3.5.1 maintenance release for WordPress 3.8

Version 3.5.1 of Achievements for WordPress is now released. It’s primarily a compatibility release, so there’s only a few changes:

  • The unlocked achievement check (the heartbeat) now happens much more quickly!
  • Very small UI tweaks in the admin to reflect WordPress’ new appearance.
  • The plugin now requires at least WordPress 3.8

Download Achievements for WordPress v3.5 from WordPress.org.

As always, a big thanks to everyone who’s used the plugin in this last year. It means a lot to me. Have a great Christmas and a prosperous 2014. :)

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Version 3.5 now available, introducing Live Notifications

After almost two months of development, Achievements 3.5 for WordPress is now available for download via WordPress.org.

Here’s the changelog:

  • NEW FEATURE: Live Notifications!
  • Updates to the “achievement unlocked” notification template.
  • General performance improvements.

Live Notifications

The “achievement unlocked” notifications have had a major makeover! They’re now better-looking and more functional than ever, and support displaying multiple notifications at the same time.

Using cutting-edge features from WordPress (the Heartbeat API), your users will now see the notifications as soon as they unlock an achievement, even if it’s from something like a scheduled post going live behind the scenes.

If you’ve customised the notifications template from previous versions of Achievements, don’t worry. Achievements will detect that and switch back to the old-style notifications until you’re ready to update your template.

What you waiting for, Christmas? Go grab Achievements 3.5 now!

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3.4.1 released; leaderboard fixes

Quick update. I released Achievements for WordPress v3.4.1 earlier today.

The only change is a fix for one issue with the leaderboard where users with negative karma point totals were being ranked incorrectly.

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August 2013 WordPress NYC community meetup

Back in August, I was in New York City for some client meetings and a short vacation. If you’ve never been to NYC before, it’s a trip everyone should make at least once. I was fortunate enough to plan my trip to coincide with WordPress.com VIP’s Big Media Meetup and the NYC WordPress community meetup.

I was super happy to be asked by the organiser, Steve Bruner, to do a quick talk explaining the Achievements for WordPress plugin. It was video’d and for your viewing pleasure, you can watch it right here:

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Achievements 3.4 now available

After four months of development, Achievements 3.4 for WordPress is now available for download via WordPress.org.

Here’s the changelog:

  • NEW FEATURE: Leaderboards!
  • NEW FEATURE: Private achievements!
  • NEW FEATURE: Support for the WP-PostRatings plugin!
  • Improved performance on WordPress multisite.
  • Improved compatibility with BuddyPress 1.8.1, includes pagination fixes.
  • Improved behaviour of the unlocked achievement pop-up; now less annoying!
  • Fixes problems with the WP-CLI commands.

Leaderboards: rank your users by their karma point totals

A long-awaited feature, be sure to add the new leaderboard widget to your site! It allows members of your community to compare each other’s karma point totals. This is the first step towards powerful user comparison and ranking features, and we’re thrilled that this has finally arrived in Achievements 3.4!

Private achievements: hide achievements from the main listings

Making an achievement private is a great way to surprise even the most prolific achievement hunter in your community! Private achievements work in exactly the same way as a regular achievement, but are hidden from the main listings.

Contributions from the community

Achievements 3.4 received another of contributions from external developers; big thanks to Ryan McCue, Bronson Quick, and Mike Bronner!

What you waiting for? Go grab Achievements 3.4 today!

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Achievements 3.3.1 coming your way with improved compatibility for BuddyPress 1.8

Hey! Version 3.3.1 of the plugin has just been released. It’s a quick update to fix a bug that was revealed by the recent release of BuddyPress 1.8.

Work on 3.4 is continuing reasonably well, and I’m looking forward to getting the new leaderboard features out!

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Roadmap update for Achievements 3

Since the 3.0 release of Achievements for WordPress at the end of January, there’s been a minor update released almost each month. These incremental updates have brought the following new features to Achievements:

  • Achievement redemption
  • RTL CSS
  • Full integration with BuddyPress
  • Featured Achievement widget
  • Photo Grid widget
  • Categories support
  • WP-CLI commands for developers

Over on the WordPress.org support forums for Achievements, I’ve answered 105 out of 109 support requests within the last two months. Providing quality support takes a lot of time, but it’s something that I feel helps shape the success of the plugin; of course, talking to everyone’s been pretty fun, too!

Something else I’m pretty happy with is the first contributions from Mike Bronner, and Bronson Quick (more to come from both, I hope); thanks for your support, guys! I must also give retrospective thanks to Tammie Lister who contributed a huge amount of review time way back in the initial 3.0 release. :)

The next release aimed for June will focus on adding leaderboard support/ranking to Achievements. This will likely come in the form of a widget and a new part of the member profiles template.

This is something that’s easy to do badly and I could have rushed it, but I wanted to take time and investigate the best solution. Mike’s already contributed some very usable code, and a great many forum contributors over at WordPress.org have suggested ideas for how this could best be implemented.

At this point, it’s hard to say what features will be added in later versions of the plugin. I’ve learnt from experience that making big lists of features often doesn’t pan out because of work and other pressures, but to give some ideas of what I’m thinking would be good, fun improvements to make over the next year:

  • Built-in support for more plugins
  • Event types that relate to a specific object (e.g. post published in a specific category)
  • oEmbed provider for Achievements (to display an achievement on other sites)
  • JSON or JSON-RPC API for advanced integration with other systems
  • Updated developer documentation
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