How are you all doing?
So, we’re a couple of days late according to our roadmap, but as I write this post, I’m publishing the first beta release (beta.1) of the new 2.0 version.
We were going to release this build as a regular update inside the WP Admin panel, but we are concerned people might install it on production environments by accident, so in order to access the new version, you’ll have to download it from here.
Just to reiterate: this build is not considered suitable to be applied to live networks with actual customers! Please, please, don’t do that.
About this build
To be 100% honest, technically, I would still consider this build an alpha stage build. We ran a bunch of tests in the past couple of days and there are a lot of things broken. That is part of software development though and I would feel awful if we had to postpone this again. This is one of the reasons why we’re being so clear about this not being production-ready just yet.
We’d love to hear what you have to say about how things are laid out though, as most elements are already in close proximity to their final implementations. For developers, any changes in database structure and public apis from now on will include migrations, so it’s safe to develop for it.
We decided that in order to keep things simple during development, some features that will later become add-ons will reside inside core until we reach the stable. As a result, this build includes:
- Features that will later become Premium Add-ons
- Support Agents
- Front-end Panel
- Gutenberg Elements
- Features that will later become Free Add-ons
- PayFast Gateway
I wish we had better documentation at this stage, but we don’t. As a result, there are lots of cool features in this build that might be too hidden for you to find. I’ll record a quick overview of those during the weekend and post it to the Facebook group and send it as an email blast, but I also think it would be awesome to have a webinar where we could go through them together. I’ll arrange that for next week on the Facebook group, so stay tuned.
Our main goal between now and the scheduled date for the stable release is to reach feature parity with the current version (1.10.X).
This means that beyond polishing/finishing up the features on this build, we’ll work on:
- A new version of the WooCommerce integration add-on;
- A new version of the Pro Sites migrator;
- A new version of the Domain Registration add-on with support for charging;
- Dynamic Pricing support (per seat and per site).
How you can help
Firstly, testing it out!
We have a board where we’ll be collecting feedback about issues with this version. Feel free to add a bug report if you feel something is not working as expected: Feedback Board.
In the next week or so I’ll add the strings of the new version to our translation platform as well, so we can have it available in as many languages as possible, with your help 😀.
But maybe most important of all, I need you to get ready!
I really believe that we have something special here and I’m hoping you’ll agree with me after you take this for a spin. Once we reach the stable version, we’ll make a big deal of the launch, and I would appreciate it if you could help us spread the word by then! 🚀
Getting a bit personal now: I have never worked as much as I did for the past few months. The same is valid for the rest of the team. We lost two team members during the development of this version and that only increased the load on the remaining three. While I’m happy we’re getting closer and closer to the stable release, this way of working is not sustainable.
I know that a lot of you folks know that I’m a huge fan of the Basecamp founders (even wrote a post about one of them on my personal blog in the past), and they have developed a way of working that I want to test out for a while now. They work in cycles, with a closed scope. This is what we’ll try to do once the stable is out. That will allow us to have somewhat constant releases, provide better predictability, and a calmer work environment.
NextPress as a company
Beyond a simple WaaS plugin, WP Ultimo 2.0 is a true SaaS-creation machine. Our goal is to become a development framework for small teams creating MVPs for their new ideas, as well as providing the ultimate tool for people creating WaaS using WordPress.
To support this mission, we have plans to expand our team significantly this year, improve our support, and focus more on creating truly helpful documentation, videos, and additional materials for our customers.
I guess that’s it.
Thanks again for all the support throughout the entire process. I really appreciate it.