Serving The Planet

Options4All December 2015 Changelog: Do or Do Not, There Is No Try

As shared on the admin’s personal wall on te 19th of December 2015:

Right … I forgot count how many times I’ve (re)started, gave up, deleted it all, only to rebuild one final time. To kill it once and for all, then to join forces … and then pull the plug … and damnit it’s itching. Oh heck! Let’s rebuild it AGAIN so 2-3 years of coding ain’t in vain. Let’s see how far I will come this time. What I’m on about? options4all all-in-one’s ultimate solution of course. What else?! whahahahahaaaa.

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Cause just blogging is boring. And most webshop solutions or membership platforms cannot do what I like to have. Which is process STP, Bitcoin, Skrill payments next to the rest of the popular bunch. And I’m tired of filing support tickets / feature requests about it and having to wait till forever, when I can build everything I just mentioned in the blink of an eye. So why not combine everything hmm? Whooooopy.

Where I got stuck last time? SSL cookie stuff and caching. But if I just do things a little different. Maybe the outcome is going to be different? Worth a try …


Problems during November 2015

Late October I decided to revive the Options4All Project and merge it with CycleClubMembers. It made sense to ‘divide & conquer’, as earlier problems were also solved by two of the other co-admins. And we made some insane progress indeed in November. But … couldn’t get my brain around two big issues:

  • SSL was acting up; not all software supported it (read: XML-RPC related). So after a lot of conditional htaccess statements I sort of got it working.
  • The Options4All database was based on WordPress 3.x and O4A was running WordPress 4.x … that somehow conflicted when I tried to change everything to InnoDB.
  • And things got especially into a pinacle when migrating  from the shared hosting development environment to a Vultr VPS (better and cheaper than Digital Ocean), but still running an older version of MySQL. More database issues, this time to UTF8 vs. Unicode vs. UF8MB4 table collation issues. Still with me?
  • And to top it all off. The adoption rate was too low. People didn’t see things, as I saw it. Meaning, more development time and tutorials, and no income from all efforts; not an option and hence a distraction from money generating activities. But that was okay on itself, until …
  • WordPress handling SSL cookies differently than non-SSL cookies, and to change everything back? Phaw!

So that’s why I pulled the plug on there. Until … well that was already covered in the first paragraph. So let’s have a look at the changes.

Changelog December 2015

A pretty EPIC changelog. Considering this is really 1 week of work (really got started during Xmas).

New Plugins

  • WooCommerce
  • Affiliate Plugin | still experimenting which one is the best
  • Cookie Consent | to comply with European law
  • Contact Form 7

Like to download any of these? Tune into ‘My Digital Rolodex’.

Removed & Disabled Plugins

  • AdBlock Detector | reason: too much overhead plugin wise
  • Alexa Pro | reason: offers no additional benefits
  • Automatic Video Posts | reason: stripping certain content to keep it more ‘techy’ and helpful, instead of spammy and duplicated content. Moreover it was using depricated wordpress functions.
  • Jetpack snowflakes | reason: highly annoying
  • Maintance Mode Lite | reason: not aiming for any dowtime
  • McAfee Secure Pro | reason: offers no additional benefits in the site context; renabled!
  • Revolution Slider | reason: takes too much time to create such a thing at the moment
  • WP Optimize by Xtraffic | reason: too much overhead when generating SEO friendly images and watermarks.
  • WP-useronline | reason: options4all is about providing superb service to a select few, not hypy ‘fear of loss’ for the masses (like O4A). Although …

+ a half a dozen SEO Specialised plugins. Like to check-out any of these? Tune into ‘My Digital Rolodex’.

Issues fixed

  • Some of the issues around “500 Internal Server error”. Read more about that here.
  • No longer enforcing strict SSL, but instead flexible (only on webshop/order pages)
  • Recoded all O4A functionality to O4A
  • Switch from Aweber to a mix of Getresponse MailChimp for newsletters, RSS feeds (that work way more efficient) paired with Jetpack’s daily news feed.
  • Removed all generic content, and only keep the informative articles. As options4all is more about education.

Known  issues

Other things Still To Do

  • Merge tell-a-few reviews with O4A, and republish 
  • Recover 6 months of missing blog posts (somewhere in a backup)
  • Come up with better backend navigation 
  • Reshape all membership levels
  • Fix 404s / rewrite links in old blogposts 
  • Get the bi-lingual environment up & running again like in Options4all v1
  • Install better affiliate plugin
  • Fill up the shop with outsourcing / consultancy / coaching services
  • Reupload / migrate a few dozen lead, landing & sales pages 

… and about 150 other things big and small in my Google Tasks todo list. Back to nerding!

Update: let’s call this release of options4all v6 Matching the the last digit of the new year:


About Earnie Rhyker

tech pioneer | intellectual BadAss | ethical lifehacker | WordPress Developer & Polyglot | information activist | blogger | added value services provider | multimedia enthusiast | senior linux server administrator | geek | bitcoin investor | laptop entrepreneur | open source contributor | hackintosh fanatic | charity donator | accredited top MLM networker & internet marketer 2014-2016 @ BFH | digital expat

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