Extension page: http://ecommerce.aheadworks.com/magento-extensions/countdown.html

The Countdown Magento extension displays the countdown block on the home page, product page or any CMS page of your Magento store.


1. Backup your web directory and store database.

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

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

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

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

Countdowns need to be launched by cron for starting / ending. If you have already configured cron jobs for your Magento installation, 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 'http://your-store/cron.php'

Don't forget to confirm saving request when exit.



The extension is configured on per-instance basis, i.e., the settings are defined for each of the timer blocks separately.

You can create new and manage the existent timers in Promotions -> Countdown Timers backend page.


Create/ Edit Timer screen

General | DesignAutomation | Triggers | Recurring

General tab

In this tab, you are to define the basic timer parameters.

  • Name - defines the timer identifier for backend
  • Status - activates / deactivates the rule
  • From/To - these fields define the lifetime of the countdown timer block;
  • Store view - allows selecting the storeview(s) the timer will appear on
  • Customer Groups - defines what customer groups the timer will be displayed for
  • After click on timer, customer will be redirected to - you can specify the redirect URL here
  • Priority - defines the priority of the timer block. The lower value is, the more priority a timer has.
    I.e., if there are several blocks that are to be rendered in the same position, the block with lower Priority value will be displayed 



Design tab

In this tab, you can configure the design of the timer instance.

Design section

  • Title - the frontend title of the timer
  • Design package - you can select the preferred package here
  • Show - this selector allows choosing between 4 variants of time representation. The available values are:
    • Days only
    • Days and Hours
    • Days, Hours, Minutes
    • Complete (D / H / M / Seconds) 

Template section

In the Template field, you can insert HTML code and formatting

Via the Template field, you can append extra content to the timer block.



Automation tab

Through this tab, you can automate the timer displaying.

Products subselection section:

Here, you can define the conditions for the products the timer will be applied to. The conditions are based on product attributes.

Automation section:

  • Show for selected products - defines the timer position
    • Inside product page - the timer will automatically appear in the product page
    • Custom - requires inserting the timer instance manually, as a widget
  • Disable selected products when countdown is over - works for all the products that meet the conditions set in Product Subselection section above
  • Enable selected products on countdown start - works for all the products that meet the conditions set in Product Subselection section above

Make sure to set the conditions in the Product Subselection section. Otherwise, these options will affect all the store items

"Enable / Disable product" options have "website" scope. It means that if they are enabled, Priority and Customer Groups set for the timer are ignored. As for the Store view selector, the functions will apply for the whole website an assigned Storeview can be associated with.




Triggers tab

The extension can be used to trigger (i.e., switch on or off) existent Shopping Cart or Catalog Price rules. This function is configured through this tab.

Note, you can create several triggers for each countdown start/end. Triggers are executed by cron.

Recurring tab

Since 1.1.0 version, the Countdown extension allows setting up recurring timers. I.e., the timer blocks will appear according to the specified schedule.

There are 3 modes:

  • Type = "Every day"

The timer will be displayed every day for From-To interval

Include Weekdays field allows restricting the timer to certain weekdays .


  • Type = "Every X day(s)"

The timer will be reset every X days (defined in Day Range field), at a time set in the To field.

In this example the Countdown block timer will be reset every five days at 18:00 store time.


  • Type = "Every defined day"

The timer will be displayed on the specified Day of Month, since 00:00 until To time of the target date.


Creating Design Packages

The Countdown extension comes with 3 ready-made packages, but you can also create your own ones per instructions below. 

1. Create a directory in skin/frontend/default/default/aw_countdown (use your store's values), e.g. "mypackage"

2. In this new directory, create timer.css or copy this file from any default package and edit it.

Use your package name as postfix in CSS rules.


    color: #000;

3. Go to the add/edit countdown page in the backend. The created package will appear in the Design Package dropdown of the Design tab.


Inserting the timer block

Countdown timers can be inserted either automatically (if Show for Selected Products option is set to "Inside product page") or manually, as per instructions below.

Using CMS or Widget

Open the static block or CMS page you want countdown block to be displayed at and insert block as widget. Also you can use the following text in the content field:

{{block type="awcountdown/countdown" countdownid="8"}}

where countdownid is the ID of the countdown that will be inserted

Inserting via XML Layout

You can insert countdown in any position via XML Layout

<block type="awcountdown/countdown" name="awcountdown">
    <action method="setCountdownid"><countdownid>1</countdownid></action>

where countdownid is the ID of the countdown that will be inserted

Inserting product timers into Category View page

Since version 1.1.0, the Countdown extension allows inserting timer boxes into the products listed under a category.

To display the timers like that, make sure to set Display Automatically to "Inside Product Page".

Then, navigate to your FTP and open the following file app/design/frontend/<your_package>/<your_theme>/template/catalog/product/list.phtml .

To show the timers in List mode for RWD Theme:

To show the timers in List mode for default theme:

To show the timers in Grid mode:

In case you would like to show timers in both modes, you will need to do both adjustments as well


Logging and Statistics

All notiffications about starting/ending triggers are saved in AW Core log. You can see this log here: System > Configuration > Info (aheadWorks Extensions section) > aheadWorks extensions logging (group) > View Log (button)

The number of executed triggers is also saved here.



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



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 http://ecommerce.aheadworks.com
License agreement: http://ecommerce.aheadworks.com/LICENSE-M1.txt
Contact us: http://ecommerce.aheadworks.com/contacts/
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