Here’s a recap of the latest developments in the WordPress ecosystem, from WordPress core updates and Gutenberg news to more plugin news.
News from WordPress Core
Automattic Acquires Tumblr
- Tumblr acquired by Yahoo! in 2013 for $1.1B.
- Acquired by Automattic for less than $3M.
- The user base is several times larger than WordPress.com.
- Ecommerce on Tumblr is a huge opportunity.
- An open-sourced Tumblr could be a boon for plugin developers.
- Matt Mullenweg now has a Tumblr: https://photomatt.tumblr.com/
- Read more: https://poststatus.com/automattic-has-purchased-tumblr/
Proposal: An Official WordPress Advisory Board
- Created by Josepha Haden, Executive Director of the WordPress project
- A nominated board of members of the WP ecosystem
- Provide nonbinding advice to the Executive Director and Project Lead for WordPress
- The WordPress Governance Project goes further and has wide support, but is officially unsanctioned by WordPress
- Read more: https://make.wordpress.org/updates/2019/07/23/proposal-a-wordpress-advisory-board/
WordPress 5.2.3 Coming in September
- General release set for September 4
- Support for PHP 7.4
- UI improvements for the Block Editor
- Media Accessibility
- Follow the Core Blog: https://make.wordpress.org/core/
- Read more: https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/08/07/wordpress-5-3-planning-roundup/
WordPress and PHP
- 29% of WP sites are still using PHP 5.6.
- A proposal has been made to alert users that a PHP upgrade is needed.
- On August 20, sites running PHP 5.6 or lower will see an alert recommending an update.
- This update will use the PHP Update Widget that is built into Core.
- A proposal has been made to make PHP 7.2 the minimum requirement for WordPress.
- Support for PHP 7.4 will be part of WordPress 5.3 coming in November.
- PHP 7.4 release date currently planned for November 28.
- Read more: https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/07/29/proposal-for-increasing-recommended-php-version-in-wordpress/
Gutenberg 6.2 released at the end of July
- Cover and Media & Text blocks allow nested blocks
- Buttons allow opening in a new tab
Gutenberg 6.3 released this morning
- Milestone accessibility improvements including tabbing block to block
- Enter to edit a block, Escape to exit editing mode
- Many additional bug and UI fixes
- Read more: https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/08/14/whats-new-in-gutenberg-14-august/
Block Editor for Comments Prototype Plugin
- A new plugin from Tom J Nowell allows use of the Block Editor in comments
- Currently available on Github as prototype
- Read more: https://tomjn.com/2019/07/20/gutenberg-comments/
A Love-Hate Relationship with Gutenberg
- An excellent, balanced article from Pixelgrade that’s worth a quick read. https://pixelgrade.com/blog/culture/a-love-hate-relationship-with-gutenberg/
WordPress Security News
WordPress Vulnerability Roundup
- Twice monthly on the iThemes blog:
- No core or theme vulnerabilities reported
- Unpatched Vulnerability:
- OneSignal Web Push Notifications
- Popular Plugin Vulnerabilities (all patched in latest releases)
- All-in-One WP Migration
- AdRotate Banner Manager
- Coming Soon Page & Maintenance Mode
- Other Plugin Vulnerabilities (all patched in latest releases)
- Contact Form 7 Dynamic Text Extension
- Advanced Contact form 7 DB
- WPS Hide Login
- Photo Gallery by 10Web
- Email Subscribers & Newsletters
- Contact Form & SMTP Plugin for WordPress
- Everest Forms
- Adaptive Images for WordPress
- Blog2Social: Social Media Auto Post & Scheduler
- Simple Membership
- WordPress Ultra Simple Paypal Shopping Cart
- Category Specific RSS feed Subscription
- Appointment Hour Booking
Proposal to Autoupdate Old Sites
- A lively discussion happening in the Core blog over the backporting of security releases.
- Currently, when security updates are released, they are applied to versions back to WP 3.7.
- A new proposal suggests applying the security updates to the last 6 versions of WP and auto-updating insecure sites to the latest secure
- Thoughts? Contribute to the discussion: https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/07/29/should-security-fixes-continue-to-be-backported-to-very-old-versions-of-wordpress/
News from iThemes
Google Analytics Bootcamp
- August 27-29 from 1-3p CT
- Day One: Installation and Reporting
- Day Two: Filters, Segments, Ecommerce
- Day Three: Google Data Studio
- Includes Prebuilt Data Studio Dashboards!
- $199 $149 through August 21
- iThemes Toolkit at 50% off through Aug 31
- Register here: https://ithemes.com/training/google-analytics-training/
Nathan Ingram’s Office Hours Continue
- A new webinar series on iThemes Training
- Next session August 21 @ 1:00 p.m. (CT)
- Ask your questions ahead of time to make sure they are included
- Form located on webinar signup page
- Register here: https://training.ithemes.com/webinar/nathan-ingrams-office-hours-august-21-2019/
WordPress Plugin News
Feature Plugin Discussion: Standardizing User Privacy Consent
- Proposed by Heather Burns, a UK attorney and privacy expert.
- The discussion addresses “a standard way for WordPress core, plugins, and themes to obtain consent from users … to provide a consistent and stable experience for … users of all kinds.”
- The functionality would be created as a Feature Plugin and subsequently added to Core
- Read more: https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/08/07/feature-plugin-discussion-a-consent-and-logging-mechanism-for-user-privacy/
WooCommerce 3.7 Updates
- WooCommerce 3.7 shipped on August 12
- Some nice new blocks have been added
- Almost 1300 changes
- Smaller code base
- Changes to minimum requirements: WordPress 4.9 and PHP 5.6 or higher
- Focal Point Picker in Featured Product Block
- Featured Category Block
- Read more: https://wptavern.com/woocommerce-3-7-introduces-new-blocks-updates-minimum-wordpress-and-php-requirements
WooCommerce Admin Plugin Growing User Base
- Check it out: https://wordpress.org/plugins/woocommerce-admin/
Parent Company of Ninja Forms Acquires Caldera Forms
- Caldera’s co-founder Josh Pollock joins Saturday Drive as WP of Engineer Experience
- Christie Chirinos, CalderaWP’s other co-founder, joined Liquid Web as a product manager earlier this year.
- Look for some interesting innovation from the Ninja team…
- Read more: https://wptavern.com/ninja-forms-parent-company-saturday-drive-acquires-calderawp
iThemes Plugin Roundup
- Recap of plugins that have been added or updated in the last 30 days
- Join me each month for a collection of fun, creative and useful plugins
- Read more: https://ithemes.com/plugin-roundup-august-2019/
- Next Roundup: September 3 – Register here: https://training.ithemes.com/webinar/plugin-roundup-september-2019/
Some Interesting Miscellany
- Google Call Screener: https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/google-trick-telemarketers-call-screen.html
- Dynamic WP Wallpaper for Macs: https://dynamicwallpaper.club/wallpaper/j82e55k6yds
DonateWC Works to Make WordCamp Available to All
- Travel sponsorships offered for WordCamp speakers and volunteers funded by donations
- Available for people who aren’t sponsored by their company, are active WP Community Members and have applied to speak or volunteer
- Donate or apply at https://donatewc.org
WordCamp Asia Call for Speakers
- Open Until Sept 25
- Bangkok Thailand, February 21-23
- All sessions are in English
- Learn more at: https://2020.asia.wordcamp.org/call-for-speakers/
- Apply to speak: https://speak.wpasia.org/
WordCamp US in St. Louis – Nov 1-3
- The Call for Volunteers is now open: https://2019.us.wordcamp.org/2019/07/16/volunteer-call-for-wordcamp-us-is-now-open/
- Free on-site childcare will be offered: https://wptavern.com/wordcamp-us-2019-to-offer-free-on-site-childcare
- A Community Track has been added to talk aboutMeetups, WordCamps, Diversity & Inclusion, and Kids& Youth – https://2019.us.wordcamp.org/2019/08/08/wordcamp-us-debuts-community-track/
Subscribe to the MyCamp.Rocks Newsletter
- Created by the long-time organizer for WordCamp Miami, David Bisset.
- Some great tips for organizers, speakers and attendees of WordCamps
- Inaugural newsletter: https://mycamp.rocks/august-13-2019/
Upcoming WordCamps in US & Canada
- Aug 17: Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
- Aug 22 – 24: Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Aug 23 – 25: Orlando, Florida
- Aug 24 – 25: Ann Arbor, Michigan & Omaha, Nebraska
- Sept 7 – 8: Las Vegas & San Jose, Costa Rica
- Sept 14 – 15: New York City
- Sept 21 – 22 Sacramento, California
- Full Schedule: https://central.wordcamp.org/schedule/
This post is from the recent WordPress News Roundup – August 2019 webinar hosted by Nathan Ingram. In this webinar, Nathan walks through each of these news items in more depth. Register for the next WordPress News Roundup webinar here.
Kristen has been writing tutorials to help WordPress users since 2011. You can usually find her working on new articles for the iThemes blog or developing resources for #WPprosper. Outside of work, Kristen enjoys journaling (she’s written two books!), hiking and camping, cooking, and daily adventures with her family, hoping to live a more present life.