Can WPMUDev offer programming assistance for plugins that are marketed as working right out of the b

Several months ago, after a great deal of research, I decided to showcase Wordpress and WPMU plugins on a new, eventually very large, Wordpress Multisite Membership site.

Based on extensive reading, I could really feel the passion and spirit you have at WPMU. I decided to build the site using primarily WPMU plugins partly to showcase Wordpress and WPMU when it was complete.

Of course, I also loved the idea of using your plugins on my site to do most everything I wanted.

I even decided to use all the heavy content plugins - like Directory, Classifieds, etc., on their own subsites to prevent conflicts.

I was soooo excited to see the potential of what we could do with Wordpress multisite and WPMU plugins.

Unfortunately, after loading multiple plugins, NOT ONE has worked "out of the box" as the marketing materials have promised.

I've had to get programming help with every single one. It's been extremely discouraging because a project that could have taken weeks has taken months and it's cost much more than anticipated and we're still far from where we need to be.

I should have asked this much sooner, but of course, I'd like to know if you will stand behind your plugins with programming support when they don't work as promised.

Since it doesn't appear that you offer that, can you recommend any reasonably priced developers that specialize in getting WPMU plugins to work on a large multisite membership site?

While I still believe you are truly passionate about what you're doing, I'm sorry to say my excitement about your plugins has dropped considerably since I now realize I can't use them "out of the box" without programming help.

Hopefully, my excitement will be rekindled by someone who specializes in making your plugins work.

Thank you!

  • aecnu

    Greetings Dori,

    Thank you for your input and feedback which is greatly appreciated.

    Sorry to see that you are having such a hard time for unknown reasons.

    I appreciate your story and will tell a bit of mine if indeed you want straight up truth.

    If not then please scroll down to the bottom paragraph where I give the details of how to get this handled as you have suggested.

    In March of 2011 I became a regular member of WPMU DEV, had never touched WordPress before, and by the end of April had two large networks built and by February of 2012 had a total of eight support tickets submitted which WPMU DEV staff quickly took care of with a couple of concept explanations and the rest with bug fix's due to WordPress updates.

    ALL of them worked out of the box though I indeed needed to do a little styling on my own to get the look I wanted and as one can quickly find out I am not a coder of any kind and pulled it off without any issues but in the meantime helped dozens of members.

    Therefore I cannot relate in any way with what you have described but being a hosting company I know my installation was on great servers.

    With that said I did a trace on your hosting to see if this is an issue and found you are indeed using Host Gator who does not configure to WordPress and configures for maximum ROI - that is all they truly care about, similar to most of them.

    Of course it could be worse with Go Daddy, Blue Host, Host Monster which would be far worse as a matter of fact.

    Now that we know your hosting and knowing that it is not so bad so to speak, the next thing is the theme of course.

    Theme Details for seniorsportsforlife.com
    Theme Name Magazine Child Theme - MAIN
    Theme Homepage http://www.studiopress.com/themes/magazine
    Description Magazine is a two or three column child theme created for the Genesis Framework. This version is customized for the SeniorSportsforLife.com MAIN site.
    Author StudioPress
    Author Homepage http://www.studiopress.com/
    Version 2.1.1
    Version 1.8.2
    License GNU General Public License v2.0

    And now I know the reason for your frustrations - you picked a framework theme which like most frameworks require that one integrate into the framework external components and that is the reason for the hard time.

    You have been paying for framework integration in the past.

    Get away from the frameworks and I believe you will find a whole different experience.

    Hopefully, my excitement will be rekindled by someone who specializes in making your plugins work.

    That very well could be you if you dumped the framework themes and once that is worked out and when HG quits backing up your files and just your database ~or~ your site becomes sluggish get a a host that caters to WordPress - you will be much better off and the performance will be much better of the entire WordPress installation.

    However, alternatively you could see if there's a developer available at wpmu jobs who could get onto it right this minute

    Thank you for being a WPMU DEV Community Member!

    Cheers, Joe

  • Dori

    Thank you Aecnu!

    I always appreciate honest feedback and I doubly appreciate you researching why our experiences were so different.

    If I'm reading you correctly, it sounds like you believe all the WPMU plugins will work fine right "out of the box" as soon as I start using a "non-frame" theme.

    I know the theme I'm using is built on the Genesis framework. Other than that, I wouldn't know a framework theme from a non-framework theme.

    Is Genesis the only framework I should stay away from or are there other popular framework themes out there I should know about?

    Do you have any themes you would recommend for a VERY LARGE multisite membership network and if so, why?

    If my solution is really as simple as a theme change, I'll be thrilled! (Of course, I'll also have to let go of my feelings about all the time and money I've lost by not knowing such a simple thing.)

    You also mentioned hosting companies. Please let me know which hosting companies you've found to work best with Wordpress/WPMU sites and why.

    Thank you very much! Dori

  • aecnu

    Greetings Dori! :slight_smile:

    Thank you for letting me know and the great additional questions as well (no sarcasm)

    If I'm reading you correctly, it sounds like you believe all the WPMU plugins will work fine right "out of the box" as soon as I start using a "non-frame" theme.

    I can honestly say one will have a whole less hard time trying to get these to work without a Framework type theme - that is absolutely spot on.

    Part of the problem is we do not know what hosting they are using either and with the host being the foundation of the WordPress installation of any flavor i.e. Solo or MultiSite - a lot is dependent as well.

    In other words hosts can give a hard time if not configured to specifically cater to the resource intensive WordPress application and its accessories i.e. plugins etc.

    For example if they do not allow "*" at the beginning of the domain name then sub domain installs do not work. If they do not have more then 32MB for the execution of php then many plugins will not work at all - and this is regardless of the theme or plugin - this is indeed a hosting issue.

    Some known framework themes, Genesis, Thesis, Salutations, Headway, etc.

    If one is skilled in integrating plugins into a framework these will be no problem.

    Otherwise it could lead to hours of frustration.

    Do you have any themes you would recommend for a VERY LARGE multisite membership network and if so, why?

    WPMU DEV Themes of course because if there is indeed an issue we can pressure the lead developer to fix it :wink:

    Watch out for themes that describe themselves as frameworks and also watch out for those that offer many features - which can possibly lead to feature conflicts so to speak.

    You also mentioned hosting companies. Please let me know which hosting companies you've found to work best with Wordpress/WPMU sites and why.

    Those that specifically cater to WordPress of course to include memory and DNS/Apache configurations.

    Though I am not allowed to say it myself since I own the company, I shall let others speak the truth for me:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/server-load?replies=9#post-398757

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/whos-your-favorite-wp-hosting-provider-and-why

    And there are many many more if you are interested, just let me know.

    Have a GREAT week ahead!

    Sincerely, Joe

  • Dori

    Hi Joe!

    Thanks for the great info.

    The fact that your hosting is set up for multisite is certainly appealing to me. I also like that you own the company and you stand behind it so strongly.

    I'm also VERY happy that you included Genesis on your list of "workable" frameworks. I've put a lot of time (and money) into the theme and would prefer to keep using it.

    Regarding the WPMU themes, I didn't see any with double navigation like Genesis had "out the box," hence my going that direction. Please let me know if WPMU has any double navigation themes that I missed?

    You can check out http://www.SeniorSportsforLife.com to see how I'm using the theme to create a multisite membership environment with dozens of subsites.

    A few questions about your hosting:

    * You being in Australia and me being in the US, does that cause any problems? For example, one problem might be the time difference if I was having a website emergency and you were tucked in your warm beds :slight_smile:. But, I'm really referring to server type issues.

    * Do you handle the migration? As we know, I'm not a programmer and know just enough to be dangerous :slight_smile:.

    * Do you guarantee website uptime with a massive traffic surge and is your company set up for infinite growth?

    I'm asking because I've been looking at moving to Wordpress specific hosting for some time. I've been told good things about Liquid Web, WP Engine, and the Genesis hosting (due to my theme choice).

    Since my site could potentially be extremely large (i.e. millions of members and dozens of subsites and functionality) and have varying traffic spikes, I've been most interested in the ability to grow with the server company and not have the website go down with traffic surges.

    Please let me know how your hosting works for those things.

    THANKS Joe! I feel like I'm getting some solid answers and I really appreciate it.

    Dori

  • aecnu

    Greetings Dori!

    Thank you for the additional input and questions which are once again absolutely appreciated.

    Please let me know if WPMU has any double navigation themes that I missed?

    On this one I admit I am a bit lost since I do not envision what you mean by double navigation. Can you please clarify this a bit for me?

    You can check out http://www.SeniorSportsforLife.com to see how I'm using the theme to create a multisite membership environment with dozens of subsites.

    Indeed I visited and see that you are using sub directory sub sites and I love the design as well. Job well done!

    You being in Australia and me being in the US, does that cause any problems?

    Actually I am an American living in Eastern Europe and the servers are in Seattle Washington - though there is indeed a time difference - server emergencies are handled by the NOC in Seattle who monitor 24/7/365, but of course they are responding to outages etc. and not regular maintenance and the like.

    * Do you handle the migration? As we know, I'm not a programmer and know just enough to be dangerous :slight_smile:.

    Yes we do migrations as well though difficulty varies from host to host, but as long as we can FTP and have access to the database files for SQL export it is not a problem.

    However, if on true cPanel hosting and not on modified cPanel like Host Monster, Blue Host, and Dream Host use it is a very easy process and even the email is migrated.

    Do you guarantee website uptime with a massive traffic surge and is your company set up for infinite growth?

    This is a somewhat tricky question regarding this subject because even the US Department of Defense and PayPal have been taken down by DDOS attacks and though I can guarantee a response to keep the server(s) alive and well - nobody on the planet can honestly guarantee such a thing - I do not know if you recall but just a few years ago the entire country of Estonia was brought to its knees by the Russians over a statue - their entire banking system and much more went down - they even called in NATO to try to help stop the DDOS attack:

    Simply Google estonia ddos russia and you will see what I mean.

    Regrading servers we can add them as needed and there is no limit that I am aware of since the Seattle facility is absolutely huge.

    The most important thing is outside of DDOS attacks and these types of incidences which can bring down entire countries as noted above, is to match the right hosting to your needs i.e. VPS, Dedicated, Load balanced dedicated etc.

    I've been told good things about Liquid Web, WP Engine, and the Genesis hosting (due to my theme choice).

    I have heard of all of these with the exception of Genesis hosting and WP Engine is more of an application server rather then a host so to speak.

    Since my site could potentially be extremely large (i.e. millions of members and dozens of subsites and functionality) and have varying traffic spikes, I've been most interested in the ability to grow with the server company and not have the website go down with traffic surges.

    The important part here is to have you matched with hosting/server(s) that will meet the load and to be able to respond in a timely manner to those spikes as well as DDOS attacks.

    Considering the truth of DDOS attacks and the like, many guarantee or claim a lot, like Host Gator unlimited disk space but not disclosing they count your files or Blue Host that claims unlimited bandwidth but throttles that very bandwidth doing so form what I can tell at around 15% of the actual capability. Indeed hosting and the claims thereof are truly tricky and filled with rhetoric and sales gimmicks which we do not participate in.

    I feel like I'm getting some solid answers and I really appreciate it.

    Absolutely and I admit that I do not offer the PC answers that most folks like to hear, but I do love the truth and honesty which is so hard to find these days.

    If you have any more questions, do let us know.

    Cheers, Joe

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