Presenting a New Edition of CS-Cart 4.4.2—CS-Cart Ultimate

By Yan Kulakov, November 29th, 2016 in News and announcements

CS-Cart Ultimate

Hello! Today we’re launching a new, super feature-packed CS-Cart edition. As part of this launch, we’re offering a fantastic deal, one that could save you thousands of dollars. Sounds tempting? Read on to find out how.
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Presenting CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor 4.4.2!

By Yan Kulakov, November 29th, 2016 in CS-Cart releases, News and announcements

CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor 4.4.2

Hello!

We’ve prepared a new upgrade for your stores—CS-Cart 4.4.2!

This is not an ordinary patch: besides bug fixes, it offers a new super feature-packed CS-Cart edition—CS-Cart Ultimate.
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CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor 4.4.1 Are Here!

By Yan Kulakov, November 14th, 2016 in CS-Cart releases, News and announcements

Meet a new release loaded with long-awaited features: email template editor, document editor, safer upgrading, vendor subscription plans, and a bunch of others.

New Stuff

CS-Cart 4.4.1 adds new features to your store and saves backward compatibility. Check the list below to find out about highlights of CS-Cart 4.4.1 and click the links to read detailed posts about each:

  • Email template editor. By using the email template editor, admins manage all the email notifications of their stores and modify them right in the admin panel without diving into code editing. In Design → Email templates, you can see all the email notifications a customer and an admin can possibly receive. Click the one you need to edit and change its contents by inserting the necessary variables in plain text mode.
  • Document editor. The document editor allows store admins to construct and edit invoices, packing slips, gift certificates, and order summaries in the admin panel. The workflow is similar to email editing: in Design → Documents, choose the document you want to edit and modify it by inserting variables and code snippets.
  • Free Ebay Synchronization and Facebook. The eBay Synchronization add-on allows exporting your products to eBay. And the Facebook add-on embeds your store into your Facebook page. Before, we charged $125 for eBay Synchronization and $90 per year for Facebook. Now these add-ons come with CS-Cart for free. Enjoy!
  • New logic of themes. A major benefit from this new logic for store owners is that custom themes won’t be broken after the store upgrade. The point is—the upgrade only changes the default Responsive theme files. Plus, CS-Cart 4.4.1 features a new theme called “Bright”. If you’re going to use it, don’t forget to export your current layout and import it back to the Bright theme. This ensures a proper arrangement of the content blocks.
  • File changes detector. To make the upgrade process of a CS-Cart store conflict free, admins should keep the CS-Cart core files unchanged. To track core changes, we’re presenting another helpful feature in 4.4.1—a file changes detector. This detector scans the CS-Cart core for changes automatically when you log in to the admin panel. You can also launch it manually in Administration → File changes detector. The detector warns you in advance that you have changes in the CS-Cart core and you can lose them after the next upgrade or face conflicts during the upgrade.
  • Vendor subscription plans. Multi-Vendor 4.4.1 features vendor subscription plans. Marketplace owners create plans with certain restrictions for vendors depending on the price of a plan. An admin can set the maximum number of products a vendor can have, the amount of commission, etc.
  • Order statuses on a partial refund via PayPal. Before, when a customer made a partial refund via PayPal, his/her order got the same status as for a full refund. By default, the order was simply cancelled. The point is—a partially refunded order shouldn’t be cancelled because a customer didn’t make a full refund. To fix this behavior, we’ve added a new setting for the PayPal Payments add-on—Order status on partial refund. Find it in Add-ons → Manage add-ons → PayPal payments. By using this setting, you define what status a partially refunded order gets.
  • Simplified product feature management. We’ve reworked feature management on the Products → Features page. Now, working with feature groups is clearer: instead of a complicated tree of features and feature groups mixed together, you can see four separate columns: Feature, Group, Categories, and Status. On the right sidebar, you can search for features, filtering them by groups via a drop-down.
  • Simplified shipment creation. In CS-Cart, admins can ship an order in a single package as well as in several packages. To create several shipments for a single order, there was a special setting, “Allow multiple shipments for a single order”. We’ve removed that setting and simplified shipment creation. Now, admins create both single shipments and multiple shipments for an order via a single simplified form on the order details page. No more excessive pop-ups and settings.
  • Updated API of the FedEx carrier. The updated integration adds new shipping services for this carrier. In Administration → Shipping & taxes → Shipping methods, create a shipping method with a real-time rate calculation, choose FedEx, and see all its services in the Shipping service drop-down.
  • Font Awesome icons in the admin panel. To make icons look nice and sharp on Retina displays, we’ve replaced PNG icons with Font Awesome ones.

How to Get CS-Cart 4.4.1

CS-Cart store owners with active upgrade subscriptions upgrade on the Administration → Upgrade center page in their stores. We’re going to distribute upgrade packages in batches during the first week after the release not to overload our servers. After the first week, we’ll be distributing upgrades without limitations. If you don’t see the available upgrade in your Upgrade center, don’t worry—the upgrade is coming to you soon.

If your upgrade subscription has expired, prolong it for another one year for just $144 with the discount code. Go to our website and get the upgrade subscription:

  • Select your license and add the upgrade subscription to cart:
    Step 1
  • Enter the discount code and proceed:
    Step 2
  • Go through all the checkout steps. On the 3rd step you can also enter the discount code:
    Step 3
  • Get the upgrade subscription by placing your order:
    Step 4

Hope the new features will come in handy in your store! Check out other changes and improvements in the changelog. Share your opinions here in the comments or in the forum.

Report any bugs to the bug tracker. We’ll do our best to deal with all of them.

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On our YouTube channel you can learn how to operate and set up your online store.

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Template Editor in CS-Cart 4.4.1: Edit Emails, Invoices, Packing Slips, Gift Certificates, and Order Summary in the Admin Panel

By Yan Kulakov, November 14th, 2016 in Articles, News and announcements, Tips and tricks

Template editor

Hi!

In CS-Cart 4.4.1, we’re presenting a long-awaited function: a visual template editor. It allows for editing emails, invoices, packing slips, gifts certificates, order summaries in the admin panel.

We’ve divided the editor into two menus. In Design → Email templates, admins edit emails; in Design → Documents—invoices, packing slips, gift certificates, and order summaries.

Editing Email Templates

In a CS-Cart store, both customers and administrators receive email notifications. Customers receive emails about their shopping and admins about store management.

Email is a great tool for establishing personal and valuable communication with your customers. It’s great for persuading them to visit more, buy more, and it also helps in keeping them loyal to you. So it’s important to ensure your email notifications are personalized and match the style of your e-commerce business.

Before CS-Cart 4.4.1, you couldn’t see the full list of email notifications for your store, which meant that you couldn’t modify notifications to make them personalized and perfectly fit your business. But now, CS-Cart features a template editor, which allows you to edit email notifications in the admin panel—and without programming skills.

Check out how to edit emails in this video:

Editing Documents

The new template editor allows you to edit invoices, packing slips, gift certificates, and the order summary email. We call these “the documents”.

In the editor, you can configure these documents so that they meet your country standards and match the visual style of your store.

For example, editing invoices is a must-have feature for most store owners. Different countries have different official invoice standards. To issue invoices officially, you have to configure your invoice to meet official standards. With the new template editor, you edit your invoice right in the admin panel.

Check out how to edit these documents in this video:


Hope the new template editor will make your store management easier. Comments are much appreciated!

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Upgrading Is Now Safer Starting with CS-Cart 4.4.1

By Yan Kulakov, November 14th, 2016 in Articles, News and announcements, Tips and tricks

Safe upgrades

Hello!

Keeping your store software up to date is a must. Every CS-Cart release not only enriches your store with new features but also improves its security.

Of course, it’s up to you whether to upgrade your store or not. But often upgrading is necessary. For example, a carrier updates its API and so now some shipping services don’t work for your country. A payment service updates its security protocols and now your favorite payment method doesn’t work in your store. In these cases, an upgrade will make those work again—we continually update shipping and payment integrations in CS-Cart over time.

So that you can easily keep your store up to date, we’re offering one year of free upgrades when you buy the license. To receive upgrades after that first year, you should buy an upgrade subscription for one year more for $160.

Upgrading is a technically complicated process. Sometimes it fails because of a particular server configuration or if a store is deeply modified.

In CS-Cart 4.4.1, we’ve made upgrading safer. Now, you can upgrade to newer versions without worrying about breaking your custom storefront theme or facing conflicts during upgrading. We’ve achieved this by changing the logic in theme upgrading and by adding a core file changes detector.

Custom Themes Won’t Break after New Upgrades

A theme defines the appearance of your storefront. Usually, store admins use either the built-in Responsive theme or develop a custom one. Admins often prefer the latter because with a custom theme a store looks unique.

CS-Cart 4.4.1 ships with two themes: Responsive and Bright. Responsive is the “parent” theme. We call it “parent” because all other themes—Bright or any custom—depend on Responsive and use its templates.

Themes

Previously, upgrades updated templates in the Responsive theme plus the templates in a custom theme fetched from Responsive. As a result, a custom theme could break down after the upgrade.

Starting from CS-Cart 4.4.1, upgrades only update templates in the Responsive theme and don’t affect any additional themes. You won’t have to worry about your custom design when upgrading any longer.

You Can Track Changes in the CS-Cart Core

CS-Cart has a convenient architecture: the core defines the basic functionality and add-ons extend it with advanced features.

When extending the CS-Cart functionality, developers should add new features via add-ons only. They shouldn’t modify core files because any core changes can break a store or provoke conflicts during upgrading. Moreover, any feature added by modifying the core stops working after the next upgrade.

Actually, your core could always be modified even though you likely didn’t realize: it could happen when you ordered a feature from a third-party developer. The coder extended your CS-Cart by modifying the core—but after the next upgrade you lost that feature.

In CS-Cart 4.4.1, we’ve implemented a core file changes detector. This detector scans the CS-Cart core for changes automatically when you log in to your admin panel. You can also start the detector manually—find it in Administration → File changes detector. The detector warns you in advance that you have changes in the CS-Cart core and that you could lose them after the next upgrade.

File changes detecta


What do you think about these two improvements? Please do share your opinions in the comments!

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