Anyone following the development of WP-Members lately knows that there have been some significant updates this year. I feel really good about where we are pushing the plugin and am striving to continue to support and produce a top-notch product that is both easy to install and set up but remains infinitely flexible for customization.
Updates to Extensions
Before I get into the changes in the plugin itself, let me say there have also been a number of changes and updates in the extensions. I will be rolling out a locally hosted API for managing extension updates this year, but for the time being, updates are handled here at the downloads page. Here are some recent highlights:
Email as Username – update addresses what happens when a user updates their email address (which is their username). Because we would need to reload the page for the new email to be shown in the user status and that would eliminate the successful update message that is shown, we need to handle this in a special way. This update handles this by querying the db for the new email address if the user is changing it and then uses that value to filter the sidebar login status.
User Tracking – a recent update changed the last login timestamp to be compliant with WP’s date functions. An update script was included to update all existing entries for last login.
PayPal Subscriptions – updated the displayed expiration date to apply date formatting from your WP date format settings (Settings > General) along with better handling of settings (trimming any possible whitespace from entries to avoid errors).
User List – added a default query if no search string is passed as well as a query for excluding non-activated users (shortcode setting).
There will be some updates to some of the other extensions soon and I am working on a brand new extension that will replace the PayPal Subscriptions extension. This extension will be a full blown e-commerce membership solution so you can define “products” that can be time based or permanent (no expiration date) and can be defined as hierarchical levels or separate. This will include managing user transactions directly and allowing users to retrieve invoices and order data. In addition, it will support additional payment gateways beyond PayPal. Look for it later this summer.
Updates in WP-Members Core
I’ve been pushing forward to make the plugin more customizable and this has led to the development of an API with associated functions. There are some front end API functions as well as an Admin API for customizing administration (building in custom elements). There have also been some new shortcodes added, some new filters and actions, and some improvements to existing filters and actions.
I’ve started documenting the new API functions in the User Guide. You can take a look at what we have started. For those of you that are developers, feel free to take a look at the /inc/api.php file for some additional functions in there that are not yet documented. Keep in mind that anything not officially listed in the documentation is considered experimental and is subject to change, but you’ll get an idea of some things that are being added for you to use (create a membership number being one of these).
The Admin API is starting off with the ability to add custom emails and custom dialogs. To clarify, what I mean by custom is to add your own for specific purposes. Users of the PayPal extension using the most current version of the plugin and the extension will notice how this is used with the implementation of a custom email added for sending out renewal reminders. The PayPal extension makes use of the new Admin API to add this as a custom email on the Emails Tab. There’s another example of this in this post describing how to add a custom email to go out to users when they are deleted.
You may also notice that in the last couple of updates I’ve added new field types including the much requested file/image upload. While the upload process has a default setting for the upload directory, there is also the wpmem_user_upload_dir filter to customize where these get uploaded to.
There are many more updates, so be sure to keep up with what is going on with the plugin by reviewing the changelog when updates are posted.
Brand New Plugin
And be sure to check out my brand new plugin WordPass.
WordPass generates word-based passwords that are much easier to use than the random passwords generated by the default WP password generator. You can customize the word list that is used and generated passwords will include random numbers and special characters to make them more secure.
The plugin is perfect for those running membership sites, and if you signed up for rocketgeek.com lately, you may have noticed that your password was generated by WordPass.
A Pro version with more features will be released in the near future and premium support subscribers at rocketgeek.com will get this included with their subscription when it is released.