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Clearing the Cache in Magento 1, Chrome and Firefox

Feeling frustrated?

You did everything right, followed the instructions and the changes are just not showing!

It’s possible that the cache is showing you an old version.

First of to clear up – what is it???

What is cache and why is it used?

People get really confused about what cache is and why it’s used, so

In regular day-to-day terms, a ‘cache’ is a ‘collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden place’. Like you could have an arms (weapons) cache, a cache of food, money etc.

Cache comes 18th century French ‘cacher’ which means ‘hide’.

Now you know the background – in computing it means to store data in a cache memory.

So why is this so widely use? Cache memory is used to hold ‘stored’ data and instructions generally frequently requested so that it can be provided faster. For example, if a web page was visited regularly, both the web server and probably the browser are using ‘cached’ version of this web page, where many of the elements on the web page are not coming every time from the server’s hard drive where the physical code is stored, but rather from a ‘cached’ version so that that web page can be provided at a much faster rate without overloading the server, browser or internet service provider (ISP).

Now that you know what caching means and why it’s used, here’s how you can control it.

Clearing Cache in Magento 1

There are several caches in Magento – the one primarily used is the magento cache and usually this will flush out any issues you are having.

Sometimes however, for example in the case of swatches or images not showing up, you may need to flush the ‘image cache’. Just hit the respective button and it will flush the cache for you. It should take 10-20 seconds.

Okay you’ve done this and it’s showing right in the backend – but the frontend it’s still not changing! The likeliness is that your browser is also caching your website page. Chrome is especially ‘cache’ prone and will show old web pages unless the cache is cleared.

How to clear Chrome cache for a single web page

I found every time I need to clear my Chrome cache, I was doing a whole clear-out of all my cache and my browser’s history went back to zilch – all remembered web pages etc. all gone. This is pretty frustrating so I would hold off clearing my cache unless I really had to. Then I found out you can simple clear the cache for a single page you are working on 🙂

It’s really simple. Do this:

Go to the web page
Hit the F12 Key – this is the developer console used by developers This will open up a panel at the bottom of the page (don’t worry about this)
Go to the ‘refresh’ icon (circular arrow), right click on it and hit the ’empty cache and hard reload’
Press F12 to close the developer console

How to clear Firefox cache for a single website

Firefox is a little more roundabout but it’s still possible.

However firefox goes the extra length not just to clear the cache for the site but totally forget all settings including any saved passwords for the site. So beware 🙂

When in Firefox, click on the 3 stripes hamburger menu in the top right-hand corner – now click on ‘LIBRARY’ – then HISTORY – and then SHOW ALL HISTORY. You’ll get a box showing all your Firefox browsing history. In the top right hand corner, there is a search box – type in the website you want to clear cache for. When it comes up, RIGHT CLICK on it and click on the ‘FORGET ABOUT THIS SITE’ line.

Hope that clarifies something for you. Any questions or if you found this useful, let me know in the comments box below.

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Setting up Products with Options / Choices in Magento 1 – Configurable Products

Configurable products are effectively products that allow you to offer different options within one product type.

For example, if you were selling a chair and it came in different colours, or a desk that comes in different finishes or sizes.  In this way you are able to give the customer the choice of which colour / finish he would like all within the same product page.

A configurable product is made up of 2 or more simple products.   Most often these simple products are not set to show in the catalog (or search) – their visibility is set to ‘not visible individually’.

You can also have multiple choices set up for customers, for example if you sell chairs in different colours and sizes you could have a set up like:

choose colour:

  • red
  • green
  • blue
  • yellow

then choose size:

  • small
  • medium
  • large

So how simple products fit into configurable products is each ‘option’ provided in a configurable products is a simple product.

For the above ‘configurable product’ you would need 1 simple product set up for each ‘small, medium and large’ red chair.  That is 3 simple products.  The same for the the ‘green’, ‘blue’ and ‘yellow’ chair.  That adds up to 12 simple products that will become ‘associated products’ within the configurable product.

The ‘link’ that allows simple products to associate into configurable products is a product attribute. Product attributes within have to also be set to ‘used for configurable products’.

So lets get started 🙂

First I’m going to create an attribute called ‘colour’ (I’ve called it colour test as there is already a colour attribute) and I’m going to make sure that the scope is set to ‘global’, the input type is set to ‘dropdown’ and ‘used to create configurable products’ is set to yes.

Then in the label/options tab, I’ve added several colours and also given it a label (what you see in the front-end).

Once I save it (click on ‘save and continue to edit), a new tab appears and it’s called ‘attribute images’. This is where you can set your swatches. For colours it’s quite easy, you can use the ‘colour selector’. If you actually have images, you can upload an image per option – for example in sizes, sometimes people upload an image called ‘S’ , ‘M’ , ‘L’ , ‘XL’ etc.

You can also set a custom swatch size here – if you are using images, sometimes having a slightly larger swatch can help for identification purposes. The default is set to 75px square, and this default setting can also be adjusted.

Please note, that for the swatches / images to show up in the frontend, ensure you have checked off the ‘use images….’ checkbox, as per screenshot below.

Once you have done this, make sure your attribute is assigned to an attribute set that you are going to use. I’m just going to add it to the default one for now.

Now lets set up 3 simple products using the DEFAULT attribute set. Just called the ‘blue, pink and red’ for test purposes.

Make sure, that you:

– Mark the visibility to ‘not visible individually’
– Assign the correct attribute (used to associate the product)
– Upload product image(s) associated with THAT simple product
– Enter the price for THAT simple product

Now that you’ve set up your simple products, it’s time to set up your configurable product:

Click on ‘add product’, choose the ‘default’ (for this example) attribute set and instead of the normal ‘simple product’ create a configurable product.

Now in the next screen you will see which attribute to associate you configurable product with – choose the ‘colour test one’ (ps if you had more than one attribute – say colour AND size, you could choose both – this way you could set up a ‘choose colour’ and then a now ‘choose size’.

Set up configurable product like a normal product but you’ll see an additional tab called ‘associated products’.

Click on the associated products tab:

Debugging Configurable Products:

You’ve done everything right, but it’s just not working!

There are common oversights which seems to turn creating configurable products a nightmare 🙂

Here are

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Search Translation Mapping

We have set up a custom search and have added a ‘translation’ mapping feature that allows you to map search terms with pre-set attributes to which products are assigned.

To ‘map’ is a computer / maths term to associate one element with another.  In this case you want to associate a ‘search word’ – say for example ‘a4 paper’ with a set ‘attribute’ – say ‘photo papers’ attributes.  So when someone types in ‘a4 paper’ in the search bar, the suggested attribute ‘photo paper’ will display.  In this way, you be very precise and customise the search results for customers.

To find the ‘translation mapping section, it is in the main menu of the website – go to ‘translation mapping’.

There are several things you can do here:

  1. View existing translations
  2. Add, manually, a translation
  3. Bulk import translations
  4. Edit existing translations

SEQUENCE

Lets add a translation manually and by CSV.

The first thing is to ensure that attribute exists.  There are a lot already uploaded, but if you are doing a new line of products, it’s worth checking.  Go to ‘CATALOG > ATTRIBUTES > MANAGE ATTRIBUTES and find the ‘narrow by product type’ attribute.

Click on the attribute and see if you relevant attribute is set up or not, and add it if required.

Download below sample csv file I have prepared.  Please note there are just two columns required:

Find-word

Target

The ‘find word’ is the new search word you are setting up

The ‘Target’ is the existing (already set up) ‘search attribute’

Download Sample CSV

Now lets set up the hypothetical case where we want ‘photo paper’ attribute to show up if I type in ‘a4 paper’

We would on the ‘find-word’ column enter ‘a4 paper’ and in the target column ‘photo papers’.

Add any others you want to import, go to the import dropdown, select your file and click on the ‘import’ button.

Please note, upload only new translations as existing translations will be duplicated.  It will not cause an error on the frontend but otherwise you could end up with lots of duplicate entries in the backend.

Any questions, please post a comment below.

 

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Importing to the Product Finder

The product finder allows a customer to quickly search for their compatible part based on the brand / model the customer has.

For example selling Printer Cartridges, there are original and compatible ones available and by assigning which cartridges go with what brands, it allows the customer to simply select what printer and model number they have in order for the customer to find compatible cartridges.

Unlike product imports, the product finder importer is looking for the columns to be in a specific sequence, and if not in the correct order, it will error.

The sequence depends on the original set up – the best way to view it is to download either of the attached sample csv’s.

PRINTER CARTRIDGE FINDER

Download Sample CSV

TILLROLL FINDER

Download Sample CSV

SEQUENCE

  1. Ensure that the SKU is in the catalog – ie the product exists in your Magento store.
  2. Prepare your CSV file
  3. Go to the set up ‘part finder’ profile by navigating to catalog > part finder….
  4. Click on the ‘import’ button on the top right:
  5. Import the csv file.

Any errors you encounter are usually down to two reasons:

  1. Columns are in the wrong order or you are missing a column
  2. One or several products are not yet set up in the Magento catalog.

Any questions, let me know in the comments section 🙂

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Uploading Multiple Images to One Product in Bulk via CSV- Magento 1

When you have already identified your main product image, you can also upload additional ones:

You’ll need two columns headed by:

sku

images

Again there is one cell that will have the SKU defined and in the cell next to it, the images defined.  Each additional image is separated by a comma.  Please note to add a forward slash at the beginning of each image /.

So a cell would look like this (the ” automatically added to the cell – don’t add this manually)

“/2nd-image.jpg,/3rd-image.jpg”

Images should FIRST go into the /media/import folder via FTP.  This is accessed via PUBLIC_HTML / MEDIA / IMPORT.

Once you have your csv ready and uploaded your images to the import folder, in the Magento backend, navigate to SYSTEM > IMPORT/EXPORT > FAST BULK PRODUCT IMPORT > DATAFLOW – PROFILES

Select the import profile:

And run the profile:

DOWNLOAD SAMPLE CSV

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Adding Tiered Prices in Bulk via CSV – Magento 1

When uploading tiered prices to products, you need to have just two columns (for existing products):

sku

tier_pricing

Enter your SKU in the first column and in the following cell, in the same row, add the tiered price.  All the data for all the tiers are entered in on one CELL.  Each cell contents is delimited by quotation marks “, each tier is defined by the pipe symbol | and each element within each tier is separated by commas.

So within each tiered pricing cell the following data is required to define ONE of the tiers:

“Customer Group Name,Website Code,Qty,Price”

A note regarding group names – if you want to upload to ALL customer groups rather than a specific customer group, please use ‘all’ text for the customer group name. If you use ALL GROUPS your import will fail.

If you download the attached CSV, you’ll see a sample of workable data to import.  Any questions, let me know.

Once you have your csv ready and uploaded your images to the import folder, in the Magento backend, navigate to SYSTEM > IMPORT/EXPORT > FAST BULK PRODUCT IMPORT > DATAFLOW – PROFILES

Select the import profile:

And run the profile:

Download Sample CSV

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Enabling / Disabling Products in Bulk – Magento 1

There are two ways to easily enable / disable products in bulk in Magento 1.

The first is to go to CATALOG > PRODUCTS, mark off on the left hand side which products you want to disable, then on the actions dropdown (top right of the table) check on ‘change status’ and then a new dropdown will appear – status – which you need to set to ENABLED or DISABLED – depending whether you want to enable or disable your products.

For more than just a few select products, it’s much better to use the CSV import option.  Prepare a csv file with two columns headed by sku and status (please note – case sensitive).

Enter the SKU on one cell and next to it in the next cell (same row) enter 1 for ENABLED or 2 for DISABLED.  Once you import the csv file, any sku’s marked with 1 or 2 will be enabled/disabled respectively.

DOWNLOAD SAMPLE CSV

Now navigate to SYSTEM > IMPORT / EXPORT > FAST BULK PRODUCT IMPORT > IMPORT PROFILES and select

Click on RUN PROFILE in the top right hand side

Browse for your prepared CSV file, select it, ensuring there are no errors, and ‘RUN PROFILE’.