Crowdfunding Modules

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There has been a lot of talk on our forum about crowdfunding of modules lately. We have decided that we would like to try the idea out. We look at it as a way for the community to help us further the mission of thirty bees in providing the best possible ecommerce software for free. While at the same time helping choose the direction of thirty bees.

Over the last week we have been discussing how to handle this and which module to choose to try this system out. We have had lots of suggestions for different modules, so we have narrowed the field down to 4 modules and we will let the community vote on on which one we should start with first. Without further delay, here is the list.

As a note the price next to the module is the cost it will take to develop the module. Once the modules are developed they will always be free and open source. 

Elastic Search Module €2000

There is a huge thread on the thirty bees forum about needing a better search. We have talked about the different options, the time involved, and what would be the best approach. We came up with using Elastic Search as a module would be the best way. This would allow store owners to host a search on their site as opposed to services like Algolia that have a monthly fee. At the same time Elastic Search can give some very powerful features as well.

  • Better search ability; in word, minimum length, weighted words, and blacklisted words
  • More search types; ajax, regular, and instant
  • Elastic cluster support
  • Better search support; typos, field weights, ability to exclude fields, and better operand support
  • Auto indexing, cron jobs, cron module integration, manual indexation, ability to add missing products, and indexation update on save
  •  Complete filter system replacing Layered Navigation
  • Filters that work on special pages like best sellers, new products, and search pages
  • Templates to allow the module to work in columns and the center column
  • Infinite scroll possibility
  • plus a few other features that might be needed

A Better Review Module €1000

Reviews drive sales, getting reviews for products is hard though. We want to develop a module that makes it easier for shop owners to get reviews from their customers. We also want to give shop owners the ability to be able to customize the review module to their needs by having options so they can configure the module for their need. Below are some of the features we have planned.

  • Verified reviews
  • Followup review emails
  • More configuration options such as stars, thumbs up, ect
  • The ability to respond to reviews
  • Coupon generation for verified purchase reviews
  • Moderation capability
  • Ability to manually add reviews
  • More templates and hooks for hooking to categories and columns on your site
  • Plus a few more features to help manage and collect reviews

Google Merchant Center Module €1500

Google Merchant center is one of the most used areas for advertising as an ecommerce site owner. Having a stable, feature rich FREE Google Merchant Center module is a priority for us. We feel it would help our merchants grow, without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a module or service to send your product data to Google. Some of the features we have planned for the module are below.

  • The ability to pick which categories to send to Google
  • The ability to pick what combinations to send to your Google feed
  • Per product level selection
  • Capability to send promotions to Google shopping
  • Multi shop compatibility
  • Feeds on a per country level and per language level
  • Multiple currency support
  • and more features for successfully sending your feed to Google

A Better Blog Module €1000

The blog module we currently have is good, but we could make it a lot better. Most sites have blogs these days, so having one integrated in the core of thirty bees is a top priority. But not having enough features is as bad as not having a blog. That is why we have plans to expand the blog module. The list of new features we have come up with is below.

  • Post preview
  • More author information, including a biography and picture
  • Shortcode functionality where widgets, buttons, and products could be easily inserted into posts
  • More template layout options / themes for the blog
  • SEO panel for rich data and meta data
  • Delayed publications
  • Better social media integration
  • A block to display related posts on product pages
  • RSS feed
  • Plus more features to integrate the module more tightly with thirty bees


Now that you know what modules we are considering, cast your vote below. The winning module will be selected for our crowdfunding campaign.

Which module should we crowdfund?

View Results

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2017-06-28T00:14:12+00:00 June 28th, 2017|

About the Author:

Lesley Paone
Lesley is one of the co-founders of thirty bees. He also is the owner of a PrestaShop support, development, and SEO agency called dh42. He has been active in the ecommerce community for almost a decade providing help and support services.
  • Dovydas

    Good idea, but I am not sure about the whole model.

    Crowd funding is win-win for developer and customer. Customer needs a product, and he/she does not want to spend big money on complicated product, developer can do it, but he needs money to do it. This model solves the problem pretty well, really great thing.

    I don’t see how this TB modules model benefits the contributors. Usually contributor gets product for lower price, e.g. product development needs 50 K, 100 customers fund it for 500 EUR, after development product costs 2K. Everyone is happy in the end, contributor feels that he gained from it (lower product price) because he believed in this product from beginning. You say that all TB modules will be free, but isn’t it the same as buying the module from the market (from merchant perspective), except that others will get it for free while you put money in it?

    Crowdfunding is great, but in the end you (as developer / creator) are forced to sell product at higher price, or give other bonuses to contributors. Maybe you have a plan, or maybe here is community which willing to fund modules just because they like the idea and because they have money to do it.

    • Emanuel Schiendorfer

      Its a fair point, which I had some tme ago too. On the other hand you also can turn it around: no crowdfunding, no great modules. When you think that way, it makes sense to support. Let’s say you 50 -60 people support all with about 100$. It’s not much money for what you will get.

      In general I agree with you, that it would be great, if we can set more incentives to supporters.

    • dynambee

      > I don’t see how this TB modules model benefits the contributors.

      As someone who plans to contribute about 10% of the total of the winning project, here is why I plan to contribute:

      1. I want 30bz to succeed and thrive as a platform and I believe that free & high quality modules will help that happen. (Having to buy too many expensive modules has always been one of the big user complaints about PS.)

      2. Contributing to these modules is one way I can give back to the 30bz project.

      3. I believe the 30bz developed modules will be better than what is available from 3rd parties currently. Therefore even from a purely financial perspective contributing to the project makes sense.

    • thirty bees

      I totally understand what you are saying. One of the main reasons we are trying this out is our community seems to want to try it out. This in the end is not something that we are going to make money from directly. Like you mentioned our revenue model does not include selling modules. This to me is just a way to expedite module development so that it comes at a point when the community wants it, not when we can afford to do it on our current path.

      But yes, you are right, it is a several members funding the modules for the whole community. We are going to provide perks for community members that donate, that hopefully will help offset the cost of what they donate.

      We also feel like it is a way to get the community more involved in the path of our development. Some platforms have totally abandoned the community and disregard what the community wants. This is something we are trying to prevent. Like I have mentioned before all of us here are developers, we have ideas of what merchants want, but we are not merchants so our ideas might not be 100% accurate. That is why we try to actively engage the community and poke them for information trying to get a handle on what is needed. This campaign is a great example. We all thought the review module would win. It lost by a long shot. So if were to have developed a module without polling the community it would have been a better review module. It is something that is needed, but our community has overwhelming picked a search module, so that is the path we are going to take.

  • Now that the 1st crowdfunding project is online i really hope that all the voters for the elasticsearch module will contribute to the project. Within 15 hours almost half of the required money is funded.
    Please, please, please, lets make this first project a success !

    • thirty bees

      So do we, we have lots of great things to come if our community supports us.