Wordpress News

WordPress 5.8 Beta 3

Wordpress News - 9 hours 2 min ago

WordPress 5.8 Beta 3 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so it is not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with it.

You can test the WordPress 5.8 Beta 3 in three ways:

  • Install/activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the Bleeding edge channel and the Beta/RC Only stream).
  • Direct download the beta version here (zip).
  • Using WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=5.8-beta3

The current target for the final release is July 20, 2021. That’s just four weeks away, so we need your help to make the final release is as good as it can be.

Some Highlights

Since Beta 2, 38 bugs have been fixed. Here is a summary of some of the included changes:

  • Block Editor: Move caching to endpoint for unique responses. (#53435)
  • Bundled Themes: Improve display of blocks in widget areas. (#53422)
  • Coding Standards: Bring some consistency to HTML formatting in wp-admin/comment.php. (#52627)
  • Editor: Include Cover block in the list of block types registered using metadata files. (#53440)
  • Editor: Include Cover block in the list of block types registered using metadata files. (#53440)
  • Media: Add new functions to return the previous/next attachment links. (#45708)
  • Media: Improve upload page media item layout on smaller screens. (#51754)
  • Media: Update total attachment count when media added or removed. (#53171)
  • REST API: Decode single and double quote entities in widget names and descriptions. (#53407)
  • Twenty Nineteen: Update margins on full- and wide-aligned blocks in the editor. (#53428)
  • Widgets: Add editor styles to the widgets block editor. (#53344)
How You Can Help

Watch the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.8-related developer notes in the coming weeks, which will break down these and other changes in greater detail.

So far, contributors have fixed 254 tickets in WordPress 5.8, including 91 new features and enhancements, and more bug fixes are on the way.

Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is a vital part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute.

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

Props to @jeffpaul @desrosj @hellofromtonya @pbiron for reviews and final edits!

Esperanza first.
Want to know the next jazzer?
Then please test beta.

WP Briefing: Episode 11: WordCamp Europe 2021 in Review

Wordpress News - Mon, 06/21/2021 - 12:33

In this episode, Josepha Haden Chomphosy does a mini deep dive into WordCamp Europe 2021, specifically the conversation between the project’s co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, and Brian Krogsgard formerly of PostStatus. Tune in to hear her take and for this episode’s small list of big things.

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

Credits

Editor: Dustin Hartzler

Logo: Beatriz Fialho

Production: Chloé Bringmann

Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

References

Gutenberg Highlights 

Matt Mullenweg in conversation with Brian Krogsgard 

5.8 Development Cycle

WordCamp Japan

A recap on WCEU 2021

Transcript

Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:10

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insights into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go!

Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:40

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted WordCamp Europe and had the double pleasure of a demo that showed us a bit about the future of WordPress and an interview that looked back while also looking a bit forward. If you haven’t seen the demo, it was beautiful. And I’ve included a link to it in the show notes. And if you haven’t heard the interview, there were a few specific moments that I’d like to take the time to delve into a little more. Brian Krogsgard, in his conversation with Matt Mullenweg, brought up three really interesting points. I mean, he brought up a lot of interesting points, but there were three that I would particularly like to look into today. The first was about balance. The second was about cohesion. And the third was about those we leave behind.  

Josepha Haden Chomphosy 01:24

So first is this question of balance. Brian brought this up in the context of the overall economic health of the WordPress ecosystem. And in that particular moment, he talked about companies that are coming together, companies that are merging. And in Matt’s answer, the part that I found the most interesting was when he said, “the point at which there is the most commercial opportunity is also the point at which there is the most opportunity for short-termism. He went on to talk about the importance of long-term thinking and collective thinking about what makes us, and us here means probably the WordPress project, more vibrant and vital in 10 or 20 or 30 years. One of the things that he specifically called out in that answer was the responsibility of larger companies in the ecosystem. For instance, like Automattic, to commit fully to giving back, there are many ways now that companies can give back to WordPress so that we all replenish the Commons. They can pay for volunteer contributors’ time; they can create and sponsor entire teams through the Five for the Future program. They can contribute time through our outreach program. And they can even contribute to WordPress’s ability to own our own voice by engaging their audience’s awareness of what’s next in WordPress, or whatever. And I know this balance, this particular balance of paid contributors or sponsored contributors, compared to our volunteer contributors or self-sponsored contributors; I know that this balance is one that people keep an eagle eye on. I am consistently on a tight rope to appropriately balanced those voices. But as with so many things where balance is key, keeping an eye on the middle or the long-distance can really help us get it right.  

Josepha Haden Chomphosy 03:23

The second question was one of cohesion and specifically cohesion over the competition. Brian asked how, if people feel disadvantaged, you can foster a feeling of cohesion rather than competition? And Matt’s first answer was that competition is great. Specifically, he said that competition is great as long as you consider where your collaboration fits into the mission. And he also spent some time exploring how competitors in the ecosystem can still work from a community-first mindset. I personally cannot agree enough about some of the benefits of collaboration alongside your competitors. I remind sponsored contributors from time to time, and I think it’s true for any contributor that you are an employee of your company first and a contributor to WordPress second. However, once you step into contribution time, your main concern is the users of WordPress, or new contributors, or the health of the WordPress ecosystem as a whole or the WordPress project. So you get all this subject matter expertise from competitive forces, collaborating in a very us versus the problem way. And when you do that, you’re always going to find a great solution. It may not be as fast as you want it to build things out in the open in public. And so sometimes we get it wrong and have to come back and fix it but still, given time, we’re going to come out with the best solution because we have so many skilled people working on this.  

Josepha Haden Chomphosy 05:01

And then the third question that I wanted to really touch on is the question of those we leave behind. Brian asked Matt if he thought mid-sized agencies and mid-sized consultants were being squeezed out with the block editor. Matt’s high-level answer was no, and I tend to agree with him. It’s not all mid-sized anything any more than it’s all small-sized anything. His answer continued to look at what stands to change for users with the block editor and who really can stand to benefit. It made me think back to my WordPress 5.0 listening tour. We launched WordPress 5.0, which was, in case anyone forgets, the first release with the block editor in it. I took a six-month-long tour to anywhere that WordPressers were so I could hear their main worries, what Brian is saying in there, and what Matt is saying to really came up all the time in those conversations. And basically, it was that this update takes all the power away from people who are building websites. And in these conversations, and Matt and Brian’s conversation, it was really focused on our freelancers and consultants. But at the same time, all of them heard that this update gives power back to all of the people who could build websites. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy 06:28

I could not shake the feeling at the time. And honestly, I can’t shake it now that no high-end consultants, or freelancers, or any other developer or site creator sit around just longing for maintenance work. After six months of talking to people, I didn’t hear anyone say, “you know, I just love making the same author card over and over and over.” Or, “updated the footer every week, this month. And that’s why I got into this business.” And more than the feeling that there just wasn’t anyone who just loved maintenance, I got a feeling that there were real problems that needed to be solved for these clients and that they wanted to solve them. And that they also would gladly trade updating footers for the much more interesting work of creating modern and stylish business hubs based on WordPress for the clients who trust them so much. All of that, I guess, is to say that, yes, the block editor does give power back to our clients again, but not at the expense of those who have to build the sites in the first place. I think it stands to restore everyone’s sense of agency more than we truly realize. So that’s my deep dive on WordCamp Europe; I included links to the demo and the talk below, just in case you haven’t seen them yet. And you want to get a little bit of insight into the full context of the conversations that I just did a bit of a deep dive into. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy 08:15

And now it’s time for our smallest of big things. All right, I have three things for you today. Number one, tomorrow, we package WordPress 5.8 beta three. If you’ve never had a chance to stop by the core channel in slack for the past packaging process, I really encourage you to stop by; we call them release parties. It’s a bunch of people who stand around and help get it done. So you can also see how it gets done. And if you’re feeling brave, you can even try your hand at testing out one of the packages as soon as it’s ready. The second thing is that a week from tomorrow, we reach our first release candidate milestone. So if you have meant to submit any bugs or patches or if you’ve been procrastinating on documentation, or dev notes, right now is the time so that we can have a chance to get everything into the release by the time we reach the release candidate milestone on the 29th. And the third thing is that we are currently right in the middle of WordCamp Japan. That is a great opportunity to meet some contributors and maybe even get started with contributions yourself. So stop by if you haven’t had a chance to check it out already. I will leave a link in the show notes. And that, my friends, is your small list of big things.

Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

WordPress 5.8 Beta 2

Wordpress News - Tue, 06/15/2021 - 18:34

WordPress 5.8 Beta 2 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so it’s not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with it.

You can test the WordPress 5.8 Beta 2 in two ways:

  • Install/activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the Bleeding edge channel and the Beta/RC Only stream)
  • Direct download the beta version here (zip).

The current target for the final release is July 20, 2021. That’s just five weeks away, so your help is vital to ensure that the final release is as good as it can be.

Some Highlights

Since Beta 1, 26 bugs have been fixed. Here is a summary of some of the included changes:

  • Block Editor: Remove bundled block patterns and support the patterns directory. (#53246)
  • Block Editor: Add a type property to allow Core to identify the source of the editor styles. (#53175)
  • Build/Test Tools: Adds some tests for Quick Draft section in Dashboard. (#52905)
  • Build/Test Tools: Replaced @babel/polyfill with core-js/stable. (#52941)
  • Coding Standards: Further update the code for bulk menu items deletion to better follow WordPress coding standards. (#21603)
  • External Libraries: Update Underscore to version 1.13.1. (#45785)
  • General: A number of block editor, template mode and widget screen related fixes. (#51149)
  • Login and Registration: Improve the unknown username error message. (#52915)
  • Media: Restore AJAX response data shape in media library. (#50105)
  • Site Health: Display a list of file formats supported by the GD library. (#53022)
  • Twemoji: It’s the new one! (#52852)
How You Can Help

Watch the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.8-related developer notes in the coming weeks, which will break down these and other changes in greater detail.

So far, contributors have fixed 214 tickets in WordPress 5.8, including 87 new features and enhancements, and more bug fixes are on the way.

Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is a vital part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute.

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

Props to @chanthaboune for revision, @webcommsat, @youknowriad, @jorbin, @felipeelia , and @jeffpaul for proofreading, and @cbringmann for final edits!

Install won’t you please
WordPress 5-8 Beta 2?
We need your help: test!

Gutenberg Highlights

Wordpress News - Fri, 06/11/2021 - 11:03

During WordCamp Europe this past Wednesday Matt and I gathered to discuss the latest developments of Gutenberg and to share a video with some of the current and upcoming highlights. The video is wonderfully narrated by @beafialho and it was a great opportunity to celebrate all the incredible work that contributors are doing around the globe to improve the editing and customization experience of WordPress. For those that weren’t able to attend live it’s now available for watching online.

Matt also opened a thread for questions on his blog, so be sure to chime in there if you have any!

WordPress 5.8 Beta 1

Wordpress News - Wed, 06/09/2021 - 02:47

WordPress 5.8 Beta 1 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so it is not recommended to run this version on a production site. Instead, we recommend that you run this on a test site to play with the new version.

You can test the WordPress 5.8 Beta 1 in two ways:

The current target for the final release is July 20, 2021. This is just six weeks away, so your help is vital to ensure this release is tested properly and as good as it can be.

Keep your eyes on the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.8-related developer notes in the coming weeks, breaking down these and other changes in greater detail.

So what’s new in this 5.8? Let’s start with some highlights.

Highlights Powerful Blocks
  • Discover several new blocks and expressive tools, including blocks for Page ListsSite TitleLogo, and Tagline. A powerful Query Loop block offers multiple ways for displaying lists of posts and comes with new block patterns that take advantage of its flexibility and creative possibilities.
  • Interacting with nested blocks has been made easier with a permanent toolbar button for selecting a parent. Block outlines are shown when hovering or focusing on the different block type buttons. Block handles are now also present for drag and drop when in “select” mode.
  • Introduces the List View, a panel that can be toggled and helps navigate complex blocks and patterns.
  • Reusable blocks have an improved creation flow and support for history revisions.
  • A cool new duotone block adds images effects which can be used in media blocks or supported in third-party blocks. Color presets can also be customized by the theme.
Handpicked Patterns

Patterns can now also be recommended and selected during block setup, offering powerful new flows. Pattern transformations are also possible and allow converting a block or a collection of blocks into different patterns.

New collection of Patterns and an initial integration with the upcoming Pattern Directory on WordPress.org.

Better Tools
  • New template editor that allows creating new custom templates for a page using blocks.
  • Themes can now control and configure styling with a theme.json file, including layout configuration, block supports, color palettes, and more.
  • New design tools and enhancements to existing blocks, including more color, typography, and spacing options, drag and drop for Cover backgrounds, additions to block transformation options, ability to embed PDFs within the File block, and more.
  • Includes improvements to how the editor is rendered to more accurately resemble the frontend.
Internet Explorer 11

Support for Internet Explorer 11 is ending in WordPress this year. In this release, most of those changes are being merged so use the Beta and RC periods to test!

Blocks in Widgets Area

Looking for a change and can’t find it? There are more improvements listed after the break.

How You Can Help Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute.

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

Thanks for joining us, and happy testing!

Props to @audrasjb, @cbringmann, @youknowriad, @annezazu, @matveb, and @desrosj for editing/proof reading this post, and @chanthaboune for final review.

Full Site Editing
Coming at the end of year
But first, Beta 1

Improvements in this Release
  • Improvements to Reusable blocks, Cover block, Table block, List View, Rich text placeholder, Template Editing Mode, Block Inserter, and Top Toolbar
  • Query loop block that uses a query/filter to create a flexible post list based on templates. Best used with patterns.
  • Parity refinement between editor and frontend, Standardization to block toolbars organization
  • Block widgets in the Customizer
  • Introducing the Global Styles and Global Settings APIs: control the editor settings and available customization tools and style blocks using a theme.json file.Template editor opens inside an iframe to more accurately resemble the front end.
  • Ability to transform Media and Text into Columns
  • Embedded PDFs within File block
  • Spacing options for Social Links and Buttons, Spacer block width adjustments
  • Twemoji has been updated to version 13.1, bringing you many new Emoji.
  • Editor performance improvements
  • Hide writing prompt from subsequent empty paragraphs
  • More descriptive publishing UI
  • Added capability to set the default format for image sub-sizes as well as WebP support
  • Added widgets block editor to widgets.php and customize.php
  • Added block patterns to default themes
  • Added ability to mark a plugin as unmanaged
  • Enable revisions for the reusable block custom post type
  • Enqueue script and style assets only for blocks present on the page
  • Abstracted block editor configuration by deprecating existing filters and introducing replacements that are context-aware
  • New sidebars, widget, and widget-types REST API endpoints
  • Added support for modifying the term relation when querying posts in the REST API
  • Site Health now supports custom sub-menus and pages
  • Themes now display the number of available theme updates in the admin menu
  • Speed cached get_pages() calls
  • Underscore updates from 1.8.3 to 1.9.1

To see all of the features for Gutenberg release in detail check out these posts: 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, and 10.7. In addition to those changes, contributors have fixed 215 tickets in WordPress 5.8, including 88 new features and enhancements, with more bug fixes on the way.

Alif Zymphonies Theme

Drupal Themes - Tue, 06/08/2021 - 06:23

Alif Zymphonies Theme has an attractive design and specifically with unique features of the RTL and Arabic support. We had created this theme based on our customer's requests that we got from our worldwide Drupal users. Read more

Live Demo Advanced Themes

Features
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  • RTL supported
  • Bootstrap v4
  • Mobile-first theme
  • Easy customisation
  • Great performance
  • Standard typography
  • Built with HTML5 and CSS3
  • Dynamic layouts
    • 2 column layout
    • 3 column layout
    • 4 column layout
Most installed Zymphonies theme Contact Zymphonies

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  • Free theme customization & additional features
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Sponsored by Zymphonies

WP Briefing: Episode 10: Finding the Good In Disagreement

Wordpress News - Mon, 06/07/2021 - 12:22

To Agree, disagree, and everything in-between. In this episode, Josepha talks about forming opinions and decision-making in the WordPress project.

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

Credits

Editor: Dustin Hartzler

Logo: Beatriz Fialho

Production: Chloé Bringmann

Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

References

10/10/10 Rule

The Eisenhower Matrix 

The Maximin Strategy 

WordCamp Europe

WordCamp Japan

WordPress 5.8 Development Cycle

Transcript

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:10

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of some of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project and the community around it, as well as get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Joseph Haden Chomphosy. Here we go!

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:40

For anyone who has ever organized something, whether it’s a social event, a school project, or an annual family gathering, you know that there are many different opinions. The more opinions you have, the more likely people don’t see eye to eye. And before you know it, you’ve got some disagreements. Some things make disagreements worse, like imbalance of information, lack of showing your work, and sometimes just “too many cooks in the kitchen,” to use a regional phrase. Frankly, sometimes it seems like the second you have more than one cook in your kitchen, you’re going to get some disagreements. But I think that’s a healthy thing. WordPress is huge. And there are huge numbers of people contributing to WordPress or any other open source project you want to name. So there’s a lot of stuff available to disagree about. If we never saw anyone pointing out an area that wasn’t quite right, there would probably be something wrong. If you, like me, think that a healthy tension of collaborative disagreement can be useful when approached thoughtfully, then this quick start guide is for you. 

Step one, prepare to host a discussion. This is, by the way, just the hardest step out there. You have to take a little time to figure out what problem you’re solving with the solution you’re suggesting, any goals that it relates to, and then figure out what the bare minimum best outcome would be and what the wildest dreams magic wand waving outcome would be. And you have to be honest with yourself. 

Step two, host the discussion. The venue will be different for different discussions, but you see a lot of these on team blogs or within the actual tickets where work is being done. Wherever you’re hosting it, state the problem, state your idea for the solution and ask for what you missed. If you’re hosting a discussion in person, like in a town hall format, this can be hard. And generally, hosting discussions in an in-person or voice call or zoom call kind of way is hard. So if you have an opportunity to start doing this in text first and level your way up to in person, that’s my recommendation. 

Step three is to summarize the discussion and post a decision if possible. So organizing a big discussion into main points is a really good practice for the people you’re summarizing it for and yourself. It helps you to confirm your understanding, and it also gives you the chance to pair other solutions with the problem and goals you outlined in step one. If a different solution solves the same problem but with less time or effort, it’s worth taking a second look with less time or effort. There’s something that I say to WordPress contributors frequently, and that is there are a lot of yeses. There are a lot of right ways to do things and only a few clear wrong ways to do things. So be open-minded about whether or not someone else’s right way to do things could still achieve the goals you’re trying to accomplish with your solution. A note on step three where I said, “and post the decision if possible.” Sometimes you’re the person to make that decision, but sometimes you are not the person who can give something the green light, and so you’re preparing a recommendation. Whether you’re making a decision or a recommendation, sometimes you may experience a little decision-making paralysis. I know I do. So here are a few of the tools that I use.

If you’re avoiding the decision, use the 10/10/10 rule; it can help you figure out if you’re stuck on a short-term problem. If there are too many good choices, use the Eisenhower Matrix that can help you to prioritize objectively. If there are too many bad choices, use the Maximin strategy. It can help you to identify how to minimize any potential negative impacts. 

Okay, so you’ve considered your position. You’ve discussed everything. You summarized the big points. Maybe you also worked your way through to a recommendation or a decision. What about everyone who disagreed with the decision? Or have you made a recommendation, and it wasn’t accepted? How do you deal with that? That’s where “disagree and commit” shows up. This phrase was made popular by the folks over at Amazon, I think. But it first showed up, I believe at Sun Microsystems as this phrase, “agreeing, commit, disagree and commit or get out of the way.”

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  05:34

Disagree and commit as a concept works pretty well when everyone agrees on the vision and the goals, but not necessarily how to get to those goals. We’ve had moments in recent history where folks we’re not able to agree, we’re not able to commit, and so then left the project. I hate when that happens. I want people to thrive in this community for the entire length of their careers. But I also understand that situation shows up in the top five learnings of open source when you no longer have interest in the project and handed it off to a competent successor. So there it is – disagreements in open source in WordPress. 

As with so many of the things I discuss on this podcast, this is incredibly complex and nuanced in practice. Taking an argument, distilling facts from feelings, and adjusting frames of reference until the solution is well informed and risk-balanced. That is a skill set unto itself. But one that increases the health of any organization. I’ll share that list of references and general materials in the show notes, including a link explaining each of those decision-making tools that I shared. I’m also going to include the contributor training module on decision-making in the WordPress project. It’s got excellent information. It’s part of a series of modules that I asked team reps to take and sponsored contributors. I don’t require it from anyone, but I do hope that it is useful for you. Also, speaking of useful for you, if you are just here for leadership insights, I included some hot takes after the outro music for you. It’s like an Easter egg, but I just told you about it.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  07:33

And that brings us to our small list of big things! First off, WordCamp Europe is happening this we; I hope that everybody has an opportunity to attend. If you still haven’t gotten your tickets, they are free, and I think there are still a few left. I will include a link in the show notes as well. There’s going to be a little demo with Matt Mullenweg and Matias Ventura on the WordPress 5.8 release that’s coming up. And then kind of a retrospective discussion between Matt and Brian Krogsgard. I encourage you to join; I think it’s going to be very interesting. 

There’s also WordCamp, Japan coming up June 20 through 26th. I mentioned it last time –  it has a big section of contributing and contribution time. So if you’re looking to get started, some projects are laid out, and I encourage you to take a look at that as well. 

The new thing on this list, and I don’t know how new It is, in general, I hope it’s not too new to you, is that WordPress 5.8 release is reaching its beta one milestone on June 8th, so right in the middle of WordCamp Europe. I encourage every single theme developer, plugin developer that we have, agency owners that we have to really take a look at this release and dig into testing it. It’s a gigantic release. And I have so many questions about what will work and will not work once we get it into a broader testing area. We’ve been doing a lot of testing in the outreach program. But it’s always helpful to get people who are using WordPress daily in their jobs to really give a good solid test to the beta product to the beta package. And put it all through its paces for us. 

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

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  10:09

Hey there, you must be here because I told you about this totally not hidden easter egg about my hot takes on organizational health; I have three for you. And if you’ve ever worked with me, none of this will surprise you. But if you haven’t worked with me, hopefully, it kind of gives you some idea about how I approach all of this a bit differently. So, number one, critical feedback is the sign of a healthy organization. And I will never be dissuaded from that opinion. A complete lack of dissent doesn’t look like “alignment.” To me, that looks like fear. And it goes against the open source idea that many eyes make all bugs shallow. 

Tip number two, a bit of tension is good, a bit of disagreement is good. The same thing that I say about women in tech, we’re not all the same. And if we were, then we wouldn’t need to collaborate anyway. But diversity, whether that’s the diversity of thought or of a person or of experience, just doesn’t happen without some misunderstandings. It’s how we choose to grow through those misunderstandings that make all the difference for the type of organization we are. 

And hot take number three, changing your mind isn’t flip-flopping or hypocritical. I think that’s a sign of growth and willingness to hear others. I like to think of my embarrassment at past bad decisions – as the sore muscles of a learning brain. And I, again, probably won’t be dissuaded from that opinion. Although, you know, if I’m sticking true to changing your mind some flip-flopping or hypocritical, maybe I will, but you can always try to, to give me the counter-argument for that, and we’ll see how it goes. Thank you for joining me for my little public easter egg.

People of WordPress: Tijana Andrejic

Wordpress News - Mon, 06/07/2021 - 12:01

WordPress is open source software, maintained by a global network of contributors. There are many examples of how WordPress has changed people’s lives for the better. In this monthly series, we share some of the amazing stories.

This month to coincide with WordCamp Europe, we feature Tijana Andrejic from Belgrade, Serbia, about her journey from fitness trainer to the WordPress world, with the freelance and corporate opportunities it introduced.

As a professional manager with a college degree in Organizational Science and a certified fitness instructor, Tijana is nothing if not driven and goal-oriented. 

Following her time as a fitness trainer, Tijana moved to work in IT around 2016. She first explored content creation and design before focusing on SEO and becoming an independent specialist.  

Tijana was hired as a Customer Happiness Engineer for a hosting company, where she discovered the benefits of having a team. She realized that having close working relationships with colleagues is helpful for business success and accelerates personal growth.

Tijana hopes that by sharing her story, she can help others who are either starting their career or are moving roles. She describes the opportunities she discovered in the WordPress community as ‘a huge epiphany’, especially in the world of freelancing.

She highlights 5 things that helped her to start a new freelancing career. Let’s dive into them.

What motivates me?

“Why am I doing this?” is the first question that Tijana asks herself before starting anything new. This self-review and honesty, she feels, allows her to determine her priorities. She also benchmarks options around her motivations of wanting a flexible schedule and to grow professionally. 

She lists the reasons to make a particular choice, like being a freelancer, to help her choose the right job, pathway, or identify alternatives. 

She recommends that others can take a similar approach. If freelancing is still the best solution after examining all their goals and motivations, Tijana believes a good next step would be to learn WordPress-related skills.

Develop WordPress related skills

The next question you may ask: “Why WordPress?”

WordPress is used by more than 40% of websites in some form and offers various roles, many of which are not developer-specific. Tijana highlights a few: 

  • web developer (coding websites, themes, and plugins)
  • web implementor (creating websites from existing themes without coding)
  • web designer (designing website mock-ups, editing images, or creating online infographics)
  • client support professional (helping people with their websites)
  • website maintenance (WordPress, themes, and plugins are maintained and backed up regularly)
  • WordPress trainer (helping clients with how to use the platform or teaching other web professionals)
  • content writer
  • accessibility specialist (making sure standards are met and suggesting solutions for accessibility barriers)
  • SEO consultant (improving search outcomes and understanding)
  • statistics consultant, especially for web shops
  • WordPress assistant (adding new content and editing existing posts)
  • website migration specialist (moving websites from one server to another)
  • web security specialist

Tijana emphasized: “Another reason why WordPress is great for freelancers is the strong community that exists around this content management system (CMS).” WordCamps and Meetups are a way to get useful information and meet people from a large and very diverse community and get answers to many questions straight away. 

In the past year, these events have been primarily online. However, the contributors who run them continue to make an effort to provide an experience as close to in-person events as possible. The biggest advantage to online events is that we can attend events from across the world, even if sometimes during these difficult times, it is difficult to get enough time to deeply into this new experience. Since Tijana’s first Meetup, she has attended many WordPress community events and volunteered as a speaker.

Plan in advance

Becoming a freelancer takes time. For Tijana, success came with proper planning and following her plan to ‘acquire or improve relevant skills that will make you stand out in the freelance market.’ She strongly believes that learning and growing as a professional opens more business opportunities. 

If you are considering a freelance career, she advises improving relevant skills or developing new skills related to your hobbies as ‘there is nothing better than doing what you love.’ In cases where no previous experience and knowledge can be used, she suggests choosing ‘a job that has a shorter learning curve and builds your knowledge around that.’

Tijana started as a content creator and learned to become an SEO expert. However, she highlights many alternative paths, including starting as a web implementer and moving to train as a developer. 

She suggests to others: “It would be a good idea to analyze the market before you jump into the learning process.” She also recommends people check the latest trends and consider the future of the skills they are developing.

Visit the new Learn WordPress.org to see what topics are of interest to you. In this newly established resource, the WordPress community aggregates workshops to support those who want to start and improve their skills, provides lesson plans for professional WordPress trainers and helps you create personal learning to develop key skills. There is also material on helping you be part of and organize events for your local community.

Tijana highlights that there are many places for freelancers to find clients. For example, the WordPress Community has a place where companies and individual site owners publish their job advertisements  – Jobs.WordPress.net.

Hurray, it’s time to get a first freelancing job

As a pragmatic person, Tijana recommends: “Save money before quitting your job to become a full-time freelancer. Alternatively, try freelancing for a few hours per week to see if you like it. Although some people do benefit when taking a risk, think twice before you take any irreversible actions.” 

She shared some possible next steps: 

  • use a freelancing platform
  • triple-check your resume
  • professionally present yourself
  • fill up your portfolio with examples
  • use video material

“By using video material, your clients will not see you like a list of skills and previous experiences, but as a real person that has these skills and experiences and that provides a certain service for them.”

She adds: “Have a detailed strategy when choosing your first employer. Choose your first employer wisely, very wisely. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is”.

When Tijana took her first freelancing job, she considered the following:

  • how was the employer rated by other freelancers who worked for him previously
  • how does the employer rate other freelancers
  • how much money had they already spent on the platform
  • the number of open positions for a specific job and the number of freelancers that have already applied 

“The first job is not all about the money. Don’t get greedy on your first job. If you get good recommendations, your second job can pay two to three times more. And your third job can go up to five times more. That was my experience.”

Take responsibility as a freelancer

Tijana reminds us: “Freedom often comes with responsibility; individual responsibility is key when it comes to freelancing.”

She advises others not to take a job if you can not make a deadline and have someone reliable who can help you. 

Missing deadlines will cost your client money and affect the review the client will be willing to leave about your job, and this can have a big impact on your future opportunities or freelance jobs.

She adds: “This can start a downward spiral for your career. However, we are all humans, and unpredictable things can happen. If for some reason you are not able to complete your work in a timely manner, let your client know immediately so they can have enough time to hire someone else”.

Tijana emphasizes the importance of making expectations clear before accepting a job, both what the client is expecting and what you can expect from the client. 

Lastly, she points out that if you are working from home, your friends and family should treat you the way they would if you were in an office. She advises: “Let them know about your working schedule.”

She hopes that these basic guidelines will be useful in launching freelance careers, as they did her, even though there is no universal recipe for all.

Tijana highlights: “It’s just important to stay focused on your goals and to be open to new opportunities.” Freelancing wasn’t the only way she could have fulfilled her goals, but it was an important part of her path, and it helped her be confident in her abilities to make the next big step in her life.

As a freelancer, she was missing close relationships with colleagues and teamwork, which she has now found in her current firm. Her colleagues describe her as a: “walking-talking bundle of superpowers: sports medicine and fitness professional, SEO expert, blogger, designer and a kitty foster mum”.

If you are considering starting your career as a freelancer, take the courses offered at learn.wordpress.org, reach out to companies that you would be interested in working with, and remember that there are a whole host of opportunities in the WordPress project.

The WordPress.org Teams – what they do, when and where they meet

Learn WordPress resource – free to use to expand your knowledge and skills of using the platform and learning about the community around it.

The 3-day WordCamp Europe 2021 online event begins on 7 June 2021. You can discover more about being a contributor in its live sessions and section on ways to contribute to WordPress.

Contributors

Thanks to Olga Gleckler (@oglekler), Abha Thakor (@webcommsat), Chloé Bringmann (@cbringmann), Surendra Thakor (@sthakor), and Meher Bala (@meher) for working on this story. Josepha Haden (@chanthaboune) and also to Topher DeRosia (@topher1kenobe) who created HeroPress. Thank you to Tijana Andrejic (@andtijana) for sharing her #ContributorStory

This post is based on an article originally published on HeroPress.com. It highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

Meet more WordPress community members in our People of WordPress series.

#ContributorStory #HeroPress

Gutenberg Times: WordCamp Europe 2021 starts Monday

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 06/05/2021 - 04:00

WordCamp Europe 2021 will be one of the largest virtual WordCamps again and the schedule has some great talks for every WordPress users, developers, site builders, theme designers, DIY site owners and content creators.

We looked through the schedule and spotted very forward-looking Gutenberg related talks, workshops and discussions. Before you study the list, I would recommend the site Time Zone Converter to help you convert the listed times from Central Europe Summer Time (CEST) to your local time. Once in a while I get confused by time zones, and that’s my favorite site to set me straight.

Fabian Kägy, developer at 10up:
Building great experiences in the new editor

Description: Starting out building blocks or experiences for the WordPress block editor can be a bit daunting. Where do I start? Custom blocks, block patterns or just styling core blocks. In this talk, Kägy will walk through the different options and share the benefits and downsides of each while talking about overall good practices for building great editorial experiences.

As a sidenote: Almost exactly a year ago, Fabian Kägy was a presenter at a Gutenberg Times Live Q & A together with Grzegorz Ziolkowski, and demo’d how you can use and extend the official WordPress create-block scaffolding tool.

Monday, June 7th, 2021, at 10am EDT / 14:00 UTC / 16:00 CEST

Full-Site Editing Panel Discussion

The names of the panelist are still a secret, and I will update the post when we know more.

If you’d like to get a jump start here are few resources:

Monday, June 7, 2021 at 12:34 pm EDT / 16:34 UTC / CEST: 18:34

Workshop: A walkthrough of Full Site Editing with Herb Miller, Web developer in UK,

Description: Herb Miller will give a short tour of Full Site Editing (FSE) in this workshop from his perspective as a contributor to the outreach experiment for this major development in WordPress.

He has created a learning resource which attendees can use to follow on during the workshop.

Herb will give attendees an overview of:

  • how to get started
  • the components of the Site Editor
  • example templates and template parts
  • some blocks used to create FSE themes
  • example themes
  • a very few code samples
  • some answers to FAQs
  • how to become involved
  • and many links to other resources

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC / 17:00 CEST

Lee Shadle, web developer Blazing fast block development

Lee Shadle wrote in his description: “I’ve been OBSESSED w/ building blocks since before Gutenberg was released. I’ve built a BUNCH of custom block plugins over the years. In this workshop I’m going to share the framework I’ve been using for quickly building custom block plugins for WordPress.”. Shadle recently also held a talk at WordSesh and demo’d his create-block-plugin scaffolding tool and it was inspiring. This is definitely not a talk to miss.

Tuesday June 8, 2021 12:00 EDT / 16:00 UTC / 18:oo CEST

The Future of Themes in WordPress

The future of themes will be a topic of this panel discussion. Stay tuned or follow WordCamp Europe on Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

Join us for our next Live Q & A
on June 24, 2021 at 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC

Theme.json for Theme Authors or building themes for full-site editing in WordPress.
Host: Birgit Pauli-Haack
Panel: Daily Olson, Tammie Lister and Jeff Ong Register Now

Conversation with Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg is the co-founder of WordPress and the CEO of Automattic. The conversation should be the highlight of the WordCamp Europe

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 – 11:42 EDT / 15:42 UTC / 17:42 CEST

This edition of the WordCamp Europe also offers interesting Sponsor talks. Look for them on the schedule, too.

Gutenberg Times: WordCamp Europe 2021 starts Monday

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 06/05/2021 - 04:00

WordCamp Europe 2021 will be one of the largest virtual WordCamps again and the schedule has some great talks for every WordPress users, developers, site builders, theme designers, DIY site owners and content creators.

We looked through the schedule and spotted very forward-looking Gutenberg related talks, workshops and discussions. Before you study the list, I would recommend the site Time Zone Converter to help you convert the listed times from Central Europe Summer Time (CEST) to your local time. Once in a while I get confused by time zones, and that’s my favorite site to set me straight.

Fabian Kägy, developer at 10up:
Building great experiences in the new editor

Description: Starting out building blocks or experiences for the WordPress block editor can be a bit daunting. Where do I start? Custom blocks, block patterns or just styling core blocks. In this talk, Kägy will walk through the different options and share the benefits and downsides of each while talking about overall good practices for building great editorial experiences.

As a sidenote: Almost exactly a year ago, Fabian Kägy was a presenter at a Gutenberg Times Live Q & A together with Grzegorz Ziolkowski, and demo’d how you can use and extend the official WordPress create-block scaffolding tool.

Monday, June 7th, 2021, at 10am EDT / 14:00 UTC / 16:00 CEST

Full-Site Editing Panel Discussion

The names of the panelist are still a secret, and I will update the post when we know more.

If you’d like to get a jump start here are few resources:

Monday, June 7, 2021 at 12:34 pm EDT / 16:34 UTC / CEST: 18:34

Workshop: A walkthrough of Full Site Editing with Herb Miller, Web developer in UK,

Description: Herb Miller will give a short tour of Full Site Editing (FSE) in this workshop from his perspective as a contributor to the outreach experiment for this major development in WordPress.

He has created a learning resource which attendees can use to follow on during the workshop.

Herb will give attendees an overview of:

  • how to get started
  • the components of the Site Editor
  • example templates and template parts
  • some blocks used to create FSE themes
  • example themes
  • a very few code samples
  • some answers to FAQs
  • how to become involved
  • and many links to other resources

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC / 17:00 CEST

Lee Shadle, web developer Blazing fast block development

Lee Shadle wrote in his description: “I’ve been OBSESSED w/ building blocks since before Gutenberg was released. I’ve built a BUNCH of custom block plugins over the years. In this workshop I’m going to share the framework I’ve been using for quickly building custom block plugins for WordPress.”. Shadle recently also held a talk at WordSesh and demo’d his create-block-plugin scaffolding tool and it was inspiring. This is definitely not a talk to miss.

Tuesday June 8, 2021 12:00 EDT / 16:00 UTC / 18:oo CEST

The Future of Themes in WordPress

The future of themes will be a topic of this panel discussion. Stay tuned or follow WordCamp Europe on Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

Join us for our next Live Q & A
on June 24, 2021 at 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC

Theme.json for Theme Authors or building themes for full-site editing in WordPress.
Host: Birgit Pauli-Haack
Panel: Daily Olson, Tammie Lister and Jeff Ong Register Now

Conversation with Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg is the co-founder of WordPress and the CEO of Automattic. The conversation should be the highlight of the WordCamp Europe

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 – 11:42 EDT / 15:42 UTC / 17:42 CEST

This edition of the WordCamp Europe also offers interesting Sponsor talks. Look for them on the schedule, too.

Gutenberg Times: WordCamp Europe 2021 starts Monday

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 06/05/2021 - 04:00

WordCamp Europe 2021 will be one of the largest virtual WordCamps again and the schedule has some great talks for every WordPress users, developers, site builders, theme designers, DIY site owners and content creators.

We looked through the schedule and spotted very forward-looking Gutenberg related talks, workshops and discussions. Before you study the list, I would recommend the site Time Zone Converter to help you convert the listed times from Central Europe Summer Time (CEST) to your local time. Once in a while I get confused by time zones, and that’s my favorite site to set me straight.

Fabian Kägy, developer at 10up:
Building great experiences in the new editor

Description: Starting out building blocks or experiences for the WordPress block editor can be a bit daunting. Where do I start? Custom blocks, block patterns or just styling core blocks. In this talk, Kägy will walk through the different options and share the benefits and downsides of each while talking about overall good practices for building great editorial experiences.

As a sidenote: Almost exactly a year ago, Fabian Kägy was a presenter at a Gutenberg Times Live Q & A together with Grzegorz Ziolkowski, and demo’d how you can use and extend the official WordPress create-block scaffolding tool.

Monday, June 7th, 2021, at 10am EDT / 14:00 UTC / 16:00 CEST

Full-Site Editing Panel Discussion

The names of the panelist are still a secret, and I will update the post when we know more.

If you’d like to get a jump start here are few resources:

Monday, June 7, 2021 at 12:34 pm EDT / 16:34 UTC / CEST: 18:34

Workshop: A walkthrough of Full Site Editing with Herb Miller, Web developer in UK,

Description: Herb Miller will give a short tour of Full Site Editing (FSE) in this workshop from his perspective as a contributor to the outreach experiment for this major development in WordPress.

He has created a learning resource which attendees can use to follow on during the workshop.

Herb will give attendees an overview of:

  • how to get started
  • the components of the Site Editor
  • example templates and template parts
  • some blocks used to create FSE themes
  • example themes
  • a very few code samples
  • some answers to FAQs
  • how to become involved
  • and many links to other resources

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC / 17:00 CEST

Lee Shadle, web developer Blazing fast block development

Lee Shadle wrote in his description: “I’ve been OBSESSED w/ building blocks since before Gutenberg was released. I’ve built a BUNCH of custom block plugins over the years. In this workshop I’m going to share the framework I’ve been using for quickly building custom block plugins for WordPress.”. Shadle recently also held a talk at WordSesh and demo’d his create-block-plugin scaffolding tool and it was inspiring. This is definitely not a talk to miss.

Tuesday June 8, 2021 12:00 EDT / 16:00 UTC / 18:oo CEST

The Future of Themes in WordPress

The future of themes will be a topic of this panel discussion. Stay tuned or follow WordCamp Europe on Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

Join us for our next Live Q & A
on June 24, 2021 at 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC

Theme.json for Theme Authors or building themes for full-site editing in WordPress.
Host: Birgit Pauli-Haack
Panel: Daily Olson, Tammie Lister and Jeff Ong Register Now

Conversation with Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg is the co-founder of WordPress and the CEO of Automattic. The conversation should be the highlight of the WordCamp Europe

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 – 11:42 EDT / 15:42 UTC / 17:42 CEST

This edition of the WordCamp Europe also offers interesting Sponsor talks. Look for them on the schedule, too.

Gutenberg Times: So, You want to talk about Full-site Editing?

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 06/05/2021 - 00:50
Anne McCarthy writes at nomad.blog

As we’re nearing 5.8, there’s an increasing demand for people to speak about Full Site Editing and this post should help act as a resource guide to enable more people to do so. As always, I would love contributions from the wider community to build this out into an even more comprehensive resource! While this post covers a lot of content, see it as a go to place to mix and match as you’d like for your own presentation rather than something you need to know every detail of. For example, if you’re presenting to theme authors, you can use this to get a sense at a glance of what might be relevant from what to demo, what resources to share, what GitHub issues to highlight, and more.

Join us for our next Live Q & A
on June 24, 2021 at 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC

Theme.json for Theme Authors or building themes for full-site editing in WordPress.
Host: Birgit Pauli-Haack
Panel: Daily Olson, Tammie Lister and Jeff Ong Register Now

Resources Key points to cover around 5.8:
  • FSE is a collection of features and not a monolith.
  • Because FSE is a collection of features, Core can be flexible in shipping what is both stable and adds the most value.
  • 5.8 is focused mainly on bringing tools to extenders with limited changes to the user experience. This includes theme.json, new theme blocks, design tools, and template editing mode.
Demo ideas

Depending on who you are and who the audience, the following are your best bets for demo content:

Helpful GitHub issues Helpful Posts Conversation Starters
  • What would you like to see done as part of the gradual adoption milestone
  • What would make you more inclined to use Full Site Editing? On the flip side, what would make you less inclined? 
  • Are there any key people or resources like podcasts, courses, documentation, etc that have helped you explore Full Site Editing? 
  • How do you think Full Site Editing will change the WordPress ecosystem? What excites you there? What makes you nervous? 
  • What do you think is most helpful to communicate about Full Site Editing right now to put more people at ease and build excitement? 
  • What are you still confused about when it comes to Full Site Editing?
FAQs

These are the top questions you can most likely expect to get asked with high level answers to get you started in the right direction. For a more comprehensive list of questions and answers, check out the FSE Outreach Program’s roundups.

What is Full Site Editing and what value will it bring?

Full Site Editing is a collection of features that bring the familiar experience and extendability of blocks to all parts of your site rather than just post and pages. In terms of value, it depends on who you are:
User: empowerment to customize what you want to your liking without needing to dive into code.
Themer/developer: focus less on coding thanks to various design tools and more on creating a compelling experience with your theme.
Agency: greater control and consistency over what you offer clients including things like setting custom branding colors or locking down various aspects of the site such as typography settings.
When you see or feel this value depends on who you are, how early you adopt features, and when stable features land in Core. Thanks to FSE being a collection of features, some independent and some interdependent, there’s wonderful room to ship what’s stable.

What is going to happen to themes and what kinds of pathways are being created?

In the long run, it should make theme development much easier and simpler with design tools ready to tap into allowing theme authors to focus less on coding and functions and more on design expression and aesthetics. Because Full Site Editing requires a block based theme, this makes themes extremely important to get right! As a result, lots of pathways are being created including the ability to use theme blocks in a classic theme, exploring how to use the customizer and site editor as part of a “universal theme”, unlocking the ability to create a new block template in a classic theme, allowing classic themes to adopt the block widget editor, and more.
Key: Themes are a key part of the FSE experience, lots of work is being done to allow for a breadth of options going forward, and we need feedback from theme authors to make the transition easier. 

What about page builders/site builders?

FSE is being built in a way that site builders, if they choose to, can build on top of what’s being created. Overall though, FSE is being built partially so people don’t get locked into one site builder over another. While the goals shared between FSE and site builders are similar in terms of empowering users and give better tools to customize a site, the main difference is that we are developing tools that work for users, themers, and hopefully also page builders by expanding how WordPress uses blocks as a whole. Since Core has to strike a nice balance, it’s expected that future plugins will play a role here in exposing more/less depending on user needs.

How will restricting access to these features work?

This will depend on who is asking the question (a user, a theme author, a developer, etc) but some of the GitHub issues referenced above should help. For users, I’d focus on the fact that they would either need to seek out a block theme to use or their current theme would need to ship specific updates. For a themer/developer, I’d share that there will be various options to opt in and out of this work (for example with creating block templates). Upcoming 5.8 dev notes should address this for any new features.

Will upgrading to 5.8 cause FSE to take over my site like the Core Editor did in 5.0?

No. 5.8 is focused on giving tools to extenders first and foremost before more user facing changes are launched going forward and integrated into themes. In terms of user facing features, you can expect to see

Anne McCarthy published this post on her personal blog and gave us permission to republish it here as well.

Join us for our next Live Q & A
on June 24, 2021 at 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC

Theme.json for Theme Authors or building themes for full-site editing in WordPress.
Host: Birgit Pauli-Haack
Panel: Daily Olson, Tammie Lister and Jeff Ong Register Now

Gutenberg Times: So, You want to talk about Full-site Editing?

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 06/05/2021 - 00:50
Anne McCarthy writes at nomad.blog

As we’re nearing 5.8, there’s an increasing demand for people to speak about Full Site Editing and this post should help act as a resource guide to enable more people to do so. As always, I would love contributions from the wider community to build this out into an even more comprehensive resource! While this post covers a lot of content, see it as a go to place to mix and match as you’d like for your own presentation rather than something you need to know every detail of. For example, if you’re presenting to theme authors, you can use this to get a sense at a glance of what might be relevant from what to demo, what resources to share, what GitHub issues to highlight, and more.

Join us for our next Live Q & A
on June 24, 2021 at 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC

Theme.json for Theme Authors or building themes for full-site editing in WordPress.
Host: Birgit Pauli-Haack
Panel: Daily Olson, Tammie Lister and Jeff Ong Register Now

Resources Key points to cover around 5.8:
  • FSE is a collection of features and not a monolith.
  • Because FSE is a collection of features, Core can be flexible in shipping what is both stable and adds the most value.
  • 5.8 is focused mainly on bringing tools to extenders with limited changes to the user experience. This includes theme.json, new theme blocks, design tools, and template editing mode.
Demo ideas

Depending on who you are and who the audience, the following are your best bets for demo content:

Helpful GitHub issues Helpful Posts Conversation Starters
  • What would you like to see done as part of the gradual adoption milestone
  • What would make you more inclined to use Full Site Editing? On the flip side, what would make you less inclined? 
  • Are there any key people or resources like podcasts, courses, documentation, etc that have helped you explore Full Site Editing? 
  • How do you think Full Site Editing will change the WordPress ecosystem? What excites you there? What makes you nervous? 
  • What do you think is most helpful to communicate about Full Site Editing right now to put more people at ease and build excitement? 
  • What are you still confused about when it comes to Full Site Editing?
FAQs

These are the top questions you can most likely expect to get asked with high level answers to get you started in the right direction. For a more comprehensive list of questions and answers, check out the FSE Outreach Program’s roundups.

What is Full Site Editing and what value will it bring?

Full Site Editing is a collection of features that bring the familiar experience and extendability of blocks to all parts of your site rather than just post and pages. In terms of value, it depends on who you are:
User: empowerment to customize what you want to your liking without needing to dive into code.
Themer/developer: focus less on coding thanks to various design tools and more on creating a compelling experience with your theme.
Agency: greater control and consistency over what you offer clients including things like setting custom branding colors or locking down various aspects of the site such as typography settings.
When you see or feel this value depends on who you are, how early you adopt features, and when stable features land in Core. Thanks to FSE being a collection of features, some independent and some interdependent, there’s wonderful room to ship what’s stable.

What is going to happen to themes and what kinds of pathways are being created?

In the long run, it should make theme development much easier and simpler with design tools ready to tap into allowing theme authors to focus less on coding and functions and more on design expression and aesthetics. Because Full Site Editing requires a block based theme, this makes themes extremely important to get right! As a result, lots of pathways are being created including the ability to use theme blocks in a classic theme, exploring how to use the customizer and site editor as part of a “universal theme”, unlocking the ability to create a new block template in a classic theme, allowing classic themes to adopt the block widget editor, and more.
Key: Themes are a key part of the FSE experience, lots of work is being done to allow for a breadth of options going forward, and we need feedback from theme authors to make the transition easier. 

What about page builders/site builders?

FSE is being built in a way that site builders, if they choose to, can build on top of what’s being created. Overall though, FSE is being built partially so people don’t get locked into one site builder over another. While the goals shared between FSE and site builders are similar in terms of empowering users and give better tools to customize a site, the main difference is that we are developing tools that work for users, themers, and hopefully also page builders by expanding how WordPress uses blocks as a whole. Since Core has to strike a nice balance, it’s expected that future plugins will play a role here in exposing more/less depending on user needs.

How will restricting access to these features work?

This will depend on who is asking the question (a user, a theme author, a developer, etc) but some of the GitHub issues referenced above should help. For users, I’d focus on the fact that they would either need to seek out a block theme to use or their current theme would need to ship specific updates. For a themer/developer, I’d share that there will be various options to opt in and out of this work (for example with creating block templates). Upcoming 5.8 dev notes should address this for any new features.

Will upgrading to 5.8 cause FSE to take over my site like the Core Editor did in 5.0?

No. 5.8 is focused on giving tools to extenders first and foremost before more user facing changes are launched going forward and integrated into themes. In terms of user facing features, you can expect to see

Anne McCarthy published this post on her personal blog and gave us permission to republish it here as well.

Join us for our next Live Q & A
on June 24, 2021 at 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC

Theme.json for Theme Authors or building themes for full-site editing in WordPress.
Host: Birgit Pauli-Haack
Panel: Daily Olson, Tammie Lister and Jeff Ong Register Now

Gutenberg Times: So, You want to talk about Full-site Editing?

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 06/05/2021 - 00:50
Anne McCarthy writes at nomad.blog

As we’re nearing 5.8, there’s an increasing demand for people to speak about Full Site Editing and this post should help act as a resource guide to enable more people to do so. As always, I would love contributions from the wider community to build this out into an even more comprehensive resource! While this post covers a lot of content, see it as a go to place to mix and match as you’d like for your own presentation rather than something you need to know every detail of. For example, if you’re presenting to theme authors, you can use this to get a sense at a glance of what might be relevant from what to demo, what resources to share, what GitHub issues to highlight, and more.

Join us for our next Live Q & A
on June 24, 2021 at 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC

Theme.json for Theme Authors or building themes for full-site editing in WordPress.
Host: Birgit Pauli-Haack
Panel: Daily Olson, Tammie Lister and Jeff Ong Register Now

Resources Key points to cover around 5.8:
  • FSE is a collection of features and not a monolith.
  • Because FSE is a collection of features, Core can be flexible in shipping what is both stable and adds the most value.
  • 5.8 is focused mainly on bringing tools to extenders with limited changes to the user experience. This includes theme.json, new theme blocks, design tools, and template editing mode.
Demo ideas

Depending on who you are and who the audience, the following are your best bets for demo content:

Helpful GitHub issues Helpful Posts Conversation Starters
  • What would you like to see done as part of the gradual adoption milestone
  • What would make you more inclined to use Full Site Editing? On the flip side, what would make you less inclined? 
  • Are there any key people or resources like podcasts, courses, documentation, etc that have helped you explore Full Site Editing? 
  • How do you think Full Site Editing will change the WordPress ecosystem? What excites you there? What makes you nervous? 
  • What do you think is most helpful to communicate about Full Site Editing right now to put more people at ease and build excitement? 
  • What are you still confused about when it comes to Full Site Editing?
FAQs

These are the top questions you can most likely expect to get asked with high level answers to get you started in the right direction. For a more comprehensive list of questions and answers, check out the FSE Outreach Program’s roundups.

What is Full Site Editing and what value will it bring?

Full Site Editing is a collection of features that bring the familiar experience and extendability of blocks to all parts of your site rather than just post and pages. In terms of value, it depends on who you are:
User: empowerment to customize what you want to your liking without needing to dive into code.
Themer/developer: focus less on coding thanks to various design tools and more on creating a compelling experience with your theme.
Agency: greater control and consistency over what you offer clients including things like setting custom branding colors or locking down various aspects of the site such as typography settings.
When you see or feel this value depends on who you are, how early you adopt features, and when stable features land in Core. Thanks to FSE being a collection of features, some independent and some interdependent, there’s wonderful room to ship what’s stable.

What is going to happen to themes and what kinds of pathways are being created?

In the long run, it should make theme development much easier and simpler with design tools ready to tap into allowing theme authors to focus less on coding and functions and more on design expression and aesthetics. Because Full Site Editing requires a block based theme, this makes themes extremely important to get right! As a result, lots of pathways are being created including the ability to use theme blocks in a classic theme, exploring how to use the customizer and site editor as part of a “universal theme”, unlocking the ability to create a new block template in a classic theme, allowing classic themes to adopt the block widget editor, and more.
Key: Themes are a key part of the FSE experience, lots of work is being done to allow for a breadth of options going forward, and we need feedback from theme authors to make the transition easier. 

What about page builders/site builders?

FSE is being built in a way that site builders, if they choose to, can build on top of what’s being created. Overall though, FSE is being built partially so people don’t get locked into one site builder over another. While the goals shared between FSE and site builders are similar in terms of empowering users and give better tools to customize a site, the main difference is that we are developing tools that work for users, themers, and hopefully also page builders by expanding how WordPress uses blocks as a whole. Since Core has to strike a nice balance, it’s expected that future plugins will play a role here in exposing more/less depending on user needs.

How will restricting access to these features work?

This will depend on who is asking the question (a user, a theme author, a developer, etc) but some of the GitHub issues referenced above should help. For users, I’d focus on the fact that they would either need to seek out a block theme to use or their current theme would need to ship specific updates. For a themer/developer, I’d share that there will be various options to opt in and out of this work (for example with creating block templates). Upcoming 5.8 dev notes should address this for any new features.

Will upgrading to 5.8 cause FSE to take over my site like the Core Editor did in 5.0?

No. 5.8 is focused on giving tools to extenders first and foremost before more user facing changes are launched going forward and integrated into themes. In terms of user facing features, you can expect to see

Anne McCarthy published this post on her personal blog and gave us permission to republish it here as well.

Join us for our next Live Q & A
on June 24, 2021 at 11am EDT / 15:00 UTC

Theme.json for Theme Authors or building themes for full-site editing in WordPress.
Host: Birgit Pauli-Haack
Panel: Daily Olson, Tammie Lister and Jeff Ong Register Now

WPTavern: Jetpack 9.8 Introduces WordPress Stories Block Alongside Forced Security Update

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 06/05/2021 - 00:04

Jetpack 9.8 was released this week, introducing WordPress Stories as the headline feature. The Story block, which allows users to create interactive stories, was previously only available on mobile. It can now be used in the web editor. Stories went into public beta on the Android app in January 2021, and were officially released on the mobile apps in March.

Version 9.8 also included a security patch for all sites using the Carousel feature. The vulnerability allowed the comments of non-published pages/posts to be leaked. It was severe enough for the Jetpack team to work with WordPress.org to release 78 patched versions – every version of Jetpack since 2.0. Sites not using the Carousel feature were not vulnerable but could be in the future if it was enabled and left unpatched.

In a rare move, WordPress.org pushed a forced update to all vulnerable versions, surprising those who have auto-updates disabled. Several Jetpack users posted in the support forums, asking why the plugin had updated automatically without permission and in some cases not to the newest version.

So this update was a forced update on WordPress sites even with auto-updates disabled?

We had this go live on a prod site at 2am last night that has auto-updates disabled for very specific reasons.

Not cool Jetpack. https://t.co/55upBmyeHp

— Brad Williams (@williamsba) June 3, 2021

Jetpack team member Jeremy Herve said the vulnerability was responsibly disclosed via Hackerone, allowing them to work on a patch for the issue. After it was ready to go, the Jetpack team reached out to the WordPress.org security team to inform them of a vulnerability impacting multiple versions of the plugin.

“We sent them the patch alongside all the info we had (a PoC for the vulnerability, what features had to be active, what versions of Jetpack were impacted),” Herve said. “They recommended we release point releases for older versions of Jetpack as well.

“We created those new releases, and when we were ready to release them, someone from the WordPress.org team made some changes on the WordPress.org side so folks running old, vulnerable versions of the plugin would get auto-updated, just like it works for Core versions of WordPress.”

Jetpack team member Brandon Kraft estimated the number of vulnerable sites at 18% of the plugin’s active installs. He said that Jetpack was not part of the discussion about the pushing out a forced update.

We weren't part of the discussion. Provided details and got the response, but I wouldn't expect a security convo to be public. But, yes. Single feature impacted. A few things need to be all true for it to matter on a site, which looked like qualified about 18% of sites IIRC.

— A Guy Called Kraft 😷💉 (@Kraft) June 3, 2021

“What probably adds to the confusion is that WordPress 5.5 added a UI for plugin (and theme) autoupdates,” Herve said. “That UI, while helping one manage plugin autoupdates on their site, is a bit different from Core’s forced update process. Both of those update types can be deactivated by site owners, just like core’s autoupdates can be deactivated, but I don’t believe (and honestly wouldn’t recommend) that many folks deactivate those updates.”

Brandon Kraft dug deeper into the topic and published a post that explains the differences between auto-updates and forced updates. It includes how to lock down file modifications if you don’t want to receive any forced updates in the future. Forced updates, however, are exceedingly rare, and Kraft counts only three for Jetpack since 2013.

In this instance, the Jetpack team followed the official process for reporting a critical vulnerability to the plugin and security teams who determine the impact for users based on a set criteria. Users who received an email notification about an automatic update from Jetpack, despite having the UI in the dashboard set to disable them, should be aware that these forced updates can come once in a blue moon for security purposes.

Tony Perez, founder of NOC and former CEO at Sucuri, contends that forcing a security update like this violates the intent users’ assign when using the auto-updates UI in WordPress. He highlighted the potential for abuse if the system were to become vulnerable to a bad actor.

“The platform is making an active decision that is arguably contrary to what the site administrator is intending when they explicitly say they don’t want something done,” Perez said. “Put plainly, it’s an abuse of trust that exists between the WordPress user and the Foundation that helps maintain the project.

“My position is not that it shouldn’t exist. That’s a much deeper ideological debate, but it is about respecting an administrators explicit intent.”

WPTavern: Jetpack 9.8 Introduces WordPress Stories Block Alongside Forced Security Update

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 06/05/2021 - 00:04

Jetpack 9.8 was released this week, introducing WordPress Stories as the headline feature. The Story block, which allows users to create interactive stories, was previously only available on mobile. It can now be used in the web editor. Stories went into public beta on the Android app in January 2021, and were officially released on the mobile apps in March.

Version 9.8 also included a security patch for all sites using the Carousel feature. The vulnerability allowed the comments of non-published pages/posts to be leaked. It was severe enough for the Jetpack team to work with WordPress.org to release 78 patched versions – every version of Jetpack since 2.0. Sites not using the Carousel feature were not vulnerable but could be in the future if it was enabled and left unpatched.

In a rare move, WordPress.org pushed a forced update to all vulnerable versions, surprising those who have auto-updates disabled. Several Jetpack users posted in the support forums, asking why the plugin had updated automatically without permission and in some cases not to the newest version.

So this update was a forced update on WordPress sites even with auto-updates disabled?

We had this go live on a prod site at 2am last night that has auto-updates disabled for very specific reasons.

Not cool Jetpack. https://t.co/55upBmyeHp

— Brad Williams (@williamsba) June 3, 2021

Jetpack team member Jeremy Herve said the vulnerability was responsibly disclosed via Hackerone, allowing them to work on a patch for the issue. After it was ready to go, the Jetpack team reached out to the WordPress.org security team to inform them of a vulnerability impacting multiple versions of the plugin.

“We sent them the patch alongside all the info we had (a PoC for the vulnerability, what features had to be active, what versions of Jetpack were impacted),” Herve said. “They recommended we release point releases for older versions of Jetpack as well.

“We created those new releases, and when we were ready to release them, someone from the WordPress.org team made some changes on the WordPress.org side so folks running old, vulnerable versions of the plugin would get auto-updated, just like it works for Core versions of WordPress.”

Jetpack team member Brandon Kraft estimated the number of vulnerable sites at 18% of the plugin’s active installs. He said that Jetpack was not part of the discussion about the pushing out a forced update.

We weren't part of the discussion. Provided details and got the response, but I wouldn't expect a security convo to be public. But, yes. Single feature impacted. A few things need to be all true for it to matter on a site, which looked like qualified about 18% of sites IIRC.

— A Guy Called Kraft 😷💉 (@Kraft) June 3, 2021

“What probably adds to the confusion is that WordPress 5.5 added a UI for plugin (and theme) autoupdates,” Herve said. “That UI, while helping one manage plugin autoupdates on their site, is a bit different from Core’s forced update process. Both of those update types can be deactivated by site owners, just like core’s autoupdates can be deactivated, but I don’t believe (and honestly wouldn’t recommend) that many folks deactivate those updates.”

Brandon Kraft dug deeper into the topic and published a post that explains the differences between auto-updates and forced updates. It includes how to lock down file modifications if you don’t want to receive any forced updates in the future. Forced updates, however, are exceedingly rare, and Kraft counts only three for Jetpack since 2013.

In this instance, the Jetpack team followed the official process for reporting a critical vulnerability to the plugin and security teams who determine the impact for users based on a set criteria. Users who received an email notification about an automatic update from Jetpack, despite having the UI in the dashboard set to disable them, should be aware that these forced updates can come once in a blue moon for security purposes.

Tony Perez, founder of NOC and former CEO at Sucuri, contends that forcing a security update like this violates the intent users’ assign when using the auto-updates UI in WordPress. He highlighted the potential for abuse if the system were to become vulnerable to a bad actor.

“The platform is making an active decision that is arguably contrary to what the site administrator is intending when they explicitly say they don’t want something done,” Perez said. “Put plainly, it’s an abuse of trust that exists between the WordPress user and the Foundation that helps maintain the project.

“My position is not that it shouldn’t exist. That’s a much deeper ideological debate, but it is about respecting an administrators explicit intent.”

WPTavern: Jetpack 9.8 Introduces WordPress Stories Block Alongside Forced Security Update

Wordpress Planet - Sat, 06/05/2021 - 00:04

Jetpack 9.8 was released this week, introducing WordPress Stories as the headline feature. The Story block, which allows users to create interactive stories, was previously only available on mobile. It can now be used in the web editor. Stories went into public beta on the Android app in January 2021, and were officially released on the mobile apps in March.

Version 9.8 also included a security patch for all sites using the Carousel feature. The vulnerability allowed the comments of non-published pages/posts to be leaked. It was severe enough for the Jetpack team to work with WordPress.org to release 78 patched versions – every version of Jetpack since 2.0. Sites not using the Carousel feature were not vulnerable but could be in the future if it was enabled and left unpatched.

In a rare move, WordPress.org pushed a forced update to all vulnerable versions, surprising those who have auto-updates disabled. Several Jetpack users posted in the support forums, asking why the plugin had updated automatically without permission and in some cases not to the newest version.

So this update was a forced update on WordPress sites even with auto-updates disabled?

We had this go live on a prod site at 2am last night that has auto-updates disabled for very specific reasons.

Not cool Jetpack. https://t.co/55upBmyeHp

— Brad Williams (@williamsba) June 3, 2021

Jetpack team member Jeremy Herve said the vulnerability was responsibly disclosed via Hackerone, allowing them to work on a patch for the issue. After it was ready to go, the Jetpack team reached out to the WordPress.org security team to inform them of a vulnerability impacting multiple versions of the plugin.

“We sent them the patch alongside all the info we had (a PoC for the vulnerability, what features had to be active, what versions of Jetpack were impacted),” Herve said. “They recommended we release point releases for older versions of Jetpack as well.

“We created those new releases, and when we were ready to release them, someone from the WordPress.org team made some changes on the WordPress.org side so folks running old, vulnerable versions of the plugin would get auto-updated, just like it works for Core versions of WordPress.”

Jetpack team member Brandon Kraft estimated the number of vulnerable sites at 18% of the plugin’s active installs. He said that Jetpack was not part of the discussion about the pushing out a forced update.

We weren't part of the discussion. Provided details and got the response, but I wouldn't expect a security convo to be public. But, yes. Single feature impacted. A few things need to be all true for it to matter on a site, which looked like qualified about 18% of sites IIRC.

— A Guy Called Kraft 😷💉 (@Kraft) June 3, 2021

“What probably adds to the confusion is that WordPress 5.5 added a UI for plugin (and theme) autoupdates,” Herve said. “That UI, while helping one manage plugin autoupdates on their site, is a bit different from Core’s forced update process. Both of those update types can be deactivated by site owners, just like core’s autoupdates can be deactivated, but I don’t believe (and honestly wouldn’t recommend) that many folks deactivate those updates.”

Brandon Kraft dug deeper into the topic and published a post that explains the differences between auto-updates and forced updates. It includes how to lock down file modifications if you don’t want to receive any forced updates in the future. Forced updates, however, are exceedingly rare, and Kraft counts only three for Jetpack since 2013.

In this instance, the Jetpack team followed the official process for reporting a critical vulnerability to the plugin and security teams who determine the impact for users based on a set criteria. Users who received an email notification about an automatic update from Jetpack, despite having the UI in the dashboard set to disable them, should be aware that these forced updates can come once in a blue moon for security purposes.

Tony Perez, founder of NOC and former CEO at Sucuri, contends that forcing a security update like this violates the intent users’ assign when using the auto-updates UI in WordPress. He highlighted the potential for abuse if the system were to become vulnerable to a bad actor.

“The platform is making an active decision that is arguably contrary to what the site administrator is intending when they explicitly say they don’t want something done,” Perez said. “Put plainly, it’s an abuse of trust that exists between the WordPress user and the Foundation that helps maintain the project.

“My position is not that it shouldn’t exist. That’s a much deeper ideological debate, but it is about respecting an administrators explicit intent.”

WPTavern: Create Per-Post Social Media Images With the Social Image Generator WordPress Plugin

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 06/04/2021 - 23:59

It was a bit of a low-key announcement when Daniel Post introduced Social Image Generator to the world in February via tweet. But, when you get repped by Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks and the co-founder of WordPress uses your plugin (come on, Matt, set a default image), it means your product is on the right track.

I am not easily impressed by every new plugin to fly across my metaphorical desk. I probably install at least a couple dozen every week. Sometimes, I do so because something looks handy on the surface, and I want to see if I can find some use for it. Other times, I think it might be worth sharing with Tavern readers. More often than not, I consider most of them cringeworthy. I have high standards.

As I chatted with Post about this new plugin, I was excited enough to call Social Image Generator one of those OMG-where-have-you-been? types of plugins. You will not hear that from me often.

Post quit his day job to venture out earlier this year, creating his one-man WordPress agency named Posty Studio. Social Image Generator is its first product.

“I kept seeing tutorials on my Twitter feed on how to automatically generate images for your social media posts, but unfortunately, they all used a similar approach (Node.js) that just wasn’t suitable for WordPress,” said Post of the inspiration for the plugin. “This got me thinking: would it be possible to make this for WordPress? I started playing around with image generation in PHP, and when I got my proof of concept working, I realized that this might actually be something I should pursue.”

In our chat over Slack, we actually saw the plugin in action. As he shared Coyier’s article from CSS-Tricks, the chatting platform displayed the social image in real-time.

Auto-generated image appearing via Slack.

Maybe it was fate. Maybe Post knew it would happen and thought it would be a good idea to show off his work as we talked about his project. Either way, it was enough to impress the writer who is unafraid to call your plugin a dumpster fire if he smells smoke.

Post seems to be hitting all the right notes with this commercial plugin. It has a slew of features built into version 1.x, which we will get to shortly. It is dead simple to use. It is something nearly any website owner needs, assuming they want to share their content via social networks. And, with a $39/year starting price, it is not an overly expensive product for those on the fence about buying.

How the Plugin Works

After installing and activating Social Image Generator, users are taken to the plugin’s settings screen. Other than a license key field and a button for clearing the image cache, most users will want to dive straight into the template editor.

At the moment, the plugin includes 23 templates. From Twenty Seventeen to Twenty Twenty-One, each of the last four default WordPress themes also has a dedicated template. After selecting one, users can customize the colors for the logo, post title, and more — the amount of customization depends on the chosen template.

Browsing the plugin’s templates.

Aside from selecting colors, users can choose between various logo and text options. They can also upload a default image for posts without featured images.

Editing a template from Social Image Generator.

When it comes time to publish, the plugin adds a meta box to the post sidebar. Users can further customize their social image and text on a per-post basis.

Social image preview box on the post-editing screen.

Once published, the plugin creates an image that will appear when a post is shared on social media.

On the whole, there is a ton that anyone can do with the built-in templates. There is also an API for developers to create their own. For a first outing, it is a robust offering. However, there is so much more that can be done to make the plugin more flexible.

Version 2.0 and Beyond

Thus far, Post said he has received tons of positive feedback along with feature requests. Primarily, users are asking for more customization options and the ability to create and use multiple templates. These are the focus areas for the next version. With a 1,718% increase in revenue in the past month, it seems he might have the initial financial backing to invest in them.

“I’ve started building a completely overhauled drag-n-drop editor, which will allow you to create basically any custom image you want,” he said. “It will be heavily inspired by the block editor, and I want to keep the UI and UX as close to the block editor as possible.”

The new template editor would allow users to create multiple layers, an idea similar to how Photoshop, Gimp, and other image-editing software works. The difference would be that it can pull in data from WordPress.

“For example, an ‘Image’ layer will have options such as height/width and positioning, as well as some stylistic options like color filters and gradient overlays,” said Post. “A ‘Text’ layer can be any font, color, and size and can show predefined options (post title, date, etc.) or whatever you want. You can add an infinite number of layers and order them however you’d like.”

He seems excited about opening up new possibilities with an overhauled editor. Users could potentially create social image templates for each post type. A custom layer might pull in post metadata, such as displaying product pricing or ratings from eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce.

“The prebuilt templates will still exist, similar to Block Patterns in the block editor,” said the plugin developer. “They will, however, serve as a starting point rather than the final product. I’ll also try to implement theme styling as much as possible.

“The possibilities here are so endless, and I’m incredibly excited for this next part.”

WPTavern: Create Per-Post Social Media Images With the Social Image Generator WordPress Plugin

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 06/04/2021 - 23:59

It was a bit of a low-key announcement when Daniel Post introduced Social Image Generator to the world in February via tweet. But, when you get repped by Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks and the co-founder of WordPress uses your plugin (come on, Matt, set a default image), it means your product is on the right track.

I am not easily impressed by every new plugin to fly across my metaphorical desk. I probably install at least a couple dozen every week. Sometimes, I do so because something looks handy on the surface, and I want to see if I can find some use for it. Other times, I think it might be worth sharing with Tavern readers. More often than not, I consider most of them cringeworthy. I have high standards.

As I chatted with Post about this new plugin, I was excited enough to call Social Image Generator one of those OMG-where-have-you-been? types of plugins. You will not hear that from me often.

Post quit his day job to venture out earlier this year, creating his one-man WordPress agency named Posty Studio. Social Image Generator is its first product.

“I kept seeing tutorials on my Twitter feed on how to automatically generate images for your social media posts, but unfortunately, they all used a similar approach (Node.js) that just wasn’t suitable for WordPress,” said Post of the inspiration for the plugin. “This got me thinking: would it be possible to make this for WordPress? I started playing around with image generation in PHP, and when I got my proof of concept working, I realized that this might actually be something I should pursue.”

In our chat over Slack, we actually saw the plugin in action. As he shared Coyier’s article from CSS-Tricks, the chatting platform displayed the social image in real-time.

Auto-generated image appearing via Slack.

Maybe it was fate. Maybe Post knew it would happen and thought it would be a good idea to show off his work as we talked about his project. Either way, it was enough to impress the writer who is unafraid to call your plugin a dumpster fire if he smells smoke.

Post seems to be hitting all the right notes with this commercial plugin. It has a slew of features built into version 1.x, which we will get to shortly. It is dead simple to use. It is something nearly any website owner needs, assuming they want to share their content via social networks. And, with a $39/year starting price, it is not an overly expensive product for those on the fence about buying.

How the Plugin Works

After installing and activating Social Image Generator, users are taken to the plugin’s settings screen. Other than a license key field and a button for clearing the image cache, most users will want to dive straight into the template editor.

At the moment, the plugin includes 23 templates. From Twenty Seventeen to Twenty Twenty-One, each of the last four default WordPress themes also has a dedicated template. After selecting one, users can customize the colors for the logo, post title, and more — the amount of customization depends on the chosen template.

Browsing the plugin’s templates.

Aside from selecting colors, users can choose between various logo and text options. They can also upload a default image for posts without featured images.

Editing a template from Social Image Generator.

When it comes time to publish, the plugin adds a meta box to the post sidebar. Users can further customize their social image and text on a per-post basis.

Social image preview box on the post-editing screen.

Once published, the plugin creates an image that will appear when a post is shared on social media.

On the whole, there is a ton that anyone can do with the built-in templates. There is also an API for developers to create their own. For a first outing, it is a robust offering. However, there is so much more that can be done to make the plugin more flexible.

Version 2.0 and Beyond

Thus far, Post said he has received tons of positive feedback along with feature requests. Primarily, users are asking for more customization options and the ability to create and use multiple templates. These are the focus areas for the next version. With a 1,718% increase in revenue in the past month, it seems he might have the initial financial backing to invest in them.

“I’ve started building a completely overhauled drag-n-drop editor, which will allow you to create basically any custom image you want,” he said. “It will be heavily inspired by the block editor, and I want to keep the UI and UX as close to the block editor as possible.”

The new template editor would allow users to create multiple layers, an idea similar to how Photoshop, Gimp, and other image-editing software works. The difference would be that it can pull in data from WordPress.

“For example, an ‘Image’ layer will have options such as height/width and positioning, as well as some stylistic options like color filters and gradient overlays,” said Post. “A ‘Text’ layer can be any font, color, and size and can show predefined options (post title, date, etc.) or whatever you want. You can add an infinite number of layers and order them however you’d like.”

He seems excited about opening up new possibilities with an overhauled editor. Users could potentially create social image templates for each post type. A custom layer might pull in post metadata, such as displaying product pricing or ratings from eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce.

“The prebuilt templates will still exist, similar to Block Patterns in the block editor,” said the plugin developer. “They will, however, serve as a starting point rather than the final product. I’ll also try to implement theme styling as much as possible.

“The possibilities here are so endless, and I’m incredibly excited for this next part.”

WPTavern: Create Per-Post Social Media Images With the Social Image Generator WordPress Plugin

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 06/04/2021 - 23:59

It was a bit of a low-key announcement when Daniel Post introduced Social Image Generator to the world in February via tweet. But, when you get repped by Chris Coyier of CSS-Tricks and the co-founder of WordPress uses your plugin (come on, Matt, set a default image), it means your product is on the right track.

I am not easily impressed by every new plugin to fly across my metaphorical desk. I probably install at least a couple dozen every week. Sometimes, I do so because something looks handy on the surface, and I want to see if I can find some use for it. Other times, I think it might be worth sharing with Tavern readers. More often than not, I consider most of them cringeworthy. I have high standards.

As I chatted with Post about this new plugin, I was excited enough to call Social Image Generator one of those OMG-where-have-you-been? types of plugins. You will not hear that from me often.

Post quit his day job to venture out earlier this year, creating his one-man WordPress agency named Posty Studio. Social Image Generator is its first product.

“I kept seeing tutorials on my Twitter feed on how to automatically generate images for your social media posts, but unfortunately, they all used a similar approach (Node.js) that just wasn’t suitable for WordPress,” said Post of the inspiration for the plugin. “This got me thinking: would it be possible to make this for WordPress? I started playing around with image generation in PHP, and when I got my proof of concept working, I realized that this might actually be something I should pursue.”

In our chat over Slack, we actually saw the plugin in action. As he shared Coyier’s article from CSS-Tricks, the chatting platform displayed the social image in real-time.

Auto-generated image appearing via Slack.

Maybe it was fate. Maybe Post knew it would happen and thought it would be a good idea to show off his work as we talked about his project. Either way, it was enough to impress the writer who is unafraid to call your plugin a dumpster fire if he smells smoke.

Post seems to be hitting all the right notes with this commercial plugin. It has a slew of features built into version 1.x, which we will get to shortly. It is dead simple to use. It is something nearly any website owner needs, assuming they want to share their content via social networks. And, with a $39/year starting price, it is not an overly expensive product for those on the fence about buying.

How the Plugin Works

After installing and activating Social Image Generator, users are taken to the plugin’s settings screen. Other than a license key field and a button for clearing the image cache, most users will want to dive straight into the template editor.

At the moment, the plugin includes 23 templates. From Twenty Seventeen to Twenty Twenty-One, each of the last four default WordPress themes also has a dedicated template. After selecting one, users can customize the colors for the logo, post title, and more — the amount of customization depends on the chosen template.

Browsing the plugin’s templates.

Aside from selecting colors, users can choose between various logo and text options. They can also upload a default image for posts without featured images.

Editing a template from Social Image Generator.

When it comes time to publish, the plugin adds a meta box to the post sidebar. Users can further customize their social image and text on a per-post basis.

Social image preview box on the post-editing screen.

Once published, the plugin creates an image that will appear when a post is shared on social media.

On the whole, there is a ton that anyone can do with the built-in templates. There is also an API for developers to create their own. For a first outing, it is a robust offering. However, there is so much more that can be done to make the plugin more flexible.

Version 2.0 and Beyond

Thus far, Post said he has received tons of positive feedback along with feature requests. Primarily, users are asking for more customization options and the ability to create and use multiple templates. These are the focus areas for the next version. With a 1,718% increase in revenue in the past month, it seems he might have the initial financial backing to invest in them.

“I’ve started building a completely overhauled drag-n-drop editor, which will allow you to create basically any custom image you want,” he said. “It will be heavily inspired by the block editor, and I want to keep the UI and UX as close to the block editor as possible.”

The new template editor would allow users to create multiple layers, an idea similar to how Photoshop, Gimp, and other image-editing software works. The difference would be that it can pull in data from WordPress.

“For example, an ‘Image’ layer will have options such as height/width and positioning, as well as some stylistic options like color filters and gradient overlays,” said Post. “A ‘Text’ layer can be any font, color, and size and can show predefined options (post title, date, etc.) or whatever you want. You can add an infinite number of layers and order them however you’d like.”

He seems excited about opening up new possibilities with an overhauled editor. Users could potentially create social image templates for each post type. A custom layer might pull in post metadata, such as displaying product pricing or ratings from eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce.

“The prebuilt templates will still exist, similar to Block Patterns in the block editor,” said the plugin developer. “They will, however, serve as a starting point rather than the final product. I’ll also try to implement theme styling as much as possible.

“The possibilities here are so endless, and I’m incredibly excited for this next part.”

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