This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 22nd June 2020:
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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 weekly WordPress news. This is episode number 120. It covers the WordPress news for the week commencing the 22nd of June, 2020. And it was published on Monday the 29th of June, 2020. Just a few bits before we begin. If I could encourage you to head over to WP Builds.com.
That is the website where we've got all of our content and we do produce quite a bit of content each and every week, but you'll be able to find it all there. And if you use the menus at the top, you'll be able to find our archives of podcasts and lives and so on and so forth. A good way to keep in touch though, would be to head over to WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe over there.
There's all sorts of ways you can stay in touch with what we're doing. There's a couple of newsletters to sign onto one, to tell you about content that we produce. And one to inform you about WordPress deals. There's also links on there to sign up on your favorite podcast player so that you can listen.
Maybe you will have done that already. If you're listening to this and there's also our Facebook group of over 2,600, very, very friendly word WordPress's. So that's WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. Another page that I want to encourage you to look up is WP Builds.com forward slash deals. I keep saying it's a bit like black Friday, but every day of the week, it's a searchable filterable list of WordPress deals.
So it's plugins themes hosting and so on. And all the offers are there 365 days of the year. So if you're in the market for something, perhaps go check it out. The other thing to mention is that I will be doing a live version of this news at 2:00 PM. UK time. We do that each and every week. This week, I'm going to be joined by Paul Lacey and Bernhard Gronau.
So that's 2:00 PM UK time. You can find that in our Facebook group or WP belts.com forward slash live. Now speaking of life, I've started a new series with Sabrina Zayden. You may have heard it. It's called plugins startup, a zero to 10,000 installs. And in this series, Sabrina and I are charting our journey.
Me with AB split tester split test plugin. Then I'm helping. Tom Carlos promotes and her with her speed guard plugin. Now we're very inexperienced. And so we're learning along the way and we're trying to figure out how it is that you would make your plugin discoverable. How is it that people are going to find your plugin?
Because there's so many, so it's a journey probably about 10 weeks. This will be the third in that series and it will be taking place again. WP Builds.com forward slash live or in the Facebook group, but that's 2:00 PM. This coming Tuesday. So please join us for that. It's been really interesting so far.
We've had lots of nice comments and an awful lot of learning going on, primarily because quite a few of our audience members have been there, done that, and they can tell us about it, but also we're learning from each other. So really come and join us. Another other pages, WP Builds.com forward slash advertise.
If you would like to have your product or service put in front of a WordPress specific audience a bit like Kinsta. 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 and get 60 days free at Kinsta dot com. We're also sponsored by AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split tests 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 is it works with element or Beaver builder and the WordPress block editor.
You can check it out and get a free [email protected] Okay, let's get on to this. Week's WordPress new. Shall we? We always divide our WordPress news up into different sections. And the first section is always WordPress core. And this week we have one piece over on the WordPress Tavern, just in Tadlock has a piece entitled Gothenburg, 8.4 ads image editing.
Includes a multi block controls and enables block directory search. So this is to say Gothenburg 8.4 landed just a few days ago. And there's quite a lot in this. It's not going to be coming out into WordPress until version 5.5, which is probably going to happen in July very early in July, but there's quite a lot of bug fixes, but the ones that you'll really want to concentrate on are the upgraded image editing capabilities.
Now, this to me is just. Brilliant. I really like this just makes the point that part of the process of creating content feels like Photoshop or editing photo program or app is part of that process. Whereas now you can do all of this inside of Guttenberg. If your editing needs are fairly modest, the idea is that you would upload a photo and then you've got the ability to zoom in there's a little slider and you can zoom in, zoom out and crop it at that point.
There's also the ability to have different. Aspect ratio. So you can pick, for example, four different variants of landscape, four different variants or variant, sorry of portrait and square. There's also some other options for rotating. You can add a three by three grid if that's going to help you. And you just do all this inside the block editors.
Absolutely fabulous. The next one that he mentions is customizing multiple blocks at once. This has been a bit of a pet peeve of mine. If you wanted to, for example, change the text color of two blocks. There are some Kludges which Justin describes, but mostly you have to edit one block, change the text color, and then go to the next block and change the text color in there as well.
So it's a bit of a faff, but now. You can highlight several blocks so long as they're off the same type. So let's imagine we're editing paragraphs. You can highlight multiple paragraph blocks. And then for example, you could alter the text color or the background color all in one go, which is absolutely wonderful.
But as I say, the caveat is you have to be using a block of the same type because the settings are different. The other one, which is going to be very exciting and I think will. Herald a new era in WordPress is search and find new blocks. Now this has been hanging around since September last year, but 20 releases have gotten both later and now it's actually rolling in and it will be coming to WordPress core very soon.
It's the ability to search for blocks inside of the editor itself. So you will search for a block and if it's, if there's a match for one that you already have installed. Well, you're good to go. It will then make that available to you. If you don't have one available, it will then suggest blocks that you might wish to add or install from work, wordpress.org.
And so you can install them right to their inside the editor. Now, Justin ran into a few problems whilst he was testing. So for example, sometimes you needed to. Install the block, add the block, I should say. And then refresh the page because things like CSS didn't seem to come along. I'm sure this will be ironed out.
It seems like a minor hiccup. We are. Of course not quite there yet, but again, just seems like in the way that plugins revolutionized WordPress and themes revolutionized the WordPress, it feels like this is going to make the friction. Forgetting blocks really almost zero. And once that starts happening, I'm sure that people will customize their blocks so that they're available in this interface.
And then we'll be able to install them very easily and hopefully, you know, your clients and people that you build websites for will find this really useful as well. So this looks like a really major update to Gothenburg. It's going from strength to strength. The next section is community, and we've got a few pieces this week.
The first one is an interesting one. It's Sarah Gooding on WordPress tab and writing an article in titled WordPress contributors propose updating track ticket resolutions to be more friendly. Well, this is the idea that reply is can come back to your submitted to track tickets. And apparently people can feel that the, the way that they are categorized is a little bit on the annoying side.
So for example, at the moment you might receive one back saying that it is invalid or perhaps you'll receive works for me or simply won't fix. And it's been proposed by Sergei. Now I do apologize. Sergei barrier Cove. I think that might be right. He's proposing that invalid becomes a not applicable works for me, becomes not producer, not reproducible or cannot reproduce and won't fix becomes not implemented.
I think there seems to be some widespread. Thoughts that may be not implemented. Doesn't really convey what's going on there. But anyway, hopefully we'll have some more polite language. Allegedly. This is a bit of a meme. The idea of won't fix isn't just to do with WordPress. Apparently it's a bit of a hashtag circulating around the internet when things are a feature, not a bug, one fix is often new.
So hopefully this will make people feel a little bit, well, a little bit more happy to receive these tickets and less likely to. Get the hump, as we say in the UK, when you read these, because they do perhaps feel a little impolite. The next one is over at the hero, press.com website. It's an article entitled why expand hero press.
It's a piece which I believe we covered a few weeks ago. They are planning to expand. And the, I just think this is such a nice project. We have a project here who have some explicit aims it's to raise access to knowledge by removing economics. Barriers enable global conversation that grows WordPress for the future.
And to educate us all with the richness and depth that can only come from multicultural perspectives and experience. So the idea is that they're going to be committing, I believe more time, presumably more investment into hero, press as a project. I read it fairly regularly. I'm sure that many of you do too.
So this is me basically just saying, go and check out hero, press and it's back catalog of. Interesting articles and it looks like there's going to be more content coming our way from hero press in the future, which I, for one applaud. This is a nice piece from web dev studios. Entitled WebDev studios gives back to WordPress with five for the future tomorrow.
Now this has already happened. It happened on Friday last week, but the intention here with the five for the future initiative is to dedicate 5% of. Time. And in this case, it's WebDev studios, company time. So it's being paid for in effect by the, um, the senior management, I suppose, the decision coming from the senior management of WebDev studios and the intention is that you give that time back to some project.
And in this case, it's WordPress related. So all of the staff there have been encouraged to. Take the day from the regular work off and spend it doing things for WordPress. And that could be absolutely anything. And so there's a great long list of tweets, which people who are employed at WebDev studios, the things that they've been doing and quite a diverse range, some of them have been adding some code to covert tracing apps.
Others have been adding code to bicycle apps for things like Strava and so on. Which is a platform that you can use to plan bike routes and exercise activities and so on. So it's just lovely, really nice to see this company taking the initiative. If you want to find out more about it, there are links on this page.
I've linked to it in the show notes, and you can go to that page and then find out more about how you can become involved. And you never know if you're running an agency, perhaps commit to this yourselves. And if you are working for an agency, perhaps bring this to the attention of your bosses. Should you wish to upskill your clients on how to use WordPress?
This might be interesting. Sarah Gooding on WordPress tab. And again, writing university of Wisconsin offers free course on creating WordPress websites. And it's exactly that. The university appears to have 10 free courses, only one of which has to do with WordPress, but there are other things which may be of interest.
For example, things like management, communication, personal finance, customer service, and so on and so forth. But they're all so offering this free WordPress course. Now I would imagine it's for. The beginners only. So probably not suitable for anybody listening to this podcast. Well, I say that I could be wrong.
They're also throwing in 90 days of free SiteGround hosting, the course lasts for 24 hours and you get access to all of the images and files and so on and so forth. It's available until the well, that is to say it's available for registration until the 30th of June. So you've got to do that in the next.
DSO, and then you'll have three months of access to that course. So yeah, if you've got any friends who aspire to putting their own website together, this may be a good thing to read. We seem to have some kind of acquisition news most weeks anyway, and this week we have smashed balloon being acquired by awesome motive over on the special balloon.com website, a piece entitled smashed balloon is now part of the awesome motive family.
Um, awesome motive are very popular company. They're behind such. Properties as WP beginner, optin monster WP forms, and a whole raft of other things. Well, they have acquired a smash balloon and smashed balloon is a way to help businesses create custom social feeds in WordPress. Apparently it's got 1.3 million active installs, which is quite impressive.
I confess I've not used it before, while it would appear that the guys over at smash balloon and awesome motive have been in touch for a little while. And they've decided that they're going to yeah. Combine their efforts, shall we say it says over on the article that the lead developer is becoming part of automotive as a partner.
In fact, the entire team are going along. It also says that they're going to be hiring and growing smash balloon. But if you are a user of this product, it says that there are no changes business as usual. You continue to use the plugin without any interruption. So anyway, there you go. Well, you seem to be in an era where there's a load of companies coming along who are offering support for setting up websites on platforms, such as Volta and digital ocean.
And. Amazon and so on and so forth. Um, and they've always in my estimation, at least anyway, been a SAS product. So you sign up for their platform. This is an interesting new twist on that. I can't remember how I came across this, but anyway, it's WP cloud deploy, which is a WordPress plugin, uh, to handle exactly this kind of thing.
It says agencies and power users can now use WP admin to manage and deploy WordPress servers across five major. Cloud server providers. So it says they support DigitalOcean Leno to Volta, ISI, to LightSail and coming soon, they'll be providing other things like Google compute, Microsoft as yours and so on.
It's just such an interesting idea. Anyway, the whole point is this is a. Plugin. So you set up your install on a WordPress website and do it that way. It feels a little bit like perhaps main WP as opposed to something like managed WP, which is a SAS versus a plugin, a structure, a couple of nice features it's ready for multisite.
And also those of you who are using a Wes or website as a service, it says it's WP Ultimo ready as well. Click on the link in the show notes to find out more. The next section is all about plugins, themes and blocks. And this is a really nice one, just in Tatlock talking about something called the editor.
Plus the article is entitled control block design via the editor plus a WordPress plugin. So a few weeks ago we spoke about Guttenberg forms, money Kamala was the developer of that. Well, it would seem that he's on a bit of, a bit of a. Plugin creation cycle at the moment, because he's just launched editor plus, which is by all accounts, a very nice way of configuring the CSS on your blocks pages.
Now, this is clearly intended for people who are not familiar with CSS or perhaps you are familiar and would just like a, a UI for doing this instead, it looks very straightforward, indeed. So it will only work. With WordPress core blocks. So it won't work with third party ones, but the idea is you install this and then you have the option to change the following things.
You can change the boarder box, shadow sizing, background margin, padding border radius. Extras, you can also talk, talk to responsive States and hover States, and there's an option to toggle on and off the important should your theme override what it is that you're trying to do? It looks very, very minimal and Justin has had a play and he said, what it spits out is only the CSS required for the amendments that you've made.
And so from that point of view, it seems very lightweight. Nice UI. Very simple to use. There's a couple of little gotchas, which Justin finds out, but mostly on the whole, he thinks it's a cracking first start. So if you're playing with blocks and you've wanted the ability to tweak them and don't wish to open up an IDE or fiddle in some way with the CSS, this could be really good.
From one useful new plugin to another. This is again on WP Tavern, the article entitled add per block notes and create draft blocks with the wholesome publishing plugin. So Matt Watson, um, through his wholesome code brand has released a plugin called wholesome publishing it's in version 1.0 yeah. But it looks really good.
Now this is probably not going to be all that useful if you are a solo publisher, but I can imagine if there's more than one of you having to publish articles or get some kind of consent before publishing, this is going to be very useful. The idea is that you have a block, you hover in there and you interact with it.
And then there is a comment thread that opens up. So this is not to be confused with post comments where they appear on the front end of the website. And usually under the content, this appears in the sidebar on the right. With the content and is not published on the front end. So it could be that your team might like to comment on a particular piece of content held within a block.
It might be an image that's too dark. It might be some texts. You've used the wrong words. This is incorrect. I don't feel this is ready for publication and so on. So a comment thread goes in there. If you own install the plugin or, you know, get rid of it in some way. And apparently those comments are removed as well.
So that's really nice. And it just looks like a, imagine something like Facebook messenger or WhatsApp, it's just a little comment thread like that with avatars and the comment itself. So you and your team can all decide when you know what needs to be done. But thrown in alongside of that is the draft blocks option.
Now what you can do is you can set just one block on a page to be draft rather than the whole page itself or post itself. And so in that way, you can just remove from display one particular aspect. So let's say for example, that you're, I don't know, you've written something and you're unclear as to whether or not it's.
A hundred percent accurate, but the article itself is ready to go. You could publish the article, but set this particular block to draft. And then when you firmed up, whether it's true or not go back and publish it, and that would just be added in. So essentially it's a toggle to remove the visibility. Of that particular block.
I haven't, I confess, looked to see in what way it does that. I'm hoping that it literally removes it, um, from being rendered in the HTML. I'm hoping that as opposed to comments, but you can find out for yourself, but the idea is pretty neat. Again, it's called, um, wholesome publishing and it might be worth checking out.
During this time, lots of events have moved to be virtual events and things like zoom have become really popular well booking those events potentially. It has been a little bit difficult. Maybe if you've transitioned over to doing things online, you've had to upskill yourself in many respects and the events calendar has taken this on, and now they're adding.
Um, virtual events via zoom. They have a post entitled virtual events add onto the events calendar, and it's exactly what you'd expect. Now you can add zoom events into your calendar events, if it is a virtual event, it, the image of that event in the display on your website has a little kind of icon. It looks, it looks almost like a dots with kind of brackets surrounding it, but the idea would be that you'd get familiar with that and learn that that's what.
What it means. And so it works with that. So you can set up these now from your WordPress website, um, and you have to use the events calendar in order to do this in this way. The next section is all about deals. And there's quite a few this week. Some of them brought over from last week, but some of them knew if you are using buddy boss, you might be interested to know that for a few days, there is a lifetime license available for that.
Now body boss is a plugin, which enables you to well expand the, the boundaries of what it was possible to do with body press. They've launched this platform. And at the moment they've got a lifetime deal on it's a more expensive than the typical lifetime deal, but I. I feel that this product is receiving quite a lot of attention at the moment.
So I thought it was worth bringing it to your attention. So click on the link in the show notes for that also this week. And for a few weeks following, you can get breezy. The page builder, both the plugin and the cloud version. There's 15% off. There is a code, a WP Builds 15. Mm. You can redeem that. Click on the link again in the show notes, couple of new ones Creflo, which is an image image, editing tool.
It's got the ability to create social posts and it's got some nice slick animation stuff that's available on our lifetime deal. And so is something that you might want to deploy on your client websites continually. It's a live chat. You know, this sort of thing you've seen with Intercom and so on it's like that.
Um, it's also on lifetime deal as are the following, which are repeats Emilia booking quotas for proposals, WP reset that may have gone by the time you hear this, but also happy forms as well. The next section is security. You've got a couple of items. We take a very light touch on security because perhaps this isn't the best place to go deep onto that.
But the first one is I themes regular monthly Roundup. This is part two of June, 2020. You can just scan through and see if. There are any vulnerabilities which have been patched recently. It's just a way of quickly visually alerting yourself to the fact that something might need to be updated ASAP. So go and click on the link in the show notes for that.
And there's also, Wordfence, I've got an article entitled malware detection, measuring recall to catch them all. And this is a little bit of a, well, it's an easy read. There's nothing technical in here, but it's all about. What recall is simply put, they say recall as a percentage of known malicious files that are detected by our signatures, their signatures, being all of the different things, which have locked away on file to test against your WordPress website, to see if there's malware or some other type of scam going on.
The point of the article I feel is to have a. Have a go in a comparison against jetpacks new scam and they make the claim that their scan detects 98 plus percent of known malicious content. Whereas they make the claim that Jetpack only detects 11.5. The truth of this is beyond me. I don't know whether it's true, but it is an interesting piece.
Maybe if you're a Wordfence user, it will, it will allay your fears or perhaps it will get you to go and look at Jetpack scan to see what that's all about. And anyway, we'll see. The blatantly promotional WP Builds bit. So the first one is to say that I did a, I did a podcast episode number 185 with James Rose.
James Rose is somebody that's been on the podcast a couple of times talking about his product content snare. But this time he's talking about automation. Cause it turns out that James really, really likes to automate all the things, not all the things. There are areas in the podcast where we cover, where it's probably not worth it, but James, his point, which is valid is if you're doing something over and over again, and it really has no benefits on the bottom line of your business.
If it's literally socking time, why not see if you can automate it? He's got a course out, which we mention in there and you can find links in the show notes, but it's just a wonderful exploration of why you should automate and how you do it in his. His weapon of choice is Zapier. So anyway, go check that out.
The other one is to say, and I've mentioned it already, that Sabrina's iden and I are doing this WP plugin startup from zero to 10, 10,000 K installs. No, not 10,000 K. That would be extraordinary. 10 K installs. We'll see if we even make that, but I've put a playlist up on our YouTube channel and this is just a link to that.
So if you're trying to keep track of those videos, then you can find them with the link. No jobs for you this week, but a plea. If you do have a job or you know of somebody, that's got a job, please send it to me. You can use my email address, or maybe you could use the contact form on the WP Builds website.
That's WP Builds.com forward slash contact. And you can let us know about job openings, but yeah, I've got nothing for you this week. That's all the WordPress stuff I've got for you this week, but don't go away. We always had a couple of bits on the end, entitled not to WordPress, but useful. Anyway, first one, over a tech crunch, Virgin galactic fly.
Second spaceship to test at New Mexico spaceport clearing the way for powered space flight. So this is just really interesting. Richard Branson's Virgin galactic have such a different approach to getting into space than the likes of space X and so on. You know, the traditional rocket firing straight up.
Virgin galactic. I've got something which you could basically describe as an airplane and it's taken up underneath another airplane up high into the atmosphere. As high as traditional flight can go, and then it's released it drops and then its engines fire. And then it kind of turns into a rocket that is to say it then basically goes vertical, straight up into space.
But it's an airplane, you know, it's got wings and so on and so forth. And once it's been up in space for a little while, it can then just calm down the wings in some way, rotate. And this creates enough friction that the aircraft is slowed down to the point where it doesn't heat up considerably upon reentry.
So essentially this thing can just go up down, up, down, up, down, uh, just like an old normal airplane. So absolutely fascinating. I think the point of this is to start taking people up. Into space as a sort of tourism venture, but I'm just fascinating that they've managed to pull this off really, really interesting.
And the last one I've got for you this week is for you tubers you Chub's latest experiment as a tick tock rival focused on 15 second videos. Now this stuff is completely beyond me. I don't really get to tick tock, but I understand that it's the new thing. And allegedly their default is a 15 second video.
Well, that's exactly what YouTube have done. If you use the YouTube app, you're now going to get 15 seconds as a default for creating videos. Presumably taking complete aim at. Things like talk, I know that Facebook and Instagram have rivals in this sphere as well, but yeah, if you want to upload longer videos from your mobile device, you're not going to have to shoot them on the camera and then upload them to YouTube in the traditional way.
And I suppose the hope is that YouTube tries to stay relevant in an area, in an era in which the kids at least anyway, seem to be going all tick tock. Right. That's all the news I've got for you this week. I hope that you've enjoyed it. If you've found it useful, please leave us a comment. Please rate us on whatever podcast platform you're using.
The Apple one seems to be very useful for ratings. I really appreciate those. Thank you very much for everybody who's left them. Uh, but yeah, please just let me know if you've found some use in here, or if you found it to be hopeless and needs improvement. Let me know that as well. The WP Builds weekly.
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Use your existing pages and test anything against anything else. Buttons, images, headers rows, really 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 [email protected] Okay. Maybe at some point during the next week, we'll see you Thursday for the podcast Monday for the news, just slightly listening to now, but also remember Monday 2:00 PM, UK time, WP belts.com forward slash live to see me and a few people chatting about the WordPress news and also the same URL on Tuesday for Sabrina and I chatting about installing plugins and getting our plugins noticed.
Okay. Thanks a lot for listening. Bye bye for now.