Smooth Slider 2.0 Released, Now It Is On Its Way To A Smarter Featured Post Slider

We are very excited to look ahead for this major release of Smooth Slider, a free WordPress Plugin developed by us, Internet Techies, to show the featured content and images in a decent, fully customizable and search engine optimized slideshow.

Why this upgrade?

We have received an overwhelming response to our previous releases Smooth Slider 1.1 and Smooth Slider 1.2 and a lot of good suggestions in the form of comments on Smooth Slider plugin page and on Internet Techies forum. Taking into consideration the valued suggestions and guidance of all the bloggers using Smooth Slider, this time we have come up with a powerful and smart content and image slider for WordPress, with lot many options added adding control to the slider display and admin settings. This time we have given an equal amount of attention to the requirements of our WordPress MU i.e. WPMU blogger friends and hope this release brings some essential and irresistible features for including Smooth Slider on WPMU blog and normal WordPress self hosted blogs too. 

What’s new in this release?

Below are the features and fixes going live in Smooth Slider 2.0 :-

1. Now you can add pages to Smooth Slider along with posts

Previously, it was possible to add only posts to Smooth Slider from the edit panel, now you can add pages to it too. Go to Admin Panel => Pages => Edit Page => Scroll down and at somewhere in bottom you would see “Add this post/page to Smooth Slider” checkbox => Check the box to add the respective page to Smooth Slider.  

2. Images Original Size Option

In the “Thumbnail Image” section of the Smooth Slider Settings page => Image Size settings => Choose “Original Size” to put the image as it is in the slider or choose the “Custom Size” and input “Height” and “Width” in pixels to display the images in fixed sizes

3. Pick image from content or the custom field

In the “Thumbnail Image” section of the Smooth Slider Settings page => Pick Image From settings => select slider_thumbnail Custom Field if you are specifying the image URL in a custom field “slider_thumbnail” for each post. Select “First Image from the Content “ if you wish the image should be directly picked up from the content. In this case, whatever may be the first image for each post/page, that would be picked up. If there is no image for the post, then the image from the slider_thumbnail custom field would be picked up. If there are no images in the post as well as no slider_thumbnail custom field is populated, then the slider would contain only the content for that post.

4. New custom field implementation, to allow not to display images on selective posts

If you have selected “First Image from the Content “ (Refer above point), then it may happen that for a certain post you do not wish to display any image though the post has a image in the content. In such case, just populate ‘x’ (without quotes)  in the custom field slider_image_control for that particular post or page. Then no image would be displayed at all. This would enable the selective inclusion of images on the slider.

5. A new template tag to display Category specific posts on Smooth Slider

Use get_smooth_slider_cat(‘category-name or category slug’) to get the posts from that category only on Smooth Slider.

Sample call:-

In the php opening and closing tags put the below code wherever you want the slider:-

if ( function_exists( 'get_smooth_slider_cat' ) ) {
     get_smooth_slider_cat(‘google’); }

If you do not pass any value in the tag, then the category of that page would be automatically picked up. For example, you have put this tag on a category template page and now you have opened category page “Google”, then the slider would only display the posts from Google category and when you open “Microsoft” category archive, then the slider would display the posts from Microsoft category only. For this you use this template tag without passing any argument. On the non-category page like home page, all the posts added to slider would be displayed on the slider.

Sample call:-

In the php opening and closing tags put the below code wherever you want the slider:-

if ( function_exists( 'get_smooth_slider_cat' ) ) {
     get_smooth_slider_cat(); }

6. A new template tag for WPMU, to get slider posts from all over the WPMU site

Use the template tag get_smooth_slider_wpmu_all to get the site wide posts on your WPMU installation.

Sample call:-

In the php opening and closing tags put the below code wherever you want the slider:-

if ( function_exists( 'get_smooth_slider_wpmu_all' ) ) {
     get_smooth_slider_wpmu_all(); }

In case of this template tag, only the care you need to take is, if you do not want a certain post from a specific blog on your WPMU site on the Smooth Slider, you need to remove it in the slider. This is because this template tag traverses and finds out the featured posts from each blog on your installation sequentially. So, maybe a single blog having lot many unwanted featured posts can eat up the maximum number of posts on the slider limit specified on your main blog Smooth Slider settings.

7. Option to change “Read More” text and also put it in your language

This was a wanted option! On the “Miscellaneous” section of the settings page => put whatever text in the input box “Continue Reading Text”, by default it is “Read More”. Now you can make it to your language also.

8. Permission setting option to restrict the users from adding posts to Smooth Slider

On the “Miscellaneous” section of the settings page => select the level of users that should be able to put the posts and pages to Smooth Slider using “Minimum User Level to add Post to the Slider”, by default it is “Editor and Administrator”.

9. Remove posts and pages from Smooth Slider selectively from the settings page itself

At the bottom of Smooth Slider settings page, you now have the list of all the posts and pages which are added to Smooth Slider. Select the posts and pages that you wish to remove by checking the “Remove Post” checkbox for those respective posts/pages and click on “Remove Selected” button. In order to remove all the posts and pages from Smooth Slider in one go click on “Remove All at Once” button.

10. Option to retain specific html tags in the slider posts

This is a very good option, I think. Now you can retain links and br tags in the slider posts. On the “Miscellaneous” section of the settings page => put all the html tags that you wish to retain in the “Retain these html tags” input field.  Put the tags in the following manner,

<br><a><p>

Don’t separate them using commas, neither use “/” anywhere.

11. Option to specify custom text or html in place of navigation numbers or buttons

On the “Slider Box” settings section => “Navigation Buttons” settings => select “Enter Custom Text or HTML” => Directly specify some text or put an image html tag or any link or div (whatever html) in the input box ahead. The navigation section has approximately the same height as that of your slider content font. You can change the appearance by using appropriate CSS style properties. This becomes easy as you can put any html code in the input box.

12. Fixed issue of Smooth Slider settings page with Internet Explorer

There was an issue of Smooth Slider settings page with Internet Explorer that when we tried to Save the settings on IE browser, the settings were not getting saved. This issue is resolved in this upgrade.

13. Optimized Smooth Slider code internally

There was some more optimization needed to the Smooth Slider internal code like

1. Put all the options in one array and create only one option field in the options database for Smooth Slider.

2. Used a CSS file for all constant styles for the slider, so that only dynamically generated styles come in the head section of the page.

3. A new jQuery library would not get loaded if some other plugin has already loaded the library.

and lot more optimization done!

14. Smooth Slider complete uninstall on plugin Delete

Now the database table and the options specific to Smooth Slider would automatically get deleted when you Delete the plugin from the Admin panel => Plugins section after deactivating it.

So, I said, this is the major release!!!

Please post us all your feedbacks and suggestions. They really help us improving our minute contribution to this huge open source community. Long live WordPress!

Have a look at our another Free WordPress Plugin – Cute Profiles.

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