This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 6th January 2020:
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
Deals from this week
Nothing this week that I came across…
Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
Transcript (if available)
Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Hello there. Good morning and welcome to this. The WP Builds weekly WordPress newsletter. This is number 96 it covers the WordPress news for the week, commencing the 6th of January, 2020 and it was published on Monday the 13th of January, 2020. My name's Nathan Wrigley and a few things before we begin, I'm basically going to introduce you to a whole load of ways of keeping in touch with us.
Head over to WP Builds.com there's a website there with a ton of WordPress related stuff, but some specific URLs would be WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. You'll be able to find a couple of news letters. Want to keep in touch with when we release podcast episodes and when we release what you're listening to.
Now, the weekly WordPress news, and there's a deals newsletter as well, and we'll keep you updated about any WordPress deals that we hear about. Speaking of deals, head over to WP Builds.com forward slash deals and over there you'll be able to find a page. It's a bit like black Friday, but every day of the week, whole ton of WordPress products on permanent discount codes.
And another one would be WP Builds dot com forward slash advertise if you would like to have your product or service in front of a WordPress specific audience, a bit like Kinsta have done, 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 .com.
A few reminders about the upcoming week. Needless to say, every Thursday we put out a podcast, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that. Also, 2:00 PM UK time, we'll be putting out a live WordPress news. I'm joined by some special guests. We do it on video at WP, builds.com forward slash live and last week we had lots and lots of comments.
So come and join us, even if it's just for half an hour or so. That would be really, really nice. And also just to say that on Wednesday this week. That's Wednesday, the 15th of January. We have our monthly session with Pictionary. It's the WP Builds a UI, UX review where she takes apart some WordPress websites that you guys have submitted and gives you some pointers about how to improve the UI and UX.
Should you have a website that you'd like to submit for that head over to WP Builds.com forward slash a UI and a, yeah, just submit your URL. Okay. Let's get on with this week's news. Okay. We always block our WordPress news into different categories, sections, if you like. And the first one should there be any, is always WordPress core.
And I've got one article for you today by Justin Tadlock on WordPress Tavern. It's entitled Gutenburg, 7.2 ads, long awaited, multi button block and gallery image size option. And yes, Guttenberg 7.2 was released a few days ago and now there is the option to put to buttons. Multiple buttons. Should I say in a row this up until now, it was only possible, or you could put one button.
It was only possible to do this with a little bit of code wrangling, but now you can add as many buttons as you like and there's the option in the sort of container row to decide how you want them aligned. So that's quite nice. Also, image size selector for galleries, there is now the option to pick what size you would like your.
Images to be in the, in the gallery block, which is very nice. This feature obviously didn't exist until now and apparently has been widely, widely requested and very, very much sort of experimentally at the moment is the site editor screen beater. If you go in the block editor to Gutenburg and then experiments admin page, there's the option to enable full site editing.
At the moment, it's very, very tentative. You can't really do much with it. So for example, there's no save button, so if you were to create a site layout, you've got absolutely no way of retaining that. It will just disappear because it's not stored for later. But it shows the beginnings. Essentially, it's just putting the, the groundworks in place so that in the future, possibly later this year, more likely in 2021 we'll have the capability to edit full sites in the block editor.
So yeah, a few nice handy updates there, as well as a few little bug fixes as well. But I shan't mention those. The next section that we cover is always community news, and there's quite a lot this week. So let's kick off with the first one again, over on WordPress Tavern and article entitled, the lessons learned by stepping outside the WordPress comfort zone.
So I suppose this is a little bit of a. Quirky one in that it's not specifically about the WordPress community, but just in Tadlock has written this piece. It's moderately long. It probably takes about eight or nine minutes to read. And in there he talks about a sort of adventure that he took back in the summer of 2018 where he was getting a little bit fed up using WordPress, for want of a better word.
And so he decided he was gonna try and build his own very simple CMS. And it's just a little article in . Really outlining that journey, how he sort of was scratching his head, realizing that for the last dozen years or so, he'd been relying so heavily on WordPress that he had to really rethink, and he was interested to try out some new platforms.
So he was looking at things like Laravel and symphony, and he was also looking at lighter weight solutions like Jekyll and Hugo and things like that, and, and how he ended up really. Building his own minute CMS over a weekend, but also how he then discovered that he really did love WordPress just as a blogging platform and how much he enjoys the new editor.
So from a community point of view, it's got like a quite a nice ending. It's basically saying, you know, you've got to assume that WordPress is going to be here for the foreseeable future, but it's nice. If you've got the skills to go outside and try different things, because you know you don't have to do everything in WordPress.
So yeah, just a nice little article. Over on the website, UX, all the things.com we have an article this week by Cathy Basco entitled, what is missing in WordPress? Now, I'm not going to try and go into all of the details of this because although it's not particularly long, it is sub. Suppose it's difficult to unravel, but if you cast your mind back a little while ago, we had this governance problem in the sense that a lot of people thought that when WordPress five came out in November in 2018 that it was a shame that there was no.
Kind of different model. We have the benevolent dictator for life model in the form of automatic and Matt Mullenweg making decisions about what the WordPress project is going to do. And Kathy is revisiting this whole conundrum because she's involved with the WP governance project, which is now outside of WordPress.
Policy. And on that article right at the very bottom are some places where you can find out about this project. Like I say, it's no longer within the, the, the WordPress project itself and the articles that she's linked to, the documentation that they've created, can be found on get hub. So yeah, if you're, if this meant something to you and you felt that it had gone off the boil, well go and check this article out.
This next piece is about a community within the WordPress community, specifically the main WP community, main WP as a plugin that you can install to completely control all of your client websites and update all the plugins on them and so on and so forth. There's actually a coupon code firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash, deals if you were interested in that, and they have decided after a long hiatus that they're going to launch their own community.
They did at the beginning when they started out their plugin, they did have a community, but they say it was a bit soul destroying, trying to do things like squished trolls, and it was just consuming their time in the period where they wanted to build a plugin and concentrate on the actual code. They've got a Facebook community, which isn't going away.
But they've decided that they're going to use discourse going forwards. They had to look at a whole bunch of options, but discourse was the one that they wanted. And so all main WP things are going to go in there and it's going to be community and staff moderated. There's going to be a whole bunch of levels, trust levels, zero new.
Trust level one basic right up to trust level four, which will be the leaders. And those people will have the ability to make the topics on list. Didn't, you know, edit all posts and things like that. So if you want to get involved and you are a keen main WP user, go and sign up. You can use Facebook, Twitter, or get Toby in order to do that.
Very nice. I quite like reading stories about successful businesses, businesses that have started from nowhere and gone crazy popular really, really quickly. And that's what this is. This is a story on starter story.com entitled how we started a $350,000 a month business developing software tools for eCommerce brands.
It's all about sky verge. They do a whole bunch of woo commerce membership. Plugins and a whole bunch of WooCommerce plugins, I should probably say. They also run a thing called Jilt, which is an all in one email marketing platform built for e-commerce specifically, and it's just about their story from inception right through to where they are now, how they went about deciding on the name, what it is that they did, decisions that they made, decisions that they made, which they regret, things that they did, which they are very, very happy about.
What their platforms are that they use internally and all that kind of good stuff. What the books are that they read along the way, and it's just a really, really nice story about becoming successful really, really rapidly. So maybe want to look at. Alex Denning has a really nice piece email@example.com it's all about black Friday.
It's entitled to risk and reward at black Friday. With WordPress products. It's all about whether or not, essentially you should run a black Friday deal. He goes into notable companies, for example, who don't do black Friday deals and about the . Persuasive argument for doing them. So for example, everybody's expecting them, so you should be doing them because sales might just sort of dry up in the run up to black Friday, even though you're not doing a deal.
People may expect it and therefore not be buying things. Anyway. It's an article all about that targeting who the sale is for, working out what your existing customers are expecting, what discounts you should do, and there's an awful lot. Data in there. It's quite a long piece and it certainly covers a lot more than I've just mentioned.
So for example, it talks about when to begin an email and customers, it just loads and loads and loads of interesting information all from notable WordPress companies. So yeah, if you are a product owner, then this is definitely worth reading away in advance of black Friday next year. This next piece is not exactly brand new because it was released in mid December last year, but it came to my attention this week and I really think it's worth looking at.
It's by Mel choice, who is a an. Autumn petition and has been a release release of WordPress, and it's on the 24 ways.org website, and it's entitled art direction and the new WordPress editor. And so essentially the article is about how you can make really nice designs in Guttenberg. And this is from somebody who really knows.
I mean, to be honest with you, if you've used Gutenburg a little bit before, you could probably scroll a fifth of the way into the article because all of that, this is stuff that you've seen before, but then it goes on and really developed some. Some things that I've not seen before that is to say it puts so much into one post.
It's wonderful. So she talks about different plugins for things like galleries. She talks about how to do buttons well, how to implement shape dividers and separators and spaces, and just go, the list just goes on and on. She gets a tiny little bit into some CSS to make things happen that the block editor won't do.
but. Basically, she's introducing you to ways that you can do things with the Guttenberg editor that you may not have thought of doing before, and it's all done with the minimal amount of text. It's largely a image based. This poster, you can see what she's talking about and how she's achieved it, so perhaps worth a look.
If you're a heavy user of WooCommerce and you are a podcast listener, which obviously you are, then Bob WP has probably come across your radar. He has had loads and loads of podcast content based around WordPress, but more recently he's been focusing on WooCommerce, in fact, almost exclusively, and he's decided to make that official.
So the Bob WP podcast, so Bob wp.com is being rebranded as do the woo. Bob WP and this article, which I'm linking to is on WordPress Tavern, and it's all about why he's doing that. He's going to go from a once every fortnight, so once every two weeks podcast to a weekly podcast, he's going to be joined by Jonathan wold on that podcast and Mendel Kurland.
Jonathan wold is a community lead for WooCommerce, and Mendel is a developer advocate at liquid web. He'll be joined also by Brad Williams, who is the CEO of WebDev studios, but he's been doing that since 2018 I think. So that's going to be coming out every Thursday and essentially just offering heaps of value around WooCommerce.
so yeah, definitely worth a listen if you are a WooCommerce user. The next section is plugins, themes, and blocks. And the first thing I've got for you is, again, on main WP. This is to say that main WP and code guard, which is a security platform, have linked and joined forces, and the article is entitled to protect your main WP dashboard with all and all your
Child sites. So if you are a main WP user, there is now a subscription option. The the, the extension within Mandeville GP is not yet available. They say it will be available by sort of February this year, but at the moment you can apply a coupon code, which you should have got through the email, and it allows you to protect a certain number of sites through your main WP dashboard.
I have to confess that I've not heard of code guard. Before as a company offering a PR security on the internet. But in the Facebook group, there were quite a few people saying that they definitely had, and they were a very large entity within the Drupal space, for example. So yeah, the options range from one site at $1 75 right up to enterprise a hundred sites, which is $78.
Per month plus VAT, if that's chargeable in your jurisdiction. So interesting. I find it quite interesting that main WP have made this connection, so they're going to be taking not only the updating of your websites in hand, but also the security via a third party company code guard. Back on the WP Tavern website again, or should I say WordPress Tavern?
This article really took me by surprise and it took me a few minutes to kind of ingest it and think, why on earth would this even be useful? And now I see the light. It's called landing kit for WordPress maps. Any post or page to a custom domain. So this is a project which is launched by Phil Kurth and Jason Schuler, both of whom have a list of WordPress endeavors as long as your arm and what.
They've put together is a plugin which enables you to map a domain to a single post or page. Now, this was the point at which I started to become confused. I was thinking, why would you want to do that? And then it occurred to me that, well, internet marketers might want to do that. So for example, you buy, a web domain called my amazing new book.com, and then you link it.
So you would have a dedicated website set up just to put posts and pages, which would become single page. Landing pages. And then you use the plugin to redirect. You have to have a little bit of a understanding of DNS cause you need to set up, an a record and so on and so forth. But then you could have my amazing new book.com forwarding to a page on this.
This custom install of WordPress. Now in the past, to achieve this, you probably would have had to get a whole WordPress install up and running just for that one exact page and then gone and installed a page builder or however it is that you want to go about doing it. But in this way, if you're an internet marketer, and I can see that's where the gold here is.
If you're an internet marketer, you could have one WordPress install with all of your landing pages for your different endeavors, different things that you are trying to promote. So anyway, absolutely fascinating. It's tremendously easy to get going. You basically create a page and then you Mark that as a mapped domain and then you have to go to your DNS and update that.
But from that moment on, it should just work. So really, really interesting. I can see this taking off. In a big way. Like I said, especially for people who are doing internet marketing. The last piece I've got in the plugins, themes and block section is over on the ultimate Adams fellow mentor site. It's all about creating attractive navigation.
Menu is using Elementor and about the new capabilities that they've added to ultimate Adams for elemental. So, for example, you can now use the capability to have mega menus. They look pretty attractive. This is all about looking at the screenshots, really. So link to the show notes and go from there. you can also have a whole different array of ways.
That it's obvious that you're hovering over a particular menu. You've got these different lines that you can have on a animated boxes and so on. Or you can have the menu items just sort of rise up or fall down, and there's just a ton of menu options in there, which you can have ability to create different menus.
But based upon the device type, you can have an off canvas menu. It could be horizontal, vertical. You can have an expanded, or you can have it flying out and it just heaps and heaps of stuff. So yeah, really nice elemental users who've got ultimate Adams. This is great. A super light touch on security. I've only got two things for you this week.
The first one that is over on the wordfence.com website. It's entitled multiple vulnerabilities patched in minimal coming soon and maintenance mode plugin. They are both from the same developer and the problems you can find out more about, but it's a cross site scripting error. And the, they have both been fixed.
Essentially, if you recognize the name of either of those plugins, minimal coming soon or maintenance mode, go and get them updated ASAP because you don't want any infections happening. And this one could be reasonably severe. And the next one I want to link to is. The WordPress vulnerability news, it's four January, 2020 it's over on the web arcs security.com website, and it's just one of these articles where it shows you the thumbnails of all the plugins over the last month that have had problems.
And so you can just literally quickly scroll through and suddenly, if you see a plugin that you recognize is on one of your sites or your client's websites, you can stop and take a read. So yes, that's what I've got for you with the security news. The WP Builds hopelessly self-promotional bit. This week I released a podcast entitled, why don't you believe us?
It was a conversation that I had with my colleague, David Walmsley, and it's all about the watertight marketing book by Briony Thomas. We're on, I think the seventh episode in this series now, so you might want to go back. actually all of the links are in the show notes for the episodes, but it's got the previous six episodes that we linked to.
and this is all about how is it that you can prove that you're capable of doing the things that you claim that you're doing. So do you use testimonials effectively? How do you extract those testimonials? And are there other more ingenious ways that you can demonstrate your capabilities and yeah, it's well worth a listen.
The job section. I've actually got four jobs for you this week. I'm just going to say what they are and you can go and check them out if they sound interesting to you. Modern tribe who have the events calendar, they have a lead WordPress backend developer position, delicious brains who are behind all sorts of plugins like WP media upload and all of that kind of stuff.
They've got a WordPress developer PHP in react, learn dash a. a system for, well, it's an LMS or learning management system. They have two jobs, a customer support specialist and a training specialist. And there's also a final job, which is actually in Bangladesh for a software developer that you can check out as well.
So, yeah, for jobs this week. Right. That's all the word Pressy stuff I've got, but hold on. We're not quite finished because we always round the day off with some, not at WordPress, but useful anyway, articles. This one I suppose in a sense, could be linked to WordPress. It's over on the verge.com it's entitled, tumbler is rolling out an internet literacy initiative to help combat misinformation and cyber bullying.
Well, tumbler, of course, sometime last year was. Bought by automatic. So in a sense, it is connected to WordPress and it's all about the fact that tumbler in the past has been a bit of a toxic space. there's been an awful lot of really dubious content posted on there. And I wonder if the new custodians automatically.
Taken, taking this to heart because in the run up to the presidential election in 2020 in the, in the United States, there's been growing concern about people using platforms like tumbler to, to post content, which is, well, let's just say it comes from bad actors and leave it like that. So this. We've got this new initiative, worldwide wallet, which has been coordinated by an organization called ditch the label based in the United Kingdom.
It's six informational videos that walk the tumbler community through topics like fake news, authenticity. along with issues like cyber bullying and so on and so forth. So it was just a really interesting idea. I wonder how many of the tumbler users will find this a little bit strange. You know, they've been using it for a long time and they feel like they don't need to be schooled in this, but apparently the, the videos are going to be created in such a way that it really speaks to the users of tumbler cause it's going to contain the kind of vocabulary, the vernacular that those users you.
So anyway, really interesting. And I hope that it does some good. This next one's for users of Google's Chrome browser. I didn't realize this. I assumed that the the bar at the top where you type URLs, I assumed that that was a proper Google search box because I use it and I click enter and it just works.
But yeah. Apparently it is a slightly hobbled version of the Google search bar, and you can get the real one by going to . If you've got no extensions to override the homepage, you can get get to a new tab and that the new tab URL, a search bar is in fact the proper one, and you can make the the bar at the top underneath your tabs.
You can make that do the same. It's very simple. You. Go to Chrome flags, follow the instructions in the, in the post, it's going to be a lot easier than me trying to explain how to type in this URL. And then essentially you searched for real search box in new tab page and click enable, and then you refresh the browser, reboot it if you like.
And it should just start and it gives you a whole load more capabilities. It's, it's not a dumbed down version. So I've done that and I'll, I'll let you know if anything astonishing comes up. Good grief. It's the Google Chrome day to day cause we've got another one. This one on search engine journal, Chrome 80 will block push notifications.
I'm sure that you've all been fed up in the past with websites somehow managing to get you to enable push notifications in the browser and yeah. So now. With Chrome 80 a lot of that is going to be taken away. The, if Google notices that you are somebody that essentially always blocks those notifications, it will turn on the, all of the blocking so that nothing can bypass it.
You can of course, enable specific ones. They're not obliterating the feature in . at all, it's going to be there, but it's going to be much more difficult. And I think in the past, this is because people have abused it and turned it into essentially another marketing tool, another tool for, selling their wares or alerting you about things that you probably didn't really want to know about and abuse has happened.
They're talking about. This new thing called quiet UI, which is going to give you a very subtle reminder that these things have been blocked and you can follow this article and find out how to switch this off if actually you're making legitimate use and you don't wish for anything to accidentally go wrong, and notifications that you're relying upon to suddenly sort of disappear.
Anyway, this is mooted to fall on the 4th of February this year in Crow. Matey. Staying with Google. We're talking now about Android on end gadget. We have an article entitled to Google's EU Android search choice is good for duck, duck go, but bad for being. last year I believe it was an entry trust ruling by the European union said that Google, when it shipped new Android devices, and when I say new, that's from March.
This come this year, they have to offer a choice screen. And on that choice screen, they have to offer some. Although alternatives instead of Google search. Now 31 countries in the European union, apparently being has only made the list in one country. The United Kingdom, I should say that every time this screen comes up, it will show Google plus three other providers and you're only going to see being as an option in the UK.
Every other European country, it won't even be shown as an option, which is really interesting. Whilst doc doc. Go, he's going to appear in all 31 country. So it would appear that Google is sort of, in a sense, promoting, dot dot go and you know, not promoting being, I suppose from a competition point of view, this seems slightly dubious and kind of against what the ruling was all about in the first place.
And add to that the fact that every time somebody clicks on one of those alternative links. So let's say for example, I decided that I want Bing to be my search engine of choice being, we'll actually have to pay Google for the privilege of, of being found on the Android platform. So Google is actually monetizing the ability for the competition to get on Android devices.
So really intriguing stuff. If you're living in New York and using the subway, this is going to be of interest to you, but I have to say something that's occurred to me in the past. It says, the verge.com some New York city subway riders are accidentally getting double charged because of Apple pay.
They're not really pointing the finger at Apple. I suppose it could be Google pay or any other Samsung pay or whatever it is, but apparently New York city subway riders are. Getting double charged because not only are they using their card, they're sort of transit card, which they've bought to do the payments, but the, the proximity of their phone, let's say it's in their bag or in their pocket, that the proximity of the phone to the billing system as they walk through the turnstile means that they're getting charged twice for the exact same journey.
And I've wondered about this when I'm in the queue at the supermarket and I'm, you know, I'm quite close to the machine, but somebody else's shopping that's in front of me and getting billed, I often wonder, how is this, how is it not using my phone? And I know that NFC is supposed to be within millimeters of the
Of the actual devices. It's taking the payment, but I'm not so sure. I think you can get a little bit further away and I've taken the slightly cautionary approach that I turn NFC off until the exact moment I need it, and then as soon as the transaction is done, I, I switch it off again. Anyway. Interesting that this is happening and something that we need to be mindful of.
I think this is the first time I've ever talked about nature. On the top of that, U P builds a weekly WordPress news. I just thought this was so cool. This is in the guardian. It's an article entitled flycatchers and fantails. New songbirds discovered on tiny Island and check it out. 10 new songbird species and subspecies have been identified on a trio of previously underexplored Indonesian islands, and the largest discovery is of its kind in more than a century.
10 new species of bird discovered on this tiny little Island. That's all I have to say about that. Just fascinating. Go and read it. Wonderful. If you're a scifi lover and watch things like star Trek and star Wars, you'll know this, this, this next feeling, this sort of hyperspace feeling where you, it's as if you're sitting in the cockpit of the millennium Falcon and you've suddenly watch a, as you go to hyperspace, hyper speed, Lightspeed, whatever they call it, and, and all of the things of swoosh by in a tunnel.
Well, you can help do this in Google maps. If you want to explore the solar system, you've been able to do this in Google maps for absolutely ages. There's, there's some instructions on how to do it, but now using the, the, the minus key on your keyboard, you can actually enable. So when you want to go from earth to Jupiter, you can enable this view.
It's ever so scifi, it's a bit weird, but, yeah, it's fun. Right? That is everything that I've got for you this week. I hope you find it useful or helpful. I would really appreciate it if you came into the WP Builds Facebook group, that's WP Builds dot com forward slash Facebook and commented to say that you are finding it useful.
I always find those comments really, really enjoyable to read. yeah, so thank you for listening. The WP Builds weekly. WordPress news was brought to you 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.
You can access to the latest software and developer tools like PHP seven SSH and staging environments, and the best part, their expert team of WordPress engineers are available 24 seven if you need help, you can migrate today for free at Kinsta dot com. Okay. Please come and join us 2:00 PM UK time every Monday for the WordPress news, which is done live with some notable WordPress guests.
You can find that firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash live, and it's in the Facebook group as well. Join us, make some comments, make some noise, and enjoy the experiences. Wonderful. I will see you next Thursday for the podcast, and if I don't see you or for any of those things, well hopefully I'll see you soon.
Bye. Bye for now.