Blog

New Mollie (with iDEAL support) add-on for our European users

February 9, 2016

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.

Digital Downloads 2.0 Add-on Now Available

February 8, 2016

The Digital Downloads add-on has a big update now available with frequently requested features now included.

Single file upload

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 is released

December 17, 2015

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.

Updates to our add-ons

December 9, 2015

On the heels of our 2.2 core update, we have also released updates to some of our add-ons!

Analytics

  • Show galleries viewed in edit user profile

Lightbox

  • Adjust to work with product options required
  • Change button text to read “Adding…” to let users know something is happening on slower servers
  • Fixed bug when adding comment to order

Packages

  • Adding image to a package has updated success message, adding link back to gallery along with existing link to cart

Product Options

  • Allow options to be required

Sunshine 2.2 released

December 8, 2015

Sunshine 2.2 has been released and available for automatic update from your WordPress admin area. We highly recommend updating as soon as possible as it has important fixes for key areas of Sunshine. This version does not introduce any new features but makes significant improvements and refinements throughout.

Improvements for how items in cart are handled
We received a lot of support emails regarding issues with their clients getting 500 errors. Ultimately it was discovered that users with 17 or more items in cart was the reason. Sunshine has completely rebuilt how items in cart are stored for all users which has completely eliminated this issue. Carts can now have unlimited number of items in it without issue.

FTP image processor gets improved
The FTP image processor has been rewritten to be all AJAXy for a little quicker, smoother UI for you in the admin.

Gallery add/edit screen updated
The gallery add/edit screen now has all options in a single meta box. Previously some options were in the Publish box in the upper right and the others down below. This was confusing and many of you didn’t realize they could create password protected or private galleries. This UI change should hopefully make things much more clear for everyone.

Updates for 4.4
WordPress will be implementing a few new things behind the scenes in 4.4, Sunshine has made adjustments to be ready for it’s release in the very near future. More specifically this has to do with the wp_title feature in case you’re interested.

Improved checkout UI
In previous version we allowed anonymous users to get all the way to the Checkout/Payment page without having to create an account and this really helped users. However, it caused some issues for users who already had an account but forgot to login first. So if this is the case, the UI is updated just slightly to make it very clear to users who already have an account on how to proceed by quickly logging into their account first then finishing the checkout process.

Easier addition of the Sunshine Menu to all Sunshine pages
Another common question we get is how to make it easier for clients to navigate to the cart, checkout, account, etc pages easier. Sunshine has a Sunshine Menu widget and a shortcode which you could use, but this was still lost on many. Now, there is a single option in the Sunsine > Settings > Design tab to have this menu automatically included (and pre-styled) on all Sunshine related pages making navigation around Sunshine related pages much easier.

Email updates
Some additional variables have been allowed in email subjects and messages.

Disabled Breadcrumbs
Some users don’t want their clients navigating between galleries and the breadcrumb path was always included which allowed users to find the link to the main Client Galleries page. Now you can disable the output of the breadcrumbs entirely should you want.

Linking back to a gallery from image detail page
If you are on an image detail page, a new link is added which allows your client to more easily navigate back to their gallery much easier than relying on the breadcrumb path.

Sunshine 2.1 has been released, add-on updates

October 7, 2015

Sunshine 2.1 has just been released with a few nice enhancements. We recommend everyone update as soon as possible. By updating, you will not lose any data such as settings, galleries or orders.

What’s new in this release:

Terms of use at checkout

You can optionally set a Terms of Use which users will have to agree to on the Checkout page. Customize the terms to whatever you want. This is a great option to remind users that there are usage restrictions to purchasing digital negatives or any other kind of legal thing you want them to approve before completing their purchase.

Improved Checkout page

On the Checkout page, if a user is not yet logged in but does have an account, they can enter their email and password and be automatically logged into their account. This reduces the need for them to go to a separate login page and then return to the Checkout page. Less steps means less issues means happier clients.

Copy favorite image file names for Lightroom

We added the ability to copy the file names of the images marked as favorite for a user. This makes searching for them in Lightroom a breeze. This is the same feature that was added in a recent release for orders.

Items in cart for 30 days

For non-logged in users, if they added items to cart then closed their browser window they would lose it all. Now, those items will remain in their cart for 30 days. Logged in users have always had items in cart tied to their user account.

Translations

We’ve updated our translations. If you still see things not translated or are inaccurate, please feel free to join the translation group and help out!

Bug Fixes

As usual, various bug fixes have also been done

Add-ons

Updates for several add-ons have also just been released:

MailChimp / Campaign Monitor

Now integrates with the email to access gallery feature so users can be added to your email list. It also adds new settings that give you more fine grained control on how users get added to the list (if they are asked to join or are automatically added) and when they get added to your list (registration, gallery email access or checkout).

Masonry

Ability to have the Masonry effect be used on the list of galleries page (the main page)

Digital Downloads / Lightbox / Packages / Product Options

Small bug fixes

Why Sunshine doesn’t have guest checkout

September 17, 2015

One feature request I get on occasion is for guest checkout. To be honest, this request has always baffled me. Here’s why:

It is definitely true that many users will abandon a checkout experience if they are requested to register an account before they are allowed to checkout. In reality the number of fields to fill out for a guest checkout versus creating an account first on any e-commerce website is exactly the same except for a single additional field: password. All the other fields (email address, billing address and shipping address) are all still needed to complete an order in either situation. The problem is on many e-commerce websites it takes the user to a separate registration area which is a pain. In fact, previous versions of Sunshine (< 1.9) the checkout process did redirect the user to a separate registration page if they were not already logged in. That was not ideal, so I changed it. With the current version of Sunshine, a non-logged in users on the checkout page will see the same one-page checkout screen that a logged-in user would see but with the addition of that single password field.

checkout-password
Sample checkout page using Sunshine with the single, extra password field

If a user does not yet have an account, then one is created for them when they complete the checkout page using the email/password provided. On submit, the account is created, the user is automatically logged in to the new account and then checkout proceeds as normal all in a single process invisible to the user with no extra steps. Checkout simply can’t get any easier for your users.

A new feature being added for 2.0.7 is if a user already has an account and reaches the checkout page without having logged in yet, they can enter their email address and password in same the “Account Information” section as if they were registering. If they give valid login credentials, they are automatically logged in and checkout continues seamlessly. There is no link to a separate login page making this incredibly easy for users to give you their money regardless of already being logged in or not.

Why not just make a Guest Checkout option anyway?

The main reason is more security for digital download purchases. By associated every order with an actual user we can then require the user be logged in before being able to access digital downloads from their order thus making the digital download feature more secure. Yes, some of you are not using the digital download add-on but most of you are.

Another reason is having an order associated with a user creates an order history for that user which they themselves can access. I’ve used guest checkout on many sites, ones where I thought to myself “I am not going to buy anything from this store again, no need for an account.” And sure enough I never did buy anything from that store. Except I got the wrong product in the mail. I had deleted the order confirmation email and was having a hard time finding it. If I had an account, I could have simply logged into the website to check what I had actually ordered. Instead, I had to sit on hold for 20 minutes waiting for a customer service rep. Not the end of the world really, but it’s those small things that make an impact on the overall user experience.

Sometimes we have to help people help themselves and I believe having every order associated with a user account is helpful all around.

What do you think?

 

2.0 is finally here, and it is free!

August 18, 2015

The journey to this release has been long, but I believe worthwhile. I am very happy to announce that Sunshine 2.0 is now available for free on the WordPress plugin repository! The SunshinePhotoCart.com website has also been refreshed.

A reminder of what this means

The first thing of note is that the basic version of Sunshine will be free, the Pro version will continue being a paid product. However, every feature available in the Pro version will be available as individually paid add-ons.

For basic Sunshine users

If you have a current basic Sunshine license, you now have a $39 (the current cost of Sunshine) credit in your account. You can use that credit towards any add-ons you want – go check them out now!

The latest version of Sunshine should be available to you via automatic updates in your WordPress administration area. You no longer need to pay the annual renewal fee for your license to continue getting updates. I will continue to offer 1-on-1 support for the length of your license.

I also recommend upgrading to the Pro version. If you were to purchase all the add-ons individually it would be $528. With Pro, get every single add-on and continued 1-on-1 support for $149 – saving you 72%! On top of that, until August 28th all add-ons are 30% off!

For Sunshine Pro users

The upgrade process is a little more involved for Pro users but not too difficult. If you run into any issues, please submit a support ticket.

Step 1
Go to Sunshine > Settings and copy your license key

Step 2
Go to Plugins > Installed Plugins and deactivate your current Sunshine Pro plugin(Don’t worry, you will not lose any data by doing so)

Step 3
Go to Plugins > Add New. Search for “sunshine” and install the core Sunshine plugin.

Step 4
Go to Sunshine > Settings > Licenses and enter your Sunshine Pro license key.

Step 5
Go to Sunshine > Add-on Manager and activate the add-ons you would like to use.

Step 6
Go to Sunshine > Settings > Licenses and confirm that a valid license key for every add-on is set. If not, the license keys are available in your Account area on our website (and please notify me if this does not automatically work for you).

Again, you will not lose any of your galleries, images, orders or other data in this process. If you do run into any issues, please submit a support ticket and I will investigate it immediately.

Sunshine 1.9.6 released

July 3, 2015

Sunshine 1.9.6 – The 2.0 you’ve been waiting for!

We have finally addressed some of the biggest requests from Sunshine users… and then added more. Many of you have been anticipating this release which was tentatively going to be 2.0, but instead we are releasing it as 1.9.6. The reason for not quite yet going to 2.0 should (hopefully) be clear soon. Enough with that, on to the awesomeness that is included in this release!

Please note this new version is now available via automatic update in your WordPress administration.

New lightbox

lightbox

The original lightbox feature didn’t get much love – it was thrown together to satisfy the request of a few early adopters then left to rust. A feature often recommended simply be turned off because it often acted funny is now a huge highlight of Sunshine. The way your users will interact with Sunshine using the new lightbox feature we think is a monumental move forward.

Available for Pro users.

Product Options

product-options

 

By far the most requested feature, many of you have wanted to create products with options allowing it to be further customized. Now you can create a single 8×10 product and have an option for paper type. Or let clients choose image editing option (at additional cost). Even let them add a frame to hold that beautiful print. Anything you want can be made an option.

Available for Pro users.

Automated Email Marketing

favorites

 

Sunshine aims to be a tool to help you grow your business. We want you making as much money as possible so you can do what you love. With automated email marketing, you can create effective, targeted, customized email marketing campaigns to your clients and other site visitors…automatically.

Want to have an email sent to a client 3 days before their gallery expires… and include a custom coupon code for 15% off their order to squeeze some additional prints out of them? Sure, it does that. Want to send an email 2 days after a user views the gallery, added an item to cart but didn’t finish their order? Yep, that to. To a user that added images to their favorites but nothing in cart? Sure, send them an email to turn those favorites into purchased products. Or, like the above screenshot, send an email to a client 3 days after they have added images to their favorites but haven’t yet purchased… along with that coupon code to sweeten the deal for them.

Automated email marketing is all about maximizing product sales from those clients who likely wouldn’t buy or wouldn’t buy as much without a little extra love.

Available for Pro users.

Access gallery with email address

While creating the automated email marketing feature it became apparent we wanted more ways to get email addresses. So, we added this new option of requiring users to enter their email address before they can view a gallery. Get those friend and family email addresses and turn them into sales!

Available to all users.

Search Widget

Accidentally included in a previous version was an incomplete version. Now it is done. Add a search box to your Sunshine gallery or anywhere on your site.

Available to all users.

Better Checkout

Sunshine requires users create an account. When a user went to the checkout page, they were redirected to the default WordPress registration page if they were not yet logged in. Many of you did not like this and rightfully so. Now, instead of that redirect, users go directly to the checkout page where a single additional field – password – has been added. They are registered and automatically logged as part of the checkout process. One less page means an easier, better experience.

So many more features…

  • Track number of free image downloads
  • Option to choose specific users who can download free images/galleries per gallery
  • Customizable email subjects for various generated emails like order receipts
  • Option to show image name under thumbnail on gallery view
  • Admin order details – Lightroom file list: Quickly provides file names for you to search in Lightroom to quickly find images to make a new collection for easier fulfillment
  • Admin order details – Sort order items by type (image, package, download) and indicate what each item is for easier fulfillment
  • After adding to cart, link to return to gallery along with link to view cart is now available
  • Improved email templates
  • Downloading single image with no print release just downloads image, doesn’t generate zip with single image
  • Private gallery redirects to login screen when not logged in instead of ugly message page
  • Portuguese translation

And then some additional bug fixes…

  • Gallery URL now includes sub-galleries so no more sub-gallery name conflicts
  • Gallery digital download recheck minor adjustment
  • Download All link for individual order detail page
  • Conflict with other Campaign Monitor subscription plugins
  • Lightbox enabled, products for gallery disabled – add to cart link still showed
  • Newsletter was prompting to sign up for newsletter with invalid API keys
  • Image thumbnail size wrong in some cases on invoice in admin
  • Package with only digital negatives shows shipping options

1.9.5 Released: Masonry galleries, printable invoice/packing slip, sales tax report, better theme integration

February 24, 2015

If it wasn’t for our work on 2.0 (and already calling it 2.0), this release would get a bigger version number. We have added some new features and enhanced other areas resulting in significant theme integration improvements.

Masonry Galleries

masonry

A very popular request was to make galleries display using the Masonry style (think Pinterest). Now, with a single option in the settings, you can have your gallery thumbnails displayed in this style. This is available only to Sunshine Pro users.

Printable Invoice / Packing Slip

invoiceWithin the admin, every order now has a printable invoice or packing slip (whatever you want to use it for). The layout is formatted especially for printing and should work very well with most home printers. This is available to all Sunshine users.

Sales Tax Report

sales-tax

This new feature is not huge in all honesty, but with tax season here it seemed work adding. A very simple breakdown of all the sales taxes you have collected from sales through Sunshine. This is available only to Sunshine Pro users.

Better Theme Integration

Sunshine has taken a new approach to how it structures URLs and determines what content to display. Previously, Sunshine used custom post type permalinks but then tried to use the page template assigned to the main Client Galleries page. However, far too many themes ignored the built in page template system and made up their own which Sunshine was not able to handle. While Sunshine still worked, it resulted in some inconsistencies between how pages were displayed when going from the main Client Galleries page, to a gallery and then to an image.

Now, Sunshine makes use of rewrite endpoints. Instead of using the custom post type permalinks, we add endpoint rules to your main Client Galleries page. This results in every Sunshine page acting as if it is loading the Client Galleries page. Then, we display different content based on what is in the endpoint URL. This is the same approach WooCommerce 2.1 recently converted to using.

If that was all way over your head, just know that the end result is a significantly better integration with more themes.

Here is the full changelog breakdown:

= 1.9.5 =
* Add – Masonry option for thumbnail display!
* Add – Show discounts applied in admin order detail page
* Add – Reports page, extremely basic sales tax report to start
* Add – Add noindex meta tag to order pages to help clean up past security issue of order URLs being indexed
* Add – Invoice / Packing slip available for all orders
* Change – Use rewrite masks for handling Sunshine URLs, should now support any theme better even if not built to WP standards
* Change – Text when showing the required registration form to checkout or add to favorites
* Change – Always show Add to Favorites link, send user to register if they are not logged in
* Fix – Various PHP warning fixes
* Fix – Fix tax calculation when discount is greater than taxable amount
* Fix – Further fixes to handle some servers and their case sensitivity issues with image file names
* Fix – Currency symbol in admin for products to use settings, not always show $
* Fix – Media Gallery was still displaying images from Private galleries

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