What’s coming up in Q1 of 2014

Written by Matty Cohen on January 20, 2014 Blog.

With the 2013 year growing ever-distant in our rear-view mirrors, and the 2014 road out ahead of us, we're excited to share with you what we've got planned for the first quarter of 2014.

2013 was a great year, for Woo. We expanded our team, helped thousands of customers and added many new items to our product line, while steadily updating existing products. To find out more about everything we did in 2013, check out our 2013 year in review.

Without further ado, lets dive right in and find out what the first quarter of 2014 has in store for us.

WooFramework gets a fresh face

The WooFramework, the engine which powers every WooThemes theme, is getting a fresh face. Being largely rewritten from the ground up (with backwards compatibility in mind, of course), we're excited to share more information on the newly-optimised WooFramework, as we get closer to the release date.

wf-version

The focus of this upcoming version 6 is "self help". No details have been spared in ensuring the user experience with a WooThemes theme is amazing, clear and easy from the very first step of activating the theme.

Keep an eye on our blog for more information on this release, as it develops.

WooCommerce 2.1

We're very excited to get WooCommerce version 2.1 into your hands. This exciting new release includes an API, optimised separation of CSS and many other updates, optimisations and aids to help run your online store.

wc-2.1

For more information on this release, check out all related posts on the Develop WooCommerce blog.

LEAN Plugins

Throughout 2013, one of our primary goals has been to abstract commonly used functionalities into plugins, rather than bundling these features into each theme. This goal will continue into 2014 with the release of dedicated Subscribe & Connect, Contact Details and Shortcodes plugins, as well as continuing to abstract further useful tools out into plugins (both free and paid) to assist you in getting your website up and running as swiftly as possible, and with the best possible user experience.

Continuous Optimisation

At Woo, we are firm believers in the LEAN methodology. A core aspect of LEAN is continuous improvement. We've tweaked (optimised, if you will) this process to read "continuous optimisation". This core distinction helps us to maintain focus on the end goal; optimising while improving at the same time.

WordPress is our passion. We spend hours each day, observing developments within the community, adding historical context to the platform's evolution and looking back to ensure the core WordPress vision is at the forefront of our minds, as we aim to innovate and pave new roads within the WordPress community.

This historical context forms an integral part of continuous optimisation. Since it's inception, WordPress has always been about freedoms, democratisation and empowerment. A theme has always been a skin, leaving plugins to handle the heavy lifting functionality. This helps with data portability and data freedom.

Reserve your place in line for this WooCommerce teaser

With an exciting year ahead, we thought we'd leave you with the following teaser of our most exciting product release for the first quarter of 2014. More will be mentioned in a future blog post. For now, we'll whet your appetite.

We're blooking forward to this one...!
We’re blooking forward to this one…!

Project your Projects

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 11.41.35

Along with all of the above, we’ve been hard at work on an exciting offering for displaying your projects on your website. Stay tuned to our blog for more on this exciting project for showcasing your projects.

Sewed and Stitched

stitched

Lastly, here’s a little teaser for our upcoming theme to kick off 2014. You’ll all get to meet Stitched early in 2014. We’re excited to share it with you and showcase this new addition to our catalog.

The aforementioned items are, of course not the only items on our release schedule for the next few months. Keep an eye on our blog for new themes, other new plugins and exciting WooCommerce, Sensei and WooSlider extensions.

Here's to 2014!

cta-banner-10-product-page-v2_2x

35 Responses

  1. George
    January 20, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    Would be great to have more info regarding functionality vs plugins. I read before that having lots of plugins is worse than having the functionality coded into the theme but you guys seem to be going the other way.

    What’s the impact of this from a performance standpoint? Plugins is one of the reasons I love wordpress but I do tend to use a lot of them and this has concerned me in the past, this move means I’ll even more to add.

    • Coen Jacobs
      January 20, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

      There is no such thing as ‘too many plugins’. It all depends on what plugins you install. You can have 50 really good plugins active on a site having the same impact as 1 really bad plugin. Make sure you pick plugins from reputable sources and test them out in testing environments to detect any conflicts or performance issues before you push it on a live website.

      To get back to your plugins vs theme functionality question; in general it’s best to have features that don’t belong in a theme, in a plugin. I like to think of a theme as the aesthetics of a website, while plugins add or modify functionality.

      So in my opinion, switching to more plugins over having the features in a theme is a really good change. You can also decide to leave some features (plugins) out of your website, because you’re not using/want them. You can’t do that with features packed in your theme, which is another advantage.

  2. Ross W
    January 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    I gotta ask… What’s “PooCommerce”?! πŸ˜‰

    • rwintle
      January 21, 2014 at 10:58 am #

      Oh. You removed it? I thought it was quite funny! Was hoping for an amusing explanation.

    • Matty Cohen
      January 21, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      A new open-source eCommerce platform for WordPress? πŸ˜‰

  3. Juanma
    January 20, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    OMG! My woocommerce website is actually a booking tool for my cooking school. I had to imagine so many personal tweaks to make it work…! LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!
    Im in if you need betatesters or whateveeeeer!

  4. Murray
    January 21, 2014 at 1:38 am #

    Awesome!! Think I’m going to feint.

    • Matty Cohen
      January 21, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      Glad to hear you’re excited, Murray. Please don’t feint. πŸ™‚

      Which item on our roadmap has you most excited (it’s okay to pick more than one)? πŸ™‚

      • Murray
        January 22, 2014 at 8:02 am #

        Funnily enough I love the LEAN aspect of Woo. I now spend more time on content (word creation (www.idolovewords.com), and she’s brilliant!) than making fancy layouts, to achieve a better conversion rate.

  5. Steve
    January 21, 2014 at 1:41 am #

    I’m sure there will be many tangible coding & security benefits once the “LEAN Plugins” project is completed! Plus, I imagine it will be easier and more cost effective to enhance functionality if controlled via a widget versus theme-integrated coding!?

    Looking back at all WooThemes released since July 2012, three (3) groups with similar feature/module functionality emerge:

    Jul’12-Jan’13
    — Custom Homepage; utilizing “Woo Component” widgets

    Feb’13-May’13
    — “Widgetized Homepage” offering some (not all) “Modules” ~OR~
    — “Business Homepage” option (on/off functionality via “Theme Options”)

    May’13-present
    — “Widgetized Homepage” with new & most old “Modules” (no slider)
    .

    Are there any plans to enhance functionality of themes released since July 2012? In particular, I was wondering about the themes that utilize “Woo Component” widgets [which includes the Canvas theme?] . As I understand it, currently you can set the relative position and turn on/off each respective Woo Component widget included as part of a particular theme; namely:

    Woo Component: Business Slider
    Woo Component: Magazine Slider
    Woo Component: Magazine Posts Grid
    Woo Component: Blog Posts
    Woo Component: Current Page Content
    .

    Questions:
    Is there currently a way to add the same Woo Component widget more than once (e.g. add 2 ‘Blog Posts’ sections)?
    Are there any plans to develop filtering capabilities** as part of future widgets OR for existing themes utilizing Woo Component widgets?

    ~~ WIDGETIZED HOMEPAGE (example) ~~
    1) Woo Component: Business Slider
    2) Woo Component: Features
    3) Woo Component: Blog || ** category=financial **
    4) Woo Component: Blog || ** category=marketing **
    5) Woo Component: Portfolio || ** tag=websites **
    6) Woo Component: Portfolio || ** tag=logos **

    Cheers,
    Steve

    • Matty Cohen
      January 21, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your query. πŸ™‚

      It is possible to include multiple instances of the same component, using the Woo – Component widget, yes. In certain cases (for example, when displaying a loop of posts), this may not be the most optimised idea, in terms of page load time, though.

      There are definitely plans to enhance the Woo – Component widget, starting with Canvas. At that point, I’d envision we’d decouple the code into multiple smaller widgets, or provide a small plugin, to make it easier to get up and running in a clear and intuitive manner.

      Revisiting older themes (even older than the date ranges you’ve mentioned), is on our roadmap as well, for this year. We’ll be updating a few selected older themes with our latest developments and a fresh look and feel.

      For more information, keep an eye on our blog. πŸ™‚

  6. fservices
    January 21, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    Are you going to update all themes with WooFramework 6?
    I would like to not start using themes that are not gonna be updated later if I can help it.

    • Matty Cohen
      January 21, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      We’ll be doing our best to ensure all themes are compatible with WooFramework 6, yes.

      If any specific themes are not compatible (unlikely), we will inform everyone as such. πŸ™‚

  7. allmyhoney
    January 21, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    I would like to see Sensei on this Roadmap in a big way πŸ™

  8. tinygiantstudios
    January 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    I’m currently extending Canvas with a childtheme and adding some bespoke options to the framework. Is there a big change coming with regards to how options-management will be dealt with?

  9. dryfly
    January 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    Matty,

    Looks like a VERY exciting first quarter – I look forward to your efforts as always!

    PLEASE make sure your Subscribe and Connect plugin has an option to open Connections in a new window. We spend a lot of effort getting people to our websites and the last thing we want to do is send them away!!

    All the best in 2014,
    Steve

  10. sweetbeats
    January 22, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    Really disappointed that bookings won’t combine with subscriptions πŸ™

  11. aronwp
    January 22, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    Any updates on woocommerce 2.1
    I haven’t seen any updates in the update thread.

    Thanks
    Aron

    • Johnny
      January 24, 2014 at 10:37 am #

      What is the update thread and where can I find it?

  12. vizine
    January 23, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

    Hi –

    For 2014 planning, can you give some indication on which themes are most likely to be retired this year? I did some research on previous theme retirements, and I know one of the factors you use in your determination is “popularity”:

    https://woocommerce.com/2012/06/more-themes-going-into-retirement/#comment-132132

    However, when I apply your popularity filter:

    http://woocommerce.com/themes/?order_by_filter=popularity

    …the rank order is NOT by “popularity”, but is actually “Release Date” (see results below; from 23Jan14):

    # – Theme_Name (Release-date)

    1 – Hub (17-Dec-13)
    2 – Upstart (28-Nov-13)
    3 – Maximize (24-Oct-13)
    4 – For_The_Cause (25-Sep-13)
    5 – Show_Off (22-Aug-13)
    6 – Memorable (9-Jul-13)
    7 – On_Topic (4-Jun-13)
    8 – Peddlar (9-May-13)
    9 – Resort (16-Apr-13)
    10 – Superstore (19-Mar-13)
    11 – The_One_Pager (20-Feb-13)
    12 – Appply (10-Jan-13)
    13 – Hustle (13-Dec-12)
    14 – Function (22-Nov-12)
    15 – Definition (24-Oct-12)
    16 – Athena (25-Sep-12)
    17 – Scrollider (21-Aug-12)
    18 – Mystile (9-Aug-12)
    …
    37 – Argentum (6-Oct-11)
    38 – Woostore (27-Sep-11)
    39 – Coquette (27-Sep-11)
    40 – Wootique (27-Sep-11)
    41 – Buro (14-Sep-11)
    42 – Swatch (31-Aug-11)
    …
    61 – Crisp (26-Aug-10)
    62 – Estate (20-Jul-10)
    63 – The_Morning_After (8-Jun-10)
    64 – Inspire (26-May-10)
    65 – Spectrum (5-May-10)
    66 – Diarise (22-Apr-10)
    …
    79 – Blogtheme (28-Nov-08)
    80 – Typebased (8-Nov-08)
    81 – Snapshot (13-Oct-08)
    82 – Gazette (12-Feb-08)
    83 – Premium_News (2-Nov-07)

    _______________________

    Is there any way you could more clearly indicate the “# of sales” and/or “# of downloads” for each theme? Or, if you’d rather not make that data public, maybe you could indicate for each theme what quartile they fall into? Perhaps break-down the “# of sales” and “# of downloads” for the entire “lifetime” of the theme versus the “past 6-months”? For example:

    …………………..Lifetime ………….. Past 6-months
    …………….. Sales .. Dwnlds …… Sales .. Dwnlds
    Theme A …. 1st …….. 2nd ………1st ……… 1st
    Theme D … 2nd ……. 1st ……… 1st ……… 1st
    Theme E …. 1st …….. 2nd …….. 1st …….. 2nd
    Theme C … 4th …….. 3nd …….. 3rd …….. 3rd
    Theme B … 3rd …….. 3nd ……….4th …….. 4th

    This would be extremely useful when deciding whether or not to ‘risk’ building a new website using one of your ‘older’ templates.

    Thanks,
    Steve

    • Ryan Ray
      February 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

      Hey Steve,

      While not published yet, we can provide you with some guidance on the next retired themes. Shoot us an email. – help@woocommerce.com

  13. dondowell
    January 24, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    Is Stitched the next theme release?

  14. Marco
    January 27, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    What about the WooCommerce Photography extension? When can we expect this one?

    • samantha9
      January 30, 2014 at 7:01 am #

      +1 WooCommerce Photography extension!

      • Ryan Ray
        February 3, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

        Unfortunately we aren’t able to say exactly when this will be released, except for when it’s ready. πŸ™‚

        We’re working with a 3rd party dev on this extension, and it’s a little harder to give anything exact when it’s not entirely in house.

        • Marco
          February 6, 2014 at 11:28 am #

          Thanks! Looking forward to it,

  15. gregs.legs@googlemail.com
    January 31, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    Do you have a estimated release date for Subscriptions 1.5 ?

  16. kathy
    February 10, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    I have found that selecting a theme for my woo commerce site to be overwhelming. There are so many possibilities…and no easy way to know what the differences are.

    A question: Do all woo commerce themes come with some standard set of features? If so, what are they? If you are looking at a theme…rather than focusing on the UI (which I know is important) but as important for me was trying to understand what other types of eommere features/functions the theme might support.

    Is there any site/place to help?

    • Ryan Ray
      February 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

      Hi Kathy,

      Feel free to contact us here for pre-sales questions. We’re happy to explain and answer any questions! – help@woocommerce.com

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