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Issue #112
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This week in WordPress

Standing by Ukrainian WordPress folks

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has dominated the headlines in the past 24 hours. From his home in Dnipro, Ihor Vorotnov, a Ukrainian WordPress developer community organizer and Development Team Lead at Awesome Motive, tweeted "Yes, it's happening. Russia just attacked Ukraine."

It's not nameless faces affected by this war — it's people we know in the WordPress community. Like XWP Performance Engineer Sabrina Zeidan, who tweeted that her grandmother, mother, and dog were on the road trying to escape from her home city, Mykolayiv.

WordPress security companies are on high alert, including WordFence. CEO Mark Maunder emailed users this week to share what WordFence is doing to counter cyberattacks against WordPress websites.

Patchstack co-founder and CEO Oliver Slid shared in Post Status Slack that his team has been in touch with cyber security and IT companies who are sharing their resources to help organizations fight DDoS attacks, and helping them keep donation and information channels open under heavier traffic loads.

ICYMI, information security and technology news site Bleeping Computer is reporting that the Ukrainian government and banks were again hit by DDoS attacks this week. "Similarly to UA gov websites, a lot of those NGOs are currently being attacked," Slid adds.

Kyiv-based WordPress contractor Andrey "Rarst" Savchenko has been updating his Twitter followers on what he's experiencing (and hearing) on the ground, including explosions, sirens, and government websites going down.

So how can folks help?

Zeidan has shared details for Come Back Alive, a Kyiv-based nonprofit that is crowdfunding to raise money for Ukraine's armed forces. Savchenko has asked folks to go to the official Twitter account of Ukraine for information, which in turn is asking people to donate to the Ukrainian army.

Multisite post draws criticism, sparks discussion about its development

What else is going on? Well, It's time to deprecate WordPress Multisite, once and for all says Rob Howard in this week's MasterWP newsletter. If his goal was to get people talking about Multisite, mission accomplished.

After five years of publishing MasterWP, founders Alex Denning and Ben Gillbanks recently sold the newsletter to Howard Development and Consulting. Just two weeks in, Howard's post blew up Twitter, with some calling out the post as "clickbait."

"This is a really bad take," tweeted WP Engine Engineering Manager Chris Wiegman, whose tweet drew the bulk of criticism leveled at the post. Ryan McCue, Director of Product at Human Made, building Altis DXP, added, "This is the worst take. In fact, with @altisdxp we went multisite ONLY."

Software engineer Alain Schlesser, a WPCLI maintainer and core contributor, tweeted, "I'd prefer for single-site to be deprecated instead, to not have a random differentiation anymore. Everyone just has a network, but some only have a single site on them. Would simplify everything…" While Aaron Edwards, CTO at Incsub, tweeted, "For sure, I think they are using it for the wrong purpose. We manage 500,000 blogs on Edublogs, try that with vhosts and running code updates!"

Some saw Howard's post as an opportunity to start a constructive discussion about Multisite development. WP Owls co-creator Maciek Palmowski suggested It's time to give WordPress Multisite some love.

Meanwhile, Francesca Marano, Associate Director of Engineering of XWP, tweeted, "A severe case of "The dog ate my homework". But I get it, for people not working in the enterprise space or higher ed, MS is just weird. I'd love to see the opposite: dedication - and not just from the maintainers - to improve it ❤️"

WordPress diversity and the pros and cons of calling out

Also in this week's MasterWP newsletter (and while we're on the topic of calling someone out...) Underrepresented in Tech co-founder Allie Nimmons shares what she learned after recently calling out the lack of diversity in the WordCamp Europe organizing team: The Journey to Better WordPress Diversity.

Nimmons says her tweet led to a "cascading series of events that had both positive and negative outcomes," including WordCamp Community Team organizer Angela Jin starting a discussion on diversity in WordPress that has attracted dozens of responses. Folks have until February 28 to leave a comment, after which Jin will share a summary of key takeaways with the community.

Business Spotlight: Underrepresented in Tech

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Underrepresented in Tech
Underrepresented in Tech was designed and built with the goal of demystifying diversity. Fear of tokenization and awkwardness blocks many leaders from reaching out to diverse individuals. This roadblock prevents amazing people from finding amazing opportunities. We built this tool so that if you want to prioritize diversity, you can.

Rich Tabor releases new block theme

Extendify's Head of Product Rich Tabor has caused a buzz with the launch of his new block theme, Wabi. Designed for writers and publishes, it's the same theme Tabor developed for his own blog.

At WPTavern, resident Gutenberg writer Justin Tadlock gives his tick of approval in Unearthing Hidden Treasures in the Wabi WordPress Block Theme: "The best developers make it look simple, and Rich Tabor's Wabi is dotted with those little tricks that make poring over WordPress block theme code feel exciting again."

In other theme-related news, Anne McCarthy, the Automattic-sponsored program manager for the Full Site Editing (FSE) outreach experiment, has put out a twelfth call for testing. The latest experiment, Hyping Headers, asks volunteers to customize a header using everything from the navigation block to template part focus mode to then reuse this personalized header in a different template.

Meanwhile, Mary Job has joined the Gutenberg Changelog podcast as a new co-host. Job is a WordPress advocate support engineer at Paid Membership Pro and a WordPress community organizer for Nigeria.

Tweet encourages WordPress folks to share their advice for beginners

Not news, but as GoDaddy Pro tweeted, "This thread is jam packed with great advice! #WordPress newbies - dig in and learn! 🧠"

speckyboy writer Eric Karkovack tweeted this week: "My #WordPress friends: What is one piece of advice you'd give a new designer/developer just starting out with the software?"

There were loads of replies but here are a few:

Accessibility advocate Deborah Edwards-Oñoro tweeted, "Get involved with a WordPress meetup group."

Long-time core contributor John James Jacoby, also a software developer at Awesome Motive, tweeted, "Dig in and break everything. Nothing is not undoable."

What a Story CTO Raunak H tweeted "Stay away from people who debate page builder vs gutenberg. Use what works best for you and you enjoy 😊"

And Post Status' David Bisset advised, "Don't be too shy. The #WordPress community is stronger with you then without you."

"This thread is proof of my advice: Learn from and interact with this community. There are amazing people who are happy to share their experiences," summed up Karkovack.

WordFest Live 2022 kicks off next week

The third edition of WordFest Live is on March 4 and feature more than 60 sessions over 24 hours, as well as workshops, socials, and celebrations.

Sarah Gooding has the story at WPTavern: WordFest Live to Host Free 24-Hour Festival of WordPress March 4, 2022.

More than 1,300 people have already signed up for WordFest Live. According to Speaker Lead Michelle Frechette, the organizing team is anticipating 2,500-3,000 registrations, as many online events usually get the bulk of their signups the week before.

The event was created to raise awareness and funds for Big Orange Heart, a non-profit that supports and promotes positive wellbeing and mental health within remote working communities. Big Orange Heart's first WordFest Live event was held in January 2021.

WordFest registration is free and attendees can add an optional $10 donation. 100% of the funds raised for the event go directly to Big Orange Heart.

#WPCommunityFeels: Topher DeRosia

This week, what's inspiring Topher DeRosia, founder of HeroPress, Senior WordPress Architect at
Camber Creative and Community Ambassador for Big Commerce.

Join DeRosia at WordFest Live 2022, where he's overseeing the volunteer team. The 24-hour festival of WordPress will be held on March 4. Tickets are free, with all donations going to Big Orange Heart.
A podcast worth listening to: I don't actually listen to many, but I keep an eye on ALL the WordPress topics at WP Podcasts and then tend to listen to individual episodes that interest me. It’s exciting to have such a breadth of knowledge all in one place.

A concept worth understanding: What happens when you put a URL into your browser and press enter? This can help you understand what various errors mean, who's responsible for fixing it, and when an issue is a serious one or something that just needs a refresh. Once you understand what's going on you have a much stronger sense of agency and not being at the mercy of a magic box that doesn't make sense.

A Twitter account worth following: Camber Creative (@CamberCreative) is a digital agency that works on enterprise (very large) projects. There are two things that make their perspective interesting: one, they work on many projects that aren't related to WordPress at all, so they see how projects and technologies can interact; and two, given that they work on very large projects they tend to do unusual things on the web, which can spark ideas for your own project. Listening to people who've already succeeded at The Hard Stuff can both educate as well as provide information for moving forward. This can provide a feeling of security.

An article worth reading: Related to the above, WordPress has long been considered a blog tool for small sites, but some of the largest websites in the world use it for their publishing platform. There are some unique issues at that scale, and Surprising Reasons Why WordPress is A Great CMS Choice For Enterprise Digital Publishing talks about them. The questions will come about whether WordPress is big enough or strong enough. Knowing that it's been used for very large projects successfully can be reassuring.

A habit worth forming: Staying in contact with people, remembering what's going on in their lives, and being a friend. Quality relationships will improve your life more than just about anything else I can think of.

Earn More Offering Translation Services with Your Website Creation Business

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A promotional image for GoDaddy Pro's Earn More with Your Website Creation Business virtual meet up featuring a photo of Thibaud Guérin.
In the past month, our GoDaddy Pro events have been exploring some additional ways that web Pros—agencies and freelancers—can increase revenue (and avoid disasters) by offering additional services like maintenance plans for security, content, SEO, and others. One often-overlooked service offering, though, is website translation! In this session, presented by our friends at Weglot, you'll see how you can add this to your arsenal of web services without putting a huge burden on your business or your clients!

Join us to discover that it is not as complicated as you might think for your agency or your freelance business to offer multilingual website services—even if you don't speak several languages! Thibaud Guérin, Agencies & Freelancers Partnerships Manager at Weglot, will share several factors that you need to consider, including:
  • The value proposition of a multilingual solution
  • The ability to offer an additional service to your clients and customers
  • How to sell and integrate translation services from your business
This free virtual meetup is presented by GoDaddy Pro and will take place on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 3pm EST.

Read more: Earn More Offering Translation Services with Your Website Creation Business.
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In other WordPress news...

  • WordPress 5.9.1 is now available. This maintenance release features 82 bug fixes in both WordPress core and the block editor.
  • The WordPress Training Team is looking to formalize its dedicated volunteer team dubbed the "Faculty Program." Automattic-sponsored training contributor Hugh Lashbrooke, who recently published a structure proposal for the program, says once launched, it will allow the team to get more work done as volunteer content creators, editors, subject matter experts, and administrators become involved.
  • Post Status is hosting a live Twitter Spaces event on February 25 at 3pm UTC that will focus on the state of WordPress admin notifications. The event will cover solutions like WP Notify and what it will take to get that official project moving.
  • WordPress powers 36% of charity websites in the United Kingdom, according to data published by freelance data scientist and researcher David Kane. Drupal was the second most popular content management system at 9%. While WordPress is more commonly used by smaller charities, Drupal is more popular with larger ones.
  • WooCommerce has launched a new developer survey. Automattic Developer Advocate Stephanie Pi and Leif Singer, Head of Developer Advocacy at WooCommerce, say they want to better understand the needs of developers using the platform.
  • This year's Global Community Sponsors have been announced: Jetpack, WooCommerce, Bluehost, Nexcess, Weglot, and Companies that sponsor WordPress community events support the project by helping volunteer-organized, local events provide free or low-cost access for attendees.
  • Web host Convesio has partnered with Object Cache pro to increase performance for both its Business and Enterprise WordPress and WooCommerce customers. The news comes after Convesio recently secured $5 million in new investment capital. At Post Status, Do the Woo's Bob Dunn says Object Cache Pro is the work of Till Krüss who partnered with Cloudways in a similar fashion in late 2021. "Till's work with hosting partners is an innovative and exciting business model that seems to align the interests of devs, hosts, and their customer bases for mutual benefit," he says in New Ways to Win Together.
  • Piklist, a development framework that helped people build things faster with WordPress, is shutting down, reports Sarah Gooding at WPTavern. Piklist's creators recently announced the plugin will no longer be updated at, and the website, support forum, and documentation have been archived on Github pages. With competing obligations, they were never able to properly monetize the framework.
  • Mark Root-Wiley, who designs and builds websites for nonprofits, has published an in-depth proposal around standardized design tokens and CSS for WordPress, reports Justin Tadlock at WPTavern. The goal is to create a consistent, customizable, and interoperable system around the design tools in WordPress core. Essentially, the proposal is for a standardized design framework or, as Root-Wiley refers to it, a shared CSS toolkit that WordPress, themes, and plugins can rely on.
  • Big Bite's latest whitepaper, WordPress in the newsroom: Scaling up editorial production, details how the enterprise agency works with news organizations like News UK and The Wall Street Journal to streamline publishing workflows using Gutenberg. According to the whitepaper, News UK reported a 30% reduction in the number of clicks to publish an article and a 60% improvement in time to publish, freeing up journalists to focus on producing high-quality content.
  • TrustedLogin has acquired and is now maintaining the Remove Dashboard Access and Support Me plugins. The popular plugins, created by software engineer Drew Jayne, are installed on over 50,000 WordPress websites. TrustedLogin founder Zach Katz says the plugins will remain free.
  • Long-time WooCommerce developer Meher Bala shares her experiences with the platform and the WooCommerce community on the Do the Woo podcast. Bala also shares advice for other developers thinking about getting started with WooCommerce: start small, build slowly, and don't wait for everything to be perfect before you launch your store.
  • Strattic has acquired popular WordPress-to-Static plugin WP2Static. Creator Leon Stafford joined Strattic nine months ago and will continue to maintain WP2Static and its add-ons.
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