Oxwall Help Center Plugin Version 2.0 Development

Oxwall Help Center plugin is an extension modeled like Facebook help center with menus and custom page layout, built for Skadate & Oxwall software.

Oxwall Help Center Plugin 2.0

Sorry you have not heard from me for a while, that’s because I have been restructuring the Oxwall Help Center plugin. Version 1.0 was built to solve basic support need such as writing tutorials and collecting users feedback. I wanted to do more with v.2.0. Allowing administrators more flexibility and based on users request, implementing theme integration.

First of all, I had to removed the Bootstrap dependency. It doesn’t make sense to add more libraries to your already overloaded website and I wanted to keep things more simple and maintainable.

Then I adapted the admin interface to be more user friendly. It had to be done. For a while now, I have been thinking of building something like the WordPress publishing environment on Oxwall. Help Center v.2.0 presented that opportunity.

The new admin topic publishing environment features new editing functions such as:

  • Auto save: Automatically save your unpublished post as draft if you are idle for a long time. Drafts are not shown on the Help Center frontend.
  • Topic Preview: Get a quick look of your post will appear before publishing it.
  • Word Count: Keep track of the number of words you have racked up on your post. Google and most search engine will encourage you to write at least 300 words to gain edge over your competitors. Don’t sweat it though, there is no penalty for falling short.
  • Dynamic Slug: Automatically generate slug from your post title. You can as well enter your own slug.
  • Save Draft: Save your post as draft.
  • Tags Auto Suggest: Suggest tags based on previously used tags.

As you can imagine, it’s a lot of work maintaining all the feature without using Bootstrap or added JS plugins.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely! Stripping the plugin away from Bootstrap (or was it the other way around?) has allowed me to utilize the jQuery plugin that is packaged with your Oxwall and Skadate installation to create even more functionality with more control.

In more than one occasions, you will find Bootstrap very handy. If you need to get a prototype built quickly, admin screens or internal apps then Bootstrap is fantastic at creating a professional look and feel straight out of the box.

In a nutshell, Bootstrap is your speed dial when you have limited resources to build UI from scratch, otherwise, you will be overloading your website with classes you probably never get to use.

Lucky for me, I made plenty time for latest version of Oxwall Help Center plugin.

Away from aesthetic

The new plugin now uses slug in place of ID for topic URI and you can literally save topics as draft without publishing. What’s more? Categories works well and retrieve topics in sub categories.

Further more, Tags, category and search works effectively as well to find topics. I have also included a ‘Related Topics’ box in the topic pages.

Download Oxwall Help Center Plugin

Oxwall Help Center Plugin v.2.0 is currently on the beta phase. Further testing is being carried out. Full release will be available on or before 3rd June, 2019. You can purchase Help Center Plugin from the Oxwall store.

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