Sports Bench 1.3 released today

So here’s what’s new in Sports Bench 1.3.

New shortcodes to eliminate need for code

Not a developer? Hate to delve into code? Worried about having to write code in order to use Sports Bench?

Don’t worry anymore. Sports Bench 1.3 comes with four new shortcodes which completely eliminates the need for you to write any code to get the most out of the plugin. The game recap shortcode can be inserted into any post that’s meant to be a recap. Team page and player page shortcodes make those pages the same as if you had created the separate page templates. And you can show just how heated the battle between two teams are with the rivalry shortcode.

So if writing code has been holding you back, don’t let that get in the way. These shortcodes take the code stress off your shoulders.

Bundled CSV importer

Already have stats that you want to bring over to Sports Bench, but you don’t want to enter them by hand? That’s no longer a problem with Sports Bench 1.3.

Sports Bench now comes with a CSV importer built right into it. The importer can be found under “Sports Bench” in the admin menu. Once inside the importer, you can import players, games, game stats, teams and more. All you need to do is make sure your CSV column names line up with the table column names. But don’t worry, the detailed instructions on the page will help to guide you through the process.

Dedicated options page

Getting started with Sports Bench? Need to make a quick change to a Sports Bench setting?

Well, you’ll no longer need to go to the Customizer to make those changes to the plugin settings. Sports Bench 1.3 comes packaged with its own plugin settings page in the admin laid out in an easy-to-use manner. It also shows information such as version number and when it was last updated. The page also features links to helpful pages you might want to check out to get the most out of the plugin. And simply changing the sport without hitting save won’t erase all of your games.

Started conversion over to WP REST API

Finally, Sports Bench 1.3 starts the process of moving away from admin-ajax.php calls and towards the new WP REST API. This means decreased load on your server during these processes, which makes your site run smoother.

Among the features that make the switch are the updating games in the scoreboard, scoreboard bar and scoreboard widget; the loading of team logos on the game, player and playoff pages on the admin side; and loading games for playoff series. This is also why the minimum required WordPress version has been moved up to 4.7 since that’s when the REST API was added to core. You can also use a later version of WordPress with the WP REST API plugin, but it’s recommended that you stay up-to-date with your WordPress versions.

Sports Bench 1.4 is on schedule to be released in early December, around the one-year anniversary of Sports Bench. You can, and are encouraged, to suggest features for future versions. You can use the form in the footer to suggest features. The cutoff date for prospective versions will likely be in early November.