TOTECS Platform Release 11.00
With winter finally over we hope you kept nice and rugged up. During the chilly months we have worked tirelessly on the 11.00 TOTECS platform release, as well as version 1.06 of the Connector. These releases bring new functionality into the Product Deals and Vouchers feature, a whole new integration into MYOB's AccountRight 2016 software, loads more website traffic statistics, and 30 other tasty changes. Read on to discover the details.
NEW Product Deal Activation and Discounted Freight Deal Offer
Based on feedback through the TOTECS forums, we have now added the ability for users to activate deals against products already in their basket. How it works is that when a user turns up to a content managed website, after they've added a few products to basket, then before checkout they can enter a deal voucher or promotion code. Once this code has been activated then any existing products in the basket will be repriced based on the deals matching the entered code. Once a deal code has been activated it will stick to the user's session, then if the user decides to add more products to basket, any activated deals will also apply to the newly added products.
Using this code activation makes it nice and straightforward for your users to redeem deals, and provides a great way to get users into your websites and purchasing more products, perfect for the lead up to Christmas!
New "Discounted Freight" Deal Offer
Additionally we have added a new deal offer which allows discounted freight to be applied against chosen products. This can be used to entice users to buy certain products knowing that the amount of freight they will be paying in an order will be reduced by a given percentage. There are several levers at your disposal to tweak the discounted freight offer, such as limiting the amount of times it can be bought with the same product, the quantity that must be purchased for the discounted freight to become eligible, as well being able to restrict it to certain users. Within the Order Surcharges admin interface we have added several ways that allow admins to customise how the discounted freight deal is applied, allowing it to play nice with any surcharge rules that have been setup in a site already.
To take advantage of the new Product Deals functionality we recommend contacting the TOTECS service team where we can help you work out how to set it up in your site and get going.
NEW Fine Grained Server Traffic Statistics
After the last 10.04 release we added the ability to track and report all server requests made to any TOTECS hosted website. In this 11.00 release we have now made available more fine grained statistics that let you easily see the kinds of traffic that are hitting you site on a daily and monthly basis. These additional statistics allow you to find out who is targeting your site, how often they are visiting, and which devices/operating systems they are using. Using these stats can help you make informed decisions on how to tailor your site, boost traffic in targeted areas, and further analyse the impact of your Ecommerce strategy.
Within the Administration Centre, under the statistics menu, in the Project Traffic Statistics interface we have added the following graphs:
Monthly Project Traffic
View the total amount of requests hitting your website for a given month, broken down on a per day basis. The graph shows overall requests, total requests made by detected search engines/crawlers, and the total amount of requests made for content managed webpages. You can paginate through the months, as well as filter the statistics down further based on matching following:
These filters can give you terrific insight down to the micro level on how often certain users are visiting your site, how often a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing visits, or the amount of traffic hitting a given content managed webpage.
Requests By Search Engines/Crawlers
A doughnut graph has been added that shows all the different kinds of search engines and automated crawler software that is hitting your website for a chosen month, and the amount of requests each has made. Surprisingly Google is not the only search engine that visits your webpages, and in fact we've found that several others such as Bing or Baidu can be far more aggressive in frequenting your websites. Additionally we are detecting over 20 different kinds of "bots" or automated software that may also turn up and trawl through your public webpages looking for content. These bots can come from big overseas web players, or can be commissioned from other companies, such as your customers, suppliers, or competitors. Some of these bots are friendly and help increase your search engine optimisation(SEO) by making your webpages easily locatable to users through different search engines. Other Bots however may be foes that are taking your content and uploading to their own websites to compete with. We recommend reviewing this data, and if you think that a bot is not adding value to your site, or making too many requests, we can put blocks in place to lock them out.
2 doughnut graphs have been added that show you the amount of traffic being hit by mobile or desktop devices, as well as the platform that the device is using, such as Windows, Apple iOS, Android, Linux and so on. These statistics can help identify the devices that you should be testing your website on, which can help ensure that you are providing the best possible experience to your users, as well determining where usability improvements can be made.
NEW MYOB AccountRight 2016/Live Integration
In the 1.06 Connector release we have developed a whole new integration into MYOB's new AccountRight 2016 software. If you didn't know MYOB completely rewrote its AccountRight software from the ground up, and introduced this new software with its 2013 and later versions of AccountRight, as well as its cloud hosted version called AccountRight Live. MYOB has completely changed how it stores and makes data accessible in AccountRight, which has required us to develop a whole new way to read and write data into it. The good news is that their new AccountRight 2016 software has solved a number of issues that hindered its older versions, such as lock file issues, database connectivity, and compatibility problems with newer versions of Microsoft Windows.
If you are running MYOB AccountRight Premier version 19 or lower then you may be interested in upgrading to the new version, however before you do we would recommend talking with us first, since MYOB's new AccountRight 2016 version does not contain all the functionality in the older versions. Specifically it currently doesn't support the more advanced warehousing features, exporting of component data, and is far more restrictive on the customised data queries that we could previously write accessing its older database.
NEW Flagged Products Trade Interface Popups
Within the Trade interface we have added the ability to show popups when users first arrive on the Home page, or the My Basket page. In each popup up to 10 products can display that are assigned to a chosen product flag. This feature can be used to entice users to view and buy selected products that you may have placed on sale, or given extra importance. Within each popup you can set an advertising image to display, as well as use settings to turn on or off the popups at an admin's discretion.
Since the popups are in-your-face we would recommend only turning them on for short periods of time, since users can tire of them quickly if they repeatedly appear.
NEW Public IP Address Blocking Of Users
In the 11.00 platform release we added a new security mechanism that can be turned on to enforce users to login from pre-determined public IP addresses. To give you some background, when you access the internet your computer is assigned to a "public IP address". This IP address is like your mailing address, where it tells the computers serving content (such as webpages, images, audio, etc..) where the data needs to be sent back so that your computer can receive it. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will issue your internet connection a public IP address to make this delivery process possible. ISPs can randomly issue you an IP address that changes frequently (dynamic), or always give you the same IP address (static).
Where this is all relevant is within the TOTECS platform we have now added the ability for you to set public IP addresses against users. When a user logs in a check can be turned on to see if their publicly assigned IP address matches the IP address assigned to the user. If it doesn't match then the user is told that their credentials are incorrect. This additional security mechanism can be used to enforce users to login from only known trusted locations, such as an office or specific place that contains a static public IP address. Using this feature can help ensure that certain customers, employees, admins, or contractors are only accessing your website content from approved locations, and make it difficult for user credentials to be passed around.
IMPROVED Content Managed Webpage Areas
IMPROVEMENTS The Other Stuff
As always there's a number of other improvements that went out with the 11.00 platform release, and the 1.06 Connector releases. Visit the Administration Centre or the forums to review the complete list of Release Notes. If you wish to be a part of the process to get a piece of functionality into the platform, please get in contact with us or visit the forum's wishlist topic. As always, until next time happy online trading :) Here's a wrap up of the new features and improvements developed over the last 12 weeks and placed into the 11.00 TOTECS platform release and 1.06 Connector release.
Listed below are the features that we look to work on over the next 3-24 months.
Please Note: Development is dependent on funding, demand and scheduling.
The 11.00 TOTECS release now provides you with statistics on how many server requests are being made per day on your TOTECS project. Using these statistics you can now find out how often a search engine such as Google is visiting your content managed website(s), and crawling for updated content. To access these statistics follow these steps:
All the monthly graphs will update to show statistics on how many times google has visited any of the content managed websites within the project. Using this data will give you idea how often google is crawling your site, and how much searching it is doing to find your publically accessible content. Using the same steps you can find traffic generated by other search engines or crawlers by just changing the text within step 6.
If you have ideas like to make the platform better, please post them on our wishlist forum.