I would like to take some time off to share the progress of EasyBlog 6.0 as this will be the biggest update ever since the launch of the composer. Our team went back to the drawing board once again and redesigned everything from scratch. I would like to present you EasyBlog 6.0 Beta 1
The entire user experience for the composer has been redesigned from the ground up. Authors will have a greater canvas when composing their posts and it also includes a brand new dark mode. These are some of the screens from the brand new composer:
Brand New Authoring Experience
With the brand new text block in EasyBlog 6, it now includes an inline editor which helps access your formatting tools in the post.
Import from Google Drive
Import from Google Drive
We have also added the ability to import your documents from Google Drive too! This allows you to compose your posts on Google Drive using Google Docs and import them easily when you are ready.
P/S: Currently, posts imported from Google Drive can only be edited with legacy editors (standard WYSIWYG editors) due to the insane formatting done on the document by Google Docs.
Our team has also added an extensive polls system in EasyBlog which allows authors to create polls. With the new polls functionality, you can now embed polls in your posts using the new polls block.
Reusable blocks are an important feature in EasyBlog 6. It saves a ton of time when dealing with redundant and similar blocks. You can also prepare these re-usable blocks by storing them as a global block template and authors can easily access them.
Convert Posts into Templates
Save as post template
One of the most annoying parts about post templates is that you always have to create them from the post template section. With this new update, you can now save a post that you are composing halfway through as a post template.
Video as Post Cover
Video as post cover
Bored of having images as post covers? You can now embed videos as your post cover. It currently supports video embeds from Youtube, Vimeo and Twitch.
Mandatory Post Covers
In the composer, we have also added new functionality that will require authors to include a post cover with their posts.
Redesigned date fields
The date fields in the composer have been redesigned to give you a better user experience when dealing with date and time.
The new Apple block allows you to embed and share the following items from Apple:
Apple Podcast List
The new Twitch block allows you to embed videos from Twitch.
EasySocial Videos Block
For sites with EasySocial installed, authors can now embed their videos from EasySocial.
Insert puns on your blog post with our brand new GIPHY block.
Lottie block allows you to render animations in your blog post. It is much smaller than GIFs and the best of all, there are free-to-use animation files that you can embed on your post.
With the new TikTok block, you can now embed them right on your post.
Image block updates
We have also updated the image block to support caption alignment.
We have also added 3 new separator styles for the horizontal rule block.
Redesigned Media Manager
We have also redesigned the media manager in EasyBlog to give it a more modern user interface.
Under the hood, we added the ability to insert watermark on images uploaded via the media manager.
Simple Image Editor
The new media manager is also equipped with a simple image editor that allows you to crop, rotate and flip your images.
Drag support to select multiple images
We also added drag support in the media manager to help you select multiple files easily.
Need to quickly grab an image for your posts? Try out the brand new Unsplash integrations with the new media manager.
Redesigned Administration Panel
We have also redesigned the administration panel so that the look and feel of the administration are standardized to customers across the board.
Module Package Manager
With the new module package manager, you can install or remove any EasyBlog modules right from the back-end of EasyBlog.
Default Font for Composer
Default Font Options
We have also added new settings to allow you to define the default options for the composer. This way, you can enforce a specific font size to be applied to the entire blog without making any other changes.
Custom Auto-Posting Setup
In EasyBlog 6, you can also setup different auto-posting options to different groups and pages for Facebook dependent on which category the post is filed under.
For multi-lingual sites, we added the ability to display associated posts to ensure that your daily administration task is simplified.
We have also ported all the variations of featured styles into the core. You can now choose from 8 different styles that can be used for the featured section and because of the flexibility of menus in Joomla, you could have different featured styles on different menus.
Post Listing Styles
You can now also choose to have posts appear in rows or columns. With the columns option, you get to choose between the standard grid or masonry layouts.
Apart from the highly customizable columns and rows, you also get to choose between 4 different post styles. This is particularly handy when you need different post styles on different layouts.
Login to Read
Login to read
In this update, we have now allowed users to view restricted pages without enforcing any redirection. It is beneficial in terms of SEO as well as user experience.
Redesigned E-mail Templates
Redesigned E-mail Templates
We have also applied the same design treatment that we have done with EasyDiscuss 5 to ensure that the e-mails generated by our extensions have a much more modern UI.
To refine search results, we have enhanced our very own search to allow filtering by tags and the ability to sort results. The category selection has also been redesigned from the ground up for better user experience navigating a large category tree. The search also includes new settings which you can toggle to allow searching for archived posts.
Apart from the amazing front-end changes above, here are some of the changes and user interface updates on the front-end.
Part 5 — Optimization & Compatibilities
Joomla 4 Compatibility
We have also updated the compatibility and EasyBlog 6 works across Joomla 3.9, 3.10 and Joomla 4.
Minimum PHP Requirements
Moving forward, we have decided to set the minimum requirement for PHP in EasyBlog 6 to be PHP 5.6. The primary reason for that is mainly for optimization purposes and we strongly urge customers to update to at least PHP 7.
Apart from the bump in version requirements, your PHP environment must now support the Fileinfo extension in PHP. This extension is crucial as we are now using a much more reliable image processing library to ensure that the algorithm in resizing images is optimized.
With the addition of the Yootheme Pro integrations, you can now embed EasyBlog Posts elements on your Yootheme pages. As simple as that!
SP Page Builder
We have also added integrations with SP Page Builder too! This allows you to embed EasyBlog Posts addon when building your pages using the page builder!
As I am not able to list every single cool feature above, these are some of the other cool addition and enhancements for EasyBlog 6:
🆕 Ability to set a default post cover for categories
🆕 Image optimization service can now run via cron. Images that were previously uploaded would also be optimized by
EasyBlog via the cron.
🆕 Added support for ImageMagick. You can now configure EasyBlog to use ImageMagick to resize images
🆕 Added new related post ordering behavior to sort by popularity
🆕 Added support for webp in media manager
🆕 Updated FontAwesome iconset to v5.x
🆕 Added ability to disable FontAwesome css files
🆕 Added support for PHP 8
🆕 Added different image quality settings for a different set of image variants.
🆕 In an effort to rank better in SEO, EasyBlog will now preload cover images for posts on the entry view
🆕 Updated gallery blocks to use new SwiperJS library to ensure that galleries work on mobile devices
🆕 Anchor links will now work on AMP views
🆕Alert styles and notes have been updated
🆕 Updated reaction emoji to use Twemoji
🆕 Quote block has been updated to use a modern style
Notify subscribers settings in the composer will now always be visible to the author to prevent confusions
Fixed issue with author's recent posts on mobile devices
Fixed missing favorite posts on Helix and Vintage themes
Fixed issue with incorrect logo being used in e-mail templates
Fixed issue with Metacafe block not working correctly
Fixed Soundcloud block not working correctly
Fixed issues with ACL when categories are created from the front-end
Fixed issue with tag clouds not shuffling correctly
Fixed issue with post cover not respecting settings for frontpage card layout
Fixed issues with grid layout not rendering author avatar
Fixed issue with being able to drag html elements into media manager
Nicknames are no longer required when saving profile details
Features Going Away
In order to maintain our sanity and also the ability to continue pushing awesome updates like this, we decided to drop the following features from EasyBlog 6:
MTV block will now be removed as they have completely changed the way it works
Liveleak and Livestream block is removed as it is no longer in operation
Single post subscriptions are now removed as it is no longer possible to maintain too many different variations of subscriptions.
Tag display styles are now removed as we can't maintain too many different tag styles.
Removed registrations from comments and subscriptions altogether as we cannot offer better registration alternatives. Users should register via Joomla, EasySocial or any other 3rd party registrations that handle spam registrations better than EasyBlog.
Removed small, medium and icon image variations to prevent clogging up disk space
Grid layout will be removed in the future as we have now introduced the new post listing styles
Nickel theme will be removed in the future in favor of using post styles
Breaking Changes (Upgrades)
As we have simplified and enhanced the template structure in EasyBlog, these changes are major and could potentially lead to breaking your site. These are some important notes:
1. During the upgrade, EasyBlog will make a backup of the folder /components/com_easyblog/themes/ into /components/com_easyblog/backups/easyblog_v[X.X.X]/themes. This is to ensure that your modifications are not lost.
2. If you have made any template overrides under /templates/[TPL]/html/com_easyblog/ , be sure to update it. If it was provided by your template provider, you should get in touch with them. If they are not responsive, get in touch with us and we'll try to reach out to them.
3. If you are experiencing any strange quirkiness with the layout, clear your browser's cache just in case the browser cached the previous version of the css files.
Download EasyBlog 6.0 Beta
You can start testing EasyBlog 6.0 Beta 1 by accessing the download link below. We have also setup a demo site for those who want to give EasyBlog 6.0 a try but don't have a staging site yet. As always, we strongly recommend that you install beta versions on a staging site rather than your live site.