Jump to content
thirty bees forum

19 Patron ?!


Recommended Posts

19 Patrons ?!

This is the first one of a two-part post. I thought long and hard about the title and ended up with this title. Before I explain the title I first would like to give some background about myself.

I have a store in which I sell board games. Several years ago, and after a long comparison of various e-commerce platforms, I decided to use Prestashop. These last couple of years I invested several thousands of dollars on modules (or updates of modules) and hiring developers. For me, PS lacks essential modules such as a good search/filter module, review module, blog module and some other. I also invested in a theme (Warehouse) I bought the modules from various developers. Due to the fact that often module conflicted with each other and/or with the theme I had to hire developers to solve the problems (I'm a total nitwit in regard to programming).

To me, e-commerce platforms must be feature rich (or has the intention to be), actively maintained and bug must be resolved in a timely manner. From what I read on the TB site the maintainers of TB have all these intentions (whether is the actual software by providing high-quality content through blog posts). That's when I decided to switch to TB and hire @mdekker to do the switch for me.

What has all of the above to do with the title? From what I read on the forum I think there are a lot of op people that are not satisfied with PS and already switched to TB or have the intention to do so. Thus we all benefit if the maintainers can devote as much as time as possible to maintain and enhance TB. Therefore I find unbelievable that there are only 19 patrons.

I think that everybody is using on a 'production' store (or has the intention to do so) should become a patron. Also, developers who provide paid services and based on TB should become a patron.


Hover, I do think that there are a lot more people than 19 that use TB or provide services based on TB AND do not contribute in another way.

Therefore I would like to urge these people to become a patron so TB can grow rapidly and become the best e-commerce platform. We will all benefit from it.

I would like to end by thanking @mdekker, @lesley and all the others who make TB possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@vincentdenkspel thx for the post! please change 9 to 19 in the text...

I completly agree with your point of view. I think most merchants, which are using TB are very small. That means they don't have a lot of budget. But still I have to say: If you can't afford to support with 5$ a month, you should probably forget about ecommerce.

Somtimes I have the feeling, that some features aren't even used by any other merchants than us. In advanced stock management and multistore there are so many bugs, that active merchants would (have to) report. Recently I tried to use the mailchimp module. Unfortunately it's not working (with multistore). How can it be, that Michael invest a lot of time in developing and we (merchants) don't even have time, to test and give feedbacks? For the crowdfunding elasticsearch module I see similair problems. Look at it: https://github.com/thirtybees/elasticsearch/issues?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=is%3Aissue Almost no feedback by merchants... I know that there are a few feedbacks in the forum, but that is by far not enough.

The helpful community here is great, if you have a small problems. But for the longterm success, I have doubts... I was very excited when thirty bees started. The idea is great. But in the last weeks I had to understand, how hard the way is. I don't see any future for this project, if Michael can't work full time on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@wakabayashi Thanks for your reply. I think if merchants can't afford $10 a month as patron, they they have to seriously have to wonder if they even should start a shop. I am a small shop too, but i think it is my obligation to support as patron. Now it is for $ 10 but when i'll make more money i'll support more. I'm not a programmer so this is the least i can do to support and really think other should do also.

My second post will be about the Elastic Search project an crowd funding software in general

Sorry, just saw I repeated something you said about forgetting e-commerce if you can't afford some money

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to add my own comment here.

Firstly, I had deleted all my previous posts and content because I basically got pissed off with @Traumflug and others about their viewpoint that this community is to serve users of TB and not to serve merchants - people were asking valid merchant questions that he deemed off topic for these forums.

Anyhow, I've been watching the posts to keep an eye on the project and felt strongly enough about this post to re-activate to give my viewpoint.

I paid into the Elastic search module $75 because I felt it was worthwhile. I was concerned it took so long to develop and when it did come out it was useless to me on a shared server. I know there's been various versions since but I've not bothered looking at it as I feel TB still isn't good enough to switch to from PS.

The point I'm trying to get to is this... people shouldn't expect a free ride, if you want the software I think it's more than fair enough to pay for it BUT the reason why I and probably many others haven't taken the plunge is because you've got no business plan - you've tried the coin hive thing, you've tried paying for making modules and now this Patreon thing yet there's still no 'this is what we're going to give'...

On PrestaShop they've got a dire 1.7 that seems to be getting worse but their plan to make money is to make you pay for it from modules. Lots of open source platforms do this. On the flip side here, you've got what seems to be 1 dedicated developer who is still tinkering with the elastic search, other devs who you don't know what are doing and no plan in place other than 'we're fixing the modules, tidying up some stats modules, fixing this or that'.

If you want this Patreon thing to work you need a clear plan of who the developers are, what happens if @mdekker suddenly decides he's had enough, does that mean TB ends? What the other devs get paid if anything? And also as @Traumflug pointed out in another post about the warehouse theme guy using WooCommerce because it was easy to setup - TB needs to just be installable, no 'you've got to do this, that or whatever' to make it work.

The way it seems to be going is TB will be a paid service not open source, which in my mind is a good thing, $20 a month gets you lifetime support - it's cheap enough for everyone and you know what you're signing up for, none of this 'pay this to get this or whatever'.

Bottom line, forget about all the bells and whistles stuff, just get it working so it works on everyone's platforms and make it a subscription service, only then move onto nice new stuff to add.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@davidp and the businessplan of PS is what ? As i see it, it is making money at the expense of the merchants. For example: they have various types of partners (bronze, silver and gold). I dont know what the creteria are to get one of these titles, but from my experiense it has nothing to do with quality of the modules or the service that is provided. To me it looks like the more you pay the more premium you get. ( i could be wrong but this is from my experience) You won’t believe how often i’ve asked a question to PS or a developer and after some years are still waiting for an answer.

Maybe @mdekker could have communicated better about how the ES development is going, but i’ve no doubt in my mind that he is doing what he can to make a high quality module.

All in all i thing it is a chicken and egg problem. I’m willing to take a bet and hope that if curent users contribute by becoming a patron TB will mature and has a bright future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@DavidP I guess I am in a position to address some of your concerns.

There is a business plan behind thirty bees, we are working to live off an affiliate channel and the revenues our store generates once it is up and running. Both are pretty straightforward and easy to accomplish, we just need more users to accomplish them and make them viable. We also plan to make free modules for service providers, we have a couple on the burner right now actually. We have also been entertaining investments as well to help jump start use starting a 2.0.0 version with new and different features that we cannot make compatible in the 1.0.x branch.

So we do have a plan, its just not moving at breakneck speed, which is just as frustrating for us as it is for you I can imagine.

I am sorry that you feel your contribution to the elasticsearch was a waste. The module was a bit more complicated than we anticipated, we were not able to build off of existing code because of the quality of the code.

thirty bees is never going to be a paid service, it will always be free and open source.

As for @mdekker leaving, I wouldn't consider that. This is a startup company, he has sunk a ton of his own time and money into this company, I don't think there is the option to give up and take a loss on everything.

This one is likely to go against the grain with some people, but this is how I feel. I have always tried to handle my business in a manner that was honest and transparent. The developer of Transformer has two products in his shop and requires a ton of content pages. thirty bees, prestashop, magento, open cart, ect are just not the best platform for him. I don't think thirty bees is the best platform for 2 products that require nothing more than uploading zip files. There are better solutions. That is not to say it cannot do it, it just offers too many features that would not be needed. That is why there is choice in the marketplace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@lesley But what is the plan for next year? So many improvement ideas are answered with something like: "this would break compability." I wonder, if the price isn't too high to guarantee compability?

For example: So many merchants want to delete and edit orders. Why can't this be added?

I have to agree with @DavidP somehow in the elasticsearch project. Michael is surely working hard on it. It will be a great module, when it's finished. But I guess like five merchants here, will use it. I may be wrong, but my experience with mailchimp module tell me that :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The plan for next year, is early in the year to set a feature set and framework for 2.0.0. You @wakabayashi actually helped influence it. I have talked to a lot of people over the last few weeks and it seems like merchants would like a new front office as opposed to a reworking of the back office. So we are planning on breaking compatibility on the front office and with some modules to redesign the front office. A total redesign, not a new theme, but a redesign of the theme and the under laying architecture of the front end. It needs to be modernized and have a lot of stability changes put in.

I am sure more merchants will use it over time, it does appeal to developers more, I do have to admit that. That is why I always leaned towards another module. We are trying to work out a deal with Algolia now, for users that cannot set up their own Elastic instance to be able to have another search module choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@wakabayashi Maybe 5 merchants are using it in the beginning. However to more people switch to TB the more will using it. Form the sales of the advanced search module in the PS addons store (5000+) one can expect that there is a demand for such a module (that is only the sales of the PS addonsstore and not the direct sales from there own store)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahh, ok. I see what you mean. Still, we need to invest in what will bring us the most gain. We have always try to shoot for thirty bees place in the market to be the mid to high level shops, if we want those shops, we need to key to features that they want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A VPS is very cheap nowdays. Still a lot are on shared

I'm on shared because it's less work. Just upload the code an it works. No need to deal with email setup, backup, DNS, PHP versions, whatever. If a VPS comes with the same amount of services, well, then it's about the same as a shared host, isn't it?

If a shared host would no longer suit my needs, I'd go with a dedicated server. Because the 'V' in VPS means virtual, which reduces performance somewhat. But I'm far away from a need for that much processing power. Even farther from having a need to spread the installation across multiple hardware instances. I'm not Amazon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I basically got pissed off with @Traumflug and others about their viewpoint that this community is to serve users of TB and not to serve merchants [...] as @Traumflug pointed out in another post about the warehouse theme guy using WooCommerce because it was easy to setup - TB needs to just be installable, no ‘you’ve got to do this, that or whatever’ to make it work.

So you're pissed off and like what I'm saying at the same time. :scratchhead:

The only thing I can say that users of 30bz and merchants are the same for me. Allowing merchants to do their business it the whole point of thirty bees. Which doesn't mean I agree with every merchant. Can't mean it, because distinct merchant also have distinct, sometimes contradicting ideas on how the software should work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@traumflug said in 19 Patron ?!:

I’m on shared because it’s less work. Just upload the code an it works. No need to deal with email setup, backup, DNS, PHP versions, whatever.

Just a small preamble: @alwayspaws experiences a difficulties as with local environment setup as with the shared hosting (because most of them has some limits, more or less weird/concerning), and, as an ordinary merchant she's not the only one who faced such kind of troubles.

I have a good sentence of another approach. Just as a pattern to reproduce: there's a local Russian CMS/ecommerce solution, called BITRIX. They've made perfect thing: preconfigured linux images with all needed software installed and tuned. Just deploy it on any platform (either physical or virtual) and run, not bothering much with server infrastructure etup.

Why not to borrow such approach for TB in addition to cloud services?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...