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/