How to Easily Validate Ideas and Prioritize Your Website Roadmap

This guide will teach you how this can be done with a no-cost solution (Simple Feature Requests) and a premium solution (Simple Feature Requests Pro) for instances where you need to take things to another level.

Simple Feature Requests is a powerful yet simple solution for collecting and managing feedback from your customers.

Why would you want to do this? Simple. Rather than invest your valuable time, money, and energy into something that your customers may not want in the first place, it’s a great idea to not only find out what people actually want and for them to know they can take part in shaping what’s to come.

Simple Feature Requests (Free)

Installation and Settings

  1. Grab your copy of Simple Feature Requests from the WordPress repository.
  2. Install and activate the plugin. (Note: Upon activation, choose to ‘Skip’ the option to receive plugin notifications.).
  3. Create a new page that will be used to display the requests and add the [ simple-feature-requests ] shortcode to it. (Note: There is a space between the left ‘[‘ and the right ‘]” bracket, so the shortcode doesn’t cause issues with this guide on the frontend, so just be sure to place the shortcode without the spaces.).
  4. Requests > Settings > General > Setup > Choose the page from the previous step.
  5. Requests > Settings > General > Credit > Uncheck the box.
  6. Requests > Settings > Notifications > Email Contents > Signature > Changed ‘Thank You”, to “Thank you for helping us better serve you and other website owners”.
  7. Requests > Settings > Votes > Voting Settings > Allow Own Vote Removal > Check the box.
  8. Save changes.

That’s pretty much all there is to it when it comes to the no-cost version of this plugin, so let’s see what you and your users can expect at this point.

Submitting Feature Requests

At this point, people can submit and vote for requests as long as they have an account on your website.

Submitted requests automatically go into a ‘Pending’ state and the user that submitted the request will see a ‘Pending’ state on your website, but the only way you (the admin) will know there is a pending request is if the user tells you or you happen to look at your WordPress Dashboard.

Managing Feature Requests

Requests are managed by going under Requests > All Requests, clicking on the desired request, and under the ‘Information’ area within the sidebar of the post (i.e. request), you have the option of choosing between a number of statuses (Pending, Published, Under Review, Planned, Started, Completed, and Declined).

Features Only Available in the Pro Version

  • Admin Notification Email (Ability to set the sending and receiving email addresses)
  • Admin Notifications (New requests)
  • Status Change Notifications (Notify requesters and voters)
  • Merge Notifications (Notify requesters and voters)
  • Comment Notifications
  • Custom Statuses
  • Categories (Organize requests into categories)
  • Image Uploads (Allow requesters to attach images to their requests)
  • Set Default Request Status
  • Pagination (Determine how many requests to show by page)
  • Votes Limit (Limite how many votes a user gets)

Simple Feature Requests (Pro)

Installation and Settings

For this section, I’m just going to continue where we left off above, piggybacking off the work we have already done to set up the free version of this plugin.

  1. Uninstall the free version of the Simple Feature Requests plugin. (Note: Your settings will be retained and carried over to the Pro version.).
  2. Grab your copy of Simple Feature Requests PRO at 10% OFF, install, and activate the plugin.
  3. After activating the plugin, click on the ‘Activate License’ link underneath the plugin name in your WordPress Dashboard.
  4. Enter your license key and click ‘Agree & Activate License’.
  5. Requests > Settings > General > Comments > Enable Comments > Disable.

That is pretty much all there is to it or at least it was for me, as out of the box, every default setting seemed appropriate with the exception of allowing comments.

I might consider opening up comments at some point if the demand is there, but this opens up a whole new can of worms and administration overhead.