The power of the blog cannot be denied so it’s important to learn how to setup a blog inside your Magento store. The simplest way to do this is to install an extension such as FishPig WordPress Integration, Lazzymonks or AheadWorks‘ , Magento Go Blog, Magento WP Plugin, Magento Blog – Community Edition.
Installing a Magento Blog extension
There are several blog extensions available but they are all installed the same way. If you are looking for a good extension you should use Magento Connect and find the extension you need. However the process is the same as you just need the extension key. The script will do the rest. These instructions can also be used to install other modules and extensions in Magento.
Log in as the Magento admin and head over to System -> Magento Connect -> Magento Connect Manager. A page will appear and the Connect Manager will appear. Provide all the necessary information.
After you are logged in two sections will appear: Settings and Extensions. Check the options at the Settings. Make any changes necessary but for this tutorial leave it unchanged.
The Preferred State option determines the status of the blog extension you are setting up. There are three states: Alpha, Beta and Stable. Use the stable option for live states. The beta and alpha state allows you to look up the newest version of the extension. But this is hardly recommended because blog extensions in alpha and beta states are unstable and might affect the functions of your store.
Back up your important Magento files before installing or upgrading a blog extension, or any kind of extension for that matter.
After you make the backup, go to Magento Connect Manager -> Extensions tab. A window will pop up for Magento Connect. Here you can browse the extensions available, and the modules here are arranged in numerous categories.
Download the blog extension. This will require the extension key, so follow the registration process. This may vary depending on the installation. Once you find the blog extension you want click Install Now. Select the Magento Connect that corresponds with the Magento you have.
Read the license agreement and choose “I Agree”. Press the button “Get Extension Key”
You now have the extension key. You will use this for copy and paste. Click Install and it will be downloaded automatically and installed. The information should proceed without any problem but if there is, some sort of information will appear to help you fix it.
A message will appear saying the installation was successful. Head back to the admin panel and adjust whatever options need to be adjusted. At this point you should test the extension and make sure that it works with your store.
How to Upgrade Your Blog Extension
Extensions are being updated all the time, so you need to update and upgrade it regularly. Follow these instructions.
Log in as Admin and go to -> System -> Magento Connect -> Magento Connect Manager.
Go to the Extensions tab and select Check for Upgrades. Magento Connect manager will transfer and link to the server and look for any upgrades available. If the blog extension has been updated it will be in yellow color. Your extension will be upgraded. Again, make sure you back up files before updating the application.
Once you’ve backed the file, choose the upgrade version from the Actions menu. Click Commit Changes and continue with the upgrade. The upgrade will proceed automatically.
After the extension has been upgraded, click the Refresh button. Once the upgrade has been completed, you will see the yellow color has disappeared and your extension has been upgraded. To confirm the change check the installed column number, and you will see it has been updated.
Press Return to Admin and go to the configuration settings of your extension. Make any changes that you want. Test the newly upgraded extension and that it is functioning correctly.
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Updating Magento Extensions
As you can see it isn’t that difficult. But it is worth pointing out that blog extensions are not built in. Also, you need to make sure that your extensions are always updated, but only use the stable versions. The alpha and beta versions, as stated earlier, are not stable and might cause problems later on.
Choosing the Right Magento Extensions
There are a lot of blog extensions for Magento and each one has its own set of features. The more popular ones have been mentioned here but there are many others available. If you can’t make up your mind what to buy you can go online and read some reviews.
Magento also has a vibrant and active community so you may want to ask around. The online community also focuses on other topics such as extension problems and other issues concerning the application.
While the installation above will work for almost all extensions, the features and settings will vary. Most of the time the default settings will work out fine, but it’s best to go through the basic and advanced settings so you can maximize its use.
A lot of Magento users prefer to use FishPig WordPress Integration since, as the name implies, it integrates WordPress with Magento. but there are alternatives out there that you can try out and experiment with.
Magento Blog Template
Magento free premium templates and themes are available with blogs extension at Magentocommerce. Download this for free.
You can look at more Magento premium templates and themes at template-monster. Starting from $139 only.
Magento Blog Pro
If you are looking for pro blog solution then Magento have Blog Pro with lots of features, may not available in free version:
- Intuitive interface
- SEO-friendly:: Double links deleting
: Sitemap integration
: User-friendly links
: Ability to specify Meta title regardless of post title
: SEO friendly URLs and rel=next/rel=prev tags for blog
: Ability to use rel=”author” Meta Tag from Google
- Tags auto completing while post editing
- Ability to edit and delete tags
- Ability to create unlimited number of categories
- Ability to specify post author
- Anti-bot protection for comments and replies
- Mass Update Store View for posts and categories
- Possibility to disable comments for some post
- Possibility to change number posts per page
- Possibility to use “More Tag” in full content field
- Automatically Meta Data generation for post
- Ability to duplicate post and category
- Ability to schedule posts with future date release with notification via email
- Auto Generate Multi language URL slug From Title when adding new Post, Category or Tag
- Customer’s Comments with email notifications
- Informational blocks:
: Recent Posts
: Recent Comments
: Categories Block
: Archives Block
: Tags block with ability to use MT-Cumulus, a tool which displays your posts’ tags using a Flash movie that rotates them in 3D
- Latest posts widget
- Latest comments widget
- Archives widget
- Categories Widget
: Sidebar and content block optimization
: Ability to display all posts as well as posts from a certain category in widget
- RSS support for:
- Native RSS integration
- Social sharing block for every post:
: Google+ and Google Bookmarks
: Didn’t find the one you need? Contact us and we’ll add it!
- Frontend Post URL hint for Hidden Post
- Content Caching System
- Ability to use Widgets in content
- Button “Print” on top of Post page
- RSS Link on top of blog page
- Auto fill sort order for categories
- Multistore support
- Smart Store View Filter
- Import posts from WordPress via API
- Import posts from aheadWorks Blog
- Intuitive interface
- Easy 2-minutes installation
- Free support
- Meets Magento programming practices for most versions and customizations compatibility
Try the Blog Pro demo:
Cost of Magento Blog Pro is $119 only.
Author Bio :
Michelle S. McGuire is an e-commerce consultant who has been writing blogs for several years, and has been working with Magento extensions since its early days. She believes that by learning setup a blog inside your Magento store customer interaction will increase. Check out if you are looking for affordable ecommerce SEO services for your magento store.