Almost 2 months after the last version, Suffusion 3.8.3 is here. This is another big release with a hopefully small impact. As mentioned earlier, the focus of this release was on making the theme more framework-like. Here is the change log for this release:
- New Features
- Enhanced Breadcrumbs:
After a slew of questions from lots of users regarding breadcrumb display, I went ahead and built some powerful breadcrumb functionality. If you have “Yoast Breadcrumbs” or “Breadcrumb Trail” your breadcrumbs will not be affected, but otherwise you can use Suffusion’s breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs can be displayed on single posts, custom posts, archives (categories, date archives tags etc) and is fairly intuitive. They are not activated by default and can be switched on from Other Graphical Settings → Breadcrumbs and Page Navigation.
- Support for Native Custom Backgrounds:
At the time of releasing 3.8.2 the feedback given to me was that I should use WP’s native Custom Background functionality. So I have gone ahead and provided that. If you define something in under Appearance → Background, it will override the settings within Suffusion.
- New Options:
- You can disable Featured Content on second/third etc pages from an archive view. In other words, only the first page of your category/tag etc will show the featured content. Toggle the option at Other Graphical Settings → Featured Content → Where to Show → First page / all pages.
- Along similar lines you can disable full content posts on second/third etc pages of a tiled/list/mosaic layout. Toggle this at Other Graphical Settings → Layout: Excerpt / List / Tile / Mosaic / Full → Full content posts on first page / all pages (for selections above).
- Quite surprisingly a feature that has existed since a long time was requested to be taken off recently, twice. Suffusion automatically adjusts images in their original aspect ratio. But some users didn’t want that. You can now disable the aspect ratio fix from Other Graphical Settings → Miscellaneous → Image Aspect Ratio.
- Another pilloried feature was the “Allowed HTML Tags” message that shows up at the bottom of the comment form. Several users don’t like it. So you can now remove it from Back-end Settings → Comment Settings.
- Suffusion’s Export/Import functionality used to operate only on non-id fields. With this release you can now have two kinds of exports: one that doesn’t export id-based options (useful if you have multiple active sites and just want the same look on them) and another that exports all options (useful if you are moving from DEV to PROD).
- You can now control whether the previous / next post should be restricted to the current category. You can also control whether you want the links above the content, below the content, in both places or not at all. See Other Graphical Settings → Breadcrumbs and Page Navigation → Previous / Next Posts.
- Enhanced Breadcrumbs:
- Bug Fixes
The following bugs have been taken care of:
- There was a problem with Minima, where the display of Asides and some other Post Formats was getting hammered with multiple pullouts.
- If the last item in a post was a floated image, things after it were not being cleared properly.
- Nested list items in comments were not getting styled properly.
- In the “Featured Posts” widget the “Previous” and “Next” buttons were only showing if the slider index was activated.
- In the “Query Posts” widget the posts were not displaying in a random order if requested.
- If you assigned a “No Sidebars” layout to a single post it was not getting picked up.
- The Magazine template and the tile layout were getting incorrect widths for their excerpts if the number of sidebars they had was not the default.
- Due to an improper use of CSS in the comment form, labels from other plugins were getting formatted incorrectly.
- The image thumbnail functionality wasn’t behaving well in case the image title had special characters.
- In the “Static Tabbed Sidebar” if you attempted to put in a “Links” tab, it wasn’t possible to change its title.
- Post thumbnails in IE were getting “squashed”.
- Code Housekeeping
There was a major level of code housekeeping in this release:
- Framework Files
For ease of use and modification I have broken out various oft changed pieces of code in Suffusion to their own files. All these files are in a folder called “custom”. If you want to modify any of them, simply create a folder called “custom” in your child theme, then copy the file from Suffusion that you want to change and proceed with making the changes. Easy. I will post an article in a few days showing how you can use these files. The following files have been created in Suffusion’s “custom” folder:
- byline-tile.php: Handles the byline display for the magazine layout and the tile layout.
- pagination-mosaic.php, pagination-comments.php and pagination-posts.php: Handle the display for pagination of the Mosaic layout, comments and posts.
- seo.php: Obviously, handles SEO aspects.
- pullout.php and pullout-page.php: Manage the display of “pullout” style bylines for posts and pages respectively.
- navigation.php: Contains the Navigation Menu code.
- post-header.php and post-footer.php: Respectively contain the elements to be displayed before and after the post content.
- breadcrumb-page.php and breadcrumb.php: Respectively contain the breadcrumb logic for pages and everything else.
- prev-next.php: Handles the previous and next page display.
- site-footer.php: Displays the credit at the bottom of your site.
- Load Optimization
- Core Load Optimization
- I optimized several aspects of the application load. The back-end, you will notice, has become sprightly. On the front-end by separating things into several files I only load files when absolutely necessary, making things a lot faster. I will fine-tune things further in subsequent releases.
- In addition to the framework-type files, I have also separated the functions that deal with BP compatibility into a separate file. This will not affect BP users, but will speed things up for non-BP users.
- I have for now disabled the “Version Checker”. I noticed that for some people this was causing memory issues, hence this action.
- I have removed a lot of redundant functions from the code, combined functions where possible etc.
- I have also removed the “FAQ” section of the Admin panel – the section had really old information and though Colin provided suggestions on how to make it better, maintaining that was simply too much of an overhead.
- Query Optimization
In several cases I have fine-tuned the queries being executed in the database. The biggest example is the navigation bar, where I have drastically reduced the number. The net result is that the number of database queries being executed is very similar to several themes that are loaded with a lot less functionality.
- Script Optimization
- I performed major CSS optimization. Firstly I separated the BP-specific CSS to its own file. This will speed up things for non-BP users and will not affect BP users with a caching plugin.
- I also heavily optimized the CSS code for the navigation menus, taking out several lines of code.
- I combined some JS files to save server round-trips.
- Lastly I introduced sprites where possible. Note that things like body backgrounds, list bullets etc cannot be handled using sprites without errors, so you will still see non-sprite images.
- Core Load Optimization
- Framework Files
- Changed Features
- Tables now occupy 100% of the width by default, in both, main content as well as comments.
- The login template bundled with the theme now redirects to the home page instead of the WP installation page upon successful login.
- Earlier there used to be an incompatibility between Suffusion and SEO plugins in terms of the use of wp_title. This has been addressed – whether or not you use Suffusion’s SEO, wp_title is the call that will always be used.
- Text is now left-aligned by default, instead of being justified.
Hope you like this release.
Now, back to Photonic, some other plugins and some theme skins.