Release Notes – WP Ultimo 1.10.4

Hello, everyone!

WP Ultimo 1.10.4 is here and we have a couple of important things to share with you.

Stripe SCA Update

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) came into force on September 14, 2019.

The rule is a requirement of the European Union Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) and establishes that electronic payments need to be performed with multi-factor authentication, to increase their security.

After SCA, payment flows that don’t meet these requirements may be refused by customers’ banks.

In order to prevent such headache, WP Ultimo 1.10.4 brings the new Stripe checkout, which is already compatible with this directive. You can check Stripe SCA video and more by clicking here.

New Checkout is hosted on Stripe

Runcloud.io v.2 API Support

WP Ultimo was using the old Runcloud API, and the 2.0 release of their API broke our domain mapping integration. WP Ultimo 1.10.4 updates our code to make use of their new API.

There is no need to make any local changes or settings adjustments. The  Runcloud.io Configuration tutorial is still the same, only the code implementation differs.

And as a bonus, Runcloud is now on our list of host integrations with auto-SSL support – since the new API offers it – alongside with Closte, WPMU DEV, and CPanel. WP Ultimo will automatically redeploy your SSL certificate on RunCloud, which allows the newly added domains to be included on the new certificate.

You can check our Changelog to see everything that comes with WP Ultimo version 1.10.4.

Other things you should know about

Our Admin Themes are not on CodeCanyon anymore

We finally transitioned our admin themes to a recurring revenue model as well, removing them from CodeCanyon. We wrote a post explaining the reasons why

To celebrate the move, we are offering 30% OFF on the Lifetime option for both of them until September 30: Just use the coupon code NEWHOME during checkout. Visit  Material WP  and  PRO Theme websites, where the Admin Themes are now sold.

Note: The themes are available as add-ons for WP Ultimo on the Lifetime and Pro plans, but that version does not support stand-alone use (being used without WP Ultimo). These are the stand-alone versions =)

We are happy to be part of The Grand Ecommerce Giveaway 2019, by Cloudways

This year, WP Ultimo and WP Admin Pages PRO – another one of the plugins developed by NextPress – are part of this awesome contest promoted by Cloudways.

On this edition, the giveaway is worth more than $175,000 and you can win this by participating in the contest! Just click here to learn more about this initiative and here to start your journey to win!

WP Ultimo 2.0 Beta Release

As an update about WP Ultimo 2.0, we’re finally getting there. A feature-freeze beta version will be available for testing on September 30. Keep an eye on the announcement card on the Trello Roadmap for more info and updates.

We hope you enjoy all the news as much as we do!

Kind Regards.

Updates on 2.0

Hey guys.

So, I feel really bad and the past few weeks that should have been great (since things have been great for business in general) were kind of a train-wreck, both mentally and in terms of work.

My original expectation is that the increased support/pre-sale questions load would return to normal as time went by, but the load has been growing and growing (despite some apparent dips). Not sure if Google has understood that we are the only option available now, but even with the reduced amount of direct WPMU DEV refers, our organic reach increased by a lot.

This is great for business because we are selling more licenses, Annual Recurring Revenue is growing and we are solidifying the company as a whole. However, the effects on my state of mind have not been so great, and a huge part of it is that I have this constant feeling of frustration and of “letting you guys down” on 2.0 progress.

I had to spend most of the past weeks either working long hours on the Migrator or working long hours helping Ruel on support. Even Marcelo (our other dev) and Juliana (which should mostly be writing documentation stuff) are now spending most of the time helping with support as well.

The past few weeks taught me a lot though, and I would like to share that with you all:

  1. I’m the bottleneck of the company. I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that I was a ‘solopreneur’ for so long, but I’m really bad at delegating and at creating processes that allow things to move without my direct oversight/interference. Basic things like refunding a license on the 30-day money back guarantee period have to go through me at the moment. One of my main goals is to make the entire operation “me-independent” as soon as possible.
  2. This is kind of a consequence of the first point, but I’m hugely underutilizing Ruel, our support manager. He will be taking a more active place in managing the forums, Trello, refunds, and other stuff a support manager should be doing.
  3. The increase in revenue gives me the leeway to confidently grow the team: we’ll be soon adding another support agent, another full-time developer and an intern will be joining us soon as well, bringing our total headcount to 7 people.
  4. Working on the Migrator made us realize what Pro Sites did right, especially in terms of performance and database modeling for multi-currency support and other features like that. I still think that a lot of the decisions we made on WP Ultimo are the right ones, but having to read almost every line of code of Pro Sites gave us great insight that we can now use to improve WP Ultimo even more.
  5. Choosing to work on a monolithic 2.0 release with all those new features was probably a bad decision given the position we were in and now it is probably too late to fix it. We will resume intermediate releases (1.9.X) with smaller, but important stuff, while we continue to work on the bigger stuff for 2.0. Some of the things that are ready to ship but are inside 2.0 might be released earlier in a 1.9.X release (examples include support to Cloudways SSL support, mass coupon generation, etc).

I’ll have to give you an update on a timeline later this month, but it is possible we won’t have an Ultimo 2.0 release until the end of July. We don’t want to push out something that is rushed or buggy. There are networks with 5-7k sites running our software and we can’t afford to do that.

I feel like I ask this every other week now, but I hope you guys understand.

Kind regards,

Arindo Duque,
Founder of NextPress

The Pro Sites – WP Ultimo Migrator is here!

Hey there!

As many of you might know by now, WPMU DEV gave us a shout out while announcing they were setting over 90% of their Premium plugins free .

Pro Sites was one of those plugins, and as soon as we heard the news we started to work on a solution that could help those who wanted to move their networks from Pro Sites to WP Ultimo, a migrator of sorts.

After two weeks of hard labor, here it is! The Pro Sites → WP Ultimo Migrator has arrived.

We know: switching a premium network from one platform to another might sound scary.

Our Migrator should be able to do 99% of the heavy-lifting for you in a completely automated way: Settings, API Keys, Coupons, Plans, Subscriptions, Transactions, Mappings. All that gets converted into data WP Ultimo can understand and you are pretty much ready to rock your WP Ultimo network after a couple of minutes.

The entire migration takes the form wizard that guides you through the process and you can check the tutorial we wrote about it here .

The Migrator is available as a free add-on and can be installed directly from the network admin panel on WP Ultimo → Add-ons.

The migrator also requires WP Ultimo version 1.9.11 to be installed, which in addition to fixing some small bugs, also adds support to domain mapping syncing to WPMU DEV’s new managed hosting with no extra configuration steps required on your part.

If you are interested in seeing the Migrator in action, we’ll be doing a live webinar on the WP Builds Facebook group this Thursday (June 6). Here’s the link to the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1871222949646541/. You’ll have to join the group to participate, which you should have done by now anyways! They are a great community.

UPDATE: You can watch the complete webinar by clicking on this link!

Important Notice:

Despite having a lot of features in common, Pro Sites and WP Ultimo do have some differences. This inevitably means that, by migrating, you will lose some features, gain others, and have to learn how to manage your network the WP Ultimo way.

So, please, make sure you read this post to understand all these details.

Let us know if you have any questions!

We are here to help you on that journey!

Hey there, Pro Sites user!

tl;dr version: WP Ultimo aims to achieve the same goal as Pro Sites – allow you to create a network of premium sites – and can serve as a replacement. However, it does things a bit differently from what you might be used to, so it’s important to check that out and this post might help you. Also, we are working on a migration tool and there’s a form below where you can signup to be notified when it’s out.

Introduction

Hey there,
My name is Arindo and I’m the creator of WP Ultimo.

If you clicked the link at the top of our main page, it probably means that you ended up in our site because of the recent announcement WPMUDEV made about setting 90% of their plugins free, including Pro Sites.

We are getting a lot of questions from Pro Sites users and I think it is a good idea to have a centralized place (this post) with the answers.

Let’s get started:

First of all, what is WP Ultimo?

WP Ultimo is a WordPress multisite plugin that allows you to create a network of Premium Sites. Its value proposition is the same as Pro Sites: you can create different subscription tiers and have customers pay you a recurring fee to have a site hosted in your Multisite network.

In fact, WP Ultimo was created after I needed a solution for a premium network I was building and found that Pro Sites didn’t quite work for the specific requirements of my project. Instead of trying to adapt Pro Sites, I decided to build my own solution from scratch.

This was 2.5 years ago and that codebase is now WP Ultimo.

How do WP Ultimo and Pro Sites compare?

There is quite the feature overlap between Pro Sites and WP Ultimo, despite the difference in approach.

The folks at WPMUDEV kept Pro Sites fairly slim, delegating additional features to separate plugins. Although this made sense for them at the time, it increases the overhead immensely since maintaning a lot of tiny plugins can be very, very time-consuming.

We are a small team of four people, so we have opted to reduce overhead as much as possible. As a result, many of the features that needed additional plugins to be installed are available inside WP Ultimo’s core plugin. We delegate to add-ons just the features that only a minor share of our user base will ever need.

Quick Feature comparison (with links for documentation, when available):

  • Blog Templates: Available in WP Ultimo core with a different name, Site Templates – documentation
  • Domain Mapping: Available in WP Ultimo core – documentation
  • Coupons – Available in WP Ultimo core.
  • Setup Fees – Available in WP Ultimo core, you can also set up different setup fees for each plan.
  • Subscription Management – Available in WP Ultimo core – documentation
  • Payment Gateways: WP Ultimo supports PayPal, Stripe and Manual by default, with an add-on to add WooCommerce and WooCommerce Subscriptions as a payment method as well (which basically makes all the WooCommerce gateways available for WP Ultimo use). – documentation.
  • Add Ads to free plans: Available on WP Ultimo via a free add-on called WP Ultimo: Ad Injector – documentation.
  • White-labeling Plugins and Themes: Available on WP Ultimo via our premium add-on called WP Ultimo: Plugin and Theme Manager – documentation.

In which aspects do WP Ultimo and Pro Sites differ?

As I said in a previous topic, WP Ultimo was born out of a specific set of requirements I had for a project of mine. As a result, I made some decisions that make WP Ultimo and Pro Sites extremely different in some points and this might be a deal-breaker for you.

Signing up

Pro Sites keeps most of its signing-up/upgrading/paying stuff on the front-end. This was something I wanted to avoid as much as possible since my customers would have access to the wp-admin panel and I wanted my registration pages to be independent of the theme I was using on the main site.

As a result, WP Ultimo registration page is located outside the front-end, but not really on the back-end. Our sign-up process is also divided into separate steps. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like, and you can check it live on our demo network.

WP Ultimo using the default Pricing Table layout

Customer Account Management

Our customer account management screens are not located on the front-end, but rather on the back-end. We add a new admin page called Account where the customer can see its Billing History, update credit card info, etc.

Contact Point of a Subscription

Pro Sites attaches the subscription to a site, rather than to the user. This means that each pro site = one subscription, even if they belong to the same user.

WP Ultimo does things differently, attaching the subscription to the user instead.

This means that a user can’t have more than one subscription at the moment (this is something we are planning to add on our 2.X releases). That being said, you can allow multiple sites to be created under a single subscription, varying the number of allowed sites in each plan. Something like the following:

  • Plan A: Free – Allows for 1 site to be created;
  • Plan B: $9,99 – Allows for 3 sites to be created;
  • and so on up to unlimited sites.

Are there things WP Ultimo can do that Pro Sites wasn’t able to do?

In the past two and a half years we added a bunch of cool features to WP Ultimo that makes it really unique. Some of these include:

  • Domain Mapping integration with Managed WordPress hosting providers: WP Ultimo automatically adds mapped domains to the admin panels of WP Engine, Cloudways, cPanel, RunCloud, Closte and more when a new domain is mapped, so you don’t have to do it manually. In some cases, we’ll even trigger SSL certificate fetching for you – documentation.
  • Webhooks: WP Ultimo has a powerful Webhook system that allows you to integrate your network with a number of different services. We even offer direct integration with Zapier, which opens your network to some 1000+ apps and services available in their platform. documentation (webhooks) and documentation (integrating with Zapier).
  • The ability to allow your customers to register custom domains on signup – documentation – Only available via OpenSRS now, but we’ll be adding more resellers in the future.
  • Support for WooCommerce and WooCommerce Subscriptions as payment gateway options – documentation.
  • Create powerful Admin Pages to help your customers using your favorite page builder: WP Ultimo has a handy add-on called Admin Pages Creator, which basically allows you to add fully customized Admin Pages to your customers’ dashboard using Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Brizy templates – documentation.
  • Two different Admin Themes to customize the dashboard experience of your customers: Check Material WP and PRO.

More advanced Stuff:

  • Support to Template Overrides: With WP Ultimo, you can replace the default HTML templates for the signup flow with your own versions without needing to worry about changing core plugin files – documentation.
  • Search and Replace API: You can also annotate site templates with placeholders like {{site_name}} and use the Search and Replace API to auto-populate those placeholders with information provided by your customer right after sign-up, automatically – documentation.

Do you have plans to build a Migrator?

Yes, we are already working on it and WPMUDev offered to help us in this endeavor. Be sure to leave your email on the form below and we’ll let you know as soon as we finish it =)

UPDATE: Our Migrator is ready! Click here to read more about it!

Additional Resources

Here are some links that might help you get your head around WP Ultimo and make an informed decision about wether our not WP Ultimo is the right tool for your project.

If you still have questions and want to chat with us directly, click here and say hi!

Comments are also open, so feel free to leave your question down below, if you prefer.

We’re here to help =)

Release Notes – WP Ultimo 1.9.8 and Add-ons

Hello everyone.

WP Ultimo version 1.9.8 is out and, despite not bringing major improvements or new features, it addresses some small issues that were bugging users and super admins alike.

These include:

  • Bug in the responsiveness of the template selection step on signup;
  • 502 errors on some hosting providers when the Auto Login after Registration option was active;
  • Password reset on the sub-sites (redirecting back to the main site is no longer needed).

WP Ultimo 2.0 Beta

We know how much you guys are looking forward to WP Ultimo 2.0. And so are we, here at NextPress HQ.

Unfortunately (and for that we are really, really sorry =/), we had to postpone this launching – which would happen on Monday, 25th – to this Sunday, March 3rd.

We found a small issue while testing some of the new code that might mean we’ll have to make adjustments to the database structure, and we need some time to figure out the best way to make it as future-proof as possible.

Most of the features we promised for 2.0 are ready, though, including the new checkout screen, tax support, and add-on sales (we have some screenshots for you down below). You can keep yourself up-to-date with the development by visiting our public Roadmap.

New Checkout UI
2.0 adds taxes support (with VAT as an add-on for EU)

Add-ons

Today we are also releasing new major and minor versions of some of WP Ultimo’s Add-ons.

Admin Page Creator 1.4.0

This is the biggest release for Admin Page Creator since the addition of Page Builder support on version 1.3.0.

It adds some cool new features, such as External Link support, inline editing for page builders, meta data interpolation, and more.

Stand-alone Version

Since the day we came up with the idea for Admin Page Creator we knew it had potential to become a plugin on its own.

The fact the we were constantly asked by users if they would be able to use it on a single site install, or without WP Ultimo, made us realize we were probably right on our original assumption.

That’s why we’ve just released a stand-alone version of this add-on: a separated plugin that goes by the name of WP Admin Pages PRO

Now, it also has its own Documentation page and its own Roadmap, where you can follow its development progress and suggest new features. Some of the things we plan to add include support to Admin Pages built on Gutenberg and DIVI!

It’s important to highlight that if you are a WP Ultimo user there’s no need to worry. All the features in the plugin and in the add-on are the same, and the add-on will receive the same updates as the plugin.

The only difference lies here: WP Ultimo: Admin Page Creator (the add-on) depends on WP Ultimo’s code, and will only work in Multisite environments with WP Ultimo installed and activated. On the other hand, WP Admin Pages PRO (the stand-alone plugin) works on either single or multisite installs, and you don’t need to have WP Ultimo running to use it!

If you think you have a use case for a stand-alone version of Admin Page Creator, we are offering 50% off for WP Ultimo users! Just use WPULTIMO during checkout on WP Admin Pages PRO.

New Free Add-on: WP Ultimo Language Selector

We are happy to present you WP Ultimo Language Selector!

With our new free add-on, users will be able to switch languages on the sign-up flow and on the login page.

We also prepared a small guide covering the basics of how to set it up and how it works.

Language Selector Add-on
Language Selector Add-on

WP Ultimo: WooCommerce Integration – 1.2.2

  • Setup Fee support added to the WooCommerce Subscription integration/
  • Minor bugfixes.

WP Ultimo: Plugin and Theme Manager – 1.2.2

  • Minor bugfixes.

Pro Theme – 1.0.1

  • Fixes in small compatibility issues with Gutenberg.

Feature Plugin: WP Ultimo Blocks

Since version 5.0, WordPress has a new editor experience: Gutenberg (now simply called the Block Editor). It completely replaces the old post edit screen and adds a new block-based interface. I’m sure you all have seen it, but just in case you were living under a rock over the past few months, here’s what it looks like:

The new Block Editor
The new Block Editor

Introducing WP Ultimo Blocks

Gutenberg is a really exciting tool and despite the controversies surrounding its development (a whole different discussion), it opens a lot of cool opportunities and we are eager to experiment on those.

WP Ultimo Blocks is a new Feature Plugin that basically ports our shortcodes to blocks, which you can then use on Gutenberg pages.

Our Blocks

Pricing Table

You can add pricing tables on your Gutenberg pages, selecting which plans you want to display and which colors to use.

Pricing Table

Template List

In a similar manner, you can add a Template List block, displaying your available templates. You can select the number of columns, if you want to display the title and filter bar, and, most importantly, which templates you want to appear.

Template List Block
Template List Block

Restrict Content

Now you also have a slick interface to manage restrict content in your main site, check out the demo below!

Restrict Content
Restrict Content

Notes

This is still pretty experimental, that’s why it is being released as a Feature Plugin. We would love to hear what you think, though! Let us know if you have any ideas about what blocks we can build next!

— Arindo Duque

2019: The Year of Website as a Service (WaaS) – and of WP Ultimo!

The new year has barely started and there’s already a bunch of new stuff going on here in the WP Ultimo HQ! And we are happy to announce a couple of them today!

Meet Juliana and Marcelo!

Some of you might have noticed some new faces on the chat bubble on our main site. That would be me, Juliana, and Marcelo. Two months ago we arrived at NextPress, and since then we’re getting to know everything around here. The goal is to provide even better support and deliver new features and fixes faster and better (1).

(1) and to ease the burden on my back a bit, haha
— Arindo

Marcelo Assis is an experienced WordPress professional that joined our team as a full-time developer, helping with maintaining the add-ons and on pushing WP Ultimo core forward as well. Are you aware that the last Admin Page Creator release (1.3.0) added Brizy and Elementor support in addition to Beaver Builder? Well, that’s Marcelo’s work right there!

Need something? Glad to help you! I’m Juliana Dias, WP Ultimo’s new Community Manager. I’m here to aid community members and to help with questions you may have before and after starting your own network. Also, you can talk to me in English, Spanish and Portuguese =)

A new year, a new way to work:

This year will be awesome, with a lot of changes to come! And all of these changes will be guided by you guys: the WP Ultimo Community.

Speak your mind on the Roadmap!

From now on, WP Ultimo is developed on 6-week-long cycles (we’ve copied this idea from the folks at Basecamp). Once the features that make up a cycle are decided (and we’ll decide them together), we don’t add anything else until that cycle is finished. If we think the features are too large to fit on the 6 weeks after we started to work on them, we will cut some details out until we reach a version that ships in 6 weeks.

The goal here is to have some sort of “contract” with the community and provide better estimates of when things will ship. Arindo does not have a great track record when it comes to giving estimates and he’s aware of it (I know how frustrating this can be, sorry guys – Arindo). This aims to make this less of a problem.

Cycle 1 has already begun and things are right on schedule. Features that will be developed during this first cycle are divided among its 6 weeks, and you can follow everything on our recently updated Roadmap.

After each cycle, we’ll have a cool down period of 1-2 weeks. Here we won’t focus as much on new features, but on making sure the things we added on the previous cycle are working as smoothly as possible, writing documentation, and, most importantly, talking with you to decide what should make into the next cycle.

Developers, developers, developers!

Steve Ballmer has said it all!

In this first quarter of the year, we are also focused on writing better documentation for developers and producing video-tutorials so we can see more and more add-ons developed by third-party shops, which we are already starting to see (check out WaaS PRO and Keypress).

We also aim to improve the Getting Started documentation with video-tutorials covering the basic functionality for people that are just starting out with their Website as a Service platforms.

Group Chats

As Arindo promised last time, we are planning to hold Community Conversations, starting next month. This will be a group chat where we’ll discuss WP Ultimo, people will be able to share what they are doing with the plugin and we will eventually demo features that are under construction. This will be fun! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive the invitation (don’t worry, if you are a license holder, you are already subscribed =]).

We hope to have you join us in the incredible ride 2019 is going to be!

— Juliana Dias

PS.: If you were having issues with a slow admin panel, we released an update (1.9.6) a few hours ago that addresses it. To learn how to enable updates for WP Ultimo, read this.

WP Ultimo 1.9.0 is out! Domain Reseller integration with OpenSRS, new pricing structure, and development roadmap strategy for 2.0 features

Hello, everyone.

This post is going to be HUUUGE, so I apologize in advance.

It announces a couple of very important things. The Table of Contents below is your friend. Use it to navigate this huge mess! This post talks about:

  1. I’m releasing a new version of WP Ultimo: 1.9.0 (and new patch releases of some add-ons to make them compatible with 1.9.0);
  2. I’m also releasing one of the most requested features of 2.0, a domain reseller integration with OpenSRS (with a framework in place to implement other providers in the future);
  3. I’m going to take a different approach to 2.0 feature developments and I need your help;
  4. WP Ultimo prices will change and we’ll switch to a subscription model for new purchases, starting in December.

WP Ultimo version 1.9.0

In this release, I replaced a huge chunk of old legacy code that was holding us back. I completely rewrote the admin page framework to be based entirely on WordPress dashboard widgets (which will make it so much easier for developers to add things to our admin pages). This should also have a positive impact on the performance of WP Ultimo admin pages.

Your experience should remain unchanged on the admin panels though, as the changes were designed to look and feel exactly like they worked before and to be backwards compatible (if you have developed custom code for the admin pages, they should continue to work normally).

The goal with this release is to make sure we didn’t break anything while implementing those changes.

New Features of 1.9.0

“Contact Us” as a price option for Plans

You can now add a “Contact Us” message and a link to the pricing tables for a given plan instead of having a definite price.

Plan Duplication

You can now duplicate plans with just one click, directly from the Plans list table.

New Plan signup URL format

Up until this point, the Shareable URL for plans followed an ugly admin-ajax format. Although we still support that to make it backwards compatible, the shareable URLs for plans now have a more elegant look: yournetwork.com/yourregisterpageslug/frequency/planslug e.g. mynetwork.com/register/1/pro. You can edit the plan slug on the Plan edit screen.

In order to work, this feature requires that you have pretty permalink activated and a custom slug set for the registration page on WP Ultimo Settings Network Settings.

Option to link to an external Terms page

If you prefer to host your term pages elsewhere (for example, on the main site suing a normal page to keep the look and feel of your brand), that’s now possible on the Network Settings options page.

Bug Fixes

This version addresses a number of annoying issues some users were having, including the need to re-select templates on the plan edit page, errors on the template previewer, a fix for the WooCommerce setup redirect taking precedence over the WP Ultimo payment screen and a number of other things. The complete changelog can be found here.

Some users were reporting problems with the updater and the add-on installer. This was also fixed.

WP Ultimo version 1.9.0 also includes other new “features” that are tied together to our new development strategy for 2.0. We’ll talk about them below

What about 2.0?

My original plan for 2.0 was quite simple: I would simply add the features I had in mind all at once, release consecutive alpha and beta versions to validate them, while continuing to provide support to 1.8.0 with patch releases on a different code branch.

While this looked good on paper to me, it became unsustainable in a matter of weeks. Fixes for 1.8.0 were touching parts of the code I was rewriting for 2.0 and mergeability suffered greatly.

To make things even more complicated, engagement on the Beta Program has not reached the levels I (naively) anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming you guys. You have already a lot on your plate making sure your networks are running smoothly and that your clients are happy.

It was clear to me that this approach was going to lead nowhere. I had to take some time to rethink the plan and I think I came up with a better solution: Feature Plugins.

Don’t worry, I was able to extract off a good portion of the features I had already implemented to 2.0 and you’ll start to see them roll out soon (starting today! keep reading for more =P).

How do Feature Plugins work?

The idea is simple, and it’s not new. The WordPress core development team has been using it for ages now (which just makes me feel stupid from not using this from day one – specially since we had the add-ons infrastructure already in place).

How do feature plugins work, then? You basically develop a desired feature as an external plugin and only after it is tested and it works with the core product you bring the code inside.

This is what is being done right now with Gutenberg and it is one of the reasons why development on it is taking place in such a rapid pace. Another example that not a lot of people know about is the flat look of the admin panel, introduced in WP version 3.7, which was once a hidden plugin in the repository called MP6.

This approach offers several advantages:

  • For me:
    • It makes sure WP Ultimo is as extensible as possible, since we need to be able to modify pretty much every core behavior from an external plugin. This is something crucial if we are to have a strong third-party extensions ecosystem in the future (it is already starting to happen and building this ecosystem is going to be a main priority in the coming months);
    • I can bring on developers to the team without requiring them get familiar with the entirety of the WP Ultimo codebase before contributing meaningful code;
  • For you:
    • One of the problems with a huge, all-new-code 2.0 release was the fear of completely breaking users’ networks. This was something that was getting into my head, adding an immense amount of pressure on me. Later, I realized that this is something that was making a lot of you nervous as well. You battled days and nights to get your network to work just right and although it might be good to have that one new feature, if that meant that your whole project could go to space, installing 2.0 was going to be a huge source of stress and maybe some of you wouldn’t even do it. Feature Plugins remove (or at least greatly diminish) this fear.

This also gives me time to think if a given feature is something fit to be in Core.

The domain selling feature, for example. It seemed to be a good idea to have a feature like that on the Core plugin, but after implementing it and realizing how huge that is on its own (and how it will continue to grow when we add support to other providers), I realized that it might be a better idea to have it as an add-on. This is up for discussion, though. Be sure to leave your opinions in the comments below. Ahh, it wouldn’t be a paid add-on because there is no such thing as a paid add-on anymore. Read the pricing change section for more info on that.

The new plan: walking our way up to 2.0

Once you install the 1.9.0 update, in addition to the Add-ons panel WP Ultimo always had, you’ll see a new menu item called Feature Plugins. On that panel, you’ll be able to see a list of all the available Feature Plugins (just one for now). You can install them directly from that page. Once activated, your install will have the feature in question enabled.

I’ll use this mechanism to release most of the new features posted on the roadmap. Of course, some of those will require additions to WP Ultimo code itself. We’ll release those additions as 1.9.X versions.

Feature plugins that get mature enough will be brought into Core if it is where they belong (will be converted to add-ons otherwise). Eventually, in a gradual and subtle manner, all the major pieces will be in place and we’ll reach 2.0.

With all that said, I need your help in two ways:

Enable automatic error reporting

A better error reporting system

While the Beta Program, the forums, and the Intercom chat are all good to have, they are an active feedback system. It means that you need to go out of your way to install the beta software or to write a bug report and send it to me. That all takes time, a lot of time, and if the issue at hand can be “resolved” by simply turning WP_DEBUG and error_display off, I won’t ever get to know it even existed in the first place.

To address this and make sure we don’t add a single error line to your log files we are introducing a new passive way to report bugs. All it does is send to me any WP Ultimo error that happens on your network. It does not send over any sensitive data, or your API keys, or anything like that. Just your network URL, the WP Ultimo version you are running and some environmental variables (PHP version, MySQL version etc).

This is what we see on our end when you encounter an error

This is an opt-in program. You can turn it on at WP Ultimo Settings General.

It doesn’t add any overhead to your network install.

Help me prioritize!

Our current roadmap does not do a great job of letting me know what you guys really need on your networks. I’m looking for a way of gathering meaningful data on what to prioritize and you’ll probably receive a poll in the next weeks asking a few questions about WP Ultimo features and your networks.

It would be awesome if you could participate on that =)

Allow your clients to register domains right from the signup flow

Our first Feature Plugin: Domain Selling directly on the signup flow!

One of the features I was able to extract from the 2.0 codebase was the domain selling integration with OpenSRS. It was built with expandability in mind. This means that the framework to add new providers in the future (like Namecheap and others) is already in place.

This feature plugin implements a pretty straight-forward flow:

  1. You select which plans support domain registrations;
  2. WP Ultimo adds a new step on the signup flow, called “Custom Domain”;
  3. Your users search for an available domain that they like and select it;
  4. Then, you have two choices:
    1. Allow the registration to happen right after the signup is done, which means that as soon as the account gets created WP Ultimo will send the purchase request to OpenSRS (aka, money will be deducted from your balance over there right away), OR…
    2. You can configure WP Ultimo to only place the domain purchase order when you receive the first payment confirmation from the user, which is advisable.
  5. WP Ultimo will then add the mapping as an inactive mapping on the users’ site and start to periodically check for DNS propagation;
  6. Once WP Ultimo detects that the domain is pointing to the right IP address (your network’s), the mapping will be activated and the user site will be accessible via the mapped domain.

Since this uses the regular WP Ultimo domain mapping functionality, all the integrations already supported by WP Ultimo will support domains purchased during the signup flow as well. This means that if you are on a hosting provider that supports autoSSL, like Closte.com, for example, the entire domain registration and SSL certificate fetching flow is now covered by WP Ultimo.

The plugin only supports domain registration during the signup flow for now. There’s no UI for the user to purchase a domain from inside the WordPress dashboard. This also means that users that upgrade from a plan that does not support domain registration will not be able to register a domain after the upgrade. This is something I’ll address in the next releases.

As mentioned before, this Feature Plugin will be available to install on the Feature Plugins admin page as soon as you update to 1.9.0.

I also wrote a tutorial teaching how to configure OpenSRS in order for the plugin to work. You can read it here.

New Prices

WP Ultimo will be 2 years old this Nov 21. Time truly flies…

I coded the last lines of what was going to be version 0.0.1 on a library in Minnesota (where I was doing a semester abroad through one of my university’s exchange programs). I was so sure no one would trust some random guy from Brazil with their money that I placed a pretty low price tag on it and I made it a one time fee as some sort of competitive advantage.

The price I had back them is the exact same price we have today. We’re still rocking that one time fee. However, WP Ultimo is no longer the same product it was back then. Not by a long shot.

WP Ultimo now powers a considerable amount of businesses in more than 20 different countries. There are people quitting their jobs to focus full-time on their networks running WP Ultimo. There are fuc#!&ng multinationals with 9-digit annual revenue creating products on top of WP Ultimo. This is not something I could have ever imagined.

While this is incredibly awesome and professionally affirming, it does mean that there’s a lot more pressure over my work now. Taking a network down with a bug can mean taking away the only source of income of a family somewhere. Although a bit extreme, this is the kind of thought that goes through my mind these days.

With all that being said, my number one priority right now is making sure WP Ultimo is a sustainable business in the long run. I want to be able to continue to work on it for the next 5-10 years at least. I want to grow a huge community around it and to have a team helping me support you so you can do what you do best.

This means that I’ll no longer be able to offer the plugin at the same pricing point. This also means that we’ll be switching to a yearly subscription model, like most premium WP plugins do.

Starting on the 15th of December, WP Ultimo licenses will be sold at the following price points:

  • Starter – $99/year – 1 Network
  • Plus – $169/year – 3 Networks
  • Pro – $249/year – Unlimited Networks
  • Lifetime – $499 one-time payment – Unlimited Networks

Pro and Lifetime license holders will have access to all premium (currently, the paid add-ons) and free add-ons.

Starter and Plus plans will have access to the free add-ons.

“I already own a license, what does that mean to clients like me?”

You bought a lifetime license, so you’ll continue to have access to support and updates. In addition to that, starting from Dec 15, you’ll have access to all premium add-ons at no extra charge.

The network count limitations of your license will continue to apply, though. If you own a Single Network license, you have until Dec 14 – 23:59 to upgrade to the Unlimited Networks license paying the current price.

It’s all about community!

I know that Facebook seems to be the place to be when it comes to discussing WP Ultimo networks. Unfortunately, I still think I’m not ready to join you there (I spent a lot of time trying to get rid of Facebook as it was so disruptive to my work and I’m afraid of coming back). I’m doing my best to be able to do that in the future, though.

I do miss being able to be closer to people building networks using WP Ultimo. That’s why, starting on December, I’ll host biweekly hangouts. The idea is to have a space where we can all talk face to face, get to know each other, discuss WP Ultimo features and so on. This is not meant to be a webinar where I’d be talking and you’d be listening. The idea is to have a conversation.

I’m not sure if this is a good idea or not and I think there’s only one way to find out. I’ll let you guys know once I have more details, but I would love to hear what you think in the comments below!

I think that’s all I had to share today.

Hope you enjoy this release and the Domain Selling feature plugin!

Kind regards,

Arindo Duque.

WP Ultimo 1.8.0 and WP Ultimo: Admin Page Creator 1.2.0 – Release Notes

Hello, everyone. It’s time for a new release! Let’s dive in on what’s new in this version!

 

Direct Zapier Integration Support

We released Webhooks support in 1.6.0, but integrating that with Zapier required a few steps that some would consider complex.

Now, WP Ultimo is available as a Zapier App! Integrating it with Zapier is just a matter of selecting WP Ultimo as the Trigger app, selecting an event and connecting it with any of the other apps available on Zapier. Here’s a quick guide on how to get started with that integration.

/Note: WP Ultimo is only available invite only on Zapier. Click this link to add the WP Ultimo Zapier App to your list of available Trigger Apps/

WP Ultimo is now an App on Zapier!

 

Exporter and Importer for WP Ultimo Settings

Now you are able to export your settings, plans, coupons and more as a backup or to import them into a different network!

This can be accessed via WP Ultimo Settings Export & Import.

You can now Export and Import Settings across Networks

 

Users can now use their own sites as templates

Sometimes our users want to create a bunch of different sites all based on the same concept. Now, if you as a super admin turn that feature on, your users will be able to use their own sites as templates when creating a new site.

Allow your users to use their own sites as templates!

Their sites will then be available for selection!

 

ServerPilot.io Domain Mapping integration with support to autoSSL!

We added a new hosting/server management provider on 1.8.0: ServerPilot. Now you’ll be able to auto-sync mapped domains and subdomains and leverage ServerPilot’s autoSSL feature.

The integration requires additional setup on the wp-config.php file. We cover that on this tutorial.

 

The cPanel integration now syncs subdomains as well!

Since 1.8.0, new sites will have their subdomains added to cPanel’s subdomain panel as well, allowing super admins to leverage cPanel’s features, like autoSSL on some providers. No additional setup is required if you already have the cPanel integration setup, but this does not work retroactively, only applying to new sites created on the network.

 

Custom CSS field for the Login and Sign-up screen on the Customizer

If you visit WP Ultimo Styling and launch the Customizer, you’ll see a new custom CSS option, allowing you to inject CSS onto the login and registration screen!

You can now add Custom CSS directly from the customizer!

 

WP Ultimo: Admin Page Creator 1.2.0 is out and now supports PHP on the HTML mode

To give you even more power with the WP Ultimo: Admin Page Creator, the HTML content mode now supports PHP. This means you can now use php snippets inside your custom pages and they will be correctly parsed and processed.

For the security freaks out there, this does not use PHP’s eval(). The code gets dumped into a temp file before being included and then removed from the disk. This allows us to isolate the code and scope it as needed.

In any case, PHP process is not active by default. It requires that the super admin add the

define( 'WU_APC_ALLOW_PHP_PROCESSING', true ); to hisher /wp-config.php file.

PHP Support added to the HTML Content mode

Custom Page with the parsed PHP code

WP Ultimo Admin Page Creator 1.1.0 with Beaver Builder Support and new add-on versions!

We here to announce the cool features we added to some of our add-ons. Keep reading!

WP Ultimo: Admin Page Creator

Beaver Builder Support!

As some of you may be familiar with, Admin Page Creator is a handy add-on that allows super admins to create pages and sub-pages on the sub-sites of your network (your clients’ sites).

Before this version, only two methods of adding content were supported: the default WP Editor and custom HTML code.

Creating custom admin pages: Using the default WP Editor

Creating custom admin pages: Using HTML

Now, if you have Beaver Builder active on your main site, you can also add a Beaver Builder Template!

Now you can also use Beaver Builder Templates!

This is how a Beaver Builder gets rendered on the back-end!

Summarizing: You can bring the entire power of Beaver Builder to your backend pages!

Replace the default content of Admin Pages

Another cool feature added to the Admin Page creator is the ability to replace the contents of default WordPress pages with your custom content. This allow you to create a completely custom Dashboard page for your customers!

Ditch WordPress pages entirely in favor of your custom designs

Dashboard completely replaced using a Beaver Builder template

Append content to the top and bottom of the default WordPress Admin Pages!

This version also allows you to append content to the top and bottom of default WordPress Admin Pages.

This means that instead of replacing the whole dashboard page, for example, you can simply add a custom “welcome” widget using Beaver Builder templates, custom HTML code or the default WordPress editor!

Create custom “widgets” to append to WordPress admin pages

Use the Append mode on the page options

Voilà: A custom Welcome widget using the power of Beaver Builder

Plugin and Theme Manager

We fixed a bunch of small issues users where experiencing with WP Ultimo: Plugin and Theme Manager, and the new version now contains a new exhibition mode: Plugin Style!

This can be changed on WP Ultimo Settings Add-on Settings Plugin and Theme Manager.

New display mode based on the WordPress default “Add new Plugin” page

Affiliate WP, Multiple Accounts and Ad Injector

The new versions contain small bug fixes and optimizations.