You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t posted on my blog for quite some time.
I’ve been meaning to, seriously, I have.
But I’ve been “in the lab” so to speak working on a product that I recently launched on the Warrior Forum.
In case you aren’t familiar with the Warrior Forum it is probably the largest internet marketing forum on the web and its a good place to do a pre-product launch or product beta test and this is exactly what I set out to do with my newly released product, WordPress Security Lockdown.
However, the reason I’m writing this post is because I made some mistakes.
Mistakes that I want you to avoid.
What was my mistake you ask.
Well I chose to use WSO Pro as my sales system.
What is WSO Pro? Its a shopping cart system that works with the Warrior Special Offers thread on the Warrior Forum and allows you to have a dime sale and limit the amount of sales that you want to have by quantity. You can also have your product chosen as WSO of the day, if it is good enough that is to warrant such a title. The owner of Warrior Plus, Mike Lantz only chooses products for WSO of the day that use his shopping cart system and then he mails them out to his list, which is rather big and can result in a lot of exposure for a product launch resulting in increased sale and potential future affiliates.
But there is one thing wrong with WSO Pro.
It doesn’t encrypt your download links.
You have to send people to a page to download your products. A lot of Warriors (Internet Marketers on the Warrior Forum) do exactly this. They send purchasers to a download page in which users can download the product that they just bought, and many times it is an unsecured download page. Hence if someone gives out the link to the download page, and say posts it on another forum or anywhere else on the web they can inform others as to how to download the product without making a purchase.
Again, many, many online marketers create a sales funnel like this and the reason I know is because I’ve made many, many purchases.
Still they run the risk of losing sales and having their products distributed for free. That being said, this is exactly what has happened to me. I decided to take the risk, the risk of getting WSO of the day for a product which has taken me 6 months to develop, from research to product creation to pre-launch. (Anyone who tells you that you can create a product in 8 hours, launch it the same day and make $100 000 is full of crap and you should run as far away from them as possible)
As I was saying, what has happened to me is that someone has purchased my product and saw that I was hosting my product downloads on Amazon S3 (again something a lot of online marketers do) and then posted those links for everyone to download for FREE and calling me an idiot for allowing it to happen.
Maybe they have a point.
But let me state mine.
Securing WordPress and securing download links are two totally different things.
Do I know how to secure WordPress.
Yes, take a look at my course WordPress Security Lockdown and you’ll see that I know what I’m talking about.
Do I know how to secure download links?
Why didn’t I?
Again, WSO Pro does not allow you to do so and I wanted the chance to get WSO of the day.
That being said, there is no chance of that happening now as I know longer going to use WSO pro (at least for this product launch that is) and I highly doubt I would have gotten WSO of the day anyway.
Why do I say that?
Well, I’ll admit, WordPress security isn’t the sexiest subject in the world. Say compared to “How to Create a Product in 8 hours, Launch it in One Week and Make $100 000 and Move to Hawaii and retire!”
But it is extremely important because as great as WordPress is, (for I actually love WordPress) because it is open source it is prone to being hacked by hackers.
And thus while researching how to protect my own sites, the information evolved into a full blown product.
So how can you avoid the mistakes that I have made?
Well if you’re going to use WSO Pro you need to create a membership site.
There are many, many membership scripts out there for WordPress, some of them are free some of them you have to pay for. However the only one that works with WSO Pro’s shopping cart system is WP Member Champ
Howewever if you’re using Optimize Press to power your sales sites you will find it extremely difficult to configure the plugin to work with Optimize Press.
Headway is undoubtedly the most robust and easy to use WordPress Framework on the market (albeit it is not perfect and does have a learning curve).
However, again it is one of the most robust and flexible themes out there.
I know because I’ve used a lot of different WordPress Themes.
Now I don’t want to go on a tangent but let me just say that Optimize Press is not easy to use, although currently besides Flex Squeeze it is the only option, however I will be making a Sales Page Child Theme Engine for Headway
that will be easier and faster to use.
But, back to the solution.
If you’re going to use WSO Pro, you’re going to have to use a Membership Plugin if you want to protect your download links/content. Plus once you embed your downloads into your webpage you will have to encrypt those as well and you will need to use S3 Flow Shield, which will encrypt your Amazon S3 download links and hide the names of the S3 buckets that you are using. The documentation for both of these plugins is very good and I highly recommend that you use them.
The cons of doing this are you cannot offer one time offers, otherwise known as a back end sale, and someone can still download your files and re-upload them to where ever they want on the web, but at least you’ve made it a bit harder for them.
If you have a video product, instead of offering a download of your product, embed the videos into your page and allow members to login.
S3 Flow Shield offers a single users license for Flowplayer with the product which will enable you to encrypt, stream and play your content right from your website.
The pros of this are your video content is in one place.
The cons of this are with enough technical know how someone could still download your content and reupload it for others to download and use without making a purchase, but at least you’ve made it harder.
Use DL Guard, which is the method that I am using right now.
DL Guard stands for Down Load Guard and is a php based shopping cart develop by Sam Stephens.
Sam’s support of DL Guard for me has been nothing short of astonishing.
He has answered all of my questions in a very timely manner and has even answered inquires that were not directly related to DL Guard.
To top it off, he’s even offered psychological support as at one point someone “cracked” DL guard and uploaded it to a file sharing site and like me, he was heart broken, however he kept on making the product better and developing it more and more.
As it said to me, that version is still out their, however it is very “buggy” and doesn’t have near the bings and whistles that the current version has.
And people like me are still buying it.
What are the pros of using DL Gaurd?
DL Guard configures with a payment gateway, such as Pay Pal and sends purchasers to a download page in which the download links are encrypted as well as timed to expire after a certain amount of time and download attempts thus stopping people from posting download links around web for everyone to share.
What are the cons of DL Gaurd?
Well, like the other solution it is difficult to have a back end one time offer, as I’ve tried to configure it and am unable to do so.
Also you cannot have a dime sale nor a sale limit but Sam has informed me that he is working on implementing this into DL Guard.
Still, as I have pointed out, using any of these solutions doesn’t stop someone from downloading your product and uploading it to freely share on the web.
What can stop this?
Nothing, except someone’s conscience.
If they have one that is (as its obvious that the individuals who haven’t paid me for my product DON’T and even think it is funny)
What’s funny is that one of these websites is a forum on how to make money online. I wonder how they teach people to make money online when they themselves steal from anyone else.
The other site is a black hat seo site, apparently some of the members of that site have had clients sites who have been hacked and are going to put my information to use.
Some of them have even posted positive comments about the quality of the content that I have produced.
Still, I wonder if their clients with held funds from them for the SEO work that they do, how they would respond.
Now you may think that I’m a moron for even telling you that my product is available for download for free.
Well you’re entitled to your opinion, however to me its like not talking about the BIG White Elephant in the room.
So what can I do?
The profits generated from this product launch were intended to pay off some of my debts and put a new roof on my parents house.
However, If you decide to go and download my product for free there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.
At least I now know how the Holly Wood Movie Producers feel.
All I can do is appeal to you that it took me 6 months and countless hours to develop WordPress Security Lockdown and only hope that you have a conscience in you.
Which I hope you will.
If you want to leave your thoughts below in the comments section please feel free to do so.