Hi there! May is here and it's time for another update.
I love the spring because it means summer is almost here. Wildflowers are blooming. All the animals are scurrying around with their little babies. The sun is starting to shine through the clouds and some of my favorite outdoor activities are about to start up again.
There's a bit of news to cover in our spring update. v1.8 Gordon is almost live. A new team member is joining us. We have a few resources and recommendations you and a bit of fun to finish it off. Let's do it!
A Blast from the Past
I took a peek back at our May update from last year and it's wild to see how much things have changed. At that point, we were still doing client work. I absolutely love this little gem from last year:
Another friend of ours, Dave Toomey, created a Facebook user group for Beaver Builder enthusiasts. Come on by and say hello!
Needless to say, our Facebook group has exploded since then. We just welcomed our 1,800th member!
The Team is Growing
I was kicking myself because I meant to mention this one last month, but I got carried away with our big announcement.
I'm thrilled to introduce another member of the Beaver Builder team: Jun Chua. Jun has been working with us for several weeks now helping out with support. He came very highly recommended as he happens to be Ben's brother! I think working with my brother would drive me crazy, but Ben and Jun have been able to make it work splendidly.
Jun is a family man. He's happily married with a very energetic 1-year-old boy. In his free time, he and Ben like to tear up the battlefields in Dota2. We're thrilled to have Jun on board! Plus, at this rate, us long hairs are going to outnumber everyone in no time.
We're Here For You
In our last few updates, I've been making an effort to shift the discussion from news about us and what we're doing to news and updates that you can benefit from.
Of course, there's still a need to talk about us here and there. Like the fact that Beaver Builder 1.8 Gordon is in beta! The beta has been humming along, and we're planning to release Gordon into the wild very soon.
Beaver Builder Video Tutorials
You may have caught our last post highlighting a some excellent Beaver Builder video tutorials. As soon as I hit publish I thought of several more videos that would have been awesome to highlight. Go figure. I'll probably end up doing another video tutorial post soon.
On a similar note, we're hard at work on a few more instructional blog posts. Keep an eye peeled for those over the next few weeks.
Knowledge Base Overhaul
It's a bit bittersweet, but we're in the process of phasing out the bbPress support forums. I wrote a bit about why we're doing this. In short, the goal is to provide a better experience for you. With that in mind, one of the items we want to tackle is improving our Knowledge Base.
I am happy to say, we're in the process of bringing on a new team member to help us with this. We're still figuring out details, but soon we'll have a dedicated person overseeing this project (hopefully).
A Few Farewells
In addition to phasing out the support forums, we're also ramping down our User Voice page. User Voice was great in the beginning, but as we grow, it's becoming less and less manageable. We still want to hear your suggestions, though! We added feature request options to both our contact page and our support contact form.
These updated contact pages all sync directly with HelpScout and the conversations are automatically tagged and categorized. It's really slick. Plus, it frees up more of our time so we can work on features and goodies for you!
Lastly, we were running JetPack Subscriptions for our blog and comments, but we decided to let that one go as well. If you were subscribed to our blog posts, you may want to sign up to our newsletter instead (there's a signup form in the footer).
We often get questions about what plugins and services work well with Beaver Builder. We've done extensive testing and work to make Beaver Builder compatible with as many hosts, plugins, and themes as possible. For that reason, we decided to set up a page of recommended resources.
We're also doing a bit of experimenting with affiliate marketing here. Most of the links on that page are affiliate links. This was a “kill two birds with one stone” decision. Since we're recommending these services anyways, we might as well get a little punt back from them, right?
WP Elevation is Starting Up Again
On the subject of recommended software and services, our friends over at WP Elevation are kicking off another round of their Business Training Course for WordPress consultants.
A few months back, Troy Dean and the crew made the switch from an al la carte setup to a full-fledged online course. Instead of being a “vending machine where you could login and choose whatever you wanted,” the new format follows a more traditional eLearning model.
According to Troy, since switching to the drip fed format “the sense of community has exploded and our student completion rate is over 65%.”
Since many of you are consultants running WordPress agencies, we thought we would jump on the opportunity to help promote the course.
To get a taste of what the WP Elevation is all about, check out this free training video where Troy teaches the Blueprint for writing proposals and gives away his proposal template.
Oh, did we mention that the course is built around using Beaver Builder for your web projects!
Last, but certainly not least, our friend Daniel released a really cool Beaver Builder extension: Beaver Tunnels.
Beaver Tunnels lets you easily inject Beaver Builder templates outside of the content area to other areas of your site.
Automatic Renewals for New Orders
We have an interesting change on the horizon and we'd love to get your feedback. Currently, when you purchase Beaver Builder the package includes the software and one year of support and updates. After one year, everyone has the option to renew the license, but it doesn't happen automatically.
Justin's been working on an auto renewal feature for WooCommerce Subscriptions and it's coming along quite well. We're curious, what do you think of products that automatically renew? Compared to others in the WordPress industry, our renewal rates are exceptionally high. That said, this isn't an attempt to swindle anyone into renewing against their will, but we're hoping that auto-renewals will be a convenience feature.
Do you prefer if a product renews automatically or not? Would it have impacted your purchasing decision? If you can, please let us know in the comments.
It's worth noting that automatic renewals will only be for new orders. Unfortunately, due to limitations with Stripe and PayPal, we won't be able to offer auto-renewals to any of our existing customers. Sorry!
Here's a fun one to wrap things up with, we've been swooping up a few domain names recently. A couple months ago, we grabbed beaverbuilder.com. Our pocketbook is still recovering from that one.
I feel like the Facebook Group gets all the attention sometimes, but we also have a lovely community Slack. It's another great place to meet and chat with other Beaver Builders.
Well, that about does it. As always, thanks for tuning in and thanks for your support. We wouldn't be here without you, and we're working harder than ever to make sure we can live up to, nay exceed, your expectations. Until next time. 🙂 ❤️