Authorize.net Degraded Performance Issues 11/21

November 21, 2016 by

Important note for customers who use Authorize.net as the payment gateway.

Starting at 8:35am today Authorize.net had several issues with their API calls which resulted in errors and time outs for customers who tried to process credit cards with Authorize.net.  As of 1:27pm Pacific time Authorize.net had resolved these issues.  We urge merchants who use Authorize.net to check your transactions in the Authorize.net portal from between 8:35am and 1:27pm pacific time on 11/21 for any duplicate orders or orders with payments that StoreSecured did not receive notice of.  Please note that during this time many attempts to charge customer credit cards were met with a timeout message or an error from Authorize.net and thus StoreSecured does not know the final status of those charges.

For further information please see the Authorize.net status page at https://status.authorize.net or contact Authorize.net

New Feature – Secure Custom Domain Names

November 15, 2016 by

StoreSecured now supports the ability to make your custom domain name the secure name for your store as well.  Ie currently if you have a name like http://www.mysite.com your secure url during checkout might be something like https://mysite.storesecured.com

The new functionality will allow you to keep your custom domain name active for the entire checkout process, ie no switching the name during checkout.  It will also enable the store to be in secure mode 100% of the time.

 

Prerequisite

Your site must be using the Cloudflare service in order to activate your custom domain name as the secure name.  If Cloudflare is not yet activated you will be unable to proceed.

 

To enable this feature please visit

General–>Domain Name–>View/Edit

Click on the Edit link for the default custom domain name

Check the box labelled, Set as secure

Select the Save button

 

The store will now use the secure default domain name for all pages of your site and will no longer switch back and forth.

Old method

http://www.mysite.com for shopping etc

https://mysite.storesecured.com once login and checkout are started

Once changed

https://www.mysite.com used everywhere

All old urls will continue to be active, ie visitors coming in to mysite.storesecured.com would be redirected to the stores default domain name.

 

Important Considerations

The store will automatically use secure mode 100% of the time if your secure name and default name are the same.  This is a good thing for Google and other search engines as it can boost your rankings since they now give preference to secure sites.  It is important to note however, that if you are using external scripts, image paths or full path to other references that are unsecure, ie http vs https, these external unsecure references can potentially give an error message to your customers on the secure page.  Ie something like, warning there are unsecure items on this page.  The actual security is not compromised but the error message can scare away some customers.  Therefore if you want to take advantage of this functionality we highly recommend first ensuring that you do not have any unsecure paths referenced.

We normally see these unsecure paths coming from external scripts, ie things added to the template like, 3rd party seals, 3rd party javascript, counters or statistics scripts, or images that are hosted outside of our system.  If you are receiving these unsecure errors and need help determining how to correct or find the issues please contact our support team by submitting a support ticket, we would be happy to help.

New Feature — Export to Stamps.com

October 18, 2016 by

StoreSecured now supports the ability to export order information in the Stamps.com format for easier printing and management of shipping label generation.  This is a beta feature that we hope to gather feedback from merchants

 

To enable this feature please visit

General–>Other Settings

Check the box at the very bottom labelled Enable Stamps.com

Hit Save

Once Stamps.com is enabled a new Export button will be shown on the orders screen.  The button text is Export to Stamps.

When this button is pressed the searched orders will be exported to a file for import into Stamps.com

Continue here for the full help article

 

 

New Feature — Export to ShipStation

September 7, 2016 by

StoreSecured now supports the ability to export order information to the ShipStation website for easier printing and management of shipping label generation.  This is a beta feature that we hope to gather feedback from merchants

 

To enable this feature please visit

General–>Other Settings

Check the box at the very bottom labelled Enable ShipStation

2 new fields should appear to enter your ShipStation API and Secret Key

Once ShipStation is enabled and the required information is entered a new Export button will be shown on the orders screen.  The button text is Export to ShipStation.

When this button is pressed the searched orders will be exported to your ShipStation account.

Important data storage change

August 3, 2016 by

Important changes regarding credit card data storage.

Due to the ever changing PCI landscape and increasingly stringent PCI rules and regulations, moving forward StoreSecured will no longer store full credit card numbers. Storing this information causes increased potential risk and PCI burden for StoreSecured and all our merchants.

Effective 9/1/2016 ONLY the last 4 digits will be stored for new transactions.  All existing full credit card numbers stored in the system will be removed by September 16.

For merchant using No Processor, (manually processing credit cards)

Please note that this means that StoreSecured will no longer support offline manual credit card processing due to the requirement to access the full credit card numbers for doing so.  Instead we recommend the usage of one of our low cost gateways for real time processing such as Braintree or PayPal.  See general–>payments–>gateway.  All merchants using no processor have been contacted previously about this change.

For merchants using a real time payment gateway

Please note that the credit card information is NOT required for credits, voids or refunds.  The last 4 digits of the card number will be saved for reference purposes and also for a few gateways who require the last 4 digits for refunds and captures.  In addition most gateways provide a way to re-charge a customer who has already made a purchase through your store, thus making access to the credit card information not necessary.

Merchants, your PCI compliance scope should be reduced with the removal of access to this sensitive information which may mean less strict requirements and an easier yearly questionnaire.

For any questions, comments or concerns regarding these changes please contact us via the support system or at support@storesecured.com

Scheduled Maintenance 7/22 9:30pm PST

July 20, 2016 by

Scheduled maintenance period Friday 7/22 9:30pm – 10:30pm Pacific time.

 

During the maintenance window there will be expected downtime of approximately 15-30 mins for stores and the management portal.  A maintenance message will be shown on stores during the downtime.

 

For questions, comments or concerns please email support@storesecured.com

Scheduled Maintenance 4/27 9:00pm PST

April 21, 2016 by

Scheduled maintenance period Wednesday 4/27 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm Pacific time for email server hardware upgrades and migration.

 

During the maintenance window there will be expected email downtime of between 30-60 minutes.  During the email downtime users will be unable to login, retrieve or send email.  Incoming emails will be stored in our backup email server and delivered to your inbox shortly after the maintenance is complete.

 

After the email server maintenance is completed, there will be a  short, 5-10 minute scheduled maintenance for the sites and manage portal.  A maintenance message will be displayed to users when the sites and manage portal are not available.

 

The 4/27 email maintenance will be the final step of our hardware upgrade migration.  For questions, comments or concerns please email support@storesecured.com

 

 

CloudFlare, Caching, Bandwidth & Speed

April 19, 2016 by

Recently we have gotten a few queries from customers after the switch to using the CloudFlare services and I wanted to take a explain caching for those of you who are curious.

 

Part of the service that CloudFlare offers by default is a caching mechanism which saves your stores images, css and js files across the globe. This makes the sites load very quickly as the files can come from a server that is located very geographically close to the end user. See the map of CloudFlare’s data centers here https://www.cloudflare.com/network-map/ .

 

StoreSecured tells CloudFlare how long to save static content and then once a single customer has requested a file, that file is ready for the duration of the cache period for super quick loading from the CloudFlare servers and it also tells the user to cache locally (this was done previously as well). Please note that it is a best practice on the web to cache static content like images, css, and js files and to use a  CDN like CloudFlare to do so.  Cache is especially important for images that are part of your store template, ie those that are on each page of your website as once a user loads a file once on the first page load there is no need for them to need to load it again, this makes subsequent page loads much quicker.

 

What happens when you want to change an image or css/js file and want everyone to see it right away? Here is where caching can be more of a pain for you as the site owner/updater.  If the image is cached then users will still see the old image until the cache time period has expired. The way around this is to give the new image a new name. This will ensure that the new image is immediately downloaded and viewed by everyone.  Yes, this can be a pain but there is a big trade off here in site loading time for your users.

 

By default all StoreSecured sites are operating on a 4 hour cache with CloudFlare. This number can be increased, decreased or the cache can be removed (not recommended but it is an option if requested).  To change the default number of hours to cache for your site please contact us via support ticket with the new cache time.   A separate cache expiration can also be set for different folders in your site if desired.

 

Hint: The longer that files can be cached the more efficient/quick loading your site will be.  If your images do not change often and you are comfortable with renaming them when they do change then we recommend at least a 1 week cache expiration.

 

If you view your StoreSecured statistics often you may also have noted that the number of hits shown in your statistics file has gone down since you switched over to using CloudFlare.  This is normal and a good thing and again this is attributed to caching.  This has nothing to do with visitors to your site.  The hits is an indication of how many different files that users request when they come to your site.  A single page view can generate hundreds of hits, ie each image, css and js file that is needed to load a page is a hit.  Thus when a file gets cached it no longer has to be requested from the StoreSecured servers and your hit counts go down.  This also reduces the amount of bandwidth that your site uses.  Your visitor count in the stats should mostly remain the same but may go down slightly due to new protection features that block bad bots, spammers and attackers.  Since those people never reach the site their visit is no longer counted.

 

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact us at support@storesecured.com.

Maintenance Completed

April 16, 2016 by

The maintenance has been completed. All sites and services are running as normal. Any questions or comments please send an email to support@storesecured.com

Merchant Action Requested – DNS Change

April 13, 2016 by

=====================================================
**Merchant Action Requested for Custom Domain Names**
=====================================================
If your store uses a custom domain name, for instance http://www.mystore.com the following instructions apply to you.

If your store is only available at a subdomain, for instance, mystore.storesecured.com or mystore.easystorecreator.com the below information does NOT apply.
=====================================================

In order to take full advantage of the planned upgrades and for a more seamless transition we urge all customers who are currently using Rackspace nameservers to update your domain nameservers.

If your current domain nameservers are:
NS.RACKSPACE.COM
NS2.RACKSPACE.COM

Change the domain nameservers to:
JEFF.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM
UMA.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM

ONLY the two CloudFlare name servers should be present. All other nameservers must be removed.

Your website will not experience any downtime when you change your nameservers.

How do I change nameservers?
==================================
Nameservers can be changed at your domain name registrar, ie the company who you pay your yearly domain name fee to. Some examples of domain name registrars are network solutions and godaddy.

Why do I need to do this?
==================================
We are transitioning all merchants who use the Rackspace DNS to Cloudflare DNS for their advanced zone apex management and traffic protection. The Rackspace DNS is older and does not provide the necessary support and automated management. All sites WILL continue to function even if the change is NOT made but we will be unable to automatically route your shoppers to the least busy server.

What is CloudFlare?
==================================
CloudFlare offers regular DNS services along with traffic acceleration, DDOS protection and a worldwide CDN. As part of the DNS switch we will also activate CloudFlare’s advanced features on your site. You can read more about Cloudflare at
Cloudflare Service
and
http://www.cloudflare.com

Special notes and considerations
==================================
If you use your domain name for any services outside of StoreSecured, ie 3rd party email or websites please let us know so that we can ensure your setup is correct for the switch over.

Questions
==================================
If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact support at support@storesecured.com, we would be happy to help.