This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 10th June 2019:
Plugins / Themes
Sketch Sync – Project Huddle
Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
The WP Builds podcast is sponsored this week by…
We thanks them for their support of WP Builds.
Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
Nathan Wrigley: 00:00 Hello, good morning and welcome to this, the WP Builds weekly WordPress newsletter. This is number 67 and it covers the WordPress news for the week commencing the 10th of June, 2019 and it was released on the 17th of June, 2019 just a couple of things before we begin. If you wouldn't mind heading over to the WP Builds.com website. There's a few links on there. The first one is the subscribe Lincoln. If you click on that, you'll be able to access our mailing lists. We've got two of those. One of you just brings you updates about the news that you're listening to now and the podcast which we release every Thursday, but also we've got a newsletter simply for deals. If I hear about a WordPress plugin or theme or such like deal, I immediately write it up and send it out to you in a very simple plain text format. Also, come and join us.
Nathan Wrigley: 00:46 You can subscribe to us on apple podcasts or Google podcast. Join our 2000 strong Facebook group where you can get lots of help for your WordPress issues and we push everything out to youtube as well, and you can join our slack channel. Although the slack channel and the Messenger upstate updates are simply that. They're just little updates to to tell you when we've produced new stuff. The other one to mention is WP Builds.com forward slash deals which is in the main navigation as well. We've added a new deal this week or had the guys over at web arcs of decided to allow you 25% off WebARX security. That's 25% off the monthly bill on all plans, so you can go over to WP Builds.com forward slash deals to get that. There's heaps of other plugins on their WP admin pages, pro lifter LMS project huddle, social websuite, groundhog, WP, Ultimo.
Nathan Wrigley: 01:35 The list goes on and on and it's growing all the time, so even though it's not black Friday, you can make use of some significant discounts, WP Builds.com forward slash deals. I would also draw your attention to WP build.com forward slash win. That's the URL for our competitions and we've got one at the moment. We've got split hero win one of four licenses for split hero competition runs until the 30th of June. You just have to enter your name and email address and share it on social media and there's the chance of winning two annual licenses, one six month license and one three month license. Plus I failed to mention this in the past. Every single person that enters that competition will after the competition is over, whether you win or not, get a 20% discount coupon. So there's really, there's not a lot to uh, to hold you back.
Nathan Wrigley: 02:24 The only other one that I would mention is WP Builds.com forward slash advertise if you would like to have your product or service put in front of the WP Builds audience, you can certainly do that. We have banner ads and we have audio inserts as well. And somebody that's done that is Kinsta. The WP Builds podcast is brought to you today by Kinsta. Are you tired of unreliable or slow hosting? If so, checkout Insta who takes managed WordPress hosting to the very 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 just one thing to say before we launch right into the news and that's to say if you are heading next week over to WordCamp Europe, please make the effort to come and find me. You can locate me on Twitter at at WP Builds or you can post something in the Facebook group, but I'm sure it, I'm sure I'll find it.
Nathan Wrigley: 03:22 Be Really Nice to hook up with you and meet up with some of you face to face. Okay, let's get on with the news, right. The first couple of articles come under the banner of a WordPress core. The first one is over at make dot WordPress.org and it's entitled WordPress 5.2 0.2 release candidate one and this is very simply to say that we have a new release candidate for WordPress. 5.2 0.2 as I've just said, it's very minor. There's not a real great amount of interesting stuff in there. It's bug fixes and things like that. So you can go and have a look at this article. It's things like dashboard elements don't always have clear focus states tab orders that's been fixed and RTL bug wrong navigation arrows in media. Modal extra border is displayed at the bottom of help sections in Firefox. It's things like that.
Nathan Wrigley: 04:08 So if you're very keen to test this out and help the team go over to that page and you can find out how you can do that. But uh, yeah, minor update, but we'll have the official release tomorrow by all accounts. Tuesday the 18th of June. So watch out for the latest edition of WordPress heading your way. Next up, we have an article on the WP Tavern entitled Gutenberg. 5.9 brings a major improvements to block grouping introduces snack bar notices. So there's two things really to say here. We've now got extra capabilities, um, allowing you to group and on group blocks inside container blocks. The article says once placed inside a group, the blocks can be moved up or down within the group using simple up or down controls. So that's very nice. Nested blocks have also been improved so that users can flick through to each layer to configure each and to navigate to the deepest nested block.
Nathan Wrigley: 05:00 And I think this is quite nice. We've got this new idea called snack bar notices. Now apparently this was taken from material design and the idea here is that rather than have a sort of permanent notice, which appears at the top of the page for simple things like saving, publishing and so on, a little notice is going to pop up at the bottom of the screen. It's going to just sort of hover up interview and then it's going to disappear a few seconds later. You've, you've seen this probably all over the place but never in Gutenberg and it looks really good. It gets out of the way really quickly and it doesn't use up any of the Ui. It's right in the bottom left hand corner and it just goes away. So I think that's a really nice feature. This update to 5.9 also contains two, doesn't bug fixes for desktop and mobile experiences and so on and, and slight, slight improvements in performance, um, going from 4.9 to 4.8 seconds loading.
Nathan Wrigley: 05:51 So that's all good. Okay, let's move on. So the next few articles come under the banner of, and the first one is just to draw your attention as I did a moment ago before I started reading out the news that WordCamp Europe is happening in Berlin this coming week. It's happening from the 20th to the 22nd of June. So I'd be an awful lot of talks and things your Twitter feed will no doubt be in and dated by this stuff. I'm going to be there. So please, if you wear fancy reaching out to me, you can come and find me at WP Builds is my Twitter handle. But also you can, you know, post something in the Facebook group or something like that and uh, be nice to meet up with you. But yes, very, very excited about this. It's the biggest word camp that's going about 3000 people signed up and they're expecting about 90% or so of those people to turn up.
Nathan Wrigley: 06:37 So very exciting. Go and check out the attendees page and check out the schedule to see what it is that you want to get involved with. Speaking of WordCamp WP and up and WPMU Dev have put out a series of podcasts. I say they have, I'm involved with WP and up and we've put out a series of inspirational, very short little podcasts telling word press and word camps, stories in the runup to um, WordCamp Europe and we've got about 10 of them out so far. There'll be a couple more to follow, but if you go to the link and click on it, you'll get to the podcast section of the WP&UP.org website. And if you click on any of the ones with a orange thumbnails, then be able to hear it in some of the people, our people from our WP Builds community.
Nathan Wrigley: 07:25 So that's really nice. The next article is over on Talk Mag, although I also link to it on bleeping computer as well. Uh, and this is to say that major issues with WordPress VIP go causes sites to go down last Tuesday, um, WordPress VIP go, which is kind of like a, a real high tier WordPress platform for very large sites. So for example, things like tech crunch and Woo Commerce, rolling stone, BBC America. Well, all of these sites went down. And the, the default theme showing a succulent was to be experienced on many of these sites. It's important to notice that this is nothing to do with WordPress. WordPress itself. There was no fault there. It was simply to do with one of the, one of the partners involved in the hosting. But you know, some of these major sites going down, it obviously does raise questions of trust.
Nathan Wrigley: 08:17 They were very quick to fix it. I think within a matter of hours, everything was back up and running. But obviously, you know, anything like this, um, we'll probably get into the headlines. You, they'll clients and things. We'll see the word WordPress and think, oh goodness me, something's wrong with my website. Well, of course if you're hosting things yourself, this of course wasn't the case and uh, and there was nothing to worry about, but nevertheless it can happen and it was fixed very quickly. So that's good news. Moving onto WordPress, Spanish translation team now has met a sites, apps and top 200 plugins, 100% translated. This again is on WP Tavern. It is to say that the Spanish WordPress community has hit the remarkable milestone of translating, well, a significant amount of stuff. So the top 200 hundred plugins are 100% completed with no pending translation reviews. This article goes on to explain why this is the case.
Nathan Wrigley: 09:11 The Spanish team is the biggest with two nearly 3000 contributors followed by German with 30002000400 and, and that obviously helps, but also the protocols that the team have put in place using read only slack channels and things. This article goes on to explain how that's been very helpful. It's cut down on all the noise, but a very remarkable milestone for the, the second most popular language for, for WordPress. So that's absolutely fabulous. I love to see this stuff getting an entire it often, it means that those of you that are speaking in Spanish can be, can be confident implementing and using WordPress going forwards. Being a former user of Drupal, I'm quite keen on this next article again on WP Tavern in titled Drupal Gutenberg or 1.0 released now ready for production sites. So the Gutenberg module for Drupal created by front calm has reached 1.0 status, which is rather than ice, that means that it's ready for production use.
Nathan Wrigley: 10:06 It's being used well, it's been downloaded something like 12,000 times and has been used about 500 times on production sites. There's a couple of little caveats. Various things don't work. It's using an older version from May, uh, Gutenberg, 4.8 I believe. Something along those lines. Um, reusable blocks don't work, but I had real great hopes for Gutenberg in this regard and I'm pleased to see that the Drupal guys are moving forward with it. They are also shipping it with the Gutenberg cloud, which sadly in WordPress terms as doesn't seem to be getting much leveraged. The idea is that you can store a whole library of blocks and download a whole premade bundle of blocks from the cloud. Um, that's been put in. So that's really nice and I'm just pleased to see a Drupal getting on board with this and obviously, you know, give it some time.
Nathan Wrigley: 10:55 I wonder, apart from the fact that the, the, the way that you build websites is entirely different. Perhaps the Ui for clients going forwards in the, on those two CMS will be very similar, making the transition from one to the other a little bit more seamless. This next piece comes from WP engine and it's called WP engine Dev kit. It says, oh, WordPress local development environment and build a toolkit that seamlessly works with WP engine and encourages better, faster code. It sounds to me as if this is a little bit like local by flywheel describes itself as the all in one WordPress Dev kit. It includes a local development environment, SSH, gateway access, easy push and pull deployments to WP engine, genesis Cli commands and other tools for building and debugging. Great WordPress projects faster. You can download this for Mac or Linux. Nothing on the word on the windows front right now, but a haven't used it.
Nathan Wrigley: 12:44 It's completely free to register. So if that's your bag and you're into learning Java script deeply, uh, go check it out. Okay. The last one in the community section comes from David McCann, who is a very valued member of the WP Builds communities, often in the Facebook group, giving helpful advice. He's released a youtube video called Gutenberg block editor. It's about 1314 minutes long. And in it he shouts out some Gotchas for people who are trying to do columns. He's installed various solutions including the, the Gutenberg core columns and cadence and ultimate add ons as well. And he goes through all of the, the problems that he's had trying to get things to work. And it's, it's an, there's an awful lot of them, like images disappearing upon save things, not expect working in the way you'd expect. Plus icons being difficult to hover over. And it's just a really thoughtful, nice video.
Nathan Wrigley: 13:36 So anybody who's thinking of playing with Gutenberg and trying to get columns to work, go and watch this video because David's done a great job of saving you the headaches of trying various things out. Okay, let's move right along to plugin theme news first one. WP Tavern, again entitled Justin Tadlock proposed this idea to solve common theme issues. Um, the theme review team is inundated and it's very difficult to get your theme accredited and put onto the WordPress.org repo. So Justin has proposed the idea of creating standardized packages on the theme review team, get hub repo that authors could reuse the idea being that each theme kind of reinvents the wheel every time. And, and if there was standardized packages for just about anything, then this could save an awful lot of time. And what he's proposing is that at the moment nothing is off the table.
Nathan Wrigley: 14:26 If you've got any ideas around this point, if you're a theme developer and you can think of anything which could be standardized and everybody could use to save you and everybody else a whole bunch of time, then then this could move forward. I mean it's very ambitious. It would require an awful lot of cooperation from all the different theme authors. But in theory I think it's a really nice idea. And of course then it would lessen the burden of trying to authorize things to go on to the wp.org repo because we'd all be using these standardized packages, which would be automatically authorized and you feature from woo commerce. Now this is entitled harness the power of blocks with woo commerce, bookings availability, or they've got this new plugin. And the idea is that you have a block which you can drop into your Gutenberg pages or posts and you then get the option to show your availability.
Nathan Wrigley: 15:17 So obviously you know, an example might be if you are, oh I don't know, a hairdresser or something and you've got a calendar and you would like people to see your availability, but um, you want to put it on various different parts of your site. Well you drop it in with this block and now you've got a couple of different options. You can show a calendar view so people can see the available slots or listed in in the particular days of the calendar month view. Or you've got the shed. You'll option as well where it just shows the dates in a, in a list format and you go down and you can book. So you need WordPress 5.0 or higher and you need woocommerce bookings 1.1 4.5 or higher. But a nice little add on there. Yoast are now on version 11.4 as you can find out by clicking on the link in the show notes and the article can be summarized as follows, Yoast Seo 11.4 is out today.
Nathan Wrigley: 16:06 This release features loads of structured data improvement. We've improved the way Yoast SEO schema works with amp. Plus. We've enhanced our Faq blocks and added them to the graph. I would urge you to go and check it out. If you're a keen SEO experts, go and check out what's been added into Yoast 11.4 right. The next one is over at web arcs. It's entitled Source Code Analysis Tool for WordPress plugins and themes. This is possibly a little high level for many of us listening, but what they are trying to do is provide a code analysis tool for WordPress that has the ability to identify directly exploitable flaws such as SQL injection, stored cross site scripting and such. A, you've got to do this with the command line. There's a get hub repository and the plugin will scan source code and you can identify local system password plus press plugin repository links or a web location to the Zip Archive.
Nathan Wrigley: 17:02 It returns a registered admin actions, Ajax Hooks function loads at admin in it took and vulnerabilities that were found in source code analysis. Like I say, it's a little bit, um, high level. Um, but over time I think they're hoping to evolve this tool with contributions from the community, uh, to make all of us a little bit more safe. So if you're into your security and then go and check this one out, right next up we've got power pack for beaver builder who have an article entitled introducing Login for module and header and footer builder. Very simply, that's what it does. There is now an option if you're using beaver builder and power pack to style the login form, you can make it look really very, very remarkably different from the default with the usual beaver builder controls. And they've also added the option to wide change the headers and footers.
Nathan Wrigley: 17:51 This is not like beaver themer where you could do it on a sort of per page basis. This is a sitewide option, but a nice update, uh, adding some significant capabilities to power pack. Anyone who's dabbled with the idea of building their own theme may have been put off by the complexity of that task. Well, there's a tool called pine grow which enables you to build just about anything really a, it doesn't require WordPress but they've now got this option to convert stuff that you build in pine grow to a WordPress theme. It takes all of the heavy lifting and the PHP wrangling and that that knowledge away you have to learn the Ui, which is a little bit complicated but I think it's certainly significantly easier. I've not tried it, I don't know how easy it is to use or how, how good the output code issue we say, but it's there.
Nathan Wrigley: 18:39 It's an option and it's getting spoken about a little bit this week and it might be, it might be something you want to look at and there's a bit of a bit of an offer going on where you can get a lifetime update update option, so maybe worth going and looking at it. Our friends over at project huddle have released something quite interesting this week. It's called sketch sink. It's in Beta at the moment and it says secrecy sync. Your sketch designs with project title without any saving, exporting or uploading. You link your sketch workflow, your sketch designs to project huddle and upon save everything is available in project huddle. Um, I'm not a heavy design user so this probably wouldn't make sense for me, but if you are using sketch and you're using project huddle to try and show those design iterations to your client, this looks like a bit of a slam dunk.
Nathan Wrigley: 19:27 Very nice integration. Weldon goes. And the last one is over on I themes. The last one on the plugins and themes section that is over and I themes and it's called WordPress plugin roundup June, 2019 and this is just simply a post where they go through a whole bunch of plugins and they tell you what has been changed. So it's a little bit like what I'm doing now and the with um, as quite a lot in there. I've not really read too much about it, but if you're interested in seeing what's altered over the last month, this might well be something you want to look at. So go check it out. The next two pieces of news fall under the banner of security. The first one is actually a link to a post that I put up inside the WP Builds Facebook groups. So if you're not a member of that, you'll have to be accepted into the group, but it's entitled security announcement from power pack for beaver builder and basically our copy and paste that email.
Nathan Wrigley: 20:18 But I couldn't find a, um, I couldn't find this online so I've, I've stuck it there and it's about the fact that power pack for beaver builder has experienced a problem. They can't quite get to the bottom of it. But if you go into WP hyphen content uploads BB power pack directory, there should be no PHP files in there. But in some cases there appear to be files coming in. They're certainly index dot PHP is being found. We're not quite sure yet how this is happening, but the idea is that you should go and update to 2.7 0.1 if that's the case. Um, and delete any PHP files. I've got a whole bunch of sites and I did actually find a couple of examples where this was indeed there. So it might be worth checking out if you're using power pack for beaver builder. The next one, again, I'm not going to go into the details of the security news, uh, except to say that the hacker news website is saying new floor in WordPress live chats plugin.
Nathan Wrigley: 21:14 Let's hack a steel and hijack sessions. So if you're using that plugin, WP live chat support, I would urge you to go and click on that link and see what's to be done about it. The next couple of bits come under the banner of WP Builds. So shameless self promotion. The first one is to draw your attention to the fact that we put a new blog post out this week. It's entitled working when there are other things to do. And David warms the, and I chat about all of the distractions that we face in our working lives and how we overcome them or not as the case may be how we give in and just basically wasted a load of time each and every day. But it's a nice little chats and we've had some nice comments about it coming through. So maybe it worth a listen.
Nathan Wrigley: 21:54 The other thing to mention is that we've got a couple of webinars coming up and got the exact dates yet, but we've got peach and airy talking about website Ux and we've also got Craig Hewitt who is going to be showing us a new feature in his podcasting platform. Castos, in which automatically your posts will be translated and leading to a better SCO. You may or may not know, but I now translate all of the posts that we put up. So this will be translated, this word that I say right now and this one and this one, we'll all get translated and go, uh, in a transcription underneath the post. And, uh, it's what accessibility, but also it's very helpful for Seo. So two webinars. If you go to WP build.com, forward slash, webinars, you'll be able to find out about those as soon as they are, uh, soon as I put them in the calendar and make them ready.
Nathan Wrigley: 22:43 Okay, we're onto the non word pressing news. This is over at biteable dot com it's entitled Facebook live. Does it really have better organic reach? If you've ever toyed with the idea of doing live Facebook posts where you put yourself on screen and uh, talk with your audience live, well it's quite interesting they put together this very, very complicated process of judging whether or not this was better than just writing regular posts. And I think the answer is a definitive yes. So if you've ever pondered with the idea of putting Facebook lives out or you are using Facebook lives, it might be worth reading this to sort of give yourself some encouragement, give yourself some justification for doing that because it would appear that they are very effective and no doubt Facebook know that. I'll bet all of us at some points have used or heard about to drop box while the verge tells us that Dropbox is getting a massive overhaul, wants to be the center of your workflow.
Nathan Wrigley: 23:38 Well when Dropbox started it was a simple proposition. One folder. Everything goes in there and get sync to the various devices. Well the landscape has changed and now Dropbox retitled it's new offering the new Dropbox in genius wording there. And the idea is that it's going to try to become the central repository, the central app that you do absolutely everything in. So you'll be able to do things like create Google docs and edit Google docs, interact with slacks, salesforce, create zoom meetings all inside this one platform. It looks really interesting. There's also like a task management tool in there as well. So we'll see how this works out. But if you are a heavy user of Dropbox or you want one place to combine, absolutely all the tools that you're trying to wrangle, Dropbox is trying to be that. So maybe go and check this article out to to see what you make of it.
Nathan Wrigley: 24:29 I'll keep this next one extremely short. Again, on the verge it's called Firefox is new logo has more fire and less fox. Firefox now have a new logo. I really like it. I can't see the fox, but I can see the fire go and check it out. So you think of it. And finally the very last piece of news that we've got for you this week is on the Guardian. It's entitled doctored video of Sinister Mark Zuckerberg puts Facebook to the test. This is just breathtaking. There is a video which has been created and put on, I believe Instagram and it's, it's basically it's Mark Zuckerberg talking to the camera only. It's not, none of it's real. You only have to listen to the dialogue to understand that Mark Zuckerberg would never have said these words, but there is, I mean the voice itself is not convincing, but the video is, if they had married up somebody who was very, very good at imitating his voice and put it on this video, I would have absolutely thought it was real and I suppose in the future it the state of things to come.
Nathan Wrigley: 25:27 You know, we've, we've come to distrust photography because of Photoshop, but video was immutable. Nobody could fiddle with video successfully. We'll now, it appears those days are over. So in the future, how are we going to trust anything? Goodness me. Right? That's all I've got for you this week. I hope that you found that news interesting and informative. If you did, please show your appreciation. Go over to WP Builds and leave as a comment or something or give us a nice review on apple podcast. That's always very helpful. The more stars you can manage, the better. The WP Builds podcast was brought to you today by 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 got access to the latest software and developer tools such as PHP seven ssh and staging environments and the best part, their expert team of WordPress engineers are available 24 seven should you need help and you can migrate today for free at Kinsta Dot com again, thank you for joining us this week.
Nathan Wrigley: 26:34 Please come and join us again on Thursday for the regular podcast. If you're in Berlin this week, please come and find me at WP Builds on the Twitter and also, you know something in our Facebook group and I'm sure if you tag me, I'll find it. Um, if I don't see you in either of those two locations, then please come back this time next week and join us. We will of course, as always be putting out a live version of this newsletter, so join us for that as well. That'll be at 2:00 PM UK time. Okay, bye. Bye. For now.