Ecommerce Templates > Newsletter > December 2008

Ecommerce Templates Newsletter December 2008

Don't say we never told you

I just had an email from a customer using an ECT store based on a release 3 years old who got hit by a fraud that wouldn't have been possible now. With a user base of thousands any potential security problems are normally quickly spotted and sealed up before any bad guys have a chance to exploit them. We run and our customers are constantly running HackerSafe and other security scans to preempt and fix any likely issues. But this doesn't mean a thing unless you keep up with the updaters. I don't know how many times or in how many different ways we can say this : if you don't apply updaters to your store you are leaving yourself open to attack. Think about your PC for instance: would you leave it months or years without applying security fixes or service packs?

There are always 2 supported versions. The latest and greatest with all the new features (now v5.6) and the previous release which we continue to support with just security and critical bugfixes (currently v5.5). Both are available here.

Applying an updater is done in 2 steps. Copy the files and run the updatestore.asp/php script. That's it. But if you're worried about doing it yourself then we have an "Apply Updater" service.

To be notified of new releases just subscribe to the updater forums.
For the ASP version
For the PHP version

If your 6 months updater period is up you can pick up another 6 or 12 months here.

As well as all the security fixes, feature additions and upgrades right to the present day with one simple upgrade, this will also entitle you to a further 6 or 12 months of support and updaters.

Top tips

We hope you are using the Ecommerce Templates cross selling features to upsell your products. Well Andy set up some tips here a while back for how to "Jazz up" the cross selling layout.

This is well worth revising for those already using the cross selling features. And for those not yet using those features, here's how you can add them to your store...
ASP Version
PHP Version

This tip is mainly for PHP stores but I've seen a few stores recently without currency symbols. Normally the currency symbol is created automatically based on the country settings in the admin main settings page.
But in the case that this doesn't happen the currency symbol can easily be specified using this simple addition to the vsadmin/includes.php file.

Why not add a shipping estimator? It can be as simple as adding one parameter to your vsadmin/includes.asp or vsadmin/includes.php file. This will give your customers more encouragement to proceed with the checkout process knowing they are not going to pay a fortune in shipping.
Details are here for the ASP version.
And here for the PHP version.

Upcoming features

Although still a few weeks away from release we thought you might like to know a few of the additions that have already been finalized for the v5.7 release. We're still working on new features so this list will grow.

Better stock management control in admin orders. When editing orders in the admin orders page you will now be warned of out of stock conditions before proceeding. Before it was assumed that the order could be fulfilled.

The ability to use the category name as a category identifier which could be a big boost for search engine positioning. For instance...

Option to split order name entry into Firstname / Lastname rather than just
Fullname) in the cart checkout section.

Additional search parameters. These are keywords that you can set that when searched for will display the product but will not be visible to the customer.

The HTTP referrer and will be visible in the admin orders page.

The customer login admin section will have ability to edit addresses, view orders etc.

Complete revision of Alternate Product ID system (Alt Prod ID's) so that now they pull pricing, stock and alternate image information directly from the products database based on the alternate product id.

Previous and Next buttons on the admin orders page.

Complete rewrite of affiliate program admin to make it faster and give more control.

Integration of the payment processor Amazon Simple Pay.

Rewrite of Extra Order and Checkout fields to allow for validation of non-text controls, easier setup and ability to remember previous values for non-text controls.

Better admin section HTML validation.

Protx integration offer

Protx are one of the UK's top payment processing companies and we have worked closely with them for a number of years. Due to this relationship we are thrilled to announce free Protx processing until January 2009 for new customers signing up through Ecommerce Templates. The offer is available from{7B0AD331-0388-44EA-BE3A-D05D3FB9FE28}