New UK2 e-commerce package

July 1st, 2008 by

Hey – hope you are all enjoying this wonderful summer day, they say it’s the last sunny day for quite some time 🙂

Anyway, as some of you may have noticed UK2 has launched a new e-commerce product, well – we’ve had an e-commerce package for quite some time, but we have totally redone it and now that our new product is online and live I’d like to tell you a bit about it.

What better way to do that than to actually show you how it looks, works and what you can do with it.

Right, so this is what I’ve done. My wife runs a furniture shop selling classic furniture like the Barcelona Chair and Eames Lounge chair etc at 1929.co.uk – that shop is setup using the “old” UK2 package, and its working out very well for her. Just for the fun of it, I asked her to tryout our new e-commerce package to see how she would like it. She used installed it on kopenhagen.co.uk, and this is how she did…

A standard install from the UK2 control panel takes just a few seconds and the result looks like this, a pretty clean W3C compliant shop with an easy-to-use interface without too many bells and whistles. Now, selling classic – and pretty high quality/priced furniture – demands a more exclusive look, with a bit of oomph to it, so she checked out the other templates that the UK2 e-commerce package comes with out of the box:

While they were all cool looking templates, none of them were exactly the way she wanted. She did end up going with the “Brown” template but she felt it needed a bit of tweaking with though.
The UK2 e-commerce templates are all 100% CSS based, which makes it really easy to change the look and feel or even the full layout of the shop. So, when my wife (who is NOT a techie or designer) wanted to make changes in the brown template she only had to mess around with one file, the brown.css file in the css directory.

The main changes she made incl. moving the menu’s a bit, increase size of price and putting up a new logo. She also changed the background to white to brighten up the shop a bit.

>>>It took her less than an hour and here is the result. < <<

She is very pleased with it, and might actually put the shop live.

Again, she is not a designer – and I might get in trouble for saying this, but if she could do it, anyone could 🙂

Finishing off, I’d like to outline the main differences between the “old” and the “new” e-commerce packages from UK2:

  • Full FTP access
    Those of you running our “old” cart might have been struggling a bit using the build-in file manager, I know my wife did. So, this new product comes with full FTP access so you can upload files as you would to any other website.
  • A lot of source code available
    We have included 90% of all source code for you, and you are more than welcome to edit it any way you wish. It’s a very well written PHP setup commented and easy to work with. You can write and add your own modules, templates and customizations with just a basic knowledge of PHP – obviuosly, the shop works out of the box, so this is only if you want to add some custum features
  • Dedicated IP and a Comodo SSL cert included
    We have decided to give all our clients their own dedicated IP and a SSL cert of your own as well. This is not a shared SSL cert, and it will be yours for free as long as your cart is with us. That’s a saving of £39 🙂
  • Website + e-commerce
    Our new e-commerce product is actually setup as an addon to our normal business web hosting package. So, on top of your shopping cart you will get a full featured web hosting account, with cpanel, Fantastico etc.
  • 100% CSS design
    Personally I think this is the strongest feature of our new setup. It is 100% compliant and comes with fully CSS based template setup. This is honestly the only way to build a website these days and this means that your site will be running much better on mobiles/Iphones/etc. It will leave a more professional impression and make life easier for your designer 🙂

Now, on top of that it comes with loads of new features, payment gateways and templates – we feel that this is the best package on the market and it will be the perfect start of any new online business. Start your own shop by going here, remember we have 30 days full no-questions-asked refund and to sweeten the deal we actually give you a success-guarantee: We’re so confident that you’ll love this package we’re not only offering 6 months for free if you don’t sell anything in the first 6 months!

Thats it for me – let me know how you like the new shopping cart and send us examples of your shops!


UPDATE: We have added a demo of the admin area there.

http://kopenhagen.co.uk/demo/admin/

Login using:
user: demo
pass: demo

And you can change the templates here: http://kopenhagen.co.uk/demo/templatechooser.pl (same user/pass)

🙂
Ditlev

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47 Comments

Richard Manchester
# 6th July, 2008

How about a video demo?

Antonio Farruggia
# 9th July, 2008

Hi,

I’m very interested in this and would love to see the templates you have on offer – I tried via the links you provide and they took me to a blank screen…

Is it possible to view them in some other way?

All the best,

Antonio

Cheryl, Essex
# 10th July, 2008

Where do we go to see the admin side of things and also will it be the same price as our exsisting e_commerce shop?

Steve Dunning
# 11th July, 2008

It wouyld be nice if

a. I could buy the e-commerce product as advertised

b. I didn’t get messages like this:

Zend Optimizer not installed
This file was encoded by the Zend Guard. In order to run it, please install the Zend Optimizer (available without charge), version 3.0.0 or later.

Seeing this message instead of the website you expected?
This means that this webserver is not configured correctly. In order to view this website properly, please contact the website’s system administrator/webmaster with the following message:

The component “Zend Optimizer” is not installed on the Web Server and therefore cannot service encoded files. Please download and install the Zend Optimizer (available without charge) on the Web Server.

Note: Zend Technologies cannot resolve issues related to this message appearing on websites not belonging to Zend Technologies.
What is the Zend Optimizer?
The Zend Optimizer is one of the most popular PHP plugins for performance-improvement, and has been available without charge, since the early days of PHP 4. It improves performance by scanning PHP’s intermediate code and passing it through multiple Optimization Passes to replace inefficient code patterns with more efficient code blocks. The replaced code blocks perform exactly the same operations as the original code, only faster.

In addition to improving performance, the Zend Optimizer also enables PHP to transparently load files encoded by the Zend Guard.

The Zend Optimizer is a free product available for download from Zend Technologies. Zend Technologies also developed the PHP scripting engine, known as the Zend Engine.

EOM; exit(); __halt_compiler(); ?> 2004072203310521728x?376;2 &?Ҭ?œ’x򆡦#732; (EY??lt;”›Z”œʢjb?Є??ĈȰT—G?;fΣŒM“?;?-=?Ʌ?خcǦamp;;扙j̷뷬›Ѥ>{›օ”k̜o9⣧띦#157;?榣402;G…ץܦ?5㦌㦣8482;?yuB?‰?8;_???41;%5׭妣376;4-?20;e鿿~Y˿|&W˿ȖŠ?ϵ?.򡪞?j+g:߿􍜎󼤞~ز?*?B@˜y????Ц#338;C[œ?g–{揈???#8218;]Əg돳ƒ??ƶa‡??1;ϊPq˦#8216;]듺c?8240;?rڣ?376;?ۢ?225;ۢ?2;Dv|ܹG↦#8230;޳o뛖J{vvM븉 ߦ#144;—뛬 [„?#157;⎵?ܟ?lUꃇk?t;?즣352;Ǧ#143;?6?4݈Ẓ?ٵϮWga–]?ֽdž?338;K鹰⦣8221;Q6Oܚ?֞?󕤦#8224;?ݱޏ[NŸ vd ‘(<??V?軦#8212;—с͵׋$Ꙧ#8218;*ѻ

Laura
# 12th July, 2008

Hi, trying to view your examples but am met with the following:
The component “Zend Optimizer” is not installed on the Web Server and therefore cannot service encoded files. Please download and install the Zend Optimizer (available without charge) on the Web Server.

Ditlev
# 14th July, 2008

@ Laura, yeah – the guys messed around with the install and zendguard. The product will go live again tomorrow.

@ Steve – we sold a lot of these in the first few days and we had to setup a few more servers and fix a bug or two. The cart will be up for sale again tomorrow though.

🙂
D

Andy
# 15th July, 2008

Hi, apologies you weren’t able to see the demo’s.

We’ve slightly changed the way the product works on our servers – but the good news is that we have actually been able to unlock all of the cart for editing except two files now, and this can only be better for customers who want to modify things how they want 🙂

Thanks,
Andy

Ditlev
# 15th July, 2008

oh – and yes, it is available again now!

🙂
D

Jenny
# 16th July, 2008

Can you offer instant downloads on digital products once they have been purchased?

Stephen
# 16th July, 2008

Will you be introducing a DEMO shop, that we as potential site administrators can trial. For me it would be essential to see how easy or not it is loading products/images, changing colours etc. Is there a WYSIWYG and HTML facility that you can switch between the two?

Mike
# 17th July, 2008

Looks impressive, but what about support if required. Is support via premium rate telephone? If by email what is the response time?

Mike
# 17th July, 2008

I write my websites in Dreamweaver. Can I use Dreamweaver to modify the site or is site development only via your interface?

Jason Bell
# 17th July, 2008

So where does that leave customers who are using the old system?

I started designing a site on what I presume is the old system and I am still making changes to it will I have to start again? Or is there a way to port to the new system? What will I notice that’s different?

JB

Wayne
# 17th July, 2008

Can I see a demo on the cart in the admin & a demo of the customer veiw

Kind Regards
Wayne

Richard
# 17th July, 2008

Hi, I’ve used your old e-commerce package for 2 years now to great success, and invested hundreds of hours creating my website.

Can you confirm that you will keep the old Pinnacle Cart system up and running?

Laura
# 17th July, 2008

I susbcribed to the existing ecommerce product from UK2 which has been extremely successful (and easy to manage) for my new business http://www.offhertrolley.com.

I need to have more detailed info on the specific benefits of the new product to contemplate a move to UK2’s new version as it will require a complete new set up, rewrite and redesign of my existing shop.
It would indicate that UK2 is looking to provide a much better UK version of ecommerce. However, a demo such as originally provided on the existing ecommerce product would be a big advantage enabling potential new customers to decide to commit and allowing existing customers to consider whether a change is of benefit.

Mark
# 18th July, 2008

With the ‘old’ e-commerce package there was a demo shop that showed all the administrator tools and configuration options so we could see what it was like. Are you going to do the same with the new one so we can see what it will be like to use?

Also if I upgrade from my current business hosting deal to the e-commerce package what will be the additional cost?

lynsey
# 18th July, 2008

Does the SSL certificate come as part of the install as I cannot find it!

Andy
# 18th July, 2008

Hi, in answer to your questions;

@Jenny, yes you certainly can, if you need detailed info our sales team can let you know how it works 🙂

@Stephen We will be introducing a demo shop and a demo admin area as well as a customer gallery of shops but this is still in progress at the mo 🙂

@Richard and Laura We will still maintain the old e-commerce system but if anyone wants to swap they are more than welcome – you can upload the products list as a CSV from the old cart to the new one to minimise the effort of re-setting up – if you give our sales team a call they can explain the differences between the two…

@Mike That’s the beauty of this new shop – you can edit the CSS and upload it from anywhere, including dreamweaver – although you use the shops admin interface to load in information you can use CSS to display this how you want in the same way you would any web page 🙂

Thanks,
Andy.

alex
# 18th July, 2008

can additional templates be purchased?

if so… where from

thanks. alex

Mark
# 18th July, 2008

Hi there,
I am in the process of just finishing my eshop on your original Pinnacle Cart shop, and have just stumbled upon this new revamped shop and am very interested with some of the features.

Is there any additional cost for me to move over to the new system?

What cart is the new system based on?

Will there be Developer support available, unlike Pinnacle?

Any plans for the demo admin availability date yet?

When is this system available for us to move over?

Thanks

Mark

Richard
# 18th July, 2008

Hmmmmmm. OK, I’ve taken a punt on this and bought a years package to try on a new domain I’ve registered for a product range we’re launching in September. I’ve been toying with the idea of a dedicated sub site for the range and this will give me an opportunity to try the new package.

First impressions are not good. It is wayyyyyy harder to configure than the old e-commerce system if you’re not a web designer by trade. If you don’t know CSS (like I don’t!), it is impossible to configure outside of the template you have chosen. And even choosing a template is not “simple” as indicated above – set up FTP in CPanel, then manually change the configuration.php file (the suggested URL link didn’t work).

For instance, I don’t want “Welcome to BOMB Organic” on the frontpage. Can I get rid of it easily? No, I need to change either the PHP, HTML or CSS of the page. It’s hard coded into the page. I’ve changed the Template and my company name has dissapeared. How do I get it back – I don’t know as there is no option in the Admin that I can see. How do I move the “sign in/register” menus to the top of the page. Pass!

The admin system is very clean, with only a few options, but that means you have to search through them all to find the function you want.

If I wanted to change the text colour of all the titles in the old e-commerce (Pinnacle Cart), I just browsed to the Appearance page, and chose a new colour for the appropriate title. In this new one, I’m totally lost in the world of CSS. If I wanted to select a new font for a section of the old site, again, I just navigated to the fonts part of the appearance section and chose a new font. In this version, again, I have to find the file and update the CSS.

Looking at the the Trader Eye web site (on which this package is built) there look to be some really nice sites. But I think to create anything remotely individual, you need to be a professional web designer and that’s a real shame.

I managed to create a pretty reasonable looking web site with the old system (www.bombcosmetics.co.uk) with absolutely no web programming skill whatsover, just a bit of effort in Photoshop to make nice pictures and an artistic eye. Indeed, UK2 used it on their own E-Commerce page to showcase the product (and I got a lot of calls/emails from people asking for a bit of help).

This system looks to have solved many of the issues with the old system in terms of SSL’s (or lack of them), VAT (which was based on the USA and useless), Postage (which was rubbish in the old system) and importantly (at least to me) the fact that the site is hosted on YOUR domain, not linked to another server giving a cart.bomborganic.com URL rather than www. All this is excellent.

But the fact that it is no longer easy for a beginner to customise a web page to make it look at least a little different to everything else without knowledge of CSS or HTML kills it for me.

The strength of the last system was that it was easy to customise the layout with no knowledge of CSS whatsoever. I’ve managed to work around the little problems mentioned above. You’ve lost that advantage with this system as far as I can see. If I create a BOMB Organic site using the brown.css template, my site is going to look identical to the Kopenhagen one used as example (except the pictures will be different). I know this one is standards compliant, but if I’m honest, I don’t care that the old one wasn’t. It worked – Google indexed it pretty well (pagerank 4) and we get 8000 unique visits per month. You mention that if your wife could move the menus, insert the logo and make the price a bit bigger, then anyone can. Well, I’m sorry, I don’t know where to start looking!!!

I’m going to carry on over the weekend and see what I can do with it, but I think I might be making a call on Monday to get a refund. I don’t want a site that looks like your wifes (lovely though it is). I want a site that represents my product exactly.

Andy
# 21st July, 2008

Hi Richard,

Your comments are definitely appreciated. I hope you’ll agree though that there’s no doubting the new cart is far more powerful than the old one we offered, as well as offering better value.

It is different to edit, and you need some knowledge of CSS in order to greatly customise your site, but small customisations can be done with minimal knowledge. We do have 15 extra templates that are being developed at the moment however and these are of the highest quality, I hope we can demonstrate them soon. With these templates customers will be able to get their shop up and running very quickly with more choice as to the look of their site and then customise things if they want to. It doesn’t take too long to learn how to do things like changing text size and colour and replacing images, but we also hope to have a service to do this for customers if they get stuck in the future as well. Naturally we’ll be adding these extra templates to existing customers packages once they’re available.

The fact that you have ftp access on this cart also means that you can use editors such as dreamweaver which can edit and write HTML and CSS from a graphical interface rather than having a limited editor built into the package itself. There are also useful free tools such as firebug for mozilla firefox that can identify what sections of the CSS relate to each element on the webpage, and that let you edit live on the page to try things out.

Although you may be right about the standards compliance at the moment this does actually matter a great deal. for as the web moves forward you may find your site not displaying properly in newer browser versions because of this.

Please let us know how you get on, we will be putting a customer gallery up on the site again to showcase some of our customers carts and hope you can be a part of this again.

Thanks,
Andy

Ditlev
# 22nd July, 2008

We have added a demo of the admin area there.

http://kopenhagen.co.uk/demo/admin/
Login using:
user: demo
pass: demo

And you can change the templates here: http://kopenhagen.co.uk/demo/templatechooser.pl (same user/pass)

🙂
D

Peter
# 24th July, 2008

Is there an instruction manual available? Thanks

Laura
# 31st July, 2008

Please can you clarify monthly price, £12.50 and £14.99 is quoted?

Mike H
# 4th August, 2008

Hello UK2

Can you please clarify whose Shop Cart system this is you are promoting here ?

We have just put up a new website with you which now has the newer Cpanel2 control system, and that refers to a choice of THREE different e-commerce engines from Agoracart, OSCommerce, and I forget the third one.

Which of those is this one being promoted here ( under http://www.uk2.net/e-commerce/ ) – or is it a fourth one ?

They all have pros and cons (not least which gateways they can accept) and it’s very important to match the choice of cart to one’s future business needs.

andy
# 6th August, 2008

Never having used the old system I don’t really have anything to compare. My only comments would be that your support staff still send out links to support material for the old e-commerce package rather than sending you to trading eye documentation and I am flummoxed as to how to use the ftp and SSL stuff.

When getting help from your support staff regarding the SSL certificate they actually ended up setting it up for me which was great but I was getting errors all over the place warning of security issues which nobody wants on an e-commerce site. In the end I removed it and put it to the back of the list of things to do as it was proving too difficult to set up.

Also, I am unsure how I can access my ftp files as you mentioned in an earlier comment so I can simply download my entire site, work on it in editPlus or a similar program until I have what I want then simply replace what is up there. When i try to access ftp://and then my address I get to a folder which contains a simple . a .. and a folder called incoming all of which have nothing in.

I am also stuck on how to accept card payments and set Paypal up so it doesn;t just send you to Paypal sandbox help page when going through a purchase. Phew. Think that’s it for now. any help and I would be eternally grateful.

I am actually a graphic designer with a fair amount of knowledge of css and I have to admit that I have struggled in parts trying to style my site. One very good thing I have to say is the speed in which your support staff respond via email. Excellent. I’m sure I’ll get there with this and once I;ve done one complete site the next should be easy. Perseverance is the key. Thanks.

Lisa
# 19th August, 2008

Hi there,

I was wondering if you can translate all the navigation in other language, like French. I mean the “Sign in / register” or “”view your basket”, just write something else…
Thanks

Ditlev
# 20th August, 2008

Hi Lisa,
Yup – perfectly doable. You have full access to the templates and php files, and they are quite easy to edit.

🙂
D

ena
# 20th August, 2008

where does the css file live? i didnt get any instructions on where to find this or how to access ftp (username/password)

Bethany Bedson
# 27th August, 2008

Hi can anyone confim that it is £12.50 a month?

puja
# 27th August, 2008

just wanted to know if different currency options can be added?
thanks

yalcin
# 29th August, 2008

Can I allow customers to pay with paypal as an option rather than just a transation gateway for using a credit card?

Thank you

Yalcin

DC
# 31st August, 2008

so the demo: that is the demo of how my editor will look like once i get the site up? cause i dont see where i can access the css or php and make the layout my own.

im interested in trying your package though if i do indeed get 30 day risk free trial, but is there a demo where i can see how i change the template with my own gifs/jpgs and colours?

i have been learning web-development so i know a bit about css and html but have not gone into php at all. do you think it will matter much?

James Stansfield
# 1st September, 2008

Hi,

I’m very interested in the ecommerce package, but have a question before I sign up.

I currently have aa website hosted on UK2.net using an install of Joomla CMS. this works very well and tehre are no problems.

I am looking to make another website using Joomla, but also with the UK2.net ecommerce shop (since joomla will do lots of things i can’t do on the ecommerce page), but I would like the security and robustness of the ecommerce solution. Is there any way that I can run them side by side on the same server, or would I have to do this another way?

The reason I ask is that I would need to install and unpack Joomla to the webspace, and as I understand it, the UK2 ecommerce package uses a CMS type interface as well so I don’t want to overwrite anything needed by Ecommerce.

Is it a simple thing to do, or does it require separate webspace? It says somewhere in the literature for this that it is simple to integrate the two, but i don’t want to buy something i can’t use!

I’m not looking for detailed instructions, just whether it is possible etc.

thankyou for any help,

James S

Ditlev
# 6th September, 2008

@ ena
The CSS file is in /css when you login via FTP 🙂

@Bethany Bedson
Yes, its 12.50 when paying for a year.

@ puja
Yes, you can add any currency

@ yalcin
Yup, paypal is available to your clients as a payment method…and your clients can pay via their paypal account or use the credit card gateway from paypal.

@ DC
Unlike 99% of all of our competitors you actually have full FTP access and access to a lot of the sourcefiles on our ecommerce product. So, if you want to edit the CSS you can do it by logging in via FTP and change the CSS/Design in your favorite editor – like Dreamweaver etc.

@ James Stansfield
Yes, you can run the shoppingcart from UK on the same account as JOOMLA. Simply install JOOMLA via the 1click installer in cPanel (your webhosting control panel from UK2). And then install the shoppingcart with the dedicated shoppingcart installer. They can be installed side by side. Take the CSS from JOOMLA and add it to the shoppingcart CSS (in the /css folder) and you are rolling. You might need to edit the actual templates a bit – but even that is easily done, just download them and edit in Dreamweaver or any other editor.

🙂
D

DC
# 9th September, 2008

so far sounds just what i need. now just wondering…a domain is registered for free when i choose the yearly package, now do i own the domain, or does uk2.net own the domain?

Steve
# 18th January, 2009

I’ve just been playing with the set up so far, it can’t go live untill we have the new payment gateway organised.

Really impressed so far & your support staff have been excellent. The one thing I am really stuck on is, there doesn’t seem to be an option to show thumbnails on the product list page. As we are selling prints, this is pretty important. I couldn’t see them in any of the demos, is it possible?

Kevin
# 26th January, 2009

Is there a way to add other payment options on top of paypal and payment gateways, I have many account customers that would benefit from online ordering so it would be good to have the option of paying on account.

I have already signed up for the ecommerce package and love the way it works, I’m paying monthly as not decided for sure yet. I would like to put a logo at the top and add the account payment option…

how easy would this be to do?

Thanks

UK2 Support
# 29th January, 2009

Hi Kevin,

Yes this should be fine.

There is already a cheque payment option which you should be able to clone and call “Account Payment” but this will just treat it like a cheque. You can add custom payment methods but that will require some knowledge of PHP.

Please feel free to contact UK2 Support who will be able to help you further. Our contact details are located here http://www.uk2.net/about_uk2/contact_us/

UK2 Support

Jessima
# 29th January, 2009

Hi there
I am setting up an ecommerce site in Italy and I wanted to ask two things:
1. Is your product predisposed for being bi or tri lingual?
2. Is there any disadvantage for me of being in Italy and having a UK company hosting my site? I have already registered the domains I am interested in.
Thanks and regards

UK2 Support
# 9th February, 2009

Hi Jessima,

We have a new version of our e-commerce cart launching in hopefully in 1 to 2 months time.

This will have automatic support for many languages at the same time.

Please feel free to discuss with our Sales Team on 0800 612 2142, or submit a ticket at http://www.uk2.net/submit_ticket

Thanks, UK2 Support

sharul
# 19th June, 2009

Hello, I wanted to know if you ecommerce package work with monthly subscription services; in that it allows your customers to subscribe monthly to services, and then allows myself to manage them (billing etc). Would it also allow customers themselves to view/change/cancel their subscriptions?

Thanks

Wholesale
# 16th January, 2011

Wow,Fantastic article,its so helpful to me,and your blog is very good,I’ve learned a lot from your blog here,Keep on going,I will keep an eye on it,One more thing,thanks for your post!

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