I’m talking about the back-end in the traditional systems sense, rather than the new follow-up-marketing usage now popular.
Anway I’ve spent the past couple of weeks pulling together all the various aspects required to fully launch BlogPiG as the hub for all my upcoming automation plugins. I decided which components I’d need and decided on the following:
- Shopping cart
- Licensing/Delivery system
- Affiliate system
I’d already started by using WordPress as the front-end with a modded version the Glossy Blue theme and I wanted all the various back-end components to mimic the overall look and feel.
The encryption piece was an easy decision, it had to be IonCube as I have used it before with great success and it’s something my coder is very familiar with so we could be up and running quickly. Zend is probably more popular but it’s also a lot more expensive and whilst most servers have Zend available NOT ALL do. Also, as far as I’m aware, you can’t pack Zend runtime loaders with your products like you can with Ioncube. Ioncube offers platform independent encryption.
I’d also used my chosen licensing system before, PHPAudit from SolidPHP. It’s a nice simple solution providing easy integration with my chosen shopping cart, PayPal. I might also add Google Checkout at some point too for a bit of variety. The templates for PHPAudit are fairly easy to modify using mostly CSS and tweaking the header/footer files.
Next-up it was the afilliate sytem. I’d heard a lot of good things about iDev and it looked pretty good on paper so that’s now in place too. Custimisation again pretty simple with Smarty templates et al.
The first helpdesk software I tried didn’t work and there is jsut too much choice out there to waste time waiting for support to respond etc. so I plumped for SupportTrio which seems to offer everything I require plus a knowledgebase which I build-up over time for self-support.
I hate waiting for support to respond to my queries and I always end-up deep in the forums trying to find my own answers so a forum component will be essential to the BlogPiG suite of plugins. I initially tried to get Vanilla working as it seemed pretty and not too bulky but it was returning errors as soons as I tried to run the setup, so that got deleted immediately. Next I tried http://www.simplemachines.org/ which I’ve seen installed on a lot of sites and that went on very smoothly and after loading a suitable base theme I modified it to look like the rest of the site.
One of my pet hates is after I’ve regsitered once for a site and bought the the software I then have to then register again for the helpdesk and then again for the forum! Well that’s not going to happen on BlogPiG.com, it’s beyond my skills but my coder will shortly be integrating all the logon databases across all the various systems so you’ll only need to register once. It’d be nice to get seamless sessions too but I doubt that’ll be possible, we’ll have a go.
So not long now, it’s all coming together nicely and the first paid module, CommentPiG, will be for sale very soon.