Since our last major release of Cookbook, we’ve been hard at work at building two self-serve recipe conversion tools to help you more easily move away from other WordPress recipe plugins.
It’s been quite the journey and we’ve learned an awful lot along the way. Today I’m going to share with you some of our main takeaways, show you the recipe converter in action, and give you some insight into our future plans with Cookbook.
Scoping complex software projects is super hard
Our first code commit to these conversion tools was made last September and since January of this year we’ve doubled down our efforts and put a huge emphasis on building the best-quality recipe conversion tools on the market.
This undertaking has been way more involved than we ever could have anticipated. In fact, the conversion tools are now more complex pieces of software than the Cookbook plugin itself. We’ve accounted for hundreds of edge cases, hosting environments, and spent countless hours bridging the gap between legacy recipe solutions and Cookbook.
It’s been no small feat, and has taken way longer than we ever could have imagined, but we’re really proud of the product we’ll be releasing to you soon.
Frankly, if we knew six months ago what we know now, we wouldn’t have promised the conversion tool at all, and simply would have released it later on when it was ready.
Feeling the pain of a delayed release
I know that many of our customers have been frustrated with our lack of speed to deliver these converters, and trust us, we wanted to get these into your hands much faster. But when faced with the decision of “release quick and fix bugs later” or “release the best product we can the first time”, we chose the latter.
There are certainly times when ship early and often make a lot of sense, but with a tool as powerful as the recipe converter, we don’t believe that was the best approach.
In some cases thousands of recipes are being converted. That means that major modifications are being made to your WordPress database. If that doesn’t happen properly, your entire website is put at risk of data corruption or data loss, and we didn’t want that for our customers.
That’s why, even though we’re not thrilled with the timeline, and have had to issue some refunds because of it, we’re still comfortable with our decision to wait until these converters are truly battle tested before releasing them into the world. This isn’t lack of execution on our part. We’re making a deliberate choice to sacrifice speed for quality.
The converter in action
I’m really excited to show you what our conversion tool looks like in action.
Here are a few screenshots of the importer interface:
And here’s a gif showing the entire conversion process from beginning to end:
There may be a few small adjustments made as we put on the final coat of polish, but functionally we’re calling the EasyRecipe converter “done”, and Ziplist will be completed this week.
For those who still feel queasy about taking on a transition this big on your own, we will have a white glove service to assist you with moving all your recipes from Ziplist or EasyRecipe to Cookbook for a one-time fee.
How we plan to move ahead
We’re really pleased with how these recipe conversion tools turned out and have decided that because of the slower-than-desired timeline, we’ll be giving the conversion tools to everyone who has purchased up to this point for free, not just people who pre-ordered.
Our launch date for the converters will be April 26th and all sales prior to that date will include the converters (once they’re released) for the $59 price. This is a date you can put on your calendar.
On the 26th we’ll release Cookbook and both importers as an update via your WordPress dashboard. There won’t be an extra steps for you to take beyond updating the plugin.
We’ll have more instructions and announcements leading up to that release date so you’re guided through the process, but we wanted to tell you now what our plan is for moving forward.
As always, if you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team via email ([email protected]) or leave a comment on this post. We’ll be more than happy to help!