CookieMonster-plus update (1.3.12) — WP 4.3 compatibility

The CookieMonster-plus plugin has had another big update. This supersedes the last update that dealt with the WP 4.2.3 security update that broke how and where certain shortcodes work. It also has a more general, if slightly more complicated, solution to the new behavior of WP core.

Cookie Image

C is for Conversion, that’s good enough for me!

WordPress core changed up the shortcode behavior for security reasons and I understand their reasoning, but it broke plugins like CM+ that already had taken into consideration the dangers of user input being “injected” into your web page. What changed is that now they ignore any short codes that are a part of an HTML tag, but not all the parameters. So, for those who used a CM+ shortcode to fill in a form field’s value, it stopped doing that with the WP 4.2.3 update.

For example

<input type=’text’ name=’email’ value='[email]’>

used to do the right thing. As of WP 4.2.3, it just left the value blank.

The way around this, as validated by WP core developers, is to have the shortcode generate the whole HTML tag. In order to do that in a robust way, I added a new [cmp_tag] shortcode to CM+ that you feed three unnamed parameters: before, cookie, and after.

[cmp_tag “type=’text’ name=’email’ value='” email “‘”]

This allows for mechanical translation from a tag with an embedded [cookie_name] shortcode to the new format. There are instructions for this, as well as a web-based translation tool, available from the download page.

The good news is that any other customization you’re doing on WordPress pages with [firstname] or other CM+ cookie shortcodes should work as always — as long as it isn’t embedded in a parameter of an HTML tag. The even better news is that the latest version of the CM+ plugin gives us a way to use the shortcodes in the old way as well. The best news is that this means the upgrades to Paul Myers’s Email Affiliate System that CM+ turned into The BEAST (Blog and Email Affiliate SysTem) should all still be viable with the security of the latest version of WordPress.

As always, feel compelled to download CookieMonster-plus and sign up for my plugin announcement list on that download page.

CookieMonster-plus update (1.3.6) — CF7 integration

Just a quick announcement that I updated the CookieMonster-plus plugin (since I realized I hadn’t announced the last minor update).

The new features include a config option for setting the cookie duration (default is 30 days) and integration with Contact Form 7 to allow pre-filling text and email fields based on cookied values. I’m considering the same feature for hidden fields, but I ran out of steam just getting the visible fields to work properly.

In case you missed the significance, you can use CM+ to pre-fill people’s name and email address in contact forms so you can pass them from, say, a squeeze page to a survey page. CF7 has lots of flexibility in configuring forms and can be easily setup for surveys. When combined with the Contact Form 7 to Database Extension you can get something akin to the Ask Database survey functionality but self contained within WordPress.

CM+ 1.3.6 added CF7 shortcodes text+, text*+, email+, and email*+ to pull values from cookies or other parameter string values. They behave just like the non-plus versions, they just check the cookies and parameter string for default values to pre-fill the form.

As always, feel compelled to download CookieMonster-plus and sign up for my plugin announcement list below.

Updated CookieMonster-plus to 1.3.4

Just a quick note to let you know that CookieMonster-plus has been updated to allow use on all pages (even ones using a template that doesn’t include a call to get_header!) and I found and squashed the pesky foreach() bug I couldn’t seem to replicate until today.

Grab the CookieMonster-plus plugin directly or check out the main CookieMonster-plus post for more details.

BTW, the reason I found these bugs is because I was putting up a new freebie for a giveaway event. I’m also working on a report that explains more of what CM+ can do. If you’ve got questions, comments, or suggestions to share let me know!

The Many Heads of Social Media

Social media is like the mythical creature Medusa. Besides the fact that if you go in unprepared you’re likely to get stoned, social media has many slithery heads.

I’m beginning a new experiment. In the past, I was following the usual advice to pick one or two platforms and concentrate on those. I fell into that mode automatically because of my current time constraints.

Watch what happens when we take the higher intent of that platitude and balance it out with the higher intent of social media in general. The reason to pick a few is so that it is more convenient for us to stay on top of the communications and to interact fully on each platform. The reason social media is so popular is that it is about what is most convenient for each user as far as interacting with their circles of influence.

Here’s my new take: be regularly active on a few platforms, facebook and twitter in my case, and maintain a presence on as many other platforms as can be easily automated. I plan to make it clear on the other platforms that I’m checking in sporadically, or at least not daily, and will continue the conversation then. This allows people who do not happen to choose facebook or twitter as their primary platform to receive information from me in a timely manner on their preferred platform(s) while still maintaining my own time considerations by not having to keep up with dozens of platforms multiple times a day.

I’d been formulating this plan for a while but a wordpress plugin came across my radar today that helps to automate this plan to a great degree. It really caught my eye because the plugin is currently 80% off and the proceeds are going to fund asthma research. (I’m a sucker for a good deal and a bigger sucker for a charity!)

Go check out the WP-Syndicator plugin and see if it fits with your own social media plans.