logo-01b@2x copy
Issue #98
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

This week in WordPress

WordPress 5.9 release squad taking shape six weeks out from release

With the last official WordPress release for 2021 due to ship in just over six weeks, it's all systems go. The WordPress 5.9 release squad is starting to take shape, says Jonathan Desrosiers, a Bluehost-sponsored core contributor, but several roles still need contributors and volunteers. WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg is again leading this release.

At WPTavern, Sarah Gooding reports Gutenberg contributors are focusing their efforts on the Navigation Block for WordPress 5.9 and the Navigation Editor has been punted to a future release.

Gutenberg 11.9 will be the last release of the plugin to make it into WordPress 5.9, says Automattic-sponsored core contributor Robert Anderson on the Make WordPress Core blog. The 11.9 release will be "cut" on November 3 and it's anticipated merging into core will be tricky. Anderson's seeking volunteers to help with the patch.

Meanwhile, Gutenberg 11.8 is out and adds dozens of features, including featured patterns and automatically-generated heading anchors. Justin Tadlock reports there was a mix-up with getting the release tagged for the WordPress.org repository so it was in limbo for eight hours.

In related news, Ryan Welcher, an Automattic-sponsored contributor and developer relations advocate, shares that a major portion of the work to update the Gutenberg Examples repository is now complete. He wants more developers to share examples, "In particular, examples covering more advanced block related topics or topics that are not strictly related to creating blocks but still part of the Gutenberg developer toolkit…"

Not news but also related: Tadlock writes about designing block-based WordPress child themes with a single JSON file. And if you're still wrapping your head around how theme.json works, Eric Karkovack's got you covered at speckyboy: An Introduction to the WordPress theme.json File.

"Matt's page builder" not delivering a "killer" writing experience

As work continues getting Full Site Editing in WordPress 5.9, LearnDash founder Justin Ferriman writes in Matt's Page Builder that Gutenberg isn't delivering the "killer writing experience for bloggers" he was expecting and instead "What we got was something in-between a page builder and writing tool, and as of the date of this article, it's not a class leader in either category."

In response, podcaster Joe Casabona asks should you really write in the WordPress editor? TL;DR: nope, "WordPress editor has never really been the best place to write" and folks should use a separate writing app.

Jeff Chandler at WP Mainline writes Ferriman and Casabona's posts "make me sad" in I Hope This Is All Worth It. "I have written thousands of articles in the WordPress editor over the years and unfortunately, despite the effort and work that has gone into the editor thus far, it does not feel like an excellent writing tool." But he says he's hopeful that one day he'll "…look back and tell Matt Mullenweg that it was worth it."
Throwing back to July 2, 2021… John James Jacoby, a veteran WordPress core contributor, tweeted: "Actual footage of me writing a blog post in Gutenberg with several paragraphs and a few image galleries:"
The Gutenberg writing experience might be still a while off being "killer" (Editor: I'm writing this in Notepad) but it's got some in the community really excited, including StudioPress and Frost founder Brian Gardner who makes no secret of the fact he's a Gutenberg fanboy. "I've been designing themes and building websites since 2006 and I can honestly say that I've never been more excited about #WordPress than I am right now," he tweets.

Efficiently deliver results for clients.

GoDaddy Pro logo
GoDaddy Pro
Manage all your projects with the Hub — free.
The Hub by GoDaddy Pro is an all-in-one site, client and project management solution tailored to the needs of web designers and developers. No matter what stage your business is at, the Hub’s integrated tools help you save time, boost collaboration, and expand your day. Learn more.

Jetpack releases Backups as a standalone plugin

Jetpack is splitting out its commercial Backup feature into a standalone plugin that can be used without having to install the core plugin, Sarah Gooding reports at WPTavern. She says the product was built with WooCommerce in mind and can restore a site to any past state while keeping current orders and products in place.

On the Jetpack blog, Rob Pugh, a Director of Product Marketing at Automattic, says the product was split out of the core plugin because "many developers and site owners asked for the flexibility to use specific components of Jetpack as part of their own, custom-built ‘tech stack' of plugins."

In other (non-commercial) plugin news, WPChill has taken over Gutenberg Forms and plans to shake up the free forms market. Justin Tadlock at WPTavern reports the plugin was created by Munir Kamal and was acquired together with his Editor Plus and Gutenberg Hub projects at the end of 2020. WPChill CEO Cristian Raiber tells Tadlock there are no plans to merge Gutenberg Forms with Kali Forms, the company's commercial forms plugin, or introduce a paid version.

Security vulnerabilities patched in OptinMonster

Wordfence threat analyst Chloe Chamberland has published details of several vulnerabilities discovered in OptinMonster, which could allow unauthenticated attackers to export sensitive information and inject malicious JavaScript into vulnerable sites.

As Sarah Gooding at WPTavern reports, the OptinMonster team promptly patched the plugin and updated it again after more feedback from the Wordfence team. Version 2.6.5 was released on October 7, 2021, to address these issues.

OptinMonster is used on more than 1 million WordPress sites to create popup campaigns, email subscription forms, sticky announcement bars, and gamified spin-a-wheel opt-in forms. The plugin relies heavily on the use of WP REST API endpoints, the majority of which Chamberland identified as "insecurely implemented."

Wordfence has also shared details of a reflected Cross-Site Scripting(XSS) vulnerability in NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster, a plugin with over 100,000 installations. After initially contacting the plugin's developer on August 19, a patch was eventually released on October 4.

Events company managing city search for WCUS 2022

WordCamp Central community organizer Angela Jin has announced a city search for WordCamp US 2022. Rather than put out a call for cities, as has happened in previous years, organizers are engaging an events management team to negotiate with venues and then select the city and venue that best meet the event's needs. "Risk evaluation and forecasting feasibility of an in-person flagship requires a professional events management team," says Jin.

In other event-related news, Torque's two-day virtual contributor event #Contribute2WP kicks off today at 10am CDT. And registrations are open for WP Engine's Summit/2021 EMEA on November 4.


Cartoon image of Malcolm Peralty.
This week, what's inspiring Malcolm Peralty, co-founder of PressTitan, Product Owner at Camber Creative, and sometimes co-host of the WP Mainline podcast.
A podcast worth listening to: Other than WP Mainline? I actually don't listen to podcasts very often. I do listen to YouTube videos, strangely enough. One of my favs is Real Engineering.

A concept worth understanding: I think everyone, including myself, needs to understand unconditional positive regard. It's primarily a psychology thing, but I think it works well in other areas too. We often too quickly make assumptions, often negative, about other people's actions or intentions and it's not an ideal way to live. A rising tide lifts all boats. We need to be more supportive of each other and understand that people, in general, are doing the best they can with the skills, knowledge and abilities they have.

A Twitter account worth following: @ChrisWiegman writes about all kinds of stuff. A really great guy with a wide set of interests; has spent lots of time in the WordPress space, a pilot, and is interested in all kinds of technology.

An article worth reading: It's not an article as much as a PDF worth reviewing, Catalyst from Postlight. Brice, the CEO of Camber Creative, pointed it out over a month ago, and I've kept it open on my computer for weeks now reviewing/referencing different parts of it. I'm hopeful that it'll make me a better product owner/project manager/business person. If nothing else, I find it inspiring to read.

A habit worth forming: I collect hobbies and love things to be consistent in my life, but I am not much of a habit person (other than trying to kick bad ones…). I think it's important to take time each day for your mental health in whatever form works best for you and to always be trying out new tools, techniques, options to improve your understanding of your mental health. Right now I am trying to create a mantra for the day each day and fill out some proofs that I was able to accomplish that mantra. So it'll become a journal of my successes, my mental accomplishments over time.

Navigating WordPress Full Site Editing

Have you toured the new WordPress Site Editor yet? Full Site Editing is sure to change how websites are created by reducing the need for code and improving the speed to customizing layouts.

It was first available in February 2020 within the WordPress 5.6 release and further integration will be available with the 5.9 release later this year. Rest assured, if you don’t change your current theme, new features will not impact you.
site editor interface

What is Full Site Editing?

Full Site Editing also known as FSE, is a new way to use blocks throughout your WordPress website. You can now use blocks everywhere on your site, not just in posts or pages. This is a significant shift in how we can build websites with WordPress.

What is the Site Editor?

To see the Site Editor and other block features, we’re using the Blockbase theme in this tutorial, along with the Gutenberg plugin. When WordPress 5.9 is released, if you use any block theme, you won’t need to install the Gutenberg plugin to access the Site Editor settings.

The Site Editor allows you to edit and navigate between various templates, template parts, styling options, and more.

Read more: Navigating WordPress Full Site Editing.

In other WordPress news...

  • WP Mainline's Jeff Chandler says plugin developers are psyched for what Josh Pollock is working on next. Pollock, whose company CalderWP was acquired in 2019 by Saturday Drive, has announced a new project he's working on called Plugin Machine because it "builds plugins." "This machine helps you create the start point for new plugins, add new features to existing plugins, as well as packaging plugins for release," he explains. "Oh, this looks cool as hell," tweets Tiffany Bridge, Product Manager for WordPress eCommerce at Nexcess.
  • Web3 WP co-founder Joshua Dailey has shared all the code from the project's recent Wapuu NFT experiment on GitHub. On the Web3 WP blog, he details how the project's first experiment involved four distinct web apps working together to mint their generative NFT Wapuu collectibles. Dailey adds, "We are committed to making all our code open to the community for continued learning and development."
  • The Hub by GoDaddy Pro was created to streamline your workflow and save time on tasks that typically eat up a workday. But we aren't done yet. See the latest Hub updates and changelog here, and then explore the Hub by GoDaddy Pro – it's free! Sponsored link
  • Nominations are now open for WordPress project team reps. As WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy explains, teams have one or two reps who are responsible for communication on behalf of the group to other contributor teams, and "generally come from the pool of folks that people think of as experienced leaders."
  • Jonny Harris, a developer who specializes in large scale WordPress projects, has been named an official maintainer of the REST API in WordPress core. On his blog, he explains he joined the project because "… the REST API is important to the future of the WordPress project and the open web." Automattic WordPress Developer Advocate Birgit Pauli-Haack tweets, "Thank you for your dedication and passion for WordPress and sharing your magic, Johnny Harris!"
  • Mustaasam Saleem has joined MainWP as the WordPress maintenance company's new Growth Manager. Saleem talks about his experience founding WordPress resources, his path to becoming a full-stack digital and product marketer (after graduating with a Computer Science Degree), and his new role in a Q&A with writer Todd Jones. "Hello @MyMainWP 👋 Thank you @dennisdornon for this great opportunity. Thrilled to give my best!" tweets Saleem.
  • Should animated plugin icons be banned from the WordPress Plugin Repository? Yes, according to a poll by Paid Memberships Pro Product Manager Scott Kingsley Clark, which found users (e.g. his followers) overwhelming want to "burn them all." Jeff Chandler at WP Mainline explores the issues around using GIFs as icons, including accessibility concerns, and his prediction that animated icons will be eventually banned or blocked from the repository. "The more there are, the worse it gets for people with neurological disabilities. Too much movement that can't be turned off," tweets Christina Workman, a website specialist at WebDevStudios and Maintainn.
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

Not subscribed? Join the most conversational weekly email
in the WordPress community!