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Amazon Link usage question (56 posts)

  1. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi Paul,
    I came across your plugin, but haven't tried it yet because I am unsure about a couple of points (and don't want to destroy my high-traffic site):

    - Has this been rectified yet? http://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-amazon-link-conflict-with-shortcode-exec-php-plugin
    (I use that plugin too)

    - After seeing what another user posted here, I went to https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/advertising/api/detail/main.html
    (am new to "api" things), and now I am unsure:
    Wouldn't those api credentials be more suitable for Amazon Link? Why sign up to AWS and pay for lookups if as Amazon advertiser they give us free lookups, no?

    - Most worrying for me: "Individual WordPress users can also add their own tracking IDs to their User profile." - Why on earth would a website owner want this? (unless it's some kind of multi-author site)
    --> Using Amazon Link would mean that anyone signing up to my site can generate MY amazon commissions??
    I don't see why you implemented that feature, and even if, why you not then made it an option?

    Not sure if this is the reason for the comparatively few reviews and downloads of Amazon Link? As nemoprofeta said, your plugin sounds like the TOP amazon plugin!
    So, basically I am confused.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/amazon-link/

  2. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your interest in the plugin!

    I tried the shortcode exec plugin on my site and had no problems, and posted a reply to Chris on my site 'http://www.houseindorset.co.uk/plugins/amazon-link/#comment-2478' but he did not reply so don't know if he resolved his issue.

    Generally features get added as people ask for them, so someone must have wanted multi-user support. I can make it optional if you like - User trasking ID's are only used when that user authors a post, seems fair that they should get the commission if it's their content?

    You need AWS access keys to use the Amazon Advertising API, you should not have to pay to get AWS keys as far as I am aware.

    Cheers,

    Paul

  3. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi Paul,

    First, you deserve highest acclaim on wordpress.org because you are actually looking at the "support" link questions (most don't) AND answer them lightening fast! Thanks so much! :-)

    Also great to see that you have your own site (didn't realize this, sorry) with massive interest in the plugin. I've searched your site but didn't get any hits for my keywords. Basically, what I was thinking of using Amazon Link for would need the following (and since you know your plugin best, maybe you can confirm yes/no?):

    When visitors click a link they are (still) redirected to an Amazon site depending on detected IP (like currently, using geoposty redirects), but instead with Amazon Link they can also select a prefered Amazon site from your dropdown list? - You say 'multinational popup', does it have to be a popup? Because most people have popups blocked, and they are annoying anyway. So, is there a dropdown list option? Can be tiny. Just the two-letter country codes. Doesn't even need to be next to every link, could be ONE on the screen eg using css fixed screen position.

    Related question: Under "screenshots" of your plugin (when clicking "add new plugin" from wordpress.org) exactly this 'multinational popup' screenshot shows that it's completely misplaced (take a look yourself please). Is this rectified yet?

    Do you happen to know ie have you experienced whether the ip2nation ip db is "good"? (geoposty uses some "maxtor" or so)

    Also, would you have links to any sample sites that show off some of the great features of your Amazon Link plugin? I couldn't find any such links on your site?

    Thanks again! Awesome developer!

  4. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi David,

    I'm not normally so quick to reply, just happened to be checking my email!

    In answer to your questions:

    Yes - The plugin supports localisation of the links, using the ip2nation database, I have not seen or heard of any problems with it to date. The localisation has its limitations as I point out in the FAQ.
    and

    Yes - The multinational popup allows them to manually select an amazon site. The popup isn't a popup as you probably guessed it is a css div element that gets populated when you hover over a link using javascript (So it should not be blocked by an adblocker, but will not work if javascript is disabled). The intention was for it to appear next to the mouse pointer but getting this to work 100% across all browsers and themes is near impossible.

    It is possible to create a template in the plugin that contains links to all amazon sites and so you could have a static or (using the appropriate css) a drop down menu that you designed yourself - I haven't tried this though!

    If you can think of a more useful way to present the link options, let me know and I can put it in the plugin.

    Have to admit I do not keep track of who is using the plugin - ideally it should be hard to tell if a site is using it. I guess some of the people who have put comments on my site are still using the plugin though?

    Cheers,

    Paul

  5. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Aha, sounds clever and better with css. Great.
    I will set up a test subdomain on my site and install Amazon Link to see how it goes. Will certainly leave you feedback when reviewed, and donate too if it's any good. Am still a bit unsure, probably because "seeing is believing" so I'd have liked to see it live in action somewhere.
    Also a bit careful because after a year of tinkering the ip redirect using geoposty finally works like a charm.
    Hence the subdomain installation and testing soon! Will get back to you! :-)

  6. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Good luck, I think trying it out is the best thing to do, please post any problems you have.

    I'm concerned the options page is getting a bit too complicated and is putting some people off using the plugin. So any initial feedback on getting it going on your site would be useful.

    Cheers,

    Paul

  7. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi Paul,

    I promised to get back on this, and here I am. I've installed your Amazon Link plugin on a testdomain.

    First impression: Amazon plugin is Amazing plugin! :-)
    I haven't yet tested it enough to go into much detail, but I noticed a couple of points that I couldn't find answers for in your plugin description pages. Maybe you want to update them (rather than replying here, where only I would see it..)?

    -> The setting Global Defaults?
    -> The tickbox Use Defaults?
    -> In Add Amazon Link, the +, Insert, and Upload buttons have hover descriptions, but the -, +, Search, and X button above, have not. Apart from Search (which is clear) it would help users to understand what the buttons do!?

    So far, overall, I'd say your plugin seems to be exceedingly powerful! Sooo powerful that it leaves me confused (and I'm PhD academic, so I wonder how others must feel!!). Maybe a plugin user needs to be an "Amazon-Expert" before using it - I am not. Hence I struggle eg with your massive amount of "templates" - and the topic/purpose of "Channels" I don't even want to raise.

    But I don't want to give up, because from what I tried so far (inserting simple text links per Amazon Product ID) your plugin works like a charm! Also very cute the national flags upon hovering, and they link perfectly to the national Amazon sites. So, this part is exactly as my basic requirement, when considering whether to "upgrade" from my current geoposty-based solution.

    However, another point I noticed is, when a product id is NOT "available" in one Amazon locale, the plugin links to Amazon saying: "Looking for something? - We're sorry. The Web address you entered is not a functioning page on our site."

    While currently, with geoposty, I can simply enter MULTIPLE (functioning) product id's for the SAME link text (works all with a link like "http://websitename.com/go/productlinktext").

    I assume your plugin CAN handle this problem somehow different, but it's not obvious how, or if at all. One way may be the AWS Live data setting - however I have activated that, but I have the problem nonetheless.

    My feeling is, the plugin can "kill 6 flies with one stone" - Incredible what you've coded there! ;-)

  8. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Edit: Instead of the last "->" entry:
    -> Rank is great info, and so would be Rating (which always shows "-"), it could show Reviews number instead, no?
    -> The Amazon link the plugin generates is different to the link Amazon itself supplies. Example: Plugin generates:
    "http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002AQM9Q?ie=UTF8&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&tag=davidat-20&creativeASIN=B0002AQM9Q",
    while Amazon supplied:
    "http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002AQM9Q/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=davidat-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0002AQM9Q".

  9. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi,

    Excellent feedback, thanks very much!

    Bit pressed for time, but thought I'd acknowledge your post:

    I'm in the process of reworking the contextual help (the help tab on the admin pages), the readme.txt (the pages on WordPress extend/plugins) and the pages on my site.

    Will ensure I take your comments into account - have completely forgotten about the helper widget on the post/page edit admin screen.

    I'll give you a proper reply when I have more time,

    Paul

  10. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    I appreciate the comment about it being too complex for someone who just wants a simple text link to the Amazon site, it has slowly grown as people have asked for different and sometimes conflicting enhancements.

    I am reorganised the admin pages and hope to add some more guidance notes, which should help!

    ---

    The 'not available' issue I have struggled with for sometime, to check its existence for every Amazon local would slow page load times to a crawl, so I originally had it check using the live data option...

    Unfortunately I rewrote this area and the links themselves are generated using static data so bypass the 'is it available' check! The original version returned a search link instead of the product details link if the ASIN was not available at that Amazon site.

    However it is possible to specify different ASIN's for different Amazon sites by putting them in the shortcode. The format is:

    asin[us]=XXXXXXXX,asin[uk]=YYYYYYYYYY,asin[de]=ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    Any not specified will either default to the one for the 'default country' or if you select 'Search Link' in the Settings page it will generate a link to the Amazon search results page for the items 'Title OR artist'.

    ---

    As you have noticed Amazon have stopped providing the Rating details in the data returned via the Web Service (I guess it was being abused?).

    I could not see any other useful data that could be returned _directly_ from the Amazon Web Service (try experimenting here: http://associates-amazon.s3.amazonaws.com/scratchpad/index.html).

    Most of the good material is only provided via 'iframe' links.

    ---

    The plugin links used to be the same format as those returned using the Amazon Associate tools, I guess they have updated them again!

    1. Associate 'Link To This Page' format:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1840237430/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=1840237430&linkCode=as2&tag=livpauls-21

    2. Link as returned via the Amazon Web Service:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Henri-Cartier-Bresson-Masters-Photography/dp/0893817449?SubscriptionId=AKIAJ47GXTAGH4BSN3PQ&tag=livpauls-21&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=0893817449

    3. My link format:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0893817449?ie=UTF8&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&tag=livpauls-21&creativeASIN=0893817449

    The 'creative' element looks like it changes depending on how the link was created so for our purposes is irrelevant. The 'camp' element changes depending on locale (amongst other things), seems a bit of a minefield. Suffice to say as long as the 'tag' is correct the 'clicks' seem to track okay.

    However to ensure that sales are tracked back to the product advertising API usage we are supposed to use the the second Format (See https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/advertising/api/detail/faq.html). Obviously if you are not using the 'live' version of the Amazon data this is not relevant. If you are then you need to make at least $2300 worth of sales to change your 'request' quota. If you are using caching of any sort then the base quota should be more than sufficient!

    The AWS query does return links that can be used but obviously they are specific to one locale. To be honest it's an area I have been putting off looking into!

    Any further questions or observations let me know!

    Paul

  11. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    And excellent, quick reply! Thanks very much.

    I can give more feedback on the Amazon Link plugin but have to go to work in a minute. But after I posted the above feedback I noticed more points, so maybe this is becoming a running list...

    1) The simple text links work great, incl the multinational popup! But the template "iframe image link" strangely does NOT show the multinational popup. I am using a massive amount of iframe image links from Amazon (because they are not too big but still show the price info needed), and just for that one "template" the popup is missing. Pity!!
    Plus, the target="_blank" doesn't work here. Oh, and ideally all links should also get a rel="nofollow".

    2) When we choose the template, instead of your hover text "Choose which template is used to display the item", it would help (beginners) enormously if the hover text instead was a brief description of the particular template (eg for "Image - Localised Image Link" the description "shows huge image of that item"...). Otherwise, experimenting with the different templates takes forever.

    3) For people who build massive websites (like mine) and hence publish large amounts of pages/posts via the CSV Importer plugin (or similar solutions), the problem could be: Amazon Link plugin works with shortcodes (instead of redirects), so in the CSV/Excel cells we wouldn't have the actual post content. Likewise, any other plugin that processes the page/post content (like eg for search) may not even be able to find the link texts(!) - unless they work AFTER your shortcodes have been transformed (which I can't tell).

    4) Is it possible to change the thumbnail image size in template thumbnail? To only show the NEW price in the iframe image link template? etc. All the fine adjustments we can make when we use "manual" Amazon links.

    So much for now! :-)

    Edit: Oh, btw, do the AWS API requests cost us money? Your hint above leaves this unclear.?

  12. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi Paul,

    If I now post more of my review, I hope you will still reply to the few points raised above as well? (because they ARE still relevant).
    I only thought it's more efficient for you if you can put all in one/the same reply.

    Basically, I've come up with a comparison of the two different solutions to the "problem" (or are there more than two? ;-)

    "Redirect-based solution" -v- Amazon Link-based solution.

    I wanted to paste it as an image here, but I can't see that we may insert images here. So, if you can't see the LINKED image, let me know and I have to think of another way to show you.

    <img src="http://automation.all-time-best.com/images/Comparison-of-Redirect-and-Amazon-Link-solution.gif">
    http://automation.all-time-best.com/images/Comparison-of-Redirect-and-Amazon-Link-solution.gif

    So, basically you see I'd LOVE to see if you can clarify some of the rather "critical" points so that I could move forward (with Amazon Link). ?

  13. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi,

    Keep it coming, I'm busy this weekend so may not get chance to reply till monday!

    Not trying to discourage you at all but please bear in mind that Amazon Link plugin is just a pet project of mine. It is not backed by a company or professional organisation. I have no _intention_ of giving up support, but if your website is your livelihood I realise this might be an important factor when deciding on your final technical solution to how you produce your website.

    Paul

  14. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Nee, it's a pet project too,in fact not yet making any money at all.

    But I think the list I prepared can prove very useful when you think about how to improve/size down your pet (as you mentioned you wanted). Sometime an outsider's view is what we need. ;-)

  15. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi,

    Got some time, so I'll try and answer some of your points!

    1) The 'iframe image' and a number of other javascript based templates are actually generated by Amazon itself so I have no real control over the content unfortunately. They are based on the 'Widget Source' item on the Associates Site - have a look to see what options there are.

    I guess it might be possible to scrape the content of the iframe then create your own HTML template (using the Amazon style sheets and images) that would give you more control over the content?

    2) Fair point I have been wondering about this myself along the lines of a preview section, but that would only work for users with valid AWS keys and would involve ajax queries and more complexity that I could do without at the moment!

    Back to your original request. I have to admit I wasn't aware that I could add a tooltip to the selection drop down options themselves so I _can_ do what you suggest.

    The Templates already have a 'Description' which is currently appended to the Template name in the Selection. Are you suggesting I add a new 'Detailed Description' to each template that is rendered as a tool tip? Or would it be better to just update all the descriptions to be more more 'descriptive(!)' and _just_ have it rendered as a tool tip?

    3) Have to dig deeper on this one, not familiar with CSV import plugin.

    Although you could just create WYSIWYG content for import and just use Amazon Link to create the links (no templates, etc.).

    Can't find anywhere that specifies if filters are applied to 'query content' - from my experiments it looks like it isn't. Looking at the WP core code the query is applied to the raw database content so doesn't look like we can search on 'post Amazon Link' processed content.

    Obviously things like Google CSE will work as these operate on the served content - but obviously big lag on current content with indexed content.

    4)

    a) The plugin displays the image returned via the AWS query this is different for each item but typically has:

    Small (SL75) - This is the current %THUMBNAIL% image
    Medium (SL150)
    Large (Full Size Image) - This is the current %IMAGE%

    Sometimes they contain image sets containing more variety, e.g. a lookup on ASIN: 0893817449 provides

    SL30, SL75, SL75 (again!), SL110, SL160 and the original image

    The SLXX indicates the Height of the item in pixels.

    If you can think of a way to map these results to a nice generic template item I can probably implement it.

    Obviously you can scale the images on the client side with CSS.

    b) Again the iframe content is delivered by Amazon so not a great deal of control on that.

    The AWS queries do not cost money or eat into your commission, but they are subject to the limits mentioned in the link above (1 per second?).

    ---

    Had a look at your comparison spreadsheet and I think you have captured the differences very well, didn't see anything wrong with your assumptions.

    Can't offer a direct solution, although another user has asked for an 'uninstall' option that will convert all Amazon Link shortcodes to static content.
    - This would stop localisation working but would allow WordPress to correctly search the content?
    - Also if the plugin/localisation/AWS failed then you would still serve the static content.

    I have also pondered the link shortening/obfuscation side of things a couple of times but there must be other plugins that just do this for all external links?

    If I did introduce this it would be relatively easy to create a redirect that contains most of the shortcode data presented as arguments, e.g. something like:

    http://www.mydomain.com/^?asin[uk]=XXX&asin[us]=YYY&author=admin&localise=1

    Then the localisation is done on redirect.

    Or would full obfuscation be better, e.g:

    http://www.mydomain.com/^aW5fgD

    I would then have to have a database linking the reference 'aW5fgD' to each shortcode created - no easy task!

    e.g. On each user 'post'/'edit' scan the content for shortcodes and add to a database, also a cron task doing the same but that also flushes out old links.

    Food for thought!

    Paul

  16. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi,

    I've had a bash at creating 'redirection' style links as it seemed like an interesting challenge!

    Its in the development version of the plugin amazon-link.zip

    I've done it as an extra plugin so you need to install it to work - on the Amazon Link Extras Settings page.

    Base link is of the form www.domain.com/al/XXXASINXXX/ which will redirect using your default options to the appropriate Amazon site.

    To force a particular link type append either an 'R' for reviews or 'S' for search.

    To force a link to a particular Amazon locale append the country code 'de', 'fr' 'us' etc.

    Or you can simply append the shortcode settings.

    www.domain.com/al/3548602045/R/de/ will take you to the German product review page.

    www.domain.com/al?asin[fr]=2020479893&asin[uk]=0340993782&asin[de]=3548602045&search_links=1&live=1 will redirect using the supplied shortcode parameters (i.e. To different Amazon locales using the specified ASIN or for domains without a specified ASIN will link to a search page).

    Paul

  17. Infinite Ideas
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi Paul,

    We are a publisher and would like to install Amazon Link on our new wen site. I cannot tell if your plugin pulls the following information from Amazon:

    TITLE
    AUTHOR
    BOOK DESCRIPTION
    AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY
    SHORT SYNOPSIS
    PUBLICATION DATE
    PUBLISHER
    BOOK TYPE (i.e. paperback)
    PAGES
    ISBN
    LIST PRICE

  18. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Amongst other things the plugin _currently_ provides the following data from Amazon:

    TITLE
    ARTIST / AUTHOR
    MANUFACTURER/PUBLISHER
    THUMB
    IMAGE
    RANK
    OFFER_PRICE
    LIST_PRICE
    PRICE

    The plugin can be easily updated to provide some of what you want for example there currently there is an installable option to return the EDITORIAL CONTENT.

    If the Amazon Web Service provides it then the plugin can retrieve it (I don't think AWS provides BOOK DESCRIPTION, AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY or SHORT SYNOPSIS.

    BOOK TYPE, ISBN, NUMBER OF PAGES & PUBLICATION DATE can definitely be added if required. See http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AWSECommerceService/latest/DG/CHAP_response_elements.html#NumberOfItems for more options.

    Paul

  19. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi Paul, Thanks for your reply!
    To be honest I don't understand quite a bit of the technical stuff you wrote (am more the 'conceptual thinker' less a programmer; my programming skill is maybe 1% of yours!).

    I notice however that you seem (again) to think of EXPANDING your plugin although you agreed yourself earlier that DOWNSIZING may be wiser, no? ;-)

    Anyway, having given it yet more thought, I'd say the KEY issue with Amazon Link (at least as it was), is this - Please correct me where I might be wrong:

    --> When the prefered (affiliate or other) offer changes, with Amazon Link, I'd have to make that change INDIVIDUALLY to ALL posts/pages that contain the old offer! But you may not even know all those posts/pages, if you have hundreds or thousands like I have on my site. Hence, a huge (if not impossible!) logistic/time-wasting exercise. Everytime. A nightmare. :-(

    --> And, next in line: If Amazon Link plugin were to fail/make problems/be discontinued/is deactivated, (or crashes?), my site would show garbled content/gaps. Not even the link texts(!) will be shown (because they are inside the shortcodes).

    And the KEY advantage (at least for me) is its feature to be able to show other Amazon locales in a cute popup when a user hovers over a referal link! (Btw, is it really not possible to notice user's hovering over an Amazon iframe image (maybe inside a div tag?), and then showing the cute popup too??)

    I think the above are my two MAIN worries about implementing Amazon Link. I think, for these reasons alone, a 'redirect-based' solution is far superior to a 'shortcode-based' solution.

    Hence, if I were able to develop sth like Amazon Link (which I am not), I would probably have opted for the redirect-based solution.

    This, although I wasn't even aware of what you immediately replied above: that you can use arguments in the redirect link.
    Thinking about this, I wonder however if that is necessary at all, maybe you make things 'too sophisticated' again?

    Here's my take on it, how I would do it (if I could, technically):

    1) I would use one wp db 'table' (is it that?) to save all redirects. But the table must of course be 'unlimited' in size, in case a user accumulates thousands of redirects over time; or imagine product types like books, shoes, or mp3 songs - you'd need thousands of affiliate redirects right away!)

    2) Amazon Link could still continue to offer the very handy 'product search' feature - in that case, after the admin has decided on his product(s) I would directly present him the created redirect links, for each locale he has entered affiliate id's for. If he wants, he clicks SAVE, and it's done and dusted!

    Now the admin can even use these redirect links say, in pdf books or reports he publishes! Because anyone who clicks such a redirect link will, for a split of a second, visit his site, but then be immediately redirected to the current offer for that recommended product. Regardless where he found the link and clicked it! Result: Much more commissions, for the plugin developer too, in all cases where the admin hasn't put in all locales.

    What I am not sure yet (with my current knowledge): Whether I would make the plugin save one redirect per locale, or whether I would 'code' different locales (and other stuff) into one and the same redirect per product, like you (I think) suggested above?!
    But maybe I find a conceptual answer to this by the time of my next post :-)

    I agree THIS kind of Amazon Link plugin would be quite different to your initial aim with the 'wishlist' thingy (which I still have no clue of; I get no presents from anyone...).
    However, I think THIS kind of Amazon Link plugin would be usable in a thousand times more cases (at least). As the name "Amazon Link" suggest: It would go beyond 'wishlists' and would basically allow any Amazon Affiliate to conveniently (and easily! :-) use your plugin!

    Actually, maybe even use it for a few non-Amazon affiliate offers too (if it's redirect-based). :-)

    That's my current '50 cent' on this.

  20. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi,

    Lots to talk about, so I think I'll break it into separate response!

    Alas as is the nature of Open source development that the project will continually evolves until it can read email (Zawinski's law) ;-).

    There are two aspects to the plugin, link generation and content creation both of which can be localised. With my plugin the two are quite intertwined e.g. the issue you raised with the iframe and the popup.

    The original plugin was solely used to create links to Amazon (as I could never remember the exact format of the links). The template/content aspect is a later addition.

    I guess my usage model is each link goes to a different product and is only ever used once on a site. E.g. I write an article reviewing an ipad v1 and add a product link to it on the Amazon site. I write another article reviewing a Galaxy tablet and add a product link to that page.

    If a new version of the ipad is released then I would have to manually change the link (and update the article).

    In your usage model you have more general offers (e.g. 20% of pet products at Amazon) that you have inserted into all posts that are related to pets? When the offer changes you need to update all those posts rather than just change the 'link destination'?

    I agree I don't think my plugin is suitable for that sort of feature, it is more individual product focussed.

    I'm still not sure on how you manage your site content, is it off-line in CSV files or on-line via the WordPress?

    Although thinking about it, since the shortcodes can be quite concise it would be relatively simple to find one instance of the offer shortcode and use it as the 'search string' for a global search and replace across all your content (there are plugins that do this)?

    Paul

  21. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Re:

    And the KEY advantage (at least for me) is its feature to be able to show other Amazon locales in a cute popup when a user hovers over a referal link! (Btw, is it really not possible to notice user's hovering over an Amazon iframe image (maybe inside a div tag?), and then showing the cute popup too??)

    You are right this is possible, proof of concept is to change the iframe template content to have %LINK_OPEN%...%LINK_CLOSE% around the whole iframe item - In firefox this also adds a nasty border around the iframe but some simple CSS would take care of that.

    I can't think of a solution that only uses redirect links that would enable you to add the popup to your site? What would the links in the popup point to? What ASINs would they use?

    As far as I can see you need something in the post content to trigger the creation of the popup and the querying of the backend database to get alternative ASINS etc.

    You could create a 'generic' popup using javascript that scans the content for a particular link type then adds the required popup perhaps doing something simple link appending the country code to the end of the link name?

    e.g. find all links of type http://www.mydomain.com/go/ and add a popup that creates links to http://www.mydomain.com/go/myoffer-fr ... myoffer-uk, etc.

    With regard plugin failure I don't see that the redirect solution is much better as the links will presumably just come up 404 not found if the plugin is not working or removed?

    Paul

  22. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Aha, implicitely you answered already what I wasn't sure about above:
    So then: I would 'code' different locales (and other stuff) into one and the same redirect per product, like you suggested earlier.

    No, no general offers, I have only specific products too (I said before, this is best anyway, specific links). But Paul look: A normal flow of writing articles is that you DON'T have a recommendation of a certain product only on one page/post, you may have it on 20 or more if you have hundreds or thousands of pages. Basic (bad?) example: Say you have a shoe site. Each post is about one shoe model/one color of it, but on multiple of them you might also 'need' to recommend say, a blister plaster (to help walking-in of that shoe). - Of course you can apply the same logic to ANY industry (i-pads too, say, a silicone cover or whatever! ;-)

    After reading you reply above I'd hence conclude:
    -------------------------------------------------
    If it was me, I would have 'the core' of Amazon Link work differently, all the good 'add-ons' you made I would leave, and what's not really helpful for this purpose (Amazon Link!) I would leave out (unless it's implicitely possible, like say OTHER affiliate links, if I use redirects).

    The 'core' difference would be:
    - For each product the admin wants to link to, I would present him ONE redirect link with arguments in it as you suggested above (mainly for all locales, MAYBE for templates too if considered 'really helpful').

    - I would certainly show the cute multinational popup at least for text-links (as you do) and for i-frame image links (as you don't). - The i-frame image links are hugely popular because they show really useful info for any site visitors, and make them click through!

    - Now, when a visitor clicks a DEFAULT (Amazon Link plugin based) redirect link, I would make the plugin process this link and send the visitor to the target page (based on a lookup in the wp db table for the ip addresses, which I think, you import into wp).

    - And when a visitor chooses a flag from the multinational popup, I would use this info to send the visitor to a different locale (IF it was an Amazon link, else not necessary). Like your plugin does already: It 'notices' which flag the visitor is clicking and sends him to THAT locale! So I don't see much (any?) need for change here.

    - The crucial point you made above yourself: ALL locales' affiliates tags (and MAYBE templates too) are embedded in that ONE link for a certain product. And depending on whether the visitor clicks the default link or a flag link, the plugin would process this info and redirect him to the right target page.

    Look: The redirect-based solution works in a way that it processes a certain link (eg "http://mydomain.com/go/i-pad-silicone-cover-transparent") and, WHILE LEAVING THE LINK TEXT INTACT EVEN IF THE PLUGIN 'FAILS'(!), if it works, it does a lookup of this 'source' link in the db, finds the associated target link, and sends the visitor there! :-)
    ------
    That's the aspect 'link generation' of your plugin (which you said above, was its only original purpose anyway).

    Re/ the aspect 'content generation' I think you mean that Amazon Link can embed different 'templates' into page/post content?
    I may need to think more about this part, but at the moment I'd say, this can still be done too, with redirect-based solution, if the 'source link' already holds the parameters for the template. Then, again even if the plugin fails, the LINK TEXT is still there (as an essential part of all posts/pages content), only it will now certainly just be TEXT, rather than being transformed by the plugin to say, a wishlist template or whatever.

    > With regard plugin failure I don't see that the redirect solution is much better as the links will presumably just come up 404 not found if the plugin is not working or removed?

    It IS much better because the LINK TEXT would still be there, Paul. And instead of a standard 404 a good admin will have a sensible error page anyway (sending notification to admin, offering user search alternatives, linking to a featured products page, whatever).

    > As far as I can see you need something in the post content to trigger the creation of the popup and the querying of the backend database to get alternative ASINS etc.

    That 'something' could be the 'source link'. The plugin could 'map' this to whatever it needs to, in addition to processing the redirect. Like Amazon Link now 'maps' locales, templates etc too (I assume).

    What do you think of this?

    David

  23. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    I guess I'm reluctant to have to build that redirect database and associated management pages into the plugin, seems like a big task. I prefer the idea of the original content holding all the information needed to create the links rather than relying on a database in the backend.

    Obviously this is completely incompatible with the idea of 'standard' links that the admin can remap to different products as the offers change. But it might be possible to do this separately... needs more thought.

    It would be relatively trivial to change the plugin to search for different string patterns rather than [amazon ... ]. I could get it to look for say:

    <a class='amazon-link' argument='args if needed' href='http://www.domain.com/go/XXXASINXXX/'>Link Text<//a>

    On plugin failure you would still get the link, just no popup or template expansion.

    Next step change the XXXASINXXX to be a 'source id' that is looked up in the database.

    Paul

  24. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I probably haven't understood all you meant, but
    > I prefer the idea of the original content holding all the information needed to create the links rather than relying on a database in the backend.

    Yes, but right now your plugin relies on the wp db too, with everything it does.

    Again, the crucial drawback of Amazon Link as it is now, is that it is a mammoth task to have to change all product links/text/template individually when a recommended Amazon product changes (plus the garbled/gap content).

    I my point of view, and I assume for thousands of other users, Amazon Link will only make sense to be used once:

    - it leaves at least the content (incl link texts!) in place if the plugin fails
    - and any necessary change to an individual Amazon product is necessary only ONCE across the entire site, not individually on (maybe) hundreds of pages/posts(!).

    That the links won't work if the plugin is off is obvious, that's not the issue - that's the purpose of Amazon Link ;-)

    If I understand correctly, your suggestion to use:
    <a href='http://www.domain.com/go/XXXASINXXX/'>Link Text<//a>

    would solve only the first of the two issues above?

    Anyway, it seems I'm getting too much hung up in 'co-developing' a plugin I am not even using (yet) :-)

  25. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    No worries, thanks again for all the feedback and good luck with your site!

    Paul

  26. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I didn't mean to discourage you Paul! I wouldn't stop thinking about improvements, Amazon Link is a great plugin and absolutely worth the extra time!

    Also, I myself too would love to try out your next version. Eg you wrote above sth that started with "I've had a bash at..." and although you linked that version, I fear your brief explanation wouldn't allow me/us to use it correctly just yet.

    I will continue to be a happy tester for Amazon Link. Not least because, as mentioned, I am still looking for an urgent replacement for the every-day-crashing geoposty-redirect based solution that I am currently using!

    Since I already HAVE thousands of Amazon i-frame image style links, I just need to wait until you have a version of Amazon Link that shows the multinational popup for this type of link as well - and you wrote above:
    > You are right this is possible, proof of concept is to change the iframe template content to have %LINK_OPEN%...%LINK_CLOSE% around the whole iframe item - In firefox this also adds a nasty border around the iframe but some simple CSS would take care of that.
    (which I didn't fully understand)

    While copying your note from above I saw your question again:
    > I can't think of a solution that only uses redirect links that would enable you to add the popup to your site? What would the links in the popup point to? What ASINs would they use?

    I'd say: The solution you supplied yourself above as well:
    <a class='amazon-link' argument='args if needed' href='http://www.domain.com/go/XXXASINXXX/'>Link Text<//a>
    sth like that, plus sth like 'onmouseover= show popup'.
    (I assume you are currently using javascript in Amazon Link anyway?)

    Another MAJOR reason why I'd love to see Amazon Link become usable for me is that: Currently I have to 'hardcode' all Amazon links into my html code (as I don't know how to use their API thingy). Since Amazon constantly change the products they offer in my sector, my links are constantly 'outdated'. It would be great to have a plugin 'knowing' how to query the Amazon API and to update the links automatically/live (as I understood your plugin CAN, if we have an AWS account), no? I opened one :-)

  27. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Just wondering Paul, you haven't given up this "pet project" of yours, have you?

    Did you meanwhile get a chance to implement the changes you mentioned above you would/could make?

    You see, I am persistent ;-) I'd need your plugin!

  28. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi,

    No, not given up,, just a bit busy at the moment!

    I've had some ideas on how to update the plugin that might suit your needs better, but still need a lot of work.

    I doubt I'll do an official update before the new year, as its an important time for most affiliates don't want to break any websites!

    The development version will be ticking along in the background if you ever want to try out the latest updates.

    Don't forget the plugin already allows you to do 'search' links that might suit your needs to a certain extent.

    I like the idea of redirect links but you need to be careful as Amazon terms and conditions are quite specific that links must clearly go the Amazon site.

    Paul

  29. David_the Real
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Next year? Oh, then I'd really prefer to test your development version, maybe it helps you too, getting some feedback.

    Where do you have that one? Public anywhere?

    And, easy to use, or have you "crypted" things to help your own understanding, but which I wouldn't understand (not a programmer)?

  30. paulstuttard
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Hi,

    The development version is basically the latest SVN version hosted on the WordPress site.

    I haven't updated it since the post above that added a simple redirect style link using ASINs.

    It can always be found at http://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/amazon-link.zip, if you click on the developers tab above it is the Development Version under the 'Other Versions' heading.

    I'm adding all the new stuff as installable 'extras' plugins at the moment, once I am happy with the new stuff I'll build it into the main plugin.

    I'll let you know when I do another update, or keep an eye on the development log. Although you might find that a bit cryptic ;-)

    Paul

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