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Magento Pets Store Themes & Templates
What are Magento Themes?
A theme is a combination of layout, template & skin file(s) that create a visual experience for your store. Magento allows a user to load multiple themes at once, and therefore distinguishes themes into two types:
- Default Themes - Every Magento interface is loaded with a built-in default theme, which is the main theme of a Magento Interface. You you assign this interface to your store, the application searches for this 'defaultk' theme and automatically loads it to the front end. In order to customize your Magento store, you need to either modify the default theme or create a new theme which is non-default. To run a store without errors, the default theme must contain all the required layouts, templates and skins.
- Non-Default Themes - A non default theme is defines as a customizable theme which may contain as many or as few theme files as required for your store. These themes are required for temporary or seasonal design changes. With these non-default themes you can easily transform your usual store to a unique Christmas store without having to create a whole new default theme. Updating a few images and some CSS does the thing for you.
What are the Components of a Magento Theme?
A theme is a combination of layout, template & skin file(s) that create a visual experience for your store. Here are the three main components of a Magento theme:
- Layouts - Layouts are basic XML files that define the block structure for different pages, as well as controlling the META information and page encoding. Layout files are separated on a per-module basis, with every module bringing with it its own layout file. We can call it a blue-print of a themes.
- Templates - Templates are PHTML files that contain (X)HTML markups and any necessary PHP tags to create the logic for the visual presentation of information and features.
What are Magento Blocks?
A block in Magento is defined as a way to manage the array of functions in the system Magento blocks are defines as models that contain logic (related to the information display i.e the presentational logic) for your view templates.
There are two types of blocks and they work together to create the visual output.
- Structural Blocks - These are blocks created for the sole purpose of assigning visual structure to a store page. Examples would be the header, left column, main column and footer.
- Content Blocks- These are blocks that produce the actual content inside each structural block. They are representations of each feature functionality in a page and employ template files to generate the (X)HTML to be inserted into its parent structural block. Examples are the category list, mini cart, product tags and product listing etc.
What should we take into account when selecting a Magento Theme?
One of the best ways to select a Magento theme is to select a template that is close to what you want your site to look like. Then check if its design can be tailored to your needs. Unfortunately, Magento has thousands and thousands of templates and finding one for your site can be a daunting experience.
- The main pages that a Magento theme displays are
- The Home (main) page
- The Category page - with a list of sub categories - with a list of products
- Search result page (list of products)
- Product detail page
- Other Pages like About us, Contact us, terms, etc.
Ideally, the Magento theme you choose should look professionally designed and should compliment what you are selling. The second thing to look for in a Magento theme is the ease of use, navigation and conversion. Another important thing to look for in a theme is that it should be SEO optimized for your store to rank better in search engine results. Last but not the least, it should be upgradeable when you upgrade Magento.
- Look & Feel: We believe that a good design encourage the visitor spend more time on your website. A sleek & a classy look also gives an impression that you are a well established site and they can rely on you to deliver your best. A good site design also helps build trust between and visitors and you. So, the design should therefore be what your target audience / customers should expect and like, and may not necessarily what you like or prefer.
- Navigation : Another very important aspect to look for when you select a Magento theme is the ease of use. Navigating through a website should be easy and not confusing. It is very important to create a navigation plan first and then add products. It is necessary to decide what data to hold for each product and what data to use to help visitors find a product. In Magento a product may not necessarily be sitting is a hierarchical category. Instead, it can be found using layered navigation. Layered navigation helps filtering large product lists into a more defined, refined & manageable display. Layered navigation also eliminates the need for complex menu structures.
- Search Engine Optimized : It is very crucial in terms of your website rank, traffic & performance. Magento is said to have various SEO friendly features. However, this is only as good as the content. The Magento theme that you select must have just one main heading i.e. (h1) and the heading should be the main subject of the page. For a category page, the subject should be the category title and similarly for a product detail page, the main heading should be the product title. As far as the search pages are concerned, it better to use the search term as the page heading. Another very important point to consider here is that the navigation links should be “NoFollow” in case of layered navigation. It this is not done, it may result in 'duplicate content. These are some of the basic SEO related points that should be kept in mind when you select a Magento theme.
- Upgradeable Make sure that the Magento theme you select should be available on the Magento version that you use. Or the themes should be compatible with the version you upgrade to.
- Help & Support:It is also one of the important aspects to look for. What kind of support does your supplier provide, go through their testimonial and see what kind of experience other users had with the supplier. Whether they just offer 3-6 months of support and upgrades, or do they offer any kind of guarantee that they will allow you to download any future versions of that theme when Magento is upgraded.
The Magento theme which fulfills all these or most of these criteria should be your ultimate choice.
Advantages of Magento Themes Over Other Themes?
Magento is a feature rich open source platform that provides a lot of scope for creativity. Magento has been confirmed as fastest growing platform in the list of Internet Retailers 2014. Lots of online business owner prefer Magento themes over other themes to build their website. Magento enhances the shopping experience and adds aesthetic value along with usability to any ecommerce website.
With Magento, designers have gained the ability to convert their wild imaginations into themes that can be downloaded and used. Dependency on programmers for small tasks has been completely eliminated by Magento. But, what exactly differentiates Magento themes from the other themes.
Here are the reasons why Magento themes are different from other themes:
- Magento Themes areFeature-Rich : Magento offers functions which are certainly not offered by other ecommerce platforms. Multiple languages, multiple store functionality, multiple currency support and SEO friendly features are a real treat that is available for free in Magento community edition. If you need other helpful features to control your store than you need to upgrade to enterprise edition. If business value demands more security and efficient performance than you can upgrade to Premium Enterprise Version.
- Magento Themes have Responsive Design : Responsive Designs are must-have for the success of ecommerce website. Responsiveness provides best visual experience for all visitors. Designing a website to cater both smartphone and desktop/laptop users is a positive way to maximize the marketing mileage. 30% of US customers use their smartphones and tablets for online shopping.
- Retina Ready Theme : Retina Ready Themes make your website look good on any retina display. This functionality is highly indispensable if you want your customers to be truly satisfied. Clear and sharp images without any distortion make your online store look trustworthy and professional.
- Magento Themes have High Customization Power : With Magento Customization Services you can do ecommerce website customization, develop online store and customize shopping cart, module, plug-ins and themes or templates. Magento themes are highly customizable which opens the door to design your online store exactly the way you want. You can give unique and attractive look to every product category and product page. It grants you the power to showcase your product in an innovative way which helps in improving your marketing efforts. It helps in creating brand visibility and provides great shopping experience to your customers. Uploading new range of products and configuring a temporary theme for contests, seasons and special sales can be easily done by the end users.
- Swapping between Multiple Themes is Easy : Magento enables us to load multiple themes at a time which allows you to swap between default store design and temporary season/ event designs. Well it is really an amazing way to attract customers.
- Continuous Workflow : As Magento is fully object oriented programming, all modules can be easily accessed via template tags from any template file. With Magento’s feature rich right out of box, you don’t have to depend on programmers and designers to complete simple task. Magento thrives on vast community support of Magento experts and hence, you don’t have to think hard if you need any sort of guidance.
- Reduced Debugging Time : With Magento’s modular structure programmers can easily spot flaws or hitch. This backend modular structure brings modular template system which reduces (X) HTML masses. It consumes very less time due to which online stores have to face less downtime.
Add, Edit & Manage Currencies in Magento
Magento is versatile e-commerce development platform, which has many features that help merchants to flourish their businesses on net. Magneto e-commerce development has caught attention of business community and nowadays they prefer this platform to launch their business.Magento is a feature-rich eCommerce platform solution that offers merchants complete flexibility and control over the functionality of their online channel.
Magento’s intuitive administration interface allows you to tailor your site to your unique business needs.Magneto’s currency option give you more flexibility to add more currencies. In this article we will take look at how to manage and add currencies in Magneto.
After you install Magento by default there’s only one allowed currency which is used for pricing and payment transactions. From the admin panel in Magento you can add & manage more allowed currencies, change the default display currency and configure other currency-related settings.
To add, edit and manage basic currency options, log in to the admin panel of your Magento and go to System menu > Configuration > Currency Setup button in the General section on the left. This will display a few panels on the right. The first one is Currency Options.
Here’s how you can manage currencies in Magento
In the Magento admin panel, click on ‘Currency Setup’ to expand and configure the basic currency settings. The options in this panel are:
- Base Currency : This is the base currency used for payment transactions. This is the currency that’s directly associated with the price of products as set in the admin panel.
- Default Display Currency : This drop-down menu helps you to select which is to be the default currency that is used to show the prices of products on the frontend of your online store. When a customer initially visits your store that’s the currency that will be displayed. You can select a default currency only from those that you have enabled from the Allowed Currencies option. A default currency can be set per store view.
- Allowed Currencies : This option provides a long list from which you can choose which currencies should be available on the frontend. To select more than one currency, press and hold the ‘Ctrl’ button on your keyboard and click with the left mouse button on the currencies that you want to allow. If there’s more than one allowed currency, there will be a drop-down menu on the frontend from which customers can select one of the allowed currencies. When they do that the prices of products will be shown in the selected currency. The prices will be re-calculated based on the rates that you’ve set in the admin panel.
Adjust & Edit Quick View Image Settings in a Magento Theme
All the Magento extensions comes with some default or in-built settings. But, when it is Magento, there's always a way to change, edit or customize these settings to suit your requirements. Almost all of the Magento themes comes with an in-built quick view setting. If you are not happy with the way your images appear in quick view pop-up, you can certainly change it to appear as you want it. Here's how you can adjust quick view image settings:
- Go to System -> Configuration -> Magento Extension -> Quick View
- You can customize quick view image settings by completing the fields listed below
Zoom and Image Slider Configurations :
- Image Width – Specify image width in pixels
- Image Height – Specify image height in pixels
- Zoom Wrapper Width – The width of the zoom box (in pixels)
- Zoom Wrapper Height – The height of the zoom box (in pixels)
- Thumbnail Slider – Enable / disable thumbnail slider in popup
- Thumbnail Width – Specify width of thumbnails in popup
- Thumbnail Height – Specify height of thumbnails in popup
- Zoom Ratio – Specify the rate of zoom
Installing Magento Theme through Magento Connect
Magneto gives you the flexibility to add different themes that you can utilize for your online store. There are two ways to install a Magento theme. One is the manual installation and the other is installing a Magento theme through Magento Connect which is explain below: 1. In order to upload and install a Magento theme, you need its Extension key. Once you pick a theme and open its details page, click Install Now, select the Magento Connect version (if you are using Magento 1.5 or newer, you need to select version 2.0, otherwise leave the default 1.0), agree to the extension license agreement and click on the Get Extension Key button. 2. The extension key will be visualized, so you can select and copy it. Then, open the Magento Admin and go to
System -> Magento Connect -> Magento Connect Manager.
Enter again the admin login details and paste the extension key in the Paste extension key to install field. Finally, click on the Install button. When you are ready with the installation, you can go to Magento Admin panel and activate the theme. Go to System -> Configuration -> Design -> Themes. Enter the name of the themes in the Default field and save it.
Install Magento Theme Manually
there are two ways to install a Magento theme, one through Magento connect and the other is manual installation. If you are looking for how to install a Magento theme manually, following is the process to do so.
- The file you will get is a zip file – extract this file to your computer. The folders app and skin will appear.
- Add these folders to your Magento installation. You need FTP access to your website on the server. You need to upload the folder app to magento/app/design/frontend/default and skin to magento/skin/frontend/default.
- After you have done this, go to your admin panel.
- Goto the System/Configuration/Design Tab, Choose the new theme and click Save Config From Mangeto Admin panel -> CMS -> Manage Pages. Here, you will be able to choose between different layouts for the different pages you have.
Adding Custom Color Picker in your Magento Theme
Adding a custome color picker to your Magento theme isn't as difficult as it may sound. The benefits of adding a color picker to a Magento theme are many. It facilitates store owners to choose colors for various options. the steps below will help you create a custom color picker which can easily be integrated in your Magento theme. 1. Add a custom field called
color and assign a class name
colorpickerthen add this code in your extension's code
$fieldset->addField('filename','text',array( 'label' => Mage::helper('color')->__('Choose Color'), 'required' => true, 'name' => 'filename', 'class' => 'colorpicker', 'value' => $value ) );
Structural working and functioning of Magento platform
Magento is made of various small & large elements which define the functionality, design & the logic of a website. Your website's functions and looks are entirely dependent on these elements. Apart from following the Magento installation instructions, one must be aware of the terminologies used to describe these elements of the Magento system.
One of the most powerful features of Magento includes the ability to manage multiple websites and stores from one backend. With this facility store owners can manage stores on different URLs and display same products in different languages in a variety of setups. this function is useful for owners who sell products from multiple URLs and in multiple languages. This facility allow Magento users to scale their business growth.
Mainly there are three concepts that every Magento user or Magento store owner should know about. We refer them as the elements and terminologies of Magento.
- Website : A website is made up of one or more stores which share same data, customer information, order fulfillment, and shopping cart. Each Magento website defines the unique needs of individual merchants.
- Stores : Stores are defined as a suite of different store views. The stores provide multiple ways of installation and allow owners to group related store views in one website.
- Store Views : Store views are the main store instances in Magento. Ideally a store has only one associated store view but there is a scope to relate them with multiple store views and display them in different languages.
Therefore, for those who want to display their store in multiple languages, could create a store with two different store views related to that particular store.