New CS-Cart Branch 2.1 Released

Today we introduce CS-Cart 2.1.0 opening a new software branch 2.1 that is created to replace the current 2.0 branch. CS-Cart 2.1.0 includes several significant improvements in the software functionality and refined design of the existing code for a number of core features like the checkout process, SEF-links and product options.

The most considerable functional improvements of CS-Cart 2.1.0 are:

Checkout process

In CS-Cart 2.1.0, the checkout process has become more clear and user-friendly.

First, buyers can be forced to review their carts before they check out.

cart_reviewing

 

Second, the layout of the checkout page was changed, and it is now free from unnecessary elements like the cart contents that can distract customers’ attention during the purchase.

checkout_page

 

Note, during the upgrade to 2.1.0, all blocks in the right and left column locations of the checkout page will be automatically disabled.

Third, now there are no more redundant steps at guest checkout: the buyer enters an email address and can then quickly proceed to the section with shipping and billing information.

guest_checkout

 

Block manager

Blocks can be arranged into custom groups now and be moved around the page frame as a single unit. Besides, every group can have a separate wrapper as well as use different block directions: vertical or horizontal.

block_groups

 

Having the possibility to define the direction of blocks in a group, we got rid of the option “Display product tabs as a list” in the store appearance settings. Instead, this is controlled through the direction of the block group “Product details page tab” (the Products location).

tabs_list

 

Another improvement concerning the Block Manager is the ability to define SEO attributes for every location (page type). These attributes include the HTML page title as well as HTML meta keywords and description.

meta_description

 

Search engine optimization

Static HTML catalog option was removed as obsolete. Besides, the logic of generating clean URLs was significantly improved.

Order management

In CS-Cart 2.1.0, order management has become easier and more convenient for the store administrator. Now the software tracks and isolates all incomplete orders preventing unwilling inventory changing, and the administrator can manage such orders in a separate list. This possibility arises from the new logic of order status assignment: when a buyer places an order, the order is considered as incomplete (without changing the inventory) until it is processed by a payment system or manually by the store administrator.
Another significant improvement concerning the store orders is the division of orders according to their current condition:

  • - order – a placed order that may be outstanding;
  • - invoice – a paid order;
  • - credit memo – a returned/canceled order.

Each type of orders has a separately recorded ID enumeration. In other words, invoice IDs and credit memo IDs are generated continuously for the appropriate orders only:

Order ID Order Status Invoice ID Credit Memo ID
0005 Complete 0001
0006 Incomplete
0007 Canceled 0001
0008 Complete 0002

Also, now CS-Cart features a landing page to which customers are returned after they place an order.

landing_page

 

Tax calculation

CS-Cart 2.1.0 supports two alternative ways of calculating taxes. Now you can choose whether taxes should apply to individual products in the order (as in previous versions) or the order subtotal considering all discounts.

Export/Import

Now you can export/import product combinations. This makes it possible to prepare and edit all product data in an external application and then import to the store, which is common practice for large stores with numerous products in the catalog.

Usability

We slightly improved the usability of the administration area and added links Previous, Next and Search Results to many details pages like the product and order details. These links allow users to easily move around and go back to search results.

navigation

 

Another improvement concerning the usability is the ability to warn administrators of unsaved changes before closing a page.

unsaved_changes

 

CRE Secure payment system

For better PCI-DSS compliance of a store, CS-Cart is now integrated with CRE Secure payment acceptance service that seamlessly and 100% securely connects a store to some major payment processors like PayPal and Authorize.Net. In fact, CRE Secure takes your store out of scope of PCI regulations. For more details, please visit their official website.

Abandoned carts

Handling customer carts has become more functional and efficient. Cart can be deleted and searched through by a greater number of parameters. And moreover, with the help of the News & Email add-on module you can send newsletters to customers with abandoned carts and wishlists.

abandoned_carts

 

Most of these features were suggested by our customers through the CS-Cart Idea Tracker that’s been our main source of information about customer needs and wishes since the latest versions of CS-Cart 2.0 branch. In future, we’re going to add only those features that are actively supported by many CS-Cart users and focus our development efforts on improving the software performance and security level.

You’re welcome to download CS-Cart 2.1.0 from your personal Help Desk account or simply try the online demo.

21 Responses to “New CS-Cart Branch 2.1 Released”

  1. Josh Wood says:

    Great work, look forward to trying out the changes

  2. Wei says:

    I am currently testing the trial version of 2.0.15. Is it possible to upgrade from 2.0.15 to 2.1 in my testing environment, without buying a license right now (as I have entered lots of data into 2.0.15, and don’t want to do that all over again in 2.1)?

    regards,
    –wei

    • Alexey Karpukhin says:

      Unfortunately, you cannot do it this way because upgrades are available only for licensed copies of CS-Cart. After you obtain a license, you’ll be able to upgrade from 2.0.15 to 2.1.0. Alternatively, you can export data from your copy of CS-Cart 2.0.15 Trial and then import it to the trial version of CS-Cart 2.1.0.

      • Wei says:

        Hi Alexey:

        So the database structure of 2.0.15 is exactly the same as in 2.1.0?

        Regards,
        –Wei

        • Alexey Karpukhin says:

          No, it’s not exactly the same. I do not mean that you should replace the database, I say that you can export/import the data using the functionality of the sections “Administration -> Export data” and “Administration -> Import data”. Yet, this is not the best way to transfer your data from 2.0.15 to 2.1.0 as there may be a problem about importing product images. In order to avoid this issue, you should better upgrade your copy of 2.0.15 to 2.1.0 once you obtain a license.

  3. Hello,

    When I try to upgrade a store from 2.0.15 to 2.1.0 I receive the following error message:

    Cannot download the upgrade package

    So, is that just for me, or there are something wrong with the upgrade process?

    • Alexey Karpukhin says:

      Cannot download the upgrade package

      We experienced some technical issues with our servers, and the upgrade packs were not available for download for a shot while. Please try it again now.

  4. I have updated my store, BUT:
    * I have problem – I do not see the site layout button
    * I have problems importing products with UTF-8

    • Alexey Karpukhin says:

      * I have problem – I do not see the site layout button

      We got rid of this element. In CS-Cart 2.1, page titles and meta keywords/descriptions are defined in the block manager separately for each location (page type). This change is described in this post under the Block Manager heading.

      * I have problems importing products with UTF-8

      I suggest you contact our support team with this issue. They will help you resolve it. To contact the support team, please use your personal account in our Customer Help Desk.

  5. Ron B says:

    Trying to upgrade but it will not download and upgrade. Any help?

    • Alexey Karpukhin says:

      We experienced some technical issues with our servers, and the upgrade packs were unavailable for a while. Please try it again now.

  6. Darren L. says:

    Hi, please check your upgrades before you release them. Our custom blocks quit working (added through the control panel). Also it would be nice if you had a change set listing the changes to the files.

    • Alexey Karpukhin says:

      Our custom blocks quit working (added through the control panel).

      In CS-Cart 2.1, the Block Manager was changed significantly. We did our best that every store could hang on to its original look-n-feel after the upgrade, yet there could be some issues about displaying custom blocks. Now we prepared a new upgrade script that can convert HTML blocks correctly. Please revert to version 2.0.15, refresh the list of packages and upgrade your store over again.

      Also it would be nice if you had a change set listing the changes to the files.

      Do you mean the list of files revealing the changes in the section Administration -> Upgrade Center -> Installed Upgrades? I suppose the “changes” link isn’t displayed to you there. If so, please contact our support team via our Customer Help Desk, and they will help you resolve this issue.

  7. Glyndon says:

    Great work and well done to the team!

    I’m loving the new improvements.

  8. chullos says:

    Great… I will test it immediately.

    Thank you,
    Marcelo

  9. Scanner says:

    Very well new features, concratulations. One question i have, when it comes 2.1.1? Because i have see some users have found a few bugs, right?

  10. Scanner says:

    No answer?

  11. Great work, look forward to trying out the changes

  12. [...] been almost four weeks since we introduced new CS-Cart branch 2.1. During that time, we’ve been listening to the feedback that you provided through the Community [...]