Development workshop: Week 2

The second week of this development workshop has come to an end, this week was dedicated to the development of new Plugin functionality but meant we had to deal with the elephant in the room; how to manage support tickets and the priority of feature requests. I’m making progress on this front and changing how new support tickets vs feature requests are being processed, thank you for your patience during this transition.

I’m proud to announce that support for Export Templates on the Quick Export screen is well underway as is reducing the memory footprint of export elements which will greatly affect large Product and Order exports.

Custom field labels within the Edit Export Template screen

Export Templates now support setting custom column labels on a per-Export Template basis, this functionality will be included in the next minor Plugin release due Monday; the Friday update curse is in effect today.


Export Template integration to the Quick Export screen

I’m proud to announce that Export Template integration to the Quick Export screen is well underway with support for export field visibility and sorting working.


Summary

This final week ahead is exclusively Plugin work focused and I expect to get both minor Plugin updates of Store Exporter Deluxe and Product Importer Deluxe out the door. Here’s a re-cap.

The goals of this development workshop are:

  • to add Export Template integration to the Quick Export screen in Store Exporter Deluxe (in progress)
  • to reduce the memory footprint of export elements when preparing exports in Store Exporter Deluxe (in progress)
  • to complete the WooCommerce 3.0 CRUD model transition for Order exports *1
  • to move the Product import logic from Product Importer Deluxe to Store Importer Deluxe
  • to add Order and Order Item import support to Store Importer Deluxe
  • to add file attachment support to the Premium Support form (achieved)
  • to add file attachment support to the My Account > Support section (in progress)
  • to continue customising the visser.com.au storefront (achieved)
  • to make available the Jigoshop to WooCommerce migration Plugin to existing Product Importer Deluxe customers *2

*1 – we currently avoid conflicting with WooCommerce 3.0 Order and Order Item resources which trigger deprecation notices

*1 – in the same way that Product Importer Deluxe customers have access to early builds of Store Importer Deluxe as it is being developed

That’s it for now, thank you for respecting this opportunity to focus on development over support for this three week period. This development workshop will benefit all of us.

Changes to Visser Labs Support

Hi WooCommerce, Jigoshop, Exchange and WP e-Commerce users, I’m here in the middle of week 2 of this development workshop and doing my best to build new Plugin functionality as discussed earlier, unfortunately I’m realising I have over-committed to delivering feature requests and new enhancements which while they benefit some users do not benefit the greater community.

This failure to manage support tickets and feature requests is eating into my dedicated development time here at this development workshop and has been a major conflict in reliably allocating development resources since I started developing and then maintaining WordPress Plugins.

I need your help and advice on how to resolve this as there are many suggestions to managing Plugin support requests but no easy fixes.

I do not want to sacrifice my speed to market for delivering new functionality or personal connection I have with new as well as long-established tickets (I recently saw a first support ticket from a customer in 2014!). Hearing directly from Plugin users allows me to deliver Plugin updates that I would never have considered and that directly affect store owners operations.

Some strategies going forward could include:

  1. build a support wall to reduce the volume of new tickets
  2. stop directly committing to new feature requests

Suggestion #1: Build a support wall

This strategy is employed by many major Plugin providers, that means:

  • adding level-based suppport staff (I’ve tried this)
  • introducing support subscriptions that expire (I haven’t tried this and am reluctant to)
  • validating support tickets against license purchases (I haven’t tried this and am reluctant to)
  • simply hide from difficult tickets (I’ve tried this, never ends well)

The con’s of this strategy are:

  • instead of taking 30 seconds to type a quick resolution (e.g. a PHP snippet) it could takes hours to days to filter through support levels (L2: Basic, L3: Moderate, L4: Advanced)
  • it would require employing dedicated support staff for each support level
  • support subscriptions are a annual cost which I can’t personally chew so can’t see why my customers would
  • checking valid support subscriptions against new tickets may hold back a few tickets but won’t make a significant difference

Suggestion #2: Stop being a yes man

This strategy means I will stop committing to new feature requests directly via Support.

Instead new feature requests as they come into Support would be added to a dedicated Trello board or bbPress board where conversations could develop, a link to these resources would be provided to the support ticket author to monitor progress of that feature request.

The con’s of this strategy means that Plugin customers requiring rapid deliverables would need to wait in line as feature requests are processed else consider funding the project if development resources are available (this would depend on the volume of open support issues). Currently I encourage customers requesting new functionality to ping me once a fortnight so their ticket floats to the surface within Zendesk but this is not a sustainable model and is frustrating to both Plugin customers who are WooCommerce integrators as well as myself.


I need your help

What do you think I should do?

As a first step I’ve internally set up separate Views in Zendesk to separate support issues from feature requests and pre-sales but this is just a cosmetic change, new support tickets are still streaming in and I’m doing my best to develop new functionality for Plugins while supporting you, my Plugin customers. Thanks for your time. 🙂

Development workshop: Week 1

The first week of this development workshop has come to an end, this week was dedicated to the visser.com.au website and supporting infrastructure, that has meant launching the new VLShop Theme, overhauling Plugin detail pages, preparing new documentation, improving contact forms and even working on our Plugin update infrastructure.

Here’s what has been achieved:

The next two weeks are exclusively Plugin work focused on nailing the goals established before beginning this development workshop. Here’s a re-cap.

The goals of this development workshop are:

  • to add Export Template integration to the Quick Export screen in Store Exporter Deluxe (in progress)
  • to reduce the memory footprint of export elements when preparing exports in Store Exporter Deluxe
  • to complete the WooCommerce 3.0 CRUD model transition for Order exports *1
  • to move the Product import logic from Product Importer Deluxe to Store Importer Deluxe
  • to add Order and Order Item import support to Store Importer Deluxe
  • to add file attachment support to the Premium Support form (achieved)
  • to add file attachment support to the My Account > Support section (in progress)
  • to continue customising the visser.com.au storefront (achieved)
  • to make available the Jigoshop to WooCommerce migration Plugin to existing Product Importer Deluxe customers *2

*1 – we currently avoid conflicting with WooCommerce 3.0 Order and Order Item resources which trigger deprecation notices

*1 – in the same way that Product Importer Deluxe customers have access to early builds of Store Importer Deluxe as it is being developed

That’s it for now, thank you for respecting this opportunity to focus on development over support for this three week period. This development workshop will benefit all of us.

Now it’s time for a Friday afternoon beer and a rare weekend away from the computer then starting Monday morning focus on getting the above functionality implemented. Expect new functionality across the WooCommerce Plugin suite being available soon in the next batch of minor Plugin releases. 🙂

[Plugin update] Product Importer Deluxe 2.0.4 for WooCommerce

Hi WooCommerce store owners, the 2.0.4 Plugin update is a minor Plugin release adding Product import support for Bookings, Show Single Variations, Tab Manager, Wholesale Prices and a new duplicate image control method affecting the WordPress Media library.

Update: I snuck in a point release this afternoon resolving an issue merging Product Galleries (thanks Tommi).

Here’s the full changelog:

Fixed

  • Fixed: Negative Quantity values not triggering Stock Status change (thanks Tomas)
  • Fixed: Default value for Duplicate image control option

Added

  • Added: Import support for WooCommerce Wholesale Prices (thanks Eric)
  • Added: Duplicate image control to Import Options (thanks Corin)
  • Added: Import support for WooCommerce Bookings (thanks Julian)
  • Added: Import support for WooCommerce Show Single Variations (thanks Roy)
  • Added: Import support for WooCommerce Tab Manager (thanks Zameer)
  • Added: Filters for overriding woo_pd_http_file_exists() (thanks Ryan)

Download the latest Plugin update from My Account, or via Dashboard > Updates within the WordPress Administration and for more information visit the Plugin detail page for Product Importer Deluxe.

[Plugin update] Store Exporter Deluxe 2.3.4 for WooCommerce

Hi WooCommerce store owners, the 2.3.4 Plugin release is a minor Plugin update which judging by the changelog alone adds a fair bit of new export functionality, fixes for exporting Product Attributes, Subscriptions and Custom Order Items made it into this release.

Update: I snuck in a point release this afternoon resolving a Product export issue affecting older versions of PHP.

Here’s the full changelog:

Fixed

  • Fixed: Compatibility with WooCommerce Subscriptions (thanks Anshul)
  • Fixed: Custom Order Items not appearing in exports (thanks Thomas)
  • Fixed: Product Attributes missing for Variations (thanks Stephen)

Added

  • Added: Stopwatch to footer of Quick Export screen
  • Added: Filter to turn off Filtering Orders by Coupon (thanks Chris)
  • Added: Extend Variation Formatting to support Custom Product meta (thanks Stephen)
  • Added: One more check for PHPExcel Class before failing export (thanks Stephen)
  • Added: Hover label to Archives screen
  • Added: Idle memory usage column to Archives screen
  • Added: sanitize_key() to Product Add-ons export support (thanks Burt)
  • Added: Order Items: Product Add-ons to Orders export type (thanks Matt)
  • Added: Filter to override Export Filters (thanks Matt)
  • Added: Export support for WooCommerce Show Single Variations (thanks Roy)
  • Added: Attribute – Position to Product export type
  • Added: Attribute – Visible on the product page to Product export type
  • Added: Attribute – Used for variations to Product export type
  • Added: Attribute – Is Taxonomy to Product export type
  • Added: Filters to override Product Type counts (thanks William)
  • Added: Export support for Booster for WooCommerce: Product Cost Price (thanks Colin)
  • Added: Variation Formatting support for Category and Tag column (thanks Denise)
  • Added: Filter Product Variations by Category
  • Added: Remember Filter Products by Category
  • Added: Filter Product Variations by Product Tag
  • Added: Remember Filter Products by Product Tag

Download the latest Plugin update from My Account, or via Dashboard > Updates within the WordPress Administration and for more information visit the Plugin detail page for Store Exporter Deluxe.

How to upgrade to WooCommerce 3.0+ with deprecated/out-of-date Plugins

WooCommerce 3.0 has landed and you’re in one of two camps, either you’ve updated (living dangerous!) or you’re waiting until a good time to upgrade which will never come. Here’s how to get from WooCommerce 2.6.14 to 3.0+ without breaking much of sweat by learning from my mistakes.

Updating from WooCommerce 2.6.14 to WooCommerce 3.0+ is just so easy, open up Dashboard > Updates from the WordPress Administration and hit Update, done! … and that’s where some store owners (me included) go from having a stable, operating WooCommerce storefront to a downed WordPress site with no visibility and lost earnings.

Continue reading

[Plugin update] Store Exporter Deluxe 2.3.1 for WooCommerce

Hi WooCommerce store owners, the 2.3.1 Plugin release is a minor Plugin update fixing a compatibility issue with WooCommerce 3.0 that snuck through the 2.3 major release and that’s about it. If you’ve updated to WooCommerce 3.0 then this update is for you!

Here’s the full changelog:

Fixed

  • Fixed: Sections on Quick Export screen stretch on large-res screens
  • Fixed: WooCommerce 3.0 compatibility for Order exports
  • Fixed: PHP notice on Order Items export with custom Product meta

Added

  • Added: FTPS support for Scheduled Exports (thanks Patrick)
  • Added: Backwards compatibility with pre-WooCommerce 3.0

Changed

  • Changed: Multiselect filters use Select2 Version 4

Download the latest Plugin update from My Account, or via Dashboard > Updates within the WordPress Administration and for more information visit the Plugin detail page for Store Exporter Deluxe.

[Plugin update] Store Exporter Deluxe 2.3 for WooCommerce

Hi WooCommerce store owners, the 2.3 Plugin release is a major Plugin update confirming compatibility with WooCommerce 3.0 due on April 4 – bring it on! – and includes a mountain of new functionality, fixes and changes.

Some of the tricks you can now do in Store Exporter Deluxe 2.3 include:

  • WooCommerce 3.0 compatibility
  • Mark Scheduled Exports as Draft/Published directly from the Scheduled Exports screen
  • Export support for Products Purchase Price for WooCommerce, WooCommerce Product Custom Options Lite, WooCommerce Ultimate Multi Currency Suite, WooCommerce Delivery Slots
  • Additional filters, sorting and field options on the Edit Scheduled Export screen
  • Add custom Product meta directly from the Edit Product screen when Store Toolkit is installed and activated

Screenshots

Here’s the full changelog:

Fixed

  • Fixed: Total Quantity field not populating in XML export (thanks Ludvig)
  • Fixed: Filter Customers by Status value using name instead of slug (thanks Philipp)
  • Fixed: Remember Filter Orders by Product Category (thanks Raffaele)
  • Fixed: Not checking state of BOM option (thanks Dima)
  • Fixed: User Membership filter returning 5 results (thanks Audrey)
  • Fixed: Order sorting field not saving on Edit Scheduled Export screen
  • Fixed: PHP notice when Filtering Products by Product Type with keyed array (thanks Dima)

Added

  • Added: Product Category filter to the Orders export type within Scheduled Exports
  • Added: Draft/Publish actions to the Scheduled Export screen
  • Added: Export support for Products Purchase Price for WooCommerce (thanks Daniela)
  • Added: Export support for WooCommerce Product Custom Options Lite (thanks Paul)
  • Added: Add custom Product meta directly from the Edit Product screen when Store Toolkit is activated
  • Added: Product Sorting field to Filters on Edit Scheduled Export screen (thanks Dima)
  • Added: XML order_items node for unique Order Items Formatting rule
  • Added: XML order_item node for unique Order Items Formatting rule
  • Added: Export support for WooCommerce Ultimate Multi Currency Suite (thanks Manoj)
  • Added: Filter support for Order Delivery Date for WooCommerce (thanks Jeffrey)
  • Added: Dismiss option on export currently running notice (thanks Linda)
  • Added: Filter to override case formatting (thanks Chrystel)
  • Added: Export support for WooCommerce Delivery Slots (thanks Florian)
  • Added: WordPress Filter to increment row number during exports (thanks Daniel)
  • Added: Category Sorting field to Filters on Edit Scheduled Export screen
  • Added: Tag Sorting field to Filters on Edit Scheduled Export screen
  • Added: Brand Sorting field to Filters on Edit Scheduled Export screen
  • Added: Order Sorting field to Filters on Edit Scheduled Export screen
  • Added: User Sorting field to Filters on Edit Scheduled Export screen
  • Added: Order Item Type filtering on Edit Scheduled Export screen

Changed

  • Changed: Moved Admin UI export filters to includes/admin/…

Download the latest Plugin update from My Account, or via Dashboard > Updates within the WordPress Administration and for more information visit the Plugin detail page for Store Exporter Deluxe.

[Plugin update] Product Importer Deluxe 2.0.1 for WooCommerce

Hi WooCommerce store owners, the 2.0.1 Plugin update is a minor Plugin release fixing an issue affecting automatic Plugin updates over the past 24 hours so I will re-release the 2.0 major release from yesterday with some minor additions from today.

Here’s the full changelog:

Added

  • Added: Import support for WooCommerce Subscriptions (thanks Joel)
  • Added: Subscription Price
  • Added: Subscription Period Interval
  • Added: Subscription Period
  • Added: Subscription Length
  • Added: Subscription Sign-up Fee
  • Added: Subscription Trial Length
  • Added: Subscription Trial Period
  • Added: Limit Subscription
  • Added: WordPress Filter to use Options over Transient (thanks Robert)

Download the latest Plugin update from My Account, or via Dashboard > Updates within the WordPress Administration and for more information visit the Plugin detail page for Product Importer Deluxe.

[Plugin update] Product Importer Deluxe 2.0 for WooCommerce

Hi WooCommerce store owners, the 2.0 Plugin update is a major Plugin release overhauling the Import screen and bringing the import column naming in line with Store Exporter Deluxe for clearer store migrations.

Note: I’ll be expanding this post with screenshots and a breakdown of new functionality throughout the day. 🙂

Gallery

Here’s the full changelog:

Added

  • Added: YITH Brands import support (thanks Corin)
  • Added: Featured Image Title
  • Added: Featured Image Caption
  • Added: Featured Image Alternative Text
  • Added: Featured Image Description
  • Added: New import module detection
  • Added: Support for importing WooCommerce Custom Fields (thanks Richard)
  • Added: Store Toolkit link to Tools screen
  • Added: Clear Featured Image
  • Added: Clear Product Gallery
  • Added: Clear Featured Image & Product Gallery
  • Added: Check for corrupt Products before merging
  • Added: Import Modules to Tools screen
  • Added: Importing Cost of Goods from WooCommerce Profit of Sales Report
  • Added: Use ‘-‘ (dash) character for clearing Category or Tag associations (thanks Marcus)

Fixed

  • Fixed: Variation import compatibility with WooCommerce 2.6.13 (thanks Stephen)
  • Fixed: Do not update images when merging with no image import method
  • Fixed: Merge import respects Image import method
  • Fixed: Importing Brands
  • Fixed: Skip first option being applied incorrectly
  • Fixed: Private Post Status not being applied
  • Fixed: Allow empty cells when merging to reset Product data (thanks Christian)

Download the latest Plugin update from My Account, or via Dashboard > Updates within the WordPress Administration and for more information visit the Plugin detail page for Product Importer Deluxe.