Competitive analysis: how not to waste money on unnecessary improvements

3 Ways to Move to CS-Cart

Online business is continually evolving, user requirements and search engine ranking factors are changing. If you launched an online store for a long time, then most likely you have already had one of these problems:

  1. Your online store is developed on a self-written platform. It has ceased to be supported, there are no add-ons and themes for it, so you cannot update the store. 
  2. Your platform has limited functionality, and it is expensive to improve it. 
  3. Your platform cannot cope with the increased data volume (items, categories), since it was not originally designed for such a data volume.
  4. The online store cannot cope with the load, and the page loading speed does not meet modern requirements.
  5. Your online store is not mobile-friendly.
  6. There is no strong Internet community where it would be convenient to read reviews about add-ons, themes or choose developers. 
  7. The site is not optimized for search engines, there are no analytics tools.
  8. There is no professional team to help you maintain and develop your online store. 

If you find yourself on this list, it’s time for your online store to move to a more modern and convenient management system, and CS-Cart will be a great solution.

Advantages of CS-Cart:

  • convenient admin panel, where you can flexibly manage business processes, 
  • integrated all the main methods of delivery and payment,
  • CRM integration,
  • there are both standard analytics tools and Google.Analytics support, 
  • SEO-optimized, 
  • mobile-friendly, 
  • better protected from vulnerabilities than open source platforms,
  • has a strong developer community and a forum with active users, 
  • and contains many more useful features for your online business.  

Even the boxed version of CS-Cart has all the functionality you need to launch a full-fledged online store and start selling. Through the convenient administration panel, you can connect payment systems, configure any delivery method and flexibly manage orders. And the layout editor will give you the freedom to manage the design and content of your online store pages.

In this article, we have described three ways to completely migrate your online store to the CS-Cart platform: two on your own and one with the help of specialists.

Option 1: Using Standard Export / Import

Using the standard CS-Cart tools, you can transfer the product catalog (products, characteristics and images), orders, users and subscribers. Everything else will have to be configured manually: payment methods, delivery methods, loyalty programs, etc. You will also need to manually integrate third-party services. Due to the difference in the password storage algorithm, you will have to restore user profiles.

If you choose this method of moving to CS-Cart, then the algorithm will be as follows:

1. Buy and install a CS-Cart license. 

You can read more about all license options and directly buy the one you like in the Cart-Power online store. Each license has links to documentation with installation instructions.

2. Export data from an existing online store.

In your CMS, you will need to go to the data export tool. There, check that the format of the uploaded file is CSV, the encoding is UTF-8, the CSV separator is a semicolon, tabulation or comma. As a result of the export, you will get a CSV file that you need to import into CS-Cart.

3. Transfer images from one server to another.

To quickly find out where the images are located, open the uploaded CSV file and find the Images column. It shows the path where your store images are stored.

Images path

To transfer images:

  • Go to the hosting control panel, then to the file manager. There, find the folder with images, you already have the path to them.

Hosting file manager

  • Select all and download as zip archive.
  • Go to CS-Cart “Administration”, tab “Files”.

CS-Cart administration

  • Select “Service files” and download the zip archive.
  • You will end up with an Images folder. This means that the images are now in CS-Cart.

You can read more about importing images and how to reference an image in an imported file in the documentation.

4. Import CSV file to CS-Cart.

  • Find an export / import tool in CS-Cart and study it.

This tool is located in the Administration section,  Export Data and Import Data tabs. 

CS-Cart import

  • Add import preset. An import preset is a set of rules by which the imported file is processed. It will allow you to match the fields from the uploaded CSV file with the CS-Cart requirements. The xml file format is also suitable for importing products via presets. Here you can also set the path to the images that you transferred in step 3. Fill in the required data and click “Create”.

CS-Cart Import preset

  • There are many additional import-related options in the Settings tab. Customize whatever you need.
  • Click “Import”. If the preset is configured correctly and the data in the imported file is correct, then the products are imported.

You can study each step in detail with screenshots and a description of the settings in the documentation.

5. Check the products in the storefront.

Go to the online store storefront. Check if the catalog and products are loaded correctly:  whether everything is fine with the characteristics, variations and images.

6. Set up payment methods, shipping and whatever is needed.

 This can be done using the tutorials from the CS-Cart User Guide.

7. Pay special attention to maintaining your link mass. 

If the links change, then you need to implement 301 redirects for all pages in order not to lose positions in the search results. 

As you can see, moving to CS-Cart on your own does not require investment, but it is quite laborious: it takes a lot of time to study the documentation, and then to manually configure the site. 

Also, the difficulty is that no third-party platform by itself will be able to issue a CSV file for uploading to CS-Cart in the necessary form. This is due to the fact that different platforms store product data in different ways and may use entities other than CS-Cart. For example, a product in your platform may have a video gallery, but it cannot be transferred by standard import via a CSV file. Or, for example, the Magento platform never had product options, while CS-Cart, on the contrary, had only options for a long time.

To correctly transfer data from the current store to CS-Cart, we recommend you contact the developers when preparing the file for import.

Option 2: Using the special online service 

To transfer your online store to CS-Cart, you can use online service Cart2Cart. It is paid. As in the first option, you need to buy and install a CS-Cart license. Further, the service itself will transfer all the data, but you will have to customize the online store and integrate external services. 

Cart2Cart uses the computing power of Amazon Elastic Cloud (EC2) and supports dozens of CMSs:

Cart2Cart CMS

You can calculate the cost of moving using the online calculator on the home page: 

Cart2Cart online calculator

There is also a free demo. You can see how the moving process will work. If everything suits you, you need to register, pay for the tariff and start the data transfer.

In short, the algorithm will look like this:

  1. Specify the URL of the online store from which you want to transfer data.
  2. Copy the special file to the store directory from which you want to transfer data.
  3. Specify the URL of the online store where the data will be copied. 
  4. Copy the special file to the store directory where the data will be copied.
  5. Move through all the necessary stages, answering the system questions and filling in the necessary information.
  6. Start the data transfer process.
  7. Further, the service will transfer data without your participation.
  8. You can control the move and see the results at any time. To do this, you need to log into the service using your username and password.
  9. Go to CS-Cart and set up an online store: payment and delivery methods, templates, external services, etc.

More information is available on the Cart2Cart website, including video tutorials.

Cart2Cart tutorials

The main problem when moving with this service is that only standard data is transferred. If the store has custom improvements and add-ons, or you need to keep the corporate identity, the service will not be able to transfer this to CS-Cart. You still have to contact the developers. Then it is best to immediately use the third option.

Option 3: Cart-Power CS-Cart migration

The third and most convenient option is to order a turnkey CS-Cart migration from Cart-Power. Then you are guaranteed to receive the all data transfer without loss: from the catalog and content to integrations with external services. If necessary, we will set up delivery and payment methods ourselves and even make a redesign. As a result, you will receive a project ready to work.

At the same time, even the position of your site in the search results will not deteriorate after its transfer, since we try to transfer data while maintaining links. It happens that the format of links used on the current platform is radically different from CS-Cart and it is impossible to simply set up a similar format out of the box. Then there are two ways:

  1. If it is important for you to keep the links in their current form, we will modify CS-Cart for SEO. The relocation budget will increase accordingly.
  2. If your budget is limited, we can Implement 301 redirects from old links to their counterparts in CS-Cart.

Whichever option you choose, search engines won’t notice the difference from changing CMS. Rather, on the contrary: the site will load faster, therefore it will rank better than before.

How we move: 

  1. We analyze the current online store: data, design and functionality.
  2. We describe and discuss with you technical requirements for the new functionality. 
  3. You buy a license for CS-Cart.
  4. We are installing CS-Cart on a test server.
  5. We transfer there the data that you need.
  6. We set up an online store on a test server, based on the technical specification.
  7. We conduct internal testing. It helps to ensure that the move was done correctly and the site is ready to go. First, our QA-tester tests the functionality using test cases. Then the project manager tests the online store for compliance with the technical specification and the general business process. 
  8. You can personally test the functionality of the store on the test server.
  9. If all is ok, we transfer the online store to a live server, having previously updated the data. 

In the process of moving, we can additionally:

  • transfer the custom modifications that you had;
  • transfer the data of these modifications;
  • transfer or update the design;
  • select and install new add-ons.

The result is not just an online store with data that needs careful configuration (as in the first and second move options), but an online store completely ready to launch. Everything is checked in it: data, functionality, external services. Problems in work are excluded, since the online store is fully configured and tested.

All you need to do is fill out a brief on online store migration to CS-Cart. Our specialist will contact you, suggest a suitable option and advise you on the price.