Classipress vs Vantage: Start with one, finish with another?
I know there have been some questions as to whether one could use Classipress to start a directory and then switch all of the data over to Vantage when it's ready. The answers, unfortunately, seem to be pretty vague about whether this will be possible and I'd like to suggest that the developers look at this more closely and also see this as an opportunity.
There are people who would love to buy Vantage now...like this second. They're moving on to other solutions because the workaround they suggest, using Classipress and switching to Vantage, seems to be looked at by the developers as an unimportant suggestion. Once they've switched to another solution, they most likely WILL NOT come back to AppThemes to switch to Vantage when it's available.
There's been talk about custom post types and that because both will have that, there MAY be some compatibility there. I suggest the following both for the customers who want to get rolling on a project NOW and not in April 2011 when Vantage is expected and also for the developers at AppThemes: make easy migration from Classipress to Vantage a priority as soon as possible before most of the heavy-lifting of coding Vantage is done.
Here's why: If the developers go into Vantage knowing that migration from Classipress isn't just an "optional" or "low-level" feature request, but an absolute necessity, development of a migration solution can begin now. This means, AppThemes, that you can start selling Classipress licenses like candy if you give license holders a guarantee that when Vantage comes out that a migration script or some other solution will be included in a Vantage license for free. People will run to get their data into Classipress, and you, AppThemes, will get the benefit of selling two licenses (Classipress and Vantage) to one customer. Double the sale, for not nearly double the effort.
The issue here is that we've been promised Vantage for a really long time now. I've already purchased Classipress, but I'm wary about modifying it for my needs because I don't know if I can switch it all to Vantage later. This makes me want to look elsewhere for a Vantage substitute and bag Classipress altogether. Sorry, just my honest opinion.
However, if AppThemes could guarantee compatibility with Vantage and offer a migration solution for free with Vantage, with a consistent April release date, I'd get started on my project today and stop looking for a Vantage replacement. I'd also, as an affiliate, have a broader base of people who would be interested in buying now as well. See how this could benefit AppThemes?
I'm just asking the developers to think this through logically. Long release dates are death to software development. People need solutions when they are actively looking for them. If the release date has to be that long out for Vantage, at least, if you want to keep people waiting and have them buy, offer a middle of the road solution that solves their problems now and into the future. Lock them down, in other words.
Twelve years of business experience in sales and marketing talking here. I'm not coming up with this out of nowhere!
Please consider it. I'm actively looking for another business directory solution right now and this project simply can't wait. I want to use Vantage, I really do, but I need some sort of help either in a shorter release date or a migration plan.
p.s. I tried to place this in the pre-sales questions forum and was told I wasn't allowed for some reason...?