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Download Monitor Legacy Importer (beta)

As mentioned in my previous post, the new Download Monitor plugin will be making full use of custom post types making legacy data unusable. To help with this I’ve created a new Legacy Importer plugin which will:

  • Find old downloads/meta/tags/categories
  • Convert them to the new format
  • If left enabled, map shortcodes referencing the legacy IDs to the new download IDs.

It will not:

  • Prevent conflicts between old and new IDs. It is recommended that you update the old shortcodes to the new IDs as soon as you can.
  • Import logs and custom formats (custom formats of course are gone in this version in favour of template files).
  • Delete the old tables. You can do this manually,

You can find the beta for this new legacy importer on github for now. It will be placed on WordPress.org once complete.

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The New WordPress Download Monitor Plugin

A few months back I announced that the Download Monitor plugin was no longer being maintained. Why? Several reasons really:

  1. Dealing with daily support emails caused a massive headache
  2. Some of the code was embarrassing, and the plugin badly needed a rewrite..
  3. ..but due to legacy this would have been messy and difficult
  4. The donation model didn’t really work, and .org would’t allow ads inside the plugin to fund development

However, despite all of this, given the popularity of the plugin I decided to secretly start building a new version without the restraints of legacy code dictating the way forward…

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WooTrip Cape Town 2012

Last month WooThemes hosted their annual WooTrip. 16 staff, myself included, jetted in from all over the world (woo span 7 countries now) to meet up in Cape Town, South Africa (headquarters!) for a week of team building.

After a gruelling 11 hour flight from Heathrow (my first time on a plane so it wasn’t a pleasant experience) James, Andrew, Coen, Dan and I landed first in Johannesburg and then transferred to Cape Town on a second 2 hour flight.

View from the villa

Before departure I was hesitant to go to South Africa – I’d heard horror stories about crime etc. When you get to Cape Town one of the first things you see are the slums by the airport, but boy, once you get past all that (around the mountain) Cape Town is simply stunning.

Cape Town even has penguins

We were staying in a really nice area called Camps Bay with Sea Views out front, and Table Mountain out back. The villa was awesome – a pool, nice rooms and of course an xbox and enough muffins to feed an army.

Although it felt like a holiday, we couldn’t leave all our customers standing! We had many a support sprint to keep on top of things and that wasn’t too bad – its better to do support when you can ask others around you, or have a moan and a joke about certain tickets :p

Some of the scenery near the penguins

We had day’s workshop in the office, discussing ways to make Woo better for us and for our customers. This was pretty fun – we all pitched our ideas and I felt this was very productive.

Beyond work we did plenty of activities. Paintball, boat trips, wine-tasting, trips up the mountain, seeing the penguins, surfing, even football in the scorching 30 degree sun.

The food in cape town was a special treat – I’ve never ate so much steak and seafood in the space of a week. It certainly bested pot noodles and beans on toast 🙂

My favorite activity (aside from eating all those steaks) was probably the paintball – nothing beats shooting your co-workers 🙂 Sadly I was the victim of friendly fire however (looking at you Benbow).

It was really great to meet the whole team. We were able to share ideas, brainstorm and bond. For the most part we started off strangers, but by the end of the week it was like a big ninja family.

The team outside headquarters

Special thanks to Adii, Mark, Magnus and Dom for organising everything and making the trip possible. I look forward to seeing what we all do next year (and by then I’m sure the family will be even bigger!).

More on the trip from Woo: http://www.woothemes.com/2012/11/the-wootrip-recap/

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Released a small stats plugin for WordPress developers

Today I released a small (but hopefully handy) plugin called WP Page Load Stats which I created to help benchmark a few other plugins I’m working on.

The plugin works on both admin and on the frontend and displays:

  • Memory usage , peak and percent
  • Page load time
  • Average page load time
  • The query count

Averages are calculated on each load, and you can reset the average by clicking the reset icon.

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Off to WordCamp this weekend

This weekend I’ll be heading up north to Edinburgh for WordCamp UK, meeting fellow WooThemes colleagues James and Coen (Coen for the first time). This will be my second WordCamp following Portsmouth last year.

Coen will be speaking about the State of WordPress & eCommerce in 2012 on the main stage which should be good. He’ll cover various eCommerce solutions (including WooCommerce of course!) for WordPress and talk about the benefits and drawbacks of WordPress as an eCommerce platform.

mmm?

Last year’s WordCamp was a blast so I’m definitely looking forward to the event. I may even get Jay to try some Scottish delicacies like tasty nutritious deep fried Mars bars. mmm

Be sure to say hello if you see us around 🙂 We’ll probably be carrying some Woo goodies for you to pillage.

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Say hello to WooCommerce; simple, beautiful WordPress eCommerce

Today I’m proud to announce WooCommerce has arrived. Its been a tough week preparing it’s launch, and a busy month of development work but its all paid off. The WooThemes team, myself included, are incredibly excited by its completion and we hope it’s a hit with the WordPress community as a whole.

WooCommerce is an open source eCommerce plugin for WordPress with loads of cool features. Adding products, managing orders, setting up tax and shipping rates – WooCommerce makes it easy.

Whilst developing WooCommerce we focused on extending core WordPress functionality and keeping the UI consistant; this gives you an simple, easy to use, familiar admin interface which is a joy to use.

We made full use of WordPress custom post types, post type archives, and custom taxonomies making it both extendable and easy to theme. Theme developers will be relieved by its simplicity – after using several other eCommerce plugins in the past I know that it will be a breath of fresh air to many.

Alongside the release of the WooCommerce plugin we’ve also released three new themes (WooStoreCoquette and Wootique) as well as several child themes and extensions.

WooTique is our free WooCommerce theme

You can read more about WooCommerce on the WooThemes site. Be sure to check out WooCommerce on WordPress.org, and if your a developer (or a translator) why not say hi on Github and contribute to the project 🙂

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Working for WooThemes

Its been a fantastic (and busy) month for me – september 1st I started my new job at WooThemes, arguably the most popular premium WordPress theme company in town, and I’m having a blast 🙂

At WooThemes I’ve been busy working in the new ‘WooLabs’ division alongside my pal James Koster. In the WooLabs we’re focusing on application style themes (like SupportPress), plugins (our nearly complete Mighty Menus plugin) and the highly anticipated WooCommerce plugin and themes.

So far I’m really enjoying my new role at Woo, and I’m ecstatic that they gave me the opportunity to work with them.

I’ll leave you with this teaser…looking forward to tuesday!

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SupportPress has landed – a sweet support desk theme

Good news folks. SupportPress (created by myself and James Koster) is ready to download. It’s our second application style theme built in collaboration with WooThemes and I’m really excited to say that its finally available.

The theme provides you with a completely self-hosted help desk and knowledgebase solution, all built upon the WordPress core. It functions similarly to popular SaaS offerings such as Zen Desk and Tender.

Mobile devices love SupportPress

The front-end is coded with HTML5 and CSS3 (using LESS CSS to aid development and make theming easier), and the design is responsive making it work well on both desktop and mobile devices. As with FaultPress before, this feature has been very well received by the woo community.

Notable features of the theme include:

  • Support ticketing for clients; let your agents deal with support requests
  • Tickets are private; only the client and your agents have access to tickets
  • Knowledgebase functionality, complete with like/dislike buttons
  • Easily turn a ticket into a knowledgebase entry via a button
  • Unique landing pages for agents, clients and guests (plus signup)
  • AJAX powered searching of the knowledgebase and tickets from the dashboard
  • Blog/Alerts for notifying clients with news and announcements
  • Message section for agent communication
  • Responsive design for mobile viewing

Overall, myself and James are very pleased with how SupportPress has turned out and look forward to creating our next application theme 🙂

The demo for SupportPress can be found here, and if your thinking of buying it WooThemes are offering an 11% discount until July 11th by using the code ‘SUPPORTPRESS11′. Enjoy!

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So I decided to move my online home…

…and here we are. I’ve decided to simplify my online presence and change my domain from “Blue Anvil” to something more personal. I’ve spent a lot of time designing a minimalistic, more content focused site which is easier for me to update, and easier for you to find useful information.

You may have noticed that I’ve gone for the Tumblr style of blogging; allowing for full posts but also accommodating smaller updates such as code snippets, quotes, and links. As well as that I’ll be showcasing projects I’m working on (such as the projects I’m doing in collaboration with WooThemes) and any interesting freelance work I do.

Some of your will also appreciate that I’ve spent some time improving the documentation for my plugins, rewriting bits and giving the docs a much more organised format. These will be available from the projects page and will be added over the coming weeks. Handy!

Blue Anvil will stay live for archive purposes, but I’ll be switching off comments and moving important content over here. Thanks for reading and be sure to follow me on twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed for updates.