VirtueMart 2.0 – Crounching Alpha or Hidden Beta?

Over a month ago the whole VirtueMart community has been presented the release of the stable version of VirtueMart 2.0. This quote says it all: “Finally after 2 years of development, the VirtueMart team proudly releases the first stable version of the new VirtueMart 2 Core. More than 100 people were involved, 8500 posts were written and endless lines of Skype chats were done”.

Since then we have received a lot of inquiries from our customers and website visitors considering the launch of VirtueMart 2.0 templates. So far we’re not in a big hurry to launch them, and there are good reasons for that. But first things first, let’s just take a deeper look at ViertueMart 2.0. Right after the launch it was almost a picture perfect – everybody was happy, store owners congratulated VirtueMart developers, it was Christmas time and New Year euphoria. Nothing has portended a tornado ahead, but let’s be consecutive. Here are the key features that were announced with the release of VirtueMart 2.0:

  • Template overwritting
  • SSL checkout
  • Joomla Plugins implementation (payment, shipment, coupons etc.)
  • Advanced Tax system
  • One click checkout or multi-page checkout
  • True multi-currencies management
  • Multilingual store as a native solution
  • Joomla 1.5 and 1.7 compatible

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At first sight these features cause tons of excitement and strong desire to update your VirtueMart store instantly. The sweetest part of this release is the following major feature – VirtueMart 2.0 is based on Joomla MVC framework which means that you can change a lot in your store by putting less efforts in this process. Well, everything looks great so far and maybe you’ll believe that VirtueMart 2.0 is truly a flawless and reliable platform for your online store. And here comes the most interesting part of this notorious release.

Is it stable?

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When I was reading people’s comments below the official post concerning this release I had a feeling that the people were leaving super positive comments simply because they haven’t tried the new version and just posted their comments because of their generally polite attitude (or maybe they just wanted to get a free do-follow link from their comment).

Officially this version is a stable alpha which you can use for your online store right – just update it. But you should know that it is not compatible with many important modules that 95% of store owners have got used to in their stores and that many stores will just won’t work without. For example, so far you can’t change the status of the order in VirtueMart 2.0, you can’t properly add downloadable products. There are many bugs, errors and other issues in the back-end. By updating your store to VirtueMart 2.0 you are risking to seriously damage your website (and therefore your business) so we suggest you to install and test it locally at first. Also VirtueMart developers have changed the back-end interface massively and now it is hard to call it user-friendly so far. Maybe we will get used to it, but it greatly differs from the predecessor and thousands of people are officially unhappy about it.

Why the rush?

VM-rush

It’s hard to find out what was the reason that such a buggy and raw release has been actually called stable. I mean we do respect the hard work that has been done by the VirtueMart community and we are really thankful for all the efforts. It seems that they just should test it more in a beta version, receive more users’ feedback and polish VirtueMart 2.0 to make it almost flawless. And one more important thing – so far we cannot launch our VirtueMart 2.0 templates due to the modules incompatibility. A lot of functions that were implemented in our Virtuemart templates previously are impossible in the Virtuemart 2.0 templates because the old awesome modules simply don’t work in the new release and the stores will lack a significant amount of features that older Virtuemart templates used to have. That’s pretty sad situation because VirtueMart 1.0 has established a reputation of a reliable eCommerce platform and our VirtueMart themes have become a very popular product. We sincerely hope that in the nearest future the solution will be found and you’ll have a chance to try out our new VirtueMart 2.0 themes.

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