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Latest Magento Headlines, GoMage Updates and eCommerce Best Practices

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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 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:

    2. Let us indicate our browser to the blog. In our case it is 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:
    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

    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:


    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.

    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.


    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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  • Transactional Magento Emails

    Transactional Magento Emails

    If you use email options in an online store correctly, this can increase the sales and customers’ trust significantly. Let us review what should be transactional Magento emails and how to perform their basic setup.

    What a transactional email is and why are they needed

    All successful entrepreneurs believe that, in order to understand all peculiarities of their business, they must try to put themselves in customers’ shoes. Let’s review the following example: you wish to buy a saucepan, you find it in a web store at a good price and with a shipping service, you add it to cart, complete the order, but you do not receive any confirmation emails after that. Of course, the product will be shipped to you in time, but before you receive it you will most likely start to worry, contact the store support several times and promise yourself you will never buy anything online. This is not a very good beginning of a long-term cooperation.

    It is very important for a customer to receive a confirmation email right after their order is complete, in which you congratulate them with a successful transaction or provide instructions in case the transaction failed. This is what we call transactional emails.

    What a transactional email should contain

    1. A confirmation of a successful payment or an instruction on how to proceed in case the payment failed. This is quite important because, if a customer did something wrong, you should do your best to help them correct the situation;

    2. The information about approximate (or precise) time of shipment and a tracking number. This is the most important part of the email. You should inform your customers when they are going to receive their purchase and provide the links to online services that allow track the package on its way;

    3. If you reply to a request to restore or reset a password provide the new account information in the email (e.g. if a new account is created). This will show a potential customer that you value them.

    How to configure transactional emails

    In order to configure the emails you will need to go to the admin panel and find the section for Transactional emails. Open it and you will see a window in which you can change the standard form of configuration of the emails.

    1. Create a new template for your emails. In the ‘Template’ drop-down menu choose the type of email you need, e.g. ‘New order’.

    2. Click ‘Upload template’.

    In the template window that appears you can add the necessary HTML code. Many specialists recommend using a text with minimal amount of images, otherwise users with low internet speed will not be able to open an email or read it to the end. In the section ‘Template styles’ you can add the style you like most. You can experiment on that, of course, but make sure that the text and background colors are not too bright, as well as headers, or the email may look too defiant. When you finish the edition of your transactional email, save the changes and move to the main page of the admin panel.

    Now you need to configure the emails. Go to Configuration – Sales – Emails. You need the ‘orders’ section, choose your template from the drop-down list and make the necessary changes.

    Make sure that your web store sends shipment confirmation emails to customers. Go to Configuration – Sales – Emails – Delivery. Choose the necessary delivery template from the drop-down and edit it as you need.

    The similar steps are used to configure password reset emails. Go back to Configuration, then move to Clients - Client configuration, choose the password settings configuration and set your template for that situation.

    In order to inform customers that they have created an account in your store, make the following steps:

    1. Go to Configuration tab;

    2. Locate ‘Customer configuration’ on the left-side panel and click on it;

    3. Then go to the account settings;

    4. Choose the necessary email from the drop-down and save the settings.

    In that way, you can make any transactional email individual and good-looking with minimal HTML knowledge. Please also note that the emails which correspond to their web store design in their style and colors are much more successful and better accepted by customers, as they understand at once from where the email comes.

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

    If you do not wish or do not have time to deal with transactional emails related problems in Magento, you may consult with GoMage specialists. Please also share your recommendations regarding the emails configuration in the comments to the article, we will highly appreciate it.

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  • Ranking Factors of Magento

    Ranking Factors of Magento

    Each webmaster is very interested in their site indexing state and its positions in the search results. Many users think that a good PR is enough to have high rating levels, but this is not quite true. We will now review which ranking factors of Magento are used by Google search engine.

    Basic ranking factors

    At the moment, there are over 400 ranking factors in Google search engine, but many of them are still kept secret by the company. It is necessary to not allow unscrupulous webmasters use them in so-called ‘black SEO’. Let us discuss 48 known factors that directly affect the ‘decency’ of your site:

    1. The age of your domain name. This is quite an important parameter that directly affects the level of trust to your site.

    2. Key words in the top-level domain name. Their presence is now less important than it was, say in 2012, but it still plays a significant role.

    3. A key word in the first place in a domain name. The users of many web store SEO forums agree that the sites whose domain names include key words are more relevant than those with ‘hidden’ key words or without them.

    4. The domain registration term. In Google patent document it is said that:

    Valuable (correct) domains are paid for several years in advance, while useless (incorrect) domains are rarely used for more than one year. That is why the domain registration expiry date may be used to determine the level of the site ‘correctness’.

    Key words in subdomains also increase the site relevance.

    5. Domain name history. Each site has its own domain history. For Google it is very important that a hosting server on which your web store is located would not be changing every month or go down due to overload, otherwise the search system can remove your site from its database as a ‘bad’ one.

    6. A domain name exactly matching your site content. If you have a cosmetics store it would be unwise to call it, e.g. “machining facilities”. Exactly Matching Domain can give your store significant advantage compared with your competitors.

    7. Public and private information about a domain name. Do not hide the information about the domain name and its owner, otherwise Google can take it as a challenge, i.e. if you conceal your identity then something is wrong.

    8. Suspicious domain owner. If you have a reputation of a spammer you must get rid of it, otherwise any site registered to your name will be considered as ‘bad’ by the search engine.

    9. Key ranking values on a page level.

    10. A key work in the ‘title’ tag. Never forget to add a key word to this tag, this is very important.

    11. ‘Title’ tab must begin with a key word.

    12. A key word must be present in the ‘description’ line.

    13. A key word in ‘H1’ tag is highlighting of the page header, use bold type or ‘H2’ tag for other keys.

    14. The site key word should appear on the page context and in product descriptions as often as possible. It is important not to spam, but use various word-forms and passages.

    15. It is considered that a longer article represents its topic in a more detailed way. It is recommended to write texts of 3000 and more symbols on your site.

    16. A key word should be represented in the first 100 words of the text.

    17. Watch the density of your key words. There should not be too little of them but do not become a spammer, too. We recommend using a special formula that allows count the percentage of key words in the text. The amount of key words that are present in the text should be divided by the quantity of all words in the text, and then multiplied by 100. The optimal value is up to 5%, but sometimes slight variations are allowed (e.g. in web stores with medical or technical specialization).

    18. Remember about Latent Semantic Indexing. These key queries help the search robots to understand the real meaning of a word, if there are a lot of homonyms in the text, e.g. well (good) – well (from which you take water).

    19. Add LSI in ‘title’ and ‘description’ tags.

    20. The loading speed of an HTML page on your site plays a huge role for such search engines as Google and Bing. Depending on the loading speed the search engines make conclusions about the quality of the site operation, especially on mobile devices.

    21. Do not copy the same content on many site pages, this has a very negative effect on the general system ranking.

    22. If the content has to be repeated on the site due to its theme, use the attribute “Rel=Canonical”.

    23. The loading speed of one page in Google Chrome browser (sometimes Google search engine uses the databases of this browser).

    24. Optimize your images as much as possible, add descriptions and make sure that they have ‘alt’ and ‘title’.

    25. Many webmasters hesitate between uploading all products at once and doing that gradually. We recommend uploading as many products as possible once your store is launched, because the age of each item is very important.

    26. Update your content regularly.

    27. Watch the history of the content update, it should be done strictly on schedule: once a day, once a week, etc.

    28. Use different tables and lists in your articles because, according to Google specialists, this makes the text better readable.

    29. The key word should be located in tags ‘H2’, ‘H3’.

    30. Choose key words and then write texts keeping the direct meaning and word order. E.g. ‘buy washing machine’ is correct while ‘where to buy an automatic mashing machine’ is not.

    31. Help your colleagues and place several links to relevant sites with good parameters on your site.

    32. The content of the sites to which those links direct should be close to your own site content.

    33. There has recently been a rumor that Google is going to release a new filter that would filter out the sites with a lot of orthographical mistakes, so monitor the quality of your product descriptions.

    34. All content much be unique.

    35. Create an additional useful service on your site, e.g. online style master, currency converter, etc.

    36. A large number of ‘do follow’ links significantly reduce the ranking.

    37. Any site should contact media materials.

    38. Count the quantity of internal links to a certain page. The best number is 3-7.

    39. Try to only use direct links.

    40. Remove broken links regularly.

    41. The audience activity is also very important. Give your customers a possibility to write comments and reviews, this will confirm your reputation.

    42. Partners’ links also positively affect your site relevance.

    43. Errors in HTML indicate bad quality of the site, make sure all your code is correct.

    44. It is important to choose a reliable and trustful hosting provider.

    45. Naturally, PageRank is very important. The higher it is the more serious your site it.

    46. Try to make URLs shorter.

    47. Any page on the site must be available within 3 clicks.

    48. Implement ‘search’ functionality on your site.

    Also check Magento SEO Extension which helps you improve the visibility of your store in the search engines' results.

    Of course, these are not all of Magento ranking factors but they are the main ones. If you need a more detailed consultation please consult with GoMage specialists. We will highly appreciate your opinion regarding the ranking factors, please leave comment to the article.

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  • Magento mistakes of the beginners

    Magento mistakes of the beginners

    If you wish to start your online business and open a web store the easiest way is to use Magento platform. But many beginners make mistakes at first, and then deal with their consequences in the process of the site implementation. Here we offer to review the errors most frequently made by Magento beginners.

    Uploading files

    It seems to be easy at first sight: download the necessary Magento package, install it on your site and begin to work. But, this is where the first sticking point is hidden. Most of novice users upload files via FTP while it would be much faster and more convenient to use such service as Magento download.

    Out of habit, many Magento programmers use FTP to work with it, as well as with dozens of other systems. But you should not forget that Magento is a unique system by all parameters. Working through FTP you will not only lose a lot of time but you also may upload files in a wrong order or miss some files while uploading.

    Design and development

    The second most widely spread mistake of beginners is trying to develop design and extensions for Magento by themselves. GoMage offers our customers the most necessary extensions, consultations and other services that will help you to avoid mistakes. Here is why you should not start changing design at once:

    1. First of all, you need to learn as much as possible about Magento templates;

    2. Then, you should read the full version of Magento Designers Guide which is available for download on Magento site;

    3. And finally, if you try making modifications to default files no one will guarantee that your web store will function properly after that. In the future, this may globally affect the amount of customers, orders processing, indexing, etc.

    The easiest way to create a new theme is to copy the files of the necessary theme into the root catalog of the existing template. But that is also incorrect, you simply need to copy the necessary files from /design/frontend/default/default/ into /design/frontend/default/MAGENTO_NEW_THEME and then do the same at /skin/frontend/default/default/.

    Now all you need to do is save the modifications and enable the new theme. For that, go to the admin panel, then to System->Configuration-> Design. Then follow the instructions.

    The main and the worst mistake is modification of eCommerce Magento Platform core files. They include all files located at app/code/core. If you still need to change something there, perform the following actions before that:

    1. Create copies of all files that are going to be modified;

    2. Create a full backup copy of your site.

    All these points are extremely important, because after incorrectly made code modifications some web site functions may stop working, from multiple languages to upgrades installation.

    The installation of upgrade

    This is a very painful process for many Magento webmasters. The most important is that you need to install all released versions in their correct order, you cannot jump from version 1.6 to version 1.9, for example. Otherwise you will put your business at risk. We strongly recommend you to consult with GoMage specialists in such cases, you may write comments or email us directly.

    The choice of hosting

    Many beginners look for fast ways to make more money and due to that sometimes choose the cheapest hosting providers. This is a big mistake. A Magento-based web store needs specific server requirements to be met, so the choice of hosting is one of the key factors you must pay attention to. It is necessary to find the best variant that will be appropriate for all requirements of your online store.

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  • Penguin 3.0

    Penguin 3.0

    At the end of August 2014 Google search engine informed all website owners that a new algorithm would be released soon, which is called Penguin 3.0. Let us review what kind of filter that is and what webmasters should expect, also how to avoid being banned by the search system.

    What is the peculiarity of Penguin?

    Penguin is a new-generation filter from Google. Its work is directed to location and elimination of websites which use so-called ‘black SEO’ for their optimization. The ‘Black SEO’ includes the following:

    1. Cloaking;

    2. Corrupted, infected or spam-like links to your site from other resources, which are often used to increase the site rating in the search results;

    3. A lot of advertizing links from your site.

    According to statistics, such updates usually take place on Friday – Saturday. Since the announcement was made by Google at the end of August, we should expect the new algorithm implemented in late September – early October period.

    Most of web sites’ and stores’ administrators did not worry too much before, especially if they were not using the optimization ways of so-called ‘black SEO’. But Google has recently banned two most popular European link markets which is a very bad sign even for the most conscientious webmasters.

    Why is it dangerous

    Most likely, your web store will be thrown into the end of the search results list, your ratings will fall and the volume of visits will reduce. Sometimes, more strict measures are taken: stop of your site indexing, removal from Google advertizing network, etc. For a simple site with informative content this may not be a big problem, but for a Magento web store it may become critically important.

    Why Penguin was launched

    It will soon be one year since the last Google PR update took place. Despite the rumors that PR will shortly be cancelled, we should note that launching of Penguin is a clear sign that ranging is going to be reviewed. In other words, the search engine wants to filter out bad sites or those which used to be good but lost their positions, and place more interesting and useful resources in their place.

    We cannot say that it is bad. In any case, all webmasters work for the profit of their customers and users. However, it is useful to know how to protect your site from Penguin:

    1. Check all links that direct to your site and from your site, regardless of whether or not they are being indexed. This is very important. Remove unnecessary links, clean your site from broken ones;

    2. Check your links using audit-check on corresponding trustful sites. Make sure that each link corresponds to Google regulation. You can find it in the Google Webmasters guide;

    3. Check the functionality and the volume of visits on your store every day using special services. This is necessary to see and resolve any functionality problems and eliminate them at once. Also monitor the amount of visits considering possible season characteristics of your business;

    4. Do not work with link markets. After they were scandalously closed many users doubt the quality of links they provide. It is better to deal with the site owners directly;

    5. Based on the previous point we should note, that it is now extremely important to control the amount of links used in your site optimization (no matter where they come from). If you experience a sudden grow of visitors who are redirected from other sites this will attract the attention of the search engine. Of course, you can contact the technical support and remove the ban, but this will not compensate your lost time and potential customers.

    By the way, you can check Magento SEO Extension which improves the search engine optimization safely.

    What to do if you have already been caught by Penguin algorithm?

    First of all, stop panicking. This is not the worst of the filters so you have a chance. Review your links profile using special services. Avoid frequent usage of the same key words in your anchor list. If there are a lot of sites directing to yours with similar anchors, you should work on tempering of your external URLs anchor list. Failure to comply with this requirement may serve as a reason for taking more strict measures against your site. It is possible that you will have to wait for some time. Thirdly, check how many months left before it expires (even if you have done everything correctly by this time. Fourthly, contact specialists in order to get the individual recommendations.

    In his last statement, John Mueller said that the algorithm is going to be updated every 10-12 months, so be attentive.

    If you know other ways to avoid the attention of Penguin 3.0 filter please share them in comments to this article. If necessary, GoMage specialists can help you to analyze your site and locate corrupted links.

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  • How to install Magento on Denwer by yourself

    How to install Magento on Denwer by yourself

    Development of a web store on your own is not an easy task, especially for an inexperienced programmer. Let us review how to install Magento on Denwer, some frequently made installation mistakes and ways of their resolution.

    General information

    The installation of Magento to Denwer is not very different from the installation of Wordpress and other similar CMS. But you should understand that there may be some difficulties.

    Denwer is software that allows creating a local website on your computer for its configuration and development, and then uploading the ready site to the Internet. In other words, it is a whole set of various distributions that make it possible to perform full programming development on a local computer. This software has very wide possibilities, and besides, it is free. Another important advantage of Denwer in comparison with other programs is a possibility to install a site on a flash card, and then copy and configure it on other computers. For the moment, such option is only provided by this software.

    Most problems that appear during the installation of Magento to Denwer are caused by the fact that this software is very sensitive to the server parameters. You should pay attention that not all software will be suitable to work with Magento. Even browsers should be carefully selected.

    Step-by-step installation of Magento to Denwer

    1. Download the necessary Magento package from its official site;

    2. Download Denwer from its official site and do not forget to get the Denver extension modules, as well;

    3. Install the software to your computer;

    4. Here comes the most difficult part of the work: configuration of php5 and MySQL. When the software is installed on your computer, enable two php modules for it – mcrypt and curl. Go to php5 folder which is located at denwer/usr/local, there should be two files - libmcrypt.dll (note that php core has been added in version 5.3 so this file may be absent) and php_curl.dll. Now open php.ini and enable the line ‘extension=php_curl.dll’ (remove the semicolon symbol). Then do the same with ‘extension=php_mcrypt.dll’ (don’t forget about the version 5.3 with php file);

    5.Magento is a system of web stores development which only supports MySQL in InnoDB mode, so you need to put the symbol # in the beginning of the line ‘skip-innodb’ in file denwer/usr/local/mysql5/my.cnf (or /my.ini). Do not forget to do that or there will be a conflict between the system and the database. Magento will be simply not installed to Denwer;

    6. Install and use PhpMyAdmin to create a new database user and database;

    7. It’s time to unzip Magento archive. After it is extracted, move the files to denwer/home/test.loc folder and make sure you do not miss any files.

    8. Copy the URL http://test.loc/magento/install/ and paste it into a browser address bar, then open the page. If the browser cannot open that page, try to add the line ‘ test.loc’ in the end of Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file;

    9. Localize the files in the system. If you do not use English then you will need to configure the language parameters separately. In that case you will need to perform localization manually;

    10. Enter the parameters of the new database you have created;

    11. Enter the data for the store administrator;

    12. Check how your installation and configuration works.

    To test your environment, use the URLs http://test.loc/magento or http://test.loc/magento/admin. The former one is the store frontend and the latter one is the backend.

    If you wish to consult with GoMage specialists regarding the installation of Magento to Denwer, please leave your comments to the article or contact us directly by email. We will also appreciate your recommendations and advise regarding the issues you experienced during the installation of this software on your local server and their possible solutions.

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