Shopp is really coming together now. I’m down to the last of the functional aspects to develop, primarily in the catalog. Now we’re starting the countdown to the beta release. There is still a lot to be done, but the pieces are all falling into place.
Branding & Website
One of the tasks I’m starting to put together is the branding and official website for the plugin. As you can see, I’ve worked up a logo for the plugin that I feel reflects the intent behind the entire project: a robust, but simple approach to a bolt-on e-commerce solution. It also reflects that I’m not necessarily planning for it to be tied to just WordPress, but that I may develop derivatives for other CMS/Blog engines (ExpressionEngine, Joomla, etc.)
The website design process is underway and I hope to have it available at least at the launch of the beta program, but hopefully well before it starts. Along with showcasing the plugin, the website will also provide a lot of support services to the Shopp community. During and after the beta it will provide bug reporting/tracking services and will be home to the plugin documentation project. It’s looking like the documentation project will take the form of a wiki where beta testers can contribute their insights and discoveries into how to use the plugin to the max.
For those of you that have expressed interest in the plugin by posting here on my blog, contacting me via e-mail or on Skype, I will be sending out beta invites at the end of next week so that I can select who I will be working with to finalize the plugin for release. I have high hopes that the beta team can really make an impact at reducing the bugs before launch and helping me see missing functionality that might be necessary before launching the final release.
I’m not planning to roll out Shopp as a solve-everything-under-the-sun solution, but one that solves the core problems of e-commerce online – managing and selling products. That said, there are some features you won’t be seeing at the release. Some of them are low priority and will be added in a later release. Others simply will not be part of the project at all because they are peripheral functions that will just add bloat and instability. For now, here’s what I’ve pushed back and what I’ve decided not to include at all:
- Product Comments/Reviews & Ratings
- Time-based Discount Codes & Coupons
- Real-time shipping estimates from service providers
- Google Base integration
Not Happening in Shopp (so far)
- E-mail Campaigns – I know a lot of people would like this built-in, but this is part of my development philosophy of power vs. simplicity. This really is a separate set of functionality that deserves it’s own project. A project that can focus on a balance of power and simplicity on it’s own (that can hopefully fully integrate with, and compliment Shopp)
That’s all I’ve got for you. BTW, any reactions to the logo? Hopefully it accurately reflects the attention to detail I’m pouring into this project.
Also, if you really want to talk to me about Shopp, perhaps even get a sneak peek at the development progress, you can find me on Skype. I love to talk about where things are going with Shopp and I’ll answer any questions you have.
More to come soon, so stick around!