NGFB, WPSSO / SSB Updates – New Social Preview

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The NGFB and WPSSO plugins have been updated with a new “Social Preview” tab in the Social Settings metabox (found on Post / Page admin editing pages). The preview includes the first image from the Open Graph social meta tags, along with a title and descriptive text. The Social Preview is not meant to be an accurate representation of an actual share, since the image size and layout depends on several factors (the social site itself, the resolution and platform of the user, for example), but it should give you a general idea of what a share of that URL might look like. The image dimensions used are those recommended by Facebook as a minimum (600 x 315px). Images smaller than this will include a warning overlay to remind you that using a larger image is suggested.

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New Plugin for Apple & Google Store App Meta Tags

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Do you have an Apple Store App for your website that you’d like to promote as a banner in Apple’s mobile Safari?

Does your website sell Apple Store Apps and you’d like to support the Twitter App Card for your App product pages?

WPSSO App Meta is a new extension plugin for WPSSO to provide Apple Store (iTunes) and Google Play App meta tags for Apple’s mobile Safari and Twitter’s App Card.

WPSSO App Meta (WPSSO AM) works in conjunction with the WordPress Social Sharing Optimization plugin, extending its features with additional settings pages, tabs, and options, to include iPhone, iPad, and Google Play App meta tags in your webpages (for Apple’s mobile Safari and Twitter’s App Card). WPSSO AM is fast, efficient, and — using WPSSO as its framework — provides accurate information about your content to social websites.

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How Fast is the WPSSO Social Sharing Buttons Plugin?

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Plugins that add social sharing buttons should be fairly light and fast — they generally don’t need to fetch much information about a page, like an SEO or SMO / SSO plugin does. Here are some example “execution time” metrics from the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) plugin, using WP Test Data, and several popular social sharing plugins (along with the WordPress Core and Twenty Fourteen theme for reference). The plugins were configured to include the Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest sharing buttons at the bottom of single posts and pages.

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Developer Special – Buy one, Get one Free

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The WPSSO and NGFB plugins for WordPress are licensed based on the WordPress Site Address. Typically, a Development, Staging, and Production website – for example – would require 3 licenses. In the spirit of helping our fellow developers, we are offering a free license for every license purchased – on all past and future purchases. So, for example, if you purchased a license for example.com (or www.example.com), you can also register dev.example.com using the same Authentication ID. This allows developers to purchase a license, develop a customer’s website, and then change the Site Address upon delivery, without having to purchase an additional license for the production website.

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How Fast is WPSSO Compared to Other Plugins?

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There is a huge variety of available plugins for WordPress — 30,326 plugins as of today — and if you’ve tried more than a few, you’ll have noticed a marked difference in their quality as well (functionality, user interface, stability, etc.). If you know your way around PHP, you should take a moment to browse the source code of a plugin before installing it. You’ll notice quite a difference there as well. ;-) You can view WPSSO’s source code directly from WordPress.org’s SVN repository. If you do, please excuse the lack of comments — it’s on my To-Do list. ;-)

I started developing the NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) plugin about a year ago, when I broke my foot and was stuck in bed / on the couch for much of the day. NGFB is the foundation for WPSSO, minus the sharing buttons and their related features (shortcodes, widgets, stylesheets, javascript caching, and url shortening). WPSSO has 25% less code, is 0.0070 secs faster per page load, and is often preferred for websites that already have (or don’t need) a set of sharing buttons.

I’ve always kept an eye on performance, and used WordPress’s object and transient caches when possible, along with disk based caching when appropriate. NGFB and WPSSO are fast, but until recently, I’d never compared their performance to other plugins. As I prepare WPSSO v2.4.4 for release later this week, I took some time to double-check its performance and that of a few other plugins as well.

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