You read that right. After months of hard work, Directory theme version 2 is finally here. Instead of bloating the theme with lots of features, we focused on improving performance & usability of Directory theme. Lots of changes were made which makes things simpler and more organised. Let me introduce some of those changes…
Directory 2 is a free upgrade for all existing Directory owners and Club members.
A new submission process
Listing submission process has been optimised in order to make it simpler and shorter. Submit Listing and similar forms now have a clear, four step submission process.
Unlike Directory 1 where authors selected the price package at the bottom, now they’ll be selected at the top. This is because direct links to price packages are now available. This allows you to link to a specific price package from anywhere on the site. It also means you can create a nice pricing table on a separate page with action buttons linked to corresponding price packages. Open the Tevolution guide for more info on how this works.
The submission page also comes with a new and improved Select image field. Along with clicking on a button and choosing the image, now you can drag the image to the box in order to initiate the upload. For the sake of full disclosure I should mention that this doesn’t work in Internet Explorer :)
Address is another submission field that received a major update. Instead of typing in your address and clicking on “Set address on map”, the field will now suggest addresses as you type. The behavior is similar to the search field on the Google Maps website. Once you stop typing it will automatically show your address on the map, no need to press any buttons. As usual, after the pin is inserted in the map you’re free to move it around in order to accurately pinpoint the location.
Last but not least is one of the most requested tweaks for Directory, the ability to change the category while editing the listing (in the front-end).
Price package improvements
Making you more money has always been our priority in all our products. This newer version makes price packages more flexible and practical.
The previous Directory version was already pretty robust when it comes to the monetization aspect. Most of the improvements we ended up doing were picked up from the wishlist thread, here’s what made the cut:
- Submission time limit – along with defining the number of allowed posts, subscription price packages now allow you to set a time limit in which all those posts must be submitted.
- Specify the featured duration – in Directory 1 any featured listing was featured for its whole duration. In Directory 2 the featured duration can be defined while creating the package (i.e. be shorter than the overall package duration).
- Featured included in the price – making the listing featured no longer needs to be an extra. You can create a price package that is featured by default. In other words, all listings submitted with the package will be featured on the homepage or the category page.
- Free subscription posts – this option allows you to specify the number of posts authors can submit before paying for a subscription price package. This is really useful if don’t have any free packages available.
This will certainly help you better monetise your directory site.
Multi-city & Map changes
One of the more common requests for Directory was to implement the ability to completely remove the “city” URL. Well, in Directory 2 this is finally possible. The option is available in the Permalink Settings area.
City selectors have also been revised. There are now two options to choose from, “Links” and “Dropdowns”. Both selectors are very minimalistic and no longer feature the city message. The city message can now be displayed inside any Text widget with the [city_message] shortcode. Our developers will be providing detailed developer instructions for all those looking to customize their city selectors.
Another important change is the inclusion of the second IP tracking script – MaxMind. This should be used as an alternative to the default IP script (freegeoip) in the rare case that it doesn’t perform well. An improvement was also made when manually selecting cities. The city selector will now automatically select a state or city if there is just one available. This will also work inside the “multi city” field within the Submit Listing form.
The category page map improvement is one of my favorites in all of Directory 2. The map on this page will now automatically refresh the content available below the map as soon as you move it. In other words, the category page will always display the stuff you see on the map. This means you can see listings from a different city if you zoom the map far enough.
The header search widget has been extensively tweaked and now comes with just one (universal) search field. This new “Instant Search” widget can be used to search through pretty much anything; category name, location, listing title, custom field value, etc. The best part, it provides instant results. As soon as you begin typing the search field will start suggesting results.
Advanced Search is another widget that received a massive upgrade. You will now be able to select the fields you want to use directly inside the widget. This means you can have multiple Advanced Search widgets throught the site with each of them displaying different fields. Not only that, you can sort the search fields with drag and drop.
Search results pages are upgraded as well and now look identical to category pages. The auto-refresh feature mentioned above works in search pages as well.
New “mobile app” view – beta
Apart from responsive mobile view, this new version also features an optional, dedicated mobile app view (can be disabled from your admin area).
To make mobile experience of your site as easier, fast and practical as possible for your site visitors, we have shipped separate mobile only templates with the theme which shows only most important elements on a page in easy to use, actionable manner creating app-like feel for the mobile visitors.
The mobile view is active on our live demo. To see it in action just visit the live demo with your phone. Please note that this particular feature is still in beta. It will be improved upon significantly over the next few weeks and months.
More noteworthy improvements
As you can imagine with a major release such as this, there are A LOT of random tweaks done all over the place. Here’s some of the ones you mind find interesting…
- Improved Claim Ownership – verifying a claim will now automatically assign the listing in question to the person who claimed it. Submitted claims are now also available inside a designated back-end area (Tevolution ⇨ Submitted Claims). Lastly, verified listings in Directory 2 display a cool “Listing verified badge” on the detail page.
- Homepage Display Posts widget now contains a really useful sorting option called “Higher Paid First”. It allows you to show listings from more expensive price packages first.
- Social login options are now built-in to the theme. Supported networks include Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
- Login and Register links usually located inside the Primary navigation now open inside a popup.
- Custom CSS Editor is now enabled by default, no need to manually enable it.
- Standardized image sizes in order to reduce the number of thumbs being created.
Existing Directory owner? Here are some changes you should know about
Along with a number of improvements listed above, Directory 2 also comes with large number of changes to existing features that can’t really be classified as new features or improvements. Most important of these changes are those done to Bulk Import/Export, IP blocker and Coupon Manager. These three features have been removed from the core download and are now available as free extensions. Grab them here.
Other changes include…
- Redesigned and restructured back-end. The number of options available under the main Tevolution dropdown has been significantly reduced.
- “T – About Us” and “T – Advertisements” widgets have been removed from Directory 2 because they weren’t really necessary (the native “Text” WordPress widget does the same thing).
- The “All in One Search” widget has been renamed to “Instant Search”.
- Support for the “Are you a human” plugin has been pulled. You will have to rely on WP-reCAPTCHA.
How to apply this upgrade?
The upgrade procedure for Directory 2 is significantly easier compared to some of our previous upgrades. To complete it you will need to update each of the four (or five if you’re using a child theme) distinct components. These are of course Tevolution, Location Manager, Directory plugin and Directory (theme). If these updates aren’t available to you inside the WordPress dashboard please connect to the member area and download them there.
For more upgrade details and general Directory 2 information please open the new Directory guide.
What about my add-ons and child themes?
Over the last few days a number of people asked me what will happen with their add-ons and child themes once Directory 2 is released. The short answer is – nothing. Your add-ons and child themes will work with Directory 2 just fine. With that said, please update them. You can do this from the WordPress dashboard. In case something goes wrong there’s always the member area.
Lastly, we’d like to thank you for your continued support and faith in Directory. Your contributions and ideas have made the theme what it is today. Please use the comments below to let us know your thoughts about Directory 2 or to ask us questions about the upgrade.