WordPress Planet

December 03, 2022

Gutenberg Times: Gutenberg 14.6, Divi builder’s future,Block and Theme development courses and more – Weekend Edition 237

Howdy,

It has been a whirlwind year for me, and now 2022 is coming to an end. Two more Weekend Editions, one more Gutenberg Changelog episode and our vacation around the Holidays and New Year’s will start. I can hardly wait, to be honest. I have a few personal projects, I finally need to get going on them.

In this week’s The Repository newsletter (150) I read the community profile of Ryan Sullivan who identified Entropy as the one concept that is worth understanding. He shared a link to a blog post by James Clear (Atomic Habits) “Entropy: Why Life Always Seems to Get More Complicated“. I found some solace in the fact that chaos seems to be our natural state of things.

In a GitHub discussion about Custom-CSS coming to the Block editor, I also learned about Cumming’s Law: “Law that affirms that the best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, but to post the wrong answer” Wisdom of the crowd.

Well, WordPress problem-solving is a holistic experience. It takes the whole person. It’s not all about bits, bytes, servers, PHP and JavaScript. It’s about people, too. 🤦‍♀️ 😜

For a more down to Earth developers, you’ll find below two posts linked that tell use of the journey of backend or PHP developer to learn working with blocks.

If you haven’t yet, browse through the schedule of WordFest Live – a 24-hour virtual conference and celebration of WordPress around Transformation. It will take place on December 16, 2022, I was sorry to learn, that WordFest Live was cancelled. (12/4 – Thank you, DJ for letting me know)

The day before, December 15, 2022 Matt Mullenweg will will give his annual keynote address called State of the Word, when he shares reflections on the project’s progress and the future of open source.

Yours, 💕
Birgit

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

Gutenberg 14.6 was release on November 23rd, 2022. Fabian Kägy highlighted in his release post What’s new in Gutenberg 14.6? (23 November) the following features:


Sarah Gooding reported on the release as well: Gutenberg 14.6 Adds List View for Editing Navigation Block, Introduces New Automatic Color Palette Generator. She wrote: “One of the most creative features introduced in this release is the new “Randomize colors” feature that will automatically generate color palettes on the fly. It utilizes hue rotations based on the Cubehelix color scheme.”


If you are a subscriber to the Gutenberg Changelog podcast, your favorite podcast app probably made the latest episode available to you. To my absolute delight, Ryan Welcher, Twitch streamer and developer advocate joined me again for this show. It was great fun!

Welcher was quoted in the the Repository Newsletter #150 “In the latest episode of the Gutenberg Changelog podcast, Ryan Welcher, a Developer Relations Advocate at Automattic, some “quality of life” updates in Gutenberg 14.6 that make using it a more pleasant experience: “It’s nice there’s this level of refinement happening to these existing tools,” he says.” TY to Rae Morey, editor of the newsletter.

🎙️ New episode: Gutenberg Changelog #76 – The new developer blog’s public beta, Gutenberg 14.5 and 14.6, and what’s coming up in 6.2. with special guest, Ryan Welcher, and host Birgit Pauli-Haack.


If you’re all about the words, be it blogging for yourself or as a content author for your clients, WordPress 6.1 has a number of writing and editing improvements you’ll want to take advantage of. Anne McCarthy published another post in the series of Core editor improvements. In Advancing the writing experience they wrote: “The experience of writing your latest post, whether as part of your weekly routine or out of excitement from a recent adventure, just got easier in many different ways. From a new mode that helps you focus on just writing to more keyboard shortcuts for quickly navigating content, there’s something for everyone, no matter how you approach writing your posts.”

Plugins, Themes, and Tools for #nocode site builders and owners

In the last edition, I shared with you the story that GiveWP is revamping their plugin to use Gutenberg as a framework for their Donations plugin and use the interface components, and scripts already built into WordPress to modernize and standardize the plugin page and settings.

Last month, Nick Roach CEO Elegant Themes, the company that built the Divi Builder, announced the start of the Divi 5.0 release process in the post Let’s Talk About Divi 5.0 And The Future Of Divi. “In fact, developers familiar with creating blocks for WordPress will find a lot of similarities in the Divi 5.0 module API. WordPress blocks will be more easily adapted to Divi and WordPress developers will be able to jump head first into building things for our community. We are building this new version of Divi to work in harmony with WordPress.” he wrote. As time of the writing the post has around 190 comments. I haven’t started to read yet.

Sarah Gooding reported on it on the WPTavern: Divi 5.0 Aims to Bring Greater Compatibility with Gutenberg. She talked to developer, Josh Ronk and quoted him: “On the block theme front, as a part of Divi 5.0, we are also transitioning into a Block-Based theme, and since Divi 5.0 is actually internally built using the same ‘packages’ that Gutenberg itself is composed of, Divi 5.0 has a lot of compatibility built in from the core,”.

In his video, Jamie Marsland, PootlePress, posed the question: Is The Divi WordPress Theme Dying?

Are you a Divi user? How do you feel about this announcement? Share in the comments, or email me to pauli@gutenbergtimes.com


Jean-Baptist Audras, Whodunit Agency and outgoing team rep of the WordPress Core team tweeted that his agency released two new plugins that help with creating accessible content.

“Lang Attribute for the Block Editor” provides a way to ensure language changes in the content of a page are properly indicated to assistive technologies, using the lang attribute. See WCAG Success Criterion 3.1.2 “Language of Parts”

“Abbreviation Button for the Block Editor” helps you to provide definitions for abbreviations, using the <abbr> HTML element. See WCAG success criterion 3.1.4 “Abbreviations”

Audras also wrote: “Worth noting that indicating language changes in content is mandatory for WCAG compliance, and there is currently no way to do that in the Block Editor (except by editing the code manually). I think this feature should be implemented natively into Gutenberg”


Marko Segota at Anariel Design wrote about How to Create Columns in WordPress Block Editor (Gutenberg)? He covers the topic from adding columns to the editor canvas, and adding blocks to each column. Then Segota goes over all the various design options and how to add borders. Equipped with the full knowledge of available features, you now can channel your creativity to build enticing layouts and page sections.

Share your creation, if you’d like and send me your screenshots or links. Please don’t hesitate to also send your questions, and your bug reports, to my email address pauli@gutenbergtimes.com


On WPEngine’s Builders Resouces site, Nick Diego wrote a tutorial on Designing with Column Blocks in WordPress and explored two block layouts that rely on the Columns block. “While both are relatively simple, they demonstrate how powerful and versatile this block can be. ” He also included ways to add additional functionality using custom CSS classes.

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Justin Tadlock and Damon Cook facilitated a conversation in a recent Hallway Hangout about the future of CSS in block themes. In the more casual chat the group discussed some Block Theme development-related features that are under active development. I was sorry, that I missed it and I have this on my watch list once this newsletter is done 🙂


Speaking of WordPressTV: the recording of a recent Learn WordPress Builder Basics event was uploaded, too. Builder basics: building with columns, groups, rows and stacks with Nick Diego, where he “explored how to design sophisticated layouts using Columns, Group, Row, and Stack blocks. These blocks represent the fundamental building blocks of every WordPress website. You’ll learn the nuances of each block type and how to configure them correctly, with a special focus on new features in WordPress 6.1.”


In his post How to add typographic fonts to WordPress block themes, Matias Benedetto explains how to use the Create Block Theme plugins to bundle fonts to your theme with just a few clicks.


Ganesh Dahal published a tutorial on how to use the new constrained layout In WordPress block themes. “Now that we have JSON-ified styles for the margins and padding of layout containers, that opens us up to more flexible and robust ways to define spacing in our theme layouts.” Dahal wrote.

A Walk-Through of Layout Classes in WordPress 6.1
WordPress 6.1 introduced several necessary changes to its layout framework. Namely, core has now centralized its layout definitions, created semantic class names, and reduced code duplication on container blocks. Originally,… Read more.

Isabel Brison published the Dev Note for the WordPress 6.1 release: Updated editor layout support in 6.1 after refactor. “A new layout type, “constrained”, was added to the already available Flow and Flex layouts types. In addition, layout refactor efforts bring new layout styles, new block level spacing, more semantic class name for layouts, root padding and a method to disable all layout styles altogether for themes.” Brison wrote.

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2022” 
A chronological list of the WordPress Make Blog posts from various teams involved in Gutenberg development: Design, Theme Review Team, Core Editor, Core JS, Core CSS, Test and Meta team from Jan. 2021 on. Updated by yours truly. The index 2020 is here

Brian Coords, MasterWP, talked to Cory Hughart and Phil Hoyt on their podcast In The Loop about all things block editing, open-source theme frameworks, and creating media in the world of WordPress. To listen to the full podcast episode head on over to In The Loop: Mastering Theme Development with Brian Coords


The second part of the new Block Theme building course on Learn WordPress has gone live. You can now take both courses back to back.

Developers Guide to Block Themes (Part 1) covers the fundamental aspects of developing a block theme, like

  • The minimum requirements of a block theme
  • The primary elements of a block theme, and how that differs from a classic theme
  • Turning a design into a block theme
  • Different methods of creating block theme elements in the Site Editor, and then exporting them to theme files

Developers Guide to Block Themes (Part 2) dives into more advanced block theme development topics:

  • Adding custom fonts to your block theme
  • Adding custom functionality through block patterns
  • Creating Global Styles variations
  • Making your block theme translation ready
  • Locking down your theme settings and blocks

A less code-heavy course to building a WordPress Theme is also in the works, It’s called Develop Your First Low-Code Block Theme it’s in public preview, and not all advanced modules are done, but you get a fabulous introduction into WordPress block theme and how you can create them through the Site Editor.

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

Core contributor, Michael Burridge published a PHP developer’s guide to getting started with block development on the shiny new WordPress Developer Blog. “This post is intended to guide you through the murkiness and emerge blinking into the clear light of day. It has been written by someone who has followed the same path. Before learning about block development I was a PHP developer who started by creating custom themes and went on to develop plugins to implement custom functionality on WordPress/WooCommerce sites.” Burridge wrote from his experience.


Jonathan Bossenger held part 4 of his workshop series this week: Developing Blocks without React – Block Controls. This series of workshops looks at building a WordPress block, without using React JSX. In the previous part, Bossenger built a WordPress block using plain JavaScript which supports custom styles via a stylesheet, and which uses block attributes and the RichText component to allow the user to edit the block content. In this iteration, he added a block control and an additional attribute to allow the user to edit the block alignment.

Catch up on the earlier workshops of the series Developing Blocks without React

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

GitHub all releases

On his Twitch Stream, Ryan Welcher worked three weeks in a row on Query Block variations of all types. Here is the list of the shows on Twitch. A deep dive into the world of post lists.

And if you are a bit fuzzy on what the shows are about, Nik Tsekouras wrote the Dev Note on this topic for WordPress 6.1. Extending the Query Loop block. He starts out with “Extenders required a way to present bespoke versions of the Query Loop block, with their presets, additional settings and disabled customization options when irrelevant to their use-case. With WordPress 6.1, the Query Loop block offers mighty ways to create such versions, through Block Variations.”


Tom McFarlin published part 4 of his series A Backend Engineer Learns to Build Block Editor Blocks in which he walks you through how to handle the process to save content from a block and how to control how it is rendered on the front end. If you are keen on learning block development, McFarlin recommends to start reading part one through three first:

  1. Required Tools, Plugin Structure, Dependencies, Block Metadata
  2. The Backend, The Frontend, Functionality, Styles, a Working Demo
  3. Block Attributes, Editable Content, Components, Editor Styles

Upcoming WordPress events

December 15, 2022 – 1 pm ET / 18:00 UTC
State of the Word 2022 – Matt Mullenweg’s annual keynote.

New Date! December 16, 2022
WordFest Live Returns – the 24-hour Festival of WordPress

February 17 – 19, 2023
WordCamp Asia 2023 – the first round of speakers was announced

Have a look at the schedule of upcoming WordCamps to find one near you.

Learn WordPress Online Meetups

December 5, 2022 – 2 am ET / 7am UTC
Using the Navigation Block with Ben Evans

December 8, 2022 – 3 pm ET / 22:00 UTC
Builder Basics: Demystifying theme.json and Global Styles with Nick Diego

December 12, 2022 – 3 pm ET / 22:00 UTC
Creating a Call To Action with the Block Editor


Featured Image: Fantasy CityScape created with the Imajinn AI plugin


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by Birgit Pauli-Haack at December 03, 2022 04:02 PM under Weekend Edition

WPTavern: The WP Community Collective Launches Nonprofit to Fund Individual Contributors and Community-Based Initiatives

The WP Community Collective (WPCC) officially launched today as a new nonprofit organization dedicated to funding individual WordPress contributors and community-led initiatives. It was founded by Sé Reed, Katie Adams Farrell, and Courtney Robertson.

The organization was created to address some of the challenges of contribution, where larger companies tend to have more resources to sponsor contributors, while individuals and smaller companies may struggle to balance their ability to volunteer with the need to make ends meet.

One of the primary ways the WPCC aims to support contributors is through Fellowships. This is an agreement where individuals receive financial support for their contributions to WordPress with global pay parity. They will also engage in professional development and are encouraged to participate in regional WordCamps as attendees, speakers, and/or organizers with expenses covered by the fellowship.

The fellowships are an interesting concept, designed to incubate high quality contributors who are connected to the community with a well-rounded set of expectations that are not narrowly limited to the code produced.

WPCC aims to identify areas where the community is underrepresented or contribution is needed and fund Fellowships in those areas. The first fellowship they plan to fund is for an Accessibility contributor, who will dedicate 5-10 hours a week to work on the Make WordPress Accessibility Team and its existing accessibility initiatives.

“The Accessibility Fellowship will be a bit of a test, in terms of fundraising and response from the community,” WPCC co-founder Sé Reed said. “Accessibility is an easy place to start because the community already knows it is important and we have contributors who are doing crucial work without any monetary support.”

WPCC is using Open Collective as the fiscal sponsor for its 501(c)3 status, enabling donations to be classified as charitable giving, which is in many cases tax-deductible. All transactions that run through the organization are transparent and publicly documented on the organization’s transactions page.

Reed said the tipping point for her team to get organized to make this happen was a tweet from Matt Mullenweg shortly after the 2022 WordCamp US, where he responded to people calling for users of assistive technology to be paid for testing Gutenberg.

“His statement in that tweet really made two things clear to me,” Reed said. “One, that this funding concept would not be in conflict with the work of the WordPress Foundation or the official project, and two, that if we wanted something like this to happen it would have to be done as an independent entity.”

The WPCC founders joined in on a recent WPwatercooler podcast episode where they shared their contributor stories and why they started the organization. One of their commonalities was a sincere desire to contribute more but not enough time in the day. With very few sponsored contributor positions available, volunteering is not always possible, resulting in the project being led primarily by sponsored contributors.

“We hope that the WP Community Collective can help bridge the gap between the passion people feel for WordPress, and the very real and practical limits of volunteer contribution,” Reed said.

WPCC is starting out with a small governance team that consists of the three co-founders but plans to expand the organizational structure to include more community representation, including an Advisory Board with a permanent seat for the Executive Director of WordPress. 

People who want to support the WPCC can join with an individual membership for free to stay up to date with the organization’s activities. Check out the podcast episode below to meet the co-founders and learn more about the initiative.

by Sarah Gooding at December 03, 2022 03:39 AM under WordPress Community Collective

December 02, 2022

WPTavern: UK Publishers File £13.6 Billion Lawsuit Against Google Alleging Market Abuse

A group of 130,000 businesses publishing around 1,750,000 websites and applications in the UK have filed a lawsuit against Google and its parent company, Alphabet. The claim is being managed by law firms Humphries Kerstetter and Geradin Partners, who allege that “Google abused its dominant position in the market for online advertising, earning super-profits for itself at the expense of the tens of thousands of publishers of websites and mobile apps in the UK.”

The firms’ economic analysis of Google’s alleged anti-competitive behavior suggests that some companies may have had advertising revenues reduced by 40%. Although Google has been the subject of multiple regulatory investigations in the EU, UK, and USA, resulting in a €220m fine from French competition authorities, this claim aims to compensate publishers and recover losses through a competition class action lawsuit.

A statement published by Humphries Kerstetter details the focus of their investigations:

These competition investigations all focus on the same core facts. Google dominates the markets for ad tech services in the UK and across the world controlling up to 90% of the market in certain sectors. This allows Google to dictate terms, control pricing and, in some scenarios, enables it to favour its own platforms in the process by which advertisements are selected to be published.

The allegations of the competition claim are similar to the complaint brought by the US Department of Justice that alleges Google used AMP to impede header bidding and throttle the load time of non-AMP ads.

“The marketplace for online advertising is sophisticated, technical and highly automated,” Claudio Pollack, who is heading the UK publishers’ competition claim, said. “Advertising is sold in a fraction of a second in a process which is designed to match the product being advertised with the profile of an individual visiting a website. Third party platforms operate on both sides of the marketplace matching supply with demand and – in an ideal world – ensuring the market operates efficiently and effectively. Unfortunately, it is now well established that this market has developed in a way that is primarily serving Google.”

A separate multi-billion Euro claim will be running in parallel in the EU, handled by a Dutch law firm in cooperation with Geradin Partners. They are seeking compensation for the alleged damage to small, local publishers who have struggled to stay afloat amid decreased advertising revenue.

“While the value of the claim we are bringing is substantial, we believe this matter is about much more than money,” Geradin Partners founding partner Professor Geradin said. “For years Google has been denying companies in the UK and Europe and beyond, including the local press and the publishers of community focused websites, the chance to earn a proper income by way of advertising. As well as bringing Google to account the parties who have lost out need proper compensation, something a CAT claim can achieve at no cost to those parties.”

by Sarah Gooding at December 02, 2022 10:54 PM under google

Post Status: All the Things This Week

State of the Word

For the second year, State of the Word (SOTW) will be a small in-person event at the Tumblr offices in New York City on the afternoon of December 15 (1pm local time). Matt Mullenweg will deliver the annual address to a small in-person crowd, and the event will be live streamed over WordPress’ official social media streams. Meetups and other WordPress groups (businesses, etc.) are encouraged to have watch parties for their groups. 

I will be attending in person again this year. If you’ll be there, say hello and let’s get a selfie to post on whatever social media we’re using. I’ll be tweeting using #SOTW.

WordPress Credentialing

CertifyWP, a new organization, will soon launch a WordPress credentialing process. The organization, which is in the process of seeking non-profit/501(c)3 status in the US, will be the first of its kind for WordPress credentials.

“Part of developing a credential for WordPress is establishing a baseline of skills for those entering the WordPress job market, including the US Department of Defense, which requires a credential for entry,” says Talisha Lewallen, CEO of WPConnects, and founder of CertifyWP. “The beauty of a credential like this is that it can benefit any company that is hiring in WordPress. Along with the benefits it will bring for WordPress users and contractors.”

The next step for establishing such a credential is twofold: having a team begin working on a standardized exam for becoming credentialed, and gathering letters of endorsement from those hiring in WordPress and for WordPress roles within the community. To contribute a letter of endorsement, visit https://certifywp.com/endorse-certifywp/ where you can view a sample letter and upload your completed endorsement.

(Full disclosure, I have joined the board of directors for this endeavor.)

Annual WordPress Survey

While there’s always a lot of conversation about WordPress and the future of WordPress, if you have an opinion about the open source project, here’s your annual opportunity to weigh in and have your opinion quantified with others. https://wordpress.org/news/2022/12/2022-wordpress-survey/

It’s a great opportunity to have your experiences count!

Post Status Membership Deal

In the spirit of Black Friday/Cyber Monday, Post Status is offering $100 off any annual membership through December 31. Why? Because we love you! Membership gets you into our Slack community, too!

Use discount code BFCM for your best Post Status membership deal ever!

In the Spotlight

Post Status member, Nathan Ingram. Nathan is the creator of MonsterContracts, battle-tested contracts for WordPress client work.

Podcast Episodes Worth a Listen

Upcoming Events:

This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

by Michelle Frechette at December 02, 2022 03:53 PM under Tumblr

WPTavern: Take the 2022 WordPress Survey

The 2022 WordPress Survey is now open to anyone using WordPress – from beginners to professional developers and everyone in between. This annual survey helps project leaders and contributors learn more about how and why the software is being used.

This year’s survey is available in the seven most frequently installed languages based on the number of WordPress downloads, including FrenchGermanItalian, JapaneseRussian, and Spanish.

The survey begins with some questions about basic demographics and moves on to a mix of interesting questions that fall more under the topic of market research than previous years. It asks why you use WordPress instead of other tools/platforms, what you think are the most essential three plugins when building sites, and what are the best and most frustrating things about WordPress. The survey also asks whether respondents have used blocks in the new Site Editor and which Site Editor they prefer. It will be interesting to see the data from these questions.

The last eight questions are for contributors, and even with those it takes less than five minutes to complete. Although some information from the 2022 survey may be shared in the annual State of the Word address, the survey will be open through the end of 2022.

The analysis from the 2021 survey results will be shared in early 2023 and WordPress will publish the 2022 results sometime next year.

by Sarah Gooding at December 02, 2022 04:28 AM under News

WPTavern: Two New WordPress Plugins Improve Block Editor Accessibility and WCAG Compliance

WordPress Core Committer Jb Audras, CTO of the France-based Whodunit agency, has released two new accessibility plugins in cooperation with Guillaume Turpin, another developer on the Whodunit team. These are small “micro” plugins developed to fill gaps in the block editor’s accessible content creation experience.

The first plugin is called Lang Attribute for the Block Editor and is important for content that is written in multiple languages. It allows content creators to indicate language changes using the lang attribute so that those using assistive technologies will get the correct presentation and pronunciation rules for the specified language. This plugin helps WordPress sites meet the requirements of the WCAG Success Criterion 3.1.2 “Language of Parts.”

video source: Jb Audras

With the plugin installed, content creators can highlight text and then find the language attribute in the block toolbar to edit it.

“It’s worth noting that indicating language changes in content is mandatory for WCAG compliance, and there is currently no way to do that in the Block Editor (except by editing the code manually),” Audras said when introducing the plugin on Twitter. “I think this feature should be implemented natively into Gutenberg.”

The second micro plugin is called Abbreviation Button for the Block Editor, which allows content authors to include definitions for abbreviations using the <abbr> HTML element. This enables site visitors to access the expanded form of abbreviations, as outlined by WCAG success criterion 3.1.4 “Abbreviations.”

The WCAG identify a few types of visitors who may be helped by the Abbreviations, including those who have difficulty decoding words, those who rely on screen magnifiers, have a limited memory, and those who have difficulty using context to aid understanding.

video source: Jb Audras

The abbreviation tag can also be found in the block toolbar, so users can highlight any text for which they want to provide the expanded form of the abbreviation.

Both the Abbreviation Button and the Language Attribute plugins are available for free in the WordPress plugins directory. The plugins’ creators hope that some of this functionality can eventually be added to the block editor, but in the meantime users can install the plugins to create more accessible content that meets accessibility guidelines.

by Sarah Gooding at December 02, 2022 03:12 AM under accessibility

December 01, 2022

Akismet: Version 5.0.2 of the Akismet WordPress Plugin is Now Available

Version 5.0.2 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available. This update contains the following improvements:

  • Fixed a bug causing incompatibility with themes that hide dropdown menus after a set amount of time.
  • Moved away from using [api_key].rest.akismet.com subdomains in favor of sending the key in the request body in order to increase the privacy of Akismet API keys.

To upgrade, visit the Updates page of your WordPress dashboard and follow the instructions. If you need to download the plugin zip file directly, links to all versions are available in the WordPress plugins directory.

by Christopher Finke at December 01, 2022 05:20 PM under Releases

WordPress.org blog: Share Your Experience: The 2022 WordPress Survey is Open

Each year, members of the WordPress community (users, site builders, extenders, and contributors) provide valuable feedback through an annual survey. Key takeaways and trends that emerge from this survey often find their way into the annual State of the Word address, are shared in the public project blogs, and can influence the direction and strategy for the WordPress project.

Simply put: this survey helps those who build WordPress understand more about how the software is used, and by whom. The survey also helps leaders in the WordPress open source project learn more about our contributors’ experiences.  

To ensure that your WordPress experience is represented in the 2022 survey results, take the 2022 annual survey now.

You may also take the survey in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish, thanks to the efforts of WordPress polyglot contributors. These are the most frequently installed languages based on the number of WordPress downloads. 

The survey will be open through the end of 2022, and then WordPress plans to publish the results sometime in 2023. This year, the survey questions have been refreshed for more effortless survey flow, completion, and analysis. Some questions have been removed, while a few new ones are now present, reflecting the present and future of WordPress. If you’re looking for the analysis of the 2021 survey results, those will also be shared in early 2023.

Spread the word

Help spread the word about the survey by sharing it with your network, through Slack, or within your social media accounts. The more people who complete the survey and share their experience with WordPress, the more the project as a whole will benefit in the future.

Security and privacy

Data security and privacy are paramount to the WordPress project and community. With this in mind, all data will be anonymized: no email addresses nor IP addresses will be associated with published results. To learn more about WordPress.org’s privacy practices, view the privacy policy.

Thank you

Thank you to the following WordPress contributors for assisting with the annual survey project, including question creation, strategy, survey build-out, and translation:

dansoschin, _dorsvenabili, angelasjin, arkangel, audrasjb, atachibana, bjmcsherry, chanthaboune, eidolonnight, fernandot, fierevere, fxbenard, jdy68, jpantani, laurlittle, nao, nielslange, peiraisotta, piermario, rmartinezduque, santanainniss.

by Chloe Bringmann at December 01, 2022 04:00 PM under survey

Do The Woo Community: Episode 300: The Hosts, My Heroes

There was no better way to celebrate episode 300 of the podcast than to celebrate our hosts.

>> The post Episode 300: The Hosts, My Heroes appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

by BobWP at December 01, 2022 11:14 AM under Do the Woo Podcast

WPTavern: ElasticPress 4.4.0 Adds New Status Report Page and Instant Results Template Customization

10up has released version 4.4.0 of ElasticPress, its enhanced search plugin that speeds up searching while reducing the load on WordPress sites. The plugin is based on Elasticsearch and is used by customers of the ElasticPress.io service (a SaaS solution), as well as those who are hosting their own Elasticsearch instance.

This update adds a new “Status Report” page in the dashboard with information that can be helpful for troubleshooting ElasticPress and synced content. The UI uses Gutenberg components for the collapsible sections. Version 4.4.0 introduces a new query logger functionality that stores failed queries (up to 5 in the last 24 hours) and displays an admin notice if failed queries are detected. The failed queries are displayed on the new Status Report page.

Another highlight of this release is the ability to customize the template for Instant Results. It gives developers a JavaScript hook for replacing the component used to render search results in Instant Results. The Instant Results feature was introduced in March with limited customization capabilities. It added a new search modal over the page content that inherits the site’s styles. Developers could adjust the appearance and expose facets, but this new update gives them control over the whole template.

Another small but useful update in this release is the ability to exclude a specific post from Search. This helps site owners further customize the search experience to deliver only the intended results.

Developers who are using the plugin should take note of the announcement included in this release regarding the migration of the Users feature to the ElasticPress Labs plugin, which houses more experimental features:

Note that starting from the ElasticPress 5.0.0 release the Users feature will be moved to the ElasticPress Labs plugin. The Terms and Comments features will remain in ElasticPress but will be available only if enabled via code.

Check out the full list of updates and bug fixes on GitHub in the changelog for 4.4.0.

by Sarah Gooding at December 01, 2022 05:22 AM under elasticpress

November 30, 2022

WPTavern: WordPress Versions 3.7-4.0 No Longer Get Security Updates

In September, WordPress’ Security Team announced it would be dropping support for versions 3.7 through 4.0 by December 1, 2022. Yesterday the final releases for these versions (3.7.41, 3.8.41, 3.9.40, and 4.0.38) were made available to the very small percentage of users who are running ancient versions of WordPress.

As part of the final releases, the upgrade notification now informs users that they are on a version that is no longer receiving security updates. This affects fewer than 1% of total installs. The vast majority of WordPress sites are running 4.1 or later and will continue receiving security updates.

Wherever possible, WordPress users should be running 6.1.1 on PHP 8 or later. (Although PHP 7.4 is the minimum version required to use WordPress, PHP 7.4 reached end of life two days ago and will no longer be receiving security updates. Version 8.0 will reach EOL in 11 months.)

Now that the Security Team is no longer obligated to backport security updates to very old versions, it frees up their time to better support newer versions of WordPress.

by Sarah Gooding at November 30, 2022 08:53 PM under security

WordPress.org blog: People of WordPress: Huanyi Chuang

This month we feature Huanyi (Eric) Chuang, a front end developer from Taiwan, who helps connect local groups to WordPress and the worldwide open source community. He is part of the team helping to make the first WordCamp Asia a success in 2023.

The People of WordPress series shares some of the inspiring stories of how people’s lives can change for the better through WordPress and its global network of contributors.

Huanyi pictured sitting inside a rock formation.

Discovering WordPress and the benefit of child themes

Huanyi’s first footsteps in WordPress began in 2017 when he worked for a firm that built blogs and developed ad content for clients.

After building a few sites using the platform, he discovered child themes and through them opened up a world of possibilities for his clients. To this day, he uses child themes to deliver truly custom designs and functionality for clients.

Later in his career, Huanyi moved into digital marketing, integrating sites with massive ad platforms like Google and Facebook. This led him to learn to work with tracking code and JavaScript. He also began his learning journey in HTML, CSS, and PHP, to be able to improve his development skills and customize child themes.

Meetups bring together software users to learn together

Huanyi and a koala.Huanyi pictured in Australia during one of his travels meeting a koala bear.

When Huanyi had a problem with a client’s site, he looked to WordPress meetups near where he lived in Taipei to help find the solutions.

“When I encountered an issue with the custom archive pages, a local meetup announcement showed up on my WordPress dashboard.”

Huanyi Chuang

At the meetup, he met more experienced WordPress users and developers there, who answered his questions and helped him learn.

“When I encountered an issue with the custom archive pages, a local meetup announcement showed up on my WordPress dashboard. That was my original connection with the local community,” Huanyi said.

The WordPress community gave Huanyi a chance to connect with people, feed his curiosity about the software, and join a circle of people he could share this interest.

At first, he thought meetups were an opportunity to source new clients, and he took his business cards to every event. However, he soon found that these events offered him the opportunity to make friends and share knowledge.

From then on, Huanyi started focusing more on what he could give to these events and networks, making new friends, and listening to people. This led him to share as a meetup speaker his own commercial website management experience.

The road to WordCamp

It was going to his first meetup and then getting involved with WordCamps that changed Huanyi’s whole relationship with WordPress.

Huanyi pictured on an outing, stood next to a white car.

In 2018, he took the step to help as an organizer, having joined the Taoyuan Meetup in Taiwan. He played several parts across the organizing team, and the welcoming feeling he got in every situation encouraged him to get more involved.

He recalls meeting new friends from different fields and other countries, which gave him a great sense of achievement and strengthened his passion for participating in the community.

When the team started this meetup, numbers were much lower than in the group in the city of Taipei, but they were not disheartened and gradually grew the local WordPress community.

They created a pattern of ‘multiple organizers,’ which spread the workload and grew friendships. 

“Being connected to and from meetups is the most valuable part of the community. Having these friends makes me gather more information. We share information and benefit from others’ information, and thus we gain more trust in each other. With such credibility, we share more deeply and build deeper relations.”

Huanyi Chuang

Before the pandemic, the meetup met every month and grew to become the second largest meetup in Taiwan. Huanyi also contributed to the WordPress community as an organizer of WordCamp Taipei 2018 in the speaker team and lead organizer of WordCamp Taiwan 2021.

So why should you join the community?

According to Huanyi, you will always have something to take home with you. It might be new information or experiences. It might be plugins or theme ideas. But most of all, it is the chance to meet fascinating people and make new friends.

Huanyi’s message to other contributors:
“Keep participating, and you will find more you can achieve than you expect.”

He added that long-term participation will ‘let you feel the humanity behind the project’.

Localize: the road ahead for WordPress

Huanyi standing on a sandy beach.

Huanyi believes WordPress has the power to break down the barriers between designers, project managers, developers, marketers, writers, and publishers. In Taiwan, he said WordPress is ‘a common protocol’ that lets people from all of these disciplines work and communicate together more easily than they ever have before.

That is why he works on and encourages others to localize plugins today. He believes localization of the software is the foundation for the extension of the WordPress community as it enables people to ‘Flex their Freedom’ in a language they speak!

He has helped to organize online events around previous WordPress Translation Day events.

Huanyi said: “I think it’s important to localize WordPress because its very concept of ‘open source’ means that people can access it freely. In another way, free from the monopoly of knowledge and speech. To achieve it, it’s important that people can access it with their own language.

“Localization is the foundation of the extension of WordPress community because it helps people using different languages to access the project and lowers the hurdle to understand how things work.”

Share the stories

Help share these stories of open source contributors and continue to grow the community. Meet more WordPressers in the People of WordPress series.

Contributors

Thank you to @no249a002 for sharing his adventures in WordPress.

Thank you to Abha Thakor (@webcommsat), Mary Baum (@marybaum), Meher Bala (@meher), Chloe Bringmann (@cbringmann), Surendra Thakor (@sthakor), Adeeb Malik (@adeebmalik) for research, interviews, and contributing to this feature article.

The People of WordPress series thanks Josepha Haden (@chanthaboune) and Topher DeRosia (@topher1kenobe) for their support.

HeroPress logo

This People of WordPress feature is inspired by an essay originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. It highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories might otherwise go unheard. #HeroPress

by Abha Thakor at November 30, 2022 08:09 PM under People of WordPress

Post Status: Annual Survey • State of the Word 2022 • Meetup Accessibility Overlays • Multi-line Code Comments • WP 3.7 – 4.0 Final Releases

This Week at WordPress.org (November 28, 2022)

Should code comments switch to // ? Meetup.com stops using an accessibility overlay. Final releases for WordPress 3.7 – 4.0 are now available. Tune in soon for State of the Word 2023, happening December 15 via livestream from New York City.

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by Courtney Robertson at November 30, 2022 07:15 PM under WordPress.org

WPTavern: #53 – Matt Medeiros on the State of the WordPress Landscape

Transcript

[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the Jukebox podcast from WP Tavern. My name is Nathan Wrigley. Jukebox is a podcast which is dedicated to all things WordPress. The people, the events, the plugins, the blocks, the themes, and in this case, the thoughts on the past present and future of WordPress.

If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast, you can do that by searching for WP Tavern in your podcast, player of choice, or by going to wptavern.com forward slash feed forward slash podcast. And you can copy that URL into most podcast players. If you have a topic that you’d like us to feature on the podcast, I’m keen to hear from you, and hopefully get you, or your idea featured on the show. Head to wptavern.com forward slash contact forward slash jukebox, and use the form there.

So on the podcast today, we have Matt Medeiros. Matt is the driving force behind many WordPress initiatives. That could be the creation of plugins, WordPress news, media, as well as podcasts about all manner of WordPress specific subjects. He likes to juggle multiple projects at once.

Currently he’s the director of podcaster to success at Castos, which is a podcast hosting company with a WordPress plugin. He’s on the podcast today to give us his take on the past, present and future of WordPress.

Many millions of people like to work with the WordPress software, they create websites, plugins, and themes, and extend what the CMS can do. Others, such as Matt like to ponder the broader purpose and direction of the software and the community around it. The Matt Report and The WP Minute have enabled us to hear about what the community is doing, what it wants and where its points of friction are. He’s talked to hundreds of people about what WordPress was, is, and might be. And so he’s in a unique position to pontificate about what WordPress, beyond the software, is.

We start with mats backstory. How he found WordPress and why he started to use it. We talk about how he’s dipped in and out of the community over the years. More excited at times, less so at others.

The conversation moves on to some of the trends that Matt has noticed. He identifies how the software and the wider community have altered over time. We talk about how The WP Minute got started, and how he’s building up a community of like-minded people to consume as well as to create the content that they’re putting out.

Towards the end, we get into the governance of WordPress and the future of the project more generally. There are certainly things that Matt likes, but there are some wrinkles which get aired as well.

We finish up by talking about podcasts and Matt’s work with Castos and how they are trying to make it easier to get your voice out there, especially with their WordPress integration.

It’s a lovely chat with a thoughtful and far sighted member of the community.

If you’re interested in finding out more. You can find all of the links in the show notes by heading over to WP tavern.com forward slash podcast. Where you’ll find all the other episodes as well.

And so without further delay, I bring you Matt Medeiros.

I am joined on the podcast today by Matt Medeiros. Hello, Matt.

[00:04:10] Matt Medeiros: Nathan, thanks for having me.

[00:04:12] Nathan Wrigley: You are so welcome. If you’ve been in the WordPress space for, I’m going to say a decade or more, it’s very likely that you’ve heard about Matt Medeiros, but just in case you haven’t, I’m going to let Matt do a little bit of an intro to give us his backstory about WordPress, the WordPress space, the projects he’s been involved in. So, Matt, off you go.

[00:04:33] Matt Medeiros: Well, my newsletter list says otherwise. So, there’s still plenty of people who need to know me. So Matt Medeiros. I’ve been doing WordPress stuff, 10, 15 years. I don’t know how long it’s been. Started a podcast called Matt Report back when I started a digital agency. That’s how I built the digital agency. Ran Matt Report for many, many, many, many years still out there, and now have pivoted this focus on thewpminute.com, which is five minutes of WordPress news every week.

So I’ve been in the WordPress space, agency stuff, plugin stuff, theme stuff, podcasting stuff, YouTube stuff. And now I am the director of podcaster success at castos.com, which is a podcast hosting company, which also has a WordPress plugin. And also the parent company of wordpress.com, Automattic, has invested in Castos a little over a year ago at this point. So it’s podcasting and WordPress.

[00:05:24] Nathan Wrigley: We’ll definitely get into that. I confess I had forgotten that fact. Cast your mind back. Let’s say it’s 12 years ago, something like that. What was the thing that made it WordPress as opposed to something else all those years ago? Could have been Drupal, could have been Joomla, could have been Expression Engine. Why WordPress?

[00:05:40] Matt Medeiros: In fact, it was Drupal, to begin with. That was my first foray into really taking an open source CMS seriously, besides PHP-Nuke, which I had played with, before Drupal. But Drupal came into my professional career as I was head of web services for an ISP, internet service provider.

We used to do things like dial up, ISDN, if you can remember those. T1 lines. And we purchased another ISP that had a web development arm and it was a Drupal shop. And this is around Drupal four and five, around those versions. And the head of design or the head designer at the time, he was like, hey Matt, because we were taking over and other people were leaving and I was going to steer the ship.

He’s like, I want to get away from Drupal. It is so hard to design on top of. Now you got to remember this is, I don’t know, 15 years ago, something like that. And he said, there’s this thing called WordPress. I can really design on top of that. I can do really well with it. I want to try it out. And that was the first theme we bought was the theme called Standard, which was a collaboration way back in the day between John Saddington, Tom McFarlin, and Eric Dye, I believe was his last name.

That was the first theme I ever purchased, in a professional setting. We use that to build themes and do that with our customers. And, and that was the entrance into WordPress. And once I broke off from that company, I just took all that knowledge and started my digital agency with that. And it was domino effect, ever since in the WordPress space.

[00:07:08] Nathan Wrigley: You’ve really had a, like a broad, rich, encounter with WordPress though, because for me at least, anyway, it was WordPress websites and then more recently got into podcasting and those are basically the two things that I’ve done. But, as we’ll probably find out during the course of the show, you’ve really dotted around.

One of the things that I want to raise right at the beginning, and I don’t know what your thoughts on this are. It’s a bit of an abstract thought. If we were to rewind the clock, say 20 years ago. Both of us have obviously decided at some point, I think the internet is quite an interesting and fun thing. But I genuinely had no idea, it could have been a flash in the pan. Maybe it would’ve represented a tiny sliver of what people were doing. Shops, brick and mortar shops would still be thriving. Websites would’ve been really tangential, hardly anybody might have visited them.

There was no conception that the phone would become a conduit. That you would carry something around in your back pocket. That computers would be basically portable. None of that was a thought, and yet both of us staked more or less everything on it, which with a bit of hindsight was probably the best decision we ever made.

Now, you can talk to computers that sit in a tiny box in your kitchen and it will give you coherent answers to everything. Do you feel like you’re a very privileged person to have stepped into the broader internet and all that that offers?

[00:08:28] Matt Medeiros: My genesis around getting into this space, if you want to go even deeper into the rabbit hole of who Matt Medeiros is, is my family ran a string of car dealerships for about 45 years in my local, my local area. We weren’t like this big massive conglomerate auto dealership. We just had two, family owned and operated.

It was the technology that was moving, fast paced in that world. Consumer internet being born, websites, you know, this all sounds pretty trivial, but back then it was like, oh wow, we can post a car on the internet and somebody can look at it and email us, or most likely call us back then and buy it? Speaking of the privilege that, like being in that space, having a family that ran this dealership, but because I was the youngest one and I was into it. I was the one that put all the technology together, from General Motors, right?

They were literally talking to an 17, 18 year old at the time, as the head of the internet department. Because I was the only one who got it, who understood it. My dad did, but you know, I sort of led the charge on that. And, I remember being in college and, you know, when you look at WordPress and open source, one of my, uh, capstone courses was to build something with, I forget what the terms were, but they said build it with multiple packages. And back then I was learning like Linux and Novell and, and Windows NT.

And I remember building PHP-Nuke with a bulletin board with, a blog roll. And I was building a car site, and I was like, wouldn’t it be awesome if somebody could go to this website and book an oil change for their car by filling out this form. And then if you had questions about repairing your car, you could come to this thing called a bulletin board, and have like this little community.

What I was doing back then was doing everything that social, that we all take for granted these days with the advancement of technology. And I was like wiring it together with little open source packages. So yeah, roundabout way of getting to, yeah, I feel pretty lucky to fall into that space at an early age.

[00:10:30] Nathan Wrigley: I feel that you and I hit a time when you could flip from just having any kind of job into working on the internet, because the barrier to entry in terms of knowledge was so low. You basically had to learn HTML and then along came CSS, it was straightforward.

I think the promise now is much more difficult. I can’t really imagine what it must be like for somebody at the age of 17 or 18. The things that they must need to learn in order to become employable. Speaking of the internet, you mentioned social media and what have you. I wonder what your thoughts are on that.

I know that we’re straying away a little bit from WordPress, but it does touch on GPL and it does touch on the broader purpose of the internet. What are your feelings about how the internet has evolved over the last, let’s say seven, eight years? Things like Facebook, social media, and the associated benefits and harms that go with it.

[00:11:25] Matt Medeiros: I don’t think humans were ready to be wired up emotionally, to the level that we’re at these days. Spanning across many, many contexts, right? From your everyday life of sharing pictures of what you’re eating, what your kids are doing, to more serious things like health, wellness, mental health.

Couple weeks ago suddenly lost my father-in-law and like the grieving factor of online. And you really start to sit back and say like, what, what is this? Like why? Is this value, all of us connected like this? Are we really together in this? Or is it just this digital connection that sort of literally just disappears as the feed refreshes?

And it really starts to have you question all of these things. Now there’s definitely many, many benefits. I mean, friends, that I’ve made through social, the businesses that I’ve built, and continue to build. There’s definitely a plus factor, but there’s a huge negative and, and things that I don’t think human beings are really ready for.

And I look at it in two different ways. One, I have three very young sons, three boys, under the ages of six. And I’m just like mentally preparing on how to onboard them to the internet, how I will do that. But I also see things from the broader perspective, is you and I are content creators. We’re just playing in the WordPress world mostly and softwares and stuff like that.

But I see people who are whatever, they’re into fashion, they’re into tech, they’re into video games, and there’s a burnout factor. There’s a, I must continue to create all of this content to please these people who really don’t care about me, factor. And then there’s those who really become hits, they do really well. And they’re not ready for that fame and that spotlight, because they’re one person with a million YouTube subscribers in their home office.

And they’re not ready for what that’s like, to have all of these humans watching them and asking them for things. And it’s just, it’s not a mindset that I think we’re all really ready for, without some education. But we’re so early that, 50 years from now, it’s, it’s probably not going to be a thing, because we’re, we’re still cresting the analog to the digital. Like you said, the young folks, how are they going to get jobs?

I think the, the issue is, is they lose the fundamentals of building technology. When I was learning how to build a website, I was learning how to build a computer. So I knew that there was a CPU and memory and a hard disc, and these things were storing this content and yada, all that fun stuff. Now, with the introduction of whatever, let’s say, easy web website builders and you just talk to AI and it codes a website for you. There are going to be this swath of people who just don’t know where all of this stuff lives and how it’s all connected. So, that was a deep rabbit hole that I just went down, and I hope we tumbled around it.

[00:14:14] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, really interesting. You mentioned your three children and I think that’s really fascinating for me. I have children as well, and one of the things that I struggle with. On the one hand, I’m really a proponent of technology. I love it. There’s almost nothing about it that I don’t love.

And yet at the same time, I’ve noticed that my children have been born into an era in which technology could be literally welded to your hand and, you know, there’s no escape from it. And so the notifications can come in at all times of day, and night. Stress there on night, so it disrupts things. Like it disrupts the normal cycle of interpersonal relations in a room because, there’s a bing bong on a phone and suddenly you’re distracted.

And the reason for being in the room with other people is somewhat shattered. And then, you hear about people who leave their phones by their bedsides and the phone goes off in the middle of the night and it disrupts their sleep, and all of these impacts. And whilst I am boldly a proponent of the internet, there are aspects of it which trouble me. And I think your wise point there, right at the end was that we’re young to this. We’re 20 years in, maybe a little bit more, but let’s say roughly 20 years in. And so we don’t really know where this is going.

It’s kind of like steering a ship. I’m imagining somebody in 1492, Christopher Columbus or somebody on a ship, you know, they’ve set sail. They know they’ve got a destination, but they don’t know how long it’s going to be or when they’re going to get there. This feels to me like the internet. And I do wonder if some of these things that we may regard as bad habits at the moment will get washed away and replaced, hopefully with more beneficial things. I’m optimistic about that.

[00:15:52] Matt Medeiros: Yeah, I agree.

[00:15:53] Nathan Wrigley: Let’s just turn to the WordPress space, generally speaking. So you’ve been in it for a long time. Certainly much longer than I have. And you’ve been somebody that’s been observing the WordPress space. Not just using the software, but considering it, considering the impact of it, considering the business that can be made around it, and looking at the plugins and the themes and all of that, and having a critical eye on it.

This is a very broad question, but I’m going to ask it anyway. What have you noticed as the main changes over time? Young people to the community, you’ve been in the community using WordPress for a couple of years. They won’t know that there’s been any changes. The software’s just the software, but there’s been a lot. What do you think the main things have been for you?

[00:16:29] Matt Medeiros: Yeah, I’m, I’m going to try to summarize this as quickly as possible that we can break off into different paths that I think are, are relevant. But there was certainly a long span of the same folks doing the same WordCamp talks, I’m not saying this in a bad way, but there was, I don’t know, a 10 year cohort of WordPress that I felt, we were all jiving and doing the same thing, showing up to the WordCamps, and everyone knew each other.

The real pivotal milestone, for better or worse, was the introduction of Gutenberg, and the software and how it was introduced and all that stuff. Those pages in the history books have already been written. I think it was at that point where a certain segment of the community was one, they were like, I don’t want this in WordPress, so I’m done. There was another segment where, we don’t know how to code around this, and I don’t want this coding overhead. And then there was a third, in my view, where a lot of people used it.

Excuse might be the wrong word, but it was certainly a time where, man, you’re 10 or whatever it was, 10 or 12 years into software. That’s a lifetime of using the same shiny tool. And there’s just this natural thing, I think, of all of us who are like technologists or like 10, 12 years in, ah, I just got to try something else. And that was a moment, two thirds of these people are leaving because of these reasons. I guess I’ll leave too, and go find another shiny object.

And that’s where I guess the no code market really stepped in. Not saying because of WordPress, but it was certainly a right time, right place, kind of thing where those tools were getting shinier and better, and it was a great moment for them to somebody else to be like, ah, Webflow, ah, Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, Coda, Notion, all these things that we’re just like piecing together like we did with WordPress 10 years ago. Now we can do this again here with these shiny, faster free tools.

So that’s the way that I see it. That change in the community over the milestone of Gutenberg, and up until now there’s a lot of fresh faces in here, which is great. But there’s less of this, I don’t know, warm blanket around all of us these days, that used to be there, for a good 10 year cohort.

One of the reasons why I started The Matt Report at the time was, one, it’s because I wasn’t a developer and I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know how to talk to developers, so I said, well, I’ll just interview them and, and promote them so that they can get jobs and maybe I’ll learn more people.

But two, when I was at one of my first WordCamps, perfect example, there was, you know, one of the core contributors of WordPress and he would walk by and people like, Oh, I really want to talk to him. I’m afraid to talk to him. So there was like this celebrity status kind of thing.

And that’s when it hit me like, oh, people really care about these other people in the community. Let me go and find them and interview them, and prop them up so other people can meet them instead of being, you know, shy or worried to talk about them at a WordCamp. So I think the biggest change, for me anyway, has been the community in the involvement of everyone.

[00:19:24] Nathan Wrigley: Did I get a sense, I could be wrong. Forgive me if I got this sense and my spidey sense was tingling in the wrong direction. But, I kind of got a feeling about three or four years ago that you, you kinda fell out of love a little bit with WordPress and were seeking paths new. But then you’ve drifted back in, drift is the wrong word, you’ve come back in with great aplomb, you know, you’re back in making all the content and what have you. Is that true? Did you find yourself in that miasma, thinking I don’t really know whether I belong anymore?

[00:19:55] Matt Medeiros: Picture us in the, in my therapist office, and you’re sitting across from me with your pen and notepad. There’s a lot of things that go into that feeling. You’re not totally wrong. But, as you know as a content creator, you continue to create all the content. And quite literally, I burned out on the YouTube stuff because it was just a hard slog on the Plugin Tut channel. But then it was, how do I really grow this? How do I grow this podcast and, bring in other, other voices? Because the same thing I just mentioned about this 10 year cohort, all the same people.

I could feel those effects on the content that I was doing. That’s when I started to introduce the no code, maybe the more business aspect, SaaS developers, stuff like that, and bringing that into the fold. It certainly, my love for WordPress, it actually goes much deeper than the software. I think that WordPress itself is, speaking of like jobs and education. This is a tool that can empower individuals, local organizations, states, towns, to put people into a workforce.

And WordPress is, I think, a great learning tool. A great building tool to do all that stuff, aside from the fun web stuff that we can do with it. So you’re not too far off, but there was sort of a reshaping of how do I introduce new voices? Because I could feel probably just like you, the social media, the engagement of everyone sort of just getting burned out from the same old thing in WordPress, and that was probably me shifting the way I do content at the time.

[00:21:32] Nathan Wrigley: So shifting more recently, your content creation, it’s not entirely this, but you’ve moved to a new moniker. You’ve got The WP Minute. Just give us a bit of an insight into what the intention was there and how it’s going.

[00:21:46] Matt Medeiros: We can thank our mutual friend Davinder Singh Kainth for getting me into this, uh, yet another content rabbit hole. But I also thank him very much for pushing me in this direction. I had an idea that I pitched to him one day and I was like, hey, probably just like your spidey sense went off. I’ve gotten really busy with the Castos day job, three young boys. It’s like, how the heck can I even do long form content anymore?

So I wanted to do short form content and I approached Davinder and I said, hey, what I’d really like to do is a spoken version of your, of your newsletter. Fast forward, to make a long story short, he just said, how about you just start your own and I’ll just support you and I said, I don’t really want to do my own, I just want to, just want to piggyback off of somebody else. And that’s how we, we got into The WP Minute. So it’s your favorite five minutes of WordPress news, every Wednesday. But it’s really grown, to, uh, a small but mighty community. Just introduced Erik Karkovack, who is a top WP Tavern commenter, as the head editor or the editor of The WP Minute.

So he’s working for me, air quotes, full time as the editor of putting together all the news, curating the news. And then I read the news, every Wednesday, and it’s just a short five minutes, so you’re busy, you’re a busy WordPress professional, you don’t have the time. We get all the top headlines for you and summarize it for you. And we have a fun community. So if you’re into the news, I, I certainly recommend The WP Minute.

[00:23:10] Nathan Wrigley: How do you decide what stays in and what’s goes out? I face this problem. I have to decide which podcast episode I’m going to make, but it’s much more straightforward because the stuff that I’m producing content on, probably won’t matter whether it’s next week or the week after, it’s less critical. But for you, you’ve really got one shot and you’ve got to presumably try and get all the good bits in in five minutes. That’s hard, because in the WordPress community, as you know, I can talk about it for at least an hour and a half every week. How do you decide what stays in and what gets cut onto the floor?

[00:23:41] Matt Medeiros: Yeah, so I look at the WP Minute as probably the best thing that I’m ever going to create for WordPress, right? So Matt Report, all the plugins, themes, services, consultations I’ve done, I feel like the WP Minute is the best thing that I’m going to contribute to this community. As far as I can see, and I look at it as community driven journalism without, self-promotion on this point.

The idea is if you really want to have a hand in the news, you could join the membership and be part of this, and you join the membership to support it, because it costs money. And I try to be as transparent as possible of, there’s hosting, there’s podcast hosting, there’s paying Eric, there’s paying Raquel, there’s paying Pat to run this team.

And the idea is if you want to get the stories out, you join us for short money to support the whole cause. And what I call the members, they call them producers. So you, the community member, can help produce the show. And as you know, Nathan, you get people knocking on your door to promote their product, promote their thing, and it’s like, hey, great, put your money where your mouth is and if you want your news to be heard, submit it to, what we call the link squad at The WP Minute. It’s a member curation. So you have the editorial team, myself, Eric, Pat, Raquel, and then you have the members who contribute the news. We all watch the news.

You know, I got some Slack bots wired up. We get all the hot topics pumped right into the Slack channel so we can all collaborate on it. But then everyone sort of gets to have a vote. So people who put in their links, if their link makes it to the news, then they all get a credit thank you, both in the newsletter and the podcast. Now the idea is it’s supposed to be a five minute show. So if there’s a ton of news and somebody has voted for their top 10 slider plugins for October, chances are that one’s not going to make it. But we’ve had some times where we’ll cut a story from make.wordpress.org.

Hey, we’ve got WordPress 6.1 release candidate one is ready. Please test it. Those are things that we always include to raise awareness, but if there’s acquisition news, community news, Tumblr News, like things that are really big and impactful, those things might drop because those things happen a lot more. So that’s not the most educated answer of how we select the news, but it is a community effort, and then within the confines of, hey look, this is also short form, so we try to keep it to five to seven minutes every week. People have said to me, why isn’t it called The WP Minutes?

[00:26:07] Nathan Wrigley: You’ve been doing this like you said, for such a long time, and so you’ve been inspecting the community and what have you. You’ve got this media channel now, WP Minute, I know you’re doing a bunch of other stuff, and we’ll get onto that.

Have you noticed over the last 10, 12, 8, whatever number of years. Have you noticed that the audience has changed? The desire of the content for the audience has changed? Because, when I started listening to WordPress content, really the only stuff I could find was how tos. It was, here I am, I know stuff about code. I’m going to tell you about code. Whereas now, if you look around, I feel that you can get news on almost everything.

You know, you’ve got news about accessibility. You’ve got news about governance. You’ve got news about the plugins. You’ve got news about the themes, full site editing. The list could go on and on. And it seems almost like we’ve really properly got a little ecosystem where you don’t need to code, you could just be a community member talking about the community. So any thoughts on that?

[00:27:05] Matt Medeiros: Yeah, I have a lot of thoughts on that. I talk about this topic a lot, I really just put all my cards out on the table and I could be totally wrong and it wouldn’t, certainly wouldn’t be the first time. But I think that the audience size, and again, this goes back to your spidey sense from before. I think that the audience size for the type of content that you and I put out is maximum, if you had the whole globe of human beings in front of you, the whole earth is probably about 8,000 people, out of whatever, 8, 9 billion people.

I think that’s our cap for WordPress news, the inside baseball or how, how the community is put together, the ins and outs of the project, right. I think that the cap is 8,000 people. Now, the cap for how to put together a WooCommerce store, vastly different, right? those are the ones that, I mean, that’s hundreds of thousands, if not, uh, I don’t know, millions of people, who would want that kind of content? So I think yes, it has changed. I think the one constant is content that is still developer centric, is still the king of WordPress content, because there’s just far more WordPress developers who care about how to put sites together, than it is about the business side of WordPress and, maybe the community side, right?

So I think that it has certainly shifted, although maybe even has gotten even tighter into the development space with the introduction of Gutenberg, full sight editing and just the general changes of WordPress.

So, I know that if you told me 10 years ago, could you have made a business out of, whatever I, Matt Report and The WP Minute, I probably would’ve said no, I’m just trying to like grow brand awareness, which I was. I think I’ve successfully turned it, air quote, successfully turned it, into a media business, but it’s still very, very small. Very appreciative to like the sponsors over the years, and I have done really well compared to the larger podcasting industry, But, the audience I think for the stuff that, at least that I do, not trying to put you in the same bucket as me, is pretty small. It’s just people going in and out, all the time.

[00:29:12] Nathan Wrigley: Given that we’ve both hitched our cart to the WordPress space, what are your thoughts about the future? Because I personally feel at least anyway, that the future is quite bright. I’m fairly optimistic about the progress around full sight editing and the block editor. I can well understand why people have become dissuaded with the desire to use WordPress into the future, I can understand that. But I feel that there’s light at the end of that tunnel, albeit, I don’t know how many days, weeks, months, or years it’s going to be before the train finally emerges out of the tunnel. But for me, it’s important because I do podcasting. I do content in the WordPress space. I would like to think that WordPress has a bright and glowing future. Maybe you share that optimism or maybe not.

[00:30:02] Matt Medeiros: Yeah, I feel like I’m a realist in the fact that Automattic will take over wordpress.org, and it’ll just be more of a prominent upsell to either Jetpack or wordpress.com. And there is nothing wrong with that in my eyes, okay. So let’s just set that aside for a moment. I’ve recently, so hold that thought.

I’ve recently been using Ghost, another open source CMS and, I’m using their paid version because like the folks who would make that decision to not have to maintain WordPress, get a hosting account, do plugins and themes. I said, hey, for this little side, side, side project that I’m working on, I’m just going to pay ghosts 30 bucks a month.

And I want to be carefree like everyone else who picks these no code tools. This is what they’re all saying. This is why they’re all moving there. And I’ll tell you, yes, Ghost is good in the lane that Ghost runs in. But just the other day I was like, ah, I need to add a landing page, or I need to edit the footer.

And I go to the help docs and it’s like, install your code editor. Set up a local repo., like run docker containers, and I’m like, I don’t want this. Where’s my full sight editing? Where’s my Beaver Builder? Where’s my Elementor? I just want to edit this one thing. Why can’t I do it? There is a luxury in WordPress that I think a lot of, a user interface luxury. Uh, a no code luxury. Call it what you want, that when I just want to click something and edit, for all the faults that you hear people complain about speed and performance. Man, put this up against the Ghosts, the Webflows, the Wix’s.

I was looking at card.co, the other, I think it’s card.co. It’s like a super simplified like page building, five page portfolio site and I wanted to upload multiple photos. This was for again, the passing of my father-in-law and I wanted to put a little memorial site up, and I had hundreds of photos that I wanted to upload and I had to upload one at a time. And I said, no, I just want you drag a bunch of photos like I do in WordPress into a media gallery and display it. And these other tools just, they just don’t do it as easy as WordPress.

So, like you, I’m, I’m an optimist on using WordPress. It’s the learning curve and the maintenance. But I think that’s a world we’re all slowly moving to where, that will all continue to get simplified by Automattic, by web hosts. Full sight editing. Oh boy. I’m really struggling with that big time. Gutenberg, yes, there are still some things I really struggle with, but there are some other great tools as alternatives that I use. And that’s the patchwork that I’m doing now.

[00:32:38] Nathan Wrigley: The grass is always greener. There’s always that, I’m going to try that other CMS and see how it goes. And I’ve done the same, I’ve always ended up back with WordPress. It always seems like a, a comfortable pair of shoes. Terrible analogy, but there you go.

[00:32:52] Matt Medeiros: WordPress, a comfortable pair of shoes.

[00:32:54] Nathan Wrigley: Let’s get into the awkward business of Automattic and your thoughts around that. And you mentioned a moment ago that you thought that wordpress.org was moving inexorably towards being dominated by Automattic. What makes you say that, and does it trouble you? You went to great pains to say that it didn’t trouble you, but maybe on some level it does?.

[00:33:14] Matt Medeiros: I think that the biggest factor here is communication, right? It’s communication from WordPress leadership. It’s communication from Jetpack and Automattic. These are signs that are quite obvious. So, I forget six months ago or something like that, I interviewed the uh, president or CEO of wordpress.com, talking about their new price points because they had done new price points.

And the obvious gorilla in the room to me is, what are we doing with WooCommerce? We collectively as Automattic, like, when are you really going to compete with Shopify? And you know, he is, oh, you can compete with Shopify right now. You can just sign up for a WordPress.com. Yeah, but it’s nothing, it’s nothing like going to Shopify to start an e-commerce store. Nothing is guiding you as a merchant, as a store seller, as an entrepreneur.

So these are obvious things that I can see, that everyone can see are the obvious paths to monetization to Automattic. And I think, one, we all step back and say, What would WordPress look like without Automattic? What would that world look like? Who would it be? Would it be Salesforce? Would it be Oracle? Would it be Microsoft? Do you want them in the lead of this software?

I think that the best steward for all of this stuff, .org included, is Automattic. The challenge is, communication, direction. And do we all really get a seat at the table, question mark? And I fight for that seat at the table from my point of view, which is the website builder, the entrepreneur, the user, not a developer, certainly not a developer. But from my perspective, these are the things that I fight for. And I fight for WordPress to be open source because I think it is, in a world where we all go closed source, like I said before, this is things that could impact local economies.

This is a tool that could get somebody who’s really struggling in life, to get a job in technology because you know how to make a WordPress post. These are the building blocks of the fundamentals of the internet, in my eyes. So, to me it’s, hey, go Automattic. Tax us, air quotes, tax us. I know this is interesting, me being in New England and you being in England to me, for me to say tax us. But that’s fine with me. I used to say the same thing when I used to sell themes. Why is this process so difficult? Why don’t we have the data? Why isn’t dot org just a marketplace?

I am fine getting a 30% tax. If I can sell my goods in a place that’s trusted, secure, that we’re true partners with. And it just hasn’t happened because I feel that all roads lead to, we’ll monetize WordPress, this is Automattic speaking. We’ll monetize WordPress through Jetpack, wordpress.org, and then we’ll eventually upsell, hey, if you don’t want to host it yourself, come to .com, or Pressable. And I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s just everyone, I think needs to sort of just face the fact and build their business, their plugin business around that.

What I don’t like is overstepping and, and the hidden paths to upsell without anyone saying anything, ala Jetpack. I still think Jetpack is good for the right user. In fact, I used it on that memorial site because it’s a fantastic tool for quick and easy. But I think it’s also going to dominate other SEO plug-ins, other contact form plugins, the blue collar digital workforce that I try to advocate for a lot in the content that I put out.

[00:36:35] Nathan Wrigley: What do you think about the governance of the project? So at the moment, we have the model, which is often called the benevolent dictator for life, and it kind of trickles down from there. Would you like there to be forays into altering that model? Are you happy with the fact that there is one person governing for life, or would you like to see little bits of that chipped away, chunks of the project, which are governed by the community more?

[00:37:00] Matt Medeiros: I really appreciate the three conversations that Matt and I have had on my podcast. I think it’s been three. I don’t think that there is, when I have a problem with my MacBook, I don’t call up Tim Cook, and say hey man, come on my podcast, let’s talk about this Apple ecosystem you’ve got here, speaking of a 30% tax. It’s great for us as a community to have a single person that is semi approachable to have conversations with you. To be at WordCamps and have this, literally armed lengths away, to have a conversation with. Having said all of that, yes, I would like change. As I’ve told Matt, he does an insane amount of stuff.

Automattic, wordpress.org, Tumblr, and Automattic is like 25 different products. One of them my favorite, which is Simple Note App, Jetpack, and all the other stuff that he does in life. How can he do it all? And I think that is a real issue. We look at the last couple of weeks ish, he’s actually talked more openly about where he wants to go with Tumblr than I feel he has with WordPress dot org, and how can you balance that?

I think it’s a super challenge. I think, he thinks he can do it and he is doing it, but I think there should be some level of change. And Josepha again gracious to have her on the podcast once. How much can she possibly load on her back to do all of the work that she does? So, yes, I mean, I don’t have the answer for it.

I don’t think it’s easy. I think a lot of people think that it’s easier said than done. But there should be something, some kind of governance model change, which I know people have pushed for in the past. I just don’t see how, how Matt can steer so many ships at once.

[00:38:46] Nathan Wrigley: Speaking of steering a lot of ships. You’ve not only got The WP Minute and various other bits and pieces. You’ve also got a real interest in how podcasts are made, not just because you’re making podcasts and you go through that whole editing process and interviewing guests, much like we’re doing right now. But you’ve also taken a great interest in the technology behind how podcasts work. Actually just occurs to me, many people might not even know that there is a whole industry behind podcasting, but there is, and Castos is one of them. How long have you been now with Castos and what do you do over there?

[00:39:19] Matt Medeiros: Yeah, so two and a half years, something like that. Director of Podcaster success. I try to make podcasters coming in to Castos successful with their podcast, however they might define success, Again, joining Caso because one, I’m a podcaster, two, they have a fantastic WordPress plugin.

There’s a commitment to open source, on the WordPress side, there’s a commitment to open RSS. These are two worlds that collide greatly with me, and I’m a huge proponent, of course on open source and open distribution. You know, the perfect example is what’s the difference? Well, the, difference is a Spotify where you have to have the Spotify app to listen to a particular show, and open RSS means you can subscribe and distribute anywhere that accepts RSS.

The world of podcasting, it’s funny, it continues to grow and there continues to be this excitement around it, but it continues to be more in more corporate interest. There is a tiny, tiny, tiny open source team that’s sort of leading the charge for, I’ll dumb it down, but RSS standards.

It’s called Podcasting 2.0, and you can go to the podcastindex.org, and they run their own index, which is different than Apple, right? So Apple has their index, but you have to, you know, register and do all this stuff with Apple. Podcastindex.org is an open, so think of it as almost like wordpress.org, if you will.

And they’re really leading the charge of enhancing the RSS feed. Doing things, more things in the RSS feed, like micro payment support, transcripts, chapters, live feed item tags, chat, cross platform chat. So they’re introducing a lot of this data and information that can help podcasters, and their challenges, similar to WordPress. They have to get other podcast hosts and other podcast apps to support these name spaces so that it’s for the greater good of the whole podcast economy or, or industry, right?

So, you know, I’m a huge proponent of that. Again, to talk about like the approach of Matt, Matt Mullenweg to pull it back. I know, well, Matt’s from Texas, one of the head guys at Podcast Index is from Texas, Adam Curry, and I sent an email to Matt and Adam and I said, hey, you guys should talk to each other. You both know each other, you’re both into open source, open distribution. You all should have a conversation.

And they, and they had a conversation and that Matt tied together the Pocket Cast team to them, and they had some great conversations. So, yeah, open source, open collaboration, it’s a great thing and I hope to keep waving that flag for podcasting.

[00:41:52] Nathan Wrigley: That’s really interesting. I wonder if we are on the cusp of something akin to RSS with things like Mastodon, based upon Activity Hub, which is very like RSS. So essentially it’s an open platform where you can attach your social media stuff. I don’t know if you’ve come across this exodus from Twitter over the last couple of weeks.

But there seemed to be a lot of people who, over the last few weeks have made up their mind that they would like something a bit more open. They would like to be able to get the content and post the content that they wish without the constraints of being logged in to some proprietary system. And in many of the comments that I’ve seen in people’s flight from Twitter, they keep talking about podcasts and how podcasting, 20 years ago, I believe it was Dave Winer who came up with the spec for RSS for podcasts, I could be wrong about that.

But just how, with the benefit of hindsight, the whole RSS open nature of podcasts, so take Spotify and all those other things out of the equation. The fact that my podcast, your podcast, is available completely for free. You don’t need any sort of system, particularly, you just need to subscribe to a podcast feed, which is held on the website. Just how breathtakingly clever that was with a bit of hindsight.

[00:43:03] Matt Medeiros: Yeah, yeah. Adam Curry as well helped, lead that charge. And he’s, he’s the one that’s sort of leading up the podcast index stuff, and podcasting 2.0 stuff. Yeah, it is great. A lot of the technology is, it’s very easy to implement, right? It’s all part of the RSS feed.

And, you know, the challenge is, is sharing that data. So, it’s a, I don’t know if platform war is the right phrase for it, but you know, if you have your podcast on Spotify, Spotify can give you more analytics. They can do things in app that are for the better of the, of the listener. But don’t forget that it will be for the better of Spotify first, because they’re going to be the ones that run the ads and take a larger chunk of the profits or what have you.

Whereas open RSS, we’re all fending for ourself, and as the more collaboration and the more people who support the innovations, the better we’ll all be. But that’s the challenge. To get everyone on the, on the same page. It’s, it’s actually no, a lot of similarities to WordPress.

[00:44:01] Nathan Wrigley: You mentioned a moment ago that you feel that podcasting is still growing? I, I honestly have no insight into that whatsoever, but it does feel much more of a mainstream thing this year than it was last year and the year before that and so on. Is that in fact the case? Is there still a case to be made, is there data to back up that, yeah, podcasts really are still growing, and if your business or your interest, your hobby is something that you want to plunge into a podcast, it’s probably worth your time and effort.

[00:44:27] Matt Medeiros: You have to kind of look at it, obviously I’ll call myself an insider to the podcasting space, but there is a lot more money and a lot more interest coming in from what I’ll call the corporate level. And the corporate level translates into Wondery’s, Amazon. Amazon owns Wondery, which is probably the premier podcast production company creating fiction, true crime, entertainment podcasts. And that’s all backed by advertisement. That can be openly distributed, but because Amazon owns it, if you listen to it on Amazon’s music app, then you get it without the ads. But if you listen to it on Apple Podcasts, you get it with the ads, right?

So there’s this big interest in advertising, and celebrities and movies and movie industry and all that stuff. Then there’s the flip side, there’s you and me. The guys that make probably a few thousand dollars a year, instead of a few million dollars a year, like the big boys.

If you go to podcastindex.org, I’m looking at it right now. There’s 4 million podcasts in the index. I think Apple says around two and a half million. But there is a stat right below that, that within the last three days there’s been 109,000 updates to podcasts. And in the last 90 days, 483,000 have been updated.

So of the 4 million, yes, there’s a bunch that have probably either just ended, you know, it’s just a series of content that people have done. Pod faded where they have given up. The true earmark to that is 483,000 in the last 90 days. So people get scared of the 4 million mark. Like, oh my God. How is my podcast going to live within 4 million? But when you look at the data of 500,000 active within the last 90 days, you still have a shot, and yes, the answer is it’s still growing for the hobbyists, like you and I.

[00:46:14] Nathan Wrigley: It’s really amazing. I feel so privileged in a way that I made the decision to get into it a little bit early when things were probably less competitive than they are now. That I’ve just kept banging on with it week week after week. It’s, yeah, it’s pretty amazing. Uh, I realize that we’ve used up a lot more of your time than I should have done, I apologize. So I’m just going to round off with one very simple question. You’ve been in the community many, many years. Let’s imagine five years, 10 years into the future. Do you reckon you’ll still be

[00:46:40] Matt Medeiros: here?

Yeah, a hundred percent. I’ll be using WordPress, as far as I can see, again. One, because I love it as a publishing tool. Two because I believe in it as a tool for somebody to learn and educate themselves and, and find a new opportunity, whether that’s coding, designing or writing. This is a tool that can impact economies. Three, I love, I just love the idea of, of open source on the web and really believe in that wholeheartedly. So yeah, I see myself sticking around.

[00:47:09] Nathan Wrigley: Matt Medeiros, thank you for joining us on the podcast today.

[00:47:12] Matt Medeiros: Thanks, Nathan.

On the podcast today we have Matt Medeiros.

Matt is the driving force behind many WordPress initiatives. That could be the creation of plugins, WordPress news media, as well as podcasts about all manner of WordPress specific subjects. He likes to juggle multiple projects at once.

Currently he’s the Director of Podcaster Success at Castos, which is a podcast hosting company with a WordPress plugin.

He’s on the podcast today to give his take on the past, present and future of WordPress.

Many millions of people like to work with the WordPress software. They create websites, plugins and themes which extend what the CMS can do. Others, such as Matt, like to ponder the broader purpose and direction of the software and the community around it.

The Matt Report and The WP Minute have enabled us to hear about what the community is doing, what it wants and where its points of friction are. He’s talked to hundreds of people about what WordPress was, is, and might be, and so is in a unique position to pontificate about what WordPress, beyond the software, is.

We start with Matt’s backstory. How he found WordPress and why he started to use it. We talk about how he’s dipped in and out of the community over the years; more excited at times, less so at others.

The conversation moves on to some of the trends that Matt has noticed. He identifies how the software and the wider community have altered over time.

We talk about how The WP Minute got started and how he’s building up a community of like-minded people to consume as well as to create the content that they’re putting out.

Towards the end, we get into the governance of WordPress and the future of the project more generally. There are certainly things that Matt likes, but there are some wrinkles which get aired as well.

We finish up talking about podcasts and Matt’s work with Castos and how they are trying to make it easier to get your voice out there, especially with their WordPress integration.

It’s a lovely chat with a thoughtful and far sighted member of the community.

Useful links.

Matt Report

The WP Minute

Castos

by Nathan Wrigley at November 30, 2022 03:00 PM under podcast

WPTavern: Gutenberg 14.6 Adds List View for Editing Navigation Block, Introduces New Automatic Color Palette Generator

Gutenberg 14.6 was released last week with a long list of small but impactful refinements to core blocks and the full-site editing experience. One of the most practical enhancements included in this update is the new list view for editing the Navigation block.

Gutenberg contributor Fabian Kägy published a quick video that helps to visualize the changes:

The list view makes it easy for users to reorder navigation items using a drag-and-drop UI. The Navigation block in the content area instantly previews items that are moved in the block inspector.

As part of a larger effort to make it easier to edit Navigation Links off the canvas, this release also adds a new URL field to the Navigation Link inspector controls. Now user can edit the URL from the inspector controls as well as from the main link control.

image credit: PR 45751

Version 14.6 also adds a variation picker to the Group block placeholder. When users insert a new Group block, it will now allow them to select from among different variations to set the layout for the block. This makes it significantly easier for users to get started when using a Group block, instead of having to fiddle around to manually assign the desired layout.

One of the most creative features introduced in this release is the new “Randomize colors” feature that will automatically generate color palettes on the fly. It utilizes hue rotations based on the Cubehelix color scheme.

“Hue rotation consists in rotating the hue wheel — such as the one you
might see in a color picker — by a determined amount of degrees, each turn
generating a new color,” Gutenberg contributor Vicente Canales said in the PR for the feature. He also noted that this new feature surfaces “the need for themes to explicitly support style randomization, as well as the need to incorporate a way to define a color’s role within a palette as a way of avoiding getting, for example, palettes where background and foreground don’t contrast, rendering text illegible.”

While randomizing color palettes is a fun feature for users, some theme and plugin developers do not see the need for it to land in core Gutenberg and eventually WordPress.

“Yes, it’s fun, but from a theme designer’s perspective I don’t see an urgent use since the theme designer can provide numerous style variations,” block and theme developer Ellen Bauer commented on the PR. “For the user this provides the same kind of ‘fun feel’, but theme designers would provide an experience that actually works.

“There is so much potential in styles, but not much is published yet. So as a theme builder I feel style export/imports, the option to separate font styles from color styles are much more basic features I would love to have first.”

Newsletter Glue co-founder Lesley Sim agreed that it’s a fun idea but that anyone using a theme will probably rely on the theme’s style variations.

“And that will probably feel like a randomizer to them already,” Sim said. “At least, that’s how I personally view style variations.

“I’d much rather focus on basic features first too, rather than fun ones. Let plugin and theme developers build the fun.”

Other notable features in Gutenberg 14.6 include the following:

  • Block Toolbar is now hidden when Spacing Visualizer is displayed
  • New keyboard shortcut for transforming Paragraph block into Heading block
  • Focal Point handle updated to be more representative of the broader selection area
  • New “Minimum Height” dimension control is now available for the Group and Post Content block

This update’s performance benchmarks for the site editor and post editor are significantly improved for three out of four metrics over the last release. Check out the release post for a more detailed look at every PR included 14.6.

by Sarah Gooding at November 30, 2022 03:12 AM under gutenberg

November 29, 2022

Do The Woo Community: Cooking Up Some Code with Kim Coleman

Kim talks about looking at code as words, learning PHP, her journey as a WordPress developer, and choosing her lifestyle and her career.

>> The post Cooking Up Some Code with Kim Coleman appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

by BobWP at November 29, 2022 11:25 AM under Product Growth

WPTavern: Meetup.com Removes Accessibility Overlay In Response to WordPress Community’s Concerns

Meetup.com has removed its accessibility overlay, a recent addition to the company’s website that raised concerns with the WordPress community and the broader community of accessibility professionals. The overly was powered by EqualWeb, a product which claims to provide automated compliance with accessibility standards but doesn’t address inaccessibility at the root of the problem.

WordPress Community Team leaders requested a meeting with the company and were able to persuade them to take the overlay down and focus on direct improvements to the Meetup.com platform. WordPress community organizer Angela Jin reported that their director of engineering and other team members were “very receptive to our feedback.”

“EqualWeb’s widget does scan for accessibility issues, and the original plan was for EqualWeb’s team (real people!) to provide progressive fixes to the overlay,” Jin said. “Meetup’s hope was to provide, over time, a fully accessible overlay.”

During the meeting, WordPress’ Community Team representatives contended that overlays create a poor user experience for people who use assistive technology while also ignoring key WCAG issues. This is why there are growing legal and privacy concerns associated with the overlays, which do not deliver on the promise of providing equal and open access to platforms.

After reporting on the issue earlier this month, one reader asked if the overlays actually work to address the issues and, if so, what is motivating the complaint.

“They don’t work,” WordPress accessibility contributor Joe Dolson said. “To the degree that they do work, they mostly offer functionality that is already duplicated by the user’s own technology.”

Dolson examined Meetup.com’s overlay and highlighted a few of its major shortcomings:

This particular overlay also commits the cardinal sin of labeling tools by disability, rather than according to what they do. For example, if you turn on the “Visually Impaired” mode, that’s actually a high contrast mode; which is only relevant if your visual impairment benefits from high contrast. This kind of presumptive labeling is ineffective at best (because it makes it difficult to find what tool might actually help you, should you need it), and offensive at worst.

But the reality is that overlay tools are a misdirection of resources: if a user needs high contrast, large fonts, or other tools, they need those on all websites, and they need a solution that’s their tool, in their control, with their settings – and the majority of users already have that in their assistive technology.”

As part of revising its accessibility roadmap, Meetup.com is requesting feedback from WordPress community members with experience using its platforms across devices with accessibility features enabled. Those who have 50 minutes in the coming weeks can request to speak with Meetup representatives regarding which features should be prioritized. People can also leave feedback in the comments.

Meetup.com’s decision to remove the overlay was well-received by accessibility advocates who hope to see more changes to the platform’s source code based on community feedback in the next few weeks. Beyond these changes, some community members are also recommending Meetup.com add people with disabilities to their team to get more first-hand information without having to publicly walk back an implementation like this.

“Although I applaud Meetup for removing the Overlay, they are going at this backwards,” WordPress user @bryan202 said in the comments. “They should have an independent company who employs persons with disabilities to audit their platform and inform them of the issues. If Meetup wants feedback on the specific issues this choice of overlay caused, then they should be willing to pay for that market feedback.

“As a disabled person we are constantly called upon to give feedback for free. We deserve to be respected for our time, efforts and feedback. Meetup needs to expand their technical team to include persons with disabilities so they have an inside look since their current team is missing this essential component.”

by Sarah Gooding at November 29, 2022 03:18 AM under accessibility

November 28, 2022

WordPress.org blog: WP Briefing: Episode 44: Minors, Majors, and Why We Have So Many Releases

In the forty-fourth episode of the WordPress Briefing, our host Josepha Haden Chomphosy highlights the role of major and minor releases in the WordPress open source project.

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

Credits

Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Santana Inniss
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

References

Twelfth Man
State of the Word

Transcript

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:00:00] 

Hello everyone! And welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. 

I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:00:27] 

At the top of November, a new major release for WordPress shipped. That was WordPress 6.1. I know I talked about it basically nonstop. Then two weeks later, there was a new minor release for WordPress. It was WordPress 6.1.1, which I did not talk about at all. Way back in episode four of this podcast, I dug into the overall release cycle and what someone could expect from a high-level logistics aspect.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:01:05] 

And today we’re gonna take a quick look at minor releases in particular. Just as a general heads up, I always want to lean into sports metaphors when I’m talking about releases, and I think it’s because of the words major and minor. And so, I’ve done my level best to not include that in any of my explanations today.

But I do have one, I do have one that’s a sports thing. So just if you don’t like sports, know that it’s just one little bit and we’ll try to be carefully quick around it together. All right, so minor releases. You may have noticed that I don’t mention minor releases nearly as often as I mention major releases. And yet, most of the time, when we have a major release of WordPress, there’s a minor release that gets started almost immediately after.

So first major versus minor. Major releases in WordPress happen roughly three times a year, give or take a release. Inside a major release, you will find that we include features, so– brand new abilities, enhancements, which you can generally call improvements to existing abilities, and also any bug fix that we can find, big or small, we’ll take ’em all.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:02:16] 

So minor releases in WordPress happen about four or five times a year on average. Minor releases include patches for issues introduced in the major release and any bug fix that doesn’t add or change functionality. 

If you’re with me so far, you probably have noted that there’s basically always at least one minor release per major release. And you might have also noted that I said minors include patches for issues we introduced in a major.

Now, if I were hearing this with fresh ears, the first thing I would wonder is, okay, so if you start working on the minor right after you release the major to deal with issues you know you introduced in the major– why just not ship the major while there are bugs in it? Great question. I’m glad you asked. So there are a few things worth knowing here.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:03:09] 

Firstly, there is this concept of “ship and iterate,” which is present in both agile and open source. The idea is that we ship software as soon as we have confidence that what is in the release is non-breaking and represents our best guests at a better experience for our users.

Once that is out there, we use feedback on the initial release to quickly iterate and ship another release. That way, we don’t hold back any good features. And since we already planned the immediate minor, any major issues that show up can be fixed in as little as two weeks. Secondly, there is the concept that with many eyes, all bugs are shallow, which is primarily present in open source.

The idea here is that with enough people looking at a problem, that problem doesn’t stand a chance. So when a release is shipped in a workable state but with interactions that could use some refinement, the fastest way to find those refinements is to take it to the community of WordPress users and developers and invite them to co-create this CMS with us.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:04:10]

Which touches on my final thought. The concept of the user as co-creator.

If we think about the development and evolution of our software as a team effort, then we can think of the people who use our software as what’s called the “Twelfth Man” That’s in quotes, and I will, I’ll leave a link to that in the show notes as well. 

In sports, this refers to the fans. And if you’ve ever been to a live sporting event or played in any, you will know that the cheering and jeering from fans turns into this distinct motivating entity all its own. As a whole team or individual member, you know what you have to do. You know what you need to do in a game, but there’s something about that chaotic, loud roar of feedback that just brings life to what you’re doing, and that’s how I see our community of users.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:05:02]

So at the end of the day, the answer to the question of ‘why so many releases’ and the follow-up question of ‘why tolerate stable imperfection’ is largely the same. To get features into the hands of our users quickly so that we can always be breathing life into this CMS we care so much about.

I hope that answers your questions about our release cadence, and if you didn’t come into this podcast having any questions about release cadences at all, I hope this new information brings a little extra light to the complexity of working in open source. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:05:32] 

That brings us now to our small list of big things.

Big thing number one is that the State of the Word has been announced and is scheduled for December 15th. It’s a little earlier in the day than in past iterations, so I hope we get a new crew of listeners tuning in at the same time. I’ll leave a link to that in the show notes, or you can pop over to wordpress.org/news to see the announcement for yourself.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:06:00] 

Big thing number two is that team rep nominations are open on most teams right now. So if organization and people wrangling are high on your list of ways you can give back to WordPress, head on over to the team you contribute to and see how you raise your hand for that. 

Then big thing number three is that big-picture goals, hopes, and timelines are being gathered, and I will ship those shortly after the start of the new year.

It will give us all an idea of where we want to focus our attention to ensure that WordPress continues to grow toward the future. You can keep an eye out for that on make.wordpress.org/project. 

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

by Santana Inniss at November 28, 2022 12:00 PM under wp-briefing

November 27, 2022

Gutenberg Times: Gutenberg Changelog #76 – The new developer blog’s public beta, Gutenberg 14.5 and 14.6, and what’s coming up in 6.2. 

Ryan Welcher and Birgit Pauli-Haack discuss the new developer blog’s public beta, Gutenberg 14.5 and 14.6, and what’s in the works for the block editor.

Show Notes / Transcript

Show Notes

Connect with Ryan Welcher

Announcements

WordPress Developer Blog

What’s released

Gutenberg Plugin

Documentation

What’s in active development or discussed

Stay in Touch

Transcript

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Hello and welcome to our 76th episode of the Gutenberg Changelog podcast. In today’s episode, we will talk about the new Developer Blog Public Beta, Gutenberg 14.5, 14.6 and what’s in the work on for the Block Editor. I’m Birgit Pauli-Haack, curator at the Gutenberg Times and WordPress developer advocate. And I’m thrilled that my friend, Ryan Welcher, core contributor, livestream on Twitch and developer advocate joined me today. Again, yeah, you’ve been on the show before. Good afternoon, Ryan. How are you?

Ryan Welcher: I’m good, Birgit. Thanks for having me again. I’m always excited to hang out with you and talk Gutenberg release notes and all this stuff. Yeah. I’m excited.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: We do to have you here. So yesterday, you had your weekly Twitch stream again. And you had a break of three weeks and you came back and so what was it about?

Ryan Welcher: Well, for the past two weeks… well, the first week back I spent trying to relearn how to use computers and the internet because it was three weeks off. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. So the last couple of weeks, I’ve been focusing on Query Loop Block variations. So this week or yesterday, I actually started building a plugin that introduced controls to the Query Loop Block to be able to do more complicated and more advanced queries. And so I’ll probably be doing that for the next couple of streams and then hopefully releasing that into the wild for developers or anyone to use really. So yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, that’s cool. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. You can check me out at RyanWelchercodes is my handle on Twitch. Every Thursday at 10:30 Eastern.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And if you missed any of Ryan’s Twitch streams, they go silent on Twitch. But Ryan always makes the additional effort to put them up on your YouTube channel. That’s the same username, youtube.com/ryanwelchercodes.

Ryan Welcher: That’s right, yep.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And I always have to follow up because it’s really great stuff that you put out there and I learn so much about it.

Ryan Welcher: Oh, thank you.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Not only how to do it well, but also to how to get to doing it well and see what you’re struggle with. And I’m really good-

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. 80% of my stream is me spelling things horribly and typoing like crazy and then not knowing why something’s broken. So, yeah, I have some viewers that are regulars that help me out all the time. Shout out to Kevin, he knows who he is. Cool.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Awesome. Awesome. And we have a good show for you dear listeners today. And for the American listeners, it’s all happy Thanksgiving. And also I hope you have a great time on Black Friday and then serve on Monday. So I will be, over the weekend, at a cricket game tournament in Sarasota. And so we are doing this recording today and then I’m off to my weekend. 

Announcements

So we have a couple announcements that came in from project and one of we are all involved, you and I. That’s the WordPress Developer Blog is in public beta. And so it came out of discussion or year-long complaints or many years is that staying on top of the new features that are coming to WordPress. Open source is really one of the main barriers for developers to get started on the Block Editor, the site editor and doing stuff with it.

And the Core Block where most of the information is released has a very heavy emphasis for meeting nodes of the various core teams. And also it only highlights the new features that came with a major release. But for the Gutenberg plugin or what’s in the works on the PHP site, there is not a central place. It’s difficult for developers who are not contributors to get anything out of those make blogs as a relevant information. So the content will or focuses on the updates for developers, extenders who create plugins and themes and those who work with WordPress at an agency or as freelancers. And you were one of them working at an agency, also a free freelancer. So I really appreciate your continuing input on what is needed for agencies on the new features and how does it work there also.

So it’s really good that we have now a place where that information can be shared. And it’s in beta, so there are not a whole lot of posts there, but that’s definitely going to change next year. We have three posts there. One is Ryan’s post on how to extend the WordPress wire slot fill system. What is that about, Ryan?

Ryan Welcher: So a slot fill system is an extension paradigm that was introduced with the Block Editor with WordPress 5.0. And it’s a way of extending UIs, let’s put it that way. So you can inject your own elements into certain areas inside of the Block Editor and inside the site editor now. And, yeah, the article there is sort of preliminary. Sort of deep but not too deep. Deep enough to get started. And it’s based on a couple of talks that I’ve given in the past. So if you’re looking to extend the UI for the site editor or for the Block Editor, I’d go and take a look at that.

But, yeah, it’s kind of code heavy, but it’s one of the reasons why the Developer Blog, I think, is going to be so important because normally I would write this on my own personal blog. And now we have a central place where we can share this information, it’s sort of official, and people know where to go and they don’t have to know who I am or what my web address is or any of that stuff to be able to get the information that I’m trying to share.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, that’s a very good point. Yeah, there’s a lot of information out there that’s decentralized and bringing them all in or bring the writers in. Daisy Olsen has a post and she demystifies the home and post templates for the WordPress theme development. It’s not necessarily focused on block themes, that’s pretty much… it shows you for classic themes as well as for block themes. And then Justin Tadlock has a post where he helps theme developers think about block theme development from a pattern first mindset to avoid redundancy in code and also to have some simplicity more in the theme development. And I think that all three of them are really excellent hosts there. So I’m so excited about this and I know a lot of people are to kind of see what comes out of that. Yeah, so check it out.

There’s also a page there that gives you a little bit more history about that and also a page that says how you can contribute if you want to be a writer or if you want to be a reviewer or you want to just kind of add your ideas to it, go there. And it’s mainly managed through GitHub so you get even an additional kind of insight in how GitHub works, even if you’re not so code centric and had always shied away. But believe me, it’s always a good place to be as a WordPress contributor.

Ryan Welcher: I just want to kind of reiterate what you’re saying about how anyone can write for the Developer Blog. It’s not gated in the sense of… there is a process and ideas and content may not be accepted, but that’s based on topic, not based on who’s contributing it. So I think it’s really important to understand that it’s not just for certain folks and it’s not just for contributors or whoever, it’s for whoever really wants to. And as long as you sort of adhere to the process, there’s no reason why I could say anybody wouldn’t be able to add content to the Developer Blog. It’s truly open source.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And can also be reused because it’s going to be in public domain. So that’s the GPL part of it. Yeah. Another announcement came down the pipe, which is that core committer and Peter Wilson, and he’s also member of the security team, announced that WordPress will drop support for WordPress 3.7 and 4.0 on December 1st. And you might ask, “What? They’re still supporting that? I thought it was only the last two WordPress versions.” That is true. Officially, WordPress only supports the last two major versions, but the security team had always also applied security updates to previous versions from 3.7 to 6.03. They all got the same security updates. And that is to end.

So 3.7, 3.8, 3.9 and 4.0, they get one more update that will announce that there won’t be any future updates in the WP admin. So if you have these old versions in the stable of your clients, make sure that you upgrade to the later versions. I looked at the WordPress stats for that. So there is a stat online that gives you how many people are on which version on WordPress. And all four versions come together at 0.5% of WordPress installations. So, yeah, it’s a good decision. They wanted to do it last year but somehow it didn’t make it. Now it’s this year. So I just wanted to let everybody know the 3.7 to 4.0.

Ryan Welcher: It just amazes me that WordPress versions that far back still work. People are still able to run it and I just think that’s fantastic. You should update. If you’re running 3.7, you should update. There’s a lot of functionality that you’re missing out on, but it’s amazing that it still works.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I wanted to look up when 3.7 was actually released and I think it was 2010 or something like that, but I can verify that. Maybe not. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: March 14th, 2017? That makes sense?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, yeah. Could be. Could be. Yeah. Yeah. We are only at 3.0 or something.

Ryan Welcher: Sorry, I was looking at the wrong place. October 24th, 2013, version 3.7.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Okay, thank you.

Ryan Welcher: Was named for Count Basie. Interesting.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: 2013. So that is a nine year old version, and nothing on your computer should be nine years old. And not on the survey either or be just accessible by the public on the internet. Yeah, for sure. Update. 

What’s Released

So we’ll come to sections what’s released? And since the last show on October 30th recorded, we had two WordPress releases. One was a major release 6.1 and we talked about it. Yay. We talked about it quite a few times here and I definitely will share again the field guide link in the show notes. And then there was another release on November 15th for the 6.1.1. And it’s about roughly 50 bug fixes that didn’t make it in at 6.1 or came out after 6.1 was released. So that was a major effort from the release team 14 days after a major release to come up with a point release to get all the bug fixes in the hands of the WordPress users.

So there’s also a release from WooCommerce Blocks 9.0. Just for those who don’t know, WooCommerce Blocks is the bleeding edge plugin from WooCommerce similar to the Gutenberg plugin relates to the WordPress software. So using it, you can test all the future features coming to WooCommerce and help improve them before they’re actually released in WooCommerce. And the 9.0 the release came out this week. Actually today, and it’s November 25th, 2022. So they updated the options to customize products with an attribute template from the site editor, which sounds really cool. And then they improved the performance of product blocks by removing some fragments that were in there. And then they also cleared out some validation errors that were visible. A nice quality of life enhancement is that the placeholder for blocks who has placeholders… so the cover block, the image block, the gallery block, they all have placeholders that they take on the main store color coming from the theme JSON file. That’s kind of really nice. It’s, of course, an experimentation, but that is certainly something that any theme developer might want to look at how they implement that.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, that’s really neat. I’d love to take a look and see. I’ve always been intrigued because I do a lot of block development, especially on my streams, and I’m always intrigued by how much can I interface? If I had a block that just didn’t matter where it was installed, if it could take on certain aspects of theme.JSON, I think that would be super neat. I mean I think some of that stuff just trickles down by default, but I’d be interested to take a deeper look at that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. In Gutenberg, there was also a feature where you can access the theme JSON through some hooks and filters in 6.1, but I’m not sure how robust that is.

Ryan Welcher: You can filter it as and add new things to it, but I’d be interested to see how it works. And I just haven’t put in the research so I don’t know. But I mean I’d be interested to see if there’s a data store on the JavaScript side where we could retrieve that stuff because you can get Block Editor information. I just have to do the research.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That will be for the, what did you say? The next couple of Twitch streams are still Query Block and then the third one from now.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. It’s a great idea integrating… thinking about JSON into your blocks, using values from there to do things in a block, that’d be fun.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I think that makes whatever block in you have kind of very versatile and kind of migrates from theme to theme. But I also think that you probably need some standards as the naming convention on how you kind of primary, secondary, tertiary kind of colors. So I think as long as we don’t have them, it can be hit and miss. Yeah. 

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. I mean as soon as it’s up to somebody naming something, that’s like what? The second hardest thing to do in computer and software development is naming things.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: What’s the hardest thing?

Ryan Welcher: Recursion I think.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Okay.

Ryan Welcher: I can’t remember who said that. Somebody smarter than me anyway.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And, yeah, Gutenberg 4.5 was released on November 9th and we have a few enhancements there. It was not a very heavy release because everybody still came off of the November 1st 6.1 release and I’m still moving some stuff around. 

Enhancements

There were some enhancement for Create Block for instance and I’m sure… you were, I think, involved in that to update to use the APIs. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Yep. So the Create Block package is near and dear to my heart. And this one actually allowed us to create… so backing up, when you use the Create Block package, you can also create external templates. And so those templates will define how your plugin is structured and how your block is structured. And part of that templating system, there’s a series of default values that you can pass. And so what this commit did was it allowed you to use the Render property because in 6.1, the block API introduced Render as a block.JSON property where you can pass the path to a file and that file will be used for dynamic blocks. It’s a PHP file.

And so what that did, that allows you to do away with having to call Render call back and defining a function when you’re registering a block. So it’s made block registration a lot easier, but we needed to update the Create Block package to be able to work with that system. As a template author, you can define what the name of that file is, where it lives and all those sort of things. So that’s what that did. That’s a long way of explaining it. Just caught one thing up to the other thing.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, it was cool. That’s cool. Thank you so much. And we all need kind of a little bit more explanation about these things that are just one headline from… that’s what we are doing here at the podcast. So in the Style Engine, that’s kind of the engine that’s behind… that’s the black box behind the theme JSON file that kind of tries to manage all the user inputs, the block JSON attributes, the styles from the theme and the default style from the Block Editor. And nowadays, support the dimensions minimum height property. So you could have, for all kind of blocks, but it’s now available. And that’s really cool because then you can say, “Okay, my Core Block or my cover block has a certain minimum height to fill up and can also inherit that to the other blocks that are there.” Yeah. So it’s all cool.

Yeah. And then the comment template, post comment count, post comment form and post common links, they all got now also spacing support. So for your site editor and template. So you can actually… then here you can remove the spacer block and control it all with the blocks there. For another social icon, they got a new attribute and that’s the rel attribute, R-E-L, which is needed for something that’s happened on the rest outside of the WordPress universe, which is that Twitter had some implosion things coming on.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, some stuff happened over there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Some stuff happened there. I don’t want to really belabor that, but if you want to… so the social link block now has a Mastodon block variation, but the Mastodon variation also lets you verify your website with your Mastodon account. So you can say or can prove, “Okay, I am the person who belongs to this website.” And it then gives you a check mark in the Mastodon profile. And George Hotelling, he’s a WordPress co con… what is it? A core contributor.

Ryan Welcher: That’s it.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And he wrote a short tutorial on how to do this and verify your WordPress site with Mastodon. So if you have the need or wish or just want to check it out on Mastodon as a replacement for Twitter, a lot of people have registered Mastodon accounts since Elon Musk took over Twitter. And I think they are now on 2 million within a week, new accounts. So there’s definitely a wave there. And you can’t leave Twitter until you tell your followers where you will be. So it’s definitely a good way to at least get a Mastodon account and get it verified.

Ryan Welcher: I have to get a Mastodon account. Do you have one, Birgit? Do you have a Mastodon account?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I have two, yes.

Ryan Welcher: You have two? Wow.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I have one on-

Ryan Welcher: I’m always playing catch up with you. You’re so bleeding edge. 

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Totally, totally.

Ryan Welcher: These new technology, not only do you have an account, you have two accounts and you’re the lead community contributor.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, I looked at the Mastodon account and then my browser kind of said, “Oh, you have an account? Here’s your password.” I said, “Oh?” And then I looked at it-

Ryan Welcher: You’re an early adopter. Well before the Twitter nonsense.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I looked at it and it was from 2017 and had not a single post and three followers.

Ryan Welcher: All right.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So I pinned on my new account on my profile. So if you want to follow me or you have left Twitter and you want to kind of look at it and you want to connect with me again, do that. I also pinned my Tumblr account, which I set up in 2008 I guess.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. I actually have a Tumblr account that I think I set up back when I was doing Flash development. That’s how long ago it was. So I need to get that updated.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So now we got that out of the way. The second account that I have was the Gutenberg Times of course. Yeah. It’s a separate account. So if you don’t want the other things that I post on Twitter or on Mastodon, yeah. And WordPress only then the Gutenberg Times account on TWiT Social actually. TWiT is a long time podcast and live show technology podcast by Leo Laporte. And I have been following this week in Google Show, that’s the since, I don’t know, 10 years ago. And they have a Mastodon instance on their server. I like the name of it. It’s not Twitter but it’s TWiT. It’s not social. So I like that. And they also have an instance that is a little bit more moderated so it’s not anybody could come because they want to kind of keep the community tech oriented. So I think that’s a good place to be. But you can follow from any other Mastodon instance on the Gutenberg Times Stream there.

Ryan Welcher: Awesome.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: What else is in there?

Ryan Welcher: I think we were on post editor. Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I highlighted that, a little piece there, is just to reiterate that there is a distraction free mode in Gutenberg plugin now that kind of hides all the interface items when you write or at all. So the toolbar on top, the side settings, but also the block toolbar that comes up or any other things that sometimes spring up and distract you from ‘what does it now’ want kind of thing. And now also the notices are now improved that come up on the edit post screen. For instance, the saving part and the transform part when you transform things and all that. That’s nicely improved.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, it looks really nice on the screenshot that they have there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. 

Ryan Welcher: The next one there is…

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Go ahead.

Ryan Welcher: So moving the document information into the outline deal, which is interesting to me. So if you want to know the word count and all that, you normally go up into the… there’s one of the buttons, I can’t remember what it was, what it looks like.

Yeah. It’s a little I or the info one. But now it’s been moved down to the bottom of the list view, which I don’t necessarily hate. This is the first I’ve seen this one, but I wonder is that an option or is that only in specific instances or is it always going to be there?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s always right now. I think the last word hasn’t been spoken yet about that. It definitely needs some additional accessibility review and improvements and it also is missing some information. So I think the time to read comes up if your post is longer than a minute, then you get the time to read. And the number of blocks is, I think, mission. But you also get the outline as well. And that’s a little bit of a duplication between… so the outline is just the headers that are in your document and in the list view, you also see all the blocks that are in there. So it’s kind of a reduced… I like that the information is now just in one panel and it declutters the top toolbar because I’m sure we’re going to get additional information there.

Ryan Welcher: Almost guaranteed.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And I know that some plugins you signed as well. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. I would love to see this leverage the preferences. The preferences so a user can decide where they want that because that could be something that you… I can see use cases on both sides of it. I don’t care about it, I’m in distraction-free mode whatever. Or I just wanted to be able to be nice and quick because I have a word count that I’m trying to hit or something. So I can see that. I can see people loving this and handling this as with always the case with anytime we change anything. But I think it’s cool. It’s nice.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And I definitely wanted to mention it here because I heard from quite a few people that thought, “Oh, it’s missing now, what did I do?” Kind of thing. It’s actually hidden and there is no notification that, “Look here if you’re looking for that” kind of thing.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, they used to do that a lot.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And they haven’t done yet for this one. 

Ryan Welcher: They used to have those little blue arrows. Do you remember that pre-Gutenberg days when something would move and all of a sudden there’d be a little blue arrow that says, “Hey, this thing’s over here now”? Yeah, it’d be cool if they did that again.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Do they have that feature or kind of the API for that in Gutenberg? I think that will be a good API to have.

Ryan Welcher: They have the modal that pops up the first time that you go into the Block Editor. That might be something to leverage when there’s an update that gets triggered again with like, “Hey, do you want to see what’s new?” And then everyone will hate it and turn it off. But it might be an interesting thing to leverage to kind of save people from trying to figure out where the heck something went or them feeling like they broke something and… anyways.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: No, I totally agree. I totally agree. There are quite a few apps that do this quite well that they have a little notification bell somewhere and they just change the color of it and you know there’s something new. So when you have time to browse that, yeah, you’re going to go there.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. Especially something where you’re using-

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Does Twitch have that?

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, it does. And a lot of desktop apps will do that and stuff like that. So I think it’s a nice consideration for a user to be able to say, “Oh, hey. Something’s changed and you can opt into it.” So maybe just having it popped up is not the best way to doing it, but having some notification that shows up that says there’s been some changes to the UI, would you like to see what they are? I think that’d be kind of neat.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And with all those changes coming…

Ryan Welcher: So you talk to your people about that and I’ll talk to my people about that. We’ll see what happens. Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Anyhow, what’s the next thing?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: What’s the next thing? Yeah, I’m kind of browsing past the bug fixes and I saw a headline that’s called Meta Boxes. And I was looking at that and the PR is that perform has Meta Boxes check on every safe which I really appreciate now because there have been very much quite some instances where I changed something in a Meta Box but I didn’t hit save. And then I went out there and that thing was also not updated, although all the Block Editor edits were updated. So it now does that in every auto save as well so you’re not losing any data from your Meta Boxes. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Now when you say Meta Boxes, are you saying… the first thing that comes to mind is register Meta Box in the original way that you’d do that. Is that what you’re talking about or just-

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. So the Meta Boxes on the bottom of a screen in the Block Editor like Yoast has them and newsletter…

Ryan Welcher: Stuff like that. Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And those boxes were not always saved unless you physically saved it. So the auto save would not catch up.

Ryan Welcher: Oh, that’s great. That’s so nice because that is horribly annoying when you’ve been messing around with stuff and then you navigate away, that doesn’t trigger the ‘are you sure’? And then you’ve lost your work. That’s nice. That’s really nice.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Especially when you’re so accustomed to the every 15 seconds auto save kicks in and you don’t have to worry about it. All of a sudden you have to worry again. Yeah, it’s a little bit counterintuitive.

Documentation

And then we come to the documentation section and there was one thing, that was the Storyboard intro. And the Storybook, not Storyboard, Storybook. Storybook is a tool that allows you to see each WordPress component from the Block Editor in isolation. And you see what values are in there, what action you can have there and you can kind of make some changes and then see how that happens. And this Storybook site didn’t have an intro page. You landed there and it says hello world. And so a few of us got together and updated it so you can learn more about it and also how to…

Ryan Welcher: Take the credit, Birgit. This was all you. You did this and some people helped. So props to you. It’s quite literally the definition of devral is making this easier to understand. I remember when I started first playing around with this Storybook instance, specifically I was like, “Why is it just say hello world?” And then it would fall off my radar. Yeah. So thank you. From the community, officially thanking you for doing this and making it better. So that’s great.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Thank you.

Ryan Welcher: I actually used this tool today. It’s so helpful not only for reference guides, but, for example, WordPress icons. Way down the bottom of that list on the left hand side, you can see all of the available icons. And so I was working on that plugin today and I used it and it’s a handy dandy little tool to show you what’s available and you can see it in real time and see the different states of things. It’s very cool.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. No, I think it improves development. Not only improves it but also speeds it up because you can go there and say, “So what is that component?” You can grab the example code and put it in your component and see how the first version looks. And so it’s really good. We’ll share the tool in the show notes of course so you can check it out yourself and see if you want to use it for your development.

And the other documentation issue that I wanted to highlight was that the curating the editor experience is a page in the Block Editor handbook. And that was updated with the content lock ability or the content only lock ability. So it’s a WordPress 6.1 new feature and I also link to the developer notes in the show notes. But it practically lets you lock down a pattern for instance. Just that the user only can change the content of the headline, but not the headline itself, the content of the paragraph or just upload a new image. But a block pattern itself stays as it is. So I think that is pretty far reaching because a lot of people build custom blocks because they wanted to lock down content and not have people or users kind of change things. And there is actually no need for that if you now with the content only blocks or patterns because now you just use a normal Core Blocks, a collection of Core Blocks and lock down the changing and only open up the content for that.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, I think it’s super powerful. I know coming from the agency world, that was one thing that being able to stop people from creating every iteration of button color on the planet because you have to design for that and you have to count for that and stuff. So being able to just manage the content of something and leave everything else alone, I think, is going to help a lot of people. And this, sorry, explains it a little bit better.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And, again, it speeds up building websites considerably if you don’t have to have a developer create your custom block to have that feature there. So really good.

Ryan Welcher: Sure.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. So that was the Gutenberg 14.5. And without any further ado, we go to Gutenberg 14.6 that came out this week. 

Gutenberg 14.6

Oh we didn’t say 14.9, the release lead was Nick Diego and he also posted the release document. Gutenberg 14.6, Fabian Kagey, was the release lead and that was came out two days ago on Wednesday. And so, yeah, there are quite a few enhancements. Again, it’s a much richer plugin release than 14.5 was. And we have a few things that we wanted to point out. The first one is in the block library. So the navigation block is in major revamp just because you need more space to manage your menu.

And in 14.6, you now find that the navigation block has an added list view in the side bar and you can have more space to actually create your menu, select the menus, add a new link to a menu instead of doing it all in the small little space that you had next to the insert on the navigation block. So that’s definitely something to check out. And then also the navigation link. It now has a URL feed to the inspector control. So the inspector controls itself, you get a URL, you get names and all that additional features for your links and that is definitely useful. What else is in there?

Ryan Welcher: Make author block, select or display all users instead of just 10. I just looked at that. It’s not all users, it’s a hundred users. If you have more than 100 users on your site, you’re kind of a special use case anyways I would imagine. So that should encompass the majority of users, but that’s pretty nice. Yeah. I’m not sure the column address.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, the columns block now has a transform that kind of unwraps the content. Meaning if you get it out of the columns into a normal… so if you have a head and image in a paragraph in a column and you look at unwrap the content, it comes out of the column and-

Ryan Welcher: Oh, that’s super handy. That’s super handy.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Okay. I can’t figure out where I put this, but now I can kind of get it out of it.

Ryan Welcher: And, I mean, try to drag it out of columns and figure that all out. Just one button doesn’t make that way easier.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Yeah. Otherwise, you would have to drag and drop, for instance, three blocks instead of having a one button connection there. Yeah, yeah. You got it right. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: That’s neat. Oh, and the next one, so the group block now has a variation picker in the placeholder. Which looks really, again, helpful being able to just choose the thing you want, the variation, in there, which is really handy.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And I like it that this surface the row and the stack variation right when you select the group block not only when you have it already on your canvas and then on the right hand side, you need to figure out the layouts of that. So, yeah, I really like that. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: I think that that’s a quality of life thing right there. So you don’t have to insert the block and then get to the block and then go over to the right like what you’re saying. Just make this nice and easy. You want a row, you get a row. Two clicks, you’re done.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Right. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. So the next one is under components, update the design of the focal point handle. What does that one look like? I think that’s… well, that’s nice. No, that’s nice. It’s like a little white circle with a little bit of opacity so you can see the stuff behind it. That’s super nice. I quite like that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: I love that people are actually taking the time and looking at these little… in a grand scheme WordPress, this is a tiny detail, but it just makes it that much nicer. It’s that little drop shadow, you can kind of see the image through it. I don’t know, that kind of stuff I’m always amazed because I don’t… I’m not a designer so I don’t look at things like that. If it was me, it’d be a big block, bright blue in there and it would look horrible but it would do the job. So it’s nice there’s this level of refinement happening to these existing tools.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. A good job on the designers and they really figure out all the alignment like when they redesigned the whole setting section or the style section on a block where you have two things in one row, they’re all line up nicely. That was in a second iteration but they now have a standard how to do that. So it’s really good. And the next one is the same qua… it’s also a quality of life thing, but it also speeds up your writing. You can convert paragraphs to headings with a keyboard shortcut and the keyboard shortcut…

Ryan Welcher: Ctrl+Alt.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Ctrl+Alt and then the number for the heading. So for H2, it’s Ctrl+Alt 2 and for three is… H3 is Ctrl+Alt.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. If you’re on a Mac, I guess there’s options. So Ctrl+Options one to six.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Ctrl+Options, yes. Yeah, yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Which is nice because I just learned that you can do that in Google Docs. So that’s a nice carryover here.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, yeah. And I wish Google would carry over the paste.

Ryan Welcher: The link? Were you going to say the link?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Link. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Yes. Why does Google Docs not have that?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: It trips me up every time. Every time I have a link on a Google, it kind of trips me up.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, I know. And I just end up pasting over top of the text that I just wrote because I want put a link on it. Hey, Google. Hey, Google, if you’re listening. I’m going to trigger everyone’s Google Home now by saying that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Mine is downstairs so no problem with that.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. Oh, mine just triggered. I have one in the garage here and it just triggered. It just said, “I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Anyways.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, ours, when it kind of gets triggered from something on the TV, it responds back in German. It’s so funny.

Ryan Welcher: Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. That’s funny.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, the home devices. Yeah. Okay. And the next one is really the following, the change in vocabulary. We don’t say full site editor anymore, we do just site editor. And that, of course, needs to come through the whole interface and some other documentation. I think we will follow it quite a bit, but sooner or later we will all be there.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. It’s the same thing as trying not to call the Block Editor Site Editor Gutenberg, because Gutenberg’s the name… it’s the codename of the project, right? I know I’m very guilty of it just using it as a catchall tool. So I think this is just a matter of leading by example and having people, maybe not correcting everyone, but just kind of using it.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Oh, we talked about the minimum height on the dimensions already, I think.

Ryan Welcher: I think we did. Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. But there’s also another design tool change or update. So on the right hand side, do you have the dimension controls and the spacing for padding and margin controls? And you notice when you go and change it in the step scale that it has a little visualizer around the block that you are editing in blue. And now that process also will hide the toolbar. So you really can concentrate on that block that you’re trying to place pixel perfect into your canvas. So I really like the spacing visualizer because I can never figure out is margin new outside or inside or is that padding outside on inside? So the visualizer really helps you with that.

Ryan Welcher: That is really nice. Yeah. On the global styles, they have some elements of adding a tech text decoration control to link elements. That’s nice. Being able to manage that. Very cool. Blue typography, adjust font size, min and max rules. That’s great. These are all interface items. They’re all being added to-

Birgit Pauli-Haack: The theme JSON items.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. But are they adding controls for them as well like the one for the text link?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, the text … Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. And I think some of these are sort of… the other one we were talking about, the min height I believe that was more about… the first thing we talked about was allowing it to work and the second one was giving a sort of a control and some tooling around that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And for fluid typography, I think they have started working on the interface or the user controls for it. But they’re right now only available through the theme JSON and they added minimum and maximum rules for the fun size. So you can actually change those, which was missing in 6.1 when the fluid topography came in the first time. And there is another global… so it’s also an attempt to see if you can generate random color palettes.

Ryan Welcher: Pretty neat.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: It’s pretty neat for those that are having a hard time with the design that you can give a color and then it gives you additional colors that match that or kind of go well with it.

Ryan Welcher: That’s super neat.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. You don’t have to think about all the colors that you wanted to use. It’s really neat.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, that’s really neat. I can just hear the agency folks going, “No.” But, yeah, being able to generate… that’s so neat. For someone like me who’s not a designer, who’s colorblind, being able to pick one color I like and then having sort of other complimentary colors generated for me, I think that’s really cool. It’s a really cool idea. Hopefully you can disable that for certain individuals or certain use cases I should say.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I hope so too. It’s actually in the style variations. Those, you can shut down quite a bit. I’m just going through the PR and looking for ‘to disable this, do this’ but I haven’t found it yet, but I’m also just scrolling through some of them. But those, okay, disable things will never be in the first iteration of a feature because you need to be pretty firm on how a feature works before you can say, “Okay, and now we disable it.” But given the history of whatever happened before, I think there’s a good chance that that will be added. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Definitely. So some bug fixes there. Play board is in both front end and editor. Well, that seems like a good thing to do.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, that bug has been fixed.

Ryan Welcher: That’s great.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And other than that, I… or the Block Editor. So the list view has been updated to disable the branch expansion when a block editing is locked. So if you are not allowed to edit it or if you’re not allowed to move it or remove it and you can only edit the content, then it will not expand in the list view either.

Ryan Welcher: Right. So an example would be you’ve got a group block that you’ve locked and so you can’t see any of the nested blocks in there. You can’t expand that tree to see that. I think that’s really smart. I think that’s really smart because there’s a way of getting around locking and why clutter up the list view if you can’t… if you’ve got 100 blocks in there, it’s a very complicated pattern. You’ve inserted it, but why mess up the list view with stuff you can’t even edit in the first place? That’s my opinion.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, yeah. Then we have some experiments. We didn’t have a whole lot of experiments for a long time, but at the beginning of the Gutenberg development, there were a few experiments where developers wanted to just see how things work. And we are back to that. The navigation list view is actually an experiment. And then also inspector based navigation editing is also an experiment. So when you install the Gutenberg plugin, you need to go down to the menu where it says Gutenberg and then go to the experiments settings page and then enable those so you can test them. Yeah. What else?

Ryan Welcher: You want to move on the documentation?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yep.

Documentation

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, a lot of nice little documentation changes, changing titles around working with JavaScript in Gutenberg as opposed to just being… oh, and this is another Birgit thing here. So it’s not about getting started with JavaScript, it’s about how to use JavaScript in Gutenberg. It’s a fundamental difference because the assumption is that you do know how to use some JavaScript when coming to working with the Block Editor and Gutenberg Project and stuff like that. So I think it was a misnomer. So nice job.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, thank you.

Yeah, there were quite a few posts in the community there where the PHP developer kind of started to figure out how that works with block development and all. And I saw if not twice, but three times that people didn’t get to that handbook section because of the title. It says How to Use JavaScript instead of ‘How to Use JavaScript With Gutenberg’ or with WordPress is actually the title now. WordPress Block Editor. Of course they’re not saying Gutenberg, but I think that helps people who kind of read through the handbook to get to those pages much earlier in their discovery and also save them some headaches on their way to discover that. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. I mean it’s much more discoverable now and I think that’s great. That’s wonderful.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And are you reorganized to create block documentation?

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We added another subsection. One of the things in the handbook is we have that massive left hand navigation that has accordions in it. And so for some of these packages, they can get quite lengthy those sections. So a while back, we worked on having the DocGen tool… so the DocGen tool is what generates the docs, but then get ingested into the Block Editor handbook from the Gutenberg repository. So we were working on ways of having sort of nested pages underneath those sort of subsections. And so that’s part of what one had done here. It’s great that it splits out to the available commands and kind of organizes that content a little bit better so it’s a little bit more palatable. Because, as we all know, the documentation in WordPress, there’s a zero to 100 thing. Here’s the basics and then here’s everything else you could ever need to know about it all on the same page. And that’s just hard to ingest and it’s hard to kind of parse through.

So by doing this, and we’ll be doing this to some other packages as well, I have a pull request in place that I have to finish for the scripts package that does the same thing. That kind of breaks out some of the more complicated things, more advanced things into their own pages because for the majority of users, they don’t need that. They just need to know what commands are available, for example. So, yeah, that’s the motivation behind this.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I think it’s good kind of to go once in a while through documentation and do a little bit of an overhaul to update with the feedback from developers that have tried to insert information and say, “Okay. Well, it could be a little bit better.” So any improvement, you dear listeners, that you find or you couldn’t imagine, let us know on any places either WP Slack or a Twitter DM or on the Gutenberg Repo and we definitely are receptive to that and help out with making that happen.

Ryan Welcher: Absolutely. Many hands make light work. 

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Many eyeballs, bugs are shallow. It’s the same with documentation. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Oh, okay. Yeah, totally.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s great.

Ryan Welcher: Okay. So that’s all the documentation stuff we’re going to go through. And then what’s next? Code quality or patterns?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: No. I think we are done a certain… yeah. Well, there is a view call… 

Ryan Welcher: There’s a few things bolded in the code quality ones, but I don’t know if that’s-

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I actually bolded them to do some more research on it, but I didn’t get to it.

Ryan Welcher: I mean most of these things like the color palette, color box, kind of border box polish and dry prop types add default values. This is just making it easier to use the rename to .TS is for type script I guess. Yeah. I don’t know if there’s anything you want to specifically call it.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. No, I don’t think we… there’s one change in the pattern directory API that it now supports pagination parameters, but that’s for Gutenberg developers or for contributors that use type into the pattern directory.

Ryan Welcher: Oh, okay. Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I don’t think it’s a public API. I wasn’t quite… oh, I think I was… yeah, I got the 401 kind of there not allowed, but I’m not quite sure.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. It’s probably locked down. You probably have to be… well, no. Maybe. I don’t know. I have to look here. Anyways, it’s giving us pagination, which is great.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. So if you wanted to have more than 30 blocks or something like that so … No, it’s a 404 not found. So it’s kind of-

Ryan Welcher: Okay. Yeah. So it’s locked down to somebody.

What in Active Development or Discussed

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, it’s locked down. All right, so that was the Gutenberg 14.6 release and now we are coming into section with what active development and discussions. And there are quite a few things that I find really, really exciting for the next iteration and I hope they make it all… there are still open PRs so you can test it. There is a different way how to test open PRs, but you get some great videos that demonstrate the features. So the first one is the design concepts for the browse method. So now that there are so many things that you can do in the site editor, the design team came up with how can we unify some of the interfaces. Some things are on the left column, some things are in the right column and can we have not all together, what about design?

And they have some nice ideas where the global styles will be taken out of the right hand side, put them on the left hand side, have a design sub menu for the site editor. Also have a template sub menu for the site editor, but it’s all in one place. It’s not kind of fragmented.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. It’s really nice. I’m just kind of scrolling through some of the design items in the ticket there. It looks great. The transitions that they have going, I just think it’s going to be really nice.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And there’s also a browse mode. So when you click on the templates or page template, you see all the page templates in thumbnails. But they’re relatively big depending on your screen, but you see how they kind of can change when you change the style variation as well. So there’s a lot more ‘what you see is what you get.’ And also kind of keeping a broader view on your site, especially when you do a lot of customizations on your templates to make it a little bit more consistent. Also show you things that are not consistent. So I think that really helps with the customization for site owners and those who actually build themes through the interface to have a better view on how this all looks.

So that’s one thing that I wanted to talk about. The other one is they’re working on a… and that’s more for the migration from classic themes to block themes that you can import widgets from the sidebar or that you’re using the sidebar that you can add them to block-based theme parts or template parts. And because the widget wasn’t available yet, there was a plugin available to add it to the site editor by Justin Tadlock called Classic Widgets. And this is the attempt to get it all into core, but that is definitely something to check out and see how that suits you. There’s not a whole lot of inter… yeah, there is a little video there on how to do that. So how it’s going to work, and I really like that.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, this stuff’s so cool. It’s just amazing. I don’t know. That’s the stuff that they’re working on. I’m just like, “I don’t even know how to start that. I don’t even know how to build that.” But you all are doing a fantastic job doing all these cool things, so yeah. Glad I got out of development when I did because clearly I’m not qualified to do it anymore.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And that’s certainly something that… it’s for web developers that come from the ’90s or early 2000s that kind of did all the database, the CSS, the HTML, the PHP, the JavaScript. I think it’s part of the times that you are not being expert in all of them as you were able to do in the early 2000s or mid 2000 or when WordPress came out with custom post types and you can do it all. Yeah.

So, yeah, another thing that working on is actually managing the font sets for the global styles typography and how you can kind of make them available to more than one block or kind of have the settings. Okay, I want those… you cannot go to every block and change the font family. You need some more general places where you can just click on things and then that applies that particular font family to that series of blocks. So you can kind of get this a little bit better. But that is really hard. When I look at the interfaces and all the design interfaces, you get a good feeling how hard that actually is to make this palatable for non code users to put it in an interface that’s not crowded, that’s not give you a lot of cognitive overload.

Ryan Welcher: And isn’t developer jargon loaded. It’s hard to be able to communicate what a font face means or font weight. I know what that means as a developer, but if you’re not, then how do you explain how thick your letters are basically. It’s kind of how it is, right? Letter thickness. Maybe that’s how you do it. I don’t know. I’ll leave that to the professionals.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And I mean the other interfaces like the text editors or like the Google Docs that have some of it, but then there is such a granular control that a theme developer would need as well that it kind of can really overload the things. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: For sure.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And one feature I really like is that to make it possible that you push a local block style to the global styles. You say, “Oh, I like this block how it is and that post that I just wrote and I wish all my blocks, my paragraph blocks or my image blocks would look that way.” Now they’re working on it that you can push that to the global styles and then all of a sudden every…

Ryan Welcher: So like reusable blocks, but for styles kind of?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: For styles, yeah. Reuseable for styles kind of thing.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah. So anytime you insert a paragraph block, you’d have that style available to you even if it wasn’t defined as part of your theme. I think that’s super cool.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, it’s super cool at the beginning when I think so. But if I think about, okay, how often do I change my mind? I said, “Oh, that could be really hard to kind of redo it.” Yeah, you want it on 15 blocks but not on 80 blocks kind of thing. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, yeah. That’s true. Maybe they’ll need an interface for editing those curated things where you edit the style and everything just gets automatically, but who knows? Who knows?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Sounds cool. Cool either way.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: You need to explore that and if you tested and use it and then all of a sudden you see what’s working and what’s not working. Yeah. Now the other two really exciting as well. Do you want to take the first one or?

Ryan Welcher: Is that the pre-published one?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Mm-hmm.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, so this one’s really cool. When you’re about to publish a post, if you have images that are external to the website. So if you imported a post from something and the URLs to your images are somewhere else, in the pre-published sidebar that says are you ready to publish, there’s a new panel being sort of suggested to be able to identify that you’ve got external images and give you the option to upload into your media library. I think that is such a handy thing. I know having done about a billion migrations that that’s a point of contention because it’s not easy to move those images programmatically. It can be done, but if you’ve imported stuff or copied and pasted and it’s there and you can just do it with a button, that’s so much simpler. I mean it’s not going to translate to doing 1000 posts all at once, but at least it’s such a nice feature. I think it’s so cool.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, it’s only for that particular page, right?

Ryan Welcher: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. It’s not bulk uploading for the entire site, it’s for that specific page. Which I think is great. So cool.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, I really like that. And there was always a restriction before. There was a button on each image block that said upload image, but that was kind of hit and miss as well. With Google Docs for instance, it worked, but it didn’t work with other WordPress sites or certain WordPress sites on certain servers. But Ella put some research on it and found how that can be consistently work better now with that tool as well. And there’s another PR open to copy that over to make that even better.

Ryan Welcher: Right. Yeah. I think it’s really nice. On the issue that I’m sure will be linked in the show notes, there’s a nice little graphical representation of what that looks like. It’s nice and slick and just seems super easy. Yeah. The next one is… this has been merged. It’s going to be the next version of Gutenberg I believe, but it’s an experimental feature that’s… so it’s an experiment on the experiment. In the sidebar, this is going to split block sidebar controls into tabs, which I think is super neat. So being able to define settings for a block and appearance or styles or whatever you want to call it in separate tabs. So that’s pretty exciting. As a block developer, I’m pretty excited about being able to do that because I know that that sidebar gets really… with really complicated blocks that are doing lots of things, that sidebar gets really tall. Really, really big and you have to have all your panels come in and they’re collapsed by default. But being able to split them out in into tabs will make that a much better experience I think.

I’m not sure about the technical implementation right now, but I would imagine though instead of just wrapping everything in inspector controls, you might have inspector control settings and inspector control appearance or whatever you want to call it. So, yeah, that’s something that I’m excited about is I nerd out about that kind of stuff.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And I think it’s much easier also for a user to have that separate because sooner or later, you’re done with fiddling with the design of your site and now you’re putting content and you don’t have to touch those tires anymore or scroll past them all the time. So it’s really a good way to think about these things and put them in experiments so we all can experience them and kind of see what works and what doesn’t work out. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I think what’s active in development is so exciting for me to look forward and I hope all of this makes it into 6.2. That’s the next major version and we don’t have a plan yet for 6.2 and I think sooner or later, it will come out. I know that Hector and some of the core contributors are working on it and figuring out what will be a good release.

It’s definitely going to be not in 2022, so it’ll be February or March of 2023. And maybe even before. Maybe not WordCamp Asia, but after WordCamp Asia. Yeah. Oh, speaking of which, what we haven’t announced yet is the State of the Word. That’s before the end of the show and we are all on the end of the show. The State of the Word will be happening in New York and on livestream on December 15th at 1:00 PM Eastern, that’s 5:00 PM UTC or 17:00 UTC… No, 1:00 PM Eastern is plus five, it’s 18:00 UTC and 17:00 Central European Time. And we share the announcement post to the State of the Word on the news section in the show notes, so you can all make your reservations. There’s also a form that you can apply to actually come to the event in New York. It’s, again, in the Automattic office like last year and the Automattic office and SOHO office in New York City in Manhattan. It’s going to be pretty cool. It’s scheduled for one hour and a half, and normally that’s kind of half an hour presentation by Matt Mullenweg and Josepha together. And then Q&A for another hour, both livestream and in-person. Yeah.

Ryan Welcher: Very cool. Nice. Exclusive. 

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, it’s published already.

Ryan Welcher: Oh. Well, then it’s not that exclusive. I just haven’t seen it. It’s exclusive to me, I just haven’t seen it yet.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. As always, the show notes will be published on gutenbergtimes.com/podcast. Well, it’s hard today. Published on the gutenbergtimes.com/podcast and this is episode 76. And if you have questions or suggestions or news that you want us to include, send them to changelog@gutenbergtimes.com. Yes, that’s an email address and that’s changelog@gutenbergtimes.com. So thank you so much, Ryan. It was wonderful to have you. Do you have anything that you want our listeners to know that you haven’t talked about yet or how can people reach you?

Ryan Welcher: Well, I don’t have any exclusive things to announce today, but you can find me online. I’m @RyanWelcher on Twitter. I am Welcher or Welcher Ryan or Ryan Welcher on basically every other piece of social media. My Twitch, you can check me out at RyanWelchercodes. And that’s the same name for my YouTube channel, which is also Ryan Welcher codes. And I think that’s probably it. But, yeah, I’d love to have everyone come and hang out with me on Thursdays 10:30 Eastern when I do my livestream. But thank you for having me, Birgit. I know. Love coming here and hanging out and talking to all this cool code stuff.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And it’s so wonderful to have you. Yeah. To talk through those things and have all your excitement for the Gutenberg developer. Custom development is such a nice addition to the Gutenberg Changelog. Thank you so much.

Ryan Welcher: Thank you for having me. Looking forward to the next one.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, and this was it. Thank you all for listening. This is goodbye for me and talk to you the next time.

by Gutenberg Changelog at November 27, 2022 02:58 PM under Gutenberg

November 25, 2022

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 11.0.0-beta2

Hello BuddyPress contributors!

If you haven’t tested our first 11.0.0 beta release, here’s another opportunity to help us give the final touches to our next major release so that we make sure it will fit perfectly into your WordPress / BuddyPress specific configuration. Beta testing is very important and we need you all, whether you’re a regular or advanced user, a theme designer or a plugin author: please contribute!

Please note the plugin is still in development, so we recommend running this beta release on a testing site.

You can test BuddyPress 11.0.0-beta2 in 4 ways :

The current target for final release is December 14, 2022 👈. We would greatly appreciate your help making sure this next major version of your community engine is as good as it can be.

Since beta1, we’ve fixed 12 new tickets and documented some important changes BP Themes or Plugins authors should definitely read:

If you find something weird testing this beta, please report it on BuddyPress Trac or post a reply to this support topic.

by Mathieu Viet at November 25, 2022 10:28 PM under releases

Post Status: WordPress is People (Weekly Community Update)

Yes, of course WordPress is software. It’s code. It’s several different programming languages. It’s blocks. It’s the editor. Yes, it's all of the technology. 

But it’s people. It’s created by people. It’s used by people. It relies on people to move it forward, to modify it, to moderate it, and to build community around it.

John Donne said “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.” The same is true about WordPress. Each of us is part of it. WordPress is you and me. It’s us.

If you’re interested in volunteering your time, skills, and resources to the open source project, there are many ways to be involved (and most of them aren’t coding). Learn more about ways to get involved on the WordPress website.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday is here! 

Have you snagged some good deals? (I’ve found a few!) We’ve accumulated over 200 deals on our site. I bet whatever you might need is there. Find this year’s deals here

We have a Black Friday deal, too!

Did someone say Black Friday? We have a deal, too! Get $100 off any level membership. (Gets you Slack access, too!)
USe code: BFCM
Effective 11/25 – 12/31

About Us

Have you ever wondered who it is that makes Post Status work? Look no further than our About Us page to meet the Post Status team: Cory, Lindsey, Michelle, Adam, and Olivia

Upcoming Events:

This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

by Michelle Frechette at November 25, 2022 06:35 PM under WordCamp

November 23, 2022

WPTavern: Dig Into the Open Web

As the American Thanksgiving holiday is coming up, I am so grateful for all of our Tavern readers and the people who make WordPress – 800 in the most recent 6.1 release with 35 percent of them being new contributors. This community has made remarkable progress this year, while navigating changes and uncertain times. Committed contributors continue to show up and make WordPress the best platform for publishing on the web.

The recent social media upheaval with Twitter has been an unexpected gift that has created an opportunity for a mass return to decentralization and open web protocols, like ActivityPub and RSS. The sting of the prospect of losing Twitter followers and the network that users worked to build, has underscored the importance of agency in social networking, the ability to take your data and connections with you to other networks on your own terms.

Although it is somewhat heartbreaking to see Twitter struggling to survive, one silver lining is that this situation is inspiring a drive towards a greater level of interoperability between apps, like Tumblr engineers working to add ActivityPub support so users can connect across Mastodon and other networks that use the same protocol.

People are steadily moving away from the all-powerful algorithms that steer consumers and subtly manipulate the public consciousness, and migrating away in search of healthier, more ethical social networking alternatives. The refreshing lack of ads and algorithms are winning people over in decentralized social networks, which are getting a second look from mainstream publications in light of Twitter’s loss of critical engineering teams.

I’m thankful for this renewed focus on networks that value the open web, where people are now exploring alternatives to walled gardens with their friends, instead of having to start over alone. Never underestimate the power of friction and crisis to refine how we communicate and motivate us to find a better way to stay connected. This is a moment that may have enough traction to change the course of social interaction on the web.

With things changing all around, it’s heartening to know that WordPress is still here and going strong, for those of us who have chosen it as the home for our content. We’re fortunate to have so many plugins available that connect our ecosystem to the broader web, allowing us to syndicate content to almost anywhere. Let’s not miss this opportunity to dig into the open web and see where it takes us.

by Sarah Gooding at November 23, 2022 09:06 PM under News

Post Status: State of the Word 2022 • Dev Blog Beta • WP 3.7 – 4.0 Final Releases

This Week at WordPress.org (November 21, 2022)

As 2022 comes to an end, State of the Word will happen in NYC again. Apply to attend or tune in to the livestream. Check out the beta version of the WordPress Developer Blog. Still have sites on WordPress 3.7 – 4.0? It's really time to upgrade as this will receive no further updates after December 1. It's team rep nomination time too.

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Thanks for reading our WP dot .org roundup! Each week we are highlighting the news and discussions coming from the good folks making WordPress possible. If you or your company create products or services that use WordPress, you need to be engaged with them and their work. Be sure to share this resource with your product and project managers.

Are you interested in giving back and contributing your time and skills to WordPress.org? 🙏 Start Here ›

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This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

by Courtney Robertson at November 23, 2022 06:51 PM under WordPress.org

WPTavern: #52 – Hannah Smith on Why We Need To Be Making Websites More Sustainable

Transcript

[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the Jukebox podcast from WP Tavern. My name is Nathan Wrigley.

Jukebox is a podcast which is dedicated to all things WordPress. The people, the events, the plugins, the blocks, the themes, and in this case making websites more sustainable.

If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast, you can do that by searching for WP Tavern in your podcast player of choice, or by going to WPTavern.com forward slash feed forward slash podcast. And you can copy that URL into most podcast players.

If you have a topic that you’d like us to feature on the podcast, well, I’m very keen to hear from you and hopefully get you, or your idea featured on the show. Head to WPTavern.com forward slash contact forward slash jukebox. And use the form there.

So on the podcast today, we have Hannah Smith. Hannah is the operations and training manager for the Green Web Foundation, and founder of The Let’s Green The Web campaign. She’s also co-founder of Green Tech Southwest.

Her background is in computer science. She previously worked as a freelance WordPress developer and also for the Environment Agency, where she managed business change projects.

It’s pretty easy to forget that the device that you’re reading or listening to this podcast on is consuming power. We plug things in or charge them up, and they just work. They are sleek and sterile. No pollution comes out of the device directly. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that many of us never make the connection between our use of technology and the impact that this has on the environment.

Enter Hannah Smith. She’s been thinking about this for years and is on the podcast today to highlight the issue and hopefully get your ideas about what users of WordPress can do to make sure that the websites we create are having the smallest impact possible.

Her approach is not that we need to cease and desist using our technology. Rather it’s about coming up with new and innovative ways that we can reduce the impact that we have.

As creators of websites, there are a whole raft of options available to us. Reducing the size of our images. Inspecting the HTML to remove bloat. Choosing hosting options that source renewable energy.

With this in mind, Hannah and others have been working on a sustainability related blog post, which has been published on the Make WordPress site this week. This post is intended to trigger meaningful and open discussion in the global WordPress community about the topic of sustainability.

She really wants to encourage others to weigh into this public conversation with their own thoughts, so that we can build on what is already happening to make WordPress more sustainable.

It’s a fascinating and thought provoking topic, and if you’re interested in finding out more, you can get all of the links in the show notes by heading over to WPTavern.com forward slash podcast. Where you’ll find all of the other episodes as well.

And so without further delay, I bring you Hannah Smith.

I am joined on the podcast today by Hannah Smith. Hello Hannah.

[00:04:02] Hannah Smith: Hello Nathan. Thank you so much for having me today.

[00:04:05] Nathan Wrigley: You are so welcome. Hannah is here today to talk about the environmental impact of having WordPress websites, and I genuinely think this is going to be a real eye opener for many of us.

Before we do that though Hannah, we always orientate our listeners by allowing the guests to just give us a bit of background on who they are and what their relationship is with WordPress. So if you don’t mind, I’m going to ask you that very generic question is just tell us a little bit about yourself and how come you are into WordPress.

[00:04:35] Hannah Smith: Thank you. I’m a massive fan of WordPress. I’ve so much love and admiration for the community. So my background is as a computer scientist, so that’s what I studied in my degree. Had, like many people, are very sort of winding interesting journey in and around different things.

And about eight years ago, I set myself up as a freelance WordPress developer. So having done sort of other careers within tech, I won’t give you the long winding path that I got there, but serendipity basically somehow landed me, as a freelance WordPress developer. Finding myself wanting to give it a go.

I was living in Bristol at the time, and wanted to learn more about WordPress and found that we had a meetup community in Bristol, and decided to pop along. Was made to feel very welcome, and learn loads from the awesome people there. So, a shout out to Simon, Janice, and Rob, who were the people that grounded me into that community.

And then it wasn’t long before I somehow found myself invited to help run that community and help drive that community, which I was very happy to do for a good few years. And then in 2019 we did WordCamp Bristol. We had about 200 odd people come to that, which was brilliant. And I’ve been quite involved in WordCamps and speaking at conferences. Try and contribute where I can.

These days I’ve actually hung up my shoes, only recently as a WordPress developer, and I’ve transitioned to working full-time for the Green Web Foundation. But part of my role at the Green Web Foundation, so I do a lot of training and outreach and operations, because we’re small, so everyone wears lots of hats.

But I do also manage our WordPress website as well and our WordPress estate too. So, whilst it might not be my full job title to have WordPress every single day, it is still very much a part of what I do.

[00:06:35] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you. What a, rich and interesting history you’ve had. We’ve met in person on a number of occasions, but it’s been a little while since we met up in person. But you came across my radar on the 1st of November because of a piece that you had written over on make.wordpress.org.

I will link to it in the show notes and, it may well be a good idea, if you’re listening to this podcast and you are anywhere near a device, it might be a good idea to pause the podcast actually. Go and read the piece it’s called, now we have a sustainability channel in making WordPress Slack, what should we do?

And the reason I’m asking you to potentially go and read that is because really it’s going to form the basis of everything that we are going to be talking about around the environment and so on. So tell us what was the concern? What was the primary motive for writing that piece?

[00:07:25] Hannah Smith: So, the piece was written very much in collaboration with four others, so I want to say from the outset that whilst it was my face next to the post when you read it, I was the nominated person to publish it. It was very much a collaborative effort with four others.

So with Nora, Nahuai, Pace, and Csaba, who are placed in different places across Europe. And, Nahuai and Nora, I knew from some workshops I’d run back in the spring, exploring the topic of digital sustainability. But we were chatting and we all felt that where was the action in WordPress on sustainability?

We were kind of looking around and, I’m very involved in the wider community around digital sustainability. But I was looking around and I was like, I just don’t feel this in WordPress. It’s just not surfaced enough. It’s very niche and, we are really getting to a point where sustainability can’t be a niche concern.

It has to be a concern for everybody, everywhere because what’s happening around us in terms of the changing climate, in terms of our lack of sustainable approaches, does affect every single person, whether they want to admit that or not. We are all impacted by it. Rich, poor, young, old, we’re all going to face these consequences.

So we were chatting and Nora and Nahuai I were at WordCamp Europe this year, and Nora actually asked a question in, you know the Q and A that Josepha and Matt have? So Nora asked a question about sustainability and stood up. I mean more power to her. She stood up in front of the whole crowd and said, hey, sustainability. We really care about this, but there’s nothing much happening, and Matt and Josepha said, well, okay, look. The very first thing we can do is set up a channel in Slack. So maybe that will help, WordPress Slack. You know to give people a collaboration space and a meeting space.

And they also said, well, and if you’ve got any ideas or specific proposals that you want to make, we are going to listen. The door is open, essentially. So Nora set this ball in motion really with her question. And then Josepha and Matt responded really well. And so since then, since the summer, a few of us have been sort of working, just informally, thinking, okay, well how do we capitalize upon this?

WordPress leadership is saying we’re listening, or, we are happy to collaborate with you. But now what we need to do is to get the community together and to get the community, A, to know who each other are, and B, to acknowledge this is a topic and to talk about it, and discuss it, and bring knowledge and ideas into a space together. So this is why we ended up writing the post. And the post is very much saying, hey, WordPress community, look, we’ve got this channel, but you know, a channel isn’t going to solve our problems.

It’s, it’s you. You and your ideas that are going to solve these problems or that are going to make progress. So, could we please get into a discussion about what people’s ideas are? So we’ve invited people to share their ideas and particularly any vision that they have. Or ideas that they have around what sustainability and WordPress might look like in the future.

Because if we can’t imagine it, we’re not going to get there. And I think a lot of the narrative around climate change is very doom and gloom. It’s very pessimistic. It feels almost like we’re accepting that we’ve been defeated. opposite. It’s so the opposite. We have every opportunity and potential here to turn things around and change things. It is not yet too late. So we wanted to really bring everyone together and imagine these ideas together and then see where that leads us.

[00:11:18] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you. That’s really helpful. You used the word sustainable a dozen times or more in, in that, last little section, and it occurs to me that there’s probably quite a few people listening who have some sort of conception of what we mean by sustainability, but I’m pretty sure that everybody’s conception of it will be slightly different to everybody else’s.

What exactly are you meaning when you say sustainability in WordPress or sustainability surrounding WordPress? What are the areas that you are touching on? What are the points of concern that we need to have drawn to our attention?

[00:11:54] Hannah Smith: Yeah, that’s a great question. You are absolutely right that most people will have slightly differing ideas of sustainability. Some people may even have a very narrow view of sustainability, which might be something called decarbonization. Which really relates around carbon emissions. But, Perhaps let me give a really sort of wide view of what sustainability is outside of the realms of tech or WordPress, and then we can kind of narrow in a bit and talk about how that relates then to tech or digital specifically, or WordPress specifically.

So if we talk about sustainability or the word sustain, it means that we’re able to keep doing things into the long term. There’s this quote that’s often used. It’s about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs, or the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. So at it’s most basic level, sustainability can mean that. To get a bit more specific about it, I draw on something called the donor economics framework.

If anybody here is interested in a really holistic way of thinking about sustainability, that’s a bit more in depth, I really recommend this as a resource to have a look at. Very accessible. Don’t let the fact that it’s about economics or economics turn you away, make you think it’s not for you. It is for everybody. And the way that donor economics talks about sustainability, I really love this is, it talks about sustainability as having humanity at the center of the story.

So sustainability is much more than us thinking about the environmental ecosystems. It’s about thinking about how humanity sits within the environment. So if you can imagine a simple donut shape with a hole in the middle. Essentially what you get there is two circles, one smaller one inside, a bigger one. That smaller circle, we might often think of something that they term as the social foundation. And the social foundation is a set of 12 things that, when you consider them all in relation to one another, define the things that makes us human, and defines the things that just allow us to survive as humans, but allows us to really thrive as humans.

So it’s more than just thinking about food, water, shelter, clothing. It’s also thinking about those emotional needs that we have as well around peace and justice. Around meaningful connections with other people around access to education and opportunities. So I love to think about our social foundation as the center of the story of sustainability. Because humans are a part of this planet. And it is a very dangerous mindset, or a very dangerous kind of thing to get into, to think that the only way that we become more sustainable is by not being here. And that’s really not a good story to tell, and it’s not the right story to tell. We are part of the planet, and we can live within the boundaries of what the planet can provide for us.

And that moves me onto the second circle, this outer circle. And donor economics talks about that as our ecological boundaries or our ecological ceiling. And that’s basically accepting that the planet has a finite amount of resources. There’s only so much wind that blows. There’s only so many raw materials in the ground. There’s only so much accessible water, drinkable water. There’s only so much land.

It helps us understand that we have these boundaries in place. We have these limitations. So when we talk about sustainability, or when I’m talking personally talking about sustainability, I’m thinking about those concepts. I’m thinking about humanity being at the center of the planet. Being at the center of our concerns, but I’m also thinking that humanity has to live within these constraints that the world places upon us.

And in donor economics, if you have that donut shaped circle, if I’m hoping everyone listening can picture it or maybe you’ve looked it up online. If you’ve got this kind of circle, what you have is, the way the donor economics talks about it is we talk about sustainability as being this sweet spot in the middle where we are meeting everybody’s needs to thrive. But we are doing that within the boundaries of the planet. And that it is absolutely possible that we can have nice things and that we can be happy, healthy, joyful humans, but that we can live within the means of our planet.

So for me, sustainability is that broad concept. And I’m just going to stop there, Nathan, because I know we haven’t actually talked about this before and I’m curious to know, how that resonates with you, as a definition of sustainability or as a way of thinking about it.

[00:17:05] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, I fully understand where you are coming from. I guess the piece that I’m confronted with is that, I always think of, how to describe this. I very often think of conservation and I think about it in terms of we’ve got to do less things. We’ve got to drive the car less. We’ve got to consume less electricity, we’ve got to get on planes less. We’ve got to produce less.

And so the environmental debate always, for me at least anyway, comes back to reducing what we’re doing and kind of admitting to ourselves that the aspirations that we seem to have as a species, to rampantly consume everything and believe that we are fully in charge of everything on the planet.

It feels as if we need to put the breaks on and actually, rather than that, we need to go in reverse. We need to, like I said, produce less things, consume less things. It sounds as if you’ve got a slightly different philosophy there, which is we’ve just got to figure out how we can carry on the way we are. But with cleverer solutions so that the things that we create, the plane journeys that we go on, the cars that we drive. All of that’s still possible, but we need to figure out how the impact of that would be lessened.

[00:18:28] Hannah Smith: Almost, yeah. That’s almost what I’m saying, but not quite. If we think about what we’re driving our cars for. What we are flying for. What are we doing these things for? It might be that the mechanism by which we create connection with one another or that we get from A to B, or that we see our family and friends, or that we have meaningful relationships with people.

It might be that those things are done differently. And yeah, so it might mean that we reduce car use. We reduce airplane flights. But that doesn’t mean we don’t replace it with other things. Technology is amazing. I mean, look at, look at the internet. It’s absolutely incredible what digital technology enables us to do.

So I think the story of sustainability, it’s very, very important to not get drawn into this narrative that we’ve all got to live like cave people, which is so often what people think being sustainable means. It means giving up all the things that bring us joy and bring us meaning in life.

And actually, I don’t buy that at all. I think that that is the wrong way to look at sustainability. I actually think what living in a truly sustainable way means is reducing the things that don’t give us those joyful things. Don’t provide meaningful connection in our life, and replacing them with the things that do. And do you know what? What’s amazing is that the things that genuinely, meaningfully do improve our lives, are generally sustainable, at the same time. Like riding a bike, walking, exercising, spending less time on social media, perhaps doing more time crafting or reading a book. Those things do all actually add to our lives, add to our happiness, add to our, you know, meaning and purpose.

So I think it’s a really important starting point just to say to the WordPress community, hey, look, being sustainable doesn’t mean we’re going to lose all these things that we love. In fact, we are going to lose the things that don’t service and replace them with better, better, more meaningful things.

[00:20:39] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. One of the things that I find tricky is I don’t really equate my use of the internet with the environmental consequences that there are from my use of the internet. Before we hit record, I was talking to you, I described how the technology that I’m using, so I’ve got a computer in front of me, I have a mobile phone. Unless I actually apply thought, my default in a way, is that they are completely benign and harmless. Typically, if I’m using my mobile phone say, there’s not really any part of me which is consciously thinking, okay, for every minute that I spend on this phone, there’s a consequence to this. There’s an environmental impact. I’m consuming electricity. That phone needed to be charged, and the same would go for any device, any piece of technology, any website that I visit.

Just not bridging that gap. Whereas other things, so for example, the driving of the car. I’m acutely aware of the consequences of that because there’s things actually coming out of the rear of that car through the exhaust system that I can detect. I can feel the harm from that.

You know? There’s no way that if you told me to go and stand behind a car for 10 minutes and breathe in deeply. There’s no way that that’s going to be something that I wish to do. I can draw a, a line between the stuff that’s coming out the exhaust, and my health and lungs, I can completely understand that. Whereas the phone, like I said, is completely benign. I could do that for hours, and so, I do think it’s an interesting thing.

I wonder if you sense that generally speaking. When you have these discussions and you are trying to encourage people to equate internet use, technology use, whatever it may be, with the consequences of that, I’m wondering if people are generally, they’re open to it, they understand it, they draw that line themselves immediately.

Or is there a bit of, what, hang on a minute. I’ve, I’m going to have to apply some thought to this. What do you mean? How can my, how can my computer possibly be doing any harm?

[00:22:53] Hannah Smith: oh yeah, it’s such a good point. I mean, I can speak from my own experience as someone that has always been really interested in the environment, and really conscious of sustainability, environmentalism. And it wasn’t until I went to WordCamp Europe, when it was in Berlin actually, and Jack Lenox was giving a talk and Jack Lenox’s talk was, are website’s killing the planet? Something along those lines.

I had this like total mad aha moment where I was like, oh my God, right? Digital tech runs on electricity. Has to be built. All that stuff’s got to come from somewhere. So of course it has an impact. But it wasn’t until I heard Jack’s talk, and also around the same sort of time, I heard Whole Grain Digital talking as well, I put two and two together.

So it’s funny, but once, as soon as someone told me, oh yeah, you are using electricity to run this stuff. And of course electricity is mostly coming from the burning of fossil fuels, and all this stuff has to be manufactured. So all the lithium and cobalt, gold and silver and all the stuff that’s in your phone all has to come from somewhere. And that’s really energy intensive and damaging to create, or extract.

As soon as I was given that little push in the right direction, suddenly this whole cascade of implications unfolded in front of me, and I was like, oh, well, yeah obviously, now I see it. But I, like many people, I think just need to be given that little nudge. Really helps to hear someone say that explicitly. Hey, did you know that between, see if I can get the numbers right. 1.9 and 3.3% of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions arise from our use of digital tech.

Did you know that that’s more than shipping and more than aviation? Did you know that that actually means that the internet becomes the world’s seventh biggest polluter is a country? When you start to hear those things, yeah, it dawns on you. And that’s certainly how I came into this space, or certainly how I kind of realized this for the first time.

Maybe many people listening to what I’ve just said, the light bulbs have just flicked on as well and gone, oh right, yeah, of course, good point. It’s unseen, isn’t it, this pollution? To your point earlier, it’s all been abstracted away from us, so that we have clean, convenient lives. As you rightly say, you know, our phones are really sleek. Our laptops are really sleek. And that’s part of the service I suppose, that we’re being provided. We’re being given this convenience. We’re being given beautiful, well designed things. But that impact, unfortunately, is still very real at the moment. Maybe in time to come, we’ll get to a place where it’s not.

We’ll have some new technologies that perhaps use the regenerative techniques, where we’re not extracting materials from the ground. Maybe we can start to grow them or find other ways to create them. But right now, yeah, that impact is real. Whoever came up with the term cloud really like clever, but from a sustainability angle, not helpful.

[00:26:15] Nathan Wrigley: It’s about the most benign thing imaginable, isn’t it? It’s fluffy and, welcoming and, you know, they’re associated with the sun and all of that. Yeah, that’s interesting.

[00:26:24] Hannah Smith: Yeah, and it’s just not true. Like actually it’s like a big diesel plume. To your point, actually the reality is 62% of the world’s energy, electricity comes from fossil fuel sources. And we can think about it as the internet is actually the world’s largest coal fired machine. When you start to have those pictures in your head, it does change your relationship to what you’re doing and what you have in front of you a bit I think.

[00:26:51] Nathan Wrigley: And I guess that’s really the purpose of what it is that you are doing in the article that you wrote. Is you are, you’re keenly aware of this. It’s obviously something which is meaningful to you on a personal level. And you are, you’re really scouting out for ideas and suggestions and, for the community to gather around, and come up with what we can do.

So, let’s lay out a few things in terms of WordPress. These are the things which just come into my mind as we’re sitting here talking to one another. I confess that there isn’t a great deal of backstory here. I’m just going to generate things as they come up into my mind.

So the first thing is that our website’s dependent upon what is being presented to the end user. So, you know, if it’s a, if it’s a website, which is rich in large images. If it’s a website which is rich in video. If it’s a website which has huge amounts of JavaScript and CSS. We are pushing more bits over the wire. And so maybe there’s a piece there. Can we cut down the amount that WordPress needs to do, and needs to deliver?Would that have an impact?

[00:28:00] Hannah Smith: Definitely.

[00:28:02] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. And then another thing which comes into my head is, at the end of the day when I finish with my computer, the last thing I do is I switch it off. I turn it off, and then when I need it again, I’ll switch it on and I’ll, whenever I’ve finished I turn it off again, so it’s on, off, on, off.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s off more than It’s on. Significantly more. But our website hosting, let’s just call it that, wherever that might be, whatever system you are using. We need that to be on all the time because our websites need to be available all the time. That’s one of the points is something which is, you know, you don’t have to go to a website and be visited by a page which says, one moment, we’re just going to switch the computer on, and come back in a moment and everything will be ready to go.

No, you want it to be ready immediately. And in fact, we’re being told all the time that the faster our webpage is being served up, the better it’s going to do in search engine rankings, which is almost like a holy grail. So everything needs to be quicker and everything needs to be more available.

So there’s just a couple of pieces there really, which came to my head, the first one being that can we reduce the amount that WordPress has to serve up, and will that have a positive effect? And obviously that very much feels like a seesaw. You could argue that from both sides. But also the machines that our websites are running on, there’s probably quite a lot of conversations that we could have around there. The kind of things that hosting companies are doing to source the power and so on and so forth.

[00:29:30] Hannah Smith: Yeah, I mean, it’s brilliant, isn’t it? You start to think about these things and you’ve hit upon two real, really key actionable things that we can look at within WordPress. So we’re talking at the moment about electricity and energy use, and I’m just going to sort put this into context and say, hey, don’t forget that electricity and energy use is just one aspect of sustainability. There is a little bit more to it than that.

But I do think that when you are brand new to thinking about the impact of digital tech on sustainability, this is an absolutely awesome starting point. It’s very tangible and there’s quite a bit of research and tooling out there to help you. So I just want to kind of caveat and say, let’s deep dive into that for a little bit, awesome. But bear in mind, there’s more to think about.

There is a very direct relationship between the amount of data that you send and the amount of CO2 emissions that that creates. So the more data to use your words, the more data, the more stuff you’re sending down the wire, the more pollution or the more energy that you’re using.

And there’s a simple way to calculate this. For anyone that wants to get into this. If you know how much data you are sending, we can estimate how much electricity that is going to use to send that data from A to B. Whole load of assumptions that you’ll have to make in order to make that estimation.

But there’s some models out there that you can use. You can have a look at the sustainable web design website. So if you know how much data you’ve got, you can figure out an estimation of how much electricity that would use to send from A to B. And then we can use something called carbon intensity data.

And carbon intensity data allows us to understand how much CO2 emissions are created per unit of energy, or per unit of electricity that is created. So I mentioned to you that 62% of the worlds electricity is generated by fossil fuels. In different countries, and in different regions that will change. So I think Norway, for example, is 100% renewable energy.

So depending on where you are in the world, you’ll have different carbon intensities to consider. But yeah, so essentially it can come down, a really good starting point is to think about performance and optimization, and think about how can I reduce the waste around this. There are dozens of reasons why we should be thinking about performance anyway.

This is not a new ask of developers, or ask of technical people to think about performance. We have reasons around accessibility. We have reasons around cost. We also have reasons around SEO as well. The more performant and optimize something is, the better your SEO. And we also have things to think about in terms of people’s enjoyment of using said service, or said website.

And we can add another one, another cracking good reason to think about this optimization and performance, and that is also the sustainability angle. So, I mean, really this stuff is just stacking up and stacking up to be like a no brainer. If you want to be a sustainable web developer, your first job is to get good at performance and optimization.

[00:32:50] Nathan Wrigley: It’s interesting, the whole performance thing, while you were talking about that, I was thinking about the fact that performance really can go in two directions. The performance could be gained by cutting out waste, but it can also be gained by using more resources.

[00:33:05] Hannah Smith: Ha ha, yes, good shout.

[00:33:07] Nathan Wrigley: It is possible to simply say to yourself, I shall purchase more expensive hosting, which has got more CPUs and so on and so forth. And in that way, I cut out the need for me to make my website leaner, if you know what I mean. So, just to be clear, when you talk about performance, you really are talking about getting rid of the waste, considering whether that image needs to be that big or could it be smaller? Do I need to put that video on there? It’s more trimming things down as opposed to spending more money on a faster machine for example.

[00:33:39] Hannah Smith: Interesting point. I’m really glad we’re having this conversation. Yes and no I would answer that question. 100% the yes part is definitely around the waste. Is around just not sending stuff we don’t need. Not having analytics collecting that we don’t need. Not generating data that we don’t need.

The resources part is a really interesting one, because there’s a piece around maybe using our resources more wisely. So there can be arguments for perhaps having better hosting. Because if that better hosting, say you are serving a website across, you’ve got users all across the world visiting your website. Actually having a better hosting service that makes really good use of CDNs, content delivery networks, actually can have an impact on sustainability.

Because if you are serving your data closer to the person that actually wants to use that data, you can save quite a bit of energy, electricity, because you’re not sending it from one side of the world to the other. And there is an electricity cost to doing that. Again, it’s not seen by us, but it’s real. It is there.

So the service side, the hosting side of things. Something very specific you can do there is look for hosting companies that are using renewable energy, using renewable energy sources to power themselves. And I’m going to plug the Green Web Foundation where I’m working now.

We have a really awesome data set, which we’ve been collecting for 10 years or so on hosting companies that are powered by renewables. That’s a very specific action you can take. But yeah, to your point that you can make something really performant by chucking loads of resources at it. Yeah, that’s not what we are talking about here when we are talking about sustainability. We are talking about speeding things up through the use of wise resources instead.

[00:35:36] Nathan Wrigley: I know that time is pressing for you, so we’ll wrap up fairly shortly, but I just want to, just want to offer a few thoughts as well, and, the piece that I mentioned towards the beginning of the podcast where I said that, it’s very difficult I think for me, and I’m sure a lot of other people as well, to draw the line between the website and the impact on the environment, and I’m wondering if it might be that we need to be alerted to the consequences of our use of the internet.

So just throwing out some ideas, which probably, may very well have no legs, but just some thoughts really. Would be interesting, for example, if in the WordPress backend we could see something which gave us a measure of what it was that our website was doing. So if it gave us a direct link to okay, every, every time somebody comes to this particular page, this is what you are sending to them, and that has this kind of consequence.

Now, obviously, that’s much more complicated, as you’ve described, because it depends on the hosting that you’re using. It depends whether they’re close or far away. But just some sort of broad metrics so that we could understand what the consequence of the thing that we’re building is. So I don’t even know what that would look like. Maybe it would be some sort of graph or chart or just raw number that would give us some indication.

And then also more broadly, just browsing the internet. If we could have this kind of information coming back to us. So, I don’t know, I’m thinking of like a browser extension or something like that, which would measure what it was that I was doing when I went around the internet, and then give me some kind of feedback for, okay, this week you consumed this much in terms of electricity or carbon that was produced as a result of your browsing the internet.

Last week it was this, the week before it was this, so you know you’re going in the right direction. Just those kind of things. I’m just wondering if there are things afoot. Maybe tools that exist already, or projects that you know about that can help us to understand the consequences of what we are doing.

[00:37:39] Hannah Smith: Definitely, and do you know what Nathan? These ideas absolutely have legs and these are exactly the kind of ideas that we are inviting people to come and share on our post with us. All of these suggestions, all of these ideas are relevant and very, very actionable, and have already been actioned in certain ways.

So to your point about CO2, understanding CO2 emissions of websites, so there’s a fantastic tool called Website Carbon Calculator. I think the URL is websitecarbon.com. So you can go along to that and put any URL in, and immediately get a sense of how polluting that page is. And that is such an awesome tool to use with bosses or clients, who perhaps aren’t so interested in the nitty gritty technical detail, but want a number, or a statistic or a sense of how good or bad they’re doing.

And the Website Carbon Calculator has a little bit of JavaScript code that you can embed in your site that will give you a reading of each page of how much CO2 that that page is polluting. Now I believe that there is a plugin for that as well, and I don’t know if that would give you the information in the back end of WordPress, but Website Carbon Calculator’s being developed by Whole Grain Digital. If you’re interested in WordPress sustainability, I mean, they’re really thought leaders in this space, so definitely worth checking them out.

I had some conversations with Jenny Wong many years ago, and, and those of you that are in the UK WordPress community, you’ll probably know Jenny. I think most people do. And if you’re listening, Jenny, hello. Jenny and I exchanged some ideas around using Site Health, and actually building some of these ideas into Site Health. That section of the WordPress backend. It might be difficult to get that as a core contribution to begin with, but we could certainly look at making some plugins.

There’s loads and loads of data out there that we could use to surface these emissions. And then to your point about browsers, yes. Actually at the Green Web Foundation, we’ve been talking quite a lot with the Firefox people, made by Mozilla. And there are some open issues in GitHub at the moment around integrating carbon emission readings and estimations into the Firefox browser.

I don’t know off the top of my head whether the intention would be to track it in the way that you’ve talked, but you know how if you’re a developer, you, you might be familiar with the web dev tooling that we have, say within Firefox or Chrome. The idea is to create a separate tab in the performance section, to start to give you a reading within the browser as well.

So there are all these things happening, and this is where I really want to invite people to come and join us. Please let us share these initiatives that are happening. If you’ve got some time and capacity and you’ve got some energy, and you want to take action, we desperately want people to come and join in, and make these things happen. So yeah, please share these ideas that you have.

[00:40:49] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you. Yeah, that’s really, really interesting. Just before we wrap it up finally, it just occurs to me that we’re always looking for ways to, to have a competitive edge. If you are a freelancer or an agency, you’re always trying to figure out ways that you are different from your competition. And it just strikes me that maybe this, maybe this could be one of those ways. You are one of the developers who actually gives this some thought. And it may very well be that there are a whole load of clients out there for whom this would be a very important metric when making hiring decisions, so.

[00:41:24] Hannah Smith: Such a good point. As a freelance WordPress developer, uh, you know, people were, were starting to know me as someone who knew about digital sustainability and who could build sustainable WordPress sites, you know, efficient WordPress sites. And the demand was mad. I couldn’t keep up with it. I was constantly being like, oh, I need more people to recommend this work to. So yeah, I think this is a really strong selling point, and it makes you feel good as well, to know that you’re doing the best you can, you’re doing the right things.

[00:41:55] Nathan Wrigley: Hannah, just as a very final thing. If people have been interested in this, I will obviously link to the post in the show notes. You can check those out on wptavern.com, but if they want to contact you, are you available? And if so, where should we do that? What’s the best way to reach out to you?

[00:42:12] Hannah Smith: Yeah, well, I mean, I would love to chat with anyone that’s interested in bouncing some ideas around, or is interested in finding out more. The best way to get hold of me is through the Green Web Foundation, so hannah@thegreenwebfoundation.org, or if you’re in make WordPress you can also drop me a line. You’ll see me lurking around in the sustainability channel quite a lot in the make WordPress Slack space. You can drop me a line there too.

[00:42:38] Nathan Wrigley: Hannah Smith, thank you very much for joining us on the podcast.

[00:42:41] Hannah Smith: Oh, thank you Nathan. Thank you for making time for this today. I really appreciate it.

On the podcast today, we have Hannah Smith.

Hannah is the Operations and Training Manager for the Green Web Foundation and founder of the Let’s Green The Web campaign. She’s also co-founder of Green Tech South West.

Her background is in Computer Science. She previously worked as a freelance WordPress developer, and also for the Environment Agency, where she managed large business change projects.

It’s pretty easy to forget that the device that you’re reading this post on is consuming power. We plug things in or charge them up, and they just work. They are sleek and sterile. No pollution comes out of the device directly. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that many of us never make the connection between our use of technology and the impact this has on the environment.

Enter Hannah Smith. She’s been thinking about this for years and is on the podcast today to highlight the issue, and hopefully get your ideas about what users of WordPress can do to make sure that the websites we create are having the smallest impact possible.

Her approach is not that we need to cease and desist using our technology. Rather, it’s about coming up with new and innovative ways that we can reduce the impact that we have.

As creators of websites, there are a whole raft of options available to us. Reducing the size of our images. Inspecting the HTML to remove bloat. Choosing hosting options that source renewable energy.

With this in mind, Hannah and others have been working on a sustainability related blog post which has been published on the Make WordPress site this week.

This post is intended to trigger meaningful and open discussion in the global WordPress community about the topic of sustainability. She really wants to encourage others to weigh into this public conversation with their own thoughts, so we can build on what is already happening to make WordPress more sustainable.

It’s a fascinating and thought-provoking topic.

Useful links.

The Green Web Foundation website

#Let’sGreenTheWeb Campaign

Wholegrain Digital website

Sustainable Web Design website

Website Carbon Calculator

by Nathan Wrigley at November 23, 2022 03:00 PM under sustainability

WPTavern: BuddyPress 11.0.0 to Limit JavaScript and CSS Asset Loading to Community Pages Using a Filter

BuddyPress will soon be improving the way it loads its JavaScript and CSS assets so that they are only loaded on community pages. Previously, the plugin would load them indiscriminately on every page.

BuddyPress lead developer Mathieu Viet said he’s not sure there is a specific reason explaining why this was kept in place. Before the plugin introduced the BP Theme Compat API in version 1.7, it was necessary to use a BuddyPress compatible theme like the one bundled by default (BP Default).

“I think we kept the way this theme was loading these assets into the first Template Pack (BP Legacy) we added to BuddyPress,” Viet said.

Users have often requested BuddyPress only load its assets on community pages in hopes of further optimizing their websites. For example, in 2020, a user on the BuddyDev forums requested custom code to accomplish this. Experts recommended against doing it

“It is not going to help you much and will cause a lot of issues in future,” BuddyPress contributor Brajesh Singh said. “There are dependent plugins which may start throwing JavaScript errors and breaking some of your site functionality. It is not worth the effort.”

Singh recommended the user enable browser caching to avoid loading the assets multiple times and stick to best practices for enabling gzip compression and other optimization measure. He also recommended adding a plugin that would conditionally prevent loading BuddyPress on certain pages.

Coming in version 11.0.0, BuddyPress core will progressively move towards loading only the assets it needs in community areas. This update will still load JS and CSS everywhere but will offer a filter that users can add to their bp-custom.php files in order to keep BP assets on community pages only:

add_filter( ‘bp_enqueue_assets_in_bp_pages_only’, ‘__return_true’ );

“If using the above filter, you notice something is going wrong with your website due to the use of a specific BP plugin or theme, report it here and we’ll then have another development cycle to fix things before we completely restrict these assets to BuddyPress generated pages in a second step in version 12.0.0,” Viet said.

Version 11.0.0 is expected to be released on December 14, 2022. Early adopters and BuddyPress site owners who have always wished for the plugin to behave this way can take advantage of it after the next major update using the filter. The filter can also be easily removed if users are troubleshooting and having issues with plugins.

by Sarah Gooding at November 23, 2022 12:28 AM under News

November 22, 2022

WPTavern: New Tool Checks If Google Fonts Are Hosted Locally

Earlier this year, WordPress’ Themes Team began urging theme authors to switch to locally hosted fonts after a German court case decision, which fined a website owner for violating the GDPR by using Google-hosted webfonts. Since that ruling, German website owners have continued to receive threats of fines for not having their fonts hosted locally.

The makers of the Fonts Plugin, a commercial product with a free version on WordPress.org, have created a tool called Google Fonts Checker that will help website owners discover where their fonts are hosted. The tool analyzes any URL entered and if the fonts are hosted by Google, it says “Google Fonts Connection Found” with a red ‘X.’ Sites that are in the clear will show a notice that a Google Fonts connection was not found:

Google Fonts Checker is useful for non-technical users who are not sure whether their theme or plugins are referencing fonts hosted on Google’s servers. Beyond delivering the simple connection message, the tool scans the website and returns a list of the font files used to render the page, which can be helpful in tracking down the specific extension loading these files.

More than 200,000 people are using the Fonts Plugin to load assets from the Google Fonts Library. Although the Google Fonts Checker tool is free to use and doesn’t require any personal information or login, the free version of the Fonts Plugin doesn’t support hosting fonts locally. Users will either need to upgrade to the commercial version or use a different plugin, like Local Google Fonts or the OMGF | Host Google Fonts Locally plugin, both of which perform this for free.

Those who find a Google Fonts connection using the tool may also consider switching to Bunny Fonts, an open-source, privacy-first web font platform with no tracking or logging that is fully GDPR compliant. It can act as a drop-in replacement to Google Fonts. The Replace Google Fonts with Bunny Fonts plugin makes it easy to switch.

Some of WordPress’ older default themes are still loading fonts from Google. A ticket for bundling the fonts with the legacy default themes had patches and was on track to be included in WordPress 6.1, but ended up getting punted to a future release after it was determined the approach needed more work. In the meantime, those who are concerned about using Google Fonts in older default themes can use a plugin to host them locally.

by Sarah Gooding at November 22, 2022 09:49 PM under google fonts

WordPress.org blog: The Month in WordPress – October 2022

With the end of the year fast approaching, the WordPress project has not slowed down. Read on to learn more about the latest major release, WordPress 6.1, and the State of the Word 2022 live event, among other exciting news. It’s time to catch up on all things WordPress!


Say hello to WordPress 6.1 “Misha”

The third and last major release of 2022, WordPress 6.1 “Misha,” shipped on November 1, 2022. Named after jazz pianist Mikhail “Misha” Alperin, this release comes packed with many improvements that refine the site-building experience introduced earlier this year in WordPress 5.9 and 6.0, as well as accessibility and performance upgrades.

WordPress 6.1 is also bundled with a new default block theme, Twenty Twenty-Three (TT3), that features 10 style variations designed by WordPress community members. These intentionally unique designs ensure that you can change the visual details of your site with ease—and within a single theme.

Learn more about what’s in 6.1:

Following WordPress 6.1 “Misha”, a 6.1.1 maintenance release landed on November 15, 2022. This minor release includes about 50 bug fixes.

Download WordPress 6.1.1

State of the Word 2022 is coming on December 15

Decorative blue background with text:

State of the Word 2022, the annual keynote address delivered by the WordPress project’s co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, will be held on December 15, 2022. The event will take place in person in New York City and live-streamed via various WordPress.org social media platforms.

You can also host or join a State of the Word watch party to enjoy the event with your WordPress friends.

Learn more about State of the Word 2022

What’s new in Gutenberg

Two new versions of Gutenberg have shipped in the last month:

  • Gutenberg 14.4 was released on October 26, 2022, with support for a distraction-free mode that allows a more focused writing experience. Other notable highlights include a redesigned pattern inserter, content locking to the Navigation block, and improvements to fluid typography.
  • Gutenberg 14.5 sets the groundwork for future releases with code quality improvements and bug fixes. This version introduces a new “Document Overview” panel for easier access to the list view and document information, expands margin and padding support, and improves spacing visualizers. It was released on November 9, 2022.

Explore some of the latest enhancements to the writing experience in this Core Editor Improvement post.

Team updates: Documentation Contributor Day, WordPress.org redesign updates, and more

Enjoy a spooky Halloween Mad Libs story completed by community contributors in Episode 42 of WP Briefing.

Feedback & testing requests

Were you involved in WordPress 6.1? Share your thoughts on the release process by December 15, 2022.

Event updates & WordCamps

Boost your speaking confidence in WordPress events. Register for the How to Own Your Expertise & Start Speaking at WordPress Events online workshop happening December 7, 2022.


Have a story that we should include in the next issue of The Month in WordPress? Fill out this quick form to let us know.

The following folks contributed to this edition of The Month in WordPress: @rmartinezduque, @webcommsat, @santanainniss, @dansoschin, @eidolonnight.

by rmartinezduque at November 22, 2022 11:00 AM under month in wordpress

Do The Woo Community: Building a Cloud-Based SaaS versus Hosted 

Learn why NitroPack made the decision to go cloud-based vs. self hosted with the SasS product.

>> The post Building a Cloud-Based SaaS versus Hosted  appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

by BobWP at November 22, 2022 10:18 AM under Product Builders

WPTavern: WordPress Launches Developer Blog In Beta

WordPress.org will soon be launching a blog for developers. The blog went into beta at the end of last week and resides on a subdomain of the main site. It is sporting a design similar to WordPress’ general News blog.

One of the big picture goals that WordPress’ Executive Director Josepha Haden-Chomphosy identified for 2022 was the creation of a developer-focused communications site. This new blog is the culmination of an effort that began earlier this year.

“Staying on top of the new features coming to the WordPress open-source project is one of the main barriers expressed by developers,” contributor Birgit Pauli-Haack said in the original proposal.

“The Make Core blog has a heavy emphasis on meeting notes for the various core teams, rather than highlighting new features. This makes it difficult for developers who are not contributors or who just occasionally contribute to find the relevant information among the team-related posts.”

Content on the new developer blog will be focused on updates applicable to theme and plugin creators, developers who work at agencies, Gutenberg API updates, advanced programming concepts, PHP gems, and developer case studies.

 There are already three posts published, which offer a hint at what kind of content WordPress developers can expect on the blog:

The blog’s editorial process is being entirely managed on GitHub from pitches to publication. Anyone who wants to contribute can post to the Ideas board for discussion. Approved ideas become blessed tasks and drafts and go through two reviews. People can contribute by posting ideas, writing posts, or joining the editorial team that reviews posts.

Now that the blog is in beta, contributors are looking for feedback from WordPress’ developer community. Leave comments on the beta announcement or join the next meeting in the core-dev-blog WP Slack channel on December 1, at 13:00 UTC. Subscribe to the RSS feed to never miss a post from WordPress’ new developer blog.

by Sarah Gooding at November 22, 2022 03:10 AM under News

November 21, 2022

WPTavern: State of the Word 2022 Will Be Livestreamed from New York City on December 15

Matt Mullenweg’s annual State of the Word (SOTW) address will be delivered in New York City this year before a live audience, on December 15. The event format is similar to last year where a small group of invited guests will join in person.

Traditionally, the State of the Word has been given at WordCamp US, capping off the event with an inspiring review of WordPress’ progress and a lively Q&A session. Starting in 2020, due to the pandemic, the SOTW transitioned to a separate, smaller event that can be broadcast to all who cannot attend. Organizers are planning to livestream this year’s event across WordPress.org’s social media platforms. 

Unlike last year, where prominent members of the community were invited to attend, organizers have created a form where anyone can request an invitation to attend. Seats are available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The form states that masks will not be required at the event, a policy that is as controversial today as it was last year, and makes it impossible for medically vulnerable people to attend:

“While at the event, masks are not mandatory but encouraged, as is using hand sanitizer and social distancing.”

Since the majority of people will be watching via live stream, the Q&A portion of the event will be handled via email for virtual participants. Anyone can ask a question in advance by emailing ask-matt@wordcamp.org or may ask during the event in the live stream chat on YouTube. WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden-Chomphosy said there may be a follow-up post published with answers to questions not covered at the event.

The live stream will be embedded in the announcement post and will also air on WordPress’ YouTube channel on December 15, 2022, at 1–2:30 P.M. EST (18–19:30 UTC). Those who are hosting watch parties are encouraged to email support@wordcamp.org for additional resources from the Community Team.

by Sarah Gooding at November 21, 2022 11:40 PM under state of the word

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December 05, 2022 02:00 PM
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