DealDotCom – Feedback and Plugin

Already on the DealDotCom blog, but many people might not have subscribed to them.

This is a useful plugin until the guys from DealDotCom come up with a solution of their own. They should really be delivering banners of various sizes to us every day without having to change any code, and an RSS or XML feed to play around with.
It needs to be a graphic without using any javascript, so it can be used anywhere.

Anyway for now, you might find this DealDotCom plugin useful

Now if this was my plugin, I would be requiring an email address to download it, maybe using a membership site script.

Regarding DealDotCom itself, I have seen a few sales already, and I am even more glad that people I have referred have also seen sales but it is important to remember the explanation of how much you get paid.

Whenever you refer someone to DealDotCom via your handy-dandy affiliate link, you get paid 35% of DealDotCom’s profit for every item that they buy. If someone you referred to DealDotCom refers someone else, you get paid 15% of DealDotCom’s profit every time they buy something for the rest of your life.

The current item is quite a useful WordPress plugin for affiliate links, though there are other free alternatives such as Alinks.

It sells for $49.88

Direct sales earn you $8.05
Second Tier earn you $3.45
DealDotCom earn $11.50

I didn’t see any sales of their previous item, EasyMemberPro, but I am curious about what affiliate percentage was assigned. The guys behind DealDotCom are pretty honest, but because it was a higher ticket item, and because they actually control the rights to the product (though with a partner), they might have had a smaller percentage cut for affiliates.

Affiliates don’t know in advance on each item how much they will make promoting it.

To balance the equation, DealDotCom are paying lifetime commissions – every deal won’t be as attractive to every audience, but overall the value per customer must be an interesting puzzle to work out.

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  1. says

    Hey Andy,

    Guess you haven’t had the chance to review my recode of that DDC plugin (with sidebar widget built in) yet? Do let me know if you think it’s worth while. I am using (and styling, nicely) it by the way at my site,

  2. says

    Andy – I just scanned the code of that plugin the other day and when glancing over it it seemed that it was scraping DDC on every page load. If so, I wonder if it might lead to performance issues of any kind. I might be wrong — was just wondering if you had a chance to look under the hood yet on it and get your thoughts.

      • says

        Thanks Gary! I was just thinking that a bunch of high traffic blogs running it might flood DDC with too many requests making the responses erratic and maybe a touch slow. I’m not really an expert in that area by any means though. Rather than with a cron, is it possible to just “cache” the response to an area to store plugin settings within WordPress so that only one call to DDC per day or whatever interval is selected is made? Please forgive me if I am being naive — an you may actually be doing something like that already and I didn’t notice.

      • says

        Just write the data to a location on the server, check the date and time, if it is more than 1 hour old, then fetch data again.

        That way you refresh cache every hour

        No need for cron or databases.

        • says

          Another option might actually be just saving it to the WordPress options system since it is a small amount of data. Sorry, I know this is straying :-) As I said again, great plugin! If I have any opportunity to play with it I’ll let you know.

      • says

        Here is some code that will help you a little

        $cache_time = 60 * 60 * 24; // 1 day, seconds * minutes * hours
        $xml_cache_time = 7 * 60 * 60 * 24; //cache xml for 7 days
        $cache_file = "./thumbs/blogcatalog-thumb-" . $blogcatalog_url . ".txt"; // where to save cache file and save it as
        $img_cache_file =  "./thumbs/blogcatalog-thumb-" . $blogcatalog_url . ".jpg"; // where to save image cache file and save it as
        $local_xml = "./thumbs/" . $blogcatalog_url . ".xml"; // where to save xml cache file and save it as
        // End of Settings - Do not edit below this line - unless you want to that is ;)
        if ($blogcatalog_key != "" && $blogcatalog_url != "") {
        	if (file_exists($cache_file) && (time() - $cache_time < filemtime($cache_file))) {
        		echo "<!-- Cached: " . date("Y-m-d H:i:s", filemtime($cache_file)) . " -->\n";
        	else {
        // You need to scrape them and write it to file - you should be able to manage the rest

        Yes I have been playing with the Blogcatalog API a little

  3. says

    They posted another link on their blog to an alternative wordpress plugin that worked from the RSS feed. Didn’t look like a good fit for me, but other people might like it.
    I had a crack at putting together a banner. Happy for other people to use it if they like.

    • says

      You know it is silly

      They are using WordPress
      They have all the products in a specific category
      Wordpress creates RSS feeds for categories just by adding /feed/

      Yet all the plugins are having to scrape them

      The category feed doesn’t contain a decent excerpt, it is just using the_excerpt_rss, which generates an ugly automatic excerpt without formatting or images.

      All they need to do is use a plugin to automatically create decent custom excerpt with images, and that could be used extensively.

      All the solutions so far are junk compared to what should be possible.

        • says

          Thanks by the way for getting them to setup that page. I’ve used it as part of the way I’ve rolled my own RSS feeds. What they need to do is setup something similar in RSS 2.0 format that people can use if they want to subscribe via RSS and get product titles and price. You can see the feed I rolled together here (be aware — it has my affiliate code in it)

          I’ve also been trying to get a hold of them to see if they could setup and extended datafeed page that includes as much data as possible — like original price, salesletter URL, etc. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard back from them yet… Any tips on getting a hold of them would be appreciated.

          Also, I wanted to followup from my last post and say that I’ve seen how you’ve updated the plugin — as I said before, great job! :-)

  4. says

    I said it is junk compared to what could be done, there is a significant difference, and that doesn’t necessarily reflect on you. A WP plugins is after all only usable by people using WordPress.

    In the post I wrote

    They should really be delivering banners of various sizes to us every day without having to change any code, and an RSS or XML feed to play around with.
    It needs to be a graphic without using any javascript, so it can be used anywhere.

    I know the DDC guys read my blog, they have told me this a number of times in the past, and I would say there is a 99% chance that at least someone from DDC has read this article.
    I am not sure there is a need to email them directly, and I would be amazed if they haven’t already got Marc coming up with some kind of automatic banner creator.