Today we are announcing the release of Crowd Vox 1.1. This has been the biggest release so far which took us more than 2 months of development, although we started with a very little list initially. So we are sorry for not being able to give you proper timeline on the release. We ourselves had no idea about the timeline. Okay, so, before we jump to the highlights of this release, let us also share with you how Crowd Vox has progressed in last one year since October 2010. In this course of time, we’ve established 200+ clients, developed 20+ custom projects and released 3-4 major upgrades – that’s a lot more than our expectation when we were getting started with the very first release.
With this release you can not only use Crowd Vox as a review script but also as a directory script. While there are several new features, enhancements and bug fixes added with this release we’ll be highlighting you with a few major important ones:
1. Paid listings: Ever since the launch in October 2010, lots of users were always asking us how to make money from Crowd Vox script and we knew the ultimate answer was going to be paid listings. But it wasn’t there and we were too distracted with the other features, and bug fixes. While other features are continuously being developed this feature still found its way on the top of our to-do list because of so many users asking for it. So what does this feature actually does? In simple words, this feature allows you to charge users for submitting or upgrading their listings. We’ve also added a permission matrix which will allow you to create your own packages with different permissions and different parameters. For example, you can simply create two plans say gold and silver. You can set up custom limitations like gold plan can allow 5 images on a listing, while silver plan would only allow 2. There are several other possibilities in creation of packages – we highly recommend you to check out our new demos, specifically the city portal/yelp clone demo. There’s a lot more to see in this feature which cannot be included here. Functionality like ‘claim listing’ is also part of this feature. * This feature is available as an add-on on store and will work only with 1.1. *
2. Video upload: Again this is one of the features which users were asking for and we prioritized it solely based on the demand. This feature simply allows you to upload a video with a listing or a review. All you need to do is create a custom field of ‘video type’ and associate it with your given listing type. As many of you must already know that custom field can be associated to a listing or a review – like that, video can also be associated with either of them.
3. Forum integration: I know it would be boring to say this again, but I’ll say that anyway (because I want you all to know that our development is highly prioritized by our customers’ demands): “This is another community voted feature”. This feature is specifically for Simple Machine Forum, it allows you to integrate registration and login with your SMF installation. Once this add-on is activated, all the users registering on Crowd Vox database will automatically get registered on your forum database. Similarly, when they log into the Crowd Vox they will automatically get logged in to forum. * This feature is available as an add-on on store and will work only with 1.1. *
4. Several SEO features: We’ve also added many SEO features with this release which will allow you to customize Meta keywords on homepage and other pages. There’s also another feature which appears on listing index, which will allows you to set up keywords and other Meta information for listing pages.
5. The URL field type: Some of you might have experienced a little difficulty in placing URL fields with your listings – and maybe asked us to implement that for you. For the very same purpose we have introduced a new field type called: URL, which appears while adding custom fields. Once you select this field type you will see several anchor related options which you can set up as per your requirements. There is also a URL masking property which might come handy to all affiliate marketers.
6. Lightning fast method for language conversion: Till now to convert Crowd Vox into your own language, you had to download those PO files first on your local system, then download a PO editor, and edit the huge boring PO file from FTP, and then upload it back. This process not only took more time but was also error-prone. So we’ve added a new feature which will allow you to convert Crowd Vox into your own language straight away from the admin panel. Just go to Backend > Others > languages, there you will see all the strings which you would normally see in PO file but along with the text box. Fill in this text box with your own language strings and you’ll be done.
Some other enhancements which are worth pointing out are: yelp like search, image support while bulk importing CSV, rich snippets improvements with updated schema.org conventions, image uploads with reviews. Apart from all this we’ve also introduced a new manual and written down a new article on how to optimize Crowd Vox website for speed.
A detailed log of all these features, enhancements and bug fixes is available here.