In February 2011, Google released their Panda algorithm, affecting a whopping 12.5% of all searches, making it one of the biggest changes ever made to their algorithm. Originally called the Farmer update, Panda was designed to go after content farms. Despite not being the target of Panda, many merchants have found themselves on the wrong side of a Panda update as well. Whether you've been negatively affected already, or whether you are looking to stay on the right side of Panda in the future, here is your guide to Panda-proofing your Magento store. [Read more...]
Written by Marc Mackenzie on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 7:36:12 AM
Written by Garth Brantley on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 1:47:41 PM
We're super excited about all the performance improvements in Magento EE 1.13, released last week during the Magento Imagine Conference. Developers and merchants have been asking for these degree of performance optimization for some time now, its great to see Ebay Inc has listened and applied their resources to get this done. [Read more...]
Written by Chris Shea on Monday, April 15, 2013 1:05:50 PM
Several of us from Store Front Consulting were in Vegas for Magento Imagine last week. We took a few steps back from the usual rat race to attend the conference and get the most out of it. This was not just an ordinary event with meetings and mingling, but several days of full engagement. We exercised our bodies along with our networking skills, and enjoyed some first-rate entertainment to boot. [Read more...]
Written by Garth Brantley on Friday, January 18, 2013 1:49:14 PM
Written by Kezia Frayjo on Friday, July 6, 2012 3:03:49 PM
Yesterday Magento announced a security patch to cover a vulnerability in the Zend Framework used by Magento.
The patch resolves a security issue in the Zend Framework that is affecting many versions of Magento. The vulnerability potentially allows an attacker access to any file on a web server running the affected Magento versions unpatched. [Read more...]
Written by Kezia Frayjo on Monday, June 11, 2012 2:23:31 PM
You hear a lot of buzz about social media. Tales of its growing influence, importance of online communities, and increase of sales by engaging in social media. All this is true and there is research to back those claims. Still we can’t forget about good old fashioned email and its influence in our work, personal lives, and shopping habits.
Ipsos, a private research firm, polled thousands of people and found that 85% of those people use the internet for email. That’s not to say some of those people don’t also use social media, actually 6 in 10 use the internet for social media, but email continues to be king.[Read more...]
Written by Kezia Frayjo on Monday, May 21, 2012 11:27:54 AM
Good content is fundamental for SEO. One of the simplest ways to create content is to use a blog. Here are some brief ‘dos’ and ‘don'ts’ to keep in mind.
The end goal of SEO is to get your pages on top of the SERP (search engine results page) rankings on Google and other search engines. There are innumerable things you can do to make this happen; there are as many approaches and SEO techniques out there as there are pages on the internet, but they all come down to creating and optimizing content and building links. [Read more...]
Written by Kezia Frayjo on Thursday, May 3, 2012 3:30:29 PM
Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular social networking site, according to Experian. That is a huge leap in a short amount of time. To put it in perspective, Pinterest now gets more traffic than Google+ and LinkedIn. That’s huge for a site that’s been in existence for only 2 years.
What is it?
For those of you not familiar with Pinterest let’s talk about what it is. Remember back in the day when you would cut out interesting things (quotes, pictures, products) from magazines and pin them on a bulletin board? Pinterest is the same concept but now online. [Read more...]
Written by Kezia Frayjo on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 1:30:30 PM
Hot off the heels of the Imagine Magento conference in Las Vegas, the StoreFront Consulting team is headed to the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago. IRCE is the biggest ecommerce conference in the world.
Written by Chris Shea on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 6:14:23 PM
Written by Kezia Frayjo on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 11:34:46 AM
We just passed the April 17 filing deadline for tax returns in the U.S. The deadline got us thinking about taxes, and being retail minded, that got us thinking about sales taxes and the pain that many eCommerce merchants go through trying to figure out the logistics. Every order that comes into your store needs to fall under a specific tax rate. Not only does a store have to keep track of tax rates per state, per city, and per county but they are also expected to comply with any tax changes implemented during the year. To top it off there are international sales to factor in as well. [Read more...]
Written by Kezia Frayjo on Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:31:59 AM
We ran across a great article, What’s the Magic Word for ECommerce?, over at the Neuromarketing blog. It highlighted interesting statistics of what key words grab customers attention and prompts them to purchase. The study, by Kantar Media, surveyed 2500+ online shoppers and asked what words would motivate them to place an order. Not surprisingly, the word that shoppers most like to see is ‘FREE’ - free shipping, free returns, buy one get one free, etc. [Read more...]
Written by Garth Brantley on Thursday, April 5, 2012 3:52:38 PM
A larger portion of internet users make use of email than social media. I suppose this isn't surprising, if anything its surprising how large a portion of internet users do use social media. Should eCommerce retailers be marketing through email, social media or both? Our assessment is this: It depends. [Read more...]
Written by Garth Brantley on Thursday, March 29, 2012 5:22:43 PM
Since November 2010, UK Magento developer Tom Robertshaw has been counting the number of eCommerce sites using popular platforms in the Alexa top 1 million sites. His scripts go through the top 1 million sites and look for signatures of popular eCommerce platforms on the site home page. Though he offers the complete list of sites for sale on his website, Robertshaw has never published the names of top sites, only the platform results, until this week!
The top 10 sites for each platform have been published (Magento, Zen Cart, Volusion, Interspire, X Cart, etc). The Magento results are the most interesting to us. Zulily, Harbor Freight and Toms are all included in the top 10. It's also interesting that 2 German sites and 1 Japanese site made it to the top 10. [Read more...]
Written by Kezia Frayjo on Friday, March 9, 2012 9:49:27 AM
The 2012 Imagine Conference, happening in Las Vegas, Nevada, is only a couple of weeks away (April 23-25, 2012). We are very excited to once again attend what is being called the "superbowl of eCommerce". The great thing about the Imagine Conference is that you get to meet a lot of people who are all doing different things with Magento - consultants (like us), store owners, developers, service providers, hosting companies, etc. The conference is already sold out which means it will be jam packed. [Read more...]
Written by Garth Brantley on Saturday, December 17, 2011 7:00:00 PM
In the fall, StoreFront sent two of our developers to the Ebay / Magento Innovate conference to participate in the beta test of the Magento Developer certification program. At the end of December the official results of the beta certification tests were announced, and I’m pleased to say that StoreFront now has two officially certified Magento developers.
We are very pleased that Magento now offers a developer certification program. There is no doubt that Magento is very technically complex and requires expert hands. We see the developer certification program as a way for individual developers and service providers to demonstrate their expertise with the platform. Once the exam is officially released, all StoreFront developers will now be required to pursue certification. I know we are all eagerly awaiting the challenge. [Read more...]
Written by Montee Fiely on Monday, August 29, 2011 7:29:42 PM
StoreFront Consulting is excited to be attending the upcoming x.commerce Innovate conference in San Francisco. We're looking forward to Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes, The Shins and of course, finding out what crazy plans Magento and eBay have for the future. Contact us if you would like to setup a meeting while we're in the bay area. [Read more...]
Written by Garth Brantley on Thursday, August 18, 2011 3:22:02 PM
Written by Garth Brantley on Saturday, March 12, 2011 2:06:49 PM
Written by Garth Brantley on Monday, January 17, 2011 12:24:22 PM
I'm excited to be attending the upcoming Magento Imagine in LA this Febuary. This will be the inaugural Imagine conference and Magento has lofty goals for the event. They say: "the event will bring together eCommerce leaders for two days of discussion, learning, networking, inspiration... and of course – imagination!" Well I'm headed on the road to see what all the fuss is about. [Read more...]
Written by Chris Shea on Sunday, October 3, 2010 8:00:00 PM
Garth and I turned our road bikes into stationery attention getters and spun for 14 hours at the Fells Point Fun Festival in Baltimore, Maryland this past weekend. We raised over $1600 for cancer research and education. We gave out lots of LIVESTRONG bracelets, CDs with uplifting music, and a few t-shirts. Our efforts were inspired and supported by GIVETOLIVE (http://www.givetolive.ca), an all-volunteer non-profit that organizes an annual bike ride (this year from Vancouver, British Columbia to Austin, Texas) to participate in the LIVESTRONG Challenge.
One hundred percent of the donations we collected were given to LIVESTRONG Foundation. LIVESTRONG has one of the highest rates of funds that actually go to research, and to helping those who struggle with the disease. [Read more...]
Written by Garth Brantley on Friday, September 3, 2010 5:15:00 AM
Written by Garth Brantley on Thursday, May 13, 2010 8:00:00 PM
Due to some changes in the public Google Base / Google Merchant Center attributes feeds, an issue with Magento’s Google Base functionality has popped up. As far as I can tell, this issue will affect all versions of Magento. I have personally verified that the issue affects 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 and made the fix for several clients. I have put together this post with detailed instructions about fixing the error in the hopes that it will save some others time in dealing with the issue. [Read more...]
Written by Garth Brantley on Monday, February 23, 2009 7:00:00 PM
I found myself getting into the PHP game rather late and needed a book to go to for the basics. I have been programming in languages derived from C syntax for over a decade and a half now (C/C++, Java, C#), so I figured I could come up to speed with PHP rather quickly. My assumption turned out to be correct and PHP In a Nutshell turned out to be my guide book and go to reference for basic syntax. [Read more...]