Update: DPD Migration Complete

  • Jason@DPD
  • March 21, 2010
  • No Comments

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the DPD migration to new servers is complete- everything should be faster for everyone!

If anyone has any questions or comments please post them here or send us a support ticket- we’re keeping a close watch on the new servers through the weekend to make sure no major issues arise.

Maintenance Notice: DPD Moving to New Servers

  • Jason@DPD
  • March 17, 2010
  • No Comments

Through March 25th DPD will be completing a migration to newer, more powerful servers. This is in response to the growth of DPD and to maintain a high level of service to all vendors, affiliates, and buyers.

With the exception of a 10-15 minute time period during changeover, all carts and instant checkout buttons will continue to work normally during this migration. The 10-15 minutes of downtime will be done at non-peak hours to prevent adverse loss of sales to vendors, but during this downtime period all buttons will be inactive.

Vendors will still be able to log in to their accounts, however when a vendor’s account is moved the following will occur:

  • Vendors will be locked out from creating new products or uploading / updating product data files for existing products during the period of time their account is migrating. This is to prevent the possibility of new products created on the old servers during the migration not being copied to the new servers.
  • During the migration, vendor accounts may respond slower than normal.

Once the account is completely migrated these locks will be removed and you will then be able to create new products / upload files on the new DPD servers. We expect that the total “lock out time” during migration will be only a few hours for each vendor and the total “downtime” where buttons are not available will be from 10-15 minutes during off-peak usage hours. We appologize for the temporary inconvenience this may cause, but we think you’ll enjoy all the enhancements to DPD this upgrade will allow.

DPD Browser / Platform Stats

  • Jason@DPD
  • February 18, 2010
  • No Comments

Browser Usage ChartWe’re in the middle of a pretty big overhaul of the DPD user interface right now. Because we want DPD to work for the vast majority of our users (and their customers on the cart and delivery pages) we keep a close eye on our visitor platform / browser statistics.

We don’t compile statistics for individual stores or sites (and don’t want to)- these are aggregate numbers across every product, delivery page, cart, and the DPD site itself.

I thought I’d share some basic usage statistics with everyone so they can get some insight in to their fellow vendors as well as the visitors that purchase from their sites:

Platform / Operating System (top 5):

There are really no surprises here.

  1. Windows 85.94%
  2. Macintosh 12.49%
  3. Linux 0.78%
  4. iPhone 0.38%
  5. iPod 0.12%

Browser (top 5):

The Browser stats were interesting to us with Firefox being used more than Internet Explorer among our users and buyers.

  1. Firefox 46.40%
  2. Internet Explorer 36.17%
  3. Safari 8.24%
  4. Chrome 7.09%
  5. Opera 1.60%

Screen Resolutions:

When designing an interface your user’s screen resolution is vitally important- DPD is currently 955px wide to accomidate a 1024×768 resolution monitor. After looking at these statistics we might start thinking about targeting the 1280×1024 width, giving us approx. 220 more pixels of width to work with (about 22% more space).

  1. 1024×768 22.50%
  2. 1280×800 19.31%
  3. 1440×900 11.01%
  4. 1280×1024 10.34%
  5. 1680×1050 8.54%
  6. 1366×768 4.73%
  7. 1920×1200 3.30%
  8. 1920×1080 3.11%
  9. 1152×864 2.48%
  10. 1280×768 1.73%
  11. 1600×900 1.53%
  12. 1280×960 1.35%
  13. 800×600 1.35%

Digging Deeper with Windows

With 85.94%, Windows is far and away the most popular operating system on DPD (and with the entire world). Another thing we have to keep a keen eye on is what Windows and IE version everyone is using- There are drastic differences in how things are displayed between different IE versions and spending time making it work in all of them is something most designers dread.

Windows Breakdown:

From these numbers we can tell that less than 1% (0.54% to be exact) use a Windows operating system older than Windows XP. Vista and Windows 7 are slowly taking over though, with 40.81% of the total.

  1. XP 58.22%
  2. Vista 27.86%
  3. 7 12.95%
  4. Server 2003 0.43%
  5. 98 0.24%
  6. 2000 0.20%
  7. ME 0.06%
  8. 95 0.04%

Internet Explorer Breakdown:

The most critical stat for interface designers and developers is the IE version statistics. There are entire sites dedicated to designer’s hate of IE6, and IE7- while slightly better- is not loved much at all either. IE8 it approaching standards compliance and reaching parity with the Webkit (Safari, Chrome) and Gecko (Firefox) rendering engines, so we’re happy that the majority of our users are installing the free upgrade from Microsoft.

  1. IE 8 56.36%
  2. IE 7 31.89%
  3. IE 6 11.66%
  4. IE 4 0.09%

Occasionally we’ll get a support ticket about having to horizontal scroll to see the entire DPD web page, or about transparent images not displaying correctly in Windows 98. We don’t really have a good reply for these people other than to urge them to upgrade their browser or operating system.

Seriously folks, if you’re using IE6 please go upgrade to IE8– it’s free from Microsoft, more secure, and renders the entire web better. Or try a new browser- DPD actually looks better in Chrome, Safari, or Firefox because of the additional CSS properties these browsers support like rounded corners and drop shadows! All three alternates listed are available for both IE and Mac and are free!

As developers of a service that serves thousands of vendors, tens of thousands of customers, and hundreds of thousands worth of transactions a year we can’t focus our time and energy on the 0.46% of our visitors and shoppers who are using a 12 year old operating system like Windows 98 with IE4- it’s not fair to the other 99.54% of our users who use modern operating systems and browsers and would be better served by us developing new features and improvements.

We hope this was an interesting look at some statistics behind DPD. If there is any interest in future updates we might make a post like this again in the future- let us know what you think!

A Preview of Things to Come…

  • Jason@DPD
  • February 17, 2010

The New DPD Interface- Coming Soon!
We’re hard at work adding new features and improvements to DPD. We wanted to give you guys a little teaser preview of what we’ve been working on, so check out the screenshot for a sneak peak of the coming user interface overhaul and new features!

  • Multiple sales methods per product- add as many buttons with their own checkout method (storefront or instant) and price
  • Better product inventory management and lookup tools
  • redesigned user interface to handle all the extra information
  • Google Checkout support

…and more!

DPD Update: Localized Checkout, CSV Customer Export, Address Collection, Admin Updates, and More

  • Jason@DPD
  • January 21, 2010
  • No Comments

We’ve just published and update to DPD that incorporates the following new features, changes, and bug fixes as well as lays the groundwork for a couple major features coming soon. Please read on to learn whats new and coming up with DPD:

Localized Checkout

We’ve been running a beta of the localized checkout system with several vendors for the past few weeks and it’s now available to all. DPD Vendors can now select a default language for the shopping cart and/or instant checkout experience as well as the PayPal checkout process locale. Buyers will always have the option to override the displayed language if it is not in their native tongue.

All alternate languages have been professionally translated by a trusted 3rd party translation company.

This will allow vendors to create products and stores targeted at different countries and markets- For example, a US vendor can create a product or store targeted at the French market with the cart + all PayPal pages being presented in French, etc.

This is a storefront level setting for storefront products and a product level setting for instant checkout products.

Available languages include:

  • English (default)
  • French
  • German
  • International Spanish
  • Italian

If you would like to see DPD in another language please make a request via support ticket. We’ll be adding more languages regularly based on your requests.

Address Collection

DPD vendors can now choose to collect an address for PayPal transactions. This is useful if you offer a download + physical delivery product. The address is stored and displayed both within PayPal and with the DPD transaction record inside DPD. This is our first step toward full physical product support that is in development.

This is a storefront level setting for storefront products and a product level setting for instant checkout products.

The available options for address collection include:

  • Do Not Collect Address (Default – all current products are set to this value)
  • Address is Optional
  • Address Required

CSV Customer Export

Vendors can now export customers from the Customer Center to a CSV compatible file for import in to other programs and services such as mailing list managers, accounting programs, and support systems.

We’ll be adding the export feature to the transaction look-up tool- Coming Soon™.

Admin Updates and Tweaks

New File Uploader

A few weeks ago we switched to a new java based file uploader that can handle files up to 2GB in size. The new java based uploader is much more reliable and causes less issues than the old flash based uploader did for many people.

Better Download Limit Control

We’ve changed the download limit from a simple “Check here to limit to 2 attempts” to a drop-down with multiple options. Vendors can now give buyers more attempts to download the product before the download URL is disabled. As always, you can disable the download attempt limit and rely on only the download time limit function or vice-versa.

Free Download URL Display to the Vendor

When you send a free delivery of a product DPD will now also display the customer’s free download URL to the Vendor. In some instances the recipient failed to get the email from DPD’s servers due to their mail server settings or spam controls- now vendors can send the URL directly with their own personal message.

Minor Fixes and Tweaks

  • Various text edts / typo corrections
  • New sales site pages describing new features
  • Fixed a couple buttons that were not displaying correctly
  • Minor performance related back end changes
  • Minor adjustment to s3 file delivery and caching for better performance

Groundwork for New Features

Google Checkout

In this update we made some “under the hood” changes to DPD code to prepare for adding Google Checkout as a payment processor. DPD is currently working toward Google Checkout certification as an advanced hosted shopping cart provider. Google Checkout is a great alternative to PayPal for US and UK vendors and we think you’ll like it a lot.

This feature is Coming Soon™.

PayPal Donation Support

We’re adding support for PayPal Donations with automatic product delivery. This will allow you to give a thank you gift to donors after they pay any amount or a set minimum. DPD will support “choose your own donation amount” as well as fixed amount donation buttons.

This feature is Coming Soon™.

Merry Christmas from DPD!

  • Jason@DPD
  • December 24, 2009
  • No Comments

We want to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! This year has been great for DPD with hundreds of new vendors- we couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you. Thanks!

Due to the Christmas holiday we’ll have limited support staff on duty December 24-26. Please forgive us if non-critical service issues and general questions take longer to get answered during this holiday period- as I’m sure you will all understand we want our developers to have an opportunity to spend time with their families too.

We will have a developer on call throughout the holiday to monitor the DPD system and help vendors with critical issues, so we’ll make sure the buy buttons keep sending you money throughout the holiday 🙂

Once again, thank you all and Merry Christmas!

DPD System Update- Login Bug Fixed

  • Jason@DPD
  • December 23, 2009
  • 1 Comment

At approximately 4:30AM EST we needed to apply a security and system update to the DPD servers. When we must install critical updates to server software that has the possibility to disrupt services for vendors we always try to do it at our lowest traffic periods in the middle of the night to minimize the impact on users.

While this update was being installed a few users experienced difficulty logging in to their DPD accounts. We’re sorry about the inconvenience and full account access has been restored to all vendors.

Thank you for your understanding, and if there is anything we can do please don’t hesitate to submit a support ticket after logging in for priority support.

New Feature: Multilingual DPD Cart

  • Jason@DPD
  • November 22, 2009
  • No Comments

We’ve had numerous requests to make the cart and delivery pages of DPD multilingual to facilitate selling in non-English speaking countries.

Today we’ve published our first update to address multilingual checkout. Visitors to the storefront cart on your web page will now be presented with a language dropdown in the top right corner to change to their native language. The current language choices are English (default), Spanish, and French. This will change the cart language, currency display format, and delivery page language.

We’re not done though- we plan to add the following features to the multi-language checkout over the coming weeks:

  • Additional Languages – German and Portuguese
  • Vendor selectable default language- Right now the default is English, but soon vendors will be able to set their own default from the list of available languages.
  • Instant Product delivery page language selection
  • A few miscellaneous messages that are not currently translated
  • Error pages that are not currently translated

If there is a language you would like to see DPD in that is not currently supported or planned please tell us about it- we’ll be adding languages based on your requests. This is by no means a complete feature and we plan to improve it over the coming weeks.

Cart view in international Spanish
Cart view in international Spanish

DPD Has Gone Green

  • Jason@DPD
  • November 20, 2009
  • No Comments

Its no secret- here at DPD we love being able to breathe. That’s why we’ve partnered with CO2Stats to to offset our emissions with EPA-Certified, audited renewable energy. Digital delivery is already the most ecologically conscious delivery option on the planet- no trees get chopped down, no gasoline is burned in delivery trucks, and no fuel is consumed keeping inventory climate controlled.

We’ve taken it one step further by offsetting our CO2 emissions with clean renewable power.

CO2Stats calculates the combined electricity used by computers visiting this site, the servers providing it, and the networks that connect them. CO2Stats then helps to make this site more energy efficient (and load faster), and purchases renewable energy to neutralize the carbon emissions due to generation of that electricity.

CO2 Stats calculates the CO2 footprint of the DPD servers, vendors using the service- even the buyers who purchase products! We then offset these emissions with EPA-endorsed green energy certificates, effectively powering the site with renewable energy from wind and solar farms.

so its not very exciting yet, but we just turned it on.  be patient!
so its not very exciting yet, but we just turned it on. be patient!

You can always check out the current consumption and offset by clicking the Green Certified logo in the bottom right of every page. Now everyone can help offset carbon emissions by using DPD.