The legendary storyteller Richard Stone of StoryWork approached us recently to help him integrate LearnDash LMS (Learning Management System) with FV Player Pro and Vimeo for his LivingStoriesTraining.net project focused on the healing journey. Many modern themes particularly from Envato come with a bundled page builder which doesn't respect core WordPress editor features. Often those themes even try to force their own buggy or not particularly capable video player on the user.
Martin graduated as an engineer in Computer Science from Slovak Technical University in Bratislava.
Martin grew up in Liptovský Mikuláš in northern Slovakia next to the beautiful Tatra mountains. All the calming wonders of nature have not had an effect on Martin yet as his free time is dedicated to leading themetal band Striguli on guitar and vocals
Many of our clients don't like the paged comments feature of WordPress as they like to have all the keywords occurring in the comments present on our article page and not spread across multiple pages. Keeping thousands of fresh comments on the page with every possible combination of keywords helps them rank at the top of Google for very competitive product categories.
Our front-end comment moderation plugin Thoughtful Comments includes comment caching feature, this article describes why that is important even if you are caching your site HTML: Improve your WordPress speed by Caching Comments.
However the downside is that it doesn't work for administrators and that the cache has to be purged and rebuilt when comments are added or removed. It's also usually slows down logged in users as we move more and more of our clients over to a membership or at least logged in user model.
Moving from bbPress 1 to 2 is a pain in the neck. It's really like migrating from one forum software product to another. It's not an evolution but a revolution. In use, bbPress 2 is not much better than bbPress 1 but since John James Jacoby pushed version two out the door in 2011, it's long since time to migrate. The issue with bbPress 1 is not with the software itself (still simple and scaleable) but with plugins.
John James Jacoby forced all the bbPress v1 plugins underground (info and plugin repository were moved over to v2). Unlike almost anything else new in the WordPress world, bbPress 2 is neither crippleware (useless free version with pro version) or serviceware, so we are grateful for bbPress.
Our free video player for WordPress FV Flowplayer featured only a single playlist style for a long time. We made the required code improvements to open the huge potential of custom playlist styles.
Default playlist style
By default you get playlist thumbnails below the player.
Multilingual subtitles are a great new feature of FV Flowplayer. This feature has been added in the Flowplayer 6 core, so finally we got around to create user interface for it.
Following video features a button in bottom right corner which allows you to pick the subtitles language.
WordPress's built-in commenting system is pretty weak. Comments have been left partly crippled as Automattic used to have a horse in the third party commenting race with its own Intense Debate technology. Our creative director doesn't like third party scripts for a few reasons:
- pageloads are very slow
- you lose the value of user generated content in most cases
- you are giving away quite a bit of your visitors' privacy (important for political sites)
Some of the FV Flowplayer users play guitar and teach these skills in online classes. They picked our plugin as an effective solution for their membership websites and quickly came up with an idea:
User AB loop
With this unique feature your users will be able to pick the part of the video which they like and loop it over and over again - perfect for practicing guitar "riffs" or "licks" or basically any tutorial website.
New version of FV Player Pro (0.5.4; it's the Pro extension for our FV Flowplayer licensed users) gives you ability to embed playlists created on YouTube:
Licensed users of FV Flowplayer who benefit from powerful Vimeo and YouTube embedding often ask us to convert their old video embeds into the [fvplayer] shortcodes to be able to use the same player for all their old videos and also all of our features.
That's why the new version of FV Player Pro (0.5.2; it's the Pro extension for our licensed users) gives you just the tools to do this.
After the initial difficulties with Flowplayer 6 the new FV WordPress Flowplayer is released!
FV Flowplayer 6 it out and it has some great new features:
- HLS support in the Flash engine - making the HLS playback possible in basically every browser.
- Subtitles button with multilingual support - we need to do more testing on this one
- Engine switching in playlists - making it possible to mix the video formats.
- Better skin and other improvements
- Faster than version 5
- Improved YouTube playback
The issues in Flowplayer 6.0.1 were fixed, thanks to Flowplayer team for quick fixes!
The new version of FV Flowplayer 6 is at WordPress.org and the pro version is released as well.
FV Player is the most feature rich and easiest to use WordPress video player. The core video engine we use is the excellent Flowplayer. As you may know, Flowplayer.org recently released a full version upgrade - Flowplayer 6. It has some great new features:
If your website has a lot of comments and uses a plugin like Subscribe to Comments Reloaded to let users subscribe to new comment notifications, you probably had an issue with your comment notification being marked as spam.
One great way of preventing that is to use SendGrid. With SendGrid, you never deliver unsolicited email again. As soon as the email fails to get delivered or is marked as spam, that email address won't see another email from you again.
This new version took us a while to release. It brings a lot of SEO and functional improvements. Some of the changes affect your site structure, so our upgrade note makes sure you are informed:
WordPress attachment URLs are redirected to file URLs - when cleaning up client websites, we often find a lof of URLs like
- Vimeo loading improvements - big help for mobile users or long playlist
- Vimeo channel support - you can now embed your entire Vimeo channel as a big playlist
- Custom video ads - added display of remaining ad time and a skip button
- Beta: custom AB loop - just add ab="true" to your shortcode - more on this later
- Other smaller fixes
Update for WordPress 4.2.2: The issue is still real. The fix described below still works. The new db_version is 31535.
When you upgrade to WordPress 4.2, it will automatically convert the tables to utf8mb4, if the following conditions are met:
- You’re currently using the utf8 character set.
- Your MySQL server is version 5.5.3 or higher (including all 10.x versions of MariaDB).
- Your MySQL client libraries are version 5.5.3 or higher. If you’re using mysqlnd, 5.0.9 or higher.
Here is the deal with the WordPress cache plugins: even if you install such plugin, there is a fair amount of users who load your sites without speed benefits of cache. No matter if you use Hyper Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache.
WP cache plugins simply skip the cache altogether if the visitor left a comment on the website with his browser by checking for the comment cookie. That's quite ineffective if you have 10K posts on your blog and the user only left a comment on a single article. Now imagine that your blog has a lot of discussion where dozens of users actively participate - you will see your server load going up.
Latest version of FV Flowplayer (2.3.13) brings detailed video stats into your Google Analytics account.
Basic Flowplayer version tracks number of seconds played for each users, which then gives you an average value in Google Analytics Events list. However this takes place when you stop the video or leave the page and it's not 100% reliable.
That's why FV Flowplayer now tracks the following events:
We have been using Subscribe to Comments for years. Then the plugin became obsolete and we had to switch to Subscribe to Comments Reloaded (StCR). It's a nice plugin, but we often found that we had to put in our own fixes to be able to use it for our clients. Let's sum it up:
- doesn't modify core WordPress database tables
- import's Subscribe to Comments data (although I'm pretty sure we had to do it by hand in earlier versions)
- subscription manager page gets the same design as your website, unlike the Subscribe to Comments plugin
We love Satollo and loved Hyper Cache (we're longtime paid users and supporters of his Newsletter technology as well). Strangely, sometimes good developers do bad work. The latest version of Hyper Cache (version 3) is a prime example of what can go wrong with rewrite upgrades.
Since we were struggling with Hyper Cache we decided to take a look at WP Rocket who is the hot new caching kid on the WordPress block. Sadly WP Rocket is not a good replacement for us for now. We test and compare Hyper Cache and WP Rocket below.