lightcommerce Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Lightcommerce

Complex tax rules and multi-site changes

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Hello again,

The following changes have been released on our e-commerce platform;

Complex tax rules

As mentioned in the previous post, you can now create complex tax rules based on delivery address or product category. You can assign a tax rule to your sites within your multi site setup and when a user browsing the site switches between the different multi-sites, the tax is automatically recalculated at the basket and checkout stages so the user always knows the correct amount of tax they will be paying. This means you can be editing a tax rule and as soon as the user visits the basket page again or continues to the checkout their order’s tax values are recalculated instantly.

Multi-site changes

I’ve been improving the way in which you define what sites a product appears on. I’ve also added the ability to have some shipping methods appear on one site but not another etc so it’s easy to have for example, a US only shipping method or a Europe only shipping method which only appear when browsing the US or Europe sites.

Bug fixes and speed improvements

Found an obscure rare bug that caused an order to lose it’s shipping address after payment which stopped it being marked as completed properly. Added some speed improvements – mainly to the admin area. Fixed a cache bug which meant one of the main navigation areas wasn’t cached properly which has improved the speed at which the main navigation gets shown.

More to come! Until next time…

Feature sneak peak

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Whilst I work on yet another set of new features, I thought I’d whet your appetite with a small sneak peak…

Complex tax rules

Had a client who wanted to have one tax rate for one US state, another tax rate for the other US states and then the standard tax rate for the UK. I’m working on the ability to have any sort of tax rules you want, and what’s more each site within your multi-site setup can have a different tax rate!

I may post another teaser soon. Right; back at it!

Plethora of updates!

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Hey,

Apologies for the delay since the last update. We’ve been hard at work adding a number of new features, tweaks and UI enhancements.

Configurable search index

Product search on an e-commerce web site is important. You need to make sure users can find what they’re looking for easily. I wrote the search indexer to automatically index all product field values and product data, such as product description, name, meta data etc.

It was brought to my attention that people wanted more control than this. We have a client who only wanted users to be able to search through product names, authors and ISBNs (authors and ISBNs were setup as product fields).

You can now use a simple interface to define what fields are excluded by the indexer. Problem solved! There’s also a new button in the admin UI to rebuild the complete search index whenever needed.

Configurable order statuses

While developing lumini I’ll admit that the inner workings of order statuses were not the top priority. 

That’s all changed now! A client wanted to be able to create a new order status that would only be applicable to that one client. They also wanted this order status to trigger an email to the customer.

You can now create order statuses and tell lumini to email the customer, you (the client) or both. Of course, this links into the email templating system and uses email templates that you can design yourself using any of the order’s data. Simple!

Expand user admin

Up until recently the user administration are only show the basic user details, the user’s profile and the user’s groups (for the user access control). It now includes the user’s address book and previous orders.

Mark product field as default

Product additional fields can now be marked as “default”, which means that when a new product is created that field is automatically assigned to the new product, ready to assign a value.

By default all product additional fields are marked as default.

Promotions that can add products to a user’s order

A client wanted to be able to offer a promotion which when used, added a free gift to the user’s order. We gave the client this ability and went a step further.

When editing a promotion you can tell lumini to add a “virtual” or “real” product to the user’s order. This means you can add a product to the user’s order that doesn’t have to exist in your online catalogue. You simple provide a name, price, SKU code and image path. You can also add a product to the user’s order which already exists within your lumini site, either using it’s current price or a new discounted price that you define. Voila!

Admin UI improvements

I love jQuery. Always have and always will. The lumini admin interface uses a number of jQuery UI elements. Up until recently I’ve been using one of the stock jQuery UI themes. I thought it was past due that lumini started using it’s own custom theme. I think it looks awesome.

I’ve also improved the code for the floating admin menu which follows you as you scroll down the page. The lumini administration area is really come along nicely now.

Along with that list there are a number of speed improvements and general code optimisations which I won’t bore you with!

Until next time!

A new approach

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Hello,

As lightcommerce begins to grow, we’ve decided that it’s important to put across a personal approach. After all as a company we are a lot smaller than most of our competitors, but that doesn’t mean we don’t stand a chance of making our mark in the e-commerce world.

We’re a small group of enthusiasts and we have an ambitious vision of what we want to achieve within the world of online shopping and the services we can offer.

We don’t think we should have to sound like a large corporate company to do this and we would love to bring you along on our journey. For that reason we think it’s important to be transparent about who we are and where we’re going.

So with that in mind; my name is Stephen Gray, I’m 23 and I’m the lead developer for lightcommerce. I’ve been developing for around 6 years and I’ve specialised in e-commerce for around 3 or 4 years. I’ve worked on various bespoke leading e-commerce platforms and a lot of third party systems but none of them felt right or that they were reaching their potential. So I wrote my own over the course of 10 months to a year. I’ve called it lumini and I’m working hard to make it a strong competitor in this busy market.

We’ll hopefully soon have our shiny new web site ready. The design has been done (and it’s fantastic – I may squeeze out a preview soon!) and we’re just working on getting the content just right. We’re rewriting a lot of it with this new personal approach in mind so bear with us, we’ll get it right soon enough. I’m marking the launch of the web site as a more official launch date for lightcommerce and things are starting to look exciting!

Working with me I have an amazing designer and a great social media guru who I’m sure over time will make themselves known too.

Watch this space, I’ve got some new feature announcements to make soon!

Cheers,

Stephen.

WorldPay, new product features

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The following new features and changes have been added to lumini;

  • Implemented WorldPay payment gateway
  • Implemented product comparison

    Users browsing a site can now add as many products as they wish to a product comparison feature, which will display all selected products next to each other listing attributes and additional fields.
     
  • Implement product wish lists

    Users browsing the site can create a wish list of desired products, and then name that wish list. For example, “Christmas  wish list”. To save a wish list with a name a user must register with an account. Users can create multiple wish lists and manage them from their account area.
     
  • A number of speed optimisations

After some internal re-prioritizing, new feature development for lumini is going to take a front seat. Watch this space for more exciting features. We can’t wait to show you what we have planned!

Demo site is go!

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The demo site is ready!

Now that the complete administration AND the whole of the front end of the site have had a redesign, the demo site is ready to try out!

We’ll be sending the details to a few selected people for initial feedback and then other people are welcome to take a look.

If you’re interested in being an early viewer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

P.S. – implementing a completely new design for the whole of the front end of the site only took about a day and a half of coding time. That shows how powerful and easy to skin the platform is.

First release nearly ready!

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The development progress on lumini is moving along nicely. It will soon be ready to start showing prospective users to get feedback.

This will allow us to add any additional missing features or changes that those users would like before using the product.

If you’d like to be one of those early users, please get in touch! We can’t wait to show you our product.

Development doesn’t stop here! As soon as this first release is out we’re going to keep right on developing from our list of features we want to add into subsequent releases.

We have so much planned!

Social Commerce

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One of the planned features of our lumini e-commerce platform is to go beyond what’s become standard social media features for e-commerce web sites.

We want to go further than just having social media sharing buttons on product pages to having a fully blown Twitter and Facebook integration.

This means that when you add a new product or create a new promotion updates can be sent out to Twitter and Facebook automatically, with the ability to edit social media messaging templates and to send other social media messages as and when you please.

Social media has become a part of all of our lives so we think it’s important that our users find it easy and intuitive to keep their followers updated in any way possible.

How we can help

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As we get closer to the lightcommerce launch, you may be thinking “How are they different from any other e-commerce outfit? What reason do I have to choose lightcommerce over someone else?”. To us, the answer is big, bold and in your face. The following phrase sums it up perfectly:

“You keep doing what you’re good at. We take care of everything else.”

As a designer or design agency, you’re amazing at making web sites look fantastic. That’s what your business revolves around and it’s what you’ve been prefecting for years.

Well, lightcommerce is good at providing powerful, flexible e-commerce solutions. In fact, I’d go so far as to say we’re very good.

When you work with us, you don’t have to take on any additional tasks or responsbilities which would normally be part and parcel of offering an e-commerce product. You provide us with your HTML and CSS files for the final design of the site and we will implement it on the new lumini e-commerce site. We will then host the new site on a fast, dedicated server and make sure it works flawlessly. Then, once it’s live, this is the special bit; we will support the new site directly to your customers.

Through the lumini administration interface, we allow your customers to talk to us directly whenever they have a question or concern. They can browse our knowledge base or they can message our support team.

So this means that for each site you still only need to work on the design, just as with any other non e-commerce site. Now do you begin to see how we can benefit you? We thought so :)

A strong foundation

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We understand that it’s important for our clients to know that our software is built upon a strong foundation. They need to know that if they commission us to build one of their customer’s sites on our platform that the site is protected from hackers and bots.

Our bespoke platform lumini is built on an established, solid framework which complies with most best web practices and follows good, proven design patterns.

It automatically protects our sites from cross site scripting attacks, SQL injection attacks and automatic web form bots to name a few.

The framework also incorporates some intelligent cache systems but to give an even better speed improvement we have added our own layer of caching to make sure our sites are served with the best performance possible.

We are constantly developing our platform, making security tweaks here and speed improvements there. And we won’t stop – our goal is dynamic and improvements can always be made. Even if we spend 3 hours investigating and only change a few lines of code – if it means we shave a third of a second from a page load time, it’s worth it!