First of all,
I would like to say thank you to all my readers, supporters, subscribers and people that have stood by me during this first commercial year of Laravelista. Your support means a lot to me.
The second thing is,
Happy New Year!!!
I have implemented a lot of new changes to Laravelista, and in this post I will go over them. Some of the changes may seem a bit harsh, but they are what they are. If you don't like something let me know in the comments bellow or contact me on email.
In short, "lessons" are now "tutorials" and "series" are now "courses". Courses still consist of many lessons. The URLs will remain the same, but this name change will enable me to do some cool stuff in the future. Also, it makes code maintenance much easier for me :)
Hope you like the new names and that you find them intuitive. Let me know what you think.
The free plan was originally intended to be used to enable users to purchase lessons (tutorials) one by one, and to enable them to mark them as read or liked. What I have noticed is that most users would create accounts, and then they never use them again. This somehow defeats the whole purpose of the free plan.
Now, to create an account you will have to choose a monthly or a yearly subscription plan. I think that this will prevent spam comments and improve general code of conduct on the website, making this a much better environment for learning.
Continuing on the first change about no free plans, this one seemed logical. A number of users choose to purchase access only to the lessons that they found interesting. This was my original plan, to provide a way for users to pay for only what they want. But, since the number of "inactive" accounts was far larger than the accounts that bough lessons, I had to disable this feature.
Don't worry. You will always have access to the lessons that you have purchased, even if you don't have a monthly or yearly subscription. Only now, you won't be able to purchase anymore lessons (tutorials).
I know, I know. Nobody likes it when you raise the prices. To be honest, I had no clue how much money I would be making and how much money I would need to pay the expenses for this website. After this first year I came to a conclusion that a monthly subscription will now cost $9, and that for a yearly subscription you get 20% off, making it $86 instead of $108.
Previously I had promised 3 lessons per month and I have done right by that. But, I was not happy with that because it gave me "free room" to publish them. So sometimes I would write and publish lessons at the start of the month, sometimes at the end and sometimes at complete random times. This was not good for me, because I like to postpone everything if I can, and this system enabled me to do so.
The new system says: "New content every week.", meaning that instead of 3 lessons at random times, you now get 4 lessons, but evenly spread across the entire month.
If you haven't noticed already, on the "Sign Up" page, there is a brand new Braintree hosted fields implementation for credit cards and PayPal, which uses v3 instead of v2 of their API. I'm very happy about this one.
I included this feature in the monthly and yearly plan almost a week before releasing Laravelista. The idea behind it was that over time I would gather enough people (members) around it, so that we could work on a team project building something great. This idea never came to realization for a number of reasons, so it is removed.
No more "Old Disqus Comments". I have announced that I would remove the comments a few months back, and now it has happened.
There are other small and huge improvements to Laravelista, but they are only visible to me :)
The site now runs on Laravel 5.3 and I have:
These changes enable me to focus on writing content. Technically this website is now very awesome. In the future, depending on the number of visitors and users, I plan to move it to a bigger server.
That's it! Thank you for reading, Happy New Year and best of luck.
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