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Recommendations for 3rd Party Developers

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Old 01-02-2013, 08:59 AM
  ADDISON's Avatar 

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,613

Lightbulb Recommendations for 3rd Party Developers

... Following this Thread [List of Vendors - Expand your X-Cart Universe]

After visiting all 3rd party developers websites I would like to share with you my recommendations. I hope this will help you offering accuracy information to your potential customers and increase the trust and selling. I did not forget how some developers made bad things, disappeared leaving lots a customers lost with encoded files.

When you offer Modules/Extras please take in consideration the following information:

- Full product description: Supply as much information as you can for convincing a potential customer your product is good.

- Technical Requirements: X-Cart version, Server needs, Supported browsers, Encrypting like Zend Optimized, ionCube Loader, ...

- User Manual or Instructions: How to install and use the product.

- Free Trials: Only a few vendors offers trials. Let me tell you trials give trust. When I used trials I was able to understand the challenges then talk to the vendor - that created a link between us. I also found bugs and reported them or suggested improvements. It is a win-win situation for you. Do not afraid of code thieves, if there are any be sure they can order your products then decrypt and sell it. Most of your potential customers are interested to buy if the products fit their needs. The prices you are selling your products are just fair, it doesn't deserve the efforts to loose time and spend money for decrypting. Remember buying a product guarantees access to post-selling services like bug fixes, support tickets, updates/upgrades.

- Demo websites: How many of you offer demo websites? Only a few. Sometimes even these available demos cannot be accessed, working poor or not being updated. This creates a bad image for those vendors.

- Screenshots: Having no trial or demo, take this in consideration. Only a few vendors show their final work.

- Live stores who are using your product. This gives trust and we can see it in action.

- Changelog History: Very important, what is the current version, release date. This will help a customer to see what is new, what is the current version, if he needs to update or not.

- Frequently Asked Questions/Customer Comments: This will reduce the time you spend answering to common questions.

- Money back Guarantee, Technical Support, Private Forums: Try suppling information about these too. If technical support costs inform your customers from the very beginning.

- Encrypting the files: If you're encrypting your code please let the customer know from the very beginning. Personally I agree protecting the code from stealing but this shouldn't restrict me to expand by myself the functionality. Please take in consideration encrypting only a file and give access to the code as much as you can. Let me give you an example I would like to customize a little the code because I don't like something, or I would like to assign a Smarty variable which is not assigned. Can I do that? If all files are encrypted I cannot. I should contact the vendor and he will say for sure any customization needs extra-money. Sometimes vendor doesn't have time to customize and this will create some stress for the customer. Be mindful in protecting your code, but let it breathes. Remember TelaFirma, Jon great modules, can a customer continue using them with the latest XC versions? I don't think so. TelaFirma is gone, the same for his products.

- Update/Upgrade Policy. Another important part is informing from the very beginning the policy for update inside a branch or upgrade to a new branch. If you ask for money let the customer know how much it costs. If it is applied for bug fixes releases too. Hiding this information could create frustration for sure. Think about buying a 200 USD module without knowing the policy for updates/upgrades, and the vendor asks around 20 USD for every new release, even for bugs fixed releases. How the customer feels when he wants to update and the vendor asks for money without knowing the policy? All problems start from money in a business relationship. Please update your website asap you can if you did not make it before.

That's all for the moment. If I forgot something please post it in this thread. These recommendations should be followed by all vendors if they would like to offer their products on a common real Marketplace platform.

Don't forget being close to your customer needs!
X-Cart Next: Business 5.2 (learning and testing)
X-Cart Classic: Gold and Gold Plus 4.7
Lots of Modules and Customizations
OS in use: Red Hat Enterprise, Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Kali Linux
Ideas for Server configuration (basicaly): Nginx/Pound (reverse proxy), Apache/Nginx (webserver), Squid/Varnish (cache server), HHVM or (PHP-FPM + PHP 5.6 + opcache), MariaDB/Percona MySQL Server, Redis (storing sessions)

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The following 5 users thank ADDISON for this useful post:
anandat (01-02-2013), cflsystems (01-02-2013), Dongan (01-02-2013), kevfromwiganinlancashire (01-03-2013), tartaglia (01-02-2013)
Old 01-02-2013, 10:46 PM
  cflsystems's Avatar 
cflsystems cflsystems is offline

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14,160

Default Re: Recommendations for 3rd Party Developers

Just posting so I can follow this thread. Very good points though (I know myself I have much to do...)
Steve Stoyanov
Web Development
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:50 AM
  kevfromwiganinlancashire's Avatar 
kevfromwiganinlancashire kevfromwiganinlancashire is offline

Join Date: Nov 2004
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Posts: 563

Default Re: Recommendations for 3rd Party Developers

If they would look at x-cart for inspiration when making user instructions available it would make life easier for all, both developer and user
Php 5.4.16-36.el7_1
MySQL 5.5.41-2.el7_0

4.6.x stalled for now

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