Content Notify 1.8 and 1.9

A photo I took of Salisbury Cathedral from a local park.

Hot off the heels of November’s 1.8 release (details at the bottom of this post), Content Notify 1.9 dropped yesterday with some great new features.

Content Notify 1.8

Yet again, I managed to miss posting about the last release. In short, 1.8 featured:

  • A new CAPTCHA field with Cloudflare Turnstile and Google reCAPTCHA v3 available as the two available services.
  • ‘Compatibility Mode’ for loading a different Content Notify CSS stylesheet in case your Bootstrap based website is using v4 styles instead of the new v5 styles.
  • Better handling of hidden form fields in situations where they’re explicitly set, set to false, or set to auto.

Subscribe to Alerts for a Specific Post

A long requested feature, Content Notify 1.9 allows you to specify a post ID in your form so that new subscribers can set-up alerts for when a specific post/page/custom post type is updated. Alternatively, setting it to ‘auto’ will allow it to detect the post ID of the current post/page/custom post type.
When the post_id="" shortcode parameter is set in the cn_form shortcode, the form will pre-select ‘update’ as the status, and hide the post type select field. It will then check when an alert is due to be sent out against the post ID and if the subscription has a matching post ID it’ll send out the alert email. Very handy!

Disable Alerts

The ‘Subscription Options’ metabox appears on all post types.

In testing the above feature, I realised it would be helpful to provide a way to disable alerts from being sent out for any post type. As such, there’s now a new ‘Subscription Options’ metabox that appears on any post type and provides two options:

  1. Don’t send alerts this time
  2. Don’t ever send alerts for this Post

The first option toggles whether you want to send an alert for the current update. It won’t ever save it’s state so it can be used next time in the same way.
The second option prevent *any* alert from being sent out for this post/page/custom post type, ever.
Together, they provide some powerful options to post authors to avoid unnecessarily spamming subscribers.

Customise Submit Button Text

You can now customise the text of the ‘submit’ button that appears at the bottom of a Content Notify form using the new submit_label="" shortcode parameter – handy if you want to change it to something else, like ‘Follow’ or ‘Create Alerts’.
Omitting it, or leaving it empty it will default the label to ‘Create Subscription’.

Improved Verify/Alert/Admin Emails

With the ever increasing number of things a Subscription can be created for, I thought the email alerts that are sent out as a result were beginning to look a bit busy. Now, more simple Subscriptions will show less information in the emails such as “This subscription will alert you when Posts are Updated”, as opposed to before, where it said something like: “This subscription will alert you when Posts are Updated by Anyone in Any Category or Any Tag”. In this case, less is more, I think.

hCaptcha Support

Another CAPTCHA service has been added, bringing the total to three available services for all your CAPTCHA field needs. Full details of how to sign-up for an account and set this up can be found in the CAPTCHA documentation.

As usual, there were a few bug fixes and minor improvements made throughout the plugin – notably an annoying bug that I didn’t catch before 1.8 was released, where some fields weren’t always saved on form submission.

What’s Next

I’m going to turn my attention back to the admin and provide some better ways of managing subscriptions in bulk. Additionally, it’s definitely time admins had more control over the contents of the emails that the plugin provides. I’m not sure on the specifics on how this will work yet but I have some ideas which will most likely take a few releases to complete.

Until next time, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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