News – Chatty Mango https://chattymango.com WordPress Plugins Sun, 10 Feb 2019 17:07:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 135434061 Trying the New Flattr https://chattymango.com/trying-the-new-flattr/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=trying-the-new-flattr https://chattymango.com/trying-the-new-flattr/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=trying-the-new-flattr#respond Fri, 01 Feb 2019 15:33:32 +0000 https://chattymango.com/?p=5699 Flattr is a service that enables you to support creators on the Internet with micro-payments. It is not entirely new but has recently been revamped with the objective to make it much user-friendlier. The change has been significant enough to take a fresh look at Flattr …

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Flattr is a service that enables you to support creators on the Internet with micro-payments. It is not entirely new but has recently been revamped with the objective to make it much user-friendlier. The change has been significant enough to take a fresh look at Flattr 2.0.

How Does It Work?

Flattr forms a connection between creators and contributors. Creators offer something for free and contributors show their appreciation with a small donation.

Creators start by registering their websites1, social media channels, video channels, podcasts or others with Flattr. At the other end, people sign up as contributors and set a monthly total amount (min. $3) that they want to give away to creators.

Whenever a contributor visits a website or other works of a creator, a browser extension calculates a share depending on how much attention2 this work receives. These bits of attention are called “flattrs”.

This extension seems to be the main difference compared to Patreon, which is more like a crowdfunding platform where fans contribute towards a monthly goal and receive rewards from the creators.

There are some ways how contributors can fine-tune their micro-payments: They can manually send a flattr by pressing a button in the extension’s menu. They can also exclude a website or undo Flattrs on their dashboard before the donations go out.

Every 30 days, Flattr distributes the monthly budget of each contributor among the creators who have received their flattrs. Splitting the money may result in tiny amounts per one flattr. This, however, makes sure that contributors always keep their total monthly costs under control.

Creators receive 90% of the incoming money. Flattr takes 5% from the earnings for own operations, while they spend further 5% for the money transfer. Until it gains more traction, however, Flattr announced to be fee-free.

The Potential Of Flattr For Creators Of Free Software

Flattr is not only interesting for podcasters, filmmakers and bloggers, but also for people who create free software. And that, of course, is the reason why I am looking into it.

Flattr could be a good addition to the PayPal donation buttons that every now and then receive a click. The problem with PayPal is that once you started using a plugin, you usually don’t search anymore for a donation button. With Flattr this could be much easier.

A creator could, for example, receive a donation when users browse the documentation (which, by the way, also takes a lot of time to write and maintain). Creators can also connect their GitHub account.

So, the income might just be a nice gesture or it could also become a tangible amount that helps you cover the costs that are unavoidable when you offer something for free.

Using Flattr As Creator

Signing up as creator was fairly easy, although you have to be ready to submit some personal information like date of birth, nationality and country of residence. This requirement was not invented by Flattr but the law demands accountability for the flow of money.

The payment provider also needs a scan of an official ID or passport. This was a bit tricky because Flattr writes that you can blacken the number. When I did so, however, the scan was initially rejected3 as unreadable because I also blackened the number in the machine readable part on the back side. I don’t really understand, however, what sense it would make to blacken it only on the front side.

As creator you have your own profile page that you can use for promotion. Mine is here.

I cannot report much about the income yet. There have been 6 flattrs in January that correspond to a yet unknown amount of dollars. Before you can withdraw your earnings, your balance must be at least $10. Flattr definitely needs a much bigger user base in order to generate some money. Until then, I will keep it running and evaluate it later. Since there are no fixed fees, the worst that can happen as creator is to end with zero earnings.

Screenshot Flattr Dashboard
The creator dashboard surprised me with some recent flattrs.

Using Flattr As Contributor

As contributor you subscribe with a credit card and set a monthly amount. Payments are in US$, so you have to consider exchange fees if your bank account uses a different currency. You can be contributor and creator at the same time, and the two budgets (incoming and outgoing) will be separate.

When you visit a web site, the extension4 checks if this domain is on a Flattr- (later possibly community-) curated whitelist. If not, you need to manually turn on flattring for this site. This additional step is a precaution so that you won’t spread your flattrs all across the Internet.5

If the domain is on the whitelist, or after you turned on the toggle, you see a progress bar inside the green “Flattr” button moving while you stay on the page and scroll around. Once the progress bar has reached the end of the button, it counts as 1 flattr.

I don’t know what else makes the progress bar move but it seems that just by loading the page and without any interaction this domain won’t receive any flattrs. If you continue interacting on a page or domain beyond a completed flattr, you will give 2 flattrs, and so on.6

On your Contributor Dashboard you see the Flattrs you gave (almost) in real time as a list of pages and their creators with the tentative amount that they receive. The amount is calculated from all flattrs you have made so far. While you continue giving flattrs during your 30-day subscription period, the value of one flattr shrinks accordingly.

Own websites and unregistered domains are listed but not counted for payments. After a few days, the list becomes increasingly confusing. A filter should by default show show flatters that actually count.

Some Thoughts About Privacy

There are privacy concerns around the extension that sends over some metadata about your browsing behavior to their server.7 Flattr says that most of the metadata collected stays on your computer and they receive only what they need to know. The extension is open source and you can therefore check yourself what it does.

It is, of course, unavoidable that Flattr processes some metadata in order to distribute the money. And both contributors and creators certainly want to see enough details so that they can verify the transactions. Flattr says it will delete this metadata after 1-3 months, in accordance with GDPR.

If you need more privacy, you could for example use one browser whenever you want to flattr creators and otherwise a different one. Or you switch to incognito or private mode if you don’t want to leave a trail.

If I compare that to the alternative ways of funding, which are now mainly the PayPal button or earning a bit through advertising banners, I think that Flattr is much more trustworthy. I particularly like that their extension is open source and that they operate their servers under Swedish legislation.


Note: This website also accepts Flattr payments.


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Redirect Users to Random Posts – Video https://chattymango.com/redirect-users-to-random-posts-video/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=redirect-users-to-random-posts-video https://chattymango.com/redirect-users-to-random-posts-video/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=redirect-users-to-random-posts-video#respond Fri, 04 Jan 2019 08:19:57 +0000 https://chattymango.com/?p=5662 The online magazine WPBeginner has created a useful screencast that shows you how to install and use my Redirect URL to Post plugin. You also find an article about redirecting to random WordPress posts on their website. Here is the video – with many thanks to …

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The online magazine WPBeginner has created a useful screencast that shows you how to install and use my Redirect URL to Post plugin. You also find an article about redirecting to random WordPress posts on their website.

Here is the video – with many thanks to the folks at WPBeginner!

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Tag Groups, Version 0.41: Tag Cloud With Alphabetical Tabs https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-wordpress-cloud-alphabetical-tabs/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-wordpress-cloud-alphabetical-tabs https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-wordpress-cloud-alphabetical-tabs/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-wordpress-cloud-alphabetical-tabs#respond Tue, 25 Dec 2018 14:27:25 +0000 https://chattymango.com/?p=5500 The latest version of the free Tag Groups plugin comes with a few bug fixes and a new shortcode. The shortcode creates a tabbed tag cloud, similar to what we already know, the only difference being that the names in the tabs are created automatically: You …

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The latest version of the free Tag Groups plugin comes with a few bug fixes and a new shortcode. The shortcode creates a tabbed tag cloud, similar to what we already know, the only difference being that the names in the tabs are created automatically: You find there the first letters of your tags.

For example, using the shortcode [tag_groups_alphabet_tabs orderby="count" order="desc" separator="|"] you get the following tag cloud :

The tag cloud has not been tested with right-to-left languages. The sorting of the tabs is done according to the current WordPress locale.

Most parameters of the tabbed tag cloud will work here as well, as long as they make sense with these automatic “groups”. New parameters are include_letters and exclude_letters.

This feature works only with shortcodes. A Gutenberg block will follow later, when I find more time. Please note that it will be ported into the premium version only with its next update.

You can install this new version from your backend or from the WordPress repository.

I’m also wishing you peaceful and happy holidays!

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Redirect URL to Post, Version 0.19: Go to 2nd, 3rd, etc. Post https://chattymango.com/redirect-url-to-post-version-0-19-go-to-2nd-3rd-etc-post/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=redirect-url-to-post-version-0-19-go-to-2nd-3rd-etc-post https://chattymango.com/redirect-url-to-post-version-0-19-go-to-2nd-3rd-etc-post/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=redirect-url-to-post-version-0-19-go-to-2nd-3rd-etc-post#respond Fri, 26 Oct 2018 12:40:14 +0000 https://chattymango.com/?p=5464 The latest version of Redirect URL to Post adds a new feature that has been requested several times by users: Now you can redirect to the 2nd, 3rd, or any later position in the set of posts that match the criteria. Simply use the new parameter …

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go to 2nd post

The latest version of Redirect URL to Post adds a new feature that has been requested several times by users: Now you can redirect to the 2nd, 3rd, or any later position in the set of posts that match the criteria.

Simply use the new parameter offset. Here is one example:

https://www.example.com?redirect_to=latest&offset=1

This link would redirect to the second latest posts.

You can use it as well for the oldest post. If the offset is too high for the available supply of matching posts, the procedure for “no post found” will be initiated.

This release also adds the parameter suppress_filters. You can find the full changelog here.

Not surprisingly, the update is available from your WordPress backend. And if you don’t find it there, just install it from WordPress.org.

Photo by electricnude, Flickr

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Tag Groups Premium, Version 17.0: New Shortcode Parameters https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-premium-version-17-0-new-shortcode-parameters/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-premium-version-17-0-new-shortcode-parameters https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-premium-version-17-0-new-shortcode-parameters/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-premium-version-17-0-new-shortcode-parameters#respond Tue, 02 Oct 2018 08:54:15 +0000 https://chattymango.com/?p=5441 The latest release of Tag Groups Premium comes with new shortcode parameters and the corresponding settings in the Gutenberg blocks. Dynamic Post Filter: Total Number of Posts The dynamic post filter is now able to show a line above the posts, provided that any post was …

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Green Heron in Flight

The latest release of Tag Groups Premium comes with new shortcode parameters and the corresponding settings in the Gutenberg blocks.

Dynamic Post Filter: Total Number of Posts

The dynamic post filter is now able to show a line above the posts, provided that any post was found. This feature can be turned on with

display_amount=1

The message is different depending on whether one or more posts were found. There are therefore two shortcodes that allow you to customize the message for singular and for plural. In the plural message you can use the placeholder {count}:

message_amount_singular="1 post found"
message_amount_plural="{count} posts found"

Now you can also hide the close buttons of the groups. Use it with the parameters “include” and “open” to set a fixed selection of groups that cannot be changed by users:

hide_close_button=1

Shuffle Box: More Filter Options

A new parameter allows now to hide the “all groups” filter, in case you always want to filter tags by groups, for example if the total amount of tags is too big to fit on the page.

 show_filter_all_groups=0

Furthermore, you can set a group filter that is active after loading. Use it with -1 for all groups (default) or a group ID. Naturally only IDs work here that you have included with “include”.1

initial_group=3

Bug Fixes

This release comes also with several bug fixes, some of which were inherited from the free plugin. Please find more details in the changelog.


As usual, you can update your older version in the backend or buy the plugin at Codester.

photo: Green Heron in Flight – Explore #141 5/4/15 by goingslo

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Tag Groups Premium, Version 1.16: WPML Compatibility https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-premium-version-1-16-wpml-compatibility/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-premium-version-1-16-wpml-compatibility https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-premium-version-1-16-wpml-compatibility/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-premium-version-1-16-wpml-compatibility#respond Thu, 30 Aug 2018 10:52:15 +0000 https://chattymango.com/?p=5394 We are happy to announce that Tag Groups Premium is now officially compatible with the WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML). With the assistance of the WPML team we were able to add a handy new feature: Now you can translate group names. Simply select a language and edit …

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We are happy to announce that Tag Groups Premium is now officially compatible with the WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML).

Tag Groups Premium - WPML Compatibility

With the assistance of the WPML team we were able to add a handy new feature: Now you can translate group names. Simply select a language and edit the names. 

Please find more information about how to use this feature in the documentation.

If you wonder how to translate tag names: This is all handled by WordPress and WPML. Our plugin just adds the groups as a second layer.

As usual, you can update Tag Groups Premium on your dashboard or download it from Codester.


PS: This is a follow-up to the announcement of the free Tag Group plugin’s WPML-compatibility. Yes, also the free Tag Groups plugin is compatible and you can test the WPML features with Tag Groups before buying.

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Tag Groups, Version 0.40: WPML Compatibility https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-version-0-40-wpml-compatibility/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-version-0-40-wpml-compatibility https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-version-0-40-wpml-compatibility/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-version-0-40-wpml-compatibility#respond Thu, 30 Aug 2018 08:57:22 +0000 https://chattymango.com/?p=5381 We are happy to announce that Tag Groups is now compatible with the WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML). How to use Tag Groups together with WPML First, you need to set up WordPress Multilingual with the languages you need. Then you enter the Tag Groups admin page …

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source Quinn Dombrowski Courage Flickr

We are happy to announce that Tag Groups is now compatible with the WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML).

How to use Tag Groups together with WPML

First, you need to set up WordPress Multilingual with the languages you need. Then you enter the Tag Groups admin page where you create and edit tag groups. This page will not look much different from what you are used to. But now you can edit the names for each language independently.

WPML language selector

All you need to do is to switch to another language in the admin bar. By default, all languages use the group names of your default language.

On all admin pages, you will see the group names that correspond to the language chosen in the admin bar. On the front end, the group names naturally match the language of the page.

Some more details:

  • If you create a new group in a translation (that is, not in your default language), the default language will first receive its group name from that translated language so that it won’t remain empty.
  • The order of the groups is the same across all languages.
  • The label “not assigned” remains untranslated on your back end. On the front end you can choose the translation in the shortcode.
  • Each language version of a tag can belong to a different group.1
  • If you create a translation of a tag, the translated tag will receive the groups of the original tag, unless you set different groups during the translation.

What has happened to the WPML menu?

If you are using Tag Groups for a long time, you may remember that there was once a menu item “WPML” that offered a basic integration into WPML. This function has now become obsolete.

Previously, group names were treated as translatable strings, not much different than text inside your theme. The new solution, however, enables you to translate and change group names right there where you create and edit them.

source of title image: “Courage” by Quinn Dombrowski at Flickr

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Tag Groups Premium, Version 1.15: Display Tag Groups With WooCommerce Attributes https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-premium-display-tags-groups-woocommerce-attributes/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-premium-display-tags-groups-woocommerce-attributes https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-premium-display-tags-groups-woocommerce-attributes/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-premium-display-tags-groups-woocommerce-attributes#respond Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:03:22 +0000 https://chattymango.com/?p=5040 If you use the popular eCommerce plugin WooCommerce, you are probably familiar with the standard template where each product can reveal some further details under the “Additional Information” tab. This additional information can be “Weight” or “Dimensions”, or any custom attribute that you created on the …

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If you use the popular eCommerce plugin WooCommerce, you are probably familiar with the standard template where each product can reveal some further details under the “Additional Information” tab. This additional information can be “Weight” or “Dimensions”, or any custom attribute that you created on the back end.

Now you can also display ordinary product tags in the “Additional Information” section. These tags will serve as attribute values (in the right column), while tag groups serve as attributes (in the left column). All you need is the latest version of Tag Groups Premium.

Using Tags and Groups as clickable WooCommerce Attributes

“Producer” is a WooCommerce Attribute, while “Technology”, “Size” and “Power Supply” are Tag Groups. Note that tags are always clickable.

When you create a product attribute, you can choose to “enable archives”, that means to link each attribute value to a list of products that all use that particular value. Product tags, on the other hand, are always clickable.

New Settings Screen

If you have WooCommerce installed and activated, you find a new tab in the Front End settings. There you have two checkboxes:

  • One lets you add tag groups and their tags to the attributes section (“Additional Information”) of the product. Of course, we display only groups and tags that you use with that particular product.
  • The second one removes the “Tags: …” part from the single product view so that the tags don’t appear twice. Your product categories will still be in place, but tags are used only as additional attribute values.

Since we are already replacing the template, we also added an option to set the separator between attribute values and tags.

Screenshot WooCommerce tags as attributes

Please note that these two option will only work if your theme doesn’t replace the default WooCommerce templates.

Get the Latest Version

As usual, you can update the plugin from the admin back end. If you don’t have it yet, you can buy the plugin from Codester.

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Tag Groups, Version 0.39: Back End Improvements https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-version-0-39-back-end-improvements/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-version-0-39-back-end-improvements https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-version-0-39-back-end-improvements/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-version-0-39-back-end-improvements#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 08:12:38 +0000 https://chattymango.com/?p=5030 This update of the free Tag Groups WordPress plugin aims to improve the user experience on the back end. Plugin authors should always be conservative about moving the settings into their own top-level menu. I think that the amount of required settings should justify this prominent position. …

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WordPress Troubleshooting Screenshot

This update of the free Tag Groups WordPress plugin aims to improve the user experience on the back end.

Plugin authors should always be conservative about moving the settings into their own top-level menu. I think that the amount of required settings should justify this prominent position. And I feel annoyed when a top-level menu reveals nothing but a scanty page, or a good deal of promotion.1

Keeping it Simple

The Tag Groups plugin has tried for years to confine the growing amount of settings to one page, organized in tabs. Only the tag group administration needed to be separate from the moment when I added post and tag filters because the links from the groups to the filters depend on the taxonomy.

The tipping point was reached when I realized that (particularly in the premium version) the entire settings page reflected the development of an ever growing organism rather than being organized in a meaningful and usable way.

New Pages And Help Icons

Tag Groups menu - WordPressDuring the changes, I moved the “System Information” page from the premium to the free plugin and added a diagnostic tool for Ajax. I also add links to important parts of the documentation and some FAQs to the backend.

The menu item is now always called “Tag Groups” – regardless of whether you are using the free or the premium plugin.

A new “Home” page offers an overview of your enabled taxonomies with stats and direct links to the tag group administration pages. Much of the explanatory notes is now hidden behind “help” icons.

The result is a much clearer structure and fresher view. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Tag Groups Premium, Version 1.14: Filter Posts by Group and Responsive Table https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-premium-version-1-14-filter-posts-group-responsive-table/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-premium-version-1-14-filter-posts-group-responsive-table https://chattymango.com/tag-groups-premium-version-1-14-filter-posts-group-responsive-table/?pk_campaign=rss&pk_kwd=tag-groups-premium-version-1-14-filter-posts-group-responsive-table#respond Sun, 01 Jul 2018 16:26:38 +0000 https://chattymango.com/?p=5009 The latest release of Tag Groups Premium offers some usability enhancements and bug fixes. Most of all, you can use a shortcode to add a tag group menu to filter you posts and the table tag cloud adjusts on smaller screens.

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steam engine wheel (author Christoph Amthor)

The latest release of Tag Groups Premium offers some usability enhancements and bug fixes.

Filter Menu

Filtering posts by a tag group is actually nothing new. You can use the Dynamic Post Filter or add a parameter to the URL of the page that displays the posts (or products).

To make things much easier there is now a new shortcode that adds a menu with tag groups. Visitors of your site can therefore select a group and will be taken to a list of posts (or products) that match these groups.

The default shortcode is:

[tag_groups_menu]

Just like the other shortcodes also this one works perfectly in text widgets. That way you can make sure that the menu is available again on the page where you find the filtered list of posts.

All shortcode parameters are detailed in the documentation.

Responsive Table

The table tag cloud switches now automatically to a mobile device mode on small screens. In that mode columns are displayed as rows – with groups on the left and tags on the right. That makes sure that even a huge number of groups neatly fits into the available space.

You can set this break point with the parameter “responsive_breakpoint”. The value is the width of the viewport (browser window) in pixel. With this parameter you can enforce the mobile device mode even for big screens if you think that your table should always be tall, rather than wide.

Separator for Post Tags

A small but handy enhancement is a new option to set a separator between the tags that appear under the posts. You can find that option in the Settings under “Post Tags”.

Object Cache

Another visible enhancement is a notice that appears on the admin back end when ever it is recommended to clear the object cache.

If you use the object cache and don’t purge it after particular changes, your tag clouds might not reflect these changes. On the other hand, some administrators might prefer not to rebuild the cache for every little change because an empty cache causes all affected pages to slow down for the next time the cache is re-filled.

Just a reminder: You can purge the cache also in the settings.

Get the Latest Version

As usual, you can update the plugin from the admin back end. If you don’t have it yet, you can buy the plugin from Codester.

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