New version 4.14.1

21/12/2021
by Robert Diak

Hello! We have released CS-Cart 4.14.1. The change of the second number in the version usually means big improvements. The full list of changes is in the documentation, so we’ll only cover the most important changes here.

 

Fast and easy landing pages with Tilda

Administrators who are just starting to work with CS-Cart can spend a lot of time creating store content. CS-Cart has several tools for creating pages and editing their structure. To create customized landing pages for different audiences quickly and easily, it’s best to use a special tool—Tilda platform.

In 4.14.1 we added an add-on that allows you to:

  • Embed Tilda pages into CS-Cart.
  • Embed CS-Cart blocks (for example, products) into Tilda pages.

You must have a Tilda account with “Business” as a plan to get started. After installing and configuring the add-on, add a Tilda page to the store in the Website → Pages section of the admin panel. When creating a page, select a block from the existing ones in the store, which the Tilda page will contain. This approach will enable an easy and quick launch of your online store.

 

Updated product bundles

Selling products together as bundles is a powerful tool for increasing average order value. In CS-Cart, this tool was implemented in the “Buy together” add-on. In 4.14.1 we have significantly improved combinations to make work with them more convenient for you, and created a new add-on called “Product bundles”.

Now you can work with bundles in the Marketing → Product bundles section. Here is some advantages of the new add-on:

  • Variation support—a bundle can be made up either of all variations as one product, or of a specific variation.
  • You can choose on what products from the bundle will this bundle appear.
  • If a customer adds items from the bundle to the cart separately, they would combine into the bundle in the cart; while on the checkout page they are shown as separate items.

 

Increased Google Page Speed score for mobile devices

Page speed is important for an online store, as an extra second of waiting can make the buyer leave the site. Google already uses site speed as one of the many factors that somehow affect SEO. Moreover the speed for desktops and mobile devices is measured separately. Most often, speed is measured using Google Page Speed Insights.

This time we focused on the mobile score, as CS-Cart has better Page Speed scores for desktops. We tested the optimizations on our demos, and compared 4.13.2 and 4.14.1 with the default “Bright” theme (as third-party themes for 4.14.1 have not been adapted for the new version yet). After running more than 40 tests to check the validity of our claims, we verified that the default Page Speed score of the site on mobile devices increased by 14% on CS-Cart . 

We did not follow all the Google recommendations implicitly, because it is important to maintain backward compatibility, while improving performance.

 

Increase website speed with support for WebP images

One of the ways to increase the page speed of your online store is switching to modern image formats like WebP. Google recommends this format to increase Google Page Speed. WebP pictures weigh 30% less, which means that the page with them will load faster.

In 4.14.1, we added the ability to upload images in WebP format, so that all images in the store are shown in this format. If the store has a lot of images in different formats, you can make CS-Cart convert all the images to WebP on the Settings → Icons page. To select WebP as a thumbnail format, the format must be supported by the web server.

Browsers have only recently started to support WebP massively. Therefore, before switching to WebP, it is worth looking at which browsers support this format.

 

Set “X% of the cart” surcharge for shipping rates

In the new version, we have brought back the ability to specify a surcharge or discount for shipping methods as a cart percentage. For example, it is useful when you need to include the cost of insurance in the shipping cost. Insurance usually is a percentage of the product price, and now you can set it in the shipping method.

This isn’t the full list of changes in version 4.14.1. There are also smaller improvements and bug fixes. You can find them all in the changelog.

There is also an update to Multi-Vendor 4.14.1 available. Changes in this update were described in separate article, but we’ll quickly summarize them here:

  • New vendor panel - fully reworked vendor panel, with simplified interface and ability to modify it.

  • Separate category trees for storefronts - now each storefront in Multi-Vendor Ultimate can have a different category tree. 

  • Integration with Stripe Connect Express - allows vendors to instantly connect their Stripe accounts with Marketplace.

  • Create registration procedures - now administrators can decide, which parts of the store are available to vendors upon registration.

  • External e-mail notifications - now vendor notifications can be also sent to addresses which are not registered in the Marketplace.

  • Mobile app improvements - easier edition of products in app.

  • Changes in taxes - taxes can now be applied to vendor payments for participation in the Marketplace.

Shipping methods changes - added an ability to completely turn off shipping if it’s not required, and auto-activation of selected shipping methods for new vendors.

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