A few thoughts from the developer of Social Warfare about where we’ve come and the direction we’re headed in the future.
Happy Memorial Day! Here in the United States, today serves as a day to pause and remember the many brave men and women who’ve given their lives in defense of our nation’s freedoms. Many celebrate our freedoms with barbecues, family gatherings, and, of course, a beer or two. I know that’s how I plan on celebrating the day.
As the developer on the Social Warfare plugin, I’ve never been more proud of any development project in my life. This project has an incredibly special place in my heart.
When I woke up this morning, I realized just how blessed I am to be a part of this project. I look back over the past year or two, and I’m amazed at where we’ve come from and how amazingly supportive our community has been. And then, when I pause, and look over our road map for the future, I’m even more excited.
The Future of the Social Warfare Plugin
And that’s what this post is all about. I want to take a few minutes on this quiet Memorial Day morning before my kids wake and share with you our plans for the future of the Social Warfare plugin. And, hopefully, when I’m finished, you’ll be as excited about its future as I am. After all, if you’re using the plugin then we’re all on this journey together.
Right now, we’re in the middle of developing our largest update in the history of the plugin. We’re overhauling major features from the ground up and adding highly-requested features.
The development that I’m working on right now will culminate in the release of Social Warfare 2.0.
I hope to have this version ready for release by Independence Day (July 4). If after hearing about the new features and updates, you want to beta test the new version between now and then, simply apply by filling out the form below and we’d love to make that happen.
I’ve been working on version 2.0 for a while now so I’m going to share with you the features of the update in two sections:
- Updates that I’ve already built into the next version
- Updates that I still need to finish between now its release.
Version 2.0 Improvements that are Already Complete
These features listed in this section are already fully complete and ready for folks to begin beta testing.
New & Overhauled Features
- The Popular Posts Widget has been completely rebuilt. We’ve rebuilt the popular posts widget from the ground up.
- Visual Themes: It now has 9 visual themes plus the option to use your own color set.
- Post Thumbnails: We’ve added support for post thumbnails.
- Time-frames: We’ve added a time-based functionality so if you only want to show popular posts published within the past 6 months, for example, you can now do that.
- Custom Sizing: You also now have the ability to control the size of the thumbnails and the text.
- Button Shortcodes now allow you to select which buttons to display. The shortcodes that are used to place a set of buttons wherever you want them can now be adjusted to select the specific buttons that you want to displayed in that set. Of course, if you leave that field blank, we’ll just display the buttons that you selected on the options panel.
- Twitter and Pinterest Username can now be input with or without the @ sign. We found that half our users were adding the @ sign and half weren’t. We made it so that it now outputs it properly no matter how you input it.
- Disabled UTM codes and most of the buttons by default. If you want to use these features, just turn them on and you’ll be good to go. Since we recommend that our users only use 3 – 6 buttons because of The Paradox of Choice, it made sense to make sure that only that many are activated by default.
- Added Custom Post Type Support for side-floating buttons. Until now, the side-floating buttons have only been present on posts and pages. This update, however, will see the floating buttons coming to any custom post type your heart desires.
- Overhauled the Translations of the Plugin. As we announced in our last update, instead of using the language selector in our options, Social Warfare now uses whatever language you have WordPress setup to use. We’ve also translated the Social Warfare Custom Options panel on the post editor. We have a growing number of translations and you’re welcome to contribute a translation here if you’d like to help out.
- Added Pinterest mentions. If you add your Pinterest username, you’ll now be mentioned in the description when users share your page on Pinterest.
- We’re rapidly expanding our Support documentation. One thing that we’ve come to realize is that Social Warfare contains many features of which some users aren’t taking advantage simply because they aren’t aware of it. As such, we’ve been adding and expanding articles in the Support section of the site here very rapidly.
- Mobile Sizing Algorithm Update: We found an instance where the buttons would sometimes push onto a second line, but only after having rotated the screen back and forth a couple of times. This had to do with how the sizing algorithm was treating buttons that don’t support share counts. This is now completely fixed.
- Floating Buttons on the Options Page: We discovered a funny issue where the horizontal floating buttons would sometimes appear on the Social Warfare options page in the admin. This was more comical than anything else, but we still decided to go ahead and get rid of that.
- Update the Twitter Character Counters: At some point, our counters stopped factoring in the Twitter user’s username that was going to get added to the tweet. We’ve fixed that.
Version 2.0 Updates that still need to be completed
We’ve been dreaming up version 2.0 for quite some time. This version will not only upgrade the plugin for our users, but also be the next level for our business as a whole. This means a better product for users and a more sustainable, diverse business model to ensure we can continue to pour more and more into development and support.
- Overhaul the entire User Interface of the options panel. Dustin has already provided me with a fully realized design for a new options page, and it is more beautiful and intuitive than ever before. This will make adjusting your settings much, much easier than it’s ever been.
- Add share buttons on in-post images. This has been one of our most requested features. This will provide website visitors with the option to share the post (and the image) whenever they hover over an image in your posts.
- Add an image upload for custom tweets. We need to add a Twitter authorization process that would allow our plugin to upload images to your Twitter account, but once that’s done you’ll be able to add images to your tweets directly from the post editor. Get your visitors sharing your content the way you want it to be shared!
- Add Support for Hacker News. Hacker news is a popular website amongst the developer and digital nomad community. As such, it’s been known to be capable of massive inbound traffic for content that fits its user base. We’ve had enough users request the network be added, so we’ve decided to do so.
- Add Support for Flipboard. Flipboard is also a highly requested sharing option that users have been asking for.
- Add the Social Warfare Custom Options and the resulting Open Graph tags and Twitter Cards to category and archive pages. Most users don’t share category pages, but when they do, we should have it fully optimized for maximum exposure on social media.
- Side-floating buttons on the right. We already provide the ability to showcase your share buttons on the left side of the page. We certainly shouldn’t discriminate against the right side.
- Add a different UTM code to the Click to Tweets than what is used on the Twitter share buttons. We’re dedicated to improving our users ability to track and optimize every aspect of your marketing efforts with Google Analytics.
- Add a social follow widget for sidebars. How have we not already added this? This will provide a widget showcasing your follower counts and inviting your site visitors to connect with you on the various social network.
As you can see, this is our most ambitious update ever. This is why I’m excited. This is why I’m so proud to be a part of this project. I just love watching it grow.
We’ve pushed out a lot of updates and new features over the past year, and now, with our version 2.0 overhaul, Social Warfare is the go-to social media tool for small business owners and professionals who want to increase social shares and drive more traffic.
Due to the incredible evolution of the plugin, it’s growing feature set and comprehensiveness, we’ve decided it was time to raise the base price of the plugin to $29/yr for single-site licenses.Get your copy of Social Warfare by @WarfarePlugins now before the prices go up!Click To Tweet
If you’ve already purchased the plugin, you are grandfathered in for life at your current price, and you will always receive updates (including 2.0 and far beyond) at the same price you initially purchased at.
So you might think of this as a reverse sale. If you need any more licenses or have friends thinking about picking one (or several) up, now is the time to grab it. Then when 2.0 comes out, you’ll get it and be locked in for life at the current price.
Do you have other ideas that you think would make for a great addition to the Social Warfare plugin? If so, let’s chat about it in the comments below.