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  1. 8 points
    This is going to be a brutally honest article of self-reflection and a glimpse into the state of MD and where we are going as a product and community. I'll start by getting the hard part out of the way: I have been extremely unfair to the MD community. Marketers Delight as a software product is incredibly stable and robust after years of development and being battle-tested on thousands of sites since 2015. For years I have been a one-man shown, balancing the product development, community engagement, and a booming freelance business (all MD sites), and throughout that time I have had ups and downs in regards to my work balance and goals for MD. My metric for success and contentment about the product, whether I wanted to admit it or not has been revenue, which has been going up every year and will only continue to do so. But one metric that was not growing relative to the potential of MD and my high ambitions for the product is how much easier it has become for you to do the same advanced things I can do with MD, and implementing more of your requests that fall in line with the goals of the product. While MD has become increasingly capable over the years and many people are creating excellent websites, the development cycle and community have been growing at inconsistent rates—and it all starts from the top. For example, why aren't more of you building successful freelance businesses with MD as I have been? Why aren't more of you creating Dropins and extending your site's capabilities with MD's wonderful APIs? Why aren't more of you motivated to use MD's excellent content features to create the new standard of blogging and audience interaction? The answer to all of those questions is simple: I have not been showing you the way! Sure, I have been throwing out new features in each release and giving you an idea of what they are and how to use them, but more real world examples and more engaging tutorials have been missing. There are many deep concepts built into MD that by simply explaining them further to you can unlock the know-how you need to make better sites and even start a web design business of your own, but the truth of the matter is I have been hoarding that knowledge and money. Instead of writing more tutorials and articles, I have been struggling to find my voice and afraid of the blank screen. Instead of passing on 4 and 5 figure jobs to the most competent of you, I have created a waiting list and over extending myself to write code that is locked away one site at a time rather than releasing those features in a way that can scale to every one of your site's—a feat MD is damn good at! I have made many personal strides over this life-changing summer and broke out of the gray that has kept me rooted in a battle against myself, and my proof is that I am able to deliver these words to you now in a manner as prolific as the way I used to write years ago when I began my first blog (those of you who have followed my work since age 15 should hopefully hear a familiar voice speaking to them right now). Of course words are not enough to prove what I am saying here is different than the similar claims I have made in the past, that is why I am taking an action that I never had the courage to take on before and will be the difference between MD's success and a boost to your own success: I am no longer for hire as a freelance web developer. Many times I have told myself this but have been allured by not only cool jobs, but jobs with high price tags. To make the deal even better, every job I have taken since 2015 has been built on Marketers Delight and what an amazing privilege it has been. Many of those jobs have improved my skills and understanding of websites and have directly benefited MD through bug and security fixes, but after so many projects and becoming a master of WordPress (I am not afraid to say this) these jobs no longer provide the same level of benefits to MD that my time spent directly developing MD would. Even worse, my indifference and mixed feelings have taken a toll on some of the clients I have been unbelievably fortunate to work with, and much of that grief I've created in myself has trickled down here into how well I help you in the MD forums. That is why once I finish my current obligations and do a great job for who I am working with, I will no longer be accepting any web development work and will instead be channeling that immense effort and energy into developing the MD product, growing our community, and training those of you who wish to fill the void I am leaving and take on some great projects that can give you some life-changing income. The future of Marketers Delight is highly modular—importing and exporting templates of all kinds with an easy interface and with all the right optimizations. The future of Marketers Delight is engagement—I will show you what I have learned about creating engaging websites not only in the past but how we can BLAZE a new path for what the future of websites should be in a world that is built for social media. The future of Marketers Delight is present—you will hear from me regularly and together we will build websites that add a fulfilling aspect to our lives and even money in our banks. The next evolution of Marketers Delight starts October 15th, and if you've read this far I just want to thank you for using my product as your means for creating your online business and for accepting me as an imperfect person trying to do right by my business. Thank you for your time, - Alex Mangini
  2. 4 points
    Making a little progress daily and I've decided that the best way to release MD Optins is to do it one update at a time. The revamped MD Popups is nearing completion and MD4.9.5 ships all kinds of other great improvements which I am excited to share! MD Popups will ship with 6 custom templates and some very powerful custom template/HTML tools that will allow you to build your own if you wanted. Thanks to the new Popups system, I will be able to create a library of custom popup templates you will soon also be able to import into your sites to extend MD's awesome default popup templates. Will show more soon, but here's an idea of one of the templates in action:
  3. 3 points
    Wasting no time after Marketers Delight 4.9.4, I am swiftly moving to the next initiative: MD Optins. I have been dreaming this feature out single the release of MD4.9, which added the Integrations panel, and I am so excited to finally get a move on this project! MD Optins will merge the old email forms and popups features as well as introduce enhanced email form functionality (checkbox consents, other form fields), a few new email service integrations, and a special new kind of optin form that will really make a difference in your conversion rates. Just about every update since MD4.9.4 has been preparing us for this stage, and I expect to move very fast on the completion of this feature thanks to those updates. My head is still two updates ahead, but MD Optins will add features to your website that will really make your email marketing far more effective. Here's an early look at the reorganized admin panel. While much simpler, you will be able to perform amazing website actions from here. Understand that as MD gets simpler, your capabilities expand astronomically. I will keep you updated here and am open to any feedback and questions throughout the development process.
  4. 2 points
    First, thanks @Alex for the blunt honesty. Very few people are capable of doing so and it requires not only humbleness but also a certain form of maturity, not to say wisdom. I am that type of very detailed-oriented person (combined with a perfectionist personality - shame on me), and it was a nightmare for me to choose the right Wordpress theme. I went for MD after MUCH hesitation. MD seemed so much developer-oriented to me. As you understand, I am not a technical guy. I can say MD has given headaches, regrets and even anxiety on multiple occasions. On other occasions, I could see "the light". I can only see today the extreme power of MD. MD is NOT perfect. It is NOT complete. There are other very competitive themes out there. But knowing @Alex's new decision to focus exclusively on MD, I can only see an extremely BRIGHT future. The days I discovered The STREAM, I immediately thought it was just USELESS. Who wants that, knowing that we're all running after time and already have too many distractions? After much thought, I think there is such GREAT potential in that unique feature. I have shared many ideas in my posts about it in this forum. I think you all know about Telegram or What's App. The Stream could be juste another way of doing the same if enhanced: Sharing audio with an integrated audio (or even video) live recorder, triggering discussions, managing multiple threads, etc. But I'm going down the road of details and specifics here. This is just my way of sharing my appraisal for @Alex and excitement for MD. I am a MARKETER. I am a copywriter. I just think MD could be a killer tool if it integrated ALL the ideas I shared about The Stream, about Time-delayed Content, etc. YES, I'm being selfish here. LOL. Seriously, selfish is not my style. It has never been. I am just so dead convinced that MD could be put on hot rods (is that even English? ) if it integrated some unique marketing features. MD could be so much business oriented, not in the usual way, but in offering some features not found everywhere else. Hard to explain. May be just a big feeling on my side. All I know is that @Alex has the capacity to listen to his users and this is certainly his best asset. Having a horde with him! Let's make MD rule and reinvent marketing and blogging!
  5. 2 points
    Thank you, Alex, for interessting and honest post btw! I knew you are gonna make it!! And stuff like Stagnation, pause or not so many updates are ook! LOOK... You imidietly got to the point where you go for an interface...And that is all that matters for those who are not devs ( me for example and several millions of people!! ) So u just made many people happy! I mean, In my eyes - best move what you can go for .. You can make just a few demos for the start ... ( You can INSPIRE FROM GENERATE PRESS - SITE LIBRARY, OR ASTRA THEME ) .. 2 best demo-install-interfaces out there ...You already did so many websites in those years .. You can enjoy copy many of those, I mean creating similar ones in terms of all kind of features you ever used and - easy! BECAUSE that is the only way how to,,TEACH OTHERS,, how You did it .. see my point? Just dont feel guilty!! You did the great work but spent a lot of time in the world of code and yes now is right because you know about it so you can be aware of stuff and overcome this challenge with an interface and easy LOOK at this: You mentioned freelancers. You named it up there well. If you spend time in for creating something special,... with special feature I will name 1: Filter for blog posts like for categories .. if some demo will contain such a thing .. you can charge and make it paid demo .. charge 100-200 if you want to have such a feature like freelancer .. I would buy all of those paid demos if useful like i am mentioning Why not? It can be very beneficial for ebverobyd you can have more fun. You can escape from that world of code - warcraft haha :)) and just be proud of yourself that you 1. got it. 2. made it. 3 people are happy, better business .. All good! don't feel guilty people in your age not running one man show businesses but sucking Lolipop :DD You can do it! We all know if u just create something similar to GeneratePress system I am sure you will manage! Gp is an amazing theme too btw. It's like 2. best after MD ANYWAY. Dont forget! MD Blog theme - Blog layouts .. And if you check Astra a GP if you already don't know them I mean if you haven't seen them yet. They have also something called premium modules and if you activate it you have advanced option straight in the customizer ( both of these themes having stuff as header option like MD but many features and they are actually super cool, sticky stuff, nice animations, width transparent. They have options like use the main menu as a header before it's under and logo in the middle .. ) Lots of interesting things they have AND? Guess what .. none of these not even scratching the surface on MD in terms of overall designs. I am sure you can make huge success and create massive engagement around MD. 100 percent, because I am sure u can come up with more and more designs which are cmon let's be honest absolutely unique. If you had also more advanced options so your theme would be even more flexible. It can be done in the next years and I think is best what you can do if you wanna stay in the business. You deserve success and YES, Your MD horde Deserves to know. But don't stress cmon anything out there is perfect so what? :)) (Wave)
  6. 2 points
    That was a lot of honesty and transparency Mr. Mangini. On behalf of myself and the business I've run (largely on MD) — thank you. Oh, and I think you just wrote ↑ your mission statement my friend.
  7. 2 points
    We create online businesses to serve specific needs through a specific voice that is calculated and stays on brand, though unfortunately at the expense of all the other wacko ideas and deep thoughts that may be valuable elsewhere. That's the value of having a personal blog and if you are lucky to own yourname.com, can create a body of work that lasts a lifetime. Over the past week I've been reworking my own personal site in a way that fulfills any urges I have to write other kinds of content. It's not that I wouldn't share this kind of content anywhere else, there's just no better place to put them! Many of us (myself included) are trying to build the most complicated sites and see how far we can stretch MD and WordPress, so this personal site allowed me to experiment with scaling down to build a website. Let me tell you, MD made creating a pretty cool site super easy. Features I have activated throughout the site: Connected to MailChimp in the MD integrations panel Showing one email form in multiple parts of website from one settings screen Enabled the Stream to create a micro-blog Enabled the Bookshelf to create a reading list page Like and share buttons on blog and stream posts Custom sidebars on Stream page (though disabled right now for future plans) Changed some design settings in MD > Site Design and wrote minimal custom CSS to tone down default MD styles ...and none of this required any plugins! In fact, I only have one plugin enabled: The All in One SEO Framework (premium version). I can't believe a site like this exists and is so fast, and using MD's features was just a joy! Not to gush too much of course, it's rare I can use MD in a relaxed environment without stressing about the flaws or getting lost in where I want to take it next. Do you have your own personal sites you have made with MD? Reply here or post your own thread about it!
  8. 2 points
    Busy day in the MD Labs today.... Answered support Published the translations tutorial to the MD Blog (thanks @maikman!) Released MD4.9.4.1 Wrote and scheduled the newsletter for 4pm EST today Time to breathe!
  9. 2 points
    Started the day by updating the Showcase, we'll see what comes next...
  10. 2 points
    Memberful's a pretty good option if you want something simple. And moving away from 1:1 coaching/consulting towards something scalable and/or passive is ideal. For me, the idea is to focus on one small aspect of my consulting. I sold my service as "Monetization Strategies", however, more often than not, I found myself encouraging my client and trying to reassure them that moving forward and taking action is the only way to find out if their idea will actually work. We can do a ton of research, and we can validate our ideas, products, and service offerings, but at the end of the day - we have to just do something if we want to find out if the thing we're working on can become a real business. Those sort of conversations led me to start publishing content, behind a subscription. Anyway, good luck with your transition Ivan.
  11. 2 points
    +2 for what Ivan said. Also: Reusable template / code blocks + accompanying CSS that can be re-deployed to other pages (maybe a library created from some of your custom designed MD sites of those willing to share?) More hooks to choose from when using page blocks (e.g. Instead of having to create the page blocks in order they would be shown, I'd like to be able to reorder them AND choose where each shows up on the page) Pre-built templates that don't impact page speed a lot May add more as I use PB's more
  12. 2 points
    The new version of MD Popups is no joke.
  13. 2 points
    A huge part of the new MD Optins system is to make sure creating popups is fast and easy. The Popups Designer is getting a total UI overhaul and a whole new rethinking of the popups creation process. Instead of trying to build popup designs piece by piece you will be able to toggle through premade templates that all interact with the same text, image, and optin settings for a controlled and easier popup creation process. Even creating custom popup templates from the Designer will be made easier, and adding your own custom popup templates from your child theme will be as easy as using a filter and writing HTML and CSS (keeping things simple!). I will be releasing MD Optins with a few nicely designed popup templates and then open the doors to showing you how to create some too, and plenty more will be added later down the road too. You can see an early preview below for an idea of how the new Popups Designer will work. This doesn't show much, but hopefully gives you an idea of its flexibility in comparison to the current way: Screen Recording 2019-06-17 at 01.16 PM.mov
  14. 2 points
    I have been preparing to unveil a new content strategy and released the revamped MD blog design tonight. It's still a work in progress but has greatly consolidated 100+ articles into a clearer way for you to navigate. Go check it out, you might find something new as the new template now holds a lot of previously unlisted tutorials.
  15. 2 points
    It's been few days since I low-key released the massive new MD 4.8 design system. I decided to slowly roll this update out so I could work with the few brave souls of this forum who have been watching this update unfold. Thanks to you guys taking action, I've been able to monitor how existing site's interact with MD4.8 and feel confident to make the grand announcement to everybody else. Even better, you were gracious enough to share the bugs you found in the update and that's what this new version is all about—cleaning up some loose ends. A special thanks to @camerondare, @V3King, and @Richard Brown for reporting bugs and helping me make the first maintenance release of the MD4.8 series possible! MD4.8.1 is waiting for you in your dashboard and has the following changes: Adjusts content box drop shadow on Teasers layout, adds drop shadow to pagination and archives title if enabled Fixes spacing issues on mobile and desktop with the aligncenter class Fixes links color in Content Spotlight widget Fixes save error on Email Widget Adds bottom margin to the archives title Corrects display bug with Pro Share floating icons Based on how much has changed, I'm glad to report that these bugs are fairly minor and no serious issues have come up with the MD4.8 upgrade. Thanks for all of your support, and be sure to watch the redesigned MD blog for new tutorials and content!
  16. 2 points
    The next focus for Marketers Delight is to finally deliver some easy design/customization options, and thanks to the great MD4.7 I've been running at full speed building these new features out. You know - things like changing site colors, fonts, menu colors, etc. without needing to go into your child theme or write CSS. (of course MD will always be developer friendly) Take a sneak peak of one small possibility so far (video link): https://cl.ly/282Q3d2Q3u43 So far I'm pleased with the direction things are going and staying diligent to only add what's necessary for maximum results. Less is more; all that good stuff. As you can see from the video I'm targeting site elements like the header, main menu, content box, sidebar, footer, and the most important elements within these sections. After working through thousands of sites (many hundreds of MD, maybe more) I'm focusing on what is most commonly changed in site designs and honing in on getting the most out of each new settings control. Nailing the right design tools will end up saving us time when first setting up new and take away tending to some of the more tedious elements of good design - ESPECIALLY styling menus (always a headache). I'm also trying to think and build for the future as well as the present, and have found it interesting to design these tools in such a way that they can be launched from individual posts/pages (like nearly every other MD feature) instead of global. I'll keep moving along, and will keep you updated on my progress and when to expect these to be finished. I'm calling this MD4.8, and there will be tons of other improvements design/optimization improvements alongside these new design controls. Let me know some of most common design changes you make to your own sites and see if they would be useful to add to MD.
  17. 2 points
    Hey, great question. I'm working on the announcement post now and testing the last details and bug fixes I can find. That being said, I'm shooting for a soft launch this weekend (around Friday) to release to everybody who wants to update, then make a formal announcement to the email list on Monday. Very pleased to hear you will be using MD for a new site, this update will absolutely be a big boost to your efforts.
  18. 2 points
    Amongst many other mini features to be released in MD4.8, we're also getting a new Search page template (in an attempt to add a search box to your websites SERPs): And the perfect touch for an update like this, MD will automatically clean out the unneeded scripts, meta tags, and other junk from loading in the HEAD of your page's document. I also found out that WordPress sets a cookie in the browser of every visitor who fills out their name, email, and website to leave a comment on your site, so MD will also now disable that too. If you need these scripts and cookie feature, you can restore it with a new option in the MD Site Tools:
  19. 2 points
    Glad I'm on the right track! Rather than doing a complex integration of these services-like I see in basically every other theme-the only thing I want us to think about here is: 1) What is the font name I want to use? 2) Which service is this font available with? ...and a single click to make that decision, then let MD compile the rest.
  20. 2 points
    How about an easy way to activate Typekit & Google fonts...
  21. 2 points
    This is not an exaggeration.
  22. 2 points
    A UI update from last night's post: To keep the typography data as simple as possible I've opted not to save a value to any font fields that are calculated by MD's new typography system. As these fields will be updated constantly and are sensitive to other control's input, it would just be too burdensome to resave each field when another control is changed. These values will still be accessible from a dynamic function, and will be used to render an in-admin style guide so you can see your design settings at a glance. The way the UI in my last post worked, I couldn't save an empty field as the slider number control field requires a value to save, so I had to rework the typography settings to use a slider and text field in sync with each other. The result is the following: (Note: not all live preview functionality is hooked up yet) You can compare the differences in this post and the post above. You'll notice that in this instance the pressing the reset button doesn't show a link icon, but instead clears out the text field. Again, to revert back to the default typography calculation, this field needs to be left blank - so this works perfectly with the needs of MD's typography system and makes calculating the ideal font size/unit of spacing simpler. The other benefit I found of using a text field is that you can manually type in your own size! So if you already know your ideal dimensions per field, you can simply type it in rather than moving the slider into the exact position. I think with this change, the typography control mechanism is just about perfect, and both the slider and text field are in sync to update based on which control you use to input your measurement. I did like the idea of using a link icon to indicate the control is now in sync, and I will try to think of a way to add that back for coolness sake. But as of now, I quite like the simplicity of the UI and the added flexibility the new text field adds. I'll be around for a few more hours tonight in the MD Labs - I hope you enjoy these updates as I go along!
  23. 2 points
    One of the most important parts of designing a site is typography. In a precise typography system all units of measurement are relative to one another rather than just chosen by what appeals to the eye (although that's a perfectly valid way to design). Apart from choosing color schemes, a big part of the new MD4.8 design options will focus on typography, and the implications these new controls will have on your layout are huge! Take a sneak peak at the main typography controls in the new 4.8 customizer panel: The only default type value will be the main font size of your site. All other measurements in your site's layout will be calculated from that single value, which can save you a ton of time in the customization process! For example, by setting the main font size of your site, MD will calculate the overall line height of text, the idea site width, content box and sidebar width, and a relative font size for your heading elements (h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6) and their respective line heights. Even better, these new relative values will update across all parts of your design and make the spacing and padding of different elements more precise to your custom font size. Here's another screenshot of some of the headline font controls in MD4.8: When you see the link icon next to a font control, that means that font is being calculated by MD's typography system and will scale in harmony to your site's main font size. For the most control, you can override that value and break the link with your own custom font sizes and line heights with a simple number control. I'm extremely excited to roll this update out and am working on it every chance I get. With the new design controls offered in MD4.8, you will be able to customize your site far more efficiently and precisely than you can now with MD's static and heavily custom CSS reliant options. Let me know what you think!
  24. 2 points
    As brought up by @vertizio (see original thread), the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations are soon coming into effect on May 25th, 2018 and the penalties for site owners who do not make their sites compliant are, well, pretty scary. All site owners who collect any kind of data from European citizens will want to learn about their responsibilities as data controllers and take the appropriate actions to ensure the best form of compliance you can. The Internet is a global place and whether or not you're in the EU or not, chances are you interact with European citizens in one way or another. And as you run a self-hosted WordPress installation with email signup forms, cookies, blog comments, and other kinds of messaging tools, any kind of data that is stored in your database or cookies makes you liable for compliance. As Marketers Delight is used by many people in the EU, I have been reviewing what kinds of changes I can make to best help you make your site compliant. I won't pretend to understand these laws to their fullest extent or tell you that the following changes will make your site fully compliant (MD's tools are only a small part of your site), but they will help you get closer to the best level of compliance you can get to. With confusing laws such as what's being proposed here, that's the best you can hope for. Prior to the May 25th date, I will release an update to MD with the following changes: 1. Optional checkbox to verify optin consent A new checkbox will be added to MD email form settings that allows you to add a required checkbox fields to all of your email optins that the user must click to verify that they consent to signing up to your newsletter. I know this seems frivolous and email marketers won't like it, but this will make your form "compliant." 2. A cookie banner feature will be added to the MD settings page MD Popups uses cookies to store information about any timed popups you show to the user's browser. For compliance, users must be notified by you, the site owner, that your website stores cookies in their browser. There are already free plugins that do this, but MD will have its own that can be switched on in a click soon. ----- Did I miss anything? Again, these new updates do not guarantee compliance as the laws go outside of tools provided by MD such as your privacy policy, and how your email service provider collects subscriber data. You will need to be responsible for understanding the lengths at which your site collects data and how to best make them compliant under these laws. If you have any questions or tips for the rest of us about how to best meet the compliance standards, post here and show us how you've made your site ready for these laws!
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