We are very excited to announce the release of Cart66! We have spent over a year reviewing customer feedback from PHPurchase, fine tuning performance, improving the user interface, and continuing to simplify the WordPress ecommerce experience. We will be offering a WordPress ecommerce hosting platform powered by Page.ly, we have partnerships with theme designers who are developing Cart66 powered ecommerce themes, and we are continually planning new feaures and enhancements for our WordPress ecommerce products. As such, we wanted to do more than just provide a plugin, we wanted to develop a professional, online community around WordPress and ecommerce. So we are introducing Cart66 as a membership rather than just a plugin.
We’ve had a great deal of interest from folks who want to get early releases of Cart66 including beta testers and theme developers who want early access to make sure their themes will continue to work with new releases of Cart66. With the new members area we now have a platform where we can much better serve you by not only offering the Cart66 plugin but also offering access to beta releases and other Cart66 related products and add-ons. The membership business model gives us a much more powerful platform to provide better service and a more effective ecommerce tool.
What Can Cart66 Do That PHPurchase Can’t Do?
In developing Cart66, we have heavily focused on enhancing the subscription and membership management features. We power this site (Cart66.com) with Cart66 itself. As you interact with this site keep in mind that all we are using to power this site is a default installation of the Cart66 ecommerce plugin, and, of course, WordPress. We also use iDevAffiliate to manage our affiliate program and Zendesk for our support and forums. So everything you see here, you can do on your site too. You can sell physical products, digital products, and services with Cart66, but now Cart66 is a very powerful subscription and membership management platform as well.
Your Cart66 membership give you access to:
- Cart66 WordPress Ecommerce Plugin
- The latest version of PHPurchase Pro
- Support tickets and forums
- Automatic Upgrades for Cart66
- Early access to Cart66 beta release
- Cart66 add-ons and Cart66 powered WordPress themes
- And more…
Here is a screenshot of what the dashboard in your Cart66 members area.
What’s New In Cart66
Cart66 is, in many ways, the next generation of PHPurchase. There are some fundamental, internal differences that make Cart66 a separate plugin from PHPurchase so you cannot auto-upgrade from PHPurchase to Cart66. We have taken all the great feedback we have collected over the past year and built Cart66 to better meet your needs. Here are some of the highlights of what’s new in Cart66.
PayPal subscriptions: When we introduced recurring payments and subscriptions to PHPurchase last year, the number one request was to make it work with PayPal. We heard you and have done it. Even better, when you are setting up your PayPal subscriptions in Cart66 you can assign a “feature level” to each of your subscriptions and then manage access to your site’s content based on the logged in members feature level.
Enhanced member access features: Set up an page or post on your site to require a member to be logged in an have an active subscription feature level. Just click on the feature level you want to require. Define you own “access denied” message for posts that your visitor does not have access to view. Tip: include an add_to_cart button in the access denied message to encourage your visitors to sign up for an account.
Zendesk integration: Zendesk is the best and most requested web based help desk system available. Cart66 has integrated with Zendesk so that you can put your help desk system in your members area so that only members can access your help desk.
iDevAffiliate integration: The most popular and most requested affiliate program software is now seamlessly integrated into Cart66. Simply enter in your iDevAffiliate 3rd Party URL into the Cart66 settings panel and you’re finished! Cart66 will automatically award commissions to your affiliates in your iDevAffiliate system.
New Shortcodes: We have renamed confusing shortcodes and added new shortcodes as well. For example, if you are running a membership site and want to show content to (or hide content from) members with a particular subscription feature level we have introduced the show_to and the hide_from shortcodes. This functionality is in PHPurchase as well using the more esoterically named phprotect and phpromote shortcodes. Some other examples of new shortcodes include:
- add_to_cart (previously named cart-button): Show an add to cart button for your Cart66 product or subscription.
- add_to_cart_anchor (new): Show a link that will add a product to the shopping cart
- cart66_download (new): Show a link to download a members only file so that the file cannot be publicly accessed. This is a great shortcode to use in conjunction with the show_to and hide_from shortcodes.
- subscription_level (new): Show the feature level of the logged in member.
- subscription_name (new): Show the name of the logged in member’s active subscription.
- and more…
Up to 4x Faster! Even with all these new features, Cart66 is up to 4x faster than PHPurchase. We have refactored the code and optimized many of the internal libraries to make Cart66 very quick and efficient.
PHPurchase Subscriptions vs Cart 66 Subscriptions
One of the most significant differences between PHPurchase and Cart66 is the way subscriptions are handled. We originally worked with 3rd party secure data storage services like the Authorize.net Customer Information Manager to implement PHPurchase recurring payments. The biggest problem with this arrangement was that it required both an Authorize.net account as well as the CIM add-on which cost additional money on top of the standard Authorize.net account. The second problem was that we found the CIM authentication system to be tricky for many of our customers to configure. Thirdly, all of the recurring billing logic resided on the WordPress site in the PHPurchase plugin code. So if you are moving your site, changing your timezone, rebuilding your database, etc. you have to be careful not to corrupt the recurring payment schedules.
In Cart66, we discontinue the use of the Customer Information Manager style recurring payments and implemented PayPal subscriptions instead. PayPal subscriptions in Cart66 using the PayPal Express Checkout which does not require a monthly subscription and all the recurring payment logic resides on the PayPal system, not in your WordPress site. This is a much more stable, more powerful, and more simple approach to recurring payments. We have other 3rd party subscriptions services including Spreedly planned for integration as well. This will let you sell subscriptions using real credit cards keeping your buyers on your site for the entire checkout process and not requiring PayPal accounts.
Can I Auto-Upgrade From PHPurchase To Cart66?
Cart66 is a totally separate plugin from PHPurchase and you are not able to auto-upgrade from PHPurchase to Cart66 for several reasons. The two main reasons that PHPurchase will not auto-upgrade to Cart66 are that the database structure is significantly different and Cart66 manages subscriptions in a very different way. PHPurchase took advantage of 3rd party secure services such as the Authorize.net Customer Information Manager and the Quantum Gateway Secure Vault to store the customer’s billing information. With Cart66 we have chosen to integrate with 3rd party recurring payment services such as PayPal recurring payments rather than reinventing all the logic and relying on a customer’s WordPress installation to handle the recurring charges. For more information see the section on subscriptions in Cart66.
I bought PHPurchase. How Can I Get Access To Cart66?
Keep in mind that your Cart66 membership gives you more than just the Cart66 plugin. We are actively building up the Cart66 members area to not only include access to our Zendesk powered help desk but you will also get access to free Cart66 powered themes, hosting discounts, and other goodies that we’ll be adding in the future. That being said, if have purchased PHPurchase Standard you get Cart66 membership free for 1 year at the same level as your PHPurchase license. If you have a purchased PHPurchase Pro you get 5 years of free access to Cart66 at the same level as your PHPurchase license.
So, for example, if you have a PHPurchase Pro Multi-Site, you get a free year of Cart66 Multi-Site membership. If you have PHPurchase Standard Single Site, you can have a Cart66 single site membership free for 1 year. We will have a quick and automated way to get your Cart66 membership using your PHPurchase order number very soon.