Are you experiencing problems with LinkSync for WooCommerce?
We were too. recently encountered an issue while working with a client on a website that was using LinkSync (now WooCommerce Vend Sync) to handle the product syncing from their Vend® POS to WooCommerce. The client reached out to us for help troubleshooting a completely unrelated issue.
The Problem: WooCommerce Vend Sync plugin loses product data when deactivated
WordPress® troubleshooting protocol always begins with deactivating plugins. Every WordPress® developer will tell you to first test for theme or plugin conflicts that may be causing your issue. If the issue resolves when a particular plugin is turned off, then you know that plugin is your problem. After deactivating the WooCommerce Vend Sync plugin all of the client’s over 1500 products had all lost their images, descriptions and categories. Our first thought was, “No problem. They’re hosted with Flywheel. So we easily just restore the site from a recent backup.” Unfortunately, that didn’t work. After hours of troubleshooting and trying everything we could think of to help restore the client’s product data, we reached out to the WooCommerce Vend Sync plugin developer for support. They responded that were sorry that happened but there was nothing they could do.
So who originally developed the LinkSync plugin?
That was our question as well. We did little more research into this and found that the LinkSync plugin, which is now know as WooCommerce Vend Sync, is actually owned by Blaze Online, a web development company that claims to specialize in all things WooCommerce. The problem with this claim is that they have developed a plugin with a very serious bug that could potentially put an eCommerce store out of business.
Experts in WooCommerce development? Hmmm….
At this point, a couple of questions were rolling around in my mind. Blaze Online is a website development company, meaning they build, maintain and host websites. They are also self-described experts in WooCommerce development. Yet, they have developed a plugin with an obvious bug in that cannot be deactivated without losing sync data associated with WooCommerce products. This made me wonder. If the client’s website was hosted and maintained them, would that data be easily restored? Somehow, I feel like it would be. Further, if my client was instead a client of Blaze Online, would the response from support have been different? I think it would be. This prompted me to do some further digging.
Something not right here
I started looking through the LinkSync plugin files. It seems that the plugin was making dozens of calls to an api that no longer exists. In addition to that, the developer has not released an update to the plugin since October of 2018. I stopped there. But I would bet that if I dug deeper, I would find the smoking gun that would explain why the plugin fails to store it’s Vend sync data in the database of the website on which it is installed. Maybe one day when I have more time on my hands, I can dig into that but for now, I will be content with posting this article. My hope is that it will reach someone googling around for any information they can find about how to restore their missing product data.
The Conclusion: Vend® POS WooCommerce users beware
The bottom line is that the LinkSync plugin may erase your Vend® sync data if you simply deactivate it. Not delete it – just turn it off. Plugins must not break a site when deactivated. If they do, they cannot be considered properly developed WordPress plugins. And they definitely shouldn’t be charging users $19 – $99 a month for using a plugin that might cause them to lose all of the products on their website.