Witty and insightful observations on the world? Sorry to disappoint, this is a techie blog purely for self reference - published online in the hope it will help others!

Magento integration with Payment Sense

I recently had a client who decided to change their mind at the last minute and go for Payment Sense as their payment services provider for their Magento installation. No problem, Payment Sense have developed and released their own module for Magento, they have their own variants of the payment methods (similar to the others ie Direct, Form and a Server-Server method they call transparent redirect). It was really easy to install, as I normally download the tarball rather than pulling the PEAR package in via Magento Connect. Uploaded it and it was installed fine. Only gotchas were that the user name and passwords I was initially using were completely wrong - you need to login to your MMS panel ... Read more

Sagepay – Sanctioned Countries

I always forget where I've filed these. When you are setting up a Magento store you have to set up the list of Allowed Countries. Do you want to ship to Tokelau, the South Sandwich Islands or Wallis and Futuna?? I don't know, I've never even heard of any of those places but that doesn't mean they should be struck off the list. Maybe there are a whole gang of bored, rich people living in the capital of the South Sandwich Islands who like nothing better than to spend vast sums on internet shopping (OK, just checked on Wikipedia - it's got no native population...Magento, I think we can safely remove that one). Anyway, some payment services have ... Read more

Heavily Customised Magento

This is more of a general post relating to Magento and e-commerce development than a Magento technical post. In the past week I've been involved on one capacity or another with two big Magento sites that have been heavily customised to suit the particular needs of the two clients. I'm not going to name either of them because both sites have been a bit of a disaster. In both cases I was involved reasonably early on - in one case I took over from the initial developer who didn't have a clue and handed on to a bigger Magento agency to handle the custom work, in the other case I just did the Wordpress work for it. Now ... Read more

Magento Breadcrumbs in phtml file

Breadcrumbs in Magento. OK, first issue is that it's not as obvious as it might seem - for a start a product can exist in more than one category, so for any given product URL there is no way to know which the 'best' or most appropriate breadcrumbs trail is. There are a few great resources on it. First one is this thread - what a classic, some really great input from 3 or 4 developers here that will teach anyone reading it how to set up their own module. http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/176389/ Handy tip on it all the way from Kathmandu on the code to add to your template phtml files; http://blog.chapagain.com.np/magento-easily-add-breadcrumbs-to-any-page/ To save you reading it, it's this ;-) ... Read more

Magento SagePay Server Integration

Thought it would be worth posting about this. I'm just polishing off a site, they are using SagePay as their payment processor so I'm using the Server-Server integration method to do it. How frustrating, could not get the order to process, every time I got to the final stage it returned; Tearing my hair out - "This doesn't even make sense!" thought I. A RedirectionURL? There's no section for including a redirection url in the ... Read more

Magento url and skin url for templates

When you're working with CMS templates you don't want to hardcode any urls because when you move it from the development server to the live one you have to go through and change them all again. And then when they move it from the .co.uk to the .com you go through and do it all again. In Wordpress you can add in the following in-built method to automatically output the base url for the site; And for your base url of the active template; So what are the Magento equivalents? Base url; So to access the jQuery.1.7.2.min.js file in the JS directory it would be; And skin url; Read more

Adding the top.phtml navigation in a Magento CMS Page

Sometimes it can be pretty frustrating trying to remember how to do something (start a blog like this - that's what I do, these posts are for my benefit, if anyone else reads them it's a bonus!). Like simply calling the top menu in Magento from a CMS page. I'm doing a Magento site which has the navigation in the home rendered differently from the rest of the site. Simple task, but I couldn't off the top of my head remember the block type. Try Googling it, if you find it quickly you are doing better than me. Anyway here it is, it was just catalog/navigation (D'oh). Simple, no need for a custom navigation template at all. {{block ... Read more

Pinterest WordPress RSS Widget in IE7

This is one of those painful IE7 tribulations (how much has Microsoft cost developers over the years with their awful browsers? - Answers on a postcard). Plugged it in and all working, then I realise during testing at the end that the thumbs are not being properly hidden in IE, despite the overflow on the parent div being set to hidden and the width and height specified inline via the Javascript. Teary hairy for about and an hour and a half trying everything, Les Aubery at Big Bang sorted it in about two minutes. The parent div might have had it's overflow set to hidden, but the CSS wasn't using it because the image itself had ... Read more

Magento – Bulk Coupons and URL rewrites

I did the development work for the 2012 Queens Diamond Jubilee site, a Magento and Wordpress combination for Igniyte in Shipley (as I write I'm planning to do a case study about it, I'll make a note to come back and link to it here when I'm done). The site has been live for 5 months now and it's been really successful, shipping a lot of products globally and generally performing really well. Well enough that the mighty Vodafone decided to do a tie in with the site and offer a selection of products to their customers free. They needed: Free product cost and free delivery on one list of products. I needed to generate coupons in bulk, ... Read more