[Plugin: WP-DownloadManager] Key protected, timthumb issues, broken "autoupdater" and more
wpDownloadManager.com / WPEden.com (appears to be the same developer)
I hate to write up reviews like this as I am a developer myself. But perhaps mine will save someone valuable time and money. I’ve been developing websites for over a decade and not a new kid on the block.
I wanted to buy this for a download repository, a directory of files to download. There aren’t many offered so this was it. My guess is most use the free version as a manager but not as a directory. What’s odd is that the “directory” view is offered as “premium add-on” to purchase. Weird but I thought it was no big deal and I’d be forgiving for the price. What a mistake.
You get painfully little in email. I immediately knew I was in trouble when I received over a dozen emails about my purchases, most looking like this:
There isn’t any information on how to set things up properly, which I learned is copy protected with key file numbers. For the Facebook addon they sell under another brand, I received no information on what needed to be done to activate. In fact there is zero documentation at all. I just discovered that the plugin wouldn’t work without some key file. I found that others were discovering this information in the forum from other users who figured this out. Amazing. The problem with encoded files means that if there are bugs in the code – and with this developer’s products there will be tons of them – you will be at their mercy to fix them. Read on.
After installing the “premium plugin” I discovered major bugs that made it hard to believe anyone is using this product. I’ll state only a few. On the back end, the text editor did not work – just a box to enter text. When I entered list data, I ended up with tons of line breaks and ul, ol and li tags spit out all over the place. It took several messages and over a week for the author just to fix this. The output was NOT USABLE. So how is this plugin updated?
Here’s a good laugh. The developer built his own autoupdater. Yes, the WordPress updater with its alerts and ease of allowing you do install or download the plugin manually is not good enough – he’s smarter. How this is supposed to automatically update your files and somehow know not to overwrite files you modified is beyond me. But that didn’t matter because neither of the two additional patches worked (my server at fault of course) and I had to manually download them from email and ftp them to my server.
Now why couldn’t I just download the latest versions of this lousy plugin from my account? I have no clue. The developer had old versions there and was email users patches since his autoupdater didn’t work. Why accounts don’t have access to the latest version is beyond me.
But it gets worse. I tried the download repository add on. There is ZERO information about how to use this “premium” add on. I’ll show you people in the forum who couldn’t believe it either, which is where I learned how to use it. This has to be the worst add-on I’ve ever seen. You stick one piece of code on a page and you get something the author envisions as useful. It looked terrible in my theme. The problem is that it’s not templated. It’s a php built page with spaghetti code and a short css file.
Every file MUST have an image. There is no way to turn this off except commenting out the code. I had to do this because the images weren’t appearing. TimThumb works perfectly for me but the developer said my server wasn’t allowing some function (yet over 100 plugins work perfectly.)
After over a week of messing around with this and discovering the encoding on products I bought, I very politely asked for a refund. This script is far too much of a hassle, I still can’t get it to look decent in my theme because of the way it is coded and I didn’t think I should be spending all this time cleaning up his “professional plugin.” For heaven’s sake, at least the purchase emails should be cleaned up and have proper install instructions and information. I gave him several opportunities. He refused. I told him that I’d write an honest review of this plugin here to let users know my experience. I suggested that he clean up the plugin and provide full disclosure as to the encoding, as well as clean up the rest. He refused:
the way you talking about your big review is not actually right 🙂 , world best sites using wpdm pro with full satisfaction and recommending this, every month more then 1000 new users choosing wpdm pro for their sites. sometimes if any such issue happens we check and fix it, while its working fine there is no meaning of refund.
The world’s best sites? He has over 1,000 pro customers per month buying this and nobody noticed? Really… It wasn’t my job to list several obvious errors and troubleshoot and, most of all, I don’t want an encoded plugin and should have had some prior disclosure. And at this point, he can explain all of this to the credit card company about how it’s all fine – and to you, my fellow wordpress users.
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