Issues with USPS and Magento 1.4.2

If you are a Magento store owner or Magento developer, you probably already noticed that USPS shipping method instantly stopped working few days ago. There was no clear announcement or whatsoever to prepare us for this outcome.


The reason for this sudden malfunction is that USPS updated (probably) their API in a manner not compatible to the previous version and all relying applications, as Magento, had to be updated also. Magento Commerce took care of this for Magento CE 1.4.2 for which patch has been created along with instructions to guide you through the patching process. The problem is that there is a number of stores still on Magento CE 1.4.x for which, by my recent experience, the patch doesn’t work and crashes the store.


Here is a quick fix I made just for these situations. It could be done better, but it’l serve the purpose and allow you’re store (or your client’s) to function properly. All you have to do is unpack contents of the zip file to Magento store root folder and that’s it.

custom magento attributes on frontend of site

If you have created custom magento attributes , then you might need to show them on frontend . So, here is how to call them to your frontend : If custom attribute which you have created is textarea or textfield then add the following code < ?php echo $_product->getAttributeName() ?> for example If I created custom attribute with attribute code published_date then your code will be < ?php echo $_product->getPublishedDate() ?> If custom attribute which you have created is a multiselect or a dropdown then add the following code < ?php echo $_product->getAttributeText('published_date') ?> If you have done all this and still the value is not displaying, then edit the attribute and make sure, you have switched on the option, SHOW ON PRODUCT LISTING.

Magento Affiliate System

Why should use Affiliate?

Selling products on commission is a great way to market products using friend networks of individuals. Moreover, it’s also an efficient sales channel as customers are likely to buy products introduced by their friends. So don’t hesitate to put this appealing extension to your cart!

How it works?

This extension allows online stores to create affiliate programs. Those who sign up to take part in affiliate sytem can introduce products or promotional campaigns by emailing to their friends or place banners in their own sites. When a friend of them clicks on the referral links and purchases products they will receive commissions.

Outstanding features

For Customers Easily manage affiliate accounts
  • Allows register for affiliate programs.
  • Allows referrals to join in different affiliate programs.
  • Provides banners, script/code to place in referrals’ websites.
  • Ability to manage transactions related to their affiliate accounts.
  • Ability to manage payment and sales.
Manage commission
  • Each affiliate program has its own commission rate.
  • Commission is calculated based upon commission rate and sales via referral accounts.
  • Automatically adds commission to referral accounts once a transaction is completed.
Manage friends
  • Referrals can create different friend groups
  • Allows referrals to add friends into friend groups.
  • Allows referrals to import friends from CSV files.
Email feature
  • Referrals now can send emails about products to friends in one or more groups.
  • Allows referrals to add products to a sending list.
  • Allows referrals to send products in their sending list to friends.
  • Tracks email status: referrals can check whether their friends have clicked on referral links in emails or not.
Facebook sharing feature
  • Referrals can share a product on their facebook profile pages by clicking the Facebook button in the product page.
  • Allows referrals to customize the title and description when sharing a product.
For Administrator Manage affiliate program
  • Ability to set different commission rate for each program.
  • Allows running affiliate programs for certain products or categories.
  • Manage referrals that joined the progams.
  • Manage transactions made via referrals in the programs.
Manage banners
  • Assigns banners to affiliate programs
  • Assigns links to banners
  • Allows to use flash or images for banners
Manage referral
  • Allows administrators to view/edit referrals’ information (name, email, balance, payment release level...).
  • Ability to also view other information of referrals: their friends, affiliate programs which they joined, transactions and payments.
Manage transactions & payment
  • View all transactions and their status.
  • Update status of payment once it is released.
Manage sent emails
  • Allows administrators to view all emails sent by referrals.
  • Tracks email status and export email lists in xml files.
Other Features
  • Easy installation and configuration.
  • 100% open source.
Meets Magento programming standards.

Demo from the software vendor

Frontend Demo Backend Demo User name: demo Password: demo1234


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How to disable modules in Magento

Magento has a huge number of features and there are probably few businesses that will need to use all of them. If you want to disable some features completely for your site (such as the newsletter, or the tag cloud), you can do this easily through the administration options. System > Configuration > Advanced > Disable module output Find the module that you want to disable and select ‘Disable’ from the drop-down box. For example, if you want to disable the newsletter feature the config will look as follows.  
Disable newsletter moduleDisable newsletter module
Save the settings, clear your cache, and the feature should be disabled. It is still possible that some parts of your site refer to the disabled feature. For example, if after disabling the Mage_Newsletter module you still see HTML that is related to the newsletter, it means that that HTML bit was not generated through the Mage_Newsletter module and so you will have to remove it manually from the template.

Disabling modules only in one store

This applies to multi-store setups. As with any other configuration option, you can use the configuration scope box at the top left of the System > Configure page to define whether you want to make your changes for all stores or only for one store.
Configuration scopeConfiguration scope
Select an option from the drop-down box before you save the settings that disable the module. The ‘Default Config’ option applies the changes to all stores that do not override the setting explicitly. To disable the module only for one store select that store from the drop-down box.

How do I find out the name of the module I want to disable?

In the case of the newsletter feature the name of the module to disable is clear (Mage_Newsletter), but here’s what you can do if you can’t figure out the module name that easily. If the module outputs html for the template, you can look at the block name of the html output. The first part of this name should be the same as the module name (this has been true for all the modules I’ve checked so far) . For example, the block Mage_Tag_Block_Popular is output by the module Mage_Tag.  The rest of this post explains how to display block names in the template. Here’s how you get Magento to display the names of the html blocks. In your development environment, select one of your stores in the Current Configuration Scope box (see above). Then go to: System > Configuration > Developer > Debug Enable the Template Path Hints and Add block names to hints. template-path-hints-config Now access a page that contains the module you want to disable. You should see the block names written in blue around the html elements that belong to that block. For example, the sidebar of my product listing page contains the newsletter sign-up elements and the tag cloud. The block names for these elements are Mage_Tag_Block_Popular and Mage_Newsletter_Block_Subscribe. The first part of these two names ‘Mage_Tag’ and ‘Mage_Newsletter’ correspond to the module name that output these blocks. If the blue names do not appear over the red box, move your mouse over the box and you should see the blue name appear. magento-block-debug Note: Disabling a module will not only remove the HTML output of the module, but also all functionality associated with it. So, for example if you disable the Mage_Newsletter module and you have customers who are already signed up for the newsletter, you will be unable to send them emails. If you just want to remove HTML elements you should modify the template, instead of disabling modules.

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