Datafeed Studio V2.6 Released

automatic slugs

Yep – V2.6 is out the door and ready for download :-)

This is a major release if you use the “affiliate store” system of Datafeed Studio as the application now finally supports subcategories and automatic SEO friendly URLs of categories and products.

What took me so long? Well, personally, I always try to go that extra mile when I create affiliate store sites and manually create categories (including custom products), ensuring unique content…and supposedly a higher ranking on the search engines so I’ve never really put it as a high priority as I handcraft the slugs/permalinks myself.

Of course, not everyone has as much time as me so I’ve reluctantly caved in :-p

From this release on Datafeed Studio generates a SEO friendly URL for your product automatically (e.g. blue-widget.html) during the import process.

A new configuration option in the Site Editor named ‘Use Automatic Slugs‘ (enabled by default) allows you to toggle display of automatically generated slugs on and off. For new stores, you should leave it set, but you probably want to leave it off for old stores which already have pages indexed in the search engines.

Categories have also undergone a major makeover in this release. As well as the old manual and dynamic categories, this release introduces a third “auto” type. As their name suggests, these are created automatically from the categories provided by the merchants in their feeds.

The powerful thing about these categories is that you can add one or more matches to a particular category, e.g. you might have a category created automatically with the name ‘Wii’, you can then add additional ‘matches’ for terms such as ‘Wii Hardware’ or ‘Wii Consoles’ and any products matching these terms in their category description will be grouped into the main ‘Wii’ category.

That’s enough good news. The bad news is that these are such big changes (I nearly made this a V3 release, given the nature of the changes) meaning that if you have developed any custom themes these will need updating slightly in order to work properly.

Basically all this entails is prefixing URLs with the variable ${site/url}. Check out the layout.html and macros.html for any store theme and you should be able to work out the changes. If not, contact me and I’ll assist further. (If you have just updated the CSS then you don’t have to worry about this).

Apart from the slug and category changes, there’s a few minor bug fixes as usual, and little changes here and there, like the ability to nominate the home page category to display random products and additional permission checks during the install process. See the CHANGELOG.txt file in the distribution for more info.

To download click here. If you are upgrading please read the specific instructions in the README.TXT file.

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