After a few weeks tinkering around with it I managed to get it working to a grat extent. Nothing that I couldnt have done with Joomla - it helped with titles and meta management, having everything in one place.
All of a sudden SH404SEF decided to stop working. The issue I was particularly experiencing was 'titles and meta manager' - it for some reason decided to stop mnaging page titles and displayed the basic Joomla page title.
I madecontact with support on the 23/12/12 and my query was answered within 48 hours with a very basic 'what Joomla version?'. This continued for approximately one week with one question answers which always took 48 hours to answer. At one point it was advised 'just uninstall and install it agin'.
Cutting a long story short, 'Jimie' logged into my site and basically responded:
'your website is a PAIN'. 'You have too many plugins' 'It has lots of JS errors'. 'I can no longer help. Go and fix it yourself.'
Ok. Im a commercial user. I think I paid around 40 dollars for this component.
I agree with the many other users of this component that it is 'highly sensitive' to other useful plugins that your site may be running. Its almost a lottery whether the software will run on your site in the long term. My experience is that over the initial 30 days (which covers the money back guarantee) you are less likely to run into any issues.
Secondly as others have pointed out, the support basically stinks. If you have a question it will take 48 hours for a response. When they get fed up of someone - there is a tendency (as other users have experienced here!) to say - your website is crap, go away!
If you like me are a commercial user and rely on this plugin to help your own commercial or other clients activities I would personally avoid. Long term there just isnt the human compassion to sort out your issues if it goes beyond the 'uninstall and reinstall' (which was advised)
I have a sincere mission now, extrapoloting this component from my site so that it doesnt impact my URLs or my Google rankings.
Avoid like the plague.
Sorry you feel so bad about support, but I can only ask readers to do as you say: please check other reviews about support.
I usually do not enter that sort of discussion, but your words are too harsh to let go. Here is the actual time line:
1rst post Dec. 23 at 11:25PM (almost midnight)
Answer: Dec 24. 7:46AM (first thing in the morning)
Next post by you: 7:57AM (10 minutes later)
Answer: dec. 25 5:25pm : YES,24hrs later. Sorry, this was Christmas day!
and so on. I have checked the whole support thread and I have not found any reply after 12hrs, except for the one mentioned above that was done on the Christmas day. And even 12hrs is when you posted late at night, and we answered the next day.
I have also read the other reviews again and could not find people saying "administrative display element seemed to break up and on occasion refused to save changes".
Now let me say that we tried to help you. This was very strange, because sh404SEF had been working for more than a year on that site, and all of a sudden no more page titles?
We made several proposals, then finally we asked for site admin credentials, searched, tested, checked and our support found the problem: you are now using a caching system that prevents the page title to be modified by Joomla extensions.
And yes, we cannot do anything about it. If the page is served from a cache, we cannot change it. No other Joomla extension can. That's a technical fact and there's no way around it.
Our suggestion to fix your site at this stage would simply be to use the Joomla! cache, which is very fine and efficient and of course works fine with other Joomla! extensions such as sh404SEF.