Towards the first workable solution to software sales using WordPress

published Mar 03, 2006, last modified Jun 26, 2013

The first of a series of posts which will conclude in a WordPress plugin designed to let you sell software packages directly from your WordPress blog.

Today, I "woke up" (more like didn't sleep at all) feeling pretty energetic. Having nothing to direct my energies to, and tons of catching up to do, in terms of delivering software to customers, I decided I had enough of having to deliver software manually and keeping tabs on my customers without any automation.

So I started coding. Two hours later, and whaddya know!

Basically what I got now (and it's working flawlessly) is the following. Suppose I have a product page, and a buy page for that product. Suppose, again, that I am selling that software through the buy page, by using PayPal. Suppose, one more time, that I need a secure solution to deliver the software to customers, without having to intervene manually in the process.

That's what I got right now. I go edit a page, pop up the Product information sidebar box, fill it out with the product information (some of it matching the PayPal button on the purchase page), tell it that the purchase page should be the "download page" as well, and that's it. When customers login to WordPress and go to the purchase page (as directed by the e-mail this thingie sends), instead of getting the purchase page, they get the actual deliverable. Customers who haven't paid get the purchase page instead. And it's all repeatable and fairly secure.

In a pinch, this is what I got right now:

  • a "software shop" solution for WordPress
  • lets me make "Product pages" out of regular blog pages
  • lets me specify a downloadable file for customers to download
  • integrates seamlessly with the page editor
  • sends elegant e-mails to customers with instructions on how to download the file
  • manages allow lists for each product's downloads
  • integrates seamlessly with PayPal Website payments (to manage allow/deny lists automatically)

I'm feeling pretty excited. This weekend I'll put the finishing touches (which always takes more time than the core) and release a version... of course, for sale.