Tag Archives: Magento

WordPress Blog Integration for Magento

Setting up a WordPress blog in Magento can be extremely beneficial; by utilizing the advanced blogging capabilities of WordPress, you can help push your store onto Google’s search results page.

Before we begin, it is worth recognizing the possible methods that can be used to add a blog to your Magento site.

  • Third party modules e.g. Fishpig WordPress Integration
  • Setting up a stand alone directory for WordPress not connected to Magento
  • Developing the necessary XML layouts, blocks and controllers to bind WordPress to Magento
  • Using a blogging platform other than WordPress through a module.

The easiest route would be to have a stand alone WordPress directory. Using the WordPress 10 minute install, you can quickly have a WordPress blog setup in no-time. This may not be to everyone’s requirements however, as you would be required to either use a different theme to your store or spend some time developing the WordPress theme to match that of your store. You would also be missing any reference to the dynamic features of your stores theme without more advanced development e.g. products, categories, shopping cart.

A recommended solution for integrating a simple blog would be to use the Fishpig module mentioned previously. There’s a free version (for a single store) or a paid version (£49.99 as of March 2015) both available on Magento CE and EE. The paid for version effectively allows you to setup WordPress MU which effectively allows you to setup multiple blogs on a single install of WordPress – beneficial on a multi-store install of Magento. The benefit of using a plugin, is that you do not need to develop the theme yourself. The WordPress blog will already be setup with your existing store’s theme and includes all the dynamic parts – including navigation, shopping cart, products etc.

Wordpress Integration Magento

The one drawback of using this module is the limited support for WordPress plugins, though some of the most popular plugins have been supported. The installation process is fairly well documented, though if you are experiencing difficulties, feel free to contact me or leave a comment.

Magmi Imports

Magmi imports are run using Magmi; a tool to import a massive amount of products seamlessly into Magento using CSV files. They need to be formatted correctly in order to import products successfully. As a minimum you should ensure that the ‘sku’ and ‘type’ columns are entered into the CSV file prior to any import.

A piece of advice for helping to debug Magmi errors, always check that you don’t have spaces before or after any of the critical Magmi columns, that includes the ‘sku’ and ‘type’ columns as having a product with ‘simple’ will result in the simple product being uploaded with the type missing and cause all sorts of havoc with associating it to a grouped or configurable product in an upload.

Magento SEO

Each product should have its title and Meta description completed with 100% effort. To help you complete these fields on products that have already been entered into Magento, consider using Magmi to help you add this data to hundreds of products in one go. If your unsure how to add or modify the Meta information on products and categories then read my tutorial here.

The title attribute and Meta description are important factors for SEO, and are your first point of contact with potential customers. Aim to include targeted keywords (keywords that customers are likely to be searching for into both these attributes). You don’t need to worry about completing the Meta keywords attribute as this attribute is now defunct and not used by most browsers.

Magento is pretty functional in terms of its SEO capabilities, as it already adds canonical tags to most pages where duplicate content issues may become apparent e.g. category pages. To further enhance your SEO, I would recommend you install the Fishpig plugin to enable you to write regular content articles for your website. The Fishpig plugin eases the process of adding a WordPress blog to your Magento installation as it allows you to migrate your current theme to the blog, and is made accessible by the Magento admin panel. Read here how to setup the Fishpig plugin.