Today I’m happy to release to you the very important new version of Marketers Delight 4.5.2. To get this update, head over to your WordPress dashboard and click the yellow update nag.
Thanks to the wonderful release of Marketers Delight 4.5 a couple months back, you only need to update the theme to get your site on the cutting edge of MD.
Now MD4.5.2 is not as major of a release but opens the door to exciting new possibilities within your own custom MD child theme.
If you’ve worked with child themes before you know that they are the true path to making your website do anything you want.
…and once your site is up-to-date you’ll be ready to use a new MD concept called Drop-Ins, which will be released soon.
What are Drop-Ins? Allow me to quickly explain before I go into what’s new in MD4.5.2:
MD Drop-Ins Are Child Theme Friendly Mods That Extend Your Site With Room for Your Own Personal Touch
The idea for MD Drop-Ins came while I was building custom features during a recent client project.
One of the “sleeping giant” features of MD is the MDAPI which is used to add custom admin options throughout the WordPress admin panel.
…it’s also something you can use in your own child themes.
Blending your own admin options into custom web designs can greatly improve how you edit pages from the post editor. For clients, a quick way to edit text and design options without editing templates.
MD Drop-Ins are simple files you can simply drop into your active child theme to enable new feature rich functionality to your site. Think of Drop-Ins as mini plugins with this key distinction:
Since Drop-Ins live in your child theme, you have unlimited freedom to edit them in any way you want. MD Drop-Ins are one-and-done deals: once you have the Drop-In file in hand it’s all yours to customize.
That means you can add missing features, change how existing functionality works, and style Drop-Ins any way you want.
As I’m writing this, there are currently four MD Drop-Ins getting ready to be released… and that’s only the first round.
See a sneak peak of the Bookshelf Drop-In in the video below:
Here’s What’s New in MD4.5.2:
Marketers Delight 4.5.2 includes a slew of bug fixes, a few new features, and major under-the-hood improvements to make the tools in MD more accessible through your own child themes.
The Starter MD Child Theme has also been updated with more code snippets and more helpful comments. You can download the new starter child theme from your account.
#1 Enable Blog Teasers on Category Archives
In MD4.5 the ability to quickly change the standard blog layout into 2-3 column teasers was added to the Appearance > Customize > Layout panel.
Now you can choose to enable teasers to only category archive pages by editing the category and opening the Layout meta box.
Since MD is a smart theme, if you’ve already enabled Teasers sitewide you won’t see this new option on your Category pages.
#2 Include the MD Library in Your Child Themes
This is one of those important “under-the-hood” changes and one that MD Drop-Ins will rely on to work. You can now access the MDAPI and other MD libraries from your child theme by including this line at the top of your
functions.php file (MD4.5.2+ only):
require_once( get_template_directory() . '/lib/marketers-delight.php' );
Your child theme will function just fine without this, but to use the admin option libraries included in MD, this is a required step.
These are details I’ll cover in another post and will expand more on once I start teaching you the inner workings of these Drop-Ins over at MDTV.
#3 Hide After Post CTA on Single Custom Post Types
The After Post meta box is a simple way to add different call-to-actions to the end of your post.
In MD4.5.2 you can now leave this area empty on single custom post type entry pages just like you can with blog posts.
#4 Featured Image Header Cover Will Still Show Even When Content Box is Removed
The MD Layout manager is one of the most valuable tools in MD, and in MD4.5.2, gets a little smarter. When you set the Featured Image of a page to “Header Cover” you are removing this block of content from the “Content Box” area and moving it elsewhere in the layout.
Since the Featured Image area technically isn’t a part of the “Content Box” anymore, this title area will stay on the page even when you remove the Content Box from view. A smart enhancement like this can open up the design possibilities of your page big time!
#5 Fixed Potential HTTPS Break When Submitting Email Signup Over SSL
If you use MailChimp for your email list and also secure your site with SSL, your readers may experience a conversion-killing message like this when signing up:
The reason for this is sometimes the Form URL MailChimp links to is a server that can’t securely load content over SSL.
To avoid this, MD now checks which URL MailChimp provides during the connection process and filters out the insecure servers, ensuring your site only loads email forms that are safe to use.
#6 Fixed Archives Page + Action Lead Display Bugs
MD4.5.2 fixes a design error in the Action Lead as well as adds spacing between the Archives Title and main content of Category and other Archive pages.
#7 New MD Helper Classes
The MD Style Guide needs some updating, but I’m happy to share with you 4 new Helper Classes added in MD4.5.2:
.button-small – To show smaller buttons for less spaced out areas, add this class to your buttons like so:
<a href="#link" class="button button-small">Button text</a>
.columns-30-70 – MD already comes with some useful columns classes and you can now use these new classes in 2 column layouts to create column widths of 70% and 30% of the surrounding space respectively. Example:
This col is 30% of the container width.
This column takes up 70% of that space and is better suited for longer text.
(Inspect element to see the source code)
Another new columns spacer classes was added as well,
.columns-mid, which controls how much space is added in between columns.
You can see these Helper Classes, and others, front line in some of the new Drop-Ins set to be released shortly.
#8 Fixed Excerpt Length Bug
MD4.5 introduced 2 new functions that filtered the length of excerpts shown in the new teaser blog layout but these functions interfered with how other excerpts were shown throughout your site.
This made doing custom work tougher, so one of the custom excerpt functions was removed completely and the other one updated so MD won’t stubbornly overwrite all excerpt lengths anymore.
MDAPI + Popups API Improvements
Finally, the 2 very important API’s that power MD have gotten some reworking to be made more flexible and work in a way that’s best suited to support Drop-Ins. Again, these are details I’ll cover in another post and will expand more on once I start teaching you the inner workings of these Drop-Ins over at MDTV.
Login to Your Site to Update to MD4.5.2 Now
Luckily it’s never been easier to update to the newest version of Marketers Delight. Simply login to your Dashboard, head over to the Themes section and follow the yellow update nag for MD4.5.2 at the top of your screen.
Once you’ve updated, your site will be ready to use MD Drop-Ins, which will follow later this week. I’ll be posting more videos and will unveil the new Drop-Ins section to teach you more about this new concept.
Until then, enjoy MD4.5.2 and leave a comment below if you have more questions about the upcoming Drop-Ins.