I am very proud to announce the official release of X-Cart 5 downloadable, our new-generation platform.
I have a lot to cover in this blog-post: new features of XC5, roadmap, upgrade options for those who decide to migrate; plans of XC 4 development for those who remain fans of old good X-Cart Classic.
- Features set
- X-Cart 5 roadmap
- Beta awards
- Public Webinar for Developers
- Future of v4 branch
We created a product which will be very useful for merchants and very flexible for developers. I believe that ability to tailor the eCommerce software to your business logic and business processes is extremely important since every single company is unique. Building an online store either for a startup or for a huge enterprise, sooner or later you will realize this necessity. So I am very confident that X-Cart 5 is definitely the right product for this.
Mobile on the board
I believe that in the near future every kid or grandma will have a personal smartphone and online sales via mobile devices will grow exponentially. That’s why in addition to a desktop version, all editions of our new-generation platform include a mobile skin out of the box. We tested it on a wide range of smartphones and like the result. See screenshots:
Layered Navigation, Instant Search and Feature Comparison
We wanted to develop the UI which helps your customers find the products they need – quickly and with ease. To achieve this goal we included these powerful tools:
- Search-as-you-type technology is a proven sales booster. So with InstantSearch, the lite downloadable version of CloudSearch service with which you’re already acquainted with, your customers will have best possible search experience.
- Online shoppers often like to narrow the search based on their preferences – colors, sizing, pricing options and so on. The ProductsFilters extension works with product attributes, product variants, product stock and prices, and of course with text keywords.
- One of the final steps of making a decision about the product is to compare it with similar ones. The ProductComparison add-on allows store visitors to compare the products based on their ‘attributes’ and other product values.
X-Cart 5 has a very powerful ‘Product attributes’ feature. Merchant can create global classes with a group of attributes assigned to this class, or a single global attribute like “Brand”, or even a custom attribute which will apply for certain products only.
As mentioned above, the attributes can be used by ProductsFilters and ProductComparison modules, but even without these modules they’re oh-so useful if you sell such goods which have options and variations. ‘Products variants’ is another add-on based on the attributes.
Simple TextArea, Plain Fields with price modifiers, Yes/No options – all this can be changed on the fly, locally or globally, for one product, for a group of products or for all the products of the store.
Social Login and User Access
We believe in social media. More and more customers prefer to use their social accounts to log in on the websites: you don’t need to remember multiple logins and passwords.
- Social login module doesn’t use any third party services to connect with social networks. We developed our own app, so merchants don’t have to pay for any third party services. Just create your own app in Facebook or Google (really simple, view how ) and you have a ‘social login’ feature without extra costs.
- With another add-on, UserPermission, the owner can create and configure so-called ‘roles’ for his staff and thus define the access level for each user of admin area: order management, catalog management and so on.
Checkout and workflow with guest customers
Big thank you to all those who shared their feedback about checkout workflow and about guest customers in X-Cart 4 and 5. You spoke and we listened.=)
- X-Cart 5 works with guest customers the same way as it does with registered customers: they both have address books and related orders. A ‘Guest customer’ profile can be merged with an existing registered user, or an admin can create a new ‘Registered user’ based on this guest customer’s profile.
- We also reworked the checkout process in accordance with your suggestions to make it truly a One Page Checkout, without the ‘continue’ button on each step. The only button now is ‘Place order’.
Even though the out-of-the-box solution is already powerful enough to sell online successfully and securely, the system is built to grow broad and deep. X-Cart 5 has a modular architecture based on OOP and MVC. All the mods are added in the form of modules ( not ‘customizations’ like in XC4), with the core of the software remaining the same. It makes the new system very flexible.
First of all, one-click modules installation like in AppStore or GooglePlay has become a reality.
Second, since I’m drawing a parallel with iOS, I should mention that even after the mods are installed, the upgrade will remain as easy, as on your iPhone. Just follow the wizard, and you always have up-to-date software with all the latest features.
Marketplace with X-Cart and third party add-ons
95% of X-Cart stores contain at least one third party module or template.They’re so popular, because there are hundreds of various X-Cart 4 extensions created by dozens of third party developers and companies. We created the marketplace and encourage the developers to list their products, so that customers can find these third party solutions more easily. Yet, many modules can still be found on the original author’s website only, and all of them could only be purchased directly from the site of the author. Last but not least, each module or template requires installation – manually or with a wizard.
X-Cart 5 allows a different approach: There’s a single built-in AppStore-like marketplace which shows all the approved extensions from both the X-Cart team and third party developers. It’s a win-win: the merchant can browse the marketplace within the admin area of his store, find and instantly install the module he wants in a couple of clicks; the partners will enjoy more sales and downloads.
Developers and Designers
It’s the right time to try the new system now, when there are not that many competitors 😉 Check out our partner program, you’ll like it!
Design templates for X-Cart 5
If you need more options here and now, our design team is happy to offer commercial templates for X-Cart 5 starting from only $99. Check them out here. Of course we will add more free skins later.
We also welcome third party designers interested in creating design schemes for X-Cart 5. Let me please introduce the first third party skin: FreshGreen template made by Perception Systems. This template is absolutely free and can be installed via marketplace.
X-Cart 5 roadmap
We have already done a lot, but even more is planned. You can find all the details of the next releases and planned features in this Roadmap. You are also always welcome to post your ideas on our forum and ideas tracker – we collect and work with your feedback carefully.
The price includes a lifetime license and one year of free upgrades. After the first year, If you want to keep receiving upgrades, you will need to pay the annual subscription fee of $99.95 (charged once a year in a single transaction). Or, if you don’t need upgrades, you may keep using the store without additional expenses. There are three editions of X-Cart 5.
Four months ago we started beta testing of X-Cart 5. There were 9 minor releases of beta, and the final product would not be possible without our wonderful community. I personally thank everyone who shared their opinion. Positive or negative, emotional or reserved, full of constructive criticism, your feedback was very helpful for our team and we really hope for future collaboration with you.
As you may remember, we have a special $15,000 fund to encourage our 30 top beta-testers. The names of these heroes – they will be awarded with X-Cart 5 Business license – are announced on X-Cart forum. Congrats! If you’re listed, our managers will contact you shortly to gift the license. Thanks again for your hard work!
Public Webinar for Developers
If you are considering developing for X-Cart 5, we’re inviting you to this webinar. Our developers will acquaint you with the architecture of the new platform, show how to write a module and answer your specific questions.
Speaker: Tony Sologubov, X-Cart Community Manager. View webinar here.
Future of v4 branch
We will continue supporting X-Cart 4 and releasing new versions of it. There are a lot of fans of this platform, both merchants and developers use it for their businesses, and that’s why we are NOT going to discontinue it. The next release of X-Cart 4, version 4.6.2 is scheduled for February.
Upgrade Path from v4 to v5
X-Cart 5 is a brand-new platform with an absolutely different structure of code and database. That’s why the data can be moved by means of scripts, however, all the custom work should be rewritten. So if you have a store powered by X-Cart 4, but feel that it’s the right time to switch to X-Cart 5, you need to:
- Buy a license exchange (view pricing – get the license exchange for free if you order data migration with us)
- Migrate your data yourself, with us or with one of our partners “Cart2Cart” (more details in a separate paragraph below)
- Add custom features and design if necessary. (We can help with it too 😉
3 options of data Migration
- If you want to transfer the data yourself, use the special script for v4 branch. It exports the data in a CSV file in v5-compatible format. This file can be imported into your X-Cart 5 based store. Follow the instructions on how to download SDK and run the script.
- If you’re not tech-savvy or don’t have time or interest to do it yourself, benefit from a joint X-Cart and Cart2Cart program. Upon request, we’re giving out a $100 voucher to everyone who purchases a license exchange. It allows you to order Cart2Cart migration service for the transfer of up to 5000 products, 5000 orders and 2000 customers from v4 to v5. If you have more products, orders or customers to move, you will need to pay the difference.
- Don’t want to rely on a third party? We will be glad to perform the data migration for you.
Where to download?
There’s a ”Download” button on every page of the website 😉 But this is a direct link to download X-Cart 5.
Is X-Cart 5 free?
No it’s not, if it’s used for a production store. However just like X-Cart 4, it has unlimited evaluation period, which is free. You do not need to activate the license until you start real sales.
How does X-Cart 5 cost?
X-Cart 5 Mobile – $99.
X-Cart 5 Business – $495
X-Cart 5 Business Premium – $1495.
How to activate X-Cart 5?
As soon as you purchase the license we will email you the activation key which should be applied under your installation of the software.
I am a developer and need a key for developing purpose.How do I get this?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the cost of license exchange from XC4 to XC5 branch?
X-Cart Gold v4 to X-Cart 5 Business – $299.95
X-Cart GoldPlus/Pro v4 to X-Cart 5 Business – $99.95
X-Cart Platinum v4 to X-Cart 5 – for free.
I use LiteCommerce3. What is the upgrade path for me?
We love all our LiteCommerce3 customers. In appreciation of their merits (they really helped us!) we give a free license upgrade to those who contact us and request it.
Will I be able to upgrade my Mobile edition to Business edition?
Yes. It’s a matter of a few seconds to install the missing modules 😉
Does Mobile Edition contain a Desktop version?
Yes. Here are more details about the Mobile edition.
Can I purchase a module which is not available in my “Mobile” edition, but which is included in the “Business” edition.
Sorry, you cannot. The only way is to upgrade your license.
What about lifetime license and upgrades?
The price includes a lifetime license and one year of free upgrades. After the first year, If you want to keep receiving the upgrades, you will need to pay the annual subscription fee, $99.95. The price is valid for one month after expiration.
I do not want to upgrade between the versions within v5. Is it a must?
No, it’s not. You may use whichever version suits your needs better.
What if I don’t pay for upgrades (nor do I upgrade the software) say, for 5 years, but finally realize that I want to get an upgrade?
We strongly recommend to be up to date with the software. However, in this case you have to pay 60% of license costs, but not less than $99.95.
Can you recommend a good 3rd party developer for X-Cart 5?
Yes, check it out.
What is X-Cart Cloud and where is X-Cart Next?
X-Cart Next is the hosted eCommerce platform based on X-Cart 5 core. We decided to rename it to X-Cart Cloud.
Are X-Cart Cloud/Next and X-Cart 5 Downloadable based on the same platform?
Where is the documentation for X-Cart 5?
The help portal (English) for merchants and developers documentation (English) are presented on the same resource: kb.x-cart.com. The YouTube channel with examples (Russian) should answer most of your questions. But if not, please ask via the forum, our technicians will be happy to help.
Where I can report a bug or post feature requests?
You are welcome to post bugs in our bug-tracker. Please do not forget to choose the right version of affected software.
Please share your ideas for additional features here.
I want to get a specific feature immediately. What I need to do?
Please check the Marketplace under admin area of your web store and search the needed feature. If you do not find the needed one, you are welcome to send a quote request to our Development department or contact any third party developer.
I want to create an add-on or design theme for X-Cart 5. What do I need to do?
Do you have an affiliate program?
Yes, we do. Our affiliate program works for both a downloadable software and a Cloud solution.
Will I still be able to purchase a new license for X-Cart 4?
We continue developing and supporting of X-Cart v4 branch. You can purchase new licenses and add-ons for v4 branch under “Products -> X-Cart Classic” category.
Where are the roadmaps of X-Cart 4 and x-Cart 5?
We are aiming to enhance our software quickly, but make sure that every change has been double-checked by our QA-team.
The roadmap for X-Cart 4 is still here.
I have a question not covered here.
Great! We will be happy to answer your question. Just contact us.