Built With WPCloudDeploy: Imagmatic.io

When you think of WPCloudDeploy, you generally think about managing WordPress servers and sites or building WordPress SaaSes.

However, WPCloudDeploy has a lot of built-in functions that you can extend to build applications that have nothing to do with managing servers and sites.

Imagmatic.io is one such application that takes advantage of some of the internal functions of WPCD. It was built about two years ago but we’re just writing about it now.

What Is Imagematic.io

The Imagematic.io home page with the text "The Simplest Way To
Capture & STORE
Images of Critical Pages From Your Website." along with a blue button titled "Get Started"

Imagematic.io allows users to periodically capture images of specified URLs and sends alerts when the latest capture is different from the prior one.

It can be used to detect when sites are down or when certain pages such as privacy policies and terms-of-use has changed.

WPCloudDeploy Foundational Features

Imagematic.io was built by extending features from both Core WPCloudDeploy and the Powertools add-on.

WPCD Core includes functions to capture website images before and after plugin/theme updates. The Powertools add-on extends this functionality in two ways:

In other words, the existing WPCD image capture, comparison and scheduling functionality was used as the foundation to build Imagematic.io.

Extending WPCD To Build Imagematic.io

Most of the work to build Imagematic.io revolved around three areas:

  • Creating a usable front-end for end users
  • Integrating Billing with WooCommerce
  • Functions for the administrator

When an end user is logged into Imagematic.io, they do not see anything related to WordPress and most users can’t even tell that that they’re using something built on WordPress.

Building these functions on top of WPCD took about 4 weeks of developer time – not trivial but certainly better than 3 months if you were to try to build it all from scratch!

Front-end Components

When building a service like Imagematic, it is important that customers be able to sign up and try things out with a minimum of friction. So, one component of the front-end build is a one-step sign-up form:

The Imagematic.io home page free sign up form with the title "Up and Running In Two Minutes Or Less!" along with a blue button titled "Get Started".

Two fields are shown for the email address and the URL to monitor.

The other front-end component is the viewing and management of the captured images:

Grid of captured images along with a summary of the captured URL including the last capture time and next capture time.

Billing Components

Creating the billing integration with WooCommerce was actually simpler than it might seem at first glance. This is because WordPress ROLES are utilized as part of the billing process.

The subscription process itself is handled by the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin.

Each product is assigned a different role using the Ultimate Member WooCommerce add-on plugin. Because of this, no custom WooCommerce-specific code was needed.

The Imagematic pricing page has a large number of plans, each of which will assign the purchaser a different role. Based on the role, the user gets a number of image credits and capture intervals.

When a user purchases a plan, they are assigned a different role. Custom code handles the logic for detecting the number of images created vs those allowed for a role – logic that has nothing to do with WooCommerce itself.

You could have used any other WooCommerce role-management plugin but this one was chosen because the Ultimate Member core plugin can be used for other site functions such as user profiles and password resets.

A new Imagematic-specific SETTINGS tab was created to map the ROLE to the Pricing Level:

As you can see from the image above, the users with the imagematic-free role is assumed to be on the FREE plan and can only create images on a DAILY schedule with a maximum of 30 images per month.

However, users with the Imagematic-Premium-Level-1 role are allowed 65 images per month and can schedule image captures both daily and weekly.

As you can probably tell by now, a large portion of the heavy lifting for the billing component is handled by existing plugins. The only functionality that needed to be created was the mapping between the roles and the logic for schedules/limits by role.

Administration

As you might expect, the administrator of this type of application would require some new admin screens. There are two additional custom screens:

  • A listing of all the URLS being monitored and
  • A listing of all images

As with standard WPCD admin lists, each of these two new list screens has filter options to allow the admin to quickly navigate to items of interest.

Other

When you use the Imagematic.io site you’ll see functions such as the lost password reset form, user profile etc. These are handled with the ULTIMATE MEMBER and WOOCOMMERCE plugins. No custom functions were created for these type of run-of-the-mill features that are standard on most sites.

If you were building Imagematic.io outside of WordPress, you’d need to build all of these functions or subscribe to a hard-to-update SaaS template (React, Laravel, Vue etc.). By using existing WordPress plugins, you can cut down the development time for these core functions by at least 80%, if not more.

Wrapup

Imagematic.io is not the type of application you would think to build with WPCD. But because of the extensive foundation that we created for WPCD, it makes it a lot easier to build than starting from scratch.

If you’re using WPCD to offer server and site subscriptions or a SaaS, these types of applications can be up-sells to your customer base.

If you have a large enough customer base or one where you’re charging a significant monthly/annual amount for your niche WordPress SaaS, then investing 4-6 weeks of development costs for a product you can upsell for years is a no-brainer.

Now that you’ve seen this example, what else do you think you can get a developer to build on top of WPCD in a 4-6 week timeframe? Drop your ideas in the comment box below!

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