Today we are glad to announce the release of first beta of JV-LinkDirectory 5.8, our flagship Joomla directory extension suite. JV-LinkDirectory 5.8 has numerous changes, and features in look and feel, and usability areas. As always, this will be a closed beta testing. We are calling for customers to volunteer to beta test this version and help us improve the product for you. Please read further to know the major features introduced in this version along with illustrative images, and also to know the beta testing process.
What are the major changes in JV-LinkDirectory 5.8?
We have made a major overhaul of the backend css and look & feel, though the content remains more or less the same. The navigation has been improved to make it easier for customers to access various functions. See the first image of this blog post at the top for illustration of the dashboard screen.
This was not possible earlier, and you could only change the category of a listing from backend. You can now do so from frontend edit listing screen as well. See image below:
We have updated all icons in site frontend to use fontawesome and it is pretty catchy now in frontend. I am sure you will love the new look of listings in frontend. See image below:
To provide greater control over who can access and download files in listings, we have introduced new access level permissions for files for listings.
This is a very significant feature in JV-LinkDirectory, as this enables JV-LinkDirectory to be used like a software download directory for Joomla. We do plan to make use of this feature to use JV-LinkDirectory as the Joomla extension powering our product downloads in the near future!
The existing graphs from alexa did not work as Alexa does not seem to be honoring the request made to it. Hence we have revamped the entire traffic data graphs and are now using Alexa Web Information Service (AWIS) to fetch 4 new graphs for detail page in "Traffic Stats" tab. This will need a free AWS account from Amazon, and the JV-LD backend section to be configured with AWS keys. The new graphs indicate the traffic history and will depict the following:
See image below for a sample graph:
With XMap, the sitemap component for Joomla no longer in development, we decided to integrate JV-LinkDirectory with OSMap, the popular sitemap generator component for Joomla. With 5.8 version, we have provided the ability to show JV-LinkDirectory categories and listings in the HTML and XML sitemaps generated by OSMap.
With 5.7 version, you could select the component (K2 or EasyBlog or Cobalt or Joomla articles) to get related articles from for the listing in detail page. With JV-LinkDirectory 5.8 versionl, we are have provided a new option to show related articles from all of these components and shown as a single list. This will help you show related articles from multiple types of data sources (components) in Joomla! in your directory.
Though JV-ShrinkTheWeb supported the ability to fetch custom thumbnail sizes, thumbnails previews shown in JV-LinkDirectory were restricted to predefined sizes till date. In 5.8 version, we have introduced the ability to seek and show custom sized thumbnails in JV-LinkDirectory as well. The option to set the custom size is available in the Thumbnail preview configuration section in JV-LinkDirectory backend. This will be a major feature considering that users can now determine their own size for the thumbnail previews especially for the detail pages. Ofcourse one will need the custom size PRO feature at shrinktheweb.com for this to work. See image below for a custom size (600px) thumbnail preview in detail page:
The thumbnail generated for categories was defaulting to the value of 48x48 pixel till date. The thumbnail is generated when a category is created or edited, and is then shown in the frontend alongside the category title. With version 5.8, you can define the dimensions of the thumbnail that will be generated via options in backend. We have also provided a new utility to re-generate thumbnail images of categories in bulk in Utiities section in backend. See example image below which has category image thumbnails of size 64x64 px.
In addition to the above features, we have made a few usability enhancements based on customer feedback. These include:
Anyone who has a valid subscription of JV-LinkDirectory can participate in beta testing. If you are not a customer of JV-LinkDirectory already, then you need to purchase Business or Enterprise edition of JV-LinkDirectory first, before enrolling in our beta program.
Customers who are interested in beta testing may please volunteer by indicating their interest in the comments section of this blog post. We will then add you to the beta group and acknowledge the same in our reply to the comment. You can then visit the My Account - My Downloads section - JV-LinkDirectory section to download the beta version and start reporting issues and feedback.
We request beta testers to report issues in JV-LinkDirectory Beta Forum. You can access this forum from the link in the home page at jv-extensions.com or visit Support - Community Forum, and then click on Categories to view the forum link.
Beta testing is planned for couple of weeks from September 14th to September 28th. We request all our beta testers to post their feedback in this time frame.
Ofcourse Yes. We are providing 1 month of extension to the existing subscription to beta testers who file bugs and provide feedback.
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