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Pre-Sales Q's >> Membership, Optimizepress, Blaszok, Taxes, Shipping Fees...

membership optimizepress blaszok theme compatibility taxes shipping fees upsell downsell

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#1 Guest_Peter_*

Guest_Peter_*
  • Guests

Posted 25 April 2014 - 04:45 PM

Hello iThemes,

I've been researching Membership plug-ins for WordPress and have a shortlist of three now: (1) DigitalAccessPass or DAP, (2) s2MemberPro, and (3) iThemes Exchange.  I really like your web site and how you show off the add-ons for Exchange.  If the following issues can be clarified and somehow resolved, I would rank Exchange a my preferred choice for several membership site clients that I'll be deploying this year.

I wrote a detailed request for pre-sales info in your Contact Form, but have not received a response.  I hope that's not an example of your support turn-around time. I understand pre-sales questions may not be as high a priority as existing live customer support.

I would appreciate a detailed response to the questions below. Thank you.

#1. My order processing work-flow requires sending a SOAP (web services) message to my provisioning system. Can I alter the code in your shopping cart after successful sale/payment?  Is there an API that will notify me? If I can't alter your shopping cart, I would read the database to access new customer information, then make the web services call to my provisioning system.  How do you suggest I get notified (programmatically) that a new sales transaction has occurred?   I do not want to be polling the database.  Is there a message (of some sort) that can be sent to my program that is listening for a "new customer" or "new sales transaction" message?  Does Exchange have an API that enables me to do some of my own things?

#2. Can you please provide a list of preferred WordPress hosts know to work well with Exchange (and other advanced themes/plug-ins).  I've been using Godaddy, but not happy.  I'm considering BlueHost, Web Hosting Hub, HostGator, SiteGround.  Your expertise or recommendations would be appreciated. If I choose Exchange for the membership sites I'm deploying this year, I want to know iThemes is satisfied with my hosting provider.  If you can also recommend a minimum service level (RAM, Disk Space, CPU...), that would also be helpful.

#3. Compatibility.  Can you please let me know if your Exchange Plugin with all of your add-ons, especially including Memberships, Recurring Charges, Taxes, Shipping Fees... is compatible with the following WordPress themes or plug-ins?

a. Blaszok theme http://products.mpcreation.net/?product=blaszok (and not use Revolution Slider, as it is not compatible with OptimizePress).  I like the flexibility and feature set of Blaszok, but would deploy a very simple and clean business-like site.  They have too many sliders and show-off things that would take away from the membership model and conversion rates I desire. Still, I like MegaMenu, Visual Composer and not being painted into a corner with respect to look and feel. Also, not sure of Exchange is compatible?   I don't want to get locked into an inflexible theme. An alternate theme would be X (see: http://theme.co/x/ ).  Or, any recommendations for know-compatible-with-Exchange, highly flexible themes?

b. OptimizePress as a Plugin (not their theme), so I can do my sales funnel, landing pages... This would be the configuration for one membership site.

c. OptimizePress as a Theme (theme version), so I can do my sales funnel, landing pages... This would be the configuration for a different membership site.

d. I see your add-on support for bbPress. My question is, "do you currently support, or plan to support, a more feature-rich forum plug-in or system?" In particular, how would I integrate Exchange Membership add-on with vBulletin ( www.vbulletin.com ).

#4. Sales flow and process.  My sales process will include up-sells, down-sells and alternative payment options. For example,

a. Down-Sells - If the customer declines the main offer at $89, I want to give them an alternate choice "No thanks" or if they try to leave the page, then split a one-time payment offer  of $89 into three smaller payments of $39 shown on another page.  Or some other down-sell that I might come up with.

b. Up-Sells - Once a customer purchases my first product, I want to display an Up-Sell product on a new page with video and other compelling marketing...

#5.  Taxes - Your Simple Taxes add-on is too simple.  How can I program, alter or adapt your tax system so, on check-out the customer's billing address is used to calculate taxes?  At minimum, here is what it should do:

a. allow me to define jurisdictions that have certain taxes to add.  Example of how I should be able to setup jurisdictions (state & country of customer's billing address, optionally specify to use customer's shipping address for physical shipments.):
.. WA/USA tax = 8%
.. OR/USA tax = 0% (default, so shouldn't have to define a jurisdiction with 0% tax
.. *ANY/Canada = 5% (federal tax)
.. BC/Canada = 12% (provincial tax, as i have an office there)

b.  any jurisdictions that are not defined would default to 0% tax added to the order.  If you will add this kind of real-world tax add-on to Exchange, you can contact me for better examples and rules. I have implemented such tax systems for ecommerce.

#6. Shipping Fees - Your Simple Shipping Fees add-on is too simple.  Like taxes, I need to be able to define shipping fees per jurisdiction and per carrier.

a. Use the UPS api to dynamically set shipping fees calculated based on shipping address, billing address, UPS service level (e.g. overnight, 2-day) and package size and package weight.  FedX and United States Postal Service and other carriers also offer similar online APIs.  Each physical product should enable setting product weight and size, so the total order's weight and shipping dimensions can be provided to the APIs.

b. In the interim, if UPS, Fedx and USPS integration is not available, like for taxes, setup a jurisdiction-based shipping fee calculator. For example:
.. specify a flat shipping fee per order based on total order value.  Let me set:
.. .. $0 to $100 order total: $5 flat fee
.. .. $100.01 to $500 order total: $3 flat fee
.. .. $500.01+ order total: $0 shipping flat fee

.. then, for each physical product, enable specifying shipping fees that might add to the flat fee.

I will not be shipping physical products until the end of 2014, so the above shipping fees are not yet needed. I just want to get an idea about your product roadmap. Are you planning to enhance your Taxes and Shipping Fees to work in real-world ecommerce scenarios?  Or, can you provide a cost to develop such features for me by the end of 2014?

Items #1, #2, #3, and #4 are critical to my deployments. Please provide as much detail as possible to these first four questions. Thank you. :smile:

Peter

#2 Elise Alley

Elise Alley

    iThemes Support

  • Administrators
  • Others: All Plugins, All Themes, Members, Moderators, Toolkit, Webdesign
  • 5,959 posts

Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:52 PM

Hi Peter,

Thanks for your interest in Exchange.  Hopefully I can answer your questions.

Quote

#1. My order processing work-flow requires sending a SOAP (web services) message to my provisioning system. Can I alter the code in your shopping cart after successful sale/payment?  Is there an API that will notify me? If I can't alter your shopping cart, I would read the database to access new customer information, then make the web services call to my provisioning system.  How do you suggest I get notified (programmatically) that a new sales transaction has occurred?   I do not want to be polling the database.  Is there a message (of some sort) that can be sent to my program that is listening for a "new customer" or "new sales transaction" message?  Does Exchange have an API that enables me to do some of my own things?

By default in Exchange, the store admin (or whoever you set in Exchange > Email Settings) receives an email anytime a sale is made on their site.  You can edit the email in the settings so that it contains any information you'd like.  If you need anything beyond that, you are welcome to edit Exchange to fit your needs.  You can find all of the functions for the Exchange API in the codex:  http://ithemes.com/codex/page/Category:Exchange/Functions

Quote

#2. Can you please provide a list of preferred WordPress hosts know to work well with Exchange (and other advanced themes/plug-ins).  I've been using Godaddy, but not happy.  I'm considering BlueHost, Web Hosting Hub, HostGator, SiteGround.  Your expertise or recommendations would be appreciated. If I choose Exchange for the membership sites I'm deploying this year, I want to know iThemes is satisfied with my hosting provider.  If you can also recommend a minimum service level (RAM, Disk Space, CPU...), that would also be helpful.

We typically recommend Site5 for hosting.  If you talk to the team at Site5, they could recommend what is best for you based on your site and your needs.


Quote

#3. Compatibility.  Can you please let me know if your Exchange Plugin with all of your add-ons, especially including Memberships, Recurring Charges, Taxes, Shipping Fees... is compatible with the following WordPress themes or plug-ins?

a. Blaszok theme http://products.mpcreation.net/?product=blaszok (and not use Revolution Slider, as it is not compatible with OptimizePress).  I like the flexibility and feature set of Blaszok, but would deploy a very simple and clean business-like site.  They have too many sliders and show-off things that would take away from the membership model and conversion rates I desire. Still, I like MegaMenu, Visual Composer and not being painted into a corner with respect to look and feel. Also, not sure of Exchange is compatible?   I don't want to get locked into an inflexible theme. An alternate theme would be X (see: http://theme.co/x/ ).  Or, any recommendations for know-compatible-with-Exchange, highly flexible themes?

b. OptimizePress as a Plugin (not their theme), so I can do my sales funnel, landing pages... This would be the configuration for one membership site.

c. OptimizePress as a Theme (theme version), so I can do my sales funnel, landing pages... This would be the configuration for a different membership site.

d. I see your add-on support for bbPress. My question is, "do you currently support, or plan to support, a more feature-rich forum plug-in or system?" In particular, how would I integrate Exchange Membership add-on with vBulletin ( www.vbulletin.com ).

Exchange does not have to be used with an iThemes theme.  Beyond that, we haven't had any reports of conflicts with the themes you've mention.  We have had reports of conflicts with Premise, another landing page plugin, but not with OptimizePress.  So I can't guarantee that there won't be a conflict, but we haven't had any reports of conflicts at this time.  

We don't have any plans at this time to add an integration with any other forum plugin.  That doesn't mean we won't in future, but not at this time or any time soon.  

If you feel comfortable and confident editing code, you are of course welcome to customize Exchange to best suit your needs.  The customization you're need to integrate with vBulletin would be beyond the scope of this forum.  


Quote

#4. Sales flow and process.  My sales process will include up-sells, down-sells and alternative payment options. For example,

a. Down-Sells - If the customer declines the main offer at $89, I want to give them an alternate choice "No thanks" or if they try to leave the page, then split a one-time payment offer  of $89 into three smaller payments of $39 shown on another page.  Or some other down-sell that I might come up with.

b. Up-Sells - Once a customer purchases my first product, I want to display an Up-Sell product on a new page with video and other compelling marketing...

You can create your upgrade and downgrade products, but there isn't an option to send a customer to another product if they try to leave the page or after they complete a purchase.


Quote

#5.  Taxes - Your Simple Taxes add-on is too simple.  How can I program, alter or adapt your tax system so, on check-out the customer's billing address is used to calculate taxes?  At minimum, here is what it should do:

a. allow me to define jurisdictions that have certain taxes to add.  Example of how I should be able to setup jurisdictions (state & country of customer's billing address, optionally specify to use customer's shipping address for physical shipments.):
.. WA/USA tax = 8%
.. OR/USA tax = 0% (default, so shouldn't have to define a jurisdiction with 0% tax
.. *ANY/Canada = 5% (federal tax)
.. BC/Canada = 12% (provincial tax, as i have an office there)

b.  any jurisdictions that are not defined would default to 0% tax added to the order.  If you will add this kind of real-world tax add-on to Exchange, you can contact me for better examples and rules. I have implemented such tax systems for ecommerce.

We are currently working on an Advanced Taxes add-on that would integrate with TaxCloud which should be out sometime in the immediate future, but is only for US taxes.  Beyond that, you are welcome to edit Exchange to suit your needs, but, again, this would be beyond the scope of the forum to help you with.


Quote

#6. Shipping Fees - Your Simple Shipping Fees add-on is too simple.  Like taxes, I need to be able to define shipping fees per jurisdiction and per carrier.

a. Use the UPS api to dynamically set shipping fees calculated based on shipping address, billing address, UPS service level (e.g. overnight, 2-day) and package size and package weight.  FedX and United States Postal Service and other carriers also offer similar online APIs.  Each physical product should enable setting product weight and size, so the total order's weight and shipping dimensions can be provided to the APIs.

b. In the interim, if UPS, Fedx and USPS integration is not available, like for taxes, setup a jurisdiction-based shipping fee calculator. For example:
.. specify a flat shipping fee per order based on total order value.  Let me set:
.. .. $0 to $100 order total: $5 flat fee
.. .. $100.01 to $500 order total: $3 flat fee
.. .. $500.01+ order total: $0 shipping flat fee

.. then, for each physical product, enable specifying shipping fees that might add to the flat fee.

I will not be shipping physical products until the end of 2014, so the above shipping fees are not yet needed. I just want to get an idea about your product roadmap. Are you planning to enhance your Taxes and Shipping Fees to work in real-world ecommerce scenarios?  Or, can you provide a cost to develop such features for me by the end of 2014?

Advanced Shipping options are on the Roadmap, but I don't have a timeline for when this would become available.  The Advanced Taxes add-on should be available soon.  

We don't have a development team available to hire for this sort of work.  You would either need to do this yourself or hire someone outside of iThemes to do the work for you.  

Let us know if you have any additional questions or need further clarification.

Thanks,

Elise