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Blog & Development History

26/12/16

New minor feature; you can now link to external websites from the drop downs should you wish too!

24/12/16

Merry Christmas from EZamazon!

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas to all of our lovely customers. I hope everyone has a lovely few days filled with smiles and happy memories.

23/12/16

New features:

  • Removing items from the basket asks for the visitors confirmation first.
  • Several new header navigation enhancements have been made. For example you can now change the URLs the navigation bar uses and there are three new auxillary navigation slots available which store owners can use if they wish to include any content in to the header navigation.
Top navigation admin settings

22/12/16

Products can now be dynamically pulled into the custom pages putting the ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) surrounded by curly brackets.

e.g. {{'B00KAKUN3E'}} for one product or

{{'B01DFKBL68','B01GAGVIE4','B00Y3TM6CO'}} etc... for mutiple products.

You can use this feature to make your own custom product listing pages or to pull product data into the custom pages.

See the custom content demo page or the custom lister demo page for examples.

Custom content page demo

19/12/16

Date issue with the XML sitemap fixed.

17/12/16

Browse node left hand navigation improvements for stability and to display the category ordering as per the Amazon hirearchy and a email share icon added.

15/12/16

Four new sections for the homepage were added today. Some help content was also added into the admin panel to better explain the purpose of each section. The new homepage blocks are:

All of these new homepage sections can be turned on and off as required.

14/12/16

New info and offers page which can be customised in the admin panel along with setting which products show in the featured products carousel. This product carousel is also now available on the categories and brands homepages.

Infor and offers page

13/12/16

EZamazon now features a price range filter on the product lister (PLP) pages. This shows the customer the value range of the products currently shown and can be adjusted to show products between a particular price range of the customers choosing.

Also searching now shows the number of products returned, if you see in the second screenshot highlighted in yellow.

Price range filter Number of results returned

12/12/16

The EZamazon product lister (PLP) pages now have a select menu which allows the customers to sort the search results and category pages by Best Selling, Average Customer Reviews, Price Low to High, Price High to Low, A to Z or Z to A.

Amazon supprisingly doesn't support price and alphabetical sorting for all departments which we find odd, so if a choosen sort order is not available for a department a small error message is shown to the visitor and EZamazon defaults to sorting by best best seller. You can find the list of supported sort orders for each of the departments by looking a the locale information for your marketplace.

Also the pagination bar has been re-designed.

New sort order select menu New pagination design

11/12/16

EZamazon now features categories and brands master homepages. You can customise the content of these root pages in the admin panel.

Category homepage screenshot

09/12/16

A minor bug fix to the image zoom viewer was released today.

08/12/16

Three minor updates today.

  • The admin panel now features a news tab with Amazon associates news so you can keep an eye on the latest deals from Amazon to promote in your stores as well as showing EZamazon product news.
  • Also it is now possible to customise all the top navigation names.
  • The Amazon associates logo was updated so that it would work with background colours other than white and some alignment tweaks to the footer were made.
Screenshot of hte new admin news page

07/12/16

Three minor updates today.

06/12/16

Today a minor bug was fixed in the sitemap code. For those that don't realise, in the footer of your EZamazon site is a link to a html sitemap page. You'll notice this URL has the parameter on the end of the URL html=true. If you remove this parameter e.g. change http://store.ezamazon.co.uk/sitemap.php?html=true to http://store.ezamazon.co.uk/sitemap.php you'll notice the sitemap then renders as XML only. This version can be submitted into Google search console as the XML sitemap for your site.

Also today the following websites were upgraded to EZamazon version 3.0.

gear4festivals.co.uk twinkletoesdanceshoes.com

05/12/16

04/12/16

The latest updates are:

03/12/16

A quick bash count with find . -name '*.php' | xargs wc -l reveals EZamazon is now 9,014 lines of PHP code, version 2.0 was 2,080 lines of code so that's a 4.3 times increase! There are also 33,104 lines of JavaScript and 7,274 lines of CSS although these numbers include all the libraries used.

02/12/16

Amazon Best Sellers!

  • Two new modules built today which allow you to show Amazons best selling products for a given browse node on the homepage and product listing pages. In both locations the best sellers can be shown as a carousel or an ordered list. On the product listing pages the best sellers can be configured to be shown at the top of the page, at the bottom of the page or in both locations.
  • Also you can now conifgure in the admin section how many days your site caches Amazon product data API calls for.
Category page best sellers Category page best sellers

01/12/16

Numerous minor EZamazon enhancements added today!

  • Login screen new layout
  • Admin responsive layout improvments
  • Alternative product image carousel highlights the current image selected
  • Font awesome icons implemented which means more control for EZamazon users
  • Scroll to top feature added
  • Basket header layout improvements
  • News article improvements (Date order sorting, option to select which RSS feed is shown and an option to override with a manual news feed)
  • Header re-developed to cope with larger dimension logos
  • Pagination alignment fix for product listing pages with only one row of results

30/11/16

Chillisource.co.uk has been upgraded to use EZamazon version 3.0! the site is looking fantastic and is making use of some of the new SEO features for adding content at the top of the category pages.

Blair's Sauces & Snacks category page Chilli Seeds category page

29/11/16

Added support for webp images in the image library.

28/11/16

New cache clean up functionality to delete all Amazon API responses over 7 days old.

24/11/16

The product lister page (PLP) breadcrumb trail functionality was upgraded to follow your path through the Amazon browse nodes.

Breadcrumb trail now follows Amazon browse nodes

23/11/16

Some new toggle features in the shop section in the CMS to give you better control on how the store behaves:

Also now the browse nodes left nav changes into a select menu on mobile devices.

22/11/16

The left nav on the product listing pages are now dynamically based on the Amazon browse nodes for that category. This means that visitors and crawlers will be able to continue navigating through your websites hirearchy far beyond the initial 20 categories set at the top level in the CMS and EZamazon will auto generate many many product listing pages.

Left nav using browse nodes

21/11/16

Todays new major feature is that you can now specify Amazon browse nodes for each category page. The advantage of this is that by specifiying both a category search term and an Amazon browse node ID EZamazon returns much more precise product listings. To search for browse node ID's for Amazon categories we highly recommend this website: http://www.findbrowsenodes.com which displays the Amazon product hierarchy really clearly empowering you to find the correct categories and browse node ID's for the products you want to sell through your affiliate site. To the right is a screenshot of the settings you can now specify for each category in the CMS, including the category name, browse node ID and the SEO text block to be used on that category page.

Also today a few more minor features were added:

  • Automatic minification to the sites main JavaScript file
  • A new password strength indicator in the admin section
  • The ability to select which category the product carousel on the homepage displays, previously it defaulted to category one
  • Plus one small bug fix to the XML sitemap to encode ampersands used in category names

In other news we were pleased to learn ezamazon.co.uk now has 110,428 external backlinks!

Browse nodes

20/11/16

Custom pages! Now EZamazon store owners can create totally custom pages in the admin section.

The custom content pages tool is a new section in the admin area which allows store owners to create their own pages quickly and easily. These pages are automatically included into the sites navigation and XML sitemap to be indexed by search engines. They can also be linked to from the homepage, about page, blog or homepage heros.

EZamazon store owners can create as many pages as they need to. Creating custom content for your EZamazon store will help it rank higher in search engines by allowing you to create custom content about the products to be indexed. Hopefully more custom content will mean more traffic which in turn should help you increase your Amazon affiliate earnings!

Custom Pages Tool Screenshot

19/11/16

More new features!

  • The main CSS stylesheet is compressed on the fly at run time to remove whitespace and to improve the site page speed
  • The admin section now has an image tab which allows you to upload images, review images in the image library and delete images
Image upload screenshot

18/11/16

New features today:

  • 'More menu' now shows in the left hand nav
  • New editable right hand column text blocks on the homepage and about page
  • Text editor for the CMS pages where you can input your own content
Text editor for the CMS pages

17/11/16

Some minor bug fixes today, also very pleased to see doggiebuys.com upgraded to using the latest EZamazon 3.0 script, the site is looking really good!

16/11/16

New red SAVE roundel on product images which have reduced in price!

Product page image with SAVE roundel

15/11/16

EZamazon now shows was prices and save messages on both lister (PLP) and product (PDP) pages.

The new was pricing structure

The homepage of EZamazon now has a rotating hero image carousel which allows you to specify up to 4 linkable hero images in the CMS.

The new carousel hero

14/11/16

Version 3.0 is here! This marks a major milestone in the evolution of EZamazon with almost a complete code rewrite, with many enhancements and stability improvements along with a new responsive layout which will work across mobile, tablet and desktop devices allowing you to maximise your affiliate sales!

Version 3.0

10/11/16

EZamazon now has Terms & Conditions, a Privacy Policy, a Cookies Policy and a Software Licence Agreement

09/11/16

The EZamazon product page shows review star ratings where possible. I've also done some work today to tidy up the admin page layout.

Review stars on the EZamazon product page

08/11/16

New today:

We now invite everyone to play with the demo store admin settings:

http://store.ezamazon.co.uk/admin

Username: [email protected]

Password: password

Don't worry about breaking anything in the demo store, it resets itself every hour.

Also:

07/11/16

Lister page redesigned with an add to shopping basket button added so visitors can shop from here without having to visit the product page.

Lister redesign 7th Nov 16

This is the EZamazon office now with an organised backlog (whiteboard) of features to implement!

EZamazon office

06/11/16

Share this social icons added so visitors can quickly share pages and products on EZamazon to their favourite social network.

Share this social sharing icons

05/11/16

You can now specify a custom block of SEO text to appear at the top of each category page. This text can be inserted via the admin page. Use it to provide some unique text to your dynamic category pages and help boost your sites search ranking. You can include HTML markup in these blocks to include links.

Screenshot of the new SEO text block at the top of the category pages

04/11/16

New features added today:

03/11/16

EZamazon now features a related products carousel on the product page with product images.

Screenshot of the new related products carousel

02/11/16

The EZamazon product page now has four settings for showcasing the customer reivews as follows. Theses are configurable in the admin panel:

  1. Off - Turns off the display of reviews
  2. Scraped - Best for SEO
  3. Iframed - Old method
  4. Link to Amazon - Links the customer to Amazon with your associate tag

Number 2 is the new method added today and will have the most SEO benefit since it will render the customer reivews as part of you own html code!

01/11/16

EZamazon now features a shopping basket! This feature means site visitors can add mutiple items to an on site basket before transferring all items across to Amazons checkout for purchase.

Screenshot of the new basket page

30/10/16

Now EZamazon shows thumbnails of all the alternative images available for a product. Clicking these thumbnails loads them into the main product image slot.

Thumnails of alternative images added

29/10/16

To furthur combat the throttling Amazon impose on their product advertising API, EZamazon has been upgraded with caching for the API calls, essentially after making a successful API call the site stores the results so if the visitor returns to that page then the results are loaded from the cache rather than by calling Amazon again. This improvement has massive performance gains for the page load speed if the cache is already primed with that page!

28/10/16

Drop down navigation added and key pages like the homepage and product page made full width which makes for a more appropriate layout for these pages rather than including the left hand nav on every page template.

26/10/16

EU cookies toolbar added to EZamazon. This feature warns visitors to the site that EZamazon uses cookies, this is a legal requirment in the EU. This feature is configurable in the admin section whether it displays to visitors or not for those who are outside of the EU.

Cookies Toolbar

25/10/16

Sadly it seems these days Amazon limit their product advertising API call rate to 1 request per second. You can read about this here: http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSECommerceService/latest/DG/TroubleshootingApplications.html under the efficiency guidelines section.

"If your application is trying to submit requests that exceed the maximum request limit for your account, you may receive error messages from Product Advertising API. The request limit for each account is calculated based on revenue performance. Each account used to access the Product Advertising API is allowed an initial usage limit of 1 request per second. Each account will receive an additional 1 request per second (up to a maximum of 10) for every $4,600 of shipped item revenue driven in a trailing 30-day period (about $0.11 per minute)."

What does this mean for EZamazon? Well we have amended the affiliate script to call the product advertising API no more than once per second. This seems like quite a poor show from Amazon given their size and infrastructure. On testing their API we have found that Amazon can actually be more agressive than stated above and we have seen them limit calls made within 3 seconds of each other. A frustrating issue to say the least but we will continue to look for alternative solutions. Amazon if you read this please cosider revising this rate limit since it doesn't really help your affiliates make sales for you!

24/10/16

A user of EZamazon brought to my attention that the site ranks in the 4th natural position on google.co.uk for the keywords "amazon affiliate script php". I'm pretty excited by this, even more reason for me to really make something of this :)

4th position in Google Oct 2016

23/10/16

Updates made today:

  • Fixed a security defect with the admin section.
  • Bug fix to best sellers page and star products section.
  • Centrally aligned the site.
  • Minor cosmetic tweaks including changes to the header layout, about image and the search button.

It's pleasing to see the demo EZamazon affiliate site is picking up increasing daily traffic now! Stats from Google analytics below. This is definitely inspiring me to furthur develop the EZamazon site.

Demo site traffic from Oct 15 to Oct 16

22/10/16

Fixed a defect where new customers were redirected back to the demo site admin page upon trying to setup their own version of the EZamazon script.

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