But this is a free extension, and maybe for that reason, it hasn't received all the attention it should from the programmers.
The settings panel is lacking. Why not give the option for vertical (rows) or horizontal (columns) or even both.
You must use all three panels. ...why? Why not 2 panels, or 5 panels, or (again) two rows of three panels.
This module is gorgeous, but only works for people who have exactly three categories they want items pulled from, and who want to display exactly three items in a row.
After close to two years, I can only hope they re-evaluate this extension, and decide it's worth some new features.
It also serves a great purpose, which others fail to grasp.
Selling keywords as an ad service for content developers should be a no-brainer.
Imagine you write a food blog, and Jim Bob's Burger Barn wants to advertise with you. Why not sell him the word "BURGER"? This way, anytime the word "burger" appears in a blog, it automatically shows up as a link to his website. The writer need not link it manually everytime.
Huge opportunity for revenue. You simply go into the backend and configure it so that every time it finds the word "burger" it links it automatically to jimbobsburgerbarn.net.
BUT, as I said, it isn't yet a GREAT extension. I'd like to see this version stay non-commercial, but I think they should start work on a commercial version that has all the features we've come to expect in banner management.
Clients, Target, Impressions, tracking, etc. This can't work as a legit revenue stream unless it has those features.
Also, Automatical Modal iframe pop-ups should be an option.
I hacked it with JCE Mediabox so that it works automatically, but I'd like to see it as an option in the back end.
Thank you! I appreciate your suggestions. We're rushing to publish a new version of TZ Adsword with new features and more complete as in your feedback.
Let follow and enjoy it!
Let's start with the good -
Price: Very affordable service.
Features: Surprising amount of useful features you'll want for almost any business. It's an all in solution, and you're bound to find something you'll want it for.
Documentation/Support: Great Documentation, didn't need any support.
The bad -
I can't find any way to work with restricted content. If you use the item tab for a 'registered' access level item, you'll get spinning and if you try to post a category, it won't even appear as an option.
This is very bad for certain people...
Let's say I run a newspaper website using a JA template. When people get on their laptops or pc's to visit this newspaper website, they are instructed to login using their newspaper subscription info to receive the full content which is set to 'subscribers' only on the "access level".
They login, receive their content, all is well.
Because I'm using JA, I already have a T3 framework for my template, which means the news website is already mobile browsing compatible, with convenient drop-downs and all the other perks. It gives them the ability to login, and once they do they can see content meant only for 'subscribers'.
But let's say I want to use the app instead. Well, apparently you're out of luck because there is no way to restrict your content to a group without leaving it off all together (which is pointless).
Of course, you could sell the app in a store instead of using a subscription based service, then people could use it like they do any other app, BUT (again a big one) the app is a web link "with no App Store barriers!"
Great selling point on one hand, but what if your content is subscriber based?
Again, this is perfect for a company that offers general content across a broad spectrum of distribution platforms (ie youtube, twitter)...
I just hope they figure out a method to make content available, with restriction settings for joomla access levels.
Hi Geno, thanks for the great review.
Re: access control/restricted content we're actually in testing for this capability right now. We have it nearly ready for 1.5 public testing, and 2.5 shortly after. If you'd like to be one of the first to try it out, please submit a ticket to us quoting me here and I'll make sure we get it out to you as soon as its ready.
In any case, it was done and set up in no time.
And now I have a simple method of payment on my site without installing an unnecessarily hefty E-Commerce solution.
For me though, I just wanted the latest logos for Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace and I wanted them to be twice as big as the styling allowed.
Luckily this was a VERY CLEAN php doc. I found the size and positioning an absolute breeze to adjust. After that, it was just a matter of dropping the new images into a folder I would never use (green).
5 stars, highly recommend to anyone.
VM is still a decent component offering more features than most competitors, and the community is still active enough that questions are getting answered.
But their promises of an upgrade are becoming a joke.
So here I review the 'latest' release of VM:
Configuration: Not as bad as people suggest. It takes some time, and some youtube tutorial videos.
The problem lies in trying to make any changes once it's live. You can very easily 'break' it. So if you are setting this up to be managed by someone else, make sure they know what not to touch, unless you want to be looking up default settings on the forum.
Management: A breeze. People who imply adding/changing items, taking and changing order statuses, and accepting payments isn't easy are full of it.
UI: Not terrible, but leaves much to be desired. The short answer - it isn't very intuitive. Nothing seems to be where one might expect to find it. Also, many of the settings (configuration issue as well) seem to be poorly labeled - and it's not clear what certain things are for, so you try to leave much of it alone.
Features: Probably more features than any other Joomla eCom Component. The Shipping Modules are fantastic (again - youtube tutorials on the set up), and the attributes (ex: +$20 for XXXL) is great. There are a ton I don't use though. It's well rounded for almost any type of eCom Site.
A bitter-sweet aspect is third party developer extensions. For the most part, I love the stuff people are out there producing, but for things like SEF!... this should have been built in as an option from the beginning of 1.5 native.
Look: Templates and other setting allow much flexibility in the look. I have found and reported some bugs which didn't seem to gain much attention. Oh, well.
The total of this bring me to 4 stars, but with its dwindling community, invisible development team, and the rise of valid competition, it could easily fall to a 3 star rating.
On the flip side, if they release a completely retooled version in the very near future with a slue of new options, easier configuration and a generally improved User Interface, I could give it a 5 star rating.
I'm going to get booed for suggesting this, but I'd be alright with VM going commercial (for a very reasonable price, of course) IF they ever get their shtuff straight!
Helix is amazing. Great attitude, Very Helpful. Great response time, Works until the problem is solved and/or the customer is satisfied.
I love everything about OSE. Reasonable price points, great support method, and very flexible well designed extensions. I will definitely be buying from them in the future.
Now, about this product:
Set up isn't for your novice web-admin and requires above average web-admin experience in php. Having said this, note the support feedback up top; they will help you to get it working, regardless of what you know (rather don't know)!
As I'm writing this, they have temporarily removed the Wizard feature from the set up, but have told me that it will be back in future versions. I NEED the Wizard feature! haha.
This suite covers almost everything. Brute-forcer prevention, Additional Password Protection, IP blocking, Virus scanning, PHP locking, and, really, too much to list off the top of my head. Basically a must for Social Networking and eCommerce Sites.
The one thing it doesn't offer is what you get with jSecure plugin, which is an alt-key for your administrator login url.
ex: Without jSecure Plugin - http://billyzanefanpage.com/administrator/
ex: With jSecure Plugin - http://billyzanefanpage.com/administrator/?CrystalPalaceLogin to get to the Admin Login page.
HELIX, PLEASE ADD THIS FEATURE! I don't want to have any redundancies, and being that the new jSecure offers IP blocking, there would be a redundancy in having both.
I can't praise this enough, nor the people behind it.
But, my experience is with the 1.0.9 version (I think that's right). And that experience was uneventful, which given other people's feedback, is the best possible result.
I never had a single problem.
However, I can't give this a 5 star rating. The 'support' people get from the forum is obtrusively defensive. Anyone suggesting they have encountered 'THE' problem seem to receive cold, unhelpful responses.
Never having experienced 'THE' problem, I can't speak to it, but the evidence seems indicate there may be something to it, and for the support to ignore that and give short, perhaps rude, answers puts me off.
I removed the old version from all my sites since it is no longer supported. I'll upgrade one day, but I would like to see a different approach to customer support.
I originally started using GK Extensions over a year ago, and have since join the template club to take full advantage of what they have to offer.
News Show Pro GK 4 is their greatest advancement thus far. I still use their last version on several sites, so I've been able to compare side by side, and they have made this one much simpler to understand (probably my biggest gripe as I install this on sites I don't manage).
There isn't much to say outside of 'it's great' because what it does and how it works is self-explanatory.
I can't speak to the paid support for the extensions, because my template developer license/support covers this and any other problems. That support has been good for the most part.
What I really want to see now, is an update on Tabs Manager and Photoslide (especially in making Photoslide more user friendly). Also to see them all a bit more integrated would be a nice touch.
But, 5 stars on it's functionality, and utility.
So, I've been using this since it first showed up. I run it in live sites (because I'm crazy) with no problems. I don't know what bug fixes there have been, but I have yet to update my original.
The bad: Tienda 'Community' lacks too many of the features you get with VM, and the end cost of Tienda 'Enterprise' will likely be too high.
I ran Tienda 'Community' on a test site comparing it with VM. It's more intuitive, with an all around cleaner UI. However, it lacks many of the basic features you get with Virtuemart. Most notably complex shipping methods. But according to dioscouri.com, Tienda 'Enterprise' will exceed VM in features. 'Community' has no real value to me, whereas 'Enterprise' sounds like just the thing. After some investigation, it seems 'Enterprise' has been delayed sometime (but who knows, it's probably being released as I post this). My concern is the possible end cost of the 'Enterprise' version.
Putting aside the fact that 'Enterprise' will be commercial, one thing I really don't care for with dioscouri.com's products is that their Professional support and updates are done with a separate monthly subscription, and the amount to pay seems outrageous! I imagine Tienda 'Enterprise' will be the same as the others, you buy the product for a high price, and then turn around and pay again for support/upgrades. This is an uncommonly high on cost of doing business.
Of course, it's entirely possible you may never need support. The structure is sturdy and the UI is virtually idiot proof. But what about the upgrades?
"One month of: * Direct support through our Support Center for the community version of Tienda * Access to downloads and upgrades for the community version of Tienda.
This is a one-time charge. Your subscription will expire after one month and will NOT renew. * $99.99 USD - 30 Days"
I can't afford that. I can't afford $99.99 the first month and $79.99 for 11 more months either.
The forum support from the community is the greatest case of blind leading the blind. There are dozens of questions without direct answers. I myself didn't have any need for this as I was only testing the 'Community' version against VM.
And this: http://projects.dioscouri.com/projects/tienda/wiki/ ... is not adequate documentation.
"This site is intended for Tienda development. NO SUPPORT is offered here." ... "In order to develop for Tienda, you must first understand how Tienda works, so this document will provide you with the basics necessary to approach Tienda intelligently. It will also help you configure your workstation for Tienda development." It's more like documentation on how best to support Tienda.
Okay, now that all sounds bad... But, the fact is, in spite of all the above, this is still THE MOST PROMISING E-COMMERCE COMPONENT since VM. It clearly has a talented, organized team behind it. VM has not been updated in more than a year. Their 'news' blog has become a joke. I love them, but I'm about ready to move up or move on.
But Tienda 'Community' is far from meeting the needs of anyone accustomed to VM, and I doubt seriously that Tienda 'Enterprise' will be economically sensible for the average J! store manager.
My main suggestion to dioscouri.com: Restructure your support/update pricing and fuse the plan with your products. There are many successful models to look to. ...'I know, I know' you're already successful... what do I know?