Wordpress News

WordPress 5.2 Beta 3

Wordpress News - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 21:33

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.

There are two ways to test the latest WordPress 5.2 beta: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the beta here (zip).

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).
Minimum PHP Version Update

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
.

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.2 Beta 3

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 04/12/2019 - 21:33

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.

There are two ways to test the latest WordPress 5.2 beta: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the beta here (zip).

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).
Minimum PHP Version Update

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

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 22:49

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.

“Large well-known sites such as qz.com and theplayerstribune.com are in production with JavaScript front-ends that consume data from WordPress via WPGraphQL,” Bahl said. “PostLight Studio maintains a popular “Headless WP Starter” project that initially started as a React + REST API boilerplate, but recently added WPGraphQL support as well.”

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.

Anyone interested can follow the project’s progress on GitHub or get involved on Slack at wp-graphql.slack.com in the #woocommerce channel.

WPTavern: WordSesh Returns May 22, 2019, Speaker Application Deadline is April 19

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 04/11/2019 - 04:02

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

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 20:18

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.

HeroPress: Firefighter to Web Developer

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 12:00

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.

The post Firefighter to Web Developer appeared first on HeroPress.

WPTavern: GoDaddy Acquires ThemeBeans, CoBlocks, Block Gallery, and Block Unit Tests

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 04:15

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.

Idea Storm

Drupal Themes - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 09:15

Idea storm Bootstrap theme.

WPTavern: Gutenberg Team Publishes RFC Document on Widget-Block Interfaces

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 04:28

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

Drupal Themes - Sun, 04/07/2019 - 09:13

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.

Live Demo Advanced Themes

Features
  • 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

WPTavern: Jetpack 7.2.1 Removes Promotions for Paid Upgrades from the Plugin Search Screen

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 19:28

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.

WPTavern: WooCommerce 3.6 to Add Marketplace Suggestions, Despite Overwhelmingly Negative Feedback from Developer Community

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 22:55

In one of the most unpopular changes in the history of the WooCommerce open source project, version 3.6 will introduce “Marketplace Suggestions.” The update adds suggestions to the products admin screen, which vary based on whether it’s an empty state or within the list of products.

“They are contextual mentions of official extensions that may be relevant to a customer,” Todd Wilkens, Head of WooCommerce, said. “This currently includes all extensions on the official WooCommerce marketplace, which is open for submissions and lists extensions written by Automattic as well as by trusted partners and third-party developers.”

The suggestions are on by default for users who can install and activate plugins. They are dismissible, but the frequency with which they will be shown is one of the most contentious aspects of WooCommerce’s proposed implementation:

  • We’ll only show 1 on the Products screen, and 5 on the Product – empty state, Orders – empty state or Edit Product metabox.
  • Each suggestion is dismissible, we are not providing an option to dismiss all suggestions (other than if you choose to hide them).
  • We’re only showing 1 suggestion at a time, if a customer dismisses this, they won’t see another one for 24-hours.
  • If suggestions are dismissed more than five times. No further suggestions are shown in that location ( i.e. Products Listing ) for a month.

WooCommerce is providing a filter to turn off the suggestions, and this will likely soon be available as a plugin from the community. It is not something that is easy for non-technical store owners to implement.

add_filter( ‘woocommerce_allow_marketplace_suggestions’, ‘__return_false’ );

“If the above removal-by-script option proves to be difficult to implement – for example, for those who are not comfortable adding custom code – we will explore introducing a simpler way to turn them off and include this in a point release (e.g. a toggle in core settings),” Wilkens said.

WooCommerce Developer Community Sees Marketplace Suggestions as a Major Disruption to Store Owners’ Workflow

The feedback coming in on the announcement post and WooCommerce’s GitHub repository is overwhelmingly negative. In a comment on an issue titled “Rethinking 3.6’s Dashboard Ads,” Josh Kohlbach contends that WooCommerce should limit its marketing to the plugin’s dedicated Extensions screen in the dashboard:

In addition, didn’t anyone think it might be a conflict of interest for WooCommerce the commercial entity to use WooCommerce the open source plugin to show ads in this manner? Bit anti-competitive to all the 3rd party devs out there (of which there are a lot).

WooCommerce already has an amazing page under WooCommerce->Extensions with full searching capabilities etc. Why would you want to show irrelevant ads during a user’s everyday workflow?! Store owners use these screen daily, it’s terrible UX.

I suggest that it gets ripped out in its entirety and filed under “cool implementation/fun to code but horrible idea for actual users.

For those who do not stand to benefit from profits from the 400+ extensions on the WooCommerce.com marketplace, the intrusions in the product admins screen seem all the more offensive. Marketplace suggestions have not been well-received by third-party extension developers.

“This is in direct competition to every third-party developer that is not selling on WooCommerce’s marketplace,” Jamie Madden, founder of the WC Vendors Marketplace, said. “I am one of these. This is advertising for your commercial products, no matter how you try and wrap this. You have an extensions page already which is more than enough, but advertising your products every 24 hours is going too far. This is completely unacceptable.”

The general consensus of those participating in the ticket is that injecting ads into product management screens will create a disruption to store managers’ workflow.

“I too am very concerned about this,” digital agency owner Erik Bernskiold said. “I get that WooCommerce want to benefit from their commercial side, too, and there are many ways to do this. But in this case, it feels like this is at a great disregard for the users. Hijacking a product list, order list or a user interface element in this way is a major interruption of the user experience. It’s not the place for an ad.”

Several participants in the discussion have suggested that WooCommerce make it an opt-in toggle in the settings.

“There is only one scenario where I think this feature should stay in place and could be beneficial: If this feature is controlled by an opt-in toggle in WC settings,” Jeremy Pry said. “Otherwise, this whole feature should be removed entirely. Store owners don’t need advertisements in their admin dashboard. In my opinion, leaving this feature in place would be very harmful to the WooCommerce community.”

Marketplace Suggestions Require Dismissal Every Day for 5 Days, Only to Return 1 Month Later

The fact that the suggestions cannot actually be dismissed for good is one issue that developers predict will end up aggravating WooCommerce users.

“Dismissing just to keep hounding the user, that’s not dismissing… that is snoozing,” WordPress developer Patrick Garman said. “Because I told you 5 times that I don’t want to see your ads, that doesn’t mean come back in a month. The average user shouldn’t have to use a filter to make ads go away.”

I would not be surprised if WooCommerce ends up dialing back the frequency of the ads after they are closed, given that nearly all those participating in the conversation consider it unacceptable to require dismissal five days in a row, with the same process repeated every month thereafter. The frequency with which they are displayed is unusually aggressive.

“I don’t think it technically violates the guidelines it’s just obnoxious and makes WooCommerce look like a low rent solution,” Astoundify founder Adam Pickering said. “It seems we are in a midst of a monetization push and they are looking for any where they can add up sells. Apparently doing so gracefully has gone out the window.”

Despite the overwhelmingly negative feedback, WooCommerce appears to be ploughing forward on its plan to ramp up its marketing in the admin. Automattic is a business and it needs to make money with WooCommerce. Most participants in the discussion do not seem opposed to WooCommerce making money with marketplace suggestions but are strongly requesting that they do not inject ads in places where users are working on their own products in the admin.

“There’s nothing necessarily wrong with ya’ll trying to squeeze out some more money from users – so long as it’s done tastefully, and in a way that actually provides value to the user, instead of spamming and hindering them,” @justlevine commented on the GitHub issue.

Based on the WooCommerce developer community’s feedback, many are in agreement that they will only support changes will be respectful to store owners working in the admin. They would prefer WooCommerce focused its efforts on improving the existing Extensions tab, instead of injecting items from the marketplace on other screens. The current implementation of marketplace suggestions needs work, because it is too heavy-handed in displaying ads after users indicate through the UI that they want to dismiss them.

Most participants in the discussion are in favor of letting store owners decide if they want to see ads for extensions on their product admin screens. They would prefer that users opt in through a more transparent way than simply agreeing to terms of service. At the very least, most prefer WooCommerce add a setting that would allow store owners to easily turn marketplace suggestions off. If Automattic wants this new feature to be successful, the company needs to revise the implementation to be something that doesn’t instantly make the majority of the WooCommerce developer community want to turn it off.

Nebula Example

Drupal Themes - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 10:48

WPTavern: Pipdig Updates P3 Plugin after Reports Expose Vendor Backdoors, Built-in Kill Switch, and Malicious DDoS Code

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 04/03/2019 - 05:55

Over the weekend, Pipdig, a small commercial theme company, has been at the center of a scandal after multiple reports exposed a litany of unethical code additions to its Pipdig Power Pack (P3) plugin.

On Friday, March 29, Wordfence threat analyst Mikey Veenstra published a report with code examples of the backdoors Pipdig built into their plugin, along with some unsavory and questionable additions to the code.

“We have confirmed that the plugin, Pipdig Power Pack (or P3), contains code which has been obfuscated with misleading variable names, function names, and comments in order to hide these capabilities,” Veenstra said.

These include an unauthenticated password reset to a hard-coded string, which was deliberately obscured with code comments indicating it was added to “check for new social channels to add to navbar.” Veenstra also demonstrated how the plugin contained code for an unauthenticated database deletion, wherein the Pipdig team could remotely destroy any site WordPress site using the P3 plugin.

The code for remote site deletion was removed in version 4.8.0 but it still a concern for users who haven’t updated. Michael Waterfall, iOS Engineer at ASOS, tested the “kill switch” function and demonstrated that it still works with prior versions.

It also confirms they lied. They _still_ have the ability to wipe any blog that hasn't updated to the new plugin version (4.8.0), which they hurriedly released to delete the kill switch after they were exposed the other day. pic.twitter.com/bNMfRQUBpr

— Michael Waterfall (@mwaterfall) March 31, 2019

Veenstra’s investigation also uncovered questionable remote calls in the plugin’s cron events, undisclosed content and configuration rewrites, and a list of popular plugins that are immediately deactivated when P3 is activated, without the user’s knowledge. He found that some of these plugins are deactivated alongside admin_init, so any user attempts to reactivate the plugins will not stick.

Wordfence estimates the P3 plugin to have an install base of 10,000-15,000 sites. The changes made in version 4.8.0 of the plugin are not transparently identified in the changelog, so it’s not easy for users to know what has changed. The content filtering and the plugin deactivations remain in the most recent release. These types of veiled functions performed without permission could have unintended consequences on sites using the plugin, which non-technical users may not be able to fix themselves.

Pipdig P3 Plugin Performed a DDoS Attack on a Competitor’s Site

Jem Turner, a freelance web developer based in the UK, published a lengthy analysis of the P3 plugin the same day that Wordfence released its analysis. She drilled down further into the remote requests, demonstrating how Pipdig has been using the P3 plugin to perform a DDoS attack on a competitor who also provides WordPress themes and installation services to bloggers. The code triggers an hourly cron job on users’ sites, effectively using their customers’ servers to send malicious requests to the competitor’s site.

The code comment tells us this is “checking the CDN (content delivery network) cache”. It’s not. This is performing a GET request on a file (id39dqm3c0_license_h.txt) sat on pipdigz.co.uk, which yesterday morning returned ‘https://kotrynabassdesign.com/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php’ in the response body.

Every single hour night and day, without any manual intervention, any blogger running the pipdig plugin will send a request with a faked User Agent to ‘https://kotrynabassdesign.com/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php’ with a random number string attached. This is effectively performing a small scale DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) on kotrynabassdesign.com’s server.

Turner also contacted Kotryna Bass, Pipdig’s competitor, who said she had contacted her host after finding that her admin-ajax.php file was under some kind of attack. Bass’ exchanges with her host are also published in Turner’s report.

Turner’s post explained how Pipdig’s P3 plugin code manipulated links to point to their own products and services when a user includes a link to a competitor in the the content:

Here we have pipdig’s plugin searching for mentions of ‘blogerize.com‘ with the string split in two and rejoined – concatenated – to make it harder to find mentions of competitors when doing a mass ‘Find in Files’ across the plugin (amongst other things). When the plugin finds links to blogerize.com in blogger’s content (posts, pages), they’re swapped out with a link to ‘pipdig.co/shop/blogger-to-wordpress-migration/’ i.e. pipdig’s own blog migration services. Swapping these links out boost the SEO benefit to pipdig, and the vast majority of bloggers wouldn’t notice the switcheroo (especially as if the page/post was edited, the link to blogerize would appear in the backend as normal).

The plugin did not ask users’ permission before performing any of these actions and most of them were implemented with obfuscated code. Turner’s investigation also covers how the P3 plugin could harvest data and change admin passwords. Many of the findings overlap with Wordfence’s analysis.

“I was aware that Wordfence had been contacted for an opinion, although I was unaware they were writing a post and vice versa,” Turner said. “I wasn’t surprised that they wrote about it though, given the risk to WordPress users.”

She has been in contact with authorities regarding Pipdig’s unethical coding practices and privacy violations.

“From my side of things, I’ve been in contact with Action Fraud (submitted a report through their website) and NCSC (who pointed me back to Action Fraud and gave me a number to call). From pipdig’s side, there are threats of legal action in their blog post but I’ve received nothing yet.”

Pipdig’s Public Response Skirts Critical Concerns

Pipdig Creative Director Phil Clothier published a public response from the company which opens by characterizing the recent investigations as “various accusations and rumours spreading about pipdig” and includes an emotional plea regarding how distressing recent developments have been for his company. He claims that his team and their supporters are being harassed.

After pushing out the 4.8.0 version of the P3 plugin, removing some but not all of the offensive code, Clothier opts for a Q&A style format for his post, putting every question in the present tense:

Do you DDOS competitors?
No.

Do you “kill” sites?
No!

Do you have the ability to kill sites via the pipdig Power Pack?
No

Regarding the “kill switch” feature they built in, which detects all tables with the WordPress prefix and drops each of them, Clothier said it was simply a function to reset a site back to its default settings. He deliberately misrepresented what it does:

There was function in an older version of the plugin which could be used to reset a site back to the default settings. This function had no risk of of malicious or unintentional use. I can say categorically that there was no risk to your site if you were using a pipdig theme. This feature has been dug up and labelled a “Kill Switch” for maximum negative impact on us.

Clothier claims the function was available in the P3 plugin in July 2018 when a third party started posting Pipdig themes for sale on their own site:

A 3rd party was able to download all of our themes illegitimately and post them on a clone of our own site. This included previews of our themes and the ability to purchase them. We were first alerted to this by people which had purchased a pipdig theme from there, but were finding that certain features did not work correctly. After investigation, we found that the victim had purchased the theme from the 3rd party, thinking it was us. The 3rd party not only gained the financial benefit of the theme payment, but also used it as a way to inject malware and ads into the victim’s site. The reset function was put in place in order to remove the 3rd party’s ability to host preview sites with our themes. It worked, and they have since disappeared. The function was then removed in a later version of the plugin.

This is a false claim, as Wordfence pointed out in an updated article. The first instance of the code responsible for database deletion was committed to the plugin in November 2017.

The company failed to address the most critical concerns presented in the Wordfence analysis in its first pass at issuing a public statement. Instead, on the matter of coordinating a DDoS attack on competitors, Pipdig blames users and suggests they may have added the competitor’s URL to their sites.

“We’re now looking into why this function is returning this url,” Clothier said. “However, it seems to suggest that some of the ‘Author URLs’ have been set to ‘kotrynabassdesign.com’. We don’t currently know why this is the case, or whether the site owner has intentionally changed this.”

Further investigations published by Wordfence today showed that Pipdig also added DDoS code to its Blogger templates and was actively issuing malicious requests up until yesterday:

During the investigation of Pipdig’s WordPress plugin and themes, we also came across some curious code associated with their Blogger themes. This code is part of Pipdig’s suspected DDoS campaign against their competitor, and was active until April 1, four days after Pipdig’s denial of any such behavior.

Some of Pipdig’s Blogger themes have been confirmed to make external JavaScript calls to Pipdig’s server, specifically to the script hXXps://pipdigz[.]co[.]uk/js/zeplin1.js.

On March 31, as the investigations became public, Pipdig deleted its public Bitbucket repository and replaced it with a “clean one,” removing three years of commit history. Wordfence and many others cloned the repository before it was deleted and saved snapshots of pages to cite in the investigation.

That clean repository @pipdig published earlier today in place of the one containing all of their malicious code… They changed the reported release date of version 4.8.0. pic.twitter.com/YqKASTUZE7

— Nicky Bloor (@nickstadb) April 1, 2019

Pipdig’s public statement contains a number of other false claims that are outlined in Wordfence’s followup piece with code examples. Clothier closes the article by casting aspersion on the press, presumably to encourage customers not to trust what they read from other sources.

I contacted Pipdig for their comment on recent events, but Clothier declined to answer any of my questions. One of those was why the plugin disables Bluehost’s caching plugin without informing customers.

Another one from the @pipdig plugin. If you use one of their themes on @bluehost then they intentionally slow your website down by disabling the BlueHost cache plugin, then they can inject content with the title "Is your host slowing you down?" CC @jemjabella @heyitsmikeyv pic.twitter.com/48DUXsDyBj

— Nicky Bloor (@nickstadb) March 31, 2019

Clothier said he didn’t have any comments beyond what he said in the public statement but encouraged anyone interested to read the new comments added to the code in version 4.9.0:

We’ve also updated version 4.9.0 of the plugin which includes extra commenting in the code, which will hopefully help clear things up like issues with Bluehost caching and the_content() filter.

If anyone is unsure, we recommend updating to the latest version as always. However we also contend that the previous versions had no serious issues too.

Pipdig declined to answer questions about licensing but the products do not appear to be GPL-licensed. This may be why the company deemed it within its rights to take action on those who they believe to have “stolen” their themes.

Pipdig Customers Share Mixed Reactions to Reports of Vendor Backdoors and DDoS Attacks

In what is perhaps one of the most brazen abuses I’ve ever seen from a theme company in WordPress’ history, Pipdig’s user base has unknowingly been used to target the company’s competitors. Regardless of the company’s motive in combatting the unauthorized distribution of their themes, these types of backdoors and undisclosed content rewrites are indefensible. They prey upon user trust and in this case the victims were primarily bloggers.

I think that's why so many of us are so angry. Bloggers are the lifeblood of #WordPress, you create content and for the most part don't have big budgets to spend. So when someone takes advantage of that those at the "low budget" end of the market, those that cant afford devs…

— Andy Powell (@p0welly) March 31, 2019

One of the more puzzling aspects of this story is that many of Pipdig’s users seem to be unfazed by the gravity of the findings in these reports. Without full knowledge of the inner workings of a product, many customers make decisions based on how they feel about a company, regardless of being confronted with facts that should cause them to question their experiences.

I’m not concerned. I trust them. And I’m certainly not panicking and acting on the words of two blog posts citing their competitors. They’ve served me well for years.

— Caroline Hirons (@CarolineHirons) March 29, 2019

Others are angry to have had their sites used in an attack. Getting set up on a new theme is not a trivial task for non-technical users who may have had to pay a developer to launch their sites in the first place.

Honestly? I’m really angry. I trusted them for years, and in return my site has been used maliciously against other small businesses. I’ve been watching this unfold since Friday but even this update shocked me. https://t.co/mPsO8EoHBp

— Charlotte (@bycharlotteann_) April 2, 2019

“My mind is absolutely blown by pipdig’s public response,” Jem Turner said. “I understand that they were counting on their users’ completely non-tech background to bamboozle them, and it certainly seemed to be working in the beginning, but anyone with even the slightest bit of coding knowledge can see that they are lying and I genuinely don’t understand how they think they’ll get away with it.”

The crazy part is if we want to be really real about this, it's more like

The cable guy cut a big hole in my wall and installed a door handle on it. He took some painter's tape and scrawled "THIS IS A CABLE BOX" on the drywall. Then looked me in the eyes and said "No I didn't."

— Mikey Veenstra (@heyitsmikeyv) March 31, 2019

This incident shines a spotlight on how unregulated the commercial plugin and theme ecosystem is and how little protection users have from companies that abuse their power. If you are a Pipdig customer affected by this incident, there is no assurance that the company will not build more backdoors into your site in the future. The plugin updates are not reviewed by any kind of authority. Fortunately, there are a few actions you can take to create a safer environment for your website.

First, look for GPL-licensed themes and plugins, because they grant you more freedoms as the user and are compatible with WordPress’ legal license. GPL-licensed products are also a strong indication that the authors respect user freedoms and the shared economic principles that this open source license supports.

Many reputable theme companies choose to host their products’ companion plugins on WordPress.org for ease of distribution and shipping updates. The official directory does not permit these kinds of shady coding practices described in this article and all of the plugins go through a security review by the WordPress Plugin Team. If you are concerned about code quality and the potential for abuse, do a little research on your next prospective commercial theme provider or opt for free WordPress.org-hosted themes and plugins that have undergone a more rigorous vetting process.

HeroPress: Growing a WordPress business in Vietnam

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 04/03/2019 - 02:00

Xem nội dung tiếng Việt ở dưới.

It’s been 13 years since I first knew WordPress. Thinking of it, I found it to be one of the most fortunate things I had in my career and life. I can do what I love, can make money to support myself, my family and have many good friends.

When I found out about WordPress, I was still a second-year student at the university. The major I studied was not IT but mechanical engineering. I chose it with the desire to get a scholarship abroad (it was in Russia). But in the process of learning, I found myself inclined to and more passionate about coding. Therefore, I taught myself coding.

In my second year of university, I wanted to set up a website to download software. It is not a very proud thing, because at that time I just wanted to share the software with everyone, including free software and pirated software (software pirating is still a big problem in Russia and in Vietnam). It can be said that software was what attracted me the most at that time. I was passionate about finding new software, testing, running them, finding great features and sharing experiences with people.

At that time, the web was still something very new to me and I didn’t have many concepts about it. I just needed to find a free platform to build a blog about software.

At that time, there were two platforms that caught my attention – WordPress and BoBlog. BoBlog was a Chinese platform (it’s dead now), and WordPress seemed more international, so I chose WordPress.

It can be said that the choice of WordPress has made me learn more seriously about the web and related technologies. By editing the theme, making additional features for my blog, I learned a lot about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. During my time at the university, I had been exploring these things and gradually improving my knowledge base.

For me, the web has a big advantage comparing to other software, which is any line of code you write, you can see the result right in the browser by just pressing F5. This was the point that I was very excited about because when I tried coding in other languages, the compiling process made me feel time-consuming and not very intuitive.

Start My Own Blog

After that, I felt that the knowledge I learned was quite interesting and wanted to share it with everyone. So I started my personal blog, it is still active at deluxeblogtips.com. Blogging is an important thing in my career, maybe the most. It brings a lot of fortunate to me:

English: English is not my native language. But by blogging, my reading and communication skill in English has improved significantly. Although there are still many errors, I feel quite confident when talking to international friends. This has been happening for a long time and I am very grateful for it.

The first freelance jobs: Blogging has been around for a while, some people knew about me thanks to my helpful sharing. And they started contacting me and asked if I wanted to work for them. At that time, as a student, I was very happy, because I could earn some money. Later, when I graduated from university, I started my career with those freelance jobs. I did freelancing for about 4-5 years since 2010. I participated in many projects, learned a lot of things and knew a lot of friends. During this time, I also gathered a group of Vietnamese friends to work on those freelance jobs. Until now, although the group is no longer available, we are still good friends and still meet often.

Start ideas for products: precisely Meta Box. This is my company’s flagship product at the moment. Its idea started from my tutorial on the blog. Thanks to those sharing, it’s now a plugin of 400,000 active installs that based on a tutorial.

Community

Blogging makes many people known about me. And my share (and other products) is also useful for many people and thanks to that, I connect with many developers around the world and in Vietnam. In 2012, when Philip Author Moore came to Vietnam, we met the first time, and it was a “fateful” meeting between us. Together, we built the WordPress community in Vietnam from those early years, started the Hanoi WordPress Meetup and shared a lot of things about WordPress. There were many companies in Vietnam starting to redirect and working on WordPress from such meetup sessions.

So far, the community has been strong and we are no longer involved because we’re quite busy and we do not have too much experience in organizing and maintaining offline activities. Online activities are still very exciting thanks to Facebook!

Building products and company

Being a developer and having the opportunity to work on projects with customers, in 2010, I found many things missing from WordPress. And at that time, I had the idea of Meta Box, which is a developer framework to quickly create custom fields. I shared a series of tutorials on my blog. What I didn’t expect was that there were so many people having the same interest.

After that, I continuously upgraded the plugin, based on feedback from other users and developers. I also get a lot of help from other developers, especially Kaiser. I am really grateful to them because, without them, Meta Box could not become a plugin with 400,000 active installs.

When I first developed the plugin, I didn’t have much idea about commercializing it. All were free. At that time, I didn’t know much about interacting on wordpress.org and the Trac system, so I released the code on Google Code. A long time later, I uploaded it to wordpress.org. Therefore, when comparing the custom fields plugins, Meta Box is sometimes not considered the first plugin, while it should be.

The idea of Meta Box was later inherited by many people and developed similar plugins. And I really like that, because that’s the idea of open source!

The success of Meta Box was the basis for me to establish my own company – eLightUp to develop products for WordPress.

In addition to Meta Box, while creating a freelance team, we also tried to become a theme provider and joined ThemeForest. It was not very successful, because I feel ThemeForest is a battlefield in which the parties race to add features to make a theme become powerful, able to do many things and therefore very bloated and not optimal. As a developer, I always feel uncomfortable with those things.

The theme work then was separated into two brands of our company: FitWP for themes on ThemeForest and GretaThemes for themes that are simple, optimal and serve a specific purpose. Currently, the focus of our company are Meta Box and GretaThemes.

And for freelance work, we moved into a division of our company that specializes in projects with customers. We carry out projects for both domestic and international customers.

The shift in roles

Before establishing the company, the income from the products and projects helped me and my family have a comfortable life in Vietnam. But for a long time in the WordPress community, I’ve seen many brands that I’ve always admired, especially WooThemes (now merged into Automattic). Seeing their great contributions to the community, I always want to do the same. And to do that, it’s difficult to do as an individual. So I founded eLightUp, wishing to create good products and contribute to the community.

When I founded the company, I did not measure all the management issues or predicted that. I had to learn a lot, from managing people, resources, finance to strategy, market research and marketing. As a developer, they are all new and challenging things. There were times when I was very stressful because I had to do both developing products and other work which were not my strength.

So far, things have gotten better, I have become more comfortable to work, although I still have to code and manage at the same time.

Above all, I see what I have now is big luck, and that is totally love and support from the community for me. Therefore, no matter how difficult or challenging things are, I still feel very happy with what I have and will try to do better.

Tiếng Việt

Đã 13 năm kể từ khi tôi biết đến WordPress lần đầu tiên. Nghĩ lại, tôi thấy đó là một trong những điều may mắn nhất mà tôi có được trong sự nghiệp và cuộc sống của mình. Tôi được làm điều mà tôi yêu thích, có thể kiếm tiền nuôi sống được bản thân, gia đình và có thêm nhiều bạn bè tốt.

Khi tôi biết đến WordPress, tôi vẫn còn là 1 cậu sinh viên năm thứ 2. Chuyên ngành mà tôi học không phải là IT mà là cơ khí chế tạo máy. Tôi đã chọn chuyên ngành đó với mong muốn có được 1 suất học bổng ở nước ngoài, khi đó là ở Nga. Nhưng trong quá trình học tập, tôi thấy mình có thiên hướng và đam mê về lập trình nhiều hơn. Vì thế, tôi đã tự học và bổ sung các kiến thức về IT cho mình.

Năm thứ 2 đại học, tôi muốn lập 1 website về download phần mềm. Cũng không phải là một điều tự hào gì lắm, vì lúc đó tôi chỉ muốn chia sẻ các phần mềm với mọi người, trong đó có phần mềm miễn phí và có cả phần mềm crack (vấn nạn crack phần mềm ở Nga và ở Việt Nam vẫn còn rất lớn). Có thể nói phần mềm là thứ thu hút tôi lúc đó nhiều nhất. Tôi say mê tìm phần mềm mới, thử nghiệm, chạy chúng, tìm các tính năng hay và chia sẻ kinh nghiệm với mọi người. Lúc đó, web vẫn còn là một thứ gì đó rất thô sơ và tôi cũng chưa có nhiều khái niệm về nó. Tôi loay hoay tìm một nền tảng có sẵn để xây dựng một blog về phần mềm. Vào thời điểm đó, có 2 nền tảng đã gây sự chú ý với tôi – đó là WordPress và BoBlog. BoBlog là 1 blog của Trung Quốc, còn WordPress thì có vẻ quốc tế hơn, nên tôi đã chọn WordPress.

Có thể nói sự lựa chọn WordPress đã khiến tôi học hỏi nghiêm túc hơn về web và các công nghệ liên quan. Bằng cách chỉnh sửa giao diện, làm thêm các tính năng bổ sung cho blog của mình mà tôi đã học được nhiều điều về HTML, CSS, JavaScript và PHP. Trong suốt thời gian học đại học, tôi đã mày mò những cái này và dần hoàn thiện nền tảng kiến thức của mình.

Đối với tôi, web có 1 điểm hơn các phần mềm khác, đó là bất kỳ dòng code nào mà bạn viết, bạn có thể thấy kết quả của nó ngay trên trình duyệt (chỉ với 1 lần nhấn F5). Đây là điểm mà tôi rất thích thú, vì trước đó tôi đã thử lập trình trên một số ngôn ngữ khác, nhưng quá trình biên dịch khiến tôi cảm thấy mất thời gian và không trực quan lắm.

Bắt đầu viết blog

Sau đó, tôi cảm thấy những kiến thức mà tôi học hỏi được cũng khá thú vị và muốn chia sẻ nó với mọi người. Và tôi bắt đầu viết blog để chia sẻ. Blog của tôi đến nay vẫn hoạt động tại deluxeblogtips.com. Có thể nói viết blog là bước ngoặt quan trọng trong sự nghiệp của tôi. Nó đã giúp tôi có được nhiều thứ quyết định trong sự nghiệp của mình:

Tiếng Anh: tiếng Anh vốn không phải là ngôn ngữ mẹ đẻ của tôi. Nhưng nhờ trau dồi viết blog mà khả năng đọc hiểu và trao đổi bằng tiếng Anh của tôi tiến bộ rõ rệt. Mặc dù còn nhiều lỗi, nhưng tôi cảm thấy khá tự tin khi nói chuyện với bạn bè quốc tế. Việc này xảy ra trong khoảng thời gian dài và tôi rất biết ơn điều đó.

Những công việc freelance đầu tiên: Viết blog được 1 khoảng thời gian, nhờ những chia sẻ có ích của mình mà một số người đã biết đến tôi. Và họ bắt đầu contact với tôi và hỏi xem tôi có muốn làm việc cho họ không. Lúc đó, với 1 sinh viên thì tôi rất vui mừng, vì có thể kiếm được chút ít tiền. Về sau này, khi tôi tốt nghiệp đại học, tôi đã bắt đầu sự nghiệp của mình bằng những công việc freelance đó. Tôi đã làm freelance trong suốt khoảng 4-5 năm kể từ 2010. Tôi đã được tham gia nhiều dự án, học hỏi được rất nhiều điều và biết được thêm rất nhiều bạn bè. Trong khoảng thời gian này, tôi cũng đã tập hợp được 1 số bạn bè cùng làm WordPress tại Việt Nam thành 1 nhóm và cùng làm các công việc freelance đó. Đến nay, tuy nhóm cũ không còn, nhưng chúng tôi vẫn là những người bạn tốt và vẫn hay thường xuyên gặp nhau.

Bắt đầu ý tưởng cho các sản phẩm: cụ thể là Meta Box. Đây là sản phẩm flagship của công ty của tôi hiện tại. Ý tưởng của nó bắt nguồn từ những chia sẻ của tôi trên blog. Nhờ những chia sẻ đó mà tôi đã xây dựng 1 sản phẩm được 400.000 người sử dụng với gốc là từ 1 bài tutorial.

Cộng đồng

Viết blog khiến nhiều người biết đến tôi. Và những chia sẻ của tôi (và cả các sản phẩm nữa) cũng có ích cho nhiều người và nhờ đó tôi cũng kết nối được với nhiều bạn developer trên thế giới và ở Việt Nam. Năm 2012, khi anh Philip Author Moore tới Việt Nam, chúng tôi đã gặp nhau lần đầu tiên, và đó là buổi gặp “định mệnh” giữa chúng tôi. Cả 2 chúng tôi đã xây dựng cộng đồng WordPress Việt Nam từ những năm đầu đó, cùng start Hanoi WordPress meetup và chia sẻ rất nhiều điều về WordPress. Có rất nhiều công ty ở Việt Nam bắt đầu chuyển hướng và làm về WordPress từ những buổi meetup như vậy.

Đến nay, cộng đồng đã vững mạnh và chúng tôi không còn tham gia nhiều nữa vì công việc khá bận rộn và bản thân chúng tôi cũng không có quá nhiều kinh nghiệm trong việc tổ chức và duy trì các hoạt động offline. Các hoạt động online thì vẫn diễn ra rất sôi động nhờ vào Facebook!

Xây dựng sản phẩm và công ty

Vốn là 1 developer và đã có cơ hội làm việc với các dự án với khách hàng, vào những năm 2010, tôi thấy có nhiều điều còn thiếu trong WordPress. Và lúc đó, tôi đã có ý tưởng về Meta Box, là một framework giúp developer tạo nhanh các custom fields. Tôi đã chia sẻ 1 loạt bài tutorial về việc xây dựng nó trên blog của mình. Và điều tôi không ngờ lúc đó là có rất nhiều người có cùng mối quan tâm như vậy.

Sau đó, tôi đã liên tục nâng cấp plugin, dựa theo những phản hồi của các developer khác. Tôi cũng nhận được sự giúp đỡ rất nhiều của các bạn developer khác, mà trong đó không thể không nhắc tới Kaiser. Tôi thực sự rất biết ơn các bạn, cả những người dùng nữa, vì không có các bạn thì Meta Box đã không thể trở thành 1 plugin với 400.000 lượt active installs được.

Khi mới phát triển plugin, tôi chưa có ý niệm nhiều về thương mại hoá nó. Toàn bộ đều được chia sẻ miễn phí. Lúc đó, tôi cũng chưa biết nhiều về tương tác trên wordpress.org với hệ thống Trac, nên tôi release code trên Google Code. Mãi sau này tôi mới đưa lên wordpress.org. Vì thế nên nhiều khi so sánh tuổi đời của các plugin về custom fields, Meta Box đôi khi không được coi là plugin đầu tiên, trong khi đúng ra là nó phải là như vậy.

Ý tưởng của Meta Box sau này còn được nhiều người kế thừa và phát triển ra các plugin tương tự. Và tôi rất thích điều đó, vì đó là tư tưởng của open source!

Sự thành công của Meta Box là cơ sở để tôi thành lập công ty của riêng mình – eLightUp để phát triển các sản phẩm cho WordPress.

Ngoài Meta Box, trong khi thành lập nhóm làm freelance, chúng tôi cũng đã thử dấn thân vào mảng làm theme và đã tham gia ThemeForest. Có thể nói là mảng đó không được thành công lắm, vì tôi cảm thấy ThemeForest là một chiến trường trong đó các bên đua nhau thêm những tính năng để cho 1 theme trở nên mạnh mẽ, làm được nhiều thứ và do đó rất nặng nề và không tối ưu. Mà tôi là 1 developer nên luôn cảm thấy không thoải mái với những điều đó.

Mảng làm theme sau này phân tách ra thành 2 brands của công ty chúng tôi: FitWP cho những theme trên ThemeForest và GretaThemes cho những theme đơn giản, tối ưu và phục vụ 1 mục đích cụ thể. Hiện nay thì trọng tâm của công ty chúng tôi là Meta Box và GretaThemes.

Còn mảng làm freelance sau này chúng tôi tách thành một nhánh trong công ty của chúng tôi là chuyên làm các dự án với khách hàng. Chúng tôi thực hiện các dự án cho cả khách hàng trong nước và quốc tế.

Sự chuyển dịch vai trò

Trước khi thành lập công ty, nguồn thu nhập mà các sản phẩm và dự án mang lại cũng đã giúp tôi và gia đình có 1 cuộc sống khá thoải mái ở Việt Nam. Nhưng ở trong cộng đồng WordPress đã lâu, tôi đã thấy rất nhiều brand mà khiến tôi luôn ngưỡng mộ, trong đó nổi bật là WooThemes (nay đã không còn nữa). Thấy các đóng góp to lớn của họ cho cộng đồng, tôi cũng mong muốn mình làm được những điều tương tự. Và để làm việc đó, sức lực của 1 cá nhân rất khó. Nên tôi đã thành lập eLightUp, với mong muốn tạo ra những sản phẩm tốt, đóng góp cho cộng đồng và cả những đóng góp miễn phí nữa.

Khi thành lập công ty, tôi đã không lường được hết những vấn đề về mặt quản lý công ty. Tôi đã phải học rất nhiều điều, từ việc quản lý con người, nguồn lực, tài chính đến những vấn đề về định hướng, chiến lược, nghiên cứu thị trường, marketing. Đối với 1 developer, đây đều là những thứ mới mẻ và thách thức. Có những khoảng thời gian tôi đã rất áp lực, vì vừa phải phát triển sản phẩm, vừa phải làm những công việc khác vốn không phải là thế mạnh của mình.

Đến nay, mọi thứ đã tốt hơn, tôi đã quen dần hơn với công việc, mặc dù tôi vẫn phải code và quản lý cùng một lúc.

Nhưng mà, trên tất cả, tôi thấy những gì mà mình có được bây giờ đều là sự may mắn, và đó đều là sự yêu thương, support từ cộng đồng đã dành cho tôi. Bởi thế, cho dù mọi thứ có khó khăn, thách thức như thế nào, tôi vẫn cảm thấy rất vui với những gì mình đang có, và sẽ cố gắng để làm mọi thứ tốt hơn.

The post Growing a WordPress business in Vietnam appeared first on HeroPress.

WPTavern: Jetpack 7.1 Adds Feature Suggestions to Plugin Search Results

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 15:40

Jetpack 7.1 was released earlier this month with new blocks for WordAds, Business Hours, Contact Info, Slideshows, and Videos. This release also quietly added suggestions to the plugin search screen, a change that has not been well-received by the developer community. If a user searches for a plugin that has a feature that is already offered by Jetpack, the plugin will insert an artificial (and dismissible) search result into the first plugin card slot, identifying the corresponding Jetpack feature.

Although these suggestions in plugin search results were not presented as a headline feature in the 7.1 release post, it was clearly listed in the changelog under enhancements. More people began taking notice after WordPress developer Mehul Gohil tweeted a screenshot of it on a live site:

Nowadays, plugin search in #WordPress admin suggests a product/add-on. I see the future of these suggestions to be used by plugin authors to keep their product first in certain plugin search terms for upsells like admin notices.

What do you think about this? #DontHijackWPAdmin pic.twitter.com/TERjrPgEt6

— Mehul Gohil (@mehul_gohil0810) March 26, 2019

Manipulating search results, even to insert an artificial result, using a plugin that is already installed, is a major new development among plugins hosted on WordPress.org. Automattic is setting a precedent for other plugin authors that want to recommend their own add-ons or extensions when users match certain search terms.

In the feature’s initial proof of concept, Jetpack product lead Beau Lebens explained the motivation behind adding suggestions to the search screen:

We’ve seen that people with Jetpack installed and activated often search for Jetpack features (even by name) in the Plugins > Add New screen in wp-admin. This new module attempts to spot those searches, and provide an artificial search result that calls out that what they’re looking for is in Jetpack, which they already have, and which is already active.

Eight years since its initial release, Jetpack has grown to 45 modules. Most users are not familiar with everything the plugin offers. In fact, many users may not have even installed Jetpack themselves, as it often comes pre-installed with hosting. The suggestions may prevent users from adding alternate third-party plugins, as Jetpack’s module placement in the results subtly implies that these are inferior options to its existing modules.

One of the reasons the feature has many developers rattled is because the UI fails to make it clear that this is an artificial result and not something generated by the plugin directory’s algorithm. Although it is intended to function more as a notice, for the regular user, it is virtually indistinguishable from an advertisement in its current implementation. It hasn’t been live for very long, but over time it may even make it more difficult for plugin developers to offer plugins that compete with Jetpack features.

The feature suggestions in plugin search results became a hot topic on Post Status‘ Slack where Automattic’s Gary Pendergast dropped in to reiterate the Jetpack team’s intentions.

“I’ve been talking to some folks on Jetpack about what’s going on,” Pendergast said. “I think the team’s end goal is pretty good, and it solves a real problem WordPress has. Too often, site owners install masses of plugins that they don’t need, which ultimately creates all sorts of security, performance, and stability issues. In this particular use case, if a site owner is looking for functionality that Jetpack already handles, then the owner should be aware of that.”

Pendergast also said he thinks WordPress core should offer an API for any plugin to be able to do something similar.

Plugin Team Says Jetpack’s Artificial Search Results Do Not Break WordPress.org Guidelines

Although it’s easy to conjure up different ways to abuse this avenue for advertising a plugin’s existing features, WordPress.org’s plugin team is ready to deal with a potential influx of various implementations on a case-by-case basis.

“It’s not really advertising anything – it’s just adding search results for pieces of a plugin that you already have and might not know about, so it’s not really against any rules,” Samuel “Otto” Wood said. “If it was misleading in some manner, then that would be different.”

Wood said the team discussed it but concluded that any implementation of something similar in other plugins will need to be reviewed to see if it’s doing anything misleading.

“Realistically it’s always going to be a judgment call of some sort,” Wood said. “For example, if a plugin was to insert search results for other plugins, then that wouldn’t be okay, because it’s misleading. But, this isn’t that case. It’s just trying to say ‘hey, you have a plugin already installed which does what you’re looking for,’ so it’s trying to be helpful in that respect. It may not necessarily be the best way of accomplishing that goal, admittedly. But it’s pretty valid.”

Wood did not place a hard requirement on having the artificial result be dismissible but said anytime a developer inserts something into a screen where would not normally be, having dismiss functionality is good UX. He doesn’t think it’s likely that many other plugin authors will implement something similar since most are not collections of dozens of plugins and add-ons. However, this type of suggestion seems like it would also be applicable to block collection plugins that include dozens of Gutenberg blocks.

“It will be really difficult for users when all the essential plugin authors implement it,” Gohil said in response to comments on the screenshot he tweeted. “They are using JS to hack into plugin search using hook ‘admin_enqueue_scripts’ and that’s not good. I’m not in favor of it.”

If more plugin authors begin adding suggestions, users could see several rows of artificial results before seeing any real ones, depending on which plugins they have installed. Plugin developers are already brainstorming ways to strip the feature suggestions out. It likely will not be long before plugins like Hide Jetpack Promotions removes the artificial search results to maintain results as delivered by WordPress.org.

Wood said the plugin team does not intend to write any new guidelines for plugin authors creating their own implementations of feature suggestions on the search screen.

“The difference is always going to be one of intent,” Wood said. “It’s JP’s intent here to notify the user of the existence of a feature they may not know about. That’s trying to be helpful to the user, not trying to shut out competition. It doesn’t remove search results. It doesn’t reorder them or filter them. It just adds a card about the feature you’re searching for. If you don’t have JP, then it can’t do anything. It’s not advertising for other plugins or anything like that.”

Jetpack is also tracking search terms longer than three characters, and Wood confirmed that this is also within the guidelines, as long as it is disclosed to the user.

“The whole tracking module doesn’t activate until after you agree to the ToS thingy, so honestly, it’s allowed,” Wood said. “They track lots of things for stats and such. Realistically, so do many other plugins. As long as you ask the user first, before tracking anything, then tracking data is allowed. Opt-in is the rule.”

Wood said he found the search term tracking to be unnecessary since WordPress.org already collects this information through its new search system that runs on ElasticSearch.

“We get all the search terms on the WordPress.org servers, anyway, so both we and they kinda already have them,” Wood said. “Automatticians built our newest plugin search engine, after all. It seems kind of a waste to track them using Jetpack when they literally receive all the searches to run through the search engine.”

Jetpack’s artificial search results, although dismissible, take up the top spot, bypassing the algorithm altogether. It gives the appearance that Jetpack’s built-in feature is either a promoted listing or superior to all other options available in the directory.

Although a suggested module may work more harmoniously with other Jetpack features than a third-party plugin, the modules are built to be fairly general in terms of features. They address the basic needs for the largest number of users but rarely provide more options than a standalone plugin dedicated to performing something similar. Users may very well be searching for a replacement for what Jetpack provides. The ability to easily turn off suggestions in search results with a toggle could go a long way for diplomacy.

WPTavern: Automattic Launches Happy Tools Product Line for Distributed Teams

Wordpress Planet - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 04:28

Automattic has released Happy Schedule, the first in a new line of products called “Happy Tools,” created to solve problems for distributed teams. The products have grown out of internal tools that Automattic uses with its distributed team of more than 850 employees in 68 countries.

Most employee scheduling tools are designed for more traditional work environments where people report to work in person in the same timezone. Happy Schedule allows employees to set their own flexible schedules all the way down to 15-minute increments, seamlessly managing timezones for team members in one calendar. Automattic uses it to manage 24-hour global support with its 300+ Happiness Engineers.

Happy Tools is currently priced at $60/month for 12 users and then $5/user after that.

“In addition to Happy Schedule, we’ll be looking to bring our customer chat tool into Happy Tools,” Happy Tools product lead Matt Wondra said. “We’ll also look at other applications Automattic has already built to help with team communication, people-management, and customer support.”

The product suite complements Matt Mullenweg’s recent TED talk in which he evangelizes distributed work as “the future of work.” Mullenweg predicts that companies will evolve to become distributed first or will soon be replaced by ones that are.

Beyond simply recognizing the benefits of employees being able to design their own work environments, there are some real challenges to becoming a distributed company. This is especially true for those that didn’t start out that way. Smaller companies have less experience navigating all the tax laws and legal processes around hiring people from different countries. These hurdles make it difficult to grow an international team and retain employees as anything more than hourly contractors.

Answering some of these difficult questions gets into the meat of making distributed teams a reality. With its position as one of the few distributed companies that has successfully scaled into the hundreds, Automattic has an opportunity to open source some of its counsel, documents, and HR guides around international hiring. This would be a valuable addition to distributed.blog or the Happy Tools blog that would help more companies move beyond their initial explorations of distributed work and ultimately create a larger market for these kinds of tools.

WordPress.org blog: Minimum PHP Version update

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 14:51

WordPress 5.2 is targeted for release at the end of this month, and with it comes an update to the minimum required version of PHP. WordPress will now require a minimum of PHP 5.6.20.

Beginning in WordPress 5.1, users running PHP versions below 5.6 have had a notification in their dashboard that includes information to help them update PHP. Since then, the WordPress stats have shown an increase in users on more recent versions of PHP.

The dashboard widget users see if running an outdated version of PHP Why You Should Update PHP

If your site is running on an unsupported version of PHP, the WordPress updater will not offer WordPress 5.2 to your site. If you attempt to update WordPress manually, that update will fail. To continue using the latest features of WordPress you must update to a newer version of PHP.

When updating to a new version of PHP, WordPress encourages updating to its recommended version, PHP 7.3. The PHP internals team has done a great job making its most recent version the fastest version of PHP yet. This means that updating will improve the speed of your site, both for you and your visitors.

This performance increase also means fewer servers are needed to host websites. Updating PHP isn’t just good for your site, it also means less energy is needed for the 1-in-3 sites that use WordPress, so it’s good for the planet.

How to Update PHP

If you need help updating to a new version of PHP, detailed documentation is available. This includes sample communication to send to your host for them to assist you. Many hosting companies have published information on how to update PHP that is specific for them.

5.6 now, but soon 7+

This is the first increase in PHP required version for WordPress since 2010, but may not be the only increase in 2019. The WordPress core team will monitor the adoption of the most recent versions of PHP with an eye towards making PHP 7+ the minimum version towards the end of the year.

Update PHP today, so you can update WordPress tomorrow!

Minimum PHP Version update

Wordpress News - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 14:51

WordPress 5.2 is targeted for release at the end of this month, and with it comes an update to the minimum required version of PHP. WordPress will now require a minimum of PHP 5.6.20.

Beginning in WordPress 5.1, users running PHP versions below 5.6 have had a notification in their dashboard that includes information to help them update PHP. Since then, the WordPress stats have shown an increase in users on more recent versions of PHP.

The dashboard widget users see if running an outdated version of PHP Why You Should Update PHP

If your site is running on an unsupported version of PHP, the WordPress updater will not offer WordPress 5.2 to your site. If you attempt to update WordPress manually, that update will fail. To continue using the latest features of WordPress you must update to a newer version of PHP.

When updating to a new version of PHP, WordPress encourages updating to its recommended version, PHP 7.3. The PHP internals team has done a great job making its most recent version the fastest version of PHP yet. This means that updating will improve the speed of your site, both for you and your visitors.

This performance increase also means fewer servers are needed to host websites. Updating PHP isn’t just good for your site, it also means less energy is needed for the 1-in-3 sites that use WordPress, so it’s good for the planet.

How to Update PHP

If you need help updating to a new version of PHP, detailed documentation is available. This includes sample communication to send to your host for them to assist you. Many hosting companies have published information on how to update PHP that is specific for them.

5.6 now, but soon 7+

This is the first increase in PHP required version for WordPress since 2010, but may not be the only increase in 2019. The WordPress core team will monitor the adoption of the most recent versions of PHP with an eye towards making PHP 7+ the minimum version towards the end of the year.

Update PHP today, so you can update WordPress tomorrow!

WordPress.org blog: The Month in WordPress: March 2019

Wordpress Planet - Mon, 04/01/2019 - 08:59

WordPress reached a significant milestone this month. With some exciting developments in Core, an interesting new proposal, and the return of a valuable global event, March was certainly an interesting time.

WordPress Now Powers One-Third of the Web

WordPress’ market share has been steadily increasing, and as of halfway through this month, it powers over one-third of the top 10 million sites on the web (according to W3Techs, which tracks usage statistics for all major web platforms).

This growth of WordPress is only made possible by the large team of volunteers working to build the project and community. If you would like to get involved in building the future of WordPress, then check out the Make network for a contributor team that fits your skill set.

WordPress 5.2 is on the Way

WordPress 5.1.1 was released this month, with 14 fixes and enhancements, and the Core team is now focusing on the next major release, version 5.2. This release will include some great new features, along with the latest updates to the block editor.

One of the most anticipated new features is the improved fatal error detection – this was removed from v5.1 shortly before release so that it could be improved and made more secure for this release. Along with that, PHP 5.6 is going to become the minimum required PHP version for WordPress, a significant step towards a more modern web and updated coding standards.

WordPress 5.2 is now in beta and you can test it by installing the Beta Tester plugin on any WordPress site.

Want to get involved in building WordPress Core? Follow the Core team blog and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Proposal for a Central Block Directory

With blocks becoming the new way to manage content in WordPress, more and more types of blocks are being developed to cater for different use cases and content types. In an effort to make it easier for content creators to find these block types, there is a proposal for a new type of plugin and a directory to handle it.

The proposal outlines a new type of WordPress plugin that provides blocks and nothing else, named Single Block Plugins. The primary benefit would be to provide content creators with individual pieces of functionality and new types of blocks without the need to search for and install new plugins.

The Single Block Plugins would be hosted in a separate Block Directory section of the Plugin Directory and they would initially be JavaScript-based. Each plugin will register a single block, and they will be searchable and installable from within the editor itself. This puts blocks at the publishers’ fingertips — you no longer have to leave the editor to find them.

Want to get involved in shaping this new type of plugin? Join in the conversation on the proposal post, follow the Meta team blog, and join the #meta channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Global WordPress Translation Day is Back

On 11 May 2019, the fourth Global WordPress Translation Day will take place. This is a 24-hour global event dedicated to the translation of all things WordPress, from core to themes, plugins to marketing.

Over the course of 24 hours, WordPress communities will meet to translate WordPress into their local languages and watch talks and sessions broadcast on wptranslationday.org. During the last Global WordPress Translation Day, 71 local events took place in 29 countries, and even more communities are expected to take part this time.

Want to get involved in the Global WordPress Translation Day? Find out how to organize a local event, apply to be a speaker, follow the updates on the Polyglots team blog, and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Gutenberg Development Continues

With the block editor in WordPress Core, the team has been able to focus on adding some frequently requested features. Version 5.3 of Gutenberg,  released this month, includes a new block manager modal, the ability to nest different elements in the cover block, and some UI tweaks to improve the hover state of blocks.

Want to get involved in developing Gutenberg? Check out the GitHub repository and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Further Reading:

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it here.

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