Marketers Delight 4.8.3 introduces new point-and-click options that allow you to take the design of your Featured Images to the next level. Want to see how? Read on.
As Marketers Delight continues to move into the visual age of web design, new tools and workflows are gradually being integrated into your favorite theme to help you make more powerful design decisions with less effort.
As page builder plugins build themselves up to provide you with every confusing option under the sun, MD keeps your desires at bay by delivering smart features that can be deployed in the click of a mouse.
As more theme companies move to the sidelines and forfeit the hard decision making to other products, MD listens to your needs and embraces the challenges that go into the most grueling details of design.
…and as the web evolves, so do the tools you use to make your content stand out. With the new Featured Image controls in MD4.8.3, you can radically overhaul the presentation of your content with just a few clicks from your WordPress post editor.
Let’s see what’s new in Marketers Delight 4.8.3.
Take over your entire header with a well-placed featured image
Make a Bolder First Impression With the New Full-Header Cover Background
One of the most unique and popular features in Marketers Delight is the Featured Image position control. With this simple control from your post editor you can move your featured image into various positions around your posts, pages, and categories.
From a simple left and right alignment or to the more beautiful Headline and Header Covers, you can make just about any featured image layout work in Marketers Delight.
I say just about, because MD was always missing another kind of cover that could really make your featured images stand out: the Full Header Cover
Now from an easy selectable option in the featured image settings box in your post editor you can change the entire layout of your header to use your featured image as a background image—just like in this post!
By using the Full Header Cover, MD redesigns your entire header to account for this new beautiful look and it does it all behind-the-scenes.
From restyling your text to dropping the main menu beneath the header, MD gives you the power to radically change your design on any post, page, and category without ever leaving you hanging on the minor details.
Speaking of minor details, did you notice the new Background Color control? Let’s briefly step into the new world of color MD has introduced to your site.
Go from black and white to full color
Colorize Your Posts With Custom Overlays and Transparency Settings
Now with hardly any effort you can finally colorize your featured image background covers with a simple new color picker control in your Featured Image settings.
Not only can you pick any color per page but you can also adjust the transparency of that color overlay with a simple slider option!
MD always added a nice overlay on top of your images, but that same overlay didn’t always work for every image. Whether it was too light, too dark, or too monotone, these new color controls will make it easy to finally perfect your image covers.
As a small pro touch, you can also change the color of the text from white to dark, or vice-versa depending on how you set the global featured image settings (more on that a bit later). Again, this is to ensure your text and image work in harmony with each other.
Finally, if you don’t have a featured image but still want to benefit from a custom background cover you can choose a solid color from the color picker and style your headline in any color you want.
The simplicity of these controls open up many possible combinations to quickly style your posts and pages in ways you never have before with Marketers Delight.
How does the new featured image controls stack up on your category pages? I’m glad you asked…
Get more from your category pages
Turn Categories into Cornerstone Content Pages
Did you know that if used effectively, the category pages on your site can be one of the best drivers of search engine traffic and one of the most user-friendly ways to display content to your readers?
A category page is a filtered list of posts based around a single topic. The topic of that page—the category—is your ticket to SEO goodness and focused content building.
These days it’s harder and harder to rank in Google. As more authorities across different niches build strength, it leaves your lesser ranked site in the dust.
One strategy to fight this can be to write longer, more informative blog posts (think “ultimate guides”) but that may not suit everyone’s writing style. Plus, in a world with an ever decreasing attention spam, you may lose your readers interest with long technical articles.
So what’s another way?
How about a single optimized category page that acts as a listing page for many articles within a topic you’ve already written about over time?
By using an optimized title tag and description text you can designate the “go-to” page on your site about any topic and create a rich directory of content that your users can easily navigate and spread around.
The reason I bring all of this up is because MD adds the same powerful editing controls you have on your posts and pages to your category pages as well.
That means you can change the layout, set custom sidebars, add share buttons and custom popups, and as of MD4.8.3, set a Full Header cover and color overlay to your featured image backgrounds.
Use these new features to organize your blog categories and turn them into beautiful cornerstone content pages without having to publish a new article!
There’s just one more thing…
Set Default Featured Image Covers and Overlays Sitewide from the MD Site Designer
Let’s take a step back for a minute. This entire post I’ve been showing you how to set the featured image cover and color overlays on individual posts, pages, and categories.
But what if you already know how you want to style your posts? What if, instead of setting these features on every post, you could set your images up the way you wanted to in one fell swoop?
Of course, Marketers Delight has your back with the new Post Settings panel in the MD Site Designer (Appearance > Customize > Site Design > Post Settings).
From this single control panel you can dictate the default featured image position, color overlay (with transparency settings), cover text color, and even the default cover background image.
The controls I showed you earlier on single posts, pages, and categories will overwrite the styles you set here if you set them from their respective panels.
Now let’s talk about the unique control here—the default featured image cover.
The image you set here will be applied to all pages that use a Headline, Header, or Full Header Cover as a decorative image. That means your posts and pages won’t treat it as a featured image, but uploading a featured image to posts an pages will overwrite this image.
The type of image you upload here is versatile. You can upload a photo background and all blank covers will inherit it, or upload a repeating background pattern (like from Subtle Patterns) and have that span across the entire cover area for a nice design touch.
The precision and simplicity of these tools are hallmarks of MD, and with them you will be able to add beautiful and mixed styles effortlessly across your site in a very controlled manner.
Finally, the details the tie it all together
Other Improvements, Bug Fixes and Design Tweaks in MD4.8.3
While the new Featured Images added in MD4.8.3 seem simple on the surface, introducing them took a good amount of refactoring under-the-hood. Not only to keep things clean, but to ensure a seamless update to your existing website.
I take a lot of pride in the code quality of MD and while I don’t claim perfection by any means, I do strive to remove as much possible while adding new features.
That’s why even though many features have been added to MD over the past year alone, the overall weight of the theme hasn’t changed much.
During this code refactoring I fixed more bugs and refined small elements of the design. Here’s a list of the smaller bug fixes and improvements added in MD4.8.3:
- Full Header Cover featured image position
- Set custom image overlay colors and transparency on any Featured Image Cover
- Set the default featured image position, background cover and image, text, and more from the new Post Settings panel
- Readded the
white buttonhelper class
- Added a
button-outlineclass for every colored button
- Added back the
/languages/folder to the MD library
- Added missing “Mobile/Tablet” labels on some Site Design text fields for responsive view
- Better scaling of submit buttons on attached forms with different font sizes
- Added caption back to featured image header cover (if enabled)
- Adjusted archive title shadow on certain layout configurations
- Improved category archives title to use less markup and logic to render
<h2>font size on archive listing page
- Moved some settings in Site Design to new Post Settings panel for better organization
- Fixed misaligned range field formatting in Site Design panel
- Removed Email Lead warning messages in some cases
- Fixed ugly spacing on content box shadow when sidebar background color enabled
- Removed PHP7 deprecation function warnings on certain MD features