Blendle Button plugin by Reporters Online – FAQ
Please note: this plugin works all over the world, but people need a Blendle account to pay for articles.
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Q: What’s the RO Blendle Button plugin?
A: A WordPress plugin that allows you to install the 1-click payment system developed by Blendle, Blendle Button, on your site, so people can buy your articles. This system was launched in 2015 and is a work in progress. It's excellent, but not everything you might want to do with a micropayment system for media is possible at this time. It will be possible in the near future. See below for what you can and can't do with it.
Q: What is Blendle?
A; A Dutch digital digital newsstand that launched in The Netherlands in 2014 and recently in Germany. They will launch in the US in 2016.
Q: What is Reporters Online?
A: A Dutch cooperation that provides services to freelance journalists. Chief among those services: publication of your articles in Blendle and other digital newsstands, and this plugin.
A lot of the stuff below, possibly with the exception of 'Money', is mainly of interest to advanced users or web developers. What you NEED to know to sell articles on your site with this plugin is:
- Register with Reporters Online, otherwise the Blendle Button plugin won't work. You must enter the website you want to sell articles on.
- We'll send you an email with the download link to our plugin. This may take some time, and check your junkmail folder...
- Install the plugin. You'll see RO Blendle Button on your WordPress dashboard. (More on how to install plugins: here... This one needs to be uploaded manually for now)
- Enter your Reporters Online user name (NOT your mailadres, your user name) and password under 'Login'. And save.
- Check the 'Pay with Blendle' button on existing or new posts if you want to charge readers for your work. Uncheck this button if you don't want to charge them.
- Now people can buy articles on your site if they have a Blendle account. Or they can get an account and then buy your articles.
Sell articles on your site with the Blendle Button plugin
Q: How can I get the plugin?
A: You need to register with us.
Q: How does it work?
A: After registration with Reporters Online (free), we’ll send you the plugin. This can take up to 24 hours because we have to do some checking first. Upload the zip-file as you would with any other plugin. Afterwards, just check the button ‘Pay with Blendle’ on regular posts (it won't work on pages, and will work only on custom posts that use the WP database the regular way) and you’re good to go.
Q: Why do I have to register with you?
A: Because we don’t want you selling anything illegal with it, so we check your site or sites. And besides: we can’t pay your royalties if we don’t know who you are.
Q: Can my readers pay with other systems than Blendle?
A: For now: no. Simply because there is no other good way of paying small amounts for content than Blendle Button. If somebody else figures out something that’s useful: we’ll add it immediately.
Q: Can I set my own prices?
Q: What prices are available for articles?
A: Defaults for Reporters Online are: €0,29 for short articles (less than 600 words, below 400 words it's €0,19), €0,69 for longer articles. Beware: posts without words (just images, for example, or video) will have a default price of zero, unless you set a price manually. You can set prices in the dropdown within the 'Pay with Blendle' box. To adjust the price after publication: set a new price and save..Please note that this will only work on your own site. Articles published IN Blendle through our 'Send to Blendle'-service will have the default RO prices. More informatiion: see here.
Q: Can I make paid articles available for free?
A: Sure, just uncheck the ‘Pay with Blendle’ button. Or get a link in the 'Pay with Blendle' box that allows you to share a buttoned article for free.
Q: Can I use this plugin on pages and custom posts?
A: Not on pages (why would you?), it should work on most custom posts. Regular gallery- and video posts will work.
Q: My readers are used to free content. How will they react to paid content?
A: You will certainly get some reactions, your more loyal readers will understand that you need to be paid for your work and will be happy to see less advertising on your site. Keep in mind that anybody who buys an article with Blendle and is not satisfied with it can get his or her money back.
Publish your articles IN Blendle
Q: What is the ‘Send to Blendle’ button for?
A: It sends your article to Reporters Online for publication in Blendle. This may take some time, because we have to do some technical checks, mostly on images, before passing it on. Please enter your RSS or Atom feed on your profile to make it work on our side and notify us if you want to use this service: email@example.com.
Q: Can I send any article to Blendle?
A: If there isn’t anything illegal in it: yes. It has to meet certain technical requirements though, the two most important are: use large images (.jpg or .png), and keep in mind that Blendle is not exactly made for multimedia. Video embedding won’t work, for example, and neither will anything more advanced than that. For more details, see our CMS manual (you need an account for that).
Q: Should I use that button?
A: If you want to reach an audience of 600.000 plus and growing fast, the answer is probably yes..
Other plugin questions
Q: Can I sell subscriptions with this plugin?
Q: Can I sell file downloads with this plugin, for example ebooks?
A: No. This plugin is meant for selling content ON websites, not for downloads. There are many alternatives available for selling ebooks etc.
Q: I am a publisher, not a freelance journalist. Can I use your plugin?
Settings & Overview
- Please enter your Reporters Online user name and password. If you don't have an account, get it here. And save. If you see the message 'Please authenticate first in the Plugin settings' on your posts, you need to (re-)enter your RO account at the plugin Login.
- 'Readable bij admin': check this if you want the Blendle Button turned off for admins.
- 'Readable by all users except subscribers': check this if you want the Blendle Button turned off for all logged in users except WordPress subscribers to your site. use this if you want contributors to read for free.
- 'Readable by all users': any logged in user can read articles for free.
- 'Choose button language': Options are Dutch, English and German.
- 'How many paragraphs should be displayed for free?' Enter the number of paragraphs that are freely available for readers in your articles.
- 'Exclude paid-for articles from feed?' This removes articles with the Blendle Button checked from your rss feed(s), so people can't read it for free through your feed.
- 'Force script on all pages': this could be helpful if your theme can load complete single articles in fancy places, for example your front page. This setting will not always work. If you have server load problems: uncheck this.
- 'Disable article update timestamp: turn this on if updating article prices (not setting prices, but updating prices already set) causes problems on your site or server.
- Articles: articles where you have checked the Blendle Button or the Send to Blendle buton are marked with green boxes.
- 'Reload scripts': useful if your posts contains scripts that need to reload after loading the Blendle Button. This may work out of the box and will work better after further updates of the plugin. If it doesn't work, you can enter the scripts that need reloading here manually. Don't do this if you don't know what you're doing and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help!
- If you happen to have your own Blendle publisher account, you can enter your keys here. These are available in your Blendle dashboard. Check the 'Use keys' button, if you don't the RO keys will be used. RO authors cannot use this option.
Q: Does this plugin work on wordpress.com sites?
A: No. You need a self-hosted WordPress site.
Q: Can I use my own CSS on the payment button?
A: For now: no. We will add this when we can (we’re depending on Blendle for it).
Q: On what (WordPress) sites will this plugin work?
A: Most sites and themes should work, but you need WordPress 3.1.3 or higher. If it doesn't work or if you encounter plugin conflicts: please mail us at email@example.com. For security reasons you have to use a PHP-version of 5.3 or higher. Contact you hosting company if you need an upgrade.
Q: Can I put the entire article on my front page?
A: Yes, but the button will only work on the post itself, not on what you put on the front page. So if you put an entire story on the front page (not a good idea anyway), it won't have the button.
Q: Does the button have a sticker, button, logo, text or whatever on my front page to indicate which articles are paid and which are free?
A: We may add a setting for that eventually, but even if we do chances are it won't work on your site. There are thousands of WordPress themes around, it's nearly impossible to get such a button to work properly on all of them. Best solution (for now, and probably forever) is to add text manually - 'Pay with Blendle' for example.
Q: Will this plugin work with cached articles?
A: It should work, but it may be a problem. This plugin is meant for personal sites that don't need caching. If you have a website big enough to need plugins like Supercache or W3 and experience problems with caching, please mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we can probably work out a solution.
Q: Will you make this plugin available for other content management systems?
A: For now: no.
Q: How can I reach you for support?
A: We prefer to handle all Blendle Button plugin questions in a Facebook group (mainly Dutch, but English spoken). This keeps communication efficient. For complicated issues: mail us at email@example.com, response will be significantly less fast.
Q: What is your response time for support?
A: On Facebook, 18/7 nearly realtime (Amsterdam CET, the other six are for sleeping).
Q: Is there a support forum?
A: No. Please use Facebook.
Known plugin, theme and other bugs & conflicts
Please notify us if you encounter problems at firstname.lastname@example.org, this will help us to improve the plugin. And/or use the WordPress plugin forum.
As of now (11/02/2017)
- This plugin will sometimes cause problems if you add scripts (slideshows, pop-ops, lightboxes etc.) to your posts. A lot of these problems, but probably not all, can be solved by using the settings as described above and by entering scripts manually. Please contact us for support.
- This plugin may cause occasional site performance problems with various types of specific server settings of your hosting company.
- This plugin may have occasional login problems at Reporters Online because of various types of specific server settings of your hosting company. It's rare, but it happens.
- Things will go wrong if you use TIFF images.
- This plugin may cause (small) design conflicts with related content plugins and -widgets and other stuff you add to the end of your posts.
- Like any other external plugin, this one doesn't work on wordpress.com websites.
Q: How can I see my sales?
A: We' mail you and update each quarter. You can ask for your results anytime, we'll respond as soon as we can. Publications with their own Blendle publisher account can check their sales themselves.
Q: How will I get my royalties?
A: Before we can pay your royalties we need your bank account data, we'll mail you about it/ You only need to do this the first quarter you publish articles through Reporters Online (or if your bank account changes..).
We need a minimum of 30 days after each quarter for payments. For more information see our Terms and Conditions.
Q: How much royalties will I get?