WP Builds Weekly WordPress News #119 – WordPress requiring PHP 7.2, Yoast acquires Duplicate Posts and Instagram is massive

This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 15th June 2020:

WordPress Core

WordPress Bumps Minimum PHP Recommendation to 7.2

Gutenberg 8.3 Updates Block Categories, Includes Parent Block Selector, and Adds New Design Controls

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GoDaddy Pro

WordPress 5.5 to Include Extensible Core Sitemaps

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Duplicate Post joins Yoast and
Yoast Acquires Duplicate Post, Brings on Creator Enrico Battocchi as a Senior Developer

Grant For The Web Accepting Proposals Through June 22

New Documentation and Training Courses for Toolset

Plugins / Themes / Blocks

Fluent Forms 3.6.0 is here, and it is full of user-suggested features!

Build Forms via the Block Editor With Gutenberg Forms

WooCommerce 4.3 Beta Available for Testing

Deals from this week

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Nothing this week that I know of – phew, this never happens. I bet I missed something!

WP Builds

184 – Limited client access v’s full access

WordPress plugin startup – from 0 to 10K installs


Page Builder Framework x2 – Gutenberg Developer and Writer

Not WordPress, but useful anyway…

Instagram to Surpass Twitter As a Popular News Source

Is AppSumo Worth the Hassle for WordPress Plugin Developers?

Just a nice story from ‘Stack’ about being saved by their customers

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Transcript (if available)

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Hello there. Good morning. And welcome to this. The WP Builds weekly WordPress news. This is episode number 119. It covers the WordPress news for the week commencing the 15th of June, 2020. And it was published on Monday the 22nd of June, 2020. My name's Nathan Wrigley, and as always a few bits of housekeeping before we begin, if that's all right with you, firstly, just to say that head over to our main website, WP Builds.com.
You can find everything that we do there. And we do produce quite a lot of WordPress content. We do webinars. Podcasts and all sorts of things. And I'll tell you a little bit more about those in a moment. However, if there's stuff on that website that you like the look of, and you'd like to be in touch with us, you'd like to be informed about what we produce.
Well, then go to WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. That's the subscribe link at the top of the page. And over there, you'll be able to sign up to our newsletter. We've got two of those, one to alert you as to when we produce new content. So podcast, episodes, and so on and so forth. And there's another one, which will tell you when we find a new WordPress deals floating around on the internet, you can also subscribe to us on your favorite podcast player over there and join our Facebook group of over 2,600.
Very friendly at WordPress's. I have to say that is the that's the moniker of that group. I think really friendly and polite. So if you, if you fancy a friendly and polite Facebook group talking about WordPress things, then go check that out. The other pages to tell you about our WP Builds.com forward slash deals.
That's a 365 days of the year, always on page of a bunch of deals. You're going to find products all in the WordPress space. So themes, plugins, that kind of thing. It's all over there. And those deals never seem to evaporate. They never go away. So go check them out. WP Builds.com forward slash deals. And the last one that I want to mention is WP Builds forward slash advertise.
If you would like to advertise your product or service in front of a WordPress specific audience, a little bit like Kinsta and AB split test have done. Are you tired of unreliable or slow hosting? If so, check out Kinsta, who takes managed WordPress hosting to the next level. It's powered by the Google cloud platform and all their plans include PHP seven SSH and 24 seven expert support.
You can try a demo free for 60 days at Kinsta.com. And AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split test in record time? Like in a couple of minutes? Well, use your existing pages and test anything against anything else. Buttons, images, headers, rows, anything. And the best part is it works with element or Beaver builder and the WordPress block editor.
You can check it [email protected]. Just before we begin, this is a little bit of a plug for a new thing. That's happening over on WP Builds. I've joined forces with Sabrina XY, Dan, and we are doing an interesting little thing. It's all about how to launch a plugin and we've started it. It's kind of so plugging startup from zero to 10,000.
Kay installs 10,000 K good grief. That would be a lot 10 K installs. And we're just charting how it is that we, we launched the plugins. I'm helping Tom Carla's launches AB split test plugin, and Sabrina's got her speed guard plugin, and we're going through a bit of a journey. We did our first lie. You've lost Tuesday and we've got one coming up this Tuesday at 2:00 PM.
UK time. WP belts.com forward slash live would love to see you there. Okay, let's get on with the main new showy. Each and every week we start off under the banner of WordPress core. And this week I've got a few bits for you. The first one over on a WordPress Tavern. In fact, I think all three of these pieces are on WordPress, Steven and it's Sarah Gooding writing a piece called WordPress bumps, a minimum PHP recommendation to 7.2 and Harare.
This is all good news. Last week, this was announced. And the recommendation from now on will be that people use PHP 7.3. Although the minimum acceptable PHP version will be 7.2. If you actually click on the link in the show notes and go to this page, you can see exactly how long this has been going on.
And who's been involved in bumping this up and, and actually the large proportion of people who have. I've been pushing for this for a very long time and, and how it's all happened. So this is great. It would appear that there's still quite a lot of people using older versions of PHP on WordPress. But now that we get these site health warnings, hopefully over time, people will be bumping themselves up to the more modern versions for a whole variety of reasons, security speed amongst them.
So, anyway, this is good news and hopefully everybody will be on PHP 7.2 or plus very, very soon. As I said, staying on WP Tavern, just in Tatlock is telling us all about Gutenberg updates in an article entitled Guttenberg 8.3 updates block categories includes parents block selector adds new design controls, and this is a fairly user-facing updates to the.
Gothenburg editor, as I said, version 8.3. There's quite a lot. That's been happening. There are new block categories. Uh, I have to confess that I don't really make much use of these because I find that the, the, well, what I would suggest is that you go to the article and look at the screenshot. And if you, if you look very carefully, you'll be able to see on the first screenshot, there's the tiny word design written in blue, and it's so tiny.
And so inconsequential compared to the icons in the inserter in Gothenburg. But I very rarely even notice it's there. Anyway, we have renamed and reorganized block categories. Now blocks will be organized into the following five text media, design, widgets, and M beds. But as I say at the moment, I think the UI is such that I completely ignore them.
I tend to insert new blocks with just doing the forward slash command and then typing in the beginning of something like, I don't know, shortcode or list item or something like that. There's also a option to select a parent block. If you've used Gothenburg, especially if you've used columns, it's incredibly frustrating to try and find the parent block because there's no visual feedback as such.
You just have to sort of move the mouse around and hope for the best. There are of course, ways of doing it with the, uh, the navigation option, which resides above the block or at the top. If you've got the. The navigation pinned to the top, but that's a little bit frustrating. Now there is a new icon. If you are using the sort of inline controls and you can find the parent's item using that, which is quite nice.
There's also some experimental spacing, padding controls, which theme authors might want to take a look at. Justin goes into exactly how that works and while you might like to use it and also link colors have been addressed, obviously in the past, it was. Pretty difficult to determine what the link color would be.
And now the, that seems to have been taken on board as well. So for example, if you've got a background color that might mask the link color, well, that's now being taken into consideration and theme authors may well be able to, to do something about that, but go and look at Justin's article and you can learn more for yourself.
This next, one's all about site maps. And it's an interesting one because WordPress 5.5 is going to include extensible core site maps. So Sarah Gooding tells us on WP Tavern one year ago, developers at Google and Yoast began a collaboration with the idea of putting XML site maps into WordPress core. And it would appear that testing from January onwards this year has resulted in something which is believed to be stable.
Now, this is not really something that you're going to be able to interact with. Because the idea is that there are really no settings it's just switched on. There will be the option to switch it off. And those of you that have got a satisfactory solution at the moment need not worry because the guys over at Google, um, have chipped in to say, if you've got to XML site maps running, in other words, the one which WordPress will including core, right?
Plus perhaps a plugin doing a job. So it might be an SEO plugin, or a specific XML, sitemap plugin. Then Google, won't worry too much about that. You may also be worried that this is going to slow your site down, but apparently not. The scope of this has been limited to the last. 2000 URLs. If you've got a giant site, only the last 2000 URLs will be included in the hopes that it won't be, I don't know, querying too many things or adding too much, but anyway, it's coming into core.
You as a developer will have options to switch this off on behalf of people. And I think there are some options to switch this off as well. But we'll have to wait and see how this looks when WordPress 5.5 comes along, but really at quite an interesting development from an SEO point of view and the collaboration between Google and Yost is also really interesting.
The next section is WordPress community and quite a few pieces for you this week. The first one, in fact, the first two are pieces all about the fact that Yoast has acquired the duplicate posts plugin. The first link is actually on the yoast.com website. And the second one is an article on WP Tavern. But this is just to say that duplicate posts has in fact been acquired by Yoast.
Now they have taken on these, the creator of the plugin and Rico. Bertolucci I P I'm really sorry if I've pronounced your name wrong. Um, and they've taken him on as a senior engineer with the intention of keeping him. Yeah. On this plugin, um, as the lead developer going forward, it's actually amazing to me that this plugin has got 3 million active installations and a near perfect five star score over 451 reviews, 429 of them are five-star, which gives them 4.9 anyway, and incredible amount of popularity.
It kind of also feels to me that this is the sort of thing that. Really ought to be in core, but perhaps I'm wrong about that? Perhaps that's just something that's a bit too niche. Anyway. 3 million people having the plugin installed would certainly imply that a lot of people think that's something necessary.
It's hard to imagine why Yoast have bought this, but then a little bit further down in the post Yoast debulk himself says why potentially they've bought it. And it's all about repurposing or republishing content. A lot of people, it would seem take content and they kind of Republic it. And Yost might have an angle on this, in that they might want to be able to spot from an SEO point of view.
If the republishes repurposed posts is in fact different enough to add some sort of SEO value. Um, this is not something I get particularly involved with. I write everything from scratch. So obviously there's a bit of a market for people doing that. We apparently are going to have a free version for the.
For the future. There's no plans to make it into a premium plugin or anything like that. So, interesting stuff. If you're using duplicate posts, This next one is very definitively one for the developers out there. And it is again, just in Tagalog WP Tavern WebDevStudios releases, block scaffolding tools for developers, and exactly that alongside the release of Guttenberg 7.4 in February, they forked the WordPress script, which allows you to.
Build and scaffold your custom blocks. Now, apparently it was a very difficult thing to do. And so they took on the task of making this as Justin describes it, tedious setup, much more straightforward. Justin goes into describe all of the things that you need to do to get this going. But if you are building blocks and you've taken, taken on board that task, and you've learned all of the things that you need to learn, you've got your react skills up and running and you understand.
Things like Webpack Bible, IES, Linton. So on, then this might be for you because it may just shave a few minutes here and there from getting everything set up. The final piece in this section comes from over at toolset article, entitled new documentation and training courses for tool sets. If you're anything like me, it can be very frustrating when you purchase something a plugin.
For example, when you go to look at the documentation and you realize how difficult it is to achieve certain things, because it hasn't been documented yet. Well, A big plugin like tool set, which does an awful lot of heavy lifting, obviously needs some good documentation. And they've shifted focus in the last six months away from shortcodes and into the block editor, which means that a lot of their demonstrations tutorials and so on and so forth were lagging behind.
Well, they're happy to report now that they are fully up to speed. They've released three new courses and. They've also put their documentation into various different hubs, which focus on the different things that you might need to learn. So weld-on, I'm sure it's a, it's a fairly difficult thing to get the excitement about creating the documentation, but well done for doing that.
Should you still be looking for the old documentation? Well, there's a link on that page that I'm linking to, which shows you how you can acquire that as well. Our next section is plugins themes and blocks. And we've got three pieces for you this week. The first one is over at WP manage Ninja 18 entitled fluent forms.
3.6 0.0 is here and it's full of user suggested features. It was interesting that a couple of weeks ago, I think it was, we mentioned that gravity forms had for the first time in what seemed like a long time, decided to do a bit of a. PR blast and let us know everything that was going on with their product and kind of feels to me like the new players, the new kids on the block have been part of the cause for gravity forms to, to really upped their game.
And fluent form seems to be one of them. I have to say I have been using it and I'm really pleased with it. But, you know, everything needs to be improved. And so they've done an awful lot of work over the last two months. They've got a brand new UI for the form builder. They've introduced partial entries for step forms.
In other words, you can sort of save it and then come back to it. At a later point, they've introduced a weekly email summary of all your forms. So if you want to switch off the, you know, the, the notifications, as soon as you get them, you can make them into summaries. They've added additional support for advanced ACF.
Fields for pre post creation from forms, a additional regional payment methods for Stripe, you can see all of the entries accurate aggregated from all the forms. They've added a better support for the oxygen page builder and advanced form validation, which they're calling less spam. They've introduced a dedicated elemental widget, uh, jump German languages have been supported now and a mobile friendly admin area.
So you can actually interact and create the forms and modify the forms on your mobile phone. Plus 60 more. They say so Bravo to the team. I have to say. Um, like I say, I'm very pleased with it. I think it's a good product and, uh, yeah, maybe one to check out if you're in the market for a new forms, plugin click on the link in the show notes to find out more.
Speaking of forms. We've got a different one here. This is a different take on forms altogether. It's an article again, WP Tavern, just in Tadlock writing, build forms via the block editor with Guttenberg forms. So this is a well a plugin, which goes back a couple of years, but essentially sat dormant for a very long time.
But now has been brought back to life. By mania. Kemal the plugin developer. And it's the capability to build forms directly inside the block editor. As you'd expect, you can sort of drag and drop various bits and pieces. You can actually build forms on the fly in posts and pages, but his suggestion is to build them and then save them away and then you can insert them.
And he seems very happy with it. Justin said when he tried it a couple of months ago, it was mostly frustrating. Yeah. But now it's mostly not frustrating. There's an awful lot of promise he thinks. And I think when Justin says that he means it, he does explain that there are still problems. He was unable in some cases to actually get the form, to insert the form template, insert it didn't always work.
And he got various JavaScript errors and so on, but he's very bullish about this one. And he loves the idea of being able to build forms directly inside the WordPress editor. It does seem. A bit like the, the, the perfect way of doing it. If you are, if everything is going to be a block and everything should be done inside the, the block area, then well forms could do that as well.
So this is certainly a project worth check, checking out, click on the link in the show notes. There are some changes over on WooCommerce will come as 4.3 is available in beta testing. Those of you that are into the cutting edge of things might like to try this out as a few bits and pieces. There's a new WooCommerce admin homepage, which looks really rather nice.
There's also some upcoming block changes. So for example, some of the. Blocks have been, um, just sort of rejigged a little bit, some debt Vish, different numbers of rows and so on and so forth. And the ones that have changed our newest product, handpicked products, products by category bestselling products on sale products, top rated products and products by attribute what a lot of the word product that was.
And also there's a bump. As we mentioned earlier, PHP being shifted up to 7.2 we've commerce, obviously. Taking the lead with that as well. They're now recommending well, making it a minimum requirement to have PHP 7.2 and above. Okay. The next section is deals for this week. I've got no new ones, but just to mention once more that we have our deals, page WP belts.com forward slash deals.
There's a ton up there all the time. And also we're just reusing some of the ones that have been on for the last few weeks. So for example, there's the Emilia book in plugging lifetime deal. $49 WP reset again, lifetime deal. $49. Quotas, which might be useful if you're sending out proposals, that's available for $49.
And if you need it yet, another forms, plugin, happy forums. Have a lifetime deal for $49. Click on the link in the show notes and you'll get taken to the appropriate sales pages. The next section is security and good grief. I'm struggling to believe what I'm about to say. I have nothing for you this week.
I literally could find no security news. I'm probably completely wrong about this. Maybe my search was lacking, but I couldn't find anything. And that's a bit of a relief a few one week without some security news is an absolute blessing. The next section is the WP Builds enormously self promotional bit.
I've got two pieces for you this week. Things that we did over on WP Builds. The first one is to say that I released a podcast with my good friend, David Wamsley. And we talked about the subject of limiting clients. Access versus full access. The whole podcast is about the idea of how much do you give to your clients?
When you hand over the website, do you give them the administrator role? Do you give them the editor role? Do you try to wrangle some kind of role in between make up a new role or use a plugin to limit certain things that they can see? So for example, you know, gravity forms, how do they get to see their forms if they've got the editor role?
Because my understanding is they can't. So things like that, how much do you do? Do you customize it? Do you white label it. Remove all traces of WordPress altogether. Like some wise people do well. That's what the podcast is about. And you can go and check out our thoughts on it. As we debate that subject.
The next one is to say that. Well, I mentioned it earlier at the top of the show, I'm doing this, um, this new live series with Sabrina's iden entitled WordPress plugin startup from zero to 10 K installs and each week for the next goodness knows how many weeks? Probably eight, nine, 10, depending on how it goes.
Um, we're doing a live version of the podcast. And so I'm going to store all of those in a YouTube playlist. And the link is to that. We've had episode one, It went on for nearly an hour. I think we were planning on doing about 20 minutes, but there was so much to say we laid the groundwork of what we're going to be doing over the next few weeks.
And you can check it out by clicking the link in the show notes. In the job section this week, I have one employer, but two positions up for grabs. And this is working with a map steps. Well, you might know them better as the page builder framework. David Von Greece has been on the podcast on a few occasions, and he's looking for you.
Gothenburg developer. That's the thing right now. He says it's a remote position, but it's full time. And he's also looking for a writer. He says for the developer position, we're looking for a talented WordPress developer to help us feature develop features and blocks for the new Guttenberg editor. You need to have experience with object orientated, PHP, JavaScript, and react.
And if you're a writer, you need to be a WordPress since the easiest and love writing about it. English is your main language, then we're looking for you. So there we go. That's all the WordPress stuff that I've got for you a bit. Hold on. Don't click stop just yet, because there's always a little bit we tag on at the end, entitled not WordPress, but useful.
Anyway, the first one is to say search engine journalists saying that Instagram is due to surpass Twitter as a popular new source in the very near future. It turns out the younger generation, they're simply not interested in reading editorialized news. They don't want to spend ages. Trolling through news articles, certainly buying less paper and consuming less on the internet from traditional new sites.
And so the biggest source of news amongst all the social networks is, as you might expect Facebook, a second is. YouTube, but then you've got WhatsApp and at the moment, Twitter is on 12%, but rising very steeply from 8%. A few years ago is Instagram. Now I confess I'm not really in the demographic that understands how you would consume news on Instagram, but clearly the younger generation are, and they're lapping it up by the millions.
So interesting. If you're not on. You know, if you're not on Twitter and you're not on the sources and you're producing content seems like Instagram is something that you really should have your news push towards. This is kind of WordPress related, but it isn't at the same time because it's about AppSumo and this is the guys from Powerpack for Beaver builder, and Elementor.
So the guys at idea box have produced a piece on the freemium blog. Entitled is AppSumo worth the hassle for WordPress plugin developers. Now. Puneet over there has written this piece, basically outlining why he went over to AppSumo for WP FOMA fi what he found useful, how it was useful for gaining some quick traction, what some of the gotchas are, how best to prepare, how to interact with the team over at AppSumo, what their strengths are and so on and so forth.
And ultimately, I think he feels it was very favorable. He thought that it worked to his benefit and you know, so that's good. I think a lot of. Plugin developers are very good at the plugin side of things. Great at writing the code awesome at creating the actual product, but need a bit of help with marketing.
And obviously the AppSumo team are kind of experts at getting your message out there. And although it is obviously a bit of a price grab and the lifetime deals can be financially, possibly difficult to justify from the developer's point of view, at least it gets the word out there and you get some solid users giving you some nice feedback.
The last piece I've got for you today is about an app called stack. Now I know nothing about this app and that's not what we're talking about today, but this app is one of those that you download and you want to use 3g, Gmail accounts and Evernote account, a Slack account and something else, all in one app.
It allows you to do that, but. That's not what this is about. It's all about the fact that a little while ago, just probably to do with the COVID times, the investment that they were planning on using to develop their product completely just evaporated it. It went away. They were completely surprised when the people that were going to be investing 400,000 euros decided to.
Pull out. And so they suddenly needed a new way of doing it. And so they reached out to their existing users and their community, and they asked for some support and they've managed to reach the first initial goal, which will keep them going for a little while of $15,000. And so this piece is just one of those nice little pieces of a bit, a bit of charity working out.
So in a company, reaching out to their users, Proving that they were still in the game and, but needed support and the users saying, well, you know what? We really like this product. Let's reach into our wallets and see if we can help. So just a nice little read, but, uh, certainly not very WordPressing. Well, that's all I've got for you this week.
I hope that you found some of that useful. If you did. I would very much welcome a comment either on the WP Builds.com website, where you can find this post, go to the section at the top, and you can find the news archive in this. One will be at the top left and then go to the comments at the bottom. You have to use Facebook comments.
That's what we've chosen on. Or just go to the Facebook group. WP Builds.com forward slash Facebook. I always like an iTunes as it was. Should I say Apple music review that's helpful or a review anywhere. Please pass on the good news about WP belts. I'd be enormously grateful. The WP Builds podcast is 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 it 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 part, their expert team of WordPress engineers are available 24 seven.
If you need help, you can try a free demo for 60 days. At Kinsta dot com and AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split tests in record time? The new AB split test plugin for WordPress. We'll have you up and running in a couple of minutes. Use your existing pages and test anything against anything else.
Buttons, images, headers rows, really anything. And the best part is it works with elemental BeaverBuilder and the WordPress block editor. You can go check it [email protected]. Okie dokie come and join us again. At some point this week, Thursday will be our next podcast. Next Monday in the morning will be the next news.
That one that you've just listened to, but next week's and 2:00 PM UK time on Monday, the live WordPress news and on Tuesday, the live that I'm doing with Sabrina's. I done about zero to 10 K plugin installs. Hope you have a good week. 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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