Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces

I’ve had a few questions pass through the support desk and in the forum that I’d like to address here. Generally if I see the same question asked more than once, I try to make a note to include it in the blog, so anybody else who might be wondering about it can hopefully find an answer.

First item is in regards to upgrading from the 30-day Trial or the Lite versions. Once you purchase the full license, it’s your responsibility to download the full version and install it over (or in place of) your previous version. And I don’t mean that if you have problems installing the full version, you’re on your own. Far from it. But I have had someone ask if purchasing the license means we do something on our end to upgrade you, or give you a key to unlock, etc.

Nothing like that. When you pay for the license, you’re able to access the full version from the AOM website to download. That’s all. You have to get the files and install them to your server, as an upgrade (upgrade instructions available here). Contrary to what many seem to believe, there is no connection between the AOM server (where the files and forum are hosted) and your site. We cannot upgrade, view, repair or remove files from your Associate-O-Matic store. If the forum server goes down for some reason, your sites are not affected. Really.

The next item concerns Amazon’s link checker. This is a utility offered on the Associate site that verifies links you submit to make sure they (a) actually go to Amazon; (b) contain your Associate ID, so you get paid for the referral; and (c) are correctly configured to not cause an error when someone clicks on it.

Links are generally in this format: ‘ (product number)/?tag=ID (your associate ID)&blah blah blah (other formatting/tracking info)’. There are many variations of how a link should be built, and honestly, I don’t keep up on it. But this gives you some rough idea of what a link should have.

Links in your AOM site do not have any of this (except possibly the ASIN). When a customer clicks on a ‘Buy now‘ button or the ‘Checkout‘ link in your site, the item(s), along with your ID are encrypted, and sent to Amazon, eventually ending up in a shopping cart designed to receive data from external AWS applications (sites that use Amazon data).

So AOM links entered into the link checker will always fail. This doesn’t mean your ID isn’t being sent to Amazon, it just means that the data isn’t sent in a format the link checker will recognize. No need to panic. If you check your Amazon reports, look in the Link-Type report for Remote Shopping Cart. That’s where you’ll see AOM activity. The link checker only uses Product or Context links, etc.

Finally, with the release recently of V4.1.4, many people have wondered about a missing file. The installation instructions for this version mention a cfg.rss.php file, but it’s not included in the 4.1.4 download files.

This file does not exist. It’s a typo.

When the new version was being compiled, there was a cfg.rss.php file. But by the time the package was finalized, the function of this file was incorporated into the shop.php file, so there was no need for a separate file. However, the install instructions were not changed to reflect this. We regret the error, and the ensuing confusion it caused. But rest assured, you’re not missing anything.

And that’s pretty much it for now. If anyone has any suggestions about AOM features they’d like explained in more detail as a User’s Guide, contact me (see links on the right side of this page) and let me know.

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