WPSSO – Why You Shouldn’t Upload Small Images

Once in a while a WPSSO Core user will ask me how to disable notices from WPSSO for small images — they reason that images uploaded to their Media library are sized correctly beforehand, and they cannot re-upload larger images without significantly altering their content layout (including huge images, instead of smaller ones, in their post content). For example, if a user requires a 300x200px image for their content, they upload a 300x200px image to the Media library. What they don’t realize is that WordPress isn’t meant to be used this way and they’re breaking an essential WordPress feature by doing this — not to mention that WPSSO will probably reject the image for being too small for Facebook Open Graph meta tags and Google Schema markup requirements. :-)

WordPress and several 3rd party plugins provide different image sizes based on the resolution of the viewing device (aka responsive images). For example, a 300x200px image in your content will look blurry on high resolution screens (almost all current mobile phones, tablets, and laptops) because the browser must “upscale” the image to 450x300px or 600x400px in order to fill a 300x200px space on these high resolution screens. WordPress includes additional image markup in the webpage to provide alternative sizes (300x200px, 450x300px, and 600x400px for example), which allows the browser to choose the appropriate image based on the screen resolution. If you upload a 300x200px image to the Media library, WordPress will not be able to offer these additional image sizes, and WPSSO will not be able to use this image for most social sites and search engines (which have minimum image size requirements).

So, what should you do if you want a 300x200px image in your content?

That’s what WordPress image sizes are for. ;-)

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WPSSO – New JetPack Breaks Shortlinks for CPTs

A number of WPSSO Core customers using JetPack have reported that shortlinks no longer work for Custom Post Types (CPTs). According to JetPack, this is a feature, and PHP code specifically for this JetPack feature must be added to your functions.php file — or an additional property added to the Custom Post Type definition. Unless you have made these PHP code changes, JetPack will break the WordPress wp_get_shortlink() function for all Custom Post Types.

Because of this new JetPack feature, older versions of WPSSO Core (before version 3.48.7) may show a warning on Custom Post Type editing pages that the post shortlink is empty — which also prevents WPSSO Core from checking the current post webpage for duplicate meta tags. Additionally, the WordPress “Get Shortlink” button on post editing pages and the link rel="shortlink" HTML tag in webpage headers will be missing.

WPSSO Core version 3.48.7 now checks for empty values returned by the wp_get_shortlink() function and provides a correct shortlink URL. This not only addresses the new Jetpack feature, but also fixes incorrectly coded themes that disable the link rel="shortlink" HTML tag by returning an empty shortlink value (a violation of the WordPress theme guidelines).

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WPSSO JSON Pro – New Job Posting Options

The upcoming WPSSO JSON Pro v1.18.0 release (ETA Nov 11-12th) includes new Schema Job Posting options in the Social and Search Optimization metabox and support for the Simple Job Board plugin (along with pre-existing support for the WP Job Manager plugin from Automattic). See the WPSSO JSON changelog for more details.

You’ll find three new Schema Job Posting options in the Social and Search Optimization metabox:

  • Job Title
  • Employment Type
  • Job Posting Expires

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WPSSO Core – New “Cache Status” in Dashboard

The upcoming WPSSO Core v3.48.0 release includes several changes to cache handling methods and filters.

If your site still uses the default WordPress transient cache in the database options table (most WordPress sites), you’ll find a new “Cache Status” metabox on the SSO > Plugin Dashboard and Features Status page.

If you’re using an external object cache, like APC, Memcache, Redis, Xcache, etc., this new metabox will not be displayed. Support for your chosen external object cache could be added at a later date, depending on user requests and the availability of an API to get (or count) all stored keys by prefix.

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Help Test the New BFO Feature in WPSSO v3.47.0

As my recent post on Make WordPress Plugins explains, there’s a serious problem in many themes and plugins using the content filter, and although this problem well known, it has largely been ignored by the WordPress community. :-/

I’d like your feedback on the new Block Filter Output (BFO) feature that will be enabled in WPSSO version 3.47.0 (currently in pre-release) — the Block Filter Output (BFO) feature attempts to make the content filter usable by monitoring the content filter for webpage output, and fixing incorrectly coded filter hooks (that send text to the webpage instead of returning it, as all filter hooks must). WPSSO version 3.47.0 will also enable the “Apply WordPress Content Filter” option by default, and use the BFO feature to report any content filter issues.

If you are a Pro version user, you can try the latest pre-release / release candidate version by selecting the “Release Candidate and Up” version filter for WPSSO under the SSO > Update Manager settings page. Let me know if WPSSO reports any issues with your content filters — hopefully it won’t, but if it does, you’ll have the necessary information to contact the theme or plugin author and have them fix their code. ;-)

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Monitor and Fix Incorrectly Coded Content Filters

I’ve just released version 1.1.0 of JSM’s Block Filter Output – a new plugin to monitor the content filter and fix incorrectly coded filter hooks (that send text to the webpage instead of returning it, as all filter hooks must).

A notice is also sent to the PHP error log when webpage output is detected:

[01-Oct-2017 01:48:28 UTC] Block Filter Output: The “ClassName::echoText” filter hook with priority 10 in the “the_content” filter has mistakenly provided some webpage output. All WordPress filter hooks must return their text – not send it to the webpage output. Please contact the author of that filter hook and report this issue as a coding error / bug. Incorrect webpage output:
—BEGIN—
<strong>Some output that should have been returned instead of echo’ed.</strong>
—END—

The plugin is fully tested and compatible with PHP v7.x (PHP v5.3 or better required).

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NextGEN Facebook Replaced by WPSSO

The NextGEN Facebook plugin was forked in 2014 and replaced by the WPSSO Core plugin — 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 Core is distributed without the social sharing buttons and their related features. Social sharing buttons are distributed separately, as optional extensions for WPSSO Core. WPSSO Core also provides several other useful and optional extensions:

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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”. :-)

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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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