Welcome to the fifth instalment of our monthly free Magento extension round-up, where we quickly review some of the more notable free extensions which were released on Magento Connect and GitHub in the past month.
Magento's standard onepage checkout groups fields into a series of steps which the customer needs to complete before proceeding on to the next step, and being shown the next group of fields. This means that potential customers can't see what information they'll need to fill out ahead of time, and aren't aware exactly how far through the checkout process they really are.
A "one step checkout" on the other hand allows merchants to display all checkout steps on a single page, meaning customers to see all information required to make their purchase all at once. This approach has become popular in recent years, both for Magento stores and eCommerce sites in general, as it makes the checkout process faster, and avoids customer frustration with not knowing what details they're going to need.
This One Step Checkout extension contains no block or model rewrites in this extension so your installation shouldn't have any major conflicts. The functionality in this extension mostly serves to re-arrange the checkout page, which keeps things simple and should make it easier to add custom fields and features.View on Connect
This simple extension provides an FAQ page for your Magento installation, which allows customers to post questions that can be approved by an admin and displayed with an appropriate answer. It also allows admins to split up FAQ questions into categories for logical access.
The current version provides the following basic features:
- Managing FAQ categories from admin panel
- Managing FAQ items from the admin panel
- Admin approval system for FAQ questions
- WYSIWYG editor support for adding FAQ content
The FAQ extension doesn't have any rewrites or overrides, which should make the installation process for this extension quite straightforward, although you may need to make some changes to the FAQ page template to have it work with a custom theme.View on Connect
Another simple extension that allows merchants to view a list of orders related to a particular product, and perform some simple actions such as creating an invoice on the product information page. This extension currently features the following actions on each order item listed on a particular product:
- Quick View (A short summary of the related order)
- Go to order
The Product History extension only appears to support simple products at the moment, so if most of the products in your store are configurable, downloadable, or another type then this extension will not be very useful in its current state.View on Connect
A common feature of many eCommerce websites, seeing a "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section will likely be very familiar. This extension provides a new area to every product page that will display products purchased at the same time on other orders, giving you the ability to automatically cross-sell products on your Magento store using data from actual customer purchases.
There are a couple caveats to keep in mind with this implementation. First, if you are using a full page cache on your Magento site, then the automated cross sell section will not be updated or even shown unless this cache is refreshed. If you're keen to install this extension, this will mean some changes to make this extension compatible with your caching may be required.
Second, the Catalog → Catalog tab on the Admin Panel → System Configuration page has been renamed to "Settings" and moved to a new section called "Automated Cross Selling". This is a rather odd change and appears to have been done as part of adding their own "Automated Cross Selling" configuration section.View on Connect
Webhooks are a common feature of many web services and apps which make it easier for developers to connect systems together in an automated fashion. If the product data on your Magento installation is used to manage third-party stores on services such as eBay and Amazon or even having your shipment labels automatically print out, then this data could be passed around using webhooks to these external endpoints.
Instead of having your third-party service constantly poll your site for any relevant changes, which could potentially chew up a large amount of resources, this extension will allow your site to notify third-party services of changes being made.
The following Magento events are implemented to use webhooks as of the initial version release:
To use a hook, simply specify a URL in the Magento system configuration that will be notified when one of the actions above occurs. That URL will be sent an HTTP POST request containing JSON data appropriate for the action, which that service can then make use of as needed.View on Connect