We strive to provide the best plugins for our customers while keeping costs $0 to Low Cost. While FREE is a great goal, sometimes it isn’t the best choice because when plugins stop working, often there is little or no support.
While these FREE plugins are not recommended, the PRO versions are likely just fine if they are well supported by the developer. Since I have not had any experience with the Pro Version, I cannot approve or disprove the support in that scenario.
Free Plugins Not Recommended
ISSUE: The month navigation stopped working, thus you couldn’t look ahead to events beyond the current month.
SUPPORT: Emailed Developer. No response. EVER.
The All-in-One Event Calendar by Time.ly is a great calendar tool with a lot of features one would want in a FREE online calendar, i.e., ease of use, easy styling to match the website, various displays (list, calendar view), etc. We had been using the Free Version of the plugin for several websites and I loved it. However, at least twice, the calendar stopped working as expected. Eventually, the problem was fixed with an update … after 2+ months.
ISSUES: (1) Developer recommended restricting the API key for security reasons, however, when doing so the Plugin didn’t work. (2) After working for a few years, required a Google API key and maps were no longer being displayed.
SUPPORT: (1) Developer responded to support requests timely and suggested turning off the restrictions, which we did. (2) Did not seek support for #2.
Google Maps Widget by Web Factory Ltd worked great initially. We had a little trouble with restricting the API key. After a few years, the API key we used no longer worked. I attempted to obtain a FREE Google API key, however, when I added the key to the map, it didn’t work. It popped up a window that the key wasn’t approved for the site.
I have since noticed a new support thread for the widget that indicates you actually have to set up two services for the API Key: Google Static Maps API and Google Maps Embed API.
NOTE: While I feel the Google Maps Widget is still a good tool, it’s not at all easy to work with. The issues I had were not the fault of the developer, but were related to changes by Google. The PRO version is just a $23 one time fee TODAY. Might be worth checking out if a client is in need of this tool on their website.
NOTE — More plugin issues will be added as they become problematic.