Archive for the ‘Website’ Category

Scheduled Website Maintenance Sept. 24, 10PM MT

In an effort to further improve the speed and reliability of the EventEspresso.com website services (e.g. validating support license keys and serving plugin updates), we’ll be taking EventEspresso.com offline for about two hours this evening to perform some database optimization maintenance.

Get status updates from http://status.eventespresso.com

Like we always advise Event Espresso users, we will backup the database just as a precaution. The EventEspresso.com website database will remain secure and your account information will continue to be protected during this scheduled maintenance.

If you have any questions or concerns, please comment below or contact us.

Posted in Home Page, Website | 3 Comments »

EE4 Test Drive Now Powered by Ninja Demo

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We’ve just finished launching our new Event Espresso 4 test drive website, powered by the Ninja Demo plugin for WordPress. Ninja Demo combined with WordPress Multisite, allows our customers to create their own sandbox website with Event Espresso 4 pre-installed, and is even pre-populated with example events and registration data.

Now taking a test drive of Event Espresso 4 is easier than ever!

EE4 in a true-to-life environment

ee4-ninjademo-screenshotWith Ninja Demo, our potential customers can login to a demo site, where they can modify, delete, upload, and test out various areas of the EE4 software. Our customers can easily demo EE4 without leaving anything permanent behind. You can try out EE4 in a true-to-life environment and Ninja Demo cleans up the sandbox site once its no longer needed. This is perfect for customers looking to learn more about EE4’s features, the Espresso Events Calendar, and our Iced Mocha theme.

Already an Event Espresso member?

No problem! Existing Event Espresso 3 and 4 members are highly encouraged to take the new test drive site for a spin. This will help you decide if you’re ready to make the move to EE4. You’ll also have the opportunity to test the new Iced Mocha theme we’ve created, just for EE4, which is pre-installed on each sandbox site.

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Posted in WordPress Plugins, Website, EE4, Developers, Themes, pre-sales | No Comments »

Scheduled Website Maintenance – April 25, 2014 at 10PM EST

Starting April 25, 2014 at 10PM EST, the Event Espresso website will be shut down, for approximately 2 to 3 hours, as we move to our new FireHost web server. The support forums and purchasing capabilities will be off-line during this time. However, you can follow us on Twitter (@EventEspresso), or visit us at http://status.eventespresso.com, for realtime updates and information related to the move.

Thank you to all of our loyal customers for your patience! We look forward to providing you with a faster, secure, and more reliable website experience.

About Our New Web Host

firehost-logoFireHost is the leader in secure cloud hosting, capable of protecting sensitive data and brand reputations of the world’s enterprises. With infrastructure built for securitycomplianceperformance, and service, companies choose us to help de-risk collection, storage, and transmission of payment card and healthcare data.

Posted in Home Page, News, Website | No Comments »

Website Outages April 16, 2014

What happened?

At approximately 1pm EST the EventEspresso.com website host, HostGator experienced a network outage. HostGator guarantees 99.9% uptime with all their dedicated servers which means that our website server should not be down (unexpectedly) for more than 9 hours the entire year—but yesterday alone our server was down for more than 12 hours!

During website outages, such as this, please follow us on Twitter for updates.

We know this was really bad timing for everyone. Just 10 hours earlier we released Event Espresso 4.2 and  began sending email notifications to users to download the update. We apologize for the interruptions and inconvenience this caused. We are taking actions to try and ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.

Going Forward

HostGator use to be very reliable, but the recent disruptions (this was not the first, nor the second interruption)  indicate that we can not rely on them for the level of service we need for EventEspresso.com (99.9%+ up-time). Within the next 30 days we intend to move EventEspresso.com to a new hosting service that has a better infrastructure to meet those types of expectations and guarantees. Our hope is that any downtime in the future is intentional and/or scheduled.

This means that there will be some additional disruptions as we go through the process of changing hosts. However, we hope these disruptions are intentional, controlled, and relatively brief. Once we have made the full transition to another host we expect that you will find that the EventEspresso.com website loads faster and is more reliable.

Thank you for your patience, and please pardon the construction as we change the filters on the Event Espresso machine.

Posted in Home Page, News, Website | 9 Comments »

11 Reasons the Event Espresso Community Can Help You – And Your Events – Be More Successful

Event Espresso Community

By Garth Koyle

Networking with other like-minded people and organizations can make a significant impact on your success as an event manager, website programmer, or designer. If you haven’t already discovered that, then you will soon! We know it’s important, so we’ve created several ways to help you engage with other members of the Event Espresso community:

Here are some of the key benefits and reasons to network with other Event Espresso users:

1. Building New and Strengthening Existing Relationships

Building a relationship is about more than just connecting to someone else’s online profile. You might have 500+ friends on Facebook or the same number of connections on Linkedin, but do you connect with those people on a daily basis about how to grow your business? Quit “liking” or “poking” old friends; connect with the people and organizations who are working on the same projects and have the same goals as you do. That’s a real business relationship.

2. Discovering New Ideas

Do you want to know how Event Espresso users can process 80,000 registrations in a single month or $35,000 in 48 hours? You’re not going to find that by watching your news feed on Facebook. You’ll learn more important ways on how make your events more successful by engaging with the Event Espresso community than any other source. Do you want your friends to “like” you, or do you want your customers to like you (for example, by attending your events)?

3. Building Your Reputation

You might have a thousand points of expertise on your Linkedin profile and your resume might be three pages long, but those aren’t any good to the wrong audience. You’re using Event Espresso and your business is similar to hundreds of other businesses. The Event Espresso community will value your experience and skills the most. Join the discussion and build your own brand today.

4. Finding New Opportunities

Event Espresso probably has more features than your local coffee shop has flavors. But imagine how many combinations you can create with all the coffee flavors or Event Espresso features? Building Event Espresso as a plugin for WordPress also allows you to use a variety of other plugins and themes, but which ones do other people use? There is a wealth of information available among the thousands of Event Espresso users, we just need to ask the right questions and encourage each other to share the right answers. What questions do you have and what insight can you give? What would you like to learn more about?

5. Access to New Information and Learning

Organizing, managing and promoting events is an ever-changing job and there might be a thousand different ways to do something. But if you had the chance to ask someone else who has been there, would you take the opportunity? You might be surprised at what other people know and how it can expand your knowledge. We also can’t read your mind about what you want to know, so the only way for anyone to help you is to ask.

6. Gaining Advice From Other Experts, Find a Mentor

At Event Espresso we ask a lot of questions each day. We ask each person of the team questions about technical issues or how we can better serve our customers; we ask customers each day about how they use Event Espresso and how we can improve our events plugin; and we ask third-party developers and mentors how to deal with the challenges of growing a small business. But no matter who we ask for help, we always get the best answers from people who have walked down that path before. Our mission is to help you grow your business, and as you grow you’ll be faced with many different challenges. You should have a team in your corner who can look at the problem from outside the fight and give you advice on what your next steps could be.

7. Sharing Your Expert Advice, Mentoring Others

One of the most challenging and rewarding things you can do is help someone else be more successful. It takes a lot of courage to give your opinion that might not be accepted, but if you have real-life experience then no one else can refute your knowledge. Your simple opinion is also helpful for others who are uncertain about what path they should take. In nearly every case your participation and encouragement can help other people be more successful.

8. Finding New Products and Services

How did you learn about Event Espresso? You might have had to search for an online event registration plugin for WordPress, or you might have been one of the lucky ones and had a friend recommend it to you and saved you from all the searching costs. Either way, by connecting with other Event Espresso users you will have access to other event organizers who know how to solve your same problem. For example, what website hosting company should you use with Event Espresso or trust?; what merchant account do people like best and is most affordable?; what is a good WordPress theme, etc? Event Espresso will be your best resource for answers to these and many other questions.

9. Generate New Business Opportunities

When was the last time your old high school friend on Facebook was able to help you earn business from a new client? Is your Linkedin profile among the top 10% most-viewed profiles? We know that neither of those relationships or statistics are as productive in generating new business than networking with like-minded businesses and potential customers.

10. Recruit New Members of Your Team

It really is hard to find good help these days. We’re creating new ways for you to find help from other Event Espresso users, programmers, designers, marketers, etc. who can help you make your events more successful. Need to hire someone? We have a Job Board where you can post free (and paid) job listings, and we try to tweet out all the job postings to our extended network for you. We also know that the best place to find good help to manage your online event registration is by building relationships with other people who are doing the same.

11. Have Fun

Event Espresso was started after Garth and Seth worked together for three years. They’ve enjoyed working together, and their work has become their hobby. Some of their best friends are now people they work with. They enjoy networking with customers, programmers, business managers, etc. Hopefully you get to do what you enjoy – we enjoy having you part of the Event Espresso community.

Conclusion

Again, at Event Espresso we know that if you meaningfully engage with on other like-minded people and businesses to achieve your goals, you can learn who to trust and how to do things better. Participate with us in the community today via:

What can you bring to the Event Espresso community and what can we all help you with?

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Posted in News, Website | 4 Comments »

Behind the scenes: the tools we use at Event Espresso

We’ve been at this for over 3 years and in that time, we’ve used a ton of different tools to get the job done. Event Espresso has gone from being a one-man show to a team of 10+ and in that time we’ve learned, largely through trial and error, ways to effectively communicate to each other and our users. Here are a few of the tools we use internally and for EventEspresso.com.

Operating Systems

We’re predominantly Mac users with a few holdouts running Windows 7 and Linux. The apps covered here will be a mix of the popular votes from across all three platforms as well as web-based apps or systems.

IRC

We’ve been using IRC internally for the past year. It has successfully enabled us to communicate better as a team and respond to issues that come up in the forums and as we are developing code much faster. It’s hard to imagine how we managed to do things before we were using IRC. We have one closed channel we use for internal and development communication and another channel we’re planning on opening up to VIP members soon. To keep our private channel closed, we’re using IRC access restrictions. We also have a bot running Phergie that is able to do helpful things like pass messages to other team members who are away from their computers and Google searches, or not so helpful things like tossing each other a cookie, beer, wine or cocktail.

MrEspresso

Phergie is also feeding posts from our P2 site (mentioned below) to keep the team updated on new comments and discussions happening there.

As far as apps go, for Mac, most of us started off with Colloquy before moving on to other things like LimeChat and Adium. For the Windows users among us, we’re predominantly using mIRC, and Xchat is the most commonly used client for Linux, though a Windows version also exists.

Twitter

In the last month we’ve started trying to use Twitter for both internal and external communications. Everyone at Event Espresso was already on Twitter, and Event Espresso has it’s own Twitter account. On our personal accounts, we use the #EventEspresso hashtag for general Event Espresso-related tweets and #eesupport or #eedev for support or development-related tweets. Not only can we keep each other in the loop with what we’re doing, but this gives our users a level of transparency about what we’re up to as well. So, what are we using to manage Twitter? For OSX, there’s the native Twitter app in the App Store or, for everyone, the cross-platform web app TweetDeck.

Browser

To the developers out there, it should come as no surprise that Chrome and Firefox are our browsers-of-choice. The powerful tools of Chrome’s built-in inspector and Firefox’s Firebug extension are invaluable to developing and testing markup. For the Mac users among us there’s Parallels and Oracle’s VirtualBox for Windows virtualization for testing Internet Explorer.

Screenshots & annotations

Formerly, the popular favorite for screenshots with annotations was Skitch. Recent changes to the platform have been universally less well received by our team, and some of us have begun looking elsewhere. The Awesome Screenshot extension for Chrome is…awesome…for browser-based screenshots and Droplr and Screencast.com have also been used by some of us for sharing screenshots. I wrote up an Alfred* extension to replace the timed screenshot feature that Skitch dropped from their app.

* covered later…

Email

Event Espresso uses Google Apps extensively, so many of us just use the Gmail interface for mail. However, the Sparrow for Mac is hands-down the best desktop email client and also has an iOS app replacement for Apple Mail. Speaking personally, Sparrow makes me actually enjoy looking at my email inbox. It’s definitely worth downloading the free (ad supported) version and convincing yourself it’s worth the ten bucks to use it without the ads.

FTP

While the cross-platform workhorse of FileZilla is definitely a favorite, some of the Mac users among us cling to Transmit, by Panic (who also make Coda), which also allows file transfers to Amazon S3 buckets (which we’re using as our CDN).

IDE

A good IDE is important when you’re spending all day staring at it. Sublime Text 2 gets our popular vote with some runners up being Coda and NetBeans. (If you’re looking for a good IDE or have just gotten started with Sublime, this is a great resource that goes through a lot of the amazing built-in features of the program as well as the plugins that can be added.) Windows users (that don’t want to deal with NetBeans) can either grab a copy of Sublime as well, or take a look at the free Notepad++.

Version Control

Version control is essential for any development project, large or small. Even if you aren’t part of a team of developers, version control is invaluable in being able to “roll back” changes to an earlier version when something breaks. Having a solid, reliable version control system (and app) is a required part of ensuring that everyone on the team is looking at the same — and the correct — version of the code. Event Espresso currently uses Subversion for our version control (though we plan to eventually move to Git). Most of us Mac folk started out using Versions but have since migrated to Cornerstone. For Windows, there’s TortoiseSVN and for Linux, we recommend RapidSVN (if you’re not just more comfortable using the commandline). For Git, we recommend Tower (for Mac), the GitHub Git client (for Mac/Windows) or TortoiseGit (for Windows). Alternately, if you’ve already started using Sublime, there are excellent Git and Subversion extensions for Sublime, and NetBeans also has integrated SVN support as well as a plugin for Git support.

Other tools

What other programs and apps are we using? Here are a few of our favorites:

  • P2 – we have an internal P2 blog that we use to announce and discuss issues with the entire team
  • Codebase – where all our SVN repositories are stored and for internal issue tracking
  • Asana – for support issues and other non-coding-related task- and project management
  • Google Drive and Dropbox – cloud storage
  • Codebox, Gist, Piratepad, jsfiddle (and, recently Koding) – storing and sharing code snippets
  • Alfred (Mac) – all-purpose productivity app (some of the automation features of Alfred — such as the previously-mentioned timed screenshot extension) are simply amazing and well worth the cost of the Power Pack add-on)
  • Textexpander (Mac) – keyboard shortcuts for commonly-used text (or code) blocks
  • TotalFinder (Mac) – Finder add-on/replacement that enables tabs in Finder windows

WordPress Plugins

But what about the plugins we use for WordPress, you ask? We use a combination of custom-built plugins, premium plugins and free plugins from WordPress.org. Here are the ones that are most frequently used or most essential to the site:

…as well as custom-built plugins handling the 404 pages, new bbPress topic notifications, testimonials, showcase sites, product features, and various Plugin Update Engine tweaks and add-ons. We’re also using a Google Custom Site Search for our search pages with a custom template and modified searchform so searches go to the Google search.

What are your favorite tools to use in your business or on your website? Let us know in the comments!

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Posted in Website | No Comments »

Receiving Multiple Renewal Notice Emails

We have recently had users report receiving multiple renewal notice emails from us this afternoon. We apologize for the interruption. Duplicate emails were being sent because of a recent MySQL upgrade on the server. We have worked with our host to resolve the issues and you should not receive duplicate messages any longer. If you do receive a duplicate email from us, please contact us immediately.

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Posted in News, Website | No Comments »

Introducing the New Event Espresso Website

Welcome to the new Event Espresso website. We have many exciting new features and processes that we would like to orient you to that will make it easier than ever to use Event Espresso.

  • One-click upgrades from your WordPress Plugin dashboard
  • Your Account page
  • Renewing/Upgrading your license
  • New Support Forums
  • New Documentation
  • License names have changed, additional addons are now included
  • How to renew your Event Espresso license

One-click upgrades from your WordPress Plugin dashboard

We now offer customers the added convenience of one-click or “automatic” upgrades right from their WordPress Plugin dashboard. Starting with version 3.1.24, whenever a new version of Event Espresso or an addon is released customers with a current support license will receive prompts to upgrade.

When a new version is available there are four possible prompts:

  • Update Now – means you have access to the new versions with your support license and can use the one-click updates.
  • No License Key  – means you need to enter your license key at the bottom of the General Settings page of the Event Espresso plugin installed on your website, in order for Event Espresso to determine if you have access to automatic upgrades. Login to your account if you need to locate your license/api key.
  • Invalid License Key – means  you need to re-enter your license key because the character string you have entered is not valid. Login to your account if you need to locate your license/api key.
  • Expired License Key – means you need to renew your license. Login to your account and follow the instructions given in your Account Settings.

Note: Automatic upgrades are available in Event Espresso version 3.1.24. In order for the automatic upgrades to work properly, you can not have two versions installed, regardless if it is deactivated.

Your Account page

  • Notifications – We can send all users important notification messages directly to your account so you aren’t left in the dark about important information.
  • Account Settings – this control panel will display your current license, when your license expires, your license keys which activate automatic downloads and the domain which is using the license key, and you will receive instructions for keeping your support license active.
  • Downloads – gives you easy access to downloading all your files and includes links to the documentation.
  • Private Messages – VIP members, and those who have purchased support tokens have the ability to send private messages to other forum users.
  • Subscribed Topics – gives you easy access to the topics you want to follow by receiving email updates from as the conversation happens.
  • My Topics – gives you easy acces to the support topics you’ve created.
  • Bookmarked Topics – gives you easy access to support topics you want to refer to in the future without receiving updates.
  • Recent News – Gives you access to the latest blog content from Event Espresso which will keep you up-to-date with important company information and information about the event industry.

Trouble accessing your account?

How to renew your Event Espresso license

It’s easy to renew. Within 30 days of your license expiring you will receive notification that your license will expire. You will receive a notification on your Account page as well as you will be sent an email. Sign in to your account and follow the update/renew instructions.

Remember, renewing your license before your account expires will give you the best possible price (25-50% off), but waiting to renew your license until after it expires will require that you purchase another support license at full price.

New Support Forums

The new support forums will give you access to our expert technical staff and the Event Espresso community who can all help you be successful. The new forums now have:

  • Forums for each addon to add organization
  • Tags for each topic to enable greater organization
  • Status’ (published, closed, urgen)  – which closes old or complete topics which allows us to report on open topics that need to be monitored or need to be addressed quickly.
  • Notifications – which gives everyone a quick view on the threads that need attention (or not)
  • Assignment – allows the Event Espresso staff the ability to assign a topic/thread to themselves or other staff members when they need a little extra help
  • Search – will provide better results based on timeliness
  • Quick links – are shortcuts to related topics
  • Documentation – are links to the help files
  • Business Hours – are the hours of operations when you can expect staff to be available to help with questions

All these new features are are intended to provide you faster support and access to the information you need to be successful.

New Documentation

With Event Espresso always changing, it is a big job trying to add to keep up on documentation and improve it. In the near future we will add more screencasts (videos) that will make it even easier to understand and use Event Espresso. Right now we have documentation for nearly all of the core Event Espresso functionality and addons. It is organized into the Core documentation, the Addons and then Extending Event Espresso and Use cases. If you need additional documentation, don’t hesitate to fill out the form at the bottom of the documentation pages.

License names have changed and additional addons are now included

We have renamed two of our licenses to better reflect their scope and intended use and includes new addons.

  • The Basic License is now the Personal License to better communicate that the core Event Espresso plugin will suit most independent uses.
  • The Advanced License is now the Business License to better communicate that most businesses want the more advanced features the come with the addons that are included. We have also included the Ticket and Roles & Permissions (BASIC) plugins to this license. 
  • The Developer License name remains the same but we’ve now included the Seating Chart and Roles & Permissions addon to the package. 

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Posted in Website | 1 Comment »

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