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Password Hygiene: Handling Of Old Passwords

As part of our program of continuously improving data protection, GDPR compliance and planning for new web standards, we have introduced an optional change so that old user passwords are removed from the database where the user has been inactive for 15 months. This can be set in Site Settings > Security > Expire Passwords For Old User Accounts. NB for new sites from 11th October 2019 this is enabled by default.

Why Is The Inactive Period 15 Months?

The 15 month timeframe is a practical time limit because it means that annual repeat buyers, such as Christmas shoppers, will not be affected the following year when they may wish to make a repeat purchase, but once they lapse a further 3 months then they will be classed as inactive and will then benefit from greater data protection through password removal. 

Can Users With Deleted Passwords Still Login & Use The Site?

Yes. When they try to login the system will inform them that their password has expired and automatically send out a new password to their registered email address:

Webauthn - Industry Standards To Eliminate Passwords

Looking further ahead, there is already an industry drive towards eliminating password use altogether for website logins via the 'WebAuthn' web standard. This will use different methods of authentication such as biometric devices like fingerprint readers on your phone or browser based control, and there are already passwordless 'magic links' in use allowing one-time logins via email addresses or SMS.




Website Recommendations & Admin Notifications

We are pleased to announce the introduction of actionable business intelligence in REC+ to help you manage your site and be alert to ways to improve it and maintain compliance.

Actionable business intelligence in REC+ websites

What Is Business Intelligence (BI)?

BI analyses data and presents you with actionable information to make improvements to your business, decision-making and processes.

Why Does BI Matter?

With so many changes taking place with web technology, search engines, internet security and legal compliance like GDPR, BI helps you stay on top of what’s important for your website.

How Does BI Work In REC+?

REC+ has become smarter by analyzing your website and presenting actions you can take for:

✓ Compliance

✓ Security

✓ User experience and interaction

✓ Marketing and products These are displayed in Website Recommendations.

Notifications have also been introduced so you can quickly see new user interactions with your site including new form replies, orders, testimonials and product reviews.

Is It Free?

Yes. This is such an important way to help business owners stay on top of everything that’s required of them we have released this for free to all REC+ websites.

This includes adding new recommendations in the future.

Accessing The New Features

Simply log in to your website Admin Console and click on the new icons in the top navigation bar.

How Can I Clear Down All My Unread Form Replies That Have Built Up?

You can now also mark all replies in a form as read to focus on just new replies.
Go to Admin > Form Builder > View from replies > "Mark all as read"

In addition, if a form is set to email your admins, we now track that you've read it from your email client to keep the read/unread status in the system up to date which will stop the build up of unread replies. Tip: Make sure admins allow images to display when reading the email as this is needed to trigger the tracking mechanism.

Can I Use BI To Analyse My Overall Business?

Yes. For businesses running on Sage turning over £1m per annum we can now extract your Sage data into the Afinitis BI tool to analyse and recommend business-wide improvements.

Contact Neil Whelan to book an appointment on 0330 311 2810.



Introducing the new REC+ App Store

Introducing the new REC+ App Store

You can now easily browse through the major system features and complementary services in our new App store - take a look.
We will be continuously updating the store with apps and services every week, so keep checking back in the New & Featured section in each category.

Explore through and discover all the things available to you with REC+.

Interested in a feature? Click the Enquire button on it's page and we'll get back to you about getting it enabled on your site.

This is the first version of our app store, any feedback you have will be greatly appeceated, thank you.


Important: Heart Internet Email Changes

Heart Internet have been in touch with some essential information about your Heart Internet email services (If your email is provided by Heart or Wildfire).

Heart are currently working on some major improvements to the services they offer. The aim is to make their entire range of products even more dependable, efficient and secure.

These enhancements are set to go live on October 1st 2019.

While that may seem like a long way off, there's a task you can carry out now to ensure that the upgrade runs as smoothly as possible and that you don't experience any problems.

What you need to do

In your email client (such as Outlook or Apple mail) if your outgoing server is currently using port 25 or 465, you will need to change the port to 587. Heart recommend using STARTTLS encryption.

You can keep your server name the same, it's just the port that needs to be updated.

When you need to do it

The sooner the better. These settings will work today. If you leave it until after the go-live date you won't be able to send any emails until you make the change.

Support

We have written an article to help explain how to set up your local email client which you can read here.
If you need further help setting up your email client you will need to contact your local IT support company since this is outside the scope of our support.
 


New in REC+: Smarter form data, automated browser testing & speed improvements

Since the last update we've invested a great deal of time into automated testing technology for use in our development cycle to further improve quality assurance. Part of this is scripting browsers to run through orders on a test site and perform admin actions each time we push code (which happens many times a day).  Later in the year, we're looking to introduce this as a new service you can use on your site to ensure specific parts run smoothly, contact us if you'd be interested in being an early adopter. 

Forms

  • 'Smarter' form responses 
    Form responses will now show extra information including user & cart/invoice details and (soon to be released) which page the form was sent from, with links to the user and order for quick access as well as displaying the user's telephone number where available. This helps sales and support teams to be more efficient in handling enquiries and queries:

    Smarter form responses
    Auto enabled on all forms, however it can be disabled in Form builder > Edit form > "Show meta data on emails?"
  • Relating Order & Customer data to forms
    After an order, a guest user is normally logged out and cart session reset, however to better support forms on the thanks and contact pages directly after an order, we now auto relate the user and order information.
  • Unread Form Replies Improvements
    If a form is set to email the admins, we now track that you've read it from your email client to keep the read/unread status in the system up to date.
    You can now also mark all replies in a form as read to focus on just new replies.
    Admin > Form Builder > View from replies > "Mark all as read"

Ecommerce

  • New product filter setting to enable redirecting to previous category page when clearing filters
    This allows users to filter products from a category page and return to the page once they are done filtering.
    Admin > Product Filters App Manager > Remember & return to last page.
  • Filter by user group in the Order Revenue & Sources Report 
    Segment your order reports better with this new option in our revenue and sources report.
    Admin > Order Traffic Analyser > User Group
  • Order manager not logged in filter & cleanup
    Added a filter to order manager allowing you to see orders started by non logged in users (i.e. retail orders when groups are in use)
    We've also cleaned up a couple issues and design around the search form on order manager.
    Order Manager > Filter by group now has a "Not logged in" option.
  • Batch edit product issues
    We've added a batch edit button under each product issue listed.
    Admin > Reports > Product Issues Report > under each issue's table of products > "Batch edit these products"
  • Checkout delivery method performance
    For sites with a large number of delivery methods or bands this will largly improve the performance of looking these up resulting in faster checkout screens
  • Further speed fixes
    Product downloads now available as a template preload (auto enabled). Along with faster loaded lists of products on pages and faster feed generation for Google Shopping.
  • Showing full category path in dropdowns
    Improved display of product category dropdowns in admin to reveal full path to the category for added clarity
  • Improvements to tracking visitors & orders from Facebook
    We now detect the new facebook "fbclid" url param

Developer

  • Automated browser testing
    Our new range of automated browser tests run before we release code running real user simulations on core areas to catch bugs faster. 
    Contact us if you'd be interested in being an early adopter on an important area of your site such as an app, form or checkout process.
  • Form codenames
    The rec_form() method can now take in a codename for the form, shown on the edit form screen, allowing you to embed forms into pages without worry of the form name you're referencing changing and thereby causign an issue.
  • Email task events for when a user subscribes & unsubscribes
    Send users deals or notify them to say thanks when a user subscribes or send a goodbye message for when a user unsubscribes.
    Add/edit email tasks, new events for subscribe.user and unsubscribe.user
  • Chrome devtools console back to Zero messages by default.
    We believe the best way to debug site issues is to start with messages in the devtools console & so we maintain a clean console area by default so you can track issues easier. 
    This release resolves the only warning showing from the new Chrome release for "[Deprecation] Synchronous XMLHttpRequest warnings".
    It's always worth checking the developer tools console in your browser for site issues.
  • JS REC.Cart.batchAddItems method now allows custom extra_data
    Detailed additional info can now be passed when adding multiple items to cart in custom cart related apps you're building.

 


New In REC+: Product issues report, settings audits & more

Since our last update we've taken more of a focus on underlying performance improvements and checks with some new features to help further with the smooth running of your site, let's dive right in:

Ecommerce

  • Product issues report
    This new report lets you find and resolve issues fast on your site such as products without prices, images, weights, invalid details, and much more.
    Available in Admin > Reports > Product Issue Reports.
  • Checkout confirm screen re-login alerts
    If a user has left the checkout screen open for a long time and their session has expired, we now notify them so they can re-login and resume the order. 
  • Product imports, no more "quick fix" program runs
    Previously after importing your products you'd have to runt the "quick fix" program to the side of the import to populate the new data around the system such as for prices & images. 
    However we have now removed this and the import program runs these automatically for you.
  • Batch products processor recycling
    Batch products processor allows you to mass edit & delete products on your site, however when deleting them it would previously permanently delete the products. 
    Instead this now sends the products to the recycle bin by default though there is an option if needed to fully delete them. 

Auditing & Security

  • Settings confirm screen
    When changing site settings we now ask you to confirm and save the changes which also records them into the audit log.
    This helps keep track of when and where changes have been made on your site, useful when testing new changes. 
  • New security hardening settings available
    A range of HTTP header security options are now available to add extra security to your site
    Before enabling these we recommend testing them on your site first, contact us for more information. 
    Available in Admin > Site Settings > Front End HTTP Header Security

Developer & Performance 

  • New Twig functions to shuffle arrays and debug as yaml instead of full html dump debug
    E.g. to shuffle items in an array: ... | shuffle
    or to debug in plain text with yaml, e.g. inside css or js: yaml(...)
  • New template access to parent categories
    These allow you to create lists of categories as filters inside the templates on pages and category pages above shown products.
    category_products_shell.html.twig -> {{ category.relatedid }}
    layout files -> {{ page.products_shown_cat_id }}
    Here's an example of this: https://gist.github.com/stilliard/0a5a1080722105a42784850ae96c986c
  • Speed/performance improvements
    We've made a number of large changes behind the scenes across the product & feed areas of the site to help improve speed especially at peak times as well as introducing new monitoring for this.
  • Internal work for static analysis tools 
    Lately we've been adding more static analysis checks to our development process to help detect  and thereby fix potential bugs so they never reach your sites.
    We remain committed as always to investing time & resource into our development and security tools to protect your sites as part of our ongoing maintenance and security update services.

 



IMPORTANT New Payment Authentication Measures For Sage Pay, Paypal & Other Providers

Payment Services Directive (PSD) 2, Strong Customer Authentication and 3D Secure v2 
Effective: 14th September 2019

What Is PSD2?

PSD2 is an EU Directive which uses additional security authentications for ecommerce transactions to help reduce the increasing costs of payment fraud. This will typically mean that during the shopping process the buyer enters a pin code, as per 3D secure already in effect, via a trusted device or with fingerprint reading. You can read more in this Sage Pay article.

Who Does It Affect?

This regulation applies to any electronic payment that takes place within the European Economic Area (EEA). For ecommerce card-based transactions (including digital wallets backed by cards), it applies to transactions where both the card issuer (i.e. financial institution with whom cardholder has relationship) and the acquirer (i.e. financial institution with whom merchant has relationship) both reside within the EEA.  If you trade within the EEA then you are affected.

Which Payment Processors Are Affected?

All processors which handle EEA payments, including Sage Pay, Paypal, ePDQ etc.

Is REC+ Ready For This Change?

Yes.

All payment processing is handled by the payment processors, rather than on your REC+ site, and they will need to comply and update their systems accordingly. You do not need to make any changes on your REC+ website.

Is There Anything I Should Be Doing Before 14th September?

Check via your payment processors to ensure your payment settings have 3D Secure enabled prior to September (if not already enabled). European issuers are likely to start declining electronic payment transactions that have no authentication in place. Read more about this for Sage Pay or refer to your own payment processor for more information. 

NB There are no changes needed in REC+

Who Can I Talk To For More Advice Or Setting Up 3D Secure?

Contact your payment processors directly for support and advice. 


New In REC+: Module search & sub module relationships, coupon manager, payment method limits & much more inside

We've had a great mix of new features and improvements to the system to roll out this month, let's dive right in:

Ecommerce

  • Selectively display Payment Processors to specified user groups
    This lets you select which payment processors will show for selected user groups. For example, users in your 'Dealers' user group will only be given an invoice payment option when the 'Invoice' payment processor is set to work with the 'Dealer' user group.  To set this up go to:
    Edit Payment Processor > "Only show this payment method if customer is in the following group(s)" and select the required group(s).
    Having no checkboxes ticked means it will show for everyone & this will apply if the user is in any of the 3 available user group categories.
  • Autoparts Product Sales Report
    There is a new sales report for autoparts sites which allows selection of vehicle by Make Model Year so you can hone in on specific vehicles. Go to:
    Reports > Autoparts Product Sales
  • Coupon Manager Loading Time Improvement
    Coupon Manager loading time has been improved by splitting out unexpired coupons, expired coupons and Gift Vouchers into their own tabs and dynamically loading in the 'times used' count to show the last 6 months for successful orders where the coupon has been used. It is possible to select a different time range if required. 
    Coupon Manager > Coupons, Gift Vouchers & Expired Tabs
    Coupon Manager > Used Count Range
  • Price lists main body app now show group based prices
    Group prices are displayed for logged in users and there is also a new switch for price lists main body app to show inc/ex vat prices
    Site Settings > Prices & VAT > Display both inc VAT and ex VAT on the Price List app
  • Product Filter > default page content
    This new setting allows you to change the default page when no filters are selected on product filter, rather than showing all products as it does by default.
    Product Filters App Manager > Show default page
    Which you can edit in Page Manager > System > product_filter_default

Forms

  • Form builder rating/score fields
    Allowing you to capture business KPI scores such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES) & Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
    Form Builder > Field Type > Rating - Uses min and max to set the from and to (default to 1-5 if fields are blank). Splits Explainer text on comma's to display labels underneath (e.g. Very Difficult -> Very Easy).
  • Form builder display labels
    These let you set different labels for fields for admins vs the ones users see.
    Useful for the new scores system so you can ask users a question as the field label, but have it in admin show as your score name.
    Form Builder > Display Label - "Hidden" in a details element, changes the label on the front end if filled in.
  • Form builder logic conditions for ‘more than’ or ‘less than’ values
    Useful for building processes based on scores, for example send an email to an admin if a score is very low, or other numerical comparisons.
    Form Builder > Logic Filter > Condition - "Less than or equal to" and "More than or equal to".

Designer

  • Module Relationships
    It is now possible to build relationships between modules, so that you can associate / select data between modules. E.g. a books module that has submodules of authors. When adding data to the book module items you can select an author in a drop down menu which comes from the authors module. In addition, when displaying the book on the page, it pulls in the author name and picture from the author module. This helps ensure data consistency for common fields during data entry and to build more complex web page applications. 
    Add/Edit Module > Field Type > Module:XXXX
    Template Function: module_parents() allows you to reverse lookup relations from the related items, e.g. books can have authors as a submodule, but this would let you access the books from an author page the other way around. 
  • Module search
    You can now setup searches for modules based on specific fields you can define.
    Add/Edit Module > Fields > Searchable
    Note: Module Item names are inherently searchable
    Simple demo: https://gist.github.com/stilliard/284a446e810622173d4cc9e5d256a7a4
    More complex demo: https://gist.github.com/stilliard/57cf2d5b2a3470c347cc3953e0ae0140
  • Checkout & thanks text templates
    Edit the thanks page template in Templates > html/checkout/order_thanks.html.twig
    Edit the checkout top text area template in Templates > html/checkout/order_confirm.html.twig
  • Documentation updated for Twig functions/filters supported
    We've now fully documented all the template functions and filters we've added to Twig: https://reallyeasycart.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/210155

Development

  • Linkedin v2 API
    We've upgraded our LinkedIn connection as per their new integration rules.
    If you're using the Linkedin integration, please reconnect today and make a test post.
  • StopFormSpam integration now uses a confidence threshold
    This score enables us to be smarter about blocking form replies based on how likely someone is a spammer.
  • Improved RASP security & XSS detection
    As well as following secure development practices and having external scanning tools audit our security, we also have internal checks like this to detect attacks at runtime. 
  • PHP 7.3
    Continuing our always ongoing upgrades, we're preping to upgrade to PHP7.3, ready to migrate to stay within supported software versions when 7.2 goes out of support in December 2020 though we aim to upgrade long before this. 

 



New in REC+: Module exports, instant product filter reloads & plenty more

In this release we've added a bunch of new ecommerce features as well as flexibility in transferring content and module data structures between sites. This leads into something big coming soon but more on that in a future post.

Ecommerce Improvements

  • Product filter instant results & checkbox display
    Using product filter to select and display products, can now operate faster with a better checkbox display.
    Enable live reloads when changing product filters via Ajax with Admin > Product filters app manager > Instant load results
    & display your product filters as a simpler checkbox style with Admin > Product filters app manager > add/edit block > Display type > Checkbox list
  • Group price sharing
    Prices normally have to be set up fully within each user group that is set up. So if you have two groups with identical prices you would need to enter them in each group. However, you can now simply share a group price with another group and it will reference the prices without having to enter them.
    Available in Add/Edit Groups > Share Prices from [select group]
  • Stock audits
    We now log audits for all stock updates in the system, e.g. when users buy products / options to when you make stock changes from any part of the system.
    This is automatically enabled on all our ecommerce sites to help you see what affected the flow of stock on your site.
  • Price manager changes
    We've introduced the facility to select multiple categories for updates, with a better display too.
  • Dashboard orders - now displays up to 25
    Now it shows up to 25 new and pinned orders on the dashboard instead of the previous 6.
  • Buying rule > hide message
    Buying rules add powerful conditional constraints to the checkout. By default they show a message when the condition is met, however you can now have them work silently without displaying a message, which can be useful in certain situations.
    Available in Add/edit Buying Rules > Hide the message?

Designers

  • Module export & import to transfer between sites
    This is a major new facility to help designers transfer module data from a development site to a live site.
    Manage Modules > Import Module
    Edit Module > Export Module
  • Export and import Content Blocks
    This is a major new facility to help designers transfer content blocks from a development site to a live site.
    Admin > Developer Export & Developer Import > Content Blocks area (along with userfiles, modules & forms sections)
  • Simpler form builder form exports
    Edit Form > We now show an example of pulling this into templates as well as a simpler way to export forms
  • Rivendell templates, we've now fully removed the dependancy on the admin colours system
    All new templates now use the vars.scss file which deprecates the older Admin > Edit Colours to create new designs.
    Older sites not on the Rivendell template will still be able to access this area and make changes.
  • Email tasks - sending a supplementary 'new order' email for products with downloads 
    A new option has been introduced which when ticked means a 'new order' email won't be sent unless at least one product has a download file.
    Email Tasks > Add/Edit > Only send when there are product downloads to send
    This will normally be set up in addition to a normal 'new order' email thanking the user for their order. For example, this could be after a number of hours or days to allow for delivery since the download contains installation instructions.
  • Admin error messages
    Errors to admin users will now reveal a little more detail than they do to users, e.g. if an error is to do with a 3rd party connection we'll now report what that error was back to you if previously not caught and displayed.

No CRM? We've Got You Covered!

Every growing business should record and track all their business opportunities to keep on top of progress and avoid things slipping through cracks. However, research shows that 60% of businesse… Continue Reading »


New in REC+: Shipping labels, Pinned orders & more order manager improvements

In this issue we've added a bunch of useful tools to help you manage orders, users and for designers we've added improvements to the templates flows, let's dive in.

Order Management Improvements

  • Shipping labels 
    You can now print simple shipping labels direct from the order manager screen. 
    This is available in order manager as well as on the new order items view.
    Want to rename shipping labels? Edit it in definitions > SHIPPING_LABEL
    The default is fairly simple but you can also change the display in the html/invoice/shipping_label.html.twig template.
    Need something more complex? Reach out to us via the support system
  • Purchase order templates
    Customise the display of your purchase orders to suit your needs.
    Though editable before they are now available as full templates in html/invoice/purchase_order.html.twig
  • Order manager products search improvement
    Previously searching for product purchases would return a different table view of orders only showing that search product. 
    Now it returns all orders with full details like the rest of  order manager for full visibility.
    Looking for more specific product details per order? Try the orders tab when editing a product.  
  • Order manager user group filter
    You can now filter order manager to show only a specific group of users orders, useful for tracking specific companies via groups or comparing trade to retail orders.  
    Available in the filters on Admin > Order Manager.
  • Customizable order status tabs in Order Manager
    The tabs at the top of Order Manager are fixed to help you find orders fast. 
    You can now add your custom statuses to these tabs in Order Statuses > Add/Edit > tick to "Show on Order Manager".
  • Buying rule quantity ranges
    You can now setup quantity based rules for when a buying rule kicks in
    New changes that come with this:
    Add/Edit product > when buying rules are setup you can now multi select them
    Add/Edit product > "Quantity in pack" under buying rules (on edit product that's on the prices tab)
    Buying Rules > Add/Edit > Quantity limits > Min/Max can now be set so the rule only triggers if the cart qty of matching products to this rule is above the max or below the min.
    Page content used in Buying Rules, now supports a products tag which can be used to list all matching items.
  • Pinned orders
    Sometimes you need to keep an eye on a few orders, pinning them brings them to the top of the list and shows them on the dashboard.
    Available via a new pin icon column on order manager. 
  • Order manager result limits
    Available in Admin > Order Manager > "Limit by" shown bottom right under the table.
    Allows: 25, 50 (default), 100, 250 & a max of 500 orders at a time, useful for batch updating & saves to a cookie to keep the setting going.

General Improvement Features

  • Collect Google Reviews from your site
    Want to collect reviews for you Google business page direct from your site or display them back on your site? Contact us to find out more
  • Add/edit user addresses
    You can manage user addresses easier when adding users, as well as access to all addresses entered via a new addresses tab on users.
    Available in Admin > Add User > Add Addresses & Edit User > New Addresses Tab
  • Switch to only send SMS alerts to UK customers
    This is currently enabled by default if you send SMS alerts to users after they place orders. 
    Untick this to support sending international, however your charges may vary based on your international setting with your SMS provider.
    Available in Admin > Settings > Leads & Alerts > Send SMS alerts only to users in the UK

Security / spam protection

  • Require Google Recaptcha on Register & Guest Checkout Registrations
    If you're getting an increase in spam accounts, requiring users to tick that they are not robots is a great protection against this. 
    Available in Site Settings > General > Registration > "Require Google Recaptcha During Registration" (requires Google Recaptcha setup in the Connect area)
  • Logout's now trigger a cache refresh using the new " clear-site-data" HTTP response header. 
    Sometimes you might try a logout to refresh a session but now we'll also reload your browsers cache for your site when you logout to help make sure everything is refreshed. 

Front end developers

  • Templates search
    When in a template folder you can now search the files to quickly find any text and then proceed to edit it, speeding up this workflow in admin for quick edits.
  • Fork, Edit, Preview & Flatten workflow
    A new simpler workflow for making changes to existing sites. 
    Forking a template lets you make changes on a preview and then "flatten" down into the live template when you're ready to go live with them.
    Read more on this optional new flow here.
  • Nicer SCSS & Twig error messages
    You'll now see more informative errors while editing templates to help point you towards any errors. 
  • Autoloading css & js for  modules now works in child templates
    Modules automatically load in their css & js, this now following through into the child templates for you. 

Thanks for reading! Do you have a new feature idea? Suggest it here and others can vote on it. 

 



New in REC+: Password strength meter, Rivendell & scss support, email manager tag improvements and more

In this issue we've been re-focusing on tools to help build new sites and helpful usability improvements for maintaining existing ones, let's dive in.

Improvements

  • Stricter password requirements & password strength meter optionally available. 
    By default we still only require passwords to be 8 characters, but you can now show a password strength meter & optionally enforce only strong passwords.
    Available in Admin > Site Settings > Security > Password
  • Addresses will now be title cased when saved.
    This happens automatically for all billing & delivery addresses when created or saved.
  • Added the ability for select inputs to have placeholders
    Available in Admin > Form Builder > Edit Form > When add/editing a select field you can now set placeholder text.
  • A few fixes arising from recent Google Search Console alerts
    Such as compare lists no longer being indexed (as they do not need to be) and product review microdata will now only come through when a product has reviews to avoid sending zeros for ratings. 
  • Google Analytics > Custom Dimensions
    Available in Admin > Connect > SEO > Google Analytics & Adwords > Custom map {} for custom dimensions and metrics e.g. {"dimension1": "ecomm_prodid"}. Example uses of this could be tracking readership by author, impact of out-of-stock products on conversion, different behaviours of loyal customers using a logged-in parameter (read more here), tracking different types of users/roles which is identified when forms are filled in.
  • Email manager multiple tags
    Available in Admin > Email Manager > When sending emails you can now select multiple user  tags per group to send to at once. (Hold shift to select multiple)
  • Featured and special product sorting
    New tabs for featured & special offer products available in Admin > Product Manager, in here you can now sort products within the featured or special offer tabs. These override the default sort orders, generally bringing these sorted products to the top of product lists. 
  • Delivery method listed in orders CSV
    Delivery & payment method names now show through in the orders CSV report, allowing you to filter columns & compare metrics of how well each method performs in excel or libre/open office.
  • Product manager sold date ranges
    New date range selection available on the Product Manager screen which shows the total quantity of products sold. 
  • International SMS sending now supported
    Both our Twilio & Textmarketer setups now allow you to send SMS updates to users anywhere in the world by automatically working out their country code.

Developer

  • Rivendell default template
    A new default responsive template, find out more in our dedicated post here
    https://github.com/ReallyEasyCart/rivendell
  • Rivendell Builder
    A series of example header, slider & footer layouts available for new site designs complete with quick instructions to add them in.
    https://design.reallyeasycart.co.uk/rivendell-components/
  • REC Design Hub refresh
    https://design.reallyeasycart.co.uk/
  • Bring forms into templates more easily with the new rec_form() twig method
    {{ rec_form('Form Name') }}
    You can even pass default options for the inputs based on the input name, e.g.
    {{ rec_form('Contact Form', { input_field_1: 'Bob Smith', input_field_33: 'Worcester' }) }}
  • SCSS/Sass to power your CSS templates
    In Rivendell templates you can now use SCSS automatically, as well as in other templates by including a file with the new scss() function, e.g. {{ scss("css/scss/site.scss") }}
  • Responsive base based blog posts now use font icons for social sharing to Facebook and Twitter instead of previous icon images.
    This should fit nicer into existing designs and can easily be changed in the blog_info.html.twig template.
  • Removing {{ page.content }} from a template now fully removes the page content ckeditor input.
    Allowing you to design layouts entirely based on content blocks. But you can still use page.content where needed and it will correctly position its input in order if it's between other content blocks. 
  • We have also switched from FontAwesome (v4.4 previously) to ForkAwesome (v1.1) https://forkaweso.me/Fork-Awesome/icons/
    It has full compatibility with our previous FontAwesome version, plus many new icons. FontAwesome v5 has changed how their icons come in, meaning we couldn't auto-upgrade to v5, but ForkAwesome is an open source project that aims to continue the great work of the old FontAwesome project. 
    Nothing should change for you, it'll work just as it did before but with a few new icons available.
    Also, if you like v5 of FontAwesome, though not officially supported, you can bring this in on a specific site though you'll need to hook up icons to use yourself. 



Brexit, Making Tax Digital & 3D Secure 2.0

There are a number of important changes affecting businesses in 2019, including Brexit, accounting changes and payment authorisation. The following information and links will help you to be understand these changes and to know what to do to handle them within the system.

Brexit - 29th March 2019 - read our full article Brexit Affect On Your REC+ Site & What To Do 

Making Tax Digital - From 1st April 2019 - read our full article Making Tax Digital (MTD) - What You Need To Know & Do

3D Secure 2.0 - From 1st September 2019 - A new stronger version of 3D secure will come into place on 1st September prompting buyers to enter extra authentication during required transactions such as a code sent in a text message or a fingerprint scan on a mobile device. This does not affect the working of the REC+ system as it is solely part of the payment processing system. However, it could lead to abandonment of orders whenever buyers forget their codes etc and so we recommend keeping a check in Order Manager on all daily orders coming in that are stuck in Payment Processing stages with registered users. 


New in REC+: User registration / activation flow & new developer capabilities

In this release we look into improvements on how you administer new user activations, as well as a focus on the new developer functionality available to help with more custom sites through modules & content blocks. Let's dive in:

Improvements

  • Turn form enquiries into registered users
    If you use forms to receive applications to register on your site but do not wish to add them as users immediately (e.g. to screen them), you can now set up the form to include an Activate Account button in the form replies emailed to the admin. By clicking this, the person who completed the form will be added as a user and their name, email address and telephone mumber will be copied into their user record. Read more here
    Add/edit form > tick 'Is this a user approval/activation form?'     
  • Add user with tags
    Quickly tag a user when adding them manually to speed up data entry, or when clicking on Activate Account as described above.
  • Password system changes
    Password minimum length is now set to 8 characters and we've modernised the input field types to make sure we better utilise keyboard layouts available for email & telephone number entry. The new password length requirement is to further encourage security best practice on sites. We'll soon be introducing a new password strength meter you can enable on your site, stay tuned for the release of this soon.  

  • Unsubscribe & subscribe email alerts
    You can now recieve email alerts when any users subscribe or unsubscribe on your site, including being able to narrow this down to specific groups of users.
    Admin > Email Notifications > User Subscribed & Unsubscribed notifications (both default to disabled)

  • Export prices by tag group
    Quickly export prices for products with a specific tag group to perform price updates. 
    Admin > Exports > Product Prices > Tag Group

  • Sage50 improvements via our SagePay support
    We now send items to SagePay in a format that means item lines can be added rather than just a summary. This is useful for Making Tax Digital.

  • Rate Limit IP Whitelisting
    Rate limiting is designed to stop bots/spammers from excessively performing actions on your site like searches. However, for larger companies with many administrators it is possible you could trigger rate limits and be forced to wait for a timeout period. To prevent this for admins, you can now whitelist your IP address to stop rate limiting applying to your own admins.
    Site Settings > Security > Rate Limiting  

Developer

  • Background image content blocks

    Allowing improved design flexibility with content blocks. E.g. using inline style

    ```
    < div class="layout-container">
        < div class="layout-container-inner" style="background-image: {{ rec_block('my background image', type="background-image") }}">
            < h1>Hello World< /h1>
        < /div>
    < /div>
    ```
    or, use a `< style>` block: (as we use url() we're also compatible with pseudo elements)

    ```
    < style>
    .myElement:before {
      content: {{ rec_block('my awesome el', type="background-image") }};
    }
    < /style>
    ```

  • Module Actions
    These allow you to expand the capabilities of modules, e.g. if you want dedicated pages inside modules such as a booking form for a module of events. 

    Add an `actions/` folder inside your modules `html/` folder and then any `{action}.html.twig` files can be accessed via the url of `/{module}/{action}`

    Actions also gain access to `{{ request }}` which contains .get, .post etc.
    e.g. `{{ request.get.event }}` will return "farmers convention" given this url: `/events/book?event=farmers+convention`

  • New template functions: `pluck` & `key_by` for working with arrays.

    * Pluck lets you grab specific parts of sub arrays into a new array.
      e.g. `{{ objects | pluck('name') | json }}` will print an array of just all the objects names.
    * Key by lets you set the keys of sub arrays so you can access them easier, it also lets you filter an array down to a specific sub value like pluck at the same time
      e.g. `{{ objects | key_by('name', 'dates') | json }}` will print an object where the keys are each name and the value will be the dates property

  • Postcode lookup API resource
    Available at /api/v1/postcode-lookup?postcode=XXXXX
    Example use: performing a postcode lookup within a form requiring addresses (and might also take Stripe or Paypal payments).

  • Template access to the users groups to allow changing content shown based on the user group allowed access.
    Available in twig with `{{ user.groups }}`

  • Purchase orders - added new template tags for user billing & delivery details:
    The following new tags are available for this on the purchase order page manager system page:
    {{ user.name }}, {{ user.email }}, {{ user.business_name }}, {{ user.tel_no }}, {{ user.billing_address }}, {{ user.shipping_address }}

Prospect Manager

  • New setting to prevent too many alerts for 'email opens' in a specified timeframe.
    This is useful when you are tracking when someone opens a quotation several times within a short period.
    Admin > Settings > Leads & Alerts > "Don't notify me if a user opens an email multiple times in" [set time in minutes]
  • Set the status used when a customer clicks the accept quote button available  in quote emails & show thanks / next steps content
    For example, 'Quote Accepted' status. You can also set the page that is displayed to the prospect once they have clicked to accept the quote.
    Admin > Settings > Leads & Alerts > "Select status to use for prospects accepted by email"  &  "Page to redirect a client to once they have accepted a quote"
  • New template tag for "email_quote" system page to add the button into the quote email
    Add {{ quote_accept_link }} into the email_quote system page. Add a hyperlink into whatever text you wish to enter to get them to click, e.g. Click here to accept quote. See how to enter this in the editor's link field.

     

Behind the scenes

  • Spammy user-agents now also have their emails sent to spam by default.
    These mostly include known web crawlers & security testing tools and should not include any real user however all spam messages as always are stored in Admin > Form Builder > Form replies > Spam, with a reason shown as to why we marked it as spam. 
  • AggregateRating microdata on product pages
    We've supported microdata on pages for a while now but we have amended this further to hopefully help your customer reviews on products to show up better in Google. The aim here is to show review stars against your product results in Google, however often this can still require use of a 3rd party such as Reviews.co.uk.

 



New in REC+: Stripe form payments & improved spam bot blocking

In this week's issue of New in REC+, we highlight the extra anti-spam layers we have introduced for combating spam bots leaving comments on forms, which has been spreading to registration, login & search forms. We have also made other improvements including adding Stripe for form payments and improving the login and re-ordering processes.

Anti-spam actions

To recap, we previously introducing Akismet's filtering system on all sites and extended our own internal blocking techniques to stop spam comments being left. We have now gone a step further by introducing the StopForumSpam.com service to identify and block known bad actors from submitting spam.

  • StopForumSpam integration
    Forms & user registrations now use the StopForumSpam.com service to help protect against known bad email & IP addresses of spammers by blocking their submissions. NB This is currently in trial and currently set to disabled by default. Once the trial has completed it will be enabled by default on all sites
    This is accessed in Admin > Connect > Utilities > StopForumSpam > Enable StopForumSpam on registrations
  • Rate limiting improvements
    The login, register, forgot password & search programs have been redesigned so our our rate limit system more extensively block bots after a number of attempts within certain timeframes. 
  • Preventing spam from being part of your mailing lists
    Our subscriber system will now block known email TLD's (top level domains) with a high probability of being fake from polluting your subscriber lists, for example submissions from .ru domains.

Payments

  • Stripe payments on forms
    You can now take Stripe payments via forms built in Form Builder. This adds to the existing PayPal Express method that is already available.
    Set this up in: Admin > Connect > Payment Processors > Stripe
    (add public & secret key from Stripe here, found in your stripe account > developer > api keys) 
    In Form Builder > Edit Form > Form payment method & Form payment mode. 
    For GDPR - Enable the Stripe Cookies & *.stripe.com domain in Cookie Manager

Process Improvements

  • Customer reorder confirmation
    When a user is repeat ordering via their user account, they will now be warned if they try to exit before completing the re-ordering process, which stops them losing their cart unintentionally.
  • Login refactoring
    We've spent a good amount of time recently reworking the login process behind the scenes to be simpler, more consistent & give better warnings back to users if there is an issue with their login attempt. It also now handles further edge cases where users switch cart sessions between mobile & desktop during the ordering process.

New in REC+: Akismet Anti-spam rollout, region based tax rules & more

Our latest issue of New in REC+ brings several new spam blocking improvements & new region-based tax settings to handle US Economic Nexus rules. Lets dive right in.

Highlights

  • Akismet, the powerhouse spam blocker, has now been rolled out greatly improving our blocking of spam form responses to your site. Whilst this is a paid service, we have included it for free in your regular subscription.
    No settings required, this is now live on all sites.
  • Region-based VAT rules, helping support US Economic Nexus laws
    You can now set individual tax rates on regions, rather than using the main tax rate in site settsings, which then applies to users in that region. This helps towards meeting the new tax laws introduced in the US. For full compliance in this complex area, contact us about using TaxJar integration.
    New VAT region rules can be enabled in: Site Settings > Prices & VAT > VAT Rates "Use region based VAT rates?"
    Go to Delivery Manager > View Delivery Region > find the region to change > Edit 
    Tick " Is this region within your VAT-able zone?"
    Set the tax rate for the region in "Override VAT Rates?" > VAT Rate field
    NB This currently calculates whether to use Billing or Delivery address based on the setting in "Calculate VAT based on Delivery Address rather than Billing Address". If you wish to apply a mix of Nexus rules using delivery AND billing addresses, please contact us.
  • Require region select now allows multiple countries
    Sometimes users forget to select their region/county/state in their billing or delivery countries which can lead to incorrect delivery rates. With this new improvement you can now require users, in any of the selected countries, to select their region. 
    Available in: Settings > General > "Force Users to Select a County for a Specific Countries" now supports selecting multiple countries.

Improvements

  • Product code search now available in the Users Making Purchases report
    Looking to see users buying or thinking about buying high value items, you can now search for multiple product codes (comma separated) when generating the users making purchases report.
    Use Case: You could use this to see which users were interested in certain products (e.g. high value products, new additions to a range, products on offer) but didn't complete the purchase (select an Order State of 'abandoned') and then you can follow this up with them.
    Available in: Admin > Reports > Users Making Purchases > Product Code(s)
  • You can now switch displays of the user ID in admin to show their membership code instead.
    Set this in SIte Settings > General > Show Membership Code instead of User ID 
  • Health checks expanded
    We've expanded our internal health checks to make sure all sites have important core settings in place such as correct email & language settings.

Developer

  • Ckeditor no longer removes blank "span" and "i" elements (e.g. allows use of FontAwesome icons)
    This allows you to enter more custom html such as FontAwesome icons, without ckeditor removing/cleaning these away.
  • Content Blocks now support template content by passing a template=true flag
    Continuing to improve our new content blocks feature, as a designer you can now reference template tags for variables etc direct from inside your content blocks. Adding to the flexibility that content blocks offer.

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