WordPress 3.8 – The Best Redesign Since Ever?

WordPress 3.8 is just around the corner and I can honestly say it’s THE most exciting release since ever! With the WordPress 3.8 RC2 available for download, we’re only days away from the excellently polished WordPress 3.8 UI.

Much more than just a new skin

You can see by the title of this post that I’m quite excited about this release. The old design has been around since 2.7 with only minor improvements across the board (was back in 11′th of December 2008 when 2.7 was launched, 5 years ago!). While the new, WordPress 3.8 UI, keeps most of the elements in the same place, it’s clearly the biggest thing to happen visually in the last 5 years.

WordPress 3.8 UI is stunning to look at and work with, but it also represents the best responsive/mobile implementation we’ve seen for the WordPress backend so far:

  • the top and sidebar menus have been re-envisioned for small resolutions
  • the sidemenu is now hidden by default and can be much more easily extended on small devices.
  • the Add New Post works wonderful for resolutions under 600px
  • every button and link is just a little bit larger, so you can tap them even if you have big thumbs
  • comes with its own flat vector icon font for the admin UI, called dashicons
  • it’s not just a refined implementation of what was before, it was created with devices of all sizes in mind

mobile

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WordPress Testimonial Page Template with WCK

Having testimonials displayed on your client’s website is a always a nice bonus, and helps to highlight the brand’s personality and keep up with its audience.

The scope of this tutorial is to build a WordPress Testimonial Page Template with the help of WCK – Custom Fields and Post Type Creator plugin.

How you choose to do this is a matter of preference. You can opt for one of these options:

  • choose from a list of plugins that make only testimonials
  • you can also use Custom Post Types, that attaches your testimonials to a particular page
  • or, our very own favorite, choose to get your hands on by using Custom Fields that are attached to a certain Page Template.

A WordPress Testimonial Page Template with WCK

For us, the most flexible and intuitive way to create a WordPress Testimonial Page is by using Custom Fields and create our own Page Template.  We’ll use the WCK – Custom Fields Creator to speed things up.

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WPNuggets is live!


We are happy to announce the new launch of WPNuggets.com , our site for WordPress plugin reviews, dedicated to all WordPress lovers and users.

In WordPress Community there`s a plugin for almost everything, but sometimes, they are not so easy to understand. So here comes WPNuggets.com!

For now, we have three WordPress plugin reviews on the site: prettyPhoto Media, WordPress SEO by Yoast and Gravity Forms, but there are more planned for the near future.

With the promise that we will keep you informed about the latest plugins and we will offer you relevant information about why and how to use WordPress plugins, we hope that you will enjoy reading our reviews and we would be enchanted to hear opinions and suggestions from you.

So stay tuned, great things are coming!

Profile Builder version 1.1.21: fully customizable userlisting!

It’s been quite a while since we released a new version, but this is due to the complexity of the new feature this version of Profile Builder comes with: a fully customizable userlisting.

For those who just met up with WordPress, Profile Builder is WordPress registration done right; it lets you customize your website by adding a front-end menu for all your users, giving them a more flexible way to modify their user-information or to register new users.

Besides the new features and functionalities I will describe later on, we also added some minor bugfixes, and improved the query times a lot!

So what is userlisting, and what can it do?

Listing registered users to your blog/site has never been easier: to create a page containing a userlisting, insert the following shortcode in a (blank) page: [wppb-list-users].

For instance, to create a userlisting shortcode listing only the editors and authors, visible to only the users currently logged in, you would use:
[wppb-list-users visibility=”restricted” roles=”editor,author”].

The back-end has two textareas which lets you write your own html code for the front-end userlisting design: one for the “all-userlisting”, and one for the “single-userlisting”. Using the added, built-in extra functions, you can create a personalized userlisting easily.
Don’t have any ideas or coding knowledge? No problem! – we added html codes for a default userlisting for just such cases.

For more info regarding this, please visit the description page of this feature.

All in all we hope you take benefit of this cool new feature, and as always, if you have any ideas on improving this feature (or any other part of the plugin), or just want to report a bug, either ask about in the forum section, or write an email to [email protected].

Redesigning Cozmoslabs

I’ve been working lately on a redesign / re-branding of Cozmoslabs. Designing for your self is one of the most annoying things I’ve ever done. It’s hard to say “this is good, let’s leave it like that”. There’s always that feeling that something better can exist.

And I’m sure it does exist… so I’m going to save this iteration and continue work on the redesign.

What I’m trying to achieve

As it happens I’m not redesigning Cozmoslabs just as a design exercise.

With Profile Builder we started a journey into more complex plugin development. Besides that, we’re currently alpha testing three new plugins based on our WordPress Creation Kit api available on Github. Counting the free themes available for download, wpMail.me newsletter and Reflection Media (Custom WordPress Solutions) things just got crowded.

We needed a fresh start, an umbrella brand that will hold under it all our released projects for now and the future.

Here’s some of the things I’m trying to achieve with this redesign:

  • Transform Cozmoslabs into a recognizable brand.
  • Bold and Simple.
  • The website redesign should support all our projects without complicated menus.
  • Bring focus to our forums / registered users.
  • The blog and articles will still be an important part of the redesign.

With those in mind I present you the future Cozmoslabs.com (this won’t be live for another month at least. Still lots of things to do here.)

Cozmoslabs - WordPress Solutions for Developers

On the website design part of things, I’ve already started that but I’ll post some mockups once I have a clearer idea of what I want from it. Still a little bit fuzzy on that end :).

So let me know what you think, do you like it, do you hate it? Just be blunt.

Profile Builder version 1.1.6 has arrived

The latest version includes a few small, but important features if you wish to customize the plugin.

For those who just met up with WordPress, Profile Builder is WordPress registration done right; it lets you customize your website by adding a front-end menu for all your users, giving them a more flexible way to modify their user-information or to register new users.

We’ve also put together a short presentation video where you can see Profile Builder in action.

Now back to features. Firstly, we have completed the front-end registration plugin with a password recovery page. Just like every other page, this feature includes a shortcode ([wppb-recover-password]). Use this, with fully customizable emails and messages to skip the default WordPress forms all-together.

Also, by using the new (and now complete) custom redirects, your users will only have access to where you want them.

The second biggest feature of this release is the fact that you can mark the fields (both default and extra) as required. This means the user can’t register without having completed these fields, and neither can he delete this info later on from the edit profile page (the information can be modified but he/she won’t be able to submit the new data if it’s not filled out properly).

NOTE: at the moment this feature only works on the front end, but using this in conjunction with the custom redirects, your users won’t have access to the dashboard anyway.

Last but not least, I would like to mention the most important feature of this release: filters, the crème de la crème for all plugins.

We redesigned the plugin and added to every notification/content/values a filter to let you easily customize the layout for your own needs, without the fear of loosing the data after a new update.

You can find a detailed list of all the filters here.

We hope you enjoy the new features, and if you have any questions, just post a new topic over at the forums.

Also, there have been many interesting feature requests, which will be included in the next release(s), so stay tuned!

New update for Profile Builder Pro available!

The first major update since the launch of Profile Builder has finally arrived!

For those who just met up with WordPress, Profile Builder is WordPress registration done right; it lets you customize your website by adding a front-end menu for all your users, giving them a more flexible way to modify their user-information or to register new users.

This update-pack was long awaited by a lot of users, especially since it took us a while to code it, test it and release it; so from now on we will focus mainly on more, smaller updates rather than fewer and bigger ones. But enough with the technicalities, let’s see what we got:

1.) New custom fields:

  • Datepicker
  • Country Select
  • Timezone Select
  • “I agree to terms and conditions” Checkbox

2.) Addons:

New features (from now on) will come as an addon pack, meaning they are present in the plugin core, but not active until you activate the one(s) you need. They can be found in a side-tab named “Addons” (intuitive, isn’t it?). Here you can activate whichever you need, and once active it/they will be listed in the side-tab also. This is done so for those who don’t need it, so it won’t complicate their experience with Profile Builder.

The addons added this update are:

  • User-Listing
  • Custom Redirects

The User-Listing feature is basically a short-code, [wppb-list-users]. Once added, head over to the back-end and activate the addon (if you haven’t done so already). There, under the User-Listing tab you will find some settings, regarding user-listing options. These set by an administrator will become the default settings in the front-end for every visitor/user to see. They can be temporarily overwritten by the visitors (locally), if they wish to do so, but they will revert to the settings the administrator saved once they close and reopen their browser.

The Custom Redirects are just that: you can set up the pages a visitor sees after he registered or logged in or if he tries to access the wordpress login page or the wordpress register page. Besides the fact that you can activate the “Custom Redirects” addon, you can also chose which of these four “actions” to activate (individually).

3.) Register a user with a certain role:

The old register shortcode was [wppb-register], and after registration the user created was (by plugin default) subscriber. I used the expression “plugin default” because it didn’t use the settings set up in the back-end of your wordpress installation, it just registered the user as subscriber.

But now this downside was taken care of: when placing the register shortcode, be sure to add the role=”user_role_name” parameter next to it, like so:
[wppb-register role="user_role_name"].

Thus, to register every new user as an editor, just use the following shortcode:
[wppb-register role="editor"]

Don’t worry in case you get it wrong, this won’t create a new user-role. Instead it falls back to the wordpress role set up in the back-end, and in case something should happen (not set up, or what not) it falls back to subscriber.

4.) More translations:

  • norvegian (thanks to Havard Ulvin, [email protected])
  • czech (thanks to Martin Jurica, [email protected])
  • dutch (thanks to Pascal Frencken, [email protected])
  • spanish (thanks to redywebs, www.redywebs.com)

We would also like to thank for anyone else who sent their version of the localized Profile Builder, and apologize we didn’t mention them here, but fear not: they are still listed in the readme file!

Last but not least thanks to all our users, who suggested really cool ideas, that were implemented in these new features, with the rest to come in the next update(s).

UPDATE:
Apparently there were some hidden bugs, one where the user tried to register and kept getting the “you need to agree to the terms and conditions before signing up” message even though there was no active Terms and Conditions checkbox. The second one was in the redirecting process after registration; it didn’t redirect all the cases (both when a user signs up and when an admin creates a new user). Both of them are fixed and version 1.1.5 was issued.

Profile Builder Beta

There’s a new version of Profile Builder WordPress plugin. It features the following new features:

  • New interface
  • Create Extra User Fields (like birthdate or education level)
  • Add avatar upload for users and automatic integration with any theme that uses get_avatar()
  • Shortcodes for login, register and edit profile to use in pages and widgets.
  • Select what fields appear in the register and edit-profile pages.
  • Select if the admin bar should be present on the front end for user-groups.
  • Select if to use the default css or not.

You can sign up for the beta from this page: Profile Builder beta

The new interface was borrowed from the awesome plugin OptionTree created by Derek Herman

SVN EOL and the WordPress.org repository

As you might now we’ve recently released Profile Builder e front-end registration, login and edit profile plugin.

All went well and we’ve got proper feedback. Apparently people liked the idea.

However, when the time came to put it on the repository things started to get weird. For reasons beyond my understanding, the profilebuilder.php and uninstall.php files were converted to Mac EndOfLine style once uploaded to the Repository (I’m a PC user). Because of this the plugin install would fail and didn’t even appear in the plugin listing in the backend, which is to be expected since the lines were all scrambled up.

After a bit of digging around I found about a SVN property called svn:eol-style that, when set to “native“, allows automatic conversion of end-of-lines, depending whether you are on Linux or Windows. Apparently this isn’t setup by default when you install Turtoise SVN.

To get is sorted you need to add some code to the config file in subversion.

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Professional WordPress Plugin Development review

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed books on this blog and I think it’s about time to start doing that again. And I couldn’t have chosen a better book to start with then “Professional WordPress Plugin Development” written by Brad Williams, Ozh Richard and Justin Tadlock.

This is the book I’ve been waiting for ever since I started to work with WordPress 3 years ago. As a theme designer and developer you really have a lot of documentation online. However, the instance you need to do some wild things with WordPress you realize there just isn’t enough information to go on. I’m talking about stuff like plugin security, proper way of handling plugin settings, ajax in WordPress, cron, the rewrite API and developing for multisite.

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