Recently it became known that the old Direct Commander is being closed due to the appearance of a new version of the product. According to the Yandex team, the program is ready to work and better than its predecessor: faster, more convenient to use. Functions and tools that are in demand have been left behind, and many improvements have been made.
I decided to check if the new Direct Commander is so good. I downloaded it myself and began to study. I propose to compare both versions of the program and find out what functions and tools are missing in the new one.
New Direct Commander doesn’t always work
It would seem that it could be easier to enable and download the program. However, the first problem was revealed precisely at this banal stage: the new Commander does not always work at startup.
He also sometimes freezes and does not respond during work. In the old version, this problem also existed, but, as a rule, it appeared only with huge database sizes: for example, if we loaded a lot of campaigns. Here we may face a problem even when unloading one small account.
Another interesting bug: the new Commander works, does not bode well, and suddenly the program interface stops showing. After a while, you can unload campaigns again and make adjustments. But the error greatly slows down the whole work.
I found the following solution for myself: every time a problem arises, I download the new Direct Commander again. However, this only helps for a certain amount of time.
Where are the settings?
Everything is compact in the old Commander. Strategy, daily budget, negative keywords and other settings are prominently displayed.
In the new Commander, the settings are hidden so that you cannot immediately guess their location. And to view and edit you need to perform an extra click.
The window with the choice of strategies and the size of the daily budget appears only after clicking on the strategy, for example, on “Manual rate management”.
Perhaps this is a matter of taste and habit. But it is more convenient for me to immediately see and edit the daily budget, and not open an additional window each time.
The story is about the same with the rest of the elements. Yes, the negative keyword window in the new Commander is “rubbery”, but, in my opinion, it is visually and practically implemented worse.
Time targeting cannot be quickly checked either: you need to load an additional window.
It would be nice to display the values of the daily budget and time targeting to the right of the button, because there is enough space.
There is still a spoonful of honey in the new version of the program: editing prohibited sites is now more convenient. So, if we need to copy them in the old version, then we cannot do without a web interface (or we have to copy one site at a time). Everything is simpler here.
In the old Commander, popular commands are represented by buttons and are located at the top, in a conspicuous place.
In the new version, the brave developers have pleased us with only two buttons. The first one aligns the panels, and the second displays the tutorial videos. But how, for example, can you roll back the changes?
It turns out that first you need to click the “Edit” button and only after – “Cancel”. Again, everything is in the best traditions: instead of one click, you need to do two. Or we use hot keys.
The old version of the program provides a separate menu item – “Edit”, where next to the commands it is indicated with what shortcut keys they can be called. In the new Commander, some of the commands are signed, while the rest are not. It’s not that important, but it looks like a flaw.
Differences between import and export menus
The old Commander has all the main functions:
- Send the campaign to the server.
- Get a list of campaigns.
- Create a new campaign.
- Import of campaigns from file.
- Import of campaigns from the clipboard.
- Export campaigns to a file.
In the new Commander, everything starts with the “Get” button. After clicking it, you can select an object to download: master data, all data, or only statistics and prices.
The import / export menu is represented by the “Export” and “Import” buttons.
Intuitively, everything is clear, but I think that the function of exporting from the clipboard was abolished in vain. Some of my colleagues used it actively, for example.
A useful innovation: the ability to bulk edit the names of campaigns and groups. I won’t say that this is the most necessary tool, but it will come in handy for those who regularly conduct A / B testing or make other edits. For example, you can now put a temporary comment on certain groups in the name of the group itself.
Search in the new Commander is not finalized
In the old version, you can quickly find the desired object thanks to two types of search: general and by columns. Which were used together if necessary. Convenient, fast and hassle-free. There were also operators for a more precise search.
The new Commander focuses more on the use of operators. Fortunately, in addition to comparison operators, there are also logical ones: “and”, “or”.
In my opinion, it is better to give a choice. After all, it is more convenient for someone to write a filtering command through an operator, while someone prefers to simply drive the necessary filters into the columns. I think you can get used to it, but this is another disadvantage for the speed of work, since you have to carefully check the syntax of operators in the filtering condition.
Lacks search by tools
The old Commander has a handy feature. If I have forgotten the location of the instrument, then I click on search and enter the name, and the program quickly pulls it up.
This feature has been removed in the new Commander. In my opinion, in vain.
Filter ads by asterisks
In the old Commander, you can select ads by asterisks and sort them separately from the rest.
In the new version, this feature is absent: you can simply designate ads and sort by stars up or down. You cannot separate them from the rest.
This feature is useful and often needed. For example, let’s say you want to edit a number of phrases, groups, and ads for several identical ad campaigns that differ only in geo targeting. Sort everything with filters (say, phrases), go to the groups, put asterisks and then calmly edit the ads. With the new version, you will have to invent workarounds.
Previewing images on networks
In the old Commander, it’s easy to check yourself and find out which ads have images. To do this, press the button with the table icon and see how the ads look on the networks.
The new version of the program does not have such a tool.
Save after each change
Now, when making any edits in the Commander, be sure to click on the “Save” button. This add-on always confuses me.
That is, we corrected the text of a specific ad, clicked “Save”. Only then edit the following.
It’s a pity that you can’t make all the edits and only then save the changes: another minus to the speed of work. On the other hand, the new function will come in handy in cases when you have edited everything and the Commander is frozen.
Audience reach columns not added
In the old Commander, you can track the volume of traffic and adjust bids for the required volume.
In the new version of the program, the traffic volume can be found out only after placing bids.
Let’s sum up
In general, the new version of Commander is not bad. Of the advantages, it can be noted:
- nice design;
- fast duplication of ads, groups and campaigns (in the old version, the function sometimes stuck);
- “Wholesale” adding negative keywords at the group, campaign level;
- adding video extensions to ads;
- the ability to bulk edit the names of campaigns and groups.
Unlike the old version, there is no need to click on every ad to select a mobile, which is also good. But I would like to improve the tools and functions that will help you work faster and more conveniently.
In the meantime, the updated program is damp for the release, so it is better to leave both. And if something doesn’t work in one of the Commanders, the other will back it up.