Affiliate program overview

In version 2.0 of the plus templates we've added an affiliate program. This enables you to run a complete affiliate suite from your site - potential affiliates can sign up and enter their information and password, and you can view the orders they generate through the online admin section. How the affiliate program is run is completely up to you - you decide on the percentage that will be paid out, how often and by what method - all the partner needs to do is place a link on their site including their partner code to earn commission.

By default the affiliate cookie is set to 30 days - this means that if someone vists your site through an affiliate link one day and buys on another the partner will earn the commission as long as 30 days haven't passed since their first visit. You can change how long you want a cookie to stay active in the file vsadmin/includes.php.

If you need to specify a default percentage that your referrers will earn, you will need a minimum of version 4.5.0 and add the parameter $defaultcommission=12; to the vsadmin/includes.php page.

How to set up the affiliate program

Basically everything is in place for you to get started immediately - each template comes with a file called affiliate.php - this will be where the partner can sign up and also log on to their account. The partner can choose to be notified by email of each affiliate sale that is made and the store owner can check the status of the account through the online admin. You may want to make a page or two previous to affiliate.php explaining the procedures etc. for earning commissions and also a disclaimer.

Important information

The referring URL will typically be in the form of - you can ask affiliates to link to individual pages or sections by changing the URL before the question mark, for example but it's very important that the page linked to is a .php page and includes the following lines of code:

<?php include "vsadmin/db_conn_open.php" ?>
<?php include "vsadmin/includes.php" ?>
<?php include "vsadmin/inc/languagefile.php" ?>
<?php include "vsadmin/inc/incfunctions.php" ?>

...a lot of the .php pages already include those lines but it's best to check and if they're not there you'd have to add them.