Hello everyone,

After WordCamp US and a lot of reflection, it’s time to put some things out there. I hope you all enjoy the reading!

The elephant in the room: WP Ultimo 2.0

During WordCamp US I had the opportunity to talk with lots and lots of product people and learn a lot from their experiences. During the trip back home, I had time to reflect on their tips and to think about the best ways to move WP Ultimo (and our other projects) forward.

Anyone that had the curiosity of taking a look at WP Ultimo’s code will agree that it is a beast. It does so much and it touches all of the messiest elements of WP Multisite. It’s hard code to write, harder to maintain, and even harder to make performant. Yet, we just love to write it.

A huge part of that code was rewritten pretty much from scratch for 2.0, mostly to remove some barriers they had put in place and allow us to have a strong foundation to build the new features. However, the results are still not optimal and not on a level I’m comfortable putting forward. 

I admit I was not able to deal with the pressure very well, which lead to lots of deadlines being thrown out. I understand that, for some, this damages the trust I think is so valuable to create between a product developer and their customers and only actions can re-build that.

That pressure ultimately hurt our productivity as a team and we ended up rushing code that should never be rushed. The truth is that between testing, making sure the different modules work seamlessly among them, database migrations, and cleaning the code up there’s still a lot to be done.

I won’t give a new deadline for 2.0 until I’m 100% sure it is ready for public testing, but I won’t leave you guys in the dark anymore. Which leads us to…

Weekly Webinars

There are some workflows that I believe would greatly benefit from inputs from our Community – you! And there are some CRAAAAZY new features we’re adding that we’d love to show to you. I vented this idea before but never actually got to it. It’s time to change that.

During the next week (Nov 11-15), we’ll use the Facebook Group to decide a weekday and time to host a weekly webinar, open to anyone that wishes to participate. The idea here is to discuss workflows, ideas, feature suggestions, the roadmap, and get to know each other!

Office Hours

One little experiment I always wanted to run is having office hours, so starting next week, most Wednesday and Thursday I’ll have office hours between 12 pm – 14 pm EST. 

You can book a 20-min block on that window and we’ll chat via Zoom. It doesn’t necessarily need to be WP Ultimo-related. We can discuss your WaaS idea, a feature suggestion you have, a bug you’re experiencing, a workflow you think needs improvement, etc.

You should be able to book the slots at Calendly – Arindo Duque.

Say Bye-Bye to the Forums, say Hi to the WP Ultimo Users Group

When I joined the Facebook group I was amazed by the level of engagement the posts there had. Although I recognize the WP Ultimo Forums played a great role in the past, I don’t see much sense in keeping them as a channel for discussion when all the talking is already going on elsewhere. 

That means we’ll be disabling the forums later this month. 

New posts will be locked and signups will no longer be available. The topics will be left there for reference, but nothing more.

This also means that you should join the Facebook Group if you’re still not part of it.

Say Bye-Bye to Trello, say Hi to Feedbear

Trello is a great tool, but it was never meant to be used as a public roadmap where people would actually be able to report bugs, suggest new features, and vote for the features they like the most. 

We were given a FeedBear license (thanks, Fernando Arbex!) and that’s the right software for that task. During the month of November, we’ll be moving the Trello Roadmap to FeedBear (please, do not add suggestions and bug reports on there yet!). 

Black Friday

It’s that time of the year again! We have some great plans for this year’s promo, but I’ll talk more about that later…

Well, I think that’s all for today. I would sincerely like to hear your opinions on that, so leave a comment below.

  1. Regarding the “Ultimo Forum” vs “Ultimo Facebook Group” issue, I can see an argument for both.

    FB Group is certainly where a lot of the discussion is happening, often around general advice topics.
    So there is certainly a need for that.

    On the other hand, FB Group is really a poor solution for sharing, searching and preserving data of a technical nature. For example if somebody needs advice about how to write a custom function, FB Groups “might” be a place to generate a discussion about a solution (of course FB doesnt have any ‘code’ tags, so its bound to get messy). BUT 6 months later if I or somebody else is searching for a similar solution… good luck!

    So my suggestion would be to keep the Ultimo Forum going but clearly label it as an Ultimo Technical Support Forum. Make it clear that each venue has a different role – FB Group for general discussion, UTS Forum for code related questions.


    1. Hey, Paul. Thanks for the feedback.

      I agree with your argument about technical posts/replies. That’s why while I think we’d have some posts like that on the group, we still recommend using the live chat support/support email address for those. We’ll actively convert content from the group into articles on the help desk and use the Facebook Group documents features to make sure we “pin” really important stuff.

      We removed support from the Forums a while ago because due to the lack of engagement, it really meant that we were the ones replying to the questions on the forums all the time. Most of the questions being posted on the Forums were also cross-posted on other support channels. This was pretty much duplicating the work our support team had to do. For a small team like ours, that does make a difference.

      I hope that makes sense.


  2. I have to agree with Paul on this. Facebook is a great place for peer discussions and fast level 1 support but it is horrible at indexing, archiving, knowledge base and advanced technical support. I think both the forum and fb group serves a specific purpose and thus, both are a necessity. While I am all for Live Chat (and you guys are great at it!)… what you are proposing about removing the valuable forum content not only creates more work for your team but can be a bad user experience if we need to Live Chat (and wait) every time when alternatively, a solution could be found in the forum through a simple search. I would encourage you to keep both and segway advanced/technical Facebook Group discussions to the forum. My 2 cents, cheers!

    1. Hey, Ed. I appreciate your feedback on this. The rationale you’re exposing was the reason why we decided to have a forum in the first place. The problem is that in the end, it wasn’t working as expected and we were having to deal with duplicate work (live chat and forums). I agree that the Facebook Group is not a great place for indexing and searching, but I think that problem can be solved with a robust knowledge base (that integrated with the live chat). That’s going to be one of our major focuses for 2020.

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