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Product Questions & Answers for Magento User Guide


This document is a User Guide for Questions/Answers extension for Magento. It describes how work with the extension.

Questions/Answers is a great means to expand your client-oriented services. Should your clients need additional information about the products you sell, need explanations and instructions or simply want to make sure your products are eligible for them - Questions/Answers extension is all you need. Ability to ask questions directly on products’ pages, reply them, full administration management of the process - all this you get with the extension.

Plenty of settings so that you can adjust the Q&A functionality to meet your needs ideally are supplemented with easy installation, life-time free updates and good support.


All our Magento extensions and templates are installed via IToris Installer. .

Download IToris Installer and un-pack to the root of your website. It will then appear in menu System –>IToris extensions –> IToris Installer.

Open it and you will see all our Magento Extensions and Templates, both installed and available. You can install, update and un-install them with one click now.

Find Questions and Answers in the list of extensions and press Install button. It will ask for the license key that you will receive after the purchase. Enter the key and submit. The extension will be installed. It will be available in menu System –>IToris extensions –> Product Questions/Answers.


Q&A is website-dependent. By ‘website’ here we understand the website in Magento terms. Under one Magento installation one license key of the extension can activate all stores/storeviews. within one website. If your configuration has several Magento websites - a separate license will be required for each.

You can switch the license from one domain to another – login to IToris website using the credentials you will receive after the purchase. Go to My Downloads area, find your key there and reset it from the current website. Then use it again to activate another website.

The license also includes free life-time updates for the extension.



Install Questions/Answers extension and open it in admin area (System –>IToris extensions –> Product Questions/Answers You will see Settings area:

questions and answers settings

There are 3 main areas of settings:

  • Stores Settings
  • General Settings
  • Email Settings


Stores' Settings

On the top left there are stores' settings

stores settings

You can define if you need the same settings for all your stores or if they should vary.

If the settings should be different, select a store and set it. Then select another store and add settings to it, etc.

Save settings after you finish.


General Settings

General settings area is to define how the extension should behave for your customers.

questions and answers general settings

Let us find out what each setting means and how it change the look and behaviour of the extension.

The first setting is Entension Enabled. It activates/deactivates the extension. While you set it you can deactivate it so that it is not displayed on the front-end.

Module is visible for - define if both logged in (customers) and not logged in (visitors) users should see the Questions&Answers block - or logged in users only.

The following setting - Visitors can post - depend on the previous one. If you select that the module should be visible to customers only this setting will be disabled. In this setting you can define if visitors (not logged in users) can post questions only, answers only or both questions and answers.

Color scheme - Questions/Answers extension has several designs created for you already. Please seelct the one to meet the design concept of your website better.

Show Captcha image for visitors - in order to avoid spam attacks, you can select one of the CAPTCHA images that your visitors should enter when they post questions and answers. This setting again will be disabled if you have selected the extesnion to be visible for customers only.

The next setting deals with moderation - Questions approval. As not all question may be eligible, you can select if you want to moderate them manually or not. The following options are availble:

questions approval

  • Manual approve - the questions will not be visible until administrator approves them.
  • Auto approval for Customers - if a user is logged-in, his/her questions will be visible immediately after submitting. If the user is not logged in, then his/her questions need admin’s approve to become visible.
  • Auto approval for Customers and Visitors - both customers and visitors can post questions and they will be visible immediately.

Answers approval - the same as Questions approval, but for answers.

Maximum question length and Maximum answer length - set the length of questions and answers (in symbols).

Define how many questions there should go per page with Questions per page setting. When the number of questions exceeds the allowed one, there will appear a paging so that users can go to the following page(s) and see the rest.

Notify administrator when new question/answer received - check if you want administrator to receive email notifications when a new question or answer has been posted. Do not forget to create email template for the notifications (see the settinsg below).

Administrator Email - enter the email address on which the notifications should be sent.

N.B. Save settings after you have changed them.


Email Settings

Email Settings go directly below the General Settings. In Email Settings you can create the look of the notifications administrator and user will receive (email templates).

questions and answers email settings

There are 2 email templates - the one administrator will receive when a new question or answer has been posted and the one the question poster will receive when there is a reply.

The texts in the email templates are already created for you. Yet you can edit them the way you need. The content of each email consists of the following:

  • Email head
  • Email body - texts and decorations
  • Email body - variables

Email head - for each email you can define:

o From name - from which name should the email be sent
o From email - from which email address should the email be sent
o Subject - subject of the email

Email body. In the WYSIWYG editor you can create the look of the email template. Add any text and decorations you need there. One more important part of an email is variables. When you add variables they are substituted in emails with the read data entered. The list of variables is available under the template’s editor.

E.g. There is a variable {{product_name}}. In emails it will be substituted with the real name of the product for which the question or answer has been submitted.

Set email notifications for both admins and users and save the settings.


Add Questions/Answers Block to the Front-end

Include Q&A block in Template

To add the Questions& Answers functionality to the front-end you will need to include it in your template.

  1. Check which skin is used now on your site. If you are not sure, open your site in a browser, open the source of the page. Inside <head> tags you will find something like
  2. <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="" media="all" />
    package/theme - the name of your design package and the theme

  3. Declare a new block in your template. To do it open /app/design/frontend/{pack_name}/{theme_name}/layout/catalog.xml
  4. N.B. if there is no this file, copy it from /app/design/frontend/base/default/layout/catalog.xml and then make the changes in the copy.

    Find <block> tags inside this file and add the following (red line):

    <block type="catalog/product_view" name="" template="catalog/product/view.phtml">
    <block type="itoris_productqa/productQa" name="itoris_productqa_block" as="itoris_qa"/>

  5. Make this new Q&A block visible.
    Open the file: /app/design/frontend/{pack_name}/{theme_name}/template/catalog/product/view.phtml

    N.B. if there is no this file, copy it from /app/design/frontend/base/default/template/catalog/product/view.phtml and then make the changes in the copy.

    Find the lines
  6. < ?php echo $this->getChildHtml('upsell_products') ?>
    <?php echo $this->getChildHtml('product_additional_data') ?>

    And after these lines add
    <?php echo $this->getChildHtml('itoris_qa') ?>

  7. If you do not see Q&A block after this - clear the cache in System->Cache Management


Include Q&A block in Product Tabs

There is another extension developed by IToris that organizes product pages in a convenient and good-looking way, placing product blocks in tabs - Product Tabs Slider.

Q&A block can be added as one of the tabs. To do it open the admin area, open Tabs Slider Extension (System -> IToris Extensions -> Product Tabs Slider). Press ‘Add custom tab’, and in the WYSIWYG editor add a new widget. The name (alias) of the widget is itoris_qa.

questions and answers in tabs slider




Apart from settings there is a separate area for administrators to moderate questions and answers. The area is available at Catalog –>Product Q/A

questions and answers management

There are several lists available for convenient moderation. Administrators can choose to see only pending questions (that are not visible yet and require approving), inappropriate questions (that have marked by customers as of not being appropriate), not answered questions or all questions together.


Pending Questions’ List

‘Pending Questions’ area lists all pending questions, i.e. the questions that have not been moderated by administrators yet and are not visible for customers.

The list is organized in a usual Magento way. You can sort it out by ID, by date (or date period), by the user’s nickname, by store, by usertype (guest or customer), by product name or by product SKU.

Each question has information about the replies (how many times it has been replied).

From the pending list administrator can open any question for editing (both its content’s editing and status changing). Press ‘edit’ link to open a question for editing.

questions and answers pending questions list

Editing Pending Questions

To edit a question press ‘edit’ link. The question will be opened up for editing

questions and answers edit questions

Question details

On the top there is the product’s name (on which the question has been posted). Below there is information about the poster (nickname) and date of posting.

This data is for information only, it is not editable. Below there is rating. It displays how many times the question has been marked as helpful, and how many times it has been marked as not helpful (by customers).

Then there is status. Administrator can change pending status to either ‘approved’, or ‘not approved’. Approved questions become visible for guests and customers. Pending and not approved questions are not visible from the front-end.

Below there is visibility in stores. Administrator can change the store(s) in which the question is visible.

Administrator can edit both nickname and question’s text.


The area below displays answers for this question. There is ability for administrator to edit/delete the answers as well as to add own answer directly from this page.

To edit an answer - administrator edits its text or the nickname and saves the changes of the page.

To delete an answer - administrator checks ‘del’ checkbox near the answer(s) and saves the changes of the page.

To add a new answer - administrator enters a nickname, the answer, sets its status and presses “add” button near the answers.


Inappropriate Questions’ List

In case a customer has marked a question as being inappropriate - it appears in this list.

The question stays visible on the front-end, this feature has been created for administrators to take attention if a question has been reported as inappropriate.

From the pending list administrator can open any question for editing (both its content’s editing and status changing). Press ‘edit’ link to open a question for editing.

questions and answers inappropriate questions list

This list is similar to Pending questions list. Apart from the same sorting features there is a new column - Inappropriate. There is a special sign for inappropriate questions, the same sign will be used in the list with all available questions questions and answers edit questions

Editing Inappropriate Questions

Editing inappropriate questions is very similar to pending ones. Administrator clicks ‘edit’ link near a question. This opens the question for editing.

questions and answers inappropriate questions list

Admin is able to do the same actions here as with a pending question - edit the nickname of the user, edit the question, change its stores’ visibility, change its status.

Admin can add a new answer directly from this page as well.

Apart from standard features there is a new one “remove flag” for inappropriateness. As soon as the flag is removed the question is not longer available in Inappropriate list.


Not Answered Questions’ List

This list allows administrator to view the questions that have no replies. The sorting and editing features on this list are the same as on the rest.

This list has been created as a convenient feature for admin to provide replies to customers where needed mostly.

All Questions’ List

This list unites all previous list. Administrator can work directly from here, sort out the questions to display pending or not answered first, etc.

From this list administrator can edit the questions as well, add answers to them.

Yet there is one important feature available from this list only - Add a new question. Administrator can add a new question for any product, thus attracting interest to it.

questions and answers all questions list

When “Add New Question” button is pressed - there is a page to add a question.

questions and answers all questions list

Administrator selects a product, selects the status of the question. Then there is ability to enter a nickname and the question itself.

If admin sets ‘approved’ status - the question will be displayed directly after submitting.


Pending Answers’ List

‘Pending Answers’ is similar in functionality to questions lists.

Here administrator can manage the replies, this list contain the answers that have pending status and are not visible from the front-end yet.

questions and answers inappropriate questions list

There is ability to edit answers as well as questions by clicking ‘edit’ link.

Inappropriate Answers’ List

This list provides the answers that have been marked by customers as being inappropriate.

This flag does not change the visibility of answers, they stay visible. This list is for administrator for easier moderation of the customers’ reports. Administrator can open any answer for editing and remove the ‘inappropriate’ flag. This will exclude the answer from the list.

All Answers’ List

This list collects all answers with all statuses. Administrator can moderate the answers directly from this list by sorting out the answers that require moderation.

Any answer can be edited/deleted from this list.

questions and answers inappropriate questions list

Administrator can add the answer from any nickname he/she enters and make this answer visible immediately or send it to moderation. This feature can be of great help if you have unanswered questions on your website or want to provide more information about the product.



This part describes what your customers and guests will see with Questions/Answers Extension.

Main Questions and Answers Area. Design

After you have installed the extension, Q&A block will appear on each product page. There are 10 pre-created design themes available in the extension’s settings to meet the look of your website.

The place where the block will be displayed depends on your theme and preferences. Here is an example when Q&A block has been added at the bottom of product pages

questions and answers inappropriate questions list

And below there is an example when Q&A block has been added as one of the tabs (another extension - Product Tabs Slider - has been used in combination):

questions and answers inappropriate questions list


Questions and Answers. Features

The way your users will see Q&A block depends on your settings. There is ability to allow seeing questions and answers to customers only, or to both customers and visitors.

If visitors can reply questions or not depends on the settings as well.

Let us see the features of the block:

When a product if opened, users will see the list of available questions

questions and answers inappropriate questions list

And below there is an example when Q&A block has been added as one of the tabs (another extension - Product Tabs Slider - has been used in combination):

There is ability to sort them out (by the time they have been added, by the time the answers have been added, by popularity, etc.)

Each question displays how many answers are available. Clicking on a question opens up its answers with a beautiful sliding effect.

questions and answers inappropriate questions list

Users can read the answers, add their own replies, and new questions.

When a user presses “Ask a New Question” button, there is a new form sliding down. Depending on your settings it will be with or without CAPTCHA protection code.

questions and answers inappropriate questions list

When a user wants to reply a question - he/she presses “Answer this Question” button and answer form slides down.

Apart from asking and answering there is ability for your customers to express an opinion about both questions and answers. There is a special pane where customers can select a question/answer as being helpful, being not helpful or report it as inappropriate.

questions and answers inappropriate questions list

Helpful questions and answers participate in sorting; there is ability for customers to select the most helpful ones.

Inappropriate questions and answers come to special lists in admin area; there is ability for administrator to moderate them in a convenient way.