Administrator Email - 3/14/2022 - Announcing
We're excited to announce ClubExpress Version 65.
This release includes important enhancements to the Event Calendar; a major upgrade to the E-Commerce Storefront module; many new features in the Committees module; updates in other modules; and many smaller fixes. We're happy to be finally tackling many of the features you've requested.
Note that some of these enhancements are in final testing and will be deployed before the end of the week. The updated Help system screens will be deployed at the same time.
We will be holding a webinar on Wednesday, March 16, starting at 12:00 Noon US Eastern time, 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain, and 9:00 AM Pacific, for those who want to learn more about these enhancements. If you can't make it, the webinar recording will be available within a couple of days, on the ClubExpress YouTube channel
. There is no need to register for this webinar but it is limited to the first 500 attendees. Here are the connection details:
Meeting ID: 844 3435 5082
In this issue:
We completely redesigned the interface for managing an event in the calendar. When you view the admin options for an event, you will see a screen similar to the following:
Across the top is a row of action buttons for the current event, including the following options:
- Return to the "user" side of the event
- View Registrations
- View Waitlist (if defined)
- Mark Attendance (if defined)
- Data Exports
- Send Emailings
- Send Text Messages (if enabled)
- Write notes about the event
- Cancel the event
On the left side is a column of tabs, each representing a panel of options for the event. These tabs replace the row of yellow and green buttons that used to appear across the top of the screen. The options in this column will vary depending on which panels are enabled for each event. If the dot on the left of each button is yellow, that panel is not complete; if it's green, you have flagged it as complete.
When you click a button, the main panel on the right will update to show you how that set of options has been configured. An Edit (pencil) icon in the top-left corner allows you to edit these options; with one exception, the resulting screens have not changed from the way they previously appeared. The exception is when you have a multi-activity event. When you view the activities/items, you will see a screen similar to the following:
Each activity is represented by a separate panel describing that activity or item. The various options for that activity or item are available as mini-buttons within each panel.
To help you understand this new interface, we created a short video, which you can find here
Here are the other changes to the Event Calendar module:
- When defining event contacts, you can now control whether each contact has admin rights within the event.
- Waitlist users can now be automatically notified of open slots if a slot opens up. There is a new setting in Event Defaults, that can be overridden from the event itself. When a slot opens up, the earliest user in the waitlist queue is notified of the open slot and their status changed to “Notified”. Use the Waitlist Hours setting to control how long they have to register; if they don’t register in the allotted time, the status is changed to “Time Expired” and the next waitlisted person is notified.
- Note that above change also fixes the bug that had previously affected event capacity and waitlists.
- There is a new event export: Registrants with Emergency Contact Info.
- You can now define a default event visibility setting.
- When using a smartphone to view the Event Calendar, the initial default view is now "Future View". This ensures that the soonest upcoming events are immediately visible.
- For non-US organizations, when registering for an event, the country associated with the club or association is now used as the default for locations and non-member registrants. Perviously, it was defaulting to USA.
- On the Formatted Description panel for an event, a new option is "Share Image", which will be used when publishing your event to social media.
- The sequence in which events appear on a specific day can now be controlled.
- The "Show Holidays (Y/N)" option in Event Defaults has been changed to three options: Show Holidays before events (on a specific day), after events, or Do Not Show.
- The Event Widget, for placing on the home page and custom web pages, now has a "Card View", just like the News Widget. This is a horizontal scrolling view of upcoming events within specified categories.
- Last but not least, you can now define an event Location as "Virtual". We then give you fields to enter the event link, meeting ID, and password. Use this option for events held by Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and similar services. This option is also available on the Location screen for an individual activity within an event. Note also that this is the first stage of our Zoom integration; in the next round, we're planning to add support for uploading the attendee list directly into Zoom using their API.
On the user side of this module, we have completely redesigned the Storefront, including how products are displayed, searched for, and ordered. There is a dedicated search/filter panel on the left that allows users to limit the products shown. It also includes different sorting options for when the list of products is larger.
The Storefront filter panel can also be pre-loaded using the following query string options:
- price_group=1,3,4 (supports a comma-separated list)
- cat=1234,1236,1238 (supports a comma-separated list)
For example: ?page_id=587&club_id=111111&cat=1234,1236&price_group=1,3&featured=y
When users click on a product, the detail screen shows more information, including optional add-ons and quantities. From this detail screen, you can click a button to add the product into your shopping cart.
The Checkout process has also been updated, occurring within a single screen of panels that open and close as they are completed. The cart is displayed on the right side of the screen throughout the checkout process. It automatically calculates subtotals, shipping, handling, and tax. Finally, the checkout process behaves differently if the order is entirely comprised of digital products.
We also added the following features:
- You can now define custom colors for merchandise such as clothing.
- You can also define custom sizes, including different categories of size, such as for shoes or shirts. This option also accommodates different ways of showing size in different countries.
- The Shipping System has also been updated. If the new, "advanced" system is enabled on the Storefront Options screen, you can now define your own regions, weights, and shipping methods, then use a matrix to specify the cost of shipping an order of a certain weight, using a defined shipping method, to a specified region (either within the US or internationally.) This model supports any level of granularity you need. And weight can be defined using any unit of measure you need, such as ounces, pounds, or kilograms.
- Finally, all storefront user screens were updated to work properly on mobile devices.
And there's more to come with the Storefront. We still have some additional enhancements we want to complete in the next month or so.
The following enhancements are added to the Committees module:
- There is new user interface for the front-end of this module, using the "cards" style. Each committee can have a photo or graphic, and there are links to view members, subcommittees, or more info about each committee.
- The Committees module now behaves more like Contacts, with a public view and a members' view, including the ability to flag whether email addresses and phone numbers are shown for the public, members-only, or both. Users can also specify whether the email address shown for a committee member is one associated with the member or with the title. Members can even specify a unique email address to use just for committee correspondence.
- There is now a "Hidden" flag to allow clubs and associations to define committees that are not shown to users.
- Organizations can now configure whether the "Send Email to Members" option appears for everyone, committee members only, or just admins and coordinators.
- Instead of "Join Date", the list of members now specifies "Term Start Date" and "Term End Date".
- You can now define titles for committee slots without assigning a person to that title. This option shows that this area of responsibility is current vacant.
- Tertiary members can now be added to a committee.
- When non-members viewed a committee link, and the committee was configured to display committee members only to members, we previously displayed the following message: “There are no members on this committee yet.”; which is the wrong message. Instead, the View Members button is now only shown based on the “Show” setting.
Other Module Changes
News / Articles Module
- There is a new interface on the user side of this module, using our new standard "Cards" metaphor, shown within the categories defined. Cards will respond dynamically to the device being used and to the available width of the website (PC vs Table vs Smartphone)
- Each card displays the Title, Publication Date, introductory text, and a "Read More" link.
- You can explicitly define a photo to be shown on the card; this same photo is when when pushing the news/article item to social media.
- The News Widget in the Page Builder was updated with a new, optional style. In addition to List view there is a new Cards view.
- This module now has a similar "Cards" interface, including responsive layouts.
- You can also define a photo for each interest, to be shown on the card and when pushing the interest out to social media.
- There is a new option to use accordions to expand an interest category if there are lots of interests.
- This module also has the new "Cards" interface, with some special enhancements for Donations. There is also the option of using a rows-based design. Each card can display a progress bar showing progress towards a goal.
- You can also define a photo for each donation fund and as above, this photo is used when pushing the donation fund to social media. The old icon option has been deprecated and is no longer supported.
- The whole Blogs module was updated, including both the user and admin interfaces. There were many internal updates to make the module more efficient and consistent with other parts of ClubExpress.
- On the user side of the module, comments now load in batches and there is a "Load More" button at the bottom to display more comments. There is a new "Add Comment" button, and comment date/time is now sensitive to the user's timezone. On the admin side, the Comment Manager screen now has paging.
- There is a new editor for creating blog posts and the Blogs Policy. This is the same editor used in other parts of the platform.
- All admin pages were updated and we now display a warning if you try to cancel a page after changes were made.
- We fixed a number of bugs in this module as well. For example, the Search function now excludes inactive blogs.
Classified Ads Module
- Classified ads can now be reported for review by an administrator. The reporter can specify a reason why they are concerned about an ad. A designated administrator or coordinator is notified with a link to review reported ads. The admin side of the module includes a new link that there are reported ads needing to be reviewed. Admins can view or hide the reports for each ad (since there could be multiple complaints!) Admins can cancel or delete an ad. They can also edit the ad or its pictures, accept the ad, and remove the report. Individual ad reports can be dismissed.
- On the Options screen, when a club charges to place an ad, the tax rate drop-down now only shows active tax rates. There is a new option to control the order in which ads are shown. There is also an option to show the Member Join Date for each ad, in case there is a concern about ads placed by new members.
- On the Classified Ads admin screen, the Delete ad option is now always shown for ads that have not already been deleted. Deleted ads are no longer actually deleted. Instead, we change their status so that a record is retained.
- Emails sent by the system are now sent from the contact person specified in the Classified Ads Options page. Other emails have been updated to include more relevant information about the classified ad being referenced.
- There is a new Countdown Timer widget available in the Page Builder and Template Builder. It allows you to specify a future date and time, and the widget will countdown to that deadline. You can also specify a heading and a link to another location such as an upcoming event.
- In the Mobile App, there is a new option to report a Chat message that violates the policies or norms of your organization. Users click the new Flag icon below each message and a popup appears for them to explain the problem. This notification is emailed to an administrator or module coordinator, who can go to the Mobile App Manager and click a link to review all reported chat messages. Available actions include hiding the message, removing the Reported flag, or leaving it in Reported status. The system will send emails as appropriate to the original chat message poster, the reporter, and the channel moderator.
- For those of you using Google Analytics, we now support the new GA4 standard.
- In the Emailings function, you can now email everyone with a specified Title.
- When downloading the hi-res version of a photo in a slide show, the system now opens a Save As... dialog immediately, instead of just displaying the full resolution image.
- We previously added a warning when closing a form where there have been changes. This warning now appears for all popup dialogs.
- We made a significant improvement in email deliverability for clubs and associations where we host the domain name for emails. For those technically inclined, we have added a DKIM record to all of these domains, and the emails you send out now reference this DKIM value. For organizations where we host the domain but the organization handled their own DNS, we can provide the DKIM record for you to add to DNS.
- In another improvement to email deliverability, forum emails are now sent out using the club's domain (if hosted by ClubExpress.)
- For those clubs and associations organized using our multi-tier Option 2 configuration (multiple websites where people join at the bottom level, but there is a "parent" organization above them), we have added significant functionality for content syndication, including:
- A blog created in the top level Blogs module can now be flagged to be visible in the Blogs module for all lower-level organizations.
- In the News module, a news Category can now be flagged to be visible in the News module for all lower-level organizations.
- In the Documents Library module, a folder (and all its sub-folders) can now be flagged to be visible in the Documents Library module for all lower-level organizations. Any documents placed in these folders will be shared.
- A custom web pages Category can now be flagged to be visible to all lower-level websites. Any pages in these categories will be available in the Menu Builder and Link Builder, to allow lower-level organizations to place that page on their websites.
The following bugs were fixed since our last version announcement:
- In the ClubExpress mobile app, recent updates to iOS and Android created a problem with displaying and downloading documents from the Documents Library module. This problem has been fixed.
- In the Business Directory Profile Edit screen, there was an issue with selecting a Country other than the US.
- For organizations using the new Template Builder, we are now hiding the "Show 'Add Me to your Mailing List'" option on the Website Options page, since this option is handled using a new Template Builder widget.
- The Emailings Manager page now has a column where the Track Opens and Resend Days settings are now visible.
- Some Emailing distribution lists had problems when sending out emails in a multi-tier Option 1 organization (one website, everyone joins at the top level, up to 3 levels of subgroups.)
- Event Emailings now ignore the member "Opt-Out" setting, since members have explicitly registered for the event.
- Subgroup admins in a multi-tier Option 1 setting were able to request refund funds from the organization's main bank account.
Again, all these problems have been fixed.