WPMUDev Review – A Little Slice Of Bloggers Heaven
You may remember that in an earlier post I talked about weighing things up and examining products and services based on the value they deliver. It’s one of those business terms – called ‘return on investment’ and often abbreviated to ROI. It’s also one of those things that the average Joe (or Joeline) blogger doesn’t give a whole lot of thought to – which can cause you to miss out on spectacular value if you aren’t thinking that way.
That’s a big word – spectacular – but every now and then you will come across a site or service that does just that – provides spectacular value. And if you are REALLY lucky you will come across a site that offers spectacular support to go along with the spectacular value. I think I’ve used that ‘s’ word enough, so lets get on with the review!
I first discovered WPMUDev a couple of years ago. I had set up WordPress Multi-User (aka WPMU) for the first time and was looking around to see what plugins were available that were specific to the WPMU environment. I have to say that WPMUDev was a little rough around the edges back then. My impression at the time was that it was a couple of guys building or adapting plugins for WPMU. I bought a 1 month membership, downloaded the plugins I needed and went on my merry way.
Well, I have to say that in the years since I first visited WPMUDev they have come an awfully long way. That ‘couple of guys’ website has turned into a team of designers, programmers and support staff and they have created a thriving community of loyal, serious bloggers. The loyalty comes from the excellent support that the WPMUDev team provides. They have several ‘front line’ support staff who can answer most questions about the WPMUDev products. If they can’t answer it then it is referred to the relevant designer or programmer. The bulk of support is provided in the WPMU Dev forums, but live support is also available for members.
The support staff aren’t your average ‘here’s the script and make sure you spend no more than 10 minutes on each support enquiry’ kind of people. I can personally vouch for the level of expertise these guys have as I applied for a support position and whilst I got as far as the shortlist, I was unsuccessful in the end. I have around 30 years programming experience,20 years online and 5 or 6 years using WordPress – so I’m no slouch. The ‘interview’ process included providing those sort of details as well as some tests that involved providing sample answers to some real support requests. Needless to say that whilst I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t make the final cut, the guys who did are doing one of the things WPMUDev does best – providing excellent support.
I use several WPMUDev products myself including the Anti-Splog plugin and the EduBlogs theme at Work From Home Aussies. At one stage I had to disable signups at workfromhomeaussies due to the large number of people who were auto-creating and auto-posting spam blogs (splogs) there. Anti-Splog is a powerful plugin for detecting splogs and it allowed me to ‘re-open’ the site. I still get plenty of people TRYING to create splogs, but nowadays they don’t ever go live as Anti-Splog detects and disables them straight away.
I’m also using the WordPress Membership plugin over at Blog Membership Scripts. That’s just a fairly new site, so there’s not a whole lot to see there yet, but the WordPress Membership plugin will allow me to provide premium content to members once I have the content in place.
One of the areas that places WPMUDev head and shoulders above most other online product and service companies is the support, both from a customer support point of view and the work that is ongoing in the background. Plugins are being improved and updated all the time. In fact, the very day that WordPress 3.1 was released, the WPMUDev development team had already updated most, if not all of their plugins to be compatible with WordPress 3.1.
Of course the plugins and themes are top quality as well, and the combination of quality products and what I would describe as ‘almost over the top’ support is very rare these days.
With well over 100 plugins and a bunch of premium themes, WPMUDev is easily one of the best investments any serious blogger can make. For just $79 per month (cheaper if you take a 3 month or 12 month option!) you get access to virtually thousands of dollars worth of plugins and themes PLUS live and community/forum support from genuine experts PLUS detailed manuals.
WPMUDev really is right up at the top of the ‘ROI tree’. You can find out more at the WPMUDev website.