Export and Import Extended

By Yan Kulakov, May 28th, 2015 in Articles, News and announcements, Tips and tricks

In CS-Cart 4.3.1, we’ve introduced a long-awaited feature: full export and import of option variants, combinations, and exceptions.

This feature is useful for stock accounting. For example, you sell a t-shirt model that comes in different colors and sizes. You need to track the exact number of blue t-shirts of size M at your warehouse. These t-shirts have a combination of two option variants: blue color and M size.

You can now export products with option variants and combinations in Administration → Export Data → Products:

CS-Cart exports data into CSV format, which any stock accounting software supports. Import the CSV file into your stock accounting software. You can now track the actual number of blue, medium t-shirts at your warehouse.

This feature simplifies catalogue updating. Imagine that you’ve received 3,000 products from your supplier. You’ve also received a CSV file with option variants, number of products, and descriptions. Without the new export and import feature, you’d have to add option variants, combinations, and modifiers manually. The new functionality does it automatically and saves you time.


We’d like to know what you think about the new export and import functionality. Does it simplify your store management?

You are welcome to share improvement suggestions on our UserVoice.

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CS-Cart Statistics 2015

By Yan Kulakov, May 25th, 2015 in Articles

CS-Cart is an international eCommerce solution: we have clients and authorized resellers all over the world. Thank you all for your support and loyalty to CS-Cart!

We’ve gathered worldwide CS-Cart statistics for 2015, and we would like to share it with you:

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Beta Testing Contest Winners

By Yan Kulakov, May 20th, 2015 in News and announcements

Hi!

At the beginning of CS-Cart 4.3.1 Beta testing we promised to reward the most active and contributing beta testers with 1-year CS-Cart licences. The beta testing is over and we are ready to name the winners.

When choosing the winners we were taking into account the number and severity of found issues. According to the results, three four winners get 1-year CS-Cart licenses:

  1. nmb scored 17 issues. He is the most active beta tester.
  2. ilib is the second active tester. He scored 7 issues.
  3. demeldoo scored 3 issues. Although he wasn’t too active during the beta test, he helped us discover a severe issue after the release.
  4. We also give a 1-year CS-Cart license to gurdji. He scored 3 issues during the beta test.

Congratulations! Soon we will contact the winners to give away licenses.

All beta testers did a great job and found nearly 50 bugs in total. We highly appreciate their help in polishing CS-Cart 4.3.1. Thanks to their contributions we released CS-Cart 4.3.1 in time as we planned.


Although CS-Cart 4.3.1 has been released, there still could be issues. If you find any, report them to our bug tracker.

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Go Responsive to Avoid Mobilegeddon

By Yan Kulakov, May 18th, 2015 in Articles, Tips and tricks

On April 21, 2015, Google updated its search algorithms for mobile devices. New algorithms prefer mobile-friendly websites when a user searches from a smartphone.

Websites that are not mobile-friendly disappeared from Google’s first page of search results. Forty percent of all websites were not ready for the change and started to lose traffic from smartphones. Journalists and bloggers called this event “Mobilegeddon.”

Why Mobile-Friendliness is Important

On a mobile-friendly website, menus, buttons, images, and captions match the screen of a mobile device. Responsive design is one of the ways to make your website mobile-friendly.

Using a touchscreen is less precise than using a mouse pointer. If a website is not responsive, a smartphone user has to pinch-zoom to click buttons and read text. The more actions a user has to perform, the less time he or she will want to stay on the website.

No Mobilegeddon with CS-Cart Responsive Theme

The Responsive theme makes your CS-Cart store look cool on any device:

In CS-Cart 4.3.1, all the built-in design styles are responsive. Design modifications that you make via the Visual Editor or template editor preserve responsiveness.

Thanks to the Responsive theme, Google will mark your store as mobile-friendly and rank it highly for customers searching from smartphones.

If you are running CS-Cart 4.2.4 with the Basic theme, after the upgrade to 4.3.1 you will still have the Basic theme. You can install the Responsive theme and switch between Basic and Responsive any time. We will be maintaining the Basic theme through the entire 4.3.x branch.

If you import your store from versions 2.2.x, 3.0.x, or 4.x.x to 4.3.1, your store will use the Responsive theme. The Basic theme won’t be available.

Better Yet—Twigmo Mobile Storefront

The Responsive theme uses the same styles and scripts on all the devices. Thanks to this versatility, the Responsive theme is convenient on any device.

But there’s a con: Opening a store page from a smartphone consumes nearly as much bandwidth as opening the page from a desktop computer. It’s not a problem unless a customer uses slow 3G connections.

Twigmo mobile storefront is designed specially for mobile devices. It uses less bandwidth than Responsive and consumes the bulk of it only at the first visit; after that initial visit, the storefront refreshes using AJAX. Mobile storefront loads faster and runs smoother than Responsive on slow 3G connections.

Twigmo mobile storefront offers its own themes that work independently from CS-Cart themes. It means that you can use the Basic theme for desktop computers and a Twigmo theme for smartphones at the same time. In this case, Google ranks your store as mobile-friendly even if you’ve chosen the Basic theme in the CS-Cart admin panel.


What do you think about Mobilegeddon and CS-Cart mobile-friendly solutions? We greatly appreciate your comments.

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CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor 4.3.1 Released

By Yan Kulakov, April 29th, 2015 in CS-Cart releases, News and announcements

Hello,

We’re happy to present to you the final CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor 4.3.1 release.

CS-Cart 4.3.1 is faster and more feature-rich than any other CS-Cart version.

Speed Boost

CS-Cart 4.3.1 is fast:

  • SQL query optimization speeds up product search and filtering.
  • Optimized caching makes the search faster, if you call the same search twice. Storefront pages also load faster on the second visit because CS-Cart 4.3.1 caches the content during the first visit.
  • CS-Cart 4.3.1 supports Alternative PHP Cache. This technology speeds up PHP scripts on your server. Even well-optimized websites load with a delay because it takes time to execute PHP scripts. APC cache shortens this delay.
  • JavaScript code was moved to the bottom of pages so that the code doesn’t slow down page loading. Store pages now load faster on the first visit.

Functionality Improvements

Thanks to the community feedback during the beta testing, we’ve fixed nearly 150 bugs. Check out the changelog for all improvements and fixes.

Multi-Vendor: Fully Featured Vendor Storefronts

In Multi-Vendor 4.3.1, vendors make their own fully functional storefronts with categories, filters, search by vendor products, and more. Vendor pages in previous Multi-Vendor versions lacked most of these functions.

A vendor page in Multi-Vendor 4.3.1 looks like a vendor page on eBay or Amazon:

Vendor Page

New Blog Add-on

The Blog add-on lets you create a fully functional blog inside your store. Keep your customers informed by posting news and special offers in your blog.

Blog Add-on

Upgrade Center Refinements

The Upgrade center in CS-Cart 4.3.1 has become more user-friendly. The Upgrade center will guide you through the upgrade process, showing the process in detail.

We improved backup and restore. If something goes wrong during the upgrade, you’ll be able to roll back safely.

Export and Import Enhancements

In CS-Cart 4.3.1 we’ve introduced a long-awaited feature—export and import of option variants, option combinations, and option exceptions. This feature simplifies catalog updating and stock accounting.

For example, you sell a T-shirt model that comes in different colors and sizes. You need to track the exact number of blue T-shirts of size M at your warehouse. These T-shirts have a combination of two options: blue color and M size.

Export product data with option variants and option combinations from your store. Then, import this data to the stock accounting software. You can now track the actual number of blue, medium-size T-shirts at the warehouse.

Bestsellers & On-Sale Products Add-on Expanded

New functionality allows you to show similar products on a product details page. We’ve also added an ability to create pages with all bestsellers, on-sale, new, and final sale products.

Bestsellers Add-on

Other Enhancements

CS-Cart 4.3.1 has a bunch of smaller enhancements, including:

  • Faster checkout
  • Easier navigation
  • Custom layout
  • Your own logo and favicon for each style
  • Displaying products immediately after choosing a filter
  • Ability to define a user group for a user via API
  • Improved protection from CSRF attacks
  • API 2.0 by default

How to Get 4.3.1

Download the CS-Cart or Multi-Vendor installation package.

Purchase a commercial license to get all features and support. Before purchasing a license, you can try CS-Cart or Multi-Vendor for free for 30 days. You can use CS-Cart for free even after the trial, but you’ll only have access to a limited set of features.

If you already have a license and an active upgrade subscription, download your personal installation package from the File Area in your Help Desk account.

Upgrade

Important: The upgrade will be available from the next week. We will be limiting the number of upgrade package downloads within the first few days to avoid server overload.

License owners with active upgrade subscriptions have two options for upgrading from 4.0.1 and higher to 4.3.1:

  • Upgrade center. Go to your admin panel, Administration → Upgrade center, and click Download Install.
  • Store Import. To upgrade from CS-Cart 3.0.6 and earlier (except the Community edition) to the current version install CS-Cart 4.3.1 and import your store.

Please ask any questions regarding CS-Cart and Multi-Vendor 4.3.1 in the comment section. How do you like the new features? We greatly appreciate your feedback!

If you find a bug, report it to the bug tracker.

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