Software News November 2014: Version 5.2 Coming Soon

Steve Andrews 26 November 2014 7 comments

Our product design and development teams have been busier than Santa’s elves trying to ensure that as many of our valued customers’ outstanding Wishlist wishes are granted in the Version 5.2 release in time for the holiday season!

You may recall that we shared our Roadmap beyond Version 5 back in May. As you know, our Wishlist forum is our main tool for collecting ideas from our clients and discussing possible solutions. Forum topics with 10 or more different authors in comments get promoted to the Roadmap. Since the blog post in May, we released 7 features in our 5.1 update,  as well as new themes, and even managed to release our first mobile app for iOS.

Now, we want to offer a preview of what is coming in Version 5.2 – which includes 14 new features from our Wishlist and solves 40+ challenges identified by users. This release is all about addressing as many of the outstanding customer requests as possible – from built-in site searches, to social network logins, sortable membership levels, more exporting capabilities, and much more.

What’s Coming In Version 5.2?

The following are just some of the highlights of what’s coming in Version 5.2. To see the full list and details, visit the Upcoming Releases page.

You asked, and we’ve responded!

Here are just a few of the product enhancements we’ll be releasing in Version 5.2 based on customer Wishlist requests.

Starting page for members:

(Wishlist) Currently, after logging in, non-administrative members land on the first restricted page for their membership level, unless they have open invoices or are overdue for renewal.

With Version 5.2, administrators will be able to choose where members land after logging in, by selecting a default landing page, and separate landing pages for individual membership levels.

Administrators will still end up in admin view, and members with open invoices will be directed to the Invoices and payments tab in their member profile. Starting page settings will not apply when a member logs in while registering for an event or to enter a blog comment.

Please note: With the release, the starting page will default to the home page, so clients will experience an immediate change since the previous default was the first restricted page.

Logging in using social network credentials:

(Wishlist) Your members will be able to log in using their Facebook or Google+ credentials (in addition to their Wild Apricot credentials). For websites using the Log in form gadget (rather than the Log in button gadget), administrators will have to modify the gadget settings to show the additional login options.   

What does this mean for your members?

  • they don't have to remember another set of credentials
  • members already logged into Facebook or Google+ don't have to enter their Wild Apricot credentials – they just click the log in button.


Website text search:

(Wishlist) With the Version 5.2 release, finally comes a new Site search gadget (the request was first made in 2008!).  This is a built-in site search function that allows visitors to search your site, including restricted pages (subject to access permissions) and hidden pages (if this option is enabled) – something you can’t do with an embedded Google search box.

With this new feature will enable you to:

  • Search content across: pages, blogs, forums, events, member profiles
  • Set the default content to be searched
  • Customize the search results page
  • Allows visitors to filter search results themselves
  • Exclude some content from search results (within the site search settings)

Additional export formats:

(Wishlist) To respond to requests for additional exporting formats and features, here are some of the new export options when exporting contacts, members, event registrants, invoices, etc.:

  • New export formats: XLS (Excel) and CSV (comma separated variables) – this will allow you to open your export file using older versions of Excel
  • (Wishlist) You can select the fields to be included in the export file – rather than exporting the entire file and removing unwanted columns afterwards
  • Administrators no longer have to wait for export file – they can receive a link to the generated file by email
  • (Wishlist) Exporting registrations for all events in the list – so you can report on multiple events without having to stitch together multiple export files 

Sorting membership levels: 

We are giving you more flexibility and control over membership levels.  With the release, you will be able to:

  • Sort membership levels within the membership application gadget – alphabetically, by price, or manually – so you can determine the order in which your member levels appear.

Additional membership renewal options:

  • (Wishlist) Set annual renewal periods up to 6 years (previous limit was 3)
  • (Wishlist) Control the availability of the member self-service renewal function:
    • Option to limit renewal to single period ahead – enabling limited time or introductory membership offers and ensuring members can’t circumvent fee increases
    • Option to limit renewal to certain period of time before renewal date
  • Locking member privacy settings: 

    (Wishlist) We’ll also be making an important change to member privacy settings. You will have an option of locking the privacy settings of selected public profile fields so that their visibility can’t be changed by the member. This will enable organizations to prevent members from exposing potentially private information, or conversely, hiding their identity so they can engage in anonymous spamming.

    Forums:

    (Wishlist) Based on our customers’ requests, we’ve made added a number of new features to our forums. For example, you’ll be able to:

    • Move forum topics from one forum to another
    • Merge multiple forum topics together
    • Move a reply to another forum topic
    • Create a new topic from a topic reply
    • (Wishlist) Set access permissions by member groups as well as membership levels
    • (Wishlist) Control the order of forum replies using a new discussion forum gadget setting
    These enhancements will make it easier to assign forum moderators, and allow forum administrators to more easily moderate forums by combining and reorganizing threads.

    There’s Lots More Coming In Version 5.2!


    This is just a taste of what’s to come in Version 5.2. For full details on what’s coming, including new features as well as 40+ bug fixes, have a look at the Upcoming Releases page.

    In the meantime, check out our new range of help videos:

    To ensure you are optimizing your use of Wild Apricot and to make it easier for new staff and volunteers taking on administration of your system, we’ve been building on our video tutorial resource library in our self-serve online help. Here are just a few of the 14 new videos (and counting) available:

    Timing of Version 5.2 release

    We’ll be sending email notification to all of our customers’ primary administrators when we finalize the date for the Version 5.2 release.

    Remember, if your Wishlist wishes weren’t granted in this holiday update, check out our Product Roadmap to see what’s coming after Version 5.2 and keep offering us your feedback through the Wishlist forum.

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Steve Andrews [Picky Apricot] Steve Andrews [Picky Apricot]

Posted by Steve Andrews [Picky Apricot]

Published Wednesday, 26 November 2014 at 9:00 AM

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Comments

  • Sunil Gupta said:

    Wednesday, 26 November 2014 at 12:15 PM
    Fantastic! I am looking forward to the new website text search!! I know my members will take advantage of this feature to be more productive.

    Sunil Gupta
  • Steve Andrews said:

    Wednesday, 26 November 2014 at 12:35 PM
    Thanks for your patience. We know it was a long time coming.
  • Geoff Haynes said:

    Friday, 28 November 2014 at 9:05 PM
    Great to see the added features in 5.2.

    But when are you going to provide responsive website templates? In 2014, mobile device access to the internet overtook that of desktop. Without responsive design, mobile access to Wild Apricot websites is not a good user experience. This really is an important issue that should be given a high priority on your To Do list.
  • Steve Andrews said:

    Thursday, 04 December 2014 at 8:34 AM
    Geoff, we hear you. A responsive, mobile-friendly theme set will be included in 5.2.1, the next update after the 5.2 release. That update is currently scheduled to go out before Christmas, though as with any release, it could be postponed somewhat.
  • Melinda Dooley said:

    Saturday, 17 January 2015 at 9:35 PM
    There have been many improvements since I started using Wild Apricot for Web Content management. One thing I would love to have is drag and drop options for email development.
  • Steve Andrews said:

    Tuesday, 20 January 2015 at 9:38 AM
    Melinda, I will pass your suggestion onto our product design team, but the best way for your voice to be heard and your request to make it onto our product roadmap is to post a message to our wishlist forum at https://community.wildapricot.com/8/ShowForum.aspx .
  • roberthoot said:

    Friday, 30 January 2015 at 11:19 PM
    Appreciating the commitment you put into your website and detailed information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my website.
Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.

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