Magento for Beginners

Are you new to Magento?

When you’re first starting out, Magento can be a bit intimidating. With what seems like countless folders and files, it will take some time to get familiarized with where everything is located.Don’t hesitate or give up. After months of exploring and using Magento, I’d like to share with you some of the things I wish I knew starting from day one – from the most basic information up to using developer tools that might come in handy for beginners and alike!

Editing Files in Magento

If you are a Magento developer, there is one golden rule you should not forget: NEVER edit core files. Core files are any file that comes together with the base install. This includes the frontend > base folder and frontend > package > default folder.


Making your way around Magento’s file structure can be a real pain, especially if you’re new to it. It might be a little frustrating when you think you have found the right file to edit and you realize there are 2 or more other files that need to be edited but you don’t exactly know where to find it. This problem might be unresolved until you enable a little thing called Template Path Hints.

How to turn on Template Path Hints

  1. From the Admin Control Panel, open the system tab and select configuration
  2. Select Main Website or Name of your website (Not Default Config) from the Current Configuration Scope dropdown
  3. Select Developer on the left sidebar menu
  4. Open the Debug dropdown
  5. Set Template Path Hints to Yes
  6. Click on Save Config

You may need to clear cache and refresh the page. Red lines with tags around the page will be displayed. It will tell you which block and template it is. This will serve as a guide on which file/files you need to edit.


Inline Translation in Magento

How to turn on Inline Translation

  1. From current configuration scope, select desired store view on which the inline translation will be applied.
  2. On the Admin Control Panel, open the system tab and select configuration
  3. Select the store view on which the inline translation will be applied
  4. Select Developer on the left sidebar menu
  5. Open the Translate Inline drop-down
  6. Set ‘Enabled for Frontend’ to Yes


After enabling the Inline Translation, go to the frontend of your website and select the language where you will apply translations. Red rectangle boxes around text will appear. Hover on the text you want to translate and click on the small book icon. A translation box will appear and you can start translating text for your chosen store view.


And there you have it! A little information I learned from experience. Three essential tips will give you a head-start and are useful for Magento beginners. As a developer, these are just a few of the things I wish I knew when I started developing E-commerce sites using Magento. I hope this information helps you solve some issues or clarify confusions. Good luck and happy coding!

Kristine Bandojo

Kristine is a Web Developer at Project Assistant who specializes on front-end development. In her free time, she likes to do calligraphy, try sketching, surf the Internet and read blogs. She loves to eat Pringles too!