Over the last few weeks we have received an ever increasing number of requests to add ‘WooCommerce’ alongside ‘Easy Digital Downloads’, as available eCommerce solutions.
We’re pleased to announce that not only have we listened to you and decided to integrate WooCommerce support into the ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin, but we already have a working solution being tested in-house, and we are very happy with it’s progress!
Don’t worry if you like using ‘EDD’ it’s not going anywhere! Both solutions will work side-by-side. In fact we are considering adding further payment options, such as ‘WP Simple Pay’! But for now let’s take a closer look at the WooCommerce integration.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with WooCommerce, it’s a powerful WordPress plugin that provides a complete eCommerce solution for use with your WordPress website. Installing it alongside our ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin means you can sell web and server hosting plans to your clients and customers.
Web Hosting Plan Product Tab
The first part of the integration is to allow a product to be set-up as a web hosting plan, using the standard WooCommerce ‘Add New’ option from the ‘Products’ menu.
We thought about creating a new product type but in reality the ‘Simple Product’ with the ‘virtual’ checkbox to remove shipping, and the pricing and tax options is the best choice. So all we’ve done is add a new tab called ‘Web Hosting Plan’. The picture below shows the new tab for a ‘Simple Product’.
If you click on the new tab you will see three options in the panel. A checkbox to enable web hosting, a selection for ‘Module’ and another for ‘Server/Template’.
Enable Web Hosting Checkbox
The checkbox is there to give you the flexibility to sell other things. such as downloads or services, from the same web site. Just leave the checkbox unticked, and the options at their default ‘No Module’ and ‘No Server’ values and the product can be anything!
We thought about making the tab disappear if not required! But at the moment we don’t think it’s a problem to just ignore it, after all it will only be visible if the ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin is activated!
Select a Module
So. Having enabled web hosting you need to select a ‘Module’. If you’re using the FREE version of the plugin then you can chose from the two built-in Modules, ‘DigitalOcean’ or ‘ServerPilot’.
To experience the real power of the plugin you can add extra ‘Modules’ that add new providers and services, such as ‘Vultr’, ‘Linode’, and ‘StatusCake’, with other ‘Modules’ being tested for ‘UpCloud’ and ‘Cloudways’!!
All activated ‘Modules’ will show up in the drop-down, just select the one that is providing the service for the new web hosting plan.
Select a Server or Template
The next selection drop-down is for choosing the type of service provided by the ‘Module’ you selected first. We won’t go into all of the options here but they include templates for creating servers, shared servers for creating web applications, or options such as ‘All Servers’ which allow the customer to pick the location or type at checkout!
Displaying the Product
The ability to add product descriptions and images, subscriptions, and any other WooCommerce features are exactly as provided by the plugin. We haven’t messed anything up or changed any core features!
So. When you go live with the hosting plan on your website the customer will see the product page and the ‘Add to Cart’ button. Clicking through to the Checkout will then display any additional fields or options that are required to create the web site or server.
Custom Fields at Checkout
Each ‘Module’ automatically configures any custom fields at checkout. The fields displayed will depend on how you have configured your ‘Templates’, and can include settings such as server location, host name, domain name, user name, password, etc.
Once the customer has entered the necessary details correctly and clicked ‘Proceed to Payment’ and payment has completed then the real fun starts!
Automatic Web Site or Server Creation
As soon as WooCommerce receives confirmation that the transaction is complete the ‘Module’ receives a trigger to start creating the web site or server, or both, depending on the ‘Template’ or options selected.
Let’s look at an example. Using the FREE plugin you can set-up a template to sell WordPress Web Hosting on a dedicated server with ‘DigitalOcean’ which is managed by ‘ServerPilot’.
In ‘WooCommerce’ the product would be set-up to use the ‘ServerPilot’ module, then the appropriate ‘Template’ name. When a customer buys the hosting and the transaction completes the ‘ServerPilot’ Module automatically builds a ‘DigitalOcean’ Droplet, connects it to ‘ServerPilot’ and installs the software and configures WordPress, and finally emails get sent out to the customer!!
You can then see the new Droplet and the ‘ServerPilot’ server in your control panel along with the Client details.
Custom Email Tags
As we mentioned in the example above emails are sent out to both you as the seller, and the customer. To provide useful emails we have provided you with new tags inside WooCommerce that can be used inside emails.
Tags depend on the ‘Module’ but include things like ‘username’, ‘passwords’, ‘server name’, ‘domain name’, ‘IP address’, etc.
We are very excited to be offering ‘WooCommerce’. Hopefully, depending on testing, it should be available in the next update to the ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin.
Obviously, the first release may lack some features and we will learn from you exactly what you feel would improve it! We will continue to make tweaks, adjustments, fixes, and improvements with each release of the plugin.