Support » Plugin: Custom Content Shortcode » Long-Term Support for this Plugin for Critical Website?

  • Hi All – Kind of an odd question for here but… We’ve been building out a new site that sees high traffic from across the globe daily whereby people are looking for more information about the 1,000+ products that we manufacture.

    We’ve used this plugin, in combination with ACF and Elementor, over the past few months to build our entire site and we have no backup plan for our critical product pages, where this plugin is used almost exclusively (e.g., no PHP that mimics what this plugin does… otherwise we wouldn’t need it).

    Seeing that the last update was 8 months ago, we’re looking for some reassurance that it’s safe to launch with this. I realize lots of plugins get abandoned and that’s always a risk, but this one is powering a LOT of stuff on our site and we’re a bit nervous about it. Not being true PHP programmers, does PHP itself change enough that this plugin, if abandoned, could break entirely?

    Again, odd question – just looking for some confidence here 🙂

    Thanks much,
    MT

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • I’d also like to see some kind of commitment for the plugin. There have been two-year gaps between updates in the past. Certainly there should be concern about PHP 8 support, and supporting the changes in WP that are being made in 5.6 to support PHP 8.

    I and others have suggested having a paid tier for the plugin to help cover supporting it, but Eliot (@miyarakira) has never responded concerning this idea (at least that I’ve seen). I assume he isn’t interested in making a commitment, and as long as it continues to work, he’s not investing time into it (only enough to keep it working). Taking it on commercially would probably interfere with his current job. Frankly I’m okay with that as long as it gets updated when it needs to, but I’m not running commercial sites using it, so it’s not as critical to me.

    MT,

    I have been watching the replies to your question over the last week and it seems that no-one is game enough to add any comments.

    In case there is confusion, all plugins and themes are under the GPL open source license. The exception is that icons, images, etc. within themes may be copyrighted.

    Therefore, you have the ability (or opportunity) to manage and support the plugin if you deem that it is not being supported sufficiently for your website/application. This can be done in-house or by your external contractor and should be factored into your normal running site risk assessment, mitigation, and insurance plans.

    You do hint in your post that you are not true PHP programmers and this might explain your comment that what this plugin achieves cannot be done with PHP. The plugin is actually written in PHP so all can be done, but the complexity is obviously greater than using the plugin.

    So, using the free plugin as a great starting point, I would suggest expanding you knowledge of WordPress and it’s shortcodes and hooks infrastructure so you feel more comfortable in using the plugin and understanding it’s workings and especially it’s limitations.

    Which leads into your site testings and loading measurements. I assume that you have discovered by now that shortcodes are an extremely inefficient mechanism for selecting and running code due to the repeated regex search through the text to find the shortcode(s). See https://rocketgeek.com/basics/why-you-should-not-use-do_shortcode/ and others for more information.

    So, use this plugin for RAD (Rapid Application Development) and then re-code the important and often used parts into direct PHP using the hooks of add_action and add_filter where appropriate.

    On the other hand, I am an avid developer using Divi from Elegant Themes for site theming; which uses shortcodes all the way down…

    And it works very well. There is a performance hit but a solid caching mechanism does help (and also a bigger box).

    With the recent changes to WordPress with the jQuery upgrades (WP version 5.6 – 5.8?) and with PHP 8 (with changes that are backwards incompatible to 7) this is a fair and very important question to ask all of your plugin and theme provides.

    Long story short – you have to plan for it.

    Thread Starter mpturner

    (@mpturner)

    Thanks for the detailed response, David. We understand that the plugin (and all plugins) do things that can be done via PHP proper but thanks for saying that this plugin should really be used for rapid development with a back-up plan… which we don’t have — at least where this plugin is involved.

    We were really hoping to hear from the author directly that he intends to maintain the plugin or perhaps offer a commercial solution beyond a donation but no-go so far. I suppose we’ll start looking for help to actually code the templates that are using this plugin as our back-up plan. No other plugins on our site are as critical. Unless, of course, Elementor or ACF decide to go belly-up. Could happen… probably not.

    Thanks again for the insights and advice.

    Thank you for this debate.
    I am just a graphic designer who designs small sites and such a plugin does me great service. being an old thing i’m not really ready to learn php. Knowing the durability of this plugin would be a great relief!

    I would love to see the plugin updated, but that’s up to @miyarakira to do. I know people have offered money in the past, but nothing happened. I’ve donated in the past directly, but never got any kind of response. It would be nice to know if the plugin fully supports the current version of PHP (there seems to be some indication that the [note] shortcode might not be, based on another post here. Of course, it would be nice if it was eventually updated to support PHP 8, which WordPress is moving towards, and eventually CCS will need to support. The only real feature change I would be interested in seeing, is support for Gutenberg blocks. Even a simple CCS block that contained CCS code would be useful. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve created CCS code and have the editor say there were problems, and offer to ‘fix it’ or convert it to HTML. I primarily use the shortcode block now, but it still has issues.

    Maybe we should look into a fundraising platform (that doesn’t take the money until the end of the campaign), get lots of people in here to give what they want, and then maybe Eliot will take the final amount as a payment to update the software. As mentioned, I’d like the following goals:

    – Upgrade to support PHP 8 (to insure it doesn’t break in the future)
    – Gutenberg block support

    Anyone know of a good fundraising platform that won’t take the money from people until the money is ready to be withdrawn? This would make it easier for use to get donations before we get Eliot to agree. On the other hand, if Eliot reads this and agrees in principle, we can just use any fundraising tool, even if it takes the money up front (like GoFundMe).

    I remain attentive to the following, I imagine by the thread of the support. Have a good day.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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