Crystal Magento Extension How to Use
Crystal Magento Extension
The Crystal Magento Extension is one of the most versatile and useful extensions that you will use within your Magento website. We love the extension and we're sure you will too. It enables us to hook into various parts of Magento and make the system work a lot better for us and for you. The Crystal Magento Extension is one of the unique and exciting systems that we have built. The following document will explain the basics of how it works.
All the Crystal Magento Extensions are located under the CMS menu in the Magento admin. We decided to place the menu items under the CMS menu because we felt most were related to the CMS part of your website and by keeping them all in the one place, it would be easy to find. So as new extensions are built for you, just check under the CMS menu item within your Magento admin to find out what which ones are available.
The grid page will list all the items for the particular extension that you are viewing. As you can have many extensions installed on your website, the grid page will show the items for each one such as your banners, your testimonials, your news items and your block items. If you can't see an item on this page, then it probably doesn't exist. Use this page to easily find what you need to edit or feel free to click the New button to create a new item.
Grid Page Filtering
The grid page filtering system is a powerful tool that allows you to filter for the items you wish to see. You can filter by store, website, if the item is enabled or disabled and many more. Each extension has different columns in the grid page so the filtering will be different. But one thing that remains the same, the filtering will be there and will be a powerful addition to let you focus on running your business and finding the items you need.
Editing or adding an item
To edit or add an item is very easy through the Crystal Magento Extension system. You system click Add New from your grid page or simple click the edit link to edit the corresponding item.
When editing or adding a new item, you should see a number of tabs on the left side of the screen. The tabs allow you to edit different parts of your items. We have split the page up with tabs so it is easier for your to focus what you need to do within each tab. As the system is quite powerful, it's important to remember that if you change values within the tabs, you can change quite dramatically how the item works. Therefore not every tab will apply to you and you should concentrate on the Content part of the item and anything else that is necessary.
The Content Section is the main section that you will edit your items content. This can include a Title, Description, Identifier, Image, Date and many more options. The page will be setup to what you need to enter and this should be the main screen that you concentrate on. If you ensure that the content that you enter is well written, suits the website then you're on track to continually upgrading your website for the better.
Do you wish for your item to be enabled or disabled? That's exactly what you can do within this section and by default, your items will be enabled. Therefore you can change this setting if you ever wish for an item to NOT show on the website such as a banner that isn't appropriate anymore. The good thing about the status option is that you can enable items again at anytime.
Websites and Stores
Many of our clients have multiple websites and stores within the one Magento build. This is a great way to share data between websites creating a more efficient process to update your website. This is the section where you can assign your item to the appropriate website and store. If you are unsure which to do, just click on the website you wish to have the item assigned to. Any times that are not assigned to the website or stores you choose will not show on that particular website ore store.
Customer groups are based on when people log into your website. We can set wholesale logins, general customer logins and even not logged in people. This enables you to assign items based on the customers that you wish to see the item. For example if you have a banner that you wish to show just to your wholesale customers, choose the wholesale customer group and it will only show to them.
Magento's caching system is based on a 24 hour day format. Therefore we need to abide by this system and thus allow our items to be assigned within a date range based on days (so sorry no time allowed). This can be great for example if you had a banner that you wish to have on the website leading up to the 2 weeks before xmas. Instead of having to update your website on xmas day, you can just give the banner a date range and it will only show during that time.
Tab - Html Settings (Block Only)
We use blocks to build our Magento sites and by adding in divs and css classes surrounding our blocks, we can manipulate the styles on the website easily. By default all blocks will have divs surround it but this can be switched off if necessarily. The Css classes will come from here but if you don't specify a value, the system will automatically take it from the identifier of your block.
Tab - Template Position (Block Only)
Blocks can be assigned to different parts of the website and this is the place to do it. You should be able to assign a block to the header of pages, to the footer, content area and much more. Based on how your Magento website was built and the template positions available, this will give you the positions you need to place your blocks when you need to. There is also a sort order number option so you can assign blocks in the order you wish to appear in. Just add in a low number to appear higher and a high number to appear lower. Basically the blocks will show in the numbered position you add. By default all blocks start with the position 999 which means you force blocks to appear higher quite easily.
Tab - Pages (Block Only)
Blocks can be assigned to pages of the website which you can choose which ones you want assigned or even which pages you don't want the blocks to show. This is one of the most powerful parts of the block system and will allow you to show the blocks on the pages you want. If you need the block to appear on multiple pages, just hold ctrl whilst clicking the pages.
Tab - Cache (Block Only)
Caching is very important to how the website runs and the speed it can run at. Therefore by default all blocks are cached but you force the system to cache based on other preferences too such as per customer. A per customer block maybe something like their shopping cart. Every customer has a shopping cart on an ecommerce store so this needs to be cached separately for each customer.