server Sendmail, DOM and Mhash.

    Among general advantages we can distinguish multilanguage functionality, variable payment and shipping methods, a possibility to manage several stores with different level domains within the same admin panel, multiple currencies availability.

    The administrative panel allows configuration of multi-level prices. The final price in the shopping cart may include the shipping price determined by the shipping company as well as extracted discount or percent. It is possible to apply coupons for specific products or product groups. The system has efficient marketing tools in-built. The administrator is able to access sales reports, top-sale products, clients’ carts and feedbacks. The site backend allows us set fixed Tax rates for specific countries, cities or postal codes. The store administrator can create additional users who can access the admin panel with limited rights, manage the content, automatically import and export the database of customers and products. One of undoubted advantages is availability of various ready themes and templates for online stores. There are corresponding templates for any business, be it a jewelry store or motor vehicles components.

    On the frontend, Magento-based online stores have convenient and understandable interface, an option to subscribe to the store news, notifications about product arrivals or discounts. Magento stores also have an easy-to-use search system and the search can even be done by tags. Registered users can specify several shipping addresses. Store users can read product reviews and see the top-sale products for each category.

    Magento platform is huge, so it would take a very long time to list all of its advantages. However, even this system is not deprived of some minuses which we will discuss in future. We must also mention that you can complete the base Magento package with additional plug-ins which will improve the store operation and broaden its functionality. If you have any questions or wish to learn more information, please feel free to contact our Magento development team.

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  • Magento configuration system

    Magento configuration system

    Despite that Magento administrative panel is quite large and complicated the configuration system in it is very simple. Let’s start from the beginning and figure out why we need it at all.

    Configuration system is a universal place where system variables are stored, including modules and plug-ins. It is for 100% sure that one day you will decide to modify some of your Magento extensions. And this will only be possible due to the configuration system, because it allows you not only read the files but modify them, as well. This makes the configuration system so required and appreciated by Magento users.

    First of all, it is very important to know the order of the configuration files upload. They are usually loaded from the system cache. However, sometimes there is no cache, it is outdated or disabled. Then configuration files are created and placed in the root system directories:

    {root_dir}/app/etc/config.xml
    {root_dir}/app/etc/modules/*.xml
    {root_dir}/app/etc/local.xml
    

     

    When it is impossible to upload local.xml, the file {root_dir}/app/etc/distro.xml is uploaded instead. Then, you should upload the configuration files {module_dir}/etc/config.xml for all enabled (active == true) modules. Then the database configuration files are read: information about websites (core_website tables), information about stores (core_store table) and the main configuration (core_config_data table).

    Let us review the changes in the admin panel using an example of UPS module in which we need to add ‘overprice’ parameter with default setting 7. This module adds $7 to each ordered product which corresponds to the shipping price of UPS company. In order to do this, we need to open the file shipping.xml and add the following code.

    <config>
    <default>
    <carriers>
    <ups>
    <overprice>7</overprice>
    </ups>
    </carriers>
    </default>
    </config>
    

     

    In order for this configuration to be displayed in the admin panel, we need to add the following code in file shipping.xml in Shipping methods – UPS section.

    <config>
    <sections>
    <carriers>
    <groups>
    <ups>
    <fields>
    <overprice translate="label">
    <label>Flat shipping fee for all parts/accessories purchases totaling less than minimum 
    order amount for free shipping</label>
    <frontend_type>text</frontend_type>
    <sort_order>333</sort_order>
    <show_in_default>1</show_in_default>
    <show_in_website>1</show_in_website>
    <show_in_store>0</show_in_store>
    </overprice>
    </fields>
    </ups>
    </groups>
    </carriers>
    </sections>
    </config>
    

     

    In order for these changes to be displayed in the admin panel and applied on the site, we need to add the following code in app/Mage.php file:

    public function getConfigData($field)
    {
    if (empty($this->_code)) {
    return false;
    }
    $path = 'carriers/'.$this->_code.'/'.$field;
    return Mage::getStoreConfig($path, $this->getStore());
    }
    

     

    The principle of work of this specific configuration is that, due to the settings in xml files, the system can read all information but show only some specific data to the customers, including the data written in configuration files by default. In this case, it is $7 shipping price of UPS company.

    All configuration modifications are stored in core_config_data table. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to leave your comments or contact us directly, and our Magento experts will do their best to assist you.

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  • Magento Core Directories

    Magento Core Directories

    Magento is one of the biggest management systems for business development. It will be difficult for a beginning user to understand and use all of its functionality. In order to make new users feel comfortable using the system we have explained the functions and purposes of the core files in one of the previous articles in our blog. Now we will review the core directories and their content:

    • 404 directory contains the modules for 404 page;
    • app directory contains all modules, themes, files and configurations used by the system. All changes and modifications are done in this directory. It also contains the settings and design of the admin panel;
    • downloader – it is the file for downloading and installing the system upgrade without using SSH;
    • js directory contains all JavaScript files and precompiled JavaScript libraries;
    • lib directory contains all PHP libraries of the system. This is the core of Magento code which joins the different elements into one system. Zend Framework is also located there;
    • media directory contains all media files. It stores the product images and generated preview images;
    • pkginfo directory contains text files which inform users about all changes made during the automatic or manual upgrades of the modules;
    • report – this directory contains templates and skins for reports which Magento displays in case any errors occur.

    Now that you know what core Magento files and directories are, you can modify the system, add or remove extensions, change design and settings, without being afraid to damage Magento operation. However, if anything has gone wrong, we recommend you contact GoMage support team. Our Magento experts will provide professional help regarding any issues you may have with Magento system.

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  • Magento File Structure

    Magento File Structure

    Magento architecture is known for its strictness and straightforwardness. Due to that, this platform is chosen by many online store owners as the base for their business. However, the file structure is quite extensive and it is very important to understand the purpose of each folder in the system core. It is necessary in order for the new files for Magento plug-ins you may install to be properly processed by the system.

    Magento system has a specific set of base files and directories which perform different roles. Below, we will review the main files, the purpose of which you should know in order not to damage the system operation in case you need to modify those files.

    The list and purpose of the core files:

    • .htaccess – this file controls mod_rewrite fancy URL. It also serves for the server configuration and adjusting PHP settings (e.g. setting up maximum response time). This is necessary to make Magento work faster;
    • .htaccess.sample – the copy of .htaccess which serves as a backup for default .htaccess file;
    • cron.php – this file regularly checks whether the system cache influences the speed and quality of its operation;
    • favicon.ico – small image ‘favicon’ which is located at the top of a browser tab and in the beginning of the site URL in the address bar;
    • index.php – the main loading file and the full initialization file;
    • index.php.sample – backup file in case the default index file is modified or corrupted;
    • LICENSE_AFL.txt - text license file of Academic Free License under which the system is released;
    • LICENSE.txt – Software License under which Magento is released;
    • pear – this file controls automatic system update with the help of downloader and SSH. This file also serves for initialization and control over separate system modules;
    • php.ini – a sample file of an un-configured server. GoMage specialists recommend using it for installation of Magento on your server but do not rewrite the similar file which already exists there. So, you can use it as a reference if you need to replace some of the lines in php.ini file on the server.

    You may find a lot of interesting information in our blog, please read the articles and share the most interesting of them with your friends. Stay with us, and in the next articles you will learn the purpose of the main core directories in Magento

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