How to install a Magento extension well

After supporting many customers to install and configure our Magento extensions, we see that they got some problems when installing the extension because they installed in wrong way. Therefore, in this post we will guide you the useful way to install a Magento extension well.

  1. Backup your site before installing any extension. Some extensions might crash your site if you install it in wrong way or it contains the bad code.
  1. Make sure you enable Magento cache. To do this, go to Admin -> System -> Cache Management

This is also an important step that some customers miss. If the cache is disabled then Magento can start setting up during uploading the extension files.

  1. If you install the extension via Magento connect then go to Admin -> System -> Magento Connect -> Magento Connect Manager.

In almost cases you will need to install the extension manually via FTP or SSH.

  1. When all extension files are uploaded, you will need to check the template and files to see if they are placed in right folder. Your custom theme might be in these folders:

- magento/app/design/frontend/<theme_package>/<theme_name>

- magento/skin/frontend/<theme_package>/<theme_name>

If your extension template and skin files are in difference theme package:

- <extension_files>/skin/frontend/<other_package>/default

- <extension_files>/app/design/frontend/<other_package>/default

  1. Now you can refresh or disable the cache to let Magento run extension setting up and start configuring the extension.
  1. Logout and login the backend again. Some customers leave this step so they get access denied or 404 error page when accessing the extension configuration panel.
  1. Some extensions can start working now but some need to do certain configurations in backend or in adjust the custom theme. Follow the user guide of the extension to configure the extension.
  1. If you need to customize the extension template or skin, you should copy the files to your custom theme folders. If you do it in the default theme, you might lose your work when you upgrade or reinstall the extension.

Here is just some key steps that show you how to install a Magento extension properly. Some extensions might need to do some special configuration or adjust your custom theme so you will need to read the installation and user guide carefully.

We hope that this post will give you some useful information when you need to install a Magento extension yourself.

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