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Latest Magento Headlines, GoMage Updates and eCommerce Best Practices

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  • Nofollow and Noindex: how to configure them in Magento

    Nofollow and Noindex: how to configure them in Magento

    Today many SEO specialists often use Nofollow and Noindex tags in order to distribute the weight of pages and also to hide some unnecessary parts of content or html code. What is the difference between noindex and nofollow?

    The first term is a tag which hides a part of text or the whole page from the search engines indexation, the second one is an attribute of <a> tag which helps to regulate the weight of a page by prohibiting to send it to the site being accessed.

    Noindex is used to hide some unnecessary information from the search engines, e.g. site visitor counter codes, non-unique content, frequently updated information.

    The main role of Nofollow is preservation of the page weight. This attribute is needed if you do not wish to transfer a part of the page weight to an unconfirmed source, in case you link to such popular sites as Google or Subscribe. This tag will also be useful if a page contains too many outgoing links. Besides, you can also use Nofollow to hide the links in comments.

    You can configure Nofollow and Noindex in Magento by yourself. Gomage Magento experts recommend two possible ways:

    • by placing a file robots.txt in the root directory of your site;
    • by using meta name="robots" tag.

    In the first case, you need to update the file robots.txt with the names of pages you wish to hide using the following code:


    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /myfile.html

    This method is basically used to prohibit indexation of the whole page instead of a specific part of text or unnecessary code.

    Correspondingly, if you do not wish to transfer a part of the page weight, you should use nofollow instead of noindex.

    The second variant of indexing prohibition may look as follows:


    <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”/>
    <title>Site page title</title>

    The attribute ‘content’ can have the following values:


    <meta name="robots" content="index, follow" />
    <meta name="robots" content="noindex, follow" />
    <meta name="robots" content="index, nofollow" />
    <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow" />


    INDEX, FOLLOW Means that you “tell” search engine robots to index the certain site content and then come back and check for changes later.
    NOINDEX, FOLLOW Means that you “tell” search engine robots not to index the certain site content, but come back and check for changes later.
    INDEX, NOFOLLOW Means that you “tell” search engine robots to index the certain site content only once and don’t come back and check for changes later.
    NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW Means that you “tell” search engine robots not to index the certain site content and don’t come back and check for changes later.


    You can choose the content to hide in the Magento admin panel: System -> Configuration -> Design -> HTML Head -> Default Robots

    In order to set noindex and nofollow on static pages you can use layout update. In CMS – Pages tab choose the necessary page, then locate the field Layout Update XML and paste the following code:


    <reference name="head">
     <action method="setRobots"><value>noindex, nofollow</value><name>robots</name></action>


    This code can also be used in any template you choose. If you have any problems or questions we recommend you to contact Magento development team. We will be glad to assist you.


    You may also be interested in:

    Hreflang and Canonical URLs in an Online Store

    3xx Redirects: Rules of the Game Have Changed

    How to Deal With Old Product Pages in an Online Store


    Nofollow and Noindex in Magento 2

    The procedure described above is absolutely acceptable for Magento 2. You should follow the same logic to configure noindex, nofollow tags and robots.txt.

    You need to go to your Magento admin panel, then choose “Stores” >> “Configuration” section. On the left side under “General” option you should choose “Design”. Open the “Search Engine Robots” tab and configure the necessary settings.


    By perforce, you can set your own custom instructions in the Edit Custom instruction of robots.txt file option. For instance, you need to disallow access to all folders while your online store is in development.

    There are examples of custom Instructions:

    If you want to allow full access


    If you want to disallow access to all folders

    Disallow: /


    Default Instructions

    Disallow: /lib/
    Disallow: /*.php$
    Disallow: /pkginfo/
    Disallow: /report/
    Disallow: /var/
    Disallow: /catalog/
    Disallow: /customer/
    Disallow: /sendfriend/
    Disallow: /review/
    Disallow: /*SID=

    There are not only technical reasons why you need to close your content from being indexed by search engine robots. Noindex tag can help you in some cases:

    • you need to quote a part of the law or a passage from the book and such content can’t be unique;
    • you need to place an interesting article that was published on another site. Why not? If such content may help to keep visitors in your online store longer, you may use it;
    • technical texts or instructions may contain examples of code which can’t be unique, either.

    In all these cases, you may prohibit indexation of a specific part of the text or of the whole page.

    We hope that our tips will be useful for you. Our GoMage team is ready to assist you, if necessary. Please, contact us at

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  • GoMage LightCheckout 5.8 released!

    GoMage LightCheckout 5.8 released! Fully supported Magento 1.9 now! The extension functionality has been improved, several known bugs have been fixed and new features have been added! Download the LightCheckout 5.8 in your GoMage account and explore the updated checkout options on your site right now!

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  • Magento - how it began

    It is hard to believe now but seven years has passed since Magento was first released back in 2007. There have been many successes and failures, many problems and solutions during these years, three Magento editions have been developed constantly upgrading their versions. Let us remember how it all began, what were the expectations when the new eCommerce CMS was making its first ‘beta’ steps. The following interview with Roy Rubin, now former Varien CEO, was published on in July, 2007.

    Magento eCommerce Solution Overview & Introduction:

    Many eCommerce developers, along with merchant sellers, have been eagerly anticipating the upcoming release of Varien’s new Open Source eCommerce Solution named Magento (like the color magenta, not magneto of x-men). Varien is currently one of the most renowned osCommerce development companies in existence and continues to set industry trends, build better strategies and help their customers improve the way they do business Online.

    Magento is the open-source eCommerce platform that promises to revolutionize the industry. It’s modular architecture and unprecedented flexibility means your business is no longer constrained by your eCommerce platform. Magento is total control.

    With the many changes in eCommerce over the years, developers and merchants have seen a huge need to build on a more flexible, robust, scalable eCommerce platform. Varien is hoping to fill that need by releasing the mother of all open source eCommerce solutions. Will Magento live up to all the hype? Definitely! I can tell you from what I’ve seen of their platform, that it is no joke. These guys have put in tons of man hours, have dedicated years of industry experience, provided unique insights and received mass amounts of feedback from the ones who matter most, users. One thing is for sure, they really understand the needs of the merchants, search engines, customers and many of the other aspects that make up the world of eCommerce. Varien has great customers, who make money. Plus, they have built some of the nicest osCommerce powered sites and Wordpress powered eCommerce sites I have seen. I can’t imagine what they can accomplish without limits - let’s see a glimpse!

    Roy Rubin, Varien CEO, Answers 10 Important Questions About Magento:

    How long has Magento been in delevopment? What’s the expected launch date?

    Magento has been in development since January 2007 and a beta is expected to launch in August.

    What are the main differences between Magento and oScommerce?

    There will be many differences, I’ve listed a few highlights below:

    • Architecture - one of the biggest issues with osCommerce has been upgrades. Once custom modifications are done, there is no way to upgrade. With Magento customizations to existing functionality simply extend the base, making upgrade a possibility.
    • Plug-in/modules/packages - osCommerce has no real good way to install new features. You have to go through the code and add/edit lines, making this an almost impossible task if any changes have been done to the code. With Magento, you’ll be able to install new modules relatively easily without getting into the code much.
    • Templating - a true 100% template system making any design and functionality requirements possible. No limitation whatsoever.
    • Enterprise level code and scaling - performance has been a huge issue we wanted to address.
    • A truly flexible system.
    • Since Magento will be backed by Varien there will be a clear roadmap and transparency to the project. Companies can count on the continuation of the project and enterprise level support and services.

    eCommerce platform providers are popping up all over. What are some of the things that make Megento different from other shopping carts.

    See some of the highlights above.

    How easy will Magento be to use? Should merchants know programming, theming or have other technical experience?

    Magento can be used out-of-the-box as is in many cases. We’ll provide a number of themes/templates to use so that merchants can apply a look-a-feel they prefer. We also expect the community to contribute layouts as soon as the project is launched. In order to benefit from the true power and flexibility of Magento, technical knowledge will be required. If you are looking to change the layout/design - HTML knowledge should be sufficient.

    What impact do you think Magento will have on the industry and especially Open Source delevopment?

    It is our hope that Magento will lead the open source eCommerce space. Based on the feedback and response we have received so far, we feel confident in making this happen. We have a long road ahead of us, but with the community’s help and our team’s dedication we feel Magento will make a huge impact in the eCommerce world.

    What do you mean by Magento gives “total control”?

    Total Control is 100% flexibility. Many eCommerce solutions have inherent constraints and business owners have traditionally tailored their business to the eCommerce platform of their choosing. With Magento it will work the other way around, putting the merchants back in control. No more constraints and no more limitations. That is our goal.

    Do you plan on running a Magento powered store yourself?

    Absolutely. We’ll have a store at some point in the next few months to illustrate just that (selling Magento gear). We feel confident in our solution and so do the hundreds of merchants that have contacted us so far.

    How did you get into eCommerce and what’s your favorite thing about this industry?

    Varien started as a web development and design firm and we stumbled across eCommerce back in 2003. We’ve been providing industry leading solutions ever since. The industry is very dynamic and we’ve been fortunate to work with very large clients that have incredible insight and drive in this industry. We have become passionate advocates.

    What do you think the future of eCommerce will look like and where will Magento be in 5 years?

    Well - it will certainly continue to grow. Demand for eCommerce services will certainly grow as the industry matures. In 5 years, Magento will be the standard of open source eCommerce and have thousands of sites across the web.

    What rough percentage of merchants will be able to use Magento and have it meet ALL their needs?

    “ALL” is a tricky word. I don’t feel there is one eCommerce system that meets every single need of every single merchant. Magento will be very close (and certainly closer than others) - the difference is that with Magento, the merchant has the control and possibility to complete anything they see as missing. With other platforms it’s simply not possible.

    As we can see now, Varien developers were right about the popularity and the impact their innovational eCommerce system would have. After 7 years and despite numerous competitors, Magento is still popular and used by merchants all over the world. Although, it is owned by eBay as of June 2011, it keeps growing and providing online business owners with powerful and easy-to-use platform for building their online stores. Many companies have built their business developing plug-ins and modules for Magento which extend the system functionality and provide new features to the online stores. One of these companies is GoMage. And until there is at least one single user of Magento we will continue provide quality extensions and services to our customers all over the world.

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  • Maintenance mode for Magento system

    Maintenance mode for Magento system

    Working with the site engine is quite a difficult task which requires attention and responsibility. Let us review how to configure maintenance mode option for Magento system.

    What do to if you need to close the site

    Let’s suggest your store is unavailable due to some external reasons (e.g. hosting server issues or some of Magento extensions do not work properly). In this situation it is most logical to close the store until the problem is fixed, otherwise you may lose many customers including your permanent ones.

    What is NOT recommended when you temporarily close the site:

    1. Close access to the site and do not display any information as to the reasons and terms of the site being unavailable. Put yourself in customer’s shoes – they have just ordered a product and suddenly the site is closed. They will hardly come to your store again.

    2. Blame someone else (e.g. your hosting company). They may be guilty, of course, but you should simply explain your visitors that the site is unavailable due to external reasons which are not under your control and everything possible is being done to fix the problem in the shortest time.

    3. Do not specify any approximate time of maintenance period end. If you need to edit your online store you may ask Magento development team to help you calculate the necessary time.

    Configuration of the maintenance mode

    The online store administrators often need to configure the front-end interface to inform their visitors about the technical work in progress. This is called ‘maintenance mode’ in Magento system. A step-by-step instruction to enable it is below:

    1. It order to put your site into maintenance mode create a new empty file called ‘maintenance.flag’ and upload it to the server;

    2. You must understand that when maintenance mode is enabled even the administrator will not have access to the admin panel. If you wish to allow the administrator to be able to access the admin panel and make some configurations you need to edit the file index.php. Open it using an editor, or download it to your computer and then open with the help of Notepad. You need to replace the line 47 with the following code:

    $ip = $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];
    $allowed = array('','');


    In the line $allowed = array(‘′,’′); you will need to specify to which IP addresses the store will be available (here you need to specify your administrator’s IP, webmaster’s IP and your own one).

    3. After that locate this part of code:

    if (file_exists($maintenanceFile)) {


    and replace it with:

    if (file_exists($maintenanceFile) && !in_array($ip, $allowed)) {


    4. Save the changes and refresh the store page. If the site is available to you then you have done everything correct, if not – you should check correctness of the data you have added to index.php.

    You can use any other text beside the default ‘The site is under construction’, etc. Just go to the file errors/default/503.phtml and change the text. Do not forget to save all changes you make. Try to address your visitors not too officially but without excessive familiarity. Besides, if there are not processed orders remaining when your site has gone into maintenance, make sure you inform your customers that you are working on the problem and they will soon receive the products they have ordered or will be issued a refund. Some marketing specialists even advise to use infographics or just an appropriate image with the explanation of the situation.

    If you have any questions please feel free to contact us by leaving a comment to the article or directly by email. We also recommend you to read other articles in our Magento Blog and share the most interesting of them with your friends and colleagues.

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  • Category creation and configuration

    Category creation and configuration

    Once an online store is created is it necessary to configure it properly to ensure correct functionality of all elements. The main task of any Magento store owner is configuration of a catalog. Let us review how creation and configuration of categories is done.

    How to create a catalog

    To begin the administrative work, go to the admin panel, then to System – Configuration – Catalog. This section determines which products will be displayed on the pages of your future catalog.

    You should set the values for the following fields:

    1. Products per Page. This field determines how many products will be displayed on a certain page by default. You can set this parameter to the value you wish. The option ‘Show all’ remains active. When it is selected the page is refreshed and a user can see all products on the page.

    2. List Mode. The products will be displayed as a list of certain type but the customer will be able to change the default parameter.

    3. Grid only. This parameter is responsible for displaying products as a simple grid. This parameter cannot be changed by a user. This option is good for saving time while turning pages but it is not always convenient, e.g. on a mobile site version.

    4. List Only. This is also a product list but customers cannot change the way of displaying products.

    5. Grid (Default)/List. This is a combination of several display types. A customer can choose how they wish to view the products – using a grid or a list. By default, the products are displayed in a grid.

    6. List (Default)/Grid. The same type of combination as the previous one, with only difference that the products are displayed in a list by default.

    The next option that can be set in this part of the admin panel is product parameters.

    Configuration of products in categories

    Default Tax Class. In this option you should determine whether or not taxes will be applied to the products which you add after the catalog is configured. If this functionality is not configured in your admin panel you can use corresponding GoMage extensions.

    It is very important to properly configure notifications regarding payment or updating product status. This option not only increases user’s interest to a specific product but also helps you to expand a database of your online store subscribers. You can create an option like “Follow the product price”. Then, once the price for a specific product is changed customers will receive a notification to their email. You can also use an option “Inform once available in stock”. This way your customers will be notified when the products they are interested in become available in stock.

    The option “Follow the product price” can be configured according to your wish. For this, change the parameters listed below:

    Frequency – every day, once a week or once a month the system will notify customers about price changes of the products they choose;

    Start time – the time when the system begins to check for updates;

    Error Email Recipient – here you need to set your work address to which a notification will be sent if there are any errors when the product price and status are updated;

    Error Email Sender – an email address from which the emails will be sent to you;

    Error Email Template - Magento themes which will be used in the error notification email.

    Save all changes and check the work of the functionality. Please read other articles in our Magento blog and share them with your friends if you find them useful. If you have any questions regarding the functionality and catalog system configuration please feel free to contact Magento development team.

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  • Custom Design for Magento categories

    Custom Design for Magento categories

    Design is very important for an online store, it possibly plays the key role in attracting users’ interest to your products. In order to make your menu representation unique and beautiful you can configure Custom Design for Magento categories.

    Why it is necessary

    Every online store must have its own zest. If you have already tried all other variants and have come to an idea of creation of a useful and efficient design, why don’t you start with configuration of categories output? To make it convenient for both administrators and customers you should pay attention to creating a specific style for each category.

    This becomes possible in your Magento online store thanks to its unique option called Custom Design. Let us review how to configure it.

    Step-by-step instruction

    Go to the admin panel and locate the option for Custom Design. The system will offer you several variants of design for a specific category. You can choose any variant you wish or even add your own one. If you do not choose any variants the field will remain empty and your store will use a standard theme which is set as default for that object.

    This parameter can be changed if you go to System > Configuration > Design. There you need to locate ‘Current package name’ option which indicates which of eCommerce templates is currently used. In this option you can specify the name of the design package you like or the one you have uploaded from your computer. Do not forget to save the changes.

    Now, the most interesting moment is configuration of categories output. To apply unique design to each category you need to do the following. In the drop-down menu ‘Apply To’ choose the necessary variant. For example, if the specified design is going to be used for one category only, the variant will be ‘This category only’. You can also choose ‘This category and its products’ – this means that selected design will be used not only for category itself but for all its products, too. However, if one and the same product belongs to several categories, this product should be displayed differently in each category to avoid confusing.

    Another interesting variant is ‘This category and its child categories’. This means that selected design will be applied to this category, its products and its child categories. Remember that, if you set the child categories to use design template different from the one set for the parent category, this setting will not be applied. The system will not consider it as a priority. If you wish to set all categories and products to use the same design template, choose the option ‘All’.

    You can also choose the period of time in which this specific design will be enabled and disabled. This is a very convenient option. In order to configure it just choose the corresponding time frame in the lines ‘Active From’ and ‘Active To’. This option is very convenient if you need to enable specific design for specific period of time, e.g. on holidays or sales. It will automatically be enabled when the time comes, then disabled when scheduled, and the site will return to its usual design.

    Beside that option you can also use specific GoMage extensions which will help you to create unique and convenient design.

    You can also use this section to configure the functionality for each category. For example, you can make it have one or two columns, display products without delimiters or configure the output areas for additional columns. In order to do that, choose the desirable option in ‘Page Layout’ drop-down list. It can be ‘No layout updates’ (only standard settings left), ‘Empty’ (the category page will only display products), ‘1 column’ (or ‘3 columns’), ‘Column on the left’ (option to choose currency will be displayed), ‘Column on the right’ (usually contains ‘Shopping cart’, ‘Wishlist’, ‘Polls’, etc.). The option ‘Custom Layout Update’ is responsible for update of the settings. Pay attention to the fact that, if you wish to create your own themes, they should all have XML structure.

    If you have any questions please email to Magento development team or leave your comments to the article. Also read other articles in our blog and share your thoughts and experience.

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  • Top Menu customization in Magento

    Top Menu customization in Magento

    Creation of a convenient menu is one of the basic factors of increasing sales for an online store. In order to develop the most convenient access to the main menu items it is necessary to know how Top Menu customization is done in Magento.

    What customization is

    Customization is creation of new items in the main menu according to specific categories. Such action will help you to develop the most easy-to-use and understandable site design. Customization can be done in any site menu and many programmers think that it is better to work with the main Top Menu.

    In order to add certain items to the Top navigation Menu those items should correspond to existing product categories. Implementation of other categories into this site section is done with the help of a specific algorithm. It often happens you need to place a simple link or a non-product category in the main navigation menu.

    A piece of advice: many internet marketing specialists insist that the top navigation menu should contain links to separate site pages (‘About us’, ‘Shipping rules’, etc.). There are several solutions of that task:

    1. Create a ‘fake’ category which must redirect to the necessary page once its button in clicked;

    2. Make modifications to Magento core;

    3. Create a specific Magento extension.

    The first variant is quite simple for beginning programmers, but some search engines may consider such customization approach as cloaking. Besides, it will take significant time to realize such functionality for each necessary option in the top menu.

    Making changes to Magento core leads to serious consequences. Firstly, in most cases it has a very bad influence on further Magento upgrades. Secondly, if you unintentionally remove at least one core file the whole store may go down at once.

    The third way is the most logical and safe for your business. You can create a module that will add any random page you need. In order to start creating it, go to app/code/local folder and create a folder ‘My’ inside it, and then create a folder ‘Module’ inside ‘My’. Then, you need to create one more folder - ‘etc’ - inside the folder ‘Module’ and in that folder you should place a file config.xml.

    The file config.xml must contain the following code:



    In order for the module to be enabled, go to app/etc/modules folder and create a file My_Module.xml inside it. This file will be responsible for initialization of the module. The file must contain the following code:



    Save the changes and go back to My/Module/Model folder. There, you need to create a file Observer.php. This file will define a method which should be used to realize the method of the module customization – addToTopmenu. Use the code below:

    class My_Module_Model_Observer
    public function addToTopmenu(Varien_Event_Observer $observer)
    	$menu = $observer->getMenu();
    	$tree = $menu->getTree();
    	$node = new Varien_Data_Tree_Node(array(
            	'name'   => 'categories',
            	'id' 	=> 'categories',
            	'url'	=> Mage::getUrl(), // point somewhere
    	), 'id', $tree, $menu);
    	// Children menu items
    	$collection = Mage::getResourceModel('catalog/category_collection')
    	foreach ($collection as $category) {
        	$tree = $node->getTree();
        	$data = array(
            	'name'   => $category->getName(),
            	'id' 	=> 'category-node-'.$category->getId(),
            	'url'	=> $category->getUrl(),
        	$subNode = new Varien_Data_Tree_Node($data, 'id', $tree, $node);


    Pay attention that the line ‘categories’ defines the categories which will be added to the top navigation menu. If you have any questions regarding this type of Magento customization please leave your comments or consult with Magento development team.

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  • How to make customers buy nothing

    How to make customers buy nothing

    Profit is the ultimate purpose of any online store owner. We now offer you to get acquainted with a list of harmful pieces of advice how to make your customers buy nothing.

    What customers need

    Many online store owners think that if a customer needs something they will buy it regardless of a product description or a store design. This is absolutely wrong. And the matter is not even that a person may not like cheap design or too many bright elements on a page, it is that many various fonts, colors, glimmering or animation effects hinder users’ perception of the content.

    Pay attention to the fact that popular online stores do not have any redundant elements but they are convenient, easy-to-use and beautiful. If you do not have good programming skills you will hardly be able to create an ideal template for your site free of charge. But you can buy the most appropriate of Gomage Magento themes and then create a unique style for your site.

    There is another way to scare customers away from your site – create a complicated menu structure. Let a customer try and find whatever they need. Remove all useful links from the top menu. It would be great if different categories and blocks are located in random places on your site. A counter-advice: everything must be clear on your store. Any customer should be able to find what they need regardless of their computer skills level.

    Do you know what a context and teaser advertisement is? You can use these types of advertisements to make some profit on your site that would not depend on your sales! Put as many various ads blocks of all kinds and sizes as possible on your site. A great variant would be to have a pop-up window that cannot be removed on a mobile version of your site. Let all customers be of use without even buying something. This will give you an additional profit of at least $50-100.

    How to reduce sales

    In order to reduce your sales to a disastrous level you need to follow the points below:

    1. Increase product prices. Why would you try to match your competitors on the market? It is better to gain maximum profit at once. Increase your prices regardless of the season and demand;

    2. Make the ordering process more complicated. Let a potential customer enter all their data during checkout, beginning with the last name and ending with their fax number and passport ID;

    3. It is a good idea to make the process of payment more complicated, too. Enable only one payment system which is most convenient for you. Why would you put so many different links or modules on your site?

    4. Publish your products without description. Or copy them from other sites and place on yours. So, you can save some money as you will not need to hire a content manager;

    5. Do not offer discounts, holiday sales or any other interesting propositions.

    Beside that pay less attention to product images. Do not even think of buying any GoMage extensions for improving image quality or their display. You can use one of the two ways: either do not upload any pictures at all or take your own photos of the products. You do not need any image quality compensation or watermarks – they are not so important.

    Also, you must ignore customers. Do not place your contact address on the site and do not create a support service. This is a waste of money and time, let your customers handle their problems by themselves. But, if you already have that service, you can simply ignore customers’ questions, delay your response or be rude. There are a lot of possible ways.

    Of course, all of these are ironical comments based on observations of beginning businessmen, but still, you should keep them in mind as an example of how an online store should NOT be managed. If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact Magento experts.

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  • Image compensation in Magento

    Image compensation in Magento

    Magento is a unique platform for online stores creation. Most of its functions are directed to improve the site ranking and attract users’ attention but some of them can significantly influence the store sales. One of such functions is images compensation in Magento.

    What it is

    Image compensation is reducing of its size (weight) at the expense of some lowering of the image quality or decreasing its parameters (side proportions). Naturally, web developers aimed at creating a system that would automatically distinguish ‘heavy’ images and they used a special Magento module to reduce the page loading time. But this is only one side of the coin, as this method has its disadvantages.

    The main function of that module is modification of an image. At first sight, everything is great. But such compensation negatively influences images quality. They got corrupted, and if there is a text on the image it becomes unreadable.

    How to disable compensation

    Of course, if the quality of product images is not critical for your online store then this function can help you in the store promotion. But, if you sell products which should be viewed on a picture carefully by a customer before buying, e.g. gift cards or clothes, then you need to disable image compensation in Magento.

    In order to do that, you can ask Magento development team for assistance, or try to do it on your own following the instructions below. First, find the file Gd2.php which is located at lib/Varien/Image/Adapter. Now, use ctrl+F to locate the following line in the file:

    //call_user_func($this->_getCallback('output'), $this->_imageHandler, $fileName);


    It should be replaced with the following code:

    if ($this->_fileType === IMAGETYPE_JPEG) {
    call_user_func($this->_getCallback('output'), $this->_imageHandler, $fileName, 99); 
    } else {
    call_user_func($this->_getCallback('output'), $this->_imageHandler, $fileName); 


    Pay attention that ‘99’ corresponds to the maximum image quality. Images with such parameter will look perfectly on a store page but, at the same time, they will be very heavy for load. Some search systems will not like that, especially Google. If you do not wish to remove that line to be able to reverse the action, just comment it out using double slash “//”.

    Once those actions are done you need to go to the admin panel and flush the store cache. It is also recommended to clean your browser history and make sure that image cache is also cleaned. Go to Cache Management - Images Cache to do that. Now check the result of your work – just upload a high-quality image to your online store which would previously have been compensated to the certain size.

    There is another way which is considered to be less efficient but simpler. You just need to save the images as ‘web Image’ in Photoshop before uploading them to your store. This helps to reduce the image weight with minimal effect on its quality. Of course, there is no guarantee that the system will not try to compensate that image, too, but it is worth trying.

    This instruction is suitable for Magento releases higher than 1.2, but remember that you will need to rewrite the part of code mentioned above after each system upgrade. If you have any questions, please email us directly or leave your comments. Please also read other articles in our blog and share the most interesting of them to your friends. You can also discuss this and other Magento related problems on Magento forum.

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  • How to configure "Top Links" in Magento

    How to configure Top Links in Magento

    Configuration of the top menu is the main task of any online store owner or administrator. It is important to not only consider all peculiarities of the menu block perception by users but also to be able to configure the system properly. That is why you should know how to configure “Top Links’ in Magento.

    What “Top Links” are

    “Top Links” is one of the main blocks in Magento system. The basic online store URLs are formed there. It is also called top menu. This block contains all buttons which your customers or guest users may need, such as Login/Logout, My Account, My Wishlist, My Cart and Checkout. By default, this block is located at the top of your store page or in the header.

    The main difference between top links and other links on your site is that they are static. However, the content of pages to which these links direct may change depending on user’s actions. For example, ‘My Wishlist’ link: when a customer adds a product to their Wishlist that product will appear on the page once ‘My Wishlist’ link is clicked. Along with that, there are no additional actions needed to be performed by a user in this case, the process is absolutely automatic.

    How Top Links are called

    The following code is responsible for the output of Top Links block:

    <?php echo this->getChildHtml('topLinks') ?>


    It is located in file template/page/html/header.phtml. Configuration of the necessary URLs is done in file page.xml. You can view available links in this part of code:

    <block type="page/html_header" name="header" as="header">
    	<block type="page/template_links" name="top.links" as="topLinks"/>
    	<block type="core/text_list" name="" as="topMenu"/>


    Beside that you can remove some of these links here you can also add other blocks in Magento Top Links. For that, you need to type the following code:

    <action method="addLink" translate="label title" >…</action>


    The code should be added in files customer.xml (buttons Login/Logout, My Account), checkout.xml (buttons My Cart and Checkout) and wishlist.xml (button My Wishlist).

    You also need to make a note in these files that you call the links using ‘action’ method. For that, you need to type the opening tag <action method="addCartLink"></action> and closing tag - <action method="addCheckoutLink"></action>.

    How to configure Top Links

    Sometimes online store owners need to make some changes to that site, either for experimental purposes or for additional configuration of Magento themes, etc. For example, you need to split the line ‘Top Links’ into two parts. In order to do that, go to the file page.xml. You need to create an additional block in it that would tell the system that there are some Top Links which should be located on the left (right) side of the page. Let’s say that block is called topLinksLeft:

    <block type="page/html_header" name="header" as="header">
    	<block type="page/switch" name="store_language" as="store_language" template="page/
    	<block type="core/text_list" name="" as="topMenu"/>
    	<block type="page/template_links" name="top.links" as="topLinks"/>
    	<block type="page/template_links" name="top.links.left" as="topLinksLeft"/>


    Then go to the section ‘template’, locate page/html and open file header.phtml. Here, you need to ‘inform’ Magento that a new block must be displayed on the left side:

    <?php echo this->getChildHtml('topLinksLeft') ?>


    You need the code provided below:

    <div class="header">
    	<h1 id="logo" class="logo" title="<?php echo $this->getLogoAlt() ?>" style="
      background-image:url(<?php echo $this->getLogoSrc() ?>);"><a href="<?php echo 
      $this->getUrl('') ?>"><?php echo $this->getLogoAlt() ?></a></h1>
    	<div class="toplinksleft"><?php echo $this->getChildHtml('topLinksLeft') ?></div>
    	<?php echo $this->getChildHtml('topLinks') ?>
    	<?php echo $this->getChildHtml('topMenu') ?>


    After saving changes go back to customer.xml. Add a few lines of code in which you change the name of the block where the links are displayed:

    	<reference name="top.links.left">
        	<action method="addLink" translate="label title" module="customer"><label>My Account
          </label><url helper="customer/getAccountUrl"/><title>My Account</title><prepare/>
    	<reference name="top.links.left">
        	<action method="addLink" translate="label title" module="customer"><label>Log Out
          </label><url helper="customer/getLogoutUrl"/><title>Log Out</title><prepare/>


    So, you need to replace top.links with top.links.left and save the changes.

    In such a way, you can modify the Top Links according to your needs. In order to learn more about Magento options please review other articles in our GoMage blog, or contact Magento development company directly.

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