This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 3rd February 2020:
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
Deals from this week
Nothing for you this week – I feel that this section might not be that useful!
Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Hello there. Good morning and welcome to this, the WP Builds weekly WordPress news. This is episode 100 yeah, a hundred I know. It covers the WordPress news for the week. Commencing the 3rd of February, 2020 and it was published on Monday the 10th of February, 2020. My name's Nathan Wrigley. And before we get stuck into the news, just a couple of things, head over to WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe over there.
You're going to be able to find out all the ways that you can keep in touch with everything that we do, and we do quite a bit. So for example, there's newsletters that you can sign up to to hear about. The stuff that we release podcasts and this news, but also there's a newsletter on there where you can find out about deals as and when they crop up, we'll send you a very short email and you can decide whether to keep it or not.
But yeah, there's a couple of newsletters on there, but also there's ways of subscribing to us on your favorite podcast player. Join our Facebook group of over 2,400 word pressers and a whole bunch of other stuff as well. We've also redesigned our deals page this week, so WP Builds.com forward slash deals.
It's now searchable and filterable, and it's a bit like black Friday, but every day of the week you can get a whole bunch of money off WP related things, plugins, themes, and so on and so forth. Also this week we've got a UI UX session coming up with Peacher. If you go to WP Builds.com forward slash UI you'll be able to submit your websites and she may be abl e to give it a bit of a going over and a review.
From a UI, UX point of view. The sessions are very, very entertaining. It's really interesting and I learn a lot. So anyway, you can learn all about it there and we post them live on our Facebook page and Facebook group and on WP Builds.com forward slash live. And the last one, WP Builds.com forward slash advertise if you would like to put 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. So you can migrate today for free at Kinsta dot com and we thank Kinsta for their support of the WP Builds weekly WordPress news.
Speaking of which, let's get stuck into it. Shall we? Episode 108. We always Groupon use into different sections. And the first section should there be any, is always WordPress core. And I've got one item for you this week. It's on the WP Tavern called Guttenberg 7.4 adds new color controls, link UI and blocks scaffolding for developers.
So we are now on version 7.4 of the block editor plugin, otherwise known as . Gutenberg. There are a few things to say in terms of speed. It has been tested as it always is, with a post of about 36,000 words containing a thousand blocks, which I'm sure you'll agree is probably more than most of us are going to need.
And there's been a very minor speed increase from 5.4 seconds down to basically five seconds and key press events going down from 34.6 to 34.5 so. Not a lot of speed improvement, but nevertheless, every little bit helps as just in Tadlock in this article says there've been two dozen bug fixes, but the major ones are, for example, the ability to have control over group block text colors.
So in the past when using the group blocks, you weren't able to apply a text color to every subsequent sub element in the group. So you had to go and change the text color for all of the kind of nested groups, if you like. And that was a little bit time consuming and a bit of a pain. Now you can do that.
So for example, if you set a group color once, it will trickle down and all of the sub blocks will inherit that, which is rather than ice, there's also column blocks, background color options. So if you're using a . Column block. You can now, for example, make the background blue or pink or whatever it might be.
You're not able to set on a particular column by column basis, but hopefully in a future version that will come. There's also been an update to the the, the little box which pops up when you. Add a link. So for example, at the moment, I find it a little bit clunky and sometimes it actually goes off the page because the text in there is a little bit on the large side.
So this has been slightly improved. You basically get the link with an edit button and the open new tab option is already open. You don't have to go and click the little down arrow to make that happen. So minor change, but I think that's quite nice. Also, there is a block scaffolding for developers as of this release.
There's an official scripts which you can run. And it will set up all of the block folders that you might need. So, for example, PHP, CSS, and Java script files will be all in place if you run this NPM in it at WordPress forward slash and block command, which I think will be good for developers. Really nice.
So yeah, Gutenberg marching ahead. Slowly but surely. The next section is community. And this section covers everything going on within the WordPress community that isn't specifically related to plugins and themes, et cetera. So the first one I've got for you this week is over on the 2020 europe.wordcamp.org website.
It's called contributor day is for everybody. And WordCamp Europe is just around the corner. It's happening. Well. Very soon in about three or four months time and they're opening up their contributor day pages. That is to say, if you would like to go and add an extra day to your WordCamp experience, you can enjoy the contributor day and they are a great pains in this article to say you don't need to be a coder.
The perception I think often is that if you are a developer, these things are open to you, but if you're a non developer, then perhaps not. And they're, they're saying, no, no, no. This is definitely not the case. If you've been to a WordCamp before and. Been to a contributor day. You will of course know this, but there's a whole ton of things that you can be doing, which are nothing to do with developers.
Obviously, if you are a developer, fabulous. Please turn up and commit your developing, developing experience. That will be most helpful, but there are things like the marketing. Channels and video production and the translation areas and the documentation. So a whole bunch of different options. And so this article prepares you for that.
It tells you when it is and how you can get involved in WordCamp. Europe's contributed a. If you're in any way concerned with theme development, this next one might be of great interest to you. It's on WordPress. Haven't again, just in Tadlock has a piece entitled join the future of WordPress themes, conversation, theme review team to hold biweekly discussions.
Now obviously with gotten Berg's phase two tackling whole cycle. Customization and the idea that everything will become available as a block, so things like sidebars and so on will become blocks and basically everything will become a block. There's a little bit of confusion. Nobody really knows what the direction is.
We just know that we're heading towards this. It's been decided that there's going to be a BI weekly, which means for likely fortnightly meeting, which you can find at the theme review WordPress Slack channel. Now, the first meeting actually has already taken place, and in that meeting they were just trying to get the groundwork going and lay the foundation for what might be talked about in the future.
But you really can get your voice heard. The the guys are from automatic, are representing in that team and so obviously they're the people who are pushing this forward and they want to hear you. We want to hear what you've got to say, what your fears are, what you think are going to be the the directions and between you all, hopefully you can keep each other updated because the updates are coming thick and fast, but also get your voice heard and have a say in what happens.
So go check this article out and all the links to everything I suggested are in there. The next piece is over on the Semper plugins.com website. It's called all in one SEO is now part of the awesome motive family. This is by sired bulky, so this is to say that the hugely popular all in one SEO pack plugin, which is installed apparently over 2 million times, making it a really.
Big player in the SEO market. It has been acquired by awesome motive. Now you've probably heard of the awesome motive team, maybe indirectly, because they have things like WP beginner opt in monster, WP forms, seed product raffle press on a whole bunch of other things. So they've got a great heritage in the WordPress space.
The founder of the all in one SEO plugin. it's called Michael Torbert, and he's decided that he wants to step away. He's been working on this since 2007, and so he personally has stepped down, but everybody else from that team has been taken under the awesome motive family. So hopefully if you are an existing user, you'll still be interfacing, interacting with the same team members.
If you've got . Support requests and so on, but it does mean that the automotive team are able to bring to bear a whole bunch of resources. Now, sired himself is a bit of an SEO expert. He's got a lot of heritage and has many, many hi. Hi. Visit websites. He says that some of his websites are well combined, I think get over 60 million views a year and he's going to be throwing some of the resources that he's got.
At this plugin. So it seems at least on the face of it for now, that this is a good time to be involved in this particular plugin and maybe worth looking at for the future. If you enjoy wrangling your CSS and you use WordPress, this might be good for you. It's over on make.wordpress.org it's about a meeting which is going to take place over in the core dash CSS Slack channel, and this piece is entitled, let's chat about CSS standards.
Well, the last time that CSS coding standards were reviewed was apparently quite a long time ago, and a lot has changed. So for example, we've got things like CSS grid and CSS variables and various other things. And it's felt that maybe a few people should get together and knock their heads together and see if there is some room for things to be changed.
They're saying at the beginning almost zero commitment. There's going to be this one time chat thereafter if there is enough. Strength of feeling that things need to be moved or repositioned, then a regular meeting could take place. So this meeting is taking place on Thursday the 13th of February, 2020 so in a few days after I've released this news episode, so click on the link in the show notes and you will be able to find the links so that you can get involved.
A few weeks ago on the WP Builds podcast, we released an episode all about, well, testimonials it boiled down to, it wasn't quite titled like that, but it was essentially that whether or not people trusted testimonials, how they could be deployed and, and whether or not really anybody believes in them or takes any notice of them.
Well, we had Meg Fenn on the WP Builds live news, and as part of the preparation for that, she, she listened to that piece and then she wrote this lovely article that I'm linking to today. It's on shake it up, creative.com. And it's entitled to why testimonials are important. Now she is saying that they still have their place and she's gone into five ways to use testimonials to strengthen your credibility and build trust.
And so if you're creating websites and you still feel that testimonials are an important part of that, then she's got five ways that you can do that. And some of them are quite ingenious and she's also thinking about things beyond the website as well. So really this is just a hat tip to make. Thanks for.
Participating in that conversation. Thanks for then moving it on and giving us some useful advice into how we can well use testimonials effectively in the future. Thanks, Meg. Those of you who develop your sites in a local environment or at least would wish to make, have dabbled with local by flywheel before.
Now, apparently local by flywheel in the past was considered by many. To be a little bit erratic, have to say, I'm a user of it and I've never once had a single problem. But apparently a lot of people did. So they've completely re-engineered the whole thing. It's now simply called local. They're calling it local in inverted commerce lightening.
That's the, the name of this particular release. And they're claiming that it's faster, more reliable, and it now has a Linux variation as well, which is quite nice. So they're saying basically give it a try. They say you can install the whole thing in five minutes. It opens local instantly, and I can confirm having done it that it literally does.
You click. Launch site and boom, it's right there. like I said, it's available on Mac, windows and Linux. They claim that it's got far fewer bugs, but one little gotcha. If you've used local before, the architecture is so different and better. They claim from the previous iteration that you're going to have to migrate sites.
One at a time, so you basically have to export them and then drag the export file into the new local version. I've done it. It was fairly painless. Each site takes about 30 seconds to download and about 10 seconds to upload, so it's very, very quick indeed, and I have to agree. It works very well. So use local before found problems with it.
Maybe have another go. Ah, the joys of being a freelancer. I'm sure that if you are a freelancer, you've come across the hourly rate versus fixed rate billing problem. Now. Tom Rankin this week on talk mag. Dot. IO has an article entitled hourly versus fixed project billing, which is best for your income.
Now, clearly both the models work, but maybe there's one that suits you better. He goes into really what the . The best advantages are for hourly rates and fixed rates. It's fairly short read. He gives four tips for deciding between hourly and fixed rates. So for example, it's determining your hourly rate, what you should be charging, and the sort of calculation you might have to go through to do that.
Using a time tracking tool to work out your productivity, being honest about which one suits you best, you know, what kind of kind of habits do you keep? Are you able to concentrate in the sort of time that you need to concentrate and those kinds of things. Yeah. In other words, which suits you better and maybe have a sort of flexible approach.
Maybe you could do it on a client by client basis, some fixed rates, some flexible. Anyway, it's a nice piece and maybe one that you want to look at. All right. The next section is plugins, themes, and blocks, and on WordPress Tavern, an article by Justin Tadlock entitled Ahmed, Ohio launches script to automatically deploy WordPress plugin updates.
So that's right. Amato ice has indeed launched WP continuous deployment. It's a continuous deployment pipeline for updating plugins hosted on wordpress.org via get hub actions, and I quote . We live in the age of agile workflows. Developers only wants to get commit and then gets push and expect their products to be deployed globally.
And so this has been built. Apparently he was getting a little bit sick and tired of SVN repositories, and so he's able to say goodbye to those. I think it builds on some work done by 10 op who launched to get hub actions back in November last year. Anyway, if you are wanting to deploy things with a simple.
A simple action, then you might want to go and read this article. It's actually quite long and goes into a large amount of detail, how to set it up and so on. So, you know, certainly more than I can, I can mention here, but worth worth a mention anyway. I know that there's a lot of people who are using the Divi page builder in order to create their websites.
They had an article this week entitled a stunning new animation builder, and I watched the five or six minute video and there are some really fabulous effects if you are hoping to achieve. Really large amounts of animation in your websites. If you wish to do that and you're using divvy, then a, then this looks great.
Lots of available options in the panel that you can slide, press click, and essentially it's zero code. The idea is that you drag bars and change numbers in boxes and it looks very impressive. Certainly from what I've seen, it looks as impressive as as anything else from any other page builders. So it's things like
A blur on scroll thing, horizontal motion, fading, scaling rotations, all that kind of stuff. And basically you can do that to Ellie. Any element on the page. And whilst the video makes it very easy to to do, I'm sure that doing this professionally for yourself is going to be a little bit more complicated.
It always seems to me that the, the graphics themselves are the difficult part. Whereas the animations, or the, or the PR probably slightly easier part at that point anyway. DV users. Well, 10 years. Our hundredth episode today of the WP Builds news, and coinciding with that, we have, the Genesis framework is 10 years old this week.
It was actually on the 1st of February, 2020 and it's been going for 10 years. David Walmsley, who I do the podcast with, mentioned something in the WP Builds group that he, over the years, has deployed many, many Genesis sites and found them to be really trouble-free in the era of . Page builders. It's obviously a little bit more difficult, shall we say, to work with such a framework.
But he said that they've never come back to bite him. Everything worked and is still working to this day. And this article goes on to explain, you know, when it all started, how it all started. So happy birthday Genesis. Go back a handful of years and it felt like WordPress was all about the plugins and the themes, and now it feels like it's all about the blocks.
We've got loads and loads of different block collection plugins, so for example, things like atomic blocks, code blocks, cadence blocks, and many, many more. Well, we've got a new one. It's called Gootz block gut, a blog, and they've brought us 12 custom blocks. There is a link in the show notes to an article entitled Gootz block joins the block collection, plugging arena with an initial 12 custom blocks.
It's on WordPress Tavern, and from there you can link out to that WordPress repo. So they're a London based entity. And they brought a whole load of new blocks and all I would say, is there what you'd expect? It's things like, you know, grids of blocks and sharing icons and all of that kind of stuff. They have a roadmap for the future.
There's a free version, obviously, as I said, but they've got a roadmap with which they want to launch a premium version. But essentially, if you're fascinated by blocks and you want the latest ones, go check out Gootz block. There's a video. To go with it as well, which shows you everything you need to know in just a few minutes.
Whilst we're attic talking about blocks, I thought I'd mentioned another one which has come across my radar this week. This one's called ACF blocks, and you can find a link in the show notes and I can't quite see what the connection is between ACF as in advanced custom fields and this perhaps there is a connection anyway, they've certainly taken the name ACF blocks, but there's some more, more for you to look at.
And on the homepage there's a whole bunch of the free ones. And then there's also a list of the pro ones as well. So this has a, a pro version out of the box. So possibly another one to look at. The next section is deals of the week. They're exactly the same as last week actually, but it's just to say that two plugins are available on AppSumo at the moment.
WP data tables and wishlist member, both on a lifetime deal, both starting at $49 the links are in the show notes to get you to the deals page and a certainly in the case of wishlist member, it's been around for ages and ages, and I know that they've had very favorable reviews. WP data tables is, I think, available on code Canyon.
But at present available, if you click the link on AppSumo, so check them out. The prices go up, I think as high as 249 for a different number of domains and so on and so forth. As with each week, we've got a security section, but I'm going to very likely breeze across it just to say that Tuta LMS had a cross site request forgery problem over the last week.
So I'm linking to the WP vulnerability database for that. So if Tuta LMS is your LMS of choice, you might want to go and get it update and certainly look at that article. Yeah. And then I'm looking at the January edition of the web arcs, WordPress vulnerability news. This is a nice one because you can just scroll through and look at the names of the plugins and see if there's any problems.
So for example, just press, there was a problem in the, with the elemental page builder, critical CSR, V in the code snippets plugin and so on and so forth. There's absolutely loads in there. There's. Probably 30 or more plugins that have been highlighted this week or this month should I say on the web arcs vulnerability news.
The self promotional WP Builds bit. Last week we launched a podcast episode entitled creating your own managed WordPress service and keeping all the margin with Patrick Gallagher. Patrick Gallagher, along with his friend Jeff, cleverly, are behind a new and slightly disruptive hosting service, although they don't host directly, it's a panel for interacting with all your hosts, digital ocean, Lynn Odin, so on and so forth.
It's called grid pain. And the premise is that it takes away as much time as is humanly possible in setting up those websites so that you can do them in a very, very short space of time, and you can migrate them and move them from, from one company to another, and so on and so forth. So he comes on the podcast and he tells us all about how he got started, what their unique value proposition is, what it is that they do that's different.
And I know that they're getting a lot of customers at the moment. So if you're thinking about that, it's certainly worth a listen to see what Patrick's got to say about grid pain. The other one is to say that we are having a peach and airy website. You are UX review. It's coming up this Wednesday. It's Wednesday the 12th of February, 2:00 PM UK time.
We go through on the video live about three or four websites and Peacher just has a little bit of a review of them. Talks about the things she likes, things that she thinks could be improved. And because she's a bit of an expert in this area, there's always lots of information that I gather. And and it's really fascinating.
If you want to kind of put your site in for review, you can go to WP Builds.com forward slash UI and fill out the form. And you'd never know. She might just be reviewing yours. And the third WP Builds a bit is the YouTube video of last week's WordPress news. I was joined by Vlad from pixel grade and David from web T andG , and we talk about last week's news.
It's very nice when you join us on that live. We'll be doing it again Monday this Monday, the day this podcast comes out at 2:00 PM UK time, so join us for that. We have a job section, but I've got nothing in it this way. I'm wondering if I should formalize this really, and put up some sort of form on the website whereby you can submit to any jobs that you may or may not have, but nothing for you this week.
So let's get on with the, not to WordPress, but useful anyway, stuff. On the tech crunch website this week, we find out space X will now let you book a rocket launch online starting at $1 million. Now, before you get too excited, although there is a web based tool on which you can actually book onto a space X flight, it's not for you.
This is $1 million for payloads ranging up to 200 kilograms of. You know, physical stuff, products, satellites, and so on. you can add a another kilogram for $5,000, if you like. So if you go over your 200 kilo limit, you can add extra baggage. I love this though. It says the selection tool. Asks you to specify the desired orbit.
Do you want sun, synchronous, low-earth or polar and your minimum readiness state to the earliest your payload can possibly fly? And from there you can fill out the form with all sorts of other options and get your stuff in space. Crikey, what an age we live in. Fabulous. If you're an Apple user and you've got iPads and you've got max and you've got iPhones and all that kind of stuff, you may have been frustrated with the app purchasing exp experience.
But this week, Apple, so tech crunch tells us, have a unified the app store by extending the universal purchase options to Mac apps. So now if you buy something on your iPad, the developer will now have the choice to make it available. Also on different platforms. So for example, the Mac, now my understanding is that they would need to be a Mac equivalent, but the point is you could pay for access to, Oh, I don't know, some design tool or other, and from now on, the Mac on the iOS version will be, will be possible to be build just in one place, which kind of streamlines things.
I think that's rather nice. So Mac users rejoice. The next one is over on the visit may website. This is just a little tool that I came across a couple of years ago, I think, and I've had it in my arsenal of things to use, but they, they had a new update this weekend. I have to say, this looks really fabulous.
If you design graphics and things in your photo shop app, you'll probably be looking at this and thinking, well, this doesn't no where near the amount of stuff that I need, but if you've just got a very small need for, for graphics and animations and. Infographics and all of that kind of stuff. Then vis may looks like a really good choice.
They've got a new product update, it's gone to version four and I have to say it looks really compelling. There's a new UI, they claim it's a lot faster, they've got a load of new graphics. You can export it in so many different formats. So for example, power points and animated gifs and all of that kind of stuff.
Those are new templates essentially. I just think it looks really good. Really speaks to me of a future where we are creating just almost everything within the browser. That last bit I've got for you today is Microsoft. Have you ever let an SSL certificate lapse and your clients has phoned up and said, well, we keep getting warnings in our browser that the website is not safe to visit, and it's very simple to fix that.
Well, if you've got a multibillion dollar company and you've got a multi, multi million dollar enterprise, which Microsoft . Teams have Microsoft teams, by the way, is Microsoft competitor to Slack? Well, wouldn't it be unfortunate if you let a crucial certificate lapse and therefore locked all of the users?
That's exactly what happened. The verge start the article simply with the word. Oops. And it's called Microsoft teams goes down after Microsoft, forget to renew a certificate, and that's exactly what they did. Three hours and things could not be sent over an HTTPS connection. They got it fixed and apologize to everybody, but you know, it's not just you and me that forget these things.
Great big entities like Microsoft do. So there you go. Right. That's all the news I've got for you this week. I hope that you found that useful. The WP Builds. A 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 get access to the latest software and developer tools such as PHP seven SSH and staging environments, and the best parts, their expert team of WordPress engineers, they're available 24 seven if you need help, you can migrate today for free at Kinsta dot com as I've said, join us next week. We'll go through this all again with another load of news from the week, which is about to start or join us on Thursday when we'll put our podcast out Wednesday for the UI UX session with peach and airy, and of course on Monday we have our live news at 2:00 PM UK time.
Go to WP Builds.com and follow the links to find out where all of that is happening. So happy at 100th episode to you all. We will see you next week for episode number 101 bye bye for now.
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