WP Builds Weekly WordPress News #104 – WordPress 5.4 RC, COVID-19 events and mobile SERPs

This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 2nd March 2020:

WordPress Core

WordPress 5.4 Release Candidate

Preparing for WordPress 5.4: Changes Theme and Plugin Developers Should Know About

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WCEU – Meet our official Media Partners & Supporters

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The International WordPress Community and WordCamps Amid COVID-19

COVID-19 and WordPress Community Engagement in 2020

Will Page Builders Remain Competitive in the Block Era?

Plugins / Themes / Blocks

Gutenberg Hub Launches Collection of 100 Block Templates

Elementor Pro v2.9 Beta Release

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Over 2 Percent of Sites Using a Let’s Encrypt TLS Certificate May Throw Security Warnings

WordPress Vulnerability News, February 2020

Multiple Vulnerabilities Patched in RegistrationMagic Plugin

Coupon Creation Vulnerability Patched In WooCommerce Smart Coupons

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Checkout our archives for podcasts, news and LIVE news.

169 – Advanced Custom Fields, the past, present and future


Nothing for you this week!

Not WordPress, but useful anyway…

Google Says 70% of Sites Have Been Moved to Mobile-First Indexing

Axiom Space pitches its first 10-day, all-inclusive trip to the ISS for just $55 million
SpaceX will send three tourists to the International Space Station next year

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Hello there. Good morning and welcome to this the WP Builds weekly WordPress news. This is number 104 it covers the WordPress news for the week, commencing the 2nd of March, 2020 and it was published on Monday the 9th of March, 2020 my name is Nathan Wrigley, and before we begin, I'd like to give you some information about what we do over at WP Builds.
WP Builds.com forward. Slash. Subscribe. If you go over to that page, there's a couple of newsletter subscribe forms. One of them keeps you up to date about content that we produce. So the podcast on a Thursday and this the news on a Monday and the other list will alert you every time we hear about a WordPress deal.
So plugins or themes. On a bit of an offer, a discount, something like that. There's also ways to subscribe to us on your favorite podcast player and join our Facebook group of over 2,400 very friendly word presses, all of that on WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe and other page WP Builds.com forward slash deals over there, you'll find a filterable searchable list of, well, it's a bit like black Friday, but every day of the week it's coupon codes for loads of notable WordPress products.
Or if you're in the market for something, go check it out. And WP Builds.com forward slash advertise. If you would like to have your product or service put in front of a WordPress specific audience, a bit like Kinsta have, are you tired of unreliable or slow hosting? If so, check out kin Stowe, 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. You can migrate today for free at Kinsta dot com and we do thank Kinsta for helping us to put on the WP Builds a weekly WordPress news. Speaking of the news, shall we get on with it? We always group our WordPress news into different sections.
And the first section is always WordPress core. And this week there's a couple of bits. The first one [email protected] simply announcing WordPress 5.4 release candidate. So a release candidate is essentially when the software is due to be released. It's. Basically finished and they just want to get a lot of eyeballs in front of it before the deadline of March the 31st to see if anything is truly broken.
So this really, I guess is for plugin and theme developers and so on and so forth. But you know, users like me who don't develop plugins or themes can also download and have a play and see if anything breaks. On the page that I'm linking to, there is a link to become a WordPress beta Testa, and it might be helpful if more people did that.
So there we go. That's to announce 5.4 release and in much more detail. The second piece I want to link to is over on WordPress Tavern called preparing for WordPress. 5.4 changes. Theme and plugin developers should know about this is just in title ox piece and he goes into the more and more of the detail of exactly what has changed.
There is actually quite a lot we've mentioned over the past few weeks. All of the little changes will, Justin has kind of summed them all up in one nice piece. Obviously, if you are a plugin or theme developer, I think this is actually a pretty good read. A couple of things that have become new, that theme developers need to think about.
We've got a social icons and buttons block. We've also got the gradients API, which allows, yeah. Plugin, sorry, theme developers to create their own kind of custom gradients. Justin is not happy with the, the way the gradients look present. In fact, he describes them as an eyesore. The default ones. There's also some block editor markup and style changes, which he mentions as well, and the calendar markup and class changes.
Also going to mention. So there's quite a few things in there, some of which, if you are a. A theme developer need to be properly looked at because they will break aspects of your theme. And then there's other things. So for example, the, this is for block developers. Now, those of you that are doing that, you'll be interested to know that there's now a block scaffolding NPM package, which you can use, and it will set up all the directories, including appropriate PHP, CSS, and JavaScript files just by using a simple single line command.
We've also got the blocks collection API in, which relies on namespaces to kind of, it's almost like a category. So for example, you could have a, an overarching namespace, and then any blocks that you put in that namespace will appear in the block editor in that collection, which is quite nice. And there's also the block variations API.
if you've got basically similar blocks that do an almost identical job, except for a slight variation, you can use this variation. And the previously mentioned social icons block does this, essentially, it's one block multiplied 40 times with a slight minor change for. Twitter, Facebook, Google, and so on and so forth.
And then there are some new, just general developer related things, new nav menu hooks, and there's also an apply under score, shorts code, short codes, alias function as well. So plenty to check out. It probably take you 10 minutes to read that article, but if you are developing plugins or themes, I reckon you should know about this stuff if you don't already.
The next section is community. And I've got four pieces for you today. I'll start off over on the WordCamp Europe site, 2020 dot Europe dot. WordCamp dot dot org and the pieces entitled sharing news and exclusive stories from WordCamp Europe. 2020 in Porto. So this is just to say that some media partners as well as media supporters for WordCamp Europe, 2020 have been announced.
As you'd imagine, the usual crowd are in there. So WP Tavern or a media partner along with kraut, press talk magazine, WP Mer, post status, and so on and so forth. But then there are also some immediate supporters of which I'm very pleased to say that I am. One WP Builds is on that list, along with a whole bunch of others, WP hived, ODP developer blog, and so on and so forth.
So the idea is that. Those people, those organizations get a little bit of extra access at the events. They're able to go and interview people and go backstage and hold talks with people and hopefully then spread that news about WordCamp Europe too, to people such as your good selves who are listening now.
So let's see how that goes. And very much in mind of that. Over on WP Tavern, Justin Tadlock writes a piece called the international WordPress community, and WordCamps Ahmed. Covert 19 so obviously we have the, the virus, this disease, I suppose it might be called going around the world at the moment, and it's very, very difficult decision time, I think, for a lot of these events.
So for example, word come Asia, as we, as we know, it was canceled a little while ago. Wordfence spearheaded an effort along with the Austin go daddy to repatriate those people. And most of the money has now been spent there, 117 people who have their applications verified. But as we sat in the live news last week, and we'll get onto it in just a minute, various companies have decided that they're going to halt their staff from moving around or indeed attending these events in the near future.
So what's to be done? The answer is, I don't know. obviously nobody wants this to spread. But some events are still planned. Some events have also been pulled. So for example, WordCamp Geneva, which was due to take place in this month, has been pushed back. I think it's about six months or so. And there was an, an event called the word camp retreat, which was going to be held in Salto in Germany.
That's been canceled for 2020 the organizers work reaching this cliff cliff edge moment, where essentially if they didn't cancel it, they would end up losing money as opposed to breaking even. So they made the decision based upon upon that, which seems very sensible. And the idea, I guess, is just to stay informed right at the very bottom of Justin's piece, Joe Sephora, Hayden, the lead for the WordPress project has been linked and she's talking over on WordPress.
Press.org she has a piece called WordCamp travel and covert 19 and she talks about, you know, possible contingency plans like live events and what we need to do and how maybe we ought to curtail our ambitions of going to these events. I can't remember the exact wording she said, but it was something along the lines of, you know, really try to scale back your travel forward camps if you can possibly do that.
So, yeah. Linked to that is the Wordfence article, which we discussed in the WP Bill's live news last week, Mark Monda essentially saying in a piece Cove in 19 and WordPress and the WordPress community engagement in 2020 he's basically saying that the, he thinks. All the word press events really should be stopped.
The big ones, certainly. So for example, WordPress, Europe, WordPress, sorry, WordCamp Europe WordCamp us. These all ought to be stopped for this year because he feels that essentially human nature is to kind of assume that. The best sometimes or not really act quickly and often he's thinking, well, why don't we just try as hard as we can and not move around if we can possibly help it.
So yeah, we'll be interested to see how this develops. But, I don't know what your thoughts are on this. Perhaps you could leave some in the comments underneath. It's a difficult one. We all would like to attend these events, but obviously we don't want to make anybody including ourselves, become ill and these decisions are going to have to be faced at some point.
Yeah. Interesting stuff. The next one is a piece completely unrelated to the virus. This is to do with elemental, again, on the word press Tavern blog will page builders remain competitive in the block era. And so this is Justin again, and his take on the element or round of $15 million, and it's a nice, it's a fairly lengthy piece actually, with lots and lots of comments at the end all about what this really means.
The fact that there are so many installs of Beaver builder and Elementor and DV and visual composer and WP bakery and all these, these different things. And he's saying, well, certainly for now. There. There is no comparison between the capabilities of these, these page builders and the capabilities of Gothenburg.
Maybe in a couple of years time that will change and then he goes on to say, well, it's going to be difficult though, isn't it? Because a lot of people will be invested in the technology that they've got. If you've built a bunch of websites that was one of those page builders, it's very unlikely that you're going to go around all of your client websites and just redesign them all in the block editor, no matter how good it becomes.
But the, the, the argument being, well, people will begin making new sites and it will take over. We'll have to see, obviously the page builder, devotees and the page builder companies are very bullish about the future. It seems to be growing at the moment. But, anyway, an interesting piece all about whether the page builders are in trouble or not.
Plugins, themes and blocks is the next heading and the little bit thin on the ground this week. I've only got a couple of pieces for you. The first one back over it. WordPress Tavern, Gothenburg hub launches, collection of a hundred block templates, and it is exactly as you would imagine. This is fabulous.
This is such a nice little project. So. Well, there are a hundred of these templates and they are exactly as you'd expect. Their rows, and there's a hundred and they're blocked into a variety of different categories like hero, testimonial team's stats, pricing, logos, gallery features, frequently asked questions.
Content contact and card, and the way that you interact with them is that you go to this template library and click a copy button, and then you just go over to the block editor and paste it in. In some cases, there might be an additional little bit of CSS that might need to be added, and you can either add that in the customizer or possibly with a CSS edition plugin to.
To the block editor, but I'm just in feels that it's a nice little project. He enjoyed playing around with them. They look really fabulous. They were exactly the kind of thing that you would want in a typical WordPress client website. Something that you want to throw together in a quick and easy way and you don't want to spend a great deal of time.
Customizing it yourself. It seems to be a bit of a labor of love because it's completely free and it did take, he said, honestly, it took me a lot of time. The chap who did this is a man called Kemal Moniere Kemal, who is the founder of cake WP, and a. It just seems like a fabulous little little project and I, I welcome things like this.
Obviously as time goes by. We'll see how these projects develop, but if you're looking for some freebies to kickstart your Guttenberg websites, then yeah, go for it. And what have we got next? The next one is all about elemental. This is to say that they're, they're trialing, well, they want beta testers for their 2.9 release over on get hub.
A forward slash elemental forward slash a whole bunch of other stuff, says hi beats testers. We're getting ready to release elemental 2.9 with a groundbreaking full site editing feature, and we spoke about that last week. We would like to ask you to help us test element or with its four new features, full site editing.
Global, custom CSS, dynamic colors and psyched parts, HTML wrappers. So, and then it gives us, goes on to list the instructions, the things that you need to do. and yeah, if you're a real devotee of elemental, then you might like to assist and get them through the 2.9 hurdle. The next section is deals. Many of these are repeats from the previous week, so I'll just do it very, very quickly.
Basically, if you go to the WP bills weekly, WordPress news, if you look in the show notes, you'll see them all listed down there. Male poet is new. This is a mail delivery service, which uses your WordPress website. Not to send the emails cause they run on their own infrastructure, but it enables you to create your emails with a kind of drag, drag and drop editor.
And a allegedly. It's quite good. So. It's there. Also, wishlist member is still active. WP data tables, happy forms and WP FOMO Phi. They are all lifetime deals and you can find the link in the show notes if you want to be kept abreast of all of those. Do remember if you go to the WP bills.com forward slash and deals page, there's a button on there and you can click and subscribe and I will tell you about deals as they come out.
The next section is always entitled security, and we've got three or four pieces for you this week. The first one that you probably came across this one, it is to say that let's encrypt had a little bit of a problem this week. They also had a bit of a milestone. This week they issued their 1 billion certificate billion with a B, which is quite amazing.
However, on Wordfence this week, it says, happening now over 2% of sites using our let's encrypt. TLS certificate may throw security warnings. This happened on March the fourth 3 million certificates issued by let's encrypt. We're going to be revoked. This is 2.6% of the 116 million. Active certificates they that they have.
It's a little bit complicated, but I'm just going to read verbatim. I'm off the world funds blog. It says Boulder, the software builder used by let's encrypt certificate, authority checked CAA records for a domain name at a time. At the same time that it verifies that a certificate request to controls that domain.
Most subscribers to the service issue a certificate immediately after they've elevated. validate the main control. However, let's encrypt trust that validation for 30 days. Due to that trust, they sometimes have to recheck CA records a second time just prior to issuing the certificate. This timeframe for rechecking is eight hours, meaning that any domain name validated more than eight hours ago requires a recheck.
When a certificate request contained N domain names that needed CA rechecking Boulder, the company previously mentioned would pick one domain name and check it end times. What this means in practice is that if a subscriber validated a domain at time X and the CA records for that records for that domain at time X allowed, let's encrypt issuance, that subscriber would be able to issue a certificate containing that domain name until X plus 30 days.
Even if someone later issued CA records on that domain name that prohibits issue in spite spy, let's encrypt. I, although it's a strange comically large number, kind of, what did we say it was 2.6% meant 3 million certificates. I think it's not time to throw, let's encrypt under the bus. they've been very transparent about this, identifying the problem and fixing the problem.
And also, let's be honest, it's the way of the world. Yeah. Can remember only a few years ago, most websites were not encrypted. And let's encrypt this. Fabulous services enabled us to do all of this for free and very often at the click of a button. So obviously a bit of a worry, but, you know, hopefully they managed to get in touch with everybody in and figure it all out before too much harm was done.
The next one is [email protected] website. It's the vulnerability Roundup for February, 2020 and it's one of these pieces where you just scroll through and quickly look at the headings, the H two tags or whatever they are, and it just says, for example, that there's a problem with the duplicator plugin.
There's a problem with the book to plug in. There's a problem with the plugin settings change in 10 web maps. Build off a Google maps plugin was a mouthful, and so on and so forth. So go and have a look at that and it will really tell you everything that's happened in February, 2020 and if any of those names seem familiar, you might want to, you know, go and update them.
Two more from Wordfence. One is to say that there is a patch in the registration magic plugin. Didn't read the article, but I'm just letting you know all about it. So if that name rings a bell, go check it out. And also there's another vulnerability patched in the woo commerce smart coupons plugin as well.
So again, if that name rings a bell, go get it updated. Next stop. We've got the amazingly self-promotional WP Builds bit and this week, only one thing. We had episode 169 which was with Elliot Condon from ACF. What a fabulous chap he is. The episode covers a lot of ground. It covers what happened over the last couple of years to ACF, what amendments he's made, what adaptations he's made, what he felt about the whole Guttenberg thing, and how he's created a ACF.
Blocks to enable you to create your own blocks without having to learn, react, and so on and so forth. And he also talks about things that are going to happen in the future, as well as the way that he decided to approach his recent pricing changes. He took away that lifetime deal. But, hopefully you'll agree with me that the pricing is still enormously, enormously competitive.
I don't have any jobs for you this week, but it's still a bit of a call for me. If you have come across any WordPress jobs, please find them in my direction. I will certainly post them in the news like this, and, you know, no charge for that, just just for philanthropic reasons. That is all the WordPress news I've got for you this week.
But wait, we're not finished because at the end we always have this little bit entitled, not WordPress, but useful anyway, and I've got two possibly three bits for you this week. The first one is on the search engine journal, and it's to say that Google's say 70% of sites have been moved from mobile to mobile first index, and I'm sure that you know about this.
Essentially all the sites are going to be. Scraped mobile first used to be that everything was scraped on a desktop, but now they're doing it mobile first. 70% of sites have moved across and 30% remain and they shall all be done by September. So essentially, hopefully your site is mobile friendly and ready for Google bots crawling.
You can check on the search console and you should probably also notice that there'll be a little bit more crawling going on. That's what the, that's what the page, the post says anyway. It says some major things to watch out for when optimizing for mobile first indexing are on page content is the same on desktop and mobile metadata is the same on both versions.
Structured data is the same on both versions as well. And there we go. So you know, make sure that all of your clients, if there are any existing clients who don't have a mobile friendly site, good grief. This is the time to reach out to them and make sure that, to make sure that they do. The last one I've got for you today.
Two pieces, really, ones on tech crunch, and one. He's over at the verge. This is for those of you who have a $55 million budget. You know, if you just happen to have $55 million flapping around in your wallet that you can't really think what to do with, well now you can go to space. So Axiom, and I think it's along with space X.
If you pay them $55 million, they're going to take a whole bunch of people up to the international space station. So it's. Proper space tourism, you'll be allowed to go there for eight or nine days, which to me seems like a really healthy amount of time. You know, it's the kind of time you would go on a, on like a family holiday possibly, and just hang out in the international space station.
I don't know if there's going to be any requirements in terms of your age or fitness or any other of those things, but anyway, like I say, got $55 million to spare wa. Now you know what to do with it. if anybody incidentally does have $55 million to spare and doesn't wish to go, please, I will happily go in your place.
I would really like to do this very much indeed. Okay. That's all the news that we've got for you this week. I hope that you enjoyed it and found some use in it. Please do reach out in our Facebook group or in the comments below and let me know that you've enjoyed it. A few people did that last week and it was, it's very heartening when people do that and tell me that they've actually got something out of it.
It's, it's really nice and it really makes my day. The WP Builds weekly WordPress news. It was brought to you today 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 such as PHP seven SSH and staging environments, and the best part, the expert team of WordPress engineers are available 24 seven if you need help, and you can migrate today for free at Kinsta dot com. And we do thank them because without them it would be more difficult to put this podcast on.
than, it is so greatly appreciated, Kinsta. Thank you very, very much indeed. Okay. Join us on Thursday for another podcast episode. Join us this coming Monday at 2:00 PM UK time. We'll have a live episode. It's me, Paul, Lacey, Barbara, soul, and young hoc having a chat today. So join us WP bills.com forward slash live and you can check us out on WP Builds.com for anything else.
Okay, bye bye. For now.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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