Magento Development: How to Best Use Google

I had a friend ask me today how to charge tax on shipping in Magento based on different rules than the rules they setup for their taxable goods. I actually wasn’t sure as I haven’t yet had a client that has wanted to charge tax on shipping. So, I went to Google and searched for “magento charge tax on shipping” and the first result yielded an article (mind you it was the last paragraph in the article) that answered the question. I passed along the link and they told me “I spent about 4 hours researching this yesterday and you find something in 1 minute.”

This isn’t a slam against my friend at all. Finding answers to questions about Magento can be quite a challenge at times. I have spent plenty of time unable to find what I was looking for. So, I figured it would be good to at least post the strategies that I use when scouring Google for answers.

  • Always start your search with “magento”
  • Think about your question in terms that others will call it.  There are plenty of forum posts and blog articles out there to find.  If you are using the wrong/different terminology, you may not find what you are looking for
  • Try different variations of your question/terminology.  As I stated above, the ‘standard’ terminology for something might be different than how you are thinking about it (If you can’t find it on the first 3 pages, the chance of you finding it after that diminish significantly.  Time to try a different search).
  • Sometimes the use of Magento’s module names can be helpful.  If you are trying to figure out how to program something in the admin, try including ‘adminhtml’.  The more specific your keywords are, the better quality the results will be.

Please comment and add to the list if you have some good strategies!

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One Response to Magento Development: How to Best Use Google

  1. Gorky says:

    – Use “” for explicit Magento wiki/forum searching.
    – Use “freegento” or some other code exported sites to search directly in Magento core code.
    – Sometimes its better to search with function names rather than by questions.