Posts by Tomislav Bilic

Internal Server Error 500 in Magento

Many of us who started experimenting with this interface and tried to place various values for Base URL, came to a dead end where Magento breaks.  Usually, we get Internal Server Error 500 with each page load. The problem lies in the fact that we can no longer open the Magento administration to correct the error. What needs to be done in such a scenario?

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TeraFlex PLUS, another Magento + WordPress duo

After we launched TeraFlex Suspensions website few months ago, we created a new similar website for Teraflex PLUS. Although the name is similar, this is not the same company. The primary goal of this site is to help Jeep owners to upgrade their pets with parts and accessories for any type of adventure. The secondary goal is to create a Jeep enthusiast community in Utah, USA and surroundings. The site is powered by WordPress and Magento combination.

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MoSCoW Prioritization

Every project needs to be planned and successful planning is half of the work. One scope of planning process is the prioritisation of the requested features. Sometimes the clients ask us if it is possible to develop some request of theirs. Of course it is possible, it is just a matter of time and budget. When the client has many feature requests and many ideas for its project, it is important to include prioritization in planning process. One of the good methods is to use a set of words that have meaning such as the MoSCoW method. This method can require that clients make some hard choices.

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Simple product with custom options in grouped product in Magento

Does the title sound complicated? Grouped Products display several products on one page.  For example – if you’re selling chef’s knives and you have the same knife in four sizes, you can make a grouped product to display all four sizes.  Customers can select the size(s) they want and add to cart from this page.  Another example would be a themed bedroom set – you can create a grouped product and sell the sheets, comforter, and pillow cases all from the same page.

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Installing Magento easy way

Those of you who know what SVN is, feel free to skip this article. Those of you who are not familiar with SVN, this is a must-read. If you use standard FTP to upload all Magento files, you may find this process very time consuming. Magento 1.1.8 has over 6.700 files in over 2.200 folders. FTPing can sometimes take few hours on some servers. Let’s look at alternatives.

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Kapitol Reef :: Magento store with 1 product

Can an online store have only one product? Sure it can and we give you the one that just launched. Kapitol Reef was founded to develop, perfect, manufacture and market a new breed of snorkels based upon pressure-balanced breathing in the aquatic environment. The entire focus for this company is to deliver best-of-class products, starting with the snorkel. Kapitol Reef is in the market for many years and this week they published a new site. Similar to our work on Teraflex project, we used WordPress and Magento platforms for the development.

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Magento MySQL database diagram

If you worked with osCommerce, Zen Cart, CRE Loaded or any similar eCommerce platform before, you might find Magento database structure quite confusing when you see it for the first time. I advise you not to rush too much figuring out what is what by glancing through database. Try to spend first few hours getting familiar with some background. For purposes of flexibility, the Magento database heavily utilizes an Entity-Attribute-Value (EAV) data model. As is often the case, the cost of flexibility is complexity. Is there something in Magento that is simple from developers point of view?

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UPS API Quest

I got one fairly simple request to develop a custom shipping calculation for Magento that will use some special calculation using UPS API. Right now, Magento only calculates weight and the client needs something more advanced. I worked on similar stuff before, so I guessed this will not be much different. First step was to find an API for UPS. Well, this post is all about the search for API. I’ll update it when I manage to find it.

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Manual creation of Google Sitemap in Magento

Most of you probably know this, but let’s define what the sitemaps are. Sitemaps are a simple way for site creators to give search engines the information about pages on their site that are available for public. Basically, those are just 1 or more XML files that lists URLs for a site along with additional meta informatio about each URL (like last update, how often it changes, its importance relevant to other pages). With this in mind, search engines can be more clever while crawling the site. Click here see how sitemap of this site looks like.

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Website Launch Flowchart

Did you ever wonder what does it take to build a successful website? Bob Misita from Virante helps us visualize the process. He made a flowchart of 40 steps that need to be completed before actual website launch. Although the list is quite comprehensive, this steps really occur even in medium sized projects.

I hope this will help all of you who want to build a self-money-generation sites with the deadline of 3 weeks. Look at the flowchart, analyze it and don’t start the development until you planned at least 80% of this boxes.

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WordPress: advantages and disadvantages?

Couple of days ago I posted a question to LinkedIn Q&A. It was for those individuals/companies who use WordPress to run their main site. I was interested to know why do they find WordPress to be their chosen one CMS. The users were supposed to name top 3 key elements in WP that they find most important for your site.  That was the easy part to most of them. Harder part was to name top 3 key elements they miss in WP, but have a feeling it would be important for their site.

There were some really interesting replies.

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FogBugz – Project Management Tool

Working on a project as only developer having direct contact with the client gives you the freedom not to think too much of a communication tool you will use. Couple of meetings, phone calls and an email will be just fine. After 3-4 weeks, you deliver the project and the communication is over. If that is your common scenario, than skip evaluation of this tool.

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Designer’s Guide to Magento PDF download

After many developed CRE Loaded’s online stores and watching Magento development progress for quite some time, I decided it was time to use Magento with my next client. My starting point for development was official Designer’s guide. I’m the type of guy who likes to have documents nice&clean, so I tried to print it but print was a mess. That’s when I decided to create PDF of the official documentation for easy print. This is probably the best starting tutorial for creating a fresh new Magento template.

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