Major changes introduced in CAOS and CAOS Pro

Major Changes introduced in CAOS v4.2.0 and CAOS Pro v2 (formerly known as Super Stealth Upgrade)

With time comes change. And sometimes change means growth. Sometimes growth means making tough decisions, such as changing the name of your first premium WordPress baby plugin. Here’s a detailed line-up of all major changes introduced in CAOS v4.2.0 and CAOS Pro v2.0.0 (formerly known as Super Stealth Upgrade) which is scheduled for release on January 15th.

Intermission

I can’t start the first blogpost of this year without taking the opportunity to wish you and your loved ones health, luck, happiness and love throughout 2022. I certainly hope that we’ll finally be able to kick COVID’s ass and leave all that behind us.

A Quick Line-up of Changes and Features

Before diving into all the cool stuff I’ve been working on throughout the holidays, I’ll give you a quick summary of what’s to come in the next version of CAOS and CAOS Pro.

CAOS v4.2.0

In this new release of CAOS, features are added, dropped and moved to separate plugins. Besides that, CAOS’ settings screen (Settings > Optimize Google Analytics) has received a major overhaul.

Dual Tracking for Google Analytics V4

I admit this was long overdue, but it’s finally here. CAOS now offers users an easy way to test (and eventually migrate to) Google Analytics V4.

While V4 of the Google Analytics is far from finished, it’s clear it’ll replace V3 eventually — duh!

Dual tracking has been extensively tested with Stealth Mode and works in Compatibility Mode with plugins like Monster Insights 8.2.x.

Stealth Mode Lite is removed

As of CAOS v4.2.0, Stealth Mode Lite is no more. The option was marked as deprecated since v4.1.0 and I’d like to take this opportunity to explain the reasoning behind this decision.

Grab yourself a cup of tea or hot coco, because it’s time for a bit of storytelling...

A long, long time ago… A little over 2 years ago, when I first started out with Stealth Mode, it was nothing more than a custom endpoint for the WordPress API that would reroute requests to any Google Analytics API (e.g. google-analytics.com/r/collect) to it’s own domain (e.g. yourdomain.com/wordpress-api/r/collect).

That approach became outdated quickly as more and more people started using it. It wasn’t long before Ad Blocker developers caught on and actively blocked my attempts to avoid their blacklists.

Although I considered it an honor to be part of this cat and mouse game, I needed to find a more persistent way to evade them.

The answer was creating a custom on-premise API, powered by CAOS’ ability to cache, rewrite and rename files like analytics.js and gtag.js, and would eventually become my first premium plugin: CAOS’ Super Stealth Upgrade.

In retrospect and from a strategic perspective, making it a premium plugin was a strong choice, too. The plugin being premium meant less users and less users meant less frequent pings to their tracking detectors.

Unfortunately, like any other premium WordPress plugin, it got nulled. Which meant more users, and I had to prepare for a chase yet again.

The chase never stopped since.

Ever since then I’ve been developing my ass off to stay ahead off the curve. However, maintaining two APIs (Stealth Mode Lite and Super Stealth Upgrade) is simply too much work.

So, here it is. As of CAOS v4.2.0 Stealth Mode Lite is dropped in its entirety and Stealth Mode (not Lite) is available only in CAOS Pro v2.0.0 — Super Stealth Upgrade will be renamed to CAOS Pro, but more on that later…

Google Optimize is now a separate (free) plugin

Famously the least used of CAOS’ options, this obviously felt like bloat.

That’s why Google Optimize for CAOS has moved to a separate (free) plugin available on Github.

For those of you using CAOS’ Google Optimize feature, simply install the plugin again and you should be good to go.

Other Changes & Tweaks

  • The Extensions tab has had a complete overhaul
    • Option labels and descriptions are rewritten to clarify their functionalities
    • A clearer separation between Stealth Mode and other Extensions, to prevent confusion.
  • Enhanced Link Attribution now works with Gtag.js (V3)
CAOS' Extensions tab has received a make over.
CAOS’ Extensions tab has received a make over.

CAOS Pro v2.0.0

When reading the title of this blogpost, you must’ve thought: WTF is CAOS Pro and what happened to Super Stealth Upgrade!? Well, allow me to explain…

CAOS Pro is now CAOS Pro

Since v1.8.x, CAOS Pro already offers more than just Stealth Mode; Cookieless Analytics aids in avoiding Cookie Notices.

While that’s still (loosely) related to “Stealth”, v2.0.0 offers other features completely unrelated to the subject. Effectively, the current name doesn’t make sense anymore. So, as of v2.0.0 CAOS Pro is renamed to CAOS Pro.

IMPORTANT: because the plugin name has changed, the plugin will be deactivated immediately after updating. That’s just how WordPress works. You’ll notice an error in your WordPress dashboard saying CAOS Pro was deactivated. Don’t worry. All you need to do is activate the newly installed CAOS Pro and you’re good to go again. All your settings are automatically migrated.

LICENSE OWNERS don’t need to worry about anything. Your license has been migrated to CAOS Pro and no actions from your side are needed to continue using your purchased license.

Cloaked Affiliate Links Tracking has been on the roadmap for over a year, and has had quite a few upvotes for feature requests. Unfortunately I never got around to implementing it.

CAOS Pro v2.0.0 finally offers Cloaked Affiliate Links Tracking, which allows you to track affiliate links in Google Analytics by routing them through your own custom URLs.

CAOS Pro - Track Cloaked Affiliate Links
CAOS Pro v2.0.0 features cloaked Affiliate Links tracking.

Super Stealth is now Stealth Mode

With Stealth Mode Lite being dropped and Super Stealth Upgrade being renamed to CAOS Pro, there was no need for the Super in Super Stealth. I mean, would he be called superman if there were no men to supersede?

Nope.

It’s short and sweet, but don’t worry. It still does the same magic.

Other Changes & Tweaks

  • Plugin Handling is renamed to Request Handling, and the option’s description was rewritten to clarify it’s functionalities.
  • Plugin Handling’s Safe Mode was dropped in favor of Experimental, which is now renamed to Default (WordPress API).
  • Plugin Handling’s Super Stealth Upgrade is now renamed to Fast (Super Stealth API).
  • An extra option has been added for Stealth Mode, called CloudFlare Compatibility, which allows users to use the HTTP_CF_IPCOUNTRY header provided by CloudFlare as location data in Google Analytics.

Summary

There you have it. With growth comes changes and if there’s anything I’ve learned in my years as a WordPress plugin developer; it’s that tough decisions deserve to be made.

This blogpost announces all major changes introduced in CAOS v4.2.0 and CAOS Pro v2.0.0 (formerly known as CAOS Pro) to prepare you for it’s release on January 15th.

  • The Wait is Over!

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