Could hardly contain the excitement with the long-awaited release and upload of the new CubeCart 5. The popular shopping cart software from Develion has long been a personal favourite for e-Commerce web design, as one of the most flexible, easy to use and stable of all the carts currently available
Upon installation the first change to notice is the new skins which come pre-installed and there are 5 in total. As with previous versions of Cube Cart these skins are not polished web designs, but offer a selection of layouts and colour variations which can provide a basic foundation to build upon. Essentially the core templates cover a range of layouts which your web designers can develop to present how you would like your shop to look and upon test drive, we found the new management of files, cascading style sheets and coding highly refined and easier to manipulate than CC4, while a professional working knowledge of the system is still required
The new control panel is a terrific addition to the backend administration area of CC5. Although functional in management terms, the previous versions had servilely lacked the cosmetic possibilities of modern design and presented shop data in way which required a custom re design and code development to achieve a layout, functionality which is better suited to some online stores. Virtually every aspect of store management can now be controlled in real-time via the dashboard and this shows at a glance statistics and notifications for orders, reviews and stock level monitoring
As with previous versions there is no limit to the amount of products and categories the administrator can upload and the management of items is far more simplified with new additions, such as a manufactures field and condition (new/used etc). From popular 3rd party installations to suit earlier versions, there is now a better multi category assignment, improved options and image management tools which was very much demanded. Pleased to see the layout of the admin sections is separated up into folders, delivering a simplified review/edit. It is much improved!
New CC5 can connect to Sage integration, this enables data to be exported and imported although we have not test driven this module as yet. The cart programming code is mostly PHP and declared to offer a better flexibility to extend the product in a variety of ways, thus improving the core CubeCart engine in which ever direction desired. Being open source the CubeCart web designer is free to develop the code, to customise programming to client specifications and even write your own plugins and modules
The programmers have improved upon CC’s search engine optimisation management by allowing custom search engine friendly URL’s to be input and customised to match the keywords and phrases which you may be targeting. In previous versions we had to custom build and install this feature, therefore we are certainly pleased to see this now integrated. Administrators can state the meta title, description and keywords which is essential for those taking advantage of SEO opportunities, along side there are various settings which can be edited concerning the way in which CC displays your titles and URL’s, delivered best suited to your marketing methods
Overall CubeCart5 offers a great e-Commerce shop suited to a majority of online business requirements, however we do recommend employing an experience web designer to create your own custom CC skin design and build any additional modules.