bull always charges...
On a Friday evening, not too long ago, I was lamenting the shortcomings of the various services I've used to sell my digital book from my personal website. Digital goods sales should be a solved problem by now, but I ran into all sorts of issues when trying to send updates to customers and integrate properly with Google Analytics.
Long story short, I
took two hours and wrote a replacement using Python, Flask, SQLAlchemy, and
Stripe (as the payment processor).
bull is to set up on your own domain. Why
does the fact that
bull runs on your own domain matter? Because it
makes Google Analytics happy and report conversions properly.
The only things you need to get started using
bull are a Stripe account (free)
and a web server (free?).
pip install bull. This installs the
bullcommand, which helps setup your environment
bull setup. This creates a directory named
bullwith the following contents:
app.py: the main application script.
get_appcan be used to run
bullas a WSGI application
bull's configuration file. This must be edited to contain your installation-specific configuration details.
filesdirectory: The directory that contains the files for your digital products
- Add product entries to the database (use
scripts/populate_dbas a model)
- (Optional) Create an admin user for viewing
bullto your web server's configuration
- Profit! (...literally)
Analytics and Login
bull supports simple sales analytics at the
It requires authorization, which in turn requires you to create (at
least one) user using the
scripts/create_user.py script. To see the
/login, log in, and from then on you can go directly to
/reports to see reporting data. You should be good to go after that,
and no one else will be able to see the reports.
If for some reason you need to logout, there is also a
endpoint which will log you out (which should use HTTP POST instead of
GET, but whatever).
- Email addresses and sales totals of recent purchases
- Sales data broken down by calendar day
- Sales charts based on revenue/units sold per day
Overriding Default Templates
Simply create a
templates directory and create a file of the same name as the
template you want to replace.
bull has a (small) suite of tests that are run via TravisCI, but can (and should)
also be tested manually once installed. Run
python app.py and browse to
You should see a single "Buy" button, which should be completely functional
(assuming you have at least one product in your database).
Enter Stripe's test credit card number (4242 4242 4242 4242). You should be
successfully directed to a "success.html" page with your download link. If your
product is in the
files directory, you'll be able to download it by clicking
app.py in production. The web server it uses is not meant for such
a purpose. Instead, deploy as you would normally deploy an WSGI application. See
Flask's documentation on the subject.
Still need to add better documentation and (possibly) deployment information.
All of this is coming. I just wanted to get
bull out as fast as possible
so that those who know what they're doing can make use of it.