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AgoraCart: The Next Generation - Crowdfunding Campaign

Discussion in 'cPanel Announcements' started by Infopro, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Infopro

    Infopro cPanel Sr. Product Evangelist
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    Click here for the AgoraCart.com Crowdfunding Campaign page on Hubspot

    AgoraCart ( AgoraCart.com ) is a free and open source shopping cart software that helps hundreds of thousands of small businesses and individuals create extra income streams when they sell their products or services on their own website. For 10+ years AgoraCart has been a significant player in the open source ecommerce arena, but the needs of merchants as well as new technologies have become more complex, and now I need your help improving the AgoraCart project so that it can help many more people for another 10+ years.

    Background:

    AgoraCart operates using a flat file ( text file ) database and is screaming fast for many business needs. However it needs a major update so it can use a relational database, such as mySQL, in order to expand the customer and order management capabilities, metrics reporting, as well as to increase speed when sorting through large amounts of orders or products.

    Development was scaled back to ultra-part-time 2 years ago due to personal and economic reasons, which has affected the ability to stay ahead of the changes needed by users. However, I now have the time to once again devote to development of this great project.

    About 18 months ago, the wiki software used to host the documentation was spam-hacked ( multiple entries to point relevant info was buried hundreds of revisions deep into the changes ). During the database restore process, it was found that the original version of the software was needed in order use the database backup file. The only viable backup was later lost during a hard drive failure. It will take a lot of time to rewrite the documentation, much of which will need the time consuming expertise of a core project developer to extract various features as there a lot of hidden features in the software.

    The project owns the server it operates on and it has been a great workhorse for about 6 years. However the operating system is outdated and the hardware needs to be updated to handle the software downloads and user resources. The easiest way to make the upgrade is to move to a new server so that downtime is not experienced.

    Version 6.x has been developed using the original database methods, however the free or community version has not been released yet, due to waiting for the mySQL portions to be developed.

    How you help:
    Click here for the AgoraCart.com Crowdfunding Campaign page on Hubspot

    Phase I: need your help in funding full-time development so that I can add the following changes:

    • Acquire a new server, which serves licensing, downloads, and update needs, as well as hosting for documentation, user forums, and other project resources.
    • mySQL database backend
    • Customer account systems
    • Customer management
    • Expand order viewing and management capabilities
    • Multiple currency and/or pricing modes ( wholesale, retail, etc )
    • Extend product sub-category abilities beyond 1 level
    • Upgrade scripts for version 5.x free/community version storefronts

    Phases II & III: ( stretch goals ) If additional funding is received over our initial fuel goal, I would also like to complete these additional needs in phases ( see the Stretch Goals section below ):

    • Recreate user documentation, but concentrating on version 6.x.
    • Create How-to screencasts
    • More payment processing gateway options.
    • More store management features that are dynamic ( AJAX, jquery, etc )
    • PDF invoices, packing slips and shipping labels.
    • Web-based layout functions - drag and drop oriented if possible.
    • Add more store template designs

    How the funds will be used:
    Click here for the AgoraCart.com Crowdfunding Campaign page on Hubspot

    Main Phase: The initial funding goal will fund 4 months of full-time development which is the minimum that I feel it will take to complete the main phase of the project. It will also as allow for the server upgrade to new server equipment to host the project.

    Stretch Goals: Additional funding will be used for completing the additional development phases ( see the Stretch Goals section below ).

    Stretch Goals:

    After funding of the Phase I is successful, the following phases will be targeted thereafter:

    $25,000+ Raised -- Phase II:

    • work on documentation will start in this phase. I will create either an add-on for AgoraCart for content management or spin-off a new open source project based on software that will handle our documentation needs in a secure and flexible manner. I hope for most documentation should be in place within 60-90 days after software is in place.
    • A camera, screencast software, and video editing software will be acquired to create higher quality how-to screencasts than current resources allow ( current installation screencast resources have produced low quality results once prepared for youtube ).
    • Add a few more payment gateway options to the supported payment processing gateway list. Each one takes 1-2 weeks to develop and test.

    $38,000+ Raised -- Phase III:

    • Hire additional part-time developers on contract to help develop more store manager features and/or assist with main phase development.
    • Hire graphic designers to create more store templates - available to install in storefronts freely.
    • Develop PDF output for invoices, packing slips, and shipping labels.
    • Add several more payment gateway options to the supported payment processing gateway list. Each one takes 1-2 weeks to develop and test.

    How RocketHub Works:
    Click here for the AgoraCart.com Crowdfunding Campaign page on Hubspot

    • RocketHub is not an investment or charity. It is an exchange: funds from supporters for rewards from the project.
    • It's an “All & More” funding mechanism: if I don't reach my financial goal I get to keep what I raise. But if I do reach my goal, I get access to exciting opportunities.

    Between now and our deadline, you can make a pledge to back this project, ranging from one dollar on up. When you fuel our project, you can choose one of the rewards listed on the right, up to the amount you choose to fuel. To give us some fuel, click the red "Fuel This Project" button on the top-right of this page and follow it through the end of the payment process.

    Once we reach our goal of $12,500 by our deadline, I'll start the real work of the Phase I, as well as any additional phases funded, writing documentation, recording screencasts, and delivering rewards to Fuelers. I'll post regular updates of my progress, which is available via our Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn pages as well as our Gold Version user community forums ( see our website for links ).

    So please pledge as much as you can to support an open source project that helps so many people in an economical way.

    Help Spread the Word:

    If you know of anyone that might be willing to fuel our project and/or spread the word about our RocketHub project, please blog, tweet, email, post on Facebook, or send encrypted smoke signals with our project link to help us get the word out and reach our pledge goal! There is a convenient button on the top right to help you spread the word with project links and ways to embed our project on your site or blog.

    AgoraCart.com
    Click here for the AgoraCart.com Crowdfunding Campaign page on Hubspot
     
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