New Google Chrome – Oh Where, Oh Where Has My www Gone?

OK, so as lovely having ones browser update automatically to the latest version (see that IE you annoying thing) the recent Chrome update (currently at 69.0.3497.81 – fine incrementing there lads) did something rather strange.  Aside from the oddly curvy address bar and tabs (hey this ain’t no MAC) the peeps at Google have decided to remove/hide the www. part of URLs in the address bar.

So  will be displayed in the Chrome address bar as

Apparently this is the same for m.  subdomains but I don’t have of those to test.

Anyway…for me this is REALLY ANNOYING as I have local development copies of sites without www. but that look similar to their live counterparts. Besides, in many situations the sub domain IS important.

Fortunately this odd functionality can be reset back to normal using one of the chrome settings flags. Enter this as your URL in chrome:


and you can change it. Yes!  Grumble over. I wonder how many updates away we are from this being reset.


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Magento: Get a custom variable value in a phtml file

I think custom variables were originally designed to be used in emails but I use them within the main site for little bits of information whose value needs to change on a per store/language basis.

This is how you get a custom variable inside a phtml file:


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Magento Custom Layout Update: Robots No-index

You may well have certain pages that you do not want Google, et al, to index in the SERPS.  Examples include log in pages, thank you pages, and perhaps content of little search value such as legal blurb.  This can let you control a little more, albeit very slightly, the pages you want Google to show and those that you don’t.

You can use the Custom Layout Update control (in the Custom Design tab) to set the robots control on a per-page basis.  Simply add the following code into the Custom Layout Update textarea in the Magento admin:

<reference name=”head”>
<action method=”setRobots”><value>NOINDEX,NOFOLLOW</value></action>

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Magento 1.9: Useful Collection Snippets

Some useful bits and bobs to do with ordering, size-limiting and getting data out of collections that I tend to often need to look up.

Limiting the Size of a Collection
Adding isActiveFilter
Loading Friendly URLs/Rewrites
Filter Collection by Attribute and Conditionals List
Get First Item From Collection

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Google TLD searches now return searcher-local results

As of today (1st November 2017) we noticed a change in how Google is producing searching results.  We knew that this change would be affecting mobile search results (mobile first index) but today we have seen it happen on desktop.  This Google algorithm change might rock the SEO world…[update:….but hasn’t]

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Magento (v1.x) : Show full page action name (module_controller_action)

Sometimes, when editing a page you need to know what the full module_controller_action route is so you can modify the correct blocks in the layout files.  Here is a simple bit of code to display the full action name in the form of module_controller_action.

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Sublime Text 3: Remove an erroneous multi-cursor (Windows)

Another quick post.  This has often driven me crazy so I was glad to have found a solution.

The problem: you are clicking away, adding a whole load of cursors to edit multiple sections of code at once (awesome!) but then you accidentally click in the wrong place…argh.

Without knowing how to deselect or remove a multi cursor you have to start all over again, this time being very slow and precise in case you do it again.

The solution: By using alt+ middle mouse button on the offending cursor you can remove it from the “selection” – doesn’t even have to be the last one! Nice.   

I have seen elsewhere that a regular alt-click or ctrl-u )soft undo) will do it but they did now work for me.

Note: the usual approach is that ctrl-something will perform an add action and alt-something will perform a remove action.

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Magento: Get store address, phone number or other config information

Here is how to get the the store config information for the phone number:

<?php echo Mage::getStoreConfig(‘general/store_information/phone’);?>

And for the address:

<?php echo Mage::getStoreConfig(‘general/store_information/address’);?>

In fact you can get all sorts of interesting “config” data out using this  getStoreConfig method.

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Centos: Making sure your web services auto start after reboot

Your server had to restart, either by design or after some bad event, and now your website doesn’t work – “connection failure”.  Looks like your important web services are not set to start automatically on boot up.  Here is what to do to get your httpd and mysqld services running on restart.

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