Magento Blog

How can we help Magento?

We've been contacted by many members of the community over the past few weeks asking a simple question - "What can we do to help?". Given Magento's "age" and the status of the project development, this question is not as simple as it may seem. So we got our team together to discuss the question and came up with some ideas:

  • Testing and QA: We love getting bug reports!... OK - not really, but it does help. We all want Magento to be a high quality product so let us know if anything looks out of place.
  • Translations: We are currently working with community members to test the translation process (German, French and Polish are in the works). We will soon open this up to the rest of the world, so keep an eye out for the announcement if you can help.
  • Community Support: The community forum is incredibly active (2700+ messages so far). Take part, help each other out, and develop relationships with fellow Magento community members.
  • Documentation / Wiki: Have an idea for a cool article? An interesting how-to, step by step tutorial? Head on over to the Wiki, create an article and share the knowledge.
  • Spread the Word! - Let your colleagues, clients, friends, partners and the rest of the world know about Magento - I am sure they'll appreciate it. If you have a site or blog, we've prepared a few chicklets/badges you can use to link to from your site.

Have any other ideas? Let us know in the comments.

Magento chicklet 1 Magento chicklet 2 Magento chicklet 3
Magento chicklet 4 Magento chicklet 5 Magento chicklet 6
Magento chicklet 7 Magento chicklet 8 Magento chicklet 9

Magento Update - September 10, 2007

We’ve had a great week since releasing the Magento Preview to the world roughly 10 days ago. The response has been overwhelming and the feedback has been great. The numbers speak for themselves, with over 7,000 downloads and 1100+ registered users posting 2500+ messages in this period. The excitement and passion for the product is truly remarkable. We’d like to thank the wonderful community for accepting Magento so warmly.

We’ll post periodic updates on the blog (such as this), so subscribe to the RSS feed to stay in the loop.


  • A light installation of Magento will be available through the SVN in the next couple of days.
  • The translation process will be finalized this week and instructions on how to get started will be posted.
  • Paypal implementation is expected to be finalized (Express Checkout and Paypal Direct).
  • The team is currently reviewing the project roadmap and planning future development cycles and releases. Information about future releases will be posted in the coming weeks.


Community Site

The community site will continue to expand in the next few weeks with a number of large scale projects scheduled. As always, if you have any ideas or would like to suggest a feature, please let us know .

Finally, we’d like to give you a breakdown of the events that took place the night before Magento’s launch, as written by Udi Shamay (a senior project manager here at Varien).


You had to be there. I mean here, at Varien, hours before Magento went from late night conversations and scribbled ideas to our own software application. The task of meeting the deadline wasn’t easy as we promised to strike by the end of August and somewhere in the world the clock was moving fast towards September 1st . So here’s a recap of the most important day and night in Varien’s history:

August 30th 7:00: Arrive at work prepared for a very long day
August 30th 10:00: Team meeting and final tasks handed out. Coffee cup #1
August 30th 13:00: QA team finalizes testing and we’re ready to package the product.
August 30th 15:00: Installation Wizard ready for testing. Coffee cup #2 and 3 just for quenching the thirst.
August 30th 17:00: We’re all still here. People making calls to loved ones ’don’t wait up’.
August 30th 20:00: Installer issues. Need to repackage the product.
August 30th 23:00: Still all here. Waiting for the installer to be completed. Coffee cup #4 is consumed.
August 31st 2:00: Announcement by core dev team that this is it. Turns out to be a False Alarm. Coffee cups 5 & 6 are drank simultaneously.
August 31st 4:00: INTERNET DOWN. This is not a drill. Troops prepare to relocate HQ.
August 31st 4:30: The internet Gods take mercy and internet is back up.
August 31st 6:00: Final testing. Community is restless. Number of Speculative Comments on blog are overwhelming. Out of Coffee - switching to Tea.
August 31st 7:00: Finally ready for launch. Files are being uploaded to the server as the team watches.
August 31st 8:00: Flip the Switch. Magento is live. Team stays to witness first reactions from the community.
August 31st 11:00: No big issues reported. 28 hrs later we call it a day.

Moshe hard at work ~ 3:40 AM

The team passes time as another build is pushed ~ 4:45 AM

Udi pouring the champagne (a few days later)

Los Angeles Team celebrates

Magento Covered in Read/WriteWeb Blog

Magento was recently covered in Read/WriteWeb, a popular weblog that provides Web Technology news, reviews and analysis. Read/WriteWeb began publishing on April 20, 2003 and is now one of the most widely read and respected blogs in the world.


“Magento looks to be an easy to use and easily customizable open source e-commerce platform. There are sure to be many web developers and startups keen to try it out.”

Thanks for writing about us Richard!

Announcing Magento Preview 0.6 and Launch of the Community Site


We are proud to announce Magento’s inaugural preview
version 0.6 is now available for Download.

With the beta release of the product, a new community site is now online ... and the long awaited demo store. A few of the community highlights include:

We’d love to get your feedback. Found a bug? Let us know. Have a great idea for a cool feature or improvements? We’d love to hear about it.

Download, Explore and Learn what Magento is all about.

A few important notes before we wrap up (and get some sleep):

  • The current release is an early beta version of the product. We highly recommend not to use in production environments. Many things will change and improve as development continues and code refactoring takes place.
  • If you are looking to setup Magento for trial, our friends at Nexcess Web Hosting are ready and willing to help.
  • We’d like to thank Burton from Blue Collar Distro who contributed the wonderful apparel images for the demo store. Thanks Burton!

Magento Screencast: Creating Grouped Products

Grouped Products represent a way to market a set of products within a single product page. In the screencast, we go through the process of creating a Simple Product, the basic product type in Magento. We then progress to create a Group Product and associate simple products to form the set.

Grouped product Magento

This is the first of many screencasts we’ll be releasing with the Magento community site later this week. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

... and it may take a while to download (given its ~20 MB size). Get some coffee and enjoy Magento’s first screencast.

View Video

Calling all Beta Testers: Notes on the pending Beta1 preview release

With the pending release of Magento's Beta1 preview (by August 31), we'd like to reiterate a few important points that have been discussed on the blog (through postings and comments) in the last few weeks.

  • This is Magento's preview version and an early release of the product. We expect bugs (and lots of 'em) given the complexity and intricacy of the system. As such, we strongly advise not to use in production environments at this time. Many things may change as we receive feedback (including the core), so please take this into consideration when making a decision.
  • We've been contacted by hundreds of individuals from across the world that wish to take part in beta testing. This is your time to shine smile ... and we look forward to working together to address any issues that may come up.
  • Documentation is an area that will be greatly improved on in the weeks to come. If you feel you can contribute (as a developer or an end-user), get in touch with us - we'd love your help.
  • The upcoming community site will provide a platform for us all to communicate. We are excited to start working with the community and getting feedback about the product. So don't be shy smile
  • Support for international users is coming. We are currently focused on the architecture and core feature set. Once everything is stable, we'll be working with our friends from across the world to adapt Magento to the local flavors. This is an important part of our strategy and you can be assured we are coming your way.

That's it! Thanks again for the support and we can't wait to share Magento with you.

Sneak Peek: Magento Demo Store Homepage

We are excited to showcase the screenshot of the Magento demo-store homepage. This design will also be used as the first design package released with Magento. We are working nights to bring you Magento Beta1 (preview) in these next few days (and yes, it could be as late as the 31st, but certainly in August), and thought you might like a taste of how the front-end will appear in full color. Click on the image below to see a full-size version.

Magento Front-end Homepage

Sneak Peek: Creating Categories in the Magento Admin

With the release of the Beta1, Preview version of Magento approaching in the next couple of weeks we present a sneak peek of the Magento Admin Panel.

Today we will take a look at creating a new category in the Magento Admin. Click on the picture to bring up a full size version.

Magento Product Selecting Stores

The first thing to do is select the store where you would like to add the category from the stores dropdown menu. The default is for all stores managed by the admin panel, but you can elect to create the category in only one of the stores by selecting that store.

After that you will need to enter a name for the category which will appear on the sites selected. You can then select the location the category will be located in. The default is root, meaning the category will be a top-level category. If you select an existing category the new category will be created as a sub-category of the one you selected.

You can then enter a description, upload an image and enter meta information for the category.

After that it really gets interesting. If you would like customers to be taken to a landing page - instead of the standard product listing page - when they select the category, you can select a page from the Landing Page dropdown. This list will contain all the landing pages created in the Magento CMS. An example would be to create a Nike landing page and directing all customers to that landing page when they select the Nike category.

You then have 3 options for the look and feel of this category page. The default is Display Products Only, which will show the customer a grid list of the products. The second is display only Landing Page, which will display the landing page selected in the above dropdown, and the third is Display Landing Page and Products. This third option will place the content from the selected landing page above the grid list of products.

You then select whether the category is active on the site. Selecting no will hide the category on the site.

Finally you select whether the category page is an anchor. Anchors are used for the Layered Navigation in Magento.

If you set the category to be an Anchor the layered navigation (see this post for a look at the layered navigation) will display the sub-categories of this category in the layered navigation. The layered navigation then takes all the products underneath, including ones in the sub-categories, and displays all the filterable attributes of those products. If you do not set the category as an Anchor it will not display the filterable attributes in the layered navigation.

Here is a look at the layered navigation for the Apparel category which is set to be an anchor.

Layered Navigation for an Anchor Category

After that you can select products to populate the category from the Category Products tab and you have created a new category for your online store.

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