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Please find below answers to our frequently asked questions. 

Can I host a Populate site

Our standard approach is to host sites if at all possible. This means it can use the central body of code which is continuously evolving. We do use Populate for bespoke installations but maintaining these and keeping the core scripts in sync with the main application becomes much more time consuming and therefore expensive.

Can design agencies and developers use Populate

Yes, Via the Populate admin you can edit all of the templates, images, css and admin. We do allow access via SFTP to your template area, but only from known addresses. To maintain the integrity of the system non populate developers are not allowed to create or edit any server side code. If you have any particular requirements that cannot be performed via the predefined gateways or API we can create something for you. Developers can create their own templates sets and duplicate and resell these into as many other sites as they want.

If I leave Populate what can I take with me?

You can export all of the text from your site as an XLSx file.

Your entire site can also be exported as a ZIP file containing each page as an HTML page with all images, CSS and JavaScript. This could be hosted elsewhere but before it was usable you would need to replace our server side AJAX responders with equivalent scripts in the new hosting environment. Typically these would be:

  • Server side scripts for dealing with form submission
  • API responses for feeding back filtered products as part of the product searches
  • Search routines
  • Checkout routines
  • Login routines

You can export all of your data including product, customer and order data as a series of XLSx files.

You will not be able to take any server side code or databases with you.

What payment gateways do you support?

We support all of the major gateways including PayPal, Stripe, Worldpay and SagePay.

Apple Pay, Google Pay, Ideal, Ogone etc, we normally manage through stripe.

Any gateways we don't currently support we can add. At the moment we only support offsite payments in order to streamline PCI compliance.

Payment methods can be easily set up via the admin, When setting up each method you will be asked for a number of credentials and an explanation of where to find or generate the credential in the gateway's website or control panel. if you are experiencing any difficulty, as usual, we are on hand to assist via the ticketing system.

Payment gateways can be locked to customer account types of locked to specific IP addresses allowing you to safely test even while the site is up a and running.

We normally expect the gateway to be set up by the client, any transaction fees the gateway charge to the client si dealt with at that point, we do not apply any transaction charges.

Do you impose transaction fees

We do not apply any fees per transaction, or impose any limits on the number of transactions. 

What stock control system do you use

Our stock control system was written internally so that it was as tightly integrated into the site as a whole and our structure for product variants.

Our stock control is multi-dimensional:

  • Single item: E.g. a mug - how many mugs are in stock.
  • Two dimensional: E.g. a t-shirt available in large, medium and small, qty in stock controlled for each size.
  • Three dimensional e.g. a t-shirt available in red, green and blue and for each colour a small, medium and large. control the stock of each variant.

If you would rather use Stock Hero or similar, this can be integrated.

Support & Subscriptions
What is covered in the support service

Bronze level support is included in all of our hosting packages. There is a support ticketing system in the admin, you can ask an unlimited number of questions and we guarantee a response within one working day however our response times are usually far quicker. Our Silver and Gold level support includes telephone support with quicker response times and Gold includes a number of development hours per month - see here for details

What is covered

Any functionality issues that are found in the admin or front end. Any styling issues in any template set we produced. Any frontend (JS) issues in code written by us. Any questions regarding the population of data or general usage of the Populate system.

What isn't covered

Changing the design, or functionality of your templates. We will need to apply a cost for this, let us know what changes you need and we will provide a cost and a timeline.

Population of data. If you need any guidance in how to do something we are happy to help, if you need us to import data on your behalf we need to apply a cost, get in touch and we will give you a price and a timeline.

What are your support response times?

Our different support tiers have different response times. The standard bronze tier gives a guaranteed response time within one working day (8 -6 Mon to Fri). However we usually aim to get back to you much quicker than this.

How do I pay for my subscription

Populate can be paid by subscription through PayPal recurring payments or by yearly invoice.

What access do I have to the server side code?

You will not have any access to the server side code and will not be able to create any. This is to ensure the integretity of the platform.

If there is a requirement for some custom code on the server side, for instance to add a variable into the template system, to respond to an ajax request or a custom endpoint for the API we will provide a cost to you for doing this based on your specifications.

Website development
What languages do I need to know to modify the templates?

If you use the default templates and change the colours, logos and fonts via the appearance manager there is no need to know any programming languages.

The templates are written in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

  • HTML: The html templates feature a custom markup language to render dynamic and managed content that is easy to read and write.
  • CSS: Our default templates are all written in CSS3, if you prefer to use SASS this available.
  • JS: Our default templates use jQuery, but you can use vanilla JS or any other front-end JavaScript library. You can use any front end JavaScript add ons that you want, these can be uploaded into your templates folder via the admin or you can link to an external source by adding the link into the head template.

The default template sets are easy to read and to amend for anyone with even basic HTML skills.

What code is supported in the front end

The front end code is html, CSS and JS. You can use any javascript libraries you want (our default templates use Jquery). You can use SASS as your CSS preprocessor if prefer, however we don't in our default templates.

Can I get (s)ftp access

Yes. We do allow administrators and developers to gain access to there template area via (s)ftp, but we will need to add you remote address into the firewall. We also would prefer that you use the admin based template editor as it not only will inform you if another user has a template open it also keeps a record of all changes you make so that you can roll back if required.

Can I use cloudflare?

Yes. If you want to deliver your project internationally using cloudflare can significantly improve performance. Typically we set this up to have a subdomain for the assets (images, CSS, JS etc) for which we use cloudflare but keep the main www resolving to the Populate servers.

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If you'd like to find out more or just want to ask some questions, get in touch and we can jump on a call, share screens and show you how we can solve your problems.