[Updated] Business Catalyst February release - products canonical urls, forum spam filtering and admin interface performance updates

Cristinel Anastasoaie - Friday, February 14, 2014

[Update] Due to some last minute optimizations, we've decided to push the release to Tuesday, 25th February.

On Monday, February 24th, a new release of Business Catalyst is scheduled to take place. The release continues the improvements on search engine optimization, anti-spam measures and admin interface performance. Additionally, a lot more smaller tweaks and bug corrections have been included in the release. Check out below what you can expect.

Canonical URL for products

A Business Catalyst e-commerce site has multiple URLs for products, depending on the number of catalogs a product is included in. This raises a problem with search engine rankings and page scores, as they are distributed amongst the various product URLs.

Our February release takes a step forward in helping partners and business owners make their e-commerce sites more SEO friendly by introducing canonical URL for products. This will allow marketers to choose a preferred URL for a each product and instruct search engines to use that. The page rank and related properties will be consolidated into the selected URL, making it more visible in search results.

By default, BC will pick the first product URL and make it canonical, insert a link rel=canonical in page head and response header to instruct browsers and search engine which is the preferred URL of the product. Customers will be able to change the canonical URL through the edit product interface from admin console or through the import engine (for bulk updates).

SPAM filters for forums

In a continuous effort to reduce spam on customer sites, we have updated our anti-spam engine to also filter forum posts. Starting with this release, we're going to apply IP blacklisting and content filtering to forum posts as well. Additionally, all existing sites settings have been updated to enable content filtering for forum posts (the engine was in place, but a lot of sites did not have it enabled).

Following the release, we will continue to monitor the level of spam getting through and consider additional measures to keep it under control.

Admin user interface updates

For this release we have continued to optimize the new admin user interface performance so that customers get a better experience when managing their site. While the process is not yet complete as there is still room for improvement, we have made some major steps towards a faster and more flexible admin user interface. The change required us to make radical updates on the admin interface structure, as well as the decommission of the old admin interface. Here are some details about the changes made:

  • Admin user interface V2 has been removed completely
  • Admin URLs now start with /Admin and we've dropped the hash convention from the URL; old admin v3 URLs will be redirected to the new pages to preserve backwards compatibility (ex: /AdminConsole/#!/Admin/AdminPage.aspx will be redirected to /Admin/AdminPage.aspx)
  • The iFrame used to display main admin content has been removed
  • The custom menu items (config.json) are still loaded using hash URLs
  • Open Admin (closed beta) applications URLs are loaded at /Admin/AppLoader.aspx?client_id={{CLIENTID}}

Other updates

  • More than 100% improvement when importing email lists on databases of more than 50,000 already imported contacts
  • More powerful passwords are now required for admin users. A password should now contain small and capital letters, a number and a special character; existing users will not be forced to change passwords
  • A new admin report has been introduced to enable site admins to see the list of failed login attempts
  • Paragraph styles support has been added in the new InContext Editing editor 

As always, we have a series of bug fixes and feature improvements that are listed on our forums, so check out the Technical release details there.

We hope you will enjoy this release and look forward to your feedback.

The Business Catalyst team

 

 

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