Yet another great release of nopCommerce is out the door. Nop-Templates.com have been digesting every single release of the leading .NET ecommerce system and here we are with a good 18 items on our list of what’s new in nopCommerce 3.60.
1. New default theme.
The Nop-Templates.com development team has been designing and developing the new default theme for the past several months on a request by nopCommerce. Our main goal was to keep the design as clean as possible so that it can fit any retail industry and at the same time deliver a modern and functional look. Whether we have succeeded in doing so I will leave to the community to decide. Still I would like to point out a few important things.
- The theme does feature a much more modern look and minimalistic design which not only can suit most retail businesses but will also make a first good impression on new users exploring nopCommerce.
- The theme is fully responsive and developed using the mobile-first approach by two of our top front-end developers. This means quality markup and user experience, optimized for speed and functionality on mobile devices.
- Following our major markup rewrite of nopCommerce 3.00, this time we have not been bound by an external design. So we managed to additionally refactor and improve the HTML/CSS of the system and do what we could not do before. Make it perfect 100%. So you can count on it being even more optimized in the browser and at the same time easier to work with and customize.
2. NopCommerce 3.60 tightens its web security
- NopCommerce 3.60 fixes a possible vulnerability to the infamous CSRF attack. The CSRF attack makes it possible for an attacker to hijack an authenticated user session (an administrator for example) and edit the nopCommerce store data, delete an order for example. All nopCommrece developers should now be aware that an antiforgery token is being added to all nopCommerce administration views served by controllers that inherit the BaseAdminController and that they need to do the same if they add administrative views of their own. Also client side code making Ajax post requests from such views should use the addAntiForgeryToken client side method to add the antiforgery token to their post requests.
- NopCommerce 3.60 also adds support for the Honeypot spam prevention technique which is a simple but effective and more user-friendly alternative to the captcha.
- In nopCommerce 3.60 the contact page is secured through HTTPS.
3. Predefined values for product attributes
In nopCommerce 3.60 store owners do not have to enter attribute values for each and every product. But rather define the values beforehand and then just add the attribute to the product. I am not surprised this feature is listed as one of the major ones in the release because it is a huge time-saver.
4. Base price or PAngV support
PAngV or Preisangabenverordnung is a German law, which requires that when trading with end consumers all retailers provide the respective price per unit of quantity in addition to the final price of a product. For example if you sell 500ml of German beer for 0,80 € and you reference unit is 1L you have to show: Baseprice: 1.60€ per 1L. NopCommerce 3.60 supports automatic calculation of this base price. What you need to do is specify the amount unit of your product (kg, L, etc.), the total amount of the product, the reference unit and the reference amount.
5. Enhanced discount support
NopCommerce 3.60 comes with several important enhancements to its discount system.
- Discounts can now be applied not only to products and categories but also to manufacturers
- Adding discounts to products or categories was a bit frustrating before because the store owner had to edit the discount and then go to the product or category details page and add the discount there. Now the store owner can add discounts to products, categories and manufacturers directly from the discount page.
- Finding a discount in nopCommerce was never easy. This has been much improved in nopCommerce 3.60 and now the store owner can search discounts not only by name but also by coupon code and discount type.
- Last but not least when creating a percentage discount now the store owner can specify a maximum discounted amount, allowing for greater discount flexibility and control.
6. Better CMS and SEO support
NopCommerce 3.60 improves on its existing CMS and SEO functionality by adding a a few handy features.
- Store owners can now add topics to the footer and manage the display order of the topic links both in the menu and the footer.
- Blog posts can now have a brief overview to be used on the blog list page. Before that the whole blog list page had the blogs listed with their full content, which could make the page, difficult to navigate and slow to load.
- Alt and title attributes can now be specified for every catalog image.
- Store owners can control whether a topic page or the contact page is accessible when the store is closed.
- Store owners can choose whether the subject field on the contact page is required or not.
7. Better customer and order management
NopCommerce 3.60 adds several important new features to its customer and order management system.
- A new refund message template is available in nopCommerce 3.60 so that store owners can control how customers are being notified of a refund.
- Message templates can now be tested. Before that the only way to test a message template was to simulate the specific workflow: create an order, register a customer, etc.
- NopCommerce 3.60 can now send a welcome email when the store owner manually activates a customer.
- The store owner can resend a customer activation email through the admin area. Such emails are often lost in customer Inboxes, and when the customer comes back complaining about not being able to login to the store, the store owner no longer needs to search through the Sent email folder of their email client to resend the email.
- Store owners can now search for newsletter subscribers by customer role and export the filtered results. This feature is extremely important because it allows for newsletter subscribers to be segmented (for example VIP customers) and these segments to be used in separate email campaigns through MailChimp for example.
- An unsubscribe option is now added to the newsletter subscription widget. This is important because it is a requirement by law in some countries, Germany for example.
- Customers can now contact a specific vendor through a contact form on the vendor’s public page.
- In nopCommerce 3.60 store owners can search orders by order note content, country or payment method.
8. What’s new for the nopCommerce developers
As usual nopCommerce 3.60 comes with its extensive list of bug fixes and refactorings, the details of which you can find in the nopCommerce issue tracker on codeplex. There are a few new things that I would like to briefly mention.
- Plugin developers can now add their menu items not only to the Plugins menu in the nopCommerce administration but to any other main menu item.
- All nuget packages have been updated to the latest ones.
- MiniProfilder.Mvc4 has been added which allows for more detailed profiling of the application.
- New SQL indexes have been added for performance optimization. While this has been done to optimize the system in places where it was slow before, developers making use of more complex SQL queries or stored procedures should take note of this and make sure that these indexes are not having the opposite effect on the performance of their SQL.
9. Miscellaneous we love
NopCommerce 3.60 comes with many small fixes and improvements but I will mention only two of them, one for the public site and one for the administration, just to give you a taste of how the system is improving with such small changes.
- Adding a product to the compare list is now done via Ajax, which means that when comparing products your shopping experience is not being brutally disrupted by navigating you away from your current page.
- When in the administration clearing the cache of the system or restarting your application you are no longer redirected to the dashboard page but rather remain on your current administration page.
I hope this blog post has given you an useful description of what’s new in nopCommerce 3.60 and shows plenty of reason for you do upgrade to the new version. Do note that all our nopCommerce themes and plugins have already been released for nopCommerce 3.60. All our plugins have a trial version while our themes have stunning demo websites. So do take nopCommerce 3.60 and our products for a spin and do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information.
We have even more exciting nopCommerce products coming so stay tuned!