Introducing a completely overhauled embedding engine and a bunch of other improvements and fixes.
Third Party Registrations
We received multiple questions about how PeepSo handles e-mail verification and manual admin verification when users register via a non-PeepSo form. We looked into that, considering options like: regular WordPress registration, auto-registration on checkout (WooCommerce, EDD), Social Login solutions (TwistPress Social Login, WooCommerce Social Login).
After researching possible approaches, we decided PeepSo will not interfere in any way with third party registrations. Third party solutions handle these things in many different ways, including auto-login, which defy the purpose of user or admin verification. Trying to implement experimental catch-all solutions led to big complications, and introduced layers of third party dependencies we are not willing to handle. To have an easy answer to the aforementioned questions – and to make sure PeepSo does not mess with any third party processes – we decided to ensure the PeepSo verification steps are ignored for non-PeepSo registration flows.
Starting with version 2.7.5 PeepSo will completely ignore these verification steps for registrations not coming through our own registration form. Even if e-mail verification and/or admin verification is enabled, PeepSo will not stop these users from using your website and treat them as fully capable members of Community.
If you are using any non-PeepSo registration form, you will need some custom code to enforce PeepSo verification flow, if that is your preference. The snippet below enforces PeepSo admin verification on all registrations. Bear in mind custom code is generally not supported, and the below example is for pure demonstration purposes.
Links & Embeds
The embedding engine has seen the most major overhaul in the history of PeepSo. Based on reports of “ugly” links from our clients, we compiled a relatively complete picture of what the most common issues are. In most cases, it boiled down to the default WordPress embedding engine providing rather lacking results, due to a poor native implementation of oEmbed and ignoring the OpenGraph tags.
Our own embedding class saw some big improvements as well – we made sure the same codebase is used when saving and editing posts and comments. We ensured smoother sailing by providing valid browser headers (and in some cases spoofing crawling spiders headers) to obtain better information from the linked websites. We also improved the image handling, container styling and handling of “no image” scenarios – no more black thumbnail bars or big black square.
And because our own PeepSoEmbed mostly acts as a fallback to WordPress oEmbed engine, it usually did not have its own time to shine – we changed that by letting admin enforce manual fallback.
Prefer embeds with images (BETA)
Admin can now decide to enforce a fallback embed for links that generated a preview without an image. If enabled, WordPress embeds with no image will fall back to the PeepSo embedding engine, providing a much more consistent and visually aesthetic result.
Other embed engine improvements
Admin can now decide to hide the post content if it contains only an URL. Thanks to that, the stream looks much cleaner with only the URL previews displaying in the posts. If the post contains any other text, everything is displayed (and follows the URL shortening rules introduced in earlier versions).
The admin can now also enable a periodic refresh of embeds – forcing links to be re-fetched after a certain time. This ensures the links are always up-to-date, at an expense of a temporary perceived slowdown, if the user happens to load a post that requires a refresh.
Our software is fully WordPress 5.4 ready, as we have been routinely testing all our plugins against the Beta and RC releases a long time before WordPress 5.4 was released. See full changelog here.
Help us improve PeepSo!
PeepSo 2.7.5 introduced a voluntary opt-in usage tracking, which we intend to use to improve our product and services. If enabled, our stat servers will be informed about some most important metrics about your website. Armed with this knowledge, we will know our user base better, which PeepSo plugins are the most popular, how many users they have on average, which languages to prioritize when it comes to translations, or whether it’s safe to drop an outdated PHP version without affecting many people.
This is the last version of Gecko Theme from the 2.7.X.X series that we’ll release before the big 220.127.116.11 that’ll revolutionise both the theme and PeepSo itself. So, you know, it’s just a couple of weeks more and we’ll be done! For now, we’re shipping just a few fixes.