Hi everyone! Hope you had a wonderful time this holiday season and met the New Year full of energy and excellent business ideas. Meanwhile, X-Cart Classic engineers have finished working on the v4.7.9. Here is a quick overview of the most significant fixes and improvements.
Important Updates to Payment Methods
PayPal has deprecated its classic In-Context Checkout and replaced it with Express Checkout simplified checkout. So, we’ve integrated the simplified checkout with X-Cart via checkout.js of the latest v4. Express Checkout is the payment method to consider if you want to increase conversions and get more sales due to fast, secure and seamless checkout routine.
Those who currently use the In-Context Checkout for accepting online payments shouldn’t worry. The method still works for them as PayPal supports existing integrations.
If you use Skrill as one of your payment methods, make sure you’ve updated the payment URL as the older one was disabled on September 1, 2017. Skrill has notified users about it, but if you haven’t received their message and haven’t changed the URL, the Skrill payment method should have stopped working in your store. The v4.7.9 supports the new URL by default.
Stable Delivery of Your Store Email Notifications
As you may know, email providers do everything possible to protect their clients from spam emails and keep implementing more strict filtering rules. Thus, more messages go to SPAM as suspicious mail or don’t appear in the inbox at all.
The new email delivery policies might have impacted your store, too. It means that you and your customers may not receive notifications from the store which results in slower orders fulfillment and customers confusion and even dissatisfaction. To help you make sure that emails from your online store reach their recipients, we’ve included a couple of improvements in X-Cart:
- ‘From’ email address check The new setting is now present in General settings -> Company. Now there is a ‘test’ link next to each email address used as ‘From’ address for any type of notifications. Having clicked on the link, you’ll see if this email is good as ‘From’ address for your store email notifications (so they don’t go to SPAM) or if you should consider a different address.
- Updated the logic of email notifications sent from the store In the previous X-Cart Classic versions, email notifications about placed orders used customers’ emails as ‘From’ addresses. The same worked for some other notifications, too. But the new DMARC policy doesn’t accept such logic and your server can get banned for noncompliance. As a result, none of the online store notifications will be delivered to you and your customers. Luckily, from the v4.7.9 all email notifications in X-Cart use only the addresses specified in your online store settings.
Also, we’ve included some other minor fixes ensuring the stable email notifications delivery. BTW, if you want to have more control over the notifications and newsletters sending and delivery, consider using such professional services as Mandrill and MailChimp.
Changes Improving Your Store SEO
One of our goals is keeping X-Cart SEO-ready according to the latest trends and changes in the field. If you’ve read our articles about HTTPS/SSL and their impact on store conversions, you know that Google uses HTTPS as a ranking signal. So, here is the list of related updates:
- Force use of HTTPS as canonical URL.
- Removed the additional 302 redirect for HTTP to HTTPS and clean URL redirects to avoid the loss of page rankings.
- The setting “Use secure protocol (HTTPS)” makes the whole store start at HTTPS right away instead of starting at HTTP with the further redirect to HTTPS. It makes the site faster. Note: if you have this setting enabled or plan to, make sure you’ve configured your server according to these instructions.
The v4.7.9 comes with performance improvements, too. For example, search for orders by product has become 10x faster. Also, the new version includes updates in several modules such as Advanced Order Management, Amazon Feeds, Amazon Pay, Login with PayPal, MailChimp, MultiCurrency, Pinterest, Special Offers, Australia Post, along with dozens of other fixes and changes. Most of them will be of interest only for particular X-Cart users, so I didn’t include them in the blog post to keep it short. But you can check the full list of new features and fixes in X-Cart v4.7.9 changelog.
Besides the store upgrade, consider upgrading PHP and MySQL on your server as newer versions make your site faster and more secure. X-Cart v4.7.9 supports the latest PHP v7.2.
Welcome to try and share your feedback on the new version!
P.S: Recently, we’ve enhanced X-Cart 4 to 5 Migration Wizard. So, if you wanted to move to X-Cart 5 and were looking for a good tool minimizing your efforts and time for the migration, it’s high time. Why migrate? The platforms comparison page has got the answer.