Issue #33
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This week in WordPress

Google launches Web Stories for WordPress

We'll kick off this week with news that Google has launched its beta of an AMP-powered web stories plugin for WordPress. WP Tavern's Justin Tadlock explains the plugin is "… essentially a custom editor for creating AMP-powered stories within WordPress."

The beta plugin is available to download from the Web Stories for WordPress site with the proviso that it's "… not quite ready for prime time yet, but if you like to live dangerously, we invite you to try our first public beta." Developers who want to contribute or take a look under the hood can check out the GitHub repository.
Roger Montti at Search Engine Journal reports in Google Web Stories WordPress Plugin for More Traffic that Web Stories is a new form of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Basically, content that's meant to be consumed in small chunks.
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"Have to say I love the new Google Web Stories for WordPress by @pbakaus and team! Google Web Stories are new insta-like stories you can create/design for your website/blog," tweets Google community manager Saad Hamid. If you don't want to take his word for it, WP Buffs community manager Allie Nimmons tweets, "Ok wait, despite my mingling fear/hatred of Google, this new Google-built WordPress plugin looks extremely cool."

For a more detailed look at how the plugin works… "In our final #BigWP EMEA talk for the day, Paul Bakaus (@pbakaus) leads AMP and Web Creator Relations at Google. Paul is giving us a detailed look at some new features in AMP's Web Stories editor for WordPress," tweets WordPress VIP. Read the full thread for more.

Delicious Brains developers launch WordPress news sharing service

"R.I.P ⚰️ ManageWP.org; Welcome WP Content! wpcontent.io," tweets Freemius founder and CEO Vova Feldman. There's more at WP Tavern in Goodbye, ManageWP.org; Hello, WP Content, where Justin Tadlock reports that Delicious Brains developers Iain Poulson and Ashley Rich launched the new community-curated, news-sharing site this week after ManageWP.org recently shut down.

WP Content is simple to use and works similarly to other sharing sites like Reddit. Users can sign up to share links or update other articles.
"As managewp.org has shut down, we want WP Content to be the place where the WordPress community can submit news & articles," tweets Iain. "Thank you for doing this. We're excited to bombard you with our content 😄" replies WordPress development agency WebDevStudios.

Gutenberg 8.5 released ahead of inclusion in WordPress 5.5

"Gutenberg 8.5 has been released. This is the last plugin release that is going to be included entirely (without experimental features) in WordPress 5.5," writes Automattic developer and core contributor Riad Benguella in What's new in Gutenberg (8 july).

At WP Tavern, Justin Tadlock dives in with Gutenberg 8.5 Adds Single Gallery Image Editing, Allows Image Uploads From External Sources, and Improves Drag and Drop. He says "… this update does not include any groundbreaking features, but it does offer several enhancements and polishes the product." WordPress 5.5 is expected to ship on 11 August.

WordPress company wins €1 million for blockchain plugin

WordProof Wins €1 Million Grant to Advance Blockchain Timestamping Concept, writes Sarah Gooding at WP Tavern. The company behind the WordProof Timestamp plugin won the "Quality Content" division of the European Commission's Blockchains for Social Good competition. The plugin proves authenticity and makes information verifiable, ultimately leading to more trust in internet content.

Founder Sebastiaan van der Lans tells WP Tavern the company plans to use the funds to extend the plugin to work with WooCommerce. He also wants to work with major publishers and WooCommerce shops to integrate timestamping solutions. The company started working with SEO company Yoast two months ago on deeply integrating with Schema.org to provide structured data for SEO.

In the coming weeks, the company will announce a "significant investment from the WordPress space." In the meantime, Sebastiaan joined Torque Social Hour this week to talk about how the blockchain can help create authenticity and trust in WordPress news articles.

WordPress 5.5 stats breakdown

"For those interested, I put together some props stats from #WordPress svn repository for 5.5 beta 1 🤓 I tried to match that with WP public profiles and to get some geocoded data,” tweets WHODUNIT CTO and WordPress Core Team rep Jb Audras. Jb's stats include country ranking sorted by the total number of contributors, country ranking sorted by the total number of contributions, and companies that contributed to WordPress 5.5.

Updating themes and plugins via ZIP file now possible — after 11 years

After 11 Years, Users Will Be Able to Update Themes and Plugins via a ZIP File repost Justin Tadlock at WP Tavern, adding, "After over a decade, most people who had hoped to see this day have likely moved on... Despite less of a need for this feature in 2020 than in 2009, I can still use it. Judging by the download numbers of existing plugins, a couple hundred thousand others can too."

"It only took 11 (!) years since the ticket was opened, but WordPress 5.5 will finally allow plugin and theme updates from an uploaded zip file! 🎉🥳" tweets Pascal Birchler, Developer Program Engineer at Google and WordPress core committer.

"That'll bring down testing time so much. Awesome work," tweets Yoast founder and CPO Joost de Valk, while Post Status' Brian Krogsgard tweets, "This is the kind of stuff that really depresses me about WordPress." "I had to wait 8 years to get an action hook in the menu area. So yeah, I agree too," adds WooCommerce developer Kathy Darling.
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In other news...

  • WordPress 5.5 Beta 1 is now available for testing. The final release is due out on 11 August — just five weeks away.
  • WPBeginner Turns 11 Years Old. Founder Syed Balkhi reflects on WPBeginner's story, recaps what's been happening at his company Awesome Motive, and is giving away an Ultimate Website Toolkit — in addition to donating to several charities.
  • Elegant Themes has launched Divi Presets, a new way to build websites with their page builder Divi. In Divi Presets Are A Divi Design Revolution!, founder Nick Roach writes, "This is a huge change to the Divi design system and one of the most important Divi features we have released in years."
  • – "Thank you for helping iThemes Security reach the milestone of 1 million WordPress websites!" writes iThemes support specialist Michael Moore in iThemes Security Reaches a Huge Milestone + More News. He also shares that the free version of the iThemes Security plugin will soon include the new iThemes Site Security Site Scan, and the company will be removing racially insensitive terms like "whitelist" and "blacklist" from its products.
  • – Security company Sucuri has released its Vulnerabilities Digest: June 2020. Highlights include: Cross site scripting is still the most common vulnerability in WordPress plugins, and massive local file inclusion (LFI) attempts have been discovered attempting to harvest WordPress credentials, and attackers continue to target old plugins with known vulnerabilities in an ongoing malware campaign targeting WordPress websites.
  • New Block-based Navigation and Widgets Screens Sidelined for WordPress 5.5, reports WP Tavern's Sarah Gooding. The projects have been pushed back to WordPress 5.6. While they're not yet ready for merging with core, they are currently available in the Gutenberg plugin experiments screen.
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