Happy Mid-Year!

Ok, ok, I know there isn’t really such a thing as Happy Mid-Year. But one of my New Year’s Resolutions for this year was to post regularly to my blog. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that didn’t exactly happen. So I figured rather than beat myself up over it, I’d declare a new Mid-Year Resolution.

In honor of Happy Mid-Year, I’d like to express some thoughts on the new Miva Merchant 5.5. A party atmosphere is definitely fitting here. Miva Merchant 5.5 not only provides a more aesthetic admin interface, it breaks out some handy new features for developers and store owners alike.

Among my favorites is the new Quick Find feature in the top navigation. The ability to instantly do a product, category, order or customer search without having to first expand multiple menus comes in very handy.

Another favorite is the new category and product sorting feature. Click through to a category, select Category Order: Show and simply enter the new sort order in the text boxes. Click Update to re-order multiple categories or products at once, or enter the new display order number in a single box and hit Enter on your keyboard to move that item to the new location.

The new SEO options are a great benefit to store owners. Products and Categories now have built-in meta tags and store owners can set up search engine friendly links with just a click.

Designers and developers will greatly benefit from the new Dreamweaver integration and the frameworks system. There are still a few bugs being worked out here, but these features show great promise for helping non-technical designers and store owners build an attractive, user friendly site.

Developers will also be pleased to have full access to the underlying template system. Category tree and attribute templates are now fully accessible without module purchases, making creation of a completely custom layout a breeze.

The launch of 5.5 hasn’t been without its hiccups, but the new MM management has shown great responsiveness in dealing with them. If you liked the earlier versions of Miva Merchant, the new MM5.5 will definitely please.

My only complaint about the new look is that the “Log in securely” link is no longer very prominent on the admin login page. My favorite webhost for both Miva Merchant hosting and non-Miva sites, Hostasaurus, suggested this easy to implement solution. Just add the following lines to your .htaccess file to force admin pages to secure so that remembering to click the link is no longer an issue.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} /mm5/admin.mvc
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} !443
RewriteRule (.*) https://www.domain.com/mm5/admin.mvc [R]
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