Over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend we ran a one-time pre-launch offer of 75% off on the new version of EDD Bookings. If you missed out on the offer, not to worry. EDD Bookings will be 60% off at launch, rising in price later on as new features are added.

It was very exciting for us to see a number of you supporting our work to develop a top-notch WordPress bookings plugin and we truly appreciate all the great feedback we got so far. 

Now, where are we at today?

Naming

This plugin has so far been advertised as EDD Bookings version 3.0. However, following some discussion, we’ve decided to take a different approach.

The plugin will now be referred to as EDD Bookings, and the first public version of the new plugin being put for sale will start at version 0.1. This is a part of our commitment to using semantic versioning.

Development

I don’t want to bore anyone here, nor do we have the time to dedicate to a detailed explanation of all our work (this will come later), however, you deserve to know what’s going on behind the scenes. Here’s a message from our lead and PHP developers, Anton and Miguel.

Click on the play button below to listen to our developer’s message.


Music: https://www.bensound.com

As most of you know, the upcoming release of the new EDD Bookings is the second rewrite of the increasingly popular bookings plugin. It has come a long way in terms of development and planning but has hit a wall of limitations and technical debt that we could not work around without re-thinking the whole architecture. Years of experience have taught us that software needs to be built with scalability and long-term maintainability in mind and a fair amount of planning beforehand. This is why we have approached this project in the most serious way and with utmost determination to produce a high-quality product – first and foremost in terms of software and code. Therefore, we have adopted and committed to the best, most widely accepted and proven industry standards: DRY, SOLID, TDA, TDD, thorough testing and documentation. Piece by piece, this is giving birth to something that is much more than just a booking plugin, but a platform for development of booking systems, which can be integrated with anything due to its highly interoperable and system-agnostic architecture.

Of course, this approach is as costly as it is rewarding. The system consists of so many loosely-coupled, narrow-purposed, interoperable components that it is breathtaking. Some of you may know that we contribute to the open-source community by writing and publishing standards and standards-compliant implementations. Many ideas, and many times more as many repositories, were thus created, gradually converging on the main objective while remaining ignostic of it. The resulting product promises to be extremely flexible, with every part being easily replaceable, yet powerful and safe using strong and well defined types all around.

Yet still, there is a lot of work to be done: sticking to principles like your life depends on them is a huge effort, which requires strong will power and solid determination to prevent development from taking a wrong turn and falling into the darkness of mediocrity. One thought keeps us moving forward towards our goal of providing the best software to our clients, through the tormenting circles of callback hell, and the gloomy forest of endless dependencies: in the end, it’s all worth it.

The right combination keeps things in line 🙂

UI/UX

User interface and user experience; these are aspects of the plugin that we have taken to heart. A few months back we hired a couple of expert UI/UX designers to help us determine the best possible solutions for all areas of the plugin.

A lot of time and research went into making sure we don’t make the mistakes that we saw our competitors make. Does that mean we’ve built the perfect solution? No, but we’re close.

The new version will help us find where we may have flaws, and that’s where your feedback is essential to us. Even though we’ve done a lot of user research on our end, there are still areas that can only be truly tested once in real-world production environments.

You’ve already seen what the Alpha version of the customer-facing wizard will look like (check it out again here), and in a short while we will be revealing the mockups of the admin dashboard. That’s where you, as the administrator of the website or business, will be setting up services, managing bookings and much more.

The Next Stage

This is best explained in three parts.

Part 1 – Completing the Plugin & Internal Testing (Alpha)

Over the coming weeks we will be completing the development work on EDD Bookings to have a functioning bookings plugin. At this stage, we will be running various tests internally as part of an Alpha release, both from a code review perspective and from a user-testing one. We will have our internal team as well as a few trusted friends using the plugin and trying to break it. If all goes well (or rather, after we’ve fixed the bugs and issues) we will then prepare for the Beta launch. 

Part 2 – Releasing the Plugin In Beta

This will be a private release to only a select group of individuals who we will trust to use EDD Bookings and find any possible flaws. We will be gathering user feedback and working out the kinks, then once that’s done, it’s time for the big one.

Part 3 – Releasing EDD Bookings to the Public

The big release! The final step in this long journey will be to release the brand new EDD Bookings to you, the public. It will be available for purchase on the EDD Bookings website, and will be sent out immediately to all those who have either purchased it during the Black Friday weekend, or those who have an active and valid license from version 2 (not expired).

The Release Date

Our initial plan was to release EDD Bookings in November of this year. This date has now changed to February 2018, and here is an explanation why.

We want to make sure we build something that is both ready for use on your sites and also ready for future updates. Development was delayed slightly last month due to some necessary changes in our approach which will help the plugin, and you, in the future. We also decided to hire new developers so it took a while longer to integrate them into the team. This introduction will further help the development of EDD Bookings in the coming months.

For these reasons, we have had to delay the release of the new version as we optimise our solutions to a level that we are happy with. As I mentioned earlier, the newly planned release date will be in February of 2018. All paid customers will be the first to receive the plugin upon release, and we will keep you in the loop in the coming weeks with further updates, mockups and videos.

Just a little longer. It will be worth the wait, we promise.

Thank you for being patient with us.

It may be taking us a while longer than expected to get things ready for you, but our passion for this project has never faltered. We are hungrier than ever to deliver a great bookings plugin that will make your customers want to come back over and over, while making your lives easier.
The RebelCode team taking a short break from work to catch up over dinner.

Published by Mark Zahra

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *