I asked on Twitter and Google+ in December about what you liked in the Filter stack and any changes or improvements you wanted to see, as part of the interface update (that was already planned). Lots of feedback was received and nearly all of those feature requests have been incorporated into this latest version.
Again, the most significant change in version 4 is the user interface. The old fashioned ‘repeats’ (where you choose in the settings how many items to display) are being discontinued in the Stacks API; so we’ve embraced the new ‘sub-stacks’ system in Filter 4. This single change makes Filter stack even easier and faster to setup. You can easily add new filtrable items with no markup required, change their order via drag-and-drop, duplicate existing items, copy items between pages or projects and delete old ones. It’s a really slick new system and the Beta testers have been loving it!
There are now more style options for category buttons, so you can apply settings to make them look like buttons in your existing website. Plus other things like the option change button alignment. The new option of a sidebar lets you place these buttons on the right or left of your filtrable items, within a responsive column.
Typeahead support has been added. This means that when your website users click on a category button, initially nothing is shown. As they begin to type in the search box, matching search terms are shown (formed using tags). Clicking one of these tags applies that particular criteria to the active filter.
The new ‘Algorithm’ setting lets you toggle between an ‘or’ operator or an ‘and’ operator, when applying filters. This advanced feature permits you to customise how strict the filtering is; through partial or absolute tag matches. In some setups, this can prove essential in controlling what a website user sees.
Another welcome new feature is the ability to apply a range of background effects to your filtrable items. Choose between transparent, a solid fill, vertical gradient, horizontal gradient, diagonal gradients, background images or an RGBa semi-transparent fill.
This is just a brief overview of what’s changed. The good news is that Filter 4 is a completely free update for all existing Filter stack users, regardless of where or when you purchased the stack. Filter 4 will safely install alongside older versions of the Filter stack. It you got Filter after 1st January 2015, then you can download version 4 of the stack from your Paddle Locker. If you purchased the stack before then, simply email a copy of your purchase receipt and we’ll give you a 100% coupon code to re-buy the stack with. Please note that Filter 4 requires Stacks 3 - it will not work in Stacks 2.
Filter is a superb stack for any setup where you need the ability for your website users to search or filter content simultaneously. It is an intelligent stack and offers many ways to customise the style and layout of your content. We have a lot of faith in this stack; so much so that Filter is the same stack used to power the landing page on the Stacks4Stacks website! Filter is fast, it works with all major web browsers, it boasts excellent SEO qualities and minor details like print / PDF output have all been accounted for.
Don’t forget that if you are looking for a lighter alternative to the Filter stack, the SortStack provides a wonderful method for people to click and quickly filter items (without the search capability), plus sort items into ascending or descending order or display items at random. Free demo versions of both SortStack and Filter are provided, so you can compare them side-by-side.
Click here to learn more about the Filter stack.