ASA2 update 1.15.1 brings many improvements and some new features

Timo ASA 2 Pro, Updates Leave a Comment

The major update in May was very well received by users. The new store feature is very popular and the ability to create Amazon products without an API connection helps many whose API access is not yet enabled. Since publication, a lot of feedback has been processed, suggestions have been incorporated and minor errors have been corrected. The work of the past weeks has now been released as version 1.5.1 in a maintenance update.

Below you will find an overview of the most striking points. All details can be found in the changelog at the end of this article or on the changelog page.

Template “Robust”

The new template “Robust”, which was introduced with version 1.15.0, was extended and optimized in some areas. Thus, it now has the option to display the rating stars. Also it got the new option “image_max_height” that applies in vertical mode on narrow screen widths.

Custom Products

With the last update it became possible to create products without PA API and ASA2 can later reconnect them with PA API. But there was not yet a way to revert a PA API product back to a custom product, e.g. if you were denied access to the API due to lack of sales. With version 1.15.1 you now have this option either as a bulk action in the product list or on the edit page of a product in the save box.

The last modification date for custom products was always the current date, which probably didn’t look very authentic to most visitors. Now you have the choice how to calculate the last modified date for custom products. Either the last modified date of the product post, a random value between 10 minutes and 6 hours in the past or as before the time the page was loaded.

Improved proxy server support

It turned out that the proxy servers for reading the ratings did not work optimally, especially when they were only usable with username and password. This has been corrected. Also, a new approach to establishing connections was implemented, which does not use WordPress internal functions. For the experts: this dedicated connection setup via cURL is now always used when cURL is available. In our tests we had very good experiences with the “Rotating Proxy” from Webshare.io.

If you are using the cronjob to read the ratings, there are now two new options that are especially useful when testing. With option proxy_id you can define the proxy you want to use. And with option queue_id you can selectively grab a product from the rating queue.

Improved LCP

The rating stars were formerly displayed via a relatively large sprite graphic, which was not optimal for the LCP. LCP stands for Largest Contentful Paint and is a metric that reports the render time of the largest image or text block visible within the viewport, relative to when the page first started loading. With version 1.15.1, this sprite graphic has been reduced from 55KB to 9KB.

Changelog of minor improvements and bugfixes

  • Fixed: Minor issues with template “Robust”
  • Fixed: PHP error that could occur when emptying the products trash
  • Fixed: Storing the results of shortcode did not set the default shop for the products
  • Fixed: Compatibility fix with plugin “Easy Table of Contents” (see https://wordpress.org/support/topic/conflict-with-asa-2-plugin/#post-14451214)
  • Fixed: If shop logo was not set, Amazon logo was used
  • Fixed: The cronjob output did not work as expected on some systems
  • Fixed: Keywords preload cronjob did not write logging details for the dashboard cronjob metabox
  • Fixed: The warning “Probably invalid ASIN detected” was logged even though the ASIN was not used
  • Fixed: Image fixes for the AMP mode of some managed templates
  • Fixed: Improved AMP layout for several managed templates
  • Fixed: Username and password for proxy server were not set correctly
  • Fixed: PHP 8 fixes

As always, I look forward to your feedback and feature requests.

With my best wishes and see you at the next update. ­čśë

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About the Author

Timo

I started working on AmazonSimpleAdmin back in 2007 because I could not find an Amazon plugin for WordPress that met my requirements. After many years of experience and hard work, the complete new ASA 2 Pro was released in early 2016. Follow me on Twitter. Learn more about me and the story behind ASA in this interview on expertentesten.de (in German).

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