How to Fix the Most Common Magento Issues

Magento is a powerful platform but like pretty much everything in the Universe, it has some narrow spots you may face during the acquaintance with this platform. We’ve collected the most common Magento issues and their solutions to make your life easier.  
1. How to set up Magento website on a new domain
2. How to deal with “Access Denied” issue
3. How to reset/change Magento admin password
4. How to add a Contact form in Magento
5. Prevent Magento from logging you out too soon
6. How to change Magento Admin URL
7. How to get rid of 503 error
8. How to create SEO Friendly URLs in Magento
9. How to set up a blog in Magento
10. How to make Magento open through WWW
11. Disable admin notifications in Magento
12. Remove “.html” from Magento URLs
13. How to create 301 redirects
14. How to disable the “Compare products” functionality
15. How to create a custom user group and assign a discount
16. How to switch off Magento extension
17. Magento categories are not showing on the frontend
 

1. How to set up Magento website on a new domain

In order to set up Magento site on a new domain, you need to do two things: 1) Edit database settings Go to the cPanel-phpMyAdmin, select your Magento database from the left menu and find the table core_config_data. Click on it and find two fields: web/unsecure/base_url and web/secure/base_url. Click the pen icon and replace the old domain with a new one for both of them. Click the Go button to save changes. 2) Clear cache Find the cache folder at Magento installation directory – /var/cache and delete its content. Note: if you delete the entire folder, you may lose the .htaccess file.

2. How to deal with “Access Denied” issue

To solve an “Access Denied” issue, you need to log out from Magento admin panel and then log back in. Then go to System > Permissions > Roles > Administrators and make sure that Resource Access is set to All. Now click Save Role button and the issues will be fixed.

3. How to reset/change Magento admin password

a) To reset or change the password you need to navigate to phpMyAdmin, select the corresponding database and find admin_user table. Here you can replace the old password with a new one. Make sure your password is in a MD5 function. Note: Please don’t do that on your live environment! Simple MD5 function is not secure enough. b) The other way to change the password is to insert the following MySQL query into SQL tab: The ‘xx’ characters is a cryptographic salt. They can be whatever you want but make sure they are the same in both parts of the query. This is more secure than the first variant. If you have a clean dev/test environment and you want to add a new admin user from scratch, please do the following MySQL queries. It is also useful for updating existing users, e.g. reactivating them and setting a new password.

4. How to add a Contact form in Magento

A Contact form is a default Magento feature and, if enabled, there will be a link to it in the footer. But of course you can add it to any page you want. To do so, log in to the Magento admin area, go to CMS-Pages, select the page you want to edit (or add a new one) and add the following code: Click Save Page and the contact form will appear on that page.
magento contact form

5. Prevent Magento from logging you out too soon

This one is very easy to solve. Go to System – Configuration – Web – Session Cookie Management – Cookie Lifetime and set the duration to whatever you need.
magento cookie lifetime
You also need to change this setting in php.ini – session.gc_maxlifetime and restart the server. Otherwise the change in Magento admin may not have any effect.

6. How to change Magento Admin URL

To change default Magento URL (/admin/), navigate to app/etc/ and open local.xml file. Find the code: And change the “admin” value. Clear Magento cache, test if new URL is working and make sure that an old one returns 404 code.

7. How to get rid of 503 error

In most cases, to solve this, go to your Magento root installation, find a maintenance.flag file and delete it. If this didn’t work, clear the cache and sessions and try again.

8. How to create SEO Friendly URLs in Magento

To get SEO friendly URLs, so it’s /red-roses.html rather than catalog/product/view/id/12345, you should navigate to System-Configuration.  
magento seo friendly urls 1
Then select Web from the left navigation menu, set Use Web Server Rewrites to Yes and click Save Config.  
magento seo friendly urls 2

9. How to set up a blog in Magento

Magento doesn’t have a Blog functionality out-of-the-box so you need to use an extension to add it. You can search Magento Marketplace or Magento Connect for a proper one. If you don’t want to spend time searching, try Blog extension from Aheadworks. Installing blog extension is similar to the general extension installation process in Magento. See this guide. After installation, you’ll have an additional section in the top Menu of Magento admin panel called Blog. You can edit settings and add new blog posts from there.

10. How to make Magento open through WWW

According to the SEO best practices, you website should resolve to one URL. And usually it’s WWW version. To make your Magento website open through WWW, you need to access .htaccess file which is located in the Magento root. Then search RewriteEngine and insert the following just below: Save the .htaccess file, login to your Magento Admin and navigate to System > Configuration > Web. Unfold the Unsecure tab and change the base URL to http://www.yourdomain.com instead of http://yourdomain.com.  
magento www version
Click Save Config and your Magento store will start working through http://www.yourdomain.com.

11. Disable admin notifications in Magento

Go to Configuration – Advanced – Advanced and disable Mage_AdminNotification.
disable magento admin notification

12. Remove “.html” from Magento URLs

To remove .html from your URLs, go to System – Configuration – Catalog – Search Engine Optimizations and remove .html from Product URL Suffix and Category URL Suffix.
remove html from urls in magento
Then go to System – Index Management and reindex all data. Also, don’t forget to flush the cache.

13. How to create 301 redirects

Go to Catalog – URL Rewrite Management and click Add URL Rewrite. Select Custom from the Create URL Rewrite menu and fill the fields: ID Path: enter the old URL (don’t enter the full path. If the URL is example.com/old-url.html, you need to put just old-url.html) Request Path: repeat the old URL again Target Path: enter the new URL Redirect: Choose Permanent (301) Save the changes and check if the redirect works.

14. How to disable the “Compare products” functionality

To disable compare functionality, go to your Magento root folder, find app/code/core/Mage/Catalog/Helper/Product/Compare.php and replace: With Now you need to find and edit /app/design/frontend/base/default/layout/catalog.xml. Don’t forget to use your theme name if you are not using a default one./ Find the code” And replace it with Once done, clear the Magento Cache from admin area – System – Cache Management.

15. How to create a custom user group and assign a discount

To add a new custom user group, login into Magento admin panel and navigate to Customers – Customer Groups. Click Add New Customer Group and fill the required fields.
new customer group
To change the Group for a particular customer, go to Customers – Manage Customers. Navigate to Account Information, select the Group and click Save.
change customer group
You can also assign customers to groups in bulk.
change customer group bulk
If you need to create a discount for certain Customer Groups, go to Promotions – Catalog Price Rules – Add New Rule. Fill the necessary fields, pick the customers’ group for which the promotion is valid and click Save.
discount for customer group

16. How to switch off Magento extension

The easiest way it to navigate to System > Configuration > Advanced > Disable modules output and change the status to Disable and click Save Config. This solution is preferred and works in the majority of cases. If this didn’t help, you can edit XML file of the certain module. To do so, go to app/etc/modules and find the right XML file. There you should find a line true. Change it to false, save the file and clear cache. If you couldn’t find such line, there is one more way to turn off Magento extension quickly. Go to app/etc/modules, find the XML file you need and rename it. If it was random_extension.xml, rename it to abc_extension.xml.off and clear the cache.

17. Magento categories are not showing on the frontend

There may be several reasons for that. First of all, make sure that all your categories are placed inside the default category. Also, Is Active and Is Anchor (in Display Settings tab) should be set to Yes.
magento categories
Second, check if the Root Category is specified correctly.
correct root category
Lastly, you may need to Refresh Cache (System – Cache Management).

3 Replies to “How to Fix the Most Common Magento Issues”

  1. Brilliant. Comprehensive. Great article. Can I add just one more thing that I have experienced is that Magento emails sometimes go into the spam folder and don’t reach the client. The problem is that various aspect affect how emails are filtered, from the server and IP configuration to the email’s content and structure. This means that the first step is to accurately configure the domain SPF. I also find that it is a good idea to use Domain Keys Identified Mail or DKIM.

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