Today at day one of WordCamp Philly I received information and a quick demo about the next plugin from the team at rocketgenius: Gravity Charge. Carl Hancock was at the event and showed me just what they have in store next. The landing page for the new plugin is up, though you won’t glean too much information from it at all.
Based on what I saw, Gravity Charge is a very specific sort of e-commerce experience. It’s intended only to control content memberships and digital downloads. It’s the rocketgenius answer to membership sites, and will be in direct competition with options like Wishlist Member and non WordPress-based solutions like aMember.
As Hancock described their goals, it became clear that they were building something that, first and foremost, they would be able to use themselves. In fact, they plan to use Gravity Charge to run sales and support memberships for their products, once it’s finished. In fact the plugin seems to be uniquely suited for theme and plugin sales as much as typical membership sites that restrict content access.
Charge’s user interface still needs some work and polish, based on what I saw today. Even so, the workflow looks interesting. Charge uses what it calls “Access Rules” to determine who can access what and when. These rules could be used to hide portions of content, custom posts and taxonomies, widgets, shortcodes, menus — the works. Recurring prices, renewable subscriptions, and one time payments were all in place, which he said would be somewhat based on what payment gateway the user was using.
To be clear, Gravity Charge is not intended for e-commerce of physical goods. It literally can’t handle them: there’s nothing in there for shipping and handling, quantities, or any way of browsing a list of available items. It’s entirely intended for those who want to run a content or access based membership site, with digital downloads.
There are still plenty of questions about just what Gravity Charge will be able to do when it’s finished. It sounds like it will still be a couple of months or so before the first release happens, so add your email to the list they just set up so you’ll be notified when it is. Please do use the comments below to discuss the next official rocketgenius product, whether it will be as successful at their Gravity Forms product, and whether you plan to pick up a copy yourself. Right now I have a Philly after party to attend.