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[Olympus] Version 3.3 released

In the current release were made 3 global changes, which we want to describe the highlights.

The Top User Menu was highly improved

We add the possibility to create your custom Top User Many with adding default links:

  •  Profile Settings
  •  Account Settings
  •  Widgets Settings
  •  Change Avatar
  •  Change Cover Image

With the new update, you can add it to your custom Top User Menu, mix and move them between each other, change their icons and titles.

All new options are located under Appearance > Menus > Top user menu

All options were moved to Customize Panel

Options from the Appearance > Theme Settings were moved to Customize Panel, so it’s more easy to find them.

Theme design options let you control different design settings across the site. You can reach it via Appearance>Customize menu in the backend editor or by clicking on the “Customize” link on the top black admin bar in the frontend.

We highly improve Olympus Login Form

We improved the short-code of this form for Elementor and WP Page Builder. Now Olympus Login Form have many options, so you can customize it to fit all your needs.

Also, we’ve fixed lots of bugs in this update:

  • the stunning header for Members Newsfeed
  • missing styles for social login buttons
  • the profile tab icons in mobile view
  • warning on the blog pages when Ajax Categories filter is enabled
  • the notification panel
  • youtube video posts
  • the comment section on Youzer activity page

Thank you for your help with our product development!

Keep healthy and stay tuned.

[Olympus] Version 3.1 released

First of all, we’d like to say thank you for your help with our product development. We’ve received a lot of requests for various options and plugins, so we’ve adjusted our release a bit according to your wishes. However, our main priorities have been and continue to be improving compatibility with plugins, improving speed and clear settings options.

In the current release wasn’t made as much as in version 3.0, but still enough to describe the highlights.

The button for login/registration was redesigned and its logic was improved

There was added an option “Login | User Menu section” to Customize > Header options, where you can adjust the interface of this element

Here you can change the icon for this button:

and choose what to display in the Sign-in popup form:

  • a standard Olympus Sign-in form (which options we’re going to expand in future)
  • a native Youzer Sign-in form, which can be adjusted under Youzer Panel > Membership Settings > Login settings

  • a Sign-in form, which generates by Digits plugin
  • also, there was added a possibility to use shortcodes for other Sign-in form plugins

In addition, we’ve upgraded all the pop-ups logic. This was done to make our theme no more depended on large third-party libraries (jquery, bootstrap, etc), but use more modern react javascript. Although, we are not ready to boast of the radical speed up of the theme yet, but are slowly moving in this direction.

We’ve fixed lots of bugs from the list you gave us in this update:

  • notices on Youzer pages
  • missing icons
  • some untranslatable phrases
  • Search styles
  • styles for Message button in member profiles
  • the background colour of Youzer boxes in the mobile version
  • styles for Youtube Videos in blogs
  • bugs in the notification panel
  • styles for Upcoming Events widget
  • styles for Left Menu on IOS mobile devices

Select for builder with demo content

Surprisingly, having added support for Elementor in the previous update, we noticed that many users still want to use WPBakery builder. Therefore, in the current version, we’ve added the option of choosing which builder you’d like to use in the demo data while installing

Demo templates for Elementor plugin

For those who do not want to install the demo data, but want pages built with Element to look like on our demo, we’ve added templates of main pages and sections.

You can find them in the theme package in the ETC folder

Besides, plenty of preparatory work has been made for further improvements. Keep healthy and stay tuned. More will be soon. 

[Olympus] Version 3.0 released

Above all, this update is highly significant for us because we’ve started a new story in Olympus theme development with it. 

Recently, we’ve made lots of changes to this theme. Although it may not be so noticeable at first glance, it is a crucial basis for further faster and more meaningful Olympus development. So, we’re going to provide each update with a short press release, whose the main aim is to inform you about what exactly has been done and its purpose. Besides, we’d like to discuss our plans with you and receive your feedback, which definitely helps to focus on your needs and improve our product. Well, let’s have a look at what was done and why.

Added the Elementor integration.

All demo pages built with the WP Bakery page builder in the earlier versions of the theme are now available for the Elementor builder.

With the help of the famous Elementor frontend editor, you can now view al changes in live mode. Apart from integrating the original Olympus blocks with Elementor, we have revamped and advanced their options, which greatly affected the overall theme performance.

Moving options to Customize panel

We’ve started to work on moving all the theme options from the back end ( Appearance > Theme Settings ) to Customize panel ( Appearance > Customize ).

Why?

Initially, we planned to locate styling options in the Customize section and other options in the Theme Settings. However, at this stage of WordPress and themes development, we realize that this decision was wrong as it led to making theme options more complicated and confusing than expected. Therefore, we’ve decided to move all options to one place – Customize panel.

What was changed?

Remove “Panels” section from Appearance > Theme Settings Screenshot

But, all these options are still available and work as previously. Now they are in the Customize section, which is more logical and simple,  from our viewpoint.

Changes in the Customize panel

  • added additional sections for adjusting Left Menu Panel and Plugins options. Also, the section Top Headers was renamed to Header options.
  • added options for the third accent color and changing icons color to Customize > Colors.
  • moved an option for changing the background color of the Left panel from Customize > Colors to Customize > Left Menu Panel.
  • added options to select icons and change its colors for the Left Menu Panel.
  • structured headers options under Customize > Header Options.

Added icons font.

Despite excellence and modernity of svg-icons, we decided to add icon font to the theme, which helped to expand the possibilities of using icons in different theme blocks and modules. 

Additionally, redefined Youzer icons now have a color change option under Customize > Colors > Icons Color

Moreover, adding the icon font helps to reduce the server loading.

Currently, using the icon font is available for adding icons to the menu, as well as to the Elementor blocks.

Started site speed optimization.

We’ve started working on improving speed site indicators. This is a complex and time-consuming process that we’re planning to move from update to update. In the current update, we put efforts into improving JS scripts, uploading images, and deleting some JS plugins. Also, We added standard lazyload for images.

A lot of bugs fixed.

  • Fixed options for changing header elements colors.
  • Fixed an option for changing the header background for the responsive menu.
  • Fixed styling bugs in Events Calendar, search form and Shop. 
  • Updated JS plugins versions.

What next?

In future Olympus updates, we’re going to continue site speed optimization, which is one of our priorities. Besides, we aim to work on the Olympus integration with several WP plugins, such as LMS-plugin, WPForo, and so on.

WooCommerce vs. EDD. What to choose?

WordPress platform was created in 2003, and the number of WordPress websites has grown up to 59 million a couple of years ago. Thousands of blogs and forums are discussing its user-friendly interface and great options for website creating. WordPress popularity is increasing exponentially because it gives an opportunity not only to make a blog, but to create a well-designed online store. Sincerely speaking, the best plugins for e-Commerce are WooCommerce and EDD. Let’s talk about them in more detail.

WooCommerce

If you are looking for a plugin, that perfectly meets all needs of online store, then WooCommerce is a great choice. WooCommerce is a free e-Commerce plugin that allows you to sell everything. Its localization settings bring an opportunity to choose the most appropriate language for admin dashboard. The developers claim that 30% of all WordPress online stores have chosen WooCommerce as the basis. And this is more than on any other platform.

There is also English-speaking support service. Most likely, you will find the answer to any question in existing topics. But if not, you can ask support for help.

The admin dashboard consists of a sufficient number of tabs, but each of them allows to use a wide range of functions. Let’s sort them out.

Orders. All orders will be saved here, to which you can add status (executed, canceled, returned, waiting for payment, etc.), payment amount, delivery address, discount. Taxes can be automatically calculated in this section. 

Coupons. This section bring an opportunity to create various coupons according to which your customers receive discounts. With WooCommerce plugin, discounts can be grouped due to the type of coupon, its size, the group of goods, the validity period, and also you can propose free delivery to your customers.

Reports. There are three tabs (orders, customers and stock) in this section. So in each of them, status reports are currently available. Here you can see the total amount of all orders with delivery and taxes, the number of customers, goods in stock, as well as other reports on sales and goods.

Setting. The title of this section speaks for itself, and we see the settings of everything: goods, taxes, payment, delivery, accounts, email newsletters, and basic settings – location, countries, currency.

Status. Here you will find full information about the WordPress version, the server, and the database. Still here are tools for cleaning the cache, deleting data or resetting the settings.

Product and Checkout Add-ons. You can change various settings Woocommerce: the number of products on the page, payment gateways, sharing social networks and much more.

Goods. The most important part of the online store is the management of goods. Here you may add or edit products and product categories, add product labels, and also attributes that determine the color and size of the goods.

Short Conclusion: WooCommerce is the most popular e-Commerce plugin because with its help you can do everything and a little more. And if you look at the number of additional extensions to this plugin, then the confidence, that everything is possible with WooCommerce, only gets stronger. Of course, a plugin with such functionality will create a pretty heavy load on the server. Therefore, you may need VPS hosting instead of the usual virtual hosting. While choosing a hosting, an important factor will be the number of products and the attendance of the site. If you are going to have a small online shop, virtual hosting is quite enough.

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads, known as EDD, is another e-Commerce plugin for WordPress. It is also widespread so you will find a lot of extensions for it. As WooCommerce do, the main plugin can be downloaded for free, and there are already commercial options among the additional tools.

Despite the success of WooCommerce, EDD also managed to find its place in WordPress. The main difference between these two plugins is that WooCommerce is more suitable for selling goods, and EDD is for selling digital products. But with the correct extensions, both of them can be used for selling products and services of any type.

Some of the commercial Add-ons for EDD can be purchased as packages. These packages are usually created to perform specific functions. This approach facilitates the process of finding the necessary tools for a specific task and at the same time, it helps to save money.

Short Conclusion: Currently, EDD has more than 1,500,000 installations and a remarkable rating of 4.9 out of 5, so we can say that Easy Digital Downloads is another successful free plugin that can bring a second breath to your business.

Instead of Conclusion

Creating of WordPress online store is easier than you may think. WooCommerce is the most popular plugin, because of its functionality (with additional extensions), that will allow you to create almost everything with your online store. But this plugin is more suitable for large, multibrand stores with a large number of commodity items. But remember that the hosting resources needed by WooCommerce are large. If your goal is creating a small store, a normal virtual hosting (not VPS) is enough, so it’s better to use EDD.

Note that choosing the appropriate WordPress theme is an important factor. We are confident that our themes are compatible with WooCommerce and EDD. If you have the opportunity to buy a premium theme, then you should do this, since paid version always provides “tasty” features that are not available in a free theme. We know that our themes work flawlessly, so we do not have the slightest doubt about its functionality. SEOsight and Utouch perfectly match the requirements for online shop. See on the image below how stylish your shop card will be.

But if you choose another theme, focus on other customers` reviews to examine the quality of theme. We advise you to wisely select the theme and e-Commerce plugins and choose the best one.

Why Use a Child Theme

Amazing WordPress world is overcrowded with popular free and easy-to-use premium themes, but finding a theme for business needs is not an easy deal. Moreover, there is always a risk to damage an existing website by adding new updates and modifying the content. Fortunately, WordPress proposes a good decision for this problem. It’s called child theme.

WordPress child themes are as simple as a bit of custom CSS code. Child themes open new horizons to the WordPress website. They are able to save existing parent theme and website functionality while changing or adding some content. The main principle of child themes is a perfect combination of the parent-child relationship. WordPress themes, both premium, and free templates are parent themes. And all child themes adopt their characteristics from the parent themes. That is, the child theme will get the full set of functions from the parent theme.

If updates of parent themes are released, the child theme doesn’t take them. Only the content of the parent theme can change, but the settings of the child theme remain the same. Thus, you can save changes and enjoy your own updates only in the child theme. Let’s sort out why to use a child theme.

Which are key differences between the child theme and the parent one?

Well, now let’s get to know the main differences between the parent and child theme:

  • The child theme can`t function without installing parent and child themes simultaneously. First, it’s recommended to activate the parent theme.
  • The child theme is created only for one parent theme. There is no possibility to create one child theme for several parent theme.
  • Any modifications of the parent theme do not affect the child in any way.

One may ask us: why to use a child theme? Our team strictly believes it`s better to use a child theme and we give you a few valuable reasons.

Theme updates. If you modify the theme code and then the theme will get updates, all these modifications will be lost.  It seems that`s an important reason to start using a child teme. Do you still need theme updates? Yes! For example: what if the theme update includes a security fix and in case of absence of theme update, your WordPress website could become a potential target for hackers.

Easy to Extend. Great flexibility is one of the main advantages of a child theme. There is no need to write a lot of code. You can modify only those template files and functions that you need. 

Benefits of using Child Theme

The existing concept of a child theme is great. We suggest using child themes with all premium themes, and Crumina Team includes child themes in the package with our premium theme.

The child themes have a lot of advantages:

  • The child theme saves your settings. Using a child theme, you can make changes directly to the code, without fear of losing your settings when updating the theme.
  • The child theme is the first step in learning how to write code for WordPress.
  • A child theme can improve the overall workflow. Using only one theme, you can create sites with different levels of functionality and complexity for several customers.

Child theme components

The child theme is a continuation of the parent theme, adopting all the functions and features. There is the main structure of the child theme:

  • Directory of the child theme: This is the root of the folder where the files of the child theme are located.
  • File style.css: This file contains all the properties of the styles of your child theme.
  • The functions.php file: Contains the definition of the functions that are called in your child theme.

You can add any number of template files, but the above files must be in each child theme.

The easy way to install a child theme

For example, our SEO theme functionally provides an opportunity to create a child theme in 3 steps.

  1. Install and activate the parent theme according to its documentation.
  2. Install and activate the child theme right after that. The child theme comes packaged with the parent one, so you will easily find it. In all Crumina themes it is located in the ‘Child theme’ folder of the theme package. 
  3. Customize installed child theme. Done!

How to add my custom CSS to the child theme?

It’s available for admin to add custom CSS to the child theme. One should strictly know how to do it correctly. Otherwise, it leads to damaging the child theme. We`ll explain how it works in POLO theme. You can insert your custom CSS codes directly to the style.css file, that is located in the CHIL THEME FOLDER by default or to Theme Options>Advanced Options>Custom CSS Code section. Both ways are correct.

Conclusion

As you can see the child themes bring a lot of advantages to your website. It doesn`t change your website appearance but allows to make modifications without a fear to lose all content.  It is very flexible, and therefore definitely saves you money and time. Try child theme right now like experienced WordPress theme developer did.

Emails aren’t received. Reasons and workarounds

WordPress uses PHP Mail function to send emails generated by WordPress or any contact form plugin. This function is used in all WordPress themes accordingly. But often emails can’t be sent or received.

Why does it happen?

Due to the nature of PHP Mail function emails often arrive in spam folder. There is also a good chance that emails sent to popular email providers (gmail.com, hotmail.com, etc.) will be blocked before even reaching the recipient. Furthermore, in order to avoid abuse, some hosting companies apply strict limitations or even completely disable PHP Mail function.

How to go around this issue?

First of all, contact your hosting company and find out if PHP Mail function can be enabled/configured for your hosting. If yes, very likely your hosting company will help you set it up. If PHP Mail function can’t be enabled on your hosting for some reason, you can use SMTP protocol to send emails.

Sending emails via SMTP

If SMTP server is configured correctly by your hosting provider, there is a smaller chance email will end up in spam folder. Therefore, it helps to improve email deliverability. In this tutorial you will learn how to configure WordPress to send emails using your hosting provider’s SMTP server.

IMPORTANT! Before proceeding, make sure SMTP is supported by your hosting provider.

SMTP Setup

To enable sending emails via SMTP you need to do the following:

  1. Collect required SMTP details
  2. Install and configure WordPress SMTP Plugin

Collect required SMTP details

You need to gather the following information to set up SMTP on WordPress:

SMTP Host. Name of the outgoing mail server. Type of Encryption. None / SSL / TSL. SMTP Port. Port used to transmit outbound mail to mail server. SMTP Authentication. Yes / No. In most cases this option should be enabled. SMTP Username. Username used to login to mail server. SMTP Password. Password used to login to mail server.

If you already know these details, proceed to Step 2. If you are not sure where and how to find these details, contact your hosting support staff. They will surely be able to help you in this situation.

Install and configure WordPress SMTP Plugin

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t have an inbuilt tool to send emails via SMTP. Therefore, you will have to use a plugin for this. The most popular SMTP plugins are:

  1. Easy WP SMTP. Visit plugin page
  2. WP Mail SMTP by WPForms. Visit plugin page
  3. WP Mail SMTP Plugin by Mail Bank. Visit plugin page
  4. SendGrid. Visit plugin page

Third party email service providers

There are many email service providers that allow you to route email through their systems. You can use them not only, if your hosting doesn’t support PHP mail() and SMTP, but simply because email service providers are secure and reliable email tools.

The main benefits of these providers include:

  1. Tracking of email delivery
  2. Possible inclusion in various whitelisting/trusted-sender programs (e.g. ReturnPath)
  3. The vendors use the various feedback and notification loops at the major ISPs to address spam complaints.
  4. They track bounce rates and provide you with stats.
  5. Turn-key implementation of SPF/DKIM and similar email technologies that may improve email delivery rates.

The most popular email service providers are MailchimpMailjet and Mailgun. However there is a great many of such providers, full list of which you may find by this link.

Conclusion

Email deliverability doesn’t depend on the WordPress theme. It depends on specification and configuration of your hosting. If you have problem with receiving emails, your hosting company will help you fix the issue in most cases. But if it is not possible for some reason, you can take advantage of some SMTP plugin or a third party email service provider.

Sources:

How to Configure WordPress To Send Emails Using SMTP

Using a 3rd party email provider to send mail from WordPress

Using an external mail sending provider for my websites?