We have been hard at work on Easy Digital Downloads version 2.1 since June, when we released version 2.0, and today we are thrilled to announce that 2.1 is getting very close to being done with the first beta version now ready for testing.
2.1 contains over 65 bug fixes and improvements, some of which are very visible and others that are more under the hood but still contribute significantly to a better operation of your stores.
As with 2.0, we are continually dedicated to the refinement of Easy Digital Downloads. In 2.1, we have made several significant improvements that were focused around refining the plugin.
First, we have taken a really serious look at how customer records are managed and we have improved them dramatically. EDD version 2.1 introduces a new database layer specifically for storing customer details as well as a new API for interacting with those records. This has done a few things:
- It has made a significant performance improvement on queries related to customer information. Before we had to perform several complex, slow queries to find things like how much a customer has purchased, which items they have purchased, and other statistical information about a customer. With the new database layer, these queries are lightning fast and fully optimized.
- Reporting on customers can now be made significantly better. We can now easily display the most valuable customers, or the customers that have purchased the most items. Even the least valuable customers. We can now also easily make all of the customer information available in a graph. While it. Is not done yet, we will now be able to easily graph the growth of your customer base over time, and even the direct value of the customer base over time.
- The new API opens up numerous opportunities for extension developers to build exciting and valuable extensions related to customers as the customer information is now much more accessible and numerous helper functions have been introduced to help access the information.
Second, we have tackled a problem that has plagued us since day one of Easy Digital Downloads: empty cart problems due to session persistence and cross-domain AJAX requests. Over the last two years, we have had some real struggles with EDD on certain hosting environments and customers being able to properly add items to their shopping cart. These issues all stemmed from our sessions API that we use to track cart information. It just didn’t play very well with aggressive caching and some hosting environment. In EDD 2.1, we have implemented some automated checks that are run during install to determine if the server the plugin is being installed on properly supports a more reliable but non-default sessions API. If the server supports it, this session management API is enabled automatically. Even though this change was relatively small in terms of the lines of code, it should have a significant impact on the number of users that have a negative experience due to lost session data.
Third, we have added the ability to drag and drop variable prices in to the order that the user wants them displayed on the site. This has been a hugely requested feature since day one, so we’re very pleased to say that it has finally landed.
Fourth, we are completely revamping our email template system. Just as you can modify the template files used to display various parts of your store, we wanted you to be able to do that for your purchase receipt and sale notification emails. With version 2.1, you will be able to do that thanks to our new EDD_Email class and template system. Note: this feature is not yet finished and is not included in the first 2.1 beta release.
On top of these four focus points, we have made dozens of other improvements, including but not limited to:
- Improved compatibility with the W3 Total Cache plugin
- Better asset URL management when forcing SSL on the checkout page
- A new API for storing and retrieving transaction IDs in payment gateways
- A new option to hide the cart widget when on the checkout screen
- Improved responsiveness of the View Order Details screen
- A new Day field in the Custom date range selection form in Earnings reports
- More accurate estimated earnings
- Support for WP CLI
- New helper functions for add/update payment meta
With all of these changes, we really want to get some extra eyes on it before we push out the official EDD version 2.1 release. Please see the directions below for how you can test the beta.
Testing the Beta
Testing the beta is pretty simple but please do take note of the important details below:
- Download beta 1 of EDD 2.1 here
- Upload the beta to your test website. Unless you are comfortable with possibly breaking things, do not do this on a live site. Use a test or staging site to test the beta.
- After the beta is uploaded, you will be prompted to upgrade your customer database. Click the link to begin the database upgrade routine. Depending on the number of customers in your database, this can take a while. Note, the upgrade notice may not go away during beta testing. You can safely ignore it after running the upgrade once.
- Test each feature of the plugin as best you can. Some example tests you could run:
- Make a test purchase
- Download the files of the purchase
- View the store reports
- View the reports for a specific product
- View the customers report
- Test the tax settings
- Test discount codes
- Test the plugin as you use it day to day
We will personally continue testing and tracking down any issues we find, but any assistance that you can lend is greatly appreciated. The more eyes we get on the beta, the less likely there are to be post-release problems.
If you find any issues with the beta or have any feedback you’d like to leave, feel free to post it here.