Frontend

Getting started with CSS Flexbox

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The CSS3 Flexible Box Layout, or as a shorter and more widely recognised term – Flexbox, is a CSS box model optimised for designing user interface layout.

It is the addition to the four basic layout modes, previously defined in CSS: block layout, inline layout, table layout, and positioned layout. But, in contrast to these earlier ones, this is the first CSS module designed for laying out complex pages.

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Evaluating and improving accessibility of eCommerce websites

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee once said that “Access (to the Web) by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect”. We, as developers, always strive to create a website which looks and feels good on a wide range of devices, resolutions, operating systems, network speeds, etc., but how often do we consider designing or creating a website for a wide range of people? In this article, we’re going to cover some basic frontend principles of improving accessibility and what that means in context of a Magento website.

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Improve default Magento reviews

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If you’ve ever worked on Magento framework you’re familiar with the fact that Magento provides bunch of useful features. In this article we will cover one of them – Customer Product Reviews. Maybe some will say that we don’t need to change anything regarding this feature, but when we are in custom development a lot of things can’t just work “out of box”. Especially if you willing to provide fully polished retina responsive theme, default isn’t the way we roll.

So let us improve the default Magento product reviews feature.

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Adding static blocks to specific CMS pages with Magento layouts

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While working on a project, I had to add a unique static block between header and main content of the CMS page on each CMS page. Element had to be fully customizable via Magento admin panel and it had to be easy to create on new CMS pages, easily modifiable and removable. Since that element needed to be placed outside of the main content, it couldn’t have been added using CMS in Magento admin. It had to be added using Magento layouts. Here’s how I achieved that.

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Creating a Magento theme from scratch

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Powerful fallback system, organized folder structure and tons of functionality is what makes Magento one of the most flexible and powerful eCommerce platforms out there. By default, Magento offers a lot, but as eCommerce evolved during the years, there is always additional work required to fit client needs.

Probably the first thing you will do when starting a new Magento project will be to create a Magento theme that will have custom styling and functionality. Although creating a Magento theme is a pretty simple thing to do (just ask any certified frontend developer), by not following Magento recommendations and rules you can easily make your life a bit complicated.

So, how to do it properly? Read on…

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6 ways to prepare your online storefront for holiday season

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Holiday season is just around the corner, consumers are eager to start shopping, there is no doubt — it’s very important time for any retailer in the business. There are numerous marketing strategies to prepare your online store for all that online rush, but hey — let’s not forget that sometimes a pleasant holiday atmosphere can play a quite important role.

In this article I’ll present 6 possible ways to prepare your Magento storefront for the upcoming holiday season.

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Frontend performance: why should you care?

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Speed is the most important feature of any online store. If it is too slow, people will just not use it. It may have great products, low prices, the most beautiful interface, but if it takes forever to load, people will just go away.

In the offline world, we often have to wait. Line in the bank, security control at the airport, checkout line at the grocery store… pick your favorite. “I had such a great time waiting in the line for 3 hours” – said no one, ever…  People hate waiting.

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Book Review – Mastering Magento Theme Design by Andrea Sacca

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It is widely assumed that knowledge is power and that it has to be built upon every day. It takes a lot of time to put a person’s knowledge into a book. For the past few months I was looking for a new book in order to expand on my frontend knowledge.

Due to lack of free time I usually read only particular sections of some book or I surf the Internet if I need a specific piece of information.

Long story short, just at that time Andrea Sacca published his new book which covers one of my favorite topics – Creating responsive Magento theme. As one of the frontend developers at Inchoo, I had the opportunity to receive one of first copies of that book (and a copy for entire Inchoo). To return the favor to the author, we were asked to write a review of the book.

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Reusing Magento poll on any page or any block

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On very rare occasions we get to work with polls. Most of our Magento projects end up with polls removed from the layout for one reason or the other – mostly because we rely on social networks instead for adding ‘social’ aspect to stores.

Nonetheless, sometimes client wants to have polls on his site. Magento has default poll system, which does it’s job. To an extent. What do we do if we want to add multiple polls to the site or choose which poll we want to display?

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