GD Star Rating 2.0 is in development, but, with lack of free time, it’s getting delayed. Now, I can confirm that Alpha #1 version will be released on August 1 2011. Plugin will remain free, but many used wanted to know about premium support status for the new version and extras that will include.
As I have said many times before, GD Star Rating 2.0 will remain free plugin and it will be available for download from WordPress.org plugins repository. Plugin uses new image sets for stars and thumbs for improved styling, and plugin will include 2 stars and 2 thumbs sets. As before, you can create new sets and use them. Templates for new plugin will be handled by new gdT3 library. This time, for more flexibility, templates will be in files (not in database as before). Templates will allow mixing of HTML/CSS and PHP this time. For each rendering element or type, one default template will be provided.
Plugin includes base code for ratings with specific rating types to support post types (post, page and custom post types), comments and users. Users rating types can be used for single or multi site ratings. Plugin support expanding rating types, adding new code for more rating types. This will allow directly adding rating support to bbPress 2.0 (because new bbPress uses post types). Base classes can be extended to support almost anything when the rating is concerned. All rating methods will be available with free version and that include: single and multi stars rating, single and multi thumbs ratings and each one of these for ratings, author reviews and user reviews.
To stop the further questions (and I getting them still): GD Star Rating 2.0 will be available for free, and that is not going to change.
But, I plan to provide more resources that will not be available with free version. Some users will want to have extra graphics to use, or extra templates. New stars and thumbs sets, some created exclusively for the plugin will be packaged for purchase. First such pack will be available as soon as GDSR 2.0 is officially released, and it will contain 8 stars sets and 4 thumbs sets. Pricing is not set yet. Also, additional packs with more templates, or templates made for specific purposes will be also on sale. This is not yet final, and I will keep you informed on this as the plugin release gets near.
Premium support remains as it is now. If you have active premium support, it can be used for GDSR 2.0. Additionally all expansion packages will be available for free to all premium support users, they don’t need to buy them. Premium Support includes tutorials, access to support forum and email support tickets. To make things easier there will be a lot of improvements to support system in the next couple of months.
But, it doesn’t end there. I have received requests for more involved type of support that includes full setups with theme, additional plugins and more. This type of product support will available later and more details will be announced when I finalize everything.