X-cart 5-1-6 Speed Boost

X-cart 5.1.6 Brings a Huge Speed Boost

In the X-Cart world, change happens fast. Turn around and blink, and you’ve missed something. This time it is something really nice. :-)

On September 24th, X-Cart 5.1.6 was released. I mentioned it briefly in my last blog post. By now we have had a chance to play with and test this new version, and it totally rocks! Sure, there are new goodies and toys to play with, like MailChimp integration and AOM, but what we are excited about is the SPEED!

Here is the video log of my speed test, comparing a version 5.1.5 store pre and post upgrade:

Here is a breakdown of the actual numbers:

X-Cart 5.1.5:
First View: 13.293s First Byte: 7.723s
Repeat View: 9.967s First Byte: 6.335s

X-Cart 5.1.5:
First View: 5.253s First Byte: 2.520s
Repeat View: 4.221s First Byte: 3.361s

The numbers speak for themselves. The community has complained for a while now about the speed of X-cart 5 vs X-cart 4. By its very nature and MVC framework we expect X-cart 5 to be slower than X-cart 4. But the speed has been so slow that it was frustrating for users and developers alike. But now, our speed concerns appear to be a thing of the past. Thanks X-Cart team!

It’s Friday and the code is good

Its been a tough week. Client work always keeps us busy over here, but things have been especially hectic for me, being deep in development of my new theme. Its one of those code projects that are big enough to really sink your teeth into, and once you’ve been bitten, sometimes are hard to chew and swallow.

My recent frustrations came when I switched from pretty pixely fun time, to the hard core world of real code development. So far I’ve been grinding away, polishing the front side of the template. I’ve been dealing with colors and drop shadows, paddings and margins. Now I’m looking at Models and Repos, Viewers and Controllers. Its not as fun. And you get stuck.
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A new theme is on the horizon…

I have been banging around in my secret lab (okay, it’s just my basement) hard at work designing what will be my third module for X-cart 5. This time I’m doing a theme! There is some confusion out there. Is it called a skin, a template, or a theme? It can be any of those names if you want it to be. But to me the word theme embodies the essence of what a good theme should be: a theme. Templates, skins, themes should not really introduce new functionality. They should change the look and the feel of the platform they are designed for. I am keeping this concept firmly in mind as I forge ahead with my new design.
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New WordPress Tutorials

WordPress Tutorials
Even though I have still not begun categorizing and posting the vast amount of tutorials that I have done for X-cart 4 over the years, I am happy to announce that 2 new tutorials covering WordPress have been published! WordPress seems like a diversion from our X-cart theme, but it’s the beast that is powering this website, and I have built many sites over the years with this wonderful tool.

Now X-cart 5 (and X-cart 4) has a module that allows WordPress to be housed inside it, and I am currently in development of a module that will allow X-cart 5 to be tucked inside WordPress. So the two platforms are very synergistic. One (X-cart) allows anyone to become an e-commerce extraordinaire, while the other (WordPress) allows anyone to easily spread their message to the masses. Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.
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Re-branding and a Bug in our beloved X-cart

The babymonkey still loves you.
Baby Monkey Studios Logo

Well it’s just day 2 of XcartGuru’s life as a website and a company. I am obviously excited and happy to be blogging again, on a new platform with the same great audience. 2 posts in 2 days? I doubt I’ll be able to keep that up!

I didn’t talk enough about the re-branding in my last post, so I am going to do so now. I have operated for the last 6-7 years under the name babyMonkey Studios. http://babymonkeystudios.com

babyMonkey Studios provided logo design work, video work, programming, and our bread and butter: custom X-cart development. Mostly we worked for individual clients performing upgrades, redesigns and custom fuctionality to their X-cart stores. XcartGuru’s mission is a little different. Sure we will still take on design projects, or custom work for X-cart 4 and X-cart 5 sites. But our main goal is focused on building and supporting modules released through the X-cart marketplace.
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Hello world!

Well hello! Of course WordPress blogs always start life with a “Hello world!” blog entry, but this concept means more than that to us. Programmers use “Hello World” all the time in their code, it keeps us company on the long nights…

Hi, my name is Mike White, CEO and founder of XcartGuru. I’m very pleased and excited to bring you this new site, I am sure it will grow into a giant monstrosity of a thing! :-)
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