Premium WordPress plugins from CodeCanyon: Leaping into the dark

My aim was to create a grid that is automatically generated from a custom post type (CPT), and having the CPT content displayed in a modal window/popup/lightbox.

I searched thoroughly through the usual blog posts and plugin recommendation lists. One plugin I came across again and again was “Media Grid“. This premium plugin that is sold through CodeCanyon.net by Envato seemed to have the respective functionality aboard – among many more features.

Maybe I missed this in the item description and I didn’t search through the comments before buying (like this one)…

But, as I found out after buying and installing the plugin and working my way through the rather unusual user interface – the grid created by “Media Grid” can not be automatically populated. As far as I can see, all grid items must be created one by one, manually. Which makes sense if you are building a non-dynamic portfolio-type grid with many different item types.

In my case thought the plugin is useless as I need my grid to filled up dynamically with around 35 items the least. By the way, I could not get my custom fields to be displayed in the lightbox, too. But that might be another story.

The plugin functionality seems pretty far reaching and well thought through but documentation needs an update as I could only find a few narrated videos that show an outdated UI. The plugin does not have a free version in the WordPress repository I wasn’t able to test it out beforehand. Therefore: Money down the drain in my case as Envato’s refund policy is, well, rather off-putting.