Blog

What's new in nopCommerce 3.3 ~ Wednesday, April 9, 2014

With nopCommerce 3.3 out of the door I would like to share our usual Nop-Templates.com digest of the new features in this newest release of the best .NET e-commerce system.

Working with the new features in nopCommerce 3.30 would often require a quick modification of certain settings or language resources. Therefore before I go into the details of each nopCommerce 3.30 feature I would like to point your attention to these two videos in case you are not familiar with these small but useful nopCommerce tricks:

How to search and change resources in nopCommerce

How to search and change settings in nopCommerce

So what is new in nopCommerce 3.3?

There are quite a few things worth noting in nopCommerce 3.3 among which are its performance improvements. The nopCommerce 3.3 release is too much for a single blog article. So in this blog post I will skip the performance improvements and will discuss them in detail in a separate article to follow.

1. First and foremost nopCommerce 3.3 now runs on .NET 4.5.1.

Developers are keen on using the latest and greatest technologies and the fact that nopCommerce follows closely with every new .NET update could only testify to how cool it is to develop solutions based on nopCommerce. So if you are a .NET developer and wondering what is new in .NET 4.5.1 do visit the MSDN documentation:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms171868%28v=vs.110%29.aspx#v451

2. NopCommerce 3.3 has a brand new framework for the administration UI of the system, namely Telerik's Kendo UI.

This might not sound too exciting to the store owners but it is certainly great news to the nopCommerce developers. Because to extend nopCommerce, developers now have a framework, which is actively developed by no other but Telerik, and being used in thousands of modern web applications. It comes with a set of powerful controls, most notably the Kendo Grid, so plugins or any nopCommerce functionality can have an efficient at the same time easy to develop administration.

3. The Default theme in nopCommerce 3.3 is responsive now.

Responsive design is a must nowadays, so this new feature does not need any elaboration. What I would like to note though is that Nop-Templates.com were the first to introduce native responsive design to nopCommerce with our nopCommerce themes. In fact we refactored the markup of the system so responsive themes could be developed. So this new 3.3 feature does remind us that we did something very important which has pushed the project forward.

4. In nopCommerce 3.3 store owners can sell not only products but also paid memberships.

This could be achieved by creating a Customer Role and then assigning the role to certain products (memberships).

how to create a nopCommerce membership

When the customer buys this product, they are being automatically assigned this role. The store owner can of course grant certain permissions to the role based on the power ACL (Access Control List) system in nopCommerce. Permissions could range from accessing the website as a whole to viewing only certain pages.

5. The checkout process could now be simplified in nopCommerce 3.3.

There is an option to disable the billing address step, which means that the billing address in the checkout would be populated with the default customer address information. To enable this option you need to go to Configuration -> Settings -> Order Settings:

Disable billing address in nopCommerce

6. Store owners can now have full control over the customer registration information.

In the 3.3 version of the system store owners can define customer attributes straight from the administration. To do this you need to go to Configuration -> Settings -> Customer Settings and click on the Customer form fields tab:

nopCommerce customer attributes

These attributes would appear both on the registration page as well as the customer info page in the My Account section. I am sure that many nopCommerce stores will be upgrading to version 3.3 just for this because up to now this has been a major requirement and a matter of custom development.

7. While we are on the subject of often requested customizations, in nopCommerce 3.3 there are two very important improvements to how attribute combination are being handled.

Now when you have an attribute combination, which has its own Price, SKU, Manufacturer Part Number and GTIN, when you select the attribute combination on the product details page, not only the price but also the SKU, MPN and GTIN will be refreshed.

To enable this you need to enable these two settings:

nopCommerce attribute combinations management

As the second setting is not explicitly visible in the Configuration -> Settings -> Catalog Settings, it is best to edit these settings by following the instructions in this video: How to search and change settings in nopCommerce

In nopCommerce 3.3 store owners can now specify that only the defined attribute combinations can be added to the shopping cart or wishlist. So if you have defined the following attribute combinations for your product: size S - blue, size L - red, customers would not be able to add the product with size L - blue.

8. In nopCommerce 3.3 there is a major SEO improvement. Topic urls are now id-less.

This means that if you have a page in your website with the following url:

http://www.nop-templates.com/t/aboutus

The new url in version 3.3 would be:

http://www.nop-templates.com/aboutus

A more SEO-friendly url, which would not only be frowned upon by search engines but would add to the SEO rank of the page.

The nopCommerce team have been gradually introducing id-less urls since verison 2.7 and this new enhancement more or less marks their effort as complete. In nopCommerce 3.3 all pages (category, product, news, blog, topic) have SEO-friendly urls. The only pages that do not have these are the forum ones, but I don't think id-less urls are viable to forum pages anyway.

9. NopCommerce 3.3 adds support to the new Google Universl Analytics.

To find more about it please visit the Google Universal Analytics Center.

You can enable the Google Universal Analytics by going to Content Management -> Widgets -> Google Analytics or Universal Analytics and clicking the Pre-Configure Universal Analytics button:

nopCommerce Google Universal Analytics

10. NopCommerce 3.3 builds on its multi-store support by adding the ability to configure countries per store as well as checkout attributes. Both can be configured from the new Stores tab.

NopCommerce countries management

NopCommerce checkout attributes management

11. In nopCommerce 3.3 the store owner can configure their store to detect customer language automatically based on its browser setting.

This is a small but very handy feature which can be enabled from Configuration -> Settings-> General And Miscellaneous Settings -> Localization Settings:

NopCommerce automatically detect language

These are the more notable new features in nopCommerce 3.3. There are of course other features, which you can read about in the release note. I am going to talk about the very important performance improvements in nopCommerce 3.3 in a separate blog post.

Until then, stay tuned and do share your feedback with us on this great new release of the best .NET e-commerce system!

The new Nop Allure Responsive Theme for nopCommerce 3.30 combines great design and superb functionality and is the ultimate e-commerce tool for your online business.

Choosing the color presets and background textures of the theme is now easily done straight from the nopCommerce administration panel.

You can also experiment with the presets on the theme’s live demo.

As with every new themes there are several ehancements introduced which will help your customers focus on the most important thing for every online store - continue shopping.

- We just love the previous and next functionality on the product page. Your customers can ceaselessly browse the products in a single category without going back to the category page.

- An improved integration of the Nop Quick Tabs plugin is introduced for the first time in this new theme. All the information related to the product is presented in a handy way right below the product’s title.

 

Apart from these the theme has yet more to offer. It is equipped with 10 premium plugins for exceptional ecommerce functionality - Nop Ajax Filters, Nop Anywhere Sliders, Nop JCarousel, Nop Mega Menu, Nop Quick View, Nop Quick Tabs, Nop Ajax Cart, Nop Instant Search, Nop Cloud Zoom, Nop Product Ribbons.

The Nop Allure Theme looks exceptional on any device and comes with enhanced responsive functionality for easy navigation and shopping experience. There are several improvements, which will give your customers a more pleasant and ceaseless shopping experience on a mobile device.

- Better access to the main navigation (menu and search bar) on a mobile devices.
- Nop Ajax Filters are now easily accessible from the top menu on the category, manufacturer and vendor pages, which allows customers to navigate the products more effectively on a mobile device.

Developing great nopCommerce extensions has always been a major priority for us. For the last couple of months we have been working on new plugins to complement our Nop Ultimate Plugin Collection and to offer additional functionality to every nopCommerce online store.

In this blog we would like to introduce the new Nop Attachments plugin and to give you a more detailed picture of its powerful features.

The Nop Attachments plugin allows you to upload and instantly attach files or videos to one or many products in your online store. What makes this extension exceptional is its variety of features which can be easily managed straight from the admin panel.

Here are some of the highlights:

1. As all our extension, the Nop Attachments plugin supports multi-store. All the settings and attachments can be applied to one or more stores.

2. Another useful feature is that the attachments can be grouped in categories making it easier for you to keep files organized once they start piling up. The attachment categories are also useful when you present the attachments to the visitors of your website.

 

3. You can choose the language for which a particular attachment will be shown which is useful if you have multiple languages for your store.

4. Adding a video from Youtube, Vimeo or any other video website to a product page in nopCommerce has never been easier. All you have to do is copy and paste the video embedded code in the attachment administration. On the product page the video will automatically play in a pop-up window, without you having to code JQuery integrations and fancy boxes on your own.

5. Another handy feature is that you can choose between uploading a file and using a download URL for the download file of the attachment.

6. You have many options how to map attachments to a product.
You can manually map an attachment to a product or you can automatically select products based on condition (e.g. show the attachments only for products with manufacturer Bosch and only if the customer is logged in the website).

But that is not all. The product administration page has been enhanced to allow you to add new attachments or map existing ones.

7. We have come that far, created an attachment and mapped it to a product. Here comes the part that I love most about this plugin. You can choose to send a link to an attachment with the Order Placed or Order Complete emails.  For example I have a user guide and a warranty attached to my Bosch power tool. When a customer buys this product, the user guide and the warranty can be included in the Order Placed or Order Complete emails that are sent to the customer. Handy indeed!

8. One last thing worth mentioning. You can upload an image/icon to any individual attachment under attachments settings or to a group of attachments based on specific criteria (e.g. all .pdf files)

I hope I’ve got you hooked on Nop Attachments. Still not sure? You can test the plugin and create your own attachment in the plugin’s administration.

We would like to bring to your attention our new Nop HTML Widgets Plugin for nopCommerce 3.20 and to give you a detailed overview of its powerful features.

The Nop HTML Widgets plugin allows you to add html content to pages in your nopCommerce store without having to write a single line of code. This can be very useful and a great time saver to users with no technical knowledge.

Let’s have a look at some of the highlights:

Please bear in mind that an html widget is a block of html content, which you want to add to a page in your nopCommerce website.

1. Using the plugin administration you can create an unlimited number of html widgets. You can edit every HTML widget with the HTML editor in the admin panel of the plugin without having to use any external editors.

2. As all our extensions, the Nop HTML Widgets support multi-store. This means that you can apply every html widget you create to more than one store.

3. You can configure an HTML widget to appear in one of the 24 predefined widget zones. You also have the option to create new widget zones.

4. You can specify a condition for an HTML widget (e.g. I want the HTML widget to be visible on a product page, for a product which is on pre-sale and to be seen only by customers who are logged in).

5. A great feature is the option to set a time frame for displaying an html widget. Let’s say that I want to display an HTML widget for only 3 days of the week. All I have to do is to go to the general settings and set the dates for it.

To test this powerful plugin simply go to the plugin’s administration. I am sure you will find it useful.

If you are already a fan of our nopCommerce extensions, maybe you will be excited to learn that we are working on more new plugins to complement our Nop Ultimate Plugin Collection. So stay tuned for more news from us.  

The new Nop Motion Responsive Theme for nopCommerce 3.20 will definitely trigger your emotion! The theme is a great combination of fine design and superb functionality to offer the necessary ingredients for a first-class nopCommerce store.

This is our first theme to come with pre-designed color presets and background textures, which can be easily managed  from the administration panel.

To see the presets in action, please visit the theme's live demo.

The following plugins are styled and come with the theme to guarantee a powerful ecommerce functionality  - Nop Ajax Filters, Nop Anywhere Sliders, Nop JCarousel, Nop Mega Menu, Nop Quick View, Nop Quick Tabs, Nop Ajax Cart, Nop Instant Search, Nop Cloud Zoom, Nop Product Ribbons.

Introduced improvements in the responsive design will give your customers a more pleasant and ceaseless shopping experience:
- brand new responsive approach on mobile devices
- better access to the main navigation on a mobile device  - menu, search.
- the Nop Ajax Filters are easily accessible from the top menu on the category, manufacturer and vendor pages, which allows customers to navigate the products more effectively on a mobile device.



We would like to remind our customers with valid licenses for the Nop Ultimate Theme Collection that they will receive the new theme for free according to our licensing policy.

Find us on Facebook