Author Archive

Updating Event Espresso to Maintain Compatibility with WordPress

As part of our commitment to our active support license holders, we look into the future and try to foresee any problems you may have with updating Event Espresso and WordPress. Our foresight has been clear and fruitful, and with recent updates to Event Espresso, we’re ready for WordPress 4.2 (coming soon).

To avoid interruption, update Event Espresso BEFORE you update WordPress to version 4.2 (coming soon). Compatibility updates are available from your account (and have been for a while).

Changes to WordPress core

I wonder if Heraclitus was talking about open-source software when he said:

The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change – Heraclitus

WordPress is constantly changing; new features are added, new methods are introduced, and programmers make mistakes. But, we are constantly monitoring the WordPress codebase to ensure that Event Espresso is as compatible as possible.

Here are a few examples:

Five months ago we noticed that our automated tests were failing because of changes to WordPress 4.1 (which was not yet released). We reported these findings and helped to delay (revert) these changes until they could be improved upon for a future release (now coming in WordPress 4.2).

Two-and-a-half months ago, changes to WordPress 4.2 (not yet released) cause the WYSIWYG to be removed from the: event editor, venue editor, and the attendee (contact) editor. Fortunately the fix is fairly easy. We released this fix in 4.6.16.p (almost a month ago).

About a week ago, we noticed css changes in WordPress caused the Event Espresso admin sidebar to disappear. Since then we have made the necessary changes, tested and released an update in 4.6.20.p (today).

Problems solved.

We are always looking ahead, anticipating and adapting to change. We hope our proactive approach helps you be able to focus more on your events than on your website.

It is important to keep your support license active so you can receive critical updates and maintain compatibility with the ever-changing WordPress.
To avoid interruption, update Event Espresso BEFORE you update WordPress to version 4.2 (coming soon). Compatibility updates are available from your account (and have been for a while).

Questions?

If you have any questions about this announcement, or buying a support license to access the updated files, please contact us.

Posted in Home Page | 7 Comments »

Is Your Theme Ready for When Google Changes their Mobile Search Algorithm?

Twenty Fourteen Mobile-Friendly Theme with Event Espresso

Twenty Fourteen Theme

In order to sell tickets and collect registrations online, it is important that your website is easy for anyone to access and use. Google is changing their mobile search results algorithms to rank websites higher that give readers easier access to read and interact with their websites. Is your website ready?

When and HOW is Google changing its mobile ranking algorithm?

On April 21, Google is expanding their use of “mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal”. When this is implemented, worldwide, if you search for something on a mobile device today, then search again on April 21, the list of search results may change depending on if the websites among the search results are ‘mobile-friendly”.

Depending on the type of events you organize, industry and audience, 60% or more of your registrations may come by those using a mobile device (phone or tablet). The number of people using mobile devices is growing fast. So regardless of whether someone is using a desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone, you want your audience to be able to find your events and buy tickets.

If the websites for those search results are not “mobile-friendly”, that website will be penalized and will not appear as early in the search results. However, this does not apply to searches done via a desktop device.

Could this be you?

Is Your Website Theme Mobile-Friendly?

mobile-friendly-test

If you’re using WordPress, then you must evaluate whether you are using a theme that is “mobile-friendly”. Mobile-friendly can mean several things, but I want to describe it in two ways: Accessibility and Ease of Use.

You can use Google’s “Mobile-Friendly” test tool to see if your website will be impacted in their algorithm change or not. This tool gives you more of a pass/fail rating, but offers suggestions for improvement.

If your website/theme is not mobile-friendly we recommend doing two things:

  • Modify your current theme to better accommodate mobile devices. If you need assistance with your theme, we recommend you contact a Event Espresso Pro for help.
  • Consider using a different theme. There are many free themes that are available from wordpress.org that are mobile-friendly.

Accessibility

Can people access at all the information on your web pages without it being too cumbersome? Is there information that is hidden behind tables or images or divs, is there media (video, audio, etc.) that does not play on mobile devices?

In order to attract customers, you want to review whether the information you publish is accessible. The more people that can access your websites, the more people are likely to attend, and the more successful we can all be.

Web accessibility is not going away, and requires on-going, conscious, effort and investment.

Ease of Use – Compromises are Required

Determining if your website is mobile friendly should also consider how easy it is to use. The easier to use, the better it will convert visitors into customers.

However, because the screen is small, you will have to compromise. You cannot expect the desktop and mobile-views to be exactly the same. It’s important to prioritize your design so that you present the most important information and functionality first, and the less-important items further down the page.

Is Event Espresso 4 mobile-friendly?

In general, Event Espresso 4 adopts the layout as dictated by your theme’s blog archive template. So, if your Event Espresso pages are not passing Google’s “Mobile-Friendly” test tool, it will be because of your theme OR a plugin causing trouble . I’ve tested over two dozen free themes with Event Espresso and they all passed as “mobile-friendly”. That doesn’t mean that some of the Event Espresso elements can’t be improved to be easier to use, but they are passing the “mobile-friendly” test so you will not be penalized because of Event Espresso. If you have specific suggestions for improving how Event Espresso responds to mobile devices, please let us know.

See also: Theming in Event Espresso 4

Questions?

If you have questions about either mobile-friendly event websites, we’re always happy to chat, just contact us.

Note: This article was adapted from the Event Smart Blog article: Google is Changing Their Mobile Search Results Algorithm, are You Ready?

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Posted in News, WordPress, Themes | No Comments »

Do You Love Your Hosting Company?

event-espresso+heart+digital-ocean

We all remember the first website we built; or if you’re building your first website now then you won’t forget it. I wish someone would have shared their hosting experience with me long ago so that we could have avoided some of the challenges we’ve had trying to find the right hosting for Event Espresso and Event Smart. In light of sharing what we’ve learned, here is our website hosting journey. We hope you will share your hosting story too so other people can learn and have a better experience.

The success of my business is largely dependent upon my websites remaining operational and performing well. If a site doesn’t perform well, it brings in less revenue, revenue that is used to pay the hosting bill, the team salaries, and more. With so much riding on the performance and reliability of the sites, it only makes sense that the platform I choose to host my sites on is one of the most important decisions I can make for my business. If the sites consistently have troubles due to the hosting infrastructure, the business will suffer.

Pippin on You should love your hosting company.

Our Hosting Journey

Everyone seems to have a story about their website hosting company. Either you love them, hate them, or have dated them all. This is our brief hosting story.

Chomping at the bit with HostGator

We began our hosting with HostGator because Seth had a reseller account that he used for his freelance clients. Event Espresso began like any other new project (boot strapped) so we didn’t spend a lot on hosting. We wanted to prove we had a good idea and that we could pay our bills before investing in unnecessary infrastructure. Over time, we needed additional processing power so we grew from a virtual machine to a dedicated server. The power of a dedicated server was sufficient for a time. However, HostGator eventually had a lot of service interruptions (sometimes for nearly a full day). I think we were paying less than $200 per month for a dedicated server with the technical specifications we needed, but the service up-time was falling. The interrupted service cost us far more in lost revenue than it cost in hosting fees. We knew we needed to find a better, more reliable host…

Trial and Error by FireHost

At the same time that we started looking for a new host for Event Espresso, we knew we wanted to choose a host with the infrastructure that could support Event Smart. We knew we would need firewall protection, scalability options, redundancy options, etc.

We knew of a specialized “WordPress hosting” company that used the FireHost infrastructure as their core service, so we thought it would be a good fit for our needs. We signed for two servers with FireHost: one for EventEspresso.com and one for EventSmart.com. For both servers, our hosting fees went from $200 per month to about $900 per month. We kind of expected those fees for a more scalable infrastructure, but we also expected things to work better than they did. For the most part, EventEspresso.com worked alright with FireHost. But we had a LOT of problems with the FireHost WAP (web application firewall) and WordPress multisite while trying to build EventSmart.com. We even tried their Advanced WAF but it didn’t work well enough either. In order to give us the service level we needed, FireHost was going to have to buy a new WAF appliance and charge us an additional $1,500 per month. So our hosting fees were going to go from $200 with HostGator to $2,500 with FireHost, and that’s even before we started scaling servers and building in redundancies. FireHost clearly was not going to work for us.

Learning to Swim in the DigitalOcean

Our experience with FireHost taught us a lot. We better understood our needs (especially for Event Smart), and we better understood the server management side of hosting (not the hardware). At this same time, a more simple cloud hosting service began called DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean is designed for developers who want or can manage their own servers. They keep things simple in that they limit most of their responsibility to keeping the server on and the datacenter secure. Users (we) are responsible for server configuration, WAF security, server updates, etc. (and I have to say Darren has done a great job at learning and handling this transition). They also use SSD disks which are usually faster than standard disks. This means that we can spin up a new server for as little as $5 – $640 per month. This gave us the option to control the server configuration, firewall protection, etc. for as little as $5 per month. And, if we wanted the top-rated plan it would still be less than it cost with FireHost!

This became a win-win for us. We now have more autonomy, higher up-time, built-in redundancies (especially for Event Smart) and more scaling options than we ever thought we would. We now run 10 VPS servers for less than $200 per month! We have individual servers for testing sites, EventEspresso.com, internal blogs, several servers forEventSmart.com (redundant databases with Hyperdb, etc.), servers just to collect and store backups, etc.

Needless to say, we love Digital Ocean! There have been small hiccups here and there (a few internal network interruptions), but these interruptions have been only momentary inconveniences. We HAPPILY use DigitalOcean to host EventEspresso.com and EventSmart.com (our cloud-based SaaS event registration and ticketing platform). We don’t claim to be server experts, but for the most part we don’t have to worry about the interruptions or cost that existed with our prior hosts.

Note: HostGator and FireHost may have improved their services since we were customers. You are welcome to try (or continue to use) their services.

Share your hosting story

Using a host you LOVE or HATE? Want to share your website hosting story with others? Please fill out this survey and we’ll share the results in a future blog post OR use the comments section below to go into detail.

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Posted in Open Source, Technology Partners, Developers, Hosting | 5 Comments »

Sage Pay for Event Espresso 4 Now Available

Sage Pay Payment Gateway Europe Event Espresso

Sage Pay is known as one of the most trusted payment companies in Europe.

Get Started!
Purchase the Sage Pay Payment Gateway add-on for Event Espresso 4.

Included as standard with Sage Pay:

According to Sage Pay: 63% of consumers feel more assured shopping online with Sage Pay.

If you operate your business in Europe, and currently use a simple payment option like PayPal Standard, you might consider the Sage Pay payment gateway integration for Event Espresso 4 to offer a better shopping experience and more security.

Get Started!
Purchase the Sage Pay Payment Gateway add-on for Event Espresso 4.
View documentation for Sage Pay payment gateway
http://eventespresso.com/wiki/sage-pay-payment-gateway/

Get help with the Sage Pay payment gateway in our support forums

Ask a pre-sales question about this payment gateway.

Posted in Home Page, Addons, News, Gateways, EE4 | No Comments »

iDEAL Mollie Payment Gateway for Event Espresso 4

iDEAL Mollie Payment Gateawy

iDEAL Mollie Payment Gateawy

We are pleased to announce that Event Espresso 4 is now fully integrated with the iDEAL Mollie payment gateway. iDEAL Mollie is a Dutch payment method specifically for Netherland bank users. With iDEAL Mollie you get a quick and secure way to accept credit card, debit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, paysafecard, AcceptEmail, SoFort Banking, Bancontact/Mister Cash, and iDEAL bank transfer payments online.

With the Event Espresso iDEAL Mollie integration, you can create exactly the payment experience you want in your Event Espresso powered website, and iDEAL Mollie handles everything from security to transfers to your bank account. You can get started immediately.

Get Started!
Purchase the iDEAL Mollie Payment Gateway for Event Espresso 4.

What will my customers see?

Your customers get transferred to the bank process they are familiar with.

Mollie Payment Event Espresso

Mollie Payment Event Espresso

Mollie Payment with Event Espresso

Mollie Payment with Event Espresso

PCI Compliance

No sensitive data hits your servers, saving you hours of security headaches.

Posted in Home Page, News, Gateways, EE4 | 6 Comments »

Major Release Update: 4.6.0 Now Available

Event Espresso (EE) is the most advanced WordPress events calendar, registration and ticketing plugin—and it just got even better! EE 4.6 includes three significant changes, a bunch of new features, a few enhancements and fixes, and compatibility for several new add-ons that are coming soon. Developers please take note.

Update notifications are being monitored and you will receive your upgrade notice over the course of a few days.
Please backup your website before making any changes.

Significant Changes to Payment Processing, Checkout and HTML Forms

We expect that you will not notice most of these changes unless you start looking into the core code. We have worked hard to make sure the transition from these existing systems to the new systems as seamless as possible.

  • New Payment Processing System – We have improved the system that manages processing payments.  This new payment system will make it easier to add features around managing payment gateways, payment accounts, multiple payments, etc. You should not notice much of a difference right now from the 4.4 gateway system other than the user interface has been standardized. The real magic comes in the code which we will use to build new features that you have been asking for.
  • New Checkout System – The checkout system has been improved to add flexibility in the order of registration steps, and add more intelligence based on the types of tickets being purchased. You may notice the front-end user interface looks even better. Again, the real gains will come over time as we add new features for event organizers and developers to customize the online event registration and ticketing checkout experience for their audience.
  • New System for Displaying and Processing HTML Forms – The new Forms system is a new object oriented dynamic form system utilizing built in strategies for display, normalization, and validation; including over 25 input types.

New Features

We have added more than a dozen new features to our WordPress events calendar, registration and ticketing plugin. This makes this our best brew of Event Espresso ever.

  • New payments system (see above)
    • Open one payment method by default so that one payment method is defaulted or pre-selected for registrants
    • Add compatibility for additional gateway integrations (see below)
    • Developers: Mock payment method add-on (get it via GitHub: event-espresso-core/tests/mocks/addons/eea-new-addon)
  • User capabilities system that allows you to manage access to Event Espresso with your favorite user and role or capability plugin, e.g. Members, User Role Editor (not an official endorsement of which plugin to use), previously an add-on in EE3
  • More modular Single Page Checkout which allows you to re-arrange the order of the checkout steps
  • Free event registrations are now a one step checkout
  • Switch to the new NoCAPTCHA reCAPTCHA
  • Event page template selector to account for different page layouts (e.g. full-width, etc.)
  • Customizable receipt and invoice templates that can be edited from your dashboard to make them better for your organization or country requirements, no more FTPing necessary
  • Message pack template system, and easy way to create different looking message layouts and choose them for each type of message
  • Support for UTF-8 invoices and receipts
  • Developers: New API for registering new Custom Post types and taxonomies with Event Espresso
  • Registrations CSV report for all events so you can get all your data at once

Enhancements and Fixes

While most of the work done on 4.6 is tied to improving a few systems and adding new features, we do have a few small improvements.

  •  Events can be archived by tags, with a front-end tag archive listing page.
  • Upcoming Events Widget now uses the WordPress defined date and time settings.

Compatibility with New Add-ons

While we refactored some major systems, we also took the opportunity to build more add-ons. We are in the final testing phase for many of these add-ons, so look for them to be available soon now that 4.6 is available.

  • Printable tickets (now available)
  • Ticket scanning, via barcode/qr code scanners (now available)
  • WP User Integration (coming soon)
  • Stripe payment gateway integrations (now available)
  • SagePay payment gateway integration (coming soon)
  • iDeal/Mollie payment gateway integration (coming soon)
For a complete history of updates and changes to Event Espresso 4 and the EE4-compatible add-ons, see the change log for Event Espresso 4.

For Developers

Many of the changes in 4.6 deserve your attention. For example, if you have built a custom payment gateway for Event Espresso 4.4 (or less) then you will need to evaluate whether it will be compatible with the new processing system. We have many resources for developers that can help:

The last thing I want to say is that it has been just under a year that we first released Event Espresso 4. In that year, we’ve released six major versions (averaging a major release every two months, which is on-par or better than the industry average). Obviously, our development rate has greatly improved, but we are changing our processes to get you new features even faster! More on that another time. 🙂

Please backup your website before making any changes.

Thank you for using Event Espresso. Let us know what you think or if you have any questions.

Posted in Home Page, Registration, Ticketing, News, Development, New Versions | 44 Comments »

Introducing Event Smart: Event Espresso in a Hassle-free Cloud

Today we would like to introduce you to Event Smart, a very special project that is more than five years in the making.

Event Smart

Event Smart makes online event registration and ticketing easy and more affordable, so you can focus on event management, rather than technology.

Without ever installing any software, Event Smart lets you: accept registrations and sell tickets online, collect payments and get paid directly, automate marketing, start a blog, or build an entire event website. You don’t have to worry about database backups, updates, or plugin and server security.

Event Smart is much more affordable than services like Eventbrite. Even if you are selling tickets, you can use Event Smart for free. You only pay for the advanced features you want.

 

Request an invitation to Event Smart today.

 

Event Espresso Users Benefit from Event Smart

We are not abandoning Event Espresso in favor of Event Smart. In fact, the features, technology, and processes we build for Event Smart are improving Event Espresso in exciting ways. For example, in the next major release, Event Espresso 4.6, you’ll see:

  • Better support for WordPress Multisite
  • Event Espresso specific child themes
  • New support for managing Roles & Capabilities
  • More Add-ons
  • Stripe payment integration
  • Faster development and quicker releases

Continuing our Mission and Vision

Event Smart supports our mission and vision to:

  • Give you the event registration, ticketing and management tools that maximize the success of your events.
  • Become the world’s leading event registration and ticketing provider.

Each year, Event Espresso powers more than 250,000 events which in turn sell more than one hundred million tickets. That is a lot of events, and Event Smart will make it even easier to create awesome live experiences without being a Webmaster.

Congratulations and Thank You

Thank you for helping to make Event Smart possible, and for trusting us to make wise decisions with the software that finances the events that are a crucial part of your business.

Thank you to the WordPress communities who have been our advisors and advocates.

I personally want to thank and congratulate the Event Espresso team for their years of hard work, dedication, focus and friendship. We are making a difference in the lives of millions of people, one event at a time.

 

Request an invitation to Event Smart today.

 

You can also follow the Event Smart blog for updates.

Posted in Home Page, News | 26 Comments »

Call for Sponsors: EE4 Multiple Event Registration

We invite you to participate with other Event Espresso users to sponsor the Multiple Event Registration add-on for Event Espresso 4. The Multiple Event Registration add-on allows your audience to register for multiple events, even with multiple attendees for each event, during the same checkout process. Pretty cool!

The Multiple Event Registration (MER) add-on currently exists for Event Espresso 3 but is not compatible with Event Espresso 4.

Sponsors help us (EE) prioritize development that may not otherwise be accomplished within the same timeframe. For example, new payment gateway sponsorships are moved to the front of the development queue.

Please fill out the Sponsor a Feature form if you would like to know more or would consider helping to sponsor the EE4 Multiple Event Registration add-on.

Posted in Home Page, News | 15 Comments »

This is not a promotion

We have had reports that some Event Espresso users do not receive our email messages. Google has introduced Tabs into Gmail that may have misfiled Event Espresso emails into the “Promotions” tab they created. You should take action now to place this Event Espresso email into your Primary tab in Gmail (video).

We regularly send emails to to keep you informed about:

  • Updates to the Event Espresso software
  • Updates to your support forum conversations
  • Updates to your support email conversations
  • Updates to your sales email conversations
  • Your EventEspresso.com account and support license
  • Maintenance to the EventEspresso.com website
  • Industry news and events

It is for your benefit to place this Event Espresso’s email into your Primary tab in Gmail (video). You want to be aware of what is happening at Event Espresso and how we can help you be successful.

Our Responsibility

It is our responsibility to keep you informed of updates and changes to the products and service you use to run your events. We always want to earn and maintain your trust, so we only send you these messages with your permission.

We attempt to keep our word by using several methods and technology, including:

If you have ideas about how we can better communicate with each other, please contact us or leave a comment below.

Your Responsibility

Please ensure that you do not inadvertently dismiss our messages to keep you informed, and that Google doesn’t interfere with our relationship. That’s it! 🙂

If you have additional feedback about how we can do better to keep you informed please contact us or leave a comment below.

 

Posted in Home Page, News | No Comments »

Release Update: Event Espresso 4.4.4.p Now Available

A maintenance release for Event Espresso 4 is now available. Event Espresso 4.4.4.p offers 13 fixes and 3 enhancements.

Please backup your website before making any changes.

Bugfixes for Event Espresso 4.4.4

  • EE_Error exception when adding [ESPRESSO_EVENTS] to a LearnDash course
  • PayPal IPN validation, when there’s a single quote in a ticket’s name
  • Event Facebook URL and Event Twitter URL Message Shortcodes don’t Reference Event Information
  • Remove “or” keywords from instance of check in EE_Admin.core.php
  • Stray html tag in the pricing area of Event Espresso
  • Custom payment methods not loading unless original is deleted
  • Fix transaction report calculation for Total Revenue per Day
  • Approved Registration status not working for payment gateways
  • Sold Out Ticket that is Required allows other Tickets to be Purchased
  • EE Error notice when micro updating EE4.5.0.beta
  • Payment Overview has wrong dates January 1 1970

Enhancements for Event Espresso 4.4.4

  • Raise minimum PHP version requirement to at least PHP 5.3.9
  • Move Heartbeat API dependent admin scripts to their own file
  • Add $old_STS_ID and $new_STS_ID to hooks in EE_Registration::set_status()
For a complete history of updates and changes to EE4 and the EE4-compatible add-ons, see the change log for Event Espresso 4.

Updating to Event Espresso 4.4.4

One-click updates are available via the WordPress Plugins page within the WP dashboard to members who have activated their support license key. The support license key can be found on your Event Espresso account page and it is activated through the General Settings page for Event Espresso within your WordPress admin (WP dashboard).

Be sure to backup your WordPress site. Then login to your WordPress admin and click on Plugins in the WordPress admin menus. Locate Event Espresso within the list of plugins and click on Update Now.

You can also manually update your Event Espresso software. Here is information on how to manually update Event Espresso via SFTP or FTP.

What Changes were made in Event Espresso 4.4.3?

You can view the change log for Event Espresso 4.4.3.

Pro-tip
Need to see more events or registrations per page in your WordPress dashboard?

Try clicking on the Screen Options tab in the top right corner of the events overview screen or registration overview screen and then adjust the pagination number and save changes. Here is an example: Increase the number of events shown in the events overview screen

Thanks for being a member of Event Espresso!

Posted in Home Page, News | No Comments »

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