Magento – Add Static Block to CMS Page

Static blocks are a great way to add sections of HTML to your CMS or Catalog pages. I’m going to show you how to add a static block to a CMS page.

It’s a 2 step process and a very simple one. First, create your static block by going to CMS->Static Blocks. You will use the identifier of your static block to reference it on the CMS page. Edit the CMS page you would like this block to appear in, and add this code in the location where you would like it to show up:

MySQL – Using a Column Name Inside the LIKE Keyword

When using the LIKE keyword in a MySQL query, I use it the most typical way, LIKE ‘%STRING%’. One day, I was in need to use a column name instead and could not figure out how to do it! At first, I tried to just replace the string value with the column name like this, LIKE (%t.column%). The end-result was not good as the LIKE keyword expects a string.

So, I thought of trying the CONCAT() function since that returns a string. And it worked!

Hope this helps someone!

Magento – Get the Total Price of items currently in the Cart

Ever wanted to get the total price of items in your Magento cart? Here you go:

 

Magento – Contact Form Not Submitting Bug

Since the new release of Magento, people have been encountering a lot of problems. One of them in particular, seem to be the contact form. The error is, “Unable to submit your request. Please, try again later.” If you’re on Magento 1.4 and get this error when submitting the contact form, that’s because your template (theme) is not fully compatible with 1.4. Your Magento theme is overriding the form.phtml file with its own version, which doesn’t have the new line in it. Here’s what you’ll need to do to quickly fix this error:

Open this file in your theme folder:

And add the following hidden field somewhere before the submit button:

 

Google Analytics – How to manually Track Clicks on Outbound Links

You can use Google Analytics to track clicks on links that lead away from your site. Because links that lead away from your site are not automatically tracked, you will need to manually tag all outbound links you want to track. To do this, you’ll add some JavaScript customizations to your page and to the links you want to track.

  1. Set up Event Tracking in your Analytics Tracking code. This is a simple matter of adding the following line to the tracking code for your pages after the page tracking object is set up:
  2. Add a JavaScript method in the head of your document to delay the outbound click by a fraction of a second. This delay will hardly be noticeable by the user, but it will provide the browser more time load the tracking code. Without this method, it’s possible that a user can click on the outbound link before the tracking code loads, in which case the event will not be recorded. Here’s what the JavaScript code in the section should look like (assuming you will use your own tracking code ID):
  3. Update your outbound links to call the new function without first following the link. For example, to log every click on a particular link to www.example.com, you would use the _trackEvent() method in the link’s tag:

    The example above uses the category label Outbound Links. This is a useful way to categorize all outbound links in the Event Tracking reports. It sets the specific name of the website as the second parameter in the call. With this structure in place, you could then see Outbound Links as one of the event categories and drill down to see which particular outbound links are the most popular. Be sure to use return false for the onClick handler, because without that statement the browser will follow the link before the recordOutboundLink method has a chance to execute.

    For more information on using event tracking, see the Event Tracking Guide on Google Code.

    Article Reference URL:
    http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55527&cbid=-wlhzojb6oodb&src=cb&lev=index

Enable cURL with XAMPP

cURL is disabled by default in your XAMPP installation. To enable it, you have to modify the php.ini files in your XAMPP folder. Follow the steps below to get it up and running.

  1. Locate the following files:
  2. Uncomment the following line on your php.ini file by removing the semicolon.
  3. Restart your Apache server.
  4. Check your phpinfo if curl was properly enabled.

How to setup a local web server on your computer using XAMPP

Web development work should always be done locally. When developing a website, all the development work should be done on a local LAMP Stack environment installed on your computer. That way, the production time is greatly reduced and you can fully test your work before launching.

When you are completely done developing your project, the migration to the live server is seamless. Here are the simple steps to install a local server on your PC to easily develop websites.

This article applies to the installation on Windows 98, NT, 2000, 2003, XP and Vista, of Apache, MySQL, PHP + PEAR, Perl, mod_php, mod_perl, mod_ssl, OpenSSL, phpMyAdmin, Webalizer, Mercury Mail Transport System for Win32 and NetWare Systems v3.32, Ming, JpGraph, FileZilla FTP Server, mcrypt, eAccelerator, SQLite, and WEB-DAV + mod_auth_mysql.

Installing XAMPP on your computer

  1. First, download XAMPP for Windows Installer
  2. Then run the installer on your computer and make sure that your Windows firewall unblocks Apache.
  3. Run the Apache administrator.
  4. Open your browser and go to http://127.0.0.1 – If all went well, a screen will appear where you can choose your language.
  5. Go to http://127.0.0.1/security/xamppsecurity.php and setup a password (it ill be used for your databases), and click on “Password Changing”.

Congratulations! You’re done! Now put your website’s files in a new directory under C:\xampp\htdocs\ (if you installed xampp in C:\xampp). For example: C:\xampp\htdocs\myproject\; and setup your databases using PHPMyAdmin located here http://127.0.0.1/phpmyadmin/.

Configuring Mod Rewrite

To finalize your installation, and make your development work much easier, go through the following steps to enable Mod Rewrite. This enables you to use fancy permalinks without the index.php appendage.

  1. Navigate to C:\xampp\apache\conf\httpd.conf
  2. Open up httpd.conf in notepad and look for this line:
  3. Uncomment it so that it reads:
  4. Next, search for AllowOverride None and change it to AllowOverride All.
  5. Restart Apache by typing services.msc in either the command prompt or Start Search prompt in Vista.

Personalized Domain for your Local Environment

I’ve set my local environment to mimic my live environment as much as possible. For example, to access the local environment for my blog, I type this in my browser (http://www.richardcastera.com). Here is how to set that up for each project:

  1. Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\ and open the host file in a notepad editor. Make sure the following lines are written in the file:
  2. Now add the following line to access your website locally via the URL myproject.dev (or any other URL you’d like):
  3. Finally, open the file C:\xampp\apache\conf\extra\httpd-vhosts.conf in a notepad editor, and add the following lines:

That’s it! Hope you enjoyed the post!

Drupal – Check if a User has a specific role

Here is a quick way to determine if a user has a specific role:

 

Drupal – Adding Javascript to your module

When creating your own Drupal module, you may need to add some styling or Javascript to improve the usability of your module. Here is how to do it.

Similarly you can add CSS to your module as well

 

Drupal – Use hook_form_alter() to set redirect path on the form

One popular use of this hook is to change the destination of a form submission. Here is how it is accomplished: