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Matt: Commuting Time Saved

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 18:14:56 +0000

On Automattic's internal BuddyPress-powered company directory, we allow people to fill out a field saying how far their previous daily commute was. 509 people have filled that out so far, and they are saving 12,324 kilometers of travel every work day. Wow!

Akismet: Version 4.0.3 of the Akismet WordPress Plugin Is Now Available

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:58:10 +0000

Version 4.0.3 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available.

4.0.3 contains a few helpful changes:

  • Adds a new scheduled task to clear out old Akismet entries in the wp_commentmeta table that no longer have corresponding comments in wp_comments.  This should help reduce Akismet’s database usage for some users.
  • Adds a new akismet_batch_delete_count action so developers can optionally take action when Akismet comment data is cleaned up.

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.

Mark Jaquith: Handling old WordPress and PHP versions in your plugin

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:14:08 +0000

New versions of WordPress are released about three times a year, and WordPress itself supports PHP versions all the way back to 5.2.4.

What does this mean for you as a plugin developer?

Honestly, many plugin developers spend too much time supporting old versions of WordPress and really old versions of PHP.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t need to support every version of WordPress, and you don’t have to support every version of PHP. Feel free to do this for seemingly selfish reasons. Supporting old versions is hard. You have to “unlearn” new WordPress and PHP features and use their older equivalents, or even have code branches that do version/feature checks. It increases your development and testing time. It increases your support burden.

Economics might force your hand here… a bit. You can’t very well, even in 2018, require that everyone be running PHP 7.1 and the latest version of WordPress. But consider the following:

97% of WordPress installs are running PHP 5.3 or higher. This gives you namespaces, late static binding, closures, Nowdoc, __DIR__, and more.

88% of WordPress installs are running PHP 5.4 or higher. This gives you short array syntax, traits, function-array dereferencing, guaranteed echo syntax availability, $this access in closures, and more.

You get even more things with PHP 5.5 and 5.6 (64% of installs are running 5.6 or higher), but a lot of the syntactic goodness came in 5.3 and 5.4, with very few people running versions less thatn 5.4. So stop typing array(), stop writing named function handlers for simple array_map() uses, and start using namespaces to organize and simplify your code.

Okay, so… how?

I recommend that your main plugin file just be a simple bootstrapper, where you define your autoloader, do a few checks, and then call a method that initializes your plugin code. I also recommend that this main plugin file be PHP 5.2 compatible. This should be easy to do (just be careful not to use __DIR__).

In this file, you should check the minimum PHP and WordPress versions that you are going to support. And if the minimums are not reached, have the plugin:

  1. Not initialize (you don’t want syntax errors).
  2. Display an admin notice saying which minimum version was not met.
  3. Deactivate itself (optional).

Do not die() or wp_die(). That’s “rude”, and a bad user experience. Your goal here is for them to update WordPress or ask their host to move them off an ancient version of PHP, so be kind.

Here is what I use:

View code on GitHub

Reach out on Twitter and let me know what methods you use to manage PHP and WordPress versions in your plugin!

Do you need WordPress services?

Mark runs Covered Web Services which specializes in custom WordPress solutions with focuses on security, speed optimization, plugin development and customization, and complex migrations.

Please reach out to start a conversation!


Post Status: How WebDevStudios is serving different market segments — Draft podcast

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 22:38:42 +0000

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

In this episode, Lisa Sabin-Wilson shares about the entangled history of WebDevStudios and eWebscapes and how she and team are targeting every level of the market. WebDevStudios focuses heavily on the upper and enterprise market segments, providing a high degree of attention and support to those clients.

Sometime in 2017 Lisa did the math on all the lower-end projects that they were referring away and realized that WDS had a prime opportunity to re-introduce her former web studio, eWebscapes, as a way to serve these smaller-scope projects. This rebirth, so to speak, has positioned them to better target local communities, provide staff with more variety of work, and bring simplified processes alongside those they use for larger projects.

Key take-aways

  • Lisa observed a market opportunity and did the math first
  • Relaunching started with a solid content strategy
  • Simplified processes for managing a project
  • Utilized talent already on staff
  • Lots of opportunity to target local communities
  • Evaluating the success of this strategy after 6 months


Photo Credit

Sponsor: Prospress

Prospress makes the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin, that enables you to turn your online business into a recurring revenue business. Whether you want to ship a box or setup digital subscriptions like I have on Post Status, Prospress has you covered. Check out for more, and thanks to Prospress for being a Post Status partner.

Matt: No Office Workstyle

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 18:44:35 +0000

Reed Albergotti has a great article titled Latest Amenity for Startups: No Office. You can put in your email to read I believe but it's behind a paywall otherwise. The Information is a pretty excellent site that alongside (former Automattician) Ben Thompson's Stratechery I recommend subscribing to. Here are some quotes from the parts of the article that quote me or talk about Automattic:

So it’s no coincidence that one of the first companies to operate with a distributed workforce has roots in the open source movement. Automattic, the company behind open source software tools like WordPress, was founded in 2005 and has always allowed its employees to work from anywhere. The company’s 680 employees are based in 63 countries and speak 79 languages. Last year, it closed its San Francisco office, a converted warehouse — because so few employees were using it. It still has a few coworking spaces scattered around the globe.

Matt Mullenweg, Automattic’s founder and CEO, said that when the company first started, its employees communicated via IRC, an early form of instant messaging. Now it uses a whole host of software that’s tailor-made for remote work, and as the technology evolves, Automattic adopts what they need.

Mr. Mullenweg said Automattic only started having regular meetings, for instance, after it started using Zoom, a video conferencing tool that works even on slow internet connections.

He’s become a proponent of office-less companies and shares what he’s learned with other founders who are attempting it. Mr. Mullenweg said he believes the distributed approach has led to employees who are even more loyal to the company and that his employees especially appreciate that they don’t need to spend a chunk of their day on a commute.

“Our retention is off the charts,” he said.


“Where it goes wrong is if they don’t have a strong network outside of work—they can become isolated and fall into bad habits,” Mr. Mullenweg said. He said he encourages employees to join groups, play sports and have friends outside of work. That kind of thing wouldn’t be a risk at big tech companies, where employees are encouraged to socialize and spend a lot of time with colleagues.

But for those who ask him about the negatives, Mr. Mullenweg offers anecdotal proof of a workaround.

For example, he said he has 14 employees in Seattle who wanted to beat the isolation by meeting up for work once a week. So they found a local bar that didn’t open until 5 p.m., pooled together the $250 per month co-working stipends that Automattic provides and convinced the bar’s owner to let them rent out the place every Friday.

They didn't need to pool all their co-working allowance to get the bar, I recall it was pretty cheap! Finally:

For Automattic, flying 700 employees to places like Whistler, British Columbia or Orlando, Florida, has turned into a seven-figure expense.

“I used to joke that we save it on office space and blow it on travel. But the reality is that in-person is really important. That’s a worthwhile investment,” Mr. Mullenweg said.It might take a while, but some people are convinced that a distributed workforce is the way of the future.

“Facebook is never going to work like this. Google is never going to work like this. But whatever replaces them will look more like a distributed company than a centralized one,” Mr. Mullenweg said.

Matt: Kinsey Joins Automattic

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 18:56:58 +0000

Kinsey Wilson is joining Automattic to run Poynter covers the news and has a great interview with Kinsey.

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 305 – 10up, JavaScript for WordPress Conference, and Jetpack 5.8

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 02:14:29 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I discuss the news of the week. We also chat about the Winter Olympics, crypto mining in order to access content on the web, and the joys of taking care of a puppy. Last but not least, we talk about Elasticsearch in Jetpack 5.8 and whether or not improving WordPress’ native search functionality through a service is the way to go.

Stories Discussed:

Jetpack 5.8 Adds Lazy Loading for Images Module
Free Virtual WordPress for JavaScript Conference June 29th
10up Turns Seven
“Not Updated In …” Warning

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, February 21st 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Itunes

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via RSS

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Stitcher Radio

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Google Play

Listen To Episode #305:

WPTavern: 10up Turns Seven

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:16:42 +0000

10up, a web development agency founded by Jake Goldman in 2011, has turned seven years old. In a blog post celebrating the occasion, Goldman reviews the previous year and highlights some notable events for the company.

“We welcomed more than 30 new clients to our portfolio in another record sales year,” Goldman said. “We launched new websites along with web and mobile apps for major brands across verticals as diverse as finance, healthcare, academia, high-tech, big media, consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, and fitness… to name a few.”

He also highlighted the company’s commitment to open source and giving back to WordPress. Throughout the past year, the company has released a number of WordPress plugins and developer tools including, Distributor, WP Snapshots, WP Local Docker, Async Transients, and more.

Goldman describes three trends he’s noticed in the past few years.

  1. Integrations with innovation happening in other projects and platforms has become increasingly important as the web matures. You see it in React and Vue emerging as popular front end standards, in the rise of Elasticsearch and NoSQL platforms, with two factor authentication and Google single sign on, with the rise of modern Asset Management Systems.
  2. For publishers, it’s increasingly becoming about distribution to multiple platforms, more so than just building a website. Google AMP, Facebook Articles, Apple News, Alexa, YouTube channels to name a few.
  3. If you need any more evidence of WordPress dominance, look no further than how highly in demand top-tier engineering talent is. It’s probably – literally – around a factor of 1.5x – 2x what great engineers were earning 3-4 years ago.

With seven years of experience under his belt, Goldman offers the following advice for those who are in their first or second year of running an agency or in a leadership position.

  1.  Don’t be quite so hard on yourself – when you run a business – when you’re a lease – there will always be highs and lows – don’t dwell on the lows.
  2. Put more emphasis on building systems, routines, and check-ins that offer a better pulse on the collective and individual fulfillment, engagement, and health of the team, rather than relying on transparent upwards communication.

Congrats to 10up on seven years in business. To learn more about the company and employment opportunities, visit their official site.

HeroPress: My WordPress Anniversaries

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 07:00:49 +0000

I never remember dates. I know the birthday of more or less five people. I insist on saying that my son was born on May 11. Incorrect, I was born on May 11, he on May 17. But for some reason, my WordPress dates are permanently etched into my brain. I think it’s because meeting the global WordPress community and helping restart the Italian community are very meaningful moments in my adult life. Please join me in a walk down memory lane May 15, 2015 I started building websites with WordPress in 2010: my first website was my own blog, whose only purpose was to publish photos of my son so all the grandparents could enjoy seeing him grow. I enjoyed tinkering around with it, and to my surprise someone wrote asking me to build something similar for them. And they wanted to pay me for it! For a few years I worked as an administrative manager during the day and as a web designer at night until I decided to make the jump and become a freelancer. I never thought about contributing to WordPress because I wasn’t a back end developer and I didn’t think the project needed people that were not code wizards. Heck, I didn’t even know how WordPress was made or how open source worked exactly! And then I went to a Freelancers conference in Italy and on May 15 I gave my first talk ever. Up until that moment I taught small classes, but I never talked in front of more than ten people. I was terrified: in the audience there were more than a hundred people. Some of my friends, but also a lot of seasoned professionals that I respected and admired, and here I was talking about how they should and shouldn’t build a website. I was so nervous, when I grabbed the mic I did such a wide gesture with my arms that the bracelet I was wearing flew through the air to the other side of the room. After my talk a guy came to compliment my talk, and I realised that he was one of those people that I respected and admired from afar: Luca Sartoni, an Automattician whose blog I have been following for a while. For the three days of the event we kept chatting about websites, WordPress, entrepreneurship, open source until he convinced me to start a WordPress meetup in my hometown of Torino, Italy. He put me in contact with other people that he knew wanted to do something similar and in less than a month from that conversation we started a meetup. The group now has more than one thousand members, and in March we will celebrate thirty events. November 7, 2015 Luca didn’t stop his proselytism in Torino That same year, WordCamp Europe was held in Seville and at the Polyglots table a revolution was started. A small group of Italians, used to travelling abroad to attend WordCamps, met there and decided that it was time to organise the Italian community. The first step was to revive the blog on the Italian WordPress website: it was dormant for seven years and the first thing we did was publish the dates of meetups that were slowly but surely appearing in the whole country. At the beginning of 2015 there were two meetups in Italy, by August there were eight and their number kept growing. Now, if you have met Italians, you know we talk a lot. The two Francescos from Apulia, Franz Vitulli and Francesco Di Candia, took the second initiative that was crucial to bringing us together: they opened a Slack workspace for the Italians, modeled after the UK workspace. For the whole summer we chatted every single day: about WordPress, about how to grow and manage the community that was forming in front of our eyes, how to communicate, how to contribute. And then chatting wasn’t enough, we wanted to meet in person. We wanted to put a face and a voice to the avatars. With the help of Sara Rosso and Jenny Wong we carried out a bizarre plan, almost unheard of: a stand alone WordPress Contributor Day. We would meet in Milano for a day to get to know each other an[...]

WPTavern: Free Virtual WordPress for JavaScript Conference June 29th

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 01:30:06 +0000

Zac Gordon, who launched his Gutenberg development course earlier this year, is organizing a virtual conference called JavaScript for WordPress. The conference will take place June 29th and is free to watch.

“Making the event free and online was really important for me so we could have as few barriers to entry for folks wanting to learn,” Gordon said. “I have a feeling a lot of folks who can’t tune live will still appreciate having all the talks available on YouTube for free.”

So far, 15 speakers have been confirmed with more to be announced soon. The speakers include WordPress core developers, theme and plugin developers, agency owners, and educators. Some of the talks will be from designers allowing user experience and usability to be part of the conversation.

Gordon says he’s been wanting to an in-person event for a while but considering the challenges involved, a virtual conference was the next best thing.

“I used to run in-person workshops in the Washington DC area, which I miss, and have wanted to do an event for a while,” he said. “But doing in-person events is so difficult, so the online format seemed like the best option to go with. I got some good advice from Human Made and WP Campus, who both have experience doing online events, so hopefully everything will go smooth.”

To reserve a seat and receive updates, visit the JavaScript for WordPress conference site.

Mark Jaquith: Updating plugins using Git and WP-CLI

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 14:42:20 +0000

Now that you know how I deploy WordPress sites and how I configure WordPress environments, what about the maintenance of keeping a WordPress site’s plugins up-to-date? Since I’m using Git, I cannot use WordPress built-in plugin updater on the live site (and I wouldn’t want to — if a plugin update goes wrong, my live site could be in trouble!) The simple way to update all your plugins from a staging or local development site is to use WP-CLI: wp plugin update-all git commit -am 'update all plugins' wp-content/plugins That works. I used to do that. I don’t do that anymore. Why? Granularity. One of the benefits of using version control like Git is that when things go wrong, you can pinpoint when they went wrong, and identify what code caused the issue. Git has a great tool called bisect that takes a known good state in the past and a current broken state, and then jumps around between revisions, efficiently, asking you to report whether that revision is good or bad. Then it tells you what revision broke your site. If you lump all your plugin updates into one commit, you won’t get that granularity. You’ll likely get the git bisect result of “great… one of EIGHTEEN PLUGINS I updated was the issue”. That doesn’t help. Here’s how you do it with granularity: for plugin in $(wp plugin list --update=available --field=name); do     echo "wp plugin update $plugin" &&     echo "git add -A wp-content/plugins/$plugin" &&     echo "git commit -m 'update $plugin plugin'"; done; This code loops through plugins with updates available, updates each one, and commits it with a message that references the plugin being updated. Great! Now git bisect will be able to tell you which plugin update broke your site. And what if you can only run WP-CLI commands from within a VM, and Git commands from your local machine? For instance, if you’re using my favorite tool, Local by Flywheel, you have to SSH into the site’s container to issue WP-CLI commands, but from within that container, you might not have Git configured like it is on your host machine. So what you can do is break the process into two steps. On the VM, run this: wp plugin list --update=available --field=name > plugins.txt wp plugin update-all That grabs a list of plugins with updates and writes them to a file plugins.txt, and then updates all the plugins. And then on your local machine, run this: while read plugin; do     echo "git add -A wp-content/plugins/$plugin" &&     echo "git commit -m 'update $plugin plugin'"; done; < plugins.txt That slurps in that list of updated plugins and does a distinct git add and git commit for each. When that’s done, remove plugins.txt. All your plugins are quickly updated with WP-CLI, but you get nice granular Git commits and messages. Do you need WordPress services? Mark runs Covered Web Services which specializes in custom WordPress solutions with focuses on security, speed optimization, plugin development and customization, and complex migrations. Please reach out to start a conversation! [contact-form][...]

Post Status: WordPress market opportunities: Upmarket edition — Draft podcast

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 20:43:53 +0000

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

In this episode, Brian and Brian continue their discussion on WordPress market opportunities with a focus on the upper-market and enterprise clients. They take a look at discovery projects, pitching WordPress against competing platforms, and considerations to make before pitching on these high-budget projects. There are plenty of positives and negatives when working on long-term projects that may have a dramatic impact on your company in many ways.

In addition to these market opportunities, the boys also discuss recent news including iThemes acquisition by Liquid Web, a welcome change to the plugin directory, and an unfortunate and far-reaching bug that shipped with the 4.9.3 release last week.


Sponsor: WooCommerce

WooCommerce makes the most customizable eCommerce software on the planet, and it’s the most popular too. You can build just about anything with WooCommerce. Try it today, and thanks to the team at WooCommerce being a Post Status partner

WPTavern: Jetpack 5.8 Adds Lazy Loading for Images Module

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 07:54:14 +0000

Jetpack 5.8 is available for download and includes a handful of new features for Professional, Premium, and Personal plan users. In October of last year, Jetpack 5.4 began beta testing a new search module based on Elasticsearch. Jetpack 5.8 concludes the beta and the new search service is available to Professional plan customers.

The new search module replaces the native search functionality in WordPress and Jetpack developers claim sites with a large amount of content, images, or products will see significant speed improvements and more relevant results. Developers can fine-tune the user experience by using custom queries and template tags. Users can sort results by categories, tags, month/year, post type, or any taxonomy.

In addition to the Content Delivery Network, users have another method to optimize their sites with a new module named Lazy Load Images. When activated, Jetpack will display a page’s textual content first. When a user scrolls down the page, Jetpack will request and download images so they appear when that section of the page comes into view. Sites with a large amount of images will benefit most from having this module activated.

Premium plan customers can now perform security scans on their sites at any time, upload an unlimited amount of videos, and access SEO tools that were once restricted to Business plan customers.

Other notable improvements include:

  • Support for timezone and site language settings
  • Improved display of notices
  • The GettyImages shortcode now uses the new format required by GettyImages

To view all of the additions in this release, check out the Jetpack 5.8 changelog.

Matt: The Laity

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 21:48:55 +0000

In the last analysis, every profession is a conspiracy against the laity.

The Sir Patrick Cullen character in George Bernard Shaw’s play The Doctor’s Dilemma

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 304 – DesktopServer, Life, and Health with Marc Benzakein

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 01:48:04 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Marc Benzakein, Operations Manager for ServerPress, LLC. We discussed recent updates to DesktopServer and received a progress report on 4.0. Marc also shared some of the struggles the team encountered throughout 2017.

We learned what’s new with WP SiteSync and what customers can look forward too later this year. We also talked about Marc’s journey of becoming a healthier person both physically and mentally. He recalls the issues he had to overcome and shares advice on how others can improve their health.

Stories Discussed:

WooCommerce 3.3.1 Released, Addresses Template Conflicts
WordPress 4.9.4 Fixes Critical Auto Update Bug in 4.9.3
Unpatched DoS Flaw Could Help Anyone Take Down WordPress Websites

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, February 14th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Itunes

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via RSS

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Stitcher Radio

Subscribe to WordPress Weekly via Google Play

Listen To Episode #304:

HeroPress: Becoming a Better Designer Through WordPress

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 12:00:30 +0000

The early years I’ve always been an art kid. One of my first school memories is of drawing a clown and my art teacher being so enamored with it, she hung it up on her door for the whole year. The first time in my educational life I didn’t take an art class was my first year of college. By the end of the year, my fingers were itching and I was ready to scream — I had to take art. It didn’t take long for me to declare a Studio Art minor, which eventually became an Arts and Technology minor my senior year. I’ve also always been an internet kid. We received our first internet-connected Windows desktop in 1997. I’ll never forget the sound of dial-up as I signed into AOL, day after day for years to come. When my older brother started working for an ISP, we were able to go beyond just using AOL to connect, and I started spending more time exploring websites (rather than just AOL’s apps and chat rooms). I wanted to be like my older brother and learn how to make sites. I taught myself basic HTML by using View Source on existing sites — even back then, I was benefiting from the open web! Angelfire was my earliest web canvas. A couple of my friends eventually got into making websites, but I was always a little disdainful of them for using Homestead’s GUI builder, while I was making my sites from scratch. I had a blast making image-rich personal and fan sites with tables and HTML styles. Landing a copy of Photoshop Elements in high school only intensified my enjoyment of web design. I kept that passion up through college, when I found my first design gig. Could this be a career? My first year of college got off to a bit of a rough financial start. By the time my financial aid was finalized and I was finally able to pick a work study job, my options were pretty limited. A dance professor needed an assistant to help her with some photocopying and organization tasks, along with helping her build out a print and web portfolio. I was honestly a terrible assistant, but I did a pretty good job with the design work. I continued to refine my skills working in the computers labs in subsequent years, and in my Junior year of college (ten years ago!) I landed an internship at a local web design agency. That internship turned into a part-time job, which opened up doors to more local web design opportunities, and soon I was graduating college and pretty well situated into the start of my career. It was at these agencies that I started learning how to build WordPress websites. I’d used WordPress a couple times in college and felt comfortable with it, but now I was focusing a lot more on building my skills as a designer and front-end developer. My girlfriend (who was working at the same web agency) and I managed to convince our boss to start letting us create totally custom websites, rather than customizing existing themes, and that opened up a whole new world of design opportunities. My first WordCamp It was around then that my girlfriend, who attended WordCamp NYC the previous year, noticed the conference organizers were looking for some volunteer designers to help create some graphics. She passed along the information, and I got in touch. I collaborated with a few other designers to create the WordCamp branding, which was used across the website, t-shirt, signage, and stickers: It was amazing to see it everywhere at the WordCamp. It felt really special. Though I didn’t get “props” for this, I still consider it my first contribution to WordPress. WordCamp NYC was a ton of fun. I met interesting people, learned a lot about WordPress, and started to get a feel for the community. I left with a desire to get more involv[...]

WPTavern: WooCommerce 3.3.1 Released, Addresses Template Conflicts

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 09:46:24 +0000

WooCommerce 3.3.1 is available and fixes template conflicts discovered in a handful of WordPress themes that forced the team to revert WooCommerce 3.3. The team reviewed handful of the most common themes running WooCommerce and tested them for compatibility with 3.3.1.

WooCommerce developers recommend that theme authors use hooks instead of template overrides to ensure maximum compatibility.

According to Mike Jolley, WooCommerce lead developer, this release highlighted issues with the template system’s extensibility and a disconnect between theme authors on external marketplaces. “We hope to find solutions to these problems in the near future,” Jolley said.

WooCommerce 3.3.1 has at least 90 commits. Users are encouraged to create a full-backup of their sites and then browse to Dashboard > Updates to update WooCommerce from within WordPress.

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9.4 Fixes Critical Auto Update Bug in 4.9.3

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 09:19:38 +0000

Hours after WordPress 4.9.3 was released, the WordPress development team followed it up with 4.9.4 to fix a critical bug with the auto update process. The bug generates a fatal PHP error when WordPress attempts to update itself.

This error requires WordPress site owners and administrators to manually update to WordPress 4.9.4 by visiting your Dashboard and clicking the Update Now button on the Updates page. Alternatively, you can update by uploading the files via SFTP or by using WP-CLI.

Dion Hulse, WordPress lead developer, says managed hosts that apply updates automatically for their customers will be able to update sites as they normally do. This may explain why some users have reported that sites running 4.9.3 have automatically updated to 4.9.4 without issue.

The bug stems from an attempt to reduce the number of API calls made when the auto update cron job is run. Unfortunately, the code committed had unintended consequences. “It triggers a fatal error as not all of the dependencies of find_core_auto_update() are met,” Hulse said.

A postmortem will be published once the team determines how to prevent this mistake from happening in the future. “We don’t like bugs in WordPress any more than you do, and we’ll be taking steps to both increase automated coverage of our updates and improve tools to aid in the detection of similar bugs before they become an issue in the future,” Hulse said.

While WordPress 4.9.3 and 4.9.4 do not include any security fixes, it’s important to note that in order to receive automatic security updates in the future, sites using the 4.9 branch must be running at least 4.9.4. Older branches are unaffected.

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.9.4 Maintenance Release

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 16:17:55 +0000

WordPress 4.9.4 is now available.

This maintenance release fixes a severe bug in 4.9.3, which will cause sites that support automatic background updates to fail to update automatically, and will require action from you (or your host) for it to be updated to 4.9.4.

Four years ago with WordPress 3.7 “Basie”, we added the ability for WordPress to self-update, keeping your website secure and bug-free, even when you weren’t available to do it yourself. For four years it’s helped keep millions of installs updated with very few issues over that time. Unfortunately yesterdays 4.9.3 release contained a severe bug which was only discovered after release. The bug will cause WordPress to encounter an error when it attempts to update itself to WordPress 4.9.4, and will require an update to be performed through the WordPress dashboard or hosts update tools.

WordPress managed hosting companies who install updates automatically for their customers can install the update as normal, and we’ll be working with other hosts to ensure that as many customers of theirs who can be automatically updated to WordPress 4.9.4 can be.

For more technical details of the issue, we’ve posted on our Core Development blog. For a full list of changes, consult the list of tickets.

Download WordPress 4.9.4 or visit Dashboard → Updates and click “Update Now.”

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9.3 Released, Fixes 34 Bugs

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 08:35:20 +0000

WordPress 4.9.3 is available and fixes 34 bugs. Customizer changesets, the visual editor, widgets, and compatibility for PHP 7.2 highlight this release. You can view all of the changes via the changelog or trac tickets. Most sites will update automatically. However, if you want to trigger the update ahead of time or manually update, visit your Dashboard, click the Updates link, and click Update Now.

WPTavern: Liquid Web Acquires iThemes in Multi-Million Dollar Deal

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 00:33:58 +0000

Liquid Web, a managed hosting service founded in 1997, has acquired iThemes. iThemes recently celebrated its 10th year in business. PostStatus reports that it was an all cash deal and sources confirmed to the Tavern that it was a multi-million dollar acquisition. iThemes will continue to operate as an independent unit within Liquid Web. Cory Miller will remain as General Manager of iThemes and the company will keep its office and employees in Oklahoma City, OK. iThemes was founded in 2008 and is part of a group of WordPress focused companies that started around the same time. The group includes WooThemes, Revolution Themes now known as StudioPress, Press75, WPZoom, and others. WooThemes was acquired by Automattic. StudioPress has branched off into content marketing with CopyBlogger and hosting via StudioPress sites. Press75 was acquired by Westwerk in 2014 and WPZoom continues to operate independently. iThemes diversified its business a number of times over the years, adding plugins and services to its portfolio. Some of the most notable products include, FlexxTheme, BackupBuddy, Builder, iThemes Sync, and iThemes Security. In 2013, the company branched off into the e-commerce space with Exchange. In 2017, Exchange was acquired by AJ Morris allowing the company to focus on iThemes Sales Accelerator, a new product that works exclusively with WooCommerce. Considering Liquid Web recently launched its managed WooCommerce hosting, iThemes Sales Accelerator should pair nicely with its services. This isn’t the first time a large webhosting company has acquired a WordPress business. In the last two years, GoDaddy has acquired three companies with a presence in the WordPress ecosystem. April 2013 EIG Acquires MOJO-Themes September 2016 GoDaddy Acquires ManageWP December 2016 GoDaddy Acquires WP Curve March 2017 GoDaddy Acquires Sucuri After 10 Years, Cory Miller Lets Go Miller founded iThemes 10 years ago and helped navigate it through the ups and downs that come with running a business. Although Miller no longer owns the company he founded, he’s excited about the next chapter and the opportunities it presents to him and his team. “One of the keys that has contributed greatly to our success over the last 10 years is being willing to adapt and to innovate and to try new things,” Miller said. “For instance, If we’d kept focusing solely on WordPress themes, which was our primary business for the early years, we wouldn’t be around today. “As we surveyed the landscape in WordPress, one thing was very obvious to us: hosting is the future. As a bootstrapped company from the beginning, with our DNA as a software company, and seeing where Liquid Web is going, it just made sense for us to join forces. “We view this is as another chapter in our story of our willingness to adapt and try new things so we can keep doing what we do best — Make People’s Lives Awesome. So we’re tremendously excited about our future with Liquid Web, and what we’re going to be able to do for the WordPress community together.” Miller says they’re in the middle of the transition process and are working towards tighter integration between iThemes’ products and Liquid Web’s managed hosting services.[...]

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.9.3 Maintenance Release

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 19:47:45 +0000

WordPress 4.9.3 is now available.

This maintenance release fixes 34 bugs in 4.9, including fixes for Customizer changesets, widgets, visual editor, and PHP 7.2 compatibility. For a full list of changes, consult the list of tickets and the changelog.

Download WordPress 4.9.3 or visit Dashboard → Updates and click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update automatically.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to WordPress 4.9.3:

Aaron Jorbin, abdullahramzan, Adam Silverstein, Andrea Fercia, andreiglingeanu, Andrew Ozz, Brandon Payton, Chetan Prajapati, coleh, Darko A7, David Cramer, David Herrera, Dion Hulse, Felix Arntz, Frank Klein, Gary Pendergast, Jb Audras, Jeffrey Paul, lizkarkoski, Marius L. J., mattyrob, Monika Rao, munyagu, ndavison, Nick Momrik, Peter Wilson, Rachel Baker, rishishah, Ryan Paul, Sami Ahmed Siddiqui, Sayed Taqui, Sean Hayes, Sergey Biryukov, Shawn Hooper, Stephen Edgar, Sultan Nasir Uddin, tigertech, and Weston Ruter.

Mark Jaquith: Tips for configuring WordPress environments

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 14:59:04 +0000

Many WordPress hosts will give your site a “staging” environment. You can also use tools like Local by Flywheel, or MAMP Pro to run a local “dev” version of your site. These are great ways of testing code changes, playing with new plugins, or making theme tweaks, without risking breaking your live “production” site. Here is my advice for working with different WordPress environments. Handling Credentials The live (“production”) version of your site should be opt-in. That is, your site’s Git repo should not store production credentials in wp-config.php. You don’t want something to happen like when this developer accidentally connected to the production database and destroyed all the company data on his first day. Instead of keeping database credentials in wp-config.php, have wp-config.php look for a local-config.php file. Replace the section that defines the database credentials with something like this: if ( file_exists( __DIR__ . '/local-config.php' ) ) {     include( __DIR__ . '/local-config.php' ); } else {     die( 'local-config.php not found' ); } Make sure you add local-config.php to your .gitignore so that no one commits their local version to the repo. On production, you’ll create a local-config.php with production credentials. On staging or development environments, you’ll create a local-config.php with the credentials for those environments. Production is a Choice Right after the section that calls out local-config.php, put something like this: if ( ! defined( 'WP_ENVIRONMENT' ) ) { define( 'WP_ENVIRONMENT', 'development' ); } The idea here is that there will always be a WP_ENVIRONMENT constant available to you that tells you what kind of environment your site is being run in. In production, you will put this in local-config.php along with the database credentials: define( 'WP_ENVIRONMENT', 'production' ); Now, in your theme, or your custom plugins, or other code, you can do things like this: if ( 'production' === WP_ENVIRONMENT ) { add_filter( 'option_gravityformsaddon_gravityformsstripe_settings', function( $stripe_settings ) { $stripe_settings['api_mode'] = 'live'; return $stripe_settings; }); } else { add_filter( 'option_gravityformsaddon_gravityformsstripe_settings', function( $stripe_settings ) { $stripe_settings['api_mode'] = 'test'; return $stripe_settings; }); } This bit of code is for the Easy Digital Downloads Stripe gateway plugin. It makes sure that on the production environment, the payment gateway is always in live mode, and the anywhere else, it is always in test mode. This protects against two very bad situations: connecting to live services from a test environment (which could result in customers being charged for test transactions) and connecting to test services from a live environment (which could prevent customers from purchasing products on your site). You can also use this pattern to do things like hide Google Analytics on your test sites, or make sure debug plugins are only active on development sites (more on that, in a future post!) Don’t rely on complicated procedures (“step 34: make sure you go into the Stripe settings and switch the site to test mode on your local test site”) — make these things explicit in code. Make it impossible to screw it up, and working on your sites will become faster and less stressful. Do you need WordPres[...]

Matt: National Magazine Award Nomination

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 21:37:36 +0000

Longreads was nominated today for its first-ever National Magazine Award, in the category of columns and commentary, alongside ESPN The Magazine, BuzzFeed News, Pitchfork, and New York magazine. Laurie Penny's Longreads columns explore important questions of consent and female desire that have strongly resonated in our current moment. In addition to this nomination, Penny's columns have been translated and republished in Italian and German newspapers, and will be collected in a forthcoming book.

Dev Blog: The Month in WordPress: January 2018

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 08:10:07 +0000

Things got off to a gradual start in 2018 with momentum starting to pick up over the course of the month. There were some notable developments in January, including a new point release and work being done on other important areas of the WordPress project. WordPress 4.9.2 Security and Maintenance Release On January 16, WordPress 4.9.2 was released to fix an important security issue with the media player, as well as a number of other smaller bugs. This release goes a long way to smoothing out the 4.9 release cycle with the next point release, v4.9.3, due in early February. To get involved in building WordPress Core, jump into the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Core team blog. Updated Plugin Directory Guidelines At the end of 2017, the guidelines for the Plugin Directory received a significant update to make them clearer and expanded to address certain situations. This does not necessarily make these guidelines complete, but rather more user-friendly and practical; they govern how developers build plugins for the Plugin Directory, so they need to evolve with the global community that the Directory serves. If you would like to contribute to these guidelines, you can make a pull request to the GitHub repository or email You can also jump into the #pluginreview channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. Further Reading: Near the end of last year a lot of work was put into improving the standards in the WordPress core codebase and now the entire platform is at nearly 100% compliance with the WordPress coding standards. Gutenberg, the new editor coming to WordPress core in the next major release, was updated to v2.1 this month with some great usability and technical improvements. The Global Community Team is taking suggestions for the goals of the Community program in 2018. WPCampus Online, a digital conference focused on WordPress in higher education, took place on January 30. The videos of the event sessions will be online soon. A WordPress community member has released a toolkit to help developers build blocks for Gutenberg. The community team that works to improve the WordPress hosting experience is relatively young, but they have been making some great progress recently. If you have a story we should consider including in the next “Month in WordPress” post, please submit it here.[...]

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9.3 Rescheduled for February 5th

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 08:09:02 +0000

WordPress 4.9.3 is a maintenance release and was originally scheduled to be available on January 30th. However, due to ongoing tickets and a short time frame to test the release candidate, it has been pushed back to February 5th.

WordPress 4.9.3 RC 1 is available for testing. This release removes JSHint from the code editors due to conflicts with the GPL License. If your code relies on JSHint from Core, developers encourage you to update it to use a copy of JSHint.

Other changes in 4.9.3 include, avoiding page scrolling when navigating the media modal, a handful of improvements to the customizer, and more. Please test WordPress 4.9.3 on a staging site and if you encounter any bugs, you can report them on the Alpha/Beta section of the support forums.

WPTavern: WooCommerce 3.3 Removed From Plugin Directory Due to Theme Conflicts

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 07:06:53 +0000

Earlier this week, WooCommerce 3.3 was released and among the features was increased theme compatibility. However, soon after release, users of third-party themes reported issues with categories displaying improperly.

Despite it being a minor release that should be fully backwards compatible with previous releases up to 3.0, WooCommerce has removed 3.3 from the plugin directory and replaced it with 3.2.6.

According to a post on the project’s official blog, WooCommerce 3.3.1 will take the place of 3.3 and will include a fix for the category display issue.

The issue affected themes with template overrides from 3.2.x which hadn’t been made compatible with 3.3. In general, we recommend that themes use hooks instead of template overrides. Themes such as Storefront (which does not use template overrides) were compatible at launch.

WooCommerce Blog

If you’ve already updated to WooCommerce 3.3 and your theme is compatible, you don’t need to make any changes. If your theme is not compatible, WooCommerce recommends checking with your theme’s author to see if a compatibility fix has been released.

Users can also wait for the release of 3.3.1, update to the pre-release version of 3.3.1, or use the WP-Rollback plugin and revert back to 3.2.6. WooCommerce developers suggest only going the WP-Rollback route if you’re not comfortable installing pre-release software.

Coen Jacobs, a former member of the WooCommerce development team, commented on Twitter that this was the first time he can remember that a release was reverted.

The development team has tested 3.3.1 with more than 40 different themes and believe it is stable. However, they are exercising caution and thoroughly testing the fixes with more themes. Users can expect to see 3.3.1 officially released the week of February 5th.

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 303 – Interview With Zac Gordon, Technology Educator

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 02:12:47 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Zac Gordon. We discussed a wide range of topics including, balancing freelance work with educating, an overview of Gutenberg from an educator’s perspective, and potential brand issues if the Gutenberg name was deprecated. We also talked about some of the difficulties involved with creating a course around a feature that’s not yet part of WordPress core.

Stories Discussed:

iThemes Acquired by LiquidWeb
WooCommerce 3.3 Released
Easy Updates Manager Acquired by UpdraftPlus

Picks of the Week:

John James Jacoby suggested Beam Authentic. Beam Authentic is a wearable, connected, smart button that can be programmed to display different images through an app.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, February 7th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #303:

WPTavern: Efrain Rivera, A Longtime Community Member, WordCamp Organizer, and Volunteer, Passes Away

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 01:13:15 +0000

Efrain Rivera, who helped organize and volunteer at numerous WordCamps in Florida has passed away at the age of 47. The news was shared on Facebook by his sister on January 28th.

(image) Efrain Rivera and his wife at WordCamp Miami. Photo courtesy of David Bisset

David Bisset, organizer of WordCamp Miami and a well-known figure in the Florida WordPress community, shared his thoughts on Rivera’s passing.

Efrain wasn’t just a fellow organizer, but also a supporter of the local WordPress meetups. There was no ulterior motive in anything that he did. Never once did he ask for anything – he was just happy to be there and help out. He was 100% about giving back to the WordPress community, but even if the community didn’t exist he would find a way to help out folks.

Efrain wasn’t just a supporter and volunteer. He was a good friend to have – someone you could speak frankly too.

Rivera is being remembered as a kind, compassionate, and happy person by members of the community.

Memorial services are scheduled for Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 4:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. EST at Serenity Funeral Home and Cremation, 1450 S State Road 7, North Lauderdale, Florida 33068. The service will take place during visitation at 7PM. If you have any memories of meeting or hanging out with Efrain at any of the WordPress events in Florida, please share them in the comments.

Post Status: Liquid Web has acquired iThemes

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 17:12:29 +0000

Liquid Web has acquired iThemes, in an all cash deal that includes the entire iThemes team moving over to Liquid Web as an independent unit. Cory Miller — CEO of iThemes — will be the Business Manager of the new unit, with iThemes COO Matt Danner as the Director of Technology and Operations for iThemes. The entire team of twenty three people is staying on, and will continue to be headquartered in Oklahoma. This is not the first or last time we’ll see longstanding WordPress companies get rolled into large hosting providers. It’s a trend that is natural in any ecosystem as it matures, and iThemes was a clear and quality candidate for a host to target. Cory said the culture around Liquid Web, including their “heroic support,” but also the quality he sees in their management team, was a key motivator for them to go work with Liquid Web. As hosting companies evolve more and more to provide broader services for customers with managed WordPress offerings, there is less room for utility product creators to fill that gap. Backups are a fine example: customers may see less need for external backups if they have confidence that their hosting is managing backups properly. Security is another. These have been great products for iThemes, and still are — but their current markets are more for hosts without a managed experience, and that slice of the pie has been narrowing. iThemes has had a partnership with Liquid Web for about a year and a half now, which started by licensing iThemes Sync for Liquid Web’s WordPress hosting offering. They’ve slowly been integrating more features into the platform, and the acquisition will allow Liquid Web to further integrate iThemes’ offerings, and allow iThemes to improve some of their product offerings with the backing of Liquid’s Web’s hosting infrastructure. I spoke to Cory Miller about the move, which is occurring not long after iThemes’ ten year anniversary in business. He said he looks back every year and sees them as chapters in the iThemes story, and this feels just the same. He’s excited about what the backing from Liquid Web will allow them to do, and most importantly for him, the ability to keep supporting the team they have built over the years. Cory tells me he’s amazed that they’ve been able to build the company they have built, and neither he nor his business partners would have imagined it ten years ago. All equity holders had their shares purchased by Liquid Web, and Cory and the team will be Liquid Web employees. iThemes has iterated on the business many times over the years — as the name implies. Their theme business slowly dwindled in terms of the overall ratio of sales revenue it provided. BackupBuddy has long been a flagship, and they’ve found great success the past couple of years since they acquired and iterated on the iThemes Security product. He said that it took them experimenting a great deal — and like Exchange for eCommerce, and others — it didn’t always work out the way they hoped. But because they stayed agile and kept working at it, they’ve consistently been able to grow and diversify their product line. One practical component Liquid Web will be able to provide[...]

HeroPress: The Journey: Curiosity, Challenge, Transformation

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 11:00:30 +0000

When I look back on the past five years I’ve been working with WordPress, I feel the real weight of the journey I’ve had to get where I am. Much of it has been filled with challenge of both of the difficult and welcome variety. I’m an optimist and problem-solver to the core, but I sometimes wonder how I got through these past years. One thing is for certain, my involvement with WordPress, the opportunities and community around it, has been a force for so much good, motivation, and satisfaction in my life. The Beginning When I was introduced to WordPress, I was going through one of the most trying times of my adult life. My dad had suddenly passed away just a few years before. We didn’t have the best relationship, but his quirkiness, interest in esoteric things, and passion for food certainly rubbed off on me. I was living with roommates, but moved back home to be with my mom. Not too long after, she developed debilitating osteoarthritis in both of her hips. From a physically healthy yet grieving 52-year-old woman to eventually becoming handicap and walker-bound, needless to say, impacted our lives greatly. I became her caretaker, and I also worked retail part-time for the flexible schedule. I felt emotionally exhausted, uninspired and quite lost with what my next steps would be. I grew up using the internet fervently as a youth and in my college years. I met new friends, learned new skills, and traveled to new places thanks the endless source of information it provided for my active mind. So when a friend, now my mentor, John Bolyard, approached me to help him in his web marketing and development consultancy using “WordPress” I just said “yes.” It was mysterious, being unknown to me, and intriguing, which is usually a green light in my book! I started doing administrative work on a website he helped develop for a national guild. Like many situations, he had finished their website and they would circle back to him for minor updates. I took on the minor updates, started tinkering on my own, and fell in love in the process. The accessibility with which one could make changes and produce content dynamically was just mind blowing to me. It was my gateway to web development and now I could make web content with the ability to work with code, if I so chose. It seemed an endless source of learning and knowledge- it was a great fit. Levelling Up That went well and he brought me on a larger project to help the artist, Dorothy Braudy, create her website archive. I was able to blend my affinity for the technical and handy visual memory to help an all around amazing person (she’s still one of closest people in my life) tell her story through her art. I was thrilled to have the challenge and the privilege to bring her vibrant and prolific work (hundreds of pieces) to the web. I also started assisting John with teaching WordPress classes at SCORE, a government organization that helps people develop and sustain small businesses. We volunteered our time teaching business owners WordPress to help them build their own websites. It was challenging yet rewarding to see them feel empowered that they could take a hands-on role in making their web presence. Nevertheless, I ended up with several clients and that’s how[...]

WPTavern: WooCommerce 3.3 Increases Theme Compatibility, Auto Regenerates Thumbnails

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 22:53:45 +0000

WooCommerce 3.3 is available and is considered a minor release. Based on the project’s new release process, it should be fully backwards compatible with previous releases up to 3.0.

The orders screen has been redesigned with large buttons that indicate an order’s status. You can also view an order’s details from the order screen without having to edit the order.

(image) WooCommerce 3.3 Orders Screen

For products that are on backorder and have stock management enabled, WooCommerce 3.3 will automatically transition from ‘In stock’ to ‘On backorder’ or ‘Out of stock’ as the inventory decreases. Once inventory is added, the status will switch back to ‘In Stock’.

(image) WooCommerce 3.3 Order Status Screen

For full compatibility, users generally needed to use a WordPress theme that specifically supported WooCommerce. In 3.3, improvements have been made so that WooCommerce renders on themes that don’t fully support it, making it compatible with nearly every WordPress theme.

Users can now set the number of columns and rows for shops with the ability to preview the results live via the Customizer. The columns will resize to fill the entire width of the area and is available on all themes.

In earlier versions of WooCommerce, shop owners needed to use the Regenerate Thumbnails after updating a product’s image as WordPress did not automatically resize the image and generate new thumbnails. WooCommerce 3.3 adds on-the-fly thumbnail regeneration and background thumbnail resizing.

In addition, users can customize the aspect ratios of product images. The choices are classic square images, custom cropped images, or uncropped images

(image) WooCommerce 3.3 Image Aspect Ratio Options

Shop owners can now view logs of product downloads with a couple of built-in filters including, by order, by product, by customer, and by file. You can also search for extensions now from the Extensions administration screen.

WooCommerce 3.3 includes more features and changes than what’s listed here. For a detailed overview of what’s new in 3.3, check out the changelog. If you think you’ve discovered a bug, please report it on the project’s GitHub page.

Mark Jaquith: Simple WordPress deploys using Git

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 15:31:09 +0000

A few weeks back, Clifton Griffin asked me a question about deploying WordPress sites: @markjaquith Hey Mark, quick question: Do you still use and recommend Capistrano? — Clifton Griffin (@clifgriffin) January 3, 2018 I do not use Capistrano for deployments anymore, for one simple reason: it was massive overkill for most of the sites I manage, and maintaining it was not worth the benefit. My current deployment system for WordPress sites is simple: I use Git. I’m already using Git for version control of the site’s code, so using Git for deployments is not that much more work. There are a few ways to do this, but the simplest way is to just make your site root a Git checkout of your site files. Then, if your server has read-access to your Git remote, you can run some Git commands to sync everything. Here are your options: git pull — Simple, but might fail if someone naughty has made code modifications on the server. git fetch && git reset –hard origin/master — The hard reset method will wipe any local modifications that someone has mistakenly made. But wait. Before you implement this, it is very important that you ensure that your server’s .git directory is not readable, as it might be able to leak sensitive information about your site’s code. How you do this will depend on what web server you’re running. In Nginx, I do the following: location ~ /\.(ht[a-z]+|git|svn) { deny all; } In Apache, you could put the following in your .htaccess file: RedirectMatch 404 /\.git SSHing into your server every time is tedious, so let’s script that: #!/bin/bash ssh 'cd /srv/www/ && git pull' Save that to in your Git repo, run chmod +x, and commit it to the repo. Now when you’re ready to deploy the site, just type ./ and the public site will pull down the latest changes from your main Git remote. Bonus points if you make take an optional commit hash, so you can also use this tool to roll back to a previous hash, in case a commit goes wrong. This method has served me well, for years, and has required no maintenance. What methods are you using for WordPress code deploys? Do you need WordPress services? Mark runs Covered Web Services which specializes in custom WordPress solutions with focuses on security, speed optimization, plugin development and customization, and complex migrations. Please reach out to start a conversation! [contact-form][...]

WPTavern: UpdraftPlus Acquires Easy Updates Manager Plugin

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 00:30:31 +0000

UpdraftPlus, a popular WordPress backup plugin actively installed on more than 1 million sites has acquired the Easy Updates Manager plugin for an undisclosed amount.

Easy Updates Manager disables core, theme, and plugin updates in WordPress and provides granular control over them. It was created in 2015, is actively installed on more than 100K sites, and is maintained by Matthew Sparrow, Ronald Huereca, Roary Tubbs, and BigWing Interactive.

(image) Easy Updates manager User Interface

Burnout was a contributing factor for selling the plugin. “Matthew Sparrow and I were both burnt out on the project, so the offer to sell was a no-brainer,” Huereca said. “It’s bittersweet letting our baby go, but it’s in good hands.”

Without proper vetting, selling established plugins to individuals or companies can be harmful to sites and tarnish its reputation. Because UpdraftPlus is a well established company, Huereca didn’t have to do a lot of research.

“We were looking for more backend plugins that we understand and it’s a great plugin, highly rated and growing,” A company representative said. “Updates and backups go hand-in-hand as people should really backup before updating.”

UpdraftPlus will focus its marketing efforts towards UpdraftCentral later this year. UpdraftCentral provides the ability for users to update, backup, and manage their sites from one dashboard. Easy Updates Manager and UpdraftCentral are complimentary products.

Users can expect to see more updates later this year and continued refinement of the user interface.

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 2.9.3 Security and Maintenance Release

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 18:11:30 +0000

BuddyPress 2.9.3 is now available. This is a security and maintenance release. We strongly encourage all BuddyPress sites to upgrade as soon as possible.

The 2.9.3 release addresses two security issues:

  • A dynamic template loading feature could be used in some cases for unauthorized file execution and directory traversal. Reported by James Golovich.
  • Some permissions checks and path validations in the attachment deletion process were hardened. Reported by RIPSTech and Slava Abakumov of the BuddyPress security team.

These vulnerabilities were reported privately to the BuddyPress team, in accordance with WordPress’s security policies. Our thanks to all reporters for practicing coordinated disclosure.

In addition, 2.9.3 includes a change that fixes the ability to install legacy bbPress 1.x forums. Please note that legacy forum support will be removed altogether in BuddyPress 3.0; see the announcement blog post for more details.

Post Status: WordPress Market Opportunities — Draft podcast

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 16:50:22 +0000

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

In this episode, Brian and Brian discuss market segmentation across the WordPress ecosystem. The focus for this discussion focused entirely on the entry-level segment of site assemblers and their small-business clients as well as the mid-level market of contractors and agencies selling additional levels of service. The duo talked through a few different strategies employed in each segment, including service differentiation, regional focus, building a network of complementary contractors, systemizing processes, delivering quality customer support flow, and selling ongoing service.

In addition to this look at market segmentation, the Brians shared a few useful resources for both Gutenberg and WP-CLI.


Sponsor: iThemes

This episode is sponsored by iThemes. The team at iThemes offers WordPress plugins, themes and training to help take the guesswork out of building, maintaining and securing WordPress websites. For more information, check out their website and thank you to iThemes for being a Post Status partner.

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 302 – Brian Gardner, Founder of StudioPress

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 04:15:18 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Brian Gardner, founder of StudioPress. We talk about the past, present, and future of the company including various milestones such as the Genesis framework and merger with CopyBlogger Media in 2010. We also discuss the community surrounding StudioPress’ products and the role it plays in the company’s continued success.

Picks of the Week:

Ahmad Awais Create Guten Block toolkit.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, January 31st 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #302:

WPTavern: WordPress Turns 15 Years Old

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 03:41:27 +0000

WordPress, the free open source project, turns 15 years old today. Here is the comment that started it all.

(image) Mike Little's Comment

In addition to celebrating 15 years as a successful software project, it's also a good opportunity to reflect on the number of people across the world who are making a great living and turning dreams into reality thanks to the project.

Thank you Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little for creating WordPress, its contributors for keeping the ball rolling all these years, and providing opportunities for so many people. Happy birthday WordPress!

WPTavern: WordCamp Miami Celebrates Its 10th Consecutive Year March 16-18

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 01:56:52 +0000

WordCamp Miami is celebrating its 10th anniversary on March 16-18th. This year's event is organized by twelve people and organizers expect more than 800 people to attend. Speakers will arrive from Italy, Germany, London, Brazil, and other international locations to share their knowledge. In addition to a two-day Kids Camp with a Kids Panel, WordCamp Miami will feature two new workshops. The first is developer focused and will prepare developers for the future of WordPress. The second is focused on eCommerce. Attendees will receive their own site and be able to apply what they've learned to it. The sites will have pre-installed plugins and access to various tools mentioned by the workshop teachers. The 'Learn JavaScript Deeply' track is returning this year, featuring local and international JavaScript developers. This is the third time WordCamp Miami has had this track and according to David Bisset, one of the organizers, the focus will be on JavaScript basics, React, plus using JavaScript to create 'cool and unique' projects with or without WordPress. Joshua Strebel, Syed Balkhi, and Christie Chirinos will highlight Saturday's business track. For the first time in recent years, WordCamp Miami will have a closing keynote on Saturday, March 17th by John James Jacoby. Jacoby was one of the founders of WordCamp Miami a decade ago, and his talk will cover both nostalgic moments and what the future of WordPress holds for users. Finally, WordCamp Miami will be doing a 'game show hour' before the official after party. "We wanted to do something fun and interactive for everyone – and we think we found a great way to segue people from the talks to unwinding at the after party," Bisset explained. "We are even planning on having our sponsors form teams in a trivia contest battle. There will be provisions at the party for those who want to network or just relax in a quiet setting." Bisset praised volunteers and organizers for helping make 10 years of WordCamp Miami a reality. "Each and every one of our organizers and speakers deserve a huge amount of thanks and praise for their hard work." He said. "We couldn't have done ten years without the support of the WordPress community." Tickets are on sale with a number of purchasing options. Workshops cost $15 each and general admission tickets are $40 each. General admission tickets provide access to Saturday and Sunday sessions, lunch, swag, and the after party. [...]

HeroPress: Believe In Yourself

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 13:00:37 +0000

You ever have a moment where you blink your eyes and you wonder how you’ve gotten to where you are today? I’m having one of those moments right now as I sit here to share my story with you. It’s bizarre to think of how far I’ve come because I truly thought that I was not good enough to be where I am today. Let’s get into it. The Beginning As a child, I was always around technology. My dad was a computer scientist and considered it a great idea to get each of his four children their own computer so they would stay away from his. So as the years went by with system administrative tasks being “one of the hard-knocks of life”, I went off to Drexel University in 2005 to pursue a degree in Computer Science. I remember when I walked into my first class and instantly saw how different I was. Everyone was white. Everyone was male. And I was not. In fact, I couldn’t even check off one of those boxes. I was opposite. I was female and I was black. The first year pursuing my degree actually went really well and finished off the year, completing my C++ final project to create a matching cards game using objects and classes. All was swell. I found that I was doing just as well as everyone else. And I found that was struggling in certain areas just like everyone else. Leaning In Next semester came and that’s when the more difficult course load began. There was one class in particular called “Data Algorithms & Theories” that was incredibly and frustratingly difficult. As someone who always wanted to do well and is inclined to beat herself up for not being “perfect”, it was an incredibly stressful time for me. But once again, I was not the only one who was struggling because the class was difficult for all of my classmates. But as the class progressed, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and ask for help. This was the first time I would actually utilize the teaching assistant (TA) that was often present during this class. So our scheduled meeting comes around and it doesn’t go as I’d hoped. It wasn’t at all a welcoming atmosphere. The demeanor of the TA made it clear that he didn’t want to be there but my happy-go-lucky personality brushed it aside. To make things worse, I wasn’t understanding the “simple” concepts that he was explaining and was subject to the TA’s dismissive glances of judgement and shame. I remember at one point, my mind shifted into trying to make him like me rather than realize that he was discriminating against me. Then he said to me “You know, maybe this just isn’t for you. I’ve explained this to you multiple times and you’re just not getting.” This was a very upsetting moment in my life because someone who was supposed to be helping me learn was telling me that you’re too stupid to learn. Needless to say, I left that session very upset and I ultimately ended up changing my major to something “easier” because apparently it “wasn’t for me”. Accepting A Career After I graduated in 2010 with my degree i[...]

WPTavern: New Toolkit Simplifies the Process of Creating Gutenberg Blocks

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 03:30:09 +0000

Ahmad Awais, who created the Gutenberg Boilerplate last year, has released a Guten Block Toolkit. The toolkit substantially simplifies the creation of Gutenberg Blocks by providing no configuration, one dependency, and no lock-in. Awais created the toolkit after receiving feedback that configuring things like Webpack, React, ES 6/7/8/Next, ESLint, Babel and keeping up with their development was too difficult. "Developers told me that they built Gutenberg blocks with ES5 because the amount of time required to configure, set up, and learn tools like Babel, Webpack, ESLint, Prettier, etc. wasn’t worth it," Awais said. "So, yes! I went ahead and built a solution — a zero-config-js #0CJS WordPress developers’ toolkit called create-guten-block!" Creating blocks using the toolkit is a three-step process. Developers begin by installing Node version 8 or higher on a local server. The next step is to run the create-guten-block command and provide a name for the plugin that will be created. This command also creates the folder structure necessary to maintain the project. The last step is to run the NPM start command which runs the plugin in development mode. Once these steps are completed, the WordPress plugin will be compatible with Gutenberg and have React, ES 6/7/8/Next, and Babel, which also has ESLint configurations for code editors to detect and use automatically. The Guten Block Toolkit comes with the following: React, JSX, and ES6 syntax support. Webpack dev/production build process behind the scene. Language extras beyond ES6 like the object spread operator. Auto-prefixed CSS, so you don’t need -webkit or other prefixes. A build script to bundle JS, CSS, and images for production with source-maps. Hassle-free updates for the above tools with a single dependency cgb-scripts. The project has received positive feedback, including from members of Gutenberg's development team. Mad props to @MrAhmadAwais for making a super useful Gutenberg tool that I've been really looking forward to! 🎉 I'm excited about the possibilities for this, and I love how it's embraced WordPress' "decisions, not options" philosophy, doing all of the hard work for you. 💪💯 — Gary (@GaryPendergast) January 20, 2018 Tried the from @MrAhmadAwais, had a block within a minute. Now it's time to finish the #Gutenberg course from @zgordon to actually build something useful :D — Igor Benić (@igorbenic) January 22, 2018 With a stable release now available to the public, Awais is working on 2.0.0. "The next step is to get this toolkit tested and mature the entire app to release version 2.0.0 for that not only do I need your support, I ask that you hop on board and contribute — that’s the only way forward," he said. Create Guten Block Toolkit is MIT licensed and available for free on GitHub. Contributions are welcomed! [...]

WPTavern: Free Conference Dedicated to WordPress in Higher Ed Takes Place January 30th at 9AM CST

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 22:14:36 +0000

If you’re interested in learning how WordPress is used in Higher Ed, tune in to WPCampus Online, January 30th at 9AM Central Standard Time. WPCampus Online is a virtual conference that people can watch for free, no traveling necessary. The event uses Crowdcast allowing viewers to switch between rooms, interact with each other, and ask questions.

Some of the topics that will be presented include, WordPress and Real-World Data with Students, Headless and Brainless WordPress, and Using WordPress to Support and Run Student Government Elections. If in-person conferences are more your style, keep an eye out for information on WPCampus 2018 tentatively planned for this Summer.

To learn more about WPCampus and the people behind it, listen to our interview with Rachel Cherry on episode 301 of WordPress Weekly.

Mark Jaquith: How I fixed Yoast SEO sitemaps on a large WordPress site

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:15:06 +0000

One of my Covered Web Services clients recently came to me with a problem: Yoast SEO sitemaps were broken on their largest, highest-traffic WordPress site. Yoast SEO breaks your sitemap up into chunks. On this site, the individual chunks were loading, but the sitemap index (its “table of contents”) would not load, and was giving a timeout error. This prevented search engines from finding the individual sitemap chunks. Sitemaps are really helpful for providing information to search engines about the content on your site, so fixing this issue was a high priority to the client! They were frustrated, and confused, because this was working just fine on their other sites. Given that this site has over a decade of content, I figured that Yoast SEO’s dynamic generation of the sitemap was simply taking too long, and the server was giving up. So I increased the site’s various timeout settings to 120 seconds. No good. I increased the timeout settings to 300 seconds. Five whole minutes! Still no good. This illustrates one of the problems that WordPress sites can face when they accumulate a lot of content: dynamic processes start to take longer. A process that takes a reasonable 5 seconds with 5,000 posts might take 100 seconds with 500,000 posts. I could have eventually made the Yoast SEO sitemap index work if I increased the timeout high enough, but that wouldn’t have been a good solution. It would have meant increasing the timeout settings irresponsibly high, leaving the server potentially open to abuse. Even though it is search engines, not people, who are requesting the sitemap, it is unreasonable to expect them to wait over 5 minutes for it to load. They’re likely to give up. They might even penalize the site in their rankings for being slow. I needed the sitemap to be reliably generated without making the search engines wait. When something intensive needs to happen reliably on a site, look to the command line. The Solution Yoast SEO doesn’t have WP-CLI (WordPress command line interface) commands, but that doesn’t matter — you can just use wp eval to run arbitrary WordPress PHP code. After a little digging through the Yoast SEO code, I determined that this WP-CLI command would output the index sitemap: wp eval ' $sm = new WPSEO_Sitemaps; $sm->build_root_map(); $sm->output(); ' That took a good while to run on the command line, but that doesn’t matter, because I just set a cron job to run it once a day and save its output to a static file. 0 3 * * * cd /srv/www/ && /usr/local/bin/wp eval '$sm = new WPSEO_Sitemaps;$sm->build_root_map();$sm->output();' > /srv/www/ The final step that was needed was to modify a rewrite in the site’s Nginx config that would make the /sitemap_index.xml path point to the cron-created static file, instead of resolving to Yoast SEO[...]

Post Status: Hosted versus self-hosted eCommerce — Draft podcast

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:56:40 +0000

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

In this episode, Brian and Brian discuss self-hosted vs managed ecommerce and whether or not conferences have outlived their usefulness. Specifically, they look at WooCommerce vs other solutions and explore Shopify and Liquid Web’s Managed WooCommerce hosting as viable done-for-you strategies. On the conference front, they talk about the good and the bad of conferences and ponder how tech conferences of the future may need to change to attract more attendees.


Sponsor: Pippin’s Plugins

This episode is sponsored by Pippin’s Plugins. Pippin’s Plugins creates a suite of plugins that work great alone, or together. Whether you need to restrict content, sell downloads, or start an affiliate program, they’ve got you covered. For more information, check out their website and thank you to Pippin’s Plugins for being a Post Status partner.

Matt: R.I.P Dean

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 05:21:34 +0000

Dean Allen, a web pioneer and good man, has passed away. I've been processing the news for a few days and still don't know where to begin. Dean was a writer, who wrote the software he wrote on. His websites were crafted, designed, and typeset so well you would have visited them even if they were filled with Lorem Ipsum, and paired with his writing you were drawn into an impossibly rich world. His blog was called Textism, and among many other things it introduced me to the art of typography. Later, he created Textpattern, without which WordPress wouldn't exist. Later, he created Textdrive with Jason Hoffman, without which WordPress wouldn't have found an early business model or had a home on the web. He brought a care and craft to everything he touched that inspires me to this day. As John Gruber said, "Dean strove for perfection and often achieved it." (Aside: Making typography better on the web led John Gruber to release Smarty Pants, Dean a tool called Textile, and myself something called Texturize all within a few months of each other; John continued his work and created Markdown, I put Texturize into WP, and Dean released Textile in Textpattern.) Years later, we became friends and shared many trips, walks, drinks, and meals together, often with Hanni and Om. (When we overlapped in Vancouver he immediately texted "I'll show you some butt-kicking food and drink.") His zest for life was matched with an encyclopedic knowledge of culture and voracious reading (and later podcast listening) habits. I learned so much in our time together, a web inspiration who turned for me into a real-life mensch. He was endlessly generous with his time and counsel in design, prose, and fashion. I learned the impossibly clever sentences he wrote, that you assumed were the product of a small writing crew or at least a few revisions, came annoyingly easily to him, an extension of how he actually thought and wrote and the culmination of a lifetime of telling stories and connecting to the human psyche. Dean, who (of course) was also a great photographer, didn't love having his own photo taken but would occasionally tolerate me when I pointed a camera at him and Om has a number of the photos on his post. There's one that haunts me: before getting BBQ we were at his friend's apartment in Vancouver, listening to Mingus and enjoying hand-crafted old fashioneds with antique bitters, and despite the rain we went on the roof to see the art that was visible from there. He obliged to a photo this time though and we took photos of each other individually in front of a sign that said "EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT." It wasn't, but it's what I imagine Dean would say right now if he could. When we first met, in 2006, from Jason.[...]

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 301 – WordPress in HigherEd, Accessibility, and More With Rachel Cherry

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 02:42:56 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Rachel Cherry, Senior Software Engineer for Disney Interactive and Director of WPCampus. Cherry describes how she got involved with WordPress, its use in higher education, the inspiration behind WPCampus, and her thoughts on accessibility both in WordPress and across the web. She also assigned everyone the following homework assignment.

If you want to learn how WordPress is being used in higher education, tune in to WPCampus Online Tuesday, January 30, 2018. Viewers will be able to watch sessions and interact with the speakers for free. Near the end of the show, Jacoby provides a review of the Nintendo Switch he received for Christmas.

Stories Discussed:

Gutenberg 2.0 Released
WordPress 4.9.2 Patches XSS Vulnerability
Zac Gordon Launches Gutenberg Development Course, Includes More Than 30 Videos

Picks of the Week:

Pippin Williamson’s 2017 Year in Review

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, January 24th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #301:

WPTavern: DesktopServer 3.8.4 Includes A Gift to the Community

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:12:14 +0000

DesktopServer has released version 3.8.4 of its local development software. This version includes a lot of refactored code, setting the foundation for faster updates in the future along with design-time plugins.

One of the major changes in 3.8.4 is the use of the top level domain.

Due to the latest changes with the .dev Top Level Domain and the fact that many browsers now force SSL on anything with the .dev extension, DesktopServer will now use as its TLD extension. This is a legitimate top level domain owned by ServerPress, LLC and will ONLY be used for local development purposes.

Release Announcement Post

Marc Benzakein says the domain will work no matter which local development solution is being used and that it's a gift to the community. Other domains such as .test will continue to work as expected.

Other improvements include speed optimizations for Windows installs, a Windows compatibility plugin to fix long filename problems when updating from third-party plugin repositories such as Easy Digital Downloads, and a WordPress 4.9.1 Blueprint.

If you use an Apple device with a Retina screen or Hi-DPI in Windows, you'll likely appreciate the user-interface changes that are vastly improved on high resolution screens. Josh Eby does!

DesktopServer 3.8.4 also includes a number of enhancements for premium service customers. To view these and other notes related to the release, check out the announcement post.

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9.2 Patches XSS Vulnerability

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:19:39 +0000

WordPress 4.9.2 has been released and patches a cross-site scripting vulnerability in the Flash fallback files in the MediaElement library. According to Ian Dunn, the Flash files are rarely needed and have been removed from WordPress.

If you need access to the Flash fallback files, they can be obtained using the MediaElement Flash Fallback plugin. Enguerran Gillier and Widiz are credited with responsibly disclosing the vulnerability. 

In addition to the patch, this releases fixes 21 bugs. JavaScript errors that prevented saving posts in Firefox has been fixed and switching themes will attempt to restore previous widget assignments, even if no sidebars exist.

You can view detailed information about the changes in 4.9.2 by reading the following Codex article.

HeroPress: Growing WordPress in India

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 02:30:30 +0000

Preface I was one of the first batch of participants in the initial version of HeroPress, which was video stories but I backed out due to multiple reasons. But, I’m glad HeroPress has survived in this current avatar, telling some really interesting stories of some real wonderful people. Few of whom I’ve had the pleasure of calling friends. Topher has umpteen number of times asked me to write my HeroPress story and I have always either given excuses or deadlines that I never planned on meeting. The few times that I did start writing this article I went into too much of a deep dive into my life story (that I never finished it…) which is quite the rollercoaster from having failed Std.10th (high School) in English or dropping out in College to having guest lectured(teaching WordPress, of course) in one of the biggest B-schools in India OR my work experience which includes Film, TV, dealing cards to even working as an assistant to the Union Minister of India for Youth Affairs and sports… There I go again!! While that does make for a good story I should save it for when you buy me a beer. I wanted my HeroPress article to tell a story of how our WordPress Community is truly open source and always open for everyone’s participation. I think this version does the Job. Also would like to thank Andrea Middleton and Aditya Kane who have been the most supportive of my efforts all these years. Last but not the least I’d like to thank Topher for this great space he has created and being a true friend with whom I could share some of my troubles. I am Alexander Gounder, somewhat of a nobody who become somebody not only because I tried but also because WordPress is open enough to allow it and this is my story! Background I was born in a lower middle class household in Mumbai, India. I am the middle kid among three siblings. My Father works as a tailor in Saudi Arabia and visits every few years. My Mother is a strong willed woman, who would fight the world for her kids which was evident when she refused to listen to doctors that my sister who suffers from Cerebral Palsy be sent to Special school and instead went pillar to post to get her to study in her normal school, even if it meant that she had to wait outside class during school hours (in case my sister had to go to the restroom) or carry my sister (who then was about 8 yrs old) around. I live where 70%, if not more, of Mumbai’s population lives, the slum or chawls in the suburbs. So I’ve lived through the hunger for a day when I lost Rs.10 on my way to buy bread, this was during the Gulf war when my father couldn’t send us any money for months; I’ve lived through the darkness of when there are frequent power cuts and still the power companies claim that there isn’t any load [...]

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.9.2 Security and Maintenance Release

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:00:14 +0000

WordPress 4.9.2 is now available. This is a security and maintenance release for all versions since WordPress 3.7. We strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately. An XSS vulnerability was discovered in the Flash fallback files in MediaElement, a library that is included with WordPress. Because the Flash files are no longer needed for most use cases, they have been removed from WordPress. MediaElement has released a new version that contains a fix for the bug, and a WordPress plugin containing the fixed files is available in the plugin repository. Thank you to the reporters of this issue for practicing responsible security disclosure: Enguerran Gillier and Widiz. 21 other bugs were fixed in WordPress 4.9.2. Particularly of note were: JavaScript errors that prevented saving posts in Firefox have been fixed. The previous taxonomy-agnostic behavior of get_category_link() and category_description() was restored. Switching themes will now attempt to restore previous widget assignments, even when there are no sidebars to map. The Codex has more information about all of the issues fixed in 4.9.2, if you'd like to learn more. Download WordPress 4.9.2 or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and click "Update Now." Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update automatically. Thank you to everyone who contributed to WordPress 4.9.2: 0x6f0, Aaron Jorbin, Andrea Fercia, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Ozz, Blobfolio, Boone Gorges, Caleb Burks, Carolina Nymark, chasewg, Chetan Prajapati, Dion Hulse, Hardik Amipara, ionvv, Jason Caldwell, Jeffrey Paul, Jeremy Felt, Joe McGill, johnschulz, Juhi Patel, Konstantin Obenland, Mark Jaquith, Nilambar Sharma, Peter Wilson, Rachel Baker, Rinku Y, Sergey Biryukov, and Weston Ruter.[...]