Archive for April, 2013

Magento Imagine 2013 recap

Posted by: Josh Friday, April 19th, 2013

Magento Imagine took place last week, April 8th – 10th at the M Resort hotel in Las Vegas. WebShopApps were in attendance and as we have come to expect from Magento, we were not disappointed.

This event was Magento’s 3rd annual conference with 1500 people in attendance from over 44 countries. With a very diverse group that ranged from Merchants, Solutions Partners, Industry Partners and of course the Magento team.

There was a lot to learn through the Breakout sessions. Three different tracks were available; the Technology Track, Strategic Marketing Track and Business Solution Track. there was something for everyone. Topics included SEO, Responsive Design for eCommerce, Hosting, Boosting Revenues, Global growth with Magento, how Start-ups and SMBs grow with Magento Enterprise.

The conference was wrapped up with one of Magento’s legendary after parties. As usual, despite a cold Las Vegas night, Magento pulled out all the stops with an evening of great food, dancing and entertainment. A great way to end the conference.

The theme for this year

The theme for this year was The Art of Commerce. From the Hall ways to the Market Place decor, the stage design, videos and the suprise fashion show. It was all a work of art. So who was behind the artistry? Magento’s Head of Design/Creative Director – John Couch with the aid of the rest of the Magento team, the The Buzz Lab crew and Mike Russek from 1028Designs.

Our take on Imagine

To succeed in the world of commerce, it takes more than just setting up a store and waiting for customers. Succeeding now requires creativity, continuous innovation and a team of talented individuals. Mobile and multi-channel selling is now key and this trend will only continue to grow. Magento is still working hard to continue to enable merchants and continues to value the community and the communities efforts in driving innovation.

Some of the people we managed to meet

As usual, the Magento Community was out in full force. We had the privilege of catching up with our customers, partners and friends from the community, just to name a few; Blue Acorn, interactiv4, ebizmarts, The Buzz Lab, Orange Collar Media, aheadWorks, Sweet Tooth, Session Digital and many many more.

The Great Speakers

The roster of speakers this year included Steven Levitt, the Co-Author of Freakonomics and Jane McGonial, a world-renowned game designer. The talks were engaging, funny and thought provoking. The calibre of the speakers was truly impressive, I would recommend anyone to attend the next Magento Imagine for the speakers alone.

Imagine Stage

Imagine Stage

Big Announcements

Magento made several big announcements at Imagine.

1. Magento Enterprise 1.13

Jimmy Duvall, Head of Product for Magento announced the release of Magento Enterprise 1.13. Baruch Toledano, Director of Product Management then came on stage to elaborate on some of the improvements made around indexing and scalability. Page loading has been improved, the re-indexing process has been improved by 83% and now 95% of the time you wont need to do full re-indexing. Overall average improvement between EE1.12 and EE1.13 is 65% and the conclusion was that “We can sleep better with EE1.13!”.

2. Magento Community Edition 1.8.2

This is on route and will be with us in the next couple of weeks. A dozen areas have also been improved in CE but our impression was that EE is definetly becoming the standard for serious Magento merchants.

3. Magento 2

This is still in the works and a Beta release can be expected in Q4 this year. Magento are working hard to improve the architecture for developers and solution partners and hopes to create something that is truly modular with clear separation of presentation and business logic.

4. X.commerce Fabric

This has now been decommissioned.

5. New Front End Developer Certification

A Magento Certified Frontend Developer accreditation was announced thus meaning front end developers can now prove their skill-set in Magento theming to their clients.

WebShopApps Booth

WebShopApps Booth


This sums up the WebShopApps team’s experience of Magento Imagine 2013. If you missed it then maybe we’ll see you out there next year!

Farai & Tom



Magento Imagine – The Greatest eCommerce Show on Earth

Posted by: Karen Friday, April 5th, 2013

Its Friday and I’ve just touched down in Vegas for the Magento Imagine Conference. So why do many of us traipse from all four corners of the world to meetup here, whats the big deal? Let me try enlighten you from my perspective.

Well, firstly if you work in Magento this conference allows you to put faces to those contacts. There are few people in the Magento space that work solely alone. We are maybe solution partners with connections in Magento, we might buy extensions for companies like WebShopApps or Aheadworks, we use Saas solutions such as Bronto or Avalara. Being at the conference also offers you the opportunity to size up the competition. Just who are Lyons Consulting, why is Kevin at Blue Acorn such a nice guy? You can find all this out during the many networking sessions or over the poker table late at night. 

For merchants the conference gives you that one-stop show to find out about all things Magento, and actually eCommerce. Its small enough to still retain intimacy, you will create friends here, but its large enough that all the significant players are in attendance. If you are looking for that next web design agency to rebuild your site or take your store to the next level on Magento Enterprise then look no further. Having problems with scaling Magento? Go speak with the Expert Consulting Group and see what they can do to assist. Need a video to promote your site – speak to The Buzz Lab who do all the fantastic production around Imagine.

Magento Imagine lifts the virtual into the physical. Software become alive, Magento breathes, Vinai Kopp really does know how to run! We get re-vitalised by fantastic keynote speeches, we leave with lifelong memories and new found friends. The grand show begins Sunday with the warmup events – I look forward to seeing you there.

Royal Mail Price Changes 2013

Posted by: Josh Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Royal Mail recently announced their 2013 price increases, which came into effect from the 2nd April. Alongside these price increases, they also announced changes to their service.

Royal Mail Logo

WebShopApps have reviewed the changes and below are the key changes we have noted.

Letter and Large Letter

  • The 1st Class Stamp prices and 2nd Prices remain unchanged.
  • The Royal Mail Signed For ™ rates up-to 100g have been increased.
  • Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed™ rates have been increased.



  • 2 new parcel formats have been introduced -Small Parcel and Medium Parcel. The new parcel formats replace the previous rating system which was purely based on parcel weight as they now take into consideration the size of items.
  • 3 clear delivery delivery options are available for parcels – Guaranteed , Confirmed and Standard.
  • Large parcels are shipped by Parcelforce Worldwide.
  • Compensation levels for Loss and Damage have been reduced for 1stClass and 2ndClass services
  • Compensation level for Loss and Damage have been increased for 1stClass Royal Mail Signed For™ and 2ndClass Royal Mail Signed For™

For more information on the parcel services, prices, dimensions, and individual parcel weight limits, please refer to Royal Mail’s detailed explanation here.

International Prices

Prices for Airmail and International Signed for have also changed. For a detailed list of the price changes, please refer to Royal Mail’s Pricing guide.

Royal Mail Rates for Magento

Want to get hold of the latest rates for your Magento store? Be sure to check out the WebShopApps Royal Mail Rates extension.