Which is better – apple or orange, iPhone or Android, wordpress knowledge base plugin or theme? It is indeed not easy to choose sometimes even if you only have two options! So let’s go over the the benefits of using each one (and I’m not referring to oranges now).
With Shortcode Builder added in MinervaKB version 1.4.0 you can easily insert knowledge base shortcodes and edit them. It is a long-awaited feature and in this post we’ll see why it is important and how to use it.
Why shortcode builder?
First of all, I would like to explain the reasoning behind adding shortcode builder to existing functionality. As you probably know, in MinervaKB it is possible to create pages both via settings and using KB page builder. Both options are quite powerful and allow users to create similar types of KB home pages. So why adding another one?
Here are the main reasons.
The most important feature added in MinervaKB version 1.3.7 is ability to use dynamic table of contents as a widget with a sticky sidebar. ScrollSpy was requested multiple times by many of our customers and now it’s finally here. Also, page break in articles in now supported. Other changes are mostly bug fixes and smaller change requests from our users.
MinervaKB 1.3.7 release notes
First of all, let’s see what has changed in the new version:
- Added sticky sidebar functionality for articles
- Table of contents widget + option to disable table of contents in article body
- New ScrollSpy functionality for table of contents (in widget only)
- Setting for article, topic and tag URLs. Now you can change post type and taxonomies names and slugs separately
- New option to control nested topics articles display
- Added support for paged articles (using nextpage tag)
- Fixed notice on article pages in some systems
- Header in settings page is now sticky for easier save button access on long sections
- Added error notifications on failed save/restore actions
- Improved theme compatibility when using plugin templates
- Added option to remove tags archive and tag links from articles
- Added setting for number of articles per page for topics, tags and search results page
- Added preview link to home page selector to quickly open KB home page
- Compatibility checked with WordPress 4.7.3
- Scroll offset option changed to use positive values by default
- Fixed shortcodes in page builder page content section
- Fixed bug with feedback form not appearing without rating message enabled
- Fixed bug with article appearing twice if matched by content and by tag
- Fixed bug with live search finding draft articles
- Improved performance a little
Now, some features in more details.
Recently we released a new version of Minerva knowledge base, and I’d like to write about some features in details. Version 1.3.6 was mainly focused on fixes and theme compatibility improvements, as well as code refactor, but we added one important feature – dedicated search results page. This feature was requested by many customers and finally it’s ready. But first I’ll list the whole change log.
Release notes for 1.3.6
- Dedicated search results page added
- Desktop/mobile/tablet device detection added
- Custom css option added
- Added possibility to disable live search by platform. For example, you can keep live search on desktop and tablet, but disable it on mobile and use dedicated search results page instead
- Container and sidebar width settings added
- Added content hooks for tag and archive page templates
- Generic text strings moved to localization tab
- Pagination layout and styles added. Now you can choose between plugin and theme pagination
- Added theme compatibility settings (include/exclude header and footer)
- Fixed bug with notice about is_tax called incorrectly
- Fixed width issues for themes that use flexbox display mode and/or content-box CSS model
- Major code cleanup and refactor
- Public hooks API rewritten
- Search results now returned by relevance
- Login form width fixed on mobile
- Added table of contents scroll offset option
- Twenty Seventeen theme CSS fixes
- Eduma theme compatibility fixed
Now let’s describe some features in more detail.
Dedicated search results page
Initially we planned not to add dedicated search results page and focus on live search instead. The idea was that the user wants to get to the article as quickly and easily as possible, without the extra step of search results page. While this is true and we’ll continue to improve ajax live search results, what we found is very often users don’t even wait for live search response and hit Enter right away. And nothing happens, which is confusing, of course.
Another important issue is search on devices. While desktop has plenty of space to show search results dropdown with any amount of details, tablets and especially mobile usually don’t.
Last but not the least, search results page has unique URL, that can me added to bookmarks or shared via any medium.
So now, since version 1.3.6, Minerva KB has all these benefits added to it. Here’s how search results page looks with default settings:
The results page is customisable, of course: you can remove likes, dislikes, views, topic meta, add background colour to search term match and change the length of the excerpt.
As you can see, search results are ordered by relevance: articles with match in title are ranked higher, for example. Also, we display excerpt with the first match found centered, so the user sees right away why this article is shown to him.
Also, search results page has its own sidebar.
And here’s how the URL looks for this search:
As you can see, we add extra query parameter to the request, source=kb. This way we can differentiate between knowledge base search and normal WordPress search and customise only our search, leaving the default unchanged. Also, it adds the ability to use KB search from any other plugins or from within your theme with no extra coding or any APIs, just plain old HTTP GET request.
Live knowledge base search by platform
One more thing we added in terms of search flexibility is ability to disable live search by platform. Now you can use both live search dropdown and results page on desktop, but disable ajax search on mobile and/or tablets.
You can try it on our demo – we disabled live search for mobile phones to show how it works. Devices detection uses user agent header, so you cannot test it with resizing the browser window, but you can use device emulation in Chrome devtools or real device.
Another feature request by our customers is ability to tweak pagination. Originally Minerva KB used theme pagination (if theme uses default WordPress layout and classes, of course). Now you can change this and use plugin pagination. Here’s the example:
You can change text and colors in settings, of course. And here’s how it looks with default pagination on Twenty Sixteen:
So if your theme adds styles to default WordPress pagination, you can use it here.
That were the most important features in this release. We’re already working on 1.3.7, which will make Minerva KB even better.
Stay tuned and don’t hesitate to send us your questions, change requests or ideas.
New version of MinervaKB has been released and this time main feature is ability to restrict content access based on user role. Not authorised user are met with friendly page with content teaser (or only title) and optionally a login form. There were also some minor fixes.
Here’s a full changelog:
- Added content restriction functionality
- Possibility to restrict articles globally, by article or by topic
- Customizable login form for restricted articles
- Fixed compatibility with Impreza theme
- Fixed bug with search results under the breadcrumbs
- Client-side SCSS moved to separate files
Now a little more details.
Another release is ready and this time it is mostly dedicated to knowledge base style and typography. Also, advanced breadcrumbs styling options were added and some minor bugs fixed.
Here’s a list of changes for this version:
- Font selector added with 732 Google Fonts
- Article text typography and color options
- Widgets typography and color options
- Headings typography and colors options
- Advanced breadcrumbs style settings added – background color, paddings, bg image, pattern, gradient, etc
- Added body classes for home pages, archives and article pages for custom styling
- Article, topic and home page padding settings
- Fixed bug with topics shortcode ignoring passed IDs
- Fixed bug with icon select not highlighting new icon
- Improved responsive styles for mobile and tablet
- Search results now also include matches by tag
- Inline CSS minified
Now in more details.
Version 1.3.3 of Minerva knowledge base has been released. The key feature planned for this release was tracking and analytics for search keywords, which is a must for future search functionality improvements. However, we also added some other nice features. First of all, a full changelog for this version:
- Added feedback tab in dashboard, with possibility to remove feedback
- Added hierarchical dynamic table of contents, built from H1-H6 heading tags in content. You can use either dynamic TOC or TOC built with shortcodes. Table of contents settings moved to separate tab.
- New feature: Search keywords tracking and analytics
- Search delay setting added
- Added sortable columns to articles list in admin – views, likes, dislikes, feedback
- Fixed: missing related content shortcode preview image added
- Technical: SCSS files organised and cleaned-up
- Admin pages styles minor fixes
- Added dummy data xml for quick initial setup
Now we’ll cover some of these features in more details.
New version of Minerva knowledge base has been released. Actually some features we planned for this release were not added, because we consider the fixes included in this release more important, therefore we wanted to deliver it as soon, as possible.
Let’s go over the list of changes:
- Dramatically improved performance (up to 20x reduced loading time on some pages)
- Ability to reorder articles inside topic using drag n drop
- Feature to add and display related articles
- Related content links in article shortcode
- Fixed: articles and topics giving 404 on fresh installs due to WP cached rewrite rules
- Fixed: article archive intercepting custom post type archives in some cases
- Extended support down to php 5.3
Hi everyone. Today we officially release version 1.3.1 of Minerva knowledge base. Please note, that Envato Team review may take 2-3 days, but you can request new version by email, just contact us via our Envato Profile form.
OK, let’s go over the new features. First of all, the changelog for 1.3.1:
- New feature: added articles feedback functionality
- New feature: Google Analytics integration. Now you can track successful and failed searches, likes, dislikes and feedback directly to your Google Analytics account, using custom GA events. All event fields are configurable and have hassle-free, working out of the box defaults.
- Added possibility to display tags in articles
- Also, search now can be limited to selection of topics
- Every topic now can be attributed to specific KB home page, allowing to separate KB into multiple logical sections (requested feature)
- Added configuration to display messages on like / dislike action
- Finally, we added some minor dashboard UI improvements
Now, in more detail.
We’re proud to announce the release of Minerva Knowledge Base for WordPress version 1.3. Let’s go over the most important changes in-brief.
First, now you can add search on article and topic pages. To do it, just enable the search for articles/topics in settings:
Another improvement: search shortcode now supports many parameters.