PHP Jabbers Scripts - Issues and Recommendations

One of the nice things about Blocs is the fact you can easily integrate third-party scripts for things like eCommerce, memberships, booking scripts etc. One of the best sources of such scripts is phpjabbers. However, for blocs users there are a few issues that you should be aware of. The issues have been identified with the help of @Malachiman who was kind enough to take time out to spot the problems.

Whilst the scripts themselves are very good and do the job well, there is a big difference when it comes to implementing them in a bootstrap framework. Firstly, the scripts are built around bootstrap version 3.X.X. So if you are are using a bootstrap 4 framework - such as Blocs, you will encounter some problems. These primarily relate to layout issues and CSS. This can cause the front-end layout to distort. Whilst the company do have an excellent support service to resolve such issues, the level of support you get will depend on how much you pay for the scripts.

If you buy an individual script, support is included in the price. However, if you buy their bundle of scripts (65 scripts in total - and great value) support is only available if you buy support credits at about €40 per issue. So, if you are not familiar with PHP or CSS coding, best not to buy their bargain bundle - buy just the scripts you need and use the included support to resolve the inevitable issues you will face when using them in Blocs.

The company has said that it may update their scripts in the future, but nothing solid confirmed just yet, so be warned.

The scripts I have tested so far include the Membership Script, and the eCommerce script, The eCommerce script hasn’t yet been tested in a Blocs site, but it works very well in other development apps that don’t use bootstrap 4. The membership script was problematic in Blocs but was resolved by the support people after payment of a fee. I felt this was a little unfair as it was their outdated script that was at fault rather than the framework and there is no mention on their website about incompatibilities with different frameworks.

Anyone using the membership script should also be aware that it is a spammer’s dream come true. Members enter their email addresses as part of their profile. This gets displayed in a machine-readable format within the profile page. So, if you have a membership of thousands of people, all their email addresses can be harvested very easily. It would be better to have the script hide the email addresses and to have a pop-up form for contacting members through an email link. Maybe this will come in a future version but, at the moment, it isn’t there.

The bottom line is if you want the functionality of reasonably well-crafted PHP scripts on your site, consider the phpjabbers line-up. The scripts are good and do the job well, but you will have issues in Blocs. They are good scripts, but don’t be tempted to buy the script package unless you know about coding php and/or css. Instead, opt for the higher-priced individual versions that include support.