Review: 68 Classifieds v4.2.2

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Title: 68 Classifieds v4.2.2RC1
Developer:
68 Classifieds, Ltd.
Author: 68 Classifieds, Ltd.
Price: Developer $149.00 (on sale) | Hosted $39.99/mth
Version Reviewed: 4.2.2RC1 *Unreleased
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
(4.5 of 5)
Pros: Mega bug fixes!!! Security enhancements across the board.
Cons: Still using the same templates for both the front end and the administration.

Overview:

This is a review of the upcoming new version of 68 Classifieds Software Script Version 4.2.2RC1. Scheduled to be released on: Thursday, March 24, 2011. The last major release, Version 4.1 was on February 16, 2009. Version 4.2.0 was released on September 20, 2010 and the incremental release v4.2.1 a month later on the 16th.

Although this is an incremental release, don’t be fooled into thinking this is not a major event! As I have been using, developing and following 68 Classifieds for over 4 years now, This has got to be the biggest incremental release that I have seen. Elaboration on this to follow, but first let’s get the initial statements out of the way. :)

The 68 Classifieds Software script is commercial software that enables the purchaser to operate their own classified ads website. It utilizes php, XHTML, javascript and mySQL to give a feature rich, classified ads solution. It is my own personal belief that this classified ads software is the best value out there in this market. I know, I know… I’ve said that before, but the truth is that I do still believe that and with this release, I believe it even more strongly. The new version still uses the same default template that was implemented in the 4.0 version, a design by Luka Cvrk Solucija. It also still includes this same template in a 3-column version as well as the “purple” template and “deepsea” template as before.

What you get:

As with any downloadable software script, you get a zip file that when opened contains a bunch of folders and files. Essentially in this case, you will have one main folder, “Developer-v4.2.2″, which contains a “do_not_upload” folder, “upload” folder, changelog.txt file and a readme.html file. The readme is an “html” file which I personally think is a good choice as it can and does contain links to other resources as well as good old eye candy to make your reading more pleasurable. I always recommend that you actually read the readme prior to taking any other action. The readme file contains the instructions on how to install or upgrade your classifieds software as well as some other information.

Installation:

If you are already familiar with installing software scripts on a web host server that are dependent on mySQL then installation is a snap. If you are not, then I would highly recommend that you click on the link provided in the readme, Installing section for the “installation section” of the knowledge base (online). Once, you have your database and uploaded your files to your web host server, you simply point your browser to http://yoursite.com/setup and you will be greeted with the installation window.

The installer checks items on your server, etc and if it finds problems will report that to you for you to correct. The installer guides you through several steps to enter your information until you hopefully get to the final screen that tells you that everything has installed successfully and you can now log into your admin. It also warns you to delete your setup folder on your server or your site will not work correctly. As I have gone through many, many 68 Classified installations, I didn’t have any issues and hopefully you will have the same result. As this is a review and not a tutorial, I’m not going to go on configuring and such. Once you’re successfully installed, go to the administration http://yoursite.com/administration and login. The last screeen of the installation process gives you a link to login to the administration… Nice! If you haven’t used 68 Classifieds before, I recommend that you hit the link to the “Get Started Guide” that comes up in your new installation Dashboard.

Upgrading:

Upgrading your existing 68 Classifieds site is just as straight forward as the installation with just a couple of caveats. First of all, please make sure that you make a complete backup of your existing installation. I can’t stress this enough. A complete backup means that you need to have a complete copy of all your files and folders as well as a complete backup of your database. Please read the “upgrading” section of the online documentation if you are upgrading!!! When you upload all of the files and folders to your server, make sure that you don’t upload the Connections folder, because it is this folder that has your information to make the connection to your database. As with the installation steps above, go to your website in your browser again. This time however you would want to click on the “Upgrade” button instead of install. The Upgrade process is very quick and you don’t have to go through any additional steps in this window as you do when installing other than deleting your setup folder.

Other Setup:

If you are doing a fresh install of the 68 Classifieds, then there isn’t any additional setup required. If, however you did an upgrade…

If you read and followed the upgrade instruction from the online documentation, then you should be good to go. If you didn’t… well, remember that COMPLETE BACK UP that I mentioned earlier? You will need to upload from your backup… catimages, license, modules, photos, templates, thumbs and uploads depending on whether or not you had current listings and/or installed any third party stuff. Hey I warned you!

What’s New:

As this is an incremental upgrade, there are no new features here. OK, so now you’re probably wondering why I said, “Although this is an incremental release, don’t be fooled into thinking this is not a major event!”

The reason that I said that is because this version release has fixed every single reproducible reported bug for versions 4.1.x and 4.2.x across the board. Yes, I will repeat… Every single reproducible reported bug has been fixed. In addition to the reported bugs, many more were fixed based on thorough additional testing by 68 personel as well as myself and “seymourjames” (templatecodes) as well.

This is just a quick summary of bug fixes addressed in this release:
“Renew ad doesn’t check user group”, “Debug plugin is broken by SEO Module”, “html error in freecap module”, “Safari template issue”, “Listing Package Price saves as 0.00 when edited”, “No JS issue in step of checkout”, “Admin – Pages editor”, “Upgrade options bypassed via checkout manipulation”, “No Subject in PM innaccessible”, “extra fields multiple issues”, “checkbox extra field display from ajax”, “Multiple instances of exp. calendar with extra files date”, “php error suppression display for several instances”, “Dissallow deletion of only admin account”, “Fixed several (X)HTML errors and invalid HTML output” and there’s actually more…

In addition to these numerous bug fixes, a full security audit was done to the script across the board. A new library class, “Security.php” was also added. Use of this new class and numerous changes to the php code was also introduced making the product much more secure against many different types of possible attempts of injection, spamming and other attacks.

Mike-N-Tosh Buying Advice:

As has always been the case since I found 68 Classifieds, if you would like to run an online Classifieds site 68 Classifieds is hands down the best value for the buck as well as being one of the most feature rich solutions on the market. This version just keeps moving them forward. If you are already using 68 Classifieds and are wondering whether it’s worth the upgrade I would say absolutely with one exception.

DISCLAIMER:

THIS REVIEW WAS DONE WITH AN UNRELEASED VERSION PROVIDED BY 68 CLASSIFIEDS, LTD. AS A COURTESY FOR THIS REVIEW. AS SUCH, THIS VERSION OF THE SOFTWARE MAY HAVE STILL HAD SOME BUGS THAT WILL BE ADDRESSED IN THE FINAL PUBLICLY RELEASED VERSION. ALTHOUGH I MAY KNOW MANY OF THE DEVELOPERS THAT I WRITE THESE REVIEWS FOR, I DO NOT WORK FOR THEM, I AM NOT A PARTNER WITH THEM, I AM NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF THEIR BUSINESS, I GET NO MONETARY COMPENSATION FOR THESE REVIEWS. THIS REVIEW IS A PERSONAL INTERPRETATION OF HOW I BELIEVE THEY WORKED (OR NOT) FOR MYSELF. I DO NOT MAKE ANY CLAIM AS TO HOW THEY WILL WORK FOR YOUR OWN USE. I DO NOT ENDORSE, WARRANT OR GUARANTEE ANY OF THESE PRODUCTS FOR YOUR PURPOSES.

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