WordPress Planet http://www.hangnong6.icu/ en WordPress Planet - http://www.hangnong6.icu/ WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.6 Beta 4 https://wordpress.org/news/?p=9249 https://wordpress.org/news/2020/11/wordpress-5-6-beta-4/ <p>WordPress 5.6 Beta 4 is now available for testing!</p> <p><strong>This software is still in development,</strong>&nbsp;so we recommend that you run this version on a test site.</p> <p>You can test the WordPress 5.6 beta in two ways:</p> <ul><li>Try the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-beta-tester/">WordPress Beta Tester</a> plugin (choose the “bleeding edge nightlies?option).</li><li>Or <a href="https://wordpress.org/wordpress-5.6-beta4.zip">download the beta here (zip)</a>.</li></ul> <p>The current target for the final release is December 8, 2020. This is just over<strong> three weeks away</strong>, so your help is needed to ensure this release is tested properly.</p> <p>Thank you to all of the contributors that tested the <a href="https://wordpress.org/news/2020/11/wordpress-5-6-beta-3/">beta 3</a> development release and provided feedback. Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing each release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.</p> <h2><strong>Some Highlights</strong></h2> <p>Since beta 3, <a rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=closed&changetime=11%2F04%2F2020..11%2F12%2F2020&milestone=5.6&group=component&col=id&col=summary&col=owner&col=type&col=priority&col=component&col=version&order=priority">42 bugs</a> have been fixed. Here is a summary of a few changes included in beta 4:</p> <ul><li>There was a change to the auto-updates implementation for new installations of the software (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/50907">#50907</a>). <em><a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/11/10/upgrade-install-component-meeting-summary-november-10-2020/">Next steps</a>, and <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/11/10/wp5-6-auto-update-implementation-change/">rationale</a> are both available.</em></li><li>Added better handling of unexpected values in Site Health (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/50145">#50145</a>).</li><li>Added a way for developers to filter the available authors list in Quick Edit (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/47685">#47685</a>).</li><li>More accessible handling of the tag cloud widget (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51455">#51455</a>).</li><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=closed&changetime=11%2F04%2F2020..11%2F12%2F2020&component=Media&milestone=5.6&group=component&col=id&col=summary&col=owner&col=type&col=priority&col=component&col=version&order=priority">Multiple improvements in the Media component</a>.</li><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=closed&changetime=11%2F04%2F2020..11%2F12%2F2020&component=Build%2FTest+Tools&milestone=5.6&group=component&col=id&col=summary&col=owner&col=type&col=priority&col=component&col=version&order=priority">Multiple improvements in the Build/Test Tools component</a>.</li></ul> <p><em>To see all of the features for each Gutenberg release in detail, check out the release posts: <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/07/22/whats-new-in-gutenberg-july-22/">8.6</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/08/05/whats-new-in-gutenberg-august-5/">8.7</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/08/19/whats-new-in-gutenberg-august-19/">8.8</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/09/03/whats-new-in-gutenberg-2-september/">8.9</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/09/16/whats-new-in-gutenberg-16-september/">9.0</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/01/whats-new-in-gutenberg-30-september/">9.1</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/21/whats-new-in-gutenberg-21-october/">9.2</a>, and <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/releases/tag/v9.3.0-rc.1">9.3</a>.</em></p> <h2 id="block-76156b2b-0a52-4502-b585-6cbe9481f55b">Developer notes</h2> <p id="block-3fe5e264-0a95-4f12-9a18-0cb9dc5955d1">WordPress 5.6 has lots of refinements to the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/">Make WordPress Core blog</a> and pay special attention to the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/tag/5-6+dev-notes/">developers?notes</a> for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.</p> <h2 id="block-bc89fd56-47b0-439f-8e2c-4a642c80a616">How to Help</h2> <p id="block-9d871099-ec49-446c-8322-9e49b7498c10">If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the&nbsp;<a href="https://wordpress.org/support/forum/alphabeta/">Alpha/Beta area</a>&nbsp;in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you!</p> <p id="block-bd71c1d3-39d9-4b2a-8193-3486497b45fd">If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report,&nbsp;<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/newticket">file one on WordPress Trac</a>,&nbsp;where you can also find a list of&nbsp;<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=new&milestone=5.6&group=component&col=id&col=summary&col=owner&col=type&col=priority&col=component&col=version&order=priority">known bugs</a>.</p> <p><em>Props to @tonyamork, @audrasjb for technical notes and @angelasjin,<em> </em><a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/yvettesonneveld/">@yvettesonneveld</a><em>, </em><a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/cguntur/">@cguntur</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/cbringmann/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>cbringmann</a> for final review.</em></p> Thu, 12 Nov 2020 23:49:45 +0000 Josepha WPTavern: Envato Passes $1 Billion in Community Earnings While Continuing to Aggressively Market Its Elements Subscription Against Marketplace Authors https://wptavern.com/?p=107668 https://wptavern.com/envato-passes-1-billion-in-community-earnings-while-continuing-to-aggressively-market-its-elements-subscription-against-marketplace-authors?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=envato-passes-1-billion-in-community-earnings-while-continuing-to-aggressively-market-its-elements-subscription-against-marketplace-authors <p>Envato has <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/we-ve-reached-1-billion-in-community-earnings/340756">passed $1 billion in community earnings</a> after 14 years in business. The company reached the goal a year earlier than anticipated, thanks to the contributions of 81,000 different creators around the globe and millions of customers who have purchased products from <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://themeforest.net/" target="_blank">Envato Market</a>,&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://studio.envato.com/" target="_blank">Envato Studio</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://tutsplus.com/">Envato Tuts+</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://elements.envato.com/">Envato Elements</a>.</p> <p>&ldquo;To this day, we&rsquo;re very proud that our community earns more money than our company does,&rdquo; Envato co-founder Collis Ta&rsquo;eed said. Last month Ta&rsquo;eed stepped down from his position as CEO to pursue a new ethical chocolate e-commerce <a href="https://heytiger.com.au/">venture</a>. He was replaced by former HotelsCombined.com CEO, Hichame Assi. </p> <p>Due to the pandemic, the Australian tech company recently transitioned to all employees working from home during the global lockdown.&nbsp;Along with the announcement of Ta&rsquo;eed&rsquo;s exit, Envato delivered a 20% profit share payout, totaling $3.75m AUD, to its 630-person workforce. The company reported that this is an increase on the 10% allocation from the previous financial year. </p> <p>&ldquo;Profit share has become an integral part of Envato and helps connect the team with a share of the success they create through their efforts,&rdquo; Ta&rsquo;eed said. </p> <p>During the past several years, the company has focused heavily on driving profits through Envato Elements, its subscription service. Ta&rsquo;eed said the business is now &ldquo;more subscription oriented than at any time in our history.&rdquo;</p> <p>One WordPress plugin author, who sells on Codecanyon, <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/we-ve-reached-1-billion-in-community-earnings/340756/18">commented</a> on the milestone post, urging Envato to renew its focus on the marketplaces. </p> <p>&ldquo;Please focus on the marketplaces as well,&rdquo; FWDesign said. &ldquo;In the past 2-3 years, you guys focused on Elements, cannibalizing the marketplace, is time to give us something back. Personally, I feel forgotten.&rdquo; </p> <p>While the community earnings have allowed creators to improve their lives in various ways &ndash; from paying family medical bills to buying apartments &ndash; the increase in focus on Envato Elements has been highly controversial. Envato&rsquo;s forums are replete with complaints about Elements &ldquo;poaching clients from existing marketplaces,&rdquo; after many authors <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/what-are-envatos-plans-for-themeforest/66598/216">spoke out</a> about Envato advertising Elements on authors&rsquo; marketplace product pages. </p> <p>Authors employ various marketing channels to bring traffic to their items, such as Facebook ads or Adwords, and have complained for years that potential customers were whisked away from their product pages by Elements ads. Many authors reported declining sales on individual products as a result. </p> <p>In May 2018, Envato rolled out a <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/changes-to-wordpress-and-after-effects-on-elements/172885/12">critical change</a> that made all items across all item types available to all subscribers (monthly and annual). This was particularly controversial for WordPress theme authors and many reported significant decreases in sales as a direct result.</p> <p>At that time, former Envato employee James Giroux responded to authors&rsquo; concerns, characterizing the new subscription service as &ldquo;a long-term play:&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>&ldquo;With Elements, you are buying into a revenue stream rather than a one-time transaction. So, when you compare the value of a Market customer vs an Elements subscriber, you may see less from the subscriber in the first month, but more in their cumulative lifetime revenue.&rdquo;</p></blockquote> <p>Elements may not be the right choice for every Envato creator, but the company&rsquo;s investment in the service is now pulling in <a href="https://www.afr.com/technology/envato-profits-halve-but-every-staffer-ever-gets-spoils-20190407-p51btb">$40 million in annual recurring revenue</a> as of 2018-2019, accounting for 35% of Envato&rsquo;s $113M in revenue for 2019. </p> <p>&ldquo;This year we continued to reinvent ourselves as a subscription company, with a major uptick in subscribers across Envato,&rdquo; Ta&rsquo;eed said in <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/2019-envato-annual-public-impact-statement/272986">Envato&rsquo;s 2019 Annual Public Impact Statement</a>. However, this new business model is coming at the expense of authors who sell exclusively through the marketplaces.</p> <p>Envato authors have begged the company&rsquo;s leadership to <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/call-for-collis-ta-eed-envato-founder-please-separate-elements/216716/4">take down the banners</a> that boost Elements&rsquo; sales by siphoning customers off the marketplace, but the aggressive push towards subscriptions prevails. The frustration is palpable in numerous threads across the company&rsquo;s various marketplaces.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><img /></div> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s one thing to advertise Elements on the web or wherever Envato likes, but to have this banner on all of our item pages is actively poaching potential customers away when they are moments away from buying our items,&rdquo; AudioJungle author Alister Bunclark said.</p> <p>Many authors have seen a decline in sales that is outside their control. No amount of marketing traffic to their own portfolios can make up for the $16.50 &ldquo;all you can eat&rdquo; offer that is plastered to the top of every page. The banner for the in-house competitor even appears directly in the cart for customers who are trying to checkout with products from non-Elements authors.</p> <p>&ldquo;The fact that we are even having to request that Envato stop relentlessly promoting a competing, lower-priced alternative to our portfolios (many of which are exclusively offered at AudioJungle) &ndash; on the marketplace where our portfolios are &ndash; is discouraging,&rdquo; one author <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/call-for-collis-ta-eed-envato-founder-please-separate-elements/216716/16">said</a>.</p> <p>WordPress authors selling on Themeforest are also frustrated with the banners. In 2019, Envato sold an item every 5 seconds, with WordPress accounting for <a href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Rj1J4FEihZAuzL87P5bh18w2dEIA66iDFIrJbnNuECM/embed?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000&slide=id.g793418c9c6_0_155">a third of sales.</a> The company claims to be the &ldquo;market leader for themes and templates for WordPress,&rdquo; despite the marketplace&rsquo;s overall poor reputation among WordPress professionals.</p> <p>One byproduct of Elements including WordPress products in the subscription is that it tends to encourage the use of outdated themes and plugins. Users can download thousands of products but the WordPress themes do not come with support. Many users are <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/envato-elements-outdated-problem/141799">not aware</a> of this when they purchase their subscriptions. Users can get updates only while their subscriptions are active, but they have to be downloaded manually. </p> <p>&ldquo;Despite tons of complaints from authors (who made this place what it is in the first place) it is even pointless to promote your items elsewhere to attract some &lsquo;buyers&rsquo; because they see the Elements promotions everywhere, even on our own product pages,&rdquo; Themeforest Elite author Bedros <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/two-days-without-sales/287149/6">said</a>.</p> <p>When authors took to the forums to report no sales or declining sales, one user <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/two-days-without-sales/287149/10">responded</a>, &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t panic. They killed the market with Elements.&rdquo;</p> <p>Certain marketplaces, like AudioJungle and WordPress themes, are disproportionately impacted by Elements, given the significant time investment to create these types of products. </p> <p>&ldquo;I wonder what&rsquo;s the point, in these circumstances, to spend months (in some cases even a year) to build a decent WordPress theme to sell on Envato,&rdquo; Bedros <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/two-days-without-sales/287149/5">said</a>. Another author on the same thread reported working on a theme for 16 months and had only 17 sales two months after it was approved.</p> <p>&ldquo;The big buyers (ad agencies and the like) will see an immediate savings on the subscription plan opposed to buying the products individually,&rdquo; AudioJungle author Daniel Warneke <a href="https://www.quora.com/Is-Envato-killing-their-marketplace-with-Envato-elements">said</a>. &ldquo;This pulls the high volume purchasers out of the individual market.</p> <p>&ldquo;Envato hand picks the authors that have products in Envato Elements, so it stands to reason that they selected a broad range of the most popular products. This would make the service the most appealing.&rdquo; </p> <h2>Envato Reports 0.18% CTR on Elements Banner Ads But Will Not Remove Them</h2> <p>In the responses to <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/2019-envato-annual-public-impact-statement/272986">Envato&rsquo;s 2019 Annual Public Impact Statement</a>, Collis Ta&rsquo;eed confirmed that market sales are declining. He blames the &ldquo;movement of the industry&rdquo; towards other business models as the reason for the decline: </p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>To your question on Market sales, they&rsquo;re holding up better than we&rsquo;d hoped, though they are down year on year. Internally we look at the combination of Market and Elements both in gross revenue (which is up) and in authors earnings (which is up). But Market itself is down a few percent on this time last year, and that looks like an ongoing trend (though one that&rsquo;s not as steep as my worst fears at times!)</p><p>It&rsquo;s tempting to think the driver of Market&rsquo;s changes are Elements, especially as we drive subscription customers over. But we&rsquo;d been mapping the trend of the sales curve for years prior to the launch of Elements and had been seeing changes before we ever launched into subscriptions, because of the movement of the industry, first to &lsquo;bundles&rsquo; and then to &lsquo;subscriptions&rsquo; and &lsquo;free&rsquo;. From what I can tell the bigger forces on Market are actually industry ones.</p></blockquote> <p>Despite the vast undervaluing of their individual products, authors in general do not seem to be opposed to Elements entirely but rather they are opposed to Envato&rsquo;s aggressive advertisements on their portfolios. The same question surfaces every year and the company&rsquo;s leadership continues to dance around it.</p> <p>&ldquo;Can you explain to authors why they should spend money on advertising their products when as soon as they land on the landing page they see a great big dirty banner saying they can get everything unlimited for a monthly fee?&rdquo; template author Patchesoft <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/2019-envato-annual-public-impact-statement/272986/39">commented</a>. &ldquo;I feel like this question came up last year and we got a &lsquo;we&rsquo;ll see what we can do about it&rsquo; and yet here we are a year later.&rdquo; </p> <p>Ta&rsquo;eed <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/2019-envato-annual-public-impact-statement/272986/78">responded</a>, characterizing the banners as a cross-promotion of traffic between Market and Elements. He claimed that after the company performed some tests, removing the banner &ldquo;had negligible impact on sales at a daily level.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>Definitely I know that the header bar on Market is up there amongst the most annoying things to authors. But at the same time, it&rsquo;s important for us to be transparent about the different offerings we have for customers so they can choose what&rsquo;s best for their needs. While it&rsquo;s pretty annoying, the traffic diverted from Market item pages is minimal (0.18% of visitors actually click through). That said we&rsquo;re exploring ways to let customers better know about Elements (and Placeit).</p></blockquote> <p>Authors are not buying this justification for the banner ads, and object to the use of the term &ldquo;cross-promotion,&rdquo; when the promotion only goes one way. Meanwhile, Elements, which enables non-exclusive sales, is treated like an ad-free, exclusive library.</p> <p>&ldquo;&rsquo;Annoying&rsquo; is not the correct word,&rdquo; AudioJungle member Purple Fog <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/2019-envato-annual-public-impact-statement/272986/81">said</a>. &ldquo;You gotta understand it&rsquo;s much, much more than that. It&rsquo;s infuriating, it&rsquo;s a betrayal, it&rsquo;s you flipping us the finger.</p> <p>&ldquo;If it&rsquo;s so important for you to let buyers know what all their options are, then why isn&rsquo;t there a top banner on Elements telling them they can also get the item for a one off fee, in case they don&rsquo;t want to subscribe?</p> <p>&ldquo;That 0.18% is pretty far from the figure you previously gave us (around 2%), and is even harder to believe. Do you mean that you are willing to antagonize the vast majority of authors just for 0.18% CTR? Makes little sense. It&rsquo;s also hard to believe when there are countless threads opened by buyers who felt they were tricked by that infamous banner. Either your people are lying to you, or you didn&rsquo;t set up the analytics properly, but in any case, something doesn&rsquo;t add up here.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Envato&rsquo;s Transformation Into a Subscription Company Comes at the Expense of Its Exclusive Market Authors</h2> <p>Envato continues to write its own rules due to its early success and has now amassed a vast labor force who depend on the company&rsquo;s offerings for their livelihoods. Those who are willing to devalue their work for inclusion in a subscription product (that is guaranteed to sell with a more compelling pricing point) are allowed to continue as cogs in a much more profitable machine.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not wrong for Envato to pivot towards becoming a subscription company. To do so at the expense of market authors is unfair. These authors are paying to advertise for a competing library with lost sales from their own products. It exploits the marketplace authors who were hoping to make a sale, since their higher prices are now just a prop for making Elements look more attractive. Their portfolios become a gateway to the subscription service.</p> <p> Unless Envato changes how it advertises Elements, the company will remain at odds with exclusive market authors&rsquo; interests. This is especially true for creators in markets where having their work available to more customers doesn&rsquo;t instantly translate into more payments.</p> <p>&ldquo;Many authors have chosen to set up shop here exclusively and have supported and promoted this marketplace for years,&rdquo; AudioJungle author Promosapien said in a <a href="https://forums.envato.com/t/call-for-collis-ta-eed-envato-founder-please-separate-elements/216716/121">thread</a> where authors called on the CEO to remove the banner ads.</p> <p>&ldquo;Envato is presently making strategic choices that they obviously feel strongly about and feel are necessary for their own viability. Unfortunately, those choices are diminishing the benefits of being an exclusive author here.</p> <p>&ldquo;In fact, you could probably make a good argument that there has never been a worse time to be an exclusive author at a marketplace &ndash; when that marketplace is actively and continually using its considerable promotional resources to move website visitors away from your portfolio to a newer, cheaper licensing platform (Elements subscription).&rdquo; </p> Thu, 12 Nov 2020 23:47:14 +0000 Sarah Gooding WPTavern: Do Not Build Theme-Specific Block Plugins for WordPress, Please https://wptavern.com/?p=107722 https://wptavern.com/do-not-build-theme-specific-block-plugins-for-wordpress-please?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=do-not-build-theme-specific-block-plugins-for-wordpress-please <p class="has-drop-cap">A few days ago, I came across a small library of blocks. As always, I was interested in seeing what this new plugin brought to the table. Would it surprise me with a block that has not been done before? Would it present a new take on some old ideas? Or, would it be the same old set of blocks that every other block bundle has? Regardless of what it offered, I was excited to try it all the same.</p> <p>As I clicked on the description to find out more, I was immediately let down. The plugin specifically stated that it was built for only one theme. I could not use it with my preferred theme.</p> <p>This was not the first time I had run across this issue. Other theme authors have built their own block bundles in the past. The plugin was not bringing anything particularly new to the WordPress community. It had less than a handful of blocks that had already been done before in numerous other plugins.</p> <p>The problem was that this felt all too familiar.</p> <p>Over the years, the WordPress community has created a set of unwritten rules regarding what belongs in a theme vs. what belongs in a plugin. Custom post types, taxonomies, and shortcodes are <em>plugin territory</em>. To an extent, widgets should also be exclusive to plugins. However, because of the way they are handled under the hood, there was always an argument that it was OK for themes to register them.</p> <p>This theme vs. plugin argument has been ongoing for at least a decade. Because of how themes work, such arguments have been a losing battle. Except in a few edge cases, themes could do everything that a plugin could do. However, there was always supposed to be a clear-cut distinction between the two. Themes were meant to handle the front-end design of a website. Plugins were for everything else.</p> <p>Today, the WordPress project and its block system are making progress toward solidifying that distinction.</p> <p>Because of WordPress&rsquo;s legacy of having various parts that did not all quite fit together in the past, it has created a culture of developers building in-house solutions. Nearly every large theme development company has its own plugins for overcoming the platform&rsquo;s shortcomings. Most of the blame for this lies with the WordPress project. However, the project&rsquo;s move to blocks is creating a standardized system that handles everything from a paragraph to the overall site container. With standardization across the board, there will be less and less need for these custom solutions from every theme company.</p> <p>The block system set a clear line in the sand. It removed the need for shortcodes &mdash; good riddance &mdash; and will soon phase out widgets. Blocks should be putting those old questions to bed.</p> <p>For clarity, there is little difference between bundling blocks with a theme and building a separate plugin that only works with a specific theme. The end result is the same. Such a plugin would lock a user into sticking with that theme if they relied on the plugin at all. Few people maintain the same front-end design forever.</p> <p>The goal is to allow users to switch themes at will while having access to their content and blocks.</p> <p>These theme-specific block plugins are thinking about blocks in the wrong way. When a user installs a block plugin, the expectation is that they can use those blocks regardless of their theme.</p> <p>The solution for themes is to use block <strong>patterns</strong> or <strong>styles</strong>. Suppose that you wanted to create a slider or carousel as a theme author. There are multiple solutions for this. The first and easiest is to simply recommend a plugin to users or build a plugin of your own that works with any theme. You could also easily add a slider style for the Gallery block. When the user selects it, it transforms the gallery into a slider.</p> <p>Or, suppose your theme needed to offer a big hero section with a call-to-action button. There is no need for a custom block in this situation. Theme authors can almost exclusively do this by building a custom pattern with existing blocks.</p> <p>The solution is not to bundle the block in the theme or create a plugin that only works with that one theme.</p> <p>The beauty of the block system is that most of the pieces are already in place, and they can be rearranged, grouped, and styled in unlimited ways.</p> <p>Today, there are hundreds of theme-specific plugins in existence. Part of that is because themers were working around the WordPress.org theme review guidelines. Part of that is because some developers did not think creatively enough about solutions. But, the biggest part of it has been because WordPress has not standardized how to build things across the entire platform. Much of that has changed and will continue to change as full-site editing crosses the horizon in 2021. There will be clear paths for themes and plugins.</p> <p>However, if theme companies continue building theme-specific blocks, we are just lugging along the baggage that the block system is meant to leave behind.</p> Thu, 12 Nov 2020 21:58:57 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: Themes Team Removes Outdated CSS Guidelines, Adds Stricter Requirement for Links in Content https://wptavern.com/?p=107659 https://wptavern.com/themes-team-removes-outdated-css-guidelines-adds-stricter-requirement-for-links-in-content?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=themes-team-removes-outdated-css-guidelines-adds-stricter-requirement-for-links-in-content <p class="has-drop-cap">In yesterday&rsquo;s twice-monthly meeting, the WordPress Themes Team made a couple of important <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/themes/2020/11/11/meeting-notes-tuesday-november-10-2020/">changes to the official theme directory guidelines</a>. They removed a requirement of some CSS classes that have long been sitting on the chopping block. They also implemented the third stage in their long-term plan to make all WordPress themes accessibility-ready.</p> <p>For years, theme authors have needed to either style several WordPress classes via CSS or add empty, unused selectors. It was a bit irritating for authors who fell in the latter group. The list includes several classes like <code>.sticky</code> (for sticky posts) and <code>.bypostauthor</code> (for post author comments). Now, styling these classes are optional.</p> <p>The one question mark in this decision is probably around the classes for handling left, right, and center alignment. While the newer block editor stylesheet does support these classes on the front end, it could leave end-users in the dust if they are using the classic editor and a theme author decides to drop support. Any images in posts could become misaligned. Theme authors should test this and consider any problems before deciding to remove these from their stylesheets. For the other classes, those are mostly design decisions.</p> <p>This change will not be official until the <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/theme-check/issues/282">Theme Check plugin is updated</a> to allow themes without these classes through the system.</p> <p>The second big change is the reignition of the push toward creating more accessible themes in the directory. All themes in the directory are now required to distinguish links in &ldquo;content&rdquo; areas via an underline.</p> <p>The <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/themes/handbook/review/required/#links-within-content-must-be-underlined">full guideline</a> is as follows:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>When links appear within a larger body of block-level content, they must be clearly distinguishable from surrounding content (Post content, comment content, text widgets, custom options with large blocks of texts).</p><p>Links in navigation-like contexts (e.g., menus, lists of upcoming posts in widgets, grouped post meta data) do not need to be specifically distinguished from surrounding content.</p><p>The underline is the only accepted method of indicating links within content. Bold, italicized, or color-differentiated text is ambiguous and will not pass.</p></blockquote> <p>While this is a simple change, it is a bold one. Thus far, there has not been any pushback from theme authors on the announcement post or in the team meeting. However, some may be expected as the news trickles through the theme design community.</p> <p>The one question that arose about the requirement was whether theme authors could add an option to allow end-users to opt-out of this behavior. The team said this was allowed as long as the underlined links were enabled by default.</p> <h2>The Road to Accessibility</h2> <img /> <p class="has-drop-cap">In July 2019, the <a href="https://wptavern.com/wordpress-theme-review-team-initiates-new-long-term-plan-to-make-all-wordpress-org-themes-accessible">Themes Team made a commitment</a> to push theme authors to make their themes more accessible. It was not a switch they were going to flip overnight. Instead, the team made a goal of implementing a new accessibility-related requirement every two months or so. These periods would give both theme authors and reviewers ample time to familiarize themselves with each change.</p> <p>This is the third requirement added to the guidelines since the team implemented the plan. The team started with some low-hanging fruit and added a requirement that themes ship with a skip-to-content link. That guideline addition went over relatively smoothly. The team quickly added a new guideline requiring that visitors be able to navigate menus via keyboard.</p> <p>That second guideline landed in August 2019. From the outside looking in, the project was initially going well. However, until yesterday, the team had not added any new accessibility guidelines. Over a year had passed, and the plan seemed to be grinding to a halt. Accessibility advocates were probably wondering what happened.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://wptavern.com/why-accessibility-matters-for-wordpress-themes-and-their-users">discussion with the Themes Team reps</a> a few months ago, they were not sure when they would implement the next guideline. The project was not going as planned.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have not added anything else above that because theme authors are still not releasing themes with working implementations of skip links and usable keyboard navigation,&rdquo; said team representative William Patton at the time. &ldquo;When those two things become habitual it will be time to introduce another aspect as a requirement. The fact that this has taken so long for authors to get this right probably indicates that we need to do better at guiding them to resources to learn how to do it and why it is important. Perhaps that is a better avenue to pursue than looking to implement additional asks of them.&rdquo;</p> <p>Team rep Carolina Nymark shared similar sentiments. She mentioned that underlined links were up next on the list. However, they did not have a deadline in mind yet.</p> <p>&ldquo;Skip links and keyboard navigation are still a headache to some extent for some authors,&rdquo; said Ganga Kafle, a team representative. He said that theme authors who regularly submit themes are doing so with these requirements in mind. However, keyboard navigation remains the biggest pain point, particularly on mobile views.</p> <p>&ldquo;But almost all the themes we get are with skip links working properly,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;That is a good thing so far. The new requirement is not so huge and tough. And I think we need to add such small things in a timely manner.&rdquo;</p> <p>For now, the team seems to be picking up where they left off. There is still a long path to go before the project is complete.</p> <p>The best thing that theme authors can do right now is to follow all of the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/themes/handbook/review/accessibility/">optional accessibility guidelines</a>. This will prepare them for a future in which they are all required.</p> Wed, 11 Nov 2020 18:10:12 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: Google Search to Add Page Experience to Ranking Signals in May 2021 https://wptavern.com/?p=107594 https://wptavern.com/google-search-to-add-page-experience-to-ranking-signals-in-may-2021?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=google-search-to-add-page-experience-to-ranking-signals-in-may-2021 <p>Six months ago, Google announced its plans to&nbsp;<a href="https://wptavern.com/google-search-to-introduce-new-page-experience-ranking-signal-in-2021">introduce a new ranking signal</a>&nbsp;for Search, based on page experience as measured by&nbsp;<a href="https://web.dev/vitals/#core-web-vitals">Core Web Vitals</a>&nbsp;metrics. At that time, Google promised to give site owners at least six months notice before rolling out the update so they can improve their scores on the metrics before the update. The company reports a 70% increase in users engaging with <a href="https://web.dev/vitals-tools/#lighthouse">Lighthouse</a>, <a href="https://web.dev/vitals-tools/#pagespeed-insights">PageSpeed Insights</a>, and Search Console&rsquo;s Core Web Vitals report in preparation for the update.</p> <p>Today Google confirmed that it will roll out the new page experience signals in May 2021. The search engine also plans to introduce a new visual indicator for pages that fully comply with the page experience requirements:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>On results, the snippet or image preview helps provide topical context for users to know what information a page can provide. Visual indicators on the results are another way to do the same, and we are working on one that identifies pages that have met all of the page experience criteria. We plan to test this soon and if the testing is successful, it will launch in May 2021 and we&rsquo;ll share more details on the progress of this in the coming months.</p></blockquote> <p>There are no additional details on what that will look like but AMP&rsquo;s lightning bolt is a good example of how small graphics can have a meaningful impact on users&rsquo; behavior when navigating through search results.</p> <h2>Are WordPress Websites Ready for Page Experience as a Ranking Signal?</h2> <p>The page experience signals Google plans to roll out will include Core Web Vitals (Loading, Interactivity, and Visual Stability metrics), combined with existing search signals for&nbsp;<a href="https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html">mobile-friendliness</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/09/more-safe-browsing-help-for-webmasters.html">safe-browsing</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/11/heres-to-more-https-on-web.html">HTTPS-security</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/08/helping-users-easily-access-content-on.html">intrusive interstitial guidelines</a>. Based on where the web is now, in terms of delivering a good page experience (as defined by Google), site owners will undoubtedly need the next six months lead time to become aware of the new ranking signal and prepare.</p> <p>Google&rsquo;s Core Web Vitals assessment gives a pass or fail rating, with a &ldquo;pass&rdquo; requiring a good result in all three metrics. A cursory test using Page Speed Insights on a few of the websites for the largest companies, hosts, and agencies in the WordPress space shows most of them do not currently meet these requirements.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><img /></div> <p>In August, Screaming Frog, a search marketing agency, published a lengthy <a href="https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/passing-the-cwv-assessment/">report</a> on tests that found only&nbsp;12% of Mobile&nbsp;and&nbsp;13% of Desktop&nbsp;results passed the Core Web Vitals assessment. Screaming Frog used the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/user-guide/configuration/#pagespeed-insights-integration">PageSpeed Insights API</a> to test 20,000 websites, which were selected through scraping the first-page organic results from 2,500 keywords across 100 different topics. The report highlighted a few important findings:</p> <ul><li>First Input Delay (FID) on Desktop is negligible with&nbsp;<strong>99% of URLs</strong>&nbsp;considered good. And&nbsp;<strong>89% for Mobile</strong>.</li><li><strong>43% of Mobile</strong>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<strong>44% of Desktop</strong>&nbsp;URLs had a good Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).</li><li><strong>46% of Mobile</strong>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<strong>47% of Desktop</strong>&nbsp;URLs had a good Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).</li><li>URLs in&nbsp;<strong>Position 1</strong>&nbsp;were<strong>&nbsp;10% more likely</strong>&nbsp;to pass the CWV assessment than URLs in&nbsp;<strong>Position 9</strong>.</li></ul> <p>These results suggest that most website owners still have a good deal of work ahead of them in meeting the requirements for passing the Core Web Vitals assessment. Unsurprisingly, Google suggests AMP as the preferred vehicle to get there, but even AMP is not a magic bullet. </p> <p>At AMP Fest last month, the project reported that <a href="https://blog.amp.dev/2020/10/13/meet-amps-page-experience-guide/">60% of AMP domains pass the&nbsp;Core Web Vitals&nbsp;metrics</a> (meaning 75% of pages on the domain passed), compared to 12% of non-AMP domains passing based on the same criteria.</p> <p>&ldquo;Looking ahead to Google Search&rsquo;s upcoming rollout of using&nbsp;page experience signals&nbsp;in ranking, we challenged ourselves to consider how we could better support the AMP community and reach a point where we are able to guarantee that&nbsp;all&nbsp;AMP domains meet the criteria included in the page experience ranking signal,&rdquo; AMP Product Manager Naina Raisinghani said. </p> <p>Those who are already using AMP are encouraged to check out the <a href="http://amp.dev/page-experience">AMP Page Experience Guide</a>, a diagnostic tool that helps developers improve their page experience metrics with practical advice.</p> <p>AMP is not required, however, if developers feel confident delivering the kind of performance metrics necessary to pass the Core Web Vitals assessment. Along with the new ranking signal, Google also plans to roll out another promised change that allows non-AMP content to become eligible for placement in the mobile Top Stories feature for Search. Starting in May 2021, sites that can deliver decent page experience metrics will be prioritized, regardless of whether they were built with AMP or through some other means.</p> Wed, 11 Nov 2020 05:00:55 +0000 Sarah Gooding WPTavern: WordPress 5.6 Beta 4 Delayed, Auto-Updates Implementation Changed https://wptavern.com/?p=107592 https://wptavern.com/wordpress-5-6-beta-4-delayed-auto-updates-implementation-changed?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-5-6-beta-4-delayed-auto-updates-implementation-changed <p class="has-drop-cap">Earlier today, release lead Josepha Haden announced the team was <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/11/10/wordpress-5-6-beta-4-delayed-from-november-10th-to-november-12th-2020/">pushing back the release of WordPress 5.6 Beta 4</a> to Thursday, November 12. The beta release was slated to go live today. Questions around the readiness of the auto-updates feature held the beta update back. However, those questions are now resolved.</p> <p>Haden followed up the Beta 4 announcement with a more in-depth picture of <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/11/10/wp5-6-auto-update-implementation-change/">how auto-updates will change</a> for WordPress 5.6. She summarized the current concerns, laid out a path for version 5.6 and 5.7, and discussed plans for the future. The auto-updates feature is not something that will be complete overnight or in just one release. There are complex technical hurdles that must be jumped and a need for a dedicated focus in upcoming releases.</p> <p>Much of her post focuses on the tactics going forward. However, she mentioned in our chat that she does not want the community to lose sight of the big-picture, vision-setting aspects of the project.</p> <p>&ldquo;The subject of auto-updates has resulted in many complicated discussions,&rdquo; she wrote. &ldquo;As I reminded the release squad, decisions like these require us to remember that we&rsquo;re contributing to over 30% of the web, and we have to balance our immediate needs with long term planning.&rdquo;</p> <p>The short-term plan is to allow current WordPress users to opt-in to major updates while enabling auto-updates for both minor and major releases for new installations. Some changes to the auto-updates UI are also in the works along with a plan to revise based on feedback in WordPress 5.6.1.</p> <p>In WordPress 5.7, which is several months away, the goal is to add a nudge on the Site Health screen for anyone opted out of major updates. We could also see a setting to opt-into updates as part of the WordPress installation flow for new sites.</p> <p><em>The big picture that Haden is talking about?</em> That is to make sure that all WordPress installations are receiving auto-updates, that these updates are seamless, and that users are running a secure version of WordPress.</p> <p>Nearly two years ago, WordPress project lead Matt Mullenweg outlined <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2018/12/08/9-priorities-for-2019/">nine goals for 2019</a>. One of those goals was to provide users a method of opting into automatic updates of major releases. It has taken WordPress a while to get there, but it is on the cusp of launching this feature that many have looked forward to.</p> <p>Haden also further clarified that goal. She said that the long-term plan for both Mullenweg and the other original feature contributors was to always have auto-updates for major releases enabled by default.</p> <p>Apart from those who already prefer to opt-out of any sort of automatic updates, some users&rsquo; trust in the system eroded a couple of weeks ago. The WordPress auto-update system <a href="https://wptavern.com/wordpress-auto-update-system-misfires-updating-live-sites-to-an-alpha-release">updated sites to version 5.5.3-alpha</a> instead of 5.5.2 &mdash; WordPress currently automatically updates only minor releases. While there was no difference between the two versions and the core team quickly resolved the problem, the damage to user trust was already done.</p> <p>This was not an ideal leadup to the December launch of auto-updates for major releases.</p> <p>However, one hiccup &mdash; one that was effectively not an issue &mdash; seven years after WordPress 3.7 launched with security and maintenance updates is not too bad. The system has been a boon to making the web a more secure place. Ultimately, that is what auto-updates are all about. The big goal is to make sure that all WordPress sites are running on the most secure version available.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s important that whatever we implement isn&rsquo;t taking us further away from our long term goals of having seamless, auto-updates across the project,&rdquo; wrote Haden. &ldquo;Auto-updates can help us have a more secure WordPress ecosystem, and in turn can help change the public perception of WordPress being an unsecure choice for users of any skill level.&rdquo;</p> Tue, 10 Nov 2020 21:29:47 +0000 Justin Tadlock HeroPress: Don’t Miss Your Chance to Speak at WordFest Live 2021 https://heropress.com/?p=3409 https://heropress.com/dont-miss-your-chance-to-speak-at-wordfest-live-2021/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dont-miss-your-chance-to-speak-at-wordfest-live-2021 <img width="960" height="536" src="https://s20094.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/WordFest-Purple-Banner-1024x572.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="a banner for WordFest - a festival of inclusive events" /> <p>As part of the growth of HeroPress, we&#8217;re looking at ways to support other community-focused initiatives, and here&#8217;s an excellent place to start: </p> <p>Looking for something new in the new year? Kick off 2021 by being a part of <a href="http://wordfest.live">WordFest Live</a>. The team at Big Orange Heart is pulling together the first ever global event focused around 24 hours of celebrating WordPress.</p> <p>They need sponsors and attendees, but most timely right now is the call for speakers.</p> <p>If you&#8217;d like to apply to speak, head over to <a href="https://www.wordfest.live/call-for-speakers/?fbclid=IwAR2JnzHaxZw1irDWQv7m4viLkE-vc0idPSe94Drh_yP_UpFaZSUG_MDFNq4" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">https://www.wordfest.live/call-for-speakers/</a> The event is looking for speakers from all over the world to share their WordPress knowledge. </p> <p>Want to learn more? <a href="https://www.wordfest.live/2020/11/speaking-at-wordfest-live-2021/">This article</a> gives you a feel for the event, answers some questions, provides some topics to help guide you if you&#8217;re stuck, and explains what makes this a festival instead of &#8220;just&#8221; a conference. </p> <p>The event is FREE with donations going to support <a href="https://www.bigorangeheart.org/">Big Orange Heart</a>. <strong>Speaker submissions close 18 November, 2020</strong>.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://heropress.com/dont-miss-your-chance-to-speak-at-wordfest-live-2021/">Don&#8217;t Miss Your Chance to Speak at WordFest Live 2021</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://heropress.com">HeroPress</a>.</p> Tue, 10 Nov 2020 20:55:27 +0000 WPTavern: Biden-Harris Transition Website Launches on WordPress https://wptavern.com/?p=107503 https://wptavern.com/biden-harris-transition-website-launches-on-wordpress?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=biden-harris-transition-website-launches-on-wordpress <p>The Biden-Harris presidential transition team has launched <a href="https://twitter.com/Transition46">a new Twitter account</a> and a website powered by WordPress. <a href="https://buildbackbetter.com/">BuildBackBetter.com</a> is hosted by <a href="https://automattic.com/">Automattic</a> and is zippy fast, thanks to Jetpack, Cloudflare CDN, and a lot of other performance optimizations. It <a href="https://tools.pingdom.com/#5d6c07d844800000">loads in 333 ms</a>, performing just 19 requests.</p> <div class="wp-block-image shadow-none"><img /></div> <p>The site was created by Ben Ostrower&rsquo;s team at <a href="https://wideeye.co/">Wide Eye</a>, an 11-year old agency based in Washington, D.C., and the same team behind <a href="https://wideeye.co/case-study/kamala-harris-for-the-people/">Kamala Harris&rsquo; 2020 presidential campaign website</a>. Their work on Harris&rsquo; site won recognition as a finalist in <a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/90547945/graphic-design-innovation-by-design-2020">Fast Company&rsquo;s 2020 Innovation by Design Awards</a> in the Graphic Design category.</p> <p>In anticipation of winning the election, the Biden-Harris Transition team uploaded the content for the website in October, based on the image URLs. It uses a custom theme called Transition. Peeping under the hood, it looks like the site is using the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/ninja-forms/">Ninja Forms</a> plugin for the email signup and contact forms, as well as Google Tag Manager for analytics. The language switcher is powered by <a href="https://multilingualpress.org/">MultilingualPress</a>. </p> <p>Wide Eye paid particular attention to the multilingual and accessibility features of the site with beautifully implemented toggles for contrast and font size. The high contrast toggle (dark mode) creates an elegant and natural transition between modes, without compromising the quality of the design. </p> <div class="wp-block-image"><img /></div> <p>The transition site also has an official <a href="https://buildbackbetter.com/accessibility-statement/">accessibility statement</a> regarding the team&rsquo;s commitment to working towards WCAG 2.1 AA standards compliance:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>Our on-going accessibility effort works towards conforming to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1, level AA criteria. These guidelines not only help make web content accessible to users with sensory, cognitive and mobility disabilities, but ultimately to all users, regardless of ability.</p></blockquote> <p>Visitors are encouraged to email <a href="mailto:accessibility@bidentransition.org">accessibility@bidentransition.org</a> with feedback on how to provide a better experience.</p> <div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="es" dir="ltr">la web de Biden y Harris "de transici&oacute;n" (como lo llaman ellos) dice mucho de sus intenciones<br /><br />&#10145;&#65039; Est&aacute; hecha con WordPress (c&oacute;digo abierto)<br />&#10145;&#65039; Es multiling&uuml;e (espa&ntilde;ol e ingl&eacute;s)<br />&#10145;&#65039; Es MUY accesible (me da entre un 80 y 90% en tests)<a href="https://t.co/vY2Peb8BJ4">https://t.co/vY2Peb8BJ4</a></p>&mdash; Manu Quiroga &#127880; (@Manuls) <a href="https://twitter.com/Manuls/status/1325459089607024645?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 8, 2020</a></blockquote> </div> <p>The Biden-Haris transition team is focused on building the necessary infrastructure for providing a smooth transfer of power from the current administration with a focus on critical matters, such as public health policy and national recovery plans. The website publishes updates on the leadership being assembled to tackle these challenges.</p> <p>Both the current administration&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/">whitehouse.gov</a> and <a href="https://joebiden.com/">JoeBiden.com</a> are also running on WordPress. If the Biden-Harris transition website is any indication, the next edition of whitehouse.gov may also relaunch on WordPress.</p> Tue, 10 Nov 2020 04:24:03 +0000 Sarah Gooding WPTavern: WordPress 5.6 Will Ship With Another Major jQuery Change https://wptavern.com/?p=107508 https://wptavern.com/wordpress-5-6-will-ship-with-another-major-jquery-change?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-5-6-will-ship-with-another-major-jquery-change <img /> <p class="has-drop-cap">WordPress 5.6 will ship with the latest jQuery library next month. This is a major update that all plugin and theme developers should begin testing against. Last week, Marius Jensen <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/11/05/updating-core-jquery-to-version-3-part-2/">announced the change</a> on the Make Core blog.</p> <p>The following jQuery-related libraries are expected to ship in the update (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/50564">WordPress Trac ticket</a>):</p> <ul><li>jQuery 3.5.1</li><li>jQuery Migrate 3.3.2</li><li>jQuery UI 1.12.1</li></ul> <p>This change is not surprising. Lead developer Andrew Ozz announced the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/06/29/updating-jquery-version-shipped-with-wordpress/">original three-phase transition</a> to update the jQuery library earlier this June. The end goal is for WordPress to bundle the most up-to-date version and keep it updated going forward. WordPress has fallen behind and relied on an older version for several release cycles. As a result, much of the plugin and theme ecosystem has relied on outdated features.</p> <p>The three steps of the process are as follows:</p> <ul><li><strong>WordPress 5.5:</strong> Remove the jQuery Migrate 1.x script.</li><li><strong>WordPress 5.6:</strong> Update to the latest jQuery, jQuery UI, and jQuery Migrate scripts.</li><li><strong>WordPress 5.7:</strong> Remove the jQuery Migrate script.</li></ul> <p>If the removing, adding, and once again removing jQuery Migrate sounds confusing, it is because it can be. jQuery Migrate is essentially a helper script that allows developers to &ldquo;migrate&rdquo; to newer versions of jQuery. It is a backward-compatibility fix. The version of jQuery Migrate being re-added in WordPress 5.6 corresponds to newer versions of jQuery. It is being added as a temporary fix to give plugin and theme developers time to update their code. The hope is that developers will no longer rely on it by the time WordPress 5.7 ships.</p> <p>&ldquo;Following the best practices and the recommendations of the jQuery team, Migrate should be used as a helper tool, not as a permanent backwards compatibility solution,&rdquo; said Ozz in our <a href="https://wptavern.com/major-jquery-changes-on-the-way-for-wordpress-5-5-and-beyond">discussion a few months ago</a>. &ldquo;Ideally, WordPress will be able to do this.&rdquo;</p> <p>Whether jQuery Migrate is removed in WordPress 5.7 remains to be seen. Right now, it is a tentative goal. Thus far, the process is still on track. Much of this also depends on how smooth the WordPress 5.6 ship sails. The <a href="https://wptavern.com/enable-jquery-migrate-helper-plugin-passes-10k-active-installs">5.5 release sunk</a>, at least for many users. This is a result that we do not want to repeat.</p> <p>Navigating all of this is no small feat for end-users. They rely on WordPress, plugin, and theme developers to keep things running smoothly. With a month left before the launch of WordPress 5.6, plugin and theme authors need to start testing to make sure their projects work with the latest version of WordPress.</p> <p>Expecting some issues with WordPress 5.5, the WordPress development team created the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/enable-jquery-migrate-helper/">Enable jQuery Migrate Helper</a> plugin to ease the transition for users on WordPress 5.5. In the first week, the plugin had over 10,000 active installations. Today, it has over 200,000 users. This number is not necessarily indicative of plugins and themes with outdated code. Presumably, some percentage of these users no longer need the plugin because their extensions have been updated while they have yet to deactivate it. There is no public data on who is using the plugin and why.</p> <p>The plugin is still useful right now. It logs deprecation notices and makes them available to users. If the plugin does not log any notices after a week or two, users are encouraged to deactivate the plugin. If they are still seeing notices, they should contact their theme or plugin developers, depending on what is triggering the notices. When users update to WordPress 5.6, they should no longer need the plugin.</p> <p>We will be six months into this process for the next major release. Developers have had ample time to make adjustments. Let this be a friendly reminder to test plugins and themes during the 5.6 beta cycle.</p> <p>Plugin and theme authors should test with the <code>SCRIPT_DEBUG</code> constant enabled in their <code>wp-config.php</code> files. More information is available via the <a href="https://wordpress.org/support/article/debugging-in-wordpress/">Debugging in WordPress</a> documentation.</p> <p>Jensen has published a guide on <a href="https://clorith.net/updating-jquery-code-in-your-unmaintained-wordpress-plugin-or-theme/">updating jQuery in unmaintained themes or plugins</a>. It is primarily geared toward end-users who are comfortable enough going the DIY route. However, developers can find some useful information in the tutorial too.</p> Mon, 09 Nov 2020 21:31:57 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: Editor Plus 2.1 Overhauls Block Controls UI and Adds Lottie Animations https://wptavern.com/?p=107421 https://wptavern.com/editor-plus-2-1-overhauls-block-controls-ui-and-adds-lottie-animations?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=editor-plus-2-1-overhauls-block-controls-ui-and-adds-lottie-animations <p class="has-drop-cap">Yesterday, Munir Kamal released version 2.1 of the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/editorplus/">Editor Plus</a> plugin. The biggest change is a complete overhaul of its design controls. The developer also added a new Lottie animation block.</p> <p>I probably sound like a broken record after covering the last several releases of the plugin, but Kamal is doing some amazing things with the block editor. He is pushing limits and experimenting in areas that few others have yet to attempt. I am beginning to wonder if he has some secret, never-ending checklist of feature ideas in which he ticks off a few boxes every couple of weeks.</p> <p>The plugin has only 1,000+ active installs at the moment. However, it has maintained growth of over 11% since the midway point in 2020. I expect this to accelerate in the coming year as Kamal continues placing individual pieces of the larger puzzle, which includes the free blocks, patterns, and templates at <a href="https://gutenberghub.com/">Gutenberg Hub</a>. He has laid the groundwork and now has one of the largest block editor resources on the web.</p> <h2>Design Controls Overhaul</h2> <img />More compact block design controls. <p class="has-drop-cap">My biggest complaint about Editor Plus has always been how overwhelming some of the block options have felt. Too many choices can be blinding, and they make it tough to figure out where to start when customizing blocks.</p> <p>In our last discussion a couple of weeks ago, Kamal said that &ldquo;other UI improvements are yet to come.&rdquo; He was already working on tightening up controls, creating what he referred to as a more compact UI. He was drawing inspiration from the Figma and Sketch design tools.</p> <p>On the whole, this update creates that cleaner UI that he was shooting for. Some of the biggest improvements come from moving controls and labels inline with one another. The change means that users must do less scrolling to go through a multitude of options.</p> <p>There are still areas that could be cleaned and made more intuitive. Right now, Editor Plus adds custom block options tabs where WordPress already has the same tabs. For example, the plugin creates its own &ldquo;+ Typography&rdquo; tab. Instead, it should mount its custom options on the existing core Typography tab. From a purely user-experience perspective, it is confusing to see the similarly-named tabs. This would also create a more compact list of top-level tabs. The plugin has other tabs or controls with the same issue.</p> <h2>Lottie Animation Block</h2> <img />Still shot of the <a href="https://lottiefiles.com/37722-bouncy-car">Bouncy Car</a> Lottie animation. <p class="has-drop-cap">Kamal added the plugin&rsquo;s first seven blocks in the <a href="https://wptavern.com/editorplus-introduces-its-first-blocks-and-adds-a-custom-block-creator">last plugin update</a>. His primary goal is to stretch what the default WordPress blocks can do. However, he needed to create some new blocks to handle some of the layouts that were not possible with core alone. The latest update adds a Lottie animation block, which allows users to link to or upload a JSON file for a Lottie animation.</p> <p>Created by Airbnb, Lottie is a library that parses Adobe After Effects animations that are exported as JSON with Bodymovin. It then renders them natively on mobile devices or the web. The file sizes are smaller than many other options, and the animations can be scaled up or down without pixelation.</p> <p><a href="https://lottiefiles.com/">LottieFiles</a> is one of the largest libraries of free Lottie animations on the web. It has 1,000s of animations for users to choose from.</p> <p>Kamal has already begun making use of the new Lottie animation block in Gutenberg Hub&rsquo;s <a href="https://gutenberghub.com/template-category/patterns/">section patterns library,</a> which houses block code that users can copy and paste into the editor, provided they have the Editor Plus plugin installed. Thus far, he has added three Lottie patterns with Black Friday animations &mdash; just in time for the shopping season.</p> <img />Still shot of an animated <a href="https://gutenberghub.com/templates/lottie-2/">Black Friday pattern</a>. <p>While the Lottie animation JSON files are small, the script to play the animations is not. The JavaScript file comes in at a whopping 294 kb. This file is only loaded if the Lottie block is in use. The size may be a deal-breaker for some users. However, for animation-heavy websites, it might be worth considering.</p> Fri, 06 Nov 2020 22:03:01 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: WooCommerce Patches Vulnerability that Allowed Spam Bots to Create Accounts at Checkout https://wptavern.com/?p=107352 https://wptavern.com/woocommerce-patches-vulnerability-that-allowed-spam-bots-to-create-accounts-at-checkout?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=woocommerce-patches-vulnerability-that-allowed-spam-bots-to-create-accounts-at-checkout <p><a href="https://developer.woocommerce.com/2020/11/05/woocommerce-4-6-2-fix-release/">WooCommerce 4.6.2</a> was released yesterday with a fix for a vulnerability that allowed account creation at checkout, even when the &ldquo;Allow customers to create an account during checkout&rdquo; setting is disabled.&nbsp;The WooCommerce team discovered it after several dozen users <a href="https://wordpress.org/support/topic/failed-orders-fake-information/">reported</a> their sites were receiving spam orders, or &ldquo;failed orders&rdquo; where the payment details were fake.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><img />Source: <a href="https://developer.woocommerce.com/2020/11/05/developer-advisory-spam-orders-and-accounts-from-bots/">WooCommerce Developer Advisory</a></div> <p>WooCommerce developer Rodrigo Primo described how the bot is attacking stores: </p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>The gist of it is that the bot is able to create a user when placing an order exploiting the bug fixed by 4.6.2. After creating the user, the bot tries to find vulnerabilities in other plugins installed on the site that require an unprivileged authenticated account.</p></blockquote> <p>WooCommerce recommends users update to 4.6.2 to stop bots from creating users at checkout and then remove any accounts the bot previously created. This will not stop the bots from creating fake orders so store owners are advised to <a href="https://woocommerce.com/search/?q=spam&categories=WooCommerce+Extensions&collections=product">install additional spam protection</a> from the WooCommerce Marketplace. Some users in the support forum are trying free plugins like <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-nocaptcha-recaptcha/">Advanced noCaptcha &amp; Invisible Captcha</a> and <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/woo-blocker-lite-prevent-fake-orders-and-blacklist-fraud-customers/">Fraud Prevention Plugin for WooCommerce</a>.</p> <p>The first <a href="https://wordpress.org/support/topic/failed-orders-fake-information/">logged instance</a> happened nine days before WooCommerce was able to issue a fix. In the meantime, some users reported having their site&rsquo;s URL changed and other hacking attempts. Dave Green, WordPress engineer at <a href="https://www.makedo.net/">Make Do</a>, used log files to determine that the script relies on exploiting other vulnerabilities in order to gain access to the database. </p> <p>&ldquo;That script is creating the order, and is also likely to be exploiting whatever vulnerability is available to bypass customer account settings and create a new user; it may or may not be relying upon other exploits for this,&rdquo; Green <a href="https://wordpress.org/support/topic/failed-orders-fake-information/page/8/#post-13611713">said</a>.</p> <p>&ldquo;Assuming it has successfully gained access to the system, it then tries to update the DB. It either fails and leaves you with nuisance orders, or succeeds and points your site to the scam URL.&rdquo;</p> <p>The WooCommerce team has also fixed this same bug in <a href="https://developer.woocommerce.com/2020/11/05/woocommerce-blocks-3-7-1-release-notes/">WooCommerce Blocks 3.7.1</a>, preventing checkout from creating accounts when the related setting is disabled. </p> <p>WooCommerce did not publish the names of any of extensions that have vulnerabilities being exploited by this script. However, some one user <a href="https://wordpress.org/support/topic/failed-orders-fake-information/page/2/#post-13592568">reported</a> an attack that coincided with the fake orders:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>I had a failed order yesterday with similar info to the OP as well.</p><p>At the exact same time that failed order came in, my WAF blocked two attempted attacks from the same user/IP (bbbb bbbb) for &ldquo;TI WooCommerce Wishlist &lt; 1.21.12 &ndash; Authenticated WP Options Change&rdquo;</p></blockquote> <p>The script may have been probing for a vulnerability in the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/ti-woocommerce-wishlist/">TI WooCommerce Wishlist</a> plugin, which was <a href="https://blog.nintechnet.com/critical-zero-day-vulnerability-fixed-in-wordpress-ti-woocommerce-wishlist-plugin/">patched</a> approximately two weeks ago. The plugin is active on more than 70,000 WordPress sites.</p> <p>The WooCommerce team is still researching the origin and impact of this vulnerability and will publish more information as it becomes available.</p> Fri, 06 Nov 2020 20:37:02 +0000 Sarah Gooding WPTavern: WordPress.com Drops Over 100 Block Patterns, Carving a Path the Design Community Should Follow https://wptavern.com/?p=107332 https://wptavern.com/wordpress-com-drops-over-100-block-patterns-carving-a-path-the-design-community-should-follow?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-com-drops-over-100-block-patterns-carving-a-path-the-design-community-should-follow <p class="has-drop-cap">Automattic <a href="https://wordpress.com/blog/2020/10/28/introducing-patterns/">released over 100 block patterns</a> to its users on WordPress.com last week. Patterns are a set of blocks that users can insert into their posts or pages for predefined yet customizable sections of content. Most of WordPress.com&rsquo;s new patterns are general enough in design to cover a range of uses. However, the choices also cover some niches like restaurants.</p> <p>&ldquo;The WordPress Editor is a powerful tool that can help bring your design ideas to life but one of the best parts is, you don&rsquo;t have to start from scratch,&rdquo; wrote Ian Stewart, the WordPress.com Design Team Lead, in the announcement. &ldquo;Building sophisticated designs can be as easy as picking Patterns from our growing library, and snapping them together to create beautiful-looking posts and pages.&rdquo;</p> <p>Aside from the work that Gutenberg Hub has done with its <a href="https://wptavern.com/gutenberg-hub-launches-collection-of-100-block-templates">template library</a>, this is one of the largest dumps of block patterns from anyone in the WordPress community at once. The big question right now is whether the larger WordPress community will see them in some form.</p> <p>&ldquo;No immediate plans to bring those out to the larger community outside of WordPress.com just yet,&rdquo; said Stewart in a quick chat. &ldquo;I expect us to contribute in some fashion to the potential block pattern directory but no immediate plans there yet either.&rdquo;</p> <p>Admittedly, I was a little disappointed in the response. I bought into the idea of block patterns from day one and have been patiently awaiting an explosion of layouts from the development community. As a former theme business owner, I see the dozens of problems that patterns would have solved for me five, six, or seven years ago. And, this is a feature that could win over some holdouts who are waiting for the block editor to mature enough to build more advanced layouts.</p> <img />Grouping Quote, Spacer, and Columns creates custom Quote pattern. <p>&ldquo;The team&rsquo;s current focus is on making great-looking WordPress.com patterns and contributing back to the Gutenberg Project when we see potential for improvement with the tools for creating them,&rdquo; said Stewart. &ldquo;I think, like you, we&rsquo;re pretty excited about the potential for Patterns and improved design controls in the Block Editor. So we&rsquo;re plugging away at that right now. There&rsquo;s a lot of exciting designs that can be made today and even more that we&rsquo;ll be able to make in the future.&rdquo;</p> <p><em>Not now</em> is not a <em>no</em>, however. Automattic has a gluttony of talented designers. If a <a href="https://wptavern.com/wordpress-contributors-discuss-launching-an-official-block-pattern-directory">block pattern directory emerges</a> from recent discussions (it&rsquo;s still an early idea), I have little doubt that individuals from the company would submit patterns. Users of the WordPress software will also see new patterns in themes that the design team releases publicly, such as those within <a href="https://wptavern.com/exploring-seedlet-automattics-block-first-wordpress-theme">Seedlet</a>.</p> <img />Heading, Paragraph, Spacer, and YouTube blocks create this pattern. <p>The great thing about patterns is that they are easy to recreate. Even if the WordPress.com design team decides to keep them in-house for the foreseeable future, they can offer inspiration to theme authors who are looking to dive into this feature. Most of the patterns use only the core WordPress blocks. However, some of the contact-related patterns use the Form block, which is available via the Jetpack plugin.</p> <p>Other patterns make use of the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/layout-grid/">Layout Grid block</a>, which is in the official plugin directory. This is one area that the block editor still lags a bit behind in, so it is necessary to use a plugin to make some of the more complex pattern designs work. However, there is an <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/issues/16271">open discussion on a grid system</a> for core. Tavern readers seemed to be <a href="https://wptavern.com/should-the-block-editor-have-a-grid-system">receptive to the idea</a> earlier this year too.</p> <img />Grids within grids &mdash; nesting for a complex layout. <p>The design team put together an extensive array of call-to-action patterns. With over 20 to choose from in this category alone, just about any site owner who wants to sell a product, service, or content should be able to find something that suits them.</p> <img />Call to Action block pattern for shops. <p>For now, those using WordPress.com can fully enjoy one of the better parts of the block editor. As for theme authors who are building for the open-source WordPress platform, remember that <em>great artists steal</em>.</p> Thu, 05 Nov 2020 23:09:27 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: Frontity Inks Partnership with 10up https://wptavern.com/?p=106861 https://wptavern.com/frontity-inks-partnership-with-10up?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=frontity-inks-partnership-with-10up <img />photo credit: <a href="https://stocksnap.io/photo/laptop-desk-2BJQISGWND">Matt Moloney</a> <p><a href="https://frontity.org/">Frontity</a> has launched a <a href="https://frontity.org/partners/">partnership program</a> to support the maintenance of its open source framework for building React-based WordPress sites. <a href="https://10up.com/">10up</a>, a large agency that provides&nbsp;headless solutions to&nbsp;enterprise customers, is the first partner to join in support of the project.</p> <p>&ldquo;Since we launched Frontity Framework last year, dozens of WordPress publishers have asked our team about consulting services and for help on their migration to Frontity,&rdquo; Frontity communications director Reyes Mart&iacute;nez said. &ldquo;It was great to see an increasing interest in using Frontity at an enterprise-level but, unfortunately, we didn&rsquo;t have an efficient way to help them all and fulfill the custom requirements these projects usually need.&rdquo;</p> <p>This partnership allows Frontity to funnel requests for consulting to 10up and other future agency partners. Reyes said the partnership does not have a monetary aspect but rather 10up is supporting the project by maintaining and extending the framework through contributions. </p> <p>Prior to this arrangement, the agency had already contributed to the core framework, most notably by developing the <a href="https://github.com/frontity/frontity/pull/507">Link Component</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://github.com/frontity/frontity/pull/518">Auto-Prefetching</a>&nbsp;features. 10up also created the&nbsp;<a href="https://github.com/10up/frontity-packages/tree/develop/packages/elasticpress">ElasticPress package</a>, which improves search for sites using Elasticsearch.</p> <p>&ldquo;Frontity provides an easy to use package management interface that enables us to quickly extend the platform &mdash; similar to how plugins work in the WordPress ecosystem,&rdquo; 10up VP of Engineering Taylor Lovett <a href="https://10up.com/blog/2020/10up-frontity-partnership/">said</a>, explaining why the company formalized a partnership with the framework&rsquo;s creators. &ldquo;It includes features that typically require custom engineering, such as Google Analytics integration, routing, and integration with plugins (like SEO tools).&rdquo;</p> <p>Earlier this year Frontity raised &euro;1M in funding in a round led by&nbsp;<a href="https://kfund.co/">K Fund</a>, with&nbsp;<a href="https://automattic.com/">Automattic</a>&nbsp;covering 22%. This funding keeps the maintainers free to focus on the open source project. Frontity recently <a href="https://runacap.com/ross-index/">ranked #9</a> on Runa Capital&rsquo;s Open Source Startup (ROSS) Index, which ranked the top 20 startups by Github star growth for Q3 2020.</p> <p>The project&rsquo;s partnership program is an interesting and somewhat uncommon approach to sustaining the framework&rsquo;s growth. It redirects a steady stream of leads for custom work to partners, helping potential users find expertise, while ensuring the project is well maintained. As the WordPress ecosystem demonstrates increasing interest in building React-powered websites, Frontity is turning the growing demand for custom work into an opportunity to bolster the open source project and ensure the framework&rsquo;s future.</p> <p>&ldquo;Some companies are aware of the advantages of a decoupled React front-end and contact us because they are interesting in using Frontity, but don&rsquo;t have the team or the internal resources to build or migrate a project from scratch,&rdquo; Reyes said. &ldquo;Others that have the resources and already tried (or know) Frontity, contact us because they still want a freelancer or agency to help with the development, design or maintenance of the project.&rdquo;</p> <p>Frontity is in conversation with some agencies from the WordPress VIP Agency Partner Program and other hosting companies but could not share more details at this time. The basic qualifications for partners include previous experience with enterprise customers in the WordPress space, expertise with headless WordPress and React frontends, and willingness to actively contribute to the Frontity framework.</p> Thu, 05 Nov 2020 03:18:00 +0000 Sarah Gooding WPTavern: Gutenberg 9.3 Provides Indicator of Where Full-Site Editing Is Going, a Future Without Widgets and Customizer Screens https://wptavern.com/?p=107286 https://wptavern.com/gutenberg-9-3-provides-indicator-of-where-full-site-editing-is-going-a-future-without-widgets-and-customizer-screens?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gutenberg-9-3-provides-indicator-of-where-full-site-editing-is-going-a-future-without-widgets-and-customizer-screens <p class="has-drop-cap">Version 9.3 of the Gutenberg plugin <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/11/04/whats-new-in-gutenberg-4-november/">dropped earlier today</a>. It is the first version of the plugin during the WordPress 5.6 release cycle that will not see its new features land in the core platform. However, bug fixes have been backported to WordPress 5.6 beta 2 and 3. Much of the work for the release focused on full-site editing (FSE) features and fixes. However, some minor enhancements outside of the site editor landed in the update.</p> <p>The Social Links block now supports Patreon, Telegram, and Tiktok, which brings the total number of social icons to 43. The Buttons block also has an overhauled alignment option.</p> <p>Overall, the release mostly adds polish to existing areas. The development team fixed over 20 bugs and has continued pushing forward with improvements to the site editor.</p> <h2>Removal of Widgets and Customizer Screens</h2> <img />Widgets and Customizer no longer under Appearance menu. <p class="has-drop-cap">The biggest story around Gutenberg 9.3 is not in measurable code or user-facing design changes. Instead, it is within a <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/26594">discussion on a ticket</a> about removing the Customizer and Widgets screens when a user has FSE enabled.</p> <p>Version 9.3 hides the Widgets and Customizer items from the WordPress admin menu. However, they are still accessible by directly going to the URL or lingering links within various parts of the WordPress admin like on the Themes screen. This change could have implications for the future of those screens.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it would be a bad move to hide them now without clearly communicating to the WordPress community what the future of widgets and the customizer is,&rdquo; <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/26594#issuecomment-720260197">wrote Carolina Nymark</a>, a Themes Team representative, in the ticket. &ldquo;Hiding them is going to lead to more questions from worried users and developers. I think hiding them without answering these questions publicly is a bad idea. I&rsquo;m not asking you to answer me in this pull request, I am asking that &lsquo;WordPress,&rsquo; be it the core-editor team or someone else, presents the long term plan for these core features.&rdquo;</p> <p>She lists several questions that should be answered by project leaders. Most of them boil down to the central question of what role the customizer will play in the long term:</p> <ul><li>Even if the menu item is hidden, the customizer can still be accessed, will the options still work?</li><li>What role will the customizer have with FSE themes?</li><li>Will it be deprecated, how and when? If it is not going to be deprecated, why hide them?</li><li>Will it also be deprecated for non-FSE themes? How and When?</li><li>How do I convert existing customizer options for my updated theme?</li><li>What about the WordPress options that are only available in the customizer, like the site icon?</li></ul> <p>&ldquo;The idea here is that since FSE themes don&rsquo;t have widget areas, the widgets screen is useless,&rdquo; <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/26594#issuecomment-720347060">responded Riad Benguella</a>. &ldquo;For the customizer, it&rsquo;s a duplicate of the Site Editor screen (similar capabilities), so we need to make sure the Site Editor fills the gaps left by the Customizer. Global styles and Site blocks address most of the site options required for FSE themes and making the switch (hiding the customizer) will allow us to discover gaps we&rsquo;re missing.&rdquo;</p> <p>That FSE themes will not have widget areas does leave one to wonder why so much work has been put into converting the sidebar/widgets system to use blocks over the past year. It was also a planned feature for WordPress 5.6 that <a href="https://wptavern.com/wordpress-5-6-release-team-pulls-the-plug-on-block-based-widgets">did not make the cut</a>.</p> <p>Benguella&rsquo;s thoughts seem to be in line with 5.6 release lead Josepha Haden&rsquo;s recent comments. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of interest in reducing the number of workflows, and I&rsquo;m hopeful that we can consolidate down to just one beautiful, intuitive interface,&rdquo; she said in response to pulling the plug on widgets for 5.6.</p> <p>Benguella&rsquo;s comment is also one of the first public indications that I have seen about what such a consolidation would look like. Presumably, there will be no need for the Nav Menus, Widgets, or Customizer screens as WordPress progresses in the coming releases.</p> <p>I still question whether the work that the team is putting into making those screens handle blocks is worth it. Traditional themes should simply use traditional nav menus, widgets, and customizer options. New block-based themes should use the site editor when it lands.</p> <p>There are still some unanswered questions from Nymark&rsquo;s list. We will need to wait for further feedback from someone in the know. She is right about the need for clear and public communication.</p> <h2>Automatic Switching to FSE</h2> <img />Notice given to users when they are using an FSE-capable theme. <p class="has-drop-cap">One of the biggest improvements, particularly for people testing FSE, is that Gutenberg now <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/26500">automatically enables FSE</a> when a user activates an FSE-capable theme. It will also disable FSE when switching back to a traditional theme.</p> <p>Some good themes to test FSE with are <a href="https://wordpress.org/themes/q/">Q</a>, <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/theme-experiments/tree/master/twentytwentyone-blocks">Twenty Twenty-One Blocks</a>, and <a href="https://github.com/Automattic/themes/tree/trunk/seedlet-blocks">Seedlet Blocks</a>.</p> <p>Users can also no longer enable FSE via the Gutenberg Experimental settings screen. Using a block-based theme is now a requirement to test this part of the Gutenberg experience. This is probably a good call at this stage. Despite being clearly labeled as experimental, thousands of users run Gutenberg in a production environment and may enable it. Plus, it keeps people from testing a broken experience when their theme does not support it.</p> <h2>Buttons Block Content Alignment</h2> <img />New inner content alignment option for the Buttons block. <p class="has-drop-cap">For theme authors who do not rely on the Gutenberg base styles, they may need to update their theme stylesheets to handle content-alignment classes on the Buttons block. However, they will also need to continue supporting the old classes for backward compatibility.</p> <p>This change means that users can use wide and full-width alignment on the block while separately aligning the block&rsquo;s content.</p> <p>The update <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/23168">adds a content justification option</a> to the editor toolbar for the Buttons block. It makes sense to use this method because the Buttons block is technically a container. It merely houses one or more inner Button blocks. The previously-used alignment system is meant for aligning the entire block rather than the block&rsquo;s content.</p> <p>In past versions of the block editor, the Buttons block used the traditional <code>align*</code> classes for left, right, and center alignment. This Gutenberg update switches the classes to <code>is-content-justification-*</code>.</p> <p>The editor will automatically transition the Buttons block to the new classes when a user edits a specific post with the block. Otherwise, they will still have the old <code>align*</code> classes.</p> Wed, 04 Nov 2020 20:36:03 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: WordPress 5.6 to Add UI for Enabling Major Version Auto-Updates, Contributors Discuss Adding a Filter to Hide It https://wptavern.com/?p=107214 https://wptavern.com/wordpress-5-6-to-add-ui-for-enabling-major-version-auto-updates-contributors-discuss-adding-a-filter-to-hide-it?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-5-6-to-add-ui-for-enabling-major-version-auto-updates-contributors-discuss-adding-a-filter-to-hide-it <p>WordPress 5.6 is set to add <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/11/02/introducing-auto-updates-interface-for-core-major-versions-in-wordpress-5-6/">a UI that allows users to opt into auto-updates for major versions</a> of core. Previously, developers could turn these updates on by setting the&nbsp;<code>WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE</code>&nbsp;constant to&nbsp;<code>true</code>&nbsp;or by using the&nbsp;<code>allow_major_auto_core_updates</code>&nbsp;filter. Version 5.6 exposes this setting in the UI to make it more accessible for users. </p> <img /> <p>Jb Audras posted a <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/11/02/introducing-auto-updates-interface-for-core-major-versions-in-wordpress-5-6/">dev note</a> on the feature yesterday with instructions for how developers can extend it to add more options.</p> <p>A previous version of this UI specified that the setting refers to major versions: </p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>Keep my site up-to-date with regular feature updates (major versions).</p></blockquote> <p>This was <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/changeset/49285">changed</a> 11 days ago to remove the wording that tells users which versions the setting controls. </p> <p>&ldquo;The idea was to make the wording more general, and maybe easier to understand,&rdquo; Jb Audras said. &ldquo;As minor updates are already automatically updated (since 3.7), new users may not understand what is behind the &lsquo;major versions&rsquo; term.&rdquo;</p> <p>This new wording makes the setting unclear. Users may not understand what &ldquo;major versions&rdquo; are but &ldquo;feature updates&rdquo; is even less clear. Does it include updates to existing features? Or only the introduction of brand new features? A better option might be to link &ldquo;major versions&rdquo; to documentation on HelpHub.</p> <p>In the current climate, where <a href="https://wptavern.com/wordpress-2019-survey-results-show-professionals-slow-to-adopt-block-editor-2020-survey-now-open">positive sentiment regarding auto-updates is declining</a>, shipping the new UI with a nebulous term like &ldquo;feature updates&rdquo; is not going to inspire as much confidence as explicitly identifying what updates the setting controls.</p> <p>Audras said he is open to having the wording changed but that so far those testing the beta don&rsquo;t seem to have a problem with it. String freeze is scheduled for November 10, and after that no more wording updates can be committed. </p> <p>Contributors are also discussing adding a filter that would allow developers to <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51698">hide the auto-updates UI for major versions</a>. Mike Schroder noted that this would be especially useful for hosting companies that are handling updates in a different way. Some developers or agencies may want to use the filter to prevent their clients from turning auto-updates on for major versions.</p> <p>Core Committer Jonathan Desrosiers <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51698#comment:5">said</a> he is not in favor of using a filter to hide the UI on a page that is not likely to be accessed by users who have the ability to update core:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>If that change is made (disabling the form when the constant is defined or&nbsp;<code>allow_major_auto_core_updates</code>&nbsp;filter is used), then I am not sure the UI should ever be hidden. As raised by&nbsp;<a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/aaroncampbell">@aaroncampbell</a>&nbsp;in today&rsquo;s weekly meeting, the update page is only accessible to those with the&nbsp;<code>update_core</code>&nbsp;capability (trusted users). While there may be valid use cases for wholesale hiding the new feature, I haven&rsquo;t seen one yet. To me, disabling the form and explaining why the form cannot be used to update the desired behavior is more valuable to the site owner, as they would be better equipped to make an adjustment.</p></blockquote> <p>If you want to contribute to the conversation, check out the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/11/02/introducing-auto-updates-interface-for-core-major-versions-in-wordpress-5-6/">dev note</a> on the new auto-updates interface for major versions and the Trac <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51698">ticket</a> for a filer that would hide the UI.</p> Tue, 03 Nov 2020 23:32:51 +0000 Sarah Gooding WPTavern: Automattic Releases Spearhead, a Seedlet Child Theme Aimed at Podcasters and Content Creators https://wptavern.com/?p=107225 https://wptavern.com/automattic-releases-spearhead-a-seedlet-child-theme-aimed-at-podcasters-and-content-creators?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=automattic-releases-spearhead-a-seedlet-child-theme-aimed-at-podcasters-and-content-creators <img />Spearhead theme blog/posts page. <p class="has-drop-cap">Last Thursday, Automattic announced its <a href="https://wordpress.com/blog/2020/10/29/spearhead/">new Spearhead theme</a> to WordPress.com users, which primarily focuses on podcasters. However, the team has marketed it toward content creators in general. It is a child theme of the company&rsquo;s recently-released <a href="https://wptavern.com/exploring-seedlet-automattics-block-first-wordpress-theme">Seedlet theme</a>. Cece Yu originally created the design for the <a href="https://spearhead.co/">Spearhead</a> podcast, which is currently in use on the website.</p> <p>Spearhead is not just a theme for WordPress.com users. Self-hosted WordPress users can expect availability in the future. &ldquo;Adding Spearhead to the themes directory is on our to-do list,&rdquo; said Jeff Ong, a designer at Automattic. &ldquo;Just haven&rsquo;t gotten round to it yet.&rdquo;</p> <p>For self-hosted users who want to give the child theme a spin right now, Automattic hosts all of its free themes in a <a href="https://github.com/Automattic/themes">GitHub mono-repository</a>. The Spearhead theme is located in its own <code>/spearhead</code> sub-directory.</p> <p>The announcement post said that the theme is fully block powered. This would be better reworded to say that it is a block-first WordPress theme. When full-site editing lands in core WordPress, we can start saying that themes are fully powered by blocks. Until then, it is just the content that is made of blocks. And, Spearhead&rsquo;s parent theme is a prime example of a solid block-first theme. I imagine it will be the springboard of many upcoming themes from Automattic&rsquo;s theme designers, whether that is in the form of a building child themes or using it as a starter.</p> <p>Given Spearhead&rsquo;s podcast roots, the development team wrote a small function to locate an Audio block from the post content and present it on the blog and other archive-type pages below the excerpt. In the past, this sort of feature was difficult to achieve because of little-to-no standardization on audio output. However, the block system makes it possible with just a few lines of code.</p> <h2>Automatic Dark Mode Support</h2> <img />Light vs. dark modes based on OS settings. <p class="has-drop-cap">One of the more interesting aspects of Spearhead is its support for users who are browsing the web in dark mode. This setting is located in various locations based on the user&rsquo;s operating system. However, when enabled by the user, the theme automatically detects this and switches its color scheme.</p> <p>This system uses the <code>prefers-color-scheme</code> <a href="https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/@media/prefers-color-scheme">CSS media feature</a> to style for dark mode. This feature is generally <a href="https://caniuse.com/?search=prefers-color-scheme">supported</a> by most modern web browsers. For browsers and operating systems without dark/light mode support, users will see the default light color scheme for the theme.</p> <p>I generally prefer light color schemes, but this is one of the few dark color schemes that is at least comparable or maybe better than the light one. Far too often, I find dark schemes unreadable for long-form content, but the development team took care to select a palette that works well for whatever the site visitor chooses.</p> <h2>Custom Block Patterns</h2> <img />Inserting the Podcast Links block pattern. <p class="has-drop-cap">Spearhead removes the three patterns registered by the Seedlet parent theme. It then registers four of its own patterns:</p> <ul><li>Related Posts</li><li>Archive Page</li><li>Podcast Links</li><li>Podcast Links List</li></ul> <p>The Related Posts pattern requires the Jetpack plugin to be installed. Currently, the theme does not check if the plugin is active before registering the pattern. Presumably, this is because Jetpack features are available on all WordPress.com sites. However, the development team will need to address this before submitting it to the WordPress.org theme directory.</p> <p>The Archive pattern allows users to create an archive page on their site. It displays a search form, the latest posts, and the site&rsquo;s categories. It is not quite as fully featured as a complete archive plugin. However, it does replace what is often the traditional archive page template shipped with many themes. The use of a pattern is a nice shift that gives users more flexibility to change the output than what is possible with page templates. </p> <p>It will be interesting to see if more theme authors follow suit and reevaluate their theme&rsquo;s page templates. Transitioning to a block pattern may be a better option in many cases.</p> <p>The Podcast Links pattern outputs a Navigation block with links to sites that host podcasts. End-users will want to update the link URLs. The Podcast Links List pattern is similar. Surprisingly, it is not actually a list. It is a paragraph of links and does not have the same prefix text.</p> Tue, 03 Nov 2020 22:24:24 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: WordPress 2019 Survey Results Show Professionals Slow to Adopt Block Editor, 2020 Survey Now Open https://wptavern.com/?p=106946 https://wptavern.com/wordpress-2019-survey-results-show-professionals-slow-to-adopt-block-editor-2020-survey-now-open?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-2019-survey-results-show-professionals-slow-to-adopt-block-editor-2020-survey-now-open <p>WordPress has opened its <a href="https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/take-the-2020-wordpress-annual-survey-and-view-the-2019-results/">2020 Annual Survey</a>, a short set of questions designed to collect more information on how different groups of people are using the software. It takes approximately 5 minutes to complete and all data is anonymized. </p> <p>WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy <a href="https://twitter.com/JosephaHaden/status/1321227911462936576">said</a> she uses the results from the survey to inform her plans and recommendations all year long. In addition to providing valuable information for WordPress&rsquo; leadership, the results will also be shared with the wider community. </p> <p>The Community Team has prepared a report with results from the 2015 and 2019 surveys, which had not been previously published. The <a href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1FI7eEvSB5SHTSILIBpwOmH9rBffgD6mFnnqSkrEScYo/edit">2019 results</a> are summarized in a set of Google slides and are also <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bq62sficymopgos/AAA-wx73cDviVG84NSCTgjNDa?dl=0">available as a PDF or PPT</a>. </p> <p>Despite 2019 being the first year that the survey was translated into five different languages, it only received 6,203 respondents, as compared to nearly 46,000 in 2015. The highest number of responses came from Europe (62%) and Asia (12%), while North American engagement has declined drastically to just 10%. Unchanged from previous years, most WordPress users identify as male (79%).</p> <h2>2019 NPS Results: Detractors are Steadily Shrinking</h2> <p>The 164-page report has a lot of information to digest but one of the highlights is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). It is a loyalty metric derived from users&rsquo; responses to the question of how likely they are to recommend WordPress to friends, colleagues, or clients. It provides an informal measurement of user satisfaction or perception.</p> <p>WordPress&rsquo; 2019 NPS was 54, an increase from previous scores of 50 and 52. Promoters remain static while Detractors are steadily shrinking. This score, however, is skewed towards representing those who have a favorable enough opinion of WordPress to take the time to respond to the survey. The software&rsquo;s truest detractors have likely already moved on to following other tech communities and may be underrepresented in the NPS score.</p> <img /> <p>More than 75% of respondents have been using WordPress for three years or more. Results indicated the project&rsquo;s open source community is an important driver for why people use the software:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>&ldquo;Nearly six-in-ten (59%) of survey respondents choose WordPress because it&rsquo;s what they know best. Half (50%) say they enjoy its open source community. Nearly half (48%) say WordPress has the features they need.&rdquo;</p></blockquote> <p>This indicates that the WordPress community provides a factor of &ldquo;stickiness&rdquo; equal to that of the features the software offers. Improving and maintaining a healthy community is an important consideration for user retention, since a user sticking with WordPress is just as important as attracting new users. </p> <h2>CMS Usage on the Rise Among Professionals, Blogging Is Declining</h2> <p>The 2019 survey found that 76% of professionals are using WordPress as a CMS, with slightly higher numbers (79%) for the WordPress Company Pros segment (those who work for a company that designs/develops websites). Blogging usage among professionals is consistently declining. </p> <img /> <p>In the segment of respondents reporting as Users, blogging is also on the decline, with 49% using WordPress as a personal blog in 2019 vs. 63% in previous years (2015-2017).</p> <h2>WordPress Professionals Slow to Adopt the Block Editor</h2> <p>One noteworthy section in the 2019 results includes data on block editor adoption. When asked &ldquo;Which editor do you currently use?&rdquo;, 53% of respondents who identified as professionals said they are using the Classic Editor. This indicates the block editor is still finding its footing among professionals. An increasing percentage of these professionals are also self-employed (44% in 2019 vs 36% in 2016).</p> <p>Another question asked, &ldquo;Have you or your team built blocks for the new editor?&rdquo; Less than half of those using the new editor confirmed they have new blocks added for using it, and 17% were not sure. If more than half of professionals have yet to adopt the new editor, it seems the market for block-based products has a great deal of room to grow.</p> <img /> <p>Block editor adoption among Users could be as low as 36% or as high as 56%, but a large portion of users (20%) are unsure which editor they are using. This is not a bad thing, as most new users will have no prior knowledge of the Classic editor. Results from the 2020 survey should be useful for tracking adoption of the block editor over a longer period of time since its debut in WordPress 5.0 (2018.)</p> <img /> <p>Attendance at WordPress community events, such as meetups and WordCamps, seemed to be on the rise, as well as submitting bug reports and contributing to documentation. However, 2019 saw a sharp decline in the percentage of those who report having created their own theme (61% to 42%) or plugin (50% to 38%), when compared with previous years. The percentage of core contributors (5%) has remained steady. This might mean that creating themes and plugins is becoming more difficult or less rewarding, or perhaps the survey attracted more of a different type of user than it did in previous years. There are any number of explanations but this may be a trend to continue watching.</p> <img /> <h2>WordPress Users Remain Uneasy about Auto-Updates, Positive Sentiment is Declining</h2> <p>In light of the incident last week where <a href="https://wptavern.com/wordpress-auto-update-system-misfires-updating-live-sites-to-an-alpha-release">WordPress&rsquo; auto-update system misfired</a>, updating live sites to an alpha version, the survey includes valuable data about how users are feeling about this feature. The data from 2019 indicates that positive sentiments regarding auto-updates were already on the decline since 2015. </p> <img /> <p>Those reporting that they loved auto-updates declined from 41% to 35%. The percentage of those who would like to see auto-updates for major releases of WordPress declined from 24% to 15%. Positive sentiment regarding theme and plugin auto-updates also decreased. Meanwhile, awareness of auto-updates increased in 2019, and slightly more users reported the feature makes them nervous or that they hate it.</p> <p>These are just a few major highlights from the 2019 survey results, but the report includes much more detailed data regarding contributor satisfaction, time spent contributing, contributors&rsquo; experiences, and other topics. Check out all the summaries in the Google docs <a href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1FI7eEvSB5SHTSILIBpwOmH9rBffgD6mFnnqSkrEScYo/edit#slide=id.g71a4c4edc6_3_232">presentation</a>, and make sure to <a href="https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/take-the-2020-wordpress-annual-survey-and-view-the-2019-results/">take the 2020 survey</a> to improve the representation of WordPress users this year. </p> Mon, 02 Nov 2020 23:12:46 +0000 Sarah Gooding WPTavern: Full-Site Editing Is Not the End of Artistic WordPress Themes https://wptavern.com/?p=106872 https://wptavern.com/full-site-editing-is-not-the-end-of-artistic-wordpress-themes?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=full-site-editing-is-not-the-end-of-artistic-wordpress-themes <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>These plain canvas-like themes have until now been a choice for those who prefer it (those who like to design their own thing), but this article makes it sound like these types of themes should be the only choice in the future of WP.</p><p>This is worrisome to me as a non-designer who looks for themes specifically based on things like attractive button styles.</p><p>FSE sounds bad for people like me, who aren&rsquo;t artistic, can&rsquo;t coordinate colors, and want themes to do the artistic stuff.</p></blockquote> <p>This was the <a href="https://wptavern.com/q-first-fse-wordpress-theme-now-live#comment-350166">response by a Tavern reader</a> named Isabel on the recent <a href="https://wptavern.com/q-first-fse-wordpress-theme-now-live">coverage of the Q theme</a>, an experimental project for the upcoming full-site editing (FSE) feature of WordPress. More specifically, she was worried about a thought that Ari Stathopoulos, the theme designer, had made asking that theme authors not get too opinionated with their default styles for things like buttons and so on. His view seemed to lean more toward creating open and customizable themes. However, it is not the only valid opinion on what themes should look like.</p> <p>This is not much different than what we have experienced over the previous decade or more. Some theme authors build open canvasses for users to customize. Other theme authors build intricately-designed layouts with unique textures, shapes, and forms.</p> <p>This is not going to change when FSE lands in core WordPress. Themes are merely the expression of the designer&rsquo;s vision for what a site could look like, and not all theme authors think about design in the same ways.</p> <p>The Q theme is meant as a starting point or testbed for FSE. There will be many open-canvas themes. These types of themes are already wildly popular, particularly when used in conjunction with a page builder. Astra has over a million installs. Hello Elementor has surpassed 400,000. GeneratePress has over 300,000. There is big money in this segment of the theme market. FSE will undoubtedly help to increase the competition.</p> <p>However, that is not all that themers are giving us. The recently-released <a href="https://wordpress.org/themes/photofocus/">PhotoFocus</a> theme by Catch Themes is on the upward trend, inching its way into the popular themes list on WordPress.org. And, there are hundreds of other options that go beyond the plain ol&rsquo; open, black-text-on-white-background themes built for customization by the end-user.</p> <p>I simply do not see the current trends shifting too much. Yes, those trends already lean heavily toward open-canvas themes. FSE will allow developers to build those types of themes for core WordPress instead of page builders much more easily. </p> <p>However, this is also an opportunity for those who want to experiment with more artistry to do so.</p> <p>Stathopoulos did say:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>It&rsquo;s tempting to add extremely opinionated styles, for buttons for example, but more and more things get added every day to the editor like a border-radius setting for buttons.</p></blockquote> <p>But, we must put that into the context of his followup remarks:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>Theme authors should avoid the trap of designing an FSE theme having in mind what the editor currently does. Instead, theme authors should strive to build something having in mind a vision of what the editor will eventually become.</p></blockquote> <p>He is not saying that every theme needs to be plain and boring. He is not saying that theme authors should be reluctant to put a unique spin on the Button block, for example. He is saying that theme authors need to evaluate how they approach design based on what block options are available for end-users.</p> <p>Buttons are a good example of this. With the border-radius option that allows end-users to control rounded corners for buttons, he means that theme authors should not overwrite border-radius styles in their CSS. Users should have the <em>option</em> to control it if they want. He is also talking about using the eventual Global Styles system to set up defaults. If theme authors want rounded buttons by default, they should use the system that WordPress provides rather than writing the CSS. He wants theme authors to be aware of the current block options and styles while preparing for new options in the future.</p> <p>This upcoming era of theming changes how theme authors work with the system. It does not mean they cannot branch out in terms of design.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s where the block editor project makes things more interesting for those users who want things like &ldquo;attractive button styles&rdquo; but lack some of the artistic skills expected from the theme&rsquo;s designer. The block system is set up for unlimited variations on what themes can provide to end-users.</p> <p>Sticking with the Button block example, users can already see two block styles named Fill and Outline in WordPress as shown in the following screenshot.</p> <img />Using the Outline block style. <p>Theme authors can add all sorts of style variations today, and some have already done so. Block styles offer a lot of variety, and WordPress allows users to further customize these if they wish to do so.</p> <p>WordPress also offers two different block patterns that utilize the Buttons block. They are basic two and three-button layouts. However, theme authors can use the Patterns API to create any number of layout options using buttons.</p> <img />Inserting the &ldquo;two buttons&rdquo; block pattern into the editor. <p>Stathopoulos&rsquo;s comments on not being too opinionated should also be taken in the context of the upcoming Global Styles system, which is currently being tested in the Gutenberg plugin. This system allows theme authors to set up global, default options for everything. They can also drill down and set up default options for individual blocks. For example, a theme author can set a default background gradient, rounded corners, and any other options available for the Button block. These default options can span the width of the spectrum, from a simple and understated square button to a rounded button with a vibrant gradient background and a drop-shadow. The more block options that WordPress&rsquo;s editor offers in the future, the more flexible theme authors can be with their designs.</p> <img />Experimental, per-block global styles in the site editor (feature not finished). <p>Isabel&rsquo;s concern is valid. It is tough to keep up with all the changes happening and those that are on the feature list of the future. The Gutenberg project moves fast, and when we write about features or experimental themes, it is easy to overlook some of those questions that the average user might have.</p> <p>To put some users&rsquo; minds at ease, future WordPress themes will undoubtedly offer a breadth of artistic designs that are suitable for all sorts of websites. Designers and non-designers alike should look forward to the months and years ahead.</p> Mon, 02 Nov 2020 22:12:58 +0000 Justin Tadlock WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.6 Beta 3 https://wordpress.org/news/?p=9234 https://wordpress.org/news/2020/11/wordpress-5-6-beta-3/ <p>WordPress 5.6 Beta 3 is now available for testing!</p> <p><strong>This software is still in development,</strong>&nbsp;so we recommend that you run this version on a test site.</p> <p>You can test the WordPress 5.6 beta in two ways:</p> <ul><li>Try the&nbsp;<a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-beta-tester/">WordPress Beta Tester</a>&nbsp;plugin (choose the “bleeding edge nightlies?option).</li><li>Or&nbsp;<a href="https://wordpress.org/wordpress-5.6-beta3.zip">download the beta here&nbsp;(zip)</a>.</li></ul> <p>The current target for the final release is December 8, 2020. This is just&nbsp;<strong>five weeks away</strong>, so your help is needed to ensure this release is tested properly.</p> <p>Thank you to all of the contributors that tested the&nbsp;<a href="https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/wordpress-5-6-beta-2/">beta 2&nbsp;</a>development release and provided feedback. Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing each release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.</p> <h2><strong>Some Highlights</strong></h2> <p>Since&nbsp;beta 2,&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=closed&changetime=10%2F28%2F2020..11%2F03%2F2020&milestone=5.6&group=component&col=id&col=summary&col=owner&col=type&col=priority&col=component&col=version&order=priority">20 bugs</a>&nbsp;have been fixed. Here is a summary of a few changes included in beta 3:</p> <ul><li>Added block patterns for Twenty Twenty (see&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51098">#51098</a>) and Twenty Nineteen (see&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51099">#51099</a>) themes.</li><li>Added theme support for navigation-widgets (see&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51445">#51445</a>).</li><li>Fixed incorrect slashes in the URL if the parent is empty for REST API (see&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/44745">#44745</a>).</li><li>Added a test to Site Health to verify that the&nbsp;<code>Authorization</code>&nbsp;header is working as expected for Application Passwords (see&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51638">#51638</a>).</li><li>10 additional bugs fixed in the block editor (see&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/26588">#26588</a>).</li></ul> <p>To see all of the features for each Gutenberg release in detail, check out the release posts:&nbsp;<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/07/22/whats-new-in-gutenberg-july-22/">8.6</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/08/05/whats-new-in-gutenberg-august-5/">8.7</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/08/19/whats-new-in-gutenberg-august-19/">8.8</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/09/03/whats-new-in-gutenberg-2-september/">8.9</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/09/16/whats-new-in-gutenberg-16-september/">9.0</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/01/whats-new-in-gutenberg-30-september/">9.1</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/21/whats-new-in-gutenberg-21-october/">9.2</a>, and <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/releases/tag/v9.3.0-rc.1">9.3</a>.</p> <h2 id="block-76156b2b-0a52-4502-b585-6cbe9481f55b">Developer notes</h2> <p id="block-3fe5e264-0a95-4f12-9a18-0cb9dc5955d1">WordPress 5.6 has lots of refinements to the developer experience as well. To keep up, subscribe to the&nbsp;<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/">Make WordPress Core blog</a>&nbsp;and pay special attention to the&nbsp;<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/tag/5-6+dev-notes/">developers?notes</a>&nbsp;for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.</p> <h2 id="block-bc89fd56-47b0-439f-8e2c-4a642c80a616">How to Help</h2> <p id="block-9d871099-ec49-446c-8322-9e49b7498c10">If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the&nbsp;<a href="https://wordpress.org/support/forum/alphabeta/">Alpha/Beta area</a>&nbsp;in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you!</p> <p id="block-bd71c1d3-39d9-4b2a-8193-3486497b45fd">If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report,&nbsp;<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/newticket">file one on WordPress Trac</a>,&nbsp;where you can also find a list of&nbsp;<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=new&milestone=5.6&group=component&col=id&col=summary&col=owner&col=type&col=priority&col=component&col=version&order=priority">known bugs</a>.</p> <p><em>Props to <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/hellofromtonya/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>hellofromtonya</a> for help and <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/chanthaboune/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>chanthaboune</a>  for final review.</em></p> Mon, 02 Nov 2020 21:23:07 +0000 Chloe Bringmann WordPress.org blog: The Month in WordPress: October 2020 https://wordpress.org/news/?p=9225 https://wordpress.org/news/2020/11/the-month-in-wordpress-october-2020/ <p>October 2020 was a notable month for WordPress lovers, thanks to the release of several products and updates. Read on to keep up with all the latest news!</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator" /> <h2>The 2020 WordPress Annual Survey is out</h2> <p>The team published the <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-english">2020 WordPress Annual survey</a> ?amp;nbsp; to help those who build WordPress to understand more about our software usage and our contributors?experience. The Annual Survey will be open for at least 6 weeks and is available in <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-french">French</a>, <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-german">German</a>, <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-japanese">Japanese</a>, <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-russian">Russian</a>, and <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-spanish">Spanish</a>. The survey results (once complete) will be posted on <a href="https://wordpress.org/news/">WordPress.org/news</a>. The<a href="https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/take-the-2020-wordpress-annual-survey-and-view-the-2019-results/"> 2019 survey results</a> have also been released and can now be viewed as <a href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1FI7eEvSB5SHTSILIBpwOmH9rBffgD6mFnnqSkrEScYo/edit">slides</a> or downloaded in <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bq62sficymopgos/AAA-wx73cDviVG84NSCTgjNDa?dl=0">PDF format</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h2>WordPress Translation celebrations spanned four weeks</h2> <p>The last week of September and most of October were focused on recruiting and encouraging polyglot contributors to the WordPress translation project. What was originally envisioned as a single-day event lasted 24 days! The Polyglots and Marketing Teams are exploring how future mini-events can be supported to continue building the momentum. Recordings of the live talks and interviews with contributors are available <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCVEqsAbLfffK5WzOT9BhPsh82HgM8vj1">on YouTube</a>. Write-ups from the different events are <a href="https://wptranslationday.org/">on the WPTranslationDay website</a>. </p> <p>Want to help WordPress speak your own language? Follow <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/polyglots">the Polyglots team blog</a> and join the <a href="https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C02RP50LK">#polyglots</a> channel in <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/chat/">the Making WordPress Slack group</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h2>WordPress maintenance and beta releases</h2> <p>The Core team released <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/30/wordpress-5-5-3-release-some-technical-details/">WordPress 5.5.3 on Oct. 31</a>, following the release of Version <a href="https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/wordpress-5-5-2-security-and-maintenance-release/">5.5.2 on Oct. 29</a>. Both releases fix several bugs and security issues with WordPress. You can update to the latest version directly from your WordPress dashboard or <a href="https://wordpress.org/download/">download</a> it now from WordPress.org.&nbsp; The team also released WordPress 5.6 <a href="https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/wordpress-5-6-beta-1/">Beta 1</a> on Oct. 20, followed by <a href="https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/wordpress-5-6-beta-2/">Beta 2 </a>on Oct. 27. When ready, the final release will include improvements to the editor, auto-updates for major releases, PHP 8 support, and the Twenty Twenty One theme. You can test the Beta versions by <a href="https://wordpress.org/wordpress-5.6-beta2.zip">downloading them from WordPress.org</a> or using the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-beta-tester/">WordPress Beta Tester</a> plugin.<br /></p> <p>Want to be involved in the next release? Follow WordPress 5.6 updates on the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/5-6/">development cycle</a> and sign-up for the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/22/code-review-commit-office-hours-for-5-6/">code review/commit office hours</a>. You can help build WordPress Core by following<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/"> the Core team blog</a> and joining the <a href="https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C02RQBWTW">#core</a> channel in <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/chat/">the Making WordPress Slack group</a>. If you would like to help out with WordPress 5.6 outreach, contact the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/marketing/">WordPress Marketing team</a> on the <a href="https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C0GKJ7TFA">#marketing</a> channel.</p> <h2>Gutenberg 9.2 is released</h2> <p><a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/21/whats-new-in-gutenberg-21-october/">Version 9.2</a> of the Gutenberg plugin came out on Oct. 21. This release offers support for video subtitles, the ability to transform selected blocks into the columns block, background patterns in cover blocks, along with several exciting features such as improvements to the widget screen, as well as bug fixes. You can find out more about the Gutenberg roadmap in the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/01/whats-next-in-gutenberg-october/">What’s next in Gutenberg blog post</a>.</p> <p>Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/">the Core team blog</a>, contribute to <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/">Gutenberg on GitHub</a>, and join the #core-editor channel in <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/chat/">the Making WordPress Slack group</a>.</p> <h2>Learn WordPress is gearing up for launch</h2> <p>The <a href="https://learn.wordpress.org/">Learn WordPress</a> initiative, which offers <a href="https://learn.wordpress.org/workshops/">WordPress video workshops</a> followed by <a href="https://www.meetup.com/learn-wordpress-discussions/">interactive discussions</a>, is aiming to put out two courses by the end of the year as part of its full launch. The team is working on creating courses and is requesting feedback from community members on the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/community/2020/10/23/learn-wordpress-course-planning/">planned list of courses</a>.<br /><br />Want to contribute to Learn WordPress? You can now submit a <a href="https://learn.wordpress.org/workshop-presenter-application/">workshop application</a> (submissions in non-English languages are welcome), apply to become a <a href="https://learn.wordpress.org/discussion-group-leader-application/">discussion group leader</a>, organize <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/community/handbook/virtual-events/organize-learn-wordpress-discussion-groups-for-your-wordpress-meetup/">discussions for your local WordPress meetup group</a>, or <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/training/2020/10/14/call-for-screenshots-contributors/">update screenshots</a> on existing <a href="https://learn.wordpress.org/lesson-plans/">lesson plans</a>.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator" /> <h2>Further Reading:</h2> <ul><li>The <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/updates/2020/10/20/quarterly-updates-q3-2020/">Q3 2020 update</a> from the WordPress project is now out!</li><li>The <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/marketing/">WordPress Marketing team</a> has put together a list of <a href="https://github.com/wpmarketingteam/WP5.5">WordPress 5.5 marketing resources</a> consisting of video presentations, slides, questions &amp; answers, social media posts, and more &#8211; aimed at both developers and non-developers. The team has also prepared a list of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCVEqsAbLffcS1Rx-COZ5CZBOmXZJEe6k">captioned screen-recordings</a> in several languages to aid new contributors. Contact the team on the <a href="https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C0GKJ7TFA">#marketing</a> channel if you would like to contribute to these and upcoming projects.&nbsp;</li><li>The <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core">WordPress Core team</a> has <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/09/23/proposal-rest-api-authentication-application-passwords/">announced a proposal</a> to introduce application passwords for REST API integrations.</li><li>Five online WordCamps took place in October: <a href="https://2020.rochester.wordcamp.org/">WordCamp Rochester, NY</a>, <a href="https://austin.wordcamp.org/2020/">WordCamp Austin, TX</a>, <a href="https://2020.italia.wordcamp.org/">WordCamp Italia Online</a>, <a href="https://la.wordcamp.org/2020/">WordCamp Los Angeles, CA</a>, and <a href="https://bulgaria.wordcamp.org/2020/">WordCamp Bulgaria Online</a>. You can find livestream recaps of these camps on their websites. The camps are also in the process of uploading their videos to <a href="https://wordpress.tv/">WordPress.tv</a>. Check out the <a href="https://central.wordcamp.org/schedule/">WordCamp Schedule</a> to catch up with upcoming online WordCamps.</li><li>Contributor teams have started work on <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/22/twenty-twenty-one-dark-mode-discussion/">adding dark mode support for the Twenty Twenty One theme</a>. Additionally, the development of the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/themes/2020/10/23/developing-the-full-site-editing-version-of-twenty-twenty-one/">Full Site Editing version of Twenty Twenty One</a> has also kicked-off in the <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/theme-experiments/tree/master/twentytwentyone-blocks">Theme Experiments GitHub repository</a>.</li><li><a href="https://buddypress.org/2020/10/buddypress-7-0-0-beta1/">BuddyPress 7.0 beta</a>, which comes with new administration screens, blocks, and improved CLI support &#8211; is now available!&nbsp;</li><li>The Core team is <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/06/revisiting-starter-content-on-org-and-beyond/">revisiting starter content for WordPress themes</a> as part of the 5.6 release. The team also decided not to ship the widgets screen in WordPress 5.6 and have started discussions on <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/29/discussion-align-the-wordpress-release-cycle-with-the-industry-standard/">aligning the WordPress release cycle with industry standards</a>.</li><li>WordPress Accessibility enthusiasts all over the world joined hands for the first ever 24 hour <a href="https://wpaccessibilityday.org/">WP Accessibility day</a> event on Oct. 2. You can find the recorded livestream of the event on its <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCes9XCUZd51CAigbBEGlfNg/featured?view_as=subscriber">YouTube channel</a>.</li><li>The <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/meta">Meta</a> team has <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/meta/2020/10/27/block-pattern-directory-ideas-and-discussion/">kicked off a discussion</a> on setting up a <a href="https://developer.wordpress.org/block-editor/developers/block-api/block-patterns/">Block pattern</a> directory (similar to the <a href="https://wordpress.org/support/article/block-directory/">existing block directory</a>).&nbsp;</li><li>The <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/themes">Themes</a> team has published a post clarifying <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/themes/2020/10/07/block-based-themes-and-wordpress-5-6/">how Block based themes will work with WordPress 5.6</a>. Check out the <a href="https://developer.wordpress.org/block-editor/tutorials/block-based-themes/">block-based theme tutorial</a> and its <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/blob/master/docs/designers-developers/developers/themes/block-based-themes.md">documentation</a> to learn how to build block-based themes.&nbsp;</li></ul> <p><em>Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress?post? Please </em><a href="https://make.wordpress.org/community/month-in-wordpress-submissions/"><em>submit it here</em></a><em>.</em></p> Mon, 02 Nov 2020 18:14:00 +0000 Hari Shanker R WPTavern: WordPress Auto-Update System Misfires, Updating Live Sites to an Alpha Release https://wptavern.com/?p=107076 https://wptavern.com/wordpress-auto-update-system-misfires-updating-live-sites-to-an-alpha-release?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-auto-update-system-misfires-updating-live-sites-to-an-alpha-release <p>WordPress&rsquo; Core systems team had an eventful Friday when an error in the auto-update system caused sites to update to WordPress 5.5.3-alpha-49449, including live production sites with no auto-update constants defined. </p> <div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I just had a random production site auto-update itself to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WordPress?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WordPress</a> 5.5.3-alpha &#128552; Anyone else seeing this?</p>&mdash; Mark Root-Wiley (@MRWweb) <a href="https://twitter.com/MRWweb/status/1322199942333526018?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 30, 2020</a></blockquote> </div> <p>Those who received an email about the update logged into their sites to see the message:&nbsp;&ldquo;BETA TESTERS: This site is set up to install updates of future beta versions automatically.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Shaun Rieman logged the first ticket about <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51679">sites being updated to 5.5.3-alpha-49449</a>, which was also incidentally his first WordPress trac ticket. More users and developers confirmed the issue.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s worth noting that there&rsquo;s no functional difference between 5.5.2 and 5.5.3-alpha, so there&rsquo;s no need to worry in that regard,&rdquo; core committer John Blackbourn said. </p> <p>Sites that were accidentally updated also installed all the default themes released over the last decade, as well as Akismet. Developers will need to manually delete the bundled themes that they don&rsquo;t need.</p> <p>In under an hour, all affected sites were automatically returned to 5.5.2, but the incident has eroded trust and damaged confidence in the auto-update system. Several commenting on the ticket asked how they can explicitly disable development updates.</p> <p>&ldquo;The worrying thing is that a single developer can do this, seemingly without any checking or confirmation by other developers,&rdquo; UK-based developer Paul Stenning said. &ldquo;This is a serious security concern as a rogue developer could push out malicious code in an update that nobody else checks.&rdquo;</p> <p>WordPress agency owner Rob Migchels, who had approximately 50 websites affected, tracked 18 minutes between the the trac ticket (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51679">#51679</a>) and receiving the fix. </p> <p>&ldquo;The 5.5.3-alpha issue is a side effect of another issue that occurred on 5.5.2,&rdquo; WordPress engineer and 5.6 Triage release lead Tonya Mork said. Jake Spurlock published an official statement regarding the incident as part of the <a href="https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/wordpress-5-5-3-maintenance-release/">5.5.3 release notes</a>:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>&ldquo;Earlier today &mdash; between approximately 15:30 and 16:00 UTC &mdash; the auto-update system for WordPress updated some sites from version 5.5.2 to version 5.5.3-alpha. This auto-update was due to an error in the Updates API caused by the 5.5.3 release preparations.&rdquo;</p></blockquote> <p>Spurlock elaborated on the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/30/wordpress-5-5-3-release-some-technical-details/">technical details</a> in a separate post on the WordPress development blog:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>While work was being done to prepare for WordPress 5.5.3, the release team attempted to make 5.5.2 unavailable for download on WordPress.org to limit the spread of the issue noted in the section above, as the error only affected fresh installations. This action resulted in some installations being updated to a pre-release &ldquo;5.5.3-alpha&rdquo; version.</p></blockquote> <p>In a situation like this, where users who haven&rsquo;t elected to run their live sites on beta releases are getting a forced update, site owners might wonder whether this update is actually arriving from WordPress, or if the system has been hijacked. </p> <p>Security researcher Slavco Mihajloski, who <a href="https://wptavern.com/loginizer-plugin-gets-forced-security-update-for-vulnerabilities-affecting-1-million-users">commented</a> last week on the lack of transparency regarding how automatic updates are tested and performed, said this incident highlights the need for more openness surrounding the process.</p> <p>&ldquo;Why is transparency important? Because procedure will become public and when public, the community will be able to contribute in order to improve it,&rdquo; Mihajloski said. &ldquo;At the moment it is more than obvious that this process and the whole security at WP.dot org lacks QA and QC. Each task is left to an individual or closed group. Imagine the following: what if an automatic security update could be pushed only if: &ndash; X out of Y (where X &lt; Y) authorities agree that update is fine &ndash; have a pilot update on let&rsquo;s say 100 different servers (I hope .org could afford this) where regression tests will be fired against each one. The current problems would not occur.&rdquo;</p> <p>Automatic background updates for minor releases have saved developers thousands of hours in updating sites. A UI for allowing users to opt into automatic updates for major releases is on the roadmap for WordPress 5.6, expected in early December. </p> <p>This particular accidental update has betrayed for many developers what was already a somewhat fragile trust in the auto-update system. It doesn&rsquo;t shore up more confidence for selling the idea of core updates when 5.6 is released, but it doesn&rsquo;t mean that auto-updates are not a good idea. WordPress.org will need to put better processes in place in order to win back users&rsquo; trust.</p> <p>The incident affected more than 100 sites for WordPress agency owner Robert Staddon. He reports that they all displayed the &ldquo;Update now&rdquo; button with the confusing and incorrect text seen below. Staddon said the incident has not yet caused him to change his approach to allowing clients to receive auto-updates. </p> <img /> <p>&ldquo;I was very grateful for the extraordinarily fast response time to get the problem fixed,&rdquo; Staddon said. &ldquo;However, it did shake my confidence in the WordPress auto-update process. Considering the number of websites using WordPress, a mistake of this magnitude could end up having a rather catastrophic effect around the web. I would hope that the core team would be able to evaluate how this happened and consider putting some checks in place to make sure it doesn&rsquo;t happen again.&rdquo;</p> Fri, 30 Oct 2020 22:57:16 +0000 Sarah Gooding WPTavern: Twenty Twenty-One Blocks Theme Launching as a Separate Project https://wptavern.com/?p=107065 https://wptavern.com/twenty-twenty-one-blocks-theme-launching-as-a-separate-project?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=twenty-twenty-one-blocks-theme-launching-as-a-separate-project <img />Twenty Twenty-One in the Gutenberg site editor. <p class="has-drop-cap">Last Friday, Themes Team representative Carolina Nymark announced the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/themes/2020/10/23/developing-the-full-site-editing-version-of-twenty-twenty-one/">Twenty Twenty-One Blocks </a>theme project. It is a block-based version of the Twenty Twenty-One default theme that is shipping along with WordPress 5.6. It will work with the site editor available in the Gutenberg plugin. Developers will work on the two themes as separate projects.</p> <p>The original plan was to <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/09/23/introducing-twenty-twenty-one/">explore support for full-site editing</a> after the WordPress Beta 1 release for Twenty Twenty-One. Some had hoped that support would land in the theme itself. However, a second theme could be a better path in the long run.</p> <p>As I wrote in my <a href="https://wptavern.com/first-look-at-twenty-twenty-one-wordpresss-upcoming-default-theme">original coverage of Twenty Twenty-One</a>, it did not seem likely that full-site editing would be far enough along in development for it to be a primary feature for the theme. Since the feature will not be in WordPress 5.6, it makes sense to develop for it outside of the primary theme for the time being.</p> <p>&ldquo;Twenty Twenty-One Blocks is an experimental theme created as an example to highlight what is possible with Full Site Editing,&rdquo; wrote Nymark in the announcement. &ldquo;The theme will need Gutenberg and the Full Site Editing experiment to be enabled. It will not be part of Core, but once complete it will be available in the theme directory.&rdquo;</p> <p>Currently, there are no plans to integrate the two themes down the road. They will be maintained as separate projects. This sounds like a smart strategy for this theme. It will allow developers to work on the Blocks theme as a separate entity in the coming months without having to worry about potential problems with merging.</p> <p>I am excited about this project because it means we get a somewhat official, though not technically a default, theme that supports full-site editing. Otherwise, the community would have had to wait another year for the Twenty Twenty-Two theme, which will presumably be 100% built with blocks.</p> <p>The <a href="https://wptavern.com/q-first-fse-wordpress-theme-now-live">Q theme</a> by Ari Stathopoulos, a Themes Team representative, is a little farther along at the moment. It is a solid starting point and learning tool. However, there should be a theme project coming from core WordPress developers that is leading the way for other theme authors. There is a sense of trust, particularly for first-time theme authors, when picking apart an officially-supported theme that it is built to current standards. That is why Twenty Twenty-One Blocks is important.</p> <p>Thus far, little work has gone into the theme, much of it coming from the <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/theme-experiments/pull/57">original pull request</a> to kick off development from Kjell Reigstad. The theme is currently stored in the WordPress <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/theme-experiments/tree/master/twentytwentyone-blocks">Theme Experiments repository</a>. Ideally, the team will split this theme into its own GitHub repository since it will be added to the theme directory and not merely an experiment.</p> <p>For theme authors who want to cut their teeth on building block-based themes, this would be a good place to begin taking those initial steps. Or, it will at least be a good project to follow because this is as close to an &ldquo;official&rdquo; theme that supports full-site editing that we will see for a while.</p> <p>At this point, the theme does not do a lot. It is minimal and nowhere near a block-based equivalent of Twenty Twenty-One. However, it works as well as most other themes supporting Gutenberg&rsquo;s site editor.</p> <p>For now, template parts do not seem to be working on the front end. However, template parts have been hit or miss in my tests for a while, sometimes seemingly working only by some randomly magical force that rears its head when I close in on the limits of my frustration &mdash; it will likely begin working immediately after publishing this post. That is often the nature of testing alpha-level software. Nevertheless, I am excited about following the development of this theme in the coming weeks and months.</p> Fri, 30 Oct 2020 20:35:28 +0000 Justin Tadlock WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.5.3 Maintenance Release https://wordpress.org/news/?p=9212 https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/wordpress-5-5-3-maintenance-release/ <p>WordPress 5.5.3 is now available.&nbsp;</p> <p>This maintenance release fixes an issue introduced in WordPress 5.5.2 which makes it impossible to install WordPress on a brand new website that does not have a database connection configured. This release does not affect sites where a database connection is already configured, for example, via one-click installers or an existing <code>wp-config.php</code> file.</p> <h2>5.5.3-alpha Issue</h2> <p>Earlier today &#8212; between approximately 15:30 and 16:00 UTC &#8212; the auto-update system for WordPress updated some sites from version 5.5.2 to version 5.5.3-alpha. This auto-update was due to an error in the Updates API caused by the 5.5.3 release preparations (<a href="https://wordpress.org/support/topic/wordpress-5-5-3-alpha-auto-updates/">see more here</a>). The 5.5.3-alpha version at this point was functionally identical to 5.5.2 as no development work had been started on 5.5.3; however, the following changes may have been made to your site:</p> <ul><li>The default “Twenty?themes installed as part of the pre-release package.</li><li>The “Akismet?plugin installed as part of the pre-release package.</li></ul> <p>These themes and plugins were not activated and therefore remain non-functional unless you installed them previously. It is safe to delete these features should you prefer not to use them.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are not on 5.5.2, or have auto-updates for minor releases disabled, please manually update to the 5.5.3 version by downloading WordPress 5.5.3 or visiting Dashboard ?Updates and click “Update Now.?lt;/p> <p>For more technical details of the issue, we’ve <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/30/wordpress-5-5-3-release-some-technical-details/">posted on our Core Development blog</a>.</p> <h2>Thanks and props!</h2> <p>Thanks to those who contributed to the 5.5.3 release: <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/audrasjb/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>audrasjb</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/barry/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>barry</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/chanthaboune/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>chanthaboune</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/cbringmann/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>cbringmann</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/clorith/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>clorith</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/davidbaumwald/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>davidbaumwald</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/desrosj/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>desrosj</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/hellofromtonya/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>hellofromtonya</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/jeffpaul/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>jeffpaul</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/johnbillion/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>johnbillion</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/garubi/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>garubi</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/metalandcoffee/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>metalandcoffee</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/mukesh27/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>mukesh27</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/otto42/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>otto42</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/punitsoftac/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>punitsoftac</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/sergeybiryukov/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>sergeybiryukov</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/whyisjake/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>whyisjake</a>, and <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/xknown/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>xknown</a>.</p> Fri, 30 Oct 2020 20:25:44 +0000 Jake Spurlock WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.5.2 Security and Maintenance Release https://wordpress.org/news/?p=9189 https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/wordpress-5-5-2-security-and-maintenance-release/ <p>WordPress 5.5.2 is now available!</p> <p>This security and maintenance release features <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?milestone=5.5.2&group=component&col=id&col=summary&col=milestone&col=owner&col=type&col=status&col=priority&order=priority">14 bug fixes</a> in addition to 10 security fixes. Because this is a <strong>security release</strong>, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. All versions since WordPress 3.7 have also been updated.</p> <p>WordPress 5.5.2 is a short-cycle security and maintenance release. The next major release will be version 5.6.</p> <p>You can download WordPress 5.5.2 by downloading from WordPress.org, or visit your Dashboard ?Updates and click Update Now.</p> <p>If you have sites that support automatic background updates, they’ve already started the update process.</p> <h3>Security Updates</h3> <p>Ten security issues affect WordPress versions 5.5.1 and earlier. If you haven’t yet updated to 5.5, all WordPress versions since 3.7 have also been updated to fix the following security issues:</p> <ul><li>Props to Alex Concha of the WordPress Security Team for their work in hardening deserialization requests.</li><li>Props to David Binovec on a fix to disable spam embeds from disabled sites on a multisite network.</li><li>Thanks to Marc Montas from Sucuri for reporting an issue that could lead to XSS from global variables.</li><li>Thanks to Justin Tran who reported an issue surrounding privilege escalation in XML-RPC. He also found and disclosed an issue around privilege escalation around post commenting via XML-RPC.</li><li>Props to Omar Ganiev who reported a method where a DoS attack could lead to RCE.</li><li>Thanks to Karim El Ouerghemmi from <a href="https://www.ripstech.com/">RIPS</a> who disclosed a method to store XSS in post slugs.</li><li>Thanks to Slavco for reporting, and confirmation from Karim El Ouerghemmi, a method to bypass protected meta that could lead to arbitrary file deletion.</li><li>Thanks to Erwan LR from <a href="https://wpscan.com/">WPScan</a> who responsibly disclosed a method that could lead to CSRF. </li><li>And a special thanks to <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/zieladam/" class="mention"><span class="mentions-prefix">@</span>zieladam</a> who was integral in many of the releases and patches during this release.</li></ul> <p>Thank you to all of the reporters for <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/testing/reporting-security-vulnerabilities/">privately disclosing the vulnerabilities</a>. This gave the security team time to fix the vulnerabilities before WordPress sites could be attacked.</p> <p>For more information, browse the <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?milestone=5.5.2&group=component&col=id&col=summary&col=milestone&col=owner&col=type&col=status&col=priority&order=priority">full list of changes</a> on Trac, or check out the <a href="https://wordpress.org/support/wordpress-version/version-5-5-2/">version 5.5.2 HelpHub documentation page</a>.</p> <h2>Thanks and props!</h2> <p>The 5.5.2 release was led by <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/whyisjake/">@whyisjake</a> and the following release squad: &nbsp;<a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/audrasjb/">@audrasjb</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/davidbaumwald/">@davidbaumwald</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/desrosj/">@desrosj</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/johnbillion/">@johnbillion</a>, <a href="https://profile.wordpress.org/metalandcoffee">@metalandcoffee</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/noisysocks">@noisysocks</a>&nbsp;<a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/planningwrite/">@planningwrite</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/sarahricker/">@sarahricker</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/sergeybiryukov/">@sergeybiryukov</a>.</p> <p>In addition to the security researchers and release squad members mentioned above, thank you to everyone who helped make WordPress 5.5.2 happen:</p> <p><a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/jorbin/">Aaron Jorbin</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/xknown/">Alex Concha</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/wpamitkumar/">Amit Dudhat</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/rarst/">Andrey &#8220;Rarst&#8221; Savchenko</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/afragen/">Andy Fragen</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/ayeshrajans/">Ayesh Karunaratne</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/bridgetwillard/">bridgetwillard</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/talldanwp/">Daniel Richards</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/davidbaumwald/">David Baumwald</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/davisshaver/">Davis Shaver</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/dd32/">dd32</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/mista-flo/">Florian TIAR</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/hareesh-pillai/">Hareesh</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/hlashbrooke/">Hugh Lashbrooke</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/iandunn/">Ian Dunn</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/igorradovanov/">Igor Radovanov</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/whyisjake/">Jake Spurlock</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/audrasjb/">Jb Audras</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/johnbillion/">John Blackbourn</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/desrosj/">Jonathan Desrosiers</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/jb510/">Jon Brown</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/joyously/">Joy</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/jrf/">Juliette Reinders Folmer</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/kellybleck/">kellybleck</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/mailnew2ster/">mailnew2ster</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/mkaz/">Marcus Kazmierczak</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/clorith/">Marius L. J.</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/dimadin/">Milan Dinić</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/batmoo/">Mohammad Jangda</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/mukesh27/">Mukesh Panchal</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/paaljoachim/">Paal Joachim Romdahl</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/peterwilsoncc/">Peter Wilson</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/regankhadgi/">Regan Khadgi</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/noisysocks/">Robert Anderson</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/sergeybiryukov/">Sergey Biryukov</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/yakimun/">Sergey Yakimov</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/smub/">Syed Balkhi</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/szaqal21/">szaqal21</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/tellyworth/">Tellyworth</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/sippis/">Timi Wahalahti</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/timothyblynjacobs/">Timothy Jacobs</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/itowhid06/">Towhidul I. Chowdhury</a>, <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/vinayakanivase/">Vinayak Anivase</a>, and <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/zieladam/">zieladam</a>.</p> Thu, 29 Oct 2020 20:41:03 +0000 Jb Audras WPTavern: Log Into WordPress By Touch or Face ID Via the Passwordless WP Plugin https://wptavern.com/?p=106224 https://wptavern.com/log-into-wordpress-by-touch-or-face-id-via-the-passwordless-wp-plugin?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=log-into-wordpress-by-touch-or-face-id-via-the-passwordless-wp-plugin <p class="has-drop-cap">Last week, WP Busters released its first plugin titled <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/passwordless-wp/">Passwordless WP</a>. It is a project from full-stack developer Ilya Zolotov that allows end-users to log into their WordPress websites via Touch ID, Face ID, or pin. The goal is to make accessing a site easier and more secure.</p> <p>Zolotov built the plugin after checking his email on a public database and finding old passwords. He said he now uses a safe browser for work purposes without extensions and scripts. He also said the millions of credentials stolen or compromised every year was a motivator for building the plugin.</p> <p>&ldquo;I like this feature of my laptop, and I am using it every day,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;As well, I am using it to avoid entering the &lsquo;root&rsquo; password in terminal using my finger, it&rsquo;s comfortable and any sniffer can&rsquo;t capture my password.&rdquo;</p> <p>Last year, he decided to check browser support for handling passwordless logins but was disappointed that Safari on iPhone only supported external USB keys at the time. He concluded that the technology was not ready yet.</p> <p>&ldquo;In Apple&rsquo;s summer news, I saw the update: the platform authenticator would be available in iOS 14 and BigSur on Safari, and passwordless authentication is working in Chrome now. Also, Microsoft will release Windows Hello support. 2020 is the passwordless year. Awesome!&rdquo;</p> <p>He then began work on developing the first version using stable cryptographic libraries and building a simple user experience. He believes the technology that allows this plugin to work will be widely supported from now on.</p> <p>Zolotov assures users that it is a fast, secure, and certified protocol. The plugin does not store any personal data on the server or link to third-party services.</p> <p>&ldquo;Other plugins which use SMS or Email to log in, send you code or link,&rdquo; he said when asked about how Passwordless WP differs from similar plugins. &ldquo;They make your life harder because you need to do more clicks &mdash; open email and link, unlock phone, etc. I prefer to enter a password using my manager, which uses my Touch ID.&rdquo;</p> <p>Other plugins using the same technology do exist. <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-webauthn/">WP-WebAuthn</a>, for example, has a few additional features and has been around for about seven months.</p> <h2>How Passwordless WP Works</h2> <img />Logging into the site via fingerprint. <p class="has-drop-cap">The plugin requires HTTPS, unless in use in a localhost test environment. It also has a minimum requirement of PHP 7.2. Outside of that, it will work for any WordPress installation. Passwordless logins are handled on the user level, which means that each user on a WordPress site must register a token from their profile page.</p> <p>The process is simple and takes only moments. Once on the register token screen, users merely need to click a button and choose the authentication method from their operating system.</p> <img />Registering a token for a user account. <p>From that point forward, when logging into the site, it is merely a matter of clicking on a username and using your Touch ID or Face ID to log in.</p> <p>The following is a quick video of the plugin in action:</p> <div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> </div> <p>My experience is with Google Chrome on Windows. The latest release, version 1.1.6, is working well. The previous version had an issue with a missing PHP extension in testing, but the plugin author fixed it quickly and sent out an update once I notified him of the problem.</p> Thu, 29 Oct 2020 19:04:42 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: EditorPlus Introduces Its First Blocks and Adds a Custom Block Creator https://wptavern.com/?p=106470 https://wptavern.com/editorplus-introduces-its-first-blocks-and-adds-a-custom-block-creator?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=editorplus-introduces-its-first-blocks-and-adds-a-custom-block-creator <p class="has-drop-cap">In what seems to be a never-ending onslaught of new features, Munir Kamal has released some major new features to his <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/editorplus">EditorPlus</a> plugin in the last two updates. Version 2.0, which landed earlier today, includes a set of <a href="https://gutenberghub.com/gutenberg-blocks-by-editorplus/">seven new blocks</a>. The previous release showcased a <a href="https://gutenberghub.com/how-to-create-a-custom-wordpress-editor-block/"><em>create-a-block</em> feature</a> that puts more customization options in the hands of end-users.</p> <p>The block editor has fueled his creativity, and he has not run out of ideas for his block-sharing website GutenbergHub or EditorPlus plugin. Upcoming releases should see an overhaul of the UI for the plugin and a possible API for third-party developers.</p> <p>He said he will be making sure that EditorPlus is working alongside WordPress&rsquo;s site editor when it lands in the future. Plus, eventual support of WooCommerce&rsquo;s blocks is on the table. For now, the focus is on the plugin features he has launched in recent weeks.</p> <h2>Creating Custom Blocks</h2> <p class="has-drop-cap">With WordPress&rsquo;s core set of blocks already in the hands of users, nearly anything is already possible. These blocks essentially cover all the foundational elements of web design, such as headings, paragraphs, lists, quotes, and more. Sometimes the trick to building something unique is mixing and matching these elements to create something new. That is essentially what this new create-a-block feature is for EditorPlus.</p> <p>Saving a custom block is simple. Users must first wrap their blocks into a core Group block. Then, from the &ldquo;more options&rdquo; menu in the block toolbar, select the &ldquo;Add to Custom Blocks&rdquo; option. The plugin will ask for a block title before saving.</p> <img />Saving a custom block. <p>Not to be confused with reusable blocks, which are resources that remain the same from post to post, created blocks are like any other blocks. They are accessible via the block inserter under the &ldquo;My Custom Blocks&rdquo; category.</p> <img />Custom blocks available from the block inserter. <p>A couple of minor details are missing that would be great additions for the long term. The first is the ability to select a custom icon for the block. Currently, all custom blocks share an icon. The second is the ability to add a preview in the block inserter.</p> <p>Kamal built this feature so that end-users could create simple blocks for themselves. It is also a tool for developers to quickly create blocks for client websites.</p> <p>&ldquo;For example, almost all business websites need a Testimonial block, but there is not one in core for that exact purpose,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Of course, you can create it using the combination of core blocks, and that&rsquo;s the way to do it. I&rsquo;ve seen many block plugins bringing such blocks like Testimonial, Team, Pricing, etc., but those can be easily created with core blocks.&rdquo;</p> <p>He has already shown the community how far you can stretch the core blocks to create unique layouts with his <a href="https://wptavern.com/copy-and-paste-editor-blocks-via-gutenberghubs-block-library">block</a> and <a href="https://wptavern.com/gutenberg-hub-launches-landing-page-templates-directory">template</a> libraries. So, it is not outside the realm of possibility that users could build some of these things directly from the editor.</p> <p>The block creator seems like it would be better handled as a block <strong>pattern</strong> creator. In essence, users are creating custom patterns, which are groupings of blocks. Kamal said that a pattern creator is on the to-do list too.</p> <p>&ldquo;As Gutenberg has both these pieces to use for creating content/layouts, I will add both features,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Save as block has been added, &lsquo;save as pattern&rsquo; will be added too. It will be up to the user to use whatever way they want to according to their workflow.&rdquo;</p> <p>I lean toward sticking with the existing pattern paradigm, a single feature that handles groups of blocks. However, it will be interesting to see what users prefer. In the long run, what matters most is that they have easy access to the tools they need to build their pages.</p> <h2>The &ldquo;Missing&rdquo; Blocks</h2> <img />Using the Progress Bar block in the editor. <p class="has-drop-cap">Earlier today, Kamal released what he calls the &ldquo;missing&rdquo; blocks for WordPress. These are a set of seven custom-built blocks that handle types of content not possible with the existing core blocks. In the past, he has been hesitant to create any blocks, preferring to extend the tools that WordPress provided out of the box.</p> <p>&ldquo;My original idea and still is to extend Gutenberg for what is missing and to make it more powerful for creating beautiful designs visually without code,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And, after creating hundreds of templates/designs, I&rsquo;ve realized a need for some important missing blocks that are most commonly used around the website builders but missing in Gutenberg. So I am only adding those blocks in EditorPlus that are missing, must be needed to create modern designs, and can not be created using a combination of core blocks easily. For example, a tabs block, accordion block, or all other blocks added are those that fit these criteria.&rdquo;</p> <p>The plugin includes the following new blocks:</p> <ul><li>Tabs</li><li>Toggle/Accordion</li><li>Icon</li><li>Rating</li><li>Progress Bar</li><li>Stats/Counter</li><li>Countdown Timer</li></ul> <p>Some of these require additional JavaScript, which is why they do not make good candidates for core WordPress. However, they are good options for plugin developers, and these are not uncommon blocks from other library-type plugins.</p> <p>The thing that sets them apart is the integration with the plugin&rsquo;s styling system, which Kamal may be opening up to other plugin developers in a future release. The current plan is to create an independent Styles API for letting users customize any block. He has already <a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/advancedwp/permalink/3597620730300115">gotten some feedback</a> from the Advanced WP Facebook group on the idea. Much of the feedback is wishing that such a system would land in WordPress itself.</p> <p>One interesting feature of the plugin&rsquo;s new blocks is that when clicking on a sub-element of a block, its design options are automatically triggered in the block options panel. For example, the star rating block has &ldquo;title&rdquo; and &ldquo;rating&rdquo; elements. When clicking on the title, its design options open in the sidebar, and the same happens for ratings. This is a departure from the typical organization of EditorPlus&rsquo;s design options on the core blocks, which are grouped by CSS properties. The focus is put on the individual element, and it makes it much easier to find a specific option.</p> <p>This experimentation is a bit of a precursor to what Kamal is working on for a future update. One of his big goals is to do some cleanup of the UI &mdash; there are a lot of options in the plugin &mdash; and let users more quickly customize their blocks.</p> Wed, 28 Oct 2020 21:08:09 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: WordPress Contributors Discuss Launching an Official Block Pattern Directory https://wptavern.com/?p=106892 https://wptavern.com/wordpress-contributors-discuss-launching-an-official-block-pattern-directory?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-contributors-discuss-launching-an-official-block-pattern-directory <p><a href="https://developer.wordpress.org/block-editor/developers/block-api/block-patterns/">Block patterns</a> were one of the most exciting and transformative features introduced in <a href="https://wptavern.com/wordpress-5-5-eckstine-introduces-block-directory-block-patterns-and-automatic-updates-for-themes-and-plugins">WordPress. 5.5</a>, giving users a giant head start on building pages by allowing them to insert sets of pre-designed blocks. Core now includes a handful of default patterns available in the block inserter but contributors are exploring the idea of expanding this small selection into a full-blown pattern directory. </p> <p>Alex Shiels opened a <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/meta/2020/10/27/block-pattern-directory-ideas-and-discussion/">discussion</a> on make.wordpress.org to get feedback on how it might be implemented. He suggested that the pattern directory would be similar to the block directory, minus the need to install plugins in the background. Community-contributed patterns could be searched and added via one-click installation from the block inserter.</p> <p>Shiels asked for feedback on several questions, such as how block patterns could be represented in search results and how previews could accurately reflect how a pattern might appear with different themes. One of the most important considerations he raised: <em>Should the Block Pattern Directory be limited to patterns using only core blocks?</em></p> <p>If patterns can only contain core blocks, that leaves it to third-party markets to provide patterns that include blocks from plugins. It seems more likely that block plugin developers would opt to ship their own selection of patterns inside their plugins, instead of contributing to the pattern directory. Having it open to all blocks hosted in the directory would encourage a more diverse range of patterns. Patterns requiring a non-core block might include a prompt to download it.</p> <p>The WordPress community has already created many different unofficial pattern libraries, although the terminology can be confusing. Gutenberg Hub&rsquo;s <a href="https://gutenberghub.com/templates/">template library</a> may be one of the most prominent. It provides section patterns and full page templates that users can browse and then copy the code to paste into their own sites. Jeffrey Carandang&rsquo;s &ldquo;<a href="https://shareablock.com/blocks/category/block-patterns/">Share-a-Block&rdquo;</a> site also offers a selection of patterns to download.</p> <img /> <p>WordPress.com has just <a href="https://wordpress.com/blog/2020/10/28/introducing-patterns/">launched</a> its own pattern library today with more than 100 patterns pre-designed patterns available. Automattic plans to add more patterns based on user feedback and requests. This new free library will make site building easier for millions of users and also creates a strong incentive for using the block editor.</p> <div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <a href="https://cloudup.com/cNbSASbRH10"><img src="https://cldup.com/TjpGkbXaLl.gif" alt="Wpcom pattern library" width="1277" height="1139" /></a> </div> <p>Patterns leverage all the best things about the new editor. Inserting a pattern is easier than wrangling shortcodes or wading through theme options to try to get the right combination to reproduce the demo. Patterns are more approachable than page builders and don&rsquo;t require learning a new interface.</p> <p>As the momentum around block patterns increases, I think we will see more commercial theme and block plugin creators using patterns to showcase their products and provide starter packs. It is the best way to help users understand the wide range of possibilities that the block editor enables.</p> <p>Having an official directory of community-contributed patterns could be an interesting way for creators to cross-promote their free blocks and designs, while opening up a whole new world of design options for self-hosted WordPress users. How many times have you been shopping around for just the right WordPress theme and found that you like certain sections and layouts offered in several different themes? Patterns give you the ability to cherry pick different sections to create your own unique layout for each page/post, without having to wrestle with the limitations of your theme. </p> <p>The ability to browse and access community-contributed patterns directly within the editing interface may have a long list of technical challenges to solve, but it would undoubtedly put more design power into users&rsquo; hands. </p> <p>Not everyone can take a blank canvas and artfully combine blocks to produce sophisticated designs. Putting patterns at users&rsquo; fingertips would make site building more of a delight, especially for users who are new to the block editor. It might also allow users to save their favorite patterns for future use, in the same way you can save your favorite themes and plugins.</p> <p>The <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/meta/2020/10/27/block-pattern-directory-ideas-and-discussion/">discussion</a> on WordPress.org is just getting underway. A few of the original contributors on the idea have created a <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/pattern-directory">GitHub repository</a> to track and explore some of the more technical considerations&nbsp;of launching an official block patterns directory. If you have ideas to contribute on how this could be implemented or want to share other considerations, make sure to comment on the post.</p> Wed, 28 Oct 2020 19:12:26 +0000 Sarah Gooding HeroPress: A Life Changing Journey With WordPress ?जीवन मे?मिले रं?वर्डप्रे?के सं?/title> <guid>https://heropress.com/?post_type=heropress-essays&p=3394</guid> <link>https://heropress.com/essays/a-life-changing-journey-with-wordpress/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-life-changing-journey-with-wordpress</link> <description><img width="960" height="480" src="https://s20094.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/pooja_banner.jpg" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="Pull Quote: A Life Changing Journey With WordPress" /><p><a href="https://heropress.com/feed/#hindi">वर्डप्रेसन?मुझे मेरे ज़िंदगी मे?कु?अल?करने का मौक़?दिया?lt;/a></p> <p>One fine day, I was checking my Twitter account and suddenly, got a message from HeroPress. I was astonished after getting a message from such a huge platform. I got to share a lot with Topher while having a long chat session with him. He then asked me to write an article for HeroPress.</p> <p>It took me a while to think about what to write as writing about technical never excites me that much. Soon, I realized that what&#8217;s better than writing my own story and telling the story about how an introvert girl from a small village of India chased her dreams and gave a direction to her life.</p> <h3>Early Life</h3> <p>I was born in Banera, a small village in India. After completing my primary education there, I moved to my uncle&#8217;s place in a nearby city for higher education. There I decided to become an engineer. Being from a rural background, people in my village refuse the idea of sending their girl child to another city for further studies. Fortunately, that was not the case with me because my parents are immensely supportive and loving. They&#8217;ve always encouraged me to believe in myself and fulfil my dreams. With their support, I pursued my engineering in Electronics &amp; Communication, and yes, that&#8217;s an entirely different field looking at my current profile.</p> <h3>Introduction to Web Development</h3> <p>Although I did my engineering in Electronics and Communication, I was not sure about having a future in this field. I was completely blank about my career and had no clue of what to do next. First, I thought about doing masters, but I was already tired of studying all those subjects. I applied for jobs, but there was no success. That was when one of my friends suggested that I should explore Web Development. The idea interested me, and then I started looking for some learning resources. Later I got an Internship as a PHP Developer. It was an unpaid internship, but still, I did it because I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to learn with real professionals.</p> <h3>Getting Started with WordPress</h3> <p>After doing the internship for three months, I got my first job. Before knowing WordPress, I got the chance to explore many CMS. I&#8217;d worked on Joomla, Magento and ExpressionEngine. Then my boss assigned me a small project on WordPress. At first glance, I found it very interesting. I found it surpassing and much better as compared to the other platforms I&#8217;ve worked on earlier. Its vast knowledge base made it easy for me to learn. I soon got comfortable managing WordPress, playing with plugins and themes, and started exploring it more in-depth.</p> <p>There comes the next phase of my life. I was about to get married to Anand. He was in the same field as mine, and this helped me gain more confidence to pursue my interest. During our courtship period in 2015, he left his job and started his WordPress based Web Development Agency &#8211; WPVibes. Soon we got married, and I joined him as the first team member of WPVibes. Being part of a new startup gave me a lot of experience. I got to be involved in new processes. We started with Web Development, and soon we began exploring opportunities in plugin development. We started providing custom plugin development services as per the client&#8217;s requirement and created some free and paid plugins. We found it much more exciting and productive. Today, WPVibes is a team of 10 members.</p> <h3>Interaction with WordPress Community</h3> <p>I started following some WordPress based groups on Facebook, and there I got to know about WordCamps. Soon I got the opportunity to attend my first WordCamp &#8211; WordCamp Ahmedabad. There I learned how amazing WordPress Community is. WordCamp Ahmedabad has one of the best WordPress communities in India, and everyone, including organizers, attendees were so humble and welcoming. There I listened to speakers from India and abroad. Some of them shared how they got into WordPress and how WordPress has changed their lives. One of the most inspiring sessions was by Rahul Bansal. He talked about contributing to WordPress and giving back to the community. He also explained how contributing to WordPress can help you to enhance your knowledge. It inspired me to contribute to WordPress. At that time, I couldn&#8217;t manage to get involved with WordPress due to my busy schedule. The WordPress community of Ahmedabad immensely inspired us. Later, we started a WordPress meetup group in our city &#8211; Ajmer and found it a way to contribute to the community.</p> <p><a href="https://s20094.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/image3.png"><img /></a></p> <p>In the next WordCamp, I also attended the contribution day. Most of the contributors were inclined to contribute to Core, but I decided to choose a different path. I joined the team of WordPress TV Contributors.</p> <p>WordPress TV is a platform where you can explore videos of WordCamp sessions. You can learn more about it here, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/tv/">https://make.wordpress.org/tv/</a>.</p> <p>Then I started contributing to WordPress Training. WordPress Training team manages the lesson plans and prepares content to educate people about building stuff for WordPress. The training team has recently launched a new platform for learning WordPress <a href="https://learn.wordpress.org/">https://learn.wordpress.org/</a> (I am a proud contributor to this platform)</p> <p>The year 2019 came with an exciting moment in my life. I got selected as a Volunteer for WordCamp Asia in Bangkok, Thailand. This was the very first edition of WordCamp Asia. After this, I got more involved with the community. I was very excited about playing this big role, attending my first WordCamp outside India, and that too, by being a part of the volunteering team. But due to the Covid pandemic, the event got cancelled. It was quite heartbreaking. Since all bookings were already made, we (me and my husband) didn&#8217;t cancel the trip and enjoyed a vacation to Thailand.</p> <p><a href="https://s20094.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/image1.png"><img /></a></p> <p><a href="https://s20094.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/image2.png"><img /></a></p> <h3>My message to WordPress Community</h3> <p>What I have learnt in my life is it doesn&#8217;t matter from where you come and what background you have. All that matters is your hard work and positive attitude towards life.</p> <p>I have a message for all the WordPress lovers and also for those who are starting with WordPress. There is a huge community to help you with your learning, so start learning and try to give back to the community. It doesn&#8217;t matter if you are not comfortable with programming; there are many different ways in which you can contribute.</p> <p>Jai WordPress!</p> <hr /> <h1 id="hindi">जीवन मे?मिले रं?वर्डप्रे?के सं?lt;/h1> <p>उस दि?मै?अपना ट्विटर अकाउंट दे?रही थी की तभी मुझे हीरो प्रे?की तर?से एक संदे?आया| उस?दे?कर अचम्भि?रह गयी| मै?हीरोप्रे?पे बहुत से ले?पढ?चुकी थी, तो ऐस?मे?अचान?से उसकी ओर से संदे?आन?पर मेरा अचम्भि?होना स्वाभावि?ही था| उसके बा?मेरी Topher (हीरो प्रे?के संस्थापक ) से लंबी बातची?हु?और उसके बा?उन्होंने मुझे मेरा ले?लिखन?के लि?कह?और सा?ही यह अनुरोध भी किया की मै?अपने ले?को अपनी मातृभाषा हिंदी मे?भी लिखुँ|</p> <p>मुझे ये तय करने मे?काफी सम?लग?की मे?इसमे?क्या लिखूं| तकनीकी ले?लिखन?मे?मेरी ख़ास रूचि नही?थी| फि?मुझे लग?की क्यो?ना इसमे?खु?की कहानी ही लिखी जाए| लिखा जा?की कैसे भारत के एक छोटे से गाँव की एक अंतर्मुखी लड़की ने अपने सपनो?को पूरा किया और अपने जीवन को एक दिशा दी|</p> <h3>प्रारंभि?जीवन</h3> <p>मेरा जन्म भारत के एक छोटे से गाँव बनेड़ा मे?हु?था| मेरी प्रारंभि?शिक्षा वही?हुई| चूँक?हमार?गाँव मे?उच्च शिक्षा की को?सुविधा नही?थी अत?उसके लि?मुझे पा?ही के शह?मे?lt;/p> <p>अपने ताऊजी के पा?रहना पड़ा| उसके बा?मैने इंजीनियरिं?करने का विचा?बनाय? परन्तु उसके लि?मुझे फि?किसी और शह?मे?जाना पड़ता| उस सम?के ग्रामी?परिवेश मे?पढ़ा?के लि?ज्यादा दू?भेजन?को सही नही?माना जाता था, और वो भी खासक?जब बा?एक लड़की की हो|</p> <p>परन्तु मेरे मामल?मे?मुझे मेरे माता पिता का पूरा सहयो?प्राप्?था| उन्होंने हमेश?ही मुझे आग?बढ़न?और अपने सपनो?को पूरा करने के लि?प्रोत्साहि?किया| उनके सहयो?से ही मैंन?इलेक्ट्रॉनिक्स एं?कम्युनिकेश?(Electronics &amp; Communication Engineering ) मे?इंजीनियरिं?करी| जी हा? ये मेरे वर्तमा?कार्?क्षेत्?से पूर्णत?भिन्?था|</p> <h3>वेबसाइ?डवलपमेंट से मेरा परिच?lt;/h3> <p>जैसा की मैंन?बताय?की मैंन?इंजीनियरिं?बिलकुल ही अल?क्षेत्?मे?करी थी| मैंन?कभी सपने मे?भी नही?सोचा था कि सेमीकंडक्ट?और सर्किट की पढ़ा?करने के बा?मै?वेबसाइ?बनाउंगी| पर वक्त को शायद यही मंज़ूर था| इंजीनियरिं?पूरी करने के बा?मेरे पा??विकल्प थे, आग?की पढ़ा?(M.Tech) करूँ या फि?नौकरी की तलाश करूँ| आग?पड़न?का मेरा मन नही?था, तो मैंन?नौकरी करना ही सही समझा| परन्तु काफी प्रयास के बा?भी मुझे को?मनमाफि?नौकरी नही?मिली|</p> <p>ऐस?मे?मेरी एक सहेली ने मुझे वेबसाइ?डेवलपमें?मे?हा?आजमाने की रा?दी| कॉले?के दिनो?मे?मैंन?थोड़ी PHP और HTML, CSS पढ़ी थी, तो मैंन?उसी को और गहरा?से समझन?शुरू किया, कु?कोर्?भी करे| मुझे जल्द ही PHP डेवलपर के तौ?पर एक इंटर्नशि?मि?गयी| इसमे?मुझे को?वेतन नही?मिलन?वाला था, पर मुझे विश्वा?था कि किसी कोर्?के बजाय ये एक बेहत?मौका है कु?सीखन?का|</p> <h3>वर्डप्रे?से मेरा जुड़ाव</h3> <p>?महीने की इंटर्नशि?के बा?मुझे एक नौकरी मि?गयी| वहां वर्डप्रे?पर का?करने से पहले मैंन?कई दूसर?CMS पर भी का?किया, जैसे कि Joomla, Magento, Expression Engine आदि| फि?कु?सम?बा?एक प्रोजेक्?मे?वर्डप्रे?पर का?करने का मौका मिला| मुझे ये काफी ज्यादा दिलचस्?लगा| इससे पहले मैंन?जि?CMS पर का?किया था, उनके मुकाबल?यह बेहद सुलझ?हु?लगा| इसके बारे मे?जो जानकारी चाहि?वो आसानी से इंटरने?पर उपलब्ध थी जिसस?मुझे इसको सीखन?मे?बिलकुल भी कठिनाई नही?हुई| धीरे-धीरे वर्डप्रे?चलान?मे? Plugins और Themes का उपयो?करने मे?मेरा आत्मविश्वा?बढ़त?ही गय?और मै?इन सबको और भी गहरा?से सीखती गयी|</p> <p>इसके बा?मेरे जीवन का एक अगला पड़ा?आय?&#8211; शादी| नवम्बर २०१५ मे?मेरी शादी आनन्?से हुई|</p> <p>वह भी वेबसाइ?डेवलपमें?के क्षेत्?मे?ही का?कर रह?था और इससे मुझे मेरा रुचिकर का?जारी रखने मे?को?भी दिक्कत नही?हुई| हमारी शादी के कु?सम?पहले ही आनन्?ने नौकरी छोड़कर अपनी खु?की वे?डेवलपमें?कंपनी (WPVibes) शुरू करी| इसमे?भी मुख्यत?का?वर्डप्रे?पर ही था| शादी के बा?मै?भी पहली टी?मेंब?के तौ?पर कंपनी से जुड़ गयी| एक बिलकुल ही नयी कंपनी से जुड़ना एक अल?ही अनुभ?होता है| आपको कई ऐसी चीजे?सीखन?को मिलती है जो आप एक बड़ी स्थापि?कंपनी मे?का?करके नही?सी?सकते| शुरुआत मे?हम वेबसाइ?ही बनात?थे, पर जल्द ही हमने Plugin डवलपमेंट मे?भी संभावनाए?तलाशना शुरू किया| हमारी क्षमता को देखत?हु?यह हमें ज्यादा रोमांच?और उत्पाद?लगा|</p> <h3>वर्डप्रे?कम्युनिटी और मै?lt;/h3> <p>मै?फेसबुक पर वर्डप्रे?से संबंधि?कु?ग्रु?से जुड़ी| यहाँ मुझे बहुत कु?सीखन?को मिला और मुझे वर्डकेम्?(WordCamp) के बारे मे?भी पत?पड़ा| जल्द ही मुझे मेरे पहले वर्डकेम्?&#8211; वर्डकेम्?अहमदाबाद मे?भा?लेने का मौका मिला| यहाँ मुझे एहसा?हु?की वर्डप्रे?समुदाय (community ) कितन?जबर्दस्त है| वर्डकेम्?अहमदाबाद, भारत मे?होने वाले श्रेष्?वर्डकेम्?मे?से एक है|</p> <p>यहाँ मैंन?दे?विदे?से आय?हु?कई लोगो?के वक्तव्?सुने| इनमे?से सबसे ज्यादा प्रेरणादाय?राहु?बंसल का वक्तव्?लग? जिसम?उन्होंने वर्डप्रे?समुदाय को अपनी ओर से कु?वापि?देने के बारे मे?(Give Back to the Community) चर्च?करी| उन्होंने यह भी बताय?की कि?तर?वर्डप्रे?मे?योगदान करना आपके लि?ज्ञानवर्धक भी साबि?हो सकता है| इससे मुझे वर्डप्रे?मे?अपना योगदान देने की प्रेरण?मिली| हालांक?किसी कारण वश उस सम?मे?वर्डकेम्?के Contribution Day मे?भा?नही?ले पायी थी| वहां की वर्डप्रे?समुदाय से प्रेरि?होकर हमने हमार?शह?अजमे?मे?भी वर्डप्रे?मीटअ?(Meetup) की शुरुआत करी और लोगो को वर्डप्रे?से जुड़ने और इसके बारे मे?जानकारी देना शुरू करा| यह भी वर्डप्रे?मे?अपना योगदान (contribute) देने का ही एक माध्यम है|</p> <p>अगले वर्डकेम्?मे?मैंन?Contribution Day मे?भी भा?लिया| ज्यादातर योगदानकर्ताओ?(Contributors) का झुका?Core की तर?रहता है, ऐस?मे?मैंन?कु?हटकर करने की सोची और वर्डकेम्?टीवी (WordPress TV) मे?योगदान करने के बारे मे?सीखा| वर्डप्रे?टीवी एक वेबसाइ?है जहाँ आप पूरी दुनिया के वर्डकेम्?से जुड़?वीडियो दे?सकते हैं| इसके बारे मे?अधिक जानकारी के लि?आप यहाँ दे?सकते है?<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/tv/">https://make.wordpress.org/tv/</a></p> <p>इसके बा?मैंन?वर्डप्रे?ट्रेनिंग (WordPress Training) मे?भी योगदान करना शुरू करा| वर्डप्रे?ट्रेनिंग की टी?वर्डप्रे?के बारे मे?जागरूक और शिक्षि?करने के लि?पाठ्?सामग्री तैया?करती है|</p> <p>हा?ही मे?शुरू करी गयी एक वेबसाइ?<a href="https://learn.wordpress.org/">https://learn.wordpress.org/</a> मे?भी मेरा छोटा सा योगदान हैं|</p> <p>वर्ष २०१९ मेरे लि?एक बहुत ही अच्छ?मौका लेकर आया| मेरा चय?पहली बा?होने वाले वर्डकेम्?एशिय?२०२० (WordCamp Asia 2020) मे?वालंटियर के तौ?पर हुआ| इसका आयोज?बैंकाक (थाईलैं? मे?होने वाला था| मै?इस?लेकर काफी उत्साहित थी| ये भारत के बाहर किसी वर्डकेम्?मे?भा?लेने का मेरा पहले मौका था और वो भी एक वालंटियर की तरह| परन्तु कोरोना महामारी के कारण ये मात्?एक सपना ही रह गया| इसके आयोज?के कु?दि?पहले ही इस?रद्द कर दिया गया|</p> <p>फि?भी मैंन?मेरी यात्रा रद्द नही?करी और आनन्?के सा?थाईलैं?मे?कु?दिनो?की छुट्टियो?के मज?लिये|</p> <p><a href="https://s20094.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/image1.png"><img /></a></p> <p><a href="https://s20094.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/image2.png"><img /></a></p> <h3>वर्डप्रे?समुदाय के लि?मेरा संदे?lt;/h3> <p>मैंन?अपने अभी तक के जीवन से यही सीखा है की इससे को?फर्क नही?पड़त?की आप कहाँ से आय?है?और क्या आपकी पृष्ठभूम?रही है| यद?आप मेहन?कर सकते है और एक सकारात्म?सो?रखते है तो आप अपने रास्ते खु?बन?सकते हैं|</p> <p>सभी वर्डप्रे?के चाहन?वालो और खासक?उनके लि?जो अभी वर्डप्रे?से जुड़?है?या जुड़ना चाहत?है?उनसे मेरा यही कहना है की आग?बढ़े, आपकी मद?के लि?एक बहुत ही बड़ा समुदाय (community) है| तो भी शुरू करें और जब भी हो किसी भी तर?से अपना भी योगदान देने की कोशि?करें| जरूरी नही?की आपको प्रोग्रामिंग आती हो, अग?आप अपने एक मित्?को वर्डप्रे?के बारे मे?बतात?है या सिखाते है?तो ये भी एक तर?का योगदान ही है|</p> <p>जय वर्डप्रे?!</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://heropress.com/essays/a-life-changing-journey-with-wordpress/">A Life Changing Journey With WordPress &#8211; जीवन मे?मिले रं?वर्डप्रे?के सं?lt;/a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://heropress.com">HeroPress</a>.</p></description> <pubDate>Wed, 28 Oct 2020 02:31:41 +0000</pubDate> <dc:creator>Pooja Derashri</dc:creator> </item> <item> <title>WordPress.org blog: Take the 2020 WordPress Annual Survey (and view the 2019 results)! https://wordpress.org/news/?p=9132 https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/take-the-2020-wordpress-annual-survey-and-view-the-2019-results/ <p>For many years, WordPress enthusiasts have filled out an annual survey to share their experiences and feelings about WordPress. Interesting results from this survey have been shared in the annual<a href="https://wordpress.tv/tag/state-of-the-word/"> State of the Word</a> address and/or here on WordPress News.&nbsp;</p> <p>This survey helps those who build WordPress understand more about how the software is used, and by whom. The survey also helps leaders in the WordPress open source project learn more about our contributors&#8217; experience<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/"></a>. &nbsp;</p> <p>To ensure that <strong>your</strong> WordPress experience is represented in the 2020 survey results,</p> <div class="wp-block-buttons aligncenter"> <div class="wp-block-button is-style-fill"><a class="wp-block-button__link has-vivid-cyan-blue-background-color has-background" href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-english" target="_blank" rel="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-english noopener">Take the 2020 Annual Survey! (English)</a></div> </div> <p>You can also take the survey in <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-french">French</a>, <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-german">German</a>, <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-japanese">Japanese</a>, <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-russian">Russian</a>, and <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-spanish">Spanish</a>! The survey will be open for at least 6 weeks, and results will be posted on this blog.</p> <h1>2019 Survey Results</h1> <div class="wp-block-buttons aligncenter"> <div class="wp-block-button"><a class="wp-block-button__link has-vivid-cyan-blue-background-color has-text-color has-background" href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1FI7eEvSB5SHTSILIBpwOmH9rBffgD6mFnnqSkrEScYo/edit" target="_blank" rel="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1fi7eevsb5shtsilibpwomh9rbffgd6mfnnqskrescyo/edit#slide=id.g71a4c4edc6_3_232 noopener">View the 2019 Survey Results (Slides)</a></div> <div class="wp-block-button is-style-outline"><a class="wp-block-button__link has-white-color has-vivid-cyan-blue-background-color has-text-color has-background" href="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bq62sficymopgos/AAA-wx73cDviVG84NSCTgjNDa?dl=0" rel="https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bq62sficymopgos/aaa-wx73cdvivg84nsctgjnda?dl=0">Download the 2019 Survey Results (PDF or PPT)</a></div> </div> <p>The 2019 survey included some new questions to better understand why people continue to use WordPress as their preferred CMS, as well as a section directed toward WordPress contributors. For the first time in 2019, this survey was translated into 5 different languages: French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.</p> <p>The first WordPress Contributor Survey was conducted in 2015, but unfortunately the results were never published. This report includes Contributor Survey results from both 2015 and 2019.&nbsp; </p> <h2>Survey Segments</h2> <p>Major groups in the survey included: WordPress Professionals, WordPress Users, and Others.&nbsp;</p> <p>The <strong>WordPress Professionals</strong> group consists of those who: work for a company that designs/develops websites; use WordPress to build websites and/or blogs for others; design or develop themes, plugins, or other custom tools for WordPress sites; or are a designer, developer, or other web professional working with WordPress.</p> <p>This WordPress Professionals group is further divided into <strong>WordPress Company Pros</strong> (those who work for a company that designs/develops websites) and <strong>WordPress Freelancers/Hobbyists</strong> (all other professional types) subgroups.</p> <p>The <strong>WordPress User</strong> group consists of those who: own or run a blog that is built with WordPress; own or run a website that is built with WordPress; write for or contribute to a blog/website that is built with WordPress; use WordPress for school as a teacher; use WordPress for school as a student, or are learning to build websites using WordPress.</p> <p>The <strong>Others</strong> group consists of those who did not self-identify with any of the options provided for the question, “Which of the following best describes how you use WordPress??lt;/p> <h2>2019 Survey Results Summary</h2> <p>WordPress remains the platform of choice for future projects among those surveyed. Overwhelmingly, the reasons cited for this are that WordPress is the CMS people already know, and that the community supporting it is valuable. Professionals and users report similar levels of frustration with updates and Gutenberg. Both groups also love the ease of use they find in WordPress.</p> <p>The number of professionals who report providing a heavily customized experience to clients has increased substantially, while at the same time the amount of time reported on creating those sites has decreased. Regardless of frustrations felt with various features, this seems to indicate that ease of use has been on the rise.</p> <p>More details on sentiment, usage, and other interesting topics are available in the report: <a href="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1FI7eEvSB5SHTSILIBpwOmH9rBffgD6mFnnqSkrEScYo/edit#slide=id.g71a4c4edc6_3_232">check it out!</a></p> <h1>Before you go: take the 2020 Survey!</h1> <p>Knowing why and how people use WordPress helps those who build WordPress to keep your needs and preferences in mind.&nbsp;</p> <p>The survey will be open for at least 6 weeks, and results will be published on this blog. All data will be anonymized: no email addresses or IP addresses will be associated with published results. To learn more about WordPress.org’s privacy practices, check out the<a href="https://wordpress.org/about/privacy/"> privacy policy</a>.</p> <p>Like last year, the 2020 survey will be promoted via a banner on WordPress.org, as well as by WordPress enthusiasts. Each of the translated surveys will be promoted through banners on their associated localized-language WordPress.org sites. Please encourage your WordPress pals and social media followers to take the survey too!</p> <p>To ensure your WordPress experience is represented in the 2020 survey results&#8230; don’t delay! </p> <div class="wp-block-buttons aligncenter"> <div class="wp-block-button"><a class="wp-block-button__link has-white-color has-vivid-cyan-blue-background-color has-text-color has-background" href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-english" rel="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-english">Take the 2020 WordPress Annual Survey!</a></div> </div> <p>(Also available in <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-french">French</a>, <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-german">German</a>, <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-japanese">Japanese</a>, <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-russian">Russian</a>, and <a href="https://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/wordpress-2020-survey-spanish">Spanish</a>!)</p> Tue, 27 Oct 2020 22:44:11 +0000 Andrea Middleton WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.6 Beta 2 https://wordpress.org/news/?p=9134 https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/wordpress-5-6-beta-2/ <p>WordPress 5.6 beta 2 is now available for testing!</p> <p><strong>This software is still in development,</strong>&nbsp;so we recommend that you run this version on a test site.</p> <p>You can test the WordPress 5.6 beta in two ways:</p> <ul><li>Try the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-beta-tester/">WordPress Beta Tester</a> plugin (choose the “bleeding edge nightlies?option).</li><li>Or <a href="https://wordpress.org/wordpress-5.6-beta2.zip">download the beta here (zip)</a>.</li></ul> <p>WordPress 5.6 is slated for release on <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/5-6/">December 8, 2020</a>, and <strong>we need your help to get there</strong>!</p> <p>Thank you to all of the contributors that tested the <a href="https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/wordpress-5-6-beta-1/">beta 1</a> development release and provided feedback. Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing each release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.</p> <h2 id="block-15d6d57f-905d-4a47-9f66-839468a5375a">Some highlights</h2> <p id="block-85da84ec-c841-42f9-8d3b-1a4537a61d10">Since beta 1, <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=closed&changetime=10%2F21%2F2020..10%2F27%2F2020&milestone=5.6&group=component&col=id&col=summary&col=owner&col=type&col=priority&col=component&col=version&order=priority">53 bugs</a> have been fixed. Here is a summary of a few changes included in beta 2:</p> <ul><li>6 additional bugs have been fixed in the block editor (see <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/26442">#26442</a>).</li><li>Unified design for search forms and results across the admin (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/37353">#37353</a>).</li><li>Exposed the <code>embed</code> Gutenberg block to Core (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51531">#51531</a>).</li><li>Updated Twemoji (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51356">#51356</a>), React (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51505">#51505</a>), and Akismet versions (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51610">#51610</a>).</li><li>Added accessibility improvements (among other things) to Application Passwords (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51580">#51580</a>).</li><li>Added indicator to image details for images attached to a site option (<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/42063">#42063</a>).</li></ul> <h2 id="block-76156b2b-0a52-4502-b585-6cbe9481f55b">Developer notes</h2> <p id="block-3fe5e264-0a95-4f12-9a18-0cb9dc5955d1">WordPress 5.6 has lots of refinements to the developer experience as well. To keep up, subscribe to the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/">Make WordPress Core blog</a> and pay special attention to the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/tag/5-6+dev-notes/">developers?notes</a> for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.</p> <h2 id="block-bc89fd56-47b0-439f-8e2c-4a642c80a616">How to Help</h2> <p id="block-9d871099-ec49-446c-8322-9e49b7498c10">If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the&nbsp;<a href="https://wordpress.org/support/forum/alphabeta/">Alpha/Beta area</a>&nbsp;in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you!</p> <p id="block-bd71c1d3-39d9-4b2a-8193-3486497b45fd">If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/newticket">file one on WordPress Trac</a>, where you can also find a list of <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=new&milestone=5.6&group=component&col=id&col=summary&col=owner&col=type&col=priority&col=component&col=version&order=priority">known bugs</a>.</p> Tue, 27 Oct 2020 22:02:28 +0000 Josepha WPTavern: Carrd-Like Theme Experiment Provides a Glimpse Into the Future of Theming https://wptavern.com/?p=106663 https://wptavern.com/carrd-like-theme-experiment-provides-a-glimpse-into-the-future-of-theming?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=carrd-like-theme-experiment-provides-a-glimpse-into-the-future-of-theming <img />Carrd-like theme front page template. <p class="has-drop-cap">It is no secret that I think the future of theming with WordPress is bright, that the Gutenberg project will eventually pay off. As a former full-time theme developer, I lived through the years where there were no standards for how to build certain features. It was much like the Wild West. There were vast, unexplored territories. Each themer was setting off to find gold with the latest tricks and techniques they had learned.</p> <p>One of the reasons I remain a fanboy of the Gutenberg project is because of experiments like the <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/theme-experiments/pull/56">Two Column Landing Page</a> theme (yes, that&rsquo;s literally the theme name) that Kjell Reigstad put together in less than an hour. It is a Carrd-like layout. It is a simple one-page theme that is essentially an &ldquo;about me&rdquo; page. Under the hood, it required no custom framework or non-standard options. It simply utilized existing tools from WordPress and Gutenberg.</p> <p>Two Column Landing Page is an unfinished product. Technically, it is a pull request that has yet to be officially merged into the <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/theme-experiments">WordPress theme experiments</a> repository. Automattic Theme Wrangler Ian Stewart passed a <a href="https://a646a4b37deb1e8b.demo.carrd.co/">Carrd demo link</a> along, and Reigstad pieced together a block-based version for WordPress.</p> <p>The theme was easy to customize via the site editor, which continually improves with each release of Gutenberg (9.2 had some nice improvements with its template switcher).</p> <img />Customized theme front page. <p>For anyone who wants to give the theme a spin, they will need to grab the <code>two-column-landing-page</code> theme folder from the <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/theme-experiments/tree/try/two-col-landing-page">try/two-col-landing-page</a> branch of the theme experiments repository. Enabling full-site editing within the Gutenberg plugin is also a requirement.</p> <h2>Why This Theme Is the Future</h2> <p class="has-drop-cap">This Cardd-like theme is special not because it is anything extraordinary from a front-end design standpoint. It is special because it showcases how simple WordPress theming can be.</p> <p>Theme authors will continue to build and experiment with old and new ideas. It will simply be much less hassle to do so. With traditional theming, developers who wanted to achieve this same Carrd-like layout for the front page of the site would have needed to build several customizer options and often provide extensive instructions on how to piece it together. When full-site editing finally lands in core, themers will be able to define a single template with predefined blocks.</p> <p>No hooking into the customizer.</p> <p>No need to register a database option.</p> <p>No need to register a form field.</p> <p>No need to sanitize user input for security.</p> <p>No conditional checks before outputting front-end content.</p> <p>WordPress will handle all these bits. If theme authors are not excited about this, they have not been paying attention. Now is the time to start.</p> <p>This has been the problem with theme &ldquo;design&rdquo; over the years. More and more, it has become a business of learning relatively advanced PHP just to build out basic options. Because WordPress fell so far behind alternative solutions, far too much responsibility was placed onto the shoulders of theme developers. They were doing less and less design work and an increasing amount of programming. They were forced to build custom solutions to push past the shortcomings of WordPress.</p> <p>Full-site editing is flipping the switch. It is transitioning toward a design framework that simplifies the process of building themes.</p> <p>With block-based themes and the site editor, theme authors can simply define an HTML template with blocks. The user can then customize it how they like via the site editor.</p> <p>To non-developers, it is hard to explain how revolutionary it is to take this step back from programming and a step toward designing. Themes are getting put into their proper place. This Carrd-like layout may be simple. However, with traditional theming, it would have been massively more complex.</p> <p>The Two Column Landing Page theme supports other views, such as the posts page, single posts, and more. However, it should not have to. The future of theming should mean that the theme itself could be nothing more than a <code>front-page.html</code> file &mdash; the template that controls the front page output &mdash; and nothing more.</p> <p>This means that the Themes Team, the gatekeepers to the official theme directory, may need to loosen the reins a bit. While the team currently allows experimental block-based themes, guidelines in the new era will need to be scaled back to the point that they are almost nonexistent if we want to see an explosion of artistry in the theme directory. Many of those rules were put into place because of the limitations of the system. When full-site editing lands in core and developers are building themes from blocks, many of the rules will become antiquated.</p> Tue, 27 Oct 2020 21:22:15 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: Dragging and Dropping Meta Boxes Might Not Be So Simple in WordPress 5.6 https://wptavern.com/?p=106675 https://wptavern.com/dragging-and-dropping-meta-boxes-might-not-be-so-simple-in-wordpress-5-6?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dragging-and-dropping-meta-boxes-might-not-be-so-simple-in-wordpress-5-6 <p class="has-drop-cap">If you have been testing the latest development version of WordPress in the past week or so, you may have noticed that the ability to drag and drop meta boxes seemingly disappeared. This is not a bug. Nine days ago, lead developer Andrew Ozz <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/changeset/49179">committed a change</a> that requires end-users to click the &ldquo;screen options&rdquo; tab to expose the ability to rearrange meta boxes.</p> <p>Ozz opened the <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/50699">original ticket</a> and has spearheaded the effort to change how users interact with meta boxes. The issue he would like to solve stems from a change in WordPress 5.5. WordPress&rsquo;s last major release <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/49288">introduced visible &ldquo;drop zones&rdquo;</a> in cases where a meta box container did not contain any meta boxes. These zones let users know that they can move meta boxes into those areas. This change was to fix a regression from a previous release. Needless to say, it was a rabbit hole of changes to chase down. Nevertheless, the problems with meta boxes were presumably fixed in WordPress 5.5.</p> <img />Empty meta box holder on Dashboard screen. <p>Ozz opened the ticket to remove the always-visible drop zones when no meta boxes were present. The argument is that the ability to move meta boxes around the screen is technically a &ldquo;screen option.&rdquo; Thus, it should only be triggered when the end-user has opened the screen options tab.</p> <p>Another side issue is that he wanted to address accidental dragging, which he described as more common on laptops with trackpads than other devices.</p> <p>Some readers may be thinking that meta boxes are going the way of the dinosaur. For those users who have migrated to 100% usage of the block editor, there is a good chance that their only interaction with meta boxes is on the Dashboard admin screen. For users on the classic editor, meta boxes are tightly interwoven into their day-to-day workflow. Many plugins also use the meta box system on custom admin screens.</p> <p>The biggest counter-argument is that, because meta boxes look and feel like draggable elements, the ability to do so should be active at all times.</p> <p>The point of contention is primarily about whether dragging and dropping meta boxes is technically a screen option. One side sees the WordPress 5.5 implementation as a broken user experience. The other side sees the new method as broken.</p> <p>Without user data to back it up, no one can say which method is truly the best option. However, changes to a standard user experience that is more than a decade old are likely to be problematic for a large number of users.</p> <p>This seems like one of those if-it-ain&rsquo;t-broke-don&rsquo;t-fix-it situations. With years of muscle memory for existing users and an expectation for how meta boxes should work, relegating the ability to drag them around the interface to the little-used screen options tab is a regression. At the very least, it is a major change that needs heavy discussion and testing before going forward.</p> <p>&ldquo;Nothing breaks, per se,&rdquo; said John James Jacoby, the lead developer for BuddyPress and bbPress. &ldquo;Nothing fatal errors. Nothing visually looks different. Yet, a critical user interface function has now gone missing. In my WP User Profiles plugin, for example, there are 15 registered meta boxes. Previous to this change, users with the device and dexterity to use a mouse/pointer/cursor could rearrange those meta boxes with simple dragging and dropping. After this change, no user can rearrange them without first discovering how to unlock the interface to enable rearranging.&rdquo;</p> <p>The problem is illustrated by the following screenshot from the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-user-profiles/">WP User Profiles</a> plugin. Each of the highlighted boxes represents areas where end-users would typically be able to click to drag a meta box around the screen. If the current change is not reverted, many users may believe the plugin is broken when they upgrade to WordPress 5.6.</p> <img />Meta boxes from the WP User Profiles plugin. <p>&ldquo;Is there a plan for letting existing users know that moving metaboxes is now only when Screen Options is open?&rdquo; <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/50699#comment:20">asked Helen Hou-Sand&igrave;</a>, the core tech lead for 5.6, in the ticket. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not sure I would ever discover that as an existing user and would be convinced everything was broken if I updated with no context.&rdquo;</p> <p>The current solution is to drop a note in the &ldquo;What&rsquo;s New&rdquo; section of the WordPress 5.6 release notes to let users know of the change, which may not be visible enough for most users to see. If it does go through, ideally, users would be welcomed with an admin pointer that describe the change directly in their WordPress admin interface.</p> <p>There are also <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/50699#comment:37">accessibility impacts to consider</a>. Joe Dolson, a core WordPress committer and member of the accessibility team, said the user experience for keyboard users would become difficult and that the feature would be harder to discover.</p> <p>&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t see a way in which this change, as currently implemented, improves the experience for anybody,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The proposal from the accessibility team is how we could compromise to reduce the visual impact of the movers without compromising the usability of the system at this extreme level; but just <em>not</em> doing this would be something I&rsquo;d find entirely acceptable, as well.&rdquo;</p> <p>So far, most people who have chimed in on the ticket have given numerous reasons for why this is not a good idea. There is almost no public support for it at this time. However, it currently remains in the latest development/trunk version of WordPress. If not reverted in the coming weeks, it will land in WordPress 5.6.</p> <p class="is-style-default has-white-color has-blue-700-background-color has-text-color has-background text-white bg-blue-700">Update: This <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/50699#comment:48">change was reverted</a> in WordPress core on October 27, 2020.</p> Mon, 26 Oct 2020 20:43:24 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: WordPress Contributors Explore Adding Dark Mode Support to Upcoming Twenty Twenty-One Theme via a Plugin https://wptavern.com/?p=106593 https://wptavern.com/wordpress-contributors-explore-adding-dark-mode-support-to-upcoming-twenty-twenty-one-theme-via-a-plugin?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-contributors-explore-adding-dark-mode-support-to-upcoming-twenty-twenty-one-theme-via-a-plugin <p>WordPress 5.6 is set to include a new default theme, <a href="https://wptavern.com/first-look-at-twenty-twenty-one-wordpresss-upcoming-default-theme">Twenty Twenty-One</a>, designed to give users a blank canvas for the block editor. The theme doesn&rsquo;t fall under any particular category and is meant to be suitable for use across different types of websites. One new feature that has very recently come under consideration is <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/22/twenty-twenty-one-dark-mode-discussion/">support for a dark mode that can be toggled on or off</a>.</p> <p>Contributors have raised the possibility of including a dark mode in several <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/twentytwentyone/labels/%5BComponent%5D%20Dark%20Mode">issues</a> while the theme has been in development. Mel Choyce, who is leading the design on the default theme, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/22/twenty-twenty-one-dark-mode-discussion/">published a summary</a> of the team&rsquo;s recent discussions about which options the theme should make available for site owners and viewers in support of dark mode, or if the feature should simply be scrapped. </p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve built in a&nbsp;Customizer&nbsp;setting that lets site owners opt their sites out of supporting Dark Mode, for greater design control,&rdquo; Choyce said. &ldquo;Additionally, we&rsquo;re considering adding a front-end toggle so site viewers can turn Dark Mode on/off, regardless of their OS/Browser preference. This setting would only show if a site allows Dark Mode support.&rdquo;</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><img />Twenty Twenty-One Light and Dark Modes</div> <p>Choyce outlined five different combinations of options for supporting it, including two options that allow site owners to disable it, regardless of the user&rsquo;s selection in their OS/browser. Two other options require the site to support dark mode but differ in whether or not the visitor is allowed to toggle it on or off. </p> <h2>Does Twenty Twenty-One Need a Dark Mode?</h2> <p>Dark mode was a late addition to the default theme&rsquo;s development. Choyce <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/22/twenty-twenty-one-dark-mode-discussion/#comment-40111">said</a> the idea seems like a good opportunity to explore but ideally the team would have intentionally designed the feature before development started. </p> <p>In the comments of the post, contributors are discussing the many intricacies of adding this feature to a theme that will be on by default for new WordPress sites. A few commenters noted there might be issues and surprises with logos and transparent images. For this reason, several made the case for shipping it as an opt-in feature and not on by default.</p> <p>Others did not see the need for users to be able to toggle dark mode on/off for individual websites when they already have controls available through their system or browser preferences.</p> <p>Kjell Reigstad contends that users&rsquo; expectations have not yet translated into demand for this feature. </p> <p>&ldquo;As much as I&rsquo;m a fan of dark mode in general (I use it on all my devices and it definitely helps to reduce eye strain), I think the general public views it as &lsquo;a thing that apps do&rsquo; &mdash; not something that websites do yet,&rdquo; Reigstad said. &ldquo;As mentioned above, this theme could be a step towards changing that perception, but the feature&rsquo;s novelty is something to keep in mind.&rdquo;</p> <p>WordPress 5.6 core tech lead Helen Hou-Sand&iacute; suggested it might be better to develop the feature as a plugin, instead of pushing for it to be ready in a short time frame.</p> <p>&ldquo;My instinct right now is that it would be best to split dark mode for Twenty Twenty-One out into a&nbsp;plugin&nbsp;as a form of opt-in, primarily because I think that will both ease the burden for meeting the bar for&nbsp;core&nbsp;ship and also gives space for the feature to be iterated on outside of the core development cycle,&rdquo; Hou-Sand&iacute; said. She also noted that users will be doing things with the theme that core contributors cannot anticipate and a plugin is an easier route for responding to those needs.</p> <p>&ldquo;By separating it out, I think it has a better chance of reaching a point where it encompasses enough by default to be a theme setting without too much futzing on the user&rsquo;s part, or even enough of a thing to be a feature for all themes at large,&rdquo; Hou-Sand&iacute; said.</p> <p>Choyce and Carolina Nymark agreed with this suggestion and <a href="https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C02RP4VMP/p1603724762267800">announced</a> a decision in the WordPress Slack #core-themes channel this morning, based on feedback on the post.</p> <p>&ldquo;Carolina Nymark and I made the decision to move Dark Mode out into a plugin,&rdquo; Choyce said. &ldquo;This will allow us to better address all of the edge cases we&rsquo;ve been encountering without slowing down the progress of bug fixing within the core theme.&rdquo;</p> <p>The plugin is being <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/twentytwentyone-dark-mode">developed on GitHub</a> where contributors will explore how to support the feature moving forward.</p> Mon, 26 Oct 2020 18:47:53 +0000 Sarah Gooding WordCamp Central: Get your free ticket to WordCamp Finland Online! https://central.wordcamp.org/?p=3130035 https://central.wordcamp.org/news/2020/10/26/get-your-free-ticket-to-wordcamp-finland-online/ <p>WordCamp Finland 2020 is just right around the corner and speaker announcements have started to roll out! The online event with two session tracks takes place <strong>November 12 at 12-17 <a href="https://time.is/compare/12_12_Nov_2020_in_Helsinki/UTC">UTC+2</a></strong>. Our organizing team is super excited about the event and upcoming content!</p> <p>Tickets for WordCamp Finland Online 2020 are absolutely free! We strongly recommend registering for a ticket, as this will give you the full WordCamp experience. This will give you access to Q&amp;A sessions, networking opportunities with speakers, sponsors and other attendees. If you would rather not register, you will still be able to watch the talks.</p> <p><a href="https://finland.wordcamp.org/2020/tickets/">Register free for the WordCamp Finland Online</a>.</p> <p>First speakers have been announced and more speakers as well as the full schedule will be announced shortly! Make sure to <a href="https://twitter.com/wordcampfinland">follow us on Twitter</a> to get the news about new announcements.</p> <p>There&#8217;s also still open <a href="https://finland.wordcamp.org/2020/call-for-volunteers/">call for volunteers</a> to help us during the event day. Being a volunteer is more than lending a hand, it is the secret sauce that makes a wordcamp a WordCamp! Make sure to apply if you&#8217;d like to help make the event.</p> Mon, 26 Oct 2020 15:00:49 +0000 Timi Wahalahti Akismet: Happy Birthday Akismet http://blog.akismet.com/?p=2093 https://blog.akismet.com/2020/10/25/happy-birthday-akismet/ <p></p> </p> <img /> <p> <p> </p> <p>Akismet was launched 15 years ago today, when Automattic founder <a href="https://ma.tt/2005/10/akismet-stops-spam/">Matt Mullenweg announced it on his blog</a> in a post describing what Akismet was and what it could become. Given how much the world has changed in the last decade and a half (back then spammers were pushing cheap flip phones and counterfeit Livestrong bracelets), we thought it would be fun to see whether Akismet succeeded in meeting the hopes and dreams that Matt laid out back in October 2005.</p> <blockquote> <p>&#8220;Akismet is a new web service that stops comment and trackback spam. (Or at least tries really hard to.)&#8221;</p> </blockquote> <p>Fact check: true! Akismet has stopped 500,000,000,000 pieces of comment and trackback spam since October 2005. That&#8217;s an average of a thousand spam per second, every second, since before Twitter existed. Plus another thousand in the time it took you to read that sentence. And this one. (And this one.)</p> <blockquote> <p>&#8220;The service is usable immediately as a WordPress plugin and the API could also be adapted for other systems.&#8221;</p> </blockquote> <p>Akismet is still usable as a WordPress plugin, and there are now dozens of Akismet clients for non-WordPress systems, plus countless other implementations for custom platforms. Some people say that Akismet is the most open anti-spam API on the Web. Some people are right.</p> <blockquote> <p>&#8220;If nothing else, I hope this makes blogging more joyful for at least one person.&#8221;</p> </blockquote> <p>According to an informal survey we just performed, Akismet has made blogging more joyful for multiple people. If you&#8217;re one of those people, put on a party hat, grab a piece of cake, and join us in wishing Akismet a very happy 15th birthday.</p> Sun, 25 Oct 2020 07:00:00 +0000 Christopher Finke WPTavern: Yext Launches a WordPress Plugin To Connect To Its Answers Platform https://wptavern.com/?p=106325 https://wptavern.com/yext-launches-a-wordpress-plugin-to-connect-to-its-answers-platform?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=yext-launches-a-wordpress-plugin-to-connect-to-its-answers-platform <p class="has-drop-cap">Last week, Yext launched its <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/yext-answers/">Yext Answers plugin</a> to the WordPress community. The goal was to bring a platform that won the Best Software Innovation category of the <a href="https://globalsearchawards.net/2020-winners/">2020 Global Search Awards</a> to WordPress. However, my experience was far from satisfactory.</p> <p>&ldquo;For people searching on a WordPress website, the Answers Connector provides a seamless search experience,&rdquo; said Alexandra Allegra, the Senior Product Marketing Manager at Yext. &ldquo;For businesses and organizations that integrate it, it drives higher rates of conversion, which generates more revenue. It helps lower support costs because when businesses can deliver detailed, official answers, customers don&rsquo;t have to call customer service. And finally, it unveils valuable customer insights, because businesses can see new questions coming in &mdash; in real-time.&rdquo;</p> <p>Yext Answers is essentially trialware. Technically, the plugin itself is free. However, Yext is currently running a 90-day free trial for access to its <a href="https://www.yext.com/products/answers/">Answers platform</a>. The website does not seem to provide an easy way to find what the true cost will be after that initial 90 days. To upgrade, users must contact the Yext team via email or phone.</p> <p>The website does provide an estimated cost calculator. The lowest tier available via this calculator is for 20,000 searches per month at $5,000. It is unclear if there are lower pricing options. The Yext team provided no further details when asked about billing.</p> <p>The plugin is marketing itself primarily toward business users. It can replace a WordPress site&rsquo;s traditional search, which is customizable to suit various site owner&rsquo;s needs, according to the Yext team.</p> <p>Over the past week, I have discussed this plugin with a representative from the company, watched demo videos, and attempted to test the plugin. Thus far, it has been a subpar experience. I typically forgo writing about plugins that do not pan out. However, after the initial investment into what looked to be an interesting project, I wanted to share my experience, and my hope is that it helps the team build a better product in the long term.</p> <p>I have yet to get the Yext Answers plugin to work. It requires an account with the Yext website. It also requires that end-users enter multiple fields on the plugin settings screen in WordPress. Unfortunately, after a frustrating amount of searching, I was never able to successfully find all of the correct information or get the information I did have to work. I gave up on the endeavor.</p> <p>The demo video does show the promise of a somewhat interesting plugin:</p> <div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <div class="embed-vimeo"></div> </div> <p>Perhaps people who are already familiar with the Yext platform may have better luck. However, I would not recommend it to anyone new, at least in its current state.</p> <p>There are far better options for connecting via third-party APIs that would be simpler for the average end-user (or even a developer of 15+ years such as myself). The one-click login process provided via the MakeStories plugin, <a href="https://wptavern.com/makestories-2-0-launches-editor-for-wordpress-rivaling-googles-official-web-stories-plugin">which I covered recently</a>, is a prime example of how to do things right.</p> <p>We are at a point in the internet era in which end-users should have simple, no-fuss connections between sites. Entering IDs, keys, and other complex fields should be tucked under an &ldquo;advanced&rdquo; section of the options screen, not as part of the default experience. Or, they should be so easily available that no one should have trouble finding them.</p> <h2>Launching with Shortcodes Instead of Blocks</h2> <p class="has-drop-cap">Two years after the integration of the block editor into WordPress, the Yext team is launching its Yext Answers plugin with shortcodes, which require manual entrance by end-users. Currently, the plugin does not have block equivalents for its shortcodes.</p> <p>The team was either unwilling or unable to answer even the most fundamental questions about their decision to use shortcodes rather than launching their plugin &mdash; in the year 2020 &mdash; with at least block alternatives. At points, they even seemed confused about the subject altogether.</p> <p>The closest the team came to providing feedback after a lengthy discussion was the following, attributed to Rose Grant, the Associate Product Manager:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>We&rsquo;re looking forward to feedback on the initial release of our plugin before iterating further on it, including introducing custom blocks. For this version of the plugin, we wanted to prioritize supporting clients who are using older versions of WordPress.</p></blockquote> <p>Packaging a set of shortcodes within a plugin is still a good practice, even for plugin developers who have transitioned fully to supporting the block editor. It allows them to support users who are still working with the classic editor. However, at this point, developers should be building from a block-first mindset. Blocks do not require that users remember specific shortcode names. They provide instant, visual feedback to users in the editor. And, block options (as opposed to shortcode arguments) do not rely on the oftentimes faulty input of user typing.</p> <p>At this point, all plugin developers should consider shortcodes a legacy feature and useful only as a backward-compatible option for users on the classic editor.</p> <p>The Communications Strategist for the company pointed out that this is Yext&rsquo;s first venture into WordPress plugins and that the team may not be able to provide perspective or commentary on such questions related to blocks and shortcodes. However, this is the <a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/thundersnow/#content-plugins">third Yext-related plugin</a> associated with the plugin author account on WordPress.org.</p> Fri, 23 Oct 2020 20:17:34 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: Gutenberg 9.2 Adds Video Tracks, Improvements to Columns and Cover Blocks https://wptavern.com/?p=106638 https://wptavern.com/gutenberg-9-2-adds-video-tracks-improvements-to-columns-and-cover-blocks?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gutenberg-9-2-adds-video-tracks-improvements-to-columns-and-cover-blocks <p><a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/21/whats-new-in-gutenberg-21-october/">Gutenberg 9.2</a> was released this week and is the last release of the plugin to be rolled into WordPress 5.6. It features the long-awaited video tracks functionality, closing a <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/issues/7673">ticket</a> that has been open for more than two years under development. </p> <p>Video tracks includes things like subtitles, captions, descriptions, chapters, and metadata. This update introduces a UI for adding video tags, which can contain multiple track elements using the following four attributes: </p> <ul><li><code>srclang</code>&nbsp;(Valid BCP 47 language tag)</li><li><code>label</code>&nbsp;(Title for player UI)</li><li><code>kind</code>&nbsp;(Captions, Chapters, Descriptions, Metadata or Subtitles)</li><li><code>src</code>&nbsp;(URL of the text file)</li></ul> <p>The ability to edit tracks is exposed in the video block&rsquo;s toolbar:</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><img /></div> <p>This update closes a major gap in video accessibility and greatly improves the user experience of videos.</p> <p>Gutenberg 9.2 also introduces the ability to transform multiple selected blocks into a Columns block. For example, users can select three image blocks and instantly change them into a three-column section. Columns can be created from any kind of block, including InnerBlocks. The transform option will appear if the number of selected blocks falls between 2-6. (The maximum number is derived from the maximum number of columns allowed by the Columns block.)</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><img />Transform multiple blocks into Columns block</div> <p>Another notable feature in 9.2 is the expansion of Cover blocks to support repeated background patterns. This gives users more flexibility in their designs, opening up a new set of possibilities.</p> <div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> https://cloudup.com/cArDykzhpYZ </div> <p>This release brings in more than a dozen improvements to the new Widgets screen, as well as updates to the Query Block and Site Editor experiments. The most notable smaller enhancements to existing features include the following: </p> <ul><li>Add dropdown button to view templates in&nbsp;sidebar. (<a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/26132">26132</a>)</li><li>Gallery block: Use image caption as fallback for alt text. (<a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/26082">26082</a>)</li><li>Table block: Use&nbsp;hooks&nbsp;+&nbsp;API&nbsp;v2. (<a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/26065">26065</a>)</li><li>Refactor document actions to handle template part titles. (<a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/26043">26043</a>)</li><li>Info panel layout improvement. (<a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/26017">26017</a>)</li><li>Remove non-core&nbsp;blocks from default editor content. (<a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/25844">25844</a>)</li><li>Add very basic template information dropdown. (<a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/25757">25757</a>)</li><li>Rename &ldquo;Options&rdquo; modal to &ldquo;Preferences&rdquo;. (<a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/25683">25683</a>)</li><li>Add single column functionality to the Columns block. (<a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/24065">24065</a>)</li><li>Add more writing flow options: Reduced&nbsp;UI, theme styles, spotlight. (<a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/22494">22494</a>)</li><li>Add option to make Post&nbsp;Featured Image&nbsp;a link. (<a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/25714">25714</a>)</li></ul> <p>Since the Gutenberg 9.2 release was delayed by a week, it includes many more bug fixes and code quality improvements than most releases. Check out the full <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/21/whats-new-in-gutenberg-21-october/">changelog</a> for more details.</p> Fri, 23 Oct 2020 15:59:36 +0000 Sarah Gooding WPTavern: ESLint Maintainers Share Challenges of Funding Open Source Utilities through Sponsorship https://wptavern.com/?p=106411 https://wptavern.com/eslint-maintainers-share-challenges-of-funding-open-source-utilities-through-sponsorship?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=eslint-maintainers-share-challenges-of-funding-open-source-utilities-through-sponsorship <p><a href="https://eslint.org/">ESLint</a>, one of the most popular JavaScript linting utilities, quickly eclipsed more established early competitors, <a href="https://wptavern.com/jshint-is-now-free-software-after-updating-license-to-mit-expat">thanks to its open source license</a>. The clear licensing enabled the project to become widely used but did not immediately translate into funds for its ongoing development. Despite being &nbsp;downloaded more than 13 million times each week, its maintainers still struggle to support the utility.</p> <p>A little over a year since launching&nbsp;<a href="https://eslint.org/blog/2019/02/funding-eslint-future">ESLint Collective</a>&nbsp;to fund contributors&rsquo; efforts, the project&rsquo;s leadership <a href="https://eslint.org/blog/2020/10/year-paying-contributors-review">shared</a> some of the successes and challenges of pursuing the sponsorship model. One effort that didn&rsquo;t pan out was hiring a dedicated maintainer:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>This was a difficult thing for the team to work through, and we think there&rsquo;s an important lesson about open source sustainability: even though we receive donations, ESLint doesn&rsquo;t bring in enough to pay maintainers full-time. When that happens, maintainers face a difficult decision: we can try to make part-time development work, but it&rsquo;s hard to find other part-time work to make up the monthly income we need to make it worthwhile. In some cases, doing the part-time work makes it more difficult to find other work because you are time-constrained in a way that other freelancers are not.</p></blockquote> <p>One somewhat successful experiment ESLint explored is paying its five-person Technical Steering Committee (TSC), the project leadership responsible for managing releases, issues, and pull requests. Members receive $50/hour for contributions and time spent on the project, capped at a maximum of $1,000/month. The cap prevents TSC members from spending too much time on the project in addition to their day job so they don&rsquo;t get burned out.</p> <p>The team reports that this stipend arrangement has worked &ldquo;exceedingly well&rdquo; and contributions have slowly increased: &ldquo;There is something to be said for paying people for valuable work: when the work is explicitly valued, people are more willing to do it.&rdquo; </p> <p>On larger projects like WordPress, corporate contributions are critical to its ongoing development. In recent years, the <a href="https://wordpress.org/five-for-the-future/">Five for the Future</a> campaign has helped compensate many contributors as their employers pay them a salary while donating their time to work on WordPress. </p> <p>Some of the major advancements in WordPress require an immense investment of time and expertise. It&rsquo;s problem solving that requires working across teams for months to build complex solutions that will work for millions of users. That&rsquo;s why you don&rsquo;t see armies of people building Gutenberg for free. Much of the development is driven by paid employees and might not otherwise have happened without corporate donations of employee time. Automattic, Google, Yoast SEO, 10up, GoDaddy, Human Made, WebDevStudios, WP Engine, and many other companies have collectively <a href="https://wordpress.org/five-for-the-future/pledges/">pledged</a> thousands of hours worth of labor per month. The diversity of companies and individuals supporting WordPress helps the project maintain stability and weather the storms of life better. </p> <p>Smaller open source projects like ESLint rarely have the same resources at their disposal and have to experiment. Summarizing the one-year review of paying contributors from sponsorships, the team states: <em>&ldquo;Maintaining a project like ESLint takes a lot of work and a lot of contributions from a lot of people. The only way for that to continue is to pay people for their time.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>When even the most popular utilities struggle to gain enough sponsorships, what hope is there for smaller projects? Many utilities that have become indispensable in developers&rsquo; workflows are on a trajectory towards becoming unsustainable. </p> <p>&ldquo;Unfortunately, utilities like these rarely bring in any meaningful amount of money from donations, no matter how widely used or beloved they are,&rdquo; OSS engineer Colin McDonnell said in his proposal for a new funding model. &ldquo;Consider&nbsp;<a href="https://github.com/ReactTraining/react-router">react-router</a>. Even with 41.3k stars on GitHub, 3M weekly downloads from NPM, and nearly universal adoption in React-based single-page applications, it only brings in&nbsp;<a href="https://opencollective.com/react-router">~$17k</a>&nbsp;of donations annually.&rdquo;</p> <p>McDonnell proposed the concept of &ldquo;<a href="https://vriad.com/essays/a-new-funding-model-for-open-source-software">sponsor pools</a>,&rdquo; to fund smaller projects that are unable to benefit from existing open-source funding models.&nbsp;Instead of making donations on a per-project basis, open source supporters could donate a set amount into a &ldquo;wallet&rdquo; every month and then distribute those funds to projects they select for their sponsor pools. The key part of the implementation is that adding new projects to the pool should only take one click, reducing the psychological friction associated with supporting additional projects.</p> <p>McDonnell suggested that GitHub is the only organization with the infrastructure to implement this model as an extension of GitHub Sponsors. One commenter on <a href="https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23981563">Hacker News</a> proposes that Sponsors and the idea of &ldquo;sponsors pool&rdquo; could exist in parallel.</p> <p>&ldquo;I believe that there&rsquo;s a meaningful difference between being the patron of a developer and feeling like you&rsquo;re backing a creator with feelings and a story and a family&hellip; and wanting to be a good citizen that has an approved list of projects that I benefit from and want to support,&rdquo; Pete Forde said.</p> <p>&ldquo;I can sponsor Matz, get his updates and feel good about knowing I am counted as a supporter AND set aside $$$ per month to contribute to all of the tools I use in my projects simply because it&rsquo;s the right thing to do and I want those projects to exist for the long term. They are completely different initiatives. Patreon vs Humble Bundle, if you will.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="https://www.tidelift.com/">Tidelift</a> is another concept that was highlighted in the HN discussion. It has a different, unique approach to funding open source work. Tidelift pools funds from the organizations using the software to support the maintainers. </p> <p>&ldquo;I maintain <a href="https://github.com/ruby-grape/grape">ruby grape</a>, a mid-sized project,&rdquo; Daniel Doubrovkine said. &ldquo;We get $144/month from Tidelift. As more companies signup for corporate sponsorship the dollar amount increases. It&rsquo;s a pool.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="https://snowdrift.coop/">Snowdrift</a> takes a more unusual approach to pooling sponsorships where patrons &ldquo;crowdmatch&rdquo; each others donations to fund public goods. It runs as a non-profit co-op to fund free and open projects that serve the public interest. </p> <p><a href="https://flossbank.com/">Flossbank</a> is more specifically targeted at funding open source projects and takes technical approach to ensuring equitable contributions to the the&nbsp;entire dependency tree&nbsp;of your installed open source packages. The organization claims to provide &ldquo;a free and frictionless&rdquo; way to give back to maintainers. Developers can opt into curated, tech-focused ads in the terminal when installing open source packages. As an alternative, they can set a monthly donation amount to be spread across the packages they install.</p> <p>No single funding model is suitable for all projects but the experiments that pool sponsorships in various ways seem to be trending, especially for supporting maintainers who may not be as skilled in marketing their efforts. The conversation around supporting utilities <a href="https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23981563">continues on Hacker News</a>. WordPress developers who depend on some of these utilities may want to join in and share their experiences in funding small projects.</p> Thu, 22 Oct 2020 20:26:55 +0000 Sarah Gooding Akismet: Version 4.1.7 of the Akismet WordPress Plugin is Now Available http://blog.akismet.com/?p=2104 https://blog.akismet.com/2020/10/22/version-4-1-7-of-the-akismet-wordpress-plugin-is-now-available/ Version 4.1.7 of <a href="http://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/">the Akismet plugin for WordPress</a> is now available. It contains the following changes: <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul> <li>Stops using the deprecated <code>wp_blacklist_check</code> function in favor of the new <code>wp_check_comment_disallowed_list</code> function.</li> <li>Shows the &#8220;Set Up Akismet&#8221; banner on the comments dashboard page, where it&#8217;s appropriate to mention if Akismet has not yet been configured.</li> <li>Miscellaneous text changes.</li> </ul> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> To upgrade, visit the Updates page of your WordPress dashboard and follow the instructions. If you need to download the plugin zip file directly, links to all versions are available in <a href="http://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/">the WordPress plugins directory</a>. Thu, 22 Oct 2020 19:23:31 +0000 Christopher Finke WPTavern: Q: First FSE WordPress Theme Now Live https://wptavern.com/?p=106388 https://wptavern.com/q-first-fse-wordpress-theme-now-live?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=q-first-fse-wordpress-theme-now-live <img />Q WordPress theme screenshot. <p class="has-drop-cap">Themes Team representative Ari Stathopoulos is now officially the first theme author to have a theme in the directory that supports full-site editing (FSE). With a slimmed-down beta release of FSE shipping in WordPress 5.6 this December, someone had to be the first to take the plunge. It made sense for someone intimately familiar with theme development and the directory guidelines to step up.</p> <p>In many ways, it is a huge responsibility that Stathopoulos has taken on. Until one of the default Twenty* themes handles FSE, the <a href="https://wordpress.org/themes/q/">Q theme</a> will likely be one of the primary examples that other theme authors will follow as they begin learning how to build block-based themes.</p> <p>Earlier this month, I used <a href="https://wptavern.com/exploring-full-site-editing-with-the-q-wordpress-theme">Q to test FSE</a> and determine how much it had advanced. It is at least months away from being ready for use in production. The beta release in 5.6 is more or less just to get more people testing.</p> <p>Stathopoulos has no plans to make Q much more than a bare-bones starter or experimental theme. It is almost a playground to see what is possible.</p> <p>&ldquo;Q was born out of necessity,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I couldn&rsquo;t work on full-site editing or global styles without having a base theme for them, so for a while, I had it in a GitHub repository. I decided to release it to the WordPress.org repository because I think I might not be the only one with those issues. Downloading a theme in the dashboard is easier than cloning a repository for most people.&rdquo;</p> <p>Existing block-based themes are few and far between. Automattic and some of its employees have some experimental projects, but none of those are in the official directory for anyone to test. Stathopoulos wanted a base theme that was unopinionated in terms of design that would allow him to work on FSE, test pull requests, and experiment with various ideas.</p> <p>&ldquo;It has some ideas for things that ultimately I&rsquo;d like to see implemented in FSE, and it&rsquo;s a playground,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;For example, the addition of a skip-link for accessibility in the theme, an implementation for responsive/adaptive typography, and conditional loading of block styles only when they are used/needed. These are things that I hope will be part of WordPress Core at some point, and the Q theme explores ideas on how to implement them.&rdquo;</p> <p>He began work on the theme over a year ago and continues working on it as a side project. He said Yoast, his employer, fully supports the idea of creating things that are beneficial for other theme designers and WordPress core.</p> <h2>Developing an FSE-Capable Theme</h2> <img />Editing the Q theme single post template in the site editor. <p class="has-drop-cap">End-users must install the Gutenberg plugin and activate the experimental FSE feature to use the theme or any similar theme. Currently, FSE is missing many key features that make it viable for most real-world projects. However, theme developers who plan to work with WordPress over the next several years will need to begin testing and experimenting. Q makes for a good starting point to simply get a feel for what themes will look like.</p> <p>&ldquo;The biggest issue was &mdash; and still is &mdash; keeping up with Gutenberg development,&rdquo; said Stathopoulos. &ldquo;Many things are currently fluid, and they happen at a very high pace. The reason I created the theme was because other themes I was testing, as part of my contribution to the Themes Team, were not properly maintained or updated. I wanted to create a starter theme that can be used as a starting point for others as well.&rdquo;</p> <p>One of the biggest questions still hanging in the air is what the timeline will look like for publicly-available, block-based themes. <em>Will 2021 be the year they take over?</em> That is unlikely given the feature&rsquo;s current state. However, there will be a point where developers are no longer building classic or traditional themes.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think we&rsquo;re going to see a lot more FSE themes in 2021,&rdquo; said Stathopoulos. &ldquo;It might take a couple of years before they become the standard, but after the release of WordPress 5.6, I hope there will be a lot more development and focus on FSE and global styles. Whether we see more FSE themes or not depends on when some things get merged in WordPress core.&rdquo;</p> <p>He pointed out some critical missing features from Gutenberg at the moment. The big one is that the Query block, which is the block that displays posts on the front end, does not inherit its options from the global query. Essentially, this means that, regardless of what URL a visitor is on, it displays the latest posts.</p> <p>&ldquo;Once these things are addressed, and blockers for theme builders get resolved, I expect we&rsquo;ll see an explosion of good FSE themes being built,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Stathopoulos is most excited about the prospect of seeing more design standards come to core. Currently, there is no consistency between themes. Theme authors can use any markup they want. Switching themes affects a site&rsquo;s structure, SEO, accessibility, speed, and many other things.</p> <p>&ldquo;My advice to theme developers who want to start tinkering would be to start with something simple,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s tempting to add extremely opinionated styles, for buttons for example, but more and more things get added every day to the editor like a border-radius setting for buttons. Theme authors should avoid the trap of designing an FSE theme having in mind what the editor currently does. Instead, theme authors should strive to build something having in mind a vision of what the editor will eventually become.&rdquo;</p> <h2>The Future of Theme Reviews</h2> <p class="has-drop-cap">Because Stathopoulos is a representative of the Themes Team, he also has some insight into the shift in the coming years for guidelines and what steps authors might need to take. While it is too early for the team to begin making decisions, its members are already thinking about forthcoming changes.</p> <p>&ldquo;Change is always difficult, especially when it&rsquo;s for something this big,&rdquo; said Stathopoulos. &ldquo;It will be a bumpy ride, and it will take time. WordPress theming is a huge industry. For a while, &lsquo;classic&rsquo; (for lack of a better word) themes will continue to be a viable solution for theme developers who didn&rsquo;t have time to catch up. But not forever.&rdquo;</p> <p>Some may look back at previous major shifts and worry about what the future theme directory guidelines may ask. In 2015, the team <a href="https://wptavern.com/wordpress-org-now-requires-theme-authors-to-use-the-customizer-to-build-theme-options">required all theme options to use the customizer</a>. This was after a three-year wait for theme authors to organically make the switch. Given that FSE will be a much larger departure from norms and dislike of the Gutenberg project from segments of the development community, it could be a rough transition.</p> <p>&ldquo;At some point, FSE themes will become the industry standard and what the users want,&rdquo; said Stathopoulos. &ldquo;Personally, I hope no one will want to upload a classic theme in the w.org repository in 2025 when the industry has moved on. It would be like uploading today a theme that is using tables and iframes for layouts.&rdquo;</p> <p>He said that sufficient time would be given for the eventual transition. However, the team will likely prioritize FSE-based themes. They are cognizant of how much of a shift this will be and will plan accordingly when the time comes.</p> Thu, 22 Oct 2020 18:48:49 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: Loginizer Plugin Gets Forced Security Update for Vulnerabilities Affecting 1 Million Users https://wptavern.com/?p=106557 https://wptavern.com/loginizer-plugin-gets-forced-security-update-for-vulnerabilities-affecting-1-million-users?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=loginizer-plugin-gets-forced-security-update-for-vulnerabilities-affecting-1-million-users <p>WordPress.org has pushed out a forced security update for the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/loginizer/">Loginizer</a> plugin, which is active on more than 1 million websites. The plugin offers brute force protection in its free version, along with other security features like two-factor auth, reCAPTCHA, and PasswordLess login in its commercial upgrade. </p> <p>Last week security researcher Slavco Mihajloski <a href="https://wpdeeply.com/loginizer-before-1-6-4-sqli-injection/">discovered</a> an unauthenticated SQL injection vulnerability, and an XSS vulnerability, that he disclosed to the plugin&rsquo;s authors. Loginizer version 1.6.4 was released on October 16, 2020, with patches for the two issues, summarized on the plugin&rsquo;s blog: </p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>1) [Security Fix] : A properly crafted username used to login could lead to SQL injection. This has been fixed by using the prepare function in PHP which prepares the SQL query for safe execution.</p><p>2) [Security Fix] : If the IP HTTP header was modified to have a null byte it could lead to stored XSS. This has been fixed by properly sanitizing the IP HTTP header before using the same.</p></blockquote> <p>Loginizer did not disclose the vulnerability until today in order to give users the time to upgrade. Given the severity of the vulnerability, the plugins team at WordPress.org pushed out the security update to all sites running Loginizer on WordPress 3.7+. </p> <p>In July, 2020, Loginizer was <a href="https://loginizer.com/blog/loginizer-has-been-acquired-by-softaculous/">acquired by Softaculous</a>, so the company was also able to automatically upgrade any WordPress installations with Loginizer that had been created using Softaculous. This effort, combined with the updates from WordPress.org, covered a large portion of Loginizer&rsquo;s user base.</p> <div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Any <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WordPress?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WordPress</a> install with <a href="https://twitter.com/loginizer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@loginizer</a> probably isn't using another WAF solution. As you can notice from the graph 600k+500k active installs were updated upside down, so &hellip; Preauth SQLi in it, reported by me. Update! Crunching write up :) <a href="https://t.co/gkEVWun9wt">https://t.co/gkEVWun9wt</a> <a href="https://t.co/XWXVMYO1ED">pic.twitter.com/XWXVMYO1ED</a></p>&mdash; mslavco (@mslavco) <a href="https://twitter.com/mslavco/status/1318059239332601856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 19, 2020</a></blockquote> </div> <p>The automatic update took some of the plugin&rsquo;s users by surprise, since they had not initiated it themselves and had not activated automatic updates for plugins. After several users <a href="https://wordpress.org/support/topic/automatic-update-33/">posted</a> on the plugin&rsquo;s support forum, plugin team member Samuel Wood said that &ldquo;WordPress.org has the ability to turn on auto-updates for security issues in plugins&rdquo; and has used this capability many times.</p> <p>Mihajloski <a href="https://wpdeeply.com/loginizer-before-1-6-4-sqli-injection/">published</a> a more detailed proof-of-concept on his blog earlier today. He also highlighted some concerns regarding the systems WordPress has in place that allowed this kind of of severe vulnerability to slip through the cracks. He claims the issue could have easily been prevented by the plugin review team since the plugin wasn&rsquo;t using the prepare function for safe execution of SQL queries. Mihajloski also recommended recurring code audits for plugins in the official directory.</p> <p>&ldquo;When a plugin gets into the repository, it must be reviewed, but when is it reviewed again?&rdquo; Mihajloski said. &ldquo;Everyone starts with 0 active installs, but what happens on 1k, 10k, 50k, 100k, 500k, 1mil+ active installs?&rdquo;</p> <p>Mihajloski was at puzzled how such a glaring security issue could remain in the plugin&rsquo;s code so long, given that it is a security plugin with an active install count that is more than many well known CMS&rsquo;s. The plugin also recently changed hands when it was acquired by Softaculus and had been audited by multiple security organizations, including <a href="https://blog.wpsec.com/sql-injection-and-csrf-security-vulnerability-in-loginizer/">WPSec</a> and <a href="https://blog.dewhurstsecurity.com/2018/05/22/loginizer-wordpress-plugin-xss-vulnerability.html">Dewhurst Security</a>.</p> <p>Mihajloski also recommends that WordPress improve the transparency around <a href="https://wordpress.org/about/security/">security</a>, as some site owners and closed communities may not be comfortable with having their assets administered by unknown people at WordPress.org.</p> <p>&ldquo;WordPress.org in general is transparent, but there isn&rsquo;t any statement or document about who, how and when decides about and performs automatic updates,&rdquo; Mihajloski said. &ldquo;It is kind of [like] holding all your eggs in one basket.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think those are the crucial points that WP.org should focus on and everything will came into place in a short time: complete WordPress tech documentation for security warnings, a guide for disclosure of the bugs (from researchers, but also from a vendor aspect), and recurring code audits for popular plugins.&rdquo;</p> Thu, 22 Oct 2020 03:47:22 +0000 Sarah Gooding Post Status: Joe Casabona on creating quality content and courses https://poststatus.com/?p=80099 https://poststatus.com/joe-casabona-on-creating-quality-content-and-courses/ <p>David Bisset interviews Joe Casabona, an independent creator and teacher, and discusses what it's like to be a creator as his job, plus some news topics.</p> <h3 id="h-links">Links</h3> <ul><li>W3C <a href="https://wptavern.com/w3c-drops-wordpress-from-consideration-for-redesign-narrows-cms-shortlist-to-statamic-and-craft">drops WordPress</a> from consideration for its redesign</li><li>W3c <a href="https://wptavern.com/w3c-selects-craft-cms-for-redesign-project">selects Craft</a> and <a href="https://w3c.studio24.net/docs/cms-selection-report/">selection report</a></li><li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14RcHPfStA0">Disabling full screen mode</a></li><li><a href="https://creatorcourses.com/shop/">Creator Courses</a></li><li>How I Built It <a href="https://howibuilt.it/recording-notes/">recording notes</a></li><li><a href="https://reincubate.com/camo/">Camo</a></li></ul> <h3>Partner: <a href="https://poststatus.com/sandhills">Sandhills Development</a></h3> <p><a href="https://poststatus.com/sandhills">Sandhills Development</a> crafts ingenuity, developed with care:</p> <ul><li>Easy Digital Downloads ?Sell digital products with WordPress</li><li>AffiliateWP ?A full-featured affiliate marketing solution</li><li>Sugar Calendar ?WordPress event management made simple</li><li>WP Simple Pay ?A lightweight Stripe payments plugin</li></ul> <p></p> Wed, 21 Oct 2020 21:17:13 +0000 Brian Krogsgard WPTavern: MakeStories 2.0 Launches Editor for WordPress, Rivaling Google’s Official Web Stories Plugin https://wptavern.com/?p=106327 https://wptavern.com/makestories-2-0-launches-editor-for-wordpress-rivaling-googles-official-web-stories-plugin?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=makestories-2-0-launches-editor-for-wordpress-rivaling-googles-official-web-stories-plugin <img />Recipe slide from the MakeStories WordPress plugin. <p class="has-drop-cap">Earlier today, <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/makestories-helper/">MakeStories launched version 2.0</a> of its plugin for creating Web Stories with WordPress. In many ways, this is a new plugin launch. The previous version simply allowed users to connect their WordPress installs to the <a href="https://makestories.io/">MakeStories site</a>. With the new version, users can build and edit their stories directly from the WordPress admin.</p> <p>Version 2.0 of the plugin still requires an account and a connection with the MakeStories.io website. However, it is simple to set up. Users can log in without leaving their WordPress admin interface. This API connection means that user-created Stories are stored on the MakeStories servers. If an end-user wanted to jump platforms from WordPress to something else, this would allow them to take their Stories with them.</p> <p>&ldquo;One of the things we would like to assure is your content is still yours, and none of the user data is being consumed or analyzed by us,&rdquo; said Pratik Ghela, the founder and product manager at MakeStories. &ldquo;We only take enough data to help serve you better.&rdquo;</p> <p>The plugin is a competing solution to the official <a href="https://wptavern.com/google-officially-releases-its-web-stories-for-wordpress-plugin">Web Stories plugin by Google</a>. While the two share similarities in the final output (they are built to utilize the same front-end format for creating Stories on the web), they take different paths to get there.</p> <p>The two share similarities on the backend too. However, MakeStories may be more polished in some areas. For example, it allows users to zoom in on the small canvas area. Having the ability to reorder slides from the grid view also feels more intuitive.</p> <p>&ldquo;The main unique selling proposition of our plugin is that it comes with a guarantee of the MakeStories team,&rdquo; said Ghela. &ldquo;We as a team have been building this for over two years, and we are proud to be one of the tools that has stood the test of time, and competition and is still growing at a very fast pace.&rdquo;</p> <p>The team also wants to make the Story-creating process faster, safer, and rewarding. The goal is to cater to designers, developers, and content creators. Ghela also feels like his team&rsquo;s support turnaround time of a few hours will be the key to success and is a good reason for users to give this plugin a try before settling on something else.</p> <p>&ldquo;We feel that our goal is to see Web Stories flourish,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And we may have different types of users looking out for various options. So, the official plugin from Google and the one from MakeStories at least opens up the options for users to choose from. And we feel that the folks at Google are also building a great editor, and, at the end of the day, it&rsquo;s up to the user to select what they feel is the best.</p> <p>Technically, MakeStories is a SaaS (software as a service) product. Even though it is a free plugin, there will eventually be a commercial component to it. Currently, it is free at least until the first quarter of 2021, which may be extended based on various factors. There is no word on what pricing tiers may be available after that.</p> <p>&ldquo;There will always be a free tier, and we have always stood for it that your data belongs to you,&rdquo; said Ghela. &ldquo;In case you do not like the pricing, we will personally assist you to port out from using our editor and still keep the data and everything totally intact.&rdquo;</p> <h2>Diving Into the Plugin</h2> <img />Story management screen. <p class="has-drop-cap">MakeStories is a drag-and-drop editor for building Web Stories. It works and feels much like typical design editors like Gimp or Photoshop. It shares similarities with QuarkXPress or InDesign, for those familiar with page layout programs. In some ways, it feels a lot like a light-colored version of Google&rsquo;s Web Stories plugin with more features and a slightly more intuitive interface.</p> <p>The end goal is simple: create a Story through designing slides/pages that site visitors will click through as the narrative unfolds.</p> <p>The plugin provides a plethora of shapes, textures, and animations. These features are easy to find and implement. It also includes free access to images, GIFs, and videos. These are made possible via API integrations with Unsplash, Tenor, and Pexels.</p> <p>MakeStories includes access to 10 templates at the moment. However, what makes this feature stand out is that end-users can create and save custom templates for reuse down the road.</p> <img />Editing a Story from a predesigned template. <p>One of the more interesting, almost hidden, features is the available text patterns. The plugin allows users to insert these patterns from a couple of dozen choices. This makes it easier to visualize a design without having to build everything from scratch.</p> <img />Inserting a text pattern and adjusting its size. <p>While the editing process is a carefully-crafted experience that makes the plugin worth a look, it is the actual publishing aspect of the workflow that is a bit painful. Traditional publishing in WordPress means hitting the &ldquo;publish&rdquo; button to make content live. This is not the case with the MakeStories plugin. It takes you through a four-step process of entering various publisher details, setting up metadata and SEO, validating the Story content, and analytics. It is not that these steps are necessarily bad. For example, MakeStories lets you know when images are missing alt text, which is needed information screen readers. The problem is that it feels out of place to go through all of these details when I, as a user, simply want my content published. And, many of these details, such as the publisher (author), should be automatically filled in.</p> <p>Updating a Story is not as simple as hitting an &ldquo;update&rdquo; button either. The system needs to run through some of the same steps too.</p> <p>Ghela said the publishing process might be a bit tough but will prove fruitful in the end. The plugin takes care of the technical aspects of adding title tags, meta, and other data on the front end after the user fills in the form fields.</p> <p>&ldquo;We will definitely work on improving the flow as the community evolves and improve it a lot to be easier, faster, and, most importantly, still very customizable,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>The MakeStories team has no plans of stopping at its current point on the roadmap. Ghela sounded excited about some of the upcoming additions they are planning, including features like teams, branding, easy template customization, polls, and quizzes.</p> <h2>On the Web Stories Format</h2> <img /><a href="https://feature.undp.org/covid-and-poverty/">UN report on COVID-19 and poverty</a> published with MakeStories. <p class="has-drop-cap">Many will ultimately hesitate to use any plugin that implements Web Stories given Google&rsquo;s history of dropping projects. There is also a feeling that the format is a bit of a fad and will not stand the test of time.</p> <p>&ldquo;We greatly believe in AMP and Web Stories as a content format,&rdquo; said Ghela. &ldquo;We, as an agency, have been involved a lot in AMP and have done a lot of experiments with it, including a totally custom WooCommerce site in fully-native, valid AMP with support for variable products, subscriptions, and other functionalities.&rdquo;</p> <p>The company is all-in on the format and feels like it will be around for the long term, particularly if there is a good ecosystem around monetization.</p> <p>&ldquo;We think that the initial reactions are because there are not enough proven results and because we never imagined the story format to come to the web,&rdquo; said Ghela. &ldquo;There were definitely plugins that did this. Few folks tried to build stories using good ol&rsquo; HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. But, the performance and UX were not that great. On the other hand, the engineers at the AMP Team are making sure that everything is just perfect. The UX, load time, WCV Score, just everything.&rdquo;</p> <p>He feels that some of the early criticisms are unwarranted and that the web development community should give the format a try and provide feedback.</p> <p>&ldquo;The more data we all get, actually gives the AMP team a clear idea of what&rsquo;s needed, and they can design the roadmap accordingly,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;So, just giving out early reactions won&rsquo;t help, but constructive criticism and getting back to the AMP team with what you are doing will.&rdquo;</p> Wed, 21 Oct 2020 21:12:31 +0000 Justin Tadlock WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.6 Beta 1 https://wordpress.org/news/?p=9085 https://wordpress.org/news/2020/10/wordpress-5-6-beta-1/ <p>WordPress 5.6 Beta 1 is now available for testing!</p> <p><strong>This software is still in development,</strong>&nbsp;so we recommend that you run this version on a test site.</p> <p>You can test the WordPress 5.6 beta in two ways:</p> <ul><li>Try the&nbsp;<a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-beta-tester/">WordPress Beta Tester</a>&nbsp;plugin (choose the “bleeding edge nightlies?option).</li><li>Or&nbsp;<a href="https://wordpress.org/wordpress-5.6-beta1.zip">download the beta here&nbsp;(zip)</a>.</li></ul> <p>The current target for final release is December 8, 2020. This is just&nbsp;<strong>seven weeks away</strong>, so your help is needed to ensure this release is tested properly.</p> <h2><strong>Improvements in the Editor</strong></h2> <p>WordPress 5.6 includes seven Gutenberg plugin releases. Here are a few highlighted enhancements:</p> <ul><li>Improved support for video positioning in cover blocks.</li><li>Enhancements to Block Patterns including translatable strings.</li><li>Character counts in the information panel, improved keyboard navigation, and other adjustments to help users find their way better. </li><li>Improved UI for drag and drop functionality, as well as block movers.</li></ul> <p>To see all of the features for each release in detail check out the release posts: <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/07/22/whats-new-in-gutenberg-july-22/">8.6</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/08/05/whats-new-in-gutenberg-august-5/">8.7</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/08/19/whats-new-in-gutenberg-august-19/">8.8</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/09/03/whats-new-in-gutenberg-2-september/">8.9</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/09/16/whats-new-in-gutenberg-16-september/">9.0</a>, <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/01/whats-new-in-gutenberg-30-september/">9.1</a>, and 9.2 <em>(link forthcoming)</em>.</p> <h2><strong>Improvements in Core</strong></h2> <h3><strong>A new default theme</strong></h3> <p>The default theme is making its annual return with<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/09/23/introducing-twenty-twenty-one/"> Twenty Twenty-One</a>. This theme features a streamlined and elegant design, which aims to be <a href="https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/conformance.html#uc-levels-head">AAA ready</a>. </p> <h3><strong>Auto-update option for major releases</strong></h3> <p>The much anticipated opt-in for major releases of WordPress Core will ship in this release. With this functionality, you can elect to have major releases of the WordPress software update in the background with no additional fuss for your users. </p> <h3><strong>Increased support for PHP 8</strong></h3> <p>The next major version release of PHP, 8.0.0, is scheduled for release just a few days prior to WordPress 5.6. The WordPress project has a long history of being compatible with new versions of PHP as soon as possible, and this release is no different.</p> <p>Because PHP 8 is a major version release, changes that break backward compatibility or compatibility for various APIs are allowed. Contributors have been hard at work <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/10/06/call-for-testing-php-8-0/">fixing the known incompatibilities with PHP 8</a> in WordPress during the 5.6 release cycle.</p> <p>While all of the detectable issues in WordPress can be fixed, you will need to verify that all of your plugins and themes are also compatible with PHP 8 prior to upgrading. Keep an eye on the <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/">Making WordPress Core blog</a> in the coming weeks for more detailed information about what to look for.</p> <h3>Application Passwords for REST API Authentication</h3> <p>Since the REST API was merged into Core, only cookie &amp; nonce based authentication has been available (without the use of a plugin). This authentication method can be a frustrating experience for developers, often limiting how applications can interact with protected endpoints.</p> <p>With the introduction of <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2020/09/23/proposal-rest-api-authentication-application-passwords/">Application Password</a> in WordPress 5.6, gone is this frustration and the need to jump through hoops to re-authenticate when cookies expire. But don&#8217;t worry, cookie and nonce authentication will remain in WordPress as-is if you&#8217;re not ready to change.</p> <p>Application Passwords are user specific, making it easy to grant or revoke access to specific users or applications (individually or wholesale). Because information like &#8220;Last Used&#8221; is logged, it&#8217;s also easy to track down inactive credentials or bad actors from unexpected locations.</p> <h3><strong>Better accessibility</strong></h3> <p>With every release, WordPress works hard to improve accessibility. Version 5.6 is no exception and will ship with a number of accessibility fixes and enhancements. Take a look:</p> <ul><li>Announce block selection changes manually on windows.</li><li>Avoid focusing the block selection button on each render.</li><li>Avoid rendering the clipboard textarea inside the button</li><li>Fix dropdown menu focus loss when using arrow keys with Safari and Voiceover</li><li>Fix dragging multiple blocks downwards, which resulted in blocks inserted in wrong position.</li><li>Fix incorrect aria description in the Block List View.</li><li>Add arrow navigation in Preview menu.</li><li>Prevent links from being focusable inside the Disabled component.</li></ul> <h2><strong>How You Can Help</strong></h2> <p>Keep your eyes on the&nbsp;<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/">Make WordPress Core blog</a>&nbsp;for&nbsp;<a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/tag/5-6+dev-notes/">5.6-related developer notes</a>&nbsp;in the coming weeks, breaking down these and other changes in greater detail.</p> <p>So far, contributors have fixed&nbsp;<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=closed&milestone=5.6&group=component&max=500&col=id&col=summary&col=owner&col=type&col=priority&col=component&col=version&order=priority">188 tickets in WordPress 5.6</a>, including&nbsp;<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=closed&status=reopened&type=enhancement&milestone=5.6&or&status=closed&status=reopened&type=feature+request&milestone=5.6&col=id&col=summary&col=type&col=status&col=milestone&col=owner&col=priority&col=changetime&col=keywords&order=changetime">82 new features and enhancements</a>, and more bug fixes are on the way.</p> <h3>Do some testing!</h3> <p>Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute.</p> <p>If you think you’ve found a bug, please post to the&nbsp;<a href="https://wordpress.org/support/forum/alphabeta/">Alpha/Beta area</a>&nbsp;in the support forums. We would love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report,&nbsp;<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/newticket">file one on WordPress Trac</a>. That’s also where you can find a list of&nbsp;<a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/tickets/major">known bugs</a>.</p> <p><span><i>Props to&nbsp;</i><a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/webcommsat/">@webcommsat</a><i>,&nbsp;</i><a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/yvettesonneveld/">@yvettesonneveld</a><i>,&nbsp;</i><a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/estelaris/">@estelaris</a><i>, </i><a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/cguntur/">@cguntur</a><i>, <em><a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/desrosj/">@desrosj</a></em>, and&nbsp;</i><a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/marybaum/">@marybaum</a><i>&nbsp;for </i><em>editing/proof reading</em></span><em> this post, and&nbsp;<a href="https://profiles.wordpress.org/davidbaumwald/">@davidbaumwald</a>&nbsp;for final review.</em></p> Tue, 20 Oct 2020 22:14:22 +0000 Josepha WPTavern: WordPress 5.6 Release Team Pulls the Plug on Block-Based Widgets https://wptavern.com/?p=106466 https://wptavern.com/wordpress-5-6-release-team-pulls-the-plug-on-block-based-widgets?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-5-6-release-team-pulls-the-plug-on-block-based-widgets <img />Current block-based widgets admin screen design. <p class="has-drop-cap">I was wrong. I assured our readers that &ldquo;the block-based widget system will be ready for prime time when WordPress 5.6 lands&rdquo; in my previous <a href="https://wptavern.com/are-block-based-widgets-ready-to-land-in-wordpress-5-6">post on the new feature&rsquo;s readiness</a>. I also said that was on the condition of not trying to make it work with the customizer &mdash; that experience was still broken. However, the 5.6 team pulled the plug on block-based widgets for the second time this year.</p> <p>One week ago, WordPress 5.6 release lead Josepha Haden <a href="https://twitter.com/JosephaHaden/status/1316131424466952192">seemed to agree</a> that it would be ready. However, things can change quickly in a development cycle, and tough decisions have to be made with beta release deadlines.</p> <p>This is not the first feature the team has punted to a future release. Two weeks ago, they dropped <a href="https://wptavern.com/navigation-screen-sidelined-for-wordpress-5-6-full-site-editing-edges-closer-to-public-beta">block-based nav menus </a>from the 5.6 feature list. Both features were <a href="https://wptavern.com/new-block-based-navigation-and-widgets-screens-sidelined-for-wordpress-5-5">originally planned for WordPress 5.5</a>.</p> <p>A new Widgets admin screen has been under development <a href="https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/issues/13204">since January 2019</a>, which was not long after the initial launch of the block editor in WordPress 5.0. For now, the block-based widgets feature has been <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51506">punted to WordPress 5.7</a>. It has also been given the &ldquo;early&rdquo; tag, which means it should go into core WordPress soon after the 5.7 release cycle begins. This will give it more time to mature and more people an opportunity to test it.</p> <p>Helen Hou-Sand&igrave;, the core tech lead for 5.6, <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51506#comment:15">provided a historical account</a> of the decision and why it was not ready for inclusion in the new ticket:</p> <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>My question for features that affect the front-end is &ldquo;can I try out this new thing without the penalty of messing up my site?&rdquo; &mdash; that is, user trust. At this current moment, given that widget areas are not displayed anything like what you see on your site without themes really putting effort into it and that you have to save your changes live without revisions to get an actual contextual view, widget area blocks do not allow you to try this new feature without penalizing you for experimenting.</p></blockquote> <p>She went on to say that the current experience is subpar at the moment. Problems related to the customizer experience, which I <a href="https://wptavern.com/gutenberg-8-9-brings-block-based-widgets-out-of-the-experimental-stage">covered in detail</a> over a month ago, were also mentioned.</p> <p>&ldquo;So, when we come back to this again, let&rsquo;s keep sight of what it means to keep users feeling secure that they can get their site looking the way they want with WordPress, and not like they are having to work around what we&rsquo;ve given them,&rdquo; said Hou-Sand&igrave;.</p> <p>This is a hopeful outlook despite the tough decision. Sometimes, these types of calls need to be made for the good of the project in the long term. Pushing back a feature to a future version for a better user experience can be better than launching early with a subpar experience.</p> <p>&ldquo;The good part of this is that now widgets can continue to be &lsquo;re-imagined&rsquo; for 5.7, and get even more enhancements,&rdquo; <a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51506#comment:17">said lead WordPress developer Andrew Ozz</a> in the ticket. &ldquo;Not sure how many people have tested this for a bit longer but having blocks in the widgets areas (a.k.a. sidebars) opens up many new possibilities and makes a lot of the old, limited widgets obsolete. The &lsquo;widget areas&rsquo; become something like &lsquo;specialized posts with more dynamic content,&rsquo; letting users (and designers) do a lot of stuff that was either hard or impossible with the old widgets.&rdquo;</p> <p>After the letdown of seeing one of my most anticipated features of 5.6 being dropped, it is encouraging to see the positive outlook from community leaders on the project.</p> <p>&ldquo;You know, I was really hopeful for it too, and that last-minute call was one I labored over,&rdquo; said Haden. &ldquo;When I last looked, it did seem close to ready, but then more focused testing was done and there were some interactions that are a little rough for users. I&rsquo;m grateful for that because the time to discover painful user experiences is before launch rather than after!&rdquo;</p> <p>Despite dropping its second major feature, WordPress 5.6 still has some big highlights that will be shipping in less than two months. The new <a href="https://wptavern.com/first-look-at-twenty-twenty-one-wordpresss-upcoming-default-theme">Twenty Twenty-One theme</a> looks to be a breath of fresh air and will explore block-related features not seen in previous default themes. Haden also pointed out auto-updates for major releases, <a href="https://wptavern.com/wordpress-5-6-to-introduce-application-passwords-for-rest-api-authentication">application passwords support</a> for the REST API, and accessibility improvements as features to look forward to.</p> <p>WordPress 5.6 Beta 1 is expected to ship today.</p> <h2>Adding New Features To an Old Project</h2> <p class="has-drop-cap">At times, it feels like the Gutenberg project has bitten off more than it can chew. Many of the big feature plans continually miss projections. Between full-site editing, global styles, widgets, nav menus, and much more, it is tough to get hyper-focused on one feature and have it ready to ship. On the other hand, too much focus one way can be to the detriment to other features in the long run. All of these pieces must eventually come together to create a more cohesive whole.</p> <p>WordPress is also <a href="https://wptavern.com/happy-17th-wordpress">17 years old</a>. Any new feature could affect legacy features or code. The goal for block-based widgets is to transition an existing feature to work within a new system without breaking millions of websites in the process. Twenty-one months of work on a single feature shows that it is not an easy problem to solve.</p> <p>&ldquo;You are so right about complex engineering problems!&rdquo; said Haden. &ldquo;We are now at a point in the history of the project where connecting all of the pieces can have us facing unforeseen complications.&rdquo;</p> <p>The project also needs to think about how it can address some of the issues it has faced with not quite getting major features to completion. Is the team stretched too thin to focus on all the parts? Are there areas we can improve to push features forward?</p> <p>&ldquo;There will be a retrospective where we can identify what parts of our process can be improved in the future, but I also feel like setting stretch goals is good for any software project,&rdquo; said Haden. &ldquo;Many contributors have a sense of urgency around bringing the power of blocks to more spaces in WordPress, which I share, but when it&rsquo;s time to ship, we have to balance that with our deep commitment to usability.&rdquo;</p> <p>One problem that has become increasingly obvious is that front-end editing has become tougher over the years. Currently, widgets and nav menus can be edited in two places in WordPress with wildly different interfaces. Full-site editing stands to add an entirely new interface to the mix.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think one of the problems that we&rsquo;re trying to solve with Gutenberg has always been a more consistent experience for editing elements across the WordPress interface,&rdquo; said Haden. &ldquo;No user should have to learn five different workflows to make sure their page looks the way they imagined it when it&rsquo;s published.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the meantime, which may be numbered in years, end-users will likely have these multiple interfaces to deal with &mdash; overlap while new features are being developed. This may simply be a necessary growing pain of an aging project, one that is trying to lead the pack of hungry competitors in the CMS space.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of interest in reducing the number of workflows, and I&rsquo;m hopeful that we can consolidate down to just one beautiful, intuitive interface,&rdquo; said Haden.</p> Tue, 20 Oct 2020 21:16:23 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: WooCommerce Tests New Instagram Shopping Checkout Feature, Now in Closed Beta https://wptavern.com/?p=106398 https://wptavern.com/woocommerce-tests-new-instagram-shopping-checkout-feature-now-in-closed-beta?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=woocommerce-tests-new-instagram-shopping-checkout-feature-now-in-closed-beta <p>Instagram&rsquo;s checkout feature, which allows users to purchase products without leaving the app, has become an even more important part of Facebook&rsquo;s long-term investment in e-commerce now that the pandemic has so heavily skewed consumer behavior towards online shopping. When Instagram <a href="https://business.instagram.com/blog/new-to-instagram-shopping-checkout">introduced</a> checkout in 2019, it reported that 130 million users were tapping to reveal product tags in shopping posts every month.</p> <img />image credit: Instagram <p>Business owners who operate an existing store can extend their audience to Instagram by funneling orders from the social network into their own stores, without shoppers having to leave Instagram. Checkout supports integration with several e-commerce platform partners, including Shopify and BigCommerce, and will soon be available for WooCommerce merchants.</p> <p>WooCommerce is testing a new Instagram Shopping Checkout feature for its <a href="https://woocommerce.com/products/facebook/">Facebook for WooCommerce</a> plugin. The free extension is used on more than 900,000 websites and will provide the bridge for store owners who want to tap into Instagram&rsquo;s market. The checkout capabilities are currently in closed beta. Anyone interested to test the feature can <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfHwcCJf1UYi_7PGmFSXJXPfhdM8rkVlXAKub1qD5EBT9dFWw/viewform">sign up</a> for consideration. Businesses registered in the USA that meet certain other requirements may be selected to participate, and the beta is also expanding to other regions soon.</p> <p>WooCommerce currently supports <a href="https://woocommerce.com/posts/instagram-shopping/">shoppable posts</a>, which are essentially products sourced from a product catalog created on Facebook that are then linked to the live store through an Instagram business account. Instagram&rsquo;s checkout takes it one step further to provide a native checkout experience inside the app. Merchants pay no selling fees&nbsp;until December 31, 2020. After that time, the fee is <a href="https://www.facebook.com/business/help/223030991929920?id=533228987210412">5% per shipment</a> or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.&nbsp;</p> <p>On the customer side, shoppers only have to enter their information once and thereafter it is stored for future Instagram purchases. Instagram also pushes shipment and delivery notifications inside the app. Store owners will need to weigh whether the convenience of the in-app checkout experience is worth forking over 5% to Facebook, or if they prefer funneling users over to the live store instead.</p> <p>Instagram Shopping Checkout is coming to WooCommerce in the near future but the company has not yet announced a launch date, as the feature is just now entering closed beta. </p> Tue, 20 Oct 2020 04:13:28 +0000 Sarah Gooding WPTavern: Past Twenty* WordPress Themes To Get New Block Patterns https://wptavern.com/?p=106396 https://wptavern.com/past-twenty-wordpress-themes-to-get-new-block-patterns?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=past-twenty-wordpress-themes-to-get-new-block-patterns <p class="has-drop-cap">Mel Choyce-Dwan, the Default Theme Design Lead for WordPress 5.6, kick-started 10 tickets around two months ago that would bring new features to the old default WordPress themes. The proposal is to add unique block patterns, a feature added to WordPress 5.5, to all of the previous 10 Twenty* themes. It is a lofty goal that could breathe some new life into old work from the previous decade.</p> <p>Currently, only the last four themes are marked for an update by the time WordPress 5.6 lands. Previous themes are on the list to receive their block patterns in a future release. For developers and designers interested in getting involved, the following is a list of the Trac tickets for each theme:</p> <ul><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51098">Twenty Twenty</a> &ndash; 5.6</li><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51099">Twenty Nineteen</a> &ndash; 5.6</li><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51100">Twenty Seventeen</a> &ndash; 5.6</li><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51101">Twenty Sixteen</a> &ndash; 5.6</li><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51102">Twenty Fifteen</a> &ndash; Future release</li><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51103">Twenty Fourteen</a> &ndash; Future release</li><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51104">Twenty Thirteen</a> &ndash; Future release</li><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51105">Twenty Twelve</a> &ndash; Future release</li><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51106">Twenty Eleven</a> &ndash; Future release</li><li><a href="https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/51107">Twenty Ten</a> &ndash; Future release</li></ul> <p>If you are wondering where Twenty Eighteen is in that list, that theme does not actually exist. It is the one missing year the WordPress community has had since the one-default-theme-per-year era began with Twenty Ten. It is easy to forget that we did not get a new theme for the 2017-2018 season. With all that has happened in the world this year, we should count ourselves fortunate to see a <a href="https://wptavern.com/first-look-at-twenty-twenty-one-wordpresss-upcoming-default-theme">new default theme land for WordPress</a> this December. WordPress updates and its upcoming default theme are at least one consistency that we have had in an otherwise chaotic time.</p> <p>More than anything, it is nice to see some work going toward older themes &mdash; not just in terms of bug fixes but feature updates. The older defaults are still a part of the face of WordPress. Twenty Twenty and Twenty Seventeen each have over one million active installs. Twenty Nineteen has over half a million. The other default themes also have significant user bases in the hundreds of thousands &mdash; still some of the most-used themes in the directory. We owe it to those themes&rsquo; users to keep them fresh, at least as long as they maintain such levels of popularity.</p> <p>This is where the massive theme development community could pitch in. Do some testing of the existing patches. Write some code for missing patterns or introduce new ideas. This is the sort of low-hanging fruit that almost anyone could take some time to help with.</p> <h2>First Look at the New Patterns</h2> <p class="has-drop-cap">None of the proposed patterns have landed in trunk, the development version of WordPress, yet. However, several people have created mockups or added patches that could be committed soon.</p> <p>One of my favorite patterns to emerge thus far is from Beatriz Fialho for the Twenty Nineteen theme. Fialho has created many of the pattern designs proposed thus far, but this one, in particular, stands out the most. It is a simple two-column, two-row pattern with a circular image, heading, and paragraph for each section. Its simplicity fits in well with the more elegant, business-friendly look of the Twenty Nineteen theme.</p> <img />Services pattern for Twenty Nineteen. <p>It is also fitting that Twenty Nineteen get a nice refresh with new patterns because it was the default theme to launch with the block editor. Ideally, it would continually be updated to showcase block-related features.</p> <p>While many people will focus on some of the more recent default themes, perhaps the most interesting one is a bit more dated. Twenty Thirteen was meant to showcase the new post formats feature in WordPress 3.6. According to Joen Asmussen, the theme&rsquo;s primary designer, the original idea was for users to compose a ribbon of alternating colors as each post varied its colors.</p> <p>&ldquo;The alternating ribbon of colors did not really come to pass because post formats were simply not used enough to create an interesting ribbon,&rdquo; he wrote in the Twenty Thirteen ticket. &ldquo;However, perhaps for block patterns, we have an opportunity to revisit those alternating ribbons of colors. In other words, I&rsquo;d love to see those warm bold colors used in big swathes that take up the whole pattern background.&rdquo;</p> <ul><li class="blocks-gallery-item"><img /></li><li class="blocks-gallery-item"><img /></li><li class="blocks-gallery-item"><img /></li><li class="blocks-gallery-item"><img /></li></ul>Patterns designed to match post formats. <p>This could be a fun update for end-users who are still using <s>that feature that shall not be named</s> post formats.</p> <p>There is a lot to like about many of the pattern mockups so far. I look forward to seeing what lands along with WordPress 5.6 and in future updates.</p> <h2>Establishing Pattern Category Standard</h2> <p class="has-drop-cap">With the more recent Twenty Twenty-One theme&rsquo;s block patterns and the new patterns being added to some of the older default themes, it looks like a specific pattern category naming scheme is starting to become a standard. Of the patches thus far, each is creating a new pattern category named after the theme itself.</p> <p>This makes sense. Allowing users to find all of their theme&rsquo;s patterns in one location means that they can differentiate between them and those from core or other plugins. Third-party theme authors should follow suit and stick with this convention for the same reason.</p> <p>Developers can also define multiple categories for a single pattern. This allows theme authors to create a category that houses all of their patterns in one location. However, they can also split them into more appropriate context-specific categories for discoverability.</p> Mon, 19 Oct 2020 21:13:28 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: Using the Web Stories for WordPress Plugin? You Better Play By Google’s Rules https://wptavern.com/?p=105848 https://wptavern.com/using-the-web-stories-for-wordpress-plugin-you-better-play-by-googles-rules?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=using-the-web-stories-for-wordpress-plugin-you-better-play-by-googles-rules <img />Web Stories dashboard screen in WordPress. <p class="has-drop-cap">What comes as a surprise to few, Google has updated its <a href="https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/web-stories-content-policy">content guidelines</a> for its Web Stories format. For users of its recently-released <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/web-stories/">Web Stories for WordPress</a> plugin, they will want to follow the extended rules for their Stories to appear in the &ldquo;richer experiences&rdquo; across Google&rsquo;s services. This includes the grid view on Search, Google Images, and Google Discover&rsquo;s carousel.</p> <p>Google <a href="https://wptavern.com/google-officially-releases-its-web-stories-for-wordpress-plugin">released its Web Stories plugin</a> in late September to the WordPress community. It is a drag-and-drop editor that allows end-users to create custom Stories from a custom screen in their WordPress admin.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><img />Visual Stories on Search.</div> <p>The plugin does not directly link to Google&rsquo;s content guidelines anywhere. For users who do not do a little digging, they may be caught unaware if their stories are not surfaced in various Google services.</p> <p>On top of the Discover and Webmaster guidelines, Web Stories have six additional restrictions related to the following:</p> <ul><li>Copyrighted content</li><li>Text-heavy Web Stories</li><li>Low-quality assets</li><li>Lack of narrative</li><li>Incomplete stories</li><li>Overly commercial</li></ul> <p>While not using copyrighted content is one of those reasonably-obvious guidelines, the others could trip up some users. Because Stories are meant to represent bite-sized bits of information on each page, they may become ineligible if most pages have more than 180 words of text. Videos should also be limited to fewer than 60 seconds on each page.</p> <p>Low-quality media could be a flag for Stories too. Google&rsquo;s guidelines point toward &ldquo;stretched out or pixelated&rdquo; media that negatively impacts the reader&rsquo;s experience. They do not offer any specific resolution guidelines, but this should mostly be a non-issue today. The opposite issue is far more likely &mdash; users uploading media that is too large and not optimized for viewing on the web.</p> <p>The &ldquo;lack of narrative&rdquo; guideline is perhaps the vaguest, and it is unclear how Google will monitor or police <em>narrative</em>. However, the Stories format is about storytelling.</p> <p>&ldquo;Stories are the key here imo,&rdquo; wrote Jamie Marsland, founder of Pootlepress, in a <a href="https://twitter.com/pootlepress/status/1309020235102597122">Twitter thread</a>. &ldquo;Now we have an open format to tell Stories, and we have an open platform (WordPress) where those Stories can be told easily.&rdquo;</p> <p>Google specifically states that Stories need a &ldquo;binding theme or narrative structure&rdquo; from one page to the next. Essentially, the company is telling users to use the format for the purpose it was created for. They also do not want users to create incomplete stories where readers must click a link to finish the Story or get information.</p> <img /><a href="https://www.cnn.com/ampstories/entertainment/john-lennon-remembering-the-great-musician">CNN&rsquo;s Web Story on Remembering John Lennon.</a> <p>Overly commercial Stories are frowned upon too. While Google will allow affiliate marketing links, they should be restricted to a minor part of the experience.</p> <p>Closing his Twitter thread, Marsland seemed to hit the point. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve seen some initial Google Web Stories where the platform is being used as a replacement for a brochure or website,&rdquo; he wrote. &ldquo;In my view that&rsquo;s a huge missed opportunity. If I was advising brands I would say &lsquo;Tell Stories&rsquo; this is a platform for Story Telling.&rdquo;</p> <p>If users of the plugin follow this advice, their Stories should surface on Google&rsquo;s rich search experiences.</p> Fri, 16 Oct 2020 20:51:21 +0000 Justin Tadlock WPTavern: Stripe Acquires Paystack for $200M+ https://wptavern.com/?p=106269 https://wptavern.com/stripe-acquires-paystack-for-200m?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stripe-acquires-paystack-for-200m <p>The big news in the world of e-commerce today is Stripe&rsquo;s acquisition of <a href="https://paystack.com/">Paystack</a>, a Nigeria-based payments system that is widely used throughout African markets. The company, which became informally known as &ldquo;<a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/08/28/paystack-with-ambitions-to-become-the-stripe-of-africa-raises-8m-from-visa-tencent-and-stripe-itself/">the Stripe of Africa</a>&rdquo; picked up $8 million in Series A funding in 2018, led by Stripe, Y Combinator, and Tencent. Paystack has grown to power more than 60,000 businesses, including FedEx, UPS, MTN, the Lagos Internal Revenue Service, and AXA Mansar.</p> <p>Stripe&rsquo;s acquisition of the company is rumored to be more than $200M, a small price to pay for a foothold in emerging African markets. In the company&rsquo;s <a href="https://stripe.com/newsroom/news/paystack-joining-stripe">announcement</a>, Stripe noted that African online commerce is growing 21% year-over-year, 75% faster than the global average. Paystack dominates among payment systems, accounting for more than half of all online transactions in Nigeria. </p> <p>&ldquo;In just five years, Paystack has done what many companies could not achieve in decades,&rdquo; Stripe EMEA business lead Matt Henderson said. &ldquo;Their tech-first approach, values, and ambition greatly align with our own. This acquisition will give Paystack resources to develop new products, support more businesses and consolidate the hyper-fragmented African payments market.&rdquo;</p> <p>Long term, Stripe plans to embed Paystack&rsquo;s capabilities in its Global Payments and Treasury Network (GPTN), the company&rsquo;s programmable infrastructure for global money movement.</p> <p>&ldquo;Paystack merchants and partners can look forward to more payment channels, more tools, accelerated geographic expansion, and deeper integrations with global platforms,&rdquo; Paystack CEO and co-founder Shola Akinlade said. He also assured customers that there&rsquo;s no need to make any changes to their technical integrations, as Paystack will continue expanding and operating independently in Africa.</p> <p>Paystack is used as a payment gateway for thousands of WordPress-powered stores through plugins for WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, Paid Membership Pro, Give, Contact Form 7, and an assortment of booking plugins. The company has an official WordPress plugin, <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/payment-forms-for-paystack/">Payment Forms for Paystack</a>, which is active on more than 6,000 sites, but most users come through the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/woo-paystack/">Paystack WooCommerce Payment Gateway</a> (20,000+ active installations). </p> <p>Stripe&rsquo;s acquisition was a bit of positive news during what is currently a turbulent time in Nigeria, as citizens are actively engaged in peaceful protests to end police brutality. Paystack&rsquo;s journey is an encouraging example of the flourishing Nigerian tech ecosystem and the possibilities available for smaller e-commerce companies that are solving problems and removing barriers for businesses in emerging markets. </p> Thu, 15 Oct 2020 22:26:04 +0000 Sarah Gooding WPTavern: Diving Into the Book Review Block Plugin https://wptavern.com/?p=106273 https://wptavern.com/diving-into-the-book-review-block-plugin?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=diving-into-the-book-review-block-plugin <p class="has-drop-cap">Created by Donna Peplinskie, a Product Wrangler at Automattic, the <a href="https://wordpress.org/plugins/book-review-block">Book Review Block</a> plugin is nearly three years old. However, it only came to my attention during a recent excursion to find interesting block plugins.</p> <p>The plugin does pretty much what it says on the cover. It is designed to review books. It generally has all the fields users might need to add to their reviews, such as a title, author, image, rating, and more. The interesting thing is that it can automatically fill in those details with a simple ISBN value. Plus, it supports Schema markup, which may help with SEO.</p> <p>Rain or shine, sick or well, I read every day. I am currently a month and a half shy of a two-year reading streak. When the mood strikes, I even venture to write a book review. As much as I want to share interesting WordPress projects with the community, I sometimes have personal motives for testing and writing about plugins like Book Review Block. Anything that might help me or other avid readers share our thoughts on the world of literature with others is of interest.</p> <p>Admittedly, I was excited as I plugged in the ISBN for <em>Rhthym of War</em>, the upcoming fourth book of my favorite fantasy series of all time, <em>The Stormlight Archive</em>. I merely needed to click the &ldquo;Get Book Details&rdquo; button.</p> <p>Success! The plugin worked its magic and pulled in the necessary information. It had my favorite author&rsquo;s name, the publisher, the upcoming release date, and the page count. It even had a long description, which I could trim down in the editor.</p> <img />Default output of the Book Review block. <p>There was a little work to make this happen before the success. To automatically pull in the book details, end-users must have an <a href="https://console.developers.google.com/flows/enableapi?apiid=books.googleapis.com&keyType=CLIENT_SIDE&reusekey=true">API Key</a> from Google. It took me around a minute to set that up and enter it into the field available in the block options sidebar. The great thing about the plugin is that it saves this key so that users do not have to enter each time they want to review a book.</p> <p>Book Review Block a good starting point. It is straightforward and simple to use. It is not yet at a point where I would call it a <em>great</em> plugin. However, it could be.</p> <h2>Falling Short</h2> <p class="has-drop-cap">The plugin&rsquo;s Book Review block should be taking its cues from the core Media &amp; Text block. When you get right down to it, the two are essentially doing the same thing visually. Both are blocks with an image and some content sitting next to each other.</p> <p>The following is a list of items where it should be following core&rsquo;s lead:</p> <ul><li>No way to edit alt text (book title is automatically used).</li><li>The image is always aligned left and the content to the right with no way to flip them.</li><li>The media and content are not stackable on mobile views.</li><li>Cannot adjust the size of the image or content columns.</li><li>While inline rich-text controls are supported, users cannot add Heading, List, or Paragraph blocks to the content area and use their associated block options.</li></ul> <p>That is the shortlist that could offer some quick improvements to the user experience. Ultimately, the problems with the plugin essentially come down to not offering a way to customize the output.</p> <p>One of the other consistent problems is that the book image the plugin loads is always a bit small. This seems to be more of an issue from the Google Books API than the plugin. Each time I tested a book, I opted to add a larger image &mdash; the plugin does allow you to replace the default.</p> <p>The color settings are limited. The block only offers a background color option with no way to adjust the text color. A better option for plugin users is to wrap it in a Group block and adjust the background and text colors there.</p> <img />Book Review block wrapped inside a Group block. <p>It would also be nice to have wide and full-alignment options, which is an often-overlooked featured from many block plugin authors.</p> <h2>Using the Media &amp; Text Block to Recreate the Book Review Block</h2> <p class="has-drop-cap">The Book Review Block plugin has a lot of potential, and I want to see it evolve by providing more flexibility to end-users. Because the Media &amp; Text block is the closest core block to what the plugin offers, I decided to recreate a more visually-appealing design with it.</p> <img />Book review section created with the Media &amp; Text block. <p>I made some adjustments on the content side of things. I used the Heading block for the book title, a List block for the book metadata, and a Paragraph block for the description.</p> <p>The Media &amp; Text block also provided me the freedom to adjust the alignment, stack the image and content on mobile views, and tinker with the size of the image. Plus, it has that all-important field for customizing the image alt attribute.</p> <p>The Media &amp; Text block gave me much more design mileage.</p> <p>However, there are limitations to the core block. It does not fully capture some of the features available via the Book Review block. The most obvious are the automatic book details via an ISBN and the Schema markup. Less obvious, there is no easy way to recreate the star rating &mdash; I used emoji stars &mdash; and long description text does not wrap under the image. To recreate that, you would have to opt to use a left-aligned image followed by content.</p> <p>Overall, the Media &amp; Text block gives me the ability to better style the output, which is what I am more interested in as a user. I want to put my unique spin on things. That is where the Book Review Plugin misfires. It is also the sort of thing that the plugin author can iterate on, offering more flexibility in the future.</p> <p>This is where many block plugins go wrong, particularly when there is more than one or two bits of data users should enter. Blocks represent freedom in many ways. However, when plugin developers stick to a rigid structure, users can sometimes lose that sense of freedom that they would otherwise have with building their pages.</p> <p>One of the best blocks, hands down, that preserves that freedom is from the <a href="https://wptavern.com/start-a-recipe-blog-with-the-recipe-block-wordpress-plugin">Recipe Block plugin</a>. It has structured inputs and fields. However, it allows freeform content for end-users to make it their own.</p> <p>When block authors push beyond this rigidness, users win.</p> Thu, 15 Oct 2020 20:44:04 +0000 Justin Tadlock ŷϷapp