Magento merchants tend to be dynamic, energetic and resourceful people. They pride themselves on their ability to research and learn the technical knowledge required to manage and grow an online business. However, because there is so much to learn, most people on the business side have only a surface understanding of the technologies and terminologies.
Even the most adept merchants often feel they are speaking to someone from another planet when dealing with developers. Almost every merchant has been in a meeting in which they were buried in a deluge of indecipherable acronyms and buzzwords.
While one article cannot solve the merchant-developer communication problem, we would like to present some questions (and the RIGHT answers) merchants should ask their technical folks to help ensure their site is in top running condition.
1. What is our current resource load and how much of a spike in traffic can we handle?
2. What are we doing to keep our pages loading fast?
3. What benefits of Magento Enterprise Edition are we using?
4. How can a non-technical person update an image or content on my site?
5. How are we keeping the server secure?
6. How are we set up to handle cases when we need to roll the site back to a stable, previous version?
7. Who has access to my server?
8. Which version of Magento are we using?
9. What modules/extensions have been installed on the store and what do they do?
10. Is any core code or templates overwritten?
To ensure that you are getting the most out of Enterprise Edition, make sure you are working with a certified Magento developer. Developers spend hundreds of hours learning the Magento code in order to become certified and show their dedication to the Magento platform by taking (and passing) a rigorous test.
GNOME applications are seeing greater integration support with Facebook in the GNOME 3.12 development cycle…
Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk at Oracle has re-posted the Xen PVH patches for the Linux kernel as he seeks to get support for para-virtualized hardware extensions into the Linux kernel…
After being pressed by repeated delays Fedora 20 “Heisenbug” has been given the go-ahead to be officially released next week…
Meet Silly Milly Moo, an adorable PrestaShop powered online store selling children’s gifts and accessories based in the state of Victoria in Australia. The e-shop is run from the cozy home of husband and wife, Emily and Liam, giving them the opportunity to run a profitable business and keep up with their active on-the-go life raising three young girls, ages 10, 7 and 5.
Even with the girls’ school, ballet, drum and swimming lessons, Emily and Liam are able to manage their shop, fulfill and personalize orders and provide their customers with delightful service. I had the pleasure of speaking with Liam to learn more about their experience with PrestaShop and what they have done to make Silly Milly Moo the e-commerce success story that it is.
How did you get started in e-commerce?
As parents of young children we were looking for a business that could initially be run from home, providing us with an extra income whilst allowing us to spend time together as a family. Having three young children ourselves we already knew a lot about the products available for children. With Emily’s familiarity with the products and my IT background, an e-commerce site selling children’s products made perfect sense.
Did you have an e-shop before using PrestaShop?
Yes, we previously ran another site selling handmade children’s clothes and hair accessories. We had an ‘in-house’ custom written shopping cart. We switched away as it became clear that PrestaShop offered a lot more options than our cart system and was regularly updated with new fixes and features.
Share what you’ve experienced since switching to PrestaShop
We switched over to PrestaShop around November 2011. This was at the same time as we expanded our range and changed business name to Silly Milly Moo. The traffic has grown steadily since we started, but there have been a few peaks along the way with PrestaShop related changes that have helped us.
For example our conversion rates increased noticeably when we switched to the one-page-checkout. We had another ‘jump’ in sales when we moved to version 1.5 and implemented a newer theme that was easier and ‘cleaner’ for our customers to use.
I can say that our business continues to grow, with total sales in August 2013 being almost 8 times larger than total sales in August 2012.
Which PrestaShop modules or features would you recommend to other users?
I would recommend the multi-site feature PrestaShop offers. We have used the multi-site options to run an additional ‘micro site’ for a category of products from our other [PrestaShop] site, www.teethingjewellery.com.au. This has allowed us to run a site targeting a niche area of our products without having to manage two separate inventories. This in turn allows us to keep lower inventory levels of these products.
I would also recommend the Mailchimp Integration Module – we use this to run the newsletter for our website. See example:
What measures do you take to convert a visitor into a customer?
We offer a 10% discount voucher for any visitors who join our newsletter. We also offer reasonable flat rate shipping within Australia and free shipping on orders over $120. We aim to have a good selection of products so that visitors are always able to find the item they are looking for.
What do you do to make your customers return?
We use our Facebook page and email Newsletter to publicize discounts and special offers to our customers. We run product giveaways on our Facebook page to encourage people to ‘Like’ our page, thus allowing us to keep them informed of new products and special offers.
We believe that offering a superior shopping experience to our customers will encourage them to return time and time again. To this end we put an ‘over the top’ amount of effort in to ensuring every customer is happy with their purchase. We make sure that their orders are dispatched faster than they expect and that all products are of outstanding quality. We inspect every product received from our suppliers to ensure that it is ourselves who find any defects, rather than our customers.
What are your plans to boost Holiday Sales?
We will run a Boxing Day sale just after Christmas and will run some sales and special discounts through January for the ‘Back to School’ season (the school year runs from Feb to Dec here in Australia). Speedy shipping is something we promote heavily during the last few weeks before Xmas. We run a $6.95 flat rate shipping offer all year round.
What are your future plans for your online shop?
To continue to expand the range of products we stock. We will also experiment with other marketing types, including traditional channels such as magazines and radio to increase the number of visitors to our shop. We will work on improving our store theme, product descriptions and product photographs so we can continue to offer an outstanding shopping experience to our customers.
Canonical announced a couple of days ago, December 11, that the recently released Mozilla Thunderbird 24.2.0 email client landed in the Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.10 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems.
Officially released by Mozilla on December 10, 2013, the Mozilla Thunderbird 24.2.0 email client is a bugfix release that fixes an issue where long email messages that had multiple signatures might no longer be readable, fixes an issue where users were not able to edit… (read more)
We reported earlier today that the development of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition for Linux it’s being blocked by Activision, but now the developers have reached out to us in order to explain that it’s just a misunderstanding.
Our initial report was inspire… (read more)
While many people work less over the holidays, this isn’t the case at Phoronix and there’s many exciting articles coming out daily for the better part of the next month. Here’s a look, including our annual year-in-review articles of the Linux graphics drivers, etc…
QEMU 1.7, a generic open source emulator and virtualizer that can run OSes and programs made for a different machine, has been released and is available for download.
QEMU 1.7 supports virtualization when executing under the Xen hypervisor or using the KVM kernel module in Linux.
As usual, every new version of QEMU comes with a ton of changes and fixes. According to the changelog, the MSI-X affinity is now configurable with VFIO, various USB 3.0 emulation improvements… (read more)
On December 11, in a security notice, Canonical published details about a Samba vulnerability for its Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.10, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating systems.
According to the company, several security issues have been fixed in Samba.
It has been discovered that Winbind incorrectly handled invalid group names with the require_membership_of parameter. If an administrator used an invalid group name by mistake, access was grante… (read more)
Mozilla & Goo’s Game Creator Challenge
Firefox for Android includes support for Lithuanian, Slovenian, South African English and Thai locales.
Yesterday an article was published how Activision Is Preventing A Game From Coming To Linux, according to the technical director of the studio behind the game in question. It turns out that the Phoenix Online Studios employee was wrong…
Linux Kernel 3.12.5 is the fifth maintenance release of the Linux 3.12 series which fixes several critical bugs. You can review the full changelog here.
Linux Kernel 3.12.5 Installation
To install Kernel 3.12.5 in Ubuntu/Linux Mint, enter these commands:
wget http://goo.gl/v19PUi -O kernel-3.12.5
chmod +x kernel-3.12.5
sudo sh kernel-3.12.5
To remove kernel
Install Wine 1.7.8 in Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy/Ubuntu 13.04 Raring/Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal/Ubuntu 12.04 Precise/Linux Mint 16/15/14/13/and other Ubuntu derivativesWine lets you run Windows software on other operating systems. With Wine, you can install and run these applications just like you would in Windows. Wine enables Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, and Solaris users to run Windows applications without a copy of Microsoft Windows. Wine is free software under constant development. Other platforms may benefit as well.Changes in this release:Updated version of the Mono package.Improvements in the BITS service implementation.Better data tables for Japanese vertical fonts support.Support for configuring remote shares using Samba’s NetAPI library.Improved embedding support through XEMBED.Support for arrays in VBScript.Various bug fixes.Install Winehq 1.7.8 via PPA in Ubuntu 13.10/13.04/12.10/12.04/Linux Mint 16/15/14/13 open Terminal (Press Ctrl+Alt+T) and copy the following commands in the Terminal:Terminal Commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppasudo apt-get updatesudo apt-get install wine1.7 winetricksInstall Winehq 1.7.8 from source in Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy/Linux Mint
Install Spectro conky Pack in Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint/Others Linux distributionsConky is best thing to make desktop elegant, NoobsLab offers collection of conkys for Linux desktop. So today I bring Spectro conky pack for you, it has 5 variants with Celsius and Fahrenheit options. I tried to make installation and setup much easier for everyone, I hope no one get any problem with it. It can work for all Linux desktops environments like (Gnome Shell, Unity, Cinnamon, Gnome Classic, XFCE, Mate, and others). This conky shows only weather information in details (5 days) with support of curl. This conky doesn’t show any other system info. This time I pick up only wget script installation method because it can work with most of the Linux distributions.Screenshots Installation Features:Automatically adds to start-up.Automated script with choices.Choose between Celsius or Fahrenheit.Works in all environments, options to choose between environment.Uninstall script is available.Weather SetupWget script Installation Method (Works
4MLinux Server Edition, a special distribution based on Busybox, Dropbear, OpenSSH, and PuTTY, is now at version 7.2 Beta.
According to the developers, 4MLinux Server Edition 7.2 Beta is just an updated version of 4MLinux 7.1 Server Edition using 4MLinux 7.1 as the core system.
Highlights of 4MLinux Server Edition 7.2 Beta:
• FTP (vsftpd 3.0.2), HTTP with HTTPS (Busybox 1.21.1), SSH with SFTP (OpenSSH 6.3p1), and telnet have been implemented;
Zabbix 2.2.1, an enterprise-class open source distributed monitoring solution, released under the GPL (free of charge for both commercial and non-commercial use), is now out and ready for download.
The Zabbix monitoring solution has been separated into multiple branches, and the most recent iteration is the latest stable one, featuring quite a few changes.
According to the changelog, the housekeeping settings have been changed in order to allow overriding item-level h… (read more)
Version 3.8 of WordPress, named “Parker” in honor of Charlie Parker, bebop innovator, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. We hope you’ll think this is the most beautiful update yet.
Introducing a modern new design
WordPress has gotten a facelift. 3.8 brings a fresh new look to the entire admin dashboard. Gone are overbearing gradients and dozens of shades of grey — bring on a bigger, bolder, more colorful design!
The new WordPress dashboard has a fresh, uncluttered design that embraces clarity and simplicity.
The Open Sans typeface provides simple, friendly text that is optimized for both desktop and mobile viewing. It’s even open source, just like WordPress.
We think beautiful design should never sacrifice legibility. With superior contrast and large, comfortable type, the new design is easy to read and a pleasure to navigate.
WordPress on every device
We all access the internet in different ways. Smartphone, tablet, notebook, desktop — no matter what you use, WordPress will adapt and you’ll feel right at home.
High definition at high speed
WordPress is sharper than ever with new vector-based icons that scale to your screen. By ditching pixels, pages load significantly faster, too.
Admin color schemes to match your personality
WordPress just got a colorful new update. We’ve included eight new admin color schemes so you can pick the one that suits you best.
Color schemes can be previewed and changed from your Profile page.
Refined theme management
The new themes screen lets you survey your themes at a glance. Or want more information? Click to discover more. Then sit back and use your keyboard’s navigation arrows to flip through every theme you’ve got.
Smoother widget experience
Drag-drag-drag. Scroll-scroll-scroll. Widget management can be complicated. With the new design, we’ve worked to streamline the widgets screen.
Have a large monitor? Multiple widget areas stack side-by-side to use the available space. Using a tablet? Just tap a widget to add it.
Twenty Fourteen, a sleek new magazine theme
Turn your blog into a magazine
Create a beautiful magazine-style site with WordPress and Twenty Fourteen. Choose a grid or a slider to display featured content on your homepage. Customize your site with three widget areas or change your layout with two page templates.
With a striking design that does not compromise our trademark simplicity, Twenty Fourteen is our most intrepid default theme yet.
Beginning of a new era
This release was led by Matt Mullenweg. This is our second release using the new plugin-first development process, with a much shorter timeframe than in the past. We think it’s been going great. You can check out the features currently in production on the make/core blog.
There are 175 contributors with props in this release:
Aaron Holbrook, Aaron Jorbin, adamsilverstein, Alexander Hoereth, Amy Hendrix (sabreuse), Andrew Nacin, Andrew Ozz, Andrey Kabakchiev, Andy Peatling, Ankit Gade, Anton Timmermans, Arkadiusz Rzadkowolski, Aubrey Portwood, bassgang, Billy (bananastalktome), binarymoon, Brady Vercher, Brandon Kraft, Brian Richards, Bryan Petty, Carl Danley, Caroline Moore, Corphi, Dan Bernardic, danieldudzic, datafeedrcom, Dave Whitley, Dion Hulse, Dominik Schilling (ocean90), Doug Wollison, Drew Jaynes, dziudek, Empireoflight, Eric Andrew Lewis, Erick Hitter, Eric Mann, Evan Solomon, Frank Klein, Gary Pendergast, Gennady Kovshenin, George Stephanis, Gregory Karpinsky, hanni, Helen Hou-Sandi, Ian Dunn, iblamefish, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), Isaac Keyet, J.D. Grimes, Jack Lenox, janhenckens, Jeff Bowen, Jeff Chandler, Jen Mylo, Jeremy Buller, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Herve, Jeremy Pry, Jesper Johansen (jayjdk), jhned, Joan Artes, Joe Dolson, Joen Asmussen, John Blackbourn, John James Jacoby, Jon Cave, Joost de Valk, Joshua Abenazer, Junko Nukaga, Justin de Vesine, Justin Sainton, K.Adam White, Kailey (trepmal), Kate Whitley, Kat Hagan, Kelly Dwan, Kim Parsell, Kirk Wight, Konstantin Dankov, Konstantin Kovshenin, Konstantin Obenland, Krzysiek Drozdz, Lance Willett, Lee Willis, lessbloat, lite3, Lutz Schroer, Mako, Mark Jaquith, Mark McWilliams, Marko Heijnen, Matias Ventura, Matthew Denton, Matthew Haines-Young, Matt Mullenweg, Matt Thomas, Matt Wiebe, megane9988, Mel Choyce, micahwave, Michael Cain, Michel – xiligroup dev, Michelle Langston, Mike Burns, Mike Hansen, Mike Little, Mike Schroder, Milan Dinic, mitcho (Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine), Morgan Estes, moto hachi, Naoko Takano, neil_pie, Nick Daugherty, Nick Halsey, Nikolay Bachiyski, ninio, ninnypants, nofearinc, Nowell VanHoesen, odyssey, OriginalEXE, Pascal Birchler, Paul de Wouters, pavelevap, Peter Westwood, Ptah Dunbar, Raam Dev, rachelbaker, Rachel Carden, Radices, Ram Ratan Maurya, Remkus de Vries, Rescuework Support, Ricky Lee Whittemore, Robert Dall, Robert Wetzlmayr, Rodrigo Primo, Ryan Boren, Samuel Wood (Otto), sanchothefat, Scott Basgaard, Scott Reilly, Scott Taylor, scribu, seanchayes, Sergey Biryukov, shaunandrews, Sheri Bigelow (designsimply), ShinichiN, Simon Wheatley, Siobhan, Siobhan Bamber (siobhyb), sirbrillig, solarissmoke, Stephen Edgar, Stephen Harris, Steven Word, Takashi Irie, Takayuki Miyauchi, Takuma Morikawa, Thomas Guillot, tierra, Till Kruss, TLA Media, TobiasBg, Tom McFarlin, Tracy Rotton, trishasalas, Tyler Smith, Ulrich, Weston Ruter, Yoav Farhi, yonasy, and Zack Tollman. Also thanks to Ben Morrison and Christine Webb for help with the video.
Thanks for choosing WordPress. See you soon for version 3.9!