Open source scripts are great and all, but sometimes authors of web scripts need to make a few extra bucks or even a full time career from their hard work. This blog entry is dedicated to some of my favorite commercial web scripts that I have purchased in the past, and why I decided to drop my hard earned cash on them.
The first script I would like to talk about is vBulletin. This forum script has two price ranges that might seem steep for most casual web developers. A $160 option lets you run the script indefinitely with one years worth of updates, the $85 dollar option leases the script for one year at a time and as long as you continue your annual lease you can keep getting the latest updates. Both of these options only let you run vBulletin on a single domain for a year and get you access to view all of the content on vBulletin.org, a support forum for vBulletin. vBulletin.org offers a lot of great modifications, templates and other amazing resources for helping you setup your site. vBulletin is worth purchasing in my case because it offers a humongous amount of features that you can control from the administration panel and the vBulletin community has a lot of great module authors willing to contribute their mods for free. Pligg’s forum runs about a couple dozen mods at this point in time, and every one of them is free. When I first purchased a license a year ago when Pligg first started I hesitated because $85 seemed like a lot when you compare vBulletin to other open source forum scripts like phpBB or Vanilla. If you have a chance to run a handful of open source forum scripts and then run vBulletin you will immediately see a difference in features that help demonstrate why it’s well worth your money to purchase a vBulletin license.
The next script that I use on Pligg.com is Mint. Mint functions as a very clean stats package for your site. Think of it as Google Analytics, only usable. I’ve always hated Google’s stats program because it’s really ugly and difficult to read at a quick glance. Mint makes things as easy as possible to read and offers add-ons called “peppers” to give you even more advanced stats. Mint costs a one time fee of $30, $19 to upgrade to the next major version. I’ve had to pay for both the original fee and the upgrade and I haven’t been amazed by the difference between Mint 1.x and Mint 2.x. Let me also mention that Mint’s website design is pretty awesome and I applaud them for their original design and interface.
See a demo of Mint by clicking here.
Tufat.com is probably one of my favorite commercial script sites because everything offered by the author is just $5. The author even has a few free scripts like osDate and MyBackup (highly suggested). Don’t think that paying just $5 is going to bite you in the butt in the end, Tufat scripts include free upgrades and they even have a support forum. Some of his more popular scripts are FlashChat and FlashBB.