This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 20th July 2020:
Theme Authors Can Pass Data to Template Files in WordPress 5.5
WordPress 5.5 to Remove Hulu from List of Supported oEmbed Providers
JetPackCRM and Zero BS CRM Rebrands and Relaunches as Jetpack CRM
Why Accessibility Matters for WordPress Themes and Their Users
A Great Comparison of Local-Development WordPress Options
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
Unsplash Launches Official Plugin for WordPress
Web Stories for WordPress – Beta
Page Builder Framework – Agency Bundle
Deals from this week
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Continually live chat – $49
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WordPress Vulnerability News, July 2020
188 – Headless v’s not headless
WordPress plugin startup – from 0 to 10k installs – Part 6
Kinsta – Affiliate Program Coordinator
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Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
Google Delays Mobile-First Indexing Deadline to March 2021
Machines can learn unsupervised ‘at speed of light’ after AI breakthrough, scientists say
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Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
Good morning and welcome to this. The WP Builds weekly WordPress. This is number 124. It covers the WordPress news for the week, the 20th of July, 2020. And it was published on Monday the 27th of July, 2020. My name's Nathan Wrigley. And if you wouldn't mind sure. Hearing this podcast would be most appreciative.
There's a bunch of black buttons. Should you be listening to this on the WP Builds.com website, as I say, there's some black buttons underneath the player. If you use those there's options to share it all over the place. One thing that we've noticed is if you go to Apple podcasts and give us a review that really does help.
So appreciate those other options would be to go to WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. Over there. You're going to find all sorts of ways of keeping in touch with us. We produce lots of content each week and there's two forms to fill out. One will alert you when we produce that content. And the other one will alert you whenever we find a WordPress deal.
So that might be something to do with plugins, hosting themes, et cetera. We'll alert you so that you don't have to subscribe to millions of lists. That's WP belts.com forward slash subscribe over there. You'll also be able to join our Facebook group of over 2,600 very friendly word pressers and there's options to follow us on Twitter and so on and so forth.
Another page to go to would be WP belts come forward slash deals. It's a curated list of deals, which stay there 365 days of the year. Significant amounts of it's filterable and searchable. So if you're in the market for something WordPress C this week, Maybe go and check that out. Another thing to say is we do produce a little bit of content each week, every Thursday, a podcast episode, every Monday, the news that you're listening to now, but also every Monday, 2:00 PM, UK time, you can find a live version of this news and I'll be joined by notable guests each and every week.
How about having said that though, I'm actually having a week off this week. And so the whole thing will be led by Paul Lacey. You can find [email protected] forward slash live 2:00 PM UK time on Monday, or head over to the Facebook group and search for the link at 2:00 PM. Paul's going to be joined by Sabrina's Zeidan, Akshat Choudhury and Kirsty Burgoine.
So hopefully that'll be a nice show. I wish them all very well. The other thing to say is we're taking a pause this week because I'm on holiday for our usual 2:00 PM session on a Tuesday with Sabrina who I've just mentioned are zero to 10 K installs series. So we're having a bit of a week off this week.
Last thing to mention dot com forward slash advertise. If you would like to help the WP Builds podcasts, stay on the air. It is most appreciated. You could have your product or service put in front of a WordPress specific audience a little bit like these guys. 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 and get 60 days free at Kinsta dot com. And AB split test. Do you 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, and the best part it works with element or Beaver builder and the WordPress blog editor. Check it out and get a free dem[email protected]. Okay, let's get stuck into the new, shall we.
Each and every week we divide our WordPress news up into different categories and each week, should there be any, we start with WordPress core and there's three little bits today. The first one is to say that WordPress 5.5, a beater three is now available. The hope is to ship WordPress 5.5 very soon on the 11th of August.
So there needs to be help in order to get it through its beta testing phases. There were. 43 bugs that have been squashed since B to two, which feels like it was just a couple of days ago. They are categorized as follows plugin and theme versions and are shared in the emails when automatically updated rest API routes.
Without it permission, callback now trigger a, doing it wrong warning. There have been over 23 Gothenburg changes and updates and couple of things to do with dash icons as well as always your help and support in beta testing is greatly appreciated. So over to the link in the show notes, and there are some options for how you can become a WordPress, a beta tester.
The next piece is over on WordPress Tavern, just in Tadlock writing a piece entitled theme authors can pass data to template files in WordPress 5.5 and it starts with the lines theme. Developers can finally rejoice. Because this has finally happened. It seems like it's been going on for him very long time.
Our allegedly Scott Kingsley Clarke was there. The first person who requested this back in 2012 and over the years, the ticket has been sort of squashed and then brought back to life and defended and so on and so forth. Couple of weeks ago, it feels like it was announced that it was possible to update themes via a zip file.
And also in the last few weeks, just in tells us there was an actual fix for an internet, the Explorer six hack, which he says in a telex was. Progress. Now, this is important for plugin and theme developers. I won't go into the details. My suggestion would be if you are a plugin or theme developer, and don't really understand this, have a look at what Justin has written, but it's all about the scope of PHP variables and what's allowed and what is not allowed.
And Justin writes for years, theme developers wishing to pass data to template files have had to use less than ideal work arounds. And so this fixes that problem, all of the WordPress template loading functions now support an additional parameter of arcs, which allows theme authors to pass along an associative array of data to load to the loading template.
And the functions that support this new parameter are, get header, get footer, get sidebar, get template, part, locate template, and load template. So probably quite important if you are creating themes, but just, it does make the point towards the end of the article. Well, is this a little bit? Yeah. On the late side with WordPress, about to really turn everything on its head with its new theme system, um, which we hope will be coming before the end of the year.
Maybe this is something which has been fixed, but won't be much use to anybody for any great length of time. We'll have to wait and see. The last one in the community. The section is Sarah Gooding. This time on WordPress Tavern with an article entitled WordPress 5.5 to remove Hulu from list of supported O embed providers.
It looks like Hulu has been an option to embed our confess. I haven't used it ever. You've been able to embed via their own embed API, but apparently that is now broken now. Surprisingly. Quite surprisingly to me. Anyway, this has been included in WordPress. The option to embed Hulu has been included since December, 2009.
So a really long time ago since WordPress 2.9, but now this is broken and it doesn't sound like Hulu are going to fix it. They've just killed this API connection in some way, shape or form. So if you've been using Hulu links, if that's a significant part of what you've been up to, you may need to go back and look and fix things up.
The next section is entitled community. And I've got several pieces for you under the umbrella of that this week, the first two are for the same subject. The first one is a direct link to jet pack, crm.com. And the second one is just in Tagalog over at WordPress Tavern and his take on it. So it appears that we've got to rebrand.
We had a CRM plugin that was bought by automatic, and I cannot believe it. It was nearly a year ago. It feels like just the other day I was mentioning this on this news and they have rebranded zero BS, CRM into Jetpack CRM. Now the theory behind this really is all about the recognition in the WordPress space and beyond of the words, Jetpack, obviously love it or hate it.
Jetpack is something. Yeah. Everybody knows the name of in the WordPress community and the idea. Is that this will launch it into the strategy. Yeah. So the duo of Stott and heyday have been publishing quite a few updates. Recently they launched 3.0 in December. The journey appears to be reasonably slow.
That is to say, they've managed to get from 2000 to 3000 installs, but in the post that Justin created, they do say that, well, it's not like an SEO plugin, which you install on 15 or a hundred different websites. This is just a one off thing. So yeah. Each installation is, you know, is significant. So this is new.
It says on the website, Jetpack crm.com, manage your contacts the right way. You have it under control businesses. Good. And you can see at a glance, you have exciting potential. So if you're in the market for a CRM and you've been looking around for our WordPress solution, well, this appears to be a good option.
Currently. It stands way behind the. The big player in the space, which is HubSpot, but with a hundred thousand installs, it does demonstrate that there is some room for maneuver for Jetpack CRM. It's quite a lot of integrations that you can grow with. So for example, this things like Twilio, woo commerce convert kits, Stripe gravity forms, a Webber, right?
Worldpay PayPal and Google for a start. And it looks like the freelancer option is the cheapest of all at $11 going up to elite at $30 per month. Okay. Maybe go and check that out. If you have an interest in accessibility, then this very long piece by Justin Tadlock over on WordPress Tavern will be of great interest to you.
It's entitled why accessibility matters for WordPress themes and their users. And as I say, it is a very long piece. I'm going to struggle to summarize it, but essentially it's a piece exploring where WordPress is at right now in terms of accessibility. Are we behind the curve? Does it even matter? There was a comment fairly near the top of the piece saying that some of the more popular themes in the WordPress space don't appear to acknowledge accessibility as an important concern.
Therefore, it can't be an important concern. And of course that seems to be, be a little bit wide of the Mark. This article makes the point that really you've got to put yourself right. Into the shoes of other people and try to see things from their perspective. And with that awareness in mind, it does become a little bit more urgent to make things as accessible as possible.
Now, this obviously covers a broad, a broad spectrum of issues, tons and tons of ways that you can make your WordPress site accessible. And these are obviously tackled by the accessibility team. Who've got a fairly good handle. Well, I would say on what they need to do. Yeah. But progress does appear to be slow.
They've got the option of speeding things up a little bit, but that of course, causes IRR and dislike from theme authors who then have to go back and change things. Anyway, lots of different voices brought into this article, lots of quotes from different people coming in from different perspectives and different angles.
And as I said, if accessibility is something that is of interest to you, this is certainly worth a read. The next one comes from the WP shouts website. The piece is entitled a great comparison of local development, WordPress options. It's written by David Hayes. It's actually a very, very short summation of a much longer and more authoritative delicious brains article.
And if you actually click on the link in my show notes, And then go to the bottom of the piece that David wrote, you'll actually under, upon the delicious brains website and it's comparing the four best local WordPress development environments. So it's comparing X amp. I sure I've got that right. But I could never be sure that I've got it right, because I hear so many different people pronouncing it differently, local and desktop server as always.
It's one of those things where they compare things like for like, and try to tease out which one's the best. And as always. Kind of towards the end, it becomes obvious that, you know, at the end of the day, it's up to you, you decide for yourself, but it does, it does create a nice contrast. And if you're using one of these, you may be sort of getting disgruntled and thinking.
I should definitely try something else. Everybody's talking about this other one. I personally, I'm quite satisfied with local at the moment, but having read this article, there's a few reasons why I might like to share shift, have a read, see what you think. Our next section is entitled a plugins, themes and blocks, and three bits of news for you today.
The first one is again, WordPress tab. And this is Sarah Gooding writing about on splash launches, official plugin for WordPress. I'm pretty sure that if you've been designing on the web for any length of time, you've tried to find a. Basically free image to put on our website so that you didn't contravene any licensing problems.
Well, on splash is a pretty good place to go for it. Those, and they've a lot launched an official yeah. WordPress plugin with the team at X WP. The idea here is that you install the plugin and then you have immediate access inside the block editor to their 1 million plus high resolution free images. The nice thing here is that we'll also bring across all of the metadata.
So for example, the attribution of the photographer and so on, which can be lost with rival plugins. I hope that the way that they've got it set up with their right API means that it will work more quickly and they also have support for dynamic image URLs. So that. You can have things downloaded, which adapt correctly to the device connection, screen size.
So that's good. You can freely download this. It's available now. It's interesting. The, the article goes on to talk about the pricing model and it would seem that Unsplash is going to go down the line. Yeah. Have some rival services where they have paid for offerings, which are given priority at the top of the page.
Be interesting to see how that works with the plugin. Yeah. Anyway, the point being, if you like free images and you're like on splashed, well, there is now an official WordPress plugin to enable you to put them into your Gothenburg posts, lovely stuff. This one is interesting. I confess I've not really used it nor have I really seen this deployed much in the wild, but Google have released a beta version of their stories for WordPress.
Now, the only way to describe this, just to go and have a look. If you're familiar with stories, there's probably nothing new here, but stories are kind of mobile optimized. Images with text on the top. And the whole premise of them is that they create a visually compelling little story. So it immediately goes from one full screen mobile image and moves on to the next, after a period of time and there's animations and so on and so forth.
This whole thing is Wiziwig. You get to install the plugin. And from there you get this. Really quite nice interface with panels on the left to alter the text sizing and so on, and then panels on the right to amend colors and things like that. So you can add shapes and all sorts. Basically, it's a full on tool for creating many web pages, which scroll from one to the next.
And that's what the story is. So it's completely, embitter, it's quite funny. They do say. We're not quite ready for prime time yet, but if you'd like to live dangerously, we invite you to try our first public beater. So who knows this may well be something that sticks around. I can sort of see this, having a bit, bit of a shelf life and not being all that important.
Maybe a couple of years from now, but new project. Interesting idea. Maybe go check it out. We've talked about the page builder framework, various times. This is from the page builder framework, but there's more to it than that because they've decided that they're going to offer an agency bundle. So this is a way that you can save if you're using David products.
So for example, he has the page builder framework. Premium ad-ons. He also has a plugin called ultimate dashboard pro, which has enabled you to customize your WordPress dashboards with things like page builders and all sorts of other options. He also has a, a little plugin called Swift control pro, which allows you to have some floating buttons on.
Pages of your website so that it makes it easier for clients to get to the areas of your WordPress installed that they need to get to and not have to fiddle with the admin quite so much. Well, previously, if you'd bought these three plugins together, you would be paying $244, but he's decided to bundle them up and offer them at $168.
You get one year of support, no updates, but it's a nice way of helping out the people who've helped him out, giving them reduced pricing. The next section is all about WordPress deals. And as always, I linked to two places. I linked to our subscribed form where you can subscribe to our email. Should you wish to hear about deals as I hear about them.
And also I linked to ours. WP Builds.com forward slash deals page. There's a few new ones though, in the show notes. The first one is to say that essential ad-ons for elemental has got a coupon code. You can get 25% off. There's also a booking system called pinpoint world. That's got 20% off and you can also avail yourself of.
Three free months of flywheel hosting. We also linked to the stuff which has been on for a few weeks, QB blocks, Creflo image editing, give WP breezy, plugin and cloud continually live chat quotas and happy forms. Most of those are WordPress and a few of them are lifetime deals of sale. Anyway, all the links are in the show notes.
I like to touch on security as always. I confess I've not heard of this plugin, but Wordfence tells us that there is a high severity vulnerability patched in TC custom Java script. This plugin has over 10,000 installs and this X S S vulnerability has been highlighted from the notes. It would appear that it has been patched.
And so it goes on. So you can quickly scroll through this and thanks to a web box in this case is work. We're able to hopefully. Keep our websites up to date and secure. They blatantly WP Builds promotional bit. Now, just to say that David and I recorded a podcast episode, it was number 188 and we got into the subject of headless WordPress versus not headless WordPress now.
I think both of us would confess to not really being experts in this field, but it's quite nice sometimes to push the boundaries, try to discover some new stuff. So we take the adversarial approach. One of us trying to stick up for headless in my case, me and David, therefore trying to defend, not using words.
Press as a headless option. So we talk around that there was actually an awful lot that came, came out of it, largely new to us, but all sorts of interesting ways that you could deploy headless. And, um, yeah. So if that's your thing and you're looking at different solutions surrounding headless, maybe go and check that podcast out.
Also to say that Sabrina's Dan and I, we had part six of ours, zero to 10 K install sessions. We're doing these live on a Tuesday, as I mentioned, and we've reached part six today. We were carrying on the conversation that we started about documentation, which it turns out can be more useful than you think.
We talk about the fact that it could be used really as an SEO piece, a piece to draw people in. To your product or plug in in this case and alert them on a simple SEO, Google search for something that your product exists, that it meets a need. We've seen many players in the WordPress space doing this.
And so we discussed that the link in the show notes, you to the archive where all six of the episode so far have been, we're not doing one this week because I'm going to be away on holiday, as I said, but we'll be back in two weeks time. Next up, we've got jobs. I've only got one for you this week, but it's over at who is actually a sponsor of the podcast.
You may have noticed Ken sta have a position for an affiliate program coordinator. They say we're looking for an experienced and highly knowledgeable affiliate program coordinator to take our affiliate program to the next level. There's obviously a link in the show notes and a full job description, including what you'd be expected to do, what you would be expected.
Also, I'd like to say that if you click on the link in the show notes, you'll get to our jump section. There's a button in there to post the job. But if you want to create a job on WP bill for WordPress joke, you can go to WP belts.com forward slash post dash a dash job. Or if you have over the menu jobs in the main navigation, there's a posted job link, which, which comes up when you hover.
So yes, please make use of that. It's completely free. That's all the WordPress news I've got for you this week, but wait, don't go away. We've got three things in our, not WordPress, but useful. Anyway, section first one is oddly back over at WordPress Tavern because Google delays mobile first indexing deadline to March, 2027.
Tell us Sarah Gooding. And this is probably good news. They cite the fact that there are, we have been through, I should say, uncertain times as a reason for delaying this. They were due to roll out mobile indexing first in September, 2020. Yeah. But that has I say, has been delayed until March 20, 21, Google earth site owners to pay close attention to several important issues.
And I quote robot's meta-tags on mobile version should match the desktop version or Google may fail to index or follow links on the page. Do not lazy load. Primary content based on user interactions like swiping, clicking, or typing because the Google bot doesn't trigger. These interactions avoid the bad practice of using smaller images on mobile to fit the smaller screen, small and low quality image will not be favorably.
Indexed ensure content on the mobile version matches the desktop since only the mobile version will be used for indexing under ranking in search and include a meaningful. Alt tags for images. So there's quite a lot to be taking in. Obviously Google have given us a bit of Slack because of the fact that, well, they've been on certain times, but you've been warned March, 2021 is the deadline to get your sites and mobile ready first for search.
Tinfoil hats at the ready please, because AI is about to get quicker. The independent tells us that machines can learn unsupervised at the speed of light after AI breakthrough scientists say well, who would have thought that things could be. It's considered to be slow in terms of AI development, but allegedly they're not going quickly enough because we want to speed things up.
And it turns out that simply by you using electricity, let's just call it that, that has been a limitation in the space, which things can be processed. Right. It would appear that the guys over at George Washington university have taken this challenge on and they've instead decided to approach it by using light instead of electricity.
Now, it all gets very complicated. I don't really claim to understand it, but they say quote, we found that integrated photonic platforms that integrate efficient optical memory, you can obtain the same operations as tensor processing units, but they consume a fraction of the power and have higher outputs.
Basically things just got quicker and it's all to do with the fact that these guys have decided to use light. So how a robot overlords just got a little bit closer. The last one today is entirely frivolous. If like me, you've been working from home for a long time, but you've been largely left to it. You may, during these uncertain times have had to share your space in ways that you didn't do perhaps with children or other family members.
And at various times it's probably caused irritation because you want to let everybody know that you're busy. In my case, doing a recording in your case is doing some work. But people don't really know that you're busy unless you somehow tell them well, over on Indiegogo, somebody obviously had exams.
Exactly the same problem. They've designed a remote control. And when I say remote control, you can control it with your phone. You stick this little box somewhere in your house and it's an LCD screen and it displays whatever message you want it to display. So it could go for example, in the hall of your house or perhaps in your kitchen, and it could say.
I am recording or I am busy, do not disturb there's two options. There's an option just to turn a light on and off. And it will simply display a pre formatted card that you slide in front of the light, which may say recording or busy, or you can buy a more expensive version, which allows you to create.
Images to go on the LCD. So you could include emojis or any texts that you like. So perhaps this is the solution certainly seems popular. It's got 1300% of its initial goal. So clearly this is solving a real world problem. Okay, thank you for joining us for the WP Builds a weekly WordPress news. I really appreciated.
If you've got any comments, please do make them. You could do that at the bottom of the post itself. We use Facebook comments for that, or come to WP Builds.com forward slash Facebook. That's our Facebook group. Please join in over there and make your comments because we post everything as well. Very much appreciate any comments and I'd like to know if we can do better.
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 and staging environments.
The best part, their expert team of WordPress engineers are available 24 seven. If you need help, you can try a demo for free 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, anything. And the best part it works with element or Beaver builder on the WordPress block editor. You can check it out at absplittest.com. We will be back on Thursday for a podcast episode. We'll be back next Monday for a news episode.
Like the one you're listening to now, we shall not be back on Tuesday with Sabrina's Dan and I, because as I said, I'm on holiday, but Paul Lacey will be leading. The WP Builds weekly WordPress news live this week with Sabrina's Zeidan, Akshat Choudhary and Kirsty Burgoine. Join them at 2:00 PM UK time. On Monday, WP belts.com forward slash live.
Okay. See you soon. Bye bye for now.
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