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V4 Website Launch

Back in July I announced some big changes with Organize Series and its extensions due to me being hired by Automattic. This included making all existing extensions free. To support the change, I just made a few quick edits to the backend to remove the paywall and provide links to all extensions on Github. However, this meant keeping all the plugins and theme customizations I had done in v3 of the website which included paid subscriptions for some things which I no longer get paid income from Organize Series to support. So I needed to switch away from all those things to a new theme.

Since I’ve been working quite a bit with Gutenberg lately, I decided for v4 of the website to see how far I could push building the site with Gutenberg blocks, some (free) Blocks plugins and the new Twenty Twenty theme. The result is what you see now!

It actually went a lot easier than I thought it would and this initial iteration took me about 5-6 hours to get up. I did end up doing a child theme of twenty-twenty with some slight customizations and styling, but on the whole pretty much all the layout of key pages (home page, features, and extensions) is done with Gutenberg.

Anyways, going forward this will help keep the costs of maintaining Organize Series much lower (shaving off about $700 a year). I still have to remove my dependency on Help Scout (I’m going to move all the docs back onto this website over time).

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Announcements News

Announcement: Organize Series Add-ons now free.

To keep things short and sweet, I’ve recently been hired by Automattic and this means I will no longer have the time to maintain Organize Series as a business. Organize Series has been selling licenses for add-ons access and support for nearly 10 years and I’m grateful to all the customers who have been with me over that time.

Truth is, the income was only marginal at best and basically covered the costs for doing the occasional update and keeping the servers running that host Organize Series. With the change in my life, I’ve assessed other things that I’m doing and realize that its time to sunset this business endeavour.

I’m sure you’ll all have questions, here’s a FAQ:

Does that mean the plugin is dead?

In the short term (and as long as I can) I still plan on maintaining the core plugin and it’s add-ons. I still hope to finish the rewrite I’ve been working on for the core plugin but no promises there. So, no, the plugin is not dead – it will still be available on OrganizeSeries.com and WordPress.org.

What happens to this website?

Currently, I have no plans to remove this website or shut it down. While hosting costs are still there, nowadays it’s relatively inexpensive so I don’t mind paying for it out of pocket for now.

I have a subscription, what happens with that?

First, I really want to thank you for your purchase. It’s helped pay for the infrastructure that supports Organize Series and for me to put time towards the plugin and it’s add-ons. Effectively immediately, I’ve cancelled all recurring subscriptions so they will not renew. For those who still have time left in your basic support license, I will still honour any support questions that you have for the remaining time on your subscription. For all others, if you have more than 8 months left in your subscription, I’m happy to offer a pro-rated refund of the difference of what you paid. Just contact me using the contact form and we’ll get that sorted out.

What happens to my account page on OrganizeSeries.com?

For now, you can should still be able to download add-ons from your account page, and you’ll still get automatic updates for any updates to add-ons. However, once all current subscription periods are expired, I likely will not be hosting add-ons via organizeseries.com any longer and they will be served from either github.com or wordpress.org. I will update via this blog once that decision is made.

No new accounts will be available on OrganizeSeries.com and eventually after all current subscriptions have expired I will be purging all accounts from here (and keeping no data). I believe pretty strongly in privacy and don’t wish to retain any of your data any longer than necessary.

I really like “x” add-on, will you still be supporting it? How do I get updates?

The add-ons have always been licensed GPL which give you some really great freedoms when it comes to the use of the software. As a part of this change, I’m now making all add-ons available to download from Github (links here). Unfortunately, at least initially, this does mean you won’t be notified in your site dashboard when there is an add-on update, and you won’t be able to one-click update (exception for those with unexpired subscriptions) – so you’ll have to monitor Github for any add-on updates. I’m still weighing whether I’ll put the add-ons on WordPress.org yet or not because there is some extra overhead in making them available there. However, I will announce here more details if/when I do.

As far as ongoing development/maintenance of the add-ons. I still like working on Organize Series, so I tentatively hope to continue developing and keeping the add-ons up-to-date and potentially new features introduced here and there. However, don’t make critical plans on that. If you get good use out of Organize Series or any of its add-ons for your business and have access to developer resources, a good way to keep them viable for your needs is to sponsor contribution time towards them on Github. While I won’t be available to be sponsored in this manner, I will actively review any pull requests and include useful contributions in releases.

In conclusion

Again, I want to thank all of you for your support of Organize Series over the years. Some of you have been with me from day one and I can’t describe how much that means to me. Don’t worry, I’m not going completely away, I’m just shifting around some priorities. All the best!

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Announcements News

Introducing the new Organize Series Website!

Hi folks, its been a while since I posted anything substantial around here.  It’s been a busy time for me between client projects and various personal projects in the WordPress world and as a result I haven’t devoted a significant amount of time to Organize Series.  There was even a brief period in 2016 where I considered selling all assets related to Organize Series but I was unable to find a buyer I was comfortable selling to.  Fast forward to today and I’m excited to let you know that about a year ago, I began working in earnest on building a new site to host the Organize Series plugins and showcase/sell all the related add-ons and support.  I’ve also begun work behind the scenes on a massive code overhaul of the main core plugin and add-ons (along with mapping out some new add-ons).

Why Now?

Organize Series is the plugin that first got me on the path to working in development full-time.  I have a lot to be thankful for with this little plugin and it’s come a long way.  It’s hard to believe that while Organize Series as a plugin has been around longer, this website has been around for over 7 years!  That’s a looong time.   I recently evaluated all the things I’m involved in and couldn’t shake the feeling that Organize Series could do better and slowly but surely I started to get excited again about working on this part of my world.  So here we are.

What’s changed?

A few things will be changing.  As of today:

  • Totally new website design that presents Organize Series and its family of add-ons in a much more modern and up to date style.
  • Brand new logos for Organize Series!  This freshens up our brand.
  • Revamp of the e-commerce end of things so that my customer’s have a much easier time navigating, purchasing, and maintaining their accounts with us.  Auto-renewals have been introduced as well for the products so it helps maintain a more consistent revenue stream (which means Organize Series is more sustainable).  All customers have their own account page where they can see all the products they have access to and manage their invoices etc much more easily.
  • Streamlined pricing options.  You can see all the new pricing options on the pricing page.  You still have the option of purchasing add-ons individually but it will definitely be more value in the long run (depending on your needs) to just get the everything license.
  • All our documentation has been moved to its own sub-site (docs.organizeseries.com) and documentation will no longer exist behind a paywall.

A little further out (I can’t give an ETA, sorry):

  • Improving and expanding on the Organize Series documentation
  • Releasing a brand new updated Organize Series core plugin with mostly under the hood changes but should also have some changes to settings layout (making it easier to find and change things)
  • Updating all existing add-ons to work with new Organize Series core code base plus hopefully adding a few enhancements.
  • Introducing one or two new add-ons.

How will this impact my existing customers?

All existing customers with an active subscription prior to the launch should receive an email within the next week:

  • You should be able to log into your account using your existing username/password (I migrated over from the old site).
  • Prices are going up.  I haven’t done a price change in 7 years.  Increasing the prices will go a long way to keeping Organize Series sustainable and fuel the momentum with the planned changes for the coming year.  If all goes well, I hope to be able to bring on someone to help me with supporting customers.
  • All existing packages were always only valid for one year however the previous licensing system was a bit flawed so most of my existing customers have retained access far longer than they originally paid for.  If you fall into that group, you have lost access with this launch.  If you fall into this group and think a mistake was made, feel free to reach out to us with details about your transaction and we’ll work to get that rectified.
  • Any customers on a up-to-date package/license, should see their expiry date end on or close to the end of their expected expiry date.  Since I don’t have payment details, you will not be auto-renewed and will have to renew manually at the end of your subscription expiry.  Prices will be going up on renewal.
  • Lifetime customers are grandfathered in and keep their lifetime license. At this time I’ve decided to no longer make lifetime licenses an option.

What happens to license keys?

As a part of the change, license keys are now attached to your product purchase rather than being one license key for your account.  Pre-existing license keys will no longer work.  If you are a customer with an active subscription, you can log in and on your account page you will find license keys for any products you have access to.  You can read more about the licensing key changes here.

Thanks all of you who are my customers for sticking with me over the years.  I hope to continue to bring value to everything you build and publish using Organize Series!

Updating Plugins from within the WordPress plugins page with the changes:

Unfortunately, because of the change in licensing model, any new updates to your Organize Series add-ons won’t automatically show or be available via your WordPress plugins page.  All add-ons will require the following process for the very first update to ensure you are notified of future updates in your WordPress dashboard as well as enabling one-click updating of the files:

  1. Make sure you have at least version 2.5.10 of Organize Series core installed and active on your site.
  2. Login to your account on organizeseries.com and download all the add-ons you have access to.
  3. Login to your WordPress dashboard, deactivate and delete the add-ons you just downloaded and then install the recent downloads using the Plugin Installer on your WordPress site.  Then activate the add-ons.
  4. Go back to your account page on organizeseries.com and copy the license key for each of  your add-ons, if you have the “Everything Bundle” you just need the license key for the bundle.
  5. Go to the Organize Series settings page on your website (/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=orgseries_options_page) and look in the right column for the new license key fields.  If you have the “Everything Bundle” you just need to add that key to each of the add-on fields.  If you don’t have the everything bundle, you’ll need to add the correct key for each of your add-ons in those fields.
  6. Click activate for each field with a key and you should get feedback on whether the key was successfully registered.
  7. That’s it!