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The Product Question extension enables your visitors to ask questions directly on the product page and receive answers to them right there.


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.

The extension comes with 2 design packages: /base/default/ and /rwd/default/ .

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.

Set up cron

The Product Questions 2 extension relies on cron for sending out Ask Customers email. If you have already configured cron jobs for your Magento installation then you can skip this step. Read the following instructions on setting cron job for your Magento store: Magento user guide 

Generally it would be enough to run in SSH console of your server: 


crontab -e


And insert the following line:  


*/3 * * * * wget -O - -q ''


Don't forget to confirm saving request when exit.


Updating from 1.X branch

The Product Question 2 extension is a complete overhaul of the original idea. Compared to its predecessor, the 2.x version has different code and data structure; therefore, to pass the data from the original extension to Product Questions 2, a special one-time procedure is required.

To import the existent data from the original Product Questions 1.X extension:

  1. Install Product Questions 2 extension as per instructions above;
  2. execute the migration script that comes with the 2.x version.

Open a browser and type in the address bar:

After the migration script has been executed ("Complete!" message should appear), flush the store cache.

Then, you can disable and remove the original Product Questions 1.X module.

Inserting the Questions block in tabs

The extension automatically embeds its block in the Product View page via layout. If there is a need to move the block to a tab, it can be done via layout as well.

Since the Magento themes are represented in great variety, the exact method may also vary. Below are 2 ready-made examples, you can use them for reference.


The described methods are actual for Product Questions versions 2.0.1+

Make sure you have fully performed the basic installation procedure (Steps 1-3 above) prior to moving the block.

RWD Theme

 View details
  1. Make sure you have copied the extension's layout file ( /app/design/frontend/base/default/layout/aw_pq2.xml ) to the RWD Theme folder ( /app/design/frontend/rwd/default/layout/ )
  2. Open the "aw_pq2.xml" file and find the following string:

  3. Replace this code part with the below one:

  4. Save the changes and flush the store cache

Ultimo Theme

The below instructions are for the popular Ultimo custom theme, but the similar method can be used for many other custom themes as well.

 View details
  1. Open file  /app/design/frontend/ultimo/default/layout/local.xml
  2. Find the following string:

  3. Insert the below code after it:

  4. Save the changes and flush the store cache.




General Settings | Interface Settings | Notification Settings

The extension's general settings can be found in System -> Configuration -> aheadWorks Extensions -> Product Questions 2 (or Catalog -> Product Questions -> Settings)

General Settings tab:

  • Enable Product Questions 2 - switches on / off the extension's frontend functionality
  • Who Can Ask Questions from Product Page - this option defines if questions can be submitted by Registered Customers only, or by Anyone (i.e., both registered clients and guests)
  • Who Can Answer Questions from Product Page - defines what customers are allowed to answer the questions. Available values are:
    • Nobody (admin only) - customers cannot answer questions
    • Any Registered Customer - only logged in customers can answer questions
    • Only Registered Customers Who Purchased The Products - answering is allowed for logged in customers who have previously ordered the current product
    • Anyone - any store visitor can answer the questions
  • Approve Answers Automatically (yes / no) - defines if a store admin's approval for customer-submitted answers is required, or they will get "Approved" status automatically.
  • Do not send "Ask Customers" emails to customers who bought product more than X days ago - excludes the customers whose orders were placed earlier that X days ago from the "Ask Customers" recipients.
  • Guests can rate helpfulness (yes / no) - allows / prohibits voting for guest users
  • Subscribe customers to Product Questions emails automatically (yes / no) - defines whether a customer will be automatically subscribed to extension's emails
 How can I manage customers' subscriptions?

You can manually subscribe or unsubscribe your clients on per-customer basis. Open Edit Customer screen, switch to Product Questions tab, and select / de-select the required notification types.

  • Customer-defined question visibility (Private or Public) - enables / disables customers to choose the type of their question. Public questions will be displayed in the frontend, while Private questions will be answered via email only.


Interface Settings tab:

  • Number of questions to display - this option defines how many questions will be shown under the 'Product Questions' section at the product page. If the actual number of questions exceeds this value, the rest will be hidden under an expand link.
  • Number of answers to display - this option defines how many answers will be shown under a question by default. If the actual number of answers exceeds this value, the one(s) with the lowest Helpfulness rating will be hidden under an expand link.
  • Display URLs as links - this option defines whether URLs posted in questions and answers will be parsed to clickable links, or will be represented as a plain text.
  • Default questions sort by - this option defines the default sorting type for questions, whether by date or by helpfulness.
  • Default sort order - this option defines the sort order for questions, whether descending (the most recent/helpful questions at the top of the list) or ascending (less recent/helpful questions at the top of the list).



Notification Settings tab:

In this tab, you can configure the notifications settings of the extension. You are to specify the recipient of all the admin-side notifications ( Send admin notifications to this email address option ), Email Sender and select the email template for each of the listed notifications type.


You can disable any of the Notification Types by choosing "Do not send" in the template selector

 How do I edit these email templates?

The Product Questions 2 extension adds a number of email templates to app/locale/en_US/template/email/ folder; all the module's templates start with  aw_pq2_* prefix. You can edit any of those templates, and create your custom ones as well.

NOTE: the extension also supports Transactional Emails - you can create / edit templates through System->Transactional Emails backend grid

There is a number of variables available for the extension's emails.


Variable codeDescription
var customer_namedisplays the name of the author, works for both Questions and Answers
var question_initiator_namereturns the name of the question's original poster
var product_namedisplays product name
var product_urlreturns the link to the product page
var new_answer_statusreturns the status of the submitted answer
var question_textreturns the text of the question
var answer_textreturns the text of the answer
var points_amountdisplays the amount of reward for answering*
var points_registration_amountdisplays the amount of reward for store signup*
var unsubscribe_linkreturns link to Manage Product Questions Subscription page

var web_version_link 

returns the link to the Web Copy of an email
var product_answer_please_urlreturns the link to the product page, automatically logs in the customer
var backend_question_pagereturns the link to the backend question page

*Variable will work only if the Points & Rewards extension is installed at the store.


There's also a number of directives for use in IF ... constructions

var is_registeredAuthor is a registered user
var is_guestAuthor is a guest user
var is_approvedQuestion or Answer is approved
var moderateAnswers Auto-Approval is disabled



Remove Email Web copies older than X days option sets the delay before the web copies of an email are removed.

 What does it mean?

The Product Questions extension stores the web copies of all the emails sent through the module. In case the recipient's mail agent or service strips the html formatting, images, etc., they have a possibility to view an email in their browser, as a regular web page. A dynamic link to the Web View can be inserted into the outgoing emails (this link is present in all the default templates).



Managing questions

You can view and manage customer's questions via Catalog -> Product Questions -> All Questions backend grid. A quick link for unprocessed questions is also available, Catalog -> Product Questions -> Pending Questions.

New questions can be created by the store admin as well, through the same grid. An Admin user should just click Add New button, select the desired product and the frontend customer account (Guest option is also available), and fill out the question form.

Question view screen

General |  Manage Answers | Sharing Question

General tab:

  • Linked Entity - this field contains a clickable link to the product the question is associated with
  • Asked From - this field shows the storeview origin of the question
  • Created At - shows the question creation date; can be altered.
  • Show in stores - allows sharing the question to any other storeviews.
  • Status (Pending / Approved / Declined) - defines the question status. Only "Approved" questions show up in the frontend.
  • Author Name and Author Email - can be edited for a guest question. For a question submitted by a registered user, these fields are replaced with a single Author record with the clickable link to the customer account.
  • Question - the actual inquiry text; can be edited by the admin.
  • Visibility (Private / Public) - defines the type of the question. "Public" questions will be posted in the frontend, "Private" ones will only receive admin's answers via email.
  • Helpfulness - shows the question rating; can be altered by the store admin.



Manage Answers tab:

Through this tab, you can manage all the submitted answers, and add new ones.

Mass actions (Change Status / Delete) are allowed in this grid.


Sharing question tab:

The Product Questions extension allows sharing a given question between multiple products.

There is total of 4 available sharing modes:

  • Product(s) - you will be able to manually select the target item(s) from the grid
  • Attribute Set - the question will be shown for every item of the selected Attribute Set
  • Website - the question will be visible on all the items within the selected Website. Hint: if you would to share a question within a certain Storeview only, use Website sharing in conjunction with Show in stores option.
  • Global - the question will be displayed on every product within your Magento.



Answering questions


After "Add New" button is clicked in View Question -> Manage Answers tab, the answer form will open in a pop-up.

The first step is to define the answer origin (Admin, registered Customer or guest).


Note: this selection step serves convenience purpose mostly. The identical set of answer options will be available independently from this choice, it will only affect the default values.

Next step is filling our the actual answer form.

Author Name and Author Email fields will be replaced with a clickable link to the Customer View screen if the answer is posted by a registered user. Answer Date and Helpfulness rating can be altered by the store admin.

Is Admin's Answer (Yes / No) option will mark the answer as posted by admin in the frontend. Note: the "admin answer" mark can be given to any answer, even posted by a guest visitor or registered user.

Status option defines the answer state. The new answers receive "Pending" status by default (unless Approve Answers Automatically option is enabled), "Approved" questions will be posted in the frontend; if an answer is "Declined", it won't appear in the frontend.


Ask Customers option

This function allows a store admin to send out notifications about a question posted for a product.

These notifications will be sent to the customers who have previously purchased this particular product (but not earlier than X days before). By default, these notifications contain a link to the product page with the automated customer login procedure.

The figure in brackets on the button indicates the number of recipients.


The emails are sent each time the Ask Customer button is clicked, to ALL the eligible recipients. Multiple button clicks may result in your customers' receiving duplicate emails.

To avoid such situation, you may want to set Do not send "Ask Customers" emails to customers who bought product more than X days ago restriction in General Settings of the extension.

Custom position via Widget

In addition to the default position, the extension allows placing Product Questions block manually via Widget.

When the new Widget is added you will first need to specify the 'Type' as 'AW Product Questions 2' and the 'Design Package/Theme' you currently have at your store.


Product Questions 2 widget is not affected by the general extension sorting settings.

The questions are displayed in a widget according the helpfulness rating - the most helpful are displayed first.

Frontend properties of the Widget come as usual with the Widget's general settings.

  • 'Widget Options' section allows specifying the number of questions to be displayed in a Widget in a 'Public answered questions' field.

Note, 'Public answered questions' option overrides the general Product Questions extension setting 'Number of questions to display'.

One can also use the following Widget declaration: 

Where num_questions="N" - is the number of questions that should be displayed in the widget.


Integration with other aheadWorks extensions

  • The Product Questions 2 extension is integrated with Points & Rewards (since 1.7.3 version) module. If both extensions are installed at the store, you will be able to reward customers for answering questions.
  • Help Desk Ultimate 3 - if both extensions are in use at the same store, you will have an option to convert a product question to a help desk ticket.





If you just need to temporary disable the extension, you can just do the steps 1-5, without deleting the files of the extension.

  • Disable compilation, in case it is enabled.
  • Login to your FTP, navigate to app/etc/modules/
  • Open the file AW_Pquestions2.xml and change the following line:








    Now your Magento is unaware of the existence of this module.

  • Clear the cache under var/cache
  • Make sure that the site is working properly, otherwise roll back the changes and apply to our technical support.
  • If everything works fine, it is safe to delete the files of the extension.
  • In case you need to clean the database, backup your database and then run the following queries in MySQL: 



    DROP TABLE IF EXISTS `aw_pquestion2_summary_answer`;
    DROP TABLE IF EXISTS `aw_pquestion2_notification_queue`;
    DROP TABLE IF EXISTS `aw_pquestion2_notification_subscriber`;
    DROP TABLE IF EXISTS `aw_pquestion2_summary_question`;
    DROP TABLE IF EXISTS `aw_pquestion2_answer`;
    DROP TABLE IF EXISTS `aw_pquestion2_question`;



    delete from core_resource where code =`aw_pq2_setup`


    Note, if you are using the table with prefixes, you must specify them in all table names. 

    If you are not sure how to do that or expect any troubles with it, please contact your server administrator regarding the matter.
    If you remove the tables as it is described above, you will need to configure the extension again when it is reinstalled. All questions and answers will be lost as well.



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.

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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