I've just installed the latest and greatest version 3 of BANS (Build a Niche Store). If you're not familiar with BANS, I did a Bans Review earlier in the year. Since then the BANS folks have made substantial updates to the product.
Unlike past releases, Bans v3 comes with an installation guide as well as a separate user manual. Both go into step-by-step detail on getting your site up and running quickly. But if you should have a problem their help forum picks up where the manual leaves off.
After your store is installed and ready to configure I noticed that the admin panel is a bit different and much easier to use. All your pertinent store setup information is on one page and easily understood.
For example, there are about 6 windows that cover things like:
- product categories you want for your store
- site title and description tags
- product layout choices
- affiliate details
- product info and navigation choices.
One very cool feature is the affiliate link cloaker. No longer will your ugly, long affiliate link display at the bottom of the screen, instead a more professional link will display that is more comprehensive and much cleaner looking.
But one of the best things about this new version is there is geographical targeting. You can target several more countries expanding your reach or you can target the listings on a local level, all the way down to zip codes.
Also, I noticed it's a lot more search engine friendly elements were added to the individual content pages. In addition, automatic site map generation was added and you have a bit more control of your individual pages; things like adding additional content both before and after the item listings on your pages as well.
If you're already a BANS user you might want to consider upgrading to Ver3. The upgrade is fairly simply, complete instructions will be provided. I actually had a missing header in my setup but I checked it our on their forum, got a quick answer and I was good to go.