Christmas might have arrived a little later than it was supposed to and I understand that many of you are eagerly waiting for this post. It has been delayed multiple times because of the vast new upcoming features and functionality in EasySocial 4.0 which I am extremely excited about sharing with you.
Joomla 4 Support
EasySocial 4.0 will work with Joomla 4 out of the box. EasySocial 4 also works across Joomla 3.x releases including the upcoming Joomla 3.10.
New PHP Requirements
In order to provide the greatest and the latest updates that we have in store for you, we have also updated the minimum PHP requirements to at least PHP 5.6.
Apart from the bump in version requirements, your PHP environment must now support the Fileinfo extension in PHP
. This extension is crucial as we are now using a much more reliable image processing library to ensure that the algorithm in resizing images is optimized.
Redesigned Administration Interface
The administration area in EasySocial 4 has been redesigned for an improved user experience to help with your day-to-day administration tasks
EasySocial has a total of 48 different modules and managing them has always been tricky since you need to pick modules that you want during the installation. EasySocial 4.0 now includes a module manager. With a click of a button, you could install or uninstall modules right from the back-end.
This is an extremely handy feature and you do not need to run the installer just to do this ever again. 🤞
Form Builders 2.0 🎯
Workflows are now rebranded as Form Builders. You can find these Form Builders in Profiles, Events, Groups, Pages as well as the all-new Marketplaces.
Apart from that, we have also improved the user experience when dealing with multiple custom fields. With the batch actions, managing and customizing these fields would be a breeze.
Custom Sender for E-mail Notifications
Customizable E-mail Sender
It now allows you to use different sender details to send notification e-mails to users. Be mindful that if you are using e-mail services from Gmail, your sender should be the same as the login credentials.
Account Activation Reminder
There are times where users may forget to activate their account and with EasySocial 4, you can now configure EasySocial to automatically resend activation e-mails to inactive members on the site.
Group Subscription Settings
We have also added brand new settings for you to determine the default e-mail digest settings for groups. With these new settings, the user would inherit these settings automatically as soon as they join a group on the site.
Group Subscription Settings
In order to optimize and reduce queries made to the server, we have also added SSE support in EasySocial 4 for webservers that support this. This polling technique will ensure that only a single connection is opened between the client and the server, reducing the number of queries made to the site to poll for new activities.
This option however will not work for sites that run on FastCGI (Specific setup from certain hosting using cpanel).
We have also added more help buttons throughout EasySocial so that if you are stuck with a particular feature, you can always get help to the appropriate sections using the available help button.
Google Sign In
We have added support for Google single sign on! With this new addition, EasySocial now supports up to 5 different single sign-on providers out of the box:
- Sign in with Facebook
- Sign in with Twitter
- Sign in with LinkedIn
- Sign in with Apple
- Sign in with Google
EasySocial 4 includes built-in marketplace support to allow users on your site to place their classifieds. Just like the rest of the features in EasySocial, the built-in marketplace has custom fields support and it is very extensible just like Profile, Groups, Pages and Events. It also has a very robust ACL system in place for you to define the ACL in each of the marketplace categories.
Front-end Advertisement Submission
As requested by many of you, we have also improvised on the existing built-in advertisement support in EasySocial 4 to allow users to create their advertising account and submit advertisements from the front-end. These can be restricted with the built-in ACL in EasySocial.
Reply to Comments 🔄
This was a feature that was being worked on for quite sometime now but it was pulled back due to performance-related issues. We have gone back to tweak this and managed to add this without sacrificing the performance.
The toolbar in EasySocial 4.0 has also received a make-over to spot a more simplicity look and feel so that it would blend into most templates out of the box.
The overall tooltips in EasySocial have been redesigned to display more relevant information and to allow users to interact with one another conveniently.
Redesigned User Listings
We have also redesigned the user listings for a more unified look and feel throughout EasySocial. The all new user listings use the same card layouts like the rest of the views in EasySocial. We believe your users would love this new layout!
Brand New Mobile Menu
The mobile menu has also been redesigned to offer a much better overall user experience for users using mobile devices.
Last Saved Filter 💾
With EasySocial 4, you can now configure EasySocial to remember the user's last saved filter. This will ensure that whenever the user goes back to their dashboard, it will remember their last selected filter providing a seamless user experience.
While going through most EasySocial sites, we noticed that many of the uploaded videos do not have a proper video cover since the thumbnails are automatically generated.
With this update, users can upload their own thumbnails or generate one by taking a snapshot while playing the video. This would allow users to have precise control over the thumbnail of an uploaded video.
Scheduled Posts 🕑
Another feature that was picked up from our Voices area is the capability to schedule a post. We decided to add this into the core of EasySocial 4 so that users can now schedule their posts on the site at a future date instead.
GIPHY Stickers Support
When we added GIPHY support in EasySocial 3.2, we noticed a great increase in user interaction on the site because GIPHY makes it easier for users to share. Therefore we decided to also add the stickers support from GIPHY and this would definitely help increase interactions on the site!
We have been experimenting with honeypot anti-spam over registrations in EasySocial 3.2 and we noticed that it was able to prevent almost 95% of bots from being able to register on the site. That is a remarkable result and with EasySocial 4, we decided to push this a step further. We have now rolled out the same honeypot anti-spam technique across several other sections in EasySocial 4:
- Activity Streams
- Profile Editing
Apart from that, we have also added logging to allow you to view bots that are caught in the honeypot trap!
We have also added a brand new comment management tool at the back-end of EasySocial. This would help you to be able to manage comments on the site in a more effective way.
Improved Image Processing Library
We have replaced the entire image processing library with a brand new library that uses a better algorithm when resizing images. With the new library, image sizes are much smaller compared to the previous library. When used in combination with the image optimization service, you can be sure that the images generated are truly optimized.
With the new image processing library, we noticed an average of 50% smaller file sizes for every image that is generated by EasySocial compared to its predecessor.
Alongside the brand new image processing library, we have also added ImageMagick support and it can be configured from the back-end settings of EasySocial.
If your PHP environment has ImageMagick support, you can configure EasySocial to use the ImageMagick extension. The benefit of ImageMagick is that it supports HEIC image formats unlike the GD library.
HEIC Image Supported
High Efficiency Image File (or often known as HEIC) files is now supported in EasySocial provided that ImageMagick library is supported by your web host.
With this new update, we have also added cronjob support to allow the image optimizer service
to optimize existing images on the site.
Profile Type Badges
We have also added the ability for you to define a badge for your profile type. We couldn't decide to stick to a font icon or an image so we decided to just add them both 😍
To use an image for your profile badges, you just need to upload an image while icon on the other hand relies on the icon-set from FontAwesome 5.
New Custom Fields
We have also added several new custom fields in EasySocial 4. These new custom fields will link to their respective protocols if the apps are installed on the user's desktop.
- Telegram custom field
- Whatsapp custom field
- Facebook Messenger custom field
- Telephone custom field
Permalink Custom Fields 🔗
The permalink custom fields for groups, pages and events also received some ❤️. They will now be automatically populated as soon as the user types the title.
Embed Apple Podcasts
We have also added parsers to support the all-new Apple Podcasts. With this new addition, users can simply share the urls of their favorite podcasts and it will be embedded as a rich media item on the activity stream. As easy as that!
Story Form Updates
EasySocial 4 also adds a new experience for users to be able to toggle the visibility of the story form. Although these are just aesthetically pleasing, it seems to be one of the features that have received many votes.
New Menu Items
We have also added two new menu layouts that can be created on the site:
Conversations in EasySocial 4.0 also received some goodies! It will now allow users to delete selected messages rather than having to delete the entire conversation.
Emoji Pack Updated 🥰
The emoji pack in EasySocial has also been updated in EasySocial 4.0 with the latest emoji styles.
Other Great Improvements
Apart from these changes listed above, these are some of the improvements that are worth mentioning:
- New sorting option to sort albums by most commented
- Added next and previous link when viewing a video
- Added next and previous link when listening to an audio
- New user points when user posts a comment on a poll
- Default sorting option for groups can now be configured in the settings
- Users can now repost video and audio items
- Users can now post a blank comment when it contains an attachment
- Added new settings to display counter in title of the browser
- Added configurable option in profile types to configure the first time login redirection link
- Added new ACL to limit the duration of videos
- Admin and owners can now unpublish groups, pages and events right from the front-end
- Added new configuration option to append datetime of original event title towards recurring event's title
- Emoji pack has been updated 😍
- Private group descriptions are now visible even if the user is not part of the group
Next & Previous for Audio
Next & Previous for Video
Default Sorting for Groups
Points when Commenting on Polls
EasySocial 4.0 Beta Availability
EasySocial 4.0 will be available starting today and we highly encourage everyone to install EasySocial 4.0 on a staging site instead of a live site.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for these great suggestions, and also for being patient with us while waiting for this awesome release!
Kudos to the team as well for making this possible by feature pumping EasySocial 4.0! ⭐️ ⚡️