I want to share with you a bit more about an incredible journey I’ve been through this last months, since the first day I met Cory and Matt until yesterday, when we finally launched our plugin, iThemes Sales Accelerator.
Now for all of my friends that aren’t completely into software development, I’m going to write a special blog post about this very soon, explaining exactly what we’re doing in simple words :-).
If you’re a WordPress web developer, integrator, designer, enthusiast, you know what a plugin is, you know what WooCommerce is, and you probably know iThemes.
Earlier this year iThemes proposed hellodev to join forces and build their next product, a WooCommerce plugin that would enhance its experience, give store owners advanced features that would all come from a single developer, meaning it would be easier to maintain, to get support from, therefore making them earn more money with their online business and not worry about technical stuff.
The story behind the first steps into this amazing partnership is available here. I would recommend you to read it now and come back to this post.
Now yesterday we finally launched iThemes Sales Accelerator, a plugin for WooCommerce that gives you a brand new dashboard with all the important numbers and reports about your store’s sales performance. But the project isn’t going to stop here. Next features include exporting all sales data, marketing automation, multiple warehouse inventory system, email templating, and more.
The reason because we said yes to this challenge was the will to finally get a WooCommerce related product out, something that we have tried before inside hellodev and somewhat didn’t manage to get as far as we wanted it to go. This would be the result of years in a row making custom solutions for clients that could perfectly fit others stores needs. A single developer solving multiple problems / serving multiple needs.
So we want ahead and implemented one of the first flaws WooCommerce has right now, one that we think is the most important of them all, and that is reporting.
Architectural Problem with WooCommerce
If you’re a developer you know that theirs an architectural problem underlying WooCommerce, a problem which their developers are very well aware of, that makes one’s job to bring analytical data together very difficult, making it nearly impossible to provide fast numbers at every request.
So we figured out a way to assemble all sales and products data inside custom tables, that would be populated when installing the plugin and maintained as orders and products came in. Allied with a SaaS service endpoint build specifically by iThemes to keep things in sync, where no data in shared between the two connection points, the report module is able to give fast, constantly updated, reliable information about sales. This custom tables solve the architectural deficiency and provide speed, without interfering with the store’s performance.
The Fake Order Creator Plugin
To test this all, we needed data. So we went ahead and created a fake order and customer’s creator plugin, that would run every minute to create information about sales. With this we were able to get 20k, 30k or even 100k orders in and test for performance. We were also able to create fake refunds and coupons, so no use case would be left out. We’ll soon open source this plugin for the WooCommerce community.
It’s Finally Available
This is all available today, in two versions, free and pro, for your WooCommerce online store and, the cherry on top of the cake, for your iOS device too, as a free download from the App Store.
We at hellodev are all very proud of this first achievement, of the work together with iThemes, and with the amazing feedback we’ve been receiving during WooConf 2017. We finally did bring a product out to the public in all its glory, as we had imagined it to happen a few years ago.
Thank you Tiago for the belief and incentive, and Nuno for the hard work! Thank you Cory and Matt for the incredible opportunity.