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MainWP 3.2 a Usability Update

MainWP 3.2MainWP 3.2 introduces significant usability and style updates.  In this post I’ll break down some of the most important changes.  You can see the full list of changes in the official changelog.

What’s new

screenshot_2016-10-25-18-15-49100% mobile-friendly dashboard

Now that the MainWP Dashboard is 100% mobile friendly you can work from anywhere at anytime! No need to install an App just log into your WordPress site directly through your mobile browser.

We plan for every Extension to be mobile friendly beginning the first part of 2017.

All new page tours

This is my favorite update to 3.2! Each page on the MainWP Dashboard now includes a step by step tour explaining each section of the page and how to use it.

This update should really help new users to get up and running by showing them exactly what to do in each form field.

If you are an experienced user I highly recommend taking the tours, you may just find something you didn’t know was there! 🙂

tour

We plan to have this type tour added to every Extension by the end of 2016.

Drag and drop columns on every table

Work the way you want to! Drag and drop the columns of any table to fit into your workflow and not one predefined by us.

columns

Updates Page

updates-per-group

This page was actually released in 3.1.8 but was originally scheduled for this release.  We just pushed it forward when we had an influx of new users a few weeks ago to help ease the transition. 🙂

The Updates page allows you to quickly see the updates available on your WordPress sites. You can choose to view the updates page in three different ways.

Per site: The default setting that allows you to drill down and look at each update for each of your sites.

Per Plugin/Theme: Choose this setting to see the plugin / theme updates available by name. This setting can be useful if you only want to update a certain plugin / theme across all your WordPress sites.

Per Group (new with 3.2): If you only want to see updates available to a certain group of sites this would be the option to select.

Helpful links Widget

The new helpful link widget gives you direct links to the most important pages outside of your MainWP Dashboard.

MainWP Blogroll Widget

The MainWP blogroll shows the most recent super awesome MainWP blog posts!

We require it to be turned on since your Dashboard needs to ping the MainWP RSS feed which could technically be considered a “phone home” which is against WordPress.org plugin rules if you don’t first inform users.

I recommend turning it on since we’ve hired a great writer, Todd Jones. He does some really great blog posts about WordPress, MainWP and running a WordPress business.

What’s changed

Cleaned up the Add New Site page

We found from support that some new users were saying that adding a site was a bit confusing.  We renamed and re-ordered the steps to adding a site to be more intuitive.   This along with the all new tour steps from earlier should make adding a site as simple as possible.

add-a-site

Manage User page

The Manage user page has been redesigned to allow for better editing of users directly from your Dashboard. No more visiting the Child site to edit a user’s name or email address.

We have also added the ability to bulk edit users and now include the native password generator from the WordPress users page.

Edit User

Dashboard page renamed to Overview

We changed the name of the MainWP Dashboard page to Overview as it better describes what the page is used for and will also help in support.

Previously if we had to direct someone to the Overview page in a support ticket it would look something like this “Please go to your MainWP Dashboard site then the MainWP Dashboard page” which can be confusing for a new user.

Right Now renamed to Updates Overview

Similar to the Dashboard renaming this widget has been renamed in order to better describe what it does and avoid confusion. This widget has been renamed both in the main Overview page and  the individual site Overview page.

Renamed Sync Status widget to Connection Status widget

It was pointed out in the MainWP User Group that the name of the Sync Status widget was leading to some confusion so it was renamed for version 3.2

connection-status

New Sync Data window

The Sync Data window was redesigned to be lighter, easier to read and provide cleaner visual experience.

sync-dialog

Notes redesigned

To make the notes section more usable now you can edit and view from the same screen including adding basic HTML Tags: <p>, <strong>, <em>, <br/>, <hr/> and <a>.

When a site, plugin or theme has a note associated with it the word “note” will appear green giving you a visual reference.

Scheduled Posts and Pages

Version 3.2 adds a scheduled posts and pages section to the Recent Posts and Recent Page widgets.

Extension Page layout updated

installed-extensions

New design should provide a cleaner look and enable users to find the extension they need easier. Extension information and actions in more intuitive locations.

Multiple Email Notifications

You can now add multiple emails in Settings to get notices from your MainWP Dashboard.

Tighter integration with WordPress

We have gone through the MainWP HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code to be sure our code is more aligned with WordPress coding standards. This should help to eliminate the few code conflicts we have seen in the past.

The Help Tab

The old help tab that appeared on the right side of most MainWP tables has been replaced by a vastly improved help tab at the top of every page.
Help Tab

What’s removed

MainWP Default Backups

The default internal backups have been removed as an option for all new users. We now highly suggest a user pick one of the Backup Extensions to back up their sites and if you have any questions on this move please check this blog post.

If you were an existing user before version 3.2 you are not affected by this removal in anyway!

SEO Widget

The SEO widget has been with MainWP since the version 1 and at the end of 2016 it has run it’s course. Page Rank (PR) is no longer publicly updated and Alexa ranking has been shown to be less than accurate.

If you need SEO information on your sites you can check providers such as SEMrush or ahrefs who provide all types of SEO tracking.

What’s coming

An all new Documentation site

Nearly three years of support questions and user suggestions has provided a wealth of knowledge allowing us to create an easier to use documentation site.

You will already see this site linked to in the new Help tab mentioned earlier and will full take over as the only documentation site by the end of the year.

You can see it in action right now at http://mainwp.com/help/

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Dennis Dornon on Twitter
Dennis Dornon
Co-founder at MainWP
I am neither a coder nor a designer. My coding confession.

4 thoughts on “MainWP 3.2 a Usability Update

  1. How do we removed the existing backup tab if we are an older user?

    1. Apologies for the late reply Neil, if you were a user before the 3.2 update and want to remove backups just go to your Dashboard settings page and change “Enable legacy backup feature” to No then Save your settings.

  2. Nice update, keep up the good work!

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