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Samuel Hewlett

Dzoic HandShakes Review | By: Peter

This community software review will talk about Dzoic Handshakes. First of all I would like to mention that this is a completely community solution and doesn't have any dating parts. So, if you want to combine both dating and community sites, this one will not be suitable for you. The software includes all the basic features of community sites, such as configurable and customizable profiles, music, videos, photos, chats, ratings. Also there are several plug-ins which should be purchased separately.

So, let’s review Dzoic Handshakes step by step.

1. System requirements

Recordings and Video Chat Special Requirement

Flash Media Server or red5 Server

access to your application root directory

Minimum

* Operating System: Unix-type or Windows
* Ability to setup cron tasks
* PHP: version 4 or higher
* PHP Settings:
o allow_url_fopen = On
o file_uploads = On
o open_basedir = Off
o post_max_size = 100M (recommended for video uploads)
o upload_max_filesize = 100M (recommended for video uploads)
o safe_mode = Off
* MySQL: version 3.23 or higher
* PHP GD Library: GIF/JPEG Read/Write support
* PHP GD Library: FreeType support
* PHP Curl Library: SSL support

Seems that you’ll need to get either a dedicated server or a hosting account from Dzoic Handshakes itself. This can be a problem for beginners as dedicated servers need to be administered, which is not so easy.

The company offers shared hosting plans which are pretty unexpensive. This is a solution of the problem. Although can’t tell anything about the offered hosting quality.

Would like to talk about the license types of Dzoic Handshakes in this community software review.

2. License types and pricing.

Dzoic Handshakes has one license type only, which costs 299 USD. The price includes technical support and updates for a year. If you want to extend the updates and support, you'll need to pay 75 USD a year. More 75 USD you'll have to pay if you want to remove the brand. There are several plug-ins which are being sold separately, quite important plugins and it's a pity that they aren’t included in the main package. You’ll have to pay 50 USD for the installation as well. If you want them install it for you.

I just can’t understand why the companies set a relatively low cost on the main package and charge additionally for everything and anything? Besides of it, the main package almost always is unuseful. So, you’ll have to pay for all the plugins as well.

There is no information on how many domains you can install Dzoic Handshakes on. Besides of it the company states the following:

100% Source Code

I’ve got a big doubt concerning this statement. How can a commercial software be fully open source? How is that possible to sell a commercial software without a license key? And if they use license keys – how do they secure the key creation algorithm? If the algorithm is open souce too, anybody will be able to create his own key generator and use the software on so many domains as he wishes, or just upload the package to the Internet and give anybody a possibility to use the software free of charge. Could be just one explanation for this:

- some files are encrypted and the statement above “100% Source Code” is not the truth.

If the source is fully open, Dzoic Handshakes should explain how the software is being licensed. OK. Don’t want to extend this part of Dzoic Handshakes review any further. Let’s go ahead with this community software review.

3. Design/look of the software.

The demo site of Dzoic Handshakes DOES NOT WORK. Don’t even know how to name this or where to test the software for this community software review. How can the company let his demo site be in down? Here you can see it on a screen capture:



The web-site of Dzoic Handshakes doesn’t have a page to show the existing customers' web-sites. Don’t even know where to find a site based on the software to test it for this Dzoic Handshakes review.

At last. Found a web-site which uses Dzoic Handshakes. Seems that the web-site has just been installed. It doesn’t have any users. So, I’ll be the first user of that web-site.

There are 2 default templates in the package.

Handshakes Plain: Pretty simple, CSS based design. 800x600, no liquid layout. Quite a few graphical parts.



Handshakes Default: Looking at this template I think that the previous one was better. This one has graphical parts, but the implementation is not so good:



Statical and heavy top menu buttons. User menu is visible even if you aren't logged in. Besides of it. You can see the “LOGOUT” button, even if you are not logged in:



Let's register and try Dzoic Handshakes in action.

For this community software review I'm using IE 6.0 and the theme Handshakes Default.

4. Registration.

Registration looks like the following:



No country and city selection box, no mention about the obligatory fields.

Registered, logged in, accidently clicked on “My Account” and the system doesn’t let me go anywhere until I write there my birth date.



Question to the developers: If birth date is so important, why I wasn’t asked for it at the registration?

5. Admin control panel.



At last. Admin control panel is not bad. Easy to use and find the section which you’re searching for. There is an ability to set keywords and site description from admin control panel which is very good.

Well. Admin control panel is the best thing in Dzoic Handshakes. Just noticed that through admin panel you can edit each and all the parts of the site, even the error messages.



Also there is a Page Composer feature in Admin panel where you can create your own pages or make changes in the layout of existing pages. This is an advantage as well.

6. Usability.

Here’s the menu panel:



The fact that the user menu icons are always visible, even when you aren’t logged in, is enough to have an idea about the quality of the implementation. Usability is not the worst, all menu and submenu items are always visible. However the submenu font is too small and I could hardly read what’s written there.

7. Support.

Didn’t find any phone number on the web-site. What should a customer do when his web-site doesn’t work and he has a right to get support? Two ways:

- open trouble ticket

- write a letter

Since I’m not a customer, I couldn’t register to submit a ticket, but I’ve written them a letter asking some questions. Didn’t get any response yet, though 3 hours have passed. Also they don’t have any live support option (chats, messengers, etc.) which is a disadvantage too.

Think that should already finish this Dzoic Handshakes review. The software package is not too expensive, but there are very basic things for which you’ll have to pay additionally. Didn't find any information concerning the custom design option. The package comes with 2 very basic templates. Means you’ll have to create your own templates which are using Smarty. Not bad usability, powerful admin CP. Not a bad solution, however there are several things the developers should pay attention to.
/p

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