Third party plugins break!
I’d been using a plugin called MyMail for a year now to send out my email newsletter about new posts and everything was peachy. Then I update to WordPress 3.9 and it breaks… while I’m in Boston with family (the worst possible time because I’m not available to fix it).
When you’re not in control of you’re own code, you can’t expect everything to continue working properly. Plugins don’t get updated or they get updated poorly and they BREAK. Then you’re sitting there all mopey and frustrated, wondering: now what?
You can’t rely on the developer for support
Some developers provide GREAT support! But others… it doesn’t exist. I filled out two support “tickets” with the MyMail developer and never heard anything back. (Also the “tickets” felt a lot more like emails. They were through a form on his website but I couldn’t view, modify, or add onto the tickets. They were just sent off, and that was it.) Then the fact that he didn’t reply made me question whether or not they even got sent properly, since there was no record of them.
When he wasn’t responding to support, I reverted to the comments section of the sales page. I made some complaints (just reiterated my problem: the plugin wasn’t sending emails), other people made some complaints, and after about two weeks of no response, people are now posting comments like this:
“I want to buy but I am scared with the comments about WP 3.9—You didn’t respond to your customers for more than 15 days.
Are you still alive? if I buy, will I get in panic mode because you don’t answer?”
“No too sure you you will gain tons of fans by not providing any support and not responding to your actual customer.”
“well, I know my question was not even 24h ago, but I just realised that nobody got any answer/support for the last 6 pages…. wish I saw that BEFORE buying your script. Now I regret since I can’t even use it and can’t get any support for that.. Plus, there is no option on your support forum to ask question. With more than 5000 buyers, least you could do is say that no support is provided. I’m trully disapointed.”
“No support for this plugin?”
So you can see, I’m not the only one pissed off.
I don’t like waiting for other people to fix things
If something’s going to go wrong on my site, I’d rather it be MY fault—MY code. If I’m the one who created it in the first place, at least the fact that it’s broken is on ME and it’s up to me to fix it (and if I made the thing in the first place, I probably can fix it). But if I have to sit around and rely on others to fix it (which they may or may not do), it drives me nuts!
If you’re capable of making it yourself: do it!
That’s the lesson I’ve learned. I know not everyone has coding skills and if you can’t make your own theme or plugin then I’m not expecting you to. But after weeks of frustration, the lesson I’ve learned for myself is to take everything into my own hands. I learned that with my “Ask Me a Question” feature and I learned that again with my email subscription feature.
I like being in control of all the code and features on my site. I like being responsible if it breaks, and I like being able to fix it myself. Not only does that make me self sufficient (I don’t have to rely on others for support/fixes), but it’s also a fantastic learning experience. I never would have thought I could code my own email newsletter plugin but I did because I was forced into a situation where I needed one.