Search to Post Gets a Facelift: Works with phpBay, phpZon & phpOStock
The New Search To Post Plugin
Alan Lewis released his new version of the Search to Post plugin for phpBay last week, it has a few new features which have made the plugin even better than it was before.
For those of you who have never used phpBay or Alan's Search to Post plugin then you really are missing out. phpBay is a WordPress plugin developed by Wade Wells which basically allows you to display listings from eBay directly in your WordPress pages, posts and sidebar, you then earn comissions through the eBay affiliate program. Here is one of my sites using phpBay and Search to Post, feel free to try it out but please make it relevant to the site:
phpBay is a fantastic plugin and combined with WordPress it makes for a very powerful affiliate site builder which can bring you in a decent affiliate income. However, one of the downsides to the plugin was the fact that there was no easy way to allow customers to search your site for eBay results, in order to do this you needed to add custom code into your theme's search form. The Search to Post plugin not only solved this problem but it went one step further. When a visitor enters a keyword string into your search box, the plugin automatically adds a brand new page or post (you specify which) onto your site, and loads this page for the visitor. This new page contains some text (which you can also specify), as well as some phpbay auctions for whatever the visitor searched for. You can choose to display links to these pages/posts on your site as you would with any other.
Updates in this Version
The first and perhap biggest change to this plugin is the fact that it no longer depends on having phpBay installed to use it. The plugin will now work with any of the following installed: phpBay, phpOStock or phpZon. If you choose to have all three installed then when a customer searches on your site they will be presented with a page of listings from eBay, Amazon and Overstock, a very powerful and useful feature.
If a user clicks the search button on your site without entering some search terms then a page or post will not be created automatically and they will be redirected back to the page they were on previously, preventing you from having useless empty pages or posts on your site.
The old "body text" field which existed before in the configuration screen has now been removed and replaced with a similar templating system to phpOStock. There is a very powerful external templating feature which includes and external style sheet if needed which allows you to have complete control over the output text on your site. You can choose to randomize the text using certain words meaning you don't get a problem with duplicate content.
You are now able to choose whether or not you want the new pages/posts to carry the 'no-index' feature, this allows you to review the page/post before it gets indexed by the search engines.
A forced keyword feature has been added which means that you can force a specific keyword before or after a potential customer's search term, so on a pandora bead site when they type red, instead of them getting a load of irrelevant listings I can choose to place the word 'pandora' after every search so that the results they get returned are much more targeted to what they are looking for and so they are more likely to click through and buy.
Alan has added the keywords which a customer searches for into the subject of the notifcation email you get sent, meaning that you no longer have to open your email to see what the keyword search was.
Overall, I would like to say a big thank you to Alan for such fantastic value for money, all of these updates alone are worth more than what he is charging for the entire plugin.
If you do have any phpBay websites and you are not using this plugin I seriously recommend that you rethink. If you want to buy Alan's Search to Post plugin then you can do so here.