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Issue #114
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This week in WordPress


We have a lot to get into today, but first, this tweet on International Women's Day from Ayodele Ifeoluwa Aransiola, a Technical Support Specialist at Leom Technologies Limited: "What I have, have I given unto you. Na WordPress I sabi, therefore, for the #IWD celebration, I will teach 5 women(ladies) website development using #Wordpress." ❤️

This year's theme was #BreakTheBias. In response, enterprise agency XWP shared what breaking the bias means to some of their team members. Allie Nimmons also tweeted some links and resources to support women in WordPress.

"#IWD2022 is about more than festivities and celebrations. It's a time to learn and reflect, to think about how we can foster true #diversity and act as an ally and advocate for our female-identifying peers," tweeted XWP.

Performance Lab plugin offers first look at what WordPress Performance Team is working on

The WordPress Performance Team has released Performance Lab, a plugin that includes performance-related modules the team is developing for WordPress core. As Sarah Gooding reports at WPTavern, the team has released the plugin so users can help test improvements in progress.

The beta release includes four modules in varying states of development: WebP Uploads, WebP Support, Persistent Object Cache Health Check, and Audit Enqueued Assets (experimental).

"This first public release focuses on image optimization and bringing attention to suboptimal caching setup and excessive script use," says Simon Champion, Lead Client Strategist at 10up. The enterprise agency has contributed six people to the Performance team.

Jono Alderson, who manages special projects at Yoast, adds, "VERY excited to share that WordPress now has an official 'Performance Lab' plugin. Get early access to (and beta test!) all the new and cutting edge features that the performance team are working on. VERY cool stuff."

Also this: "OMG I love to see the plugin is already fully translated in several locales! The Polyglots team is on 🔥😍" tweets WordPress core committer Felix Arntz.

The Performance team formed just five months ago and is led by Yoast and Google-sponsored core contributors. More than 250 people have joined the team's Slack channel, with many participating regularly in weekly chats.

For more: Arntz and Thierry Muller—both Google engineers on the Performance team—joined David Bisset on the Post Status Excerpt podcast to talk about what they are working on and why, backward compatibility, and how the performance of other content management systems compares to WordPress. announces new marketplace "vision"

This week, announced The Future of Plugin, Themes, and Services Purchases on its platform. According to Automattic Managing Editor Donna Cavalier, will soon offer "instant purchases of plugins, themes, and even services – all from right within your dashboard."

At WPTavern, Sarah Gooding reports Automattic will be partnering with third-party developers to bring these commercial offerings to its customers but will prioritize those who contribute to Five for the Future (5ftF), noting: "… may limit the pool to companies who can afford to put time back into the open-source WordPress project. This could put smaller companies or new developers in the space at a disadvantage."

In Post Status Slack, Global Community Team Deputy Timi Wahalahti said, "😬😔 that puts also a lot of stress to moderate 5ftf, as I'd assume many wanting be in the store and thus signing up as 'contributor' in 5ftf," adding, "just recently I did go thru all the 5ftf pledges and there were so many fake ones."

While the announcement is good news for users, Gooding says "the devil is always in the details" with questions around profit split and what may be a rigorous assessment process yet to be answered.

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.


WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg joined the WP Briefing podcast this week for a special episode that—depending on your interpretation—could be described as a call to arms for the WordPress community.

"To me, the WordPress project is the epitome of goodness—everyone has a voice, a platform, and a community. You have the power to make your corner of the world, and the web, a sanctuary for those who need it—especially now," Mullenweg said on the podcast.

While he doesn't suggest any particular actions other than to "be present as the ramifications unfold," many WordPress businesses and individuals are already doing what they can to support Ukrainians, as Sarah Gooding recently covered in How the WordPress Community Is Supporting Ukraine's Resistance Against Russian Invasion at WPTavern.

Meanwhile, Should the WordPress community quit Russia? asks MasterWP Editor Rob Howard. He considers the pros and cons of WordPress participating in a tech blackout.

Work continues on WordPress 6.0 and Gutenberg project

WordPress core committer Jonny Harris has merged a patch into WordPress core for a 12-year-old ticket he says has the potential to bring "a massive effect on performance for custom pages," reports WPTavern's Sarah Gooding in WordPress 6.0 to Introduce Performance Improvements for Custom Pages. The change, which will be included in the upcoming WordPress 6.0 release, stops unnecessary queries when developers are using the do_parse_request filter, thanks to a refreshed patch from contributor Paul Bearne.

Also: Should WordPress 6.0 Remove the "Beta" Label From the Site Editor? That article from Justin Tadlock at WPTavern.

Meanwhile, in the latest edition of Gutenberg Times Weekend, curator Birgit Pauli-Haack shares social learning events during March for folks interested in participating and keeping up with the latest developments in Gutenberg.

New virtual Museum of Block Art

"🖼️ The Museum of Block Art—a project led by Anne McCarthy. Where #art and #WordPress meet. This is sooo cool! 😍" tweets WPMarmite, linking to the new Museum of Block Art (MOBA).

This week, Automattic-sponsored contributor Anne McCarthy announced the pop-up, virtual block art museum, on the Gutenberg Times blog. As Sarah Gooding at WPTavern explains, the site features 22 block art creations by 11 community members. The site's goal is to showcase creative uses of blocks and inspire the WordPress community to push the limits of what's possible with the block editor.

Designer and WP Engine Principal Developer Advocate, Brian Gardner, who contributed to the project, tweeted, "Want proof that you can 💛 #WordPress AND be an artist? Check out the Museum of Block Art—a project led by Anne McCarthy."

Jonathan Bossenger: "WordPress Multisite doesn't need to die – it needs to thrive"

Remember Editor Rob Howard's take last month in the MasterWP newsletter that it's time to deprecate WordPress Multisite, once and for all?

"So a few weeks ago we got A LOT of hate. A LOT of piling on, and a lot of different opinions on a previous article on WordPress multisite," tweeted MasterWP's Editorial Director Nyasha Green. "So we reached out to get other opinions and views on the subject! I am happy to share the wonderful Jonathan Bossenger did a rebuttal."

Bossenger's take? Multisite Is Dead, Long Live Multisite. He writes, "WordPress Multisite doesn't need to die – it needs to thrive. It's a valuable part of the ecosystem that could use some more love and attention." Which basically sums up the opposing view of those who took issue with Howard's post. ("Next Post: How to destroy a Successful Newsletter after acquisition," was creativeG owner Basilis Kanonidis' burn at the time.)

Bossenger, who's a Delicious Brains-sponsored core contributor and recently led technical writing for the WordPress 5.9 release, also tweeted, "I would also like to add my rebuttal was not edited by the folks at MasterWP. It's worthwhile to have these conversations, with differing opinions."

29% of plugins with vulnerabilities not patched, according to Patchstack report

Security company Patchstack has released its State of WordPress Security report for 2021 and the results aren't good.

Or as TechRadar journalist Sead Fadilpašić put it in Many critical WordPress security flaws never get patched, "Plugins for WordPress, or more specifically - free WordPress plugins, are a real primordial soup of flaws and vulnerabilities, many of which allow threat actors to completely take over the target website, and many of which - never get patched."

Sarah Gooding is covering the story for WPTavern, Patchstack Whitepaper: WordPress Ecosystem Records 150% Increase in Security Vulnerabilities in 2021. Other highlights: 29% of plugins with critical vulnerabilities were not patched and 42% of WordPress sites ran at least one vulnerable component.

Former cybersecurity news reporter Catalin Cimpanu tweeted, "One of the major observations is on the growing number of vulnerabilities discovered in themes, rather than plugins."

#WPCommunityFeels: Nate Finch

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This week, what's inspiring Nate Finch, Senior WP Engineer at Strattic.
A podcast worth listening to: Throughline from NPR is really good. Hosts Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei go back in time to understand the present, examining current events, resurfacing past events, and drawing (you guessed it!) lines connecting the dots. The episodes are insightful, informative, and leave me with a deeper understanding of what’s going on in the world today. It gets my history nerd-self going.

A concept worth understanding: Currently, I’m trying to drink from the “firehose of understanding” when it comes to cloud services, specifically serverless functions and services. In my day to day at Strattic, I’m building serverless integrations for WordPress so I’m constantly curious about how serverless functions and services can relate to and be used by WordPress. As WordPress moves more in the Jamstack, static, headless, decoupled, and serverless space, creating “native WordPress experiences” in those realms for users will be continually important to understand and develop. My talk at WordFest actually covered a bit of how to think about all this.

A Twitter account worth following: I’d say #WPTalks on Twitter Spaces. Daniel Schutzsmith and others do a great job getting conversations going in the moment with super relevant topics and candid, honest conversation. I love hearing what people think, and love hearing their stories and experiences even more, especially when they have the space to audibly talk about it.

An article worth reading: I love to cook and recently found this article/video combo, How To Improvise In The Kitchen, from Samin Nosrat. While there are a lot of articles about how to approach or think about cooking (I wrote one here), I think having the freedom to think about what you want to cook and being happy and satisfied after a meal (especially cooked for others) is one of my greatest joys.

A habit worth forming: For me, these two go hand-in-hand: time tracking and a weekly list of things I worked on. I started this habit when I was a freelancer so that I would know how long it actually took me to complete a task or project, and could better estimate and set my rates. For this, I'll always recommend Toggl. Writing down what I did on a weekly "GSD" board (here's a basic template I've made, slightly modified from Notion). Everyday, I write down what I did, and sometimes how long it took. On my Notion, at least, I have these going back weekly to March 2020. Wow, I'm a nerd.

Call for WordPress Testing: Hyping Headers

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On a yellow background, there's a photo of a woman wearing a purple top and some text about GoDaddy Pro's WordPress testing event on March 14, 2022.
WordPress is continuously being improved by teams of contributors, but everyone can help push the project forward by testing features and providing feedback. In the past, GoDaddy Pro has held public testing calls for various features—the last one for using media within full site editing.

On March 14, we continue testing in public (with your feedback*) by hosting a call for testing around full site editing and creating headers. Using the latest version of WordPress and the Twenty Twenty-Two theme, we'll customize a header using a navigation block, template parts, and custom templates. We'll explore how patterns are integrated into the experience and improved UX for the navigation block.

This free virtual event is presented by GoDaddy Pro and will take place on Monday, March 14, 2022 at 3pm EST.

Read more and register here: WordPress Testing Call #12: Hyping Headers Working Session.

*This event will be recorded for development feedback purposes only and will not be available for replay.
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In other WordPress news...

  • Cory Miller talks to clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Walling about burnout on the Post Status Live podcast. Dr. Walling says burnout is a real disorder you can think of as a repetitive strain injury of the mind. She explains what occupational burnout is, what the symptoms are, and how to address it. The episode comes after Miller recently stepped aside as Post Status CEO to recover from burnout. (Editor: Required watching for anyone burning the candles at both ends.)
  • Voting for Torque's Plugin Madness 2022 is now open. Now in its seventh year, the bracket-style competition pits the best plugins from around the WordPress ecosystem against each other over several weekly rounds, with the final plugin named the champion. Torque Editor Emily Schiola says of the 300 plugins nominated, 64 have been shortlisted into four voting categories: optimization, maintenance, ecommerce, and marketing.
  • BlackPress co-founders Destiny Kanno and Joe Simpson talk about why they started the community on the latest episode of the WPTavern Jukebox podcast. The goal of BlackPress is to bring more creators of Black African descent into the WordPress community, and also provide a community space for those already part of it to connect, learn from, and support each other.
  • Thinking about getting started as a WordPress contributor? WordPress writer and educator Allie Nimmons has put together a first-time contributors guide to WordPress, which offers tips on finding the right team and ensuring your experience is a smooth one.
  • WPExperts has acquired the Password Protected plugin from developer Ben Huson, who has authored nearly 20 plugins on, reports Sarah Gooding at WPTavern. Password Protected was by far his most popular one with more than 300,000 active installs. The acquisition follows the company's recent purchase of the Post SMTP plugin, another product with more than 300k active installs.
  • The WordPress Core Team has proposed starting a blog on to share news and updates relevant to developers. Automattic Developer Advocate Birgit Pauli-Haack says staying on top of the new features coming to the WordPress project is one of the main barriers expressed by developers.
  • Equalize Digital founder and CEO Amber Hinds talks about her role as a contributor to the WP Minute on the show's latest podcast. Topics covered include what is real WordPress journalism? How can business owners contribute without burning bridges? And how does this get funded?
  • Jonathan Bossenger, who is trying to revive the WP Notify feature project has shared his thoughts on what a better notification system for WordPress could actually look like. To help give folks a feel for what's being worked on, he shares some of the project designs that have been proposed.
  • The #WPDiversity working group, which is part of the WordPress Community Team, hosted an open Zoom meeting with volunteers on February 23. Interested in contributing? Read the recap of the meeting and team lead Jill Binder's slides to view available roles.
  • WebDevStudios is celebrating the Custom Post Type UI plugin's 12th birthday. CEO Brad Williams released the plugin in February 2010 and it now has over 1 million active installations and has been downloaded over 10 million times.
  • Ben Townsend at LayerWP is experimenting with a million-dollar WordPress page. He shares his progress so far and the tools he's using, along with advertisers who have joined the project and his analytics data.
  • Developer Tetsuaki Hamano has released a Piano Block plugin that allows users to insert a piano-based interface into the WordPress editor for playing music. Mostly, it is just a lot of fun, says Justin Tadlock at WPTavern.
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