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Post Status: Interview with Matt Mullenweg on the new WordPress release cycle and more

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 19:27:41 +0000

During contributor day of WordCamp US in Philadelphia, I was able to interview Matt Mullenweg to follow up on several items he announced in the State of the Word. We mostly discussed the new WordPress development cycle and how it will work with the three focus areas. We also discussed how that will affect other non-major updates and WordPress features. Matt also talked about the WordPress REST API, how he defines success for it, what he hopes to see out of it, and what he thinks would cause it to revert to a plugin only feature. And as this was the second and final year of WordCamp US in Philadelphia, we reflected on the event, and talked about what there is to look forward to in Nashville for WordCamp US 2017 and 2018. You can listen to just the audio, also on our podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. https://wordpress.org/news/files/2016/12/starter-content.mp4 To help give you a solid base to build from, individual themes can provide starter content that appears when you go to customize your brand new site. This can range from placing a business information widget in the best location to providing a sample menu with social icon links to a static front page complete with beautiful images. Don’t worry – nothing new will appear on the live site until you’re ready to save and publish your initial theme setup. Edit Shortcuts https://wordpress.org/news/files/2016/12/edit-shortcuts.mp4 Visible icons appear to show you which parts of your site can be customized while live previewing. Click on a shortcut and get straight to editing. Paired with starter content, getting started with customizing your site is faster than ever. Video Headers https://wordpress.org/news/files/2016/12/video-headers.mp4 Sometimes a big atmospheric video as a moving header image is just what you need to showcase your wares; go ahead and try it out with Twenty Seventeen. Need some video inspiration? Try searching for sites with video headers available for download and use. Smoother Menu Building Many menus for sites contain links to the pages of your site, but what happens when you don’t have any pages yet? Now you can add new pages while building menus instead of leaving the customizer and abandoning your changes. Once you’ve published your customizations, you’ll have new pages ready for you to fill with content. Custom CSS Sometimes you just need a few visual tweaks to make your site perfect. WordPress 4.7 allows you to add custom CSS and instantly see how your changes affect your site. The live preview allows you to work quickly without page refreshes slowing you down. PDF Thumbnail Previews Managing your document collection is easier with WordPress 4.7. Uploading PDFs will generate thumbnail images so you can more easily distinguish between all your documents. Dashboard in your language Just because your site is in one language doesn’t mean that everybody helping manage it prefers that language for their admin. Add more languages to your site and a user language option will show up in your user’s profiles. Introducing REST API Content Endpoints WordPress 4.7 comes with REST API endpoints for posts, comments, terms, users, meta, and settings. Content endpoints provide machine-readable external access to your WordPress site with a clear, standards-driven interface, paving the way for new and innovative methods of interacting with sites through plugins, themes, apps, and beyond. Ready to get started with development? Check out the REST API reference. Even More Developer Happiness Post Type Templates By opening up the page template functionality to all post types, theme developers have even more flexibility with the WordPress template hierarchy. More Theme API Goodies WordPress 4.7 includes new functions, hooks, and behavior for theme developers. Custom Bulk Actions List tables, now with more than bulk edit and delete. WP_Hook The code that lies beneath actions and filters has been overhauled and modernized, fixing bugs along the way. Sett[...]



WPTavern: State of the Word 2016: Mullenweg Pushes Calypso as Future of WordPress’ Interface, Proposes Major Changes to Release Cycle

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 18:50:17 +0000

photo credit: WordCamp US organizing team Philadelphia welcomed 1,923 attendees to WordCamp US this weekend with an additional 2,028 enthusiasts watching via live stream. Matt Mullenweg delivered his 11th annual State of the Word address to a rapt audience ready to celebrate WordPress’ progress over the past year and hear the project leader’s vision for 2017. He began by thanking sponsors and volunteers who made the event possible by covering the bulk of the $516 actual cost per person. Mullenweg said sponsors cover roughly 85-95% of the cost of WordCamps worldwide. In 2016, the events sold a total 36,000 tickets, with costs subsidized by more than 1,000 sponsors. Mullenweg said meetups are the leading indicator for WordCamps and these events have had the fastest growth the community has seen in five or six years. More than 62,566 people attended a local meetup in 58 countries and roughly one third of those were new members. It’s been a great year for WordCamps and meetups – 115 total WordCamps hosted in 41 different countries. #wcus pic.twitter.com/yVGkT0j52C — WordCamp US (@WordCampUS) December 3, 2016 WordPress Foundation to Create WordPress Community Support Subsidiary In order to better accommodate the extraordinary growth of the global community, the WordPress Foundation will be restructuring its management of WordCamps. In 2016 the Foundation took in an estimated $4.3 million, up from $2.8 million in 2015, with 99.9% of those funds related to WordCamps. Mullenweg announced that the 501c nonprofit will move WordCamps to its own company, WordPress Community Support, forming a PBC (Public Benefit Corporation) that is fully owned by the Foundation. He explained that if certain things happened at WordCamps it could endanger the overall Foundation, so WordCamps will now be managed under their own entity where the events will have a little more flexibility in how they do things. The Foundation plans to support some like-minded nonprofits that are aligned with the overall education mission of the organization, including Hack the Hood, Internet Archive, and Black Girls Code. In 2017 the Foundation will also begin promoting hackathons to help nonprofits and NGO’s. The Foundation will focus on supporting like-minded non-profits, education/workshops, and hackathons that benefit non-profits/NGOs. #wcus pic.twitter.com/6VfdP82KuM — WordCamp US (@WordCampUS) December 3, 2016 Internationalization is Driving an Increase in Plugin Usage Mullenweg shared a few stats about the plugin directory, which will soon be launching a new design with revamped search functionality. This year has seen a 20% increase in active plugin usage and a 34% increase in plugin downloads totaling 1.48 billion, which Mullenweg attributed to a spike in internationalization efforts over the past year. The number of translation contributors has grown from 5,000 in April 2015 to 17,000 as of November 2016. This year there were 1,598 plugins with language packs (up from 314 last year) and 1224 themes with language packs (up from 641 last year). Mullenweg noted that 2/3 of the world speaks one of 12 languages with native fluency and that WordPress covers all of these and many more. In fact, the 4.6 release shipped with support for 50 available languages. WordPress’ top 10 plugins are now 82% complete in the top 12 languages. The top 10 plugins are 82% complete in the top 12 languages. #wcus pic.twitter.com/LnpEGv0p7o — WordCamp US (@WordCampUS) December 3, 2016 Mullenweg Continues to Push Calypso as the Future of the WordPress Interface During the 2015 State of the Word, Mullenweg gave attendees a homework assignment to “learn JavaScript deeply” and promised to submit a JavaScript patch before 4.7 came out. He submitted his first pull request to Calypso yesterday, Automattic’s from-scratch rewrite of WP admin using Node and React. WordPress.com users have widely adopted the new interface for publishing. Mullenweg shared statistics showing that 68% of posts went t[...]



Post Status: Matt Mullenweg State of the Word, 2016

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 22:20:17 +0000

Matt Mullenweg just completed the 2016 State of the Word presentation at WordCamp US 2016. This year, Matt focused on a variety of important topics, including the state of user experience in WordPress today, goals for future interface improvements, a WordPress growth council, internationalization gains, the further proliferation of secure websites, and important changes to the WordPress development process. WordCamp US in Philadelphia Matt began his talk by thanking the city of Philadelphia for being a great host of the first two WordCamp US events, as well as the sponsors, organizers, and volunteers that helped make WordCamp US one of the most successful and smoothest run WordCamps ever. He also said the per person cost for WordCamp US is over $500 per person, and that only the sponsors make that happen. And next year, WordCamp US is making its way to Nashville. WordCamps and meetups in 2016 There were 116 WordCamps in 2016, and over 36,000 attendees, 2,056 speakers, 1,036 sponsors, and 750 organizers. There were 3,193 meetup events in 58 countries. These were attended by more than 62,000 people, or nearly double WordCamps. Matt says it’s the fastest growth there has been for these events in around five or six years. WordCamp Europe actually had more people than WordCamp US this year, which Matt took as a personal challenge for Nashville. WordPress.tv published 26% more talks this year than the previous year, and now there is an official WordPress channel on YouTube, so more and more videos will begin to be available wherever people want to watch them. WordCamp public benefit corporation and the WordPress Foundation More than a year ago, work began to separate WordCamps from the WordPress Foundation, in order to make WordPress event organizing more flexible and to better protect the WordPress trademarks that the foundation holds. One of the things the foundation is going to start doing is support like minded non-profits, and in 2017 will be sponsoring three: Hack the Hood, the Internet Archive, and Black Girls Code. Also, the foundation will start to promote hackathons for non-profits and NGOs. WordPress’s extended family Matt gave a shoutout to WordPress’s “cousins” like BuddyPress and bbPress, highlighting a lot of features that have gone into the software in the last year. BuddyPress and bbPress WordPress.org itself uses BuddyPress and bbPress. For ages, it’s used outdated versions of bbPress, and in the past year launched a new support form that uses modern bbPress and WordPress profiles use bbPress. Matt says projects like these will get new support and engagement over the next year. HackerOne HackerOne is a security website that allows software organizations to offer bounties to hackers for responsibly disclosing security bugs. GlotPress GlotPress has had a big transformation in the last year, as it is no longer standalone software on top of BackPress, but rather a plugin for WordPress. If you’ve never been to translate.WordPress.org, you’ve seen GlotPress in action, and it’s pretty amazing. WordPress.org WordPress.org is a central hub for the WordPress community. Matt highlighted some of the work that’s been going on this past year around languages, support forums, and more. He also says that new work will be going into P2/O2, which are used for the Make WordPress blogs. And he gave attention to the new WordPress plugin repository, which finally uses WordPress itself, and has a whole new design. You can see the new design in action on the new demo site, which should role out to the main Plugins directory soon. WordPress in all languages WordPress 4.6 was available in 50 languages the day it was released. And the top 10 plugins are 82% translated in the top 12 languages used in WordPress. Language packs have been a huge help in helping translate plugins as a community project on Translate.WordPress.org, rather than having to ship translations inside the plugin itself. 1,598 plugins are now using [...]



Matt: WordCamp Live Stream

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 11:54:15 +0000

Later today (3:45pm ET) I’ll deliver my annual State of the Word speech, which I’m very excited about. If you’d like to watch remotely, this year live stream tickets are free and you can tune in here.




WPTavern: DigitalCube Launches Shifter, Serverless Hosting for WordPress

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 03:44:56 +0000

(image)

DigitalCube launched Shifter at WordCamp US today, the first serverless hosting product for WordPress. The Japanese development company specializes in WordPress and AWS integrations. Shifter was built by the same team behind the company’s Amimoto cloud hosting platform.

Shifter converts WordPress sites into a series of static HTML files and serves them up via a global CDN (AWS) for high performance hosting, eliminating the burden of software maintenance and server updates. The product targets websites that have a low frequency of updates, such as business or portfolio sites, as well as maintenance and support providers.

Shifter allows site owners to turn WordPress on or off in its administration center. The service is a hybrid of a WordPress static site generator and a hosting solution. Shifter hosts the static files it creates and allows users to connect their domains. It leaves the standard WordPress management and administration workflow intact and compiles a new version of the static files anytime users update content inside WordPress. The service starts at $30/month and offers support for unlimited sites.

(image) Shifter dashboard

As the first commercial product to provide serverless WordPress hosting, Shifter offers a unique way to tackle the security concerns that plague WordPress and its plugins and themes. Because the software is used by more than 27% of all websites, it has become a big target for hackers and spammers alike. Shifter’s creators see WordPress as a prime candidate for serverless architecture.

DigitalCube team members met the Philadelphia-based J2 Design company at last year’s WordCamp US and partnered with them to improve their branding, copy writing, and approach.

“At that time, we were having problems in design, branding, and communication,” product liaison Shinichi Nishikawa said. “The name ‘Amimoto’ was originally a Japanese word and was difficult for people to pronounce or remember. We saw their work and asked them if we could form a partnership.”

Together the Amimoto and J2 Design teams took the project from concept to launch in about three months. They built Shifter with AWS, Docker, and the Serverless Framework. The development team behind the project also supports and manages sites such as The Japan Times, AOL Japan, and Mazda. They frequently contribute to open source projects, including WordPress, Serverless Framework, and WP-CLI.

Shifter has exited beta and the company has launched a Kickstarter campaign with a $10,000 goal to fund future development on the project’s roadmap, including domain mapping, a way to visualize usage of bandwidth and storage, multi-factor authentication, advanced scheduling, and WP-CLI support.




Matt: WP Growth Council

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:22:51 +0000

In the WordPress world, when we look back an 2016 I think we’ll remember it as the year that we awoke to the importance of marketing. WordPress has always grown organically through word of mouth and its passionate community, but the hundreds of millions being spent advertising against WP has started to have an impact, especially for folks only lightly familiar with us.

I’ve started to hear about a number of folks across many WordPress companies and industries working on this from different angles, some approaching it from an enterprise point of view and some from a consumer point of view. There’s an opportunity for learning from each other, almost like a mastermind group. As the survey says:

Never have there been more threats to the open web and WordPress. Over three hundred million dollars has been spent in 2016 advertising proprietary systems, and even more is happening in investment. No one company in the WP world is large enough to fight this, nor should anyone need to do it on their own. We’d like to bring together organizations that would like to contribute to growing WordPress. It will be a small group, and if you or your organization are interested in being a part please fill out the survey below.

By working together we can amplify our efforts to bring open source to a wider audience, and fulfill WordPress’ mission to truly democratize publishing.

If this sounds interesting to you, apply using this survey.




WPTavern: WordPress Will Only Recommend Hosting Companies Offering SSL by Default in 2017

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 21:10:54 +0000

In October, Let’s Encrypt was managing more than 10 million active SSL certificates. That number doubled to 20 million in November as large  providers continue to partner with the organization to manage their customers’ certificates.

In 2014, Google announced that HTTPS is a ranking factor. Earlier this year, the Google Chrome security team announced that Chrome 56 will mark HTTP sites that transmit passwords or credit cards as insecure.

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In 2017, managed WordPress hosting companies will have one more reason to enable SSL by default for new accounts. In a post on the WordPress.org blog, Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of the open source WordPress project, explains what the project is going to do to encourage HTTPS by default across the web.

“Early in 2017, we will only promote hosting partners that provide a SSL certificate by default in their accounts,” Mullenweg said.

“Later we will begin to assess which features, such as API authentication, would benefit the most from SSL and make them only enabled when SSL is there.”

Unrelated to SSL, Mullenweg also commented on the significant performance improvements in PHP7 and will consider whether hosting partners use PHP7 by default for new accounts in 2017.

These moves are a continued effort by Mullenweg to secure and encrypt as much of the web as possible. Earlier this year, WordPress.com encrypted all of its sites using Let’s Encrypt.

Let’s Encrypt is an initiative which aims to encrypt 100% of the web by making trusted certificates available to everyone at no cost. It’s a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the cost of one month of operations totaling $200K.

Josh Aas, ISRG Executive Director, explains the reasons behind the crowdfunding campaign, “First, there is a gap between the funds we’ve raised and what we need for next year,” Aas said.

“Second, we believe individual supporters from our community can come to represent a significant diversification of our annual revenue sources, in addition to corporate sponsorship and grants.”

To learn more about the campaign and to contribute, visit Let’s Encrypt’s Indiegogo page.




Dev Blog: Moving Toward SSL

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 17:20:29 +0000

We’re at a turning point: 2017 is going to be the year that we’re going to see features in WordPress which require hosts to have HTTPS available. Just as JavaScript is a near necessity for smoother user experiences and more modern PHP versions are critical for performance, SSL just makes sense as the next hurdle our users are going to face.

SSL basically means the link between your browser and the server is encrypted. SSL used to be difficult to implement, and often expensive or slow. Modern browsers, and the incredible success of projects like Let’s Encrypt have made getting a certificate to secure your site fast, free, and something we think every host should support by default, especially in a post-Snowden era. Google also weighs SSL as a search engine ranking factor and will begin flagging unencrypted sites in Chrome.

First, early in 2017, we will only promote hosting partners that provide a SSL certificate by default in their accounts. Later we will begin to assess which features, such as API authentication, would benefit the most from SSL and make them only enabled when SSL is there.

Separately, I also think the performance improvements in PHP7 are particularly impressive, and major kudos to everyone who worked on that. We will consider whether hosts use PHP7 by default for new accounts next year as well.

 




WPTavern: Flywheel Acquires WordPress Local Development Tool Pressmatic

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:03:52 +0000

Flywheel has acquired Pressmatic, a local WordPress development application for OS X. The application was created by Clay Griffiths, who will be joining Flywheel to support the product as part of the acquisition.

Pressmatic launched in July 2016 with a $129 price tag but Flywheel is opening it up for free for all users. The company is rebranding the product as “Local by Flywheel” and plans to create a Windows application, add off-site backups for local sites, and sell premium support.

“From the start, the application encompassed so many of Flywheel’s core values: speed, simplicity, and allowing designers and developers the freedom to do what they love,” Flywheel CEO and co-founder Dusty Davidson said. “It’s a perfect fit.”

Griffiths told the Tavern that he is excited for the opportunities that Flywheel can provide for Local going forward. “I originally built Pressmatic because I saw the gap that existed for a truly great local WordPress development experience, and now with the resources and team at Flywheel we’re set to really build something great,” Griffiths said. “I certainly could have continued to go at it alone, but after meeting the team it became clear that the right answer was to partner up and really go big.”

Griffiths Plans to Continue Headway Themes Support and Development in his Spare Time

The acquisition comes just months after Griffiths, who is also the co-founder of Headway Themes, was embroiled in the controversy surrounding the company’s lack of communication and decline in support. Many potential customers were turned off to Pressmatic as the result of Griffith’s lack of support for Headway Themes’ customers and its mistreatment of employees. They company publicly confirmed its financial troubles and apologized to customers after a former employee went public about not having been paid and customers not receiving support.

When asked how the Pressmattic acquisition affects Headway Themes customers, Griffiths confirmed that he will continue to be involved with support and development of Headway.

“This acquisition and employment will provide myself and my family much more stability than we’ve had in a long time, and will allow me to better focus on Headway in my spare time,” Griffiths said. “This includes rolling out the upcoming 4.1 release, and working hard to make sure the support and other outstanding issues are resolved for all our customers.”

Pressmatic is used by hundreds of WordPress developers and is Flywheel’s first acquisition. The application was built on top of Electron, an app framework that enables developers to build cross-platform desktop apps with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. It allows users to run apache or nginx, switch between PHP versions for any site, create multisite installations (including subdomain setups), and create remote tunnels to share local development. Mac users can download the new Local by Flywheel application at local.getflywheel.com.




HeroPress: WordPressing The Hard Way In Malawi

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:00:57 +0000

I am a self-taught graphic designer/ motion designer turned web designer and aspiring web developer from Malawi, Africa. I am a digital tinkerer who has fallen in love with and currently gone steady with WordPress. Still, the journey is rough. A little about my home country before you hear my story… Malawi Malawi, is at the time of my writing, the poorest country in the world. A tiny land locked country with a population of 17 million, AND still largely rural (about 75%) and struggling to develop. The average entry level monthly pay for skilled jobs is about $110. You are really fortunate if you are employed, young, working in the creative industry and earning somewhere near $300 a month. I doubt if anybody actually employed by someone in the design, creative and web services industry earns this much. That being said, I have been a freelance graphic designer since about 2011, doing gigs from my dorm room in college and my bedroom at home. Earnings from my freelance gigs increased my interest in entrepreneurship and I soon started entertaining the thought of starting my own creative agency or media powerhouse. HOW I FIRST CAME INTO CONTACT WITH WORDPRESS I first came into contact with WordPress in 2014 when a friend of mine from University were planning to start a local tech blog. Before WordPress, all I had was basic and outdated HTML knowledge I learned from high school and some knowledge in Adobe Dreamweaver. In 2014 very few websites in Malawi actually ran on WordPress as far as I remember. Most of the websites made in Malawi looked pretty archaic. With what to me was my partners expertise with WordPress Our blog looked like it came from the future. My partner knew where to get the themes (I did not know how he did it then, and still understood very little about WordPress). In a little while, ecstatic from the praise and positive feedback from the blog we decided to pursue the idea of opening our own content and media publishing outfit. Because our blog looked spectacular we got a few web redesign jobs thanks to the exposure the blog brought. We were ecstatic. Unfortunately, we both had very little administrative and business skills we could not maintain the business and we ended up going our separate ways. Fast forward post college, out of my first real job that I got in the TV industry ( terrible pay, overworked, and not being paid for about 5 months!) and failing to get more rewarding gigs as my creative agency start up side was cash strapped. I finally took it upon myself to learn the ins and outs of WordPress. I learned how to install WordPress on a server and did some research on customising Themes. That knowledge alone and presto: I got my first web design clients and started making earning nearly as much as I did at my first job, sometimes a little more, when I get fortunate  some times I even earn three times as much as I used to in a month. It only took a very short while for me to realise that free WordPress themes can only go so far, especially with my limited code skills. For most WordPress designers in Malawi, all we did was get nulled themes and customise them. This is the way most WordPress designers in developing countries survive. This is also why I would like to build my own themes from scratch, to avoid the situation where I have to use pirated themes that are not only unsafe for clients but unethical. In addition, I know learning to code will also set me apart from my competition. Which leads me to the next bit…. HOW THE LACK OF AN ONLINE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS AFFECTS DESIGNERS/DEVELOPERS IN COUNTRIES LIKE MINE My country apparently has PayPal “available”, but the truth is you cannot get yourself a credit card to be able to join creative markets, and do online courses in order to improve your WP skills. The banks here only issue out credit cards to pe[...]



WPTavern: Elizabeth Shilling Awarded the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 22:48:47 +0000

The WordPress Foundation has announced that Elizabeth Shilling, one of three co-founders of the Women Who WP meetup group, is the second recipient of the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship was created in 2015 to remember Kim Parsell and provide an opportunity for a woman who may not have the financial means to attend the largest WordCamp in the US.

(image) Bridget Willard on the left with Elizabeth Shilling on the right

Shilling is a former biology teacher, business owner, plugin developer, and feminist leader. According to the announcement, Shilling was chosen for her dedication to open source and being a champion for women in leadership. The scholarship covers the cost of a WordCamp ticket, flight, and lodging. If you see Shilling at WordCamp US this weekend, be sure to congratulate her.




WPTavern: PDF Image Previews Among the Improvements to Media in WordPress 4.7

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 01:41:53 +0000

Among the many enhancements in WordPress 4.7 are improvements to the media component. Previous to 4.7, users who uploaded files to the media library and changed the title could not search for them by file name. Four years since the ticket was created, users will be able to search for media by filename.

PDFs are easier to preview as the media library will create an image preview of the first page. This image is used throughout the library and media attachment screens.

(image) PDF Preview Images in the WordPress Media Library

In order to generate the previews, the webhosting server needs to support Imagick, ImageMagick, and Ghostscript. If support is not detected, WordPress will fall back and save the attachment without adding a preview image.

WordPress 4.7 also removes the caption text and the image title fallbacks to generate alternative text. Developers are encouraged to read the detailed notes surrounding PDF previews to ensure compatibility with WordPress 4.7. There’s also a handful of other changes to media that users and developers can read here.




Dev Blog: WordPress 4.7 Release Candidate

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 04:26:23 +0000

The release candidate for WordPress 4.7 is now available. RC means we think we’re done, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible we’ve missed something. We hope to ship WordPress 4.7 on Tuesday, December 6, but we need your help to get there. If you haven’t tested 4.7 yet, now is the time! To test WordPress 4.7, you can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or you can download the release candidate here (zip). WordPress 4.7 is a jam-packed release, with a number of features focused on getting a theme set up for the first time. Highlights include a new default theme, video headers, custom CSS, customizer edit shortcuts, PDF thumbnail previews, user admin languages, REST API content endpoints, post type templates, and more. We’ve made quite a few refinements since releasing Beta 4 a week ago, including usability and accessibility enhancements for video headers, media and page template support in starter content, and polishing of how custom CSS can be migrated to and extended by plugins and themes. The REST API endpoints saw a number of bugfixes and notably now have anonymous comment off by default. Not sure where to start with testing? Try setting up a fresh site on a new installation with Twenty Seventeen (hint: head into customizing your site before touching any pages or widgets) and taking notes on what you enjoyed and what got you stuck. For more details about what’s new in version 4.7, check out the Beta 1, Beta 2, Beta 3, and Beta 4 blog posts. Think you’ve found a bug? Please post to the Alpha/Beta support forum. If any known issues come up, you’ll be able to find them here. Developers, please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 4.7 and update your plugin’s Tested up to version in the readme to 4.7. If you find compatibility problems please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release – we work hard to avoid breaking things. An in-depth field guide to developer-focused changes is coming soon on the core development blog. Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! And if you haven’t yet done so, now is a great time to take the Annual WordPress Survey and send it on to your friends. Happy testing! And now for another Rami Abraham haiku break. Select your language Then let your users choose theirs get_user_locale() Theme authors rejoice Any option may employ Selective refresh Custom header video Make sure to add_theme_support Bling above the fold A new template dawns A hierarchy member Post-type templates live PDF updates Pack a parade of polish Prettier previews Template Post Type: New Template Post Type: And Useful Template Post Type: Thing Let lists live lively Laud wp_list_sort() Less laconic lists[...]



WPTavern: Why Are You Thankful for WordPress?

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 00:05:16 +0000

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US. It’s a time of reflection and an opportunity to express gratitude for the good things in life. In episode 143 of the KitchensinkWP podcast, host Adam Silver asked his two sons why they’re grateful for WordPress. “I am thankful for WordPress because it gives you a job for the household that we live in and it makes you happy which also makes me happy and smile,” Parker said. “I am thankful for WordPress because it makes you happy and it makes me happy and it provides a roof over our heads,” Carson said. Inspired by the episode, Josh Eby created the #Thankful4WP hashtag on Twitter. Here are a few reasons why people are thankful for WordPress. My #Thankful4WP List:* Life I enjoy because of WP* Lifelong, #Iceberg friendships* Passionate @ithemes team* Customers who support us — Cory Miller (@corymiller303) November 23, 2016 My #Thankful4WP list: the awesome community, resources, WordCamps, building websites w/ WP, the people, oh and did I mention the people? ❤️ — Justine Pretorious (@jpretorious) November 23, 2016 I’m #Thankful4WP and particularly for #GenesisWP because it’s afforded me opportunities I didn’t have before and awesome friendships. — Susan Ramsey (@onehappystudio) November 23, 2016 I am #Thankful4WP – People. Connections. A New Career. Teaching. Learning. Ah-ha Moments. WordCamps. Friends. Support. Good Times. — BobWP (@bobWP) November 22, 2016 I am #Thankful4WP because it gave me opportunity to leave the 9to5 job and start something of my own #myownbusiness @wfanzine #WordPress — Sanjeev Mishra (@sonziv) November 22, 2016 I’m thankful for WordPress because of the opportunities it has provided me and I’ve met some amazing people because of it. If you’re thankful for WordPress please let us know why in the comments. From all of us at the Tavern, have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy – Fred De Witt Van Amburgh [...]



HeroPress: Building Confidence

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 12:00:44 +0000

I can clearly divide my life in two parts before and after marriage. Before I got married, I was staying in Chapra, a small city in Bihar. I had graduated in Botany, we only had electricity for 5-6 hours a day and no easy access to internet or computers. After my marriage, I came to Pune, a bigger city compared to Chapra and things changed for me. I was exposed to exciting world of technology, thanks to my husband who was then working at a startup. I had lot of free time so I decided to learn as much as I could just to see what I can do and started by learning MS Office, then Photoshop a bit and in the process I also learned HTML, CSS. I tried but couldn’t get much hang of JavaScript. Once I got confident that I can write decent HTML, I switched to learning CMS and first one I tried was Joomla, and for me it was very hard to understand, I had more question then I could find answers to. So on suggestion of my husband I switched to WordPress. I was able to quickly figure things out with WordPress and set up a blog for myself. In 2010, I joined WPoets as QA. In those days I had some free time. To improve my skills I started looking into old reviews of the themes that were approved on WordPress themes repository. This helped me understand theme file structures and various criteria to check themes for, I used skills acquired to ensure themes built by WPoets were also following these guidelines. Sometime in 2011, once I was confident that I have understood the process I joined the ‘Theme Review Team’ and started officially reviewing themes in the repository. This was a proud moment for me.  During my journey as theme reviewer I was helped and guided by Emil Uzelac, Chip Bennett & Edward Caissie. In 2013, very first WordCamp was organised in Pune and I got a chance to talk about theme review process, this was my first ever public talk, and not being very good with English I choose to speak in Hindi. It was well received and many people wanted to know how they can get their themes approved. Again in 2015, I talked about what makes themes good in WordCamp Pune. Thanks to WordCamps, I got to meet Topher, Mahangu & Raghvendra. Now a days, as I get less time between work and kids, instead of doing theme reviews I answer questions on WordPress.org support forum. I’m an introvert and came from a small city so I’m always hesitant to talk to new people but the WordPress community give me confidence to talk with new people and in front of people. This is a big achievement for me and my family feels proud of it. In WP community every one ready to support and help to move forward because of this nature I love to this community. I want to emphasize the support that I have received from WordPress community in general and members of theme review team in specific who helped me gain the knowledge necessary to do my work better. I also want to thank all the organisers of Pune WordPress Knowledge Exchange meetup group, and specially Saurabh Shukla who helped in improving my presentation skills for WordCamp Pune. All these happened because of WordPress community and via HeroPress platform I would like to thank everyone who makes this community rock. The post Building Confidence appeared first on HeroPress.[...]



WPTavern: Automattic Clarifies .blog Landrush Process After Bait and Switch Allegations

Sat, 19 Nov 2016 00:03:05 +0000

Earlier this year, Knock Knock Whois There LLC, an Automattic subsidiary in partnership with Primer Nivel, won an auction for around $19 million dollars to offer top-level .blog domains. On August 18th, an email was sent to users who signed up to Dotblog.WordPress.com notifying them that they could apply and secure a .blog domain name before November 21st. Applying For a Domain Name Chris Schidle took advantage of the opportunity and secured chris.blog for $30 per year with a $220 application fee. People who apply for a domain only receive it if no one else applies for it. If there are multiple applications, the domain goes through an auction process between November 14-17. As the auction dates drew nearer and Schidle didn’t receive any information concerning the auction, he contacted support. Support confirmed that his application was not successful and he received a refund on November 15th. After asking support about the auction process, Schidle was informed that chris.blog ended up on a list of reserved domains that were not available for registration. In a blog post entitled “The .blog Bait and Switch”, Schidle expressed disappointment in Automattic’s lack of communication. “Perhaps it’s not fair to call this bait and switch,” Schidle said. “Really it was bait and refund, and certainly the situation would be far worse had they chosen to not make the application fee refundable. But still, I thought I had a chance at securing the domain. That was the logical conclusion given the terms they outlined via a successful application or winning an auction.” Other applicants shared similar experiences on Twitter. @cschidle i feel your pain. they also took my $250 for my app for https://t.co/8H0dBZfKny – surprisingly poor handling for a comm's company — Chris Yim (@cyim) November 17, 2016 @cschidle I've got stood up in the same manner for https://t.co/wqDOQWyF2X Full-refund and no invitation to auction — Octavian Cioaca (@octasimo) November 17, 2016 @cschidle Same thing happened to me with https://t.co/1bRlWkdtmy. Not cool. — Mark Barrera (@mark_barrera) November 17, 2016 In response to Schidel’s post, Paolo Belcastro published an explanation of the process behind activating some domains in the Founder’s Program while reserving others. Belcastro says that as a registrar, they’re able to activate up to 100 domain names. Some of the domains were given to third-parties and 25 generic domains were given to WordPress.com to be shared for free with millions of users. The registrar reserved all one, two, and three-character domains from being registered. They also allowed Automattic employees to reserve a single domain each, some of which were first names. On behalf of .blog, Belcastro apologized to those who filed applications in August and later discovered the domains were not available. Many registrars started taking pre-registrations for the Landrush period as early as last August. We do realize that some users were disappointed when they discovered that the domain names they had applied for were in fact attributed as part of the Founder’s program, or reserved, and wouldn’t be possible to register or auction at the end of Landrush. We would like to apologize to these users, but as the lists of Founder domains and Reserved ones weren’t final until just before Landrush, we couldn’t communicate them to registrars in advance (there is nothing registrars hate more than ever-changing lists of reserved domains). In addition, domains were removed as well as added to the lists, and we didn’t want to take the risk for registrars to [...]



WPTavern: WordPress Passes 27% Market Share, Banks on Customizer for Continued Success

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 22:48:59 +0000

photo credit: Luis Llerena WordPress now powers 27.1% of all websites on the internet, up from 25% last year. While it may seem that WordPress is neatly adding 2% of the internet every year, its percentage increase fluctuates from year to year and the climb is getting more arduous with more weight to haul. credit: w3techs.com In January 2015, Mullenweg said the next goal for WordPress was to achieve 50% market share (the majority of websites) and he identified Jetpack as a key factor in preventing WordPress’ decline, a controversial statement delivered at Pressnomics. At that time Automattic was secretly working on Calypso, WordPress.com’s JavaScript-powered interface, but did not unveil the project until November 2015. It’s difficult to say what effect Calypso has had on WordPress’ market share, as the w3tech’s 27% stat covers mostly self-hosted sites. Following up with him a year later, Mullenweg estimates that less than 10% of those sites are hosted on WordPress.com. “It does look like about a quarter of it is using Jetpack, though, and that has grown since Calypso was released,” he said. “Remember – Calypso is for Jetpack sites as well as WP.com.” In a recent interview on WPWeekly, Mullenweg said he is also optimistic that the WooCommerce acquisition and Automattic’s sale and management of the .blog domain extension will contribute “another 5-10% each to that market share.” In fact, there is a team inside Automattic called Team 51 that works on strategies for getting the market share to 51%. “For getting to 51% and beyond – it’s more than just blogs and more than just websites,” Mullenweg said. “We need to do stores well, we need to do wikis well, we need to do real estate sites well, we need to do restaurants well – all these things that may be outside what you normally think of as a core WP experience.” In order to provide the best content-creation experience on the market, in any niche, WordPress has some major work to do. The software is in imminent danger of being eclipsed by newer competitors if its core features don’t improve, especially when it comes to customizing a new site. Jetpack cannot single-handedly solve WordPress’ onboarding problem. WordPress’ Weakest Link Is Also Its Greatest Opportunity In the past Mullenweg has identified customization as the weakest link in WordPress but also one of its most important areas for improvement, saying, “The Customizer is everything.” During the 2015 State of the Word address he said, “Customization is the single biggest opportunity for improving the WordPress experience.” I asked him if he thinks the necessary improvements to make the software more competitive need to come from core itself or if commercial products could introduce game changers for the Customizer, the editor, and other problem areas of WordPress. “I think to have an impact on WordPress’ growth improvements to customization have to happen in core or Calypso/Jetpack, otherwise there isn’t enough reach,” Mullenweg said. “It doesn’t matter how great a commercial product is – being behind a paywall will mean it won’t reach enough people to make a dent in WP’s growth curve.” He outlined how he sees the Customizer as a critical component of WordPress’ future: I think the needed improvements will only come from a customizer and theme system which is flexible, intuitive, and instantaneous, which might also need to break backwards compatibility, and a post[...]



WPTavern: 2nd Global WordPress Translation Day Brings 780 Translators Together Across 133 Locales

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 23:20:31 +0000

The second Global WordPress Translation Day was held November 12 and the stats released this week show the event was an even greater success than the first one. In April, WP Translation Day connected 448 participants through both online and in-person translation events. The second event brought 780 translators together, a 74% increase in participation. Attendance at the local events increased from 39 in April to 67 in November. Looking at #WPTranslationDay stats I can’t be more grateful to @humanmadeltd for supporting my time for the #WordPress Polyglots. So lucky❤️ pic.twitter.com/NwSjYOyUBX — Petya Raykovska (@petyeah) November 16, 2016 “We really wanted to build on top of what was already there, reach more people, and bring more important topics front and center,” said Petya Raykovska, one of the members of the Polyglots Leadership Team. Participants had the opportunity to discuss the upcoming internationalization features in WordPress with core developers, including a session by Pascal Birchler and a panel led by John Blackbourn. Translators also discussed gender neutral languages in the WordPress UI, prompted by a discussion around gender neutral German. Raykovska said one of the goals of the second event was to “bring more people on screen so everyone can feel like they’re a part of a truly global event.” Local participation for the live streaming meetups increased from April. “The activities in India have kept their strong growth rate – we had eight events last time, this time they were 14, with Mumbai even having two events,” Raykovska said. “For the first time we had events in Russia and in South Africa.” Raykovska said she’s hoping the Polyglots Leadership Team will soon begin developing events in African regions, following patterns of success in Asia and Europe. Thank you @ResellerClub for hosting us today for #WPTranslationday pic.twitter.com/vfr9l0D50V — WordCamp Mumbai (@WCMumbai) November 12, 2016 Global WordPress Translation Day Expands Into South Africa Cape Town WP Translation Day – credit: Jon Bossenger South Africa has 11 languages and Raykovska said the event gave a big boost to the translation community there, with Xhosa being translated for WordPress for the first time. Xhosa is spoken by 7.6 million people, which is approximately 18% of the South African population. “Africa has a huge potential and a lot of wonderful, enthusiastic people,” she said. “There will be more WordCamps there in 2017 and hopefully more activity on the translation side.” Jon Bossenger and Hugh Lashbrooke, who co-organized the Cape Town event, had attendees translating WordPress into Xhosa, Sotho, and Setswana. “By the end of the day we had two translation files for these languages that we’ll be looking to submit requests to be added as locales for WordPress,” Bossenger said in his recap post. “We’re almost halfway towards adding all 11 official languages, just in one day.” Trisha Cornelius, co-organizer the WP Johannesburg Meetup, organized the in-person translation event in Johannesburg where the team made major progress and assisted the Cape Town team in getting their languages started. “We managed to get Xhosa approved in time for us to translate some strings for our translation day event,” Cornelius said. “We translated into Afrikaans (which is at over 95% so we are pushing to get to 100%) and South African English as well. People who were at the Cape Town event have volunteered to become translators f[...]



Ping-O-Matic: Bloglines Added

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 21:45:05 +0000

A few days ago we added Bloglines to our list of RPC ping receivers, worked out a few issues with them, and now they've announced their pinging service.

I'll be adding them to the web form soon. :) 


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WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 254 – WP eCommerce, WordCamp US 2017, and Upvato

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 09:20:17 +0000

In this short episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I discuss a handful of news stories making headlines. We discuss a recent security update to the WP eCommerce plugin, Upvato disappearing only to reappear in the near future, and Nashville, TN hosting WordCamp US in 2017 and 2018. Last but not least is Marcus’ plugin picks of the week.

Stories Discussed:

WP eCommerce 3.11.4 Patches SQL Injection Vulnerability
Upvato Backup Service Confirms Files Are Lost, Plans to Relaunch on New Provider
Nashville to Host WordCamp US 2017-2018

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

Show Featured Image Size in Admin TopBar displays the image size for the featured image in the admin top bar. This makes it convenient to know how large features images need to be without looking it up.

WP-MQTT connects WordPress to the Internet of Things. This plugin can automatically send MQTT messages to compatible devices when something happens on your site. MQTT is a machine-to-machine (M2M) / Internet of Things connectivity protocol. It was designed as an extremely lightweight publish/subscribe messaging transport.

Hello Trumpy is a plugin aimed at making WordPress great again!

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, November 23rd 9:30 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #254:




WPTavern: Visible Edit Shortcuts in WordPress 4.7 Makes Customizing Sites Easier

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 08:54:19 +0000

Earlier this year, Automattic added visual icons to the WordPress.com customizer after user testing showed users tried clicking on the parts of the page they wanted to edit, rather than searching through the menus in the customizer. In an effort to see if the same could be done for the self-hosted version of WordPress, Payton Swick open sourced Automattic’s work into a plugin and placed it on GitHub. The plugin added persistent icons to show users which parts of a site can be customized when the customizer preview pane is open. After months of collaboration between Automatticians and the Customize component maintainers, the icons were merged into WordPress 4.7 and are officially called visible edit shortcuts. The icons visually inform users which elements can be edited in a theme. The icons appear when the customizer is open and directs users to settings that control an element. For example, clicking the icon next to the site tagline in the image below opens the Site Identity section of the customizer and makes the Tagline field active. Visible shortcuts are an extension of the Shift-click to edit keyboard shortcut that was added in WordPress 3.9. Visible Edit Shortcut Buttons The icon approach was largely inspired by WordPress.com which has a similar feature in its customizer. Nick Halsey, Customize component maintainer, describes in detail the history of the feature and what theme authors need to do to support it. Unlike many of the theme specific updates in the past where developers can add support by using add_theme_support, supporting visible edit shortcuts is more comprehensive. Theme authors will need to add support for selective refresh, selective refresh for widgets, and selective refresh for menus. “Edit shortcuts will be enabled by default for all themes, but are contingent on themes supporting selective refresh,” Halsey said. Additionally, a small amount of CSS may be required to properly position the icons. Adding visual elements that connect parts of a theme to the customizer should take some of the guesswork out of editing themes. Instead of spending time browsing through various customizer panels to edit a part of a site, users can click a button and the right customizer panel will open automatically with the settings you need. This can be especially useful for themes that have a lot of customizer sections. I tested visible edit shortcuts using the Twenty Seventeen theme in WordPress 4.7 beta 4 and didn’t encounter any issues. The team is strongly encouraging users to test with as many themes as possible. If you use a theme where the shortcut icons are not displayed, please contact the theme author, request that they add support, and refer them to the make core blog post which explains how to do so. [...]



WPTavern: Nashville to Host WordCamp US 2017-2018

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 21:50:56 +0000

photo credit: Viv Lynch Westward – (license) WordCamp US attendees are counting down the days until the event kicks off in Philadelphia in two weeks but preparations for 2017 and 2018 are already underway. Yesterday Matt Mullenweg announced that Nashville has won the bid to host WordCamp US for the next two years. According to Randy Hicks, one of the organizers, the new Music City Center venue, which was finished in 2013, has been reserved from Thursday, November 30, 2017, to Sunday, December 3 but the camp will take place Friday – Sunday. The venue has confirmed the ability to host 3,000 – 5,000 attendees. “We have a brand new venue that is pretty amazing but Nashville is very centrally located to handful of other cities that all have their own WordCamps,” Hicks said. “I think there are about seven camps within 4-5 hours. The WP community around Nashville is rather strong.” Over the past few years the local WordPress community has grown and WordCamp Nashville sold 325 tickets at its 2016 event. “I’ve been coming to the meetups since the very first one and have been an organizer since about the same time as well as John Housholder,” Hicks said. “We’ve seen the community explode every year after WordCamp, but 2014 and 2015 have been huge growth years for Nashville as a whole and the meetup has reflected those numbers.” The application process included nailing down a venue, creating a budget, and gathering specific details about wifi capabilities, room capabilities, hotel availability, and date availability. Organizers from both the Nashville team and the Denver team (another finalist) agreed that the application time frame was somewhat constrained. “I thought the time frame between start and submission was pretty short, but I think that depends on who is submitting and how informed they are on their local venue,” Hicks said. “Ours was really hard to get information from.” The Denver team had a similar struggle with locking down a venue without certainty of being able to fully book the reservation. “There was what I would consider to be a semi-fanatical obsession with the first weekend in December, which was flatly unavailable at the convention center here,” said Drew Jaynes, one of the organizers who applied on behalf of Denver. “To give you some perspective, at the time that we applied, March 2016, there were two available weekends left for the Colorado Convention Center – two in all of 2017. The end of August and the middle of December. To organize an event of this size on what would be considered relatively short notice for a city as popular as Denver was essentially a fool’s errand.” The Nashville organizing team was able to secure its venue for early December dates, but a wider range of acceptable dates might be one way for WordCamp Central to improve the process for next year. This would give more cities the opportunity to submit competitive applications, as venues that can accommodate the expected size of WCUS are in high demand in popular cities. “We had a great set of communities apply so it was tough to pick just one,” WordCamp Central representative Cami Kaos said. “In the end we went with Nashville for WordCamp US 2017-2018 because it seems like a great location for attendees, they had a beautiful venue that could accommodate an event of this size as we grow, and the dynamics between both teams[...]



HeroPress: Actually, WordPress didn’t change my life.

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:00:21 +0000

My story starts in high school as a girl with a technical bent, in a small country town just as computers were becoming mainstream but well before they were in everyone’s home. (I was in high school when Apple came to school and showed off this new fangled thing they called a mouse…). We were taught BASIC and Pascal and I actually really enjoyed tinkering with programming, but no one thought to say, “Dee, you look like you’re good at this, you should pursue it…” I mean, I was a girl (and girls didn’t ‘DO’ computers), and no one in the circles I moved in really had any idea where this technology revolution would take us. The truth is I wasn’t particularly ambitious, I didn’t have any kind of clue what I wanted to be ‘when I grew up’ so I allowed myself to be gently steered by my parents into leaving school before the end of my final year when I was encouraged to apply for a job in a bank. I got the job and started in the MICR processing department, encoding cheques with magnetic text, and I finished as a teller 3 years later (and boy was I terrible at balancing the books at the end of the day – I was much better at chatting to the customers!). Financial independence was the only name of that game; for me there was very little else to recommend the job, so I saved all the money I could and took off from both the bank, and my homeland (New Zealand) in very short order as a young, naive 20 year old primed to spend the next 3 years exploring the world. And by the world, I mean the US and Europe… That first mouse had come out in 1983, WordPress was founded in 2003 and in those 20 years the world changed. While it was doing that I was at various times being a nanny, working in child care centres, working in customer support, temping, and generally ‘working to live’ in whatever way felt right at the time. However, in 1999 I packed up my bags once again, moved from New Zealand to Australia and took a place at a performing arts school where I honed my singing and performance skills and volunteered my time to our music director who was starting to experiment with sending out HTML newsletters and updates via email. And so my personal revolution began. On what I think was the day after I graduated from that course I walked into a full time role as that music director’s assistant and began my journey back to code. It was part of my job to edit those HTML newsletters and send them out every week. I went from there to buying books about coding for the web, experimenting on my home built PC making web pages. I’m sure like a lot of us, I remember the thrill of creating that first HTML file and seeing a ‘Hello World’ or similar heading rendered in the browser… from there I was completely hooked. By 2004 I was working full time as a webmaster, by 2005 I was running a small business creating sites on the side of my ‘real job’ and by 2009 that small business became my full time job as I left employment to pursue my Masters Degree in Digital Communication. It was in that year I met WordPress when I moved my old Movable Type blog onto it and within a very short time I was using  WP as the CMS of choice for all my client work… Then in 2011 I stumbled across WordCamps and by extension the WordPress community. THAT was the thing that changed my world. I flew on a whim from Sydney to Melbourne to attend this crazy inexpensive conference I had found after a google search for ‘WordPress Conference[...]



Dev Blog: WordPress 4.7 Beta 4

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 01:51:52 +0000

WordPress 4.7 Beta 4 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 4.7, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip).

For more information on what’s new in 4.7, check out the Beta 1, Beta 2, and Beta 3 blog posts, along with in-depth developer guides on make/core. We’ve made about 60 changes in the last few days for beta 4, including tweaks to Twenty Seventeen, custom CSS, and the REST API content endpoints.

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

We are almost there
Please test your plugins and themes
RC coming soon




Dev Blog: WordCamp US 2017-2018 in Nashville

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 23:24:17 +0000

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The title says it all. We had some great applications for cities to host WordCamp US after we finish up in Philadelphia this year, and the city chosen for 2017-2018 is Nashville, Tennessee.

Based on the other great applications we got I’m also excited about the pipeline of communities that could host it in future years as WordCamp US travels across the United States and gives us an opportunity to learn and love a new city, as we have with Philadelphia.

By the way, if you haven’t yet, now is a great time to take the Annual WordPress Survey and ask your friends to as well.

Photo Credit.




WPTavern: Upvato Backup Service Confirms Files Are Lost, Plans to Relaunch on New Provider

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 22:48:53 +0000

Upvato creator Freddy Lundekvam has confirmed that all user files entrusted to the service have been permanently lost, as his previous storage provider is unable to recover them. After receiving a series of emails from the provider reminding him that payment was due, the provider terminated his account seven days after the invoice was overdue. Lundekvam said ordinarily he would expect his sites and servers to go offline in response to an unpaid invoice but this particular provider, which he would not identify, simply terminated his account. “I contacted the provider in good faith, knowing that any decent provider has complete backups of everything they terminate for X time after they terminate it,” Lundekvam said. “Apparently, with this ‘crappy’ company, terminated means literally terminated. All decent backup providers have backups of their backups, and any provider with such a setup knows very well that terminating the backups at the same time as you terminate the original files is a HUGE mistake, after all, you have those backups in place just in case something is terminated wrongly or the system corrupts something. We can simply conclude with the fact that this provider didn’t do backups of their users’ data and therefore would never be able to recover anything they have lost.” Although Lundekvam mentioned Amazon Glacier in a previous interview as an example of how cheap storage space is, he confirmed that Amazon was not the provider in question here. “Amazon was quickly ironed out in the launch phase due to the heavy adjustments it needed to make it work exactly the way we wanted it to,” he said. Lundekvam said he sincerely believed this backup provider was reliable and was disappointed to find out otherwise after trusting users’ data with the company. Despite the misfortune and embarrassment of the current situation, he is determined to relaunch Upvato with a new provider that offers redundant backups. Upvato to Relaunch with Improved Version that Allows Users to Define Backup Destination Lundekvam said the new version will be launched “as soon as possible.” His team is considering firing up the current (old) version and then migrating as originally planned instead of relaunching with the new version. The improvements include a better backup algorithm and new functionality. “The very new version will allow the user to define their own destination / choice of backup location, whether that be on Upvato’s servers, their own FTP / SFTP server, Dropbox, Amazon, and other providers we’re looking into implementing,” Lundekvam said. “This would make Upvato function as a mere gateway that detects and keeps your backups in sync at your favorite destination, while at the same time presenting the same awesome visual experience on the website to display the sales ad associated with the item.” Lundekvam remains committed to keeping the core service free indefinitely and may add commercial upgrades if costs exceed what he is able to contribute on his own. “As long as I am able to sustain Upvato on my own, then it will remain ad-free and completely free to use,” he said. “But of course there are plans to monetize the website if we at some point need help keeping the lights on. That might be ad-generated revenue, or a premium servic[...]



WPTavern: WordPress 4.7 Improves Accessibility by Removing Alternative Text Fallbacks

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 18:51:23 +0000

When images are uploaded in WordPress 4.6.1 that have an empty alt text value, WordPress tries to generate one based on the caption text or the image title. If the image title is non descriptive as is common with photos uploaded from digital cameras, the alt text can be meaningless.

In WordPress 4.7, the caption text and the image title fallbacks have been removed. The fallbacks were originally introduced to ensure every image included alternative text. Over time however, this practice has proven to be a poor user experience for people who use screen readers.

Since the fallbacks are removed, users will need to explicitly set a value for the alt text field. According to Joe McGill, the change will not affect content already published but will be the expected behavior in WordPress 4.7 and beyond.

If you’re not sure what text to use to describe an image, check out this article on Webaim. It explains when alt text should be displayed and provides useful tips on how to describe an image.




WPTavern: Wedding Bride: A Free One-Page WordPress Wedding Theme

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 06:28:50 +0000

Wedding Bride is a new theme from Alex Itsios, co-founder of Ketchup Themes. The Cyprus-based theme company has 16 themes on WordPress.org. Wedding themes are a relatively small niche in the directory with fewer than 20 listings. This new arrival stands out from the pack with its bold colors and customizability.

Many WordPress wedding themes in the official directory seem like a wedding site forced into a blog-oriented design, with lingering post meta in areas where it serves no purpose. This particular niche is where a focused, one-page design really shines. Wedding Bride features event-specific front page sections for the couple to share their story but also allows for (optional) extra pages and a blog.

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All of the theme’s options can be found in the Customizer where users can upload a header image, personalize the header overlay, and add various content sections – all of which are optional. It also includes an option to make the navigation menu sticky or have it scroll with the page (default).

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Wedding Bride users can customize the background color and/or image. Unfortunately, the theme does not include a color picker to customize the pink accent color, but this can be changed with a little CSS. Blog pages include a sidebar and it supports four widget areas in the footer. The contact form section was created for use with Contact Form 7.

Check out the live demo to see the theme in action. Wedding Bride is Alex Itsios’ 16th theme on WordPress.org and his first foray into the wedding niche. If you’re looking for a theme that allows you to quickly create a wedding website with all the essential details on one page, you can download it for free from WordPress.org via your admin themes browser.




WPTavern: WP eCommerce 3.11.4 Patches SQL Injection Vulnerability

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:34:17 +0000

Over the weekend, the WP eCommerce team released version 3.11.4 of its e-commerce plugin. The update patches an SQL injection vulnerability that was responsibly disclosed by Mika Epstein, a member of the WordPress.org plugin review team.

According to Justin Sainton, lead developer of WP eCommerce, the team was notified of the vulnerability on November 11th and patched within an hour. The update was available on WordPress.org the following day.

“This vulnerability only affects users who use eWay as their payment gateway, have Gold Cart activated, and are using the as-of-yet-unreleased Theme Engine 2.0,” Sainton said.

“We believe the number of users affected is likely close to zero, due to these conditions.”

Users are highly encouraged to update as soon as possible. Created in 2006, WP eCommerce is one of the oldest plugins in the directory and is actively installed on more than 40K sites.




WPTavern: Upvato Backup Service Terminated by Storage Provider, Files May Not be Recoverable

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 21:01:57 +0000

Upvato, the service that specializes in backing up Envato Market files, has shut down without warning. Freddy Lundekvam, a full time programmer and frequent user of Envato products, created the service after losing 10 files to Envato’s policy of reserving the right to take down and remove any file at its or the author’s sole discretion. Losing files is a common frustration among Envato users, as the company cannot guarantee the ongoing availability of products due to situations like copyright complaints and technical issues. Upvato made it easy for users to automatically backup their purchases, cataloguing them with screenshots, descriptions, titles, and author information. The service offered unlimited backups and Lundekvam encouraged users to connect their Envato accounts to keep their files safe. A few weeks ago, Upvato users started to suspect that the service was shutting down. Anyone using #Upvato for their themes etc from @envato – I think you have just been duped! — Andrew Wilkinson (@parysnet) October 31, 2016 What happened to #upvato? Looks like it died silently and nobody noticed. Zero commentary from the usual webdev pundits. — sunil (@sunilwilliams) October 27, 2016 “I’m beginning to think this was not all above board,” one WP Tavern commenter said after discovering that the site disappeared. “[Upvato] seamlessly copied all my themes to their server and then shut down with no warning!” Lundekvam, whose website can no longer be reached, replied to my first inquiry. After experiencing problems with Upvato’s provider, he is not hopeful that he can recover the files. “Our provider’s automated systems terminated everything related to Upvato,” Lundekvam said. “I am so frustrated and upset that you won’t believe it, but I am doing what I can do recover the files and or get a backup up and running. But it seems like the provider isn’t and wasn’t really a reliable backup provider at all, and as it is right now, it looks really dark for a possible chance to recover the files.” Lundekvam would not specify who his provider was, but had referenced Amazon Glacier in a previous interview as an example of cheap storage space at a mere $7/month. “Such things shouldn’t happen with a backup provider like Upvato, and I am extremely surprised that it happened with our backup provider, causing it to affect Upvato,” he said. He also confirmed that he does not plan to shut the service down permanently. “If I am unable to recover the backup and files, then no, I am not shutting down,” Lundekvam said.” I would, and have to, install Upvato with a new provider and start over. Please rest assured that Upvato is coming back up. Regarding the concerned users, I am deeply sorry for the downtime and, possibly, loss of Envato files. It hurts that it happened, as this is in no way how I want Upvato to be seen or represented.” Lundekvam would not respond to subsequent inquiries. Upvato has had ample time to share this news via other outlets but the service did not have a Twitter account and its website has vanished, leaving users without any information. Lundekvam had said in previous interviews that he did not[...]



Matt: Flying Lotus, Never Catch Me

Sun, 13 Nov 2016 18:49:52 +0000

Music videos are themselves an art form, and it’s always interesting to me how an artist chooses to transform the interpretation of their song with the video. I’ve listened to this song since it came out but haven’t seen the video until now, and it will definitely make me listen to it differently. Featuring Kendrick Lamar.




WPTavern: New WordPress Plugin Serves Pre-Compressed Emoji

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 23:49:19 +0000

WordPress emoji are served from s.w.org, but they are not compressed. This impacts the SVG loading time, depending on how many emoji you are using, and can even throw warnings on Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Turkey-based WordPress developer Mustafa Uysal has just released Compressed Emoji, a plugin that makes use of the emoji_svg_url filter introduced in 4.6. This filter allows developers to change the URL for where emoji SVG images are hosted. When the plugin is activated, the compression offers savings in the range of 3kb ~ 1.3kb (roughly %60) per emoji. Uysal said he hopes WordPress.org will consider compressing emoji in the future, especially since approximately 10% of the web is using WordPress 4.6. Compressing emoji is a small way to speed up a sizeable chunk of the web. A ticket was created on Trac four months ago, requesting cache headers for emoji files and compression. According to Gary Pendergast, the change is something that can be made outside of the WordPress core development cycle, so he closed the ticket and passed the suggestion on to the Systems team. Cache headers were added by the team, but compression was not implemented in that update. “The current plan is to move everything to a new CDN,” Gary Pendergast reported after chatting with the Systems team. “The current CDN is a bit outdated – they don’t support HTTP/2, for example. They need to do some more testing, but it’s high on the todo list.” In the meantime, users who want compressed emoji can use Uysal’s plugin. It compressed the files using SVGO, an open source Node-based tool for optimizing SVG vector graphics files. The tool removes unnecessary things like metadata, comments, hidden elements, and default or non-optimal values from the SVG files without affecting their rendering. Another advantage is it doesn’t require an internet connection for those who are developing locally. Compressed Emoji is available in the WordPress plugin directory and is also open for contributions on GitHub. [...]



Dev Blog: WordPress 4.7 Beta 3

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 03:30:52 +0000

WordPress 4.7 Beta 3 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 4.7, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip).

For more information on what’s new in 4.7, check out the Beta 1 and Beta 2 blog posts, along with in-depth field guides on make/core. Some of the changes in Beta 3 include:

  • REST API: The unfiltered_html capability is now respected and rest_base has been added to response objects of wp/v2/taxonomies and wp/v2/types, while get_allowed_query_vars() and the rest_get_post filter have been removed.
  • Roles/Capabilities: Added meta-caps for comment, term, and user meta, which are currently only used in the REST API.
  • I18N: Added the ability to change user’s locale back to site’s locale. (#38632)
  • Custom CSS: Renamed the unfiltered_css meta capability to edit_css and added revisions support to the custom_css post type.
  • Edit shortcuts: Theme authors should take a look at the developer guide to the customizer preview’s visible edit shortcuts and update their themes to take advantage of them if not already implementing selective refresh.
  • Various bug fixes: We’ve made over 50 changes in the last week.

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

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WPTavern: Andy Baio Relaunches Waxy.org on WordPress

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 23:45:20 +0000

After 14 years of blogging with MovableType, Andy Baio has relaunched Waxy.org on WordPress. Baio’s media and technology blog has been a continual source of original content about life on the internet and how it affects our culture. The migration includes 472 posts and 15,891 entries from his sideblog Waxy Links. Waxy.org played a small part in WordPress.org’s early history. In 2005 Baio broke the story about WordPress quietly hosting search engine spam articles in order to help cover some of the site’s expenses. The exposure and subsequent removal of the articles temporarily decimated WordPress.org’s pagerank but Matt Mullenweg’s response to the situation brought more transparency to how the open source project was being funded. Baio interviewed Mullenweg for the piece and considered it his first foray into serious journalism. In his post about the site’s redesign Baio concedes that blogs are “not really part of the cultural conversation anymore” but said he thinks there’s still potential in the medium. “There a few reasons why I’m sad about the decline of independent blogging, and why I think they’re still worth fighting for,” Baio said. “Ultimately, it comes down to two things: ownership and control.” Baio explained why it’s important for him to control his own space on the web, as opposed to putting content at the mercy of third-party platforms whose futures are not guaranteed: Last week, Twitter announced they’re shutting down Vine. Twitter, itself, may be acquired and changed in some terrible way. It’s not hard to imagine a post-Verizon Yahoo selling off Tumblr. Medium keeps pivoting, trying to find a successful revenue model. There’s no guarantee any of these platforms will be around in their current state in a year, let alone ten years from now. Here, I control my words. Nobody can shut this site down, run annoying ads on it, or sell it to a phone company. Nobody can tell me what I can or can’t say, and I have complete control over the way it’s displayed. Nobody except me can change the URL structure, breaking 14 years of links to content on the web. Waxy.org is now responsive and uses a custom theme built using Automattic’s Components starter-theme generator. Baio will continue exploring odd corners of the internet on his blog and plans to share his thoughts about the challenges of navigating the ecosystem of independent publishers. [...]



WPTavern: bbPress 2.5.11 Adds WordPress 4.7 Compatibility

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 22:33:44 +0000

The bbPress development team has released 2.5.11 to add support for a technical change in WordPress 4.7. Users are highly encouraged to update to bbPress 2.5.11 before updating to WordPress 4.7. In 4.7, the loading order for the current user in the function stack was changed to accommodate user locale switching.

Previously, BuddyPress and bbPress displayed a custom notice when a user was initialized without using WP->init(). In addition to patching the issue in BuddyPress and bbPress, a new wp_roles_init filter was added to WordPress that allows plugins to add custom roles when they’re initialized.

The changes mentioned above are technical in nature so I asked John James Jacoby, lead developer of bbPress, what the update really means. “bbPress loads its roles on-the-fly, in a similar way to how post-types and taxonomies are registered,” Jacoby told the Tavern.

“With locales and roles now having a reversed load order, bbPress needed some code changes to work for both WordPress 4.6 and 4.7 without causing any problems for third-party bbPress plugins and non-English installations.”

This particular improvement has personal historical meaning to Jacoby, “This change to WordPress core in 4.7 is a long time coming,” he said.

“It was the very first bug I ever reported in WordPress’ IRC channel back in 2008, when I was working on a large multi-lingual multisite installation. It’s how I met Peter Westwood and Jen Mylo, and it was their kindness that made it clear that WordPress was the platform for me.”

Jacoby also notes that per-forum moderators, favorites, and subscriptions have been rewritten in bbPress 2.6. During testing, performance enhancements were discovered and submitted to WordPress core and have been implemented across the forums on WordPress.org. Work continues on bbPress 2.6 which is expected to ship in 2017.




WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 253 – BuddyPress 2.8, WordCamp US, and PressNomics 5

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 20:53:21 +0000

In this episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I discuss the news of the week. WordCamp US live stream tickets will be free this year and development of BuddyPress 2.8 kicks off. We talk about the revamped guidelines for the WordPress plugin directory and how they should help streamline the review process.

Last but not least, we discuss an important update to bbPress. Because of some recent life changes, the recording time for WordPress weekly will now be on Wednesdays at 3PM Eastern, 12PM Pacific.

Stories Discussed:

BuddyPress 2.8 Development Kicks Off, 2016 Survey Now Open for Developers
WordCamp US Live Stream Tickets Now Available
Take the 2016 WordPress User Survey
WordPress Plugin Team Publishes Revamped Guidelines for Plugin Directory
PressNomics 5 Scheduled for April 6-8, 2017 in Phoenix, AZ
bbPress 2.5.11 – Maintenance Release

Plugins Picked By Marcus:

Grid Canvas – Pinterest Image Creator automatically detects all the images in a post and adds them to a grid layout. It comes with plenty of predefined grid layouts to choose from and there are more coming soon. You can also select the image size that is most optimal for different social networks.

Disable Password Changed Notifications by Pippin Williamson disables the notification email sent to site administrators when users change their passwords.

WP Private Comment Notes allows WordPress admins and or moderators to add and manage private notes for comments. Additionally, each note can be shared with the user who left the original comment.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, November 16th 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 #253:




WPTavern: WordPress Community Team Proposes New Selection Process for 2017 Summit Attendees

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 06:48:23 +0000

WordCamp Europe 2017 is set to host the next community summit in Paris. This will be the first time the event has been held outside of the United States, a change that makes it more accessible for contributors who are unable to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. Attaching the summit to WordCamp Europe was the next logical step, as the event brings together project contributors from around the world. Europe is one of the fastest growing regions for the WordPress community in terms of events, with a 70% increase in WordCamps in 2015. There were 20 WordCamps held in October and 50% of those were hosted in European cities. The past three community summits have been invitation-only in order to ensure those present were active contributors to WordPress and to enable a format that facilitates face-to-face discussions on key issues facing the project and the community. This inevitably leaves many valuable contributors on the outside. In an effort to mitigate the sense of exclusivity around the event, the WordPress Community Team is proposing a new selection process for 2017: If we have to limit our attendance to have productive, collaborative discussions at the Summit, then choosing the participants becomes a challenge if we don’t know what the teams are going to discuss ahead of time. Therefore, this year I suggest we try something new: Let’s ask teams to decide on the challenging, controversial, or sensitive issues they want to discuss at the summit before the summit is held. Then, once the teams know what they want to talk over in person, they can nominate and select the people needed to represent all points of view in each of those discussions. This way, the event stays small, hard topics get discussed, but the selection process is more transparent and functional. Rocio Valdivia, who posted the proposal on behalf of the team, roughly outlined how the selection process would work. She suggested each make.wordpress.org project team would create and publish a list of topics/issues for discussion at the summit and submit them by December 20th. Teams would then select representatives to attend the summit. Two members of those selected would be assigned to help with the organization and logistics of the summit, including tasks such as finding sponsors, travel assistance, and communication. “The intention of this approach is to propose a more open and team-focus Community Summit with transparent participation from all active contributors and reps of each team,” Valdivia said. “This way we can hopefully anticipate barriers and cross-team difficulties that might come up, and avoid them.” This approach is different from past events where attendees were not part of the organizational aspects but it gives contributors more ownership of the event and their teams’ specific goals. Details and logistics would be worked out later in the year with the help of the WCEU organizers. The Community Team is asking for feedback on the proposal before implementing a plan of action for the new selection process. As the open source project has grown, WordP[...]



bbPress: bbPress 2.5.11 – Maintenance Release

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 00:27:22 +0000

bbPress 2.5.11 is out, and is a maintenance release for all previous 2.x versions. 2.5.11 includes support for the soon to be released WordPress 4.7. If you’re planning on updating to WordPress 4.7 right away, you’ll want to update to bbPress 2.5.11 immediately.

If you’re using any version of bbPress 2.x and have not yet updated, please take a moment to update your bbPress installations to 2.5.11. If you’re using WordPress’s built-in updater, it should only take a click or two. If you need help, please reach out in our support forums and someone will be happy to assist you.

These fixes have also been ported over to 2.6, which we continue to run here at bbPress.org and BuddyPress.org.


Speaking of bbPress 2.6, per-forum moderators, favorites, and subscriptions are fully refactored and working pretty great. Our findings have also helped push performance improvements upstream to WordPress core, and are already employed across the forums on WordPress.org.