This plugin has potential, but there are a few show stoppers that I wanted to share with anyone spending time testing all the newsletter plugins out there. I addressed these directly with the developers, and they say they’re taking them into consideration. If these things are addressed I will update my comments here. In the meantime, I hope this gives some insight and saves you some time. Hopefully all of these things will be addressed very soon.
The biggest thing is that it doesn’t fully support names. Yup, names. As in, your subscribers’ names. You can collect their email addresses, but not their names. Unless you want to manually enter them in the admin screen. Obviously that’s unmanageable. Being able to collect subscriber names is a core feature of any newsletter software. It ranks near the top in importance, yet it doesn’t exist here.
Also the code has been minified to render it obfuscated, making it practically impossible to know what it does, or to modify if it needed, a key trait of GPL software. I believe this also violates #4 on the WordPress plugin guidelines listed at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/about/guidelines/ .
You cannot control the display of the subscription forms so that they match your site design. It inserts an unintelligible block of base64 encoded text into your post or page.
It’s also apparent by looking at writing style that the developers are spending time on these forums generating fake reviews. The sad thing is, if they’d implement name support, allow for customization of the form display, and stop compressing the code to make it unintelligible, they wouldn’t need to do this.
It would be the best newsletter plugin around.
Sad but not entirely true I’m afraid.
We do not spend time to create fake reviews on this forum, most of our time is spent in supporting users of the plugin.
When somebody on our support is happy with our work we ask them to take few minutes of their time to rate our work, that’s about it. Now you can call that fake reviews if you like but I don’t believe it’s true.
Our code is not obfuscated and once again I explained you why we minified it at the first place, to stay at a low size package and to ease our work when supporting users asking for help, making sure the code hasn’t been altered in anyway. I also told you that if you wanted a full zip with all the commented code you could ask we were glad to provide it. If that’s not GPL then I don’t know what it is.
Now I can feel a lot of frustration in your comment, I’m sorry we’re not providing all the great features you’re asking for at the moment. But please be patient we’re all working night and day to make it a better plugin. Yesterday Was a bug fix release mainly to improve the current user experience. Next release will be of features. I planned to put the part about the HTML subscription form customization, we will see about the subscriber name.
Minified code is essentially obscure, unclear, and unintelligible… the definition of obfuscated. And yes, you provided a link to the non-minified version at my request, but why must I do this every single time an update comes out? Would you mind offering a link on the plugin home page that always links directly to the latest non-obfuscated version? This would be most helpful.
Sorry for my frustration. I really want to use your plugin, and after spending hours testing it and others, I had to pass on using yours. The single biggest reason? That I couldn’t collect subscriber names. Otherwise you have a great plugin and my frustration is that I can’t use it! 🙂
Mindctrl, thanks for reaching out. I’m Kim, another dude who works on Wysija.
As for code minification, it is actually recommended for speed reasons. Many plugins offer minification (ie, W3 Total Cache), and Google considers it positively in its rankings. WordPress isn’t against it either. It’s to the discretion of the coders to decide what to minify. Our plugins has thousands of line of code, and optimization is an important aspect of our plugin.
This said, we have made our code much clearer in this latest release. And we plan to improve it in time.
As for collecting names, we will include it. We just launched 3 weeks ago officially, so we’re very new. Forgive us for not bringing all the food to your first banquet.
We had to prioritize our features for the first release, and first names and last names didn’t make it. Why? I’ve subscribed to hundreds of mailinglists in the past few years, and never did I have to enter my first name or last name. I’ll go further, I’m annoyed when I have to enter more then my email. This said, my partners in crime are eager to put it in the code so we can fully incorporate other membership and ecommerce plugins.
As for suggesting that we fake reviews, instead of coding, that’s slander. Or a direct insult to our 2 coders. You can’t choose. It’s both. We’re very new and eager, so of course we ask our happy users to go and vote and give a good word.
So, you did find a better solution then us. Great! What is it? 🙂
Hey kgjerstad, thanks for the reply.
I aware of the reasons for code minification, but I feel it’s better left to plugins like W3 Total Cache – giving the option to the site owner on whether or not it’s done. Sometimes it’s nice and/or a requirement to be able to easily modify or hook into a plugin to make changes so that it meets my needs. Since the whole WordPress package is not minified, I don’t see there’s much performance advantage to running a single plugin minified. Those who seek to increase performance would certainly run something like W3 and gain it across the board. Perhaps you guys would be more comfortable not minifying the plugin if you hadn’t included the premium features within the standard plugin, protected by a couple lines of code?
I think it would be great if you could always have the latest version available or your web site that hasn’t been minified.
I understand your feelings about entering your name for a mailing list. I feel the same way in most cases. I think that’s a trait of geeks more so than non-geek people. Some mailing lists need the intimacy that comes from knowing your subscribers’ names. I look forward to it being added to your plugin.
Currently I’m using ALO Easymail, not necessarily because it’s better, but because it meets my needs for this project. That is, it supports collecting subscriber names and it has clean code that can be hooked so that it fits within the visual design of the site it’s on.
Starting from the next version, we’ve decided we will package our code non minified.
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