Getting a 500 Server Error after adding an htaccess file in Magento root

When trying to get server rewrites to work in Magento, you will need to ensure that the .htaccess file is in the Magento root directory.

On many shared hosting accounts such as GoDaddy and 1and1 you will get a "500" error from the server after enabling the appropriate settings.

Go into your .htaccess file and uncomment the "RewriteBase" directive, changing it to your folder's name.

Here's the catch for those of you not running in a virtual folder: Still uncomment it, but make it read: RewriteBase \ (that's a "backwards slash")

Vee-ola - Your site is up!


Some great resources on how to get started programming Magento extensions

php Architect's Guide to Programming with Magento

Here's a great post on the basics of Magento controllers for your extension, especially IndexAction() and such:

It also ancludes this link to the best Magento dev learning site:

And finally, it links to an outstanding book for learning this crazy stuff:


Cannot seem to create new Magento admin groups in system.xml and adminhtml.xml

When learning to create a module that adds new administration groups to the Magento admin panel, follow these instructions:

However, something they fail to mention is that after you have created your new admin groups in system.xml, and after you have created your adminhtml.xml file (to allow permissions) you must LOG OUT AND LOG BACK IN (as administrator) to re-load the ACL and allow the new permissions to take effect!!! A tiny but hugely important detail. Failing to do so leads to hours of troubleshooting!!!

You heard it here first...


External Magento Store Management Software

Screenshot of MagMI Magento Import utility

What does MagneticOne Store Manager do for me? Ease of administration, runs as local app and hits database directly. Can import well? But reindexing is done through Magento - still grinds.

What does MagMI do for me? Mass Import and more - but only compatible with Community Edition. Does a great job of importing massive numbers of SKU's and indexes them on-the-fly as well, but once those products are in you still have the issue of Magento grinding by simply looking up a product, etc.

Using MagMI I can upload one million products into a stock Magento CE installation, but once I'm finished I can't even seem to get a response to a simple search query.


A "Simple" Speadsheet to generate random products to import into Magento

I created an Excel spreadsheet that auto-generates 10,000 product SKU's from a list of words. I kept getting "#VALUE!" errors using the LOOKUP function in Excel.

The answer was to press CTRL-SHIFT-ENTER when entering the formula! Weird...

By using an "Array Formula" the errors went away! Very pesky bug to chase down, figured I'd post it here.

The weirdest thing, I only got the error after 1,000 rows... And such.


Is there really NO difference between Magento Community and Enterprise editions?

Mark Shust asserts in his blog post that there is "absolutely no difference" in Magento's free vs. paid versions. Of course, he's speaking only to the technical differences in the code base, not issues such as licensing, support etc - but still, a fairly powerful statement.

Give it a read at


Indexing Millions of SKU's with Magento?

From BlueBen on Magento Forums:

I had the pleasure of seeing and meeting Alistair Stead from Session Digital at the Magento Imagine conference. Alistair is doing lots of work for the Magento developer community, including MageTolol, a Magento unit testing facility. The Magento community benefits from people such as Alistair, and Magento, Inc. have committed to being more involved with community recommendations.

Alistair just posted some catalog index findings to the Magento developers’ list. I’m copying his post here for the benefit of others:


Hello Wired theme: Front Page Slider (Slide Show) Not Working - Where is the Media folder?

When installing the "Hello Wired" theme/template into Magento, and following all of their instructions posted at the slider is missing on the front page. There is a mention of whether or not you have to "create the media directory" during install.

As you troubleshoot the missing images in helloslider, you might be tempted to drop 01.jpg and 02.jpg into the 'skin/frontend/default/hellowired/images' directory and possibly even create a 'media' folder there. Don't do it!



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