Speaking of Clover.

What We’re Creating & Where We’re Headed

We know everyone’s been anxious to hear what’s happening with Clover Sites 3, so we wanted to take a moment to step back and give you all an update on where we’re at, and most importantly, where we’re going.

First of all, where we are now.

We’re currently neck deep in code, to put it mildly, building the structural elements that hold everything together. We told you Clover Sites 3 was going to be a complete overhaul, and we weren’t kidding. All the behind the scenes planning, architecture, resources, and logic that makes Clover Sites such an amazing product to use is all being pushed forward, constructed, tested, and evaluated piece by piece.

August

While we’re still a ways out from launch, we’re really excited about our progress so far. We’ve locked in countless elements of the design and user experience already, and now that development is well underway, we couldn’t be happier with the way things are going. Throughout the planning and preparation for Clover Sites 3, we’ve been very strategic with the way we’ve approached this. We didn’t want to do a 1-1 translation of Clover Sites from the current structure of flash and html, and convert or somehow port that existing code to another technology or codebase just to get it out faster.

Instead, we’ve continued to re-imagine the way Clover Sites will be created and experienced. We’re examining everything we build from the very foundational layers we’ve constructed all the way through every individual piece of design and line of code. This includes all of the beautiful, intuitive elements and simple, powerful interactions that are such a huge part of the Clover experience on the front-end of your website – and just as importantly – in the Greenhouse.

We’re creating even more powerful tools and a much more robust platform we can build on quickly (yes, quickly!) after our initial launch, allowing us to continue adding new features, applications, and resources for you in ways that are smarter, more creative, and more helpful than ever before. The best part about all of this is that we’ve been able to keep intact and even improve upon the most important element – the incredibly easy experience you’ve come to know and love. What this means is that Clover Sites 3 will feel absolutely familiar, yet at the same time, be something completely new to enjoy.

Bloom 1

We truly believe the new version of Clover Sites will help you grow your web presence in so many ways you may not even have thought of yet, helping you not just expand the native capabilities of what your website offers, but also providing easier integration with other tools and services. It’s an exciting new approach we’re taking with all of this, and it’s already shown a tremendous amount of value internally. We are building faster and smarter, and have the freedom to be more creative in our solutions, which ultimately means an even better product for you.

Now, a little bit about where we’re headed.

It’s no secret that these things take time. It’s also no secret that we don’t really believe in releasing timelines. We’d rather focus our efforts and energy on creating the best possible product and release it just as soon as it’s ready. That being said, we know it’s been a while since our last post and we also know some of you are holding on hope that there is an imminent release in the works.

So, in light of that, we wanted to be very clear so you know what to expect from Clover as we continue moving forward, especially for those of you who truly need to know the release date so you can make an informed decision about your web presence.

At this time, we can say with confidence that the first version of Clover Sites 3 won’t be released in 2013. We realize that may not be what some of you wanted to hear, but hopefully this knowledge helps those of you who have expressed a need to better plan for your churches, businesses, and organizations. And as always, between now and the release, we’ll continue to do our very best to give you updates on our status with Clover Sites 3, as well as answer any questions we can along the way.

Text Editor

Finally, while we are putting a ton of effort into Clover Sites 3, we do have quite a few other projects planned for the future as well. Ever since midway through development on Clover Donations, we’ve been working on multiple projects at once, and we can’t wait to show you more of what we’ve been working on in the near future.

We’re also continuing to actively maintain the current version of Clover Sites and we have some updates planned for the current mobile version this year as well. In addition, we’re refreshing some other things around here, including great new help resources that will allow us to provide even more amazing support from our customer service team across all our products and services.

We’re incredibly excited about what we’re creating for you and where we’re going. As always, thanks for being the best part of Clover and for coming along for the ride.

Eric Hoekendorf
Director of Product & Operations

93 Comments

Josh said on June 19th, 2013:

Thanks for the word guys. While I am sad that we will not be seeing a release anytime soon, I am still looking forward to all that is coming. Keep up the good work and create something awesome will ya?

Michael said on June 19th, 2013:

I’ve said it before: I’m ridiculously excited for Cloversites 3. It has been so difficult, however, to make any sort of future web plans without any sort of timeline. Just this little bit of information was incredibly helpful and I very much appreciate you offering it. Thanks, guys! Keep up the good work!

nathan said on June 19th, 2013:

Despite all your positivity…no 2013 launch is a massive disappointment!

jesse said on June 19th, 2013:

thank you for the update. We love Cloversites! And Clover Donations for that matter. thanks for making great products with great service to match it.

Disappointed said on June 19th, 2013:

“It’s also no secret that we don’t really believe in releasing timelines.”

What exactly are you “directing” then Mr. Director? How do you “direct” without a timeline?

How are business’s supposed to plan their own strategies when their software platform vendor doesn’t believe in releasing timelines?

Ahriana said on June 19th, 2013:

We are hoping to launch our new Cloversite in the next week or so. Almost done with the build-out and we love it! Just one request…please revisit the calendar and consider setting it up so that a) we can insert the Google calendar, or b) redesign your calendar so that it allows for the same functions as the Google calendar does
(varying formats for display, all events visible instead of ‘dots” on the calendar.) The calendar layout is work intensive if you are looking for details on a specific event that does not fall on the day you are viewing it.

Eric said on June 19th, 2013:

@Ahriana – Great to hear! Can’t wait to see it. We’re definitely taking a close look at all elements of our platform, including the calendar and will have some more details on all of those other pieces later on down the road. But it’s safe to say that additional views for the calendar would be something we would like to do. Thanks!

Tyler said on June 19th, 2013:

Thanks for the update, and I’ll agree with Josh above that it is very sad to not see Clover Sites 3 coming in the calendar year, but just letting us know that fact helps us to have realistic expectations. And it lets us know to continue to tweak and re-invent ways to use our current site creatively, and not just wait for Clover Sites 3.

So excited to be with a company that values doing things the right way the first time, and not taking shortcuts because of us pressuring you! Keep up the good work, and keep the updates on Clover Sites 3 coming as often as you have stuff to share (3 months was soo long)! It’s fun watching the progress!

Randy said on June 20th, 2013:

No worries… I will remain ridiculously happy with Cloversites 2 while I wait for Cloversites 3.

Eric said on June 21st, 2013:

@Randy :)

Segun said on June 21st, 2013:

Keep up the great work guys! I know it’ll be great when it’s finally released!

Rob said on June 22nd, 2013:

I work in web development and completely understand the reasons for not providing a timeline. You never know when bugs or glitches come up and/or how large they will be. Do you intend to implement a beta test with a select few sites further down the road?

Annie said on June 23rd, 2013:

Request – Access to forms from mobile devices please!

Anthony Bliss said on June 24th, 2013:

I can’t believe you aren’t releasing Cloversites 3 this year! How dare you not do the impossible! I’m so disappointed that you aren’t meeting a deadline you never set and that I made up in my head!*

*This post was saturated in sarcasm (Just in case you couldn’t tell). On a serious note, Clover is amazing. Keep doing what you’re doing! A lot of us genuinely appreciate it and love what you do.

Eric said on June 24th, 2013:

@Segun – Thank you!

Eric said on June 24th, 2013:

@Rob – Yes, we will be doing a beta test with a select few and we’ll keep you in mind. Thanks!

Eric said on June 24th, 2013:

@Annie – enhancing the mobile experience is definitely something we’re looking at. Thanks!

Eric said on June 24th, 2013:

@Anthony – haha! Thanks for the humor and encouragement ;)

chris said on June 25th, 2013:

Any updates closer to the end of the year would be great so we can plan for 2014

Also please add more space in your list sections, it is almost impossible to edit these in descriptions.

Thanks

Lorien said on June 25th, 2013:

Not going to be released in 2013? It’s almost half over anyway. You’ve given me something to look forward to for 2014!

Luis said on June 26th, 2013:

How you manage to both excite me and then disappoint me so badly is beyond me lol i dont know which emotion to capitalize on. on a side note, on the forms section why cant you make a valid email REQUIRED. We get a few bogus emails here and there. just a thought.

Eric said on June 26th, 2013:

@Luis – sorry for the roller coaster of emotions! ;) As far as the forms go, some further validations would be great. Thanks!

Niral Burnett said on June 29th, 2013:

I hope this long wait will be worth it! Clover is good, so we will work with our old site, as it is still ok. In the meantime, we will be planning our new, custom clover site for 2014. It is safe to expect something in 2014, right? Huh? Hmmm? I think so. Therefore, let the long, laborious, after-work church meetings begin!

Jeremy Barnes said on July 9th, 2013:

We love the ease of Clover!
Hopefully Clover 3 will include some social share options. We’d like our congregation to be able to share sermons and such from the media player onto their personal Facebook, Twitter, etc. Other than that, Clover has been a great solution for us!

Mark said on July 10th, 2013:

It would be great if we could embed things on our sites. Our organization has wanted to embed a Spotify playlist, for example, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to do it as-is. Same with Instagram. This kind of functionality would vastly improve the Clover experience for us users.

tina greeley said on July 10th, 2013:

while we all understand the delays in launching, it has made our future plans difficult as well. perhaps teasing it so soon was not a good decision. It may cause us to have to move elsewhere.

Zack said on July 10th, 2013:

no 2013 release?!? bummer..

Max said on July 10th, 2013:

So if we bite the bullet and purchase a Cover site now (July 2013), are we locked in to the old version when the revamped version goes live?

Eric said on July 11th, 2013:

@Jeremy – Clover Sites 3 is definitely going to include social features :)

Eric said on July 11th, 2013:

@Mark – The ability to embed and other 3rd party connections will be a exciting part of Clover Sites 3.

Eric said on July 11th, 2013:

@Tina – Thanks for letting us know. We definitely understand your dilemma. Please do whatever is best for your organization, and let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

Eric said on July 11th, 2013:

@Max – actually, quite the opposite. If you purchase a website now, you and all other current customers will be among the first to have the opportunity to move over to the new version (for free) when we launch! Hope that helps :)

Jeff said on July 12th, 2013:

Can’t wait for Clover 3… but I have one piece of input/concern. Many of the current site templates feature very small navigation elements/text which are not editable.

While they look good from a graphic design perspective the average 60+ year old church member on a 13″ laptop has real trouble with it. In fact (other than the cumbersome calendar) this issue is the only real complaint we’ve ever received about our clover site. Unfortunately we’ve gotten it often.

I hope the navigational elements will be editable or larger in the future versions… (and.. if I can poke a little fun… I’d recommend hiring a 60+ year old with a cheap 13″ laptop to run some usability tests on the future sites. ;-)

But please don’t misunderstand any of this…we love our clover site and the clover donations! Keep up the good work!

Fernando said on July 13th, 2013:

Let us know if need anything beta tested, we would love to help! Thanks!

Rick said on July 18th, 2013:

This is hugely disappointing and I have to let you know. Being “good guys” who “get it” doesn’t make missing 2013 OK. And being willing to “help us find another option” doesn’t make it OK either. Those above like Anthony are not helping, because you need to hear this is not OK. I feel like you’ve known for some time it wouldn’t be 2013, and frankly I would like to have known that when you first started talking about 3. We probably would have made that jump to another solution, but now I feel completely strung along, like I’m always told “just a bit longer” and now you’re making this announcement because I’m at the point where I might as well wait 6 more months then a totals switch. I know that you think that’s what you’re not doing, but same effect guys.

You’re not Apple, you’re a small, FOR PROFIT web company that on the one hand I like but on the other hand I keep feeling strung along by.

Obviously part of the frustration is that I think Clover 3 is going to be a better solution for us then other things we’re looking at.

Frustrated, very frustrated.

Matt said on July 19th, 2013:

While I’m really excited about Cloversites 3, the current Cloversites still has given us the best website in our network of churches. Once 3 is launched I’ll be pushing for all our churches in the network to join as I love Clover. One request is some good online payment options in Australia, we can’t use PayPal as they don’t let us have trust accounts here in Oz which our churches all use. Keep up the good work and while I’m slightly sad on no 2013 release date, your post was a good example of how open and honest communication preserves relationships. I’m a big fan of you guys, keep up the good work!!

dorsey ross said on July 25th, 2013:

Hey Eric, I got my site up and running @ http://www.dorseyrossministries.org, I do have one question, is their anyway just from the cloversite dashboad, stat page to find out how many people have looked at the site. Without going to the google page.

Eric said on July 25th, 2013:

Hi Jeff, you’ll definitely have much more control over font sizes, etc. with Clover Sites 3. No more squinting at the screen ;) Thanks for the feedback and encouragement!

Eric said on July 25th, 2013:

@Fernando – will do. Thanks!

Eric said on July 25th, 2013:

@Dissapointed – Thanks for the honest feedback. We definitely take everything into consideration as we plan and prepare for a product release, and as we stated in this post, we realize this new information may not be exactly what some of our customers would want to hear. However, that being said, given our historical experiences here at Clover, and also learning from many other companies we admire and respect, the idea of not releasing a product until it’s ready, and keeping the timeline and projected release dates generally under wraps is something we feel is the right call for our approach, and particularly for the way we build and craft our products, down to the last line of code or individual pixel. Thanks again for your candidness and we hope at least the new information we’ve given in this post will help your business plan appropriately, and do what is best for your own needs.

Eric said on July 25th, 2013:

@Rick – very sorry to hear your frustration, but we definitely appreciate your honesty and candidness in letting us know how you feel. We realize it hasn’t been an easy wait. Thanks again for your comment.

Eric said on July 25th, 2013:

@Matt – thanks for the great feedback and encouragement. We will definitely are keeping international payment options in mind for the future.

Eric said on July 25th, 2013:

Hi Dorsey! Someone from customer service should be reaching out to you shortly to help you with this. Thanks!

Jonathan Colbert said on July 29th, 2013:

In something like 8 years, scientists and engineers were able to develop, test, redesign, test again, work out the bugs and ultimately build the most powerful rocket in history (Saturn V) and send the first human beings to the moon and back. I believe this happened because they were given not only the challenge to do it, but more importantly a deadline to have it done by. Like budgets, timelines are made to guide us, not limit us or rush us. So while meeting the deadline is not the end game, it does provide accountability along the way. As with a lot of things applying a both/and philosophy is much better than the either/or approach. The product should be delivered when you say it will be delivered AND at the highest quality possible via thorough design and testing. Whether the deadline is made public is all a matter of risk management. Not going public lowers the risk, but potentially polarizes the customer. Going public can have the opposite effect.

Patrick Doherty said on July 30th, 2013:

Three things for Clover 3
1. Love the service!
2. Spell check please! (I’m a creative type not a details guy)
3. Some photo enhancing/editing options!

You’ll have my undying affection.

Eric said on July 31st, 2013:

@jonathan – really great thoughts and perspective. Maybe the way we communicated our approach to timelines was a little misleading ;) We definitely believe in timelines and have a great plan and roadmap in place for CS3 but as you mention, have decided to keep many of the specifics internal for now. Thanks again for your comment!

Eric said on July 31st, 2013:

@Patrick

1. Awesome! Always great to hear.
2. Clover Sites 3 will take advantage of native operating system / browser spellcheck so you can focus on the creative and we’ll help catch those little mistakes.
3. We’ve got great ideas for some more robust editing features down the road.

Thanks for your comment!

Dave Robar said on August 28th, 2013:

Eric,

Keep up the great work. The naysayers here apparently have forgotten what a great value we are getting here compared to other options, local or otherwise. Our site continues to get amazing compliments. Looking forward to whatever lies ahead…Thanks!

Eric said on August 28th, 2013:

@Dave – That’s really great. We love to hear how our customers are doing :) Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Kurt said on August 29th, 2013:

We love our Cloversite and look forward to the upgrades 3 will provide. Will there be a way to embed a form into a non-form page (a list page, for example)? Or will those distinctions be gone in the new, more flexible format?

Eric said on August 29th, 2013:

@Kurt – great to hear! There will be ways to have multiple types of content on a single page. (e.g. a form on a list page, etc.) Hope that helps!

JohnYouell said on September 5th, 2013:

@Eric – I don’t mean any disrespect by my comments. Just as someone who has been looking forward to jumping on CS3 I guess it is difficult to wonder what is taking so long. I am going with cloversites simply because I know one thing from my research online over the past year…when CS3 is launched, your HTML5 sites will be the sharpest, most stylish on the web. I apologize to you if I offended you. Not my intent at all. Thanks for doing such a great job. I know you are are as ready as anyone to get it out the door but I am thankful that you are determined to get it as right as possible.

Eric said on September 6th, 2013:

Thanks John – no worries! we understand it’s difficult to wait and I appreciate your honesty in communicating how you feel and what you’re looking for. Thanks again for your comments :)

Brian Harvey said on September 14th, 2013:

Do you have a projected feature set you can release? I am particularly interested in the ability to utilize the full set of HTML5 and CSS3 capabilities. Right now I find the inability to format and include objects where I want them to be a bit frustrating.

Eric said on September 16th, 2013:

Hey Brian, take a look at this post where we detail out a feature list. Hope that helps!

Tonia said on September 19th, 2013:

This update was posted 3 months ago (to the day actually! :-) ). Do you have any additional updates for the new CS3, or any enhancements we can expect to see to our current websites? We like our website, but are definitely looking forward to greater functionality!

A couple of things that I have run across that would have made my work a bit easier…

1. The ability to hide a page without having to delete it. For example, VBS is a once a year ministry, so we only have that page up for about 3 months. We built a form this year for online registration, and I hated having to delete it knowing that I would have to re-do it again next year.

2. The ability to have more than 8 main pages.

3. Actual Event Registration where we can specify # of tickets available, and the system tracks it and cuts off registration when it is full. Kind of like Event Brite. Also, PayPal or other payment provider integration into the forms for event registrations.

4. Individual registration for the members page instead of one password for everyone.

5. A service like Share Faith has which offers templates for graphics, bulletin covers, fliers, PowerPoint presentations, etc would be amazing!

Thanks for all of your hard work! I look forward to the next update from your team! Blessings!!

Pat Verfurth said on September 24th, 2013:

You guys have the right to do whatever you think is right for your business. Thank you for communicating with us. I am confident the final product will be worth the wait. I wish more people leaving posts could be more gracious and patient. :)

Kris Davis said on October 6th, 2013:

Currenty, you have one account (i.e., superuser) to edit one’s website. I have had multiple requests to allow editing of specific web pages (i.e., youth page) on our site…but I don’t want to give them superuser privileges. Do you have any plans to change this? Thanks for all you do.

Jennifer said on October 9th, 2013:

Will the Clover3 have an upgrade cost?

Eric said on October 14th, 2013:

@Kris – Yep! with Clover Sites 3 you’ll be able to create multiple users / levels of access – similar to the way it works with Clover Donations. Hope that helps!

Eric said on October 14th, 2013:

Hi Jennifer, Clover Sites 3 will be a free upgrade to all our current customers at the time it is released. Thanks for the question!

Zach said on October 20th, 2013:

We are thinking of changing our websites current look. I know there is a charge to do this and I wondered how that would work with Clover sites 3? Should we wait for Clover sites 3 to update?

Darryl said on October 22nd, 2013:

Hey Eric! In looking at the screen shot at the beginning of this thread (link below) and wondering if it will fill the whole computer screen with CS3 rather than the current CS where a lot of the screen is background color with the main content in the middle. Not sure if that makes sense! Thanks everyone at Clover for all your hard work!
http://www.speakingofclover.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/August.jpg

Eric said on October 24th, 2013:

Hi Zach, you don’t have to wait til Clover Sites 3 to update your design. Once that is released you’ll have the opportunity to upgrade for free so you won’t be charged twice. Hope that helps! If you have any other questions feel free to give us a call: (805) 527-8900

Eric said on October 24th, 2013:

Hey Darryl! Yes, CS3 will have new designs that take full advantage of the full browser window no matter what size :) Thanks!

Brice said on November 10th, 2013:

2014… Q1, Q2, Q3? Time to refresh our site!

Rob said on November 18th, 2013:

Hi guys,
I tried to see if this question was already asked but didn’t see it. Is Clover 3 planning on having a blogging system bundled with it?

Thanks for your time.

Eric said on November 27th, 2013:

Hi Rob,

We’re actually not planning on creating a blogging platform with Clover Sites 3. Thanks for your question!

Dave said on December 12th, 2013:

Haven’t heard any new news on CS3…I’m fine with not having a deadline, but wondering if you all could create some side by side comparison document that lists all of the new features that CS3 will offer compared to the old site. This may help some of us trying to “hang on” to Clover with committees breathing down our necks.

Mike said on December 17th, 2013:

Hi there, any update on timeline? Haven’t heard much about when we can expect the Clover 3. After all the exciting talk early in the year we are wondering roughly when we can expect this? Thanks for your brilliant work.

JohnNinja said on December 18th, 2013:

WOW CS3. I’ve been with clover for Sometime now and never even thought to see if you guys were updating things. I have been so pumped with the changes to the greenhouse from way back when, that I never even crossed my mind about a CS3. What can I say clover you all surprised me with this keep on keep on.

Rich Jones said on December 27th, 2013:

is it releasing soon? please! we’re so ready to update to CS3!

Kenyon said on January 2nd, 2014:

Can we expect an update or a blog post sometime in the next week or two on progress? Really excited to see changes to the sites.

Shaheen said on January 8th, 2014:

Ok, you said nothing would happen in 2013. It’s 2014 now…barely…so where’s CS3? :) Ha. But seriously, is there any way way you could give us an update on progress or features or anything at all?

Danny said on January 12th, 2014:

Very excited for CS3… been following news since I saw it announced. Is there an update coming anytime soon? Maybe even a release date?

JoshW said on January 14th, 2014:

Hey Clover, it’s been almost 7 months since this post. Do you have any new updates on when Cloversites 3 will be available? Just looking forward to seeing what new tools and features you guys are cooking up for us! Thanks and keep up the great work!

Anthony said on January 14th, 2014:

I was just wondering if CS3 will be optimized to take advantage of high resolution screens like the retina macbook pros?

Bob W said on January 15th, 2014:

Any update on CS3? It’s been about 6 months since the last blog post about this. It still happening? Any timeline?

Eric said on January 17th, 2014:

Hey Anthony, we are definitely keeping retina displays in mind as we design and develop CS 3. Thanks for your question!

Cody said on January 17th, 2014:

Any update as far as release date goes? Even a broad estimation would be great; within first 3 months of 2014 or within first 6 months? Something would be very helpful. Thank you!

Grant said on January 19th, 2014:

Any news on when CS3 is going to be up and running? I’m getting impatient.

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

@Kenyon – we just posted a blog with a quick update on CS3! Check it out:

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

Hey Shaheen, thanks for your patience :) There’s a new post up today with a quick update on CS3! Check it out:

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

@Danny – no official release date quite yet, but there is a new update we just posted:

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

Hey Josh, there’s a new post up today with some more info on CS3 progress:

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

Hey Bob – thanks for checking in. There’s a new post up today that gives a quick update on Clover Sites 3. Check it out:

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

@Cody – new blog post is just up today with a quick update on CS3. Check it out!

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

@Grant – We know it’s really hard to wait, but we do have a quick update on Clover Sites 3 posted just this morning:

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

@Rick – we just posted a blog with a quick update on CS3! Check it out:

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

Hi Mike! There’s a quick update on CS3 posted today! Check it out:

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

@Dave – totally understand your situation and if you need to go with another solution in the meantime, no hard feelings! Do whatever is best for your organization. As far as a side by side feature comparison, it’s something we’d like to have available at some point down the road. Thanks for your patience.

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

@Brice – no exact timeline yet, but we do have a quick update now on our blog. Check it out!

Eric said on January 21st, 2014:

Hi Tonia! Sorry this reply is so delayed, but these are great points you have. In case you haven’t seen it yet, we do have a quick update about CS3 posted to the blog today:

As far as your list of things:
1. Hidden pages is something we’re planning to build for CS3 – definitely a great feature for those seasonal / event pages.
2. While we still believe you should keep your main navigation as simple as possible, you will have the ability to create “unlimited” main pages!
3. This one isn’t something we currently have in the works, but additional forms features may be a part of a future (post-launch) update to CS3.
4. You will be able to have multiple (dare we say, unlimited?) users/members who can edit your website so everyone can have their own account access (including their own password!)
5. We don’t currently have plans for this, but it’s something we’ve thought about for sure!

Thanks again,
Eric