RetroPlatform Affiliate Program
As the maintainers of a number of RetroPlatform-related projects and web sites, we understand that even a "free" site dedicated to topics such as history, emulation or classic computing and gaming takes a lot of time and resources to maintain, and can have high hosting and bandwidth costs. The RetroPlatform Affiliate Program aims to support the ecosystem of related sites by sharing a commission on referrals that result in a sale.
To get up and running, complete these following steps:
- Sign up with an e-commerce partner
- Get a RetroPlatform affiliate tag
- Place the affiliate tag in URLs and software installers
For the e-commerce side of our projects we always had a strong priority on quality and security, which is why we chose to work with worldwide leaders in e-commerce services, rather than doing things in-house. This also makes it possible to offer a sophisticated affiliate service and management solution, which allows web site owners to be rewarded for their work and product referrals.
While the RetroPlatform affiliate system uses provider-neutral tags, you first need to sign up with an e-commerce provider, who takes care of all administrative requirements, including payments.
Service features include:
- No monthly or fixed costs
- Style Editor to optionally adapt the order process to the style of your web site
- Monthly reports
- EU VAT taken care of by the e-commerce provider
- Payments issued to you directly by the e-commerce provider
To sign up for the service and get your Affiliate ID (numerical ID for logon and Control Panel use only, not for public URLs):
If you already activated an affiliate account you can log on with your numerical Affiliate ID and password:
The affiliate tag is an alphabetic string generated by the RetroPlatform system after the affiliate registration is processed by the e-commerce partner. The RetroPlatform system does not directly expose the ID of the e-commerce provider (which may change over time), but rather exposes the RetroPlatform tag and only uses the corresponding e-commerce ID internally. After registering with the e-commerce provider, please contact us to obtain a RetroPlatform tag. Be sure to mention the ID provided by the e-commerce partner and a suggested text string to be used for the RetroPlatform tag. This tag will then be enabled for all purposes, including URLs, cookies and software installers.
Once your affiliate account is active and you have a RetroPlatform tag, you can use it in URL arguments like "affiliate=tag". This is a provider-independent string, not the ID tied to the e-commerce provider. Please do not use the low-level internal URLs listed in the control panel of the e-commerce provider, because the product codes may change as new software versions are released, and even the provider may change. You will still be able to monitor sales from the e-commerce provider's Control Panel, because your RetroPlatform affiliate tag is mapped to your affiliate account (in the final order redirection steps you can indeed briefly notice the internal ID being used).
Affiliate Tag in URLs
RetroPlatform sites such as Amiga Forever and C64 Forever support affiliate tags in incoming links at their home page (site root) and purchasing pages (/shop/ and /store/ addresses). Incoming referrals with tags are parsed, and the affiliate tag is stored in a site-specific cookie. The URL can optionally be formatted to forward (redirect) directly to a shopping cart page.
For Amiga Forever, these are the three product URLs (Value, Plus or Premium editions of Amiga Forever, respectively):
If you prefer to link to the product selection page you can use this URL:
Or, use this URL to link to the home page:
The corresponding C64 Forever URLs are similar (note the "plus" and "plus-boxed" product names, and the "/store/" directory name which is different from that of Amiga Forever):
The "redirect=1" argument is optional, and serves to skip the product selection page, going directly to the shopping cart page.
Even if you link to the home page, and the user navigates elsewhere, your affiliate tag is preserved in the cookie.
Affiliate Tag in Cookies
Once a site receives an incoming link that uses an affiliate-enabled URL, the affiliate tag is stored in a cookie for two weeks. If the user later visits the site again and places an order, the affiliate tag is honored even if not present in the URL.
Each site has a test page where you can view the affiliate tags and the corresponding private e-commerce affiliate ID:
Affiliate Tag in Software Installer
The installer of the free Express Edition software has the ability to manage the RetroPlatform affiliate tag, writing it into the registry at setup time, and later placing it in the order URL when the user clicks one of the Buy Now buttons that are exposed in the software. This ensures that when an Express Edition that is offered for download by one of our partners is upgraded, the partner is compensated.
To associate the affiliate tag to the download, simply rename the installer file name, so that the affiliate tag appears after a final "-" (hyphen) or "_" (underscore) character. The initial part of the file name, as well as numerical characters, are ignored.
AFSetup_AmiCat.msi -> "affiliate=amicat"
20090618_C64ForeverSetup-citrus.msi -> "affiliate=citrus"
20090618_C64ForeverSetup-citrus64.msi -> "affiliate=citrus"
AFSetup.msi -> "affiliate=" (no affiliate)
Amiga Forever banners and other graphics:
Software that is installed with an affiliate tag also has the ability to use an affiliate's custom skin, rather than the default skin. This requires a software (RetroPlatform Player) version that supports multiple skins, expected for release in 2010.
It is further possible to customize the included content, the supported emulation engines, and the content that can be played back by the player.
The affiliate system aims to encourage new sales and rewards sites that ultimately "convince" a user to buy.
For the sake of maximum transparency, please be aware of the following limitations:
- The affiliate cookie is site-specific (Amiga Forever and C64 Forever may each have an independent and different affiliate cookie), so linking to one RetroPlatform site is per se not sufficient to get credited for sales on another site
- The affiliate cookie contains one affiliate tag only (the tag of the last referrer prevails over a previous one, if set)
- A tag set in a software-originated Buy Now URL works like all other URLs, i.e. it may prevail over a previous cookie-stored tag (if set)
- If the user disables cookies, which by our metrics is not frequent, the system continues to work when the tag is present in the url (but does not work for spontaneous later visits)
- Products available under the affiliate program are listed in the e-commerce provider's control panel (because the program aims to incentivate new customers, reduced-price upgrades from previous versions may not be included)