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WPTavern: New Merlin WP Onboarding Wizard Makes WordPress Theme Installation and Setup Effortless

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 01:19:49 +0000

ThemeBeans founder Rich Tabor released Merlin WP on GitHub in public beta this week. The project provides a beautiful experience for installing and setting up WordPress themes with all of their plugin dependencies, Customizer settings, widgets, demo content, and more. “I was inspired by David Baker’s Envato Theme Setup Wizard and was working to add it to my own themes but pivoted after realizing I was just putting a band-aid on the onboarding issues surrounding themes in particular,” Tabor said. “It wasn’t a particularly grand experience and didn’t take care of the essentials the way I was looking for.” Tabor said he wanted to make the onboarding experience much friendlier than what WordPress products are typically known for and needed a way to get his customers started on the right foot. “Over the years I’ve had countless ‘how do I get this page like your demo’ and ‘where do I even start’ questions — and my themes aren’t even particularly confusing/difficult to use.” Tabor said. Ordinarily, users have to hop from screen to screen to install a theme, recommended plugins, and apply Customizer settings. Even an experienced WordPress user often has to refer to documentation to get a theme set up with the right customizations to match the demo. The video below shows an example of Merlin WP in action as it guides a user through setting up York Pro, a fork of one of ThemeBeans’ commercial themes that is included in Merlin WP’s GitHub repo. Merlin WP makes the process of setting up a theme nearly effortless for users. It also leaves less room for error or confusion. Developers can add Merlin WP directly to their theme files. It includes a configuration file that allows for customization of any text string in the wizard. Theme developers add the Merlin class (merlin/merlin.php) and the merlin-config.php file, along with any demo content (included in the demo directory location specified in the merlin-config.php file): content.xml — Exported demo content using the WordPress Exporter widgets.wie — Exported widgets using Widget Importer and Exporter customizer.dat — Exported Customizer settings using Customizer Export/Import Merlin WP was also developed to work seamlessly with TGMPA, a PHP library that many WordPress developers use to require or recommend plugins for their themes and plugins. It will automatically pull the recommended plugins into the wizard. Tabor said his targeted distribution channel is commercial themes, though he believes Merlin WP could also be useful for themes hosted on “I’m honestly not sure if it would be allowed,” Tabor said. “I guess that’s where getting more eyes on the project and more input from the Theme Review team comes in handy. I have had a lot of feedback from authors who are eventually considering adding Merlin WP as an ‘up-sell feature’ for their lite offerings currently on .org.” Tabor estimates that Merlin WP will be in beta for another two weeks. There are a few issues he wants to resolve before bringing it out of beta. He is testing the wizard in his own products at ThemeBeans, which is what he built it for originally. The shop has more than 40,000 customers and Tabor plans to push the wizard live across his entire theme collection once the last few issues are resolved. Merlin WP is GPL-licensed and available on GitHub for any developer to use in open source projects. Tabor said he is considering creating a pro version but is not currently interested in pursuing an add-on model. “I’m considering having an advanced version, with different developer-level capabilities, such as EDD Software Licensing support (where theme users can enter their license key issued from the developer in the onboarding process),” Tabor said. Tabor anticipates one of the main benefits for theme shops using Merlin WP will be a decreased support load where questions about initial setup and “how do I do this like the demo” become less common[...]

Post Status: Building a healthy remote company, with Tom Willmot — Draft podcast

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 01:19:30 +0000

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

In this episode, Brian is joined by Tom Willmot, the CEO of Human Made. Human Made recently released an employee handbook as an open source document for anyone to use, copy, or learn from. Tom and Brian discuss several elements of the handbook, and how they approach these things at Human Made:

  • Employee onboarding
  • Remote work processes
  • Communication
  • Employee feedback and mentorship
  • HR policies
  • And more!

This was a fun episode. Human Made has some of the lowest turnover in our industry and it was educational to hear from Tom.

Direct Download

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WPTavern: User Experience Tests Show Gutenberg’s UI Elements Can Benefit From Better Timing

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 23:06:27 +0000

Over the past few months, reviews for Gutenberg have trended towards a love/hate relationship without much in between. To figure out why this is, Millie Macdonald and Anna Harrison of Ephox, the company behind TinyMCE, analyzed the feedback and concluded that many of the issues likely stem from timing.

“In short, the nuances in the micro-interactions and timing of UI elements in Gutenberg are a little out of sync with what the user is doing at a point in time,” Harrison said. “For example, a user typing in a new paragraph is distracted when the decoration of the previous paragraph turns on.”

A common piece of feedback is that Gutenberg’s UI is clean but also cluttered. Harrison recorded a video of users copying and pasting paragraphs into Gutenberg and Medium.

In the video, toolbars and UI elements are displayed in Gutenberg during the writing process creating a cluttered look and disrupting the writing flow. In Medium, the formatting toolbar doesn’t display until text is highlighted and the + symbol disappears if it’s not interacted with.

Based on user testing, Harrison suggests refining the timing of when visual elements pop up in Gutenberg. “Right now, menus pop up when we are trying to type,” Harrison said. “They ought to pop up when we are trying to do something to words that have already been typed.”

Harrison presented their findings and suggestions to Gutenberg’s development team. Tammie Lister, design lead for Gutenberg, agreed that getting micro-transactions right is important. “I see this as the type of refinement post version 0.9/1 can bring,” Lister said.

“A few things I am slightly obsessed with is having an animation pace, story and consistency to interactions. Just something to throw in when looking at micro-interactions. I’ve also been doing some self thinking about what the ‘feel’ of emotion of Gutenberg should be. The one I keep coming back to is ‘calm’ and ‘supporting’. Just another thing to throw in when looking at these smaller details.”

Developers thanked Harrison and Macdonald for collecting, analyzing, and sharing data with the team. Does Gutenberg feel heavy to you? Let us know what your experience is like writing content in Gutenberg.

WPTavern: WordPress Support Team to Host Free Workshop August 23 on Supporting Themes

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:19:26 +0000


Over the past few months the WordPress Support Team has been brainstorming ways to improve support across various aspects of the community. One new idea they are pursuing is hosting workshops where theme and plugin authors can present how they approach supporting their free, open source products that have been released to the community.

Some users approach plugins and themes with realistic expectations regarding the support they might receive on tickets. Others approach these free products as if they were all built with large teams of professional support behind them, which is rarely the case. This often results in frustration, one-star reviews, and ultimately a bad reputation for products hosted in the official directories. It is also one of the primary reasons developers forgo putting products on and simply opt to host them on GitHub.

The new workshops will offer concrete strategies for bridging the chasm of expectation regarding support that exists between developers and users. theme and plugin authors will share the tools and ideas they have implemented to offer support while creating a positive experience for everyone involved.

Kathryn Presner, who supports hundreds of themes at Automattic, will be leading the first workshop titled “The Developers Guide to Supporting Your Themes:”

Providing support for your themes offers tremendous opportunities to educate WordPress users, from explaining how to make a child theme to offering simple CSS customisations. It also presents challenges, like figuring out how to help people who aren’t tech-savvy or need support beyond the scope of what you can provide. While many developers dread doing support, with some concrete strategies and techniques in hand, helping users doesn’t have to be a chore – and can even be fun! This session looks at how to make your themes’ users happy while feeling a sense of satisfaction from your own support efforts – a winning combination in the world of theme development. theme authors will want to mark their calendars for Wednesday, August 23 at 11 AM CDT. The workshop will be broadcast live as a Zoom teleconference and will last for an hour, including time for a Q&A at the end. Zoom can run on desktop and also offers apps for mobile devices. The session will be recorded and available on at a later date.

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 285 – Not Every WordPress Is the Same

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:55:22 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I open the show by discussing our observations of social media lately. Our feeds are filled with anger and for me personally, Twitter is becoming less useful.

We discussed the news of the week, including a lengthy conversation about Automattic opening up the ecosystem of plugins and themes to Business plan customers. Near the end of the episode, we share the features we’d like to see in a syntax highlighter for the built-in plugin and theme editors.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress Foundation to Sponsor Open Source Educational Events

WooCommerce Forks select2, Releases selectWoo as a Drop-In Replacement with Improved Accessibility

Gutenberg 0.8.0 Introduces 5 New Blocks: Categories, Text Columns, Shortcode, Audio, and Video’s Business Plan Gives Subscribers a Way to Tap into’s Third-party Ecosystem

WordPress 4.9 to Focus on Code Editing and Customization Improvements, Targeted for November 14

Picks of the Week:

WPisNotWP by Caspar Hübinger, is a tiny progressive web app that outlines the differences between WordPress the open-source project and Contributions to the app can be made on the project’s GitHub page.

A deep dive into the WordPress user roles and capabilities API by John Blackbourn.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, August 23rd 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #285:

WPTavern: Gravity Forms Stop Entries Plugin Aims to Help Sites Comply with the EU’s GDPR

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:03:45 +0000

photo credit: AJ Montpetit Wider Gravity Forms Stop Entries is a new plugin that helps website owners protect the privacy of form submissions by preventing entries from being stored in the database. The plugin was created by UK-based web developer Jonny Allbut for internal use at Wider, a company he set up for handling WordPress clients’ needs. One aspect of complying with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is ensuring that contact forms do not store any personally identifiable data on the server. The regulation becomes enforceable in May 2018 and sites that serve EU citizens are preparing for the deadline with audits and changes to how they handle privacy. Gravity Forms doesn’t offer a built-in option to stop entries from being stored on the server but GF co-founder Carl Hancock says there are a variety of ways to accomplish this. “If all you want to do is simply email the contents of the form and not store the data in the database as part of the route you’d like to take for GDPR compliance, this plugin would be one method of doing so,” Hancock said. He also referenced Gravity Wiz’s commercial Disable Entry Creation plugin. Developers can also delete entry data after submission via a hook. “However, the GDPR doesn’t preclude storing form entries in a database and is entirely dependent on the type of data you are storing and the other safeguards and functionality you have put in place,” Hancock said. “It’s a complex issue and I’m not entirely sure the EU fully understands the burden and implications that may come with it.” Ultimately, the requirement of compliance falls upon website administrators who are the ones collecting the data. It is their responsibility to select tools that will protect their users’ privacy. “While it won’t provide GDPR compliance on its own, Jonny’s extension is a much-needed step in the right direction,” digital law specialist Heather Burns said. Burns consults with companies that need assistance in getting their sites GDPR compliant. “GDPR requires adherence to the principles of privacy by design and part of that is data minimization and deletion.” WordPress has dozens of popular contact form plugins, both free and commercial. Many of them store entries in the database in case the recipient’s email has problems, preventing the communication from becoming lost. Site administrators who are concerned about GDPR compliance will want to examine the solution they have selected for forms. Burns advised that contact form plugins need to do the following three things: Ensure that personal and sensitive personal data from form entries is not stored in the database; Provide configuration options to allow contact form entries to be automatically deleted after a certain period of time; Ensure that all contact form data is deleted when the plugin is deactivated or deleted. “Unfortunately the direction of travel has been the exact opposite: contact form entries tend to be stored in perpetuity on the database regardless of content or necessity,” Burns said. “Contact form plugins with options to automatically delete form submissions after a certain period of time are rare. I’ve even seen contact form extensions which duplicate entries to a separate table, which, all things considered, is madness. We need to be developing towards data minimization and deletion, not retention and duplication.” Last month JJ Jay published an analysis of how and where popular WordPress contact forms plugins store data. This is a useful reference for site administrators who are not sure how their chosen solution handles data collection and storage. She suggested a few questions for users to ask when examining contact forms: Can the option to store data be turned on and off? At what granularity? Can the data be deleted when the [...]

Post Status: Free speech, privacy, and the web

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:38:54 +0000

Politics and the web are intersecting more and more. In recent news, at least three WordPress related companies have been getting broad media attention. In just a few days, we’ve seen GoDaddy shut down a site for violating terms and conditions, as well as Automattic. DreamHost received significant attention for refusing to release site visitor information to the US Department of Justice. I think the most relevant angle for this website is to note that it’s important for web-based services to be prepared for the unexpected news cycles that revolve around web-based properties. How well does your PR team know your terms and conditions? What’s your stance on free speech, and when can that cross a line into speech or content that your service is ready to limit? The definitions can be narrow; let’s look at Automattic’s decision to shut down a site called Blood and Soil. It’s a despicable site, and it has been for a while. Automattic is aware of the sites that exist on, and this isn’t their first rodeo with objectionable sites receiving lots of backlash from advocacy groups. For instance, the Guccifer 2.0 person or group that hacked the Democratic National Committee was on, and they still are. There are countless others, some hacking related, some simply vile or hate-filled. So what makes a site cross the line for a particular service? GoDaddy’s Ben Butler described to Fast Company that they draw the line between speech and violence: GoDaddy’s Ben Butler described to Fast Company that they draw the line between speech and violence: “We strongly support the First Amendment and are very much against censorship on the internet,” writes Ben Butler, director of the Digital Crimes Unit for GoDaddy, in an email. He adds that, “if a site promotes, encourages, or engages in violence against people, we will take action.” The GoDaddy decision (which Google followed up with as well) was especially interesting because they made the decision as the domain registrar, not a content host. In that case they weren’t actually providing the hosting service. Automattic has similar policies. Specifically, they link to user guidelines within their ToS, which has a clause for “directly threatening material.” Do not post direct and realistic threats of violence. That is, you cannot post a genuine call for violence—or death—against an individual person, or groups of persons. This doesn’t mean that we’ll remove all hyperbole or offensive language. They also have a specific policy (not directly linked from their ToS) for terrorist activity, and a provision to allow them to remove content or users for any reason. The terrorist in Charlottesville aligned himself with Blood And Soil, prompting Automattic to pull the plug —  as the line was crossed. DreamHost’s pushback to the government was about First Amendment concerns as well, primarily with visitors: The request from the DOJ demands that DreamHost hand over 1.3 million visitor IP addresses — in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people — in an effort to determine who simply visited the website. (Our customer has also been notified of the pending warrant on the account.) That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind. Every host deals with requests that may not require visitor information but definitely do require account information. Automattic’s Paul Sieminski provided a helpful post on the types of requests they get, and how they handle them. The US has broad protections built into the First Amendment covering free speech. Platforms are not required to meet those protections; however,[...]

HeroPress: The Greatest Screenplay Writer

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:00:44 +0000

My upbringing was not quite usual Serbian upbringing. I was almost forbidden to do things I didn’t really love. My parents insisted on trying things and finding that deep passion. But I didn’t have to search and try. I always knew what I’d be when I grow up. As long as I remember, there was no doubt. A classical musician When I was 8 my mom took me to local music school for entrance examination. I was in! Oh, joy! Finally I was learning to play and sing, to read and write this new language. Italian. Oh, music scores too! There was a whole new world that my parents, or anyone in my family, didn’t know anything about and I was stepping into it. I was doing just fine in it.. and I couldn’t live outside of it. As time passed, I finished elementary and high music school, went to music Academy, almost finished it and then my mother died. It was 2003. Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant. There was no time for grief and I couldn’t feel the joy. I just switched off and turned to the facts: I became a mom and a wife and I needed a job. And what a job did I found. An opera prompter. Opera Prompter! God, I love that job. Every second of it for ten years. I was yelling at singers, singing, conducting, traveling, laughing and crying. My Italian was significantly improved. Working time was great – so much free time to be a mom, study for Academy, get a hobby… Opera prompter’s hobby In 2007 I was administrator in one English speaking forum with focus on software and hardware topics. It helped me to significantly improve my English. And my tech knowledge. Which was close to none when I registered. As one of administrators, occasionally I had to tweak site here and there. It was great! There was this code and when I would change something in code it would show on the site. Neat! I loved reading those files, finding patterns and parts written in humanly understandable forms. Later I learned those were called loops and conditionals. Also later I learned that this language is called PHP and that many other languages for building websites exist. Forum script was phpBB3. I was never a gamer. Never understood the point of game, besides finishing it. I guess PHP was to me what games are to passionate gamers. Like a puzzle or sudoku. At the same time my marriage was turning from bad into worse and in the beginning of 2008 I finally decided it was enough. We were working on Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” in Theater. I remember this so clearly because my divorce was just turning from bad into worse. Those few months lasted for centuries after which I still needed a lot of time to recover what’s left of my self-esteem. My complete mental and emotional health was destroyed after years of domestic violence. 2009 was important year for me. The cognition of possibility to have local server on my own machine and test everything before executing it on live site turned out to be very helpful. In October I needed a blog script and friend recommended WordPress. It was 2.9 version. It didn’t really work well but everyone was writing about it. There were at least 5 new tutorials on various blogs every day. I was digesting them every morning with my first coffee. The ones I really liked I even reproduced in my shiny new localhost. Soon enough I developed a local monster with different widgets on each page, future posts archive, post series done with custom fields and God knows whatnot. This WordPress was slowly taking over my free time. Every second of it. So, the WordPress it is One day a friend of mine asked me to build him a website for his ensemble. And for money. Money? I never thought of getting money for this. This was too good of a hobby. But he’s a friend so I did it. Then another friend showed up with the same request. And another.. I became freelance WordPress developer before I co[...]

WPTavern: WordPress Mobile Apps Updated with a New Login Experience

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:33:48 +0000

The WordPress mobile apps are sporting a new login experience that Automattic’s mobile designers and developers released in the latest versions. The login flow has been completely redesigned to provide a more unified experience for connecting both self-hosted and sites. These flows were completely separate in the past and users were often confused about which one to select. The new design provides fewer opportunities for friction when logging in, an experience that likely determines many users’ first impressions of the app. Self-hosted login on mobile apps “As we reimagined the login experience, there were a few key principles guiding us: keep it simple, minimize the distinction between a site hosted at versus somewhere else, and avoid anything that might be too clever,” Automattic mobile lead Eric Johnson said. Users can now connect new sites by entering the URL and the mobile apps will automatically detect if the site is hosted on or not. The new login flow ferries users on to the next step based on what kind of site is being connected. This is available in version 8.0 of WordPress for Android and version 8.2 of WordPress for iOS. The new login experience emphasizes the ease of using magic links for logging into If the user enters and email address, the app will generate an authentication link and send it via email. This allows users to login without having to remember or enter a password. If a user is entering the world of WordPress for the first time through the mobile apps, the new login experience also offers a short tour of the some of the features included in the app. These include features such as notifications, Stats, and the Reader. The apps, despite being marketed as the official WordPress mobile apps, are a product of Automattic and include a commercial upgrade path for services. The idea of the apps functioning as a gateway to help the greater WordPress ecosystem gain more users (and eventually see some graduate to self-hosted sites), no longer seems credible now that has entered the hosting space by allowing its customers to tap into third-party plugins and themes. The updated login experience, while more convenient for users, continues to blur the line between self-hosted and sites. WordPress for Android and iOS used to have their own separate blogs but all of the news is now funneled through’s news blog and the @WordPressiOS and @WPAndroid Twitter accounts seemed to have been abandoned in favor of marketing updates through In the past, many in the WordPress community have asked why the apps are not called the mobile apps, since they include features that are not central to the core publishing experience for self-hosted users. Last year when I interviewed Maxime Biais, one of Automattic’s mobile engineers, he said the team had considered splitting the product into two apps. “We considered having both WordPress and apps, but we rejected this because it doesn’t make it more clear,” Bias said. “It’s probably even more ambiguous when someone searches the Play Store for ‘WordPress’ or ‘Blog’ and finds both WordPress and apps.” Now that that mobile apps have become a direct pipeline for new hosting customers, it may be time to re-visit the consideration of splitting the apps into two distinct products: one for’s commercial interests and one that officially represents the open source WordPress project for self-hosted users without any corporate interests. If the project’s official mobile apps are a key part of new users’ onboarding experience, they should accurately represent the software a[...]

WPTavern: WordCamp US to Experiment With A Community Bazaar

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:45:34 +0000

In addition to taking place in a new location this year, WordCamp US will have a Community Bazaar. An area will be set aside in the venue allowing those chosen to showcase their WordPress communities. Raquel Landefeld, Randy Hicks, and Dustin Meza are organizing the Bazaar.

Landefeld says the idea was inspired by the people who make up the WordPress Community. “We recognize that some local WordPress communities are thriving and some are just getting started,” she said.

“What better way to help build community then by showcasing our local communities to the world. The thought is that smaller, newer, and communities just in their infancy, will be inspired with fresh ideas and or how-tos from the bigger and more established WordPress communities.”

The idea is similar to that of a science fair where each community chosen will have a space to highlight why theirs is awesome.

The purpose of the event is to inspire growth while providing an opportunity for communities to learn from each other. There will also be metrics shared such as, number of meetup and WordCamp attendees, meetups per month, and unique qualities pertaining to the local groups.

The organizing team is looking for the inside scoop on local communities. “This is all about you and your local WordPress community,” Landefeld said.

“This is your time to shine. Why is your community different, special, or amazing? Be showy! Forget modesty. Let your community’s awesomeness be a tool to inspire other WP communities just getting started or striving.”

Last year saw record growth for WordPress community events. In 2016, more than 62,566 people attended a local meetup in 58 countries and about one-third of those were new members. A total of 115 WordCamps were hosted in 41 different countries.

Those interested in participating in the Bazaar are encouraged to fill out the following submission form and provide as many details as possible.

WPTavern: maekit Acquires WP Remote, Plans to Add Cloud-Based Backup Services

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 03:50:43 +0000


maekit, a cloud-based platform that handles the business aspect of web design, has acquired WP Remote from Human Made. Two years after Human Made began searching for a buyer, maekit purchased WP Remote to integrate it with the company’s existing platform that caters to designers managing multiple clients.

“WP Remote had remained a much-loved product with its users and despite receiving no ongoing development it had remained an iconic plugin in the WordPress community,” Human Made CEO Tom Willmot said.

maekit took over WP Remote operations in March after closing the deal. According to maekit CEO Matt Holme, the company inherited 20,000 users with 120,000 WordPress websites. His team has maintained WP Remote in its original platform for the past few months before integrating it into maekit last week.

WP Remote has offered unlimited, free WordPress site management (updating core, plugins, and themes with a single click) since 2010. It hasn’t received ongoing development for several years, but maekit plans to add backup features that will make bring it more up to speed with competitors like MangeWP, MainWP, and InfiniteWP.

“We definitely plan to keep WP Remote free and expand its features,” Holme said. “Specifically we are looking at offering easy-to-manage cloud-based backup services. For example, hook up your Dropbox (or any other popular cloud based storage system) and schedule regular backups of your WP websites.”

maekit’s acquisition of WP Remote gives the company’s customers the ability to deploy WordPress sites with one click and manage client sites and domains through a unified, white-labeled invoicing and payment system. The company has rolled out a few long-overdue bug fixes to WP Remote and Holme says the rest of maekit is functional but still technically in a closed beta mode.

“Our revenue model revolves around direct sale hosting plans and also reselling integrated hosting plans for other leading global hosting providers,” Holme said. “We are refining the free invoicing and payment processing system built into maekit so that a maekit / WP Remote user can deploy a new hosted WP and charge their client a recurring monthly fee and retain the mark up they add on top of our base hosting prices as profit. This means literally no out of pocket expense for maekit / WP Remote users.”

Although maekit’s one-click deployment service supports many popular CMS’s and e-commmerce platforms, including WordPress, Opencart, Drupal, Magento, and Joomla, Holme said the vast majority of the company’s customers are running on WordPress. Acquiring WP Remote brings a host of valuable new features to maekit’s customer base. maekit’s built-in client billing features, customized for freelancers and agencies, are what Holme says will differentiate the company from its competitors in the WordPress space.

“I have a great deal of respect for these other WP management platforms and feel the size of the WP market means there is opportunity for all to succeed,” Holme said. “With the features of maekit also including new website deployment, invoicing, payment processing and client management, our platform is unique from the others.”

WPTavern: Gutenberg 0.8.0 Introduces 5 New Blocks: Categories, Text Columns, Shortcode, Audio, and Video

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 22:18:21 +0000

Gutenberg 0.8.0 was released over the weekend with five new blocks, major improvements to existing blocks, and support for more publishing features that have been missing from the new editor’s sidebar. The release also carries out the controversial decision to remove the opt-in usage tracking code from the plugin. The new Categories block can be found under the Widgets section, as it’s output is based on the existing categories widget. The default display is an alphabetized list of categories, but the block settings include options to display as a dropdown, show post counts, and show hierarchy. A new Text Columns block allows users to split text content into multiple columns. The settings include a sliding scale for selecting 2-4 columns. Contributors are calling the Text Block “an initial exploration” of multiple columns for text-only content. Depending on testing, it may not be the implementation that ends up landing in the plugin permanently. “We’ve been over how difficult it is to get columns right, and also how already today third parties can build this,” Joen Asmussen said. “We may very well want an entirely different implementation than this one. But perhaps it’s good to get this in now and test it. Perhaps this can help inform how a better column implementation can work down the road. In fact we might want to merge this block in now, only to take it back out later again, same as the Cover Text block. For that reason, I think it’d be good to test this.” The new Video and Audio blocks are geared towards inserting files that have already been uploaded to the media library. However, I found the text on the video block to be confusing. If I was new to WordPress and didn’t understand how oEmbed works, I would be clicking inside the video block to figure out where to paste the URL. The new Audio and Video blocks mirror the same kind of functionality that users have experienced when adding images to their sites. In the future, contributors may introduce more features to the audio block, such as additional playback types and looping, but the first iteration includes just the basics. Gutenberg 0.8.0 adds resizing handlers to the existing Image Block, making it easy for users to insert and quickly resize an image. If you review the GitHub ticket for this feature, it’s clear that it was not easy to implement. Image resizing has gone through several changes and may have more down the road, especially as it pertains to the behavior of the caption. Ultimately, the caption field should not be wider than the image so that the two are placed together. This release introduces a post formats selector to the post settings sidebar. It includes a suggestion based on what blocks are in use in the post. One participant on the ticket noted that the suggestion gives too much importance to the post formats selection and might be confusing to users. The suggestion persists, despite a user switching the format to the one suggested. This is because Gutenberg cannot detect if it was explicitly set by the user or if the user selected the suggestion. “I happen to agree with you: post formats should go away,” Joen Asmussen said. “In fact part of the genesis of blocks as a concept is to provide a better interface than what post formats did. So the post format selector here is strictly a back-compat thing.” Gutenberg contributors have also updated the design document for the project, offering more clarity on their goals and concepts they are using to build the editor: Ultimately, the vision for Gutenberg is to make it much easier to author rich content. Through ensuring good defaults, wrapping and bundling advanced layout options blocks, and making [...]

WPTavern: Early Results from NRKbeta’s Comment Quiz Plugin Show Readers Enjoy the Quiz but Rarely Leave a Comment

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 02:54:02 +0000

Earlier this year, NRKbeta, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s media and technology site, open sourced its comment quiz plugin for WordPress. The site’s publishers have been experimenting with requiring their readers to complete a short, three-question quiz before giving access to the comment form on certain articles. The goal of the plugin was to prevent rants and off-topic responses by ensuring that commenters have read the article.

NRKbeta has published some preliminary results after six months of experimenting with a mandatory quiz before commenting.

“On average, there are a lot more attempts – both correct and wrong – than actual comments,” NRKbeta journalist Ståle Grut said. “It seems many take the quiz to check how much they remember from the story – and not necessarily to leave a comment. Almost as a fun little game after reading.”


Grut reported that on average the quiz has an error rate of 72%. His team suspects that the bulk of the wrong answers are coming site’s international readership, as most of the articles are posted in Norwegian, which can be difficult to translate.

The sample is still relatively small, because the team hasn’t yet created any set rules for when authors should enable the quiz.

“The idea was to test it on stories that had potential for a gloomy comments section,” Grut said. “It is something we are proud to rarely have here at NRKbeta.”

On one story, NRKbeta staff made an error where it was impossible to submit the correct answer to the quiz, because it wasn’t listed. As a result, this article’s quiz received more than 1,000 wrong answers.

One unexpected benefit of the plugin is that it makes it more of a hurdle for readers to leave short comments, such as “nice post” that don’t add much to the conversation.

“This favors the most eager with the most time on their hands,” Grut said. “From time to time this has led to a decline in quality and tone, causing him to often abandon the quiz module.”

These initial conclusions are in line with what we predicted when the plugin was released: the most motivated ranters are not significantly inconvenienced by a short quiz. Keeping comment sections free of trolls is not yet something that is easy to automate. It still requires time spent in the moderation queue.

After the comment quiz plugin was enabled on the site, NRKbeta counted more than 300 articles around the web that had been published about the experiment. Quizzing commenters was hailed as one of the best new ideas for warding off trolls. However, the NRKbeta team cannot yet conclude whether the plugin is a success or not.

“The numbers seem to show that the quiz has worked like a little game for many readers,” Grut said. “They like to take the quiz, but not to leave a comment. Being tested on how much they remember from the article seems to be the most popular use of our quiz.”

WPTavern: In Case You Missed It – Issue 23

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 01:47:43 +0000

photo credit: Night Moves – (license) There’s a lot of great WordPress content published in the community but not all of it is featured on the Tavern. This post is an assortment of items related to WordPress that caught my eye but didn’t make it into a full post. Using WordPress to Publish Law Reviews Kevin O’Keefe of Above the Law, explains why WordPress should be used to publish law reviews instead of printing them. Ten years ago it would not have been as easy to set up, or license, a WordPress publishing platform by each law school. Most law professors were, and still are, publishing blogs on TypePad, an outdated and little used publishing software, originally produced by Six Apart. Today, WordPress is running almost 70 percent of the content management systems in the world. WordPress is regularly updated and enables a multi-user platform with multiple individual sites, all of which would be needed by a law school’s ‘printing press’. Glutenberg Free Gluternberg Free is a WordPress plugin developed by Adam Silverstein that restores and maintains the post editing experience from WordPress 4.8. Open Source Candy Bar Labels for WordCamps If you’re organizing a WordCamp and want to give out Happiness bars, check out this custom label design used at WordCamp Miami 2016. The assets are open sourced and available for free for other WordCamp organizers to use. WordCamps: have “Happiness Bars” for your next event. #wcmia open-sourced the wrappers: — David Bisset (@dimensionmedia) August 11, 2017 Instead of Threading Tweets, Consider Blogging Instead Amanda Rush explains the drawbacks of threading messages on Twitter and why blogging is a better option. Blog posts are easier to archive and link to, are not lost in the noise as quickly, and are a better user experience for consuming content. By the way, if you’ve already threaded a message on Twitter, Rush shares links to tools that can help capture a thread and turn it into a blog post. The Next Time You’re Thinking About Threading On Twitter, Write A Blog Post Instead The Story of HelloSales iThemes published a detailed article on how their newest product, HelloSales, came to be. Cory Miller explains the product’s logo, name, and who the people are that are building it. The rooster is essentially the symbol or emblem of Portugal. You’ll see it everywhere there when you go there (and I strongly encourage you to do so, even if I want to keep the place all to myself). It became obvious we wanted to include a rooster in the logo of HelloSales as a hat tip to Portugal and our team there. We also think it’s a great symbol for what we hope to help our customers do — make more money through their WooCommerce stores. Through several iterations of a name, we landed on HelloSales as a name, as yet another hat tip to the story — their company’s name, HelloDev — that led us here. It’s a cool story and one I’d like to see more CEO and founders share when they acquire a product or business. WordPress Telemetry Part Two Morten Rand-Hendriksen updated his article on the case for WordPress telemetry after a lengthy conversation on Twitter. What WordPress needs is an open debate on this topic. What are the arguments for and against? What can be gained and what is lost? Should we do this? And if so, how do we do it in an open, transparent, and responsible way that helps inform and elevate the conversation while looking after the interests of all WordPress users? These are interesting questions and although the ticket is closed on Trac, users are encouraged to continue the discussion. In the future, I’d l[...]

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9 to Focus on Code Editing and Customization Improvements, Targeted for November 14

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:19:04 +0000

photo credit: Sophie Ollis WordPress core contributors have set a tentative schedule for the upcoming 4.9 release, which will be co-led by Mel Choyce and Weston Ruter. The development cycle kicked off in early August with Beta 1 scheduled for early October and the official release targeted for November 14. Choyce published a list of goals today that outlines what they will be aiming for in 4.9. WordPress users can expect to see some existing features polished up to be more user-friendly, including some long-awaited updates to the experience of editing theme and plugin files in the admin. Contributors are looking at adding a nested folder structure that will offer access to files deeper than two levels. They are also aiming to add better warnings for users who are editing themes and plugins, an improvement which Choyce described as “graduating from cowboy coding school.” This could help prevent users from unknowingly making small errors that could have a negative impact on their sites. Another goal for 4.9 is to improve the code editing experience by adding syntax highlighting. Contributors are examining the possibility of incorporating CodeMirror functionality into the Customizer’s custom CSS box as well as the plugin and theme file editors. An experimental Syntax Highlighting Code Editor for WordPress Core plugin is currently being developed on GitHub as a potential solution for a seven-year-old trac ticket for code editor improvements. Customizer improvements are also one of the main focuses for 4.9. Contributors to the Customize Snapshots feature plugin have been steadily refining the ability to draft and schedule changesets in the Customizer. They are also looking at providing a better experience for widget and menu mapping when switching between themes, improving homepage settings (“Page on Front“), and displaying responsive images in the Customizer sidebar. This list of goals for 4.9 includes many more items and the release leads are approaching it with the understanding that some features and improvements may not be ready in time. One item on the list is getting in API endpoints that Gutenberg requires. Looking ahead to WordPress 5.0, new Gutenberg design lead Tammie Lister has proposed a revised, tentative roadmap that anticipates having the new editor ready for a merge proposal in December 2017. Lister said the outline is not set in stone and Gutenberg’s path to 5.0 would be dependent on the success of the merge proposal.[...]

WPTavern:’s Business Plan Gives Subscribers a Way to Tap into’s Third-party Ecosystem

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 07:12:49 +0000

Earlier this year, launched an experiment giving Business plan subscribers the ability to install third-party plugins and themes. Automattic concluded the experiment earlier this week and officially made the features part of the subscription plan. “With support for plugins and third-party themes, Business users will be able to connect their sites to great email and social media tools, e-commerce solutions, publishing and subscription services, and more,” Mark Armstrong said. This change is twelve years in the making. With the exception of WordPress VIP, customers have not had the ability to install third-party themes and plugins on Customers Can Only Install Custom Plugins Through The WP-Admin Interface Customers can install plugins or themes from the directories or they can upload custom themes and plugins. has two user interfaces, one that resembles Calypso and the other is WP-Admin. Here is what adding plugins looks like using the Calypso interface. Plugins are displayed from the plugin directory with no way to upload a custom plugin. Adding Plugins on Through The Calypso Interface This is what adding plugins looks like using the WP-Admin interface. This interface has a button that allows customers to upload a custom plugin. Automattic is aware of the discrepancy and says they’re working on streamlining both interfaces. Adding Plugins Through WP-Admin on Customers Can Upload Non 100% GPL Licensed Code to The ability to upload a custom theme or plugin truly opens the door for subscribers to customize their sites. But it also allows customers to use themes and plugins that are not 100% GPL licensed. Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic, has made it clear in the past that he will only support plugins and themes that are 100% GPL. Even though graphics and CSS aren’t required to be GPL legally, the lack thereof is pretty limiting. Can you imagine WordPress without any CSS or JavaScript? So as before, we will only promote and host things on that are 100% GPL or compatible. Mullenweg has used his influence in the past to provoke marketplaces such as Envato to provide a 100% GPL license option to its authors. Authors who choose not to sell their items with the 100% GPL license are excluded from being able to sponsor or speak at WordCamps. Although the above quote references, is a platform that Mullenweg controls. It’s odd that the ability to upload a theme or plugin that is not 100% GPL exists on I believe the feature is an oversight and will be removed in the immediate future ensuring that only themes and plugins from the official directories are allowed to be used. Managed WordPress Hosts Have Reasons to Be Concerned Responses to the news from members of the WordPress community are mixed. Phil Crumm, Director of Strategic Opportunities at 10up, published a great article that examines the potential impacts this move will have on the managed WordPress hosting ecosystem and its community: Within the WordPress community, there’s long been a notion that ‘more users on WordPress’ is universally good. Until now, that’s been difficult to argue: an expansive ecosystem has developed over the last decade, and many now make their living off of WordPress. Despite that,’s Business Plan now feels like it’s oriented towards cannibalizing users from elsewhere within that ecosystem — from sites that may have ‘grown up’ and moved to another hosting provider to those that now may not kn[...]

WPTavern: User Tracking to be Removed from Gutenberg in Upcoming 0.8.0 Release

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 02:08:49 +0000

photo credit: Saving Chicago CPR The opt-in user tracking that was added to Gutenberg 0.7.0 will be pulled from the plugin in the upcoming 0.8.0 release. The data collection included in last week’s release reignited the discussion regarding adding telemetry to WordPress. James Nylen and an Automattic engineers involved in Gutenberg added the feature with the goal of improving the editor based on usage patterns. Nylen said the approach they used was very similar to Calypso’s event tracking code and that it would provide “a very useful technique to collect user experience data.” They had planned to use the data to inform various decisions, such as default order for blocks and whether some blocks are less suitable for core. Gutenberg contributors were looking into making the tracking its own module so it could be useful for other WP feature plugins and core. Shortly after the feature was added to Gutenberg, contributors began to revisit the Telemetry discussion on WordPress Trac. The topic of telemetry for core had been tabled earlier this year, as it did not fall within the three core focus areas for WordPress development in 2017. Participants requested the ticket be reopened for discussion looking toward 2018 in light of Gutenberg adding opt-in tracking. “I think it’s a terrible idea for Gutenberg, too,” Matt Mullenweg commented on the ticket. “I doubt that anything actionable or useful will come of it that couldn’t be obtained by non-data-collecting means.” Twelve hours later, James Nylen commented on his original announcement to notify the community that tracking will be removed from Gutenberg in the 0.8.0 release: There’s been quite a lot of discussion on this topic across the community, much of which stems from earlier discussions like #38418, which I wasn’t aware of. Usage tracking in Core and feature projects is a much bigger topic than fits into the scope of Gutenberg right now, so I’ve removed it from the GitHub repo, and it will be removed in the 0.8 Gutenberg release. The data that it was tracking, while interesting, probably wouldn’t have been a significant factor in the long-term growth and development of Gutenberg. The discussion surrounding the data collection, however, would take up a disproportionate amount of the team’s time. Nylen said the data collected by the plugin thus far will be deleted after 0.8 rolls out and that since it’s so early in Gutenberg’s development there was “not enough data collected to provide any sort of picture of usage.” WordPress Telemetry Advocates Continue Lobbying for Opt-In Data Collection The discussion about whether or not WordPress needs telemetry has continued in the form of tweetstorms, as data collection advocates make the case for data-driven decision making. “The decision not to capture metrics (telemetry) from WordPress is one that continues to have a large impact on what we (don’t) know,” Liquid Web VP of Product Chris Lema said. “As we’re trying to make decisions about Gutenberg and metaboxes, we might ask, how big a problem is this, by number of plugins or sites. But we don’t know because we decided that we can always iterate WordPress, like we’ve always done. It’s true that we’ve done that before, but that doesn’t mean it’s either the wisest approach, nor the least risky. With so many options today, will people necessarily return? The more logical approach, in my mind, is to capture as much data as possible and to make it as public as possible, so we can all review.” If [...]

WPTavern: WooCommerce Forks select2, Releases selectWoo as a Drop-In Replacement with Improved Accessibility

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 03:54:27 +0000

The WooCommerce development team has forked select2 to create a more accessible, drop-in replacement library called selectWoo. select2 is a widely used jQuery-based library for making custom drop down menus. Many users are wondering if the project has been abandoned, because the repository hasn’t seen any activity since February and 115 pull requests have piled up. In the interest of fixing some long-standing accessibility issues with the library, WooCommerce opted to fork it and has merged in some of the PRs that were submitted to the original project. SelectWoo is backwards-compatible and can be used the same way as select2 by simply replacing the select2 file. It has been optimized for WordPress plugin development and can optionally be initialized with .selectWoo() in order to run alongside other versions of select2 that may be used by other plugins on the site. SelectWoo makes many improvements for those who are using screen readers, but it needs more accessibility testing. Beta 1 is availabe on GitHub. The WooCommerce team has even created a testing page with different example pages so those using screen-reading software can easily test for bugs. Forking is usually a last resort scenario for extending popular open source libraries, but the WooCommerce team wanted the flexibility of improving the project on their own timeline. One concerned developer asked the team what will happen in the future if select2 gets back on track and why they didn’t just submit pull requests to the select2 repository. “With a fork we can at least get things merged in to meet our own schedule, rather than waiting/relying on others or running custom versions,” WooCommerce lead developer Mike Jolley said. “There are other benefits, too, such as allowing our version to be namespaced to avoid conflicts in WP admin. The fork is public. Our changes can be merged back, when/if the project picks up again.” Both WordPress and Drupal core contributors have been working to address accessibility issues in select2 since 2015 when the WP Accessibility Team performed extensive testing on the library to see if it was fit for use in core. Some initial planning work happened but work on these issues stalled out as select2’s maintainers became unavailable. “I’d do it with PRs if I thought they would get merged in, but I doubt they will,” WooCommerce developer Claudiu Lodromanean said. “There’s been no action in this repo in about six months and the fork contains some PRs that have been waiting to get merged here for a very long time.” Forking a project can needlessly fragment its contributors by causing them to have to choose one or the other, especially as the projects diverge down the line. Motivated contributors may submit multiple PRs across both projects for improvements but most will simply contribute back to the project they use. Select2’s maintainers have not published any news about why the project has gone dormant. “There are over 100 PRs in the select2 repo unmerged,” Jolley said in response to commenters asking about the necessity of the fork. “Some of these we actually need, so with the fork we’re free to merge these as needed. The accessibility issues are hurting users today, so we cannot really afford to wait.”[...]

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 284 – Catching Up with David Peralty

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 00:43:12 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by David Peralty. Peralty is a prolific writer with more than 30K articles published online for various media outlets. He also co-hosted WordPress Weekly episodes 41-75 in 2009.

We discuss the rise and evolution of blog networks over the years, the current state of WordPress development, and what he thinks of Gutenberg.

We have a great conversation about working remotely and how working in an office with great people focused on the same goal can be an energizing experience. Later in the show, Jacoby and I discuss the news of the week, including the idea of opt-in usage data tracking in WordPress.

Stories Discussed:

Publishers Are Moving Back to WordPress After Short Experiments with Medium
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Dismisses Automattic’s Trademark Dispute Against Chris Pearson
Gutenberg 0.7.0 Adds Opt-In Usage Tracking
Gutenberg Development Team Confirms Meta Box API Will Not be Formally Deprecated
WordPress Core Fields API Project Sees Renewed Interest

Picks of the Week:

Comment moderation is not the same as censorship, or is it?

Censorship in Moderation

Not Trac by Ryan McCue, connects to’s Trac instance via XML-RPC. Before using, please read McCue’s warnings about usernames and passwords.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, August 16th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #284:

WPTavern: WordPress Foundation to Sponsor Open Source Educational Events

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 19:19:48 +0000

(image) photo credit: 16th st(license)

The WordPress Foundation is sponsoring a new series of workshops and training events that will introduce people to WordPress and related open source software. The program targets communities in Latin and South America, Africa, Oceania, and Asia.

“Specifically, we want to shine more light on the potential of open source software in countries where there is less participation in OSS projects,” WordPress Community Team leader Andrea Middleton said. “To help spread the word about the potential that open source has to offer, we’d like to provide financial support for two educational events this year, to be organized in parts of the world with less participation in open source.”

After the success of the WordCamp Incubator Program, which brought three new camps to Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and Colombia, there is some evidence that initiatives to bring WordPress to other parts of the world can have valuable returns. Harare is hosting its second WordCamp in November and the local meetup group has nearly doubled over the past year. The other camps had similarly successful events and growth in meetup numbers.

WordCamp Harare organizer Thabo Tswana said that one of the biggest impacts that the first WordCamp had was to introduce local attendees to the WordPress community. WordPress software is well-known across the world but many do not know that there is a strong community behind the project that they can connect with.

The WordPress Foundation is looking for organizers to host “Introduction to Open Source” events that will be structured as two-hour workshops using training materials available in the WordPress handbook. The goal is to introduce attendees to the world of open source software, the GPL license, and how it is important for WordPress as an open source project.

The Foundation is subsidizing the events (up to $500) so they will be free for anyone to attend. A 10-question application is open for those who want to organize an event in 2017. The call for organizers says that preference will be given to organizers who are already members of a group that is part of WordPress’ meetup chapter program and areas where no WordCamp has previously been organized. Applications close August 21 and successful applicants will be notified by September 8.

Post Status: Publish Conference, in pictures

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 18:39:18 +0000

Pictures from Post Status Publish were almost all taken by Brian Richards, unless they are pictures of Brian Richards. I took those. We had a great time learning and networking in Atlanta, and here’s a snippet of our time together. The event consisted of two full days of talks from some pretty amazing speakers. Special thanks to Liquid Web for being our platinum sponsor, and to Jetpack, Pantheon, and SiteGround for being gold sponsors. Without them, and our wonderful attendees of course, none of this would be possible. Video is being processed and will be available to all attendees, and we’re working out how exactly to make them available for other folks who may want to see the sessions. [...]

HeroPress: WordPress Ate My Life—In a Good Way

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 12:00:21 +0000

I did not spend my childhood wanting to grow up to be a WordPress consultant. Given that I was born in 1967, long before the World Wide Web even existed, I would have had to be clairvoyant to aspire to any kind of web development. I was intrigued by computers when I first encountered the TRS-80 at the age of 12, but other than learning a few lines of BASIC, I didn’t pursue programming. Parenthetically, I don’t think it was because girls weren’t encouraged to become programmers. This was even before the days of the Control Data Institute commercials on TV. Programming as a career for anyone at all was not in the minds of the general public, at least not in Ohio. And although I thought computers were cool (being a science fiction fan and all), I didn’t have any clear sense of what you could do with them. I never made the mental connection between writing a 10-line program in BASIC and eventually creating something like a video game or a word-processing program. During my freshman year in college, I fell into the Classics Vortex, and ended up going to graduate school to study Greek and Latin drama. I expected to get my degree and a university teaching job. I spoke at a few conferences and published a few papers. And I discovered the World Wide Web. I’d gotten online in 1985, also in my freshman year at Brown. We were on BITNET and someone in the computer center showed me how to get onto Relay when I was down their using the mainframe to write essays with. (Fly, sledgehammer, boom.) The Internet came into being about the time I got to graduate school in 1989, and someone showed me the Web in 1994. It blew me away, because a visual medium of communication is vastly superior to a text-based medium when you’re talking about theatrical productions. By the end of 1994 I’d moved to England and created my first web page. (We didn’t have websites in those days, just ‘pages.’ Even if there were lots of pages. And wow, I just wrote that in inverted commas rather than quotation marks, as if my brain shifted itself back to Britain just thinking about it.) Sallie’s first website, Didaskalia, as it was in 1998 So you’d think that maybe, from there, I would have gotten into a career in web development whether or not WordPress had ever existed, but that wasn’t what actually happened. When Your Body Isn’t Your Friend While I was still in graduate school, I developed a debilitating chronic illness that prevented me from finishing my PhD due to a combination of physical and cognitive problems, and although I started to get better at first, by the end of 1998, when I had to return to the US, my condition had worsened to the point where I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to work. I spent about 18 months just going to doctors and therapists and support groups. When I did start working, it was as a caregiver, doing extremely simple tasks, because my confidence in my ability to do knowledge work of any kind was so badly damaged. I eventually started doing more kinds of things to earn money: clerical work, basic tech support, writing. Somewhere in there, I helped a couple of people with their websites, even though I’d missed a whole lot of the evolution of the Web. (I’m not at all sorry to have skipped Flash.) I was feeling considerably better thanks to new medication, and easing my way toward being self-supporting, but at the time I discovered WordPress in 2005, I was suffering from a bad case of Multiple Business Personality Disorder. I had a number[...]

Post Status: Live from Publish: Challenges facing the WordPress Economy — Draft podcast

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 00:29:20 +0000

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

In this episode, Brian and Joe are live at Post Status Publish and answer questions from the conference audience. They are asked about mistakes they think the WordPress product ecosystem is making, the challenges of working remotely, and many more existential questions.

Direct Download

Publish was a lot of fun, and we’ll have more audio, video, and pictures available over the coming weeks.

Sponsor: Liquid Web

Liquid Web was the platinum sponsor of the Publish podcast, and therefore this episode of the podcast as well. If you haven’t tried Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress product, it’s time. They are doing awesome work in this space for mission critical sites.

WPTavern: WordPress Core Fields API Project Sees Renewed Interest

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 21:47:10 +0000

As work continues at a feverish pace on Gutenberg, many developers throughout the community are engaging in discussions on how meta boxes will be handled in the new editor. The team is considering various solutions and some have suggested that a Fields API in core would have made the future of meta boxes less of an issue. I reached out to Scott Kingsley Clark, lead developer of the Pods Framework and one of the main contributors to the Fields API project. Clark explains what the Fields API is, its current status, its relationship to the meta box discussions, and how to contribute. For those who don’t know, what is the Fields API project? How would it impact users? It’s a feature proposal for WordPress core to allow registering fields to different screens in the admin area through a single API. For posts, this would add new meta boxes and fields within them. For users, it would add new sections and fields to the profile screen. The goal is to integrate with all of the different admin screens including, Posts, Terms, Users, Media, and Comments. Typical users would notice that the fields added by plugins they are using all have a similar look and feel. That’s really an oversimplification of what’s going on behind the scenes, but it’s one of the big benefits as well, since it shouldn’t really affect end-users beyond improving consistency of different screens and potential redesigns. What has caused progress on the project to slow down? I was out-of-town for a all-hands company meetup, lead organized WordCamp Dallas-Fort Worth 2016, and ran PodsCamp 2016 in Austin, TX, all in the span of about a month and a half. It was intense, but somehow last summer I thought I could manage moving too. We were in the process of showing our house, almost all of the time, so that we could sell it. The buying process was full of thorns, with a move that was pretty fun. I also started a new job at Modern Tribe in February, 2017. In retrospect, yes that was way too much but the challenge was met and the only thing that suffered was the Fields API project, which was no easy feat. It’s unfortunate, but I’m glad to be getting back into things again this month. Are new contributors showing a renewed interest in the project? Yes. We recently had a few people become interested in helping. When I’ve got help, I’m 300% more productive. It’s much easier to bounce ideas off of others with shared experience than it is going alone. How does the API relate to how meta boxes could be handled in Gutenberg? If the API were in core, how would it influence the discussion? Here’s where the irony sets in. If we were successful in getting a Fields API into WordPress before Gutenberg was a thing, the ability for Gutenberg to revamp as much as it has planned to revamp in the post editor, would not be as hindered as it is now. The biggest problem I see facing Gutenberg is reining in the scope that covers meta boxes. They need to get things working for meta boxes that are already being registered and used by plugin developers. If Fields API were a part of WordPress, they would still need to keep backwards compatibility but I could easily add a meta box with my fields into the proposed Gutenberg meta boxes (still in discussion) with just a few lines of code. Plus, my fields and meta boxes registered using the Fields API would work just fine on pre-Gutenberg sites. Another parallel here would be the User edit screen, which ha[...]

WPTavern: Gutenberg Development Team Confirms Meta Box API Will Not be Formally Deprecated

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 19:54:38 +0000

photo credit: Doors Open Toronto 2008 – Toronto Archives – (license) The discussion surrounding how Gutenberg will handle meta boxes heated up over the weekend after a participant commented on the GitHub issue with concern regarding meta box support being removed from the most recent milestone. “I see this vital issue has been removed from any milestone,” @steveangstrom said. “It has been de-prioritized again while bells and whistles for blog editing get lots of work and are added to betas. This is very worrying for the future of WordPress as a CMS.” James Nylen, one of the lead developers on the project, reassured followers of the topic that the Gutenberg team has not forgotten about the issue but rather that it is “an extremely complicated issue that we are only beginning to look into, along with many, many other priorities for getting the editor working well.” He also asked for help from the community in planning and testing implementations for supporting meta boxes. This response left many things unclear. Participants in the discussion, many of whom are developers concerned about about the prospect of having to rewrite all of their meta boxes as React components, are wondering why meta boxes cannot work alongside the new Gutenberg editor and why the team chose to include meta boxes in the scope of the project. “Is it possible to replace the existing TinyMCE post editor with Gutenberg while leaving the rest of the interface, including meta boxes and existing hooks, unchanged?” Kevin Hoffman asked. When Nylen clarified that Gutenberg, as written today, is intended to be a post_content editor, Hoffman summarized the concerns that many developers have expressed: If Gutenberg is truly intended to be a post_content editor, then meta boxes should be left alone as they are not concerned with post_content. Furthermore the need for an API to translate PHP meta boxes into React meta boxes is a manufactured problem. It does not have to be a problem, but it has become a problem because somewhere along the line it was decided that rewriting the post_content editor should also completely change how meta boxes work. You’ve outlined the tremendous challenge of writing such an API in #2251. Translating PHP meta boxes into React for a popular custom fields solution like ACF is challenging enough, let alone trying to do so for every meta box implementation that exists today, popular or not. It does not scale. As the Gutenberg contributors shared that they have only just begun to look into the meta box issue, it’s now clear why there is no roadmap for how the project will handle “legacy” PHP meta boxes. In July, Nylen said, “If I had to guess where we will end up here: current metaboxes will be moved to a “legacy” area and we will provide APIs, documentation, and examples for registering ‘new-style’ metabox-block-thingies.” Plugin developers who manage meta box libraries, agencies, and other concerned parties are following the ticket to find out how to plan for the WordPress 5.0, which has been targeted as the Gutenberg release. Andrey Savchenko asked if WordPress plans to formally deprecate the meta box API, which finally drew a clear answer from the team. Matias Ventura responded: “Does WordPress intend to formally deprecate Metabox API?” No. The question that is[...]

WPTavern: Gutenberg 0.7.0 Adds Opt-In Usage Tracking

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:05:04 +0000

Gutenberg 0.7.0 was released just before the weekend with improvements to the writing flow and greater flexibility for theme authors to add their own customizations. Last week’s version 0.6.0 release made significant changes to the way paragraphs are created within text blocks, allowing for blocks to split when pressing enter. However, it inserted a “New Paragraph” placeholder that was distracting for users trying to stay in the flow of writing. Version 0.7.0 hides placeholders on focus, providing a cleaner experience of starting a new paragraph. After a user has already intuitively initiated a new paragraph by pressing enter, the “New Paragraph” placeholder holds little value. Removing the placeholder is a minor improvement that brings Gutenberg closer to providing a better experience for long-form writing. This release also introduces theme support for customized color palettes and a shared component, such as cover text and button blocks. The sample code below shows how easy it would be for theme authors to implement their own color palettes. Gutenberg contributors have also added theme support for wide images. According to the inline docs, this allows for some blocks, such as the image block, to define a “wide” or “full” alignment by adding the corresponding classname to the block’s wrapper ( alignwide or alignfull ). These additions offer theme developers a better picture of where Gutenberg is headed in regards to themes. The plugin’s contributors are slowly building in more points of customization so that theme authors can add or override Gutenberg’s styles and provide additional opt-in features to their users. Theme support for wide images has already been committed to Tammie Lister’s experimental Gutenberg Theme. The project was created to showcase how Gutenberg will interact with WordPress themes and is still a work in progress. Gutenberg Adds Opt-In Data Collection After updating the Gutenberg plugin to 0.7.0 and navigating to the editor, users are presented with the option to opt into data collection about their usage of the editor. The usage data, which is anonymous and does not include post content, is sent to for future analysis. Gutenberg contributor James Nylen explained how the data tracking works in a post on “The Gutenberg plugin contains a mechanism to count how often specific actions occur over time,” Nylen said. “If the user has previously clicked ‘Yes’ on this screen, and an event occurs that has an associated bumpStat call in the Gutenberg code, then this event is sent to servers by loading a special ‘pixel’ image.” Gutenberg’s tracking code stores the “group” and “name” sent with the bumpStat call (short strings of text), along with the time the event was recorded. Nylen said the team will use the data to improve the editor based on usage patterns. This data collection information is currently only available to those with access to servers. “As Gutenberg is an open-source community project, we view this data as belonging to the WordPress community, so we also plan to make this data available via a public dashboard,” Nylen said. He shared an example of the data that has been collected from the plugin over the past fe[...]

WPTavern: Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Dismisses Automattic’s Trademark Dispute Against Chris Pearson

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 00:56:12 +0000

In July 2015, Automattic won its Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) case against Chris Pearson regarding after the panel determined that he failed to establish all three elements required under the ICANN Policy. A party must satisfy all three of the burdens imposed under the Policy in order for the Panel to order transfer of a domain name from the entity registering it. Here, Complainant failed to establish that Respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith. See Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. v. Samjo CellTech.Ltd, FA 406512 (Nat. Arb. Forum Mar. 9, 2005) (finding that the complainant failed to establish that respondent registered and used the disputed domain name in bad faith because mere assertions of bad faith are insufficient for a complainant to establish Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii)). Therefore, the Panel finds that Complainant failed to support its allegations under Policy ¶ 4(a)(iii) and finds for Respondent. This allowed Automattic to maintain ownership of Automattic retaliated by filing a petition for cancellation with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In the petition, Automattic argued that the three trademarks owned by Pearson, DIYTHEMES, THESIS THEME, and THESIS, should be cancelled. For the past two years, legal teams for both parties have gone back and forth filing briefs, requests for extensions, and other documents. Earlier this year on April 20th, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board dismissed the case citing a lack of evidence and testimony from Automattic that establishes real interest and a reasonable belief in damages. The record is devoid of any evidence concerning the nature of Petitioner’s (Automattic) commercial activities and its interest in Respondent’s (Chris Pearson) registered marks. Proof of standing in a Board proceeding is a low threshold. For example, Petitioner could have submitted testimony or competent documentary evidence as to its asserted need to use the terms comprising the marks and nature of its business activities to establish its standing. Petitioner neglected to do so. Thus, on the record before us, Petitioner has failed to establish a ‘real interest’ and ‘reasonable belief in damage.’ Accordingly, the cancellation proceeding is dismissed for Petitioner’s lack of standing. On May 22nd, Automattic filed a motion for the board to reconsider its decision. On June 1st, the board denied the request making its decision final. Petitioner has failed to establish any error in the Final Decision. Rather, Petitioner expresses disagreement with the result reached and argues, for the first time on reconsideration, positions it should have alleged in its petition to cancel, supported with testimony and/or competent evidence, and raised in its trial brief. We will not infer from Petitioner’s scant allegations and evidence, and silence in its brief, proof of its standing to bring this cancellation proceeding. Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration is denied. The decision allows Pearson to retain ownership of the DIYTHEMES, THESIS THEME, and THESIS trademarks. It’s unclear if this outcome will lead to more legal actions from either party. At the time of publishing, Pearson did not return a request for comment regarding the outcome and what his plans are for the Trademarks[...]

WPTavern: In Case You Missed It – Issue 22

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 00:18:44 +0000

photo credit: Night Moves – (license) There’s a lot of great WordPress content published in the community but not all of it is featured on the Tavern. This post is an assortment of items related to WordPress that caught my eye but didn’t make it into a full post. WordPress Foundation is Taking Submissions for The Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship For the third year in a row, the WordPress Foundation will award a woman contributor with financial need who has never attended WordCamp US the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was created in memory of Kim Parsell who passed away in 2015. The scholarship covers the cost of the following: Travel to and from Nashville from the recipient’s home city, Hotel stay for the duration of the event, A ticket to WordCamp US 2017. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Tuesday, August 15th at 12a.m. Pacific. Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship 2017 The WordPress Economy is Fine In a guest post for Post Status, Joshua Strebel, founder of Pagely, explains why he’s not worried about the WordPress economy. In all channels, new market entrants or existing small shops are being out-gunned by the established players, or the buyers needs are being met upon install. So is the WordPress ecosystem shrinking? Yes, segments of it are and will continue to do so. It’s like in any industry: the car replaced the horse and the robot replaced the factory worker. What was successful in the New Market phase may not work in the more mature, ‘Existing Market’ phase we are in. It’s a good read and it’s interesting to think about what new segments will be created that don’t exist. WPCampus 2017 Videos Are Now Available WPCampus has published all of the videos from its 2017 conference. They’re available to watch for free either on the site or the organization’s YouTube channel. If you attended WPCampus 2017 or watched the livestream, please consider taking the following survey that will help organizers plan for future events. WordPress Case Studies Needed The WordPress marketing team has published a survey seeking case studies from agencies, enterprises, and clients who use WordPress. The team has provided a sample Case Study that can be used as a template. The case studies will help determine how WordPress is being used and help focus future marketing efforts. Calling all WordPress Agencies New Preferred Languages Prototype Pascal Birchler unveiled an updated prototype of the preferred languages project. The project adds UI to the WordPress backend that allows users to select multiple preferred languages. WordPress will try to load the translations for the first language that’s available. If it’s not available, it will fall back to the next language in the list. Birchler is seeking feedback on the newest version of the plugin and is working towards it being a merge candidate for WordPress 4.9. Preferred Languages: The Prototype WordPress’ Emerging Dominance as a CMS of Choice for Law Firms Kevin O’ Keefe explains why WordPress is likely to become the dominant CMS of choice for law firms. Just as Word has replaced WordPerfect as the word processing solution of choice for law firms, WordPress is likely to replace other content management systems for law firms, both large and small. WordPres[...]

WPTavern: Publishers Are Moving Back to WordPress After Short Experiments with Medium

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 23:09:07 +0000

photo credit: hyku – cc The Awl, ThinkProgress, Film School Rejects, and several other publishers have moved back to WordPress after short experiments on Medium. In early 2016, Medium convinced a collection of small, independent publications to move to its platform but shortly thereafter discontinued its unsuccessful ad-driven publishing model without notifying publishers. In March 2017, Medium CEO Ev Williams announced that his solution to fix the broken, ad-driven media industry was to fire up a new $5 subscription program that would put articles behind a paywall inside of the Medium network. Today The Awl, The Hairpin, and The Billfold announced the publications have moved back to WordPress after switching to Medium in April 2016. “The move to Medium was a cool experiment, in my opinion, but the year is up and personally I missed the ads,” The Awl Editor Silvia Killingsworth said. The Billfold’s announcement cited Mediums’ recent changes as the reason for the move back to WordPress: Our move to Medium was an experiment to explore a different kind of business model, and that experiment is over now that the platform has moved in a different direction (you can read more in-depth about those changes here). Adapting to change is all part of the many joys of being a small, independent publisher. Film School Rejects Returns to WordPress After 1-Year Experiment with Medium Film School Rejects (FSR) also returned to WordPress in May after a year-long, rocky experiment with Medium. The publication was one of Medium’s first 12 premium publishers. “To be honest, I can’t afford, nor would my heart hold up for, a move back to a private server and WordPress,” FSR founder Neil Miller told Poynter in January after Medium announced it was pivoting away from ad-driven media. “So, barring a miracle, my site will live and die on Medium. I’m optimistic that I’ll find some sort of solution and be able to remain on Medium.” Ultimately, Medium’s goals as a publisher of subscription content were at odds with FSR’s ability to sustain the publication. Miller said they had ported 10 years of content over to the platform after being promised a beautiful user experience and a way forward that would allow FSR to grown the business, continue to pay its writers, and keep the publication on the cutting edge. “What we were sold when we joined their platform is very different from what they’re offering as a way forward,” Miller told Poynter. “It’s almost as if Ev Williams wasn’t concerned that he was pulling out the rug from underneath publishers who had placed their trust in his vision for the future of journalism.” After moving FSR back to WordPress, Miller said the partnership with Medium was great until the company changed course to become a different type of platform. “As time went on, it became clear that Medium’s priorities had shifted from being a platform for independent publishers to being itself a publisher of premium, subscription-based content,” he said. “As we learned more about their future plans for the now-existent Medium ‘Members Only’ program, it became clear that our site wouldn’t be able to continue to operate the way we always [...]

WPTavern: WordPress 4.8.1 Released, Adds Custom HTML Widget

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 20:26:27 +0000

WordPress 4.8.1 is available for download or as an update from the WordPress Dashboard. This release contains 29 bug fixes and improvements. The most notable addition is a dedicated Custom HTML widget.

(image) Custom HTML Widget in WordPress 4.8.1

The Custom HTML widget works similar to the Text widget in WordPress 4.7 and below. To see a full list of changes in WordPress 4.8.1, check out the release notes. If you think you’ve discovered a bug, please report it in as much detail as possible on the WordPress support forums. Twenty-two people contributed to this release.

Matt: Website as Resume

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 10:23:48 +0000

The illustrious Chance the Rapper was looking for a new intern.

Some people responded with regular resumes, replying as images, but Negele “Hopsey” Hospedales decided to make a website on

The happy ending is written up in Billboard: he got the gig and went on tour with Chance. Hospey wrote a great article on it himself: How To Work For Your Favourite Rapper.

Akismet: Akismet WordPress Plugin 3.3.4 Now Available

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 04:25:22 +0000

Version 3.3.4 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available.

3.3.4 has a few fixes and enhancements that should make everyone’s lives better:

  • URL previews in the WordPress admin will now begin preloading when the cursor moves near the link so they appear faster once you move your mouse over the link.
  • When a comment is caught by both the Comment Blacklist and Akismet, Akismet will now leave it in Trash instead of moving it out of Trash and into Spam.
  • A bug has been fixed that was preventing a notice from being shown when a site’s firewall was preventing it from connecting to Akismet’s servers.
  • Akismet will no longer log all of its debug information unless a new constant (AKISMET_DEBUG) is also enabled, even if WP_DEBUG and WP_DEBUG_LOG are both enabled.

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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WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 283 – A Visit From St. Gutenberg

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 01:25:51 +0000

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I start off the show with an adaptation of ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas‘ created by Clement Clarke Moore. Since we didn’t have a guest, Jacoby and I opened up about our personal lives which turned into a conversation about remote working from home. We also discussed the news of the week, including SiteLock’s acquisition of Patchman, WordPress 4.8.1, and Adobe discontinuing Flash.

Stories Discussed:

A Fix for WordPress Weekly Subscribers Using Pocket Casts
WordPress 4.8.1 Adds a Dedicated Custom HTML Widget
SiteLock Acquires Patchman’s Malware and Vulnerability Detection Technology, Expands WordPress Customer Base to 4 Million
Adobe to Discontinue Flash Support and Updates in 2020
.blog Passes 100,000 Registrations, 66.5% of Purchased Domains are in Use
BuddyPress 2.9 Adds Ability to Safely Edit A Group’s Permalink
New Dobby Plugin Captures and Hides Unwanted WordPress Admin Notices

Picks of the Week:

An entertaining one-star review of Gutenberg based on ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ poem by Clement Clarke Moore.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, August 9th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #283:

WPTavern: WordPress Polyglots Team Fuels International Community Growth with 3rd Global Translation Day

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 00:36:19 +0000

The 3rd Global WordPress Translation Day has been set for September 30, 2017. The success of previous events has generated momentum to continue the 24-hour global translation sprints and has also increased the visibility of the Polyglots team’s contributions. These sprints have provided a catalyst for the team’s growth from 5,000 contributors in April 2015 to 17,000 in November 2016. The greater WordPress community has also grown in tandem, as reliable translations are the lifeblood of international WordPress usage. One way of measuring the growth of the global community is the checking the status of local meetups. After the addition of the dashboard events widget in WordPress 4.8, the community has seen a sharp rise in meetup group growth, according to recent stats from the community team. The widget displays local WordPress events for logged-in users. “It’s safe to say that the widget has achieved its goals admirably — since WordPress 4.8 was released a little over a month ago, 31 new meetup groups have been formed with 15,647 new members across the whole program,” Hugh Lashbrooke said. “This is compared to 19 new groups and only 7,071 new members in the same time period last year.” Much of that growth can be attributed to the growth of the international WordPress community, which has continued to advance the concept of regional WordCamps for countries and continents. These include events such as WordCamp Netherlands, WordCamp Europe, and the planned WordCamp Asia, that bring larger groups of WordPress enthusiasts together around a common region. In 2014, the WordPress community hosted 80 WordCamps in 29 countries. At the conclusion of 2016, there were 115 total WordCamps hosted in 41 different countries. WordPress’ usage continues to grow every year, and the percentage of non-English-speaking users is also expanding. In 2014, non-English WordPress downloads surpassed English downloads for the first time. Last July, 53.9% of WordPress sites used the English (US) locale. That number has dropped to 50% as of today, as international usage continues to rise. Stats from July 2017 Rahul Bansal’s lightning talk at WordCamp Europe identified one example of how the translation sprints are bringing in new contributors in India. In the past, meetup groups have had a problem with retaining new users, who often come to their first meetup lacking both a sense of belonging and confidence in contributing. Bansal and other Polyglots members had an idea to remove this block to contributing by getting new users involved in translating WordPress. During the last global translation day event, Bansal helped organize a local group to translate WordPress core into Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati. They also translated the subtitles for the WordPress 4.6 release video. The key was that the leaders did not participate in translating strings but rather focused on guiding new translators – 90% ended up being first-time contributors. WordPress 4.6 shipped with support for 50 languages and the complete Gujarati translation was added to core just a few days before the release. Its inclusion in th[...]

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.8.1 Maintenance Release

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 21:26:25 +0000

After over 13 million downloads of WordPress 4.8, we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of WordPress 4.8.1, a maintenance release.

This release contains 29 maintenance fixes and enhancements, chief among them are fixes to the rich Text widget and the introduction of the Custom HTML widget. For a full list of changes, consult the release notes, the tickets closed, and the list of changes.

Download WordPress 4.8.1 or visit Dashboard → Updates and simply click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update to WordPress 4.8.1.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to 4.8.1:
Adam Silverstein, Andrea Fercia, Andrew Ozz, Atanas Angelov, bonger, Boone Gorges, Boro Sitnikovski, David Herrera, James Nylen, Jeffrey Paul, Jennifer M. Dodd, K. Adam White, Konstantin Obenland, Mel Choyce, r-a-y, Reuben Gunday, Rinku Y, Said El Bakkali, Sergey Biryukov, Siddharth Thevaril, Timmy Crawford, and Weston Ruter.

HeroPress: Your Skills Speak Louder Than Your Gender

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 11:00:33 +0000

I don’t usually talk or even think about gender in relation to my career. I’m a female developer but I’ve never really felt like that is anything too special and more importantly I have rarely felt like my gender mattered. As a kid I thought I would become an artist or a dancer. It wasn’t until I had to choose the university to apply to that I decided to go with something more practical so I went with Computer Science. I hadn’t really done much with code before that, except for having a Lord of the Rings discussion board with my friends and making doing some HTML & CSS related to that. After the first year of school I was already making my first WordPress sites to paying customers. After graduating I have been a full-time employee in a developer position as well as a freelancer. I’ve worked both in Finland and in the USA. During my career I have actually been surprised how easy it has been for me, a woman in the male-dominated industry, to find work, to get promoted and to get recognition. I have not faced much discrimination or prejudice related to my gender, and the great professionals I have got to work with have always been interested in my skills beyond anything else. So how come there is such a huge gender gap in the industry? I’ve witnessed it myself many times – being the only woman in a WordPress meetup of thirty people, or not having to queue at all to women’s bathroom in a tech conference with over 1000 attendees. There is no doubt that women are as capable as men, so whatever the reason is I really hope the future women would see the fun, problem-solving profession of a programmer as a great career option. A few tips for an aspiring developer I want to encourage everyone considering a developer career to take action and go for it. The tech industry is full of very clever and inspiring people and I promise you will not be bored. More importantly it is a safe career choice: the job market is great and the companies and the different tech communities are generally very open and welcoming. If you want to be a woman person in tech, remember: Do not accept gender any discrimination One great thing about being a developer is the current status of the job market. There is a lot more demand than there is supply, so you can choose who you work with. Do not put up with discrimination, talk about it openly and stand against it. I’ve been lucky enough not to face much judgement based on my gender. I’ve worked both in Finland and in the US and the biggest challenges I’ve faced have been clients that have been surprised that a woman is the tech lead in their project. Usually after a few hours of working together the prejudice disappears – it has always been enough to just be professional and stay true to myself. Be active and give back It is important to be active in your community and help other people out in their careers. Everyone benefits from a striving local community and also it is a great opportunity to make new connections and open new doors in your career.Being an organiser of WordCamp Finland & WordPress Helsinki meetup group for the[...]

Dev Blog: The Month in WordPress: July 2017

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 07:50:14 +0000

After a particularly busy month in June, things settled down a bit in the WordPress world — WordPress 4.8’s release went very smoothly, allowing the Core team to build up some of the community infrastructure around development. Read on for more interesting news from around the WordPress world in July. Weekly meeting for new core contributors Onboarding new contributors is a persistent issue for most WordPress contribution teams. While every team welcomes any new contributors, the path to getting deeply involved can be tricky to find at times. This month, the Core team implemented a fantastic new initiative: weekly meetings for new core contributors as a way to encourage involvement and foster fresh contributions. The meetings not only focus on bugs suited to first-time contributors, they also make space for experienced contributors to help out individuals who may be new to developing WordPress core. The meetings are held every Wednesday at 19:00 UTC in the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. Increased focus on PHP practices in WordPress core In bringing people together to improve WordPress core, a new channel in the Making WordPress Slack group named #core-php is designed to focus on PHP development in the project. Along with this increased concentration on PHP, a new weekly meeting is now taking place every Monday at 18:00 UTC in #core-php to improve WordPress core’s PHP practices. Sharp rise in meetup group growth The dashboard events widget in WordPress 4.8 displays local, upcoming WordPress events for the logged in user. The events listed in this widget are pulled from the meetup chapter program, as well as the WordCamp schedule. This widget provides greater visibility of official WordPress events, and encourages community involvement in these events. It’s safe to say that the widget has achieved its goals admirably — since WordPress 4.8 was released a little over a month ago, 31 new meetup groups have been formed with 15,647 new members across the whole program. This is compared to 19 new groups and only 7,071 new members in the same time period last year. You can find a local meetup group to join on, and if you would like to get involved in organizing events for your community, you can find out more about the inner workings of the program on the Community Team site or by joining the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. WordPress 4.8.1 due for imminent release WordPress 4.8 cycle’s first maintenance release will be published in the coming week, more than a month after 4.8 was released. This release fix some important issues in WordPress core and the majority of users will find that their sites will update to this new version automatically. If you would like to help out by testing this release before it goes live, you can follow the beta testing guide for WordPress core. To get further involved in building WordPress core, jump into the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Core team blog. Further reading: The WordPress mobile apps have been updated with a bra[...]

WPTavern: Jetpack 5.2 Brings Major Improvements to the Contact Form Module

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 03:28:56 +0000

Jetpack’s Contact Form module hasn’t seen too many changes since its first release (version 1.3) in 2012. It is easily one of the most compelling features included in the plugin and has long been overdue for a refresh.

Today’s 5.2 release brings major improvements to the Contact Form module. Previously, Jetpack launched the form builder as a small popup in the post editor. The refreshed design brings form editing and previewing into the main content area where users can customize fields and labels and re-order them using drag-and-drop. At the bottom of the form users can click a button to add new fields. These interface updates bring the module more in line with other leading contact form plugins.


Jetpack 5.2 also improves the recommended features list for new users with better explanations of the features and benefits of each. The release also reduces the plugin’s zip file by 500kb and reduces the code required to run the Comment Likes module.

Comment Likes were introduced in version 5.1, offering users a new way of interacting within the comments. Hovering over the number of likes will display the Gravatars of the users who liked the comment. The feature does not require Jetpack Comments to be enabled. The two work independently of each other.


In attempting to add Comment Likes to the Tavern, we found the module has a conflict with the Epoch commenting plugin plugin. We have temporarily disabled the plugin until compatibility for Comment Likes is added. We are testing the module to see how it affects interaction in the comments of our posts.

WPTavern: A Fix for WordPress Weekly Subscribers Using Pocket Casts

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 19:09:46 +0000

Last week, you may have noticed that the Tavern was intermittently offline and generating errors. We’ve been experiencing technical issues for the past several months but they peaked last week. After working with Bluehost, they migrated the site from a VPS, to a Dedicated Server that has more powerful hardware.

Since the migration, we’ve noticed the site is more responsive, loads quicker, and doesn’t generate any errors. If you see an error or experience problems accessing the site, please report them to us on Twitter.

Last month, a number of WordPress Weekly listeners reported that they were unable to access recent episodes through Apple’s Podcasting app, Stitcher, and other applications. After reconverting the MP3s and getting them to work on Apple’s Podcasting app, I continued to receive reports from Pocket Casts subscribers that the files were not available.

After confirming the issue, I reconverted the MP3s three times with different conversion software. I also used tools to diagnose and confirm that the files were not corrupted. Despite my efforts, Pocket Casts continued to encounter problems accessing the files.

I was running out of options until Josh Eby reported that, deleting the app from his device, reinstalling it, and re-syncing his library fixed the problem.

I followed his advice and indeed, recent episodes of WordPress Weekly are available again in Pocket Casts. If you’re subscribed to the show using Pocket Casts and can not access episodes 280-282, please consider going through the steps listed above.

WPTavern: New Dobby Plugin Captures and Hides Unwanted WordPress Admin Notices

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 18:30:50 +0000

With the right combination of plugins and events, the WordPress admin area can quickly become a confusing mess of notices. WordPress’ notification system is often abused and overused by plugin authors who want to inject upsells and announcements into the admin. These can stack up like a pile of junk mail vying for users’ attention when they are trying to manage their sites. Ultimately, notice overload decreases users’ enjoyment of the software and may contribute to making it a chore to log into WordPress. The new Dobby plugin from Thorsten Frommen attempts to solve this problem by capturing and hiding unwanted admin notices. Frommen, a WordPress engineer at Inpsyde, was inspired to create the plugin after he saw a recent tweet from Torsten Landsiedel showing “Everyday life in the WordPress dashboard.” Alltag im WordPress Dashboard. — Torsten Landsiedel (@zodiac1978) July 16, 2017 Dobby rolls up WordPress admin notices and keeps them hidden behind a “Reveal” button that toggles a color-coded list of notices into view. It captures all the notices that are printed via the admin notice hooks, such as network_admin_notices, user_admin_notices, admin_notices and all_admin_notices. Dobby will post an admin notice if any notices have been captured. Frommen said the target audience for his plugin is “all the people sick and tired of too many admin notifications, which are oftentimes of no real value at all.” Dobby has a filter available for users to define what “too many” means for themselves. The plugin’s GitHub repository has examples of how to use the Dobby filter threshold, which lets users customize the minimum number of admin notices required to trigger Dobby to start hiding them. “It certainly is possible that people may miss (critical) messages with Dobby being active,” Frommen said. “However, Dobby is smart enough to style his admin notice according to the most critical one captured. This means that Dobby’s notice will have error styling if there was an error notice captured. If the most critical one was a warning, that’s what Dobby’s notice will be as well. Otherwise, it’s an info notice.” Within the first 10 minutes of requesting translations after announcing that Dobby was on, Frommen received German and Dutch translations for the plugin. The plugin UI has only two strings, which makes it a simple, 5-minute translation job. Frommen is considering adding a filter for people to define what kind of notices they would like Dobby to capture. He welcomes suggestions, contributions on GitHub, and more translations from the WordPress community.[...]

WPTavern: Gutenberg 0.6.0 Changes Text/Paragraph Block Behavior, Adds New Cover Text and Read More Blocks

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 23:26:18 +0000

photo credit: A Tiny Break From The Rain Adventures In Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass – (license) Gutenberg 0.6.0 was released over the weekend with significant changes to the way paragraphs are created within text blocks. In previous versions of the plugin, pressing enter would create a line break inside a paragraph. This release modifies the behavior of the text/paragraph block to split the block when a user presses enter. (Line breaks can still be created by pressing SHIFT+ENTER.) This update is a small improvement in that it hides the text formatting bar when you continue on with a new paragraph, but the slightest scroll or move of the mouse brings it back into view. Contributors are considering adding a buffer at some point that would only trigger the UI after the mouse moves a certain number of pixels. Unfortunately, the “New Paragraph” placeholder text is intrusive and distracting. It is a constant, unwanted reminder of the structure of your document, which is not helpful if you are trying to stay in the flow of writing. Gutenberg may improve the experience of vertically stacking differently formatted content, but the writing experience still needs a great deal of work before it can be comparable to what WordPress currently provides. The new editor still gets in the way of writing, instead of silently enabling it. I love Gutenberg so far, but this is too many dongles to display at the moment of focusing on writing. — Daniel Bachhuber (@danielbachhuber) July 25, 2017 After browsing the Gutenberg repository’s 400+ issues queue, it’s clear that contributors are aware of the jarring experience for writers and are working to improve it in every release. However, the beta software is not anywhere near ready for long-form writing, as the intrusive UI places too many cognitive demands on the writer. New Blocks in 0.6.0: “Cover Text” and “Read More” This release introduces a new “Cover Text” block that includes background, text color, and full-width options. Color swatches are available in the sidebar block options and contributors are planning to add filters to allow plugin and theme authors to supply a custom palette. Version 0.6.0 also includes a new “Read More” block that inserts a read more link with instant visual feedback within the content. This release also brings several improvements to existing blocks, autosaving for drafts, and initial support for undo/redo keyboard functions. Gutenberg’s Negative Reviews are Piling Up on Gutenberg contributors are regularly shipping weekly releases, with many features added as bare bones placeholders that will be iterated on in future releases. New blocks are being developed simultaneously with core editing features. Some testers have bemoaned the proliferation of blocks that may seldom be used while the basic writing experience continues to lag behind. Guten[...]

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 2.9.0 – ‘La Lombarda’

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 21:39:40 +0000

BuddyPress is happy to announce the immediate availability of it’s latest release 2.9 ‘La Lombarda’ available for download or updatable from your WordPress install plugin directory. This release features a range of improvements and updates for both core functionality and templates. Amongst a range of improvements and enhancements: BP legacy templates are updated for aria labels to bring a vastly improved level of accessibility to layouts. In line with current practises anchor title attributes are replaced with an enhanced version usable for all devices, BP Tooltips now provides pop up title requirements on mouse hover or keyboard focus. Provide the capability to edit the Group slug: now site admins may edit the group name and the permalink in the dashboard. Prevent group invites being sent to users that have already received one. Uploading of profile images in mobile devices improved as well as better handling of files with non ASCII characters. Email links to private message threads now re-direct logged out users to the login screen, logged in users are directed to message thread. New template tag bp_group_link() Add an order_by parameter for activity queries. You can see the full set of changes on our codex page Version 2.9.0 Comments & feedback Please report any issues to the Buddypress Support Forum or open a ticket on our Trac development home. Contributors Buddypress is a volunteer project and the core team acknowledges the contributions from everyone listed below that helped to bring 2.9 to the community. 55don, AaronOfTomorrow, allianse, Antonio Mangiacapra (antonioeatgoat), Benj (benjlipchak), Boone B Gorges (boonebgorges), Bunty (bhargavbhandari90), Brajesh Singh (sbrajesh), Christian Wach (needle), brandonliles, danbp, David Cavins (dcavins), dkelm, dsar, dsided, Henry Wright (henry.wright), Hugo (hnla), Ido Friedlander (idofri), Jay (uscore713), John Blackbourn (johnbillion), John James Jacoby (johnjamesjacoby), Juanho, lakrisgubben, Laurens Offereins (Offereins), lne1030, lenasterg, Maniou, Mathieu Viet (imath), mercime, Michael Beckwith (tw2113), Mike Gillihan (MikeGillihan), Milind More (milindmore22), modemlooper, mrjarbenne, Nicolas Kulka (NicolasKulka), Oelita, Paul Gibbs (DJPaul), paresh.radadiya (pareshradadiya), r-a-y, Renato Alves (espellcaste), Rian Rietveld (rianrietvelde), Samuel Elh (elhardoum), seventhqueen, Slava Abakumov (slaffik), Stephen Edgar (netweb), Vishal Kakadiya (vishalkakadiya), La Lombada This release is named after what is thought to the oldest and thus first Italian restaurant in the UK established circa 1922 in Aberdeen.[...]

WPTavern: Dmitry Mayorov Discusses the Challenges of Organizing WordCamp Moscow and the Future of WordPress Themes

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 19:57:36 +0000

While at WordCamp Europe I had the opportunity to meet Russian designer and developer Dmitry Mayorov, whose themes I had noticed earlier in the year in the WordPress Theme Directory. Mayorov’s design style is reminiscent of other niche theme developers like Anders Norén and Mike McAlister. He launched his own commercial themes business on two years ago and his free Counter and Maker themes collectively have more than 3,000 active installs on   Mayorov started taking part in meetups in Russia in 2013. Following WordCamp Moscow 2015, Konstantin Kovshenin asked him if he would take on the role of lead organizer. Mayorov is organizing WordCamp Moscow 2017, which is scheduled for August 12. In our interview below, he describes a few of the challenges organizers face in uniting the Russian WordPress community that is spread out over such a large land mass. Mayorov also discusses how he began creating WordPress themes and how clients’ needs influenced his theme development philosophy. He aspires to create themes that are fast, content-focused, and minimalistic, without the bloat of hundreds of font options and pre-built site layouts. Mayorov also gave us his predictions for the future of the theme industry. “I think it’s going to go two directions at the same time,” Mayorov said. “I think that page builders and multi-purpose themes wont go anywhere but I also think that niche themes are here to stay as well. Not everybody is looking for a page builder. “I see the tendency that at first when people get introduced to WordPress they discover theme marketplaces. They think, ‘Ok this is the top seller, I’m going to go with this theme.’ For some people it works, and there’s nothing wrong with that, because sometimes you have challenges where you need to create a website like yesterday…Once they see that there is another way, they start to research other theme developers and shops, realizing that there are simple themes that work faster and are easier to use, and that you don’t need to spend two hours trying to create the homepage. They will use those themes as well. These are the themes I’m trying to build.” [...]

WPTavern: Customize Snapshots 0.6.0 Adds the Ability to Name and Merge Changesets

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 22:58:04 +0000

photo credit: Contributors to the Customize Snapshots feature plugin are steadily building a UI for managing Customizer changesets using the changesets infrastructure added in WordPress 4.7. Version 0.6.0 of the plugin was released this month with an expanded interface for managing the complexities of multi-user editing in the Customizer. The previous version of Customize Snapshots already supported scheduling but this release introduces a new multi-select save button that allows users to publish, save draft, save as pending, or schedule changes. Version 0.6.0 adds the ability to name changesets, which is especially helpful for site owners who are sorting and previewing changes submitted by multiple editors. The list of changesets has links for previewing on the frontend, editing in the Customizer, or inspecting the changeset’s content on the edit post screen. This release introduces the ability to merge multiple changesets into a single changeset, which users can then preview and publish all at once. Contributors have not yet worked out how this feature will handle conflicting changes submitted by multiple users. It currently accepts whatever change was made more recently, but this isn’t ideal in certain situations. Conflict resolution is on the team’s radar to address in future iterations of the plugin and they are discussing several different approaches. “Merging changesets would definitely lie in the realm of a power user feature,” Customize component co-maintainer Weston Ruter said. “It would probably not be proposed for core. Nevertheless, the existence of the feature is a demonstration of the kinds of things that can be possible when working with changesets.” In addition to co-leading WordPress’ Customizer team, Ruter is also the CTO at XWP, where several of the agency’s clients are actively using the Customize Snapshots plugin. News Corp Australia and Beachbody are two companies that have invested in the plugin’s development and are successfully using it at scale on their network of sites. “When paired with the Customize Posts plugin, it gets really powerful because you can edit multiple posts and pages, along with any of their postmeta, while also editing widgets, nav menus, and any other settings, and all of these changes are all bundled together in a single changeset,” Ruter said. “This changeset can then be previewed on the frontend, including by sharing the URL with an unauthenticated user (like a 3rd party who can’t even access the Customizer), and they can click around the site with all of the customizations applied as if they had been published.” Ruter said the Customizer team isn’t currently targeting a WordPress release for getting these new UI additions added to core but rather view the progress as “prototypes for what could be merg[...]

WPTavern: .blog Passes 100,000 Registrations, 66.5% of Purchased Domains are in Use

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:09:04 +0000

The .blog domain extension, managed by Automattic subsidiary Knock Knock WHOIS There (KKWT), opened registration to the public in November 2016 and has just passed the 100,000 registration milestone. The extension is averaging 300 new .blog domains registered per day and is quickly gaining popularity among new generic TLDs. According to the most recent stats available at nTLDStats, .blog registrations have climbed steadily and predictably every month since its public launch. .blog registrations according to Automattic, which operates independently from KKWT as a registrar, currently has the largest market share of .blog domain registrars at 62.8%. Other smaller pieces of the pie continue to see increasing numbers of registrations. “When a .blog domain is sold through any .blog registrar, it operates like all other top-level domains (TLDs),” .blog representative Erica Varlese said. “This means that the registry, in this case Knock Knock WHOIS There, receives the wholesale cost, ICANN receives their fees, and the registrar retains the rest.” The .blog team has started experimenting with different marketing programs to promote the extension among registrars and launched its first campaigns last month. “These programs are available to any .blog accredited registrar and, through participation, allows them to provide .blog domains to their customers at a discounted rate,” Varlese said. “It is designed to test price elasticity and various end-user marketing techniques that best fit each registrars’ unique customer-base.” Registration for .blog domains is fully integrated into’s domain offerings, but Varlese said that Knock Knock WHOIS There, as a separate company, is not informed of the specific details of their domain roadmap. The subsidiary also does not track how many of the .blog domains are running WordPress, as the extension is platform agnostic and in use across many different blogging services. So far .blog domain customers include both individuals and businesses, including some e-commerce and community sites. Varlese said the main benefit to acquiring a .blog domain is that customers are more likely to get and use a name they always wanted (, versus settling for a more complicated variation, such as “Using a blog domain is also a great way to embrace engagement with your community,” Varlese said. “In addition to individual and personal bloggers, we also see larger brands using blogs to engage with their customers. Visiting, for example, is intuitive. The domain lets me know right away what type of content and interaction to expect versus what my expectations would be when prompted to visit Both are equally important and both add value to the customer’s online exp[...]

WPTavern: Adobe to Discontinue Flash Support and Updates in 2020

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 04:01:41 +0000

Adobe announced today that it will discontinue Flash support and updates at the end of 2020. Flash played an important part in the history of the web, inspiring many of the open standards and formats that the web has moved on to embrace. Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats. Last year most major browsers moved to block Flash, requiring users to enable it manually for sites where they wish to view Flash content. Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla were on deck today with announcements of their own regarding future Flash support. Firefox is the most aggressive with its plan to disable Flash for most users in 2019. Only those running an Extended Support Release will be able to continue using it through the end of 2020 and no version of Firefox will load the plugin after Adobe discontinues security patches. Chrome is also phasing out support for Flash and plans to remove it completely from the browser toward the end of 2020. “Three years ago, 80 percent of desktop Chrome users visited a site with Flash each day,” Google Chrome Product Manager Anthony Laforge said. “Today usage is only 17 percent and continues to decline. “This trend reveals that sites are migrating to open web technologies, which are faster and more power-efficient than Flash. They’re also more secure, so you can be safer while shopping, banking, or reading sensitive documents.” The Microsoft Edge team also announced its plans to phase out Flash from both Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer with complete removal from all supported versions of Microsoft Windows by the end of 2020. Although HTML5 adoption is growing among game developers, Adobe’s announcement means major changes for segments of the the gaming, education, and video industries that have not yet migrated to newer, open formats. This news will also make obsolete dozens of WordPress plugins that were created to upload and display Flash content. Adobe’s announcement was met with thanks and “good riddance,” with many calling for an even speedier timeline. Many are also concerned about all the orphaned content and .swf games on the web that Flash’s disappearance will create. Adobe has received many requests on Twitter for the company to consider open sourcing the old Flash Player codebase for the sake of compatibility and archiving content. Adobe has not officially replied to any of these requests.[...]

HeroPress: Random Diary Chapters

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:00:34 +0000

There goes my hero Watch him as he goes There goes my hero He’s ordinary I have no idea what I’m going to write about. How about people? Ordinary people are heroes to me. People who are willing to help one another. People just like you and me. Well, at least like you – if you’re for some reason reading my diary. Who’s teaching who I still remember when I build my first website with table layouts while studying math in the University of Jyväskylä. Those were the days! But it doesn’t feel like yesterday anymore. More like day before. Nevertheless being a math teacher has been the perfect choice for me. It’s been fun, challenging, and rewarding. I’ve probably learnt lot more from students than they have from me. Heck, they even got me into WordPress when I was taking my ex-students short film course. Was it 2008? Something like that. We needed a website for our short film and had only 1-2 days. Students gave me link to and I was sold. Getting site up and running was easy and fast. “Well come here and do it yourself!!” – drama class student shouted. That’s another good lesson I’ve learnt. It’s so easy to give negative feedback (don’t do it like that) without doing anything yourself or giving constructive feedback. Oh boy I still feel ashamed when I judged a book by it’s cover. This time the book cover was a blonde girl asking weird questions with high voice. I was a prison of my prejudice and instantly assumed she must be bad at math. How wrong was I. She was brilliant. At least the prison gate is now open if I just understand to walk out. Who am I Sometimes I wonder what other people think of me? Do they think I’m open minded teacher, or front-developer who cares about accessibility. But does any of that matter? Job title really doesn’t tell anything who I am. Or anybody else. But who am I? I’m not sure how to define me. I’m no dad or husband. I do have several good traits but there are also demons inside me. Lack of empathy is one of them. And that comes down to this: In the end I’m a selfish asshole. It’s okay to be selfish from time to time but it’s not okay to let people down big time when they need me most. Being an ordinary human being is not one of my strengths but I’ll promise to work on it. Friends will be friends I consider myself lucky. I have lovely parents and two crazy big brothers. And over the years I have made friendships that last forever. I hope everybody have a friend who is like a bridge between other friends. Someone who is always organizing something fun: bowling, music gigs, dinners, sports. Someone who is always nice to others and would never hurt a fly. I had a friend like that. But as a return I couldn’t help him enough. Shadows of life had taken over him. He could not see the light any[...]

WPTavern: SiteLock Acquires Patchman’s Malware and Vulnerability Detection Technology, Expands WordPress Customer Base to 4 Million

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 18:46:32 +0000

SiteLock, a website security company, has acquired Patchman, a Dutch security startup that offers automated vulnerability patching and malware removal for hosting providers. Prior to the acquisition SiteLock protected 6 million sites, with 2.2 million of them running on WordPress. The addition of Patchman extends SiteLock’s customer base to 12 million sites and more than 4 million of those are powered by WordPress. Patchman detects vulnerabilities in a wide range of popular applications and quarantines and patches threats automatically. The quarantine feature neutralizes malicious files by removing them from public access. Patchman supports detection and patching for WordPress 3.x and later. Historically, the service has not included patches for plugins but it has applied them on a case-by-case basis for high impact vulnerabilities, including a few found in WP Super Cache, MailPoet, and the open source Genericons font project. The Patchman dashboard allows users to easily track files where vulnerabilities have been detected, view status, and revert patches if necessary. Patchman’s single focus on hosting providers gives SiteLock the opportunity to offer more options to its hosting partners. With the acquisition, the company is now partering with more than 500 hosting providers, including BlueHost, 1&1,, InMotion, Melbourne IT, GMO (NTT), and many others. “During our early talks, Patchman was not looking to be acquired and SiteLock wasn’t looking to acquire,” SiteLock President Neill Feather said. After meeting at the WorldHostingDays show in Rust, Germany in late March this year and at another show in Los Angeles, the companies found they shared similar goals and would be in a better position working together. “It truly was a matter of 1+1=3,” Feather said. “Traditionally, SiteLock is very strong in detecting and removing malware for end users. Patchman offers a service tailored specifically to hosting providers and aimed at fixing the security vulnerabilities that hackers exploit to infect websites with malware. By working together we are able to address a wider market and offer a broader solution to the problems that we solve for our customers. We can now attack the problem from multiple angles.” Patchman’s technology will compliment SiteLock’s existing security features but the company has not yet decided how it will be incorporated into its security plans for customers. Feather said the team is still jointly building out its future roadmap to give hosts and end customers access to a wider range of products. They are also considering making Patchman’s detection technology compatible with more products in the WordPress ecosystem. Feather could not disclose any specifics on revenu[...]

WPTavern: Watch WordCamp Varna Wapuus Get Designed in Real Time

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 04:14:13 +0000


The very first WordCamp Varna will be held September 2-3 at the University of Economics. Varna is a beautiful city in Bulgaria on the Black Sea and a popular spot for summer holidays. It is the first Bulgarian WordCamp to be held outside of Sofia.

Tickets are on sale for EUR 10 (BGN 20) and include all the sessions, lunch, a #WCVAR 2017 T-shirt, and a few drinks at the after party. There are 102 remaining for the conference and 14 remaining tickets for the kids’ workshop (ages 7-14).

The location naturally inspired a maritime sticker pack collection for attendees, featuring four new wapuu designs. The collection was designed by the vector graphic illustrators at GraphicMama, a design partner for the WordCamp. Ever wonder how much effort goes into designing all the individualized creations in the world of wapuus? Check out the video below to see how WordCamp Varna’s wapuu designs were brought to life.

WPTavern: New Aztec Editor for WordPress Mobile Apps Now in Beta

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 22:59:36 +0000

WordPress’ iOS and Android apps will soon be getting a new editor. The appearance of the new editor, codenamed “Aztec,” is very similar to the old one but is light years ahead of its predecessor in both speed and reliability. Aaron Douglas, iOS engineer at Automattic, announced the open beta for Aztec today with a side-by-side comparison video of the old and new editors. A copy and paste test with 500 paragraphs on iPhone 6s demonstrates Aztec’s instantaneous response while the old editor takes two-minutes to render the text. In addition to better speed and performance, Aztec’s use of OS-provided text controls makes it possible to offer full support for accessibility technologies like iOS’ VoiceOver and Android’s TalkBack. It also adds the ability to draft using dictation. Aztec introduces a new undo/redo tool at the top of the screen as a quick option for fixing mistakes. It also provides a simpler, more reliable experience using spell check. The Aztec beta is available to all users in the latest updates of the app (8.0 for iOS, 7.8 for Android). After opening the app you will see a popup for enabling the new editor. It can also be toggled on/off by going to Me > App Settings and selecting “Set the Editor Type.” The mobile team has made it easy to test and give feedback without leaving the app. Tapping the “beta” button at the top of the editor will open a “What’s New in the Beta” page with a bug button at the top that you can use to report bugs and send feedback. At the moment, the beta does not support shortcodes or video and WordPress gallery features. Keep in mind that it’s not 100% ready for use and heavy users of the mobile apps are likely to discover glitches. Aztec is open source (GPL 2.0) and packaged as a rich-text editor component in its own GitHub repository (iOS | Android) so that developers can use it in their own applications and contribute code back to the project. “Quite literally, there is nothing like this out there – every editor we could find uses a web view or has very limited support for any HTML,” Douglas said. “Our hope is the Aztec editor is seen as a component that can be used by many iOS and Android apps to provide a rich HTML editing experience. We feel that we could garner a bigger contributor base to the mobile apps simply because this component exists, is free and open, and is super awesome.” The project is a few months behind the schedule published in April, which had open beta targeted for May and the full release for the end of this month. Depending on how well the beta testing period goes, users could see the new Aztec editor included in the mobile apps within the nex[...]