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A few webstore suggestions / improvements


#1

Editable Defines List

As part of the continuing evolution of the product I wonder if you’d consider (at some point) creating an editable defines table that would allow users to change any of the predefined text found throughout the website? The ability to create new defines would also be handy should there be a need to use the same text over and over whilst allowing it to be controlled or updated from a single location. i.e. terms and conditions that might appear on several pages throughout the store.

Custom Editable User Panels

I for one would find it very handy if users were able to create editable panels that could be referenced in pages throughout the website from a single variable, as you do currently with the existing preset panels like specials, search etc i.e. {include:panelProductSpecials}.

These panels would help to reduce the clutter from the header and footer pages and allow certain blocks of code to be contained in relevant sections. In time this could be extended to set specific user rights to individual pages or panels so that novice users can perform certain tasks without fear of changing or deleting crucial content or code. i.e. only provide access to change the banners panel etc.

Legacy File Manager

FTP works great but there are times when a simple web based file manager would be extremely handy and could act as nice backup option if a problem were to arise with the FTP server, login credentials or access to specific folders etc. Although rare there have been a few instances where firewall settings or changes have played havoc with FTP meaning users cannot update specific content.

The ability to assign limited folder rights to users would also be a welcomed addition to not only the file manager but also to FTP access. At the moment there is no ability to limit FTP access which I believe would be a hindrance to most customers.


#2

These are great suggestions, thanks Andy.

We do plan to replace ftp with a web-based file manager, hopefully next year. In the meantime, the template project release will include an image management feature for uploading and organising pictures used on content / brand / theme / department / category pages (but not product images), via the WSM.

A define list would be a relatively quick one for us. We’ll prioritise this. (CC @james_mcging, @franclin_foping, @belen_ibanez, @brendan: would any of you like to take this as a 10% time project?)

Custom editable panels is interesting. One challenge around that is variable scoping. It would be fairly straightforward to support have custom panels in the context of the ‘parent’ header and footer templates. Having them inherit scope based on context would be more challenging. In any case, it’s a good suggestion and we’ll look into it in more detail.

Regards,
Donogh


#3

Thanks for the reply Donogh.

I personally would be lost without FTP and definitely wouldn’t like to see FTP replaced solely by a HTTP solution. As I’m sure you know there are tasks that are far more suited to FTP which cannot be done autonomously with a HTTP solution. It’s also worth keeping in mind that FTP allows us the ability to automate uploads through other programming languages like PHP etc. This would be difficult, or perhaps impossible with a HTTP solution.

With regards to the panels I have made use of the find or search panel in this manner as it wasn’t being used. I did try other panels as well but this was the only one which seemed to work throughout the site. As mentioned it’s helped to strip a large portion of our code base from our header and footer files, in turn making those pages a little easier to work with.

Cheers.
Andy.


#4

Hi Andy,

That’s interesting, thanks for the further feedback. Hadn’t expected users to be automating FTP uploads but it makes perfect sense!

I understand. We’ll see what we can manage.

Regarding editing language strings, we hope to release an interface for it on Monday to the alpha version; release to beta will follow shortly after.

Regards,
Donogh


#5

Thanks for the update Donogh. Also, a thank you for being open to these types of suggestions.


#6

Hi Andy,

We appreciate your measured and reasonable feedback, and also your contributions to the forum – they’re very helpful!

You can find the new language editor here on your demostore: http://mypetwarehouse.demostore.nitrosell.com/store/administration/manage_languagestrings.nsc

We will be releasing to beta as well shortly.

Kind regards,
Donogh


#7

Thanks Donogh, good stuff.