How Product Cycles Work

In this article, we're going to explain what a product cycle is and discuss the four key stages each cycle includes.

  1. What is a Product Cycle
  2. Beta Releases
  3. Manual Update Releases
  4. Automatic Update Releases
  5. Stability Releases
  6. Summary

What is a Product Cycle

Whenever we make a major update to our products, we want that process to be a seamless experience for everyone. From planning to release, there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes, and the culmination of that work is known as a product cycle. Once we've got an update ready, we release it in stages so that we have an opportunity to rectify any minor and unexpected bugs before the update is exposed to our full customer base. This has proven to be a successful method and results in a better experience for our customers. The four key stages are:

  1. Beta release
  2. Manual update release
  3. Automatic update release
  4. Stability release.

Each update cycle has a release notes article which contains all the necessary information about that specific update cycle. Release notes can be found here (coming soon).

The update cycle may include several small updates to fix bugs that are discovered after a release. Information on these updates can be found in the changelog.

Beta Releases

The first part of a major update cycle is the release of a beta version. The beta version is the very first version of a major release and there are a handful of people who are enrolled on our beta testing program who play around with the update and report back any bugs or issues that they encounter to us.

Contact us to get more information if you are interested in beta testing future updates with us.

Manual Update Releases

After the beta testing phase, the first official release of the update cycle will be available to download as a manual update via your account dashboard. You will see the manual update version available for you to download by clicking on the license from the Themes tab on the left hand side and a link to the download file will be contained within.

Automatic Update Releases

After the manual update release, we address any further bugs or issues that come to light. As more people will have used the update, more edge cases are discovered, and we then have an opportunity to address these. Once everything has been addressed, we then make the update available via automatic updates.

Click here for more information about automatic updates.

Stability Releases

We continue to make minor releases, addressing any additional minor bugs that are reported, until we are confident that all issues have been addressed and that the release is stable. Our final release for that cycle is then known as the stability release. You can recognize the stage of an update by checking the version number. For example, version 6.2 of the X theme is a major update, and on that update cycle there might be small updates introduced such as 6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.3 and so on. The stability release will always appear under your product downloads from your account dashboard.

Summary

Now that you understand our product cycle, you can make an informed decision on when to update your theme or plugin.

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