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Latest Magento Headlines, GoMage Updates and eCommerce Best Practices

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  • Useful advise on CSS configuration in Magento

    Useful advise on CSS configuration in Magento

    For any online store administrator it is very important to know some programming tricks that would help to improve the site design or extend its functionality. We offer you to review some useful advice on CSS configuration in Magento.

    How to change background color

    In order to attract more attention to your site you can change the background color of the highlighted text. The following code works in Mozilla Firefox and Safari browsers:

    ::selection{ /* Safari and Opera */
    background:#c3effd;
    color:#000;
    }
    ::-moz-selection{ /* Firefox */
    background:#c3effd;
    color:#000;
    }
    

     

    Just replace the color values with the ones you need.

    Replacing text with an image

    This is a good way to attract users’ attention. You can replace a long text with a beautiful image, thus using infographic and other methods. But you should be careful - if the same method is used too often Google may reduce your store ratings:

    .header{
    text-indent:-9999px;
    background:url('someimage.jpg') no-repeat;
    height: 100px; /*dimensions equal to image size*/
    width:500px;
    }
    

     

    The above code serves to replace the text with an image but the search engines will still see the text.

    Minimal cross-browser height

    Some web browsers, e.g. IE 6, do not recognize min-height tag but the following code will correct that issue:

     #container{
    height:auto !important;/*all browsers except ie6 will respect the !important flag*/
    min-height:500px;
    height:500px;/*Should have the same value as the min height above*/
    }
    

     

    Also, if some elements are not displayed on your site through that browser version, you should add the value ‘position: relative;’ to their CSS code.

    URL address

    Of course, you can create a hyperlink in your text in such a way that a user sees the destination URL before clicking the link. But if you cannot do that, use the following code:

    a[target="_blank"]:before,
    a[target="new"]:before {
    margin:0 5px 0 0;
    padding:1px;
    outline:1px solid #333;
    color:#333;
    background:#ff9;
    font:12px "Zapf Dingbats";
    content: "\279C";
    }
    

     

    Red line

    Not all online businessmen like when a new line starts with a usual upper case letter. Marketing specialists insist on making all even slightly significant elements bright and attractive. In order to make the initial letters large it is necessary to use the following code:

    p:first-letter{
    display:block;
    margin:5px 0 0 5px;
    float:left;
    color:#FF3366;
    font-size:3.0em;
    font-family:Georgia;
    }
    

     

    If you wish all text to be written in capitals, not only the initial letter, you need to add the following code:

    h2 { text-transform: capitalize;}

     

    In order to create an interesting site style you can also use the following method. All letters on the site will be larger but the letters standing after the initial ones will be smaller in order to make some contrast:

    h2 { font-variant:small-caps; }

     

    Forms without tables

    Table-based forms are now actively being replaced with more good-looking and modern ones based on label. You can configure any GoMage themes in that way.

    In order to implement such form into your store you need to type the form code in the following way:

    In HTML:

    <form method="post" action="#" >
    <p><label for="username" >Username</label>
    <input type="text" id="username" name="username" />
    </p>
    <p><label for="password" >Password</label>
    <input type="password" id="password" name="pass" />
    </p>
    <p><input type="submit" value="Submit" /></p>
    </form>
    

     

    In CSS:

    p label{
    width:100px;
    float:left;
    margin-right:10px;
    text-align:rightright;}
    

     

    If any methods need clarification, please feel free to contact our Magento development team. You may also be interested in reading other articles in GoMage blog. Please share the articles to your friends if you like them.

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  • How to disable 'Compare' block in Magento

    How to disable 'Compare' block in Magento

    Many online stores use specific extensions, add-ons or modified themes to allow customers compare products. But sometimes, a Magento store owner may need to remove a ‘Compare’ block from their site.

    Why ‘Compare’ block is needed

    ‘Compare’ block is a very useful thing as it allows your clients consider all pros and cons of buying this or that product and choose the best variant from the ones they viewed. Of course, you could simply use a theme without such add-on or disable it. But many marketing specialists recommend using that feature on your site to increase sales.

    In the standard theme that block is located in catalog.xml, namely in ‘default’ descriptor. The following part of code is responsible for output of that block:

    <reference name="right">
    	<block
            type="catalog/product_compare_sidebar"
        	before="cart_sidebar"
            name="catalog.compare.sidebar"
            template="catalog/product/compare/sidebar.phtml"
    	/>
    </reference>
    

     

    This is where you can configure the place in which your ‘Compare’ block will be shown. But what if you do not need to display it at all?

    How to remove ‘Compare’ block in Magento

    The main problem here is that ‘Compare’ block cannot be disabled through the admin panel. In order to remove this option you need to slightly modify the code. If you are not sure in your programming skills you may use the service of Magento development company.

    First of all, you need to disable cache on the site. Then go to app/design/frontend/yourpackage/yourtheme/layout, locate the file reports.xml and open it in the editor. Using ctrl + F locate the following line:

    <block type="reports/product_compared" before="right.permanent.callout" 
    name="right.reports.product.compared" template="reports/product_compared.phtml" />
    

     

    This line should be commented out using <!-- and --> symbols.

    Now, go to your theme folder app/design/frontend/yourpackage/yourtheme/template/reports and locate the file home_product_viewed.phtml. Open it in the editor and find the following lines:

    <?php if($_compareUrl=$this->getAddToCompareUrl($_product)): ?>
     	<li><span class="separator">|</span> <a href="
      <?php echo $_compareUrl ?>"><?php echo $this->__('Add to Compare') ?></a></li>
    <?php endif; ?>
    

     

    They must be commented out as shown above or removed. Then save the changes.

    After that go to app/design/frontend/yourpackage/yourtheme/template/checkout/cart and find the file crosssell.phtml. It also contains the code that should be deleted or commented out:

    <?php if($_compareUrl=$this->getAddToCompareUrl($_item)): ?>
      	<li><span class="separator">|</span> <a href="
        <?php echo $_compareUrl ?>"><?php echo $this->__('Add to Compare') ?></a></li>
    <?php endif; ?>
    

     

    Save the changes again and repeat the same actions in folder app/design/frontend/yourpackage/yourtheme/template/catalog/product/view, file addto.phtml, delete or comment out the lines:

    <?php if($_compareUrl=$this->helper('catalog/product_compare')->getAddUrl($_product) ): ?>
    	<li><span class="separator">|</span> <a href="
      <?php echo $_compareUrl ?>"><?php echo $this->__('Add to Compare') ?></a></li>
    <?php endif; ?>
    

     

    After that move to app/design/frontend/yourpackage/yourtheme/template/catalog/product, open file new.phtml and locate the lines:

    <?php if($_compareUrl=$this->getAddToCompareUrl($_product)): ?>
      	<li><span class="separator">|</span> <a href="
        <?php echo $_compareUrl ?>"><?php echo $this->__('Add to Compare') ?></a></li>
    <?php endif; ?>
    

     

    Remove or disable them.

    The last step is to go to app/design/frontend/yourpackage/yourtheme/template/catalog/product, locate the file list.phtml, then remove or disable the following code:

    <?php if($_compareUrl=$this->getAddToCompareUrl($_product)): ?>
      	<li><span class="separator">|</span> <a href="
        <?php echo $_compareUrl ?>"><?php echo $this->__('Add to Compare') ?></a></li>
    <?php endif; ?>
    

     

    This code should be removed in two places, or the system may attempt to compare the products because of the file template/catalog/product/list.phtml.

    Save all changes after the modifications are complete. These actions do not only stop the functionality of the block ‘Compare’ but also help to avoid the attempts of displaying products from separate system files.

    Now, do not forget to enable cache and check the changes you have made. Please share this article to your friends and write your comments about your ways of disabling ‘Compare’ block in Magento.

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  • Magento widgets

    Magento widgets

    Widgets are used as a great method of increasing flexibility of your online store and your control over it. Let us discuss why Magento widgets are needed, what their types are and how to configure them.

    What Magento widgets are

    Magento widgets are external interface blocks which contain some information necessary to a user or important for a store marketing promotion. Each widget has a certain set of configuration properties which can be edited in the admin panel. An online store owner is able to configure various attributes for specific widgets as well as their location on the store pages.

    Starting from Magento Community Edition 1.4 and Enterprise Edition 1.6 versions the system offers much more various options. In some widgets, certain settings can even be modified by users, if you allow that in the admin panel.

    Why Magento widgets are needed

    Naturally, it is for each store owner to choose whether or not they use Magento widgets. These add-ons provide less additional functionality than a Magento module, but they can play an important role for an advertising campaign, frontend configuration, etc.

    What we need Magento widgets for:

    1. They can be used to transfer any dynamic information;

    2. Such add-ons are often used in online stores to display pages or products that a user has viewed;

    3. If you cooperate with different advertizing companies or simply wish to place a link to an interesting product then widgets are your best assistants;

    4. They help to configure alternative animation, such as a tag cloud or sliders, etc.;

    5. Such add-ons often contain chats or other tools to help customers make their choice. For instance, is can be a virtual hairdresser or a stylist.

    How to create a widget

    In order to develop Magento widgets you will need at least some experience in programming and knowledge of the system functionality characteristics. Usually, development of widgets significantly differs from development of extensions, despite their quite similar usage (providing of a convenient interface and desired functionality). But generally, if you need to create an extension that will be easy to configure by an admin, then widget is your best decision.

    If you do not have enough programming skills we recommend you to consult with Magento development team.

    Terminology

    In order to better understand the configuration or development of separate Magento widgets you should know the following terms:

    Frontend Block is a separate element that helps to create a visual output of the content;

    Magento widget is a block that can contain specific code, add-on or other site element;

    Magento CE 1.4, EE 1.6 and higher include the following widgets by default:

    1. CMS Page Link – it displays specific page (with templates configured according to your needs – one or two columns, etc.);

    2. CMS Static Block – it displays a specific block;

    3. Catalog Category Link – it is a very useful widget, it helps to output the links to partners’ sites, specific categories, products or sales in a certain place on your site;

    4. Catalog Product Link – this widget displays a specific product, you can change the header or description;

    5. Recently Compared Products – this widget compares products recently viewed by a customer.

    We would appreciate if you share your thoughts regarding Magento widgets in comments and name the ones you consider the most useful.

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  • Static blocks and pages in Magento

    Static blocks and pages in Magento

    Any online store owner sooner or later encounters a necessity to create a page or a block on their site. Let us review why static pages and blocks are needed in Magento and how they can be added on the site.

    What is a static page and why is it needed?

    A static page is a page on your site which remains unchanged regardless of the actions performed on it by a user. As opposite to it, a dynamic page is a page that contains various blocks, displays pop-ups and other features that depend on user’s actions performed on that page.

    Online store administrators usually create static pages to display the information about the store and its contact data. These can be such pages as “About Us”, “Shipping information”, “Privacy & Security”, “Return Policy”.

    How to create a static page

    Go to your admin panel then to CMS - Manage Pages. There you need to choose Add New Page. You will see a page on which you can configure a newly created static element of your site.

    In order to configure a new page you need to modify the following points:

    1. General Information. There, you need to set such fields as: “Page Title”- it is a page name that will be displayed in user’s browser header as well as in the list of the site pages; “SEF URL Identifier” – it is a page identification number in which you need to enter the URL that you wish to see in a browser address bar for this page. The field must not contain any spaces and only include Roman symbols. You may use a URL translation service for better convenience if your site does not use Roman alphabet. “Status” is a page status – Enabled or Disabled. One of the most important fields is “Content” – it should include the text or other information that you wish to display on your static page.

    2. Custom Design. There, you can configure your new page design. In the field “Custom Theme” you may set the template you wish to use for this page and it may differ from the template used for other pages; or, you may leave this field unchanged. The field “Custom Theme From/Custom Theme To” indicates the term of action of the template you selected, you may also leave it unchanged. “Layout” will help you to choose one of Gomage Magento themes with one, two or three columns. “Layout Update XML” is an extremely important field as it helps to change the layout selected in the previous point and the changes will only affect this specific page.

    3. Meta Data. There, you can configure “Keywords”, “Description” and other Meta Data for your static page.

    Once all changes are done you only need to click “Save Page” then open the page in a browser and check how it is displayed.

    Static block in Magento

    Static block in Magento is a text or HTML code which can be located in any part of the site and is not affected by any user’s actions. Such block can be configured in the admin panel. An online store owner can use this block to add an advertisement, category links, informational banners and other useful things on their site. Many administrators also use such blocks to display social advertisements and other interesting features necessary for the site promotion.

    In order to create a static block in Magento you need to go to the admin panel then to CMS - Static Blocks - Add New Block. You will see a new page with various settings which can be modified in order to adjust the functionality and appearance of your block.

    Block Title: it is a name of your block. This name will be displayed in the list of blocks in your admin panel;

    Identifier: it is a very important field, it must contain a unique identifier of your block;

    Status: it is a block status on your site depending on your current purpose - Enabled or Disabled;

    Content: this field contains whatever you wish this block to display – advertisement text, some information, HTML code, etc.

    Once all changes are done click “Save Block”.

    How to add a block to a category

    Let’s suggest you want to add a new block to a certain Magento category. In order to do that, go to Catalog - Manage Categories. In this section you need General Information tab, or, depending on your Magento version, Display Settings tab. Click on it and you will see a new page on which you need to modify the following fields:

    Display Mode and CMS Block. The former allows changing the mode of categories display. The latter one has several sub-points once selected: Products only (show products from the selected category only), Static block only (display a static block only), Static block and products (displays products from a specific category and a static block simultaneously).

    After that choose which block will be displayed in the specific category and save the changes.

    In order to display a static block in any place on your site you need to do the following:

    1. Create a block. The procedure of creation is described above;

    2. Add the information about this block into xml file;

    3. Call the block in a specific place on your site. For this you need to use .phtml file;

    4. Flush the cache but only if it is enabled;

    5. Refresh the page.

    Let’s say you need to add a banner to the site header. It is worth mentioning that many well-known web marketing specialists recommend placing static blocks into headers as they get more chance to be noticed and viewed in that case.

    In order to tell the site about its new block, go to the file app/design/frontend/your_package/your_theme/layout/page.xml and locate the following part of code:

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

     

     

    You need to add the following lines in “header” block:

     
    <!-- CMS Block into Layout begin-->
    <block type="cms/block" name="cms_block_name">
    <action method="setBlockId"><block_id>block_name</block_id></action>
    </block>
    <!-- CMS Block into Layout end-->
    

     

     

    After that the block will look like this:

     
    <block type="page/html_header" name="header" as="header">
    <block type="page/template_links" name="top.links" as="topLinks"/>
    <block type="page/switch" name="store_language" as="store_language" template="page/switch/
    languages.phtml"/>
    <block type="core/text_list" name="top.menu" as="topMenu"/>
    <!-- CMS Block into Layout begin-->
    <block type="cms/block" name="cms_block_name">
     <action method="setBlockId"><block_id>block_name</block_id></action>
    </block>
    <!-- CMS Block into Layout end-->
    </block>
    

     

     

    In this code ‘block_name’ is an identifier that was set when the block was created and cms_block_name is the name of your block. Now you need to call the block in a specific place of your .phtml file. Go to app/design/frontend/your_package/your_theme/template/page/html/header.phtml, open the file and add the following code:

    <?php echo $this->getChildHtml('cms_block_name') ?>
    

     

     

    Now clean the cache and refresh the page:

    Go to the admin panel – System - Cache Management - clear_cache;

    Refresh the page in a browser.

    If you need to add a specific page into a static block, follow these steps:

    1. Create a block;

    2. Open the necessary page (CMS - Manage Pages) or create a new one according to the procedure described above;

    3. In the ‘Content’ of your block add the following code to call the necessary page:

     
    ;
    

     

     

    4. After the changes are done, save the block, refresh the page, clear the cache if necessary.

    If you have any troubles creating or configuring a static block in Magento please consult with Magento experts of GoMage. Please also share your comments about your experience in creation and usage of static blocks and pages on your site.

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  • Magento tags

    Magento tags

    In order to configure the necessary block or design special code parts can be used. Magento tags are used in the theme files, blogs, email notifications and on the store pages.

    What template tags are

    eCommerce templates tag is a part of code enclosed in braces which contains certain information important for the system operation. For example: {{domain=""}}. Template tags can be used for different purposes but they are mostly necessary in order to:

    1. Place links on an online store pages without entering a domain name;

    2. Install a certain block on a certain store page for edition of layers and other theme files.

    You can use such tags in different blocks on your site pages.

    How to use template tags

    As an easy example, let’s say you wish to place a banner on your store front main page indicating that you will be offering holiday discounts up to 60%. You can edit the main page using the following steps. Go to the admin panel then open the home page. The exact path would be CMS - Manage Pages - Home Page.

    You will see the home page source code which you can edit according to your purpose. But you should be careful as this is the main page of your site that you edit. If you do not have enough programming skills it would be better to ask Magento development team for assistance.

    There are two ways to install a banner. First, add the following code with a link to an image created using Photoshop:

    <img src="http://www.domain.com/skin/frontend/default/default/images/media/50sale.jpg" 
    alt="" />
    

     

    But a more correct way would be use the template tags and add the following code:

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

     

    It is also very convenient to use the tags responsible for creation of a static block on your site. E.g. this tag is responsible for a block with a certain identifier. That could be

    . You can change static blocks in the admin panel, in CMS > Static Blocks.

    There is also a tag that will cancel all layout HTML tags. It is a very useful option if you need to partially edit a page. You can specify the tags that must not be cancelled using allowed_tags attribute. List the necessary attributes divided by commas. A working tag looks like this:

    
    

     

    How does such Magento tag work? All links existing on the site will be displayed as simple text but they will not be indexed by search engines.

    The tag can be used to setup HTML layers output. When this option is being configured it is necessary that selected ‘handle’ has the name of a specific layer that is used on the site.

    Not a very useful tag, as full media files’ paths are not usually specified in eCommerse, but still widely used one is https://www.gomage.com/media/”. It helps to output a full path of a specific file in Magento. For example, if you add https://www.gomage.com/media/catalog/product/l/s/dress.jpg you will see this link as a result on a product image http://www.domain.com/media/catalog/product/l/s/dress.jpg.

    The tag https://www.gomage.com/”/ is also very useful. It adds the store URL to the database. Also, this tag will automatically add a slash at the end. It is very important to not leave the URL field blank or you will be redirected to the store home page.

    For example:

    https://www.gomage.com/about-magento-demo-store/
    

     

    The resulting URL will be:

    http://www.domain.com/index.php/about-magento-demo-store/
    

     

    The tag https://www.gomage.com/” performs the same function but it does not add a slash at the end of the URL.

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  • Christmas presents from GoMage!

    Great December sale is open! Starting December, 2, till December, 31, we offer 5% discount for all GoMage extensions and extension upgrades!

    * Let your customers enjoy new astonishing features of your site provided by GoMage extensions and increase your profit on Christmas and New Year holidays!

    * - The discount will only be applied for the extensions and extension upgrades. Additional domains, installation service, feed configuration and customization services will be treated as normal.

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  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday are waiting for you!

    From November, 28 to December 1, we open a big sale! 30% discount for all GoMage extensions and extension upgrades!

    * Only 4 days this year - pay less to make your Magento store perfectly convenient, easy-to-use and unique!

    * - The discount will only be applied for the extensions and extension upgrades. Additional domains, installation service, feed configuration and customization services will be treated as normal.

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  • Orders delivery on holidays

    Orders delivery on holidays

    Traditionally, all stores have much more sales and orders on holidays when people start buying presents to their friends and families, as well as foods for holiday dinners and decorations for their homes. Due to such volume of customers the store owners often have some shipping related problems. Shipping products without problems on holidays is possible if your work is properly arranged.

    Christmas and New Year are wonderful holidays full of light and joy which make many people believe that they can change their lives by simply making a wish at midnight. In order to rejoice your customers you can use bright and beautiful Gomage Magento themes and broaden your range of goods. But what will please your customers most is receiving their purchases as fast as possible.

    How to arrange an online store work on holidays

    The main rule is to never postpone something for tomorrow if you can do that today. This is a very bad habit that may negatively influence your business and your life in general. You must understand that the faster you send the purchase to a customer the more pleased they will be with your store service.

    Try to always process the orders immediately after transaction. This will be very useful even if you cannot estimate precise quantity of orders on the days before holidays. Also, you should be prepared for the approaching rush.

    Make sure to inform your customers about the store working hours on holidays. It would be nice to place a banner with corresponding text on your site. Email notifications are also quite efficient and you may include there a slight hint for customers to get ready for coming holidays in advance.

    Contact your shipping service beforehand. It is very often that shipping companies delay the delivery due to increased volume of orders, even if you send the package in time. Try to develop the most convenient schedule for yourself, your customers and shipping companies. This especially concerns online stores which work with free shipping services. For example, known Chinese sites Aliexpress and TaoBao set the approximate delivery date within 20-40 days on average, but on holidays such as Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year they have so many orders that shipping companies do not cope with delivering them in time. As a result, some customers have to wait for their orders for several months. In order to avoid such situation you should make all necessary arrangements with the paid shipping companies, they are much more accurate and have less load than free services.

    Always answer customers’ emails. On holidays customers expect fast delivery and seamless refund which is absolutely normal. But if you have no possibility to deliver the package in time for some reasons, inform the customer about that. If a customer has written you an email to express their dissatisfaction answer it in appropriate manner and precisely explain the situation.

    Another very useful advice would be to wrap the items much more carefully than usual. Shipping companies experience heavy pressure on the days before holidays while on other days they work on a standard schedule. As a result of that we often get overloaded transport chambers and too many parcels to be delivered, so some of them may get damaged. If you are about to send a precious cargo – do not save money on its wrapping, it should at least have several layers of protection.

    It is also very important to insure your cargo in such periods of time. When there are a lot of packages to be delivered there is always a possibility of their loss or damage. Make sure each of your packages is insured against theft, damage and other misfortunes. If you wish to include the insurance cost into customers’ payment sum, inform your customers about that on your site.

    If you follow the above recommendations you will not have any worries related to shipping products on holidays. Please ask your questions in comments or send them directly to our email, and Magento experts will do their best to answer you as soon as possible.

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  • How to increase Average Order Value in Magento

    How to increase Average Order Value in Magento

    Regardless of which platform is used to develop an online store the owners always wish their business to be as profitable as possible. Magento specialists share the ways of increasing the average order value in Magento and the steps necessary to be taken by the users.

    What "Average Order Value" is

    The Average Order Value is a sum of money that your customers are ready to spend regularly. Any store owner, whether their business is online or it is a physical store, must know that sum in order to adjust to its increasing or reducing in time. This factor is directly proportional to the efficiency of your marketing strategies. If you have chosen a correct promotion scheme your average order value will grow. If not then your monthly customers' orders sum will remain the same or reduce.

    It is worth mentioning that increasing the average order value is one of the simplest strategies of successful business. It is very difficult to always increase new clients' base and it is much faster and more convenient to make the existing clients buy more. There are several positive moments in this scheme:

    1. You are insured against season traffic reduce. Of course, if your store sells swim suits you will have less orders in winter but generally the average order value will stay the same as in summer;

    2. The system does not require large financial investments;

    3. You better understand your customers, you know what they need and what they do not usually buy, etc.

    Ways of increasing your average order value in Magento

    In order to increase your average order value per month you do not need to perform any unusual actions. The following simple steps will be enough:

    1. Group your products correctly. Depending on the store directivity you can use various products grouping schemes. For instance, offer ready sets or clothes at once. A cell phone can go with headphones and cover in a set, and in case of apparel, a set may include a dress, a handbag, shoes and accessories. In order to attract attention to your sets of products (containing several items) you may offer discounts or other privileges for them (free shipping, promo codes for further orders, etc).

    2. Use Up-Sell and Cross-Sell products. Always offer your customers additional products even if they are not related to the items they order. E.g. most customers believe in the strategy of "better quality for higher price", so offer them similar but more expensive products (Up-Sells), or return to the Cross-Sell products.

    3. Offer discounts and bonuses to your customers. Many large online stores actively use this strategy and it helps them to increase their sales significantly. You can make sale days or offer discounts to subscribers. Various bonus programs are also very successful (e.g. a client made an order for $100 and he receives $10 bonus for the next purchase). You can also offer your clients additional services or discounts if they make a wholesale purchase or order a set of products at once.

    4. Monitor the requirements of your clients. You must know their wishes, this pleases them a lot. When they open your site it is desirable that they see recommended products, you may use special Magento extensions to add that option. Let’s say a customer likes smart phones, so you can offer them brand new phone models. Another very efficient system is build on determination of customer’s geographical location and considering climatic data of specific regions (this system especially suits for online stores selling clothes).

    5. Develop a precise refund system. Any customer will trust your store more if you have strict rules for return or replacement of products which did not fit customers for some reasons, and refunding costs to customer’s credit card. Try to make this process as easy and fast as possible and do not create time-consuming schemes of filling papers.

    You may learn more details about this subject in the book “Five Strategies for Increasing Your Average Order Value” written by Magento development. We would highly appreciate if you share your comments about increasing average order value in Magento.

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  • Category output in Magento

    Category output in Magento

    When you start to work on Magento platform it is necessary to know how to perform the simplest settings and change standard system parameters. Category output in Magento is the main skill that the store owner or an administrator must have.

    How to output a category

    In order to do that you need to go to the admin panel, then to Catalog - Manage Categories, where the main category settings are performed.

    Before starting to create a new category you need to know some peculiarities of these actions in Magento. There are several product levels in this system:

    1. Default (Root);

    2. Subcategory;

    3. Root category.

    In the first case, these are main product categories. They are also called ‘Root’ and all other categories are created inside them and will be treated as ‘subcategories’ of the root categories. But, if you have several stores configured in Magento you can set different sets of categories for them. In this case you use Root category. Subcategory, in its turn, is a subcategory with specific functions and product items.

    Each category has its own unique set of properties and options which are also called category attributes. They are:

    1. Name - a name of a specific category;

    2. Is Active stands for the category status – active or not;

    3. URL key is the internet address (URL);

    4. Thumbnail Image is a category preview, a small image which may display the category content, for example;

    5. Description a category description that may be indexed by the search engines if corresponding settings are configured;

    6. Image is an image that is displayed on a specific category page;

    7. Page Title is a category title which is displayed in a browser address bar;

    8. Meta Keywords are main key words specified for this category, they are also indexed by the search engines if configured properly;

    9. Meta Description is category meta-tags, short description for the search engines;

    10. Include in Navigation Menu — this option is responsible for whether or not the category will be displayed in the top menu when ‘Flat category’ setting is enabled.

    There is also a tab called “Display Settings” on the category configuration page. You should pay special attention to it. You can perform the following settings there:

    1. Display Mode — how to display the category (e.g. show only products, products and a specific block, or a specific block only);

    2. CMS Block — if you have chosen products and a block in the previous option of category display, then here you need to set which exactly block will be displayed there;

    3. Is Anchor — this option enables the output of specific subcategory products on the category page;

    4. Available Product Listing Sort By — sort in listing;

    5. Default Product Listing Sort By — default sort;

    6. Layered Navigation Price Step — here you can configure products navigation by price.

    There is another block of category configurations, it is called Custom Design. It is a category type that will be visible to customers. We strongly recommend to change settings in this block only if you have some programming and designing experience. Otherwise it would be better to consult with GoMage Magento development.

    1. Use Parent Category Settings — this option helps to configure the output of a subcategory design in the same way as it is set for the parent category;

    2. Apply To Products — it means that the products will use the same Gomage Magento themes as the category page;

    3. Custom Design — here you can select the templates for a specific category, e.g. setup different themes for phones, apparel or food categories;

    4. Active From — selected design will be active starting from the certain date;

    5. Active To — selected design will be active till the certain date;

    6. Custom Design is a perfect function for configuration of holiday sales without using specific Magento extensions;

    7. Page Layout is a pages design configuration;

    8. Custom Layout Update — updating or addition of blocks using XML code.

    In Category Products you can select which products will be assigned to your category. It is very important to select the products very carefully in order not to mislead customers. At the same time, each product can be assigned to several categories (depending on its properties).

    There are two ways to create categories – through the admin panel or using special Magento API. The latter variant does not always save all settings correctly and you will have to check and correct them through the admin panel. Please note that this review of category attributes is valid for Magento Commerce Community but Magento Commerce Enterprise has a wider range of attributes.

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