WP Builds Newsletter #70 – Plugin updates, community news and Facebook outage

This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 1st July 2019:

WordPress Core

For the first time, I have not found anything for this section. The sky is falling in, WordPress is doomed!!! 😉


WordCamp Dublin 2019

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WCEU – After Party: An Apology

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Free Online JavaScript for WordPress Conference to Feature “Headless WordPress” Track, July 12

Great site – HeroPress

Plugins / Themes

Yoast SEO 11.5: An updated mobile preview + favicon!

EditorsKit 1.6 and 1.7 Add Tools for Writers, Drag and Drop Block Export/Import

msgWP to Launch Plugin Enabling WordPress Microblogging with Telegram

BuddyPress 5.0 to Introduce BP REST API, First Beta Due Mid-August


Wordfence Weekly June 26 2019 – July 02 2019

WordPress Vulnerability Roundup: June 2019, Part 2

WP Builds

How to run successful paid ad campaigns to increase conversions with Daniel Daines-Hutt

Podcasting and transcribing with WordPress is easy with Castos

Not WordPress, but useful anyway…

Google Launches Effort to Make Robots Exclusion Protocol an Internet Standard, Open Sources Robots.txt Parser

Google Cancels Support for Robots.txt Noindex

Blisk browser

CSS Scan 2.0

CMS Backend Opener: A Firefox Extension to Quickly Locate the Login Page to Popular CMS Backends

Font Awesome is Branching out with Duotone Colors and Icon Smashups

Facebook Reveals Cause of July 3rd Outage, Also Affecting Instagram

Nest and Google Home. Now under one roof.

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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 weekly WordPress newsletter. This is number 70 and it covers the WordPress news for the week commencing the 1st of July, 2019 and it was published on Monday the 8th of July, 2019 my name's Nathan Wrigley and I'll be guiding you through the WordPress news this week. But before I do that, a couple of things, if you wouldn't mind heading over to the WP Builds.com website. The first link is the subscribe link. It basically is a whole page full of all of the places where we push our content. So for example, it's got links to podcast players. It's got links to our 2000 plus strong Facebook group where we talk about all things WordPress. We also push things out onto youtube, so there's links there as well. And there's also two forms you can fill out. One to get you updates about this, the WordPress weekly news and the podcast we do on a Thursday.

Nathan Wrigley: 00:51 But also you can get yourself onto a list where I tell you about any WordPress deals that I find at about that moment. I found out about them. Another one is the deals page, so head over to WP, builds.com forward slash deals and there you'll find a whole bunch of WordPress plugins, themes, products that have all got significant discounts every day of the week. So it's a bit like black Friday every day. So if you're in the market for some WordPress product, go check that out because you never know it might be there. We've got a webinar coming up this week, so that's WP build.com forward slash webinars and this week we're going to be talking with Craig Hewitt, who is the guy behind Castos Castos is the platform that enables me to push the audio out. The very audio that you're listening to now, and he's got an update to that platform where he's automatically transcribing your audio.

Nathan Wrigley: 01:41 So that's what that's about. And I suppose the last one to mention would be WP Builds.com forward slash advertise if you would like your product or service to be put out in front of our audience. And somebody that's done that is kin sta. 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 migrate today for free at Kinsta dot com and we really do thank our sponsors because it definitely keeps the WP Builds podcast up and running. Okay, let's get on with this week's news. Now we normally categorize our news into various sections. The First Section is always WordPress core and remarkably for the first time in 70 episodes, I've actually not been able to find anything in WordPress core that was worthy of updating you about.

Nathan Wrigley: 02:37 So remarkable. WordPress core is a blank section this week and I've written in the show notes. The Sky is falling in. WordPress is doomed, but no doubt it'll come back next week with a whole ton of stuff. But anyway, that means that we're moving straight into the community section. This week, somebody reached out to me on Facebook and said, would it be possible in your news to mention the fact that Dublin WordCamp Dublin is happening in 2019? And I said, yes, that sounds really great. So here I am, announcing it 2019. That's the 19th to the 20th of October of this year. WordCamp Dublin is taking place. You can already get yourself some early bird tickets and there is a call for speakers and volunteers and sponsors and all of that stuff happening. But if you click on the link in the show notes, you'll be able to find out about that.

Nathan Wrigley: 03:26 The next piece of news is over on the WordCamp Europe page. And if you click on the link in the show notes, you'll get to this. Last week we mentioned the fact that at WordCamp Europe there was a couple of problems with the afterparty. The first being that there was quite a lot of people who were unable to actually get in because they, uh, they had booked a venue with a smaller capacity than it turned out people, uh, people needed. And also there was a problem with the, the actual show itself. There was a, there was quite a lot of sort of sexualized content should we say. And um, this is basically an apology from the organizers of WordCamp Europe. It seems they did in fact go out of their way to make sure that well, dealing with the sexualized content in the show itself, that this wouldn't happen.

Nathan Wrigley: 04:12 Um, and it was too late to pull the plug at the time. They actually sent people to watch the show in advance and it wasn't in fact the show that, that the attendees were given. So basically this is an apology for those two things. They say that in the future they're going to try harder to make sure that the audience doesn't have to watch that kind of stuff. But also that the event itself will have enough space for the after party so that everybody can turn up. Now we have mentioned in the past that there's going to be a, an online javascript for WordPress conference. It's actually starting, uh, not long from now. It's on the 11th to the 13th of July. It's completely online. It's organized by Zac Gordon. Um, so really I'm just letting you know what's going on. Day One is a workshop for Java script script beginners, so that might be of interest to some of you.

Nathan Wrigley: 04:57 Day Two, three tracks of intermediate and advanced talks plus one non technical track and day three is the contributor data to help improve the Java script related documentation for WordPress. There are 36 sessions and heaps and heaps of speakers and there's also going to be some interest this time around in headless there's going to be a headless WordPress track as well, so there'll be taking on subjects such as a react theme in 30 minutes SEO for headless WordPress themes, Gatsby and WordPress, headless e-commerce with big commerce and various other things, so very interesting. If that's your kind of thing, I would suggest that you go look at this page and get yourself booked on this next article is the last one in the community section. Before we move onto plugins and themes and I just want to shout out to a website which I think is really tremendous.

Nathan Wrigley: 05:48 It's called hero press. The article that I've linked to today is a very new one. It's by Ali Nimmons and it's called I am cookie dough and it's a story of her life going through, Oh, I don't know who the period period of 10 years or so where she's trying to work out what she wants to do with her life and ultimately finding WordPress after going through all sorts of things like dropping out of college and trying all sorts of different jobs that didn't work out. And I just want to draw your attention to this website because I think it's a real source of inspiration to those of you who might be at might be struggling. So yeah, this is hero press.com but the, the particular article that I'm linking to is all about uh, Ali Nimmons. As mentioned, we're moving now onto WordPress plugins and themes and we've got an updates, which actually happened just over a week ago to Yoast.

Nathan Wrigley: 06:40 We're now on Yoast 11.5 and the major thing here is that they've revamped the mobile snippets preview so that it exactly mimics what you'd see in a Google search. Should you be on a mobile device. So they put the URL, they bold and colorize all of the texts in the appropriate way and they've also got like little toggle switch where you can flip between mobile and desktop and it looks really nice. The other thing that they've added is the focus key phrase field has now been repositioned in the block editor. It now comes right at the very top, which is probably the the correct place for it. So if you using Yoast, there's a few minor updates on the WP tavern website. This week we have an article entitled Editors Kit 1.6 and 1.7 ads, tools for writers, drag and drop, block export, import. Um, Jeffery Carandang editors kit has reached 1.6 and then 1.7 and he's added some interesting features and capabilities into Gutenberg.

Nathan Wrigley: 07:39 Notably the ability to write mark down. Now Gutenberg handles the copying and pasting of mark down very well, but this enables you to actually write to mark down. It's very basic at the moment. It's got bold italic and strike through inside the editor and you can watch those working. He's also put in the capability to on style things. So for example, you can highlight a piece of text and clear the formatting of that little patch that you've highlighted. On the other hand, you can also do entire blocks and remove the, the, the formatting that you've applied. There's also going to be a subscript superscript and upper case text formats added, added as well. And it kind of feels to me like this is a good, as they say in the article, a good playground for features. I think we do not really want every feature that could ever be invented putting into Gutenberg, but it's a, it's a nice little project going on over at editor's Kit too to see what might in the future, um, end up there and, and what is a little bit superfluous so that we don't get too much UI clutter.

Nathan Wrigley: 08:41 They've also added the feature to import and export blocks simply by dragging and dropping on files and you can watch the little video. Um, and that looks remarkably simple to do as well. So you can take all the styles from one block and just chuck them on top by dragging Jason File. And it will, it will amend the text that you've already written. Very nice. Again, over on WP tavern, we have an article entitled MSG WP to launch plugin enabling WordPress micro blogging with telegram. Now, I don't know how many of you use telegram. It's like an instant messaging service. So Robert Mezarose, I'm sorry if I've pronounced that incorrectly, has launched a plugin. It's kind of in Beta stage at the moment, but the idea is that you create content using telegram and then you can actually post that into a blog post on your WordPress website.

Nathan Wrigley: 09:30 Now initially I was thinking, what, what would be the point of this? Why wouldn't you just log into WordPress? And then as the article goes on, they talk about use cases for this. So let's say for example, you are in a conference, you could have multiple people posting, um, two different blog posts or to the same blog post. And it's possible with the technology that he's developing to to decide which categories would be applied based upon who's actually writing the posts as posted on telegram. So really in an interesting little project, it's not going to be on the WordPress.org website. It is going to be GPL licensed, but he's trying to obviously generate a little bit of interest in revenue from this. And so if you use telegram and you can see yourself needing this capability, this seems like a good plugin to watch. The last piece of content we've got in the plugins and theme section this week is again on WP tavern entitled BuddyPress Five Point 0 to introduce BP arrest API first beta due mid August.

Nathan Wrigley: 10:31 Well Buddy pressers reached 5.0 and they're introducing a new BP rest API, which has the have been developed on get hub since 2016 and the contributors plan to merge the API with 14 end points for popular components. So it's things like updates, groups, members, private messages, extended profile fields, and there's going to be another eight end points for blogs, friends, and other features. You can see a little video of this sort of thing. It's going to enable, it's going to, for example, you'll be able to edit the user role on the fly and a great big table and it just seems like a nice, a nice addition to to speed things up in BuddyPress. So if you're a BuddyPress, usually you might want to check that out. Not sure exactly when the release date for this is. I think it's sometime in August.

Nathan Wrigley: 11:21 Um, but at the moment it's a, it's kind of in a bit of a bit of a testing phase. So go, go check it out. Right. The next couple of come under the banner of security. The first one is just an article on wordfence entitled, uh, the wordfence weekly, June 26th to the July the second, and it highlights two pieces of security news. The fact that there was a cloudflare outage caused by bad software deployment and that Magento have released critical security patches that's over on wordfence and over on ithemes have their monthly roundup. This is part two and it goes into a few vulnerabilities of some notable plugins and whether they've been updated or not. So for example, messenger, Customer Chat Support Board, SEO by rank math, WP members, membership plugin, real estate manager, lions scripts, double, sorry, web WP express and so on and so forth. There's a whole ton of plugins and a status about whether or not they've been updated.

Nathan Wrigley: 12:24 So I think it's good practice to go and just flick your eyes across articles like this just to see whether or not there's any problems on going and whether or not things have been updated. So for example, there is one here called ads for WP and a, it says worse WordPress.org as close ads for WP plugin. So remove the plugin and find a replacement. So Intel like that's quite useful to know. Two things from WP Builds this week. The first one is to say that we had a podcast episode out this week and it was entitled how to run successful paid ad campaigns to increase conversions with Daniel Daines-Hutt chatted to Daniel A. Little while ago and he was telling me all about the subject of Facebook ads and I really am just completely naive about this stuff and how to implement them and what is possible and what you can do and and also what you can't do.

Nathan Wrigley: 13:16 So if Facebook ads are a thing that you're interested in, you'd like to use those in order to increase your, your client website visits or your own website visits. That's worth listening to. And also to say, like I did at the beginning, that we've got a Webinar this week. If you go to WP Builds.com forward slash webinars, you'll be able to find out about the, the one I'm doing with uh, Craig Hewitt from Castos, right. The final few articles are all under the banner of, not to WordPress, but useful anyway. And the first couple are all about Google and their robot doc text files. The first one comes over on WP tavern and it's entitled Google launches effort to make robots exclusion protocol and internet standard open sources, robot docs, techs parser. So I didn't realize this, but this whole robots dot text protocol if you like, has been around for 25 years.

Nathan Wrigley: 14:10 It's used by half a billion websites and uh, it hasn't been standardized, but apparently Google have decided enough is enough. Let's make a standard protocol. So they've submitted it to the Internet engineering task force for it to be ratified and I'm adding, it includes a few interesting innovations. So it's no longer going to be just about http requests. It's also going to be any Uri Burke based transfer protocol that could be FTP or something like that. And they've also opened source their c plus plus library, which they use to actually pass the robot stock text file. And I guess the idea here is that it becomes open and the standard we can become adopted by everybody. Now this then continues in a slightly different vein over on the search engine journal website, which say that Google cancels support for robots dot text. No Index. I didn't realize this either, but apparently that is not an official directive and they're going to stop supporting it.

Nathan Wrigley: 15:11 And they're suggesting that if you're using this though, you've got a few other options that you can use. So for example, no index in robots metatags four oh four and four one oh http status codes, password protection, disallow in robots dot text or search console removal, remove URL tool there. They're all options that you can have. So that's going to be implemented. I think they're going to stop honoring that in September. Um, so maybe some adjustment adjustments might need to be made. Now in the news, I don't normally mention products, but I'm making a bit of an exception to that this week because a couple of new things have been updated so it feels like it's new news worthy. The blisk browser has received an update to this week and a, if you've never used the ballistic browser before, I would certainly recommend going and having a look at it.

Nathan Wrigley: 16:03 I know that there are competitors, but essentially it adds a whole load of developer orientated stuff into a chromium based browser. So for example, you can look at the way it looks on particular phone models and and all of that good stuff. It's a very comprehensive browser and, and I've definitely used it in the past. I'm not a subscriber at the moment, but I, I know that quite a few people are. The other one that I'd mentioned is c s scams, CSS scan has been updated to version 2.0 and it's just a remarkably ingenious little tool for inspecting CSS on your webpages. And I know that this is something that no doubt many of you will be doing all day, every day. And uh, and it's fiendishly easy. You just click a button in the browser extensions area, a point on the, the area that you want to get the CSS from and it literally tells you every single bit of CSS that's there and you can sort of add your own and uh, and modify how the page looks is really nice little tool.

Nathan Wrigley: 17:02 Here's another little tool that came my way this week. It was on the WP tavern website. It's entitled CMS backend opener, a Firefox extension to quickly locate the login page to popular CMS back ends. Now, uh, this is Jeff Chandler. He obviously stumbled across this cause it's not a new project, but if you use Firefox you can install this extension and imagine that you're a developer and you're working with a whole ton of different clients all using different CMS is, so you might have a few sites on WordPress, some on Magento, a few in Drupal or Joomla and you kind of forget how to log into them because they've all got different strings that you need to put into the URL bar two to get in. Well this, this solves that problem. You simply click a button a or have a key stroke and it takes you to the login page.

Nathan Wrigley: 17:50 It's a bit of a time saver. I hope you enjoy that one. If you like geeking out on fonts, this might interest you. WP Tavern has an article entitled Font. Awesome is branching out with Geo tone colors and icon icon smash shops, so very, very popular. I didn't realize that font awesome was installed on quite so many sites. Apparently its and 34% of the top 10 million or so websites. There are 5,000 icons in the pack. Well, they've added a few notable icons, uh, this iteration around. So they've added things like Airbnb, salesforce, Evernote, and a few others. They've also got these icon dos where they've put two things icons together where it kind of just makes sense. So for example, they've put a taxi and a bus into one icon. They've put, um, a couple of chess pieces together and so on. And it's a nice little amalgamation and some of these will definitely work better in certain situations.

Nathan Wrigley: 18:47 They've also introduced duo tone icons, so icons not just having one tone. So for example, I'm looking at, uh, a, an icon of some fries and the fries or the fry color. And the packaging is a different color and it's really nice. They'll just sort of spruce things up a little bit and no doubt make the Internet a bit more colorful place. Well, what is the world coming to when you can't access Facebook? Search engine journal has an article entitled Facebook reveals cause of 3rd of July outage also affecting Instagram. Well, apparently the world came to a standstill because you weren't able to upload images on Instagram or Facebook for a period of time. Facebook, the company replied with, during one of our routine maintenance operations, we triggered an issue that is making it difficult for people to upload or send photos or videos. We're working to get things back as normal.

Nathan Wrigley: 19:39 Um, and they did in fact do that by 10 past seven in the evening, they'd fixed all of that and it was back as normal. Apparently people are outraged by this and um, you know, they're sort of venting on Twitter, which is kind of ironic. Push people over to Twitter to complain about Facebook. Um, anyway, seems that we're relying on this stuff more than ever because people are genuinely irritated when this kind of stuff happens and they see that Facebook should be on immutable, never going wrong, um, because they're sharing so much of their lives on it. So it's an interesting, interesting problem for Facebook to deal with as soon as it does happen. If like me, you're a user of Google products, then a, you may also be a user of Google's physical products, not just online products. Well, I'm a long time ago they bought a company called nest and they've pushed their products and sold their products on the Google properties, but now it's all going on under one platform.

Nathan Wrigley: 20:35 It's going to be called Google nest and everything's going to be stored in one place. You'll be able to access everything in one place. It says your single Google account is where all your nest products and services will come seamlessly and Google security protections help keep your information safe and they do. They do. Then go on to explain a little bit more about your privacy and so on. But anyway, just a useful thing. If you've got nest products and you've got Google products, they're now going to be um, all under one roof and you can access and amend and fiddle with them all in one place. Right. Okay. That's all I've got for you this week for the WP Builds weekly WordPress news. I really hope that you found something useful there. It's always very nice. If you come into the WP bill's Facebook group and write comments that would help me, you know, to gain an understanding whether I'm doing the right thing.

Nathan Wrigley: 21:24 Is it too long? Is it too short? Any comments would be really, really appreciated very much indeed. The WP Builds newsletter 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. Get 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, you can migrate today for free at Kinsta dot com okay. Maybe we'll see you back here next Monday. If not, join us for the Webinar or join us for the podcast on Thursday. Until then. 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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