Inventory Presser is Free and Open Source

Today is the day Inventory Presser, a WordPress plugin for automobile dealerships, launches as a free and open-source product at the core of an ecosystem of add-on plugins. 🎉

All development will happen on Github before new versions are released in the official WordPress Plugin Repository.

Manage inventory and vehicle listings in WordPress

Our company, Friday Systems, has built hundreds of dealership websites on top of this plugin since 2016 when we began a private beta. The version of Inventory Presser we shipped to today, 12.2.5, contains these features:

Add-ons Available

Today, 11 premium & 3 free add-ons are available for purchase and download from, including a VIN Decoder. Most dealers are decoding VINs and entering photos upstream from WordPress, though, so we’ve published instructions about how we update vehicles using the REST API.

Integration Guides & Other Docs

A Familiar Code Reference

All of Inventory Presser’s source code is available in the same code reference used by core WordPress. Does this page for a template tag method, invp_get_the_price(), look familiar?

We’ve submitted Inventory Presser to the Plugin Repository

Almost five years after the dealership website went live running Inventory Presser, Friday Systems has submitted the plugin for inclusion in the official Plugin Repository.

The review team currently has a backlog of almost 20 plugins, so a response may arrive in a few weeks rather than a few days.

Until the plugin is listed in the directory, you can download Inventory Presser right here:

Inventory Presser’s Vehicle is ACF Compatible

Inventory Presser is fully-compatible with Advanced Custom Fields

Inventory Presser is fully-compatible with Advanced Custom Fields. ACF is a popular plugin used to store additional pieces of data with objects in WordPress. Vehicles in Inventory Presser are stored in a custom post type, making them easily manipulated with ACF. Here’s a screen shot that shows how to create a new field group for vehicles.

The list of vehicle attributes managed by Inventory Presser has been curated for more than three years and will satisfy most auto, power sports, and boat dealerships. Alas, the vehicle post type is easily extended to accommodate any additional field using Advanced Custom Fields.

Updating Car Dealer Inventory via the WordPress REST API

Updating Car Dealer Inventory via the WordPress REST API

In 2018, Inventory Presser retired its vehicle importer plugin that used a combination of WP-Cron, XML files, and FTP transfers to maintain inventories on dozens dealership websites. It hasn’t been replaced with a better importer–the web servers running Inventory Presser no longer need to listen for inventory changes. One hundred percent of dealership sites built on Inventory Presser are now receiving vehicle updates via the WordPress REST API across the web.

The REST API allows remote access and manipulation of data in WordPress sites by an external client. Inventory Presser version 4.2.0 introduced custom REST API endpoints that enabled granular control over vehicles stored by the car dealer WordPress plugin. Using the REST API to update thousands of vehicles means less processing on the server and better site performance, especially when more than one dealership website lives on the same server.

In the months since this launch, we’ve found a great reduction in the amount of time it takes to sync updates to dealership websites in our network. Direct insertions and updates via the REST API are the most efficient way to manage inventories using Inventory Presser, but we also offer a VIN Decoder plugin for dealerships that do not already use an inventory provider. If you’re not sure of the best way to get vehicles into a site running our plugin, read Importing Vehicle Data.

Photo by PollyDot

Friday Systems Vehicle Importer 3.0.0 Has Launched

Friday Systems Vehicle Importer 3.0.0 Has Launched

We are thrilled to launch version 3 of our Vehicle Importer WordPress plugin. This plugin imports car, boat and power-sport vehicles into WordPress websites running Inventory Presser, an inventory management plugin for dealerships.

While some customers in our private beta prefer to enter and manage inventory directly from the WordPress dashboard, most users already have an inventory management system in place. Part of making Inventory Presser the best dealership website solution is importing inventory from a variety of sources totally, effortlessly, and as fast as possible. Today, the best tool for that job is Friday Systems Vehicle Importer.

A brief history

Our importer started life as a fork of the WordPress Importer, one of the tools that makes moving a WordPress website easy. Our first iteration was running the WordPress Importer via wp-cron a few times a day and making it look in the uploads folder for the WXR file to import. As the number of customers in our private beta grew in 2016, we took a top-down approach to reinventing the code.

Today, the plugin is a lean vehicle and photo importing machine that checks for changes every few minutes. Our website customers have always been spoiled by the speed at which new vehicles and photos have reached their websites. Our Lot Wizard deal processing software has always pushed updates to websites in 15 minutes or less, and our dealers have never had reason to expect anything less.


WordPress is ubiquitous, so the challenge of writing good plugins is that they perform in a wide variety of hosting environments and server configurations. The hosting provider we chose, WP Engine, has a non-negotiable 60 second script timeout. This is not uncommon. After one minute, any PHP script that is still running is terminated. Inventories containing 300 or 500 vehicles have to be updated as quickly as those with an order of magnitude less.

A single vehicle might have 20 photos that take up 5 megabytes of disk space. Fetching those files from another server and creating all the thumbnail sizes WordPress wants could take most of a minute, so we pursue every opportunity to optimize our import. Version 3 is working well today for customers with more than 500 vehicles and more than 6500 photos, but we are looking forward to the next challenge.

Here is a screenshot of the set-it-and-forget-it (hat tip Ron Popeil) user interface:

Friday Systems Vehicle Importer

Photo by kliemphoto

Manage Inventory at Multiple Dealerships on One Website

Manage Inventory at Multiple Dealerships on One Website

Blending inventory from multiple dealerships into a single website is effortless on websites built with Inventory Presser and WordPress. Not only is managing multiple addresses, phone numbers and sets of hours easy, but associating vehicles with separate locations is just as simple. Customers shopping for vehicles on websites built on Inventory Presser can filter by location, and even if they choose not to, each vehicle page will inform shoppers where the vehicle they are looking at is located.

Often, the make-or-break feature of managing multiple locations is lead delivery. Websites built on Inventory Presser can absolutely deliver lead notifications to different sales representatives based on the dealership to which a vehicle belongs. A location taxonomy is built-in to the core of the Inventory Presser plugin, and serves as the basis for filtering, segmented lead delivery, and guiding shoppers to the right dealership.

Photo by Jill

Boat Dealer Websites On WordPress

Boat Dealer Websites On WordPress

Our plugins and themes are now more boat-friendly than ever before. In addition to the easy inventory management tools Inventory Presser delivers to any dealership, boat dealers will enjoy features like these:

  • Display HIN instead of VIN
  • Odometer units are hours instead of miles
  • Built-in boat types list
  • Manage boat-specific fields like length, beam, propulsion type, etc.

There is no switch to flip before these boat features are enabled. This functionality is native to the platform and will greet you anytime a boat is added or edited while using Inventory Presser. If you are also using one of our WordPress dealership themes, this boat-specific data will be displayed without any additional effort.

Photo by PublicDomainPictures

Our Private Beta Starts Today

Our Private Beta Starts Today

Friday Systems is thrilled to announce the first dealership website running the Inventory Presser plugin has launched. Warwick Autopark, a dealership just a few miles from the Friday Systems office in Lititz, Pennsylvania, has always been a great supporter of the development of new software. Their new website is built on WordPress, 100% responsive, and updated automatically by Friday Systems’ dealer management software, Lot Wizard.

Photo by Cornerstone Cellars, Napa Valley

Dealership Inventory Management On WordPress

Dealership Inventory Management On WordPress

At Friday Systems, we are building a dealership website platform on top of WordPress because we want to provide our customers with the best websites possible.


We are ready to offer a new website platform, and we see a suite of WordPress plugins expanding our product offerings to beyond that of just a service provider. We were willing to find an existing WordPress product and build on top. What we found were several systems that were built by people who were either not already in the business of automotive inventory management or not well-versed in WordPress development. Our value proposition is that we are great at both of these things.

Friday Systems has been managing dealership inventory since the late 1980s–that means our company’s first software pre-dated Microsoft Windows. Today, we transmit thousands of cars to and from hundreds of companies before we even unlock the door in the morning. To say that our systems are battle-tested is a understatement.

Our customers demand and deserve the best websites on earth, and our passion for WordPress only grows as we continue using it to build websites. Our two lead developers on this project, Corey Salzano and John Norton, both have experience building solutions on WordPress. The inherent challenges of automotive inventory management are not automatically mitigated by WordPress like so many others, and that is why our expertise allows us to build products that are better than the alternatives.

The plan

  • Build a minimum-viable product and start a private beta (Update March 2016: Our Private Beta Starts Today)
  • Migrate as many customers as we can while maintaining a rigorous pace of development
  • Package the system for power users and other web developers
  • Build a community that will help our customers and promote product growth

Here we go!

Photo by Bilderandi