If you’re looking for some software to run your affiliate program, chances are that you’ll have come across iDevAffiliate.

iDevAffiliate is software that you usually install on your own web server (the most economical way) or if your hosting setup is a pain in the neck then you can use their hosting solution.

idevaffiliateThe iDevAffiliate software is well supported and comes with a year’s worth of upgrades included in the price. Support is by email or – if that can’t resolve an issue – then it gets escalated to phone support. The email support is responsive and helpful.

So, what can iDevAffiliate do for you?

The quick answer is that iDevAffiliate can completely run your affiliate program for you.

You’ll need to set things up – it’s not like Clickbank where you sign up for an account, wait for approval and get issued with a hoplink to give to affiliates. iDevAffiliate is much more flexible than that.

You can use near enough any payment system in existence. There’s a whole list on their site of systems that are supported “off the shelf” and there are ways of integrating near enough any other system. So whether you’re using PayPal, Google Checkout, E-Junkie, 2CheckOut or a shed load of other payment processors, you should be covered.

iDevAffiliate also integrates with near enough any shopping cart from free systems such as Zen Cart through to other options such as 1ShoppingCart and AMember. So if you’ve spent time and effort getting your shopping cart up and running and now want to add an affiliate program, iDevAffiliate is definitely a system to look at.

Payments are completely customisable. You can pay a fixed amount per sale or a percentage. You can pay affiliates per sale or per lead. And you can pay them once or on a recurring basis.

You can choose to offer a tiered commission system so that affiliates get commission for other affiliates they introduce. Just make sure that you stay within the terms of service of companies like PayPal who aren’t fans of that idea.

iDevAffiliate also lets you offer higher payouts to affiliates who introduce lots of business to you.

Setting up iDevAffiliate is straightforward but it’s worth going through all the settings and making sure that they are all correct. You’ll need to allow yourself some time to do this.

Installing iDevAffiliate on 1&1 hosting

One problem I encountered installing the software is that that it is protected by ionCube. It’s not a problem if your host supports that (most do) but I happen to use 1&1 for the hosting that I wanted to run iDevAffilliate on and 1&1’s hosting is non-standard (to put it nicely). In common with most of the sites I found, the instructions 1&1 give for loading ionCube are out of date – they refer to a file called ioncube-loader-helper.php that does not get installed in the standard installation and doesn’t come with the latest downloads either. This seems to have been replaced by a file called loader-wizard.php which is invaluable in identifying problems – just upload it to the problem folder and run it. It will then tell you why ionCube isn’t working in that folder and what you need to do to fix the problem.

1&1 require you to create a file called php.ini and place this in the root folder of your domain. On 1&1 hosting the iDevAffiliate installation needs this php.ini file in any folder that runs the program files – the main directory, install directory, etc. Essentially anywhere you get an error message. Once I got over that issue with the help of 1&1 support and the loader-wizard.php file, all was well.

Overall verdict

iDevAffiliate is a cheap but highly flexible way to run an affiliate program. It will do all the laborious background work of checking affiliate sales and it will run the processes necessary to pay out affiliates, including creating a PayPal mass payment file if you want it to. It’s well supported – tech support is fast and helpful.

You can check out all its features before you buy with the online demo and they also answer any pre-sales questions you may have promptly as well.

Click here to take a look further at iDevAffiliate.