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Tutorials Posts

“Grokking Magento: Book 1” by Vinai Kopp – an Excellent Book for Experienced Developers

We’ve got one good tradition in our blog – review books related to Magento written through authors’ experience in working with this platform

This time we are happy to introduce you an excellent guide for Magento developers named “Grokking Magento: Book 1 – Magento Basics and Request Flow” by Vinai Kopp. We thank Vinai for an e-copy of his book kindly provided for our review.

Vinai KoppVinai Kopp

Vinai Kopp is a passionate Web Developer and open source enthusiast since 1998. From March 2008 Vinai has specialized in Magento. His main focus is training and consulting.

Author, active community member and a part of the Magento community advisory board (CAB).

Book Review

Grokking Magento

Cover

The cover of the Grokking Magento guide is very extraordinary and everyone who sees this book wonders about that amazing creature or strange skeleton put in front of them. We’ll reveal this little secret, as it is uncovered by the author himself in the introduction. The cover is decorated with a silver fern frond, which is, in this case, both unusual and intriguing at the same time.

Audience

This book will be especially useful for highly-experienced developers, which have essential knowledge and long practice in PHP and OOP with a great desire to learn Magento. But it is also recommended to professional Magento developers as a set of nontrivial Magento solutions.

Structure

The book is a collection of exercises, which go in a cookbook stile and are not actually structured, but it is not necessary, as each one is a self-sufficient entity. All the exercises are very useful and we wanted even more.

Goals

The book has three main goals:

  1. Help prepare for the Magento Certified Developer Exam (MCD);
  2. To be used as a reference for best practices and Magento architecture;
  3. Give solutions to specific problems in a “developer cookbook” style.

In our opinion, this guide is equally helpful for all the declared goals and may easily become a reference book for many developers.

Who Gets Free E-copies of the “Magento Search Engine Optimization” Guide?

Magento search Engine OptimizationFor many online shops search engines is still one of the most abundant traffic sources, and Magento stores is not an exception.

Though recently, SEO operations area has shrunk considerably due to strict regulation undertaken by search engines, but basic on-page improvements are still required. Amid this valuable topical guides are always welcomed, and last week we reviewed such a guide for Magento stores:  “Magento Search Engine Optimization” by Robert Kent. This review was very successful and we thank all of you, who voted for it in social media.

On Monday last week we also started a contest for those, who would like to get a free e-copy of this book. Today we are announcing our winners. Four of you get the “Magento Search Engine Optimization” guide by Robert Kent for free. Here they are – our winners:

Matt Carver

winner110

Nestor Gonzalez

winner110

Ron

winner110

Henning

winner110

Congratulations! Hope you will find the book useful.

As we constantly strive to provide our readers the best thematic content, your active engagement and feedback is always highly appreciated.

P.S.: Stay in touch for more useful stuff.

“Magento Search Engine Optimization” by Robert Kent. Book Review

One more useful guide, published at Packt Publishing Ltd., drew our attention – “Magento Search Engine Optimization” by Robert Kent. The book describes an eternal subject of all site owners – SEO, but this time it will be especially valuable for Magento store owners, as it describes SEO expertise for Magento-based stores.

Robert Kent
Robert Kent

Magento Certified Developer at Creare
Robert Kent works at Creare – one of the largest Web Design and SEO companies in the UK. He has over 4 years experience with the Magento platform and has worked on more than 50 Magento installations for a wide range of businesses from many different industries.

The Magento SEO book was written through his experience in optimizing Magento websites for search engines – from the early stages of Magento CE 1.3 right up to the current release.

Book Review

Audience
Although the subject of this book can’t be considered as a purely technical one, but yet it will require definite knowledge of SEO from you, namely on-site optimization. This book will be especially useful for SEO specialists, who just start with Magento. Here they will find the description of on-page optimization techniques applied to Magento stores and their specific features, which affect the way search engines treat these sites. The second part of the audience is Magento admins, of course, as they know everything about the platform, but, possibly, miss something about SEO in their daily routine.

StructureMagento Search Engine Optimization
The structure of this book is intuitive and arranges chapters in order of their importance for SEO. Thus, the chapter about product and category pages goes first, as they are usually being optimized for main keywords and used to be landing pages. Technical aspects of SEO are followed by contextual issues and naturally build a complete comprehension of the SEO process.

The chapter about Magento extensions finishes the book and puts a justified full stop of this exciting topic. The only chapter “Analyzing and Tracking Your Visitors” is, possibly, a bit universal for this book and could be replaced by the one covering SEO specific indexes and their measurement tools.

Contents
The content is really valuable and has no any digressions or theoretical discourses. The book is full of relevant examples and useful tips; all technical issues are accompanied by code excerpts; all navigation paths are followed by screenshots and schemes.

SEO in this book is considered in conjunction with usability and conversion rate optimization, which closely corresponds to recent Google’s guidance for webmasters.

Five Lucky Beggars are Getting New Year Gifts. aheadWorks Contest Results

“Getting Started with Magento Extension Development”

Last week we started a contest for those who are interested in Magento extension development and announced our prize – a free e-copy of the “Getting Started with Magento Extension Development” guide. We received a lot of reviews from our readers and are grateful for your enthusiastic response.

We would like to thank everyone who took part in the contest and posted a review. We saw that all the participants were genuinely interested and would be happy to get this useful guide. So, we randomly chose five reviews and now announce our winners:

Alistair Fletcher

Adam Karnowka

Cornel

Bob Dee

Eric James Soltys

We sincerely hope that the “Getting Started with Magento Extension Development” guide will help you improve Magento knowledge and create fabulous extensions.

aheadWorks congratulates the winners and wishes the entire Magento community a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 😉

We welcome all our readers leave holiday wishes in their reviews below.

“Getting Started with Magento Extension Development”: Professional Advice for Beginners

Editor’s note: Magento development is comparatively difficult and newbies need a qualified guide to pass through all the “wilds of code”. Now it is possible to get all the required knowledge in one remarkable book written by a real Magento professional Branko Ajzele, CTO/Magento Certified Developer Plus at Inchoo.

To our pleasure, Packt Publishing Ltd. continues to publish useful Magento-oriented tutorials for beginners and experienced Magento developers. Today we would like to highlight the “Getting Started with Magento Extension Development” guide.

Please continue reading as we have a pleasant surprise for you below.

Branko-128About the author

Branko Ajzele is a professional, certified, and highly experienced software developer, focused on e-commerce-related applications. He holds several respected IT certifications such as Zend Certified Engineer, Magento Certified Developer Plus, and JavaScript Certified Developer. He currently works as a Chief Technology Officer at Inchoo, a Magento Gold Solution partner company.

Image source: Twitter.com

Book Review

Target Audience

The book is intended for intermediate to advanced PHP-developers who just start working with the Magento platform. The aim of the book is to guide a reader through numerous Magento-specific patterns and configuration options, crucial for building a high-quality Magento extension.

The author inevitably has to rely on certain coding knowledge and experience of a reader. However, the good thing is that the author provides a number of quality references, so if one comes across any unfamiliar concept while reading, they will know where to start filling the gap.

‘Functional Testing Automation for Magento Developers’ Free PDF Guide

Pay with a tweet to download the guide for free (1.0 MB)!

Any Magento extensions developer inevitably faces a situation where he gets overwhelmed by the number of product updates and the necessity to test each release.

With adding new products and following the regular updates of the Magento platform itself and the relevant online services (payment methods APIs, for instance), the amount of manual labor required to keep your extensions up-to-date gets really enormous.

But we’ve got good news for you: this labor doesn’t have to be manual! Contemporary technologies allow you to shift that burden to automated entities.  Let a robot ensure top-notch quality of your products; a robot that never gets tired or bored, never loses focus, and… doesn’t get paid!

Wanna know how? Make sure you download the ‘Functional Testing Automation for Magento Developers’ whitepaper.

Peter Samoilov, CTO at aheadWorks, and Andrey Ivanov, Lead Test Automation Engineer, are eagerly sharing our company’s own experience. The important thing is that this PDF guide provides steps on how automated testing is performed here, at aheadWorks.

This reading is primarily intended for developers and QA specialists and covers:

  • General principles of testing automation
  • Employing a Continuous Integration Server
  • Setting up a proper environment
  • Some hints on recommended tools and utilities

Whether you will adopt this model or a similar one for your own development workflow or solve the matter in any other way, you will certainly find a couple of useful hints and practical advice.

Pay with a tweet to download it for free (1.0 MB)!

NOTE: Find one more bonus prepared for a careful reader inside the guide. 🙂

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Magento Education: Six Indispensable Free Resources For Magento Developers

Editor’s Note: The series of posts about Magento education for users and developers are provided exclusively for our blog by Graeme Caldwell, an inbound marketer for Nexcess.

We have already taken a look at six best Magento resources for online retailers. It’s time to address a thriving community of developers. Two of the causes of Magento’s immense popularity are its openness and extensibility. Anyone willing to learn PHP can develop an understanding of how Magento works under the hood.

Whether you want to become a Magento master, develop a decent comprehension of how Magento works to be a better retailer, or simply scratch an itch by creating an extension that adds functionality, there are plenty of freely available resources for learning how to hack on Magento.

It can be hard to find the diamonds in the rough when it comes to educational material on the Internet, so we’ve compiled a list of six resources that every Magento developer should have bookmarked.

Magento Development

Win Free Copies of Magento PHP Developer’s Guide from aheadWorks!

Recently we shared the review of “Magento PHP Developer’s Guide” where you can find our independent unbiased opinion on this newly published tutorial.

Now we prepared some cool stuff for our blog readers! I have teamed up with Packt Publishing to organize a Giveaway of the “Magento PHP Developer’s Guide”. Five lucky winners stand a chance to get 5 digital copies of their new book. Keep reading to find out how YOU can be one of the Lucky Winners.

How to Enter?
All you need to do is head on over to our review of “Magento PHP Developer’s Guide” page. Then look through it and drop a comment below this post to let us know what interests you the most about this book. It’s that simple.

Winners will get an e-copy of the guide.

Deadline
The contest will close June 30, 2013. Winners will be contacted by email, so be sure to use your real email address when you comment!

Magento PHP Developer’s Guide: Detailed Review from aheadWorks Experts

Magento PHP Developer's Guide

We were lucky to get one of a few copies of “Magento PHP Developer’s Guide“. It was published in April 2013 by Packt Publishing Ltd., one of the most prolific and fast-growing tech book publishers in the world.

Allan MacGregor, the author of “Magento PHP Developer’s Guide”, has a reputation for being professional, skilled and accurate developer easy to work with. I have happened to communicate with Allan and I should say that he is very responsive and friendly as well.

Allan MacGregor started working with Magento when he was a freelance developer little over 4 years ago and now he is a Magento Certified Developer Plus.

“Before Magento, creating an ecommerce website was difficult, expensive and slow,” tells Allan. “Magento changed all that! I enjoy working with Magento because it’s challenging, the framework is very powerful and flexible. And overall, I have fun working with Magento!”

Allan understood that there was a lot of information online, but he felt that there was a need for book that was an easy entry point for new developers and a bit of reference for developers that are not so new to Magento.

“I wanted to write the book that I wished I had when I was starting with Magento. A guide that covers the fundamentals, that gives me the tools to start developing with Magento.”

And Allan did it. Though it was his first writing experience, “Magento PHP Developer’s Guide” turned to be an easily accessible tutorial, designed and written to give the reader maximum understanding of the powerful Magento framework.

Continue reading this post to find out aheadWorks impressions on guide illustrations, contents, and writing style.

aheadWorks Magento Products: Magento Extensions, Magento 2 Extensions

Magento Education: Six Indispensable Free Resources For Magento Merchants

Editor’s Note: The series of posts about Magento education for users and developers are provided exclusively for our blog by Graeme Caldwell, an inbound marketer for Nexcess.

Magento is by far the world’s most popular open source online retail platform. Much of that popularity is the result of Magento being a very powerful piece of software while at the same time having a fairly low barrier to entry. Anyone with the dream of selling online can have a store with all the features they need to make their business a success.

However, like any complex piece of software, Magento comes with a learning curve. Online retail is a specialized domain of knowledge. Access to decent learning resources can make the difference between getting a Magento store deployed and generating revenue quickly and wasting time making needless mistakes.

Fortunately, both Magento and its community have created a large amount of valuable educational material and made it freely available. In this article we’ll have a look at six of the best resources for getting up to speed on our favorite retail platform.

Looking for A Specific Magento Extension? Use Advisor for Magento Merchants and Get Help from Experienced Vendors

Remember, last week we dropped a hint for you to expect something special? And we keep our word! Today we are revealing a promising project – Advisor for Magento Merchants – where merchants ask for some particular Magento extensions and vendors are here to supply them with various relevant references.

Magento Advisor

Currently, Magento communication is facilitated on several websites mostly containing development-oriented Magento questions asked largely by programmers and answered by them. But merchants are often left alone with their queries; they feel lost in the waves of immense Magento extensions ocean or are not sure whether this or that functionality of their interest exists at all. We no longer allow this to happen.

How does Advisor for Magento Merchants work?

Merchants describe their cases, specify extensions they are looking for and later review modules that vendors have to offer them.

How to ask questions?

To submit a query, no registration is needed. Merchants just fill out the Ask Form, and the question instantly goes live. It’s easy as that. From this moment, no other actions are expected from merchants – all registered users will be notified about a new question and, we believe, hurry up to provide their solutions if they have ones.

Advisor Ask Form

 

How to add answers?

Only registered users are able to submit answers. For that purpose, they sign up for Advisor and wait for their account activation. After this being done, they take advantage of Advisor at full swing – raise questions and leave comments with text info and hyperlinks. Besides, all registered members receive notifications about new questions as soon as they show up.

Magento Advisor Answer Form

Are you a merchant who needs help from vendors in choosing the right extension? Visit Advisor for Magento Merchants, leave your query and just wait for the answer to come.

Are you a vendor who is eager to assist merchants in their search quest? Contact me at tsumareva@aheadworks.com to request free Advisor registration in order to leave answers to questions instantly.

Use Advisor for Magento Merchants anytime you feel concerned about Magento modules and let vendors from all over the world rush to help you.

‘Top 10 Magento Store Problems’ Free User Guide

Top 10 Magento Store Problems Free User Guide

Managing an e-Commerce website using Magento as backend platform requires tons of efforts and skills. It often leads to some issues, which are difficult to solve especially for novice users.

Every day our technical specialists help merchants fix the same problems that arise in their Magento stores. Over and over again.

That’s why Slava Kostukovich, head of support team at aheadWorks, posted an article in two parts where he handpicked 10 most common Magento problems and provided the solutions how to fix them.

We decided to make a PDF guide, which is in free access for all our blog readers. Download it right now to have it always at your fingertips!

From ‘Top 10 Magento Store Problems’ User Guide, you will:

  • discover 10 main Magento store problems;
  • find practical ways to solve them;
  • enrich your knowledge in Magento.

to download it for free (597 KB)! In exchange we just ask you to post a Tweet or Facebook post about it.

You can also:

Top Ten Problems Every Magento Store Will Inevitably Face. Part 2

To developers, savvy merchants and support teams…

I have already reviewed the first 5 problems from the Top Ten Magento Store Problems List. If you were busy or occasionally missed them last week, it’s a good time to open the Part 1 right now: chances are high you were stuck with these issues before, so you can compare our recommendations with your experience. When nothing similar happened to you, don’t take trouble-free situation for granted. The best way to deal with potential difficulties is to be prepared for them.

As a head of support team in aheadWorks I strongly advise you to study below-mentioned cases and get equipped with knowledge which will never be wasted. When one of these challenges arises, you will be done with it in a moment.

Top Ten Problems Every Magento Store Will Inevitably Face. Part 1

To developers, savvy merchants and support teams…

Magento stores require tons of efforts to run them smoothly and easily. Merchants install extensions that may get in conflict, upgrade Magento to a new version and encounter compatibility issues or just open a website one morning and see that it is down for no clear reason.

Well, it may feel quite embarrassing, but let’s face the truth – none of us is immune to website crashes and “404 Not Found” cases, regardless of whether you are a reputable eCommerce development company or a newbie in online trading. Basically, there are some typical issues that inevitably arise in every Magento webstore.

Below we review 10 typical Magento store problems and 10 most handy and practical ways to solve them (with code provided).

Free “Magento Performance Optimization” User Guide

Magento Performance Optimization PDF Guide

We are proud to have highly qualified technical specialists in our team. During several years of work with Magento, their store of knowledge has become so large that made it a breeze for them to pass Magento Certified Developer Exam perfectly. These guys are always ready to share their experience with our freshmen, and today YOU have a unique opportunity to get a piece of valuable information as well.

Michael Zhalevich, our Lead Developer, set a goal to provide the pages loading speed within 0.1 – 1 second with the load of 20 competitive requests. He managed to do this by optimizing Magento performance and, moreover, explained how. Basing on the information provided, we created a Magento optimization PDF guide which is in free access for all our blog readers.

From this document, you can:

  • learn how to optimize Magento performance without any code modifications;
  • find the comparison of webservers;
  • discover the reasons of moving to PHP 5.4*;

to download it for free (2.12 MB)! In exchange we just ask you to post a Tweet or Facebook post about it.

You can also: