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The best extensions are created out of frustration of the developer. Last months, we were caught up implementing various Magento sites, and during this, we were customizing Magento transactional emails, while the end-customer was reviewing them. And the process of creating a test mail was kind of frustrating. So we developed a solution.

Customing Magento order-emails

It is a scenario every Magento developer is familiar with: Most of the work when setting up a Magento site goes into frontend development, customizing PHTML-templates, skins, etcetera. But when the shop is almost supposed to go live, suddenly we wake up and realize that we also need to re-style the Magento transactional emails. So we upload the site-logo to the System Configuration in the Magento backend.

Next, we go to the frontend, add a couple of products to the cart, proceed to the checkout, complete all the steps there, and wait for the email to arrive. Damn it, the colors are off. So we modify the inline CSS of that transactional email, and repeat all the steps from start.

This can be more efficient - meet EmailTester

Needless to say, some valuable time is lost with such a procedure. Every time you want to test the checkout process, ofcourse there is no other option than to complete all the steps of the checkout. But if you are using the checkout merely to send out a mail, than it becomes cumbersome. Luckily enough, the Magento forum mentions a couple of code-lines to resend the order-email at request. But what if you want test other emails instead? Right, then you would need a great bunch of testing scripts.

All those testing scripts are now combined into 1 single easy-to-use extension: Yireo EmailTester. The extension works simple and to the point. It offers a page in the Magento backend, where you select the Store View from which you want to send the email from, you select the actual transactional email. Next, you insert sample data by selecting an existing order, customer or product. And you press Send Email. Very simple.

Yireo EmailTester - mailing or previewing in browser

So suddenly sending out test-emails is made easy. There is no need to run through complicated frontend-tasks repeatedly. You just pick the right mail from the Magento Admin Panel and send it. Sometimes email-addresses are not properly setup yet. No worries: You can also just print the email in a new tab in your browser - simply by hitting the button Print Email. Want to see how the modified email-contents look like? Just go the opened browser-tab and refresh its contents.

We have already made our own life much easier by implementing this extension in our own Magento projects. Customizing transactional emails is now much less painful, simply because you can apply the same webdesign-techniques as you're used to when customizing the frontend - modify CSS, refresh the screen and see the result.

For more information and details on how to get this extremely useful extension, check the EmailTester project-page.

Written on 6 July 2013 by Jisse Reitsma

About the author

Jisse Reitsma is the founder of Yireo, extension developer, developer trainer and two times Magento Master. His passion is for technology and open source. And he loves talking as well.

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