My Digital Dispatch Vs EW Portal Vs DL Guard

October 24, 2006 by · Comments Off on My Digital Dispatch Vs EW Portal Vs DL Guard
Filed under: Product Reviews 

The War Is On!
As an eBook seller on eBay I am often asked how my eBooks are delivered instantly, as soon as payment is made. The answer I give them is always the same, I tell them that I use a delivery script that runs via my website. This sounds like a really complicated process, I mean come on, how can something on my website be delivering my eBay products, and how on earth does it know when a sale is made? Surely something like this would cost thousands to buy and require a genius to set it up…right? WRONG! Believe it or not delivering your digital products instantly is a piece of cake and won’t cost you thousands. All you need is a “script” that handles the delivery for you. If you are unsure of what a script is, think of it as a piece of software, but this software wont run on your home PC, it will run on your website hosting package. This allows the script to run 24/7 even when your PC is switched off!

These scripts use IPN (instant payment notification) technology; this means that as soon as a payment is made, the information from the transaction is sent directly to your script. The script then takes that information and processes the order for you, if everything is correct the script then delivers a download link straight to the customer’s email inbox.

So now you know the basics of how these scripts work, let me talk you through the advantages and disadvantages of the three most popular auto delivery scripts; My Digital Dispatch, The EW Portal and DL Guard. Let’s begin with My Digital Dispatch.

I am going to look at the following areas when reviewing the software:

1. Ease of Installation
2. How does it work?
3. Security Features
4. Other Features

My Digital Dispatch (MYDD)
www.mydigitaldispatch.com

Price: $67
Supports: PayPal, eBay, Website Sales
Installation Time: 5 Mins

Installation.
If you are familiar with installing scripts then you will be very familiar with the MYDD installation process. You are required to set up a MYSQL database and then input the database details into the config file, once you have added to relevant information into the config file you simply upload all of the files to your web space and follow the onscreen instructions. The whole process shouldn’t take you any more than 5 minutes and even a PC novice shouldn’t have any problems.
However, even if the installation process is too much you can have this installed free.

How does it work?
MYDD supports the PayPal payment processing system and uses PayPal’s IPN technology, this allows you to deliver your items via your website and via eBay, as long as the customer has paid using PayPal. MYDD uses the item name to identify the product, so if you are selling a product on eBay and the item title is “How to identify spoof emails” then the item name in MYDD must be exactly the same or your item won’t get delivered. This is fine, but what if you want to change the item title in eBay? Unfortunately that means that you also need to go and create a new item in MYDD, it won’t take you more than 5 minutes, but if you have a lot of items then this could be quite time consuming.
As well as working with eBay, you can also use MYDD to deliver products from your website. Creating a simple PayPal button allows you to do this, all you have to do is make sure that the “item_name” variable matches the item name in your MYDD control panel. Unfortunately at the time of writing MYDD doesn’t have a shopping cart feature to support multiple product purchases, but who knows what the future holds?

Security Features
One of the main security features of MYDD is the ability to recognize what currency the buyer has paid in, if the buyer pays less than the set price then MYDD will see this as a fraudulant transaction and won`t deliver the download link. This prevents any sneaky buyers trying to under-pay for your items! MYDD also sends out encrypted, expiring download links to your customers. Encrypted download links reduce the chance of your download URL`s being shared out to non-payers! This feature could be crucial if you are selling high value digital items.

Other Features
Insert affiliate code plug-in, Email template customisation, one click plug-in installation, transaction log, free 6 months hosting if you have installation problems.

EW Portal
www.ewportal.com

Price: $74
Supports: PayPal, eBay, Website Sales
Installation Time: 5 Mins

Installation:
Like MYDD the EW Portal requires you to set up a MYSQL database on your hosting account, once you have set up the database you need to upload all of the files to your web space. After uploading the files you simply follow the onscreen wizard to complete your installation. This is almost the exact same installation process as MYDD, however the EW Portal doesn’t require you to edit the config file, the script automatically edits the file for you.

How does it work?
Again, much like MYDD. The portal works in conjunction with PayPal and PayPal`s IPN technology, however that is where the similarities end. The EW Portal identifies the items by the item number (the item number in the control panel NOT the eBay item number!) and not by the item name. This means that you don’t need to change the item details in your control panel even if you change your items name in eBay. All you need to do for eBay delivery is insert a tiny piece of invisible HTML code into your listing, this tiny piece of code lets the portal identify which item has been sold and which item should be sent out to the customer.
Like MYDD the EW Portal also works seamlessly with your website. The EW Portal generates unique PayPal buttons that can be placed on your website. This is done in the same way as MYDD for single item purchases, however the Portal also has a shopping cart feature that allows you to sell multiple items via your website.

Security Features
No longer do you have to worry about people stealing your download links and illegally downloading your products. Each link generated by the EW Portal is encrypted and can be set to expire after “x” number of clicks or “x” number of hours. You are also able to track each link in detail from your control panel. You can see what time the link was sent out, where it was sent, how many times the link has been clicked and the IP Address of the person that clicked on the link, it also lets you lock the download link to an IP address for increased link security. The portal also uses “File Fetch” technology to protect your download pages, this means that even if someone finds your download page there is no way of them downloading the product unless they have paid you first, you can see an example download page below, please feel free to try and steal the product!

http://www.ewportal.com/fetchdemo.php

Other Features
Affiliate System, Manually issue links, Anti-fraud Shopping Cart, Mailing List, Coupon Generation, Secure download pages, full email and HTML template customisation, support for offline goods, real time sales statistics, real time customer data, IPN log and automatic receipt generation.

DL Guard
www.dlguard.com

Price: $127
Supports: PayPal, eBay, Website Sales, 2Checkout, Clickbank, Stormpay, e-gold, PayDotCom
Installation Time: 5 Mins

Installation:
Like the other 2 scripts DLGuard requires you to create a MYSQL database before you begin the installation process. Once you have set up the database you have 2 options, you can either do a manual installation, or you can use some software that takes you through the process using a “Wizard”. All in all the installation time for all 3 products is fairly similar.

How does it work?
Like the other scripts DLGuard uses IPN technology, however DLGuard doesn’t just support PayPal. DLGuard takes a leap ahead of its competitors by offering seamless integration with five payment processors as well as PayPal. Obviously this is a huge advantage if you are planning to use a payment processor other than PayPal. As well as working in conjunction with eBay, DL Guard also works on your website and just like the EW Portal it can be used for multiple item purchases. The multiple item purchases are all handled via the built in shopping cart.

Security Features
Like the other scriptsl, DLGuard allows you to send out encrypted, expiring download links to your customers. If you don’t want to run the risk of your emails being caught by a Spam filter you could also choose to send your customer to a secure download page to download their product. As you would expect these features are available to you no matter which payment processor you are using to accept payments.

Other Features
Membership script, issue bonus items with products, shopping cart, secure download pages, auto responder integration, full template customisation, product summary screen, detailed reports and statistics, easy backup of product and customer information.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading this far, I hope you enjoyed it! I’m sure you are capable of making your own mind up about which product is the best for you, below is a table that should help you compare the features of all 3 scripts.





MYDD



EW Portal



DLGuard


Price


$67


$74


$127


Instantly delivers links


YES


YES


YES


Free Installation


YES


YES


YES


Link Encryption


YES


YES


YES


Link Expiration


YES


YES


YES


Secure Download Pages


NO


YES


YES


Built in Affiliate Link


YES


NO


YES


Shopping Cart


NO


YES


YES


Customisable Templates


YES


YES


YES

Built
in Affiliate Script

NO

YES

NO

Built
in Membership Manager

NO

NO

YES


Create customer database


YES


YES


YES


Multiple payment processor support


NO


NO


YES


Has affiliate program


YES


YES


YES


Support forum.


YES


NO


YES


More



More

1st Choice Web Host Review – www.1stchoicewebhost.co.uk

June 18, 2006 by · Comments Off on 1st Choice Web Host Review – www.1stchoicewebhost.co.uk
Filed under: Product Reviews 

People are always asking me who I host all of my sites with, to save me typing out the same email over and over again I am going to be reviewing all of the web hosts that I use!

The 1st host I will be reviewing is 1st Choice Webhost, they are a UK host based in London and are run by a friend of mine called Derek Chambers.

I run 7 alot of my sites, including El Passo Books on 2 of 1st Choice`s 4 servers.

I have been using 1st choice since 2005 and apart from 1 major server problem in the summer of 2005 I have had no noticeable downtime and all of my sites have remained online. This is vital as I run my EW Business Portal delivery script on there, this script needs to be run on a reliable server as it manages all of my e-Book sales via eBay and my website.

The hosting packages come with all of the added extras you are every likely to need including loads of free scripts including blogs, forums, CMS and Ecommerce systems plus many more.

The prices and packages are very realistic and you know exactly what you are getting, there are no hidden T&C`s that will come back to haunt you! Best of all there are no setup charges and all subscriptions are handled by paypal and there are no contracts.

Support is via Phone (a UK phone number where you speak to a person and not a switchboard!) or via the online ticket based system. You can also contact Derek via MSN messenger which I find very helpful if I ever have any questions.

The only negative I can think of is that your accounts are manually set up to prevent abuse. This means that after you have subscribed it could take upto 48 hours for your account to be created, this will vary depending on how busy they are.

Overall I can`t fault 1st choice for the price or service, I have had no problems with them since 2005 and host most of my websites with them. If you are willing to wait a couple of days for your account to be set up then go for 1st choice, you shouldn`t have any problems.

So there`s my review of 1st Choice – www.1stchoicewebhost.co.uk

Now, what`s the overall score I hear you cry, well here is my little system for scoring web hosts:

Price: 8/10
Reliability: 9/10
Support: 8/10
Fetaures: 10/10

Overall: 35/40

P.S. Did I show you the special package put together for my readers? – http://www.1stchoicewebhost.co.uk/elpasso.htm

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