CiviDay 2016 – London Meetup

Wednesday 24th February 2016 was CiviDay – an annual event to learn about CiviCRM and what it can do for your organization, meet other CiviCRM users, ask questions, share tips and build connections.

The CiviDay London event was held in the offices of Compucorp, one of the main UK CiviCRM development houses.

There are regular CiviCRM meetups in London, which are open to all. They are particularly aimed at people looking to find out more about CiviCRM or considering it for their organisation. There is always a mix of experience levels represented and are a great forum for asking questions or for meeting current users, implementers or developers who can help with your project.

CiviDay London Format

  • Session 1: Intro to CiviCRM
  • Session 2: What’s new in Civi 4.7!
  • Break
  • Session 3: CiviRules – what I can do with it and how to extend it…
  • Session 4: CiviHR – Latest developments
Cividay London meetup
Cividay London meetup

2020Media, a UK CiviCRM hosting provider attended the event and these are the thoughts of their Civi expert Rex:

We started with introductions – the first speaker was Jamie Novick from Compucorp, our hosts for the evening. The meeting room was at capacity – I estimated over 30 people had come along. Of these, on a show of hands, 4-5 had never used CiviCRM before.

Jamie started us off with a look at https://stats.civicrm.org/

Usage stats from https://stats.civicrm.org
CiviCRM usage stats

This shows a up to date view of how CiviCRM is growing across the world. I was particularly interested to see the although Drupal is the most popular underlying platform with 63% market share, WordPress is now the second most popular, overtaking Joomla. CiviCRM on WordPress has only been around a couple of years, so this is significant growth, and I believe shows how people want CiviCRM to integrate with their public-facing websites.

Other Statistical Highlights

  • Over 10,000 sites using CiviCRM
  • 170,000,000 contacts managed
  • UK second largest market with 1,200 organisations
  • Post popular extension: CiviDiscount

There’s a close correlation between hosting location and organisation location, which ties in with our experience as a CiviCRM host.

pie chart showing civicrm server location
CiviCRM server location

Session 2. After spending some time with the numbers, Jamie gave a quick overview of changes in the latest CiviCRM version, and what is planned for the upcoming 5.0 release.

Next, and mainly for the benefit of those who were new to CiviCRM, Jamie went through some of the most common tasks in CiviCRM, showing each activity and providing useful tips to novice and expert alike. This also helped those running older versions, so they could see what new options were now available.

Session 3.  A look at CiviRules. This presentation was about an extension called CiviRules, which is a free add-on to CiviCRM.

Compucorp employee Guan Huan gave us a tour around the CiviRules extension. For Drupal developers, CiviRules will be familiar as it is similar to the Drupal Rules function. In essence it is a way of creating an automated process based on:

If <this> then do <that>

You can define Triggers, Conditions and Actions.

Another way to look at this is that is mimics SalesForce Automation – which is well known as a very powerful tool.

CiviRules is fairly new and still in development, but it was easy to see how useful this would be to reduce admin work.

Session 4. The final talk of the evening from Natalie was about CiviHR – a project based on CiviCRM, but standalone.

CiviHR Logo
CiviHR

CiviHR is a reimagining of CiviCRM as a system for the needs of HR departments of all organisations (not just charity/3rd sector). Although being listed as an extension, it is in fact going to be released as a seperate full install of Drupal and CiviHR.

CiviHR allows you to run all the functions of a large HR department – for example, people, onboarding, contracts, holidays, sick days, training etc.

The design, which we saw a preview of, looks very slick and modern – I think all the people at the meetup were thinking “if only CiviCRM looked as good as this”!

Currently the development team hope to release an MVP (minimum viable product) in late Q2 2016. They are looking for pilot clients to work with.

The evening wrapped up with networking and a few drinks in a local pub.

If you are interesting in learning more about CiviCRM, seeing how it operates, asking questions to friendly people who have in depth knowledge, I thoroughly recommend dropping in to the next London CiviCRM meetup. You can register here https://civicrm.org/events

Information about the CiviCRM services offered by 2020Media can be found in the links below, and at http://www.2020media.com/shared-hosting/civcrm-hosting

WordPress and CiviCRM integration

If you are choosing a CMS system, WordPress is now a very popular choice.

If you want to use the open-source CRM system CiviCRM, WordPress has been an option as a front-end for a few years. But how integrated are they?

Once installed, CiviCRM keeps your WordPress Users synchronized with corresponding CiviCRM contact records. The ‘rule’ is that there will be a matched contact record for each WordPress user record. Conversely, only contacts who are authenticated users of your site will have corresponding WordPress user records.

When CiviCRM is installed on top of an existing WordPress site, a special CiviCRM Administrative feature allows you to automatically create CiviCRM contacts for all existing WordPress users.

WP plugins for CiviCRM
WP plugins for CiviCRM

The current list of plugins that give extra functionality when linking the two systems together can be found at https://wordpress.org/plugins/tags/civicrm

CiviCRM Admin Utilities

Fixes the menus so that they appear in the standardised WordPress way. It also allows you to choose which Post Types the CiviCRM shortcode button appears on

 

CiviCRM WordPress Profile Sync

Keeps a WordPress and/or BuddyPress user profile in sync with a CiviCRM contact. The synchronisation takes place regardless of whether the changes are made in WordPress, BuddyPress or CiviCRM.

CiviCRM WordPress Member Sync

Keep WordPress users in sync with CiviCRM memberships by granting either a role or capabilities to users with that membership. This enables you to have, among other things, members-only content on your website that is only accessible to current members as defined by the membership types and status rules that you set up in CiviCRM.

CiviCRM Contribution Page Widget

Displays contribution page widgets from CiviContribute as native WordPress widgets. This plugin makes it easy to include one or more contribution page “widgets” as actual WordPress widgets on your sidebar.

CiviEvent Widget

Display widgets for CiviCRM events: the next public event or a whole list. You can include the widgets in the sidebar like normal, or you can include them via shortcodes in the body of your posts.

Because of the huge number and ever-changing nature of community contributed WordPress plugins, CiviCRM cannot guarantee compatibility with contributed plugins. A list of know incompatibilities can be found at  WordPress plugins incompatible with CiviCRM.

Find out more about CiviCRM Hosting from 2020media at http://www.2020media.com/shared-hosting/civcrm-hosting – full support for WordPress-based CiviCRM sites.

CiviCRM 4.7.0 is here! | CiviCRM

Thanks to the efforts of an incredible group of contributors, the Core Team, and the financial support of members and partners, we’re pleased to announce the latest release of CiviCRM. We invite you to enjoy a host of improvements and new features only available in version 4.7.

Source: CiviCRM 4.7.0 is here! | CiviCRM

Used by nearly 11,000 organizations worldwide, CiviCRM is open source software built and supported by a generous community. Its purpose is to empower nonprofit and civic-sector organizations to achieve meaningful impact around the world.
Learn more here

New Features in CiviCRM

The creators of open-source CRM software CiviCRM have released details of the new features coming in the next release of the free software.

2020Media is a leading UK web hosting provider of CiviCRM – details about our hosting service can be found at http://www.2020media.com/shared-hosting/civcrm-hosting

CiviCRM 4.7 Planned Features

  • Form Builder – First phase implementation of a new forms framework which will be designed to allow for easy customization of core forms.
  • Administrator Status Page – Provide CiviCRM site administrators with a single place to check for configuration problems including cron status, file permissions, MySQL permissions, invalid or sub-optimal PHP settings, etc. These statuses can also be queried via API to allow for automated status checks.
  • Administer Settings improvements – Provides a unified and searchable administrative interface for all configurable settings. Makes it easier for extensions to add settings to this interface.
  • Installer improvements – Streamlined install process for WordPress sites. Initialize newly installed sites with localization settings (language, currency, etc.) based on the users locale. 2020Media provide pre-installed CiviCRM so we’ll take care of this for you!
  • Payment processing improvements
  • Webform CiviCase integration enhancements (sponsored by Compucorp Ltd.) – Add case roles to a case in webforms and allow users to specify a case when creating an activity.
  • CiviMail Inline (pending code contribution from Veda Consulting) – Improves usability when composing and editing mailings based on templates by allowing the designer to create editable and non-editable regions.
  • Offline recurring payments (pending code contribution from Veda Consulting and API from JMA Consulting) – Manage recurring contributions that are initiated outside of CiviCRM.  Ensures that these Direct Debit or Standing Order payments are allocated to the correct contacts, and that the recurring details are fully accessible to CRM administrators.
  • Navigation / Menu Improvements (pending collaboration with Compucorp Ltd.) – Modernize the main navigation menu, provide vertical side-bar display options, include icons.

The target date for a stable release is Early October 2015.