Lee Willis

Moving to EDD – Qualification & planning

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Once I’d decided on Easy Digital Downloads for my plugins store, the first step was to work out which components of my current / desired setup would be covered by EDD core, which by EDD extensions, and which would be bespoke. From there I could plan properly what work was required.

One of the key reasons I’d settled on EDD was the Software Licensing extension. It’s one of the bigger areas of bespoke code in my current solution and one which causes me a reasonably high maintenance overhead. There’s a couple of aspects of my current system that aren’t in the current extension, but Pippin Williamson did a great job of covering off the few questions I did have about the functionality with a speedy, and well-considered response in their support forums. I’m sure that any bits I really miss I’ll be able to add on, and hopefully commit back.

I’m also grabbing the Review extension. Again, I don’t think it does everything I want out of the box, but the one or two features that I’ll miss I’m confident I can add on. Since the EDD team had a discount for multiple purchases I’ve also been swayed into grabbing the Stripe extension – I’ve been happily using PayPal for the past three years, but I’d like to give another options since not everyone likes PayPal (or gets confused about how to pay via card).

After the initial investigation was done I set about working out some key tasks would be required.

The big thing that became obvious was data migration. I already have a reasonable body of (positive!) reviews on my plugins, and I want to maintain them across the transition. The bigger job, however will probably be the licensing changeover. Not only will I have to migrate existing licence codes into the new plugin, but I’ll also need to make sure that existing deployed plugins can be transitioned smoothly.

Here’s the main list of jobs I identified:

Solution needed for product documentation

My current site has an entirely bespoke setup for linking documentation posts to products. It’s not huge, but does involve a variety of query hijacking that really shouldn’t be necessary. For the new site I’m planning on basing the end-solution off the excellent “posts to posts” plugin by @scribu. I’ve already got a simple proof-of-concept up and running, and this is one area that might make its way out as a plugin in its own right – more in a future post.

Legacy upgrade provider

I need to provide a wrapper around EDDs licensing system to handle existing deployed plugins asking for updates, so that they can transition to the new version.

Licence migration script

I need to migrate all of my existing licenses into EDD. Pippin helpfully provided some outline info about how this could be achieved, so I’m happy it won’t be too much of a drag.

Review migration script

I need to make sure that all product reviews get migrated across, and that the schema.org markup is as I want it. Again the EDD team helpfully answered my pre-sales questions about migrating the data and how easy or otherwise it could be.

GA Tracking in EDD licensing

After an interesting issue in the past I’ve discovered it’s important to monitor the health and activity of services that happen behind the scenes. My current licensing system feeds information into Google Analytics so I can track licence request volumes, and activity to spot any problems early. I’m planning on porting this in some form into the EDD licensing plugin, or as an add-on to it.

Re-write product copy

My product copy is a bit dry, and lacking. I’m planning on running all copy through Hemingway to improve its readability, as well as updating all screenshots, and looking into getting some proper product icons sorted out (Still a bit undecided on the approach here).

Mailing provider

I currently use Campaign Monitor for handling mailing lists, as well as Sales follow up emails. They have a great service, but MailChimp offer some other features (Such as e-Commerce tracking) that are making me consider moving. Another job to be evaluated at some point.

In summary, this won’t be an overnight job, and there’s a lot of testing to do, not to mention the actual re-design …

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