Post Notif v1.1.3 – Scheduling Posts Just Got A Whole Lot Better!

I am pleased to announce the release of Post Notif version 1.1.3! It has taken far longer than I’d anticipated, but I am firmly of the opinion that its improvements are worth the wait. I hope you’ll agree, once you’ve had a chance to install it and experiment with the new features.

Speaking of which, here’s what’s new:

  • Added ability to auto-send post notifications when post is published
  • Bolstered ability to manually run and schedule post notifications

A frequent request I’ve heard from people, starting almost immediately after the release of Post Notif 1.1.0, was that though they appreciated the ability to schedule post notifications (rather than ONLY being able to manually trigger them), they didn’t necessarily want to wait to schedule the send process until after a post had been published. Further, it became clear that a commonly desired use case consisted of drafting a post, scheduling it to be published at a specific future date and time, and then having the post notification go out immediately following the publish event. So I added this.

To employ it, a new option has been added to the plugin’s settings page (Settings >> Post Notif). In the Email Settings section, the “Send post notifications when post published” option will appear defaulted to “No (Manual)”. If you’d like your post notifications to be sent automatically, upon post publish, you can change this to “Yes (Auto)”. You’ll see this appear in the (core WordPress) Publish meta box, prefixed by an email envelope icon. This value will be initially set based on how you’ve set the default on the Post Notif settings page but can be overridden per post. Even when “Auto” is chosen, you will see it revert to “Manual” automatically, once a post is published and the post notification is sent out. This was a deliberate implementation decision to address a couple of noted concerns from testers. Specifically, it is common for authors to perform minor punctuation corrections or formatting updates to a previously-published post, without wanting to automatically send out a fresh batch of post notifications. Additionally, any post published before introduction of this new functionality will individually default to “Manual”, regardless of the admin’s choice in the Post Notif settings, to avoid inadvertently flooding subscribers’ inboxes if minor updates are ever made to old posts. Of course, if an author makes a content correction or update and DOES want to call attention to the revised post, they can easily either change the auto-send option back to “Auto” or trigger a manual send.

Please note that though, to this point, I’ve focused on posts scheduled to be published at some time in the future, setting a post to auto-send post notifications will do just that for manually published posts as well. So if your process is to finish your draft and hit publish (immediately), with Post Notif set to “Auto” your post notifications will go out as soon as you hit “Publish”.

Because some people wish to be able to schedule post notifications for posts scheduled to be published in the future but do NOT want post notifications sent immediately after publish, I did some considerable rework on the Post Notif meta box. You will not see anything but the “Test Send”-related fields in the Post Notif meta box unless you’ve set the Post Notif auto-send option to “Manual” for the current post. However, once you do set it to “Manual”, you will have the option to schedule a future post notification send for any post that is either already published (the current functionality, as introduced in v1.1.0) OR for any post that is scheduled to be published. If the post is already published, you will also have the ability to send it immediately. Please be aware that if a post is not in published status when the scheduled post notification time and date come around, no post notifications will be sent out for the post, and you’ll need to reschedule the send or perform it manually.

You’ll also notice some slight aesthetic changes to the contents of the Post Notif meta box. To provide consistency with the new auto-send feature (in the Publish meta box) and make the UI more intuitive, I replaced the “Send Now” and “Schedule” radio buttons with clickable links to toggle between the two post notification send options (when both are available; if the current post is not-yet-published, but scheduled to be, only “Schedule” is available so it is selected for you and not changeable).

There were also a couple of fixes introduced in this release, pertaining to subscriber creation:

  • Fixed subscriber import process bug, to allow imported subscribers to be subscribed to ANY category available to subscribers (as defined in Post Notif settings)
  • Added missing check validating successful subscriber creation (when processed via Post Notif widget)

My sincere thanks go out to Dan Heim, Ben Bois, and Wolfgang for first identifying bugs and features lacking completeness, and then following up by testing and providing feedback on the changes I made to address the issues they raised; the new release is in much better shape as a result of their help!

Finally, I’ll mention that there were several things I’d originally intended to include in this release that just simply didn’t make it in (I won’t bore you with the details explaining precisely why 🙂 ). Consequently, I will be embarking on the next version of Post Notif almost immediately, so look for another new version out before long.

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