Download Site Problems

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in DynamicPAD, Internet, PAD, Robosoft, Software, Super Simple, Uncategorized | Posted on 31-03-2011

When you’re submitting to download sites, you can’t take much time except of a few good ones like Softpedia and CNET. Most you just need to get done and ignore any problems. Many won’t list you at all, while other will list you months down the road. And there are so many of them, that you simply can’t afford the time to mess around. While automatic submission gets most done, you’ll still want to get the others done as well in semi-automatic mode.

Why? Because other people won’t, and every little bit of juice you get will put you further ahead.

So you need to balance the value of the download site with your own time and get through them.

I’ve done more submissions that I could possibly count. Sometimes it is mind-numbingly boring. But the part I really hate is all the broken sites.

There are about a half-dozen different download site engines out there that run most of the sites you’ll see. The engines actually work (mostly), but individual sites running the engines don’t. What happens is that the engine requires some degree of customization and the people who buy the engine license and run the site just screw it up.

Some problems that you’ll see include:

  • Broken forms
  • Broken CAPTCHAs
  • Broken email servers (they don’t send confirmation emails)
  • Monkeyed-up UIs that are unreadable
  • Exposed PHP and SQL code
  • Bad validations
  • Bad database design
  • Bad site architecture (URL collisions)

There are other problems as well.

Here are a few examples to illustrate typical situations that you’ll see.

Sensitive PHP errors

Sensitive PHP errors

Errors are one thing, but code?

More Raw PHP code

More Raw PHP code

Many sites love Robosoft. Heck, most do.

Robosoft ad

Robosoft ad

But there’s one engine that doesn’t like DynamicPAD.

No DynamicPAD

No DynamicPAD

Backlinks are a big deal as well. But there’s no way that I’m going to link to most of these sites from my main product page. It’s nutty. They really don’t offer that much value to warrant a link. I won’t even link from the actual site. I will create an orphaned backlinks.htm page and link from there, but it won’t have any links to it from the real site. It’s an orphan page and will forever stay like that. If a site offered some real value, then sure. But they just don’t offer that much value. You’re already providing them with free high-quality content for their site. And they want more? Fsck that! =D

Forms that do not work

Forms that do not work

Like the above form, you’ll find that some do very bad validation and simply don’t work. This is a very common problem. It’s the sign of a very inexperienced programmer/designer that has used their very limited knowledge to try and validate data. The problem is that they simply don’t understand what a URL or URI are and they mess up. This happens very often with email addresses as well. Unless you are on a .com, .net or .org domain, things break. These kinds of things are pretty easy to do, but you need to know how to do them.

Here’s another example.

Backlink on same host

Backlink on same host

The validation there is particularly bad. The site isn’t even able to properly determine if two hosts are the same. This is extremely basic stuff. (A host is something like www.domain.com just in case you’re not familiar — these people should be.)

Broken CAPTCHA

Broken CAPTCHA

This happens often as well. CAPTCHAs that are broken. Well, it happens. Move on.

Wrong Product Collisions

Wrong Product Collisions

This last one requires some explanation. After submitting my software, I was shown that as my software.

First, I’m a much better writer than that! =P

But what’s happening there is that there’s a database problem or a URL collision. Again, it shows bad programming. While the design may be ok, and they did manage to get some ads in there, it’s still flat out bad programming.

Anyways, those are a few problems that you’ll encounter when submitting your software to different sites. When you do, just move on. For problems that are fixable, come back to them later. But don’t waste time.