This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 16th September 2019:
Plugins / Themes
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Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Hello there. Good morning. And welcome to this the wp builds weekly WordPress newsletter. This is number 81. It covers the WordPress news for the week commencing the 16th of September 2019, and it was published on Monday the 23rd of September 2019. Just a couple of things before we start head over to WP builds.com forward slash subscribe.
You'll find our subscribe page this whole bunch of options there for you. We'd like to keep you up-to-date with all the things going on in WP Builds. So we've got a couple of newsletters. The first one tells you about podcast episodes and news episodes like you're listening to now and the other letter is all about getting information to you about deals as soon as they come up so soon as I hear about a WordPress plug-in or theme or something.
Which has on offer I will send you a very short three or four line plain text email to alert you about it with a simple subject line so that you can figure out whether it's worth even opening or not. And as Black Friday is kinda coming up soon might be a good idea [00:01:00] to get yourself on that list.
There's also options to subscribe on your favorite podcast player. Join our Facebook group of mm. Well nearly 2,300 members all talking about WordPress e things and there's the option to find us on YouTube and so on. The other one I want to mention is our deals page. Like I said black Friday's coming around and we've got a page which has been up all year round.
It's a bit like Black Friday, but every day of the week and we've added WP scan this time around this week 20% off W piece can be can get absolutely loads and loads of different plugins and themes with significant amounts of so go and check out that page and lastly. To mention now is WP Builds.com forward slash advertise.
If you have a product or service you would like to get in front of a very WordPress specific audience a bit like consider did are you tired of unreliable or slow hosting? If so, check out Kinsta who take managed WordPress hosting to the next level powered by the Google Cloud platform all [00:02:00] their plans include PHP 7 SSH and 24/7 expert support and you can migrate today for free Kinsta.com and we thank them for helping us put on this podcast. Speaking of putting things on every Monday at about 2 p.m. UK time in our Facebook group actually over at WP Builds.com /live. You can find it there. We do a we do a live episode of this new so we take this news as the Bedrock of what we talked about and then we have.
Two or three guests on from the WordPress Community talking about the new so go to WP builds.com forward slash live and you can find out about that. It's very light-hearted good bit of fun. So perhaps you could join us for that. Okay, let's get on with the new. We always group our news into various sections.
And the first one is always WordPress core and the first item we've got for you today under that section is entitled Guttenberg 6.5 ads [00:03:00] experimental block directory search to insert. And a new Social Links block. This is as I said WP Tavern and Sarah Gooding wrote this so we now have the ability to search for blocks in the inserter.
So the little plus button that you click in Gutenberg and what will happen is if you search for a block and it's not one that you already have it will be downloaded as a plug-in in the background so little bit more complicated than that as a kind of mock API going on in the background. You'll have to update to Gutenberg 6.5 and then you'll need to go into the Gutenberg menu and experiments and switch that on but it seems like a really Nifty feature, you know, the idea being that if something isn't available to you rather than sort of going elsewhere and downloading and then coming back to the post your writing you'll search for it and install it immediately at the point that you need it so I can see that being really useful if you're halfway through something and you suddenly realize oh, I need need to have that.
There's been some minor modification of the block and. [00:04:00] Later with the possible ability in the future to drag and reorder blocks in that Navigator. The other main update this time around 6.5 is the new Social Links block you're going to be able to basically click on a block and a whole row of Social Links appear and a bit like you do when you're entering a URL you click on them and type the destination URL that you want.
So facebook.com forward slash whatever WP builds and that's it. You're done you can. Basically modified them slightly change the color and so on but it's a nice little addition. You can insert that wherever you like within any of your content very nice additions. Keep your eyes on Guttenberg. It seems to be improving at a heck of a rate.
This next item while strictly not to do with WordPress core is very much tied into it. It's over on WP Tavern. So regarding rights editors kit adds. Nofollow options for links fixes bugs with Gutenberg metal boxes. Overlapping in Chrome. So let's deal with that second bit first [00:05:00] you will have noticed if you've been using Gutenberg and chrome that all of the metal boxes that should stay at the bottom of your content area have been floating towards the top and in fact a sort of staying right in the middle if you've been using the most.
Up-to-date version of Chrome. Well, Jeffrey Carandang editors kit has decided to create a fix for that. It's actually a bit of a moot point in that Chrome has already fixed itself, but it was nice to Jeffrey took the initiative and updated his plug-in to fix that. His plug-in is called editors kit and it modifies Guttenberg in certain interesting ways.
And that was one of the fixes but the other fix that he's applied this week is a sort of. In addition to the nofollow links story that we had on a few weeks ago. No follow links. Google is saying there's going to be additional options to that. You're going to have the option not just to title your links as or sorry.
I should say Mark your links are nofollow. You're also going to have the option to add [00:06:00] in two more one is that you're saying it's sponsored content? And the other one is that it's user-generated content. So that might be commentaries and things like that. Not sure whether this will ever make it into WordPress core the 80/20 rule, you know, if 80% of the people are using it then it's worth putting into core.
It may not happen. So Jeffrey has decided to include it in his editors kit. Now when you click on the link if you've got editors kit installed. And you get the options to open it in a new tab and so on will now you can also just toggle on okay, I want it to be a nofollow link. I wanted to open in a new tab or wanted to show as a sponsored link and so on and so forth.
So that's a nice fix to that little problem. Our last piece today under the banner of Wordpress core comes again from WP Tavern. It's entitled behind new packages Project Lead theme review team launches admin notices solution. Well, we spoke about this a little while ago the fact that admin notices there is no sort of standard [00:07:00] API in the admin area to produce notices.
So they are the hopefully dismissible prompts that come up when you've carried out a certain action. Well, the the team has decided to kind of fix this and they've. It basic notification system to to Wordpress It's relatively easy for most developers and the article says however handling features such as persistent dismissible actions is more complex.
The admin notice is package handles this out of the box. And so you're going to be able to if you're a plug-in or theme developer set a title and a message select a type that adds the appropriate you I clasp. So those four classes info success warning or error. Choose which admin screens the notice appears on limit the message by user capability so that it doesn't appear for all users.
This is just such a great idea. I think that because everybody's been left to their own devices many people have kind of shall we say abuse the system they've created admin notices which. You know, you cannot dismiss them no matter how hard you try or they [00:08:00] come back up all the time. This is supposed to unify that whole approach so that everybody's admin notices look the same so they don't get one jumping over another and they're unified and it just seems like a good idea.
It's a very long article. So there's a lot more to it than I'm speaking of but maybe go and check it out. Our next section is the community section and the first article this week. Again WP Tavern automatic raises 300 million dollars in series D investment round valuation jumps to three billion dollars, so you may or may not have heard.
It seems to be everywhere at the moment that Salesforce Ventures have. I'm offered 300 million dollars to automatic which gives the company a three billion dollar post funding valuation. Apparently the last time automatic raise some cash was a hundred and sixty million back in 2014, but it's grown considerably since their 950 employees and obviously they've got products such as woocommerce jetpack and [00:09:00] Tumblr and so on so there's an awful awful lot of commercial interest in automatic Matt Mullenweg the CEO.
For automatic the funding will allow us to accelerate our roadmap perhaps by double and scale up our existing products including wordpress.com WordPress VIP woocommerce, jetpack and in a few days when it closes Tumblr it will also allow us to increase investing our time and energy. Into the future of the open-source WordPress and Guttenberg so quite an interesting list and an interesting order.
So he's putting wordpress.com and VIP and woocommerce and Jetpack right at the front as well as things like Tumblr but obviously making mention of Wordpress and Guttenberg. Let's hope that that is where the money goes obviously jetpack woocommerce and so on are are very important things to keep automatics Wheels spinning so many employees, but let's hope that the open source project also gets a.
Healthy slice of that money so that we can see significant improvements there, too. [00:10:00] Whoo sash which is an online woocommerce conference is open for registration. It says that they've opened up their doors. It's going to be on the 9th to the 10th of October 2019 and it says this event has been designed especially for both people creating woocommerce stores without code and developers and agency alike.
So the what can I say more than that really go and add your email list into the form if. Using woocommerce and would like to some free educational materials over the coming month. I know that many of you are Elemental users perhaps some of you are new to Elemental which is why I'm introducing to this article.
It's by the guys over at power pack for Elemental as well as Beaver Builder and it's called the ultimate list of free Elementor training resources. And that's exactly what it is a great big list of completely 100% free tutorials posts and so on that all help you acquire your [00:11:00] Elemental skills. So that's a very quick quick article on mentioning, but if you're into Elementary.
But feel that there's quite a hill ahead of you learning it then maybe go and check out this quite large exhaustive article, which might enable you to learn it fast. If you listen to this news episode very often, you'll notice that we talked about WP Tavern and awful lot it being a really really authoritative source of news all about WordPress and interestingly this week.
They have got a new author joining their team because a few maybe it was like a month ago or something. Jeff Chandler stepped down. Well, it looks like maybe not replaced as the wrong word because I don't know what the job sharing is going to be but joining Sarah Gooding is a chap called just in tadlock.
Now if you follow WordPress, you've probably heard his name. He's been writing about WordPress contributing to Wordpress for many many years as many as 12 years. I think and he has now joined joined the team. I [00:12:00] think the tavern is still bankrolled by Matt mullenweg or at least it was until recently.
Lee so, let's see what he brings to the table, but for me at least anyway, I'm looking forward to some technical articles coming from Justin brilliant news. Another article on WP Tavern is entitled new a talk WordPress Meetup empowers Pakistani your women Freelancers and business owners. This article really is in two parts.
The first part is all about wordcamp Lahore, which is going to be rebooted to take place on November the 30th to December the 1st at the National University of computer and emerging Sciences. It was first mooted to happen in 2016, but it was dis railed by local disagreements and it. Ultimately canceled this is amazing.
The Lahore WordPress meetup group now has four thousand three hundred and eighty three members who regularly meet which I just think is phenomenal what a very large amount of people further down in the article. We get to hear about [00:13:00] Salman Noreen who is in Pakistan and she's decided she's going to start a Meetup in a place called at.
And she's going to be the first female WordPress Meetup organizer in Pakistan. She's hoping to put on a word camp in 2020 the article then goes on in Great Lengths to describe the problems that women have in her country about around being able to move around the country and being able to get jobs in different areas.
And about how WordPress is enabling people to their for work from home and make a decent career for themselves. So just a wonderful article to read and I would. Recommend it. Wpm udev have an article entitled. Let's make it official introducing wpm udev hosting if you have been a user or a subscriber to WP M UW probably known about this for a while because it's been an available option to you, but now after a long time testing six months of performance testing and so on.
They've released it [00:14:00] into the wild they say what makes wpm you devs hosting different. Well, we originally looked at hosting landscape. We figured there were actually bunch of other things that we could do better A lot better. So they say up until now if you want it fully dedicated hosting with absolutely containerized memory CPU and SSD resources.
You either need to get computer science degree or pay a hefty premium will not anymore. So they're saying that you get fully. It hosting accounts one gigabyte dedicated memory one CPU 10 gigabytes of SSD storage and a terabyte of bandwidth. You can obviously scale this as you like and they've also introduced this whole process through a podcast episode Mika daily the creator of hello.
WP has got a whole podcast just about the hosting and how it was created what they've done to ensure that it's you know as robust as possible but another option. For you guys looking for [00:15:00] your hosting requirements. Anybody who's in mind of releasing a product you probably ought to listen to veto peleg veto peleg is the founder of WP feedback.
We've had him on the weekly WordPress live news quite a lot of time. He's a very energetic Chap and his product has become enormously successful very very quickly. And so he has an article entitled how to have $100,000 plus WordPress product launch its on the free mius blog and it really long article describing lie as sorry veto strategy in incredible detail, you know exactly what he did stage by stage including videos that he put out his email sequence techniques.
All of the things that went wrong things that went right and what's going to happen in the future. So really really brilliant piece of work veto on very very impressed with this indeed. Right, let's move on to plugins and [00:16:00] themes only a few pieces this week. The first one is for main WP users. If you are a main WP user you and you will notice they've got a new custom dashboard version for well.
They've also this week released the custom dashboard extension. And with this you'll be able to add your own CSS and basically make it look however you want it says have you ever wanted to change the font color or move a button on your main WP dashboard using the. Dashboard extension now you can and it explains very quickly how you can do it with sample CSS code Snippets PS PHP code Snippets in JS code Snippets and so on.
It's completely free to main WP users so go check it out. This next piece is our final piece of any got to plug in bits for you today. It's called WP Hindi plugin instantly converts text from English to Hindi in the block editor. It's just fabulous. You have to go to the wp tavern website and watch the video and basically as you type in the block editor, apparently it also works.
Classic editor [00:17:00] as well, but the video they show alludes to the block editor as you type words. They are instantly converted from English into Hindi and I presume vice versa. Apparently Hindi is a very very widely spoken language 520 million native and non-native speakers and it's the fastest growing language in India.
And so there is a requirement because many of these people also speak English to convert between Hindi and English. And this plug-in which has been released this week does exactly that it's kind of magic watching it and also as you type it offers Smart Suggestions, so there might be a few options for one word and you get little drop down and you can pick I can just imagine this being such a superb way for many languages to be able to be translated from one to another but it's just wonderful seeing seeing what's possible.
Each week. I'm going to start talking about some deals that I see. I've only got three for you this week. Basically, I'll just go over the very very quickly. One of them is Sticker Mule. I don't know if [00:18:00] your company or your business need stickers but stick on mule is the company that I chose to do them.
And right now instead of 50 stickers for $97. It's 50 stickers for $19 click on the link and I think it'll probably take you to a UK page but I think it Geo locate and offers you or wherever you are. So hopefully the price will. Vert also to that are on appsumo theme aisle, which is a popular theme production company.
They've got their offer on appsumo at the minute. It's says transform three beautiful teams into Infinite website. So if that sounds like something you want to make use of its available on appsumo and the other one that's available on appsumo. This week is the Amelia plug-in. It's a booking plug-in and I think my understanding is it's.
Widely regarded to be really feature Rich and pretty good. So it's on appsumo and and it's $49 at the minute. There's not too long left. It looks like it sells out fairly soon. So fingers crossed that by [00:19:00] the time you read this it'll still be available. Moving on to the security. We take a very light touch.
I don't feel that this newsletter is the place to go into great detail just to say that we have two articles from secure this week one about fake human verification spam which involves kind of pop-up notifications and then if you click allow to that pop up notification, which pretends to be some sort of check to see that you are a human or not.
Well, if you click on allow the knitting enables the. The attacker to then present you with a whole bunch of web pages and have us or persistent pop-up notifications going into the future. There's also an article about the misuse in WordPress has update on the scores options function and what problems that can lead to also on I themes we've got their security Roundup.
This is well. Checking out just scrolling through very quickly because you can see all of the plugins by their thumbnails that have encountered security problems over the last [00:20:00] period and also we've got an article about a phpmyadmin zero-day vulnerability nothing particularly to worry about they say that the.
The ability for an attacker to actually perpetrate this is it's pretty minimal but nevertheless might be something you want to know about and finally I've come across a new sort of malware removal tool called virus die which might be worth looking at I'm going to look at this a little bit more later on in the week.
I think but I'm not come across this one before but a few friends of mine that are using it seem to quite like it. Okay be self-promotional WP Builds section three things for you this week. We release the podcast episode number 146 with James and Martin coats brothers from Essex and they talk about redefining sorry finding our website building process and they go through its a really nice.
Listen actually because they go through a recent project that they did quite a [00:21:00] big recent project that they did and they talked us through all of the steps that they went through and all of the tools. They've been using in order to achieve that with their growing team. So highly recommended. The other one is just a shout out.
I just love this. We had a post in the WP Builds Facebook group where Pat Belle asked a question. He wanted to be able to set a different color scheme for his admin panel on a Dev site than on a live site so that if he. Flicking from one to the other you could quickly see. Okay. I'm on live or oh, I'm on David's fine and so on and so a chap called Alan Fuller who is also in the wp builds Facebook group.
Just out of sheer generosity decided he would build him a plug-in and put it on. I think it was GitHub so that so that Pat Bell could make use of it. I just thought that was a really really nice thing to do so worth mentioning and the other one that I'm going to mention is also. Strangely in the wp builds Facebook group and it's a post by [00:22:00] Peach Canary who had a bit of a problem this week and she's self-confessed made a bit of a blunder and kind of fell out with a client basically, but I just wanted to draw attention to the the enormously great community that is over on WP Builds in the Facebook group.
Just so many people rallied around her and gave her some kind of support and trying to tell. Oh, no, it's fine. Like this is normal. Don't worry too much and I. Love it. It's a great long thread. I don't know how many comments there are by now. There's probably an awful lot 63 comments all all being so so lovely.
So this is just my way of saying thank you to anybody who's in the wp builds Facebook group. It really is really is a great place to hang out and and get some support and get your questions answered about WordPressy things. The next section is jobs this week. I have drawn a blank. I have absolutely no jobs to offer.
So I'm going to occupy the job section with a plea saying if you have any job offers or you have [00:23:00] heard of something that is going please let me know and I will include it in this newsletter. Okay, let's talk a bout non WordPress see things but useful. Anyway, the first one comes with a bit of a public health warning I suppose.
It's an article on the guardian called revealed catastrophic. So of working as a Facebook moderator, so it turns out there's an awful lot of people and apparently they are largely employed in a Berlin moderation Center and these people have to sit through and manually vet content that the algorithms has flagged as in some way inappropriate so that could be images.
It could be text or chat or what have you and allegedly it's having a quite a profound effect on the people who for 8 hours a day are exposed to this stuff. You know, it's become becoming quite normal for them to see this and so it's changing their perception of what is normal if they're exposing themselves to far-right commentary Apparently that is also having an effect on them [00:24:00] personally and they're also you know, they're reading lots of things where people are being groomed and it just is creating lots and lots of problems.
I honestly don't have the answer but it seems to me that this is something. That needs addressing, you know, Facebook presume has a duty of care for these people but it's just a fascinating insight into the the work that Facebook has to do the work that these employees have to do on Facebook's behalf and how difficult that job is and how difficult this is for Facebook to moderate.
Tom McFarland has written a blog post. This week called privacy is hard analytics and he goes on to say that there seems to be more of a shift towards, you know, inspecting whether or not we really do need to be gathering masses and masses of data. Obviously. We want our. To be super targeted. We want our websites to have insight as to whether they're effective or not.
But do we really need to be scraping all of this data about all of these [00:25:00] people and to that end, he's made a recommendation. He's come across a product which is I suppose a rival to Google analytics called fathom analytics written by a chap called Paul Jarvis and he's it really impressed with it.
He says it does absolutely everything that I needed to do. It provides all the information that you need. So for example, it allows you to see the current number of active visitors unique visitors content views average time on site bounce rate top content and top traffic. You can break all this down by day week hour and so on and so forth, but it's it's much more private and that data is obviously owned by you which might be something you would like to have.
Whilst we're on the subject of privacy. CNET has a post called Google has secret web pages that feed your personal data to advertisers report says apparently the guys at the brave browser, which is a privacy Focus browser have come across some evidence to suggest that Google Now, I don't really understand how this works.
But [00:26:00] apparently they're able to Google have been creating a legitly webpages. Which contain absolutely no. 10th whatsoever. So if you were to visit these web pages, you see absolutely nothing, but apparently it can send your personal data to advertisers. Now the the nuts and the bolts of this are not explained in this article, so I probably need to go out and find more about this but interesting.
It seems to be a way to get around some data protection legislation. And again, I'm not sure how it works. But yeah certainly worth following up if you're a privacy. The very last piece of got for you. This week is all about my favorite card processing company in the UK. It's called go cardless and they allow you to set up direct debit mandates and sing.
It's without doubt in my experience the cheapest way of taking regular. It's been available. I think in Australia for quite a while and it has now launched in the United [00:27:00] States. I don't know anything about how the system works whether or not the fees will be quite a small but they are now available.
If you've got recurring payments, it's much much cheaper. And so hopefully those savings will carry over into the US market as well. So, you know, if you are taking subscriptions for a product or service this mites lower your costs. Well, that's all the WordPress news I've got for you this week. I really as always hope that you find it useful.
I hope that you got something out of it. Please let me know send me an email right to me on Facebook, you know, fill out the contact form on the website to let me know. I'd be most grateful to hear from. The WP Builds news is brought to you today by Kinsta. Kinsta takes managed WordPress hosting to the next level powered by the Google Cloud platform.
Your sites are secured like Fort Knox and they run on speed obsessive architecture you get access to the latest software and developer tools such as PHP 7 SSH and staging environments and the best part their expert team [00:28:00] of Wordpress Engineers are available 24/7. Should you need help you can migrate today for free at Kinsta.com. Okay, we'll be back next week with another WordPress news update will also be back on Thursday for a podcast episode and don't forget if you're listening to this on Monday. We always do the Monday live the video live with three or four people in the WordPress Community come and join us WP Builds.com /live.
Okay. I hope you enjoyed that. Bye. Bye for now.
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