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Make 1.8.7

by Tom Stark on April 7, 2017 / Leave a comment

We’re releasing Make 1.8.7 today with several small fixes. Here’s what’s included:

  • Fixed issue when additional empty columns were created in builder after updating from older versions.
  • Fixed sidebar appearance issues on search results and archives page.
  • Fixed background controls in Customizer which were clashing with 4.7.0 core updates.

Make 1.8.6 and Make Plus 1.8.5

by Tom Stark on March 30, 2017 / 1 comment

Today we’re proud to announce Make 1.8.6 and Make Plus 1.8.5! There are exciting features coming to both. Column rows, refreshed builder design and more! Here’s what’s new:

Make:

  • Added column rows. You can now add as many rows as you want to your Columns sections.
  • Added new configuration dropdown. Clicking the new contextual menu (three dot icon) in a builder section reveals more options for that item.
  • Improved the way images are handled inside Columns. You can now embed images inline with your column content without using the featured image field, which has now been removed.
  • Refreshed the design of the builder. Colors have been updated to better match WordPress’ default styles. We also improved the look and feel of Add Item buttons in sections.
  • Improved the content editor overlay. The background will now match the background color of your section for even easier editing.
  • Improved the way Banner text displays on smaller screens.
  • Improved behavior of overlays in builder.
  • Fixed builder section helper classes on front-end, especially the case when builder-section-first and builder-section-last were added to wrong sections.
  • Fixed hover on gallery caption overlays on mobile devices and fixed issues where gallery items without a link failed to show caption on hover.

Make Plus:

  • Added configuration dropdown for widgets. You can now configure widget properties or trash widgets right from the builder.
  • Improved Panels content preview. Panels will now adapt its height to the amount of content added.
  • Fixed issue where widget properties set from an overlay in widgetized columns were not saving.

Make 1.8.5

by Ignazio Setti on February 28, 2017 / Leave a comment

Make 1.8.5 is out and includes several small updates. Here’s what’s we fixed:

  • Fixed issue which prevented Columns section titles from being refreshed in the builder.
  • Fixed content preview of columns, which wasn’t being refreshed after dragging around columns.
  • Fixed overlays, which were erroneously carrying around configuration data.

Make and Make Plus 1.8.4

by Ignazio Setti on February 16, 2017 / Leave a comment

Make and Make Plus 1.8.4 are here! It’s a big update full of small improvements. Here’s what’s new:

Make:

  • Added an option to open Gallery item links in a new tab.
  • Added option to configure what menu turns into a mobile menu.
  • Added missing default font to mobile menu toggles.
  • Removed PHP notice caused by missing image fields in Columns section.
  • Fixed a bug preventing titles from inheriting customizer typography settings.
  • Added option for closing the configuration overlay without applying changes.
  • Added button and keyboard shortcut for closing the configuration overlay.
  • Added contextual labels to configuration overlay buttons.
  • Removed a limitation preventing HTML links inside Gallery items content.
  • Fixed CSS rules preventing typography and color settings from correctly applying to mobile menus.
  • Fixed a bug resulting in content duplication when creating multiple Columns sections.

Make Plus:

  • Fixed a bug preventing the “-1” count option from showing all products.
  • Fixed a bug which was stripping HTML from Panel item titles.
  • Added checks to widgetized columns to remove a number of PHP warnings.
  • Fixed a bug preventing the duplicator to load on any CPT Edit Page screen.
  • Fixed a bug preventing widgets from being removed when removing the containing section or page.

Make and Make Plus 1.8.3

by Ignazio Setti on January 20, 2017 / 1 comment

It’s time for a new release! After a huge refactor of Make and Make Plus in 1.8, we’re now doubling down on features. Here’s what’s new in 1.8.3:

  • Increased the maximum number of columns in Columns sections from four to six.
  • Added an option so builder sections can now be set to span the full width of your page.
  • Updated Font Awesome to 4.7.
  • Overhauled builder overlay styles to match core WordPress.
  • Fixed an issue in the Banner section causing misplaced content.

As always, be sure to update Make together with Make Plus.

Make and Make Plus 1.8.2

by Tom Stark on January 10, 2017 / Leave a comment

Today we released version 1.8.2 of Make and Make Plus. Back in version 1.8 we refactored our builder backend code, and 1.8.2 we’re patching up several little issues reported by makers. Here’s what’s included:

  • Fixed an issue with notices incorrectly displaying when Make Plus wasn’t installed.
  • Fixed the Banner sections “Darken background to improve readability” setting.
  • Fixed an error with Gallery images when “Aspect Ratio” was set to “None”.
  • Fixed Posts List “Type” field which wasn’t updating “From” dropdown with the correct data.
  • Minor fixes and cleanup to Columns template file.

Make & Make Plus 1.7

by Corey McKrill on May 4, 2016 / 6 comments

Today we released Make and Make Plus 1.7. As we mentioned in the beta announcement, it has a lot of big changes under the hood. It also has some great new features! Let’s take a look:

Instant style previews in the Customizer

In 1.7, Make now takes greater advantage of the “postMessage” feature of the Customizer to instantly update the Preview Pane when modifying a style-related theme setting. This includes all Typography, Color, and Background Image settings, as well as many others. Waiting for the preview pane to reload after every font size increment is now a thing of the past!

social-iconsNew interface for managing social icons

In previous versions of Make, you could choose to add icons for your social profiles via a simple form in the Customizer, or as a custom menu. The form was easy to use, but only a limited number of icons were available. The custom menu could accommodate a greater variety of icons, and had more flexibility, but it was not very intuitive to use. With Make 1.7, the two methods have been consolidated into one interface within the Customizer. Paste your social profile URL into the field and watch the icon appear instantly. Drag and drop the icons into any order you want. And with the Social Icons API, you can add even more icons to the list of 53 that are currently available.

Color and typography settings for buttons

Now you can customize the colors and fonts of built-in buttons (comment form, search) and Gravity Forms buttons from right in the Customizer.

One-click migration of theme settings from the parent to the child

Have you ever started a new Make site and gotten everything configured just the way you want it in the Customizer only to realize that there are a few more tweaks you need to make with a child theme? And then, when you activate the child theme, you realize that everything is back to the defaults in the Customizer, because WordPress treats it like an entirely separate theme? Well, we know from supporting our users that it happens a lot. Now when you have a child theme activated, there’s a new “Migrate Settings” entry in the Appearance menu where you can copy all those changes you made in the Customizer from the parent over to the child. Hallelujah!

Make Plus: Sticky headers

With this oft-requested feature, you can choose to have either just the Header Bar or the entire site header remain fixed at the top as you scroll down the page.

Make Plus: Improved Typekit interface

The process of entering your kit ID and loading the contents of your kit into the list of available fonts has been significantly streamlined. Simply paste your ID into the field, and it will instantly test the kit and indicate whether the fonts loaded successfully. Then just head over to any Font Family dropdown and your fonts will be there!

Make Plus: Improved interface for post and page layout settings

We heard from a lot of people that the interface with “the double checkboxes” was confusing at best, so we changed it to be more intuitive.

New users can download Make 1.7 today. Make Plus users — make sure you’ve authorized your plugin to get one-click updates in your WordPress dashboard.

Closed vs Open Communities (and why we choose one over the other for The Theme Foundry)

by Melissa Hill on April 8, 2016 / Comments are closed

You can make a pretty good case that an engaged community ultimately forms the basis of any healthy business. At The Theme Foundry, we have several levels of community. We have our premium support forums here, where we give help and think through solutions with our users. We have our community support forums that we maintain on WordPress.org — which anyone can access to get help with Make. And we have specialized communities — like our Slack channel for Make Plus Professional members.

For the most part, due to the sensitive nature of the topics posted in our forums, we’ve chosen to keep our communities closed. Our members overwhelmingly prefer this for privacy and security reasons. Our Slack communities are more akin to “masterminds” and we try to foster collaboration and share in one another’s successes. So far, we’ve chosen to embrace the closed model for our communities, but lately, we’ve also been considering a more open community for Make users to jam on their site ideas and needs.

In last week’s episode of #CMGRHangout, I had the opportunity to chat with other community managers on the subject of open vs. closed communities. Watch the replay here:

And catch up on the Twitter feed from the show on Storify.

Do you maintain an online community for your business? How do you feel about the open vs. closed model?

Make 1.7 Beta 1

by Corey McKrill on March 30, 2016 / 7 comments

Make 1.7 is now in beta! This release has a lot of big under-the-hood changes, and we need your help with testing so we can make sure the update is as seamless as possible. Especially if you are using a child theme that makes any customizations involving PHP, we need your feedback!

As they say with WordPress core betas, this software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site.

The beta of the Make theme is available here.

The beta of the Make Plus plugin is available to Make Plus license holders. Find it in the Downloads section of your account.

Update: Make & Make Plus 1.7 have been released!

If you think you’ve found a bug, please create an issue on the Make GitHub repo, or send an email to support@thethemefoundry.com and note that you’re testing the beta.

What’s new

The focus of this release was improvements to theme settings and how they are presented in the Customizer.

Here’s a rundown of the front end and admin changes in Make 1.7:

  • Instant style previews in the Customizer
  • A new, improved interface for managing Social Icons
  • Color and typography settings for buttons
  • Support for the Custom Logo functionality introduced in WordPress 4.5
  • One-click migration of theme settings from the parent to the child (coming soon)

And in Make Plus 1.7:

  • A new, improved interface for Typekit
  • An improved interface for single post and page layout settings
  • An option to make the site header “sticky” (coming soon)
  • Style Kits and the Builder’s Quick Start templates feature have been removed

The biggest changes are actually behind the scenes. As Make has continued to evolve and grow in popularity, we’ve realized that we need to be more strategic in how we maintain code and build out new features.

Modular architecture

When we first built Make, most of the functionality was implemented the same way you see a lot of things in WordPress core: lots of procedural, global functions. This strategy keeps the code easy to follow and familiar to those who develop themes and plugins for WordPress. However, it also tends to lead to a couple of common coding pitfalls:

  • Big, complex functions that do too much and can’t be reused
  • A lot of small utility functions in the global public scope that may become dependencies for unintended purposes

What we’ve done in Make 1.7 is deprecate a lot of these global functions and encapsulate related functionality into “module” classes (Note, though, that we aren’t using namespaces, so Make is still compatible with the same minimum version of PHP as WordPress). This allows us to have smaller, more abstract functions that are kept to their intended scope, which makes our code DRYer, more flexible, and easier to test. This in turn lays a robust foundation for future enhancements to the theme and plugin.

Moving away from pluggable functions

The other thing we did when we first built Make was to make nearly all of the functions in the theme “pluggable”. This allows child themes and plugins to override an entire function by defining it before it gets defined in the theme. WordPress core also has pluggable functions, although it is no longer considered a best practice and they are no longer being added.

These pluggable functions in Make can cause problems, because they limit the effectiveness of improvements and iteration of the code. If a child theme overrides a function, we can no longer be sure that the function will return the expected value. If we change the logic within the parent function, the child theme’s version may still be using some or all of the outdated logic.

Many of Make’s pluggable functions are now deprecated in 1.7. In some cases we’ve added new action/filter hooks to maintain customizability.

A full list of deprecated functions is included at the end of this post.

Error reporting

WordPress has a class for handling errors, but it doesn’t have a very good way of surfacing these errors. Since Make 1.7 deprecates a lot of code, we needed a way to display the deprecation notices that would get the site administrator’s attention without disrupting or breaking the layout of the site for visitors.

What we came up with is a notification in the Admin Bar that only displays for logged in users who have the capability to install/change themes.

make-errors

Click on the notification, and an overlay will appear that displays the Make error messages and a backtrace to the location of the error in the code, when possible.

make-error-overlay

These notifications can also be turned off via a filter, but it is more advisable to fix the errors instead. ;)

New APIs

Moving to a modular architecture gave us the opportunity to expand the theme’s APIs to improve developers’ abilities to go further with their Make sites. We haven’t completed the documentation for these APIs yet, but here are a few example uses:

  • Settings: change default values, specify sanitize callbacks that automatically run when the setting value is retrieved.
  • Fonts: add your own web fonts and make them available in the list of font families in the Customizer.
  • Social Icons: change or add to the available icons in the site header/footer.

Deprecated functions

The following functions are deprecated. They will trigger a Make error if used or overridden in a child theme. If there is a direct replacement for the function, it will be called instead.

  • ttfmake_action_backcompat
  • ttfmake_add_customizations
  • ttfmake_admin_notice
  • ttfmake_all_font_choices
  • ttfmake_all_font_choices_js
  • ttfmake_backcompat_action
  • ttfmake_backcompat_filter
  • ttfmake_body_classes
  • ttfmake_builder_banner_css
  • ttfmake_builder_css
  • ttfmake_category_transient_flusher
  • ttfmake_check_package
  • ttfmake_choose_google_font_variants
  • ttfmake_content_width
  • ttfmake_convert_px_to_rem
  • ttfmake_css_background
  • ttfmake_css_color
  • ttfmake_css_fonts
  • ttfmake_css_layout
  • ttfmake_customizer_add_panels
  • ttfmake_customizer_add_section_options
  • ttfmake_customizer_add_sections
  • ttfmake_customizer_background
  • ttfmake_customizer_background_image_group_definitions
  • ttfmake_customizer_control_autoload
  • ttfmake_customizer_convert_theme_mods_filter
  • ttfmake_customizer_convert_theme_mods_values
  • ttfmake_customizer_define_background_images_sections
  • ttfmake_customizer_define_colorscheme_sections
  • ttfmake_customizer_define_contentlayout_sections
  • ttfmake_customizer_define_general_sections
  • ttfmake_customizer_define_typography_sections
  • ttfmake_customizer_get_key_conversions
  • ttfmake_customizer_get_panels
  • ttfmake_customizer_get_sections
  • ttfmake_customizer_init
  • ttfmake_customizer_layout_breadcrumb_group_definitions
  • ttfmake_customizer_layout_comment_count_group_definitions
  • ttfmake_customizer_layout_content_group_definitions
  • ttfmake_customizer_layout_featured_image_group_definitions
  • ttfmake_customizer_layout_post_author_group_definitions
  • ttfmake_customizer_layout_post_date_group_definitions
  • ttfmake_customizer_layout_post_meta_group_definitions
  • ttfmake_customizer_layout_region_group_definitions
  • ttfmake_customizer_navigation
  • ttfmake_customizer_preview_script
  • ttfmake_customizer_register_autoload
  • ttfmake_customizer_scripts
  • ttfmake_customizer_set_transport
  • ttfmake_customizer_set_up_theme_mod_conversions
  • ttfmake_customizer_sitetitletagline
  • ttfmake_customizer_staticfrontpage
  • ttfmake_customizer_stylekit
  • ttfmake_customizer_typography_group_definitions
  • ttfmake_cycle2_script_setup
  • ttfmake_edit_page_script
  • ttfmake_embed_container
  • ttfmake_excerpt_more
  • ttfmake_filter_backcompat
  • ttfmake_font_choices_placeholder
  • ttfmake_font_get_relative_sizes
  • ttfmake_formatting
  • ttfmake_formatting_init
  • ttfmake_frontend_builder_scripts
  • ttfmake_get_all_fonts
  • ttfmake_get_choices
  • ttfmake_get_css
  • ttfmake_get_default
  • ttfmake_get_font_property_option_keys
  • ttfmake_get_font_stack
  • ttfmake_get_gallery_slider
  • ttfmake_get_google_font_subsets
  • ttfmake_get_google_font_uri
  • ttfmake_get_google_fonts
  • ttfmake_get_logo
  • ttfmake_get_plus_link
  • ttfmake_get_relative_font_size
  • ttfmake_get_social_links
  • ttfmake_get_standard_fonts
  • ttfmake_get_view
  • ttfmake_has_sidebar
  • ttfmake_head_early
  • ttfmake_head_late
  • ttfmake_hex_to_rgb
  • ttfmake_is_plus
  • ttfmake_is_preview
  • ttfmake_jetpack_infinite_scroll_footer_callback
  • ttfmake_jetpack_infinite_scroll_has_footer_widgets
  • ttfmake_jetpack_infinite_scroll_render
  • ttfmake_jetpack_remove_sharing
  • ttfmake_jetpack_setup
  • ttfmake_load_textdomains
  • ttfmake_maybe_add_with_avatar_class
  • ttfmake_maybe_show_social_links
  • ttfmake_option_defaults
  • ttfmake_page_menu_args
  • ttfmake_parse_font_properties
  • ttfmake_parse_link_underline
  • ttfmake_plus_styles
  • ttfmake_plus_upgrade_notices
  • ttfmake_pre_wp_nav_menu_social
  • ttfmake_refresh_logo_cache
  • ttfmake_register_admin_notice
  • ttfmake_require_files
  • ttfmake_sanitize_choice
  • ttfmake_sanitize_float
  • ttfmake_sanitize_font_choice
  • ttfmake_sanitize_font_subset
  • ttfmake_sanitize_text
  • ttfmake_scripts
  • ttfmake_setup
  • ttfmake_sidebar_description
  • ttfmake_sidebar_list_enabled
  • ttfmake_upgrade_notices
  • ttfmake_widgets_init
  • ttfmake_woocommerce_after_main_content
  • ttfmake_woocommerce_before_main_content
  • ttfmake_woocommerce_init
  • ttfmake_wp_title
  • ttfmake_yoast_seo_breadcrumb
  • ttfmp_add_admin_notices
  • ttfmp_admin_notice
  • ttfmp_edd_add_color_css
  • ttfmp_edd_get_section_definitions
  • ttfmp_get_app
  • ttfmp_get_duplicator
  • ttfmp_get_edd
  • ttfmp_get_page_duplicator
  • ttfmp_get_perpage
  • ttfmp_get_perpage_metabox
  • ttfmp_get_perpage_options
  • ttfmp_get_post_list
  • ttfmp_get_quick_start
  • ttfmp_get_section_duplicator
  • ttfmp_get_shop_settings
  • ttfmp_get_shop_sidebar
  • ttfmp_get_sidebar_management
  • ttfmp_get_style_kits
  • ttfmp_get_template_collector
  • ttfmp_get_template_url
  • ttfmp_get_text_column_layout
  • ttfmp_get_typekit
  • ttfmp_get_typekit_customizer
  • ttfmp_get_widget_area
  • ttfmp_get_woocommerce
  • ttfmp_post_list_get_section_definitions
  • ttfmp_register_admin_notice
  • ttfmp_register_sidebar
  • ttfmp_register_template
  • ttfmp_sideload_image
  • ttfmp_style_kit_definitions
  • ttfmp_woocommerce_add_color_css
  • ttfmp_woocommerce_get_section_definitions
  • ttfmp_woocommerce_legacy_color
  • ttfmp_woocommerce_product_grid_shortcode
  • ttf_recursive_stripslashes

Deprecated action and filter hooks

The following hooks are deprecated, but will continue to work without disruption. They will still trigger a Make error, however, so their use should be discontinued.

Update: Some of the hooks that were previously listed under “no longer used” have been moved up to the “continue to work” list.

  • make_css
  • make_all_font_choices
  • make_all_fonts
  • make_font_variants
  • make_format_builder_format_models
  • make_get_default
  • make_get_google_fonts
  • make_get_standard_fonts
  • make_get_view
  • make_read_more_text
  • make_sanitize_choice
  • make_sanitize_font_choice
  • make_sanitize_font_subset
  • make_setting_choices
  • make_setting_defaults
  • make_supported_social_icons
  • ttfmake_builder_js_dependencies
  • ttfmake_custom_logo_information
  • ttfmake_custom_logo_max_width
  • ttfmp_color_highlight_description
  • ttfmp_perpage_keys
  • ttfmp_perpage_post_types
  • ttfmp_perpage_view
  • ttfmp_post_list_output
  • ttfmp_post_list_query_args
  • ttfmp_post_list_template_paths
  • ttfmp_shop_layout_product_description
  • ttfmp_shop_layout_shop_description
  • ttfmp_woocommerce_product_grid_output
  • ttfmp_woocommerce_product_grid_query_args

The following hooks are no longer used in the code. They will trigger a Make error, and functions added to the hooks will no longer be called.

  • make_css_font_properties
  • make_customizer_background_image_group_definitions
  • make_customizer_background_sections
  • make_customizer_colorscheme_sections
  • make_customizer_contentlayout_sections
  • make_customizer_header_sections
  • make_customizer_footer_sections
  • make_customizer_control_path
  • make_customizer_general_sections
  • make_customizer_typography_group_definitions
  • make_customizer_typography_sections
  • make_get_google_font_subsets
  • make_required_files
  • make_sidebar_list_enabled
  • make_social_links
  • ttfmp_perpage_allowed_keys
  • ttfmp_style_kit_allowed_option_keys
  • ttfmp_style_kit_definitions

Don’t avoid plugins

by Melissa Hill on March 29, 2016 / 4 comments

If you’re ever interested in the pain points associated with WordPress, you should ask someone in the trenches of providing technical or customer support. We’ve heard it all, over and over again. One recurring theme I’ve noted since my tenure in the support forums is this: users are afraid of installing plugins.

The original tickets are usually about some feature they need on their website. I’ll pick a common example we’ve dealt with — a mailing list subscription form. A user, we’ll call her Jane — asks her theme authors, “How do I add a mailing list subscription form to my website?” and we explain, “The theme doesn’t include this kind of functionality. But you can install a plugin to do this for you.”

Jane balks, “I’m trying to avoid plugins.”

***

I’m sure the first time Jane installed WordPress, she was giddy with power. She instantly sought out a new theme to change the look and feel of the front page. Because the more modern-looking and featured themes on WordPress.org are typically well-maintained, this experience likely went pretty well for her. Change theme = success.

Next, Jane learns about plugins. Understanding that plugins add all kinds of cool things, Jane searches for a social sharing plugin. “This plugin hasn’t been updated in two years…” Well, it’s here in the search! “This plugin hasn’t been tested with your version of WordPress.” What does that even mean? Install, activate. Best case scenario? Sidebars look wonky. Worst is the white screen. What kind of experience has Jane had now? Plugins = things breaking.

Then something magical happens. Jane notices a theme that includes social sharing functions. A lightbulb goes off in her head. It will just work, and that’s all that matters to her.

***

It turns out, the WordPress plugin directory is not the greatest resource for people seeking out well-maintained plugins. Developers might initially have altruistic intentions when they added their plugin, but it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed by the demands of support and maintenance, so abandoned plugins abound. It’s one thing for WordPress folks to understand this is essentially a volunteer gig — but it’s not easily communicated to the other sixty million users out there who expect things to just work by virtue of it being listed on the website.

On the other hand, there are also so many brilliant and useful plugins out there — built by passionate, professional, and generous community members. It’s just harder for new WordPressers to sort those out in the search results.

We shouldn’t be avoiding plugins at all. In fact, I wholly advocate going plugin crazy. Just be smarter and more responsible about it. Look for plugins that have been updated in the last year (at least!). Check out the developer’s other work and suss out whether they’re valued members of the community. And…

Don’t avoid plugins, review them

Most of all, I think we all should be writing useful and insightful reviews for the plugins we’re using — when they work well, and when they don’t. Keep in mind that a review is not the appropriate place to request support. If something is broken, it’s really important to open a thread on the appropriate support forum — even if you end up moving on and using a different plugin.

If the WordPress community would be better about those two items, users would have an easier time sorting through the results for well-supported and updated plugins. I recently went through my own website plugin list and left a review of each one I’d activated and used. I even wrote a review for one I activated and liked, but ended up going with another I liked better. I explained the feature difference in my review, and I hope it’s useful to the next person whose looking for a fancy Instagram integration. 🤓

Here’s a template you can use for your own plugin reviews:

I installed[plugin name] on my blog/business site/portfolio.

The plugin has these features which I really like:

I wish these features could be improved upon:

These features didn’t work for me, even after I tried to get support in the forum:

Overall I would recommend/not recommend this plugin if you’re trying to accomplish __________.

***

I get that reviews and open threads in the WordPress.org forums alone won’t solve the problem of abandoned or poorly coded plugins. I know that we’ll still see unfortunate conflicts between plugins and themes. But I think as a community, we could do a lot better about flagging what we notice. Who knows, your review or your open ticket just may save some new WordPresser from the panic that goes along with their very first white screen of death. It could even save someone from getting so frustrated with WordPress that they jump ship altogether.