NextGEN Facebook Deprecated / Replaced by WPSSO

The NextGEN Facebook plugin was forked in 2014 and replaced by WPSSO — they’re both Free and available on WordPress.org, have the same author and developer, the same solid core features and code-base, but WPSSO is distributed without the social sharing buttons and their related features. Social sharing buttons are distributed separately, as optional extensions for WPSSO. WPSSO also provides several other useful and optional extensions:

Until recently, NextGEN Facebook existed independently and in parallel to WPSSO, but in the last version of NextGEN Facebook (8.46.1), a notice has been added to the plugin’s description and in the WordPress admin interface (shown on the WordPress Dashboard and plugin settings pages after it has been active for 3 days). The description notice suggests using WPSSO instead, while the WordPress admin notice suggests uninstalling NextGEN Facebook and installing WPSSO instead (with an optional update button available within the notice). If you’re using the Free version of NextGEN Facebook, you should update to WPSSO (Core Plugin) as soon as possible.

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NGFB / WPSSO – “Social Settings” Metabox Renamed

The “Social Settings” metabox, shown at the bottom of every post / page, term, and user editing page, has been renamed to “Social and Search Optimization” in the latest version of NextGEN Facebook (aka NGFB) and WPSSO (v8.46.0 and v3.46.0 respectively).

The “NGFB” top menu item has also been renamed to “NGFB SSO” and a “Social and Search Optimization” tagline has been added to the top of every settings page (50% transparent). The top menu item for WPSSO has not changed, and is still named “SSO”. :-)

You’ll also find a new icon for the NGFB / WPSSO top menu item – the icon reflects the NGFB orange and WPSSO lime logos, which represent the radiating / sharing of information from a central reference point. ;-)

YouTube has recently begun filtering user agents, and no longer provides Open Graph information about its videos by default. The YouTube module in NGFB and WPSSO (Pro versions) have been updated to take this into account, and once again provide complete meta tags and Schema markup for awesome video SEO.

NGFB and WPSSO have evolved quickly over the years, and although I try and maintain the accuracy of all setup guides, notes, FAQs, etc., you may find some text that can be improved – if you do, please open a ticket on our support website and provide a link to the page that requires an update, and we’ll be happy to do that for you. ;-)

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New Plugin – WPSSO Ratings and Reviews

A new WPSSO Ratings and Reviews (WPSSO RAR) extension for WPSSO has been released. This Free plugin extends the WordPress comment system with a new star rating and review feature — ratings and reviews can be enabled / disabled per post, new reviews are labeled as reviews (not comments), a star rating can be required before reviews are accepted, replies to reviews are properly labeled as replies / comments, and the colors of star ratings can be customized from the settings page.

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WPSSO SSM – Remove Duplicate HTML Meta Tags

The WordPress Strip Schema Microdata (WPSSO SSM) v1.1.0-1 extension has been released (see the complete Changelog here) — this new version adds a “Strip Microdata” settings page to the SSO menu and allows you to enable / disable the removal of specific markup from the head and body sections, including the removal of duplicate / conflicting meta tags in the head section (disabled by default).

The WPSSO SSM filters are very fast – generally running in under 0.003 seconds – and enabling the removal of duplicate meta tags won’t add much to this, but I would suggest not enabling that feature unless you need it. If your theme and/or other plugins are adding duplicate meta tags, it’s always best to disable them at their source instead of filtering them out afterwards – but if that’s not possible, then I’m sure you’ll love this new WPSSO SSM feature. ;-)

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WPSSO – Product Condition and WP / PHP Versions

WPSSO v3.40.3-1 plugin has been released (see the complete Changelog here) — this new version adds a custom “Product Condition” option in the Social Settings metabox, along with updating the minimum & recommended versions for WordPress and PHP.

The new “Product Condition” option will be visible only if the Open Graph og:type meta tag value is a “product” — which is the default value for all product pages from Easy Digital Downloads, MarketPress – WordPress eCommerce, WooCommerce, WP eCommerce, and most other e-commerce plugins (developers can also hook the ‘wpsso_og_type’ filter to change the default value – see the complete list of filters here).

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WPSSO JSON – Recipe Instructions and Nutrition

The WPSSO Schema JSON-LD Markup (WPSSO JSON) v1.13.0-1 extension for WPSSO has been released (see the complete Changelog here) — this latest version adds several custom Recipe Instructions and Nutrition Information options to the Social Settings metabox, along with including some new integration modules for WP Recipe Maker and WP Ultimate Recipes.

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WPSSO – Product Availability, Price and Currency

WPSSO v3.40.0-1 has been released (see the complete Changelog here) — this new version adds custom Product Availability, Price and Currency options to the Social Settings metabox.

These options will be visible only if the Open Graph og:type meta tag value is a “product” — which is the default value for all product pages from Easy Digital Downloads, MarketPress – WordPress eCommerce, WooCommerce, WP eCommerce, and most other e-commerce plugins that use a “product” custom post type (developers can also hook the ‘wpsso_og_type’ filter to change the default value – see the complete list of filters here).

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New Plugin – WPSSO User Locale Selector

A new WPSSO User Locale Selector (WPSSO UL) extension for WPSSO and WordPress version 4.7+ has been released. This Free extension provides a user locale / language / region selector in the WordPress admin back-end and front-end toolbar menus. This allows users to easily change their preferred locale setting from the toolbar instead of having to update their WordPress profile page.

The default WordPress behavior is to apply the user locale preference to the admin back-end only — this plugin can optionally extend the user locale preference to the front-end webpage as well (enabled by default in the SSO > User Locale settings page).

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New Plugin – JSM’s Force SSL / HTTPS

When searching for a plugin on WordPress.org, I’m always surprised by the number of results — many plugins appear to be similar, or even identical, but if you look at their PHP code, those similarities quickly evaporate. This was the case recently when I was looking for a simple plugin to redirect HTTP URLs to HTTPS. Some plugins were way too basic / incomplete in their logic, while others looked like a pile of spaghetti code with the kitchen sink thrown in there somewhere. :)

JSM’s Force SSL / HTTPS is my take on a simple WordPress plugin to redirect HTTP URLs to HTTPS. ;-)

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