Chris will blog here irregularly about more or less interesting things regarding Magento and web development in general.

Why should I do a Magento upgrade?

Today I was asked by a client if he should upgrade his Magento 1.5.1.0 store to the latest Magento Community Edition 1.9.1.1. As this question arises more than often I would like to emphasize some arguments for doing the upgrade. Of course this is question cannot be answered in general because it depends on many factors like level of customization, budget, known issues in the workflow, etc. 1. Security Security is always a good argument, especially if one has seen the latest severe Magento security issues (e.

Some book recommendations for the rainy weekend

Recently I’ve found the time to read some very interesting books that I can really recommend – both from an entertaining as well as from a knowledge perspective: The Lean Startup I think I don’t have to write much about this book. Everybody interested in getting to know the lean principle should definitely read this. Building Microservices As microservices seems to be a trending topic these days understanding the idea and concept behind them was very interesting (though I do not think they are suitable for every case).

Available Magento Code Sniffer rulesets

Basically I recommend following the PSR-2 standard for Coding Style Guidelines in Magento projects. Verifying your coding styles makes sense in any case – whether you are working in a large team of developers or as a freelancer for several clients. Agreeing to one common coding standard and following the rules improves readability and comparability. But as we all know Magento has some quirks that do not fit very well this standard (like underscore class names, underscore prefixed variables, etc.

A collection of my daily RSS feeds

In this blog post I want to share with you a short list of my daily RSS feeds that I find very useful to stay up-to-date in different categories: E-Commerce etailment Exciting Commerce shopanbieter Carpathia konversionsKRAFT Handelskraft Kassenzone shopbetreiber-blog.de Freelancer Freiberufler Blog Twinfield Magento Webguys Alan Storm Eschrade Gordon Lesti Alan Kent PHP Coder On Code HHVM ircmaxell’s blog Mathias Verraes Websec.io Startup Christian Weisbrodt Gründerszene Deutsche Startups Technology general t3n Best practice business You have some feed recommendations that could be interesting?

The Magento totals sort order hell

Yesterday I had an interesting problem in a Magento community installation of one of my clients: After the deinstallation of the Unirgy_GiftCert extension the total values subtotal, tax and grand_total were totally messed up. That means sums without tax were shown as grand_total and subtotal whereas it was configured totally different. After some debugging action I found out that incorrect dependencies for the total models were the cause for this issue (the sort order did change because of the uninstallation of the gift certificate extension):

How to reduce spam messages sent via Magento contact form without using Captchas

A lot of my clients complain about the fact that they receive lots of spam messages via the Magento contact and review forms. Basically in most of these cases I recommend using professional services like Akismet and an appropriate Magento extension which effectively reduce the amount of spam messages to a minimum. (I don’t want to mention Captchas because I do not want to loose potential customers ;-) But there are also some simple code modifications that can easily be made in a couple of hours by yourself, e.

Magento 1.9: Downloadable Products cannot be created (German localization)

In Magento 1.9 there is a JavaScript error on the product page in the backend that prohibits adding links to downloadable products when using the default German localization that ships with this Magento version. The root cause for this problem is the file app/locale/de_DE/Mage_Media.csv which somehow contains an additional line break at the end of the file: "This content requires last version of Adobe Flash Player. <a href="http://">Get Flash</a>","Dieser Inhalt erfordert die neueste Version des Adobe Flash Players.

Customer feedback is priceless

Today I got a really nice present from one of my Magento Extension customers: Thanks very much for that – these little things remind me why I like being part of the Magento ecosystem and why you should improve caring about your customers every single day. Thanks again! Of course if you have any questions regarding our Magento Extensions or Ecommerce in general please do not hesitate to contact me.

Some Magento Extension recommendations

I am often asked by my clients what Magento Extensions I can recommend for their shop. Thats why I created a (probably incomplete) list of Magento extensions that I regularly use in my Magento projects: Extension Category My comments WYSIWYG Editor Redactor Administration, Must-Have Mage Setup Administration, Must-Have quickly adapt your Magento Store to German Market incl.

Some overseen Magento performance tipps

Disable Mage_Reports logging for simple page views (use external analytics tools instead) Disable unused (core) modules, e.g. Mage_Poll, Mage_Tag, Mage_Rss, Mage_Wishlist, Mage_XmlConnect, Find_Feed, Mage_Authorizenet (Pay attention to all side effects, e.g. when deactivating Mage_Wishlist the customer detail view in admin won’t work any longer in CE 1.7) Disable Magento file logging in production (or at least set up log rotating) Implement block caching for navigation bar / product lists / …