To commemorate our 1 millionth download on the WordPress plugin repository, we’ve been hard at work implementing (and preparing for future) major changes and improvements that will take WP RSS Aggregator to the next level, starting with version 4.13 of our core plugin.
WP RSS Aggregator’s feed item display has always been limited to a few display options in its settings. Those days are gone forever.
Templates enable you to create as many variations of our feed item display as you wish, all with different options. Each one can be used anywhere across your site. So, if you’d like to have a simple list view in your sidebar, you can do that. If you want a more stylish display for your homepage, you can do that too.
As of right now, there is still only one template available (the List type). This has replaced the “Display Settings” that were previously found under RSS Aggregator > Settings in your dashboard. In fact, existing users will notice that their display settings are now replicated in the “Default” template.
Have you got a template idea? Send in your request today!
NOTE: The default template is never deleted. It can be used normally and is also relied upon as the fallback template. That means that, if you use a template on a particular page on your site and then delete that template at some point (by mistake or not), that page will fall back to using the default template.
A Brand New Gutenberg Block
Our brand new Gutenberg editor block titled “WP RSS Aggregator Feeds” makes setting up a display of your feed items super simple. Search for the block, add it to your page or post, choose the options you want for this particular page or post, and you’re all set.
We have implemented a live preview in the block, so as you select or hide sources, select templates, set limits, and so on, you’re seeing exactly what your visitors will see on your site without leaving the edit page.
We also introduced a new “Page” option that allows you to display different pages of a feed’s items in multiple columns, boxes, or any other area.
The block will be updated over time with some cool new features as well as further integrations with our premium add-ons.
More Powerful Logs
Debug logs are vital when trying to narrow down the cause of any problem. In this version we have updated our error logging and introduced a new debug log interface that will make it easier for you, and for our support team, to filter through the log entries.
The logs are now also stored in your database, not in a single large text file. This makes it more reliable, speeds up the logging, and ensures that your site isn’t bogged down by any large error log file.
Plus Many Other Improvements
Here’s the full changelog that also notes down other performance improvements, bug fixes and changes made in version 4.13. Many of these are in preparation for what’s to come. Scroll down to find that out.
- Added: Introduced feed templates.
- Added: Introduced a WP RSS Aggregator Gutenberg block.
- Added: Brand new debug log and logging system that stores logs in the database.
- Added: Items can now be added to the Blacklist manually.
- Changed: Refactored a lot of legacy code over to the new modular system.
- Changed: General display settings have been moved to the “Default” template type.
- Changed: Reorganized the general plugin settings. Advanced options are now under an advanced settings section.
- Changed: Removed the “Add New” menu item from the RSS Aggregator menu.
- Changed: The feed sources page now updates every 1 second.
- Changed: Updated the TinyMCE dialog options for inserting a shortcode on a page or post (Classic Editor).
- Changed: Updated administrator and editor role capabilities, fixing various permission bugs.
- Changed: Updated a lot of setting descriptions and tooltips.
- Changed: The help support beacon is now enabled by default.
- Fixed: Import errors no longer “freeze” feed sources in an infinite importing state.
- Fixed: Some import errors would not be logged due to script timeout or execution errors.
- Fixed: Feed to Post was not able to show feed items in the shortcode.
- Fixed: Deprecation notices on PHP 7.3.
- Fixed: The “Force feed” option was not properly being applied to feed sources.
- Fixed: A bug that caused perfectly good RSS feeds to trigger gzip errors.
- Fixed: The “Delete permanently & blacklist” row action was appearing for non-feed-item post types.
- Removed: The notice that asks users to leave a review was removed due to various bugs.
What Else Is Happening?
Excerpts & Thumbnails to be Discontinued
In the next few weeks we will be discontinuing the development of Excerpts & Thumbnails. In truth, it has already stopped, however, we will stop selling it from our website shortly too. Let me explain.
With the introduction of templates we now have a completely new rendering system for our feed item displays. Excerpts & Thumbnails uses the older, out-dated system. For this reason, we are currently developing a new Templates add-on.
We will continue to provide support for all valid license holders of Excerpts & Thumbnails until the expiry of the current license. Lifetime license holders will continue to receive support, but we recommend you switch to the new Templates add-on once it is released. All valid license holders will receive free upgrades to the new Templates add-on.
A more detailed explanation can be found here.
I won’t go into too much detail right now, but you can expect plenty of performance improvements as well as UI/UX improvements coming to the core plugin and the add-ons in the next few weeks and months.
Have Your Say
I have gone through quite a lot in this post, so I’d like to close off by asking for your honest feedback. Everything listed above and planned for the next few months is based on user feedback. We have listened over the years and built the plugin based on our users’ needs.
Have your say on WP RSS Aggregator’s future by answering the questions below. All submissions will be read by our team to see if we’ve missed anything. If we see that we have, we may contact you back for some further discussion.