Keeping your store software up to date is a must. Every CS-Cart release not only enriches your store with new features but also improves its security.
Of course, it’s up to you whether to upgrade your store or not. But often upgrading is necessary. For example, a carrier updates its API and so now some shipping services don’t work for your country. A payment service updates its security protocols and now your favorite payment method doesn’t work in your store. In these cases, an upgrade will make those work again—we continually update shipping and payment integrations in CS-Cart over time.
So that you can easily keep your store up to date, we’re offering one year of free upgrades when you buy the license. To receive upgrades after that first year, you should buy an upgrade subscription for one year more for $160.
Upgrading is a technically complicated process. Sometimes it fails because of a particular server configuration or if a store is deeply modified.
In CS-Cart 4.4.1, we’ve made upgrading safer. Now, you can upgrade to newer versions without worrying about breaking your custom storefront theme or facing conflicts during upgrading. We’ve achieved this by changing the logic in theme upgrading and by adding a core file changes detector.
Custom Themes Won’t Break after New Upgrades
A theme defines the appearance of your storefront. Usually, store admins use either the built-in Responsive theme or develop a custom one. Admins often prefer the latter because with a custom theme a store looks unique.
CS-Cart 4.4.1 ships with two themes: Responsive and Bright. Responsive is the “parent” theme. We call it “parent” because all other themes—Bright or any custom—depend on Responsive and use its templates.
Previously, upgrades updated templates in the Responsive theme plus the templates in a custom theme fetched from Responsive. As a result, a custom theme could break down after the upgrade.
Starting from CS-Cart 4.4.1, upgrades only update templates in the Responsive theme and don’t affect any additional themes. You won’t have to worry about your custom design when upgrading any longer.
You Can Track Changes in the CS-Cart Core
CS-Cart has a convenient architecture: the core defines the basic functionality and add-ons extend it with advanced features.
When extending the CS-Cart functionality, developers should add new features via add-ons only. They shouldn’t modify core files because any core changes can break a store or provoke conflicts during upgrading. Moreover, any feature added by modifying the core stops working after the next upgrade.
Actually, your core could always be modified even though you likely didn’t realize: it could happen when you ordered a feature from a third-party developer. The coder extended your CS-Cart by modifying the core—but after the next upgrade you lost that feature.
In CS-Cart 4.4.1, we’ve implemented a core file changes detector. This detector scans the CS-Cart core for changes automatically when you log in to your admin panel. You can also start the detector manually—find it in Administration → File changes detector. The detector warns you in advance that you have changes in the CS-Cart core and that you could lose them after the next upgrade.
What do you think about these two improvements? Please do share your opinions in the comments!
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- Yan Anderson is the Social Relations and Content Manager at CS-Cart. He's passionate about creating content that explains complicated things in simple terms. Yan loves writing and making videos about the ecommerce industry and technology trends. He manages this blog as an editor.