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Layout handles in magento design

I recently helped debug an issue in Magento where a block wasn’t being added for the Index action of a custom controller. As our usual weapon of choice Alan Storms commerce bug wasn’t installed finding out why the block wasn’t being added to the layout was a little difficult. To solve this I had a look a the layout object from the controller

$this->getLayout()
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Magento SEO Advice

Magento SEO Advice

We’ve been developing Magento websites for the past 4 years, we’ve learnt alot about getting your store to rank well in search engines organically. Out of the box it’s an eCommerce system that is setup for being listed high in SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) which really does make all the difference to the number of visitors finding your site from a search. So what does it do well and how can it be improved?

Here are some of the the things that Magento does well and where it possibly benefits over some other eCommerce systems

  •  Correct use of header tags and page structure (I’m referring to the default themes so be careful as some cheap themes avaialble to purchase might not be!)
  •  Ability to control meta data and page titles
  •  Google sitemap generation ( when turned on! )
  •  Clean SEO urls no strange characters or unnecessary numbers/codes
  •  Use of Image alt tags (When correctly set)
  •  Set canonical urls for products that appear in multiple categories.
  • Plus many more..
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Showing Products in a Magento Mega Menu

Showing Products in a Magento Mega Menu

It can be difficult finding creative ways to promote products on your ecommerce site, I’m sure most retailers would benefit from pushing sales of certain products. Trying to do this while keeping a site easily to navigate is sometimes difficult, I was recently asked to implement featured products into the drop down menu of a Magento site. Magento’s menu generating code is pretty straight foward and with a bit of careful coding you can insert some extra markup in the right places to allow a different product to be shown in each dropdown area.

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Paypal Hosted Payments Pro Fix for Magento

Paypal Hosted Payments Pro Fix for Magento

After recently trying to enable Paypal’s ‘Hosted Payments Pro’ payment method in a Magento 1.6 install, I ran into an issue where the checkout wouldn’t procced past clicking the “Place Order” button. I tried this both on the Acumen template that was installed and all base/default themes and still had the same problem.

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Appointment Management System

Appointment Management System

We’ve just finished implementing an appointment booking and management system for a clients Joomla site, after looking into a number of possible components we choose Appointment Booking Pro by Softventures, this system includes a wide range of excellent features including a full mobile app for booking and mangement. Integrated with Paypal for instant payment of appoinments book this covered all requriements for the clients site and just required us to implement it and customize to their exact needs.

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