This week’s WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 12th October 2020:
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
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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 number 134. It covers the WordPress news for the week. Commencing the 12th of October, 2020. And it was published on Monday the 19th of October, 2020. My name's Nathan Wrigley and an apology. Before I begin, I got a bit tied up with the page, but the summit, which has now completed, and essentially I wasn't able to do the last two weeks.
WP Builds weekly, WordPress news. Few people reached out to me to ask if I'd finished doing it or not. and the honest answer was, I just simply ran out of time. So apologies for those people who have. Become accustomed to listening to it on a Monday. But anyway, normal service now appears to have seemed a little bit of housekeeping, head over to w dot com, where you'll find all of our WordPress related content.
And we do produce quite a lot of it each week. Two URLs, dimension, WP belts.com forward slash subscribe over there. You'll be able to keep in touch with all that we do. Let us notify you when we produce things and WP Builds.com forward slash deals. If you would like to avail yourself of a deal, it's a bit like black Friday, but every day of the week, searchable filterable lists.
Coupon codes for WordPress products. The third one, which I didn't mention, I said I was going to do two, but it's in fact, three is WP belts.com forward slash advertise. If you would like to have your product or service put in front of a WordPress specific audience a bit like these guys have done. 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 a PHP, seven SSH and 24 seven expert support. Try a demo free for 60 days at Kinsta.com. And 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 Beaver builder and the WordPress block editor. what am I talking about? I'm talking about AB split test a plugin for WordPress that you can [email protected] And we do thank our sponsors for helping us put on the WP. Bill's weekly WordPress news.
If you want to catch a live version of this event, 2:00 PM UK time [email protected] forward slash live. You can find myself Paul Lacey Sabrina's sedan and Leo. Mindell chatting about all of the bits and pieces that I'm about to discuss only live. And you can make comments if you're logged in to Google or Facebook.
Okay. Yeah. Speaking of the WordPress weekly news, let's get stuck into it. Shall we? Each week we divide our WP Builds news up into different sections and each week, if there is any, we start with WordPress core. Yeah. And I've got three pieces for you this week. In fact, all three are over on WP Tavern, but the first one is Sarah Gooding.
WordPress 5.6 to introduce application passwords for rest API authentic. And I'm going to quote in 2015. Yeah. WordPress 4.4 introduced a rest API, but one thing has severely limited its broader use. And that's the lack of authentication capabilities. Third party applications after considering the benefits and drawbacks of many different types of authentication systems, George Stephanas published a proposal for integrating application passwords into core.
this seems to be massively favorable. Lots of developers seem to be chiming in and saying, this is something which is really good. And again, right at the end of the article, I'm going to quote which something which sums it all up after the rest API was added to WordPress five years ago, many had the expectation that WordPress based web applications would start.
Popping up everywhere without a reliable authentication system. It wasn't easy for developers to just get inspired and build something quickly. Application passwords in WordPress 5.6 will open up a lot of possibilities for those who previously were deterred by the lack of core methods for authenticating third party access.
I can imagine that if you're building third party systems, the ability to authenticate things in a much more straightforward, streamlined, and native way will be really useful. I have to see how this develops, but it certainly seems like a really nice development for people to be able to authenticate things natively.
Sarah Gooding a once again, this time with a piece entitled navigation screen sidelined for WordPress 5.6 full site editing edges, closer to public beater. And this is to say that to the idea of having a block-based navigation screen, it's been delayed. It was slated originally. For WordPress 5.5 and then it was put in as a possible addition to 5.6.
it's felt that really, it's not quite ready. There hasn't been any significant progress towards completion. And so the deadline has been pushed back. So don't expect to see that soon, however, full site editing seems to be coming into view where. Getting much more close to something which looks like how it's going to be in fact appear to be finessing the UI.
So if you've played with recent sort of beta versions and so on, what at the moment is largely in terms of functionality, what we're going to get. Hopefully just after Hayden said, and she's the project lead for 5.6. It wouldn't be a really, they're just going to make it look a bit nicer so that you can use it with a little bit more ease.
Anyway, I think the takeaway here is as with many things in technology, it's two steps forward. One step back in this case, full sight to editing seems to be coming into view. whereas the navigation screen, that's not quite in view yet, hopefully 20, 21 for that. Okay. The third and final piece in the core section is again, as I said to on WP Tavern, but this time just in Tatlock are block based a widgets ready to landing WordPress 5.6.
This is probably a five minute read and it's Justin's take on, exactly that question. Are they ready? He seems very bullish about the future of block. Based widgets being used in the WordPress UI. And he goes into explain why he thinks this is a good idea. He likes the user experience. He thinks that it's genuinely enjoyable to use.
and he goes into describe how he's been deploying things that he has a few gripes about the UI. The fact that it's difficult for things to be moved from one place to another. The fact that. But there isn't some kind of warning. If you don't save things correctly and you can actually just navigate a way, having done a little bit of work and then only to discover, Oh, darn I didn't save it.
And it's all gone. But in terms of the UI, it seems to be coming along really nicely. He also dives into what it's like from. Theme authors perspective. And the big takeaway I suppose, is that the documentation seems to be lacking and he makes some suggestions over there. But if you are interested in how blocks are getting ready to be used in this way, then this is a nice article.
It was written on October the 13th. So it's still quite fresh. The next section is entitled community. And I've got two pieces for you this week. The first is specifically for rum cloud users. So run cloud is a service similar to something like cloud ways. If you've not come across it before. but this piece is fairly new lengthy.
I confess I haven't gone from top to bottom. but it is just to say that they've put together a tutorial piece on how to use the reddest full page cache to speed up your WordPress performance. It's a fairly exhaustive list. There's absolutely loads and loads to read, and it explains everything in great detail.
I didn't know they had this feature and I'm sure many of you did, but if you are using Robin cloud, then this is a good 10 minute read to understand exactly what's going on when you implement their caching solution. A few weeks ago, we covered the story that the word camp Austin crew wanted to have some live music organized for that event.
I wasn't quite sure how this was going to pan out, but this is such a thing. Interesting read. I think everybody would be fascinated by what's happened here. And this is Sarah Gooding writing an article entitled word, WordCamp Austin 2020. Find success with a VR experience for sessions. And networking now having last week, Ron, a summit.
I know that it is very difficult to try to gauge age how you ought to present it on what level would it be interactive or should it be just, video? Oh, served up and so on. And we went in one direction, but the guys at word camp Boston have just gone really soup to nuts and they've created a.
A virtual experience. And what I say when I say that I'm meaning something akin to well playing in a VR game. So imagine something like Minecraft, so you can walk through the virtual hallways. You can go into particular events, which are streamed live on the walls. It's really something out with the future.
And obviously. We'd all prefer to be in a real room with real people and so on. But this to me, just for the fact that it's completely, the different is really remarkable. I think it's very compelling. What I would say is if you're at all unsure about what I'm trying to describe, go and check it out.
You pick an avatar, you can walk around in the conference space, if you like, and you can see the other characters rather like you would do in some kind of online gaming situation, their username is presented above them. And so you can figure out who they are and you can hear what people are saying as you walk past.
It's just absolutely brilliant. this was all put together by Anthony shul. I don't know if that was. Exactly his responsibility or if he, had a crowd of people from his own company involved in that, but it does look utterly remarkable, something totally new and different. And then to round it all off, there were live music, there was live music happening.
And also towards the end, he turned on the capability for the attendees. It's a fly. So they could actually, just have a really interesting experience towards the end. So I just feel this is something really new, really different. And I'm sure just for the. Sake of something new and different, it was utterly worthwhile.
Go and have a look you I'm sure will be very impressed with was what was possible. And allegedly, according to the organizers, this was no more difficult to set up than a regular WordPress website might be. But the difficulty comes in creating things like the 3d assets and so on, but just really fabulous stuff.
And obviously people in the technology space pushing technology, is a total win. Okay, let's move on to our next section, plugins themes and blocks. And I've got a few pieces for you this week. The first one [email protected] If you have a toolset license, you might be interested to read this piece. It says, add an add other people to your tool, set interactive and agency accounts.
So this is to say that I'll. Does your web agency have multiple roles that use tool set to download and register sites, open support tickets, and manage the subscription payments. Now you can create user profiles for each of them on tool set.com. In other words, if you've based your WordPress business, around the products, the tool set release.
Yeah. Maybe that you want your team to have different access to different things. So for example, you might like some people to be able to implement certain things and other people to be able to contact tool set for support and so on and so forth. And now that's been. Now that's been made possible.
it would appear that you need to have certain licenses. So the interactive agency or lifetime account holders can make use of this. And this article explains how you can implement that and how you can set up the different users, in order that your team can be differentiated in this way. It just seems like a, I've not heard of this before.
It just seems like a really novel approach. Obviously toolset handles an awful lot and it could be. Entirely appropriate that your agency has a much more granular approach because of the depth and breadth of everything that it can do. Anybody who's using WPM. You Def products, probably like this one hub, the hub, I should say 2.0 was created in March.
Now the hub is an area that you can use for your WPM. You dev integrated websites to maintain everything. So you can update plugins. You can look at security status and so on and so forth. So it's a bit like something like managed WP or main WP. they've had it out since March and the interface was.
Absolutely adequate, but they've decided it's time for a bit of an overhaul and they've taken, I think it's a really nice approach. They've gone from a much more list approach to every one of the screens to a much more kind of widget based approach. So instead of everything, just being in a list one after another, going down the page, you've now got two or three columns of things, all divided into neat little sections.
And from there you can drill down further essentially. It puts more information at your fingertips at the point at which you need it. And what I would say is if you are an WPM dev user and you want to see what has changed and where all the new bits and pieces are, this certainly looks really interesting.
I do the way they've laid it out is really nice. It felt for the longest time that gravity forms was the winner in the form space until fairly recently, when a number of contenders came along with incredibly good offerings. And I feel that gravity forms have been pulled into updating and making more, much more public statements of their intent for the future.
And this is an example of that. So the gravity forms. Blog has got a piece entitled gravity forms, 2.5 Bita to test it with ad-ons. And so they're making a much bigger effort to publicly announce all of the things, because I feel that they're in more of a race than they ever were, but so in beta, Two of gravity forms, 2.5, they have made improvements to accessibility, obviously accessibility, certainly.
Yeah. Forms is an important thing to do physically as well as legally. They say the form editor, which honestly, I think we're starting to look a bit tired in the face of the competition has now been given a new look and it does look very nice. it's a. Big change. And I think hopefully it's change for the better you've got control of columns as well.
I quote to users can now easily manage their form layout to enjoy dragon drop control of columns for up to four columns. This was something which had to be done with, CSS classes and things. So this again brings is the plugin much more up to date with the rivals update to markups and styles.
2.5 provides a new and improved markup and styles helping you great stylish forms that convert. And it says theme integration, the gravity forms team have worked with. Assortment of theme developers to ensure that 2.5 works with popular WordPress theme straight out of the box, further down the article.
It explains how you can get on board with the beat if you want to test it. But hopefully this won't be long in the oven before it comes out fairly soon. Now, this really isn't news, but it's something that I've been meaning to drop into the news for a very long time. If you've ever built a website which use faceted search.
So something like, search and filter pro or facet WP, then this is just such an interesting little rival plugin. It's called grid builder WP. In fact, that's what it's called. In the logo, but the actual URL is WP grid, bill.com. And I'm just mentioning it because it looks like a really nice alternative.
If you want to take your content and filter it, search you'd have tiles that are searchable and configurable and you can drill down into all the different pieces. So it might work well with, so for example, an eCommerce shop or something like that, it just looks like a really plausible alternative.
Having mentioned it in our face. But group, there were a few people that piped up and said, yep, we love, but I haven't heard any negative comments about it so far, but it just looks nice and I'm just bringing it to your attention. One of the things that I really like least about having to maintain websites is to do like policies and terms and conditions and all of that kind of stuff.
And one of the companies which take this entire problem away from you, a term of Geden. Now, if you haven't heard of term again before their raison d'etre is literally to. Create UpToDate, usable contact and privacy forms that you can embed in your website. And as the law changes and iterates over time, they will take care of that.
So you can update them on a particular website. Should it need to be updated depending on the jurisdiction and the way that the law goes. It's just a really nice thing. If you've got main WP and you've got Terma Gatton, or you've got one, and we're thinking about the other, this now seems like a really nice match.
Anybody listening to this news on a regular basis will know that I've talked a little bit about editors plus, which is a plugin which enables you to do and much more inside the WordPress blog editor. Most of this news has been derived from Justin Tatlock on WP Tavern as is this piece entitled editors.
It seems to be very lightweight. And yet feature rich. It says the animations work in version 1.9 release of the plugin by adding entrance animations. These types of animations happen when a visitor sees blocks for the first time on the screen, for example, users could set block image to fade into visibility as the reader views the block.
Currently the plugin. Adds seven animation types, fade, slice bounces, zoom, flip, fold, and roll. And they are literally animation buttons that you toggle on and off with some additional features like a button to play the animation so that you can see what it looks like. Yeah. Which direction it's going to go in up, down left.
And so on and the duration and so on. Basic stuff. In terms of the UI, it looks really slick. You just go through the UI and tick the boxes and move the sliders and so on. But everything seems to work. He's created a little video. It's about seven minutes long where he shows you how it all works.
And it looks really great. I have to say all of this stuff coming inside of the block editor and for the moment, at least anyway free. Wow. Phenomenal loads of this stuff. If you like wizbang and you like animations, this is. Last one in this section comes from woocommerce.com. It says WooCommerce payments now support subscriptions, and I quote from their blog.
We're excited to announce that will commerce payments, a natively designed payment management system accessible directly from the WordPress dashboard. Now supports WooCommerce subscriptions capture recurring revenue, set up payment plans, sell subscription boxes or offer weekly services with no monthly fees.
So it says you can now generate to recurring revenue, give your shoppers peace of mind and so on and so forth. And then it describes how you might go and do this. So if you are into WooCommerce and need subscriptions, maybe it's worth a look. Next section is deals, and we've got a link at the top of our deals section.
If you look at the show notes to our WP Builds deals page, which is going to be hot hotting up in the next few weeks as we approached black Friday. But for now, it's just the usual list of plugins and themes that have been on offer. Thankfully the plugin and theme developers have reached out to us and given us codes that never seemed to expire at least not so far anyway.
So it gives you links to that. Plus there's a link for an email where you can subscribe and we'll tell you if we hear about any new deals, the newest one that I've got so far is for something called WordPress. Portal it's available for lifetime. And it seems to be like a rival to something like client portal that allows you to manage your projects, accounting and tracking your business performance right within your WordPress dashboard.
It's a lifetime deal. And then we've got things like the cadence theme pro lifetime and the cadence membership lifetime. That's still up there. Breezy cloud, 15% off with the code WP Builds. There's a few plugins over on. App Sumo and various other things. But what I would say is go and look in the show notes, and most of them are repeats because they're still available.
But the, the new word, a lifetime one that is new. Okay, we're getting towards the end and always towards the end, we have a few little, the sections. The first one is security, a very light touch on security. I've got two pieces for you this week. The first one is Wordfence high severity vulnerability patch in child theme, creator by or B, C a S.
I don't know if I've pronounced that correctly. This is actually a little bit old. Now it was created on the 14th of October. So by the time you listened to this, it'll be almost a week old, but it says that on the 9th of September, 2020, the threat intelligence team over at Wordfence discovered a vulnerability it's installed on 30,000 websites.
And the floor gave attackers the ability to forge requests on behalf of an administrator in order to modify arbitrary theme files and create new PHP files, which doesn't sound good to me. The name of that child theme creator by or busiest rings a bell. you probably want to go and get it updated.
Speaking of getting things updated. the next link in the show notes is from the web Mark's website. It's their monthly Roundup for October of WordPress vulnerabilities. These are always fantastic resources for just flicking through. Yeah. They mentioned the one that I've just created, just talked about the child theme creator by or BCS.
I'm getting used to saying OBCs now. And it also lists other ones. So for example, live chat, PowerPress podcasting plugin by blueberry Ninja forms. And so on, you just scroll through. And if any of those plugin names ring a bell, then you might want to stop and see what's has happened. And, yeah. Go and get yourself updated.
Hopefully you're doing that anyway. As a WordPress professional. The next section is the blatantly promotional WP Builds bit it's to say that I released the episode entitled how to make your WordPress website run smoothly. Even after a year with Alexandra on you may have noticed that this was episode 201 during the summit, in the absence of these news articles, we surpassed 200 episodes on the WP, builds a podcast.
that's a big ye moments. how great is that? Anyway, we've got 200 episodes done last week. We had 200 this week, 201. And it's Alex from. WP dandy talking about how to make your website performance in the long term. So it's does an awful lot in here. Actually, he was able to talk and we actually had to cut the episode short because it was just too much to talk about.
It goes into a lot of stuff, which you probably thought about how to do, for example, select a lightweight theme and yeah. Lazy load your images. But there was a whole ton of other things in there that some. You may not have thought about. So if you're in the mood to keep things lean and you want things to be working seamlessly for a really long period of time, go and check this episode out.
Alex is company Dundee, specialize in this kind of thing and offer maintenance plans for people such as your good selves. So maybe go and click on the link. Yeah. The show notes to discover what they do as well. The job section each week as well. I try to get some jobs this week because I've been doing other things I've literally heard of no jobs in the WordPress space, apologies about that.
But there is a link in the show notes. If you wish to submit a job, feel free to click that link and it's entirely free. So if there is a job that you're trying to get in front of a WordPress audience, maybe you're a plugin developer who needs some help, or maybe you're developing a thing. I don't know any job in the WordPress space, click the link in the show notes and I'll try to broadcast it so that you get some attention for that job.
The very last section before we finish is entitled, not WordPress, but useful anyway. And so we delve four pieces, just talking about some things that have got nothing specifically to do with WordPress, but very much related to the internet as a whole first one over on search engine journal, this one.
Crucial, I think, group Google mobile first index zero desktop content, March, 2021. So this is to say that by March, 2021, if you have a desktop only website, Google will literally. Stop indexing it. So if you have a website, which is really old, if you've got something which the client has refused to update, you can now return to that client and say it is going to stop being indexed by Google.
You needs to have a mobile first approach, right? So that is happening really soon. I would urge anybody who has, who are not taking the seat seriously, go and have a look at this article, obviously from a highly edited. source and many quotes from the guys over at Google, John Mueller saying exactly this.
And it may be that, there's some additional work that you need to do, but that I suppose could be a benefit. If you've got clients who are lagging behind, this might be the incentive they need to get themselves sorted. I doubt in the near future, there are a few bogs they've said that there were a few bucks with em.mobile indexing, but.
Nevertheless, they're going to push ahead with this. Despite those bugs, they just need to do it. And apparently it was a really large piece of work on the part of Google to make this all happen. So we're into a new era, desktop ceases to be of great importance. Now everything seems to be all about the mobile.
I don't know if this one affects only UK users because it's on a UK based website. And the money being described is in pounds, it's over on the money saving expert website. And if you're in the UK, this is this guy who is called Martin Lewis, who brands himself as the money saving experts. He constantly tries to enable people to save money on their insurance and their bills.
And so on. He's got an article entitled PayPal to introduce 12 pounds per year fee for inactive accounts. Act now to Dodge it. So basically if you've got a PayPal account, which hasn't been used for a year or more, they're going to slap a charge of 12 pounds per year on I guess, a pound per month. Sounds like that's the way it's being done, but there's a way to avoid it.
You just log into the account before the 15th of December and everything should be fine. Just not entirely sure. What PayPal thinking here. I didn't read the article in any great depth, I suppose they just want to purge the people who are using up their infrastructure and not giving them any benefits equally though.
I don't really see why an inactive account would cost them a great deal of money. I could be wrong. Of course. Anyway, if you've got a PayPal account, which isn't doing any service, maybe go and check it out before you get charged for it. There's so many tools out there to help us these days create our WordPress websites.
She used to be a slew of tools at the moment, enabling you to get client feedback. So this is just a new one that came across my, my radar over the last week. I have not tried it, but I would urge you to go and look at it. If you want a website feedback tool. PL classes itself has the website feedback tool for projects and teams.
So really I think the idea here is that you would share this with your team, with your clients. So this is for people who are skilled in building websites to iterate a project it's called page review.io. Just click on the link in the show. Oops. And you can see that rather than the usual approach of.
Editing things after the client has done screenshots and things like that. The idea is this is that you can click on different parts of the website. So your team can click on different parts of the website and actually modify the way it looks. So for example, they couldn't change the padding. They can change that font so they can change the font weight.
They can do a whole load of stuff. In other words, you can act, your team can actually change things. And then your team can look back at the changes that have been created. It looks like it's a Chrome extension or a Firefox extension for now, but I don't know if this is just going to add clutter and noise to your work process, but you never know.
It might be something that would really benefit your team. So it creates, as you would expect you click with the mouse. It creates a little bit. Button a little number saying there's a change over here. You make the changes to what I presume is the CSS and then save it and then your team get notified. So it's a nice little, yeah.
Unique to take on this kind of technology. For our last piece this week, we are back on WP Tavern, but not really related to WordPress. It says Sarah Gooding piece entitled Stripe acquires pay stack for 200 plus million dollars. I confess I'd never heard of pay stack before, but they are an Africa or should I say Nigeria based payment system?
So something similar to Stripe. The in fact in many of informally called them the Stripe of Africa. they've picked up a bunch of. series a funding during 2018, and it seems like they've done incredible work, getting a load of customers. In fact, apparently the African online commerce space is growing 21% year over year, which is 74, 75% faster than the global average.
And obviously Stripe being a major player internationally, not necessarily. In Africa wants to have a piece of that action and this buys them a big stake in the African market. So I don't know where you are in the world, listening to this. Perhaps you are based in Africa and you have been using pay stack, and you might like to know that it has been acquired by Stripe.
Okay. That's all we've got time for on the news this week. I really hope that you enjoyed it. I hope that you get something out of it. Please do leave a comment for me somewhere. Either email me, or email me admin at something, something.com as you might imagine, do that, or please just share it with your Twitter audience, your Facebook group, whatever.
It would just be really nice to hear from you guys and know whether I'm doing the right thing or not. The WP Builds weekly. WordPress news is 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.
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We'll come back with some more weekly WordPress news. We'll be here on Monday 2:00 PM. UK time. WP bells.com forward slash live. I'll be chatting with Paul Lacey. Sabrina Zeidan and Leo. Mindel about all the news that you've just heard, but you can come and commentate and we'll have another WordPress podcast for you on Thursday as well.
I hope you have a nice week. Stay safe. Bye bye for now.