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General Settings

Turn Store On/Off

There may be times when you need to temporarily turn your entire store off for maintenance. For example, you should always turn your store off before performing a software update. To turn your store off, check the Turn Store Off option and click on the Update Settings button at the bottom of the page.

When you turn your store off, any store page will be replaced by a message to your customers. You can edit the message by changing the text in the Message Displayed field. You can use simple HTML tags in the text field (e.g. <br>, <b>, etc.).

Store Currency & Date Formatting

These settings have to do with the currency & date format used throughout the store.. Specifically:

  • Currency sign: Sets the currency symbol displayed on the store. For example: $, €, EUR, etc.
  • Decimal format: Sets the decimal format to either the English (1,234,567.89) or Metric (1.234.567,89) standard.
  • Date format: Sets the date format to either the DD/MM/YY or MM/DD/YY standard, where D stands for day, M for month and Y for year.

If you are running your ProductCart-powered store outside of the United States and use MS SQL as the database, ask your Web hosting company about the settings used by your MS SQL server. If the server was installed using local settings other than English-US, then the server is likely expecting to save dates in to the database in the DD/MM/YY format and you may need to make a small adjustment to prevent date-related issues.

NOTE: If the currency symbol (such as £) is not being shown consistently across the store, please try the following:

- Replace the HTML Pound symbol with the actual Pound symbol (£) in “settings.asp” - Change your meta tag (in your “header.asp” file) to “ISO-8859-1”. - Re save the file “storeconstants.asp” as ANSI using Notepad, in the event that it was previously uploaded as Unicode (UTF-8).

IMPORTANT: You should also check to make sure that your FTP client (and text editor settings) are NOT using the encoding option of Unicode (UTF-8) when you are saving or uploading files to your server.

Secure Socket Layer URL (SSL)

Many online stores use SSL technology to securely collect confidential information from their customers. If you plan to collect credit card information on your ProductCart store (even if you are using a third-party payment system), you should definitely consider using this technology. Your customers will want to know that the security and privacy of their personal information is safeguarded when placing orders on your store.

About SSL

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology encrypts data exchanged between a server and a browser. When SSL is used, information is exchanged using the HTTPS protocol instead of the HTTP protocol, where data travels unencrypted. The address of a page delivered using the HTTPS protocol will typically become https://www.myserver.com/mypage.html.

Because data is encrypted before being sent, the speed of the transmission is lower. This is the reason why not all pages of an online store are delivered using HTTPS, but only the ones that collect or display sensitive information, such as the pages where payment information is collected during the check out process.

This is also true with your ProductCart store, which uses SSL during the check out process only for the pages where payment and personal information is entered. If you would like to enforce the use of SSL on other pages, consult the ProductCart Developer's Corner for some information on that topic.

In ProductCart, you may use both a dedicated SSL certificate (issued specifically for your domain name ), or a shared SSL certificate, provided to you by your Web hosting company.

Dedicated SSL certificates

When you use a dedicated SSL certificate, the URL contains your domain name (e.g. https://www.mycompany.com). Dedicated SSL certificates have become quite affordable over the years, and are definitely the way to go.

Make sure that you order an SSL certificate for the domain name used on your store, including the “www” (if you have set your store up using “www”). For example, if your store is “www.MyStore.com” and your links (e.g. in search engines) use the “www”, then the SSL certificate should be issued for the domain "www.MyStore.com" and not for "MyStore.com". This is typically the case. If you get a certificate for “MyStore.com” and then try to access that secure site using the "www.MyStore.com" URL, you will receive a warning message indicating that the certificate was issued for a domain that does not match the domain that you are visiting.

Shared SSL certificates

A shared SSL certificate typically uses a generic domain name that has been registered by your Web hosting company (e.g. https://server.mycompany.com), together with your account name or number. The exact address changes from one Web hosting provider to another. Check with your Web hosting provider to obtain this information.

We do not recommend the use of shared SSL certificates because there are some technical limitations (see note below). In addition, dedicated SSL certificates have become quite inexpensive and look much more professional to your store visitors (no domain name change when they move to a secure page).

Limitations

You cannot use a shared SSL certificate:

  1. If you are using the Parent Path Disabled version of ProductCart
  2. If the Secure Certificate is installed on a different server than the one hosting your Web store
  3. If the hosting company requires the to-be-secure pages to be placed in a special directory on the Web server
  4. If you are using ProductCart v4 or above, and using one or more custom/offline payment options.
    Since in v4 these payment options are not shown on a separate page, but rather as part of the new “One Page Checkout” system, ProductCart will never switch to a secure URL. If will only switch to a secure URL (secured through the shared SSL certificate) when loading a separate payment page. That - in v4 and above - only occurs when using a payment gateway.

SSL settings

If you use SSL on your online store, check the This Store Uses SSL option, and enter the URL to your secure site. You can instruct ProductCart to switch to a secure page (from HTTP to HTTPS):

  • At login/checkout
    This is the recommended option, but you can only use it if you are using a dedicated SSL certificate. Check this option if you want the store to switch to the Secure Socket Layer when customers begin the registration or checkout process. For technical reasons, this option requires that you are using a dedicated SSL certificate. Do not check this option if you are using a shared SSL certificate or the shopping cart will show an error during checkout indicating that the shopping cart is empty.
  • On the payment page
    Check this option to have ProductCart switch to SSL before the customer enters payment information. You must select this option if you are using a shared SSL certificate.

SSL Certificate Providers

Just as a reference, here is a list of companies that issue SSL certificates (prices vary significantly as they include difference services, especially different levels of insurance). Contact these and other SSL certificate providers for more information. Your Web hosting company might also sell SSL certificates directly (and sometimes will give you a deal when you purchase one as you order or upgrade your Web hosting account).

How to avoid security warnings

When a page is loaded via the HTTPS protocol, all elements loaded onto the page must be coming through the HTTPS protocol. Otherwise, your customers may receive a security warning such as the one shown below (this is IE 8).

Home page URL

Leave this field blank if you want to use ProductCart's default home page for your store (pc/home.asp). The default home page can be managed from your Control Panel using the Marketing > Manage Home Page feature.

If you don't want to use that page as your store’s home page (e.g. you don’t use featured items), enter the full URL of the page that you would like to use as your storefront instead of the default. This is also the page that Continue Shopping links and buttons point to.

Enable Wish List feature

This setting allows you to turn on or off the ability for your customers to save products to a personal Wish List or Saved Products area of their account in the storefront. Customers can place items that they like, but are not ready to buy at that moment, in an idea basket from which they can retrieve them at any time.

The advantage is that when they are ready to order, they don't need to search for those products again. All they have to do is log into their account, select View Saved Products, and add to the shopping cart any products they previously put on their Wish List.

When customers add previously saved products to their shopping cart, ProductCart will check inventory (if inventory levels are tracked) and prices to make sure that the latest product data is taken into account.

  • To add a product to their Wish List, users will click on the Add to Wish List button located on every product details page in your store. If the Wish List feature is not active, that button is not displayed. You can change the button using the Settings > Edit Store Buttons feature.
  • To add products to the Wish List visitors must register with your store. Otherwise ProductCart will not remember who they are when they try to retrieve their list.

Enable Tell A Friend feature

As of April 2014, ProductCart no longer advises you to use the “Tell-a-Friend” feature of ProductCart. We believe internet hackers are using this tool for spam and not for its intended use.

To turn off this feature, follow these steps:

Store Settings → General Store Settings → Enable “Tell-a-Friend” feature→ No

If you want to provide your customers the ability to share your items, please use the AddThis integration tool.


Other store settings >>


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