2017 has been a big year for us all. We saw the engagement of Prince Harry, the comeback of Taylor Swift and more great TV than we had time to watch. It’s also been a big year for The Events Calendar!
Around the New Year, we take time to reflect. 2017 has been a pretty amazing year for The Events Calendar, and we’re excited to share a look back on our year’s two biggest areas of focus: our community team and feature releases.
This year, we’ve restructured our support team slightly into what we now call our “community team”. The community team structure enables us to be more responsive to our user’s needs.
In addition to providing great support, they handle bug fixes by publishing maintenance releases, and address the more niche feature desires of our users by publishing extensions. Here are some of the great things our community team has achieved this year:
Okay, so technically we introduced the framework for plugin extensions in November of 2016. Our extension downloads are essentially the free addition of one small, specific feature to your events calendar plugin. We thought of extensions as an opportunity for you to add some nifty functionalities and customization to the plugins quickly and easily, without having to do any coding. Since then, we have created an extension library so you can browse all our available extensions and download to your heart’s content.
In 2017 alone, we’ve published 27 new extensions and you can expect more to come in 2018. The extension library has helped many of our users apply additional functionality to their plugins. In the past twelve months we have seen well over 3,500 extension downloads!
Bugs & maintenance releases
This year also involved a ton of bug squashing! Instead of doing business as usual, we took a step back to identify what areas in our process of reporting and fixing bugs had the most room for growth. By focusing our attention on these areas, we were left with an even smoother process for addressing bugs and as a result, were able to push more fixes. 419 to be exact!
Keep in mind, that’s not including tweaks, new features or translations.
Here’s a breakdown of how many bugs we’ve squashed in our biggest areas of focus:
- The Events Calendar and Events Calendar PRO: 163
- Event Tickets and Event Tickets Plus: 92
- Event Aggregator client and service: 74
- Community Events and Community Tickets: 37
- Common Library, Eventbrite, Image Widget & Other: 48
Another improvement to our bug-squashing in 2017, was the methodical publication of maintenance releases. Back in 2016, maintenance releases were a little more sporadic. As a major area of focus this year, we’re proud to say we’ve been publishing maintenance releases every two weeks like clockwork.
Regular maintenance releases are our way of ensuring that you’re always getting the best out of our plugins. In total, there were 25 maintenance releases in 2017.
We know that reliable support for our plugins is important to you, and that makes it important to us. Just like with bug fixes, this year we focused on improving our process, so we could offer support more quickly in the future.
Thanks to some strategic thinking, we’re better than ever at identifying patterns in bug reports and siphoning off related Help Desk topics early. If we receive multiple questions about a bug, we can quickly group them together and tackle them as a single unit. We save much more time than we would addressing bugs on an individual level, which allows us to help more users, more quickly.
This means less time spent sifting through questions and more time spent giving you answers. In 2017, our awesome community team provided 31,900 replies on our premium Help Desks!
We’ve also been hard at work adding new features to make sure our plugins always have everything you need to effectively manage your events. We published 8 feature releases in 2017. Here is a breakdown, by plugin, of some of the major highlights:
- Added support for featured events (4.4)
- Improved “Organizers & Venues” interface (4.4)
- Using Event Aggregator, support full imports between sites with The Events Calendar (4.5)
- Reduced the file size by almost 20% (4.5)
- Added Full REST API support for Events, Organizers, Venues, Event Categories and Tags, including create, update & delete (4.5 & 4.6)
- Improved Attendee Report page (4.4)
- Displayed remaining ticket count, as well as “RSVP now” button in list view of The Events Calendar (4.5)
- Redesigned ticket editor interface (4.6)
- Added option to remove ticket description for frontend display (4.6)
- Improved clarity around ticket availability (4.6)
- Added an API to get Ticket, Attendee, Event and Order information from a post id for RSVP, EDD and WooCommerce Tickets (4.5)
- Displayed “Buy Now” button in list view of The Events Calendar (4.5)
- Added the ability to reorder tickets via drag and drop (4.6)
- Improved text and error messages (4.6)
- Added “Total Event Capacity” display (4.6)
- Added a filter for featured events (4.4)
- Improved design (4.5)
- Show clear indicators on active filters (4.5)
- Improved user experience for parent/child categories (4.5)
- Added post Tags to editor (4.5)
- Revamped “My Events” & “Events Editor” pages to improve user experience (4.5)
- Improved options for customization (4.5)
- Published a brand new plugin! (1.0)
- Included multi-image support (1.0)
- Added lightbox feature (1.0)
- Added slideshow functionality (1.0)
- Added random images functionality (1.0)
Although we’ve rolled out some pretty awesome features for all our plugins, this year we gave a lot of our attention to the Event Aggregator service. Since Event Aggregator was launched late in the year in 2016, it was still a baby to us in 2017.
Scaling the service to be able to handle millions of imports has been both fun and challenging. We have been happily surprised by how many people love using Event Aggregator for all kinds of different projects and we remain committed to continuing it’s iteration and improvement in 2018.
We’re pleased to say that we’ve accomplished a lot of neat things in 2017.
Although we’re proud of our team’s hard work, we aren’t stopping there. We have big plans for 2018 and we can’t wait to share them with you throughout the year.
We have a pretty exciting feature release coming up for the Event Tickets plugin which you may have heard about in our monthly newsletter… if not, don’t worry! You’ll see it released in the next few weeks.
We are also working on compatibility with the new WordPress Gutenberg editor and will have lots to share on that in the coming months.
On top of all that, we’re in the process of offering more complete translations of our products in Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese.
Already this year, we’ve released a Spanish version of our Themer’s Guide!
So far, 2018 is shaping up to be pretty exciting.
We hope it’s a great year for you too. Happy New Year from our Tribe to yours.
-The Events Calendar team