We’ve been talking about WordPress and how wonderfully
extensible it is with plugins. But we have yet to look at
its DARK side.
In particular, in this email, i’d like to give you some
general guidance to help you make better technology choices
in your business–because no two businesses are alike. No
matter how comprehensive a tutorial i give you, i can’t
possibly make every decision for you.
Eventually, you’re going to need to choose plugins,
services, or software on your own. And your choices need to
be carefully studied and smart.
See, not every plugin or theme built for WordPress is
Not every software or service that APPEARS to solve your
problem is gonna be the best choice.
And tech choices have a significant impact on an online
business. Choose wrong, and you might end up with a
complicated workflow that slows you down and reduces your
Or you might end up stuck with a solution that later gets
abandoned (no longer updated), has no support, or is
riddled with bugs.
In fact, MANY plugins are poorly written, badly designed,
and full of security vulnerabilities. They can cause your
site to be entirely broken, slow, or open to hackers and
And the worst part is, unless you’re a pretty decent
programmer yourself AND you look “under the hood” and
study the code, you’re unlikely to realise there are
problems. To a typical user, it looks like their problem is
being solved by the software if it has the functionality
they want. It won’t APPEAR to be broken, but it may be
ROTTEN from the inside.
For instance, i once found a membership plugin that seemed
promising; LearnPress. The demo showed beautiful course
presentations and a wonderful interface. The plugin had all
the features i was looking for.
After i’d done my due diligence, i decided to adopt it. I
looked at their database structure and began the tedious
task of migrating all my courses, students, and student
records into their format. It was only after i did all this
that i discovered my site was CRAWLING to the point of
Keep in mind, this was not due to heavy load. The site was
not deployed to the public and its ONLY user was me.
Upon searching through their support, i found other users
making similar complaints about speed and they were advised
to get a better server and to install caching plugins.
My guess is, most people would have taken the
recommendation and did as instructed and seen a sufficient
improvement to end their complaints.
But i’m a pain in the ass.
I argued with their support that something is FUNDAMENTALLY
broken in the software if out the gate, with a single user,
it REQUIRES a caching plugin to be usable. Caching is
something you do to further optimise efficient, working
code. It should NEVER be required to fix the shortcomings
of its developers, against their inefficient code.
It’s like buying a car that won’t drive past 10
km/hr–and when you complain to the seller, they tell you
to install a turbocharger. I mean, sure it will probably go
faster now…but clearly there’s a problem if the car
can’t go past 10 km / hr without a turbocharger, no?
Thimpress, the company behind Learnpress have no business
selling plugins or themes!
In fact, i later realised their entire code base was ripped
off from Woocommerce and Sensei LMS, bastardised and
butchered into something absolutely rotten. I was shocked
that despite duplicating huge amounts of code, they claimed
to be “compatible” with Woocommerce. Meaning, users who
ran Woocommerce and Learnpress together were likely to have
two copies of the same code running–with duplicate
queries, duplicate database storage, and all sorts of
conflicts and wasteful redundancies.
Needless to say, i did not continue using LearnPress.
Another example was a popular mailing solution named Sendy.
This was not a Wordpress plugin, but one could buy a
license and have full access to its code. So i considered
it as a potential backend service for my own mail platform.
Rather than start from scratch, i figured if it was a good
fit, it would save me some time to start there.
I bought a license to the code and began to dig in to see
how it can be modified to suit my work. At face value, it
seemed like an extremely feature rich platform, very
popular, and some were even selling it as a cloud-based
This was good news, until i dug into the code.
I remember spending months pouring over it, thinking the
developer is either some sort of genius or a madman. I
mean, it was written like someone just sat down and
programmed everything in one shot without testing or
optimising or planning. All over the place there was code
duplication–it’s something you try to avoid as a best
practice. If you’re likely to reuse some functionality,
you wrap it onto a utility function and then you can just
call it when you need it. But this guy was repeating
thousands of lines of code, copying and pasting. It was a
MESS! How was he keeping up with this madness? If code is
hard to follow, it’s hard to identify the source of bugs
and security holes. Fixing an error in one place, won’t fix
it in the 20+ other places that same code was copied and
pasted and you’re bound to miss a few.
I did not agree with many of his choices. And i knew it was
going to be a nightmare to maintain his code. So i
ultimately gave up on Sendy and moved on.
You see, my point is, there’s a lot of things that can go
wrong with software choices. Even *I* am not immune to
It’s not sufficient that a plugin or service does EXACTLY
what you want…or that the interface looks beautiful or
professional. Or a matter of free vs premium. This is the
easy stuff. Writing efficient, well thought out code is
something only few programmers can genuinely pull off.
(Thank GOD i am one of those few programmers 🙂 i’ve been
coding since age 9 and i breathe this stuff).
How do you choose software for your online business written
by the good guys?
Here are some general guidelines you can follow when i’m
1. DON’T FIXATE
If you’ve found a plugin or software service that does
what you want, chances are there are plenty of alternative
choices available too. It’s unlikely that one programmer
/ company decided to build a solution to the problem
you’re facing and no one else thought of it.
So the most important tip i have for you is, don’t
Once you find your solution, research and study as many
alternatives as you can. Chances are you’ll find
something better. Try to figure out which will serve you
best before committing money, before migrating your data,
and before starting to build data into it. Changing that
choice later will be very difficult.
2. AVOID SOFTWARE BY MARKETERS
Your favourite gooroo released a bit of software? Fuck him.
Don’t buy it.
WebinarJam was a piece of shit. Everwebinar was a piece of
shit. Kartra is probably shit, because everything Filsame
ever touched was shit. And this goes for just about every
software a marketing gooroo has ever released.
Marketing gooroos don’t know the first thing about
running a software business. They’re in it for the quick
bucks. Giving support, making updates, and adding features
is a long game most don’t have the patience for.
Refer to point #1 above. You’re likely to find a better
alternative written by a professional software company.
3. AVOID PREMIUM WITHOUT TRIAL
If you come across a premium plugin or software or software
service that doesn’t give you the opportunity to try it
for free, don’t buy it. This is a HUGE red flag.
In fact, i’d avoid anyone who tries to get your card on
file and automatically bills you in a period less than 30
days. Don’t go for $1 trials either, that’s a
marketer’s gimmick. Professional software companies
don’t do this because they know how users use software.
Since the beginning of time, software has always offered a
This is only fair. You should have ample opportunity to try
the software and see if it fits your needs and solves your
problems. This requires time and enough usable
functionality to give it a proper test run.
So if you don’t get a trial on your terms, refer to point
#1 above, and keep searching.
4. FAVOUR OPEN SOURCE
In general, i suggest you find an open source solution to
your technological needs…OR…if you do go premium, avoid
individual developer efforts.
Open source, of course, has the advantage of being free.
But not all free is good. Open Source has the unique
advantage of being community developed. This means LOTS of
people from different environments and with different needs
are working on the software. So it’s getting battle
tested in different setups, and there’s usually an
enforcement of best coding practices to ensure good,
efficient code results.
Good software is a lot of work for a single developer to
maintain and upkeep. Even if the developer is decent,
without a team behind the effort, it usually leaves a lot
to be desired.
So how can you tell if a plugin or software is open source
and community developed?
Search for it on Github or Subversion. These are the most
popular version control systems used in open source
projects. Then ask the following questions:
How many people are actively working on it?
How frequently are they releasing updates?
How good is their user support?
Is the project still being actively developed?
See, many projects are TECHNICALLY open source because of
their license and their source is in the public domain. But
they might be unpopular in reality, with only a single
developer actively contributing to them. Or they could be
abandoned projects that have not been updated in a long
time. So you have to answer these questions before you make
Here’s a good example you can try. Search for the
[Elementor page builder]
You’ll find it. So that’s a good sign.
Now, you can tell how many people are working on it by
looking at the number of CONTRIBUTORS (60). That’s a
decent team of developers.
To know how frequently they’re releasing updates, look at
the number of COMMITS (18,741) and RELEASES (242). A commit
is made every time the code gets updated like when a bug is
fixed or a feature is added. A release, on the other hand,
is when an official version bump occurs, and a set of
features or fixes has been completed and a new version is
released to the public. These are all pretty decent
To know about support, i don’t mean the usual support of
hey i have a problem how can i fix it–but rather, if there
are bugs or unexpected behaviours or incompatibilities that
you discover–you’d like the project owners to care
enough about fixing them. So on Github, you can click the
ISSUES tab. Here you will see there are 1,450 Open and
6,606 Closed. An open issue is a problem or task still in
discussion which has not yet been resolved. A closed issue
is one that has been fixed or dealt with. It’s a pretty
good sign to see so many closed issues, because it means if
you have a problem and you report it, it will be quickly
fixed and incorporated into an upcoming release.
And if you want to know if the project is still in active
development, check the LATEST COMMIT (8 days ago). Most
likely this project has not been abandoned, since it’s
only been 8 days since a change was made to the code.
It’s easy to figure out what a good project is if it’s
on Github. I’d rather go for one of these than any free,
premium, or individual programmer effort.
And if it is a premium software, that’s fine, but
you’ll want to get answers to these questions and know a
team is behind it. If it doesn’t fit, see point #1…look
I think this covers the main ways to make optimal software
choices in your online business, especially when it relates
to your Wordpress website.
If you want to learn more about how to build your online
business on Wordpress and get unlimited traffic, leads, and
sales that scale, check out the Super Traffic Machine. It’s
a pretty impressive training program like none the industry
has ever seen (or ever will see, because let’s face
it–it’s a lazy industry in which few know actually run
an ethical business selling legitimate solutions to people
who need them). I, on the other hand, come from an academic
background and education is in our blood. I love to get
through to my students and i love to see them learn. So
this course, i wrote it with my friends and colleagues Zak
and Andrew with great care. They’re the only people i
know as obsessive about quality as i.
It’s easy to follow and you will love learning from us.
Check it out at the link below…
Until next time,
P.S. If you have missed previous messages in the series,
check out the following:
– [Part 1: The “Yaghi Way” of Traffic Generation]
– [Part 2: Sending Traffic Straight to the Sales Page of a
– [Part 3: Sell More With Amazing *Hybrid* Pages]
– [Part 4: Why “Funnel Templates” Cause Refunds &
– [Part 5: Making Google Apologise to You]
– [Part 6: User-Friendly Buying Pages]
– [Part 7: Watching Visitors]
– [Part 8: Fast, High Traffic, Unconventional Website
– [Part 9: Why I Don’t Do Email Marketing Like That]
– [Part 10: Your Professional Email Addy]
– [Part 11: Build Your Own Clickfunnels Clone for a
Fraction of the Cost]