WP Ultimo 2.0 Beta 8 is out!

Hello everyone,

First, an explanation of why 2.0 beta 8 took a bit longer to ship: as I mentioned on our Slack Community (which you should join, btw), we’re having trouble making sure Domain Mapping behaves consistently in production environments. 

Browsers are implementing lots of changes to protect our privacy and that means that lots of different strategies used in the past to deal with SSO, for example, no longer work. On top of that, WordPress is lagging behind in terms of incorporating some of the new browser features into auth functions, and that makes things even more complicated.

We have a couple of things we plan to try out and we’ll keep you up to date, but for now, we’ll resume the weekly release schedule (every Tuesday a new build out).

Beta 8 is out and it packs a lot. Including:

  • Improvements to the checkout fields;
  • A layout system for checkout fields, allowing for layout packs to be developed in the future;
  • Implementation of the auto search and replace feature, as well as setting site meta/option via checkout fields;
  • Network Admin UI simplification and better responsiveness;
  • Improvements in self-documentation across different features;
  • Reset / Import default emails feature;
  • Send test system email;
  • Better Broadcast creation flow;
  • Notes system;
  • Adjustments to the Domain Mapping logic;
  • Option to create a custom login page during the setup wizard;
  • Site duplication fixes;
  • Improvements to the Support Agents add-on;
  • Other bugs reported on the feedback boards.

Note: Some people (mostly on Slack) would expect this to be called beta 9 since I released a build on our beta channel a couple of weeks ago that was named beta 8. To make things simpler and to avoid confusion, I decided to keep this named beta 8 so it doesn’t look like we skipped one here on the blog. This post covers all improvements since beta 7.

Improvements to the Checkout Fields

This build includes a number of improvements to the checkout fields, both visually (in the UI/UX) and under-the-hood improvements.

Here it might be interesting to explain a bit what’s the big picture.

Our plan is to make registration forms really flexible and easy to extend. You should be able to re-organize fields, change the descriptions, and much more.

Fields that rely heavily on presentation (pricing tables, template selection, order bumps, and more in the future) now support custom layouts, which allows developers to create new ways of presenting those fields and make them available in other plugins (add-ons for WP Ultimo), with packs.

At the moment, most of those fields have three different layouts:

  • Clean: a simple and clean, minimally styled layout;
  • Minimal: a markup-only layout that allows for custom CSS to be applied more freely;
  • Legacy: when available, that mimics the way that field looked in v1.

Our own team will make extensive use of that feature to add new layouts for those fields as new releases get out.

This build also adds the Period Selection field, which allows your customers to choose between different billing periods for your plans. Changes are automatically reflected in pricing tables as well.

Implementation of the auto search and replace feature, as well as setting site meta/option via checkout fields

Meta fields finally work.

This means that you can add arbitrary text, color, and select fields to the registration form to pre-populate the template sites in specific locations. Then, when the new site is published, WP Ultimo will replace the placeholders with the actual information entered during registration.

In the future, we’ll expand this feature to offer a super interesting use case: a customization wizard after the registration is done, so your customer can set up the basics of the site in a multi-step form with a live preview by their side.

There’s still a lot to improve here, but the fact that there’s no longer the need to manually add fields via custom code snippets and use another snippet to use that data to replace content is a huge step in the right direction.

Important: Next builds will include the possibility of setting default values for the placeholders, so your potential customers browsing through templates won’t have to see a bunch of {{placeholder_field_name}} and can enjoy a site filled with actual demo data.

Beyond placeholder substitution, you can also choose how to save form fields between customer meta, site meta, and site option. This is a powerful feature that allows you to configure theme and plugin settings based on user input during the registration process. In that case, you just need to match your field name with the plugin/theme setting and you should be good to go.

Network Admin UI Improvements

We’ve made tons of adjustments to the network admin UI to make things simpler and easier to make responsive while trying to keep the same information density. 

Tables are hard to make behave well on tablets and smartphones and we feel that managing networks on the go will be an increasingly normal reality, so we needed to prepare.

We’re also trying to make things as self-documenting as possible. When features detect that something might not work for a particular reason, we’ll do our best to let you know right there. This is also true for destructive actions that can’t be undone. We’ll ask you to read the potential consequences and confirm them before moving forward. This can be annoying at times, but I promise you it is for the best.

Screenshot Scraper improvements

We managed to reduce the time it takes to capture a site screenshot, as well as fixed rendering errors on some of the screenshots taken. For example, sites that made heavy use of Google fonts and lazy-loading for images and other elements were not properly captured. 

That has now been fixed and screenshots are generated perfectly in almost 100% of the cases. There’s a weird issue with sites that use full-screen headers (height: 100vh), but we are working on that!

Resend Confirmation Email option for Customers

Beta 7 introduced email address confirmation for free plans. This build adds a Resend button to the customer management screen when the first email fails to arrive for some reason.

Reset and Import System Emails

Now that we are finally finishing the payment flows and re-adding the events that get triggered when certain events happen on the network, we’ll also start to re-add the various emails WP Ultimo sends when those events happen.

We did that on beta 7, adding the email that gets sent so a customer can verify their email address. However, as some of you were upgrading from beta 6 and lower, that email didn’t get automatically imported as we only create system emails during the first setup wizard, immediately after the plugin gets activated for the first time.

To address that, we added a system email importer that allows you to see the emails that are available but are not presently installed on your network so you can import them.

That same tool can also reset emails that you have to their original content if you made changes and are not happy with the results.

The Send Test system email was added and you can send a preview of the email you are editing to yourself or someone else to make sure it looks and behaves exactly like you expect.

We also refactored the new Broadcast flow to make it more user-friendly. The previous form is giant and not ideal at all, so we decided to break it into different steps.

Notes System

Memberships, Payments, and Customers now have a Notes section that allows super admins and support agents to leave notes about that particular object. Useful when you have to remember something and for developers and third-party integrations.

Domain Mapping is still an issue

This build also includes changes to the Domain Mapping logic, although we already received reports that it is still behaving strangely in some cases. If you experience any issues with domain mapping, please, contact me at arindo (at) wpultimo.com and tell me about the issue. 

Domain Mapping is crucial and we need to make sure it is as solid as we can before launching.

Other changes

This build fixes weird duplication errors some people were experiencing.

Support Agents – We made a couple of small changes to the Support Agents add-on, to point out when an agent has super admin status (which allows them to bypass all limitations set on the Support Agents add-on). Next, we’re adding functions to allow developers to add new permissions that can be assigned to an agent

Plugin and Theme Manager – We released a new version with lots of fixes and UI/UX improvements.

Coming Soon – Multi-Currency support – This add-on is in the works and in a very advanced stage of development already. If you plan to have multiple currencies running side-by-side on your network, we would love to hear a bit more about your particular use case, so feel free to leave a comment below or contact me directly at arindo (at) wpultimo.com so we can start a conversation.

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5 thoughts on “WP Ultimo 2.0 Beta 8 is out!”

  1. Avatar of verious b smith iii
    Verious B Smith III

    We are all awaiting the final release of 2.0! Great work so far and is there an expected due date for the final drop?

  2. Avatar of andré

    Nice steps you’re making! We’re clicking in it on our staging for a while. Seems to work well. Especially the extra payment options are bringing value for our customers.

    What is the planning for the production version? We hope to go live with some new features in September this year…

    1. Avatar of arindo duque

      Hey André. Thanks! We’re not making a date public yet, although we have an internal one we are targeting. Once we get to a RC status, we’ll probably make it public.

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