Archive for the ‘Website’ Category

GDPR, Registration Data, and Your Ticketing Website

In preparation for the new GDPR legislation, WordPress 4.9.6 and Event Espresso 4.9.62 have been released. This post will help you become familiar with the GDPR and the new tools in WordPress and Event Espresso that will help with your registration and ticketing website.

GDPR, Registration Data, and Your Ticketing Website

What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union coming into effect on the 25th of this month. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.

In (very) short. GDPR states that if a website collects, store or use any data related to a European Union citizen. You must comply with the following:

  • Tell the user: who you are, why you collect the data, for how long and who receives it.
  • Get explicit consent, before collecting any data
  • Let users access their data, and take it with them
  • Let users erase their data
  • Let users know if data breaches occur

See this helpful infographic from the European Commission.

Even if you don’t deal with users from EU, complying with GDPR is a good step in ensuring transparency in the handling of data. If you’d like to know the finer details, you may want to go through the regulation in detail. Remember, not complying can result in administrative fines up to €20 million, or in the case of an undertaking, up to 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher.

In the following post, I will cover what the GDPR means for your Event Espresso and WordPress powered site.

Registration Data and Your Website

All registration data from ticket sales captured directly from your website, via the Event Espresso plugin, are stored in a database on your website server. In addition to this functionality, in general, your WordPress website, and some plugins might capture additional data from your site visitors. Although the final responsibility lies with the site owner, WordPress itself is working on its processes to become compliant. As of February 2018, there is a proposed roadmap for adding privacy tools to the core. You can follow the GDPR tickets on Make WordPress Core.

Common Questions About GDPR

Here are a few common questions we’ve gotten about GDPR and Event Espresso:

Do I have to comply with GDPR even if I’m not in the EU?

Yes, GDPR applies to all companies that control and process EU data, no matter where your business is. That includes you if you collect the email addresses of any EU citizens. As a website owner, you may need to follow national or international privacy laws. For example, you may need to create and display a privacy policy.

Does the Event Espresso Team have access to registration data on my website?

No, the team at Event Espresso does not have access to registration data or records stored on your website. The only time someone from our team would have access to those records is if you purchase a support token and you permitted us to login to your website, at which time you would securely share a temporary set of credentials with our support staff.

Does the Event Espresso plugin share registration information with a third-party service?

No. Out of the box, the Event Espresso plugin does not share registration information with any third-party service. However, Event Espresso can be modified, by way of add-ons, extensions, or custom programming, to share information to a third-party service, such as MailChimp and Infusionsoft.

It can also be said that if you are using a payment gateway, such as Authorize.NET, PayPal, or Stripe accept paid registrations or sell tickets, then mostly, you are sharing relevant registration information with a third-party service.

GDPR Features in Event Espresso 4

Along with the new GDPR regulations comes new features in WordPress and Event Espresso 4. The latest Privacy and Maintenance release of WordPress, 4.9.6, comes with many features to help your website become GDPR compliant. Event Espresso has contributed to those new features, and makes use of them in Event Espresso 4.9.62. Below is a list of new features that are shipping with Event Espresso to support the new GDPR regulations.

Export Personal Data

WordPress 4.9.6 allows admins to generate a report of an individual’s personal information and send it to them. In Event Espresso 4, we add the individual’s registration details to the report automatically when it’s being created.

Erase Personal Data

Along with the ability to export data, WordPress 4.9.6 adds a tool that allows site admins to erase personal data stored in their WordPress site. When an admin erases an individual’s personal data, Event Espresso makes sure their registration data is also erased.

GDPR/Privacy Policy Content Tool

Per GDPR regulations, site owners need to have a Privacy Policy page. By default, WordPress doesn’t collect any data from visitors unless they post a comment. However many plugins add third-party services that collect visitor data. WordPress 4.9.6 adds a Privacy Policy guide to help you create a comprehensive “Privacy Policy” page. Event Espresso 4.9.62 adds suggested text to this guide page, to help you know what Event Espresso is doing with regards to user privacy.

Additional GDPR Features

Here’s a shortlist of minor GDPR related features we’ve added recently:

Upcoming Features

We have other features in the works we’d like to let you know about

Consent Checkbox

For GDPR compliance, users should consent to your website’s privacy policy before you store their data. To do that, in the registration form on your website, you should display a short message informing verifying they understand and consent to your privacy policy. You can currently create a custom question to do this, but we want to make things even easier by adding the checkbox and link for you.

Easier Registration Data Removal

GDPR encourages “Privacy by Design” which, in a nutshell, means don’t store any personal information you don’t need. After an event is finished, you might not need the personal information of its attendees. So we’re going to make it easier to remove an expired event and its attendees from your system.

Wrapping it Up

The new tools available in Event Espresso 4.9.62 and WordPress 4.9.6 are going to be a great asset in helping site owners comply with the GDPR and other privacy laws. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments below or reach out to us via email.

Links

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Posted in Ticketing, Website, EE4, Privacy | No Comments »

How Event Espresso Helped Easily Amused Launch a Conference Website in Just Weeks

Business of Pain – Conference

Guest post by Violette Calhoun of Easily Amused, a creative agency.

When a client asks you for a complicated site on a limited budget—and with a tight timeline— you might initially groan inside. Your first question is likely: can I find a quality solution that works within the client’s time and budget constraints?
Our team faced a similar challenge, and we were pleasantly impressed with how smoothly things went using Event Espresso for a recent conference website. Event Espresso helps create websites with ticket booking functionality—and gets the project launched quickly. Here’s a quick overview of our (highly positive) experience.

Challenge: Create a Beautiful, Reusable & Robust Site—On a Budget

A leading pain management group, National Spine & Pain Centers (NSPC), approached our team to create a digital presence for their annual conference. Every year, they host a pain management event called The Business of Pain Medicine. NSPC knew their conference would be an ongoing annual event, so they wanted a website they could launch quickly, then reuse for future conferences.
The deadline for launch was tight, and the budget was limited. So how could we deliver a solution to meet NSPC’s requirements—yet not be overkill?
Our team at Easily Amused aims to treat every client as an individual. So we carefully considered the unique needs of the NSPC project, and we planned the website to fit. This included using tools that were robust yet affordable, including Event Espresso.

How We Delivered a Strategic Solution

Theme Selection

To accomplish the design goals, there was not budget or time for a custom theme. Instead, we researched aesthetically pleasing and well-reviewed themes that would fit the client’s needs. We decided that Conference by WPLook Studio was our best bet to accomplish their goals. The theme is visually compelling and educational.
By using an off-the-shelf theme, we saved on design time. This left us more budget to focus on configuring Event Espresso perfectly—an area of higher importance. It also gave us additional time to help with another area of need: setting up social media for the conference.

Event Espresso Integration

The event management website needed to easily allow multiple groups of attendees to register for the conference. It needed to showcase medical speakers, display schedules, and provide event location info.

The site was also going to manage ticket sales, manage coupon codes for various groups, and play a role in helping the marketing team before the event. Using Event Espresso, the management team could smoothly organize ticket coupon promotions leading up to the event—without needing to continually go back to a developer for assistance.

At the day of the actual event, the Event Espresso portion of the website helped to manage check-in at the event. It also played a major role in accounting for the event—as it provides valuable reporting that helped the organizers.

Our client needed to start selling tickets in a few short weeks. And we delivered a website with the functionality they needed. A win for everyone.

The Easily Amused team created an event management website to fit the client’s budget & show off the opportunity for learning at their annual conference. Event Espresso was a tool that helped make this possible!

Future Use of Website

The Business of Pain Conference website is a tool that can be used over and over again. Next year, the client can use the same plugins and theme to manage new ticket sales. The site will function as an archive of events for past years, while serving as a valuable ongoing promotional tool.
Because we implemented everything in the easy-to-use content management system (CMS) with WordPress and Event Espresso, their staff is able to regularly make updates and manage the events on their own.
Thanks to great tools like Event Espresso, our client gets an easy-to-manage ticketing system—and this keeps them coming back to us for future projects!

In Summary

Our deadline was tight, and the budget was limited, but thanks to great tools—we delivered for our client. This led to a positive recommendation from our client, and our development team is excited to continue using Event Espresso in future projects.
Don’t take our word for it, here’s what our client had to say:

Working with [the Easily Amused team] was a great experience…They made the process so easy. The group was always receptive to my many questions and willing to hop on a conference call to sort through any confusion I had. They simplified the process for me, gave accurate clear timelines, and met deadlines with ease. Highly recommend them for any project.” – National Spine & Pain Centers

Want to learn more about how we launched this project? Check out our Easily Amused blog.

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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

take-a-testdrive-575x200

 

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.

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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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