WP Builds Weekly WordPress News #131 – Gutenberg 8.9 block-based widgets, plugin updates and fundo!

This weeks WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 7th September 2020:

WordPress Core

Gutenberg 8.9 Brings Block-Based Widgets Out of the Experimental Stage


Convesio and Steadfast Partnership

GoDaddy Pro

WordPress Support Team Seeks to Curb Support Requests for Commercial Plugins and Themes

VS Code Wins Best PHP IDE/Editor for WordPress Development in 2020

Plugins / Themes / Blocks

MainWP 4.1 released – New Features and Code Changes

ACF 5.9.1 Release

Microthemer – Sliders, filters, transforms, and better support for CSS units

Formidable acquires – Business Directory Plugin and AWPCP

Jetpack Launches Email Marketing Tools with Creative Mail Integration, WooCommerce-Triggered Store Emails Coming Soon

AMP Plugin 2.0 Adds Onboarding Wizard and Expanded Reader Mode

7G Firewall: September 2020 Update

Deals from this week

Get the WP Builds Deals emails delivered to your inbox!
The WP Builds Deals Page

Happyfiles – $19

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

Pixlr image editing- $49

Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode – $39

Brizy plugin and Cloud – 15% off with code WPBUILDS15

Quoters – for creating proposals – $49

Happy Forms Lifetime Deal – $49


Attackers Fight for Control of Sites Targeted in File Manager Vulnerability

WordPress Vulnerability Roundup: September 2020, Part 1

WP Builds

196 – Coding v non-coding


Nothing for you this week.

Not WordPress, but useful anyway…

Google Unveils Fundo for Monetizing Video Events

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Transcript (if available)

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Hello there. Good morning. And welcome to this. The WP Builds weekly WordPress news. This is episode number 131. It covers the WordPress news for the week commencing the 7th of September, 2020. And it was published on Monday the 14th of September, 2020, the usual housekeeping just before we begin head over to WP Builds.com to find all of the WordPress related content that we produce.
And we produce a fair bit each and every week. Particular pages worthy of note though. dot com forward slash subscribe over on that page, you'll be able to sign up to our newsletters. Those newsletters will keep you abreast of when we release WordPress related content, but also there's an option on there to find out about it.
Any WordPress related deals that we, we come across during the week, WP Builds.com forward slash deals enables you to find deals, which we. Ourselves have been given by plugin authors, theme developers and so on. So if you're in the market for something this week, head over to, to WP Builds.com forward slash D meals, and you never know, you may be able to back yourself, a coupon code for a significant price reduction.
Just to say that this week we've got a family, but of content coming out Thursday, we'll have a podcast episode. And on Monday, apart from listening to this potentially on Monday, we have our live weekly WordPress news. This week, I'm going to be joined by Paul Lacey, young cock and Robert Jakoby. That happens.
2:00 PM UK time, every Monday, WP Builds.com forward slash Facebook to join our group or WP Builds.com forward slash live, where you can join us. And we put the YouTube feed on that page. I'm love a live event, which I'll be doing this week is 2:00 PM. But this time on Tuesday, same URLs, Sabrina's Dan and I will be on episode number eight, zero to 10,000 installs.
It's a series which we've been doing to sort of chart the journey of what it's like to release a plugin. If this is something that you're endeavoring to do, but have no expertise. That's exactly where we're coming from. We're just learning as we go. And Sabrina is largely in charge of this. And it's wonderful talking about all of the different roads that we've gone down and the different ways that we failed and succeeded and tried to get the message out and successfully launch a plugin.
Another thing to mention is WP Builds.com forward slash win over there. We've got some weak lot licenses. We blocked, there's a translation plugin, and we've got three annual pro licenses to give away. So you should probably go and check that out. That competition actually runs out in a few weeks time. So you've got a little bit of time to check it out, but anyway, WP Builds.com forward slash win.
To check that out. The WP Builds weekly. WordPress news was brought to you this week. by 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 form. All their plans include PHP seven SSH and 24 seven expert support.
Try a free 60 day demo at Kinsta dot com and the page builder summit. Do you use a page builder to create your WordPress sites, or perhaps you're curious about what they can do, whether it's elemental, Beaver, builder, Gutenberg, breezy, oxygen, or any of the other page builder plugins, the page builder summit, we'll have something for you.
It's running from the fifth to the 9th of October, and you can check out the amazing speaker list and get your free [email protected]. Okay, enough of the housekeeping let's get stuck into the new, shall we. Each and every week we divide our WordPress news into different sections and we always start with WordPress core.
And I've just got one item for you this week in that section. And it's over on WP Tavern, just in Tatlock with a piece called Gothenburg 8.9 brings a block based widgets out of the experimental stage. This piece is actually a little bit older than the previous week having been published on September the fourth, but I didn't manage to cover it last week.
So here we go. Um, On Wednesday, the 2nd of September, Guttenberg 8.9 launched. And the whole block based widget thing is now something that's become non experimental. In other words, it's available to everybody. There are some bumps along the road. Justin seems to be quite happy with certain aspects, but unhappy with others.
However, the article covers all of the things that you need to know. So for example, there is a new widget screen and this new widget screen really does. Completely and totally replaced the widget screen that you're used to so far, it's a little bit of a change, but if you've been using Gothenburg in any way, shape or form, it will look very familiar.
In other words, it looks identical more or less to Gothenburg, but clients and people who are unfamiliar with WordPress is experimental stuff will have a sudden jolt, especially if they've not been using Gothenburg, but it looks pretty good to me. He seems happy with the way it's done. However, the widgets block.
In the customizer is a different experience just in makes the point. That's the width of the customizer area over to the left is a little bit too narrow. And I think it's fair to say that Justin feels that as of this moment, this section is more or less unusable. Certain bits were practically invisible to the user.
So anyway, tread carefully with that bit, you also got some advice. If you are a theme author and some things which have changed, which may be also slightly debt promoted. Detrimental, should I say, however, it's all kind of still up in the air. It is obviously for Guttenberg 8.9 users. So this is not in core as yet, but probably something, one would hope that people would get into and start testing and give valuable feedback because there certainly seems to be some areas that are working and other areas which need significant improvement, but the use of widgets will soon be a very, very different experience.
The next section is the community section. I've got three pieces for you this week. The first one is over on Robert jakoby.com and that name will ring a bell. If you were listening earlier, he's going to be joining us on the WP Builds news on Monday. And hopefully if that's the case, we'll be able to explain a little bit more about this, but it says Conversio and steadfast partnership.
And I quote in some great news for independent workforce hosting and infrastructure Conversio and steadfast are joining forces to push performance and the WordPress. As a service model. So he also says, I know no one wants to call out. It's a big box, but let's face it. Most hopes and companies don't have intimate relationships with their infrastructure.
WordPress hosting companies are on AWS and Google cloud. And these cloud providers are absolutely not. Built for that kind of partnership. You only get you, don't sorry. You're only going to get that relationship at exorbitant prices and then maybe without as much understanding and flexibility. And so the idea, I guess, is to have a closer relationship between Conversio and steadfast in order to, well, have a better hosting experience.
Well, I'll have to find out, join us in the news on Monday to see what all of this means. For the next piece, we're back over at WP Tavern. This time, Sarah Gooding, WordPress support teams seeks to curb support requests for commercial plugins and themes. I found this a really interesting read because it's not really something that I've personally had a problem with.
But I suspect many people have, and this is the problem that if you go, go to wordpress.org forums and seek support for a plugin, now it may well be that you're actually seeking support for them, the premium version. And it's completely against the rules that mobs for the support team should be getting themselves involved in support for the premium version.
The idea would simply be that this ought to be happening on the developer's own infrastructure. So in their ticketing system or what have you. And the problem is it's never easy to tell whether a particular problem is related to the free bit or the paid bit. And so what we're really trying to do here is just get to grips with it.
With it, what should the rules be? How should this be Don? You know, if you go over to a support forum and you basically get the support ticket close, the problem there is that you get a bit of an SEO trail. If somebody goes to Google and types in the exact same support issue, they might go to the WordPress forum only to discover that was closed almost immediately.
So w what should the rules be now? Yeah. Although the discussion for this happened on September the 12th, which was last Saturday, there may still be some conversation to be had here. And really it's just about thrashing out the rules of, of who should be, who should be doing what. And certainly we don't want to waste anybody's time trying to figure out if this is something that premium support should do, but anyway, interesting conundrum likely to be a really, really tricky he not to crack, but we're thinking about, go check out the article.
The next one is over on delicious brains.com. This is the perennial debate. I'm sure you've had it before. Not what's the best theme. What's your favorite forms? Plugin. This one is what's the best ID. And so it is literally their take on this. They, they run a few little tests if you like, they talk about what it is that they're using and so on.
And they mentioned four for considerable merit. Things like PHP storm. They also mention vs code or visuals studio code highlight its pros and cons it's cons are they also mentioned traditional text based editing like VM, which are really not that sure of too many people that are using that anymore, pretty old school.
And they make the, the sort of decision that their preferred way of doing things is with vs code. And perhaps in second place to that would be something like pH PHP storm. Anyway. You know, you're going to have your own opinion on this. You'll probably disagree with certain points, but interesting. Get involved in the debates in the comments section, possibly like a few people have done say what your favorite is.
This debate will no doubt, never end. Okay, moving right along. We're now on to plugins, themes and blocks. And the first one I've got for you this week is over at main WP main WP 4.1, released new features and code changes. So if you haven't come across main WP for honestly, I would suggest that you go to the WP Builds deals page because we've got a coupon code for a significant amount off.
But if you have used it, then you'll know that it's one of these superb plugins, which allows you to use it. A dedicated WordPress install to monitor, upgrade and update all of your other WordPress sites. So this is perfect. If you're an agency or a freelancer, you can have one location centrally to update things.
And they've been really doing a wonderful job at this for years and years, and they've made a significant change. In version 4.1. In fact, there's loads of new features that have been added. So just to paraphrase, they've had it, it's some simple, basic uptime monitoring. So in other words, you now no longer needs to have a paid for or separate third party service.
You can go as regularly as every five minutes, you can basically send out a very simple HTTP request. And if it comes back with everything, okay, nothing happens. And if not, you will get an email notification to say, But there is a problem. So you might be able to get, get rid of a third party service that you're using.
They've got some sites, health monitoring options in there now. So there's this suite of features focused on website security and speed. And now you've got this central monitoring page where you can see everything all in one nice user interface. They've also changed the email settings rather a lot so that you've got full control over the native notifications that your main WP dashboard sends out a nice new UI.
So you can add enable and disable email notifications, manage recipients and so on and so forth. They've also updated their email templates. And if you've been receiving, let's say daily updates about. Whether plugins need to be updated. You'll notice that the email is a lot cleaner now, and you've got the option to modify these templates in any which way that you like with minimal skill required.
Shall we say? So that's a much needed improvement. Also they've changed. I think it was 150 line, 150,000. Yeah. Lines. Should I say off code? Um, much of it is invisible to the end user. It was just tidying up a legacy of code that they developed over time. But you needed cleaning up to be in well, to be compatible with WordPress standards.
And also they're making the point that they've done this so that developers can bring their own third party stuff extensions if you like so that they don't have to maintain and build everything. So I don't know, it might be a caching plugin that wants to get involved with main WP users. They can now hopefully go to main wp.dev to find out how that's done.
Very importantly, if you are using main WP, you will need to go into your main WP install and update all your child extensions. The, the extension. Should I say that you are, that you've decided to use? So for example, it might be the uptime monitoring, or it might be the client reports or what have you go and update them all because they all need updating and it'll take you 10 minutes at absolute maximum to get all that done.
So very nice work. The enormously popular advanced custom fields or ACF has shipped a new release at 5.9 0.1, Elliot Condon, the guy behind it all has released a very short and easy to read paraphrased version of what has been fixed. It says that there's been bug fixes or one of the major improvements shipped in 5.9 PM.
P validation for the Gutenberg editor. Yeah. It was found to accidentally publish changes when preview and a post, the same bog was also responsible for preventing the Beaver builder plugin from launching its custom editor. Sorry about that. He says. This bug is now fixed. So hopefully that's done. There's also, they've also reverted local Jason enhancements.
He says, quote, another significant enhancement shipped in version 5.9 was a change. The local Jaison feature. This enhancement allowed ACF to update and delete. Jason files included via the G the load Jason setting, even if they were outside the save Jason path setting. After listening of developer feedback, listening to developer feedback, they've decided to revert this change.
Also missing location. Location rule choices. A bug was discovered in the post taxonomy, low location rule causing an incomplete list of rule choices. This has been fixed. And then there's a list of six more minor enhancements. Anyway. Good to see that ACF is as always on point keeping up dated, and hopefully you've got to version 5.9 0.1 yourself by now.
When you're building your WordPress websites, perhaps you're using a visual tool to style them. One of the more popular ones is micro Thema and Sebastian web. A couple of weeks ago, I'm getting to it now released an article, entitled sliders filters, transforms, and better support for CSS. And this has got some absolutely fabulous stuff inside.
One of the main things is the idea that let's say that you're changing a CSS property and you don't necessarily want to type in the number. So let's say it's font size, for example, you don't want to have to go through and type 14. Sometimes it's nice to just grab a slider and just adjust it left to right.
And watch. The the changes take place, watch the font size increase and think, okay. That's where I want it rather than typing in numbers. No, not big enough typing in a new number, not big enough. So, but the problem with sliders is that they've got to start pointing at right 0.02. Let's say 100 and Sebastian didn't want that.
He wanted it to be, um, to be much more flexible than that. So no end point. So he's come up with this idea of what he's calling a tape measure design. And the idea is you, you drag the slider from left to right. And if, yeah, to the extremity of, of what's possible, you can then just click it and drag it some more, therefore bringing more options into play.
It's hard to describe, but it's ingenious when you see it. Absolutely love it. So go and check out the demo. There's a video on his website and it makes it all so much more ridiculously, easy to use. I'd be very surprised if this wasn't taken and used much more widely, perhaps it's something that has been deployed, but.
I've never seen it before. You can also use the mouse wheel to achieve the same thing plus, or minus buttons on your keyboard. And also up and down arrows, which makes things a whole lot easier. There's also better CSS control support. It says previously it was necessary to manually enter non pixel CSS units EG you REM percent or VH.
Now the unit is stored separately from the numeric. Values, and it is shown above the field property and can be changed by typing the unit in. So the field Olvera dropdown menu, when changing the unit via the drop down menu microphone, FEMA will auto convert the current value. So the size remains the same with the new unit.
Lovely transform properties are also featured. Micro Thema has complete support for CSS transform transform functions like scale rotate. Translate and skew. So that's really nice. And there's also some other things filter functions have been added as well. So really lovely, lovely feature feature sets in the new version of micro Thema.
I'm going to touch on this one very briefly. It is to say that the guys behind formidable forms have acquired a couple of plugins, and I'm just linking to them. You may be interested to know that these acquisitions take place, because it may be something that you're directly invested in. So the first one is the business directory plugin link in the show notes.
And the other one is. Another WordPress classifieds plugin. Well, most of those plugins are now under the Codian ship of formidable, which is obviously a big player in the forms business. You've probably heard of formidable form. So hopefully a good for those plugins going forward. I haven't got anything to say about how much it costs them to acquire these or what they're planning to do.
Cause I didn't manage to find that I just now know that this has happened. So I'm reporting it to you. If by any chance you are a WooCommerce user and you are a Jetpack user, you may be interested in this next piece. Sarah Gooding, WP Tavern, Jetpack launches, email marketing tools with creative mail and trigger integration, WooCommerce triggered store emails coming soon.
And it is exactly that jet pack is firing up a new suite of tools last week, version eight. Point nine of the plugin introduced a new newsletter sign up form, which comes from the creative mail plugin, which is the property of constant contact, which you may have heard of before. The idea is to in the future, have a whole suite of.
Email tools ready at your disposal and espouse Ashley tailored to those people who are using it commerce and WooCommerce in particular, the idea of being that you would be able to automate a whole bunch of emails and they could be sent out on different triggers. So for example, create triggered multi-step customer life cycle marketing journeys, send WooCommerce abandoned cart emails, send post-purchase followup emails, send emails about related products.
It would seem that in the time of the pandemic, the need for bricks and mortar stores to move to online is obvious. And the having an email contact is also an obvious thing that you should have the pay that click through rates and email open rates. Haven't really been. Aversely affected in if anything, the opposite.
So this is an important thing. Matt work is commented in the article, sort of bolstering that argument, that it's much better to have email followers if you like than it is to have social network contacts. And so this plugin aligns perfectly to that. So go and check it out. The next one is very complicated because it's all about amp, which is not something I'm particularly expert on and WP Tavern.
Sarah Gooding wants more amp plugin, 2.0 ads, onboarding wizard and expanded reader mode. And so it's exactly that. If you are looking to use amp pages, then we're now on. 2.0 of the plugin, there's been 141 issues fixed 174 pull requests. And so a lot has changed enough to bump it up to version 2.0. So one of the most significant updates is the release of the reader mode.
And I quote, the plugin has a lot of amp specific terminology associated with it unless you're working with it everyday. It's easy to get confused at, which is exactly. Please what I am, but nevertheless, there's this new reader mode. You can go through an onboarding process so that you can fully understand that you've got the option of going through standard traditional and a reader mode options.
There's a variety of other things as well. But needless to say, if you're into using pages, you should probably get yourself updated. Another plugin is Jeff Star's seven G firewall. It has been updated in September, 2020. I can't remember the exact version. I think it's 1.3. You'll have to forgive me, Jeff, but it's completely free.
Open source, ready to download. And the changes to 70 firewall include reorders, some rules within the firewall replaces L flag with. End for logging rules, renames log files and updates. Logging rules, removes logging loop protection rules. Add some new patterns to the firewall, remove some patterns from the firewall.
And also you've got a free logging script. He says bonus also updated the seven G logging script version 1.2 changes where my name, including renaming the logging files and fixing a bug with the older version of PHP. And it's completely free. A hundred percent free to download those of you that are looking for a firewall.
Have a look at perishable press's website and you can find out more in the change log. Okay. Let's do our little security section. We have a very light touch on security. I often say this, but I don't necessarily think this is the best place for security related stuff. So let's just quickly move into it.
This one though is a bit of a nasty one. It's the file manager plugin. I'm on the Wordfence website as of September the fourth. They were 1.7 million sites that had been well in some way, compromised through a vulnerability, reported a PR a week or so prior to this and that increased six days later, it had gone up to 2.6 million sites and the problems appear to be pretty severe.
I would say there's obviously a lot of people doing it, but this is a breakdown of who they think the threat actor is. It appears to be some guy going by the title of. Budget tax B a J a T a X who apparently it is Moroccan. And it talks about how the vulnerability is implemented and what kind of stuff can be gained through the back doors that they create.
The other one that I've got for you is just one of these around ops. It's the September Roundup of plugin vulnerabilities this time from themes, click on the link in the show notes, and you can simply scroll through. And when you see an icon that you recognize something that you think, Hmm, I might have that installed somewhere, you can stop and find out more.
Okay. What about deals got a few deals for you this week? The first one is to say that there's a deal going away. It's a plugin called happy files, rather like it, actually, I bought this a little while ago, currently it's $19, but I think it's going to go up to a little bit more than that. And it's one of these, it changes your media library.
It makes it a bit more like something you might have in the windows Explorer or. Mac iOS is finder. It just allows you to create folders and so on and therefore curate to your media library a bit better. I quite like it. And it was $19 at the moment going up fairly soon. There's also stackable $69 for life.
If you like that suite of blocks. Pixler an online tool for creating images. Couple of WP plugs, w sorry, P w a for WordPress soon and maintenance mode. They've got Quigley blocks and breezy, plugin and cloud essential Adams for element or, and a few others go and check out the link in the show notes, and you'll be able to keep abreast of all the deals that I've found for you this week.
Okay, the next one is David and I, that blatantly self-promotional WP Builds fit. We released the podcast episode. Good grief. We're getting close to 200, 196 coding versus non-coding where we take a different approach. Should we be coding or should we just leave that to people who really can do it? And we should just be using tools like page builders and so on.
David takes the position for coding. I take the position for non-coding and we thrash it out and decide, which is the best. Okay. That's all the WordPress stuff I've got for you this week, but I've got one more piece over on search engine journal called Google unveils. Fundo for monetizing video events.
This is in our not WordPress, but useful anyway, category. And this just feels like something which could be a real rich vein for Google. So the idea is that you set up up one of three types of events and they take care of the monitoring using of the whole thing. So it says, what is Fondo is an online service that allows video creators to tell tickets to private events.
The service is frictionless because there are no apps or software to download. Everything happens on the Fondo site. Google's announcement, promoted, three kinds of events that creators can make one-to-one chats and photos. So was the idea of that one is that if you're a bit of a celebrity, you can, you can actually be in a photo booth and people can have.
Their photo taken with you, which kind of sounds a bit strange, but I suppose it's better than, you know, going to a rock concert and waiting after the event to get your photo taken with somebody there's also a meet and greet and workshops. The most interesting of those I think is workshops. And again, I quote, this is not trivial.
This is an important feature that will impact actual businesses in a positive way. So yeah, the idea that you could take and sell your workshops, let's say that I don't know you are a restaurant or yeah. A restaurateur, I should say. And your restaurant business at the moment is completely on hold. Well, how about you get into selling, cooking classes or workshops?
The they're making the point that it's really ironclad guests. Can't crash it into this. If you haven't got a ticket, you can't come. It's a one ticket per person. So if you are creating video content and you want to monetize it in some way, this may be of interest to you. Okay. That's all I've got for you this week.
I really appreciate you coming and joining us. Please leave some comments over on our website or perhaps in the WP Builds Facebook group. Tell us how we're doing, what you liked, what you didn't like and so on. And in that way we shall try to get 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 can access to the latest software and developer tools such as PHP seven, SSH and staging environments. And the best part are expert team of WordPress engineers are available 24 seven. If you need it, try a free demo for 60 days at Kinsta dot com.
And the page builder summit. Do you use a page builder screen at your WordPress websites, or perhaps you're curious about what they can do, whether it's element or BeaverBuilder breezy oxygen or any of the other page builders, the page builder summit we'll have something for you. It's running from the fifth to the 9th of October, and you can check out the amazing speaker list and get your free book.
Nice at summit dot camp. Okay, I'll see you again, Thursday for the WP Builds podcast next Monday for the same thing, but with next week's news and also don't forget the lives Monday and Tuesday, Monday being the WP Bill's live version of this news and Tuesday. Sabrina's Dan and I talking about plugins.
Have a good week. Stay safe. Bye for now.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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