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Issue #102
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MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

This week in WordPress

GoDaddy breach impacts 1.2 million managed WordPress accounts

Some alarming news this week: GoDaddy says a data breach has exposed 1.2 million managed WordPress hosting accounts, according to a disclosure to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sarah Gooding at WPTavern reports that GoDaddy's initial investigations show the attacker gained access to its managed WordPress hosting environment using a compromised password beginning on September 6 and "nearly every sensitive data point associated with hosting a WordPress website was compromised, including customer email addresses, admin passwords, sFTP and database credentials, and SSL private keys."

"To summarize: yikes," tweets Strattic co-founder and CEO Miriam Schwab.

Investigating the breach further, Wordfence claims GoDaddy was storing sFTP credentials as plaintext, although GoDaddy has not officially confirmed it. And this also from Wordfence: GoDaddy Breach Widens to tsoHost, Media Temple, 123Reg, Domain Factory, Heart Internet, and Host Europe

GoDaddy has more than 20 million customers but only the managed WordPress hosting accounts were affected by the breach. "I'd make a GoDaddy joke, but seriously this shit's not funny," tweets MediaRon founder and developer Ronald Huereca.

Mitchell Clark has more coverage of the breach at The Verge: Over a million GoDaddy WordPress customers had email addresses exposed in latest breach. Meanwhile, iThemes has published some practical help for those affected, GoDaddy Hacked: 5 Ways to Secure Your WordPress Site.

WordPress 5.9 rescheduled for release in late January

It's official: WordPress 5.9 is now scheduled to land on January 25, 2022.

We reported last week on the release squad's decision to delay the official release due to some pretty major blockers to the Beta 1 and final releases involving Full Site Editing and the Twenty Twenty-Two theme.

This week, Automattic-sponsored contributor and WordPress Core Principal Architect Tonya Mork published a WordPress 5.9 Revised Release Schedule on the Make WordPress Core blog. She shares detail on the delay, the decision-making process, and how folks can help with testing.

At WPTavern, Sarah Gooding notes that for the past decade, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg's "deadlines are not arbitrary" philosophy has guided core development, preventing releases from being delayed by the desire to squeeze in one more feature. But, "The situation with WordPress 5.9 is unique, because the effort involves shipping a set of interdependent features that also provide the foundation for a new way of theming."

Mork explains further, "As the FSE features are very closely intertwined, removing some of its pieces would risk making the release unstable. To avoid delivering a sub-optimal experience, moving fixes to a 5.9 minor or 6.0 was ruled out."

Anne McCarthy, an Automattic-sponsored core contributor who is co-leading testing for the release, and has been the program manager for the Full Site Editing (FSE) outreach experiment, shares Why I Voted to Delay WordPress 5.9, citing improved sustainability for contributors, interrelated features of FSE making it hard to punt or fully remove pieces, and the value of users getting access to the whole suite of FSE features rather than small pieces as reasons for her decision.

Ahead of the January 25 release, the release team has shared A Look at WordPress 5.9, a video showcasing the upcoming new features.

Elsewhere, "This headline is… something," tweets Chris Wiegman, aSenior Software Developer at WP Engine, linking to artificial intelligence writer Thomas Macaulay's piece Ground-breaking or site-breaking? What devs expect from WordPress 5.9 at The Next Web. After falling for the clickbait title, Human Made Engineering Manager Jenny Wong tweets, "I took the bait. I regret it. Please can I have a refund of my time 😬."

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Automattic joins foundation to protect PHP's future

Automattic has joined a coalition of companies with vested interests in PHP to form the PHP Foundation, a new non-profit initiative to ensure the "long life and prosperity of the PHP language." Roman Pronskiy, Product Marketing Manager at software company JetBrains, explains the backstory in The New Life of PHP – The PHP Foundation.

The formation of the foundation comes after long-time contributor Nikita Popov, who has been involved in the project for over a decade, decided to leave his role at Jetbrains so he can focus on LLVM. Jetbrains has been sponsoring Popov's full-time contributions to PHP for the past three years. Pronskiy notes that "losing one of the main contributors to PHP is a blow to the community" and "puts the language that powers 78% of the web in a fragile position." The foundation has been set up via Open Collective.

WP Mainline's Jeff Chandler notes, "The PHP Foundation aiming to raise $300K a year to fund core developers should be a cakewalk, right? Considering how many individuals and companies rely on it to make a living." Jetbrains has committed $100,000 annually to the foundation. Automattic has not commented publicly about its contribution.

The news that PHP's future has been secured into the future has been welcomed by developers with many donating to the new foundation. Developer Prashant Baldha tweets, "@ThePHPF will evolve the #PHP language to the new high. As a #WordPress Developer, I am glad to read that @automattic is one of the PHP foundation members."

Wonderkind founder and CTO Philo Hermans tweets, "PHP has been life-changing for me. It was the first programming language I started learning in the late nineties. Twenty years later, I still love PHP. From WordPress, CodeIgniter, to Laravel, the journey has been incredible. Together we can make sure this journey continues πŸ™πŸΌ."

Happy Black Friday!

It's Black Friday and "This is one of the coolest designs I've seen for a #WordPress Black Friday post," tweets LifterLMS CEO Chris Badgett, linking to LayerWP's Black Friday deals 2021. Yes, sharing again because who doesn't like a most non-boring Black Friday deals page?

Post Status has published an extensive round-up of Black Friday & Cyber Monday WordPress Deals 2021. And something a little different: Yoast is going green. The SEO company has committed to planting one tree for every order received during the Black Friday weekend.

At The WP Minute, Recapture.io founder Dave Rodenbaugh looks at how WooCommerce merchants are estimated to process more than $840 million over BFCM deals this year.

Last up, "Please welcome the Black Friday list that you don't want to be a part of," writes Visual Composer Product Manager Raitis Sevelis, who calls out the WordPress companies that are misrepresenting their original pricing as discounted offers in The Dark Side Of The Black Friday Sales. "Black Friday Deal or No Deal? The results might surprise you, or not," tweets WP Mainline publisher Jeff Chandler.

#WPCommunityFeels: Scott Carter

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This week, what's inspiring Scott Carter, founder of maintenance company Barrel Roll and WordPress agency United Networks.
A podcast worth listening to: I feel like I'm supposed to recommend something related to WordPress here but we all need a break from the grind and for that, you need The Fuzzy Glove Hour with Andy and Ken (formerly known as Seven Second Delay).

A concept worth understanding: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Doing the basics of website maintenance properly and regularly can keep your site safe and your business moving in the right direction. Take our WordPress Maintenance Quiz to see if you are on the right track.

An article worth reading: There are way, way too many companies that provide WordPress hosting. Finding a new host can be a nightmare since nearly all reviews are either paid or not vigorous in their testing. Luckily, Kevin Ohashi's WordPress hosting benchmarks cut through the noise and provide reams of invaluable data so you know who to choose the next time your host stores your passwords in plaintext.

A habit worth forming: Stop working at a certain time every day and make exceptions only for emergencies. We all need to take better care of ourselves.

Something you're grateful for: Radiators. We recently moved from Virginia to Connecticut and let me tell you, this place is cold. People up here go for a run in t-shirts and shorts when it's literally freezing. I want to pull over and ask if they need help but then I'd have to open the window so I just shake my head. Also, family.

From Web 2.0 to Web 3.0

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What is Web 2.0? Or Web 3.0? Do you know what blockchain means or how this could benefit the work we do in the near future?

Join us as we welcome Ahba Thakor, Mike Demo, Ivan Bjelaja and David Lockie to discuss what the future of the web industry will look like.

We will talk about artificial intelligence, blockchain, and how these technologies could impact WordPress and the wider web industry.

Come expecting to see a showcase of projects, ideas that present opportunities for the WordPress community today.

Read more: Web Industry after the Shift from Web2.0 to Web3.0.

In other WordPress news...

  • "The Main Track for @WCEurope 2022 😍😍😍," tweets XWP Performance Engineer Sabrina Zeidan, who's leading content for WordCamp Europe 2022 and shared a sneak peek of the conference venue in Porto, Portugal, this week. "Wow, that place is huge!" tweets Delicious Brains Senior Technical Writer Jonathan Bossenger. Organizers are yet to reveal details about the June 2-4 event, which will mark a return to global in-person WordCamps.
  • Zao Web Design owner Justin Sainton has shared how he built the new Pagely.com, launching it with Full Site Editing in just eight weeks ahead of the managed web host's recent acquisition by GoDaddy. Sainton covered some of the difficulties he faced working with FSE and an accelerated timeline: "I'm super optimistic about all of this – Gutenberg, theme.json, FSE β€” about WordPress's future. For all of the pain points – so much of this would have been so much more painful using the classic editor," he writes.
  • 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
  • RacquetPress owner Mary Baum has been named a new WordPress Core Team rep for 2022. Baum has been part of multiple release squads in different roles since 2019 and is also the maintainer of two components, Help/About and Quick/Bulk Edit. Yoast-sponsored core contributor Francesca Marano is stepping down as a Core Team rep while Whodunit CTO Jb Audras will continue in the role until another team rep is found.
  • With this year's State of the Word set to be live-streamed from New York on December 14, 2021, from 5-7pm ET, organizers are looking to restore some "in-person camaraderie" via watch parties for WordPress communities around the world. Automattic-sponsored community manager Hari Shanker has published resources to help communities plan online and in-person watch parties.
  • Threat Analyst Ram Gall says Wordfence has been tracking a huge increase in malicious login attempts against WordPress sites in its network. Since November 17, 2021, the number of attacks targeting login pages has doubled, and more than a quarter of all of attempts being tracked are originating from AWS EC2 instances. Gall recommends using two-factor authentication, where possible, to protect WordPress sites.
  • Are We in WordPress Community Version 3.0? asks Doo the Woo's Bob Dunn, who makes the case for the evolution of the WordPress community alongside the development of the software. Meanwhile, LearnDash founder Justin Ferriman tweets, "The #WordPress industry is growing up from a business perspective, there is a lot more at stake. This is causing many folks (who I know personally) to stay silent on WP matters for fear of making the wrong person upset. We can't have this. We need open dialogue and idea sharing."
  • Some movement in the WordPress news space: Matt Medeiros at The WP Minute tweeted that he's hiring a new Managing Editor to replace Paul Lacey, who recently stepped down from the role and away from WordPress. Medeiros shares more about the role in a ZipMessage video.
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

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