WordPress Planet

September 24, 2021

WPTavern: WooCommerce 5.7.0 Patches Security Issue that Could Potentially Leak Analytics Reports

WooCommerce shipped version 5.7.0 through a forced update for some users earlier this week. The minor release was not billed as a security update but the following day WooCommerce published a post explaining that the plugin was vulnerable to having analytics reports leaked on some hosting configurations:

On September 21, 2021, our team released a security patch to address a server configuration setup used by some hosts, which under the right conditions may make some analytics reports publicly available.

This was technically classified as a broken access control vulnerability, according to the WPScan.

WordPress.org pushed an automatic update to affected stores beginning on September 21, for all sites that have not explicitly disabled automatic updates. The WooCommerce team created a patch for 18 versions back to 4.0.0, along with 17 patched versions of the WooCommerce Admin plugin. Those whose filesystem is set to read-only or who are running WooCommerce versions older than 4.0.0 will not have received the automatic update and should proceed to manually update their sites.

WooCommerce recommends users update to the latest version, which is now 5.7.1, or the highest number possible in your release branch. The security announcement post has detailed instructions for how store owners can check to see if their report files may have been downloaded.

More than 5 million WordPress sites use WooCommerce. At the time of publishing, 59.8% are running on version 5.4 or older. Only 12.8% are using the lates 5.7.x release. It’s not possible to see how many sites are still vulnerable, because WordPress.org only displays a breakdown for the major branches users have installed. Some site owners running older versions may still be active in applying security patches but not prepared to update to the latest release.

WooCommerce 5.7.1 was released earlier today after the team received multiple reports of broken sites following the 5.7.0 update. This release includes fixes for regressions and new bugs identified in the previous update.

by Sarah Gooding at September 24, 2021 06:47 PM under woocommerce

Post Status: When It’s Time to Sell: WordPress Business Owners on Their Acquisitions — Post Status Comments (No. 2)

Why Are So Many Acquisitions Happening Right Now?

Post Status Comments exists to provide a stage for WordPress professionals to exchange ideas and talk about emerging topics and trends. It's a way for our members to share experiences, analyses, and feelings that matter to the Post Status community and beyond.

Our second episode will feature a conversation in Twitter Spaces on September 29, 2021. 🐦

The topic for this discussion will focus on the motivations behind some of the biggest and most prominent acquisitions in the WordPress space: Why so many? Why now? And how may it change WordPress?

We'll talk with some key people that have played a part in making the decisions that have rocked the WordPress community in the past few weeks.

Invited Speakers:

  • Justin Ferriman, Founder of LearnDash
  • Marieke van de Rakt, CEO of Yoast

David Bisset, Curator at Post Status, will host the conversation.

Join us and add your voice inside Twitter Spaces or comment live during the event in Post Status Slack.

Post Status Comments 💬 is a stage for WordPress professionals to exchange ideas and talk about recent topics and trends.

Browse past episodes and subscribe to our podcasts on  Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iTunes, Castro, YouTube, Stitcher, Player.fm, Pocket Casts, Simplecast, or get them by RSS. 🎙

🙏 Sponsor: iThemes

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by David Bisset at September 24, 2021 03:38 PM under Everyone

WPTavern: Keanan Koppenhaver Acquires WP Pusher and Branch

WordPress developer Keanan Koppenhaver announced today that he has acquired WP Pusher and Branch from Peter Suhm. WP Pusher, a product we have covered for the past six years, allows users to deploy plugins and themes from popular code hosting services like GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket. In 2018, Suhm expanded his offerings to include Branch, a Docker-based continuous integration service for WordPress. Both products were selected for the TinySeed Startup Accelerator, a remote accelerator that funds early-stage SaaS founders to live for a year and focus full-time on their startups.

“I raised money from TinySeed and a few angels to build Branch, but wasn’t able to find enough traction to get it to a point where it would be sustainable,” Suhm said.

Earlier this year, Suhm began working on reform.app, a form builder. He described Branch as a “set it and forget it” product that didn’t require much support, as he had closed it for new signups. WP Pusher also required minimal support and had been stable for years.

“It wasn’t really the time that was a problem for me, it was more the mental overhead of having the responsibility,” Suhm said.

“I quickly realized that Reform probably aligned better with my goals and wanted to focus 100% on starting that business. Selling WP Pusher and Branch allowed me to work on Reform, without needing to necessarily raise money or have a job.”

In contrast to the rash of smaller WordPress product companies getting scooped up by larger ones lately, WP Pusher and Branch will retain their “indie” status. The products are being transferred from Suhm’s one-man company to another.

“I knew Keanan because we had been working on getting his agency on Branch awhile back and knew he was a great guy,” Suhm said. “I wouldn’t sell WP Pusher to whomever, because it’s basically what I’m known for in the WordPress space and its reputation means a lot to me.”

Koppenhaver had been searching for a WordPress product to acquire when he happened to be tagged in responses to Suhm’s tweet. He didn’t have the free cash so he spent some time fundraising to make the deal happen.

“I’m looking forward to integrating GitHub Actions with WP Pusher, focusing pretty heavily on tutorials and content for both products, re-opening Branch for new users and getting the Billable Hours podcast going again,” Koppenhaver said.

When asked if he has any pricing changes planned for WP Pusher, he said, “Not at the moment.” Existing customers can expect no changes for now and may even see some improvements to their current plans.

“I definitely want to focus on filling in any gaps that the current users see in the product and especially adding value to the higher level plans,” Koppenhaver said.

by Sarah Gooding at September 24, 2021 02:09 AM under wp pusher

September 23, 2021

Post Status: Post Status Excerpt (No. 26) — WordPress Acquisition Overload Syndrome (W.A.O.S)

“Remember to put people before software and community before code.”

In this episode of Post Status Excerpt, David and Cory recover from an overwhelming week of acquisition news in the WordPress space. Four well-known WordPress companies announced acquisitions almost back-to-back. Next, Cory notes Michelle Frechette‘s article on Post Status about the challenging and difficult choices some employees of newly acquired companies may have to make.

Also covered in this episode: David shares what has (and hasn't) changed in the WordPress space in terms of business and opportunities. Then he considers the possible ways developers can look at acquisitions as a whole.

Every week Post Status Excerpt will brief you on important WordPress news — in about 15 minutes or less! Learn what's new in WordPress in a flash. ⚡

You can listen to past episodes of The Excerpt, browse all our podcasts, and don’t forget to subscribe on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iTunes, Castro, YouTube, Stitcher, Player.fm, Pocket Casts, Simplecast, or by RSS. 🎧

🔗 Mentioned in the show:

🙏 Sponsor: Bluehost

Everything your website needs — from start-up to success story — is at Bluehost. Whether you're looking to create a website, blog, or online store, Bluehost will get you started with an all-in-one website platform tailored to your specific needs. Get a free domain name in your first year, free 24/7 lifetime support, and total design freedom with WordPress at Bluehost.

by David Bisset at September 23, 2021 11:33 PM under Everyone

WPTavern: Should Users Be Able To Select More Than One Block Style?

When I first tried the block styles feature in WordPress, I was impressed. As a theme creator, it was a simple way of allowing users to select a design-related class without them actually needing to know what was happening under the hood. In that first week or so, I hit the problem that many others had. I wanted to combine two or more classes/styles to offer a wide range of user options.

This was back in late 2018 or early 2019 — around the time of the WordPress 5.0 release. Others have requested the ability to combine styles since, and Keith Devon, the co-founder of Highrise Digital, brought the issue up again via Twitter last week. However, these multiple requests have never resulted in a change to the core code.

This snail’s pace has been beneficial. Jumping too early on some features when others have yet to mature can create unnecessary legacy baggage.

Over the past couple of years, I have reassessed my position on combining block styles. As the editor has evolved, there is a clearer vision emerging around what options users will have. While I initially wanted to combine block styles, I am not so sure anymore. The primary reason for this is that core has already made many obsolete through block options, and it will continue to do so with other controls in the future. When WordPress itself handles this, it creates a standard that all themes can rely on.

With one of those passion projects I’m building in my free time, I currently have six styles for the Image block:

  • Rounded
  • Flip: Horizontal
  • Flip: Vertical
  • Polaroid
  • Polaroid: Tilt Left
  • Polaroid: Tilt Right
Polaroid-style image tilted left.

There are times when mixing and matching some of those might make sense. For example, the Flip: Horizontal style fits well with all the others and would not cause issues when combined. I could also go overboard by adding choices to meet every possible variation.

Some combos would break down entirely or not be aesthetically pleasing. For example, the Rounded style does not work well with the Polaroid styles. However, these are simple styles that barely scratch the surface of what is possible.

Most of these are not block styles that I would want to ship with a theme. For example, the Rounded style could easily be handled via the WordPress-supported border-radius option. The Polaroid style is just a fancy name for some padding and a box-shadow on the image. These are all standard design features that should eventually be a part of the base editor experience.

Currently, themes that ship such styles are filling in the gaps where WordPress has yet to do so. In the short term, theme authors must cater to their user base. However, down the road, WordPress should offer a more robust set of tools that cover the basics. There really is no reason for every theme to have a different, non-standard slug (i.e., class name) for essentially the same block styles (e.g., Polaroid vs. Framed vs. Borders). It creates cross-theme compatibility issues that we should avoid when possible.

Block styles are handy for introducing quick methods for achieving these fundamental design options, but I am looking at what they should be for the long term. If core WordPress evolves to the point where it makes most of these styles obsolete, what should theme authors do with the feature?

That is where more specialized block styles make sense. The goal is the same: fill in the gaps that WordPress leaves open.

One example that would be tough to replicate with simple design options would be a tag/label style for the Tag Cloud block, as shown in the following screenshot.

Tag/Label style for tags.

I also have a Pill Outline style for the same block:

Pill Outline block style for tags.

Obviously, those two styles would not work together. Creating a system where users could choose both would result in some problematic outcomes. The more complex any two block styles become, the more likely they will conflict with each other.

Right now, it is too early to commit to a multi-select feature for block styles. We need to let this thing play out a bit and give the core design tools a chance to catch up. We can reevaluate when most of the blocks packaged with WordPress have a broader set of styling options.

At that point, it may even make more sense to begin using block variations, an API that allows developers to preconfigure block attributes. If a solid set of design options exist, it would be simple to offer multiple combinations out of the box for users.

In the meantime, I would like to see a reevaluation of the UI for block styles. Shaun Andrews has an in-depth piece, Thinking Through: Switching Block Styles, that explores various options on how we could iterate on it.

by Justin Tadlock at September 23, 2021 01:11 AM under Themes

September 22, 2021

WPTavern: Awesome Motive Acquires Sandhills Development

Awesome Motive, the company behind OptinMonster, WPForms, MonsterInsights, and other popular WordPress plugins, has acquired Sandhills Development. The deal includes all of the company’s WordPress products and services: Easy Digital DownloadsAffiliateWPWP Simple PaySugar CalendarWP Simple Pay, and the Payouts Service. The majority of the development team will be joining Awesome Motive to continue supporting the products.

In a personal farewell to the WordPress community, Sandhills Development founder Pippin Williamson confesses he lost his passion for WordPress and the web:

In the last few years I discovered a truth about myself: I had lost my passion for the web and building software products. I used to absolutely adore WordPress and building plugins to extend it and power businesses. That passion helped create amazing platforms that have helped tens of thousands of businesses grow, succeed, and thrive on the web, and I am so immensely proud of that. But when the passion is gone, the drive and motivation to build great things leaks away as well. It has been several years since I last felt truly inspired and motivated to build something with WordPress.

Sandhills Development has created an iconic and beloved suite of products with more than 100,000 users. Its Payouts Service paid out over a million dollars to affiliates in May and is on track to pass $2M this year. The service has more than 6,500 individuals and businesses registered and able to receive deposits and more than 1,350 businesses setup to pay their affiliates.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed but Williamson has always been transparent about Sandhills’ financials. In last year’s summary he disclosed that the company brought in $4,331,814.12 in revenue from plugin sales, affiliate agreements, services, real estate, and payout processing, with a net profit of $232,201 after heavily investing in new projects and payroll increases.

Many of Awesome Motive’s products use EDD, so the company has a vested interest in the product’s future, alongside others in the WordPress ecosystem who depend on it. Williamson explained in his announcement why he selected Awesome Motive as the new home for his products:

Awesome Motive has been an innovator in WordPress for more than a decade and during that time they have built infrastructures, processes, and a level of polish rarely seen in the WordPress industry. The learnings and strategies that have made Awesome Motive so successful will be applied to the whole suite of Sandhills products, making the products better than ever before and at a pace previously unseen by our customers.

Despite Williamson’s professed confidence in Awesome Motive, multiple sources inside Sandhills Development expressed reservations about the deal. The company was called to an all-hands meeting where employees were given the option to jump ship or continue on with Awesome Motive.

“Well the thing that made this the most frustrating was that there was little room for discussion, or choice,” one source said. “We were given a very short heads-up (2 weeks), and no opportunity to discuss employment terms. Basically it was ‘in two weeks, you’re working for Awesome Motive, or you are out of a job.'”

Awesome Motive currently employees more than 200 people across 36 countries. For years, the company has been known for its aggressive sales tactics and upsells in the WordPress admin. These concerns, along with the change in culture from Sandhills, gave some employees reason to pause when considering the change.

“Given AM’s questionable business practices, such as using screen recorders on many employees’ laptops, trigger happy firing tendencies, and incredibly aggressive non-competes, it felt like we were being coerced to work for a company that was so, so far from the fundamental values that brought us to Sandhills in the first place,” one source within the company said. Despite this criticism, the same source said they believe “every product acquired will become considerably better,” with Awesome Motive’s investment.

“Going into the meeting with Syed, I’d describe the prevailing sentiment as cautiously optimistic,” Sandhills’ former Director of Operations Kyle Maurer said. “Obviously none of us were involved in this decision; that was Pippin only. We didn’t ask for this and didn’t know what to expect. But our many questions have been answered and at this point everyone is wholly on board. Syed’s excitement and enthusiasm are infectious and, along with his team, he’s done a tremendous job welcoming and accommodating us. It feels like new energy has been injected into the organization and I’m personally very optimistic about the future.”

Awesome Motive Founder and CEO Syed Balkhi confirmed that in the past the company has used time tracking software on its employees but “shifted away from doing so as the vast majority of our employees are on full-time salary now.”

“Many people may think of AM as one large company, but I always see us as a collection of over a dozen small companies,” Balkhi said. “Each product team operates independently and will continue to do so.”

Balkhi confirmed that no pricing changes are planned for the products. He said Awesome Motive also plans to share several internal tools the company has built for EDD to help scale the business.

Acquisitions are ramping up in the WordPress space, with major players like Automattic and hosting companies scooping up smaller businesses and plugins to create a suite of products tailored to their users. Some question whether this is a healthy part of a maturing ecosystem or a trend that may stifle the unique range of diverse, smaller products that have always been available to WordPress users.

“I know that our goal is to help small businesses grow and compete with the big guys, and our growth is a result of us living true to our mission,” Balkhi said. “We never set out to become investors.

“As you can see the products that join AM — the founders have been around for a long time and they know of us already. Founders choose to join us because we are an independent bootstrapped business not some big PE /venture-backed corporation.”

Matt Medeiros, director at Castos and creator of the Matt Report business podcast, commented on how the deal reveals the current lifecycle of WordPress companies.

“It’s quite obvious that we’re in the buying season for WordPress product companies,” Medeiros said. “If you’re a company that has built a substantial business, with a solid product, strike while the ‘buying iron’ is hot! WP products reach a certain plateau point where they have to expand wider, creating a platform of their own. When you look up at Jetpack, Elementor, AwesomeMotive, Liquid Web you have to do some serious soul searching if that’s who you want to compete against. It doesn’t take 2x the effort, it takes 50x.”

In the end, it’s the users who unwittingly drive the success of these products through their responses to the engineering, support, and marketing. Awesome Motive is retaining much of the same team behind the Sandhills products but has its own packaging, vision, and leadership that will inevitably bring changes for users down the road.

“I think users can expect to remain supported and still have a great product, but should certainly expect to be part of a bigger platform or suite of services,” Medeiros said. “Ultimately, it probably means price changes, but in reality, WP solutions have been too cheap for a while. Folks like Syed at AwesomeMotive will be able to offer end-to-end solutions for WordPress site owners, particularly small businesses. While hosting companies like Liquid Web will give you a turnkey solutions _per site_ for non-profits, e-commerce, and now online educators. Ultimately, I think we will hear less about ‘WordPress the software’ and more about the complete solution + experience companies are delivering with WordPress at its core.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 22, 2021 07:35 PM under sandhills

September 21, 2021

WPTavern: GoDaddy Pro To Host Second EXPAND 2021 Event on September 24 in India

GoDaddy Pro will kick off EXPAND 2021 – India on September 24, the second event of its kind this year. It is a one-day virtual conference that will feature sessions from industry leaders and experts in the field.

Nikhil Arora, the Vice President and Managing Director for GoDaddy India, will present the keynote address. In total, there will be nine sessions that will run between 15 and 45 minutes throughout the day. The goal is to provide guidance and resources for those starting and growing digital businesses.

GoDaddy Pro launched its first event, EXPAND 2021 – U.S., in late April. Over 5,000 people registered for the two-day virtual conference. However, tens of thousands more have viewed individual sessions since then. Each session is available for free viewing via the GoDaddy Pro YouTube channel, and new videos will be added for future events.

When Adam Warner, the Global Field Marketing Sr. Manager at GoDaddy, spoke of the event earlier this year, he described it as a project he had wanted to do since 2018. For him, it was a way of giving back to the community and helping the next generation along.

“I’m pleased with how our EXPAND conference series is growing and the feedback we’ve received from attendees so far,” he said. “The overarching goal of EXPAND is to showcase the solutions that our Pros are providing for their clients, and to do so in a way that both inspires and educates others to follow their passion for building the web and their own businesses.”

The first event did not go off without any bumps in the road. The team learned from it and will tweak things to improve the conference.

“One important lesson we learned from our first EXPAND event was to clearly define chat moderation roles and increase the amount of pre-written platform navigation directions and tips for our Guides to share with attendees in the general and session chats areas,” said Warner. “When our event started, we were walking over ourselves a bit. The chat conversations move so fast, we ended up duplicating a few replies, coming from multiple people.”

The EXPAND 2021 – India conference will be different than the inaugural event held earlier this year. Instead of focusing on a more general or U.S. audience, GoDaddy Pro is leaning into its regional teams and members.

“All the speakers are from India, as well as the Pros whose stories will be featured,” said Warner. “We have dedicated GoDaddy and GoDaddy Pro teams in India, and they’ve played a lead role in defining the best approach for the Indian audience. The biggest challenge with putting this event together so far has been the differences in time zones for our multiple teams. We’ve tried to accommodate everyone’s schedules as much as possible.”

The GoDaddy Pro team is already planning EXPAND 2022 events. Warner said those interested to be on the lookout over the next couple of months for more news.

“To date, our EXPAND conferences run parallel with our location-specific launches of the GoDaddy Pro brand,” he said. “As GoDaddy Pro continues to grow, and when the world gets back to in-person events globally, we would love to accommodate attendees in multiple physical locations.”

One glaring issue for the India event is the lack of gender diversity within its speaker group. Only one woman is leading a session. I asked Warner why there was such an imbalance.

“The number of women in the technology sector in India has been a matter of concern for small and large businesses alike,” said Warner. “GoDaddy is an inviting place to work and an industry leader for women in technology. We are actively working to create platforms and ecosystems to encourage more women to join the fray. We are delighted to have Kriti Aggarwal, Founder of Anaha Services, join us at this year’s EXPAND Event in India and are focused on all future EXPAND Conferences recognizing diverse groups of leaders in their sectors.”

The team is holding two Meetups each week. Yesterday was an all-female panel of GoDaddy and GoDaddy Pro team members in prep for their sponsorship of FemTechConf, held between September 24 and 25.

by Justin Tadlock at September 21, 2021 09:36 PM under godaddy

WPTavern: Open Collective Launches New Way to Support Open Source through Public Stock Shares

It’s no secret that companies are making loads of cash using open source technology. A 2021 survey of 1,250 IT leaders commissioned by Red Hat found that 90% are using enterprise open source software. Following the trail of major acquisitions (Red Hat at $34B, GitHub at $7.5B, and MuleSoft $6.5B), it’s becoming more common to see companies built on open source valued at billions of dollars.

With so much invested in open source infrastructure, many companies will assign employees to work on specific important issues for the projects they depend on, or hire them to support these projects full-time. This is an effective way to support maintainers when it works out but sometimes projects need to be able to funnel support to those who can further the software but who don’t happen to work for one of these corporations.

Open Collective is exploring a new way for individuals and companies to give back to the projects they use by donating public stock. The new initiative is called Open Stocks. It allows donors to support open source without having to pay capital gains tax on the appreciated amount of their stocks, which is up to 37% for those based in the US. They receive a tax write-off at the current market value of the stock. Donating some of those profits is one way to lessen the tax burden for capital gains while keeping the open source software alive that made the public stock possible in the first place.

Open Stocks is using Overflow, a VC-backed philanthropy platform, to streamline the stock donation process, which may have the potential to increase the average donation amount for open source projects. The startup claims “the average stock donation through Overflow is 47X the average online ACH/debit/credit donation.”

Here is how it works: Donors select the open source collective they want to support and then proceed to the checkout process, which happens on the Overflow website app. Donors are asked to connect directly to their brokerage account by authenticating through the app. The Open Source Collective team will receive the donated stock converted to cash and the cash is then transferred automatically to the specified project’s balance with a public contribution notice on their page.

It is not very clear up front for donors what fees they will have deducted from their total donation. Open Collective did not publish this information, and it wasn’t available on the Overflow website. Open Collective co-founders were not immediately available for comment on this.

All currently-registered collectives are automatically able to receive stock donations. The announcement hints at future support for non-traditional forms of payment:

Stocks and shares are a huge part of the economic power of traditional geopolitical structures, and while we believe that equivalent access to those structures is a positive move for the communities we support we can’t ignore that the world is changing… how we embrace and organize around that change may have an even bigger impact on our work. 

Open Collective co-founder Pia Mancini confirmed on Twitter that donation via cryptocurrencies is next on deck for the organization in its efforts to support open source creators.

by Sarah Gooding at September 21, 2021 03:59 AM under open source

WPTavern: StellarWP Acquires Learning Management System LearnDash

StellarWP announced today that it acquired LearnDash, a learning management system (LMS) for WordPress. The product allows educators to create online courses, quizzes, and dynamic content. LearnDash will continue to operate autonomously, keeping its team intact.

In May, Liquid Web launched its new umbrella brand, StellarWP, alongside its acquisition of Impress.org and its flagship product, GiveWP. iThemes, The Events Calendar, Restrict Content Pro, and Kadence WP are included in this family. Each of the brands operates independently. Essentially, StellarWP functions as a “branded house” but is very much a “house of brands,” according to Chris Lema, who will be switching roles and taking the General Manager position for LearnDash.

The LearnDash acquisition is StellarWP’s largest to date, but the company did not provide a specific dollar amount.

The LMS market size grew to $10.84 billion in 2020. It is projected to increase to over $13 billion in 2021, according to Fortune Business Insights. However, when asked why the company was jumping into the space, Lema talked about the vision.

“The way I think about things is less about the bottom line and more about the larger vision,” he said. “At Liquid Web, we believe that things will continue to get more abstracted for customers. They will want, less and less, to deal with the complexities of hosting. They don’t really want ‘managed’ hosting or even ‘managed WordPress’ hosting. They want a hosted solution. In other words, they want a solution that works. If they need it hosted, great. If they already have a host, great. So we’ve been focused on building a solutions-orientation toward folks who are doing digital commerce or are building digital commerce solutions for their customers.”

He said that LearnDash fits perfectly into that vision for the company.

In some ways, the global COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020 may have hit the fast-forward button in many online sectors. The landscape shifted for small and large businesses. More people have had opportunities to take online courses or even create their own.

“Yes, we saw a dramatic increase in the take rate on online learning platforms across the entire space,” said Lema. “Last year saw a COVID dip for many, but for online learning, it was a bump. That said, I think we’re seeing the numbers drop back down a bit into a more normal but elevated range based on what happened last year. And most importantly, more people than ever have tried their hands at online learning, and I don’t think that’s going to stop.”

Now that Liquid Web and StellarWP have built a library of multiple products, one question is how the company might begin to tie them together. There are some easy wins with cross-product integration that would fit into the vision of selling solutions.

“Yes, we think so too,” said Lema. “RCP and LearnDash, GiveWP and LearnDash, LearnDash and Nexcess, and more. I think we’ll see a lot of collaborations across the StellarWP brands. But to be clear, each brand runs independently, so for LearnDash, we’re still focused on all sorts of other integrations, from chat to testimonials to CRM to better Zoom integration.”

While he did not offer any specifics, it is likely in the cards in some form. Each of these is robust a product that, when used together, can provide a powerful toolset for building commerce-based websites.

Lema wrote a more in-depth post on his personal blog about integrations being a vital strategy for business growth. He shared a riddle that he likened to the WordPress ecosystem.

“I thought about it because it’s a bit of a parable for how I see so many product owners in the WordPress ecosystem build their plugins – as if there’s no one else in the world, building anything else that a customer might use with their product,” he wrote.

We will have to wait to see what sort of integrations LearnDash might have in the future. For now, the team is working on the roadmap for its updated course grid and version 4.0 feature release. The update should include dynamic learning paths.

“The reality in online learning is that students don’t move in a linear fashion through material like the instructor always hopes,” said Lema. “Or maybe an instructor wants to support an almost choose-your-own-adventure approach. I know in my coaching, I don’t move everyone through the same lessons in the same order. So we’re excited to innovate in this space.”

by Justin Tadlock at September 21, 2021 01:16 AM under StellarWP

September 20, 2021

WordPress.org blog: WP Briefing: Episode 16: A Sneak Peek at WordPress 5.9

In addition to this episode’s small list of big things, Josepha Haden Chomphosy reviews the upcoming 5.9 WordPress release and its Full Site Editing features.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.



WordPress 5.9 Planning 

5.9 Target Features

Gallery Block Refactor Dev Notes

The Cathedral and the Bazaar, 19 Lessons of Open Source

WordPress Translation Day

WordCamp US 2021

Letters to an open source contributor, by Andrea Middleton


Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:10

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing. The podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Joseph Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:40

Today I’m going to take you through a quick look at the final WordPress release of 2021. It will be WordPress 5.9. And there will be a ton of things in it, including a fresh new default theme. And there are a few things that you need to know about it right now. The target release date is December 14, 2021, which means some of our milestones happen around Thanksgiving in the US. And a few significant commercial dates globally, days, like Giving Tuesday and Black Friday, etc. I’ll include a link to the post with all the target dates in the show notes so that you can plan with those in mind. And also in the show notes. I’ll include a link to Matías Ventura’s post that includes the target features for the release. When you look at that post, you’ll notice that you can sort of group things into two big buckets. The two buckets that I grouped them into are themes plus tools, and also better tools. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  01:31

So bucket number one themes and all their tools. Three things were important for me as I was reading through them. Number one is that there is a default theme. As of the time of this recording, I’ve seen the early concepts for the theme, and I love them. Hopefully, by the time this podcast is published, the post that showcases the look and feel will also be up on make.wordpress.org/design. If it is, I’ll include a link in the show notes to make it easy for everyone to reference. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  02:04

The second thing is block themes in general. So WordPress 5.8 brought to core WordPress a lot of the infrastructure needed to create block themes. And in this release in WordPress 5.9, much of that infrastructure will be made available for folks who don’t always feel comfortable working in the code. That’s mostly UX and UI changes. So user experience and user interface changes are based on user feedback that we’ve gathered over the last six to eight months. But it also will include the long-awaited navigation block. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  02:37

The third thing that shows up for me in this first bucket, in the themes and all their tools bucket, is the UX and interface for theme.json. The user interface that we’re making available for theme.json is a major step forward in this project has been referred to as global styles for a few years. And it kind of is what it sounds like on the box, a way for users to tap into that powerful management tool that we have built through theme.JSON. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  03:09

Bucket number two, which I am calling publicly “tools for days.” But also, I refer to it as design tools, block tools, and pattern tools. I had this whole vision of a Wizard of Oz, “lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!” moment, but I couldn’t make it work. So “design tools and block tools and pattern tools Hoorah!” That’s as close as we’re getting. So that’s my first big number two bucket for you. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  03:37

For most of these tools, the best way to describe it is quality of life improvements, lots of streamlining of what’s there, lots of building what’s not. But there’s one that’s substantial and worth digging into a bit more. And that’s the gallery block refactor. The dev note for this already exists. Like before we had the planning round-up post, the dev note was created. And so I will put a link to that in the show notes. But the headline is that this refactor will make the creation and maintenance of image blocks and the gallery block work the same way. If you are a theme or plugin developer, head on over to the dev notes that I have linked below and take some time to get familiar with it. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  04:20

And then the final thing, which has a bunch of small things in it, but will make a huge impact for all of our users overall, is that we’re working on more intuitive and responsive tools on blocks. That has come up frequently in our user testing again over the last six to eight months. And we are going to chip away at that long list of needs that we have in those particular toolsets. And that’s it. So that’s a really big broad look at what we’re trying to get into the final release of the year.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  04:58

I  know that when I say like this is our hoped for stuff. This is our best guess at the moment. Sometimes it can feel like we should know that already — I should know already what’s going into the release. And on the one hand, yes, I believe in this list of things that we’re going to put into the release, I think they’re going to be good. But I always refer to it as like the hoped-for things, the things that are on the roadmap, our best targets, because I know that I don’t ever want to ship something that is going to be a worse experience for users. And so I always like to save the space to be able to remove a feature or remove an enhancement, a little bit closer to the time of the release, just to make sure that what we are offering is the best that we can offer. However, as it says right there in the 19 learnings of open source, “if there’s a bug, there’s a job,” right? There’s a lot of tolerance in open source software for shipping, slightly imperfect work. And that’s good. When we ship software that’s a little bit imperfect, it makes it clear how everyone can participate, how everyone could participate, if they could find this WordPress community that supports the CMS. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  06:20

If you’ve never participated in a release and are interested in learning how it goes, you can always follow along on make.wordpress.org/core. And of course, we do a lot of our meetings in the making WordPress, community Slack, which you can find at chat.wordpress.org if you are not already in that particular instance.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  06:49

That brings us now to our small list of big things. I have three things on my list for you. The first one is WP Translation day slash month. For folks who’ve been following along for a bit, you probably noticed that Translation Day has been going on all month long all of September so that we can have small individual local events and bring people into the process of translating WordPress and making WordPress more usable for more people, especially when they don’t necessarily speak English as their first language. It’s a wonderful event. There’s been Translation Day at the end of September for years. And this Translation Month is working its way up to that Translation Day; I will leave a link to the event page in the notes below. And I really encourage you to drop by.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  07:38

The second thing is that WordCamp US is coming up on October 1. It is going to be a virtual event, as so many of our events are right now. Tickets are open. The schedule just got published last week. And so we have a good concept of who is talking about what while we’re there. I suggest you wander over to the schedule. Take a look at anything that might be inspirational to you or anyone who looks like they’re answering questions that you’ve had as you have been trying to build your WordPress business. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  08:08

And then the third thing on my smallest of big things. Some of you may already be aware that Andrea Middleton has left the WordPress project. She has been an absolute fixture in the WordPress open source project for the last ten years. And while we will all miss her terribly, her work has been so influential and so foundational that we actually won’t really feel much like she’s gone. We will see the evidence of her work in everything she does and everything she has done while we build a better and more inclusive WordPress after her. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  08:47

As a final love letter to the community, she published a series of things that she learned about contributing to open source and especially how to contribute to WordPress as an open source project. I’m going to link those in the show notes as well. For anyone who has worked with Andrea for a long time, when you read it, it will just remind you of her voice and will be like a nice warm, comforting hug as she heads on to her next endeavors. And for folks who have never worked with her before. It’s still really excellent information that I think translates into all areas of our work, especially right now as people are moving to distributed work and remote work a bit more. Now I encourage everyone to at least give one or two of them a read. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  09:38

That, my friends, is your small list of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

by Chloe Bringmann at September 20, 2021 12:00 PM under wp-briefing

September 18, 2021

Gutenberg Times: Insights into theme building for FSE, Headless and Gutenberg — Weekend Edition #185


Now, you might have heard or read, Andrea Middleton has left Automattic after 10 years shaping and growing the WordPress Community, and new leaders for open-source. Whenever I spent time with Andrea, I came out a better person.

I have a hard time, accepting this big change. I can’t imagine the WordPress community without Andrea Middleton. As you see, I am still in denial. 🤷

Even from the distance, she makes sure we are ok. She published a blog series: “Letters to an open-source contributor” – That might be you, too! She shared her wisdom on Communication, Collaboration, Criticizing for Change and on Leadership . Andrea has a way to make us listen and hear the truth about ourselves and our community. And she promised more. 🤗

Well, I still keep forgetting her advice on communication:

„Be kind; be brief.”

Andrea Middleton

To clarify, I have trouble with the brief part, not the kind part.

Now it’s Gutenberg time. Many people are exploring block-based Themes. How about you? We have quite a few awesome resources for you, about that and so much more. Enjoy!

Yours, 💕

We scheduled a Live Q & A on building Themes going from classic to block-based themes. I am thrilled to discuss with Ellen Bauer, Anders Noren, and Carolina Nymark, three brilliant WordPress Themes, the challenges, and opportunities of building block-based themes, using theme.json, Block Patterns and getting ready for Full-site editing.
Join us on October 7th, at 16:00 UTC / 11:00 EDT and register now.

Gutenberg Development

Gutenberg 11.5 was released and had quite a few enhancements, as you can read in What’s new in Gutenberg 11.5? by Mike Schroder.

Justin Tadlock has more details: Gutenberg 11.5 Adds Widget Grouping, Iterates on the Block Gap Feature, and Updates Nav Menus.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski and I recorded Episode 52 of the Gutenberg Changelog podcast, and it will arrive at your favorite podcast app over the weekend.

Hector Prieto describes the next focus areas for the Gutenberg development and WordPress 5.9 in his post: What’s next in Gutenberg? (Mid-September 2021)

Jason Crist from the WordPress Theme team curated again an extensive list of issues and PRs, related to full-site editing. Join the discussion on adding Child Themes support for FSE, duo-tone in theme.json or how to the experiments on controlling Navigation block and screen via theme.json.

Building Themes: Full-site Editing, Theme.json and Global Styles

Alfredo Navas dove deep into the documentation and wrote a tutorial on How to use the Full-Site Editor to create a block-based theme. Start with blank files and the right folder structure. After activating the theme, Navas walks you through the process of creating a fully functional theme using the Site Editor and the new theme blocks available. No code required. You can then export it as a zip file and upload to other sites, too.

During this week’s Hallway Hangout, facilitated by Anne McCarthy, Marcus Kazmierczak and Dave Smith, attendees discuss various pathways for adopting full-site editing. There is also a Recap post with the recording, a summary of topics and links to all the resources mentioned.

Take a deep dive into handling color choices via theme.json with Carolina Nymark‘s Lesson on Theme.json color options. Nymark no only covers the usage of all color options, she also shows you how to disable the color picker, gradients, duotone etc. The disabling methods are inconsistent for all the choices. It’s important to consider context.

Fabian Kägy shared his insights when he rebuilt his site as a block-based theme. He walked us through the various aspects of theme development and the challenges he faced. “I outline a few of the things that really impressed me and also a few areas that I have been struggling with a bit / have open questions about.” Kägy wrote. He added quite a few code examples to illustrate his thinking. Well worth following this rabbit hole!

You still have time to send in your feedback for the Theme Switching Exploration taking place in the FSE Outreach Program. The focus of this exploration is looking at Theme switching from a longer-term perspective. It guides you through a very basic theme switching process and then asks you to creatively think about what you’d like to see happen. Doesn’t this sound like great fun? You can influence the next phase of full-site editing and the future of WordPress themes standards.

Speaking of Exploration: Javier Arce presents in his post Interaction with Colors an exploration of the Color panel and Color picker and a proposal for their improvement. In their current implementation they for instance don’t seem to scale well, take a lot of screen real estate. Arce is part of WordPress design team and works on the Inspector Controls for the Global Styles sponsored by Automattic.

Gutenberg for content creators and site implementers

Hugh W. Roberts used a great example for his post on how reusable block can help you with your content creation and save some time in the process. In his post “How to Create And Use A Reusable Block For Your Book On WordPress” – step by step – you learn how to create, Reusable blocks, place them into your post and amended them over all instances, when things change.

Andres Noren has been working on a new theme for full-site editing. Justin Tadlock spotted it in the Theme Review queue and tested it for the WPTavern: Tove: A Block-Based WordPress Theme

Block editor for developers

Iain Paulson wrote the Ultimate Overview of the WordPress Block Editor for Developers in 2021 for Delicious Brains.

Delicious Brains recently acquired plugin Advanced Custom Fields has passed the 2-Million active installations’ threshold! Congratulations! Through the grapevine, I learned that Delicious Brains is also taking over also ACF Blocks plugin from Extendify. Munir Kamal is the original author of the plugin and then joined Extendify back in March.

Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s main (trunk) branch?
Gutenberg Times provides daily build for testing and review.
Have you been using it? Hit reply and let me know.

GitHub all releases

The team at WebDevStudios also build some Blocks for ACF. Among other blocks, that could also be Block Patterns, the plugin provides an Accordion block and a Carousel Block for which the data is managed through Advanced Custom Fields. Have a look at the Wiki for documentation.

If you are interested in Headless WordPress and Gutenberg, WP Engine Launches Faust.js, a New Headless WordPress Framework for a NodeJS hosting environment. While Frontity builds on top of the mainly client-side ReactJS framework, Faust is built in top of NextJS, server-side ReactJS. Sarah Gooding provides us with the details.

You don’t have to host with WPEngine to use this framework. It’s open-source and available via GitHub. The repository has gathered at the time of this post over 400 stars and 43 forks. Faust.js is in the early stages of development.

From the project board for the roadmap, we learn that the Data Fetching process is considered done, and Authentication handling is being worked on. The team still discusses a Gutenberg Bridge and Gatsby support, yet another front-end framework build on top of ReactJS

Kellen Mace, developer advocate at WPEngine, published some additional details on how Gutenberg and WPGraphQL can fit together:

WordPress Events

WPCampus, a two-day virtual conference in the Higher Ed space, starts Tuesday, September 21. Here is the schedule. There are quite a few Gutenberg related presentation, so it’s worth getting your free ticket.

WooSesh 2021 is scheduled for October 12-15, 2021. It’s a live, virtual conference for WooCommerce store builders organized by Brian Richards.

Page Builder Summit is coming back and will be happening October 18 – 22, 2021. Nathan Wrigley and Anchen Le Roux are at it again! Sign-up for the VIP list and learn first about the details of the event.

Don’t want to miss the next Weekend Edition?

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Thanks for subscribing.

by Birgit Pauli-Haack at September 18, 2021 09:45 AM under Weekend Edition

WPTavern: WordPress Contributor Teams Seek to Curb Spam Pledges in Five for the Future Program

The Five for the Future program, an initiative Matt Mullenweg proposed in 2014, may soon be addressing the problem of spam and outdated pledges that appear on the program’s dedicated website. The idea behind the program is that organizations and individuals will contribute five percent of their resources back to WordPress development, ensuring the future of the project.

Five for the Future launched a website in 2019 to display pledges and has always relied on the honor system of self-reporting tools for individual and organizational pledges. In a discussion post suggesting iterations on the project, Andrea Middleton identified two major issues with the program’s current implementation that she said “have kept it from reaching its full potential:”

  • Spam or dormant pledges
  • Disconnect between contributor teams and pledged contributors

“Two years later, there have certainly been more ‘spam’ pledges than anyone would want, and surprisingly (to me) few reports of fake or spam pledges,” Middleton said. “What that tells me = either people don’t go surfing around in the pledge lists, checking for accuracy, the Report feature is too hard to find (unlikely), or people don’t really care whether pledges are accurate or not.”

Middleton said the existence of spam pledges diminishes the value of active pledges, which necessitates disclaimers on the site if it is to continue without a regular spam cleanup. She suggests starting bi-annual or annual spam checks mediated by contributor team leaders, who would report if they have ever worked with or seen participation from a specific list of pledged individuals. WordPress.org could send absent contributors an email prompting them to re-confirm their pledges are not spam.

Ian Dunn, a full-time contributor to WordPress, suggested automating the effort to combat spam and dormant pledges.

“I think it’d be best to tackle this first, because it won’t matter how good our recruiting docs are if team reps have to dig through hundreds of inaccurate pledges in order to find the 5% of them that will contribute,” Dunn said.

“I worry that a manual approach would add too much work for team reps, and wouldn’t be done consistently, especially after the first 6-12 months.”

He suggests sending all people who are pledged regular emails for re-confirming their commitment, automating props wherever possible, and removing pledges after 6 months of no activity. Contribution tracking isn’t as straightforward for things like Community team efforts but there may be some innovative solutions for these types of contributions.

“As a team rep, I’d love a way to call in contributors that have pledged to the team,” Courtney Engle Robertson said. Robertson contributes 20 hours per week to the Documentation, Marketing, Test, and Training teams. “I’d like them filtered a bit based upon team roles matched with what folks say they are interested in helping with. They could opt out if they need to change their commitments.” This suggestion would help address Middleton’s concern about the disconnect between contributor teams and pledged contributors.

The discussion has been active for a week and is still in the the idea sharing stage. If you have any feedback on the ideas proposed or new ones to contribute, jump in on the comments of the post.

by Sarah Gooding at September 18, 2021 02:11 AM under five for the future

WPTavern: Tove: A Block-Based WordPress Theme by Anders Norén

I have been secretly keeping tabs on Anders Norén over the past couple of weeks, awaiting the moment he pushed his first block theme to the WordPress directory. I first noticed it when he tweeted a screenshot two weeks ago. And, today was the day it happened. Tove landed in the review portal several hours ago, and I have been tinkering with it ever since.

While it is not downloadable from the directory yet, the review system moves much faster than in times past. It should be available soon. In the meantime, anyone who wants to give it a spin can grab the ZIP file from its ticket.

I called his last WordPress theme, Eksell, “the standard by which we should be judging all other” themes, and Norén has a history of releasing solid designs. Could he do for blocks what he has done for classic in years past?

The truth is that going 100% blocks has limitations. Designers can experiment and test out some new things, but the underlying system is not up to par with what is possible with traditional theming. However, some feats are much easier to accomplish. Much of it depends on the creator’s goals and how well they work with the system instead of fighting it.

At first glance, Tove was not any more impressive than most block themes I have installed and activated. It seemed pretty bare-bones, but I imagine this is what theming will look like far into the future. Many will be a wide-open canvas that allows users to build whatever type of site they want. Themes will primarily add personality.

One area where they can and will shine is with custom block patterns. And Tove has over 40 of them.

The theme is flexible enough for use with various sites, but its focus is on cafes and restaurants. Many of the patterns lean into this, such as custom menus, call-to-action-buttons, and more.

Patterns are these pre-built pieces of a design that users can mix and match to lay pages out how they want. This also opens up things for theme authors by not having to make any hardline choices on how something like the front page, for example, should look. The theme is offering some suggestions and the tools to put it together. But, ultimately, the end-user gets to decide how it all comes out.

With Tove, I had my homepage built in just minutes, as shown in the following screenshot. All I would need to do is fill it in with custom content.

It felt empowering to simply mash up just a handful of the theme’s 40+ patterns and create a layout that I was comfortable with. This is what theming should really be all about: handing the keys over to users and letting them take the wheel. The theme’s job is just letting them drive in style.

There are other things to love about Tove too. It has several custom user-selectable styles, such as horizontal separators for the Columns block. However, my favorite is the shaded style for adding a blue drop-shadow to several blocks.

Shaded block style.

The theme is not for everybody. The color palette is a bit on the flashier side and will not fit all sites. Few designers could pull off Tove’s scheme, which is why I think I love it so much. As Norén said in another tweet, it’s “like a plateful of macarons.” Some can work with pretty much anything. The rest of us are just fans.

I would not call Tove revolutionary, but it has no need to be. It is built on top of an experimental system that still has many kinks to work out. However, it is nice to see what one of the WordPress community’s best designers can do with a limited toolset. Norén has definitely pushed the boundaries, which should elevate the block theme development space.

I cannot wait until all the pieces of full site editing are in place, and we can open this thing up.

by Justin Tadlock at September 18, 2021 01:19 AM under Themes

September 17, 2021

WPTavern: Gutenberg 11.5 Adds Widget Grouping, Iterates on the Block Gap Feature, and Updates Nav Menus

Gutenberg 11.5 landed earlier today. It is a hefty release that includes extensive changes to the Navigation block, a new way for grouping widgets, and more block gap feature integration.

I have had mixed reactions to the features that made it into the latest release. At some points, I thought to myself, finally, this made it in. At other moments, I rendered my best version of Jean-Luc Picard’s famous facepalm. But, the wheel keeps turning, and the developers who put their time and effort into the project continue to improve it.

One quick note is that everyone not running a theme that supports the block editor should check that their backend styles are not out of place. Gutenberg automatically outputs some default editor styles if the user’s active theme does not register its own or have a theme.json file present. This should be bundled in point release such as WordPress 5.8.2 so that users are not waiting for it until 5.9.

Navigation Block Changes

With nav menus still being a pain point in site editing, Gutenberg has added new levels of complexity. The Site Title and Site Logo blocks are allowed inside of the Navigation container.

As Joen Asmussen shared in the original ticket, some complex layouts would benefit from allowing more inner elements within the Navigation block:

Navigation block patterns.

This could open a world of layout possibilities for theme authors through custom patterns.

I have no issue with Gutenberg tackling the foundation for these more advanced layouts. However, we have yet to smooth out the basics of navigation. The experience of searching for and inserting in-site links is lackluster at best, requiring multiple mouse clicks. There is an open ticket for a lighter navigation experience, and that should be the focus.

Theme authors should also note that the Navigation block now relies on the CSS gap property for spacing instead of margin. I almost missed this since I customized this for my own projects months ago — welcome to 2021, where we no longer need to rely on hacky margin solutions for simple spacing. This change could impact existing theme designs.

FSE Admin Notice Limited to Themes Screen

The lone FSE theme admin notice.

There are plenty of gripes to be had with the Gutenberg plugin as its features are constantly in flux. However, the most annoying thing about running the plugin has been its persistent, non-dismissible admin notice when a user is running a block theme.

In previous versions of the plugin, this notice has appeared on every screen in the backend. Now, it only appears on the Themes/Appearance page.

Over the past few months, I have kept the Toolbelt plugin by Ben Gillbanks active for the sole purpose of hiding this notice.

Good riddance. Farewell.

Widget Group Block

Editing a Widget Group block title.

While I generally believe the Gutenberg plugin developers and core WordPress make good use of feedback, the block-based widgets system has been one area where the project has dropped the ball. As I have been repeating since September 2020, the feature was fundamentally broken. The goal was to allow end-users to add blocks in more places, but it was never compatible with classic theme markup and styles.

I proposed using patterns, but the team went with a Widget Group block. The end result is similar but not exactly the same. The good news is that it fixes what should have been a blocker for the feature landing in core.

The better news is that this is likely to land in WordPress 5.8.2 instead of the 5.9 release later this year.

I would not go as far as calling it a perfect solution. The experience does not make it immediately clear how to add a widget title. Users must first add a block. Once a block is added, they can then click on the heading/title placeholder that appears. Then, the UI switches to a field for typing the title.

The following video shows how the Widget Group block works:

I would rather have a bit of a janky experience than no solution at all. At least users now do not have to manually create widget wrappers. Some could even deactivate the Classic Widgets plugin if this issue was a holdup.

“Row” Group Variation and Flex Layouts

Adding a post meta (byline) section with the Row block variation.

To begin testing the new flex layout system introduced in Gutenberg 11.2, the development team has added a variation on the Group block named Row. This allows users to align inner blocks side by side instead of on top of each other in the default “flow” layout.

There are tons of use cases for the feature. One of the primary scenarios for theme authors will be aligning post and comment metadata bocks next to each other. Previously, this required use of the Columns block or custom styles, neither of which are ideal.

The experience is rough around the edges. I often found it hard to click in the right spot to edit a block, and the appender button did not always appear for adding new ones.

The Social Icons block also uses the new flex layout. However, there is currently no way to switch it to flow mode for vertical social links.

More Block Gap Integration

Gap between each Column block.

The Columns block now uses the gap feature introduced in Gutenberg 11.4 for handling the spacing between individual Column blocks. There is no UI for end-users to control this yet, but it is likely to land in a future release as the feature evolves.

Gutenberg 11.5 has now added a bottom margin to the post title in the editor. For whatever reason, the development team has made a leap and assumed its current handling of the block gap feature needed this. It is a complex problem to solve. In the meantime, some users might see more whitespace than they are accustomed to between their title and content in the editor.

Lots of extra spacing there.

Of course, this depends on the active theme, its support of the block gap feature, and its current styles.

Post Author Duotone Support

For something that was supposed to be destined for the scrap heap, the Post Author block now has some new life in the form of duotone filter support for its avatar. It works the same as it does for other blocks, such as Image and Cover.

The problem is that Post Author was punted from the last WordPress release because it was not ready yet. The block is a Frankenstein-esque mashup of the author’s name, avatar, and description. These should be multiple blocks that theme authors and users can arrange in unique layouts.

While duotone support simply adds one extra line of code, it does not make sense to continue working on the block in its current form. I would love to see it as part of a separate Post Author Avatar block.

by Justin Tadlock at September 17, 2021 01:10 AM under gutenberg

September 16, 2021

Post Status: Post Status Excerpt (No. 25) — Doing “The Right Thing” and MailChimp Acquisition Thoughts

“When it comes to the entrepreneurial journey – the highest highs and the lowest lows are always people.”

In this episode of Post Status Excerpt, David and Cory first discuss how hard it is to do “the right thing” and potentially dealing with tough and negative feedback as a result. How does an entrepreneur prepare for “roller coaster” times — especially if the ride is heading down? What should you keep in mind? Cory shares an iThemes experience in response.

Also covered in this episode: Cory and David talk about the $12 billion acquisition of MailChimp by Intuit, and how that could potentially reshape the business landscape for WordPress users and entrepreneurs.

Note: David misspoke and said “Stripe” instead of “Square.” Forgive him.

Every week Post Status Excerpt will brief you on important WordPress news — in about 15 minutes or less! Learn what's new in WordPress in a flash. ⚡

You can listen to past episodes of The Excerpt, browse all our podcasts, and don’t forget to subscribe on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iTunes, Castro, YouTube, Stitcher, Player.fm, Pocket Casts, Simplecast, or by RSS. 🎧

🔗 Mentioned in the show:

🙏 Sponsor: GoDaddy Pro

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by David Bisset at September 16, 2021 10:30 PM under Everyone

WordPress.org blog: Join us for WordPress Translation Day Global Events in September 2021

WordPress contributors around the world are celebrating the sixth Global WordPress Translation Day throughout the entire month of September! That’s 30 days dedicated to help and encourage the volunteers that translate the software and its related resources. One of the highlights will be a series of exciting global events, starting on September 17 2021 and finishing on the United Nations’ International Translation Day itself on September 30, 2021.

Everyone is welcome to watch these events live on YouTube and to share their translation stories which will be featured during the celebrations and beyond. The global events will be in English and include presentations on how and why to you should join the thousands of translators in the project, tips and tools, interviews, and much more.

There are now 205 locales translating in what is a remarkable open source effort, bringing the opportunities of the software and its community to people in their own native languages.

Inaugural session: Introduction and latest news on WordPress Translation

Friday, September 17, 2021 at 10:00 UTC

We will start the global events with a panel featuring the latest update on what is happening in the world of WordPress polyglots. Panellists will include translators and polyglot supporters Petya Raykovska and Erica Varlese. There will be a video demonstration on how to translate WordPress, a short presentation on translation statistics, a run down of upcoming events, and more.

Watch the event live on YouTube (or click on the play button below) – sign-up for notifications in the video stream right now so you don’t miss it when it goes live! 

Friday, September 17, 2021 at 11:00 UTC

Right after the livestream, there will be a ‘drop-in’ translation sprint on Zoom video-conferencing, open to all. You can join and hang out virtually with your Polyglots friends from all around the world and translate WordPress in your own language! RSVP for the session now and get joining links!

Check out the other exciting global events

Sunday, September 19, 2021 12:00 UTC

Panel on Polyglots Tools
Join Jesús Amieiro, Peter Smits, Vlad Timotei, and Vibgy Joseph to talk about the tools they’ve contributed to or developed to help translators and translation editors.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 11:00 UTC

Panel on Open Source Translation Communities (YouTube link – opens in a new tab)
Join Zé Fontainhas (WordPress), Ali Darwich (WordPress), Michal Stanke (Mozilla), and Satomi Tsujita (Hyperledger Fabric) to learn about nurturing translation communities.

Thursday, September 30, 2021 16:00 UTC

Closing Party – Why do you translate?
Our finale event for 2021 with emcee Abha Thakor and a panel from the WordPress Translation Day Team. It will feature highlights from some of the local and global events during the month and a selection of results. Some of the nominees for this year’s polyglots appreciation will join the livestream to share their stories.

The livestream will be followed by an after party celebration for anyone who has taken part in the event or is a WordPress polyglot. Book now for the session on Zoom.

Ideas on how to get involved this September

There’s lots of ways to take part – discover this list of ideas.

You can also nominate translation contributors to be featured in this year’s celebrations.

Help us spread the word about #WPTranslationDay

For more information on the 2021 WordPress Translation Day celebrations, visit the WordPress Translation Day website.

Props to @webcommsat, @harishanker, @lmurillom, @oglekler, @meher, @nalininonstopnewsuk, @evarlese for contributing to this story.

by webcommsat AbhaNonStopNewsUK at September 16, 2021 09:51 PM under wptranslationday

WPTavern: Gravity Forms Launches INPUT YouTube Channel and Podcast

Gravity Forms has launched a new YouTube channel and podcast called INPUT, which will focus on sharing the stories and experiences of people inside and outside the WordPress ecosystem. James Giroux, a Rocketgenius employee who joined the company in 2020, is the host of the show and will be interviewing guests from various industries and disciplines.

The first episode is a deep dive into the history of Gravity Forms, one of the most successful WordPress plugin companies that has been operating for 14 years. Its founders share a nostalgic look back at the early days of Rocketgenius, including the story of their first sale and first hire.

They also discussed how the Gutenberg era marks a major shift in WordPress that has impacted the future of the Gravity Forms. The average WordPress user is decidedly no longer a developer who knows how to tinker with PHP, but is now more often a content creator or power user. As the barrier to WordPress development is getting higher, the Gravity Forms team is focusing on making the product easier to use for non-developers but still powerful for those capable of extending it.

The episode is part of what Giroux calls a 3T sub-series (team, tools, and techniques) that will feature discussions about the company’s product, marketing, operations, culture, and ecosystem. The next sub-series is called Agency101 and will feature topics related to agency life for both small and large companies. Brad Miller from 10up will be the first guest of that series.

“The third is a bit of a departure, but we’re interviewing people outside of the WordPress ecosystem in a sub-series called ‘The Story Of…,'” Giroux said. “The episode after Brad’s is with the lead singer of Anberlin, who have sold over 1M albums and have charted multiple times on the Billboard Rock charts. The idea behind this series is to introduce WordPress problem-solvers (developers, agencies, freelancers, etc.) to new industries and perhaps create some opportunities for new ideas and products to spring up in support of them.”

Giroux also plans to chat with TV show creators/hosts, radio broadcasters, inventors, and others to create a well-rounded mix of shows that appeal to everyday WordPress users as well as those who are deeply involved in contributing.

“To me, the WordPress lifestyle is that feeling you get when you show up to a WordCamp or meetup and see other WordPressers,” Giroux said. “It’s about rocking the t-shirt, celebrating unique and diverse voices, promoting a WWW that is accessible to all, inspiring and being inspired by creativity and how WordPress powers us to do great things. There’s a little Wapuu in all of us and Input, I hope, will be a space where we can celebrate that.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 16, 2021 09:00 PM under gravity forms

WPTavern: WP Engine Launches Faust.js, a New Headless WordPress Framework

WP Engine has launched Faust.js, a new headless framework that is open source and designed to work in any Node hosting environment. The framework is built on Next.js, which can handle both static site generation and server side rendering. It uses GraphQL for data fetching and is the only framework that allows developers to query the WPGraphQL API without having to know GraphQL queries ahead of time.

Faust.js was in its earlier stages when WP Engine hired WPGraphQL creator and maintainer Jason Bahl. The company has been heavily investing in headless infrastructure development, hiring more engineers for projects aimed at reducing the friction of using WordPress as a headless CMS. This is the main thrust of the new framework – to allow developers to build scalable, better performing sites with modern frontend tools while preserving WordPress’ rich publishing experience. Faust.js includes content previews, support for custom post types, and built-in authentication to support paywalls, e-commerce, membership sites, and other functionality that has traditionally been difficult for headless sites.

How does Faust.js differ from existing headless solutions like the React-based Frontity framework? Developers building headless sites are curious after Automattic acquired Frontity and the framework’s maintainers exited to work full-time on Gutenberg. Using a community-supported headless framework can be a risky bet for enterprise clients when its creators and maintainers are no longer able to contribute.

“Frontity and Faust are similar, the main difference is that Frontity focuses on providing a framework on-top of React where Faust is primarily built with Next.js support in-mind,” Faust.js creator William Johnston said. “This small distinction is meaningful and means when you are using Faust you can take advantage of all the amazing benefits of Next. It also lets Faust focus specifically on how to make Headless WordPress a better experience, without having to come up with a comprehensive solution for front-end, node-base, static/server-side applications.

When asked how Faust stacks up to Frontity in a comment on Reddit, WP Engine developer relations engineer Kellen Mace highlighted a few other major differences between the frameworks. Frontity only works with the WP REST API and Faust uses WPGraphQL “for more efficient queries.”

“Technically, Faust is built in ‘layers,’ so even if you choose to build your frontend app using SvelteKit, Nuxt, etc. you can still leverage several of the tools Faust provides,” Mace said. “We’ll have more documentation coming out on using it with other JS frameworks in the near future. Using it with Next.js gives you the most ‘bang for your buck,’ however.”

Johnston confirmed that certain elements of Faust (the core/React pieces), are already working with the React-based GatsbyJS framework. Faust is less opinionated about the frontend and is more centered around making the WordPress publishing experience better.

A demo of Faust in action is available at developers.wpengine.com. The framework, which includes NPM packages and a WordPress plugin, can be found on GitHub, but its maintainers caution that there will be breaking changes in the future. Developers who are interested in learning more about Faust.js can check out the documentation or listen to the most recent episode of the DE{CODE} podcast where Johnston discusses headless WordPress and introduces the framework.

by Sarah Gooding at September 16, 2021 04:36 AM under headless wordpress

WPTavern: Newsletter Glue Pro, My First Foray Into Journalism, and New Ideas

As a teen, I would visit my Uncle David’s house every other week or so. He was the only family member with a computer. It was an old, bulky monstrosity that ran whatever the latest version of Windows that existed at the time. It was one of my first introductions to dial-up, but my primary interest was not the internet. It was newsletters and home-printed magazines.

Like all members of my family, we are artists in one way or another. What little extra money many have is spent on creative pursuits. Uncle David’s latest passions at the time were in designing T-shirt logos and printing a family newsletter. Does anyone remember when those were still a thing? I was a kid in a whole new world. Of course, I followed suit and issued a few pamphlets covering the latest goings-on with my family to a circulation of maybe a dozen people.

This kick-started my foray into journalism and design during my adolescence. A family newsletter sounds far more interesting to me now, as an adult, than it did in those days. Somehow, I know I have reached the point where I can officially call myself old by saying that. But, I was coming of age at the turn of the millennium. My interests mostly revolved around video games. I wanted to create something that rivaled Nintendo Power from the comfort of my own home. I had access to a computer and printer; the dream was mine for the taking.

Unfortunately, I could not find any of my printed family newsletters to share. My gaming mag was a short-lived, two-issue venture. I am sure the staff, consisting of my younger sister and best friend, unionized and staged a revolt.

Throughout my life, I have always had it in the back of my mind that I would attempt another periodical at some point, but I have never gotten around to it. However, when Newsletter Glue co-founder Lesley Sim asked me to look at the pro version of her team’s plugin, all those old ideas started swirling around in my head again.

After spending the last few days tinkering with Newsletter Glue Pro, I kind of want to restart the family newsletter again. Maybe digital is the way to go. Perhaps I can even get my uncle to join me.

Admittedly, I have had a lot more fun with this plugin than with others recently. It is the sort of extension that can take a potential newsletter from idea to execution.

All you need is to be familiar with the WordPress editor to kick-start a new project. The plugin has a few settings you might want to tinker with, but the onboarding process walks you through the steps of getting everything off the ground and connecting to your preferred email software. I was worried that there would be a massive learning curve, but I was in the editor in short order.

Writing a newsletter from the WordPress editor.

Users can publish blog posts as newsletters. However, the team introduced a dedicated newsletter post type earlier this year, providing more flexibility in creating content.

What I enjoyed the most about Newsletter Glue was its integration with the block patterns API. The plugin bundles several header and footer patterns, but end-users can build and store their own for reuse.

Duplicating and customizing a footer pattern.

The plugin did have its share of issues. The most prominent was its automatic switching to the fullscreen editor, which is a feature that I turn off on every WordPress site I use. For some reason, this either did not save or was being overwritten each time I loaded the page.

I am also not a fan of the meta box at the bottom of the screen. It is giving me flashbacks of the pre-5.0 WordPress editor that I would like to forget. The team should create a dedicated sidebar panel for the newsletter screen.

Newsletter meta box.

With its reliance on the modern editor, this holdover from an older time just feels out of place. Plus, from a UI perspective, there seems to be nothing requiring the old meta box system.

I would also like to see the built-in Newsletter theme designer integrate with the active theme’s JSON presets. This is a relatively new WordPress feature, so maybe it will land on the features list.

Newsletter theme designer.

Because this is a standardized format, there is no reason that plugins should not start pulling data from it. As a user, I should at least be able to pick and choose text, background, and link colors from those made available through the theme instead of hunting down hex codes or eyeballing it from a color picker.

Overall, I like what the Newsletter Glue team has built thus far. It is no small feat to put together such a well-rounded project of this size in just over a year. I look forward to seeing it evolve over time. For now, I am laying out ideas for the return of my family newsletter thanks to the Newsletter Glue team.

by Justin Tadlock at September 16, 2021 12:54 AM under Plugins

September 15, 2021

HeroPress: WordPress and Me: Am I Going Against All Odds? – WordPress dan Saya: Apakah saya dapat melewati semua rintangan yang menghadang?

Pull quote: In my late 30’s, I threw myself into a new world.

Esai ini juga tersedia dalam bahasa Indonesia.

It is not that hard to fall for WordPress if you have a chance to experience WordPress. For me, it took a WordCamp.

To make it fancy, in 2016, I was volunteering impromptu at WordCamp Denpasar in Bali, the island of Gods. To note, Bali is a tiny island in a country called Indonesia. Yes, it’s where I’m from. So, if you read this, you know how powerful WordCamp is. It may bring people who will give back to the community, even if they don’t get anything from WordCamp. (Well, perhaps a t-shirt, a lanyard and free hotel meals)

My journey with WordPress started from one WordCamp to the next. It gets fancier. The next one was WordCamp Ubud, still in Bali. This time, I was organizing. Ubud is one of the hottest hotspots for digital nomads in Asia. A beautiful place, especially if you are also into nature, yoga and some enlightenment. I’m not kidding. If WordPress does not enlighten you enough, go to Ubud. You will feel some kind of strong energy to connect to everything. Bali is magical, so is everything in it. It is a perfect environment to meet with new people who share the same interests, especially at a WordPress event such as WordCamp or Meetup.

Volunteering at WordCamp Denpasar 2016 with Kharis Sulistiyono (volunteer) and Niels Lange (organizer). Photo Credit: Rocio Valdivia

Then, I started attending WordPress Meetups in Ubud and Jakarta. I also organized more WordCamps. WordCamp Jakarta in 2017 and 2019. But only later, I made a new commitment as a Meetup organizer in Jakarta and Ubud. Before Covid happened, I was travelling back and forth between Jakarta and Ubud. Whenever I went to Ubud, organizing Meetup was the first thing on my list. I was also taking part in organizing WordCamp Asia 2020. Hopefully, it will eventually take place after everything in the world with Covid gets safer for us to travel and meet in person.

At WordCamps and Meetups, you heard stories about how WordPress powers the web. How it changes the lives of so many people. How it helps dreams come true. I was thinking. If WordPress was that powerful, why are there not many people in Indonesia using websites, and why don’t they use WordPress. Why are there not many people who use WordPress in Indonesia contributing to WordPress? Why are there not many talented Indonesian WordPress users, developers, designers, business owners taking part in WordPress.org projects. Why? My guess is one of the many reasons, a language issue.

I believe, the more content translated into Indonesian, the more Indonesian WordPress users see WordPress as more than just a blogging platform or a CMS. Instead, it’s a huge open source community that work together to make the web a better place. The more plugins and themes translated the easier the work of the developer and designer will be with WordPress. The more people see how WordPress can benefit their life, the better the business ecosystem for business owners becomes.

Organizing at WordCamp Ubud 2017 with Pramana Adi Putra dan Wahyu Taufiq. Photo Credit: Hubud

After several asking around and discussions about translating WordPress, suddenly I made a commitment to revive the polyglot project in Indonesia. I was lucky, there was a community member who came forward to help. Then, with a lot of promotion, the team got bigger. It’s good to know I am not alone. There are WordPress users interested in translating.

I didn’t stop there. I noticed that there are not many women involved in the WordPress community in Indonesia. I did meet a few women at WordCamps or Meetups, but the number is too small. And most of the time, I was the only woman. Perhaps I overlooked the fact that Indonesia is still highly patriarchal despite the economic boom. The WordPress community in Indonesia feels almost like a male-dominated community.

Organizing at WordCamp Jakarta 2019

Then after some discussions with a couple of community members, I initiated Perempuan WordPress. There are two words for women in Indonesian, ‘wanita’ and ‘perempuan’. I chose ‘perempuan’ as I like to think that it is not merely referring to women sexually but more importantly about the role that the female human can have. It feels more empowering to me. Don’t ask me about the formal translation of ‘perempuan’ in Indonesian though. It’s pretty sad.

A community member also came forward to help. She wanted to organize an online meetup on Telegram. It is open for everyone to join but we prioritize women to speak, although our first speaker was a man. It was quite challenging to look for female speakers, even using Perempuan WordPress as a platform. I could not even convince my co-organizer to speak!

WCAsia 2020 Organizers in WCEU 2019. Photo Credit: WCEU 2019

I once had a chat with someone who spoke at WordCamp Jakarta and was a successful business owner. I asked why she was not active in a WordPress forum on Facebook, perhaps answering a question, as she is listed as a member. Facebook and Telegram are the two platforms where most Indonesian WordPress users go to ask for support. She said that it was too scary to receive condescending replies from the male members. She was afraid the comments would bring her down. To date, I am still looking for Indonesian WordPress users who share the same interest in building Perempuan WordPress.

But, what did I actually do with WordPress before I started contributing? If you mean whether I code? No, I don’t. I suck in math. I’m super slow in getting my head around code.

Well, in 2014, I signed up for a free account on WordPress.com. I was commuting for work and when I was on public transport my mind wandered. I thought of keeping a note about whatever I see and let the public read it. I was not aware it was called blogging. I did subscribe but the blog never materialized.

WordPress Meetup Ubud before Covid-19

My background is environmental activism. I worked for international development organizations on environmental issues, from policymaking to campaigning. I worked with policymakers behind the desk and organized conferences and meetings. There was a lot of writing and translating involved. I also worked with people on the ground. The people who are impacted by the policies. My work on the ground usually involved researching, movement building and community empowerment.

Perhaps, now you understand why I was easily involved in WordCamps or Meetups. The talent in organizing and working with people is almost like in my genes. They run in my blood veins. I enjoy working to make things happen and get things done. I am also very much comfortable working with people, especially speaking about something that I am passionate about and would make a positive impact on someone’s life.

WordPress Meetup Jakarta before Covid-19

Then, at some point, I was in between jobs. The person who convinced me into volunteering at WordCamp Denpasar created an online CV for me. I was pushed to learn to manage a WordPress site, navigate around wp-admin, and work on the content to appeal to potential employers. I don’t remember which one came first, but I eventually got a job as a campaigner to build a movement online and offline.

The movement was initiated by a bunch of university friends in America who used digital campaigns to go global. The campaign used WordPress as the platform. I was working with a digital campaigner. Not only I had to take part in decision making about the content, the Call to Action, the user experience, I also had to log in to wp-admin and make some amendments. As it was a global movement, the resources were developed in English. So I also worked a lot with translators and reviewed their work.

First WordPress Translation Day for Indonesia Polyglot Team in 2020

And now, you probably understand even more why I am getting my hands dirty with polyglots and Perempuan WordPress. Everything comes from the heart. I do things that I feel so strongly about. Things that call me. And things that I am good at but still giving me room to learn and become better at.

Some people might think, I can do what I do because I have time. That is true. I quit my job as a campaigner at the end of 2018. Since then, I’ve been freelancing. Not much, hence the free time I spend contributing. But I have another initiative that I started once I quit my job and have kept me going. Of course, it also involves WordPress. The initiative aims at helping street cats in Jakarta. So, I am busy trapping cats but also learning how to fundraise using a website. I’m learning to use online forms, set up a payment service provider, work on SEO, and do other new things I need to learn to grow my initiative. I do have the privilege to learn directly from a personal guru. Yes, the same person who convinced me to volunteer at WordCamp Denpasar, and my personal web developer. My husband.

Call for Speakers Poster for Perempuan WordPress. Photo Credit: Hani Khaerunnisa

Although, it’s not always rosy in my part of the world. When I just started learning to become a Deputy, and I was ready to support meetups in new cities across Indonesia and perhaps a WordCamp. Something related to WordPress had brought me down for more than half a year (thanks to Covid as well). I locked myself away from contributing to WordPress. It didn’t feel right though. It felt as if something was missing. But now, I have decided to not let it get in my way anymore. This not-so-rosy situation is perhaps what motivates me the most to keep contributing to WordPress. What does not kill me makes me stronger!

And that’s what I like about WordPress, it is very welcoming and open to people like me, who don’t code at all. At the same time, it shows me a different way of looking at the world, if not the IT world. In my late 30’s, I threw myself into a new world. I pushed myself to learn new things. With WordPress, the chance to learn new things is always there for everyone. WordPress also allows me to contribute, to share what I have. By contributing, I hope to make a difference in someone’s life. Especially the talented Indonesian WordPress users. I hope they feel the benefit of using WordPress and want to give back to create a healthier WordPress community in Indonesia.

WordPress dan Saya: Apakah saya dapat melewati semua rintangan yang menghadang?

Tidak sulit untuk jatuh cinta pada WordPress jika Anda memiliki kesempatan untuk mengenalnya. Saya hanya membutuhkan sebuah WordCamp.

Tidak hanya WordCamp di tempat biasa, pada tahun 2016, saya menjadi sukarelawan dadakan di WordCamp Denpasar di Bali, pulau Dewata. Bali adalah pulau kecil di dalam sebuah negara bernama Indonesia. Ya, saya dari Indonesia. Jadi, jika Anda membaca esai saya, Anda mungkin dapat memahami betapa hebatnya WordCamp. Sebuah kegiatan yang dapat memikat seseorang untuk berkontribusi untuk komunitas, bahkan jika mereka tidak mendapatkan apa pun dari WordCamp. (saya sebenarnya dapat kaos, lanyard, dan makanan hotel gratis)

Perjalanan saya dengan WordPress dimulai dari satu WordCamp ke WordCamp berikutnya. Semakin luar biasa karena WordCamp berikutnya adalah WordCamp Ubud, masih di Bali. Kali ini saya menjadi salah satu penyelenggara (organizer). Ubud adalah salah satu lokasi yang paling diminati oleh digital nomad di Asia. Tempat yang indah, terutama jika Anda juga menyukai alam, yoga, dan ingin mendapatkan pencerahan. Saya tidak bercanda. Jika WordPress tidak cukup mencerahkan Anda, pergilah ke Ubud. Anda akan merasakan semacam energi yang kuat untuk terhubung ke semua hal. Pulau Bali sangat penuh keajaiban, begitu juga semua di dalamnya. Ubud adalah lingkungan yang sempurna untuk bertemu dengan orang baru yang memiliki minat yang sama, terutama di acara WordPress seperti WordCamp atau Meetup.

WordCamp Denpasar 2017

Kemudian, saya mulai menghadiri WordPress Meetup di Ubud dan Jakarta. Saya juga menyelengarakan lebih banyak WordCamp. WordCamp Jakarta di tahun 2017 dan 2019. Akan tetapi, baru setelah beberapa waktu saya berkomitmen sebagai organizer Meetup di Jakarta dan Ubud. Sebelum Covid terjadi, saya sering bepergian hilir mudik antara Jakarta dan Ubud. Setiap kali saya pergi ke Ubud, Meetup adalah hal pertama dalam daftar kegiatan saya selama di Ubud. Saya juga ikut ambil bagian dalam penyelenggaraan WordCamp Asia 2020. Mudah-mudahan WordCamp Asia akhirnya dapat diadakan setelah dunia semakin aman bagi kita untuk bepergian dan mengadakan pertemuan, walaupun Covid masih diperangi.

Di WordCamp dan Meetup, Anda mendengar cerita tentang kekuatan WordPress yang menghidupi web. Tentang WordPress mengubah hidup banyak orang. Tentang WordPress membantu mewujudkan mimpi menjadi kenyataan. Saya berpikir. Jika WordPress sehebat itu, mengapa tidak banyak orang di Indonesia yang menggunakan situs web, dan mengapa mereka tidak menggunakan WordPress. Mengapa tidak banyak orang yang menggunakan WordPress di Indonesia berkontribusi pada WordPress. Mengapa tidak banyak pengguna, developer, desainer, pemilik bisnis WordPress Indonesia yang berbakat mengambil bagian dalam proyek WordPress.org. Mengapa? Dugaan saya, salah satu dari banyak alasan adalah masalah bahasa.

Saya percaya, semakin banyak konten yang diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Indonesia, semakin banyak pengguna WordPress Indonesia yang melihat WordPress lebih dari sekadar platform blogging atau CMS. Sebaliknya, WordPress adalah komunitas open source yang sangat besar, tempat banyak kontributor bekerja sama untuk membuat web menjadi tempat yang lebih baik bagi semua. Semakin banyak plugin dan tema yang diterjemahkan, semakin mudah pekerjaan developer dan desainer dengan WordPress. Semakin banyak orang merasakan manfaat WordPress bagi kehidupan mereka, semakin baik ekosistem bisnis bagi pemilik bisnis.

WordCamp Ubud 2017

Setelah banyak bertanya dan berdiskusi dengan banyak orang tentang menerjemahkan WordPress, saya segera berkomitmen untuk menghidupkan kembali proyek poliglot di Indonesia. Saya beruntung, seseorang anggota komunitas datang membantu. Kemudian, dengan melakukan beberapa kali promosi, tim poliglot bertambah. Saya bersyukur, saya tidak sendirian. Banyak pengguna WordPess yang tertarik untuk berkontribusi dalam penerjemahan.

Saya tidak berhenti di situ. Saya perhatikan, tidak banyak perempuan yang terlibat dalam komunitas WordPress di Indonesia. Saya bertemu dengan beberapa perempuan di WordCamp atau Meetup, tetapi jumlahnya tidak banyak. Dan biasanya, saya adalah satu-satunya perempuan. Mungkin saya mengabaikan fakta bahwa Indonesia masih sangat kuat perilaku patriarkinya meskipun ekonominya semakin kuat. Komunitas WordPress di Indonesia hampir seperti komunitas yang didominasi laki-laki.

Setelah berdiskusi dengan beberapa anggota komunitas, saya memulai sebuah inisiatif yang disebut Perempuan WordPress. Ada dua kata dalam bahasa Indonesia, ‘wanita’ dan ‘perempuan’. Saya memilih ‘perempuan’ karena saya merasa bahwa perempuan tidak hanya mengacu pada perbedaan jenis kelamin tetapi lebih tentang peran yang dapat dimiliki oleh seorang perempuan. Saya merasa ‘perempuan” dapat lebih menguatkan saya. Tetapi jangan tanya saya tentang terjemahan formal ‘perempuan’ dalam bahasa Indonesia. Karena menurut saya terjemahannya sangat menyedihkan.

Seorang kontributor perempuan bersedia membantu dan mengusulkan untuk mengadakan pertemuan rutin online di Telegram (Kulgram). Kulgram terbuka bagi siapa saja untuk bergabung tetapi wanita diutamakan untuk menjadi pemateri, meskipun pembicara pertama Kulgram adalah seorang laki-laki. Mencari pembicara perempuan bukan hal yang mudah, meskipun menggunakan platform Perempuan WordPress. Saya bahkan tidak dapat meyakinkan rekan kontributor penyelenggara Kulgram untuk berbicara!

WordCamp Jakarta 2019

Saya pernah berbicara dengan seorang perempuan pemateri di WordCamp Jakarta yang juga merupakan pemilik bisnis yang sukses. Saya bertanya alasannya tidak aktif di forum WordPress di Facebook, misalnya dengan menjawab pertanyaan sebagai anggota. Facebook dan Telegram adalah dua platform tempat sebagian besar pengguna WordPress Indonesia bertanya jawab teknis tentang WordPress. Dia mengatakan bahwa berkomentar di forum semacam Facebook terlalu menakutkan jika muncul balasan yang merendahkan dari anggota forum laki-laki. Dia tidak ingin komentar yang merendahkan akan membuatnya terpuruk. Sampai saat ini, saya masih mencari pengguna WordPress dari Indonesia yang memiliki minat yang sama untuk membangun Perempuan WordPress.

Tapi, apa yang sebenarnya saya lakukan dengan WordPress sebelum saya mulai berkontribusi? Jika Anda bertanya apakah saya dapat menulis kode? Tidak. Saya payah dalam matematika. Saya sangat lambat dalam memahami kode. Pada tahun 2014, saya mendaftar untuk mendapatkan akun gratis di WordPress.com. Saya naik transportasi umum ke kantor setiap hari dan di tengah-tengah kemacetan kadang pikiran saya mengembara. Saya berpikir untuk menulis tentang semua yang saya lihat dan pikirkan lalu memublikasikannya. Saya tidak sadar hal ini disebut blogging. Saya masih berlangganan di WordPress.com tetapi blog yang aktif tidak pernah terwujud.

Latar belakang saya adalah aktivis lingkungan. Saya bekerja untuk organisasi bantuan internasional tentang isu-isu lingkungan, mulai dari pembuatan kebijakan hingga kampanye. Saya bekerja dengan pembuat kebijakan di belakang meja dan mengadakan konferensi dan pertemuan. Saya banyak menulis laporan dan menerjemahkan. Saya juga bekerja dengan banyak orang di lapangan. Mereka yang terkena dampak kebijakan. Pekerjaan saya di lapangan biasanya melibatkan penelitian, membangun gerakan dan memberdayakan masyarakat.

WordPress Jakarta Meetup Online di StreamYard

Mungkin sekarang Anda mengerti mengapa saya mudah terlibat dalam WordCamp atau Meetup. Bakat dalam menyiapkan sebuah kegiatan dan bekerja dengan banyak orang mungkin seperti bakat alami saya yang mengalir di pembuluh darah saya. Saya senang bekerja untuk mewujudkan dan menyelesaikan sesuatu. Saya juga sangat nyaman bekerja dengan banyak orang, terutama berbicara tentang sesuatu yang saya minati dan dapat memberi dampak positif pada kehidupan seseorang.

Kemudian, pada titik tertentu, saya harus mencari pekerjaan. Seseorang yang meyakinkan saya untuk menjadi sukarelawan di WordCamp Denpasar membuat CV online untuk saya. Saya didorong untuk belajar mengelola situs WordPress, menjelajahi wp-admin, dan mengerjakan konten untuk menarik calon pemberi kerja. Saya tidak ingat mana yang lebih dulu terwujudkan, tetapi akhirnya saya mendapat pekerjaan sebagai juru kampanye untuk membangun gerakan secara online dan offline.

Gerakan tersebut diprakarsai oleh sekelompok anak muda di universitas di Amerika yang menggunakan kampanye digital agar tersebar ke seluruh dunia. Kampanye tersebut menggunakan WordPress sebagai platformnya. Saya bekerja dengan seorang juru kampanye digital. Tidak hanya saya harus mengambil bagian dalam pengambilan keputusan tentang konten, Call to Action, dan pengalaman pengguna, saya juga harus login ke wp-admin dan membuat beberapa perubahan. Karena gerakan tersebut adalah gerakan global, sumber daya yang disusun biasanya dalam bahasa Inggris. Jadi saya juga banyak bekerja dengan penerjemah dan meninjau pekerjaan mereka.

Sekarang, Anda mungkin lebih mengerti mengapa saya bersusah payah mengembangkan proyek poliglot dan Perempuan WordPress. Semuanya datang dari hati. Saya melakukan hal-hal yang saya yakini. Hal-hal yang menarik minat saya. Dan hal-hal yang saya kuasai tetapi masih memberikan ruang untuk saya belajar dan menjadi lebih baik.

Organizers (Polyglots GTE) WPTD 2020 Indonesia. Photo Credit: Agus Muhammad

Beberapa orang mungkin berpikir, saya bisa melakukan apa yang saya lakukan sekarang karena saya punya waktu. Mungkin benar. Saya berhenti dari pekerjaan saya sebagai juru kampanye pada akhir tahun 2018. Sejak saat itu, saya menjadi pekerja lepas. Tidak banyak yang saya lakukan, maka saya punya waktu luang untuk berkontribusi. Tetapi saya memiliki inisiatif lain yang saya mulai setelah saya berhenti dari pekerjaan saya dan membuat saya terus berkegiatan. Tentu saja, inisiatif tersebut juga melibatkan WordPress. Inisiatif tersebut bertujuan untuk membantu kucing jalanan di Jakarta. Jadi, saya sibuk menangkap kucing-kucing jalanan tetapi juga belajar cara menggalang dana menggunakan situs web. Saya belajar menggunakan formulir online, menyiapkan penyedia layanan pembayaran, mengerjakan SEO, dan melakukan hal-hal baru lainnya yang perlu saya pelajari untuk mengembangkan inisiatif saya. Saya mungkin beruntung karena dapat belajar langsung dari seorang guru pribadi. Orang yang sama yang meyakinkan saya untuk menjadi sukarelawan di WordCamp Denpasar, dan developer web pribadi saya. Suami saya.

Akan tetapi, semuanya tentu bukan tanpa tantangan. Ketika saya baru mulai belajar menjadi Deputi, dan saya siap untuk mendorong dimulainya Meetup di kota-kota baru di seluruh Indonesia dan mungkin WordCamp. Sesuatu yang berhubungan dengan WordPress telah membuat saya berhenti berkontribusi selama lebih dari setengah tahun (juga karena Covid). Saya sadar hal ini tidak benar. Saya merasa seperti ada sesuatu yang hilang. Tetapi sekarang, saya telah memutuskan untuk tidak membiarkannya menghalangi saya lagi. Situasi yang tidak terlalu menyenangkan tersebut mungkin yang paling memotivasi saya untuk terus berkontribusi di WordPress. Apa yang tidak membunuh kita hanya akan membuat diri kita lebih kuat!

Semua hal di atas adalah yang saya sukai dari WordPress, sangat ramah dan terbuka untuk orang seperti saya, yang tidak bisa menulis kode sama sekali. Pada saat yang sama, WordPress menunjukkan kepada saya cara yang berbeda dalam memandang dunia, mungkin juga dunia TI. Di usia 30-an akhir, saya terjun ke dunia baru. Saya dorong diri saya untuk mempelajari hal-hal baru. Dengan WordPress, kesempatan untuk mempelajari hal baru selalu terbuka bagi siapa pun. Dan WordPress juga memungkinkan saya untuk berkontribusi dengan membagikan apa yang saya miliki. Dengan berkontribusi, saya berharap dapat membuat perbedaan dalam hidup seseorang. Terutama para pengguna WordPress berbakat dari Indonesia. Saya berharap mereka merasakan manfaat menggunakan WordPress dan ingin berkontribusi untuk menciptakan komunitas WordPress yang lebih sehat di Indonesia.

The post WordPress and Me: Am I Going Against All Odds? – WordPress dan Saya: Apakah saya dapat melewati semua rintangan yang menghadang? appeared first on HeroPress.

by Devin Maeztri at September 15, 2021 01:00 AM

September 14, 2021

WPTavern: Konstantin Kovshenin Launches Sail, a CLI Tool for Deploying to Digital Ocean

Last week, Konstantin Kovshenin launched Sail, a CLI tool for deploying WordPress applications to the DigitalOcean cloud. The project is free to use and open source. However, he has plans for an upgraded premium experience down the road.

Kovshenin cited speed and efficiency as the two primary reasons developers should give his new tool a try. “You don’t need to wander around web UIs to launch a new server and install WordPress. You just sail init. You don’t need to open your SFTP GUI client to upload changes to your application. You just sail deploy.”

He also said that because it is a simple CLI, it will integrate well with existing developer tools and services like Gulp, webpack, GitHub Actions, and more.

“I’m a DIY guy when it comes to WordPress hosting, so I like to get my hands dirty with servers, code, configuration, and everything else,” wrote Kovshenin in the announcement post. “I’ve been using virtual servers at DigitalOcean for small WordPress projects for a very long time, and it’s great, and also very affordable.”

He had grown annoyed doing routine maintenance and configuring servers for new projects. This led him to write many scripts for handling each piece of this over the years. Over the past couple of months, he cleaned them up and packaged them as a single CLI tool called Sail. It works across Linux, macOS, and Windows.

While he lists some advantages of using Sail over the competition in the announcement post, he thinks the benefits come from using Sail with other developer tools.

“For example, if you already use Git and GitHub, Sail can automatically deploy your application whenever you push to your main branch,” he said. “If your project is built with Gulp and webpack, you can ask npm to deploy your application after a successful build.”

The CLI tool does not make assumptions about the development environment. Developers are free to use whatever setup they are accustomed to, such as Vagrant/VirtualBox, XAMP/MAMP, Local, Docker, or a custom setup.

“You can use it without a local development environment at all and just cowboy-code your way through, and Sail will help you deploy with confidence and roll back when you’re overly confident,” he said.

The following is a short video demo:

The Future of Sail

For the short term, Sail only works with DigitalOcean. However, Kovshenin plans to support more providers down the road as he looks into “more complex architectures.” However, he said it is not a high priority at the moment.

“DigitalOcean has the best documentation, hands down,” he said. “The simplicity of their APIs just blows you away. And that simplicity extends to their pricing as well, which made it quite an obvious choice.”

While the tool is free, he will offer a Sail Premium service. There is currently no launch date for it. Kovshenin said he was gauging overall interest before diving in. However, he does have an Early Access signup form. Those who use it will gain free passes during the beta period and possibly a discount at launch.

Right now, his focus is on building the core Sail features, which he says will always be free.

“The biggest new feature I’m excited about right now is Blueprints,” said Kovshenin. “This is going to be a YAML manifest file, which will describe the desired application environment and state, including which WordPress plugins to install and activate, which themes and settings, as well as any additional server software and configuration, such as mail, firewall, etc. And to get all of this you’ll just need to specify the blueprint file to sail init.”

The goal is to allow users to build, reuse, and even share their blueprints. Sail itself will even make common configurations available. A single blueprint could include WooCommerce, Stripe, Storefront, Jetpack, Redis object caching, mail relay via MailGun, and more.

“Other features on the list include sub-projects, staging/cloning, automatic and remote backups, profiling, monitoring, and malware/vulnerability scanning,” said Kovshenin.

He is hoping for more feedback on missing features that could make the project more useful for others.

by Justin Tadlock at September 14, 2021 10:21 PM under News

WPTavern: WordPress Opens Applications for In-Person WordCamps

photo credit: Huasoniccc

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WordPress is restarting its in-person WordCamp program after more than six weeks of discussion on a proposal for how the WordPress community can return to hosting events. Applications are now open for in-person WordCamps, provided they meet the Community Team’s updated guidelines for organizing WordCamps during the pandemic.

Local communities that have hosted meetups prior to the pandemic are eligible to apply to host a WordCamp if public health authorities permit in-person gatherings in their region and the area passes the in-person safety checklist. If the checklist requirements cannot be met, organizers may still host a WordCamp, provided that vaccines or COVID tests are readily available in the community. In the event the location doesn’t pass the in-person checklist and also has limited access to vaccines and testing, organizers would need to opt for an online WordCamp.

The new guidelines have been simplified into a flowchart:

The Community Team expects that attendees will be fully vaccinated, recently tested negative, or recovered from COVID within the last three months. Attendance will be based on the honor system, as organizers will not be asking for proof as a condition of participation.

WordCamps are sorely missed by WordPress enthusiasts and professionals, and many are eager to return. This restart of the WordCamp program will need to attract more than just attendees – WordCamp organizers will need to get on board to be the first to test the waters.

The fact that vaccinated individuals can still transmit the virus throws a wrench into things in areas where vaccine hesitancy runs high, making the entire population more susceptible to breakthrough infections. This combined with the prevalence of the more highly contagious Delta variant makes for a scenario where attendees at approved in-person WordCamps could unwittingly participate in spreading the virus to others.

When asked about requiring masks or other precautions, Community Team representative Angela Jin said organizers have a better opportunity to require more precautions beyond local guidelines if they work with a venue that has its own requirements.

“The Community team is asking organizers and attendees to follow local guidelines,” Jin said. “If organizers would like to have more precautions, the deputies would advocate for booking at a venue that takes those precautions, for example, a venue that requires masks while indoors. In this way, the ask of ensuring additional safety measures is not just on organizers (event organizers already have enough to keep an eye on!), but on venue staff as well.”

“I’ve been asked if I think there will be an in-person WordCamp Miami in 2022 once it’s allowed,” longtime WordCamp organizer David Bisset said. “No idea. But I doubt I’ll be involved unless the state of Florida changes dramatically. Plus, other reasons. As of now I’m not planning on attending any in-person WCs for quite some time. I have a ‘wait and see’ attitude.'”

One important consideration is that the Global Sponsorship Program does not currently include funding for WordCamps, so organizers will need to raise 100% of the expenses for their events. A group of Community Team deputies are working on a proposal for the 2022 Global Sponsorship Program, aiming to finalize it by the end of October. In the meantime, organizers will need to find a way to foot the bill.

As scientists consider the increasingly more likely possibility that SARS-CoV-2 becomes an endemic virus, WordCamps and other gatherings will need to find the right combination of precautions that will enable them to continue in this new era. The Community team has become skilled at hosting virtual events, but 18 months into this pandemic it is clear that the connections fostered at WordCamps are irreplaceable.

“The deputies and I know that many places around the world are not in a position to organize in-person WordCamps at this time,” Jin said. “The team will continue to support online events, and do not expect organizers to host in-person events if they are not ready to.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 14, 2021 03:35 AM under wordcamp

September 13, 2021

WPTavern: Theme Author Survey Results: Uploading via ZIP Files Preferred, SVN Access Forthcoming

Earlier today, Dion Hulse announced the results of a six-week survey on the WordPress.org theme upload process. The goal was to figure out if uploading a ZIP file was a “pain point” and see what other methods theme authors prefer. Then, move forward based on the feedback. In total, 256 people responded to the survey.

Of the weighted results, uploading themes via a ZIP remained the most popular option. Committing via Git or integrating with GitHub came in second and third, respectively. Using SVN or a CLI tool also had support.

The next steps should include allowing theme updates to be submitted via SVN. Trac tickets will also be removed for updates, which the Themes Team no longer reviews. For theme authors who prefer Git, the plan is to encourage the use of a GitHub Action for automatic deployment over SVN.

There are no tickets for implementing the changes yet, but they are forthcoming. Hulse said he is awaiting any feedback on the announcement post or in the Themes Team September 14 meeting.

Nothing was said about the initial theme submission. This will likely remain the same.

The upcoming SVN access will have some limits in comparison to plugins. Updates will be stored via a strict /theme-slug/version scheme with a standardized version format. Theme authors will not be allowed to change any commits once an update is submitted. Like the ZIP upload system, they will need to bump the version number to send a new update. The goal is for the theme repository to merely be a deployment destination and not a place for development.

This should be a welcome change for those who have longed for alternative theme upload methods. As far back as I can remember, theme authors have asked for SVN access to the WordPress.org theme directory. It is a capability that plugin developers have long had. This was before the proliferation of Git and the rising popularity of GitHub. Every so often, themers would begin the discussion anew, but it would always end the same. Uploading a ZIP file was the only way to submit a new theme or an update to an existing one.

Eventually, those discussions included talk of Git. However, it seemed most of the passion for integrating with any version control system (VCS) had waned. Most just lived with the status quo.

This has not necessarily been a bad thing. Uploading a ZIP has kept the process simple. Theme authors could use their preferred VCS (or none) and ship the final product to WordPress.org.

As I viewed the survey and thought it over, I changed positions. Throughout my history as a theme author, I was clearly in the camp calling for VCS integration. I wanted SVN (eventually, GIT) access to my projects in the directory. However, I had long ago customized my development build process to incorporate a ZIP creation step. The extra 30 seconds or so that it took to upload that file via the theme upload form did not seem to matter so much anymore.

Like the plurality of others who responded to the survey, I now prefer uploading a ZIP file. Maybe it is what I am accustomed to, but it would not have been my answer a few years ago. I have come to appreciate the simplicity of the existing system.

However, opening the theme upload process up to other methods should improve things for more people. In particular, I could imagine theme shops incorporating something similar to 10up’s GitHub Action for plugin deployment in their release process. Essentially, the Action automatically sends an update to WordPress.org’s SVN repository when tagging a release.

by Justin Tadlock at September 13, 2021 10:56 PM under Themes

September 11, 2021

Gutenberg Times: Theme Switching, Global Styles, Blocks in REST API and more – Weekend Edition #184

Howdy, howdy!

Today we have a great mixture of links to tutorials, news, general information, call to action and events. Now that the summer is over, it feels there is another wave of WordPressers are starting to adopt the block editor, block-based themes and to pay more attention to what’s happening in the Gutenberg world. Or is it just me diving into the topics full-time?

Before you get distracted by the headlines below, let me ask you: Do you have your WordCamp US Tickets, already? Now is the time!

WordCamp US will take place as a one-day virtual event on October 1st, 2021. It’s free and takes place on a Friday, so it won’t cut into your screen-free weekend activities.

  • The first and second set of brilliant speakers were announced this week.
  • There is still a Call for Directors out and if you want to help with Live Chat moderation and capture audience questions you can apply until Sept. 16 for three shifts. More here.
  • Take the opportunity and meetup with a small group of local friends for a watch party. Don Soschin has some ideas and tips for you. Create your WCUS 2021 Attendee Pod.

See y’all at WCUS!

Birgit 💕

Full-Site Editing and Theme design

Speaking of events, next week Anne McCarthy, Marcus Kazmierczak and Dave Smith will gather for a Hallway Hangout on September 16th at 11 am EDT / 16:00 UTC. They will discuss adoption pathways to full site editing, what’s working, what successes folks have had, what blockers people are running into, and what might help more folks participate. Beyond just the benefits of learning from each other, this information will ideally be used to help influence future resources and to give insights to the teams working on these items. Join the #fse-outreach-program WP Slack channel for updates.

The next feedback round for participants in the FSE outreach program is a Theme Switching Exploration. Imagine a world where one could seamlessly take product review patterns from one theme, styling from another, and product display templates from an eCommerce focused theme to create a store. Or imagine being able to switch themes while retaining your favorite palette of colors and typography.

The focus of this exploration is more on “wishful thinking”. In the instructions, Anne McCarthy guides you through a very basic theme switching process, and then asks you to creatively think about what you’d like to see happen. In other words, the focus is not so much on finding bugs, and more on gathering useful insights that will help design this experience. 

If you need some additional inspiration on how your want to approach your switching journey, read Justin Tadlock‘s Exploration Report on the WP Tavern: Insights Into Switching Between Block Themes

Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s main (trunk) branch?
Gutenberg Times provides daily build for testing and review.
Have you been using it? Hit reply and let me know.

GitHub all releases

André Maneiro compares in his post The developer experience of WordPress presets how to handle presets for WordPress themes before and after the release of WordPress 5.8, when theme.json was merged into core. It’s a practical recap on the advantages for developers to migrate to theme.json even for classic themes.

In The Global Styles Interface issue on GitHub, Matias Ventura covers the broad design aspects of global styles, the upcoming user interface for theme.json. Ventura discusses the iconography, small previews, the handling of color palettes, elements and filters, and color tools. Take a look and chime in on working on TNBT (The next Big Thing)

Shaun Andrews, on the design team, shared in The WordPress Editor: Document Status and Visibility the next-generation designs for the Gutenberg Publish section in the side bar.

A group of theme developers met at this week’s Hallway Hangout to discuss current Full-site editing issues, pull requests and designs. Anne McCarthy posted the recording and a summary on the Make Blog.

Gutenberg Changelog #51 is now available with transcript.

Subscribe to the Gutenberg Changelog podcast
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Gutenberg for Site implementers and Content creators

In her post Cascading impact of improvements to featured images Anne McCarty shows you how improvements to the Featured Image block lead to more possibilities for content creation with short videos.

Not in and of itself block-editorial, but still a great story: Automattic Acquires Social Image Generator Plugin, Plans to Integrate with Jetpack. Daniel Post‘s plugin was a dream come true for social marketing people and save so much time. Post and the plugin have a sustainable home with Automattic now.

The team working on the Pods Framework have published their Field Guide for the next version (2.8). Among many other new features and fixes, you’ll find the new Pods Blocks which allow you to

  • List Items,
  • show a Single Item,
  • display a Single Item Field,
  • show a Public Form, or
  • embed a View (any file) from your theme / child theme.

They also included compatibility with the new WordPress 5.8 Query Loop blocks!

For those creators out there looking to get ahead with some common custom block needs, our new Pods Blocks API allows you to register your blocks. Congrats to Scott Kingsley Clark and his team for the major effort to add Gutenberg capabilities to the framework!

The MetaBox team published an in-depth comparison between Gutenberg vs. Page Builders – What is Better & Faster?. Of course, this is still premature, as Gutenberg isn’t a full-featured page builder yet, and is missing quite a few customization and layout feature most page builder provide. This post also runs websites built with Gutenberg and Oxygen in a speed test comparison.

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2021” 
A chronological list of the WordPress Make Blog posts from various teams involved in Gutenberg development: Design, Theme Review Team, Core Editor, Core JS, Core CSS, Test and Meta team from Jan. 2021 on. Updated by yours truly.

Block Building for developers

Jonny Harris, WordPress contributor, sponsored by XWP, created a plugin, REST API blocks that adds block data in json format into the REST API. Once installed, there will be two new fields added to the rest api, has_blocks and blocks. Sounds pretty nifty. Thanks to David Bisset for tweeting about it.

Rich Tabor created a tutorial on how to create a Publish Checklist for the block editor. If you work in a team of writers, ensuring that various content tasks are completed before an article is published. Tabor how to use a template to display the check list for the editor.

Matias Ventura shared this fabulous post by Dennis Snell, code wrangler at Automattic. In Gutenberg posts aren’t HTML… Snell explains the idea to store block information in HTML comments in post_content. It was an eye-opener for me.

Create and Display Math Formulas is an interesting requirement and mostly used by scientists and Math teachers. The developers Dennis Snell and Adam Silverstein have a block for this group of writers.

  • MathML by Adam Silverstein is available in the plugin repository and the Block Directory
  • In Typesetting Math in Gutenberg by Dennis Snell walks you through the genesis of his block. With this example block, Snell explains, “I try to design my blocks so that all of the processing and loading costs stay in the editor while editing the post”.

For the seventh episode of the Jukebox podcast, Nathan Wrigley interviewed Gutenberg contributor Ajit Bohra on Gutenberg, Full Site Editing and React. The two covered quite a bit of ground. Grab your favorite beverage and listen.

by Birgit Pauli-Haack at September 11, 2021 08:29 AM under Weekend Edition

WPTavern: Theme Authors Should Be Able To Opt Out of Any Design Feature

As I debugged issues with the new block gap feature added in Gutenberg 11.4 last week, I found the ticket introducing it. And, there was already a new ticket for one problem I had hit. However, there was some discussion over whether themes should be allowed to opt-out, rolling their own solution. There was no way to do it at the time.

It felt like a no-brainer, something I would not think twice about. I quickly chimed in:

Should theme authors be able to opt out? If this is ever a question that comes up, the answer is always: Absolutely, 100%, yes!

The front end of a site is the theme author’s domain. Ultimately, they define how things work there. At least, this is how it has always been. Before the advent of the block system, there were cases where WordPress added its own spin to front-end features, such as styles for the gallery shortcode and emoji JavaScript-image replacement. Themes have always had methods for disabling those.

With the introduction of the Gutenberg project and its evolving feature set, WordPress continues stepping into front-end design. This carries the benefit of standardizing the relationship between the platform, themes, and users. It makes things like block patterns universal, and it will continue doing so as we get into more advanced layout tools. This is a future that I am eager to witness because it will make theming much easier.

However, within the in-ticket discussion, I came across one of the fundamental rifts between some people working on Gutenberg and third-party developers:

I disagree with this take. This means that everything should be optional in WordPress and goes against the decisions not options. some things need to be options but not everything…I don’t think it should be a rule to have an opt-out for everything personally. For instance for structural styles, I’d rather have the themes rely on Core always instead of reinventing their own. Themes are here to bring personality and design but not to define what “horizontal alignment” means for instance.

Riad Benguella

If such a stance becomes one of the cornerstones of block theme development, it will turn many traditional themers away.

I agree with the principle that this should be the foundation, the default way that theming works in WordPress going forward. The more pieces that we can standardize, the better. But, as a rule of thumb, theme authors should be able to opt out of any design-related feature. Then, we make rare exceptions to that rule when the need arises.

Regardless of what Gutenberg and, ultimately, WordPress does, theme authors will find a way around it. Let us pretend that “horizontal alignment” is defined by CSS flexbox in core. I guarantee that someone will come along and use CSS grid.

In the case of the “block gap” feature introduced in Gutenberg 11.4, it is essentially a fancy name for a global top margin that gets applied to blocks (not to be confused with the actual CSS gap property). In essence, it is a system for defining part of the default vertical rhythm.

This feature has long been on my wish list, but the idea of mandating it never crossed my mind. If you want to see a heated discussion, throw a handful of web designers in a room and have them discuss the myriad ways of handling vertical spacing between elements. I am in the top margin camp.

Fortunately, theme authors will be able to enable or disable the block gap feature. But, that is merely one battle.

I had planned to reply in-ticket, but I did not want to get too far off-topic. I also wanted to give some consideration to the other side. However, I could think of few instances where WordPress should always be the deciding factor on front-end design.

From that position, I envision little more than theme authors creating workarounds for what they will see as a broken system. There is nothing wrong with WordPress defining the defaults. However, it should always be from the mindset that developers will want to venture out. The best way to keep them happy is to not get in the way. Build a system that they want to use, not that they must use. And, for those who decide to go a different route, make it easy. Even if we think those rebel designers are creating a broken user experience, that is OK. It is their project to make or break.

What makes WordPress so uniquely WordPress is that the platform has always catered to those who want to extend it in just about any imaginable way. If it starts creating stumbling blocks that need not be there, we have done a poor job as stewards of the software.

by Justin Tadlock at September 11, 2021 01:13 AM under gutenberg

WPTavern: Pipe Wrench Publication Releases New Native Land Search Plugin for WordPress

Pipe Wrench, an online publication that dissects different topics through longform stories, reactions, interpretations, and asides, has released a free WordPress plugin called Native Land Search. The publication commissioned the plugin from Alex Gustafson, a subscriber and contributor to the magazine.

Native Land Search offers a search block or “Native Lands Aside” block pattern that users can add to the post content. Site visitors can search an address to discover if it is on indigenous lands.

Pipe Wrench implementation of the Native Land Search block

On the Pipe Wrench publication, the content authors have added a Cover block with a background image and put the search block inside the Group block.

Here is an example of the output for a Florida location:

The search results are powered by the native-land.ca API and Google Geocoding API. Native Land Digital, a non-profit organization, created the maps with the following mission:

We strive to map Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges, and improves the way people see the history of their countries and peoples. We hope to strengthen the spiritual bonds that people have with the land, its people, and its meaning.

We strive to map Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages across the world in a way that goes beyond colonial ways of thinking in order to better represent how Indigenous people want to see themselves.

Native Land Digital notes that the maps do not represent or intend to represent official or legal boundaries of any indigenous nations.

“All kinds of sites — magazine, newspaper, personal blog, academic hub, nonprofit — can use the block to add depth to all kinds of content involving Indigenous groups,” Pipe Wrench Editor Michelle Weber said. “LandBack, residential schools, climate change, general history — offering this search tool helps non-indigenous folks uncover and understand vital histories with ongoing ramifications.”

The Native Land Search Plugin is available for download from WordPress.org and contributions can be submitted on GitHub. It may never have a million active installs but the plugin could be an important tool for sites involved in education or advocacy efforts.

by Sarah Gooding at September 11, 2021 12:58 AM under Plugins

September 10, 2021

Post Status: Post Status Excerpt (No. 24) — Entrepreneurial Resilience: Relying On Others

“A crisis can either build you or break you.”

In this episode of Post Status Excerpt, David and Cory reflect on a tough question: What can help WordPress professionals weather the storm of being an entrepreneur in challenging times? Cory shares four types of people who can offer support in their own unique ways: spouses, counselors, coaches, and colleagues. It's important that you find the right combination of people and connections that works best for you.

Also covered in this episode: Cory and David thank their spouses and will later share the timestamps of this podcast with them as evidence.

Every week Post Status Excerpt will brief you on important WordPress news — in about 15 minutes or less! Learn what's new in WordPress in a flash. ⚡

Browse our archives, and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcasts on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iTunes, Castro, YouTube, Stitcher, Player.fm, Pocket Casts, Simplecast, or by RSS. 🎧

🔗 Mentioned in the show:

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by David Bisset at September 10, 2021 03:27 AM under Everyone

WPTavern: Add a Little Pumpkin Spice to Your WordPress Admin This Autumn

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. On some weekends, I like to drive through my old hometown with the windows rolled down. I crawl through the school zone at 25 mph and breathe in the football field’s freshly cut grass. All those memories of blood, guts, and glory under the Friday night lights flood back. Nervous homecoming dances. Hayrides next to the girl who actually agreed to accompany me for the evening. It is a time of festivals, candied apples, and the lingering heat of an Alabama summer that refuses to fade away.

It was always a time of magic and memories, and now it is also the season for pumpkin spice lattes. With a couple of short weeks left before autumn hits, stores and shops are already gearing up for it.

Love it or hate it, nearly everything has a pumpkin spice flavor now — even the WordPress admin interface.

Ben Byrne, the co-founder of Cornershop Creative, released Pumpkin Spice Admin in the past week. It is a WordPress plugin that brings the sights of the autumn season front and center.

Dashboard screen when using Pumpkin Spice Admin.

Never let it be said that I am not a fan of the more whimsical WordPress plugins. One of the joys in my life is seeing these creative attempts at throwing a bit of fun into this thing we call the world wide web. Far too often, we focus so much on business deals and technical features that we sometimes forget to stop and enjoy something as beautiful as autumn leaves changing colors.

Even if we are not simply running a personal blog, it never hurts to install a fun admin-side theme for our own amusement, unbeknownst to our visitors. Just a little something to brighten our day when we cannot be out and enjoying nature.

The biggest downside to the plugin is that it does not rely on the standard WordPress admin color scheme system, which allows each user to select their preferred style. For solo site owners, this is a non-issue. For multi-author websites, it could be problematic if everyone is not on board with the change. I would even consider using it here at WP Tavern, but it might come as a bit of a shock to the rest of the team when they log in.

Technically, it is more than a color scheme. It adds a custom font and a falling leaves animation on each admin screen. However, it would be easy to tie those to user preferences.

At first, I was somewhat off-put by the leaves falling down on the post-editing screen. It could be an annoyance for some users, but the few that appear, quickly pile at the bottom of the browser window. It is not a continuous animation.

Falling leaves on the post-editing screen.

The plugin’s font also overrules the post title, but I can live with that. In some ways, I actually prefer it. It does not affect other fonts in the editor.

Pumpkin Spice Admin will automatically stop working after the season is over. It sets itself to run only from September through November, so there are no worries if you forget to deactivate it.

I only have the plugin running in my test environment, but I am enjoying it for now. All that is missing is a pumpkin-style cursor to complete the look.

by Justin Tadlock at September 10, 2021 01:05 AM under admin color schemes

September 09, 2021

WPTavern: Automattic Acquires Social Image Generator Plugin, Plans to Integrate with Jetpack

Automattic has acquired the Social Image Generator plugin, a commercial product that automatically creates social share images for WordPress content from a set of fully customizable templates. The plugin launched in February 2021, with a starting price of $39/year but is now closed to new sales. Daniel Post, the plugin’s creator, is joining Automattic to continue developing it as a new addition to Jetpack’s social media tools.

Automattic is always on the prowl for companies that are doing something interesting in the WordPress ecosystem. The Social Image Generator plugin expertly captured a new niche with an interface that feels like a natural part of WordPress and impressed our chief plugin critic, Justin Tadlock, in a recent review.

“Automattic approached me and let me know they were fans of my plugin,” Post said. “And then we started talking to see what it would be like to work together. We were actually introduced by Chris Coyier from CSS-Tricks, who uses both our products.”

The Social Image Generator plugin has always been a commercial-only product, which tends to limit a plugin’s reach within a market that has been so heavily trained on the freemium model. Its acquisition will undoubtedly get it into the hands of more WordPress users.

“I briefly considered building a freemium plugin but I decided to focus on paid licenses to make sure I could provide great support to all users and, frankly, to see how well it would be received compared to a freemium plugin,” Post said.

Current customers will be able to continue using the plugin “without any changes in the near term,” according to the announcement on the Jetpack blog. Those who have strong opinions about the long-term future of the plugin are encouraged to schedule a session with Jetpack Customer Research to open a dialogue.

“I look forward to the future functionality and user experience improvements that will come out of this acquisition,” Jetpack General Manager James Grierson said. “The goal of our social product is to help content creators expand their audience through increased distribution and engagement. Social Image Generator will be a key component of helping us deliver this to our customers.“

I would not be surprised to see this plugin available on one of Jetpack’s paid tiers in the near future, alongside the Publicize module’s other paid features (scheduling social media posts, tracking and viewing sharing history, and re-sharing existing content). Social Image Generator makes WordPress content more engaging on social media, has built-in support for WooCommerce, and can be extended for use with other plugins. It’s a strategic acquisition where Automattic gains an engineer as well as a new way to make Jetpack subscriptions more compelling.

“We are still figuring out our exact approach, but the initial plans are to integrate the Social Image Generator features with the existing Jetpack social tools like Publicize,” Post said. “The ability to see exactly what your social media post will look like before publishing it right from your WordPress site is incredible, and a big reason why I’m so excited about this acquisition.”

by Sarah Gooding at September 09, 2021 04:00 AM under publicize

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.8.1 Security and Maintenance Release

WordPress 5.8.1 is now available!

This security and maintenance release features 60 bug fixes in addition to 3 security fixes. Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. All versions since WordPress 5.4 have also been updated.

WordPress 5.8.1 is a short-cycle security and maintenance release. The next major release will be version 5.9.

You can download WordPress 5.8.1 by downloading from WordPress.org, or visit your Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now.

If you have sites that support automatic background updates, they’ve already started the update process.

Security Updates

3 security issues affect WordPress versions between 5.4 and 5.8. If you haven’t yet updated to 5.8, all WordPress versions since 5.4 have also been updated to fix the following security issues:

  • Props @mdawaffe, member of the WordPress Security Team for their work fixing a data exposure vulnerability within the REST API.
  • Props to Michał Bentkowski of Securitum for reporting a XSS vulnerability in the block editor.
  • The Lodash library has been updated to version 4.17.21 in each branch to incorporate upstream security fixes.

In addition to these issues, the security team would like to thank the following people for reporting vulnerabilities during the WordPress 5.8 beta testing period, allowing them to be fixed prior to release:

  • Props Evan Ricafort for reporting a XSS vulnerability in the block editor discovered during the 5.8 release’s beta period.
  • Props Steve Henty for reporting a privilege escalation issue in the block editor.

Thank you to all of the reporters for privately disclosing the vulnerabilities. This gave the WordPress security team time to fix the vulnerabilities before WordPress sites could be attacked.

For more information, browse the full list of changes on Trac, or check out the version 5.8.1 HelpHub documentation page.

Thanks and props!

The 5.8.1 release was led by Jonathan Desrosiers and Evan Mullins.

In addition to the security researchers and release squad members mentioned above, thank you to everyone who helped make WordPress 5.8.1 happen:

2linctools, Adam Zielinski, Alain Schlesser, Alex Lende, alexstine, AlGala, André, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Ozz, Ankit Panchal, Anthony Burchell, Anton Vlasenko, Ari Stathopoulos, Bruno Ribaric, Carolina Nymark, Daisy Olsen, Daniel Richards, Daria, David Anderson, David Biňovec, David Herrera, Dominik Schilling, Ella van Durpe, Enchiridion, Evan Mullins, Gary Jones, George Mamadashvili, Greg Ziółkowski, Héctor Prieto, ianmjones, Jb Audras, Jeff Bowen, Joe Dolson, Joen A., John Blackbourn, Jonathan Desrosiers, JuanMa Garrido, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Kai Hao, Kapil Paul, Kerry Liu, Kevin Fodness, Marcus Kazmierczak, Mark-k, Matt, Michael Adams (mdawaffe), Mike Schroder, moch11, Mukesh Panchal, Nik Tsekouras, Paal Joachim Romdahl, Pascal Birchler, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Peter Wilson, Petter Walbø Johnsgård, Radixweb, Rahul Mehta, ramonopoly, ravipatel, Riad Benguella, Robert Anderson, Rodrigo Arias, Sanket Chodavadiya, Sergey Biryukov, Stephen Bernhardt, Stephen Edgar, Steve Henty, terraling, Timothy Jacobs, tmatsuur, TobiasBg, Tonya Mork, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), Vlad T, wb1234, and WFMattR.

by Jonathan Desrosiers at September 09, 2021 03:11 AM under Security

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Last updated:

September 24, 2021 09:30 PM
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