Category Archives: WordPress plugins

WordPress Backup Plugin Review – BackupWordPress vs Updraft

I made a long explanation about it a long time ago but can’t remember everything I said. Basically, BackupWordpress has all the features I need for free and doesn’t nag me at all like UpDraft.
Off the top of my head, Updraft: 1) doesn’t back up the entire root directory unless you pay for premium (so it misses my secret directories or files that I or clients may have placed in unconventional locations), 2) leaves orphan data in database when you uninstall it (probably trying to preserve settings, etc), 3) just annoying GUI that isn’t as easy to use as BWP in my opinion, 4) feels bloated to me 5) nags me to pay for premium.
I absolutely hate it, but am fully aware and respect many developers who swear by UpDraft and trash BackupWordPress for “just doesn’t work, keeps spinning forever”. I feel BackupWordPress can be finicky especially on shared hosts where it sometimes runs out of memory but when it works, man I love it so much more.
I also feel Updraft is great if you like to back things up in bits and pieces and restore them bits and pieces. It’s great for modular backups and granular control, but horrible for if you just want a simple ‘back everything up’ option.

MemberPress vs MemberMouse vs DAP – WordPress Membership Plugins Review 2017

I’ve studied, read up and compared many different membership plugins. I have personally tried MemberPress, MemberMouse, and DAP. Here is a basic summary of why I think MemberPress is best.

For those wondering about my membership site. I basically sell access to 3rd-party hosted videos, downloadable videos & ebooks, and a members-only forum.


MemberPress Review

MemberPress is coded the best, makes the most sense, very clean and easy to use. You can figure things out without even reading the manual very much. The pricing is very fair and affordable at only $100/year no matter how many members you have! Some people may complain that it’s ugly but it isn’t. It’s simply un-styled which means you need a designer to assign some CSS styling to make it beautiful…and even then…it’s just fine even out of the box. I found it to be an absolute pleasure to use and so glad I gave it a try.

It’s fast, coded beautifully, gives you almost all the features anybody could need, and a pleasure to use.

It installs easily, and you can almost guess on your own where to look to find certain options or settings. The tutorials are short and you can get up and running very quickly. It has all the features you need and none of the ones that you never use (but will distract you). You will have fun making money with this plugin. The others will leave you in development phase forever, I feel.

My affiliate link:


MemberMouse Review

MemberMouse is pretty much considered the industry standard. And 2 years ago, it became the ultimate premium membership plugin for Wordpress sites. If you had the money and wanted a really polished product, you would simply get MemberMouse and that was that. The only reason why anybody else would want to try another plugin was simply to save money. MemberMouse isn’t cheap, it starts at $20/month and quickly becomes $40/month and it keeps going up depending on the number of subscribers you have. This can be costly if you’re taking on many FREE-level or TRIAL-level subscribers.

But as time passed, MemberMouse started to show it’s inflexibility. It’s advantages in being extremely full-featured and polished made it large and cumbersome to work with. The backend panel is full of a billion features and not easy to setup if you all want is to offer a few simple options. MemberMouse is great if you want to offer many different memberships at varying price-points for varying customer segments. But if you’re trying to start out simple, MemberMouse feels like total overkill.

But what’s the biggest problem? MemberMouse is bulky, I would say. Even though everything looked polished, the CSS didn’t fit nicely with my theme and I had to override it anyway. I had a javascript conflict with my theme and after going nowhere in trying to edit and customize simple things (MemberMouse does not let you edit their code!!!), I decide to take a risk and give MemberPress a shot. I have to say now that the competition has definitely caught up and many other premium plugins offer almost nearly the same things as MemberPress does, with much easier setup, and even lower cost!


DigitalAccessPass (DAP) Review

DAP is what I’ve been using to sell e-products for the last 5 years and I have to say that I’ve outgrown it. It performs very well and functions very quickly but is really terribly designed. The backend interface is not intuitive and setting things up and searching for where you have to go to make changes or edit settings can be a pain in the butt. Sure, you get used to it after a while and 5 years ago, it was the best option for me. Today, this is no longer the case. I find it to be somewhat expensive, lacking in features, comes with a small number of bugs, ugly in appearance, and with lackluster support and documentation.

I was very happy with it for the past 5 years but I’m glad to have moved on to much better plugins out there. If I could complain about where DAP annoys me the most, I would say that it isn’t intuitive to use. You have to LEARN how to use it and REMEMBER how to use it. I also feel it’s not coded well and not coded in the “WordPress way”.

It didn’t play nicely with CloudFlare, some transactions did not fully process because the user’s last name had an accent letter or space or other “special character”, protected content items still showed up in search results (possibly search plugin’s fault), some coupons just didn’t work for some reason. I also got hacked through my DAP plugin, and learned from my programmer that it wasn’t coded optimally to prevent this. DAP may claim to have all the features but the bottom line is that it seems dated in comparison to the competition.

To be fair to DAP, it still does one thing well…which is it allows you to checkout super-fast without redirecting you to checkout pages. If you use their cart plugin, you can even have the creditcard form right on your sales page. So this way you can have a very minimal appearance in the front-end but still a full-featured system in the back-end.


What about the others?

There’s WooCommerce Memberships/Subscriptions. There’s PaidMembershipsPRO, RCP, EDD, aMember, Zippy, and many others. I would say many of them are either poorly coded or not as full-featured, or a bit clunky to use. Part of this has to do with that they they were originally written as a content paywall system, or download management system, or as an email dripping sales system. Nowadays, all these features are combined into what is called in the modern day as a “membership plugin”.

I think a big problem was that many of them were written a long time ago and kept adding to the existing code rather than rewriting from scratch. It felt like an old car hauling today’s features instead of having it built inside. These other options can be very good if they offer only what you need and you don’t actually want a bigger, more complicated, costlier option. But for me, MemberPress simply wins in it’s overall functionality, ease-of-use, and scalability.

WPML Speed Optimization Tips

How to make WPML run faster! (instead of slow)

Is WPML slowing your site to a crawl? (10-20s load times?)

I hear complaints about WPML slowing down sites almost every other day. And for the most part, there’s truth to that. ANY multi-lingual plugin, not just WPML will slow down your site.

But many people are claiming that WPML is the worst multi-lingual plugin ever and that’s isn’t true. They WERE actually pretty slow when I first tried using it in 2013 but each update got faster and faster and in around 2014 and 2015, their development team really listened to the complaints and the 3.X versions sped up incredibly. Aside from that, I also learned that the plugin CAN indeed run pretty fast. YOU JUST HAVE TO FOLLOW SOME INSTRUCTIONS. My 6-language site with tons of articles and images loads in 1 second.

Before you give up on WPML, give these things a try. Continue reading WPML Speed Optimization Tips

WordPress Redirection Tips – HTaccess vs Plugins

Some people have asked which WordPress plugin is best for redirection, to avoid 404 errors, or maybe after a change in permalinnks (url structure), or migration to HTTPS.

Of all the WordPress redirection plugins, IMO Safe Redirect Manager is the best. Other plugins are consumer grade, but this one is enterprise grade (and the fastest).

It’s always better if you can do you WordPress redirects via:

  1. main server config
  2. htaccess
  3. using a plugin

You only need one of those solutions, and preferably in that order. 1 is ideal if you have VPS and direct server access since it’s the fastest. 2 is for most people on a shared hosting account with htaccess. 3 is the slowest and only recommended if you don’t have access to 1&2, ORRRR you want to track stats.

If you DO want to track stats, my advice is:

Make sure it’s really worth it to you because redirect plugins that track stats will slow down your web page load a lot (even on VPS server). You could always use your Google Search Console to get the same info.

FYI: SRM doesn’t track stats so you’ll need to try one of those other consumer ones with all the fancy options.

MemberPress – WordPress Membership Plugin Review 2017

So much has been said about this incredibly popular WordPress plugin that just about everyone should have heard about it by now. But why is it so popular and what exactly makes MemberPress the best membership plugin for WordPress right now?

Here are my top 10 reasons why MemberPress is the best WordPress membership plugin… Continue reading MemberPress – WordPress Membership Plugin Review 2017

DigitalAccessPass hacked – and changed address (PayPal IPN hack)

This is starting to become a big problem with many DAP websites being targeted. I’ve chatted personally with Veena, the author of the DAP plugin and she says the plugin is secure but I can’t help but notice other issues with the same problems I did.

About 8 months ago, I was hacked every day for about 3 weeks straight. I didn’t know what to do and was so frustrated. It goes something like this: Continue reading DigitalAccessPass hacked – and changed address (PayPal IPN hack)

Digital Access Pass (DAP) vs DLGuard Review

This is a review of my research regarding DigitalAccessPass (DAP) and DLGuard. Both are 2 powerful gateways built to sell your digital e-products. Their differences are mainly in the amount of options they have in delivering the product, securing the product, and displaying the product. Ultimately, I chose to go with DAP and I’m very happy so far. Nonetheless, I think my research can help others make the right decision for them.


Selling Ebooks and Videos

I was looking to sell an ebook on my WordPress site. I was trying to decide between ClickBank, E-Junkie, and Amazon but decided not to go with either (for reasons to be explained in another article). I owned a WordPress site and wanted to sell with the 2 options:

  • sell a digital product securely, so  buyers cannot share the download link
  • not pay high transaction fees (ClickBank costs 9% + $50 setup fee)
  • have options to give out coupons

Ultimately, I realized that I had to use my own payment system if I wanted these features. My research lead me to many plugins and scripts for WordPress but the two that stood out were Digital Access Pass and DLGuard. In short, they are both excellent shopping cart scripts to help you sell and manage your digital products. They can do the similar things but in very different ways… Continue reading Digital Access Pass (DAP) vs DLGuard Review