Maera 2.0 is Coming Soon!

It’s been quiet the past few months, that’s because we’ve been busy working away on major updates. One of those updates is Maera 2.0. Including multiple bug fixes, new customizer options and more to be revealed.

In addition to Maera 2.0 getting closer to release, we also have updates to Compound and it’s add-ons due for release and some shiny new things which are currently top secret.

We expect to start releasing updates within the next 4-6 weeks pending final development and quality assurance checks.

Keep an eye on the blog for any further developments and we hope you’re as excited as we are.

Retiring The Maera Restaurant Shell

The Maera Resturant Shell was created with the goal of making it easy for anyone who uses the Maera WordPress Theme Framework, to create a Resturant style website.  However, there’s a problem.

* It should have been a child theme and not a shell. In Maera a Shell is meant to be used for markup, for applying a set of markup that you will use throughout your project. Like our Bootstrap Shell, Material Shell and Foundation Shell.

* It requires a three-year-old plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/restaurant/)
While the plugin still works great, despite not being updated for so long, and the developer behind it is one of the best in the business. It is most probably not the smartest idea to keep developing a Shell that requires a plugin that had it’s last update three years ago.

* More plugins! Yes, yet again it needed another plugin in the form of Advanced Custom Fields, either the free version or the Pro version. ACF is without a doubt one of the best plugins for developers to create a range of custom fields in no time at all. However, requiring for that website you might be passing off to a restaurant owner? Yeah… not the best of ideas.

There are other aspects of the plugin as well that don’t fit with what Maera was intended to be. It is not an easy decision to retire any product. However, I feel this is the right move going forward and will allow us to focus on core aspects of our offering.

Know that support will still be offered for any of the existing Maera Restaurant Shell customers, which is less than 70 and less than 10 are actively using it (yeah it never was that popular).

It will be updated for six months to keep up with compatibility with WordPress core where needed. After that, it will be retired.

Ultimately, if you are actively using the Maera Restaurant Shell, which let’s be fair from the stats you most probably aren’t. Though if you are, maybe check out one of these great purpose built Restaurant Solutions:

Restaurant Reservations (https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/restaurant-reservations/)

FoodPress (http://myfoodpress.com/)

Announcement: Pricing Changes

Pricing Changes

Our old pricing was all based around the “club” access between 1 month and Lifetime (of the products) and everything released from the point you join onwards. While this may be suitable for large companies, it isn’t a model that scales particularly well. With Lifetime memberships, there’s no renewals, no additional purchases, no nothing.

We’ve put a lot of thought into our new pricing and believe it’s much simpler and clearer than it ever has been before. Everything is now a single purchase, both plugins and themes. No clubs, no unlimited licenses. Instead plugins and themes can be purchased in the following tiers:

  • Single site
  • 5 Sites
  • 25 Sites

Purchasing a 5 site license gets you a 10% discount versus buying the licenses individually and purchasing a 25 site license nets you a 20% discount versus buying the licenses individually.

This new pricing strategy allows us to continue with our free products of both Maera and Compound, bring top quality support for our paid premium plugins/themes and continue to grow.

Existing Customers

Existing customers will continue to have access to their original club package. For items available from the date they purchased through to today. This means anything released after today will be available for a single purchase like everyone else. However you still get access with an unlimited license use forever of your original purchase. You will also still continue to receive support and updates for an unlimited number of sites for the items available in your club package.

Systems

We’ve changed our systems and have processed all accounts over to the new system which now uses license keys. If for some reason your purchase doesn’t display correctly or your license keys haven’t been generated. Please contact Support.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this, please leave a comment below or contact support on the above link.

Shoestrap 3 Lives! Meet Compound

What? Wasn’t Shoestrap 3 retired?

It was, when we made our original deal with the great folks of press.codes, part of the deal was we wouldn’t be using the Shoestrap 3 brand name. However they were happy for us to use the code base and build on that. Originally we made the decision to continue with Maera on it’s own. But after many requests from members new and old we decided to bring it back from the dead and what better day to do that than halloween.

Meet Compound

Compound is the successor to the Shoestrap 3 framework and will undergo continuous development, updates and improvements.

We’re working on getting all previous Shoestrap 3 plugins and child themes updated for the new Compound framework, expect to see those released over the coming weeks. We’re currently aiming to have everything released by the end of Novemeber.

Everything you loved about Shoestrap 3 is back. Nothing is missing or removed. Deprecated functions have been updated, warnings have been resolved. We’re working on the framework and we’re sure you’ll love what we have planned. It’s pretty exciting.

What about my old Shoestrap 3 based websites?

Good news! We’re working on a Shoestrap 3 >> Compound updater/importer. This will map all your Shoestrap 3 options to Compound options. And as the framework is the same at it’s core if you have custom plugins/functionality built on the Shoestrap 3 functions, you can simply update those with the new function and class names.

It’s free!

Yep. Just like Shoestrap 3, Compound is 100% free. Build and grow on the framework with no restrictions or limitations. The add-ons and child themes are premium paid additions which are all included in the WPSatchel membership. Though you don’t need to purchase these to enjoy the Compound framework.

What does this mean for Maera?

Don’t panic! Maera is and always will be in active development with additions, child themes and plugins. We have no plans to retire Maera. Maera is a core part of what we offer at WPSatchel and it will always be that way.

So why bring it back?

When we made the decision to just keep Maera under development. We believed it to be the right one. However after talking with many customers, we discovered they loved Shoestrap 3 or had built existing sites on it and didn’t want to switch to Maera because of this and the ultimate love for Shoestrap 3, we decided to bring it back as Compound.

Isn’t having two frameworks confusing?

Not at all. Compound does things the “WordPress way” with templating, while Maera uses Timber. Both are different ways of templating and Compound still uses it’s own options panel, while Maera uses the WordPress customizer. Ultimately this makes them two very distinct frameworks with no crossover and hopefully you’ll love building websites with both!

I’m an existing customer – Do I get access to all the premium add-ons?

Of course you do! As a member of WPSatchel you get access to all new releases, updates and support. Just log in to your account and download. The core Compound framework is available for anyone to download without an account at no cost.

Summary

It’s exciting times here at WPSatchel with many great plugin and themes releases getting ready for launch and we can’t wait to show you all what we’ve been working on. Onwards and upwards!

Introducing Our Affiliate Program

Introducing Our Affiliate Program

Over the past couple of months we’ve had multiple people ask us when we’ll be launching our affiliate program. We never knew the answer to this at the time as everything was still being planned along with pricing, new additions and what affiliates will receive along with other specifics.

As of now anyone can sign up to become an affiliate, just navigate over to the Affiliate Area. Once you’ve registered an affiliate account it will be instantly activated and you’ll be able to start earning money by referring visitors using your unique link.

What’s the commission?

We believe that our affiliates will be one of the most important sources of generating visits and income both for our business and for you our affiliates. That’s why we’re paying out 70% of all payments received in affiliate fees. This also is for recurring payments. Meaning if someone signs up using your affiliate link for a monthly membership you’ll receive 70% month after month.

This is sounding great! What about payouts?

Glad you asked! Payouts are made every 60 days. While this may seem like a long term. Unfortunately affiliate fraud is a very real possibility and to prevent this as much as possible we’ve set the payout time high. This means for the money you earn in November, you’d be paid at the end of January. All payouts are made via PayPal. We pay the fees as we’re awesome like that.

Mmmm… Cookies

Like all good affiliate programs we track the visits you send with cookies. Cookies expire after 31 days. Meaning that if you refer someone to us and they don’t delete their cookies, they have a 31 day window of which to purchase a membership and you’ll still receive that affiliate credit.

Creatives

How crazy can you go? As crazy as you want. In your affiliate area we provide creatives for both dark backgrounds and light backgrounds (our logo). An .AI file is also available of our logo if you’d like to modify the sizing. Or we can do it for you, just drop us a message.

Over the coming weeks and months we’ll also be creating advertisements in all the common sizes such as 125px x 125px sidebar advertisements and more!

What about special deals and partnerships?

We’re open to partnerships, one time offers and exclusive deals. Send us a message via our Contact Form.

Stats, Stats, Stats!

Track everything in your affiliate dashboard, payouts, visits, traffic referred. Pending payouts and much more.

Sign up to our affiliate program today.

Did you know Maera Is Free?

Did you know Maera is free?

Most people don’t, which is why we’ve decided to write this blog post and explain more about Maera and what you can do with it. Make sure you subscribe to our blog as well, as we’ll be posting tips and tutorials on how to use Maera and it’s add-ons.

The ultimate framework

Sure ultimate might be a big word to throw around when referencing something, but it’s true Maera really is the ultimate WordPress theme framework. No bloat, no un-needed additions just one awesome framework that is extremely powerful.

Why is it the ultimate framework?

Put simply it uses Timber and Twig. Twig is one of if not the easiest to use templating languages available. It takes complex templating and makes it simple. Then Timber brings the power, changing complex WordPress queries in PHP to simple Twig based templating. Not only that but Maera resolves one of the time long issues with WordPress Theme frameworks. You know those awesome frameworks that have child themes, but then you can’t edit them at all and updates become difficult? You’ll see people recommend grand-child themes (please don’t do that). Maera brings Shells to the table.

What the heck are shells?

Shells are the all-seeing, all-powerful integral part of Maera. Shells are plugins. Plugins that extend the Maera framework. Adding new options to the customizer, new templates, new layouts and a bunch of other stuff. Not only that but it can change the entire markup of your page by using a completely different CSS framework.

Wait. What? A different CSS framework

That’s right! Maera supports all your most loved CSS frameworks. Bootstrap, Foundation and Materialize (Based on Google’s Material Design). You utilize Macros when creating a new shell and Maera uses core classes and markup to allow you to always easily apply the CSS and markup you need. That’s why Maera comes with a range of shortcodes and grid classes you know things like: maera_grid_col_1 a one column grid anyone?. Checkout the markup here.

This effectively means you can build your site with Bootstrap in mind, change your mind and switch to Foundation with no issues. Or you can build your site with the Bootstrap shell, and create a child theme that requires the Bootstrap shell to be activated as you utilize Bootstrap markup within the child theme. That means you get ultimate control over the child theme with the shell doing the heavy lifting.

Lights, Camera, Action! & Filters?

That’s right, just as you’d expect from any self respecting Theme Framework. Maera comes with a ton of actions and filters straight out the box. Allowing you to have as much control as possible in your websites development. Nifty eh? Why not find out about the Actions and Filters.

Who is Maera for?

For everyone! Desginers, Developers, Small Business owners. If you’re a developer you might just want the framework which is 100% free! If you’re a designer, maybe you want to get started with the framework and one of the CSS framework shells. A business owner? Getting started with the Bootstrap Shell and the core framework and you can’t go wrong.

What can I create?

Anything. Literally. Maera is powerful. Like insanely powerful. Using one of the CSS framework shells such as Bootstrap or Foundation? Then did you know you can use any of that frameworks markup in your post or pages in the text editor mode when creating your page or post. That means you can use the components from any of the CSS frameworks you have activated with Maera, Bootstrap, Foundation or Materialize right there in your pages and posts.

Dude – Where’s my page builder?

No page builders here. Maera uses pure markup, Twig, HTML, PHP, CSS. This means when you switch themes (we’ll be sad to see you go!) you won’t be left with a load of random shortcodes spread all over your website. Really desperate for a page builder? We thought you might be. That’s why Maera works great with Visual Composer right out the box. Fancy a change the framework also works great with Forge and Cornerstone.

This is sounding pretty good, where can I get it?

We thought you might like it, just click the button below and you’ll automatically get the latest release. We’re working on developing a dedicated area to Maera explaining more and always with the latest downloads. For now that place is here.

What about my favourite Plugins?

Maera works with all your favourite plugins, from WooCommerce to Jetpack. We also have built in specific Easy Digital Downloads integration, making your downloads look beautiful in every way possible. Oh and did we mention it also works with a developers favourite, Advanced Custom Fields. Now that brings power to the table.

So can we get a discount?

Well as you asked so nicely, exclusively on this blog post we’re giving away a massive 91% discount. Just use coupon “CRAZYMAERA” at checkout. This is our best ever discount and will only be available over the period of Halloween from today through to the 31st of October so act quickly!.

What else are you working on?

That would be telling wouldn’t it? Just be assured it’s awesome. We have new Maera specific developments in the works. And we also have a range of plugins we’re working on getting out. Simply put you won’t want to miss out on what’s coming.

This sounds so awesome I want to promote it to my clients, followers and on my blog!

We don’t have an affiliate scheme at the moment, but get in touch and we’ll review the options.

I have a question!

Send us an email via our contact form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Can you develop me a custom plugin, theme or shell?

We can! Why not take a look at our Custom WordPress development page for more information or get in touch with us today for a no obligation free quote!

Why You Shouldn’t buy from a GPL Club

GPL Club Featured Image

A GPL Club, looks enticing, thousands of dollars worth of plugins and themes from the biggest names in the business. Who could resist that? It’s not all as good as it first looks, though.

What is a GPL Club?

A GPL Club is at it’s most basic, a website that sells WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, and other software for one low monthly fee or a one of payment. Normally with massive savings. One of the most popular sites is called GPL Vault, and they claim to offer over 1,000+ Plugins and Themes all for just $79/year. There isn’t one GPL Club that offers WordPress Plugins and Themes that were developed by the owners.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy From a GPL Club

Author:

The owners of the GPL Club style websites aren’t the original authors of the plugins. This means they have no idea how the code works. What it should do and how the functionality works.

Support:

Traditionally the GPL Clubs offer no support for the plugins or themes they distribute. They claim this is because they offer such high value, whereas the truth of the matter is because they didn’t originally develop the plugins or themes provided. They have no idea how to provide support or what to do if something breaks.

This means that if you find a bug in the plugin or theme, you download from these types of websites, you can’t do anything about it. The GPL Club may no longer have access to their original download and account, meaning that there’s nothing you can do. That issue may never be fixed, and you’ll be left with a broken plugin or theme which your site might rely on.

Updates:

Plugins such as Gravity Forms, WPMU DEV’s and others are moving more in the direction of SaaS-based software and licensing systems. With WPMU DEV Plugins such as HummingBird and others requiring an active Membership and License Key. This means the plugins won’t even work on your site if downloaded from an unauthorized third party.

Most WordPress Plugin and Theme companies also have their automatic updates system which you won’t get the benefit from. Updates to plugins and themes from GPL Club sites can frequently be days/weeks or sometimes even months late leaving you potentially with broken, buggy software.

Security:

That updates section above looks scary right? Well, how about this. If there’s an XSS vulnerability or another serious security issue that the original author patches for their customers and makes that update available What if you have to wait days, weeks or months for that same update? It puts you at a greater risk of getting hacked, which could cause your business to lose not only revenue but also respect from your customers and industry.

Modified files:

By downloading from anyone apart from the original author you’re at risk of installing a modified malicious plugin or theme on your website. While most sites will claim not to have modified the files, how will you know? Maybe more advanced users will scan the files and can spot any alterations. But most can’t if the file is modified with malicious code your website could be hacked, customers details were stolen, all devastating to any business.

Ethics – Is it right or wrong?

Let’s clear this one up. Despite what others say distributing a GPL licensed plugin or theme is not ethically wrong. The GPL license gives the freedom to redistribute the software with or without modifications, to read more on the GPL take a look at the official FAQ here.

But what about re-distributing it for profit? Again while not technically against the GPL and in theory it isn’t ethically wrong. You are taking money away from the original developer/author/company that created the software. That person/persons may have spent months or even years on that software that is being re-distributed. How would you feel if someone did the same with your work?

Whatever you do, support the original author of the software you want to use on your website. If you can’t afford to purchase premium versions, there are usually great free alternatives on WordPress.org or lite versions of premium plugins and themes with features removed you may not even need. Always check WordPress.org and don’t go with GPL Club type sites or nulled plugins/themes.

A Sneak peek at our upcoming WordPress Business theme.

Here at WPSatchel we’ve been busy working away on a range of new plugins and themes, today we’re giving you a sneak peek at one of our new themes that is currently in the prototyping phase. Say hello to Maera Business (working title).

maera_business_mockup

Maera Business is the ultimate WordPress multi-purpose business theme, with a strong focus on a more unique look, everything is editable. And built in contact forms allow you to get up and running quickly and easily.

But why business you ask? While strictly this new WordPress theme is being designed with a business use in mind, it’s also multi-purpose and comes with a range of built-in templates and functionality. It’ll also be compatible with and directly integrated with some very exciting new plugins we have coming up. We’re not stopping here though. Over the coming months we’ll be launching a range of Themes, Plugins and Tools to make your WordPress life easier. Whether your a designer, developer, agency, or a WordPress beginner who doesn’t know the first thing about it. We’re looking at making everything easier.

Get ready for a whole range of tutorials, articles, hints, tips, tricks and some super exciting member exclusive content. WordPress Themes are just the start.

Got any questions, comments, or feedback? Let us know in the comments below.

New Maera Updates!

Today we’re happy to announce the latest updates to two our products, Maera and Maera Bootstrap.

Our Maera Framework Update includes:

* Fix searchform.twig causing internal server errors
* Remove search filter breaking external search plugins
* Fix use correct function for locating files
* Fix multiple warnings
* Modification: No Longer require Kirki for the core framework
* Remove admin notice about the add-ons tabs that was removed in prior versions
* Modification: Stop auto-activating plugins
* Remove un-needed jQuery enqueue
* Remove Kirki as an embedded plugin
* Remove Timber as an embedded plugin

These improvements are primarily aimed at making future development changes easier and better for the end user and developers.

Our Maera Bootstrap Update includes:

* Fix missing navigation options
* Code Cleanup
* Add custom code editors

The new custom code editors are one of the biggest improvements, rather than having the plain text box, the new code editors, highlight the text syntax for the correct language and offer proper formatting.

Both of these updates are now available to download in your account. Any questions just let us know.

 

Introducing – Maera Foundation

It’s release time at WPSatchel! That means one thing, a brand new shiny release of an awesome product.

That product today is the Maera Foundation Shell. This shell is an extension to our existing Maera Framework and implements the Foundation Framework to your WordPress site. With the Shell activated on your site, you’ll be able to use all the classes and markup that Foundation provides and everything will be styled exactly as you’d expect.

Like with all our Shells, Maera Foundation utilizes the WordPress Customizer and includes a raft of customization options.

To find out more about the Maera Foundation Shell, check out the project page here.

If you’re an existing customer, you can login and download the new Shell today!