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The PHP Classes Community in 2019 and 2020 Future Plans

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The 2019 year was great for all developers that participated in the PHP Classes community.

The plans for 2019 are even greater. Not only the PHP Classes site will distribute many elePHPants to many PHP developers around the world, but it will also provide opportunities to any developer that wants to make money from their software development passion, so you only have to work for your own company creating your own products and services that the PHP Classes site will help you to advertise and sell.

Read this article to learn about these plans for the PHP Classes developer community in 2020.

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In this article you may read about:

Quick Review about the PHP Classes Community in 2019

Launched the PHP elePHPant as a Product Distributed by the PHP Classes Site

Switched to a Better Server

PHP Classes Plans for 2020

Lower Cost Distribution of the PHP elePHPant WorldWide

Launch the MarketPlace

Switch to PHP 7.x

GDPR, LGPD and Other Privacy Laws Compliance

4DUser SEO Tool to Optimize Content to Rank Better in Google

Practical Value Tool to Help Developers Find Compatible Partners in their Software Businesses

Software Business Creation Free Mentoring


Quick Review about the PHP Classes Community in 2019

The year of 2019 was a great year of transition for the PHP Classes site and the services and products that it provides to its community. Here follows a short list of the most important events that happened in the site community in 2019.

Launched the PHP elePHPant as a Product Distributed by the PHP Classes Site

As you are certainly aware, the PHP elePHPant is an important symbol of the PHP community. Many PHP developers are looking for these elePHPants but they are hard to find for sale.

Fortunately, 2018 we negotiated a license with Vincent Pointier, the creator of the elePHPant design, so we can produce them at a local factory near us here in Brazil, and we started selling them to many developers around the world during 2019.

Now we are able to sell any quantity of elePHPants with options to ship them for free for those that buy 3 or more units. If you would like to buy your elePHPants now, please go to the shopping page to buy PHP elephant online now.

We had to learn a lot about producing and selling these elePHPants all according to laws of Brazil and other countries to where the elePHPants were shipped. Many delays happened due to our own mistakes. Fortunately we learned to fix those mistakes, so now we are able to ship the elePHPants without any delays.

Besides Vincent Pointier that was kind enough to trust us to allow the production and sale of these elePHPants, we would like to thank to all customers that ordered the elePHPants and were very patient and waited for their orders to arrive. So far 100% of the purchased elePHPants arrived safely to where those customers live.

We would also like to thank our business partner Glaucia Felisbino, for having helped us to perpare all the legal documentation and packaged these elePHPants nicely, so they could be shipped and arrived to all our customers.

She was also nice to help us producing the pictures and videos that we have used to promote the elePHPants, as you may see below.

Switched to a Better Server

Another great improvement of the site, was the switch to a better server. The old server was really old and slow when compared to modern servers. The switch was slow and painful, as it caused several outages, but fortunately we are now running on a much better server that runs a more recent version of the Linux operating system.

We would like to thank Greg Saylor for having managed the hosting of the site since practically when it started in 1999 until 2019. Those were great 20 years that we owe a lot to Greg for his restless support and countless hours that it took to migrate between different machines.

We would also like to thank to Haseeb Basil, Ernani Joppert from MicroSoft and Rodrigo Araujo from ITM Networks for having helped us to decide what would a better hosting option.

We evaluated several hosting options including some cloud based, but for now we remained with a dedicated server option due better cost-benefit. We may still switch to a cloud based solution in the future but for now the server works well thanks to a lot of optimization that has been done on the server PHP based software that was done over the years.

PHP Classes Plans for 2020

The plans for the next developments to happen in 2020 if possible, have already been laid out. Here follows the most important changes that we planned to implement.

Lower Cost Distribution of the PHP elePHPant WorldWide

We are aware that one of the greatest challenges of selling elePHPants worldwide is the cost of shipping to distant countries. Unfortunately, we do not have much control over shipping costs because those costs are defined by the local post office company that we used to ship worldwide. So far we are not aware of any company that can ship at a lower cost.

One alternative is to find a distributor that is able to receive a batch of elePHPants and ship them to each customer in its own continent. Although we understand that this would be a better option, so far we have not found a distributor that expressed interest to commit to distribute elePHPants, so we can charge a lower shipping fee, or even offer free shipping to sell individual elePHPant units.

If you know about a distributor that may be interested to represent us and distribute elePHPants that we produce, please contact us so we can negotiate a mutually beneficial deal.

Launch the MarketPlace

As we announced before, the marketplace for helping other developers to advertise and sell their products and services is being developed now. We wanted to start sooner, but many issues around the e-commerce system that we had to fix, delayed us more than we imagined.

We will get back to this topic soon, but rest assured that this will be a great initiative, thanks to a developer that contacted us last year to see if we could help him sell a product of a company that he owns.

Since then we already contacted other developers that have companies with products of interest to the PHP Classes community of developers. They are all very anxious like us, so we can start also advertising and selling their products on a profit sharing basis. Stay tuned for announcements on this blog in the next weeks.

Switch to PHP 7.x

As we commented several years ago, PHP 7 was a great leap in quality and speed of the PHP language. Despite we encourage all developers to update their PHP version basis to PHP 7.x, migration to a newer PHP version is never an easy task.

Despite the current PHP 7.x version is very stable, there were several backwards incompatible changes that require use that we spend a lot of time testing our code base.

We use automated testing for part of our code base that is more critical. However, there is no such thing as enough testing. Our code needs to pass the real life test. That is an extensive test that needs to be passed so we can be confident that practically nothing is broken. This is a scary process for us. So we also understand those that have projects that have not yet migrated to PHP 7.x.

Nevertheless, this is a step that we plan to do in 2020. We all need to evolve and go with the times. Despite the benefits of the speed improvements that make us very excited with such a change, there are also concerns with the security of older PHP versions. Those are all important factors that motivate us to continue to work to make a smoother migration to PHP 7.x as soon as possible.

GDPR, LGPD and Other Privacy Laws Compliance

For those that are not aware, GDPR is a complex law originally from Europe that aims to enforce privacy and protection of private data of users of any site or company.

We have been studying this topic since 2018 when GDPR was launched to be enforced with severe penalties for businesses that do not comply with the GDPR requirements.

Other similar laws have been launched in other countries, such as Brazil's LGPD. Therefore, this year we have gone through a training course on this matter by Dr. Josť Milagre from Brazil, that is an would authority on the subject.

We still need to make time to make the necessary changes to the way the PHP Classes site works to be compliant with all these privacy laws. Most of the site works in a way that protects user's personal data. However, the most important thing that remains to be done is to implement a way to remove accounts without affecting the integrity of the involved databases that store users' personal data.

We have also have the challenge to make it all work with the single sign-on system that we developed many years ago. There is the Icontem Accounts site that is responsible for keep a central place where all user accounts are created. Then this site serves other sites like PHP Classes and JSClasses. So any changes that are made to one user account must be all propagated to other sites via the OpenID protocol.

Rest assured that we will do all that is necessary to make this important change happen in 2020, hopefully before August. User privacy is important but we also need the time and the money to implement these changes. We appreciate the patience of all those that have been waiting for us to implement such changes.

4DUser SEO Tool to Optimize Content to Rank Better in Google

The quality of the content is the main reason why the PHP Classes site remains so popular after all these years since it was created.

However, content is not just code. When it comes to quality of content from the point of view of the users that search for it on Google, the text that describes such content is even more important. That is why we spend a lot of time of our work day moderating the content that is published on the site.

Not only we try to improve the clarity of the text that describes the content published on the site, but sometimes we improve titles of packages and blog posts before they are published, so they match better what the users search on Google.

We also developed a software tool named 4DUser that is basically a white hat tool that helps publishers to optimize their content to help making it rank better on Google all according to Google's Webmaster rules.

We started selling this tool last year to a restricted audience that is made mostly of SEO professionals from Brazil. Now we want to make this tool be made available to all publishers around the world, so they can also benefit of the help it can provide by advising changes to be done on the content of any site.

We would also like to make this tool available to any authors that publish their packages or blog posts, so they can also use it to make their content rank better on Google.

We are already working on the new version with much improved usability, as well a WordPress plugin, so it can integrate well with sites based on that platform, as well other improvements requested by many of those users.

We have a dedicated developer working on this project, so we can move on faster. Stay tuned for a relaunch of the 4DUser tool later in 2020.

Practical Value Tool to Help Developers Find Compatible Partners in their Software Businesses

Another tool that we have been discretely working on for the last months is named Practical Value. It is basically a tool that will be part of the upcoming platform with the same name, that we have been researching and developing on our own for the last 4 years to help any person to create their own business based on their own products or services.

The Practical Value platform will be a new and bigger project of the Icontem company that runs the PHP Classes site. It aims to be a platform to teach business creation to any person, in a way that is both educative and fun. We expect to use gamification help people that go through the course to move on through a set of missions and levels. Each level will correspond to a major step in creating a business for real.

Currently the Practical Value tool already exists in the form of a Web site and mobile application. It is still in beta testing phase. So it is not yet ready for launching to the general public. It will be announce in this blog probably in the next weeks.

Anyway we can comment that one of its main features is provide vocation guidance. That is a feature that will help any person to discover what is its best area of vocation. That is an area of activity that if you will work on it, you will love it because you will have great pleasure.

Another feature is the ability to give an idea of how much two people are compatible, so they can work together with minimal or no fights. This is important to all those people that are considering to have a business partner and do not want to go through the pain of splitting up later.

If you pick the right partners that are compatible with you, you will certainly be very happy working together and you can make money together for a long time.

We will post in this blog later in 2020 when we have a version that we are confident that is ready to be used by everybody. 

Software Business Creation Free Mentoring

Finally we would like to announce that later in 2020 we will start giving free mentoring to all developers that are willing to partner with us on the PHP Classes marketplace.

This means that once you express interest to have your own products advertise and sold in the upcoming PHP Classes marketplace, you will get help to make good decisions regarding your software based business.

We will back to this when the marketplace is officially launched, hopefully in the next weeks in 2020.


To end we would like to thank every developer that continues to participate in the PHP Classes site community, especially to those that have been patient, tolerated our faults and continue to support our initiatives.

We are confident that we will continue to provide great value in the site all based on good collaboration.

If we do not talk back again, we would like to wish your a Merry X-Mas of 2019 and Happy New Year of 2020.

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