I had this all written up and ready to go, then we discovered a few more bugs in 2.2. I got focused on running those down for Matt to fix and didn’t get this published. But it’s here now, several weeks after the release of 2.2.1. I’m not going to do posts for every release of Starfish (if you didn’t notice, I skipped 2.1). When there’s important or exciting stuff, I will though. After a lot of hard work by Matt, and a little testing by me, Starfish Reviews version 2.2 was released with both important and exciting stuff in it!
PHP 7.0+ Is Now Required!
The first important thing is that we now require PHP 7.0 or above to run Starfish Reviews. Not sure what that is? Or if your hosting has it? Just ask your hosting provider to upgrade you to PHP 7 or above. They’ll either respond with “you’re already on PHP 7.x” or “okay, we can get that done for you.” If they don’t give you one of those answers, it’s time to get some good WordPress hosting.
For those who know what PHP 7 is, here’s why we decided to stop supporting version 5.6: it’s just too much work to maintain that backward compatibility. We’re a small team with limited bandwidth. If we want to make Starfish Review really awesome, we need the time and effort we would have put into keeping PHP 5.6 support to put into adding awesome new features, making it easier to use, and all that.
Plus, WordPress core is likely going to bump its minimum requirement to 7.0+ by the end of the year. So we’re only slightly ahead of the official requirement, and you’ll need to do it soon enough anyway, if you want to be safe and keep current. Speaking of being safe, if you’re on PHP 5.5 or below, your website and hosting are vulnerable to hacking, malware, and all that garbage! Get updated to PHP 7.0 (or above) asap.
If you’re not on PHP 7+, Starfish Reviews will warn you that it won’t work, after you apply this update. You can then get your host to update your hosting, and then it’ll start working again.
“Reviews” Are Now “Feedback”
When you update to 2.2, you’ll get a little notification prompt asking you to click the button to update the database. This is to rename the “Reviews” custom post type where Starfish records the results of your Funnels, into “Feedback.”
We decided to do this for two reasons:
- We wanted to free the name “Reviews” for when we add the ability to import and display reviews to the plugin. So this is a big preparation step for that future functionality.
- “Feedback” is more accurate. When someone completes a funnel, they’re sent to the destination, but there’s no guarantee that they actually leave a review when they get there (though they usually do). And if they submit negative feedback, there’s no real review involved at all.
So “Feedback” is more clear and accurate.
Filter Reports by Month &/or Funnel
When the reports were part of the Reviews (now “Feedback”) page, you could sort by month and/or individual Funnel. When we upgraded the reporting portion, using Angular, we started pretty basic, without this helpful functionality. We’re happy to say it’s now been added back in Starfish Reviews 2.2!
Freemius, our licensing and ecommerce provider recently updated their platform and SDK to support a beta channel. So we’ve enabled this and you can get pre-release, beta versions of Starfish Reviews if you want to help us test.
Any sites where you’ve enabled this option will show an update available anytime we release a new beta version. You’re then welcome to apply the update and let us know if any bugs you find. We don’t recommend doing this on a live-production site since beta versions are more likely to have bugs that could result in loss of data, incorrect functionality, etc.
Lots of Bugfixes!
Many of you were reporting that you were getting feedback emails that were blank. These were actually positive feedback. But since the positive feedback route has no way for the user to input their info or a message, they were basically just empty. This update fixes that issue and emails are only sent when someone submits the negative feedback form. If they skip it (because you have review gating disabled), then nothing will happen.
There are a number of other bugfixes as well: no longer an option to leave a public review after the negative feedback form is submitted, multiple destination icons now save colors even when following a custom icon, and you can switch multiple destination icons back to a built-in icon after setting a custom one. Plus a few other things you can read about in the Changelog.
We’re excited for you to use version 2.2, so update your sites now! Just make sure they’re on PHP 7.0 or above before you do. If you’re not, the plugin will warn you after you update.
As always, let us know if you encounter any bugs so we can get them fixed right away.