ChimpBlast plugin readied for release

I’ve gone back and cleaned up the ChimpBlast plugin, which allows you to create email messages based on blog posts and RSVPMaker events and distribute them through the MailChimp service. My request to add it to the WordPress.org repository is pending. Meanwhile, you can read more and download the code from:

http://www.rsvpmaker.com/chimpblast-plugin-for-mailchimp/

Displaying RSVPMaker Content in a Facebook Page Tab

I’ve been doing some experiments with the new Facebook page tabs, which are based on HTML iframes rather than FBML markup. I cooked up a new Facebook Tab Manager plugin for WordPress to make it easier to exploit this feature. I have an example of incorporating the [rsvp_upcoming] shortcode from RSVPMaker, so that event listings can be displayed on Facebook, which you can see on my Facebook business page. You may have to be logged in to Facebook for this to display correctly.

RSVPMaker as an alternative to #newmeetup

Meetup organizers who are frustrated at the changes in the service may want to consider RSVPMaker as an alternative. With a WordPress website running RSVPMaker, you can  be more in control of your own destiny by managing events on a website where you set the rules. By combining RSVPMaker with plugins and enhancements such as BuddyPress or discussion boards, you can round out the experience.

Version 1.2 will automatically retrieve profile details for a logged in user, and you can customize this function (see Changing the RSVP Form, Other Customizations).

If you try this approach, let me know how it works for you and what still needs to work better.

Test Drive RSVPMaker

Using the password below, you can access this site as a “contributor,” a security level that will allow you to create your own test events and preview them. Your events will be saved in ‘draft’ mode, so you will be able to preview them or even RSVP to test events, but the events will not be publicly visible.

You will also be able to view the RSVP Report. Some other functions are disabled, but this will let you see the basics.

user: rsvpdemo
password: rsvpdemo

Login here

RSVPMaker 1.0 Released (Make that 1.1)

Update: After a couple of small bug fixes, RSVPMaker is actually at 1.1 already.

I finally worked up the nerve to call RSVPMaker a version 1.0 quality product. The latest release includes a number of things people have been asking for, as well as a few things that are considered best practices, such as providing an uninstall script to remove custom tables and plugin-specific database entries.

Here’s the rundown:

1.0

  • Added a basic_form function that you can override to change the basic fields of the RSVP form. For example, you can change it to omit the section that asks for the names of guests. This is in addition to the rsvp_profile function, which is used to collect additional contact details such as phone # or mailing address. See the instructions for adding custom functions.
  • You have the option of allowing the names of attendees and the contents of the notes field to be displayed publicly. To avoid encouraging spam entries, this content is loaded via AJAX and only when the user clicks the Show Attendees button
  • Moved most of the default formatting into a CSS file that is queued up on pages that show event content. There is in option on the settings page for specifying your own css file to use instead. Most inline styles have been replaced by class selectors. However, the styling of the RSVP Now button is still set on the RSVPMaker settings screen. Works better for email distribution of events.
  • RSVP Report now lists timestamp on reply and lets you sort by either alphabetical order or most recent.
  • If you’re signing up employees or workers for specific timeslots, you can now set that to half-hour increments
  • Tweaked redirection code to handle confirmation and error messages on sites that don’t have permalinks enabled
  • Changed label for RSVPMaker widget as it shows up on the administrator’s screen under Appearance.
  • Added an uninstall script for removing custom tables and database entries.

Testing 30-Minute Timeslots

Sunday August 19, 2018 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
 

Test

Event date is past

Wed, 08 Jul 2020 07:09:20 +0000 last time: Sun, 19 Aug 2018 19:00:00 -0400

Troubleshooting RSVPMaker

I’m happy to hear that RSVPMaker is working well for some people, but I also get a few reports from people who are having problems. Here are some guidelines for resolving any issues you may encounter.

One known (but not completely understood) issue is that some WordPress users report getting “page not found” messages when trying to view an RSVPMaker event or click on the RSVP button. This appears to be a problem with either specific WordPress configurations (multisite?) or interference with other plugins that also manipulate the permalinks setup.

If you run into this issue, there is now a “Tweak Permalinks” checkbox you can click on the options / settings page for RSVPMaker. This should clear up the issue (by making WordPress refresh the permalinks more frequently), but let me know if it does not.

I’ve also added a “Debug” mode checkbox on the settings page. You should only turn this on if you’re having trouble.  It adds a “Debug” screen to the RSVP Events menu where you can check system variables or share them with me, relaying them to me by email.

I hope very few people will have to visit this page, but at least if you are having some sort of trouble it gives me a better chance of figuring out why it is occurring.

Debug screen, showing a readout of RSVP responses

Mystery Glitch with RSVP Reports

A couple of people who have tried RSVPMaker have reported problems with the RSVP Reports page not working properly. They get just a headline with no results listed, and I’m trying to figure out why. Please contact me if you experience this issue, so I can try to track down the cause. Continue reading “Mystery Glitch with RSVP Reports”

Version 0.9, Better Editing of Dates

I’m getting ready to declare RSVPMaker polished enough that it deserves version 1.0 status.

Today, I put out version 0.9, with these changes:

  • Made it easier to edit dates for events previously entered in system.
  • Widget and headlines listing shortcode output now include a link to your event listing page.
  • Cleanup on options handling.

Previously, if you entered an event and wanted to change the date or time, you had to delete the existing date and enter a new one. Embarrassingly awkward, I know, but it was a detail I hadn’t gotten around to doing anything about until now. First, I had to solve a few programming challenges related to the way dates are calculated.

Now the date editing panel looks like this:

Download it here:

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/rsvpmaker/

RSVPMaker 0.8 Released

Here are a few improvements early users of RSVPMaker have been asking for:

Version 0.8

  • Added type parameter for shortcode so you can display only events tagged with “featured” or another event type using [rsvpmaker_upcoming type=”featured”] (see the featured events on the home page of this site)
  • Added ability to set RSVP start date as well as deadline for RSVPs
  • If signing up workers or volunteers for specific timeslots, you can now specify the duration of the timeslots in one-hour increments
  • Cleaned up “Event Dates, RSVP Options” box in editor, moving less commonly used parameters to the bottom.
  • Added a Tweak Permalinks setting (a hack for a few users who have reported “page not found” errors, possibly because some other plugin is overwriting the RSVPmaker url rewrite rules).
  • Tested with WP 3.1 release candidate

Download from http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/rsvpmaker/

Shortcodes used on home page for event headlines, featured events