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When I was still actively involved in the day-to-day support for Easy Digital Downloads (EDD), two questions I saw quite often was how to charge vendors to publish products in the Front-end Submissions (FES) extension and how to limit the number of products they can publish. After moving from Easy Digital Downloads to Restrict Content Pro (RCP), I still saw our EDD team talking about people asking for it. There’s not a way built into FES to do this, so after replying to a late night support ticket for RCP, I decided to create a way to do it.
Late one evening someone emailed RCP support asking if there was a way to limit the number of products a vendor can publish using Front-end Submissions for Easy Digital Downloads. Normally we don’t see requests from that side of the fence, because RCP is an entirely separate product with an entirely different market. After telling the customer there wasn’t a way to do it and that it would require custom development, the idea that it should be controlled by something like RCP just felt right to me. So I created it.
From the EDD/FES side of things, it’s always felt like a bit of a hack to create a way to do this. The concept of ‘plans’ doesn’t exist in EDD or FES, and a ‘plan’ is what it really boils down to here. Because what defines the limit? There aren’t vendor types, groupings, or anything like that in FES. FES itself doesn’t handle commerce of any kind. That’s all done in EDD. There aren’t plans or any other similar product type in EDD. That leaves the question of how to implement this from solely the EDD/FES perspective. You can create a product in EDD that has some additional meta that defines the number of limits, but again this kinda feels like a hack to me.
I had the idea that a membership is a good way to handle this situation, and RCP is great for that. That’s where the Easy Digital Downloads Front-end Submissions Vendor Limits add-on for Restrict Content Pro comes in. Wow, that’s a mouthful! How do you name a plugin that ties three products together? With a big ass name like Easy Digital Downloads Front-end Submissions Vendor Limits, that’s how. Or EDD FES Vendor Limits for short.
EDD FES Vendor Limits lets you to control the number of products a vendor can publish in FES and it lets you charge the vendor to do it. It’s a simple, but handy add-on to round out the features of your digital marketplace, and it’s easy to set up and manage. Here’s how it works.
You define the number of products a vendor can publish by editing your subscription levels and defining the limit. When a vendor hits this limit, he or she is shown a message that they have reached the limit, and they are informed to upgrade their membership to publish more products for this subscription period. When the vendor’s membership renews, the limit is reset to 0 and the vendor can publish again for the current membership period. If the membership expires, the vendor cannot publish any new products. Products are not removed from the site when the membership expires. I decided to leave that alone for flexibility reasons. If enough requests come in for removing the products, I’ll add an option for that.
EDD FES Vendor Limits is a simple, yet powerful plugin to give you more control over your marketplace site. Check it out and let me know what you think.