More plugins under development – and the GDPR Impact
I’ve been spending some time recently developing and improving WordPress plugins. NF Prize Draw Pro and WP Business Directory Pro have been selling really well and I’m keen to utilise 1/3 of my month focusing on expanding my library.
WordPress continues to be the most popular CMS, and even with the thousands of plug-ins available both for free and at a charge I still struggle to find the exact plugin for my needs. Some plugins partly do the job, or are supposed to but more often than not I find them not fit for purpose, too confusing, insecure, buggy or a real memory hog. Or I find the perfect plugin but at a ridiculous cost.
For example, when I developed NF Prize Draw Pro I just wanted a plugin that would let me run a simple competition quickly and easily; to let me pick my own winners or pick at random and to be able to view details of those who have entered. There are plenty of these plugins around but they weren’t quite right. Some of them relied too heavily on social media, some needed too much information and some just plain didn’t work.
If you want something done right, do it yourself…..so I did 🙂
WP Business Directory Pro is another great example. I didn’t want a directory that took over the entire site, I didn’t want it built in to my theme(!!), I didn’t want to be forced in to a design I didn’t like and I didn’t want to have to pay extra for all the essential extensions. And it seems I wasn’t alone because WP Business Directory Pro has been an instant hit. Easy to use, cheaper than other similar systems and relatively easy to redesign (html and css skills required 😛 )
For many digital commerce sites I like to use Easy Digital Downloads – I find it not as memory hogging as Woocommerce and comes with a whole heap of excellent extensions. But recently I ran into that same old issue where I needed something specific that neither EDD or any of the extensions would do (some came very close, but was not quite what I was after). I wanted to be able to email purchasers of specific products directly from the admin area (GDPR alert – see later). After reviewing the code I could understand why nobody had developed this yet. But I needed it quick so I jumped straight in and my latest plugin EDD Customer Emailer is now available for download.
Around the same time I was developing a plug-in that could email customers directly the new GDPR rules and regulations came into effect :/. User privacy has now, finally and rightly so, become a focal-point in the EU. While user privacy and protection comes down to the website owners I think it’s crucial that we, as developers, ensure that our plugins at the very least limit the ability to break these rules. There wasn’t much I could add to the EDD Customer Emailer plugin other than a required checkbox that forced the user to confirm they were allowed to contact their users via email, and a list of rules that they should adhere to. For NFPDP I was able to go a couple of steps further thanks to the built-in marketing option that allows users to request to give their consent to be contacted. Those who don’t click the link have their email address hidden in the admin area. While certain purchasers of my plugin may have cursed me for doing so, I feel that this was a necessary step and a useful reminder that your website users should be protected at all costs.
More plugins are on the way, including a FREE Review/Testimonial system that works with Google’s star rating system (something that seems to be lacking in other similar products).