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Rainmaker Digital Platform Is a Failure.

The Rainmaker Platform is failing and they are doing nothing about it. I do not recommend My New Rainmaker. I’m trapped and I can’t get out. Here is my negative review.


I’ve been a customer of the Studiopress group for many years now. I was fortunate to purchase a Genesis Theme subscription way back in 2009 and my blog has flourished over that time. About 3 years ago the Packet Pushers business needed to grow further and we committed to migrating from a self-hosted blog into the Rainmaker Platform. I’m sad to say that this has been poor decision that has negatively impacted our business.

In short, the Rainmaker project is a failure. Recently, the business pivoted to professional services business offering consulting and design services.

Based on our experiences, do not do this. The infrastructure is failure. Let me explain.

Lack of Features

Big promises were made about new features, functions and products. Many exciting changes and developments were coming in the months ahead they told us.

The membership system is basic (at beast) and barely functional, the podcast engine is mediocre and the attempt to reskin the WordPress interface is, I have to say, just terrible. Look at this mess:

Screenshot of Safari 03 04 2018 11 44 21

The UX of navigating a Rainmaker site is disastrous. What does all that rubbish on the left mean ? Where is the WordPress menus ?

The basic feature of email list integration took over 2 years to arrive and partnered with Feedblitz who is possibly the worst email provider available. Our personal experience with Feedblitz RSS has been worse than awful and there is no way I can trust their email platform. To make it worse, the integration with MailChimp is poor at best. They couldn’t have done any less.

 

Constant Errors

We are seeing almost constant errors and failures in delivering the most basic content. This is a total loss of all site traffic on Sunday:

Screenshot 2018 04 02 14 41 05 1024

Simple problems recur daily. This gif shows how slow the admin interface loads:

Slow loading rainmaker

We reset your services, flushed the caches and your site is back online. Customer Success Specialist

This happens regardless of clearing caches, logging support requests and asking for escalation. This morning I woke up to messages from Google with large number of 5xx server failures.

Screenshot of Safari 03 04 2018 10 20 27

I raised an site outage support request on Monday morning. 48 hours later the only response is :

This ticket has been escalated to me for review and I will be digging into this and follow up with a more detailed response at my earliest opportunity. – Cody, Director of Support

And thats the fourth time I’ve received that note in the last 3 weeks. So far “Cody” has done nothing. 

SSL Failure

Switching the site to SSL caused massive failures to our podcast feeds. The SSL certificate wasn’t signed by a recognised certificate provider and thus caused podcatchers to fail. This was followed by further operational problems when we asked to roll back the change. The roll back worked but two days later the SSL was reinstated and then hidden in a very difficult to find. It took two weeks to sort out this mess. We lost hundreds of thousands of downloads and thousands of subscribers.

The failure of SSL is partly a podcast problem but the lack of assistance from Rainmaker combined with operational failure and the poor interface.

Increased Spam

There was a time when we received just a few spam comments per month. Today I’m received multiples per day. Another sign of platform neglect.

Leaving

Yes, its probably time to leave but there is a problem. The Rainmaker platform is extensively customised / hacked up version of WordPress,  moving will be very difficult and expensive. Yes, I am deep into buyers remorse and I can’t see a way out. At least when the platform worked reliably for the first two years I could pretend that things would get better.

But I’m losing page views, subscribers and my business is prevented from doing good things.The problems have been happening for some months now. Its not just today.

I do not recommend My New Rainmaker. I’m trapped and I can’t get out.

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