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phpLD Version 4 Beta Announcement

By David | August 25, 2009 | Home | Blog Categories | News

We have decided to release phpLD version 4 as a Beta. Just as google calls their new products "beta", we will be calling this a Beta at least a couple of weeks. It is very common for there to be minor updates to the Beta in the first few weeks, and if you want to avoid needing to update your phpLD install, it might be better for you to wait to update to version 4 until after we call it "Final". Also, by calling it beta, it will give template designers, mod developers, and widget developers a little time to prepare before we go final. Support may be limited during the beta period. And please note that you must have a valid license for each installation of phpLD including version 4. 

Upgrade Service
We offer professional upgrade services through our jobs area starting as low as $30. This generally covers upgrades of the database and the files, but items like custom templates and mods tend to increase the cost. Feel free to inquire about an upgrade for you site, by logging into the jobs area with your phpLD username and password. Please note that we recommend you wait until after beta is complete to request the upgrade.

New Features in phpLD Version 4

Widgets - There are several locations where you can install widgets on your phpLD, and we now have documentation for developers who want to create and release their own widgets for phpLD. We will be maintaining a database of widgets, for your downloading pleasure. Currently, there are widget locations on the on the Left and Right sides of your phpLD, the Main Content area, and on the Link Detail page. As of this writing we have 17 widgets available.
A couple of examples:
  1. You can show the latest article right in the main content area of your phpLD, even before the categories if you like, as the widget order is sortable
  2. You can show the latest articles, followed by the latest links, followed by the most popular links in the left column, and sort these however you wish.
  3. You can show the score and the Alexa graph on the link detail page
  4. You can show your latest Twitter tweets in the Right (or Left) column of your phpLD.
There is an endless number of possibilities of ways to organize and display your widgets, and many widgets come with setting that you can edit. For example, you can add a widget that displays Google Adsense, and then edit the colors right inside phpLD Admin area (under Widgets). Moreover, widgets are just fun to play with! It's very easy to make relatively major changes to your site in a short period of time, and with developer documentation for widgets, we will be seeing lots more widgets produced in the coming months.  
Edit in Place - On the front end of your site, you can login as admin, and simply click on links, descriptions or URLs, and you can immediately edit these items and they will be updated in the database. Too often links are submitted that contain information that was meant for search engines, but is not helpful to the user of your directory. Now it is easy to login, and go to pages such as Latest Links, and edit your links on the spot! Get rid of spammy titles, and keyword loaded descriptions. Also, it is easy to go clean up complete categories. In our tests, we found that we could dramatically improve the quality of a category in 5-10 minutes. This is a really important aspect of maintaining your directory, and making your content unique, because it was edited by you! We highly recommend you take advantage of this feature, and make your directory unique and worth viewing!
Language Improvments - All of the following language files have been improved, and we are expecting some further improvements in the coming weeks.
If you speak another language and feel you could make a contribution for your language, we would love to hear from you in our language forum.
Improved the Structure of the Admin Manual - We rearranged things so they make it a little easier to find things! 

More to Come!

Over the past several months, we have been working more closely with our customers to help them build directories powered by new features, and new forms of content delivery. Our staff has grown to include 6 programmers and 2 designers, who all work 20 or more hours per week on phpLD! For this reason we have increased development of phpLD, and you can look forward to releases of new versions of phpLD more often. And between releases we will be adding more widgets that you can use on your directory. We also have a couple of other projects that we will be announcing shortly that will enhance your ability to develop and design your phpLD. So this time, as we release the next version of phpLD, we are already working on new features for future versions that will make phpLD even more powerful and versatile, and we very much appreciate everyone's help and support over the years, and look forward to seeing you in the forums.
Also worth noting is upgrading templates to version 4 will likely be quite easy, and may take as little as 20-30 minutes.
Finally, if you plan to try the beta, it is now available through the phpLD download area, and you may also download widgets from the new phpLD Widgets area of this site. 
Best Wishes!
phpLD Team

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Publish date: August 25, 2009
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