Archives For Magento

Having just got back from the Magento Developers Paradise in Mallorca, I thought I’d try for a creative summary, here we go.


The number of blog contributors I enjoyed meeting in person.


The number of wing mirrors involved in my first motor vehicle incident in Mallorca, < 15 minutes after renting the car.

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This is just a quick note that might save someone some time/effort. I’ve been working with the Shipwire Tracking API and Magento lately and although I think their API is good, it’s lacking in certain areas. Namely utility for customer facing applications.

The Shipwire tracking API returns short codes for carrier and service, which doesn’t really make it very useful for customer facing communication, nobody wants to know their parcel shipped on “RM FCLR“, instead of Royal Mail First Class Large Letter – Recorded Signed For. I contacted Shipwire support about it and they provided the comprehensive list of carriers and codes (thanks Gene!).
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Big mistake, big face palm

-			// TESTING
-			$files = array("js", "media");

Please get the latest version on Magento Connect as soon as you can…

And sign up to be notified of future bug fixes/features – I’ll aim for more of the latter and fewer of the former.

PS: Big Thanks Oren for bringing this to my attention.

I’ve had a love/hate/hate/hate relationship with Google Checkout and Magento for a long long time. Today marks a new low in our relationship. I’ve wasted so much time on this bug that I have made up a pie graph that illustrates the situation using Google’s charting API:

too much time with fucking Magento bugs

I’ve been on a journey to the bowels of the Magento Tax system and having spent the better part of 6 hours debugging through my issue I can safely say I will not do that again. The issue is that the totals are only collected once per address so depending on how many addresses you have and whether they are shippable or not, you get all sorts of weird results out of the shipping tax calculation. My issue was the calculated VAT amount on merchant calculated shipping in Google Checkout was wrong by a factor of tax % on shipping. So for £10 shipping in the UK, £1.75. Annoyingly it meant that Google would charge less than Magento recorded the order as being worth so now I have all sorts of mismatched order totals to deal with too. The issue could manifest itself as shipping tax being charged in Magento but not in Google Checkout too, if the tax was calculated on paid method, but the customer chooses a free method, for example.

I’ve reported the bug, so I really really hope it gets fixed soon – if someone else goes through what I just did, it would be a travesty.
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This post basically regurgitates greatly expands on an email I sent to a good friend of mine this week when he asked me about building an ecommerce webstore, and whether the quote he had of $25,000 was reasonable for an owner-operator hand-painted pottery website. Hint: it’s not.

Naturally enough I didn’t think that was reasonable, and I listed a few simple steps that can be taken to get a free Magento webstore up and running for a small budget – at least an order of magnitude less than the agency quote. The catch is, it takes a bit of elbow grease and tech savvy – it doesn’t require you to actually program computers though.

I’ll state upfront, I’m the kind of person who would rather have a store that only does half of the things you want it to, running; than one that is still in development with load of great features ‘coming soon’. I subscribe to the actually shipping is the best feature philosophy of software development (that’s also my excuse for releasing buggy beta software).

So, with the 10 steps below, you can join the boom and get selling your products online through Magento. I’ll run through the steps below, and try to keep a running tally of costs as we go. If you spot anything you disagree with, please comment, I’d like this to be as accurate as possible. Preamble over, let’s get down to it.

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