Magento Search: Getting Better Results In Product Searches

Magento┬áis a whopping big platform – even the community edition is something of a beast. That gives it a nasty learning curve, and while, in most cases, it simply works, there are some places where it tries to be clever, with mixed results.

The product search is a case in point. A friend was recently trying to get it to cooperate, but the way the results were being returned made it quite unusable. By default, the search uses an OR comparison to find what you’re after, so if you look for “web development books”, it will give you any product whose description contains “web”, “development”, or “books”. Since the order or relation of the words is not considered, you might end up with Twilight as a top result, which I’m sure you’ll agree, is not conductive to your users not gutting you with a rusty fork.

The easiest way I found to fix this, is to change the search query, defined by the fulltext.php file (/app/code/core/Mage/CatalogSearch/Model/Mysql4/fulltext.php). Continue reading

FLIRt – A WordPress plugin

The inevitable disclaimer:

This WordPress plugin was thrown together in a fit of boredom by someone who is only vaguely aware of how the API is supposed to work, and whose last real contact with PHP development was, oh, so many years ago. If you want a proper FLIR plugin for WordPress, 23systems have the real thing in the WordPress Plugins directory. The one described here is for the few, the chosen, the band of brothers (and sisters) who want a daft excuse for a plugin to take apart.

Download FLIRt here

A couple of days ago, She Who Does Web was telling me about various ways of making a web page look a bit less crap, and the difficulty of making things stand out better when the only things at your disposal are about three fonts and a bit of chewing gum. sIFR was mentioned briefly, but being a grumpy old hack, I can’t make myself plonk a Flash movie into a page for the sole purpose of displaying some pretty fonts. I said so, and then I was told of FLIR. No, I am not making these acronyms up. Continue reading