Nine months after the official release of Shopp and big things are happening. We have a general sense that Shopp is starting to come into its own. There’s a lot of positive buzz and good momentum for the project as a whole. It’s been a tremendous success and we couldn’t be more pleased. But the wicked cool thing about all of this is…
…it’s only just beginning!
While the success of Shopp is remarkable, the scale of it all is quite overwhelming. Above all we want to provide our customers with a great experience. As much as we may want that, we have to recognize there are some that are slipping through the proverbial cracks.
To address that, in the coming weeks we will be reinventing our approach to customer service in an effort to balance the quality of service we provide with the quantity of requests we receive on a daily basis. Something you can do to help us answer your requests more quickly is to always be as detailed as you can (more detail is always better), be reasonable about what you’re asking for (we can’t do your work for you), and be polite (yes, believe it or not we’re human too). We’re changing how we do things, but it will take time. While we are in this season of growing pains, please be extra patient, and if need be, give us a gentle nudge to get our attention. We do want to help.
Perhaps the most dramatic change that will have a long lasting impact on all facets of the project is the addition of a new team member. As of September 1st, Ingenesis Limited (the development company behind Shopp) welcomed John Dillick as an official member of the company. If you’ve participated in the community forums or submitted an issue to the Help Desk you’ve already seen him around, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of him. John has a computer science background and brings 14 years of technical customer service experience to the team. He is a tremendous asset to the company and will bring a wealth of new creative energies to the project. While his primary role will be managing customer service, he will also be contributing fixes and enhancements directly to Shopp. Be sure to give John a warm welcome and go easy on him in the Help Desk!
WordCamp New York – 2009
We’re also very proud to announce Shopp is an official sponsor of the 2009 WordCamp New York. This is the second WordCamp we’ve sponsored and have found it is a great way to raise awareness of the project while giving back to the larger WordPress community. It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the community that makes Shopp possible.
The whole team is planning to be there (Jonathan, John and Adam aka. randomguy3), and we hope to meet a lot of you in person at the event. If enough show up, we may put together a loosely organized Shopp mini-meet-up in the midst of the conference. If you’re planning on attending, give a shout out in the comments!
In the midst of all these goings on, we’ve managed to publish updates to PayPal Pro, and iDeal Mollie to fix some minor issues. We also recently released our first payment system add-on for South Africa – NetCash, now available on the Shopp Store.
If you’ve been paying attention to the shopplugin.net website you may have also noticed the new Extras section. The Extras will provide a directory of Shopp-related downloads including translation files and free-download plugins that can enhance how you use Shopp. We already have a handful of translations available thanks to several contributors (thanks eveyone!). And today we added the Shopp Analytics plugin that will integrate your Shopp-powered site with Google Analytics e-commerce statistics. We’ve got a few more enhancements that we can’t justify adding to the core, but we see the potential utility in them enough to release them to the community. So keep any eye on the Extras on shopplugin.net!
The roadmap has undergone some drastic work to realign our development to balance the immediate needs of the community with our planned architectural improvements. Without going into all of the details, a lot of features originally planned for 1.1 will be pushed back. Our focus in development now is to stabilize the features in the core to make the existing platform rock solid.
There is a lot of work to be done and a lot already done. We will be rolling out 1.0.9 to address a number of issues in the current release – most importantly fixes to PayPal Standard, and the download expiration limit bug. Beyond that, 1.0.9 will also have a good many enhancements including:
- New API tags and tag options
- Basic integration support for the All In One SEO plugin
- Full support for multi-byte character languages
- Advanced search options for orders and customers
- An optimized download delivery system for handling very large downloads even on low-memory server environments
- Support for resumable downloads (for browsers that support it) when using file system storage for digital products.
In a nutshell, 1.0.9 makes Shopp more robust than ever. Watch this space for a release announcment very soon.
The 1.0.9 release also sets the stage for 1.1 development. Our primary focus in 1.1 is to do some house cleaning, making some minor architectural improvements while adding a handful of major features to better complete Shopp’s e-commerce development arsenal. With it we’ll add support for taking offline payments via bank transfer, wired payment or C.O.D. We’ll announce more features for 1.1 as development progresses, so check back often or follow us on Twitter. The abbreviated development plan for 1.1 is designed to allow us to to get a good number of new major features rolled out in a shorter timeframe than was originally planned. Still, don’t expect 1.1 until late this year or very early next year.
New Showcase Sites
While you’re waiting for 1.0.9 and 1.1 to get released, take a look at what people have been crafting with Shopp in the Showcase. There have been fantastic submissions of late that really show off how flexible (and easy) Shopp is as an e-commerce development platform. We are so excited to see Shopp used to build not just functional e-commerce sites, but beautiful shopping experiences. Thanks for your submissions and please keep them coming!