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: Try before you buy and license migration

We believe strongly that people are willing to pay for value, and that our products are a good value for the price we ask. We have the whole licensing operation merely to prevent honest people from being tempted by the “dark side”, because we are all just human and no matter how wealthy we are we will always be tempted to save that 10$ if possible.

This is why we want the experience of honest people be as smooth as possible and let them do as much as they want with their license.

The upcoming 4.7 release will have two improvements in this regard:

  • Try before you buy – Even with a mere 10$, you are likely to “hate” yourself if you bought something that do not work for you and because of lack of documentation, or whatever other reason, you thought that it will.
    With 4.7 we will let people to download a version which will not require a license as long as it is used on a local development server (in other words, a localhost or if the site domain resolves to the local host ip of 127.0.0.1). This hopefully will let users check the relevant features before buying.
  • License transfer between sites – Sometimes when going from development to production the domain of the site changes, and if you are not going to keep a live development server, it doesn’t make any sense for both the user or us to make the user buy two licenses just for that.
    With 4.7, in this kind of situation you will be able to just deactivate the license on your development site and activate it on production.

We are also looking at doing licensing per domain instead of per wordpress site, but we have no firm idea yet how such an implementation might look, and when will we do it.

Client-side cropped-, adaptive- and also fluid images for Responsive Layouts

Client-side cropped- and also fluid images

Client-side cropped- and also fluid images

We decided in the past to add a image cropping feature (CPW since 4.1.6, April 13th 2016, as option and TACBPW since 1.0.1, as default), to set your image dimensions in pixel for the feature image or called thumbnail. We called it “CSS cropping for thumbnails“.

This CSS cropping gives your image the possibility to set dimension options for width and height. Our decision till now is to perform this cropping with CSS. CSS is fast and the website admin can use, but it’s not a have to. And our feature don’t neet to generate new images or actually a change for image sizes in the WordPress settings.

We talk much about the feature and implement it to other widgets like Same Category Posts.

We started to solve the max-width problem for our client-side cropped images

Solve "max-width" issue for client-side cropped images with Javascript

Solve “max-width” issue for client-side cropped images with Javascript

The problem we had with our cropped images is we can’t use the CSS property max-width, because the cropping is also made with CSS. No CSS rule solve both features correctly at the same time and we set a fixed width and height. For Responsive Layouts this is very bad to have only one image size and the image can’t be resized, e.g. for many different mobile devices and screen sizes.

For the 4.7 we tried a CSS solution again to solve the aim to have fluid images with CSS attribute max-width. It’s Mark again who mentioned to try it with Javascript. And now it’ll be available with the 4.7 (4.7 beta 1).

The Javascript code works only once at page load or on page resize. Last one is in the normal website usage not performed. The Javascript code is also performance optimized and curse a very less millisecond delay while page load.

Demo page: demo.tiptoppress.com

Advantages with client-side responsive images:

  • No additional (server-side) libraries required.
  • No cookies required.
  • No extra server configuration needed.
  • Does not attempt to perform any client OS detection.
  • Server image storage doesn’t change.
  • Fast server response any time.
  • No image quality loss.
  • No side effects with frequent use on several pages.

Other image features for Responsive Layouts are planed

We’re happy we found a solution and we hope we don’t get problems and can solve the requested Responsive Layout support. What we also want is use the CSS attribute “width” like percentage unit (100%). And either for one dimension and the other as pixels or for both, no size restriction is given and the image fill all the available space. We planed it also for the 4.8 – be patient if all works right.


Related posts:

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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