“Every year you will think something different” are the wise words my mother once spoke to me that now run through my head as I sit down to tell you about the new greatness now available in the newly released Marketers Delight 4.9.
The completion of MD4.9 has taken a unique journey, from maneuvering through the external forces of WordPress 5.0’s new Blocks Editor to the internal innovations of the all-new MD Pro Integrations Panel.
Yet the marriage of the two was always inevitable and MD4.9 combined these two forces into a suite of new features, a harmony of the old, and set-in a stronger foundation for thriving in the new year of online business, where thinking differently will set you ahead of the rest.
Let’s see what’s new in Marketers Delight 4.9:
A Refreshing New Email Experience With The All-New Pro Integrations Panel
The one thing that is not changing in the new year is the value of your email newsletter and the new MD Pro Integrations Panel makes adding and managing email forms on your site a breeze.
For starters, the revamped admin interface makes the connection process far more intuitive and is beautifully organized in the new Integrations admin settings page.
Instead of limiting your site to one email service connection you can now manage multiple services and easily access your email list data anywhere you need to place an email form from the WordPress admin panel.
MD is even smart enough to generate the proper form codes needed to display on your site so you never have to touch messy email form codes (unless you want to!).
Easily the best new feature of the Pro Integrations panel is the refresh button which allows you to always keep your email lists data up to date on your site in just the click.
Previously, if you created a new email list from a service like MailChimp or AWeber after you already connected your site to one of them, you’d have no way of accessing that data on your site without going through a confusing disconnect and reconnect process in MD Email Forms.
This was crazy, and while it worked—it felt too risky. Now all it takes is the click of a button to fetch the latest list and subscribers data for use on your website.
Manage Typekit and Google Analytics Tracking
Now let’s look at the bigger picture here—the Pro Integrations panel is not limited to email services, but also stands strong as the bridge to connect your website to other kinds of web services from one place.
Your existing Typekit integration has been moved over to the new panel, and the ability to add your Google Analytics tracking code has also been added—just enter your tracking ID to start logging traffic from your Google Analytics dashboard!
The web has grown more interconnected over the years and now more than ever you will want to make efficient connections to outside platforms like social media and other web tools to add more interactive and rich content to your website.
The new Pro Integrations Panel achieves this and will be a subtle staple of MD development going forward. Upon updating, all of your existing Email Forms and Typekit data will be seamless moved over with no extra steps required on your part.
Simplified, More Precise Email Forms
After ripping out the Integrations system from the MD Email Forms feature, a void was left that needed to be carefully put back together.
Now that the Email Forms feature stands on its own, the admin interface has simplified and became easier on the eyes and more open for you to place customized email forms throughout your site.
While you have many popular email service connections to choose from in the Pro Integrations panel, you may use a service that is not yet supported or you simply want to customize the already beautiful email form designs with your own custom HTML forms.
You can now override any email form with your own custom HTML form—rather than only being able to use custom HTML form codes before MD4.9—and still benefit from using the display options that come from the MD Email Forms feature.
As new features are added in new MD releases, I always look at their place in the existing design system and see how other features are affected. Can something be made better by the new way of doing things? What can be removed once something new is added?
These are the kinds of questions I always ask myself to keep MD lean, clean, and low on technical debt through my aggressive approach to releasing new updates. The Pro Integrations Panel and revised Email Forms feature are a perfect example of MD growing in harmony.
I bring this point up now to show you how MD4.9 enhances the new Gutenberg Blocks Editor, and to further show you how everything you’ve already seen so far connects to what you are about to see next.
MD Design + Gutenberg Blocks Editor Adds A Live Preview Experience Like You’ve Never Seen Before
Originally, MD4.9 was going to stop at the Pro Integrations panel, but WordPress 5.0 unleashed the new Blocks Editor mid-development that became impossible to ignore.
By now the new editor needs no introduction, but the enhancements and our first official Block will be unveiled to you now on a rolling red carpet as Marketers Delight 4.9 crushes what it mean to be an actual “Gutenberg-ready Theme.”
Part 1: Revised Color Options
Let’s warm up a bit first.
First, the color scheme options available in the MD Site Designer have been consolidated into the new Site Colors panel.
From here you can set your main branding colors, text and link colors, button colors, and other elements that will be used throughout your site.
It’s left up to your creativity to choose the colors that match the style of your site, and up to MD’s grit to style the subtle changes around your site’s design accordingly.
Pretty simple, so let’s move forward. Remember the colors you’ve set here as you have quite literally set the tone for your site’s future design decisions!
Part 2: Set Colors Sitewide, Blocks-Wide
Once you fire up the Blocks Editor you will start to notice that different Blocks have different customization settings in the sidebar on the right hand side.
In the seemingly endless list of outcomes the Blocks Editor adds to your content creation process, MD adds some stability by putting your hand-picked colors right beneath your fingertips at all times.
By sticking to your site’s main color schemes you can design more unified pages and take a load of pressure off your mind by having already determined your color schemes prior to writing new content.
That’s why it will be valuable for you to put some thought into the colors you choose from the MD Site Designer—they will be your go-to choices from that point forward.
But don’t worry—even if you decide to redesign your site later or just want to update a few colors, MD will keep an open line of communication with the Blocks Editor and update any Blocks with your new color scheme—at no extra effort to you!
As shown from the screenshot, your color choices are:
- Primary Color
- Secondary Color
- Accent Color
- Text Color
- Secondary Text Color
- Links Color
- Button Color
- Secondary Button Color
- Custom Color
Pretty easy to remember, right? These colors have been boiled down to the most important on your website and account for your most important branding, readability, and action colors.
Part 3: Bring Custom Web Fonts, Content Widths, and Other Post Styles to the Blocks Editor For a Better Live Preview Experience
The MD Site Designer is more than just colors—it also designs your site with a calculated typography system that is now also available in your Blocks Editor.
What that means is the same custom fonts, font sizes, line heights, and content widths you choose from the MD Site Designer (or that MD all smartly calculates for you) will show exactly the same in the Blocks Editor as it does on your live website!
The benefit here is clear:
You can finally predict what your content will look like—down to the last character of each line—without interrupting your writing flow to jump between preview panels.
I can’t tell you how much of a joy it has been to write this post to you in the same custom web fonts you’re reading now on the MD website from my admin post editor.
…so far I’ve only clicked the Preview button to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, and revel in how cool it is to see my text come out exactly as I wrote it on the MD website.
While this sounds like such a small detail in the larger landscape of web design, any friction you can remove from the writing process means you will save time, frustration, and can churn out new posts faster than ever before
Not only will you save time and frustration but you will now be able to write for longer intervals without disruption and synchronize each word as it streams out of your mind into the minds of your audience.
For further clarity you can see whether your post has the full-width canvas enabled if the post headline at the top breaks out of the editor’s constraints. If the post headline is equal width, that means the page has a sidebar.
Of course, you can toggle a sidebar on/off from the MD Layout post meta box.
Part 4: Visually Design Email Forms in Your Posts With the MD Email Block
For my closing act, MD4.9 adds the new Email Form Block which is the first official Gutenberg Block supported by Marketers Delight.
…did you expect anything else?
You can now visually embed email forms throughout your sales copy and blog posts with the same level of preview quality as your typography and site colors.
Design your email forms on the fly with intuitive controls like color schemes, background image, spacing, custom form attributes, and more.
Move email forms around with Gutenberg’s simple Block controls and even save different offers as Reusable Blocks for use anywhere else around your site!
Of course what ties MD4.9 together so well so perfectly is that the Email Form Block synchronizes your email list data from the new Pro Integrations panel.
The MD Email Block is the first of many possible Blocks I have in store for visual content editing, and the easiest kind of Block I could think to introduce that will help you further get comfortable with the concepts of the new Blocks Editor.
Update Now to a Cleaner, Leaner, and More Powerful Marketers Delight 4.9
Marketers Delight 4.9 is now available and waiting for you in your WordPress Dashboard!
I held off this release for an extra amount of time to thoroughly test every aspect of MD4.9’s newly revised systems to make sure I could offer you the safest update possible. After all—we’re dealing with a sensitive information and breaking your email forms is not an option!
…that included running clean installs of MD4.9 on blank websites, and personally updating over ten of my own sites and client sites to ensure that if it works for me, it will work for you.
As always, you can find me at the MD support forums for help and any questions you may have before updating your site.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this:
My commitment to building smart and sustainable software is tested on each release, and I am proud of the direction MD4.9 is taking us. Despite the rapid feature growth over the past few months, the size of the code base and overall size of the MD software has not grown much.
Marketers Delight unzips at barely over 1MB (megabyte) and that is extremely small for a software that offers email integrations, an entire typography and design system, and even new power features like the Stream and Bookshelf—just to name a few.
In other words, MD is the most power-packed theme that you’d never know about; and that “never know about” part is something I am going to change this year.
Apart from exciting new software updates, expect new kinds of content to be published around here and on the newsletter, all meant to help you think and build a smarter, most profitable online business with Marketers Delight.
Plus, I’d like to get to know many of you on a more personal basis and show you more into the behind-the-scenes workings of the MD Labs.
Thanks for reading, and I wish you the best on the first new MD release of the New Year.