Our site www.viart.com site is operated by latest Viart Shop 5 with default Clear design
ViArt User's Guide (Version 3.6)
Please, see the list of all new features and fixed bugs that were made to all ViArt PHP Shopping Cart releases from version 2.1.1 up to the latest 3.5 version.
8. Configuring downloadable products and links
8. Configuring downloadable products and links
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ViArt Shop allows to sell downloadable (or digital) products online and configure a variety of other settings, like sending downloadable links and serial numbers, set downloadable period for each digital product, possibility to download the product directly after purchase etc.

There are a number of settings which you are to make to start selling digital products.

Step 1: Configure general settings for downloadable products

Go to Administration > Products > Downloadable Products.

Here you need to set:

  • Administrators' directory for uploading files - this is where the files that you upload on Edit Product > 'Downloadable' tab are recorded. Please note:
    • The path to the folder can be either absolute (e.g. /home/LOGINNAME/public_html/downloads/) or relative (../downloads/).
    • The folder has to already exist before specifying a path to it or you will see an error.
    • The folder must have writable permissions.
  • Files for uploading by administrators - put here the formats allowed to upload separated by comma and with * symbol before extension. Please note if you leave this field blank by default the allowed formats would be *.gif, *.png, *.doc, *.pdf.
  • Users' directory for uploading files - this folder is used for user uploads in following cases:
    • when merchant uploads a file for their downloadable product;
    • when customer uploads a file to the product that has Image Upload option.
  • Files for uploading by users - put here the formats allowed to upload by users separated by comma and with * symbol before extension.
  • Maximum number of downloads allowed from different IP's per month - this setting defines from how many IPs it is allowed to download a link. For example, if you put in this field '1' then even if product link has '2' or more in 'Downloads Limit'  (setting on Edit Product > 'Downloadable' tab) then it won't be possible to download this link from two IPs. If you leave this field blank then there won't be applied any restrictions to IPs. 

When it is done you may further setup the default notifications which your users will receive after the purchase of any downloadable product.

Do not forget to enter your valid e-mail address in the From field . You can also replace the default subject and text body with your own texts.

Note: To get a detailed description of all e-mail fields press the 'click here' link under the field From.

ViArt Shop can send email messages in both HTML and Plain text formats. Setting the Message Type radio button to HTML allows you to send emails in HTML format, thus HTML tags can be used for formatting message. The Plain text option discards any HTML formatting - the message will be sent exactly as it is.

Another option of e-mail notifications is the ability to use special ViArt Shop tags. These tags are placed in braces, and when an e-mail message is sent, the tags are replaced by the tags values. For example, the {first_name} tag will be replaced with the first name of the customer who submitted the order. You can see the full list of tags by clicking the 'click here' link under Message field. Note, that you can add these tags into your email body and email subject.

Step 2: Make individual settings for downloadable products

After setting general downloadable settings go to Products > Products & Categories, select a product and click 'Edit', where go to the Downloadable tab.

On this page you can find Terms & Conditions settings with the help of which you may obligate customers to agree to your terms and conditions before downloading a product, just check the checkbox Show Terms & Conditions and put your text in the box below.

Next you need to set up download links, previews and serial numbers. Please see section 4.5.6 for more information about these fields

Step 3: Settings for downloadable products in the order statuses

There are a few important settings for downloadable products in Orders > Orders statuses > Edit Order status, namely:

  • Activation of downloadable products (including links, serial numbers and gift vouchers)
  • Notification for downloadable products

Activation of downloadable products (including links, serial numbers and gift vouchers) - If you want to make an automatic activation of the download link at once after purchase, then it is recommended to select 'Activate' option. For example, if you activate this option for the 'Paid' status then the downloadable link will be active when the status of the order becomes 'Paid'.

Notification for downloadable products - If this option is checked then notifications with download links, serial numbers or gift vouchers (set in Products > Downloadable Products) are automatically sent to customers when this status is applied.

Step 4: Check that your downloadable links are set correctly

To check that the product is set correctly go to the website and make a test purchase. After this:

  • Go to the admin panel Orders > Sales / Orders and click on View/Edit opposite the just made order.
  • In the right upper corner find Download Links and click on it.

    You will see a page with information about the downloadable product: product name, filename, download link, status of the link (active/not active) and a default email message with download links (set in Products > Downloadable Products).

  • To check if the e-mail was sent to customer go to previous page (Edit Order) and look at the Order Change Log section. If you can see 'Links sent' message then e-mail was sent.

    In case you don't see it then e-mail with download links was not sent and you may send it from Download Links page by clicking Send button under the message body. Remember to send e-mails automatically as well as automatically activate download links you need to select such options in the appropriate order status.

  • Next click on the View/Edit link to check the Downloads Statistics or to correct settings of the download link like you can see on the screenshots below.

    Activated - this checkbox makes the link available for downloading.

    Product - is selected from the drop-down menu and indicates the product the link contains.

    Notes - may contain some information about the link or when it should be used; is shown only to administrators.

    Download Path - this is where the download file is located. Please note ViArt Shop automatically encrypts the download link so user won't see this path amd his link would look something like this http://localhost/viart3.6/download.php?download_id=19&vc=57d302331428bb777858a4e262796259.

    Expiry Date - this is the date until which customer can download the link.

    Maximum Downloads - this is a number of  IPs per month allowed to download this link. The value is taken from the Products > Downloadable Products settings.

    Downloads Limit - this is a total number of times this link could be downloaded no matter the IP i.e. if 'Downloads Limit' value is '1', and 'Maximum Downloads' is 2, the link could be downloaded just once.  

    Download Statistics - indicates when the product has been downloaded and from which remote address.

Step 5: Check that your serial numbers are set correctly

The next step is to check serial numbers, of course if your products have them. For this go to Orders > Sales/Orders, click on View/Edit next to the order you made. Under the product name you can see all generated links towards this product. Clicking on the number itself will get you immediately to the Edit Serial Number page.

In the right upper corner of the order you can find Serial Numbers link, clicking it will get you to the page with all serial numbers.

If the e-mail with serial numbers was not sent automatically (which you can check on Edit Order page in the Order Change Log section) you can send it from this page. Also here you can create a new serial number clicking on Add Serial Number.

To edit a serial number, for example to activate it, click on View/Edit link next to it.

  • Activated - this checkbox makes the serial number available to use.
  • Product - is selected from the drop-down menu and indicates the product the serial number should be applied to.
  • Serial Number - is generated by the system (if selected on a random basis) or by you (if selected predefined serial numbers option).
  • Expiry Date - specifies the period this serial number will be valid for. You as an administrator can always extend or shorten the validation period by entering an appropriate date or by using the calendar next to 'Expiry Date' field.
  • Max Number of Activations - specifies how many times the serial number can be used. For example if you are selling software you may set the number of sites customer can activate on.

After you made some changes do not forget to click Update to save them. If you want to delete this serial number click Delete. To leave without saving click Cancel.

Also on this page you may see Activation statistics i.e. when and on which generation key this serial number was activated. You may change or delete this activation by clicking Edit.


How to make the shipping for downloadable products free?

There are two ways: 1) you may select 'Free Shipping' option on the 'Edit Product' page in 'Stock&Shipping' tab see section 4.5.5 2) second way is to set shipping methods with Minimum Weight 0.1 so that all prodcuts that doesn't have weight would not be charged for shipping.

I am selling music from my store in .mp3 and .m4a formats. When the file is downloaded, the file type changes to "unknown" so that purchasers cannot immediately play the music. They must first rename the file from "file name" to "file name.mp3" after downloading it. Why is this happening?

Make sure your download files do not have spaces in their titles, it would be better to replace them with underscores like this "file_name.mp3".

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