We closed out Q1 with a range of new features and a continued focus on pushing forward several important, foundational pieces of functionality in Greenleaf ONE. Central to our current efforts is consolidating user permissioning such that users see exactly what they need to see in order to use the system easily and effectively. To support this, we’ve pushed out version 1 of the Greenleaf ONE Board along with several other new bits of related functionality.
We’ve also continued to build out a user dashboard for clients on https://greenleaf.one, where all changelog items, videos, and system documentation will be housed. We expect that this will not only help to tie the entire product together, it will serve as a valuable resource for both new and existing Greenleaf ONE users. Eventually, this dashboard will also contain tools for appropriate users to view and manage organization account information like authorized users, mailing lists, billing history, etc., but that’s all still a ways down the road. Right now we are focused on tools to make users as productive as possible as quickly as possible.
While not listed below in the update, we hosted several webinars in March to help showcase the power of Greenleaf ONE, in particular with the page builder and its ability to display data from remote sources, including from CiviCRM. There are several exciting developments underway around this functionality that will continue to make Greenleaf ONE an extremely cost effective and user friendly solution that we believe is superior to systems such as using Drupal with CiviCRM.
Finally, along with the client dashboard we mentioned above, we’re rolling out a referral program for current Greenleaf ONE users that offers potential for you to reduce the monthly subscription associated with your Greenleaf ONE account. There are more and more users coming to Greenleaf ONE, and we have capacity to grow significantly. If you love Greenleaf ONE and what we’re trying to achieve – to help as many nonprofits as we can to maximize their impact for a better world – then we think you’ll benefit from the Greenleaf Referral program. Stay tuned!
As always, if you have any questions or feedback, we’re an email away!
On to this month’s update!
We’ve added several pieces of new functionality and elements, and continue to consolidate user permissions and improve the overall user interface. Like our February update, we’re laying the groundwork for future improvements that will bring everything together into one elegant, high performing solution.
Add in advanced table element
The core page builder in Greenleaf ONE ships with a table element that, how shall we say, leaves a little bit to be desired. That said, tables are not as popular as they used to be, certainly not in website design anyway where they used to be a necessity. Still, a feature rich table can provide users a slick way to list out (dynamic) content easily. Enter the new “Table Pro” element!
You’ll find this in your element library under the “Flart Studio” elements. This is one of a few that provide powerful advanced features within common elements. For example, not only does the table element ship with all sorts of customizations, it has build in search and filtering that make it easy to present a large table while allowing users to drill down to the data they need.
This is a very powerful element, but it’s not as simple as many others. We’re working up a video to demonstrate some of it’s central features. Stay tuned!
Adopting Permalink Manager Pro
As users add more complex content to WordPress, the default permalink system starts to buckle, making natural URL structures difficult to manage, enforce and maintain. This can be confusing for users and can ding search engine ranking performance.
In response, we’re now testing the addition of Permalink Manager Pro on staging sites and are planning to deploy it to all WordPress clients soon. This gives you full control over URL structures in an easy to use plugin.
Support for Post Type Switcher
We’ve seen an uptick in the use of CPT UI (for creating custom post types) and have had a request or two to support allowing users to switch a posts “type”. As a result, we’re testing and planning to support a new plugin that will allow you to easily change a post to any other post “type” in WordPress.
Custom element and layout library
We’ve integrated the ONE Library into the element library of the page builder. This is a remote library that allows us to upload custom layouts, elements, etc. that are then accessible by all Greenleaf ONE users. The ONE Library allows us to provide additional functionality that will be accessible directly in the builder and at your fingertips.
If you’re looking for a particular design or element configuration, shoot us an email and we’ll be glad to take a look. Everything that we deploy to the library is available to all users, so if you have a common use case, then we’re happy to work something up and share it.
We’ve rolled out a first version of the Greenleaf ONE dashboard. Essentially, this will streamline the interface to include key user actions and will serve as a jumping off point for users to access key functions within the CMS and CRM.
For now, the ONE Board includes a change log of Greenleaf ONE updates as well as a feed of resources that may be useful to users, including tutorials, trainings and general information.
We’re already working on improvements for version 2 of the Greenleaf ONE Board and have plans to make it even more useful for users. Stay tuned!
We have a long list of improvements that we’re actively working on. Some of these broadly apply to Greenleaf ONE whereas others are unique to each system. Nonetheless, these are our priorities for the next few weeks.
Rework the WordPress admin menus
Let’s face it, the WordPress admin menus leave more than a little to be desired. They are a bit unorganized and can easily get cluttered as new post types and plugins are added. To address this, we’re adopting a new system to clean up the WordPress admin menus and make them more intuitive for users. Naturally, the menu items will respond to the user permissioning and will hide or be exposed based on each user’s role thereby keeping the user interface cleaner and more tailored to each user.
This will be rolling out in the coming weeks and should clean up things a bit.
Support for mapping SearchKit saved searches
Ok, that title sounds a little obscure. Even still, this is one improvement in the works that you should definitely pay attention to. Essentially, this improvement will create unique “tables” for each SearchKit saved search. Why is that important? Because, we can easily map the data from these tables via the Page Builder. This is powerful because 1) saved searches in SearchKit are “smart”, meaning that they update based on the established search parameters and 2) because you can build very complex searches using related data.
This combination allows you to easily display complex data that dynamically updates. Perhaps an example is in order. Suppose you use CiviCRM’s peer to peer fundraising capabilities and you want to display a table listing of these each displaying the contribution page author, the number of contributors and the total contributed. In this scenario, not only do you have related data, you have on the fly calculations.
Because this information would all be readily available in a single table, it will be super easy to grab it and display it across any type of elements be it a table, grid, chart… literally, any element you want. And because you can apply access controls, you can easily display this to authenticated users. Using the same example, imagine that you only want to display this to your board of directors and to staff. Easy peasy!
We’re very excited about this feature, so much so that we’re helping fund the CiviCRM Core Team to bring it online. Stay tuned for this one!
Greenleaf client portal
We’ve launched version 1 of the Greenleaf client portal where Greenleaf ONE users can access additional resources such as a video library, how-to guides, and instruction on using Greenleaf ONE. This portal is exclusive to Greenleaf clients and will increasingly become a vital resource for individuals wanting to really dig into the toolset and master its capabilities. Again, this is version 1 of the portal. We already have revisions and improvements underway and are adding new resources weekly.
To access the portal, you need to register at Greenleaf ONE using the address we have on file for you. If you have any issues in the process, please send a note to email@example.com and we’ll get you squared away.
Upgrading to PHP 8
We’ve taken a conservative approach to upgrading sites to PHP 8 or higher. Many sites are currently running PHP 7.4 which, while stable and performant, is no longer receiving security upgrades. Because PHP 8 introduces breaking changes, we are testing each upgrade individually to ensure there are no issues whatsoever. This is a rather lengthy process, however we believe it’s the best approach.
If you see any alerts related to your version of PHP, you may disregard them. We are actively working through the upgrades, which by and large should be transparent to your users.
Advanced Content Filters
Currently in the page builder, users can filter dynamic content only at a fairly basic level. While this works for most, we want to extend the filtering of content to include custom fields. This means that users can display dynamic content in such a way that it could be easily filtered based on custom structured data. This functionality currently supports default WordPress posts and will be rolling out in June. We’re actively developing support for custom post types as well and will upgrade once this functionality is tested. Advanced Content Filters is a first step to extending the filter support for remote sources as well, such as to data stored in CiviCRM.
Deprecating Caldera Forms
The lastest CiviCRM security release (5.58.1) is introducing new conflicts with Caldera Forms, resulting in both fatal errors and, more commonly, performance issues. Likewise, as of February 25th, Caldera Forms has been pulled down from the WordPress extensions directory. I think the writing is on the wall.
We’re working to replace Caldera Forms on current installations of Greenleaf ONE and are no longer shipping it on any new installations. If you use Caldera, we’ll be in touch with a plan to shift you off of it and on to better tools. This is just a heads up, not need to lose sleep over this transition.
Adoption of an external mail service provider
Email deliverability, both for mass email as well as transactional emails, is absolutely vital to the operation of your CRM and your organization. While the current systems we use are solid, we are actively adopting an external provider that focuses exclusively on email systems. More than anything, this is to proactively ensure that emails are delivered consistently and without interruption. At present, there is no planned cost increase as a result. Any upgrade to such a service reflects our commitment to bringing together the best systems for your organization.
We’re very confident that Greenleaf ONE provides a superior tools set for CiviCRM and WordPress users, particularly those that are new to the space or that are long time users of Drupal and are simply tired of dealing with Drupal 8 or 9… or wait, we’re up to 10 now, right?
Because of this, we’ve launched a referral program for current Greenleaf ONE users that provides up to 3 months free use of the Greenleaf ONE platform for successful new referrals. You can access and share your referral code via the Greenleaf ONE client portal.
This is potentially a big opportunity for Greenleaf ONE advocates to essentially leverage the system free while helping new organizations get up to speed on using a powerful toolset to improve their performance and achieve their missions.
We’re constantly adding to the planned list, and I suspect you’ll see a lot of growth in this area throughout Q2. Items listed below tend to be broad in nature and will be detailed out as we properly plan their implementation. Stay tuned for additional details.
Improved media manager
For organizations with lots of media or with high media management needs, the WordPress media manager is, how shall we say, a bit of a mess. Fortunately, there are several plugins that allow for greater management and control over media files within WordPress.
We’re rolling out one such media manager that allows you to organize and manage your media files in a much more logical manner. What’s more, this media manager doesn’t just mask the underlying structure in WordPress, it allows you to completely change the structure via its “physical folders” feature. A word of caution though, enabling this feature on sites that already have a lot of images runs the risk breaking image paths. For new sites, this feature makes more sense and not only enables you to organize you media files into a more logical structure, it allows you to present a cleaner, more optimized URL for search engines.
Again, we’ll be putting together a video on using the media manager shortly.
Upgrade to WordPress 6.2
A fairly major upgrade to WordPress is out and we’re currently rolling updates to select installations. While WordPress has historically been very focused on backward compatibility, we tend to adopt new major releases slowly and only after thorough testing.
Again, in this instance, we’ve been conservative in upgrading to WordPress 6.2 but now feel like it’s stable enough. Most of the improvements are performance related or focused on its own block editor, Gutenberg, which we don’t actively support. Don’t expect to notice anything too dramatic on the WordPress side of things.
Video: Using advanced custom fields
We have several videos already produced and more in the queue. Once we have the Greenleaf Client Portal up and running, we’ll flip the switch on our long promised video library. In the meantime, we’re planning more videos, one of which is on the use of custom fields in WordPress. This is a big topic with lots of complexities and lots of potential. But, we’ve received some requests on this topic so we’re planning to produce an overview of how to get started using custom fields in WordPress and in conjunction with the page builder.
Re-evaluating our recaptcha implementation
Consistent with our ongoing review of currently supported plugins, we’re planning to undertake a review of our recaptcha implementation across Greenleaf ONE sites. This is also driven by the fact that more and more Greenleaf ONE clients are developing sophisticated portals that leverage website authentication. Use of recaptcha is vital to controlling spam registrations along with other types of spam related activities.
Currently, recaptcha implementation is accomplished in a variety of different ways including via multiple plugins and recaptcha versions. We want to review both and consolidate on to a standard such that it provides better performance for clients and is more easily maintainable by us.
We’re continuing to push hard to make Greenleaf ONE simply awesome. We hope that you’re seeing improvements and are excited about what’s coming.
Finally, just a quick heads up: if you work with Greenleaf Advancement Partners but are not yet a Greenleaf ONE user, we need to have a conversation about when and how to migrate you to this awesome platform. For some, like Joomla 3 users, there’s an impending date of August 17th (when Joomla 3 is end of life). For others, that are running a non-standard WordPress installation, we need to figure out how to adopt what we believe is a far superior platform. In the coming weeks, we’ll be reaching out to you to figure out next steps.
As always, feedback (good or bad) is welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.