On Monday, November 5th, WooThemes team member Matty Cohen announced to current customers and fans that WooFramework 5.5.0 has now been released. The back-end module that acts as the “engine” for all WooThemes products has been updated with a number of improvements.
Cohen explained in his blog post that “WooFramework version 5.5.0 is a release filled with lots of cleaning and a few important maintenance updates. The main two updates here are the removal of WooSEO and the Sidebar Manager from the WooFramework core, with the alternatives of WordPress SEO by Yoast (which has a built-in WooSEO importer) and the free WooSidebars plugin being recommended.”
Version 5.5.0 Updates List
In all, there were six changes made in the most recent version of WooFramework. The first two have been mentioned above, but the WP App Store Installer was also removed. The woo_pagination() function was modified in order to handle search queries and advanced term archive URLs, while the woo_image() function was also updated to adequately take care of instances in which the image height is not given. Finally, there was some code maintenance performed in the Backup Settings file. WooSEO and Sidebar Manager were removed from the backup options.
Cohen stated that the decision to remove the WP App Store in the latest version was derived from customer feedback. “WP App Store is a concept we greatly believe in, but from your feedback we heard that having this available via the WooFramework impedes your workflow. We’ve thus decided to remove this from the WooFramework completely,” Cohen said.
Upgrading And Converting To WooSidebars Plugin
The upgrading process is extremely simple and will only take a few moments. Once you have performed a complete backup of your current theme’s files via FTP, select the “Update Framework” option from the wp_admin page. If you have any issues with the latest version, you can consult the WooFramework Upgrade Guide for in-depth instructions.
Making the change from Sidebar Manager to the WooSidebars plugin is an equally painless process. The team has developed a converter plugin that makes the process automatic. The WooSidebars plugin can also be obtained from WooDojo, or you can simply download the converter directly by clicking on the link here.
Social Media Shares & Feedback
Less than 24 hours after the new release was announced, the official blog post had 28 Facebook likes, 24 Twitter tweets, and 42 overall comments. A few early posters commented that they were having trouble getting the automatic update to install, so Cohen directed them to use the converter link provided and/or to contact Woo’s Support Desk, which will be making a change to Zendesk in the near future.
A WooThemes customer named “Heather” commented, “This is an incredible morning. I can’t believe you guys removed your own SEO framework in favor of Yoast. Great move WooThemes. You will be hearing from me more often.”
“Dawson” replied, “This is amazing. I personally should thank you for opting Yoast SEO plugin and rplacing core WooSEO features with it. I have been using Yoast SEO for a while and it works like a charm. Good decision! Still have to try my hands on WooSidebars plugin. Thank you.”
User “Steve B” had a suggestion for the WooThemes team, requesting that they “work on sorting out easy automatic updates for WooThemes and associated plugins. It is easy to update the framework but not the themes or the plugins. Each time I have to manually update a theme or plugin via FTP, I’m wasting precious time that could be put into other tasks.”
If you have any experience that you would like to share that relates to the newly released WooFramework Version 5.5.0, please feel free to leave a comment below.