Archive for April, 2013

Special Offer: Get Rewarded for CS-Cart 4 Beta Testing

By Konstantin Molchanov (CS-Cart team), Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 in News and announcements

Hello,

Public CS-Cart 4 Beta testing has begun.

Since your feedback is extremely important for us, we are announcing a special offer to motivate the beta-testers.

CS-Cart Beta Testing: Win a Free License!

The offer

Starting today and up to the CS-Cart 4 release day, every bug report you post brings you closer to winning a CS-Cart 4 Ultimate license.

At the end of the beta-testing period, we will handpick the 3 most active and contributing reporters and grant each of them a free Ultimate license with 2 storefronts. The more bugs you report, the higher your chances are to win the free license.

Don’t miss your chance! Start testing CS-Cart 4 now!

UPD: CS-Cart 4 is released, the testing is over, and we have our winners!

Here are their nicknames on our forum: nmb, ilib, and wartornskull. Thanks to their activity and feedback, we managed to improve CS-Cart stability.

Each winner will receive a CS-Cart 4 Ultimate license. Thank you, guys!

How to Join

Just download the Beta and start using it (only for testing purposes):

It does not matter whether you use CS-Cart Ultimate or CS-Cart Multi-Vendor; the bug reports value the same. Who posts a bug report first, scores; duplicate reports are not counted.

In order to participate, you will also need to have an account in our Bug tracker. Though it is possible to report bugs anonymously, only the reports from registered users will be taken into account; this is necessary to guarantee fair play and to be able to identify the winner.

Note: Use only the Bug tracker to report your bugs. We cannot identify the authors of reports sent from the Feedback form in the CS-Cart admin panel, so such reports will not count!


CS-Cart 4 is great software, and with your help, we can make it even better.

If you have any questions regarding this offer, please ask them in the comment section below.

Follow CS-Cart on Twitter and Facebook.

Happy testing!

CS-Cart 4 Beta is on!

By Konstantin Molchanov (CS-Cart team), Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 in CS-Cart releases, News and announcements

Hello everybody,

Today, we are very proud to present to you the results of the hard work of the whole CS-Cart team—CS-Cart 4 Beta.

Yes, this is correct; the version number is 4, not 3.1.1 as we announced earlier.

The reason is, that during the development, it became obvious that this release was much more significant than a regular minor release. By jumping straight to version 4, we want to show that this is a major upgrade, with features never seen in CS-Cart before.

This version is a huge leap forward for CS-Cart. We are extremely happy to share all these new features with you.

Can’t wait? Get it now!

UPD: April 30, 2013, Beta 2 has been released. The download links were updated.

Ultimate and Multi-Vendor Editions

CS-Cart 4 Beta is the first release to conform to the new edition policy.

That is, there are just 2 editions, Ultimate and Multi-Vendor.

CS-Cart 4 Ultimate is available in Free mode to replace the discontinued CS-Cart Community Edition.

CS-Cart 4 Ultimate with a single storefront is an extendible replacement for CS-Cart Professional.

Theme Editor

One of the killer features of this version is the built­in theme editor.

Now, you can customize your storefront in real time, and without a single line of HTML or CSS
code written!

Theme Editor

You can play around with colors, fonts, logos, and backgrounds, all in real time and previewed directly on your storefront.

You can activate the Theme editor mode via the CS-Cart 4 admin panel, under Design → Design mode. Note that in Ultimate edition you should select a store first.

New Admin Panel Look & Feel

In CS-Cart 4, we have greatly improved the administrator area:

  • Sleeker and more modern design
  • Re­arranged menus for easier navigation
  • Sidebar with search and additional functionality
  • One­page order creation and editing
  • Dozens of minor improvements

New Admin Panel Look & Feel

Thanks to the user feedback, we were able to make the CS-Cart admin panel better than it ever was.

Performance Boost

The new CS-Cart is dramatically faster than the previous version. By optimizing the storefront block management routine, we achieved a great performance boost. Compared to CS-Cart 2.2.5 and 3.0.6, CS-Cart 4 is up to 3x faster and uses less CPU.

CS-Cart 4 Performance Boost

Improved Installer

We have simplified the installer and added a convenient post-installation Settings Wizard.

The new CS-Cart installation process has just 2 steps, one of which is accepting the license agreement.

Right after the installation, you will be able to set up some general preferences of your store using a quick step-by-step Settings Wizard:

Settings Wizard

Suppliers Add-on

We received a lot of feedback and requests to add the suppliers functionality to the Ultimate and Multi-Vendor editions.

Now, we are happy to introduce the suppliers feature in both the Ultimate and Multi-Vendor editions as a special built-in add-on.

Developers

API

CS-Cart 4 Beta is the first CS-Cart version to provide an API to interact with a store.

We have extended the list of supported API objects since the last announcement, and now the following objects can be viewed and modified via the API:

  • Products
  • Categories
  • Users
  • Orders
  • Shipping methods
  • Payment methods
  • Statuses
  • Taxes

Developers are very welcome to read the docs with the detailed usage instructions and the object reference guide.

Add-on Adaptation

Despite some core changes in the CS-Cart architecture, the add-ons for CS-Cart 3.x are highly compatible with CS-Cart 4.

Refer to the adaptation guide for the detailed instructions.

Testing and Feedback

You are very welcome to download CS-Cart 4 Beta and test it. Please note that this is not a production-ready release; do not use it as a live store!

Also, note that CS-Cart 4 requires PHP version 5.3 or 5.4.

We are keen to hear any feedback. There is a floating Feedback button at the right edge of every page in the admin area; use it to send a message directly to the CS-Cart development team:

Feedback Button

Bug reports are also much appreciated.

Subscribe to our Twitter and Facebook to stay in touch with the latest CS-Cart news.

Download CS-Cart 4 Beta

Generate More Sales with Yotpo’s Social Reviews

By Konstantin Molchanov (CS-Cart team), Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 in Articles, Guest posts, Tips and tricks

Yotpo

There is nothing better to drive up sales and increase brand loyalty than word of mouth advertising. Online retailers need a quick and easy way to generate likes, shares and user-generated content related to their products, so they can take full advantage of the massive social networks we all spends hours on each day.

Yotpo is a free plug-and-play social reviews solution for CS-Cart and many other e-commerce platforms that takes full advantage of our social nature online to help online stores generate more traffic and sales. Yotpo generates more reviews than any other product reviews service and integrates social at its core.

After a quick registration process and adding Yotpo as an add-on to your store (full installation details can be found here) you are ready to start customizing the widget to fit your store, activating the mail-after-purchase feature and pushing user-generated content to Facebook and Twitter.

Yotpo turns your customers into marketers

Yotpo helps stores gain more social traffic and therefore more sales by prompting customers who write reviews to share their reviews on their social networks. Traffic which comes from these shares converts at a higher rate because there is already context between the new visitor and the product.

Yotpo’s social sharing feature allows you to connect your Facebook page and/or Twitter account to your Yotpo account. Once your social accounts are connected, Yotpo allows you to send reviews to your social networks.

Provide your visitors with validated reviews from past customers

Yotpo’s mail-after-purchase feature sends emails to each of your customers after a set number of days (you set the number) asking them to write a review of the product they purchased. Reviews which are generated through the mail-after-purchase feature have the highest level of validation (post-purchase) and this automated process of generating reviews for your store provides the best value to your visitors.

Yotpo is bringing out new features all the time as it strives to become the e-commerce standard for product reviews. For more information on Yotpo, visit our website and don’t forget to check out our blog for more tips, tactics and methods to generate more sales from social reviews and user-generated content.

About the Author:

Justin Butlion is the Content and Social Marketing Manager of Yotpo. Justin loves to blog about e-commerce, online marketing, web development, and entrepreneurship. Check out his latest posts in the Yotpo blog or contact him directly at justin@yotpo.com.