I am happy to introduce Version 5.1 of the WideRange website software! The bulk of the updates with this version involved extensive under-the-hood code and database performance improvements, but there are a number of new features to explain too:
- Meta Title Overrides: All Galleries, Products, and Pages now have their own Meta Title Override input field where you can enter a custom meta page title to use instead of the normal, automated version. If left blank, the default method will still be used (and the default is also shown as placeholder text when you edit those pages).
- SEO Settings Page: Choose whether you want the Site Title and Site Description to be automatically appended to those respective meta tags, or not.
- Photo "Alt" Descriptions: The Photos now have an “Alt” Description input field, which is now used for image alt tags. (Captions will still be used there if the Alt data is empty). The Alt description text is meant for much more direct descriptions of the images compared to the captions. Please read the Alt tag "help" topic there in the admin for more explanation.
- Homepage Meta Title & Descriptions: now available.
- No more Page Keywords! Meta page keywords have been completely removed from the websites and admin. Wait, what? Aren't those important? Actually, no, not at all. Google and other search engines have long stated that they totally ignore meta keyword tags, but up until now I've left them in as a relic. But for the sake of simplicity and to save clients from pointless keyword entry work, I've finally removed these. (Photos still have keywords, though).
* Just to clarify, the new Meta Title Override and Photo Alt Description features are optional. If left blank, the same automated methodology as before will be used for populating those tags on the website.
- New "Slideshow" gallery format allows you to turn any gallery into a slideshow instead of thumbnails.
- New "Journal Photos" gallery format displays all the photos of a gallery in a two-column layout with the photos on the left side and their captions on the right.
- In the Blog Settings you can customize what the "Related Galleries" title says. For example you can change this to "Related Posts" or "Read Next" or whatever you want.
- On the Homepage settings page you can now choose whether you want the slideshow images to link to their respective photo pages or all to the main gallery page.
- Combined Cart Shipping: For prints and product items you can now choose whether to charge shipping per item, combine the shipping for multiple quantities of the same item, or combine the shipping for all items in the cart (in which case the shipping for that item is not charged if there's another item in the cart with a greater shipping charge).
- Separate Order Confirmation page: For Stripe checkouts, the payment confirmation is now displayed on a separate cart page ( YourSite.com/order/ ). This allows easier conversion tracking for clients using analytics tools.
Version 5.1 was mainly about supercharging the code "engine" running the WideRange website software, and with this version in place I'm eager to move on to more exciting feature upgrades in the pipeline! Stay tuned...