Running XAMPP on Ubuntu using Terminal

To start XAMPP run the following and the command will return a list of running services:

sudo /opt/lampp/lampp start

To stop XAMPP run the command below and it will return a list of the stopped services.

sudo /opt/lampp/lampp stop

You can also stop/start/restart individual services by appending “apache”, “mysql” or “ftp” to the end.


start – Start XAMPP (Apache, MySQL and eventually others)
startapache – Start only Apache
startmysql – Start only MySQL
startftp – Start only ProFTPD


stop – Stop XAMPP (Apache, MySQL and eventually others)
stopapache – Stop only Apache
stopmysql – Stop only MySQL
stopftp – Stop only ProFTPD


reload – Reload XAMPP (Apache, MySQL and eventually others)
reloadapache – Reload only Apache
reloadmysql – Reload only MySQL
reloadftp – Reload only ProFTPD
restart – Stop and start XAMPP

SSL & Security

security – Check XAMPP’s security
enablessl – Enable SSL support for Apache
disablessl – Disable SSL support for Apache


backup – Make backup file of your XAMPP config, log and data files
oci8 – Enable the oci8 extenssion

GUI Panel

panel – Starts graphical XAMPP control panel

Upgrading Magento 1 through the Magento Connect Downloader

If you don’t fancy upgrading Magento 1 through command line, you can upgrade Magneto core using Magento’s in-built Magento Connect Downloader.

  • Load
  • Login with a user who has full Magento permissions.
  • Make sure to click the “Clear all sessions after successful install or upgrade” option before proceeding.
  • Click the Check for Upgardes button
  • This will load all the packages with upgrade options beside them.
  • Find the package name Mage_All_Latest
  • In the dropdown choose the most recent version of Mage_All_Latest
  • Use the checkbox beside it to include it in the upgrade
  • Click Commit Changes

If you login and don’t see any packages, this may be due to the way the site was built.

At the top of Magento connect downloader enter magento-core/Mage_All_Latest  in the in put box, this will install all latest MagentoConnect core packages on top of existing files and will allow future upgrades through Magento Connect Downloader.

Upgrading Magento 1 through command line

Alternative: Upgrade Magneto using the Magento Connect Downloader

Upgrading Magento is a must to keep your store in top-top condition, protect your customers and your business.

Upgrading Magento through command line is the easiest way to make sure you are running the latest version of the Magento Software

  • Load the root directory of your Magento store
  • Make sure the “mage” file has the right permissions: chmod 777 mage
  • Then launch Magento set-up: ./mage mage-setup
  • If all goes well you can then pull the latest version of the code source code:
    ./mage install Mage_All_Latest --force

If things didn’t go well with mage-setup you may need to run set som preferences….

  1. Make sure your prefered code is set: ./mage config-set preferred_state stable
  2. Then sync your changes: ./mage sync

You can then try the install command again.

That should do the trick.


Create a custom URL rewrite/redirect in Magento

You can use a custom rewrite to redirect CMS pages, or any other type of page. For example, if you change the URL key of the privacy policy from privacy-policy-cookie-restriction-mode to privacy-policy, the link in the cookie restriction mode will return “404 – Page Not Found.” To redirect traffic to the new URL key, create a custom rewrite with the following settings:

ID Path: privacy-policy
Request Path: privacy-policy-cookie-restriction-mode
Target Path: privacy-policy
Redirect: Permanent (301)

Before you begin, figure out the URL keys that you need for the ID Path, Request Path, and Target Path. Just remember— the “Request Path” is the old URL, and the “ID Path” and “Target Path” are the new URL.

Magento product types and what to use them for

Magento comes preconfigured with a number of different product types. These range from simple bog-standard products to digital downloads and configurable products with a myriad of options and configurations available to the customer.

Simple product

As suggested by the name, it is the most straight forward. A simple, physical product that is sold one at a time. Each simple product has it’s own Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), price, inventory. It is a all-enclosed product which doesn’t change or have modifications applied to it.

Magento does allow “Custom Options” to be added to simple products, but that’s for another day.

Configurable product

This is used for example where a product comes in different size and colours and each size and colour is able to be fully stock managed within the system. When you buy a blue version of a product only the blue version has stock reduced.

Stock, price and other product attributes are managed on the simple product’s level with configurable product accounting for the initial price. Due to such behaviour, Configurable products are often referred to as a parent products which relates to a number of simple products its children or child products each with their own unique SKU and stock levels.

Grouped product

It is a collection of simple products. For example a set of a mobile phone with a case and wireless charger included. Grouped products come in handy for promotional purposes featuring related items. Say, customers may want to take advantage of the cell phone set’s special price than purchasing all three products separately.

Bundle product

This allows customers to build and customise the product they want in a more advanced way to the standard configurable product.

The usual example is building a desktop PC as an example. With Bundle product customers can have a choice of several displays, HDDs of different capacity, select necessary RAM size etc. and calculate the end product price. In other words Bundle product is somewhat like a set of configurable products.

Downloadable product

Such products as: software, music files, e-books, virtual magazines; can be sold at the Magento store using the Downloadable product type. Via the Magento backend the product contents (files) are downloaded to the server (the files can also be hosted on other web servers). When such product purchased a unique, secure link is generated for the customer. Customer can later access all the downloadable products purchased from the account’s special section.  You might have already noticed that the Magento extensions we offer at our store are downloadable products.

Virtual products

This product type represents the services one might offer at the store, including: warranty, technical services or Support Period like we do for our extensions.

Additional product types

Magento is completely customisable and this includes custom product types. Anything that can be bought and sold can be translated into one of the above product types, or can be used to create a custom product type with a bit of development.

Magento developer

in Belfast, Northern Ireland

I’ve been developing Magento websites in Northern Ireland for over 7 years and am always looking for the next exciting ecommerce project. Why not get in touch to see if I can help you with yours.

Contact me today!

Getting your product information ready for importing to your website

Product imports are an inevitable part of any ecommerce project.

At some point the information you have on your products wherever it may be stored – EPOS systems, paper catalogues, back of your head – needs to be upload to your website.

This is often a difficult part of the project to explain, but your data is EVERYTHING. Without good data with clear product information your website is not going to do anything. All your products will at least need:

  • Product code (SKU) or at least the manufacturers code.
  • Title a unique title for each product
  • Some form of description preferably two (a short one sentence intro, and a fuller detailed description of the product)
  • price what you’ll expect customers to pay (usually excluding VAT)
  • category how you want your products grouped together on your website

Before even thinking about getting an ecommerce website set up you should be considering how to get all that information together in one place preferably a spreadsheet of sorts.

I’m going to be expanding this post out as there are way too many attributes.

Setting up your Magento Store to cope with that Black Friday surge

These are a few simple Magento store configuration options that can help your store cope with increased traffic during Black Friday or any sort of high traffic period.

Realistically all of these should not be run on a production environment before first testing them properly. Best to get these in place before those promotions and discounts go live.

Enable & refresh all caches (System > Cache Management)

Most people will be familiar with clearing their Magento cache or refreshing one of the options. Clearing your cache will generate fresh copies of your catalogue.

Disable logging (System > Configuration > Developer > Log Settings)

Logging is used to monitor problems on your website, this can include errors processing payments or issues with extensions. Typically it won’t cause any issues but during high traffic periods it is a features that just adds to the length of time it takes to process requests.

Enable flat catalogue categories/products (System > Configuration > Catalogue > Frontend)

Flat catalogue is useful only on websites which don’t have a lot of their own custom attributes associated with products. But will work best if you only use the standard product attributes which come with Magento.

Enable compilation (System > Tools > Compilation)

Be careful with this one as it can crash your store. It will be available on stores from version 1.3.2+. Disable cache first and if everything works fine you can re-enable the caching from. Speed improvements will depend on the size of your Magento install.

Magento developer

in Belfast, Northern Ireland

I’ve been developing Magento websites in Northern Ireland for over 7 years and am always looking for the next exciting ecommerce project. Why not get in touch to see if I can help you with yours.

Contact me today!

How to link to a PDF in WordPress

WordPress is designed to be simple and easy to use. Adding linking to a downloadable document is no different.

Open a post or page and put your cursor where you want to PDF link to appear in the content box.

Upload your PDF

Click on Add Media to the top left of the content box. A pop-up will appear.

on the “Upload Files” tab click Select Files and find the PDF or other document you wan to use.

It will be uploaded onto your WordPress site automatically and put into the media folder.

Insert the link 

Once the upload has finished your PDF will appear checked in the top left of the media folder in the “Media Library” tab of the pop-up. On the right hand side

  1. Edit the Title field to be the text you want to use for the link
  2. Make sure the “File Media” has been set to link to
  3. Click on “Insert into Post”

Your PDF will appear as a hyperlink in the content box where your cursor appeared.

WordPress developer

in Belfast, Northern Ireland

I’ve been developing WordPress websites for 10 years and am always looking for the next exciting project from personal blog, community portal or business website. Why not get in touch to see if I can help you with yours.

Contact me today!

Choose a better browser

Choose a better browser

You can help relieve the stress and strain of your friendly local web developer by making sure you’re using an up-to-date web browser

A web browser is the program you use to access the internet, they
interpret the different languages and technologies used to make websites look pretty and display them on your computer.

Below are a list of the most popular free web browsers, just follow the link and download to make me happy…

Google Chrome

Chrome by Google is my browser of choice, that’s why it’s at the top. Quick, light weight and doesn’t crash.


Mozilla Firefox

Firefox the open source web browser, just don't
install too many add-ons things can get very bloated very quickly.


Apple Safari

For all of you who walk in the orchard and use Safari on your iMac iPods, iPhones and iPads you can also use it on your Windows PC…


Microsoft IE11

Yep, you heard right, Internet Explorer does work, but only if you are using the latest version available…


Opera Browser

Not really sure, some people really love it others most have never heard of it…