This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 26th August 2019:
Plugins / Themes
40% off Project Huddle including lifetime deal at $299
Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
Transcript (if available)
Nathan Wrigley: 00:00 Hello there WordPressers and good morning. This is the WP Builds weekly WordPress news letter. It's number 78 and it covers the weekly WordPress news for the week commencing the 26th of August, 2019 and it was published on Monday the 2nd of September, 2019 just a couple of things before we begin. Head over to WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe and join us in all of the places where we like to share our content. There's our Facebook group, Youtube Channel and hosts, whole host of other ways of getting in touch with us and also a couple of newsletters which you might like to join WP Builds dot com forward slash deals will get you onto the deals page. It's a little bit like black Friday, but every day of the week if you're in the mindset for getting a new WordPress plugin or something like that over the next few weeks, it might be worth checking out because we've got coupon codes over there which simply don't expire.
Nathan Wrigley: 00:55 You can go and check them out and use them at your leisure. WP belts.com forward slash webinars we've got a webinar coming up in the not too distant future. It's on the 12th of September, which is a Thursday with Andre Gagnon from project huddle at which we'll explain all about his latest updates and how to use that plugin and last button by no means least WP Builds.com forward slash advertise if you have a WordPress product or service and you'd like to get it in front of a wider audience, well go to that page and fill out the form just like Kinsta did. 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 expert support and you can migrate today for free at Kinsta Dot Com and we do thank all of our sponsors because they really do help.
Nathan Wrigley: 01:54 Help us to put this podcast out each and every week. Okay, let's get stuck into the news for this week. Each week we put our WordPress news into various categories and the first one is always word press core. And I've only got one story for you today and that comes from WP tavern. Sarah Gooding writes Gutenburg, 6.4 ads, new typewriter experience, cover block resizing and block inserter help panel. So Gutenburg has reached version 6.4, as I just said, and there's some nice nice things going on here. The first one I want to mention is this new typewriter experience. Um, so if you've ever used gotten bug before and written a lot, then you'll notice that it's very difficult to kind of keep the focus on where you're writing. Obviously with a typewriter, the paper itself moves as you type because the, you know, the, the little hammers that come out are in a fixed position.
Nathan Wrigley: 02:45 Well that's kind of what they tried to replicate here. When you write in Gutenburg now, uh, if you were to reach the bottom of the screen, the cursor stays in the same place and the entire body of the text above the cursor moves up one row. It leaves a little margin at the bottom. So that you can keep your eyes basically in the same place, so each time you start a new line or hit return, everything just moves up and it looks really good. I actually didn't even notice that it didn't exist, but now that it does exist, I think I would be hard pressed to, to work without it, so that's really nice. Another thing that they've introduced is the image block module has now got the circle mask variation. In other words, you can upload a picture of, I don't know, anything you like and you could put rounded corners on it.
Nathan Wrigley: 03:30 If you make the rounded corners large enough, you could create a circle from a square image and if you upload a rectangular image, you could make sort of like a lozenge shape, which is very nice, nice little addition. The settings are easy to find. They're under styles and a circle mask. And the other thing to mention is that as of the Gutenburg usability testing, which happened in July this year, it was found that most people don't in any way, shape or form interact with the the kind of guidance that is offered when you first opened up, Gutenburg the sort of tutorial that you can go through and so what they've decided to do is kind of abandoned that and now there's going to be information about each block embedded in the block itself and so where you add new blocks, oh for example, paragraph, heading, cover image and so on and so forth.
Nathan Wrigley: 04:20 There's now an option to read contextual information about what that blocked does. It provides a title and it provides a little short summary of everything that you can do and this will be absolutely fabulous for people. New to using Gutenburg and probably to your clients as well and hopefully developers who are creating their own blocks. We'll, we'll leverage this and put information about that strikes me that it would be quite a nice opportunity to put some little videos in there. I don't know if anybody has has managed to do that, but you know, it would be easy to to demo how each of the blocks works and that would be nice in there. The next section is entitled community and the first piece under that umbrella comes from the element or blog and it's entitled elemental growth around up 15 experts share how to grow your business in 2020 well, if you're a marketer or you're trying to grow your business in some way, it's always nice to get some advice from people who have had success and the guys at elemental have managed to over three years get their product installed on 3 million websites.
Nathan Wrigley: 05:23 So they certainly are a good place to start. What they've done is they've reached out to 15 experts in all sorts of different fields and they've asked them the following two questions. What was the number one factor of growth for your business? And the second question was, what was the biggest growth challenge? What lessons did overcoming it teach you? And so they've obviously got their CEO, the elemental CEO, then they've got people from the likes of buffer. Hubspot's the guys from moles, um, WP engine and so on. And so basically lots and lots of people. And so, you know, just thought this was a nice shout out for elementary. If you're into growing your business and wants to take some top tips in a very easy to read article, then this might be worth looking at. One of the questions that I often get asked is about why somebody would wish to use WordPress over other platforms and WP Mayor this week I've come out with an article entitled Why WordPress is a Superior Platform for nonprofit organizations.
Nathan Wrigley: 06:25 And although it's spelling out in the title, it's specifically about nonprofit, it makes some good points and they're the kind of points that given enough time, I kind of forget that these exist. And when I'm talking to clients and trying to explain the benefits of WordPress, why I think it's a suitable choice. I forget these things. So I'm really just putting this article your way, because no doubt you'll be having these same conversations at some point in the near future. And so it talks about the fact that, you know, WordPress is scalable. It runs 60% of websites that use cmss. It's completely free of course, which is a a big win. It's portable, it lasts longer, it helps avoid technology changes. It's upgraded all the time. It's Google friendly and so on and so forth. So it's the kind of article that once you've read it, you can make some little notes or indeed put to this in front of your clients, get them to read it for themselves and hopefully it would bolster their, you know, it would make it easier for them to make the decision to go with you and choose WordPress as their CMS of choice.
Nathan Wrigley: 07:24 Very much related to the article we've just mentioned and coincidentally have a very similar ilk, is wpm you devs article this week and titled, is WordPress an actual content management system? Because that's another question that clients often throw at me. They talk about the fact that, well, I thought WordPress was simply for blogging or small business sites, that kind of thing. And wpm. You'd have tried to dispel that myth with their article this week and they go into exactly what makes a content management system into a content management system and the fact that WordPress definitely fulfills that. They talk about this enormous user base that WordPress has gotten. Then they go onto to talk about some of the large sites that are deploying WordPress throughout the Internet, so demonstrating, for example with the glass door.com website that which has millions and millions of entries that WordPress can handle that and then they talk about the fact that some government websites and country websites and celebrity websites are also using WordPress as their CMS and I've found these kinds of articles to be very useful in the past, so I'm just putting this here to to recommend it to you in case you've got a wavering client who feels that, oh, I'm not sure.
Nathan Wrigley: 08:34 My friend has told me that WordPress isn't really suitable for what I need. Well, maybe throw this article at them and let them have a look and decide for themselves. Hopefully they'll decide with WordPress back on the element or blog this week and following on a very similar theme to the last two articles. We have an article entitled Wix to WordPress migration or step-by-step user guide using elements. Or now I've in the past taken over clients who've gone from wix and they've had anxieties about how easy will the process be? Well this article is a piece written by the elemental guys encouraging you to take on clients from wix showing you how you can migrate your site, what the pros and the cons of each platform are, how WordPress can can be used and then they go on to explain how it is that you can actually migrate sites over, you know what widgets are comparable to the ones that are in wix to the ones that are in elemental and what options you've got in terms of like third party plugins and so on and so forth.
Nathan Wrigley: 09:33 And then a guide as to how you can actually automate or manually migrate your sites. So again, it's quite a long piece. I can't go into all the detail, but a nice option if somebody comes to you and says, look, we're thinking of migrating from Wix, then elemental, this little article might well push them over the boundary. The next few pieces deal with plugins and themes and the first one that I've got this week is actually a deal on a PR on a plugin that we've mentioned before. We've had Andre Gagnon from project title on the podcast and as I mentioned earlier, we're going to be having a webinar with him, but right now he's offering 40% off his project huddle platform. Um, it's now available for two nine nine on a lifetime deal plus the, the regular deals. If you click on the link in the show notes, then you'll be taken to the appropriate page and there's probably about seven days left from the time that you heard this.
Nathan Wrigley: 10:27 So it's a pretty, pretty great pricing option at the moment. Project total of course is used for creating a, an interaction between you and your clients and enabling you to get your messages and get your assets to your clients and for them to be able to communicate with you, uh, trivially easily. So yeah, very nice and great to have such a aggressive pricing at this point in time. Anybody building a complicated site which needs some kind of filtering or search has probably come across a plug in called facet WP. We've had the guys from facet WP on the podcast as well and they've arrived at version 3.4 they've got quite a nice selection of updates. They've completely redesigned the Admin UI because it was felt by the community that it was a bit cluttered and they've made it much more straightforward. I can see just looking at the images that I'm going to find it much more easy to use.
Nathan Wrigley: 11:22 They've also rebuilt their documentation and again, I think this is a great move because I personally did find the documentation a little bit difficult to track things down a little bit lacking and I'm just just generally hard. And so they made much more of an effort with that and then they've added something called a fly out to mobile facet so you can now add on the fly out, add on and it enables you on a mobile device to filter something. We'll swoop in from the side rail, all of the filtering options. So for example, if you would like to filter a car, a certain price or by a certain manufacturer, then that can all be done in a fly out menu, which takes the, you know, far less screen real estate when you're on a mobile device. And also in the past they've added element or integration, a layout builder for ACF and and more. So definitely go and check that out if you're using facet WP or you're in that struggle trying to figure out which faceted search plugging you wish to use.
Speaker 2: 12:20 Okay.
Nathan Wrigley: 12:20 Now, although I try to keep up with the WordPress news, one of the things that continually alludes me is the the capability of third party plugins for adding capabilities to Gutenberg. There's so many different options coming around, and some of them have got a very relatively small audience, and so you don't necessarily hear about them well over on WP news or fi.com this week we have an article entitled 10 best blocks to use for creating your site with Gutenburg, and it lists a whole bunch of different options. So for example, ultimate ad-ons for Gutenburg, there's one called ultimate blocks auto blocks, which I confess I'd not heard of before. Atomic blocks, stackable Gutenburg blocks, advanced Gutenburg, co blocks, Google maps, Gutenburg, block, ghost kit, and cleverly, I'm not entirely sure I've got that pronounced correctly. It's Q, u, B, e, l, Y, and quite a few of those I'd never heard before. And obviously if you're trying to push the boundaries with Gutenberg and migrate all of Your workflow into Gutenburg, having these blocks available to you might save you a whole bunch of times. So nice article and very, very time-saving, I hope.
Speaker 2: 13:29 Okay.
Nathan Wrigley: 13:30 All right, let's move on to the security section. We have a bit of a light to touch on security each week. And the first article is WP sec.com on their blog we have an article entitled what is XML RPC. If you've played with WordPress for any length of time and gone looking around in the settings, you'll notice there's something called XML RPC. It's useful for all sorts of reasons, but what is it? It's a remote procedure call protocol, which is using XML to encode its calls and http as the transport mechanism and it's useful for things like let's say you want to create content on other platforms. For example, a WordPress mobile app or if this then that or the android or Ios apps for WordPress. It was all switched off until WordPress 3.5 I think. And now it's been enabled by default because of these integrations with things like jetpack and the WordPress apps and there's a whole bunch of common vulnerabilities and this article goes into explaining fairly technical command line level detail, how it is that you can discover what kind of vulnerabilities you may be opening yourself up for.
Nathan Wrigley: 14:38 So for example, it might be that you have a cross site port attack available or a server side request forgery attack available. And it really is just a question of educating yourself, how you can disable these capabilities and what you can do to protect yourself. Uh, and obviously if you're reading this, you may decide that you don't wish to protect yourself because the benefits outweigh the the risk. But it's a nice article explaining what all this is and, and how you can explore more. I mentioned earlier that we do offer a bit of a light to touch on WordPress security and this is a perfect example of that. We won't go into too much detail, but over on the wordfence.com blog sites, we have malicious WordPress redirect campaigns attacking several plugins. And to quote over the past few weeks, our threat intelligence team has been tracking an active attack campaign targeting a selection of new and old WordPress plugin vulnerabilities.
Nathan Wrigley: 15:35 These attacks seek to maliciously redirect traffic from visitors sites to a number of potentially harmful locations. And the ones that you've got to look out for are Nik dark plugins. They've got an unauthenticated arbitrary options update and the simple three Oh one redirect out on hyphen or bulk uploader on authenticated options updates. Now obviously the the team at wordfence are mitigating against this. I'm not sure at which point it goes from being a premium fixed to a free fix because they have a 30 day cycle which in which the the premium gets all the updates and then they roll out to the free version. But if either of those plugins mean anything to you, if you've heard of those before or have those on your client websites, definitely go check out that article again. I like touch briefly summing up the Kinsta dotcoms post from this week.
Nathan Wrigley: 16:30 They've got an article entitled how to Password Protect Your WordPress site. Every method. Now this is a gigantic article. I really surprised that there was as many options as there are and it goes on to outline all of the ways that least that they know of of password protecting your website because that's something you may wish to do. And so that is literally all I'm going to say about it. If you want to explore every single way of locking down your WordPress website, whether that's from any traffic or just authenticated traffic or whatever it is that you want to do. The answer is probably in this very long article. So yeah, go and check it out. Nice, nice security option for you. One of the acronyms that seems to get bandied about all the time is d d o s distributed denial of service attack and the WP engine guys this week have an article entitled how to stop a distributed denial of service attack or d dos and they go on to explain exactly what they are, what kind of form they can take, how this stuff can bring your website down and they've listed it out as five different ways of doing that.
Nathan Wrigley: 17:37 And then they talk about the different ways to prevent it. Again, I'm going to do a very light touch here to say, well, I can't explain what they're trying to do, but you yourself can go and check it out. It's very short. It's not really too in depth, but a, it might be worth looking at. So that next time you come across this acronym, you have an understanding of what it means and what kind of mitigations can take place to stop it. This next section always feels a little bit self-promotional and that's because it is. It's the WP build section. A couple of things, well three things for you this week to say, first of all that we have a new, a new podcast episode out called only doing what you're good at and David Walmsley and I have a discussion. It's just him and I on the call.
Nathan Wrigley: 18:20 It's not an interview. And we talk about the fact that, well, what kind of work should we be doing? Should we only be doing the work that we're good at? Because there are so many different components to being a web developer or web designer, you know, branding, communicating, copywriting, UI, UX, SEO, a photo shop, work back, end PHP. The list just goes on and on and on. And should we be trying to niche down and only really taking on the work that we know that we're good at and we're confident that, or should we be more generic than that? And we never quite get to the answer, but it's nice to have these discussions. So that's number 143 the other couple of things I want to mention is that I have a website. You are I and u x review with peach and airy. We did one about a month ago and she came on a Facebook live with us and she just went through a few submitted websites and basically just sort of took them apart from a UI, UX point of view and gave some really helpful advice and everybody thought it was really, really useful.
Nathan Wrigley: 19:23 So we decided to do it again. If you'd like to submit a site then please go to WP Builds.com forward slash UI and you can submit your site. But the next one is in the Facebook group. It's live on the 4th of September, 2:00 PM UK time. So come, come along and see. You might think to yourself, oh, this is something I want to take part in regularly because we are going to be doing them regularly and the last one is over at wpbuilds.com forward slash. Webinars. Just a reiteration really that I'm having one with Andre Gagnon from project huddle on the 12th of September, so join us for that. Go to that page and click register now. Okay. That's all the WordPressy stuff that I've got for you for this week, but I was always right at the end. We have a couple of bits, well in this case more like five or six bits which are not WordPress related but I think are quite fun for you.
Nathan Wrigley: 20:10 Anyway, the first one is over at WP tavern and it's to say that micro.blog ads, tumbler cross posting, I confess, I'd never heard of micro.blog which is a like um, like a tiny little micro blogging platform and now they've added the ability to post your content that you create over there to tumbler. Now this is probably in response to the fact that automatic acquired the company. It seems like a bit of a, an odd thing to put in simply because Mike, grow.blog and tumbler are kind of in competition with each other trying to get you to, you know, put your stuff onto their platform. Nevertheless they've decided to add this capability and yeah, it might be quite interesting if you've never heard of micro.blog to just go and check it out. It's got a lot of similar feel to Tom I think. But yeah, just interesting that they've added this in this week.
Nathan Wrigley: 21:00 You can post your content to Tom blog probably because of the uh, the capabilities that are being added in from WordPress. I'm always interested by search and the kind of rivalry between things like Google and Facebook and the competitors which are coming up offering kind of additional privacy of which the most notable search engine in that area is DuckDuckGo. And on the search engine journal Website we have an article entitled Google's Danny Sullivan Responds directly to DuckDuckGo Auntie privacy claims DuckDuckGo made a very professional looking video. I might add on this website. They've pasted it there showing the five areas where they feel that Facebook and Google sell you short. They say that you've got, if you use their platforms, you end up receiving hyper-targeted ads. There's the possibility for propaganda and discrimination to creep into the results that you get. There is of course a filter bubble.
Nathan Wrigley: 22:00 User data is saved and shared with the parties and use a data is sold to advertisers, obviously. DuckDuckGo a position themselves as the antithesis to this. But the guy over at Google, Danny Sullivan has Richard has sort of come back and said, well we don't do this. It's not quite as bad as you say. Admittedly, he only tackles one of those five points because he says, we don't manipulate your search results with the filter bubble claim. Um, and we don't really do anything to set that. We give you what we think you'll click on. They just simply say that they don't do that. But it is interesting that he only tackles one of the five points, but perhaps that's because that's the area that he works in. Nevertheless, quite interesting. I think this debate is going to hot up as we become more and more aware of exactly what these giant megalith companies are keeping, and so DuckDuckGo, I feel is kind of in the ascendancy.
Nathan Wrigley: 22:54 Whether or not it'll ever reach the grandiose heights of Google. I, I don't know, and possibly doubts, but it's quite interesting the the wall that's beginning to start in this area. This next one has a direct impact, I suppose on WordPress. It is on the WP tavern, but it's all about chrome, the browser, and it says chrome, 76 ads and native lazy loading WordPress contributors. Continue discussion regarding core support. At the moment, you have to kind of install some kind of library to do lazy loading so that your images only actually load upon you, scrolling them into view. There's of course, things like jet pack, auto optimize, smush, WP, optimize, and a whole bunch of others. Well now Google has said that they're going to introduce this into the browser itself so that this will all happen natively. And so the, the argument now is, well, if that's the case then we should have this in WordPress core.
Nathan Wrigley: 23:52 A ticket attract ticket was launched 14 months ago by Morten Rand Hendrickson. And so the discussion is now on what's the best way to do this? What should be the way that WordPress deploys this? I mean it seems like a bit of a no brainer. There are people who've already come up with their own solutions and posted things on get hub and so on. And I guess it's just a matter of wait and see, see what the community decides is the best way to do it. But no doubt we'll be leveraging this and not need third party substitutes to do exactly this and speed up everybody sites back again. At WP tavern we have an article entitled PHP Central Europe Conference canceled due to lack of speaker diversity, um, PHPC, which is a central European PHP conference. It was scheduled for the 4th of October. So coming up fairly soon has been canceled due to a public fiasco resulting from lack of gender diversity.
Nathan Wrigley: 24:46 Even though they'd claimed that the lineup was rich and diverse. They were absolutely zero women on the, on the speaking agenda. And at that point a lot of people started to get the jitters. P speakers started to pull out and then ticket sales dried up. So it's been decided by the community that really this event has absolutely no purpose this year. Maybe they'll do better this year. I think this is a really important and important thing. You know, if you go to WordCamps we actually do reasonably well, but it's not to say that we've sort of cracked this, not yet. A a notable example for example, would be the WP Builds alive news that we do on a Monday. Thus far. We've all been men that have been on the show. So bit of a plea if you don't mind, if you would like to appear on the the live news and you are female, um, I'd be really interested in hearing from you because I would like to know whether or not a, anybody would like to appear, but B, whether you think that we've sort of, you know, contrived to do it this way.
Nathan Wrigley: 25:47 I did reach out to a whole bunch of people and this is, this is the lineup that we have had so far, so apologies for that. But as I say, if you've got an opinion on this or you would like to nominate yourself to be involved in the WordPress weekly news that we do live, 2:00 PM UK time on a Monday, please, please get in touch. I'd be very grateful to hear from you now. We spoke a moment ago about the many ways that platforms like Google and Facebook kind of track you without your consent. Here's an interesting one from the search engine journal. This is absolutely requiring your consent and it's entitled Facebook Rolls Out Automated Lead generation in Messenger. Well, messengers obviously there, well one of many chats, platforms that Facebook owned and they're launching automatic lead generation. The idea being that if you put, let's say an ad on there, you can click on the send message button and it opens up an automated series of text messages with automated reply buttons that users can go through and then the information that you gather through Facebook messenger can then be sent to a whole bunch of CRMs so that you can then qualify them and stick them into your drip campaigns and so on and so forth.
Nathan Wrigley: 26:57 So if you're an internet marketer, I suppose this is going to be really, really useful. Go and check out the article and what you need to do to get on that service. Okie dokie. That is all the news that I've got for you this week. As always, I hope you find it useful and that something that I mentioned was something that you wanted to click on and go and explore. Please do reach out to me if you're, you know, if whatever your comments might be about this, I am trying to get my head around what it is that our listeners would prefer to listen to. Is this too long? Is it too uninteresting? Do you enjoy the length of it? You know, am I talking about the right stuff or should I go off in a particular direction? Please do let us know. The WP Builds podcast is brought to you today by Kinsta.
Nathan Wrigley: 27:40 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're can access to the latest software and developer tools such as PHP seven SSH and staging environments, and the best part they expert team of WordPress engineers. They're available 24 seven if you need help and you can migrate today for free at Kinsta dot com so come and join us again next Thursday for the podcast. Join us again here on Monday for the next week's WordPress news and 2:00 PM UK time in the Facebook group. You can go to WP Builds dot com forward slash live and I'll be joined by some special guests talking through what you've just heard and a little bit more detail. And then of course, we've got the Piccia Nerri, Facebook live UI, UX that I mentioned earlier. So maybe get yourself involved in some of that this week. I'd love to speak to you all. Okay, that's all I've got. Bye Bye for now.