Rapid Mailer Plugin Review
Yes, I know that the Rapid Mailer plugin is not hot off the press. But it is still available and hotly debated as possibly being a viable autoresponder option. I hope to dispel that myth in this unorthodox review by relating my own experience with it and let you decide.
Like others, I got sucked in to buying the plugin when this product was released back in April. The biggest issue I was having at the time, and to the plugin promoter’s advantage, was my discontent with Aweber because of the recent DDOS attacks they were experiencing back then, which took down their service (along with my email delivery and my opt-in forms).
I was also allured with the idea of saving the ghastly monthly fee that was eating away at my pocketbook (really my business checking account). The big savings idea alone was the turning point for me to buy it to try it.
Besides, what did I have to lose… if it didn’t work, I could return it and get my money back within the guarantee period, right? Sound logical thinking, but WRONG!
By the time I actually needed to put it into use, the money back guarantee was over. That meant I lost my financial recourse. However, not to worry, I’m a pretty technical person, I’m sure with enough effort that I can get the main features to work in the way I had hoped.
After watching all the training videos over twice (a few even three times), I found them to be unhelpful because there was too much talk in between that really had nothing to do with setting up this plugin.
And because of the number of issues this plugin was having, a updated version was coming out every few weeks. By the time I was ready to setup the plugin, the poorly done training videos didn’t even match the current version of the plugin making it all the more difficult.
Issues with the Plugin
The first issue
The first big issue I had at the start was the Rapid Mailer plugin didn’t work with my hosting service. Why? I found out after a round of service calls and series of support emails with the hosting company, that they were using an older version of ionCube loader that wasn’t compatible with the plugin.
Okay, no problem… I will just setup this site on a new hosting service that can verify they have all the parameters needed to run this plugin. It only took me several full days to investigate and find one that matched. It had the ionCube loader version correct, check. PHP version correct, check. MySQL version correct, check, and so on.
From here, things only got worse. I logged in to my new hosting service account, installed the latest version of WordPress and set the DNS pointers for the URL. Then got onto my site’s dashboard to upload and setup the site’s theme and plugins including Rapid Mailer. Activated the plugins, one by one and setup the parameters of the theme. So far, so good.
Once I had everything setup and in place for the site, and of course (which took some time) uploading the email series into the autoresponder, I noticed that the site was having a few new issues. The front-end loading of my site, what visitors saw, loaded quickly. But once I logged into my dashboard, everything took literally minutes to execute. It was as slow as molasses.
Okay, so now I spent another five days with this issue along with the new hosting company’s tech support. We went back and forth until I finally convenience them that the problem was at their end. I finally got them to humor me and move my site over to another shared server that was far removed from the last one.
Once the move was completed, it did resolve the dashboard speed issue, but not the other problems I was having. Issues like whenever I would update a plugin or theme, the updater showed that the update was still in progress (for hours!). Yet I discovered that the update had completed within seconds. There was a hangup somewhere, hmmm.
When I went to interface an opt-in forms plugin with Rapid Mailer, the issues escalated. Not only did it not work, but other parts of my site had issues once I launched the site. New posts and new pages never saved, because I would get “lost communication” error messages instead. Even when I tried to approve comment posts, I got error messages that wouldn’t allow me to complete the task.
The next issue
Next, I then activated the debugging tool within WordPress and surprise, surprise, a host of WordPress database errors showed up. The main issue of course was SQL syntax errors caused by Rapid Mailer plugin code!
So I contacted IMSC Rapid Mailer tech support and spent several more days time getting the run-a-round. Not only that, but they requested 4 different log-ins to access my site like they’re going to do something. But ended up doing nothing. In turn I had to change all my passwords and user names.
What I found to be most interesting, and to me this alone speaks volumes to the quality and reliability of the plugin itself, is the creator/vendor of this plugin doesn’t even use it for his own business. In fact, he uses Aweber, the very service he pointed out as villainous in his sales page, as his go-to autoresponder instead.
But I did finally discover the solution which immediately corrected all the problems. I got no more database errors, no more SQL syntax errors, all updates completed within seconds, posts and pages completed their saves. Even comment approvals executed without a hitch. And all the other plugins worked fine. The only thing I lost was the immense amount of time.
So what was my solution that took away my pain? How I immediately solved my numerous problems and issues that I had with my new site… I decided to take action by deactivating and then removing the Rapid Mailer plugin from my site!!! (Oh, and to unsubscribe from their list).
And if this was a physical product, I would have taken it outside and smashed it into bits with a sledge hammer. Just saying!