Welcome to the April edition of the Ecommerce Templates Newsletter where we look at the ECT Updater and address some of the most common questions regarding its use. We have also highlighted a top tip for your ECT store and have an overview of GDPR and what it may mean for your store.
Some of the most recurring topics we deal with is from people asking about updaters, how they work, what effects they may have on a store, how to check the version, compatibility amongst many others. What we thought we would do is bring together some of these questions in one newsletter. Updating really is pain free and straightforward but it's best to start with all the information available.
After logging into your store control panel you should see your version number listed at the top of the dashboard screen along with whether you are running the latest version or not.
You will see a warning if you are running an older version, and you will be advised if there are security fixes available. If you see a message as in this example we very strongly recommend updating.
In ECT Versions 6.5.7 and below you will see a message that no new updates are available. This is incorrect due to changes we made to the code back in 2016, and the real check is not being made. If you are on any version pre v6.8 then you are highly recommended to update for security and performance reasons. Not to mention all the great new features.
Did you know you can use the donations feature to receive payments on your store for services, invoices and just about anything that isn't a product added through the admin? This feature has been around for a while and is widely used for taking payments for services provided or for taking extra payments on an order.
You can send the link onto your customer with the amount they should pay, they enter the amount along with a custom message and go through checkout as per normal.
One very handy tip has been posted by long time user, dbdave, where he suggests pre-populating the link you send on with the customer name, amount and order id. Read all about it here.
I'm on a very old version, pre-6.5 can I just update once or do I need to go version by version?
Updaters are cumulative so you can always update straight to the latest regardless of the version you are currently on.
How will the updater affect my products, design and settings?
The updater won't touch your products, design or your particular store settings, those will stay exactly as they were before updating.
Can you update the site for me?
When you purchase the updater, there is the choice to have the updater applied free of charge as a one time service. At any other time the service is available for a very modest fee of $20 with the Apply Updater service.
What if I have custom edits to the code?
Files from the vsadmin and inc folders will be overwritten by updaters with the exception of the database connection in db_conn_open and your store settings in the includes file. It may be that the changes made are now available in the feature list or that you are using a third party plugin which has an update available for newer store versions but if that's not the case, have a look at our post on Updating a store which has custom edits.
What is the required PHP Version for the latest updaters from ECT?
You will need to be running a minimum of PHP Version 5.6. You can check with your host, in your hosting control panel or on the dashboard page of your store admin to see what is currently running on your server. PHP 7 and above is also supported but may require some very small changes outlined here.
What Is GDPR?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and is a European Union framework aimed at giving EU citizens more control over their personal data.
When does it come in force?
It comes into force on May 25 2018.
What does it mean for my ECT store?
If you are in any doubt at all we strongly recommend getting official / legal advice, the points above are just very basic guidelines. The EU have the ability to apply hefty fines for those companies who fail to comply so we recommend taking it seriously and read up on what is required for your particular store / company.
Updaters as always are available from our updaters page - it doesn't matter which version you are currently running, you can always update to the latest and greatest without going through all previous versions first. If you want to be informed automatically of the new features included in the updaters you can subscribe to the Updater forum - that means you'll receive an email each time a new post is added.