In case you have been living under a rock, the CiviCRM development environment has dramatically changed over the last 5 years. Recently I've had the opportunity to upgrade my 10 year old CiviCRM development chops by learning some of the new tools and I thought I would share my experiences.
End-user tips and tricks go in this category.
If you’re starting to see unexpected content at the top and/or bottom of your mailings, this may be to do with a recent upgrade (to 5.49.0+). For example, you might see text like “default HTML header”, or a footer offering opt-out where there previously was none. You might also see old headers/footers that you used to use.
(If you don’t care and just want a fix, skip to the next heading!)
So you have loads of useful data in your CiviCRM database… but the core CiviCRM reports just aren't cutting it. What to do? A number of our clients have worked around this by utilizing Jasper Reports, an open source tool that allows for building complex and flexible reports using data, read directly from CiviCRM.
We get questions about importing contributions fairly often, so we thought we’d walk you through the steps we typically follow to ensure that the contributions are a) imported correctly and b) attached to the correct contacts. Does it take a bit longer? Perhaps – but we believe accuracy is well worth the few extra steps.
One important note: for contribution, membership, activity, and participant imports, Civi won’t add any of these to contacts that don’t already exist in the system, so it’s crucial to do a first pass to ensure the contacts exist.
It’s a great idea to create a Custom Field with the field type Checkbox, particularly when you have many, many options. Did you know there is a risk of losing data if you don’t have the checkbox set up properly?
CiviCRM will attempt to save the information to the database without regard to the length of the items chosen.
This month at CiviCRM North East, Rich Lott of Artful Robot spoke about how to improve email deliverability and avoid your mailings being marked as spam.
As we discovered, it is quite a complex topic but Rich did a great job of explaining the technicalities.
Rich answered questions such as:
Learn more about how you can deal with duplicate records in CiviCRM in this talk by Aidan Saunders of Squiffle Consulting.
This is a recording of the talk Aidan gave at the CiviCRM North East meeting on 8 September 2021. He spoke about:
When looking for CRM software for your organisation, you want to see screens, what it looks like, what it can do, and also what is involved to integrate it with your existing other systems such as your website or your financial or bookkeeping software.
There is a community created website containing 4 detailed use cases to give you that information:
In 1992, there was a little known new thing called the world wide web. By 1995, it was a "thing". Now, what exactly do those quotes do to the word "thing"? And what does this have to do with "entities"? Cue my favorite programming joke.
Introducing WordPress Content Views for CiviCRM which uses the new Data Processor extension for CiviCRM to provide easy to design and beautiful layouts and listings of CiviCRM information on your WordPress website.
Credit goes to other people but I wanted to point out a new setting now available as of 5.17.0 that should speed up most sites. At worst it should have no effect. It's like that button on traffic light poles - you press it and sometimes it does nothing but sometimes the light changes faster. Either way you're no worse off, except they now have your fingerprints on file.
One of the questions we occasionally get from our clients concerns how users can search for non-primary emails, addresses, and phone numbers in CiviCRM. Because so many constituents use different emails for different purposes - one for billing, one for bulk emails, and so forth - it can become a challenge to locate people in your data. However, we have a couple of suggestions for how you can search across all emails, phone numbers, and addresses.
Option 1: Add Them to Your Search Results
In this blog post I want to show how you could use the new form processor extension to handle form submissions from an external website.
My (imaginary) organisation provides buddies for young people and the form on our website is submitted when somebody is interested in becoming a buddy for a teenager. We ask for the name, address, e-mail, telephone number, birth date and gender.
Last year at #17NTC, I met a consultant who reminded me of the dreaded phone call, “Hey, a colleague referred me to you and I want to get a quote for moving to CiviCRM.” Those phone calls are often challenging, as the client hasn’t done much in the way of organizing their needs and helping us help them.
This is a first blog post about how we build the team portal for Roparun.
I've had a few requests from clients recently with queries around updating contact details and permissions with the new GDPR data protection legislation coming into force in Europe in May.
As a result I've developed two very simple extensions which I'd like to share:
This extension provides a simple UI under the contact summary via Actions->Contact Checksum.
When opened a simple UI is displayed with information and example links to use in emails when sending personalised / "update your details" links from CiviCRM.
While CiviCRM has undergone major updates and re-organization under the hood since the platform was started in 2005, it's User Interface has largely remained the same. This is all about to change with the introduction of the new Shoreditch Theme for CiviCRM.
Compatibility with PHP 5.3 will end in December 2017, and compatibility with PHP 5.4 will end in March 2018. These changes follow a number of discussions and a multi-year deprecation process. The current recommended version is PHP 5.6.
Based on feedback from clients, we're launching a series of Masterclasses this year. They will provide an opportunity for you to deepen your knowledge and skills in a particular area of CiviCRM. These courses will assume that you have a basic understanding of CiviCRM as a Contact Management System.
Got a load of spreadsheet data from a 3rd party to import as activities/contributions but it's not matched up with contacts? Want an efficient way to reduce duplicates caused by messy spreadsheets? This extension might just help.
cv (https://github.com/civicrm/cv) and
civix (https://github.com/totten/civix) are Unix/CLI tools for developers.
cv provides access to your Civi site on the command line, and
civix generates skeletal code for new extensions. We've had a few recent updates to each of these tools, so I wanted to introduce
cv more formally and then recap some of recent improvements for each tool.
To ensure that CiviCRM continues to work with standard, contemporary PHP hosting platforms, a future version may make a subtle change in hosting requirements. We expect this to be mostly seamless; however, we're looking for administrators responsible for sites running a recent CiviCRM (e.g. v4.7+) to spend a few minutes to help ensure a smooth transition.
Q: I'm not too fluent in geek-speak. What should I do?
Forward this to whoever manages your server. If you work with a CiviCRM partner, they may be thinking of you already.
Someone asked me to post this here - so that he can give it a try!
I've posted the details in a QA format including some of my slides from my CiviCON Lightning Talk on CiviCRM's StackExchange site:
I’d like to pose a question to users of CiviCRM that is not particularly technical. It’s more to do with using the existing features of Civi in the most effective and efficient way to do 2 very important things...cultivate Major Donors and apply for Grants.
Note: this post was edited August 17, 2017, to include pricing changes on Mailjet and Sparkpost.
CiviMail is a great way to send targeted email to your supporters using CiviCRM to segment recipients and populate token values. Meanwhile, email marketing services such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact provide sending infrastructure so you don't have to worry much as much about deliverability. By using CiviMail with an SMTP or email API service, CiviCRM users get the benefits of both.
Wherein the new member of the community finds his place, and the editing guidelines he shares thereof
Hi! My name is Christian Maltais. I'm a founding member of Praxis Labs Coop. We recently launched a Civi hosting service with automated updates. However, I also wanted to help the community on a more personal level. Since I'm not a developer, I felt unsure. How could I fit in?
CiviCooP is working with Emphanos on a nice CiviCRM project (of which I am sure Young-Jin will blog at some point in the near future). As part of this project I developed a specific extension that creates or updates Activity Types, Contact Types, Custom Groups with Custom Fields, Event Types, Groups, Membership Types, Option Groups with Option Values, Relationship Types and Tags from JSON files.
So for example there is a JSON file for activity types which looks like this:
On 9 February 2016, Gmail announced it would warn users when they receive e-mail that was not encrypted by the sender. After all, e-mail often includes personnal information, but has historically never been encrypted. A webmail might use https, an IMAP account is usually using encryption as well, but users do not have an easy way to know if the communication between two e-mail servers is encrypted. Gmail therefore introduced a small red open padlock in the e-mail header to warn users if the communication was not encrypted.