WPWeekly Episode 249 – Zerif Lite, Kinsta Scholarship, W3 Total Cache, and My Take on Headway Themes

In this episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I discuss some of the major headlines of the past two weeks. We talk about the unprecedented move by the Theme Review Team to suspend Zerif Lite from the theme directory leaving 300K users without a way to get updates. We share what’s new in Edit Flow 0.8.2 and the troubles users are encountering upgrading W3 Total Cache to 0.9.5.

At the end of the news segment, I took some time to describe some of the process behind my coverage of Headway Themes. I share a few of my opinions on the matter and reinforced how important it is for companies to communicate. We ended the show with Marcus’ plugin picks of the week.

Stories Discussed:

Zerif Lite Suspended from WordPress Theme Directory, 300K Users Left Without Updates
How to Continue Using Zerif Lite + Receive Updates for Your Theme
Kinsta to Award $1,500 Travel Scholarship for WordCamp US
Edit Flow 0.8.2 Released, Fixes a Number of Bugs
W3 Total Cache 0.9.5 Packages XSS Vulnerability Patch with Major Update
Automattic to Revive WP Job Manager
WordPress Theme Authors Experiment with New Pricing on ThemeForest

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

Card Expiration Reminder for Stripe runs a customizable report and notifies Stripe subscription customers of credit cards that are soon to expire. This allows you to notify your customers before their card is declined and have them update their payment method in their account.

Sales Notify for WooCommerce promotes your recent sales by notifying visitors about them. For example, someone in Ohio just purchased a heavy-duty snow shovel.

WP Amazon SES SMTP plugin connects Amazon SES to your WordPress site for sending emails. It bypasses the normal WordPress mail function and sends email using Amazon’s SES service.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, October 5th 9:30 P.M. Eastern

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8 Comments


  1. Here’s what I understood:
    “it doesn’t matter how many users there are, we don’t give a flying crap. Rules are more important, you are all privilleged to use WordPress and if an update breaks your website you should all suck it up and go on with it. Rules rule!”

    You can’t tell your users what’s best for them (unless you’re a medic).

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  2. Thanks for the feedback about WP Job Manager. I understand where it can seem like a bit of nickel and dime approach. The end of the WPJM section, the question was asked “why not just have a pro version?”

    We do. The Core Add-On Bundle ( https://wpjobmanager.com/add-ons/bundle/ ) bundles all of the add-ons that came over when Automattic purchased WPJM (and any in the future would be included too).

    We’re giving folks an either/or approach. If all you need is the Resume Manager functionality, then you can get it for $39. If you want multiple add-ons from Automattic, for the most part, the bundle is going to be a better deal for you.

    Again, thanks for the feedback!

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  3. Like you’re buying tickets at ticketmaster … By the time you get to the end, you’re paying like $200 bucks …

    Which IMO is great, because I can pick and choose what I want … instead of having to spend $200 for the “Pro” version, which probably has a bunch of features I don’t need or want.

    It’s also better than $400+ if you’re setting up a site with WC/EDD, where most addons are priced $50-100 each. So when setting up my travel healthcare site, I purchased every Job Manager addon I could find (which wasn’t many at the time), just in case the prices did go up, which I don’t think they ever have (2+ years).

    That kinda sounds like WooCommerce ….

    Or any freemium plugin that is out there, which there are TONS of them now. And you’re right … because it was created by Mike Jolley … thankfully he didn’t price the addons like WooCommerce ones, otherwise they would be double what they are now :O

    I kind of think it’s a ripoff … frankly

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I can tell you that they most certainly are not, and I WISH the amount of addons that are available today, were available 1-2 years ago when I was trying to build my own job board site.

    I probably wasted over a week of my own time (if not more, i won’t admit it lol), looking for, and testing different themes and plugins that were out there. Everything was horrible, either bugs left and right, no support or documentation, or the code was just poorly written. When I tried using the JobRoller theme and went through the code … I seriously was about to cry with how sloppy the code was, and how frustrated it made me when trying to add features to it.

    It’s VERY difficult to find well coded, and documented plugins/themes now with how oversaturated the WordPress market is. After pulling out most of my hair due to all the issues with the other themes and plugins, I came across a young version of WP Job Manager, and can’t even put in words how excited I got. It was written by Mike Jolley who writes very clean and well documented code, that’s easy to follow and has plenty of filters and actions to make it modular.

    And i’ve got to pay for that? That should be functionality that’s built into this thing …

    LOL … I love hearing people say things like that when it comes to free plugins, you know, just like those who post 1 star reviews because a free plugin doesn’t have a feature they want.

    Nobody is forcing you to pay for anything, spend your own time, write your own code to add the features you need … I bet your time is worth way more than how much you would have spent on the addon.

    When you can go to themeforest and buy a theme that does all of that

    Oh how I wish all that were true …. only recently have I seen just ONE theme that has similar functionality, but then you are locked into that theme and at their mercy … not only for theme updates, but now also for functionality, bug fixes, new features, enhancements, and so on.

    SOOO many developers nowadays will release a plugin or theme, and that’s what you get … yeah a bug fix here and there, but no new features, enhancements, etc … why … that means more features they have to support, more possible bugs, less time for other projects.

    Over the past two years i’ve constantly added new features and enhancements to my plugins … not to drive sales … but to support the ecosystem and the clients that are using it. Yes I could focus on new plugins to drive new revenue streams, but I don’t forget about my existing clients. I seriously get at least one email/ticket every week from new and old clients just thanking me.

    It’s a rip off … how much would all those features cost you …

    It would cost you way less than you would ever pay any developer to do something similar for you. Or even if you wanted to write the code yourself … with how long it would take … time is money if you’re a developer … and you would end up losing way more money than you would have spent just buying the addons.

    How do I know this?
    Because I was trying to build my own job board before Mike even released the majority of the addons, including Resumes and Applications … and being as though WP Job Manager was by far the best written plugin available for creating job boards, I either had to wait or write my own.

    I started writing my own, which was nowhere near as clean, and functional as the one he released … once I got a preview of it, I knew I should just wait and find something else to work on, and basically trashed all the code I was working on for resumes.

    Next was the issue with adding, or editing fields for the submission form. Because there wasn’t any addons available to do this … I had to manually make all changes via PHP code, which became very tedious and annoying when clients kept wanting to make changes.

    That prompted me to write my Field Editor plugin for WP Job Manager, which I had no idea how popular it would get. Releasing that addon for WP Job Manager allowed me to quit my full job time working for a government contractor right before I turned 30, and now work for myself full time as a WordPress developer.

    Yes I may be a little biased now because I do have my own WP Job Manager addon plugins, but before any of that … All I was trying to do was build a job board website, and the struggle at that time was almost overwhelming, until I found WP Job Manager. At the time it had less features, and less addons (if any) … but I knew just by looking Mike’s history as a developer, and how clean and documented his code was … it was the way to go.

    So needless to say, I have a HUGE appreciation for Mike, and what he has done with WP Job Manager. Thank you Mike, you seriously changed my life without even knowing it … and because of that, I get to do what I love to do for a living, write code.

    Now 2+ years later the plugin and it’s ecosystem has grown tremendously … to a point I never thought it would. Going through the struggle of not having any addons available, to a point now where there are so many, and you can pick and choose what you want … some ppl just wont understand.

    Sorry for the lengthy comment, I clearly have a strong love for WP Job Manager, and that’s because I wasted so much of my time with other themes and plugins … once I found WP Job Manager it was a huge relief, and I hope other don’t have to go through the same struggle I did.

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    1. I’m a USER. If I feel that way, a thousand other people do too. I feel that it is overpriced based on what I’ve seen in the marketplace. If I’m wrong and it’s got way more value than the price indicates, it tells us something else. Either your sales page is too non-descriptive or you’re not properly framing the value proposition of the software.

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      1. For the record, Myles is an user too who ended up building a business on add-ons for WPJM. He’s not affiliated with Automattic, except we list some of his add-ons on the WPJM site as 3rd-party add-ons (something we do for free without referer/affiliate links).

        If content on the WPJM website isn’t making the grade, that’s on us (speaking as an Automattician who works with WPJM, among other products) and not Myles.

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  4. Hey guys, as a Headway customer, I hope you will keep an (objective) eye on it.

    It is nice to hear, that former staff members got some money.

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  5. Jeff! Thank you for everything you do for WordPress and being an advocate for the community. I appreciate the Tavern’s efforts with the HW situation. As a long time customer of HW themes and a PR pro, I’m a bit upset about how they handled the situation but hope things will work themselves out in the long run. I do feel they have a product that is second to none.

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    1. Yes, but apparently there is silence again. If you read through some forum posts, it seems that they are not answering support tickets, again. There were no updates or other activities on the website/in the forum since their blog post, except setiing back HW 4 to beta.

      I read in the forum today, that there is a fork of HW in the making: http://bloxthemebuilder.com.

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