Software portal plugin

Hi all, I wonder if there is an existing stable WordPress plugin that can make us build our own online software library (something like http://www.soft32.com)? and if there is isn't, does WPMUDEV have intention to release such plugin?

small note: I know that there is a classifieds plugin, but it is not exactly or even near what we were looking for

Thanks for taking the time to read my message

  • Mason

    Hiya!

    Very cool idea. Could you describe a bit more of the exact functions you're looking for? I don't know of anything that would do all of this "out of the box", but there are plugins that could handle different aspects of it. Again, give us some details. Would this be a membership site? Are you looking for download management?

    Sounds interesting. I'm sure others here will have thoughts on this as well!

    Thanks!

  • bpilot

    Hi Mason,

    Thanks you so much for your prompt reply and support. I will try to explain below what I think should be expected to be inside a complete software library portal so you can tell me if there are existing plugins that can do that or not

    The library should have mainly two sections, by sections I mean areas like Members area

    1. Admin section: this is where the admin can have control on:
    >> Add, edit, delete, disable any software title. A software title is like a post but with many custom fields like OS, Download Size, download URL...etc
    >> A single product can have multiple releases, and each release can have its own product page, yet in the latest release page there should be links / drop down menu to all other releases so that a visitor can just select the release he/she is trying to reach and get routed to its page
    >> Manage site categories and sub-categories
    >> Manage newsletter subscribers
    >> Send mass emails to specific subscribers groups or all subscribers
    >> Manage developers by adding new, editing, enable/ disable, delete
    >> Manage ads across the site (mainly adsense and yahoo)

    2. Developers section: this is where the developer is expecting to have set of 'forms' where he/she can add, edit, disable/ enable, delete his/her products

    Also other forms where he/she can apply for Ads, contact admin

    Finally a report which display his/her products (for each product) download statistics...something like exe url clicks

    Finally the visitors interface, should have the ability to list products under any category like this or similar in concept:
    http://www.soft32.com/s/Mac/Business_and_Finance/Applications/3-183-0-0.html

    product page like this or similar in concept:
    http://www.soft32.com/download_250229.html

    and site categories like those shown in the footer of this page:
    http://www.soft32.com/os/Windows/1-1.html

    Another major issue or concern about finding the suitable plugins / way to do the above...is stability and speed, as out of curiosity we tried adding like 2000 products as (posts...with custom fields) so the post text is product description and custom fields are all the rest fields like OS, Download links...etc

    Once we tried this, the site became terribly slow to the extend that it can take almost a minute to load home page and any product, even though we had WP-Cache and SuperCache plugins installed

    Having said so, a software library can easily contain 25K to 50K products (assuming this is Windows library only....no games, no linux), now if each of those products have released 3-4 releases then we are talking 150K, 200K records (posts).....now if the speed and pages loading was this terrible on 2000 record....what will happen on 200K or 500K records?

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post and I will be looking forward to hear your suggestions, recommendations

    Best Regards

  • Mason

    Hiya!

    Ok, let's take a look at this:

    1. Admin section: this is where the admin can have control on:
    >> Add, edit, delete, disable any software title. A software title is like a post but with many custom fields like OS, Download Size, download URL...etc
    >> A single product can have multiple releases, and each release can have its own product page, yet in the latest release page there should be links / drop down menu to all other releases so that a visitor can just select the release he/she is trying to reach and get routed to its page
    >> Manage site categories and sub-categories

    I think all of this could be handled through custom post types. It's a newer feature of WordPress with some radical implications that a software library site would be perfect for. There's even a plugin to help you get going with custom taxonomies and metaboxes:
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/custom-post-type-ui/

    >> Manage newsletter subscribers
    >> Send mass emails to specific subscribers groups or all subscribers

    There are several plugins out there that help connect ya to popular email marketing services. We also have a couple "in house" solutions you can check out as well:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/automatic-follow-up-emails-for-new-users
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/mailchimp-newsletter-integration - in the midst of an overhaul for mailchimp's new api

    >> Manage developers by adding new, editing, enable/ disable, delete

    - this could be done by modifying user role permissions. Either creating new user roles for specific purposes or something similar. Google "WordPress User Roles" and see what comes up. This is a weaker area of WordPress in my opinion and one that will hopefully be addressed over the next year.

    >> Manage ads across the site (mainly adsense and yahoo)

    Oh we have several for this:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/ad-sharing
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/ad-widget
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/admin-ads
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/simple-ads
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/supporter-advertising

    2. Developers section: this is where the developer is expecting to have set of 'forms' where he/she can add, edit, disable/ enable, delete his/her products

    See role management above. This could be taken care of through that as well.

    Also other forms where he/she can apply for Ads, contact admin

    Our Ad Sharing plugin allows your users to display their own ads and you to decide how it is split.

    Finally a report which display his/her products (for each product) download statistics...something like exe url clicks

    On the public side of the site or in the admin? I'd recommend using some good ole' fashioned google analytics on this one.

    Finally the visitors interface, should have the ability to list products under any category like this or similar in concept:
    http://www.soft32.com/s/Mac/Business_and_Finance/Applications/3-183-0-0.html

    product page like this or similar in concept:
    http://www.soft32.com/download_250229.html

    and site categories like those shown in the footer of this page:
    http://www.soft32.com/os/Windows/1-1.html

    This is really all about the theme. We have several here that might get ya started. Take a look at our site: http://themetastic.com for some live examples of our newer themes.

    As to the speed concerns, someone else will have to provide some guidance there as that's not my specialty. There's lots of ways to optimize your database and server setup along with hosting things like images and downloads on a separate service like Amazon's S3.

    Hope this helps get ya started though! If you don't get more feedback on this thread, I'd consider taking a specific question and starting a new post (like the site-speed issue for example).

    Thanks!

  • bpilot

    Hi Mason,

    Thanks a lot for your continuous help and support. Please find my reply below on some of the points:

    There are several plugins out there that help connect ya to popular email marketing services. We also have a couple "in house" solutions you can check out as well:
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/automatic-follow-up-emails-for-new-users
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/mailchimp-newsletter-integration - in the midst of an overhaul for mailchimp's new api

    >> Is there any stable newsletter plugin, that can allow us to have:
    -- A 'form' for (Subscribe for newsletter) where subscribers can use this form to subscribe to our newsletter
    -- Once any visitor subscribe to our newsletter it will send an automatic confirmation link, upon confirmation the visitor will be added to our newsletter DB
    -- Allow us to export subscribers list to a comma separated file since we are already using a stable email sending desktop solution (Group Mail)

    Actually I know we can do this in pure PHP code then integrate it with any website we have, yet I think if we can find it as a WP plugin it will be much better

    - this could be done by modifying user role permissions. Either creating new user roles for specific purposes or something similar. Google "WordPress User Roles" and see what comes up. This is a weaker area of WordPress in my opinion and one that will hopefully be addressed over the next year.

    >> Is there any plugin that can make us control what Admin left side menu the developer see and do not see? Like for example if he/she can see Posts tab or not, pages tab or not...etc

    2. Developers section: this is where the developer is expecting to have set of 'forms' where he/she can add, edit, disable/ enable, delete his/her products

    See role management above. This could be taken care of through that as well.

    >> I think you got me wrong here, what I was trying to do is have a 'form' for example (Add software product form), where any developer can use this form to submit his/her product for moderation by the site admin before the product is available to public....

    So is there any plugin that can make me do something like this?

    What I've found so far is cForms but as I can see, data in forms are sent to admin email, so the only work around here will be to create a single cForm - form where developers can submit products to admin for moderation, then admin take data from email and enter it manually

    As to the speed concerns, someone else will have to provide some guidance there as that's not my specialty. There's lots of ways to optimize your database and server setup along with hosting things like images and downloads on a separate service like Amazon's S3.

    I don't think it was the images and downloads, as initially we had images & downloads hosted outside the WordPress and the whole testing site was exceptionally slow

    Thanks in advance for your time and efforts

  • monsterdevelopment

    ">> I think you got me wrong here, what I was trying to do is have a 'form' for example (Add software product form), where any developer can use this form to submit his/her product for moderation by the site admin before the product is available to public...."

    @Bpilot, The "Gravity Forms" plugin can take a form post and turn it into a post, awaiting moderation. Your form can have any fields in it and when submitted, the data becomes a pending post based on the data entered by user.

    I want to create a software directory too. I want to build one, that is similar (in function, not target market) to: wpplugins.com which I believe is owned and operated by the same company that owns this site.

    If we could get access to the plugin that runs the wpplugins.com website then we would have about 99.9% of these things and we know that one works as it's being used and does basically what we are asking for.

    So, if that is at all possible, I vote that we make that plugin and new plugin here. A software market plugin.

    This was what I was hoping MarketPress would be more like, as I want all the sellers on one site not with each store being it's own site. Marketpress is super cool, just not what I wanted.

    Perhaps a "Software Market" type of plugin is in order as a wishlist for all the member's here looking to do a software / download sales directory on one single blog.

  • bpilot

    @Bpilot, The "Gravity Forms" plugin can take a form post and turn it into a post, awaiting moderation. Your form can have any fields in it and when submitted, the data becomes a pending post based on the data entered by user.

    OUTSTANDING...that's what I was exactly looking form....highly appreciate it

    I think MarketPress is a good start, with some customization it will be perfect for a software directory. I doubt they will develop the plugin so that it will be suitable for software directories as not everyone will want to start a software directory

    So I guess the best solution will be to take MarketPress as a base to develop the software directory on our own