Design Inspiration: 3 Ideas for Your CS-Cart Store

By Yan Kulakov, February 8th, 2016 in Articles, Tips and tricks

Hi!

Today, we share with you another set of CS-Cart storefront designs from our archive.

If you missed “eye-catching CS-Cart storefront” newsletters from us, check out other designs in the previous blog post.

Ambient Lounge

Ambient Lounge sells interior and outdoor bean bags, as well as the filling for them.

The store has a long list of functionality modifications, such as custom navigation, custom blog, bubble zoom of product images, and more.

The owner and developer of this store, James Brandon from Reboot Digital, says that it took around 7 months to develop the designs from scratch.

Ambient Lounge uses CS-Cart 4.3.2:

Party Supplies Emporium

Party Supplies Emporium is a party shop from Australia that offers a great range of party goods and accessories.

This store helps people organize creative parties or personal events like weddings or anniversaries, as well as special occasions such as St. Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, Halloween, and other special days.

The Party Supplies Emporium store works on CS-Cart 4.1.4 and uses a brightly colored custom design that brings the holiday spirit. The mobile version of the store uses Twigmo mobile storefront which makes the shopping process super convenient on smartphones:

Yushkoff

Yushkoff is an apparel and accessories store from Russia.

This store offers 3D cable knit-style sweaters and creative bright t-shirts from Australia and the USA. Fancy colored apparel is the main feature of this store.

The Yushkoff store works on CS-Cart 4.3.1 and uses a bright custom design:


We hope these storefronts inspired you. If you have any questions about CS-Cart storefront design, you’re welcome to ask them in the CS-Cart forum.

To learn how to develop design for CS-Cart, check the Designer Guide in the new CS-Cart Documentation.

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Design Inspiration: Fancy CS-Cart Storefronts

By Yan Kulakov, February 3rd, 2016 in Articles, Tips and tricks

Hi!

Every month we send a newsletter to our subscribers that contains CS-Cart design ideas.

From now on, we’ll be publishing posts showing eye-catching storefronts here in our blog too. If you missed those newsletters, check out 3 storefronts that we enjoy.

Boreal Coffee Shop

Boreal Coffee Shop is an online store and a promo website for a coffee shop chain of the same name across Geneva. On this website, you can buy first-rate coffee and order coffee catering for your events: conference, corporate off-site, or wedding.

The Boreal Coffee Shop website works on CS-Cart 4.3.3 and uses a tiled custom design:

Padfields

Padfields’ slogan is “Furnishing your home”. This slogan is the best description for this online store: Padfields offers all kinds of beautiful furniture for your home and office.

The store uses CS-Cart 4.2.4 with a custom responsive theme:

On My Way

On My Way is an online laundry from France.

The operation of the On My Way laundry is convenient: a customer orders a laundry online, then packs his/her garments in a special On My Way carry bag, and takes the bag to one of the drop-off points. Once the laundry is done, a customer receives a message on the mobile phone and picks up the clean garments.

The store works on CS-Cart 4.0.3 and uses Twigmo mobile storefront for mobile devices:


We hope that these designs inspired you. If you have any questions about CS-Cart storefront design, feel free to ask them in the CS-Cart forum.

Share your store link and tell us about your store in the private message on our Facebook page. We’ll include the most beautiful stores in the next “eye-catching stores” newsletter and the blog post.

Follows us on Twitter to keep up with the CS-Cart announcements.

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CS-Cart Documentation: Everything in One Place

By Yan Kulakov, January 20th, 2016 in Articles, News and announcements

Hi!

Although CS-Cart is one of the most user-friendly and easy-to-develop shopping softwares, it can still be a little complicated for those who are not prepared.

That’s why one of our goals is to make CS-Cart as clear as possible for every user. To help you understand CS-Cart quicker and better, we’re presenting our renewed CS-Cart documentation.

Why Are the New Docs More Convenient?

We’ve been offering 3 types of CS-Cart docs for a long time now:

  • Reference Guide that contains general information about CS-Cart, its admin panel, storefront, menus, and settings.
  • Knowledge Base that has particular instructions on how to configure CS-Cart.
  • Developer documentation that simplifies the work for programmers and designers who develop modifications and add-ons for CS-Cart.

These have been separate resources on different domains—our customers often didn’t know where exactly to search for solutions.

To eliminate any difficulties, we’re gathering all the articles from the Reference Guide, the Knowledge Base, and Developer documentation all in one place—CS-Cart Documentation.

Old docs are still available, but as soon as we finish moving all the articles to the CS-Cart Documentation, we’ll close the Reference Guide and leave the Knowledge Base for old CS-Cart versions.

What’s Inside?

On the main CS-Cart Documentation page you will see a welcome and the contents:

For convenience, we have divided all the articles into 5 sections dedicated to different aspects of using CS-Cart.

Articles with the “How To” prefix teach you how to configure CS-Cart, and all the other articles describe CS-Cart features.

Also, pay attention to the “Tutorial Difficulty” box that many tutorials have. This box indicates the difficulty level of the tutorial:

  • 1/3—easy as pie. You can do everything yourself.
  • 2/3—not so easy. You still can do everything yourself, if you know how to use a command line. These tutorials often require working in several interfaces: the cPanel and the CS-Cart admin panel, for example.
  • 3/3—difficult for an unprepared user. These tutorials require engaging a specialist.

Install CS-Cart—contains up-to-date articles related to CS-Cart installation.

From this section, you will learn how to install CS-Cart in different ways and on different types of servers.

You will also learn system requirements for CS-Cart installation, how to make your CS-Cart store more secure, and how to move your store to another server.

User Guide—contains articles on managing and configuring a CS-Cart store.

In the User Guide, you will find general information about the CS-Cart administration panel, its menus and settings, as well as particular instructions on CS-Cart configuration.

This section gathers articles from the Knowledge Base and the Reference Guide: articles with the “How To” prefix contain particular configuration instructions, and all the other articles describe menus and settings.

Upgrade CS-Cart—helps you understand the upgrade process and upgrade your CS-Cart store to newer versions.

From this section you will learn what the Upgrade center is and how it works. You will also learn how to build your own upgrade package and create an upgrade package for an add-on.

Developer Guide—contains essential technical information that helps programmers develop modifications and add-ons for CS-Cart.

From this section developers will learn about the CS-Cart Core and the CS-Cart API, as well as learning how to develop add-ons for CS-Cart and what development tools to use.

Designer Guide—has articles and particular instructions on design integration and theme development.

Designers will learn everything about the visual aspect of CS-Cart—CSS, layouts, templates, and styles that CS-Cart uses.

This section also describes what the CS-Cart Visual Editor is, how it works, and how to modify its functionality.


We hope that you can now easily find answers to your questions about CS-Cart all in one place. Eventually, we’ll update all the docs and add new ones.

As soon as we add a new document, we’ll let you know in our Twitter feed, so follow us not to miss new articles and instructions.

You are welcome to share your feedback about new documentation in this forum topic. We’re still polishing the docs and would appreciate your opinion about how to make them more convenient.

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CS-Cart Boilerplate Theme: Minimum of Code, Maximum of Flexibility

By Yan Kulakov, December 25th, 2015 in Articles, News and announcements, Tips and tricks

Hello!

At CS-Cart, we’re continually developing and polishing storefront design—the built-in CS-Cart Responsive theme. The Responsive theme is mobile-friendly, customizable via the Visual Editor, and perfect for a startup.

But owners of the big online stores often order custom designs or install third-party themes to make their stores look unique. And here comes trouble for theme developers: to develop a new theme from the Responsive theme, a developer has to completely rework the Responsive theme by deleting tons of code.

We’d like to ease the work for theme developers, so we’re presenting to you a special CS-Cart Boilerplate theme that has a minimum of code and is easy to develop.

What Makes the Boilerplate Theme Easy to Work With

We’ve contacted our developer partners and asked them to provide us with feedback about CS-Cart theme development: difficulties, special aspects, and requests.

We’ve analyzed the feedback and created the Boilerplate theme—a skeleton that has much less code and files than the Responsive theme:

  • The Boilerplate theme uses Bootstrap 3.3.5—an HTML, CSS, and JavaScript framework that developers use as a basis for creating responsive websites.

    Bootstrap is easy to work with because you can use dozens of pre-built components such as dropdowns, navigation, buttons, and other interface elements. No deep HTML, CSS, and JavaScript knowledge required—copy-paste the pre-cooked code and you’re good to go.

    Bootstrap is open source and available on GitHub.
  • The Boilerplate theme supports both Glyphicons, which ship with Bootstrap, and Font Awesome icons. These icons simplify and speed up theme development—you add a ready-made icon to your theme by copying the pre-cooked code.
  • Since the Boilerplate theme uses Bootstrap, we have re-factored all the templates—now they use bootstrap components and have simplified HTML.
  • The Boilerplate theme has 1,000 lines of our CSS code left (Responsive has 11,000 lines). Less code—less work to do.
  • The number of template files decreased by 131 files compared with Responsive.
  • Unlike the Responsive theme, which uses a 16-column grid, the Boilerplate theme has a more common 12-column grid.
The Boilerplate theme is open source, so you are welcome to send pull requests.

Plans for the Future

After the release of the Boilerplate theme, we’ll continue to polish and simplify it. Here’s how we’re planning to improve it in the future:

  • Through the theme, you’ll be able to override store settings—in the theme’s manifest.json file, you can change product page templates, thumbnails size, number of layout columns, and more.
  • We’ll rework JavaScript by simplifying it and deleting redundant code. For example, jQuery UI will be totally removed.
  • We’ll reduce the amount of the CSS code that developers have to modify during theme development and simplify the templates’ logic.

You are welcome to download the Boilerplate theme. Please test it, and post issues if you find any.

Tell us what you think about the new Boilerplate theme in this forum topic. We greatly appreciate your feedback!

We post all the CS-Cart news and announcements on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so follow us to stay informed.

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Meet CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor 4.3.5

By Yan Kulakov, December 15th, 2015 in CS-Cart releases, News and announcements

Hi!

We are happy to present to you our new release—CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor 4.3.5.

Besides bug fixes, version 4.3.5 has a bunch of new features and improvements:

  • Currency conversion for PayPal payments: CS-Cart sends invoices to PayPal in a currency other than the store’s primary currency
  • PayPal in-context checkout: customers complete purchases with PayPal in 2 clicks without leaving your store
  • Updated integration with DHL: DHL works for any country
  • Free shipping methods: customers can choose a shipping method for free shipping
  • Improvements to ease store management: trash category, full path to the product on the product editing page, extra info and filters for add-ons, and convenient price-list generation

Other honorable mentions in CS-Cart 4.3.5 include updated integration with eWAY and Rocketgate payment processors and RTL languages support for invoices and packing slips.

CS-Cart 4.3.5 has the improved eBay Synchronization add-on that allows storeowners to sell their products on eBay.

We’ve put a lot effort into polishing our eBay add-on and have significantly improved product export to eBay. We’re still gathering feedback from our users and soon we’ll publish a detailed post about the improved eBay Synchronization add-on in this blog. Stay tuned!

You can find other changes in the changelog.

Currency Conversion for PayPal Payments

In earlier versions of CS-Cart, the currency in the PayPal payment settings had to match the store’s primary currency. Because of this restriction, CS-Cart had issues with sending invoices to PayPal in a currency other than the store’s primary currency.

For example, you have two currencies in your store—the US Dollar, which is your store’s primary currency, and the Euro, which is the secondary one. And in the PayPal payment settings, you chose the secondary currency—the Euro.

When a customer added a $100-product to the cart, CS-Cart sent a €100 invoice to PayPal during the payment. The problem was that CS-Cart didn’t convert $100 into the PayPal currency (Euro) when sending the invoice to PayPal:

In CS-Cart 4.3.5, we’ve implemented the currency conversion when sending invoices to PayPal. Now your CS-Cart store sends correct invoices to PayPal, no matter what currency you set in the PayPal settings, and customers see the true, recalculated price on the PayPal website.

PayPal In-Context Checkout

Usually, when customers pay with PayPal, they automatically leave your store and go to the PayPal website to complete their payment. It takes time to pay on desktop computers, and it’s inconvenient on mobile devices.

In CS-Cart 4.3.5, we’ve improved PayPal Express Checkout by adding PayPal In-Context Checkout—the PayPal pop-up window opens right in the store. Using this pop-up, customers log in to their PayPal accounts and pay for orders without leaving your store for the PayPal website.

PayPal In-Context Checkout makes the payment process quick and seamless, and more convenient on mobile devices.

Updated Integration with DHL

In earlier versions of CS-Cart, the DHL module used the legacy DHL web service and worked only for companies within the USA. We’ve updated the DHL module so that it now works with the up-to-date DHL global web service called XML-PI.

Thanks to this updated integration, DHL now works for any country and has simplified settings.

Free Shipping Methods

In earlier versions, products with the enabled Free shipping property under the Shipping Properties tab technically didn’t require shipping. That’s why customers didn’t know what shipping method would be used for these products and couldn’t choose another, more convenient shipping method for products with free shipping.

In CS-Cart 4.3.5, each shipping method has the Use for free shipping property in the Extra section. Enable this property to allow your customers to choose this shipping method for products with free shipping:

The Use for free shipping property excludes products with free shipping from the shipping fee calculation. If an order also contains products with paid shipping, CS-Cart calculates the shipping fee only for these products.

Improvements to Ease Store Management

In CS-Cart 4.3.5, we’ve added new features and updated the existing ones to make store management easier:

  • If you delete a category, you won’t lose its products—CS-Cart moves them to the new hidden Trash category:
  • You see the full path to the product on the product editing page:
  • In Add-ons → Manage add-ons, you see versions of the installed add-ons and filter add-ons by specific parameters. For example, you can view only built-in add-ons or only third-party add-ons:
  • The Price list add-on is now more convenient and the price-list generation is more stable: the add-on settings have a more convenient interface with the price-list generation buttons, and the price-list generation goes smooth even if you have over 100 000 products in your store.

Get CS-Cart 4.3.5

If you’ve never used CS-Cart before, download the installation package and buy a license.

Existing license owners with active upgrade subscriptions will see a notification about the upgrade in their admin panels within a week. Click the notification or visit the Upgrade Center to upgrade your store.


We greatly appreciate your ideas about CS-Cart improvement. Please share them on our UserVoice.

And please, report any issues to our bug tracker.

If you have any questions about new features or the upgrade, feel free to ask them here in the comments or in the CS-Cart Forums.

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