Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

Raising the PHP Requirements for Event Espresso 4

Here at Event Espresso, our mission has always been to empower business and organization leaders with the event registration, ticketing and management tools that maximize the success of their events. While our products are constantly improving as a result of that mission, we must also continue to evaluate systems our products are built with to ensure they contribute to this mission as well. One of these dependencies is the usage of the PHP programming language.

Since the release of Event Espresso 4, back in January 2014, we have made it clear on the Requirements page that EE4 requires at least PHP 5.3. As of EE version 4.4, we will no longer support PHP 5.2. If you try activating EE 4.4 on a site running on PHP 5.2 it will simply deactivate and display a minimum PHP version is required message. This is done on purpose to prevent serious issues on your site. If you wish to continue using EE 4.4, you will have to upgrade your server to PHP 5.3 or later. If you are unable to upgrade to PHP 5.3+ right away (maybe your host is slow to respond) you can continue to use EE 4.3.1.

Please note that the PHP 5.3 series will enter an end of life cycle and receive only critical fixes as of August 14, 2014. All users of PHP are encouraged to upgrade to PHP 5.4. PHP 5.3.29 is recommended for those wishing to remain on the 5.3 series.
Create an account now and download Event Espresso 4 Decaf for free.

Why are we raising the PHP requirements for EE4?

Dropping support for PHP 5.2 was a decision we did not make lightly. In fact, we tried to delay it as long as possible. Here are the three primary reasons prompting this decision:

  1. Security
    PHP 5.2 is a dead release. It became end-of-life on January 6th, 2011 when the final version, PHP 5.2.17, was released. As the PHP website reads on that page:

    If you are using these releases, you are strongly urged to upgrade to a current version, as using older versions may expose you to security vulnerabilities and bugs that have been fixed in more recent versions of PHP.

    This is exactly the case with PHP 5.2, a version of PHP which is end of life for over 3 years. As a matter of fact, just a mere days after it became end of life a major security flaw was detected. It was fixed in PHP 5.3 but not in PHP 5.2. If you are using PHP 5.2, and your hosting provider has not patched this version, you are exposed to known security threats which are being used to attack web sites. The nature of these attacks means that your server’s firewall and/or a security component (like Admin Tools Professional) cannot protect your site. If you are using an un-patched version of PHP 5.2 your site will be hacked. The question is not if, but when. So, using PHP 5.2 may hurt your site’s security.

  2. More Efficient Code
    PHP 5.2 lacks several features necessary for modern software development, like late static binding. To cut a long story short, if we kept on supporting PHP 5.2 we could no longer maintain our software in a way that is consistent with our commitment to providing up-to-date and easy to use software. We’d be stuck in the Stone Age until we reached a point that we could no longer provide new features and updates. So, using PHP 5.2 doesn’t allow efficient software development.
  3. Quicker Feature Development
    One of the major factors in the longer release times of our EE4 products has not only been extra development time working around PHP 5.2 deficiencies, but also having to test on PHP 5.2. Eliminating support for PHP 5.2 helps us speed up release times. Therefore allowing us to develop and test new features at a much faster rate.

Why now?

Basically, we chose now as the time for dropping support because in the past year most major hosts have begun moving their customers over to newer PHP versions and are dropping support for PHP5.2. We delayed dropping support ourselves because we wanted to ensure that most of our existing customers are able to transition to newer versions of PHP fairly easily. Also, in the past year WordPress has made a number of fixes in its releases to address minor compatibility issues with PHP 5.4 and 5.5 that ensure it is fully compatible with the most recent versions of PHP.

Will my WordPress website stop working?

Upgrading your WordPress site to a new PHP version will not break the site unless you have a plugin/theme that uses a deprecated PHP function/method. Themes are less likely to have that, but plugins might. You will have to notify the plugin author of the affected plugin.

Customers can always download and install EE 4.3.2, from the pre-release channel within your account, which is compatible with PHP 5.2 until they can find a better web host.

Keep in mind WP will support sites up to PHP 5.4 (and even PHP 5.5 as of WP 3.9). So compatibility with WP is not a problem.

The only issue our customers might see in some circumstances is if they have WP_DEBUG on, plugins coded in a PHP 5.2 environment (or even PHP 5.3) might have things that throw warnings in PHP 5.4+ , but again that does not break sites if WP_DEBUG is off (which in a production environment SHOULD be off).

What if my host is still on PHP 5.2?

All the major hosts (Dreamhost, Bluehost, Hostgator, etc…) have PHP 5.3 by default.

And if there is a minor host where PHP 5.2 is the best you can have, then what’s the point with signing with a smaller and lesser known company if they cannot provide better services than big ones?

There are hosts which still offer PHP 5.2 by default but do support PHP 5.3 or 5.4 as an option. On these hosts you can ask them for the proper way to upgrade to PHP 5.3. Usually it’s a configuration option in your site’s control panel or in your .htaccess.

Even worse, there are still hosts which do not offer you any way to use PHP 5.3 or later. These hosts must be avoided at all cost. It means that the hosting company doesn’t care about investing the minimal amount of time required to properly setup their machines and ensure your security. Do you really want to trust them with your site? Would you tolerate a catering company serving stale food at your event? It’s the same question. If you’re stuck on such a host we strongly recommending moving to a decent hosting company. We have compiled a short list of quality hosts you might want to consider. Here you go, in no particular order:

TL; DR

As of EE 4.4, we are no longer supporting PHP version 5.2. If you cannot update to PHP version 5.2, then you cannot use EE 4.4. If your hosting company is still on PHP 5.2, you will need to have them update your server to PHP version 5.3 or greater. If they refuse, you should seriously consider switching to a different hosting provider.

Customers can always download and install EE 4.3.2, from the pre-release channel within your account, which is compatible with PHP 5.2 until they can find a better web host.

Why drop support for PHP 5.2?

  1. Security
  2. Ability to write more efficient code
  3. Quicker development of new features

Will my WordPress website still work?
Yes, your site will still work, as long as your WordPress theme and plugins are compatible with PHP 5.3+.

Host won’t update?
Move to a trusted hosting provider.

 

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Posted in News, Development, New Versions | No Comments »

Event Espresso 4 Feature Showcase: Ticket Quantity, #Uses, Min and Max

At Event Espresso we’re never content with what we’ve already accomplished with online event registration for WordPress. We’re always looking to make improvements so our customers can sell tickets online. There are so many significant developments coming soon to Event Espresso that we wanted to highlight some of the great changes that are on the way.

A New Ticket Selector to Control Every Option

The Ticket Selector in Event Espresso is being completely redesigned. we’ll show you the full redesign later, but just one powerful function will be the ability to control single ticket options.

Part of that redesign includes the power to control the Ticket Quantity, #Uses per Ticket, Minimum Number of Tickets and Maximum Number of Tickets.

Options Online Ticket Sales

Ticket Quantity

WordPress event managers will be able to set how many of each specific type of ticket is available. You may have only one type of ticket, or many different ticket options for attendees. You will be able to offer a limited number of, say, VIP tickets so you can give a certain number of attendees a special experience. You could also limit the number of promotional tickets that are available for sale, and so on. There are a lot of powerful things you can do with setting quantity limits to your online ticket sales.

Pro Tip: We’ll address this again later, but setting quantity limits for individual online tickets will be one form of setting seating limits for your event or venue in Event Espresso.

Number of Uses per Ticket

When you combine Number of Uses per Ticket with our mobile ticketing apps and ticketing add-on, you really become a professional event manager; you also make online event registration a breeze for your attendees. With the Number of Uses per Ticket, you can sell tickets to attendees that can be used any number of times. For example, if want to sell a ticket that will let people return to the same event twice (or more) then you can do that. You could configure your ticket sales so that attendees can reuse one ticket for all the events in your event series instead of having to print off and bring new tickets each time. This also allows you to let attendees use their ticket as a badge. On the other hand, if you want limit how many times someone can go through the food line, then you can do that too!

Pro Tip: What if you want offer unlimited access to your events or unlimited number of uses during a certain time period? Well, you’ll be able to do that too!

Minimum Number of Tickets  Allowed to Purchase

It’s obvious that attendees have to purchase at least one ticket to attend your event. But what if you wanted attendees to purchase more than one ticket? You can sell tickets online with WordPress and require that attendees purchase more than one ticket at a time. For example, if you want to sell sponsorships to your event with the  requirement that the sponsors purchase more than one ticket for their company, now you can set it up that way. What if you want to sell a family pack of tickets online and offer a discount for purchasing multiple tickets? Well, you can do that too.

Pro Tip: What if you wanted to sell tickets online with tiered pricing? You can now configure the price of each ticket to be different based on the minimum number of tickets they have to purchase. The more tickets you require, the bigger the discount. That’s awesome!

Maximum Number of Tickets Allowed to Purchase

What about the opposite situation, when you knew people would want to attend your event multiple times, but the goal of your organization was to engage with more unique individuals? Now you can specify that someone can only purchase a single (or any maximum you want) number of tickets per transaction. The Maximum Number of Tickets Allowed to Purchase also means you can specify the price of each ticket for a quantity range of tickets (e.g., purchase 5-10 tickets and the price of the ticket is $xx each; purchase 10-20 tickets and the price per ticket is only $x).

Pro Tip: Want to make it less convenient for ticket scalpers to hoard tickets? You can at least get in their way with Maximum Number of Tickets Allowed.

Are you a developer? Are you interested in having early access to Event Espresso 4 for preparing for its release? Take a look at our developer resources where you can request access to our GitHub repo and more.
All these features and more are coming soon to Event Espresso, the best registration and ticketing plugin available for WordPress. These features are in active development and could change between now and the first release. If you have an idea for a feature you’d like to see in the future, let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

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Posted in Home Page, Ticketing, News, Development, New Versions, Tips & Tutorials | 21 Comments »

JSON API Plugin Now Available

Event Espresso API`

The new Event Espresso API addon allows other applications (other websites, mobile apps, etc) to access your Event Espresso data through an application programming interface (API).

What kind of really useful stuff can I build?

Using the Event Espresso API, you can get information on all events and attendees, and even check attendees in and out of events. Supposing you have WordPress installed and active on mysite.com, once this addon is activated you can send an HTTP GET request to http://mysite.com/espresso-api/v1/events/public to retrieve all the event information from your site in JSON or XML format, which your client application can then use and display however you like. You can access and work with most of the Event Espresso admin features, allowing you to create solutions based on your needs. The API enables developers to build innovative and engaging applications that can interface with any website that uses the Event Espresso plugin for events, classes, meetings, scrapbook conventions, concert ticketing, including:

  • Mobile applications (e.g. Event Espresso mobile apps)
  • Custom onsite and offsite calendar integrations
  • Custom event lists with role based (public/private) access to event data
  • Custom website app integrations
  • Role-based access to attendee data
  • Cached database queries
  • Offsite registration forms (coming soon)
  • Ability to create customized analytics

Is the API supported?

Yes, Event Espresso customers have access to our Restful API Codex and support in the support forums. The API is compatible with Event Espresso version 3.1 and 3.2 (coming soon).

How does it work?

The Event Espresso API gives developers a complete API platform for directly accessing data event and attendee data securely and efficiently from outside your web server. All a developer needs to know about is the API Endpoint URL for your site. Example: http://eventespresso.com/testdrive/espresso-api/v1/events/public.pretty_json

How do I get access to the addon?

Anyone with a current Event Espresso Business or Developer Support License or Ticketing addon can download this addon for use on their site, from within their profile/account page.

Is this a replacement for the Espresso Services API?

Yes and No. The current versions of both the Event Espresso iPhone and Android mobile apps CANNOT be used with this API. However, you should have no problems running both API’s side by side. We are working on switching over the iPhone app to the new API as soon as possible. We are also actively looking for someone to help us switch the Android app to the new API. The new Event Espresso iPad app will be available soon.

Why did you create this addon?

We are hoping the addition of this addon will drive developer adoption around for Event Espresso plugin and our community of dedicated users.

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Posted in Addons, Ticketing, Development, API | 4 Comments »

Event Espresso pre-release channel

We are happy to officially announce a new feature for Event Espresso users that we quietly rolled out on the website a couple weeks ago: the Event Espresso pre-release channel.

What’s the Event Espresso pre-release channel?

pre release channel downloads

Pre-release channel downloads

The pre-release channel is where we post early versions of Event Espresso and any add-ons for user testing. Since we are just barely rolling this new feature out and switching to a new development schedule all at the same time, the first couple versions we released on the pre-release channel were still very early in the testing. However, our new development cycle goes into effect with the release of 3.1.30, which will include a full month of testing by the support team. After we’ve gone through our testing (the alpha stage), we will post the plugin to the pre-release channel. These should be considered solid release candidates that you can use on your live site, but if you are still nervous, you can hold back, stick with the stable version, which will have had a month of beta testing on the pre-release channel. Any bugs that come up during the beta period (via your testing on the pre-release channel) will be addressed before the final release of Event Espresso.

The great part about the pre-release channel is that it installs into a separate directory on your site, so if there are any issues, you can just switch back to the stable version after reporting the issue.

We need your feedback! We are hard at work on the next version of Event Espresso, and we’d like you to take it out for a spin. When you test out a pre-release edition of Event Espresso you can:

  • Help test the upcoming software release against a wide variety of server environments and WordPress installations
  • Get a heads up on new features
  • Ensure that your customizations will work with the very latest software
  • Influence how the final product will look and function
  • Help contribute to a more stable final product
  • Try out new add-ons before they are officially released

Where to download

If you log into your Event Espresso account page and scroll down to the downloads section and you will see a new checkbox (tickbox) for signing up to the Pre-release channel. You can tick that and agree to the waiver and the Pre-release items will appear in a box below your regular downloads.

Pre-Release Toggle

We have set a waiver in place because we may also be using this space for new, experimental products that may not be fully stable, however, again Event Espresso core and the current add-ons will have gone through testing by our support staff before being posted to the pre-release channel. Full details can be found in the Pre-release documentation.

How to report bugs and give feedback

If you notice anything that isn’t working please report it in the Pre-release forum. There will be a new thread for each major point release.

We will be posting the beta version of 3.1.30 to the pre-release channel today with a planned release of Monday. That means you can get started with the next version a few days early and let us know in the forums if there are any problems.

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Posted in Development, New Versions | 2 Comments »

Developers wanted!

Are you a WordPress theme or plugin developer? Have you worked with WordPress or Event Espresso enough that you feel comfortable making customizations for clients? Do you want more clients?

If the answer to those questions was “Yes”, we want to hear from you! We’re looking to partner with experienced WordPress developers who are familiar with Event Espresso that want new clients. We get a lot of requests for customization projects that we just aren’t able to work on due to our regular plugin development workload.

Think you fit the bill? Let us know what you specialize in, what your average rates are, and give us an example site that you’ve worked on (preferably a site that’s running Event Espresso). We’ll be adding developers to a Third Party Developers page where we will refer our customers who are requesting custom development projects that we are unable to take on within their timeline. Fill out our Third Party Developer application to get listed in our directory.

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Posted in WordPress, Development | 2 Comments »

Changes to the Event Espresso language files in 3.1.30

language-files

We’re making some exciting behind-the-scenes changes with how we’ll be handling the language files in the next version of Event Espresso and moving forward. Some things will be drastically different but we’re doing this with our users in mind so there will be very little on your end that you need to worry about except in some very specific cases, which I’ll cover in this post.

How we’re currently handling languages

Currently, Event Espresso bundles all of our language files in the plugin. This leads to a very large plugin. Over 25MB is used just for the language files after they are extracted. Some hosts — particularly shared servers with limited resources — will throw script timeout or max_file_upload errors when uploading or installing Event Espresso. The compressed size of Event Espresso is over 7MB currently, which exceeds the 5MB threshold that’s often the default for shared servers. The new compressed size of Event Espresso with this update is just over 3MB!  No more max_file_upload issues. No more script timeouts. The install and update process will be much smoother and faster.

What’s changing?

Starting with the next release, 3.1.30, we will be discontinuing the inclusion of all language files in the core Event Espresso plugin. This will drastically reduce the size of the overall plugin, making installs and upgrades much faster and eliminate a lot of the current issues that people have with their installs and updates.

Instead of bundling the language files in the core plugin, we’re offloading those files to a GitHub repository. If you are using one of the language files (e.g., you have a locale set in your wp-config.php via the WP_LANG definition), Event Espresso will dynamically fetch just those language files from the GitHub repository and download them into your /event-espresso/languages/ directory.

What changes for English (US) language users?

Nothing. If you aren’t using the language files, you won’t notice any changes with the possible exception of updates being faster than they were previously.

What changes for everyone else (non-English (US) language users)?

It’s possible that the files don’t download correctly from GitHub. This is a worst-case scenario as it should magically work out of the box when you update. If this happens, you can download the relevant language file from our public GitHub repository and upload it to your /languages/ folder.

With every Event Espresso update, if there have been updates to the language files, they will automatically get downloaded to your /languages/ directory and overwrite the existing language files. If the language files have been updated and you would like to incorporate the updated language files before the next release of Event Espresso is available, you can do so by downloading the files from GitHub.

Special cases (if you’ve modified your language files)

If you’ve modified your language files (for example, to modify a string to display a different message), you will now be able to upload your customized language files to /wp-content/uploads/espresso/languages/. This will override the language files in /event-espresso/languages/. You will be responsible for updating the language file if there are changes to the source.

What this means to translators

For translators, nothing has changed, really, except that you can now download the final .mo/.po files from GitHub once they are added to the repository. However, for people who are familiar with Git and Github, please do not submit pull requests to the GitHub repository. They will be ignored. The proper process is still to get validator access on the GlotPress site and make your translations there. However, you will now also be able to upload customized/modified language files to /wp-content/uploads/espresso/languages/ if, for example, you wanted to test a translation you were making changes to.


Our translation project is 100% community-supported, and we are proud of how it’s grown. There are now 26 language files in development and we hope to continue to watch that figure grow and those translations fill out in 2013 and beyond. If you would like to be involved in one of our translations or to translate Event Espresso into a language we don’t have yet, please fill out our translator application and we will get your account set up.

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Posted in Development, New Versions, Features | 1 Comment »

Version of 3.2.a.1 (Alpha) Now Available for Download and Testing

Event Espresso 3.2.a.1 (Alpha) Now Available for Download

Event Espresso 3.2.a.1 (Alpha) Now Available for Download

We are pleased to announce the first Alpha release of Event Espresso, 3.2 is available for download. This first release brings to life several important changes and highlight the future of Event Espresso.

Some of the most significant changes are:

  • a new checkout process that allows attendees to select multiple ticket types
  • a new admin interface that optimizes and consolidates the event editor page
  • greater granularity with respect to managing transactions, registrations and attendees
  • additional reporting by transactions, registrations and attendees
  • improved pricing and discounting options
  • added pretty permalinks (SEO-friendly URLs)
  • added affiliate tracking capabilities
  • And more, review our complete 3.2 Change Log and comparison screenshots for more details.

Customers with a current support license can download 3.2.a.1 for free to help us test the next major release.

Posted in News, Development, Versions | No Comments »

Mobile Ticketing Apps Released

Event Espresso Mobile Ticketing Apps

Event Espresso Mobile Ticketing Apps

We’d like to announce today that we have released the Event Espresso Mobile Ticketing Apps for iphone, iPod, and Android mobile devices. These mobile platforms bring event managers and organizers even more autonomy and power to setup their own registration system.

The Event Espresso plugin for WordPress and our iOS and Android apps:

  • Speed up registrations at the door
  • Integrates in real-time with the attendee list in Event Espresso
  • Allows for multiple check-in “stations”. Eg. Use multiple iPhones/Android phones to log into to the same attendee list so employees can scan tickets using multiple different mobile devices
  • Send an e-mail to the ticket holder with a “Thank you for Attending” – This will save time from currently having to check the name off and having attendees sign a confirmation that they were present at the event. This will help to avoid refund situations (coming soon)
  • Keep your events “Green” by providing an environmentally friendly ticketing solution
  • Custom tickets can double as a name badge
  • Makes your organization very official and innovative

Download the Mobile Ticketing Apps | Purchase the QR Code ticketing addon

Requirements: Event Espresso version 3.0.19.p.34 or greater and purchase of the QR Code ticketing addon. Note: the ticketing app will work with some earlier versions of Event Espresso, but 3.0.19.p.34 has the ability to check people in/out of the event if the ticketing addon is installed.

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Posted in Addons, Registration, Ticketing, WordPress, Development, WordPress Plugins | 5 Comments »

Coming Soon: Multiple Event Registration

Updated: The Multi-Event Registration Add-on is now available.

Multi-Event RegistrationI don’t know how else to put it, except to say that this is really awesome functionality!

Gone are the days when people can only register for one event at a time. We have been developing a system that allows people to register and pay for multiple events at one time. The theory is that when it’s easier for your attendees to register for more events you will sell more tickets; and with the Multi-Event Registration System it couldn’t be easier.

Some of the features of the multi-event registration system addon include:

  • Register or Add to Cart and Add More Events links – This gives the person the opportunity to immediately register for the single event or continue shopping to add more events to their cart.
  • Multiple Event Payment – The person registering can pay for an unlimited number of events at one time (paid or free events), all from one page.
  • Single Registration Page – The person registering can register for all the tickets they are purchasing all from one page. They can click a check box to reuse an attendee’s information or enter all new information for a different person.

This new addon will be very useful in situations when you want attendees to register for a main event and also sub-events such as conference breakout sessions; when your events are for the entire family, but you want each member of the family to register for separate events; etc.

This new addon has taken a long time to construct but it’s nearly done. We are accepting applications to beta test the multiple event registration addon, and you can follow the multi-event registration development progress in the forums.

In order to keep the base-price of Event Espresso low for those who do not need this functionality, this addon will be sold separately for about $40.

We encourage all Event Espresso users to consider how the multi-event registration system can help you save time and sell more tickets.

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Posted in Addons, Events, Registration, Ticketing, News, Development, Event Management | 20 Comments »

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