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Issue #84
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

This week in WordPress

WordPress 5.8 "Tatum" brings first taste of Full Site Editing to core

WordPress 5.8 "Tatum" shipped this week and it's about as noteworthy as WordPress releases come. For the first time, an MVP of Full Site Editing is now part of core. During the 21-week development cycle, the release team closed 320 Trac tickets and over 1,500 GitHub pull requests.
Announcing WordPress 5.8 Tatum, WordPress co-founder and release lead Matt Mullenweg broke it down into "three essential powerhouses" (Block-Based Widgets Editor, the Query Loop Block, and editing templates around posts), "three workflow helpers" (List View, Pattern Transformations Tool, and Duotones), and features for developers to explore (Theme.json, dropping support for IE11, adding support for WebP, and additional block supports).

Mullenweg says WordPress 5.8 honors jazz pianist Art Tatum, whose "formidable technique and willingness to push boundaries inspired musicians and changed what people thought could be done." Is Mullenweg hinting at his own vision for WordPress and willingness to push boundaries, despite the initial opposition to Gutenberg? Maybe.

But back to what's in this release. At WPTavern, resident Gutenberg reporter Justin Tadlock says WordPress 5.8 "also ships tons of other notable features" such as support for new emoji and an update URI field. For Yoast, Content Manager Camille Cunningham says the release Paves the way to Full Site Editing.

In Top 20 Features & Improvements, iThemes' Kristen Wright says WordPress 5.8 brings "a hint of even more goodies coming in WordPress 5.9," while Pagely's Jeff Matson says "there's some awesome quality of life improvements" for developers in his Technical First Impressions.

WPBeginner has published its usual guide to the latest release, What's New in WordPress 5.8. Wordfence tweets WordPress 5.8 will "… make your site faster, easier to manage, improve search ranking, provide better user experience and do your laundry," linking to How To Get The Most Out of the New Features.

All up, 530 volunteers contributed to WordPress 5.8, including web developer and first-time contributor Femy Praseeth. She tweets, "So stoked to be chosen as one of the Noteworthy Contributors for the WordPress 5.8 release. Thanks to @DjevaLoperka for helping me get started and guiding me throughout." On the flip side, Spacedmonkey founder Jonny Harris, a long-time core contributor, tweets, "I am super proud to be featured on WordPress 5.8's about page as a Noteworthy Contributor. I worked really hard on this release, landing WEBP support, block based widgets and many other smaller fixes. Proud to have my face on over 40% of the internet :)"

Gutenberg 11.1 introduces block border editing & drag and drop support for List View

"I'm….starting to like….Gutenberg? 🤷‍♂️"

Web developer Stephen Ainsworth isn't the only one who's come around. "New site design is queued up and ready to launch (after I do the WordPress 5.8 update). I haven't been this excited about re-launching my own site in years!" tweets software engineer Chris Wiegman.

And in a tweet that may have made 2017 Matt Mullenweg's heart happy, Ben from LayerWP shares, "Anybody else all in with the Block Editor? I don't think I can use page builders anymore, Gutenberg is getting better and better."

Speaking of getting better, Gutenberg 11.1 was released this week. According to Automattic-sponsored core contributor Kerry Liu, it introduces the ability to edit a block border easily, enables drag and drop support for the List View component, and includes bug fixes centered around the Widgets Editor and Block Library.

On the Make WordPress Core blog, Héctor Prieto, the technical project manager for the Gutenberg project, reminds users it's "a collection of projects that allow site editing with blocks." He shares the current status of the Gutenberg project's milestones and an updated scope for Full Site Editing.

Pattern Directory now live

"Patterns in WordPress is a Big Ol' Deal," tweets WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy, linking to Kelly Choyce-Dwan's announcement, The WordPress Pattern Directory is live.
The directory features 72 patterns created by designers who collaborated for the launch. Choyce-Dwan's, an Automattic-sponsored core contributor, says the team working on the Pattern Directory has reached its first goal, launching with a fixed set of curated patterns. Work is now starting on enabling patterns to be submitted by anyone.
"So happy to be part of this ❤❤," tweets Anariel Design co-founder Ana Segota.

Justin Tadlock at WPTavern says the directory will work similarly to the theme and plugin directories in time. With WordPress 5.8, users can now browse and use block patterns directly from the post editor.

BuddyPress 9.0 "Mico" transforms legacy widgets into blocks

BuddyPress 9.0 was released a day before WordPress 5.8, reports Sarah Gooding for WPTavern. The short release cycle was "laser focused" on getting all of the BuddyPress component widgets ready to be used as blocks to ensure they worked with WordPress 5.8's new block widgets experience. BuddyPress 9.0 introduces 10 new BuddyPress blocks to be used in place of the legacy widgets.

"Nice post from @jeffr0 about #BuddyPress 9.0.0 😍" tweets BuddyPress lead developer and plugin developer Mathieu Viet, linking to Jeff Chandler's coverage, BuddyPress 9.0.0 Released – Begins the Transition From Widgets to Blocks at WP Mainline.

Jeff Chandler launches another news and community site

That's right, Jeff Chandler, who created WordPress news site WP Tavern and sold it to Matt Mullenweg in 2011, is back with a new project, WP Mainline.

While WP Tavern offers a journalistic take on what's happening in WordPress, WP Mainline promises a laidback approach to news, commentary, and community. Chandler describes the site as "a place where people can gather to build each other up instead of tearing each other down."

Chandler has also launched the WP Mainline podcast with co-host and PressTitan co-founder Malcolm Peralty. In the latest episode, Chandler talks about what he's been up to the past year and his plans for WP Mainline.

Chandler left WP Tavern in 2019 and shared why he left in an interview with Bob Dunn of Bob WP. In January 2020, Chandler floated the idea of creating yet another site about WordPress on his blog. But it wasn't until March this year after publishing I'm in A Mental Conundrum and getting the positive feedback he needed that he set about launching WP Mainline.

He tells The Repository that enough people in the WordPress community had reached out to him saying they missed his WordPress Weekly podcast and reading his posts on WP Tavern. He says aside from "hoping for it to pay my bills :D," WP Mainline is his "attempt to bring it all back."

"I'm hoping WP Mainline puts me back on the map in the world of WordPress and that it captures the glory of what the Tavern was in its heyday. I want the site to be known for being friendly, fun, and not so serious." A train enthusiast, he adds, "Expect a lot more train references in the future."

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Automattic acquires podcasting app Pocket Casts

Automattic has made its third and most significant podcasting investment in recent months, announcing this week it has acquired critically acclaimed podcasting app Pocket Casts.

Automattic's Head of Apps, Eli Budelli, announced the deal at WordPress.com. As The Verge's Ashley Carman reports, it doesn't offer much in the way of a preview of what's in store for users but does tease potential future "deep" integrations with WordPress.com. Sarah Gooding at WPTavern also notes the announcement makes no promises and doesn't share many details regarding Automatic's plans for Pocket Cast.

This year, Automattic has made a few moves in the podcast space, announcing its partnership with Spotify's podcast creation tool Anchor in February. Earlier this month, podcast hosting and analytics company Castos announced it had received $756k in funding from several investors, including Automattic.

Podcaster Joe Casabona notes that last year, WordPress.com Courses quietly launched a podcasting course. "While I've been critical of Automattic in the past, I can't deny that they are more dedicated to the open web and community than some other players in the podcast space. Spotify is actively taking public shows and walling them off from apps other than their own," he writes in On Automattic and Podcasting.

Post Status launches acquisitions tracker

It's been three days since the last acquisition in the WordPress space, according to Post Status' new acquisition and investments tracker. The news and community site launched the tracker last week to track the consolidation that's been happening in the WordPress ecosystem since 2007.

The tracker lists LionSher Technologies' acquisition of several of Lever Technology's plugins this week as the latest investment in the WordPress space, and Automattic's buy-out of Gravatar in 2007 as the oldest.

"Acquisitions aren't always stories featuring big companies. Our list even includes a teenage acquirer some years ago," notes publisher Cory Miller in last week's issue of the Post Status newsletter. He invites people to fill in the gaps in the historical record and contribute to the tracker.

"I love this WordPress Acquisitions and Investments tracker from @corymiller303 and @post_status," tweets Syed Balkhi, whose company Awesome Motive is listed as having bought out five businesses since 2014.

WordFest Live 2021 now on

"Goodbye sleep... hello #WordFestLive 👋 " tweeted Big Orange Heart founder Dan Maby yesterday ahead of WordFest Live 2021 — which is live right now. At the time this email was sent, the 24-hour virtual conference has hit the halfway point.

The event includes 48 sessions across two tracks, as well as Q&As, talks, workshops, and opportunities to connect with other WordPress people in the Community Tent and Games Tent. If you haven't registered it's not too late — you can still sign up to watch the remaining sessions live, and watch the playbacks after the event.

To help attendees make the most of the event, Marketing Lead Cate DeRosia has shared 5 Things to Do to Get the Most Out of WordFest Live 2021.

"Kudos to the incredible amount of planning and organising from the team — honestly, it's breath-taking how many hours have gone into this. Like no other WordPress event. GET INVOLVED in this event," tweets podcaster Nathan Wrigley.

WordFest Live 2021 is free, with all donations going to mental health initiative Big Orange Heart and the well-being of the remote working community around the globe. At the time of publication, the event has so far raised $11,475.

The Repository is a proud media sponsor of WordFest Live 2021.

How to bulk update multiple client sites to save time

WordPress core, plugin, and theme updates on a client's sites are a big deal. Not everyone is a fan of them due to the time they consume. Having to log in and manage each of your client sites is tedious. Ensuring each site updates successfully without breaking isn't always as easy as it seems. And if they aren't done, they can pose a security risk to your client's sites.

With The Hub, however, you can get you back the time normally spent on updating client's sites. Lots of time. Our members report saving an average of three hours each month for every client website they maintain.

Learn how to update multiple sites in our Bulk Updates tutorial here.
Your updates are done, and your sites are up and running. The only thing that might be left to do is figure out what you're going to do with the time you have regained. Now you have more time to do what you do best, building great websites and ensuring that time is money. The Hub from GoDaddy Pro is free to join. If you're looking to save time, this is just for you.

In other WordPress news...

  • Timi Wahalahti, a partner at web design and development company Dude, has challenged the WordPress community to do more to actively address the climate emergency. In WordPress and climate emergency, he suggests making vegan and vegetarian food the default at WordCamps, WordPress.org could switch to renewable energy sources, a ban on "soon-to-be-trash" swag, a downscaling of long-distance travel to WordPress events, and a greater push for building optimized websites with smaller carbon footprints. Wahalahti encourages people to join the conversation on Twitter, where web developer and WordCamp Stuttgart organizer Simon Kraft says the goal was to keep the environmental impact as a low as possible, Extendify's Head of Design Tammie Lister says WordCamp Brighton is making significant efforts on the meal front, and Highrise Digital co-founder Keith Devon shares WP Café's episode on WordPress sustainability.
  • "Last week I asked 'WordPress Twitter' if there were small and independent #WordPress product makers and solopreneurs out there who should be better known. I got quite a response," writes Post Status' David Bisset in Can small, independent WordPress makers still make it? He shares a round-up of indie WordPress shops and people worth knowing about, but the full thread on Twitter is also worth a scroll.
  • Start taking back your day. We built the Hub by GoDaddy Pro to save you time. Lots of time. Our members report saving an average of three hours each month for every client website they maintain. Are you ready to take back that kind of time? Explore the Hub by GoDaddy Pro – It's Free! Sponsored link
  • Yoast CEO Marieke van de Rakt says she is More Than Just Joost's Wife in the latest essay at HeroPress. van de Rakt left behind a career in science to join her husband Joost de Valk at Yoast in 2013 and went on to write an ebook, launch Yoast Academy, and led the development of Yoast SEO's readability analysis. She became CEO in 2015 and since then has introduced an in-house coaching program for women, launched a diversity fund to encourage diversity at WordCamps, and is making inroads hiring people from traditionally underrepresented groups. "… although I struggle with being judged by my marital status, I wouldn't dream of ever changing that. Joost has been a terrific ally in helping me with my struggles. We run Yoast together and we run our family together. I wouldn't want it any other way," she writes.
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

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