New in 4.7: Default thumbnail

Thumbnail are great for the look of the page, but the problem with them is that they require some extra effort when editing the content, an effort for which you might not have time when you rush to publish something, or you just forget.

This kind of situation could have been handled in 3 different ways before 4,7

  • Do nothing and just don’t display a thumbnail. If the thumbnail setting produce a small thumbnail, it might be ok, but when the thumbnail is big and dominant, an item without it will ruin the balance of the design and might be harder to spot.
  • Just don’t display posts without a thumbnail. This keeps the visual balance but it means that the post is going to be more hidden than other posts.
  • Use a plugin that lets you specify a fallback thumbnail.

In 4.7 we are going to add an additional option, to set a fallback thumbnail for a specific widget. This will let you keep the visual balance without having to install additional plugins, and even have different fallbacks in different widgets.

default-thumbnail

And something that might have looked like

Customize test 4.6 – Just another WordPress site(2)

easily transformed to (notice the first item)

Customize test 4.6 – Just another WordPress site(3)

This feature will go into the 4.7 version of both the “free” and “pro” plugins due to be released right after WordPress version 4.7 will have its first RC release which is scheduled right now to november the 15th.

You can try the feature by downloading and installing the beta from https://github.com/tiptoppress/category-posts-widget/releases/tag/4.7.beta1, and report bugs or just get an impression of what is planned from our bug repository at https://github.com/tiptoppress/category-posts-widget/issues

New in 4.7: Skip first few items with the offset parameter

Some times you just don’t want to show the most recent posts, maybe because you have two widgets and the two most recent posts you want to display in the sidebar while another 8 are displayed at the footer.

To get this possible in 4.7 we have add an “start offset” parameter (not the greatest name, suggestions welcome) to indicate how recent (or whatever sort criteria is used) the post displayed should be, with a value of 1 indicates that the posts should stat with the most recent, 2 indicates they will starts if one item after the most recent and so forth (we preferred a 1 based system as it seems to be easier to understand than zero based one).

Technically the feature is implemented by requesting the DB to return items starting from position N and does not retrieve the first “ignored” items at all.

Widgets ‹ test 4.6 — WordPress(1)

This feature will go into the 4.7 version of both the “free” and “pro” plugins due to be released right after WordPress version 4.7 will have its first RC release which is scheduled right now to november the 15th.

You can try the feature by downloading and installing the beta from https://github.com/tiptoppress/category-posts-widget/releases/tag/4.7.beta1, and report bugs or just get an impression of what is planned from our bug repository at https://github.com/tiptoppress/category-posts-widget/issues


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New in 4.7: Multiple shortcodes

When we added the shortcode to 4.6 we were not very sure about the way the feature was implemented. Due to the large number of option it was obvious that doing it the “normal” way works and users know it and accept it, but making users cram them on one line hoping that they got the syntax correctly is a bad user experience.
Instead we decided to try a different approch, use the shortcode itself as a pure place holder, and configure the settings via the customizer, with the settings being stored as a custom field in the relevant post DB instead of being part of the shortcode itself.

Wanting to reduce the risk of developing something that people will hate, we implemented in 4.6 only one shortcode per post, but in general it seems like the feature got a good reception, we had a very good experience with it while testing the code and setting our own demo pages, and seems like the only problem where with some obscure page builders (Pippin Williams’s review of them is a must read) and therefor we are enhancing the feature in 4.7 and enabling to have as many shortcodes as you like.

The only change from 4.6, is that if you want to have more then one shortdcode, in order to differentiate between the short codes you need to assign a value which will identify them in the attribute “name”. The value can be anything you like, no special formatting is required. If the name attribute is not explicitly assigned it default to be a “” (empty string).

Here is an example of how it looks in the editor:

Edit Post ‹ test 4.6 — WordPress(1)

And the possible front end output.

4.7 test – test 4.6

This feature will go into the 4.7 version of both the “free” and “pro” plugins due to be released right after WordPress version 4.7 will have its first RC release which is scheduled right now to november the 15th.

You can try the feature by downloading and installing the beta from https://github.com/tiptoppress/category-posts-widget/releases/tag/4.7.beta1, and report bugs or just get an impression of what is planned from our bug repository at https://github.com/tiptoppress/category-posts-widget/issues


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4.6.1 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 4.3-4.6.

New

New versiton Term and Categorz Based Posts Widget 4.6.1

  • Insert the widget by using a “dedicated” shortcode – [ termposts ]. No need of any additional plugin to do it.
  • Many new layouts
    • Horizontal (Row), in which post items are arranged in a horizontal row. This layout can also be used as a horizontal news ticker
    • Responsive rows, in which items are arranged in rows, as many rows as needed for all items to be displayed, whatever is the width available to the “widget”
    • Table, in which the post items are arranged in a table
    • Masonry, in which items are arranged in a responsive way in a grid
  • “spice up” the display with alteration pattern which enables different styling of item based on their location. For example, have the title in even items align to the right, while on odd items it aligns to the left.
    Two patterns can be used – a general pattern rule, and a simplified that use alterations only for the last items
  • More thumbnail positions. In addition to the top and left, you can also now align the thumbnails to the right, place them below the title and above the excerpt or align them to the right or left of the excerpt, last but not least, use the thumb as the background to the text.
  • Control title and excerpt alignment without having to modify your CSS. Both can be aligned left, right or center.

Improved

When no explicit dimension are given to the thumbnail we use the thumbnail setting from the media settings

Technical changes

We have started deprecating the CSS file that is loaded on the front end, and move all CSS rules into the header of the pages where th widget is actually being used, using the most specific rules possible. Now it should be easier to override a specific rule without resorting to disabling the CSS for the whole widget.

You can see several great example of what is possible to do with 4.6.1 on our demo site

 

Terms and Category Based Posts Widget support the Masonry framework

Masonry is a JavaScript UI framework and we decided to support it for “Terms and Category Based Posts Widget” from the version 4.6 and higher. The framework do this “masonry” arrangement for posts and much more – we need some time to understand how the framework works – and now we can proudly say, we know a little part of it. This little part in understanding was enough for support thas UI framework.

Masonry with Thumbnail > Position > Background

Masonry with Thumbnail > Position > Background

The problem(s) which Masonry solve and how is unique

Every time we get to deal with the UI framework we discover and learn something new. Therefore, it is difficult to find one suitable set to describe it. Masonry solve many small and big problems in a simple way. For an entry, following remarks:

“Masonry is used for responsive websites, different screen sizes and all mobile devices and without that media-queries must be defined in the CSS file.”

Especially relevant it’s the second UI framework which is added to the core code beside jQuery which must have a reason. That’s why we want to explain how we use it, which features we start implementing with this Masonry framework and which features we want implement with it further versions of our widget.

Edit the Masonry settings with the customizer

Edit the Masonry settings with the customizer

As a result edit the settings with the WordPress customizer, after Terms and Category Based Posts Widget is added to the widget area or with shortcode. Choose in the Styles panel for Layout: Masonry and our posts should rearrange in a masonry pattern. On the screenshots and at the demo.tiptoppress.com page we use post item width or the thumbnails panel width for position. Thumbnails panel width means “background“, so the text, excerpt and other text content is positioned over the image. So you need to define a width for posts which is enough for the Masonry framework to know to make this posts responsive. Change the Browser width and you can see how the post take place of the page width. Once with three columns, two or one.

Hence for the version 4.6 this should be good to use it. And it will be good, you should try it. Simple to use and solve a lot – for responsive webpages.

Responsive webpages and more

Finally in 4.7 we want to implement two other features for Masonry. We want to add pagination and Ajax scripts which perform infinite page loading effects. If you’re interested in grids and columns for your posts we recommend you should try it out.

In Conclusion the masonry feature is available in the 4.6-beta wich we’ll release in a less days. If you’re already interested in a beta version, please write us: http://tiptoppress.com/contact/

Find bugs and test with mobile devices

At the moment we’re hardworking on the release for 4.6 and and look forward to the new version, which has great features. Find last bugs and test with some mobile devices.

Remote debugging with hardware mobile devices

So we stopped implementing features and have the focus on only testing functionality, the rendered HTML and our CSS styles. Our effort is don’t make patch versions after the release. Patch versions can’t be avoided but reduces to a nearly zero. We test with common operations systems and also with mobile devices, like Android, Windows 10, OS X and IOS.

If you are already interested in a beta version, please write us: http://tiptoppress.com/contact/

And we test with some WordPress Themes, like Twenty Sixteen, Twenty Fifteen, … Themes which includes Google’s Material Design Light framework and Themes how build for WooCommerce. We have found the most unexpected error while testing with different WordPress Themes. And is expected to remain in the feature, because each Theme use such different CSS styles and there’re many CSS attributes which can normalized in many ways. So we use in our widget CSS as less as possible normalizing CSS and take our to the layout attributes, like float, text-align, flex-box, … and avoid writing things like sizes, colors or font decoration styles. Implement this is impossible, but with our experience, we get a feel for a happy medium.

mobile-debugging

Testing the upcoming version 4.6, with many operation systems, devices and Themes

We start installing “Terms and Category Based Posts Widget” on our customer pages

The third way we’re testing is with our customer websites and shops. What can only cover a small portion of all our supported features and supported feature variations. What meanwhile matters an important part of our widget concept. But this concept should not part of this post and will be described in further posts more in details. We started with the pro version and support Custom Post Types, Custom Taxonomies, WooComerce Products or events from the The Event Calendar. So there is a wide possibility of websites to use and show posts with our widget Term and Category Based Posts Widget. With the upcoming version 4.6 we leave the widget area and support shortcode as our free version Category Posts Widget supports it. And with shortcode you can use our widget in the post’s content, e.g. over the entire post content width.

This makes us busy and not even easy to decide in which direction the widget had to go. Now we’re on a very good final state and final features.

For sure we support mobile and responsive features and referring mobile devices in further versions in more details.

Demo page shows upcoming 4.6 features for the Terms and Category Based Posts Widget

If you’re interested in our new version 4.6 features. We can help you with “start” to expose the final version on demo.tiptoppress.com/.

We release a beta version and use it for our customer sites. Beta means: No more features were added only bugfixes for this version.

Rearrange-our-demo--and-example-page-with-upcoming-4.6-features

All the features announced in further posts are final and we would let you participate with this. Till we decided to release a new version as the same time as WordPress do it. We had a timeline we’ll made a version ready. For the most features it’s good and make a end for coding and coding.

We need your feedback gladly also recognition – as we get it from you in the past. 😉

The demo site shows three main features:

and this demo site will grow in the next days with variations and other good looking and useful features for your website.

With 4.6 we support columns not only rows!

Now it’s possible to arrange your posts not only in rows rather columns are supported. This is possible with the shortcode we had implemented for a while in the free version and now shortcode is also possible with the pro version. (Put shortcode with the pro is: [termposts], with the free widget write [catposts] to the content.) It’s possible use many columns where ever you want, but in the content and not in the widget-area it make much sense and we recomment this layout features to use with shortcode.

Masonry

We had more ideas for all main features and how we improve this. There are a lot of recent topics we are not compleatly doing perfec right now. For the Masonry support we had even delete code we write because we haden’t much time to make it ready and stable.

So we decited to give you a teaser with Masonry and plane next features more sharper. We have to learn to understand this Javascript framework and it can be helpful for responsive websites. When we visit other sites and how to use it so we could be confident to offer it (tympanus.net/codrops or www.elmastudio.de).

With one click to the WordPress “Customizer”

WordPress admin sides have some areas, configuration panels or widgets to configurate.  So you can get all settings in only few clicks. And it wasn’t WordPress if you can configurate all. So we decided to expand this navigation buttons with a additional customizer link. If the user is in post or page edit mode and use our widgets: Term and Category based Posts Widget or Category Posts Widget.

WordPress don’t supports this link because there is no need for this link without using our widgets. But our widgets give you the oportunity to add shortcode in the content area and configurate it in the customizer. Right, we propose the shortcode configuration only in the customizer.

with-one-click-to-the-customizer

We propose to use the customizer to configurate widgets added with shortcode

We know and use widgets which extends WordPress’s admin navigation buttons, menus, etc. For example for navigating between posts or pages with a forward and backward button with the Admin Post Navigation. Widgets like this can be very helpful to change many posts in a row and there is no need to go back to the post edit-site and admins save a lot of time. We decided to write not a own widget and we also decided to make this link not configurable to show or hide. The link we set is fix.

After saving your post or page the “customizer link” is visible and available for use. And you’re with one click in the there:

after-one-click-to-the-customizer

In conclusion here is a interesting blog post why we decided to use the WordPress customizer for the widget options and settings configuration: tiptoppress.com/the-customizer-in-in-our-focus/
Second reason is we had a lot of options to configure and we search a more computed way to do this configuration with shortcode.

Help us us to improve this feature. Most of all we’re looking forward when you write as a comment or private message.

New features and TipTop meeting in Berlin

While we are actually about following our intended schedule of releasing the 4.6.1 release at the same time frame WordPress 4.6 is released, due to releasing the free version earlier a gap in available features was created between the free and the pro version, and we decided that we should update on were things stand

New features in 4.6.1

  • More thumbnail positioning options
    • Thumbnails now can be used as a background (cover image)
    • They can be aligned either with the title section or the excerpt section
  • More title and excerpt text alignment options. They can be aligned right left or center
  • Define alternate styling based on “position”. For example you can style first items differently from the last, for example having the first with a thumbnail on top and the last ones as simple links.
  • Shortcode to insert the “widget” into the content.
  • More layout options
    • Horizontal row: items are lined up horizontally. spacing between then can be done automatically by the browser based on two methods
    • Adaptive/Responsive row: Items are organized in rows based on available space. When the space is not wide enough new rows are being automatically added to contain the overflowing items
    • Tabular: A good old table layout, items are organized in equal width columns with equal heights in the same row. Combined with alternate styling this can be used to create interesting design (checkers style board)
    • Masonry: If you are not familiar with the term, take a look here.

Where do we stand right now?

We still need to iron some settings with the masonry, and would like to have a horizontal news ticker as well, but we run into some bugs with the slider library that we use and either need to solve them or use a different on for this.

Schedule

07. August
This weekend (7 aug) or early next week we intend to release a beta version.
Updated 22. August: Please contact us if you’re interested in the beta and we’ll send it to you.
19. August
On the 19th we are going to have a 🎇TipTop convention in Berlin🎇. If you are around, and want to give us some feedback face to face, just drop us a note in the comments.
Updated 28. August: Photoimpressions on Facebook.
28. August
Release will probably happen on the 28th of august, but no earlier then the WordPress 4.6 release.

New dynamic layout feature “Separate categories”

The feature support the option 'Number of posts per seperated categories'.

The feature support the option ‘Number of posts per seperated categories’.

With the Same Category Posts widget it is possible to get multi category selection with a new dynamic layout feature: “Separate categories”. Here it’s possible to separate all assigned categories for the post which is shown on a WordPress single page. And so we call it layout feature. (Hint: The widget gets all assigned categories if or if not checkt this new option.)

 

With one new number option: “Number of posts per separated categories” you can set the maximum number of post beneath a categorie headline. Which extends the existing parameters “Number of posts to show (overall)”. This option  remains unchanged and gets the overall counted posts.

 

Why it is called dynamic?

Its simple answer: Because it depends on the filter option order by ‘date’, ‘name’, ‘number of comments’, etc. And it goes further, the widget (shows and seperates) posts from this categories which the current post assigned to. If each shown post have other assigned categories, the widget will show for each post other categoies.

 

For example post ‘doostang’ is in the categories CARS and HOUSES and post ‘hipmunk’ is in the categories CARS, TECHNOLOGY and WEBTWO only one shown category is the the same. The other are dynamiclly and different.

 

'Seperate categories' is similar to a order by category.

‘Seperate categories’ is similar to a order by category.

If you want to picture latest news and your post begin date is important for your readers, so it’s better you don’t use ‘Separate categories’. ‘Separate categories’ may cause that not the newes post is on top. But have you many posts to show and you can hide your thumbnail. Order by categories with the feature ‘Separeate categories’ can be very helpful to show a huge number of posts and get a very clearly layout.

 

The idea for this option comes from Aecorn on WordPress.org. He gives the request for this layout because his site and widget area use a lot of post to show. Create idea – thank you Aecorn.

He has given us a 5-star rating on wordpress.org for the implementation of his option.

 

5-star rating on wordpress.org

5-star rating on wordpress.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downlaod link: https://wordpress.org/plugins/same-category-posts


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