Last week was a great week for the Event Espresso REST API – we have just released new API WRITE endpoints with create, update and delete functionality. The new WRITE endpoints make it easier to create new features and integrate with third-party services and applications.
Easier to Create New Features
With WRITE endpoints in the Event Espresso 4 REST API, developers will find it much easier to create innovative new features for Event Espresso. In fact, we are already starting development of recurring events, and are close to releasing a beta version of the Waiting List Manager. Both of these add-ons wouldn’t be possible without the REST API.
Opening Doors to Innovation and Integration with Third-Party Services
The WRITE endpoints of the API open the door to integration’s with many third-party services. For example, developers can create software running anywhere, in any language, to create events, registrations, and transactions via the REST API, instead of being limited to only doing so from the WordPress admin or a custom plugin. With READ endpoints you can sync data from Event Espresso to other applications, but now with WRITE endpoints you can sync data from other applications TO Event Espresso.
Hey Event Espresso users in North Carolina! WordCamp Wilmington is happening the weekend of September 23 & 24, 2017.
If you want to learn more about WordPress, meet new people, and have a great time while doing so, then WordCamp Wilmington is the place to be. You might even get to meet some of the biggest names in the WordPress community, such as Peter LaFond, Ben Meredith, and William Jackson.
When is WordCamp Wilmington?
WordCamp Wilmington 2017 is scheduled for Saturday, September 23 & 24th, 2017!
This year’s schedule looks jam-packed with great speakers, and lot’s of great sessions over two full days!
Follow all the happenings of WordCamp Wilmington on Twitter via the @WordCampILM Twitter page or the #wc_wilmington hashtag. We’ll see you there…and follow us on Twitter to watch for discounts to WordCamp Wilmington attendees.
Tickets and more information about the event, speakers, and schedule can be found here.
Find Me (Seth) at WordCamp
Since we’re sponsoring WordCamp Wilmington this year, I’ll be there all day networking and handing out swag.
If you’re going to be there, come say HI 🙂
I’m Speaking at WordCamp Wilmington
I am speaking during the business track, Sunday morning. I’ll be presenting about building a WordPress plugin business from the ground up and how we won $40,000 for our business plan. Come check it out and learn about how we got started rocking the event registration and ticketing world with WordPress.
We’re Sponsoring – Come See Us at Our Sponsors Table
My wife and myself will be onsite at the event both days of WordCamp Wilmington. We’ll have a table set up where you can come talk to me and learn about our WordPress plugin, Event Espresso, and the company we built around WordPress. My wife will be there helping with a fun little greeting card project as well.
What is WordCamp?
WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamp’s are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.
Introducing a new third-party add-on, Price Modifier for Event Espresso 4.
Price Modifier Questions
The Price Modifier add-on for Event Espresso 4 by Aparna’s Codex provides new functionality to the question/registration form editor, which allows event managers to create pricing questions that adds an extra cost for the selected items to the total registration cost. Basically, this add on can be used to sell additional items with registration.
Compatible with Multiple Event Registration
The Price Modifier add on is also compatible with the Event Espresso 4 Multiple Event Registration add on!
Getting the Add-on
The Price Modifier add-on add-on is available on our Third-party Add-ons page or directly from the Aparna’s Codex website.
Aparna’s Codex offers help and support for this add-on, while an FAQ is available on the plugin home page.
This post is important news for any Event Espresso 4 user who has their WordPress website using a UTC offset for it’s timezone setting instead of a timezone string (e.g. city/region). If you have your website set to use a timezone string (e.g. a city/region) then you will not be affected
by anything in this post. Check Your Date and Time Settings!
– Log in to your WordPress website and navigate to: Settings
An update is coming that will fix some bugs we discovered related to users who set their WordPress Timezone to a Manual Offset from UTC. We wanted to give some heads up on this update because it could impact the dates and times on your Event Espresso powered website. Here’s a rough outline of this post for those of you who want to skim to the parts that impact you:
- Backstory – Outlines some basics around the Manual Offset from UTC setting for your website timezone and why it generally is a bad idea to have your site set to an offset as opposed to a city/region.
- Problems – The issues we discovered and fixed.
- What this means for you – How the fixes will affect some websites.
- Recommendations – What we recommend to prepare for this change and deal with any potential impact you may experience on your website.
Every WordPress website has the option to set what you want to use as the timezone setting. In WordPress UTC offsets are an option for backward compatibility but are really a horrible option for user’s to use for a few reasons:
- Some UTC offset option are completely invalid. Meaning, there is actually no region in the world that uses that offset.
- UTC offsets do not automatically account for Daylight Savings Time (DST). This means if you use a UTC offset to represent the time where you live, and where you live observes Daylight Savings Time, then you’ll need to adjust your offset whenever Daylight Savings Time is in affect. Whereas, if you pick a city/region (such as “America/Vancouver”) this is all taken care of for you automatically.
- If the region of the world you live in changes its timezone offset (it does happen, read about what happened in Cancun in 2015), then the offset you chose is now invalid and you’d have to remember manually to make the change. Whereas using a city/region for your timezone offset will again automatically adjust for any change when your host updates the server.
We have been warning users about using UTC offsets for a while, even going so far as to adding a warning if they create their first event using a UTC offset for their timezone. Despite this, many of our users continue to use UTC offsets and so we have tried to support this.
As a part of supporting UTC offsets, we’ve done the following things in Event Espresso:
- We converted all UTC offsets to the closest matching timezone string (city/region) for that offset within the internal timezone map supported by PHP.
- For invalid UTC offsets (where there was not match in the php timezone string db on the server), we converted it to the closest valid UTC offset and use the timezone string for that location.
This means, that for the most part, Event Espresso would work with timezone strings instead of UTC offsets and consistently apply that to all saved dates and times within our system and thus to correctly account for things like DST etc. for the majority of our users who have their website set to a UTC offset.
The problems we recently uncovered are:
- Timezone maps can vary server to server and between php versions whereas an assumption was made that they remained pretty consistent.
- There could be more than one match for a given offset because the timezone maps contain historical records and the first match could be for a timezone that is no longer exists today. For our conversions we were only using the timezone string for the first match and not checking if that match actually existed today. We corrected this.
What this means for you
Most users do not experience trouble with how things were currently setup because for the most part, website owners set their timezone setting once and don’t change them. So even though Event Espresso would be converting UTC offsets incorrectly internally, the user wouldn’t notice anything because Event Espresso would converting it consistently. Where this becomes a problem however is:
- When the website timezone is changed. Now the conversions from the saved offset might result in unexpected values because the original offset used to convert was actually incorrect.
- In the future, when per event timezone settings are made available. Because then, the timezone conversions will be incorrect.
Once we became aware of the problem, we recognized it needed fixed because we don’t want anyone to run into this problem when they do change their timezone settings or when we release new features.
In the next update of EE4 (4.9.47.p) , we’re going to release an update that will correct the issues we uncovered. However, some affected users may not realize the times on their site are in the wrong time zone and when our code begins converting their UTC offset to a more correct timezone, it will appear to them (and to their website visitors) that those times have changed. For example, instead of having an event start at 9am Pacific Time, it may appear to begin at 8am Mountain Time. There’s no way for us to accurately predict what specific UTC offsets will be affected because of the variations in server environments so that means that some manual intervention will be needed to correct any discrepencies.
To that end, we will be releasing in the next release of Event Espresso a “Datetime Offset Fix” tool that will make it easy for you to add or subtract an offset to all your existing dates and times in the Event Espresso system at once. This tool will be found on the Maintenance page section of your website and is a simple form for adding the offset you want to be applied to all dates and times found in Event Espresso. Once you provide the offset and click submit it will automatically go through your database and apply the given offset to all your Event Espresso datetime fields.
Our support team will also be on hand to assist any of you with any issues you may encounter when this change is rolled out.
We strongly recommend that if you are using a UTC offset as the timezone setting for your website you change your site to use a city or region instead. We recommend doing that in the next release of Event Espresso which will include the Datetime Offset Fix tool so if needed after the change, you can use the utility tool to correct any issues you see with the time displayed. How would it work?
- Let’s say before you make any changes, the start time on one of your events is 6pm.
- You go to Settings -> General in your WordPress admin and from there look for the Timezone option. Then select from the dropdown the closest city/region to what timezone you want your website to be in. Once that’s selected click the Save Changes button.
- Now check the start time on the event your observed earlier. Is it still 6pm? If so, then great! No further changed needed. But let’s say after the change you observe it’s now showing 8pm. In that case you want to go to Event Espresso -> Maintenance and then click on the Datetime Utilities tab.
- Since the current time you observed for your start date of your Event is 8pm and you want it to be 6pm, that means all your times need to have an offset of -2 applied to get them back to displaying the correct time. So in that case you need to make sure the Offset field on this page displays -2. You can either click the down arrow in the field or enter -2 manually. Then click the Apply Offset button.
- Once you click the button the page will refresh and show you a progress bar along with what tables it is going through to adjust the offset. The length of time this takes will depend on how many records you have in your database. Once its done you will be returned to the Datetime Offset Tool page. When that happens, go back to observe the start date for the event you are monitoring and you should now see the correct time.
If you decide you must keep the UTC offset setting for your website, then we recommend you wait until the release of the fixes and at that point you will be able to see whether you need to use the Datetime Offset Tool as described above to fix any discrepancies in your displayed times.
Introducing a new third-party add-on, Easy Reports and Analytics for Event Espresso 4.
This new add-on allows website owners to display event analytics on the front-end of their sites, using a simplified and informative view for logged in Administrators and Event Admins.
- Event Analytics – Provides various parameters that you can set while creating an event and this plugin will analyze the numbers for you.
- Simplified UI – The interface has been designed tactfully to display related fields close to each other with relevant information highlighted for you.
- Real-time Updates – Monitor and analyze the behavior of customers in real-time.
- Summarized View – Using simple graphs and charts, you get a user-friendly summary of registrations.
Getting the Add-on
The Easy Reports and Analytics for Event Espresso 4 add-on is available on our Third-party Add-ons page or directly from the WisdmLabs website.
WisdmLabs offers help and support for this add-on, while an FAQ is available on the plugin home page: https://wisdmlabs.com/ee-easy-reports-and-analytics#FAQ
Woohoo! We’ve added yet another tool to save you time.
With the Upcoming Event Reminder Add-on for Event Espresso 4, you can easily automate upcoming event reminders to improve communication to audiences (attendees, volunteers, sponsors, guests, etc.).
Two New Message Types
The Upcoming Event Reminder add-on provides two new ways to send messages: before an event or before a datetime. Here’s an explanation of the two new message types that help make this happen. Read More
If you log in to your EventEspresso.com account page you’ll notice we made some changes. We’ve simplified the information on the page and made it easier to: view your subscriptions, edit your billing information, locate support license keys, download software plugins, and made it easier to see your support requests and the forum threads you’re subscribing to.
We have updated the “Understanding Your Event Espresso Account” page of our documentation, so if you want to learn more about each section of your account page, please check it out. I’ve listed the full spectrum of changes below.
We’d also appreciate your feedback, so please feel free to leave a comment below. Read More
We are pleased to announce that as of today, Event Espresso 4 + Infusionsoft customers can now integrate with any supported payment options (merchant accounts) provided by Infusionsoft. This new feature, which is now included in the Event Espresso 4 Infusionsoft Integration, (as of 2.1.6) provides an easy way to connect with any Infusionsoft supported merchant accounts.
Don’t lose customers when events sell out!
If your event has sold out that’s great, nobody likes empty seats and shows you are doing a great job promoting your events so congratulations!
However, when an event sells out, registration closes for that event which means you no longer capture details from your customers and you’re missing out on potential sales. Creating a waiting list for your events allows you to continue to obtain attendee details when your event sells out. That’s where Ninja Forms can help.
While we are working hard to add a waiting list feature to Event Espresso 4, in the meantime you can capture the attendee details using the excellent Ninja Forms plugin (free download) and a small custom function to call one of the forms on your events page.
Ready to learn how to use Ninja Forms as a waiting list?
Just head on over to our documentation, where we created a step-by-step tutorial that shows you how to use Ninja Forms as the wait list for your sold out events. Read More
First Data Payeezy is an on-site payment method for Event Espresso for accepting credit and debit cards and is available to event organizers in many countries.
This payment method uses the Direct API so your guests for your event will register and pay on your website. Card types such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover JCB, and Diner’s Club are supported.
Learn more about First Data Payeezy for Event Espresso.
Check out the documentation for First Data Payeezy which has information on getting set up.
If you need help with First Data Payeezy, then feel free to reach out in our support forums
so we can assist you in moving forward with your project. Have an Everything support license for Event Espresso 4? Your account was automatically updated to include this add-on.