Content Notify 1.11

A photo I took of the view from near the top of Snowdon, Wales

After a couple months of development, Content Notify 1.11, and 1.11.1 were recently released with a few new features and a slew of improvements and bug fixes.

Block Editor Support

Content Notify 1.8 came with a new meta box that allowed a user to prevent alerts from going out for the current update or for all updates for the post/page/custom post type. Sadly, this didn’t work with the Block Editor and so this required learning a lot about how this works and how to create blocks and sidebar blocks using React – something I needed to learn but wasn’t looking forward to. Thankfully, the process wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it, partly thanks to the excellent work the WordPress Core team have done, and support for this meta box in the Block Editor has now been added in 1.11.

Improvements to Form Submission Feedback

The Content Notify form now has substantially better feedback for non-valid forms. For example, you fill out the form but the post type isn’t set correctly – now you’ll see a red border around that field after submission so you know which field has failed. It’s a little thing but should greatly improve the experience for the user.

Form Validation & Sanitisation

All aspects of the plugin have been checked to ensure validation and sanitisation of all saved data is as secure and correct as it should be. It’ll probably go unnoticed by most users however, it should be a nice upgrade for the stability and performance of the plugin.

Improvements to Pause/Verify/Unsubscribe on Front-end

A lot of time has been spent on refining the user experience (UX) in this release. A notable improvement is how the various actions on the front-end subscriptions table work – they all now use AJAX, with an appropriate javascript alert to ensure the action doesn’t happen if a button was clicked accidentally. This means the actions complete without the page having to reload – such as pausing or resuming an existing subscription, or unsubscribing from one. A nice feature which will be making its way to the Content Notify form in a future release.

Disable Email Verification

A popular request from Content Notify customers was the ability to disable the verification email that is sent to subscribers and instead, immediately verify their subscription upon successful form submission. This is useful in case a WordPress user already exists for a subscriber, and they’ve previously gone through the process of validating their email address upon registration to the site. With Content Notify 1.11, there is a new option in the plugin settings that allows the site admin to set this appropriately.

Bug Fixes & Minor Improvements

A bug fix release of 1.11.1 was issued hot off the heals of the 1.11 release addressing a couple of minor PHP errors that occurred in specific circumstances. There were also fixes for how deleted content appeared in the subscriptions table, ensuring AJAX actions used the correct permissions for logged-in and logged-out users, preventing non-image file uploads from being used as the site logo in emails, and an issue where the ‘View Subscription’ button in the email that’s sent to an admin after a new subscription is verified didn’t go to the correct URL.

What’s Next

I’ve been asked what the future holds in store for Content Notify and the answer is: a lot! I have an extensive roadmap that would take me a couple of years to complete if I worked on the plugin more-or-less full time.
For now, I have one more release to make in order to polish a few existing features, add some new ones to make the plugin even more compliant with the various privacy and consent laws around the world, and include some things I think all plugins should have but this one hasn’t received yet – notably, some choices on what happens when the plugin is deleted.

Beyond that, you can expect multi-form support, a Block Editor-based form builder, and full email template customisation: all of which will take many, many months and several releases to bring to fruition. Exciting!

Until next time.

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