This week’s WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 19th October 2020:
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
Buddy Boss – Mobile App Launch, Platform & Theme Features, Showcase | October Update – Video
Deals from this week
NEW – Wave Video Combo – $59
NEW – WordPress Portal Lifetime – $49
TeliportMe – $79
HockeyStack – $79
Pixlr image editing- $49
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Nothing for you this week, but please submit and that you have here…
Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
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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.
Hello there. Good morning. And welcome to this. The WP Builds a weekly WordPress. This is number 135. It covers the WordPress news for the week. Commencing the 19th of October, 2020. And it was published on Monday the 26th of October, 2020, my name's Nathan Wrigley, and a few bits and pieces just before we begin, then head over to WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe.
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A B split test.com. And we do thank our sponsors for helping us to put on the WP Builds weekly WordPress news. Speaking of which let's get stuck into it. Each and every week we divide our WordPress news up into different sections and each week the very first section is WordPress core. And I've got two items for you today.
One is on wp.org, wordpress.org, and is to say that WordPress five. Point six beater. One has been announced. This was posted just a few days ago by just SEFA Hayden. So beater software, if you didn't know, it's like trial software, it's the software prior to the release of the main event, the finessed version.
So at this point, we're not advising anybody to go and download this and use it on a production site. Rather it's recommended for people who wish to test things. WordPress 5.6 is going to have some significant improvements. So for example, there's quite a lot going on with the Gothenburg editor. So we have improved support for video positioning.
Yeah. Cover blocks, enhancements to block patterns, including translatable strings, character counts in the information panel, improved keyboard, navigation, and various other adjustments, and an improved for drag and drop functionality as well as block movers, which that last one in particular, I'm going to be making heavy use of.
Also there've been improvements in core itself. So for example, there is a new default theme. There are auto update options for major releases. I think from a security point of view could be really interesting. There's increased supports for PHP eight. That is to say PHP 8.0 dot zero.zero is scheduled for release in a few days prior to 5.6 coming out.
So that's also important. They've also been some changes regarding the rest API, but for that, I would urge you to click on the link in the show notes. And you can discover about that, cause it's a little bit lengthy and also some accessibility improvements. So for example, the announced block selection changes manually on windows.
You can avoid focusing the block selection button on each render, avoid rendering the clipboard text area inside the button. And there's about five or six others as well. So that's some nice improvements. Obviously, any eyeballs that can be cast over Bita one would be most useful so that we can get it up to Bita to ASAP.
The next piece is by Justin Tatlock over on WP Tavern, entitled WordPress 5.6 release team pulls the plug on block-based widgets a few weeks ago. Justin was fairly bullish about the fact that block-based widgets would actually be included in WordPress 5.6. there's been a reconsideration and just in points this out, essentially, it.
Isn't a usable experience at the moment. So Helen who Sandy, who is the core tech lead for 5.6, provides an account basically saying, and I quote my question for features that affect the front end is can I try this out? Can I try this new thing out? Should I say without the penalty of messing up my site?
That is user trust at the moment, given that widget areas are not displayed anything like what on your site without themes, really putting effort into it. And you have to save your changes, live without revisions, and to get the actual context view widget area blocks, do not allow you to try this new feature without penalizing you for experimenting.
It's been pulled. It has been provided with an early tag, meaning hopefully it will land early in the release cycle of 5.7. So you may get this earlier than the general 5.7 when it reaches maturity. But for now, this has been pulled too. If you are planning on using this feature, you'll have to pause.
The next section is entitled community. Although you could be forgiven for thinking this piece fits better under security it's over on ZD nettles, D net. If you're in the UK, it's entitled WordPress deploys, forced security update for dangerous bug in popular plugin. So there is a plugin called login ISER, which has been installed apparently over 1 million times.
It offers. Security enhancements, which is a little bit unusual in this scenario to the WordPress login page. So for example, it can do things like blacklist, white list, IP addresses. It can also add two factor authentication and captures and so on to block login attempts. How about for this week? A security researcher discovered an.
On known security vulnerability in the plugin, which allowed people to inject SQL statements. Basically you could add a username with SQL queries in it, and that would get saved to the database and that could then be wrong on the database and compromise the entire site in its entirety. So the very unusual, usual step has been taken to push an update to everybody using this plugin without their consent.
That is to say WordPress since version 3.7, which I believe is quite a long time ago has had the capability. I think it's 2013 to push updates. It's called force. Plugin update should something really need addressing. So the guys [email protected] have obviously decided this was severe enough.
We don't want a million sites to go down. They've decided to push an update regardless of whether you requested it or not. Now. From my point of view. I see that if in this scenario, this seems to be a sensible thing to do, but it has created a bit of a storm. People don't want wordpress.org to be pushing things live onto their website without their authority.
But I suppose in this case, the severity of the vulnerability may mitigate that fact. I don't know. It seems like you could sit on either side of this one, if you're regularly updating your WordPress websites. This might be something that wouldn't concern you too much. However, if your website was left for a month, two months without a particular update that could affect it and cause it to be brought down or maliciously attacked, then I can see the benefit of this.
I'm not sure I'm leaning towards the side of, this was a good thing to do. So anyway, go and check out the post on ZD net to see what other people thought about this. If you've been listening to the WordPress news on WP Builds for any length of time, you'll know that occasionally we talk about static website hosting and the idea being that you spin up a container with a WordPress website to make amendments and then publish the entire website to flat HTML and CSS files.
The idea, being that the whole website loads considerably quicker because it's simply serving up static files and also it has less of a security vulnerability attack surface. static is one of the companies that have been doing this and this piece is not particularly new. It's in fact, a few months old, but it's something that I missed.
And so I'm mentioning it now. They've got this new capability called quick publish, which I rather like the look of, and the idea being that in the past, if you wanted to update anything on your website, you would have to wait for static to go around and index all the pages and flatten them all one at a time now to mitigate that they would actually.
Index and flatten the one that you were editing first. In other words, there would be a hierarchy of things that have been amended more recently, but now there's an option to toggle a button called quick publish, and it will only update the changes to the posts and pages that you've just been fiddling with.
So in theory, this should speed things up considerably. So for example, what exactly gets published? They say new or. Edited posts or custom post types, new or edited pages, category archives tag archives that might be affected taxonomy archive, site maps and the RSS feed. There's a few situations where they described things that won't be published.
So for example, it won't amend things like navigation, menu, sidebars, footers, and a few other things you'd have to do those manually. Anyway, I missed this one, so I just wanted to mention it. Yeah. If you are looking for flat HTML, static, hosting. Yeah. Static is on your, your laundry list of ones to look out.
This little feature might be of interest. Next up, we have our plugins themes and blocks section and quite a few pieces for you this week. The first one though is over at WordPress Tavern Q first FSE WordPress theme. Now live just in Tadlock rights and FSE. You will probably learn in the next few months, weeks or years is an acronym.
Meaning full site. Editing. You'll probably be seeing that more and more, and we didn't have a theme in the WordPress repository, which enabled you to test it out full site editing because it's still very much an experimental feature. However, themes team representative Aries. Opolis I really apologize if I butchered your name has decided to take the plunge and offer a very slimmed down Bita release of an F S E theme.
It's called Q as I said, and really it's not intended for you to use. As a website that you would put out for public consumption more, it's a bit of a test bed to see how he has implemented these things. See if you are a theme developer, how you might take things and run with them, you need to be on the latest version of it.
Gothenburg and you also needed to have had the experimental features toggle switched on, and then you can have a bit of a play just in said, it is what it is. It's essentially something which is very slimmed down. it's capable. It does what it needs to do. But anybody who is creating themes, I'm just curious about this space.
This is a very interesting development. And obviously as the days and weeks go on, we'll see many more of these adopting full site editing in Guttenberg, as that rolls out in 5.6, 5.7 and it gets enhancements over the years. But yeah, it seems like a bit of a milestone. Maybe this is a moment in time where.
We start to rethink what it is that we're using in our toolkit and start to use the core things to create our entire site. not quite yet, but, over the horizon fairly soon. One hopes. I know that quite a few of my friends are yeah. Users of the plugin body boss. It's like a way of organizing a, let's say a social network for want of a better word with the WordPress platform.
And they have announced in a video, which I've linked to over on YouTube, that they've got a mobile app launching. So you'll be able to take on many of the features that you would normally have to sit at a desktop computer for, and they've integrated them into, an app. Which you can use on your mobile phone.
I'm not going to go into all the details. You can watch the video. It's fairly short. It's only about five and a half minutes long, something like that. And you can see, but anyway, body boss users who have a mobile phone might be very interested in this. Continuing on with the block editor theme, we have a piece over on WP Tavern by Justin Tadlock entitled past 20 star WordPress themes to get new block patterns, substitute star in the title for a number.
So for example, 20, 20, 20, 19, 2017. And so on, this is to say that it's been decided by Mel choice, Dwan, who is the default theme. Design lead for WordPress 5.6, that block patterns will be implemented as far back as the 2010 theme. So the idea of a block pattern is that it's a collection of blocks coordinated to satisfy a particular goal.
So for example, it might be a testimonial block pattern, which is just a collection of perhaps an image. A quote on a piece of text with a button or something like that. And you can simply click that block pattern, drag it in, and all of the bits and pieces are configured, ready to go, rather than you have to having to construct them by using a photo and a heading and a button separately one after another.
It's a really nice idea. And if you've used a page builder, you'll have seen this countless times before. However, the idea of backporting these blocks right past that, essentially for a decade is really interesting. Now what they're going to do is they're going to start with 20, 20, 20, 19, 17 and 16, 2018 never existed.
So don't worry about that one. And they're going to implement them in those to begin with. And after that's going to be future release States. I didn't quite realize just how. Popular, some of these other themes are so going back in time, the 20, 20 and 2017 themes have over 1 million active installs, 2019 has over half a million.
And when I initially saw this article, I thought it seems a bit silly going back as far as 2010, but I could be wrong. Maybe there's absolutely tons of people still using those sites. And why should they miss out on this lovely new block functionality? they won't have to, the article goes on to show some nice.
Images of what these patterns look like. That they're nice and straightforward, simple and easy to understand what they're for. But, so for example, there's a gallery pattern, a chats pattern, a video pattern, a quote pattern, and some others. And you can find out how to implement these over on the article, click on the link in the show notes.
If you're a WordPress user who has accessibility as a significant concern, and you need to make sure that your websites are as accessible as humanly possible. Then you may have run up against, for example, problems with page builders, that the fact that they may not implement things in the best way possible.
over on WP shout this week, Claire Brotherton has an article entitled Beaver builder, accessibility, what you need to know. And Exactly that she goes into a very deep dive into what's. The accessibility posture is in terms of Beaver builder, what they do well, what could be improved. And it specifically, she takes different modules.
If you like, that's the word for when you drag something in from BeaverBuilder that's in the panel, it might be, so for example, a photo module or a text module, or what have you, she drags these in and she goes through what the output is and how this. How this can be perceived from an accessibility point of view.
As I said, it's incredibly thorough. It's probably going to need a little while for you to digest, but it will give you a great idea about the areas, which frankly you can leave alone because the BeaverBuilder team have taken care of that or areas where you may leave may need to do some further work or perhaps just leave those bits to one side.
really brilliant article. I absolutely love it. So well done, Claire. I'm sure you've been frustrated in the past when you've logged into your WordPress website to notice that there is a clutter, a bit of a mess of admin notices. You know what I mean? It might be for example, ads, or it might just be a whole bunch of notices that certain things need updating, or perhaps that.
They have been updated and so on and so forth. And they crowd out the admin area. You may be concerned that your, your clients are getting to see all of this and really it's not their concern. They don't want to see all of this. there's a new plugin by the guys over at WP white security called admin notices manager.
And the announcement is being linked to in the show notes. The idea is that it puts them all in itself. In their own little space. So there is an area where all of these admin notices yeah. Get packed into an, to me, this feels like something that ought to be in core. You've got the impression that these admin notices there ought to be a, I don't know, a section over in the main menu that says notices and a little red number pops up saying you've got three admin notices.
And you can take care of them in a completely separate area. that's what this plugin does. I linked to it in the WP Builds group this week. And a couple of people said they tried it and it fell short in a couple of respects. So I'm not entirely sure I haven't exactly looked into it, but the idea seems laudable.
And it, to me, it seems really sensible. Hopefully at some point, this can be taken care of in court. Toolset users. We have constant series use of updates. It seems at the moment coming out to tool set, and this is another one tool set blocks. 1.3 0.2 and types 3.4 0.2 have better performance and scalability.
Click on the link in the show notes and Dario writes a piece that says, quote, we've optimized the communication between our code inside the Gutenberg editor and the server. Now tool set, we'll call the server much less frequently. In order to get dynamic fields and views, this will make the editor feel a lot faster and put a lot less load on the server when you're editing.
All sounds really good. They've made some other improvements as well. Woo commerce compatibility with the Woodmark theme, better compatibility with PHP 7.4, fixed infinite scrolling on archives loading results. It's in the wrong place and fix the mechanism to use a view as a source of options from a forms, generic field or quite technical.
But if you're a toolset user, I'm sure you'll be delighted by this. The last two pieces in this section are very much interlinked. The first one is over on WP town, just in Todd lock, writes using the web stories for WordPress plugin. You better play by Google's rules. So I'm not entirely convinced by web stories.
It seems to me like a bit of a fad, but the idea is that you serve up interconnected. Text-based visually based. Pages which offer a background image and some logos and so on and videos, which occupy the full viewing area of a mobile device. Now, the idea is that they tell stories, AKA, they go from one page to another and follow some kind of narrative from start to finish.
if you didn't really know that was the intention of these things, and you just saw them as an opportunity to create something on the web, which was okay. I don't know, let's say an advert or something like that, or perhaps some sort of lead generation technology, then Google is not going to like it.
And it's probably not going to surface them in the areas on their properties where they could be surfaced. So for example, you've got to dig a little bit deeper, the WordPress plugin, which allows you to create these things. It doesn't give you the rules that Google needs. So that they will be surfaced and you've got to be mindful of the following things.
Copyrighted content, text, heavy web stories, low quality assets, lack of narrative, incomplete stories or overly commercial. I suppose copyrighted content is fairly obvious. But you're not supposed to use too much text. It's supposed to be an amalgamation of images. Imagery. Should I say video and texts?
So you don't fill it up too much with heavy text, low quality assets? I guess in this area, you've got no excuse, really for having pixelated stretched content. If The dimensions of these things, you should probably have a high quality image, but also this is an interesting one and the lack of narrative.
So the idea being that it really doesn't flow as a story. How on earth? They determined this with probably the millions of these that are being created. I'm guessing it's all done with their clever AI, but yeah. It's got to have a story. It's got to be running from one slide to the next and also incomplete stories being well.
I'm sure that there'll be loads of web properties out there. You know who I'm talking about, who will use this as a clickbait opportunity. They'll tell three-quarters of the story, get you on a cliffhanger moment, and then it require you to go over somewhere else. that's really frowned upon as well as there's anything, which is just overly commercial.
Anyway, you've got to go out and discover these rules for yourself and helpfully. If you go on to the WP Tavern article, click on the link in the show notes, you can find out what those rules are. I said that there was a related article. again, it's just in Tagalog, make stories 2.0 launches editor for WordPress rivaling.
Google's official web stories, plugin. So if you didn't wish to use Google's offering, there is actually an offering by the make stories. People essentially. It does the same thing. It is a SAS product. So you are opting in to have things stored on their servers, but if you didn't like the Google approach and you wanted to use this interface, instead of just an explains, how it all works, he's got some nice screenshots of how it all ties together.
You can see how to create these things. Yeah. I've got to say the sort of page builder nature of it is very, beguiling it's so simple to throw together, but as I said at the top, yeah. My personal feeling is that this is just a little bit of a fatter. I can't see myself spending any great deal of time on this when actually I just want to get to the normal content that I'm used to, newspapers, blogs, and so on.
This seems like a little bit of a distraction, but as with so many things, I'm probably wrong. The next section is deals. If you're into WordPress deals, head over to WP Builds.com forward slash black. I would suggest that you bookmark that page. WP Builds.com forward slash black. If you would like to be kept updated.
There's a searchable and filterable list. As I mentioned at the top of the show, if you want us to email you, as soon as we hear about a deal in the run up to Halloween black Friday, cyber Monday, this could save you an awful lot of time. So head over to WP Builds. Dot com forward slash black. And there's a button on that page, which you can use to subscribe to our newsletter and we'll do just that.
Okay. The only really new one that I've got for you this week is wave.video. It's a nice, interesting of SAS app to enable you to create simple, quick videos. It a bit like the word. Press web stories that we were talking about just a moment ago, it's also allied with animatronic, which is an animation platform.
So you can get that. We've also got deals for breezy cloud and plugin 15% off there's WordPress portal, which is on lifetime deal and a bunch of other stuff. Go and check out the links in the show notes. The next section is the security section, a very light touch as always two pieces for you this week.
However, sometimes an entirely new attack tools are created and deployed by threat actors who don't want to rely on obfuscating, existing malware. And then it goes on to talk about some malware that travel X last year, and the possible misinterpretation that tool could be conflated with this tool.
And then it goes on to talk about this tool. However, if you are into WordPress and it's security, this might be something that you want to look at. The next one is over on WordPress Tavern. We have discussed this already to some extent, so I won't dwell on this for too long, but it's all about the log-in ISER plugin.
Getting the forced update security from wordpress.org and the WordPress Tavern. A take on this from Sarah Gooding. We're on the final little stretch. Now the WP Builds latently promotional bit. This week I released a podcast episode with David Wamsley. It was a debate and it was about something really unexpected.
It was about matte versus glossy screens. I likened the term matte and glossy. So sound like a Las Vegas cabaret act, which was quite entertaining, but, yeah, th the idea here that there's a real discernible difference in the actual device that you're using to view your website. So whether that's a match device, a glossy screen, or just like literally the difference between something that you bought from LG or Samsung or your Apple Mac.
The difference can be quite discernible. And there's a lot of technology and thought that goes into this, and it may be that some of the design choices you're making on your websites to contrast things in a very subtle way, I completely lost. And so this might be something that you need to look at.
Anyway. WP Builds episode 222 maps versus glossy screens linked to. In the show notes. The next section is the job section. I haven't found anything this week nobody's submitted anything, but if you wish to do there is a link in the show. Notes is a completely free listing of a job. So why not make use of it if you know of one?
And the last section, not WordPress, but useful anyway, very quickly. Cause we're running out of time. There is an article in the guardian entitled talking on the moon and NASA and Nakia to install four G on the lunar surface. who would have thought it if we are going to put. People onto the lunar surface and have them stay there on a more or less permanent basis.
They're going to need to communicate with each other. And of course, how do people communicate these days? they usually use a phone and an order for that technology to work on the moon. We're going to have to install something like 4g. And so Nakia has stepped in and it's seems like they're the favor, the better it's obviously, and to be very stripped down, very lightweight and literally lightweight as in, it's not going to weigh it very much.
I don't know what the capacity will be. Yeah. But anyway, just fascinating already. We're at the point where we're thinking about installing mobile phone networks on the moon, who would have thought it, I read something this morning, which is slight concern from astronomers, who were worried that these signals coming off the lunar surface may well interfere with their telescopes.
So see how this one develops the next one. It's simply something I think you should look up because I just love it. When I see a website, which is so interactive in such a thoroughly useful way. Now it may be that you hate probability and statistics, and that's the last thing you would ever wish to look up.
But this is the seeing. Theory websites. it's over it to seeing hyphen theory.brown.edu, but it's just a beautiful implementation of interactive things on our website. So it does things like display to you, what it is, what chance actually looks and you can interact with it and flip coins one time or a hundred times.
And the interactive nature as you get into this is just so compelling. It, it gathers data which you create on the fly. And then displays it for you in charts and so on and so forth. And I just think it's an absolutely wonderful display of where the internet has got to and what things are possible with things like Java script in a browser these days.
Thanks to its open source license. The clear licensing enables the project to become white, to be widely used, but it didn't immediately translate into funds for the ongoing development despite being downloaded more than 13 million times each week. 13 million times each week, it's maintained as still struggled to support the utility.
And then the article goes on to explain what this model is and how it's difficult to keep these kinds of things going when essentially the people that want to contribute would like to be, they'd probably love to donate tons of their time for free if they had it, but there's, some of them need to be remunerated.
If a project like this need is going to move forward. We have to have bodies in there who are going to be reliably in there, checking things, maintaining things, advancing things and so on. And yeah, it's a discussion about how these kinds of things are operated. It chimes very nicely with the WordPress model.
Well, which has got an awful lot of gigantic corporate donors helping out. But thanks things like ESPN, obviously it's a bit of a startup in this area. It's, it needs help. And I believe that Matt Mullenweg this week did in fact donate to it. So there you go. Okay. That's all I've got for you this week.
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Okay. As I said, go to WP Builds.com forward slash black to search and filter black Friday deals. If you think we've missed one, you can add a deal. If you've got one that you know about probably best, if that comes from the product developer, because we need images and all sorts of things like that. But also if you want to share that page, feel free to do that.
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