Mysql: Change the full text index minimum word length

So you are trying to do a fulltext search but your searches for “cat” or “dog” always return zero results, even though you have articles all about cats and dogs. By default the minimum search text length for full index searches is 4 characters, anything less than that returns nothing, zip, nada, jack-all.  You need to change the minimum word length.

This can throw people using something like Magento whose product types or names are short, such as “bag”,”cup”, or “mug”.  The problem isn’t actually in Magento but a server setting. You might be kind of stuck if you are using a shared hosting environment – you can contact your hosting service and ask nicely.

Continue reading Mysql: Change the full text index minimum word length

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Centos: Create new SSL certificate for https

  1. Generate a new certificate signing request (.csr) and key file (.key)

    openssl req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout server.key -out server.csr

    where server is the name of your server

  2. Fill in the details but you can leave email, challenge password and optional company name blank. Please note: The following characters cannot be accepted: < > ~ ! @ # $ % ^ / \ ( ) ?.,&
  3. Chek the contents of the csr:  or enter this in the SSH console:

    openssl req -in server.csr -noout -text

    (again where server.csr is the name of the newly genererated csr file)

  4. Submit csr to commercial ssl provider.
  5. Copy the new certificate information into the correct location for the host.  You may need to look at the virtual host settings or apache config file to see where an existing one is. * See below
  6. Do the same for the intermediate certificate file if there is one.
  7. Move (or copy) the key
  8. Change the apache (or virtual host) config file to point at the new certificates.
  9. Restart the webserver.  For Debian this is “service apache2 restart”.  For Centos this would be “service httpd restart” or “systemctl restart httpd” for newer Centos versions.
  10. Make sure the server restarts – any typos in the config will stop it from running – you will be notified.

Additional resources:

Country Codes:

Check they are working correctly:

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Centos: Checking and Renaming the Server Hostname

A quicky this, for personal reference more than anything else.

Checking the Hostname
From within the console, run hostname to check the current hostname.

Changing the Hostname
To change the hostname run


check it has happened with hostname and then restart the network

systemctl restart network

(or simply network restart on older centos versions)

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Magento Useful Template Snippets

Create a block object inside a phtml template file:

$myBlockObject = $this->getLayout()->getBlock(“my_block_name”);
echo $myBlockObject->blockFunction();

Insert a phtml template file into another phtml file

<?php echo $this->getLayout()->createBlock(‘core/template’)->setTemplate(‘page/html/someother.phtml’)->toHtml(); ?>

Get current product from registry

if( Mage::registry(‘current_product’) ){
$product = Mage::registry(‘current_product’);

Insert static block into phtml file

<?php echo $this->getLayout()->createBlock(‘cms/block’)->setBlockId(‘block_identifier’)->toHtml();

Get request (querystring) parameter

$myVar = Mage::app()->getRequest()->getParam(“myVar”);

Get controller name
Can use this to check whether you are on a product or a category page

//do something useful

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mySQL (mariaDb) Useful User Management Via Command Line

Here is a collection of useful and common mysql commands for managing database users using the command line, perhaps whilst logged in to the server via ssh. The following commands work for MySql and mariaDb. Don’t forget to include the semi-colon at the ends of each command. Continue reading mySQL (mariaDb) Useful User Management Via Command Line

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Magento Cookies not Working in Chrome or Opera on Frontend

So, I was testing the “this site is using cookies” functionality in Magento. It worked fine on a local environment but failed to work on a test “live” IP address site. I say failed, but it worked fine in IE and Firefox whereas in Chrome hitting the “I agree to cookies” button didn’t set a cookie and redirected. I eventually solved it. Continue reading Magento Cookies not Working in Chrome or Opera on Frontend

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Magento: Passing a value from a controller into the phtml

Another Magento quickie for when you want to pass a value into your phtml template file that is set/generated inside the controller.

Inside the controller you can do this:


Where $block could be something like

$block = $this->getLayout()->getBlock(“head”) ;

if you wanted to pass the value into the head template.

You can also set a value like this:


Then, inside the phtml template file you can get the value like this


Note you can pass multiple variables through a single $block->assign() like this


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Saving the page HTML in Chrome without reloading

This chestnut can drive developer crazy.  In Google Chrome hitting “save as” or “view source” will reload the page.  On pages where sessions or cookies are cleared (shop checkouts for example), form data is submitted, or the like, then the reloaded source may no-longer be the same as the page you were just looking at.  Argh. Here is my solution to the issue. Continue reading Saving the page HTML in Chrome without reloading

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