Arconix Shortcodes v2.0!

It’s been about 8 months since my last update to my shortcodes plugin. In that time I’ve released a new testimonials plugin, a updated my FAQ plugin a couple times. I started and stopped development on this big 2.0 update a couple times but I’m really excited to finally introduce the changes.

Font Awesome

The biggest change is that I’ve integrated FontAwesome icons. This is good for a few reasons:

1. More Flexibility

On the boxes, buttons, lists and tabs I support using not just the default styles but also any FontAwesome icon you’d like in any of the 11 standard colors  I support. This allows you to really customize how these interactive elements look on your site. Don’t like the default boxes I support? Choose a color and an icon and there you go – your own custom box. Read the documentation for more info  how to select your own icons.

2. Faster

Instead of multiple http calls to download each of the images that I used previously, there’s one call to a single icon font. I’ve also minified the CSS which has reduced its size by about 18%. This will result in a little bump in site performance, and like everything else when it comes to site optimization — every little bit helps.

3. Better Graphics

With the retina images of Apple products and all manner of devices debuting with massive pixels, a need for crisper images is undeniable. Using an icon font like FontAwesome, the images can scale infinitely so they’ll look good at any resolution.

The End of a Shortcode

Something I had been hemming and hawing about was retiring the Google Map shortcode. Google has made some significant updates to their Programming Interface which has made embedding a Google Map in a site very hard to do as the plugin is currently structured. I had considered updating the Google Map shortcode, but after considering all sides, I decided instead to retire that shortcode. There are so many plugins out there that allow you to embed a Google Map in your site that it didn’t make sense to have this afterthought shortcode in my collection, especially since it wasn’t a frequently used shortcode

Other Improvements

I added flat and clear button designs to match new design trends along with an XL button size. I also didn’t like on the column and accordion shortcode when indicating the last item in a collection (the last column or last accordion item) how we had to have a value for ‘last’, i.e. last=y or last=1234. As a result that’s no longer needed and simply adding the word ‘last’ with no value will be sufficient. And like all releases, there are miscellaneous fixes and improvements which aren’t all that interesting to read about.

What’s Next?

Seriously? I just finished v2.0 and you’re already asking about the next update? On my radar is adding the ability to add the shortcode via a button on the WordPress editor. Unless anything substantial comes up, that will likely be v2.1. As far as when that will be, I haven’t the foggiest idea. “As soon as it’s done” is the closest you’ll get.

Feedback

I love hearing from users and listening to feedback, both good and bad. It’s largely been behind the last updates to my other plugins, so make sure you keep those suggestions coming, and feel free to leave feedback in the comments. If you have a problem with the release, please let me know in the support page.