Wordpress News

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.8 Beta 4

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 06/25/2021 - 17:14

WordPress 5.8 Beta 4 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 4 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-beta4

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

Some Highlights

Since Beta 3, 18 bugs have been fixed. Most tickets focused on polishing existing default themes, fixing bugs in the new block Widget screen, and squashing Editor bugs collected during beta.

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 @desrosj @clorith for reviews and @chanthaboune for final edits!

Releasing software
Is complex when open source
Yet WordPressers do

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.8 Beta 4

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 06/25/2021 - 17:14

WordPress 5.8 Beta 4 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 4 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-beta4

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

Some Highlights

Since Beta 3, 18 bugs have been fixed. Most tickets focused on polishing existing default themes, fixing bugs in the new block Widget screen, and squashing Editor bugs collected during beta.

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 @desrosj @clorith for reviews and @chanthaboune for final edits!

Releasing software
Is complex when open source
Yet WordPressers do

WordPress 5.8 Beta 4

Wordpress News - Fri, 06/25/2021 - 17:14

WordPress 5.8 Beta 4 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 4 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-beta4

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

Some Highlights

Since Beta 3, 18 bugs have been fixed. Most tickets focused on polishing existing default themes, fixing bugs in the new block Widget screen, and squashing Editor bugs collected during beta.

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 @desrosj @clorith for reviews and @chanthaboune for final edits!

Releasing software
Is complex when open source
Yet WordPressers do

WPTavern: Gutenberg 10.9 Renames the Query Block, Adds Collapsible List View Items, and Rolls Out Rich URL Previews

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 06/25/2021 - 02:34

Yesterday, Gutenberg 10.9 landed in the WordPress plugin directory. The update overhauls the Query and Query Loop blocks, allows users to expand or collapse items in the editor list view, and introduces rich URL preview cards for links. The new version also packs in an updated template-mode creation modal and moves the blocks manager.

This update ships several enhancements, particularly to the user experience. One of my favorite low-key upgrades is a new set of add-card, bug, key, post author, and security icons by Filipe Varela, a product designer at Automattic.

Another small-but-packs-a-punch UI change is the inclusion of the post type in the editor breadcrumb trail. The type’s singular name label now replaces the root “Document” item.

For the past several cycles, the new template editor slated to launch with WordPress 5.8 has been enabled by default. The goal was always to allow everyone the chance to experience it, regardless of whether they were on a classic or block theme. The development team has now scaled this back to only be auto-enabled for block themes. Classic themes must opt-in to support it. Theme authors should read the recent template editor overview by Riad Benguella for the complete details.

Query and Query Loop Blocks Renamed Query Loop block in the editor.

Query? Query Loop? What the heck is all this? If you are unfamiliar with those terms, you are not alone. Even on the developer end, the early implementation of the Query and its inner Query Loop block could be a little confusing. For the average user, it probably makes even less sense.

Gutenberg 10.9 takes one step toward clearing up this confusion for end-users. The former Query Loop block is now named Post Template. This is a far more accurate description of what it does. It is the “template” that outputs individual posts. It contains all the things you see, such as the post content or excerpt, the featured image, tags, categories, and more. This template is, of course, customizable via the block editor.

While this is a step toward a less complex user experience, it is not quite where it needs to be yet. The Query block has been renamed to Query Loop. Therein lies the remaining issue. The terminology might still be confusing.

The goal is to expose a variation of this block named Posts List to users. It already exists, but the query-related terminology still appears when using it. There is an open ticket to address this.

The primary win with this update is the overhauled text in the Query Loop block sidebar. “The query block is a powerful and complex block,” said lead Gutenberg developer Matias Ventura in a GitHub ticket. “It can be intimidated to users without proper guidance. We can use this block as an opportunity to explain some of the underlying concepts of the WordPress software in a more didactic manner.”

The more advanced options, such as whether to inherit from the URL and which post types to include, now have longer descriptions. Each should guide the user through features that have long existed in the developer world.

If you are a theme author and have already been building with these two blocks, do not worry about everything breaking when updating. The Query block has simply been renamed to “Query Loop” in user-facing text. Under the hood, it is still the same. The former Query Loop block has literally been renamed to Post Template (core/post-template block name). It is backward compatible. However, you should update any past calls to the wp:query-loop block to wp:post-template.

Expand and Collapse Nested List View Blocks List view with collapsed nested blocks.

The development team introduced an expand/collapse feature for the editor’s list view. Once opening the panel, users should now see arrow icons next to each item with nested blocks. Closing one or more of them makes it easier to see all or many top-level blocks at once.

The downside is that the open/close state is lost once the list view is closed. If I had one request, it would be to store this data while editing the post. That would improve the user experience with longer documents, particularly when switching between navigating and editing.

This update, along with the persistent behavior of the list view in Gutenberg 10.7, has made for a much more well-rounded document navigation experience.

Rich URL Previews

The editor will now show a website preview in the link editor popup. This feature only works for links in a Rich Text context, such as in the Paragraph, Heading, and List blocks. The preview also only appears after the link has been set and clicked on, not when initially typing it.

If available, the popup preview displays the site icon, title, image, and description.

“In the near future however, we expect to extend this to provide previews of internal URLs and to roll out support to more areas of the software,” wrote George Mamadashvili in the Gutenberg 10.9 announcement post.

Admittedly, I was not keen on the idea of adding this feature. It felt like unnecessary bloat when more pressing issues were lying on the table. However, in the past day, I have enjoyed the quick previews when double-checking links in posts.

WPTavern: Gutenberg 10.9 Renames the Query Block, Adds Collapsible List View Items, and Rolls Out Rich URL Previews

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 06/25/2021 - 02:34

Yesterday, Gutenberg 10.9 landed in the WordPress plugin directory. The update overhauls the Query and Query Loop blocks, allows users to expand or collapse items in the editor list view, and introduces rich URL preview cards for links. The new version also packs in an updated template-mode creation modal and moves the blocks manager.

This update ships several enhancements, particularly to the user experience. One of my favorite low-key upgrades is a new set of add-card, bug, key, post author, and security icons by Filipe Varela, a product designer at Automattic.

Another small-but-packs-a-punch UI change is the inclusion of the post type in the editor breadcrumb trail. The type’s singular name label now replaces the root “Document” item.

For the past several cycles, the new template editor slated to launch with WordPress 5.8 has been enabled by default. The goal was always to allow everyone the chance to experience it, regardless of whether they were on a classic or block theme. The development team has now scaled this back to only be auto-enabled for block themes. Classic themes must opt-in to support it. Theme authors should read the recent template editor overview by Riad Benguella for the complete details.

Query and Query Loop Blocks Renamed Query Loop block in the editor.

Query? Query Loop? What the heck is all this? If you are unfamiliar with those terms, you are not alone. Even on the developer end, the early implementation of the Query and its inner Query Loop block could be a little confusing. For the average user, it probably makes even less sense.

Gutenberg 10.9 takes one step toward clearing up this confusion for end-users. The former Query Loop block is now named Post Template. This is a far more accurate description of what it does. It is the “template” that outputs individual posts. It contains all the things you see, such as the post content or excerpt, the featured image, tags, categories, and more. This template is, of course, customizable via the block editor.

While this is a step toward a less complex user experience, it is not quite where it needs to be yet. The Query block has been renamed to Query Loop. Therein lies the remaining issue. The terminology might still be confusing.

The goal is to expose a variation of this block named Posts List to users. It already exists, but the query-related terminology still appears when using it. There is an open ticket to address this.

The primary win with this update is the overhauled text in the Query Loop block sidebar. “The query block is a powerful and complex block,” said lead Gutenberg developer Matias Ventura in a GitHub ticket. “It can be intimidated to users without proper guidance. We can use this block as an opportunity to explain some of the underlying concepts of the WordPress software in a more didactic manner.”

The more advanced options, such as whether to inherit from the URL and which post types to include, now have longer descriptions. Each should guide the user through features that have long existed in the developer world.

If you are a theme author and have already been building with these two blocks, do not worry about everything breaking when updating. The Query block has simply been renamed to “Query Loop” in user-facing text. Under the hood, it is still the same. The former Query Loop block has literally been renamed to Post Template (core/post-template block name). It is backward compatible. However, you should update any past calls to the wp:query-loop block to wp:post-template.

Expand and Collapse Nested List View Blocks List view with collapsed nested blocks.

The development team introduced an expand/collapse feature for the editor’s list view. Once opening the panel, users should now see arrow icons next to each item with nested blocks. Closing one or more of them makes it easier to see all or many top-level blocks at once.

The downside is that the open/close state is lost once the list view is closed. If I had one request, it would be to store this data while editing the post. That would improve the user experience with longer documents, particularly when switching between navigating and editing.

This update, along with the persistent behavior of the list view in Gutenberg 10.7, has made for a much more well-rounded document navigation experience.

Rich URL Previews

The editor will now show a website preview in the link editor popup. This feature only works for links in a Rich Text context, such as in the Paragraph, Heading, and List blocks. The preview also only appears after the link has been set and clicked on, not when initially typing it.

If available, the popup preview displays the site icon, title, image, and description.

“In the near future however, we expect to extend this to provide previews of internal URLs and to roll out support to more areas of the software,” wrote George Mamadashvili in the Gutenberg 10.9 announcement post.

Admittedly, I was not keen on the idea of adding this feature. It felt like unnecessary bloat when more pressing issues were lying on the table. However, in the past day, I have enjoyed the quick previews when double-checking links in posts.

WPTavern: Jetpack Launches New Mobile App

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 06/24/2021 - 17:59

Automattic has launched a new mobile app for Jetpack, available on iOS and Android. The app features an array of Jetpack-specific features, as well as those applicable to users on paid plans, along with core WordPress features.

Inside it looks nearly identical to the official WordPress mobile apps, but it is noticeably missing WordPress.com specific features like the Reader. The bottom menu links to “My Site” and “Notifications.”

Those who are on paid Jetpack plans will have access to features like backups, restores, and security scanning for use inside the app when on the go. It also includes the same Activity Log and Stats features found in the main WordPress app. In its current state, it doesn’t look like the app offers anything more than what you are used to on the standard mobile apps unless you are a paid Jetpack customer. So far, the app doesn’t include any upgrade paths for free users or to jump from plan to plan. If Automattic decides to add in-app purchases, it will have to share the revenue with the app stores. Having a separate app from the official mobile apps gives the company the option to build in more direct paths for monetization in the future.

You may want to stick with the official WordPress apps if you manage both WordPress.com and Jetpack-enabled sites, to keep everything conveniently in the same place. If you decide to use both apps, you will want to remove your Jetpack sites from the main WordPress app so that you aren’t getting double notifications from having the site accessible through both apps.

Automattic’s integrated products remain controversial features of the official WordPress apps. It is a good move to separate self-hosted Jetpack sites from the clutter of having WordPress.com-specific features in the app, but it does little for improving the official app’s experience for self-hosted users who are not using Jetpack. Clicking on Stats in the app still prompts users to install Jetpack when managing self-hosted sites. The Reader menu item is ever-present at the bottom of the page. These products take up screen real estate regardless of whether they are being used.

A toggle to turn off these features in the app’s settings might be a good stop-gap measure towards disentanglement, but ultimately the official mobile apps should not promote any commercial interests.

If Automattic moved WordPress.com features into the Jetpack app, then anyone using the company’s products could be directed to this app for managing their sites. The official WordPress app could then be kept free of any products that the user doesn’t choose to install. If the vanilla state of the app is not enough, users can be prompted to add themes and plugins to enhance the WordPress experience.

The Jetpack app is aimed at people who have sites using Jetpack but don’t need the WordPress.com features that are built into the official WordPress apps. It brings more value to those who are on paid plans and want access to those features on the go. More than 500 people have already downloaded the Android app. It will be interesting to see if Jetpack users will gravitate towards the new app or remain on the standard WordPress app for more centralized management of Jetpack and non-Jetpack enabled websites.

WPTavern: Jetpack Launches New Mobile App

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 06/24/2021 - 17:59

Automattic has launched a new mobile app for Jetpack, available on iOS and Android. The app features an array of Jetpack-specific features, as well as those applicable to users on paid plans, along with core WordPress features.

Inside it looks nearly identical to the official WordPress mobile apps, but it is noticeably missing WordPress.com specific features like the Reader. The bottom menu links to “My Site” and “Notifications.”

Those who are on paid Jetpack plans will have access to features like backups, restores, and security scanning for use inside the app when on the go. It also includes the same Activity Log and Stats features found in the main WordPress app. In its current state, it doesn’t look like the app offers anything more than what you are used to on the standard mobile apps unless you are a paid Jetpack customer. So far, the app doesn’t include any upgrade paths for free users or to jump from plan to plan. If Automattic decides to add in-app purchases, it will have to share the revenue with the app stores. Having a separate app from the official mobile apps gives the company the option to build in more direct paths for monetization in the future.

You may want to stick with the official WordPress apps if you manage both WordPress.com and Jetpack-enabled sites, to keep everything conveniently in the same place. If you decide to use both apps, you will want to remove your Jetpack sites from the main WordPress app so that you aren’t getting double notifications from having the site accessible through both apps.

Automattic’s integrated products remain controversial features of the official WordPress apps. It is a good move to separate self-hosted Jetpack sites from the clutter of having WordPress.com-specific features in the app, but it does little for improving the official app’s experience for self-hosted users who are not using Jetpack. Clicking on Stats in the app still prompts users to install Jetpack when managing self-hosted sites. The Reader menu item is ever-present at the bottom of the page. These products take up screen real estate regardless of whether they are being used.

A toggle to turn off these features in the app’s settings might be a good stop-gap measure towards disentanglement, but ultimately the official mobile apps should not promote any commercial interests.

If Automattic moved WordPress.com features into the Jetpack app, then anyone using the company’s products could be directed to this app for managing their sites. The official WordPress app could then be kept free of any products that the user doesn’t choose to install. If the vanilla state of the app is not enough, users can be prompted to add themes and plugins to enhance the WordPress experience.

The Jetpack app is aimed at people who have sites using Jetpack but don’t need the WordPress.com features that are built into the official WordPress apps. It brings more value to those who are on paid plans and want access to those features on the go. More than 500 people have already downloaded the Android app. It will be interesting to see if Jetpack users will gravitate towards the new app or remain on the standard WordPress app for more centralized management of Jetpack and non-Jetpack enabled websites.

WPTavern: Jetpack Launches New Mobile App

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 06/24/2021 - 17:59

Automattic has launched a new mobile app for Jetpack, available on iOS and Android. The app features an array of Jetpack-specific features, as well as those applicable to users on paid plans, along with core WordPress features.

Inside it looks nearly identical to the official WordPress mobile apps, but it is noticeably missing WordPress.com specific features like the Reader. The bottom menu links to “My Site” and “Notifications.”

Those who are on paid Jetpack plans will have access to features like backups, restores, and security scanning for use inside the app when on the go. It also includes the same Activity Log and Stats features found in the main WordPress app. In its current state, it doesn’t look like the app offers anything more than what you are used to on the standard mobile apps unless you are a paid Jetpack customer. So far, the app doesn’t include any upgrade paths for free users or to jump from plan to plan. If Automattic decides to add in-app purchases, it will have to share the revenue with the app stores. Having a separate app from the official mobile apps gives the company the option to build in more direct paths for monetization in the future.

You may want to stick with the official WordPress apps if you manage both WordPress.com and Jetpack-enabled sites, to keep everything conveniently in the same place. If you decide to use both apps, you will want to remove your Jetpack sites from the main WordPress app so that you aren’t getting double notifications from having the site accessible through both apps.

Automattic’s integrated products remain controversial features of the official WordPress apps. It is a good move to separate self-hosted Jetpack sites from the clutter of having WordPress.com-specific features in the app, but it does little for improving the official app’s experience for self-hosted users who are not using Jetpack. Clicking on Stats in the app still prompts users to install Jetpack when managing self-hosted sites. The Reader menu item is ever-present at the bottom of the page. These products take up screen real estate regardless of whether they are being used.

A toggle to turn off these features in the app’s settings might be a good stop-gap measure towards disentanglement, but ultimately the official mobile apps should not promote any commercial interests.

If Automattic moved WordPress.com features into the Jetpack app, then anyone using the company’s products could be directed to this app for managing their sites. The official WordPress app could then be kept free of any products that the user doesn’t choose to install. If the vanilla state of the app is not enough, users can be prompted to add themes and plugins to enhance the WordPress experience.

The Jetpack app is aimed at people who have sites using Jetpack but don’t need the WordPress.com features that are built into the official WordPress apps. It brings more value to those who are on paid plans and want access to those features on the go. More than 500 people have already downloaded the Android app. It will be interesting to see if Jetpack users will gravitate towards the new app or remain on the standard WordPress app for more centralized management of Jetpack and non-Jetpack enabled websites.

WPTavern: Clove: A Showcase of Block Patterns by Anariel Design

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 06/24/2021 - 01:23
Clove theme homepage.

Earlier today, Ana Segota tweeted and announced via the Anariel Design blog that her company had submitted its second block-based theme to WordPress.org. Clove is a more well-rounded follow-up to her first such theme, Naledi. It is currently under review for inclusion in the official directory, but anyone can give it a test run by snagging the ZIP file from its ticket. Or, just peruse the live demo.

This should officially be the 10th block-based theme to go live in the WordPress.org theme directory (note that a couple by Automattic are not tagged). That is assuming all goes well during the review process.

It has been a long road thus far, but 10 themes with the Full Site Editing tag is a notable milestone. The Q theme by Ari Stathopoulos was the first to land in the directory back in October 2020. Now, eight months later, there is still room for other theme authors to become pioneers in the space. With almost no competition, who will design that first block theme that squeezes its way into the most popular list?

If “practice makes perfect,” Segota is now ahead of the curve by pushing her second theme to the directory. This makes her theme company only one of two with multiple block themes.

Clove is experimental, as all block themes are. It relies on the ever-shifting parts of the Gutenberg plugin, but it all comes together into a floral, nature-themed design. There are hints of inspiration from Twenty Twenty-One, but it feels more structured, less chaotic.

The design is less of a theme and more of a showcase of block patterns and styles. Even on the template level, it reuses those same elements across each of its seven templates, providing multiple entryways for users to tinker with its features.

Clove even includes pricing columns. I seem to recall writing about how theme authors could implement them via patterns just over a month ago. Maybe the Anariel Design team came to the same conclusion. Maybe they took my message and ran with it. I like to think the latter is true. Either way, the result is a beautiful, theme-specific pattern — the sort of artistry that is tough to achieve from a plugin.

Customizing the Pricing Columns pattern in the WordPress editor.

I am less of the fan of the overlapping and uneven columns in some of the designs designs, preferring some of the more-structured patterns, such as Three Quotes Images:

Three-column pattern that showcases images along with quotes.

Despite my general dislike of the uneven column style, my favorite piece of the entire theme is the Illustrations page template, which leans into that design method.

The page intro section is an announcement to the world, “Hey, check out my work.”

Illustrations template intro section.

I also like the Illustrations page template’s widgets-like area in the footer. It manages to stuff several blocks in without feeling too crowded. It even showcases a box for artists to highlight their next exhibition.

Illustrations page template footer “widget” area.

The Clove theme also registers 10 block styles for users to choose from. Most of them add different types of borders or frames to various elements. Plus, there is the fun-but-kind-of-an-oddball blob “Shape” for images.

Segota was one of several people to submit custom designs to the upcoming block pattern directory. There is some noticeable crossover between her current theme work and submissions, such as the Playful Gallery pattern that did not quite make the cut. Others, like her Recipe design, did. There is still an open invitation for people to contribute.

I am always like a kid in a toy store when a new block theme comes along, reaching out to grab the latest gadget. I want to see more experiments like Clove. Keep them coming, theme authors.

Side note: For people interested in the background-clipped text design used in Clove’s site logo, I opened a ticket to take us one step closer to doing it in the editor. Currently, users must create an off-site image and upload it.

WPTavern: Clove: A Showcase of Block Patterns by Anariel Design

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 06/24/2021 - 01:23
Clove theme homepage.

Earlier today, Ana Segota tweeted and announced via the Anariel Design blog that her company had submitted its second block-based theme to WordPress.org. Clove is a more well-rounded follow-up to her first such theme, Naledi. It is currently under review for inclusion in the official directory, but anyone can give it a test run by snagging the ZIP file from its ticket. Or, just peruse the live demo.

This should officially be the 10th block-based theme to go live in the WordPress.org theme directory (note that a couple by Automattic are not tagged). That is assuming all goes well during the review process.

It has been a long road thus far, but 10 themes with the Full Site Editing tag is a notable milestone. The Q theme by Ari Stathopoulos was the first to land in the directory back in October 2020. Now, eight months later, there is still room for other theme authors to become pioneers in the space. With almost no competition, who will design that first block theme that squeezes its way into the most popular list?

If “practice makes perfect,” Segota is now ahead of the curve by pushing her second theme to the directory. This makes her theme company only one of two with multiple block themes.

Clove is experimental, as all block themes are. It relies on the ever-shifting parts of the Gutenberg plugin, but it all comes together into a floral, nature-themed design. There are hints of inspiration from Twenty Twenty-One, but it feels more structured, less chaotic.

The design is less of a theme and more of a showcase of block patterns and styles. Even on the template level, it reuses those same elements across each of its seven templates, providing multiple entryways for users to tinker with its features.

Clove even includes pricing columns. I seem to recall writing about how theme authors could implement them via patterns just over a month ago. Maybe the Anariel Design team came to the same conclusion. Maybe they took my message and ran with it. I like to think the latter is true. Either way, the result is a beautiful, theme-specific pattern — the sort of artistry that is tough to achieve from a plugin.

Customizing the Pricing Columns pattern in the WordPress editor.

I am less of the fan of the overlapping and uneven columns in some of the designs designs, preferring some of the more-structured patterns, such as Three Quotes Images:

Three-column pattern that showcases images along with quotes.

Despite my general dislike of the uneven column style, my favorite piece of the entire theme is the Illustrations page template, which leans into that design method.

The page intro section is an announcement to the world, “Hey, check out my work.”

Illustrations template intro section.

I also like the Illustrations page template’s widgets-like area in the footer. It manages to stuff several blocks in without feeling too crowded. It even showcases a box for artists to highlight their next exhibition.

Illustrations page template footer “widget” area.

The Clove theme also registers 10 block styles for users to choose from. Most of them add different types of borders or frames to various elements. Plus, there is the fun-but-kind-of-an-oddball blob “Shape” for images.

Segota was one of several people to submit custom designs to the upcoming block pattern directory. There is some noticeable crossover between her current theme work and submissions, such as the Playful Gallery pattern that did not quite make the cut. Others, like her Recipe design, did. There is still an open invitation for people to contribute.

I am always like a kid in a toy store when a new block theme comes along, reaching out to grab the latest gadget. I want to see more experiments like Clove. Keep them coming, theme authors.

Side note: For people interested in the background-clipped text design used in Clove’s site logo, I opened a ticket to take us one step closer to doing it in the editor. Currently, users must create an off-site image and upload it.

WPTavern: Clove: A Showcase of Block Patterns by Anariel Design

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 06/24/2021 - 01:23
Clove theme homepage.

Earlier today, Ana Segota tweeted and announced via the Anariel Design blog that her company had submitted its second block-based theme to WordPress.org. Clove is a more well-rounded follow-up to her first such theme, Naledi. It is currently under review for inclusion in the official directory, but anyone can give it a test run by snagging the ZIP file from its ticket. Or, just peruse the live demo.

This should officially be the 10th block-based theme to go live in the WordPress.org theme directory (note that a couple by Automattic are not tagged). That is assuming all goes well during the review process.

It has been a long road thus far, but 10 themes with the Full Site Editing tag is a notable milestone. The Q theme by Ari Stathopoulos was the first to land in the directory back in October 2020. Now, eight months later, there is still room for other theme authors to become pioneers in the space. With almost no competition, who will design that first block theme that squeezes its way into the most popular list?

If “practice makes perfect,” Segota is now ahead of the curve by pushing her second theme to the directory. This makes her theme company only one of two with multiple block themes.

Clove is experimental, as all block themes are. It relies on the ever-shifting parts of the Gutenberg plugin, but it all comes together into a floral, nature-themed design. There are hints of inspiration from Twenty Twenty-One, but it feels more structured, less chaotic.

The design is less of a theme and more of a showcase of block patterns and styles. Even on the template level, it reuses those same elements across each of its seven templates, providing multiple entryways for users to tinker with its features.

Clove even includes pricing columns. I seem to recall writing about how theme authors could implement them via patterns just over a month ago. Maybe the Anariel Design team came to the same conclusion. Maybe they took my message and ran with it. I like to think the latter is true. Either way, the result is a beautiful, theme-specific pattern — the sort of artistry that is tough to achieve from a plugin.

Customizing the Pricing Columns pattern in the WordPress editor.

I am less of the fan of the overlapping and uneven columns in some of the designs designs, preferring some of the more-structured patterns, such as Three Quotes Images:

Three-column pattern that showcases images along with quotes.

Despite my general dislike of the uneven column style, my favorite piece of the entire theme is the Illustrations page template, which leans into that design method.

The page intro section is an announcement to the world, “Hey, check out my work.”

Illustrations template intro section.

I also like the Illustrations page template’s widgets-like area in the footer. It manages to stuff several blocks in without feeling too crowded. It even showcases a box for artists to highlight their next exhibition.

Illustrations page template footer “widget” area.

The Clove theme also registers 10 block styles for users to choose from. Most of them add different types of borders or frames to various elements. Plus, there is the fun-but-kind-of-an-oddball blob “Shape” for images.

Segota was one of several people to submit custom designs to the upcoming block pattern directory. There is some noticeable crossover between her current theme work and submissions, such as the Playful Gallery pattern that did not quite make the cut. Others, like her Recipe design, did. There is still an open invitation for people to contribute.

I am always like a kid in a toy store when a new block theme comes along, reaching out to grab the latest gadget. I want to see more experiments like Clove. Keep them coming, theme authors.

Side note: For people interested in the background-clipped text design used in Clove’s site logo, I opened a ticket to take us one step closer to doing it in the editor. Currently, users must create an off-site image and upload it.

WordPress Foundation: Answering FAQs on WordPress Trademarks and their usage

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 09:08

The WordPress Foundation owns and manages trademarks for the WordPress and WordCamp names and logos. Over the years, many people have approached us with questions on WordPress trademarks and how to use them. This blog post aims to address some of the most common questions and clarify the usage of WordPress trademarks.

Can I use “WordPress” in my name?

Strictly speaking, you cannot use “WordPress” in your website name or your product name. As mentioned in the WordPress Foundation trademarks page

Permission from the WordPress Foundation is required to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo as part of any project, product, service, domain name, or company name.

The purpose of trademark law is to keep others from using or misusing a trademarked name or logo. But it cannot stop them from picking it up. Sometimes, people use “WordPress” in their name, title, URL, or username when “WordPress” really does not belong there. However, such uses of the trademark violate the WordPress trademark nevertheless, and cannot be allowed.

What is the actual trademark Policy?

You can find the entire written Trademark policy on the Trademarks policy page of this website. In short, the purpose of this policy is to make it easy for anyone to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo for community efforts that spread and improve WordPress. It also aims to make it difficult for anyone to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo to trick or confuse people looking for official WordPress or WordCamp resources. When you are in doubt, ask yourself this question: “Is this an “official” WordPress event or resource?” If the answer is “no,” then you should leave the trademarked name “WordPress” or “WordCamp” out of it.

Does this mean I cannot build something for WordPress?

NO. The trademark policy does not restrict people from building anything for WordPress. WordPress, both the software and the community surrounding it, is open source. It takes all kinds of contributors to create, build, support, maintain, educate, and energize WordPress. But it does mean if you are creating something within the WordPress space that is not officially part of the WordPress project, you should not use the name “WordPress” to name it. However, you can use an alternative name like “WP” instead of “WordPress” for your products. 

I was unaware of the Trademark policy and already created something using “WordPress” in the name or the URL. What do I do now?

If you happen to be in that position and you want to figure out how to fix things, please feel free to reach out to trademarks@wordpressfoundation.org (or send us a message through the contact form on this site), and someone will help you bring your site, event, or product into compliance with the WP Trademark. 

Does the trademark policy apply to WordPress swag? 

Yes. Using the WordPress logo in products or any sort of swag is not permitted. Without express permission from WordPress Foundation, you cannot sell WordPress goods or co-brand your goods to make them seem affiliated with WordPress.

However, WordPress swag (shirts, stickers, bags, hand sanitizer, stuffed animals, sweatshirts, mugs, cups, pencils… to name a few) – given out at a WordCamp is okay. Branded WordPress swag from sponsors at a WordCamp is also allowed. This is because the swag is being given out for free (not for profit) at an official WordPress event, and has been approved. You can also find approved WordPress swag in the official WordPress swag store.

Reading all this, I realize someone I know is not in compliance with the Trademark. What should I do?

The first thing is to remember that this person could be unaware they are not complying with the trademark. We want to assume good intent whenever possible. You can talk to them about it if you feel comfortable or even just share the trademark policy with them. Alternatively, you can submit information to the Trademarks contact form on the site or send an email to trademarks@wordpressfoundation.org and let someone there do the work of assuming good intent and reaching out to them.

I have already reported this site/thing/person, and nothing has been done!

The process of resolving trademark issues takes a while, so we have assigned more bandwidth to speed up the process.  If you have reported something in the past, know that it is being worked on in the coming months. If you are worried that it got lost, you are welcome to send it in again. 

Is there anything I can do to help?

The biggest help anyone in WordPress can give is to respect the Trademark themselves. I know that it seems like passive work for many, and you may be looking to do something actively. Being an active and respectful part of a community is a big help, though.

This post is based on Part 1 and Part 2 of the “Can I use “WordPress” in my product name?” Tuesday Training from @camikaos in the Make WordPress Communities blog.

WordPress Foundation: Answering FAQs on WordPress Trademarks and their usage

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 09:08

The WordPress Foundation owns and manages trademarks for the WordPress and WordCamp names and logos. Over the years, many people have approached us with questions on WordPress trademarks and how to use them. This blog post aims to address some of the most common questions and clarify the usage of WordPress trademarks.

Can I use “WordPress” in my name?

Strictly speaking, you cannot use “WordPress” in your website name or your product name. As mentioned in the WordPress Foundation trademarks page

Permission from the WordPress Foundation is required to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo as part of any project, product, service, domain name, or company name.

The purpose of trademark law is to keep others from using or misusing a trademarked name or logo. But it cannot stop them from picking it up. Sometimes, people use “WordPress” in their name, title, URL, or username when “WordPress” really does not belong there. However, such uses of the trademark violate the WordPress trademark nevertheless, and cannot be allowed.

What is the actual trademark Policy?

You can find the entire written Trademark policy on the Trademarks policy page of this website. In short, the purpose of this policy is to make it easy for anyone to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo for community efforts that spread and improve WordPress. It also aims to make it difficult for anyone to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo to trick or confuse people looking for official WordPress or WordCamp resources. When you are in doubt, ask yourself this question: “Is this an “official” WordPress event or resource?” If the answer is “no,” then you should leave the trademarked name “WordPress” or “WordCamp” out of it.

Does this mean I cannot build something for WordPress?

NO. The trademark policy does not restrict people from building anything for WordPress. WordPress, both the software and the community surrounding it, is open source. It takes all kinds of contributors to create, build, support, maintain, educate, and energize WordPress. But it does mean if you are creating something within the WordPress space that is not officially part of the WordPress project, you should not use the name “WordPress” to name it. However, you can use an alternative name like “WP” instead of “WordPress” for your products. 

I was unaware of the Trademark policy and already created something using “WordPress” in the name or the URL. What do I do now?

If you happen to be in that position and you want to figure out how to fix things, please feel free to reach out to trademarks@wordpressfoundation.org (or send us a message through the contact form on this site), and someone will help you bring your site, event, or product into compliance with the WP Trademark. 

Does the trademark policy apply to WordPress swag? 

Yes. Using the WordPress logo in products or any sort of swag is not permitted. Without express permission from WordPress Foundation, you cannot sell WordPress goods or co-brand your goods to make them seem affiliated with WordPress.

However, WordPress swag (shirts, stickers, bags, hand sanitizer, stuffed animals, sweatshirts, mugs, cups, pencils… to name a few) – given out at a WordCamp is okay. Branded WordPress swag from sponsors at a WordCamp is also allowed. This is because the swag is being given out for free (not for profit) at an official WordPress event, and has been approved. You can also find approved WordPress swag in the official WordPress swag store.

Reading all this, I realize someone I know is not in compliance with the Trademark. What should I do?

The first thing is to remember that this person could be unaware they are not complying with the trademark. We want to assume good intent whenever possible. You can talk to them about it if you feel comfortable or even just share the trademark policy with them. Alternatively, you can submit information to the Trademarks contact form on the site or send an email to trademarks@wordpressfoundation.org and let someone there do the work of assuming good intent and reaching out to them.

I have already reported this site/thing/person, and nothing has been done!

The process of resolving trademark issues takes a while, so we have assigned more bandwidth to speed up the process.  If you have reported something in the past, know that it is being worked on in the coming months. If you are worried that it got lost, you are welcome to send it in again. 

Is there anything I can do to help?

The biggest help anyone in WordPress can give is to respect the Trademark themselves. I know that it seems like passive work for many, and you may be looking to do something actively. Being an active and respectful part of a community is a big help, though.

This post is based on Part 1 and Part 2 of the “Can I use “WordPress” in my product name?” Tuesday Training from @camikaos in the Make WordPress Communities blog.

WordPress Foundation: Answering FAQs on WordPress Trademarks and their usage

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 09:08

The WordPress Foundation owns and manages trademarks for the WordPress and WordCamp names and logos. Over the years, many people have approached us with questions on WordPress trademarks and how to use them. This blog post aims to address some of the most common questions and clarify the usage of WordPress trademarks.

Can I use “WordPress” in my name?

Strictly speaking, you cannot use “WordPress” in your website name or your product name. As mentioned in the WordPress Foundation trademarks page

Permission from the WordPress Foundation is required to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo as part of any project, product, service, domain name, or company name.

The purpose of trademark law is to keep others from using or misusing a trademarked name or logo. But it cannot stop them from picking it up. Sometimes, people use “WordPress” in their name, title, URL, or username when “WordPress” really does not belong there. However, such uses of the trademark violate the WordPress trademark nevertheless, and cannot be allowed.

What is the actual trademark Policy?

You can find the entire written Trademark policy on the Trademarks policy page of this website. In short, the purpose of this policy is to make it easy for anyone to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo for community efforts that spread and improve WordPress. It also aims to make it difficult for anyone to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo to trick or confuse people looking for official WordPress or WordCamp resources. When you are in doubt, ask yourself this question: “Is this an “official” WordPress event or resource?” If the answer is “no,” then you should leave the trademarked name “WordPress” or “WordCamp” out of it.

Does this mean I cannot build something for WordPress?

NO. The trademark policy does not restrict people from building anything for WordPress. WordPress, both the software and the community surrounding it, is open source. It takes all kinds of contributors to create, build, support, maintain, educate, and energize WordPress. But it does mean if you are creating something within the WordPress space that is not officially part of the WordPress project, you should not use the name “WordPress” to name it. However, you can use an alternative name like “WP” instead of “WordPress” for your products. 

I was unaware of the Trademark policy and already created something using “WordPress” in the name or the URL. What do I do now?

If you happen to be in that position and you want to figure out how to fix things, please feel free to reach out to trademarks@wordpressfoundation.org (or send us a message through the contact form on this site), and someone will help you bring your site, event, or product into compliance with the WP Trademark. 

Does the trademark policy apply to WordPress swag? 

Yes. Using the WordPress logo in products or any sort of swag is not permitted. Without express permission from WordPress Foundation, you cannot sell WordPress goods or co-brand your goods to make them seem affiliated with WordPress.

However, WordPress swag (shirts, stickers, bags, hand sanitizer, stuffed animals, sweatshirts, mugs, cups, pencils… to name a few) – given out at a WordCamp is okay. Branded WordPress swag from sponsors at a WordCamp is also allowed. This is because the swag is being given out for free (not for profit) at an official WordPress event, and has been approved. You can also find approved WordPress swag in the official WordPress swag store.

Reading all this, I realize someone I know is not in compliance with the Trademark. What should I do?

The first thing is to remember that this person could be unaware they are not complying with the trademark. We want to assume good intent whenever possible. You can talk to them about it if you feel comfortable or even just share the trademark policy with them. Alternatively, you can submit information to the Trademarks contact form on the site or send an email to trademarks@wordpressfoundation.org and let someone there do the work of assuming good intent and reaching out to them.

I have already reported this site/thing/person, and nothing has been done!

The process of resolving trademark issues takes a while, so we have assigned more bandwidth to speed up the process.  If you have reported something in the past, know that it is being worked on in the coming months. If you are worried that it got lost, you are welcome to send it in again. 

Is there anything I can do to help?

The biggest help anyone in WordPress can give is to respect the Trademark themselves. I know that it seems like passive work for many, and you may be looking to do something actively. Being an active and respectful part of a community is a big help, though.

This post is based on Part 1 and Part 2 of the “Can I use “WordPress” in my product name?” Tuesday Training from @camikaos in the Make WordPress Communities blog.

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.8 Beta 3

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 02:36

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.

WordPress 5.8 Beta 3

Wordpress News - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 02:36

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.

WPTavern: WordPress Theme Lock-In, Silos, and the Block System

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 01:04

For many years, I was a hardcore advocate of separating any non-design functionality from themes into their own plugins. I wrote extensively on the issue. Whether it was shortcodes, custom post types, user metadata, and any number of things related to a user’s content/data, I drew a deep line in the sand. This belongs in a plugin.

If you have never heard of the “theme lock-in effect,” that’s OK. For many, it is a non-issue. Places like the WordPress.org theme directory have, for the most part, drew a similar line in the sand.

The goal has always been to avoid trapping a user into perpetual use of a particular theme. It is not an ideal user experience when some crucial data is no longer available when switching designs. And, all users eventually want to change that up from time to time. Getting stuck with [shortcode-soup] tags littered throughout a site is never fun. Neither is losing admin access to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of pages from a custom post type that suddenly disappears.

The WordPress theme development community has avoided this problem — some more so than others — by bundling crucial content-related features separately in plugins.

Those theme authors who bypassed theme lock-in via plugins have mostly done so in their own silos. For example, instead of integrating with an existing portfolio plugin, they would just create their own. The only themes that support that plugin? Theirs. Ultimately, users were still trapped.

I cannot lay the entire weight of this issue on the shoulders of theme authors. Portfolio plugins are a dime a dozen. Supporting WooCommerce for an eCommerce solution or bbPress for forums are easy choices. But, when there is no clear industry front-runner, an in-house solution is just as good as most others.

However, the block system is already complicating matters. When a theme supports features like font sizes, colors, and gradients, it essentially locks users in. Switch to another with a different configuration, and every font size, color, and gradient the user chose to use is gone.

Imagine inserting a Paragraph block and choosing that sky blue from your theme as the block’s background. Now, imagine doing this a few hundred times only to have it disappear a couple of years down the road when you want to switch designs.

I won’t dive into the technical details of how this works under the hood. It is just the way the system was designed. Some problems could have been mitigated early on, but that ship sailed two and a half years ago with the launch of WordPress 5.0. There are also ways this might be solved in the future with technical workarounds.

Last week, a reader named Nick brought up this issue in regards to block patterns. The theme in question used custom CSS classes to achieve a specific design.

Because Gutenberg lacks all the features mentioned above, the theme uses some custom CSS classes, and these classes are coded in the theme’s style sheet. The problem with this is that now that you have used these patterns, YOU ARE LOCKED IN to this theme. Because the moment you change themes, the new theme will not have these custom classes defined, the patterns will be broken. This is THE SAME reason why shortcodes were outlawed many years ago from inside the themes — and yet when it comes to patterns, this is somehow allowed?

Note: Shortcodes were disallowed in the WordPress theme directory because the actual post content was broken on theme switch. It was unrelated to a broken design.

I already hear what some of you are thinking. This is not the same as “content” lock-in. No, it is not. Not exactly. However, because the block system intertwines content and design, it sort of is. I doubt the average user appreciates the distinction when they end up in scenarios with white text on a white background, as shown in the following screenshots:

That is a very real scenario. I see it almost daily as I test out different themes.

And, this is just the beginning. As WordPress’s design system grows and themers can configure more pieces, users will become more locked into their existing theme. Or, they may be locked into one developer’s or one shop’s way of doing things.

I do not necessarily see this as a Bad Thing. We have always had these little silos in the WordPress ecosystem, and they have mostly worked out.

In a sense, little has changed.

Users often stick with the same theme companies for one reason or another. And, those same themers tend to build on top of homegrown libraries or frameworks, reusing the same systems — at least the best ones do. This usually means that users can freely switch between themes made by the same people without losing anything.

The old-school purity test of not mixing content and design is gone.

This is a chance for solo developers and shops to strengthen their brand. If this is the system that WordPress is providing, build strong products on top of it. Build naming schemes that allow users to switch between your themes. Create loyal customers who will want to stick with you for years.

If users are essentially locked into one shop’s theme products, that sounds like a lucrative opportunity to build solutions and healthy user communities around individual brands.

I also envision a future where users will need to switch themes far less often. After the site editor and global styles features become available, users will have more direct control over their design. Once they have settled on a solid theme, they may never need to change it as long as it stays relatively up to date.

WPTavern: WooCommerce Selects Paystack as Preferred Payments Partner in Africa

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 20:52

WooCommerce has named Paystack its preferred payments partner for WooCommerce in Africa. More than 20,000 merchants are using the free Paystack WooCommerce Payment Gateway plugin but searching for and downloading the plugin separately is no longer required. Store owners can now easily select Paystack as a payment method when inside the WooCommerce dashboard.

Paystack has a recently updated tutorial for how to set up the gateway in WooCommerce. As an alternative to the recommended method, merchants can opt to install the free plugin instead.

Paystack is the most widely used payment gateway in Africa, accounting for more than half of all online transactions in Nigeria. More than 60,000 stores use the gateway. In October 2020, it was acquired by Stripe for more than $200M. The gateway can be used by businesses in Nigeria and Ghana and last month it added support for South Africa, after a six-month long pilot program.

“Paystack is leading the charge in bringing a world-class payments experience to African merchants,” WooCommerce Director of Business Development Mechiel Couvaras said. “Their product offering, user experience, and expansion plans within Africa were some of the most important factors in considering the partnership. Receiving funding from  Stripe and Visa was also a strong indicator of their potential.”

Paystack, like all of WooCommerce’s other payment partners, has a financial arrangement with the e-commerce platform where it pays a percentage of transactions processed. Couvaras said the Paystack partnership is directly with Paystack and separate from WooCommerce’s Stripe partnership.

“eCommerce is still very nascent in most African countries, however, Nigeria and South Africa are amongst our fastest growing countries globally,” Couvaras said. When Stripe acquired Paystack, the company noted that African online commerce is growing 21% year-over-year, 75% faster than the global average. WooCommerce is well-positioned to capture some of that growth with Paystack pre-installed as a preferred payment partner.

The e-commerce platform is also keeping tabs on other emerging markets, as global market adoption has grown to 8.2% of the Alexa top 10 million websites. Over the past year WooCommerce launched partnerships with Indian payment companies Razorpay and PayU India, as well as Mercado Pago, a Latin American payments company focused on supporting local payment methods across Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Uruguay.

WPTavern: WooCommerce Selects Paystack as Preferred Payments Partner in Africa

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 20:52

WooCommerce has named Paystack its preferred payments partner for WooCommerce in Africa. More than 20,000 merchants are using the free Paystack WooCommerce Payment Gateway plugin but searching for and downloading the plugin separately is no longer required. Store owners can now easily select Paystack as a payment method when inside the WooCommerce dashboard.

Paystack has a recently updated tutorial for how to set up the gateway in WooCommerce. As an alternative to the recommended method, merchants can opt to install the free plugin instead.

Paystack is the most widely used payment gateway in Africa, accounting for more than half of all online transactions in Nigeria. More than 60,000 stores use the gateway. In October 2020, it was acquired by Stripe for more than $200M. The gateway can be used by businesses in Nigeria and Ghana and last month it added support for South Africa, after a six-month long pilot program.

“Paystack is leading the charge in bringing a world-class payments experience to African merchants,” WooCommerce Director of Business Development Mechiel Couvaras said. “Their product offering, user experience, and expansion plans within Africa were some of the most important factors in considering the partnership. Receiving funding from  Stripe and Visa was also a strong indicator of their potential.”

Paystack, like all of WooCommerce’s other payment partners, has a financial arrangement with the e-commerce platform where it pays a percentage of transactions processed. Couvaras said the Paystack partnership is directly with Paystack and separate from WooCommerce’s Stripe partnership.

“eCommerce is still very nascent in most African countries, however, Nigeria and South Africa are amongst our fastest growing countries globally,” Couvaras said. When Stripe acquired Paystack, the company noted that African online commerce is growing 21% year-over-year, 75% faster than the global average. WooCommerce is well-positioned to capture some of that growth with Paystack pre-installed as a preferred payment partner.

The e-commerce platform is also keeping tabs on other emerging markets, as global market adoption has grown to 8.2% of the Alexa top 10 million websites. Over the past year WooCommerce launched partnerships with Indian payment companies Razorpay and PayU India, as well as Mercado Pago, a Latin American payments company focused on supporting local payment methods across Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Uruguay.

WPTavern: A Throwback to the Past: Refreshing Old Twenty* WordPress Themes With Block Patterns

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 06/21/2021 - 23:14

What began as a project in August 2020 has now become a reality. All past Twenty* default WordPress themes now have their own unique block patterns. In recent weeks, Twenty Ten through Twenty Fifteen received updates.

Designer Mel Choyce-Dwan kick-started tickets for all previous 10 default themes before the WordPress 5.5 release, the first version to support patterns. Twenty Twenty, Twenty Nineteen, Twenty Seventeen, and Twenty Sixteen each made the cut for that update. However, the remaining default themes were left to languish, at least for a few months and WordPress updates.

Jumping back over a decade to update past themes might seem extreme, but all of the default themes are still some of the most popular from the directory. Granted, they had the benefit of being installed directly in WordPress. Still, the current number of active installations means they are worth a small refresh:

  • Twenty Fifteen: 100,000+
  • Twenty Fourteen: 100,000+
  • Twenty Thirteen: 70,000+
  • Twenty Twelve: 100,000+
  • Twenty Eleven: 100,000+
  • Twenty Ten: 100,000+

Despite having the lowest installation total, Twenty Thirteen has some of the best pattern designs. The Informational Section and Decorative Gallery patterns stand out the most, but all fit well with the overall theme design.

Twenty Thirteen is also the only remaining default theme that supports wide and full alignments. Its one-column layout affords it more flexibility, and the old design feels fresh again with its new pattern choices. Perhaps they can revive the theme’s lagging numbers relative to the other defaults.

The initial pattern designs for the theme included a suite of layouts for post formats, one of the features Twenty Thirteen leaned on. Something similar to the first gallery design landed, but the others were left out.

Patterns designed to match post formats.

Post formats never garnered widespread support past their launch, and the core development team all but abandoned them, never building atop the feature. However, all of the format-specific patterns might be welcome for those users still running the theme. They would have been a nostalgic nod to the old WordPress, a throwback to yesteryear. If nothing else, maybe they can serve as inspiration for those of us still clinging to that tiny sliver of hope that post formats will make a roaring comeback.

These theme-bundled designs highlight how the upcoming pattern directory is not meant to be the only destination for snagging the best layout sections to drop into the block editor. Often, the best choices will be specific to the theme. Much of the flavor of custom design is lost when building for a general audience. What looks good with Twenty Twenty-One may look terrible in another and vice versa. Maybe that will change as block design tools become more robust and how they are used becomes standardized, but for now, at least, the most artistic patterns are those that designers include with their themes.

Aside from Twenty Thirteen, Twenty Ten’s new patterns stood out the most. The theme was the first of the new era of yearly themes, and its classic blog design has weathered the years well — just ignore the 12-pixel sidebar font size.

Twenty Ten’s new patterns.

The three patterns are at home in the theme. The Introduction pattern, which showcases the Image, Heading, and Paragraph blocks, is simple, but it relies on Twenty Ten’s typography for an elegant article intro. The Quote and Alternating image layouts do not try to do too much, simply highlighting the theme’s design.

Landing squarely in my favorite-but-most-disappointing category was Twenty Fourteen. The About pattern’s image and text looked elegant and roomy in the editor, but the front-end view painted a different picture. Because the theme lacks wide-alignment support, the photo was scrunched up. The gallery-supported Summary pattern has a lot of potential as a full-width pattern, but it falls short in the theme’s 474-pixel wide content area.

There is really no reason why Twenty Fourteen could not support wide and full alignments. It has free space.

At least the timeline-esque List pattern is pretty sweet in both the editor and front-end views. I may borrow that for my own projects.

List pattern included with Twenty Fourteen.

I was not particularly excited over the other patterns, but I am happy to see a little love thrown toward the 600,000 or so users with these themes still active. I am sure many will find something they can use on their own sites.

The themes are aging; the wrinkles and weaknesses of their designs are showing. With the site editor looming ahead, it might be time to consider retiring them. That is assuming no one wants to take the reigns and update them for a modern era. Otherwise, they will continue falling behind, remaining a relic of classic WordPress.

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