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WP Builds Newsletter #91 – WP Tavern makeover, Core releases and website carbon footprint

WP Builds Newsletter #91 – WP Tavern makeover, Core releases and website carbon footprint

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Hello there. Good morning and welcome to this, the WP build weekly WordPress newsletter. This is number 91 it covers the WordPress news for the week, commencing the 25th of November, 2019 and it was published on Monday the 2nd of December, 2019 my name's Nathan . Couple of things before we begin, WP Builds.com forward slash and black. It's the sort of black Friday deals page. Now I know black Friday has been and gone, but there is this thing cyber Monday. And the way that I've listed the deals, they will expire at the time that they run out. So hopefully if you go to WP Builds.com forward slash black you will still find deals which have got some shelf life on them. So yeah, go and check those out. You might be able to get a few things. I think the majority of them at the very latest run out on about the 4th of December. So you've got a couple of days, if you're listening to this on the Monday that it was released, some other links, WP Builds.com forward slash. Subscribe and over there you can subscribe to our newsletters. You can get updated on deals. join us on your favorite podcast player. Our Facebook group is growing so full of nice questions and helpful people answering your WordPress questions as WP Builds.com forward slash Facebook as a whole bunch of other stuff as well, like our YouTube channel and so on and so forth. The other one I want to mention is WP Builds.com forward slash. Live. Because if you go there every Monday at 2:00 PM UK time, we have a Facebook. And w. well, YouTube live, we go live. There's me and a few other notable WordPresses and we talk about this, the WordPress weekly news that you're now listening to. So that will be in a few hours from when this is released. WP Builds.com forward slash live and we always put them on the YouTube channel as well. And lastly, WP Builds.com forward slash advertise if you would like to put your product or service in front of a. WordPress specific audience, like the page builder cloud work faster and your page builder of choice by reusing your cloud, save templates, import and export any layout to any of your WordPress websites. Page builder cloud works with element or Beaver builder brizy Gutenberg and many more. You can get a free trial up and running today at page builder, cloud.com and can stop. 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 dot com okay. Let's get onto the WordPress new, shall we. We always block our WordPress news into different sections, and if there is any, the first section is always WordPress core news, and there is one piece today. It's over@makedotwordpress.org it's entitled tentative release calendar 2020 to 2021 Francesco Murano explains that during the 5.3 release cycle, she heard that there was a bit of uncertainty about. The, the next releases when they were coming and so on and so forth. And she, and this caused concern for many people, developers, and so on. So she's put together a tentative calendar. Now it's divided into seven sections, so it's 5.4 5.5 and so on, all the way up to 5.9 and five and 6.0 so WordPress six. And, it begins on the 31st of the third in 2020 and that's 5.4. Cause where I was the on 5.3 at the moment and it goes right up to 6.0 a new point release of WordPress right in the end of, 2021. So that's December, 2021. However. Pains to point out that this, the exact dates I've, you know, nobody's going to stick to these dates because we don't know whether things will come up, but this is just a good idea. These are challenging dates that they're going to try and live up to. maybe there's going to be a shift in technology, maybe some sort of third party thing will come along. So anyway, these are the dates and if you are developing for WordPress, then really the, this, this stuff is absolutely crucial to you. So click on the link in the show notes and you can go and check it out. The next few items are under the banner of community and the first item I've got is over on WP Tavern and it's entitled WP taverns, new design, no more woodgrain. If like me, you are a frequent visitor of WP Tavern. You will have been for the longest time, familiar with the way the site looks. There was this sort of wood effect, like planks of wood laid side-by-side all around the, the websites where the, the. The bits were that you weren't actually reading. Well, just in Tatlock who has been tasked with writing for WP Tavern has decided that he's going to completely revolutionize the way it looks. And so it go to WP Tavern anywhere on that website, and you will now find a much more stripped down. Version of the website. It's a fantastic resource for finding out all about WordPress and news and things to do with WordPress, and so he's explaining in this article why he's done it. Basically, he's gone for. A full width design. And when I say full width, I mean no sidebars. It occupies, I'm guessing, something like 800 pixels on a full size monitor, and he's decided to get rid of sidebars. He says, essentially they weren't really serving the primary purpose, which was to get news out to people so that when he joined the, and he was quite amazed by the amount of plugins that were being used on the website. And he didn't know what many of them did. He's now familiarized himself. And so his goal is to just. Have the content front and center, so no sidebars, no fluff, very simple, nice type OG graphy on a very, very white background, says maybe in the future there'll be some space for a pro, possibly an old or a new Tavern, Escalade logo, and we'll have to wait and see. He said he's built this, he's obviously had a professional career just in . Designing all sorts of products, services around WordPress, but you know, themes was a big thing. So he's used a ton of the code. He's used tailwind CSS because he says it's a utility first CSS framework, and whilst he shied away from utility based frameworks, you think this is a good one. And yeah, it's essentially a complete revolution. I personally really like it. There seemed to be. Mostly universal. congratulations in the comments below. At the current count, it's 72 comments, so yeah, really nice and just a breath of fresh air. Really nice. Nice move. Justin. I did actually mention this next piece of news last week, but, I thought it was worth mentioning again, WP and up the nonprofit working in the WordPress space to help promote and support positive mental health within the WordPress community are having their hashtag do summit good event. Starting on giving Tuesday. So yeah, this 3rd of December, so a couple of days out from when this podcast was released, you can sign up for a completely free. Version of the events. There's no cost involved, and I think there are 13 speakers. I'm pretty sure that was right at the last count. Although on the website it says it's going to be run via Crowdcast. I think that's being reconsidered. I think they're going for a more open approach as a pillow as opposed to a sort of webinar platform. I think they're just going to put a page up on the WP and op website, so very likely that we'll be WP and op.org forward slash LA Eve. But yeah, go and check out the speakers. The, the, the primary purpose of this is a little bit different to normal WordPress kind of summits in that there's, you know, there's no pitch for products. We're not trying to get you involved in buying products or changing your agency, I suppose, in any way. It's just about full good entity. So anyway, go and look at the lineup and see what you make of it. There's a nice article over@yoast.blog now, don't confuse this with yoast.com the SEO service, because this is spelled J O S T.
dot. Blog. And Yoast of course, was the person who kind of was the founder of the Yoast the SEO plugin, but they. Decided to spell it in a Y O S T. Y instead of J. O. S. T. anyway, all of that aside, he's released an article this week in titled CMS market share, November, 2019 analysis, and he's been carrying out this analysis over a number of years, and he's been analyzing the way that certain CMS. Platforms rise and they fall. And so he's got a summation basically of the year, the year that's just passed. WordPress, as you would imagine, is still the number one CMS with a mighty 35% of the market. This is based upon the top. 10 million sites as measured by Alexa. So that's a 2.8% increase, which is very healthy. Since November, 2018 Joomla has is, well is the number two, and it's lost naught 0.3%, year on year one. So that's a 10% decline. Drupal also losing share. Over the last year, and he says, the winners, if you like, aside from WordPress or Shopify, Squarespace and Wix, and then he goes on to analyze this in greater detail. Now, this is quite interesting. He makes a comparison between Shopify and WooCommerce. Now, the, the way that the categorization of this research has been done is that woo commerce, because it's a subdivision of WordPress, it doesn't. Classify in its own category. If it did, then we'll commerce would power an incredible 5.5% of the websites in this research. So that would mean that WordPress, what's a come first woo commerce would come second ahead of, the other rivals by several percentage points. So that in itself is really interesting. Now, what does this mean? Now, what it means is that open source projects apart from WordPress are losing market share. So things like Drupal and Joomla are losing out slowly and things like Squarespace and Wix. Shopify are slowly gaining. Now this also means that they're bringing money with them because every time they go up North 0.1% that's actual people paying to use the service. So just, just very interesting. You know, open source is in a sense declining, but WordPress is. Absolutely bucking that trend. And so if any of this that I'm talking about makes sense and is interesting to you, go and check this article out and it links off to loads and loads more research that he's done, but he doesn't feel it's necessary to put it in these articles. Got quite a few nice diagrams and so on. And he's also saying that there are some new contenders around the corner. So for example, MailChimp and Salesforce have launched their own new CMS. So we'll see if they grab any market share in the, in the year when hopefully Yoast does this survey again next year. Back over on WP Tavern again, just in title ox. Wonderful little article entitled optimizing code in a world that doesn't want to optimize, and he starts with the simple quote. Premature optimization is the root of all evil, and it's a saying, which he says is common amongst developers. It makes sense if you, if you don't need to optimize something at the moment, you've sort of starting to build things out. Then, you know, don't do it because if you try to optimize for every possible scenario in the future, you may end up with difficult to read code and things that just never panned out in the way that you wanted. But he makes the sort of counter argument. He's essentially saying, we really need to optimize because we've got to think about it from the, the privileged point of view of a user. In the developed world who has an always on reliable, fast internet connection? Will it, you know, most developers are those people they live in possibly urban areas, have a, a stable connection, which is very fast and probably unlimited data. But Justin has taken a different approach in his life. He lives in a much more rural area and his internet connection, or whilst he doesn't say how fast it is, he does. Go to great lengths to emphasize that it's pretty poor and he has to go around the internet, disabling videos from playing and disabling JavaScript on sites that he needs to use, but doesn't want to download all the Java script dependencies and so on and so forth. So he's well aware that. Many, many people in America are anyway, in the rural areas struggle to have a decent internet connection. And then it goes on to make the point that while this is also the case in the developing world, so he says, well, please let optimize right at the beginning, because it means that things are going to load quicker. Be more, be more usable for the folk who aren't privileged enough to have a stable internet connection. And it's just a really interesting opinion piece about that, why it matters. And if you're a developer thinking about building a plugin, maybe he's saying you should optimize from the very, very beginning. If you are interested in acquiring some new skills and learning on line. While this is an interesting one over on the Astra website, because the guys behind Astro brainstorm force are bringing to you something called skill jets, which they say will turbocharge your business starting today. It is basically, it's an online portal for learning new skills. So it's. Video content created, as they say, by industry leading experts with years of experience. I won't go into the, you know, the promotional talk on it all, but essentially it's a, a bunch of courses all wrapped under these skills, jet banner or skill jet banner. And so for example, you've got courses. One is entitled to masterclass for growing your web design business. there's another one that's by a chap called John Whitford, advanced marketing and funnel strategies by Spencer foreman and various other ones. But I'm not going to necessarily promote it. I'm just saying it exists. There is, I think, an option to jump on this in a sort of paid way if you don't have it yet. Astra account or there is, I think, some method of getting it for free. If you're an Astra user, not 100% sure on that. So please do go and check if you've got the agency Astra agency bundle, I think you can get this for free, but if not, you might have to, you might have to open your wallet in order to get access to it. But yeah, there's seven, eight, nine courses on there and presumably it's going to be growing from here. This next article will be useful to you if you've ever experienced a sort of feeling of let down after a particular event. In this case, the WP and op.org blog is all about post WordCamp emotions, but no doubt you've been through something like this before. In fact, in the article, they talk about how it might have been when you were at school and you rehearsed for a great big event. You put weeks and weeks of training into it, and then suddenly that moment when. You finally done the last curtain call and it's all over, and then the next day you're just back to being normal and, and how that can feel. And they say it might be a mixture of sadness, happiness, anxiety, exhaustion, whole range of emotions. And they're saying that the same could be true for attending. Word comes, you know, you build up for it for ages. If you're a. Plugin or theme developer, and you've got yourself a stall there. You might really be putting a lot of work in, in advance, and then suddenly the, the WordCamp is over. And obviously we've just had WordCamp us. And so this is advice on how you can, how you can ensure that you are coming out of these mountain top events as they're called and coming up for air on Monday, feeling as positive as possible. it's things like, you know, take your vitamins, get some sleep, stay hydrated. listen to your internal voice and, and it's okay to feel that your are feeling a bit let down and it's okay to feel that you don't have the energy that you did have or, or the reverse could be true. Maybe you've come out of it completely feeling completely energized. Anyways, an interesting, an interesting article and something in the WordPress space that, that really is seemingly now only the domain for people like WP and up. Okay. Let's move on to plugging news. I've only got two this week. I think most people plug in developers and theme developers, and someone will probably busy concentrating on black Friday, so not a lot has been updated, but there's a couple of bits of news and the first one is over. At ultimate Beaver. This is ultimate addons for Beaver builder. They have an article entitled the beautify WordPress login pages. For a superior user experience. And so we've got this new option for taking full control of the login page. You can customize it in any which way you can imagine. And because it's stunning side of a page builder, in this case, Beaver builder is trivially easy to do that with, you know, points and clicked style interfaces and it looks really nice in all honesty. There's also a further option to allow users to register your, for your site via social accounts. And the ones that I can see on the screen are Google. And Facebook. I think that's probably the limitations here. I don't know if it allows you to do it with Twitter or anything else, but Google and Facebook certainly out of the box and then it goes on to demonstrate how you might do that, what the, what the fee field options look like and so on. But yeah, just a, a really nice additional item if you, if you haven't got ultimate albums for Beaver builder at the time of recording this, it was still on a, on a deal, click on the link in the show notes and I think 30% was what they were offering off. This next one is about element or, and normally when we talk about elemental, we're used to sort of super slick videos and very professionally made content. In this case, we're actually going to link you to a get hub.com piece because we have elemental 2.8. to release. And they're, they're looking for sort of testing people to test things out. And I'll very quickly explain what they are looking for you to test. And I should say that they go into how to test exactly what you need to do, what software you need to download, and then kind of like 12 point guided process for checking that everything's working as it should and thereafter, after some feedback. So thereafter they're new, they've got this new color picker save option where you can basically slide. in the normal UI where you pick a color and then just click one button or plus icon and it gets added to a saved pallet. So they want to see if that's working. They've also introduced a dark mode and they want feedback about that. So the UI, just everything is inverted. Black becomes white and white becomes black. So. it just looks entirely different. They've also, they've trying to get better control over responsive modes and wished to get feedback about that and the responsive mode, switcher control. Also, there's a whole load of other things on the article as well, but if you're an elemental user and you really like to push the envelope and try new things out and give, give feedback and therefore make the product better, then click on the link and you'll be taken to get hub.com. We usually do a deals of the weekend. Over the last few weeks, it's been just one page I've been mentioning, which is WP, Bill's dot com forward slash. Black as I mentioned at the top of the show, the time that this is going out on the 2nd of December, there are still plenty of deals. Although black Friday has gone cyber Monday. Like I said, many of them going up until the fourth. Of December. So WP Builds.com forward slash and black. The deals, hopefully that you see on the page will still be in existence because I've set them to expire and become unpublished at the time that they, they went away and stopped becoming available. But hopefully that's worked and the I was accurate. But if not, please just let me know. So w P builds.com forward slash. Black. There's still dozens and dozens and dozens to choose from. The next category is called security. And we take a very light touch on security. So the two articles I've got for you this week are the first one over at Wordfence WP, a VCD, the malware where you installed on your own site. And they, they talk about the fact that this. This problem. This WP VCD has been growing ever since August, 2019 and it seems to, there seems to be no, no slowing down of it. And essentially you install this by installing a plugin, which has often been acquired from sort of some sort of nefarious resource. And then it goes into your website and it kind of creates a self healing version of itself very often and links itself to a command and control center. And the intention is very much to run things like black hat SEO. So putting data into your search engine. Search engine capabilities and also to, to run annoying popup ads that you never intended your visitors to see. So they're talking, they created a white paper about how this is propagating itself and what can be done. And the intention of this paper is that other security people who are interested in cleaning up WordPress will also take a look and gain some knowledge from it. So that's quite nice. And the second one is over on themes, and we linked to this most months. It's the WordPress vulnerability Roundup, November, 2019 part two so they do it every fortnight. And the reason I mention it is because you can just scroll through the page ever so quickly and see the icons of the plugins. And so, you know, hopefully. Those icons are familiar to you because you've installed those plugins before and you'll be able to see sassy social share is one. WP maintenance is another problem with jet pack and a few others, so yeah, maybe a quick scan through that page. The blatantly self-promotional WP build section. Only one thing for you. This week we released episode 156 and this week I was talking to Jared from WP forms, WP forms. Obviously entered the marketplace for WordPress forms. Whilst it was already full up at the time, there was whole ton of incumbents, you know, formidable Ninja forms, gravity forms, and so on. And so this podcast is really asking Jared, why you, why did you bother building it into a space which already felt quite saturated? And he comes up with some good answers. Now. Primarily the answer is to do with the fact that they wanted to create an experience where you could go through some sort of wizard at the beginning and have your forms up and running in absolutely under five minutes, no matter what your level of technical proficiency. And then we go on to talk about the roadmap and what's coming in the future for WP forms. And yeah, it was, it was a really nice chat. We will be running a contents for pro-license of that plugin. At some point in the near future. So pay attention to WP Builds.com forward. Slash. Win and you may very well see that one popping up. A pro-license of WP forms. The next section we always have is jobs and very often I don't have any jobs, but I've got three for you this week and I'm just going to say what they are and move on. The first one is a job working for automatic. It's a software engineer and brackets. They say code Wrangler. The second one is over at LearnDash customer support specialist, and the third one is modern tribe who create the events calendar and they need a front end engineer. The links are in the show notes, so go and check to see whether you fit the bill. Right? That's all the WordPress news I've got for you this week. But we always have a few articles at the end under the banner of, not WordPress, but useful anyway. And this one certainly is interesting. It's over at whole grain digital, and they have had a thing called the website carbon calculator, and it was in version one and the service is becoming more and more widely used, so they've decided to, it's to version two to make it look more attractive and to give you the data that you need back in a more . Easy to understand and quicker way. They presumably have increased their own carbon footprint slightly by doing this, but they also make the point that they don't need to be a too aggressive and too sadomasochistic, but the data that they've gathered over the last year is. Breathtaking, and I would urge you to go and look at this. So a couple of things. The bad. Okay. The average carbon emission per page is 4.61 grams. So this is from all of the data that they've been processing over the last period of time. Now. Only 29% of the sites that they were asked to look at were on some kind of renewable hosting. And there's a list which comes from the green web foundation database, which gives them that data, but this is the alarming bit. Let's say that those average web pages were loaded 5,000 times per month, which is, I suppose, quite normal. That gives us have a seat, a carbon impact of 276. 5,000, 600 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. they then tried to sort of put that into some context by saying that's 1,844 Sumo wrestlers of carbon in the atmosphere just from this one website, which is producing 5,000 visits per month. Now I am. Blown away by that number. That just seems incredible. But not to be too, too depressed about all this. They then go on to talk about some of the good that has been done highlighting some of the sites that have managed to really reduce their carbon footprint. and so I, you know, we're all thinking about the viral environment more and more. This seems like a. A really worthy thing that you and I, as people working with WordPress, could take an interest in. So go and check this out and check the statistics out for yourself. For the longest period of time, I've been really praising a company called go cardless as a, as a way of taking recurring payments because they were simply cheaper and I thought easier to set up. Well, they've modified their pricing so that it's become a little bit more costly. So for example, in the UK customers, if you are now processing UK. Payments, you're going to be asked now for 1% plus 20 patents, and they used to have a ceiling on that. So no matter how much you processed, there was a ceiling of, I think it was two pounds. Well, they've doubled that up to four pounds. and that applies to transactions, I think below 2000 pounds, and it's 2% plus 20 Pence if you are using international payments. Now, I mentioned that recently they've made this platform available internationally, and again, I was very . Bullish about the pricing. So you might want to just go and revisit that. I still believe it's cheaper than PayPal and Stripe, but, you might want to just check how the volume all stacks up and how it works for you. So, yeah. Interesting. And I suppose it had to happen at some point. They are growing company probably got very large costs and wanted to want it to keep up with the competition, but stay still cheaper. Now, although I build this as the WP Builds weekly WordPress news, of course, what you're actually listening to is a podcast. It's audio content on the internet, which you can download via an RSS feed. And so this article interests me in particular, and probably you if you're into SEO and search and so on. It's over on search engine journal. It's entitled podcast and SEO, how to make your podcast SEO friendly. Well, I mentioned before that. In the future, in the near future, Google is going to start indexing the audio. And what I mean by that is it's literally going to listen to your audio and gather from it what it can, you know, in terms of what are the words and rates you, in their search results based upon what you write. Actually said the words that you spoke, but that's not entirely possible right now. So we've got to take some alternative approaches and search engine journal helpfully are saying, for example, things like, number one, know what the trends are and you know, talk about those trends. If that's something you want to rank against in Google, develop a podcast of voice. And what they're saying is basically speak clearly. If Google's can't go to try and index this stuff, you need to make sure that you're not. Using slang or you're not slurring or muttering too much. And so I think, I think I'm doomed, create chapters in your podcast so that Google can sort of like chunk it and categorize it up and do a writeup and also get a transcription done. Now don't know how many of you have ever noticed, but at the bottom of every single WP Builds bit of audio content, I do actually have the whole entire thing transcribed. And I did that from an accessibility point of view initially. But of course it occurs to me that. There is probably some SEO benefits of that as well because Google can can sort of see that we're talking about WordPress and so on and so forth. But anyway, interesting. Especially if you're running a podcast. Alrighty. That is all the news I've got for you this week. I hope you found it useful and helpful. We'll do it all again next week and we'll do our podcast as we normally do on Thursday. The WP Builds podcast is brought to you today by Kinston Kinston. It 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 can access to the latest software and developer tools such as PHP seven SSH pan staging environments, and the best parts. Their expert team of WordPress engineers are available 24 seven if you need help, so you can migrate today for free at dot com. And page builder cloud. If you want to dramatically speed up your WordPress website workflow, then check out page builder cloud. It securely saves all of your templates to your own cloud. You can then reuse them on any other website in seconds. Page builder cloud works with element or BeaverBuilder breezy, Gothenburg and many more, but it's not just for page builders. You can save your contact forms and ACF layouts to get a free trial today at page builder, cloud.com. Join us at 2:00 PM UK time every Monday when we'll do the whole news again, only live with some special guests. Talk about the things that I've just been discussing. You can find that over@wpbuilds.com forward slash, Facebook, which is our Facebook group, or easier still WP Builds.com forward slash live, which is where we post all of our live content. Thank you so much for listening. I appreciate it very, very much indeed, and maybe we'll see you next week. Bye bye for now.

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