After months of development, I’m happy to announce that the long-awaited Marketers Delight 4.7 is finally ready to be released this week. Here’s what you need to know to get your site ready for this massive update
First of all, what is MD4.7?
These new features have been well-received by MD users of all kinds and have greatly improved the WordPress experience by adding polished “point-and-click” functionality throughout the WP admin.
However, the most important features of all—speed and performance—have been a focus of mine since the start of MD, and this is what MD4.7 is all about.
From this performance standpoint I’ve focused on creating the most lightweight scripts and styles possible to make the frontend of your site load faster. As more features were introduced, I started to look more under-the-hood to ensure the foundation this new functionality was solid.
Up until a few months ago I was full speed ahead. That was until I really looked under-the-hood into parts of WordPress I had never been that I was stopped dead in my tracks and shifted towards a new and more pressing priority.
Marketers Delight 4.7 Solves Performance Woes, Rewires Your Site For Lightning Speed
In simple terms, the methods used to store Marketers Delight data in your database have turned out to be wildly inefficient.
See, to display content around your site, your server takes a trip to your WordPress database one each page load. For the best performance possible, you want to take as few trips as possible to make your site load.
In the case of MD—based on how heavily you used the features—those trips could end up in the dozens and even hundreds of trips (also known as “queries”) per page load!
While most of us use cache plugins to optimize this process and hide this burden, we all still felt the slow down effects in the WordPress admin panel. In many cases, sites that received high amounts of traffic still couldn’t handle the load MD put on the server.
Simply suggesting the use of a cache plugin as a band-aid didn’t solve any problems or make MD any more sustainable. So for the past few months I’ve been tearing Marketers Delight apart and rewiring it into the most lightning fast and high-performing version I could.
Finally, after all of these frustrating months, MD4.7 is ready to solve this critical and embarrassing problem once and for all.
Before and after: the new found speed from cleaning out a bloated WordPress database and theme. pic.twitter.com/S3GlMAVkcg
— Alex (@aamangini) March 14, 2018
Here’s What You Need to Know About Updating to MD4.7
Truth be told, I could have released MD4.7 weeks ago. The hard part of this update was not necessarily rewiring how MD interacted with your database, but ensuring that all of your existing sites wouldn’t lose their data in the upgrade.
As a bonus, deleting all of the clutter the old MD stored in your database would be highly desirable and just the right thing to do. I created this mess for you so I needed to clean it up as well, and MD4.7 does just that.
You won’t notice much change on the front of your site after the update (except faster load times), but just about everything under-the-hood has changed.
Now just because you can’t see these changes doesn’t mean nothing has changed, and there are a few things about this update that you need to know beforehand.
1) It’s more important than ever that you backup your site BEFORE updating
As much as I’ve tested and prepared this update beforehand, you never know when something can go wrong. That’s why, more than ever, it’s important you backup your site’s database BEFORE you update to MD4.7.
If your web host offers a Staging site feature, where you can quickly clone your site to a test server, I would recommend testing the upgrade there before you do it on your live site.
It pays to be safe, and of course, if you run into any issues during the upgrade I will assist you at the support forums.
2) MD4.7 is sent to your site like every other update, with an extra step
As always, MD4.7 will be delivered to your site as a one-click update from the Themes panel. After you update the theme, you will see an alert in your admin panel that MD needs to upgrade your database.
That’s because after you update the theme, all of the MD settings throughout your posts, pages, and custom post types will disappear from your site. In order to restore them to your site, you simply need to run the secondary upgrade process by clicking another button.
This process moves your old data into the newly optimized storage system and deletes the (potentially thousands) of inefficient records throughout your database.
I’ve tested this process on quite a few sites, ranging from small to large, to ensure that things run smoothly and your content moves to the right place.
In fact, this very site is already running MD4.7 after a successful upgrade using this process. As always, I would never release a version of MD to you that I wouldn’t be able to use for myself.
I will detail this process more once MD4.7 is formally released, but I wanted to give you a heads up now about the slight difference in this update than previous ones.
3) The classic MD Sidebars feature is now deprecated: adjust accordingly
NOTE: You can now learn how to migrate sidebars to the new MD Sidebars system.
Before the more advanced MD Sidebars feature was released, MD used an alternative method of creating custom sidebars from the Layout meta box in the post editor.
This simple method allowed you to save a checkbox option from any post or page and create a new sidebar widget area for you to create custom sidebar with.
Due to the inefficiencies in creating this kind of request, and how inflexible it is compared to the new MD Sidebars system, I decided to remove this functionality in MD4.7.
If you’ve made custom sidebars with this method, please take time beforehand to switch them over to the MD Sidebars system, which you will find much easier to use.
Now instead of recreating multiple sidebars for each post/page, you can create one sidebar and assign anywhere on your site.
You can manage your custom sidebars by clicking the “Edit Sidebars” button in
Appearance > Widgets, and reassign those new sidebars to your individual posts/pages.
4) The Video Gallery and Bookshelf Drop-ins will also get updated
If you’ve installed one of the MD Drop-ins on your site (video gallery and bookshelf), you will need to update those as well.
I will release the new versions of both of those drop-ins to your account, and all you have to do to upgrade them is reupload those files to your child theme. I will include instructions about that before I release MD4.7 as well.
5) You must have an active MD license key to get the update
Finally, new MD updates are only sent to sites with active license keys. If you’ve already added your active license key to your site (you can double check its status in the MD dashboard), you have nothing to do and will get MD4.7 as soon as its released.
Need to renew your license key? You can do that from your MD account:
Marketers Delight 4.7 Will Be Available This Week
I’m aiming to release MD4.7 over the next couple of days, and needed to write this post to let you know what’s been going on and what to expect from this massive update.
If you have any more questions about what you need to do to prepare, leave a comment on this post and I’ll answer you.
You’ll be getting another email from me over the next couple of days, so keep an eye out, backup your sites, and get ready for what the new era of Marketers Delight 4.7 will bring!