Our New Code Structure & Business Model
Events Calendar PRO 2.0 is just around the corner. During the final QA round, we exposed a few critical bugs that delayed us from pushing the plugin live on September 20 as initially planned; we’ve used the past few days to knock those out and are on track to take the plugin live later this week. We’ll be spending the start of this week dotting our I’s, crossing our T’s and making sure that 2.0 is a finished product we can be proud of and you as the end user can find value in.
We’ve changed our plugin & business structure. Up until now, the plugins have existed as two distinct entities: if you wanted The Open Source Events Calendar, you downloaded it from WordPress.org; if you wanted Events Calendar PRO and support, you’d buy it at CodeCanyon. Both ran independently. As you all know we are leaving code canyon and will be selling PRO ourselves. But that is not the big news (anymore).
We had two separate plugins with wildly different code bases — ECP treated events as a custom post type, as an example, while TEC added a panel to your posts. Since paid customers inevitably become a higher priority than open source users, this meant we focused exclusively on supporting ECP 1.3.3 and let TEC 1.6.5 become outdated & unsupported. As time went by and TEC got older and older, the user base was left to figure things out on their own and forced to work with bugs that in many cases were too complex to resolve themselves.
For 2.0, we’re switching things up a bit. We have combined to one common code-base with PRO (& others) becoming paid add-ons that add functionality to the free open source plugin. We’ll continue to add regular updates to the open source project and release new add-ons with additional features. The open source project will get a huge overhaul and many of the benefits of the existing PRO plugin. The API will allow outside developers to create their own add-ons as well, which can extend the plugin’s functionality without having to modify the core.
What does this mean for the end user? A few things:
- Events Calendar PRO 2.0 will essentially be an add-on to The Events Calendar 2.0; as a result, TEC 2.0 will need to be installed for ECP 2.0 to run.
- New Add-ons (Eventbrite Ticketing, Community Events, etc) will work with the open source events calendar and (so far) won’t require pro.
- No longer will you have to worry about The Events Calendar becoming unsupported while we focus on ECP 2.0…given the new structure, both must be constantly kept up to date. This means more frequent releases to the open source community, fewer bugs and an overall more current codebase.
- We’ll be listening to your bug reports. Even if you’re not a PRO user, your feedback will be valuable for helping us keep TEC 2.0 current.
- Information for both versions will be available at tribe.pro; users seeking the open source version can find it at WordPress.org plugin directory. PRO, however, will not be available on CodeCanyon or anywhere other than tribe.pro.
Despite the change, this won’t mean much new effort needed on your end. If you want to install The Events Calendar 2.0, just upload it (via FTP, from your site’s admin console, etc) and find it in the list. Hit activate, and you’re good to go:
Turning on PRO isn’t much more of an effort. After finishing your purchase, upload it in its own folder into your Plugins directory. With TEC 2.0 still active, activate ECP 2.0 so both plugins are active at once:
That’s it! ECP is now essentially an add-on to TEC, and by activating both (the “core plugin” and the “add-on”), you’ve brought yourself up to PRO status and have all the features (recurring events, saved venues, etc) that were missing when you had just TEC active a few moments ago.
Note that if you activate ECP 2.0 before activating TEC 2.0, you’ll see a message like this:
Unlike with ECP 1.3.3, you can’t have ECP alone active in 2.0 — it won’t work. If you see the message above, don’t panic…just go activate TEC 2.o (downloading it from WP or tribe.pro if you need to first) and you’ll be set.
In our testing, the process has been smooth and our beta testers have gotten the hang of it nicely. Are you a developer working with events? You can now build cool new things on top of 2.0′s core functionality. Interested in extending the plugin’s reach, but not finding the hooks or filters to do so? Just drop us a line or comment at our Facebook page…we can always add those hooks/filters you need to help improve the plugin.