This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 24th August 2020:
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
Deals from this week
Stackable – $69
PWA for WP – $59
Qubely Blocks – $49 lifetime deal
Essential Addons for Elementor – 25% off with code EA3
Pinpoint World Booking System – 20% off with code SUMMER2020
Senior PHP Developer – Castos
Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
The WP Builds podcast is sponsored this week by…
We thanks them for their support of WP Builds.
Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Hello there. Good morning. And welcome to this the WP Builds a weekly WordPress newsletter. This is number 129. It covers the WordPress news for the week commencing the 24th of August, 2020. And it was published on Monday the 31st of August, 2020. My name's Nathan Wrigley, and just a few bits of housekeeping before you begin it is chucking it down with rain here today.
And it's quite possible that the recording of this will just be inundated with the sound of rain drops in the background. I do apologize about that, but there's not a fat lot I can do about the weather. I would encourage you to go over to WP Builds.com. They will find all of the content that we produce.
We've got quite a lot of WordPress content, especially coming up this week. We do podcasts. They come out on a Thursday. We do this news that you're listening to now that's every Monday, but also at 2:00 PM UK time. Every week we do the WP Builds live weekly WordPress newsletter. And this week I'm going to be joined by Chris Hughes and Scott Kingsley Clark.
So join us. WP Builds.com forward slash life. Put it in the diary or go to our Facebook group. WP Builds.com forward slash Facebook. And there you'll find it at the appropriate time. Like I say, 2:00 PM UK time. Speaking of 2:00 PM UK time. This seems to be an auspicious time for us this week, because on Monday, as I've just said, we've got the WP Builds news 2:00 PM, UK time and on Tuesday and Wednesday, we've got things at 2:00 PM UK time.
So that's Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The Tuesday thing is me and Sabrina's or Dan talking about art. Plugin startup from zero to 10 K installs. We've taken a bit of a pause over the summer break, but now we're back. So that's 2:00 PM UK time and also on Wednesday, same time, same place peach and Arie.
And I will be chatting through our regular monthly UI UX. If you'd like to submit your site to go to WP Builds.com forward slash UI, and there's a form there and you can get some really solid. Really professional advice from Peacher about your website. She thinks works and perhaps what doesn't as well.
So yeah, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, this week, what's a lot. WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe as a page where you can find out all about what we produce. You can subscribe to our news. Join our Facebook group hand. Subscribe to us on your favorite podcast player forward slash deals for all bunch of deals, coupon codes off WordPress products.
There's that a ton over there and they never go away. And dog dot com forward slash advertise. If like Kinsta and AB split test, you would like to be put in front of a WordPress specific audience. Are you tired of unreliable or slow hosting? If so, check out. Kinsta who takes managed WordPress hosting to the next level powered by the Google cloud platform.
All their plans include PHP seven SSH and 24 seven expert support. Try a demo free for 60 days at Kinsta dot com. 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. And the best part is that it works with element or BeaverBuilder and the WordPress blog editor.
You can check it out and get a free [email protected] Right. Let's get on with the new show. We each and every the week we start our WordPress news with the WordPress core section and then move on to other sections later. And I've got two pieces for you today, both about the exact same subject. The first one is over at Macon.
Dot wordpress.org by Juliet Reinders Follmer entitled proposal dropping support for old PHP versions via a fixed schedule. And the other one I'm linking to is just in Tadlock over on WordPress Tavern. WordPress should bump PHP support on a transparent unpredictable shit. Sure. Well, this is the, the age old problem we've got in WordPress in that we have.
A lot of backwards compatibility, I suppose, in a sense it's one of the benefits of using WordPress. You can rely safely upon the fact that it will be secure and using well able to use older versions of PHP for a very lengthy period of time. Currently we're able to support versions right back to WordPress 3.7.
I believe it is, which is a long time ago. But this proposal by Juliet is to say that we should have some sort of fixed sheds. And she says on a quote in short, I'm proposing a fixed schedule, which every PHP version is supported for five years. There's additionally, each WordPress release will receive security updates for four years in effect.
This means that users it's a stretch would be able to run on one specific PHP version for nine years. I think schedule will make this whole process transparent and we'll allow all parties to plan for the version that drops as the version drops accordingly. So just from my point of view, this makes complete and utter common sense.
However, Juliet does point out in her piece. That there's quite a significant amount of WordPress websites out there, which are just sort of sitting dormant. Perhaps the admin is just too busy to update things. Perhaps it's a, literally a website which receives no attention anymore. It was set up for some event in time and is never monitored.
It's just there for historical reasons and so on. So these things all need to be thought about, however, for WordPress to be secure and for work. Press to have the option to, to use all of the latest and greatest features we do need to be updating regularly. And so just in Tadlock points out that the following schedule lays out the minimum supported the HP version that would apply each year.
So yeah, December, 2020 would be PHP 7.1 December 21, 7.2, December 22, 7.3. And so on right up to December 24, in which. PHP eight would be the requirement. So I'm sure that you've got your opinions on this. I'm sure if you're in the WordPress space and you are regularly maintaining websites, there's just, there's just no problem with this at all.
But we obviously have to think about the legacy of WordPress sites out there that perhaps this, it might cause calamities to butts. The question is, you know, we, do we worry too much about those or do we just get the future sorted out? Okay, let's begin our community section. I've got two pieces for you today.
And the first one is Sarah Gooding on WP Tavern, Moto press acquires, a goo Tenex, a WordPress theme and motor press who've been in the business since 2013. Have a quiet, as I've just said. Glutagenics a WordPress theme and it's commercial XE. Guten blocks, plugin for Gutenberg. It's not got too many installs at the moment, only 700 after being on the repository for about nine months.
But nevertheless, they've acquired it because of the fact that it fills a bit of a gap in there in Moto presses, shed jewel, and the offering that they've got. Because it has elements for element or modules for breeze, as well as the block editor. So this seemed like a good fit for the guys over at Moto press.
It's their first acquisition. They've obviously got a success hotels booking plugin, and they've got to get to a Gutenberg blocks as well, which is much more popular, 10,000 active installs, um, aimed mainly at developers. Sarah says, but anyway, An acquisition in the WordPress space is always worthy of news.
Hopefully these two companies, which the founders of both of them say they align very nicely in what it is that they're trying to achieve. But if you've got to Moto press products, you can be looking forward to some new and hopefully free stuff in the future. If you've migrated your site over to WordPress 5.5, which I'm sure many of you have done.
And if your site is very, very large and has lots and lots of posts, you may be interested to note search engine journal, have a piece called WordPress 5.5 site map. Bug causes four Oh four errors. And as I said, this is for sites with a very large amount of posts, because this only occurs when there is more on Walmart's site map than can be fitted into to it.
And so it creates multiple site maps and they are called WP site map posts, post one. Two three, et cetera, dot XML. And the problem is that the first one of those number one dot XML works just as expected, but the, the following ones, the two and the three and the four. So the pages and the posts, I should say,
Presumably, which are a little bit older result in four Oh four errors. I won't go into the technical reason, but it is outlined in the search engine journal post. This has been officially recognized as a thing. So the fix has been created. It's going to roll out into WordPress 5.5 0.1. Um, and that. Well, the release come that eight for that ish already out.
And hopefully it will be out as a final release on Tuesday, 1st of September. So just one more day to wait, but you might just want to go and check if this is affecting you and what it does to your SEO. Okay, next stop is our plugin section and I've got quite a few things. I'm going to rip through them all very quickly.
Each one at a time. The first one is just in Tatlock. Who's normally on WP Tavern, but today you were mentioning him on wordpress.org because he has his block pattern builder plugin. I'm going to quote from the description. Block pattern builder is a simple plugin that allows end users to create custom block patterns within the WordPress plugin directory.
The plugin currently requires Gutenberg's 7.8 block patterns will be a part of core WordPress in the future for now. Gothenburg is a hard requirement, so you're going to need. To install. Guttenberg not the one that comes shipped with WordPress and after installing and activating it, you should see a block patterns, menu item in the admin.
From that point, you can create new block patterns and they will be available to you. So it does something very simple. It just creates saveable block buttons. From the block editor so that you can use them later on. Very nice. It would appear that it's on version 1.1 0.0 at the moment. And it looks really good if you've been into block patterns and you've used page builders and you liked the idea of reusable sections that you just commented use again and again, testimonials that kind of thing then, and this might be really good.
Those of you that have tried to make your sites amp compatible. You'll enjoy this one [email protected], introducing version two of the official amp plugin for WordPress. So exactly that it's been three years in the making. They've had a few bumps along the road, and now we've announced a version two.
It's the official amp plugin for WordPress. This article explains why you might like to use it and how it works. It says. The amp plugin can be beneficial to anyone regardless of technical expertise for developers, the plugin brings powerful and effective developer tools, which help in building amp compatible ecosystem components as well as full sites and ecosystem solutions for non-developers or less.
Tech savvy users or those who simply don't want to deal with validation issues and tackling development tasks, the unplug, and allows the assembling of sites that can publish amp content, providing automation and integration of amp compatible ecosystem components and minimizing the complexity of the process.
So if that appeals to you, this is a very long piece. It'll probably take you 10 or 15 minutes plus to get through it. But everything is on their website for amp, the plugin for WordPress. If you're a fan of the block packs, which seem to be cropping up all over the place, then you've probably heard of stackable.
They've got an article this week entitled better responsive controls, better list, block icons, and low highlight effect. So yeah, they've improved their responsive controls. That is to say that in some cases, things didn't quite work out. They give the example on the website of the card block and it looked fine on desktop.
And they were saying that some of their users, when they. How to look at what these looked like on mobile. They didn't quite work as expected. And in the case of the card book block, as you shrunk the, the viewport, um, then the text got well, really, really impossible to read and became almost like one character wide spreading down the block.
So they've improved things like the default padding on those and they now look much, much better. So a little bit of thought has been put into that. Also they will now show styles the styles. So for example, things like that. Padding and margins and so on, they will actually show the current value previously.
They kind of said zero or now they've made it. So they say what the default value is. So as an example, there might be a putting of 20 pixels that has been applied, but not directly applied by you in the UI, but it will now be shown in there. They've done the same thing for the tablets and mobile options.
So if there is something set, it will show it. And if something has not been set, it will just be blank, which is quite nice. It'll just make the whole thing a little bit easier. They've got this nice new low highlight text format. It's just a nice. Visual way of applying. Well, I can only describe it as a big chunky underline to your text and it looks really nice.
I have to say they've also enhanced the icon list blocks so that you can, you can upload your own and pick very, very quickly from an icon picker. And also if you're in an icon list, you'll be able to change all of them one at a time, rather than having them all using the same icon. So that's nice as well.
They've also. Got some support for the cadence theme, uh, global palette support and a, and a few other things. But anyway, if you've got stackable, which was on offer for a lifetime deal recently, then this will be good for you. The next one is again, over on WP Tavern, just in Tadlock with a piece entitled element or 3.0 allows users to create a personalized design system, if you are using element or I'm sure that you'll have heard a lot about the version 3.0, the essence is it's allowing people to customize their sites on a global level.
What I mean is traditionally page builders. Well, that's not entirely true, but. Often the page builders took the approach that you would just build one page and then later build another page. And there wouldn't be a global way of setting all of the different styles and elements or 3.0 is trying to tackle that they're introducing two systems, the design system and a new theme builder.
The theme builder is part of the pro offering. Yeah. But the design system is essentially a global style creator and it's cool, completely free in the free version and the pro version, which is really nice. And then Justin goes on to explain how this works. He does make the point. That's cool. Quite a few systems out there have used WordPress's default.
Customizer and so on to achieve this in the past, but obviously this is something completely tied into the element or interface. So if you've been using elements or, and flicking back and forward with themes and trying to change things and getting a little bit frustrated and thinking there probably is a better way of doing it, then maybe elements or 3.0.
Does that? I understand that there were a few little glitches when elemental 3.0, came along. The reason I say that is because I've heard a few people in Facebook groups saying that they had to, they had to fix a few things along the way. I don't know where we're at within that journey, but hopefully if you've updated your element or version to three point something, it's now running smoothly and you've got global styling options.
I've often been a little bit frustrated with WordPress is default media library. And so at various points, I've tried different tools to make things feel a little bit more like a desktop and having folders so that you can put things into different areas and decide that, okay, this is going to be stuff that's on the home page and this is going to be stuff that's in blog posts and that kind of thing.
And one of the. One of the solutions that I came across not so long ago was one called happy files. And we're really pleased with it. It's recently on the gun. I'm a bit of a change 28th of August, 2020. They've now got a piece which I'm linking to, which is entitled one click importer, new folder UI, and create a multiple categories.
They've got a list of things that they've changed and what has changed the bullet points are you can create multiple categories at once using a comma separated list. You can migrate real media library. You can remove a file from folders. You can toggle category only folders on a click. You can add the buttons to delete all happy, filed data of sorry.
They have added to do that. You can migrate to wicked folders. You can migrate file Byrd and a whole bunch of other things. So anyway, if you're looking for a solution. Dumb little personal recommendation. I rather like it to go and see what you think. In 2018 studio press was acquired by WP engine. And in the same year, WP engine also acquired atomic blocks and they've decided that they're going to push atomic blocks into the Genesis suite of things.
And by that I literally mean I'm going to rebrand and give it a new name. It's now going to be called Genesis blocks. Now the fact that it has been renamed means that they can't continue using the old atomic box. Plugin. So you're going to have to migrate it. They are going to create, create a migration tool.
And hopefully in most cases, the 60,000 plus users will be able to just click a few buttons and everything will just seamlessly swap over. But the idea is to create this Genesis brand where everything to do with themes and blocks and all of that. Under the WP engine umbrella, we'll go by the name of Genesis something or other.
And a, and this just seems like a sensible idea. Obviously, if you want to be in the WP engine ecosystem and you want to use their products, their themes, and now blocks, it just makes sense to have it all under one name, there is going to be 22 free blocks. Switch will be still available, but there'll be yeah.
Additional things added to the Genesis pro subscription. So more blocks full-page layouts, prebuilt sections and so on. So it is WP engine trying to corner the market and keep them they're hosting people inside. Yeah. Their entire ecosystem and not, not fishing around for blocks and themes and all of that kind of stuff elsewhere.
This next one is an interesting one and raises some really interesting issues. It's just entitled WP Tavern privacy. First Gravatar replacement, pixel avatars module released for the tool belt. WordPress plugin never really occurred to me too much, but it could be the case. I'm certainly not saying that it is the case.
It could be the case. That automatics owned gravatar.com uh, could be, could have an interesting array of data on it, because if you've uploaded your avatar to Gravatar any site that you visited, which is Gravatar enabled, which is most WordPress websites will have to submit to gravatar.com. What email address you are using in order to return the image?
Now, this could be interesting because not only have you told Gravatar, um, you know, what the image is and who you are, but each time you post a comment somewhere that is obviously leaving a little bit of a trail about your habits of commenting and so on. Now, again, certainly not making the point that they do this in all likelihood.
They're not, but it's possible. So in order to get over this and that each time you load an image from gravatar.com, you are increasing slightly the payload. Um, we've got Ben Gill banks. Who's come up with this ingenious idea called the pixel avatars module. And it's part of his tool belt, WordPress plugin, which is a kind of.
Arrival to jet is his version of a lot of the features that Jetpack packing. So you simply submit your email address. You load a tiny bit of Jarvis 5k, which Justin makes the point that this is probably smaller than a single Gravatar image. Anyway. And a hash of your email address is used to create a little pixel avatar.
Now, obviously, if you then go to a different website and use the same email address, the same hash will be created. And so that image will follow you about now. You don't get to. Pick what your avatar looks like. It's just generated by the hash of your email address. I suppose you could keep trying different variations of email addresses until you've got something that you rather lichen, they create little fun.
Hmm. It's images. So they, you know, different hair color and different facial expressions as tight, slightly different mouth shape and different shoulders and so on. But they're, they're just fun. And if you are a privacy concerned person, well, this is something that you can, you do to add a bit of to your website.
Now this next one I haven't used, I haven't tried. I've got no opinion on it. I don't even know how I came to hear about it, but, but here it is. I heard about it this week. It's HP five.org. They brand themselves as create, share and reuse interactive HTML five content in your browser. And so the idea of this is that you create little.
Bits of content, and then you can share them across multiple content management systems. So they claim that you could use this, for example, on WordPress websites, Drupal, Moodle, Blackboard canvas, bright space, amongst others. As I said, I have no idea if this works, how it works or any of that, I just thought it was fascinating.
As soon as I see multi CMS, I'm always intrigued. So go to have a look at H. Five p.org and see if you can make sense of it for me and let me know in the comments. The next section is deals. They're basically recycled from previous weeks. So if you've looked at them on previous weeks, there's probably no benefit this week.
However, there is a link to the WP Builds deals page. I mentioned it at the top of the show. It is a searchable and filterable list of plugins and themes and all of that good stuff. And they've been there for months and months. Every time they're added, nobody's ever asked to take one down. So it could be your default little bit like black Friday, but every day of the week, Stole from now on.
Anyway, this week were linking to stackable. They still may well have gone by the time that you here, this Pixler, which is a very lightweight Photoshop alternative in the browser PWA for WP, which enables you to sort of fake the idea that you've got a. A mobile app from your WordPress website. There's the coming soon in maintenance mode, plugin QB blocks, essential Adam's for elemental, 15% off breezy pinpoint booking system quotas, which is a creating of proposal software as well as happy forms.
They're all on the page, but to go and check them out one by one, or go to the WP, build steals page to find different ones. Okay. The next section is the security section. I've only got one thing for you this week because I didn't find any actual security. So I'm linking to the WordPress vulnerability Roundup of August, 2020.
This is part two. It comes from themes and it is the scrollable list of all the different things that had problems. This month. You can just go through, there's quite a few there's well over 20 this month. And so you can just see by the little icons, if any of the plugin names ring a bell and you can go and get yourself updated.
The blatantly self-promotional WP build spit. I did a podcast episode this week with David Walmsley, number 194, entitled static design versus in-browser design. And in this, we were pondering the idea, should we use tools that we've been using for ages, things like Photoshop and InDesign and Adobe XD and all of these different things.
In other words, our suite of tools outside of the browser, or are we better off these days using more, more. Recent tools, shall we say page builders and, and browser tools. Like the one that I just mentioned, pixel to do everything inside of the browser. What's your preferred option? Is there a benefit to having all of this inside the browser and on the internet, or are you better off using dedicated tools like the professional seem to do anyway, that was episode number 194.
There's a link in the show notes. Also, just to remind you that this Monday I'll be chatting to. Chris Hughes and Scott Kingsley clock 2:00 PM. UK time. At WP belts.com forward slash live or our Facebook group. And we'll be doing the WP Builds's weekly, press news, 2:00 PM on Tuesday, same location. Sabrina's a Dan and I talking about plugging and installs and how we are trying to grow the install base of our organs and peach and Arie on Wednesday st.
UI UX, WP belts.com forward slash UI. If you would like to have your sites submitted so that she can take a look at it. I've got a couple of jobs for your delectation this week, but I would like to just add, if you go to WP Builds's dot com forward slash post hyphen a hyphen job, or just follow the link it's underneath the jobs [email protected]
You can post your job there, but I've got two jobs listed for you this week. The first one is over at WP beginner. They are looking to have a WordPress core developer, and they're going to pay you for the privilege of doing it. They say apt WP beginner. We have always strive to give back to the WordPress community.
And so as a result of that commitment, they're making. Well, they're taking it to the next level. They're going to be employing a WordPress core developer. Who's going to get paid for the job. So this is highly admirable. I love this one. So you can click on the link in the show notes to find out about that job.
And also Craig Hewitt contacted me this week to say that he's got a senior PHP developer job over it. you are currently listening to my voice because of Craig's castoffs plugin. It's the hosting provider that we use for our podcast. And he's looking for a senior PHP developer. Again, the link is in the show notes.
That's all the WordPress news that I this week, but don't go away because we've got to piece of non WordPress. But interesting. Anyway, this is actually fairly closely related to WordPress. It's over on WP Tavern. Again, Sarah Gooding, automatic tangles with Apple over lack of in app purchases in the WordPress for iOS app.
Well, this is a story that then suddenly. Became not a story because Apple walked it back. And the problem was that over the weekend, last weekend, Matt Mullenweg on Twitter announced that Apple had blocked automatic from shipping updates to the WordPress official iOS app, simply because, well, they, they weren't able to take advantage Apple won't.
Able to take advantage of the 30% cut in revenue. Now, the problem is really there. Isn't a 30% cut in revenue. There is a way apparently if you really fiddled inside the app, that you could find a revenue stream. In other words, there were linked somewhere very deeply to wordpress.com, which obviously is.
A revenue generating business. But anyway, it would seem that this was all a bit of a storm in a teacup. Cause no sooner had it all happened than the problem occurred. And then Apple sort of rolled it back and said, actually, no, this is wrong. Let's just make it totally possible. And so your iOS app, your WordPress iOS app should now be fully restored.
Okay. That's all I've got for you this week. I hope that you enjoyed that. Always try to keep the news as interesting as possible or on point, but if not, if you've got a gripe about it or if you just want to say yes, we like it, then please, please, please reach out to me anywhere you find me. Active WP Builds on Twitter or in our Facebook group, or, well, you can just email me admin at whether you can finish that off yourself.
So that would be really nice. Also helping the podcast spread. You can go and promote it in any way, shape or form or link to us from your blog posts or possibly give us a like in your podcast player of choice. The WP Builds weekly. WordPress news was brought to you 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, and the best part, their expert team of WordPress engineers. They're available 24 seven. If you need help, you can try a demo for free 60 days you'll get it at Kinsta dot com and AB split test. Do you want to sets up your AB split test 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 BeaverBuilder on the WordPress block editor.
Check it out at absplittest.com. Okie dokie. See you on Thursday. Stay. If you want to listen to a podcast, see you later today. If you're listening to this Monday for the weekly WordPress news, live Tuesday for Sabrina and I talking about plugins Wednesday for Peacher and I talking about UI and UX. Stay safe.
Have a good week. Bye bye for now.