HTML catalog in X-Cart
X-Cart's pages are dynamic. This means that, whenever a user opens a page in your store, the content that belongs in this page is generated on the fly from data contained in the database.
If your store's product catalog is large, your database server takes longer to handle requests, and your store's visitors may experience slow page load times. With a large number of visitors using your store site at the same time, the problem gets worse, as the number of requests that your server needs to handle also increases. At some point, your web and MySQL servers may become overloaded.
X-Cart provides a solution that allows you to avoid server overload and significantly improve the performance of your store's site: the HTML Catalog feature.
HTML catalog is a static version of the storefront, which you can generate and use on the same domain with your store simultaneously with the dynamic version. In stores supporting multiple languages, a separate HTML catalog can be provided for each of the supported languages.
An HTML catalog consists of static HTML pages and includes the following:
- index.html (the main index page; the content of this page corresponds to the content of the dynamic page home.php at the time of catalog generation);
- category pages;
- manufacturer category pages (if the module Manufacturers is enabled and manufacturers are defined);
- product pages;
- embedded static pages.
After you create an HTML catalog for your store site, your store's visitors use it to view the information contained in your product catalog. They stay in the static part of the store most of the time and are sent to the dynamic part only when they add something to their cart, do a search, or login. Because the pages in an HTML catalog are pure HTML, displaying them in the web browser does not involve accessing the database, so they are served faster, and the load on your web & MySQL servers is reduced. As a result, the overall performance of your store site is improved.
Using the HTML Catalog feature is also good for SEO. Because many search engines give better rankings to static HTML pages than to pages generated dynamically, due to the presence of a static HTML catalog, your site may be ranked higher in search engine listings.
Please note that, however powerful, the HTML Catalog feature has its limitations:
- The minicart displayed on HTML catalog pages does not get updated, ever after a product is added to cart.
- Your HTML catalog has to be re-generated every time you update or rearrange your product catalog.
- If your store's product catalog is large, HTML catalog generation may take an extremely long time, which may render the use of the HTML Catalog feature impractical.
Roles in HTML catalog management
If you are an X-Cart GOLD administrator/provider or an X-Cart PRO administrator:
- You can generate HTML catalogs (See Generating an HTML Catalog).
- You can update existing HTML catalogs (See Updating an Existing HTML Catalog).
If you are an X-Cart PRO provider:
- You cannot generate or update HTML catalogs.