WP Builds Newsletter #51 – WordPress 5.1 released, plugin updates and AI gets really scary

This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 18th February 2018:

WordPress Core

WordPress 5.1 Improves Editor Performance, Encourages Users to Update Outdated PHP Versions
“WordPress 5.1 “Betty” was released today, honoring American jazz singer Betty Carter. This is the first major release since Gutenberg came into core. As part of WordPress’ 2019 “tighten up” theme, this release was focused on improving performance in the editor and helping users update outdated versions of PHP…”

Gutenberg 5.1 Released with All Core Widgets Now Ported to Blocks
“Gutenberg development continues ploughing ahead with new blocks and steady improvements to performance and accessibility. Version 5.1 was released this week with new Search, Calendar, and Tag Cloud blocks. All widgets have now been ported over to blocks, a major Phase 2 milestone. The next phase of that project will explore how the widgets screen will change in response to core widgets becoming blocks…”

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GoDaddy Pro


Where is the WordPress Community?
“The “WordPress Community.” Everyone talks about it. And it does exist, and is great. But where, as a person new to this whole WordPress world, should you look to find it? That’s our topic today, we’ll cover WordPress events, WordPress meetups, WordPress developer spaces, and whole lot more. Let’s get to answering: where is the WordPress community…”

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Yoast CEO Responds to #YoastCon Twitter Controversy, Calls for Change in the SEO Industry
“Yoast CEO Marieke van de Rakt published a post yesterday, addressing the controversy that dominated the #YoastCon hashtag on Twitter in the days leading up the the event. Several parties from the SEO industry began circulating old tweets, along unsavory videos depicting Joost de Valk partying with promotional models. de Valk issued a public apology on Twitter before YoastCon officially kicked off…”

The State of CSS 2019 Survey is Now Open
“The makers of the annual State of JavaScript survey have launched a new survey for developers who work with CSS. In September 2018, Sacha Greif and his collaborators sent out the State of JS survey for the third year running but dropped the CSS libraries category in favor of keeping it from getting too long. The new State of CSS survey takes up this category and expands upon it…”


Bootstrap Patches XSS Vulnerability in Versions 4.3.1 and 3.4.1
“Bootstrap has released versions 4.3.1 and 3.4.1 to patch an XSS vulnerability (CVE-2019-8331) that was reported to the Bootstrap Drupal project by a developer and then responsibly disclosed to the Bootstrap development team. The vulnerability specifically affects usage of the tooltip and popover features…”

WordPress 5.0.0 Remote Code Execution
“This blog post details how a combination of a Path Traversal and Local File Inclusion vulnerability lead to Remote Code Execution in the WordPress core. The vulnerability remained uncovered in the WordPress core for over 6 years…”


Brizy – We’ve Added Gradients and Hover Effects on Containers
“Bring some pizzazz to your website with the brand new gradient color options and hover effects on columns, rows, and blocks. A couple of long time coming features that let you bring some cool nice touches to your website…”

Elementor – We Reached 2 Million Active Installs, A Mere 7 Months After the First Million
“Today, Elementor reached an astounding 2 million active installs, making it one of the most popular WordPress plugins ever…”

Toolset – Create your own sliders with thumbnails – it’s easy now
“Toolset is excited to introduce the WordPress slider with thumbnails which you can implement in minutes on your website. Compared with the average sliders, Toolset’s will help your website immediately stand out to your user…”

Smart Slider 3 – Introducing Reveal Animation
“Reveal animation is an elegant and modern effect which is perfect to reveal images and texts as well. What makes it special is that it animates a single colored box in front of the actual layer. For instance, this box moves from left to right, and reveals the layer as it disappears on the right side…”

Get Your White Label WordPress Branding Groove On With Branda 3.0
“Ultimate Branding, our white label plugin for completely rebranding WordPress just got a well-deserved superhero upgrade. Say hello to Branda! Simple stunning white label branding, maintenance mode and coming soon landing pages, all the rebranding WordPress can handle, and some it can’t…”

Introducing Conversational Forms by WPForms – Interactive Form Layout to Boost Form Completion
“Today, we’re making WPForms even better with our brand new solution: Conversational Forms. Conversational Forms by WPForms is the first true interactive form layout built exclusively for WordPress that is guaranteed to boost form completion and your overall form conversions…”

WP Builds

Podcast – How to secure your WordPress website with Oliver Sild from WebARX – Get 50% off
“Do you glaze over when someone talks about internet security? Well, you’re not alone – it’s quite a difficult subject to understand. Thank heavens then that there’s people like Oliver Sild who will understand it all for you. His company, WebARX has built a product which get all of your WordPress websites secured. They have one central dashboard which shows you all of the activity on your sites. Their firewall will drop suspicious traffic and keep you safe…”

Webinar – How to secure your site with WebARX
Oliver shows us around the WebARX security solution. I’ve got to say that I’m impressed. Get 50% off too!

Contribute – How to use the updated Wallace Inline 2.0 with Beaver Builder – Bradley Kirby
“In this WP Builds ‘Contribute’ episode, Bradley Kirby shows us how to use his Wallace Inline plugin to enable front-end editing. This can be really useful if you’re handing over work to clients who don’t want to see the WordPress admin. More than that, it does not even show the Beaver Builder interface, meaning that all that they have to do is edit text and images and click save. How simple is that?”

Non WordPress, but useful anyway…

Amazon Introduces Blog Blueprint to Deliver WordPress Posts as Audio on Alexa
“Last week Amazon launched Alexa Skill Blueprints that allow anyone to publish new skills to the Alexa Skills Store without having to have any coding knowledge. The blueprints are templates that provide a starting point where users can create a new skill by filling in the blanks and then publish it to the store for US customers…”

Google admits error over hidden microphone
“Google has acknowledged that it made an error in not disclosing that one of its home alarm products contained a microphone. Product specifications for the Nest Guard, available since 2017, had made no mention of the listening device…”

Make your site’s pages instant in 1 minute and improve your conversion rate by 1%
“Amazon and others found that 100 milliseconds of latency is responsible for 1% in sales. But latency on the web is hard to overcome. instant.page uses just-in-time preloading — it preloads a page right before a user clicks on it…”

Super Scary AI – Better Language Models and Their Implications
“We’ve trained a large-scale unsupervised language model which generates coherent paragraphs of text, achieves state-of-the-art performance on many language modeling benchmarks, and performs rudimentary reading comprehension, machine translation, question answering, and summarization — all without task-specific training…”

This person does not exist
More scary computer stuff. Creating images of people that never existed. They look super real!

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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