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Issue #147
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This week in WordPress

FSE rebranded as 'Site Editor'

A week or so out from the WordPress 6.1 release, everyone seems to be taking a breather because it's been a slow news week. Or as former IT journalist Fabrizio Bartoloni tweeted, "It must be #Wordpress silly season if we have entire articles covering the rebranding of FSE to 'Site Editor' and the deprecation of the default site tagline 'Just another Wordpress site.'" More on the tagline shortly.

Sarah Gooding at WP Tavern reports Full Site Editing has been renamed "Site Editor." According to WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy, choosing the user-friendly name came down to simplicity but also substantial support from the Polyglot community. As Jb Audras, a WordPress Core Team rep and CTO of Whodunit explained it's "… a great move: it makes it easier to understand, and to internationalize the feature across the ecosystem 🌍✌️"

Extendify Head of Product Rich Tabor was also on board with the name change, tweeting, "I like it. Been using Site Editor in lieu of 'FSE' in practice for a bit now."

WP Minute Editor Eric Karkovack joked, "Henceforth, we shall call this feature the "Site Editor". Anyone using the term "Full Site Editing" will be shunned!" But as Sam Munoz, Community Manager for Developer Relations at WP Engine, pointed out, "It's probably clearer (especially since the admin has been using Site Editor all this time) but it's going to be hard to stop saying 'FSE.'"

'Just another WordPress site' removed

At WP Tavern, Sarah Gooding reported that WordPress' default site tagline, "Just another WordPress site," is now a thing of the past, though "not yet fully retired to the realm of nostalgia."

The recent WordPress 6.1 release resolved a ticket that lead developer Mark Jaquith opened 15 years ago to encourage people to change their taglines. The tagline has now been changed to an empty string for new installations.

But as Gooding noted, "For those who are sentimental about the tagline, rest assured that it has been preserved as placeholder text in the admin."

The change has been a welcome move for some developers, including Phil Sola, who tweeted, "Good riddance. 'Just another WordPress site' was a dreadful default 😂" and Terry Hale, who commented, "This was definitely a long time coming. I cringe every time I see 'Just another WordPress site' when I'm helping someone debug their site much like I cringe when I see 'Sent from Twitter for iPhone.'"

Gutenberg 14.5 introduces new 'Document Overview' panel

Gutenberg 14.5 shipped Wednesday and as release lead Nick Diego–a WP Engine-sponsored core contributor—explained, it sets the groundwork for future releases with numerous code quality improvements and bug fixes.

At WP Tavern, Sarah Gooding reported the highlight of this release is the new "Document Overview" panel, which combines what was previously found under separate icons in the Editor toolbar under 'List View' and 'Details.' This popup was where information like words, characters, headings, time to read, paragraphs, and blocks used to be found.

For those ditching Twitter, George Hotelling, a JavaScript engineer at Automattic, also noted, "Gutenberg 14.5 came out today, November 9, with a change to the Social Icons block that makes it easy to verify your site on Mastodon."

Kinsta launches application and database hosting

We reported it briefly last week but here's some news worth sharing again: "Kinsta is live on Producthunt and we would love to hear what you think. After almost 10 years of hard work, this is the next chapter for us and we will need all your support 😍" tweeted co-founder and CBO Tom Zsomborgi, linking to the news that Kinsta has launched two major new additions to its platform: Application and Database hosting.

As Kinsta's Head of Content Matteo Duò noted in A New Era Has Begun: Kinsta Is the Cloud Platform for the Modern Developer, the hosting company has focused on providing managed WordPress hosting since launching in 2013. Now, according to Duò, "… developers and DevOps teams of all shapes and sizes now have a plethora of hosting solutions to choose from for their applications, databases, services, and WordPress sites, with more flexibility than ever."

Andrea Zoellner, Kinsta's VP of Marketing, tweeted, "It's here and I keep pinching myself: @kinsta has released Application Hosting and Database Hosting which means you can host...pretty much anything on our platform! Devs, tinkerers, startups, enterprises... you can bring your stack to Kinsta."

Does the WordPress ecosystem need to self-regulate?

We've seen plenty of discussion about major shifts in WordPress core (i.e. Gutenberg) in recent years, but what about the broader WordPress ecosystem? In The WordPress Ecosystem Needs Closer Scrutiny, writer Eric Karkovack argues that it's up to the community to create accountability and demand better from commercial products, leadership, and WordPress authors.

In Post Status Slack, Post Status Editor Dan Knauss asked, "Am I right, Eric, that you are one step away from calling for some kind of industry self-regulation through the creation of standards (like PCI DSS, or any web standards) in contrast to a government mandate (like HIPAA)?"

Knauss added, "I've often hinted, as Eric seems to say more explicitly here, that 'governance' (better thought of as '#tending-the-commons') is reductively limited in our imaginations to a central project/committee model rather than emergent commercial standards that could probably solve or meaningfully improve 99% of the most persistent problems in WP. Anyone else having similar thoughts?"

Newsletter Glue co-founder Lesley Sim suggested ".. there's an opportunity here for an education plus standards plus code review plus job board company. Create standards around what good plugins/themes should be like. From code structure, code snippet examples, architecture, marketing, UI design, notifications 😆, and more…"

And Zach Stepek, CEO of Mighty Swarm, noted, "I know @Jonathan Wold has been exploring the concept of a WordPress Guild. Maybe some of those concepts apply here as well?"

Business Spotlight: LearnDash

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LearnDash is taking cutting-edge e-learning methodology and infusing it into WordPress. We're trusted to power the learning programs for major universities, small to mid-size companies, startups, entrepreneurs, and bloggers worldwide.

#WPCommunityFeels: Tom McFarlin

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This week, what’s inspiring software engineer and WordPress writer Tom McFarlin.
A podcast worth listening to: Over the past few years, I've become increasingly interested in the idea of deeply focusing on work and being as productive as possible. Years ago, I found Cal Newport's blog and instantly subscribed. Even if you're not someone who's going to pick up his books on Deep Work or Digital Minimalism, I highly recommend his podcast. It covers his take on focus, lots of Q&A from listeners who are aiming to do more deep work and to become more focused in their day-to-day lives, as well as case studies of people who have employed his advice or something they learned from his writing.

A concept worth understanding: I know there's a lot that can be said and suggested with things going on with the Block Editor and FSE and all of that is important, but I think understanding the REST API is still very important especially as it relates to creating our own APIs. The reason I recommend this concept is because it's what not only allows us to work with WordPress without actually having to interface with the UI, but it allows us to extend and build custom applications that can integrate with other types of solutions like mobile apps.

A Twitter account worth following: @twigpress (or Carl Alexander)—if you're a developer-type of any level, then following his musings online about WordPress, software development, and his serverless project, Ymir, is absolutely the kind of stuff that's fun, interesting, and worth following to see where WordPress is going. I also have to recommend @mattmedeiros because I really like what he's doing with The WP Minute. I think his commentary, perspective on business and the WordPress economy, and the type of journalism he's doing is different from many others.

An article worth reading: Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid by Jonathan Haidt. I found this article insightful because I think many of us, on some level, have a problem with social media—though it may differ for different people.

A habit worth forming: For those of us who work at a computer for the majority of the day both for our jobs and for our side projects, developing a habit of stepping away at least for an hour to go for a walk, a run, or any type of exercise is important. It lets part of your mind rest, exercises another part of it, and gets you moving all of which can help make you better at what you do in your day-to-day.

See What's New in WordPress 6.1

A yellow banner with a photo of Courtney Robertson and black text saying: "See what's new in WordPress 6.1."
With each WordPress release, it’s important to learn about the new updates and features so you can truly take advantage of the hard work of each of the contributors. In this GoDaddy Garage recap, Courtney Robertson walks through each of the new additions in detail and shares how you can start using them today. From fluid typography to block locking to a new default block theme, each enhancement strives to make building your (or your customers’) WordPress sites faster and easier!

Lastly, you’ll also read a bit about the contributors to this release—including several from GoDaddy!—and what’s on the roadmap for the next version, 6.2.

Read more about WordPress 6.1 and all of the new features here: See What's New in WordPress 6.1.
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In other WordPress news...

  • Big Orange Heart have announced WordFest Live 2022 has been rescheduled for Friday, December 16. Michelle Frechette, the president of the board for Big Orange Heart says the extra time will allow the team to fully process videos, market the event, and ensure all the necessary tech is ready to go.
  • WooCommerce 7.1 was released Wednesday with new custom tables for orders, products, and coupons. The feature, referred to as "High-Performance Order Storage" (HPOS), has been in the works for years and is expected to give e-commerce sites a hefty performance boost.
  • WooCommerce store owners are working to combat fraudulent Stripe charges in which bad actors initiate hundreds (or thousands!) of small transactions. From the WooCommerce Fraud Prevention plugin to reCaptcha and checkout limiter plugins, WooCommerce developers are exploring a range of options to prevent malicious orders.
  • Gutenberg's roadmap for a "font library" will give users an interface for registering and managing web fonts, reports WP Tavern's Sarah Gooding. In June, Automattic-sponsored core committer Tonya Mork organized a ticket for tracking the ongoing roadmap for the Web Fonts API. It includes the vision for how the API supports typography features and the necessary tasks for creating a "font library."
  • Fränk Klein, principal developer at Human Made and former developer at Automattic, joined this week's episode of WP Tavern Jukebox. Klein chatted about his experience as a self-taught developer and how he sees the adoption of Gutenberg as inevitable.
  • Designer and WordPress theme developer Anders Norén has released Oaknut, a new profile block theme with 23 style variations. The theme looks and operates a lot like Linktree or Carrd but can be expanded to include a blog, capture email addresses for email newsletters, and more.
  • Some people care a bit too much about capitalizing the "P" in WordPress, say MasterWP's Nyasha Green and Rob Howard. In the latest episode of Press The Issue, the duo discuss why that one little letter matters so much to the WordPress community—and whether it should matter that much at all.
  • Last month the Wordfence Threat Intelligence team disclosed a vulnerability in Blog2Social that allowed authenticated attackers with minimal permissions, such as subscribers, to change the plugin's settings. Site owners are encouraged to update the plugin to version 6.9.12 or higher now that the team has released a firewall rule protecting against this attack.
  • In the wake of Elon Musk's Twitter takeover, many WordPressers are ditching the site for alternatives like Mastodon. In Can Mastodon avoid becoming another hellsite? MasterWP Editor Rob Howard ponders the open-source social platform's portability, reliability, and security, as well as how it compares with the mainstream sites we've come to love.
  • MasterWP Editorial Director Nyasha Green wrote a summary of her experience at All Things Open, an annual conference in North Carolina centering on open-source technology. In All things AMAZING: My Time at All Things Open Source 2022, Green discusses the event's impressive accessibility measures, commitment to diversity, and more.
  • We're delighted to share that The Repository has been nominated for Best WordPress Newsletters & Communities in this year's Monster's Award. According to TemplateMonster CCO Victor Gozhyi, the awards aim to unite the WordPress community. "We understand how difficult it is to create top-notch content, product or service and, for our part, want to help the creators get well-deserved consumer feedback for their effort," adds Gozhyi.
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