Web Amateur tries to damage my Reputation

[info_box style=”notice”]The content of this article is outdated. Meanwhile I´m the owner of the branfordmagazine.com domain. This article remains just for information.[/info_box]

It takes a while to make me angry. Normally I´m a straight guy who keeps cool blood. But I am getting angry if someone with obviously very little knowledge of web development first takes my work for her own benefit and then starts trying to damage my reputation such as Aisling D´Art tries to do with her website she formerly called “The UN-Official BranfordMagazine Website”.

Facts and Fictions

Some years ago when I released the first version of BranfordMagazine Mrs. D´Art was a big fan of it and started to write and sell an ebook that was kind of a “how-to” for my theme. That was OK and I promoted her book on my website as an affiliate partner. But I didn´t stopp my continuous development and released new and better versions.

Then came the day when Mrs. D´Art didn´t want to continue updating her ebook anymore. She started to provide old versions of my theme on her website which was ok with me as well (although she never asked or at least informed me). But she also started to run a campaign against me telling people only the old versions of my themes are stable ones and the newer ones are buggy and cause errors. This is obviously driven by missing knowledge and a lack of information because it´s simply not true.

In one of her articles she tells people why she wouldn´t buy a PRO version of my theme. She claims it uses faulty code but she…

  • Never tried a PRO theme (so how can she judge?)
  • Compares an older (non PRO) version again (4.x)
  • Gets error messages that are based on her own mistakes when installing the theme

Since a few days her site quit using the old BranfordMagazine version since it doesn´t seem to be compatible with WordPress 3.0. This is also not true. I tested several versions from 2.0 to 2.6 (the latest version Mrs. D´Art reccommends) and they all work without any issues. In fact she really reccommends not to upgrade to WordPress 3.0!

[…] ignore the “Update to WordPress 3.0 now” messages. Unless WordPress comes out with a patch for the problem affecting Branford and several other themes, updating means breaking your theme.

In this article she really blames WordPress for not working with some (potentially old) themes and expects a “patch for the problem”. I just can´t believe this. How can she dare to claim the issue is up to WordPress? Come on Mrs. D´Art…times are changing and the web is not a static place. It continues developing and sometimes old stuff needs to be deprecated. You don´t use an Internet Explorer 5 or Netscape Navigator 4 anymore, don´t you? And if, at least you don´t complaint about it does not support CSS3.

Final Thoughts

Well to me it´s an incredibly cheeky and unreasonable attitude if somone never has developed something on her own, benefits from the work of others and then starts to trash them. When I first released BranfordMagazine I took “Mimbo” by Darren Hoyt as a coding basis. I also took elements from the former “Revolution” Theme by Brian Gardner and combined them to one new theme. I never made a secret out of it. I also mentioned that always in the themes footer and credited Darren and Brian. That´s the least I can do. And the least I expect if someone who benefits from the work of another.

The fact that she seems to have issues with the old themes versions and the new WordPress (and potentially some of her users as well although the themes did not cause issues on my testsite) is another good example why you should always check out the original source of a theme or plugin to avoid trouble. Only at the original authors website you can be sure to get the original stuff and professional support. Even if it might cost some money, at the end it´s less expensive then dealing with issues and unexperienced supporters.

And as I already mentioned in a comment on Mrs. D´Arts Site: “You do your job and I do mine”. But please Mrs. D´Art, stopp telling things that are based on ignorance and a huge lack of knowledge…and are simply not true!

Further reading

  • Downloading a Premium Theme from the Wrong Site can be Expensive

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