Tag Archives: configuration

Step-By-Step Crucial Initial Configuration Settings

Admin Panel ‘Main’ Menu Section:(on the top right under the ShiftCode logo)

mainmenu03

>E-Mail –Creating domain based email addresses covered elsewhere in this guide (this is not where you create an email address, it’s where you specify an already created email address you want to use for site member notifications)Once you’ve decided on what your site main email address will be for all site admin and user notifications then this is where you configure the ‘From Name’ and ‘From E-mail’ (this can be a domain based email address (recommended) or you can specify any other email address you would like to use for this purpose here (Gmail, HotMail MSN, etc.))

> E-Mail > Alerts– This is where you decide what email alerts you (the admin) want to receive from your site when certain events occur (as seen in the image below)  We would suggest checking every checkbox listed here and clicking the ‘Update’ button if you (admin) want to initially be informed via email of all important events (best to know rather than to risk not noticing)  [The default is no checkboxes checked – checking them all is recommended]

ealerts01

> Payment Methods– This is where you set up how (what payment methods and accounts)YOU will be paid from your site members for various site products and/or services you are selling (such as advertising, member account upgrades, etc.) This should NOT to be confused with site member withdrawal methods which will be discussed elsewhere in this document!  The admin panel describes this section as “Below are your default payment methods. The products that accept payments will also have a section for managing payment methods. They can either select default payment methods, or define separate payment methods. The product will use the payment methods below if default payment methods are selected.

The ‘Internal’ payment method stands for the ‘internal funds’ (in the form of the ‘cash’ or ‘points’) each site member has earned.  If you enable this payment method then your site members will be able to use their account balance to pay for purchases from your site.  It’s your own choice whether or not you want to enable this option but if your think about it then it makes total sense to enable internal funds purchases because most all of the items you are ‘selling’ on your site really are not an out-of-pocket expense for you – it’s virtually pure profit for you (advertising packages they purchase cost your little or nothing comparatively (‘banner impressions’ and ‘side panel ads’ are free to you) as do member account upgrades)

Think about it, if your member doesn’t have any way other than to withdraw cash or use the points in their internal account balances for prizes you must supply then those withdrawals cost you money out of your pocket immediately (most internal funds purchases generally don’t cost you anything to supply if you are smart about it)  Also, you can safely not require that internal funds purchases not be manually approved.  Enable internal funds (it’s a no-brainer decision)

Speaking of the other payment methods, we highly suggest that you select (check) the ‘Manually Approve’ (‘Yes, manually approve each transaction’) option on all payment methods (external) which gives you the option of double-checking that each payment has been properly completed and you indeed have been paid before the purchased item or service is given to the member.

That concludes what we consider to be the crucial configuration settings under the ‘Main’ menu section though we are still not done (off to several other sections)


Admin Panel ‘Products’ Menu Section:(the long list on the left under the blue ‘ADMIN PANEL’ heading)

productpanel01> Contact Form– (or otherwise known as a ‘Contact Us’ form) Enter your own email address here.  When a member (or a site visitor – not necessarily a site member yet) completes the Contact Us form then this will be the email address that you get notified from.  It’s suggested to leave the ‘Valid E-Mail Domain’ box checked to thwart certain spam attempts (the site’s Contact Us form is visible outside of the logged-in site member area and hence this is a common spam target)  Hover over the blue question mark button to the far right of each setting to get a better description of how it works.

> Inbox System > Configure –If you intend to use a site member username as the site administrator other than the default ‘Admin’ (when sending and receiving inbox messages, communicating in the Shoutbox (member chat area), etc) then input that username in the ‘Display Name’ field (this field is case-sensitive so use the same capitalization as your member account that will be acting at the site admin)

Inbox System Configure

If you are allowing your site members to send inbox messages to other members (note the first two checkbox options ‘Contact Downline’ (the member’s own referred members) and ‘Contact Members’) then it’s suggested that you also check the ‘Review Message’ checkbox so that you will be able to pre-review and approve or deny inbox messages sent by members to other members (that way you can moderate messages that are spammy, harassing, overly negative (complaining or insulting), to frequent, promoting competing GPT sites, etc.) before they are delivered to the intended recipient(s) and take corrective action before the potential damage is done.  Allowing members to contact other members is not bad in itself (in fact we recommend you allow it) it allows members to more freely socialize semi-privately and some members tend to be really helpful in encouraging and benignly coaching their downline to be more active on your site.  Just be aware the certain bad apples may try causing trouble and if you are reviewing and pre-approving messages then they are pretty easy to spot.

> Membership –This is a main area that attentive GPT site admins tend to visit often to keep track of what members have joined, their current status (as shown by colors), and just to browse each member’s profile just by clicking on their username looking for obvious issues such as bogus information in required fields, etc.  Also notice that in the upper right corner when you click on the “Search Duplicate” text then it will switch between two modes – a ‘Search General’ (default) where you can search your members by numerous general information fields while when you click on ‘Search Duplicate’ then you enter a very powerful duplicate information search mode when you can discover site ‘cheaters’ who either have multiple accounts (which you should not allow under any circumstances) or members who bypassed normal site security by entering bogus information into required fields (such as entering ‘123 easy Street’ in a Street Address field – also you should not allow)

Search Duplicate

> Points System > Configure– This is where the currency values and exchange rate is configured.  This is where you will assign a value to whatever you wish to call your site’s ‘points’ currency.  It’s highly suggested that YOU GET THIS RIGHT in the first place.  You want your points system to be easy to figure out and conforming to the familiar standard exchange rate already established by many GPT sites that came before yours (the below image is the default settings – this is the ‘before’ image)Points System Configure Defaults (BEFORE)BIG(HUGE)TIP / HINT: –>First, let me point out the complete line of thirteen (13) blue question mark help icons help icon - hover overon the right (as seen above) – hover over them to discover better descriptions of what each field item does / means.  These question mark hints are purposely strewn throughout the ShiftCode GPT Admin Panel (Notice them!  That’s what they are there for!)

Now to suggest the ‘right’ points configure settings:

Points Name:This is where you will define what you will call your site’s points currency name (what you call your points on your site)  Yes, you can just leave them named ‘Points’ as many have done before you.  Also know that you can pretty much name your site’s points anything you want!  Yes, shillings, coins, gold bars, pirate treasure, silver, wooden nickels, whatever you want (insert the name there)

Auto Reset: This option may have had a very good purpose way back years ago when the GPT sites concept was younger but if you know what’s good for you nowadays then it’s best to just leave this option set at the default zero (0) days value.  Essentially this is a setting that allows you to specify that if your member hasn’t used (converted, ordered a prize, or otherwise spent) his points in his account balance for X days then they go away (ouch!)  If you do enable this option and you don’t have some unique new legitimate purpose (other than cheating your members out of their earned points) for doing so to maybe change this option from the default zero… (risking that one or more very vocal GPT member sees his points go away unjustly and complains publicly)  Hint: Leave it at ZERO!

Conversion Rate:(Important!) The default (generally right) setting is 100 points = $1.00 (thus the field rightly has a default ‘100’ number in it)  This is where you are configuring what monetary value (if any) your site’s points will represent (or ‘hold’)  The standard amongst the vast majority of successful GPT sites currently operating is undoubtedly 100 points equals one dollar (if you change this then just know then we have seen it lead to member confusion and eventually making that GPT site a generally less popular place for GPT regular members to frequent due to the the confusion factor)

Country, IP, & ISP Blocking and How to Set the Countries Your Site Serves

Q) How Do I Set the Countries My GPT Site Serves?

A) Here’s the Procedure:

BLOCKING:
To set what countries your GPT site blocks then first go here ‘Admin Panel > Main (Right Side Menu Top) > Configure > IP List’ and take a look at the ‘Block Coutries List:’ (should say Countries – missing an ‘n’ yes)  Click on [edit] and then add the countries you want blocked to the bottom portion of that feature and then go all the way down to the bottom of the page and click the ‘Update’ button to save it.

Correctly identified GPT site visitors that are blocked (by country, by IP address, or by ISP on this page) will see a blank plain white page instead of your site when they go to your site’s URL.

It’s a matter of subjective opinion and/or a matter of data depending upon how you approach the issue but if you Google search ‘countries that the most online fraud originates from’ then you’ll see a number of sites with lists.

The Countries I Routinely Block Are: Afghanistan, Anonymous Proxy, Egypt, Holy See (Vatican City State), Iran, Islamic Republic of, Iraq, Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of, Nigeria, Palestinian Territory, Russian Federation, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Vietnam, and Yemen.

Now to explain a few of my choices further:

  • Holy See (Vatican City State) – For the record I have nothing whatsoever against the Pope – only I highly doubt anyone in the Vatican would seriously legitimately seek to log in to my GPT site and do offers for money, and;
  • Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of – The names of South Korea (the democracy friendly to the USA) and North Korea (ruled by a communist dictator, etc.) are pretty counterintuitive – ‘Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of’ is actually North Korea, and;
  • I block all countries from which I hear there is a large amount of political instability & chaos, has no legitimate government, I’ve had a large amount of fraud coming from in the past, is a common suspected or actual source of terrorism, and/or is known to be belligerent to the United States of America (USA) [personal subjective choice], and;
  • One oddity that you may notice on the countries list to choose from is ‘anonymous proxy’ – no, it’s not actually a country (I suspect most people would figure that out)  It means that the site visitor has been flagged as having a high risk of having connected through a proxy server.  Proxy servers are connections that people can make online to obscure their true location. Yes, you would want to add ‘anonymous proxy’ to the ‘Blocked Countries List’.

ALLOWING:

Setting the countries your GPT site serves and in what languages is handled by going to ‘Admin Panel > Products (Left Side Menu Middle) > Membership > Configure > Security’ and take a look at the ‘Register’ (lower) section.  Here is where you set what countries you are allowing to register on your site and which languages you’ll serve.

It’s really not as complicated as you may think it is (having to select all the countries that are not on your blocked country list)  You could actually leave the ‘Allowed Countries’ setting at ‘All’ (all countries added to the bottom section) because your country blocking will make sure that anyone reporting to be from any blocked countries theoretically will not even be able to get to your site’s new member registration form page (if you remember – blocking will render a blank plain white page to blocked countries – even the registration page would be blank white)

I, however, would like to be as precise as I can in governing my GPT site so I’m more inclined to go to the trouble of removing my blocked countries from my ‘Allowed Countries’ list (therefore, if they ever are allowed to see the registration page for some reason then they still will not be allowed to register)

To have only your non-blocked countries on your ‘Allowed Countries List’ is as simple as removing them from the bottom box and Updating (saving) the page.
So, these are the countries that my GPT site will serve (my ‘Allowed Countries List’):

Aland Islands, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antarctica, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Asia/Pacific Region, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bouvet Island, Brazil, British Indian Ocean Territory, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Congo, The Democratic Republic of the, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cote D’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Europe, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, France, Metropolitan, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea, Republic of, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia, Federated States of, Moldova, Republic of, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Oman, Other, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn Islands, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Satellite Provider, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, United Republic of, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, United States Minor Outlying Islands, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Virgin Islands, British, Virgin Islands, U.S., Wallis and Futuna, Western Sahara, Zambia, Zimbabwe

The ‘Allowed Languages’ list is pretty easy as well.  I know this goes (allows) by the site visitor’s browser language set.  Though I actually only want English speakers I choose to add all the languages listed because I know that though someone may know English then their browser language may be set to their normally preferred language (and I don’t want to disallow them because of that)  Now if you want to specify languages then that is your own preference (my own ‘take’ on how this section operates may indeed be wrong though I doubt it)

I would suggest that you check all of the three boxes below the Allowed Languages section and Update the page.

Since we have most of this configuration page finished then let’s jump up to the top section of the page and set those pretty important ‘Login’ settings.  I suggest you set them up as follows (shown in the image):

Login Settings Page

Securing and Maintaining Access to Your GPT Site Admin Panel

Your ShiftCode Admin Panel

Refer to any welcoming email message from ShiftCode staff you have likely already received after your ShiftCode licensing purchase.  Look for references to your ShiftCode Admin Panel URL (web location) and login (username and password)  Enter (or copy and paste) your ShiftCode Admin Panel URL into your browser and proceed to that web location.  If all things have gone well so far you should now be viewing a special admin-only page that looks like this (below):

scadminlogin

First things first, you may have noticed that your own special ShiftCode Admin Panel URL contains a series of what looks like gibberish letters and numbers (like this ‘63d130df7xbe167e2’)  This is called a security ‘hash’ (it’s basically a URL with an encrypted section added on) – it is unique to your own particular instance of the ShiftCode script and you should NEVER reveal that web location to anyone else (other than yourself)  The admin URL containing the hash is purposely made hard to guess by hackers or others that may have bad intent with regard to your site (yes, this hash code is changeable via a ShiftCode support ticket but rarely (if ever) is this needed)   We’d suggest that you take the time to write down and safely bookmark this URL as this is where most all functions of your site are configured and performed.

Next we’ll address your assigned admin username and temporary password.  Chances are that you’ve been assigned a relatively simple admin username and password.  You’ll want to change these to your own preferences as soon as possible (now?) for increased security purposes!

Use your given admin login to log in to your admin panel.  You should then see a seeming complicated (but really easy to navigate and powerful once you get used to it) screen that looks like this:

scadm1

Next find the ‘Main’ heading (link box) in the upper right corner of the admin panel just under the ShiftCode logo (as seen below)

scmain02

Click on Users & Groups.  Notice the top section of that page is for ‘group’ management (which are basically defining roles available to assign to admin(s), staff, and designers, etc)  What we’re interested in now is the ‘User’ management area just below the group management area.  Notice that your own administrator account is listed along with the ‘shiftcode’ admin user account (the shiftcode admin user account is for internal official ShiftCode staff and cannot be edited or deleted because it is necessary and mandatory)

Instead of editing your own administrator account (while also being logged into the same admin user account) then we feel it is much safer to create a secondary new admin account for the time being (after you’ve successfully logged into the newly created admin account then you can delete the original admin account)

Click on ‘Add User’.  Enter your desired new administrator Username and Password (we suggest a strong password that includes a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, at least one number, and at least one symbol character – though strong passwords are not enforced at this time then it is best for your own good)  Make sure that you’re not using a password you have ever used at any other site (past or present)  The new admin account you are creating will have ultimate access to all your sites functions including financial balances, etc. don’t shoot yourself in the foot by specifying an easy to guess or repeated password!

Specify that this new account is part of the ‘Administrator’ group (chances are that at this point you have no other options)  The Description field is totally optional / not crucial and will be explained at a later point in this documentation.   Leave the Description field blank.

Take a moment to write down your new username and password (now!) Click the ‘Add User’ button to finalize your new administrator Username account creation.  You should see a green headed ‘Success!’ message further stating  that ‘The user has been added’  At this point the User management area should be showing your old admin User, your newly created admin User, and the permanent internal ‘shiftcode’ admin user account.  Click on the ‘Logout’ button on the upper red bar on the upper left under the ‘ADMIN PANEL’ heading (as seen below):

logout01

Now log back into the admin panel using your new administrator account credentials.  Go back to the Main > Users & Groups  area (the area where you just created your new admin account)   Now click on the blue gear box at the right side end next to your old administrator user account and choose delete.  Confirm that you wish to delete that account and then this mission has been accomplished!  Give yourself a pat on the back safe in the knowledge that your new administrator account is safer than the previous default admin account assigned to you.

Incidentally, that ‘Users & Groups’ area is also the area where you can eventually add a new group of sub-admin privileged staff members or site template installers and when you add a new group you will be able to specify exactly the level of access each new group has.  It is NOT necessary to make any new groups at this point in time (continue the quick start guide and stay focused on the important steps we point out – you can go back and add groups etc. at a later point as needed)

Locating & Bookmarking Your ShiftCode GPT Admin Panel On Your Own Domain

AFTER, your site has started appearing on your own domain name (www.MyOwnGPTSite.com) as well as on the shiftcode.com subdomain (myowngptsite.shiftcode.com) then as a matter of preference (though it has practical benefits as well)

First, log-in as the administrator on your shiftcode.com sub domain (chances are you are already logged in.  Take a look at your browser’s URL bar.  Note everything that comes after the ‘shiftcode.com‘ part (starting with a slash (“/“), continuing with your unique hash code, another slash (“/“), and then ending with an index.php (select and copy all that to the clipboard)   Now open up a new browser tab (or window) and type in your domain name starting with the ‘www.’ part and then immediately after your domain then past everything you copied from your sub domain based admin panel URL and past it after your own domain name now – hit return (or enter)  You may be asked to -re-login to your admin panel.  Now once you are in to your admin panel on your own domain name then bookmark that URL and use that as your main admin panel access URL.  It will likely prove useful and have a few advantages over using your sub domain based admin panel (though bookmark both admin panel URLs just in case your domain name service is ever disrupted (rare))

(a) Expanding ALL Your Menu Options (optional) [Part 03: Initial Basic Site Configuration][Quick Start Guide]

Expanding ALL Your Menu Options:  (totally optional step based on your own personal preferences – may be skipped) If you wish to have ALL of your admin panel options expanded (showing as is shown on the left in the image below) instead of being kept compact (most options unseen until expanded – as is seen on the right – below) then while you are logged in as the administrator in the admin panel click on ‘Edit Preferences’ button on the top red horizontal menu bar (toward the left on the top)

The page section heading will say ‘Template’ though we are only interested in the ‘Expand All’ checkbox at this point.  Check the ‘Expand All’ checkbox indicating ‘Wes, keep all the navigation links expanded’.  Ignore (don’t change) the ‘Template’ drop-down box below it (though it should already be set to the ‘ShiftCode 2.0’ selection)  Click the the ‘Update’ button to save your ‘Expand All’ preference (you’ll then see a green backed ‘Success!’ confirmation)

compact-vs-expand

You also should now notice that ALL your admin panel navigation options on all the menus have been expanded with all options showing.  Do you like all the options showing and expanded or do you find this distracting, confusing, and/or overwhelming? (some people do)  If you dislike like everything expanded then go back and uncheck the ‘Expand All’ box and ‘Update’ again.  I’ve always found that seeing all of my options expanded and open makes it easier to locate the configuration areas I’m looking for (it’s totally your choice but I will assume that your menus are in the ‘expanded’ mode from this point forward in this document)

expand01


Performa Affiliate Network Configuration and Offer Wall Installation

This chapter covers Performa affiliate network configuration (both integrated and custom external networks) and offer wall installation and configuration

First, for those of you that may be confused about the different forms of offer sources such as the integrated Performa networks, the external ‘other’ or ‘premium’ affiliate networks, then there are the various Offer Wall sources (the last time I checked there were over 20 different types and brands of offer wall sources out there today and growing)

Your ultimate goal in the GPT business (severely simplified) – get as many of your site members to complete as many offers thereby reaching a ‘conversion’ point respectfully, correctly, non-fraudulently and complying with the terms of the offer.  Offer leads and conversions (sometimes terms used interchangeably in the business) is what the advertiser’s web site will trigger when they consider the offer to have been completed (per the described offer requirements) at a satisfactory level. The  completion triggered message – the ‘OK you are getting paid for this offer completion’ signal is relayed down from the advertiser to the representing affiliate network at which point that network uses the data that was passed down to identify which (of the network publishers) should get credit for the conversion.


Q)  What are the Differences, Advantages, Disadvantages, and Oddities of Each Type of Offer Source?

       A)  An Affiliate Network generally is an online marketing hub company that provides offers (or ad campaigns).  An affiliate network tends to act as a go-between (or middle man) between the advertiser (generally a company with a product or service they wish to promote via offers or ad campaigns that in our business usually takes the form of ‘incentivized’ cost-per-action (CPA) ‘banner advertising’.


  • PerformaNetLogo12060 An integrated Performa Affiliate Network is an affiliate network that runs the Performa network script (web site software for building an affiliate network) The Performa network script was conceptualized and built long ago by a group of highly skilled programmers who came up with a brand new concept in Get Paid To (GPT) sites (ShiftCode) that came paired perfectly along with a network script (Performa) that was designed to use automation and integration at such a level of precision that both scripts exclusively communicate with each other using their own secure proprietary language thereby allowing a notable definite increase in efficiency and accuracy handling each offer click to conversion transaction much more effectively than networks (no other network in business / or network script commercially available comes even close to the degree of integration and ease of workload to the GPT admin that the Performa network script provides.

    Performa networks are the only networks that with the ShiftCode GPT script have a no-brainer intuitive simple fully integrated initial network (Performa) setup for each Performa network you see listed in your ShiftCode GPT admin panel. Once you complete the simple basic nine (9) field set up configuration for each Performa network you choose then you will enjoy a persistent integrated and efficient connection (information exchange) about events that happen with regard to your GPT site members clicking on, completing (or failing to complete), gaining credit for the completion (yes, it knows which site member is credited for each action) or the offer remaining in ‘pending’ status (which if it turns out to be ‘pending’ for a long time (usually days) then that will signify that the GPT site member had clicked on the offer and either attempted to complete the offer and changed their mind before the offer completion landmark was reached, clicked and didn’t even try (common), or went on to complete the offer which resulted in an offer ‘lead’ or ‘conversion’  (usually by way of combination of a browser cookie and a tracking ‘pixel’ – which will be described later in this chapter)

    Performa networks also have the distinct advantage as being the least ‘data entry work’ (adding offers) intensive procedure of all other types of networks.  With just a few simple configuration settings, keystrokes, and clicks you can manage to perfectly import ALL of a Performa networks available offers while they are sorted automatically into their own categories your pre-define and the lead rates (how much cash currency or points currency the offer completion yields to the site member (after you have taken your pre-defined (by you) percentage ‘cut’ of the action (wink)  The automation and simplicity is the magic of the ShiftCode / Performa (integrated together) system that you will learn to respect almost as heaven sent (compared to the horrors in the complication of setting up all other types of offer sources)

    Performa (ShiftCode Based and Integrated) Affiliate Networks: On ShiftCode GPT sites it is by design (not by chance) that you’ll definitely inevitably eventually come to the conclusion that tending to prefer Performa (ShiftCode based and integrated) begins to grow on you.  It’s just so simple unique and graceful.  You’ll find that after just a bit of time working with your ShiftCode admin panel, getting to learn your way around (yes, it all looks daunting at first but believe me that it gets fun over time – it’s like having your own personal Starship Enterprise to command (yes, I’m a Trekkie and that the only superlative I could think of on demand – lol))

    Anyways, the point I’m trying to get across is that tons of time and frustration can be avoided by going with mostly or only Performa networks (especially as you are learning your way around – Performa networks are SO MUCH easier to deal with and they rely on your coming to them specifically (on Performa networks they are completely familiar and comfortable with favoring genuine ShiftCode Get Paid To (GPT) sites as their main traffic sources.  With networks based on any other network script then you’ll never encounter any better integrations with ShiftCode sites that Performa Networks !

    If it was just that easy then that would be fine but sometimes in this GPT site business things get a bit odd in this or that areas such as these.  


Continue reading

Initial Basic Site Configuration [Quick Start Guide]

Step-By-Step Crucial Initial Configuration Settings

Admin Panel ‘Main’ Menu Section: (on the top right under the ShiftCode logo)

mainmenu03

> E-Mail – Creating domain based email addresses covered elsewhere in this guide (this is not where you create an email address, it’s where you specify an already created email address you want to use for site member notifications) Once you’ve decided on what your site main email address will be for all site admin and user notifications then this is where you configure the ‘From Name’ and ‘From E-mail’ (this can be a domain based email address (recommended) or you can specify any other email address you would like to use for this purpose here (Gmail, HotMail MSN, etc.))

> E-Mail > Alerts – This is where you decide what email alerts you (the admin) want to receive from your site when certain events occur (as seen in the image below)  We would suggest checking every checkbox listed here and clicking the ‘Update’ button if you (admin) want to initially be informed via email of all important events (best to know rather than to risk not noticing)  [The default is no checkboxes checked – checking them all is recommended]

ealerts01

> Payment Methods – This is where you set up how (what payment methods and accounts) YOU will be paid from your site members for various site products and/or services you are selling (such as advertising, member account upgrades, etc.) This should NOT to be confused with site member withdrawal methods which will be discussed elsewhere in this document!  The admin panel describes this section as “Below are your default payment methods. The products that accept payments will also have a section for managing payment methods. They can either select default payment methods, or define separate payment methods. The product will use the payment methods below if default payment methods are selected.

The ‘Internal’ payment method stands for the ‘internal funds’ (in the form of the ‘cash’ or ‘points’) each site member has earned.  If you enable this payment method then your site members will be able to use their account balance to pay for purchases from your site.  It’s your own choice whether or not you want to enable this option but if your think about it then it makes total sense to enable internal funds purchases because most all of the items you are ‘selling’ on your site really are not an out-of-pocket expense for you – it’s virtually pure profit for you (advertising packages they purchase cost your little or nothing comparatively (‘banner impressions’ and ‘side panel ads’ are free to you) as do member account upgrades)

Think about it, if your member doesn’t have any way other than to withdraw cash or use the points in their internal account balances for prizes you must supply then those withdrawals cost you money out of your pocket immediately (most internal funds purchases generally don’t cost you anything to supply if you are smart about it)  Also, you can safely not require that internal funds purchases not be manually approved.  Enable internal funds (it’s a no-brainer decision)

Speaking of the other payment methods, we highly suggest that you select (check) the ‘Manually Approve’ (‘Yes, manually approve each transaction’) option on all payment methods (external) which gives you the option of double-checking that each payment has been properly completed and you indeed have been paid before the purchased item or service is given to the member.

That concludes what we consider to be the crucial configuration settings under the ‘Main’ menu section though we are still not done (off to several other sections)


Admin Panel ‘Products’ Menu Section: (the long list on the left under the blue ‘ADMIN PANEL’ heading)

productpanel01> Contact Form – (or otherwise known as a ‘Contact Us’ form) Enter your own email address here.  When a member (or a site visitor – not necessarily a site member yet) completes the Contact Us form then this will be the email address that you get notified from.  It’s suggested to leave the ‘Valid E-Mail Domain’ box checked to thwart certain spam attempts (the site’s Contact Us form is visible outside of the logged-in site member area and hence this is a common spam target)  Hover over the blue question mark button to the far right of each setting to get a better description of how it works.

> Inbox System > Configure – If you intend to use a site member username as the site administrator other than the default ‘Admin’ (when sending and receiving inbox messages, communicating in the Shoutbox (member chat area), etc) then input that username in the ‘Display Name’ field (this field is case-sensitive so use the same capitalization as your member account that will be acting at the site admin)

Inbox System Configure

If you are allowing your site members to send inbox messages to other members (note the first two checkbox options ‘Contact Downline’ (the member’s own referred members) and ‘Contact Members’) then it’s suggested that you also check the ‘Review Message’ checkbox so that you will be able to pre-review and approve or deny inbox messages sent by members to other members (that way you can moderate messages that are spammy, harassing, overly negative (complaining or insulting), to frequent, promoting competing GPT sites, etc.) before they are delivered to the intended recipient(s) and take corrective action before the potential damage is done.  Allowing members to contact other members is not bad in itself (in fact we recommend you allow it) it allows members to more freely socialize semi-privately and some members tend to be really helpful in encouraging and benignly coaching their downline to be more active on your site.  Just be aware the certain bad apples may try causing trouble and if you are reviewing and pre-approving messages then they are pretty easy to spot.

> Membership – This is a main area that attentive GPT site admins tend to visit often to keep track of what members have joined, their current status (as shown by colors), and just to browse each member’s profile just by clicking on their username looking for obvious issues such as bogus information in required fields, etc.  Also notice that in the upper right corner when you click on the “Search Duplicate” text then it will switch between two modes – a ‘Search General’ (default) where you can search your members by numerous general information fields while when you click on ‘Search Duplicate’ then you enter a very powerful duplicate information search mode when you can discover site ‘cheaters’ who either have multiple accounts (which you should not allow under any circumstances) or members who bypassed normal site security by entering bogus information into required fields (such as entering ‘123 easy Street’ in a Street Address field – also you should not allow)

Search Duplicate

> Points System > Configure – This is where the currency values and exchange rate is configured.  This is where you will assign a value to whatever you wish to call your site’s ‘points’ currency.  It’s highly suggested that YOU GET THIS RIGHT in the first place.  You want your points system to be easy to figure out and conforming to the familiar standard exchange rate already established by many GPT sites that came before yours (the below image is the default settings – this is the ‘before’ image) Points System Configure Defaults (BEFORE)BIG (HUGE) TIP / HINT: –> First, let me point out the complete line of thirteen (13) blue question mark help icons help icon - hover over on the right (as seen above) – hover over them to discover better descriptions of what each field item does / means.  These question mark hints are purposely strewn throughout the ShiftCode GPT Admin Panel (Notice them!  That’s what they are there for!)

Now to suggest the ‘right’ points configure settings:

Points Name: This is where you will define what you will call your site’s points currency name (what you call your points on your site)  Yes, you can just leave them named ‘Points’ as many have done before you.  Also know that you can pretty much name your site’s points anything you want!  Yes, shillings, coins, gold bars, pirate treasure, silver, wooden nickels, whatever you want (insert the name there)

Auto Reset:  This option may have had a very good purpose way back years ago when the GPT sites concept was younger but if you know what’s good for you nowadays then it’s best to just leave this option set at the default zero (0) days value.  Essentially this is a setting that allows you to specify that if your member hasn’t used (converted, ordered a prize, or otherwise spent) his points in his account balance for X days then they go away (ouch!)  If you do enable this option and you don’t have some unique new legitimate purpose (other than cheating your members out of their earned points) for doing so to maybe change this option from the default zero… (risking that one or more very vocal GPT member sees his points go away unjustly and complains publicly)  Hint: Leave it at ZERO!

Conversion Rate: (Important!) The default (generally right) setting is 100 points = $1.00 (thus the field rightly has a default ‘100’ number in it)  This is where you are configuring what monetary value (if any) your site’s points will represent (or ‘hold’)  The standard amongst the vast majority of successful GPT sites currently operating is undoubtedly 100 points equals one dollar (if you change this then just know then we have seen it lead to member confusion and eventually making that GPT site a generally less popular place for GPT regular members to frequent due to the the confusion factor)

 

A WORK IN PROGRESS TO BE CONTINUED