Installing a New Plugin, Plugin Not Working

Magento is a tricky web application, full of gotchas and pitfalls but is the most popular eCommerce web application in use by web stores today. One of the biggest problems those that aren't fluent with Magento is when it comes to installing plugins. With most web applications, you install the plugin and it is ready to go; not with Magento! Most of the time, you will install the plugin and it will be no where to be found even though you received a successfully installed message or uploaded all the files in the correct order. Sometimes the plugin will appear but it will be actting odd or not at all. What gives? The magic that is Magento needs some additional steps. Follow the steps below to save yourself a lot of time, grief and emails back and forth between the plugin developer and yourself.

To properly utilize your newly installed plugin, it is *critical* to perform the following steps. This will ensure your plugin begins working as expected and without the headaches of trying to figure out what you did wrong when most likely, you didn't do anything wrong!

Upon installing a Magento plugin, it is crucial that you perform the following steps:

1. Install the plugin as directed by the plugin installation guide. Be sure to follow the directions precisely, not all plugins are the same and the install process may differ from plugin to plugin.

2. Once you have successfully uploaded/installed the plugin as prescribed by the installation manual, from the admin panel, go System -> Cache Management

3. Once the Cache Management page loads, click the Flush Magento Cache button. This may take a few seconds depending on how large of a Magento install you have.

4. Once the page reloads and you receive the, "The Magento cache storage has been flushed." success message, click the Flush Cache Storage button. Once again, this may take a few seconds.

5. Once the page reloads and you receive the, "The cache storage has been flushed." success message, click Select All, ensure Refresh is selected from the Actions dropdown menu and click Submit. This should be faster than the previous steps.

6. Once the page reloads and you receive the, "The cache storage has been flushed." success message again, click the Flush JavaScript/CSS Cache button under the Additional Cache Management section of the page. This too should be fairly quick before the page reloads.

7. Once the page reloads and you receive the, "The JavaScript/CSS cache has been cleaned." success message, you will need to logout from the admin panel by clicking Logout at the top left corner of the page.

8. Once successfully logged out, log back in and your plugin should be ready to go. There may be additional settings you need to setup in order to get the plugin to function as you wish, consult the manual of the plugin for exact details.

If for some reason your plugin is still not working, double check that you followed the install guide for the plugin to the letter. If you didn't, you may need to start all over again. Another thing to keep in mind is Magento is always releasing patches, sometimes without warning and plugin developers may not have their plugin compatible with your current version of Magento installed. Consult the plugin developer for a solution if this is the case. Never under any circumstance should you be using an older version of Magento simply to ensure a plugin is compatible.

Most patches issued by Magento are for security vulnerabilities and the core of Magento should ALWAYS be up-to-date without excuse. If your plugin is not compatible with the newer version, hound the plugin developer to make it so (sometimes you may need to buy a new year of support if you have had the plugin for a while as the standard with Magento plugins is most come with a year of support (including upgrades) but after a year has passed since your purchase, you will need to buy another year's worth of support (this isn't always the case but more often than not). If you are using a plugin that the developers have abandoned, you may need to find a new plugin that suites your needs or hire a Magento developer to bring the old plugin up-to-date.

Remember, Magento stores very valuable information on those that have purchased goods from your store. It is your responsibility to ensure Magento is up-to-date and patched. Should someone obtain your clients information or even credit card information because you failed to take action when a new patch was released, you might be liable for the losses incurred by those affected and even subjected to fines! Play it safe and purchase a Managed Magento VPS plan from Mean Servers so you can sleep easy at night and not have to worry about patches.
  • magento, plugins, cache management, managed magento vps, magento vps
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