Archive for July, 2013 gets a complete redesign

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Using the gorgeous graphics they created in-house, we’re rolling out the new site in a big way.  Given that the site is visited primarily on mobile devices, we are ensuring that the site looks good on a variety of screen sizes by leveraging responsive design.

Magento Backorders – Complete with Notifications to Customers

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

There’s many articles out there that cover how to enable backorders in Magento, and that is simple enough.

However – there are several pieces of this puzzle that are nowhere brought together for a “full” backorder solution.

This solution allows:

  1. Your products to be set to backordered
  2. You to set a custom notification for the product page
  3. Your customers to be notified in the cart page

Enable Backorders in the Dashboard

  1. Log into your Magento admin dashboard.
  2. Hover over the “System” menu.
  3. Click “Configuration”
  4. On the left-side menu, choose “Catalog”
  5. In the Catalog sub-menu, choose “Inventory”
  6. In the pane on the right, find the select box titled “Backorders”, and choose “Allow Qty Below 0 and Notify Customer”

Now that you’ve enabled backorders, a few things happen.  First, products with a quantity of zero are still displayed, and may still be added to the cart.  However, they do not show any indication of being backordered in the product page, which these next two steps will correct:

Modify Your Theme File to Display a Custom Backorder Message

Find the following theme file:

[your theme]/[your_theme]/template/catalog/product/view/type/default.phtml

Open it up, and you should see a line of code that says

$_product = $this->getProduct()

Add the following code immediately after that line:

 // Backorder message
	$backorder_message = '';
	$inventory =  Mage::getModel('cataloginventory/stock_item')->loadByProduct($_product);

	if((int)$inventory->getQty()<=0 && $inventory->getBackorders()>=1) {
		$backorder_message = '

' . $_product->getData('backorder_message') . '

'; }

Then, immediately below / after the


line, add this:

echo $backorder_message;

Add the Custom Backorder Message to the Product
The final step in bringing this all together is adding a new attribute to the product that is going to be backordered.

This is simple to do via the Magento dashboard:

  1. Edit the product in question.
  2. On the left menu, choose “Description”
  3. Near the top of the page, click the orange button titled “Create New Attribute”
  4. Important: be sure to set the Attribute code to backorder_message (this is the exact code that the template changes are looking for, so it has to be correct).
  5. Set the rest of the attribute up as desired.
  6. Save the attribute.
  7. The attribute will now be displayed for you to fill in on the product. Enter your custom message.
  8. Save the product.

You may need to reindex in Magento, or clear cache, but when you do, your message will display if, and only if, you have zero quantity (or less) and the site is set to backorder.