Simple Tips for Magento Theme Development

 Akashdeep Sharma
  Sep 11, 2018

Designing website can be a tough job sometimes as it is the foremost touchpoint of your brand with the audience.

There are so many things to consider while choosing a perfect theme for your website as it should not only relate to your business and products but also sound intuitive and easy to use for consumers.

In consideration with Magento themes, they are usually poorly implemented. It is a prevalent practice amongst the beginners. Read the article to know more about the development of Magento 1.x theme in the right manner.

Listed below are some of the simple tips for beginners for Magento theme development that can prove to be of great help in the long run. Keep them in mind, and you will surely go a long way.

1. Translatable Text:

Magento is well known for supporting multilingual storefronts. It can cater to diverse language based needs of your clients. This functionality can be adversely affected due to poorly built Magento themes. You need not lose heart as you can maintain it with great ease in your themes.

For easy translation of the Magento templates, enfold it within the interpret function:

<button><?php echo __('Click me'); ?></button>

Pay attention to the fact that page contents, as well as product descriptions, will be still controlled by the Magento administration panel.

2. Magento Tools:

Magento's templates are wide-ranging. It means that you can find it rather tough to figure out which template you require to edit or modify a particular block in Magento. You will be happy to know that there are a variety of Magento tools available for the purpose. All that you need to do is log in to the store's administration panel and find the way to:

System > Configuration > Developer > Template Path Hints

After you are done with this step, you will have to modify your Configuration Scope (from the default scope). This way you will be able to see the various options to enable this particular tool.

Once you can do this, you will see your Magento theme. Red borders and boxes will highlight it. These will be giving information about which directories every template is being pulled from. This way you can overwrite effortlessly. You can limit this with IP address.

3. Never Alter Core Magento Themes

You can easily make use of the core Magento Theme as your parent theme (lots of Magento 1.9 themes are based on the RWD theme). But it is essential to pay attention to the fact that you should never try to edit core Magento themes.

There are chances that an update in the future will overwrite core Magento themes and customisations made by you can be lost. To avoid this type of problem, you should restrict to the custom child theme and make changes in it.

4. Make Use of Magento's local.xml

Avoid overwriting a complete file while making changes in XML layout from a parent theme (Magento 1.9+). You should make the necessary adjustments in your Magento theme's local.xml file – e.g. /app/design/frontend/your-custom-theme/default/layout/local.xml. With this, you can have the peace of mind that future updates will not break your Magento theme. Thus, you will be overwriting only what you need to overwrite.

5. Overwrite Only What You Require:

Many people tend to make a common mistake. They copy the base theme's files into the child theme. If you are following this practice, then you are not making the most of the child themes.

In simple language, it can be said that when updates take place in your parent theme, some of the simple templates are still being overwritten at the level of the child theme.

It can drastically affect the functional aspects and leave a significant security hole at the back. It will merely add to the work of the Magento developer.

It is a smart practice to copy the specific template and files that you especially wish to overwrite into the child theme.

The practices mentioned above prove to be a great help in Magento Theme Development. These will ensure that the whole process can be carried out in a hassle-free manner.

Simple Tips for Magento Theme Development

Akashdeep Sharma

I would introduce myself as a specialized eCommerce developer. Till now, I have worked with almost every eCommerce platform inclusive of Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce. Being able to deliver more than 100+ projects within the same platforms, I have excelled to a great extent. I always treat my clients with a professional approach while offering them the best of eCommerce industry web solutions. Contact to know more.

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