Near Term Roadmap (Summer, 2016)

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Hi Everyone,

I wanted to give you an update on the goings on at Themeco and what you can expect in the coming months. First off, we are excited to finally announce today an exclusive partnership with SevenSpark, makers of UberMenu. X is the only theme on the market licensed to distribute a copy of UberMenu with each validated X license, and it’s a deal we’ve been working on for nearly 8 months, so we are excited to make it available to our customers as our 23rd Extension.

About Extensions

Related to this, allow me explain how Extensions work and our vision for them both now and in the future. Each Extension is a licensed version of a WordPress plugin either developed in-house at Themeco or through a 3rd party. They play a key role in our product offering, and we have resources devoted to the management and curation of this environment. While we are very selective with what tools we make available via our Extension library (we get many more requests to distribute products then we allow), we do see this as an important aspect to providing our customers with a well-rounded development environment – all supported and backed by your friends at Themeco for free with each license purchase.

There is no other theme or company on the market that provides anything close to this offering, and we we have many more partnerships and announcements in the works. In the future, look for even more elegant integrations with both industry and Themeco tools allowing for additional functionality and development options when using X in both a performant and well developed manner.

Of late, we’ve noticed that some 3rd party plugins will create additional bonuses you can get if you purchase the product directly from them, but this is optional and not required. At Themeco we will continue to update the products as updates are made available plus provide support for them in our forums.

We have also noticed how many 3rd party plugins (not just within our Extension library but 3rd party plugins in general) are getting somewhat aggressive with their messaging in the WordPress dashboard. This can create both a cluttered WordPress interface plus confusion to customers. We are systematically working with our partners to do what we can to clean up that process with the understanding that at the end of the day 3rd party tools will have some autonomy as to how they ultimately present messaging related to their plugins/tools.

There are new internal policies in place that we are going to manage for any future tools we integrate with so as to make this experience as streamlined and non-confusing as possible to the degree that we can control it. We may also not integrate with certain plugins in the future if their messaging is deemed excessive or misleading as some of the ones we have seen recently have been. While we reserve the right to remove Extensions from our library, it is our goal to keep all Extensions in the library indefinitely and there are no current plans to remove any Extension. For today, the important takeaway to remember and to share with other customers when asked are:

  1. Each Extension is a full version of the plugin but there may be some bonuses or extra functionality not available unless you purchase directly. Generally speaking, these are addons and not tied to core plugin functionality.
  2. You do not need to purchase a copy as we will support and update the product.
  3. You are welcome to purchase a copy if you would like support from the developer but this is optional and not required.

Advanced Custom Fields PRO and Superfly are our 24th and 25th Extensions respectively, and we are currently working through their integration processes. We are aiming to have them ready for release around late June or early July (UPDATE: They are now live, and you can learn more about ACF and Superfly here and here). As always, it is our desire to get approved tools out to you as quickly as possible after they have been thoroughly tested and reviewed.

Did Someone Say Headers?

Now let’s move on to the much anticipated header update! We have been deep in the building process of what is shaping up to be incredible new options for headers within X. We won’t be able to go into more detail then what is listed here, so kindly save your questions for headers for later as there is always a balancing act of wanting to share what we’re working on while wanting to let some of it be a surprise, but for today, here’s what we can tell you.

The project of “Headers” was actually part of our 5.0 roadmap which we announced late last year at our Themeco Summit. As we got into it more, we realized that 5.0 was simply way to big to do all at once so we determined to break it out into individual pieces. As we got into the weeds of headers, listening to your feedback and doing our own research, we determined the best path was one that would end up taking longer but in the end would be worth the time investment creating both a well thought out and scalable approach to building highly custom headers within X. We’re excited to show you this “builder” in due time.

We also realized that in order to do what we wanted to do with headers, it was a good time to think through the X options framework as the two are very closely tied together. After a great deal of research and brainstorming, we are in the process of creating the framework for the next level of X development that we are sure you are going to love (with Flexbox, Ember, and Stebri as the key buzz words). While the options bit is more foundational, it will allow us to connect the worlds of global and on page editing in a very elegant way while continuing to give our customers a high degree of control.

As you can imagine, a project of this magnitude takes quite a bit of work. We have an incredibly talented development team that have to have an understanding of design, development, math, and patience to mythological proportions in order to solve some of the challenges presented, but the creative process is something we truly enjoy, and we are excited for you to see the finished product.

With regards to timeline, this is always a tricky proposition on several fronts as some things we don’t know at this point may take longer to solve then originally planned. Having said that, we’re shooting for a late July/August timeframe. While this may change, it is what we are working towards. We will have an extensive beta testing process for this prior to launch, and we’ll let you know more about that at the proper time. We’ll also be looking for opportunities to share a sneak peak or two along the way.

Hopefully this gives you a bit of an insight into a few of the key projects we are working on as our commitment remains the same: to continue to earn your business through incredible products and helpful support. We have more people working on X now than at any time in its history and a very clear roadmap before us that we are most excited about (and you should be too)!

On a personal note, it is very special to me to see such a vibrant community that has formed around X. Many of the ideals we strive for at Themeco I see on display in many parts of our community, and it really is a pleasure and honor to be able to work in a community like this.

Press on towards the goal, my friends!

Kyle

73 Comments on “Near Term Roadmap (Summer, 2016)”

  1. Mark Collier

    The excellence with which Themeco approaches everything they do is inspiring to me on a personal and a business level. Thank you for creating such a great product and for inspiring such a wonderfully unique community. #muchlove

  2. Kevin B

    I’m excited to read flexbox and ember are on the roadmap! Sounds like some nice updates are in the pipeline! Can’t wait to play with everything when it’s ready! Keep up the good work!

    1. Themeco

      So are we, Kevin! It’s been a really fun process thinking through the next wave of what customers will be able to do with X, starting with the headers and then working our way down the page :)

      1. Dude

        I’ve been Googling a bit but I can’t seem to find what Stebri is exactly. Do you have a link for us so we can read more about it?

  3. Donald Smith

    Wow! Exciting news, sounds like its going to be a great summer for us X themers! Can’t wait. Thanks to Kyle and all those working on X for us all. You all do a great job and it is very much appreciated!

  4. Ben Delaney

    Nice Job as Always! Themeco proves again how strategic vision and focus make the difference. No one can say you guys don’t have a point of view about the way X should work today and going forward.

    Thanks for continuing to surprise all of us – :-) pleasantly

    1. Themeco

      Yep, Extensions are best viewed as well developed and supported tools that can extend the functionality of your site as needed (and if needed)…sort of like an app store…you pick and chose what you need. We look forward to continuing to provide customers with options to make their website building experience enjoyable, productive, and to the degree that we can, predictable.

  5. Emily

    So thankful to have ‘joined’ the X team by using it on all my sites from here on out! What an incredible group of people. <3 :) Thanks ThemeCo!

  6. Andrew Farquer

    Wow its like Christmas in June! I can’t wait to see the new header options in action AND UberMenu as another extension…its almost too much! Thanks ThemeCo, you guys are the best!!!

  7. Tracy Noonan

    Once again you guys impress. It’s great to work with a company that listens to it’s customers. Just about to buy another license and what a treat as the Uber menu was the menu I pitched to my client, Every time I start a site now, it’s like going home to visit. I know where most things are, it’s comfortable, there’s things to push me to do even better and sometimes there’s a great surprise! Thanks guys!

    1. Themeco

      “Going home to visit…” What a great thought, Tracy and exactly how we want our friends at Themeco to feel!

  8. Chris Chaffin

    It is so cool to be a part of the Themeco family. I never miss an opportunity to brag about your platform when people compliment any of my websites. As I always say, “They make me look more talented than I am.”

    Keep up the great work! Proud to be a Themeco raving fan.

    1. Themeco

      And we greatly appreciate it, Chris! Happy to know we can play a part in the journey for you and your clients!

  9. Ricardo

    Great news!

    Especially about “headers”. I really enjoyed the X but had to use another theme in 2 projects because of the header options. If they can include the video background option under the header. An amazing upgrade would be to work with builder elements of Themeco and Visual Composer on the same page, i do not know if this is possible.

    Thanks guys!

    1. Themeco

      Hi Ricardo,

      While there will be numerous new header options, you can currently set a background video in the header with this article from our Knowledge Base going into step-by-step detail.

      Cheers!

  10. Alistair

    Hey guys, just want to thank you for the path of excellence you choose to take at each stage of developing the X ecosystem. Particularly enjoying the fact that you’ll be cleaning up some of the notifications from third-party plugin providers – thanks!

  11. Michał

    Great info. I really don’t care so much about delivery speed of the new feature but knowing more or less what to expect is awesome. And one more thing that can be a dumb question but what is Stebri?

    1. Themeco

      Hi Michael,

      It’s a codename for something internal that ultimately probably won’t see the light of day (which is a good thing after closer examination)…but Ember and Flexbox certainly will!

  12. Nabha

    Will we still be able to remove / add options to the customizer, the way we can now?

    e.g. I’d like to be able to limit the choices on a site as I don’t want the user to change the link color, etc., once it’s all set up.

    1. Themeco

      Us too! The Looks-Awesome team (makers of Superfly) live up to their name and have been a great team to work.

  13. Russ

    I have recently jumped into WP development having come from a background of several years of Adobe Business Catalyst development. You all at Themeco have made the transition easy, and I’m growing more and more confident that I have a well-supported, professional platform in X to grow my business on. Thank you!

    1. Themeco

      Thrilled to hear that, Russ! We like to think you have both a platform and team in Themeco as you grow your business, and we look forward to being along for the ride.

  14. Steve

    Themeco,

    Please stop with these excellent updates!

    I am hard pressed to decide which way to go between developing in X or Divi!!

    By the way can you expand a bit on flexbox and ember? I get flexbox somewhat but some info for just a mere mortal like me would be great!

    1. Themeco

      Sure thing, Steve. To achieve certain end results, Ember and Flexbox were the best fit for the technology to get us there. This will make more sense when you see everything in action, but ultimately it will create a truly connected development experience. It also serves as a starting point for many other advancements to be introduced later but that require the appropriate architecture first.

      Cheers!

  15. Jonathan

    Transparency is the key to success in my honest opinion. The fact that we have so many outlets to pull from with Themeco is amazing. You guys are top notch and I give you Kudos for doing it right EVERY TIME!

    Keep it up, looking forward to the next chapter and what you bring to the table.

    Jonathan

  16. Peter

    Great! Amazing theme with tons of useful extensions. We are happy to see our Superfly baby goes with X Theme now. :) Hope you like it, guys!

  17. Christina

    Hi!

    I have 12 licences and would love to see ThemoCo build in support for Video Channel theme with a Watch Later feature, specific Video posts to customize further. Essentially a site that is a video channel – all videos much like an online netflix.

    1. Themeco

      Hi Christina,

      Many thanks for the repeat business! While we wouldn’t integrate support for another theme as X is a theme, video specific features aren’t something we have on the near term roadmap partly because there are so many ways to share/display videos and a streaming type functionality is not a major demand for most theme buyers. If you had any specific feature requests, however feel free to share them in the forum as we love to hear from our customers about ideas they have as we consider those requests as we map out our development timeline.

      Cheers!

  18. Drake

    Seriously, keep up the great work! Major props to Rubin btw.. I don’t think that guy sleeps! The header builder will certainly help reduce the reliance on plugins like Ubermenu. My favorite thing about X is that you all truly give us the controls needed to creatively design websites as we can imagine them. Less time coding, more time designing and developing.

    Drake
    https://www.hatfieldmedia.com

    1. Themeco

      Thank-you very much, Drake…we’ll send your regards to Rubin, and we look forward to continuing to work with you and your clients. Cheers!

  19. AB

    What’s the timeline looking like now, for the headers update? Looking forward to some full page websites with transparent headers. :)

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