Auto Load Next Post v1.4.10 is now available

This release provides many improvements, bug corrections and enhancements. It is also important to know that I have increased the minimum PHP requirement to PHP 5.6. As a developer it is important to keep my code secure so as a user it is important that you keep your site secure.

The Bugs

There was an issue with History.js already been loaded when using the WordPress customizer. This caused issues with some themes and would stop the user from using the customizer. History.js has now been disabled when viewing the WordPress customizer.

With Google Analytics some users had reported that it would return the full URL… sometimes. The whole length of the URL was reported in Analytics after a forward slash and made tracking the page views difficult in there reports. This has now been addressed in this release.

Last but most important, the plugin would no longer set the default theme selectors once activated. These theme selectors are the most common used and helps with the out of box experience should no further setting up be required. This has now been fixed and improved when updating the plugin.

So thats the bugs out of the way. Now on to the good stuff.

Admin Settings

Users had reported that they did not find the help tips useful or found it hard to understand in it’s current form so I have removed the help tips and are now displaying the field descriptions on the side instead.

Action Hooks

Two changes have been made to the template file for action hooks. The first is a rename of two action hooks to keep all action hooks inconsistent with each other.

The action hooks changed are for the post format before and after content.

What the action hooks were before.

alnp_load_before_content_type_' . $post_format
alnp_load_after_content_type_' . $post_format

What the action hooks are now.

alnp_load_before_content_post_format_' . $post_format
alnp_load_after_content_post_format_' . $post_format

The second is adding two additional hooks to support other post types in prepartion for Auto Load Next Post Pro.

alnp_load_before_content_post_type_' . $post_type
alnp_load_after_content_post_type_' . $post_type

Compaitble HTML Semantics and Post Navigation Lookup

I have been testing out other themes that did not use HTML5 so I added additional compatible support for HTML semantics to support those themes. If an <article> is not found under the content container then it will look for a <div> with the post ID applied.

I also added a secondary lookup for post navigation should the default lookup fail for some themes and frameworks. Again this is HTML semantics.

New theme added to the supported roster

Storefront. With the compatible HTML semantics put in place Storefront now works with Auto Load Next Post.

If you have not yet seen Storefront latest beta release for v2.3, I actually contributed to that release to make sure the articles are using HTML5 semantics so even without the compatible support I have now added, once Storefront releases v2.3 official it will still work out of the box, only better.

If you are wanting to increase your pageviews then install Auto Load Next Post today. You won’t regret it.

See what Rich Tabor ( Founder of Theme Beans ) had to say in his review.

Download Auto Load Next Post

Auto Load Next Post v1.4.10-beta.3

Auto Load Next Post 1.4.10 beta 3 is now available for testing. This fixes a missing function I forgot to commit before releasing beta 2 and minified the JavaScript, identified during beta 2.

Just shows how important it is to test before releasing.

To test Auto Load Next Post 1.4.10 beta 3, you can use my Auto Load Next Post Beta Tester plugin or you can download the beta release here (zip).

If you think you’ve found a bug? Please post in detail to Github.

The final version of 1.4.10 is due for release April 19th 2018.

Auto Load Next Post v1.4.10-beta.2

Auto Load Next Post 1.4.10 beta 2 is now available for testing. This includes additional fixes based on feedback and research for issues identified during beta 1.

To test Auto Load Next Post 1.4.10 beta 2, you can use my Auto Load Next Post Beta Tester plugin or you can download the beta release here (zip).

Think you’ve found a bug? Please post in detail to Github.

The final version of 1.4.10 is due for release April 19th 2018. Below is the full changelog.

  • Added: Compatible HTML semantics lookup if HTML5 is not used for article.
  • Added: Alternative post navigation lookup for some theme frameworks.
  • Added: Storefront theme to the list of themes that work out of the box.
  • Changed: PHP minimum requirement to version 5.6
  • Fixed: Issue with plugin setting up default settings once activated.
  • Fixed: Issue with History.js already been loaded when previewing in the customizer.
  • Fixed: Issue with Google Analytics returning the full URL… sometimes.
  • Enhanced: Browser back button now scrolls to the top of the previous post if any. Thanks to @lex111
  • Enhanced: Detect if Auto Load Next Post parameters exist.
  • Enhanced: Added attributes to identify which post is the initial post both on the post divider and the article.
  • Enhanced: Hidden the post divider completely. Inline styling is used instead for better compatibility with themes.
  • Enhanced: ScrollSpy now identifies the post divider via the new data attribute.
  • Enhanced: Auto Load Next Post now does not run if the post url has a hashtag for a specific comment on an initial load.
  • Improved: The uninstallation of plugin. Now refreshes the permalinks to remove custom rewrite permalink for the plugin.
  • Improved: Code base in preparation for Auto Load Next Post Pro.
  • Updated: Template file header to provide clear information for overriding repeater template.
  • Updated: Settings page to display the theme selectors descriptions rather than using tips.
  • Updated: The help tab on the settings page.
  • Updated: POT file.
  • Updated: Documentation links in the plugin.
  • Updated: Documentation links in readme.txt
  • Updated: FAQ’s in readme.txt

How to support Underscores

If you are building a new theme with _s aka “Underscores” and wish to support Auto Load Next Post, then good for you because not only is _s the perfect base to build a new theme on, it only requires you to apply one filter to be ready for Auto Load Next Post.

Not all themes require this which is why I made a filter available for theme developers.

All you have to do is simply apply the code snippet below to your functions.php file and your new theme is ready to support Auto Load Next Post out of the box.

function _alnp_template_location() {
   return 'template-parts/';
add_filter('alnp_template_location', '_alnp_template_location');

Happy coding.

Development Report #2

Don’t worry, Auto Load Next Post is still in development, the project just got put on hold for a while and I never got round to announcing why so for that I applogise.

I know it has been just over a year since I last posted a report on the progress and released an update for the plugin and that is because I was not yet ready to move forward with further developments especially with the Pro release of Auto Load Next Post.

Let me explain

More research was required in order to make Auto Load Next Post successful and felt it was important that I got the groundwork stable first. So I listened to users feedback and tested out many different themes to understand what was required for Auto Load Next Post to support those themes in order to make it better not just for the theme developers but for the users as well.

The problem with theme support

I had a number of theme support requests last year which allowed me to study the different themes that users wish to use and a lot of them were Magazine and News based themes which is great as they are designed for content purposes.

The problem was that these themes were sold on and this had become the most challenging in my development because most of those themes have very poor or unclear code especially when it comes to their templates and structure which was very disappointing to see.

Such a large theme marketplace filled with popular themes that are closed based designs that would only allow you to customise and only offer support for only what the theme was designed for and not what it can do.

This is one of the main issues I am faced with when providing support for those themes. It is clear, that not every theme even those that are selling really well is easy to follow in it’s code base to allow modifications to be made even with a child-theme.

Which is why the theme support service provides various price tiers depending on where the theme is marketed. What should only take a few minutes to 1 hour tops (depending if heavy customisation is involved) takes more of the users or developers time which makes a great impact on the number of active installs my plugin has.

90% of the time those users don’t even contact for help due to the fact that they spent so much time already trying to get it to work. Some have questioned about the price of the service which is understandable but the prices are valid due to the time required in order to provide the support for such a theme.

Quality of Product

However, most themes selling elsewhere on other WordPress theme markets including individual theme sellers appear to be fine and produce great quality themes not just visually but are well coded and documented.

Those quality themes users don’t have so much trouble with setting up Auto Load Next Post themselves weither they are just a user or an experienced developer. So the theme service is not needed as much.

This makes it easier for Auto Load Next Post to be setup even with the documentation provided.

The Odd Few

There are an odd few such as theme frameworks like Genesis which uses action hooks to display content instead. These frameworks require special support.

At this point, if the framework is requested enough I will provide a child-theme that supports Auto Load Next Post for a small fee to keep them maintained to continue working with the latest framework which I have done a few already and Genesis appears to be the most popular one so far.

Fixing the Problem and Working with Theme Developers

Now one of the most important things that I would like to achieve to help solve this problem is for theme developers to support Auto Load Next Post in their themes just as they do with JetPack so when a user decides to use Auto Load Next Post, it works out of the box.

This is something that I am currently working on right now and plan to announce something special once the next update has been released.

Surprisingly, there are a few not a lot but a few themes out there that have actually already done this which is great and I hope to see more of them.

If you read the previous post I wrote about a theme directory in progress that will list themes that support or can support Auto Load Next Post. This is still in the works and is still highly requested so I hope to have that publically available after a few more releases.

Testing Improvements and Something New

Speaking of releases I have pushed a beta release for you to test out for the next update. This release contains a few fixes that had been delayed a long time. I appologise for that.

I have also made some enhancements which also includes a contribution done by @lex111 during last years Octoberfest event.

One important addition was to provide an alternative post navigation lookup so certain theme frameworks would work. I do recommend testing on a staging site and not on a live site with this release. You can also use the beta tester plugin to download beta releases straight from the GitHub development repository.

One important note is that I have now moved the documentation here from the GitHub repository wiki and improved it’s content with clear examples. Since moving the documentation here the site has gained more pageviews which is great and has improved search results for the users.

I have also created a JavaScript boilerplate for those who wish to expand Auto Load Next Post using it’s custom trigger events.

And if you have not yet seen the first add-on for Auto Load Next Post, it is available now. It’s free and allows you to track pageviews with Facebook Pixel.

What is coming next?

Once the next release has been fully tested and tweaked I will release the update to the WordPress plugin directory and start focusing on the next version which will include improved template support and filtering so that support can be provided via a plugin rather than a child-theme.

Why you ask… well when I provided support for the Genesis framework some users got confused on how to install it and ended up installing it as a plugin and not a child-theme. One of the issues some had was that they were already using a child-theme for Genesis so the support had to be copied over to their child-theme in order to get it to work.

Not only that Studiopress provide themes as child-themes for the Genesis framework so it’s not practical in that situation which is why I will be improving how Auto Load Next Post handles the location of the repeater template.

This will certainly help other frameworks and other customisations in the future.

The good news development has continued and more updates will be coming.

That is it for this report. I will be posting more soon and more regularly with updates and more information on the Pro version of Auto Load Next Post.

If you have any questions in response to this post please leave them below and I will respond.

Thank you.