Marketers Delight 5.0.9 is now available for download, and with this release ends the ease-in period we have allotted for new and existing sites to upgrade to Marketers Delight 5.0.
Weeks after the massive MD5.0 release we are now ready to move forward on a more reliable schedule of new feature releases, documentation updates, and other community initiatives we have been planning behind the scenes.
This post will explore what’s new in MD5.0.9 and what to expect next from Marketers Delight. Let’s dive right in!
Notable Highlights of Marketers Delight 5.0.9
MD5.0.9 is an important maintenance release that fixes a slew of bug reports and includes other enhancements and cleanups from the massive rewrite undertaken during the development of MD5.0.
Simplified Content Box Styles and Options
The content box is the most important part of your website and the most highly requested area for customization. With new loop types and content styles coming soon (we already have introduced Minimal Design Mode) it was important that the underlying styles and templates were perfect to easily add those to your sites on future dates.
MD5.0.9 radically cleans up your content box to offer perfect spacing across different layout combinations and also simplifies the settings in MD > Site Design > Content to help you make changes faster.
Because MD is so fanatical about offering the best typography settings out of the box we have given you helpful cues in the settings panel to help get you the best results when assigning your own custom layout widths.
The Post Width setting has been narrowed down to the exact width your text will read in the content box, and MD will use that value and an automatically calculated amount of spacing to assign an ideal site width. You can see this value an use it in your own measurements too.
If you have written any custom CSS or used hooks to modify the display of the post area you may need to make slight updates, which I have outlined for you in this quick thread on the forums.
Dropins Updates (and the upcoming Dropins Manager)
The Dropins library has grown from a small repository of experimental ideas to fully featured products that many sites are now relying on to provide core content to their readers.
To account for the updates mentioned above, the following Dropins have been updated which will require you to delete the old files and reupload them to your child theme:
- Page Leads
- Videos Gallery
- Gallery Blocks
- Related Posts
Since Dropins have become so popular we have decided that they need to be streamlined and more easy to update, so from here the next major focus scheduled for Marketers Delight 5.1 is to unveil the new Dropins Manager from your WordPress admin panel (which we will go into more detail below).
Markup Schema has been deprecated
Many versions ago Marketers Delight introduced inline markup schema that offered a minimal amount of information for search engines to read. After reevaluating the state of markup schema around the web, we have decided to no longer support our own implementation and instead fallback to SEO plugins which most of you already use anyway.
Most SEO plugins use the preferred JSON metadata format to provide search engines with additional information about your page, which is superior and more flexible than MD’s former inline approach.
Will this move negatively affect your site’s SEO? Not at all! MD5.0.9 already makes your site easily understandable to search engines with its semantic HTML5 markup, and the information MD’s former schema markup provided was not telling search engines anything they couldn’t find from your site structure anyhow.
Community Updates: The Brand New Forums, and Welcoming New Members to the MD Staff
Over the last few weeks the MD team has grown from just one single person to a team of five people! If you have been active on the forums you may have seen their names, and I am excited to more formally introduce you here.
- Ray Smith, longtime MD user and founder of Library66 as an advocate.
- Maikel van de Weerd, longime MD user and founder of Webtalis as a support moderator.
- Jake O’Callaghan, a freelance writer and longtime MD user as a writer.
- Leo Gopal, a Codeable expert and longtime MD user as a developer and mastermind genius.
The more keen of you may have noticed how often I have said “we” in this post and that’s because I have realized that it is no longer sustainable or responsible to continue building MD as a one man show.
We have been working behind the scenes on fun community initiatives and putting our heads together to determine the best course of action for the next releases, and with 5.0.9 now released expect to see better service and a faster rate of development from here on out.
You will also notice a new flow to the MD forums which have been revamped to help make your support and customization requests easier to organize and also add more accountability towards MD’s development.
The Bug Reports forum shows the currently known bugs that are in line to be fixed, and the Features Wishlist forum is an approved list of suggestions slated for development as a core feature or Dropin.
Finally, forum comments have been merged into blog posts here on the blog so you can see what we are discussing on the forums without being a member, though it is best to login with your verified account and join the conversation for yourself!
What’s Next: The Dropins Manager Coming in MD5.1 and the New Documentation Library
Finally, with our new team in place we have set the intention to help make MD more user-friendly by implementing a series of on-boarding tools and the creation of an in-depth documentation system.
There is so much more to MD than just the simple options panel and blog post settings that we are dedicating much of our focus to creating a vast library of documentation to show you those inner workings.
We are taking MD from a simple theme that you can use to start a blog-focused website and landing pages to a tool that you can build a living from as a WordPress expert, and our documentation will be key to that goal.
As previously mentioned, Dropins have become an integral part of Marketers Delight and our next major development focus is to build the new Dropins Manager which will allow you to one-click install any Dropin from the MD settings panel and also get updates in a similar way as WordPress Plugins.
This is the most exciting time in MD’s history and the rate of growth we achieve from here is going to make us look like an overnight success!
We can’t wait to see what you create with MD next, and are excited to show you what we’ve been working on too!