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!

Enabling and using ImageMagick in PHP on Plesk 11

I am currently building a configurator in Magento - it's a native configurator using Magento's custom options on a simple product coupled with some javascript which I've coded up on separate custom product/view-custom.phtml and product/view/media-custom.phtml templates (applied to a specific product using this technique -> http://prattski.com/2010/11/04/magento-use-different-template-files-for-specific-products/). The concept is simple enough but I have had to create a script to generate all the images. I've used PEAR Math Combinatorics to handle all the images configurations but that involved enabling ImageMagick on the server. What a struggle that's been. Honestly, I couldn't be a server admin, desperate stuff. Anyway..... Maybe this might help some other poor unfortunate like myself a few frustrating hours. Read more

Magento: Remove all toplinks via local.xml

If you Google trying to fin out the best way to remove all the toplinks from the masthead of your Magento store you will be presented with a rash of different options on how and how not to do it. As always with Magento, there's a number of ways to skin a cat - some of the ones I found ranged from easy and efficient to completely ludicrous. Particularly ott are the ones suggesting it be done by modifying template files, but you also see suggestions about modifying/overriding multiple layout files, or disabling modules through the Advanced system config menu in the backend. You don't need to do any of that, your theme (should) have it's own local.xml file, you can ... Read more

Setting up WordPress Subdomain Multisite in Hetzner Plesk 11

For anybody using a Hetzner VPS running Plesk 11 who needs to install Wordpress Multisite in wildcard subdomain mode - this post is for you :) (and indeed me, when I come to do it again and can't remember how I got it working in the first instance). There is quite a well written and extensive post in the Codex about getting the wordpress multisite setup; http://codex.wordpress.org/Configuring_Wildcard_Subdomains_for_multi_site_under_Plesk_Control_Panel First of all you need your DNS setup on the main domain being used for the install. I'll be honest here, I've never quite got my head around the Hetzner robot and it's relationship with the DNS records set in Plesk so I tend to go for a belt and braces approach to things and ... Read more

Magento admin dashboard 404 with multiple store

Exactly what is says in the title. When you have multiple store views or store groups you login to the admin and instead of the dashboard you get a 404 panel (in the main admin content section - the same thing you get when you install a module and don't logout/login again); This happens irrespective of whether you add the store codes to the URLs in System -> Configuration -> General -> Web. Although, if you logout and log back in again it doesn't happen which makes me think it is also related to the cookie expiration. This is one of those really annoying ones where I knew I'd solved it before ... Read more

MAGMI – Image import

I've been using the mighty MAGMI to speed up importing a Magento catalog that has a lot of configurable products and MAGMI has been doing a great job of it. Just run into one issue though with respect to the images. MAGMI has an Image attributes processor option in the Itemprocessors section at the bottom; This lets you rename images, overwrite images, pull in remote images, add them as 'Extra Product Images', determine whether they are the Base, Small or Thumbnail, exclude them.... http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/magmi/index.php?title=Image_attributes_processor ...however it doesn't actually appear to let you resize them (unless I'm doing something wrong - answers on a postcard). So after my massive import I realise ... Read more

TimThumb.php – 500 Internal Server Error

I haven't been using TimThumb for my dynamic image resizing and cropping for a while now. There is a good script by the guy called Syamil who runs Aqua Graphite that uses the Wordpress built in functions -> you can see it here; http://themeforest.net/forums/thread/aqua-resizer-resize-wordpress-images-on-the-fly/64990 I've seen it incorporated into a few commercial Wordpress themes. There's also this one by Matthew Ruddy which I really like; http://matthewruddy.github.com/Wordpress-Timthumb-alternative/ These methods are great - you can say good bye to the description in a metabox or your docs saying 'use an image XXpx wide and YYpx high' to the client (who probably doesn't have a clue how to resize and optimise images using ... Read more

Magento Community vs Enterprise Editions

I thought I would copy out and publish this - it's actaully from a series of emails to a new client which took place last December. He decided to use Magento as he wanted to use the Synoptive product configurator. However, he didn't know anything about Magento and being a very diligent and experienced project manager he didn't just Google it, he phoned them up. In his reply to me he said; I have initiated discussions with Magento and hope to get more information this week. For the size of company we are Magento Go is the obvious and clear winner over Magento Enterprise. Hmm..... Seems the Magento rep must have forgotten to mention Magento Community Edition, lol! We've all ... Read more

Magento – Hide content based on IP address

This post will be useful to anybody who has been asked to hide or display Magento content (specifically prices and add to cart stuff) based on visitor IP. As a kickoff you can read my initial Stackoverflow question on it. I can't say who the client was (NDA) in this case but here's the synopsis; They are a UK based manufacturer and they don't want to compete with their worldwide supply chain, so they want; 1. All users with IPs originating in North America get redirected to a totally different website (non-Magento, nothing to do with me) ideally with a redirect message. 2. All user with IPs originating anywhere other than North America, The UK and ... Read more

Magento on PHP upgrade from 5.2.11 to 5.2.17

I've got a VPS which was running PHP 5.2.11 and I decided to upgrade it as; A: There wasn't any massive changes between those versions and B: The Magento minimum system requirements as of right now are 5.2.13 to 5.3.15 Ideally I would have upgraded the whole box to 5.3 but there is an old 1.3 Magento installation on it with a good client who has no scope to upgrade things right now. I've been advised by the hosts Nublue that it just won't work on 5.3 so for the moment we have an interim upgrade. Wasn't really expecting any massive problems but this is Magento we are talking about here. ... Read more

Magento – Deleted Shop view causes Category 404

Right, that is the best title I can come up with so that any poor soul who was struggling with what I've just been struggling with can hopefully find this and get some answers. There wasn't much else out there on this that I could find. Magento Website/Store Name/Store View issues. One of the biggest selling points of Magento is the ability to run what, from the outside, look like multiple e-commerce installations all from the same base installation. By this we mean different stores which can look totally different, possibly have different urls but can also potentially share a cart, share account details, promotional info, customer groups. All good stuff. I've just completed a site that used ... Read more