Archive for the ‘Open Source’ Category

Eventbrite Castaways, Escapees, and Non-profit Organizations Accepted Here

Happy Halloween! It’s come to our attention that our arch nemesis, Eventbrite has raised their ticketing fee pricing. So we have taken it upon ourselves to offer Event Managers an escape from high fees and vendor lock-in that has been experienced with Closed Source Event Ticketing Platforms.

Eventbrite Taking Your Money?

To combat the evil scourge of high ticketing fees that is taking over the world of Event Organizers everywhere, we encourage Event Managers to adopt Open Source Event Ticketing.

All kidding aside.

We Believe in the Freedoms that Open Source Event Ticketing Provides

We are dying to know, are Eventbrite fees putting a dent in your pocketbook? Is your non-profit organization suffering through the latest round of Eventbrite ticketing fee increases? Have your ticket sales have been shut down for violating Eventbrite’s TOS?

If you have answered yes to any of the above, then we welcome you to our open source, event ticketing platform, Event Espresso, with open arms.

At Event Espresso, we believe in Open Source Software and the rights it provides users. So, it saddens us to see closed-source platforms, such as Eventbrite, increasing their fees, even for their non-profit customers.

Earlier this year, we reported on a quilting events and workshops company that is losing $21,000 in ticketing fees annually, by using Eventbrite. That means, if fees are increasing, the quilting company will stand to lose well over $40,000 in ticketing fees, next year.

(more…)

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Open Source | No Comments »

5 Tips for Contributing to Open Source Software like Event Espresso

Many good software developers struggle and become frustrated when contributing to open source software. That’s because the skill set required for contributing to open source software is different from that required for writing closed source software.

5 Tips for Contributing to Open Source Software like Event Espresso Graphic

About three years ago we decided to put our flagship WordPress plugin, Event Espresso, on Github in order to facilitate community contributions. It has always been open source (meaning the code that runs it is viewable by anyone who downloads it), but that made it much more accessible for contributions. Since then we have received numerous pull requests (requests to have code added to it), but not all contributions were ready. The purpose of this post is to help software developers better understand how to contribute to Event Espresso, WordPress, or any open source software. (more…)

Tags: , ,
Posted in Addons, Development, WordPress Plugins, Open Source, Tips & Tutorials, Developers | No Comments »

Friends Don’t Let Friends Host Events on Eventbrite

Event Espresso vs. Eventbrite. The Truth Will Set You Free!

Event Espresso beats Eventbrite by keeping you if full control of your money, customer data, and style.

Friends don't let friends host events on Eventbrite

Are you planning a paid event? Are you willing to give away 2.5% of your ticket value + $0.99 per ticket sold? If so then, by all means, host your next event on Eventbrite. Hosting an event on Eventbrite means that you have to fork over a percentage of every ticket you sell. With Event Espresso you are in control of your money because your events are hosted on your website. That means no monthly fees, registration fees, or ticketing fees. (more…)

Tags: ,
Posted in News, WordPress, Featured Posts, Eventbrite, Open Source | 12 Comments »

Event Espresso Now Has Integration with AffiliateWP

Do you want to offer your attendees, customers, or other patrons an incentive to promote your events? Now you can! With our AffiliateWP Integration add-on for EE4, the process is quite simple.

AffiliateWP-Logo

AffiliateWP is an affiliate plugin for WordPress. With AffiliateWP, your affiliates can promote your products and services, which improves your website’s SEO rankings, drives more traffic to your site, and increases sales/revenue. Visit the AffiliateWP website to learn more.

Event Espresso’s integration with AffiliateWP allows your affiliates to promote your events from their websites. When someone visits your website by clicking one of your affiliates’ referral links, the affiliate receives credit for the visit. If that visitor purchases tickets to your event, then the AffiliateWP plugin marks that visit as a conversion and is queued for a commission payout.

The AffiliateWP plugin is required for this add-on to function.

Since there are no settings for the AffiliateWP Integration add-on for EE4, if you are already using the AffiliateWP plugin, accepting referrals for your events is as easy as installing and activating the add-on. Ticket sales are tracked when someone registers and pays for an event.

AffiliateWP Admin

Affiliate overview in WP Affiliate

 

For help setting up and using the AffiliateWP plugin, please see their documentation here. For documentation on the AffiliateWP Integration add-on, see here.

So, what do you think? We hope you are as excited about this new integration as we are. We feel it will help our customers promote their events and have even greater success with Event Espresso!

Get started today! Purchase the AffiliateWP Integration add-on for Event Espresso 4, also included in the EE4 Everything License.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Addons, WordPress Plugins, Open Source, EE4, Affiliate | No Comments »

Introducing the Event Espresso Public Roadmap

Simple-kanban-board-

In our journey to empower business and organization leaders with the event registration, ticketing, and management tools that maximize the success of their events, we’ve learned that customer feedback and open communication are an important asset to the success of the Event Espresso plugin for WordPress.

However, up until recently, we haven’t had a very efficient way of tracking each request, allowing the community a place to vote on features, or tracking progress of the Event Espresso project. We felt we needed a public roadmap to help keep the community in the loop and to keep feature requests from getting lost.

Without a roadmap it’s sometimes easy to get lost. #EventEspresso #EventTech #RoadMap Click To Tweet

Using Trello as Our Public Roadmap

trello1Trello is an easy to use, real time, visual project management tool based on the Kanban system, which was developed in Toyota as a system to keep production levels high and maintain flexibility. It is best represented as a whiteboard filled with post-it notes. Each post-it represents different tasks involved in the project.

We felt a public Trello Board was a great place for us to engage with the community, get feedback, share our development, and keep you up-to-date on upcoming features & releases.

So last year we quietly launched our Event Espresso Public Roadmap on Trello to give our community a place to follow feature  planning and development. Since making the board public, we’ve already had quite a few votes and comments come through over the past few months, by way of mentioning the public roadmap in the support forums.

What to Expect

managing_expectationsWe hope this gives the Event Espresso community a bird’s eye view of features that are in the backlog and which are being completed in preparation for a major release. Going forward we plan to follow the roadmap as best we can and will continue to post requested features to the public roadmap for the community to vote on.

However, sponsored development is a service we offer to the community. If a community member sponsors a feature, then we agree to prioritize that feature ahead of some other things. A perfect example of this is when Event Espresso users want a new payment gateway, they can fund the initial development and we put that feature higher on the priority list and try to work on it asap.

Some very popular items, like recurring events, require development of underlying systems and features.

For example, core features such as Attendee Reassignment or wait lists, will need to be in place before we start work on the Recurring Events add-on (you wouldn’t want to have dozens of recurring events without an easy way to move attendees from one event to another would you?). Another example would be the Automated Email Reminders add-on, which will require the Messages Activity core feature (notice that’s a feature in and of itself).

Requesting a New Feature

If you have a new feature you want to see listed in the public roadmap, please create a new thread in our support forums and describe the feature as best you can. That way our support team can discuss the feature with you, and if appropriate, get it added to the roadmap.

Voting & Commenting

Event Espresso Public Roadmap VoteOnce your feature request is added to the roadmap, yourself and other community members will be able to vote and leave comments on the feature. Our support team will also forward any new requests for the feature to the roadmap.

We feel voting on features is especially useful to us, because it means we can list a bunch of features that we want to get done on the board, and then let the public vote up the features that they want the most. This allows us to take the community’s input for what they deem most important into our process for setting priorities.

Please feel free to vote on as many feature as you like.

Basic Overview of Trello

How it Works
Trello uses a system of boards, lists and cards. This creates a system that allows for individuals or teams to track a project and collaborate or contribute where they can be most useful or where it is most needed.

start-here-1

Board
A board is typically a project or product that is under development or consistently being worked on.

List
A list is a way to divide a board into different categories. Typically a list represents a stage of progress (to do, in progress, finished).

Card
A card is the most basic and flexible part of the system. It represents a specific element of a project (A new feature, a software bug, research for a post). We can move cards between lists as they progress through the project.

Subscribe to Updates
There are three ways to subscribe for updates in Trello. You can subscribe to the entire Trello Board, individual lists, and/or individual cards.

  • Subscribing to the Trello Board – Click the “Show Menu” button in the top right corner (screenshot) of the Trello Board, then click the “…More” link, then click “Subscribe” (screenshot).
  • Subscribe to a List – In the top right corner of each list is a tiny down arrow. Click the arrow, then click the “Subscribe” link (screenshot).
  • Subscribe to a Card – Click to open an individual Trello card, then click the “Subscribe” button under the “Actions” heading (screenshot).

Current Status of EE4 Development

We’ve been focused on making core improvements over the last several months and are currently wrapping up development on EE 4.9, which includes a major refactor of the Event Espresso Messages System.

The messages system refactor introduces a few new features, such as a messages queue, batch message processing, a recording system for sent messages, and the ability to resend failed messages. After that we will start work on the Attendee Reassignment feature and the Automated Email Reminders add-on.

Get Updates When New Features Release

Be the first to know when we ship new features … signup for our newsletter here: https://eventespresso.com/newsletter/

Wrapping Up

We realize many of you use Event Espresso as the backbone of your business and we hope this roadmap will help give you an idea of where the project is going. Please let us know in the comment section below if you have any questions.

ee4-public-roadmap-banner-900-1

Tags: , ,
Posted in Home Page, News, Development, Open Source, EE4 | 3 Comments »

Event Espresso 4 REST API Add-on Now Available

Earlier this year we announced we started work on the EE4 REST API addon. Well its ready-for-use and now bundled with Event Espresso 4 core!

We’ve reached the first milestone which provides read access to all EE4 data. That means you can build client-side Javascript code, mobile apps, and programs  in any language (and on any server) that can read data used in Event Espresso 4.

So what’s great about the EE4 REST API and what can you do with it? Here’s a start:

  • Unlike its predecessor, the EE3 JSON API, this addon is compatible with Event Espresso 4 (not Event Espresso 3)
  • It’s built using the WordPress REST API (aka WP API). That means many plugins that work with the WP API work with it too. WP API gives the EE4 REST API a solid foundation by handling authentication, providing endpoint discovery, and supplying lots of the “behind-the-scenes” code.
  • It provides read access to all Event Espresso 4 data: events, tickets, datetimes, registrations, custom questions and answers, payment methods, and configuration data. Even Event Espresso 4 addons’ data, like from the Mailchimp Addon or the People Addon, is available by default. If we’ve missed something tell us in the github issue tracker!
  • It uses Event Espresso’s models system for querying the database. This gives API clients nearly as much querying abilities as server-side plugins. Here are some of the crazier queries we thought of: (more…)

Posted in Home Page, Addons, Open Source, API, EE4, Developers | 8 Comments »

Event Espresso 4 REST API Development Started on Github

We are happy to announce that development of the Event Espresso 4 REST API has begun. You are invited to get involved with the API development by: sharing feedback on the direction of the API, contributing code, testing what is already completed, and encouraging others to get involved.

APIs are for Sharing, Please Share

Hey #app #developers a brand new #API is available for @EventEspresso http://api.eventespresso.com #WordPress #events #plugin #eventtech #mobile.

Please click to share this.

WordPress and Event Espresso Developers will be most interested in the EE4 REST API, because it will allow for faster development of a wide array of features, including custom reporting tools, mobile application development, and theme development. The EE4 REST API will provide an easy to use API, available via HTTP, to grab your site’s event and registration data in simple JSON format. Retrieving or updating data is as simple as sending a HTTP request.

Purpose of the Event Espresso 4 REST API

RESTful-APIAs you may have guessed already, the Event Espresso 4 REST API is not a new way to relax or catch some Z’s in between coding sessions. The Event Espresso 4 REST API is actually an application programming interface (API), intended to allow client-side JavaScript, and apps on different servers, to be able to interact with the WordPress Plugin Event Espresso. It is built on WordPress, Event Espresso 4 and the WP API; however once the WP API is merged into WordPress core, it is anticipated that this Event Espresso REST API will likewise be merged into Event Espresso 4 core.

Other WordPress plugins that intend to use Event Espresso 4 data server-side (in the PHP code) generally do not need to use the API, and can instead use Event Espresso 4’s models, config, and other modules directly. Check out developer.eventespresso.com for tutorials on how to use many of these systems.

Example applications could include:

  • JavaScript and HTML snippets that could be pasted onto non-WordPress sites that could list events from Event Espresso
  • Mobile applications for signing attendees into events in Event Espresso
  • WordPress plugin that controls Event Espresso data entirely on the client-side

Roadmap

Generally, the work will be organized into 3 main milestones:

  • READ functionality (API clients will be able to read just about anything from EE4, including information from add-ons)
  • WRITE functionality (API clients will be able to create and update most EE4 info, but we’d like to prevent API clients from breaking the DB so that will be a bit of a challenge)
  • Single page checkout (SPCO) functionality (we will want to present similar functionality to SPCO, except over the API. This will require rather tight integration with SPCO in order to keep them almost identical)

Progress

Current progress (as of this writing):

  • READ functionality is approximately 85% completed. We are actively working on the compatibility with the permissions and capability controls that are built into Event Espresso core.
  • WRITE functionality: 0% completed
  • SPCO functionality: 0% completed

Generally, the central hub for the API should be the EE4 REST API Github repository and milestones; along with blogging about it from developer.eventespresso.com.

Information for Non-developers

I’m not a developer, how does this affect me?

Not a developer, that’s okay! The Event Espresso REST API will allow other applications (other websites, mobile apps, etc) to access your Event Espresso data through an application programming interface (API).

We recommend you share this with your development team, agency or app developers because they will be excited about this. You should ask them to consider building an integration for the Event Espresso 4 API so that you can use your data in their applications.

Hey #app #developers a brand new #API is available for @EventEspresso http://api.eventespresso.com #WordPress #events #plugin #eventtech #mobile.

Please click to share this.

Another benefit of the API is that if you want a certain edge case feature that is not available in our core products, you can hire a developer to build it for you, without having to understand the Event Espresso 4 code base.

Have ideas for the API, fill out the survey below or leave a comment.

Information for Developers

How do I get access to the files?

Anyone with an account on Github.com can download and install the EE4 REST API on their site.

How do I get involved?

For the most part, at the time of this writing, we are still in the planing and development stages. Developers that are interested in the Event Espresso 4 REST API can get involved in the development and planning process from within the EE4 REST API page on Github.com.

Participate in a short survey!

How will you, or your company use the EE4 REST API? Let us know by filling out the survey below.

Posted in Addons, News, WordPress, Development, Open Source | 2 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.

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

Iced Mocha for EE4; a Free Event Theme

Update:

Iced Mocha has been retired and is no longer recommended

You can check out the new themes available from espressothemes.com!

Fully integrated with Event Espresso 4

We have recently released our Iced Mocha theme for free on Github. The Iced Mocha Theme by Event Espresso is responsive, packed with features, and fully integrated with Event Espresso 4.event-list

The Iced Mocha theme for WordPress was developed to provide a nice WordPress theme that is fully integrated with Event Espresso 4. Based off of our Arabica – Twenty Fourteen child theme, which is included within the Event Espresso 4 plugin files, we were able to provide great looking event lists and registration forms right out of the box.

Much of the Iced Mocha template code is based on the Twenty Fourteen theme, but with a quite a few event specific features sprinkled in. Such as the ability to automatically showcase events in a slider, widget columns, and/or upcoming events right on the home page.

Lots of easy to use options

settings-pageWe took the EE 4 Arabica – Twenty Fourteen child theme all the way to a full fledged theme with multiple layout and color options. Iced Mocha includes the following features:

  • Custom Home Page/Presentation Page
    • Display Custom Sliders
    • Widget Columns
    • Upcoming Events
    • Recent Posts
  • Header Settings
  • Text and Color Settings
  • Post Information Settings
  • Featured Image Settings
  • and Much More

Our mission to help customers succeed

Often times our customers end up spending countless hours just trying to make things work as advertised with some third-party themes, but have no idea the theme they just paid $40+ for, is crippling shortcodes, overriding core WordPress functionality, reformatting content, or creating massive amounts of errors across their website.

That’s why we have made it our mission to give our Event Espresso 4 customers and developers an example of a well coded, easy to use WordPress theme, that is guaranteed to be compatible with the latest versions of Event Espresso 4. We feel that if we give our customers the tools they need to succeed, they will be much happier and more profitable.

Posted in Home Page, News, Open Source | 19 Comments »

Event Espresso and the GPL

There was quite a stir last week when theme developer, Jake Caputo, posted on his blog that he was disallowed from speaking or volunteering at his local WordCamp because he sells his themes on ThemeForest. If you’re interested in learning about the issue and the discussion, you can take a look at his post and the summary I wrote on my personal blog. This post isn’t going to be about whether or not Jake should be able to present at WordCamps.

We wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the GPL and how it applies to Event Espresso. I tend to be the resident GPL evangelist, so I was asked to be the one to write this post on how the GPL plays into what we do at Event Espresso.

What is the GPL?

GPL stands for Gnu Public License, and it is the software license under which WordPress is distributed. Briefly, it is an agreement between the software developer and the user about how the software can be used and what the expectations of the software may be. There are a few key points that are important to remember when discussing the GPL:

1. The GPL affects distribution.

The GPL license only affects code that you distribute to other parties. Writing code for a web site or client, that never gets released for public consumption beyond that site, does not need to have the GPL license attached to it.

2. The GPL does not include any warranty or guarantee of support.

In fact, the GPL explicitly states that the code might not even work at all!

3. The GPL grants the user (anyone with a copy of the code) the freedom to take, modify and/or redistribute the code.

This means you can take any GPL code and re-release it as you see fit, though you need to put your name on anything you change, so someone can get in touch with you if there are problems.

4. All WordPress plugins and themes must be released under a GPL-compatible license.

This does not mean that WordPress plugins and themes must be released under the GPL exclusively, nor does it mean that everything in a WordPress plugin or theme must be licensed with the GPL. Internal usage within an organization is totally free and not subject to any conditions. There is no such thing as ‘internal distribution’ that would restrict the usage of your code by requiring it to be GPL’d. It does mean that if you are releasing a WordPress plugin or theme for distribution, that it needs to be — in part or in whole — released under a GPL or compatible license.

What’s a “split-license”?

Matt posted a few days ago a comment in response to Japh, the WP Evangelist at ThemeForest, that there is “no such thing as a split-license”. I’ll therefore avoid perpetuating the misnomer, but clarify what the intended meaning is. A package that is distributed in which one license is applied to one part of the package (e.g. the php files) and another license is applied to another part of the package (e.g. images, css, javascript), has been commonly referred to as a “split-license”, which is what is currently in place on ThemeForest and CodeCanyon. It should be stated that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this — it does not violate the GPL in any way. However, as I point out in my blog post, the reason why it’s an issue when a ThemeForest theme developer volunteers for a WordCamp is because it violates the WordCamp guidelines that have been set out by the WordPress Foundation about who can (and can’t) be involved in the organizing of a WordCamp.

What does that mean for Event Espresso?

As a premium plugin developer, it’s a difficult position to be in. The GPL makes it so anyone can get a copy of your plugin and resell it, or just provide a link to a full version of a piece of software that — in our case — has been the product of literally tens of thousands of hours of development. This is why, when you purchase Event Espresso, you are not buying the code.  You are paying for support and updates for the length of the license — the very things that the GPL implicitly does not provide. People are always finding ways to pirate software, and WordPress themes and plugins are no different. However, as I always like to say, good luck getting support. With Event Espresso, if you found a copy online (outside of our site) you would not be able to access the forums except for the free forums or the translator forums (where it would become obvious pretty quickly that you were not using the free version or had a question relating to the translations based on your version and your questions) and only limited access to our support documentation. And you would have no access to updates of any kind.

We are proud of our dedication to open source software. We are actively seeking new partnerships with other WordPress developers, and the API we’re developing will expand Event Espresso events to sites that don’t even run on WordPress. If you have questions about the GPL, take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions on Gnu.org or feel free to contact me on Twitter — I love talking about the GPL helping people understand what it is and how it works!

Tags: , , ,
Posted in WordPress, Open Source, Licenses | No Comments »

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!