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Websites with Ultimate Affiliate
websites are an advanced feature of Ultimate Affiliate, requiring
that you have some prior knowledge of HTML, cgi scripts, and your
payment processing system. Plus, it's up to you to decide on and
build the template website that will be replicated.
Affiliate has the ability to replicate a "template"
website for each of your affiliates. This site will be placed
in a directory on your server named after the affiliate. So, for
example, if you have it replicate a site for affiliate "joe"
in your main web directory, he can send people to http://www.yoursite.com/joe.
I get into the thick of things, I'll say first that MOST affiliate
programs use a cgi-based affiliate url that tracks by setting
and reading cookies. This is the industry standard, and is the
easiest to set up and use. The shortest cgi-based url is something
like yoursite.com/g.o/affiliate where g.o is actually the cgi
script. Most people use something like yoursite.com/cgi-bin/click.cgi?id=affiliate.
websites allow you to have the shortest url possible: yoursite.com/affiliate.
If done properly, replicated websites could also ensure 100% affiliate
tracking. The ONLY way to ensure 100% tracking is to NOT let people
buy from your main website or domain and ONLY let people buy from
replicated affiliate sites. Otherwise, a visitor could come to
yoursite.com/affiliate, but then realize it's an affiliate site
and simply type in yoursite.com and make a non-affiliate purchase
Ultimate Affiliate, you can also insert the affiliate's info into
the web pages via special tags in the template site (%%Name%%
, %%Email%%, etc...). The script also gives you 5 custom fields
to use for any additional data you'd want to be able to insert
into the replicated page.
you can still track via cookies with replicated sites by including
a little invisible image tag on the main replicated page (usually
index.html) that triggers a "hit" in the system as well
as sets the affiliate cookie in the visitors browser.
websites can potentially take up a lot of server space - especially
if you are replicating a large website. Also, if you replicate
the sites into your main web directory you'll accumulate a bunch
of directories that will make administrating your site difficult
- some FTP programs will be slow to load a directory containing
1000's of affiliate subdirectories. Also, every time you make
a change to the replicated site you will have to "rebuild"
the sites via a link in the Ultimate Affiliate main control panel.
replicated sites, affiliates are sending people to static html
web pages. Thus, you can not have the campaign tracking and the
dynamic redirecting to different pages that you have with a cgi-based
affiliate url. Of course, if you replicate the entire site, affiliate
can send people to any page on that site.
replicated websites require some "web knowledge" to
set up and you have to take some things into consideration: How
will you trigger commissions? Will your replicated site be able
to send the referring affiliate's name to your ordering system
and then back to the affiliate program?
your site depends heavily on cgi scripts - like a shopping cart,
forums, etc.. - it would NOT be feasable to use replicated sites
as things like this don't replicate well.
1: Choosing the type of template site
are basically three ways you can set up your replicated site:
Replicate a single "splash" page that will introduce
the visitor to your site, track the "hit" in the system,
and basically send the visitor on through to your main web page.
Using this method you are relying on cookie tracking to award
commissions - a visitor comes to the page, goes on to your main
site, makes a purchase, and your payment system would trigger
a commission and the cookie will be read by the affiliate program.
A second way to set up the site is to actually replicate your
whole site, but still use cookie tracking for awarding commissions.
This way the visitor stays within the affiliate's site the whole
time and you can have all the pages customized with the affiliate's
info. The commission triggering would still be done via an image
page that would look for the cookie and award the commission.
The last way is to completely replicate the site and ALSO tie
it in with your billing system to award commissions. This could
ONLY be done if your billing system can accept an extra variable
(in this case the affiliate's username), carry it through the
ordering process, and then send it back to the affiliate program.
This would basically give you 100% affiliate tracking ONLY if
you do not let people buy from your main site - only affiliate
sites. This is also the most technically challenging way to set
2: Designing the template site
-- %%month%% -- %%day%% -- %%Sponsor%% -- %%Username%% -- %%Password%%
-- %%Email%% --
%%Name%% -- %%Address1%% -- %%Address2%% -- %%City%% -- %%State%%
-- %%Zip%% -- %%Country%% --
%%Company%% -- %%Sitename%% -- %%Siteurl%% -- %%Terms%% -- %%Checkname%%
-- %%Phone%% -- %%Fax%% --%%SSNumber%% -- %%Field1%% -- %%Field2%%
-- %%Field3%% -- %%Field4%% -- %%Field5%%
3: Setting up the replicated site within Ultimate Affiliate
In the /cgi-bin/affiliates directory (or whichever directory
you've put the cgi scripts in) you will create a folder called
"templates" and set the permissions of this directory
to 777. Then, simply FTP the template site files into this directory
and chmod them 777 too.
In order to track a "hit" in the affiliate system,
you will place an image on the main replicated page (which is
always index.html or index.htm) that will be calling the clickthru.cgi
script. The clickthru.cgi script will be Executed as
an image which is a YES/NO setting at the admin.cgi
configuration page. You must also have the Server path
to the invisible.gif file set as well - that variable
is in the commission variables of the admin config.
In your index.html file, the image tag will be placed:
the %%Username%% tag will be replaced with the referring affiliate's
username. This image will now trigger a "hit" in the
system when the main replicated page is loaded.
You will need to configure the replicated site variables at
the admin configuration page: