BelVG Newsroom: Buzz You Might Have Missed This Week

May 10, 2012 Alex Huk Fun&Events

Assuming that Rothschild and later Winston Churchill were right saying “who owns the information – that owns the world”, you are committed to be aware of major eCommerce events to outperform rivals. Most likely you are a busy person, who runs stores or develops extensions and sometimes doesn’t have enough time to monitor latest happenings in the eCommerce area.

I have created a virtual sheet of recent news, announced earlier this week, that you may find useful.

Facebook launches Offers Coupons for online stores. Businesses will be able to deliver discount options, available to their fans via news feed, ads and Sponsored Stories. Along with the text teaser customers will see the Get Offer Code button. Upon pressing it, they will receive the code on the relevant email address.


Add-ons on Friday

May 4, 2012 Alex Huk Magento, Prestashop

Here in Belarus we have a row of holidays to relax and spend time in family circles. We have celebrated May Day, though some BelVG employees couldn’t make it without work and came to office as usually. Now we are looking forward to Victory Day and put even more efforts in development to deserve payoff. This week we have released two Prestashop modules, improving customer experience in your webstore, and Magento extension update.

Prestashop Pre-order and Waiting List enables pre-order and advance pay for unavailable products. Users may also subscribe to the waiting list to be notified when products appear in stock.


How to Create Magento Custom Theme

We have already covered the general topic of Magento theme creation in our blog. This time I want to share tips on how to design a non-standard theme for Magento, let’s call it a custom theme. Consider this example to look what I mean.

How to Create Magento Custom Theme

One of the best ways to create themes for Magento is using a method, based on modifying and revising the existing standard theme. I want to remind that Magento offers some pre-installed themes. A good idea for our task will be to use the Blank theme, which contains the minimal set of graphics and css.

In this case we need to create appropriate folders with the name of the future theme in app and skin directories. Then we copy the content of the Blank theme folders into these folders.

The next step is creating a skeleton template for our design. Skeleton templates provide a general page framework for our Magento themes. For instance, we would like to have three different views in our store.


Prestashop Addon Analytics. May

May 2, 2012 Alex Huk Prestashop

Prestashop is one of currently popular platforms that developers shouldn’t ignore if they are tied to eCommerce development. Its prospects got even higher since few months ago submission form advancements took place. Developers began to rely on Prestashop constant growth and submit modules more readily. This is the main reason why we have observed the steady increase of addons on monthly posted analytics graphs.

However, May 1 revealed the unexpected occasion, happened with Prestashop modules within a month. The total number of modules was decreased, comparing to the statistics on April, 1! It means nothing but Prestashop administrators started revalidating modules and incorporated the policy of filtering & sanitizing. Apparently, they found some modules on its frontend not good enough to match Prestashop rising standards.


Don’t Underestimate Testing in Order to Go Bug-Free

April 30, 2012 BelVG Team Magento, Prestashop

When you get some extension for your webstore, you install it and expect to work smoothly. If you are satisfied with results, you think how smart developers are. Customers are unaware that developers usually don’t deliver extensions bug-free at once, but quality assistants must reject badly developed modules and indicate all their weak points. The quality level of any development company is largely based on decent testing. I will tell you how it is done in BelVG.

Testing extensions for eCommerce platforms, such as Magento and Prestashop – is a complex task that requires a special approach. Since modules are only the part of large applications, we should foresee their code impact on the whole system. Planning to release high quality products, we need to check all extension features as well as to explore the effect of user’s potential actions on the entire system. Each link must be verified, each form must be filled in and submitted, each transaction must be conducted and tracked.

Therefore, it is very important to start testing as early as possible and include it in the development schedule to make sure that all features are tested and some time is left to find and fix possible bugs.


Add-ons on Friday

April 27, 2012 Alex Huk BELVG LIVE, Magento

This week was largely marked by Magento Imagine Conference and all the fun, learning and networking it brought to its participants. Even though we haven’t visited Las Vegas and shaken hands with our customers and mate developers, we have been working intensively in their favor all week long. Add-ons on Friday will prove it.

Since we care about developers community and contribute to it at our best, writing Magento certification-dedicated posts, this time we share the Magento Developer Helper extension. It a good way of viewing overridden Magento classes (models, routers, blocks and helpers), made by other developers, at one place. We offer it FOR FREE as a gift from BelVG developers to their colleagues.