Categories
Featured Technology WordPress

Genesis eNews Extended 2.1 Released

Genesis eNews Extended 2.1 is now available on WordPress.org. It has been a couple of years since a new version has been released—frankly, the plugin just works and it hasn’t needed much work.

Please note this version requires WordPress 4.9.6 and will not be offered unless you’re running WordPress 4.9.6+.

The European Union is preparing to implement this week their new data protection law, GDPR, which impacts Genesis eNews Extended and WordPress. If you have WordPress 4.9.6, released last week, you can setup a privacy policy page which Genesis eNews Extended will provide a link to under the subscription form, if you choose.

The feature respects the WordPress setting for the privacy page, as well as the various hooks implemented as part of the new feature for both the text of the link and the link itself. If any themes or plugins filters these value, the widget will use the same values to help site administrators set once and forget.

On a related note, I’ve fielded a few questions about how to add a checkbox to the widget for GDPR compliance. From my best understanding, this is not required. A subscription form that is exclusively for an e-mail subscription does not require a checkbox to confirm the visitor intent, since the action they are doing is the one and the same. If a form exists for any other purpose, then there does need to be a checkbox to confirm the visitor intent to also subscribe to a list.

Because of this, I am not adding an option to add a subscription confirmation checkbox to Genesis eNews Extended. It is meant to be a very simple plugin exclusively for newsletter subscriptions and while site owners are free to use it for other purposes, I’m only building and supporting the intended use as a mailing list subscription form “wrapper” that allow Genesis theme styles to have an easy time theming a “standard” subscription form.

Update: 2.1.1 was also released to fix a small issue with a bit of extra code displaying on the front end.

Advertisements
Categories
Featured WordPress

Genesis eNews Extended 2.0

Hold yer horses! Despite the major version bump, it isn’t a huge release! The changes are all under the hood, but there is a chance that the styling may break if your theme styles against the HTML ID of “subscribe”.

Previously, all instances of the widget would have the HTML ID of “subscribe” on the form element. This meant that if you had multiple instances on the same page, we were breaking HTML spec by having multiple elements with the same ID, which also wrecked total havoc for folks using screen readers and other assistive technologies. While I can’t recall a theme hitting that ID for styling, it is possible that someone was.

Genesis child theme authors should confirm their CSS is not targeting the form#subscribe node.

Categories
Web Development

Genesis eNews Extended 1.3 Released

The latest and greatest version of Genesis eNews Extended has been pushed to the WordPress.org repo.This release adds two primary new features: Genesis 2.0/HTML 5 support and “userproofing” the Feedburner field.

Genesis 2.0 and HTML 5

The next version of Genesis is in beta now, which means it’ll be released soon (likely around the same time as WordPress 3.6 drops, which is also in beta). Among other features, Genesis 2.0 adds support for HTML5 in addition to the currently supported XHTML. The nice thing about the method used by StudioPress is that Genesis is fully compatible both ways. All new themes will be built using HTML5 while everything existing can still used XHTML. For eNews users, one noticeable advantage of using the HTML5 form is that the browser will check to verify that a visitor to your site inputs an actual e-mail address into the subscription form before submitting. If the user inputs something that couldn’t be an e-mail address, say “newsletter#brandonkraft.com” as a typo, most modern browsers will have some sort of notification that an invalid address was entered.

Feedburner

With Genesis 2.0, the older eNews widget that was part of the core Genesis project will be completely removed. Since I’m anticipating more Feedburner users (since that’s all the older widget supported) will be jumping into the eNews Extended pool, I added a helping feature for newcomers. The Feedburner setting has always been for simply the Feedburner ID, not the URL. Many users put the URL instead and has been a source of a plenty of support tickets. Now, if an user inputs the entire URL (e.g. http://feeds.feedburner.com/example instead of simply “example”), the widget will strip the URL out and retain only the Feedburner ID. I’m hoping this helps new users and reduce frustration when folks attempt to use the URL instead.

Who Should Update?

You. Everyone should update to this version. There are no additional system requirements for this version. While new Genesis 2.0 abilities have been activated, the plugin is fully compatible with Genesis 1.9.2 and will still serve the pre-existing XHTML markup to those users (myself included!) One final shout out to everyone who helped make eNews Extended better. A full list of financial, code, and translation contributors can be found at WordPress.org.

Download Now

You can download the plugin directly through your dashboard or visit WordPress.org.

Categories
Web Development

Genesis eNews Extended Announced

Over on the StudioPress blog, you’ll read about Genesis 1.9 depreciating the native FeedBurner e-mail subscription widget and recommending Genesis eNews Extended.

I love StudioPress’ themes—they look great, have solid logical structure for customizing, and a great community surrounding the product.

Earlier this year, I ran into a problem. I wanted to use their stock themes in a couple of different places and loved the way their Subscription widgets fit into the theme. I use MailChimp—not Feedburner, the only supported option. The suggestion in the community forum was restyle in CSS, which is fine. I was helping a few different small groups get sites off the ground and restyling each of them was taking more time than I thought it should.

The end result: a Genesis eNews Extended plugin. The plugin is really simple. In addition to supporting FeedBurner (ver 0.1.3), the plugin works with virtually any mailing list service. MailChimp, FeedBlitz, Constant Contact, Aweber, and so on. You give it the info it needs and it outputs a form identical in markup to the native Genesis eNews widget—thus matching the subscribe fields in their theme demos.

Last week, the founder of StudioPress, Brian Gardner reached out to me and we discussed my plan for the widget and my willingness to help. In all honesty, I told him, I had been planning to ship it over to them as a core patch, but never got around to doing it. With their plan to focus more on the core product, suggesting the eNews Extended plugin made perfect sense.

If you’re dropping by here for the first time, welcome. Go ahead and try out the plugin. There’s a subscribe form on the right powered using it. 🙂 While keeping the plugin lean, I hope to continue to make it more useful for the Genesis community. The plugin, actually, is framework-agnostic. You can use it anywhere on WordPress, but the biggest perk of the plugin for me was not having to worry about CSS on Genesis themes. If you have any thoughts, drop me a line.

A quick note regarding support. While I’ve been known to reply to an e-mail here and there about the plugin, please direct all support requests to the WordPress.org forum for the plugin. Over time, between the forums and the tutorials, most users will find the answers they need without having to wait on me. My wife and I are expecting a baby any day now, so I’ll be off the grid some very soon.

Thanks for the Genesis community for the support and I look forward to meeting more of y’all as you begin using the plugin.