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Vimeo video post 1.3

We’re happy to let you know that an improved version of Vimeo Video PRO was just released.

This version comes with some brand new features and more customization options that allow you to import your favourite Vimeo videos into WordPress.

One of the many features is the custom video embed size. As you may already know, the plugin allowed 2 video formats: 16:9 and 4:3. Now, it also allows 2.35:1 but this is not all. You can also instruct the plugin to embed the videos into your WordPress pages by using the video size retrieved from Vimeo. This means that not matter what size, your videos will be embedded having the perfect size, no black borders or weird sizes.

One more awesome feature is the possibility to import Vimeo videos as regular post type. If in previous version you could only import videos as custom post type implemented by the plugin or as the post type used by your theme (part of theme compatibility), now you can instruct the plugin to import videos as regular post type and have all the embed options that custom post type has (playback volume, size, etc) for each post created by the plugin.

Yet another great feature are the video tags implemented in this version plus the possibility to specify multiple categories and tags when making bulk imports. More than this, you can also choose to import tags retrieved from Vimeo.

The above are just a few of the new featured. The complete changelog can be found here: Vimeo Video post changelog.

We also updated the plugin documentation, you can find it here: Vimeo video post WP plugin.

Hope you will like the new features, enjoy and thank you for using the plugin.

Vimeo WordPress plugin – video post v1.1 released

We’re happy to announce the release of version 1.1 for our Vimeo WordPress plugin. This version comes with some important updates, among which:

  • Vimeo video thumbnail import in WordPress Media Gallery and set up as Featured Image

    This new feature allows easy video thumbnail import for both existing Vimeo video posts as well as newly added ones. For single posts, a new button was added in Featured Image meta box that allows importing of image with a single click.
    For Manual bulk import and Automatic bulk import, to import thumbnails as Featured Image, in Settings page just check “Set featured image” under Bulk Import settings.

  • Compatibility with 2 more premium WordPress themes

    Starting with this version the plugin is compatible with themes SimpleMag and GoodWork, on top of deTube and Avada. If any of the mentioned themes are installed and activated, a new option to import as posts for these themes will be shown when doing single video import or bulk imports (both manual and automatic).

  • New video import options in Settings page

    Except for the extra option to import Vimeo images as Featured Image for posts, 2 new options were added: import video publish date and change slug for custom post type (under Rewrite).

For more information on what other changes version 1.1 brings, please see Vimeo video post changelog.

Featured Articles PRO – v.2.4.9

Featured Articles PRO comes with new options, 2 new themes that are video enabled and responsive and an overall improvement regarding user interaction. Below is the complete change log for this version.

  1. Multibyte characters support;
  2. Image preloaders in slideshows (available as option in slideshow administration);
  3. Support for Font Awesome library (if slideshow theme asks for it from theme functions page);
  4. Themes can now manipulate video size to cover the whole slide area if needed;
  5. New options under theme editing to customize the preview;
  6. Compatibility with WPTouch PRO;
  7. Images can now be resized to exact dimensions instead of only using WordPress’s registered sizes;
  8. New template function to display author name in slideshows with or without link to its posts page (includes display option in slideshow editing page);
  9. Touch swipe left/right navigation in slideshows;
  10. 2 new slideshow themes: Accordion and Carousel that are video enabled and responsive;
  11. Subpages in slides (must be allowed by setting a constant inside the plugin internal code).

Featured Articles PRO 2.4.8

Most important in this update is the HTML5 video players compatibility for Vimeo and YouTube. First, the plugin will try to use the Flash players and in case Flash is not available, it will go for the HTML5 players.

There are some notes though: in Firefox, Vimeo won’t load any videos when using HTML5 player because they use H264 and Firefox doesn’t support it. YouTube also has some limitations that can be found here: YouTube HTML5 Video Player.

Featured Articles PRO 2.4.8 changelog

  1. HTML5 video player compatibility for Vimeo and YouTube;
  2. Start and end publishing dates for slideshows (slideshows can be programmed to display/stop displaying in your blog at user defined dates);
  3. Editor button to easily insert shortcodes to display slideshows in posts and pages;
  4. Screen options for slideshows list page and slides list page in WordPress administration;
  5. Improved process of selecting pages and categories to display slideshows when using automatic placement option (custom taxonomies now available);
  6. Solved bug that was causing the order of Featured Content slides not to be saved as set;
  7. Images in slideshows now have width and height set on them for a better overall performance score of pages.

Themes created for versions prior to this update are fully compatible with 2.4.8 so no changes are needed. Also, the plugin is fully compatible with WordPress 3.4.

Featured Articles PRO 2.4.7 is available

Minutes ago, Featured Articles PRO 2.4.7 was released. It comes with a few bugs solved (many thanks to our users for announcing us and allowing us to solve them on their test servers) and also, an enhancement in slideshow themes to allow hiding of different content in slides, namely title, date, description and read more link.

Featured Articles PRO 2.4.7 changelog

  1. Solved compatibility with Ether Content Builder for WordPress. Errors were caused by the way the widget in Featured Articles PRO was creating the select box for slideshows.
  2. Solved bug on slideshow creation/editing page that was preventing the page to redirect when saving on some installation. Problem was caused by a field name that WordPress uses in admin header file.
  3. Solved compatibility with Open Menu plugin for WordPress that was preventing Featured Articles to create custom slides.
  4. Solved problem with theme color scheme editor that was not saving the stylesheets correctly.
  5. New functionality that allows hiding of various information in slideshows is available. When editing a slideshow, new options for hiding title, text, date and read more link are available under Slide Content Options. Custom created themes will need to be slightly edited in order to have this functionality, please see below.

Making custom created themes compatible with Featured Articles PRO 2.4.7

If you created a custom theme for Featured Articles and want to enable in it the functionality that allows you to hide slide text, description, read-more link or date, there are a few things that you need to change since we created 2 more slideshow template functions that allow this functionality. All changes are to be made in file display.php of your custom theme.

First thing, the code for displaying the date. In previous versions, to display the date into a slide, the code looked like this:

<span class="FA_date"><?php the_time(get_option('date_format')); ?></span>

To avoid placing if conditions, we created a simple template function that does the exact same thing like the above piece of code but it also checks if user had set the date to be displayed into slides and if not, it won’t output anything.

<?php the_fa_date('<span class="FA_date">', '</span>');?>

Next change applies only for some themes. For example, in theme Smoke, the title, date, read-more link and text are wrapped inside a div element that has a semi-transparent background (previous code below).

<div class="FA_wrap">
	<?php the_fa_title('<h2>', '</h2>');?>
	<span class="FA_date"><?php the_time(get_option('date_format'));?></span>
	<?php the_fa_content('<div class="fa_content">', '</div>');?>
	<?php the_fa_read_more();?>
</div>

If the user hides from administration area all the items that are displayed into a slide (if for example he wants to have a slideshow that relies on images only), the slideshow will display an empty div element on the left having no content.

To avoid that, we created function fa_content_wrapper() that will verify if all elements are set as hidden and if true, it won’t output the HTML for the panel. In your templates, if the above applies (meaning you use a container for all slideshow content) you’ll have to use the function twice: once for the opening tag of the element that wraps all content and once for closing it.

<?php fa_content_wrapper('<div class="FA_wrap">'); // open the tag for the element that wraps all content
	<?php the_fa_title('<h2>', '</h2>'); // display the slide title
	<?php the_fa_date('<span class="FA_date">', '</span>'); // display the slide date
	<?php the_fa_content('<div class="fa_content">', '</div>'); // display the slide text
	<?php the_fa_read_more(); // display the read-more link
<?php fa_content_wrapper('</div>'); // close the tag of the element that wraps all content

These are all the changes that need to be done. Again, the second modification doesn’t apply to all themes, for example, theme Classic doesn’t need it because it doesn’t wrap all the content into a single element.

Please note that the modifications above are not mandatory, if you don’t distribute your custom theme and don’t need the functionality for hiding content in slides, you can just leave it alone. For the moment, the changes apply only for PRO version, update for Lite will be released in a few days.

Customizing themes for Featured Articles

Categories:Featured Articles for WP

One of the best features that Featured Articles has is the ability to easily switch between themes to obtain a totally different look of any slideshow published in your WordPress website. While creating new themes can be quite challenging in some cases, modifying the look of any existing theme can be done pretty easy, it only requires some CSS knowledge. All themes delivered by default with the plugin have external CSS stylesheets for color customization purposes.

Placing themes into a safe folder

Before beginning to create a new color stylesheet, a quick note on Featured Articles plugin themes folder is needed. As you may already know, all slideshow themes are delivered into a folder within the plugin files. Problem with this is that in case you create or change a theme, when updating the plugin, given the fact that the folder containing the themes is located inside the plugin folder in WordPress, all files will be deleted (including the themes) and replaced by the new files from the update. This is pretty bad because all changes made to themes will be lost.

To avoid loosing your customized themes, in plugin menu (FA Lite or FA PRO), go to page Settings. Into that page, under Change FeaturedArticles themes folder follow all instructions and move all themes to a new folder outside the plugin folder by using an FTP client (FileZilla for example). Once that is done, any changes you do to any slideshow theme will be safe and you won’t have to worry about backing up before updating the plugin.

Extending existing themes with new color palettes

Now that themes are into a safe location, it’s time to make them blend in with your website. CSS for themes is located into 2 different stylesheets: one is used for creating the layout of the theme (image position, title styling and so on) and the other is used to apply the colors on all the elements a slideshow might have.
The main stylesheet is located inside the theme folder and must be called stylesheet.css (more about theme file structure here). All stylesheets controlling colors are located inside folder colors within the theme folder.
All themes delivered by default with the plugin (except theme Classic) have only one color variation: dark. To create a new color palette for any of the themes, follow the steps below:

1. Duplicate dark.css inside folder colors of any theme. Rename the new file to whatever you want (renaming it by the color palette it will have is a good idea). Always remember to use a web-safe name (no spaces or funny characters).
2. Edit the file you created and for each element put the colors you want to use.
3. Save the changes on the new file and if needed, upload it into folder colors within the theme you want to extend.
4. In slideshow editing, when selecting the theme you created the colors for, you’ll find under option Color Scheme that you can select the stylesheet you just made.

As a note, when creating color variations for themes, it may be helpful to use the console (most modern browsers have it) to identify faster the elements that certain CSS rules apply to; for PRO users that try this and find themselves into trouble, a ticket will quickly grant them access to help from our support team.

Featured Articles evolved – V2.4 now available

If you are one of the existing users of FeaturedArticles Lite you know what we are talking about. If you’re not, read on.

Over the past months we’ve been working on updating FeaturedArticles to a better, easier to use WordPress plugin for creating slideshows on your blog. Things are pretty straight forward; all you need to do is choose the content to be displayed into a certain slideshow, be it posts, pages or mixed content. Since we got to mixed content, now you can create slideshows that have both posts and pages and on top of that, custom slides for your slideshow created from within the plugin. Main advantage for custom slides is that they will display exactly as they are written into WordPress’s editor without any changes, tag stripping or anything.

We also worked a lot on themes. For those of you who don’t know, FeaturedArticles has a number of slideshow themes implemented that can be changed at any time with just a few clicks. A better image detection for posts and pages allow a faster loading loading time. Also, attaching images specially created for FeaturedArticles has become easier, we chose to use the built-in media gallery WordPress provides for a better management. We also extended the themes from 3 to 7, each having a different functionality, navigation and animation. See all themes here.

Customization goes further, for each post and page in your WordPress blog you can now specify a custom title, text (that again will display exactly as it was written without any changes, stripping or anything). This will allow you to write a more targeted content to emphasize you posts/pages of interest to your users.

We mentioned themes before. Except from extending our number of themes, we also improved them. There are some significant differences between the previous versions and most notable is that now the plugin allows you to, except from creating new themes, extend the script functionality to create new and imaginative animations without messing with the main slideshow script. The slider script is now extended with events that allow developers to modify the default animation on slide change to almost anything comes into mind.

Another notable, hopefully useful, feature of themes is colors. We heard you and we managed to find a way to make things easier. A lot of users were asking mainly how to change the color scheme of a certain theme to better match their website overall design. Most times this is more than enough for customizing a theme. Before version 2.4, you had to either change the theme stylesheet and risk to overwrite it on update or copy/paste the theme, assign it a new name and work on that. Now, you can simply create a folder colors (all our default themes have that folder) inside your slider theme folder and put any color related stylesheets in there. The stylesheet will be available as an option when you create a slider and select the theme you created the color for, all is left to do for you is to choose that color and save the slideshow. Let us know how that goes.

Featured Articles – about help and support

Starting with version 2.4 of FeaturedArticles we’ll release both Lite and PRO versions for the plugin. Lite version will pretty much do all one needs with regard to displaying slideshows. PRO comes with some extra features and most important, priority support.

This is all about how support will be provided to all users for both free and paid version. Support will be offered on forums and support tickets available here on CodeFlavors.com. Any questions being asked on wordpress.org or any other website may either never get answered by our support team or get an answer too late. We won’t answer e-mail requests so please use our forums or the support ticket for asking help.

First thing, all written documentation will be freely available for everyone, no fees, no conditions. This means that if, for example, you want to create a theme for Lite version of the plugin, you have (hopefully) all information available right here. All you need to do is get to work. If, while developing a theme, you get yourself into trouble, the only option you have as a user is to address your issue to the forums. Eventually someone will answer your question, you’ll just need to be patient. PRO users will get the benefit of asking questions by using the ticket system and we’ll assist in any way we can with all issues.

Same applies to the plugin itself and compatibility with different themes and plugins out there. Most problems so far were generated by the fact that either the theme or some of the plugins installed are doing things the wrong way. This includes (but it’s not limited) to:

  • Theme doesn’t call wp_footer() in footer.php
  • Theme (or plugin) loads a different jQuery version than the one that comes with WordPress by default
  • Theme (or plugin) doesn’t use the script loading mechanism provided by WordPress
  • Custom slideshow theme doesn’t follow the rules described in tutorials

Usually, you can tell that something is wrong when animations won’t work (ie: click on navigation doesn’t change slide). This is not a FeaturedArticles issue and it requires debugging pages and determine what the problem is. As a Lite user, again, all you can do is ask questions on the forums. We will try and answer those questions but the response time will vary on how busy we’ll be at that moment so you might wait for a while to get an answer. As PRO user, again, the ticket system will allow you to ask questions and get support from our team.

Bottom line is that PRO users will get priority support no matter what the problem regarding FeaturedArticles is. We will try and provide support on forums for Lite version whenever time will allow us to. Bugs of any kind strictly related to FeaturedArticles will be addressed as soon as they are signaled, no matter what version of the plugin (Lite or PRO) you’re using.