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byfrenchie, December 12, 2011
FW Real Estate
There are both pros and cons with this extension:
Pros: It is quite a good real estate site and is configurable to some degree. The support is brilliant and fast.
Every time they bring out a new version it wipes out your data and any changes you have made so to use an upgrade you have to0 start from scratch.
Some of the CSS leaves a lot to be desired and in the latest version the tabs for the property input all run into each other. This is not a template issue as I have corrected it and tried it with several templates.
A couple of versions ago they brought in a translation feature for the component which now requires you to use joomla translations and makes customising that much more difficult. That being said I don't know why they did that, when there is a perfectly good Google translate module available which does the job so much better.
Up until recently they had a forum where questions about the component could be asked but that has now been removed. It has been replaced by a Premium Support component which sits on your site and you can ask support questions. The problem is that they always want access to your site so that they can solve any problems. That has a downside for me. All I want is to be able to discuss problems with other users without the developers going onto my site and uploading a new version which trashes what I have done.
Another problem is that this component is very definitely aimed at the American Market and requires substantial customising for the European Market.
Overall a good Component but I just get the feeling that the developers are more interested in making money from customising the component than actually solving problems.
Owner's reply

Hello frenchie,

Thank you for your review. It's very valuable and we read it carefully. At the same time we found some points where clarifications must be provided so review makes its impact in our services.

Saving custom changes after component upgrade is something we have never experienced to see in programming before. May be you meant database changes which always remain after upgrade. But it sounds impossible to locate while installation parts of code changed and implement them on the fly into updated component.

Translation system is just an option. We had dozens of clients asking us for this update so we did it. There is no need to use it if you find Google Translate option handier. So it's completely up to you what to use. By the way you can paste Google translated text for different languages and then correct it when you find mistakes. You won't have this option if you only use Google Translate.

Forum was closed down as very few people were using it. Most of all requests come to us through FW Premium Support component and contact form on site. That's why we decided to concentrate on individual support making sure everybody gets reply fast and with all details. FW Premium Support is an option and free to use.

Thank you for the note about the markets that our component is the most suitable for. We have been working in this direction and adapted versions will be released soon for European and South African markets.

We would love to have all the features may want to see in our component and that's something we are working for. But often some people need features other people don't need and would consider seeing them in the component as additional complexity. That's why we work individually with every client providing customization for their particular needs for a very reasonable price.

Thank you very much for your review and we hope our customers would tell us all their ideas, needs and dislikes directly so we can discuss and apply them to improve our product.