New Release: PeepSo & Gecko

New system requirements. Improved accounts security. Custom Terms and Privacy pages. Name Based Avatars. Performance improvements. And much more!

PHP 7.2 is now required (but you should upgrade to 7.4)

PeepSo drops support for PHP 7.0 and 7.1, making PHP 7.2 the minimum required version. We are also planning to follow up with another bump in March, making PHP 7.3 the required version throughout 2021, starting with PeepSo

Our recommended PHP version does not change – it’s still PHP 7.4, so if you are on PHP 7.0, 7.1 or 7.2 you should upgrade to PHP 7.4 if you can and 7.3 if you can’t.

The current version of PeepSo is compatible with PHP 8 already, but until the same can’t be said about WordPress until version 5.7, which is why we still recommend 7.4. We will re-evaluate our position on PHP 8 in the second quarter of 2021 once the dust after WordPress 5.7 release settles down.

The PHP releases have their own life cycles. Using anything marked as “End of life” is a security issue.

“Closed” groups are now “Private”

This is a purely cosmetic change and does not change anything about the actual functionality. The change is aimed to alleviate user confusion who sometimes tend to think “closed” groups no longer approve members. We also think “private” feels more in line with the “auto accept” feature we just rolled out.

As always, you are free to rename the group types with language overrides – which is something you should pay close attention to if you have customized the labels.

It’s not all breaking changes, though

On top of the aforementioned breaking changes, PeepSo introduces some major account & security and performance features and improvements.

Accounts & Security

You are now able to disable logins with username (require e-mail to login) which will improve security and make brute force attacks much harder – since usernames in PeepSo are a part of the profile URL (akin to other social networks), a potential attacker already knows half of the puzzle and is only missing the password. Disabling username logins solves that problem – you need to know the e-mail in the first place. And users can further make it harder by doing things like if their e-mail provider supports such syntax.

This improvement is more of a quality of life feature, though. If your members have good password hygiene, a security risk from knowing an username is miniscule (which is why they are not a secret in most social networks). It can get pretty annoying, though, if someone (or some bot) causes the brute force protection scripts to kick in and flood the user with warning e-mails.

Along with the new ReCaptcha on login feature (which should help prevent the less sophisticated attackers / bots from even attempting to log in) we consider the login process pretty well hardened, and expect no other changes to be required until we dip our toes in the two factor authentication topic (much later).


We will attempt to avoid loading unnecessary scripts and fonts, or at least improve the situation a little bit. There is a delicate balance here, since the cost of calculating what is needed with PHP might be higher than just serving all assets indiscriminately.

Our AJAX engine now handles exceptions (mostly connectivity errors) more gracefully, and we introduced a basic queueing system, so that all AJAX calls don’t fire all at once. This should prevent issues in some less powerful environments, where the amount of connections per user is limited. This is an ongoing improvement which we plan to develop further in the next releases.

Name Based Avatars

The Name Based Avatars are now available for everyone, after a period of testing in the Early Access Program. It improves the profiles of users who never uploaded an avatar by generating one for them based on their initials or username. PeepSo keeps things interesting by randomizing the color backgrounds, while keeping the same background and font brightness (defined by you in the settings). You can also switch to grayscale, to keep things more toned down and uniform.

Name Based Avatars are now a part of the free PeepSo Foundation

Other improvements

The mobile PeepSo User Bar toggle now displays a total sum of notifications, so it’s no longer necessary to expand it to see if you have any new notifications. Group search was modified to search by “exact phrase” by default, and we added a choice of “any of the words” as well.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and I highly recommend going through our changelog to get a good idea of all the changes in this release.

Watch our live stream!

PeepSo Engineering Update is a series of live videos covering some more technical topics, whenever something big or interesting enough happens with PeepSo. Check it out!

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Brought to you by PeepSo Team Matt Jaworski
I am a professional nerd with **over a decade of experience** in the field of Open Source web development. Before [PeepSo]( I was a contractor and have helped build successful businesses around the world, including USA, UK, Germany, Indonesia and Malaysia. A couple of years leading up to founding PeepSo, I was involved with JomSocial - a social networking extension for Joomla. Stepping up from the role of contractor to business owner, I became [PeepSo]( founder and Chief Technology Officer. I strive to build beautiful, fast and functional software that **empowers the users to build their own digital tribes with full autonomy and freedom** often not available on the mainstream social networking media. As a **location independent** *digital nomad* I travel almost constantly, although over the past five years I have spent most of my time in Indonesia and Malaysia. I speak fluent English and Polish, decent German and Spanish and even some Indonesian.

Reactions & comments

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@peepso_user_22886(Walter Andrew)
I suggest you consider to include user's phone number on sign up form on upcoming peepso versions.
@peepso_user_19058(Dennis Velco)
@peepso_user_22886(Walter Andrew) Hi Walter, I am a PeepSo user / site owner like you. You may add any fields you like to the registration page today. From your Admin area, choose Peepso, then choose Manage (below Configure in the left WordPress dropdown menu). Next select Profile Fields up in the top red menu area. This is where you may add any custom fields that you like to enhance your user profiles. If you currently don't have a Phone field, add it now as a Text field. If creating now or that field already is present, click the on/off toggle next to "Show in Registration". Configure as you like, such as on the Validation tab there is the option to make the field Required.

My own site registration is simply just the User ID, Email, and Password. Then I have it set up so that users cannot comment, post, upload, friend others, join groups, etc until they have completed the other 2 required fields and completed X% of their profile. Basically, untill they complete X% they can only view. I use the Peepso addon called User Limits to achieve this which is included in the Bundles. I do this to force Profile Headshot, and 30% of profile to be completed to "unlock" all site features. For me, it is a huge anti-spammer measure and it ensures the site doesn't look like a ghost town encouraging interaction.

Hope that helps.
February 17, 2021 6:21 pm
@peepso_user_22886(Walter Andrew)
@peepso_user_19058(Dennis Velco) It's of much great help. Appreciated.
February 19, 2021 3:28 am
@peepso_user_20372(Marcus Lycanthrope)
The icons for My stream or "profile" and community stream are the same, it shouldn't be this way. Community and home feed need separate identities as one is a space for friends and you, while the other is a space for the entire community. A globe or network icon would be suitable for public feed.

Also stream and community aren't always named different things on profile sidebar but they should be.

I have encoded different fontawesome id tags but with every update it is overwritten.
February 18, 2021 5:20 am
@peepso_user_10(Matt Jaworski)
@peepso_user_20372(Todd Kelso) you should change the icons with PHP filters documented [here]( and [here]( this way it will be update resistant.