Archive for May, 2010

Who Owns Your Domain?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Your domain name is your online identity, so you should be certain you have ownership. Do you?

When you register a domain name through a registrar such as Network Solutions, GoDaddy, or Register.com, you go through a process of registration in which you are the owner of the domain name. Read More →

Whos Searching for You?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

(by the way, we can tell you)
Searching for You

Right now people are looking for you. It doesn’t matter what you offer, the fact is that somewhere someone is searching for you. Now. The question is: Are they finding you? Read More →

Converting Visitors

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Converting Traffic

Converting visitors isn’t rocket science, but it’s close. Look, the average conversion rate for websites is a pathetic 2.6%. Like all averages, this includes the high (catalog sites convert at over 6%) and the low (electronics: 1.1%). (Note that these numbers are likely skewed, because the source is a high-end Website Analytics company who’s customers are big-budget companies). Read More →

Magento 1.6 Theming Admin Pages

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Creating an Admin Theme to match your frontend

As it turns out, this is simple. Here’s the steps:
1) Look in skin/adminhtml/default – inside the folder, you will see another folder titled default
2) Copy that folder, and rename it to match the name of your frontend themes (for example, “cooltheme”)
3) Modify the boxes.css and images to your liking
Read More →

How to Move Zen Cart to a New Server

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Moving Zen Cart is a regular part of my job description.  I do it often enough that I thought it might be useful to share how to do it for others:

  1. Using FTP, copy your entire Zen Cart Directory from the current server to your local computer
  2. Using FTP, copy your entire Zen Cart Directory to the new server
  3. Export the Zen Cart database from your current server
  4. Import the Zen Cart database to the new server

Now things get interesting.  There’s a few adjustments that need to be made both to the database and to the configure.php files:

Note: There are TWO configure files – one is in includes/configure.php, and the other is in admin/includes/configure.php

First, we will address the admin includes file.

In this example, the installation is in a directory titled shop.  If you were to visit the site, the url would be http://www.mydomain.com/shop.

Open it in your favorite editor, and look for these lines:

define('HTTP_SERVER', 'http://www.mydomain.com/shop');
define('HTTPS_SERVER', 'https://www.mydomain.com/shop');
define('HTTP_CATALOG_SERVER', 'http://www.mydomain.com');
define('HTTPS_CATALOG_SERVER', 'https://www.mydomain.com');

In these lines, it’s fairly clear what needs to be done: replace mydomain.com with the new domain name.

Now look for this line:

define('DIR_FS_CATALOG', '/home/yourname/public_html/shop/');

This one can be a bit trickier.  Basically, you have to find out what your new path is to your installation.  Then, you need to replace the path above with your new path.

Then, look for this line:

define('DIR_FS_SQL_CACHE', '/home/yourname/public_html/shop/cache');

Last thing in the admin configure.php file is this:
Finally, we need to deal with the database settings. Look for these lines:

define('DB_SERVER', 'localhost');
  define('DB_SERVER_USERNAME', 'caleberg_racetec');
  define('DB_SERVER_PASSWORD', '123racetech456 ');
  define('DB_DATABASE', 'caleberg_racetech_zen');

Change them to your new host database settings.

Then, FTP this file up to your new server, replacing the admin/includes/configure.php file.

Then Edit the includes/configure.php File

Look for these lines:

define('HTTP_SERVER', 'http://www.mydomain.com');
define('HTTPS_SERVER', 'https://www.mydomain.com');
define('HTTP_CATALOG_SERVER', 'http://www.mydomain.com');
define('HTTPS_CATALOG_SERVER', 'https://www.mydomain.com');

Just like with the other configure file, replace mydomain.com with the new domain name.

Now look for this line:

define('DIR_FS_CATALOG', '/home/yourname/public_html/shop/');

Again, the change is like the other configure file.

Then, look for this line:

define('DIR_FS_SQL_CACHE', '/home/yourname/public_html/shop/cache');

Finally, we need to deal with the database settings. Look for these lines:

define('DB_SERVER', 'localhost');
  define('DB_SERVER_USERNAME', 'caleberg_racetec');
  define('DB_SERVER_PASSWORD', '123racetech456 ');
  define('DB_DATABASE', 'caleberg_racetech_zen');

Change them to match your new server’s database information.

Upload this file to your new server, replacing the includes/configure.php file.

Last thing to do is to update your session key. The Zen Cart team has created a utility that makes it simple – go here and download it, and follow their instructions: Fix Cache Key tool and instructions.

Magento 1.6 Theming Error Pages

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Over the past few years, I’ve had the mixed blessing of working with Magento.  It’s a spectacularly powerful open source ecommerce platform.  As a developer, I get to roll around in the dirty underbelly of this monster, and have learned more than a few things the hard way.

Recently, a client requested that the error page be themed to match the rest of the site.  (As an aside, this same client asked that the admin login be themed earlier.  At that time I told them no, but I’ve decided I’ll take that on soon.  I’m hoping it won’t be too bad!)

So, when I Googled Magento Error Page Theme, I didn’t find any current or relevant results.  They all pertained to older versions of Magento, and were not quite accurate.

To help anyone else out there who would like to theme their Magento Error page, I’ve put this together.  Magento has made it fairly easy, so here goes:

In your Magento installation, you will find a folder called errors.  Open that folder up.

Inside you will find a folder titled “default”. Copy it, and rename the copy to your theme name – for this example, lets use “customtheme”

In the errors folder, you will find several files.  The Magento team has been kind enough to give us a sample local.xml file titled local.xml.sample.  Change this file name to local.xml

Now open the local.xml file you just created, and edit the <skin>default</skin> setting to be the name of your custom folder you created above (in this example, “customtheme”)

Finally, open up the files inside of “customtheme” and edit them to your liking. The code that displays the image can be found in page.phtml, and the styles are in css/styles.css

That’s it. You can test them by browsing to them directly: http://www.example.com/errors/report.php, http://www.example.com/errors/404.php, etc.