7 Comments

  1. rgregory

    Unfortunately I have to disagree with your Shopp Plugin opinions. I was there with them from the beginning. I listened to your interview with Jonathan Davis and bought the plugin the next day. It was OK and met my meager needs at the time, but as the shop was used, I found I needed more than it could give me almost as soon as it hit a live environment. I was really disappointed as I had high hopes.

    At first you had access to the developer himself and some great answers on the forum. Eventually Jonathan stopped doing support and the forum became USELESS. Then a new system of support started with a ticket system and anything I asked for support with “wasn’t covered in the ticket system” and was shot out to the useless forum. At the same time, developer level license holders were given a separate forum, again lowering the level of knowledgeable support available.

    I have since switched to woocommerce and couldn’t be happier with the switch. Support is FANTASTIC and the developer listens to you, it’s really been an eye opener. When they consider problems and react by changing the code to solve them based on user support, you’ve got a winner. I own two SHOPP licenses and I only wish woocommerce would have been available before so I could have spent that money on plugins to extend it instead.

  2. Ted Clayton

    The role that the author of this post, “Jeffro” plays, by contacting 3rd-party providers of WordPress products & services (and other persons & entities of interest in the WP scene) is valuable to us, and a significant ‘expense’ for him.

    I generally do not comment on Jeffro’s commercial product reviews, because I am mainly focused on the volunteer resources, and don’t delve much into this ancillary element of WordPress. (Yes, I think it is more ancillary than primary.)

    Going on the previous comment by “rgregory”, it is possible that Jeffro’s product-piece here will prove to contain flaws. It is this possibility I’d like to touch on here.

    In certain contexts/ways, when a commercial shop sees Mr. Jeffro coming, their awareness of his high-profile role in communicating with the wider WP community (and the “unique” link to his posts, on every installed WP Administration Dashboard out there…), can actually make it less likely that he will come away with the key information that will be of greatest interest & use to his readers. It could even turn out this way sometimes, with no actual villain anywhere in the story.

    Jeffro does not deploy an advance staff for interviews, does not have a Research Department who spend a week before he meets with people or Companies. He is a One-Man newspaper, who must also tend his ‘real’ life … and when he’s lucky, an actual paying job.

    So … I just want to note that I and others get a lot from WPTavern, that Jeffro’s efforts are of considerable interest & use … and that if on occasion the couple paragraphs he condenses an interview into miss something kinda crucial, or that he is a de facto ‘VIP’ of sorts who may be the recipient of a wee bit o’ spin now & then … I am neither shocked nor dismayed. :-)


  3. To tag on to Ted’s sentiments, Jeffro didn’t provide an opinion about Shopp as a project or product. He simply recounted conversations with Dillick and myself about how hard we do work to develop a quality e-commerce solution for WordPress. And he knows we are proud of it.

    To respond to Russell, I have never stopped doing support. I have reduced the porportion of time I spend on support, and as the user base grows the likelihood that I will be the one taking your issues is much smaller. It’s simply a numbers game. I still do support and always, always will.

    With all sincerity, I’m glad that you found a solution that works for you. We do the best we can, but we don’t pretend to be everything to all people. Our support policies are realistic to the resources we have available. We did, for a time provide custom code support. That became too overwhelming and was regularly abused. Our support was turned into a free custom consulting team for most of our customers instead of developers doing their homework for their clients. It just wasn’t sustainable and we had to find a support policy that was balanced against our resources. Inevitibly support policies are the crossroads of business goals and customer goals. They never satisfy both sides 100%. We feel ours is more than fair. You didn’t and the market has delivered new choices that you chose to go with. I certainly understand that.

    I would love to personally handhold everyone through learning the deep technical capabilities within Shopp. It is awesome to spend time showing someone how to solve problems by writing custom extensions. That simply is not realistic in a one-on-one support channel, nor is it fair to everyone else who wants the same treatment. If you’re getting that from the Woo-team, awesome! Instead, we prefer that code solutions be developed in the community forums where code solutions can be shared with the entire community.

    We invested a lot of resources into our documentation and have several other new initiatives to help people learn how to customize Shopp – from simple template customizations to complex extensions. We’re not there completely, but we’re getting there. Woo has a solid orginzation and already had a lot of pieces in place since they’ve been in the game longer than us. I give them all the kudos for what they’ve built. I’m envious, in some respects.

    We support our users to the best of our capabilities within our resources and I daresay that long-term we do better than most of our co-petitors. That’s not to say there isn’t room for significant improvement, but that’s the kind of challenge that keeps us coming back to work.

    I understand if our changes didn’t happen soon enough for you. I respect your decision to find a solution that works better for your needs more than it appears you respect our team, our efforts or our project. Good luck to you in all your projects from here on out, and perhaps, one day after you’re past being upset at us, you might even try us again and find we’re hitting all the boxes in your checklist just right. Seriously as much as you might hate the thought of Shopp, no hard feelings. It’s business. Best of luck to you.

    So here’s to what’s next. Woot Shopp 1.2! Thanks for the mention Jeffro and for the space to engage in conversation. Cheers!

  4. rgregory

    @Jonathan Davis – WOW, I usually check the “notify me” box, but I must have skipped it on this post.

    I don’t think I ever used the word “hate” in my post or given the impression that I “hate” your plugin or team. My post was saying that I had tried you plugin and had experience using it, but that I found something that worked better, after all this is a discussion. I also cited specific examples of why I felt this way.

    While I would love it, no one at Woo is “personally handhold”ing me, though that would be great. But…they do answer my questions when asked, which is something new to me after using shop for a while.

    Again, I don’t hate you or your team, and I wish you well. I’m also not angry at you. I also don’t lack respect for you or your team. That being said, I’ve found something that wonderfully meets my needs, and I think that needs to be said. I hope you become a competitor to woo eventually.


  5. I didn’t say you hated us. I said “as much as you might hate” or, to put it another way: “to whatever degree of hatred you might have for Shopp”.

    However, I have seen your messages of slamming Shopp and our support team across several mediums and in several online venues including our own site. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s been a vendetta. But certainly a small campaign.

    Anyone that feels that strongly enough to spend time and energy crafting those messages does display a measured amount of disdain for what they are speaking out against and a degree of happiness for what they are speaking for.

    Your last sentiment, a subtle/not so subtle jab seemingly tagged on the end of your reply, certainly reinforces my point. Your actions and words to tie it together.

    Anyway, it doesn’t really matter anymore. You’re happy where you are now, and I’m happy for you. It seems enough to leave it at that.


  6. I have been a long time supporter of shopp and still think its the best plugin for WP ecommerce out there. I have not checked out woo commerce, but you guys do a great job. Keep up the awesome work.


  7. I’ve been trying to work with Templatic for several months to get my ecommerce store off the ground. I want to warn everyone:

    If you use Store Theme (and most likely all other Templatic themes), it has tons of bugs and they offer poor customer service to solve the issues that come up. I have some issues that have been pending for 2 2 weeks with no response. Its been a frustrating experience.

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