This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 17th August 2020:
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Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
Hello there. Good morning. And welcome to this. The WP Builds weekly WordPress news. This is number 128. It covers the WordPress news for the week. Commencing the 17th of August, 2020. And it was published on Monday the 24th of August, 2020. My name's Nathan Wrigley and a few bits of housekeeping just before we begin, we produce a lot of WordPress content each and every week.
And you can discover all of that over at wpbuilds.com over there. You're going to discover podcast episodes, news episodes, live news episodes, things like our plugin startup archive. Contributor episodes, demos and all sorts of things over there, including our deals page. I'll come to that in a moment, but head over to WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe.
If you'd like to keep in touch with all that we do, you'll find forms on there to keep in touch with our content, but also we'll notify you about WordPress deals. When we hear about them, there are ways to subscribe to us on your favorite podcast player. And I strongly encourage you to join our Facebook group of over 2,600.
Very. Friendly. WordPress's another page to look at would be wpbuilds.com forward slash deals. It's a searchable and filterable list of deals, which have been provided to us by plugin and the Mona's. And it gives you significant amounts of coupon codes, lots of things, WordPress plugins, and hosting that kind of thing.
So go and check it out. Yeah. WP Builds.com forward slash deals. Also, just to say that we will be having the live news episode on Monday 2:00 PM. UK time. You can find that at wpbuilds.com forward slash live, or of course in the Facebook group come and go going in the comments. It's very nice when people join in and write their comments and shows that you care.
It's lovely. This week joined by Paul Lacey, Michelle Frechette and Bernard Gronau. That's 2:00 PM UK time in the WP bill Facebook group, or at forward slash live. Another option would be WP Builds.com forward slash advertise. We have a WordPress specific audience, and if you have a WordPress specific product, you may like to get it in front of that audience a bit like kin stir and AB split test have done.
Are you tired of unreliable or slow? Yeah. Hosting. If so, check out Kinsta. Kinsta 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 free demo for 60 days at Kinsta dot com. 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 it works with Elementor Beaver builder and the WordPress blog editor. Check it out and get a free [email protected] Okay, let's get on with the news for this week.
Shall we? Each week we divide our WordPress news up into different sections. And we always begin with WordPress core, two pieces for you this week. The first one, Sarah Gooding on WP Tavern, writing WordPress 5.6 development kicks off with all women release squad. So 5.5 has just shipped, but time and tide wait for no man.
As they say, and Josepha, Haden will be kicking off the lead for 5.6. She's going to be coordinating with. D teal and they'll also be some other leads as well. So lead for triage is Tanya. Mark Cortech is Helen who Sandy editor tech is about Briston design will be Alan Bauer and Tommy Lister. And there'll be several more women managing documents.
accessibility, marketing testing, and so on. The full squad comes to 46 women. And so it's interesting Josepha Haden decided that this would be a good idea some years ago in a proposal. And obviously it's been leaped upon personally. I see this as, as a really interesting and novel approach, the idea that, um, that it would be an old women really scrubbed seems to be really interesting and, and sensible to me, there are lots and lots of things in store.
So here are some of the features which are hoping to ship in 5.6 navigation menu blocking core automatic updates for major WordPress core releases. That's opt in new features for the block editor, upgrades, widgets editing, and customize a supporting core default theme, including F S E compatible version.
Yeah. PHB eight support and public, a beater of full site editing. Wow. So here we go. It was interesting. If you read the comments on the WP Tavern article, a few people chimed in saying that, um, the wealth, they described it as Peter show wrote it is concerning that woke tokenism is now lauded as a good thing.
The only criteria should be who is best for the role. And obviously. That led to a certain level of debate. And you can go and check that out if you wish. But yeah, from my point of view, this seems like a really great thing. The next piece is over on search engine journal. I don't think we featured them in word press core ever before.
And it is to say why it works 5.5 is breaking sites. I'm hoping that if you've migrated your sites over to WordPress 5.5, you've had a trouble free experience, but as is always the case, there are some edge cases in which things haven't worked out as planned. And this is largely to do with J query migrate on the fact that.
Cool. jQuery migrates. JQuery migrates is a library that acts as a bridge for older codes to function on WordPress. So if you've got any sites with an old version of a theme in there, and they've not got jQuery migrate, there is in fact a mitigation for that. Now the other problem which is being reported is a pagination bug.
I won't go too much into the detail. It seems like a pretty edge case, but it's all to do with the, the way that the word page is being used. And you can find out more about that over on the search engine journal article. The next section is the community section. And I've got four pieces for you this week.
The first one might be of interest. If you're into themes and testing them for speed, the guys over at Kinston have carried out what they call the 11 fastest WordPress themes in 2020 based on thorough testing. So this is a pretty hefty article. They outline exactly what it is that they've done to substantiate their claims that they found the 11 fastest themes.
Uh, you. You don't want to hear me to explaining all of that, but because it's incredibly complicated, but it's things like using GT metrics and Pingdom and using page speed insights and byte checks and all sorts of other, and they've come out with a list of, of 11 themes. I'll mention some of the names.
I'm sure you've heard them before. You can make your own mind up. But I do know that lots of people obsess about this kind of stuff. So I thought I'd. Bring it to your attention. Hello. Elemental gets a notable mention. Does the Neve theme as does the Astra theme and generate press is mentioned in that as well, along with the page builder framework, and I could go on ocean WP and a few others as well, but nevertheless, go and read this article.
It may be that you have clients who were fussing about the kind of theme that they're using, and you want to substantiate that. You've picked what you consider to be a good one in this article might help you to do that. For the next piece, we're back to WP Tavern and Sarah Gooding's article WordPress documentation team discusses a modifying external linking policy following opposition to the ban on commercial links.
So last week, the documentation team announced that there would be a ban on all commercial links within the official official documentation for WordPress. So that's things like help hub. Code reference plugin and theme developer handbooks and so on and so forth. And the reason behind this was because it was thought that there was potential scope for abuse.
People could link out to content where the initial, she was very much to offer a commercial service. Now, the problem of course, is that some of these sites linked to may well have a commercial wing. But also they might have genuine, interesting and useful content. It may be that there are commercial links in that site somewhere, but, you know, it's kind of buried behind a wall of useful and reliable information.
And so this has matched with quite a bit of step. Stiff opposition. And the problem of course is because it's almost impossible to nail this down. The intention was to kind of automate this process and make it so that people, that the people on the team who were creating the documentation, didn't have to worry about this.
And they could just sort of click save if you'd like and have, have links like that. Not, um, not allowed, um, the idea being to save the resources time and so on, which is, which is pretty tight in these WordPress teams. But it didn't have that result. In fact, it had quite the opposite who knows whether something would be considered commercial, how commercial is commercial or what level do you decide that something's commercial?
If he's got something on the website or if there's a, you know, a popup, how do you decide? And so. It's been decided now that this is just too fraught with difficulty. And so pretty much anything is going to be allowed. Probably need some rules around this, but yeah, I haven't been set as yet. However, there is a Google doc linked to which has some new policy guidelines.
So maybe if you're into this, there's a zoom call right at the bottom of the article. There's a zoom called link where. They're going to get together to discuss what's in that Google doc. And if this kind of stuff presses your buttons, maybe check it out and see if you can get yourself on that zoom call.
Next up. One of the more exciting features on the horizon of WordPress has been discussed apps talk, mike.io, Joe Howard writes full site editing in WordPress lowering barriers to entry or the end of themes. Now you may or may not know that the capability to really customize. Every single aspect of your WordPress website is going to be coming down the pipe very, very soon, potentially by the end of this year.
And this is talk mugs, uh, introduction into how that works. So it's really exactly that. It tells you how the block editor, AKA Gothenburg is. Emulating some of the features of page builders. So the ability to, well have navigation and headers and footers all through a WordPress blocks, which is becoming the, the way that we're going to be doing everything.
It talks about whether there are pros and cons. So this weather as developers, it's going to be significantly easier for us. Maybe we'll be able to get more work done. And of course there's the thorny problem that if it's easy, does that kind of put us out of a job? You know, well, people are liking building WordPress websites to something which is not requiring so much skill.
So pros and cons, and it's discussed at great length in this article. There's also a nice video from Matt Madeira on there. Yeah. Which showcases some of the features, which are experimental at the moment. Uh, so there's glitches in his video as he discovers limitations in the alpha version of these experimental features.
So full sites, editing navigation, and so on and so forth, but it's well worth the watch. The final piece of community news this week is again on WP Tavern. Justin Tadlock has a piece, no, a minimum PHP version bump this year, WordPress to support PHP 5.6 for a while longer. So this played itself out this week.
A ticket from Juliet reinduce. I'm going to say wrapped up her final thoughts. It was just three days ago and the ticket was quickly closed just a couple of days later, and it would appear that it's been closed because it's been decided by project lead, Matt Mullenweg, that we're going to keep compatibility for WordPress 5.6.
Now the article explains why this has been postulated. It also explains why, if you are a developer, it might be really handy to bump. The, the WordPress requirement for PHP up to well, seven something and obviously very, very soon. I think it's November of this year, PHB eight will come along. A lot of the tooling that's required, uh, around PHP.
So unit tests and so on and so forth require more modern versions of PHP. But the argument is always put forward that there's a significant amount of people using WordPress who are stuck on older versions of PHP. Now the article. Towards the end. It makes the point that, well, if WordPress has such a large share of the money to net 38% at last count, maybe this is some leverage that they could bring to bear on work, press hosts.
In other words, I would like to be on the latest version PHP, please. I'm using words. Yes, I will go elsewhere. Sure. Did I not receive that treatment? And yeah. I, I kinda kind of see some sense to this, but WordPress has always had the capability to support well going right back to 3.7 currently. And this is probably one of the reasons why it's grown.
So it's a bit of a dichotomy push the PHP number forwards in order. So promote the, the new things that it can do. Um, or do you, do you help the people who are less technically savvy, less, um, Well, they have less PHP needs, shall we say? And they're stuck on all of those, but they're still happy to use WordPress.
It's a tough decision, but the decision has been made. We're not going to get to PHB requirements booted up in version 5.6. The next section is plugins themes and blocks. And we'll start with Justin Tadlock on WP Tavern, exploring the first block patterns to London, the WordPress theme directory. So WordPress 5.5 shipped with a block patterns.
Block patterns are a way of making it easier to design websites. The idea being that you have pre-configured. Collections of blocks. So for example, you might have a pre-configured test, the millennials block, or perhaps are, I don't know, a maps block or something like that. And the idea is that somebody, perhaps you has designed these block patterns in such a way that you can, if you like use these blocks a bit like bricks to build a wall and you drag in.
The block patterns one at a time and building your website in that way. So Justin in this piece is examining. Yeah. What is available thus far in the, uh, in the WordPress ecosystem. And it turns out there's not very much, but he's highlighted three themes which have taken this, this bull by the horns.
There's a theme called Codero. There's another one called inclusive and there's another one called DJ. And he goes into what he likes about them. What do you thinks is good? The way that they've used them sometimes in interesting and different ways, ways that he was not expecting, but the principle point of this piece by Justin is to outline what's coming down the pipe, what you might be able to do.
And honestly, if you haven't looked at block patterns, this is a good place to start we're at the very, very beginning. And it really is. I feel going to revolutionize the way we build websites within a year or so. I fully imagined that block patterns will be a part of just about everybody's system of building WordPress websites.
And if you're using a page builder, you'll have already got familiar with this, you'll be dragging in modules or elements all over the place. And it's going to be just like that only in WordPress core. Developer who I've been following for some time now, just because I like the stuff that he produces is Jeff star.
And he updated a plugin that he's got called user submitted posts. And the idea for user submitted post is to enable visitors to submit posts from the front end of your WordPress website. I don't normally mention plugins that have been out for a while, but I'm mentioning this one because of the update.
You have the option to submit the following fields, name, email URL, post title, post tags. Posts category content, custom fields challenge question recapture from Google version two or three post images and agree to terms. It's got an incredible, incredible five star rating, and I'm just mentioning it in case you have a need for this.
I do like his stuff, as I said, and I feel cute. OSS goes to him earlier in the podcast. We mentioned the. Search engine journal piece about problems with breaking WordPress websites updated too 5.5. Well, this article is Sarah Gooding's explanation of how you can mitigate one of those problems. It's called enabled jQuery migrate helper.
Plugin parse is 10,000 active installs. Obviously if the site's breaking left right the center because of the, the problems removing, uh, jQuery migrates, then this needed to be fixed. And so we have the enabled jQuery migrates helper, plugin. Yeah. Which obviously came out very recently to mitigate this problem and has been downloaded an awful lot since then.
So if this comes to mind, if this problem appears to be something that your sites or D or maybe your clients are having to deal with, go check out this piece and it will explain how to use it and why it's been built. For those of you who are invested in WooCommerce, you might be interested to know that WooCommerce 4.4 updates blocks and centralizes coupon management, just in Tadlock telling us it dropped a few days ago and there have been two dozen people who've made a total of 450 contributions to this.
Particular release. The biggest thing to mention is that the team brought several updates to the plugins block. The biggest user facing changes that blocks will now use the WooCommerce thumbnail size instead of loading the full sized image. Obviously that's going to make things slightly more performance.
And speaking of performance, Justin also tells us that scripts were removed, uh, from 10 scripts were removed that were not needed in the post editing screen. So again, yeah. That will increase performance. And although that doesn't seem to be too much in the change log related to the default store from theme, or that should have saved the flagship store from theme, the it has been updated and you may need to go and update that just for reasons as yet.
I'll note. Also there was a bit of a fury around the woo commerce, 4.1 release, where there was a marketing section. Added into the WordPress admin on the face of it, it looked like it was going to be a handy place for checking out all things in your store. But a lot of people pushed back and said, it felt like it was just a, a place to, for WooCommerce to market his own extensions, which obviously come with a cost.
And so that appears to have been addressed as well. Um, some minor changes to that, but hopefully that screen will prove useful at some point in the future because I feel surfacing all that stuff in one place is a really good idea. This next one is quite interesting. It's from WPM. You Def now WPM you'd have a normally very, very good with their marketing.
You know, they create lots of, uh, unique artwork, cartoons. And so on this one seems to have been released with a limited amount of noise. It seems to have come fairly suddenly. And I didn't hear about it except for somebody posting it in the Facebook group. It's called the hub. Client now the hub clients, the website says allows you to provide your clients with their own hub experience on your site with your branding.
It's white labeled WPM dev. So WPM, you dev have a hub where you can basically do everything to do with your website. You can update plugins, you can update themes, you can access there. The settings for things like defender. And they're smush plugin, you know, all the things which WPM you dev do, but now you'll be able to entirely white label that entire experience.
So your clients will be able to have a hub, which looks like it's your hub. And it looks like it's software that you developed. So really interesting. The key points are white labeling of the hub. You can obviously run this on your own domain. You can customize the client roles so you can set multiple view and edit accesses to every aspect of the hub to control what your clients see and what they can change.
You can ship this on to any host, presumably it's a WordPress plugin. So that much is obvious and you can sell our services said restrict and grant access to any tab in the hub client, allowing you to sell your clients. Different levels of subscription is completely free to subscribers of WPM, new dev.
And it just looks really interesting. So this is a challenge to things like that. Yes, like managed WP and main WP. So anyway, if you've got a WPM, you'd have subscription might be worth checking out. The next section is all about deals that we found this week. Um, there's a few stackable, which is a collection of WordPress blocks is still available on a lifetime deal, starting at $69.
The same could be said for Kubler, that's starting at $49, but it's the same premise. It's a suite of w. Gutenberg ready blocks. I think they're both really good. They both look really excellent also to say, though, PWA for WP is available for $59 something new this week. Pixler, which is an online image editing tool.
It's like a really slimmed down version of something like a Photoshop, but it's all done in the browser. And so on. That's new, that one has been added this week coming soon and maintenance mode plugin, is there 15% off? Breezy cloud and plugin with code WP, bill it's essential. Ad-ons for elemental pinpoint world booking system, 20% off and happy forms.
Time deal is also there. So there's a few, most of them carry it over from last week, but there's a few new ones there as well. The security section. Yeah. Fellows. And it's a very light touch on security. The first one that is just a bit different. It's Wordfence, they've issued a piece this week called 10 WordPress security mistakes you might be making.
And I feel although most of us are professionals and we won't be making these mistakes. This might be the sort of thing that you could link to. If you were trying to persuade your clients, perhaps to come onto your care plan, it's a video. Which enables you to explain the, the problems that WordPress sites may have.
So it's things, for example, like changing the WordPress login URL, which may or may not be something you wish to do using an SSL certificate, using admin as your WordPress administrative username. Insecure hosting choices, not using a w w a F a web app firewall and so on. So most of you, I don't think will gain a great deal of knowledge out of this, because you're probably doing a lot of it already because you're all experienced aren't you, but you never know.
It might be something like I said, that you can pass on to clients. The next one is a high severity vulnerability patched in advanced access manager acts advanced access manager has over a hundred thousand installations and there is a severe, severe authorization bypass vulnerability that could lead to privilege escalation and a site to takeover.
So to mitigate it, you need to be updating the plugin, which I think was done recently on about the 15th of August. But nevertheless important if you, if that plugin name rings a bell. The blatantly self-promotional WP Builds bit two things for you this week. The first one is to say that I had a lovely interview with a very nice chap called Paul Charlton.
If you've been following any WordPress stuff on YouTube, I'm sure his channel has come your way. It's called WP. Tops. And he does a really fantastic job of explaining things like element or, and various other things to his audience. I must say putting video together or putting audio together is hard enough, but putting video together is significantly harder.
And I struggled with audio and he's doing amazing stuff with video, and I really do mean amazing stuff. So if you're trying to learn elemental breezy, ACF, Jet engine, those kinds of things, check out his channel. The links are in the show notes for the podcast, and you can listen to Paul's philosophy, why he got started and why he continues to do it.
And I also got on a call this week with a lovely chap called Cameron Jones, and we put together a short video of our, of ourselves. He's got to this new thing called WP theme components. Dot com and it's to manage snippets. If you're a theme developer, you may really like to do this, the idea is you repeat things over and over again, and you, you misremember things over and over again, if you're creating themes.
And so he's come up with this website, as I said, WP theme components.com, which hopefully will enable you to do it. He's included a bunch of his own little. Preconfigured components already. And those are all listed in the blog post, but to go and check out the video, it's only about 20 minutes and he expects Blaine's how it all works and how you can get started using it.
I'm going to keep banging this gong, despite the fact that this seems to be rather a fruitless task. The idea is that, um, I'm hoping to get some job submissions. And what I mean by that is I'm hoping that people in the community who have a job to offer will start to use WP built as a way to demonstrate that they've got a job and hopefully get some applicants it's totally free to use.
Nobody's using it so far. And I'm just going to keep. Droning on about it. You can find the link in the sh in the, in the website at the top. It's you click on the jobs? Well, you don't click your hover over the job section, and then underneath that post a job and you'll be taken to the form where you can fill it out.
You never know if I keep droning on about it for long enough, maybe, maybe one of your posts, a job. I'll be able to mention it. That is all the work press stuff I've got for you this week, but don't go away because we have a section called not WordPress, but useful. Anyway, a few things this week, the first one do something new.
This is what's, DOT's new. And it's from the Google registry. You can purchase domain names from Google. If you didn't know, I actually quite recommended. I really enjoy using it. It's my favorite way of purchasing domain names, but the idea of the.new. Domain ending is that you can create something new when you type it in.
So, as an example, Google have purchased doc.new. And if you type that into the URL bar in your favorite browser, you will get a new Google document, a new Google doc. If you type in a sheet.new, you'll get a new Google sheet story.new. Will enable you to create a story immediately on medium and WordPress, half bought post.new.
Now, if you want to have something new, you are welcomed to go buy it, but you must have deep pockets because my understanding is it's going to cost you $5,000. Don't know if that's going to be $5,000 each and every year. Yeah. But it's, um, you have to go through some sort of hurdle as well to prove that you have something which can be utilized when somebody types in whatever it is that you want.
But anyway, quite interesting, uh, URLs for sale that have specific requirements, what they need to do when you purchase them, which is something new to me. Over on WP Tavern. Sarah Gooding tells us I'm going to keep this really brief because we're running out of time, the Apple to enforce one year limits on SSL, TLS certificate timelines on September the first 20, 20 Mozilla and Google to follow suit.
So basically from the September, the first, this year. So in a few days, time, Apple, Safari browser will no longer trust any certificate that has been issued for longer than 398 days. So it gives you a grace period of just a couple of days, if you forget it to renew it. Yeah. Obviously if Google, um, with Chrome and Firefox Firefox from Mozilla, if they follow suit, then this is going to become the way of doing it.
I just can't see any downside to this. In fact, in some respects, it feels like it ought to be shorter, but, um, anyway, yeah. Is all you're going to be able to do in the near future. Now because you're experienced web professionals, you're not going to be doing the following, but it's interesting that Google are going to take steps.
This again, search engine journal, Google Chrome to start warning users about insecure form. So this is coming on Chrome 86. It will show two warnings to users submitting insecure forms over the HTTPS protocol. So I guess this is things like, um, Places where there's forms, which are grabbing stuff from multiple locations.
Anyway, the point is that if your forms aren't right, robust and configured correctly in Chrome 86, they're going to be shown a dirty, great warning, which I imagine is immediately going to make people go away. Uh, it says this form is not secure. Autofill has been turned off. So Google taking steps to make us all a little bit more safe.
I like it. The amount of money, which flies around in tech, never ceases to amaze me in this story is another example. Search engine, journal, Google to remain default search engine on Firefox. It's simply that if you are using Firefox and you've installed it for the first time, you will have Google as your default search engine and you can obviously change it.
Should you wish to, but for the privilege of it doing it by default, Google are shelling out or wait for it. $400 million per year. Now. That's an estimate. It could be as high as $450 million a year, but wow, just incredible. Can you imagine, clearly Google must be making that money back. They must find value in that.
Otherwise they wouldn't do it, but still breathtaking that Mozilla gets that amount of money from Google for the default status of a Firefox using Google search. Okay. That's all I've got for you this week. I really do appreciate you listening. Please feel free to share this in any which way you can.
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Stay safe. Have a good week. Bye bye for now.