Let’s kick off this first post of the year by wishing each and everyone a happy and prosperous 2018. Let’s continue rockin’ and rollin’ in the new year!

2017 was a very exciting year for us, with the official launch of SB Pro / Pagestead, growing our customer base to just north of 140 customers and tons of feedback from and interesting discussions with our wonderful customers. Now, with that out of the way, I wanted to discuss some the things we’re planning to achieve in 2018.

The long awaited 1.0.5 update

The 800 pound gorilla in the room; the 1.0.5 update. Initially planned to be released in Q4 2017, we’re finally getting close to wrapping up this update and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. In a previous post we discussed some of the difficulties we were facing getting the update ready.

This update is big one, with large amounts of new code, new features, improvements and code refactors. Considering the size and significance of this update, we have decided to take a slightly different approach with regards to releasing it. Before we will release the official update, we will release one or more release candidates to existing customers. These release candidates are not production ready and should only be used for testing purposes!

These release candidates will allow everyone to test the new update and report possible issues to our forums (we’ll open up a special section where people can report issues). Once we feel confident the current release candidate is production ready, we’ll release the official update, including the auto update.

The first release candidate is set to go out next week. Additionally, we’ll do whatever we possibly can to push out the official update, including auto update before the end of the month.

Open sourcing

A few months ago, we made our first contribution to the open source community by releasing a functional sFTP library for CodeIgniter.  Since SB Pro / Pagestead itself relies on open source code quite a bit, we feel it’s only right to start contributing more ourselves. To this end, we plan on releasing several open source projects in 2018. We can not reveal any specifics at this point, however there’s a good chance that parts of the SB Pro / Pagestead page builder will be made open source later this year. More details will follow.

Improved membership and distribution system

Up until now, SB Pro / Pagestead has relied on Gumroad to manage code distribution to our customers. Although we love Gumroad and think it’s an awesome service, we’re control freaks and we miss having full control over how our customers signup, purchase and manage SB Pro / Pagestead. Therefor, we will be implementing our very own membership system for SB Pro / Pagestead in 2018. This system will allow customers to sign up for SB Pro / Pagestead, make payments and manage their copy of SB Pro / Pagestead. This means that customers will have access to their SB Pro / Pagestead source code, blocks and other things by logging into SB Pro / Pagestead rather than having to access Gumroad.

New flag-ship features

In addition to the above, we’re also planning to start working on implementing several flag-ship features into SB Pro / Pagestead this year.

E-commerce

Our customers have spoken and we have listened. E-commerce functionality is by far the most requested feature. Therefor we’ll start working on implementing some basic e-commerce functionality later this year. At this point, we’re not yet clear on what shape this is going to take. Once we’re ready to start researching this functionality, we’ll reach out to our community to get a sense for how people would imagine this to work and take it from there.

Blogging

We’ll be implementing blogging functionality as well; allowing end-users to maintain a blog using SB Pro / Pagestead.

SB Pro / Pagestead billing system

This is going to be a big one. As most of you are aware, currently everything related to subscriptions is either handled by Stripe or by Paypal. Although this has some obvious benefits like security and simplicity, it also has a number of drawbacks. The main drawback being that there’s no subscription data inside SB Pro / Pagestead, making it not possible to see how well your SaaS is doing within the application. Additionally, it makes adding additional payment gateways very difficult. We will be exploring the possibilities to have SB Pro / Pagestead fully handle the subscriptions and billing. If we are able to pull this off, adding additional payment gateways will be come a lot easier.

Multi language blocks

Another request we get frequently is the ability to create multi-language sites. To this end, we’ll be looking into creating different variations of blocks/pages, allowing the user to present their pages in multiple languages.

Improved image library

We have got a number of items related to the image library planned, one being integration with the Unsplash photo library. This would give users access to thousands of high quality images to be used in their pages. Another one would be the implementation of image categories.

Template categories

We will be re-inventing the usage of page templates. Right now, a user will need to open the page builder first before being able to choose a pre-made template. What we’re planning to do is allow users to pre-select a template before creating a page, resulting in the chosen template being loaded inside the page builder when it loads. Additionally, we’ll be implementing template categories as well.

Page builder improvements

Although we’re pretty happy with the page builder as it currently stands, a lot of the code is getting outdated and could do with a proper refactoring. We have a number of changes planned, many of which will be “under the hood”, resulting in cleaner code and a smoother user experience. There will be several user-facing improvements as well though: undo functionality, easier custom css and javascript, auto-responder integration and better Google fonts integration.

Got any other specific features you’d like to see implemented in 2018? Or other thoughts, feelings or remarks? Feel free to share them in the comments below

I have been building web applications and other digital products for more then a decade. Currently on an exciting journey discovering the ins and outs of content marketing while growing my newest business. Dedicated to helping digital agencies and entrepreneurs around the world succeed!

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