Today SiteTree becomes officially part of the history. Don't worry, I am not going to say my goodbyes to the project, far from it! This post is about a breath of fresh air: I gave the plugin a new name, and from now on it will be distributed in two versions, Pro and Lite. The introduction of the much anticipated Gutenberg Blocks is another big novelty. But let's start from the timeless question: "Why?"
As you might already know, SiteTree was never intended as a plugin able to produce something more than a plain HTML Site Map, and even less planned was turning it into a premium plugin — as it did happen. No doubt my willingness to learn and my inexperience were both far from negligible.
After my long break from code development, I thought that the project was only in need of a new cycle of updates, to be revived. But maybe I have yet to learn to be forward-looking.
The Permalinks Cascade Pro is not an attempt to change direction to the project — although making its direction clearer is a goal — but it is my attempt to mend two major flaws SiteTree had: the feeble sense of completeness and the poorly defined identity.
More at the Same Price
If on the one hand The Permalinks Cascade Pro inherits SiteTree's core, on the other it steps ahead with Gutenberg Blocks: Blocks work side by side with the shortcode and the template tag to allow the creation and customisation of hyper-lists in a more productive, and so, more flexible way.
The purchase options are more or less the same as those available for SiteTree, with the 'Personal' licence offered at the same price as before. But now there are two years to take advantage of updates and support.
There is a Lite Version
As disclosed in the introduction, another novelty is the availability of a Lite version. The Permalinks Cascade (Lite) si very much alike to the latest free version of SiteTree, as far as features are concerned, and although some functionalities are gone, a few more, for as much minor they are, have been added: the grouping by Topic of the items of a hyper-list of Pages is no longer a paid-for functionality.
Starting from now, you can download The Permalinks Cascade (Lite) from the plugin's product page, and within the next two weeks it should also be available on WordPress.org, it all depends on whether my request to include the plugin into the directory will be accepted or not.
Making the Switch
Switching to The Permalinks Cascade, Pro or Lite, from any version of SiteTree boils down to deactivating the old plugin and activating the new one: The Permalinks Cascade [Pro] automatically carries out the upgrade and migration of SiteTree's settings and data when activated for the first time — it doesn't matter whether or not SiteTree is inactive when you activate The Permalinks Cascade [Pro].
If you are a user of SiteTree 7.0+, you should have received an email with instructions on how to switch to The Permalinks Cascade Pro free of charge, if not, please get in touch with me.
As I am used to remind myself, no one can walk a long way without a helping hand. For this reason, a heartfelt thanks goes to each one of the people who has purposefully or incidentally contributed to the achievement of this milestone. Thank you, really.