About a year ago, 2Checkout was acquired by Avangate
and got a completely new merchant platform with its updated payment model. 2Checkout.com, Inc. was an authorized retailer of goods and services provided by miniBB.com for years, since 2005 - and since then, there were no major issues found; but those minor found, didn't bring anything crucial and were gradually fixed. It was an ideal platform to keep miniBB on wheels; and when they added PayPal as the payment option to credit cards, it made the things even better.
When opening a new 2Checkout panel back in August 2018, the first impression I've got was - a panic attack. If you get tied to something you were using for 14 years, and now this all is gone and is not replaced
by the updates, what else should you feel?.. Their support was obviously bombed by the old-time merchants like miniBB. It was too slow, and too automated.
Nothing useful for miniBB was actually ready - no private invoices, no IPN to automated the orders, incompatible order numbering system; no transparency in fees...
However 2Checkout still provides one of the moderate charges model on the market, it works well for wide range of international orders, it accepts PayPal and it still allows to transfer funds to the bank account in USD, without converting them to the currency of the country of residence.
This all makes 2Checkout still the best monetization platform for miniBB I ever found.
It took months until well-known things started to rise on 2Checkout side. They finally worked out the IPN documentation which wasn't initially ready. They added a few things from the older panel, which do not work as earlier, but they could be called "replacements". Their technical support got stronger and quicker. Payments to the bank account arrive within 24 hours. Even if I still miss few things in background, I could replicate them with my own powers. And even if there are bugs (which found are always and everywhere), I hope they won't be crucial as always.
This all allowed to give it a second chance, and by now, the following things were implemented on miniBB regarding its Premium things
- All add-ons and Buy Now links now lead to the new 2Checkout Ordering page, which contains obviously more simpler and more quicker approach of paying online. Credit Cards and PayPal still accepted; and if you are buying as a Person and not a Company, you could skip entering any private information like City, Address or Phone (like it was earlier). PayPal is just a couple of clicks buying procedure, when you have to supply nothing real but your email address.
- The Ordering page now more appeals to miniBB layout and logo.
- Easy Shopping Cart available for purchasing a few add-ons at once.
- The access granted to the private Customer Downloads area after purchasing, is now fully automated. You should receive it by email as soon as your order is accepted on 2Checkout. Usually it takes just a few minutes. Previously it was a manual process, and sometimes could be delayed. Now you are more safe on getting your orders as quickly as possible.
Here's how it looks when all add-ons are added to the Shopping Cart:
As you may see, we are making strong changes in miniBB pricing... the package of all add-ons would cost you less than $80 with a Lifetime license. Do you know a similar Premium plan any other forum software provides?..
Going further... it's still not an obvious plan, but miniBB could soon start to provide the full package in its regular view. The division called miniBB Tank
could be about the development of the Premium version of our software, which will include all
pre-installed add-ons in one package; the price still wouldn't go beyond $100. Besides of it, I was thinking about online updates subscription and development of the add-ons, which will come only and exclusively with Tank, and will not be sold separately. For example, the Bundle tool would allow to install and uninstall the selected add-ons with a mouse click on a physical level (working out the plugins file physically and not just by switching the options). The Configuration tool would provide a visual panel to configure any miniBB option, which is now done modifying a physical file. The CSS adjustment tool would include Adobe Kuler
, would allow to find out the proper colors and fonts in a couple of minutes, and that way to create a special color theme for miniBB.
It all requires a lot of work and dedicated time, so still could be called as a "dream"; but I hope dealing with the updated 2Checkout at least opens a door for staying in touch with it.
Also, like I already proposed earlier
, the new major things should be soon released on miniBB:
- The Contacts add-on - the script we use for our Contacts form
, now will be released and available to public;
- miniBB 3.4.1 should follow after.
And thank you for supporting us, to everyone who did it so far.