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Important Magento Resources - links

Joel Reinke - Monday, May 14, 2012

Here is a collection of important links for Magento that I personally use as my bookmarks/favorites.  They are meant more for designers and developers and are a handy bunch of resources:

  • Web Design
    • Magento
      • Important Note: I've been using Business Catalyst for longer than I've been using Magento.  The main reason I started using Magento is because I took on a client who was using Magento and I was able to customize it for him based on my knowledge of PHP.  Business Catalyst has proven to be much more easily designable than Magento but I have found various situations where a client will want some deep customization that can't be done in BizCat and that's where Magento can come in.  So each has its place. :) Also eCommerce for Wordpress can be nice for some simpler store setups (more later)
      • Make Magento Theme from Scratch - this is probably the best written guide to getting started with designing in Magento
      • Customer Groups Extention for Magento - this unlocks a lot of Magento's potential by allowing access to only certain user groups (like Wholesalers vs. General Public)
      • Importing Newsletter Subscribers - points out that this is just like importing Customers, which is different from previous versions of Magento
      • Intro to Magento Development - a good start
      • Creating Custom Fields - without any development, you can add new Fields to products in Magento, this is a nice feature that makes a difference over other eCommerce systems.
      • Moving the Site (Test to Live) - please note, this didn't work very well.  I find it hard to move the site in Magento which is a detractor.  It would be better to create a test site and a production site and modularly move components over and then move over data... this is my point in bringing this link up for now, hopefully better info/methods will come along.
      • Magento: How to show products on Home page - it is not the default so knowing how to do this is good.  Fairly easy.
      • Move Magento to another Server - using SSH, not just a lite move.  This is the better way to try to move Magento, but still wasn't adaptable to moving it from one directory to another.  Still working on that.
      • Affordable Magento Hosting with an Upgrade Path - looks to be a good way to go (Please note: I have not worked with this company at this point and do not vouch for them - it just seems like a logical type of host for Magento)
      • Magento Cloud Hosting - add cloud flexibility to the equation. Also have not tried but looks good.
      • Another Magento Host - read the subtext: Magento should probably not be run on a shared hosting type account, its too memory/processor intensive!  Unless its just a casual store, get a good host! (VPS/VDS or DS or cloud?)
      • Display Category/Subcategory List - I used this as a basis for starting to build a cool, unique navigation structure on a site.  You'd think this stuff would be more natural for a system but its not with Magento.  Not to be down on it, just giving you a realistic impression on what you have to look forward to on Magento. :)
      • Max File Upload Size - one really nice thing on Magento is you can have File Uploads on products sold.  So, for example, someone could send a picture with their purchase and that could be printed on a mug, etc.  I haven't seen this as a standard thing for other eCommerce systems (I haven't tried them all of course).  This link will talk about how to limit the size of the uploads to avoid someone trying to crash the server, etc.  Wow, there's a can of worms.

Web Activity Cycle

joel reinke - Wednesday, September 21, 2011

If you want to have traffic and results online you need Web Activity.  An active site, not a dead one.  It can be hard to know exactly what to do and have reminders to actually do it.  I've thought about this a lot and studied many resources to come up with the "Web Activity Cycle".

It is a resource of knowledge and advice, and its also a mousepad that I designed for keeping these important tasks top-of-mind.  Check it out in my Online Store.

I've put together easy reminders for 10 Weekly and 10 Monthly activities that if done right will grow your online presence.  Some of the suggestions are more standard and others are more advanced and specialized.  In the picture of the product I've blanked out the advice squares so people can't just print it out.  Besides, it works better as a mousepad because its more permanent and is on your desk where you need it.

My advice to you is to order one of these mousepads if you want to keep your existing website or blog getting great traffic.  If you allow it to be a coaching device you can make progress online.