Ecommerce website developers have counted on Magento, an open-source PHP-based platform, to develop Ecommerce websites since the late 2000s. Businesses of all sizes have used the platform to create their eCommerce portals, including some of the biggest brands in the world, such as Samsung and Nike. Almost 30% of the most highly-rated Ecommerce stores are known to use Magento for maintaining their online portals.
In this post, we’ll talk about how you can customize your Magento email template. Customizing your Magento email template can help you ensure that the look and feel of the emails you send to your customers match the vibe and essence of your eCommerce portal.
Magento users can customize their email templates on the platform in two ways:
- In the Magento filesystem
- In the Magento Admin Panel
Customizing templates in the Magento filesystem
Customizing your Magento email template in the filesystem requires the installation of third-party software that you can use to copy theme files to your themes locale folder, where you can edit them.
Editing files directly in the filesystem is not recommended, as it would be a core hack, and the Magento core, by default, places restrictions on creating theme overrides. You can bypass these restrictions by using third-party software and you can find the default Magento email templates stored in the following folder and sub-folder in the filesystem:
app/locale/en_US/template/email (folder), sales (sub-folder)
Customizing templates in the Magento Admin Panel
If you’re not too comfortable with the idea of running a third-party software with Magento, you can use the platform’s Admin Panel to make changes to the default email templates. However, this customization method does not have editing features such as code completion and syntax highlighting.
To manage and customize Magento email templates through the Admin Panel, go to the Transactional Emails section that you’ll find enlisted in System. By default, email template overviews are empty, which indicates the presence of all templates on the filesystem but the lack of any backend theme overrides.
Click the ‘Add New’ button for creating a new override. In the following screen, click on the dropdown list and select a template. You can also change the locale based on your preferences and then click on ‘Load Template’. The selected template’s code will be copied to the Admin Panel from the Magento filesystem and once copied, you can customize the templates.
No matter what approach you take to editing a Magento email template, you would have to look at code. Magento employs code in three languages; CSS, HTML, and CMS tags. CSS and HTML codes are enough for editing email templates. Even though CMS tags can be modified as well, they require top-notch programming skills to make sense of them.
It’s also recommended to not edit HTML code and make it too complex, as the edited code may appear differently across multiple email clients such as MS Outlook, Postbox, Evolution, and Thunderbird. All these email clients have their very own HTML-rendering engines and in general, there are no standards for HTML-code interpretation. Keeping things simple is the way to go. Also, it’s better to use older standards like CSS2 and HTML4, which all email clients are compatible with. Not all clients support newer standards like CSS3 and HTML5.
Step-by-step guide for customizing transactional email templates
- Step 1 – Upload logo: Open ‘Design’ after navigating to ‘System > Configuration’. In the ‘Transactional Emails’ section, upload your logo.
- Step 2 – Email header/footer customization: Navigate to ‘System > Transactional Emails’. Click on the ‘Add New Template’ option. Next, click on the Template drop-down menu and select either ‘Email – Header’ or ‘Email – Footer’. Next, click on ‘Load Template’. Fill the ‘Template Information’ section.
- Step 3 – Email content customization: Go to ‘System > Transactional Emails’ and click the ‘Add New Template’ button and then select a default template by choosing one from the options in the drop-down menu. Choose your store language in the ‘Locale’ menu and follow the rest of the steps mentioned in Step 2. Next, click on the ‘Preview Template’ option. If the template needs further editing, do it and then click on ‘Save Template’.
- Step 4 – Applying the configuration: If you want to apply the changes you made to a template and make it the default configuration, navigate to ‘System > Configuration > Design’. The Email header/footer field drop-down menu will have a custom header/footer option. Choose it. To add your custom template as one that’s to be sent to a customer before the expiry of a transaction, navigate to ‘System > Configuration’, select ‘Reward Point’ from the menu on the left, and in the email configuration box, choose ‘Template of email sent to the customer before a transaction expires’. Complete your changes by clicking on ‘Save Config’.
Once you have successfully edited a Magento email template, you have to test the edited template under different clients and by default, this process is a lengthy one, which is why many third-party extensions have become popular. In this section, we’ll first talk about how to undertake email testing using Magento’s default settings and then about testing with third-party extensions.
To edit using Magento’s default features, enter the Admin Panel, and find the ‘Preview Template’ button and click on it. A new browser window will open with the preview. However, information related to products ordered and invoice is not displayed in this preview. Testing the template under different clients is also not possible in this method.
Those who don’t use third-party extensions for testing the templates typically create new orders by manually adding products to the cart and then place them after including specific email addresses. If you want to test the edited templates under different clients, you have to create separate orders for every address, which can be extremely time-consuming.
You can use a third-party extension to test the edited templates more efficiently. Simply install the extension and then head to the extensions control panel, which is included in the Magento Admin Panel. Third-party extensions allow users to insert customer addresses and order information quickly and you can send a single email to different addresses without having to create separate emails for each address.
Ultimately, if it’s efficiency you want, you can try your hand at using third-party extensions instead of using Magento’s default settings for both editing and testing email templates on the platform.
Benefits of using Magento
Now that we’ve discussed regarding editing and testing email templates on Magento at length, it’s time to talk about all the advantages that Magento has to offer; advantages that make it the best platform for creating, maintaining, and operating eCommerce stores and sites.
- Customizable: After going through the email template editing and testing section, you may be thinking that customization options on Magento are restrictive. However, it might surprise you to know that as far as eCommerce platforms go, Magento is the most customizable one there is. The greatest advantage of Magento is that overall, its customization options allow Ecommerce site and shop owners to provide unique branded experiences to their customers.
- Magento Mobile: For Ecommerce store developers who want the flexibility of optimizing their stores on-the-go, there’s nothing better than Magento Mobile. The mobile software is compatible with HTML5 and both its free community version and enterprise edition have loads of features to offer.
- No restrictions on choosing hosting services: While many eCommerce store development platforms restrict users from choosing different hosting services, Magento has no such restrictions. Developers can choose hosting companies based on their requirements and the benefits offered to their particular businesses by various hosting companies.
- Third-party extension integration: Not all eCommerce store development and management platforms allow for easy integration of third-party extensions, but that’s not the case when it comes to Magento. The platform allows for easy integration of third-party extensions, which facilitate greater customization options. Store owners can also use a wide range of extensions to analyze their stores.
- Fast, reliable, and secure: eCommerce stores developed on Magento load much faster than stores developed on other platforms. Fast loading speeds are more important than ever before, as stores that are slow to load are not rated highly by search engines. Ecommerce sites developed on Magento also tend to be more reliable and secure than those developed on other platforms.
- Numerous SEO features: The sheer amount of in-built SEO features in Magento makes it the ideal platform to develop eCommerce stores that will rank high across different search engines. Some of the SEO features in Magento include sitemaps, search-friendly URLs, layered navigation, meta descriptions and tags, and keywords.
Proof of Magento’s resounding success
As an eCommerce store development platform, Magento has enjoyed unparalleled growth and success since it was developed. Over 100,000 eCommerce stores, websites, and portals have been created so far using the platform and you can expect the platform to cater to more and more eCommerce entrepreneurs in the future.
Magento’s code has been downloaded by users across the globe over 2.5 million times and in 2019 alone, eCommerce stores developed on Magento sold a whopping $155 billion worth of products.