Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

WooCommerce Sucks? Here’s Our Review

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
Posted in Software · Tags:

WooCommerce is a free ecommerce plugin for WordPress. However, its only free with basic functionality. If you need more than a basic store, have some unique functionality or abilities, want to customize the experience you will most likely need plugins. While there are some free plugins the majority of them are not. Most plugins are $79-$200 a year and only good for that website. Many people don’t realize this until later. They see free and install it, start setting it up and then realize they have bought 3-9 plugins to get the functionality they need. Shopify is about $29/month and comes with secure hosting, so a year or Shopify is $348. This is important to note because unless you really need something custom, have the funds for development, need to own the site completely, Shopify is the better and more economical solution.

Also do you have a developer or can you code? WooCommerce is best for someone that has access to developers or coders to actually customize and make the site function how they want. Keep this in mind as a cost, even if you are coding, that is still time you could spend on something else. That is another hidden cost of WooCommerce, but really any ecommerce platform will require some work and configuration.

Security wise I have to wonder. So many WordPress sites run with about 10-30+ plugins which to me is insane, so if you add on WooCommerce and then several more plugins, to me that spells a disaster waiting to happen either with a broken plugin, bugs or security holes. As you know, you have to keep WordPress up to date for security reasons, so there is always the chance something might break from a plugin. So you need to have backups, and maybe have to code or have a developer to help with any issues. Not only that but keep in mind your plugins for the store basically have to be up to date more or less, so you are most likely going to pay for the yearly updates to the plugins.

I’m not trying to bash WooCommerce, but I think people really need to evaluate their needs first. Find out what you really need in an ecommerce site (the functionality), what your resources are and see if its actually economical to use it. Because even with paying for plugins you have even got web hosting or SSL (https), something Shopify comes with. I mention Shopify because they the #1 online e-commerce solution with great customer reviews. WooCommerce is great if you have the time and/or money for development and need something totally custom for a unique situation, want to control every aspect and have the funds for putting it together. But in all honesty the odds that you will get by with the free version is very unlikely. The free initial install and setup of the basic plugin is what gets you into the WooCommerce ecosystem, once you are in you will start to put down money and if its more than $348 a year for basic things that Shopify can do, well you might of been better off with Shopify.

Adobe InDesign “Publish Online” button

Friday, January 15th, 2016
Posted in Software

Talk about annoying. Adobe InDesign has “Publish Online” button near the top toolbar and whenever I hover over or go by it on accident it brings up a tooltip message. Luckily I found out how to disable it.

Edit > Preferences > Technology Previews and uncheck the box Publish Online (Preview).

adobe_indesign_publish_online_preview_button

indesign_publish_online_hover_over_popup_tooltip

Avast Free Anti-Virus Now with Lots of Messages

Saturday, April 4th, 2015
Posted in Software

For over a year now Avast Free Antivirus has been giving more notices and messages and trying to sell other things. I know they want to make more money, but its highly irritating. I don’t need Grime Fighter, Software update notifier and other worthless messages. I set the timeout to 0 for even notices like AV updates, just because I got tired of it telling me anything. I’m about to switch to something else, if they keep this up.

TurboTax Price Went Up

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
Posted in Software

If you are filing taxes this year TurboTax‘s price just went up a lot, especially for business owners or anyone that needs itemized deductibles. Last year it was pretty cheap, now I feel I’m getting gouged. I guess they know a lot of people do their taxes online.

Alternatives are TaxACT and H&R Block Online. We need competitors to keep the price down, help support competition.

Free Windows User Interface Programs

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
Posted in Software · Tags:

If you have a PC with Windows installed and are looking to make your work routine more efficient try out these free programs. They are mostly inspired from Mac OS X and Linux but they have great user interface tools to better manage multiple windows explorer windows using panes (sometimes called panels) which are side by side views and tabs. You can also get multiple desktops like Linux and better deal with multiple open windows whether you use one or multiple monitors.

If you are tired of dealing with lots of open windows and losing track of what you have open, you’ll want to try these out. If you are a power Windows user or do a lot of multi-tasking, these applications will help you speed up your productivity on your computer.

Windows Explorer Tabs and/or Multiple Panes

  • Q-Dir – tabs, multiple panels (up to 4), favorites – my #1 choice
  • FreeCommander – tabs, dual panel
  • Multi Commander – tabs, dual panel
  • Unreal Commander – tabs, dual panel
  • XYplorer – tabs, dual panel – free version doesn’t have a favorites feature, but it does remember your last open tabs and places last open
  • QTTabBar – tabs, no dual or multiple panes, very clean, Windows Explorer plugin
  • Clover – tabs, no dual or multiple panes, very clean, Windows Explorer plugin

Mission Control clone


Dexpot – Mac OS X Mission Control clone. Free for personal use only! This does what Mac OS X Spaces and Expose clones do in one program. Multiple desktops and easily switching from open windows. Hot corners, keyboard shortcuts and more. If you need something free for a work, business or commercial computer, use the two programs WindowsPager and Switcher, which I mention below.

Multiple Desktop / Spaces clone


WindowsPager – Mac OS X Spaces clone or Linux Multiple Desktops clone. This is the one I like the best, configuration takes awhile to figure out. I like the windows box in my Windows taskbar. You can configure keyboard shortcuts and more. You can configure different wallpaper for each desktop, but you have to edit an ini file.

Expose clone


Switcher – Mac OS X Expose clone. It allows you to more easily switch from all your open windows rather than dealing with alt-tab. If you have a lot of windows open, you’ll want this. You can configure hotspots and it works with multiple monitors.