Issue #60
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This week in WordPress

Core contributors focus on WordPress 5.7

It's been a relatively quiet week in WordPress as core contributors focus on the WordPress 5.7 release. It's anticipated to ship on 9 March — just five weeks away.

WordPress 5.7 Beta 1 is ready for testing. Highlights include lazy-load iframes, streamlined migration from HTTP to HTTPS (WPTavern's Sarah Gooding has more: WordPress 5.7 Will Make It Easier to Migrate From HTTP to HTTPS), a new Robots API, the ongoing cleanup after the update to jQuery 3.5.1, and a CSS custom properties system that will make it easier to add custom color schemes to wp-admin. On that last feature, Justin Tadlock at WPTavern says it could "create ripples that spread and benefit the ecosystem in the years to come."

Know Your Code's Tonya Mork tweets, "WordPress 5.7 will make it easier to migrate from http to https. How? - One click to switch to https - Mixed content is automatically migrated on-the-fly." "Aaaaand... there goes another managed hosting selling point 😊 Good thing though," replies Caspar Hübinger, a WordPress developer and marketer.

What will an FSE MVP look like?

Talk this week has focused on full site editing (FSE) and what a minimum viable product (MVP) will look like, given there's not much time before its planned launch with WordPress 5.8 in June.

After Josepha Haden Chomphosy published her Big Picture Goals for 2021, contributors, including Yoast CPO and founder Joost de Valk and Human Made Principal Engineer Fränk Klein, zeroed in on the fact her high-level overview lacked specifics.

Josepha published a follow-up post this week explaining the milestones, challenges, and timeline for FSE: "April 2021 for a prototype #Gutenberg plugin is aggressive, but very attainable." Justin Tadlock unpacks her post for WPTavern in FSE and WordPress Themes: What Does the MVP Look Like?, breaking down the milestones that need to reach completion before the first version of FSE lands in WordPress.

Developers aren't exactly thrilled FSE is being fast-tracked into core. "Unpopular opinion: Full-site Editing (FSE) in WordPress without a lot of future foresight is doomed to fail," tweets plugin and development and consulting company MediaRonLLC, while web developer Aurooba Ahmed tweets, "The fact that Full Site Editing is being released in #WordPress 5.8 means that the folks in charge of that decision super don't care about theme developers. Deeply disappointed by this decision."

Some are optimistic. WordPress wrangler Susan Hayse adds, "I watched the Gutenberg Times FSE webinar today and it was really reassuring. If a theme or site builder isn't set up for FSE, it will still work just as it has. FSE will be lockable so site owners don't mess up work that developers have done."

Meanwhile, Penske Media Senior Director of Editorial Technology and WordPress core committer Aaron Jorbin reminds everyone FSE "will have had over 3.5 years of public discussion and development by the time 5.8 rolls around."

In other news, Anne McCarthy, a developer relations wrangler at Automattic and program manager for the FSE outreach experiment has put a call out for questions about FSE.

Will FSE save free themes and the WordPress.org theme repository?

Speaking of FSE and themes, is it the beginning or the end of the free themes era? WPTavern's Justin Tadlock explores upsells, barriers, and the quality of free themes in a wide-ranging post about the lack of creativity/experimentation in the WordPress.org theme repository, the lack of financial incentive for theme authors, and the coming age of block-based themes.

If you're a theme developer or just generally invested in WordPress, it's worth reading the full post and comments.

Themes Team rep Ari Stathopoulos tells WPTavern he's pinning his hopes on FSE themes. "They are very different, and it's a fresh start for the repository. New theme paradigm, a different set of rules (with of course some overlap for basic things), and a new way of doing things and thinking about themes." But, he says, if the way themes are presented in the repository doesn't change, "nothing will change."

Meanwhile, Fränk Klein from Human Made offers his take: "This is not 2007, and theme creators are no longer hobbyists working on our weekend side projects. Design, development, support, marketing—if you want to make money with themes you need to master all of these. Nobody will do that if they aren't getting rewarded for their knowledge and their work."

WordPress Executive Director launches new podcast

Back to what Joseph Haden Chomphosy has been up to this week… She has launched WP Briefing, a new podcast aimed at WordPress users, builders, and contributors of all levels. It's available on all major podcast platforms and will include overviews of WordPress philosophy, community success stories, and major updates.

True to its name, the first episode lasts just 12 minutes, notes WPTavern's Sarah Gooding in WordPress Launches WP Briefing Podcast, Episodes Expected Every 2 Weeks.

Josepha has fans at XWP. "I think @JosephaHaden did a great job! The format is easy to digest and listen to. Looking forward to more. Having the transcript is also really handy," tweets XWP software architect/engineer Rheinard Korf. Reed Hartman, the web engineering company's Marketing Communications Manager, adds, "Definitely. I feel like these sorts of podcasts tend to be hour-long deep dives. I think having it in this short form will make it a lot more accessible, which is part of the goal of the show."

Announcing the new GoDaddy Pro

We're stoked about launching the new GoDaddy Pro, an experience totally tailored to the unique needs of website designers and developers. At its heart is the Hub, a platform designed to be the ultimate tool for website and project management. The Hub gives you access to every client and their website from a single dashboard.
It includes features like bulk WordPress updates, client shopping carts, and uptime monitoring. It's purpose-built to reduce the amount of time required for routine tasks. In fact, people who use the Hub report saving, on average, three hours each month for every site they're maintaining for clients.

If you're curious to see real-world proof of GoDaddy Pro and the Hub helping other web designers and developers, you can read about their experiences in stories we regularly publish about them.

We built GoDaddy Pro based on insights from real people, and we're going to continue doing that. You can catch up with us online a bunch of different ways:
This new experience is meant to be more intuitive and seamless, but we have so much more coming and are committed to bringing the vision to life. (You should seriously check it out.) Sign up for free.
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In other WordPress news...

  • WordPress is the content management system (CMS) of choice for 40.8% of the higher education market, according to a new report from website quality assurance company eQAfy. Sarah Gooding at WPTavern says WordPress' estimated market share for public institutions comes in at 27% and is much higher in the private for-profit institutions category at 55%.
  • WordCamp India continues this weekend with contributor days on February 6 and 7 ahead of speaker sessions on February 13 and 14. Tickets are still available. After last weekend's successful workshops, WordCamp India tweets: "This event would not be possible, had it not been for the support and inputs of our organizing and volunteer team! ♥️ These two days are the results of hard work that dates back to mid-2020, and we're glad to see that this is a reality today! ✨." If you're wondering why the WordCamp is happening over three weekends (there were workshops last week), you can read more in the format explainer.
  • WordPress 5.6.1 is now available. This maintenance release features 20 bug fixes as well as seven issues fixed for the block editor.
  • GoDaddy just launched the new GoDaddy Pro, an experience tailored to the unique needs of website designers and developers. At its heart is the Hub, a platform designed to be the ultimate tool for website and project management. People who use the Hub report saving, on average, three hours each month for every site they're maintaining for clients. If you're ready to start getting back that kind of time, sign up for free.
  • The WordPress Foundation is inviting applications for online do_action events, including hackathons and open source workshops in 2021. Hari Shanker, a WordPress Community Manager sponsored by Automattic, says do_action events were moved online in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, which helped make a positive impact on local and regional communities during an exceptionally difficult year.
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