The Sellwire Blog

  1. Automatic Updates for WordPress Plugins and Themes

    Like many other sellers of commercial WordPress themes and plugins we were affected by the recent downtime and subsequent shutdown of the service WP Updates after it was sold by Dev7studios. We used it to deliver automatic updates for our plugins, and it has caught us short when we needed to push out updates.

    To solve this problem we have baked in support for automatic updates for WordPress themes and plugins right into Sellwire!

    You can edit a file on Sellwire and in the advanced settings select if it is a WordPress plugin or theme:

    file-WordPress-updsates

    This is where you can access the code to integrate into your plugin or theme, and help with setting it up.

    If you are selling a plugin, you can let Sellwire use the readme.txt file (if your plugin has one) to tell WordPress all about your plugin and changelog, just like a free plugin on the repository.

    When you upload a new version of a file you can add the changelog detail for themes and plugins without a readme.txt so Sellwire can build the changelog to be displayed in the user’s WordPress site when they click on ‘View details’:

    file-wp

    The updater code integrates with plugins or themes sold on Sellwire with licensing activated, so the customer must have a valid license before updates are served.

    We have also removed the previous integration with WP Updates as this is now obselete.

  2. 2015 EU VAT Changes to Digital Goods

    As of January 1st 2015 the EU introduces new VAT rules for people selling digital services to EU customers. Previously if you were registered for VAT then you charged all EU customers the rate of your country. Now the rate is determined by where the customer lives.

    I won’t go into all the details of the new directives, you can read more about them here, and their impact on small business here. However, we are pleased to announce we have added support for this in Sellwire.

    We have previously supported tax registered companies in the EU, including reverse charge EC sales to EU Businesses. Now when an EU customer goes to purchase a product, without a valid VAT number, they will be asked to confirm their billing address. We will match the billing country to the country of the IP address and if they don’t match ask the customer to declare they based in the country they provided. HMRC have made this not very clear, but based on other the implementation in other systems and advice from our accountants this seems the most acceptable approach for handling country discrepancies.

    sellwire-tax-purchase

    There will be a new Tax VAT MOSS report under the ‘Report’ menu that will allow you to view and export the EU purchases (excluding those from customer in your tax registered country) for any given period, or all time. This will allow you to submit your VAT MOSS return and stored your customer VAT data in order to be compliant with the new directive. We will be looking at improving the CSV export to match the VAT MOSS return format to make it even easier for submission when HMRC release the format.

    If you are a tax registered company selling goods in a currency different to the one you will submit the tax return for, we now handle the conversions of PayPal transactions for the correct amounts to appear on the VAT reports. So for example, you are tax registered in the United Kingdom, but you sell goods in USD. The VAT MOSS report and EC Sales list will now show the converted GBP amount. If for any reason the conversion fails (because you know, PayPal) then we will alert you to this in the report screen so you can manually edit the order to add the conversion details.

    If you have any suggestions, issues or we have missed anything please don’t hesitate to get in touch via Twitter or here.

  3. New Feature: Licensing

    Today we are announcing an awesome new feature for Sellwire – Licensing for your files!

    We have been working hard to get this out so you can now sell your files integrated with Sellwire’s complete license key generation, activation, and renewal system. This makes Sellwire an even more powerful tool for selling your digital files. It is especially geared towards premium WordPress themes and plugins but can be used with any software that requires activation of a license.

    Key features

    • Files can be license enabled
    • License key generation for orders of those files (license key and details added to the receipt)
    • License key activation, deactivation and checking via Sellwire’s API
    • Ability to limit the activation of the license per file and per file price variation
    • License expiry functionality so licenses need to be renewed after expiry
    • License renewal discount percentage and control over length of discount availability
    • Automated email expiry reminders
    • Full logs of the license activity and history

    (more…)

  4. Recent Downtime

    First of all we have to say a big thank you to you all for your patience and understanding as we have dealt with our server issues over the last couple of days. On Tuesday last week (5th Nov 2013) our server were compromised, apparently by spammers in South America. They most likely got in due to some outdated software on our servers. Thankfully it doesn’t appear that any data was compromised so all of your passwords and personal information are still secure. We don’t store any financial data on our servers (all of our billing is handled by Spreedly) so any financial data is also completely safe.

    Once we realised that our servers had been compromised we immediately started a migration of all of our (Dev7studios) sites to new servers. This took much longer than anticipated due to quite a large amount of data, which is the main reason for the length of the downtime. Thankfully however this won’t be an issue in the future as we have migrated all of our important file data over to Amazon S3. This means that the files you upload to our websites are securely stored and served from Amazon’s own network and not our servers, adding an extra layer of security and speed to our file storage. It also means if our servers are ever compromised in the future, we won’t need to migrate all of these files again.

    So as of this morning we are back up and running, and as an added bonus we are now on a much faster setup. Again we appreciate your patience and understanding as we have worked through this issue and we apologise for any inconvenience it may have caused. We ask that you keep an eye out for any bugs or issues that might appear after the migration and let us know if you find anything.

  5. New Feature: Price Variations & WP Updates Integration

    Today we have pushed an update that allows you to enable price variations to a file. This is great if you have multiple price points for the same file, as now you can manage it all from the one file. No need to manage the same versions and upload the same file across multiple files. All you need to do is add or edit a file and click ‘Enable Price Variations’. Then you can add a variation with a name and price.

    Edit Variations

    The stats for the variations appear rolled up for the file on the Files screen but you can drill down on the variations by clicking the file names with arrows next to them.

    Show Files

    The link to the main file’s purchase page now has options where your customers can choose the price, but the variations also have their own direct links to purchase them.

    purchase-file

    WP Updates Integration

    Sellwire has a lot of customers who sell premium WordPress themes and plugins and a number of those customers also use our sister service WP Updates to provide automatic for those themes and plugins. This new integration allows you to connect the two services.

    By adding your WP Updates API key to the Services tab in your Sellwire settings, you can select if a file is a theme or plugin and select the WP Updates item it corresponds to.

    wpupdates

    This means that new file versions added in Sellwire get automatically pushed to WP Updates. You will be able to add your version changes text when adding the version.