WordPress Planet

July 21, 2018

WPTavern: Gutenberg 3.3 Released, Adds Archives and Recent Comments Blocks

Gutenberg 3.3 is available and continues the trend of refining the user experience, user interface, and tools. Two new Widget blocks have been added, Post Archives and Recent Comments.

Archive and Recent Comments Widget Blocks

If your archives span across multiple months and years, you can configure the block to display as a drop-down menu. Otherwise, the list may be too long and look unwieldy on your site.

Video blocks now have attributes users can can configure for Autoplay, Loop, Muted, and display Playback Controls.

Video Block Attributes

There are a number of enhancements in this release that you can view via the change log.

Considering Gutenberg 3.2 released earlier this month generally completed the MVP or minimum viable product feature set, users can expect more of these types of releases to tie up loose ends and prepare Gutenberg for merge into WordPress 5.0 later this year. 

by Jeff Chandler at July 21, 2018 01:31 AM under gutenberg

July 20, 2018

WPTavern: Karachi to Host First WordCamp in Pakistan Following Cancellation of WordCamp Lahore

photo credit: Bilalhassan88

WordCamp Karachi is happening on August 4, 2018, and organizers are expecting more than 400 attendees. Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan with a population of more than 30 million people. Its airport connects the country to other international cities and smaller cities within Pakistan are available by rail or bus. Organizers behind the camp are overcoming a rocky history that has plagued the planning of WordPress-related events in the country for the past several years.

At the close of 2015, Pakistan was on track to host its first WordCamp in Lahore, building on momentum from the phenomenal growth of the local meetup group. Muhammad Kashif, one of the organizers, was averaging 200-500 attendees at meetups and his team’s application to host WordCamp Lahore was approved for 2016.

The meetup events, which attracted young students, developers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs, had grown so large that Kashif was having to close registration ahead of time because they were exceeding the capacity of the venue. Organizers expected 400-500 attendees at the WordCamp before it was cancelled after several delays near the end of the planning stage.

After contacting the WordPress Community team for the reason why it was cancelled, I received an official response from representative Hugh Lashbrooke:

Sometimes a WordCamp doesn’t make it all the way from pre-planning to being an actual event — occasionally due to logistical challenges, but other times because of broader concerns. In this case, once the WordCamp planning was underway, some tense dynamics arose within the local team. Everyone worked really hard to reach a positive solution, but we weren’t able to move forward with the event in the end.

Cancelling an event is never anyone’s preference, to be clear, but it is also a customary response when it’s clear that collaboration isn’t possible in the short term. Local organizers are always encouraged to reapply as soon as the barriers to collaboration have been resolved.

Lashbrooke also cited issues with the camp’s budget for the venue organizers selected. He said the situation was thoroughly investigated before the camp was cancelled and that they would never take that kind of decision lightly.

WordCamp Lahore organizers gave me a different report on what happened and were disappointed with the decision from the Community Team.

“Representatives from the Foundation cancelled the camp in the last stage based on a complaint from one person out of a community of 3,000 people,” Kashif said. “The Foundation made a direct decision of cancellation without giving me a chance for explanation as the Primary Organizer. I suggested the Foundation conduct a survey from the whole Lahore community to know the facts but they had already made the decision to cancel.”

Kashif claims there was no disagreement between the organizers, because the community member in question, Ahmad Awais, was never part of the original organizing team.

One member of the planning team agreed to speak to me anonymously about why he believes the camp was canceled. He claims that Awais fractured the team after his request to be given a prominent position in the organization was denied.

“Ahmad Awais started hijacking Kashif and his team,” he said. “He was not a lead organizer at all, but on the planning team. Instead of contributing, Ahmad wanted to speak at every meetup and didn’t spend time with organizing team. He broke the team and started pointing fingers at Kashif and the existing organizing team. He was NOT there until WC Lahore was approved. He joined the team after that.”

Multiple leaders from WordCamp Karachi’s 14-person organizing team, who wish to remain anonymous, have reported that Awais also requested to be named keynote speaker and was unhappy with the team after they told him that speaker decisions do not work like that. Several said they feared his retaliation against the camp, given they previously had no recourse with the Community Team after the experience of WordCamp Lahore getting shut down.

Awais is not attending WordCamp Karachi and has declined to answer any questions about WordCamp Lahore due to personal reasons.

Kashif received hundreds of messages from the community after the event in Lahore was cancelled. He had been working since 2013 to bring a WordCamp to the area. He said that while the Community Team was helpful with other queries he had, he was disappointed with how quickly the camp was cancelled.

“I worked tirelessly for years to get a WordCamp to Lahore and grew the community from 430 to 2600 in one year but the Foundation didn’t even give me a chance to explain before canceling WC Lahore, Kashif said. “I am a bit disheartened by that action.”

Kashif is now helping with other WordCamps, including Karachi and NYC. He is also willing to work to re-establish a WordCamp Lahore in the future.

“Like me there are lots of other WordPress enthusiasts in Pakistan who want to participate in WordCamps but not everyone can do that outside of Pakistan due to financial or visa reasons,” Kashif said. “I was accepted as a volunteer in WordCamp Europe but couldn’t join due to visa issues. I have seen so much excitement for WordCamp Karachi in the WordPress community across the whole country. Everyone is willing to help to make it a successful event so that there are more frequent WordCamps in Pakistan. The first one is so important as it will set expectations of outcomes of a WordCamp for people who are new to these events.”

WordCamp Karachi Organizers Aim to Make a Positive Impact on Pakistan

WordCamp Karachi organizers are attempting to move past the Pakistani WordPress community’s checkered history of contention. They are also eager to distance themselves from the conflict that took down WordCamp Lahore.

Usman Khalid, lead organizer of the camp, said he has put in a lot of effort asking organizers and volunteers to work together, regardless of the credit they will receive, and focus on the community.

“I want to spend time on having a positive impact for this country, avoiding any kind of noise,” Khalid said. “The Pakistani WordPress community is vibrant in many ways. We have around 6,000 plus WordPressers in our community, with people who are selling their products and services worldwide.”

Khalid said there are many users in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawer, and Faisalabad who are doing well with WordPress but are not yet connected to the community or participating in meetups and events. People from all over Pakistan will be attending the event as their first exposure to the WordPress community. Sessions will mostly be conducted in English but a few will be mixed with Urdu, the regional language.

Khalid has experienced many growing pains in bringing the event to a community that is new to understanding how WordCamps work. In a country that is notorious for its censorship, WordPress’ mission of democratizing publishing has the potential to change many lives.

“Since this is first Wordcamp, many people even don’t know about it,” Khalid said. “Those who know want to be a speaker, or any lead role that can promote them. When we tell them it doesn’t work like this, they are mostly get annoyed.”

Tech publications around Pakistan have not been exposed to WordCamps either. Khalid said several of them have asked for money in order to cover the story of the event, unaware that the purpose of the camps and meetups is not to translate everything into business but to give back to the community.

“I am simply working to actually deliver first and prove that this community can create a positive impact,” Khalid said. “I am sure after Wordcamp Karachi, the entire community within Pakistan will flourish, regardless of what happened in Lahore.” He said he hopes the next camps will be even more interesting in the future and that WordCamp Karachi will help to create new jobs and more businesses in Pakistan.

by Sarah Gooding at July 20, 2018 11:14 PM under wordcamps

Post Status: Why the makers of Ninja Forms are getting into eCommerce

Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by Brian Krogsgard and co-host Brian Richards.

In this episode, I bring on James Laws and Kevin Stover — cofounders of Saturday Drive, the parent company of Ninja Forms — to discuss why they are entering the world of eCommerce. I found this especially interesting given the market dominance of WooCommerce for general WordPress-based eCommerce needs.

Saturday Drive purchased Exchange, the plugin initially developed by iThemes and then handed off to A.J. Morris, with the intention of making a play for the eCommerce market, much like they did successfully once already for the somewhat-saturated forms market.

Episode Links

Sponsor: Sandhills Development

Sandhills Development makes a suite of excellent plugins to power your WordPress website. Whether you need to sell digital downloads, restrict content, create an affiliate program, or manage an events calendar, they’ve got you covered. Thanks to Sandhills for being a Post Status partner.

by Brian Krogsgard at July 20, 2018 10:29 PM under Business owners

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9.8 Will Significantly Reduce Memory Leak

WordPress 4.9.8 Beta two recently shipped and although much of the focus will be on the “Try Gutenberg” call-out, there’s a patch included that addresses a memory leak that was quite a problem for some users.

When WordPress 4.9.7 shipped, the WordPress.org support forums saw an increase in reports of memory exhausted errors due to the wp_is_stream function.

The bug is actually in PHP and is related to the stream-get-wrappers function. WordPress 4.9.7 increased the number of times it calls the wp_is_stream() function generating the error more often.

After thoughtful conversations within the trac ticket, a patch was created that after further testing, was committed to core. According to Gary Pendergast, the patch does the following.

Bailing if the path isn’t a stream. This isn’t perfect: it’s still possible to trigger the PHP bug, but it does significantly reduce the chances of the bug being encountered. For many WordPress sites (those that don’t have plugins that use streams), it reduces the chance to zero.

If you encountered memory exhaustion errors after installing or upgrading to WordPress 4.9.7, try WordPress 4.9.8 Beta 2 to see if it fixes the issue.

Aside from coming up with a solution, Trac ticket #44532 is a bit refreshing to see. In open source, tickets or issues can get bogged down with suggestions, hypothetical scenarios, and bike-shed commentary.

In this instance, the issue was identified and folks from the community along with core contributors worked together in a focused fashion to create a fix in time for the next point release. The ticket is a good example of what it’s like when open source is firing on all cylinders. 

by Jeff Chandler at July 20, 2018 08:33 PM under open-source

Donncha: WP Super Cache and Cookie Banners

More sites use cookie banners now that the GDPR is active but some are finding that their banners are misbehaving once they enable caching.

This is a similar issue to the one that happened to some page counter plugins in the past. The page counter wouldn’t increment.

When a cookie banner is clicked a cookie is set in the browser so the website knows this visitor has agreed to accept cookies. If the cookie is set then the cookie banner html is not sent to the browser.

I suspect the main issue is that the code that sets and checks if the cookie is set is PHP. Unfortunately because the page is cached then no PHP code is executed, and the cookie banner is displayed because it was originally cached that way.

Since WP Super Cache only knows about certain WordPress cookies it assumes everyone who doesn’t have those cookies is a first time “anonymous” visitor. It doesn’t know about your cookie banner cookie.

You have two options:

  1. Rewrite your cookie banner so it’s completely in Javascript. Do the cookie detection in Javascript and also set the cookie in Javascript. If the cookie banner has been clicked then you need to trigger an action, and other Javascript that is hooked on to that trigger will run and load the tracking cookies.
  2. Modify WP Super Cache so it knows about the cookie your cookie banner uses. Caching won’t work quite as well as before as it’ll be split between visitors who have clicked the cookie banner and those that haven’t. One cached file will display the cookie banner, and the other will not but it will have ad tracking Javascript.

Using Javascript completely is a better solution because it runs in the browser on every page load but that might not be possible every time.

Otherwise, use PHP to get WP Super Cache to play nicely with your existing code:

  1. You’ll need to write a WP Super Cache plugin.
  2. You need to hook into the wp_cache_get_cookies_values cacheaction and add the value of the cookie banner cookie to the end of that string.
  3. Caching can only be performed by simple caching now, unless you’re willing to edit mod_rewrite rules in your .htaccess file.

Something like this will do. Make sure you note the warning about $wp_cache_plugins_dir in the link above about writing these plugins.

function add_cookie_banner_to_cache_cookie( $string ) {
    if ( isset( $_COOKIE['cookie_banner'] ) ) {
        $string .= 'cb,';
    return $string
add_cacheaction( 'wp_cache_get_cookies_values', 'add_cookie_banner_to_cache_cookie' );

Substitute the name of the cookie for your cookie name, change the name of the function, and the text it adds to the string. There is an intentional PHP fatal error in the code above to discourage copy/pasting.

Your cookie banner plugin could automate setting this up, but it may have unforeseen consequences if not done correctly. It should check if $wp_cache_plugins_dir is set already, and use that location, otherwise it will have to make a directory and update the WP Super Cache configuration, where ABC is the new location for the plugins.

wp_cache_setting( 'wp_cache_plugins_dir', ABSPATH . 'wp-content/ABC' );

The new code can be copied into a file in that directory. The files in the original WP Super Cache plugins directory (found at WPCACHEHOME . 'plugins') should be copied into that directory too and a warning shown to the user. They may need to set up one of those plugins again.

The reason it is this convoluted is because this code will run before all of WordPress loads. You can’t rely on blog options or most of the nice configuration tools WordPress provides.

When your plugin is uninstalled it should of course restore the plugins directory to the way it was before.

For future reference, since cookie banners will hopefully not be around forever, here’s what they looked like in the deep, distant past of 2018. 🙂

The LA Times just gave up and don’t show anything to EU visitors.

Related Posts


by Donncha at July 20, 2018 01:33 PM under wp-super-cache

July 19, 2018

WPTavern: First Look at “Try Gutenberg” Prompt in WordPress 4.9.8 Beta 2

WordPress 4.9.8 Beta 2 was released today, featuring the new “Try Gutenberg” prompt that will appear in user dashboards when the official release drops at the end of the month.

The prompt invites users to install Gutenberg if they want to try the new editor or install the Classic Editor to keep using the current editor until they are ready to make the change. WordPress contributors discussed variations on the design and wording of the callout and finally settled on what you see in 4.9.8 Beta 2.

Even if users don’t get involved in Gutenberg testing, the callout serves to inform them that the new editor will be enabled by default in the next major release of WordPress. It includes a link to the Gutenberg information page so users can learn more about the project.

Contributors agreed that they wanted to clearly communicate three important points in the callout, as per designer @kjellr’s suggestions on trac:

  1. Gutenberg is coming in the next major release.
  2. If you’re worried about compatibility, there’s a plugin to help ease the transition.
  3. The plugin lets you use the editor you’re used to until you’re ready to switch.

The prompt is clearly geared towards encouraging users to test Gutenberg, as that section has a more prominent, colored button. If your clients’ installations are not ready for users to act on the “Try Gutenberg” prompt, now is the time to install a plugin that will disable it. Clients with free-range of the WordPress admin, in sites that are running Gutenberg-compatible extensions, are better candidates for testing the new editor.

The Classic Editor Addon is one option that will suppress the prompt and automatically suppress Gutenberg when it ships in WordPress 5.0. It was also recently updated to auto-install the Classic Editor plugin as a dependency so users don’t have to install two plugins as part of the process.

A release candidate is slated for July 24, and the official 4.9.8 release is scheduled for July 31st. The Gutenberg plugin is currently sitting at 10,000+ active installations and the Classic Editor at 5,000+. After 4.9.8 is released, changes in these numbers will demonstrate how WordPress users across the globe are responding to the call for testing.

by Sarah Gooding at July 19, 2018 09:48 PM under gutenberg

WPTavern: Insight Into How North Carolina State Is Preparing for Gutenberg

Jennifer McFarland, the web services coordinator for the North Carolina State Office of Information Technology (OIT), recently did an interview with Technician, the official student newspaper of NC State University.

Since Gutenberg’s announcement in December of 2017, McFarland has published a series of articles on the NC State Office of Information Technology website educating staff and students on what to expect.

McFarland was asked how the team plans to help staff and students after Gutenberg ships with WordPress.

“A couple of times a year, we go and speak at various classes, professors will have us come out and do demos of WordPress,” McFarland told the Technician.

“We are expecting an uptake of people requesting us to come out and do a demo of WordPress or something like that, but generally our plan right now, at least for students, is mostly just offer the sort of self-help, like the video tutorials and things like that, and we figure that the students will mostly try and solve their own problems.”

Speaking of McFarland, she and Brian DeConinck presented on Gutenberg at WPCampus 2018. The videos from the event are still being processed but we’ll add a link to the presentation once it becomes available.

It’s pretty cool to see people in McFarland’s position in higher education already have a firm grasp of Gutenberg and doing what they can to ease the transition for staff and students

by Jeff Chandler at July 19, 2018 12:27 AM under nc state

July 18, 2018

WPTavern: Meet Bernhard Kau, Local Lead Organizer of WordCamp Europe 2019 in Berlin

Bernhard Kau, a WordPress developer, meetup organizer, and four-time organizer of WordCamp Berlin, is the local lead organizer for the next WordCamp Europe. Kau will join Milan Ivanović, the global lead, at the helm of WordCamp Europe in Berlin next June.

Kau submitted an application with his team to host WCEU and won out over a competing application from the WordPress community in Barcelona. The selection team cited Berlin’s accessibility, reasonable prices, and its strong community as the final deciding factors.

Berlin’s monthly WordPress meetups have 1,300 members. The community also holds dedicated meetups for beginners, developers, and women in WordPress. Five WordCamps have been organized in Berlin since 2010.

“Compared to other communities in Europe, we are a community that is very likely to travel to other cities to attend meetups and other WordCamps,” Kau said. “We usually only have one or two WordCamps per year in Germany but then usually all the German community members travel to that city to attend the WordCamp. Whereas in Spain, for example, they had 11 WordCamps this year that are more local and smaller. As a German community we are more used to traveling to a central place and meeting there.”

What to Expect at WCEU in Berlin: A Diverse Community, More Workshops, and a Unique After Party

The Estrel Hotel and Congress Center will host the entire event, including both conference days, the contributor day, and the after party. Although the venue has a max capacity of 12,000 people, Kau said organizers are planning for 2,500 – 3,000 attendees. The local team is excited to introduce the European WordPress community to their home city.

“Berlin is one of the most diverse cities in Europe,” Kau said. “When I prepared the application, I figured out that there are people from 191 countries living in Berlin. It’s a very international, very diverse city, so you can be just as you are and feel quite comfortable and welcome in Berlin.”

Kau said organizers intend to continue with workshops as a part of the event in 2019 but they are planning to make the signup experience more efficient.

“This was the first year we tried workshops,” Kau said. “We had three workshop tracks and workshops of 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and three hours. We are not sure how many workshops we want to have in Berlin. The idea was new but turned out quite well. There were workshops with many people waiting to get in and from what I’ve heard it was quite good.”

Kau said he wants to improve the process for workshops, because there was no easy way for attendees to sign up and managing waiting lists was a lot of manual work for the content team. This is one bottleneck from the most recent WCEU experience that he hopes to rectify.

“There is also something special planned but I don’t want to spoil it,” Kau said. “It’s going to be a very unique after party to say the least.” Although Berlin is renowned for its legendary nightlife, Kau said he doesn’t anticipate the party lasting all night.

“We’re probably not going to make it Berlin-typical until 10 in the morning but it’s going to be a bit longer than maybe here [Belgrade] or in Paris where people were kicked at at 3:30,” he said.

The call for applications for organizers is still open. Within 24 hours of announcing Berlin as the next host city, the team had already received 27 applications. The application window closes July 31, 2018.

Check out the full interview below to learn more about the German WordPress community and what they have planned for WCEU 2019.

by Sarah Gooding at July 18, 2018 08:18 PM under WordCamp Europe

WPTavern: WP-CLI Hack Day Friday, July 20th

WP-CLI or WordPress Command Line Interface has become an integral tool for developers to launch and manage sites. To encourage new contributors to the project, Alain Schlesser is organizing the first WP-CLI Hack Day, Friday, July 20th beginning at 08:00 CEST.

Schlesser and other contributors will be available in the WP-CLI Slack channel all day and on the project’s GitHub site to answer questions and help people contribute to the project.

From 16:00-18:00 CEST, Schlesser will host a video call that’s open to everyone where people can join in, discuss issues, and visually work through pull requests. The goal is to reach 20 pull requests that have been merged during the event. A post on Make/CLI  blog will be published once WP-CLI Hack Day concludes summarizing any progress that was made.

To prepare prospecting contributors for the event, Schlesser has published a detailed guide on how to contribute to WP-CLI.

Folks can follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #hackwpcli. If Hack CLI Day is successful, more events will likely be created in the future to cover more time zones.

by Jeff Chandler at July 18, 2018 04:47 PM under wp-cli

HeroPress: Making A Safe Place

Pull Quote: The WordPress community is, slowly but surely, helping me get rid of my ingrown fear of the unknown, of others.

Being a remote worker makes it easy to hide from a world that you find scary or dangerous. If you’re never in the presence of other people they can’t hit you. Retreat becomes so easy. Marius Jensen from Sola, Norway grew up in a society that did not care for him, and made him want to hide from the world forever.

The WordPress community gave him a safe place to talk to people online, and after time, in person. WordCamps became a place of safety and compassion. This isn’t the case for all people, but it is for many people, in many places. Check out Marius’ essay from last July, about finding a safe place.

Becoming Myself Again

The post Making A Safe Place appeared first on HeroPress.

July 18, 2018 08:00 AM under Replay

July 17, 2018

WPTavern: iThemes Enters the Hosting Space

iThemes is getting into the hosting business after launching three plans that take advantage of its relationship with Liquid Web. The plans are finely tuned around the company’s products and come with free SSL certificates.

I reached out to Cory Miller, Founder of iThemes to figure out why they’ve entered the hosting space, what it means to be able to control the user experience of their products from the top-down, and how their plans compare to those from hosts that offer Jetpack Premium.

Interview With Cory Miller

What does it mean for you and iThemes to be able to control the user experience from the top-down?

In short, it means a better overall experience for our customers. For more than 10 years, we’ve dealt with most of the hosts, especially the ones offering catered WordPress offerings, and it has been a terribly frustrating experience for us trying to troubleshoot problems and help our mutual customers.

Additionally, we’ve long said you have to have two things to be our customer: WordPress and web hosting. Now we install WordPress for you, along with SSL, essentially with a click on our own hosting.

How would you compare iThemes hosting packages to hosts that offer Jetpack Premium services as part of their plans?

The thing that sticks out for me is having everything under one brand and team. But we think using iThemes Sync Pro as the hosting control panel gives us a significant edge for our customers to do more with their WP sites, in particular, our reporting features in Sync Pro.

Now our customers can get WP backups, security, site management and in-depth reporting all from one dashboard, along with their hosting. With our Business plan, they get BackupBuddy, our WordPress backup plugin; iThemes Security Pro, our WordPress security plugin & iThemes Sync Pro all in one. Plus they get an awesome team of WordPress pros for support if they need help or have any issues.

What are you most looking forward too offering these hosting packages specifically tuned for iThemes products and WordPress?

The actual implementation of the vision of offering the key essentials we think people want and need, along with a roadmap to do more, from our team at iThemes. It was one of the motivators for joining the Liquid Web family — the ability to finally do what we’ve always wanted to do for our customers, offering a more complete experience for them, from us.

Were there any challenges that you overcame when putting these packages together?

The main one that comes to mind is trying to ensure we offer what people actually want and will buy. But there was several months of hard work by our team and others to get this launched. Some long nights to pull all the pieces together in order to do this, with many more to come.

Prices range from $15 per month to $25 per month billed on an annual basis. New customers can take advantage of a coupon code on the site to purchase the Business plan, normally $25 for $15.

by Jeff Chandler at July 17, 2018 11:19 PM under liquid web

WPTavern: WooCommerce Custom Product Tables Plugin Now in Beta, Boasts 30% Faster Page Loads

WooCommerce is celebrating 10th years of Woo this week. Over the past several years WooCommerce has grown to become a dominant player among e-commerce solutions on the web. E-commerce Usage Distribution stats from BuiltWith currently rank WooCommerce as the most commonly used platform for stores in the top 1 million sites.

Performance and scalability were the main focuses for the WooCommerce development team last year and these issues continue to be top priority. Version 3.0, released in April 2017, included significant performance improvements when WooCommerce switched from post meta to taxonomies for features like product visibility, featured products, and out of stock products. It also introduced CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) classes for developers, making it easier to write and retrieve data from the database with less code.

Building on the CRUD work done last year, WooCommerce has just announced the beta of its new Custom Products Tables plugin. It replaces the WooCommerce product Data Store with new, dedicated product tables for significant reductions in page load time across shop, checkout, and admin pages.

“The results, so far, have been great – with improvements of up to 30% on page load times!” WooCommerce engineer Gerhard Potgieter said. “Checkout, arguably the most important part of the store experience, has seen the biggest performance gains.”

The WooCommerce development team tested the plugin’s impact on performance using two identical stores running the Storefront theme and no additional plugins. They created a data set of 500 products using the WooCommerce Smooth Generator, and both stores had 70,000 orders in the database and meta data in the range of 1.4 million rows.

image credit: WooCommerce Development Blog

The Custom Product Tables plugin is not ready for use in production but developers can download version 1 and test it against WooCommerce 3.5 dev (switch to the master branch).

Getting the plugin rolled into WooCommerce core is an exciting update on the horizon, as faster page loads generally improve conversion for store owners. WooCommerce engineers anticipate releasing the plugin on WordPress.org as the next step. They plan to include the new product tables in a major version update early next year.

by Sarah Gooding at July 17, 2018 08:20 PM under woocommerce

WPTavern: New WordPress Feature Plugin Adds Support for Progressive Web Apps

WordPress contributors are working on getting support for Progressive Web Apps (PWA) into core. A new PWA feature plugin is now available on WordPress.org, spearheaded by the teams at XWP, Google, and Automattic.

Progressive Web Apps are applications that run on the web but provide a speedy app-like experience inside a mobile browser. Google describes them as having the following three qualities:

  • Reliable – Load instantly and never show the downasaur, even in uncertain network conditions
  • Fast – Respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling
  • Engaging – Feel like a natural app on the device, with an immersive user experience

The plugin adds support for technologies that PWAs require, including Service Workers, a Web App Manifest, and HTTPS. These technologies support functions like background syncing, offline content, push notifications, mobile home screen icon, and other PWA features.

XWP CTO Weston Ruter said the purpose of the feature plugin is to curate PWA capabilities for proposed merging into core. The idea is to merge them piece by piece. Core tickets are already in process for adding support for web app manifests and support for service workers, as well as bringing improvements to HTTPS.

“This PWA feature plugin is intended to equip and facilitate other plugins which implement PWA features,” Ruter said. “It’s not intended to negate any existing plugins with these features, but rather to allow such plugins (and themes) to work together seamlessly and expand upon them.”

The first release of the plugin on WordPress.org (v0.1.0) adds support for web app manifests and initial support for allowing theme and plugin developers to register scripts for service workers via wp_register_service_worker(). It also includes an API for detecting whether HTTPS is available.

“A next step for service workers in the PWA feature plugin is to integrate Workbox to provide a declarative WordPress PHP abstraction for managing the caching strategies for routes, with support for detecting conflicts,” Ruter said. Anyone who is interested to contribute to PWA support for WordPress can check out the discussions and plugin on GitHub.

In the past, app-like experiences were only available for sites and services that had their own native mobile apps, but native apps can be costly to develop and maintain. Progressive web apps use the greater web as their platform and are quick to spin up. They make content easier to access on mobile even without an internet connection. It’s also far easier to tap a home screen icon than to enter a URL on mobile, and this makes users more likely to engage with their favorite sites.

PWA Stats is a site that features case studies of progressive web apps that have significantly increased performance, engagement, and conversion. A few compelling examples include:

PWA support in WordPress will enable the plugin and theme ecosystems to work together in providing site owners with more engaging ways to connect with their visitors. Once the market starts building on core support, site owners should soon be able to offer better experiences for mobile users without having to become experts in the technologies that power progressive web apps.

by Sarah Gooding at July 17, 2018 12:16 AM under pwa

July 16, 2018

Dev Blog: Quarterly Updates | Q2 2018

To keep everyone aware of big projects and efforts across WordPress contributor teams, I’ve reached out to each team’s listed representatives. I asked each of them to share their Top Priority (and when they hope for it to be completed), as well as their biggest Wins and Worries. Have questions? I’ve included a link to each team’s site in the headings.


  • Contacted: @rianrietveld, @joedolson, @afercia
  • Priority: Working to make sure that Gutenberg is reasonably accessible prior to merge. ETA is before 5.0
  • Struggle: Lack of developers and accessibility experts to help test and code the milestone issues. The team is doing outreach to help solve this problem.
  • Big Win: Interest from companies like The Paciello Group and Tenon.io to help out with Gutenberg code review and testing tools.


  • Contacted: @danielbachhuber, @schlessera
  • Priority: Very first global Hack Day is coming up July 20. Version 2.0.0 is still in progress (new ETA is end of July).
  • Struggle: The team continues to need new contributors. The current team is tiny but tough.
  • Big Win: WP-CLI is currently one of the project’s four main focuses, as mentioned in the Summer Update at WordCamp Europe.


  • Contacted: @francina, @hlashbrooke
  • Priority: Focusing on smoothing out the processes in our community management by building up our team of volunteers and establishing what tools we need to keep things running well. ETA is ongoing.
  • Struggle: Our two biggest struggles at the moment are tracking what we need to get done, and making final decisions on things. There is current work on the tools available to assist with tracking progress.
  • Big Win: After making a concerted effort to get more contributors on the Community Team, we now have a much larger group of volunteers working as deputies and WordCamp mentors


  • Contacted: @jeffpaul
  • Priority: Following the WordCamp Europe summer update (and the companion post here), the team is getting Gutenberg (the new WordPress editing experience) into a strong state for the 5.0 release. Potential ETA as soon as August.
  • Struggle: Coordinating momentum and direction as we start seeing more contributors offering their time. Still working our way through open issues. The team is starting multiple bug scrubs each week to work through these more quickly and transparently.
  • Big Win: Had a sizable release in 4.9.6 which featured major updates around privacy tools and functionality in Core.


  • Contacted: @melchoyce, @karmatosed, @boemedia, @joshuawold, @mizejewski
  • Priority: Better on-boarding of new contributors, especially creating better documentation. ETA is end of July.
  • Struggle: It’s hard to identify reasonably small tasks for first-time contributors.
  • Big Win: The team is much more organized now which has helped clear out the design backlog, bring in new contributors, and also keep current contributors coming back. Bonus: Joshua Wold will co-lead the upcoming release.


  • Contacted: @kenshino
  • Priority: Opening up the work on HelpHub to new contributors and easing the onboarding process. No ETA.
  • Struggle: Some blockers with making sure the code and database can be ready to launch on https://wordpress.org/support/
  • Big Win: The first phase of HelpHub creation is complete, which means content updates (current info, more readable, easier discovery), internal search, design improvements, and REST API endpoints.


  • Contacted: @mikeschroder, @jadonn
  • Priority: Preparing hosts for supporting Gutenberg, especially support questions they’re likely to see when the “Try Gutenberg” callout is released. ETA July 31st, then before WordPress 5.0
  • Struggle: Most contributions are still made a by a small team of volunteers. Seeing a few more people join, but progress is slow.
  • Big Win: New team members and hosting companies have joined the #hosting-community team and have started contributing.


  • Contacted: @bridgetwillard
  • Priority: Continuing to write and publish case studies from the community. ETA is ongoing.
  • Struggle: No current team struggles.
  • Big Win: Wrote and designed a short Contributor Day onboarding card. It was used at Contributor Day at WCEU and onboarding time went down to 1 hour instead of 3 hours.

Meta (WordPress.org Site)

  • Contacted: @tellyworth, @coffee2code
  • Priority: Reducing manual work around the contributor space (theme review, GDPR/privacy, plugin review). ETA for small wins is end of quarter, larger efforts after that.
  • Struggle: Maintaining momentum on tickets. There are also some discussions about updating the ticket management process across teams that use the Meta trac system.
  • Big Win: The new About page launched and has been translated across most locale sites.


  • Contacted: @elibud
  • Priority: Getting Gutenberg in the mobile applications. ETA is late December.
  • Struggle: Consuming the Gutenberg source in the ReactNative app directly. More info can be found here: https://make.wordpress.org/mobile/2018/07/09/next-steps-for-gutenberg-mobile/
  • Big Win: The WordPress mobile applications now fully support right-to-left languages and are compliant with the latest standards for accessibility.


  • Contacted: @ipstenu
  • Priority: Clearing ~8,000 unused plugins from the queues. Likely ETA is September.
  • Struggles: Had to triage a lot of false claims around plugins offering GDPR compliance.
  • Big Win: Released 4.9.6 and updated expectations with plugin authors. Huge thanks to the Core Privacy team for their hard work on this.


  • Contacted: @petya, @ocean90, @nao, @chantalc, @deconf, @casiepa
  • Priority: Keep WordPress releases translated to 100% and then concentrate on the top 100 plugins and themes. ETA is ongoing.
  • Struggle: Getting new PTEs fast enough, and complex tools/systems. Overall, the volume of strings awaiting approval.


  • Contacted: @clorith
  • Priority: Getting ready for the Gutenberg callout (it got pushed last quarter). Needing a better presence on the official support forums, and outreach for that is underway, ETA end of July. 
  • Struggle: Keeping contributors participating post-contributor days/drives. Considering the creation of a dedicated post-contributor day survey to get some insight here.
  • Big Win: The increase in international liaisons joining for weekly meetings, helping bring the wider support community together.

Theme Review


  • Contacted: @valendesigns (but usually @jeffpaul)
  • Priority: Storing PHPCompatibilty results inside the WordPress.org API and building a UI to display those results, an endpoint to request an audit is required for this work to continue.
  • Struggle: Development has dramatically slowed down while team members are on leave or pulled into internal client work.
  • Big Win: Migration to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) from Amazon Web Services (AWS) is complete and the audit servers have all been rewritten in Go. (This allows us to be faster with greater capacity and less cost.)


  • Contacted: @bethsoderberg, @juliek
  • Priority: Lesson plan production. ETA is ongoing.
  • Struggle: The workflow is a little complex, so recruiting and training enough contributors to keep the process moving is a struggle.
  • Big Win: WordCamp Europe’s Contributor Day was very productive. New tools/workflow are in place and two team representatives were there to lead and help.

Interested in updates from the first quarter of this year? You can find those here: https://make.wordpress.org/updates/2018/04/24/quarterly-updates-q1-2018/

by Josepha at July 16, 2018 02:50 PM under Updates

July 14, 2018

WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2018 Draws 2,085 Attendees, Organizers Look Ahead to 2019 in Berlin

photo credit: WCEU Photography Team

WordCamp Europe closed out a successful event in Belgrade with 2,085 attendees from 76 countries. More than 800 others joined via livestream for a total audience of nearly 3,000 participants. A record-setting Contributor Day kicked off the event, followed by two days of conference sessions and workshops from 65 speakers.

A team of 54 organizers and 170 volunteers made WCEU possible, with 10 different organizing teams. Last year WordCamp Europe added a PR team and this year the event introduced an Attendee Services team to fill gaps in the organization. The operation ran smoothly, despite the conference being spread out across many rooms in the sprawling Sava Centar venue.

WordCamp Europe’s PWA (progressive web app) was the highlight of the new features and services introduced this year. It was a central hub for keeping attendees informed on what was happening at any given moment. Organizers also added new amenities, including a site health check station, Community Room, and info booth to handle attendee questions.

Gutenberg and Progressive web apps were the hot topics of this year’s WordCamp Europe. In addition to Matt Mullenweg unveiling a roadmap for Gutenberg’s inclusion in core, a strong contingent of designers and engineers from the team were present to educate attendees on Gutenberg’s architecture and the vision behind the project.

Many attendees were visiting Serbia for the first time and Belgrade delivered with its renowned hospitality and captivating nightlife. Attendees found no shortage of delicious options for food and drink.

Berlin to Host WordCamp Europe 2019

At the conclusion of the event, organizers announced Berlin as the next host city for WordCamp Europe, June 20-22, 2019. The conference, Contributor Day, and the after party will all be held at the Estrel Hotel and Congress Center, a venue with a capacity for 12,000 attendees.

Organizers said that Berlin’s accessibility, reasonable prices, and strong community were the final deciding factors for its selection as the next host city.

Behind the Scenes at WordCamp Europe 2018 with Lead Organizers Jenny Beaumont and Milan Ivanović

Hosting a volunteer-led event at this scale requires an enormous amount of effort from the organizers, especially those taking the lead for multiple years in a row. There is nearly no down time as the team is already planning for the next edition of the camp.

I sat down with lead organizers Jenny Beaumont, the global lead, and Milan Ivanović, the local lead, to get a look behind the scenes at what is involved in bringing WordCamp Europe to thousands of WordPress enthusiasts in one weekend. We interviewed them at the conclusion of WCEU 2017 in Paris. Over the past two years these leaders have developed a strong working relationship built on encouraging each other and keeping a positive outlook for their teams.

Beaumont said she was hesitant going into a third year for this role, as Paris was the project that captured her heart and motivation. After going through this event as the global lead, she said she discovered what she could bring to the role and how she could serve the team.

“The event has been their project,” Beaumont said. “My project this year has been the team, how I can really concentrate on this team, on its growth, on its health, on its sustainability. That’s what I learned in Paris – the importance of making sure that was part of the project.”

Beaumont and Ivanović explained the difference between the global and local lead roles, a structure that works well for flagship WordCamps.

“The local team is really about making it a good experience in this new place that everybody is going to be discovering for the first time,” Beaumont said. “It’s the hard work, it’s the logistics, it’s all of the small details, everything that’s behind the scenes that make it so you walk in as an attendee and it just feels like you’re at home. They do all of that hard work. The global role, as it has evolved, is really about being that sort of team care-giver, making sure that there is good communication happening, making sure the team is healthy and happy and motivated. Because you’ve got to get up and do this every day while you’re also doing your day job, and that takes a lot.”

WordCamp Europe had a strong impact on the local community with more than 400 Serbian attendees and 20 Serbian organizers. They worked to build awareness of WordPress in the local community ahead of the event.

“We used this event to grow our community and used our community to promote the event,” Ivanović said. “When we announced last year in Paris that Belgrade is going to be next, at that time we had five or six cities for WordPress meetups. Currently, we are in 14 cities and starting the 15th in July. WordCamp Europe and the conference itself was such a win for the whole community.”

Ivanović will return next year as the global lead for WCEU in Berlin. Beaumont is taking some time off after three years organizing WordCamp Paris and WordCamp Europe, but she hopes to return in some capacity in the future. They are working together with their team to publish a WordCamp Europe handbook that covers some of the important specifics of the event for upcoming teams. Check out the full interview in the video below.

by Sarah Gooding at July 14, 2018 12:24 AM under WordCamp Europe

July 12, 2018

WPTavern: Array Launches Free Gutenberg-Ready Atomic Blocks Theme on WordPress.org

Mike McAlister and the team at Array Themes have fully embraced Gutenberg and are one of the first shops on the scene with a free WordPress theme designed specifically to work with the new editor. The Atomic Blocks theme is now available on WordPress.org with minimal styling and seamless support for all core content and media blocks.

The theme allows users to control the width of the content area to create full-screen posts and pages. It supports full-screen images, videos, and galleries, showcasing the new editor’s wide alignment styles for content. Atomic Blocks includes Customizer options for uploading a logo, customizing the font style, setting body and title font sizes, and selecting an accent color.

Check out the theme’s demo to see the blocks in action: https://preview.arraythemes.com/atomicblocks.

The theme also seamlessly supports McAlister’s new Atomic Blocks project, a collection of page-building blocks included in the accompanying Atomic Blocks plugin. It currently includes blocks for creating a post grid, call-to-action, testimonials, inline notices, sharing icons, author profiles, accordions, customizable buttons, drop caps, and spacer/dividers, with many more blocks planned.

“I knew Gutenberg was going to be a game changer from the second I saw it and started hashing out product ideas in October 2017,” McAlister said. “To me, it felt like a very natural evolution and transition for WordPress into a more forward-thinking content creator. All of the tools outside of WordPress are evolving and becoming better and easier to use and WordPress is starting to feel quite dated in comparison.”

McAlister said his team is building Atomic Blocks into a full-fledged content block solution that will include a commercial version in the future.

“We have a long list of blocks that we’ll be releasing into the plugin in the coming months — everything from eCommerce to email marketing to full-page layouts,” he said. “There will definitely be a commercial version of the plugin for those extra awesome blocks that will take your site to the next level.”

McAlister is keeping Atomic Blocks separate from Array Themes but plans to cross promote between the two. He also plans to update the Array themes collection to support the blocks found in the plugin.

“Atomic Blocks aims to solve a different problem in a different way than the traditional WordPress themes you’ll find on Array,” McAlister said. “By launching it separately from Array Themes, it gave me the opportunity to diversify my projects a bit and create a dedicated marketing stream for a Gutenberg solution.”

Many products in the Array Themes catalog are already working with the new editor, but McAlister and his team intend to provide more in-depth support for specific Gutenberg features in themes where appropriate.

“We’ve stayed fiercely committed to beautiful design, simplicity, and core coding standards and practices to ensure wide-spread support and compatibility with our themes,” McAlister said. “While this has served us well, we are all ready for a core-supported solution to providing a better experience for our customers. Gutenberg will solve this problem by providing a cohesive, unified way of extending content creation with a core user interface. Gutenberg is quite extensible as is, and will only grow more capable with time.”

McAlister said one of the most challenging aspects of launching Atomic Blocks has been keeping pace with Gutenberg’s rapid development, requiring the team to follow multiple conversations across various WordPress core development discussion channels.

“I followed Gutenberg development closely during the second half of last year and then started developing Atomic Blocks for Gutenberg early this year,” McAlister said. “You have to follow the Github repo, Make blog posts, and Slack conversations closely to keep up with the changes, deprecations, and feature additions. Luckily, now that features are being frozen, the code is churning less and things are starting to stabilize.”

In order to keep up with all the news and changes, McAlister started the Gutenberg News site to collect helpful resources, tutorials, and code snippets he found. The site contains more than 200 links to resources for both beginners and developers.

McAlister predicts that Gutenberg will bring a greater separation between the roles of themes and plugins in the site-building experience.

“The demand for themes will certainly begin to change more drastically in the long term,” he said. “Traditional WordPress themes will still be desirable for a number of years, simply due to the number of sites out there and the solutions needed to build them. Eventually, much of what can be provided by a theme will be provided by blocks via a plugin instead. Themes will still be responsible for providing a degree of styling and functionality that will remain critical to the site-building experience, but they will take a secondary role to content blocks.”

Gutenberg will inevitably change the landscape of the theme industry, but McAlister sees it as a chance to reach customers in a new way.

“Theme designers and developers should be excited about this opportunity and not feel threatened by Gutenberg,” McAlister said. “This is a fantastic opportunity to learn a new set of skills, attract a new segment of customers, and start pivoting to a block-based product model.”

by Sarah Gooding at July 12, 2018 10:33 PM under gutenberg

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 323 – Recap of WordCamp Grand Rapids and A Gutenberg Road Map

In this episode, John James Jacoby recaps his trip to WordCamp Grand Rapids and shares his experience. WordCamp Grand Rapids had a strong focus on tools, plugins, and themes and by all accounts, was a successful event.

We discussed Matt Mullenweg’s Summertime update, the roadmap for merging Gutenberg into core, and what comes after Gutenberg. We shared our thoughts on Automattic’s new board member, General Ann Dunwoody and speculated on Automattic’s vision.

We wrap up the show by talking about generational divides in WordPress.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress 4.9.7 Security and Maintenance Release
Update on Gutenberg
What’s New in Gutenberg? (6th July)
Automattic’s First New Board Member: General Ann Dunwoody
Block Unit Test Plugin Helps WordPress Theme Developers Prepare for Gutenberg
Generational divides in WordPress

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, July 18th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Itunes

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via RSS

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Stitcher Radio

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Google Play

Listen To Episode #323:

by Jeff Chandler at July 12, 2018 12:42 AM under wordcamp grand rapids

July 11, 2018

WPTavern: Video: A Quick Introduction to Gutenberg and the New WordPress Block Editor from LinkedIn Learning

Although WordPress developers and professionals have been inundated with Gutenberg news for more than a year, there’s a whole wide world of users who will learn about the project for the first time when 4.9.8 includes a “Try Gutenberg” prompt in the admin. If you haven’t been following the news closely and are wondering what all of this Gutenberg talk is about, Morten Rand-Hendriksen provides a succinct introduction to the new editor that is coming in WordPress 5.0.

The video was created as part of LinkedIn’s WordPress Essentials Training course. The first part explains the basic concept of a block and includes a mini tour of the new interface, followed by a short overview of where the Gutenberg project is going in the future.

by Sarah Gooding at July 11, 2018 11:04 PM under gutenberg

WPTavern: WordCamp Ticket Sales Move from PayPal to Stripe for Default Payment Gateway

The WordPress Community Team announced an update to the CampTix, the plugin used for selling WordCamp tickets, that makes Stripe the default payment method. The gateway was previously available as a beta plugin and could be enabled on a per-site basis but is now available to all WordCamps.

When proposing Stripe as the default payment gateway in April, Hugh Lashbrooke cited the fact that PayPal is entirely blocked and inaccessible in some countries. He also identified Stripe’s simpler UI and larger number of supported currencies as its chief advantages.

PayPal has been the default for years on WordCamp websites but it currently supports only 26 currencies. Stripe supports 136 currencies, allowing WordCamp organizers to offer ticket purchases in more places than before. Previously, some communities were forced to build a local gateway integration to sell WordCamp tickets via PayPal, requiring those sales to be inconveniently funneled through a local bank account. The Stripe gateway option is a welcome update to support WordPress’ growing international community, which held camps in 73 countries in 2017.

It’s important to note that Stripe isn’t fully replacing PayPal. The Camptix plugin allows organizers to activate multiple payment gateways for cases where one or both make more sense, retaining the flexibility to support ticket sales at camps with different payment requirements.

by Sarah Gooding at July 11, 2018 06:02 PM under wordcamps

HeroPress: Translating For Love

Pull Quote: I started translating WordPress so that my seven-year-old daughter can share her personal stories.

We all have our reasons for the things we do. Money, love, orders, etc. Vladimir Petkov started using WordPress because it solved a problem. As the years went by it continued to solve problems, and he continued to use it. His time to give back didn’t arrive until much later though.

His 7 year old daughter wanted a blog, and WordPress wasn’t completely translated into her language. So Vladimir learned how to translate WordPress, so his little girl (and every other Bulgarian speaker) can use their voice to speak to the world.

Why do you give back to WordPress? If you’d like more info about how you can (no coding required!) drop a note in the comments.

Also, check out Vladimir’s essay.


The post Translating For Love appeared first on HeroPress.

July 11, 2018 12:13 PM under Replay

July 10, 2018

WPTavern: Video: Matt Mullenweg’s Summertime Update At WCEU 2018

Sessions from WordCamp Europe 2018 are making their way onto WordPress.tv, including Matt Mullenweg’s Summertime Update.

In the video, Mullenweg shares the progress that’s been made on Gutenberg, WordPress core development, a Gutenberg road map for including it into core, and what to expect after WordPress 5.0 is released.

Be sure to watch the video to the end to catch the memorable, GDPR cookie joke.

by Jeff Chandler at July 10, 2018 11:56 PM under keynote

WPTavern: WPCampus Will Be Streamed Live For Free July 13-14

WPCampus, a conference focused on WordPress in higher-education takes place this week between July 12-14 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

If you’re unable to attend in-person or would like to watch the event from home, visit the WPCampus Stream page. Beginning July 13th at 9AM CDT, all general sessions will be streamed live for free. Sessions will be recorded and be available after the event as well.

To see a list of sessions taking place, check out the event’s schedule and for more information about WPCampus, visit the site’s about page.

by Jeff Chandler at July 10, 2018 11:36 PM under wpcampus

WPTavern: New Classic Editor Addon Plugin Disables the “Try Gutenberg” Prompt Coming in WordPress 4.9.8

photo credit: Hermes Rivera

Gutenberg development continues along the roadmap Matt Mullenweg announced at WordCamp Europe with WordPress 4.9.8 set to introduce a “Try Gutenberg” prompt to increase usage and testing. Core design contributors are currently working on a few new iterations of the callout. They are also considering including a section inside the prompt with an option to install the Classic Editor plugin in preparation for Gutenberg.

Developers and agencies have time to install the Classic Editor on client sites that are not ready for Gutenberg, but this will not prevent users from seeing the “Try Gutenberg” prompt. Greg Schoppe, one of Gutenberg’s most outspoken critics, partnered with Pieter Bos to develop a plugin called Classic Editor Addon that changes how the Classic Editor plugin works.

“For agencies supporting many sites, whose users have no way of knowing whether Gutenberg will break their site or not, this nag screen is a danger,” Schoppe commented on our most recent Gutenberg update. “Pre-emptively installing Classic Editor unfortunately won’t suppress the nag notice either, but since Classic Editor is being used as a bellwether of the success of Gutenberg, it’s important that you install it, if you expect issues.”

Schoppe co-wrote the Classic Editor Addon to solve this problem. It suppresses the “Try Gutenberg” prompt and when the new editing experience ships in 5.0, it will automatically suppress Gutenberg as well.

Since the Classic Editor plugin doesn’t remove Gutenberg by default, the addon plugin sets the option to fully replace Gutenberg. It also removes the Classic Editor’s options from the Settings > Writing screen. Schoppe said he believes this is what the Classic Editor plugin should have done out of the box, instead of requiring the user to find the settings screen to replace Gutenberg.

Installing both the Classic Editor and Classic Editor Addon on tens or hundreds of client sites could be time consuming, so Schoppe suggests using a site management dashboard, such as MainWP, ManageWP, or Jetpack, to bulk install both plugins for clients.

According to stats on WordPress.org, Gutenberg is active on more than 10,000 sites and the Classic Editor is active on 4,000+ sites. The “Try Gutenberg” prompt is expected to go out in WordPress 4.9.8, which is targeted for the end of July. The goal for the prompt is to make users aware of the plugin and get more testers involved before Gutenberg lands in WordPress 5.0.

by Sarah Gooding at July 10, 2018 10:35 PM under gutenberg

July 09, 2018

Post Status: Working on your own website — Draft Podcast

Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by Brian Krogsgard and co-host Brian Richards.

In this episode, the Brians discuss the challenges of working on your own business website, when your company offers services or makes products for websites. Agencies often disregard their own websites, as do product companies. We discuss our own histories of attempting in-house redesign projects, strategies to get them done, and how we approach things today owning our own tiny businesses.

Episode Links

Sponsor: Pagely

Pagely offers best in class managed WordPress hosting, powered by the Amazon Cloud, the Internet’s most reliable infrastructure. Post Status is proudly hosted by Pagely. Thank you to Pagely for being a Post Status partner

by Katie Richards at July 09, 2018 06:34 PM under Everyone

WPTavern: How WordPress is Powering a New Community on the Remote Island of Ogijima

Junko Nukaga began her journey into the world of WordPress in 2011, just after her hometown in Fukushima prefecture was hit by the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The catastrophic event, referred to in Japan as the Great East Japan Earthquake, devastated the region’s infrastructure and took more than 15,000 lives. It also caused a level 7 meltdown at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex.

Until this point Nukaga had only used WordPress as a blogging tool, but her hometown prefecture needed a fast way to get a website up for publishing accurate measurements of the radiation levels. Although she was living in Osaka at the time, Nukaga joined the volunteer team and built the site using WordPress. In addition to local radiation levels, it also had FAQ’s about radiation from scientists to combat the misinformation that was rampant at the time. People found the site through social networks and word of mouth.

After making a difference for her hometown with WordPress, Nukaga wanted to find out more about the community behind the software. She joined an offline WordBench meetup and got connected to the WordPress community. The next year she co-organized WordCamp Osaka 2012, and in 2014 she became the lead organizer of WordCamp Kansai, an area that includes seven prefectures: Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama.

As Nukaga became more deeply involved in the WordPress community as a speaker, organizer, and contributor, she developed a new understanding of the power of open source collaboration. After moving to the remote island of Ogijima in 2014, she was inspired to create a library and cultural center, using WordPress to organize a team of more than 200 volunteers.

“When my family and I moved to this island, the school here was closed, because there were no kids on Ogijima,” Nukaga said. “We have a daughter, so we urged the government to reopen the school.

“Although the school restarted, I thought that it would be meaningless for the school to stop or close again when our daughter graduated. The island is an aging society and no new children will be born here. I figured that if there was a library, I could call migrants to the island. A library which is free and an open space would help solve many things, such as children’s learning environment, communication support for the islanders, and migration consultation, for example.”

Nukaga set up a WordPress website before constructing the library so her team of volunteers could disclose the progress of the building and recruit followers. They promoted the website through social networks and were able to crowdfund efforts to construct and maintain the building.

The Ogijima Library opened in February 2014 as a non-profit organization that is rooted in the community, providing a place where people can connect through books and share knowledge with one another. Residents on the island now have access to titles and periodicals that would previously have required a boat trip to acquire. More than 50 migrants have moved to the island within the last four years since the library opened, including families with babies born last year.

“Without WordPress, none of this would have been possible,” Nukaga said. “WordPress opened my way. It taught me the philosophy of open source. I have used this philosophy to involve many unspecified people from the beginning of the process of making the library. We built the building ourselves with the help of 200 volunteers, and we continue to get support through book donations. Also, thanks to the flexibility of WordPress, the things I wanted to do, such as updating, providing a search system for books, and linking to social networks, were all possible.”

WordCamp Ogijima: “Empowering the Smalls to Go Big”

The WordPress community on the island is also thriving, thanks to community organizers who call Ogijima home. Nukaga organizes the meetups, which average 5 to 20 attendees at each event. Shinichi Nishikawa, who organized WordCamp Tokyo in 2012 and helped build a new WordPress community in Bangkok, made his home on the island in March 2016. He is joining forces with Nukaga and a team of 35 leaders and volunteers to organize the first WordCamp Ogijima on July 15, 2018.

This will be the first Japanese WordCamp not held in the cities. Organizers have chartered two ferries to transport more than 250 attendees to the island. Camping is the primary lodging option in tents beside the island’s lighthouse and organizers have planned a BBQ after party. Although the event is currently sold out, 10 additional tickets will go on sale on July 10 due to cancellations and an estimation of no-shows.

“The uniqueness of the community in this area is that there are many with different backgrounds,” Shinichi Nishikawa said. “WordCamps in the city are mainly attended by engineers, designers and bloggers, but here there are people who are restaurant managers, farmers, a barber, an illustrator, a ranger (nature protection officer), baker, and others who are interested in WordPress.”

The organizing team, which includes many new contributors from all walks of life, along with meetup organizers in the Setouchi inland sea area, has adopted the theme “Empowering the smalls to go big.”

Ogijima’s local community includes members like Kaisho Damonte, who is using WordPress and WooCommerce to power a website for the bakery and cafe business he started after renovating a 100-year-old barn on the island. Kentaro Yamaguchi, another island resident, uses WordPress for his barber shop’s website.

Nishikawa said he sees WordCamp Ogijima as “a WordCamp in a new place, for new audiences, by new organizers.” He appreciates the openness of the islanders who are willing to embrace new things.

“The WordPress community on the island represents this atmosphere,” Nishikawa said. “Everyone has their own views, plans for their lives, and their own ways of thinking. WordPress, with its ‘Democratization of Publishing’ mission is a great match to us, who are trying to make our lives in different ways. We have built a library, cafe, a barbershop, and offices DIY ourselves. When it comes to websites, WordPress helps us a lot.”

The WordPress Community in Ogijima is Defined by a Focus on Cooperative Learning

One of the most inspirational aspects of the community in Ogijima, along with the greater Japanese WordPress community, is the strong emphasis on helping each other learn and succeed. New members are often woven into the community through meetups that focus on connecting around specific interests outside of WordPress technical skill. The community warmly welcomes users who are new to WordPress who want to get help with their websites. Nishikawa said this is the particular audience that the Ogijima meetup is trying to reach.

“We want to connect with individuals who want to achieve something; small business owners, designers, photographers, writers, editors, and anyone who is struggling doing something on the web,” Nishikawa said. “By coming together, you notice that there are many friends who are struggling as well. Experienced developers attend as usual but their role this time is to share their knowledge to the new people. We help each other build and improve our websites. It’s a very relaxed and helping atmosphere in the meetups. We do have some presentations sometimes but that’s not the main thing.”

WordPress Core Committer Mike Schroder will be speaking at WordCamp Ogijima about how everyone has something unique to bring to the community to help it grow.

“I initially visited Japan for WordCamp Tokyo a few years ago — largely because it was the biggest WordCamp in the world at the time,” Schroder said. “The community in Japan is extremely active and welcoming, and I quickly made many friends. One unique part of the community is that it has a big focus on education. The WordBench events are excellent!”

“As the theme of the event is ‘Empower the smalls to go big,’ I’m looking forward to sharing some bits of my background, and how others have helped me grow, in an effort to show folks that they have a lot to offer,” Schroder said. (He’s also doing a bit of research and is interested to hear stories from others about unique aspects of their lives that have helped them succeed in the WordPress ecosystem. You can ping him @mike on WP Slack if you want to contribute.)

The community in Ogijima is a beautiful example of how WordPress is powering a new wave of makers and doers on the island. The software has enabled them to establish new businesses, commerce, and cultural centers in a remote area where they are building their lives. WordCamp Ogijima is a classic example of what a WordCamp should be – an event that highlights the successes of local WordPress users.

“While I don’t think our numbers will grow, our lives will always need WordPress and its community,” Nishikawa said regarding the local meetups. “And we welcome ambitious attendees who need help.”

by Sarah Gooding at July 09, 2018 04:09 PM under wordcamp

July 06, 2018

Dev Blog: Update on Gutenberg

Progress on the Gutenberg project, the new content creating experience coming to WordPress, has come a long way. Since the start of the project, there have been 30 releases and 12 of those happened after WordCamp US 2017. In total since then, there have been 1,764 issues opened and 1,115 closed as of WordCamp Europe. As the work on phase one moves into its final stretch, here is what you can expect.

In Progress

  • Freeze new features in Gutenberg (the feature list can be found here).
  • Hosts, agencies, teachers invited to opt-in sites they have influence over.
  • WordPress.com has opt-in for wp-admin users. The number of sites and posts will be tracked.
  • Mobile app support for Gutenberg will be across iOS and Android.


  • 4.9.x release with an invitation to install either Gutenberg or Classic Editor plugin.
  • WordPress.com will move to opt-out. There will be tracking to see who opts out and why.
  • Triage increases and bug gardening escalates to get blockers in Gutenberg down to zero.
  • Gutenberg phase two, Customization exploration begins by moving beyond the post.

August and beyond

  • All critical issues within Gutenberg are resolved.
  • There is full integration with Calypso and there is opt-in for users there.
  • A goal will be 100k+ sites having made 250k+ posts using Gutenberg.
  • Core merge of Gutenberg begins the 5.0 release cycle.
  • 5.0 moves into beta releases and translations are completed.
  • There will be a mobile version of Gutenberg by the end of the year.

WordPress 5.0 could be as soon as August with hundreds of thousands of sites using Gutenberg before release. Learn more about Gutenberg here, take it for a test drive, install on your site, follow along on GitHub and give your feedback.

by Tammie Lister at July 06, 2018 07:23 PM under Gutenberg

July 05, 2018

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9.8 to Introduce “Try Gutenberg” Callout

Paul Biron and Joshua Wold are leading the upcoming WordPress 4.9.8 release, which was originally announced as 4.9.7. WordPress core contributors met yesterday to decide the general focus and set the release schedule. In the meantime, the 4.9.7 security and maintenance release was rolled out to fix an authenticated arbitrary file deletion vulnerability, along with a few other minor updates.

WordPress 4.9.8 is targeted for July 31, 2018, with a beta as early as July 17. The release will focus on introducing the “Try Gutenberg” callout and adding privacy fixes and enhancements. The ticket proposing the callout was opened a year ago and was planned to be included in WordPress 4.9.5 but was eventually pulled before the release in favor of allowing Gutenberg contributors to iron out a few important issues.

WordPress Core Committer Mel Choyce added the most recent round of designs to the ticket four weeks ago and contributors are still iterating on the design and text for the callout. Another iteration is expected to be added to the ticket early next week.

WordPress 4.9.8 is another step in Matt Mullenweg’s roadmap for getting Gutenberg into 5.0. The goal is to make more users aware of Gutenberg and to gather more testing and feedback before the new editor lands in core. The prompt will include a prominent button that users can click to install the Gutenberg plugin, along with links for where to learn more and how to report issues.

by Sarah Gooding at July 05, 2018 09:39 PM under gutenberg

WPTavern: Just Write: A Client-Side React App for Writing and Editing WordPress Posts

WordPress developer Jason Bobich has created an open source client-side React app called Just Write that provides a decoupled editing experience for WordPress. Bobich said he built the app in 10 days to explore the possibilities of React and the WP REST API.

Although it’s still a work in progress, the app has a demo where curious testers can manage posts from any WordPress website that’s secured with HTTPS and has the JWT Authentication plugin installed. Alternatively, testers can click on the “play in the sandbox” to bypass authentication.

Once logged in, the user sees a dashboard with the most recent posts, a deliberate design decision that Bobich made to “motivate the user to do one thing – to just write.”

The editor includes support for Markdown and a simple preview with a sticky toolbar at the top. Just Write also allows the user to edit their profile and personal information in a dropdown at the top of the screen.

Bobich said he created to the app to improve his JavaScript skills and doesn’t have a plan to use it for business.

“Ever since we were all told a couple of years ago, ‘Learn JavaScript deeply,’ I’ve seen just how many holes I had in my own JavaScript knowledge,” Bobich said. “I’ve been working hard the last couple of years to become more than just a jQuery monkey. And so this project is just another step towards my personal growth surrounding the technologies involved here. It’s so exciting to think about the potential things that we can build in the community with React and the WordPress API.”

WP REST API Currently Poses Complicated Hurdles for App Developers

After the REST API was merged into core, the time seemed ripe for developers to build a proliferation of different writing experiences for users. However, working with the API still has many hurdles for application developers, limitations that Bobich said he became acquainted with while developing Just Write.

“For anyone wanting to build a practical application like this, the first glaring issue is around authentication,” Bobich said. “WordPress has no way to securely authenticate from outside of the WordPress admin. So expecting any average user to set up oAuth or JWT with a third-party plugin is a bit of a reach.”

Bobich also encountered issues working with media and saving content the WordPress way (which allows shortcodes to get parsed before wpautop()). The application is not yet ready for real, practical use but would require even more API calls to do things like get ahold of categories and tags or add the ability to create new ones.

“Think about all the work WordPress has put into the way we embed media in different ways,” Bobich said. “Just having basic things we take for granted — pasting a YouTube link, a tweet, uploading an image and having it cropped 100 ways ’til Sunday — for all work properly would all take custom JavaScript coding.”

Bobich said he thinks these limitations are the reason why there aren’t yet more applications built with decoupled editing experiences. Yet, in the new era of Gutenberg, Just Write’s alternative writing interface offers a simplicity that some users may prefer.

“As the WordPress admin continues to grow and become more complex, some people get excited and others moan and grown,” Bobich said. “But building something like Just Write shows us that there’s more to WordPress than just what we see. There’s more than a menu full of plugins and a new editor built in React that we may or may not like. WordPress can be what we want. It can fit our own needs or any client’s. And this all comes from the potential ability to decouple the editing experience.”

As WordPress has evolved to accommodate different user types from blogging, websites, and niche applications, Bobich said he thinks the next logical step is for developers to begin creating admin interfaces catered specifically to users’ individual needs.

“Gutenberg marks an important turn in the evolution,” Bobich said. “For those that were clinging to the simplicity of WordPress and blocking out some of the other noise, this might not be something they end up liking… or maybe it will?

“But the bigger point is that what we see there in the admin doesn’t have to be it. I hope people will be braver than me and really set out to build these different alternatives. If I can polish my React skills and build that myself in 10 days, I can only imagine what others can do.”

by Sarah Gooding at July 05, 2018 06:09 PM under react

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.9.7 Security and Maintenance Release

WordPress 4.9.7 is now available. This is a security and maintenance release for all versions since WordPress 3.7. We strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

WordPress versions 4.9.6 and earlier are affected by a media issue that could potentially allow a user with certain capabilities to attempt to delete files outside the uploads directory.

Thank you to Slavco for reporting the original issue and Matt Barry for reporting related issues.

Seventeen other bugs were fixed in WordPress 4.9.7. Particularly of note were:

  • Taxonomy: Improve cache handling for term queries.
  • Posts, Post Types: Clear post password cookie when logging out.
  • Widgets: Allow basic HTML tags in sidebar descriptions on Widgets admin screen.
  • Community Events Dashboard: Always show the nearest WordCamp if one is coming up, even if there are multiple Meetups happening first.
  • Privacy: Make sure default privacy policy content does not cause a fatal error when flushing rewrite rules outside of the admin context.

Download WordPress 4.9.7 or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update automatically.

The previously scheduled 4.9.7 is now referred to as 4.9.8, and will follow the release schedule posted yesterday.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to WordPress 4.9.7:

1naveengiri, Aaron Jorbin, abdullahramzan, alejandroxlopez, Andrew Ozz, Arun, Birgir Erlendsson (birgire), BjornW, Boone Gorges, Brandon Kraft, Chetan Prajapati, David Herrera, Felix Arntz, Gareth, Ian Dunn, ibelanger, John Blackbourn, Jonathan Desrosiers, Joy, khaihong, lbenicio, Leander Iversen, mermel, metalandcoffee, Migrated to @jeffpaul, palmiak, Sergey Biryukov, skoldin, Subrata Sarkar, Towhidul Islam, warmlaundry, and YuriV.

by Aaron D. Campbell at July 05, 2018 05:00 PM under Security

July 04, 2018

HeroPress: Coding under trees and in 24 hour coffee shops

Pull Quote: Taking risks and being able to look like a fool have enabled me to become a WordPress core committer.

People were paying me to write code two years before I had wifi in my house. Home wifi would have cost $45 a month. The cable company wanted a $100 deposit to create my account. It wasn’t going to happen, I could get wifi with a cup of coffee for $3 (including the tip) at a coffee shop a few blocks away from my place that meant I got some semblance of being social. I couldn’t imagine giving up 15 days a month at coffee shops just so it was easier to work from home, not when I could get away with sitting on my porch poaching wifi from my neighbors when I got stuck and had to google regular expressions for the 400th time. Or, my favorite, sit in a park down the street where there were three unprotected wifi networks and a strong tree to lean against.

My path to becoming a web developer started when I packed up my beat up Chevy Prizm and drove to Portland, Oregon. I had graduated college with degrees in Economics and Political Science. While there, I become a Linux user when I discovered that it used less space meaning I had more space for music. I had never written code, but when my friends and I decided we wanted to create our version of The Onion, I started searching. After a little bit of trial ( blogger ) and error ( blogger ), I found WordPress and it’s “Famous Five Minute Install”. I purchased a domain and hosting from a place that advertised heavily and set about creating our site.

The public library was my initial source of information. After all, having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card. I picked up books on CSS, PHP, Java, Database design, and anything I could get my hands on. I was working evenings as an usher for the Portland Trailblazers and would head over to a 24 hour coffee shop to cowboy code under fluorescent lights until I was ready to crash.

I can think of three big breaks that really helped move me along. Each of these ended up being “Flash Forward” moments where I was able to grow.

My First Client

I was scouring craigslist looking for anything I could get my hands on when I found someone offering $25 to move their WordPress site from one domain to another. Having just done that, I sent an email and crossed my fingers. Somehow, my eagerness (and likely willingness to work for peanuts) got my their trust. I had my first client. It took me way longer than I would have hoped as I learned about things like DNS Propagation, but I completed the task. And did such a good job that I was asked if I could build a website for one of their friends who was a standup comic. I was honest that I had never built a real site from scratch, but they liked how I had communicated, so I got the gig.

My First Core Experience

Before the first time I contributed to WordPress, I went to the Portland WordPress User Group to ask if something I was seeing was possibly an issue that warranted emailing the wp-hackers mailing list. I was so scared of being wrong that I felt like I needed to ask permission. I assumed that I was going to make a fool of myself and be laughed at. I ended up emailing the list and it turned out, I had found a spot where WordPress could be better! In the grand scheme of WordPress, passing a parameter to three `do_action` calls didn’t help WordPress gain 1% of market share, but it did help me with the plugin I was working on. And I was exposed to the process. I learned about trac, and the weekly devchat, and patches and svn. While I didn’t get props, I still consider this my first contribution to WordPress Core.

My first WordCamp

WordCamps are cheap compared to most tech conferences, but when you are playing the game of “How do I eat on $10 a week” for months on end, $40 for a conference whose value is unknown is a hard sell. Luckily, the Portland WordPress User Group did a raffle for a ticket and I won. All I had to pay for was the $2 in bus fare each way and I had the chance to learn. The 2009 WordCamp Portland ended up being where Matt Mullenweg announced that WPMU was going to be merged into core in WordPress 3.0 and it’s where I saw a talk entitled “How Not to Build a WordPress Plugin” by Will Norris. Will’s talk exposed me to WordPress development in a way that I would never have imagined on my own. It helped me level up from someone who mostly was copy and pasting PHP to someone who was writing code.

Additionally, I was able to network for the first time. It no longer was the same 15 people who went to the meetup, it was now about 200 WordPress fanatics, many who wanted to hire someone like me to work on their website!

Looking back, these flash forward moments contributed almost as much to luck to my success. In many ways, a lot of my success can be attributed to the luck of being born as someone who is essentially a white cis-male into a family where I was exposed to computers and had a chance to gain a solid liberal arts education.

But it’s not just that luck that helped me. I had to provide good customer service to turn a $25 task into a contract to build my first website. I had to be willing to embarrass myself by asking what I thought was a dumb question. I had to show up and become a part of my local community to get a ticket for a conference where I learned and networked.

Soon after WordCamp Portland 2009, I had enough client work coming in that it made sense to have wifi. Home wifi meant I could start being connected to the WordPress community more than once a month in person or a few hours here and there at coffee shops. It meant I could read dev chat every week and eventually it meant I could earn props. Networking at meetups, WordCamps and conferences led to full time jobs. Taking risks and being willing to look like a fool in front of the WordPress community have enabled me to become a WordPress Core committer (and sometimes continue to look like a fool). In addition to volunteering on WordPress Core, I’m now the Director of Editorial Technology for Penske Media Corporation where I help brands like Rolling Stone and Variety run on WordPress, but I’ll never forget when if I needed to code, I was going to sit under trees in parks or the fluorescent lights of a 24 hour coffee shop.

The post Coding under trees and in 24 hour coffee shops appeared first on HeroPress.

by Aaron Jorbin at July 04, 2018 06:30 PM

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July 23, 2018 01:45 AM
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