I don’t often write about clients on my blog for various reasons, but I wanted to spread the word about Jigoshop, which is a great Ecommerce for WordPress solution that I’ve been working on for a couple of months now. One reason is simply that it’s a really good product which I can easily recommend – as part of research I played around with the alternatives and I can honestly say that I’d already decided to use Jigoshop to power a couple of future projects before working with them. And the other is that it’s one of the first times I’ve been working on a project which is delivering something via Open Source, rather than using OS products as an end user.
So what makes Jigoshop so good?
It’s worth explaining that the company behind it, Jigowatt, specialises in Ecommerce sites for a large range of clients, using both WordPress and Magento, so they’ve spent a lot of time working with all the existing ways to produce effective and attractive online stores, and have particular experience handling the backend admin side of getting lots of products uploaded and ranking in search for their clients. That means they’ve got a long list of all the features that they wish existed and eventually reached the point that they knew it made more sense to build something to answer all their problems.
It’s incredibly quick and simple to use – even I can get an online store up and running in about 20 minutes. But at the same time it’s also highly configurable when you want to get into setting attributes, localising your shop, and stock management.
The benefits of a true Open Source Ecommerce solution
I was lucky enough to start getting involved with Jigowatt and Jigoshop when they started discussing how to licence Jigoshop, and how they could try and ensure that it has the optimum chance of being the best possible product, and also how it can generate revenue to justify continuing to work on it alongside the masses of client work they’ve got at any time. They had already started discussing the open source model, obviously drawing from their experience with the likes of WordPress and other open source developments and plugins, and they’d also been open and honest on their blog about their ideas – which led to really helpful input from other WordPress plugin developers, for instance, comments and suggestions from some of the guys at RocketGenius, who make the great Gravity Forms solution.
I also whittered on about everything from the birth of the Free Software Foundation and Open Source to the business models used by the likes of Arduino, and slowly the shape of the Jigoshop business model emerged, which was to release the shop itself under a GPL licence.
- That means that you can download it, get your store up and running, and take payments via Paypal without having to sign-up for a trial or submit a credit card.
- And it means anyone can build on top of it, whether that’s additional features or themes etc.
The revenue streams are all around specific extensions to the main Jigoshop platform, whether it’s payment gateways or specific themes, as well as allowing donations. And that’s an approach I really hope works for this specific project, because I really want to see Jigoshop continue and evolve.
It’s not just me recommending Jigoshop
Obviously as a client, I might be a little biased, but the good thing is that absolutely loads of WordPress specialists and big independent sites have been giving positive reviews to Jigoshop, reinforcing the fact that it’s a really good product. Just some of the mentions since it launched include Mashable, ThemesForge, and Envato. And there’s a growing forum community on the site which is worth checking out.
So I figured there’s enough to justify writing about a client for once! And obviously if you’re interested in finding out more about the range of freelance content and marketing services on offer, then please do get in touch….