After a weekend devoted to building the upcoming MD Footnotes addon and researching how to improve the performance of custom web fonts, I’m happy to bundle up that work and release Marketers Delight 4.4.1.
You may be noticing a trend with the last few MD updates—reducing and optimizing are becoming a priority as Marketers Delight has become much more feature-rich over the past year.
I’m always looking for any kinds of improvements I can make to the overall performance of a website running MD because I know the ideal client (you) cares about page performance. I’ll always say there’s more to be done, but I’m happy to trickle these improvements your way with these updates.
Reducing Page Weight with Custom Web Fonts
MD4.4.1 reduces one of the largest resources loaded in Marketers Delight, custom web fonts, and now loads less font files. In order to make the default design of MD a little more unique, I opted to include the Magra and Droid Sans custom web fonts.
Loading web fonts on the web is an art in itself as the web has gone from only being accessible over strong Wifi networks to globally loaded over weaker cellular data. The weaker the connection, the longer it will take to download the web page and its resources.
As it goes, web fonts can be pretty expensive resources and can cause some unflattering behavior as the page renders.
You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever gone to load a page only to find the fonts have vanished in a flash 1 1. Also known as FOIT (Flash of Invisible Text) which replaced the more desirable FOUT (Flash of Unstyled text) × and return seconds later. That flash it the browser processing the custom web font and it can ruin your train of thought.
This is a pretty frustrating experience and one I’ve found on MD time and time again. While I won’t go as far to say this update perfects font loading (I’m still experimenting with solutions), I can say that browsers will now have far less font files to download.
MD4.4.1 now loads a single
.woff file (the file type with the most browser compatibility) per font. This reduction shaves off around 400KB of data loaded per page, which is small in the grand scheme of things, but adds up quickly.
I will be further experimenting with Font Preloaders and see if I can come up with a foolproof solution for loading these web fonts in a less obstructive way. If for some reason the MD webfonts don’t load, you can count on a system font like Helvetica being loaded in its place.
Coming Later This Week: MD Footnotes
Alongside the custom web fonts improvements, various changes and improvements have been made to the MDAPI to get your site ready for the new MD Footnotes addon set to release this week.
This addon has been in the works for a while and this weekend I found a sudden rush of inspiration to finally finish it off. I couldn’t be happier with the results.
MD Footnotes is a simple MD addon that makes adding citations throughout your post quick and easy using a basic interface and a simple shortcode to paste into your post.
Once you’ve installed the plugin you’ll find a new meta box in your post editor called “Footnotes”. From there, simply click the “New Footnote” button to add your first footnote, then repeat for as many citations as you need to make throughout the article.
Each footnote is assigned a number and can be displayed in your post by simply pasting the
[fn] shortcode where you want the citation marker to appear.
Depending on whether your page has a sidebar or not, the footnotes will appear either inline or hidden and shown on click of the citation. This smart layout detection is why MD Footnotes was built exclusively for Marketers Delight, and more types of controls will come as the addon gets better.
(Yes, since this is a premium MD addon you will be subscribed for auto updates with your very own license key 2 2. The license key, like with other addons, is valid for as long as your main Marketers Delight subscription is active. × ).
Your footnotes will look and work great on mobile as well (try them out on this page) and you can also generate a list of footnotes to show at the end of each post by clicking a simple option.
I’m confident MD Footnotes will be the best of the kind you’ve ever used for WordPress and I’m excited to release it to you later this week. I’ll have more information for you shortly as I tie up some loose ends!
Update to Marketers Delight 4.4.1 Now
MD4.4.1 is waiting for you in your WordPress admin panel if you have an active license key enabled on your site(s). Visit the Appearance and Plugins menu to update the following:
- Marketers Delight Theme (now 400KB+ smaller!)
- Marketers Delight Plugin
- MD Popups
That’s all for this issue of MD, I hope you enjoy the new update! See you soon for the launch of MD Footnotes.