Rich Tabor is transitioning to a new role now as Senior Product Manager of WordPress Experience with GoDaddy. In the past three years, Rich founded a digital agency, launched a popular PhotoShop resource site, and started ThemeBeans, a successful WordPress theme shop.
ThemeBeans and CoBlocks, Rich’s suite of page builder blocks in a plugin, have gone with him to Godaddy. (CoBlocks remains free, and now all the ThemeBeans products are too.) Rich took some time to reflect with us on his path so far and where he sees the WordPress ecosystem going in the future.
Q: What led you to dive into the new post-Gutenberg reality of WordPress and create CoBlocks and Block Gallery?
I’ve been fascinated by the block editor ever since Matias’s Gutenberg demo during WordCamp US 2017. I was instantly convinced that Gutenberg would lead us into the next era of creation in WordPress. I saw an opportunity, was in a position to execute and had enough expertise to take it on.
Q: Did sales for these products meet your expectations?
I actually did not release paid versions for either CoBlocks or Block Gallery. There were plans to monetize both plugins, but at the time we were focused on delivering innovative solutions to Gutenberg and pushing the editor to its extremes. Adoption-wise, both plugins grew particularly fast, and are continuing to do so. In that sense, they most certainly exceeded my expectations.
Q: What do you see as the near and long term future of the WordPress ecosystem? As solo developers and small firms are increasingly hired by bigger fish, especially hosting companies, will there still be a place for small entrepreneurs?
I believe that the WordPress ecosystem will continue to be an innovative field for both entrepreneurs and larger companies. It’s all about innovation and being able to execute — regardless of the size of the team behind the product or idea.
And over the last few years, the WordPress economy and its entrepreneurial leaders, have evolved into quite a mature ecosystem. I’d say the fact that companies such as GoDaddy are investing in the future of WordPress is a huge sign of that maturity and growth in our industry. Hosts, in particular, are uniquely equipped to make a huge difference in how so many folks use WordPress. Investing in products and talent that level-up the overall WordPress experience is good for us all.
Q: What about GoDaddy made it seem like a good fit or you? Did you consider any other types of companies outside the hosting space?
I flew out to Phoenix to meet the WordPress leadership team at GoDaddy and it became quite clear that they were all-in on this new future of WordPress + Gutenberg.
GoDaddy has assembled a passionate and highly qualified team of folks who are hyper-focused on improving the WordPress experience and leading the next wave of innovation in this space. Joining this team and leading the efforts as the Senior Product Manager of WordPress Experience is a good and logical fit to fulfilling my personal mission to help make WordPress beautifully simpler. I knew that what we’d build would touch millions of sites and empower people all over the world to succeed online.
Q: Before GoDaddy came along, what was your plan in terms of growth and long-term sustainability?
Having run a successful theme shop for a number of years, I understood the importance of having a solid plan for growth and sustainability.
My plan for both CoBlocks and Block Gallery was to release top-tiered paid versions of each, with innovative tools, blocks and design systems. Those would have likely arrived in Q3 of 2019, as our focus for the first half of the year was to innovate and grow our user base. Now I hope to continue on that same development trajectory, adding many of those same features to the current plugins.
Q: What is your best advice for someone who is currently independent and wants to build a small business in the WordPress space today? What are the best lessons or advice you can provide?
First off, don’t let an opportunity get away from you. Learn to identify opportunities that you are perfectly suited to execute on, then dive right in. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and don’t be afraid to try something new. Learning how to learn and then taking that a step further by continuing to learn every single day, is a catalyst for enormous personal and professional growth. It’s not all about making cool stuff, it’s about challenging yourself to become the best version of yourself; the rest will fall into place.
Dashicons, the WordPress admin icon font, will be getting its first update in three years when WordPress 5.2 ships. The library will be updated to use WOFF2 (Web Open Font Format 2), replacing the previous WOFF 1.0 format for improved compression. WOFF 1.0 will still be included in core to maintain backwards compatibility.
In addition to the new font file format, Dashicons is adding 13 new icons to the library and CSS declarations for 18 icons that were previously unavailable. The additions span a range of categories, including Buddicons, Core Teams, sites, menus, social, and miscellaneous.
Nate Allen, a Senior Web Engineer at 10up, is a new contributor to the Dashicons library, even though he is not a designer.
“WordPress has had a ‘businessman’ dashicon for as long as I can remember, but didn’t have a female or gender neutral version – until now!” Allen said.
“Previously I worked for Firefly Partners, an agency that builds WordPress sites for nonprofits. I was working on a project for a woman’s rights organization that needed a ‘staff’ post type. It was a little awkward explaining to them that there was a ‘businessman’ icon we could use for free, or they could pay extra to have a custom ‘businesswoman’ icon designed. Not a great look for WordPress.”
Allen submitted a GitHub issue, to see if someone would be willing to create a “businesswoman” and “businessperson” icon, but nobody had the time. Dashicons is maintained by a volunteer team and it can take a long time to get new icons designed.
“About 5-6 months later I learned how to use Illustrator to create vector icons and submitted the icons myself,” Allen said. He submitted the PR and the new icons he created will be included in the next release of WordPress.
These business people icons are useful for projects that include creating things like custom post types for bios, testimonials, team members, and job postings. WordPress 5.2’s updates to Dashicons make the library more inclusive and useful for more diverse projects.
WooCommerce 3.6 was released this week after six months in development. Store owners with sites running on WordPress 5.0+ will now have access to eight new product blocks, including hand picked products, featured products, products by category/attribute, sale products, new products, top rated, products, and best selling products.
These blocks were previously available as a feature plugin but have now been rolled into WooCommerce core. The plugin now requires WooCommerce 3.6 and will continue to be used for iterating and exploring future WooCommerce block editor features.
Performance improvements were one of the major focuses for this version, which introduces product data lookup tables. WooCommerce core developers’ long term plan is to move post meta to custom tables and a feature plugin is currently in development towards this goal. In the meantime, lookup tables provide a structured index for product data that speeds up querying. This version also brings improvements to transient invalidation, changes to REST API initialization, caching improvements, and more.
WooCommerce developer Timmy Crawford highlighted a few frontend performance improvements in the 3.6 release post:
- A 62% improvement in the load time when ordering and filtering products
- Reduced overall load time by bypassing inactive webhooks
- Reduced the load time for pages with category or product attribute lists
- Reduced load time of product pages with attributes
This release also includes the controversial new marketplace suggestions that advertise official extensions inside the WooCommerce admin. The setting for turning them off can be found under the “Accounts & Privacy” section of the admin.
For the full list of additional enhancements in 3.6, check out the release post or view the plugin’s changelog. The release should be backwards compatible with sites running WooCommerce 3.0+, but testing how the update affects themes and extensions is highly recommended before updating. Version 3.6.1 was released today to fix some issues 3.6.0 had with certain hosting environments.
Gutenberg 5.5 was released with the long-awaited Group block, previously known as the Section block. It was renamed to avoid confusion with the HTML5 section element and prevent potential overlap with future site/theme type sections, such as headers, sidebars, and footers. The first iteration of the Group block supports the ability to nest other blocks inside it and the ability to align the block and any of its child blocks that include alignment settings.
“It’s a minimal version at the moment and improvements about the flows to add inner blocks, group/ungroup blocks are expected in follow-up releases,” Gutenberg phase 2 technical lead Riad Benguella said. In testing the feature I found that it is indeed a rocky start and far from intuitive to use but a more refined grouping experience will be developed after further testing and feedback.
The Group block lays the foundation for a future where WordPress themes may evolve to become block templates. In response to a comment about how the Group block could essentially replace the widget management interface, Benguella offered a glimpse of how Gutenberg will eventually transform the theme industry:
In a world where themes are made of block templates instead of php templates, there’s no need for widget areas.
That said, Gutenberg is a huge change for WordPress and its community. With the new blocks concept, Phase 2 is about helping the WordPress community adopt this new concept without completely changing what a theme means in WordPress. We shouldn’t just abandon existing themes and switch into full-site editing without an iterative plan.
We’ll eventually get there where everything is made of block templates and blocks but we need to make smaller steps first and the first one is the ability to use blocks instead of widgets in existing themes.
This release also includes a few minor but useful improvements, such as automatically populating the link field when the selected text is an email.
The Gutenberg team is also making progress on the new widgets screen with a barebones testing version in place that will allow them to start investigating and tackling technical issues related to this screen. It’s not functional yet but provides a place to further explore the block editor in this context.
The bug fixes included in Gutenberg 5.5 will be in the upcoming WordPress 5.2 release, which was previously targeted for April 30. There is currently a proposal open for pushing it back to May 7, due to the number of open tickets.
WPTavern: PluginVulnerabilities.com is Protesting WordPress.org Support Forum Moderators by Publishing Zero-Day Vulnerabilities
A security service called Plugin Vulnerabilities, founded by John Grillot, is taking a vigilante approach to addressing grievances against WordPress.org support forum moderators. The company is protesting the moderators’ actions by publishing zero-day vulnerabilities (those for which no patch has been issued) and then attempting to contact the plugin author via the WordPress.org support forums:
Due to the moderators of the WordPress Support Forum’s continued inappropriate behavior we are full disclosing vulnerabilities in protest until WordPress gets that situation cleaned up, so we are releasing this post and then only trying to notify the developer through the WordPress Support Forum. You can notify the developer of this issue on the forum as well. Hopefully the moderators will finally see the light and clean up their act soon, so these full disclosures will no longer be needed (we hope they end soon).
In the linked incidents cited above, Grillot claims that moderators have deleted his comments, covered up security issues instead of trying to fix them, and promoted certain security companies for fixing hacked sites, among other complaints.
In response, Plugin Vulnerabilities has published a string of vulnerabilities with full disclosure since initiating the protest in September 2018. These posts detail the exact location of the vulnerabilities in the code, along with a proof of concept. The posts are followed up with an attempt to notify the developer through the WordPress.org support forum.
Grillot said he hopes to return to Plugin Vulnerabilities’ previous policy of responsible disclosure but will not end the protest until WordPress.org support forum moderators comply with the list of what he outlined as “appropriate behavior.”
WordPress’ security leadership is currently going through a transitional period after Aaron Campbell, head of WordPress Ecosystem at GoDaddy, stepped down from his position as head of security in December 2018. Automattic Technical Account Engineer Jake Spurlock is coordinating releases while the next person to wrangle the team is selected. This announcement was made in the #security channel, but Josepha Haden said there are plans for a more public post soon. Campbell did wish to publish the details of why he stepped down but said that he thinks it is important to rotate that role and that “the added influx of fresh energy in that position is really healthy.”
When asked about the Plugin Vulnerabilities’ protest against WordPress.org, Spurlock referenced the Responsible Disclosure guidelines on WordPress’ Hackerone profile. It includes the following recommendation regarding publishing vulnerabilities:
Give us a reasonable time to correct the issue before making any information public. We care deeply about security, but as an open-source project, our team is mostly comprised of volunteers.
Spurlock said that since those guidelines are more pertinent to core, dealing with third-party plugins is a trickier scenario. Ideally, the plugin author would be notified first, so they can work with the plugins team to push updates and remove old versions that may contain those vulnerabilities.
“The WordPress open-source project is always looking for responsible disclosure of security vulnerabilities,” Spurlock said. “We have a process for disclosing for plugins and for core. Neither of theses processes include posting 0-day exploits.”
Grillot did not respond to our request for comment, but the company’s recent blog posts contend that following responsible disclosure in the past would sometimes lead to vulnerabilities being “covered up,” and even at times cause them to go unfixed.
WordPress.org support forum moderators do not permit people to report vulnerabilities on the support forums or to engage in discussion regarding vulnerabilities that remain unfixed. The preferred avenue for reporting is to email email@example.com so the plugins team can work with authors to patch plugins in a timely way.
However, in the wild west world of plugins, which includes more than 55,000 hosted on WordPress.org, there are times when responsible disclosure falls apart and occasionally fails users. Responsible disclosure is not a perfect policy, but overall it tends to work better than the alternative. The Plugin Vulnerabilities service even states that they intend to return to responsible disclosure after the protest, essentially recognizing that this policy is the best way to coexist with others in the plugin ecosystem.
In the meantime, publishing zero-day vulnerabilities exposes sites to potential attacks if the plugin author is not immediately available to write a patch. The only thing WordPress.org can do is remove the plugin temporarily until a fix can be released. This measure protects new users from downloading vulnerable software but does nothing for users who already have the plugin active. If site owners are going to protect themselves by disabling it until there is a fix, they need to know that the plugin is vulnerable.
Plugin Vulnerabilities’ controversial protest, which some might even call unethical, may not be the most inspired catalyst for improving WordPress.org’s approach to security. It is a symptom of a larger issue. WordPress needs strong, visible security leadership and a team with dedicated resources for improving the plugin ecosystem. Plugin authors need a better notification system for advising users of important security updates inside the WordPress admin. Most users are not subscribed to industry blogs and security services – they depend on WordPress to let them know when an update is important. Refining the infrastructure available to plugin developers and creating a more streamlined security flow is critical for repairing the plugin ecosystem’s reputation.
The third edition of WordCamp for Publishers will be held in Columbus, OH, August 7-9, 2019, at the Vue Columbus. This unique event is a niche-specific WordCamp for professionals working in the publishing industry. Previous locations include Denver and Chicago. In looking for a host city for 2019, organizers had a preference for cities that are “underrepresented media markets” where attendees may not see as many of these types of events. Columbus certainly fits the bill.
The call for speakers and workshop facilitators is now open. Organizers are looking for presentations from all types of professionals across the publishing industry, including writers, journalists, editors, designers, developers, data journalists, project managers, product managers, and program managers. The event will feature three types of sessions:
- 45 minute presentations (inclusive of Q&A)
- 90 minute workshops
- 5 minute lightning talks
Applicants may submit up to three proposals until the deadline on Monday, May 6th at 11:59 EDT.
Last year’s event brought controversial and thought-provoking presentations, such as “Why we ditched AMP, and other UX choices we made for launching membership” and “Reader revenue and the less open web,” an interesting exploration of the implications of paywalls on the open web. All 2018 presentations are available on WordPress.tv, if speaker applicants need any ideas about the types of presentations that are relevant to the event. Last year’s theme was “Taking Back the Open Web,” but organizers have not yet announced a theme for 2019.
Distributed work is becoming a reality for more companies. Automattic has been operating in a distributed-first fashion for more than 13 years now — we’re now up to more than 850 employees in 68 countries. But even in companies with physical offices, more employees are distributed around the globe and working together. Google just shared some fascinating stats about its work culture, with 100,000 employees working across 150 cities. Two out of five work groups have employees working from more than one location:
We’re a more connected world, so it makes sense that global business wouldn’t be confined to just one physical space. I often use Google as an example because I’ve been in meetings there where people were one building away from each other but still using video chat because of the time required to walk between meetings on their campus.
Our first product is Happy Schedule, which helps teams manage flexible schedules across time zones. Right now we’re rolling it out in a consultative way with just a few early customers to make sure the team can be totally responsive to their needs. We’re excited about this and other upcoming tools, because we believe that this is the future of work. We’re excited to have other companies give it a try.
Keep an eye on this space: There’s an entire suite of tools that make up the operating system of what has helped Automattic scale so effectively over the years. I’ve always believed it’s important to invest in your internal tools, and I’m excited to release more of them. If there’s something better in the market, we won’t release a tool for it—I’d rather use something external than have to build things ourselves—but where the industry still has a gap after such a long time, we’ll throw our hat into the ring.
WordCamp Europe 2019 is 66 days away. The event will be held in Berlin on June 20-22, occupying 13,000m² of the Estrel Congress Center. More than 2,266 tickets have been sold so far, roughly 100 tickets short of what the event sold last year.
All 59 speakers have now been announced and the schedule is published on the website. Organizers added a third track this year to accommodate the various lightning and traditional talks, workshops, and panels.
WordCamp Europe received a record-breaking number of submissions and applicants this year after making a stronger effort to improve representation of the diversity of the WordPress’ community. Organizers received 453 submissions from 267 applicants, a 20 percent increase over 2018 submissions. Approximately 1% (4 applicants) identified outside of the gender binary, 34% were female, and 65% male. The breakdown for 2019 selected speakers is 43.4% female and 56.6% male.
Contributor Day registration opened today and will close May 31, 2019. The event will take place on June 20, one the day before the main conference in the same venue. Organizers have build a new Contributor Orientation Tool to help new contributors identify one or more of the Make WordPress teams where they can apply their skills. Tickets are free for WCEU attendees but spots are limited. There were only 157 Contributor Day tickets remaining this morning and those places are going quickly.
Mili is a clean, elegant and multipurpose Drupal 8 Theme.
Theme is a clean, modern and very easy to customize according to your needs. It is quick and easy to setup.
Mili is built for ALL types of Business, corporate and consulting agency business.
Read more about mili theme
Its also not dependent on any third party modules. All it uses is Drupal core modules and features.
All its features like Slider, Drop down menu etc are inbuilt. However, you may install and use any drupal supported module with this theme.
- Drupal 8.x compatible
- Fully responsive
- Inbuilt slider
- Support one / two / three column page layout
- Social media icons: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ integration etc.
- Drop Down menu
- Use of Google Font.
- Many collapsible blocks region.
- Compatible on IE9, IE10, Opera, Firefox, Chrome browsers.
- Custom Homepage
- Custom Maintenance page
- Easy Theme settings for customization
- Google material font icons
- Custom shortcodes to create content like services, projects etc.
A complete documentation with screenshots on how to install and use this theme is available.
Mili theme documentation
Mili theme is designed and developed by Drupar.com
- New features implementation and extending themes functionality
- Themes modifications and customization
- Server-side issues
- Third-party modules
If you have any query like custom modification of theme or theme installation on your hosting server, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Not happy with tara theme. Browse other themes developed by us
More Drupal Themes
WordPress 5.2 Beta 3 is now available!
This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.
WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need your help to get there! Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tried beta 2, nearly 40 tickets have been closed since then. Here are the major changes and bug fixes:
- The new Site Health feature has continued to be refined.
- Plugins no longer update if a site is running an unsupported version of PHP (see #46613).
- It’s now more apparent when a site is running in Recovery Mode (see #46608).
- The distraction free button no longer breaks keyboard navigation in the Classic Editor (see #46640).
- Assistive technologies do a better job of announcing admin bar sub menus (see #37513).
- Subject lines in WordPress emails are now more consistent (see #37940).
- Personal data exports now only show as completed when a user downloads their data (see #44644).
- Plus more improvements to accessibility (see #35497 and #42853).
Important reminder: as of WordPress 5.2 beta 2, the minimum PHP version that WordPress will require is 5.6.20. If you’re running an older version of PHP, we highly recommend updating it now, before WordPress 5.2 is officially released.Minimum PHP Version update Developer Notes
WordPress 5.2 has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developers notes for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.How to Help
Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! The beta 3 release also marks the soft string freeze point of the 5.2 release schedule.
If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.
Would you look at that
each day brings release closer
test to be ready.
WPTavern: WPGraphQL Project Gains Momentum with Growing Library of Extensions for Popular WordPress Projects
The WPGraphQL project, a plugin that provides an extendable GraphQL schema and API for WordPress sites, has been gaining momentum over the past several months. Creator and maintainer Jason Bahl put the project up on Open Collective last week after people frequently asked how the community can support the project. WPGraphQL already has five backers, an $800 balance, and an estimated annual budget of $2,687.
One of the most important signs of the project’s growth are the extensions that developers are building on top of it, such as WPGraphQL for Yoast SEO, WPGraphQL for Gutenberg, and WPGraphQL Content Blocks. WPGraphQL for Advanced Custom Fields is getting very close to an initial release and Caldera Forms is also exploring integrations with WPGraphQL.
“The two most-searched things on WPGraphQL.com are “Advanced Custom Fields” and “WooCommerce,” Bahl said. “People are interested in using WPGraphQL with other popular WordPress projects, and WPGraphQL for WooCommerce is a reaction to the folks that are already looking for alternatives to the WooCommerce REST API.”WPGraphQL for WooCommerce Seeks $15K in Funding
WPGraphQL for WooCommerce is an extension created by Geoffry Taylor that has started to gain some traction. Taylor is a core contributor to the main WPGraphQL plugin. He has just published a Kickstarter to help fund development of the extension and Bahl is consulting with him on implementation details and code reviews.
Taylor began contributing to the WPGraphQL project last year after discovering the repository and finding that it lacked the features he needed.
“I was looking for a solution that would allow me to create React-Apollo JS apps that could be used as WordPress themes,” he said. “And the solution couldn’t rely on a node server, because a large portion of my clients use shared hosting. WPGraphQL was a perfect fit for what I needed, but it lacked the features I needed at the time. This led to me contributing.”
Since then Taylor has also created other libraries and tools that work directly or indirectly with WPGraphQL, such as WPGraphQL Composer, a React-Apollo component library, and Oil-Based Boilerplate, a boilerplate for developing React-powered WordPress themes, plugins, and guten-blocks that use shared components.
Taylor is seeking $15K in funding for development of the WPGraphQL WooCommerce extension, which would enable him to apply 100% of his time to the project.
“The question I think a lot of people have, is what does this extension provide that WPGraphQL and WooCommerce doesn’t already?” Taylor said. “It adds WooCommerce support to the WPGraphQL server. It is being designed to match and increase the functionality of WooCommerce REST to make it as easy as possible to convert your app from the WooCommerce REST API.”
Taylor said the extension is past the initial explorations and is well into development. If a developer follows the instructions in the README they will be able to query products and their variations, coupons, orders, refunds, customer information, and (after the next update), order items from the WPGraphQL endpoint. He said that with the exception of products, none of the data is queryable for any user without shop-manager level capabilities.
“Customer-level functionality is the target goal right now, meaning customers can register/login, update the cart, and checkout,” Taylor said.
The next edition of WordSesh is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, 2019, from 10am-8pm EDT (UTC-4) – just a little over one month away. For the past six years, the virtual conference for WordPress professionals has consistently delivered high quality sessions from industry experts. Last year’s event inspired viewing parties across the globe in Belgium, Nigeria, India, and the USA. The event has been so successful that its organizers also created a WooCommerce-focused edition called WooSesh, which was held last year as an alternative to WooConf.
Speaker applications are still open but will close soon on Friday, April 19. Organizers expect applicants to submit original talks that do not already exist online. The process is somewhat competitive, as only 10 speakers will be selected for the event. Those with approved applications will receive two coaching and review sessions for their talks and a $250 stipend. WordSesh organizers plan to notify applicants of their status by Monday, April 29, and will announce the accepted speakers May 1. Applicants may submit two different presentation topics and are also encouraged to record a two-minute video pitch to sell their ideas.
All WordSesh presentations will be recorded and available online after the live event. Previous years’ sessions and interviews can be viewed on the WordSesh Youtube channel. For more information on applying to speak, check out the event’s website.
WPTavern: WooCommerce 3.6 RC2 Removes Marketplace Suggestions from Product Listing, Adds Setting to Turn them Off
WooCommerce 3.6 RC2 was released today with changes to the planned Marketplace Suggestions feature after core developers received overwhelmingly negative feedback on its implementation. This RC removes the ads from the product listings, which was one of the most controversial placements for them. It also adds a new setting to turn Marketplace Suggestions off entirely.
- Fix: Remove Product Listing suggestions. #23211
- Fix: Add setting to turn off Marketplace Suggestions #23218
- Fix: Add icon to Product Metabox Suggestions #23230
- Fix: Add link to manage Suggestions #23229
- Fix: Update text explaining opt-out and details of usage tracking. #23216
For many WooCommerce developers, 3.6 RC1 was the first time they discovered the marketplace suggestions. Some even felt blindsided by the original implementation.
“Last week, the release candidate was running on my staging server, and out of nowhere, I noticed these ads being inserted inline with the rest of the WC admin list tables,” Tobin Fekkes said. “What a shock that was! I thought I’d developed a bad case of malware or something. What nasty plugin was corrupting my core, default products table, order table, etc?! Oh, just core WooCommerce.
“I have never once gone looking to add a plugin to my site by starting at the ‘Products’ tab. Because it doesn’t belong there. If I want to install an extension or plugin, I will go to the (aptly named) ‘Extensions’ tab or “Plugins” tab.
“It is rather telling that we as longtime developers who attend every Dev chat, bookmark and check this Dev blog daily, and test all your betas and release candidates STILL had no idea about this blatant abuse of trust.”
Todd Wilkens, Head of WooCommerce, addressed the issue of marketplace suggestions seeming to come out of nowhere in a comment on our recent post:
We are committed to working with our community, including the plugin review team, and responding to feedback. Just as a reminder, the Marketplace Suggestions feature was developed in the open in a long-running feature branch/PR which was merged to master a month ago. It was mentioned in the Beta 1 Release notes, and was testable during Beta1 and prior on master.
It is often only when the release candidate comes out that we get certain kinds of feedback. It’s an important stage in the development cycle when we want and expect input. With the 3.6 RC1 live, we received specific feedback that we could take into consideration and act on. Thanks to the developers, end users, and the plugin review team for all their help.
WooCommerce 3.6 RC2 doesn’t make any changes to the frequency with which users will need to dismiss the ads. Some have commented that it is more like “snoozing” the ads, since they require dismissal every day for five days, only to return every month thereafter.
“We continue to be in contact with the plugin review team to ensure the suggestions are in accordance with the guidelines,” Wilkens said. “There is a live conversation on the definition of suggestion/advert dismissibility. We will participate in that conversation and honor the outcomes.”
As this implementation of marketplace suggestions still is not satisfactory to many WooCommerce users and developers, a plugin for turning off has already been submitted and approved in the WordPress plugin directory. WooCommerce Without Marketplace Suggestions removes the suggestions permanently without users having to continually dismiss them.
I’m jolted awake to the sound of the tones going off in my room. I knew that I hadn’t been asleep long because we’d already run a late call and it was still dark outside. Running to the truck, I hear the address come out over the radio for a medical call. It’s the third time this week we’ve been called to the same house.
My driving is on autopilot because I know the city streets like the back of my hand. Not only had I worked in the same fire department for the last 6 years, but I’d also grown up in this city. On this and many other times I’d been woken up in the middle of the night, I’m starting to realize that I’m losing my passion for the job I once loved.How I Got Into Firefighting
At 19 years old I was working in fast food, and I knew I needed to do something more with my life. I wasn’t really keen on going to college just yet, so I started looking for jobs that only needed vocational school. Knowing that I wouldn’t be a very good police officer, I signed up for fire school.
During fire school I found the only way to get a job as a firefighter in Florida was to also be an EMT in order to run medical calls, so I enrolled in there as well. While I was in school, one of the instructors I met told me their department was taking on volunteers.
Six years in the field, a year of paramedic school, and many sleepless nights later, I’m driving to a call feeling trapped in a career that I don’t care for anymore.
One of the perks of being a firefighter is that in between calls the free time is ours to do what we like, we just need to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Some of the time we watch movies and play video games, but I wanted that time to do something productive that I could turn into an opportunity for a side gig.Why I Chose Web Developer
I stumbled across a YouTube video that demonstrated how to create a webpage with HTML. I loaded a page that stereotypically read “Hello World” and I was hooked. I didn’t even own a computer at this time in my life, but my wife had a MacBook Air. She was nice enough to let me borrow it so I could keep learning. Downloading a text editor, I started creating web pages and loading them up in a browser. Though, as I was creating these pages, it was pretty obvious there weren’t any live websites out there that looked as bad as what I was creating.
While going through YouTube looking for more tutorials, I kept seeing videos for this thing called WordPress in the sidebar. Curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on one of the videos. I saw how pages were being created from an admin background and how themes changed the look of sites, while plugins added functionality. I was completely blown away.
By this time, I had purchased a $250 Chromebook I was running Linux from, and I decided that I was going to run a local development environment on this little computer with a 16GB hard drive. I managed to succeed, and with each accomplishment I had, I found that I was becoming extremely passionate about building these little websites.Meeting Other Humans
I knew that I wasn’t going to make it very far past the beginning stages without help from someone other than a search engine. Though without any knowledge of the community and how they would act towards me, going to a local meetup was something that made me very uncomfortable. I thought the second they caught a glimpse of my Chromebook and my silly beginner questions they’d have me out the door before I could sit down.
Even in the parking lot before my first meetup, I was sitting in my car telling myself that I should just drive home.
When I walked into the meetup I was surprised to find people in all stages of their growth with WordPress. There were even people that knew less than me, and they were accepted just as much as I was. It was there I learned about this event called a WordCamp. I knew that whatever it was, I needed to be there and it was only two months away.First WordCamp
Sitting in my car in front of my first WordCamp Orlando, I felt the same feelings that I did before my first meetup. I reminded myself how welcoming the meetup was, and that this wasn’t going to be any different. When I grabbed my seat in the main auditorium, I started feeling pretty strongly that I was alone in a room of 300 people. There were business owners that could actually make money off WordPress, and it felt that there weren’t many people at my experience level. As I went from talk to talk, the topics flew over my head and I became very overwhelmed. I told myself that I was going to stick it out till lunch and that I could go home after if I wanted.
Lunch came and as I was walking around looking for a good place to sit, I noticed a familiar face sitting at a table with no one next to him. Up until now, I had been learning exclusively at Lynda.com and Treehouse. I was learning to use the Genesis Framework and took a couple courses by an instructor named Jesse Petersen, and this guy looked just like him. Walking up next to him I said: “I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but you look just like an instructor I learned from on Treehouse.” He laughed and said that he was indeed that instructor from Treehouse.
The pitch of my voice shot up an octave, and I started fanning out over how I had learned so much from him and asked if I could eat with him. While we ate, I told him that I was a firefighter and how I also wanted to become a web developer and build websites. By the end of the lunch, he told me that he saw something in me and that he wanted to mentor me if I was ok with that. Was I ok with that?!? Of course, I was ok with that! I was doing my best to sound cool all the while I’m absolutely ecstatic on the inside.
The rest of the day I followed him around to talks, and while I was listening, he was setting up my computer with tools to help get me set up for further development. He added me to his Slack channel and told me that we were going to be working together remotely. When the day finished he asked me where we were having dinner in between the last session and the after-party.
I’ve never gone from feeling so out of place somewhere to then feeling so welcomed.
I was talking to a person that had absolutely no gain from helping me out, yet spent the entirety of his day getting me set up to work with him in the future.
Jesse wasn’t feeling well the next day due to an illness he had called Cystic Fibrosis. He said that he would keep up with me through the day on Slack though. Whenever I felt like I didn’t belong I would look at the tools Jesse had installed on my computer and the Slack channel and would remember that I was welcome. I was going to be learning some awesome stuff, and now I had a mentor.Gettin’ Paid
I spent the next few months going to two other WordCamps learning as much as I could and meeting as many people as possible. After going down to WordCamp Miami, I got approached by a local agency owner at a meetup that had some extra work I could help out with. Little did I know, they were also friends with Jesse and he had told them about me and what I’d been learning. This gave me a chance to get my feet wet and build some very strong friendships with some amazing people. I was now making money doing what I loved.
Four months later I got a Slack message from one of my friends telling me that Jesse had passed away.
I was on shift at the fire department that day, and I felt like someone had hit me with a bat. He was due to get new lungs any time, and just the day before was telling me how he was going to start a new life once he had the strength of new lungs to do so. We were all crushed to hear of his passing. I knew it was going to be hard moving forward without him, but I knew that’s what he would have wanted.Keynote Presentation
I continued working on my skills until I was asked to do a keynote presentation at WordCamp Orlando. The very WordCamp I’d thought about leaving halfway through just a year before. The owner of the agency I was working for, Chris Edwards, told me they’d had a speaker back out and they needed someone to fill in, so they asked me. They wanted me to tell my story of how I had gotten into the WordPress community. I agreed, believing it was only going to a small room full of people, but when I said yes, I was then told I would be giving the opening keynote address in front of the entire WordCamp. I had already said yes, so now there was no way that I could back down and tell him no.
As I was standing on stage waiting to be introduced, I was relieved to find there was a podium. Now no one could see my legs shaking as I stood there for an hour. I could now put all my focus on making sure the hand holding the microphone stayed steady. My talk was on the past year that had led me to this point and all of the fears and vulnerabilities I’d faced. If there was someone that was feeling the way I had a year ago, I wanted them to know that they were welcome and I was excited to have them there.Leaving the Fire Service
The rest of the weekend passed, and I got a message from my friend Chris Edwards telling me that a company that makes a donation plugin called Give was looking for a support technician. Matt Cromwell, who was about to be my new boss, was sitting in the audience while I gave my keynote presentation. I filled out the application and got a response back that he wanted to set up an interview.
A year has passed since that time, and I’ve grown so much in my knowledge of web development, website management, and WordPress. I’ve just started my first business as a freelance WordPress developer, and again I’m feeling the same fears, excitement, and vulnerabilities I felt every time I started to push myself. It’s now to the point where I almost keep a lookout for the fear because I know that something amazing is going to happen on the other side.
I’m always going to remember the compassion that Jesse Petersen had for me, and remember to pay that kindness forward in helping others.
There’s no way I could have planned this path for myself even if I’d tried. I know that I’m in the right place now, because every day I wake up I’m happy that I get to work with WordPress and interact with this awesome community. I wouldn’t be anything without the help of those around me, and I will always be grateful for everything they’ve done.
GoDaddy has acquired CoBlocks, ThemeBeans, Block Gallery and Block Unit Tests, one of the leading Gutenberg product lines in the WordPress ecosystem. Founder Rich Tabor is joining GoDaddy as Senior Product Manager of WordPress Experience and will lead a team dedicated to understanding users’ needs and expanding the company’s Gutenberg-related products. Tabor’s fellow CoBlocks founders Jeffrey Carandang and Alex Denning will not be joining GoDaddy.
All the commercial themes in the ThemeBeans catalog are now available for free on GitHub. Current customers will continue to receive theme support and remote updates until April 8, 2020.
According to Aaron Campbell, GoDaddy’s head of WordPress Ecosystem & Community, CoBlocks will continue to be freely available on WordPress.org. It currently has more than 3,000 active installations and averages a 4.7-star rating.
“Nothing will change with the plugin except that it will be added to the GoDaddy account on .org,” Campbell said. “It’s possible it might be renamed or rebranded in the future, but that’s unknown either way at this point. And yes, it will still be on the WordPress.org directory for everyone not just GoDaddy customers (and we plan to add more to it as we develop new blocks).”
Campbell could not yet share a roadmap for the plugin as Tabor just started and will be heavily involved in determining the plugin’s future at GoDaddy. Tabor will also be leading a development team that is bringing on more React talent to assist with Gutenberg tasks.
“Hiring React devs that are capable with Gutenberg is a newer thing that we’re really not totally sure whether it’ll be difficult or not or even how it’ll look,” Campbell said. “Do you hire WordPress people? React people? Only those that do both? Do you hire both and pair them up to learn from each other? It’s a thing we’re learning in this new post-Gutenberg world.”
Tabor said he was surprised that his products had attracted GoDaddy’s interest but also found it to be validating of his own efforts and the potential of the block editor.
“Throughout my time building themes, and then blocks, I’ve learned the real value of getting eyes on a project: Not only do you get the community rallying behind your ideas, such as the Block Manager recently added in Gutenberg 5.3, but you receive a TON of feedback and inspiration,” Tabor said. “Building on that feedback, consistently delivering clever ideas, and executing on the marketing front with inspiring videos, has landed us in a very opportune position.”
GoDaddy has acquired a handful of WordPress companies and services during the past few years (ManageWP, Sucuri, WP Curve), but Tabor’s products are the first Gutenberg-related acquisition for the company.
“I think it means that the WordPress ecosystem is important, that it’s maturing, and probably most of all – that it’s moving and changing,” Tabor said. “And I think all of those are good.
“Gutenberg has changed a lot in WordPress. It’s not just a new editor or new interface, it’s a whole new system that brings with it a whole new group of challenges. Companies like GoDaddy recognizing this and supporting innovation is a healthy sign of growth and maturity.”
GoDaddy’s resources will enable CoBlocks, ThemeBeans, and Block Gallery to move faster and add features that were previously out of reach for Tabor’s small team.
“We’ll go from just two developers, to a team of incredibly bright engineers,” Tabor said. “And I won’t be spending time figuring out all the intricacies of monetizing a premium plugin in today’s ever-changing WordPress ecosystem. Instead, I can focus on leading the team’s efforts on bringing a better page building experience to WordPress.”
He will also have access to insights and data that will enable his team to make more informed decisions about the tools and blocks they build.
“This view into how entrepreneurs and business owners are using WordPress is something I could never have achieved at a meaningful scale, and I know it will help me move more confidently in the future landscape of Gutenberg,” Tabor said.
The Gutenberg team has published a Blocks in Widget Areas RFC (request for comments) document, detailing a technical approach that brings blocks to the wp-admin/widgets.php screen and the Customizer. This is one of the goals on the roadmap Matt Mullenweg outlined in his 9 Projects for 2019 post.
Based on the requirements outlined in the beginning of the document, it looks like the Gutenberg team is working to make the transition from widgets to blocks as seamless as possible:
- Editing blocks in wp-admin/widgets.php and the wp-admin/customize.php should use the same block editor that wp-admin/post-new.php uses.
- The block editor should read and update blocks in widget-editing areas via the REST API.
- Upgrading WordPress must not affect the appearance of the user’s site, or any of their existing widgets.
- Existing Core and third-party widgets must remain functional in the new block-based interface.
- Backwards compatibility must be maintained. That is, themes and plugins that use public widget APIs must remain functional.
- During a transition period, it should be possible to disable the block-based interface and return to the classic widget-editing interface.
The requirements for backwards compatibility are a tall order but will make it much easier for users to trust WordPress during this transition. Content will not be forced into the new interface and users will retain the option to use the classic widget-editing screen if they prefer. The team has not yet announced a date for when widgets will be officially deprecated.
Gutenberg version 5.4 was released last week with vertical alignment support for the columns block, a playsInline option in the video block, and a number of other minor enhancements. It also contains nearly two dozen bug fixes that will be rolled into the next beta of WordPress 5.2.
Gutenberg phase 2 technical lead Riad Bengella also confirmed in comments on the release post that the long-awaited section/container block is coming in the next release of the plugin. This will be an important milestone on the journey to full site editing with the block interface.
eBook Zymphones Theme is responsive Drupal theme designed for ebook authors and marketers. This theme features a beautiful and modern flat design with different layouts. It also has 15+ unique sections to showcase Book list, Reviews, Features, as well as Articles to action which encourage visitors to buy your ebook.
- Drupal 8 core
- Bootstrap v4
- Mobile-first theme
- Client list
- Social media links
- Included Sass & Compass source file
- Well organized Sass code
- Custom slider - Unlimited image upload
- Home page layouts
- 4 column news layout
- 4 column updates layout
- 4 column bottom layout
- 4 column footer layout
Earlier this month, Jetpack 7.1 added suggestions to the plugin search screen, a controversial change that has sparked debate this week. When users search for a plugin that matches a term for an existing Jetpack feature, the plugin now inserts an artificial, dismissible search result into the first plugin card slot, identifying the corresponding Jetpack feature.
The Jetpack team said users have a hard time knowing what features are available, with 45 modules packaged into the plugin. The idea behind the proof of concept for the suggestions was to improve the discoverability of Jetpack’s existing features. Many in the developer community became outraged after it was discovered that Jetpack was also advertising paid upgrades in this space as well.
The fact that it was rolled out with promotions for paid upgrades made it seem to many onlookers that the discoverability problem was just a pretext for injecting advertising. The WordPress Plugin Team also said it may or may not be a violation of the plugin directory guidelines but that the team was still “arguing about the semantics internally.”
Version 7.2.1 was released today, removing all feature suggestions that previously advertised upgrades.
“We made a mistake, and we’re moving to correct it immediately,” Jetpack team representative Jesse Friedman said. “Our intention with these feature hints is to help you discover helpful features of Jetpack that you already have, right when you need them most. Today we’re correcting an error in judgement that resulted in the hints suggesting Jetpack features that actually required an upgrade.”
Characterizing the mistake as “an error in judgment” is an admission that rolling out feature suggestions with paid upgrades was a conscious decision. One month later, the Jetpack team decided it was a poor choice. This appears to have be driven by the community’s reaction, but Jetpack did not elaborate on how or why they reached the decision to revert the promotions for paid upgrades.Jetpack 7.2.1 Updates Design for “Hints,” Plans to Adopt WordPress Core Solution in the Future
The 7.2.1 maintenance release also changes the design for the feature suggestions, which they are now referring to as “Feature Hints.”
“We’re reducing confusion around feature hints by simplifying the design and changing some text; this way it’s clear that feature hints are from Jetpack and are easily dismissible,” Friedman said.
After updating to the latest release, you can see the revised design on the plugin search screen with new text: “This suggestion was made by Jetpack, the security and performance plugin already installed on your site.” Jetpack will disable the hints once administrators have dismissed three hints.
“Going forward we want to help create a feature hints solution that works for all WordPress users and plugin developers,” Friedman said. “We are excited to work with suggestions like this one, by Joost de Valk, and see how we might be able to find a solution in WordPress core to help users discover plugin features, and prevent this very common issue. Once a core solution is available, we plan to adopt it for Jetpack.”
Developers who still do not want to see any sort of feature hint when searching for plugins can use the jetpackcom_remove_search_hints filter to turn it off. Users can also install the Hide Jetpack Promotions plugin as an alternative.