February though a short month, has been a busy one for GeoDirectory V2.
Our original hope was to have a beta out by the end of the month but alas the best laid plans…
I spent some time earlier today going through all the outstanding tasks we need to complete before we can release the beta.
The list is much shorter now and most tasks are final checks on functionality that might have been affected by other changes.
The vast majority of core functionality is already complete.
With that being said, the majority of our development team (apart from me) are on holiday today and tomorrow, so back on Monday the 5th of March.
I have set our milestone goals as:
- 12th March Alpha release (mostly for internal testing, and early developer preview)
- 19th March Beta release (public beta)
With that out of the way, lets give you a little peek at what we have been up to in February 🙂
Most of the things mentioned here deserve their own post so for some I will only provide few details in bullet points.
The Gutenberg editor will be released in WordPress v5, it will be one of the biggest changes to WordPress in recent history and we want to be ready for it!
The biggest delay we had was finding a way to make GeoDirectory V2 Gutenberg ready.
For listings, the editor can be used to build template pages for things like Details, Listing and Search pages.
It took us a while to develop this part, because in these template pages we are not pulling “real” data but giving demo data just to build the templates.
We ended up creating our own class for this which turns all the GeoDirectory output features, available as either a shortcode, widget or Gutenberg “block”.
This is done in such a way that no matter what you use, you will have consistent output.
So going from a template page of shortcodes to blocks will be very easy.
(here is a demo of how easy it is to add info to the details page template with Gutenberg)
GeoDirectory V1 gives you the ability to use either a transparent image star or a FontAwesome Star icon.
These two systems had their own drawbacks, they used generic JS libraries like everyone does to make it work, but also limited the functionality.
The solution was to write our own code. We striped our 5 JS/CSS files and compressed it all down to a just a few lines of JS.
In GeoDirectory V2 you will have the ability to upload your own transparent ratings image if you want, but you can now also use ANY fontawesome icon and set the colors and rating text right from the settings 🙂
Import / Export
This really deserves its own post so i’ll just list a few of the main bullet points
- Improved error checking (ex: CSV row 216: Missing Title)
- Improved import speed (especially for large data sets)
- Auto fill GPS details if enough address info is provided.
- Import / Export / Backup all GD settings
- Import / Export reviews added
V2 will give you greater control over email and their styling, as well as adding some new features.
- Editable email template design
- Edit any email template
- Easier to translate
- Added action tags *
* You can now decide if you would like to let the listing OWNER Approve, Reject and/or Spam new reviews.
Not in all cases will you want to allow this self moderating of reviews, that’s why each action can be added individually, maybe you only want the listing owner to be able to Approve their own reviews but not spam or delete it.
Business Hours / Opening Times
Again this deserves its own post so here i will only give the main points.
Building our own system we wanted it to be as versatile as possible:
- Allows multiple open/close times per day
- Live open/close status with dropdown for full times
- Cache proof open/close status (wont be affected by server caching)
- Live updating, if you are browsing a listing when it opens/closes the status will change without a page refresh
- Compatible with normal import/export.
A few little bullet points before a full post.
- Option to allow posting without loggin in.
- Option to remove preview page
- Now uses Default WP preview system.
- Auto save every few seconds
- Start listing, return later feature.
- Start edits, return later feature.
- Improved category selection
- Improved tags selection
- Image title/description feature.
You can now show more info in the backend listing screens.
We also now have a “Closed down” post status which if set a listing will not show in search or listing views but will be able to be directly accessed and show a closed down message.
Quick edit / bulk edit menus which were previously disabled now fully work.
Have it your way! 🙂
There are many improvements not listed here, the most significant are under the hood which will make GeoDirectory much more future proof and expandable for both developers and users.