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.

WP Ultimo 1.7.3 – Release Notes

Hello everyone! It took a bit longer than expected, but WP Ultimo 1.7.3 is finally out! It brings some important bug fixes and cool new features. Let’s see what’s new:

tl;dr: This version addresses bugs involving login obfuscation giving 404 errors; It adds Closte.com Support with autoSSL, allows super admins to add coupon codes from subscription management screen, and let them choose how to handle sites above the quota on downgrade;

Closte.com Support

We were content by Closte.com and we worked closely together to integrate WP Ultimo domain mapping with their platform. Like WP Engine, there’s no extra setup necessary on your part: if you are running on Closte, WP Ultimo and their platform are automatically connected.

This means that every new mapped domain will automatically be added to Closte.

They also offer a really cool autoSSL feature for all the domains added. The result is as soon as your client maps a new domain, not only his domain will be automatically synced with Closte, but it will also have its own Let’s Encrypt cert fetched within the next minute or so! How awesome is that?

Adding coupons directly from the Subscription Management Screen

It is now possible to apply coupons after the sign-up directly from the subscription Management screen as a super admin. There’s still a few limitations, though. A coupon can only be added if no integration is active at the moment for that subscription.

Super admins can now apply coupon codes from the subscription management screen

Handling Sites above quota after a downgrade

Since few releases back, super admins are able to decide how they wish to handle client’s posts when downgrade happens. This is useful to prevent clients from creating sites at a higher tier with fewer limitations, building a site, and then downgrading to a lower plan.

The same thing is now possible for sites. On WP Ultimo Settings Network Settings, super admin can now decide how they wish to handle sites above the plan quota when a user downgrades, choosing between keeping them accessible or making them unavailable until the user upgrades again to plan that allows for a higher number of sites.

Different ways to handle sites above the quota, when a user downgrades

Sign-up links with predefined template

Now, if you send the signup link with a template_id parameter in the URL, that template is automatically selected and the sign-up process skips the template selection step!

Other features

Disable the visit counting functionality altogether if you have no intentions to use to avoid the ajax calls
  • Super Admins can disable visits counting on the plugin options (WP Ultimo Settings Network Options).
  • The super admin now receives two extra emails (that can be disabled on WP Ultimo Settings Emails): one if a subscription becomes inactive and one if a payment fails for whatever reason;
  • WP Ultimo can now be activated directly from the wp-config.php. Read more about that here. This will be implemented for add-ons as well in the future.
  • We now have a translation platform for those looking into helping WP Ultimo internationalization efforts. Read more about that here.

Bugfixes

Relevant bug fixes on this release:

  • Login Obfuscation causing 404s on pages like Password Recovery, Logout and others: Fixed;
  • View subscription on Stripe always redirecting to Stripe Sandbox: Fixed;
  • Coupons sending wrong values for Stripe when using absolute discount values (not percentages): Fixed;
  • Subdomain being used on scripts and images instead of the mapped domain in some places: Fixed;
  • Responsiveness on the Template Previewer screen: Fixed;

 

Complete Changelog

Relevant Articles on the Knowledge Base

WP Ultimo 1.7.0 – Release Notes

tl;dr version: WP Ultimo Version 1.7.0 brings support to Setup Fees on plans, the ability to charge the user’s credit card directly (via Stripe). Clients can update their card information and network admin has more actionable controls on the subscription management screen. The title, text and button labels of the payment integration screen can also be changed directly from the plugin options; Admins can change the login URL and send non-logged users to a 404 page if they try to access the wp-admin URL.


Hello, everyone!

I’m happy to announce that WP Ultimo version 1.7.0 is out and it is one of our biggest releases so far. It brings some long-awaited features and incorporates a lot of suggestions and feedbacks we got in the forums and over other support channels. It also lays out some of the work needed to move forward in the way we discussed on this topic.

Without further ado, let’s see what’s inside!

 

Setup Fee support on Plans

One of the most exciting new features of this release is the addition of Setup Fees to plans. Now network admins can add a one-time setup fee to each of the plans individually and have that value charged with the first subscription payment.

Adding a setup fee is pretty simple. Just go to the Plan edit page and enter a value on the Prices block.

 

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After that user pays for the setup fee, a control flag is added to his subscription to prevent him from paying again in case of a new integration. You can override that behavior on the Subscription Management Screen, by checking the “Should Charge Setup Fee” option.

If you want the Setup Fee to be charged again in the next payment, just check the Should Charge Setup Fee option

 

Manual Charges Support (Stripe and Manual)

It was already possible to add new payments to the Billing History manually, using the Add new Payment Manually. Now it is also possible to create a real charge (meaning deduct real money from the users integrated payment option) of any value directly from that same form, if the user integrated gateway supports it.

You can now charge the customer directly for additional services

The payment will be processed by the integrated service and WP Ultimo will be notified back if the payment was cleared or not. Refunds work just like with regular subscription payments.

The payment processor will notify WP Ultimo if the payment was successful

 

Clients can now update their payment option without canceling the current integration (Stripe only)

WP Ultimo lacked one very basic feature for card payments: the ability to update your credit card information. This is no longer the case, as it now offers an option for users to update their card info directly from the Account page.

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Improvements on the Payment Integration Screen

A lot of users requested more customization options for the Payment Integration Screen. WP Ultimo version 1.7.0 brings a lot of them =).

First, network admins are now able to completely change the title and description of the page directly from the WP Ultimo > Payment Gateways tab.

All the gateways automatically get a Button Label option as well, where you’ll be able to overwrite the default text of the integration button.

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The Payment Integration page now also has a small Go to the Account Page link at the bottom, allowing clients to visit the Account page, have access to plan changes and more, something that wasn’t possible before.

 

Improvements to the Visits Limit

We release visits limits per plan on version 1.6.0, but in a very rudimentary state. It did not work if a caching plugin was activated and there was no way to reset the count without editing the database options by hand.

Version 1.7.0 brings more control for network admins and clients as well.

Working with Cache Plugins

The visit counter now runs as a script in the front-end. Being an ajax call, the page can be cached without any issues and the admin can be sure that the counter will take that visit into account. There’s also a small delay before triggering the count action, preventing accidental accesses from counting as a full-visit. Cache plugins supported include: W3TC, WP Super Cache, WPEngine Cache and WPFastestCache.

Notification Emails

We also added two new emails templates to WP Ultimo, regarding Visits limit.

New email templates to notify the user about visits count
  1. An alert email is sent to the user once 80% of the visits quota is reached;
  2. Another alert email is sent to the user once 100% of the visits limit is reached.

Network admins can customize the emails, or disable them directly on the WP Ultimo > Emails tab.

Reseting the Visits Count

Now, network admins can reset the visits count on the subset Limits and Quotas widget or directly on the Site List widget of the Subscription Management screen.

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Improvements on the Subscription Management Screen

The Subscription Management Screen, while doing a great job centralizing all the aspects of a client’s subscription, was missing some crucial actions and information as well. WP Ultimo version 1.7.0 brings useful new options to that page.

Credit Card Information (Stripe)

You can now see the last digits of the user card and the card brand directly on the management screen. This might be useful when helping the customer figure out what might be the issue with their payment method.

Credit Card Information

Link to the Subscription on the Integrated Payment Dashboard (Stripe and PayPal)

Network admins are now one click away from the subscription on the Stripe or PayPal dashboard.

Quick Link to see that subscription on the Payment Processor Dashboard

Canceling an Integration

A new button allowing the network admin to cancel a payment integration directly from the Subscription management screen was also added.

Super Admins can now cancel payment integrations directly from the Subscription management screen

More information on the Sites List

As we have seen before, the Sites List widget now contains some actionable info about each of the sites belonging to this subscription. A new option to edit the Mappings was also added.

 

Registration and Login Improvements

Version 1.7.0 brings some long-awaited feature for registration and login as well.

Allow your clients to choose from more than one domain during sign-up

If you own multiple domains and want your users to be able to choose which one of them they would like to use on their own site, that’s now possible.

On WP Ultimo Settings > Network Settings, you’ll find the new option called Enable domain selection on sign-up.

Enter one domain per line. Additional domains must have an A record pointing to the Network IP Address, as well as a wildcard subdomain (if you’re using a subdomain install)

Activating that option and entering your domains will result in a list being presented to the client on the Domain step of the sign-up:

Users will then be able to choose the domain they think best fits their needs

Important: All the domains listed must have an A record pointing to the network IP address for the new sites to work.

Changing the Login URL and hiding wp-admin for non-logged users

WP Ultimo only offered a way to rename the wp-signup.php URL, leaving the wp-login.php untouched. That’s no longer the case as we now support rewriting that URL as well.

That means that you can have something like yoursite.com/login as the login page now.

In addition to changing the wp-signup.php URL, you can now also change the login URL

A second option was also added, giving network admins the option to obfuscate the old login URL. When activated, this option will return a 404 page whenever a non-logged in user tries to access wp-login.php or /wp-admin. This is REALLY useful in order to prevent brute force attacks.

If this option is left unchecked, users accessing wp-login.php or /wp-admin will simply be redirected to the new login URL.

 

New Options for Plans

We also added some handy and highly requested features to the plan settings page.

Override the copy media setting on a per plan basis

Network admins can now override the global setting for copy media on each of the plans. This is useful if the network admin does not want to offer access to the images on free plans, for example.

This option can be found on the Plan Edit page, under the Advanced Options on the General Tab.

You can override the Copy Media setting on a per plan basis

Allowing unlimited extra users is now possible

Unlike post type quotas, the user quota did not support allowing an unlimited number of extra users. This is now possible.

You can now allow plans to have unlimited extra users

 

Other options added

We also added a bunch of new options for the plugin as a whole, including:

Grace Period on the Frontend Block

WP Ultimo allowed admins to block the front-end of clients’ sites if the subscription became inactive. Now, super admins can add an extra grace period before the site’s frontend gets locked.

Give your users a grace period before locking their site’s front-end

Handling posts above the quota on Downgrades

WP Ultimo did not modify the status of posts on upgrade or downgrade. That meant that one client could hire the highest plan available, create lots of different pages and posts making use of the greater quotas and, after his or her site was ready, downgrade to a lower plan.

Now, WP Ultimo offers a few options for network admins to deal with this issue: they can either keep the default behavior and do nothing with the posts; they can move posts above the quota to the trash (without deleting them); or they can set the status of the posts above the quota to draft.

New options to handle posts after a downgrade

Search and Replace UI and API

WP Ultimo also has a Search and Replace UI that allows admin to add search and replace rules to be used on site duplication.

Although this is not so useful in its current form (since we don’t offer placeholders support on the UI yet), an API with that support is available. The documentation can be found here.

Basic Search and Replace UI

 

Domain Syncing Support for RunCloud.io

We also added RunClould.io as one of the supported hosting providers on our domain mapping syncing functionality. More info about how to get this to work here.

 

Beta Program

The release cycle of WP Ultimo will also suffer changes (for the better), with the addition of a Beta Program. Users that decide to join will be invited to update their versions when alpha, beta, and release-candidate releases get out. That way we can make sure we test new versions as much as possible before releasing them as stable.

Beta Program update notice

To read more about the Beta Program and how to join, check this page on the Knowledge Base.

 

Other Improvements

  • We now have filtering by plans on the Subscription list table;
  • A new option to set a different logo for the login/signup page was added;
  • The CPanel integration now supports WU_CPANEL_ROOT_DIR, allowing admins to change the root directory of the add-on domains (defaults to /public_html). The CPanel tutorial was updated to reflect that change;
  • We added a filter to allow network admins to change the position of the Account menu item on the admin menu. Here’s a tutorial on how to do that.

Important Bug-fixes

  • Some users were having problems with dates and times on Stripe not matching dates and times on the network. This was fixed. The only requirement is that you make sure your network main site and your Stripe account have the same timezone setting;
  • The Limits and Quotas widget was not being displayed when super admin visited a sub-site. That was fixed;
  • The CSV Export option on the Subscriptions list page now includes coupon code information and has the right number of columns;
  • Admins were getting a strange email alerting them that the Admin of a site template had change every time a new site was created based on a Site Template. This was fixed;
  • We added a wrapper div on the signup-main.php file, allowing background images and colors to be applied to the Sign-up page. This also fixes the incompatibility between Material WP styles and the Sign-up page of WP Ultimo;
  • We replaced the PHPInvoicer version with the latest one to avoid old PHP deprecated notices;
  • We also re-arranged some of the settings on WP Ultimo > Network Settings to keep things more organized and easy to find. Site Templates, for example, got its own section;
  • Now network admins can hide sub-site admin widgets with a filter (read more: https://docs.wpultimo.com/knowledge-base/removing-the-wp-ultimo-widgets-from-the-clients-dashboard/);

Complete Changelog

 

Launching Admin Page Creator, WP Ultimo 1.6.2 with CPanel Support, MailChimp Add-on 1.1.0, and AffiliateWP Integration Add-on 1.1.0

tl;dr version: WP Ultimo 1.6.2 brings some fixes reported since the last release, including the AffiliateWP table error on sign-up. It also adds CPanel support to the list of supported domain mapping integrations. We’re launching a brand new add-on that allows admins to add pages to the sub-sites admin panel and new versions of our MailChimp and AffiliateWP integrations are out.

 

Hello everyone!

I worked in a bunch of different stuff the past few days that I want to share with you all!

New Add-on – WP Ultimo: Admin Page Creator

Adding new pages and sub-pages to the admin panel of your clients can be a complicated task if you do not have the necessary coding skills. Coupling that with access control, like only allowing certain plans or roles to access that page brings things to a whole other level in terms of complexity. WP Ultimo: Admin Page Creator aims to fix that.

It adds a simple, but powerful UI to your Network Admin, allowing you to create pages and sub-pages for the back-end with the same ease you do for the front-end. It also offers custom HTML, CSS and JavaScript support, as well as access control based on plan and user role!

Click here to visit the overview/tutorial of WP Ultimo: Admin Page Creator and here to buy it now!

WP Ultimo 1.6.2

This version is just a patch release, so not much going on in terms of new features. However, this version address two major issues users complain about for a long time: super admins no longer get removed from the main site when adding a new one and we also fixed the duplication error some users were having during the sign-up flow when AffiliateWP is active on the template sites.

CPanel Support

This version also adds CPanel to the list of supported platforms for mapped domain syncing. Now, every new mapped domain gets automatically added as an Add-on Domain on CPanel. Network admins need to add come configuration to their wp-config.php to get this to work. Here’s a tutorial detailed the steps required.

If you want us to add support to another platform, please let us know in the comments below. Unfortunately, due to their API limitations, we are not able to implement a similar feature for Kinsta and Flywheel.

Complete Changelog for WP Ultimo 1.6.2

 

MailChimp Add-on – Version 1.1.0

We also have a brand new release of our MailChimp Integration add-on available for update. It addresses a number of issues reported by users and it adds a new integration mode, allowing network admins to user MailChimp groups. I also wrote a tutorial explaining how to use the add-on that covers the new mode as well.

AffiliateWP Add-on – Version 1.1.0

A new version of our AffiliateWP is also out, adding support to Recurring Referrals! A brand new tutorial explaining how to use the add-on was also added to our knowledge base!

WP Ultimo 1.6.0 – Release Notes

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:

Webhooks

Webhooks Screen inside WP Ultimo

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.

Our example integration with Slack in action

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).

New Jumper UI in action

I also prepared a handy tutorial on our knowledge base explaining how to customize your Jumper to improve your workflow.

Template Switching

The new Switch Template button, on the user Dashboard. Also in the picture is the new site Visits limit in action

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

New trial override option inside the Plan edit page

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.

Important Improvements

Redesigned Broadcasts page
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Important Bug-fixes

  1. The new template previewer screen, introduced on 1.5.5, was behaving strangely in some particular situations. That was fixed;
  2. 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

  1. Integrating WP Ultimo with Zapier using Webhooks
  2. Configuring automatic domain syncing with Cloudways
  3. How to use the WP Ultimo Jumper to be more efficient

Complete Changelog

 

Let me know your thought on our new release in the comments below!

WP Ultimo 1.5.5 – Release Notes

Hello, everyone. Version 1.5.5 is out! It adds some cool new features and fixes important issues across the plugin. Let’s dive in, shall we?

tl;dr: 1.6.0 containing tax support will take longer, so 1.5.5 is being released as an intermediary release with new features. It addresses mapped domain issues in the customizer; implements a top-bar on the site template screen; global plugin activation for plans, and notification emails when trials and subscriptions are about to expire.

 

Why 1.5.5 and not 1.6.0?

Our original plan was to release version 1.6.0, a major update containing tax support and VAT functionality. However, Implementing Tax support and making all the features around it 100% VAT compliant requires some changes on how WP Ultimo processes things internally, which will take more time to get done.

As we had a bunch of cool features and important fixes implemented, we didn’t want to make you wait a lot more so we could ship them alongside tax support, so I decided to release this intermediary version to make the new features & fixes available.

Tax Support & VAT will be released soon as a “feature-plugin”, meaning it will be available on the add-ons page as a free add-on so people can test and provide feedback. After that phase, we will incorporate that feature into core once everything is sorted out.

 

What’s new on 1.5.5?

Here are some of the cool features we added on version 1.5.5.

 

 

Adds a top-bar to the template preview screen.

Top-bar on Site Template Previews

WP Ultimo now adds a top-bar on the site template preview screen, during the sign-up. This allows the potential client to simply click on the “Use this template button” to select that template, to easily navigate between templates from the drop-down menu (with mini-previews) and even visualize the responsiveness of the chosen template by switching to different device screen sizes.

The top-bar colors and texts can be edited in the WP Ultimo Settings -> Styling Tab, and this functionality can be disabled altogether on WP Ultimo Settings -> Network Settings.

 

 

Activate/Deactivate for Plans

Activating and Deactivating Plugins for Plans

Network admins can now globally activate/deactivate plugins for all the sites on a specific plan directly from the Network Admin Plugins list.

The process is done in the background to avoid timeouts and other issues (possible when dealing with large networks) and runs the activate and deactivate hooks of each plugin selected, allowing them to correctly set-up custom tables and other necessary things if needed.

 

 

Expiring/Expired Notification Emails

Expiring and Expired Trial and Subscription Emails

Emails for expiring and expired trial periods and subscriptions were also added in this release. Network admins can now set in how many days before the trial or subscription is set to expire they want to send the notification email.

An email also gets sent once the trial or subscription expires and no payment method was added.

Both emails can be disabled and modified in the WP Ultimo Settings -> Emails Tab, where the admins can also set the “days prior” setting.

 

Bugfixes

This version also addresses important issues, especially regarding mapped domains.
The customizer now loads sites with mapped domains without any issues on the previewer screen. Image srcset attributes are also being filtered, replacing the old image URLs with mapped versions when a domain map is present, prevent CORS issues.

 

Complete Changelog

 

WP Ultimo 1.5.4 Release Notes

Hello, everyone.

We are getting back to our regular schedule of new releases every 12 days or so with new features (with urgent fixes being released when necessary). Version 1.5.4 addresses some small issues reported by users, optimizes old parts of the code, and contain some cool long-waited features.

WooCommerce Integration Version 1.1.2 is also out with some fixes, as well as code to enforce that orders get automatically changed to completed after payment_completed() is called by the payment gateway, making sure WP Ultimo’s hooks run when they need to (to renew subscriptions and send out invoices)..

New Features

Version 1.5.4 comes packed with a lot of cool features, including:

 

Roles per plan

Super admins can now select different roles for each of the plans in the network. These roles will be used during account creation, but any change in that settings will also refresh the roles of all users on that plan, giving admins a lot of control over what users on a given plan can see and/or do.

 

Templates per plan

Another long waited-feature is the ability to filter what templates are shown to the client when he selects a given plan. WP Ultimo now allows super admins to overwrite the Available Templates on the template selection step on a per plan basis.

 

Locking Post Types

Another featured added to plans was the possibility of locking post types altogether.

 

Better subscription date control

Up to our last version, WP Ultimo only allowed super admins to change subscription dates (most importantly, the active until date) up to the day. Now it is possible to change the hour and minute for more granular control and better testing. This was also extended to the expire date of coupon codes and other parts of the plugin. A small clock was also added to the WP Ultimo’s top bar to display the server time in real time.

 

Email notification for Super admins on domain mapping

In some network setups, domain mapping can require extra actions for the network admin. In those cases, it is useful to get a notification when a client maps a domain to his/her site. WP Ultimo now has a email template to do just that, sending an email to the network admin when a new domain is mapped on the network.

 

Plan and Billing Frequency added to the Subscription -> Add New page

The add new page now allows super admins to select which plan and frequency to use for the newly created subscription.

 

Activity Stream Widget

Super admins will now find in their Dashboard a Activity Stream widget, providing an overview of the most recent transactions on the network. This is the initial version of the widget and more useful information and events will be added as we continue to develop this feature.

 

Gravatar display on the Subscriptions list table

To help makes things more personal and to add a little bit of color to a rather dull-looking page, the Subscription list table now displays the gravatar associated to the email used in that subscription.

 

Important Fixes

Version 1.5.4 also includes important fixes, including:

  • “Block Frontend Access” not working;
  • Remaining time displaying the wrong value on the subscription management page;
  • Edge-cases where broadcasts messages where being displayed to non-targeted users;

Complete Changelogs

Release Notes – WP Ultimo 1.5.0 & WooCommerce Integration 1.1.0

Hello, everyone! Version 1.5.0 is here!

It solves a large number of issues being experienced by some users as well as implement long-awaited features from our roadmap. It also implements the necessary changes necessary to allow us to further develop WP Ultimo: Plugin and Theme Manager to include package sales.

Fixes & Improvements Overview

 

We fixed the issue some users were having with disk space not updating after an upgrade/downgrade. The original Network URLs are now added to the allowed list to prevent CORS issues when loading assets on mapped domains and more and more edge cases are covered in the SSL handling.

Another major fix was making the create_user function in the signup timezone sensitive. That prevents delays on Stripe and PayPal, resolving situations where a charge would take a few hours to process after a user integrated due to timezone differences, effectively locking the user out of his/her own site even after he/she initiated the payment process.

Multiselect fields on our Settings page are now sortable. Templates can now be sorted into the order the admin wants them to be displayed for the user on the front-end.

Now you can re-order the templates.

Manual Gateway

Our Manual Gateway now handles change in plans more consistently and now checks if it needs to send the invoice right after integration, to prevent the same delay issue described above.

The Instructions to Pay field is now a WP Editor field with basic HTML support. A link called “Instructions to Pay” was added to the billing history below the pending payment line that when clicked opens a modal with the contents of the Instructions. Keep in mind that those instructions are also printed at the bottom of invoices – where HTML is not supported – so in that context, HTML tags will be removed.

Domain Mapping and SSL

In order to keep the Network Settings tab cleaner, we moved all the settings related to Domain Mapping and SSL to their own separate settings tab. A handy summary table was also added to that tab, to help admins visualize how the different settings interfere with each other.

Geo-location Restrictions

Starting from version 1.5.0, admins will now be able to restrict sign-ups geographically. You can select the list of Countries you want to allow and only users located in that country will be able to sign-up.

Geolocation is now supported on sign-up.

Restricted Content Shortcode

Although we like to make clear that WP Ultimo IS NOT a membership-restrict-content-type plugin, we added a simple shortcode for restricting content. It can be used to display information selectively to subscribers on the main site or to decide whether or not an ad should be displayed to users accessing that site. More information about that shortcode can be found in the dedicated knowledge base post: https://docs.wpultimo.com/knowledge-base/shortcodes/

Password Strength Meter

Now there is a filter available to activate the default password strength meter for the signup flow. More information about how to achieve that can be found in the dedicated knowledge base article: https://docs.wpultimo.com/knowledge-base/adding-a-strength-meter-to-password-fields

WooCommerce Integration – Version 1.1.0

This version of WooCommerce Integration implements upgrade/downgrade and fixes a number of issues, making it more stable overall.

It also addresses the issue of having to have WooCommerce Network Active for it to work. Now, WooCommerce payments are possible even if WooCommerce is activated only in the main site of the network.

Complete Changelog – Version 1.5.0 – 04/11/2017

– Fixed: Manual Gateway handling upgrades and downgrades;
– Fixed: Change plan sometimes not updating the disk space quota of blogs;
– Fixed: Added edge case to domain mapping and the get_scheme function, to allow more flexibility to sub-domains installs using mapped domains;
– Fixed: Manual Gateway now checks if it should send the invoice on integration;
– Fixed: Incompatibility with Sitemap generators (thanks, Aron Prins =D);
– Fixed: Now WP Ultimo adds the original URL to the allowed cross-origin access array, to further prevent CORS issues;
– Fixed: Issue with sign-up redirects not being exact;
– Fixed: Relative time string on the Subscription page now support time spans larger than one year;
– Fixed: When the copy media option is disabled, we now remove the attachment posts related to each media file;
– Fixed: Small issue with creating new sites in some specific database environments;
– Fixed: Setup wizard link on the Mercator error message was broken;
– Fixed: We now check if the Stripe API was already loaded, to prevent fatal errors;
– Fixed: User creation now is timezone-sensitive, preventing delays in invoices and payments;
– Fixed: Spacing of integration buttons fixed;
– Improved: Multi-select fields on the Settings now can be sorted. That allow users to change the order of the allowed templates, for example;
– Improved: New option ‘display_force’ added to password fields. If checked, it adds a strength checker below the password field. More information: https://docs.wpultimo.com/knowledge-base/adding-a-strength-meter-to-password-fields/
– Improved: Form Fields helper function now gives the option to change the default value of the billing frequency field;
– Improved: Applied number_format to statistics widgets;
– Improved: “Instructions to Pay” field on Manual Gateway now supports is now a WP Editor field;
– Improved: Updated the Dutch language files – Thanks, Aron Prins;
– Improved: Moved the Domain Mapping and SSL settings to their own Settings Tab;
– Improved: SSL Settings Summary widget on the Settings page to help visualizing the SSL configuration;
– Added: Geo-location block added;
– Added: Restricted Content shortcode for plans and default content; More information: https://docs.wpultimo.com/knowledge-base/shortcodes/
– Added: New shortcode with the front-end URL of a user’s site for the create account template email (WP Ultimo -> Emails);
– Added: Option to enable/disable SSO with enabled as the default behavior;
– Added: Manual Gateway now displays link to a modal containing Instructions to Pay in the pending payment row in the Billing History widget;
– Added: Table Updater checker added, to make sure custom tables are always in sync with their latest version;