UPDATE 06/07/2015: This plugin is no longer being maintained by the developer. It does not appear to work at later versions of WordPress/WPEC so you will need to find an alternative invoicing plugin.
WordPress Version: 3.3.1
WP e-Commerce PDF Invoice Version: 1.2.3
Plugin Author: http://www.split-moon.com/
PDF Invoices for WP e-Commerce
The WP e-Commerce (WPEC) plugin despite being a feature packed plugin does have some missing functionality. This provides an opportunity for 3rd party developers to produce plugins to fill in the blanks (so to speak).
One area of missing functionality is in producing customer invoices. The closest thing to an invoice that WPEC has is the packing slip but it’s very basic in it’s presentation. It is however the only emailable document that WPEC produces with the correct details on it – the auto generated emails WPEC sends currently exclude Tax/Shipping – UPDATE: Tax and shipping can be added to WPEC emails at 22.214.171.124.2.
WP e-Commerce PDF Invoice is a premium plugin so you need to purchase a copy from the developer to receive a download link. Once downloaded the plugin can be installed in WP using the usual zip unload function.
After installing and activating PDF Invoices it’s Options page can be found in the WPEC Products menu. In addition to supplying contact details you can add persoanlsed text to the invoice footer and importantly can add your company logo.
The sales log pages of WPEC will now show “Download Invoice” and “Send Invoice to customer” links. I only use “Download Invoice” and send it with a personalised email which affords me the option to add specials/updates/banners to the email if I wish.
The plugin developer is active in supporting users of his plugin.
Why buy an Invoicing plugin:
I believe it’s crtical that I provide my customers with professional looking invoices which have all the correct details on them and WPEC does not provide this functionality. Additionally, as an ecommerce retailer every email I send is an opportunity to market and build my brand so the addition of having my own logo on my invoices is essential. After having previously been hand-writing my invoices this plugin has halved the amount of time I spend processing my orders and reduced my invoice error rate (typo’s/cut/paste mistakes etc) to zero.
There are other 3rd party WPEC invoicing plugins available. The other one I looked at was from Visser Labs. I chose PDF Invoices from Split Moon for the reason that I like that the Billing and Shipping sections were side-by-side whereas Printable Invoices from Visser Labs has them stacked on top of each other.
Here’s a few suggestions I think would improve the PDF Invoices plugin in later releases.
(1) Include the Invoice number in the Subject of auto generated emails.
(2) If the WPEC order status is Accepted Payment or higher then include the word PAID in large caps on the invoice.
(3) Allow the use of HTML in the footer text field.
(4) Provide an option to turn on/off automatic emails.
(5) Include an option to setup the body text for the automatic emails.
The PDF Invoices plugin is easy to install and use so I’m happy to recommend it.
There have been a couple of things I’ve contacted the developer about and he’s been quick to respond with solutions. I encountered issues with uploading my logo and getting it to appear on my invoices. The former is fixed at version 1.2.3. The latter required a simple one word code change and is not a problem for everybody – it depends on your web hosting. In the plugin I commented out the filter which enables automatic sending of invoices as I like to send personalised emails.
I use the plugin in one shop and it works out of the box. But it’s not possible to change the layout of the invoice without modifying the core files of the plugin. In my home country we use a different order for the address fields and the customer didn’t like the invoice layout.
For this reason I developed another invoice plugin that uses the WordPress editor to customize the invoice template in wysiwyg mode with placeholder fields integrated in tinymce.
Shop admins who need more customization should definitly try it. http://haet.at/wp-e-commerce-styled-pdf-invoice/
Thanks for letting us know about your invoicing plugin. The level of user customization it offers looks excellent as it’s always problematic if you have to hack the code to make simple changes. I’m not sure if PDF Invoices from Split-Moon is 100% compliant with Australian tax law for GST registered users so depending on what needs changing I may end up looking into purchasng your product.