Just bump into codebasket and I love one script that they are selling because it's what I need and it's quite cheaper than other providers. I'm currently planning to put in a site using that script.
I am though, skeptic about it - as one undergo when about to use or buy from a new site. Anyway, checked the php script maker, Sparkideas and they have really good testimonies. And in no time, that script was bought for hundreds of times... so yeah, this post is a mix of sharing what I've found and knowing your thoughts on it, coz I think I will buy it.
Do you write php? I ask because you are going to have to maintain it eventually as PHP changes and security needs arise. Also - when was this particular script written and what version was it produced for? These are things that can impact you, especially as newer PHP versions come out. I'm not an expert by any means, but I would certainly think about these things if I was buying somebody's work effort.
What database interface does it use? Not MySQL_* I hope, since that is outdated and soon to be removed.
How does it handle injection attacks, if it does at all? Does it use prepared queries?
How many sites have you put in before that you can recognize this stranger's appl to be everything you need? Is it documented at all (the technical stuff, that is) so that you can make the inevitable enhancements/improvements that every appl/site requires?
I'm sure there are many more question you can come up or other posters here will add, but these are some important ones that I've thought of in just 5 mins.
ginerjm made some very good points.
I personally do not like using 3rd party scripts on my site (besides well known classes, etc). I prefer to do everything myself because then I know how it works and how to troubleshoot any problems that arise. I also know how much thought was put into security.
No offense to those who make the scripts, but I know a lot of the paid scripts are written by developers in 3rd world countries who are freelance and are just trying to make a buck. They are written extremely fast with little testing and debugging.
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