Version 2.7 is releasing today and I wanted to walk through a few of the new features and functions as well as some of the bug fixes that I implemented.
First, I wanted to thank everyone for their patience while I put this one together. This was scheduled for January so we’re about a month late here. The big time suck on this one was getting the wp-admin updates working (see below for details). Long story short, the system I was using needed a lot of work on my part and it was difficult to test so the whole process took about 4 times what I expected. C’est la vie, it works great now!
I’m publishing this now and will be sending out the updates here in a couple of hours (around 8:00 PM Pacific). The complete list of v2.7 changes is here, with specific ones called out below.
Once version 2.7 is installed, WP-Drudge can be updated right in your wp-admin screens! This was a long time coming and will save a lot of time for you and me. Once you have this version installed and your API key saved (instructions on the release page linked above), you will see new versions appear under Dashboard > Updates. Just follow the steps and your new version will be live.
For those that have modified the theme directly, please note that this will destroy those changes with no ability to recover them. I highly recommend moving your custom code to a child theme to take advantage of this feature.
You can now add additional links to your Posted Links with a simple user interface on the Edit Post screen. These links will appear right below the main headline and link directly to wherever you’d like. The benefit here is that you can post additional stories that will follow the main link throughout the site.
You can add as many links as you’d like and change the order using the up/down arrows on the right. Once you’re set, just update the post and the links will appear. Note that these additional links do not use the per-link styling of the main link. This was by design as these are meant to be supporting links.
This is one place where I will admit that the theme has fallen a bit short over. Not any more! I added translation functions to all hard-coded text (mostly in the admin sections) and made sure there were text fields for all public-facing text so you can control what your users see. I also localized dates as well so those folks that are using month and day names in their date formats won’t see English.
A side note here … when moving to the new distribution platform, I had a chance to review all the orders that have ever come through. This community consists of people in 39 different countries! That’s incredible to me and shows, more than anything, the power of WordPress in reducing the obstacles to publishing.
Also … I’m looking for anyone who would be willing to put together major language translations for WP-Drudge. I’m happy to pay for your time or offer development assistance for customizations. Get ahold of me here if you’re interested.
I re-worked the WPD Ads interface to improve both how it looks and how it works.
Besides the aesthetics, the two main changes are:
I added a few new options to control how the site looks and works. These are set to rational defaults the first time you install the theme but make sure to review them once you go live. Once thing to note … I had to change slightly how the settings were output and saved in order to accommodate translations. I did not see any issues upgrading sites with the previous theme but please make sure to review your previous settings just in case.
The main thing to note here is that I removed the setting for Facebook comments. I’m honestly surprised that the way this was coded still worked since it broke a few conventions. There are a few site-specific tags that need to be added and it was becoming more trouble than it was worth to maintain it. The one plugin I found that works the best so far is Facebook Comments by Fat Panda. Just install and go to Settings > Facebook Comments to input your App ID (there are instructions on how to create that).
The rest …
I took some time during this release to standardize the site styling more thoroughly than I did before. Basically this means setting up specific widths, heights, and gaps and then extending those defaults to create a more consistent layout. I also reworked the mobile styling to address a number of issues sent in by users like yourself.
So, that sums up the big stuff. Again, all the changes are detailed out here and the documentation has been updated to reflect the new settings and features. I hope you enjoy the additions in 2.7 and, as always, if you have any questions or problems, submit them on the forum here or contact me here.
Once this release is complete and I’ve addressed any issues with the upgrade, I plan on working on a few of the following things for the theme and this community:
I’m always open to ideas on the above or anything else. Let me know directly or on the comment form below.
Thanks, as always, for your support, kind words, ideas, and feedback. It really means the world to me to interact with people who use my themes and plugins to make their own ideas come to life! I’m always available to talk about potential new add-ons, WordPress plugins, or anything else “webby.”