If you are one of the existing users of FeaturedArticles Lite you know what we are talking about. If you’re not, read on.

Over the past months we’ve been working on updating FeaturedArticles to a better, easier to use WordPress plugin for creating slideshows on your blog. Things are pretty straight forward; all you need to do is choose the content to be displayed into a certain slideshow, be it posts, pages or mixed content. Since we got to mixed content, now you can create slideshows that have both posts and pages and on top of that, custom slides for your slideshow created from within the plugin. Main advantage for custom slides is that they will display exactly as they are written into WordPress’s editor without any changes, tag stripping or anything.

We also worked a lot on themes. For those of you who don’t know, FeaturedArticles has a number of slideshow themes implemented that can be changed at any time with just a few clicks. A better image detection for posts and pages allow a faster loading loading time. Also, attaching images specially created for FeaturedArticles has become easier, we chose to use the built-in media gallery WordPress provides for a better management. We also extended the themes from 3 to 7, each having a different functionality, navigation and animation. See all themes here.

Customization goes further, for each post and page in your WordPress blog you can now specify a custom title, text (that again will display exactly as it was written without any changes, stripping or anything). This will allow you to write a more targeted content to emphasize you posts/pages of interest to your users.

We mentioned themes before. Except from extending our number of themes, we also improved them. There are some significant differences between the previous versions and most notable is that now the plugin allows you to, except from creating new themes, extend the script functionality to create new and imaginative animations without messing with the main slideshow script. The slider script is now extended with events that allow developers to modify the default animation on slide change to almost anything comes into mind.

Another notable, hopefully useful, feature of themes is colors. We heard you and we managed to find a way to make things easier. A lot of users were asking mainly how to change the color scheme of a certain theme to better match their website overall design. Most times this is more than enough for customizing a theme. Before version 2.4, you had to either change the theme stylesheet and risk to overwrite it on update or copy/paste the theme, assign it a new name and work on that. Now, you can simply create a folder colors (all our default themes have that folder) inside your slider theme folder and put any color related stylesheets in there. The stylesheet will be available as an option when you create a slider and select the theme you created the color for, all is left to do for you is to choose that color and save the slideshow. Let us know how that goes.