The Problem

If you’re selling digital products, then having a licence key extension is important. The WooCommerce software add-on offers you the chance to manage license keys and activations via your store.

The Solution

If you’re selling digital products, then having a licence key extension is important. The WooCommerce software add-on offers you the chance to manage license keys and activations via your store. For those who are selling software, using license keys helps prevent your software from being copied, shared or otherwise pirated by non-licensed users.

To use the license keys, you need to create software products and integrate your software/web app with the API (optional). The license key add-on has the following uses:

  1. You can offer a limited trial as a download on your website and then allow customers can access the full version with a license key.
  2. Stop people from sharing the download link and provide a license that is unique to each user. 

There are usually three types of license keys: 

Activation key

If you’re selling software, you’ll likely be using an activation key. The activation key ensures that people have purchased your software legally. 

For example, you’re selling a software product. A customer would purchase this product online and the activation key would automatically be generated. The customer would install your software at home and enter the activation key. 

The licensing key will have the following information:  

  • A product ID
  • Expiry date
  • Expiry duration

Computer key

This license key is bound to a specific computer. It embeds and encrypts a unique identifier of the computer in the license key. Most users prefer this method because the key cannot be reused or replicated on other computers (unless they have the same unique identifier). A computer key packs the same information as the activation key, and also includes the unique computer identifier.

Generic key

As the name suggests, the generic keys are not bound to a specific computer. This type of key can pre-generate a large set of keys and be distributed to all customers. The disadvantage is that any user who gets access to a key can use it on any computer. 

Installation

  1. Download the .zip file from your WooCommerce account.
  2. Go toWordPress Admin > Plugins > Add New and Upload Plugin with the file you downloaded with Choose File.
  3. Install Now and Activate the extension.

Once you’ve activated the extension, you’ll have the chance to manage and activate license keys. You’ll have access to the following:

  • Product ID: A string to identify this product. This is used by the API and should be unique to the software you sell.
  • License key prefix: Optionally prefix generated license keys with this string.
  • Secret key:  A random string that acts as the secret key. When creating keys via the API, you need to provide this string.
  • Version: Version number for your software.
  • Activation limit: How many times the user can activate this software. Leave blank to impose zero limits.

With the license key overview, you’ll be able to view all the licenses in the system, the product they belong to, and view all data stored within a specific license. You can access this panel via WooCommerce > License Keys


WooCommerce