WP Builds Newsletter #65 – WordPress turns 16, average salaries and how Slack came to be

This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 27th May 2019:

WordPress Core

Happy Sweet 16, WordPress

Gutenberg 5.8 Released with Prototype of New Block-based Widgets Screen

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GoDaddy Pro

Automattic is Testing an Experimental Full Site Editing Plugin

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Pantheon Acquires Visual Regression Testing Platform StagingPilot

How Much Money Do WordPress Developers Make?

WP&UP #PressForward podcast – Being open about depression


Critical Vulnerability Patched in Popular Convert Plus Plugin

Privilege Escalation Flaw Present In Slick Popup Plugin

OS Command Injection Vulnerability Patched In WP Database Backup Plugin

Return to the City of Cron – Malware Infections on Joomla and WordPress

Plugins / Themes

Ready to try Genesis 3.0.0 Beta?

Toolset’s “Custom Types Training” Course

Maps 1.7.3 and new Toolset Blocks beta bring Dynamic Map Markers and other improvements to Blocks

The Page Builder Framework theme is Now WPML Compatible

WP Builds

Personality types – finding the right client for you

Live Stream with Nathan Wrigley and Vito Peleg from WP Feedback

Not WordPress, but useful anyway…

Chrome DevTools Can Override Geographic Location

Google’s Mobile-First Indexing is Now Default for New Domains

The Slack origin story

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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: 00:00 Hello there. Good morning and welcome to this. The WP Builds WordPress weekly newsletter number 65 it covers the WordPress weekly news for the week, commencing the 27th of May, 2019 and it was published on Monday the 3rd of June, 2019 just a couple of things before we begin. If you go over to the WP builds .com website, I've got a whole load of menu items at the top hand. I'm going to introduce you to a couple of them. The first one is the subscribe link, which is WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. Go there and you can sign up to our newsletters. We've got a couple of those. Plus you can join us on iTunes podcast player or Google podcasts as well. Join our Facebook group of over 2000 WordPress people. Lots of Nice conversations going on in there and there's links to things like our youtube channels, slack channel, and you can get messenger updates as well.

Nathan Wrigley: 00:55 Another one to mention is WP Builds.com forward slash deals and over there you're gonna find a whole load of links to products that developers have reached out to us and said, we'd like to be on that page and offer your users some discount. So go over there if you're in the market for particular plugins or themes because you might be able to get a little bit of cash off WP Builds.com forward slash contribute if you'd like to join me doing a a webinar style screen sharing thing. If you've done something recently that you're very proud of, we'll we'll make sure that it gets in front of a wider audience. You never know. You might be able to help somebody out with some knowledge that you've already gained and the last, but by no means least WP built.com forward slash advertise if you would like to get your product or service in front of a wider audience, just like Kinsta because the WP Builds podcast is brought to you today by Kinsta.

Nathan Wrigley: 01:47 Are you tired of unreliable or slow hosting? If so, check out Kinsta who takes managed WordPress hosting to the next level, powered by the Google cloud platform. All their plans include PHP seven ssh and 24 seven experts support and you can migrate today for free at Kinsta Dot com and we do thank Kinsta.com for their support of the WP Builds podcast. It certainly keeps the lights on. Okay, let's get over to the WordPress and use for this week. The first three items this week come under the banner of WordPress core and the first item is all about the fact that WordPress has turned 16 I actually missed this, but 16 years have elapsed since Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little forked b2 cafelog the blogging platform. It was on the 27th of May, 2013 and this article on the WP Tavern in titled Happy Sweet 16 WordPress goes in and talks a little bit about that history, how it's risen in popularity over the years.

Nathan Wrigley: 02:52 You don't need me to tell you that we're on nearly 34% of the top 10 million websites and then quite nicely it goes on to show some pictures from around the world where people had a little celebration, got together and did things like made cakes and so on and so forth. It's lovely. Rarely so nice little article and obviously this is the point, this is why we're all here. So indeed happy birthday, WordPress, next stop. We're over on the WP Tavern website and the article is entitled Gutenburg Five Point Eight released or with prototype of new block based widget screen. So we've managed to get to Gutenburg 5.8 that's quite exciting and it says this release gives users the ability to change the text color in the heading block, the same color options available in the paragraph and button blocks are now available in the heading block. So that's quite a nice addition.

Nathan Wrigley: 03:43 We also have the support for reordering images within galleries. So now if you hover over a particular image and you wish to move it left or right within that gallery display, you can do that. You just click on the icon and left it goes or right it goes, it's quite a nice feature. And also there's something new. We've got, uh, the introduction of the initial version of the new widgets screen. It says you can check it out in the admin under Gutenburg widgets beta Menu. It's currently just a proof of concept and it's got quite a few bugs, but it's in there. Nevertheless, also we've got some progress made on mobile. So if you're editing in Gutenburg on mobile, you can now do extra things, adding quotes and video to the available of blocks, rich captions for the image block and fixes for several critical bugs.

Nathan Wrigley: 04:35 And also they've made improvements on speed of the, uh, the overall plugin. Uh, if you look at the benchmarks, we're now sort of shaving milliseconds off, but nevertheless, it's gone down to a loading time of 5.4 seconds in Gutenburg, 5.8 from 7.7 seconds in Gutenburg, 4.8. So that's all good. Also on the WP Tavern website, we have an article entitled automatic is testing and experimental full site editing plugin. Oh, this is really quite interesting. Now maybe this is something which is going to dominate Gutenberg's future, but now we have this full site editing plugin. Apparently it's a little bit hard to track down. Um, so you know, you'll have to go and do an appropriate search, but you've now got the option to select page templates when you, you start editing a page. And the idea is really to give inexperienced, I suppose, users or people who don't have a way of managing this kind of stuff, a simple point and click interface for setting up some typical layout.

Nathan Wrigley: 05:37 So for example, it's got a blank option, a a menu option, a contact us option and a home option. Just some typical page layouts that, you know, somebody might like to start to their page with. It's fairly wonky at the moment in that the current version is broken, whereas a previous version wasn't broken. But it certainly looks like something worth playing with and keeping an eye on over time because this feels like the direction that we're going in. So go and check it out. Uh, fascinating. All from Automattic. Very nice indeed. Right. Moving on. The next few articles come under the banner of community and the first of which is again over at WP Tavern. Entitled Pantheon acquires a visual regression testing platform, staging pilot. Well Pantheon is a managed host for Drupal and WordPress in particular and they have acquired, although there's no financial details, staging pilot well as four years old now and the purpose of the plugin is to run a barrage of visual regression tests on WordPress sites before they are automatically updated to quote staging.

Nathan Wrigley: 06:41 Pilot creates a copy of the site and places it into a staging environment. The service then conducts a number of tests that include checking for visual errors or white screen of death and elements on a page disappearing. A number of snapshots are created along with a detailed report on the errors that are discovered. Um, sounds like a really nice tool if you're a hosting company, the idea that you could import websites, check them, make a sort of check on them before and then check after. But also if you're just in charge of a whole host of WordPress websites and you know, feel a bit nervous about clicking updates on whatever service that you're using, this sort of technology would be really beneficial in giving you a bit of confidence, you know, a report that you could receive that basically said, look, it's exactly the same now as it was before.

Nathan Wrigley: 07:24 So interesting that it has been acquired by Patheon. Obviously this is the sort of coalition that we're seeing within the WordPress space. And, uh, one more example of it happening. Next up, we have an article on the deliciousbrains .com websites entitled, how much money do WordPress developers make that under more insights on the life of a WordPress developer? In our first ever industry reports, so delicious brains decided they wanted to get this data for whatever reason, they wanted to know more about what WordPress people were doing in general, where did they live in so on. So I honestly, I would commend this to you. It's really interesting and it certainly doesn't have hardly anything to do with salary at all, although they've put that right at the top 420 people responded to their surveys. So although the data set is quite large, it's not enormous.

Nathan Wrigley: 08:08 But interesting, it goes into like for example, where WordPress developers live in, mostly it's in North America and Europe. The audience profile turns out most people working with WordPress are aged between 30 and 49. Um, it says, what gender do you identify with in the very, very largest share is 88.8% male. Absolutely fascinating. And most of us have been coding for eight plus years. Most there's about a 50, 50 split on whether or not coding is our first career. In other words, do we have another job at the same time? And then it goes into things like, what is your industry? What's your employment status? Um, how many clients do you have? And so on and so forth. And it's really, really interesting just to see what the WordPress community is made up of and it's more disparate and than I had actually imagined. So absolutely fascinating.

Nathan Wrigley: 09:00 Well worth a look. Okay. I hope you'll indulge me on this next one because it's a shameless plug for a podcast that I was involved in over on the WP and aarp.org website. The podcast episode is entitled and Being Open about depression and it's a chat that I had with Cory Miller who was the founder of I themes all about his, um, his journey with depression should we say. It's really interesting. He's an incredibly open person and I think what I'm trying to do with this piece is just guide you towards WP and UP. If any of these things affect you, you could go to the WP and UP .org website and see if they can offer some support. It's the ninth podcast in a series. So maybe go and check out the other ones because they're about completely different subjects often.

Nathan Wrigley: 09:52 Okay. Four bits of security news for this week. Now having asked for some feedback, basically I think that most people don't want me to give out the technical details of the security vulnerabilities. If that's in fact not the case, please reach out and tell me. But what I've decided to do is just mention the source and mentioned the plugin name going forwards and then you can click on the link and find out if this affects you. So three of them are from WordFence, one is from security, and the first one is a vulnerability in the enormously popular convert plus plugin. So go and check that out. If you are familiar with that plugin or think you might have that installed somewhere. Again on WordFence privilege escalation floor present in slick popup plugin. Third one on WordFence OSTP command injection vulnerability patched in WP database backup plugin, and finally returned to the city of cron a malady where infections on Joomla and WordPress and that's on the secure security website.

Nathan Wrigley: 10:53 So if that doesn't suit you and you would rather that I explained what all of these are, please let me know. Otherwise, I'm not sure that uh, the technicalities of that merit being put into this little weekly news, it tends to extend the time that we've got for them. Okay. Moving on. The next four articles come under the banner of plugins and themes. First one [email protected] announcing that genesis 3.0 0.0 Beta has now come around. It's going to be coming out on the 19th of June, but they're looking for some Beta testers. The features are as follows, there are, they're amping up their amputee technology, so they're going to be leveraging the accelerated mobile pages options in their future release. They've also got nine years of legacy code and there's a quite a few bits of baggage apparently, which they're getting rid of. So for example, they're removing the unnecessary root file templates, removing the theme and SEO settings page, removing all markup that html five removing adsense, auto ads integration, and a whole bunch of other things.

Nathan Wrigley: 11:59 So yes, maybe some of the things will, I suppose need to be looked at just in case. And they're also getting rid of the blog page templates, which might sound quite drastic, but if you read this article, you'll find that they've for a very long time, had a little thing, an Easter egg in there that allowed you to do exactly this even if you didn't have that working on your site. So go and checking out genesis 3.0 0.0 next stop. We've got on the toolset website, toolsets, custom types, training course. Now they're making a course or they have made a course, it's available for $29 if you wish to purchase it. However, if you're a toolset subscriber or have a legacy lifetime account, then it's already for you. And they make the point that creating a custom post type is now trivially easy. But once you get beyond adding fields and adding the custom post type, there's a whole load of stuff that you can do.

Nathan Wrigley: 12:54 So for example, faceted search and things like that. And so this course is trying to guide you through the fundamentals of custom post type building, post type relationships, custom searches, that kind of stuff. And it's done in little sections. So if that is your thing, I'm sure it will align very well with the tool set products. I haven't looked at it, but uh, nevertheless a custom post type course might just be the exact thing that you're looking for. Again, over on the toolset website we have maps or 1.7 0.3 and new toolset blocks beta brings dynamic map markers and other improvements to blocks. So the map per block now has the ability to pull in data from custom fields. So if you're using the block editor you can now select a dynamic source. And so for example, if you have an address field in a custom post type, it can now be linked up directly to your map and drop a pin on a Google map, which is very nice.

Nathan Wrigley: 13:50 We also have improvements to the field and text blocks and now you can actually do visual editing rather than it all be in html. And you've got to style it in some way. With CSS you can now do visual editing with the sort of typical visual editing tools, which is quite nice. And a bunch of other improvements. They've added a new post title with a link source to the blocks. Dynamic sources added a separator option to the uh, TB related fields block and various other improvements as well. So nice work from toolset this week, two items featured and over on WPML this week, which is very much related to tool set. We have the page builder framework theme is now WPML compatible, so payable, the framework, a lightweight multipurpose theme for any niche or whatever you want to build. Frankly a is now integrated perfectly with WPML, so you can do your translations within that theme, which is really rather than ice very short article, just letting you know that that capability is there frankly, and wonderful to see it.

Nathan Wrigley: 14:53 Two notable things from us, WP Builds this week. Firstly, last Thursday we put out a podcast. It was a discussion with myself and David Waumsley and we entitled it personality types, finding the right client for you. It's really interesting. Listen, actually, most of the information came directly from David who has a background in psychology and he's talking about the personality types, the different types of people, the way that they behave, the way that they react and whether or not there might be a perfect fit for you, but it's interesting whether or not you can figure out what to do. They're like just just to sort of learn what, what things might be suitable, what kind of replies you should give, what way do people want to be spoken to and so on. So go and listen to that. It's quite interesting. And secondly, just the other day we did a live stream with Vito Peleg who's got a brand new plugin called WP feedback and a, and we talked at great lengths.

Nathan Wrigley: 15:43 He showed us how the plugin works to get information from your clients, uh, right on the website itself, how it works and what it looks like and how easy it is to you. So go check that out as well. Right. The last three things for this week come under the banner of, not to WordPress, but useful anyway. The first of them is over on the search engine journal Website and the article's entitled Chrome Dev Tools can override geographic location. So this is interesting. Let's say for example, you've got some conditional logic on your page and it's showing different content to people in North America to people in Europe. Or perhaps you're using something like woo commerce and you're relying on it to pick up on geolocation data to select the right currency. Well, I think it's been quite tricky to work out what this would actually look like, whether it's working or not.

Nathan Wrigley: 16:29 And so now the the guys over on this blog post to showing you how you can fudge this in Google chrome, it's not necessarily straightforward, but there is a way to trick Google chrome if you like. Well, not trick because it's built in, but it's hard to find, trick it into showing what the page would look like. Let's say if you're based in London or if you're based in Tokyo and so on. So there's a tutorial for how to do it and I think it might be useful in some scenarios. Okay, next stop. On WP Tavern. We have an article entitled Google's mobile first indexing is now default for new domains. I did not know this, but as of July the first 2019 any new domain that crops up, in other words, a domain which has just been registered, Google is now going to use the mobile index first.

Nathan Wrigley: 17:17 Now this is not the case. If you've got a website which is obviously existing at the moment, but rolling into the future, that means that the mobile index presumably will start to take over. Now you don't need to worry if you're using WordPress, obviously you probably got a mobile responsive theme and that's completely fine, but just a bit of a heads up really that this change is starting to roll out and so it's going to matter more in the future than it ever has. Mobile indexing is not going to be default for all websites yet, and I quote, but Google started rolling it out more widely in 2018 a Google evaluates older websites for readiness based on a variety of factors, so just something to know. Certainly something worthy of telling to your clients. I would have thought. And the last piece today is over on tech crunch.

Nathan Wrigley: 18:03 Now this is behind the tech crunch paywall, but the bits that are of interest to be our before the pay wall. So That's interesting. And it's to say that the slack origin story is laid out here, and I didn't know this, I'm just letting you know that slack came out of a game. It turns out that the guys who developed slack, they also developed a failed game before they were they, they developed flicker off the back of a failed game and they developed slack off the back of a fail the game as well. The game was called glitch and it goes back to 2009 just absolutely fascinating that one of the most widely used productivity tools on the Internet, which I'm sure the vast majority of our listeners have experience with, was actually born out of a failed attempt at creating a massive online game.

Nathan Wrigley: 18:52 Absolutely fascinating. So there we go. That's the WordPress weekly news. I hope you got something out of it this week. It was brought to you today by Kinsta. Kinsta takes managed WordPress hosting to the next level, powered by the Google cloud platform. Your site is secured like Fort Knox and runs on speed obsessive architecture. You've got access to the latest software and developer tools such as PHP seven ssh and staging environment, and the best part, their expert team of WordPress engineers are available 24 seven if you need help. So you can migrate today for free at Kinsta dot com and we really do thank Kinsta for their support of the WP Builds podcast newsletter. Okay. I hope you enjoyed that. Hope you got something out of it. Join us again next Monday when we'll do the same thing again only with some fresh news. Also, come back on Thursday and we'll deliver a new fresh podcast episode to you and go over to WP builds .com forward slash Facebook and join our Facebook group. Bye Bye for now.

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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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