Version 1.9.14 of Ballyhoo Commerce, the easy e-commerce system, is now available for upgrades and new e-commerce projects. Major improvements have been made in this version to payment gateway management and search engine optimisation.
In this version we have improved the role payment gateways have in your online business as a whole, with attention paid to maximising robustness, increasing the control you have over payment methods and presenting you with key information.
Whenever we add new features to our ecommerce system we take care to ensure that the core part of the system we’re working on is operating optimally. In this version we spent a lot of time developing the payment gateway components of the system so we took time out to review how this works and make improvements where required.
For website owners using a number of payment gateways on their Ballyhoo Commerce e-commerce website we’ve developed a new reporting system. Whether you are using a combination of PayPal, SagePay and Google Checkout, it’s important that you know how well each is performing for you and which is the payment gateway of choice for your customers.
In the Payment Gateway section of your admin area, under General Settings, you’ll now see statistics next to each payment gateway in use in your online shop. We’ve reworked the system to record which payment gateway is used for each order and the value of orders. You’ll be able to monitor the most popular payment gateway and we hope this will help you make important decisions about your business.
Min/Max Order Value
As part of giving you more control over payment gateways, and in a bid to help you reduce transaction fees from the likes of PayPal, we’ve added minimum/maximum order values to the payment gateway installation process.
When a customer goes through the checkout process they will only be given the option to use payment gateways that have been set in your system to accept orders of a certain value.
For example, you have set PayPal to accept orders between £0 and £100 and SagePay to accept orders between £50 and £500.
- If a customer is placing an order with a value of £20 they will have to use PayPal.
- If the order value is £70 they will be able to choose between PayPal and SagePay.
- If the order value is £120 they will have to use SagePay.
SagePay Server Integration Improvements
SagePay’s server integration for payments is proving very popular with our clients and customers alike. This payment gateway allows the customer making a payment to stay on your website at all times throughout the transaction process and they will not be directed to a third party site at any point.
We’ve improved the SagePay Server payment form to make the integration of SagePay and your website seamless. We’ve redeveloped the way this form takes shape so that the form used in the transaction will be identical in style to any other form on your website, creating a feeling of consistency for your customers.
Making this improvement to the way SagePay server integration pages are generated has also streamlined the payment processor installation process as we will not need to take extra time to style this page for each client.
Search engine optimisation continues to be an important factor in the way Ballyhoo Commerce evolves.
Traffic to your website drives your business and today more and more people are relying on Google search engine results to lead them to sites that will fulfil their needs. While for most sites a concentrated SEO effort is required, there is a lot we can do at the core of your website to make sure it is as search engine friendly as possible and a solid foundation for any SEO strategy.
Custom Meta Tag Controls
Meta data is essentially a way of quickly telling search engines like Yahoo and Google what information your web pages contain. Depending on your SEO requirements the attention paid to this area of your website varies.
Previously, Ballyhoo Commerce automatically generated meta data from the content on the page in question. This has consistently worked well and has been a key part in the success of our most thriving e-commerce websites.
As the internet evolves and more effort is required to shine light on websites and products it may be advantageous to tailor this meta information, especially if you have a focused SEO strategy.
In this version we can now enable custom meta tag controls for advanced users. When adding a product, a content page or a category you’ll have the ability to enter information into the following fields:
- Page Title: a title for the page that has appropriate keywords. On a product page this does not have to be the same as the Product Title.
- Meta Keywords: a range of search terms that you would like your website or product to be found under in search engines. These aren’t thought to be as important as the description.
- Meta Description: a short description of your page or product containing appropriate keywords. This actually appears under your listing in search engines.
General SEO Improvements
Again, as we were working on this area of the system we took some time to ensure that our code was optimised and that everything was working as it should.
We also made a few other improvements to the system such as ensuring that pages with no relevant content aren’t indexed (picked up by the search engines).
It is important that your clout in the search engines is focused in key areas on your website and isn’t diluted through a number of pages which contain no relevant content (like the Email To A Friend page under Other Options on product pages). In this case the page has no relevance other than being a useful tool for your customers so it is not beneficial for search engines like Google to know about it.