Vid Luther, founder of ZippyKid shared that they are no longer supporting Wishlist Member for a number of reasons:
- Performance: Once a membership site goes around 20,000 members and about 100 concurrent sessions, the system starts to bog down.
- Lack of Transparency: They can’t see the code, so they can’t find ways to improve it.
- Support: The support for the product is non-responsive
- Caching: Wishlist works better with APC object cache, which is fine, but APC object cache is not a good way to use object aching with multiple web servers.
Vid goes on to say:
We didn’t want to do this, but we have no choice. We want our customers new and old to have a great experience on our systems, but when we can’t see the code, or work with the vendor, we can’t do anything about it. More importantly, if the vendor continues to use deprecated code from the 2.0 days, it shows a lack of concern for the WP community, the code base, and their customers.
It’s an unfortunate loss for both sides of the fence and if it’s true, especially with the lack of transparency, poor customer service, and poor code then it would seem like an obvious business decision from ZippyKid’s side of the fence.
Here’s one additional thing, though, that was not brought up but I think is worth mentioning about Wishlist Member: It’s not GPL.
For some this would automatically disqualify Wishlist Member as a candidate for usage in many ways. For others, this doesn’t cause much concern. Ultimately it falls on the end-user and purchaser to make a clear decision of whether they want to give any money to the organization based on terms of service and licensing.
But, I know that’s caused a rub in the past as in a previous WordCamp we had an “issue” with one of the speakers who did not fall well into the graces of the WordPress Foundation because they had publicly shared their use of Wishlist Member and the product/service.
We ultimately ironed it out but it still wasn’t clear if Wishlish Member was going to move to GPL or was making strides in that direction. It wasn’t my prerogative to pursue the matter any further as it had no bearing on my organization of the event but it caused me to pause for a moment and consider what a WordPress-centric company should do if they were going to use/leverage a non-GPL plugin.
Just things to consider I suppose.
I hope that ZippyKids’ customers can find an alternative that makes sense or go find a dedicated host, as Vid suggests.