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Latest Magento Headlines, GoMage Updates and eCommerce Best Practices

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  • How to create a poll in Magento

    How to create a poll in Magento

    Each web store owner should take into account their customers’ opinion. In order to always be aware of things that need to be changed or improved in the store it is good to use various polls for registered users. Let us review how to create a poll in Magento and why it is necessary.

    Why do we need polls?

    Did you ever answer different questions on some sites, like ‘What our site is missing?’ or ‘What would you change in the store? If your answer is ‘No’ – congratulations, you are one of 20% users who are not interested in such marketing moves. But there are 80% of users who always vote in such polls. The result itself is not so important for them as the fact that they may change something globally.

    You may also create interesting and funny polls, prize voting, various riddles or quizzes. Many famous marketers advise to pay special attention to all customers and each of them separately, since people are more interested to answer questions about things they know, like the process of product choice and ordering, but not about the store functionality.

    So, you as a store owner will achieve several purposes at once:

    1. Show your customers that their opinion is important to you. Customers will be pleased to know that;

    2. Improve the work of your site;

    3. Add the options which are important and necessary in your store, in customers’ opinion;

    4. If you create a funny poll or a quiz you will lift users’ spirits and improve your own karma.

    Many well-known Magento online stores already use this technology and it positively affects their business.

    How to create a poll

    Creation of a poll in Magento is quite easy, but if anything goes wrong on your side, you are welcome to contact GoMage specialists and ask for their assistance. In order to start the work, go to the admin panel, then to CMS section:

    1. Locate the section called ‘Poll Manager’;

    2. Choose Add New Poll, then a new page will open where you can configure the polls;

    3. Thanks to intuitive Magento interface you will quickly configure the necessary settings. In ‘Poll Question’ field write the topic of your voting or the question you want to ask;

    4. Now we need to determine the status of the poll. By default, there are an open and a closed kinds of polls. One of the variants will allow customers see the results of their vote immediately, and the other one will only give you access to the results. Make your choice and set the necessary Status;

    5. Now we work with the field ‘Poll Answers’. Here, you need to write the answers to your question or voting from which your customers will choose their answer. You will need to fill in two fields - Answer Title (answers) and Votes Count (the numbers of votes). You may ask why we need to know the quantity if it clear that a question needs to be answered. The matter is that people are always interested to see the number of votes, they do not usually wish to be the first who answers the question. So, put a number that will show the quantity of users who already answered the question. After a customer chooses their answer and votes, their vote will be added to the number you set there;

    6. After all changes are made, save the poll and monitor how it works.

    We advise you to regularly change the polls and encourage customers to vote. For instance, Tuesday could be a day of technical questions and Friday – a day of prize quizzes. This is an interesting feature that will help you attract more customers to your store and also learn more about your existing customers.

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  • Magento Newsletters

    Magento Newsletters

    The communication with already existed customers’ database and gaining a new one is very important for every Magento store owner. Magento Newsletters are used for this purpose. Let us review it in our article.

    Why Newsletters are important

    To hold the status of your online store and provide the customers with constant information about new products and promotions you can use the communication by emails. It's almost a win-win way because millions of people check their inbox regularly in order to find interesting promotions or emails.

    Besides, newsletter is a good way to get new customers and business partners. To get this method for promoting your business you need not only to think of the email text, but also watch the emails updates, think of the ways how to subscribe the users to receive news of your Magento store.

    How to create subscription

    Initially, subscription to Magento is included in the standard platform build and you need only configure it. It operates on the principle of most social networks, in other words, a potential customer registers on your site and enters his active email address in the email address line. This address is put in your database. After this he will get not only the email about creating his own account, but also different interesting promotions.

    If this function is disabled on your site, you need to make the following actions:

    1. Go to the Magento admin panel: System – Configuration;

    2. In this section you should find the Advanced item and open a new page where you should tick the Mage_Newsletter line in the Enable panel. Please save the changes.

    After these changes, having entered your store, a customer will see the subscription application form on the left side where he will be suggested to subscribe to updates.

    You should remember that when the Mage_Newsletter option is enabled, your potential customer can’t unsubscribe newsletter or choose the item “Do not send emails”. It is very important because many customers do not like this system. If you want to give your customers this opportunity, then you should leave the Mage_Newsletter checkmark disabled.

    How to move block

    As a standard, the block in which a customer can subscribe to your news is located on the left side, but it is not always comfortable or fit the store style. It is great that Magento is open source and you can edit the code according to your needs.

    Please be careful because you can edit the files only if you have a good programming experience. In other case, it would be better to contact GoMage specialists who can configure Magento Newsletter.

    At the beginning of the work with the emails configuration you will see the record on your computer screen in the admin panel. This record will inform you that you are going to make changes in the standard theme. If you are using a bought template, then this window may not open.

    After this you can do your work:

    1. Go to your hosting in order to find the files of your Magento site;

    2. After this please open the file on the following path: app\design\frontend\base\default\layout\newsletter.xml

    3. This file should be downloaded and opened in the editor. You can use a standard Notepad for this work or a special program called DreamWeaver;

    4. You need to find the line where reference name="right" is written and change it with the following one: reference name="left". The quick search can be done with the ctrl + F buttons combination;

    5. Save the file and check whether the editions are working.

    Please leave your comments under this article, your advices and recommendations connected with the Magento Newsletter block creation. Also you are welcome to share your observations on customer interest to this Magento store function.

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  • Magento Tier Pricing

    Magento Tier Pricing

    Increasing sales is one of the main goals of all web store owners. Let us review how to configure a discount for the amount of products in Magento and why this is profitable for your business.

    The more – the best

    Many popular trade centers and web stores use a marketing decision called ‘pay less for more’. This is a very convenient and profitable system: customers see that the price will reduce if they buy two or more products and they are stimulated to buy more. If you believe you will not make profit on that then read the counter-evidence below:

    1. When a product price is formed it already includes not only tax expenses but the percent of the store profit, too. So, if you reduce the price by a few dollars you will not lose anything, but even gain more. Your sales will definitely increase;

    2. New customers are attracted to your store;

    3. You will have a lot of regular customers - this is how wholesale buyers work.

    How to do that

    Let’s say you want to set lower price for specific amount or weight of products. This is called Tier Pricing. You need to configure the price as, e.g. $3 for one or two products, $2,8 for 3 – 5 products, $2,5 for 6 and more products. This is very easy to configure.

    Go to your Magento admin panel, then to Calatog – Manage Products. You will see a new page with all products and their settings. Locate the product you wish to modify and click on ‘Prices’. You need the option ‘Tier Price’. If you did not set this option before the field should be empty. Fill it with the necessary numbers.

    If you have already used the Tier Pricing in Magento, you need to click on ‘Add Tier’ and create an additional layer for the price and quantity correspondingly. You only need to choose customers or customer groups to which that price will be applied.

    Locate the field Qty and enter a minimal number of products necessary for the discount to be applied. In the field Price set the cost for that number. Then save the changes and add another tier.

    It is very convenient that you can set for whom that system will work. Let’s say you wish to run a promotional campaign that will offer a discount to regular customers. So, you will need to configure corresponding customer groups for your campaign and Tier Pricing rules for them.

    Who can participate in the choice of price:

    1. All visitors, even those not registered on your site;

    2. Registered customers who are not logged into their account;

    3. Visitors from ‘General’ group which contains all visitors who do not belong to any of your existing groups;

    4. Other customers, e.g. from a privileged group. In order to create a group, go to Customers - Customer Groups in your admin panel. You could make special discounts for your business partners, wholesale customers, long-term customers, etc.

    Once all customer groups are configured and saved, do not forget to check how the system works in your store. If you need any assistance, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help you resolve the issue.

    This topic is quite interesting, isn’t it? If necessary, GoMage specialists will help you to configure Tier Pricing in your Magento store. Please share your thoughts and experience of using this feature in your store and regarding possible types of customer groups, we would highly appreciate that.

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  • How to create the history with Magento images

    How to create the history with Magento images

    Images play a huge role for any online store and we mean not only their quality, but also the quantity. Let us review how to create the history with Magento images and for what purpose we should do it.

    Why we need to create the history

    If you can attract the customers’ attention with photo story, then the minimum thing that it can do is to get interest to the product and the maximum benefit of it will be the purchase of this product or some kind of advice to buy it in the sphere of the customers’ friends. So, for this purpose we need to use a photographic instructions guide to Magento products.

    Attracting customers’ attention is one of the components of the half success in Magento store. Of course, you can use several images for replacing or adding the detailed product description, but the history is more effective. A small story how to apply this or that product, tool, cosmetic product will help to move a potential buyer to the positive choice.

    Also it is almost unchangeable thing if you sell extraordinary things or decorative cosmetics. For example, it is a non-standard charger for your phone or any innovative cosmetic product.

    Check Magento Extensions if you are interested in improving the usability of your Magento store.

    How to tell the product history

    If you want to tell the history in your Magento store, you need to do the following steps:

    1. Develop several images which will be the base for your story. The important thing is their quality. Please do not use blurred or gloomy pictures. It will decrease the trust to the Magento store.

    2. After this you should upload the zipped web images to Magento.

    3. Then you should choose the order how the images should be displayed.

    4. You need to write separate the headers for each of the images. It would be better to write the short descriptions.

    Some tips for creating images

    Every time when you create the next image, you need to show the part of your product. It will help a customer to make a positive choice. It will be better if these images will display a person. Subconsciously, it creates a sense of confidence.

    You should pay the sharp attention to the process when the object is in action. In other words, when your product is used and applied to something. In order to get the benefit, you should shoot the whole process with a good camera with a high resolution.

    When you upload the images to Magento, check whether they have a high resolution and if a customer increases them, they will not have any streaks and pixels.

    These images can have a big size because they will be displayed on the product page. You should make their size be 265 x 265 pixels as minimum. If the images are big, a customer will be able to increase them and scroll.

    In order to upload the image in your Magento store, you need to go to the admin panel. After this you should open Catalog - Manage Products. You will see all your commodity positions on the opened page. Find the product you want to change and click on the Edit button. You will be transferred to the Product Information page. You need to find the General section. There is the Images tab. Please click on it and choose Browse Images option. The window will be shown where you can choose the necessary images. When you choose all the images, click on the Open button. After all the images are uploaded, you need to click on the Upload Files button.

    So, the images’ uploading is finished. You need only to make their order.

    Find the Sort Order column and enter a number which will be responsible for the sorting order of the images. When everything is changed, please save the editions. Please do not forget to create a separate header for each image, the text which will tell customers what is displayed on the image. To configure it you need to write the appropriate sentence in the Label line. Please save the changes again.

    Everything is quite easy. Now your potential customers will see thumbnails and click on the images to see them. After looking through every image you can click on Next and go to the next image.

    If you can’t configure the history with Magento images, you can contact GoMage specialists and they do it for you.

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  • Twitter handle

    Twitter handle

    There are currently a lot of social services that allow not only monitor the events in any part of the world but also use their data in promotion and improvement of your business. One of the most popular social networks in the world is Twitter. Let us review how to add the line ‘Twitterhandle’ into Magento registration form.

    Why is this necessary?

    Many services that create and store visiting statistics data of web shops, blogs and diaries use the information from Twitter in their work. These include link referrals, reviews, etc. If you wish to know your customers’ opinion about your store – this is the best way you could ever find.

    Besides, this social network will help you significantly increase the amount of potential customers and monitor the activity of customers you already have. It is quite simple to add ‘Twitterhandle’ field to the registration form, all you need to do is slightly correct the code. Also check our free Social Connector.

    Many web store owners tend to underestimate the power of Twitter. This is what this microblog network can give you:

    1. Information about your customers, their problems, needs and requirements;

    2. Public opinion about the products of your company and about other companies (your possible competitors);

    3. Possibility to help your customers make the right choice or give them an idea of buying this or that product;

    4. Free promotion of your web store products;

    5. Free advertisement of your products directly to the target audience.

    How to add Twitterhandle

    As we mentioned in other articles, Magento uses the following architecture of the data: Entity – Attribute - Value. Based on that information, you only need to add another attribute in order to have the line for Twitter. For that you need to edit the file register.phtml. You will find it at the path app, then app\code\local\YourNamespace\Appname\sql\yournamespace_appname_setup\mysql4-install-1.0.php

    Open the file in the editor and paste the following code at the beginning:

    <?php
    $setup = new Mage_Eav_Model_Entity_Setup('core_setup');
    $setup->addAttribute('customer', 'twitter', array(
    'label' => 'Twitter handle',
    'type' => 'varchar',
    'input' => 'text',
    'visible' => true,
    'required' => false,
    'position' => 1
    ));
    ?>
    

     

    In order to configure in which place the social network line will be located, find the following part in the file:

    <li>
    <label for="email_address"><?php echo $this->__('Email Address')
    ?><span class="required">*</span></label><br/>
    <input type="text" name="email" id="email_address" value="<?php
    echo $this->htmlEscape($this->getFormData()->getEmail()) ?>"
    title="<?php echo $this->__('Email Address') ?>" class="validateemail
    required-entry input-text" />
    </li>
    

     

    You can find it using the combination of ctrl + F.

    After closing tag </li> paste the following code:

    [b]<li>
    <label for="twitter"><?php echo $this->__('Twitter handle') ?></
    label>
    <div class="input-box">
    <input type="text" name="twitter" id="twitter" value="<?php
    echo $this->htmlEscape($this->getFormData()->getTwitter()) ?>"
    title="<?php echo $this->__('Twitter') ?>" class="input-text" />
    <label for="twitter" style="color: #ccc;font-size:
    85%;">Example: @packtpub</label>
    </div>
    </li>[/b]
    

     

    Note that this line will be highlighted in bold text to attract the attention, you can remove this point if necessary.

    Remember that sometimes your customers will need to update the information on their social network page. In order to let them do it directly from your store you need to modify the file edit.phtml.

    Open the file in catalog customer/form/ and look for the following code:

    <li>
    <label for="email" class="required"><em>*</em><?php echo $this-
    >__('Email Address') ?></label>
    <div class="input-box">
    <input type="text" name="email" id="email" value="<?php
    echo $this->htmlEscape($this->getCustomer()->getEmail()) ?>"
    title="<?php echo $this->__('Email Address') ?>" class="input-text
    required-entry validate-email" />
    </div>
    </li>
    

     

    Below that code add the following:

    [b]<li>
    <label for="twitter"><?php echo $this->__('Twitter handle') ?></
    label>
    <div class="input-box">
    <input type="text" name="twitter" id="twitter" value="<?php
    echo $this->htmlEscape($this->getCustomer()->getTwitter()) ?>"
    title="<?php echo $this->__('Twitter') ?>" class="input-text" />
    <label for="twitter" style="color: #ccc;font-size:
    85%;">Example: @ferdous</label>
    </div>
    </li>[/b]
    

     

    After that you need to change the template configuration file. For that, go to app/code/core/Mage/Customer/etc/, then open the file config.xml.

    Basic changes will be done in Global, you need to replace that block with the following:

    <global>
    <fieldsets>
    <customer_account>
    <prefix><create>1</create><update>1</update><name>1</name></
    prefix>
    <firstname><create>1</create><update>1</update><name>1</
    name></firstname>
    <middlename><create>1</create><update>1</update><name>1</
    name></middlename>
    <lastname><create>1</create><update>1</update><name>1</name></
    lastname>
    <suffix><create>1</create><update>1</update><name>1</name></
    suffix>
    <email><create>1</create><update>1</update></email>
    <twitter><create>1</create><update>1</update></twitter>
    <password><create>1</create></password>
    <confirmation><create>1</create></confirmation>
    <dob><create>1</create><update>1</update></dob>
    <taxvat><create>1</create><update>1</update></taxvat>
    <gender><create>1</create><update>1</update></gender>
    </customer_account>
    </fieldsets>
    

     

    Now you are almost finished. You only need to add an object attribute. Go to app/code/core/Mage/Customer/Model/Entity/ and open file setup.php. Locate the fields responsible for customers’ email address, but remember that after any Magento update all modifications in the core files will be erased. In that case do not forget to add them again:

    'email' =>array(
    'type' => 'static',
    'label' => 'Email',
    'class' => 'validate-email',
    'sort_order' => 60,
    ),
    

     

    Add the following code:

    'twitter' => array(
    'label' => 'Twitter',
    'required' => false,
    'sort_order' => 65,
    ),
    

     

    It is done. Save the changes and check how it works. The code was taken from http://magento-forum.ru

    If you would like GoMage specialists to help you install Twitterhandle in Magento please email us directly or leave a comment to this article. We will highly appreciate if you share your knowledge and opinion regarding using Twitter data for the improvement of the web store operation.

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  • Magento and WordPress integration

    Magento and WordPress integration

    The site transferring from one platform to another always raises a lot of questions and problems, especially if it is connected with an online store. Let us review how to make Magento and WordPress integration with step by step instructions.

    The concepts about Magento and WordPress

    One of the most popular sites managing system is WordPress. It is well-known because of its open source and easy to work. Mainly, it is used as a platform to maintain personal blogs and websites in the Internet, but thanks to the flexibility you can do almost anything on this CMS: an online store, cinema and so on.

    Magento is an open source managing system of the online stores and it is more difficult than WordPress. It is more difficult to maintain Magento, but it has a lot of different functions.

    Professional online stores are created basically on Magento. It was proved many times by the specialists of the different successful companies that the blog in the web store is really necessary. It increases the trust and the targeted audience to you. Let us review how to integrate Magento and WordPress.

    Step by step instructions

    1. Firstly, you should launch the newest version from the WordPress official site http://wordpress.org. After the loading is finished, you need to unzip the package with WordPress in the root Magento catalog where the project is located and rename it into blog. Then you need to go to the blog with your browser. Please open the following page with the address to do it:

    http://magento.local.com/blog

    2. Let us indicate our browser to the blog. In our case it is http://magento.local.com/blog After this we should launch the installation process. The process is very easy and all the steps can be understood intuitively. So, it should not raise any difficulties to do it.

    3. Now you should create a theme (meanwhile check our Magento themes) for new WordPress blog in the online store on Magento. In order to get the base of the WordPress design you can take the Twenty Ten theme files by copying the files from the theme. This catalog is located in /blog/wp-content/ Them you should rename the folder as Magento.

    4. Now you need to remove all the files from a new Magento folder on the path blog/wp-content/themes, except the files with the php expansion.

    5. Then you need to copy CSS and all the images of the active Magento theme used by your store and insert them in blog/wp-content/themes/magento.

    6. Now you need to change the code in the file called style.css which you will find in the catalog blog/wp-content/themes/magento. You should see something like this code:

    
    /*
    Theme Name: Magento
    Theme URI: http://domain.com/
    Description: The Magento theme for wordpress created with magento
    default theme based on Twenty Ten
    Author: Your Name
    Version: 1.0
    Tags: black, blue, white, two-columns, fixed-width, custom-header,
    theme-options, threaded-comments, sticky-post, translation-ready,
    microformats, rtl-language-support
    */
    @import 'css/styles.css';
    

     

    7. In order to bring the style of our blog to the style of the entire Magento store you can change the header and footer files. At first, we should edit the top header a bit. To do it you should go to catalog: blog/wp-content/themes and find the file header.php. Then you should modify it according to the store parameters, in other words, to change the color and so on. You can find the footer.php file in this folder and change the necessary values too.

    11. After installing the blog on your Magento site you can add the store menu to it because it can attract the customers’ attention. You can do it in the WordPress admin menu.

    So, you have just finished the WordPress installation based on Magento, changed the theme and added some personality to it. But there are many methods how to do the blog on Magento, except this one. If you can’t integrate WordPress and Magento, you can contact GoMage company and our specialists will do it for you.

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  • How to perform the integration of Magento and SugarCRM

    How to perform the integration of Magento and SugarCRM

    Changing your web store platform in the process of business development is an absolutely normal decision. Many webmasters admit that they did not take into account a lot of details at the beginning of their career and now wish to correct this by changing the store engine. Let us review how to perform the integration of Magento and SugarCRM.

    Systems review

    Magento is a totally new eCommerce solution. The most important advantages of this system are its open source and your full control over it. Working on Magento you can be sure that your site is safe as it is considered to be one of the most secure web store platforms. We must also note its flexibility and beautiful design with some minimalism style. To bring the share of individuality check Magento themes created by our developers. In other words, Magento will ensure 100% guarantee that your site works fine, your data are secure and you have a good basis for developing your business.

    SugarCRM is well-known all over the world. It is the most popular of the Relationship Management or CRM systems, valued for its open source and useful software tools that are suitable even for the most demanding web stores. This platform can be used in more than 75 languages, it has over 6000 customers and over 500 000 users all over the world. Sugar Suite can easily be adjusted for any business sphere as it offers more flexible and economical alternative than many competitive systems. Thanks to its open code you can modify the design, improve in-built functions of the store and do many other changes.

    Why we need Magento CRM

    Both systems described above are quite strong eCommerce solutions but each of them has its own disadvantages. If we combine all positive features of those platforms we can get almost ideal basis for creating a fast and beautiful internet store.

    It is very convenient that Magento already has basic CRM features, so the integration will not be too difficult. We will advise you how to amplify your store and, correspondingly, get more profit from your business using the combination of these two platforms.

    System requirements for the integration

    Before starting the integration you must be sure that system characteristics of your store are suitable for that. The necessary information is below:

    1. Magento 1.3 Community Edition

    2. SugarCRM 6.0.0 Community Edition

    3. Libraries PHP - SOAP

    4. Netbeans IDE или Eclipse IDE

    5. MySQL 5.1.x

    6. Apache 2.2.x

    Creation of a WebServices user in Magento

    In order to get access to Magento Web services you need to create a new user and assign a separate role for it. Go to the admin panel, then to System – WebServices – Roles. A configuration window will open in which you should enter all necessary data.

    Add a role, save the changes and return to the previous panel. Then go to Users section and set the necessary role for your new user.

    Creation of a user with the help of WebServices in SugarCRM

    In order to get access to web services in SugarCRM you need to create a new user and set a certain role for it. Remember that all login data can be received in SugarCRM directly. Before starting work, go to the admin panel (where you need to enter the password) and disable the option of automatic code generation.

    Now create a new user in SugarCRM. Go to the admin panel, then to User Management section and choose the option Create New User.

    Unfortunately, this is where your independent work may end, as it is necessary to modify the system core to complete the integration. We do not recommend inexperienced users to make modifications in the core Magento files. It would be better to contact GoMage specialists and request their assistance. Otherwise, you might lose control not only over your web store but the whole business, too.

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  • Google Sitemap in Magento

    Google Sitemap in Magento

    Fast index is the key to success of your online store and any site. The main role in this process plays Google Sitemap. So, let us review how to configure this page for Magento.

    What is Sitemap

    Sitemap is the simplest way to inform Search Engines about new pages of the site which are available for scanning. The simplest sitemap form is XML file in which all the addresses (URL) of a certain site are shown with a short description of this site or without it. Meta data which is used for the design of this page helps the search engines to scan the pages faster and more correctly.

    As a rule, the sitemap helps to find all the internal site links and sometimes it helps to find also the external ones and it is very comfortable. You can bind several pages of the site to each other with Meta data, compute the necessary URL for indexing and many others.

    The main thing you need to know about the sitemap is that its presence does not guarantee that the site will be added to top by the certain requests or the page will be indexed necessarily. But the existence of this file will become a certain tip for the search engines which will help to improve their work in your Magento webstore.

    This card has become widespread in Google Search Engines, Yahoo! (since 2011 this search engine has changed the requirements to the standard card view) and Microsoft. The majority of the webmasters think that Google sitemap also helps to index the site with other search engines.

    You can get to know the detailed description of the requirements to this file on the site http://www.sitemaps.org

    How to create Sitemap in Magento

    The main advantage of ecommerce Magento platform over other CMS is that it has the ability to create the sitemap automatically, but not with the integration of the special file in the root system. In order to do it you should go to your admin panel and find Top Menu section – Catalog. You will find a special item in this section called Google Sitemap. You should choose the Add Sitemap item there. Then you should enter the name of your Sitemap and the necessary format and it is XML in our case.

    The Sitemap saving path is specified automatically, but if it is necessary you can indicate it manually. For example, you need to save the Sitemap in some subsection of the main menu. Then you need to write the following path:

    Your subsection / Sitemap (Be sure to place diagonal slash).

    Please check whether the chosen section is indexed. After this you should choose the Store View item and click on the Save Sitemap button.

    Using such a simple algorithm you will get the automatic sitemap which will contain the links to all the categories, commodity positions and other pages of your online store. All these items can be chosen in the appropriate position. Also Magento edits your file with the sitemap itself while adding or removing any pages to/from the site. In order to configure this function you need to go to the admin panel: System – Configuration – Google Sitemap.

    Tell Search Engines about Sitemap

    To inform Search Engines about your Magento Sitemap you can bind it to the file called robots.txt.

    You need to go to this file and edit it. You should write the following line in this file:

    Sitemap: http://www.domain.com/sitemap.xml

    To register a new Sitemap you should go to the websites control panel for web-masters in Google Search Engine. If you do not want to send Magento Sitemap yourself, you can use special services or contact GoMage specialists in order to get any assistance to your questions.

    Also you might be interested in Magento SEO extension which improve the search engine optimization. It's easy to use and there are no needs in any technical knowledge.

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  • PayPal Bill Me Later

    PayPal Bill Me Later

    Almost all European customers use well-known PayPal service to pay for their online purchases. Let us review how to configure PayPalBillMeLater system in your web store, and also some instructions and recommendations.

    Why do we need to configure PayPalBillMeLater

    Now so many people live constantly using credit cards that it is considered normal. We do not always have a possibility to buy a necessary thing right now, but we still need it. In order to let your customers avoid difficulties while ordering something in your store, it is very useful to offer them a credit-purchase service.

    PayPalBillMeLater can be understood as a credit card without an actual card, without plastic or any other wrap. This is very convenient by the following reasons:

    1. You cannot lose it, the password can always be retrieved through PayPal service;

    2. All customers and products are insured;

    3. You have a possibility to tie your PayPal personal account to your BillMeLater account;

    4. There are special financial offers that allow you buy everything you need and then pay for the purchase in several equal parts, or in full amount but later, when you have a possibility;

    5. Full protection of both sellers and customers from fraud and theft;

    6. Customers can use a deferred payment for 6 months if their purchase amount is more than $99;

    7. Fast money transfer to the account. The sum customer puts on a credit account is immediately transferred to the seller;

    8. According to the research results of many marketing companies the system ‘BillMeLater’ helps to increase the store income by 18% which is quite good index. Besides, the interest and trust of customers are also increased. In order to attract visitors’ attention to the new service on your site you may use various banners and buttons. We will also discuss the size of such announcements and methods of their configuration;

    9. You will not worry about your debtors, search for them and monitor their payments. All this is done by PayPal. They also count the interest for non-payment or delinquency and monitor the whole process from the beginning and until the credit is paid.

    Also, according to PayPal research, the sellers who use this option in their stores increase their sales by approximately 5.7% within a few months. The circulation of goods is also increased. Customers not only buy products more frequently, they also buy more expensive things that they could not have afforded before. Almost 44% of sales are impetuous and additional, i.e. if a customer had not have a possibility to be billed later they would not have bought anything.

    It is quite easy to configure PayPalBillMeLater service on Magento if you follow our step-by-step instruction (it suits for Magento CE 1.9 and higher):

    • Go to the admin panel, then to System – Configuration – Payment Methods.
      Payment Methods
    • Locate the option PayPal Express Checkout, select ‘Customize’ for it and do the following. Open PayPal additional settings, select Enable for BillMeLater option and then save the changes.
      PayPal Express Checkout
    • Choose PayPal payments standart.
    • Make the necessary configurations into PayPal account.
    • Set the option BillMeLater - Yes.
      BillMeLater

    Advice regarding banners configuration

    You can enable different banners directly in your site and they will attract users’ attention. In the option PayPal Express Checkout you need to configure the link that will output banners of the credit payment method. Open PayPal settings and locate the option Advertise BillMeLater. Now you only need to press GetPublisher ID button and follow the instructions on the page. Enter the ID and then save the changes.

    BillMeLater

    You may configure the banner of your credit method to display at the top of the content side of the page or on the right side. There are also different sizes for banners. According to the official PayPal site there are following available size options for banners:

    • 190 х 100
    • 234 х 60
    • 300 х 50
    • 468 х 60
    • 728 х 90
    • 800 х 66

    We must also mention the location of these banners. Such advertisement on the main page will let customers know that your store allows deferred payments. On products pages it will help to increase sales. On checkout page it will tempt a potential customer to make a positive decision.

    You may also place them on category pages, products pages and on the shopping cart page. When all changes are complete, click ‘SaveConfig’.

    Also in the case you are interested in simplifying the other processes on your store please check Magento Extensions.

    If you have any questions regarding the configuration of PayPalBillMeLater on Magento you may consult with GoMage specialists. Please also share your experience of working with this service in the comments.

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  • Magento tag cloud

    Magento tag cloud

    For any working online store there comes a moment when it is necessary to change its layout, install updates and improve its design. We suggest to discuss, how to adjust a tag cloud in Magento, how to configure the footer and also how to add a Copyright note.

    Why do we need a tag cloud?

    A tag cloud is a specific technology of web stores, sites, blogs, that allows visitors and readers quickly find all necessary information. There are many different ways to implement and configure a tag cloud. For example, you may use your site key words or categories’ names. When it comes to web stores, most specialists advise to pay attention to customers’ search queries and place the most popular of them as tags next to the search field. This is the variant of a tag cloud configuration in Magento that we would like to discuss in details.

    By default settings, a tag cloud is already included into the list of search tools, but it is not integrated with the results and so, it is not able to arrange them in groups. If we make slight changes to our web store, we will be able to not only improve the design but also help the search robots index our site quicker.

    1. Go to System →Configuration;

    2. Choose your store from the drop-down list;

    3. On the left-side bar, choose ‘Advanced’ under ADVANCED section;

    4. Click ‘Enable’ in ‘Mage_Tag’;

    5. Save the changes.

    In order to configure the tags added by customers (which helps to make the search of products on your site much faster for potential customers) you need to do the following:

    1. Go to the admin panel, then Catalog – Tags – Pending Tags. Select all tags that you would like to place into the cloud or disable;

    2. After that click ‘Change status’ in the menu ‘Actions’, you will see a drop-down for ‘Status’ on the right. Choose a new status for the necessary product tags;

    3. Click ‘Submit’.

    Now you have an interesting tag cloud on your site which you can easily re-configure or disable when you need.

    Also you might be interested in Magento Modules which are simplifying different processes on your store.

    Footer configuration

    Footer is a very important part of the site. Most webmasters tend to underestimate its importance and, as the result, they lose positions in search results and even potential customers. First of all, it is necessary to develop a carefully thought-out design of the bottom part of your web store pages. Besides, this part the page may contain the information about the legal owner of the content, or an interdiction for its use by the third parties. For this purpose it is necessary for you to:

    1. Go to the admin panel;

    2. Go to System – Configuration;

    3. On the left-side menu select General and click Design;

    4. Move to Footer;

    5. Now you see a new window in which the Footer settings can be changed. You need the line ‘Copyright’. Click on it and add the information about your intellectual property rights and the terms of use of your content. In most cases, webmasters advise to add the year of your web store creation and the current year, e.g. 2010 – 2014. What to write in this section is your choice, it may be something like ‘Copying forbidden’ or ‘Copying of the content is only allowed with an active link to the source site – your site’;

    6. Once all changes are done, click ‘Save Config’.

    Beside adding this information, you can also remove standard Magento links, put the data about your company or set the links to your partners’ sites.

    After a few experiments with these settings you will be able to configure your Magento store to look exactly as you need. But, if anything goes wrong, you can always consult with GoMage specialists, we will be glad to assist you.

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