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Wild Apricot Software News June 2013 - The final stretch for Version 5.0 development

It's been very long in the making, but Version 5.0 is now on the final stretch!

Development work has just a few more weeks to go – though it will still take several months to do all the reviews, testing, and data conversion, so the best case for launch is October.

Today, I am sharing screenshots and descriptions of changes coming up in Version 5.0. You might have seen some of them before – but you may notice how much the interface has been refined!

10 new features you'll find in Version 5.0

Page templates

In the current version of Wild Apricot, the layout of each page is predefined by the theme, so all site pages have to use the same layout (unless you have access to a web designer who can do complex CSS and theme overrides).

In Version 5.0, you will be able to create and use multiple templates on your website. For example, you'll be able to create:

  • a homepage template that doesn't have a standard menu and uses a different, bigger header
  • special landing page template without a header, footer, or menu
  • member pages template that uses a different header
  • default page template for other pages

You'll be able to easily place any kind of content (some text, social sharing links, sponsor logos) in any area of the template – let's say above the login box – and it will get displayed on all pages that use it:

Control page access of any page directly

Instead of having to create "restricted access section" pages and then place other pages under them, in Version 5.0, access can be controlled directly for any page:

Page history

In Version 5.0, all page edits are saved into page history and you can restore any of them if, for example, someone made an inadvertent mistake and messed up the whole page.

You can also restore any old version as a new page. Maybe you've updated a page with totally different content but then decide you want the old content to appear on your site as well but on a separate page.

Page trash

When you delete a page, it now goes to "Trash", so that restoring an accidentally deleted page is much easier now than having to scream and run to our support.

Creating and formatting complex layouts

Version 5.0 makes it much easier to create complex layouts of any page – including manually adjusting individual column widths.

For any gadget and any cell in the layout grid you can customize its margins, background color or image, etc:

Direct navigation in the backend menu

In the current version, you always have to click on a section (let's say, Contacts) -- and then click on the page you want to use within Contacts (e.g. Advanced Search).

In Version 5.0, you can navigate directly from any page to any other page.

Batch-archiving contacts

You will be able to archive any list of contacts in one click. For example, let's say you want to clean up your member database and get rid of all Free members who haven't logged in in the last year.

Google maps gadget

The new Google Maps gadget makes it easy to display locations, for example in your event description.

Facebook feed gadget

You will be able to easily display your Facebook feed on your Wild Apricot website.

Social sharing gadget

You can edit your main page template to have social sharing buttons displayed on every page on your website under the menu.

As you see, Version 5.0 will offer significant improvements in the way you set up and customize your Wild Apricot site. Stay tuned for launch date and more details.

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Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]
Posted by Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]
Published Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 9:31 AM
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  • Cherlyn CarrollCherlyn Carroll

    Cherlyn Carroll said:

    Love the upgrades. Thank you for listening!!!
    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 10:21 AM
  • MatthewMatthew

    Matthew said:

    What about the forums? Will this be upgraded?
    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 10:22 AM
  • LuchiaLuchia

    Luchia said:

    Looking forward to social media upgrades (as well as others) for both organizations I manage through WA! Thanks for continuing to innovate!
    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 10:26 AM
  • Bill LaakkonenBill Laakkonen

    Bill Laakkonen said:

    I notice this blog post has a unique text URL- when will WE get that feature? IMO None of these new features is as important as a good URL for blog posts- and many of your paying customers have asked for years now. If you get it on your blog- why don't we get it for our blogs? I've had to set up a separate Wordpress site- and deeply resent the requirement to do so. Come on- this should be a few minutes to implement- really!
    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 10:28 AM
  • BrookeBrooke

    Brooke said:

    Will you be adding the ability to go more then 3 levels deep in the page structure. This is limiting and I thought it would roll out with the upgrades.
    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 11:07 AM
  • Jennifer ClairJennifer Clair

    Jennifer Clair said:

    when is the mobile app coming?? is that not part of this upgrade?
    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 12:11 PM
  • Rick KernerRick Kerner

    Rick Kerner said:

    Nice work, guys!
    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 1:22 PM
  • Carol EmmettCarol Emmett

    Carol Emmett said:

    Looks great! Any progress on creating coupons for existing members (i.e. dues discounts) that don't require changing dues settings?
    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 2:25 PM
  • Josh stettnerJosh stettner

    Josh stettner said:

    I am looking forward to the new upgrades. Will really make the experience for members that much better!!!
    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 2:45 PM
  • Dmitry Buterin, Chief ApricotDmitry Buterin, Chief Apricot

    Dmitry Buterin, Chief Apricot said:

    Cherlyn, Rick and Josh- thank you!
    Matthew - no, version 5.0 doesn't include any enhancements to forums - though several of those are among the candidates for version 5.1
    Luchia - great! And we have some more social media related stuff not included in this post
    Bill - I am hearing you and just like with forums, there are several improvements for blogs considered for 5.1. Customizable blog URLs are not currently among top candidates though - we will review the feedback on the forum again when we will be finalize the version 5.1 scope
    Brooke - yes, CMS 5.0 will allow up to 7 levels of nested pages
    Jennifer - the only small part of mobile stuff addressed in 5.0 is responsive themes. Other improvements are planned for future releases, see our May blog post.
    Carol - sorry, discounts are not part of the version 5.0, though they are pretty high up in candidates for subsequent updates
    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 6:36 PM
  • DeeDee

    Dee said:

    Looking great on the map and social media additions.
    I wish the free membership could have an expiration date and option to upgrade at that date.
    We use it for interns and wish to limit it to one year with an automatic invoice to a paid membership after that.
    Thanks for hearing that suggestion. We are trying the invoiced renewals for the first time this year.
    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 7:59 PM
  • Mike ArmMike Arm

    Mike Arm said:

    A lot of the upgrades look good, however, there is a lot of work to make the EVENTS function more flexible.

    It would also be nice to directly create reports via sql or report writer function without having to export to excel every time.

    Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at 10:10 PM
  • john Bowlerjohn Bowler

    john Bowler said:

    Looking forward to the upgrades but would really like the ability to offer a range of products for sale via an online store.
    Thursday, 27 June 2013 at 6:04 AM
  • Dmitry Buterin, Chief ApricotDmitry Buterin, Chief Apricot

    Dmitry Buterin, Chief Apricot said:

    Dee - if you haven't done so, I would appreciate if you could post about this on our wishlist forum http://community.wildapricot.com/8/ShowForum.aspx

    Mike - this particular release is all about CMS/website management features. We are looking at a number of event related enhancements for subsequent releases so please do post on our Wishlist forum.

    John - online store is on our roadmap, though not until the next year
    Thursday, 27 June 2013 at 8:39 AM
  • John EnglundJohn Englund

    John Englund said:

    Please be sure to roll out the new version during the holidays while we're swamped with personal and family obligations and managing our annual renewals!
    Friday, 28 June 2013 at 9:18 PM
  • Robert SelfRobert Self

    Robert Self said:

    I'm really excited about the improvements coming soon. I can tell all you apricots take pride I. Your work. I am disappointed there won't be a more robust search feature included so members will be able to find content. I understand this is a complex programming task but I feel it is an essential feature that is the most important thing missing. The google search works okay for public pages but there are no search options for members to find content behind the log in private sections.
    Friday, 28 June 2013 at 11:08 PM
  • Katie FritzKatie Fritz

    Katie Fritz said:

    I'm excited for these new features - especially the better menu on the back end! Thanks for continually improving your product.
    Tuesday, 02 July 2013 at 10:57 AM
  • Dmitry Buterin, Chief ApricotDmitry Buterin, Chief Apricot

    Dmitry Buterin, Chief Apricot said:

    John, once we complete all stages of development and testing, we would have to deploy it within a short window - otherwise it starts to delay subsequent updates. Holiday time would actually work pretty well for his update IMHO - because the website usage levels are lower and any problems would have less impact and we could afford a bit more time for developing and testing urgent fixes if necessary. Also, keep in mind that this update is 98% about CMS so renewals and other functions are not likely to be affected.
    Robert - understood. We have been analyzing options to add an internal search engine so this is on our roadmap.
    Katie - thanks.
    Tuesday, 02 July 2013 at 12:55 PM
  • GinaGina

    Gina said:

    It's nice to know that the Chief Apricot I address all of my crazy questions to is hot! Thanks for the great customer service that WA offers it's clients. I too am looking forward to the new version!
    Tuesday, 02 July 2013 at 3:36 PM
  • Ron MillerRon Miller

    Ron Miller said:

    Looking forward to the new page access feature. We will use it for group restricted Forums. But will documents linked to restricted forum pages really be restricted, or will they be visible if the document URL is entered from a non-restricted page?
    Thursday, 25 July 2013 at 10:58 PM
  • Chief ApricotChief Apricot

    Chief Apricot said:

    Ron - no change on documents in 5.0
    This is one of the top candidates for the subsequent versions (5.1-5.2) so we have started analysis and design work on it. Guesstimate of possible release - early 2014
    Friday, 26 July 2013 at 9:47 AM
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