Background Manager 1.1.1 released

on June 14, 2012 in WordPress with 8 comments by

Finally! After 3 months of hard work, Background Manager version 1.1 1.1.1 has been released, coinciding with the release of WordPress 3.4.

(Update: A rather annoying bug was introduced in version 1.1, which has been remedied in 1.1.1. If something can go wrong, it most certainly will).

It includes a large number of new features, which I will outline below. Please note that there are a few changes that could potentially affect the layout of the background, so keep these in mind before upgrading.

Theme Customizer

WordPress 3.4 introduces a theme customizer, allowing you make adjustments to your theme and see them in a preview. It’s a welcome addition to WordPress, making it a lot easier to customise a website and Background Manager takes full advantage new feature.

All the visual options found in the Background Manager’s Settings screen can be accesses directly from the theme customizer, allowing you to change image sets, background colors and overlays, select between full-screen and normal display modes and more.

All these changes are non-permanent until you save the settings, allowing you to test various options, like the new image transitions, to see which ones work best for your website.

New image transitions

Version 1.1.1 increases the number of available transitions to 19 with the introduction of Fade-in and Zoom transition and 8 CSS3 transitions based on the hard work of Joe Lambert’s Flux Slider.

The new transitions required a few changes in how the background images are displayed. Prior to version 1.1, it used an <img> element to display the background. Now it will us a <div> element with a background image, unless the browser does not support the “background-size” element (Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and below) — such browser will still use the <img> element, and fall back to the “Crossfade” transition.

Better full screen images

Previously Background Manager relied upon CSS to adjust the background image size according to the browser window. This worked well for images that were smaller than the browser window, but larger images were not resized and this lead to some confusion, particularly in what size the background image to use.

In version 1.1 this is now managed with JavaScript, which allows you to use any size image. Large, and small, images will be resized to fit the entire background, whilst maintaining the ratio (preventing stretching or squishing). If after resizing the image is larger than the width or height of the browser (due to maintaining its ratio), it can optionally be centred.

Because large images are now resized too, make sure that this is okay for your website before upgrading.

Sequential image selection

One of the most requested features was the ability to display images in the order they appear in an Image Set, as well as the ability to re-order those images.

This feature has been added to version 1.1, and allows you to display the images in random, ascending or descending order. When editing an Image Set, highlighting an image will provide to option to move it left or right. You can also double-click to select images, and move them in one go.

Additional Image Set improvements

Another improvement when editing Image Sets, is the ability to remove an image from an Image Set. This differs from deleting an image, as it will remain in the Media Library for later re-use.

The window showing the images within an Image Set can now also be resized (and it will remember the size for next time).

Background Impression and Click tracking

The ability to make backgrounds click-able since version 1.0.6 has proven rather popular, and another frequently requested feature is the ability to track the impressions and clicks of such click-able background images.

Version 1.1 introduces the option to do so with the help of Google Analytics and will trigger Events whenever a click-able image is shown or clicked on. These events can also be used as part of Goals.

And More!

In addition to the above, version 1.1 also introduces the following new features:

  • Detects 3rd party category taxonomies, such as those created by WP e-Commerce, and override the background image based on those categories.
  • The option to override the link for the [ + ] icon
  • Override the background color per post, page, category or tag
  • Select which WordPress Roles are permitted to override the background for a post or page
  • Optionally disable the ease-in of the first image
  • Longer transition times and faster background change frequencies (down to 1 second)

As well as numerous bug fixes, including the “blocking” during a background change as well as the “flicker” noticeable on certain browser.

 

Photo by cessemi

8 comments

  1. Bruna
    posted on May 30, 2013 at 11:17 PM  |  reply

    Hi Myatu,
    I’m having a problem using the fullscreen mode, the images don’t show up.
    The normal mode is working okay, but I wanted to use the transitions options of the fullscreen mode.
    Can you please give me hint what could be wrong?
    Thank you.
    Bruna

  2. Abdullah Al Jahid
    posted on Apr 03, 2013 at 3:43 PM  |  reply

    It works great in my local development PC which have PHP 5.4. But the actual server has 5.2.
    Is there any other version that supports PHP 5.2?
    Or do you know any other fullscreen random background image plugin?

    • posted on Apr 03, 2013 at 4:50 PM  |  reply

      Background Manager has been developed for PHP 5.3 or better, so unfortunately, it never had support for version 5.2 or below. There are certainly other plugins available, depending on your requirements, which can be found at the WordPress.org website. Alternatively, you could look into upgrading the PHP version of the server – some web hosts already provide version 5.3 or better, but may need manual intervention such as changing a setting in the control panel or adding a line to the .htaccess file.

  3. posted on Feb 06, 2013 at 1:01 PM  |  reply

    Clickable backgrounds — not working with some themes?

    Had the plugin recommended to me and works on their test site but not on mine. I am able to add a background image with no plugin by using this custom code into the themes Custom CSS box but what I need is the link for the background to work so I turned to this plugin.

    The Background Manager plugin is great and I have managed to see a lot of the functions working but the key feature, that of a clickable background does not. Have tried adding a normal url
    to the Background Image Link box in the settings for a ‘set’. The Clickable Backgrounds box is ticked in Settings. The site theme is Bold News by Woo Themes.

    Hope you can help as it would be great to support this plugin for all the other stuff it can do.

    Larry

  4. Amanda
    posted on Dec 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM  |  reply

    Great Plugin! Would like to use it – but is it compatible on all Browsers – Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Chrome?

  5. posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM  |  reply

    Hi Mike,
    I’m using your plugin for a friend’s page. After your (quick) update I’m still getting a “Fatal error” message when I’m trying to activate the background-manager-plugin.

    Here is the message:
    Fatal error: Call to a member function save() on a non-object in XXXXX/wp-content/plugins/background-manager/app/Myatu/WordPress/BackgroundManager/Main.php on line 766

    thanks in advance and ty for your great work!
    Marion

    • posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:09 PM  |  reply

      Hi!

      I will have a look into this. A temporary work-around is to remove the background image used in your current theme, before activating Background Manager.

      • posted on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM  |  reply

        YAY! Thanks a lot, Mike!!! Removing the bg-image resolved it :-)

        Everything is working fine now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

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