Virtuemart Dead or Alive ? Whats the roadmap and future ?

Started by dirkb, December 17, 2020, 15:50:12 PM

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Anyway, let's continue  ;D

A question, is there any publicly available statistical data about how many users VM has right now?


QuoteA question, is there any publicly available statistical data about how many users VM has right now?
Not that I am aware of.

Max will now about DLs and support memberships you can always try and ask if he's got numbers he wants to share.

GJC Web Design

GJC Web Design
VirtueMart and Joomla Developers - php developers
VM4 AusPost Shipping Plugin - e-go Shipping Plugin - VM4 Postcode Shipping Plugin - Radius Shipping Plugin - VM4 NZ Post Shipping Plugin - AusPost Estimator
Samport Payment Plugin - EcomMerchant Payment Plugin - ccBill payment Plugin
VM2 Product Lock Extension - VM2 Preconfig Adresses Extension - TaxCloud USA Taxes Plugin - Virtuemart  Product Review Component
Contact for any VirtueMart or Joomla development & customisation


Hi every one

I followed with extreme interest the thread. I want to talk about some issue that I think are the "missing link".

I talk as a little digital entrepreneur very curious and passionate about market trends and changes.

From my perspective, all can be reconducted to:

VirtueMart lacks a clear idea of what's its position in the market. Build this idea is crucial now.

And it hasn't to see Woocommerce or Shopify. It has to define and communicate its strenght to the right user.

VirtueMart lacks a simple strategy to:

• acquire new users
• pay the bill


I talked to Max some weeks ago and give him a little idea. Maybe in the next weeks I'm going to expand on that.

Shortly, I think the solution are:

Go and communicate what VirtueMart is and can do. In the meantime, give a fresh look first to the website and the product at UX / Design level.

• Acquire new customer offering the possibility to sell the first products with ease
• Match developer with end user* and expand / improve the extensions store

*on this, I want to elaborate.

I think that:
- VirtueMart should be free only as a third level domain with a Joomla installation (e.g.; this way, dev team shouldn't have to create a fancy wizard that guide you through installation and configuration: simply, they use the same preconfigured store again and again.
No extendability.

- VirtueMart should be paid for installation on own domain; considering the market benchmark, 30-50 / month or 250-300 / year could be acceptable.

- VirtueMart should create an ecosystem of product (extension) with developer that instead of reinventing the wheel every time and compete with each other (why on earth should there be multiple different extensions doing the same thing?), work on few extensions and improve them continuosly.

• VM Team -> focuses on VM. No distractions.
• Developers -> focuses on the few extensions that can't be in the core initially, but that could be integrated in the future (why on earth if I have to sell subscription, or product for rent, I have to look for other solutions?)

- In the meantime, developers can also work with end user that want to delegate all the ecommerce developing to them.

How can everyone pay the bill this way?
In the short run, it's simple
• VM -> from VM and fees from extensions + a kind of "certified VM Developers"
• developers -> from selling their extensions + develop for the end users

In the long run, it's a bit more complicated. But ESSENTIAL to understand.
In the long run, things have to change: if VirtueMart and its extensions remain separate, a plateau is reached. It is not avoidable. It is a market. It is physiological for it to happen. VirtueMart must slowly incorporate the functionality of the extensions.

Considering the number (VERY LARGE in absolute terms) of web searches, developers, users, citations and more, that VirtueMart has, instead of many small developers here and there who bring bread home by chasing customers, VirtueMart can become an "organism" that can leverage all this and increase profits in a consistent way.

For the VirtueMart team. And for developers who will join in over time, that can have more active role in VirtueMart, and continue to work with end users.

Obviously, if everyone thinks of pulling water to his mill, and in the meantime wants to continue using VirtueMart expecting an impossible speed if there are no resources (budget, time, energy), all this will implode on himself.

This is a typical non-zero-sum game condition.

Or they all win. Or they all lose. There is no middle ground.
Everyone with a basic understanding of economy / micro-economy could understand this.

And of course, the VirtueMart development team needs to take a more defined position.

I hope this help
And I hope that Max and someone of the VirtueMart Developer Team, will read all this thread. ;)


Thank you, it was interesting to see the numbers. Big, but not as big as I expected, also it looks as the numbers are going down over time.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, we all here are asking for something similar to a few of the points you laid out, but you took it to a whole new level  ;D
I don't believe we can expect VM to become what you propose anytime soon, and it's quite possible that it will never be that, but I definitely agree with these points:

1. Go and communicate what VirtueMart is and can do. In the meantime, give a fresh look first to the website and the product at UX / Design level.
2. Acquire new customer offering the possibility to sell the first products with ease

Without that VM will continue to be a tool for advanced users that dont care about UI/UX, and that means even lower numbers from what we can see on the link GJC shared above.

I recommend this article to all of you in this thread (and the VM team also), it's an interesting view on what the market asks for:


Wait up...

Since WordPress allows you to create a website with just the click of a button, those stats aren't very useful from a decision-making point of view.

It simply says "40% of websites run on WordPress".


How many people do you know who woke up one day and said "I'd like to make a website today" and pressed a button, creating a website that they didn't use?

Examples of useful data would be these:

- How many sites beyond certain monthly visitors run on WordPress
- How many sites offering valuable services are running on WordPress
- How many sites / ecommerce that bill over a certain value run on WordPress
(and in any case it would not be sufficient to have an answer: there are other factors; roles within the company, professionalism, or trivially company objectives, etc.)

Or more simply: how many of 40% are "dead" sites, or started and left there?

It's a very bland statistic ...

It's a bit like gym subscriptions VS sessions with a Personal Trainer (my entrepreneurial spirit is declined in the Fitness area and I'm talking to you from certain data): most people subscribe to the gym by choosing an annual plan .. That never uses!

A Personal Trainer costs 25-40 times more than a gym membership, but when people choose it they start and continue.

And they certainly get results that those who choose gym membership and never go there never get.

It's the same with WordPress VS Joomla. WordPress takes a big chunk of the market by facilitating "initiation" to the web. This does not mean that people "initiated" then do something on the web.

Obviously, the advantage of this operation is there: in the midst of the tide of people who never start, there are people who motivate themselves by starting. They start from a small blog, expand and then put on an ecommerce.

If one starts with a solution (e.g. WordPress) it is difficult to change direction once started.
(this is another reason that changes those stats)

You get to Joomla / VirtueMart because
• or you are already a bit geek
• or you are already inside the web and you understand what "stability / solidity" of a system means (it is not at all obvious!)

For this in point 1 of my answer above I wrote:

Joomla or, better, VirtueMart, should communicate well what it is. Without looking at Shopify / WooCommerce, but communicating what it really is:

"The e-commerce solution for those who are serious about their e-commerce and are not just f**k around"


Don't agree at all  ;D I don't believe that VM ever had plans to be number one on the planet and even if they did, they don't have that dream now. But does that mean it's dead? Joomla powers 2.2% of the internet. Let that sink in.
What I got from that article was that the transition to online marketplace has been accelerated beyond expectations. And of course almost everyone went with the most recognisable and marketed solution, WP/Woo.
But there will be a huge number of companies looking for a better solution once they get fed up with the downsides of the WP/Woo combo.

Let me paste two of the most important parts of that article here:
1. Woo draws users from existing WordPress sites wanting an e-commerce presence*. It also appeals to first-time site builders because unlike Shopify, there are no limits on the free version. You can add unlimited products and connect a payment gateway to create a fully functional store in a snap.

2. The pandemic has accelerated the shift to e-commerce by roughly five years, and according to United Nations Trade and Development Secretary, the shift to a digital world is here to stay. As he put it, "the changes we make now will have lasting effects as the world economy begins to recover."
Right now, 'online first' is the sentiment for many new and established businesses. Yet, as of 2019, less than two-thirds of small businesses had a website. The same study found that:
- small businesses cite cost (26%) and irrelevance to industry (27%) as key reasons behind their decision not to have a website
- 35% of small businesses feel their operation is too small to warrant a website
Fast forward to 2020, and the notion that a business is too small or not suitable for an online presece ceases to exist. Today, whether you're a freelance nail technician or an organic health food store, without an online presence you give the impression that you're no longer in business.
As the pandemic pushes consumers and businesses online, the crisis also presents an opportunity. Companies that invest in their online presence will thrive — and where better than a free, well-known platform like WordPress to ease the transition**. It's an economical and sustainable choice for businesses of any size.

* VM has the same opportunity with Joomla. As I said before, 2.2% of all web sites is a huuuuge number.
**Let me just say it again, there will be a substantial number of businesses that will look for a better solution once they get fed up with the downsides of the WP/Woo combo.


From advanced user who manages it's own store I can tell you how I see things from my perspective.
I was looking for custom product designer add-on solution for VM shop and guess what?
I found only one from the company that already sold me worst extension ever.
Guess how many I found on Woocommerce?
At least ten!
I was willing to spend up to $150 but hey - that one extension that exists for VM costs even more.
From my point of view as soon as I finish working on my new VM website I am switching to Woo.
No hard feelings for anyone here. I like VM but all templates are outdated, it is hard to find working plugins and variety of plugins are poor. For average user all of that seems too complicated.


Unfortunately that is valid points.

Not judging the shopsystem but it is simpler to build an advanced and modern looking webstore on woocommerce, simply because there is som much more activity and stuff available from 3rd parties.

- Fex. I buy my shipping from a company that manages multiple shipping solutions, they provide a free plugin for woo (presta, magento, opencart etc) on VM I have to pay EUR125 annually for at new partially working plugin I feel I am the only betatester of (I know the developer is hard at work at it though).
- Our credit card gateway has a VM plugin... it was last updated in 2016 and just barely works, but nowhere as refined as on other platforms!
- The most popular credit solution does not support VM (but again Magento, WOO, Presta etc), that plugin we had to get done ourselves.
Now these are all more or less country specific plugins but I guess the situation is the same for other countries, VM is neglected simply because it lacks users and a profile that makes it clear to everone that VM is still relevant in 2021.


I feel your pain really. I know exactly what are you speaking of.
It is really getting harder and harder to manage VM store.
Too bad for me because I already got used to VM a lot.
Every plugin I bought so far for VM is seriously outdated - last updated in 2013-2016 and only patched to work with recent VM version.
If VM wants to get somewhere near the throne again,serious team of developers needs to work on many new templates, plugins and out of the box features.


If the platform has enough users it will automatically attract more developers and plugins will be made available.

I said it before, the forums and VM website looks like something from 2005 (maybe it is, can't remember) the forums is overpopulated by different inactive categories old outdated sticky posts and needs to be simplified so it looks active (simply archive anything before VM3! and keep 5-6 categories).

Update the online presence, continue steady work on VM and especially the admin interface.
Pack VM with a new standard template so it is actually usable out of the box (Hera, Zeus etc would be a nice starting point) and users that have the more custom needs can expand from that.

It is so silent from the guy(s) in charge but it would be nice to know what the direction is and wether they recognise the concerns we raise here.
I am grateful for VM but it needs more users to become relevant again. New users come from both new features but I think mostly out of a modern web presence and usability out of the box.


@dr.spot86 I agree in most points and especially those about better positioning of the product.

Though charging for installing VM in self-hosted environment is beyond the reality.
The #1 reason of most users using that product, is because it is totally free.
Putting charges on top of the constantly declining users, will vanish it.


Quote from: Troels_E on June 09, 2021, 09:49:44 AM
It is so silent from the guy(s) in charge but it would be nice to know what the direction is and wether they recognise the concerns we raise here.

Very much agreed.
I definitely don't think that we're entitled to a response from the core team but not getting one also says a lot, at least to me.
I just can't promote Virtuemart to my clients as the best component to be used when creating a web shop in Joomla.
The pandemic had a huge effect on the market and everyone is moving the sales of everything online. Almost all of my potential customers are coming to me asking for a modern looking website with an intuitive admin interface. The possibility of quickly expanding the functionalities of the shop in the future is also a thing I get asked a lot.
They all realised that if they don't get that, the chances of success are very slim. The competition is rapidly becoming bigger and stronger, and it's happening quicker than enyone expected possible.
I'll keep an eye open on this thread to see if something changes, but there's little more to be said here that already hasn't been said.

Best of luck to everyone.


I know we're not entitled to anything but some communication would be nice.
It is not just me as a user who is concerned. Every developer I have been in contact with raises the same issues if they have not left VM already.

[EDIT] Simple answer to OP must be that VM is in a zombie state (living dead)  and the roadmap is non existent or really top secret.

Made my last site with woocommerce and is slowly getting my head around WP/woo and then it is goodbye VM/joom for any future projects. I had no choice as I would have needed custom work for VM to do what was needed (ticket sales) and there are not many qualified devs around here (with time on their hands).