Support » Plugin: WP eCommerce » Support Explanation

  • Plugin Author Justin Sainton


    A quick note on support and some of the haters (gonna hate!).

    Quick disclosure.

    1) I’m not employed by Instinct, the company behind the plugin. I don’t personally provide “support” for the plugin.

    2) I am an author on the plugin – I’m the only author of it that isn’t employed by Instinct. I spend a lot of time, unpaid, making this plugin better.

    So, some support education –

    1) There’s a lot of great e-commerce options available. If you look at the free ones, none of them provide stellar support. It’s a hard thing to provide support for a small free plugin – try providing support for a free plugin that has been downloaded 2.1 million times. Even the strictly paid plugins (Cart66, Shopp, etc.) leave quite a bit to be desired in the support realm.

    2) The support Instinct does provide has gotten better in the last year or so. They’ve been working on it. Does it still suck sometimes? Sure. I have yet to work with any company that has a 100% track record.

    3) Someone mentioned all the 1-star ratings. Quick thought on that – WPeC was the very first plugin around (by several years) that handled general e-commerce. The first version was released for WP 1.5. Take five minutes and go install 1.5. See what it looked like. If you’re a developer, take a few minutes and figure out what hooks were available to use, let alone custom post types and taxonomies. Then imagine building a user base of hundreds of thousands, maintaining backwards compatibility for them, and still innovating and at least keeping up with the newer options – if not out-innovating them.

    Yeah…that’s hard. It’s really, really hard. There’s bumps along the way and people, rather than realizing it’s a small company trying to do the best they can – that ultimately, it’s real people behind the software – people like to leave crappy little notes and one-star ratings.

    I was almost one of those people. But back in 2010, this was all there was, and it was buggy – like, really buggy. But instead of complaining (to be fair, I complained a bit) – I emailed Dan (Instinct CEO) and said “Hey, let me help you.”. Open-source software is rad because of the possibility of collaboration – not complaining.

    So if you think it sucks – great. Patches welcome. Be part of something bigger than you.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • That’s the spirit, Justin!
    Wish I had the skills. I’m not yet a WPeC-user, still on the fence, but I’m really thankful somebody like you is putting time and energy into open source projects like this. Thanks a lot!

    Awesome feedback Justin!!! Thanks for being a part of our team – love you long time 🙂

    Awesome 🙂

    Seriously Justin, you rock!

    It’s simple really – if you don’t have the staff to provide free support don’t 1) offer it and 2) don’t pass it off to someone who doesn’t check the support forum.

    Nothing to hate. Just bad business practice is all. And as business goes, offering something that you cannot follow through on will bite you in the ass. So don’t overextend yourself.

    (And yes, I’m well aware that the OP is not “employed.” Chances are the creator isn’t even aware of this thread).

    Moderator Andrew Nevins


    Eilish, you are not in any authoritative position to tell people not to support plugins.

    If you don’t have the staff

    No, that doesn’t make sense. Free support is not staffed to begin with.
    WordPress was built out of people’s spare time and is maintained out of people’s spare time.

    If you’re unsatisfied with the level of support provided by volunteers, consider hiring someone at .

    “Free support” with no support is an oxymoron. It’s fine if you don’t have the ability to offer support for a free plugin. But to suggest that such support exists when in fact it does not, it misleading, and since the free version is a “taste and see” of the paid version, you’d think that they would want to show off their “stellar” support. Treating their free version like their ill-conceived step child doesn’t inspire me to get the paid version.

    This is just common sense customer service, plain and simple. I’d rather get a free plugin knowing that I’m on my own (or SOL) if something goes wrong, then be lead to believe that there is help in case something goes awry. I (and many others) have wasted precious time asking questions in the support forum that were never going to be answered.

    Plugin Author Justin Sainton


    Hi Eilish,

    Probably getting off-topic, but just wanted to clarify a few points –

    1) There’s a difference between “free support” and “premium support”. What Instinct provides is premium support. They don’t provide (and have not yet purported to, best I can tell) free support.

    2) Every mention of “free support” is “community support”. They host forums, much akin to these very forums on, that allow the community to post topics to the forum. They are free, but they aren’t staffed by Instinct, much like these forums aren’t staffed by any company.

    Also – I don’t think the free plugin is an ill-conceived step-child. Fully legitimate, conceived in love 🙂

    So, to summarize – it sounds like the primary misunderstanding and frustration you’re having is that you’ve perceived the free community forums as a place that should be staffed by Instinct, with a reasonable expected time-to-respond. To make it abundantly clear again – that’s not the case. I’d invite you to read the text above the forums at – it make that very clear.

    is there a prices by role plugin for this as need 3 different roles and shows prices on product page.

    Regards Peter

    Awesome man.. It is great

    Nice one Justin. WPEC is full of holes, but I love a challenge and the ability to grow my skill set! Thanks Dan and the team 🙂

    Seriously, WPEC is probably responsible for teaching a lot of people some basic code, that can’t be a bad thing.

    Yeah, it would be nice if the support forum got a bit more love, and the releases were a little more robust instead of breaking stuff, but hey, we don’t live in a perfect world – it’s all about evolution.

    And @elish – whilst your points are valid and I understand your disappointment/frustration, note the point: downloaded over 2.1 million times…. it’s a victim of its own success!

    It would be nice if Atomic could devote some resource…. or even absorb WPEC into it’s core haha

    much props to you Jeremy!!

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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