I bought Alstrasoft's e-friends software and I have to say that this software has been a nightmare. Right out of the box, about 50% of the features that Alstrasoft bragged about on their sales page do not work at all.
Throughout the process of installing the software my web/php developer spent numerous hours fixing errors in the original source code. These things include but were not limited to:
- Slashes appearing instead of apostrophe's on almost every single page.
- Links incorrectly directing users to wrong pages
- Links to photos in the image folder that dont exist.
- Major layout and format inconsistencies from page to page.
- Very basic spelling errors in the php code which obviously caused
errors in the functions.
Searching these problems out and correctly them was very time consuming and costly for my company, however, due to the fact that site was being customized for my business enterprise, I was only mildly irritated that these bugs were present in the software. Fortunately they were fixed.
Once the site was completed and we entered a beta testing process, we recognized many more problems. These however were not simple glitches or bugs but MAJOR problems with E-Friends core features. These include:
- The "People Search" function. Searching by zip code simply does not work. The displayed results show everyone. Nor can a user change the zip code field. It is pre populated with the zip code the user provides in the their account info. Meaning that if a user would like to search other members from a zip code not there own, they cant. The only function that works in the "basic" search fields are First Name, Last Name and Email. Ultimately, this means the ONLY usefulness for the search function would be for searching users by name.
*2. The "Classifieds Search" does not display results correctly. Running a search with certain keywords display multiple pages of matches. However, clicking on "Page 2" of the search results(or "Page 3" or "Page 4" for that matter) leads to nothing.
3. The "Forum" does not allow users to use any sort of normal formatting when posting messages. A carriage return, Quotation marks, all end up leaving jibberish on the page. Why can people make new paragraphs in the meesage section, the blog section, the invite section, the classifieds section, but *NOT the forum? I dont understand this.
*4. The "Chatroom" section is only compatible with Internet Explorer. Any chance of allowing the other 30% of the online population that use Firefox or Opera or Safari the opportunity join in on the chat?
- The "Calender" doesn't work in so many ways its not even worth listing them all.
These are all major problems. I cannot go public with a website with these key functions not working correctly. It's been almost 3 weeks since I wrote to the company and have yet to hear back from their support. In fact, I just signed on to "check my ticket" and guess what? MY TICKET ISN'T VALID ANYMORE!!!! WHAT A SHOCK.
I love the "idea" of e-friends, BUT this is rediculous. If there is one thing I do today... I hope it's to stop you from making the same mistake I did by purchasing this garbage. AVOID ASTRASOFT AT ALL COSTS!!!! PAY TWICE AS MUCH FOR ANYTHING ELSE!!! PERIOD.