Today we're happy to announce a new major update as well as give you a sneak peek of our upcoming Password Protect plugin.

Koken 0.20

First, let's talk about what's new in 0.20. The most notable change is an update to album visibility that brings it in line with how content visibility already works. You can now mark albums as "Private". Those albums will only be viewable inside of your console. Or, perhaps you could share them with other people with a password. If there was only a plugin for such a thing. More on that in a minute.

Other than album visibility, the changes are mostly under the hood. The plugin system has been overhauled to be faster and allow for deeper connections to the core functionality of Koken, which will allow for more interesting plugin development in the future. Several performance bottlenecks were also identified and resolved, resulting in improved page load times when viewing your published site.

The 0.20 update is available now for all installs. If this is your first time upgrading, you can find instructions here. You can find a summary of all the changes here. Please note that this is the first update that enforces our new requirement of PHP 5.3 or higher. If you are running 5.2, the update will not proceed until you have worked with your host to upgrade PHP. If you need more info on the PHP 5.2 phaseout, see our dedicated article on that topic.

Password Protect plugin coming soon

As Koken has matured over the last year, one yet-to-be-realized feature has floated to the top of most user's wish list: Password protection. In fact, some of you have been wondering if you'll ever see such a feature at all.

Well, good news Bradlyn. The answer is zero. Zero more years.

We're happy to report that in the next few weeks, the Password Protect plugin for Koken will be landing in the Koken Store. We think it's pretty great, so much so that we couldn't wait to give you a little preview.

Protects your entire site

Want to lock down your entire site? With this plugin, you can. Any page accessed by a site visitor will display a password page for them to enter your assigned password.

Protects private albums and sets

For those who need selective password protection, this plugin also allows passwords to be assigned to individual albums and sets in the Library. You may also setup a "master password" that works like a skeleton key for viewing any password protected album or set.

Perfect for clients, family and colleagues

Password Protect fits right into the workflow of photographers and designers who need a single web site to display their public work plus private content accessible only to clients and close contacts.

Supported by any Koken theme

Every Koken theme supports this plugin by displaying a unique login template provided by the theme itself, or a simple, clean password submission page provided by the plugin as a fallback. No matter which theme you choose, it's compatible. Our premium themes – Axis 2, Madison 2, and Regale 2 – will be updated with unique login layouts that match their respective designs.

We're putting the final touches on the plugin and it should be available soon. Be sure to update to 0.20 and stay tuned!