markoshust's blog

Mon, 02/27/2012 - 18:02

Packaging a community extension for distribution on Magento Connect

Submitted by markoshust Mon, 02/27/2012 - 18:02

While packaging a Magento extension is very easy, the 1.5 documentation is an epic failure. It is very poorly written, and doesn't show you exactly what to do, what the dropdowns actually mean, or even what to do after you package the extension. There are other documentation pages, but they are bloated and confusing.

Mon, 02/13/2012 - 15:30

The Golden Master List of Magento Performance Enhancements

Submitted by markoshust Mon, 02/13/2012 - 15:30

There are lots of tips, tricks and hacks on how to enhance Magento. A lot of them are good. Some are entirely wrong! And most do not have each and every update you must make to every single one of your sites in order to get it to achieve the fastest possible load times. This is a list to remedy that situation.

Remember, all of these updates only apply to production environments. Feel free to post comments, updates and suggestions and I will keep this list up to date as much as I possible can. Hopefully, in time we can achieve a golden master list of performance enhancements!

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:30

Removing htaccess files from Magento and moving contents into Apache configuration

Submitted by markoshust Wed, 01/11/2012 - 11:30

Performance is the one area of your site that you can make you or break you on the web. Testing out a lot of strategies and hearing about how removing .htaccess files would drastically increase your page speed, I had to put it to the test. The theory behind this tweak is that when AllowOverrides are turned on, Apache checks every single directory to see if an .htaccess file exists, and that this lookup costs valuable web server time in projects that have lots of files (such as Magento and Zend Framework) and could cause latency in page requests.

Mon, 01/09/2012 - 11:49

Creating custom layout files and variables in Magento blocks and templates

Submitted by markoshust Mon, 01/09/2012 - 11:49

Sometimes it is necessary to create a custom layout file. Other times, you may need to define and set custom variables for use in your template file. This article demonstrates the ability to do both, in hopes to clarify the "Magento XML Magic" that is going on behind the scenes.

It is important to follow the MVC pattern, and keep data in models, logic in controllers, and use the view strictly to echo out data.

This example also shows you how to define a custom layout XML file in your module config, so you can update the layout XML from within your own module.

Fri, 09/23/2011 - 12:28

The correct way to give clients permission and access to Jira projects

Submitted by markoshust Fri, 09/23/2011 - 12:28

Jira is a totally wonderful piece of project management software, especially when coupled with the GreenHopper extension which greatly assists in Agile Development. That said, it's totally meant for programmers - so much so, that it requires a programmer to setup client access to specific projects. Jira's own documentation is pretty weak when it comes to setting up clients with access to one (or more) project.

Wed, 06/29/2011 - 15:41

Controlling how static blocks are displayed in Magento

Submitted by markoshust Wed, 06/29/2011 - 15:41

To disable a static block globally, go to CMS > Static Blocks > Select One > set Status = Disabled > Save To control the disable of static blocks on various pages, to go CMS > Widgets > Select One > Reference 'Layout Updates' section To remove a specific block for a specific page, go to CMS > Pages > Manage Content > Select One > Click the currently published Revision number on the initial page > Click the Design tab on the left > In the Layout XML section paste in the appropriate block of code dependent on the block you want to remove, for example to