In this week’s blog post, I would like to take a moment to discuss the current state of affairs as well as what we have planned for SB Pro / Pagestead moving forward.
The current state of affairs
It’s been almost three months since we officially launched SB Pro / Pagestead and it’s been an exciting ride so far! We’re one customer short of reaching the first milestone of having one hundred customers. Although we aren’t fully cashflow positive just yet, I expect we will be before the end of the year (assuming we stay on the same growth trajectory). Additionally, we’re hoping to expand the SB Pro / Pagestead team with an additional two team members in the coming months (if you’re an awesome front-end developer or marketing specialist and you’re looking for a new gig, please reach out).
As mentioned above, we’re getting very close in hitting the first customer target of one hundred customers. And it’s been simply fantastic interacting with all of you! In the early stages of launching any new software product, regular interaction with early adopters is crucial. Hence we do our very best to be as approachable and available as possible. On the forums, our average response time is around 4 hours. I imagine that number will go further down moving forward. On the live chat, we’re struggling a bit to be available for every incoming chat due to time differences (our team is based in Asia, while most of our customers are in the United States and Europe). Once our resources allow for it, we’ll be bringing a full-time customer service rep onto the team which should increase our availability on the live chat. Until then, if you reach out via chat and we’re not responding, please do leave your name and email address we will get back to you as soon as we can.
The feedback we have been getting from everyone has definitely been the main force pushing SB Pro / Pagestead forward. Please keep it coming, and we will keep on listening and making SB Pro / Pagestead even more awesome than it already is!
Moving forward; short term
In the short term (the next 4 months) we be looking to focus on the following items:
Improve ease of extending SB Pro / Pagestead
We are aware of the importance of our customers being able to safely modify SB Pro / Pagestead and limit the risk of stuff breaking when a new update is released. To this end we have already implemented extended views to allow for modifying views and controller hook points to modify controller functions (coming with v1.0.4). Both of these features allow for customizations without modifying the SB Pro / Pagestead core code. This is only the beginning though. We will be reaching out to our community for feedback regarding additional hook points (you can request additional hook points on the forums). Additionally, we will be researching additional features we can implement to improve the ease of customizing SB Pro / Pagestead, so expect a number of changes in this area.
Additional blocks and block features
Even though we have a nice collection of blocks bundled with SB Pro / Pagestead, after creating over 450 blocks we see a clear need for additional block features. We receive regular requests for things like background color overlays, video or parallax backgrounds, tab support, accordions, countdown timers, etc. Therefor we will be implementing a number of additional features for our blocks and we’ll release a number of additional blocks making use of these new features.
Improvements to the page builder itself
Even though we’re pretty happy with the current state of the SB Pro / Pagestead page builder and we have received a lot of positive feedback in the past few months, we still have a bunch of additional features we’ve seen requested numerous times. Things like saving blocks as templates, cloning pages, undo functionality, and much more.
Extending block features
We haven’t really worked out the details yet, but we’re looking into implementing a framework which will allow developers to easily extend block functionality and make this functionality accessible through the Pagestead page builder. For example, let’s say you’re looking to implement video backgrounds. In addition to making video backgrounds work inside your block templates, you will also want to be able to edit these backgrounds through the page builder. To this end, we will be implementing a framework allowing you to do exactly that. Having such a framework in place, you will no longer be dependent on the Pagestead team implementing desired block functionality.
Moving forward; long term
Although we generally don’t think that far ahead, we do have a number of things planned for the long term (say the next 12 months):
Front-end version of the page builder
This has been requested a whole bunch of times; a front-end only version of SB Pro / Pagestead’s page builder. This would be the page builder itself, without any of the other SB Pro / Pagestead functionality. This separate page builder will be ideal for integration into existing projects and codebases. We will most likely offer this as a separate product, however everyone who has purchased any SB Pro / Pagestead package will be able to download it for free.
This is a big one. To be quite honest, we have tried to stay away from implementing e-commerce functionality initially, mostly due to the involved complexities. However, receiving requests for some sort of e-commerce functionality almost on a daily basis we kinda feel we need to take these requests serious and start looking into offering e-commerce functionality. This is still quite a long ways ahead of us though, expect something to be released towards the second half of 2018.
Block subscription service
For quite a while now we have been planning to launch a subscription service which would provide SB Pro / Pagestead owners with a large collection of additional blocks. The plan is create and maintain a library of 1,000+ blocks to which we’d add blocks regularly. With this particular item, we’re not entirely sure wether this is short term or long term. We were initially planning on launching this service towards the end of the year, however at this point we are not sure we’ll be able to. If push comes to shove, we prefer to dedicate resources towards the development of SB Pro / Pagestead first, which would mean the launch of this service would be pushed back.
Please note both the short term and long term descriptions do not cover everything we’re working on; these are just broad overviews of what is coming. We will continue to publish more detailed reports of what’s cooking in the SB Pro / Pagestead over on this blog.
As always we appreciate any and all feedback; please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and questions in the comments below.