New and updated “How to use site-to-site WordPress Migrator” video released

UpdraftPlus Migrator is a powerful, easy to use and popular feature that enables users to clone or migrate a source WordPress site to a destination WordPress site in just a few minutes.

We are pleased to announce that a new and updated UpdraftPlus Migrator “how-to” video guide has now been released. As this was the most requested video on our YouTube channel, we are happy to provide Migrator users with a detailed guide to take you through the full process of migrating a WordPress site.

While there is an in-depth written Migrator guide, we know that many users prefer the visual and audio instructions that a video tutorial video provides. We always try to give as many different options for support and guidance as possible and hope that this new Migrator how-to video will be a useful helping-hand should you need any additional instruction.

Check out the video and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below; Also share with us any ideas you may have if you think there are any other how-to videos you would like to see.

 

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WP-Optimize announce release of new leading image compression feature

WP-Optimize announce release of new leading image compression feature

As mentioned in our previous preview blog, we have been hard at work developing a new image compression tool for the latest WP-Optimize 2.3.0 (free + paid) release. Our image compression service is an easy to use and handy imaging tool that allows you to quickly and easily optimise, compress and resize images on your website.

How the image compression option will look in WP-Optimize

As unnecessarily large website images can cause frustratingly slow website loading speeds, we identified the need for a new image compression tool within WP-Optimize. Large images can impact on a websites user experience, bounce rate and SEO performance, but with our new image compression options you can improve these factors without compromising quality.

How Image Compression Works

By using the best-in-class Lossy and Lossless compression techniques; WP-Optimize can offer massive savings in image file size and saves the new compressed file in your image library.

If you have a lot of images on your website, you can also use our bulk editing option to compress as many images as you want at the same time – or even set-up ‘Auto-Compress’, which enables you to set WP-Optimize to automatically compress your images as and when they are uploaded.

In order to achieve big savings and increase speed, WP-Optimize gives you the option of choosing either Lossy or Lossless image compression. When using image compression methods, you may find that there may be a slight loss in image quality, but rest assured it will hardly even be noticeable. The Lossy compression method can achieve greater space savings when compared to Lossless, but Lossless compression allows you to keep file data and the original image quality.

For more information on the difference between Lossy and Lossless compression and what kind of results you can expect with WP-Optimize, be sure to check out our in-depth recent blog on this subject.

WP-Optimize doesn’t limit you and will let you work with your favourite kind of images, allowing you to compress NG, JPG, GIF, BMP and TIF pictures up to 5mg in size. Our image optimisation service even allows you to backup your original files so you can quickly restore them in case you make a mistake or need the original full quality image.

You can also be assured that should you wish to remove the WP-Optimize plugin for whatever reason, your compressed images will remain unaffected, allowing you to keep all your new and original content and maintain full control over your website.

Be sure to let us know any feedback comments you may have in the comment section below.

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UpdraftPlus release latest update: Includes fixes for resuming an interrupted restore and Dropbox server issues

UpdraftPlus are happy to announce that we have released brand new updates for both the UpdraftPlus Free version (1.16.11) and UpdraftPlus Premium version (2.16.11).

As part of our efforts to continually improve UpdraftPlus, we have fixed the option of the user being able to restore the update from a point of error that was encountered during the restoring process. Issues that could occur during a restore might include a restore time-out, loss of connection or an unintended error. This option saves users time as you will not have to restart the restore process from the beginning again should you encounter an issue.

Another change we have made to the latest update includes a number of helpful tweaks to the Dropbox backup process. As users have had some issues with their servers using Dropbox, the update will hopefully help keep things running more smoothly and resolve these problems.

As well as this new feature, the latest update also come with several other fixes and tweaks to hopefully help improve your overall UpdraftPlus experience. .

The changelog is as follows. We recommend the update for all users.

  • FIX: Issue which prevented the downloader UI being removed during a manual entity download (regression)
  • FIX: Regression in 1.16.10 whereby restore resumptions did not correctly resume because the jobdata had not been loaded
  • TWEAK: Update UpdraftCentral description and internationalize strings
  • TWEAK: Handle HTTP/2 responses from Dropbox on some operations
  • TWEAK: Add a timeout on Dropbox quota look-up operations during backup, in response to cases of faulty outgoing HTTP proxies
  • TWEAK: The backup_finish() method should not have been private; could cause a harmless PHP abort when manually stopping a backup
  • TWEAK: Wrong variable context could cause failure of SFTP progress recording
  • TWEAK: Update to the current series (4.6) of yahnis-elsts/plugin-update-checker (paid versions), thereby inheriting improvements including suppressing some unnecessary background updates checks“`

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Lossy vs Lossless image compression – A guide to the trade-off between image size and quality

With the launch of WP-Optimize’s new smushing image compression feature, many people may be unaware of the advantages and disadvantages of the Lossy and Lossless compression methods. This blog will explain in detail what kind of results and savings you can expect to achieve with each compression format. 

Lossy Compression

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most popular image compression for most users is Lossy, which can be categorized as achieving greater space saving compression (compared to Lossless), but losses some of the data and image quality from the original image in the compression process. While you can save more data with Lossy, the data saving isn’t completely without cost, as with increased compression comes a slight increased degradation in the image quality and the inability to you reverse the compression, which results in the permanent loss of file metadata.

You should choose the Lossy method of compression If you are purely trying to reduce the size of your images and save data. But remember that the advantage of smaller files will be tempered by the small reduction in quality in your images and the permanent loss of metadata.

This isn’t to say that your new compressed image will resemble a digital camera photo from 2002 however. The image will still be very high quality and present as a professional and clear image, but you may start to get some compression artefacts appear with high levels of compression.

With Lossy compression enabled, the below image was compressed from 230.26 KB to 64.92 KB, giving an almost 75% reduction in size.

Original JPEG image

How image looks converted with Lossy compression

Original image zoomed in 300%

Lossy image zoomed in 300% – 230.26 KB to 64.92 KB, a 75% reduction in size

Lossy Summary

Pro – Can reduce the images to small sizes and save lots of file data, making your website load quicker and perform better.
Con – The smaller you make the file size, the lower the quality of your original image. Deletes original image data permanently.

Lossless Compression

Lossless is a term that refers to a class of data compression algorithms that compresses your image, but allows the original data to be restored and reconstructed from the compressed file data should you ever need it. Lossless compression differs to Lossy by maintaining the original image quality, while reducing the image data size by removing unnecessary meta-data from the submitted files (usually JPEG or PNG files). The main benefit of this type of compression is that the user has the ability to keep all the original data and revert to the original image, but can still achieve a smaller file size, without sacrificing image quality.    

As previously mentioned, one of the main benefits of Lossless compression is being able to keep and restore every single bit of data that was within the file after it is uncompressed. This is in contrast to Lossy compression, where metadata is not saved during the compression process and results in data being unable to be restored should you wish to reverse the compression.

As a Lossless image will only temporarily delete the file data, this allows it to be transferred quicker, which results in faster loading speeds for your website. While the amount of space you will save is not as much as if you were to use Lossy compression, it does give you higher quality images and the option to fully restore should you need it.

With Lossless compression enabled, the below image was compressed from 230.26 KB to 172.18 KB, giving just over 25% reduction in size.

Original JPEG image

Image converted with Lossless compression

Original image zoomed in 300%

Lossless image zoomed in 300% – 230.26 KB to 172.18 KB, a 25% reduction in size

Lossless Summary 

Pro – Decreases image file size but maintains original quality of image. Full restoration of data available.
Con – Using Lossless compression results in larger files sizes in comparison to Lossy compression, which can result in slower loading speeds.

Custom

We understand that some users may wish to decide their own balance between maximum compression and best image quality. With the custom option, you can manually choose which settings your prefer for image compression and save them for future use.

Overall Compression Summary

Making a choice between Lossless or Lossy compression depends on what you want to achieve and what works best for your site and users. In general terms, if you have a website that needs to showcase high quality photographs (such as a wedding photography business), you should stick to Lossless compression as it will still display your images in their original highest quality. But if your site is for a local garage for example, where the highest quality images are not so important, Lossy compression could work best as original high quality photos are not essential to the success of your business.

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How to localize and translate a WordPress plugin – An in depth guide for plugin developers

How to localize and translate a WordPress plugin – An in depth guide for plugin developers

When developing a plugin, it’s always good idea to make it translation ready as it could additionally reach audiences who do not use English as their first language. If you were wondering how important a translation option is, you can check the repository and see that every single popular plugin is available for language localization. You will find this option is available with UpdraftPlus, MetaSlider, WP-Optimize, Contact Form 7 and WooCommerce, as well as many more. These are some of the most popular plugins available and are coded in a way that allows anyone to translate them easily into their native language.

The purpose of this blog is to demonstrate to our readers how they can code a plugin so that it will be localized and translated into any supported WordPress language. For example, if we wanted to translate a plugin into French, the following steps will allow plugin translation and also make it ready for all supported WordPress languages.

Getting Started

When creating a plugin, we should make sure that we load the plugin text domain. WordPress provides this function:

load_plugin_textdomain()

This code will load the plugin’s translated strings. It may seem a little confusing, but keep reading and we’ll explain how it works shortly.

First, let’s take a look at how to add this function to our plugin code. In your plugin folder, create a directory called ‘languages’. Next, add the below code to your plugin main file.

[php]
/**
* Load plugin textdomain.
*/
function plugin_load_textdomain() {
load_plugin_textdomain( ‘udp’, false, basename( dirname( __FILE__ ) ) . ‘/languages/’ );
}
add_action( ‘init’, ‘plugin_load_textdomain’ );
[/php]

In the above code, we keep the first parameter (domain) as ‘udp’. We should keep this domain name as per our name of the plugin. The second parameter defaults to false. The third parameter is the path of our ‘languages’ directory. This code keeps our translation files ready on the WordPress initialization.

Use of __() and _e() Methods

As we are aiming to make our plugin available in all languages, we should wrap all our plugin text inside either:

__() or _e() functions.

It is very easy to use these methods. Both methods work exactly the same but there is a rule for using both.

In our plugin code, we normally have two types of text. The first is wrapped in HTML directly and the second is displayed using PHP echo function. Below are examples of both types:

Type 1
[php htmlscript=true]

My Plugin Title

[/php]

Type 2
[php]

[/php]

The general rule is that if you are printing text using PHP echo then you should wrap text in the following code:

__()

If it is in HTML then use the code:

_e().

The above code should be written in the following way:

[php]

[/php]

and

Type 2
[php htmlscript=true]

[/php]

As can be seen in the above examples, the second parameter was written as ‘udp’, which is our plugin text domain. By using this domain, it will allow us to later translate our text into any language. This is how other plugins make their plugins translation ready.

If you wish, you can check our plugin:

UpdraftPlus

If you search for the text domain ‘updraftplus’, you will see how our plugin’s text is wrapped inside __() and _e() functions.

Create a Sample Plugin

The next stage is to create a sample plugin with the some text so we can test our translations. First, create an ‘udp’ folder in your plugin directory. Inside this folder create the file: udp.php and the folder languages. Next, add the below code to the plugin file.

udp.php

[php]

}
[/php]

Create the Translation Files

To generate our translation files, we will use the following translation editor software:

POEDIT

Translation files (.po and .mo) contain the string to translate and the translated string. While creating the .po file we need to save it in ‘{domain}-language code’ format. In this example, the file will be udp-fr_FR.po.

Next, install the POEDIT software on your system. This software is available for all platforms and can be installed on Windows, Linux or Mac.

Once installed, open POEDIT and go to File->New, where we will enter our language code in the window prompt.

Click on the ‘Save’ icon, after which, the file explorer will open. Head over to the plugins languages directory and save it as the following: udp-fr_FR.po.

Now we are able to add the French translation for our plugin text. To do so, click on the ‘Extract from sources’ section.

This will open a catalog properties popup. We now need to configure the three following tabs: Translation Properties, Source Paths and Source Keywords. In the Translation Properties tab, add our domain ‘udp’ as the project name. Source Paths will be our plugin folder and we will add ‘__ and _e’ inside Source Keywords.

If you have multiple folders inside the plugin, then we will need to choose each directory individually.

After selecting the plugin folder you should see ‘.’ in the Paths section. Repeat the same process for other folders inside your plugin directory if necessary.

Under the Source Keywords, click on the + icon and add ‘__’ and ‘_e’ as a keyword and click the OK button.

In the next window, under Source text, you will have all strings available to translate from your plugin. Choose the string one by one and add your French translation to the string.

Once you add all translations, click on the Save icon. This will automatically save all your string translation in your udp-ft_FR.po file. Your .po file will now contain the following code:

[php]
#: udp.php:24 udp.php:25
msgid “UDP Setting Page”
msgstr “Page de configuration UDP”

#: udp.php:37
msgid “My Plugin Title”
msgstr “Titre de mon plugin”
[/php]

Test Our Plugin Translation

We have now completed the task of creating .po and .mo files for our plugin. Now it’s time to test our plugin and check the French language translation.

First, download our language file from the following address:

WordPress Language repository.

For the French language, the path is as follows:

https://i18n.svn.wordpress.org/fr_FR/trunk/glotpress/.
fr_FR.mo and fr_FR.po

Download files from this link and store it in the wp-content/languages directory. Create the ‘languages’ folder, if it does not already exist.

Next, we need to change the default language of our WordPress installation. Open the wp-config.php file and add the language as follows:

[php]
define(‘WPLANG’, ‘fr_FR’);
[/php]

Now if you go to the dashboard, your plugin should be displaying in the French language.

In conclusion

Creating a localized translation for your WordPress plugin can seem a little daunting and complicated at first. However the potential benefits of offering large non English speaking countries like Brazil, France and Germany your plugin in their native language can help open your plugin up to a whole new, appreciate audience. While it may seem like a lot of work, the rewards could be considerable.

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