Issue #26
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This week in WordPress

Penguins are fun

"You may have heard I've been not-so-secretly working on a project to make writing in WordPress fun again. You may not have heard that I launched it yesterday. ✨🐧" tweets GoDaddy WordPress Experience Senior Product Manager Rich Tabor.
He links to Introducing the Iceberg WordPress editor. Rich says Iceberg was born out of a desire to "make WordPress look and feel more like my favorite writing applications." WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg has given the project his tick of approval, tweeting: "Introducing the @useiceberg WordPress Editor youtu.be/90I-wIl_mEo from @richard_tabor and @phpbits."

So what's the name "Iceberg" all about? "… I honestly wanted to give a nod towards Guten 'berg'; therefore I landed on Ice 'berg'. I also felt the project should seem more approachable, not particularly tied to WordPress, and not hold a deep emphasis on blocks. Plus, penguins are fun. 🐧" writes Rich.

In other news Gutenberg news, WordPress has announced it's retiring the older WordPress.com editor and transitioning users to the WordPress block editor. Automattic principal designer Dave Martin writes in Say Hello to the WordPress Block Editor that WordPress.com has been offering the block editor as an option to users for the past 18 months. Going by the comments below the post, some users are happy about the change while others want to keep the classic editor.

Five million thanks you

Elementor has reached a big milestone with 5 million active installs. It's a feat that's been achieved by only three other plugin developers β€” Takayuki Miyoshi (Contact Form 7), Yoast, and Automattic.

CMO Ben Pines writes in We Just Reached the Peak of WordPress: 5 Million Active Installs! that the page building plugin reached 4 million active installs just 3 and a half months ago. "Five million thank yous go out to everyone who has been using Elementor over the past four years. From the early adopters to those latest to try it. We're lucky to have one of the strongest communities on WordPress, and on the planet, for that matter." He also shares a couple of interesting stats: Elementor comprises 7% of all WordPress websites and the plugin introduces 30% of its users to WordPress.

"Congrats to our friends at @elemntor who just passed 5 million active installs.​ πŸŽ‰ πŸ’ƒπŸ•Ί" tweets all-in-one WordPress platform WPMU DEV.

Meanwhile, in other page builder news, Elegant Themes has partnered with Pressable, Flywheel and SiteGround to offer Divi Hosting. CEO Nick Roach shares the details in Introducing Divi Hosting! The Best New Hosting Solution For Divi.


The WordPress Themes Review Team is now the Themes Team. Writing for WP Tavern, Justin Tadlock says in WordPress Theme Review Team Changes Name, Now the Themes Team the re-branding was mostly about fixing a naming mistake for a team with multiple responsibilities outside of reviews, and shifting public perception about what the team does.

"We realized that we are doing all these theme-related things β€” work on Twenty Twenty, coding standards, meta stuff, reviews, helping out with full-site editing in any capacity we can, etc. β€” that being just the Theme Review Team just didn't make any sense," Denis Ε½oljom, the team's automation representative, tells WP Tavern.
Meanwhile, Ari Stathopoulos from the Theme Team's has created a plugin designed to reduce your site's carbon footprint. "The web's contribution to global CO2 emissions is HUGE, so this weekend I built a #WordPress plugin to help offset carbon emissions of WP sites using the @getcloverly API: wordpress.org/plugins/carbon-offset/ v1.0 is pretty basic but it'll get better soon πŸ™‚πŸŒ²πŸŒ²πŸŒ² #sustainable" Ari tweets.

In an ideal world

The folks at CampusPress released New Accessibility Tools Now Free For The WordPress Community this week just in time for Global Accessibility Awareness Day yesterday (21 May). The tools include the Accessible Content plugin, which brings real-time education and accessibility checking right inside WordPress, and the accessible and easily customizable Flex theme. Both tools are now available to download for free at GitHub and will soon be submitted to the WordPress.org repository.

CampusPress is a managed WordPress host for the education sector. General manager Ronnie Burt tells WP Tavern in New Accessibility Tools Now Free For The WordPress Community the accessibility tools are designed to help educators create accessible sites.

"In our case, school administrators know they need a β€˜compliant' site, but when you go to read the compliance standards, some are subjective and, at best, really complex. The biggest hurdle that we see is that we are still in a place where accessibility expertise is left up to specialists or tools that are usually brought in after the fact or at the end of a project," Ronnie says. "In an ideal world, we'll get to where the expertise is shared by all developers, content creators, and anyone else working on the site."
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Next generation hosting

Conor Cahill got more than just web hosting after meeting up with Convesio CEO Tom Fanelli for a coffee on day in San Francisco β€” he also got a job.
In Case Study: How One Family Agency Discovered the Next Generation of Hosting, Conor tells writer Lindsay Pietroluongo at WP Lift how he grew up listening to his parents talk about SEO, reputation management, and web development.
Now, he's able to help his dad on a regular basis β€” his father is a Convesio customer, relying on the hosting service to power his agency, Resident Capture.
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In other news...

  • – BuddyPress 6.0.0 Released with New Group and Members Blocks reports Sarah Gooding at WP Tavern, who says "BuddyPress has entered the world of blocks."
  • – WordSesh Americas kicks off soon and, "There is still time to sign up for @WordSesh AMER, happening May 27th. wordsesh.com/checkout/ I'll be talking about contribution, and the full speaker line up has some deep knowledge! #wordsesh," tweets WordPress executive director Josepha Haden.
  • – Props to WHODUNIT agency CTO and WordPress core developer Jb Audras who tweets: "After more than 20 weeks of hard work, I'm happy to announce that Auto-updates for Plugins and Themes feature is now committed into WordPress Core πŸ’₯πŸ™ŒπŸš€ Thanks to everyone involved! β™₯️#WordPress #WP55 #autoupdates." In other news, Justin Tadlock reports PHP and WordPress Version Checks are Coming to Themes for WP Tavern.
  • – Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur Founds Rapidly Growing WordPress Security Plugin is the story of Sagar Patil and his first successful venture into WordPress plugins with SSL Zen, a simple tool to automate SSL certificate issuing. Read it on the Freemius blog.
  • – Not news, but an interesting aside: "I very much applaud @WooCommerce for switching to a monthly release cycle. I truly wish WordPress would switch to a monthly or 6 weeks release cycle. Releases tend to just become far too big if you don't," tweets Yoast founder and CPO Joost de Valk. Three major versions of WordPress are shipping in 2020.
  • – During a recent investigation, the Sucuri team found malicious code that reveals how attackers are performing reconnaissance to identify if sites are actively using WooCommerce in a compromised hosting environment. Malware Researcher Luke Leal explains in WordPress Malware Collects Sensitive WooCommerce Data.
  • – Have an opinion about Gutenberg? Join a discussion about full site editing and the future of the Customizer on 28 May. Alley Interactive principal software developer and WordPress core contributor David Herrera has all the details in his announcement post.
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