Valentine’s Day Party

Schedule Varies 7:00 PM

Join us for the best Valentine’s Day Party ever!

Event date is past

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 04:26:46 +0000 last time: Tue, 18 Feb 2020 23:26:46 -0500

RSVPMaker Entrepreneur Of The Year Dinner

Wednesday May 6, 2020 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
 

Our hero
Our hero

The RSVPMaker Entrepreneur Of The Year Program is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and as we kick off our search for the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, we invite you to nominate someone in your community, or even yourself, to be named among the next generation of legacy builders.

Entrepreneurs are not easily defined. They are men and women, old and young, educated in the Ivy League and at the School of Hard Knocks. This much about them is consistent, however: They are visionaries. They are people of passion. And they have the ambition, drive and talent to take an idea and create a market where none existed before.

RSVP Now!

Event Types:

Valentine’s Day Party

Join us for the best Valentine’s Day Party ever!

Event date is past

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 04:26:46 +0000 last time: Tue, 18 Feb 2020 23:26:46 -0500

Event Types:

3 Confirmation Message Design Examples

Here are examples of designs created using techniques laid out in the blog post Styling Your Confirmation Messages and Broadcast Emails. RSVPMaker now provides the flexibility to style confirmation messages for different events differently.

White on Black

Here’s the black background confirmation message for a pirate party. This design allows me to specify styling on the RSVP button (Update RSVP in the case of a confirmation message) differently from the one used elsewhere on my website.

white on black email confirmation
Confirmation with a black background and white-on-black RSVP Button

White on Black Email Template

Using Gutenberg Columns in the Template

One technique for creating an template layout is to rough out the design in the WordPress editor, then copy the resulting HTML and elements such as shortcodes and dynamic Gutenberg blocks into the body of an email template.

Here, I have created a 2-column layout in the editor and a centered image to appear beneath the columns. The left column contains the [rsvpmaker_email_content] shortcode for dynamically generated content such as confirmation messages. The right column contains a heading block, followed by the latest-posts block to display the latest blog posts (where the idea is to encourage the person who has registered for an event to explore other website content).

Note: I had to use several hacks to make the two columns display acceptably on a mobile email client:

.wp-block-column {max-width: 50%}
.rightmain {padding: 10px;background-color:  #191D6C; color: #EEEEEE; height: 95%; }
.rightmain a {color:#FFFFFF; font-weight: bold; display: block; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: -30px;}

See the explanation of columns and CSS inlining.

Using Gutenberg columns to define a sidebar with latest posts.

Adapted from a MailChimp Sample

You can use a sample template provided by MailChimp, or created using MailChimp’s design tools, as the basis for a template you can use within the RSVPMaker mailer tool — including messages RSVPMaker handles itself, such as confirmation messages, as well as messages to be submitted to MailChimp via their API.

For this example, I started with a MailChimp sample design for a fictional gallery promoting a featured exhibit. I then turned it into an RSVPMaker confirmation email template suitable for being used in conjunction with a gallery talk event.

Gallery talk template, based on a MailChimp sample design

MailChimp uses nested tables for its basic layouts, then adds CSS on top tagged to different table cells.

The process of adapting the MailChimp template to work with RSVPMaker follows this pattern:

Exporting HTML from MailChimp
  • Use the Export as HTML option in MailChimp to get the code for one of the templates in your account that you want to use.
  • Place the [rsvpmaker_email_content] shortcode in the table cell where dynamically generated content such as your confirmation message should appear.
  • Add CSS as necessary to make your content look good in the template.
  • Alter MailChimp’s CSS as necessary to allow you to achieve the effects you want. I had to remove some of the default MailChimp code for link styling to get the RSVP button to display properly.

Gallery Event Template

Here is the original MailChimp sample design I started with:

Webinar / Office Hours: RSVPMaker 2020 Updates

Join RSVPMaker creator David F. Carr in a Zoom meeting video webinar covering the latest enhancements, including greater design flexibility for confirmation email messages and email broadcasts.

RSVPMaker is a free WordPress plugin for event scheduling, event promotion, event registration, and event payment.

Event date is past

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 04:26:46 +0000 last time: Tue, 18 Feb 2020 23:26:46 -0500

Event Types:

Styling Your Confirmation Messages and Broadcast Emails

The latest update to RSVPMaker focuses on more design freedom and better consistency for confirmation messages, reminder messages, and email broadcasts.

This push was inspired in part by a recent post on the SendGrid blog, How to Send On-Brand Confirmation Emails (+ Examples). Having noticed some shortcomings in the formatting of RSVPMaker email messages (which were annoying me as much as anyone), this project had been on my todo list anyway. The examples in SendGrid’s article nudged me to put it at the top of the list.

Here’s an example of a confirmation message for a wedding, created using these new capabilities, with the correct formatting for a section laid out using the Gutenberg columns block and a centered image below the spot where the registration details are included:

A styled confirmation email
Continue reading “Styling Your Confirmation Messages and Broadcast Emails”

How I Learned to Create a Gutenberg Sidebar for Editing Post Metadata (Tips for WordPress Plugin Developers)

More than a year after releasing the first version of RSVPMaker with support for Gutenberg (the WordPress “block editor” introduced with 5.0), I now have an editor sidebar implementation I’m pretty happy with.

In the process, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the WordPress Data API for JavaScript — and frankly more than I needed to know for the relatively simple thing I wanted to accomplish. I just wanted to update my old PHP-based UI for getting and setting post metadata to work in Gutenberg. The problem is not just insufficient documentation, but overwhelming documentation that can lead you in a wrong direction.

What you see below is a composite image of 2 screenshots.

What you see on the left are the most basic RSVPMaker settings (when does the event start and end? and are we collecting RSVPs?) as they’ve been added to the Document tab of the standard Gutenberg sidebar. I do that to make these basic elements of editing an event date as accessible as possible.

The insert on the right shows an additional sidebar, specific to RSVPMaker, that I can get to by clicking the calendar icon at the top of the screen. This additional sidebar provides access to a longer list of RSVPMaker settings: not just date and time, but also the email address to send registration notifications to, whether there is a maximum number of registrations to be accepted, and so on.

There are still a few more complex settings, such as those for event pricing online payments, where I direct users to a separate RSVP / Event Options screen. But I want them to be able to accomplish most tasks without delivering the editor.

The designers and developers behind the Gutenberg UI recommend providing a “distraction free” editing environment that minimizes the use of the old “metaboxes” at the bottom of the content editing window, which used to be a standard for WordPress plugin design. I also found that the JavaScript functions in my old metabox code seemed to clash with Gutenberg, so I got rid of metaboxes some time ago. But making those same capabilities available in a Gutenberg sidebar, rather than a metabox has proven challenging.

Gutenberg represents a steep learning curve for those developers who learned plugin programming in PHP and are now asked to master at least the basics of the React JavaScript framework and the Gutenberg component library. I hope that we will eventually be provided with some easier ways of handling common needs like setting the metadata of a post from within the Gutenberg UI.

Meanwhile, here are my tips on how to cope with the current state of things.

Continue reading “How I Learned to Create a Gutenberg Sidebar for Editing Post Metadata (Tips for WordPress Plugin Developers)”

Test

Monday December 2, 2019 7:00 PM
 

Hellos

Test

Background Loading RSVPMaker Event Listings From Any Site To Any Site

Using the new widget and/or the new Gutenberg block that have been added to RSVPMaker 6.4.2, you can display a listing of events that will be dynamically loaded from your own site or any other site that implements RSVPMaker. This feature uses JavaScript and RSVPMaker API endpoints to fetch a listing of events in the background and display it in a widget or in the body of a page.

Widget loading an event listing in the background (GIF runs in a loop)

A separate RSVPMaker Widget plugin (see below) is available for sites that want to fetch listings from a remote sites without having the full RSVPMaker plugin installed locally. Or you can embed an HTML/JavaScript code snippet in a non-WordPress site to achieve the same effect.

Advantage of Dynamic Loading

One advantage of using this technique, even for displaying events from the local website, is it may work better with websites that have implemented caching. The client can be served a cached HTML version of the page but will still see a current listing of events because it is loaded in the background via a JavaScript call to the API endpoint.

Site visitors may briefly see a “Loading …” message while event posts are being retrieved.

API urls are in the format:

https://rsvpmaker.com/wp-json/rsvpmaker/v1/future
(all future events)

or

https://rsvpmaker.com/ wp-json/rsvpmaker/v1/type/featured
(events tagged with the event type “featured”)

RSVPMaker Widget plugin

A separate RSVPMaker Widget plugin is available for download as a zip file (and pending as a submission to the wordpress.org plugin repository). I have been using it on websites where the full RSVPMaker is not active or needed.

Example: a WordPress multisite implementation for a Toastmasters district, where divisions within the district have their own blogs but RSVPMaker is not active on those subordinate sites. Instead, RSVPMaker is active on the main domain, and division-specific events are designated with an RSVPMaker Type tag.

The RSVPMaker Widgets plugin allows me to display a listing of each division’s events on the division site homepages, while still maintaining a single calendar of events from across the district.

HTML/JavaScript Snippet

You can also embed events listing into any website, including static HTML sites and those that run a different content management system, using the HTML / JavaScript code snippet shown below. Change the div ID and the parameters for the creation of the widget object to match your needs and modify to taste.

On a WordPress site, you can use the Custom HTML widget or the Custom HTML editor block to add this code (assuming it’s allowed by your site security) as an alternative to installing the RSVPMaker Widget plugin.

PayPal Integration (REST API)

RSVPMaker now integrates with PayPal via its REST application programming interface (API).

If you previously set up integration with the older Express Checkout / NVP API method, RSVPMaker still supports it. PayPal also still supports it but is not adding new features to that version. You probably want to switch to the new method anyway because the user experience is better and more tightly integrated with your website.

The pay by PayPal / pay by credit card buttons will appear as part of the confirmation message when someone registers for one of your events.

PayPal payment buttons

Attendees who click on the PayPal button will get a pop up prompt inviting them to log in and pay.

PayPal login prompt

Those who prefer to pay by credit card can click one of the credit card icons (or the button on the screen above that says Pay with Debit of Credit Card) and be prompted for credit card information.

To obtain the required credentials for the REST API, go to developer.paypal.com and log in with your PayPal password. The developer’s dashboard allows you to register multiple sandbox accounts for testing and create an app for your integration. Creating an app just means you are generating the API access keys required for the integration with RSVPMaker. Just give your app a name, associate it with a sandbox account for testing, and click the Create App button.

Creating an App

Then copy the keys (the client id and client secret) for both the Sandbox (test) and Live versions of the app.

Copying the client id and client secret.

Once you have copied and pasted all the credentials, into the Payments Tab of the RSVPMaker settings, it’s a good idea to toggle the Operating Mode setting from Production to Sandbox. Create a sample event with sample pricing and test the integration. For testing, you can make payments using one of the sandbox accounts associated with your developer account on PayPal, which is funded by imaginary money.

Once you are satisfied that everything is working properly, go to the Payments tab in RSVPMaker settings and toggle the integration from Sandbox to Production to accept live payments.

Here is a quick video demo: