Support » Plugin: WP-Members Membership Plugin » Bait and Switch

  • They give you a free plugin that does not work with most themes. All kinds of CSS issues. In order to fix the problems of course you must spend $59.

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  • Challenge: this is one of the best free plugins available and awesome free support. Yes, CSS is not provided for all the themes that are out there but there is clear documentation on how to make changes. There is no cost to see if it works with your theme and to gauge any CSS work.

    Chad has continued to provide prompt responses to support forums for what seems like forever in web-land terms.

    There is a premium site for additional add-ins that can make life a bit easier but it is not necessary to subscribe forever if at all.

    I tried many other free and premium membership plugins and at least for my purposes this is the best free plug-in and the lowest cost premium plugin.

    Plugin Author Chad Butler


    Thanks @gdavis0007 for chiming in. I appreciate the feedback.

    I’d like to add my perceptive on this review. However, it is really difficult to respond to this kind of review and not come off sounding like a jerk. I’m not really all that concerned about sounding like a jerk to @globaldesign – we’ll likely never see nor hear from this person again. It’s evident that this person created that account for the sole purpose of masking who they really are and simply posting this one-off “review” (which is nothing more than a hit job with no useful purpose). You need merely take a look at this person’s profile to know that. The user joined at the same time they posted this review, which is their one and only participation in this forum.

    No, what’s more important is the people who come later and (hopefully) take the time to read this response, rather than simply focusing on the title of this review. Since I don’t hide behind a fake username, my name and reputation are out there for all to see.

    Do the comparison and draw your own conclusion would be the best thing I could say.

    I’ve spent 10 years involved with (and more than 10 working with WordPress) and in that time I have participated in the support forums, not only for my own plugin, but for other WordPress issues. And I have written quite a bit of documentation in the WordPress Codex as well.

    I don’t say that to pat myself on the back. I say it to point out that (1) I don’t hide behind a pseudonym/screenname and pretend to be something I’m not. I use my real name and my real identity – my reputation is built on the 60,000+ active installs of this plugin. And (2) I’ve been working with WordPress since it was still in diapers, so I know a little something about it.

    They give you a free plugin that does not work with most themes.

    I’m not sure how many themes @globaldesign actually tested this on, but I would suggest that the likelihood of that being “most” would be pretty small.

    Then there’s the question of what exactly was the issue? Does the theme they were using follow the WordPress theme review guidelines? We don’t know because they didn’t ask for help before making the unfounded claim that I am offering some kind of “bait-and-switch, try this piece of junk and I’ll sell you something better” business model.

    All kinds of CSS issues. In order to fix the problems of course you must spend $59.

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion about the plugin. What you are not entitled to is to make things up.

    Yes, I offer a premium support subscription. After years of offering absolutely free support, the number of installs and requests for support simply became too large for me to handle without resorting to a different business model.

    In the two and a half years since I made that change I have not only been cheaper than most direct “competition” (for lack of a better term), this past month was the first time I’ve increased the price of that offering.

    However, that’s not the only option. There are over 140 pages of documentation available free and without registration on the plugin’s support site. This includes documentation on how to change the stylesheet, how to load a custom stylesheet, and how to create your own.

    There are several stylesheets included with the plugin. I’ve tried to keep them as generic as possible so that they work with most themes. Yes, some of the older ones are a little clunky, but that’s because they were built on older WP themes. I keep them in there because some people still use them. At the times when WordPress releases a new default theme, I generally start working from that to add new stylesheets.

    Part of the problem beyond the fact that there are thousands of themes out there is that this plugin allows you to create as many fields of various types that you want. The bottom line is that I’ve allowed the plugin to be flexible so that you can customize the CSS any way you choose for the sole purpose that I want people who use this plugin to be able to make it look professional and fully integrated rather than looking like they are running a plugin that is one-size-fits-all.

    One star reviews are not helpful when they offer no reasonable issues. If you have chip on your shoulder about people making a living from their work, so be it. But the plugin works, and (IMHO) works well. I’m not suggesting that every review be 5 stars, but these 1 star reviews that do not give any legitimate feedback are basically useless. There are no actual examples of this person’s issue and what’s worse, there was no known effort to find a solution *before* they posted their review.

    It’s been 3+ years since I started working on 2 WordPress projects. The next one (third project) will be changing the two former projects into communitites. I’m not an expert or programmer. And I’m not a fake account.

    I’m writing here in full support of Chad Butler. I don’t know him and I found this review while searching for a good membership plugin. I have enough experience in the plugins section so I can recognize not only a good plugin (for free!) but also a good plugin author.

    There are a few plugin authors who deserve a lot more than [accusation moderated]. Chad Butler’s response should be highlighted somewhere in a distinctive place on for all to read.

    He’s not alone. There are some free plugins of astonishing value in here whose authors simply seem to be always willing to make them better, to help users and to add the best possible features just because they can. How can somebody complain of some of them willing to earn a living from their own original work?

    Is it a coincidence that these really good, honest hard-working authors have the best plugins on each field they cover, sometimes far better than some premium ones? I’m thinking of Tablepress, Multisite Language Switcher, Dynamic Widgets…

    I’m sure that, while writing his post, Chad was thinking something like “why am I doing this? For someone to come and throw some shit at me after these years?” My answer to that would be: no, for all the people that appreciate your efforts and know how to distinguish right from wrong and specially the good quality things from everything else.

    PS – I think I should try this plugin! 😉

    Forgot to mention one last thing:

    Why WordPress doesn’t take any actions regarding these kind of reviews?

    They’re clearly made only to do harm
    They’re clearly made by fake users

    Perhaps impose a label to these saying “caution with this” or “suspected fake author”?

    Moderator Andrew Nevins


    WCLDN 2018 Contributor | Volunteer support

    @goodvalley, Open a thread on the Misc. forum if you want to discuss that

    Andrew, nothing personal here but…

    After all these years, if moderators or itself need me (or anybody else) to discuss “that” by opening a new thread somewhere, you guys have a big problem.

    This is a very common, well-known issue. I can also point out the same problem going the other way round: plugin authors that try to earn money by giving a “free trial period” and then charge for using their plugin and other bad practices (even if they’re allowed, they shouldn’t be).

    There’s a lot of very talented people trying to do their best and building a reputation only to see it ruined because there are no measures to avoid it.

    Moderator Jan Dembowski


    Forum Moderator and Brute Squad

    After all these years, if moderators or itself need me (or anybody else) to discuss “that” by opening a new thread somewhere, you guys have a big problem.

    No, not really.

    See, this is a review of a plugin and you’ve gone far and wide away from that topic.

    Why WordPress doesn’t take any actions regarding these kind of reviews?

    They’re clearly made only to do harm
    They’re clearly made by fake users

    The forum moderators are very adept at spotting “these kind of reviews” and I’m sorry but this one does not qualify. It’s a short bad review. Yes, it could be better worded and articulated. But it is a review and the author replied.

    Now as this review has well and truly gone off the rails into other areas, I am closing this topic down. It’s not about the review anymore and I suggest you avail yourself of the link Andrew posted if you wish to discuss this new topic further.

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