Development How Tos

Order product list on your homepage in Magento

Jun 3, 2011

I recently found that having worked out how to place a cateogry of products on the homepage of my Magento site I wanted to specify the order that those products were listed in. Mainly this was because I was hiding the standard Magento toolbars, so the customer could not do this themselves. The first place I started looking was the system configuration menu, see below. This seemed like a promising place to start with the dropdown for “Product Listing Sort by”.

How to Reorder your Magento Footer Links and A Walkthrough the Magento Layout/Template System

May 25, 2011

I have built a number of Magento sites and have managed to avoid the awkward question of setting the order of the footer links, here I describe how it can be done with some extra explanation into how Magento makes it all happen. First let me explain where the links are in the Magento structure, so you can add, edit or remove them from the footer links. The links are added into the page in the template/page/html/footer.phtml file, where there are two links – usually your template will have one called footer_links and a second one called something like cms_footer_links.

Magento Error SQLSTATE[28000] [1045] Access denied for user "username"@"localhost" (using password: YES)

May 20, 2011

I have fallen foul of this error a couple of times now and it is tricky to find the correct information online to fix the problem. It seems there are two obvious situations where this error occurs and depending on your version of Magento, or exactly what you did then there are three simple things to check to fix it and get your Magento site back up and running. It is worth mentioning at this point that you can always get back to your system by renaming your local.xml file and hitting your homepage.

Update: Translations Specific To Your Magento Theme

May 19, 2011

I recently wrote an article explaining how to add arbitrary translations to your Magento site using an empty plugin to allow you to attach a translations csv file. You can read the original here: [Custom translations file in Magento][1] Anyway, this is all well and good if you are adding text to your plugin or suite of Magento plugins that need to be translated. Of course, if this is the case then you already have a plugin to put the translations in but hopefully my post explains how that is done.

Rails – you think it is a POST but really it is a PUT

May 17, 2011

I just came across an odd situation in Ruby on Rails where I was working on a fairly complicated form where sometimes you displayed and were editing an existing record, but sometimes you were displaying a blank form and creating a new one. This all worked when I originally was just creating a new record each time but when I also allowed for users to update the data using the same form I hit a problem.

Setting number of columns on Magento search results

May 12, 2011

I have been recently working on a Magento template that required plenty of changes to the product lists and grids and some way down the line I realised that the search results weren’t playing by the rules. In the catalogsearch layout file an action called addColumnCountLayoutDepend to set the number of columns depending on the template that is being used. Obviously you want to show more columns in the search results if you have the space to do so.

Display Category Descriptions, Tag Descriptions and Author Bio’s in WordPress

May 6, 2011

Most WordPress templates don’t seem to support displaying the descriptions for categories, tags and the author bio’s. Here is a quick explanation of how you add that information into your WordPress admin and then how to change your templates to display it. The main reason for wanting to do this is simply to provide a little extra supplementary information on lots of your blogs pages – but it may also have some benefit for SEO as well.

Magento enable cookies displayed when you already have cookies enabled

Apr 28, 2011

This is a strange problem that has cropped up on Magento sites I have been building a couple of times now. There seem to be plenty of people with a similar problem, so I figured it was worth casting it out onto the Internet in the hope somebody might find it useful. This only happens on your dev/test server. Symptom You have been developing your Magento website using Firefox but when you view it in Chrome or Internet Explorer Magento tells you that you need to enable cookies.

Magento: Setting columns and limiting products shown in grid

Apr 15, 2011

I recently started experimenting with creating my own page templates and using the layout update XML to add content into the page. This works well for more complicated page designs and is particularly suitable for the homepage or landing pages. I did hit a minor snag however and that was when I added a product list or grid I couldn’t see how to specify the number of columns the grid should contain.

Add a new Magento CMS Template

Apr 14, 2011

I usually try and stick to the standard Magento templates where possible. The 3 column, 2 column left and right and single column layouts are nicely put together and it gives enough flexibility for most sites. I have recently been dealing with sites with landing pages that follow a single design layout but that are a bit too complicated to build from scratch each time using the single column template. So, I wondered how simple would it be to create my own template file that I can use for CMS pages, with dedicated blocks for different areas of the page.