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Matt: Post-Verbal Language

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 03:09:01 +0000

James Beshara has a really interesting read on how communication will change and evolve in a post-verbal world, namely one where human/brain interfaces like Neuralink can more directly transmit thought between people than the medium of language allows today.

After reading the essay I wonder if people's thoughts or the neural pathways they activate, if they could be directly transmitted into another brain, would actually make any sense to someone else with a unique internal set of pathways and framework for parsing and understanding the world. The essay assumes we'd understand and have more empathy with each other, but that seems like a leap. It seems likely the neural link would need it own set of abstractions, perhaps even unique per person, similar to how Google Translate AI invented its own meta-language.

Today idea-viruses that cause outrage (outrageous?) in today's discourse  have been weaponized by algorithms optimizing for engagement, and directly brain-transmitted memes seem especially risky for appealing to our base natures or causing amygdala hijack. But perhaps a feature of these neural interface devices could counteract that, with a command like "tell me this piece of news but suppress my confirmation bias and tribal emotional reactions while I'm taking it in."

Matt: iPhone Fast Charging

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:51:19 +0000

I love USB, cables, and charging things. So MacRumors comparison of different wired and wireless charging options and speed for the iPhone X is my catnip. tl; dr: USB-C + USB-C-to-Lightning cable gives you far and away the fastest times. I've found this true for the iPad Pro as well.

Matt: State of the Word, 2017

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 23:38:20 +0000

I really enjoyed connecting with the WordPress community in Nashville this previous weekend. On Saturday I delivered the State of the Word presentation alongside Mel, Weston, and Matías. There's always a post-event buzz but I definitely noticed a change in tenor of people's thoughts on Gutenberg after the presentation and demo. The video is above, check it out when you get a chance.

HeroPress: Remote Work Brings Freedom

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 02:30:55 +0000

આ નિબંધ ગુજરાતીમાં પણ ઉપલબ્ધ છે First of all, I want to say thank you to HeroPress for reaching out and letting so many people share their stories. I am a follower of HeroPress and read new stories every week! A few months ago my friend Juhi Patel shared her great WordPress story, and I was inspired by her to share my own and how it has changed my way of working. I am that guy who hates theory and loves to do practical programming. After completing my bachelor of engineering with Information Technology in 2013, I was looking for a job. I found that there were many different kinds of programming language jobs that were available. I was really not sure which one I needed or wanted to choose. After getting advice from a senior, I started training for PHP because it was easy and quick to learn. A few days before I had completed Training, I got selected in small company (5 Employees) as a PHP Developer. I was making websites there using PHP codeigniter framework. I was belong from a small town, and everyday it took me around 3 hours to travel to my job. After about 2 months, I applied for a job at another big company and was selected as Web Developer. There I was working on CMS Framework (not WordPress ) for website projects. After a few days, I made my personal site using WordPress in my free time. At that time, I was not aware of themes and plugins. I was just playing with theme files and editor to make changes on my website! After a month, my team leader got to know about that I was interested in WordPress. I got the opportunity to learn WordPress. I learned and explored WordPress with some demo projects by understanding how plugins and themes work. After 3 weeks of learning WordPress, I worked on my first WordPress project. This project took around 4 months to complete After this successful project, the whole CMS Team migrated to WordPress. I realized that, WordPress is so easy to learn, get help and work on it! After around 1 year and 3 months of working with that company, I was told to work after working hours due to heavy requirements from our projects. I felt really stressed and frustrated at work and during that time… I got to know about “Remote” work. But I didn’t know what that was or how it works? I explored about remote work and found that this is a career that you can work from your home, workplace or anywhere you like. I saw that many people in world are doing remote work happily. I decided to switch my job from Office Job to Remote Job. My parents, family and relatives advised me to not leave office job because they believed Remote Job is not as secure as an Office Job. But I stuck with my decision. In March 2015, I resigned from my job without notice period with the condition of no experience letter would be provided to me of this job. At the initial stage it was hard to be freelancer. But I was trying and trying to get that started. I had registered in one popular freelancer marketplace. After 1 week of trying very hard I got my first project. It was just for $5 to make an HTML page with a countdown timer. I did it successfully and got the best review. After that I had also completed many projects successfully. That’s it! I was done with my decision. Within the first few weeks I made a website for one US Client. They were impressed by my work and hired me as Full time Web Developer for their company in April 2015. I am remotely working with them happily still today from my home! Everything is going smoothly. I am enjoying Work from Home, Freedom and Quality time with Family. In October 2016, I learned about WordCamp. I attended my first WordCamp Nashik 2016. I met many WordPress Developers, Freelancers, Professionals, Users and many other people at this WordCamp. After that, I became a fan of WordCamp. We started organizing Meetups in our City. Within the last year, I have attended, volunteered and contributed as a friend and sponsor at more than 6 WordCamps. Curr[...]

WPTavern: WordCamp US 2017 is Livestreaming All Sessions for Free

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 15:34:56 +0000


WordCamp US is kicking off this morning. If you couldn’t make the journey to Nashville, you can still follow along at home or wherever you are in the world. Livestream Tickets are free on the event’s website. Once you’ve registered for a ticket, head on over to and you’ll be able to tune in to the Fiddle Track, Banjo Track, Guitar Track, and the State of the Word (scheduled for Saturday, December 2, at 4PM CST).

WordCamp US will be running three tracks simultaneously for both days of the conference and all sessions will be livestreamed. Check out the schedule to find sessions you want to attend from home. Volunteers will also include captions, which will be embedded within the live stream video. If you have any problems with the stream, the event has a page dedicated to livestream attendees with a backup stream, as well as a troubleshooting page for livestream support.

If you’re following along on Twitter, the WCUS Twitter volunteers will be providing threaded coverage of sessions. This should keep your Twitter stream a little tidier with a kickoff tweet for each session, followed by live coverage threaded under each as replies.

Want to see WCUS hosted near you in 2019/2020? Applications for host cities opened today. If you want to be part of the team that makes WCUS happen in your city, talk to your local WordPress community organizers about filling out an application for the next host city.

Dev Blog: The Month in WordPress: November 2017

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 11:00:44 +0000

The WordPress project recently released WordPress 4.9, “Tipton” — a new major release named in honor of musician and band leader Billy Tipton. Read on to find out more about this and other interesting news from around the WordPress world in November. WordPress 4.9 “Tipton” On November 16, WordPress 4.9 was released with new features for publishers and developers alike. Release highlights include design locking, scheduling, and previews in the Customizer, an even more secure and usable code editing experience, a new gallery widget, and text widget improvements. The follow up security and maintenance, v4.9.1, has now been released to tighten up the security of WordPress as a whole. To get involved in building WordPress Core, jump into the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Core team blog. Apply to Speak At WordCamp Europe 2018 The next edition of WordCamp Europe takes place in June, 2018. While the organizing team is still in the early stages of planning, they are accepting speaker applications. WordCamp Europe is the largest WordCamp in the world and, along with WordCamp US, one of the flagship events of the WordCamp program — speaking at this event is a great way to give back to the global WordPress community by sharing your knowledge and expertise with thousands of WordPress enthusiasts. Diversity Outreach Speaker Training Initiative To help WordPress community organizers offer diverse speaker lineups, a new community initiative has kicked off to use existing speaker training workshops to demystify speaking requirements and help participants gain confidence in their ability to share their WordPress knowledge in a WordCamp session. The working group behind this initiative will be meeting regularly to discuss and plan how they can help local communities to train speakers for WordCamps and other events. To get involved in this initiative, you can join the meetings at 5pm UTC every other Wednesday in the #community-team channel of the Making WordPress Slack group. Further Reading: WordCamp US 2017 is happening on December 1-3 in Nashville, with the annual State of the Word talk happening on Saturday afternoon — the live stream of the entire event is available to view for free. Tide, a new service from XWP designed to help users make informed plugin choices, is due to launch at WordCamp US. Gutenberg development is continuing rapidly, with a packed new release and a focus on usability testing. After some discussion among the community, a new type of micro-regional WordCamp is going to be introduced into the global WordCamp program. If you have a story we should consider including in the next “Month in WordPress” post, please submit it here. [...]

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 2018 Survey

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:26:07 +0000

What would you like BuddyPress to focus on in 2018? The core team has ideas of where BuddyPress can expand on and your input is important to harness the time and resources of an all-volunteer crew.

The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete. Be assured that we will not publish your name, email address, nor IP address when we post the results of this survey at

Thank you for your time and cooperation. Your feedback will help us improve BuddyPress for you.

=> Take the 2018 BuddyPress Survey

WPTavern: Gutenberg 1.8 Adds Greater Extensibility for Plugin Developers

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:23:28 +0000

Gutenberg 1.8 was released this week with several notable improvements that will give plugin developers more flexibility in extending the editor. It introduces block templates, which developers can use when registering a new custom post type. The block templates define a set of pre-configured blocks that will initialize when a user creates a new post. In the example below, Gutenberg lead engineer Matias Ventura demonstrates what a block template for a book custom post type might look like.


This release also improves the design of the tools menu (toggled by the ellipses at the top of the editor) to have a more lightweight UI that will lend itself better to displaying items added by extensions in the future. The new design displays multiple menu items as a radio group where the selected item shows a checkmark, an approach that Gutenberg designers found to be more intuitive after some research.


Version 1.8 adds the ability for developers to filter allowed block types by specifying an array of type names that can be shown in the inserter component. This capability paves the way for block nesting where developers can define allowed children types. It also allows custom post types to specify which blocks are allowed or restricted, which will be useful for keeping CPTs lean as Gutenberg already has a large number of block types.

The release also improves meta box compatibility with a fallback to the classic editor if Gutenberg detects that the meta box is unsupported. Plugin authors can now explicitly declare Gutenberg incompatibility when registering meta boxes, which will trigger a warning to the end user that explains which meta boxes have caused the fallback to the classic editor.

In addition to all the improvements for extending Gutenberg, version 1.8 makes many small design tweaks, including updated color pickers with color indications and collapsible panels, updated icon and tooltip for table of contents menu, and a new contrast checker for paragraph color options. It also puts block actions back on the block level for the default, while still preserving the option to change it to a fixed toolbar at the top of the screen.

For a full list of all the changes in version 1.8, check out the release post and the changelog on

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 296 – Gutenberg, Telemetry, Calypso, and More With Matt Mullenweg

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 04:40:42 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Matt Mullenweg, co-creator of the WordPress project and CEO of Automattic. We discussed a wide range of topics including, his role on the board of directors at GitLab, Telemetry or data-usage gathering in WordPress, and the WordPress Growth Council.

We learned what’s happening with the Mobile teams inside Automattic, the future of Calypso, and the role of Pressable as a testing bed. Last but not least, we find out how beneficial joining HackerOne has been for WordPress and why finally allowed the installation of third-party themes and plugins through its Business Plan.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, December 13th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #296:

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9.1 Released, Fixes Page Template Bug

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 04:07:31 +0000

WordPress 4.9.1 is available for download and is a maintenance and security release. This release addresses four security issues in WordPress 4.9 and below that could potentially be used as part of a multi-vector attack. According to the release notes, the following changes have been made to WordPress to protect against these vulnerabilities.

  1. Use a properly generated hash for the newbloguser key instead of a determinate substring.
  2. Add escaping to the language attributes used on html elements.
  3. Ensure the attributes of enclosures are correctly escaped in RSS and Atom feeds.
  4. Remove the ability to upload JavaScript files for users who do not have the unfiltered_html capability.

Rahul Pratap Singh and John Blackbourn are credited with responsibly disclosing the vulnerabilities. In addition to the changes above, 4.9.1 fixes eleven bugs, including the Page Template issue we wrote about last week. Many sites have already updated to 4.9.1 automatically. To see a list of detailed changes, check out this post on Make WordPress Core.

WPTavern: Distributor Plugin Now in Beta: A New WordPress Content Syndication Solution from 10up

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 23:19:59 +0000

10up published a preview of its Distributor plugin today, a new solution for syndicating content across WordPress multisite networks and the web. The plugin, which the company plans to release for free, is currently in final closed beta. It enables content managers to either “push” or “pull” content to/from sites where they have permission to publish. image credit: 10up Distributor includes the ability for editors to make changes to the original post and have linked copies automatically inherit the changes. This includes post content, post meta (custom fields), and taxonomy terms. It also ensures that content is SEO-friendly by providing canonical links that prevent duplicate content issues. The plugin differs from many existing content syndication solutions, which traditionally make use of RSS or XML/RPC, in that it is built using the REST API. “The main technical advantage of the REST API is that it’s a ‘standard’ inside core for sharing information across sites,” 10up President Jake Goldman said. “Outside of multisite, we never even considered another approach. It is worth saying that you do need Distributor installed on both ‘ends’ for all of its features to work across the REST API – we need to extend the REST API a bit to get everything to pull across (plus the handling of ‘linked’ copies).” Goldman said that although “syndication” means many different things to different people, the “classic” use case of simply pulling from a source, such as ingesting content from a newswire, is not exactly the use case for Distributor. He said the team behind the plugin is perhaps more excited about the “push” implementation. In building their own solution, 10up also incorporated its trademark lean/streamlined UI, as many existing solutions are more complicated to use. “We’re definitely aware that there are other takes at a good content sharing workflow,” Goldman said. “We even helped Automattic refactor their solution a few years ago, which they use on VIP. We took a bit of inspiration from that project, including the modular ‘connection’ types. In earnest, when trying to help our clients find solutions that were intuitive, extensible, and engineered to an enterprise grade, we just couldn’t endorse any of the options we found. It’s more a UX problem – clunky workflows, overwhelming interfaces, feature overload (I prefer a certain simplicity) – than anything, though we also have concerns about how modular / customizable some of the other solutions are.” 10up Plans to Release Distributor on Following the Closed Beta 10up currently has several clients using Distributor, including large publishers with several properties/magazines/newspapers, as well as large technology businesses using it for their news and media features across a network of sites. The plugin is in final closed beta but 10up is granting early access to those with interesting use cases. “We’re casting a pretty broad net in terms of ‘appropriate’ use cases for the beta; in fact, we’re hoping that broader beta testing will open our eyes to great use cases within the scope of its purpose that we hadn’t considered,” Goldman said. “We’ve already heard from some very large publishers, some smaller digital publishers, universities, public school systems, some enterprises with multiple properties, agencies interested in staging content, and just engineers who own multiple sites that share content – we’re excited about all of these use cases!” Goldman said his team is most curious to see Distributor applied to use cases that aren’t simply “news and [...]

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.9.1 Security and Maintenance Release

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 20:33:11 +0000

WordPress 4.9.1 is now available. This is a security and maintenance release for all versions since WordPress 3.7. We strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately. WordPress versions 4.9 and earlier are affected by four security issues which could potentially be exploited as part of a multi-vector attack. As part of the core team's ongoing commitment to security hardening, the following fixes have been implemented in 4.9.1: Use a properly generated hash for the newbloguser key instead of a determinate substring. Add escaping to the language attributes used on html elements. Ensure the attributes of enclosures are correctly escaped in RSS and Atom feeds. Remove the ability to upload JavaScript files for users who do not have the unfiltered_html capability. Thank you to the reporters of these issues for practicing responsible security disclosure: Rahul Pratap Singh and John Blackbourn. Eleven other bugs were fixed in WordPress 4.9.1. Particularly of note were: Issues relating to the caching of theme template files. A MediaElement JavaScript error preventing users of certain languages from being able to upload media files. The inability to edit theme and plugin files on Windows based servers. This post has more information about all of the issues fixed in 4.9.1 if you'd like to learn more. Download WordPress 4.9.1 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 4.9.1: Alain Schlesser, Andrea Fercia, Angelika Reisiger, Blobfolio, bobbingwide, Chetan Prajapati, Dion Hulse, Dominik Schilling (ocean90), edo888, Erich Munz, Felix Arntz, Florian TIAR, Gary Pendergast, Igor Benic, Jeff Farthing, Jeffrey Paul, jeremyescott, Joe McGill, John Blackbourn, johnpgreen, Kelly Dwan, lenasterg, Marius L. J., Mel Choyce, Mário Valney, natacado, odyssey, precies, Saša, Sergey Biryukov, and Weston Ruter.[...]

WPTavern: Four Things I’d Like to See in This Year’s State of the Word

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 17:38:16 +0000

This weekend, WordPressers from far and wide will descend upon Nashville, TN, for WordCamp US. One of the highlights of the event is Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word. Last year, Mullenweg shared a variety of statistics, made a few announcements, and plotted a new course for WordPress development.

As the event draws near, here are some things I’d like to see addressed in this year’s State of the Word.

Will There Be A Renewed Effort to Make Calypso Plugin Aware?

During the 2016 State of the Word, Mullenweg announced that Calypso became plugin aware.

(image) Plugin Aware Calypso

The idea was that plugins that are actively installed on more than 1 million sites could participate in an experimental program that would add meta box support and other plugin specific features to Calypso. To this day, this has not materialized and I’d like to know what happened and if there will be a renewed effort in 2018.

An Update on WordPress Foundation Supported Initiatives

Last year, we learned that WordCamp Central became its own Public Benefit Corporation while the WordPress Foundation maintained its non-profit status. In addition, the Foundation announced support for like-minded non-profits such as, Hack the Hood, Internet Archive, and Black Girls CODE.

I’d like to know how much money the Foundation has contributed to these causes and if any progress has been made on providing educational workshops in underdeveloped countries.

An Update on WordPress’ Development/Release Strategy

A year into WordPress’ new development and release strategy, I’d like to know what challenges he and the team have faced and overcome. I’d also like to know if the results he has seen thus far warrant continuing the experiment in 2018.

Take an Opportunity to Explain What Gutenberg Really Is

Last year, Mullenweg surprised the community by announcing that the WordPress post editor would be revamped. Since then, we’ve learned that the project’s name is Gutenberg and it’s about more than just the editor. I’d like to see Mullenweg take this unique opportunity to provide a deeper explanation into what the project is and why it’s pivotal for WordPress’ continued success.

This year’s State of the Word will be presented on Saturday, December 2nd, at 4PM Eastern. If you can’t see it in-person, you can watch it for free via the livestream.

HeroPress: WordPress Gave Me the Perfect Identity

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 12:00:37 +0000

How it all began… I just love this picture of myself..hehehe I remember when cybercafés started trending in Nigeria; I had just finished high school and was awaiting my results for admittance into the university. I would spend not less than 10 hours surfing the internet every day, all my pocket money went into buying bulk time at cafes. My first email was opened in 2002 on my 1st attempt to surf the internet. Spending my day at cafes continued till I left the university after which I bought a desktop computer and a modem. You can imagine my excitement as being a proud owner of a PC even though it was a desktop PC. You see, my first degree was in Philosophy. I remember my dad asking me if I was sure about that course because prior to my senior school leaving exams I had always said I was going to study business administration. What business administration was, to be honest, I had no idea, I only wanted it because I had the impression it was a cool course and I would be a corporate employee in a big firm strutting around in my skirt suit looking all glamorous. Funny right? Anyway i always had a thing for Philosophy so you can imagine my enthusiasm when I discovered Philosophy was a course of study, of course I opted to study Philosophy in 2004 and graduated in 2008. However my love for the internet did not reduce by the way. I not only surfed the internet but I spent a lot of time freelancing and testing my skills as a ghost writer on different freelancing sites. I also went into blogging as well in 2009. I tried using blogger, hubpages and WordPress, but oh my, I found WordPress so complicated for me because I did not understand how it worked so I stuck with blogger and hubpages. Growing up as a Timid but Curious Cat… I and my little brother. Haa of course we all grown now. Haha During my younger years and even up to two years ago I was always a shy person deep down in my mind, but alas quite a number of people thought I was bold. This might be because 99.9% of my friends were males, or maybe not. Perhaps this could also be because I grew up with 3 brothers and no sister. It’s quite shocking though that they thought that way because it is only quite recent that I cultivated the courage to speak my mind. Prior to a year ago (2016), expressing my feelings by speaking the words out was a herculean task; this was what led me to starting a personal blog around 2009. I needed to let out my feelings and since I dared not speak them out, I blogged them. Blogging gave me a voice and a medium to express my thoughts and I became a better writer with each passing script. After my one year government mandated youth service in 2010 which is required of every Nigerian citizen after a bachelor’s degree, I bought an HP Mini Laptop. Can you imagine my excitement at owning a personalized computer? This I could carry around, my happiness knew no bounds. In 2010 thanks to the social network Facebook I met an Uncle of mine and we became BFF’s {Best Friends Forever} even though we had never met physically before. He was in Rome at the period we met studying Media and Communication. He came back home in 2012 but his job as a Salesian Brother took him to Ghana. Of course I made sure to keep a date with him when he came back home briefly in 2012 before heading to resume in Ghana. We had cake and ice cream at my favourite café that day. I and my BFF Uncle..Hehe Rediscovering WordPress… Then came 2015, I ended a horrid relationship and i lost my best friend female; I mean I thought I was in love, but alas I had loved the idea of loving a person. I was not happy and I wanted a breath of fresh air and a change of environment. At that period, I had obtained a postgraduate diploma in mas[...]

WPTavern: WordCamp Albuquerque Gears Up for 5th Edition in January 2018

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 02:30:46 +0000


WordCamp Albuquerque is gearing up for its 5th edition January 19-21, 2018, following events held in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016. An all-new organizing team is ready to invigorate the Southwestern WordPress community with an exciting array of world-class speakers and educational opportunities for both new and experienced users.

Lead organizer Alonso Indacochea said the team is expecting to host 300 attendees. Many of them will be coming from New Mexico, Southern Colorado, West Texas, and Arizona.

“The southwestern community is interesting because there are a lot of developers doing really interesting tech work, but a lot of it happens in silos due to government secrecy,” speaker wrangler Sam Hotchkiss said. “New Mexico has a rich history of technology, from the Manhattan Project and the creation of the first nuclear weapons to the formation of Microsoft, which was founded in Albuquerque in 1975.

“We’re trying to pull together that community to connect with each other, and also establish Albuquerque as a WordCamp with consistently high-quality speakers of global renown.”

In pursuit of this goal, Hotchkiss has recruited a healthy crop of top quality speakers from the WordPress community. During the Saturday afternoon session, Chris Lema, Vice President of Products and Innovation at Liquid Web, will be interviewing a diverse group of speakers in the main hall, including the following:

  • Ashleigh Axios, former Creative Director for the Obama White House and AIGA Board Member
  • Sakin Shrestha, Founder of Catch Themes and the main drive behind the vibrant WordPress community in Nepal
  • John Maeda, Global Head, Computational Design and Inclusion at Automattic
  • Jon Brown, WordPress Nomad
  • Alonso Indacochea, WordCamp lead organizer, who had no serious software development experience 5 years ago, went through a local boot camp, and is now CEO of the fastest growing digital agency in New Mexico

This year WordCamp Albuquerque will feature multiple tracks sorted by topic, beginning with a WordPress Fundamentals track on Friday, January 19.

“Foundation Friday is something I’ve seen be really successful at other camps,” Hotchkiss said. “It gives people who are new to WP a base of knowledge so that they can go into Saturday feeling confident and ready to learn. Each class on Friday will build on the one before it. Starting from scratch? Show up at 9. Already have a site, but need help handling the layout? Come at 10:30.”

Saturday’s program will include sessions in the Business, Design, and Development tracks throughout the day, in addition to the planned interviews. A contributor day session is planned for Sunday. The event’s organizers are still accepting speaker applications until midnight on Monday, December 4. They plan to finalize the schedule next week. Tickets are on sale now and attendees can elect to purchase one for whatever combination of days they wish to attend.

WPTavern: Practicing the Pac-Man Rule at WordCamp US

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 21:06:21 +0000

With more than 2,000 attendees expected, WordCamp US is one of the largest conferences devoted to WordPress. It’s a great opportunity to meet a lot of new faces and catch up with familiar ones. If you’re standing in the hallway at WordCamp US speaking with a group of people and want to encourage others to say hi or be part of the conversation, try this tip shared by Jason Cosper called the Pac-Man rule written by Eric Holscher.

(image) photo credit: rbatina Random Phone Shots (license)

The rule is simple. When standing in a circle, provide an opening for someone to join the group. By standing in an open circle, it gives a passersby explicit permission to join the group and limits the appearance of cliques. I didn’t realize how standing in a closed circle can be off-putting to those wanting to introduce themselves or chime in until learning about this rule.

In addition to the Pac-Man rule, Bob Dunn suggests using eye contact to invite people to the group. Morten Rand-Hendriksen suggests that if you’re looking to start a conversation with someone new, start with groups of two people as they likely know each other and want to talk to new people. I’ll be practicing the Pac-Man rule this weekend and I encourage other attendees to do so as well.

WPTavern: Gutenberg Team Is Ramping Up Usability Testing at WordCamp US

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 16:55:47 +0000

The Gutenberg Team will have a usability testing station set up at WordCamp US where attendees can participate in a round of pre-set tests that focus on the writing flow. Testers will answer a short survey that includes their prior WordPress experience level, age, and device used. Volunteers will get participants set up with a testing site and will start the screen recording app. Testers will be asked to create a post based on the content shown in an image. There are three different images, which require the user to perform actions such as adding images, embedding media, creating unordered lists, adding quotes, and other basic content creation tasks. In order to segment results, the usability tests have been divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced level images. Advanced level task image for Gutenberg usability testing After completing the test, participants will be asked to answer a few followup questions, such as “Did the task take longer or shorter than you expected?” and “Are you more or less likely to use the Gutenberg editor in the future?” “This is the second round of usability testing scripts — we tried out the first batch of scripts at WordCamp Milano, and made some adjustments for clarity,” Gutenberg design lead Tammie Lister said. “As a result of testing, we moved the toolbar on blocks to not be fixed and back to the block. At Milano, we tested the tests.” As the result of these tests and other prior feedback, Lister recommended the default position of the toolbar to be fixed to the block. Anna Harrison, UX lead at Ephox (the makers of tinyMCE), has been instrumental in helping with the efforts around testing and writing scripts. She also offered feedback on the ticket, referencing comments from the previous discussion on the issue: A fixed [docked to top] toolbar solution has several complications. Firstly, we break accessibility. I won’t reiterate the discussion, as it’s well articulated above. Secondly, we break things independent of accessibility – I ran user tests on something quite similar to this last year, and we discovered that disconnecting the toolbar from the point of action resulted in 100% user test fails. Gutenberg version 1.8 will change the default back to displaying block actions on the block level, although the option to change it to a fixed toolbar at the top of the screen will still be available. This change is one example of how usability testing is shaping Gutenberg’s development. WordCamp US is an opportunity for the team to collect a host of new testing data in one place. Lister said all the data that is collected will be processed by volunteers on the make/test team, but the team is still small and they could use more volunteers to work on this effort. “The turnaround time on processing the data we collect really depends on how many volunteers are available to work on it,” Lister said. “It also depends on if it’s a bug reported – bugs are easier to get fixed right away. If the data indicates an area where we need to investigate more, we’ll do that. The results of the testing will be published on” Lister said the team is hoping to reach a wider variety of WordPress users at WCUS this year, from all backgrounds and careers. The testing booth offers an opportunity for anyone to contribute to the future of WordPress, regardless of your experience level or familiarity with the software. The team is also eager to broaden its testing field by recruiting non-WordPress users as well. If you can’t make it to WordCamp US,[...]

WPTavern: Delete Me WordPress Plugin Assists Website Owners in Granting the GDPR Right to be Forgotten

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 00:08:09 +0000

photo credit: pj_vanf to err is human – (license) With the EU GDPR compliance deadline just 178 days away, many WordPress site owners are looking for tools that will help them meet the requirements. The regulation expands existing rights of data subjects in several key ways, including (but not limited to) the right to be notified of data breaches, the right to access personal data, the right to be forgotten, and the right to data portability. A plugin called Delete Me, by Clinton Caldwell, is one that may be helpful in addressing the Right to be Forgotten. The website breaks it down as follows: Also known as Data Erasure, the right to be forgotten entitles the data subject to have the data controller erase his/her personal data, cease further dissemination of the data, and potentially have third parties halt processing of the data. The conditions for erasure, as outlined in article 17, include the data no longer being relevant to original purposes for processing, or a data subjects withdrawing consent. It should also be noted that this right requires controllers to compare the subjects’ rights to “the public interest in the availability of the data” when considering such requests. The Delete Me plugin takes this one step further for site owners who are comfortable allowing users to delete their own data without having to create a request for it. By default, the delete button displays on the profile.php screen in the admin, but administrators can elect to use a shortcode to display it somewhere else on the frontend. The plugin will delete the users’ posts, links, and even comments (optional) after the user confirms. The confirmation screen could stand to include more information about what data is being deleted so that the user knows what to expect. However, administrators do have the option to specify this within the JavaScript confirmation dialog. After deletion the user is dumped back out to the homepage by default, but the redirect URL can be configured in the plugin’s settings page. Additional configurable settings include the ability to select specific WordPress roles to allow to delete themselves, specify class and style attributes of delete link, enable or disable JavaScript confirm for Shortcode, specify button text, and send an email notification when users delete themselves. Delete Me also supports network activation and single site activation for multisite installations. By default, users can only delete themselves and their content from a single site, while other networked sites where they are registered will not be affected. The plugin does include a “Delete From Network” checkbox that administrators can enable to allow users to delete themselves from all sites on the network. Delete Me is available for free on I tested the plugin and have confirmed that it works with WordPress 5.0-alpha. It is currently active on more than 2,000 sites. By no means does it satisfy the full requirements of the GDPR, but it provides a decent starting point for site owners who want to make this option available to their users without having to manually fulfill their requests.[...]

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 295 – Turkey With A Side of Gutenberg and Giving Thanks to Open Source

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 07:54:15 +0000

I apologize for the delay in getting this episode out to you. In this episode, John James Jacoby and I discussed a range of topics, including a caching bug introduced in WordPress 4.9 that causes Page Templates not to display for an hour. We talk about the possibilities of using Gutenberg with WooCommerce and how it could impact product management.

As is tradition, near the end of the show, we shared what we’re thankful for. We also shared what listeners are thankful for regarding open source.

Stories Discussed:

This bug is causing some theme developers to rip their hair out. Weston Ruter explains why the change was implemented.
WooCommerce Explores the Possibilities and Challenges for E-Commerce in the Gutenberg Era
Tailor Page Builder Plugin Discontinued, Owners Cite Funding, Gutenberg, and Competition
WordCamp Europe 2018 Speaker Applications Now Open
GitHub Launches Security Alerts for JavaScript and Ruby Projects, Python Support Coming in 2018

Picks of the Week:

Trigger Happy developed by Hotsource is a visual scripting tool for WordPress, allowing you to connect plugins and events together using a simple user interface. It currently supports core WordPress functionality, WooCommerce, and Ninja Form.

Big dummy is a project for folks who need to emulate an established blog with plenty of content while doing WordPress benchmarking and performance testing.

There are 2495 posts, 6197 comments, 231 tags, 26 categories, and 10 pages worth of WordPress dummy data, fully ready to import. That’s 3 (simulated) years worth of content. Note: There are ~1.6 GB of images (courtesy of Unsplash) attached to these posts. It’s a very good idea to import everything but the media in order to avoid timeouts or errors with the WordPress Importer.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, November 29th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #295:

WPTavern: Workarounds for the Page Template Bug in WordPress 4.9

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:42:28 +0000

WordPress 4.9 “Tipton” was released last week and although it’s largely trouble-free, there is one particular issue users and developers are running into that’s causing frustration. In 4.9, custom page templates that are created fail to display in the Template drop-down menu. The issue is related to changes made to the file editor.

Previous versions of WordPress listed files 2-levels deep in the editor. In 4.9, the entire directory tree for a theme is listed regardless of its depth. Caching was added to help limit the performance impacts of loading large WordPress themes. “An unintended side effect of the caching is that the same directory listing function get_files is used both for the theme editor and for gathering page templates,” Weston Ruter, Co-Release Lead for WordPress 4.9 said.

Within the trac ticket, developers suggests that a button be added that flushes all caches or disabling the cache if WP_DEBUG is set to true. Neither suggestion turned into a patch committed to core. Instead, Ruter has released a plugin as a workaround that flushes the template cache. Other workarounds include, bumping the theme’s version, running the wp cache flush command in WP CLI, or waiting 60 minutes for the cache to expire.

The ticket is marked as a high priority but because of the upcoming holidays in the US and WordCamp US next weekend, it could be at least a few weeks before WordPress 4.9.1 is released.

WPTavern: Tide Project Aims to Audit and Score WordPress Themes and Plugins based on Code Quality

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 21:21:43 +0000

Last week XWP dropped an intriguing preview of a new project called Tide that aims to improve code quality across the WordPress plugin and theme ecosystems. The company has been working with the support of Google, Automattic, and WP Engine, on creating a new service that will help users make better plugin decisions and assist developers in writing better code. XWP’s marketing manager Rob Stinson summarized the project’s direction so far: Tide is a service, consisting of an API, Audit Server, and Sync Server, working in tandem to run a series of automated tests against the plugin and theme directories. Through the Tide plugin, the results of these tests are delivered as an aggregated score in the WordPress admin that represents the overall code quality of the plugin or theme. A comprehensive report is generated, equipping developers to better understand how they can increase the quality of their code. The XWP announcement also included a screenshot of how this data might be presented in the WordPress plugin directory: XWP plans to unveil the service at WordCamp US in Nashville at the Google booth where they will be inviting the community to get involved. Naturally, a project with the potential to have this much impact on the plugin ecosystem raises many questions about who is behind the vision and what kind of metrics will be used. I contacted Rob Stinson and Luke Carbis at XWP, who are both contributors to the project, to get an inside look at how it started and where they anticipate it going. “Tide was started at XWP about 12 months ago when one of our service teams pulled together the idea, followed up by a proof of concept, of a tool that ran a series of code quality tests against a package of code (WordPress plugin) and returned the results via an API,” Stinson said. “We shortly after came up with the name Tide, inspired by the proverb ‘A rising tide lifts all boats,’ thinking that if a tool like this could lower the barrier of entry to good quality code for enough developers, it could lift the quality of code across the whole WordPress ecosystem.” Stinson said XWP ramped up its efforts on Tide during the last few months after beginning to see its potential and sharing the vision with partners. “Google, Automattic and WP Engine have all helped resource (funds, infrastructure, developer time, advice etc) the project recently as well,” Stinson said. “Their support has really helped us build momentum. Google have been a big part of this since about August. We had been working with them on other projects and when we shared with them the vision for Tide, they loved it and saw how in line it is with the vision they have for a better performant web.” The Tide service is not currently active but a beta version will launch at WordCamp US with a WordPress plugin to follow shortly thereafter. Stinson said the team designed the first version to present the possibilities of Tide and encourage feedback and contribution from the community. “We realize that Tide will be its best if its open sourced,” he said. “There are many moving parts to it and we recognize that the larger the input from the community, the better it will represent and solve the needs of the community around code quality.” At this phase of the project, nothing has been set in stone. The Tide team is continuing to experiment with different ways of making the plugin audit data available, as well as refining how that data[...]

Matt: Adam Robinson on Understanding

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:33:12 +0000

This is a long quote/excerpt from Adam Robinson I’ve been holding onto for a while, from Tribe of Mentors. Worth considering, especially if you strive to work in a data-informed product organization. Virtually all investors have been told when they were younger — or implicitly believe, or have been tacitly encouraged to do so by the cookie-cutter curriculums of the business schools they all attend — that the more they understand the world, the better their investment results. It makes sense, doesn’t it? The more information we acquire and evaluate, the “better informed” we become, the better our decisions. Accumulating information, becoming “better informed,” is certainly an advantage in numerous, if not most, fields. But not in the eld of counterintuitive world of investing, where accumulating information can hurt your investment results. In 1974, Paul Slovic — a world-class psychologist, and a peer of Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman — decided to evaluate the effect of information on decision-making. This study should be taught at every business school in the country. Slovic gathered eight professional horse handicappers and announced, “I want to see how well you predict the winners of horse races.” Now, these handicappers were all seasoned professionals who made their livings solely on their gambling skills. Slovic told them the test would consist of predicting 40 horse races in four consecutive rounds. In the first round, each gambler would be given the five pieces of information he wanted on each horse, which would vary from handicapper to handicapper. One handicapper might want the years of experience the jockey had as one of his top five variables, while another might not care about that at all but want the fastest speed any given horse had achieved in the past year, or whatever. Finally, in addition to asking the handicappers to predict the winner of each race, he asked each one also to state how confident he was in his prediction. Now, as it turns out, there were an average of ten horses in each race, so we would expect by blind chance — random guessing — each handicapper would be right 10 percent of the time, and that their confidence with a blind guess to be 10 percent. So in round one, with just five pieces of information, the handicappers were 17 percent accurate, which is pretty good, 70 percent better than the 10 percent chance they started with when given zero pieces of information. And interestingly, their confidence was 19 percent — almost exactly as confident as they should have been. They were 17 percent accurate and 19 percent confident in their predictions. In round two, they were given ten pieces of information. In round three, 20 pieces of information. And in the fourth and final round, 40 pieces of information. That’s a whole lot more than the five pieces of information they started with. Surprisingly, their accuracy had flatlined at 17 percent; they were no more accurate with the additional 35 pieces of information. Unfortunately, their confidence nearly doubled — to 34 percent! So the additional information made them no more accurate but a whole lot more confident. Which would have led them to increase the size of their bets and lose money as a result. Beyond a certain minimum amount, additional information only feeds — leaving aside the considerable cost of and delay occasioned in acquiring it — what psychologists call “confirmation bias.” The information we gain that conflicts with our [...]

HeroPress: Finding WordPress in Cameroon

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:45:10 +0000

My name is Michaël Nde Tabefor, I reside in Cameroon. I grew up in the economic capital of the country surrounded by so much diversity and culture. Yet I was still very young when I developed an interest in technology, back in Primary school I had a PC at home I used to play around, most especially Spider Solitaire hahaha. Well that game sound crazy but it’s educative, it built up my reflex with the mouse and yeah it worth it. When I arrived in Secondary school I quickly picked up the subject. I began educating myself on the trend of Technology and how they work. I developed a great interest for organisations such as Google, what they doing for humanity not just about technology. So I understood that no matter the position I get, I must always contribute to Humanity by volunteering. When I got to the University back in 2014 as a Freshman, I enrolled into Software engineering program where I began excelling and widening my thinking and reflex, met with other enthusiasts of technology. Taking Another Path Unlike other students I decided to go in for an internship at my first year (am one of those who believe university is good but it contribute to just about 10 – 20% of what builds up skill, people must be passionate about what the do, that passion alone will get you have the skills and be able to learn more and more). On my first day of internship, my internship coordinator gave me a task to go and install WordPress on my computer and create with the use of an external template (not there default themes) the website of my university. Let me make this point, I didn’t know about WordPress. Had no idea of what it’s meant for. Completely blank. I went back to my university, I met one of my professors, explained it to him, he redirected me to a senior student who once did internship and had to use WordPress. I went home, got my environment set up and called my senior, She did the guiding all through the installation on phone, till installing the template, my curiosity did the rest of the job hahaha, end of story. The next day I went back to the office, my coordinator didn’t expect me that soon Lol. Diving Deeper So I worked on some tutorial on building themes and plugin from scratch from but I took a break from building cuz I didn’t have much skills in PHP, in first year we didn’t do web technologies, I began hacking on PHP on my own, basic’ly I learnt almost every skill on my own via research and practice. I worked on several sites that used WordPress and began installing for others. My coordinator told me it would be interesting to start a WordPress Community so others could benefit from it. Actually the more I share knowledge with someone I gain 100% in return too, it builds up my mastery and ability to debug and resolve issues. I began our local community and everyday I kept understanding WordPress more and more. After a couple of months I officially joined the WordPress Volunteer Community in doing more reach outs in (November 2015 – via Rocio Valdiva) and on April 15, 2017 I organized the very first WordCamp in the whole of Central Africa that brought together over 240 persons. Complete gallery on Flickr, Video on YouTube. After the WordCamp I later on built a Mobile Money Payment Gateway with a local Network Operator web payment API using WooCommerce. The post Finding WordPress in Cameroon appeared first on HeroPress.[...]

WPTavern: Envato Elements Adds Unlimited WordPress Theme and Plugin Downloads to Subscription Plan

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 04:01:34 +0000

Envato has added unlimited WordPress theme and plugin downloads to its Elements digital assets subscription service. The company is including a curated collection of 210 WordPress themes and 100 plugins along with 400,000 other design assets already offered through the service. Envato is the largest WordPress theme marketplace on the web with 39,102 themes and website templates for sale. Last year the company celebrated 10 years in business and reported that the community earned more than $40 million, with a significant portion of that revenue coming from WordPress products. The new “all you can eat” style package for WordPress themes on Envato Elements was introduced to boost the value of the service’s annual subscription plan and is not available to monthly subscribers. For $228/year, annual subscribers can change themes as often as they choose, which is the chief selling point of the new addition. However, the subscription service does not provide direct item support for the themes, as they are submitted by independent designers. Current Elements subscribers have the option to change their payment plans from monthly to annual to gain access to the unlimited WordPress products. Several disgruntled customers have taken to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the WordPress additions being withheld from existing monthly subscribers and perceive it to be heavy-handed a tactic for locking in more annual subscribers before raising the price. Not cheeky ask at all, your roadmap did not say anything about this price change, but got people signed up at $19 per month with the understanding this was going to be an added edition. Shocking way to treat loyal customers. #moneyhungry — TVBanterUK (@TVBanterUK) November 15, 2017 Why hold monthly subscribers ransom by only allowing annual subscribers access? Feels somewhat unfair to long term subs! — Paul Charlton (@ipixel_design) November 16, 2017 Yes we were on the understanding us early day loyal subscribers signed up would get what the roadmap said, it’s such a sneaky way to get people locked in to the annual plan which you will then increase in year 2, seen it all before. — TVBanterUK (@TVBanterUK) November 16, 2017 An Envato support representative offered some background on the decision in response to monthly subscribers who do not appreciate being excluded from additions to the service. “We chose this pricing model because we think it creates the fairest platform for both our subscribers and our authors,” the representative said. “A huge amount of time and dedication goes into creating and maintaining WordPress themes and plugin so this allows us to help protect the earnings of the authors who provide our community with premium assets.”[...]

Matt: Tribe of Mentors

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:55:28 +0000

Tim Ferriss’s new book Tribe of Mentors is out. I have finished it already, and can say it’s really excellent and I even liked it more than Tools of Titans even though I’m not in this one. (image) As I said in a message to Tim:

I learned a lot from it, took a ton of notes to follow up on, and wrote down about twenty more books I have to read.

WPTavern: Tailor Page Builder Plugin Discontinued, Owners Cite Funding, Gutenberg, and Competition

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:15:40 +0000

Enclavely, Inc., the owners of the Tailor Page Builder plugin, have announced that they will be discontinuing its development effective immediately. Andrew Worsfold, the original developer, launched Tailor in April 2016 and the plugin received an enthusiastic reception from the WordPress community. After performing a critical review of the major page builders available to users in September 2016, Pippin Williamson found only three that he could happily recommend to his customers: Tailor, Pootle Page Builder, and Beaver Builder. This recommendation was based primarily on code quality, usability, and compatibility with other plugins. The plugin came under new management in July 2017 after the original developer no longer had enough time to dedicate to the project. Worsfold sold it to Enclavely, whose owners were early and enthusiastic users of the plugin, for what he said was “a nominal amount.” Three months later, the new owners cite the cost of keeping up with Gutenberg and other competitors as the primary reason for discontinuing its development: Gutenberg is going to be bundled with WordPress itself. That’s definitely going to give a tough time to all 3rd party page builders and even that is not the case there are some really big players around like Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder, and others which are going to be hard for us to compete with, being a completely free project and providing almost all the great features in free version… So the main reason for us to discontinue Tailor is due to finances, which Tailor needs to keep on its development and marketing to compete with all the big players and especially Gutenberg. This instance seems to be more of a case of the new management running out of funds, rather than Gutenberg preemptively killing off a page builder. Enclavely was no longer willing to invest in developing a product that could compete against some of the more widely used page builders. “Tailor needs a lot of effort and money, which was much more than we estimated,” an Enclavely representative said when I contacted the company. “And even if we continue to put effort and money in this project, we all know that Gutenberg is going to smash this space soon and we won’t be able to survive, and so will be the case with some other page builders. This is why we decided to end this now.” Tailor currently has more than 3,000 active installations, according to Fans of the plugin commented on the announcement, asking if the original developer might be able to pick the project back up again. When I contacted the company, they said the original developer was no longer involved with the project. “The original developer has parted ways since the acquisition,” an Enclavely representative said. “He was involved with some stuff in the start but not that much, thus the decision is mainly taken by us based on the issues we were facing in maintaining this project.” However, Worsfold’s account of his involvement with Tailor following the acquisition differs greatly from Enclavely’s report. “I handed over control of the project in July, although all releases since then were also written by me and deployed on their behalf,” Worsfold said. “Given that I haven’t been asked to help with anything recently, and there have been no further rele[...]

WPTavern: GitHub Launches Security Alerts for JavaScript and Ruby Projects, Python Support Coming in 2018

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 00:25:19 +0000


Last month GitHub launched its Dependency Graph feature that tracks a repository’s dependencies and sub-dependencies under the Insights tab. This week the company rolled out an expansion of the feature and will now identify known vulnerabilities and send notifications with suggested fixes from the GitHub community.

Dependency graphs and security alerts are automatically enabled for public repositories, provided the repository owner has defined the dependencies in one of the supported manifest file types, such as package.json or Gemfile. (Private repo owners have to opt in.) The vulnerability alerts are not public – they will only be shown to those who have been granted access to the vulnerability alerts.


GitHub uses data from the National Vulnerability Database to alert repository owners about publicly disclosed vulnerabilities that have CVE IDs. Vulnerability detection is currently limited to JavaScript and Ruby projects but Python support is next on the roadmap for 2018. PHP, which is a bet less widely used in projects on GitHub, is likely further down the list.

WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2018 Speaker Applications Now Open

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:19:30 +0000

WordCamp Europe 2018 has opened the call for speakers and will be accepting applications through January 15. The organizing team recommends that speakers already have some experience ahead of applying to speak at the largest WordPress event in Europe, but a dedicated Content Team will also be available with resources for helping speakers create a successful presentation.

The 2017 event received a total of 235 speaker applications and 43 were selected for the main event. Organizers plan to stick to the same format and are calling for 40-minute talks (30 min + 10 min Q&A) as well as 10-minute lightning talks. This year the event will experiment with hosting community workshops and organizers plan to open a separate call for workshop leaders next week.

The Content Team put out a specific call for more technical talks at the 2018 event after a community survey showed that more developer-oriented talks are what the audience is looking for. More than half of those surveyed identified themselves as developers (54%), with business owners (12%) the next largest demographic.


The survey also showed that 37% of respondents have been working with WordPress for more than 9 years and roughly 90% of attendees have been using WordPress for 4-9+ years. Advanced development was the most highly requested topic for presentations, selected by 53% of respondents, followed by design (45%).


The survey results offer some insight about which topics might fare well at WCEU in 2018. Organizers have also compiled an extensive list of ideas and topics to inspire speaker applicants.

A batch of 1,000 Early Bird tickets recently went on sale and there are still 680 available. Attendees who purchase a ticket before December 31, 2017, will receive a limited-edition swag item. The organizing team plans to release tickets in batches, as in previous years, but will not be setting specific expectations on sales this year, according to PR representative Letizia Barbi. The Sava Center venue, an international congress and cultural center, is the largest audience hall in Serbia and will accommodate all who want to attend WCEU 2018. Barbi said it should also scale down nicely in case of a smaller turn out.

WPTavern: WooCommerce Explores the Possibilities and Challenges for E-Commerce in the Gutenberg Era

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 04:30:43 +0000

The next release of WordPress (5.0) will introduce the new Gutenberg editor and contributors plan to keep it rolling towards the eventual goal of providing a full site building experience. Nearly every WordPress theme and plugin developer will be impacted by the change and many are starting to look ahead to how their products may interact with Gutenberg in the future. What will e-commerce look like in the Gutenberg era? The WooCommerce design team has published a preview of some of their “Wootenberg” experiments, along with a gif demonstrating what a block-based editing experience may look like in the context of working with products. The team sees a lot of potential for putting the power of visual product editing into the hands of users. The example shows a quick exploration of page layout with product blocks and the team also posted an idea of what basic product authoring may look like with a predefined product template that includes the featured image, product title, description, and price as new Gutenberg blocks. But will it be possible to have complex product creation fit into a block-based editor? The WooCommerce team admits in the post that they don’t yet know how this will work. “One thing that isn’t yet 100% clear is how complex plugins like WooCommerce will work with Gutenberg,” Automattic designer/developer James Koster said. “A simple product with a description, a price, and a category is one thing. But a product with variations, for each of which you want to upload a different image, and need to manage/track stock is quite another. Imagining a WYSIWYG editing experience for that kind of data is a little fuzzier.” Koster referenced Gutenberg’s newly merged support for meta boxes, the first step in making product authoring possible. However, the Gutenberg team is still experimenting and isn’t yet set on a solution for implementing meta boxes. “How this works with WooCommerce in the long term is unclear,” Koster said. “But you can rest assured it’s something we’ll be dedicating more time to investigating as WordPress approaches the 5.0 release.” Koster concludes the post by asking readers if visual product editing, with the flexibility to rearrange product/shop layouts, is something that interests them. “If there’s one thing that WooCommerce should perhaps learn from Shopify’s rapid growth, it’s that many ‘would-be’ shop owners don’t care to spend hours upon hours tweaking the layout of their shop, and that pre-built easy-to-use software that looks good and feels good, but can still be extended in complex ways, is what attracts many users,” Jesse Nickles commented on the post. “While this may be the underlying goal of Gutenberg, it perhaps doesn’t crossover clearly to the e-commerce world.” Koster said he agrees that users don’t always need visual editing experiences and that simple things like price changes should be quick and painless. “How we present data-driven editing alongside the Gutenberg experience will ultimately determine the success of the project from a WooCommerce perspective,” Koster said. Support for meta boxes is one the most challenging aspects of the Gutenberg project that the team has yet to sol[...]

WPTavern: GDPR for WordPress Project Gains Momentum, Proposal Receives Positive Response from Developer Community

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:58:22 +0000

Community feedback on the new GDPR for WordPress project, created by WordCamp Denmark organizer Kåre Mulvad Steffensen and WP Pusher creator Peter Suhm, has started rolling in after the two launched a survey for developers. The project aims to provide an industry standard for getting plugins compliant with EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation ahead of the May 2018 deadline. Steffensen published some initial results of the survey after having it open for two weeks. So far, 90% of respondents have answered that they would consider implementing a GDPR “file” types solution for their plugins if a standard was available. Only 4.9% of the 40 developers who responded said they have a plan for making their plugins GDPR compliant and 43.9% said they do not currently have a plan. The remaining 24.4% were developers of plugins that do not handle personal data. “Our talks with Paul Sieminski from Automattic and Dovy Paukstys from the Redux options framework have reassured us that we still do have a need for a GDPR structure which can help the community establish a basis for handling GDPR compliance,” Steffensen said. Steffensen and Suhm created a GitHub repository where they have outlined their proposal for a PHP object interface that plugin developers could add to their codebases as a standard way of indicating how their plugins work with personal data. “The nature of such an interface puts some responsibility in the hands of the developer to identify any place personal data is stored,” Steffensen said. “What kind of data it is, and for what purpose as well as how it should be handled upon deletion. The Interface approach will allow a community-wide adoption, without setting limitations on how plugin developers choose to work with their data – something we obviously can’t control.” The idea is that plugin developers could then build other tools on top of this framework using specific functions that correspond to GDPR requirements, such as functions that allow users to access their data, implement the right to be forgotten, report data breaches, and delete and anonymize data. Developers could also build plugins that offer a plain language description of what personal data a plugin collects and how it is handled. In speaking with Dovy Paukstys on how this could work with Redux, Steffensen said the options framework may be able to facilitate compliance for the 500,000+ sites where it is active and the developers who use it to build plugins. “Dovy from Redux has a coder’s view on this,” Steffensen said. “Our object interface (PHP) would be something his framework could provide an easy way to utilize for the many developers using Redux. The redux users (developers) could essentially do this themselves also, but since Redux is a framework it makes sense to see if they can build something that will make it near instant for developers to provide compliance for the GDPR.” Steffensen said the team is aware that the first version of the interface will not render plugins, and by extension their sites, instantly compliant. The interface they are proposing is not one that could be held legally accountable, but the goal is to make it possible for developers to build [...]

WPTavern: Consultants Are WordPress’ Boots on the Ground

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:07:32 +0000

A business can’t survive without strong sales & customer service, two competencies that are arguably the lifeblood of a company.

Many of you reading this fill that exact gap for the open source WordPress project. I don’t mean this as a slight to the thousands of wonderful people who build the software, document it, and support it in the forums, but that consultants (doing it right or wrong) are also fueling this locomotive too.

There are no official sales or customer service channels at and us consultants bear the brunt of it — for better or worse — and that’s where our job comes in. Just as you trust a core contributor to spot-check her code and ensure that we’ve sanitized all the things!

Consultants are the boots on the ground, and as you’ll see below in my feedback section, represent a disproportionate ratio of launching many more websites than an individual website owner. – Matt Medeiros

From The blue-collar WordPress worker and the 2,500+ websites built to grow the CMS.

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 294 – HeroPress, Community, and WinningWP With Topher DeRosia

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 03:13:49 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Topher DeRosia, founder of HeroPress. DeRosia provides an update on HeroPress and explains his new role creating WordPress training videos for WinningWP. Jacoby and I discussed the news of the week including, Press This removed in WordPress 4.9, Meta box support in Gutenberg, and WP-SpamShield removed from the directory.

Near the end of the show, we discuss whether or not consultants, agencies, and site builders have been left out of the discussion and not factored into WordPress’ growth over the years.

Stories Discussed:

Press This Removed from WordPress 4.9 in Favor of a Plugin
Bianca Welds Awarded Kim Parsell Travel Scholarship
WordCamp Europe 2018 Early Bird Tickets Now on Sale
Gutenberg Contributors Explore Alternative to Using iframes for Meta Boxes
WP-SpamShield Plugin Removed from, Author Plans to Pull All Plugins from the Directory
The blue-collar WordPress worker and the 2,500+ websites built to grow the CMS

Picks of the Week:

How to Whitelist Comments in WordPress

Dark Mode is an experimental feature plugin that darkens the colors of the WordPress backend.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, November 22nd 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #294:

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9 Released with Major Improvements to Customizer Workflow, Updated Code Editors, and New Core Gallery Widget

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 01:24:33 +0000

WordPress 4.9 “Tipton” was released today, named for Oklahoma-born jazz musician William Lee Tipton, a gifted pianist and saxophonist. This update introduces major improvements to the design and collaboration workflow in the Customizer, improves WordPress’ built-in code editor, and enhances core text and media widgets. Draft, Schedule, and Preview Changes in the Customizer Prior to 4.9, users could get a live preview of their sites in the Customizer but any changes they made would need to be saved immediately or discarded. This update makes it possible to draft and schedule changes in the Customizer, and even share a preview link to collaborate on changes before making them live. Users can now stage content, such as new pages, a new set of widgets, a different combination of menu items, and schedule it all to publish at a future date. This release also brings the ability to search, browse, and preview themes directly in the Customizer. The search interface includes filters for subject, features, and layout, just like the ones on the “Add Themes” screen in wp-admin. It does not yet include the featured, popular, latest, or favorites tabs, so users will need to navigate back to the admin if they want to browse those categories. The menu creation process has also been updated in the Customizer to be less confusing with a rethink of the UI and revised copy. Syntax Highlighting and Error Checking Added to the Code Editors WordPress 4.9 brings syntax highlighting, linting, and auto-completion to the built-in code editors by incorporating the CodeMirror library. These long-awaited improvements are now available in the theme and plugin editors as well as the custom HTML widget and additional CSS box in the Customizer. The feature comes with prominent warnings about directly editing themes and plugins and protection against saving code that would cause a fatal error. New Core Gallery Widget and Support for Shortcodes and Embedded Media in the Text Widget WordPress 4.9 adds a new gallery widget to the collection of core media widgets (audio, image, and video) that were introduced in 4.8. It brings the same gallery-creation features to widgets that have long been available in the post and page editors. These incremental changes will help users get ready for Gutenberg’s block-based interface. The plan is to eventually transition widgets over to blocks after Gutenberg is in core and the plugin already has support for a gallery block, as well as a Custom HTML block. As of 4.9, users can now embed media in the Text widget, including images, video, and audio by clicking the “Add Media” button. In order to make this possible, WordPress contributors also needed to add shortcode support to widgets, a feature that users have requested for nearly a decade. With this now built into core, hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites will no longer need additional code from plugins and themes to use shortcodes in widgets. Widgets have also been improved to offer a better migration experience with updated logic for mapping widgets between two themes’ widget areas. On Towards Gutenberg WordPress 4.9 also includes a notice in the about.php pa[...]

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.9 “Tipton”

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 01:16:37 +0000

Major Customizer Improvements, Code Error Checking, and More! 🎉 Version 4.9 of WordPress, named “Tipton” in honor of jazz musician and band leader Billy Tipton, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in 4.9 will smooth your design workflow and keep you safe from coding errors. Featuring design drafts, scheduling, and locking, along with preview links, the Customizer workflow improves collaboration for content creators. What’s more, code syntax highlighting and error checking will make for a clean and smooth site building experience. Finally, if all that wasn’t pretty great, we’ve got an awesome new Gallery widget and improvements to theme browsing and switching. Customizer Workflow Improved  Draft and Schedule Site Design Customizations Yes, you read that right. Just like you can draft and revise posts and schedule them to go live on the date and time you choose, you can now tinker with your site’s design and schedule those design changes to go live as you please. Collaborate with Design Preview Links Need to get some feedback on proposed site design changes? WordPress 4.9 gives you a preview link you can send to colleagues and customers so that you can collect and integrate feedback before you schedule the changes to go live. Can we say collaboration++? Design Locking Guards Your Changes Ever encounter a scenario where two designers walk into a project and designer A overrides designer B’s beautiful changes? WordPress 4.9’s design lock feature (similar to post locking) secures your draft design so that no one can make changes to it or erase all your hard work. A Prompt to Protect Your Work Were you lured away from your desk before you saved your new draft design? Fear not, when you return, WordPress 4.9 will politely ask whether or not you’d like to save your unsaved changes. Coding Enhancements Syntax Highlighting and Error Checking? Yes, Please! You’ve got a display problem but can’t quite figure out exactly what went wrong in the CSS you lovingly wrote. With syntax highlighting and error checking for CSS editing and the Custom HTML widget introduced in WordPress 4.8.1, you’ll pinpoint coding errors quickly. Practically guaranteed to help you scan code more easily, and suss out & fix code errors quickly. Sandbox for Safety The dreaded white screen. You’ll avoid it when working on themes and plugin code because WordPress 4.9 will warn you about saving an error. You’ll sleep better at night. Warning: Potential Danger Ahead! When you edit themes and plugins directly, WordPress 4.9 will politely warn you that this is a dangerous practice and will recommend that you draft and test changes before updating your file. Take the safe route: You’ll thank you. Your team and customers will thank you. Even More Widget Updates  The New Gallery Widget An incremental improvement to the media changes hatched in WordPress 4.8, you can now add a gallery via this new widget. Yes! Press a Button, Add Media Want to add media to your text widget? Embed images, video, and audio directly into the widget along with your text, with our simple but useful Add Media button. W[...]

WPTavern: Gutenberg 1.7 Adds Multi-Block Transform Functionality, Drops iframes Implementation of Meta Boxes

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:57:52 +0000

Gutenberg 1.7 was released today, two weeks after version 1.6, with a fresh round of new features, design updates, and the groundwork for nested blocks and block extensibility. Last week contributors began exploring an alternative to using iframes for meta boxes. This experiment has landed in 1.7 so that the plugin now renders meta boxes inline. Gutenberg engineer Riad Benguella, who wrote and merged the code, said that it doesn’t fix all the meta box issues and might create some new ones, but it “gets us closer to where we want to go.” Pre-rendering meta boxes and creating a migration path for existing ones is next on the agenda. One of the most exciting new features in 1.7 is the multi-block transform functionality that allows users to select multiple blocks and instantly transform them into other block types. It works like a little bit of Gutenberg magic. By default, users can select multiple paragraphs and transform them into a list or select multiple images and transform them into a gallery. After selecting two or more blocks, the user can click on the block’s settings in the toolbar to transform them. They can also be easily changed back to single blocks. The multi-block transform functionality has been added to the Blocks API so that developers can set isMultiBlock to true to specify blocks that can be transformed. Version 1.7 introduces a new toggle that the team is testing for switching between the top fixed toolbar and the contextual toolbars attached to each block. It provides an easy way for users to test both types of toolbar styles, but may be temporary as the pull request was submitted as a suggestion for an A/B test. Gutenberg 1.7 paves the way for nested blocks in the data structure. It also adds hooks for block extensibility and contributors are currently testing how these work internally. A few other notable features in this release include the following: Added @-mention autocomplete for users in a site Allow pasting standalone images and uploading them (also supports pasting base64 encoded images) Full design update to focus styles around the UI Placed “table of contents” button in the header area, disabled when there are no blocks in the content, added paragraph count Gutenberg’s documentation has also been moved to, signaling the project is getting closer to becoming part of WordPress. The new editor will be included in WordPress 5.0, which will ship when Gutenberg is ready. A notice in the 4.9 about.php page invites users to start testing the feature plugin ahead of its inclusion in core.[...]

Matt: Post Status Interview

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:06:57 +0000

In the lead-up to WordCamp US we're in right now I chatted with Brian Krogsgard at Post Status in an hour podcast and we spoke about the core releases this year, Gutenberg, React, WooCommerce, and On the 29th I'll be talking to WP Tavern, so tune in then as well. For something completely different, I was on the new OFF RCRD podcast with Cory Levy about the earliest days at Automattic and entrepreneurship.

HeroPress: My journey to WordPress taught me that my talents are best used elsewhere.

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 12:10:41 +0000

My first website was built using Frontpage. Then I discovered Geocities, which at the time made it easy to break and fix code and have it instantly live for others to find on the world wide web. It was an optimal learning environment for me. I learned HTML and CSS by copying, pasting, and then tweaking every which way until it was doing something absurd like flashing hot pink text. It was the Wild West and there were no real rules yet except for those in this new language. Like any language, I was learning little by little in search of ways to bend the rules and “speak” like a native. I only coded for fun, but many years later, I made a website for a job. I used Dreamweaver because I was told all professionals used Dreamweaver. I found it easy to use, much easier than Frontpage, especially for building a larger more complex website. I started learning how to read PHP and doing a lot of what was needed in the metadata and the code for basic SEO. Finding WordPress Fast forward another few years. I set up several free sites for nonprofits using Webs, Weebly, other page builders whose names I can’t recall, Joomla, and then, one day I stumbled upon WordPress. I wasn’t sure if I liked it at first because the out of the box theme was ugly and I couldn’t figure out how to manipulate it. Then, I found a theme on Themeforest that installed the styles and the demo content. This was worth the $30. This gave me the ability to tweak the theme because I knew enough HTML and CSS to change things in the file editor. I was still coding like I did in my Geocities days, only my aesthetics had improved. I cringe relaying that experience now. I knew enough to be really dangerous. I didn’t do any form of version control, I didn’t do any backups, I didn’t vet my plugins, or even know how to properly vet my plugins. I am so lucky nothing went terribly wrong. On one hand, WordPress gave me an easy way to dive right in and do everything on my own. On the other hand, it made it too easy for me to download bad plugins, edit things I probably should not have been touching, and in the end, I guess that’s okay because when I was serious about maintaining a website, I did take the time to learn more about what I needed to know. Finding What I Needed What I know today is that I am not a developer. I’m not even a designer. I have fun with the creation process, but there are other people who are much more talented and efficient in those processes and I’m happy to pay them for their expertise. I have learned what I need to know about the framework and can talk to designers and developers about what I’m looking for and ensure they know what they’re doing. I can pick out reliable themes and plugins. I can advise our clients, who are mostly nonprofits and social enterprises, on the best path for a sustainable website. I understand the need for disaster recovery, backups, and security. I understand the value of paid premium licenses and ongoing support. These are all things that in my days of starting out I didn’t know I needed. Even if someone tried to explain it to m[...]

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.9 Release Candidate 3

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 06:53:48 +0000

The third release candidate for WordPress 4.9 is now available. A release candidate (RC) means we think we’re done, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible we’ve missed something. In fact, we did miss some things in RC1 and RC2. This third release candidate was not originally scheduled, but due a number of defects uncovered through your testing of RC2 (thank you!), we are putting out another 4.9 release candidate. We hope to ship WordPress 4.9 on Tuesday, November 14 (that’s tomorrow) at 23:00 UTC, but we still need your help to get there. If you haven’t tested 4.9 yet, now is the time! If there are additional defects uncovered through testing between now and the release time, we may delay the 4.9 release to the following day. To test WordPress 4.9, you can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or you can download the release candidate here (zip). We’ve made just over 20 changes since releasing RC2 last week (as we did between RC1 and RC2). For more details about what’s new in version 4.9, check out the Beta 1, Beta 2, Beta 3, Beta 4, RC1, and RC2 blog posts. A few specific areas to test in RC3: Switching between the Visual and Text tabs of the editor, and the syncing of the cursor between those two tabs. Overriding linting errors in the Customizer’s Additional CSS editor. Adding nav menu items for Custom Links in the Customizer. Scheduling customization drafts (stubbed posts/pages) for publishing in the Customizer. Autosave revisions for changes in the Customizer. About page styling. Developers, please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 4.9 and update your plugin’s Tested up to version in the readme to 4.9. If you find compatibility problems please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release — we work hard to avoid breaking things. Please see the summative field guide to the 4.9 developer notes on the core development blog. Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs. Didn’t squash them all  We want to release Tuesday New features not bugs Thanks for your continued help testing out the latest versions of WordPress.[...]

WPTavern: iA Writer 5 for iOS Released, Web Collaboration Version Coming Soon

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 22:00:30 +0000

iA Writer 5 for iOS was released last week, nearly a year after version 4. This update is free for those who purchased version 4 from the iOS App Store. iA Writer 5 for Mac is still in the works. The free Android version of the app is receiving incremental improvements that will bring it to parity with version 5 in the near future. iA Writer is a plain text writing and editing app that is popular with authors, academics, and long-form writers. It’s also a favorite among WordPress users who look to third-party apps for to provide a more focused, distraction-free writing environment. In April 2016, version 3.1.4 for Mac and iOS introduced publishing drafts to and Jetpack-powered sites. Version 5 focuses on making everything accessible through the keyboard by bringing the Open Quickly feature in iA Writer for Mac to iOS. The app’s creators said the goal of the design process was to “allow the writer to do everything without leaving the keyboard, including file handling, export, and all commands.” The new Quick Search feature is now built into the keyboard bar along with with a fully configurable keyboard. This allows users to quickly do things like create new files, switch to night mode, and export to PDF without leaving the keyboard. This release adds new organization features that allow users to select multiple files and folders and move, rename, or delete them from the Library. It also introduces Smart Folders which can be created based on a set of rules. Version 5 adds support for iOS11’s Files system, allowing users to open and edit text files from any storage provider that works with Files. Support for Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box is already available with more providers coming soon. The makers of iA Writer are interested in exploring other platforms if there is sufficient interest, including the possibility of creating a Windows version. Demand doesn’t seem to be very high, as the writing app’s fans are primarily Apple-only users. How badly do you want a Windows version of iA Writer? — iA Writer (@iAWriter) October 17, 2017 However, users across multiple platforms have requested a web version of iA Writer, and the company confirmed in September that they are already working on it. After releasing a big Material Design update to the iA for Android app in October, the creators said Android users will be the first to have access to the web version: The biggest request from you was collaboration, in other words, iA Writer for Web. iA Writer for Android will stay free and you will be able to connect and subscribe to the Web version via the app, if you wish to. If you could tell us what you’d expect to pay for it, that would be very helpful…As part of our commitment to continually improve iA Writer on all platforms, Android will likely be the first to gain access to the upcoming Web collaboration. The upcoming web version should provide a sort of bridge for users on other desktop platforms without an iA Writer app. There’s no t[...]

WPTavern: Watch the State of the Woo! After You Give WooCommerce Your Name and Email Address

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 21:25:29 +0000

If you didn’t watch the live stream or attend WooConf in-person, you’re in luck as videos from the event are starting to come online. The first talk highlights is the State of the Woo by Todd Wilkens, Head of WooCommerce. Wilkens shares stats, provides an overview of projects the team is working on, what to expect in new versions, and explains the relationship between WooCommerce and Jetpack.

The video is available to watch for free, but viewers must provide their first and last name as well as an email address. Clicking the play button without entering this information displays a message that says Please enter your full name. This is a classic technique used by many internet marketers.

Although you can provide fake information in order to watch the video for free, I feel it’s an unnecessary burden. The WooCommerce team could obtain the same information with a form in the post. An alternative to watching the video is reading the company’s great overview of Wilkens’ session. The team plans to publish other talks from WooConf in the coming weeks.

Updated November 14th: An Automattic employee has removed the email form and made it skippable.

Matt: Product and Process

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 05:01:05 +0000

When I look back over the last 25 years, in some ways what seems most precious is not what we have made but how we have made it and what we have learned as a consequence of that. I always think that there are two products at the end of a programme; there is the physical product or the service, the thing that you have managed to make, and then there is all that you have learned. The power of what you have learned enables you to do the next thing and it enables you to do the next thing better. — Jony Ive

From the Wallpaper article on the new Apple campus.

WPTavern: WP-SpamShield Plugin Removed from, Author Plans to Pull All Plugins from the Directory

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 04:19:08 +0000

The WP-SpamShield plugin was removed from the directory this week due to what the Plugin Review Team has deemed a violation of the guidelines and a possible miscommunication. Two weeks ago, the author of WP-SPamShield and the author of the Plugin Organizer plugin exchanged contentious remarks in a support forum thread where each accused the other of targeting each others’ plugins. This resulted in both parties adding code that disabled the others’ plugins, and both were asked by the Plugin Team to remove the code. WP-SpamShield’s author, Scott Allen, has published an account of his interactions with the Plugin Team with updates for users who are monitoring the status of the plugin. Although the team rarely discloses why a plugin was removed, representative Mika Epstein responded to Allen when he said he had not received an answer about what guideline the plugin had violated: Sorry, I thought it was clear that it’s issues regarding the forum guidelines and rule #9: Intentionally attempting to exploit loopholes in the guidelines. To whit, you were asked to make a change and did so incompletely. If this was not intentional, then I apologize. I’ve sent you a followup email, trying to clarify what we would accept as solutions to the issue (I came up with 3 options, but I’m open to hearing more). I understand why you’re angry and we will respect any decision you make regarding this. Nothing that has happened thus far is insurmountable or permanent. In the post Allen published, he said his experiences with the Plugin Team over the past 10 years have caused him to decide to move his plugins off of When I contacted him to see if he plans to update his code according to the Plugin Team’s suggestions, he said he doesn’t agree with the solutions the team is offering, nor their assessment of the situation. “They really were not solutions,” Allen said. “It was just rehashing the same issues we’d already discussed. Unfortunately, neither Otto nor Mika have the security expertise to be making the dictates they were making, so there were no realistic solutions.” Allen also claimed that Epstein’s report about him making a change and it being incomplete was not accurate and that the Plugin Team did not seem to be on the same page: We literally did exactly what they asked and made the changes. Two weeks ago Mika had emailed me and indicated things were good. (No code updates since then.) Then two weeks of silence, and then angry email from Otto out of the blue yesterday telling us it was booted. The issue he brought up was different code. The two of them cannot make up their minds on what is acceptable, and what is not. The arbitrary removal was the last straw though. is the only venue that would do that. We repeatedly asked them what rule we broke, to no answer. Only after I called Mika out on the forum did she come up with s[...]

WPTavern: Weglot Passes €44K in Monthly Revenue, Plans to Expand into More CMS and E-commerce Markets

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:04:34 +0000

Weglot, a SaaS-based multilingual plugin that entered the WordPress market last year, has passed €44,000 in monthly revenue. The company received €450K in seed funding in May 2017 and has nearly doubled its user base in the past six months. Co-founder Rémy Berda reports that the plugin is approaching 20,000 users and that more than 20,000 websites are connected to the Weglot API, if you include the company’s Shopify product and those using the JS script directly. WordPress customers currently represent 75% of Weglot’s revenue with Shopify at 25%, but Berda says the two markets are growing at the same rate. In May, the company’s customer distribution was primarily in the US and France, which made sense as the product’s founders are French and Weglot was first marketed to the French WordPress community. Weglot’s customer distribution has become more global over the past six months and the US has now overtaken France as the strongest market for the multilingual plugin. Canada has also passed Germany, and Berda said he thinks the distribution will eventually align progressively with global WordPress usage. Weglot customer distribution as of November 2017 Despite having only recently entered the WordPress community in a niche with well-established competitors, Weglot’s cofounders are confident their SaaS approach is the road to success for becoming the best multilingual solution for WordPress. The team is aiming for its product to become the highest rated multilingual plugin in the WordPress directory within the next six months. WPML, a purely commercial product and the most widely used, has been in business since 2009 and is active on more than 500K sites. Polylang, a popular free plugin with a commercial option, is installed on more than 300,000 sites and has a 4.7-star rating on qTranslate X is also a formidable competitor with more than 100,000 active installs and a 4.7-star rating. “For now the two biggest plugins in terms of active installs are WPML and Polylang,” Berda said. “Both don’t have a SaaS approach. Polylang recently released the PRO version (it was only free previously) but it is still sold as a piece of software, not a SaaS. We are convinced that SaaS is the right approach as it allows us to be in constant relation with users and make the product evolve faster. It’s also healthier in terms of business.” Although he has no precise statistics on how many, Berda said he sees a lot of former WPML and Polylang users (freelancers and agencies) in their support center who have opted to use Weglot on their new projects. This indicates that Weglot may not so much be whittling away at the existing customer base of other plugins but is finding success at attracting customers who are starting new projects. In their efforts to stake a claim in the WordPress ecosystem, the Weglot team has found that being a[...]

WPTavern: Jetpack 5.5 Removes Syntax Highlighting and Gallery Widget for Compatibility with Upcoming WordPress 4.9 Release

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 20:13:37 +0000

Jetpack 5.5 was released yesterday with several important changes that ensure the plugin is compatible with the upcoming WordPress 4.9 release scheduled for November 14. The plugin will be able to shed some weight, as core improvements will make Jetpack’s syntax highlighting and gallery widget obsolete.

WordPress 4.9 incorporates CodeMirror, which brings syntax highlighting, linting, and auto-completion to the built-in code editors. Jetpack 5.5+ will rely on WordPress to handle syntax highlighting and the Custom CSS module has been updated to be fully compatible with core’s new code editing improvements.

(image) image credit:

Jetpack 5.5 also adds compatibility for WordPress 4.9’s new core gallery widget. When users update to 4.9, Jetpack will automatically migrate its own gallery widgets to use the widget included in core.

The release also includes several other changes for compatibility with WordPress 4.9:

Jetpack 5.5 also improves the connection process between the plugin and, which should reduce recent issue users have experienced when migrating their sites from HTTP to HTTPS. A full list of the changes in this release is available in the plugin’s changelog.

HeroPress: From the Outskirts to an Insider

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 12:00:01 +0000

WordPress wasn’t the first blogging platform I tried. My very first blog was set up using Blogspot (now Blogger). I didn’t even know I wanted a blog to tell you the truth. But let me take a step back. I am a techie. A very “untechie” techie, but a techie nonetheless. I actually went to university with a plan to study mathematics and become an actuarial scientist (math and money made for a perfect career, I thought). After one year of university-level mathematics, I decided that I was done with the subject and I stuck with the computer science courses I had also taken. It turned out I had a knack for programming and was often found in the computer lab, debugging my friends’ assignments. Following my graduation, I worked for several years as a programmer before deciding that I had no interest in coding for the rest of my life. I moved on and up, studying management and information systems, which led me into more managerial positions. On my way there, I decided that I needed to have a personal website. I bought a domain (not my real name though) and starting looking into building my website. My very first job out of university had been with a web development company as web administrator, where I had picked up quite a bit of HTML, so I figured it would be easy to just build my own website. While researching the latest and best, it struck me that being able to easily add content would be cool, as I had seen early content management systems used back in that job (Tango, anyone?). Blogging Begins Suddenly my search results were showing me something called blogging. This was 2005, and blogs were still pretty new. I was excited by the concept, that I could have an easy way to put my thoughts out into cyberspace. I signed up for Blogspot and dove in. For all of 2 days. I wanted to change the design and the layout of my new blog, but I couldn’t. I was stuck in the box that Blogspot provided. A little more searching and I found WordPress. WordPress meant I could install it myself on my own hosting and play around to my heart’s content. It was a techie’s dream. In April 2005, WordPress was at version 1.5 and I was in heaven. I spent days and nights tweaking and customizing my brand new website and blog. I was a WordPresser. I was an avid blogger, sharing posts everyday — longer thought-pieces and short asides (who remembers that concept?). The blogging community in Jamaica was small but we were an enthusiastic bunch. Many of my friends were still using other platforms, but I was a diehard WordPress lover. They took comfort in the ease of use of their hosted platforms, while I reveled in being able to completely mess my site up myself (and fix it!). I played with themes, and experimented with plugins. Two years later, I was helping other people set up and customize their WordPress blogs, and doing migrations from Blogspot. I was a WordPre[...]

WPTavern: How to Whitelist Comments in WordPress

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 02:50:31 +0000

Out-of-the-box, WordPress provides the ability to blacklist comments or configure a set of options to send comments to moderation. If all comments are moderated, there are no options to whitelist comments.

Searching the plugin directory for comment whitelisting provides few, if any, solutions. However, a cursory search of Google led me to the Comment Whitelist plugin by Alejandro Carravedo.

(image) Comment Whitelist Box

Comment Whitelist adds a ‘Put in Whitelist’ quick moderation link to comments that makes adding email addresses to the list an easy task. One thing to keep in mind is that the whitelist uses email addresses and it’s possible comments from people impersonating whitelisted users may get published.

Despite not being updated in more than nine years, the plugin works as advertised. You’ll need to download the zip file and manually install it as you won’t be able to find it by searching the plugin directory from the WordPress backend.

WPTavern: Gutenberg Contributors Explore Alternative to Using iframes for Meta Boxes

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 22:58:16 +0000

The discussion surrounding the use of iframes for meta boxes in Gutenberg became more heated over the weekend, as concerned developers implored the team to consider the detriments of the current approach. Responses from Gutenberg’s leadership initially deflected concerns, presenting the iframe implementation as an experiment that “works ‘for now'” but isn’t what the team would ship. Instead of getting a response to the specific concerns about performance and accessibility of the iframes approach, Kevin Hoffman was urged to think about the future of meta boxes and “the cases (if any) that would not be converted to blocks.” When the developer community is repeatedly asked to test and offer feedback but is met with deflection on issues that are critical to sites using WordPress as a CMS, the GitHub discussions begin to get more heated. “People are worried, and getting frustrated and it seems to me that they have every right to do so because the perception is that the team working on Gutenberg has little understanding of how meta boxes are being used, little concern for what the impact will be, and is going to move forward with their vision no matter what,” Jimmy Smutek, lead developer at the office of external affairs at Johns Hopkins, said in response to a Gutenberg collaborators’ admission to having been dismissive of feedback. After several rounds of developers joining the thread to debunk the notion that iframes for meta boxes “work for now,” Gutenberg lead developer Matias Ventura joined the discussion yesterday and confirmed that the experiment is likely to be dropped fairly soon. “I’m glad the conversation refocused in the end to the topic’s issue: is the current approach to meta-boxes in an iframe viable? With the answer being no,” Ventura said. “The iframes are an implementation detail I think we can drop relatively easy. So let’s focus on that.” He also addressed the popular opinion that WordPress should make iterative enhancements to the editor itself (and not the full page) before proceeding with overhauling meta boxes. “What some people have called as the pragmatic approach is not concomitant with the design direction this project has had from the start — heading towards full site customization — and what has dictated our decisions so far,” Ventura said. “Nothing here has to be a final solution, we are exploring what is possible within the design premises and putting it out there for testing.” Ventura said that not making changes to the other aspects of the edit screen would certainly be the simplest path for Gutenberg to take but that it “would not be fair to the goals of the project and the long term users of WordPress.” Word[...]

WPTavern: Harare and Nairobi Host 2nd Round of Successful WordCamps

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 06:09:44 +0000

photo credit: WordCamp Nairobi Six WordCamps were held over the weekend in cities across the globe, including two in Africa where WordPress events are just starting to take off. Harare and Nairobi hosted their second WordCamps in areas where the WordPress community was virtually non-existent two years ago. Harare’s first camp was part of the WordCamp Incubator program the first year it launched. Nairobi was one of a handful of cities on the short list for the same program but ended up organizing its first camp independently in December 2016. Both communities have continued to flourish, as local leadership and meetup groups have grown. Topics at both Harare and Nairobi WordCamps included freelancing, blogging, marketing, and community, with a sprinkling of more technical sessions. Blogging is a popular activity in Africa and those in the local WordPress community are eager to share what they have learned in maintaining and marketing their blogs. Got inspired on…. #WordCampNairobi by @Jeanwandimi with her Cooperate Blogging Success with WordPress. — Victor Owuor (@victoravikobits) November 4, 2017 “This year the WordCamp was bigger and better than last year, the tickets sold out, and a local company ZOL Fibroniks was a gold sponsor,” WordCamp Harare speaker Beaton Mabaso said. “The future looks bright. Hello, 2018 is looking promising.” Mabaso is an admin on Afrobloggers, a blogging community that connects creatives across the continent. He brought his storytelling skills to his WordCamp session titled “A website is a conversation.” “One of the best things about a WordCamp is meeting the community, networking, and making new friends,” Mabaso said. “It’s inspiring seeing people representing their grind, opportunities everywhere.” Really enjoying the amazing learning and networking opportunity at #WordCampNairobi — FOI (@WambuiFoi) November 4, 2017 WorldCamp is the highlight of my year as a programmer. l have gained so much already.Cant even wait for the next one. #WCHRE #wchre2017 — Thelma (@thelmachido1) November 5, 2017 WordCamp Nairobi was originally scheduled for October 14-15 but was postponed to November 4-5 for the safety of attendees during the repeat Presidential elections that took place October 17. Even with the change of dates, the camp was still a success. “We made it despite the challenges that came with the political climate in the country that affected much of the planning,” WordCamp Nairobi organizer Chekumbe Emmanuel said. “I am so proud of our local WordPress community for showing up in full force.” #WordCampNairobi @wordcampnairobi amazing [...]

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.9 Release Candidate 2

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 05:33:28 +0000

The second release candidate for WordPress 4.9 is now available. A release candidate (RC) means we think we’re done, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible we’ve missed something. We hope to ship WordPress 4.9 on Tuesday, November 14 (just over one week from now), but we need your help to get there. If you haven’t tested 4.9 yet, now is the time! To test WordPress 4.9, you can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or you can download the release candidate here (zip). We’ve made just over 20 changes since releasing RC 1 last week. For more details about what’s new in version 4.9, check out the Beta 1, Beta 2, Beta 3, Beta 4, and RC1 blog posts. Specific areas to test in RC2: Theme installation in the Customizer. Scheduling changes for publishing in the Customizer. Switching themes with live preview in the Customizer. Developers, please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 4.9 and update your plugin’s Tested up to version in the readme to 4.9. If you find compatibility problems please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release — we work hard to avoid breaking things. Please see the summative field guide to the 4.9 developer notes on the core development blog. Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs. This week’s haiku is courtesy of @melchoyce: We squashed all the bugs But uh, if not, let us know Also, test your stuff Thanks for your continued help testing out the latest versions of WordPress.[...]

Akismet: Version 4.0.1 of the Akismet WordPress Plugin Is Now Available

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 20:29:06 +0000

Version 4.0.1 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available.

4.0.1 contains a few helpful changes:

  • We fixed a bug that could prevent some sites from connecting Akismet using an existing Jetpack connection.
  • We added some code to ensure that any pending Akismet-related events are unscheduled if (heaven forbid) the plugin is deactivated.
  • Some of the Akismet JavaScript is now run asynchronously in order to increase the speed with which your pages will appear to load.

Pretty good, right?  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.

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