tl;dr version: This version includes Webhooks (allowing integrations with services like Zapier), Template Switching, and the option to add a visits count limit on plans. It also includes support for WP Engine and Cloudways, custom trial periods for different plans, and a slick new way of jumping between pages for network admins.
I’m proud to announce that WP Ultimo 1.6.0 is out and it packs a lot of cool features. Without further ado, let’s dive into what’s new:
Running a business can get really complicated these days, with tons of data to keep in sync between a number of different tools, which can include accounting, marketing, and automation, etc.
Instead of developing dozens of different add-ons to integrate WP Ultimo with different services, I decided to go down the path that gives us most flexibility, and that allows network admins to take the most out of the services available on the web: enter Webhooks.
Webhooks are triggered every time an important event happens on the network. They take the data generated by that event (like the username, plan selected, user email, and more, in the case of an account creation event, for example) and send it as a request to a configurable URL.
The true power of webhooks emerges when they are used in conjunction with Integration services like Zapier and IFTTT. Those services take the webhook data and allow you to hook that data to other services.
That means that you can add that user email address to a MailChimp list, or receive an SMS every time a payment fails on the network. The possibilities are endless.
For those that are not familiar with webhooks or Zapier, I wrote a handy tutorial explaining how to integrate WP Ultimo’s Webhooks with Zapier to create a simple integration that posts a notification on a Slack channel every time a new user signs up on your network.
WP Ultimo now has 8 different events that can trigger a webhook call (and we’ll continue to expand that list in the future): Account Created, Account Deleted, Payment Received, Successful Payment, Failed Payment, Refund Issued, Plan Changes, and New Domain Mapping.
WP Engine and Cloudways Domain Mapping Integration
WP Ultimo now is capable of automatically syncing the domains mapped inside the network with the domain settings of the WP Engine and Cloudways. This is means that network admins no longer need to manually update domain settings on those platforms in order to get the mappings to really work.
- WP Engine users: You are all set. No extra action is required and domains will be synced every time a new domain is added or removed after you upgrade to 1.6.0.
- Cloudways users: In order to get automatic syncing to work, there’s some extra configuring that needs to be done. Follow this tutorial and you’ll be set in under 5 minutes.
Introducing: The WP Ultimo Jumper!
Managing a network can be quite tedious sometimes as a lot of time is spent navigating between the pages of the network admin panel, your hosting provider dashboard panel and all of that. The Jumper aims to minimize that wasted time by providing an easier way to navigate between those pages. It is just a simple navigation UI similar to Spotlight on MacOS, for those familiar with it. It can be launched by using the ctr + alt +g shortcut (cmd + option + g on Mac).
I also prepared a handy tutorial on our knowledge base explaining how to customize your Jumper to improve your workflow.
Although potential clients can select template sites to build their own during sign-up, they had no way of switching to another template option if they later discovered their original choice was not the best one for them. Version 1.6.0 allows users to switch templates after sign-up!
Monthly Visits Limit on Plans
Admins can now set a monthly limit for site visits. Every page view counts as one visit (site owner and super admin visits don’t get computed). The site front-end gets locked up if the limit is reached. The limit is reset on a monthly basis.
Custom trial periods per Plan
Network admins can now set a custom number of trial days for each of the plans on the platform separately on the Plan edit page.
- The Broadcasts page was completely reorganized to provide a better experience when writing emails and alert messages to your users, including a preview box so you can see exactly how your users will view your message on their dashboard.
- A lot of unused scripts were removed and other were grouped to be loaded only when strictly needed; A considerable number of scripts were being loaded from their full version and not the minified ones. That was also fixed. I saw up to 15% performance improvement on overall load times while testing this release.
- Max (@max42, on our community forum) did a very throughot review of our activation functions (mostly involving database creation) and found some database errors being thrown there. Those errors are harmless, but in order to avoid “dirtying” the logs of our user’s networks, I revised the activation process and those errors are no longer being thrown.
- The new template previewer screen, introduced on 1.5.5, was behaving strangely in some particular situations. That was fixed;
- In some networks, clients were not being auto-logged in after sign-up. I took some steps to prevent this from happening – and it does seem to have solved the issue, at least in my test environments.
Tutorials mentioned in the Post
- Integrating WP Ultimo with Zapier using Webhooks
- Configuring automatic domain syncing with Cloudways
- How to use the WP Ultimo Jumper to be more efficient
Version 1.6.0 - 21/04/2018 - Fixed: "Select Template" showing up in the site template previewer when in shortcode context; - Fixed: Template Previewer is handling SSL for subdomains in the right way now; - Fixed: Template Previewer taking into account the plan selected previously, to display only the templates available for that selected plan; - Fixed: "www." appearing on the site-url previewer; - Fixed: Incompatibility with WP All Import WooCommerce Add-on; - Fixed: Small portion of the bottom of the site preview being cut off on the Previewer screen; - Fixed: Users with Subscriptions created with no sites can now create sites from the panel without getting a "no permissions" error; - Fixed: Missing variable on domain mapping causing redirect errors in edge cases; - Fixed: Auto-login after registration not working in some environments; - Fixed: Invoice generator not being able to handle filenames with special characters and throwing errors; - Improved: Re-phrased the Sunrise.php check step on the Setup Wizard to make clear that users must add the define('SUNRISE', true); line above the /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */; - Improved: Added extra check on subscriptions to make sure free subscriptions are not getting expiring & expired notification emails; - Improved: Reorganized the broadcasts screen to add a preview block and to clean up the send form; - Improved: Added a login link on the "Site is not available" screen for admins to log in when "Block Front-end Access" is enabled; - Improved: Replaced the old "No Preview" image with something less intrusive; - Improved: Re-adjust the aspect ratio (320x179) of the template preview blocks to match the new resolution returned by the screenshot scraper; - Improved: Adopted a more aggressive minification strategy for WP Ultimo scripts, boosting performance and reducing file sizes up to 50%; - Improved: Making sure dbDelta does not dirty the logs with database errors on activation; - Improved: Added a filter to allow developers to add custom meta to sites after site creation on the signup; - Added: Option to prevent search engines from indexing template sites; - Added: New feature allowing users to switch templates after sign-up; - Added: New feature allowing admins to add a visit limit for plans; - Added: New feature allowing admins to overwrite the trial settings on the plan edit page; - Added: Different listing option on the Network Admin -> Sites page to list only Template sites; - Added: Webhooks! Support for 8 events (Account Created, Account Deleted, Payment Received, Successful Payment, Failed Payment, Refund Issued, Plan Changes, New Domain Mapping), more will be added as we go; - Added: WP Engine support! Domains get automagically added to the WP Engine panel after mapping; - Added: Cloudways support! Domains get automagically added to the Cloudways panel after mapping; - Added: Jumper UI that allows admin to easily switch between admin pages;
Let me know your thought on our new release in the comments below!