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Turning WordPress into a Sales-Machine – OptimizePress and Alternatives

OptimizePress is a very popular theme that transforms a WordPress website into something like a Swiss army knife for marketers. With it, you can easily create sales-pages, launch-pages and lead capture pages.

However, it is not the only theme of this kind and neither is it the newest. Is OptimizePress 2.0 the best option, or is there an alternative that’s better suited to your business?

Read this review to find out which of the following solutions takes the crown: 10 Minute Pages, Authority Pro 3FlexSqueeze, InstaBuilder, OptimizePress 2.0, Premise, ProAffiliate Theme, ProfitsTheme, PT InstantSalesPress Pro or WP Enlighten.

Overview

First, here’s a feature comparison for all the products in this review:

Glossary (Click to Expand)

Type: most of the products are themes, but two of them are plugins that you can add to your site, in addition to whatever theme you run. The advantage of a plugin is that you can have your regular site or blog as it is and add landing pages, opt-in pages and more to the mix, without having to install a different instance of WordPress, with a new theme.

Sales-Pages: you can jury-rig something resembling a sales-page using any WordPress theme. This criteria is about whether there’s a feature dedicated for making sales-pages only and making them easy to create.

Opt-in Pages: to get a green tick here, the product needs to have dedicated lead-generation page templates and some form of autoresponder integration.

Launch Pages: this is about whether a product comes with dedicated features for creating a launch event. This typically consists of a series of videos, comments, very simple navigation and social media sharing options.

Evergreen Launch: an evergreen launch is a launch event that starts individually for each new visitor. Each new visitor sees the first video in the launch sequence and the others as locked or not yet published. The locked items then become unlocked for that user, after a specified amount of time. This can make a launch seem like it’s happening right now, even though it’s actually already wrapped up.

Member’s Area: does the theme or plugin come with templates for creating a member’s area or download area for your customers? If so, it earns a green tick, here.

Membership Feature: it’s one thing to offer a design template for customers, but another to actually integrate with payment processors and affiliate systems, so that you can create basic memberships and make sure only paying customers get access.

Number of Templates: I added this to give some measure of the variety in a product. The problem is that different templates in a theme or plugin can be dramatically different or very similar. I only counted templates that are at least somewhat distinct from each other (e.g. template with header and the same template without a header count as one).

Responsive: are the pages created by the theme or plugin mobile-friendly? Do they automatically scale for smaller screens or are they one-size-only rigid designs?

Test Page Load Time: I created a dummy sales page with some typical elements such as images, headings, content boxes, bullet lists and guarantee boxes (the one shown in the screenshots below). I converted this page as best I could for each of the products tested. I then ran it through GTmetrix, to test the performance. It’s not a comprehensive test, but gives a rough idea. Note that since it’s a relatively short page, the times are all quite similar.

PageSpeed/YSlow Scores: Also from the GTmetrix test, these are the scores that the test page received from PageSpeed and YSlow. The numbers give some indication of how well optimized the pages are for fast loading times. These are the results with just the theme/plugin installed and no further plugins added or optimization steps taken.

Next, you’ll find details about each product. The products are listed in alphabetical order and not in order of quality or any preference:

10 Minute Pages

Ten Minute Pages Review

10 Minute Pages is different from the other candidates in this roundup. While it can be used in the form of a WordPress plugin, it’s also available as a standalone version. In addition, when using 10 Minute Pages, you won’t be looking at the WordPress interface that you’re used to, as this app does everything in its own way.

The Good Stuff

10 Minute Pages is loaded with an impressive amount of page templates that you can work with. Although the volume can be deceptive: there is dummy content for many different types of pages like legal pages, confirmation pages, article pages and sales pages, but the actual page templates are always the same. There is a good collection of different squeeze page templates, though.

The most impressive thing about this product is the editor. 10 Minute Pages offers a true front end editor, where you make changes to your actual page and you see exactly what the end result will look like. It’s a far cry from messing around with short codes and countless options menus in the regular WordPress editor. At least it seems so at first…

The Bad Stuff

Unfortunately, my excitement about the visual editor quickly wore off, once I spent some more time actually building pages with it. In practice, too many things about the editor are just awkward. For example, trying to select some text is quite tricky: you need to double click into a text element to enter editing mode, then you need to double click again and start dragging your cursor, to select. Sometimes it will work and sometimes you’ll suddenly find yourself back in drag and drop mode again.

I also encountered several glitches and bugs. From elements overlapping when certain alignment options are selected, content boxes missing margins (so you have to add dividers between them manually), to the complete lack of columns as a design/layout element, the list of annoyances I encountered is long.

I could never figure out the logic of where new elements are placed, when you add them to a page. You click on an element icon in the control bar to add that element to the page. In some cases, the element appears below the last one you were working on. But in most cases, it appears at the top of the page. That means you constantly have to scroll all the way back to the top to drag the new element back down to where you actually want it.

The final nail in the coffin is the design: almost all the templates and design elements (with the exception of some of the squeeze pages) remind me of websites I was looking at five years ago. The designs are just tacky and outdated looking and in some cases they’re simply incompetent. I would not want any of my websites to look anything like this.

I had high hopes that 10 Minute Pages could be the ultimate solution. Unfortunately, the concept is great, but the execution is severely lacking. To top it all off, the product is very expensive. $300 is a lot of money to pay for the privilege of using an awkward editor to build outdated looking pages on your websites.

Authority Pro 3

AP3

Let’s get one thing out of the way: the earlier version of this product – Authority Pro 2 – was bad. In fact, it was comically bad. Unbelievably bad. Probably the worst product I’ve ever tested. In light of that, my expectations for AP3 were very low and it had a lot of work to do, to win me over…

The Good Stuff

AP3 Example Page

Example of an Authority Pro 3 Page (click to view full size)

On the surface, Authority Pro 3 has a few similarities with OptimizePress 2.0 (see below). There’s something like a wizard setup, that allows you to create multiple pages for a sales-funnel. More notably, there’s a visual editor for creating your pages.

Unlike with the previous version, you no longer have to install several separate components to get AP3 to work, it no longer messes up your WordPress admin area and I didn’t encounter and of the design errors that were unavoidable in AP2. Also, the pricing is no longer completely absurd.

In other words, Authority Pro 3 is better than its predecessor by far.

The Bad Stuff

Unfortunately, that’s not saying much.

The visual editor initially looks pretty good, but the longer I worked with it, the more I wished I was using something else. The entire editor is very sluggish and always seems to lag behind your mouse movements and inputs. Editing elements or adding new elements takes a lot of time and you are always confronted with too many options. I’m all for flexibility and options, but AP3 doesn’t manage to present the options in a way that makes intuitive sense, so you’re always spending too much time trying to find that one setting you’re looking for. Also, there are simply too many steps involved in something as simple as adding a new text block, somewhere inside an existing page.

The bottom line is that it’s just an unpleasant editor.

I also encountered several bugs and issues like bullet-points disappearing after I saved changes, different text blocks having different line heights, changes not saving properly and more.

Finally, a big issue is that the designs in AP3 are very graphics-heavy. The plugin uses images, even when the same visual effects could be achieved using CSS. This results in longer page loading times and severely reduced customizability of the designs.

The bottom line is that Authority Pro 3 is no longer a mind-bogglingly bad product like AP2 was, but I still can’t find any reason to recommend it.

FlexSqueeze

FlexSqueeze image

From what I can tell, FlexSqueeze was originally built as a theme for review sites and affiliate niche sites and later expanded to also support the creation of sales pages and squeeze pages.

The user interface also gives the impression of a product that has been expanded many times, with options tacked on to more options, tacked on to more options.

With this theme, you can create many visual variations of one particular kind of website: a blog that has a large featured area at the top of the main blog page and another featured area at the bottom of each post or page. This can be used for affiliate sites, to present the top rated products in an attractive way.

FlexSqueeze example page

Example of a FlexSqueeze sales page (click to view full version).

The Good Stuff

My favorite thing about this theme is that the content editor shows all the styles and boxes, as they will appear on the front end. Usually, you only see your short codes in the editor and you have to preview the page to see how those short codes will actually translate into boxes, dividers, headlines etc.

With FlexSqueeze, a big headline actually looks like a big headline in the editor, a content box shows up as a content box etc. Unfortunately, the styles are implemented via in-line HTML, which is not a good way to design web content.

The Bad Stuff

In stark contrast to the features of the editor, almost everything else in FlexSqueeze is done by blind editing. The main options menu features more than 350 different input fields for numbers, colors and other options. The only way to really see the changes these fields make is to save the changes and reload a page on the site. Yes, it’s nice that you can choose a font, color, size, width and drop shadow for every element on every page, but with FlexSqueeze, I think they might have gone a bit too far with the amount of options.

What’s worse is that while there are all these options and there are also massive amounts of graphics and style elements to choose from, it doesn’t quite add up. The most difficult thing is trying to create a FlexSqueeze site that doesn’t look outdated. All the available templates look like they were designed 10+ years ago and there’s mostly too much going on: too many colors, too many gradients, too many background images and textures, and so on.

The sales-page templates are also rather strange. There are different templates for different niches, but you can’t edit them (unless you fire up Photoshop). That “guru” headline in the screenshot is a fixed part of one of the templates. You can’t edit or change it from within the theme.

In the end, FlexSqueeze seems overloaded, rigid and somewhat antiquated.

InstaBuilder

InstaBuilder Title

After testing some of the other candidates, InstaBuilder was a breath of fresh air. It comes with many options and features, but it manages to keep everything very simple and organized in an easy to use interface.

InstaBuilder is a plugin that works with any WordPress website and you can still use your regular theme for your blog any any other pages, if you so choose. To turn any of your pages into an InstaBuilder sales page or squeeze page, you simply tick a box in the page editor. Leave it un-ticked, and the regular page (based on your Theme) will be shown.

IB Sales Page Example

Example page created with InstaBuilder (click to view full version).

The Good Stuff

Ease of use is a big strength of this product and with very few exceptions, you can easily get a hang of all of its features without ever needing to look at instructions. The template designs and page elements are generally well designed and all the pages created with InstaBuilder are mobile responsive.

On top of all that, the plugin comes with many nice extras, such as a feature that let’s you add a social sharing “lock” to your content (similar to WP Sharely), an animated countdown timer for time-limited offers, an exit-redirect function and a rudimentary but functional split-testing feature.

Overall, InstaBuilder makes a very good impression and it’s a joy to use.

The Bad Stuff

It’s a good thing that most users will probably not need instructions, because the tutorial videos are slow and narrated by a text-to-speech robot. They’re unbearable, quite frankly.

I was surprised to see that there are no pre-styled headlines or headline short codes, either. Instead, you have drop-down menus that let you select from a variety of fonts and font sizes. Content dividers are also missing from the picture, as are dedicated testimonial styles.

These are not catastrophic omissions, as you can still get the result you want, but they do mean that it can be a bit tricky to get the formatting and styling of a page just right, using this plugin.

In the end, these are minor issues with an otherwise very good product.

OptimizePress 2.0

Optimize Press 2

Here’s a video with my thoughts about the OP2 launch:

OptimizePress is the granddaddy of all the products in this review and OptimizePress 2.0 is the latest installment of this sales-page, launch funnel, squeeze page and membership page builder. In the latest version, you can get OptimizePress either as a standalone theme or as a plugin to run alongside your existing theme.

The Good Stuff

Click to View the Full Version of the OP2 Page

Click to View the Full Version of the OP2 Page

The new OptimizePress does much better job of balancing a huge array of options with good usability, than OP1 did. Don’t get me wrong: there are options for every detail on your pages and that can still be quite overwhelming. But thanks to the way everything is presented with step-by-step wizards, you’ll no longer get hit over the head with a thousand options you don’t currently need.

Thanks to the many available templates, you can also create nice looking pages without ever having to dive too deep into all the options (unless you want to).

On the face of it the new visual editor is also a good step forward, for the most part. The editing process is slow, since you’ll be clicking through a multi-step wizard and usually working in several pop-up boxes stacked on top of each other, for every element you want to add to a page. While it’s not ideal, it’s still better than working with a huge mess of short codes in the regular WP editor.

The Bad Stuff

I updated this review some time after initially writing it and the critical point is the editor: while I mentioned that it was a bit sluggish in the original review, I found that it was just too slow to work with for extended periods of time. I’d dread actually having to create a full sales page using it and ended up avoiding using OP2 anywhere in my own business, for that reason.

In terms of design, OptimizePress 2.0 has made improvements over the last version. You’re no longer constrained to simple, single-column pages, which is a very good thing. Overall, the design has not moved forward as boldly as the other facets of this product, though. Some of the templates look very old-timey (at least in terms of “Internet time”) and I get the impression that much of it will start looking  bit dated soon. If they keep adding new templates, this is a minor issue that could be avoided, though.

I also noticed that the page speed and speed scores were on the slower end, compared to the alternatives. Considering the sheer amount of features available, it doesn’t surprise me that OP2 is slowed down by code-bloat.

In the end, OptimizePress 2.0 is in part an impressive product with a large suite of advantages. Unfortunately, it is quite badly let down by the visual editor.

Premise

Premise Image

Like InstaBuilder, Premise is a plugin rather than a theme. Once the plugin is installed, there’s a new content type you can create, called “Landing Pages”. You can create and edit different landing page styles from the options menu and create and edit as many different landing pages as you wish (which can be lead generation pages, sales pages or membership content pages).

The landing page content editor is a version of the WordPress content editor, extended with a few additional options.

Premise Page Example

Example of a Premise landing page (click to view full version).

The Good Stuff

Premise comes with hundreds of different graphics you can use for your pages and offers far more variety than any of the other products, in this regard. The graphics include the usual buttons and badges, but also include many hand-drawn arrows and all sorts of icons. This is a great addition for any non-designers who don’t have the budget to hire designers and/or pay for commercial use rights for various images.

While some of the graphics are a bit tacky in my opinion, for the most part, the design pre-sets and images will make your landing pages look good.

I also like the fact that they’ve built in a social share gating feature. As a further bonus, you can load example copy for your landing pages to use as a guideline and you get access to some copywriting tutorials.

The Bad Stuff

There are two main points that I disliked about Premise:

The first is that there’s too much “blind editing”. For example, when creating a landing page style, you’re simply presented with dozens upon dozens of input fields. Some of these input fields are not very well labelled either, so that it’s unclear what you’re supposed to input or what exactly is going to change when you do so. The only way to figure out is to make a change, change to a tab with a page loaded and reload it to see what the change looks like.

Trying to create a nice design using this method is not a pleasant task.

The second issue has to do with expectations vs. reality. Personally, I really like the design of the Premise product website. I assumed that Premise would allow me to create similarly stylish looking pages.

Unfortunately, this is no the case. Even if you dive deep into the customization options, I don’t see any way in which you could replicate the Premise website using the Premise plugin. And that’s a shame because what I’m saying is: pages created with Premise will never look that good. The showcase page gives you a fair idea of what can be done with the plugin, though.

I was also surprised to see that while there is a huge selection of images to choose from, other styling options such as content boxes, testimonial boxes, content dividers etc. are either very limited or completely missing.

Premise is a decent product, but it struggles to justify its steep price.

ProAffiliate 2.0

PA header image

ProAffiliate 2.0 is a theme that adds options to create sales letters, squeeze pages and so-called offer pages to WordPress. The offer pages were created for affiliate promotions, where you can feature several different products and present review content and affiliate links on an appealing looking page.

Everything in ProAffiliate looks well designed and is pretty easy and straight-forward to use. There aren’t many customization options, but the upside of that is that there aren’t any complicated setup menus, either.

ProAffiliate Sample Page

Example of a ProAffiliate sales page (click to view full version).

The Good Stuff

When you edit a page in ProAffiliate, you are presented with a drag-and-drop builder. Using the builder, you can create your pages in a modular fashion, adding headlines, boxes, testimonials and more. There’s still a feeling of blind editing, as the builder shows a very abstract representation of what the page looks like to a visitor. However, I do find that a list of modules containing your content is a lot easier to manage than a page chock-full of short codes.

For anyone who doesn’t like the drag-and-drop builder, it can easily be deactivated as well.

As a nice little bonus, the theme also includes a simple popup/lightbox feature. It doesn’t compare to the likes of Popup Domination or Hybrid Connect, but it gets the job done.

The page styles are all very distinct, appealing and modern looking. It’s too bad that there aren’t more templates to choose from.

The Bad Stuff

With ProAffiliate, you can create exactly one kind of sales page. It’s quite a nice looking sales page, but there are virtually no design editing choices. Short of going into the theme’s CSS files, you can’t change fonts, colors or the dimensions of anything.

The same simplicity applies everywhere: there’s one kind of testimonial box, one kind of guarantee box etc. Whereas some candidates in this review overwhelm the user with too many options in too many places, ProAffiliate 2.0 represents the other extreme and leaves you wishing for more control.

There are several squeeze page designs to choose from, but the final results don’t compare to nicer templates as provided in OptimizePress or InstaBuilder.

ProAffiliate 2.0 is neither bad nor broken. It does what it does quite well and the drag-and-drop builder is cool. It just falls a bit short in this comparison because of how inflexible it is.

ProfitsTheme

ProfitsTheme Review

ProfitsTheme has been updated and has changed significantly since the first time I reviewed it. That’s a good sign, right away: the product is under continuous development and the creators did not rest on the laurels of an already good product.

The Good Stuff

Example Sales Page (click to view larger version)

Example Sales Page (click to view larger version)

The most impressive aspect of Profits Theme can be summarized in one word: features. If there’s a feature you can think of, ProfitsTheme probably has it.

The first thing you’ll see after installing this theme is the page generator. Here, you can select from sales pages, lead-generation pages, membership pages and even “legal” pages (privacy policy, disclaimer) and have ProfitsTheme generate them for you, with just a click. Each generated page is filled with some dummy text, that also provides a guideline for how to write your own copy for the page. In this way, you can have the basic structure of an entire marketing site set up and ready for you to work on, literally within seconds. Impressive.

Themes loaded with features often have the problem that they are difficult to use. ProfitsTheme attempts to solve this problem with a modular page builder. You can drag and drop elements on to the page as needed. Settings and options are specific to the modules you add (for example, you integrate your autoresponder when you add an opt-in form module). This way, it’s not too difficult to navigate all the options, although it still takes some time to get used to this system.

This theme also comes with a built-in membership and product delivery feature, at no extra cost. While it’s not as fully featured as some dedicated solutions, it is more than adequate to get the job done.

One of the things I criticized about an earlier version of the theme was the design of the pages and elements. New designs have since been added and these enable you to create nice, clean and modern looking pages.

The Bad Stuff

If you’ve read my review of visual editors for WordPress, you know I’m not a big fan of modular editors. I’m also not 100% in love with the one in ProfitsTheme, but it does a decent job. It’s definitely a better alternative to messing around with tons of short codes.

When building example pages, I ran into some minor issues with the page elements. Elements like buttons and content boxes are visually represented in the editor, which is a big plus. However, it felt a bit glitchy to work with at times. Trying to add a new line of text between two content boxes only works by switching to the HTML view and removing elements while in the visual view also doesn’t work consistently.

What I missed most are proper options for columns and layouts. You can create pages with content in a sidebar-type column, but you don’t have tools to create truly flexible layouts, any way you want.

These are only minor complaints about a very well built and feature-rich theme, though. The bottom line is that ProfitsTheme offers incredible value for a very reasonable price. If you’re looking for an affordable, all-in-one solution for marketing and delivering products and memberships, you should definitely consider this product.

PT Instant

PT Instant Marketing Pages

At first glance, PT Instant looks like a light version of Profits Theme (which is made by the same company). It seems to have most of the same features, minus the membership system component. Upon closer inspection, there are a few other differences as well, though.

The Good Stuff

PT Instant is a plugin rather than a theme. This means you can use whichever theme you prefer for your blog and regular pages, while using the plugin to create landing pages and sales pages.

Like ProfitsTheme, PT Instant comes with a page generator, that will create squeeze pages, sales pages, launch pages, confirmation pages and more, with just a few clicks. The pages are pre-populated with example content, which you can then replace with your own copy. Just as in ProfitsTheme, this feature is a real time saver.

PT Instant offers a few more features and elements that you can add to your landing pages, compared to Profts Theme. For example, you can create a corporate-style feature list and there’s an easy to use pricing-table builder included as well.

The Bad Stuff

The designs for the landing pages and elements are a bit of a mixed bag. Most of the design work is clean and modern, but some parts seem a bit out of place. For example, the testimonial templates are over-designed and rely too much on graphics (which is bad news for page loading times, as well).

Having tested both Profits Theme and PT Instant, I can’t help but wish the creators had built one product instead of two separate ones. Combine the responsive designs and extra features of PT Instant with the membership features of Profits Theme and you have a real winner. Of course, you can easily run both products at the same time, since one is a theme and the other is a plugin. But if you already have one of the products, spending another $97 to get just a few extra features seems a bit expensive.

The bottom line is that PT Instant is a competent product in its own right. It just can’t avoid being compared to its close sibling by the same creators.

Sales Press Pro

SPS Header Image

SalesPress Pro is a theme with many similarities to OptimizePress – both positive and negative.

After installing the theme, you also need to install a separate plugin, to make the squeeze page features work. The plugin is a free addition to the theme, so it’s just a minor inconvenience that the lead generation options are separate rather than integrated.

With SalesPress Pro and the plugin, you can create sales pages (with each template available as a video and non-video version), squeeze pages and membership content pages.

SPS Example Page

Example of a SalesPress Pro page (click to view full version).

The Good Stuff

SalesPress Pro comes with many templates and styling elements as well as a wide range of graphics. Also included is a countdown timer feature, which closes or redirects a page after a countdown expires, to add some real scarcity to an offer.

SalesPress Pro pages are responsive on mobile devices, which is sadly a rare trait among the products tested here. It’s also worth noting that along with the theme, customers receive the aforementioned opt-in plugin as well as a video plugin. The plugins can be used separately, even on non-SPS sites, which is a nice bonus.

The Bad Stuff

I encountered many bugs and glitches, while working with Sales Press Pro. There are many smaller issues like misaligned graphics, which just make the sales pages and squeeze pages look a bit unprofessional. I also encountered a bug that would send the page into an endless redirect loop and I couldn’t figure out what caused it. In the end, I had to delete the page and create a new one, to make it work.

In some aspects, SalesPress Pro copies OptimizePress’ user interface – and that’s not a very good thing to do. In other aspects, the SPS interface is even worse than the one in OptimizePress. As an example, to set up a lead generation page, you need to:

  • Create the main content in the WordPress editor.
  • Scroll down several pages to find and adjust the general settings for the page.
  • Open a completely different page in the menu of the necessary plugin, to set up the opt-in form part of the page.

Of course, you have to know where all these options are in the first place and you’ll be left wondering why three different options for one short page can’t just be displayed in the same place.

You’ll also find that you are limited to creating a maximum of five different opt-ins (to five different lists or autoresponders). This may be enough for most users, but it’s still strange, as there’s no technical reason to limit the number of opt-ins you can run on your site.

I could go on, but the bottom line is that while SalesPress Pro has some merits, it also has a few more weaknesses that it can get away with, in a comparison like this.

WP Enlighten

enlighten-header

Like InstaBuilder, WP Enlighten is a plugin, which means it can be used on an existing site, alongside your regular theme. You can see a quick video tour of this plugin here.

Example of a WP Enlighten Page (click to view full version)

Example of a WP Enlighten Page (click to view full version)

The Good Stuff

The most impressive element in this product is the user interface. The interface is very well designed, never cluttered or overwhelming and always easy to understand. Most users will be able to instantly start working with WP Enlighten, without ever having to look at any of the tutorial videos that are provided for customers.

I also like the fact that style elements such as highlight boxes, guarantee boxes, graphical bullets etc. are properly displayed in the WordPress editor, just like they appear on the front end. This way, you know what you’re working with and don’t have to decipher short codes, like in OptimizePress and many other solutions.

Guarantee boxes and a few other elements also come pre-filled with sample copy. While that’s not a feature for me personally, I can see how it can be helpful, especially for anyone new to copywriting.

The Bad Stuff

There are three main complaints that I have, with WP Enlighten. The first two both have to do with the designs you get, when using the plugin. There are many graphical elements you can use in your pages and there are 10 templates to choose from. However, all of the templates are very similar to each other and no matter what designs you use and how you compile your page, the result always looks a tad out-dated. I know as well as anyone that your sales page’s job is not to look modern or fancy, but to be effective. You can create effective pages with WP Enlighten, but I also know that those pages could be made more effective with a bit more visual polish.

Enlighten also falls a bit short in the comparison, because all of the templates are single column sales page templates. There are no templates made specifically for lead capture, or for membership or download pages.

Finally, if you take the above into account and compare prices between all the candidates in this review, WP Enlighten struggles to justify its price tag. If you want to use it on more than 3 websites, it’s the most expensive product in this roundup, but it simply isn’t as well equipped as some of its cheaper rivals.

WP Enlighten is a well made product, but there are definitely alternatives with a better price/performance ratio.

Conclusion

There are very clear losers and winners in this comparison. Let’s begin with the losers:

Not Recommended:

  • 10 Minute Pages looks very promising, but ends up being a huge, over-priced letdown.
  • Authority Pro 3 isn’t as bad as its predecessor, but there’s still not much good I can say about it.
  • FlexSqueeze is overloaded with options and looks antiquated. In addition to that, it’s one of the more expensive solutions, so I can’t see any reason to purchase this over some of the alternatives.
  • Premise is decent, but in many regards it pales in comparison to the competition. In a vacuum it might be good, but compared to the alternatives, it is not worth its hefty price tag.
  • ProAffiliate 2.0 is quite nice, but very limited and inflexible. Unless you want it specifically for the offer/review page feature, your money is better spent elsewhere.
  • PT Instant is a good product in its own right but the very similar Profits Theme, with more features and at the same price, is the better option.
  • SalesPress Pro looks like a failed cloning experiment performed on OptimizePress 1. It has some, but not all of the same features, some, but not all of the same style elements and a similarly clumsy user interface.
  • WP Enlighten has a few nice features, but compared to the available alternatives, it’s simply not worth the high purchase price.
  • OptimizePress 2.0 is a product I initially gave a recommendation for, mainly because of its impressive range of features. However, I soon stopped using it entirely and there was one reason for that: the editor is torturously slow and that just made me want to avoid having to work with it at all.

 

Recommended:

  • Get InstaBuilder for a good feature set, decent design and ease of use, if you want something simpler and cheaper than OptimizePress 2.0
  • Get ProfitsTheme if you’re looking for the perfect solution for anyone on a budget. If you want one theme to get your whole business off the ground and you don’t want it to cost an arm and a leg, this is it.

 

That’s about as to-the-point as I can make it. I hope you found this roundup useful and it helps you pick the right WordPress marketing theme or plugin for your business.

Do you have any questions or feedback? Agree or disagree with my conclusions? Let me know by leaving a comment!

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Important Update, October 2014

This post is still getting a lot of traffic, so there’s one important thing I need to mention. As a result of all the research I did into WordPress themes that are built for selling products and landing pages (and because I never found one I was 100% happy with), I ended up creating a new company called Thrive Themes.

We create themes that are built specifically for people who want to sell stuff online. In addition, we’ve created something called Thrive Landing Pages, which helps you create and edit opt-in pages, sales pages and other marketing pages very quickly.

If you’ve only just come across this post and are reading this, you’re probably feeling a bit skeptical right now. After all, it probably looks like this whole article is just a veiled promotion for my own products. But this is a post that was first written years ago and then updated several times. This happened long before Thrive Themes was even a remote idea in my head. Every criticism and every negative point that you read about above was written prior to my work on Thrive Themes. And more importantly: all of those points are taken into consideration when we build our own products.

And that’s all I’ll say (no long sales pitch here). The review above is still valid and I stand by the recommendations made. If you’re interested to see what me and my team have cooked up, click here to check out Thrive Landing Pages.

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Shane
 

I'm Shane Melaugh and I'm the guy writing most of the posts on this blog. My goal is to provide you with useful, straight-forward insights on how to grow your business by creating compelling offers, driving traffic and increasing conversions.

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Kate Luella - November 22, 2012

one word – phew. I just bought optomisepress not long ago, I was afraid you’d come out with a newer better model. I think they’re all terrible in ability to “not look tacky”. I saturate all my pages with my own photoshop banners etc… I remember setting up an optomisepress page “buy” button etc and thinking – gawd, is that the best button they could come up with? Not a lot of design talent going on there, but then again, does that really increase sales anyway… hmmm.

Great review, thanks Shane.
We must catch up next week :) Kate

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    Shane - November 22, 2012

    A sales page with the typical tacky graphics vs the same one with more stylish graphics is a test I want to do in the near future.

    I agree that most of these themes have less-than-thrilling graphics going on.

    Reply
Tony Vartuli - November 22, 2012

Great Review! Thanks Shane! I haven’t looked at OptimizePress in quite awhile, but I have been using Profits Theme for a long time. My main reason for choosing it over OptimizePress was that you did not need to buy a third party software to protect your content. I think that was a big plus dollars-wise! I don’t know if that has changed, but I still love Profits Theme!
Tony-

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    Shane - November 22, 2012

    That’s still the case, yes. OptimizePress and Premise have this feature as well, but ProfitsTheme might have been the first to do it.

    Reply
Paul - November 22, 2012

It doesn’t surprise me that OptimizePress has great graphics (given that James Dyson is an excellent designer) and that Welly Mullia’s Profit Theme is feature rich (given that he always builds great stuff).

Somehow you managed to pack a huge amount of content into an article that was easy to read but still covered the most important points – that’s awesome.

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Bob - November 22, 2012

The problem with any of these themes is that they are gigantic red flags to Google that say “IM site here!”.

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    Shane - November 22, 2012

    Google? No.

    Note that at least all of the recommended themes/plugins are not just about creating one single column sales page. Of course, one of those will struggle in Google.
    But there’s nothing stopping you from creating a full-blown site with a blog, sales pages, squeeze pages and much more.

    Also: Google not liking something isn’t a good reason not to do it. I’ve sold some products with close to zero Google traffic. :)

    Reply
    Mark Thompson - November 22, 2012

    Bob,

    If you are building sales pages you really shouldn’t be worried about ranking it. Leave that to affiliates , focus on building a list via a quality blog and market via an AR sequence.

    Shane good post.. I hate the op backend, with a vengeance!

    Reply
      Shane - November 22, 2012

      Hey Mark, thanks for chiming in!

      I agree about your points regarding Google. Also about the OP interface. InstaBuilder is smooth as butter, in comparison. :)

      Reply
      Caroline - June 24, 2013

      Mark – I’m just so glad to hear you say this. So amny people tell me ‘it’s easy to use’ – I hate it too!

      Reply
      Shane - June 25, 2013

      Yeah, I don’t know anyone who likes it, actually. :) I wonder what they’ll do for OptimizePress 2.0.

      Reply
      Linda Barr - December 27, 2013

      Hi Mark,
      Am soaking up as much information as I can to develop my first website – and wondered if you would explain what you mean when you refer to ‘marketing via an AR sequence’

      Many Thanks

      Linda

      Reply
      Shane - December 27, 2013

      This would refer to an “Autoresponder Sequence”, which is a series of emails that are sent out automatically, at predefined intervals, after someone becomes a new subscriber or customer.

      Reply
Carl - November 22, 2012

Bob why it should be a red flag ? Can you please elaborate.
I have had my sites running on OptimizePress for 18 months and it survived all infamous Google algorithm updates.

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    Jon - April 23, 2013

    Hey Carl, can you share your site, so we can study its build so we can build sites in OptimizePress that arnt penalised by Google. Would be much appreciated.

    Jon

    Reply
JJ - November 22, 2012

Shane.

A GREAT roundup review as always! You have a special talent when it comes to slicing through the fat and getting right to the real meat of these things.

I have OptimizePress and there’s one thing about it that never sat well with me… it requires you to ‘register’ each new domain to activate the theme.

Maybe that’s part of the clunky interface that you mentioned, but you never said anything specific to that point. So I was wondering if the other products are similar in that regard.

Thanks again for this straight, no B.S. review.

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    Shane - November 22, 2012

    Thanks, mate!

    ProfitsTheme requires the same domain registration process. I think it and OptimizePress are the only two with this requirements.

    Reply
Martin - November 22, 2012

I’ve used Premise in the past and only this week began with Optimize. Optimize is head and shoulders better and one thing which stands out (and which product makers often fail to take into account) is the tutorial videos.

Any product maker should think about this, I briefly used Senuke X but gave up my subscription purely due to diabolical tutorials.

Especially with subscription products the developers again and again fail to give you the knowledge to use their product (and continue your subscription).

ps currently using Secockpit (solid tutorials).

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    Shane - November 22, 2012

    Couldn’t agree more! Bad tutorials are a real killer and I always put a lot of effort into tutorials, for my products.
    Reminds me that I need to make some more Hybrid Connect tutorials. :)

    Reply
      Jim - November 27, 2012

      Shane,

      The very best products are created by developers who have discipline to create the documentation before they start coding the product.

      Jim

      Reply
Lynne Ivatt - November 22, 2012

OP is something I have used for a long time. It is VERY basic on the blog template options if you require that feature. :(

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    Shane - November 22, 2012

    Hi Lynne,

    Yes, that’s another thing about OP. ProfitsTheme offers more options, on that front. Most of the others are equally limited in the blog area. That’s one big advantage of InstaBuilder, as it doesn’t change anything about your blog, at all.

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Peter Sundstrom - November 22, 2012

Hi Shane.

I can appreciate the amount of time you must have spent doing this review.

I’m really curious to see what new features and design elements will be in V2 of OptimizePress (if and when it ever gets released).

Totally agree with your point about all the OP templates being pretty much the same. I think the current set of templates could be reduced to no more than half a dozen variations.

Cheers

Peter

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    Shane - November 22, 2012

    Thanks, mate!

    I’ll be keeping my eye out for the new OptimizePress. It’s already pretty good so with some decent updates, they could definitely reclaim the crown.

    Reply
BobR - November 22, 2012

Shane, thanks for your excellent review. I’m wondering: would adding the Instabuilder plugin to, say, Profits Theme give the best of both, eg the ability to have an inexpensive membership site and also have your sales/squeeze pages be responsive to mobile devices?

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    Shane - November 22, 2012

    Yes, that’s definitely possible. The only thing I’d add is that if you are going to be buying two separate things, keep in mind that there are also dedicated membership scripts/plugins that might be better suited to your needs. It’s all about what exactly you want to achieve, which is why I can’t give a more straight-forward answer, here.

    Reply
Tony B aka Mission0ps - November 22, 2012

Hi Shane, it’s been a while since I’ve read on of your posts… why is that?

Anyway, TOTALLY awesome review and GR8 share of info.
I’m a instabuilder fan myself … T think the ideal is:

Instabuilder plugin
WP-Headline

Job done!

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Sean Daily - November 22, 2012

As always, a high-quality and appreciated review Shane. Keep up the great work, because as we all know intelligently written unbiased reviews are nearly impossible to find in this industry.

I only wish that you were doing a review on so many other things.. WP hosting, Pinterest and Amazon affiliate marketing.. etc ;-)

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    Shane - November 22, 2012

    Hi Sean,
    Thanks for the feedback! I’m always open to suggestions.

    WP Hosting: can do, if there’s more demand for something like that.

    Not sure about Pinterest. Still expecting the fad to pass any minute, on that one. :)

    Reply
Gordon Jablonski - November 22, 2012

Hi Shane,

Concise and brilliant as always. I agree with the earlier comment…I don’t know how you find the time to go so deeply into these products to provide us with such a detailed report.

Keep up the good work.

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    Shane - November 22, 2012

    Thanks, Gordon! Glad you like the review (and yes, there were some very late nights involved in the creation of this review).

    Reply
Drew H. - November 22, 2012

Great Review Shane Thanks one theme you left out in The review is Affilotheme by Mark ling. I Own Affilotheme,Pro Affiliate 2.0 and Profits Theme. I can definitely say your reviews are right on about the Pro and ProfitsTheme (I Like The “Profits” Better Then The “PRO” because of more layout and graphics options). After reading your review I realize I definitely would like OptimizePress a lot, and I’ve been told dozens of times this is the best theme. Shane, when you get a chance try the affilotheme for some projects it can be quite good its not super fancy but very stable and easy to use.

Drew H.

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    Shane - November 22, 2012

    Thanks, Drew! I hadn’t heard about that theme before. I’ll go take a look right away. :)

    Reply
Ralph - November 22, 2012

AMAZING work sir… your reviews are like those from a true business partner- straight to the point and nothing but money.. Love it keep em coming

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Ralph - November 22, 2012

Did Instabuilder have any issues with HybridConnect?

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    Paul - November 23, 2012

    Hi Ralph – just tested it for you and no issues with HC – they work fine together!

    Reply
    Mobile Quick Start - November 23, 2012

    Hi Ralph,

    If you don’t mind sharing. What’s HybridConnect?

    I’ve recently purchased InstaBuilder and just wondered whether HybridConnect would further enhance InstaBuilder.

    Thanks in adavance,

    Alan H

    Reply
      Paul - November 23, 2012

      Hi Alan, Hybrid Connect is a piece of software that Shane and I have created and it’s a list building tool for WordPress sites. Ralph is a customer of ours and so wanted to make sure that they work in unison.

      Reply
Sandra - November 23, 2012

Thanks for highlighting the recommended themes in the comparison table and the conclusion paragraph – that way people like me who haven’t created sales pages yet get a good overview of the best themes – without getting overwhelmed with too much details. Good stuff!

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    Shane - November 23, 2012

    Thanks for your comment, Sandra! That’s exactly what I was going for. It’s easy to get carried away when writing a post like this, as I could easily write an entire post about each product. I wanted to strike a balance where I make it as long as necessary and as short as possible.

    Reply
      JJ - November 25, 2012

      Yep… A good post is like a mini-skirt. It must be just long enough to cover the subject and still short enough to hold my interest.

      Reply
      Shane - November 25, 2012

      Awesome analogy!

      Reply
Tora - November 23, 2012

I so often read reviews and get miffed that they are actually just affiliate reviews, so very skewed and biased. This is such an amazingly comprehensive review with no bias, so refreshing! And amazingly comprehensive, really appreciate your overview and attention to detail.

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    Shane - November 23, 2012

    Thanks, Tora! I know exactly what you mean about the reviews that aren’t actually reviews. In fact, that was the original reason I started a marketing blog: I wanted to offer real reviews and see if that would get people’s attention. :)

    Reply
J Wilson - November 23, 2012

Thanks Shane, Funny seeing this review and the themes I have used, although I paid a lot less. Profits Theme is my favorite for membership and sales pages, but I do have FlexSqueeze and I do not think you have given it enough justice.

I have used the latter to just knock up a site quickly, I have done review sites and lead capture. I did not join their membership thing as I am not into those kind of squeeze pages.

Support is excellent from both of these.

For your next review you might consider a top 20 plugins and then install them with these themes to see what crops up in terms of compatibility issues.

Thanks again!

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    Shane - November 23, 2012

    Thanks for your reply!

    I think FlexSqueeze is similar to Premise in one regard: if you look at it in isolation, it’s quite decent. A bit complicated and not terribly well designed, but it gets the job done.
    But if you look at it side-by-side with all these other candidates, it just doesn’t hold up.

    Maybe it’s just me, but owning InstaBuilder and OptimizePress, I never want to install FlexSqueeze again.

    Reply
Mark - November 23, 2012

Where were you a couple years ago when I made the decision to buy FlexSqueeze? Great post!

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    Shane - November 23, 2012

    Hmmm… a couple of years ago, this review would have looked very different. That was before OptimizePress even, right? I think FlexSqueeze might have once been the best out there. Time has caught up with it, though.

    Reply
Rex Turner - November 23, 2012

And here I thought it was me that thought the Optimize Press backend was a pain. Once you get past the learning curve it really does a lot, but that learning curve is steep because of the feature set as you said.

I really DO wish OP had the ability to have significantly different looks from site to site though. Sure I change up the header and a few things but still I want MORE!

All in all I recommend it also.

Rex

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    Shane - November 23, 2012

    Thanks for your input, Rex!

    Maybe they’ll pull it off with the next version. Or maybe those are just rumors. We’ll have to wait and see.

    Reply
Adrian - November 23, 2012

Thanks Shane. Extremely useful and certainly a keeper for future reference.

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matina - November 23, 2012

Hi Shane,
It has been a while since I read such an informative no BS non-biased review on WP themes.
I totally second other’s views on Optimize Press: Steep learning curve and not intuitive, but still a good product and solid design and honest price tag.
I will definitely have a look at InstaBuilder for my projects.
Keep putting up high quality posts and products, love them.

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Steve Potgieter - November 23, 2012

Thanks Shane. I like your reviews

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Harald Schendera - November 23, 2012

Thank you for the informative side-by-side review. I’ve clicked on your new product yesterday, Hybrid Connect, http://hybrid-connect.com, and would like to know which of the themes you were using there.

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    Shane - November 23, 2012

    Hi Harald,

    That site was built on none of these products, actually. I created it long before I did this review and didn’t have access to most of the themes.

    If I were re-building it, I might do it with InstaBuilder, this time.

    As it is, I used a “regular” theme and did some customization to turn it into a sales-page.

    Reply
Leo - November 23, 2012

Hi Shane – just a quick note to add my appreciation of the work you put into this review. Makes you stand out like a shining light in the darkness of the majority of affiliate so-called “reviews”.

Keep going this way and I’m sure bountiful abundance will be yours!

cheers

Leo

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Mark Dulisse - November 24, 2012

Nice review, here are my thoughts on SalesPress Pro.

1. You do not know the theme. It is new. OP is old. Thus, I suspect you are familiar with using something, and lean that way. I am familiar with using SalesPress Pro, because I have been using it for almost a year (while it has only been on sale for a month or so). Based on your review, I can certainly say you do not know the theme.

2. It has launch pages – everything from FB comments, Video pages with Navbar, etc, etc.. This is another indicator that you do not know my theme.

3. It has Evergreen launch ability – Have you not checked out the advanced redirect scripts (either time/date or countdown based on cookie or IP). Set up your Page, and activate redirect script to whatever visitor action you want, and/or when you want. This is another indicator that you do not know my theme.

4. Membership Features – This is another indicator that you do not know the theme. It has full integration with both Wishlist and DAP membership scripts.

5. Responsive – This is another indicator you do not know my theme. It is html5, both the pages and the video. It is responsive on mobile.

6. You criticize because you have to install a autoresponder plugin to make squeeze pages. Hmm…. You neglect to indicate that customers receive WP Optin Pro with the purchase of SalesPress Pro, which itself is a powerful script, and does everything from GoToWebinar integration, Face Video Popups, etc.. Do the other theme’s allow you do install the autoresonder script on another theme? I suspect not. Do the have GTW support, I suspect not. Do they offer killer header graphics for the autoresonder? I suspect not. Like like mine do. Do others allow you to place the shortcode anywhere and have a optin form, like widget areas, footers, header areas, sidebars? I suspect they do not. Mine has all of this, and more.

7. You neglect to indicate that customers of SalesPress Pro also is integrated with The Traffic Player, and each customer receives The Traffic Player, Advanced version wp plugin, which once again, will out do the video functions of any other theme out there…hands down, and gives you the ability to use with any theme. Do the other products do this? I suspect they do not.

8. You say you encountered bugs, and/or a bug in the redirect script that gave you a loop. This is funny, I have searched, but I cannot find a support ticket from you on this. Please correct me if I am wrong. We have no bug reports, not one, with this theme and redirect script.

9. I do not see any graphics misaligned to my eye, and I do not where glasses. If you see a misaligned graphic, please tell support desk so we can fix this. Because, I have not seen one from you on this.

I can go on and on, but really, you do not know SalesPress Pro.

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    Shane - November 24, 2012

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your reply. I completely understand that you are in defense of your own product and I don’t want to give the impression that I unfair in my review of any of the candidates.

    To that end, let me address some of the points you bring up:

    2. It can create launch pages of some sort, yes. The “launch pages” criterium in the comparison table is based on whether or not there are dedicated launch page templates. Yes, I can use a video sales page plus navigation, plus comments, plus self-made preview images in a sidebar to create something that looks like a launch page in SPS. But I can do that with every one of the themes tested here.
    For this same reason, I didn’t give FlexSqueeze the “Opt-in pages” check: sure, I can use a page template and add an opt-in form to it, but that’s not the same as an actual squeeze page template.

    3. I am aware of the redirect features in SPS and I mentioned the countdown feature as one of the good points, as I think that’s really quite cool.
    It didn’t occur to me that you could customize the redirects to set up a launch funnel. I wanted to go back to check the tutorials, to see if there are instructions about this, but it seems I no longer have access to the member’s area…
    At any rate, I’ve added a comment about that to the review, as I think it’s a fair point. However, similar to my argument above, using some features to get a result isn’t quite the same as having dedicated features. With OptimizePress and ProfitsTheme, there are straight-forward, dedicated features for setting up launches and evergreen launches.

    4. I cannot agree with your statement, here. Saying that the theme has a membership feature because it integrates with third-party, WordPress membership systems doesn’t make sense to me. Yes, there are some integration options, but at the end of the day EVERY WordPress theme integrates with DAP and Wishlist, because that’s what these membership systems were built for.
    What I was looking for, for this review, were built-in membership features such as the ones in ProfitsTheme and Premise.

    5. You’re right about that. My test was done in a desktop browser, where InstaBuilder does respond, while SPS doesn’t. I wasn’t aware that SPS becomes responsive in a mobile browser. Hats off for that feature and the post above is corrected accordingly. I apologize for this oversight in the initial article.

    6 & 7. I do mention that the plugin is a free addition:
    “The plugin is a free addition to the theme,…”
    My points about this mostly come down to what I’m comparing, in this review. With SPS, you get a theme and two plugins. The plugins come with some features that lie outside of what most of the themes in the roundup do and with that, outside of what I was comparing. I’ve added a comment about the plugins, to clarify their bonus value, though.

    8. I didn’t post any support tickets for any of the products I reviewed. If you’ve really had zero bug reports, I’d love to know who your developer is. :)
    Anyway, here’s a screenshot of the error console and a quick video showing the error. I think the actual cause of the error has something to do with a font that the theme is trying to load (even when there are no special fonts present on the page).

    9. Here’s an example of a graphic with a gap, here’s an example of a graphic that overlaps with the content area border (highlighted to clarify what I’m talking about) and here’s an example of a header graphic of the plugin not fitting the dimensions of an opt-in page.

    Reply
Brian - November 24, 2012

Thanks for providing useful content Shane. The 2same products I already own are profits theme and instabuilder so im set :) Maybe you could tackle a comparison of membership products.

Question- how did you make that comparison table of features in this post?

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Mark Dulisse - November 24, 2012

Hi Shane, this is in response to your comment to me. First, I am the developer. And heck ya I am defending my theme, only because of misrepresentation that I see in your review. So in this regard, thank you for allowing clarification.

Every error you are doing I feel, you are trying to FORCE an error to show to people, and after I get done with the issues here, you will see that you are misrepresenting. I really do not know the motivation behind this, why you are doing this.

Let me show you….

1. You do have access to the members area. I just checked. So, I really don’t know the motivation behind your statement of that as well.

Thus, make sure you have latest release before you make any comments, as my theme does get better and better with on-going fixes and upgrades, like any theme.

2. Regarding Launch Pages, if checking a box that says, “Add Navbar” is too much work for you, then I can see the issue for you.

3. Regarding Evergreen dedicated features, if you want me to rename the title of page options from Countdown Redirect to Evergreen Redirect. I can do that. This is hilarious.

4. Regarding membership features, you obviously have not even looked at this. It integrates with a custom Login page, with a custom Error page, and custom non-member pages, and custom content pages. WordPress by default DOES NOT integrate like this. Test it, instead of making comments that are incorrect.

5. Now, let me look at your graphical errors.

(i) http://imimpact.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/sps-2.png

SalesPress Pro will add any Google Font. What you are doing is trying to add the Google Font + Italic CODE, etc.. You only have to use the Google Font. Any italic, etc, you want is handled via shortcode, or wp visual editor.

(ii) There is no redirect error, and no bug reports. If you have an issue, you are free to submit a ticket for us to look at.

(iii) Your testimonial box with misalign. This is misleading.

For testimonial boxes, there are two sizes. You are using a wide testimonial box, and choosing a NARROW template. If you want to use a narrow page template, use the narrow testimonial box option. If you choose default theme, or marketer delight, or thin border template, these are wider page templates where you can use the wide testimonial box.

You are FORCING a bug and this misrepresenting.

(iv) Regarding your sidebar optin header image. Why don’t you choose one of the sidebar images instead that comes WP Optin Pro? You are misrepresenting this, and choosing a Page image to fit into your sidebar, and thus once again, FORCING a misrepresentation.

I hope this clarifies, respectfully,
Mark Dulisse

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    Paul - November 24, 2012

    Mark, you’re taking this way too personally. You’re talking like this is a conspiracy theory – Shane went through your product and found a number of bugs that he’s reported honestly on. Shane made a screencast where one of the bugs was an infinite redirect loop – yet your response is “there is no redirect error” – then please explain how the redirect error occurred (ie. what mistakes we made to produce that) and the review will be updated.

    To be clear, we have no competing product in the market and we don’t care who the winners in this review are. This is not done for monetary gain.

    There is a clear problem in the IM sphere and that is that nobody calls a spade a spade mainly because of this fear of alienating potential JV partners. And that sucks, because in that scenario, the products that are actually top quality never make it to the top, which is where they belong. Instead, it’s the most “popular” vendors that succeed with (often, but not always) crappy products but that are supported by an army of affiliates that don’t give a crap about anything but getting their next commission. Not saying this is you, but I’m sure you’ll agree this is a problem in the marketplace – you only have to look at the number of clearly manipulated reviews for any IM product and you can see what I mean.

    This is why we try and be as honest as possible – with no hidden agenda. Without a doubt, the market needs this.

    If you can prove that these bugs aren’t actually bugs, then that’s great – the review will be updated. But this notion that we are purposely flaming your business is ridiculous – we have nothing against you, this is our honest opinion on the product. If you can drop the notion that we’re purposely attacking your business (for which you openly admit there is no motive) then we can cooperate to figure out this apparent misunderstanding. And, of course, our only goal is to inform our readership of the best products on the market – if you can convince us that that’s the case for your product, your product will be recommended, for sure.

    I am a developer with products on the marketplace and my stuff has been criticised in the past, too. It sucks, I hate it, but the answer isn’t to accuse people of intentionally flaming, the answer is to listen to the feedback and make fixes (even if as a developer you think the customer should know better). That’s my two cents, anyway.

    Disclosure: I’m Shane’s business partner but I hope you don’t see this as a flame, I’m trying to articulate our reasoning in this matter. If you do want to clear this up in a manner more efficient than a comment tennis match, then drop us an email and we’ll chat over Skype to resolve. You’ll see that we are being as objective as possible and there is nothing personal in this, at all.

    Reply
      mason - November 17, 2013

      I’ve been review Mark’s products and your products among others for the last 12 hours all over the web. I think it’s funny how sensitive Mark is about his stuff when someone says anything. He has several times accused people on the W.F. of “unsure of their motivations” type stuff. He is very concerned with that, but seems to have almost no concern whatsoever about his customer service which you can tell by looking at all the wso posts and reading through them all. He just bullys his customers and has shi**y return policies. I personally would never buy his stuff, even some of it looks decent, just because of him. You guys on the hand have a perfect rep. I couldn’t find one person all day long that had anything bad to say about Shane and you. I just think Mark is big ol’ crybaby & bully at the same time and will never buy one of his products. Whereas, later today I am going to purchase Hybrid Connect after comparing it against Lead Rocket and List Eruption for the last few hours.

      Reply
Drew H. - November 24, 2012

Hey Shane Love and Respect Your Reviews Big Time!! Your Opinion Has Value!.I Used the feature when I Made My Comment to get any follow Ups to this Thread.Which after I Make This Comment I Will Be Dis-abling.First Shane I think Its really Nice Of You to Give a “Product Owner” an “Opportunity” to respond to a Product Review.Well in My book its an Opportunity Lost!.If He had Come across in a Calm and Business Like Manner He could Maybe Scored a Point or Two,but Instead He Came in Someone Else’s House(your business blog) and Ranted and Raved.for Instance:

“Every error you are doing I feel, you are trying to FORCE an error to show to people, and after I get done with the issues here, you will see that you are misrepresenting. I really do not know the motivation behind this, why you are doing this.”
Come on!!! There are a Couple of Other Comments also, Suffice it to Say “MARK!!” YOU HAVE MIS-REPRESENTED YOUR SELF!!.You have Shown Me You Run on Emotions and Not logic in The future I Would Avoid Getting Products From You ,Because I’am Worried “Support” could be a Nightmare,because I Like To do Business with “Business People”(Respectful,calm and Collected).
Personally I think the Re-Buttal Phase of This Thread Should Be Closed

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Mark Dulisse - November 25, 2012

Paul, I disagree with just about everything you say. I am independent, so not really worried about whether I have a JV partner or not.

And what I disagree most with is that the reviews on this, are biased, based on the JV relationships that you have.

Regarding the redirect loop, you cannot prove that it is a bug. If you want to prove it, send me the wp login and submit a support ticket like everyone else. If there is one for you, we resolve it. Like we do with all of my products. You say, “why is he having the redirect loop then?” How am I suppose to know. He can always share his wp login and submit. Making a blog post and saying it has a bug, without due diligence, means your review is seriously flawed. And, I have already shown this in your other examples you give.

Yes, I do take this professionally personal. I am the owner of the theme.

Respectfully,
Mark

Reply
    Paul - November 25, 2012

    Why do you think I was talking about you when I mentioned JV partners? How does that make sense?

    The point I was making, that you apparently completely missed, is that our “agenda”, so to speak, is non existant because we don’t have any JV partners in this particular domain. We don’t know any of the product creators. Despite what you may think and apparently came up with out of your imagination.

    I don’t understand why you can’t see this. It’s really simple – Shane doesn’t care about you personally – he just reviewed the product exactly how he saw it. That’s how it should be – making this review probably one of the small minority of reviews like this on the entire net in this domain. And, if he’s made a mistake about anything, then he’s more than happy to hold his hands up and correct the review – but you’re not giving him the opportunity to do that.

    You’re completely missing your opportunity to “put right” what is apparently an inaccurate review – you keep messing it up by reacting emotionally citing this ridiculous conspiracy theory.

    Regarding the redirect loop, the screencast speaks for itself. If your official response is “it’s not a bug because you didn’t raise a ticket” then all power to you.

    I’m sure Shane will reply with a more tactful and complete response – I couldn’t help but add my thoughts when you started to bring into doubt the integrity of this site. Take it personally all you want: we don’t give a damn – that’s the whole point of having an honest review.

    Reply
      JJ - November 25, 2012

      Hi Paul

      Hey, I don’t have SalesPress Pro nor have I ever used SalesPress Pro. My only experience with SalesPress Pro is this post (and comment thread).

      My take away after all this is that every ugly baby has a mother you simply can’t reason with.

      Kudo’s to you guys for taking the high ground.

      Reply
      TJ Greene - November 26, 2012

      I’m in complete agreement here guys.

      Even if Shane had missed the mark in his review of SalesPress Pro, Mark’s response was beyond unprofessional and leaves the impression that there IS something amiss with his product AND that anyone purchasing it, or any of his products, could be subjected to the same wrath and derision when requesting support.

      Too bad, things could have gone so much differently if calmer heads had prevailed. Unfortunately, now Mark’s name will stick in our minds for all the wrong reasons.

      Regards,
      TJ Greene

      Reply
Paul - November 25, 2012

Hi I’m confused though I assume that there is a logical answer.

Why do I need one of these plus hybrid connect. Dont they do the same thing? ( My site is built with Catalyst theme)

Thanks

Reply
    Paul - November 26, 2012

    Hi Paul, I believe you’re right – I think Ralph might have wanted to use a Hybrid Connect form on one of his squeeze pages perhaps because of the hybrid feature (to leverage Facebook).

    You definitely don’t need something like Hybrid Connect to capture emails using InstaBuilder, though.

    Reply
Tony aka Mission0ps - November 25, 2012

Well I read the review and I’m damn glad I subscribed to comments now too!

PS: I won’t take it personally that I was the only one not to get a “thanks for commenting” :p

Reply
Leo - November 25, 2012

Hey guys – what a fascinating thread. Definitely the best blog read for quite a while. And it’s had this effect on me:

1) Mark has shot himself in the foot with a 12 bore shotgun, ie not much left … Reading the way he responded to Paul and Shane I would now never, ever, touch one of his products because I would not want to be on the end of an emotional rant if I ever sent a support ticket (I experienced this with a security plugin supplier and it is very bad news indeed. But he did give me my money back).

2) I now have even more respect for Paul and Shane because of the clear and reasonable way they handled Mark’s irrational responses. And therefore I tend to trust their reviews even more.

3) I’ve learned the value of reading the comments on this blog. Honestly, I never bothered much before but I certainly will from now on.

* Mark, just so you know, I have no business or personal relationship with Paul or Mark and I have no JV or other axe to grind in any way. I use Optimize Press and totally agree with the negative comments Shane made. Also the positive ones. That’s why I was interested in the alternatives. So I know from my experience that the OP review is completely accurate and therefore will extrapolate that awareness out to his other reviews.

This next bit may help some newcomers to this blog to trust what is going on here. I bought Hybrid Connect when it was in beta. But unfortunately experienced considerable problems that made it unusable for my set up.

Paul did his utmost best to find and resolve the issues, the cause of which were extremely difficult to track down. At all times he was courteous and polite. At every point I felt I was being treated with respect and that my problems were being sincerely listened to and addressed.

Ultimately we had to give up and I asked for my money back, which I received promptly and courteously.

Years ago I decided that one of the best ways to judge the character of a company, and therefore whether to invest my trust in it, is in the way problems are addressed and the degree of respect they show me as their customer. Absolutely none of us gets everything right all the time. We are human and we make mistakes and sometimes we simply can’t do all we would like to do.

So for anyone reading this thread and wondering who to believe, I can stand witness for Paul and Shane’s business integrity. And although HC did not work out for me, I am still here, still reading, and still open to investing in another of their products when the time is right.

cheers

Leo

Reply
    Drew H. - November 26, 2012

    Thats a Big DITTO!

    Reply
    Paul - November 26, 2012

    Hi Leo,

    Thanks for your comment and kind words – I remember the tribulation that we went through to try and get it working! :)

    I can completely understand Mark’s frustration with this. I can similarly understand why he may think that the review is “biased” because of JV relationships that we have (this is pretty much how the industry works) – although, in this instance, he is well off base.

    Funny related story: yesterday I sat down with my girlfriend who’s just starting to get to grips with WordPress. Before long we had Hybrid installed and she was using it to build an optin form. It was such an infuriating experience – she wanted to do something like change the width of the optin form, or something similar to that, and the slider control was right there in front of her. I agonisingly watched her move her mouse onto every part of the page except the control she actually needed before listening to her tell me that she couldn’t find it and the tool was counter intuitive…

    ARGGH!! Users are so frustrating! But that’s half the problem with software dev – it’s no good having a load of features if nobody but the developer can figure out how to get them to work. It’s not enough to have great features – you have to have great features that are accessible in a simple way. This is something that we have been struggling with during the development of Hybrid.

    Side note: I believe you still have an active license for Hybrid – if you did fancy downloading the latest version and giving it another shot, then I predict that the problems you used to have would be resolved now!

    Reply
      Leo - November 26, 2012

      Hi Paul

      Usability testing … Ah yes, that little aspect of software design I swear so many developers leave out altogether because it all seems so simple – to them.

      Thanks for the suggestion re trying HC again. When I get a moment I’ll set up a test site and try it out. At the very least you’ll get some free usability testing! ;-)

      Could you email me the access codes again?

      cheers

      Leo

      Reply
Frank B - November 25, 2012

Great review Shane.

Could any of these be used to create Squidoo lenses?

Thanks,
Frank

Reply
    Paul - November 26, 2012

    Hi Frank,

    No you can’t use these tools to create Squidoo lenses. This is only for WordPress sites that you own.

    Reply
glenda - November 26, 2012

Hi Mark Dulisse,

I’ve been a happy customer of yours for some time (TP) and was considering upgrading to AP.

No more.

I’ve removed myself from your list because of the aggressive way you’ve behaved on this thread.

Goodbye.

Glenda.

Reply
Mark Dulisse - November 26, 2012

Hi Glenda,

Sure, I can be aggressive.

In fact, I can be soft and gentle, and aggressive and bold…all in the same day, and often at multiple times.

I said what I had to say, and I am not posting any more, and trust me, there is more going on underneath the hood here than anyone will ever know.

Peace

Reply
    Andy Iskandar - November 26, 2012

    Common Mark… your tone is really uncalled for. One can defend one’s product without resorting to the insulting & rude tone. Shows no class. Especially when you sign off “Respectfully, Mark Dullisse”. How you wrote is not “respectful” at all.

    Plus, you wrote “there is more going on underneath the hood here than anyone will ever know”. One can say the same thing about your operation.

    Reply
      Chad - January 21, 2013

      I was a happy customer of Mark having bought 3 or 4 of his products but after the way I was treated when I needed support with one of his products I will never buy anything from him again.

      He creates cool stuff, but he has no social or customer service skills… In fact, the WORST customer service that I’ve ever experienced.

      Reply
    Wayne Rosa - February 26, 2013

    Hello Mark Dulisse,

    I have not used your product or most of them on this page, however I completely see where your coming from. I use one of the themes listed here as one of the worst and yet I like it, I don’t seem to have any of the problems listed above. If I was a developer of a product of this nature I sure would be defending it just as rigorously as you have done so. I will be checking out your theme though as well as some others listed.
    On the other side Paul I like and use some of your plugins and also appreciate the work you put in to these as I do the work that Mark puts into his theme’s/plugins.

    I don’t think these reviews are of much use because I am sure that if I looked I could find another review somewhere out there that completely disagrees with what is written here and therefore people just follow whomever they trust and whomever they think is the best reviewer.

    Maybe we should just list what we feel is the best parts of each and send incident reports or NICE emails to the appropriate support departments of each piece of software.
    WoW I’m tired now.

    Reply
Garth - November 26, 2012

I agree with Leo.

Mark complains that Shane doesn’t know his product, but it’s obvious Mark doesn’t know Shane and Paul, or their level of integrity. He would have been better served to simply state how more functionality is possible with his theme using plugins, and offer to resolve any issues via a support ticket. Attacking the messenger in this venue is a poor decision, Shane calls ‘em as he sees ‘em, which is why he is one person I have never “unsubscribed” and he has the loyal following that he does.

And yeah, I’ve found some tidbits reading the comments on this site, Shane seems to have a disproportionate number intelligent readers who ask good questions and submit helpful comments.

I’ve read some good comments by Mark on various forums and blogs, but in this case, he is exhibiting a little paranoia. Shane even urged subscribers not to beat up on unnamed vendors posting reactionary responses to this thread (I wonder who that could be?), but I had to add my two cents.

Reply
Dave - November 26, 2012

I have several of Mark’s products. All I can say is WOW. A product can ALWAYS be made better. Mark should have said thanks for the inputs. Mark did begin with “Nice review” :-) then its goes into a “hey you cut me off – classic road rage expression expletive finger waving”. The worst for me is spending $997.00 on facebook ad software that does not work. That hurt. I have another software program for $197.00 marginally works – cripple ware. Money wasted. Water under the bridge. I have to move on and hope that I do not get burned very often. Software – the nature of the beast. If not updated and often it becomes software wasteland. Never again useful to anyone.

Reply
    Paul - November 26, 2012

    Ouch, $997 on software that doesn’t work? Did you manage to get a refund on that? What product is it?

    Reply
      Dave - November 26, 2012

      He made an announcement he was getting out of the IM space and closing shop and all websites except his software products and that this software was being pitched to corporations blah blah blah. His buddy Tim is still a pitching IM products. There are only so many Tims that do WSOs. I still am hoping version 3.0 will show up some day and they will have redeemed themselves so I speak with reservation.

      Reply
      Forrest Smyth - March 5, 2013

      Hey Dave

      It’s some months since you posted, but I just read it now. I got burned by the same guys who put out the FB ad software (I presume you’re talking about FB Adclone?). To rub salt into the wound for me, the affiliate I bought it through (a well known and successful English marketer whose name I won’t mention here as I don’t want to cause any grief for Shane and Paul)…fully acknowledged I had been ripped off but when I asked him to at least refund me the (substantial) commission he made on the sale he refused. Shane and Paul are shining lights in the industry and an example to all marketers who aren’t driven primarily by greed.

      Reply
Olaf Glaubitz - November 26, 2012

Hallo Shane,

hast Du Dir schon mal Speedlauncher.de angesehen?
Ist das nur teuer?

Reply
J Wilson - November 26, 2012

Hi Mark Dulisse

If sometimes feels like I have bought just about every WordPress theme going, so the last thing I need is another one, however, what I always find when I try one is a nice feature or clever bit of coding.

If you look at Microsoft, it was always V3 of their products that took off, this was because they “borrowed” the innovation of other products. Hell even Apple did not have copy and paste in IOS in the early releases.

So what I would do is thank Shane for pointing out some of the features he would like to have and look at how you might implement them. If something is not obvious in your product or is like pulling teeth to implement, then look at how they do it in your competitors products and consider recoding a new interface to those features. Again look at Windows, almost every task has several ways of doing it.

I don’t necessarily agree with Shane that looking like OP is a bad thing, but I would aways seek to improve on it.

Meanwhile I would suggest that you do your own complete review of your product on your own site, perhaps a few videos on how to achieve the things you think you do that are not mentioned here.

Of course putting in a post here with a massive discount will at least get you some new customers because there are so many trophy hunters chasing shiny objects.

Reply
Nen - November 28, 2012

What I don´t understand is:

– Why do you use what you yourself call “LAME LINK-CLOAKING” in your affiliate links above (see here: http://www.ghosturl.com/ scroll down the video):

http://mysite.com/productname = LAME LINK-CLOAKING

So you are selling a “magic” tool for cloaking aff. links, but you DON´T use it yourself in the real world?

Is your tool “not good enough for you, but ok for your buyers”??

Explain that, please

:(

Reply
    Shane - November 28, 2012

    Simple: I’m not trying to cloak my links. I’m just using redirects to track them.
    Transparency is a very important thing on this site, so using real cloaking would not fit the picture, at all.

    GhostURL is awesome if you want to actually cloak your links. And many tools call themselves link cloakers, even thought they don’t actually cloak the link. That’s where the “lame link-cloaking” reference comes from.

    Reply
    Drew H. - November 28, 2012

    oh! ooh!

    Reply
Kevin - December 3, 2012

Shane & Mark

Keep up the good work. There are so many people out there who need reviews like this so that they can see what is the best product on the market. Its nice to see some getting rattled about a review.

Great work.

Kevin

Reply
brian - December 5, 2012

Lol, wow lots of drama. I used to be on Mark’s list and bought a plugin of his. I asked a support question about it saying it wasn’t working correctly and trying to figure out what was wrong(I’m not a newbie to wordpress) and his response was quite condescending and rude. I was kind of shocked.

He used to push a ton of crap WSO’s to his buyer list I was on. I’ve been on Shane’s list here for a long time and rarely if ever had a product promoted to me.

anyways, can’t say I am surprised by the comments here

Reply
chris - December 11, 2012

Hi Shane I can’t get hybrid connect short code to work on my optimize press site, do you have a solution please?

Regards,
Chris

Reply
    Paul - December 11, 2012

    Hi Chris, I haven’t seen any tickets from you in the helpdesk – just sent you an email to get this sorted.

    Reply
Tommy Koo - December 13, 2012

Hi! Shane!

I really love the way to write a review. First of all, thank you for your time and effort. To be honest with you, I really hate myself because Hybrid Connect was not available to me when I got starting blogging. I have ordered a copy of “hybrid-connect”. It is really awesome.

May I ask you several questions? Actually, I already have InstaBuilder. Since InstaBuilder will not change our theme when we activate it, is there any FREE WORDPRESS THEMES that you can recommend to me if i want to build a Niche Blog and a Squeeze Page. I mean free theme that you recommend the most.

Reply
    Shane - December 13, 2012

    Hi Tommy,

    Glad you like Hybrid Connect!

    I quite like the “twenty twelve” theme by the WordPress team themselves. It’s nice and simple, no distractions, no fancy bits and bobs. Great for content-focused pages.

    For many purposes, a theme like that is great. For specialized purposes (e.g. a review site, an app sales site etc.) I always go for premium themes. Too risky and time consuming to try and find a clean, well-made, well-maintained theme for free, IMO.

    Reply
Lonnie Robinson - December 15, 2012

Hey Shane!

This is by far the most thoroughly researched “theme” reviews I have ever seen. I must agree with you on your choices. I use all 3 of the ones you recommend and for the very same reasons.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your study with us!

Reply
Kane - December 16, 2012

WOAH Great write up Shane. The comments section = entertainment! but most of all positive insight to both yourself and Paul’s integrity and transparency. I LIKE IT. AND I will be subscribing for more after this comment. I have some questions for you, I am wanting to set up a member based website.

1. If you were asked to make a choice, which one would you choose ? Digital Access Pass or Wishlist?
2. In your opinion theme integrates the best for above?
3. I just stumbled onto your page no idea of your products but I will be reading up on them. What product do you think will help me starting out a member based site?

Reply
    Shane - December 16, 2012

    Thank you for your comment, Kane!

    1. Digital Access Pass. Way better because it’s not a plugin and can act independently of/outside of WordPress. Also tons more features.

    2. Doesn’t matter. I use various themes for my memberships, just based on their design and usability.

    3. I don’t have products that directly relate to that. Hybrid Connect and the webinar related products are likely ones you’ll find useful as a product vendor at some point, since building a mailing list is a must and webinars are an awesome way of selling products and memberships.

    Reply
      Kane - January 7, 2013

      Thanks for your answers Shane. Have seen the quickconnect product, I am keen to know of any hidden costs? as always :)

      Also what does your statement actually mean: ‘Unlimited Everything
      Add unlimited forms, connect them to unlimited mailing lists, create any design you want…’

      Does that mean I can use it on every domain I own? Is there a video available of the backend stats/admin view to look at?

      Great product btw.

      Reply
      Shane - January 7, 2013

      Hi Kane,

      There’s a single-site as well as a multi-site version. The multi-site version you can use on all your own sites, on as many domains as you want.
      There are no hidden costs. The available versions are all listed and explained right on the homepage. :)

      We’re going to add a demo video to the page, but it might be a while before that’s all ready and updated.

      Reply
      Kane - January 7, 2013

      Correction: Meant to say Hybrid Connect product! But I am sure it is quick to connect ! :)

      Reply
Luke - December 22, 2012

Blown away by this review.

Totally honest, upfront, and very detailed analysis!

Thank you so much for all this value you’re bringing :)

Reply
Dawson - January 7, 2013

Great objective unbiased review. Really appreciate the objectivity and honesty. So refreshing.

Premise is blah, in my view.

OptimizePress is great but…for all the reasons you’ve listed.

What do you think of max inbound?

And any product from mark dulisse…straight to the trash bin. Love his attitude towards feedback on his product…

Reply
    Shane - January 21, 2013

    Thanks for your comment!

    Max Inbound I’d never heard of before. I’ll have to take a look at that.

    Reply
Frank - January 21, 2013

Thanks for your unbiased review of these popular “sales page makers”
How about your own sales pager maker. Something as good as “hybrid connect”
Since you know the shortfalls in the other products, Shane, yours could be a much better product.

Reply
    Shane - January 21, 2013

    Thanks, Frank!

    We have actually been thinking about that.
    We’ll be releasing a product that is somewhat related to the ones in this review. Depending on how well it does, it may or may not become a stepping stone towards our own landing page builder. :)

    Reply
Ralph - January 21, 2013

I just stumbled upon on that might be a worthy competitor for this set: FusionHQ. Any experience with it as of yet?

Reply
    Shane - January 21, 2013

    FusionHQ is a product delivery/membership platform. It does also have a page builder, but that’s actually it’s weak point. I never managed to make a half-decent looking page with their system.

    It’s also not based on WordPress, so it doesn’t quite fit the picture.

    Reply
Patrick - January 26, 2013

I’m in the market for something to help me make squeeze pages and I’m somewhat confused at the difference between something like Instabuilder and Hybrid Connect. I just watched the Hybrid Connect video and it says it can be used to be make squeeze pages – so what would I need something like Instabuilder for if I bought Hybrid Connect? Is it because Hybrid Connect “only” lets you make really simple squeeze pages that are just the opt-in form and a background, whereas the others like Instabuilder let you make much more customized squeeze pages with different layouts, different blocks of text in different places, etc.? Help! I’m confused. :)

Reply
    Shane - January 26, 2013

    Hi Patrick,

    Yes, that’s exactly it. Hybrid Connect is about opt-ins and nothing else. You can create various forms to place on your site and you can also create a simple squeeze page.

    Something like InstaBuilder is primarily made for sales pages, so you can have these pages with all sorts of content on them. In addition, you can also create sqeeze pages, which are usually like a variation of the sales page (one area for your content and an opt-in form next to it).

    If all you need is a squeeze page, then getting something like InstaBuilder or OptimizePress for that sole purpose would be overkill. You’d end up not using 90% of the features.
    On the other hand, if you want to create sales pages, then Hybrid Connect can’t help you.

    I hope that clarifies things.

    Reply
      Guido Zecckine III - March 15, 2013

      Doesn’t Hybrid Connect allow you to put those opt-ins wherever you want on a page as well. I think it does. :)

      Reply
Patrick - January 26, 2013

Thanks for the reply. Basically I’m looking for something that can create customizable and flexible squeeze pages, in addition to being able to do basic blogging (whether that was via a theme/plugin or just wordpress itself). For the squeeze pages I would like to be able to have a nice headline, subhead, add a little content, maybe a video, etc. so I guess Hybrid Connect can’t quite do that. Is there something you can recommend? I guess something like an Instabuilder “lite” that doesn’t have all the other features you said I wouldn’t need? I guess I can always use Instabuilder (with or without Hybrid Connect) but if you know of something else I should look at I’d love to hear about it. Thanks!

Reply
    Shane - January 27, 2013

    I don’t know of any plugin that makes squeeze pages with more features than Hybrid, but isn’t one of the solutions listed above (or a similarly sized sales page/squeeze page/launch page builder).

    Headline, subheadline, text, images, video, audio etc. is all possible on a Hybrid squeeze page. The only restriction is that what you build has to fit on one screen. It’s not really made for long pages, where you have to scroll to see all the content. But then again, squeeze pages aren’t supposed to be long.

    Reply
      Patrick - January 27, 2013

      Hmm I didn’t get that from the video on the Hybrid page. Glad I asked!

      Just out of curiosity, from a technical standpoint, can you clarify the part about fitting all on “one page”? How is one page defined? What fits on my monitor with no scrolling is almost guaranteed to be different from what fits on your monitor with no scrolling as they are so many factors involved.

      Reply
      Shane - January 27, 2013

      It should fit into a 1280×720 screen and you’ll be fine.

      Reply
John - January 27, 2013

Isn’t your home page made up of a squeeze page using HC ?

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Doc Newell - February 4, 2013

I have a question. Of ALL the membership platforms with you are familiar, which are best capable of allowing a customer to buy multiple products of time? Specifically, if I sell a customer Course A, which has its own discrete membership area, can the same customer return a few months later and buy Course E (also with its own discrete member area)?

It doesn’t matter to me whether they get a new login or that the content is added under their initial login. I just want them to have access to both courses even though they signed up/paid at different times.
Thanks,
Doc

Reply
    Shane - February 4, 2013

    I’d say they’re all equally good at that, especially when you don’t mind if they can use the same login or get a new one.
    As far as I can understand, all you’re asking for is the ability to sell different, completely separate products. That’s possible with every membership solution I’ve ever tested.

    Reply
todoexcel - February 5, 2013

Although not for WP, I reccommend these:

http://unbounce.com
http://www.landerapp.com

;-)

Reply
C.J. - February 10, 2013

Hi Shane,
This was one of the most AWESOME posts EVER. A few comments:

1. Although not currently visible due to upcoming ClickBank launch on 2/13, InstaBuilder also includes a countdown timer feature like that of Sales Press Pro.

2. To further round out the selection, I would’ve liked to see the following included (especially the first – maybe in a post update?):

a. http://productlaunchwordpresstheme.com/ (originally included as bonus with Mike Filsaime’s Evergreen Business System webinar product), and

b. http://www.digilaunchpad.com/ from Andy Fletcher

On a similar note, my other “dream post” (from you, no less!) would be a comparison of the following membership systems:

Wishlist (optionally in conjunction with WP Drip from Plank/Tamashiro)
Profits Theme
MemberRocket
MemberSnap
MemberWing
FastMember
S2 Member
WPBuyNow
DAP

I’d be interested to read which of the above best protects against access/login sharing.

Thanks for setting an example of integrity in this business.

Reply
Forrest Smyth - February 11, 2013

Hey Shane, excellent review. Something else worth adding to this lineup is WP-Enlighten from Jason Fladlien. It was released in beta late last year and as I understand it, will be launched officially later this year (2013).

It offers a very easy and intuitive way to change the overall look of sales pages including background, page style, fonts & graphics. It has a live preview showing a miniature version of your page which is a real time saver and it is fully responsive.

Reply
    Shane - February 11, 2013

    Hi Forrest,

    Thanks! I actually have a review of WP Enlighten almost ready. I wanted to wait until it’s actually available, before publishing it. But I don’t know how long that will take, so I might go ahead and publish it sooner, anyway. :)

    Reply
      Forrest Smyth - February 17, 2013

      Hi Shane,

      You’re one step ahead of me! Thanks for adding WP Enlighten to the review! I’ve just started using it, and I concur with your review. Hopefully, being in beta currently, they will upgrade it significantly before final release and it will fulfil its promise and justify it’s price tag.

      Reply
      Shane - February 17, 2013

      +1 on that!

      It would be awesome if they added some more templates (that are actually functionally different) and added some more polish to the plugin. The potential is definitely there!

      Reply
Forrest Smyth - February 11, 2013

I’d also like to second C.J.’s suggestion to do a review on membership systems.

By the way, it’s always refreshing to come across internet marketers like yourself who provide real value, and are in it for the long term, and not just a quick buck!

Cheers

Reply
    Shane - February 11, 2013

    Thanks! As mentioned in my reply to C.J.’s comment, an update to that post is coming soon! :)

    Reply
Ancel Fernandes - February 15, 2013

Great review, very informative. I am considering purchase of a system, which will enable me to create eye-catching video squeeze pages for team members to use, and enable my team members to use the same squeeze page, by replacing my username with their username in the squeeze page link. Which system, would you recommend that will enable me to do this?

Reply
Cliff - February 17, 2013

Shane, thanks so much for all this detailed information, it looks like you’ve put a lot of work into it! With so many different theme products to choose from, it’s nearly impossible to spend all the time needed to make an informed choice.

I was drawn to Sales Press Pro by the extensive video integration made available on a variety of page themes, but I’ll have to agree with you on your final conclusion since the builder said that it was modeled after OptimezePress.

Thanks again – Cliff

Reply
Tony C - February 17, 2013

Hi Shane

Thanks for the WP Enlighten inclusion.

I’ve been using WP Enlighten this week to build a new affiliate review page. I agree with you about all the themes looking a bit dated. In fact, apart from different fonts I don’t see any significant differences between themes either. That’s probably just me though.

What I really like about it, and what it is designed for, is that if you have your sales script and personalised graphics ready, then it’s dead easy to build a page very fast and it doesn’t allow you to cock it up.

Sure there are plenty of limitations but if you want to get something up fast this is it. You can then spend the rest of the week getting your ‘longhand’ site up to your exact specifications with whatever theme is your choice. You could even do it in the theme that WP Enlighten sits over then just delete the WP Enlighten page when you have made every little tweak you ever want to behind the scenes.

There are some nice little touches to this plug-in and Jason implies there are more features to come. Which is why it might be off the market at present.

When you put a video on there it automatically defaults back to the beginning of the video – not to the multi-choice distraction of YouTube (if that is your source).

You can FTP whatever graphic you want into the file folder. You are not limited in any way to just what comes with the product.

In regard to it being a lead gen page, no it’s not really. But then when used in conjunction with Hybrid Connect: who cares.

Rapid Crush also have an easy to use split test software prog which can work with WP Enlighten. So my idea is to get them both working quickly then from the results design something a bit more up to date aesthetically, even if it’s only to get rid of the containment box so the thing all merges into one big open plan background.

Thanks again Shane

Tony C

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Zorro - February 17, 2013

This is a very good detailed review..! However, in my opinion the only winner that I would consider using based on your review would be InstaBuilder and here is why. The other two winners you have listed OptimizePress & ProfitsTheme are not responsive.. And we all know everything is becoming more and more mobile these days.

Zorro…!

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Tora - February 18, 2013

Thanks for this review. I am currently trying to decide whether to include a sales page / squeeze page plugin on our blog so this is very helpful. But I don’t understand why all of these plugin templates are all so dull and boring. Especially when their own sales pages look a gazillion times better! How much harder would it be to include modern fonts, modern graphics, something that is visually appealing? If this wasn’t important, why do their own sales pages look so much nicer then their plugins? As a female marketing to female, I believe that the look and feel is particularly important. And yet, most of these just make me look like a slightly dodgy business (sorry, no offense to anyone but I’m sure you know what I mean). Shane, can’t you just build one? LOL!

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    Shane - February 18, 2013

    Hi Tora,

    I know what you mean. I’ve noticed the same thing: there are many themes and plugins that create this one particular style of sales page and landing page.
    If you want something a bit more professional and less generic looking, there are seemingly no options other than hiring a designer.

    I think what it comes down to is this: the products here (at least the good ones) are great for making something that is good enough and making that quickly, on a limited budget. You don’t have to spend thousands on a custom design, you don’t have to spend hours creating something yourself. You install the plugin, do some basic editing and you end up with an effective sales page. Not a stellar sales page, not a sales page that instantly puts your product above the rest, but one that works.

    This kind of thing does have its place and purpose, but I also completely understand that you’re looking for something else.

    Build one?

    Well, I may have something planned… but nothing’s official yet. ;)

    Reply
Peter Rose - February 18, 2013

What a great review Shane, thank you, you’ve saved me hours of trawling through various vendors sales stuff.

I am looking at the ‘Profits Theme’ as one of three recommended contenders.
Does anyone know if this is supported with spoken word video tutorials? I can’t stand videos without commentary!

Thanks Guys.

Peter

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    Jillian P - February 18, 2013

    Hi Peter, yes, the tutorials include spoken videos, but even I have managed with very little reference to them so far.
    Personally I like the fact that I can just download a pdf, hate watching videos, with or without commentary!

    Cheers, Jillian

    Reply
Rick Gomez - February 18, 2013

Hello Shane, I just want to thank you for your brutally honest reviews. I almost always think its my fault that I cannot figure out how these themes are supposed to work and now I now its not always my fault. Im sure these people have really good intentions initially or maybe not but when it comes to great sales themes, products, etc some are only in it for the money… I dont think of myself as gullible but I guess Iam… But with people like you in the world its a much better place..

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    Shane - February 18, 2013

    Thank you very much, Rick!

    In glad to be of service. You know, I think it doesn’t have anything to do with gullibility. When doing these reviews, I’m in the unique position of actually seeing all these products in comparison – something you usually can’t do, because it’s too expensive to buy all this stuff for personal use.

    Unless you have this comparison, it’s really difficult to even know what to expect. You can’t really know the quality of what you have until you’ve seen the best and worst of what’s available.

    Reply
Kent - February 18, 2013

Thank you for the review. Was just planning on looking at different WP themes this week. I know you mentioned the Baylys theme in a previous post. Is it just more visually attractive without the ability to drive sales?

PS Snow in Utah has been great this season.

Kent

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    Shane - February 18, 2013

    Baylys isn’t made for sales pages. It is suitable for creating a very basic sales page, though and the simplicity and clarity of the design won’t hurt conversions, either.

    Just don’t expect any of the features that InstaBuilder and co come with.

    Reply
vince - February 19, 2013

Hi Shane.

Good stuff.

I bought HC and have been going back and forth with your customer support with Randall and John on a particular issue, particularly an Optin form I built and not rendering the way it is suppose to. Hopefully they can come to a head on it. Your support is good and I appreciate it so let’s see what happens.

On another note, I came across a couple of webinars with Jason Moffat and Gauer Chawdry touting a product that should hit the market soon called 10MinutePages.

Here is Jason’s replay >> http://tenminutepages.com/moffatt-replay.php

I was seriously considering this Drag and Drop software as it gets ready for launch. Very User Friendly and extremely intuitive. Currently it’s being sold on a JV private Webinar basis but deceded not to buy yet because of price point.

Anyhow, I would love for you to watch the Webby replay and know your thoughts on it, especially since the price point is up there a tad and see if it’s worthwhile consideration.

Very cool Drag and Drop software…. not a theme nor a plugin but can work as a plugin because developer offers it as one as well, but doesn’t publicize that.

Let me know your thoughts if you get the opportunity to watch the webby.

thanks.

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    Shane - February 20, 2013

    Hi Vince,

    I saw a webinar for 10 Minute Pages a few weeks ago. I haven’t used it myself, but my impression is this: it looks like an OptimizePress clone with front-end/drag&drop editor.
    That’s nice, I guess, but I wish they had added more of a unique design.

    I’ll see if I can get my hands on the software for a proper review, sometime soon.

    Cheers,
    Shane

    Reply
Thomas - February 23, 2013

Hi Shane

Great review. Thanks… Do you have any intel about when OptimizePress 2 will launch?

Best
Thomas

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    Shane - February 23, 2013

    Thanks!

    I don’t know more than that they’re working on it and it’s supposed to release soon(ish). I’ll definitely get it as soon as I can and update the review.

    Reply
Nick - March 5, 2013

Hi. Thanks for the comparison. I seem to want something that is a cross between Instabuilder and Hybrid-Connect. I like that they are both plugins compatible with Genesis. I like Instabuilder’s sales page, but I like Hybrid-Connect’s ease of adaptation for customized images/artwork and H-C’s compatibility with Infusionsoft.

You seem to hint that H-C may expand a bit into sales pages. Is that coming? If so, will that be an included upgrade or will it be a separate plugin?

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    Shane - March 5, 2013

    I doubt that we’ll be going in this direction.

    We may offer something for creating sales pages or other marketing pages using WordPress, but I don’t see it being similar to InstaBuilder & Co. As you can see in this roundup, there are already many alternatives available and many of them are very similar to each other.

    Could we make something like it, but slightly better? Probably. But it wouldn’t be different enough to be worthwhile.
    So, if we do something in this niche, it will be very different from the solutions reviewed here.

    Reply
Guido Zecckine III - March 11, 2013

Kick ass review! I totally agree that most reviews and such online basically suck. You did me a great service with this review.

I was struggling with deciding between OptimizePress, Flexsqueeze, AuthorityPro, ProfitsTheme and a few more products and themes. I looked at Thesis, and Genesis as well. I just got more and more confused, to the point I decided NOT to buy any of them.

Digging around some how I found this review, and now I’m saying “Booyah baby!”. Thanks man. Thanks a lot.

I was going to pay $127 for FlexSqueeze, and get the extra addon for $49 for 3 months, and then get some addons. Not any more.

Now, I’m off to purchase the Instabuilder plugin (multi-site license) for $77 and a copy of the WPHeadline at a mere $9.95.

Dude… your review just saved me a considerable amount of time, money, and frustration. I can’t say thank you enough.

GREAT REVIEW!

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Guido Zecckine III - March 15, 2013

Shane, I have an update for you. I decided to take another look at WOOThemes again, and also to go back and look at the ThemeForest stuff again too.

ThemeForest has a theme named the DICE theme, and it absolutely rocks. It has a very large amount of customization capability built right in. I don’t think I have ever seen a theme as stock equipped for customization as it is.

The DICE theme costs $70 dollars, but when you look at what it can do you’re left saying “that’s all?” I didn’t buy it, yet! That one is definitely on my list of must haves.

I went back to the WOOThemes site too, looking for a theme called “Gazette”. The theme is clean Shane, and perfect for what I have planned for the future.

Gazette costs $70 for a standard license, usable on unlimited domains, and comes with 2 bonus themes and regular updates.

The developer license is $150, but comes with 3 bonus themes and the PSD’S as well. If you ask me, I’d say that’s a pretty sweet deal. Four themes for $150. I didn’t buy it either.

I ended up finding a WP theme called “SilverLight” that works great for my new review blog. It’s free, and that’s a big bonus in my world.

I got the SilverLight theme and installed it, and I’m currently loading up the blog with content and plugins for testing. If it works as I’m hoping it does, I’ll mirror that blog over to a sister site and tweak it.

I’m holding off on the other themes until I get ready to build a membership site. At that point I have made my mind up to buy the ProfitsTheme, since it has the Membership feature built in.

ProfitsTheme has a host of other goodies too, like the SEOPressor type built in SEO tool, and the ability to cloak and manage affiliate links from one location.

ProfitsTheme also has an in content affiliate linking system, and your keywords automatically become affiliate links. That’s sweet!

With your killer review, and some careful consideration, I have decided to get ProfitsTheme for building all my sales funnels, squeeze pages, landing pages and exit / thank you pages. It should work for them all, and has pretty good graphics built in already.

I’m using the free SilverLight theme for now, but I’ll probably go ahead and pick up the InstaBuilder plugin, on your recommendation, and it should do fine for me.

I get around the web pretty good Shane, and I have visited a bunch of blogs and sites looking for information that was usable in my decision making process. When I found your site, and your review, I was very impressed with the quality of the content. Yeah, you blew the doors off the other review sites. I could stand to take some notes from you my man.

Good job. Great site and review. And last, but definitely not least, thanks again.

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jason - March 20, 2013

Dont get AP2 whatever you do. I have it and it’s the worst product ever, the members forum is dead…..posts go unanswered. I had to get a refund in the end cos of so many problems with the theme.

The developer Bryan McConahea is a serial product maker i.e he just churns out products for people in make money online niche and abandons it after launch. He provides no support whatsoever. There was supposed to be an upgrade and this was last year september….dont think that’s ever going to happen.

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    Shane - March 20, 2013

    Hey Jason,

    Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with the product. As mentioned in the review, it really is shockingly bad and it needs to be avoided at all costs.

    Reply
Jamie Shiller - April 7, 2013

Shane,

Instabuilder sounds really good. However, their sales page is all images, even the text is all images, which is why it looks fuzzy. And the page is not responsive. So why would they use such a page to promote their product? That makes no sense.

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    Shane - April 7, 2013

    You’re absolutely right, Jamie. As far as I can tell, the trend started with the various forums on which IM products are sold. Since a forum doesn’t allow for many formatting options, people started creating image-only sales pages.

    For reasons that I can’t begin to understand, some people have started to use image-only sales pages outside of forums as well. It boggles my mind that someone could think that’s a good idea. And it pains me a little bit, that my top recommendation goes to such a stupid sales page. But the product itself is good.

    Reply
Bruce - April 13, 2013

Great review.

That said, I use Optimize Press. It’s pretty good but limited on some of its graphics and setups. I also was not pleased with its membership setup and now use DAP with it, instead.

I’m really hoping that the new release – whenever it becomes available – will also be optimized for mobile. That’s becoming a big issue.

One of the things I really like about OP are the training videos. They are really well done. In fact, I liked one of them so much – how to set up and load files into S3, that with James Dyson’s permission, I included his video in my course.

Bruce

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    acg - April 16, 2013

    Hi Bruce,

    I heard (though not confirmed) that the new version of Optimizepress is mobile responsive.

    What I like about optimizepress is the founder James Dyson seems to be pretty much involve and focus with this product. There were several updates released for their version 1.xx themes. That alone for me gives me some assurance that the product will be here for long. And right now they are close to releasing (not confirmed again) with their new version v2.

    If you want to know something about optimizepress or needs assistance with that theme then just comment on this post or contact me.

    Been using the theme for quite sometime now

    ACG

    Reply
Brian - April 18, 2013

Does the instabuilder plugin allow you to keep the same header that’s in your theme or does it produce a completely different page? I’m trying to determine if I can use it on some pages already created with my theme.

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    Shane - April 18, 2013

    It creates a completely different page, which is also true of the other plugins in this roundup.

    Reply
      Brian - April 18, 2013

      Thank you for the quick response! Since it creates a different page, is there any way that the new Instabuilder page can carry the same header and columns as my theme?

      Reply
      Shane - April 18, 2013

      You can add a custom header image and also navigation elements on most of the page types Instabuilder creates. This means you can probably create something that looks similar to your regular page header, but completely copying it would require some CSS editing.

      Reply
Robert Kiehne - May 3, 2013

Hi Shane,
Thanks for all the great reviews. Your site is the place I go for unbiased information. I just purchased Optimize-Press through your link.

By the way, your Hybrid-Connect plugin is outstanding!

Just a heads-up – Your link to Profits Theme is broken.

Robert

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Jerry Handy - May 7, 2013

What about leadpages? Is any of these comparable to it? It’s not a one off purchase either.

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    Shane - May 8, 2013

    LeadPages is a completely different solution to any of these themes or plugins. I’ll have to do a separate review of that sometime soon, though.

    Reply
      Keef - May 14, 2013

      I would very much like to see your Leadpages review. I am currently choosing between that and other options.

      Reply
    Iain - August 1, 2013

    I was going to mention leadpages as well. However, as Shane pointed out it’s not the same these options.

    It’s a separate option because it is cloud based if I remember correctly.

    Leadpages let’s you do a ton of things, but it does come with a monthly fee.

    Reply
Henry - May 11, 2013

Hi Shane:

Thanks for a very insightful review of the different plugins.

Do you know the difference between “Profits Theme plugin” and “PT Instant plugin” by Get Profits Fast? Do you know PT Instant?

I believe these two products are pretty much the same. What do you think?

Thanks,
Henry

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Andrew - May 11, 2013

Shane,

I found this page after a google search on Instabuilder, which someone recommend, looking for that illusive unbiased review. Well blow me down – I found it! But I think I found more besides.

Great review and love the comments thread. Long, yes, as I read every one. Did I learn anything? Loads.

Adding a comment for nothing more than to say thanks, and share what made me smile. Having got to the end I did what I very rarely do; instead of bookmarking the page and saying to myself, “yeah, I’ll remember to come back here regularly” I thought… OK, where’s that sign up form?

It was your thank you videos that made me smile – I wasn’t after the free offer (though I’m sure it will be well worth the watch) I was subscribing for your updates… yes, you have my “best” real, personal business email… yes, I’ll wait for your first few emails and many more I hope too… no, I won’t be unsubscribing… and yes… I’m not quite ready yet, but I think I’ll be buying Hybrid Connect for an upcoming project.

Regards,
Andrew

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Anirudh - May 19, 2013

Great reviews. Going for optimize press. Thanks. :)

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olivia - May 26, 2013

I love your reviews honest and straight to the point .I purchased instabuilder.Thanx again

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Rob - May 26, 2013

I am wondering which one to buy, your article gives me a better view.

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Saba - June 22, 2013

Hi Shane,
This is a very useful review indeed. Just wanted to alert you on this, I heard Autority Pro had released a version 3 based on twitter bootstrap. Based on emails and screenshot I have been receiving about it, it looks like the brandowners is quietly admitting that AP2 was an ultimate disaster…LOL! I know, coz I own a single license…really messed up my site,man.

ANy chance you will be updating your review for AP to version 3? Curious whether they have redeemed themselves this time round :)

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    Shane - June 22, 2013

    Hi Saba,

    I purchased AP3 and will be adding it to this roundup, along with 2 other new candidates, in the near future.

    Reply
      Saba - June 22, 2013

      Whoa! I posted that comment barely 10 minutes ago. Any faster, it would be freaky :P

      Thanks Shane..can’t wait!

      Reply
Justin - June 24, 2013

Hey Shane
Fantastic honest review and great blog.
I am new in digital marketing and is considering Optimize Press or InstaBuilder. What is your advise on using theme or plugin?

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    Shane - June 25, 2013

    Personally, I prefer InstaBuilder, as it can easily be used alongside a regular theme and it’s mobile responsive. A new version of OptimizePress should be coming pretty soon, though.

    Reply
Clint - June 25, 2013

Yes, OP version 2 will be released to the public Next Month (July) as what I’ve heard. I hope this is their last next-month release news though :-)

I haven’t used InstaBuilder, might want to try it soon.

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Susan - June 28, 2013

I’ve just seen the sneak-peek of OptimizePress 2.0. It looks as though it does everything and is pretty much customisable as well as being fully responsive. It has a theme as well as plugin functionality and can be used with any pre-existing wordpress site too. Due to launch mid July, there will be a once off fee (undisclosed as yet) as well as a pro version for monthly updates. Love to have your expert comments on it as have not used any such platform as yet and plan to launch products soon. :)

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Valerie - June 28, 2013

Would love to see a head-to-head comparison next month when Optimize Press 2.0 comes out vs. the recently updated Premise 2.0.

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Dujuana - July 1, 2013

Hi Shane

I always trust your opinions, which is why I would like a review from you on TenMinutePages.com It is in the same category as the above mentioned products, but much more pricey! $297-$497. The function overall looks amazing, but would like your opinion. Is it worth it? Does it make the others obsolete? I was considering Instabuilder + Instamember or ProfitsTheme until I saw TenMinutePages. Now I am just confused!! haha. Please help! Looking forward to your review.

Dujuana

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    Shane - July 1, 2013

    Hello Dujuana,

    I haven’t been able to test Tenminutepages myself, but from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t look that great. Mainly, the design seems a bit out-dated, to me. If it were priced in the same range as the other products here, I’d say give it a go, but for ~$500, I think you can get a lot more bang for your buck if you get something like Instabuilder and some other tools for your business.

    Reply
      Andrew - July 1, 2013

      I think the video looks pretty convincing, and the sales pitch from “Kyle Graham” is pretty professional… actually reminds me of another very professional sounding pitch I’ve heard elsewhere (Hi, I’m B____ M____ from G__ T__ T_______ F___)… down to the tone of voice, everything. Even had me thinking this could be the same guy with a different name!
      Spooky actually, because some of the endorsements on the page come from people whose gravatars look identical to people who endorse this other guy’s products (Angelos Kyritsis… AK… also known as… J____ G_________) Now I’m not suggesting they are the same people, with different made up names… no-one would do that would they? Wow, if that were true I’d lose all my faith in internet ‘gurus’.
      So, why would I trust a product that is presented by people who are lying? Either they lied about their identity before, or they are lying now, or they always lie… take your pick.

      Reply
      Dujuana - July 1, 2013

      Thanks so much for your feedback. Much appreciated!

      Dujuana

      Reply
      Hale - July 23, 2013

      I recently bought Ten Minute Pages based on the review by David at the BlogMarketingAcademy (see Top Tools section). I got it for a great rate. Note – you can’t get it at the actual TMP website. So this is a secret doorway for the moment…

      Reply
Erik Heyl - July 4, 2013

Hi Shane. I’d love to see an updated review comparing the new authority pro 3 and the new instabuilder. Have you tried instamember?

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Geoff Brandt - July 6, 2013

Anyone out there use GetResponse’s new Landing Page Creator product? How does it stack up to Optimize or Instabuilder?

G

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Hale - July 23, 2013

Great reviews – thanks Shane.
FYI I clicked on the Instabuilder link (in the green recommended box at the end) – it just returns me to your review page! The second recommended theme took me to the site.

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Mark - July 31, 2013

Are you going to update this post (which is awesome!) with the release of Optimize Press 2.0 (7/31 release date)?

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Russ - August 1, 2013

Shane,

This is one of the best reviews on the web. Most are really thinly veiled sales pages that give no real content or evaluation. Frankly you’ve done an amazing job here. Many thanks. I’ve waited for OptimizePress’ new release but am tired of the IM hijinks. I can’t even buy version 1.0. What will customer support be if the launch is so problematic and delayed week after week? Your website gave me solid answers on an alternative which I’m now checking out and purchasing. Again, many thanks…Russ

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    Paul - August 1, 2013

    I’ve actually had some experience with the OptimizePress helddesk when I approached them with a somewhat technical request for a change in their code so that it played well with Hybrid Connect and they were excellent.

    I got a response within a day and they implemented and pushed out the change within that same time frame. It was also clear to me that there was a dedicated support team so I don’t think you’ll be left high and dry.

    Reply
    MarcS - August 1, 2013

    Russ,

    Dyson and company at BusinessJolt have a great track record for customer service and support. I don’t think a new product would change their business ethics in this regard.

    I’ve been involved with launches of major products (not just internet ones). I can tell you that the time pressures and scheduling of all the elements needed to get everything to happen on a “date certain” are very difficult, if not nearly impossible.

    Since they managed to get the cart open on 7/31, albeit late on the west coast, they did what they said. Their FB page said they ran into some technical gremlins. I’m not surprised at all as the pressure they have been putting on the market to create urgency was coming back at them. Any of a multitude of issues could cause a series of delays.

    I would not expect everything to be performing 100% until well after the current OP1 subscriber launch is done. Expect delays on the payment portal. Expect delays on the email server getting your license code. But, don’t expect them to be cheating you or delivering a failed product. I have 100% confidence in that team to do what they say. Give them a little slack during the launch period.

    Reply
Susan Velez - August 1, 2013

I always love your reviews they are so honest and I really enjoyed the video. I decided to upgrade from the older version and hope that it is as great as everyone says it is.

I like it because it comes a plugin and a theme. I think this is great.

Plus I love their customer support, they always seem to get back to me quickly whenever I submit a ticket.

Thanks for the video, it makes me feel as though I made a great decision on upgrading.

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chad - August 1, 2013

Shane,

What’s your opinion on LeadPages?

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    Shane - August 1, 2013

    LeadPages rocks, but it’s quite different from the products reviewed here.

    I’ll publish a review as well as something on the topic of “LeadPages vs. OptimizePress” on the blog, soon. :)

    Reply
      MarcS - August 1, 2013

      Can’t wait. Any chance of getting it published before the OP2 current OP1 customer discount expires in less than a week?

      Just asking. I’d love to see your review.

      Reply
      Shane - August 1, 2013

      I’ll do my best. My plan is to publish it early next week.

      Reply
Stan Gore - August 1, 2013

Thanks for the review of OP 2. I’d appreciate a review of SalesPress Pro 2.0. My 3 concerns about these multi-purpose themes:
1) Bloat. The themes are huge, thanks in part to the many included templates and therefore page load is slow. Both themes have a monthly ‘club’ option to add even more templates. SalesPress Pro 2.0 permits deletion of all the templates you aren’t using in any particular WP install. I don’t believe OP 2 can do this.
2) Plugin incompatibilities.
The big one: 3) True mobile responsiveness on multiple operating systems: in terms of both appearance and functionality of page elements (optin boxes, video players, etc). Given Google’s recent preference edict for one responsive site/URL as opposed to separate desktop and mobile sites/URLs, responsiveness rules. NONE of the salespage themes I’ve tested can meet appearance & functionality criteria and some are downright deceptive in their ‘mobile responsive’ claims. So, please update your reviews to include page appearance and functionality on at least iOS and Android operating systems when viewed on a minimum of iPhone, Samsung Galaxy & Blackberry.
By the way, the responsiveness requirement turns traditional web design on its head. The most logical approach for responsive design for a new site is to lay it out first for mobile appearance & functionality and then tweak it for desktop appearance, rather than the reverse.

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Colin - August 1, 2013

Thanks Shane for your quick and unbiased review.

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Christian Ermlich - August 1, 2013

Hallo Shane,

AP3 hat mich wahnsinnig viel Zeit gekostet. Stunden sind vergangen ohne ein gutes Resultat. Ich machte die gleiche Erfahrung, dass alles viel zu langsam geht. Mit Firefox wurden die Änderungen manchmal nicht abgespeichert wegen der langen Ladezeit. Chrome machte in dieser Hinsicht keine Probleme.
Vermutlich hatte AP3 Probleme mit dem Theme, das ich verwende: Thesis 1.8.5. Es konnten keine Seiten und Beiträge mehr erstellt werden. Daraufhin löschte ich das Plugin und habe es zurückgegeben. Ausserdem funktionierte der Sales-Funnel nicht, von dem ich mir viel versprochen hatte.

Vielen Dank für deine gründlichen und sehr informativen Tests. Die sind eine echte Hilfe im Internet Dschungel.

Viele Grüße
Christian Ermlich

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Caesi - August 1, 2013

Shane, What is your opinion of OP 2.0 vs. OAP (Office AutoPilot) and DAP (Digital Access Pass)?

Loved your review! Thank you for your analysis.

…..
We are Affiliates of all three – but the 2.0 at its price-point , we are wondering if we should just recommend OAP or DAP…? (We also recommend InfusionSoft if a company is ready for that leap.)

I had hoped OP would have shown more of OP 2.0 to the Affiliates; “seeing the beta version of OP 2.0″ we would be in a better position on the front end for pushing for the sales launch. As is, we have to buy the upgrade first – or else promote a product we haven’t seen except in the sales video.

The sales point for OP 2.0 I believe is ‘off’. At it’s new price it is putting it in direct competition with OAP and DAP, both which have more features (but some of the things OP 2.0 says it does OAP and DAP don’t offer …but does it matter?). I was expecting “unlimited websites” – like OP 1 series, AND a price point for existing customers of about another $50 – – not $200. Cutting us back to 10 sites or 20 sites vs. “unlimited” was also a turn-off. We did get an answer to that – the existing customers aren’t using more than 20 sites.

OP 1 series was a well priced “start up system”. My concern is OP will lose most of that market. Newbies will think “I can take the same money and go get a more robust easy -to-use system, grow into it, and not have to change over as my customer base grows.

OP 2.0 is “pretty” – – love the buttons! You opened my eyes to one thing not mentioned on the sales videos – – all this layering of pop up windows and then typing text into a claustrophobic space? I wonder why they did that?!

Thanks, Shane!

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Valerie - August 1, 2013

Not sure how a THEME with so-so templates rates a BUY decision. Coming out of the gate with a mediocre or a dated look? Isn’t the point of buying a theme the design?

Also frustrated that the new version of OptimizePress is not a better deal for owners of the original product. That seems to be the latest strategy in web products — rename it and pretend it’s a new product then hope your previous customers are gullible enough to think they are getting a ‘special price’ (which will be the discount available to just about everyone at launch because nobody sells at full price).

I never actually built a site with the first version. I could code my own theme faster than figuring out how to monkey around with that many controls. Had they been intuitive… perhaps I’d have used it. Not sure I’d trust the new version to be better without seeing a video of it actually in use, instead of the promo stuff on their site.

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    Shane - August 1, 2013

    The main selling point of OP2 is definitely not the design. It’s the “under the hood” stuff that lets you build launch funnels, lead-gen pages and much more. And it’s the page builder.

    While I usually also follow the practice of giving existing customers a special deal, calling OptimizePress 2 a simple renaming and re-selling exercise is just plain wrong. Anyone who’s used both versions can clearly see that OptimizePress 2 was completely built from the ground up. It’s not simply an upgrade to OP1.

    I’m not trying to hype up OP2. It is what it is and everyone has to make their own decision about whether it’s what they need or not.

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Maurice - August 1, 2013

Hi Shane
excellent review article – I was hoping you would review OP2 as I’m one of those eagerly sat on the fence awaiting the release.

Correction, I’ve just received an email from James Dyson with an offer to upgrade for existing OP1 owners. Although a bit on the pricey side I think it’s worth a shot!

PS – You have a TYPO in the highlighted box under ‘Conclusions’ – I believe it should read ‘Authority Pro-3′ and not ‘2’.

PPS – Did you get my ticket through your support desk regarding membership of Impact Insider?

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Bruce Newman - August 1, 2013

Shane,

I bought OP six months ago. Most products include a free upgrade within a year after they were bought.

Why aren’t you offering the same deal?

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    Paul - August 1, 2013

    OptimizePress isn’t one of Shane’s products – he’s just doing a review of it. You’ll have to ask OptimizePress themselves about this.

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Caroline - August 1, 2013

Shane – Thank you for taking the time to review OP2. I appreciate your honesty. I have a couple of questions which I wonder if you can answer:
1. Are there greater options to customise the ‘look’ of the Bog element, as we use site as our main site.
2. Sometimes I find out site slow-ish to load (even though we have the Super Cache Plugin on the site). With all the extra options, will this have a negative effect on the load of the site or am I talking like a fairly green newbie – which I am – :) thank you.

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    Shane - August 1, 2013

    1. I have only been able to test the plugin version of OptimizePress 2.0. As far as I can tell, you’d need to use the Theme version for the blog options. So I can’t comment on that. What I can say is that you can easily run OptimizePress pages along with your regular blog, using a regular theme.

    2. From my tests, OptimizePress 2.0 definitely isn’t blazing fast. There are some things you can do to help speed it up, but it will probably never be as fast as a more streamlined, lighter theme.

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Tressera - August 1, 2013

I have been extremely disappointed in AP2 and WPEnlighten. I have access to AP3 but have not used it yet. Your review tells me not to really bother as it has bugs still. AP2 had non-customer service existent althou I think they are trying to resurrect with AP3.
While WPEnlighten has bugs with the boxes, I can only use the image graphics in the program and they haven’t fixed these issues in over 6 months.
I really wish these guys would stop selling hype and come out with products they can truly support and function. I don’t think I’ll be buying into OP 2.0 either. (already $400 in the hole)
Shane, this might be a project you could do having all the experience what and how a sales builder should perform and be like! Thank you for your reviews – they are invaluable!

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Clare Johnson - August 1, 2013

Hey Shane

I’ve clicked on your link to check out Optimize Press, however, although it takes me to their website, the link to buy is still not working. It wasn’t working this morning either.

Is it my system?

Thanks

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MarcS - August 1, 2013

Shane,

What a great, timely, review of OptimizePress 2.0. James Dyson launched it last night. You scooped everyone with an actual, non-hype filled, product review. Many thanks for it.

But, the current “competitors” to OP 2.0 (if you want to call them that) are LeadPages and Ten Minute Pages. Those are the ones building similarly, more contemporary designed pages and sites. I would really appreciate your thoughts on those products as well.

I’m in agreement with you on Premise, the only other one (than OP 1.0) that I have used. I bought it from Brian Clarke as soon as it came out. I was overwhelmed that I had to pull every setting and option from the rest of my site to customize the look. When I asked them for some type of wizard to pull css settings from my theme, their only answer was…”hey, they’re landing pages and shouldn’t look like your regular site!” I thought that was a big cop-out and went for the refund immediately. It was going to be too much work to fill in every setting to get my sites to match their “landing page” designs. And, a lot of their elements were just tacky, like you said.

Anyway…. Thanks again for the preview of the real OP 2.0. Take a look at LeadPages and 10 Minute Pages and I’d like to hear your thoughts.

BTW… Nice performance in the video….

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Russ - August 1, 2013

Hey Shane,

I always check out your reviews and find great value in them. This one is no exception. Thanks for taking the time to do it. Like I’ve told you before, you are a class act (Paul too) and someone I genuinely respect.

I recently got an email from another guy I greatly respect (and have been on his list for many years), Michael Campbell. He is also – like you and me – quite analytical.

He rated the Thesis theme as his number 1, iThemes Builder number 2 and Headway number 3. He didn’t mention any of the others you’ve included, and he didn’t elaborate on all the pros and cons of the ones he did rate, like you did.

I’m curious about why you excluded Thesis in this review. Not that I expect you to know all the choices out there, but Thesis is five years old and was (according to the designer) the first theme of its kind on the market. Too coding intensive maybe? Or not the same sales functionality as the ones you reviewed?

I’ve been using Profits Theme with InstaBuilder and Hybrid Connect on a non-profit community garden site I volunteer my time for (linked to my name). I really haven’t had to use many of the features in InstaBuilder, since Profits Theme has most of it covered already.

Your chart above says Profits Theme is not responsive, but it actually is. So, adding that green checkmark to the chart puts it right on par with OP. Welly and his crew at Profits Theme also updated their theme twice last month, which was nice. It’s not perfect, nor completely intuitive. And some of the design options are not completely cutting edge 2013, but it’s the easiest time I’ve ever had putting a decent looking and functioning site up with WP.

That said, I’m still strongly considering giving the new OP a try. Many of the IM sites of top marketers that look very visually appealing and function well often show the familiar “Powered by Optimize Press” (previous version) in the footer, so that’s saying something.

Side note: I absolutely LOVE Hybrid Connect! It’s the freaking InstaBuilder of optin form designing/autoresponder integrating/lead collecting plugins! And Paul, damn, you are good dude! I find it VERY intuitive and the tweakability factor is absolutely mind blowing. Plus, the on-screen tutorial access is some seriously sweet icing on an already excellent cake. No cons, all pros! Thanks for sticking it out and completing the project, despite the obstacles you guys ran into along the way.

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    Shane - August 1, 2013

    Thanks, Russ!

    I haven’t included Thesis (along with many other theme frameworks and other great themes in general), because it’s not built for the specific purpose of creating marketing pages. Can you create a sales page using Thesis? Sure, the same way you can build a sales page using the standard twentytwelve theme.

    In this review I only compare themes that were specifically created for marketing pages, otherwise it would get out of hand.

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Muhammad Jensen - August 2, 2013

Thanks a lot for the top notch review, Shane.
Helps me a lot in my buying decision making.

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Alexandre Chaves - August 2, 2013

Hi Shane,

Thank you so much ! Your post is just perfect to help people like me to make a decision.

One question though:
How does OP2 relates ( as a theme ) to Hybrid Connect and Virally, your products ? I am your customer and I bought them FIRST and now I am searching for a theme for my blog, which will have lots of videos ( hopefully using Wistia ).

Thanks in advance !

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    Alexandre Chaves - August 2, 2013

    SORRYYYYYYY ! ! ! where did I find this name Virally ?? WP Sharelly ! ! That´s what I meant !

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    Paul - August 2, 2013

    I’ll quickly chime in while Shane is out and about:

    • OP2 is a theme that’s designed to help you make salespages, landing pages, membership portals, launch funnels and blogs.
    • Hybrid Connect is for lead generation and allows you to design your own optin boxes to capture names and email addresses of visitors to your site.
    • WP Sharely allows you to ehtically “bribe” your visitors to share your content on the various social networks by offering them an incentive (such as a free gift) that is revealed after the share.

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      Alexandre Chaves - August 13, 2013

      Hi Shane and Paul, here I copy an answer from OptimizePress support team, regarding an issue on Live Editor. It was freezing the screen everytime. Here it goes:

      Why some themes and plugins don’t work with OptimizePress…
      The LiveEditor system inside OptimizePress relies heavily on advanced Javascript to enable the “live” building and editing of your pages.

      We load our Javascript files using the “enqueue” method which means our system checks if other scripts or themes are also loading Javascript within WordPress. If other scripts have loaded it, we do not also load Javascript.

      Problems occur when another theme or plugin has Javascript hardcoded into their platform (considered not good practice) and therefore our system cannot detect this, and duplicate Javascript files are loaded which breaks the LiveEditor

      Our team are working on some potential long-term solutions for this, but these are quite complex and in the meantime we ask that you either contact the plugin or theme author and ask them to use the enqueue methods for loading Javascript or you disable those systems (plugin or theme) and find an alternative solution

      For best performance, we recommend running OptimizePress as your main theme. Our system is a full-service platform designed to be the complete solution for your blogs, sales pages, landing pages and membership sites. It will always perform best when installed on a clean site with minimum plugins activated – giving best performance and less risk of conflicts

      Current Known Incompatibilities

      These are plugins and themes which are known to cause issues with OptimizePress. We recommend avoiding these plugins and themes on the same site as OptimizePress in order to avoid issues. We are working on fixes for many of these platforms and plugins where possible

      Current Incompatible Plugins

      Hybrid Connect – known to cause issues in the LiveEditor. (we are considering fixes for this at the moment)

      Are you aware of this ? Are you working together with OptimizePress team to solve it ? Thank you for your thoughts on this.

      Best Regards guys !

      Reply
      Paul - August 13, 2013

      Yeah what’s written here isn’t actually accurate, but I have a fix so that HC runs alongside the new Optimizepress. This isn’t the place for support though, please raise a ticket here and we’ll fix for you: http://imimpact.freshdesk.com

      Reply