Layout XML Directives – Handles, Block, Reference, Action, Remove, Update

Dec 2, 20131941Sergei Guk

 What are Layout files in Magento?

As you might already know, the View in Magento (stands for the View from MVC pattern) is more difficult than in most PHP applications and it contains not only Templates – html/css/js code with PHP or any other template engine (such as Smarty, Twig etc.), but also Blocks which are basically PHP objects. In classical MVC a controller sends commands to its associated view to change the view’s presentation of the model. Instead, the View component, Block calls Models to get the necessary information to provide it to the Template file. But how Magento defines which Blocks objects should be instantiated in the specific page ($this)? All this is defined in Layouts.

By using Magento layout files you can quickly enable, disable or move almost all of Magento’s content and functional blocks. The Layout files are XML files that defines which Blocks are included on a page, and which Block(s) should start the rendering process. It can be very frustrating and confusing at first, but when you get used to it, you can handle your themes in a very upgrade-compatible way, because Layout is the tool which helps to assign content blocks to each structural block you create easily. Read more

Layout XML Directives – Handles, Block, Reference, Action, Remove, Update

Getting Started with Magento Extension Development Book Review

Nov 20, 2013406Sergei Guk

I remember the day when I was asked to develop my first Magento extension. I was scared as I knew what a beast Magento was and that developing modules is a challenging task even for very experienced PHP developers. There were no good sources of information back in the day – no books, no detailed tutorials, except for a very basic, Hello World extensions. I mean there were and still are articles where you can understand some basics, also you’re always allowed to view the source of Magento core and well-written community extensions to understand how to write an extension but still there was a gap and a lack of a practical, hands-on guide to building Magento modules from scratch. Then Magento published its own Magento Extension Developer’s Guide and few months ago, in September 2013, Packt Publishing released a new 128 pages book called Getting Started with Magento Extension Development by Branko Ajzele. Read more

Getting Started with Magento Extension Development Book Review

Magento Fallback Configuration – Default and Specific Themes, Packages, Design Exceptions, Temporary Theme Configuration

Nov 18, 20131355Sergei Guk

What is Magento design fallback?

Fallback mechanism in Magento is the ability of Magento to use the files from multiple themes in one page, i.e. making your own custom themes more upgradable and with fewer files.

Magento has used fallback mechanism since the very beginning, however from Magento CE 1.4 and Magento EE 1.8 they added base/default theme as the final step of the fallback mechanism.

The fallback mechanism looks like this: Read more

Magento Fallback Configuration – Default and Specific Themes, Packages, Design Exceptions, Temporary Theme Configuration

Editing Magento Translate.csv File

May 21, 20133798Sergei Guk

If you read my article about Internationalization in Magento, you should know that there is a way to edit translation CSVs using one file – translate.csv. In order to do that, you just need to set locale via Magento admin area, then create translate.csv in app/design/frontend/<package>/<theme>/locale/languagecode_COUNTRYCODE and put your translated strings inside this translate.csv file.

Here are some tips and tricks: Read more

Editing Magento Translate.csv File

How to Disable Province Field in Magento

Apr 25, 20135550Sergei Guk

The State/Province field was something that many developers struggled for years in Magento – there are countries that don’t need this feature but it’s set up in Magento that not only this field was required one, but also there was a drop-down with states/provinces/counties that was not correct/needed/actual. Although the information is very important for some countries and used for both tax and shipping calculation, but there are a lot of countries that don’t need this info at all. Read more

How to Disable Province Field in Magento

Application Initialization (Magento Certified Developer Exam)

Dec 3, 2012451Sergei Guk

Our another Magento certification-dedicated article describes the steps for application initialization.

Magento initialization process starts in index.php (with the exception of Magento integrated with some other sites or CMS).

Let’s take a look at the code of this file. Magento developers made their comments using multi line comment and PHPDoc style comments, so for my own comments I’ll use one line style (so called c++ style) comments. Read more

Application Initialization (Magento Certified Developer Exam)

Internationalization (Magento Certified Developer Exam)

Nov 23, 20121586Sergei Guk

We continue posting Magento certification-dedicated articles in our blog. This time we will describe how to internationalize your Magento site.

Magento can manage multiple stores in a single installation. There are three layers in this hierarchy – websites, stores and store views.

The top level is Website. It’s made up of one or multiple stores. They in turn are made up of one or multiple store views. Stores have the same customers, orders and shopping carts. They are set of store views and the main idea of stores is to group store views in a website.

Most of Magento installations have only one website with one store and only one store view. As store Views are the actual store instances, they are typically used for internationalization purposes, i.e. translation of your store into different languages. Therefore, if you need to display your store in multiple languages, for example English, French and German, you should create the store once and then create three different store views for this particular store. Read more

Internationalization (Magento Certified Developer Exam)

How to Start With Magento

Oct 11, 2012386Sergei Guk

There is no secret that Magento is the most popular eCommerce CMS in the world. But when you decide to work with Magento (taking into account that you are already familiar with PHP, Javasript, MySQL) and download its archive, you could be frustrated when you see all these hundreds of folders and thousands of files.

A few years ago there was a very limited amount of information provided by Magento itself. In my opinion, this fact and complexity of the platform lead to the situation that even if you want to do everything right, it’s hard to say which way is the right one. But time has changed and there are a lot of good sources developed by Magento and its eco-system.

Read more

How to Start With Magento

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Push the boundaries with the BelVG ecommerce blog full of Magento and PrestaShop innovative and comprehensible guides, PrestaShop and Magento news, online marketing solutions. Find out more about web development and web design trends. Ecommerce is booming and emerging - keeping up with the latest strategies and tools is not easy. That’s why the BelVG team has decided to create this CMS blog where our certified professional Magento & PrestaShop developers, creative designers and experienced marketers can share their knowledge, tips, case studies and ready-to-use ecommerce solutions. The members of our team have been working with the most in-demand ecommerce platforms such as Magento and Prestashop for more than 7 years. We have created over 100 websites, took part in more than 600 project and we want to invest our knowledge and experience in making ecommerce better. Become a regular reader of our web design and web development blog and you will improve your skills. Most of the development articles are specifically helpful for those who prepare for Magento certifications. Let’s explore the challenging but exciting ecommerce world together.