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:
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”. :-)
NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) version 8.17.0 and WordPress Social Sharing Optimization (WPSSO) version 3.17.0 have been released.
I’ve started work on a new auto-posting extension for WPSSO, which has led to a few improvements in NGFB and WPSSO. A new “Show Tabs in Social Settings Metabox” option allows you to remove the Social Preview, Head Tags, and Validate tabs from the Social Settings metabox. The meta tag listing under the Head Tags tab has also been improved to include additional schema and JSON-LD code blocks. A new “Force Autoplay when Possible” option has been added to force video autoplay when possible — the Vimeo and Wistia integration modules have been updated to use this option. The All In One SEO Pack and all video integration modules have also been refactored to standardize their code.
NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) version 8.16.0 and WordPress Social Sharing Optimization (WPSSO) version 3.16.0 have been released.
Continuing work on the Schema markup improvements from the last version, the “<head> Attributes Filter Hook” theme integration option has also been improved — Previously, the Schema itemtype was added to the <html> element attributes using the standard “language_attributes” WordPress filter. This defined the Schema itemtype for the webpage as a whole, which might be ok, except that some themes also define a second itemtype later in their template. The proper location for our Schema itemtype is in the <head> element attributes, to define the itemtype only for the meta tags being added by NGFB / WPSSO. Unfortunately WordPress and most theme templates do not have a standard filter for that element. In this new version, NGFB and WPSSO will check the header.php template for a standard <head> element, and if found, will suggest updating it with a new “head_attributes” filter. As an example:
<head <?php echo apply_filters( 'head_attributes', '' ); ?>>
And in context, here are the first three lines found in most header.php templates:
<html <?php language_attributes(); ?>>
<head <?php echo apply_filters( 'head_attributes', '' ); ?>>
NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) version 8.14.0 and WordPress Social Sharing Optimization (WPSSO) version 3.14.0 have been released.
Using WPSSO as an example, this latest version provides an easy way to connect WPSSO to Custom Post Types (CPTs). If your theme (or another plugin) uses the following CPTs, WPSSO will pre-populate its Open Graph meta tags array with standard meta tags for that type. The following CPTs are recognized:
These new versions add a Show Social Columns option on the Advanced settings page to enable / disable the the “Social Img” and “Social Desc” columns for Posts, Pages, Taxonomy, and Users list pages. NextGEN Gallery’s (NGG) image object format has changed in recent versions, breaking some filters that NGFB and WPSSO required to correctly detect NGG image IDs. The detection of NGG images in the content text has been improved in these versions by adding support for NGG’s “data-image-id” attribute. A possible undefined index error for Media Library images has also been fixed by adding a check for the full width and height attributes (which may be missing).
NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) version 8.11.0 and WordPress Social Sharing Optimization (WPSSO) version 3.11.0 have been released.
WordPress recently announced an initiative to import all plugins into their translation system, which means that most plugin and theme authors will have to modify their code to make it compliant, if they haven’t done so already (removing variables from the translation functions, for example).
The translation of NGFB and WPSSO has been on my To-Do list for a while now, so after being notified by the WordPress team that NGFB and WPSSO would be imported into the translation system, I decided to update all the code to make it translation ready. Little did I know it would take more than a week of serious coding — while at the same time testing the new code by translating the plugins into French myself. There were almost 500 text strings to translate (from a few words to several sentences) — and that’s without counting all the help popup text (which will be completed in a later version). Hopefully the new French (fr_FR) translations of NGFB and WPSSO will be useful to some. :-)
NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) version 8.10 and WordPress Social Sharing Optimization (WPSSO) version 3.10 have been released. The Photo Card, Gallery Card, and Product Card were deprecated by Twitter on July 3rd, 2015. NGFB and WPSSO continue to support all current Twitter Card formats, including the Summary Card, Summary Card with Large Image, App Card (exclusive to WPSSO), and Player Card — in both the Free (New) and Pro versions.
NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) version 8.9 and WordPress Social Sharing Optimization (WPSSO) version 3.9 have been released. These latest versions include a new “Theme Integration” tab on the Advanced settings page to help provide better Schema markup support for Developers and/or power-users. By default, Schema itemprop / itemtype markup is added to the
<html> element in webpages, but a better location for this markup would be in the
<head> element. Unfortunately, WordPress does not have a standard filter for the
<head> element (like it does for the
<html> element attributes). If your theme provides a filter for the
<head> element attributes, and/or you feel confident enough to edit your theme’s header.php template, you will find the settings under the “Theme Integration” tab very useful.
NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) version 8.8 and WordPress Social Sharing Optimization (WPSSO) version 3.8 have been released. The latest NGFB and WPSSO versions include new dismissible warnings for rejected images (too small and/or extreme aspect ratios) when using WordPress v4.2+. When previously dismissed warnings are found, an additional notice will be shown to allow these warnings to be displayed again temporarily.