Written: March 7, 2015
Why I Will Never Use WebLink Ever Again
I’ve been helping the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce for several years now with their membership site, and they need to have web features like:
- Membership Directory
- Event Calendar
- Hot Jobs
- An integration with Quicken
- Membership login and profiles
The Chamber selected WebLink International as a system to handle these features, while the actual web site was built with WordPress. We integrated WordPress with WebLink International two years ago, and let the contract with WebLink expire on Mach 1st, 2015. Why will I never use WebLink International again?
- Their backend software runs only a PC, not a Mac, and it is not web-based.
- Their user interface looks like something designed for programmers working on mainframe computers in the 1960s.
- I reported over two dozens bugs with their software, and the vast majority were never fixed at all, or even acknowledged as bugs worthy of fixing.
- They allow you integrate with WordPress through an arcane template system, however every time that you update a WordPress menu you have to re-generated an HTML template for use with WebLink.
- Simple event operations like repeating events are not supported.
- Integration with WordPress is do it yourself, make sure that you use RSS feeds to place WebLink content exactly where you want it to go.
- Migration of membership data is expensive, typically $1,000.00 or more. Importing members is purposely limited, so you have to pay them to do it.
- Your data lives on their server, not your web server.
- You have to setup a new subdomain to use their system, so ask for a web expert to help with this step.
- Learning their system will take office users about 30-50 hours, which is a lot of time and don’t expect to get a return on that investment.
- It’s a pre-built system, so you cannot put anything, anywhere, which severely limits your presentation.
- There’s no global search, instead there are separate searches for: Members, Events, Deals, Jobs, etc.
- Their pricing is expensive.
- Customer support is hostile. Rule #1, that’s not a bug, you don’t know how to use our system. Why would anyone want to do that anyway?
- They really don’t want you to integrate with Quicken, instead they want you to use their system for accounting instead.
- Their product is so lacking that they have to assign a program manager to your chamber, and that person’s job is to lower your expectations and deliver the bad news on why the bugs are not fixed, and the integration with WordPress doesn’t really exist.
That’s about enough for me right now, but you do get the general picture of why I will never use WebLink again, and why you should really dissuade anyone else from ever signing up with this outfit. Our users in the office had such an adverse experience with WebLink that the nickname became WebStink, now that description is appropriate.
I can say one thing that WebLink excels at, and that is they know how to sell their product and promote their product. You have been warned.