Your website is a two-way street that requires consistency from you, the author, and feedback—comments, likes, and sales—from your readers.
In today’s age of blogging, posting consistently and sending feedback don’t look the same as it always did and the new tools available in Marketers Delight 5.2 help continue the path forward for more interactive content publishing on your website.
New in Marketers Delight 5.2
The Stream Steals the Spotlight With Viral New Features
Our primary focus with Marketers Delight 5.2 was to deliver important new features to help make the Stream a more viable part of your website’s content marketing strategy.
Up until now we have mainly focused on the content creation side of the Stream which has enabled you to rapidly create new kinds of micro content and even get basic interaction with the Like button.
In this version of the Stream we have focused more on the content visibility side, and we expect these new features and enhancements will brings all new kinds of life to your site’s Stream. Let’s dive in!
Take a Video Features Tour with MD Staff Member Maikel van de Weerd:
Feature #1: Embed Your Stream Anywhere With the New Embed Widget
The first major improvement we made to the Stream was the creation of the Stream Embed widget, which is a beautiful widget designed to capture the essence of your Stream posts in a condensed format for use in your sidebars, footers, and other complementary parts of your website.
The goal of the Stream Embed widget is to add more unity between your blog and stream posts, and to simply increase the visibility of your stream posts throughout your site.
This beautifully designed widget is sure to get your reader’s attention again and again with simple links to click through to read your full Stream post, and of course the ability to like posts right from the widget.
You can see a live preview on the MD blog, and enabling the widget is as simple as logging into your WP Admin > Widgets screen.
The more keen of you will also notice the Widget labels are now prefixed with the new MD → label so it is easy to find your favorite MD widgets in one section.
Of course, once you add the Stream Embed to the sidebar you will various customization settings to add your own description title and description text, change the posts count, and some other useful settings.
Throw the Stream Embed widget into your blog sidebar or footer and see how much more interaction your Stream posts get with this helpful new Widget!
Feature #2: Encourage discussions around your site with Stream Comments
Now that you are getting more readers into your Stream, it’s time to give them something to talk about! Err, well, to do that you must also give them a place to talk!
Now in MD5.2 all Stream posts support comments (it’s about time!) and have been automatically enabled for your reader’s to start commenting.
The Stream uses the same comments flow as your blog, so you can expect a seamless transition to this new conversation platform on your site.
With the new comments counter in the Share bar (see more on that later in the post) you can quickly see the comments count next to your likes count, quickly giving your reader’s a glance at what is popular on your Stream.
Note: To enable comments on existing Stream posts go to WP admin > Posts > (Select all posts) > Edit and run the “Enable comments” bulk edit to turn comments on. New posts will already have comments enabled by default.
Feature #3: Pin Important Posts to the Top of Your Stream With the new Sticky option
You can give your Stream page a more powerful first impression by pinning a post, or multiple posts, to the top of your feed. The new Sticky feature works the same as it does for making blog posts sticky, just edit the Stream post visibility to check the “Make this post Sticky” option.
And keep in mind you can also make stream posts sticky from the Quick Edit view on the post type listing:
…and your post(s) will be “stuck” to the top of your Stream listing by the order they were published. Too easy!
But here’s something that makes this feature extra cool. Did you know that WordPress only supports sticky posts for the main Posts (blog) post type, and nowhere else?
As you know, Marketers Delight is built as a single system and when you see a feature used once, there’s a good chance you can use it again elsewhere.
Yes, that’s true to this new sticky posts enhancement and MD5.2 actually upgrades all of WordPress by making it possible to now make any custom post type sticky!
We will be including sticky features in our future Dropins and other features where needed, but I just wanted to take a moment to brag about yet another feature of MD that solidifies your overall WordPress experience.
Feature #4: Multi-Author Thread Comments
This was an unexpected feature that came out of the other optimizations we’ve made to the Stream, but one we are glad to have!
You can now make your Stream posts more dynamic by the new ability to publish Threads with multiple authors. Let me give you an example.
Imagine you have just broke a news story on your Stream and made the initial post with your currently known details.
Now, hours later, you have new information available, so you edit the stream post to add a new Thread, which acts as a continuation of the original story (think of how Threads work on social media to get the idea).
But let’s say another author on the site who can also edit Stream posts has more details to provide, they can now jump in to your thread and add to to thread the same way you can, only their posts will be attributed under their name!
This simple new process can add great authority to your Stream posts and make the content you post more interesting with multiple takes. Keep it in mind for a fresh new way to collaborate with other authors on your site!
Other Notable Stream Features
Finally, we have taken some time to further polish the entire Stream experience and have made a few other changes to seal the deal on these exciting new features:
- Added new layout and sidebar controls in the Stream > Settings admin
- Simplified and fixed the Dates and post embeds system with help of the date enhancements made in WordPress 5.3
- Improved structural markup on Stream posts
- Template and CSS file reorganization
See the rest of MD5.2
While the main focus of MD5.2 was the Stream, many other enhancements have been made to improve your overall experience of Marketers Delight and add a few extra tools into your toolbox. Let’s take a look!
MD Optins Enhancements
You will find a couple of new small features in your MD Optins toolbox. The first is you now have the ability to hide/show any optin (CTA, floating bar, popup) whether a user is logged in or not.
We have been using this feature here on MD.com and if you are a current customer, you will notice far less email optins on our pages that return when you log out. You can use these features too from the Optin Display settings:
You will also notice a new location for your Call to Action boxes After Sidebar which, as is in the name, will show a CTA after the posts/pages it is configure to show up on.
New Features in MD Pro Share
The comments icon in the share bar has now been updated to show the latest comment count, similar to how the Like button displays any page’s total amount of likes.
You can make the Share bar far more compact on pages and even save some space in your post byline by using the comments counter. Other improvements to MD Pro Share are as follows:
- Social media links are now registered as nofollow (thank you gauravtiwari on the forums for pointing this out)
- Disable comments on floating bar or inline share bars
- Share icons now more portable with new developer functions
- Fixed a bug that didn’t truly remove share bars when manually removed from page
General Improvements in MD5.2
Marketers Delight 5.2 comes with a variety of other improvements and bug fixes, including:
- WooCommerce: Removes shadows and blocky elements from shop archive when Minimal design mode enabled.
- New: New font icons for Telegram, Slack, TikTok and other icons. See the font icons library for a full list
- New: Organized widget names by new label “MD → Widget Name”
- New: Adds hidden “comments” label text to comments count byline. Unhide with CSS.
- Fixed: Updated color scripts for WordPress version 5.5
- Fixed: Bug with excerpt filter that hid excerpt text on custom post types
- Fixed: Removed sidebar gap and turned layout back to full page when sidebar widget area has no widgets
What’s New For Developers
Marketers Delight 5.2 is a very developer-friendly update, and we are working on creating more Docs to show you the robust WordPress toolset you have under-the-hood of your MD website.
- Developer: More flexible parent theme to child theme template finder with new
- Developer: More flexible parent theme to child theme CSS files finder with new
- Developer: You can now set default values with
md_meta()functions return empty values
- Developer: You can now register widgets with the
widgetsmethod when extending the
- Developer: Simplified comments template loading
- Developer: Moved all templates and CSS files from the
libfolder into their respective folder in the
dropinsdirectory. Child theme overrides still work thanks to
md_template()enhanced template finder Developer: New filter to remove aggressive MD formatting margin
add_filter( 'md_filter_disable_format_fix', '__return_true' );
New Around the MD Website
Myself and the MD staff have been using Marketers Delight 5.2 on our websites for many days now to ensure we give this new release the most rigorous testing possible before releasing it to you.
Thanks to an extended test period we not only have the confidence in rolling out the most stable version of MD yet, but we have already been pushing how far we can use these features in new and creative ways.
You can check out the MD stream page here for our official example, and take a look around the rest of the MD website as we have recently made major improvements to the Account, Drop-ins, and Support pages.
With the refreshed collaboration outlook, myself and the talented MD staff have put a lot of time and testing into MD5.2 and we are excited to keep blending our skills together for future releases.
You have the power to influence the direction we take this great WordPress software by contributing your feedback, suggestions, and showing how you use your website in the MD Forums.
If you don’t want to participate, know that future of Marketers Delight is always bright, and you are using a product that promises to keep you on the cutting-edge of website innovation.