Good But Beware. verified
Reviewed byAnonymousonThu, 15th April 2010
The product is good, but do some deep research/understanding of this product before buying. It is very high price, and the downside of this software is that you have to do business the way they "think" an online directory business should be run.
Here are some of the Cons I've come across with this software:
1. There is very little flexibility built into the software to allow any business model changes.
2. You have to charge monthly for a premium listing, banners, and events (which may make sense in most cases) - BUT you also have to charge monthly for their Classified, and Articles product (not a fixed fee like it should be), and you can not charge extra/separately for the Promotions component.
3. The software is not handed to you and made easy to install. They have to install it on your server for you (Just something to point out before going with them). I am used to the likes of WordPress with easy to install process.
4. They love to quote for customizations, and anything and everything is a customization. Well - anything meaningful - because they've not built in the flexibility.
5. You can only have 1 promotion per listing at one time. (This one drove me over the edge)
6. You can not manage the payment processor in the admin - they have to install/set it up for you.
7. Their customer service or programming support does take time to get back or make updates. They generally do a good job, but I have a couple of tickets that haven't been categorically resolved for past few months. They just linger around and no one is taking charge.
8. Their software is mainly built for the US/UK - so not very friendly in changing over Miles to Kilometers, or customizing the radius search by zip code, etc. - for me, they knew I was looking to start this overseas and did not disclose these issues before I purchased. After, they tried to charge me for 'customizations', and then agreed to include them - but haven't confirmed full completion (one of the open tickets).
9. Some usability things like photo galleries have to be created outside of the listing and then 'assigned' to that listing instead of simply creating it inside the listing to begin with.
10. Another usability item, you can not enlarge the picture of an event or listing if there is just one picture. You have to create a gallery with one picture and then assign it to that listing/event.
11. Another usability item - end users (visitors) don't need to login - which is good, but advertisers do - but they push the login feature in a way on the frontend site that an end user gets confused and thinks that they have to login to get better access to somethings on the site.
12. A free, basic, or premium listing don't get their own page! Only Showcase listings get their own page. No flexibility in this, and changing it - another customization. This is terrible for you because you have a smaller footprint in search engines to help people find the listings you have. Also, it doesn't add much value to have a premium listing between the basic and showcase.
13. Customizations WILL get overwritten if you upgrade - even if they make the changes! It is hard to keep track of all changes that you'll need to make to the code.
14. Also - if you need a tax (VAT/GST) added to your fees - no luck :(
15. Their search algorithm is not sophisticated at all. YOU have to specify the keywords each item has to be found under, and it doesn't do partial name searches well or 'like' name searches, etc.
16. Even if you buy the source code, and are willing to make customizations yourself - they have no developer documentation AT ALL. OR they won't share it, because they want you to go with them to make the changes. We had to spend hours figuring out their code structure to make simple changes.
Finally - their pricing starts at $1500 - doesn't end there. If you want the events, classifieds, etc. it's an extra $500, and then another $200 for removing their logo (which for a 1500 product, should they be forcing their 'powered by' anyways - that is something you have in a low cost product?)
... I could probably go on if I think more about the shortcomings I've found in this software.
In the end, we paid a lot of money for something we really shouldn't have. We are now throwing out their banners, articles, classifieds and now promotions because they don't make sense for us. We're custom building it ourselves for a lot cheaper than their charges.
Bottom Line - be careful in making the decision to go with this software. Spend a LOT of time in researching and understanding their product to be sure that it is exactly what you want for your online directory business.