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The first year of ASA 2 comes to an end. It was a successful and inspiring year for ASA 2 and its community and I am very happy to announce another big update in 2016: Version 1.6 is here and the biggest feature it brings is:
The advanced ratings mode!
As most of you might know, the product ratings are not supported by the API anymore. So ASA 2 tries to read them from the product page. This is an optional feature and if you do not want to use it at all, ASA 2 offers an option to deactivate it.
But if you use the rating stars and you have many products on your pages, you might have experienced empty ratings stars in the recent past. The reason is a captcha on the product page which occurs when to many requests (e.g. from the refresh cronjob) were submitted. In this case you should use the new advanced ratings mode of ASA 2 (read all the details about it on the documentation page). It does not request the product page each time a product gets refreshed. Instead it collects those refresh requests in a queue and processes them one after another with adjustable time intervals. This kind of scheduled processing prevents from running into the captcha page.
There are many options regarding the advanced ratings mode to adjust the automatic process to your individual situation and there even is an intelligent monitoring mode (Beta) which decides independently based on the amount of recorded captcha pages whether to activate a suspend time.
Additionally ASA 2 gives you an insight view of the ratings queue and in the dashboard you will find two charts which show the current status of the advanced ratings mode at a glance.
Limit product description text and feature number
A great improvement of the managed templates are the options to limit the per default visible description text and the number of features. This way, very long texts or feature list will not bloat the page layout anymore. You can see it in action on the demo page.
Official cart buttons
Since version 1.6, ASA 2 has an option to use the cart button images in the managed templates provided officially by Amazon. You can find this option in the options section “Templates”.
You can also activate them per shortcode with the new option “official_cart_buttons”, see the demo page.
Price disclaimer link
Another feature to better follow the API license agreement is the price disclaimer link. If you decide to show the timestamp of the last refresh next to the price (which can be activated with option “Show date of last item update” on managed templates) – what I would recommended as it is part of the agreement! – there is now an additional “Details” link showing the price disclaimer text in an overlay when you click on it.
If you do not want to show this link or you have trouble with the layout of the overlay, you can hide it with option “Show price disclaimer” (on managed templates) set to “No”.
If you are working with ASA 2’s internationalization feature, there is a new very convenient filter option “i18n” for the smart_collection shortcode. With it you can filter for products prepared for i18n or exclude them. Additionally a bug has been fixed which caused i18n products to be skipped in smart collections (thanks David! ;)).
Improvements have been made in terms of shortcode handling. ASA 2 now supports shortcodes inside its own shortcodes. Managed template “Sortable_table” has also been improved in terms of responsiveness.
As always you can read the list of all changes in the changelog.
Have fun with this milestone release of ASA 2 and let me know any of your thoughts about it. Let’s have a great 2017 together!Get Amazon Simple Affiliate (ASA 2 Pro)
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