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Free Magento Hosting Competition

Yes that’s right, I am offering two 12 month shared hosting plans as prizes for a Free Magento Hosting Competition – no strings attached, totally free. Why? Well, constantly doing Magento installations for other people gives me a great deal of insight into the operations of hosting companies. I thought it was time I started sharing those insights by doing a series of reviews for web-host companies that offer Magento hosting.

I reached out to several prominent host companies asking for a trial access period to test installations for my hosting reviews. Not only have the handful of initial companies been very helpful and co-operative, two of them have actually gone one step further and offered a prize for my readers!

Just to give those two companies a quick and well deserved shout-out for their generosity, a big thank you to A2 Hosting and Nexcess Hosting. To sweeten the deal even more I have decided to also offer free Magento installations to the winners of those two 12 month packages. So you’ll not only get a free year of Magento hosting, you’ll get a professional Magento installation done for free too!

I haven’t started writing up the Magento installation hosting reviews yet, but they will be trickling in over the next week to 10 days. I just thought I’d let you all know I have the hosting prizes available and will be starting to accept entries to the competition. What’s the competition, you ask?

I’m going to compile a list of top do’s and dont’s for hosting companies, based on my readers experiences. So I want you to tell me about your positive and/or negative experiences with web hosting companies. I’ll compile them and create the lists. All entries will go in the draw to win one of the two 12 month hosting packages. If your entry makes me laugh, I’ll make it a blog post, so be funny and get a free link!

So please go to my competition page and enter the draw, I’m really looking forward to hearing about other people’s experiences with web hosting. I bet you are looking forward to a chance to win some super sweet prizes.

If you are a Magento hosting company interested in being reviewed, please contact me to make arrangements.

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How to Bulk Enable Products when Google Checkout is Disabled in Magento

Magento allows you to disable Google checkout functionality for each product. Under certain situations though (when upgrading from 1.2 to 1.3 for example), the state of your products eligibility for sale through Google Checkout changes.

If you find yourself unable to sell products through Google checkout you can easily enable Google Checkout for your products through the Magento admin interface. However if you have many hundreds or thousands of products going through each one is not an option.

Here is a solution that will allow you to set the state of all your products to enabled for Google Checkout, quickly and easily. Testing has been limited to my own development installation, so as always backup your data before running anything.

Continue reading How to Bulk Enable Products when Google Checkout is Disabled in Magento

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Whoops: Magento supports PHP 5.2.0 or newer

You need to run PHP 5.2.0 or newer for Magento. This is normally not a problem for MAMP but a recent reader has asked about determining which version is running on their Mac when this error does occur. I just wanted to make a quick post on checking PHP versions in MAMP, because it seems if your Mac has other versions of php installed you can end up having odd results when trying to run Magento in MAMP.

You can determine which PHP version your MAMP server is running by opening the MAMP ‘start page’ and clicking the phpInfo link in the top menu. This will also tell you which php.ini file is being used.

You can also run:

 php -version

Run this in a terminal (, to print the PHP version that is on your PATH. You can determine which php is being run by typing:

which php

To find any php binaries on your Mac you can run the locate command in a terminal:

locate php | grep "[^\.]php$"

The pipe into grep just filters out any files that have php in the path, but are not php binaries, and also removes any files that are of the form filename.php which would otherwise turn up in the search.

You can execute any of the php binaries this command finds with the argument -version to find out what version of PHP it is. This may help you to identify any versions of PHP you have installed that you do not want anymore.

For example:

/usr/bin/php -version
/Applications/MAMP/bin/php4/bin/php -version

If anyone has any other tips for solving this or questions please post them below. Hopefully we can make sure this problem doesn’t trip anyone else up!

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How to use Apache Virtual Hosts over a local network with MAMP

I was asked recently whether it was possible to use the Virtual hosting in Apache I describe for Magento on MAMP over a network rather than just locally. To make a sensible response I wanted to give a quick background to the HTTP requests going on and how Apache uses those requests to decide what HTTP response to send back. It turned into a bit of a long reply comment so here it is as a post instead.

I use a network Apache virtual hosts setup all the time (though the network isn’t a local network it’s the internet, but same principle).

Continue reading How to use Apache Virtual Hosts over a local network with MAMP

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Another Magento install success, Only 2 Free installations left!

Well I have finished another of my free Magento installations and have some more excellent feedback to share. I helped Alan Bold with his Magento installation and here is what he had to say about my work:

“Building a Magento E-commerce site for the first time is tricky! No doubt about it. My biggest worry was web-server and web-hosting performance. Fortunately I came across Ashley’s services and took up his offer of a free Magento installation. If I had to sum up the experience in one word that word would be professional, others could be: fast, efficient and cost effective. Ashley took time to answer all my initial questions and reviewed my chosen web-hosting package. His install was quick (much faster than my test server install) and worked great. I was left with peace of mind that everything was configured correctly and secure, for this alone I will be using Ashley’s service for future Magento sites. $99 is a bargain, cheaper than Magento and well worth it. Thanks Ashley and keep up the good work”

Thanks for the kind words Alan, I look forward to working with you in the future. For any readers interested in help with a professional Magento installation, please do not hesitate to contact me.