There have been some major developments in Joomla over the last few days and we're thrilled to be sharing the news with you! On Thusday, August 17th, Joomla v4 was released. It's been 9 years since the last major version of Joomla. While Joomla 3 has continuously been developed and improved, Joomla 4 brings with it some major new modernizations updates.
Along with the new version of Joomla, we're proud to announce the latest release of JFBConnect. We have taken our extension apart and rebuilt it to vastly improve configuration, add dual compatibility with Joomla 4 and Joomla 3, and split out each social network into separate plugins so you can mix-and-match the features you want for your site. With the new flexibility in social network integration also comes a major price drop for JFBConnect from $59.99 to $49.99!
Read on for all the details.
We're excited to announce the first (and hopefully only) Release Candidate version of JFBConnect v9! Earlier this year, we released the first beta of JFBConnect v9, which included Joomla 4 support and a revamped social network plugin system. This new release incorporates new features, feedback from users, extensive testing, compatibility with the latest Joomla 4 RC4 and other ease-of-use improvements. The administrator area has been overhauled to simplify configuration and reduce complexity, while retaining all of the depth an administrator needs for the best social networking integration into their Joomla powered site.
Read on for more details.
If you run a website, you know that it’s critical to understand how your site is used. What content is popular? How many users registered this month vs the last? Which authors are producing a lot of content? Which author's content is actually getting hits?
These are all critical questions that haven’t always been easy to answer… until now!
Over the last several months, we’ve been working on JStats, a new extension to help you dig into your site to get a more clear picture of what’s working and what isn’t. JStats has a clear dashboard with configurable graphs to display what’s important to you. We've made it simple to set up a dashboard with the information important to your site so you can get the top-down view of what matters most. Each website is different, and how you track success is different as well.
What’s better? It’s 100% Free
Everyone remembers playing hide and seek as a kid. It's a staple of childhood where, for years, it's a go-to game when there's more than one kid present. It's a game kids want to play and, frankly, for a parent, that time is magical. It's great seeing children run around, learning the pleasures of victory in finding that person hidden away in the toughest of spots, and the feeling of loss when their great spot isn't as amazing as they thought. Hide and seek is a game that teaches as much as it entertains. Children learn basic rules, thinking ahead and thinking through what others may be doing. It's a game of anticipation and smarts. In short, hide and seek is probably one of the best games for a toddler or school-aged child both for entertainment or developmental purposes.
With that rich history for a children's game, we're excited to be a part of the next evolution of it with The Countdown Game hide and seek toy.
We recently made available JFBConnect v9.0 beta. While we don't normally release beta versions, we wanted to take a cautious approach due to the amount of updates included. This is the first release that includes support for the upcoming Joomla 4, but it has so much more to offer!
JFBConnect v9.0 will be the first release to support Joomla 4. The newest Joomla version streamlines the underlying core code and updates common libraries like jQuery and Bootstrap to the much more modern versions. The admin area has been completely overhauled with a fresh coat of paint as well.
Joomla 4 beta 4 was announced at the end of October. While there's no certainty as to when the final version will be released, things are progressing at a healthy clip now. All new feature development has been baked into Joomla 4 and the project is firmly in bug-squashing mode. We've been actively developing JFBConnect to be compatible with Joomla 4 and are really liking the new feel, features and overall modernization of the Joomla core.
It may sound crazy, but JFBConnect is now over 12 years old. What started with basic Facebook authentication (without profile import, widgets or anything else) for Joomla 1.5 has evolved to:
Along the way, we've presented at multiple Joomla World Conferences, Joomla Days and at local Joomla user group meetings. It's been an incredibly exciting journey, and we wanted to let you know... we're not nearly done yet!
We put together a 5 question survey to help us better understand how you currently use JFBConnect and what you'd like to see in future releases. Please take a minute to fill it out and help making social integration even better for your site.
Take the JFBConnect User Survey
JFBConnect v8.4.6 is now available. This release is primarily a compatibility update to support upcoming changes in Instagram and Facebook. At the end of October, some older API and widgets for both Facebook and Instagram will no longer work. Specifically:
In addition, there were some other under-the-hood improvements and bug fixes, which you can see in the JFBConnect changelog.
We highly recommend updating to JFBConnect v8.4.6 to ensure your authentication and other social features continue working properly.
This is the last planned version in the JFBConnect v8 series, which was originally launched in 2018. Version 8 has been instrumental for laying the groundwork for future releases. Over the course of v8 development, we've added a new plugin system to easily add more social networks (we now support 15), improved Open Graph and sharing support, more widgets and loads of other improvements and features.
Version 8 was all about breadth.. more features for more networks. Version 9 will be much more targeted with large improvements to specific features, like improved automatic posting (more networks, more options), easier configuration and Joomla 4 compatibility. We'll be posting more about our long-term roadmap shortly. Stay tuned!
Earlier this year, Instagram announced that new client registrations and permissions review would be discontinued for the exsting Instagram API platform in Mid-October 2019. New applications will use the Instagram Basic Display API going forward. Existing clients will continue to work only until early 2020.
JFBConnect v8.3 was just released and is compatible with the required changes for the Basic Display API. If you use Instagram authentication on your site, please read on for more details.
Recently, Facebook has launched a customer chat widget for Messenger. It allows your customers to message directly from your Joomla website to your Facebook Page. By combining interactions from the Messenger App and the plugin on your page, you'll be able to engage with your customer and keep them drawn into your site.
We've been tinkering with the beta version of the widget here on sourcecoast.com and have had some great conversations with users. Some have asked for support, others have asked pre-sales questions and existing subscribers have repeatedly requested to add this into JFBConnect. In all, we've seen how useful a chat widget can be to help get a conversation with your audience going. We heard you! In the newest version of JFBConnect v8.2.3, we've included the Messenger Chat functionality. Continue reading for instructions on how to add chat to your site.
Earlier this year, Meetup announced a major revision to their integration API. The new release, version 3, will be mandatory starting August 15th. JFBConnect has been updated to support all of the changes required for version 3 for a seamless transition. If you use Meetup integration with JFBConnect, please make sure you are running at least JFBConnect v8.2.3.
Even if you don't use Meetup yet, one change to their API to take note of: After August 15th, you'll need to have a Meetup Pro membership to add Meetup Authentication to your site. Before August 15th, you can signup as an "OAuth Consumer" without being a Meetup Pro member and you will be able to continue using Meetup integration for free!
Countdown, the new hide & seek toy, is available now! Designed and developed by the founders of SourceCoast, it's the perfect toy to get your kids moving at all ages.