Greetings to everyone!
September was not very rich in news, but each of them was quite a good step forward:
- X-Cart hosting got a new manager several months ago, and his team did a large job, preparing this excellent infrastucture update. We switched from shared hosting to a much more powerful and secure VPS, with the new-gen servers being equipped with SSD. It guarantees a great improvement of performance. The physical server location geography was expanded too: now you can select between New-York, San Francisco, London, Amsterdam or Singapore. Last but no least: these infractructure changes gave us more flexibility, so we updated the plans lineup and, besides all, rolled out a new plan, “Basic”, that is affordable yet powerful.
- X-Cart 5.1.6 with Advanced Order Management feature on the board came up. Currently the AOM feature is in Beta. The most active beta-tester will receive a free license for X-Cart Business Edition. Two more activists will receive a 50% discount for such a license. Isn’t it a good incentive to join the ranks of testers? 😉 It also got much faster in terms of speed, and we will keep working in this direction. Read more about this release here.
- X-Payments team released a bunch of connectors for X-Cart v.4 Classic , and now they “polish” the connector for X-Cart 5, adding such AOM-related features as “charge the difference” or “refund the difference” – for the orders, modified by the Administrator. Wanna a sneak-peek?
We’re quite happy with overall results, and a number of new modules released in September is a good additive. For your convenience I have categorized them a bit.
The module creates a vertical drop-down menu for the categories list. Simple settings, better navigation. Optionally, the Administrator can enable showing the number of products in category, wrapping the long categories names, showing the ‘category triangles’ notifying the customer that the category contains subcategories,adding the category icons.
The module moves the categories list to the horizontal bar with a drop-down menu and optional multicolumn layout for subcategories. Just like “Flyout Categories Menu”, it supports such features as showing the number of products in categories, wrapping the category name, if it’s too long, and displaying the categories icons.
“Infinite Scroll” by Qualiteam – $79.00
This SEO-friendly and trendy add-on replaces the standard pagination with Facebook-wall-like infinite scrolling. It improves the shopping experience and makes product browsing easier and quicker. Touchscreen compatible, it works perfectly on smartphones and tablets too. The online demo is available.
Email-Marketing and Transactional Emails
Powerful e-mail marketing system, MailChimp is well-known and hardly requires additional introduction. Advanced reporting features, integration with Google Analytics, Automation – we use this fantastic solution ourselves and recommend it to everyone. MailChimp is a simple and inexpensive enough for small businesses but powerful enough for Internet merchants with millions in annual sales.
Create and send professional newsletters! The module integrates your store with UniSender, a popular service for mailing and bulk SMS messaging. Segmentation, A/B testing, accounts with different permissions, advanced reporting tools – all these features are supported.
A scalable and affordable email infrastructure service, with all the marketing-friendly analytics tools you’ve come to expect from MailChimp’s child product. Another tool used by our company, Mandrill proves to be efficient, fast and informative. BTW, just like in Mailchimp, your first 12,000 emails per month are always free.
Two modules by “X-Cart Guru” Mike White
The detailed images slider turns your extra product images into a beautiful, touch sensitive, responsive slider that can be placed anywhere on the product page. Not only can you display what your product looks like, but you can customize your images to tell a story about your product. Use your detailed images as a slideshow and get your message heard. Multiple animation effects. Well designed, well explained, and well documented.
“FAQ” by XCartGuru – $15.00
Let your customers know that you care about their concerns, and you have the answers to their questions listed conveninetly in one place. Use simple text, html content, or even images in your answers! The FAQ section has been designed with responsiveness in mind, and should work well with any design layout. You can easily customize the look and feel with CSS styles.