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phpLD 3.3 Preview

By David | January 6, 2008 | Home | Blog Categories | News

Here are some screenshots of phpLD 3.3 that will be released in Beta to all standard v3 license holders in the next few days. We hope you will like the new features, and look forward to your feedback, as well as continuing our development of this great product. There is a discussion thread here -> phpLD 3.3 Discussion

phpLD Front End
First let's look at the frontend homepage:
(note: the template you see below comes standard with phpLD in addition to the standard template that you may have seen with the last version of phpLD)


1. There is now a submit article feature, allowing users to submit articles.
2. From the admin area, the admin can easily add content to the homepage, as well as add content to any category they wish (and as many as they wish).
3. There is a new feature in the admin that allows for creation of new pages using a WYSIWYG editor. The pages can be manually sorted.

Business Listings and Google Maps:
You will now be able to run phpLD as a business directory of physical locations, not just a link directory. At this time, this feature is probably best used on a new directory. It is turned on in admin, and then the additional fields for business listings are shown throughout (admin, submit pages, and detail pages). On the detail pages, you can also show a google map to the location (after adding your Google Maps api info in the admin settings). This is an area that you will see additional features added in future releases of phpLD.

Admin Template Manager:
We have added a template manager just like the front end of phpLD, allowing you to change the admin template. There is a new template with all the navigation at the top in addition to the template with side navigation, so you can choose which one you like best. Often phpLD users with smaller resolutions had trouble with managing categories and links because the columns were squeezed too much. This new template should help, and most likely will become more popular than the template used in 3.2. To change templates, you will go to
System > Admin Template Manager.

Admin template

1. You will notice there is a new section called Article Comments. phpLD now allows the admin to turn on article comments as well as require captcha to prevent spam, and we hope this will be a great way to keep your site active, and full of fresh content.
2. Also, there is the new Pages section that allows you to add new pages to phpLD such as About Us, or virtually anything you wish.

Create Pages:
As mentioned above in #2, there is a new feature to allow for creation of pages for your site.

Add new pages

1. Uses a WYSIWYG editor to allow you to cut and paste formatted content or format content as you create it.
2. Pages can be set to active or inactive in case you need to turn them on or off.
3. You can specify if you want all users to be able to view the pages, or only registered users.
4. You can use numbers to set the sort order of Pages.
5. These pages have to be called by the template, and you will be seeing templates using this feature.

List Pages:
The pages you create can be managed similar to the way links and articles are managed, with sorting, search and other functions.

List Pages

Cache Settings:
There is a new function in the admin to setup cacheing of database queries to help reduce server load. This can be especially helpful when you have a lot of mods installed, or have large quantities of pages on your site.

Cache Settings

Link Submit Settings:
There are now more options available for your link submissions.

link submit settings

1. There is now a new setting to make the requirement for submitting a url optional. Some people will find this useful for people that are submitting business listings or other content where a website is not always available.
2. You can now turn on Google Maps. After doing this, address fields are added to the submit form, and detail pages show a google map for the address. You need to get an API key from google to use this feature.
3. Turning on the Rich Text Editor allows some HTML to be used on link descriptions. Being a new feature, use with care.
4. You can now completely turn off link submissions and give a message on the submit page letting people know the reason. For example, maybe you need to catch up on approvals, or go on vacation.

Article Submit Settings:
Now that we have added article submission to categories in phpLD, there is a settings page to help you configure it to fit your needs. First, you can allow registered users to submit articles, or allow anyone to submit. You can also turn off article submission temporarily if needed. You can also turn on the Rich Text Editor, but note this is a new feature that should be used with care.

Article Submit Settings

Author Info:
When registered users are submitting articles, the admin can set it up so each author can have their own information page. There is also the option to allow users to submit annonymously (or not).

Author Info Settings

Article Comments Settings:
In addition to allowing article submissions, 3.3 also allows for comments. You can see below that you can turn article commenting on or off, require (or not) a user to be registered in order to submit a comment, use visual confirmation (or not), automatically approve comments (or not), or automatically approve comments only after the first couple have been approved by admin.

Article Comments Settings

Article Ratings Settings:
Like many features in phpLD, you can choose to turn this feature on or off. I think most of the settings below are self explanatory, such as requiring users to be registered (or not) in order to submit. We've left room for template designers to create images for ratings, and I'm sure a page that shows the "top rated articles" will be created by someone soon.

Article Ratings Settings

Category Edit in Admin:
Two more items have been added to the category edit pages in admin. You can now add custom text or other html that appears near the top of the category on the front end. Whether you want to add extra unique text for seo purposes or a banner ad you sold, you can do this here. Also, you can now give the page a custom page title. This helps increase the uniqueness of the page, and allows for a more descriptive title.

Category Edit

Security Settings:
In 3.2 we added the feature to allow html tags and decide which tags would be allowed. What we missed was attributes. For example, if you allow the "a" tag, surely you would be planning to allow the "href" attribute. So now in 3.3 you have control over the allowed attributes, not just tags. You can see the new setting below.

Security Settings

Reciprocal Link Setup:
There is one new setting on the reciprocal link setup page that allows the admin to specify whether or not the domain of the link given for the reciprocal link must match the domain of the link submitted. Some people prefer this, while others don't mind "three way" type linking.

Reciprocal Link Setup

Edit Users:
A new column has been added to allow the admin to see the last login time. This may be helpful to monitor the activities of editors or other users.

Edit Users

More Interesting Information:
You can now run phpLD as a Blog or Product Review site, and you will be seeing some templates that allow phpLD to be run that way. With authors, comments, ratings, captcha, and various other configuration options, it will be easy to create and run such a site. Whether you want to add this functionality to your existing phpLD site, or create a new site that runs primarily as a blog, the version will allow you to do that (though please note that template designs will need to be created to work with this new functionality).

But Wait, there's more....
- Turn off url check in admin: if you are having problems with some sites failing the url check, or your server does not allow checking of external urls, you can now turn this validation feature off.
- Send invoices to pending payments: if they don't pay at paypal, let's send them an email! So now you can send invoices to pending payments.

There are many other small tweaks and improvements in the 3.3, and we look forward to your feedback, as well as continuing to improve the product. Thanks to everyone for being part of phpLD. We will strive to continue to bring you an ever improving product that you can easily customize to fit your needs.

Best Wishes and Happy New Year!
phpLD Team

P.S. Don't forget to leave your feedback in the phpLD 3.3 Discussion Thread.

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Publish date: January 6, 2008
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