Archive for the ‘Product Reviews’ Category

A Review Of WP-Member – A WordPress Membership Plugin

Monday, January 28th, 2013
A Review Of WP-Member – A WordPress Membership Plugin

Nothing is Ever Flawless

The following is a product review of the WP-Member WordPress plugin, which allows you to set up posts and pages to be subscription based. It allows multiple levels of subscription types that can be either free or paid, and supports multiple gateways. I am not getting paid to write this, nor have any affiliation with the product. I am just writing this so that other front-end developers have some information about the plugin before they purchase it.

If you have ever built anything in WordPress and have used anything but a basic plugin, then you will know the frustration of seemingly finding a plugin that sounds great but ends up either flawed , lacking a key feature that you actually need, or just plain broken. I’m not talking about a plugin that does something simple like adding share buttons to your posts. I’m talking about a plugin that actually has features you need to fill in a bunch of settings for. What is usuallly surprising is that the plugin actually costs money which makes the situation even more aggrivating. I think sometimes that we have an ability to work at an extremely high annoyance level compared to the average person. Do me a favor and raise your hand if you have seriously thought about punching your computer monitor. That should be just about all of us. I just counted….there is one guy somewhere in Hawaii that didn’t raise his hand because where he lives counteracts this. Everyone else though was nodding in agreement there. WP-Member gave me these feelings for sure. Let’s not start out with a feeling of hate though, because in the end WP-Member does what I need it to. There was certainly bad, but 1 thing made me stick it out to come to the conclusion that I would use it again. Yes, I just spoiled the rest of the article, but let’s get into some details.

(more…)

A Web Developer’s review of Shopify

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
A Web Developer’s review of Shopify

E-Commerce used to scare me…until now

So at the final months at my previous job, I was tasked with building an e-commerce site using OpenCart. I’m sure they won’t mind the free advertising, so check out Dental Association Gloves to see what I did. While I was first reading through the documentation, I was a little intimidated by it all. There are tax fields, supply numbers, and SKU numbers, entering all the products…needless to say there is a lot of things that go on in an e-commerce site. Once I was done with it though, I was a lot more confident in my ability to do something like this for a freelance client.

A few weeks ago, I recieved a call from a potential client (which didn’t turn out most likely due to money issues) that wanted to set up an online t-shirt e-com site. The catch was, he wanted to use Shopify. I had heard of it, but never used it so I dove in to see what it was all about by setting up a test account. Below is a short review with my brief time looking through Shopify.

(more…)

jQuery Mobile Review

Thursday, July 28th, 2011
jQuery Mobile Review

Great things come in small packages

A project I’m working on had me looking into how to create a nice looking mobile site. Two very popular frameworks came to mind: jQuery Mobile, and Sencha Touch. The back-end guy I’m working with on this project recommended Sencha Touch, so I took a look at that first. Let me just say that if you haven’t worked with Ext.js and it’s panel component, or are not even familiar with that library, you are going to have one hell of a time. It is not all that easy to use, and the limited amount of tutorials on how to use it suck beyond belief. After a couple of hours fiddling with it, I decided to say screw it, and went over to jQuery Mobile. The difference? I got a site up and running in roughly a half hour with no problems themeing. jQuery Mobile wins in ease of use hands down.

This isn’t to say that Sencha Touch is bad, because it sure looks good, but it isn’t as intuitive as Mobile. This isn’t really about Touch though…it’s about Mobile. So let’s get into it!

jQuery Mobile logo

(more…)

Skeleton CSS Framework Review

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
Skeleton CSS Framework Review

Responsive grids to the rescue

I’m not a huge fan of CSS frameworks. Not to say they are bad or anything, I just don’t care for them. I’ve tried a couple, and I thought the 960 grid did a pretty good job. There has been a lot of hype lately though for responsive design, so I thought I would take a look at one that has been getting a lot of respect and talk – Skeleton.

Skeleton’s CSS syntax

The creator of Skeleton, Dave Gamache, deserves a lot of credit for what he has done with it. For one, I’d like to thank him for using easy to remember class names like ‘one-third’ and ‘two-thirds’. I had a hard time remembering 960′s class names with .grid-whatever. He also uses things like ‘offset’ which is easier to tell what it does by reading it, than ‘push’ or ‘pull’ ever did. Looking through Skeleton’s grid CSS made me really happy when I first opened it, so props to Dave.

(more…)

Compass Gets An App – No Command Line Needed

Friday, April 8th, 2011
Compass Gets An App – No Command Line Needed

Another post on what you think about Compass?

Oh shut up. If it wasn’t as bad ass as it is, I wouldn’t write about it. This isn’t really about Compass though. Well…it is, but more about the app that was built for it, so that users don’t have to use the command line. Honestly, if I can figure out how to at least make Compass compile my Sass through the command line, then anyone can. BUT…this makes the whole process of a hell of a lot easier.

Compass made easier

At first, I thought, the command line really isn’t that hard because you only need to know a few commands, why do I need an app to do this? Then I tried Compass.app by Handlino. After trying it out, there is only one reason why I can see someone not wanting to use this product (which only costs $7 by the way), but I’ll talk about that last.

After you have unzipped the file, and opened the app up, all that happens is that a gray version of the Compass logo appears in your task bar. When you click the icon, you get several things you can do, depending on where you are in your project. If you are starting a new one, you have a bunch of different Compass project options you can install. I went with the HTML5 Boilerplate option, since I love using it. The others are: Blueprint, basic Compass Projects, 960gs, or HTML5 Boilerplate. You can see what I’m talking about in the image below.

Compass.app project creation

(more…)