[Plugin: SS Downloads] Nice, but too spotty
nice plugin, good idea and certainly right direction.
Unfortunately it is depending on browser settings and therefor not all browsers will agree with it:
Here’s our (incomplete) list of tests:
Not logged in:
Chrome – negative
Safari – is sending a link, but gives an error-message by clicking link
Firefox – 70% yes, 30% bugs
Firefox – positive
Safari – positive
Chrome – 70% positive
Overall the plugin “kinda'” works but for us not reliable enough using it in a live environment.
I’ve just tested email delivery of the file functionality under Windows XP with Chrome, Firefox and Safari both logged in and not logged in.
All worked 100%
The test file was an 89K zip file of an excel spreadsheet.
I haven’t checked deliver-ability like getting through anti-spam measures.
I like the email delivery option, as I don’t have to deal with file path obfuscation and it means the email address is initially deliverable. It doesn’t prevent the use of throw away email addresses but it’s good enough.
Forcing registration for a download invites BugMeNot and other such measures.
Next I’ll test the file download process.
I just tested the “email a link” download process and it too worked 100%
There is (maybe) a strange cosmetic bug where the form does not always update to “check your inbox” when not logged in.
If you don’t email a link, or email the file, the plugin also allows you to show the download link after you enter a validly formatted email address. But as you don’t test that the email address delivers, what’s the point?
If you want to capture a valid email address to grow a list, then not testing that the email address delivers undermines the validity of your capture. Just post a link and let people download it without any info.
Hey, guys, thanks for the feedback.
A plugin like this is hard to get working on all setups, which is why I tried to include many options for delivery and templating.
The newest version is a bit more stable. You can try that.
One feature of the “link by email” option is that the user needs to use the same browser they logged their email with to open the file link (since the plugin saves a session variable noting that that user is okay to get the file). This is kind of a lot to ask for some people. Their default browser may be different from the one they logged. They might get their email on a different computer. They might have closed their browser (and the session) so the link doesn’t work.
I would guess this is why you were getting random results in your testing.
This delivery method could be improved a number of ways (I’m not planning on it though). I would suggest using a different delivery method.
Paul has a good point RE getting valid email addresses. Sending the file by email is the best way to assure there is a human on the other end of the email address (although throw away addresses could be used).
That won’t work on some setups though, so sending the link or showing the link on the page will at least get you the email address of people or aren’t trying to scam you for a free download. Depending on your subject matter, I would guess that most people are going to give you a legitimate email address that you can follow up on.
The plugin does what it’s supposed to (THANK YOU) but I am wondering if there an is an easy way to start the download of the file immediately after a valid email is entered, rather than having to wait for the page to refresh and then clicking a second time. Seems like having to click twice is a bit much when it’s only a single file. If there were multiple files on a single page it would be perfect.
@dreadcarno you’d probably get more help if you started a new thread. But I’ll try to help.
The developer is unlikely to change the way the plugin works as it does what it should. In that case I suggest looking at another plugin.
Why do you want to make a download available after merely entering a validly formatted email address, if you don’t know that email address works? In that instance it’s almost worth using an HTML POST form that redirects to a d/l page. Then put a .htaccess referrer rule to limit access to the d/l to people coming from the form.
@paulzag, thanks for the response.
you have a point, this is a case where a client wants this behaviour and I need to make it happen. That said, the plugin basically already does what I want it to do. After the email address is input/submitted the page refreshes to show the download link. The user then has to click again to get the information. I want to eliminate this second click. The method you describe is essentially what we had before: Using cformsII we would take the form submission and push the user to a download page, this was basically a modified confirmation page. This method stopped working because of an issue with W3 SuperCache. Regardless, the method you describe still makes the user click twice for the download.
You are right about the extra click. I used to try to meed client demands on wordpress behavior. Now I tell them that this is how it works and if they want something custom coded, I can get them a quote.
IF changing the code of the plugin is beyond you, the developer may do it as a paying job.
Most clients do NOT understand UI issues.
Anyway, good luck with it.
@paulzag, thanks for holding down the fort while I pondered this. 😉
@dreadcarno, the /services/addemail.php script could be tweaked to redirect to the $file location instead of the referring page.
I don’t plan to add this as an option to the plugin any time soon, but I could put you in touch with a developer to tweak the plugin for you.
Add something like this at the end of the is_email($email) brackets.
//get the filename $file = ssd_unswapChars($file); //fix it if there is no leading http, etc if(substr($file, 0, 1) == "/") $file = "http://" . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] . $file; elseif(substr($file, 0, 4) != "http") $file = "http://" . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] . "/" . $file; wp_redirect($file); exit;
Make sure you don’t upgrade the plugin after making this change.
I haven’t tested this.
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