Customer facing updates from this release: Akismet integrations, cookies regulations and new taxation engine

Dragos Manescu - Monday, August 27, 2012

We've decided to publish a new blog post for the three main customer facing features that we've just released, to help you fully understand how these features impact and benefit your client sites. We'll also link to documents that describing how to use these features. (tutorials, FAQs etc).

Introducing Akismet for SPAM protection

In the previous months we've noticed an increase in SPAM related (primarily) to blog comments - and we'd like to thank our partners for making it clear to us that this was dramatically impacting most of the sites hosted on BC. Our first thought was that we need to update our current CAPTCHA engine. But we soon realized that any site owner who owns a blog doesn't really need a wall between the blog and the commenters - and CAPTCHA is usually such a wall - no one wants to insert a security code just to express an opinion. This is why we decided that we need something else. And that something is Akismet: the de facto SPAM protection solution for blogs - easy to manage and use, smart (it learns quickly which comments are SPAM and which are not) and reliable (55 billion SPAM messages is impressive). We've extended Akismet for all types of comments on BC (web pages, products, catalogues, web apps, etc). For web forms alone we are still investigating if Akismet is the right solution, as people tend to feel more secure if CAPTCHA is involved when filling out a form (whether we are talking about a donation form, a payment form or just a contact form).

Advantages

  • Easy to configure and to understand - see how to enable and manage Akismet here
  • Easy to manage SPAM and it can be correlated with manual SPAM moderation as well
  • Better for the visitors of a blog: they will not have to fill in any CAPTCHA field just to express their opinions

How it impacts business owners

  • All site owners or partners will have to manually enable Akismet on their websites. We haven't enabled it by default
  • In the beginning, Akismet may not be 100% accurate- a few SPAM comments may leak through as valid comments. Don't worry, all you need to do is train Akismet. That is, you should mark all these comments as SPAM manually. Once Akismet becomes experienced enough (this shouldn't take more than a few days, if any), you will have a strong SPAM engine in place
  • Any site owner / Partner can have enabled both Akismet and manual moderation enabled (in case there's a desire not to display comments from a specific user)

Other documents

Next

  • In Business Catalyst any comment is associated with a CRM entry. We will offer a way to delete all the associated CRM entries if the customer is the author of a comment considered SPAM
  • CRM bulk deletion functionality

Complying to the European and UK cookie legislation

This regulation was designed to protect online privacy by making consumers aware of how information about them is collected and stored by websites, and also to help them choose whether or not they want it to happen.
It started as a directive adopted by all EU countries in May 2011. At the same time, the UK updated its Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations based on this directive. Recent changes in this directive, together with deep investigation from the Adobe legal department revealed that it will suffice for a site owner or Partner to allow the visitors to disable tracking and other performance cookies. Hence, we've provided a module that will enable any site owner or Partner to offer this functionality to site visitors.

We've divided the cookies in two categories: Strictly Necessary Cookies and Performance & Tracking Cookies. Basically, the former category contains all the cookies that make the site functional (ie. the shopping cart, secure zones etc), whereas the latter category contains all the cookies related to tracking and analytics. We are not providing any mechanism for enabling/disabling third party cookies. Click here to see a detailed description of all the cookies available on your website. Disabling will only be available for Performance and Tracking Cookies.

Advantages

  • Out of the box module that the site owner/Partner can enable on a page of a website and link to from any menu entry
  • 100% customizable - our module can be easily customized and styled
  • 100% compliant with the EU and UK legislations

How it will impact the business owners

  • The site owner / Partner should enable this module on a web page and then link that to that page from a navigation menu. Here's a step by step tutorial on how to do this
  • By enabling this feature the site owner may not be able to track usage statistics if visitors decide to disable the Performance and Tracking cookies

Introducing an improved tax rounding engine

As announced last week, we have improved the algorithm that calculates the value of sales taxes. This invoice calculation now respects best practices in the industry, fixing error propagation and including intelligent rounding for 2 decimals.

Advantages

  • Correct calculation of taxes applied to more than one purchased product
  • Best accounting and industry practices are respected

How it will impact the business owners

  • To enable the improved tax rounding engine on existing sites, please follow this guide
  • The improved tax rounding engine is enabled by default for all new Business Catalyst sites
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