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The Featured Products 3 extension offers different ways of the featured products representation, i.e., static grid or slider with various switchable effects – fade/appear, blind up / blind down, and slide up / slide down. This aheadWorks module allows you to easily specify all block parameters and make it displayed at any place of any page of your Magento store.


1. Backup your web directory and store database.

 Click to view details

You can make backup copies with any tool you find appropriate

If you are going to use the native Magento backup function, navigate to System -> Tools -> Backups and perform System and Database backups

 2. Log in to the Magento backend

 3. Disable compilation

 Click to view details

Navigate to System -> Tools -> Compilation.

If Compiler status is Disabled, you can skip to the next step

If Compiler is enabled, disable it.

IMPORTANT: after the extension is installed, you can enable the compilation again; IT IS CRUCIAL that you use "Run Compilation Process" function, not just "Enable button"


Installing an extension with the Compilation enabled will result in store downtime.

 4. Flush store cache

 Click to view details

You can flush the store cache in 2 ways:

  • via the backend:

Navigate to System -> Cache Management menu, and click Flush Magento Cache button

  • via filesystem:

On your server, navigate to Magento root folder, then proceed to /var/cache/; delete all the content there.

 5. Download the extension package from your account and extract the downloaded archive

 6. Copy the content of /Step_1/ folder to your store's root directory

If you are using a custom theme,

 read the instructions here.

In case you are using a custom theme, it is recommended to copy the design files to your current theme's folders. In case there are several themes in use at the same store, the design files must be copied to each of them.

  • Find this folder in the package: /step_1/app/design/frontend/base/default/ ; copy its content to /app/design/frontend/[your_package]/[your_theme]/
  • Find this folder in the package: /step_1/skin/frontend/base/default/ ; copy its content to /skin/frontend/[your_package]/[your_theme]/

 7. Copy the content of /Step_2/ folder to your store's root directory

 8. Flush store cache again; log out from the backend and log in again.




The General Configuration sections of extension, located at System -> Configuration -> aheadWorks Extensions -> Featured Products (or, Catalog -> Featured Products -> Settings) contains info about the currently installed Representations and 2 important options:

  • Clear Configuration Cache - refreshes the cached details of the blocks configuration options
  • Clear thumbnails Cache - refreshes the cached product images


The main configuration of the Featured Products 3 extension is done on per-instance basis, i.e., each of the blocks can have its own setup.


Setting up blocks

You can manage Featured Products 3 blocks through the Catalog -> Featured Products -> List Blocks backend page. There you can create new, edit or remove existing blocks.

General block properties and appearance

General section:

  • Name - defines the frontend title of the block
  • Block ID - sets the internal block identifier
  • Status - enables / disables the block
  • Store View - here, you can select the storeview(s) the block will appear on
  • Representation - you can choose the block display type (Slider / Grid). The selection made here will affect the list of available options in the Representation Settings section below.
  • Automatic layout position - defines the page position of the block. There are 4 available positions:
    • None - requires inserting the block manually, as per instructions here
    • Left Column
    • Right Column
    • Before Content 




Representation Settings section allows configuring how the block will be displayed in the frontend. The available options differ depending on the Representation Type, most of them are self-explanatory.

Slider representation:



 Grid representation:



Through the Automation Settings tab, you can define what products will be advertised in the block.

The Featured Products 3 extension offers 7 types of automation:

  • None - disables automation, the advertised products must be selected manually
  • Random Products - shows X random items
  • Top Sellers - shows bestselling products
  • Top Rated - shows products with max reviews average rating
  • Most Reviewed - shows products with max number of customer reviews
  • Recently Added - shows the latest created products
  • Current Category Products - shows Random Products, Top Sellers, Top Rated, Most Reviewed or Recently Added items from the currently viewed category ONLY.



If Automation Type is set to None, you are to pick the advertised items manually from the standard product grid.

Additionally, you can specify Product Sorting Type - this option defines how the selected products will be sorted in the block:

  • Newest First
  • Oldest First
  • Random


 Changing Product Image

You can select the product image only when the None automation is selected, and FP block has been already saved. Below the small image of product with several images, you'll see the Change button which allows selecting product image.

Note: click the Clear Thumbnails Cache link on the extension configuration page to update all created thumbnails.



If Automation Type is is set to Random Products, Top Sellers, Top Rated, Most Reviewed or Recently Added , the list of the available options is identical:

  • Select Categories - this option allows defining from what categories the featured products will be pulled
  • Quantity Limit - restricts the number of advertised products for the block



If Automation Type is is set to Current Category Products, the featured products will be taken from the category the visitor is currently viewing.

You are to define the Automation Sub-Type (Random Products, Top Sellers, Top Rated, Most Reviewed or Recently Added items) and the Quantity Limit


Custom block position

Block is automatically shown at the defined position if you select any value except None in the Automatic layout position field. If None is selected, the FP block must be inserted manually, via any of the methods described below.

Inserting via CMS

You can use the below code to call a block in a CMS static page or block.

For inserting block by its ID:

For inserting block by its increment ID:


Inserting via Widget

This ability is supported since 1.4 version of Magento.

Go to Magento backend, and:

  • Create AW Featured block
  • Open the CMS \ Widgets page. Click the Add New Widget Instance button
  • Select the AW Featured block option in the Type field and specify your theme in the Design Package/Theme field. Click the Continue button
  • Fill all fileds in the Frontend Properties fieldset and click the Add Layout Update button
  • Select pages, where block should be located in the Display On field and select area, where block will be shown in the Block Reference field
  • Go to the Widget Options tab and select previously created AW Featured block by clicking the Select Block button

Inserting via layout

To insert a block via layout, you will need to edit the /app/design/frontend/[your_package]/[your_theme]/layout/aw_featured.xml file.


For the examples below, sample block attributes are used:  Block ID = testblockIncrement ID = 7

 To show a block on all category pages

Insert the following code before enclosing </layout> tag:

 To show a block on the Shopping Cart page

Insert the following code before enclosing </layout> tag:

 To show a block on product pages

To make the FP block appear before the content, insert the following code before enclosing </layout> tag:

To make the FP block appear in the right column, insert the following code before enclosing </layout> tag:


Since Magento does not give an ability to handle automatic uninstall for its modules, you need to run the following query on your database manually:

This will delete the extension attributes from the database. After that, you can safely remove the extension files from your store.


After the extension installation the store gives an error, or blank page, or suggests to start Magento installation procedure.

Change the owner of the extracted extension files to the web server user and set 775 permissions on them. Clear the store cache and try again.

There is no aheadWorks extensions under my configuration section, or having the extension tab clicked I get a blank page, or Access Denied error.

Clear the store cache, browser cookies, logout and login again.

I've set up everything correctly, inserted the HTML code but there is nothing on that page.

Clear the store cache, clear your browser cache and domain cookies and refresh the page.

My configuration changes do not appear on the store.

 Clear the store cache, clear your browser cache and domain cookies and refresh the page.

You can always find the latest version of the software, full documentation, demos, screenshots and reviews at
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