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April 29, 2016

WPTavern: WordPress is Now 100% Translated Into Marathi

The Polyglots team announced this week that WordPress is now 100% translated into Marathi, an Indian language with an estimated 73 million native speakers. Marathi is one of the official languages of Western India and is the 19th most spoken language in the world ranked by the number of native speakers.

wp-in-marathi

Less than a week ago, the Marathi translation was at just 10%, but the new translation teams rallied during the Global WordPress Translation Day event to complete it in a matter of days. According to organizer Petya Raykovska, “India was the big surprise with four of the big Indian languages getting new contributors, forming teams, and connecting across India with one another to collaborate live.”

Thanks to the eight local translation team events in India, Marathi received a strong enough push to get all WordPress strings translated at 100% just a few days after the event concluded. Hindi is also now at 100% and the other Indian languages are off to a good start with the newly-formed translation teams.

by Sarah Gooding at April 29, 2016 09:48 PM under polyglots

WPTavern: Create Beer Menus with the Easy Beer Lister Plugin for WordPress

beer

The explosion of the craft beer scene in recent years means that more breweries and beer bars are building their websites on WordPress. What are you looking for when you visit one of these websites? Why, the beer of course! Unfortunately, with the demands of brewing and serving customers, owners of these establishments don’t always have time to update their available beers.

The Easy Beer Lister plugin was created to help breweries keep their information up-to-date. It offers an easy way for users to organize beer on on their websites with the additional benefit of being able to create beer menus with the same information. The menus are mobile friendly and can be printed or displayed on a TV screen.

Alex Standiford initially started on this project out of a desire to improve his WordPress plugin development skills, but it quickly grew from there once he learned how difficult it is for brewers to keep their beer information up-to-date across all of their mediums.

“Many breweries copy/paste their beer menu to their website, or simply don’t update their website at all,” Standiford said. “I even heard of a brewer who was staying up late every Friday to update his powerpoint presentation for his beer menu!

“Once I realized how much time this was taking from the busy brewery owner, I knew that I needed to do something better than what others have done. I needed to provide them with a single place to update their beer information, where they could efficiently display it to customers in many different ways.”

Easy Beer Lister adds a Beer Post Type to your WordPress site with special fields for ABV, OG, IBU, Untappd URL, video, and an image gallery.

beer-post-type-easy-beer-lister

Beer styles can be added as categories and beer pairings as tags. Availability can also be specified via a custom taxonomy using terms such as On-Tap, Spring, Summer, Year-Round, etc. Beers take on the design of the active theme, but you can further customize the post type to improve its display. The plugin comes with a few basic templates, but Standiford is also creating more that can be added on.

beer-page

Once beers are organized and added to WordPress, users can create custom beer menus to display available beers. Sorting methods, such as availability, food pairings, and what’s on tap, can be bulk-edited in the admin.

beer-menu

Easy Beer Lister also includes shortcodes for displaying a specific beer or a list of beers:

  • [beer] – Create a URL to a specified beer. The link also shows a preview of the beer when you hover over it with your mouse.
  • [beer_list] – Create a list of beers based on specified parameters, such as style or pairings.

Standiford plans to open a marketplace for GPL add-ons that extend Easy Beer Lister. Untappd Importer is his first add-on, which makes it easy for breweries to get started without having to manually enter all of their beers.

“With this add-on, I was able to import all 600+ beers from Dogfish Head Brewing’s Untappd page in about three minutes, including the ABV and IBU information,” Standiford said. He is working on other add-ons such as a beer image generator, an Instagram photo import function, and a bartender suite that allows bartenders to access a page to add/remove beers from the tap menu/website quickly.

“The plugin is more than a tool to help brewers manage their beer on their website,” Standiford said. “I aim to use it to dramatically reduce the amount of time a brewer spends updating beer information on all facets of their business.”

by Sarah Gooding at April 29, 2016 06:46 PM under beer

April 28, 2016

WPTavern: WordCamp Organizers Get New Tool for Creating Personalized WordCamp Badges

Creating personalized WordCamp badges for attendees has traditionally been a time-consuming task for event organizers. Last year the community held 89 WordCamps with 21,000 attendees, and each person received a name badge customized for the event they participated in. That’s a massive number of badges to prepare for printing.

In the past, WordCamp organizers used an InDesign template for making the badges, but this required a tedious process of creating a CSV file of attendees, running a custom script, and completing a list of complicated steps. George Stephanis, who had experience using the InDesign template, wanted to simplify this process for organizers and help them move away from having to use a proprietary, commercial software product.

He built a proof-of-concept plugin that allows organizers to create badges with HTML and CSS inside the WordPress admin. After several iterations and contributions from the community team, Ian Dunn announced that the tool is now ready for use.

WordCamp organizers can access the tool under Tickets > Tools > Generate Badges or by navigating through the Customizer to the CampTix HTML Badges panel. The default badge design is shown below with the back of the badge (upside-down) and the front beneath it with a marker for poking the lanyard holes. User names and gravatars are automatically displayed.

wordcamp-badges-with-html-css

Stephanis included the CodeMirror bundled with Jetpack’s Custom CSS module to make it easier for organizers to customize the badge design to suit the theme of the WordCamp. The plugin also makes it fairly easy to customize any aspect of the badge using CSS.

“The underlying markup has plenty of CSS classes to help with customization,” Dunn said. “For example, you could make volunteer badges have a different background color (so that volunteers are easier to find), or make attendees’ last names appear in a smaller font than their first names. There are also plenty of empty < div > elements that you can re-purpose for arbitrary design features.”

Once the design is finished, organizers can export as a PDF and take it to a print shop. Documentation for customizing the badges is available in the WordCamp Organizer handbook.

Organizers are still welcome to use the InDesign tool to create badges, but the new plugin for the customizer is a much easier entry point for those who aren’t familiar with InDesign. If you can help improve the tool, the code is open source on the Meta repository and available for anyone to patch.

by Sarah Gooding at April 28, 2016 11:15 PM under wordcamp organizers

WPTavern: WordCamp Tokyo 2016 Calls for Speakers, Adds New English Track

wordcamp-tokyo
WordCamp Tokyo 2016 will be held September 17-18 at the Bellesalle Shinjuku Grand. This will be the 9th edition of the event, which sold out last year with 750 attendees.

Yesterday the WordCamp’s organizers put out a call for both for English and Japanese speakers. Last year the event hosted a selection of English sessions, but the 2016 edition will add a dedicated track for English speakers with simultaneous interpretation.

The WordCamp will be broken into three tracks: User, Technical, and Global. Descriptions and example topics for each are available in the post calling for speakers. All English language presentations will be placed under the Global track but speakers are welcome to submit any topic.

The theme of WordCamp Tokyo 2016 is “breaking dawn.” With the advent of the WP REST API and the recent surge in WordPress-powered application development, the WordPress community is entering a new era. Organizers have selected a motto as part of the theme:

Let’s try something new,” said organizer Toru Miki. “That is the message we want to get across to the WordCamp Tokyo 2016 attendees. Our goal is to offer sessions that can motivate and stimulate them, just like the beam of sunlight in the dawn.”

If you want to attend one of the biggest WordCamps on the planet and you have a topic that you think can inspire attendees, the speaker application deadline is Friday, June 10. Presentations can be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 75 minutes. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by mid-July.

by Sarah Gooding at April 28, 2016 08:38 PM under wordcamp tokyo

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 232 – Recap of WordCamp San Diego 2016

In this episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I discuss the news of the week as our guest couldn’t make it.

Marcus shares his experience at WordCamp San Diego this past weekend and offers feedback to the organizing team. We let you know what’s in the recently released WordPress update and discuss what happens to the data WordPress.org collects from users sites. As usual, Marcus ends the show with his plugin picks of the week.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress 4.5.1 Fixes 12 Bugs
Global WordPress Translation Day Draws 448 Participants from 105 Countries
WordPress for iOS Adds Geotag Support, Comment Moderation Gestures
WordPress 4.6 to Update Theme Filter Tags in the Admin
What WordPress.org Does with the Data it Collects from Users Sites

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

Video Gallery – YouTube and Vimeo Video Gallery is a responsive plugin that allows you to show YouTube and Vimeo videos in various formats.

OnSale Page for WooCommerce is an extension for WooCommerce that enables you to have a On Sale page with paging, sorting, and filtering options.

Embed Google AdWords Codes on WooCommerce enables users to implement Google AdWords conversion tracking to determine how effective ads are. It provides information such as the number of clicks that are generating sales.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, May 4th 9:30 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #232:

by Jeff Chandler at April 28, 2016 06:24 AM under WordPress for iOS

WPTavern: Array Cuts Theme Club Pricing, Releases Free Theme Pack

array-logo

Array launched a redesign of its theme shop this week along with drastic price cuts for single theme and club purchases. After conducting a customer survey earlier this year, the company moved to act on feedback regarding its pricing structure.

Previously, Array offered single theme purchases ranging in price from $49 to $89 and the entire collection for $199. The new pricing is more straightforward with all single themes at $49 and club membership for $89.

The company, which began under the name Okay Themes and rebranded two years ago, announced last April that it would be returning to Themeforest after disappointing experiences selling on Creative Market and WordPress.com. Array currently has five items in its portfolio on Themeforest ranging in price from $44-64. The company negotiated an agreement with the marketplace that gives them a better rate than other non-exclusive authors typically receive.

“Although I can’t go into this in too much detail, we are actually not operating at the typical non-exclusive author rates, as most would rightfully assume,” founder Mike McAlister said in a comment on our post about the news. “We’ve worked out a mutually beneficial agreement with Envato that gives us a little more room for experimentation and bandwidth for providing quality support.”

With equal or more affordable pricing at Themeforest, customers had little incentive to buy directly from the Array website with the previous pricing structure in place. The new $89 club membership is now more compelling for those who are interested in purchasing multiple themes directly from Array.

In addition to the the redesign and new pricing, Array released a free theme pack to help potential customers get acquainted with their products before purchasing. The pack includes five of their most popular themes, some of which were not previously offered for free, including Author, Editor, Fixed, Typable and Transmit. Editor is also available on WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

free-theme-pack

Array’s journey over the past two years, which includes pulling out of Themeforest, rebranding, and then jumping back into the marketplace with a more beneficial arrangement, necessitated an update in its pricing structure in order to remain competitive. Customers gravitate towards straightforward pricing that they can understand, especially when products are sold across multiple marketplaces.

The theme shop’s experimentation with selling on Themeforest, WordPress.com, Creative Market, Mojo Marketplace, and Array’s own website shows how much it has had to adapt to reach potential customers. Commercial WordPress themes are a multi-million dollar industry, but there’s no single avenue paved to success even when partnering with one of the dominant marketplaces.

by Sarah Gooding at April 28, 2016 05:32 AM under themeforest

April 27, 2016

Matt: You Yourself

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

This quote is almost always attributed to Buddha. Luckily there’s a great WordPress site called Fake Buddha Quotes that tracks down its actual provenance.

by Matt at April 27, 2016 09:55 PM under Asides

Matt: Secret History of Tiger Woods

ESPN has a fascinating longread on The Secret History of Tiger Woods, especially in the context of his relationship with and the death of his father.

by Matt at April 27, 2016 03:33 AM under Asides

April 26, 2016

WPTavern: A 42-Year-Old Developer’s Advice on Working in Tech

photo credit: Aliis Sinisaluphoto credit: Aliis Sinisalu

Adrian Kosmaczewski, a 42-year-old, self-taught developer, published an article today titled Being A Developer After 40. The piece is full of sage advice that is resonating with developers of all ages. His post is a summary of a talk he gave at the App Builders Switzerland conference in April with the accompanying slides available on Speaker Deck.

Kosmaczewski gives readers a glimpse into what the world of technology was like in 1997, the year he began his career as a developer before the days of unit tests and continuous integration, before SVN even existed.

My first job consisted of writing ASP pages in various editors, ranging from Microsoft FrontPage, to HotMeTaL Pro to EditPlus, managing cross-browser compatibility between Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer 4, and writing stored procedures in SQL Server 6.5 powering a commercial website published in Japanese, Russian, English and Spanish — without any consistent UTF-8 support across the software stack.

If you worked as a developer in those days you may fondly remember working with some of these technologies. Since then, countless new ones have been introduced but the requirement to keep learning remains unchanged. Kosmaczewski offers advice on navigating the hype surrounding the newest programming languages.

Do not worry about hype. Keep doing your thing, keep learning what you were learning, and move on. Pay attention to it only if you have a genuine interest, or if you feel that it could bring you some benefit in the medium or long run.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the new languages and frameworks that people say you need to learn in order to stay relevant, but Kosmaczewski encourages readers to follow their own interests and learn about software history. Otherwise, you’ll be forever chasing new architectures and ideas but never learning them in depth or gaining more than a shallow understanding of their implementation.

In an industry where professionals are valued by their abilities in specific languages, many programmers allow their identity to be wrapped up in the tools they use. Kosmaczewski encourages readers to be ready to change course:

Do not criticize or make fun of the technology choices of your peers; for other people will have their own reasons to choose them, and they must be respected. Be prepared to change your mind at any time through learning. One day you might like Windows. One day you might like Android. I am actually liking some parts of Android lately. And that is OK.

His perspective comes from nearly 20 years of working as a developer. The lesson I saw in this section of his essay is that the technologies you work with are part of your journey, and you’ll cycle through many of them. However, be careful not to allow them to become your whole identity, because you are still learning.

The Value of Teaching

One of the most inspiring parts of his post is the section on teaching. We often hear the saying, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach,” thrown around smugly, but this devalues educators. Teaching is somewhat of a lost art in an industry where many professionals are self-taught. Yet, Kosmaczewski says there are some things you cannot learn without having taught someone else:

Teaching will make you more humble, because it will painfully show you how limited your knowledge is. Teaching is the best way to learn. Only by testing your knowledge against others are you going to learn properly. This will also make you more respectful regarding other developers and other technologies; every language, no matter how humble or arcane, has its place within the Tao of Programming, and only through teaching will you be able to feel it.

Kosmaczewski also shares some moving stories of how his teaching and mentoring have made a difference in the world, especially for those who are just beginning.

If you have a few minutes, I highly recommend reading “Being A Developer After 40.” This article is a window into one developer’s journey but his advice and habit recommendations are relevant to everyone from experienced programmers to those just starting out. Kosmaczewski explores some of the darker aspects of the industry but also the beauty of sticking with it. His closing statement sums it up nicely:

As long as your heart tells you to keep on coding and building new things, you will be young, forever.

by Sarah Gooding at April 26, 2016 09:41 PM under News

WPTavern: WordPress 4.5.1 Fixes 12 Bugs

WordPress 4.5.1 is available and addresses a dozen items reported against WordPress 4.5. According to Adam Silverstein, “a singular class issue that broke sites based on the Twenty Eleven theme, an incompatibility between certain Chrome versions and the visual editor, and an Imagick bug that could break media uploads,” are among the bugs fixed. A detailed list of changes can be viewed here.

WordPress 4.5.1 is already being pushed out to sites configured for auto updates. If you’d rather not wait or have auto updates disabled, you can browse to Dashboard – Updates and click the Update Now button. If you encounter an issue or believe you’ve discovered a bug, please post it in the troubleshooting section of the support forums.

by Jeff Chandler at April 26, 2016 07:54 PM under wordpress 4.5.1

WPTavern: Global WordPress Translation Day Draws 448 Participants from 105 Countries

wordpress-global-translation-day

The first Global WordPress Translation Day was held over the weekend, organized by the Polyglots team. The event included 24 hours of live training sessions and translation sprints that spanned every timezone from East to West. The goal was to grow the translation teams and educate new translators with live training sessions.

During the course of the event, 448 translators from 105 countries translated 40,350 new strings across 597 projects. This includes WordPress core and open source plugins and themes, such as Pods, Google Two-Factor Authentication, WooCommerce, bbPress, Yoast SEO, and hundreds of others.

Japan and Thailand live streaming each other's events -  photo credit: Menn StudioJapan and Thailand live streaming each other’s events – photo credit: Menn Studio

“We had 39 local events and 11 remote events happening across the globe,” organizer Petya Raykovska said. “India was the big surprise with four of the big Indian languages getting new contributors, forming teams and connecting across India with one another to collaborate live.”

All of the sessions were live streamed and the team had 316 people who watched the broadcast at some point during the day. The event featured 12 training sessions in different languages to teach participants how to translate WordPress core, including Japanese, Hindi, Bulgarian, German, Slovak, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch, Lithuanian and Italian.

The other sessions focused on topics for plugin and theme developers, such as:

  • Plugin documentation and support for the whole world
  • How to find translators for your plugins and themes
  • Localization – Beyond Translation
  • The life of a string – or how WordPress gets its translations
  • Plugin/Theme i18n: How to prepare your plugin or theme for translate.wordpress.org
  • GlotDict – how a browser extension changes your translation workflow

All of the videos from the event are available on Crowdcast.io if you want to learn more about the WordPress Polyglots team and how everyone works together. One of the best outcomes of the day, according to Raykovska, is that translation teams now have video documentation for new contributors. They plan to upload the videos to WordPress.tv and include them in the Polyglots handbook.

Global WordPress Translation Day Offers a New Avenue for Contributing to Translations

“We do contributor days around WordCamps and then the community summit once a year,” Raykovska said. “The contributor summit hasn’t been super productive for Polyglots so far. Unlike most other teams, most contributors are 100% volunteers and can’t afford (or get a Visa) for a trip to the US.

“So we wanted to organize a contributor day without these restrictions for participants,” she said. “And that’s how the idea was born.”

The Polyglots team has not set a date for the next Global WordPress Translation event, but Raykovska said it will be easier for them to organize now that they have the processes figured out. One of the most positive outcomes of this past weekend’s event is that it has sparked translation teams to organize more local events, especially now that they are armed with video documentation and training tools for plugin and theme developers.

“Some countries are planning monthly contributor translation drives and standalone contributor days,” Raykovska said.

#WPTranslationDay WordBench 東京。たくさん翻訳できました!

A photo posted by Naoko Takano (@naokomc) on Apr 24, 2016 at 3:37am PDT

Raykovska said next time she would like to get more people on screen from the events happening in different locations around the world. She also hopes to organize some round tables where Polyglots team members can share about their local processes and team structures.

“I think we need to make a solid effort to bridge the gap between plugin authors and translators,” Raykovska said. “The demand for translations is growing, especially for the most used languages. An event like this would be a good reason for the two groups to gather and talk about what’s not quite working right now and think of ways to overcome it.”

As many polyglots will be in attendance at WordCamp Europe, the team is considering organizing a gathering there. This multilingual WordPress event will be the largest WordCamp in history with 2200 attendees. WordPress’ rapidly growing international user base and the expanding Polyglots team could make the Global Translation Day event a catalyst for future improvements to the project.

“If we can go one step further, it would be awesome to revive the conversation about multilingual in core,” Rakovska said. The success of this past weekend’s event shows the Polyglots’ enthusiasm and determination to collaborate across borders to get things done.

by Sarah Gooding at April 26, 2016 05:11 PM under translations

WPTavern: I’m Attending WordCamp Chicago, 2016, This Weekend

WordCamp Chicago 2016 takes place this weekend and I’ll be among the many attendees. I haven’t visited the city since 2009 and I’m excited to satisfy my craving for deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s.

WordCamp Chicago 2009 is a special memory because it’s where I saw a demo of Gravity Forms before it launched to the public. At the time Contact Form 7 was a household name and the go-to plugin for creating forms. I knew it was going to be successful when I saw its user interface and how it worked. Seven years later, the plugin is still going strong.

The GPL license was also hot topic at the time. During Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word presentation, he announced that the WordPress Theme directory would have a section dedicated to theme shops that were 100% GPL. I remember hearing the room gasp during his announcement.

100_2303

In 2009, the WordPress commercial theme market was young and the GPL was a license many theme companies didn’t embrace. Having your company listed on a page that gets a ton of traffic motivated at least a couple of theme shops to embrace the GPL.

I’m looking forward to meeting new people this weekend and creating new memories. If you happen to see me, please stop and say hi. I’d love to talk to you about your experiences with WordPress.

by Jeff Chandler at April 26, 2016 06:12 AM under wordcamp

WPTavern: WordPress for iOS Adds Geotag Support, Comment Moderation Gestures

WordPress for iOS 6.1 is available from the App Store and includes a number of improvements. Those who use Jetpack can now manage Publicize connections from within the app.

Publicize ConnectionsComments can quickly be moderated thanks to gestures added to the notifications screen. Swiping left on a notification displays options to approve, unapprove, spam, or trash a comment.

Comment Moderation GesturesComment Moderation Gestures

If you’ve connected multiple sites to the app, it can be cumbersome to navigate to the one you access most often. This version includes the ability to set up a primary site from within the Account Settings panel. During testing however, I noticed my version of the app doesn’t have this setting. I’m going through the support process to determine the cause.

Configure a Primary SiteMy Account Settings Page

A new UI element at the bottom of the post creation screen allows users to geotag a post. Simply type in an address or location into the search field and a map displays with the location data. The location is stored in the WordPress backend but can be displayed on the frontend if a theme supports it.

Geotag SupportGeotag Support

A full list of changes and bug fixes is available on GitHub where you can also follow the progress of 6.2. If you have any issues or think you’ve discovered a bug, please report it on the WordPress for iOS support forums.

by Jeff Chandler at April 26, 2016 04:03 AM under wordpres for ios

April 25, 2016

WPTavern: WordPress 4.6 to Update Theme Filter Tags in the Admin

The admin themes browser has been updated and modernized in recent years to make it easier to search through the 3,800+ themes available on WordPress.org. One aspect of the interface that has lagged behind, however, is the list of tags for filtering themes. The tags have gone untouched since back in the day when users would search themes by color.

theme-tags

The WordPress Theme Review Team’s proposal to overhaul the outdated tags/filters is making it into WordPress 4.6. All of the color tags will be removed, which makes sense since many modern themes are customizable when it comes to accent colors. The update will also remove fixed, fluid, and responsive layouts and will add ‘Grid Layout’ to the list. In the list of miscellaneous features, Blavatar will be removed and Footer Widgets will be added.

The Subject section will be completely revamped by removing the all the previous tags and replacing them with a new list of general theme categories:

  • Blog
  • E-Commerce
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Food & Drink
  • Holiday
  • News
  • Photography
  • Portfolio

The tags will also be updated on the WordPress Theme Directory in cooperation with the meta team.

The WordPress theme landscape has changed so much over the years, especially with the introduction of the customizer, and this update will make it easier for users to narrow down themes they want to use. WordPress.org theme authors will want to be ready to update their themes as soon as the new tags are available so that they can be more easily found via search.

by Sarah Gooding at April 25, 2016 06:51 PM under WordPress Theme Directory

Matt: 538 on Basic Income

The economic uncertainty surrounding basic income is huge, and the politics of bringing such a program about on a large scale are daunting. But something makes this radical proposal so exciting that people and governments are increasingly willing to try it. Basic income challenges our notions of the social safety net, the relationship between work and income, and how to adapt to technological change. That makes it one of the most audacious social policy experiments in modern history. It could fail disastrously, or it could change everything for the better.

From FiveThirtyEight, What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?

by Matt at April 25, 2016 03:12 PM under Asides

WP Mobile Apps: WordPress for iOS: Version 6.1

Hi there, WordPress users! Version 6.1 of the WordPress for iOS app is now available in the App Store.

What’s New:

Get social on the go! WordPress.com and Jetpack-enabled bloggers can manage Publicize and third-party sharing from within the app.

More gestures! Swipe notifications to approve, unapprove, and trash comments at the speed of your thumbs.

Swipe left to unveil the new moderation options.

Mobile friendly. Select your primary blog right from within the app.

You can select your primary site in Pick it with a simple tap!

Where’s Waldo? Search locations to tag GPS on posts.

GPS tag your posts! Tap on Use the search field to select the right location.

Enhancements. Because “good” is not enough! Here’s the full list of enhancements.

Bug fixes. Tons of bug fixes!

Thank You

Thanks to all of the contributors who worked on this release:
@aerych, @alexcurylo, @astralbodies, @diegoreymendez, @frosty, @jleandroperez, @koke, @kurzee, @kwonye, @sendhil and @SergioEstevao.

You can track the development progress for the next update by visiting our 6.2 milestone on GitHub. Until next time!

by diegoreymendez at April 25, 2016 01:30 PM under Other

April 23, 2016

Post Status: WordPress Development Tools — Draft Podcast

Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunesStitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by Joe Hoyle — the CTO of Human Made — and Brian Krogsgard.

Everybody creates workflows to accomplish their development work. And sometimes you come upon a new tool that completely changes how you do things, and helps you improve your productivity.

In this episode, Joe and Brian aim to share their tools in the hopes that it will help others review and refine their own processes. And Joe and Brian approach things quite differently themselves, so they compare and contrast their own workflows. Have something to add to the conversation, be sure to comment!

https://audio.simplecast.com/36197.mp3

Direct Download

Tools

Coding Tools & Debugging

Build Tools

Version Control / Review Tools / Deployment

Frontend Tools / Extensions

Sponsor

This podcast is sponsored by Yoast. Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin available, with a premium version to provide expert support and additional features. Thank you to Yoast for being a Post Status partner.

Related Podcasts

Understanding WP-CLI

Local WordPress Development Strategies

 

by Katie Richards at April 23, 2016 02:06 PM under Everyone

WPTavern: In Case You Missed It – Issue 8

In Case You Missed It Featured Imagephoto credit: Night Moves(license)

There’s a lot of great WordPress content published in the community but not all of it is featured on the Tavern. This post is an assortment of items related to WordPress that caught my eye but didn’t make it into a full post.

Matt Mullenweg’s Father Passes Away

Losing a loved one is tough, especially when it’s a parent. Matt Mullenweg’s father, Chuck Mullenweg, recently passed away. Matt published a touching tribute on his site that describes the kind of man his father was.

We were in a father / son bowling league. I remember admiring his work ethic so much: he’d get up before dawn every morning and put on a suit, grab his briefcase, and go to work. He often went in on weekends and I loved to go with him because they had ‘fast’ internet at the office and I could read Dilbert and about Babylon 5. He was a voracious reader and learner, and loved tinkering whether it was cars or networking. In the other room I can hear a bitcoin mining rig he set up a few years ago. He was independent minded and unafraid to question the status quo.

My deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the Mullenweg family. You can read Chuck’s obituary here.

My First Plugin

Thanks to Binarygary, my first plugin is in the directory. It’s called Hello Admin and with each page load, a lyric from Hello Dolly displays as an admin notice.

Hello Admin in ActionHello Admin in Action

In all seriousness, the plugin is a joke and a humorous way to bring attention to developers abusing admin notices in WordPress.

Pressware Partners with Evermore

Tom McFarlin announced that his company Pressware, is partnering with Evermore. The partnership allows Pressware to provide its expertise in custom WordPress development and project management to Evermore’s customers.

Four Years of EDD

Pippin Williamson shared the hardships and successes he’s experienced in the last four years managing Easy Digital Downloads.

Today, Easy Digital Downloads is installed on over 50,000 websites, has reached nearly one million downloads, and has grown to a sustainable business that supports the livelihood of an ever-growing team comprised of full time employees and active contractors. I don’t think I ever thought we would be where we are today four years ago.

His post is an honest look at the amount of effort and circumstances beyond revenue that’s involved with running a successful business.

Translation Day Wapuu Posters!

In what is a traditional part of this series, I end each issue by featuring a Wapuu design. For those who don’t know, Wapuu is the unofficial mascot of the WordPress project. The first global translation day takes place on April 24th and to celebrate the occasion, the WordPress Polyglots team has created a series of Wapuu posters.

That’s it for issue eight. If you recently discovered a cool resource or post related to WordPress, please share it with us in the comments.

by Jeff Chandler at April 23, 2016 02:04 AM under translations. pressware

April 22, 2016

WPTavern: Facebook News Feed Now Favors Articles That Users Spend a Longer Time Reading

RC CiprianoRC Cipriano

Facebook announced yesterday that its news feed algorithm will now favor articles that users spend a long time reading. While likes, clicks, comments, and sharing counts are all valuable metrics, they are not always reliable determinants for what users want to see. Facebook discovered this by gathering feedback via its Feed Quality Program.

As a result, the social network updated its algorithm last June to factor in how much time users spent reading posts within the news feed, regardless of whether users even opened the article. Two years ago, Facebook also began factoring in instances where a user clicks on an article but then comes straight back to the news feed. This could be because a site loaded too slowly or the article was click-bait and not what the user was expecting based on the preview.

“Building on this work, we’re learning that the time people choose to spend reading or watching content they clicked on from News Feed is an important signal that the story was interesting to them,” Facebook representatives said. “We are adding another factor to News Feed ranking so that we will now predict how long you spend looking at an article in the Facebook mobile browser or an Instant Article after you have clicked through from News Feed.”

Facebook will not be counting loading time towards this new ranking signal but will calculate the actual time spent reading/watching once the content has loaded. But before you think you can game this algorithm by simply publishing longer articles, Facebook will be measuring this time as a threshold so that longer articles are not preferred by default.

The social network also announced that it will be diversifying its display of posts from different pages so as not to bombard users with too much content from the same source.

“We’ve also heard from people that they enjoy reading articles from a wide range of publishers, and it can be repetitive if too many articles from the same source are back to back in their News Feed,” representatives said. “We’ll also be making an update to reduce how often people see several posts in a row from the same source in their News Feed.”

Publishers who depend on Facebook for a significant amount of their referrals will want to take note of these changes to the news feed algorithm. The social network has already started rolling them out and will continue over the next few weeks.

by Sarah Gooding at April 22, 2016 10:21 PM under facebook

WPTavern: What WordPress.org Does with the Data it Collects from Users Sites

Freemius Featured Imagephoto credit: data slide(license)

Since I started covering WordPress in 2009, one of the things I’ve noticed is that certain topics have a cyclical nature to them. One of these is the contention in the WordPress community on what data is sent, stored, and shared on WordPress.org. In a post published on Torquemag.io, Josh Pollock, Founder of CalderaWP, argues that WordPress is a community-driven project and as such, data collected by WordPress.org should be shared with the community.

If installing and updating themes via the WordPress dashboard wasn’t so easy, WordPress wouldn’t be what it is today. I understand and appreciate this.

Here’s the part that doesn’t sit well with me: WordPress.org is collecting data on all of its users (as it should), but this information isn’t available in aggregate form to the community.

Pollock says that as an entrepreneur, the information would help him make informed business decisions.

Data is Stored for Two Days

I spoke to Samuel ‘Otto’ Wood, who helps maintain WordPress.org, and discovered that some of the assumptions people have are not true.

“The data collection systems on w.org have been inconsistent at best, and re-written several times,” Wood said.

“But the general idea that there is some kind of treasure trove of information we’re storing is misguided, at best. The data is collected, aggregated for the things we display, then tossed. We don’t store it for any serious length of time. Just the results of the data like the counts.”

Gathering, sorting, and displaying the large amount of data associated with WordPress is a CPU intensive job. The most recent example of WordPress.org sharing aggregate data is for active installs of plugins and themes. Displaying the Active Install count is the result of significant performance improvements from WordPress lead developer Dion Hulse. Without the improvements, the data collection would have overloaded CPUs and MySQL databases.

“Gathering that data is frickin’ difficult to start with, “Wood said. “For the longest time, we didn’t even have the actual system resources to pull off the ‘Active Installs’ count. We didn’t display that count because we couldn’t do it. The idea that we’re hiding things is ludicrous.”

Raw data is stored for two days and is then overwritten, “basically, there’s too much data to store,” Wood said. “All of the data that w.org gathers is used to display the stats on w.org itself. Nothing special is hidden.”

Data Accuracy is Hard

If developers are going to make business decisions using public data, the data has to be accurate. Accuracy is a complex problem but the team has slowly made progress over the years as legacy systems on W.org are phased out.

“A lot of the w.org systems are poorly made,” Wood said. “They’re old, have been modified dozens of times over the years, and badly in need of updating. For a long time, the data we gathered could not be processed fast enough so we simply threw over half of it away.

“Mostly, we phase out old useless systems and replace them with something better and newer which gives us things to display. Active Install counts was an entirely new system that replaced an older one which didn’t give any useful information.”

Wood confirms what I’ve believed to be true for a long time. WordPress.org is not storing data for an extended period of time and the information that is collected is likely on public display somewhere on the site. What types of data would you like to see on WordPress.org?

by Jeff Chandler at April 22, 2016 08:38 PM under statistics

WPTavern: Guggenheim.org Relaunches on WordPress Using the WP REST API

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The Guggenheim relaunched its website on WordPress this week. The site, which represents the collection of Guggenheim museums, was in need of an overhaul that would modernize its underlying architecture and design.

Laura Kleger, who oversees the foundation’s online projects, explained why the Guggenheim chose WordPress for its new website. She said that the team began with a CMS analysis phase, which included Drupal and WordPress.

“The ideal process for improving websites is incremental and rapid change, but the old Guggenheim.org had accumulated too much technical and structural debt to produce further results, and a big leap forward was required,” Kleger said.

Prior to embarking on the project, the Guggenheim was running on Joomla, but the team had a difficult time implementing small changes.

“We wanted to use a widely adopted, open-source CMS with enough muscle to meet advanced needs,” Kleger said. They needed a user-friendly way for museum staff to create and update content without requesting the help of of designers and developers for simple updates.

“We chose WordPress for a few reasons – among them, the broad pool of developer resources, the excellence of the content administration interface, the rapid update release cycle, the ease of extending functionality, and the CMS’s deep taxonomy,” Kleger said.

The Guggenheim partnered with New York-based development agency Alley Interactive for the website’s overhaul, who recommended implementing a headless version of WordPress with content served via the WP REST API. This allowed the team to build out the frontend of the site using AngularJS.

“As noted by others, this approach is superior to the standard WordPress templating approach for achieving some of the more exciting possibilities in user experience today,” Kleger said.

The new website is a beautiful example of the WP REST API in the wild. For a deeper look at the design and development process, check out Kleger’s post announcing the new Guggenheim.org.

by Sarah Gooding at April 22, 2016 01:34 PM under wp rest api

WPTavern: WordPress 4.5.1 Expected Early Next Week

WordPress 4.5 “Coleman” was released last week without too many issues. However, the WordPress development team recently identified two bugs that are prompting an immediate point release scheduled for next week.

The first is that TinyMCE toolbars and tabs are unresponsive in Chrome Version 50.0.2661.75 beta-m (64-bit). The second is that page templates with widgets are styled incorrectly. WordPress 4.5 added a singular class that many themes use, including Twenty Eleven, that breaks a site’s layout. After a lengthy discussion and testing, the decision was to revert the change.

WordPress 4.5.1 RC 1 is available and the core team wants as many people as possible to test the TinyMCE update and other bug fixes included in the release. If you think you’ve discovered a bug, you’re encouraged to report it in the Alpha/Beta section of the support forums.

by Jeff Chandler at April 22, 2016 02:17 AM under tinymce

April 21, 2016

WPTavern: Jetpack 4.0 Released with UI Improvements and New Editor View for VideoPress

Shortly after Jetpack 4.0 was released yesterday many users reported a fatal error and/or white screen when updating. Developers started warning each other in the Advanced WordPress Facebook group to avoid updating to 4.0, after having received emails from clients with sites that went down. A followup 4.0.2 release was pushed out today for users with the specific configuration that caused the fatal error.

This is the third time in under two months that the Jetpack team has had to send out a followup update on the heels of a release to correct significant problems. Fortunately, the team worked quickly to get a fix out to sites with fatal errors.

jetpack-ui-improvementsThe 4.0 milestone brings major UI improvements for on-boarding new users. In previous versions of the plugin, visiting the Jetpack settings page showed a big green button prompting users to connect to WordPress.com.

This release introduces a full page explaining the benefits of Jetpack to encourage users to hook it up. It also displays a picture of the development and support team, an explanation of Photon, and the benefits of the Protect module.

Version 4.0 also adds a new editor view for VideoPress that lets users edit the shortcode in the editor with a new modal options window. This makes it easy to wrangle VideoPress settings directly in the editor

A few other notable enhancements in this release include:

  • Tighter WooCommerce Integration: Social sharing icons now appear on WooCommerce single product views
  • Widget Visibility for Custom Post Type Archives: Show/hide widgets for CPT single or archive views
  • Selective Refresh for Widgets: Widgets now update instantly with live previews in the customizer
  • Updated schema.org Microdata for Breadcrumbs: Gives search engines a better understanding of a page’s position in the site hierarchy

Jetpack 4.0 also adds performance enhancements for the Protect module and Contact Forms. The method it uses to clean the database of spam form submission records is now more efficient. Check out the changelog to see a full list of all the enhancements and fixes in this release. It should be safe to update your sites and clients’ sites to 4.0.2 without any ill effects.

by Sarah Gooding at April 21, 2016 09:46 PM under jetpack

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 231 – An Inside Look at the Plugin Review Process with Mika Epstein

In this episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I are joined by Mika Epstein. Epstein reviews plugins before they’re added to the WordPress plugin directory and volunteers on the WordPress support forums. We learn what the plugin review process is like and common security issues she discovers. I was shocked to learn that Epstein has experienced some of the worst in people from denying plugins into the directory.

We discuss the idea of a WordPress notifications center and how it could help keep users aware of issues on their sites. Last but not least, she gives us a heads up on common issues that have been reported on the support forums since the release of WordPress 4.5.

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

Ask Me Anything (Anonymously), by Arun Basil Lal from India, enables users to easily add a page or widget using a shortcode where visitors can ask you questions anonymously and you can list them along with your answers.

Admin Cleanup, by Matt Gibbs from Charlottesville, VA, lets you hide menu items (e.g. Tools) entirely, or move them into the WordPress Admin Bar.

Logic Shortcodes, by Samuel Diethelm from Marbella, Spain, enables the use of [if] shortcodes to work with conditional logic based on post meta or taxonomy terms on posts and pages. With conditional logic for taxonomy terms, you can use names, slugs or term_ids. For example: [if taxonomy=”category” slug=”cars”]Content to show[/if]

Dispensary Coupons, by Robert DeVore from Michigan, allows you to prominently display discounts on flower, tinctures, edibles and more with a simple shortcode or widget.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, April 27th 9:30 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

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Listen To Episode #231:

by Jeff Chandler at April 21, 2016 07:15 PM under security

WPTavern: Beaver Builder Passes $1 Million in Revenue After 2 Years in Business

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Beaver Builder, the drag-and-drop page builder plugin, celebrated two years in business this week. Fastline Media, the parent company, started as a web design agency, but due to the success of their product the team closed down its client services department at the beginning of 2016 to focus 100% on Beaver Builder. After just two years in business, the plugin has passed $1 million in revenue.

Beaver Builder hired its first employee in April, 2015, a year after launching. It now employees four people full-time and a few part-time contractors in addition to its three founders. The plugin recently passed 100,000 active installations between the WordPress.org and commercial versions.

As part of their two year milestone post, the team also announced that it acquired the beaverbuilder.com domain name, which set them back $2,300, according to co-founder Robby McCullough.

“There was a really good salesman for the holding company that we bought it through,” McCullough said. “He convinced me it was a steal. Considering it probably cost ~$10 originally, though, it was a bit of a sting.”

McCullough said that he and his co-founders see Beaver Builder, and other WordPress website builders, as being a bridge between WordPress and its mainstream market competitors like Wix and Weebly.

“This idea came up during Jeff King’s presentation at Pressnomics, as more and more traditional ‘jobs’ become automated and obsolete (think driverless cars/trucks on the horizon),” McCullough said. “More and more people will be forced to start small businesses and create their own opportunities. Along with democratizing publishing, we think WordPress (and the web in general) — hopefully with the help of Beaver Builder — has the opportunity to ‘democratize the workforce.'”

With the $1 million milestone under their belts, McCullough said the Beaver Builder co-founders plan to keep putting food on the table and taking care of customers.

“We’ve made it this far by providing great support and embracing customer feedback,” McCullough said. “We might be in the driver seat, but our customers are the ones laying the track.”

by Sarah Gooding at April 21, 2016 06:03 PM under beaver builder

WP Mobile Apps: WordPress for iOS: Call for beta testers

Hello, WordPress users! We are launching a shiny, new TestFlight beta testing program for WordPress for iOS. If you yearn for the latest features, enjoy breaking things, and don’t mind uncovering a bug or two in the process, we need you!

Please fill out our signup form to request to join as a beta tester. If there are available spaces in the beta program, you will receive an email from TestFlight with instructions to download the latest beta release. We can’t wait to hear your feedback!

by Rachel at April 21, 2016 12:35 PM under iOS

Matt: In Memoriam: Chuck Mullenweg

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My father, Chuck Mullenweg, passed one week ago today. After over a month in ICU he had just been transferred to long-term acute care in a different hospital and we were looking forward to a tough but steady road to being back home when he took an unexpected and sudden turn. I’ve started and stopped writing this dozens of times since then and words continue to fail me.

Here’s the rememberance that ran in the paper a few days ago:

IMG_6024.JPGIt is impossible to overstate the influence my father has had on every part of my life: Why did I play saxophone? Dad did. Computers and programming? Dad did. Travel? He was frequently stationed overseas and even when we didn’t visit he would always bring back a cool gift for myself and my sister. He drove me to the HAL-PC office (local non-profit) every weekend where I’d learn so much fixing people’s broken computers and being exposed to open source for the first time. His O’Reilly “camel book” on Perl was the first scripting I learned, and he pointed me toward Mastering Regular Expressions which became the basis of my first contribution to b2, texturize.

We were in a father / son bowling league. I remember admiring his work ethic so much: he’d get up before dawn every morning and put on a suit, grab his briefcase, and go to work. He often went in on weekends and I loved to go with him because they had “fast” internet at the office and I could read Dilbert and about Babylon 5. He was a voracious reader and learner, and loved tinkering whether it was cars or networking. In the other room I can hear a bitcoin mining rig he set up a few years ago. He was independent minded and unafraid to question the status quo.

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There’s a photo somewhere of my dad mowing the lawn and me following behind him with a toy lawnmower, which is a perfect metaphor for how I’ve always followed in his footsteps.

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I’m at a loss.

Parents are there literally the day you’re born, and it’s hard to imagine a life without them. Most people reading this will outlive their parents, and deal with their mortality and often difficult and painful final days as those who brought us into this world exit it. I’ve been reading and reading all the writing I can find on this topic, but nothing really prepares you for it, and nothing makes it better to go through. It’s terrible.

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He wasn’t someone to tell you what the right way to live was, in fact he was incredibly open minded. He didn’t tell you, he showed you how he lived his life from a place of integrity and trust, how he was in his relationship with my mom, how he was in business. He wasn’t flashy and seldom talked about his accomplishments or all the people he had helped out along the way. Many of the stories of appreciation coming in I’m hearing for the first time. In getting his books and taxes together this past week I was humbled by how simply he lived this season of his life, not into material things but cherishing relationships and his quiet life in the suburbs with my mother.

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My biggest blessing has been my family. Every one is the most supportive you can imagine. So inspiring… much of what I’ve done in the world was in the context of making my parents proud, and their relationship to each other and the amazing man my dad was has set a bar I hope to approach in my lifetime. The last few years he got much better about showing his pride in my sister and I, and even more importantly saying “I love you,” the three words that are among the best gift we can give each other. Don’t forget to use them, even if it feels cheesy or embarrassing, and for those of you with parents still around please give them some extra time and a hug for me. This was unexpected, we really believed he was on an upward trajectory. You never know when the words you share with someone might be the last.

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I made a page you can see his official obituary, information about his memorial service in Katy, and leave any memories you have of him at ma.tt/chuck.

 

by Matt at April 21, 2016 06:58 AM under Essays

April 20, 2016

WPTavern: A Tip for Convincing Customers to Renew License Keys

Mika Epstein, who helps review plugins before they’re added to the directory and is a dedicated support forum volunteer, has a great post on the difficulties associated with plugins that require license keys for updates. She addresses topics like keeping users informed, ownership, and bundling plugins with themes. She also suggests the following solution to get users with an expired license key to renew.

What if the updater kept checking, license expired or not, and when you clicked to upgrade it alerted you?

Your license for Foobar has expired. Please renew it in order to upgrade.

What if you got this email?

Hey, you bought Foobar back in 2014 and that license lapsed. Normally I’d never bother you, but today I’ve pushed a major security fix. Since this is a security release, I’m offering you a discount. It’s already applied to your account, just log in and you can buy the upgrade at 50% off. If you’re not using Foobar anymore, click here and I’ll have your account flagged so we don’t bother you about this again.

How happy would you be to find out someone saved your soy bacon?

Based on the comments of her article and from what Epstein has experienced from years of providing WordPress support, it’s a complex problem without a solution. The perils of updating commercial plugins bundled with themes that require a license key were apparent two years ago when a critical security vulnerability was discovered in Revolution Slider.

Had the news not been published across media outlets, many users may not have known about the update. In some cases, users couldn’t update because they didn’t have the required license key, as was the case with Brenda.

The slider plugin was bundled in a theme that a PREVIOUS web developer installed for one of my clients. As such, I do not have the theme license key. There is NO WAY that I would ever have known about this extreme vulnerability had Sucuri not released it.

Some companies make security updates available to all customers regardless if their license is expired. For example, earlier this year, a critical security vulnerability was discovered in Elegant Themes products. Due to the severity of the issue, the company made the updates available for free to expired accounts. The updates contained only the security fix without any of the new features developed in recent versions.

There’s a delicate balance between pushing customers to upgrade, renew license keys, and making it easy to do so. As Epstein says in the conclusion of her post, “If you make it easy to pay, people will renew and pay. If you inform them of security issues, they will pay and upgrade.”

If you’re a commercial plugin developer, how do you inform and convince customers to renew their license keys? Also, how do you handle security updates for customers with expired licenses?

by Jeff Chandler at April 20, 2016 10:49 PM under support

WPTavern: WP Dispensary Offers a Complete Marijuana Menu Solution for WordPress

photo credit: Blueberry Kush, Indica-3 - (license)photo credit: Blueberry Kush, Indica-3(license)

With 24 states having enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana, the industry is booming and dispensaries need websites. WP Dispensary, released five months ago, is the first WordPress plugin to target this underserved market.

After creating Leafly Reviews, a plugin that displays dispensary reviews from Leafly using a widget or shortcode, Robert DeVore decided he wanted to make more solutions to help dispensary owners build professional websites. WP Dispensary and Dispensary Coupons soon followed on WordPress.org.

Many marijuana dispensaries post their product menus on a board, printed on paper, or displayed on a tablet. The WP Dispensary plugin makes it easy to enter products, with all their relevant details, into a menu for display on a WordPress-powered website. This makes it easy for the dispensary owner to create, edit, and maintain a master list of products, which can also be displayed in the store.

wpd-menu-update-1.4The plugin creates custom post types for flowers, edibles, concentrates, pre-rolls, and topicals. It also includes custom taxonomies for aromas, flavors, effects, symptoms, and conditions. This allows visitors to easily sort available products.

Entering a new menu item is as easy as writing a post, so dispensary owners will have no problem keeping their menus updated:

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Dispensary owners can also enter product prices for flowers and concentrates based on weight, from 1/2 gram to an ounce. Edibles and pre-rolls allow you to enter the THC and CBD percentages.

Today’s version 1.4 release, in honor of the 4/20 holiday, adds topicals to the existing custom post types, with extra product information options for unit price, unit size, and THC mg and CBD mg.

When used in combination with DeVore’s free Dispensary Display theme, products are displayed beautifully on the frontend with images for each menu item. After updating it to be compatible with the 1.4 release, DeVore plans to get the theme ready for submission to the official WordPress theme directory.

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WP Dispensary is also fully integrated with the WP REST API so developers can pull data from the custom post types and display it with JavaScript in a website or app. This currently requires the REST API plugin version 2 until the API is officially merged into core.

WP Dispensary is 100% open source and available for anyone to download for free from WordPress.org. Full documentation is available for the plugin on the WP Dispensary project website, which includes instructions for setting it up, information on add-ons, and additional plugin suggestions. The plugin is also available on GitHub if you want to contribute bug fixes or improvements.

by Sarah Gooding at April 20, 2016 08:09 PM under Plugins

WPTavern: The Quest For a Centralized WordPress Notifications Center

Based on the number of comments we received on WordPress admin notices being abused, it’s clear that a number of you feel the same way I do. Thanks to the healthy discussion that took place, I learned several new things about admin notices I’d like to share with you.

Themes Do it Too

While the crux of the article focuses on plugins being the largest offender, the issue also applies to themes hosted in and outside of the WordPress theme directory. In one of the more extreme examples I discovered, earlier this year, Redux Framework added an admin notice that informed users of a new commercial extension.

When users questioned how to remove the notices, Redux Framework developers responded by creating a commercial extension.

Redux Framework Admin NoticeRedux Framework Admin Notice

For $59 a year, the extension removes admin notices, ads from the options panel, and the dashboard news widget. Even though the notices and ads are only displayed when the framework’s dev mode is enabled, it seems like a ridiculous way to generate revenue.

While researching for this article, I discovered that Dovy Paukstys, Co-Founder and lead developer of Redux Framework, is in the process of removing advertising from current and future admin notices. Paukstys provided the Tavern with the following statement:

As a fellow developer, I can see how frustrating an admin notice can be when used as an ad. To support the requests of the community, we will no longer use admin notices to advertise premium features. We will use admin notices for their intended purpose, to inform and educate our users.

We hope that other frameworks, plugins, and products will follow suit.

WP Notification Center

Inspired by our article, WPBeginner looks into whether or not WordPress needs a notification center. As it turns out, there are a couple of different plugins and projects in the works aiming to solve this problem.

The WP Notification Center plugin, developed by Barry Kooij and Never5, adds a notification center to WordPress. This plugin moves admin notices to a central location freeing up valuable screen real-estate.

WP Notification CenterWP Notification Center

When activated, a notifications area is added to the admin bar. This tells you the number of notices available and provides quick viewing access. The messages are also color coded to easily tell the difference between update and error messages.

Links within the notice take you to the corresponding admin page to view more details. Unfortunately, you can’t dismiss notices from the admin toolbar without navigating to the links within them. According to Kooij, dismissing notices is a difficult problem to fix.

The admin notices are added in code so I can’t stop them from being added. That means I would need to store what notices are dismissed and check all added notices on every admin page load to filter out the ones that are dismissed.

It’s the other way around from an ideal situation, where a notice would be added to the database and I can simply remove it when it’s dismissed.

As for the possibility of getting WP Notification Center into core, “I would love to write a patch for core that would set this up the right way,” Kooij said. “That would eventually involve deprecating and stop displaying notifications that are being added the old way.”

If you’re interested in tackling this problem or would like to contribute to other facets of the project, you can find it on GitHub where issues and pull requests are welcomed.

WordPress Notifications API

During the WordPress Core developer chat back in January, John Blackbourn proposed a Notifications API that would replace wp_mail() with an extensible API. The API could be hooked into by developers to send notifications via webhooks that would enable Slack and IM notifications. There would also be UI added so users and admins can choose which individual notifications and types to opt-in/out of.

The API is not directly relevant to admin notices but it’s possible they could be connected in the future. Blackbourn plans to publish a detailed blog post outlining the idea in-depth within the next week or two.

Jetpack Notifications

Jetpack handles notifications via a module that adds an icon to the toolbar. Notifications include, Likes, Comments, Follows, and the ability to moderate and reply to comments.

Jetpack NotificationsJetpack Notifications

I use this notifications area all the time to moderate and respond to comments. It’s convenient and usually loads items quickly. However, I’m not sure how well the interface would work if admin notices from themes and plugins were added.

Subscribers Can Possibly See Admin Notices

One of the most surprising things I’ve learned is that users who are subscribers can possibly see admin notices. On the surface, this doesn’t make sense as subscribers don’t have the capabilities necessary to act on notices. I tested this theory on the WP Tavern test site by activating both Yoast SEO and the All in One SEO plugin.

This is what I see while logged in as an admin.

Admin Notices While Logged in as AdminAdmin Notices While Logged in as Admin

This is the same dashboard while logged in as a subscriber.

Admin Notices While Logged in as A SubscriberAdmin Notices While Logged in as A Subscriber

As you can see, the notices disappear when logged in as a subscriber. While I initially thought this was an issue in core, it appears to be more of a developer issue. JS Morisset, who commented on the original article has a possible explanation:

The word ‘admin’ (for notices) could be interpreted in two ways — either they’re admin / back-end notices, or they’re administrator notices.

I’ve always understood that they are the former (notices displayed on the admin back-end), and can be seen by any / all back-end users, so I use ‘current_user_can()’ in my own code to display different kinds of messages. Maybe this is more of a developer awareness issue than a core WP issue.

While I have not analyzed the code in the plugins I tested, the current_user_can() capability check would explain why admins see notices while subscribers do not.

What I’d Like to See in a Centralized WordPress Notifications Center

Admin notices are a great way for developers to inform users of important information. But with all the notices bombarding site administrators these days, there’s a need for an organizational user interface to manage them all. When considering the types of notifications to allow and display, a notification center in WordPress can easily turn into a deep rabbit hole.

What I’d like to see is a notification center that notifies me of core, plugin, and theme updates in addition to whatever notices those items generate. I also want it to tell me about errors on the site. These notifications should be in an easy-to-use interface that’s quick to access. Notifications should be dismissable or have a status where they can be marked as read.

As seen above, there are plenty of people and projects working on solutions to this problem. What would be your ideal WordPress notifications center?

by Jeff Chandler at April 20, 2016 02:11 AM under notifications

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