Frontend Submissions 2.5 beta 1 released

Frontend Submissions is one of our most widely used extensions and provides a powerful feature set that allows site owners to easily create a complete multi-vendor marketplace. Today we’re happy to release the first beta of version 2.5, an update we’ve been working on for a few weeks since our team acquired full rights to the Frontend Submissions plugin in April.

It has been more than a year since the last major update to Frontend Submissions but now with the plugin under the EDD team’s control, we will be pushing out updates much more rapidly.

This update includes 27 distinct improvements and bug fixes.

Save as draft option

In 2.5 we are introducing a new option for vendors to save drafts of their product submissions before sending the product off for review or publication.

The Save Draft option will be shown when submitting new products and when editing products that have not yet been approved.

Improved frontend dashboard, form, and field markup

One of the biggest challenges them authors have had with integrating Frontend Submissions into their themes is the sub-par markup the plugin has had since version 1.0. In version 2.5 we have worked to improve as much of the markup as possible to make it easier for developers to integrate it into their sites and to bring the markup up to expected standards.

There are several areas we have adjusted:

  • Tables have been removed from the login and registration forms and replaced with div tags.
  • Fields in the submission, profile, registration, and contact forms incorrectly had fieldset tags wrapped around each field. These have been replaced with more semantically correct div tags.
  • div wrapper has been added to the Vendor Dashboard that surrounds the menu and the main dashboard body.
  • Inline CSS has been removed from all frontend forms.
  • H1 tags have been replaced with legend tags where appropriate and H3 tags everywhere else.
  • Some input fields did not have proper labels with for attributes. These have been fixed.
  • A lot of CSS class names and IDs have been standardized. Note, no existing class names or IDs were removed or changed for backwards compatibility reasons.

These changes should make it significantly easier for theme developers and site owners to customize the display of all elements in Frontend Submissions. If you are a theme author that has already integrated Frontend Submissions, please test your theme with the new 2.5 beta and let us know if there are any inadvertently introduced issues.

More template files

We have introduced several new template files that will make it easier for theme authors and site owners to customize the display of the Vendor Dashboard area. The new files are:

  • frontend-edit-product.php
  • frontend-new-product.php
  • frontend-profile.php

These template files are pretty minimal as the bulk of the form display has to be handled through the form builder, but the files are now available so content around the forms can be more easily added or customized.

File formatting and coding standards

The EDD team always strives to maintain consistent coding standards and formatting through all of our projects. Frontend Submissions, however, has always had pretty stark differences in this area that frequently made it unnecessarily tedious to track down bugs and make improvements. With the 2.5 release, we have worked extensively to update the code standards and file formatting of Frontend Submissions to better match the rest of the Easy Digital Downloads project. We made significant progress but there is still more to do. We also worked to remove a large amount of duplicated and unnecessary logic in the codebase, which has significantly simplified many parts of the plugin.

Vendor stats recount tool

We have added a new tool that allows site admins to recount earnings and sales stats for vendors. This tool can be used to reset the stats on vendors in the case they become inaccurate, as can happen when reassigning products, importing products, or anything else that involves manual changes to vendor accounts and their products.

New toggle field type

A new toggle field type has been introduced for the submission, registration, and profile form editors. This field can be used anytime you need vendors to opt in or out of a specific condition.

When submitted, a metadata row will be created with a boolean value, meaning you can easily use this field to conditionally turn things on or off based on the checked status of the field.

New email for scheduled product publication

A new email option has been added that allows vendors to automatically receive an email when one of their products changes from scheduled to published. This will allow vendors to be notified when one of their products that has been scheduled for release is actually published on the site.

Other improvements

Along with the highlights above, we’ve also introduced a number of other improvements and bug fixes:

  • A bug that caused files to be reassigned to site admins when editing a product in the backend has been fixed.
  • The email sent to vendors when a vendor is manually approved was not being sent.
  • Several hooks have been updated with additional parameters.
  • The opt-in data tracking has been removed.
  • A bug that caused the files section to not display on the vendor dashboard has been fixed.
  • Vendor avatars now support all of the standard sizes.
  • Several pagination bugs have been fixed.
  • Pasting a file URL into the file upload field instead of uploading a field failed silently, now it shows an error message.
  • Orders showed an incorrect status on the vendor dashboard when they were any status other than complete.
  • File uploads are now always attached to the product they were uploaded to.
  • New hooks have been added to the Orders tab of the vendor dashboard.
  • The Earnings tab of the vendor dashboard now displays an overview of the vendor’s earnings.
  • Usage of the deprecated get_page() function has been replaced with get_post()
  • Quick edit now works on the Downloads list table
  • The settings that allowed the form used for submission, profile, contact, and registration have been removed as they were problematic and not needed.

Beta testing

The first beta of Frontend Submissions version 2.5 is available to all valid license holders now, allowing store owners to try it out on their staging environments before going live with it. We’ve been testing it extensively prior to releasing this beta and are confident with this version, but we encourage testing first to be sure. To learn how to opt-in to beta versions of our extensions, you can use this guide.

The final release of Frontend Submissions 2.5 is planned for Monday, June 12, 2017.

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