Customizing Magento involves many different things, but an area easily overlooked deals with the emails sent to your customers. Emailing is ofcourse a vital part of the whole experience a customer has in your shop, so making sure the look and feel of those emails matches your shop is important. Let's see how this is done.
On Magento category-pages you can select how to view the available products: By price, name or relevance, and ascending or descending. Within the Magento backend, the default ordering (price, name or relevance) can be configured but strangely enough the default direction (ascending or descending) not. Here is a XML layout update that allows you to do this anyway.
The Magento theme uses two very powerful elements, with which you can modify most of the HTML-output of the Magento system: XML-layouts and PHTML-templates. Core hacks are very bad, so Magento allows you to override each file within your own Magento theme.
While this is no problem with PHTML-templates, XML-layouts contain many times complicated structures. If you could add your own custom XML-layout file, you allow have to manage this file - separating your own changes from the core-files. This tutorial shows you how to build a custom Magento module, that only adds its own XML-layout file - so you can safely add XML-updates to it.
By default the Magento theme uses a button-image to allow customers to checkout their cart contents. If you want to restyle this button, you'll need to alter the image - which is less than perfect. This video shows you how to replace the image with HTML-code, so you can style the button better using CSS.
Magento theming is complicated, it involves knowledge of XML-layouts, PHTML-templates and of course CSS and general webdesign concepts. But sometimes a simple modification of the Magento Default Theme might be sufficient. This video tutorial takes you through the steps to modify the Magento Default Theme.
The Magento Developer Toolbar extension makes it much easier to develop themes or modules in Magento. It allows you to quickly clean the cache or highlight theming features. This video tutorial explains why and how to use the Developer Toolbar.
Learn how easy it is to create a custom column layout for Magento. The tutorial is based on the Magento Enterprise Edition but also applies to the Magento Community Edition. A custom column layout is helpful if you want for instance a "left" column to only appear on certain pages.
This tutorial explains how to create a dynamic product image to a Magento CMS Page. Within the CMS Page you still need to define which product-ID to use, but when the product image changes the CMS Page automatically shows the updated image.