This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 1st June 2020:
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
Deals from this week
Amelia booking plugin – $49
Link Whisper – 25% off
Nothing for you this week…
Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
The WP Builds podcast is sponsored this week by…
We thanks them for their support of WP Builds.
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 newsletter. This is number 117. It covers the WordPress news for the week commencing the 1st of June, 2020. And it was published on Monday the 8th of June, 2020, my name's Nathan Wrigley, and a few bits of housekeeping before we begin.
I always failed to remind people about this. So I'm going to do it right at the top. The first thing I want to say is that we have our regular live version of this news bulletin. I'm joined by some notable WordPress people this week. It's Paul Lacey, Miriam Schwab, and Ben Townsend. We start at 2:00 PM UK time.
You can find email@example.com forward slash live or in the WP Builds Facebook group, which is. dot com forward slash Facebook. And you can join in, make some comments. It's very lighthearted. We do tend to wander off a little bit, but it's a lot of fun. So, like I say, that's 2:00 PM UK time each and every Monday.
And we'll try to cover the topics that I'm about to cover now. The other thing to mention is that on Wednesday, this week, that's the 10th of June. I have a UI UX session with peach and airy. If you go to WP builds.com forward slash UI, there's a form on that page. And you can fill that form in, if you would like a picture to have a look at your website from a UI UX perspective, she's obviously very knowledgeable in this area and always drops a load of useful information.
Lots of things that I. Absolutely didn't know each and every month. So come and join us, make some comments, just generally learn a little bit more about UI UX, but like I say, fill out that form. If you'd like us to look at your particular page. The other things to mention other regulars go to WP builds.com forward slash subscribe, sign up to our newsletters, possibly join our very, very polite Facebook group or join us on your favorite podcast player, Twitter feed, and all of that sort of stuff is on that page.
The other one, WP builds.com forward slash deals. It's a bit like black Friday, but every day of the year, 365 days of the year, those deals are on there. They're searchable filterable, and they've, they've always stayed there. That is to say every day, a lot I've added, I've kept on. They're very. Very grateful to all the plugin and theme developers.
Who've offered kind kind coupon codes for our WP Builds listeners. The last one is WP builds.com forward slash advertise. If you would like to have your WordPress product or service put in front of a WordPress specific audience, a bit like Kinsta and AB split test have done this week. 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. Try a demo free for 60 days at Kinsta dot com. What 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 the best part, it works with element or Beaver builder and the WordPress block editor. You can check it out and get a free firstname.lastname@example.org. And we do thank our sponsors for helping us to put on the WP Builds weekly or WordPress news. Speaking of which let's get into it, shall we.
Each week we divide our news up into different sections and each week, if there is any, we start with WordPress core and we have one piece for you this week from Sarah Gooding in WordPress Tavern, an article entitled WordPress names, 5.5 release leads plans, all women release squad for 5.6. So there are two versions of WordPress it's scheduled for 2020.
The remainder of it, 5.5 expected to land sometime in August and 5.6 expected to land in. December now 5.5 is going to be led by Matt Mullenweg with the assistance of Jake Spurlock and David Bond volt. There's also a whole bunch of other people who have been named as the tech and design leads for the editor, media and accessibility and documentation and so on and so forth.
So that's really nice, but the, the big news here I suppose, is that the 5.6 release shared for December is going to be entirely comprised of. People who identify themselves as women. She started this idea about probably nine or 10 months ago. She wished for this to be a thing. I seem to remember tweeting late last year and yeah, she's managed to pull together a team entirely made up of women.
So this will be really interesting. Now it does say. But there are 50 people involved. You can click on a link in the article that I'm linking to, and that will send you off to the release lead squad page. The group includes women who have volunteered to participate first by joining ride along the ride along process for 5.5.
So yeah. And in fact, I think that means staring over the shoulders of the 5.5 release and then obviously preparing them for steering 5.6 into the future. So this is really exciting news, really a brave new direction. And I think this is absolutely exactly where we want WordPress to be heading. The next section is entitled community.
I have a bit of a confession to make here. You're listening to this on Monday and during the weekend. So Friday, Saturday of last week, WordCamp Europe, the online version of that event took place. And I'm expecting that. You're probably thinking, well, where's the news about WordCamp Europe suddenly the, the way that these are scheduled, I record these on a Friday.
So I recorded this before WordCamp Europe actually took place. So really. Unable at this point to be in a position to say what happened and what it was like. I apologize. That's just the nature of the way that this is recorded. However, we have Miriam Schwab who recorded a talk for WordCamp Europe.
She's going to be joining us live, as I said earlier on Monday's news. So hopefully we'll have a long chance to chat about how word come your went. I'm sure it went swimmingly. I wasn't exactly sure where to fit this piece of news, but it's coming to the community section. I feel that's appropriate. It is review signals, annual WordPress hosting performance benchmark survey.
and it is, like I said, an annual thing they're produced at each year, but it's very specific to WordPress hosting. Now I'm simply not going to be able to do it justice because the benchmarks that they carry out and the companies that they involve leads to a huge amount of data. Lots of. Tables and charts and things like that and results.
And you've got to pour through it at great length, but I do know that quite a few of the people that are in this community kind of really obsessed and get into the nitty gritty of hosting. One notable mentioned to art is Patrick Gallagher and his grid pain company. They were on the podcast a little while ago.
They've dropped into this survey for the first time. And they did really, really well. So congratulations to Jeff and Patrick over at grid pain sounds like, sounds like you've been pushed right up to the top of this and that's really commendable very well in Don. Indeed. I would suggest that you go and have a look for yourself.
If you're thinking about moving host and making decisions regarding that. The next one that I've got for you is over on talk, mark.io. It's the founder of ocean WP, a very popular WordPress theme, Nicholas lacak. And he has written an article entitled freemiums releases, weekly free videos for every WordPress business owner.
Now, obviously Nicholas with a thriving. Theme has a very viable business, but the beginning of the article is him explaining just how difficult this journey was when he began. He makes the claim that he's quite introverted. He doesn't really enjoy going to live events and so on. And so everything that he found out, he found out all by himself.
He said that in those times there was far less. Information out there. So it was really a process of trial and error, and he believes that he made a few missteps along the way and discover things by accident that worked really well and equally discovered things too to his cost when they didn't work out so well.
And so this really is leading on to a new YouTube series launched by freemium. Called experts corner. And the idea is that they're going to produce a video every two weeks about some aspect of managing your kind of WordPress business. So it says every two weeks for a whole year, we'll be releasing a new video focused on a single topic, covered by experts, sharing their tips, insights, and best practices based on their actual business experience.
So there's a whole bunch of people that. We've probably all heard of. We've got the founders of a visual computer poser, founder of WPM, U dev, founder of male poet, Matt Madeira, who has been on this podcast several times from the mat reports and various others. So what I would say is this is maybe a YouTube channel to go and visit periodically, maybe bookmark it and comeback every once in a while and see if something has been added in there.
But it looks like a, an ambitious endeavor, 25 or so videos coming out over the next year. The next section is plugins themes and blocks, and we have a new. Plugin called mission control, spelt CTRL and Justin Tatlock has a piece entitled block if either WordPress dashboard with the mission control plugin.
Now this seems to be something that Justin really likes. We had a few weeks ago. Just in writing about Nick Hamza and his sort of brilliant brand and some of the fun, ridiculous things he was doing with blocks, fun things that made all sorts of interesting candy. Shall we say on your WordPress pages?
Well, now he's decided he's going to turn his attention to the WordPress dashboard. Now there's many third. Party plugins that have done this many. You have done that with plugins, like element or, and BeaverBuilder. And so on. This takes a different approach. We're going to now be building our dashboards with this plugins help with the Gutenberg block editor.
And the idea is that when you install this plugin, it removes all of the default dashboard widgets and anything that you create in the new. Custom post type called boards will appear as a possibility to put in the dashboard. So this could be a simple piece of text with a nice, bright red background to alert your clients to something that they ought to notice.
Maybe a deal. It could be some videos. The idea though, is that you could put anything that could go into a block onto the dashboard. Now he's taking an interesting approach with the pricing. He's doing a, an update based upon the update cycles. So he's on cycle version one at the moment. And for $29, you'll be able to get version anything for version one.
And then when he flips over to version two, you'll have to pay again. So it's more like a kind of a, it feels like I'm a Mac or a windows app. Or something like that rather than a typical WordPress plugin with an annual subscription, but it's $29 at the moment from limited sites. It looks really good.
Justin really seems to like it. He sort of says to himself, I'm kicking myself really, because I should have thought of this myself. You can put an RSS feed in there. He is. Doing a few blocks of his own. He's going to be adding a world time block or dictionary thesaurus block, a notes block and a weather block.
But the idea really is you'd build the blocks yourself and put anything in there. Videos, pieces of text and so on. So yeah, go check it out. Click on the link in the show notes to find out more. So the last one that we just mentioned was all about kind of tidying up the dashboard for WordPress users.
Well, this is in a very similar vein. We mentioned it a few weeks ago, but now there's a much more in depth article about it. This is Beaver builders, assistant plugin. Now they, it has nothing to do with the Beaver builder page builder. So if you're an elemental user, you could still be making use of the assistant plugin.
And the idea is it's a plugin that will enable you to achieve a whole load more without having to flip. Into the dashboard. And so Tom Rankin has an article entitled an introduction to assistance and why developers should be excited about it. So it goes into great detail. He shows screenshots of what it's like, how it works, what its feature set is.
And so on. He makes the point that it's completely free and open source. So you can do anything you like with it and you can build on top of it. And that's the point, really? This is supposed to be a platform for other developers to hook into and to utilize, to make. The assistant plugin more and more useful over time.
And then he goes on to. Really just show five different things, which he has found to be useful, but from using it. So for example, he says making minor content edits to post pages and templates is done really straightforwardly. You can view, edit, duplicate Marcus' favorite or trash posts. He then says it's really good for viewing the media.
I'm attached to different pages and well spread throughout your site. So that could be videos or audio documents and so on and so forth. You can view, copy URLs, edit, and delete media all in this little panel, which pops up, which is fabulous. It says you can carry out thorough comment, moderate moderation from the front end.
So you can just pop it up wherever you feel, and moderate the comments. You can organize content and improve communication via labels. So you can set labels with different colors. Yeah. Various things a bit like you can do in the Mac finder, if you've used that feature and you can perform updates quicker.
So all in all, he's very excited about it. I think it's a fabulous blog and it really does remove in many cases the need to go to the WordPress dashboard to do anything. Most of what you would like to probably achieve on a day to day basis can be done with the assistant. But it's nice to have it all written up by Tom in this one, easy to read article.
I've got a new plugin for you this week, which is quite nice. It's called mail Hawk. And it's from the guys over at Groundhog. They've decided to put together a plugin to take on the burden of getting emails delivered. So mail Hawk is exactly what you would expect. It's kind of like hopefully a high deliverability email service.
It says mail Hawk is the best choice for WordPress sites. Sending email. Marketing email, password reset emails, WooCommerce emails, new account emails, and more. They say it's got lightning, fast delivery, email validation, email log, bounce management, delivery, analytics, blackmail, sorry, blacklist management, domain authentication, and custom email templates.
The, the pricing. I'm not a hundred percent sure about. Because it's brand new. I don't know if it's going to be in flux, but as of this exact moment, it's about $15 for their basic package, which allows you to have up to 40,000 emails a month on three sites. And it goes up beyond there, but it looks really nice.
I know that a lot of us are using. Groundhog. So obviously they've got a bit of, a bit of a back history and sending out emails and so on, and obviously they wanted to take this all in house. So it looks really nice. Everything done inside a WordPress website, rather than having to do this via a third party service.
This is the final one in the plugins themes and blocks section. And I've had to take a screenshot of this. Cause I think this comes from the inside of a dashboard and you've got to have an account for it, but it's nothing that you would not be allowed to see. And it is just to say that gravity forms have put together a roadmap.
Now my experience of gravity forms is that. It kind of feels like it could be wrong about this. It feels like they've taken their foot off the development for a little while. I haven't really seen much popping up about new features that they're adding and so on. And I see that there's quite a lot of rivals in the space who are accelerating their development.
So perhaps that's the purpose of this. Anyway, I've got on the screen. If you click on the link in the show notes, a screen grab, and it shows some of the things which are planned in the near future, or at least. On the consideration. So it's things like supporting more conditional logic in surveys, updating posts.
So that's advanced post creation, exporting entry notes, form embedding, and a whole bunch more things like coupons, a slider field. So you can choose a minimum and a maximum might be good for pricing or something like that. Multicurrency support support for amp, PCI compliance, recapture version three.
And various other things. So I think for a while, maybe they were the incumbent winner, the default winner. If you wanted a form, everybody just went to gravity volunteer, but maybe that's changing a little bit and maybe they feel that they need to explain to their customers more about what's coming down the pipeline.
So anyway, click on the link in the show notes. If you've got a gravity form account, then you can check this out for yourself in the backend of your own websites. The next section is deals. I've got a few deals. They're all carried over from previous weeks. So there's nothing particularly new here, but there's a, a lifetime deal on the Emilia booking plugin.
You can get 40% off. Give WP lifetime deal on WP reset, lifetime deal on the F. So plugin for showing dynamic content on your website. 20% off link whisper. for $39 for life quotas $49 for life. And there's a happy forms. Lifetime deal. $49 click on the link in the show notes, but like I say, nothing new this week.
The next section is security, very light touch on this one, proper article and then two sort of summative articles. So the first one is on Wordfence an article entitled large scale attack, campaign targets, database credentials. And this is something that happened a little bit earlier, maybe a week or so ago.
So between the 29th of May and the 31st of May, Wordfence the firewall block to 130 million. Attacks intended to harvest the database credentials from 1.3 million sites by downloading their configuration files. There's obviously a potential catastrophe. And so the article explains, I love these Wordfence articles because it explains kind of how it happened and how they detected things.
It's a very quick read. Actually, it shouldn't take more than about three minutes to read, but if you're interested in how this kind of attack might be perpetrated and some of the things that you might want to do to mitigate to that, then go and read that. The next one is an article from I themes. They have something new within that theme security suite.
It says new protect your WordPress website with the theme security site scam. so they've got this new site scan feature, which they've added in. I can't quite tell what the difference is between this and the old site scan, because certainly I've been able to click. If I've installed this or had this installed in a, a website, there's always been a button in there.
So I'm presuming that there is some ability to maybe go for a bit of a deeper dive. Anyway, there's a video which I did watch, which shows you how to enable all of this and what the site scanning actually involves. Or you can perform a manual site scan what the site scan looks like in action, what the kind of vulnerabilities it checks.
So it's looking at plugins themes and WordPress itself and how to enable this to happen automatically. So that things that are vulnerable, things are patched without you having to lift a finger. So if you're an item security user, you definitely want to go and check this out because it's something new that you can enable.
But, if, if you're like me, you might be a little bit confused as to what's changed. The last one over on WebEx is, an article it's their summation of what's happened during this month. So this is June, 2020. It's one of these articles where you can just quickly flick through and see if something that you've ever installed is, is on the page.
And if it is you probably want to stop and have a little bit of a read, there's a whole bunch, maybe a two dozen or more different plugins highlighted. So kind of a quick, quick flick and, and see. I don't have any jobs for you this week, but as always, if you come across a WordPress job, please let me know about it.
I will then announce it in the podcast, but yes, nothing this week. So I'll move right along and talk about the blatantly self-promotional WP Builds bit. I did a podcast this week with my good friend, David Walmsley. It was episode number 182. And it was all about office versus homeworking, which do you prefer has COVID-19 and the enforced lockdown meant that you've suddenly had to work from home.
Perhaps you prefer that perhaps you've always worked from home and now see this as something that everybody should be doing. Anyway, we debate it from those two different sides. What are the benefits of having an office? Because clearly there are many, but maybe what are the benefits of working from home and which would suit you?
Better. So yeah, go check out the WP Builds podcast for that. That's all I've got for you this week on the WordPress side, but please don't go away because we always have a section entitled, not WordPress, but useful anyway, as a few pieces for you this week, many of them related to space, but the first one, not it's a piece entitled automatic invest 4.6 million.
In new vector creators of the matrix, open standard for decentralized communication. So exactly that automatic, the, the company kind of behind the WordPress project has given 4.6 million to this company. The idea is that they're creating this completely open sourced standard for messaging. And obviously at the moment, many of us have.
Been forced to use platforms, maybe ones that are proprietary, things like Slack or Microsoft teams or something like that. But the idea is that this would be built out and then we'd have an open source way of implementing these things. You could build your own company's infrastructure on top of it, and you'd have complete oversight into what that meant and what it was able to do.
The idea is that it enables things like team chats, file sharing, widgets, video, and voice calls and so on and so forth. So. Yeah, it looks really interesting. The point is that Matt got interested by this because of the sort of intellectual, moral, sorry, intellectually and morally pure way in quotes. He said it has been built and laid out.
And also the fact that probably a lot of people are getting dissatisfied with data breaches and the way that their personal data is handled. And so if companies can build their own version and handle their own data, maybe that's maybe that's for the better. This week a new plugin came out. It was horridly put together as a way of offering support for the blackout Tuesday or the show must be paused.
Hashtags. The idea is that you would like to display your solidarity with the current. The show must be paused movement. This was something that was put together by some senior directors of marketing at Atlantic records, they were trying to sort of disrupt the workweek to hold the industry at large accountable for the benefits that it receives from the efforts, struggles and successes of black people to quote the article.
And so WordPress developer, Phil Johnston threw together a plugin which could be deployed. To simply black out the webpage and display a simple message of solidarity. You can download it when this article that I'm linking to was written. It was unable to be downloaded from the plugin repository, but now it can be.
And if that's something you would like to display on your website as a Mark of solidarity, go and find it and see how it works. We're going to need to be a lover of ancient history to enjoy this one. But it's an article over on the guardian, telling us that ancient DNA is offering clues to puzzles of the dead sea scrolls.
Say experts. Now I'm not going to profess to have any great deep understanding of the contents of the dead sea scrolls. But it's interesting that they've decided that they're not just going to look at the content of the text on the dead sea scrolls. They're also going to. See what the DNA is contained within the actual material that the, that the, the scrolls are made up of.
And so they've examined these, most of them were sheep. so they were written on sort of sheep hide, but a couple of them were written on cow hide and that suggested. That they were from farther away because the area around where the dead sea scrolls were discovered is not suitable for the husbandry of cows.
Apparently. So there you go, just by kind of looking at what the material is made of and the DNA of it. They were able to draw these conclusions. Many more conclusions came out, but, I just thought it was absolutely fascinating that the DNA from, you know, many, many thousands of years ago could still be used.
There was enough DNA in there to determine what. What fragments of which animal it came from and so on and so forth and to draw some Josten conclusions about it. If like me, you like getting your camera out and shooting videos in the highest resolution possible and taking pictures, you have run up against the problem of running out of disc space.
Well, maybe that's going to be a thing of the past. We've got an article on PC mag.com entitled next gen hammer, platters promise, 80 terabyte hard drives. Well, so these are the platter disks, the rotating disc, which we're probably familiar with. They're sort of being replaced a little bit. By SSD drives, but still they're a viable thing.
And it turns out they've discovered this kind of heating technology. The idea is this hammer, which is heat assisted magnetic recording. They apply heat to whilst the disk platter is being created and it allows it to be more receptive. To magnetic effects in effect, it allows it to store more data.
Apparently see Gates are going to be shipping 20 terabyte, hard drives later in the year, but the technology opens up the possibility they claim to bring that right up to 80 terabytes on a little three and a half inch disc drive, which is utterly remarkable. It won't be too long until, you know, maybe you have a small collection of these in your.
NAS box or something like that. And you've suddenly got yourself a petabyte of hard disc storage, surely more than enough for eight K recordings. Well into the future. I have absolutely no idea how this one snuck in, but it's just really interesting. It's on a website called big think.com and it's about scientists.
Who've made a magnet, a magnet, which is so strong, blew itself up. That's a little bit of a simplistic way of viewing it, but go and check out the article. You'll understand more. This is a magnet which is able to produce well. It was able for a very tiny period of time to produce 1,200 Teslas, which is a measurement allegedly.
Of the, the magnetism of something. Now this is 400 times stronger than an MRI, which, you know, if you go anywhere near an MRI, you've got to take all electronics off. Otherwise it'll destroy them or they made it. And apparently there are some really interesting side effects of this. It says you can, if you can manage to achieve this and keep it going, you'd be able to observe the motion of electrons.
Outside the material environments they are normally within. So we can study them in a whole new light and explore new kinds of electronic devices. So as always, you know, out of something seemingly bizarre and unusual, maybe there is some real science to be done. Anyway, it's a very bizarre situation. They built this machine knowing that it would probably destroy itself and you have to build it anyway.
And there's a video right at the bottom where you can watch it in a heartbeat, blow itself up in a, in a highly pink explosion, which I wasn't expecting. So. Go and check it out. Just very peculiar. The very last one for you this week is email@example.com entitled the big boy fusion reactor takes a big boy step.
Now this is just a Testament to the crazy lengths that humans will go to, to produce. Yeah, unbelievably difficult at science. So this is something called the big boy fusion reactor. I honestly hadn't heard about it before. It's got a proper name. It's called the international thermonuclear experimental reactor, and it's a fusion project in France.
It's a gigantic assembly. And honestly, go and look at the photo. Yeah. It's like a shopping mall and it's just, it's a takomak reactor. And the idea is that over many, many years starting in 2025, it will heat up to temperatures approaching that of the songs so that nuclear fusion can take place, which is different to the nuclear efficient that we currently use for creating nuclear power and weaponry and so on.
And the idea is that this would produce large amounts of electricity, or should I say energy, which could be turned into something like that. Electricity now who knows whether or not it will produce more than it puts in. But honestly, the endeavor, the lengths that people will go to, this is one part.
This one part which was installed over the last week is a 1,200 ton base, which took 10 years to create quite why it took 10 years. I don't understand, but yeah. Nevertheless, there it is. So this is just something interesting. I remember years ago, getting very excited about the large Hadron Collider at CERN.
This feels to me like a, another equally interesting project that over the next few years will no doubt be in the news, telling us all sorts of fun things that we didn't know about. Well, in this case, producing energy. Well, they go, don't tell us it's not eclectic. What a strange bunch of news, largely WordPress I'm sure.
You'd agree. And then tagged onto the end, some very peculiar stuff. Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed it and that you've got something useful out of it. I'd certainly appreciate some comments each week. It's very nice when you people do comment and reach out to us in our Facebook group firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash contact and let us know what you think.
Or you could just comment on the article itself. The WP Builds weekly. WordPress news 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 get access to the latest software and developer tools such as PHP seven SSH on staging environments.
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Use your existing pages and test anything against anything else. Buttons, images, headers rows, really anything. The best part is that it works with element or Beaver builder and the WordPress block editor. Check it out and get a free email@example.com. Okay, join us on Wednesday so that you can watch picture and you discuss some UI from user submitted websites.
If you don't make that one, perhaps we will see you on Thursday for the podcast. And you never know if you're listening to this on Monday, we might be joining you live. In the WP Bell's Facebook group or over WP builds.com forward slash live for our weekly live version. Like I said, this week, I'm going to be chatting with some notable WordPress guests, so come and join us and hopefully we'll see you soon.
Bye bye for now.