In this month's Magento extension round-up, we look at some recent Magento 2 extensions that optimise your store's URL rewrites, notify external channels of store events, enable an enhanced FAQ page and allow customers to add comments to their orders.

Magento 2

URL Rewrite Optimiser by Fisheye

License: MIT
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2

An important part of SEO is making sure URLs are both descriptive and readable. Magento achieves this by maintaining a list of readable URLs consisting of "slugs", and the canonical URLs that they map to. For each product page, multiple URL rewrites are generated: one consisting of the product's unique slug by itself, and one for each category path that the product can be found in. This adds up to a lot of URL rewrites. In fact, for most Magento stores, the URL rewrite table is the largest in the database by a wide margin!

Interestingly, Magento has a "Use Categories Path for Product URLs" setting, but it has no effect on the URL rewrites that are actually generated for each page. If this setting is disabled, the category path variants of product page URLs are still created, unnecessarily consuming a large amount of storage space and even degrading site performance. This is where the URL Rewrite Optimiser extension comes in: with this extension installed, disabling the above setting will also prevent these unused URL rewrites from being generated. As the setting is unlikely to be changed frequently, stores with larger catalogues stand to benefit significantly from this.

As mentioned in its README file, the extension doesn't currently remove existing URL rewrites. To perform this clean-up manually, consider using the Regenerate URL Rewrites extension.

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BlaBla by n98 Hackathon

License: Beerware
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0

The BlaBla extension allows Magento to notify external channels when certain events occur. Specifically, notifications for the following events can be individually enabled:

  • A customer is created
  • An order is placed
  • A search returns no results
  • An email is sent from the "Contact Us" page

The initial version of the extension supports sending notifications to Slack, Discord or HipChat (which was recently acquired by Slack ). The extension's modular design also makes it easy for developers to enable additional integrations by writing custom classes that implement the extension's channel interface . If your organisation already uses online collaboration software, BlaBla could be a useful way to complement Magento's existing email notifications.

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Easy FAQ by MageWorld

License: OSL 3.0
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0

A Frequently Asked Questions page is an effective way of providing information about your store's products and/or services while addressing common customer queries. As many users address their questions directly to search engines, an FAQ page can even give your store an SEO boost! Plus, when users can find the answers to their questions on a dedicated page, they're less likely to generate repetetive customer support requests.

Creating an FAQ section as a CMS page is already straightforward, but the Easy FAQ extension offers a more robust solution. The extension makes it easy to manage questions and sort them into categories, while the user experience is enhanced through features such as expandable/collapsable questions and a search field for finding questions by keyword. There's also a setting that allows you to modify the FAQ page's layout.

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Order Comment by Evince Development

License: OSL 3.0
Version Reviewed: 2.0.0

For some stores, it might be desirable to allow customers to add an arbitrary comment to their order in the checkout. This comment could be used to convey special packaging instructions or additional delivery information. The Order Comment extension does just this: a "Leave a Comment" field is added to the checkout, and the comment is shown when viewing the order in the admin panel.

While this extension may be useful for general order comments, there is currently no setting for configuring the label used for the comment field in the checkout. This makes it less suitable for comments that are intended to serve a specific purpose (e.g. special packaging instructions only). As an alternative, it may be possible to achieve the desired outcome by adding customisable options to your store's products.

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