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Magento World Newsletter (April 8, 2009)

This is March newsletter of aheadWorks Magento World store – the house of market-demanded Magento extensions and themes. Below is the summary of the results of our development efforts in Magento extensions sphere – new releases and updates of existing products. We invite everyone who wants to be informed about these events immediately to subscribe to our blog. If you are interested in a particular product(s) information only – please use the product(s) tags for your subscription.
We’d also like to point to our store improvement – the visual extensions map. We are getting more and more products and sometimes it becomes difficult to understand at a glance which one you could be interested in. Just move your mouse pointer over an extension title on the map to see a short information, click to go to the product page.

New Extensions

Please do not forget to check product page of the extensions that might interest you – there is much more information like tips, FAQ, changelog, demos, videos etc.

Help Desk Ultimate

This is a new much improved version of our Help Desk extension. It includes all the features of standard Help Desk extension plus:

  • Departments – now you can add unlimited number of support departments with their own attributes – email address, templates, etc.
  • POP3 fetching and parsing – the extension gets all correspondence from a defined email address parsing the messages into tickets. It’s able to keep threads and add messages to the existing tickets by ID.
  • Create new tickets from e-mail – any message sent to the parser email address without ticket ID can be automatically transformed into a new ticket, followed by admin and customer email notifications.
  • Auto-expiration – automatically sets “Closed” status to tickets inactive for a defined number of days.

Don’t forget to check the product page for other features, these are not all.

Advanced Menu

This extension allows you to change your store navigation look easily. No need in PHP or HTML knowledge – just go to the configuration page and choose from one of the predefined looks and see how does it fit your store. It’s absolutely XHTML 1.o Strict compatible and has an all-browsers-valid CSS. In this version you can choose from the following modes: default, dropdown boxes, plain, advanced plain and static.

RSS Reader

Looking for an easy blog or a feed integration? Then RSS Reader extension is for you. It fetches and parses any RSS feed and integrates it into your Magento store. No troubles, fits any style and design, can be placed in any block, sidebar, header or footer. Besides other features we can highlight:

  • Unlimited feeds – create any number of feeds in different locations of your store.
  • Cache – instead of fetching the content from a remote server each page load the RSS Reader stores the data into its own cache.
  • Custom CSS and templates – RSS Reader uses its own CSS file and custom template. In fact you may create as much output patterns as needed and use them on per instance basis.

Please go to the product page to know more about other options.

Browser Search

Give your visitors another comfortable way of searching in your catalog – integrate your store search directly in the browser! With the help of a simple XML you can add your search engine to the visitor’s browser, the search suggestions will be handled by the extension PHP code. Simple and effective.

Updated Extensions

Don’t forget to check full changelog on the product pages.

Featured Products

Current version: 2.2.2
Upgrade: Recommended from any previous version
Upgrade cost: free for all versions
What’s new:

  • Completely compatibe with XHTML 1.0 Strict
  • All CSS Warnings fixed
  • Invisible products are not shown any more
  • One product can be added more to one category
  • Added option to display product in slideshow only on main page
  • Shows warning message if no products found
  • CMS block syntax is shorter now
  • Dropped support for magento 1.1.x due to magento layout bugs

Help Desk

Current version: 2.0
Upgrade: Highly recommended from any previous version
Upgrade cost: free for all versions
What’s new:

  • New kernel
  • Quoting
  • Attachments are sent through email
  • External CSS files
  • Tickets can be created from admin area
  • Upload files limit
  • Re-order replies, newer first
  • Status can be set w/o posting reply to ticket
  • “Waiting for customer” auto-status

Z-Blocks

Current version: 1.1
Upgrade: Recommended
Upgrade cost: free for all versions
What’s new:

  • Ad rotation function!

Promotion of the Month!

Enrich your customers experience with our Z-Blocks and Help Desk Ultimate extensions, today we give 40% discount when purchasing them both. Please use the following coupon:

ZBLKSHDU40

The offer expires 17 April 2009!

That’s all what were going to inform you about. Do not forget stay in touch, leave ratings and all kinds feedback, we are always happy to hear your thoughts. If you need a new feature in our product – just let us know – it has good chances to be implemented.

Thank you for being with us and good luck to your busines,
Sincerely yours,
aheadWorks Magento department

Featured Products 2.2.2 released

This is bug fix release.

Bug description
Trying to search using any term in 2.2.1 sometimes results in fatal error:
Call to a member function getMediaGallery() on a non-object in /app/code/local/AW/Featuredproducts/Model/Entity/Attribute/Source/Abstract/Image.php on line 36

Bug is fixed and update is available on Downloadable Products page in customer area.

Z-Blocks 1.1 released

Rotate your ads on Magento pages easily with a new Ad rotation feature of Z-Blocks. 3 rotation modes are available at this moment:

  • all – shows all blocks assigned (good for debugging and designing your ad campaign)
  • random – shows blocks randomly
  • 1by1 – show blocks one by one starting from the first one

Next release will contain ability to schedule ad rotation with “start date” and “end date” parameters.

Update is free and available in the customer area of our store, as always.

Magento Advanced Menu extension 1.0 released

Magento Advanced Menu Extension

Comfortable navigation is one of the most important steps to the best user and customer experience, so stop loosing visitors because of the endless nesting navigation.

Change Magento navigation look and feel just in minutes! Magento Advanced Menu price

Select desired menu view from already predefined menu patterns in admin panel. If you didn’t see a menu type you need – just let us know and we most likely to implement it in a few days.

At this moment only horizontal menu types  are available. We are working hard on adding some vertical navigation types for the left column.

After extension install you are able to select menu type in admin panel.Configuration

Menu types available in version 1.0

Dropdown
It uses standard HTML “select” element. Suitable for large stores with a lot of categories – your visitors can see all categories at a glance and make shopping route decision immediately.

Dropdown

Plain
DIV-based dropdowns which fit your store theme colors, without hidden nesting.

Plain

Plain (advanced)
The most advanced option! Probobaly the best for large categories number.

Plain (advanced)

Static
No popups, no hidden nesting. You would definitely like it in stores with 3-5 navigation links.

Static

BUY ADVANCED MENU MODULE

Featured Products 2.2.1 released

We are continuing active development of Featured Products. The today’s release contains the following features which have been requested by our customers:

  • Ability to use any custom image. Yes, now you can upload any image to your product images and make it invisible in the catalog and product page, and only visible in the Featured products. This allows you to upload bigger banners, callouts and images of any size.
  • Faster images render due to server-side image resizing – a significant performance improvement.

It also contains several bug fixes. You can find all of the information and updates on the product page.

Your feedback and feature requests are always welcome!

Featured Products 2.1 released

We announce a new release of the killer-extension – Featured Products!

In this version we re-wrote the CSS and HTML code so that the extension in completely XHTML 1.0 compliant, as well as the native Magento themes. Also, we made separate CSS for different browsers and got rid of CSS paring warnings. Other features of the release:

  • Invisible products fix – they are not shown anymore
  • One product can be added to several categories now
  • Added ability to display a product only outside of categories, This can be useful when, e.g. you’d like to diplay only on the main page but not in categories.
  • Added warnings in misconfiguration cases, more feedback from the extension to the store owner, it would say itself if there are no products to display 😉

Unfortunately, we had to drop Magento 1.1.8 and earlier support due to layout bugs in those versions. However, you still can use Featured Products 2.0 – it’s a supported branch.

Please read the upgrade documentation, we changed the block syntax slightly so you may need to update your blocks in CSS.

As always, waiting for your feedback, feature requests and reviews!

Browser Search with Suggestion extension

Browser SearchHere is the release of another great extension – Browser Search for Magento. It’s half a module, half a browser plugin, anyway it makes your store closer to visitors and customers.

Basically, this extension allows your store visitors to add your site in the browser search engines list. PRICE & FEATURES

Our recent studies show that store visitors coming through the search box in their browser are more likely to turn into customers. The conversion rate increases up to 230%! And it’s easy to explain – people have already visited your store and liked it. Now they have an easy and comfortable way to find products in the store they liked. This traffic is very targeted and purchase-oriented, people not just browse the site, they are looking for a definite item and most likely are willing to purchase.

The extension supports Firefox2+, Internet Explorer 7+. Yes, there are other unsupported browsers, but these cover more than 70% of all used browsers (w3schools.com data) and this percent is growing fast.

Besides presenting quick search interface this extension also displays search suggestions. Please note that on slow site sites or sites with a slow search the suggestion feature may not work.

RSS Reader Magento Extension v1.0 Released!

RSS Reader
Place RSS feeds on your store pages just in minutes with this extension. Fully customizable, with its own caching system it will make your store highly integrated with your WordPress blog or any other system/service that has RSS feeds. BUY RSS READER NOW

Works with numerous feeds even on the same page
Create as much RSS Reader instances as you need.

Full control of the output
You may control every option available on per instance basis, overriding default options set in administration panel. Options list is available here.

Powerfull caching
With caching option enabled, RSS Reader fetches the content from remote host and stores it in its own cache.

For store owners, developers and designers
You may put RSS Reader instances on your pages using Magento CMS pages and blocks. In this case you don’t need to edit any files, all can be done through administration panel. Need more flexibility – no problem. Call RSS Reader instances just from Magento layout XML files.

Custom CSS and Template files
RSS Reader uses its own CSS file and custom template. In fact you may create as much output patterns as needed and use them on per instance basis.

Next week we will publish in this blog detailed tutorial on achieving excellent Magento  customization results using 2 our extensions:  Z-Blocks and RSS Reader.

BUY RSS READER NOW

RSS Reader for Magento

We are happy to announce upcoming release of RSS Reader Magento extension. This Magento extension will allow you to display RSS feeds on your store pages. You can have multiple readers to display different feeds with full display control of each reader instance. RSS Reader will use its own cache for the best speed possible. RSS Reader extension is the best way to display your WordPress content on Magento store pages.

Video extension for Magento

Video Module Box

Another highly required thing for Magento – a Video extension. Despite it’s quite straightforward to create an attribute and use it, many people would like to see this functionality “out-of-box”. We decided to explore this possibility and start development of a video module. What we have now is a very simple code that adds a tab in the product configuration interface and allows to enter video embed-code. We’d like you, Magento users to contribute your ideas and needs and help us create a useful and poweful module.

The development has been started basing on this thread: http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/1432/

Waiting for your comments!

Magento World Newsletter (March 3, 2009)

aheadWorks is happy to send out the first newsletter for subscribers of Magento World store. In our monthly newsletters we are going to inform you regarding new releases of our current products as well tell about new new ones. Also, each newsletter will contain a featured product or a pack of the month with a really significant discount.

We would like to invite you to visit our blog. Besides all kinds of interesting and valuable information it would contain current development spotlights and product updates keeping you informed about your product releses. You are able to subscribe to your product(s) RSS feeds and download the updates as soon as they are available. Please visit https://blog.aheadworks.com/

February 2009 was quite a rich on releases, so let’s start!

New Extensions

Please do not forget to check product page of the extensions that might interest you – there is much more information like tips, FAQ, changelog, demos, videos etc.

Help Desk

Nowadays we cannot imagine an online business without good customer support and case tracking and resolution system. This becomes a crucial point for online merchants and service providers. According to our recent studies up to 78% of respondents put customer support on the first places for consideration when choosing a merchant or provider on the Net.
Help desk Magento extension by aheadWorks is a perfect customer care and support solution for ecommerce sites based on Magento.

Z-Blocks

Z-Blocks – is a unique solution to control static blocks in your store. Now you don’t need to change template and layout files manually every time when you want to add an advertising banner or add some specific information. Now all the administration of static blocks is available in admin panel.
Z-Blocks extension uses native Magento functionality – you can create different static blocks for different Store views.

Updated extensions

Don’t forget to check full changelog on the product pages.

Featured Products

Current version: 2.0
Upgrade: Highly recommended from any previous version
Upgrade cost: free for all versions
What’s new:

  • Variety of new configuration options in the administration interface
  • New slideshow type – slider
  • Ability to define category per product

Help Desk

Current version: 1.1
Upgrade: Highly recommended from any previous version
Upgrade cost: free for all versions
What’s new:

  • Ability to attach files
  • A bunch of minor bugfixes
  • Minor interface improvements
  • French and German localizations

Product Questions

Current version: 1.0.9
Upgrade: Highly recommended from 1.0.6 and below; recommended for all others
Upgrade cost: free for all versions
What’s new:

  • Multiple stores support
  • HTTPS connections improvements
  • Many minor bugfixes

Promotion of the Month!

aheadWorks itself is a company dedicated to provide not only a quality service and products but also a good customer care. Since the very launch of our store we are receiving a good volume of feedback from our customers and visitors. Our valuable assistants in this task are Help Desk and Product Questions modules, which being combined create a powerful customer care solution for Magento stores. Use the following coupon to get both Help Desk and Product Questions with 40% discount:

HDPQNSLT40

The offer expires 17 March 2009! That’s all what were going to inform you about. Do not forget stay in touch, leave ratings and all kinds feedback, we are always happy to hear your thoughts. If you need a new feature in our product – just let us know – it has good chances to be implemented.

Thank you for being with us and good luck to your busines,
Sincerely yours,
aheadWorks Magento department

Booking Extension – collecting feature requests

Booking module is something to be spoken about a lot, but noone has achieved this as a module. We are going to fullfill this gap. Estimated development start date – 26 Feb 2009. Till then, we’d like to collect as much as possible feature requests. Please feel free to leave your ideas in the comments to this post. As usually, the most active contributors receive significant discounts. 
Let’s start with this thread: http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/14973/, so no need to repeat it.  We are going to cover a lot: hotel booking, lecture/theatre booking (with row-seat), car rental, restaurants, services, merchandise. 

Describe your needs, processes, your vision of implementation.

Thank you.

Help Desk 1.1.0

Added ability to attach files to messages and a number of minor bugfixes. Update is free, as always.

Featured Products 2.0

Here is the list of new features:

  • New display type – Slider
  • Flexible system of displaying product information – you choose what, where and how to display
  • Customizable positioning and layout
  • More slideshow and slider behaviour control
  • All sizes can be re-defined from the configuration panel
  • Less CPU-consuming and smoother animation
  • CSS in a separate .css file – customize it the way you need
  • Ready to use CSS presets in the package
  • Localization-ready

As always find demos, screenshots, FAQ and product questions in our Magento modules store

This Magento module has been updated to version 3 https://ecommerce.aheadworks.com/magento-extensions/layout/featured-products-3.html

Z-Blocks – flexible HTML blocks in any place of your Magento store

Z-Blocks – is a unique solution to control static blocks in your store. Now you don’t need to change template and layout files manually every time when you want to add an advertising banner or add some specific information. Now all the administration of static blocks is available in admin panel.
Z-Blocks extension uses native Magento functionality – you can create different static blocks for different Magento Store views.
Find more details and screenshots here – https://ecommerce.aheadworks.com/magento-extensions/z-blocks.html