WPSSO Core v4 with Support for Gutenberg

The new Gutenberg editor for WordPress v5 may not be ready yet — and I can certainly attest to that, lol — but it’s coming soon, and WPSSO Core is ready for Gutenberg!

This latest version of WPSSO Core (scheduled for release this week) includes several key changes aimed specifically at integrating WPSSO Core with the new Gutenberg editor. The Document SSO (Social and Search Optimization) metabox is now refreshed when the Gutenberg post is saved, and any SSO notices are displayed using the new Gutenberg notification system. The notices themselves have also been improved by including more information about the dismiss button — either simply hiding the notice (Gutenberg default), temporarily dismissing it for 1 hour, 3 months, etc, or dismissing it permanently.

Have you tried the Gutenberg editor yet?

WordPress v5 is coming soon, and if you haven’t tried the new Gutenberg editor in a staging environment (contact your hosting provider for details), then you could be in for a major surprise! Many plugins will not be compatible with Gutenberg, and for those few and rare plugin authors that are still actively maintaining their plugins, updates to support the Gutenberg editor may take some time. Save yourself the headache – install the Gutenberg editor in a staging environment now, and make sure all your plugins are compatible. ;-)

WPSSO Core v4.0.0 beta is available now.

If you’re a WPSSO Core Pro user — and have a staging environment — you can select the “Beta and Up” version filter for WPSSO Core in the SSO > Update Manager settings page, to install and test the latest beta version. You can also re-select the “Stable / Production” version filter at any time to re-install the last stable / production version.

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WPSSO – Robots Option for Search Engines / SEO

WPSSO Core v3.52.0 includes a new “Robots” option for search engines / SEO in the post edit Publish metabox (see the changelog here). Uncheck the “meta name robots” option under the SSO > Advanced > Head Tags List > SEO / Other tab to hide / exclude the “Robots” option from the Publish metabox (enabled by default if no SEO plugin is detected).

This new WPSSO Core version includes a new “Person” role for users – this role is added to all new users by default. You can uncheck the “Add Person Role for New Users” option under the SSO > Advanced > Integration tab to disable this automatic feature (enabled by default). The “Person” role will be used by WPSSO JSON for selects requiring a “Person” role for its Schema markup.

WPSSO Core v3.53.0 also includes fix for the image upscale feature – an incorrectly named variable prevented the proper calculation of the image upscale size.

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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 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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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 – 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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WPSSO – New Caching Control Options

WPSSO version 3.37.0-2 has been released, along with updates to all its extensions. This latest WPSSO version includes several new options to fine-tune WPSSO’s internal caching features. The previous “Object Cache Expiry” option has been replaced with 7 new options:

  • Head Markup Array Cache Expiry (default 3 days).
  • Shortened URL Cache Expiry (default 1 week).
  • List Column Content Cache Expiry (default 1 week).
  • Filtered Content Text Cache Expiry (default 1 hour).
  • Get Image (URL) Size Cache Expiry (default 1 day).
  • Article Topics Array Cache Expiry (4 weeks).
  • Schema Types Array Cache Expiry (4 weeks).

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