Oempro 4 Review

Oempro 4 is the latest version of Octeth’s popular PHP/MySQL email marketing application. I have been using Oempro 3 for a couple of years and I was really looking forward to version 4 because the previous version could not import content from RSS feeds. The new Oempro 4 features are quite impressive.

I hate paying a monthly fee to newsletter services like Aweber.com so Oempro 4 fits my needs perfectly. I have been waiting for a long time to have a newsletter application that could import RSS feeds and send out the content on a predetermined schedule.

Oempro 4 Installation

I installed version 4.0.3. I wanted to wait till the PHP code was more mature before installing it onto my web server. I think I made the right decision because there were a lot of problems with the initial public release. I was disappointed to find that there is no upgrade option from version 3 to version 4. You have to install version 4 separately in a different folder on your web server and it is a very tedious process.

Oempro 4 is not open source. You may choose to run the Zend or ionCube encoded versions. If you have never used encoded PHP files before, please note that these files have to be uploaded in binary mode. If not, you will receive a “Unable to read 3839 bytes” error like the picture below.

Oempro 4 Review

You might think that there is something wrong with the files but once you delete them and re-upload them in binary mode, you will see the installer screen. After you have uploaded the files, you need to change the permissions of the following folders/files:

  • Change permissions of the folder “/data/” to “777″.
  • Change permissions of the folder “/data/attachments/” to “777″.
  • Change permissions of the folder “/data/email_templates/” to “777″.
  • Change permissions of the folder “/data/imports/” to “777″.
  • Change permissions of the folder “/data/languages/” to “777″.
  • Change permissions of the folder “/data/media/” to “777″.
  • Change permissions of the folder “/data/tmp /” to “777″.
  • Change permissions of all files in the “/cli/” folder to “755″.

Next, enter the URL of your Oempro 4 folder into your browser. The installer screen should be launched automatically.

Oempro 4 Review

Oempro 4 requires a few tweaks to your PHP settings. Refer to the warning messages on your installer to see if you have any settings you need to modify. If you’re running this on a web host, email your web host support and tell them to update the PHP settings. I am sure they would be willing to do it for you.

Follow the instructions on the form and move on to the next step. If everything went OK, you should see the following screen.

Oempro 4 Review

Oempro 4 Configuration

This is the tough part. It took me hours to get all the settings right but I still cannot get the email bounce detection settings to work. My PHP mail feature could not work and I had to send emails via SMTP. It look me some time to get used to the new interface. I prefer it over the previous version but it seems to have too many Ajax effects for my liking.

Please read the Oempro 4 Wiki for more information on how to set up your Oempro installation. The Wiki isn’t very complete at the moment and it has omitted a lot of important details that are important for newbies.

All of us have different needs and server configurations. There are multiple ways to handle email bounces and email delivery. Check out the Wiki to find a way to configure your Oempro in a way that suits your needs. This isn’t easy at all. If you run into trouble, try contacting the support. If your purchase comes with a free installation service, you might as well get them to install it for you and save all this trouble.

I must point out that the Cron job documentation is very misleading. Maybe they have updated it since I pointed this out. They are suggesting that you create 3 Cron jobs that run every midnight. Since the email delivery is dependent on 2 of the Cron jobs, what that means is your emails will only be sent once a day at 12 midnight. That isn’t very useful is it? I set my send.php and transactional_send.php to run every 5 minutes and 1 minute respectively.

Oempro 4 Plugins

Oempro 3 had quite a few plugins. I have the survey plugin but it does not work with Oempro 4 yet. There are a lot of older plugins that have yet to be upgraded to work with Oempro 4.

Oempro 4 Support

Their support is mediocre at the moment because their developers are trying to fix the bugs in the application. They’ve got customer support staff and developers – Customer support staff requires the expertise of developers to assist customers in dealing with bugs and other technical issues. All of my customer support tickets have been ignored since 2 weeks ago. The customer support forum is slightly more useful with 1 or 2 employees of Octeth helping us.

Final Thoughts on Oempro 4

I think it would be better to wait till Oempro 4.0.4 is released. Oempro 4.0.3 has a few bugs and some usability issues. I have Oempro 4.0.3 running at the moment and it is working fine but I am not fully utilizing all of its features because I cannot get the email bouncing feature to work.

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2 Comments On “Oempro 4 Review”

On 9th July 2009 8:38 PM, Bia Pomar said:

Hello Vicent

I’m doing search for autoresponder and i found Oempro, i am very inclined to buy until seeing it your commentary.

Time since the date of post is old you can say me if already you exceed the difficulty?
And if you are satisfied again?

Thanks
Bia Pomar

On 20th July 2009 7:29 AM, Vincent said:

It is okay now with the new releases.

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