Nowadays, using a multilingual booking plugin is essential to reach an international target audience across all multimedia devices. As WordPress booking plugin, Sagenda has recently acquired its WPML multilingual compatibility certification. Following compatibility testing, Sagenda and WPML are 100% compatible plugins for users of multilingual WordPress sites.
Why Use a Multilingual Plugin?
Defining the target audience requires an extreme level of accuracy. Since this is a multilingual booking plugin, Sagenda targets independent businesses, small enterprises or public institutions looking for a safe booking, rental or appointment scheduler online calendar, regardless of geographic location. Therefore, offering a multilingual website content is essential to reach interested sectors.
WPML Multilingual Compatibility for Sagenda
With over 500,000 active installations, WPML is one of the most widely used WordPress translation plugin allowing users to translate websites into multiple languages for a variety of content: modules, articles, pages, themes, dashboard items and so on. WPML includes its translations or submitted translations, thereby ensuring a localized content.
The WPML certification is an essential step confirming our interest in making Sagenda accessible to a larger and targeted audience. At Sagenda, we simplify multilingual content without affecting other features.
Subsequently, our team aims to work closely with WordPress services to ensure the performance and compatibility of Sagenda with other plugins as well. Keeping our clients satisfied is at the center of our concerns.
As you might know, we love WordPress and are pretty excited about the upcoming release of WordPress 5.0 with its new features and moniker (generally, a jazz man). This is a major version as there were no releases over the past 4 years (since WordPress 3.0 switched to 4.0).
So let’s take a peek at what’s new!
Gutenberg: A New WordPress Editing Experience
Gutenberg is the latest WordPress editor and so much more: easy to use and intuitive design but also very powerful allowing you to build responsive pages. It’s all about “blocks” that you can build and manage on your own website depending on the display size. From now on, you may create and change the “responsive design” behavior of pages without affecting the theme and with no HTML, CSS or Twitter Bootstrap skills whatsoever.
However, Gutenberg is not as comprehensive as other recent commercial products extending the features of page editing, such as page builders (i.e. DIVI, Elementor and so on) which will likely be overtaken in the medium term.
If page editors available as WordPress plugins are rather seen as partners instead of competitors, this is not the case when it comes to external platforms such as Wix. In fact, when speaking about WordPress, we’re referring to an open source project available for download from WordPress.org. However, it also includes WordPress.com which allows you to start your own website without worrying about web installing or hosting based on some fees. You got that right: WordPress.com provides most of its revenues and WordPress 5.0 is poised to fight those competitors offering paid CMS versions.
Gutenberg, the new page editor
Gutenberg is an editor already available for use with WordPress 4.9.x. Optionally, you may also download it as a plugin here !
Don’t fret: the old editor is also bundled as a plugin to allow its continued use in WordPress 5.0 in case of difficult transition. However, it will probably become unavailable at a certain point as I believe the WordPress team won’t support it all the way through WordPress 6.0 or 7.0. In other words, you’d better get started to get things done! OK, enough about Gutenberg, what else?
Twenty Nineteen: New Theme
Twenty Nineteen is the new theme of WordPress 5.0. There’s nothing special about it if you’re already using it as users rarely change the theme when doing a major web content overhaul. However, Twenty Nineteen includes a very interesting option (free of charge) for new websites as it has a very understated and minimalist theme unlike in previous cases. This is also a pretty interesting sandbox for web designers willing to learn new features and best coding practices in terms of WordPress 5.0 themes.
Scheduled mid-November, but postponed somewhere end of November 2018, the roll-out of WordPress 5.0 is not all milk and honey. Here are some tips before updating:
Feel free to wait for WordPress 5.0.1 and let others do the dirty work.
Make sure your theme and plugins are updated for this version.
Don’t update directly on your live website: make a test copy and, if all goes well on copy, update your website thereafter.
Don’t forget to back up before upgrading!
WordPress 6.0 To-Do List
WordPress still does not have a native multilingual management of front-end pages. For multilingual websites, users still need to use plugins such as WPML and Polylang, thereby affecting website compatibility. Your website requires internationalization in so many aspects: text content, but also media (images, videos, sound, and so on), URLs (links, web page redirect, and possibly different domain names by country language). Therefore, internationalization management requires various plugins as well as lots of testing and settings.
However, we’re positive WordPress 6.0 will make a case for it! Anyway, this is the most wanted feature so feel free to vote for it : here !
Summer is officially here and online bookings are at an all time high for holiday rentals or appointments. Perfect timing for us to let you know that Sagenda is beta testing its calendar view for WordPress users.
Our calendar view is available for all WordPress plugin users registered on Sagenda. Make sure you’re using the latest WordPress Sagenda Calendar plugin’s version on your website, then insert the following shortcode [sagenda-calendar-wp] to display your calendar.
The shortcode may be used in any page or post of the WordPress website to display your monthly, weekly or daily calendar view. According to selected bookings, your drop-drown menu will display available bookable items and corresponding event patterns. What a better way to showcase your occupancy rate and get new customers onboard!
For the time being, beta testing of the new calendar view is available for all our WordPress Sagenda plugin users although our team is working around the clock to enable it for sagenda.net frontend and on other CMS frameworks as well. So stay tuned!
Have a go at the latest calendar view and let us know what you think! Need help with the shortcode or just want to share your suggestions?
Those hosting services that speed up your web load time – #PROductivity 3
Cheap and Fast Hosting Services
All hosting services are not the same. But beware: there is no point in comparing page load speed based on the various “premium” plans offered by web hosting providers! Quite often, marketing jargon pollutes clear and precise information. You’ll definitely hear about ‘TOP Speed’ or ‘Power’ modes, but what’s in it for you? To be honest, absolutely nothing!
Even technical data does not seem to clarify things. Some will sell you SSD hosting services! Pretty cool, isn’t it? But what’s so special about SSD hosting if the server’s processor is overwhelmed by queries from the rest of the 500 websites hosted on the same server with a permanently saturated RAM memory running at 98%? Well, it certainly looks less reliable than the old magnetic hard disk drives that would have always stored your top 10 favorite search pages!
It’s possible to find extremely fast web hosting providers, but are you really ready to fork out 1,200 Euros per month for a showcase website? Not exactly!
So, which are the fast and affordable hosting providers able to host WordPress easily (e.g. a Fantastico installer)? I would go for NameCheap and its Business SSD plan costing less than $20 per month if you’re looking for speed, or its Value plan is you want to save some money as it sets you back a mere $10 per month; otherwise, go for Site5 hosting.
Where Am I Going? Where Am I Headed?
Watch your destination. Your website will not enjoy the same load speed all over the world. Think twice before choosing your hosting provider. The worst case scenario is finding a hosting service close to your whereabouts, but which is slower than a service provider located on the other side of the world! Fortunately, there are alternatives you may test and content delivery techniques.
CDN (Content Delivery Network) is some sort of replica of your cache in different parts of the world. Thus, visitors will look for information on your website through the closest server at any given time.
Test and Improve!
There are no written instructions that you may follow as with IKEA’s furniture assembly; each website is unique with a unique audience. There are some major guidelines as the ones outlined in this article, and some great tools are readily available online allowing you to test the performance of your website.
Google Page speed is your number one choice: it’s essential since it will provide you a report on speed and user experience (at least in terms of desktop and mobile experience). If you happen to have other preferences, don’t forget to keep Google happy as Google is the number one search engine. Get my drift?
Pingdom is really interesting as it allows you to test your website in different parts of the world. It’s definitely more convenient than popping in every possible Internet cafe across the world, isn’t it?
A few tips to accelerate your WordPress website page load time – #PROductivity 2
Load time, this shadow killer…
Your website load time is essential. Many years ago, various expert reports indicated the clear link between website load time and the number of visitors abandoning your website. Consequently, it is absolutely crucial to keep page load below 3 seconds in order to secure an optimal retention of your readers or users on-site. There are two possible alternatives you can use: work on your website or work on your web hosting provider.
I calculated the total time that humans have waited for web pages to load. It cancels out all the productivity gains of the information age. Sometimes I think the web is a big blog to keep people like me away from normal society.
It’s probably less expensive, but it will definitely keep you busy. Here are a few things that you can improve:
Images often take a lot of space, an awful amount of visual space. You should think of ways to optimize their compression in order to make your website load faster.
There are multiple tools to do just that. On Mac, I recommend you use the excellent Image Optim which is also available as a web service. For Windows users, File Optimizer is just as interesting as it does not only deal with image optimization.
In case you wish to optimize your images directly on WordPress, you’ve got an easier option: image optimization plugins, quite a handful of them, but ShortPixel looks pretty appealing.
Think Async to Speed up Your Loading Time
Synchronous and asynchronous, what’s up with that? Suppose your web load time is similar to a list of packs that the mailman has to deliver. If you have to wait for the delivery of package (A) in order to expect the delivery of package (B), and so on up to (Z) which is what synchronous loading looks like, it will take longer than having all packages delivered at the same time by multiple mailmen (asynchronous loading).
Beware: in practice, all changes cannot be operated separately, but it would be a great step ahead to be able to separate some of them.
Use Cache Solutions
Many users know how to clear their browser cache, but they don’t really know why they need to do that. Cache is neither a history nor a surveillance tool prying on your private life. The fact that browsers allow people to clear their cache of all that data at the same time might be confusing.
Thanks to cache memory, search results are readily available to users. To explain it metaphorically and to put it simply, suppose you’re ordering a drink. The waiter who comes to pick up your order already brings a customized selection of your favorite drinks for you to choose from. This means that you do not have to wait for the waiter to fetch your drinks: you have just saved yourself a lot of time!
Cache memory may exist on servers, but also on the computer who uses it. There are also other types of cache, but you will not be able to control them such as the cache of your Internet service provider: it will not search for Google’s logo each and every time; it will be stored in its cache.
There are two major WordPress plugins which dominate the cache solutions thanks to their excellent service and free available versions: W3 total cache and WP Super Cache. It would be difficult to say which one is best, so why not see it for yourself by using both on your website?
Keep It Simple!
You have probably heard about the KISS principle designed by the US Navy which is the acronym for ‘keep it simple and stupid’. Restrict the number of modules (also known as plugins) as these often include “hooks” or anchor points which are in use each time there is a load in progress (e.g. page, website or other) in order to activate the module, and let it do its job. These are essential to website overall functioning, but it overloads your page: suppose you have 50 active modules or 12; impact will be extremely different. The advantage on WordPress is that you may deactivate a module without removing it, so you should definitely use this functionality!
Don’t add too many items or audiovisual components per page.
It’s highly unlikely you will get to use all these tools at the same time; especially if your website boasts a responsive design, multilingual features and crisp layout! Remember, add one component at a time and see how your website loads. If certain things don’t work, use something else especially since some themes or plugins cannot function in combination with all these optimization techniques.
WordPress is now the major player for content management and website creation. It’s a huge opportunity for webmasters and web agencies; there are tons of potential customers using WordPress out there. When it comes to development neither PHP nor WordPress are known for clean development structure: there is room for improvement by using an additional project acting as framework. If your goal is to maintain a quality project over time, this article is clearly for you.
What we were searching for…
First, let’s describe what we reviewed when we used those frameworks:
Develops clean and fast for WordPress with a clear code separation MVC (Model View Controller) style.
Ability to manage frontend and backend views.
Using an ORM (object-relational mapping), or any clean way to make requests to the database.
Internationalization support: translation management, date formats, currency etc.
Solid documentation and support.
Open source preferred.
So, now let’s take a look at some awesome projects:
Interesting framework designed for plugin and theme.
People are very active and responsive.
They were focusing only on backend views, but we tested the release 0.9.9 still in development and the frontend is now managed.
Specific elements you should know A plugin done with Piklist will be dependent on the Piklist plugin. This means that users installing a plugin coded with Piklist should install the Piklist plugin; this can be done automatically, but anyway you’re not embedding anything.
We recommend If you don’t have strong development knowledge, it’s probably the easiest project to start with!
Largo http://largoproject.org Mostly focused only on building news websites with WordPress, if editorial content is your business, check out this project!
Shop Plugin https://shopplugin.net It’s not really a framework, but more a set of plugins with an API; nevertheless, it can be really useful when you need standard checkout and payment interfaces. The main plugin is free with additional paid support and an interface plugin; you get what you pay for.
About the classic WordPress framework used for coding plugins, I should say: that’s all folks! However, it would be a shame not to mention these interesting projects:
Gantry http://gantry.org Not for plugins, only for theme, but very interesting if you want to build WP + Joomla theme.
Unyson http://unyson.io This project is “built with clicks and without code” and is an awesome way to extend WordPress without having any coding knowledge. It’s a serious challenger for DIVI Builder.
Nouveau Framework http://www.nouveauframework.com It’s not a plugin framework, but a theme framework with a set of plugins you can reuse as per your needs. Anyway, a very interesting project; at the moment, they are close to a version 1.0 and I’m sure that it is worthwhile to follow them in the coming years.
You should understand that some of these frameworks are evolving fast; hence I will update this article time after time to track their respective progress. Who can do more, can do less: a framework focused on a project is also able to build a plugin for example, but you have to be aware that you will have to work around the configuration.
There is one last thing to understand, using a certain framework does not prevent you from using another one. If I find it silly using Themosis and Herbert at the same time, then perhaps using some elements from a framework (i.e. how to manage the backend view with another project like an ORM) can be also a good choice if you know how to lay the bricks together.
All is not rosy
Well, during your next conversation with another developer, you can say that you are using a framework, and you are following “good practices”, “clean code”… Welcome to the master class! Pay attention there is also a hidden side of the moon.
If the project is stopped: Well, nobody plans on dying, but everybody will; the same works for IT projects. So, I will have a small preference for open source projects; when people stop working on a large project, most of the time there’s a small group of people that are frustrated and starts a fork in order to make some minimal maintenance of the project.
If it’s not possible to do what you want: I already saw people starting work on a technology without knowing exactly if it will meet their needs. So, read, learn and make a small proof of concept. What if it doesn’t run in your productive environment? Did you already check if you can run your new framework on your productive environment prior to any serious coding? For sure, it will run smoothly on your development device and as developers always said: “But… it worked on my device!”, it’s so easy to manage localhost, feels like home right? It’s even more so with an environment like Mamp, Xamp, LAMP, EasyPHP… but it’s dirtier when it comes to production.
Mostly, as you will have the following option:
WP official repository: That’s tricky guys! First, you will have to pass a complete review of your plugin by the WP team. They will require several parameters such as being able to run all supported versions of PHP! First, be sure you meet the WP plugin guidelines, Take a look at how to write a plugin on codex, optional get a look at the coding standards. Then, remember you will be downloaded by users all around the world in any kind of hosting, so the next rules “Shared hosting” also apply to you.
Shared hosting: People using a shared PHP hosting have the chance to get a very complete service almost for free; the cons are that the less money they paid, the less parameters and configuration they can manage. Being able to change the PHP version is sometimes possible (often via cPanel or a .htaccess file), but loading a new Apache module feels like mission impossible. Why will people buy a dedicated server if everything is possible via shared hosting?
Your own server: That’s the easiest part; it’s your server, so you can install what you want. Just do it the clean way, and be sure it will not impact existing applications already running on that server.
So be sure to make a small proof of concept, and check if it meets your needs and runs in your productive environment.