Long time since the last update? 2 months, thats very long considering how fast we develop. We have been doing lot of cool things these two months to make Swift more beautiful, give you more control and to make it even more faster, YES, FASTER THAN IT ALREADY IS.
In this update we went the extra mile to make Swift even more faster, we did something which no theme maker thought of doing till now.
Only Load Icons You Really Use.
We started using Font Awesome for icons in Swift v7. Largest font files was about 85kb in size, since then they started adding lot of useless icons. Two variations of Pied Piper logo from the TV series Silicon Valley was our breaking point. Something had to be done about it and also loading icons which you are never going to use doesn’t make any sense. It is so not Swift.
So, in this version we are giving you an option to pick which font icon set you want to use. There are 4 sets to choose from
- Lite – Includes bare minimum icons. Some popular social media icons, and some icons Swift uses in its design and some for the short codes. Weighs about 27KB
- Medium – Includes everything in Lite, plus extra social media icons and more for short codes. Additional 14KB for extra 43 icons
- Large – Includes everything in medium, plus credit card, payment gateway icons, more social media icons and icons you could use in your menus and other parts of the site. Like The Geek Daily. 66KB more than lite for extra 208 icons.
- Full – Full set includes a second variation for each social media icon, and additionally has text toolbar icons and medical icons. 121KB more than lite.
In most cases you are good with either lite or medium icon set.
New Related Posts Template
In this version we included a new related posts template for YARPP inspired from TheVerge. This is little heavy on images, to address the extra page weight it adds, the images will be loaded only when the user scrolls to the end of the post. Cool, right 🙂
We also experimented with some CSS3 animations, I think we need to refine the design further and will do it in the next update.
A few speed conscious users asked us why we include YARPP ( Known to be resource intensive ) in Swift. There are two things.
- We do not bundle YARPP with swift. We just include 2 templates, which you can choose from YARPP settings page if you are using YARPP.
- YARPP is resource intensive but, when combined with a proper caching plugin it shouldn’t be a big concern.
How to activate?
To activate this cool related posts style, you should have the YARPP plugin installed. Install it if its not already installed and goto its setting page and set the number of posts to show as 5, and click on custom template and choose yarpp-template-swift-images.php
After this, goto swift theme options page and update your settings to regenerate your stylsheet and scripts.
Ajax tabs for the newspaper template
Lot of you using newspaper layout for the home page are adding more than 2 categories to the tabs section, NEWSPAPER template is already heavy and this is increasing the weight further. To solve this problem we are loading the hidden tabs on demand via AJAX.
Auto hiding navigation bar and scroll icons
Some of you complained that the sticky navigation bar was taking your valuable screen real-estate on mobiles. Not an issue on larger devices and phablets but can be annoying on below 4″ screens. Sticky navigation bar is important for usability, we can not just get rid of it. I was thinking about a better way to solve this problem, and one fine day the auto hiding idea stuck me and I quickly implemented it and applied the same to scroll icons. With the new scroll icons, you can scroll to both top and bottom 🙂
Non blocking social sharing buttons
Sick of all the bloated social sharing plugins, we started developing our own plugin, but the development wasn’t going at the pace we expected. So we initially decided to replace the social sharing buttons used in newspaper template with the ones from plugin. Then we thought when we are adding that, we might as well add them to single post pages. So in this version you will be getting the NON BLOCKING SOCIAL SHARING BUTTONS. They will be eventually moved to a plugin.
You can enable the from swift options -> single post options
Apart from these five major things here are few other additions
- Added two new landing/squeeze page templates. One has footer and other doesn’t.
- Option to disable accordion style widgets in mobiles.
Bug Fixes and refinements
- Fixed the logo warning that crept in v7.1.6
- When top navigation is not enabled, swiping left on mobiles resulted in an empty menu saying undefined. Fixed it.
- Optimised JS further.
- We now load different editor styles based in the page template you are using.
Should you get this update?
Though we tested this updated throughly, as this is a major update there might be few glitches that we may have missed in our tests. So if you have a very busy site, its advised you pass this update and wait for the next update. If you are adventurous or building a new site, go ahead and use this version 🙂
How much does this update cost, and where can I get it?
If you have a active license of Swift, this update is free for your and you can get the lastest version from the members area. If your license expired, you can renew it by paying the renewal fee $10 and $15 for personal and developers license respectively or upgrade to lifetime license by paying the difference.
[button size=”large” link=”https://members.swiftthemes.com/member/index” style=”download” color=”default”]Take me to members area[/button] [button link=”http://swiftthemes.com/plans-and-pricing/” style=”tick” size=”large” color=”success”]Buy Swift[/button]
Changes to the support system
We started with bbPress for support and later moved to vBulletin as it offered better functionality than bbPress even though it is very popular for the amount of spam it attracts and how it is prone to hacks. Coming from WordPress background, I hated the community around vBulletin. Last month vBulletin was used as a source to infect other scripts and sites on our account. Luckily we were able to identify the source and control the damage. bbPress got a lot better than it used to be. Especially with the v2.2 release and this complication with vBulletin was a reason enough for us to switch back to bbPress 🙂
We reached out to few Swiftlers to find out how they liked the new support system and everyone seems to have liked it better than VB and feel that this is faster and easy to use.
I personally like bbPress over VB and happy with the Switch.
Though the forum is fully functional, design needs to be taken care, you are stuck with the average design for now 🙂
We will add more functionality like
reply via email to the forum in coming days to make it even more useful and easy to use.
Update( 29-09-14, 1AM): I just added reply via email facility to the forum, you can now respond to your support questions straight from your inbox. Not sure how much you will like it but, its gonna be a great time saver for me and my response time should be drastically reduced as I keep checking my email a lot more frequently than the forum. Don’t be surprised if your issue is resolved in less than 5min 😉
I’m planning on taking a break from WordPress development work till the end of this year and work on a personal project. You know, its hard for me to stay away from WordPress and Swift, but thats the plan.
I will however be available for answering support questions like before, and don’t worry I will be available if there is any issue that needs immediate attention.
Here are something that I couldn’t make in this update. Will get back to them as soon as I’m back.
- Customizable footer and copyright container.
- Auto update.
- Social media widget.
Contribute to Swift Theme demo sites
We are working on rebuilding the demo site and also create multiple demo sites to show you the real potential of Swift. We need lot of beautiful photos for this. We can use the photos we captured ourselves or use some stock photos or even better, use the ones give by our gracious Swiftlers 🙂
If you think you are a good photographer and would like to contribute your best capture to Swift theme demo, please submit it here ( My first Google app engine script 🙂 )
We will include your social media links along with the photo.
[button link=”http://bit.ly/Contribute_Your_Best_Captures” size=”large” style=”thumbs-o-up” color=”success”]Contribute your best capture[/button]
I recently worked on a client site hosted on WP Engine. The project took about 10 days and it gave me chance to explore WP Engine.
Though it isn’t an ideal choice for developers like us, its tailor made for not so tech-savvy users and those who do not want to get their hands dirty and to deal with mundane tasks like optimizing and maintaining WordPress. Here are some of the reasons I like WP Engine
Having your site hacked can be a nightmare, with WP Engine you no longer have to worry about it. WP Engine automatically scans for hacking attempts on a daily basis. They do everything they can to ensure your WordPress site doesn’t get hacked. If you site still manages to get hacked, they’ll fix it for you at no additional cost to you.
Freedom from tweaking and configuring your server for optimum performance. WP Engine is exclusive for WordPress, so their setup is thoroughly optimized for it.
Easy and free daily backups and restores. With one-click, you can revert back to a previous stage of your site.
Assurance that your site is in safe hands. They handle installing security updates and make sure you have up-to-date site protection. They also scan and disable plugins that cause a security risk for your site and the entire server as a whole.
They only host WordPress sites, so their support staff are WordPress experts trained to help you track down and troubleshoot your WordPress issues.
We haven’t actively pushed any third party WordPress products or services till date, but we are doing so now because we are confident that we can recommend them with our eyes closed. WP Engine ensures your WordPress site will be lightning fast, extremely secure, infinitely scalable and they are skilled WordPress professionals ready to assist you with any issues that come up with your site.
Currently they are running a special offer where you can get 3 months of free hosting when purchasing an annual plan. Click here and use the special code “OctoberPress” and you’ll save 25% on a full year of hosting.
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Please note that their CDN (They are partnered with MaxCDN) add on on the personal plan costs $19.95 (3 times more) if you buy from them, you can get the same directly from MaxCDN at $6.75.