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SSLmatic LogoThis article is sponsored by SSLmatic which sells SSL certificates (RapidSSL, Geotrust, Verisign) for much cheaper prices & offers great support. Check their site to get the cheap SSL certificates.

Magento Guide - Part2

In the first part of the Ultimate Magento Guide, we covered the back-end features of this open source e-commerce software. We also created a simple product and displayed it in our e-store.

Today we will focus on "customizing the basic layout of our e-store",  "what Magento Connect is” and "how we can install themes + extensions".

Let's Turn Off The Cache

Before heading to the customization, we will turn off the cache mode of Magento so that we can see our changes. Otherwise, Magento will keep showing the cached pages.

We can turn off the cache from our back-end. Go to System>Cache Management. Choose "disable" from the drop down menu which is an option in "All Cache". Follow the screenshot below if you are having some problem.

After disabling the cache, we will now change the name of our e-store which appears on many places (like after a new user registration). We can change it by going to System> Manage Stores, click the "Default Store View" and put the actual name of the store there just like “WRD E-Store”.

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SSLmatic LogoThis article is sponsored by SSLmatic which sells SSL certificates (RapidSSL, Geotrust, Verisign) for much cheaper prices & offers great support. Check their site to get the cheap SSL certificates.

Magento Guide - Part1

In the process of launching an e-store, when it comes to choosing the right solution, you will get puzzled by the hundreds of solutions available.

The options range from simple and free shopping cart systems to complex and paid e-commerce softwares which can charge you for both getting and “keeping” your shop online.

However, there are some applications which offer great features but still free.

One of the best and open source e-commerce solutions available for free is Magento.

In the following comprehensive tutorial, we will see what are the benefits and drawbacks of using Magento as your e-commerce application. We will make a demo store and take a look on some basic and intermediate features of Magento. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started.

Why use Magento?

Pros:

  • free (absolutely free, no charges at all for community version)
  • open source (you can even make it better by writing your own code)
  • easy upgrades (automatic upgrades without loosing your customizations)
  • extensions, plugins (enhance your Magento installation with plugins just like WordPress)
  • very comprehensive theming system (custom themes for your store similar to WordPress)
  • downloadable goodies support

Cons:

  • resource intensive (yes, Magento needs a lot of memory in order to work efficiently but don’t worry, we will also learn how to fix it up to run Magento in low cost hosting solutions.)
  • latest version of PHP not supported (Magento only works with PHP 5.2)

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365psd is a website which publishes one quality PSD file every day that can be used in our designs for free.

PSDs are created by different designers & they can be browsed simply with prev-next buttons.

Also, they are tagged (including the colors) which will make finding similar items easy once the number of files get bigger.

365psd

Nicolas Gallagher is sharing a creative way on creating good-looking speech bubbles with CSS3.

There are no images or JavaScript in the implementations but uses the :before and/or :after pseudo-elements to produce basic shapes.

The HTML remains semantic however we should remember that CSS3 is not fully supported by all major browsers & we may again require JavaScript to add this support (like IE7.js).

CSS3 Speech Bubbles

Fuel Your Interface, a blog focused on UI design, is presenting a free web-design UI wireframe kit.

The kit comes as a .PSD file which is completely built with shape objects (in some cases converted into SmartObjects).

It includes the most frequently web design objects like buttons, forms, pagination, tabs, breadcrumbs & much more.

Web UI Wireframe Kit

NexusFont is a free Windows application for easily managing fonts.

It is a very useful application specially when trying to decide "which font to use" for a specific text as it can "display outputs of a custom text with various fonts" in a grid.

NexusFont

The application has support for TrueType, OpenType & Adobe Type1 fonts.

NexusFont can help installing/uninstalling fonts, finding duplicates, anti-aliasing, renaming & more.

Also, it can export the preview lists as images which is a nice feature when sharing the options with clients, colleagues, etc.

Iconizer is one of the latest online generators that you may find useful.

It is a free & web-based application, from the makers of popular Preloaders.net, that enables you to customize various popular icon sets online.

Iconizer

Iconizer allows you to select an icon from a list of well-categorized icon sets and:

  • select the foreground/background color
  • size of it
  • file type to be created
  • add an animation
  • resize it & more..

Although the application is very useful, what would be even better is "selecting the whole icon set" & ability to customizing it in bulk.

  • Tags:
  • Filed under: Design, Icons, License Free
  • 2 Comments
  • JankoAtWarpSpeed is sharing a free kit for easier sketching & wireframing of websites / web applications.

    The kit consist of form elements, icons, indicators, feedback messages, tooltips, navigation elements, image placeholders, embedded videos, sliders and common ad banners.

    It comes in .AI, .SVG, .PDF & .EPS vector formats and completely free for personal + commercial use.

    Sketching and wireframing kit

    Google Browser Size is a visualization tool by Google Labs that shows any website behind an overlay of browser-window-sizes average

    The overlay information is actually created from the data of people who visit Google (which won't be wrong to call it an average).

    Google Browser Size

    The tool is perfect for learning what percentage of the visitors are seeing the most important parts at initial load & what are they missing.

    When you move the mouse, a rectangle which follows the mouse pointer enables us to interact with the website. And, optionally, the opacity level can be changed.

    But, like mentioned, it is created with the data from google.com & will work for websites that target average internet users. It would be great to see this integrated into Google Analytics creating a custom overlay.

    Magnifying GlassFor a website, gaining RSS subscribers requires hard work as visitors prefer to subscribe websites with fresh/quality content & expect this to be continious.

    On the other hand, RSS subscribers are very valuable loyal readers which follow the website regularly.

    So, for a website, it is very important to analyze "how visitors become RSS readers" like:

    • from which websites do they reach to yours
    • which page of yours is the one that gains you most subscribers, etc.

    Google Analytics, besides all the simplicity it offers, has a very functional event tracking method for analyzing custom events which we will be using to track new RSS subscriptions and see how to analyzing them deeper.

     

    Part 1 – Applying Event Tracking Code


    There are currently 2 different versions of Google Analytics tracking code used:

    • The standard tracking (gaJsHost)
    • Asynchronous tracking – beta (_gaq)

    The asynchronous tracking code has a major advantage over the standard version's event tracking which is: it will be able to track the clicks even if tha page is not fully loaded.

    Codes for both versions will be mentioned.

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