Magento Bulk Product Updating and Mass Product Actions – Pricing Flexibility

Extendware’s Magento Bulk Product Updating and Mass Product Actions 1.0.5 has been released. This is the 5th release of our best in class mass actions Extension. In this release several important bug fixes / features have been added.

  • Change Price Based On Cost – Change the price of a product based on the product cost. This allows you to make the product price +20% of the product cost for example.
  • Change Special Price Based On Cost – Change the special price of a product based on the product cost. This allows you to make the product price +20% of the product cost for example.
  • Change Special Price Based On Price – A bug has been fix that prevented the special price from being changed based on price.

Combining the various price functions allows for some very powerful mass price changes. For example, you may set the produce price to be 50% of the cost. Next, you may set the special price to be -20% of the special price. This can be done across all your products, which saves your valuable time.

Magento Bot Blocker and Anti-Spam Captcha Released

Extendware’s Magento Anti-Spam Captcha is important for every store because spam reduces productivity, wastes server resources, and can make your site look unprofessional (in the case of spam reviews that advertise other Web sites). Magento Anti-spam Captcha fixes this by putting a CAPTCHA on your most important forms.

The only problem is that CAPTCHAs can annoy users and discourage your customers from performing certain activities. We have worked to solve this by implementing three new features in Spam and Bot Protection:

  • OpenCaptcha Support – Previously, only Google reCAPTCHA was supported, which some users found too difficult. Now we support OpenCaptcha, which is much easy for users to solve while still protecting from bots (reCAPTCHA is still supported for those that want it).
  • Unlocked Actions – After solving 1 CAPTCHA, you may configure for the next X actions to NOT require a CAPTCHA. This means that if a user writes a review on your Web site and solves a CAPTCHA, this will prove they are human. They will not be asked to solve another CAPTCHA until they perform X actions (X more reviews, X more contacts, etc).
  • Only Ask Guests – This feature has always existed, but has been under utilized. With this option only customers who are not logged in will be asked to solve a CAPTCHA. Logged in customers will not be asked.

With these changes we are confident that your store will find a better balance between protection from spammers and bots and between ensuring the user experience of your live, human customers is as good as possible.

Magento Product Feeds Updated

Extendware’s Magento product feeds has received a significant update that makes creating feeds much more flexible. Here is a run down of the added features / fixes:

  • New category path attribute flexibility – The attribute “Parent Category > Product Category” now allows you to select your own separator and choose the maximum number of ancestors to show.
  • New output filters – Now you may make a field all lower case or upper case by selecting the upper / lowercase output filter.
  • New image URLs – Image urls will output the uncached image url. This is superior as URLs will not be validated if you flush the media cache.
  • Dynamic attributes enhancement – The default value of a dynamic attribute can now have a transformation type associated with it. For example, you may take the produce price and multiply it by 1.2 (or a tax rate) for certain products.
  • Ultimate customisability – We attempt to meet the requirements of all stores and all feed specifications, but know it is impossible out-of-the-box. For special circumstances where default attributes do not work you may now modify attributes or add your own using the Magento event / observer model.

Magento Javascript / CSS Merging

Extendware’s Magento Minify JS / CSS 1.2.8 was released today and it includes some very important compatibility features. In previous versions of Magento Minify JS / CSS the order of javascript / CSS was not guaranteed to be the same as before the extension is installed. Now, the order that these files are loaded is guaranteed to be the same as before when selecting the “Never”, “Automatic” and “Always” merging modes. “Automatic (aggressive)”, the previous behavior, can still be used and it will merge more files. The order of loaded files only affects some Magento stores, so try the different merge modes and see which one is best for your store.

In addition, this release solved an issue where the merging of pre-minified files and normal files were causing issues with some browsers. Now pre-minified files are not combined with normal files and this solves the browser issues.

Magento AJAX Cart & Magento Quick View Dialog Centering

Extendware’s Magento Ajax Cart and Magento Quick View have been updated with new features and a bug fix.

Dialog Centering

Both extensions now have the capability to vertically center the popup dialog. The old behavior of the dialog being at the top of the screen may be achieved by setting the “max top” configuration option to 0. May also set this to other values to better position the dialogs from the top according to your needs.

Transition Effects

This configuration option was available in previous versions of Quick View, but it was not being applied properly. Now both extensions fully support enabling / disabling transition effects.

Magento Full Page Cache – Cache Sharing

A new version of the best-in-class Magento Page Cache has been released today. This is our 32nd version of the Full Page Cache and it includes two important new features.

Information Sharing – In previous versions of the page cache the primary and secondary cache were essentially in their own walled garden. The consequence of this meant that unless you had a very busy site the secondary cache was not very useful because it would never be warmed (90%+ of requests are served by the faster primary cache). Now, the primary and secondary cache share information, so as items are added to the primary cache they will also be usable to the secondary cache if applicable. The end result of this is a much higher cache rate for the secondary cache.

Footer Widget – The footer widget is an informational feature for power users that want to see which cache level is being used to serve a request. In previous versions you could use an HTTP header viewer to view this information, but many store owners found this to be complicated. The footer widget is a good alternative to using an HTTP header viewer. It will add a black bar at the very bottom of your site that tells such information as cache level, time to live, and the cache key.