So I’ve had this thing for a while and had used it previously. But, geez, couldn’t it be made simpler?
The term “pulling teeth” comes to mind. I love the software, don’t get me wrong. It’s got TONS of functionality. But, it is sooooo user unfriendly to setup. It’s all over the place. Can’t the developers just make it a little more simpler for someone that’s in a rush?
A few comments / missing items:
- Templates: upload the template file instead of having to FTP it up to the site. Not everybody’s an expert.
- Widgets: Same as with templates. Make it easier.
- Add a bit of thought into the usage and management of widgets. The current method is EXCRUCIATINGLY difficult. Especially in combination with ZONES and the likes. Maybe incorporate a drag and drop interface like WordPress’.
- Menu’s – Geez, it would be nice to have a decent menu manager. And secondary menu manager.
- Maybe incorporate a tutorial INTO the site instead of all over your site. And make it a little more user friendly and up to date. Cause the widgets info is completely outdated.
My opinion, this is not a very user friendly environment. Under documented in many aspects. Packed with features, but definitely not for a noob, definitely for someone with skills.
EDIT: I’m either doing something COMPLETELY wrong or the system doesn’t work. Either way, I’m quite annoyed. And their support site is so user unfriendly. Even the site where you login to check and maintain your details. Everything about this system is user unfriendly.
If you’re a noob, stay AWAY! If you’re a pro, think twice.
EDIT: Finally figured it out. Once again, documentation. Documentation. Documentation. Widgets would be nice if you would say on the “Widgets” page what pages they can be used on. Else I have to open every single widget by themselves just to get to the one I can use. OK, now I’m a little more calm that I’ve figured something out that should be in a manual or on screen.
EDIT: Oh flippen hell, it is on the page. Except it’s right at the top “CENTRAL WIDGETS : Can be placed on the following zones: ” with links in them. I’m such a doofus. But, I’d suggest still that it is made more explanatory or put a tip / help icon to explain. Next exercise is to try and figure out how the menu’s work. Also, maybe explain what each widget does in details. Naming isn’t an explanation, it’s naming.
EDIT: Now that I understand the widgets thing, the rest is coming more naturally. Well, I’m more at ease and more impressed. So, I’m taking back a few things. It’s not difficult (once you’ve figured things out) and (if the noob has patience) they can really make a serious bang directory with this software. Now that I understand the “engine under the bonnet” I think I’m going to really put serious effort into the new site.
Now I remember why I bought it in the first place. phpLinkDirectory, as I stand now, is a easy to use system that can be a huge benefit to any site. I’ll keep updating this post with more tips and tricks.
A few more ideas:
- Allow moving widgets between columns.
- Easier inclusion into multiple categories
- Page titles would be nice. Especially under the links. Don’t know if I’m viewiing “Approve Links” or “Active Links”.
EDIT: Ai, now I can’t create a link from the administrative section. I have to set “Disable Link Submission” to “No” to do this. I think this is a serious issue. Admin should be able to do anything….. Nope, not that either. I just can’t submit a link no matter what. This is really frustrating. And it doesn’t give any messages (wonder bo wonder) of why it doesn’t want me to save a link. I click “Save” and the page just reloads, but the link doesn’t appear anywhere. Back to swearing like a sailor. Is this really a production product?
EDIT: You have GOT TO BE SH!TT!NG ME! “META_KEYWORDS: This is a required field” when I submit from the front page. BUT THERE IS NO SUCH FIELD!!! SERIOUSLY!
New window, type http://alternativeto.net, enter. In search box type “phpLinkDirectory”, press enter. Nothing.
To hell with this, I’m going back to Joomla to and using SOBI. Much easier, more functions and much better documented. And it’s already installed on the site.
CLOSING OFF phpLinkDirectory.