Posts

The new Aelia website is live, and we have great news!

We launched our new website, with a new look and new features

At the beginning of October 2021, we went live with a new website, completely redesigned. The work took significantly longer than we expected, but the important thing is that we finally made it. The new website has a more modern look, a colour scheme that’s easier on the eyes, and it’s also significantly faster. Our tests indicate that it’s up to 30% faster than the previous one, but we will still work to optimise it, to offer you the best experience.

In addition to the look, we made an important change to how we distribute our products. We partnered with our friends at Freemius, and moved all our solutions to their platform. From now on, the Freemius service will take care of handling sales, licensing and distribution for all the Aelia plugins, giving us more time to focus on improving the solution that our customers grew up to know and trust over the years.

The advantages for our visitors and customers

The series of improvements we applied to our site will bring significant advantages. It would take time to list every single change, therefore we prepared a short summary, for your convenience.

New design

We improved the look of the website, using softer colours. This will make it easier to navigate the content and find the information you need. The new layout also includes better support for mobile devices. Mobile browsing is a key aspect of the Internet and, although most of our visitors and customers reach our site via a desktop, we wanted to cater to our “mobile friends” as well. As a further cosmetic touch, we replaced the old, ugly icons with much better ones.

Freemius integration

We moved all our products to an external service, called Freemius, to offer you a better user experience, right from the moment you choose to purchase one of our solutions. To explain the reason behind this decision, we would like to share a bit of “background story”.

As soon as we launched our first premium product, the Aelia Currency Switcher for WooCommerce, we faced a challenge that turned out to be harder than we thought. It was 2013, and neither WordPress, nor WooCommerce offered a reliable, scalable solution to manage software licences and distribute updates for our products. We tested some of the available plugins, but none of them worked too well for us. In some cases, we even received a disgruntled response from the author of a plugin, when we asked about the feature set, so that was a clear roadblock.

Our first solution – The Aelia Licensing System

Due to the lack of a suitable solution, we opted to implement our own licensing system, starting from scratch. For the last couple of years, our Aelia Licensing System has been handling licences and serving automatic updates to thousands of our customers. This worked fine for us, until we had to face some important challenges:

  1. When we first designed our licensing system, we deliberately left renewals as a manual operation, because that was what our customers asked. That request changed fairly quickly, and nowadays most of our customers would like to have licences that renew automatically.
  2. Our customer base grew faster than we expected. Our in-house licensing system, which was still working fine, risked not to be able to handle all the traffic it received.
  3. An increasing number of our customers asked us to provide trial versions of our products. We are not fans of the idea of offering limited versions of plugins, that don’t reflect the true capabilities of the paid product, therefore we had to find a way to implement some sort of “time limited trial”.
  4. In 2021, Brexit finally became effective, introducing new rules to sell to UK consumers (i.e. customers who are not registered for VAT). Merchants are required to charge VAT to all UK customers who don’t have a valid UK VAT number. At the same time, the same merchants can’t charge VAT unless they have a UK VAT number, which we don’t have. Registering for VAT in the UK would have introduced a significant amount administrative costs, that we could not sustain. Due to that, the only viable option left to us was to block sales to UK consumers. Needless to say, this caused us to be unable to offer our products to such customers.

Our new choice – Freemius

With so many different aspects to handle, we realised that we could not longer rely on our own resources. Due to that, we tested the Freemius platform, and found that it allowed us to address all the above, automatically. Their service handles automatic renewals, is fast, and it can serve customers from the EU, the UK and abroad. This allows us to reach a broader audience, remain fully compliant with VAT regulations and save a significant amount of paperwork.

The Freemius platform offers our customers a modern, responsive and performing user interface. Thanks to that, our clients can find what they need, quickly and easily. On top of that, the work we did for the integration can also benefit our fellow developers!

If you’re a plugin developer interested in Freemius, we have something for you

The Freemius platform offers a simple integration guide. We could have just followed the instructions anded add a purchase link on our website, manually, on each product page. However, as Engineers, we like to automate these aspects, so we came up with a solution. We prepared a Freemius Integration plugin , which allows to link a WooCommerce shop to the Freemius service. Some of the key features:

  1. Manage product prices, from WooCommerce, and update them in Freemius automatically. This feature also works with WooCommerce’s variations to allow you to configure as many prices as you like, in any combination. For example, you can create monthly, annual, lifetime payment options, for one site, or multiple sites, and link each one to a variation.
  2. Manage and synchronise product prices in multiple currencies. The Freemius Integration is also fully compatible with our Aelia Currency Switcher. This feature allows you to synchronise, and keep up to date, the product prices all the currencies supported by Freemius. You can enter the prices manually, directly in WooCommerce. or let them be updated automatically whenever exchange rates change.
  3. Display a smart widget to allow your customers to purchase your products. You can use the shortcode provided by the Freemius Integration and let it take care of showing the available options, with each price, to your prospective customers. Simp
  4. ly drop the shortcode anywhere you like, and it will display a user friendly purchase interface to your customers.

If you wish to see the Freemius Integration in action, you can simply visit one of our product pages. You can find the purchase widget towards the bottom of the page, or simply click on the “buy plugin” button to scroll right down to it.

Interested in the Freemius Integration for WooCommerce?

If you would like to know more about the Freemius Integration for WooCommerce, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to share more details about it, and collect your feedback and feature requests, in preparation for its release to the public.

 

The Aelia Shipping Pricing Addon is now included in the Aelia Currency Switcher

We are pleased to announce that the Aelia Shipping Pricing plugin, originally distributed as a separate addon for the Aelia Currency Switcher, will been bundled with the main plugin starting from version 4.11.x of the Currency Switcher. We took the decision of merging the two plugins after reviewing our sale statistics. The vast majority of our customers use both plugins together, therefore it made sense to release them as a single product.

This new distribution model brings several advantages:

  1. Easier maintenance. The licence for the Currency Switcher covers both the main plugin and the addon, so you won’t have to remember to renew two of them.
  2. Easier updates. The Shipping Pricing addon will “follow” the Currency Switcher at every update, reducing the chance of issues caused by old versions that were not updated.
  3. Lower price. The Aelia Currency Switcher with the Shipping Pricing addon included is cheaper than the current price of the two separate plugins.

What this means for our customers

If you’re using the Aelia Currency Switcher with the Shipping Pricing Addon as a separate plugin, you will soon see a notice informing you that the addon has been bundled with the Currency Switcher. The notice will look like the following:

The plugin “Aelia Shipping Pricing for Currency Switcher” is now included with the Aelia Currency Switcher

This plugin is now included in the Aelia Currency Switcher and no longer has to be installed separately. You can go to the Plugins page, then disable and remove plugin “Aelia Shipping Pricing for Currency Switcher”. Its features will remain available, as they were before.

As indicated in the message, you will just have to go to WordPress Admin > Plugins and disable the Shipping Pricing Addon. The features originally provided by that plugin will remain available via the Currency Switcher, exactly as they were before.

If you’re using only the Currency Switcher, you won’t have to do anything. You will just find the new features in the WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping page, after opening a shipping zone. Below you can find some screenshots of the Shipping Pricing Addon in action:

How this affects your licences

Your licence for the Aelia Currency Switcher will allow you to download the new version, including the Shipping Pricing features, automatically. When the licence for the Shipping Pricing addon  will expire, you will not have to do anything. In fact, you can simply delete the Shipping Pricing addon from your site after updating the Currency Switcher. As indicated, the main plugin now includes all the features from the shipping addon.

Any questions?

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us, we ill be ready to assist you.

The Aelia Team

The Aelia Tax Display by Country plugin is now available directly from our site

The Aelia Tax Display by Country plugin was originally sold via CodeCanyon. We’re currently reorganising our business and, as part of the operation, we are going to consolidate our offer and move all our products to a single, new licensing system. The new system will allow us to manage product licences, updates and support more efficiently, as well as resume sales to UK consumers and non-VAT registered business. As part of the consolidation process, we had to remove the Tax Display by Country plugin from the CodeCanyon marketplace.

The Tax Display by Country plugin is still in active development and compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce. The Aelia Tax Display by Country plugin is currently available directly from our shop: https://aelia.co/shop/tax-display-by-country-for-woocommerce/. When we will move the product to the new licensing system, you will have the option to transfer your licence to it and retain access to our updates and support service.

Update – 04 May 2021 13:00 CEST

Some users reported that the removal of the Tax Display by Country plugin from the CodeCanyon marketplace was sudden. We had planned to announce the change in the next few weeks, and move our Tax Display plugin to the new platform in June. Yesterday, we have been informed that CodeCanyon updated the guidelines for the products sold via their marketplace. Our solution complies with the new guidelines, with the exception of a few minor elements that don’t affect its functionalities. Despite that, the Envato Team chose to disable our product, without warning, pending a review.

Although we understand the new guidelines, and we would be happy to follow them, we don’t agree with the sudden removal of our product from the CodeCanyon marketplace. Our solution runs on thousands of our customers’ sites, and works perfectly with the latest version of WordPress and WooCommerce. We would have appreciated, and considered more professional, if they informed us, and gave us sufficient notice to address the discrepancies.

Due to this, and to the fact that we had already planned to move our product to another platform, we decided to start the migration process immediately. We considered this approach more effective than trying to rush an update, push for a review, and get the product back online on CodeCanyon just for a few weeks.

How this change could affect you

The policies applied by the Envato/CodeCanyon grant access to six months of support from the date of purchase. If you bought the Aelia Tax Display by Country plugin from that marketplace and have an active support service, simply contact us, with your purchase code (see Envato –  Where is my purchase code?). We will provide you with support for the remainder of the covered period.

If you don’t wish to avail of our support service, and you have a valid CodeCanyon purchase code, you can still get access to updates for the Tax Display by Country. To do so, please forward us the original purchase code via our contact form and we will send you the instructions to keep receiving the updates.

What are the differences in terms of licensing, support and updates?

The terms of licensing offered by CodeCanyon are different from the ones that we offer via our website. You can find a quick comparison below.
Result (click “Generate” to refresh) Copy to clipboard Preview

AeliaCodeCanyon
Licence typeGPL . You are allowed to install and activate the plugin on as many sites as you like (see Benefits of the GPL licence)CodeCanyon’s Standard Licence. The licence allowed users to install the plugin on a single site (see https://codecanyon.net/licenses/standard). The terms of sale of the marketplace prohibited using the plugin on multiple sites.
UpdatesAutomatic updates are provided for one site per licence. You can install the plugin on other sites, which you have to have to update manually. The licence includes updates for one year. After that period the licence has to be renewed to receive further updates.Automatic updates were provided for one site per licence. CodeCanyon granted access to updates for the lifetime of the product. “Lifetime” meant until the product was retired, or removed from the CodeCanyon marketplace, as it happened in this case.
SupportThe support service is available for the duration of the licence, which is one year.Access to the support service was available for six months from the date of purchase. It had to be renewed every six months.

What happens after the support service bought from CodeCanyon will expire?

When the support service you bought from CodeCanyon will expire, you will just have to get a new licence from our site. This will grant you another year of updates and support.

Any questions?

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time. We will be happy to give you all the information you need. Thanks.

The Aelia Team

Important news about Currency Switcher for Easy Digital Downloads (updated June 2021)

At Aelia, we aim to offer the best quality of products and services to our customers. We review our performance on a regular basis, and prepare a strategy to ensure that the high standards we set are met, or exceeded. One of the steps of the performance review is the analysis of areas that need improvement, as well as products that, for any reason, aren’t performing as well as expected. When such products are identified, we review past performance and take one of the following course of action, for each product:

  1. Evaluate the market demand of the product, as well as the challenges that may arise in the future, in relation to the product support.
  2. Compare the demand with our available resources, to ensure that we can dedicate sufficient time, to each product, to offer consistent results in terms of quality.
  3. Depending on the result of #2, take one of the following actions:
    1. If the demand is sufficient and can be met by our existing resources, adjust their allocation accordingly.
    2. If the demand is sufficient, but we have insufficient resources, prepare a plan to increase our availability.
    3. If the demand is insufficient to cover the resources dedicated to the product, we try to transfer it to a 3rd party who might be interested in it. In some cases, we might have to retire the product altogether.

During the reviews performed between 2018 and 2020, we identified a couple of products that have been underperforming. One of them appeared in each analysis, and it’s our Currency Switcher for Easy Digital Downloads. The market demand for that solution didn’t grow as we expected, despite our efforts. In addition to that, the demand for our WooCommerce solutions grew significantly, to the point that they become the main focus of our business. As a result, we find ourselves in the difficult position of not being able to dedicate sufficient resources to Easy Digital Downloads, and the Currency Switcher we developed for it.

Future plans for the EDD Currency Switcher

Through the course of 2020, we contacted a couple of parties who showed interest in the possibility of acquiring our Currency Switcher for Easy Digital Downloads and maintain it in the future. Although we’ve been asked not to disclose their names, we’re currently discussing with them how the transfer could take place, as well as the work involved in promoting, maintaining and supporting the existing solution. We hope that we can reach an agreement soon, so that the EDD Currency Switcher can continue to exist under another brand. Of course, we also have to take into account the possibility that the negotiations might fail. In such case, we will have to retire the Currency Switcher for Easy Digital Downloads.

Effective immediately, we will no longer be able to offer new or renewal licences, for the EDD Currency Switcher. Of course, we will keep providing support to all the customers with an active licence, until the end of their subscription. We will also release maintenance fixes, but we won’t release major updates for the plugin.

This was a difficult decision to take, but we came to the conclusion that we have to focus on what we can do best, to ensure that we can keep our offers to the high standards that our customers have come to expect from us. Our business evolved almost exclusively around solutions for WooCommerce, and we would like to hand over the portion related Easy Digital Downloads to someone who can dedicate to it the time it deserves.

Update, March 2021: we will keep offering the EDD Currency Switcher for the time being.

Update, June 2021: following a technical review Easy Digital Downloads 3.0, we came to the conclusion that the EDD Currency Switcher would need a significant amount of changes to become compatible with the new major release. Unfortunately, that is not a viable option, from a business perspective. Due to that, we can no longer guarantee that we will be able to update the EDD Currency Switcher to support EDD 3.0. Sadly, we had to go back to our original decision, and we suspended the sale of the EDD Currency Switcher indefinitely. You can find a summary of the reasons behind this decision and the future plans for the Currency Switcher below.

Summary (tl;dr)

  1. Our performance reviews indicated that our Currency Switcher for Easy Digital Downloads has been underperforming, with its sales not even covering the day to day support costs.
  2. Due to the low demand and resource availability, we’re no longer in the position to dedicate sufficient attention to the EDD Currency Switcher. A technical analysis of EDD 3.0 also indicated that the EDD Currency Switcher would need significant changes, to become compatible with the new major release of Easy Digital Downloads. The poor sale performance of the EDD Currency Switcher don’t allow us to allocate sufficient resources to do that.
  3. We’re currently discussing the possibility of transferring the EDD Currency Switcher to other developers, who could be interested in maintaining it. Should the negotiations be unsuccessful, we will have to retire the product.
  4. We will keep supporting the EDD Currency Switcher for customers who have an active licence. We won’t be able to offer new licences, or renew existing licences.
  5. For the time being, we will only release maintenance updates for the EDD Currency Switcher. We don’t plan to release any major update. The last version of Easy Digital Downloads supported by the Currency Switcher will be 2.9.x.

What to do if you’re using the EDD Currency Switcher

If you purchased a licence for the EDD Currency Switcher, the following will apply.

  1. You can keep using the EDD Currency Switcher. The plugin is still working fine and, as anticipated, we will honour existing licences until their expirations, and keep providing support and bug fixes. If the negotiations with the 3rd party developers will be successful, they will take care of updating the Currency Switcher in the future and provide the support service afterwards.
  2. You can keep using the EDD Currency Switcher, while planning the switch to an alternative solution. You can find a list of the available extensions on the Easy Digital Downloads website: https://easydigitaldownloads.com/3rd-party-extensions/
  3. If you have some developers who can take care of technical aspects, you can  keep using the EDD Currency Switcher, and they can maintain it for you. All our code is 100% open source and documented, to make it easier for other developers to work on it. If they have any questions, they can also contact us directly. We’re always happy to share our knowledge and experience.
  4. Since this is an extraordinary scenario, we extended our money back guarantee for the EDD Currency Switcher. If you purchased your licence on or after the 1st of March 2021, you can request a full reimbursement until the 30 June 2021.

Of course, if you have any question about the Currency Switcher for Easy Digital Downloads, or the support plans, please feel free to contact us. We will be ready to answer and clarify any doubt you might have.

If you’re a developer and you think that could be interested in acquiring our product, we would also invite you to get in touch. We will be happy to share all the information about the product, and discuss with you the terms of the transfer. 👍

The Aelia Team

WooCommerce Prices by Country – WooCommerce 4.6 update, October 2020

WooCommerce Prices by Country – What’s new

Our Aelia Prices by Country for WooCommerce has been updated to version 1.11.1.200904. This update brings the following improvements and fixes:

Features and improvements

  • Tested with WooCommerce 4.6 and WordPress 5.5.1.
  • Fix – Fixed logic to clear the regional sale prices at the end of a scheduled sale.

Fixes

  • Fixed logic used to filter the product query when option “Filter invisible products from the catalogue query”, to reduce the possibility of conflicts.

How to get latest version

New customers

Simply place your order and you will get the latest version.

Existing customers

If you activated your licence in WooCommerce > Setttings > Aelia, you will see a notification informing you about the update. You will then be able to install it automatically.

If you haven’t activated your licence, you can download the updated file using the link you received with your order. If the link doesn’t work, please contact Support to receive the latest version. Thanks.

WooCommerce Currency Switcher – WooCommerce 4.6 update, October 2020

WooCommerce Currency Switcher – What’s new

Our Aelia Currency Switcher for WooCommerce has been updated to version 4.9.1.201005. This update brings the following improvements and fixes:

Features and improvements

  • Tested with WooCommerce 4.6 and WordPress 5.5.1.
  • Tweak – Improved WooCommerce Admin Analytics integration. Added option to generate reports with all data and totals in base currency, like in standard reports. This feature requires WooCommerce 4.6 or later.
  • Tweak – Removed obsolete jQuery library jquery.ba-bbq.min.js.

How to get latest version

New customers

Simply place your order and you will get the latest version.

Existing customers

If you activated your licence in WooCommerce > Setttings > Aelia, you will see a notification informing you about the update. You will then be able to install it automatically.

If you haven’t activated your licence, you can download the updated file using the link you received with your order. If the link doesn’t work, please contact Support to receive the latest version. Thanks.