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New in REC+: Email to users based on purchase history, reviews.co.uk integration, full emoji support 🤠& more.

CMS

  • Full UTF-8 emoji support 🚩
    We previously supported many of the simpler emojis in the system but we have now launched full support for any utf-8 emoji.
    Useful especially on emails and blog posts to help grab users attention, such as for seasonal posts: 🌇 🎃 🎄 🎁
    Many emoji's available, both Windows & Mac's have emoji keyboards built in, but you can also lookup emojis from sites such as: https://www.utf8icons.com/
  • Ckeditor template improvements
    Inside our text editor, click the 2nd icon from the left to find pre-set responsive templates for building content in your page such as 2, 3 or 4 column layouts.

    These have been refreshed and given screenshots so you can easily pick the one that will help you add content in the design you are looking for.
    Remember, be careful if you tick to 'Replace actual contents', it will completely overwrite whatever text is already in the content block.
  • Forms > Multiple checkbox fields
    You can now ask users multiple choice questions on the forms displayed as multiple checkboxes on a single line.
    Available when adding a form field as the "multi-checkbox" field type.
  • Image optimisation: WebP support for sliders, products & more
    Our thumbnail script can now convert images to WebP to help optimise them further.
    We've also introduced a new helper to embed picture elements into pages to upgrade images to WebP where supported in the browser:
    {{ picture('/userfiles/path/to/image.png', { thumbnail: '250x250' }) }}
    {{ picture(product.image, { alt: product.name, thumbnail: '250x250', class: 'pcl-product-each-image' }) }}
    This is used on sliders by default too, on mobile we've optimised this to compress the files by up to 4X smaller.
  • Longer title input on add/edit blog posts
    Making it easier to read long titles for your blog posts
  • Admin design refresh tweaks
    A few minor tweaks around the admin area such as a simpler sidebar design to help keep focus on the main area. 

Ecommerce

  • Personalisation > New ecommerce targeting available in Email Manager
    As part of a set of new personalisation features that we are rolling out over the coming months, Email Manager has been significantly extended to allow emails to be sent to your ecommerce visitors / buyers based on the same range of criteria that is now also available in the Users Making Purchases Report. This allows you to send a much wider range of highly targeted emails to maximise relevancy and increase uptake. Users can be filtered based on order date & status, groups or tags, categories & brands they have bought right down to the tags on products.
    Contact us to talk about personalisation pricing.

    Personalised ecommerce emails
  • Reviews.co.uk / Reviews.io integration
    You can now merge product reviews collected by your site with reviews from the reviews.co.uk service so they both display together on product pages.
    Admin > Connect > Reviews.io API Key & Site ID
  • Reviews.co.uk: exclude groups of users getting review notification reminders
    When selling to freqent buyers such as dealers or distributors you may want to stop them getting review notifications for every order. 
    This setting let's you blacklist groups from receiving these notifications: 
    Site Admin > Settings > Ecommerce > Do Not BCC Order Confirmation Emails for the following Groups (i.e.the selected groups will not be sent a product review email from the Reviews.co.uk service; 'ungrouped' retail buyers will always receive the product review email).
    Reminder: the emails will be sent after the number of hours specified in the Site setting > Ecommerce > Abandoned Carts > Abandoned After How Many Hours?
  • Email Tasks are now templatable
    Introducing templates into Email Tasks means you can now have better designed content to send to your customers with more control over what content is displayed in emails such as abandonded carts, for example showing the products that were in the abandoned cart.
  • Despatched email task event
    Allows you to delay sending review reminder emails or similar until after the order is despatched to account for delivery time so that the review email arrives after the package has actually turned up.
    Admin > Add/Edit Email Tasks > New despatched.order event that can be hooked into, e.g. only send a review request emails a few days after order is despatched.
  • Coupon assignment area cleanup
    New tabs have been introduced to separate Coupons vs Gift Vouchers vs Expired in the Assign Coupons area in Admin.

  • Coupons category exclusions
    You can now prevent specific coupons from applying to categories such as clearance or ones with discounts already applied. You can multi-select a number of categories. All sub-categories will be included automatically.
    Admin > Add/edit coupons > "Exclude applying this coupon to the following categories"
    Also in Assign coupons > an edit coupon button has been added directly in here along with an indicator if category exclusions have been added back on the coupon, as shown above.

  • On invoices, you can now group the products and options together as a single combined line
    Allows you to simplify the invoice lines for customers, especially useful if you have a large number of items placed on orders as it will cut down the amount of printing.
    Admin > Site Settings > Prices & VAT > Display Products and their Options as single lines on Invoices
    + New template tag in html/invoice/table_row.html.twig > line.item_name_inc_option_values (like line.item_name but with option values only instead of groups in front)
  • Order info screen, delete lines now moved into edit line screen.
  • Google Analytics: Custom dimensions & metrics now sync with orders When a customer makes a purchase, if you're tracking custom dimensions against them such as user group, you can now track them to the point of making an order or other system level events like form submissions and downloads.
  • NOTICE: Legacy Order Manager info view - removal 15th January 2020
    We have now deprecated the legacy order view and as of 15th January 2020 we will be removing this old area.
    The new order view has been in place and working well for the last year,  make the switch today to get the latest order management features.

 


New In REC+: Website Recommendations, App Store, Payzone integration, better form debugging and much more

REC+ Infrastructure

  • Website recommendations UPDATE
    You can now dismiss recommendations that do not apply immediately to help you focus on ones that you need to action.
  • REC+ app store
    We have added a significant new feature set for ecommerce sites - read more
    Start exploring the entire app store.

Forms & CMS

  • Forms dry run mode
    Dry run mode allows full debugging info to be shown as well as suppresses emails during this process.Useful for developers.
    Give it a try in Admin > Form builder > Enable dry run mode.
  • New form layout for floating placeholder display.
    This optional new display moves form labels into the fields and then as the user enters into the field the label reduces in size and moves to float above the field nicely
  • Another new form layout for a dual column design
    Split your form into 2 sections and enable multi column support to have the sections sit side by side.
  • Show in header notifications?
    This allows you to include or exclude whether form replies are included in Admin Notifications in the top navigation bar.
  • Referrer page added to form replies
    Form replies include the page from which a user filled out a form, this is very useful where you have the same form shown on multiple pages.
  • Draft blog posts shown at the top
    Admin blog manager now shows drafts above live posts to serve as a useful reminder that they need to be completed.
  • Added "map" and "youtube" content block types
    Allowing you to easily add maps based on an entered address, or youtube video embed simply by pasting the url of the video.
    Available both through the template layout files and through Admin > Content Blocks > Add/Edit > Types > map & youtube
  • User manager now shows counts of total, active and subscribed account as well as new sorting options
    This improves overall visibility of the volumes of users you have on your site. Read more on how these are calculated.
  • Template system can now filter to show just the files you're working on in a template by hiding shadow files.
    Shadow files are the ones shown from parent templates, these illustrate the layers the template system uses to build the site, but when working on a set of new changes this new feature can be handy to reveal which files you have worked on, hiding away the shadow files from the parent templates. 
    Admin > Templates > Active template > Toggle shadows.
    Also now on hover of template file names it will show the full path including the parent folder.

Ecommerce

  • In-cart deals
    Utilising coupons you can now display deals to users in the cart, this tempts users to buy more by progressively offering discounts as the order value and/or quantities increase.
    Read more here.
  • Show associated products in cart
    Following from the in-cart deals feature, you can also show through associated products directly in the cart (based on the products already in the cart using the associated products program), helping you cross sell products that users can easily buy to qualify for the deal(s). 
    Read more here.
  • "On hold" state for orders
    This allows you to categorise specific order statuses on your site into an 'on hold' state that fits between 'in progress' and 'dispute' e.g. for backorders or situations where there is a longer delay than normal.
    Available in Order Manager > new "On Hold" tab, & available in Order Statuses > Add/edit statuses as a state. (Remember to enable 'success' with this otherwise it will not show in order totals)
  • Payzone Payment Processor
  • We've added Payzone as an alternative to Paypal, Sagepay and the other processors already available. Find out more about them on the Payzone site. For instructions to setup and use Payzone read this article.
  • UPS errors now pull through onto checkout
    If you use UPS for delivery rate lookups on your site then users will now see more informative reasons if UPS cannot deliver to them.
    These reasons are also logged against each order in the Order History for admins to view too.
  • Coupons can now optionally allow both a mininimum spend & minimum quantity before applying.
    This now let's you run deals that only apply when a user adds more than a single item to cart.
  • Reviews & testimonials now have simplified statuses
    Both now use the names: "New/pending", "Published" & "Suspended" to help you manage your product reviews & testimonials. 
  • Avg. Order Qty/Value now available in Marketing Metric's Order Traffic Analyser.
    Head on over to Order Traffic Analyser in Marketing Metrics (Marketing Console) and in the 'Show' dropdown select Avg. Order Qty or Avg. Order Value. This is helpful for working out the effectiveness of different types of campaigns driving customers to your site. 
  • Thanks page 'ordered items' template keys
    'Ordered items' are now leaked into the thanks page template via {{ dump(order.items) }} allowing you to auto embed these into thanks confirmation page forms so that admins can see what was being purchased when they look at the feedback forms. Also allows you to add more custom tracking.
  • Price list downloads
    You can now offer a CSV download for price lists on your site as well as showing retail vs group base pricing.
    These 2 new settings are available in: Site Settings > Prices & VAT > Displaying Prices > Offer Price List app as a downloadable CSV  &  Show "Retail Price" column on the Price List app

Behind the scenes

  • Facebook v4 upgrade
    Keeping up to date with Facebooks latest API updates we've upgraded to their latest version 4.
    NB You may need to re-connect to Facebook to continue posting automatically from your site.
  • Auto expire old user passwords (3 months for admins and 15 months for users)
    As an automated additional security & privacy layer, you can now enable auto expiring old user passwords. Their accounts will not be lost but when they try to log in they will need to confirm a link emailed to them at which point they will auto need to set a new password. Read more.
  • Lazy loading images in new browsers enabled in default template for products and categories
    With this the browser will only request those images when the user scrolls down near to them, this has resulted in large initial request counts and download size reducing by over half on several large sites.
    The new browser standard for loading="lazy" is now implemented around these images by default, your template may need updating to add these in.
  • Autoparts export/import now contains the marketing site link
    This is a custom field that can be used on your sites for custom functionality such as different enquiry links per product etc. Allowing it in this export file allows for faster entry when in use, if you don't use it you can safely ignore the new column.
  • Form builder now triggers subscribe events for email tasks and admin email notification system
    This lets you setup email tasks for new subscribers and utilise form builder to sign up the user. 
  • Blog posts can now be shown in full on blog category pages rather than just being a summarised list of posts
    T
    his is useful where you wish to create an easier-to-read 'stream' of your articles in full e.g. for readers to be able to search faster for information rather than clicking in and out of each post. See how we use it on our Update page to show all our software changes.
    New template tag available in the /html/blog/item.html.twig templates for {{ blog.text_full }} that's similar to {{ blog.text }} but without the set character limit.
  • Google Analytics user group tracking via custom dimensions
    Set up views inside Google Analytics so you can include/exclude different user groups from reporting, for example only seeing retail visitors or only seeing trade customers. Read how to set this up

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.

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.

New in REC+: User tags renaming, prospect manager improvements, multiple delivery services integrations & a Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the REC+ team! This latest issue of New in REC+ has a range of new features that rolled out over the holiday period. 

Highlights

  • User tags can now be renamed & nested tags are now supported via the " > " separator. 
    Useful if you have a large number of tags in a tag group & want to give them a more fine grained hierarchical structure. 
    Check this out in Admin > User Tags.
  • Quick add user within Prospect Manager
    Now when adding a prospect you can quickly add the user at the same time to streamline this process. 
  • Delivery services integration via Postmen.com  (beta)
    With Postmen you can use a wide range of delivery services such as FedEx or DPD to get their live calculated  delivery rates for orders during checkout.
    We'll be talking about this more soon in an upcoming post when it's out of beta. 

Improvements

  • Product code now included in enquiry emails
    This should be already working for you, but may require a change to the html/store/product_info/enquire_form.html.twig if this has been previously overridden. 
  • You can now switch displays of the user ID in admin to show their membership code instead.
    Useful for avoiding any confusion between Membership codes and user IDs for sites who prefer using the membership codes.
    Site Settings > Display > Show Membership Code instead of User ID
  • Order Items in the Order Confirmation Email is now templatable
    This allows you greater control over the emails that go out to your users & how items are listed in these emails.
    The new template file is available in: /html/email/order_details.html.twig
  • Form messages marked as spam now record the reason we marked them as spam. 
    Possible reasons include: blocked / Russian spam addresses, common spam message phrases & more. 
    Admin > Form Builder > Form Replies > View Spam Folder > New column showing "Spam Reason"
  • Checkout & PayPal warnings now display better to users & are fully logged on the order history.
    More descriptive warnings are now given to users if PayPal declines payment. 
    If a customer has any warning shown to them at checkout, this will now be shown in the order history.

Developer

  • Clear the cart fast in JS with REC.Cart.emptyCart()
    This allows you to programmatically refresh the cart, useful in custom add-to-cart processes to start a new cart. 

Behind the scenes

  • New security improvements
    Fixes & improvements continue to be automatically rolled out to all our sites each night. 
  • Admin side CDN fallbacks
    We use a CDN for many assets in the admin side to speed up this area, however over the holiday period the CDN we use for some assets in the admin side had some downtime, causing a couple areas in Admin to not function. 
    This new release allows us to circumvent the CDN if it is down and the admin area will continue to work without interruption. 

 


A Happy & Prosperous 2019

A Happy New Year to all our customers and a prosperous 2019!

As always, the team at Wildfire will be working diligently to improve and enhance REC+ functionality, security and performance this year and will continue to keep you posted of new features via our Updates blog page.

Getting the essentials right in 2019

Here's some of our perennial recommendations for your site to ensure you start the New Year off on a good footing:

  • Ensure your site works well on mobile devices (contact Areca Design on 01386 570360 if you want to go mobile or are looking for a refresh)
  • Run your site under HTTPS for secure transmission of data over the internet (and get a slight SEO reward from Google)
  • Comply with the GDPR (we have helped a number of clients achieve this so contact us to book yourself in)
  • Commit to ongoing conversion optimisation (see tips for online retailers) and better tracking and management reporting (tips for all sites)

Need help getting more business?

We can assist you in making improvements via our Marketing specialists, as well as running digital marketing campaigns, simply contact your account manager for more information and pricing. This includes services for ecommerce product marketing and promoting local services.

Stop Press: The Russians are at it again...

We fight an ongoing battle to stop spam getting through to your site contact forms including registration and logins. A significant volume has been coming from Russian email addresses and we have acted throughout 2018 to widen spam protection against new methods deployed by the spammers. We are now going even further and employing new systems to counter this using large scale services from Stop Forum Spam and Akisnet. Hopefully this will help keep spam to a minimum.

Best wishes and a prosperous 2019!


Christmas Support

As usual, we only provide technical support over the Christmas period, namely server and uptime monitoring, starting 4pm on Friday 21st December.
Regular advice, support and project services will be resumed at 9am on Wednesday 2nd January.

Please log any calls on our ticket system as the office will be unmanned for this period.

Merry Christmas & A Prosperous New Year!


New in REC+: Akismet Protection, Content Blocks & more.

This week's issue brings you spam protection improvements, new ways to build up blocks of content on your site & more! Let's dive in:

Highlights

  • Akismet Spam Protection  (beta)
    As part of our ongoing battle with spam, form replies can now leverage Akisment's spam blocking capabilities. 
    We'll be offering this to all sites in time but currently, we're trialling this on a few sites to be sure we resolve any false positives, please contact us if you're interested in being part of this trial. 
    Connect > Utilities > Akismet > API Key & "Enable for all Forms"
    Add/Edit Form > "Use Akismet?" (Only shows if API Key is set, overridden if "Enable for all Forms" is set)
  • Content Blocks
    Content blocks offer designers the ability to design more complex content areas using templates, whilst the content itself is easily editable within Page Manager by admins.
    Check out our video using these blocks to build up a page.
    In any template you can use the rec_block() template function to access content blocks: {{ rec_block('block name here', type="text or html or image") }} where the type is optional.
    If you add these into page layouts, it will auto-create the blocks for you in Page Manager allowing both designers & admins to manage the content itself without the risk of breaking the design.
    Admin > Edit Page > Content Block editors found in the layout templates will automatically be displayed within Page Manager in the same sequence that they appear on the web page.  
    Also, you can pass unique=true to have the block be different between each page it's used on.
    You can also manage all blocks over in Admin > Content Blocks.
  • Auto page layouts
    When designing up different html layouts for pages, you can now name the layouts so that they automatically apply to a page without needing to set it. 
    Admin > Edit Page > Auto assign layouts to pages based on "_slug_here.html.twig" in the html/layouts/ folder.

Improvements

  • Content sliders > you can now tick to remove the image associated with a slide without needing to upload a new one.
    Under slider panel images it now shows a "Remove image?" option.
  • "Users making purchases" report improved to support Manufacturer/Brand & Order State. 
    This allows you to find users that abanded carts of specific types of items) 
    Reports > Users making purchases > Manufacturer & Order State
  • New icon template function for use when CKEditor removes your icons.
    If a page content has template syntax enabled you can now bring in FontAwesome icons, e.g. {{ rec_icon('pencil') }}
  • We now block Google & other search engines crawling too many subpages of site search results. 
    This helps avoid issues where no results were found but Google crawled the many pages of featured products thinking these were part of the same result set. 
  • New switch to re-enable the "confirm complete" option to users
    We've now disabled the confirm complete option by default, preventing users from selecting this and changing the order status themselves.
    If you'd like to use this you can re-enable it in:
    Site Settings > Ecommerce > Users Previous Orders Screen > Allow users to set confirmed complete on orders (defaults to off)
  • Also you can now prevent users from selecting Return Required on their previous order
    Site Settings > Ecommerce > Users Previous Orders Screen > Allow users to set return required on orders (defaults to on)
  • Admin > Edit Page > SEO Report
    Now moved from under page content, to the top of the edit page screen to give it more focus.
  • Improved health checks to detect problem orders
    Progressively we've been introducing proactive health checks into the system to spot issues that could affect data or monitor that fixes have cured problems, especially useful for those which are not readily reproducible. 
    Should issues ever arise on your site, we'll reach out and advise of any action you need to take.

Experimental

  • We're experimenting with allowing sandboxed PHP in templates, allowing designers & developers increased flexibility within templates. 
    Ultimately our aim is to allow contributions to REC+ for 3rd party extensions such as new admin areas and workflows that are more custom to the specific site. 
    This feature is not ready for production yet but contact us if you're interested in trialling this on a dev site. 

New in REC+: Checkout improvements, Twitter Cards support, Security improvements & Chrome Dev Summit Highlights and more

Last week we had the Chrome Developer Summit, check out our rundown of the most important features here & let's dive into what's new in REC:

Highlights

  • Ability to hide the checkout delivery address if it's the same as the billing address:
    On the checkout confirm screen you can have the delivery address hidden if it's the same as the billing address.
    This is an optional display change you can use to help clean up the layout of the checkout. 
    Available in Settings > Ecommerce > Checkout > "Hide delivery address if it's the same as the billing on Checkout"
  • Twitter cards large image support:
    Similar to the social share image Facebook & other social networks use, Twitter also support sending them a larger version of the image to be used when a link to your site is shared.
    Available in Settings > Company > Site Images > Twitter Cards > "Enable Twitter Cards" switch & "Twitter Card Large Image" uploader.
  • Paypal express 'in context' buttons are now automatically tracked in Google Analytics
    Monitoring the effectiveness of buttons on your site is important and you can now automatically monitor which of your paypal buttons are clicked under Events > PayPal Buttons in Google Analytics. 
  • Addon products
    If you have products such as setup charges or similar services that you don't want showing up in best seller, latest products & other lists & you don't want them to show in the abandonment emails then this new setting can help.
    Available in: Add product > Extra > Is this an addon product? As well as on: Edit product > Prices & delivery tab > Is this an addon product?
  • Form replies source/medium tracking.
    You can now track which sources bring in the most form replies in the Form
    Available in Forms & Processes > View form replies > new Medium/Source column & there's a new Medium & Source columns in the CSV
  • Form replies improvements
    In response to your feedback we've made a few useful improvements to the Form replies area including moving the export to the top so you can get to the data faster as well as making replies now sorted by newest first instead of by unread.
  • Users API improvements
    The users API events for updates now include unsubscribes as well as supporting the GDPR "is_restricted_user" field in user api responses.

Security Improvements

  • SRI on CDN scripts
    SubResource Integrity provides a little extra protection when we reference scripts on 3rd party sites.
    This now covers all the default CDN js files we use so that if ever they were hacked and the hacker poisoned these files, the integrity check would instead request a trustworthy local version of the file instead.
    Using this method, the site still functions without using the CDN & the user is still safe.  
  • Secure & SameSite Cookies experiment
    Secure cookies make sure that they are only loaded over HTTPS, while SameSite cookies make sure they are only used when in the context of this site, adding an additional level of protection to the session cookies used on your site. 
    Available in Settings > Security > "Use Secure & SameSite Cookies - Experimental!"

Black Friday Google My Business Marketing Offer

Black Friday Offer if you require Local Marketing

If you're a service business looking to promote your services in your local area, we can help you find more customers!

Our Google My Business service will increase customer enquiries by increasing exposure in Google Maps, Reviews and Search Results pages.

What services will we deliver to you?

  • Google keyword research to determine the most important local search terms
  • Website optimisation to target agreed local search term(s)
  • Setup and completion of Google My Business information; to include a description and opening hours
  • Assistance with gaining, responding to and displaying your reviews on Google and your website
  • Post a news update into Google My Business once a month
  • Upload of clients images to Google My Business
  • Submission of company information to other local directories
  • Optimisation work within Google Maps
  • Quarterly reporting to analyse progress made on key metrics

Contact us if you wish to redeem this marketing offer at a discounted rate this Black Friday to Cyber Monday

New in REC+: Coupons that trigger free delivery, stress testing REC & more.

With Black Friday fast approaching, in this week's issue we've introduced a useful new feature to help boost your sales, as well as other tweaks and improvements to the system and some helpful hints: 

Highlights

  • Coupons can now trigger FREE DELIVERY!
    With Black Friday on the horizon, you can now offer free delivery to customers with this new type of coupon.
    You can narrow it down to just a specific delivery zone such as UK only & gain all the normal coupon controls over this including date ranges, maximum number of uses & more.
    Available in Coupon Manager > add/edit Coupon > under "How much is this coupon worth?" it now gives the a tickbox option against the question: "Or do you want this coupon to trigger Free Delivery?".
  • Stress testing REC+
    With big sales come big traffic spikes! We've been working with load testing tools more lately to stress test REC+ to it's limits to identify and optimise areas that could be affected by extremely large volumes of traffic. A deep dive article will follow on this soon. This is all part of ongoing improvements and monitoring of the core infrastructure and REC+ application performance.

Tweaks & Improvements

  • Improvements to email delivery
    Further improvements have been made so Sender & Return-Path addresses can always be the system address, which you can also now override. 
    This lets you be receive form reply emails from the visitors email, even through the sender address behind the scenes is actually still the system, which then prevents any SPF issues. 
  • Further improvements to order manager
    We have been delighted to introduce further improvements to Order Manager, after receiving a lot of useful feedback from you. Thanks.

Did you know...

  • Email marketing reports
    A somewhat hidden away feature of our Email manager system is reports on not only who read & clicked the emails, but also how many form replies & orders came from the campaign. 
    You can find these in Email Manager > View Sent Emails > Click the email you'd like to see > Check out the Ecommerce & Form Responses tabs.
  • Coupon usage reports
    From inside coupon manager you can click the Report link between Edit & Delete to find a detailed report of orders that used the coupon, top products it was used on and more. 
  • & more useful reports!
    Remember there are a number of helpful reports to assist you in measuring the success of your Black Friday campaigns, as well as planning which products & categories to run offers on. These include: Top Products Report, Top Brand/Category Report, Top Pages Report & your Revenue Sources report.
    Available in the Reports system in Admin.

New in REC+: PDF invoices, social share images, mobile touch icons, further order manager improvements & more

In this weeks issue we focus on smaller day to day improvements, let's dive in:

Highlights

  • PDF downloads for Invoices.
    You can now download order invoices directly from order manager as PDFs.
    Available in Order Manager > Orders > "PDF Invoice" button under the summary details.
    This uses the design of your print invoice which is also available to customise in Templates > select the active template > html/invoice/base.html.twig
  • Further order manager improvements.
    Continuing from last week we've made further improvements to the flow of the new order management screen based on the feedback we've had so far from you. If you've switched to the old version, please consider trialing the new order experience again to see the latest changes. Your feedback is always welcome. 
  • Mobile touch icon.
    On mobile devices this is shown when adding to favorites, bookmarks & adding to the home screen (similar to favicons)
    We automatically create scaled down versions of your mobile touch icon for the most popular different mobile browsers. 
    Available in Site Settings > Company > Company Details > Mobile Touch Icon.
    Recommended size: at least 200x200px & must be a square image.
  • Social Sharing Image.
    Ever shared your site and wondered why Facebook / Twitter / Instagram used a specific image? This change let's you have more control over this by setting a default image for sharing. This image applies to all main pages of your site, while blog & product pages still use their main images by default. 
    Available in Site Settings > Company > Company Details > Social Sharing Image
    Recommended size: 600x315px or 1200x630px.
    You can test with Facebook's Sharing Debugger tool.

Tweaks & Improvements

  • Rename delivery countries 
    Though you can rename countries in the system already, this would lead to issues with existing data in the system.
    An example of this would be renaming UK to UK Mainland to seperate out Islands for delivery rules.
    To resolve this, we've added a new "Country display name" feature to delivery regions letting you set a different name for countries to appear as. 
    When setting this, please make sure you set all the relevant regions for that country. 
    Available in Delivery Manager > View Delivery Regions > Edit delivery methods, set "Country Display Name".
  • Form sign up process now supports updating existing users
    Previously the sign up process on forms would only subscribe new users, and if a user had unsubscribed they'd need to resubscribe from their account page.
    Now existing users who have unsubscribed can resubscribe on sign up forms easily through the form they originally subscribed through. 
  • Email deliverability improvements.
    Continuing our work to prevent emails going to spam, we've made further changes to the FROM addresses we use on all admin notifications.
    Follow the full guide on better email deliverability & troubleshooting here.
  • HTTPS additional domain redirects
    Multiple domains pointed at a single IP doesn't work with HTTPS, but you can redirect to the main domain from these additional domains. 
    Previously this meant also setting up HTTPS for the other domain due to how the HTTPS connections happen prior to redirects.  
    We've now introduced a way to have HTTPS enabled redirects setup for any addition domains you might have that you want redirected to your main site.
    Please contact us if you need one of these enabled for your site with the domain name(s) you'd like to have redirected.  
  • Facebook Analytics.
    Similar to Google Analytics, Facebook offer their own form of analytics.
    Available in Connect > Social > Facebook Analytics, app id can be set here and then you can enable the js tracking too.
    You can set this up in Facebook:
    https://developers.facebook.com/apps/ > "+ Add a New App", setting the name to your domain name & any contact email.
    App ID given at the top of the screen, click to copy it and paste over in REC > Connect > Social > Facebook Insights APP ID.
    Under "Analytics" click "Set Up", then click "Web".
    Click "I already set up the Javascript SDK" & skip adding the code as REC handles this for you.
    Enter your Site URL, click Save & then Continue, then skip through the remaining steps by clicking Next on each screen.
    Last screen leaves you on there so now you can click to view your Analytics.

Designers & Developers

  • Users API can now accept delivery prices with or without VAT set
    You can set custom delivery prices (when enabled) on user records & the API can now handle this with a way to set if you're passing a VAT / non-VAT price.
    In the Users API, you can send the following against each user: "delivery_charges": {  "default": "", "free_threshold": "" },
    we assume VAT prices by default but pass the "use_non_vat_prices" URL param.
  • WebP & SVG images support.
    We now support images throughout the system for Google's WebP image format & as SVG.
    With SVG please optimize the images before uploading them to the site & when using WebP please be mindful of browser support as this is a new format. 
    Available throughout the system such as product/blog images as well as logos and all other image uploads.
  • Mailchimp Upgrade.
    Keeping up with the latest Mailchimp upgrade, all users should be able to be synced once again.
  • SMTP email debugging.
    If you're having issues sending emails through SMTP you can get full debug logs.
    This new area is available at the bottom of SMTP Settings section in Admin.

 


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