Magento Book review: See down at the end of this article, a review of Packt’s PHP Development for Magento reference. There’s also a new recipe-like Magento book from Pakt on “sales tactics”, mentioned here, which I will also be reading.
Social Media aspects are coming to Magento… you will soon be able to use your Facebook page to showcase products in your Magento ecommerce site using this plugin.
Magento SEO Update 2/11/2009: More activity with SEO and Magento, with some SEO developers trying to make a name for themselves in the Magento space. See below.
Magento SEO Update 11/4/2008: Magento SEO is actively evolving, and SEO links (SEO resources for those working with Magento ecommerce) are now listed down below.
It’s never too early to be looking at SEO aspects of Magento, the new Open Source commerce application (shopping cart). Theyare still in beta but quite advanced, and search engine friendly issues have been addressed a few times in the Magento SEO forum, and in the “SEO group” and on the Magento site. There’s a video clip from November describing the rewrite system as very flexible, because in SEO, “every seo has his own opinion”.
Much of the SEO discussion is very basic, and there is pitifully low activity on real SEO. Someone on the China magneto forum posted a spider view back in November, before the latest SEO friendliness was incorporated. There is more SEO discussion in China than on the main site as well. However, the framework is quite capable and the meta tag management is as I would expect it to be for a modern, flexible PHP framework.
Maybe it’s time to dig in and flex the SEO friendliness and Magento’s “built in flexibility”?
I’d like to connect with anyone else looking into Magento and SEO, or anyone attempting effective deployment of Magento at this stage (non-production assumed) with respect to search marketing. The online demo site is not looking so good, but given the level of SEO discussion so far I didn’t expect it to be optimized. That said, this Chinese demo is not looking so good either, and they did have a bit more Magento SEO discussions.
Magento SEO Resources
Still plenty of misunderstanding of SEO issues in the Magento community and here. and here.
BlueAcorn has published a good blog post about SEO and Magento, paying attention to the strategic issues that I find matter most when considering search marketing. Their ecommerce experience shows, as this kind of post is much better than the typical “SEO for Magento” blog post.
This is funny. I’ve been watching Google struggle with the new term “Magento” for almost a year. It seems there is enough mis-typing of comic book character Magneto (the freak who can manipulate magnetic fields) in the corpus Google indexes, that Google assigned Magento as a synonym of Magneto (do a Google search with ~Magento and you’ll see it). Even to this day Magento hasn’t defined itself enough in the world to overpower the Magneto typos!
Wordpress SEO promotor Joost DeValk is moving into the Magento space now with a canonicalization extension he specified, putting his Yoast brand onto it. He didn’t write it, and it isn’t perfect, but he’s apparently collaborating with a PHP coder comfortable with Magento. Joost told me the coder will be guest blogging for him with more Magento code in the future. This initial code was prepared with some advance awareness of the new canonical tag sponsored by search engines, and is already listed in the MagentoConnect system under SEO.
Packt Publishing’s Magento PHP Developer’s Guide : Learning Magento PHP Development
,p>I just reviewed a copy of Packt Publishing’s Magento PHP book Magento 1.3: PHP Developer’s Guide. It’s a good resource for getting started developing SEO-optimized ecommerce sites with Magento. Packt is an open source publisher well respected in the community for publishing niche titles and donating some proceeds back to Open Source projects. I don’t think anyone can complain about $100,000 contributed back to Open Source projects so far (as reported in wikipedia).
Probably the biggest SEO advantages to be gained with Magento involve custom Magento modules, well-crafted SEO friendly Magento templates, and smart management of the sales conversion process. Conversion rate optimization with Magento requires programming. Magento is open and flexible, built on Zend Framework, and PHP developers can easily dig in to Magento for the first time with guidance from this book. When I see SEO for Magento articles focus on tricks and templates, and promote custom SEOplugins for Magento, I cringe because really the best way to build a Magento store involves baking SEO best practices into the core system. No one can hand you a set of templates and plugins for that - you need to do some custom development.
I’ve already recommended this book to two project developers. It says it is for experienced PHP coders, developers already familiar with PHP5 and wanting to work with Magento and the Zend Framework. That is accurate, but I don’t think you need to be very experienced with PHP to appreciate the book. The first few chapters cover Magento in detail sufficient for getting comfortable with a Magento/ZF installation. That’s always an issue for developers not familiar with ZF, because of the extensive folder structure. I think the book does a very good job of demystifying that from the start.
The middle chapters are the meat of this book. You build a shipping module from scratch, deploy a payment module, build an extensible featured product module, and finally a full Magento module with admin panels. In a nutshell, the authors covered the top 4 or 5 initial concerns of anyone starting out with Magento, and did so in a didactic way that gets you started with confidence. Nice job.
Could you get this free online from articles? Sure. As always with books, you are paying for the editorial context and commitment to accuracy. With this book, for $30 or whatever you get in one place, in basically one voice, a well-presented short story that carries you through what matters most when getting started with Magento development. I see it as a must-have for any developer joining a team working with Magento. Consider it a 2 hour read for an experienced developer, with a weekend full of Magento development exercises that will get you primed to jump in with the development team on Monday morning. After reading this through (I already work as an SEO on Magento projects as well as Zend Framework projects), I went to see the other titles Packt offers. I intend to bring some Packt books to my next user group meeting as well.
Related: See post on SquareSpace SEO