Hello everyone and welcome to the May 2020 edition of “What’s New with Kernl”! This month was relatively slow for us with little work on new features and more focus on bugs and refactoring. Let’s dive in.
We now have video tutorials for enabling Git deployments on your WordPress plugins and themes. You can see them on your Kernl dashboard, or in the Kernl documentation.
License Tab UX – The license tab in the plugin and theme edit interface was getting out of control. We collapsed the provider specific controls into an accordion to make it a little easier to digest.
Global CDN – Kernl now has the option to serve your updates via a global CDN powered by Vercel. If you have a geographically diverse customer base, this might be for you.
Analytics Date Selection Bug – There was an issue with date selection being wrong in some cases.
Mongoose Upgrade – Kernl used Node.js and MongoDB under the covers to deliver your updates. Our ORM is Mongoose and had been stuck on the 4.X version of it for a long time. We finally upgraded to the 5.x series and saw 40% reduction in queries to our database.
Analytics Database Maintenance – Removed 2 indexes that we didn’t need and dud a full vacuum on the largest and highest traffic table. Recovered 5Gb of hard disk space.
Kernl Blog Rebuild – Our blog is self-hosted and was running on some pretty ancient hardware/software. We rebuilt the machine to use Ubuntu 20.20 + Nginx & PHP-FPM.
Analytics Daily Aggregates Failure – For 2 days Kernl analytics daily aggregates were failing due to disk space space and memory issues (see Analytics Database Maintenance). This has been resolved.
Site Health SSL Certificate Expiration – We forgot to renew the WordPress Site Health SSL Certificate (oops!). This is now an automated process 🙂
That’s all for this month. I hope everyone has a great June!
February was a pretty busy month for Kernl! We had a lot of great tweaks to load testing, a few customer feature improvements, and some infrastructure work. Lets get started!
Features & Bugs
Multi-Region Load Tests – You can now select multiple regions for your WordPress load tests! Instead of having all traffic come from a single region you can have it evenly distributed across all the available regions. This is useful for testing if you have a global audience.
Load Testing Enters General Availability – Kernl’s WordPress load testing is now available for all customers.
Delete Load Tests – You are now able to delete your load tests.
License Max Version Bug – A customer brought to our attention that the “max_version” field behavior wasn’t quite right. This has been resolved.
Customer Card Expiration Cron Job Bug – We recently discovered that the cron job that checks to see if a customer has paid their invoice was broken. This was going on for about 5 months, so some of you may have received you Kernl subscription for free during that time period. 😉
Multiple License Domains – If you use our license management system and restrict via domains, you can now enter multiple domains on a per-license basis. This is useful if you want to use the same license for local, staging, and production.
License Management UI Updates – We’ve simplified the list view in license management by removing some columns that were cluttering the screen. We’ve also lined up the action buttons better and will now notify you in the plugin/theme detail pages if you have license management enabled but no licenses associated with your product.
The Kernl Analytics server was re-sized to be smaller. It was way over allocated.
Load testing was moved to a Kernl sub-domain. Prior to this it had a top-level domain.
Load testing servers that don’t come up after 3 minutes are removed from the load testing pool.
Session handling (for OAuth) has been moved to cookies. Prior to this we stored sessions in Redis.
We have removed our dependency on the ‘Q’ promise package on the Node.js app servers.
Today we launched the next iteration of Kernl Analytics. The agency plan has been long in the making and we hope that you enjoy the new insights that you can extract with it.
The Kernl Analytics agency plan is very similar to the “small” plan with two key differences:
Increased DataRetention – When the agency plan is selected, Kernl will hold on to your analytics data for 90 days (instead of the small plan’s single day). This also means that you can select a day in the past and see your analytics for it.
Compare Dates – With the agency plan you can select two dates and compare their data against each other. This is extremely useful if you would like to see adoption curves for WordPress versions, PHP versions, and installed versions of your plugin/theme. It allows you to make smart business decisions based on real data.
The Kernl Analytics agency plan is now available to all Kernl customers. The fee is $30/month on top of your existing Kernl plan. Reach out to email@example.com if you have any questions!
Have you ever wanted to know what version of WordPress your customer is running? Or perhaps what version of your plugin or theme? Maybe you have a plugin or theme that’s installed on hundreds or thousands of sites and you want to know which ones? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, Kernl Analytics is just what you’re looking for!
Kernl Analytics gives you insights into how your customers are using your plugin or theme. If you’re an agency, Kernl analytics gives you quick insights into the websites that you manage. Using our domains feature you can see what domains your plugin or theme is installed on, as well as what WordPress version is installed. Looking for PHP version or what language the site is displayed in? That’s coming soon!
To enable Kernl analytics, go to the plugin or theme list in Kernl and click the black “Analytics” button. Because of the nature of gathering and storing this information at scale, Kernl Analytics is an add-on to your current Kernl subscription that costs $10 / month. The Kernl Analytics subscription also comes with a free 30 day trial so that you can try it. The Kernl Analytics subscription covers all of your plugins and themes regardless of how many you have or how many sites they’re installed on.
We’re super excited about providing WordPress plugin and theme analytics for you and hope you are too!