Magento Themes and Magento Extensions

Magento adding you own custom RSS Feeds

Posted on December 15th, 2012 | Posted by admin

You know you will need, before or after, to add your own custom RSS feeds to your Magento.
For example, I needed to create some custom RSS Feeds to list bestseller products by date (bestseller weekly, monthly, etc…)
How to do it? It’s quite complex but not so much if you follow this mini tutorial:

First of all, you need to setup a new namespace directory under your “local” dir, this will overwrite your current RSS Mage methods but not all.

So, create your directory app/local/Simplicissimus/Rss. (change Simplicissimus with your own Namespace and change it everywhere)

Create inside it the following directories:

  • Block
  • Block/Catalog
  • controllers
  • etc

Starting with the configuration XML, you need to create a file etc/config.xml like this:

Magento – Display the SKU on a Product Page

Posted on December 10th, 2012 | Posted by admin

Magento’s default theme doesn’t display the SKU on the product page. This is a pretty easy modification to get this working properly.

In whichever theme you’re using, in the file template/catalog/product/view.phtml, add the line:

<?php echo $this->htmlEscape($_product->getSku()) ?>

Here’s a few lines of my view.phtml to give you some context:

Magento: How to add an image for a custom widget in the admin wysiwyg

Posted on December 8th, 2012 | Posted by admin

Magento: How to add an image for a custom widget in the admin wysiwyg

This is just a quick How-to, I do not detail how to create a new widget.

All you need to do is add a gif with the correct file name to the following directory:

Now, to name the gif. In you widgets.xml file you set the widget “type”, which is the block class for the widget. Just replace the “/” slash with a double underscore and that is the file name. so if I had a widget with the type set to “custommodule/wigets_customwidget” I just create a gif with the name “custommodule__wigets_customwidget.gif”.

End result:

Improve Magento Sales With Better Search Results

Posted on December 7th, 2012 | Posted by admin

While attending the Best eCommerce Tests webinar recently hosted by Anne Holland at, she referenced a Marketing Sherpa study about the behaviors of on-site searchers.  A few key takeaways from those studies:

  • Searching has become the predominant method for users to find products on websites.  While navigation tools and site architecture are almost equally important, more and more, consumers are using your on-site search to find what they are looking for quickly.
  • Searchers are almost twice as likely to convert as non-searchers in a given visit.
  • More often than not, a vertical listing format on the search results page converts better than a grid layout.

Suffice it to say, the search results page on an eCommerce site is something that is of high importance and something that deserves your attention.  Specifically, I want to cover how you can improve the performance of your site search within Magento Commerce– although the tactics can be applied to any eCommerce platform with similar capabilities – but Magento has some fundamental, out of box features to help  you improve your search results.


Posted on November 29th, 2012 | Posted by admin

The last couple of weeks I have been building an e-commerce website using open source software Magento. The most important factor about Magento is the ability to change absolutely anything in the code to suit your own requirements meaning anything is possible.

The one problem with this is the well-known steep learning curve that comes along with the software where even the simplest of tasks become hours worth of online investigation. The lack of one-to-one support results in the scouring of  forums, chat rooms and blog posts until you find your answer, which when people have their own problems to deal with, can mean that help is not top of anyone’s priority.

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