This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 11th May 2020:
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
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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 a weekly WordPress newsletter. This is number 114 it covers the WordPress news for the week, commencing the 11th of May, 2020 and it was published on Monday the 18th of May, 2020 my name's Nathan Wrigley and a couple of bits of housekeeping before we begin head over to WP Builds.com that's our website.
We have a load of content related to WordPress over there. It's mostly WordPress, but not all, but a, if you'd like to keep in touch with everything that we do, I would urge you to go to WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe, and over there there's a couple of email lists to join up to, one to keep you up to date with when we produce new content and one about deals each and every time we hear about them, we publish them out to you.
There's also ways to get on. Your favorite podcast player to get our feed on your podcast place that you can listen to the episode. There's a new episode every Monday, and there's a podcast episode every Thursday. There's also a chance to join our Facebook group in there over two and a half thousand WordPress's or being very polite, I must admit.
We have. Almost zero instances of anything weird happening in there. So that's, that's a bit of a bonus. And also there's things like our YouTube channel and Twitter feed and so on and so forth. Speaking of the Facebook group, every monday at two pm we go live in the facebook group and also on wpbuilds.com forward slash.
Live. We do a live summation of the news each week. So I got an few notable guests on. Can we just talk about the WordPress news from the previous week? So the next one will be today, if you're listening to this on the 18th of May, and let's have a quick look, see who's on there. We've got a Wendy house din vault, we've got Chris Hughes, and we've also got Paul Lacy and Matt to Madeira Ross coming on.
So join us for that. That should be a good episode. 2:00 PM. UK time. Keep an eye on the Twitter feed and you'll be notified about that. Another one to mention would be WP Builds.com forward slash deals, searchable, filterable list of deals permanently on offer on that page. So if you need something this week, go check it out.
You never know. You might get a few dollars off. And lastly, WP Builds.com forward slash advertise if you would like to have your product or service in front of a WordPress audience. You never know what WP Builds might be able to help you out. And we've helped out these guys this week. The WP Builds weekly WordPress news is brought to you by Kinsta.
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. You can try a demo for free over at Kinsta dot com and you'll get 60 days for free, which is really rather nice.
We're also helped out this week by a B split test. Want to set up your AB split test in record time, like in a couple of minutes. Use your existing pages and test anything against anything else. Buttons, images, headers, rows, anything really. And the best part is it works with elemental BeaverBuilder and the WordPress block editor.
Check it out at absplittest.com. And we do thank our sponsors for helping us out this week. It helps to keep the lights on and keep the content flowing. Speaking of content, should we get onto it? The WP Builds weekly WordPress news coming up next. We break up our WordPress news into different sections each week, and the first section, if there is any, is always WordPress core, and I've got one piece for you this week, just in Tatlock over on WP Tavern, WordPress stuff, and I really must get that into my head right where Gutenberg went wrong.
Theme developer edition, and this was written on the 13th of May, and it's all about the fact that, well, with Gutenberg having been out now for really basically a year and a half and the imminent onset of complete whole site editing in the Gutenberg or block editor, we do seem to have a paucity, a lack of good themes that are touting themselves as.
Capable of handling blocks or how should I describe it? You know, optimized for building with the Gutenberg editor and so on. There really are only a few, and just then it would appear, makes it as mission each week to go and find out if any new gems have arisen. And each week he says he's solely disappointed.
He also points out that. ThemeForest and other third party vendors are actually kind of winning this battle. Now, I can't, in all honesty, say whether the themes which are claiming to be Gutenberg optimized over on theme for us in fact are, or if it's just a laundry list of. Checkboxes and different things that they claim to be able to do.
I just don't know. But he's saying that there are tons over on theme forest, and really, if the WordPress project is going to be shipping this, they really ought to be essentially a better conversation. Theme authors need to be kept alerted as to what's going on and the the Gutenberg. Project leads need to be having that conversation and making the announcements.
He goes to talk to a variety of people, including Anders Noren, who's behind the 2020 theme, which is of course compatible. And a and under. Simply says, well, I don't try and keep up. I just wait until something breaks because the information that's coming around is, is so poor. So this is a bit of a major concern.
Obviously at some point in the future, we're going to have a whole load of people finding things like HTML changes, breaking CSS changes, breaking class, names changing and so on. As the Gutenberg project develops in the next few months. And so this could cause even more kind of friction and distrust and so on.
So really. Justin's trying to advocate that it's time to begin that conversation, make it a priority. And so as happened with the customizer back in 2015 should the WordPress project say any theme going onto the.org repository has to be Gutenberg compatible. If they make that statement and make that a requirement of being on the repository, then not everybody's thrown into some sort of disarray.
Why they run around like headless chickens trying to figure out exactly what it is that they need to do to make their theme compatible. It's a nice article is probably going to take you five to 10 minutes to read. I would have thought, but it's certainly worth looking at, especially if you are into theme building and there's quite a lot of links to different projects and different people who are trying to make this whole system a little bit better for the future.
The next section is called community, and I've got three or four pieces for you this week. First one's really interesting. It's on our website, I've not come across before called get ellipsis.com and Alex Denning, who I certainly have heard before from WP shout and various other places, wrote on that website, searches for WordPress are up at 52% in the last month.
Understanding the surge, and in this piece, Alex goes into the fact that, well. It would have. He was alerted to the fact that in his business, he sort of spotted a bit of a spike in people searching for WordPress things, and so he decided it would be apropos for him to go out and see if there was any truth in this.
What was this as sort of like a universal trend and clearly everybody being in lockdown and the whole covert epidemic. Searching for things related to web technologies has gone up. You know, you can only imagine the amount of times that the zoom, that word has been used in searches as opposed to, 12 months ago.
Well, it would appear according to Alex, at the same is happening for the word WordPress and associated things. So for example, Wu commerce and things like that, and he presents his data. He presents the way that he's carried out his study, but he's saying that things in the last month. Connected to WordPress have gone up 52.29% just in one month.
He also says that there's been a 67% increase since January and an 85% increase since, well, one year ago. So this is really interesting. Obviously it's spiked massively recently for there for the reasons that we can outline to do with covert and so on. But it is fascinating that. Instead of searching for other platforms, it would appear that the word which is coming to people's lips when they want to find a solution on the web is commerce and WordPress and so on.
So anyway, props to Alex for throwing this article up. It's really interesting. He goes on at the end to talk about what this might mean for your sales and how you can leverage this and whether this new normal, yeah. Will become permanent or if this will just sort of elapse in the next few months. But there we go.
Really interesting. Go check it out on the Goetz, ellipsis.com blog. Those of you who are hoping to attend the virtual WordCamp EDU, which is happening from the 4th of June, up until the 6th of June. We'll be pleased to know there's now a schedule. The talks as far as they can be known at this point have been announced, and I'm linking to them in the show notes.
There's actually a contributor day. I believe that all of the tickets for that. Already gone because they wanted to limit the numbers for that, but it would appear that they've already gone. But the Friday schedule and the Saturday schedule are, I think there's still a few tickets available for those. there's two tracks simply called track one and track two.
And it's really nice page that I'm going to link to because there's the option to kind of bookmark them. And what I mean is if you return to this page, obviously with cookies still on, you can click a button, like a little pin and it will enable you to. To sort of decide, okay, I want to attend that one, I want to attend that one.
And if you do that, the background color of the particular talk, comes into different color and it makes it much more obvious what it is that you, you want to look at. So really nice page. There is a keynote. it says, well, it says in conversation with Matt Mullenweg that's happening at 1700 UTC on the Friday.
So anyway. Go and check it out. If you've got a ticket for that, you might be able to discover ahead of time exactly what it is that you want to look at. If you click on the title of the talk and question, you'll be taken to a separate page, which explains what it is that that speaker is going to talk about.
And in that way, you'll be able to decide for yourself. The next piece. We're back to WordPress Tavern. This is Sarah Gooding writing WordCamps Spain, 2020 Q and a. Martin Mullen work discusses virtual events, decoupled WordPress, and the future of page builders, and it is just to say that the word camps Spain happened recently, and there's now a video summary of an awful lot of what happened.
It's about five and a half hours long, but if you don't speak Spanish, then you could. Simply fast forward over to about four and a half hours, four hours, 36 odd minutes, something like that. And you'll be able to listen into Matt Mullenweg taking questions from the community, talks with Mathias Ventura, and it's really interesting.
He's sort of seems to be quite bullish about the fact that in the future may be WordCamps will be more online than they have been in the past. He said something like. The, the whole word camp thing was a bit exclusionary, meaning that if you simply couldn't make the geographical spot at that exact moment, you were excluded from it.
Whereas now, perhaps we've been ushered into a different era. So he's definitely not saying they're not going to happen, but he only because he says he loves them, but he thinks maybe they were over-weighted towards them. So. Watch this space. We'll see what goes on there. He also tackles questions, like I said, related to the future of page builders and automatics, recent investment in front of it, and whether this means that things like react will become more of a core part of WordPress in the future.
Anyway, he's on for quite long time chatting and answering questions and might be worth tuning in. The last one in the community section again, back on WordPress Tavern. This is entitled WordPress accessibility team to host 24 hour online event on October the second 2020 yeah. This seems like such a nice idea.
The WP accessibility day will be open for 24 hours of educational sessions that focus on the internet. Intersection, I should say, between WordPress and accessibility. The idea was inspired by the polyglots global transition day, and has been taken forward. It looks like there's a contributor called Joe Dolson who proposed an event similar to this, but, but it, I don't know whether it happened or whether it didn't happen, but, anyway, if you're interested, and this is something of importance to you.
Then you can go to the, well, there's a link right at the bottom of the page entitled WP accessibility day and it links to their own website. What's really nice about this is just as Matt Mullenweg was saying earlier, that there was a sort of an exclusionary principle in events like this. There was really no way that you were going to get a load of people in the room at the same time.
From all over the place. People interested in accessibility to get them to fly to a particular city on a particular day. It just didn't feel like it had that kind of weight behind it. And so the move to going online with these kind of events really does promote the possibility for these things happening.
So yeah. Really a a complete when there is no downside to something like this happening as far as I can see. So yeah, you can sign up on that page to be notified about the call for speakers, sponsors, and news and so on. So yeah. What a, what a worthwhile event. This will be. Next up, we've got an article over on WP water-cooler dot com this is actually a podcast with a friend of mine, Dan, maybe Dan, maybe, as you may know, is in charge of oo, or at least was in charge of WP and up.
And the reason I say was. Is in the title of the podcast that I'm linking to. It says, rebranding your nonprofit or discussion with Dan maybe, and it's exactly that. WP, and up as a, as a brand is no more, it's simply a, a name change in a small scope change as well. So it's now become a big orange heart and it's extending its services outside of.
Just WordPress to the remote working community. So anybody really who's working in a distributed or remote way, that's now it's a core audience. And so Dan is on this podcast explaining what that was all about, how it happened, why it happened, and the, the sort of teething troubles that they went through as well.
So, yeah, go and check it out. It's about, it's about an hour in length. and you can find it by clicking the link in the show notes. Rarely a week goes by where we have no news of elemental, and this week is no exception. Over on WordPress Tavern, just in Tadlock writes a piece entitled Envato launches template kits, marketplace for element, or now this is interesting because at some point there'll be doing the same thing for Gutenberg, the editor, but right now they've decided to launch, I think it's about 200.
Templates in total, and obviously Envato, the guys behind theme forest and other things like code Canyon and so on, have a really large audience. And hopefully the idea would be that there'll be able to mix it up with an elemental is 5 million plus users mix their audience with that, and you've got a really interesting combination.
They've launched 200 templates. Kits, they're ranging in price. It looks like the, the lowest one is about $15 and they go up to about $30 and the idea is it's helping people who are struggling with design concepts and so on to be able to build something quickly and cheaply with elemental. There's a video on the, on the blog.
Post, which shows you exactly what Invitae element template kids do for you, what you get and so on. So this seems like a really interesting player. Obviously from the element or side, it's a complete, when they will get a, an an audience, which is increased in size, the article does make the point that this doesn't appear to be some sort of an official partnership.
It's just, And Varto getting in there first putting element or at the front, and obviously in the, in the monster com there'll be doing this, as I said, forgotten book. So we'll, we'll have to see how this works out, but for them make sense to tap into element or giant audience. Right. The next section is plugins, themes, and blocks, and there's only a couple of items this week that I've got for you.
The first one [email protected] a blog post entitled, here's what's new in WooCommerce 4.1 and it's exactly that. It's just a laundry list of the new features. If you're a WooCommerce user, it might be interesting for you to look at these. It says they are striving to create a powerful, usable woo commerce experience for store owners or build an extensible, customizable.
WooCommerce core platform for our developer ecosystem and so on and so forth. So here's what's new for store owners are brand new marketing hub where you'll be able to launch, manage, and measure your marketing efforts, as well as discover extensions to help grow your business. And a brand new setup wizard, which includes the option to select new WooCommerce payments extension as an adult.
As a payment solution during setup. So that's quite nice. There's also some developer things as well, but probably won't go into those because they are a little bit edge case. So anyway, we'll commerce users can't get yourself updated to 4.1 and maybe read all of this so that you're not missing out on any of the nice new features.
This next piece is such an obvious thing that really should have been in WordPress for years and years. It's only just occurred to me upon reading this, that what a quirky system we have. It's, I'm over on WP Tavern entitled drag and drop nav menu items into WordPress just in Tadlock writes about Sajad same Sagar hope.
I've got that right to do apologize. Who's created the drag and drop menu items plugin. Now this is. Really sublimely obvious. So at the moment, if you're in WordPress and you want to fiddle with the menus, and I'm talking about the menu, a screen in from the WP admin area, not the customizer. you have to click, you have to select, let's say it's a page, you have to tick the box next to the page you wish to add, and then you have to go and.
Press the add button and it adds it to the bottom, and then you have to drag it into position. Well, what this plugin does is it simply you find the page that you want. You click on it and drag it into the place where you want it job done. Now, it doesn't handle sub menu items. You have to do that in the same way as you always have done.
the Gutenberg plugging team's already built in the early experimental version of a new navigation screen in the admin. So who knows whether this will work in the long term, but for now, I think I'm going to be installing this. I can't see any downside and it might save me a few minutes here and there.
The next section is all about deals, and as always, there's lots. The first link that I've got is to the email subscribed form, and if you click on that and you go and sign yourself up to that list, I will alert you whenever I hear about a WordPress deal that's worthwhile. And there's also a link to the deals page, which I mentioned earlier, is a page full of deals.
They're always there 365 days of the year, and there's a significant amount to be held off. And then under those, I've got a load of. Plugins, which you might be interested in. Not all plugins. So for example, WP reset lifetime deal at 47 public is a publishing social channels. SaaS app, that's $39. There's happy forms.
That's $49 WP FOMA fi. $49 male poet. There's give WP a donations plugin. There's 40% off. If so, to put dynamic content on your website, that's $49 20% of funnel packs and a whole bunch more. Please let me know if you know of any deals. I'd be interested to feature them on our website, but anyway, that's what I've got for you this week.
Let's move on to the security section. We will take a bit of a light touch on this because the depth that we could go into could consume the entire podcast, but here we go. We've only got three pieces for you this week. The first one is on Wordfence, it's called one attacker outpaces all others, and this is quite interesting.
Back in April, right at the end of April the 28th, there was a 30 times increase in cross site scripting attack volume. And we reported on that and it did seem that everything that week was all about cross site scripting attacks. it apparently originated from a single attacker who was attacking over a million WordPress websites and they published information about this.
But at that point it seemed to be tailing off and it dropped it back down to normal levels. Well back on may the 11th so just over a week ago, the same threat actor ramp things up again, and it has all the time that I'm reading this well, or at least when this piece was written, they were attacking 1.3 million sites.
So this is really interesting. This article goes into the history of the TAC. Because of the attacks. So do I say, what's changed? And there's obviously technical details about exactly how this works, new indications of compromise and so on and so forth. And yeah, it's a really nice little piece and there's a final section at the bottom about what should you do.
But it's just as always really interesting, the stuff that comes out of Wordfence about, you know, how they track things down and so on. So, Whoa, 1.3 million sites, incredible from one person. The next one is still on word fence. This one called vulnerability in Google WordPress plugin grants attacker search console access.
I feel this one might go under the micro under the heading of critical. At least that's what they say because it says, they threatened Teligent team discovered a vulnerability in site kit by Google. This is going back to the end of last month. Again, it's installed on over 300,000 sites and the floor allows any.
Authenticated user regardless of capability to become a Google search console owner for any sites running the site kit plugin by Google. So you know, that could be bad. Basically, it could lead to attack obtaining owner access to your sites in Google search console, which we really don't want to do.
Obviously that would really allow all sorts of data about sites and some of that may be highly sensitive. So go and certainly check. That one out and see if, see if you've got updated it. They do say that the version 1.8 0.0 of the, the Google site kit plugin, should be the latest version that you're on.
I presume that that means it has been fixed in that. The next one. I'm the last one on. Security is just one of these little articles that you can scan through. I mentioned them quite frequently. This is the themes version. It's called WordPress vulnerability Roundup, Maggie, 2020 part one and you can just scan through and there's a whole load of things in there that we've mentioned in the past, things like Ninja forms and so on, and they're all just mentioned.
And I like to just scroll through and quickly look to see if any of these plugin names crop up. And if so, go and check out exactly what happened during this month. Do. Forgive me. My regular WP Builds self promotional bits, but you know why not? So the first one is to say that we released a podcast this week about a hosting provider called 10 web.
They use the Google cloud platform to put your websites. Out to there and they have this sort of interesting dashboard. They've aligned themselves with elements or, so that comes bundled in with it. And I talk with RX nalbandian about exactly what the platform is, how it works, some of the kind of different modules that they've built themselves to include on top of element or and so on and so forth.
So you might like to go and have a listen to that. The other one is you've still got just a few days to win. One of them. Five was pro licenses. Michael Short, giving them away, you can head over to WP Builds.com forward. Slash. Win. It's one of those viral contests where the more you share it, the more chances you have of winning, and it runs out on the 21st of May.
So just a just a few days left if you would like to try and win one of those. A few jobs lying around on the internet in the WordPress space this week. And so I mentioned those will commerce are looking for a growth marketing manager. So marketing would need to be your area of expertise. Freemium, also to do with marketing.
They're looking for a head of content and Wordfence are looking for a senior PHP developer. Those three items are listed under the job section in the show notes. Just click on the links if you wish to find out more. That's all the WordPress specific stuff I've got for you this week, but don't go anywhere because we always have a little bit at the end entitled, not WordPress, but useful anyway, and three pieces for you this week.
The first one over at WebDev studios. This is kind of apropos for me as something I would like to share to a few people that I know quite a lot of my friends and relations are not really very tight. Nicole in terms of, their capabilities on computers and even phones and so on. And because everybody's been forced into remote working, they're always suddenly on the computer.
And there's a lot that goes with putting your computer online all the time and using zoom calls and. Having things permanently switched on and so on and so forth. And security is one thing which is easy to get missed. Maybe a default install of your favorite operating system would leave some little gaps, may be some of the things that you do are not best practices.
So the web dev studio guys have put something together, which is for the general audience. And it mentions things like, you know, using antivirus software. Not sure I. Honestly agree with that in this day and age, I think if you've got windows and running something like windows defender, I think on the whole I'm going to get shot down for this.
I know, but on the whole, I think that's probably enough. They talk about the fact that you really should be trusting nobody, not sending your details out across emails and so on and so forth. Use a password manager. This is one of the quickest wins, I think, but it's a, it's a complete impediment to many of the people that I know.
They just simply can't. Bridge that gap. They just feel that it's better to write them down in a pod or use the same password over and over again, which clearly is not a good idea. And as we return to maybe the normal world, maybe there'll be people going out to use things like zoom and what have you, but they'll be doing it from cafes and unfamiliar locations.
So yeah. Perhaps thinks things like a VPN and getting access to a VPN would be good so that they are logging into their system securely. Things like not sharing your zoom link publicly, which of course just about everybody did until recently hiding your wifi and a whole bunch of other things. There's a nice little article which I feel could go into the hands of some non technical people and make a real difference to them.
We just mentioned getting back to normal and perhaps returning to work in some way, shape, or form. Interesting article over on tech crunch entitled how companies get back to the office. so this piece is, is fairly lengthy. I'll probably take about 10 minutes to read, but it's all about, what it's going to be like in the future.
You know, there, they did a survey and 200 companies said that 59% said that they will. In the future require some kind of face covering for their employees. 28% saying they'll require it at all times. 21% will allow visitors to the workplace in the early phases of reopening, 13% will conduct screening of employees on site at every facility.
Clearly, until a vaccine has come along, there's going to be real differences of opinion, and the article just goes into that. What is, what is it looking like? What will. Office work look like? Will we be forced to sit in different places? Will the destiny to be spread out in different ways? Can we just rely on optimism?
Do we have to provide ways to wash our hands more frequently and so on and so forth? And it's just a really thought provoking piece about how all of this might happen. And obviously if you or somebody that you know is going to be going back to an office, then hopefully your employees, sorry, your employers will have thought about some of the stuff in this article.
We've mentioned zoom time and time again over the last few weeks and not to be left out. Google meet introduced it OS to it's free version of their platform a couple of weeks ago and now Facebook. You who would have thought they could stay out the game for very long. They now have messenger rooms. It's gone live globally.
On the face of it, if you're, if you're into Facebook and you don't mind that, the sort of privacy concerns that some people have, this looks like a very compelling offering because the new chat service will support up to 50 participants completely for free with no limit on the, the length of the call.
obviously, I mean, I've used a lot of solutions in the past. I have to say the. Call quality of the Facebook offering has never seemed to be quite as good as some of their rivals, but dropping 50 people into a conversation for an unlimited period of time with absolutely no cost seems just so unbelievably compelling.
Maybe it will be something that people will be unhappy to do in a work environment because there'll be connecting work with Facebook and that could, you know, it might be something you don't want to do, but. Maybe the cost is just so ridiculously good in this case, AKA free. Alrighty. That's all the news I've got for you this week.
I really hope that you got something out of it. Perhaps you found it useful. If you did, please drop us a note. Well, drop us a note if you didn't, I suppose you could either do that at the bottom of the post or you could head over to our Facebook group, WP builder.com forward slash Facebook and let us know over there.
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Check it [email protected] and we thank our sponsors for helping us put on the WP Builds weekly WordPress news. Okay. Don't forget, you can join us next week. We'll be issuing another news with obviously the week just about to start. We're going live at 2:00 PM every Monday and I'll be joined this week by some notable WordPress guests.
Come and join us, join in the comments. It's a lot of fun, and we'll have a podcast on Thursday as well. As I say, leave us some information. Perhaps I'm feeling a bit cheeky. I might even request that you leave as a a star review on something like Apple podcasts that will be most helpful anyway. Have a nice week.
If I don't see you, bye bye for now.
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