Sunshine has been in “cruise control” for a while. My focus on Sunshine coding has been on small tweaks to usability and fixing bugs. I have also been focused heavily on marketing so Sunshine can grow it’s user base and “get bigger” so I can spend more time working on it (more income Sunshine generates for me, the more time I can spend on it) However, not any time in the past 6 months or so has been spent working on a huge new feature or add-on. I’m ready to get started on something big again.
So, please vote in this poll and I will take the results incredibly seriously but at the same time doesn’t guarantee which one I will work on first. If the second most voted feature/add-on will only take me a few weeks to develop compared to the first which will take a few months, I will go for the few weeks first.
I have just released Sunshine 2.3.5 which mostly addressed bug fixes (see below). Typically these x.x.x point releases are bug fixes only, but a few new things snuck in because they were quite simple to get added.
Option to watermark thumbnail images
This feature request directly from the first Sunshine Hangout. In reviewing what it would take to make this happen, I found it would require about 10 lines of code so went ahead and added it into this release.
Translations for ALL of Sunshine
This is part of my plan to focus on our growing international users for a bit. Previously only the core Sunshine plugin was available for translation. I have been able to merge the translations for the core Sunshine and all the add-ons into a single file. This means translating everything about Sunshine is now possible and much easier to manage and why it took so long to make this happen. Head on over to our translation site to help Sunshine be fully translated for your language – many of them only need a little more work to be 100% complete.
Oh, and all the translations which users have submitted are now incorporated.
* Add – Option to add watermark to thumbnail images
* Add – Add “register here” text link to be more clear when a user wants to mark an image as favorite but not yet logged in
* Fix – Issues using “Billing as Shipping” and error checking
* Fix – Sharing images/galleries had wrong URLs
* Fix – Taxable shipping costs not being added
* Fix – Credits properly applied to PayPal payments
* Fix – Yoast SEO was overriding Sunshine’s own title tags with wrong data for individual galleries and images, not anymore
* Fix – When using comma as decimal separator, issues with PayPal for payments
* Update – All translations have been updated. All add-on strings are now included in the core Sunshine translation .pot file so ALL of Sunshine can now be fully translated.
Maybe because it’s really late and I have been working for 10+ hours already today, I had a random idea come to me: What if I hosted a monthly Google Hangout where I can answer questions live? So, let’s give it a go. I am going to host the first “Hangout with Sunshine”.
Feel free to post some initial questions on the Hangout page so I can be ready beforehand. Or surprise me, that might be fun as well. I promise to get dressed and even comb my hair (doesn’t always happen when you work from home), and maybe a few surprise guests will show up.
Today I released a bunch of bug fix updates to the core Sunshine plugin (version 2.3.2) as well as many of the add-ons. Please make sure to get updated! The releases are all bug fixes and should be available for automatic update in your WordPress admin area.
I am happy to announce that Sunshine 2.3 is now available for automatic update. The primary goals of this release were to refine Sunshine, not necessarily introduce any new features. This release also focused on code cleanup and trying to hunt down and remove even the smallest code notices. Of course, I can’t test every single setup but I think I got most of them.
Here are some other things that were improved:
Checkout page re-organized
One of the most important aspects to e-commerce is having a process that is easy for users. Make something complicated and they may not use it. So to make the Checkout process just a tad bit easier, we have re-organized the order of fields users must fill out. The first step is the usual email/password, but the second step is now shipping instead of billing. Why? In cases where the user selects Pickup shipping option, we don’t want them having to enter any shipping information. Less fields, easier checkout.
Items in Cart on Checkout Page
Often times users will get a little hesitant during the checkout process and may want to confirm they are buying what they really want to buy. Sunshine now allows users to see the items in their cart without having to go back and potentially never return to the checkout page.
Quantity Change Notice on Cart Page
Some people on the Cart page might change the quantity for a product and go straight to clicking on the “Continue to Checkout” link assuming that their cart totals would automatically update – that isn’t the case. So if you change the quantity for any of the line items in the cart but forget to click on the “Update” button, a little notice window will popup asking you want you want to do about it.
Cleaner Settings Throughout Sunshine
I have never really liked how the settings for galleries, products, etc were looking. So I finally made just some small design tweaks and now I think they look a lot more slick. When you are looking at this almost every day of your life, it makes a difference when it looks nice.
Custom Email Address for Favorites Submissions
You can now set an optional, separate email address to receive notifications when a user has submitted their favorites.
Helping New Users
Some of the feedback from users who installed but ended up not using Sunshine said they were bit confused on what to do to get started. So, upon installation new users will see a notice in the admin directing them to our new Setup Guide. Admittedly it is very basic right now, but that leads to…
Documentation Updates Coming Soon!
Sunshine gets tons of positive feedback from our users, but consistently gets less-than-positive feedback about the documentation area. So, now that 2.3 is released focus will be on improving our documentation and continuing to improve the entire process of starting and using Sunshine.
* Update – Better add-ons page in admin
* Update – Re-order Checkout page, putting shipping first for better flow (example: don’t ask for shipping info if pickup)
* Update – Ability to see items in order on Checkout page
* Update – Confirmation on Cart page if a user changes quantity but doesn’t update
* Update – New admin notices class, much easier way of adding notices in Sunshine to help users out and do promos
* Update – New meta box styles
* Fix – Only create Sunshine-related image sizes for Sunshine galleries
* Fix – Slow servers, uploading large files times out. Set increased time limit for files to upload.
* Fix – Allow bulk delete of Sunshine’s various custom post types
* Fix – Confirmed PayPal orders should be marked as “new”, not “processing”
* Fix – Logo size issues in email template for some users
* Fix – Child gallery order not obeying gallery order settings
* Fix – Phone number no longer required
* Add – Set email address to receive submitted favorite notifications
* Add – Link to Client Galleries in admin menu bar
* Add – More add-on/pro license expiration reminders
* Add – Link to Setup Guide on installation
The free WP Offload S3 plugin let’s you sync your entire WordPress Media Library to an Amazon S3 cloud file storage account. By putting all your media in the cloud, you have unlimited, cheap file storage regardless of your web host. The core Sunshine plugin has been compatible with WP Offload S3 for a while, but now the Digital Downloads add-on is as well. Hopefully this is good news for those on limited file storage web hosts.
In this release, we added new features to work with parent/child galleries. If you set a minimum order amount on a parent gallery, the items in cart from the child galleries are used to determine if the minimum is set. Previously this add-on could only handle minimum orders on individual child galleries.
Order Subtotal Minimum
There is a new option which appears in Sunshine > Settings > Checkout where you can set a minimum on the cart subtotal.
The most popularly requested payment gateway was iDEAL. In order to work with iDEAL, we actually have to go through Mollie. I am pleased to announce that while everyone in the US was watching Super Bowl 50 and eating junk food, I was also watching the Super Bowl 50 and coding this new Mollie payment gateway.
Our new Mollie (with iDEAL support) payment gateway is now available for $19 and included in the Pro license. All existing Pro license holders can access the add-on for free from the Sunshine Add-on Manager within their WordPress site or download the add-on from their account area.
One thing some people get hung up on was having to save and upload two sets of files, low res and high res. The original idea behind this when it was initially developed a couple years ago is that some cheap, low level shared web servers cannot handle resizing really large (30MB+) images down to various sizes without getting severely hung up. Also, servers are not mean to save images and the image quality is always important to photographers. However, I think we have solved both issues in this release. The advantage of a single file upload is…
Sell unlimited file sizes
You can now create digital download products and define the size which is given to your client. You can now upload a single image and sell a Low Resolution Digital Negative, Medium Resolution Digital Negative AND High Resolution Digital Negative (or any number of sized images you want) incredibly easy now.
(Almost) Amazon S3 Integration
I got really close, but still have a few unresolved things and it’s taking quite a while to figure out how to do this. It’s a bit difficult to grab an image from a remote server and include it into a dynamically built zip file. I think the foundation is now in place to do this, but I did not want to hold up the release on this update any longer trying to figure it out.
We always recommend making a backup before performing updates but especially so with this update to the Digital Downloads add-on. A full site backup (database and files) is recommended. Learn some info no performing backups.
Sunshine 2.2.3 has been released with some bug fixes. Below is the full changelog list:
* Fix – When viewing gallery on front end, make admin bar “edit” link go to gallery instead of Client Galleries page
* Fix – Image processor typos
* Fix – Issue applying discounts to logged in users
* Fix – Missing a CSS class on the gallery list <ul> element for Sunshine themes
* Update – Refined user capability access
* Update – If Local Pickup is only shipping method, don’t show shipping fields
* Update – If Local Pickup is selected, hide shipping fields (even though they are above, might help reduce some confusion)
* Update – If gallery requires email and logged in as admin, don’t ask for email – not necessary!
* Update – Made Image Processor ajax queued so it will not import the next image until the previous one is done. This helps slow servers from getting overwhelmed and causing errors.
* Update – Remove automatically switching to “Uploaded to this page” when trying to set a featured image. Easy enough to do manually and causes issues when you don’t want it from the current page.