Hello and welcome back! In this video we’ll be talking about configurations. Configurations are the foundations for your apps and your business. In our Admin Control Panel video, we created our first basic Trial Configuration. Today, I’ll be reviewing that as well as take a closer look at how you can use Configurations to build your business. Let’s get started.
Configurations: Your Business Foundation
From our Admin Control Panel video, it should be obvious why Configurations are the foundation for your app. If you don’t create a configuration, then you can’t build an app. But what do I mean by Configurations being the foundation of your business?
Let’s break this down into three categories: Configuration Type, Plugins, and Publishing Platforms.
First off, there are two types of Configurations: Trial and Premium.
Trial configurations create apps that cannot be published, don’t count against your account, and are unlimited. As such, you will most likely use trial configurations to build out an app BEFORE you are ready to publish it. This ensures that you are not charged for the app until you are 100% sure you are ready to publish.
Premium configurations create apps that can be published and therefore will count as a paid app on your account. They are limited to the number of apps available on your specific plan. Premium apps also come with an option to enable or disable push notifications.
Not to worry, once you are ready to publish an app that has a trial configuration, you can easily upgrade the app configuration to a premium configuration in the app management tab.
Now you can choose which Plugins are available in what configurations. Like I mentioned in the Customer Control Panel video, Plugins are the individual functions and features for your app. Your configuration is the foundation and the plugins are the building blocks you build on top of the foundation.
And finally, within the Premium configuration, you can choose which platforms to publish on — Android, iPhone, Android Tablets, iPads, and Website/HTML5. These are the mediums through which your app can be accessed and used. We will only publish to the platforms that you select in this area.
Tiering your Business by Configuration
Now things get interesting once you start combining these three categories together. Maybe for your Trial configuration, you only include Plugin A and B, but not Plugin C. Plugin C will be unlocked once your customer pays you. And perhaps you’ll have 3 Premium configurations differentiated by which platform the app is published on — one for iPhones and iPads, one for Android phones and tablets, and one that includes everything plus the Website/HTML5 app, or even by whether or not push notifications are included. This is called tiering your business — where you create different packages for your customers that have different levels of configuration access, depending on what they choose or pay for.
As you can see, you can get super creative here. I’ve just given you a couple ideas to start. Now, let’s move onto creating a configuration.
Creating a Configuration
To create a configuration, click Add New Configuration.
This will take you to this screen with fields you’ll have to fill out in order to create the configuration you want.
First thing you have to do is give your Configuration a title. Make sure the name properly reflects what you are trying to create. If you decide to tier your business like I mentioned above, I recommend giving them easy to remember names, like Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum. You can also call them something more methodical like Trial A, Trial B, Premium A, Premium B — decide on whichever method works for you.
Next we have all of the Plugins you can select for your plugins. Choose to your heart’s content.
About this field, an Upgrade button is basically a button your customer can click on to upgrade their account from Trial and Premium, and therefore start paying you. This function is only applicable if you have the DIY plan. If you don’t, we recommend keeping it as hidden.
As for Intercom, you will need Intercom integrated into Buildfire under Settings > API Keys in order to have access to this. If you have integrated Intercom, then click “Show”. Again, unless you are using the DIY system We recommend keeping this option as hidden as well.
Select “Trial” for Your First Configuration
Now if this is your first configuration we suggest that you select Trial. Why?
There are 3 reasons why your first configuration should be a Trial one.
- Trial configurations will not count towards the limited number of apps available with your plan. All premium configurations, and therefore premium apps based on those configurations, will count towards this limit.
- Trial configurations cannot be published to the app stores, and therefore give you (and your client) the flexibility to play with the app design and build before having to pay for it.
- You can move from a Trial configuration to a Premium configuration, but you cannot go from a Premium configuration to a Trial configuration.
After you create a Trial configuration, feel free to create Premium configurations by selecting “Premium” instead of “Trial. Once you click on Premium, you’ll see other options show up.
Under Platforms Included, select whichever publishing platforms you want depending on your business tier. For the field about allowing app owners to add or remove plugins, this refers to a feature that will be available in the future, so just leave that as hide for now. We’ll go over it in a future video.
Set the Publish button to “Show”. This will allow you (and your client) to see and click the publish button when you are ready to submit your app to the app stores.
Push Notifications are the messages that an app can send directly to your phone. Here is where you can choose to enable or disable them. You can use this feature to help tier your business as well.
Offline Mode will allow your users to access their app without an internet connection. We recommend that you use this feature as an upsell.
When you’re done, don’t forget to click Save. Now you have a Premium Configuration!
How to Upgrade from Trial to Premium Configuration
Now, let’s say a customer of yours wants to upgrade their app, or you’re done building your app and now you’d like to publish it to the app store. To do this, you’ll have to change your app’s configuration from Trial to Premium. You can do this by going to App Management, clicking on Manage, and clicking the drop-down menu under Configurations. Select the Premium configuration that you’d like to change the app to and you’re all set with a Premium app! Now your app is just Premium — it is not published to the app stores yet. To learn how to publish your app, please see our video “Publishing Your App”.
And that’s pretty much it for Configurations! You’ve learned how to use configurations to tier your business, how to create a configuration, and how to upgrade from a Trial to a Premium configuration. As always, if you have any questions feel free to email our white label support team at email@example.com. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next video!
Watch the next video in the series here.