ASA2: Update und Black Friday Sale

Written by Timo

Creator of ASA2

November 23, 2017

It’s time again: An update of ASA2 is available and has a lot of new functions on board!

But before I go into the details, here is the essential information for all bargain hunters.

Black Friday Sale 2017

The ASA2 Black Friday Sale is live and offers you 30% discount on all purchases at Just use this coupon code during checkout:


This coupon code is valid until 30. November 2017.

ASA2 Version 1.8

But now to the new features of ASA2, which come with the update to version 1.8.

Single Image

With ASA2 you can now integrate single images from all available product pictures into your pages. Simply select the option “Image only” in the tab “Shortcode” in the product picker after selecting a product.

In addition, you can select one of the available image sizes that best fits your content. Width and height can even be adjusted individually with the short code options “width” and “height“. Together with the align option, the images can be optimally integrated into the page’s body text.

The presentation of the image is taken over by special image templates, two of which are delivered as new managed templates:

Of course you can also create your own templates for the single image feature.

Optionally, the product title as well as a shop or buy button can be displayed. A mouse-over effect shows price and rating stars (if available) above the image. This effect can be turned on or off, as well as a random, slight rotation of the Polaroid layout.

This new single image feature makes it possible to easily integrate a product image with Amazon link into a text, which often seems more accessible to the reader than overloading it with many product details.

Amazon URL Replace

ASA2 now has the ability to recognize Amazon links in texts and replace the tracking ID with your own. For example, you can use it to ensure that your tracking ID is used instead of the commentator’s in Amazon links left by visitors in comments. This feature supports ASA2’s Associate ID Sets feature to provide links to different Amazon stores with your matching tracking ID.

Currently, Post texts, comments and widgets are supported. This feature will be further developed in the future to detect and handle all possible Amazon links.

You can find the options to enable the URL Replace function for the different areas in the ASA2 area “Options / URL Replace”. For more details, check the online documentation page.

URL Importer

The URL Importer, which can be found in the “Repo / Tools” section, now understands other formats besides the URL of a shop page.

Single ASIN

It is now possible to enter only one ASIN per line. If the country code differs from the standard, it can be separated by two colons.

Search results page

Very useful is this new feature: Just enter the URL of an Amazon search result page and the URL importer of ASA2 will import all products from the result. You can even set the option to ignore sponsored products.

The products found by the URL Importer are automatically saved in the Repo.

ASIN Filter

ASA2 now checks ASINs for validity, in terms of allowed characters and length. Thus, for example, writing errors in the ASIN (as well as additional special characters appended) no longer lead to a product not being loaded.

ASINs recognized as invalid are logged in the ASA2 log.

In ASA2’s online documentation you can find all options of the Amazon URL Importer.

If there are still problems with this new function, it can be switched off under “Options / Advanced” with option “Disable ASIN filter“.

Optimization of the RSS feed function

So far, when updating the stored RSS feeds, for each product in the list, ASA2 has sent one request to the Amazon API. Now only one request is sent per feed with the collected products (so-called batch request). This saves a lot of time when updating the feeds and can therefore be executed in the ASA2 backend, which was previously only possible with a cronjob.

In addition, the Feed Cronjob has been extended by several options.

  • limit: Restricts the number of feeds to handle when running the cronjob.
  • lifetime: This allows you to exclude feeds that have already been updated within the specified lifetime (in seconds) from updating.
  • verbose: Displays the newly added products

In ASA2’s online documentation you can find all options of ASA2’s feed refresh cronjob.

New Placeholders

{{ post.* }}

With the new post* placeholder you get access to all values of the post in which an ASA2 template is currently loaded. This is quite exciting if you want to build dynamic templates whose content should react to Post properties. For example, a template can have a different background color depending on which tags or categories a post has. The placeholders for this would be {{ post. tags_input }} and {{ post. post_category }}.

An author wants to have an ASA2 template in his texts with a change from the normal layout? Now you don’t have to create a copy of the template any more, but you can integrate the placeholder {{ post. post_author }} as a condition.

These are just simple examples, the possibilities are limitless.

Before these post placeholders can be used, you have to activate the new option “Enable WP Post placeholders“. You should also activate the option “Consider Post ID” for the template cache.

In ASA2’s online documentation you can find a list of all available post placeholders.


Another new placeholder is {{ repo_url }}, which contains the URL to public repo articles including the customizable URL flight.

Managed Templates Updates

As always, the managed templates contained in ASA2 have been further developed and improved. In Flat_box_horizontal and Flat_box_vertical there are new options to set all links to either the shop or buy page. Also, a placeholder graphic is now displayed if no product image is available.
In Template Carousel there is a new option to control the minimum height of the product images in order to achieve a uniform height of the Carousel elements.
The layout of the button has been optimized in the template “Vertical_box“.
Smaller layout fixes were made in almost all managed templates.

Minor things

  • The placeholder {{ ImageSetsArray|get }}} now creates an “alt” property for the img tag with the product title.
  • The default Associate ID set was not automatically used for i18n products. This has been fixed.
  • Reading out the ratings could lead to problems without using the advanced mode, whereby the successfully imported ratings were not saved with the repo product. This has been fixed.
  • In addition, the process of grabbing the ratings now uses an internal cache, which avoids unnecessary accesses and thus reduces the chance of being blocked.
  • The CKEditor used to edit the templates in ASA2 has been updated.
  • The script for running cronjobs has been optimized to work better on servers using cPanel.
  • There is a new shortcode option “translation” which allows you to overwrite the translation of the template regardless of the country code of the product or the origin of the visitor.


The update to 1.8 is significant because it has even more under the hood than can be seen from the outside. The future of ASA2 will be exciting!

If you have any questions, problems or suggestions, write me a comment or create a support ticket.

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