An outlook for version 4.8

It is a little unclear right now when the WordPress version 4.8 will be released, as it seems like in addition to the original goal of the end of 2017 a new date of may-june was hinted by @matt in a recent post. As a result, after taking some time to fix problem discovered in our 4.7 release, we are starting to put effort into adding features to the 4.8 release.

Currently we plan the following features

Add post type SVG icons

The idea is to have a visual indication to the reader of what type of content is in the post, a textual one, video, audio, image, or gallery. You can see this kind of indications on major sites with a “play” icon  stamped over thumbnail linking to video based content. As indicated above, we are going to be more granular, and all of it will be based on the post format settings of the post.

Pagination and “Load more”

The idea is very simple , let the readers easily discover “older” content by introducing pagination to the widget display that will enable the user to select an “older” page to view while replacing the current list being displayed, or with a “load more”, add a list of older posts to the one being displayed.

The main challenge with this feature is the visual display of the pages and “load more”, making it work over many themes and different spaces and layout, so this probably going to be an iterative process. The goal for 4.8 will be to make it look good on the default themes.

Slider transition with CSS3 (premium version)

For the simple vertical and horizontal sliders, we are going to try to switch away from using JS and use CSS only for the slider animation. This should have performance benefits as no external JS files will have to be included, and in general browsers should be able to handle CSS based animation better than JS based one.

Slideshow options (premium version)

For the “news” type of slider we are going to introduce more transition animation options. In addition to the linear type of transition used now, with control over the relative time it takes the animation to replace the previously displayed items with new ones, and how long they keep being displayed before being replaced.

Additional transition option, we are going to explore is a fade in/out.

We are also going to look into having more “Slideshow” style sliders, but this is only at the “thinking about it” phase right now.

Anything you would like us to add? Just post your idea in the comments.

1 year-celebration of the Term and Category Based Posts Widget

brooke-lark-158026

We’re happy to announce: Term and Category based Posts Widget has it’s first birthday!

Started with the aim to make a much bigger Category Posts Widget with thousand of new features. The Category Posts Widget is a very focused widget with more than 650.000 downloads which means 400 downloads/day and 80.000+ active WordPress installations.

We also use both widgets for our client projects. Our free and also the premium widget. Most features are based on customer experience. We are happy to announce not all new features are started from us ourselves. We gets many suggestions from our happy users. To meet these requirements we try to split the Category Posts Widget and made a more customer friendly premium widget – the premium Term and Category based Posts Widget.

What is customer friendly?

We’re all developer in our team and it means to expand and customize the widget to get the focus to each customer needs. Not all features are good for all websites, some confusing features more harms as they fits for the most users. Some special features might just fit for one single website. Especially when it comes to working with other widgets. From the CSS, however, we haven’t still spoken at all.

Sub-domain for development and documentation

We plane a developer sub-domain with more documentation, filter and action hooks, widget concepts and how the widget works, etc.

We have one ready extension (Excerpt Extension, Adds more options for the excerpt output – A free extension for the premium widget Term and Category Based Posts Widget) and one tool (Update-Settings Tool, Update settings for all installed widgets.) on our TopTopPress GitHub account. And some basic scripts on GitHubGist. Just for new users it’s to complicated to find a point to start first smaller examples. What we must change.

Thank YOU!

That is, we thank our users for the great response within the first year, the great e-mails with questions and suggestions. We welcome any e-mail. And plan to continue to deliver a great widget for WordPress, what we have a lot of fun with and hope to be able to do even more.

Greetings
TipTopPress

License renewal and future price

license renewal and price model

Almost a year had passed since we released the first version of the “pro” plugin, and we actually were totally too busy in finalizing and releasing the 4.7.1 to give much thought about license renewal pricing, but our licensing software (If you are interested to know, it’s the Software Licensing extension of EDD) had sent us a reminder that our development license is about to expire and reminded us that this part also needs to be handled.

What is a renewal

When you renew the license you get another year of support which includes support via email, and the ability to use the WordPress built-in plugin upgrade mechanism for upgrades.

How much will it cost

$6,- per license – yes a 50% discount. If you manage several sites give us a call and we will figure out a discount.

What happens if I don’t renew

Apart from not being able to do the upgrades from the WordPress admin, the plugin will continue operating fully.

The current price offer is still available until 02 May

Starting with 02. May 2017 we will raise the price of the widget to $15,- (renewals will cost $7,50), and probably “hide” the 20% coupon on our wordpress.org, Twitter and Facebook pages. So if you feel like saving some money, might be a good idea to get another license now.

4.7.1 version of the Term and Category Based Posts Widget is released

This is a very feature packet release it was tested for compatibility with WordPress 4.3-4.7.

New

New versiton Term and Categorz Based Posts Widget 4.6.1

  • Can have multiple shortcodes at the same post
  • A UI in the editor for the insertion of a shortcode
  • More complex ways to filter by taxonomies and terms
    • Option to match all or any of a selected taxonomy term, or have a negative match (match when terms are not selected).
    • For hierarchical taxonomies it is possible to select whether the “children” of the select terms might match.
    • when two or more taxonomies are used for filtering, it is possible to set matching to require that posts will match the rules of both taxonomies (AND rule) or just one (OR rule).
  • More touch device friendly with the “everything is a link” option, which make the whole screen area of the displayed item to be a link, that includes whatever spaces are there as well.
  • More granular control of default styling with an option to not apply default font styling.

Licensing

You do not need a license to use the plugin on your local machine, enabling you to avoid getting a second license for a development machine, easy to showcase to a client, or whatever other uses there might be (yes we are aware that there are other development settings as well and intend to address them in the following releases).

Technical changes

PageSpeed oriented improvement: We have completed the deprecation of the css file, and started to add only the CSS rules that are actually being used on the page.

Excerpt improvements: New widgets and shortcodes that will be created in the 4.7 release will use our own automatic excerpt generation logic (which mimic 1 to 1 how wordpress generates them) without applying the wordpress filters on the generated results, therefor reducing the chances of bad interactions with other themes and plugins

Never used the plugin before?
Download it for free (TACBPW v4.7.1) and give it a test drive on your local machine!

You are welcome to take 4.7.beta2 for a spin

4.7.beta contains all the features we intended to have in 4.7, and as far as our testing goes, it is bug free. We might do some minor UI related changes and obviously fix any reported bugs, but unless a major bug will be discovered we intend to release 4.7 at the weekend of 28th of January.

Get it while its hot 😉 and download the zip  term-and-category-based-posts-widget-4.7.beta2.zip. Reminder you should be able to try it on a local computer without the need of additional license.

What has changed since 4.7 beta1?

  • New filtering options for terms an taxonomies
  • A very slight performance improvement as we eliminated the need to make an extra request to get the additional CSS file on the front-end, by incoperating the rules into the HTML itself

New in 4.7: more post filtering options based on taxonomy and term

In 4.7 we will extend the filtering options to help you narrow the range of possible posts based on their taxonomies and terms.

Customize term shortcode – test 4.7

The first and least important change is how we name the “Anything may match” option. Prior to 4.7 it was named “Any”, and no one every asked if “Any” means that there have to be at least one term of that taxonomy associated with the post, but technically, “Any” meant that there will be no filtering at all done based on that taxonomy and therefor we decided to change its name to “Ignore” which better represent what is actually happening.

Actual additional filtering options are:

  • Exclude child term: By default, when filtering by a hierarchical taxonomies (like categories), the posts being displayed would be of the term being selected and any of it sub/child terms. This option will let you decide if you want those sub/child terms result or not.
  • Content must be associated with: By default, when filtering is done by several terms it is enough for the post to be associated with any of them. This option lets you specify other criteria as well:
    • Any of the terms: An explicit option for the previously default behaviour
    • All the terms: To match, a post must be associated with all of the terms
    • None of the terms: Only posts which are not associated with any of the terms will match. This is useful when you want to exclude posts of specific term (for example one which used to drive a slider)
  • All taxonomies not being ignored, have to match: Before 4.7 it was enough for a post to match any of the taxonomy based filtering. For example if you had filtering rule that involved both categories and tags, it was enough for the post to be associated with the correct categories, but didn’t had to be associated with the correct tag, and vice versa. This option lets you specify a different behaviour in which all taxonomy filters have to match in order for a post to match the filter.

“Excerpt Extension” widget

Allow HTML in the excerpt

Allow HTML in the excerpt

 Download the extension from wordpress.org here: Excerpt Extension

Term Posts Excerpt Extension. Additional options

Additional options

At the moment we plan three extensions and started with the first “Term Posts Excerpt Extension”. Why this as first? Here we get the most suggestions from our widget users. But first a short explanation. Primarily the excerpt sounds easy to use and good to configure. Unfortunately deceives that. If the post excerpt is configured, it is used in all placements with this preconfiguration. So the configuration should be nice. Here are the adjustments which WordPress let you do: Add the excerpt automatic-, manual and with the More tag (called teaser), include shortcodes, banner, social buttons, etc., include HTML elements, change the excerpt length in words and the more text. Depends where this configuration is done, for example in the Theme, in a Plugin, your Child Theme’s functions.php it’s nearly impossible to give stable widget options, which work for all WordPress installations.

We learned much configurations in the last year

Our problem isn’t that we had learned tried out each second issue a new core excerpt configuration in the last year. The hack is each special genius solution is not applicable to the next used special WordPress installation. Every time we wanted to install a super intelligent switch, we had to define a normal state and leave this for our majority of users. And how should it be otherwise? Basically, all attitudes can be regarded as particularly special. A definition can be:

What is a “normal state”? And is the “normal state” differently on special use?

The answer is yes, but special use is not for all users the same, because there are so many configurations. The answer is also, we’ll dig deep in custom code. If the user starts with a free or paid Theme, the Theme comes with set filters for the excerpt. Our thought is the Theme designer don’t know which widgets and plugins the user want to use and as we’ll say it: To which place you want to put your posts? As in the relation of using shortcodes, many placements are imaginable and possible. And so conflicts with the excerpt and between the Theme and installed plugins are not a rarity.

Can be the programmer’s view the right one?

In the second application case from the programmer’s view, the set excerpt filters must be overridden when using a recommended Child Theme. And we called this overriding code “custom code” and want get rid of it in our core widget code. Our solution is providing a excerpt extension.

You can download the extension from wordpress.org here: Excerpt Extension

delete double shortcode banner or social icons in the excerpt

Delete double shortcode banner or social icons in the excerpt

Extension to manage more website tasks

Bildschirmfoto 2016-12-26 um 22.55.54

We build extensions for our premium widget Term and Category Based Posts Widget. We want satisfy the many requests and also issues we get from customers with this extensions. Our problem is we have to build a stable widget with many features and possibilities. The tasks the widget should solve are easy in a single scope and when this many controls interact with each other it comes difficult. And this is what we want:

Expand to more regions and manage more website tasks.

It means not only the kind of the website, like is the website a blog, a shop or for schools or education. Also how the website was managed, updated and build. There are many approaches how a website is maintained and from how. But also this is important today for the success of a website.

 

The text content is very important. Also important are photos, design, layout, menus, submenus, low distract, trust and social enthusiasm. One of our main considerations is:

Owners of a website should be involved as much as possible when creating the content. If you need expert advice, this must also fit into the website in order to achieve the best possible success.

So we have many widget users and each have different technical skills. We don’t know if all know CSS programming, place the widget to new areas and do high-level layout improvements, imagine landing pages, cross-selling, up-selling and related-selling. Promote your courses and upcoming events.
So it comes many customer code and features together, for what we think for one it helps for many others it will harms. That’s why we outsource such features to extension. As explained we know and even expect most of our widget users are no programmers. Insert example code to the Theme’s functions.php to add filter and action hooks should no problem, but there are so many more high-level task to solve for a website. So we’ll provide programming APIs to extend the widget with your own ideas as we did, if there are needs and want give our best basic widget as possible. With the focus on single tasks which achieve much.

New in 4.7: Exclude child categories

Up to 4.7, when filtering by a specific category the post items displayed included also posts from subcategories of the selected category. In 4.7 we introduce the option to restrict the post items to a specific category without displaying posts from its subcategory.

Customize test 4.6 – Just another WordPress site(4)

Multi selection is available in the premium widget

Is there a need to filter and select category with multi selection? We support such a feature in our premium widget Term and Category Based Posts Widget. We do this differences because we want a light weight widget with Category Posts Widget. In the most cases filtering and show posts from only one category fits all aims. On the other side our premium widget supports also custom post types. So the aim to select two or more categories, terms, what ever, … is more possible. So the filter UI from the premium widget can takes more time for configuration as the free version it does.

New in 4.7: Show all recent post, no category filtering

We think our widget has great features which are no match for the WordPress recent posts widget, and as there was always a possibility to hack the widget into showing all recent posts, we decided to just make it more organized by letting the user just specify an “All categories” in the category filter ti disable the category filtering all together.

Customize test 4.6 – Just another WordPress site(2)

Select more then one category

Is there a need to filter and select category with multi selection? We support such a feature in our premium widget Term and Category Based Posts Widget. We do this differences because we want a light weight widget with Category Posts Widget. In the most cases filtering and show posts from only one category fits all aims. On the other side our premium widget supports also custom post types. So the aim to select two or more categories, terms, what ever, … is more possible. So the filter UI from the premium widget can takes more time for configuration as the free version it does.