Reflecting on 2012 and Looking Ahead to 2013
Wow – so many things happened in 2012 – almost too many to recount!
..thanks goodness it’s “almost”! I’d like to give a roadmap for Soliloquy from 2012 until today.
February 2012 – Soliloquy Comes to Life
Soliloquy actually began coming to life. I remember demoing some of its features at WordCamp Atlanta and getting a lot of positive feedback. It was then that I knew that Soliloquy could be a legitimate product in an already crowded space.
April 2012 – Soliloquy Launches
Officially, Soliloquy launched on April 9, 2012. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was filled with excitement and anxiety; it was the first time I had ever created AND successfully executed the launch of a product. It was a fun and (sometimes frustrating) exciting journey, and it had finally come to fruition.
August 2012 – Soliloquy Lite and the Branding Makeover
In August, I pushed out a free version of Soliloquy into the repository called Soliloquy Lite. The reception since has been great (over 25k downloads), and it has converted a lot of those users into paying customers.
Soliloquy also got a huge branding makeover (the branding you see today) which strengthened brand recognition and identity for the plugin. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to give a look that says it’s the best.
October 2012 – Soliloquy Gets Ridiculously Fast
Soliloquy was already fast, but it did not scale well if you had multiple sliders on a page. That sent me into a quest to achieve super fast page load times no matter how many sliders you had on a page. Out of that quest came dynamic, asynchronous preloading of images in the DOM, which gave Soliloquy the ability to scale absolutely. The results don’t lie – Soliloquy is the fastest WordPress slider plugin and here are the tests to prove it.
January 2013 – Server Woes and the Pricing Structure Change
Because of my previous ecommerce solution, it caused my server crash repeatedly as traffic to the site increased. One day, the server completely bit the dust. I shut down my VPS and everyone else on the box. I had to change ecommerce solutions (Soliloquy is now powered by Easy Digital Downloads), and with that change came changes to two other areas: pricing and design.
I had been thinking about the pricing structure for months. It just didn’t make sense to have a yearly fee attached to a “one-and-done” type of deal with sliders. I would never pay for it myself, so how could I ask my customers to do it to? Out of this arose lifetime pricing for everyone, and the reception has been exceptional.
I also implemented a cleaner, more streamlined design with the new ecommerce platform that focused on representing the plugin as something easy to use and hassle free. Why? Because the plugin is easy to use and hassle free – seriously!
Onward in 2013
2013 holds a lot of exciting things for Soliloquy and other ventures of mine. But speaking of Soliloquy strictly, here are some things you can expect in 2013:
I get asked quite often about thumbnails and when I am going to support them. I have long wanted to get this feature out, but I have never been satisfied with the results. I’m what you would call slightly OCD, and I just can’t (with integrity) push out a product that I know has bugs in it. FlexSlider (which is what Soliloquy uses) has some bugs with its thumbnail implementation, and I am going to have to manually fix them myself before I can push this out.
However, don’t fret. I have the Addon completed and will be launching it along with the next major version of Soliloquy. The next major version of Soliloquy implements the new media manager to handle everything. I’m having to wait for a patch to get committed before I can push out the update, but here is a little teaser for your enjoyment:
Timthumb is a PHP script that can dynamically generate and cache images on the fly. It is the perfect solution for those that have images with different sizes yet want to maintain a consistent slider experience. While Soliloquy does have provisions for helping out with this, Soliloquy doesn’t do any image resizing and resamping, only image scaling. With the Timthumb Addon, you can create images in exactly the size you specify while still keeping your slider responsive.
And guess what? This Addon is coming out soon, like next week soon. I actually need it for a project, so I am building it as we speak. You can expect a beta release early next week with a stable release at the end of the week (assuming testing goes well).
This Addon is much needed, and I do have plans to start working on this one next week. I haven’t had any particular use for it since I can do all of it myself with code, but I realized that not everyone else has the skillset that I possess. I want to make captions more expansive and amicable to general users, so you can expect to see the development of a Captions Addon begin so0n.
What Would You Like to See is 2013?
The question is simple: what would you like to see Soliloquy do in 2013? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for being on this journey with me thus far, and I am excited to continue on it in 2013!