Just a quick note about several things, not really a full post. I’ve got a few cool Magento development projects on the go at the moment, blog posts are on the way. I’ve started contributing over at MageBase and I think the comment system here is sometimes broken, but I need some of your help fixing it.


I wrote up a little article over at MageBase.com to help you spot Magento stores in the wild. I thought it’d be a good opportunity to promote MageBase – it’s a growing community of Magento developers started by a few members of the Auckland Magento User Group.

Check it out. Feedback, article ideas and harsh criticism welcome.

Magento Development

In other news, I’m not dead, but close I got quite sick last week and have been now trying to catch up on a lot of things. I promise I’ll write some fascinating blog articles shortly – some of the exciting things I have been working on:

  • Auto responders that will follow up with a customer based on what they purchased a product-specific number of days later – for example an email that says “Time for the 3-6 month widget?” 3 months after someone buys a 0-3 month size widget.
  • The ability to automatically import a Google Docs spreadsheet and as store inventory, products and categories, allowing inventory management entirely outside of Magento.
  • An offsite cloud backup and restore extension that will give your store’s highly redundant data storage in a secure offsite facility.


One last thing, if you have been getting the blank page of death after posting comments on my blog I am so sorry. Thanks to Greg from Nexcess for pointing that out. I’m having trouble replicating it, please contact me if it happens to you so I can figure out why. This is also an excellent opportunity to tell you about one of my favorite Firefox extensions: Lazarus. It recovers lost form data when shitty websites lose your information (like my blog is apparently doing to some people posting comments). I can’t tell you how many times it has saved the day for me.

I received an email from a fellow Magento developer asking about hosting Magento in New Zealand – this post is about that email and my response because I think it will be useful to others asking the same questions. All of the Magento stores I’ve built to date have been overseas (read: not in New Zealand) – my experience so far has only been with building low latency sites for American customers and UK/Europe customers. The reason for this is that at World Wide Access we recognize the importance of an in-country webstore presence to customer experience (bandwidth and latency).

It was a little ironic then, that an American developer, Justin from Unify Digital contacted me for advice about building a Magento store for New Zealand customers – for the same reasons that we build our stores offshore. Here’s what Justin had to say:
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Just a quick one, a number of users have contacted me reporting email problems with the error on the contact form Unable to submit your request, often this error is actually caused because between versions 1.3 and 1.4, an invisible form field called hideit was added to Magento, which if absent, will cause the form submission to fail. That means if your template has a custom contact form, it will break. That’s a bit of a bummer if you’re upgrading Magento versions.

There are a few fixes floating around, so I won’t reproduce one here.

Take your pick:

There’s a lesson there, be very careful about copy the entire default Magento template tree and making changes, try only copying the ones you need to change – it’ll make your template far more resilient to changes when upgrading.

A number of people have been having some difficulty installing my extension manually, and so they should, they are not designed to be installed manually but rather through Magento Connect. This will be a short and sweet guide to installing my Magento extension through FTP or SSH. This could probably be applied to installing any extension manually, so if you just need help knowing where to put extension files, read on.

Those that follow this blog (all 3 of you) will know that I’ve been unable to upload my latest release to Magento Connect and have been offering it for download through my site directly in the meantime. Quite a number of you have been able to install it without a hitch, but the confusing nature of the extension layout is blocking some people from being able to use the extension. Let’s hope this guide helps.
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I was just setting up a store with GST tax on Magento and got caught up on a bug where the tax on a product would be calculated correctly, but the total on the cart page would show it 100x (yes 100 times!) lower than it actually was, leading to an incorrect total being calculated for when tax is included.

With a bit of Google’ing and I found this forum post which had the answer. A clean way of making this little patch while we await a core fix is:
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