This Week in WordPress
Quite a bit happened this week in the WordPress world, and we've selected some of the most interesting bits of news so you don't have to trawl the internet trying to keep up.
Highlights of the news this week: The community is trying to figure out what in person events might look like in the future. GenerateBlocks has a new Pro version which you can check out. There's a super simple 'show and hide' blocks plugin, which could be really useful for a minimal membership style site. Finally, I figured out what the internet is for... it's Sea Shanties!
Clearly, there's a whole lot more than this, and you can find all that big scrolling down!
This Week in WordPress #146 - "Will we ever meet (in person) again?"
Recorded on Monday 18th January 2021. With Nathan Wrigley, Paul Lacey, Vito Peleg and Maziar Firuzmand.
Each week we discuss some of the the stories (from below) which captured our attention. It's like this newsletter but with real people!
If you ever want to join us live you can do that every Monday at 2pm UK time on the WP Builds LIVE page.
WordPress Proposal To Align Release Cycle With Industry Standard
"Francesca Marano opened a proposal for changing the phases of the core WordPress release cycle. It was a recap of a discussion the began in October 2020. The goal is to align the platform’s phases with the larger development industry standard."
Gutenberg 9.7 Improves User Experience, Updates Reusable Blocks, and Brings Page Templates to FSE Themes
"Gutenberg 9.7 landed yesterday with several updates and improvements. Users should expect to see changes to the interface for block variations, transforms, and patterns. Reusable blocks are being worked on after what seemed to be a hiatus. Developers can also now add custom page templates to their block-based WordPress themes."
Gutenberg’s Faster Performance Is Eroding Page Builders’ Dominance
"WordPress’ block editor, colloquially still widely known as Gutenberg, is making inroads into the segment of users who have heavily relied on page builders for years. For the most part, page builder plugins have either declined in growth or stagnated in 2020, with the exception of Elementor. In contrast, block collections with page builder features are gaining more users. Performance is becoming an important factor in this migration."
'This Week in WordPress' Sponsor
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WordPress Community Team Proposes Using a Decision Checklist to Restart Local Events
"WordPress’ Community Team has been discussing the return to in-person events since early December 2020, and has landed on an idea that would allow local meetup organizers to determine readiness using a COVID-19 risk-assessment checklist. This would enable organizers to restart meetups when it is safe for their communities, instead of applying a blanket global policy."
Full Site Editing Blueprint for Local
"As I’ve been reading about FSE and trying to understand how it works, I’ve found it’s helpful to have a playground where I can experiment. I thought I’d share that playground with you, in case you find it helpful. Using Local Lightening (the artist formerly known as Local by Flywheel) as my local development environment, I spun up a WordPress site that includes the following..."
WPScan Can Now Assign CVE Numbers for WordPress Core, Plugin, and Theme Vulnerabilities
"Being designated as a CNA helps WPScan better manage WordPress vulnerabilities by assigning them unique IDs that are recognized across the industry."
WordPress Now Offers Website Development
"The commercial arm of WordPress announced they were entering the website building business. The announcement was generally not well received by the WordPress web development community. Many softened their response and saw opportunity as more information became available."
Volunteer for the WordPress Contributor Working Group
"As I have met and talked to many people in the WordPress community, I have discovered that a surprising amount of people don’t realize that there is an opportunity for everybody to contribute to the WordPress project, no matter their skillset or experience level. And there are many potential reasons for this: lack of awareness, difficult or inaccessible onboarding processes, or Contributor events being fairly rare outside of big WordCamps, to name a few."
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
Build better WordPress sites with GenerateBlocks
"Add incredible versatility to your editor without bloating it with tons of one-dimensional blocks. With GenerateBlocks, you can learn a handful of blocks deeply and use them to build anything."
Blocked-Based Version of Twenty Twenty-One Nearing Readiness for the Theme Directory
"Twenty Twenty-One Blocks, now renamed to TT1 Blocks, is inching its way toward the WordPress theme directory. Kjell Reigstad mentioned the prospect in this week’s block-based themes meeting. Contributors to the theme, which is part of the Theme Experiments project, have pushed some much-needed code updates to the repository."
Show and Hide Content via the Block Visibility WordPress Plugin
"Nick Diego’s Block Visibility is not the only plugin to take on the challenge of controlling when blocks are visible on the front end. Other plugins like EditorsKit do a fine job of it. However, Block Visibility is a solution users should not overlook, even if they have already begun testing other options."
Ask the Bartender: How to Build WordPress Themes from Scratch?
"I still believe the best way to learn any type of development cannot be found in documentation or books (says the co-author of a development book). It is learned through trial and error. It is learned through hours of mangling a project and not stopping until you fix it. It is learned through sheer force of will, fueled by some innate passion within you that wants to see a project through."
EatsWP Brings Virtual Restaurant Menus to the WordPress Block Editor
"Yesterday, Jack Kitterhing launched EatsWP, his new restaurant-related WordPress plugin. It is a menu creation system that works in the block editor. It also has a built-in QR code feature to work with customers’ phones."
JetBrains Denies Being Under Investigation for SolarWinds Attack
"JetBrains, makers of Phpstorm, one of the most popular IDEs for PHP developers, has published a statement denying any involvement in the SolarWinds attack, which compromised multiple US federal agencies and private companies. The company stated that it has not been the subject of an official investigation."
WordPress Vulnerability News, January 2021
"WordPress vulnerability news is a weekly digest of highlighted WordPress plugin security vulnerabilities or vulnerability discloses that have been published."
WordPress Vulnerability Roundup: January 2021, Part 1
"New WordPress plugin and theme vulnerabilities were disclosed during the first half of January. This post covers the recent WordPress plugin, theme, and core vulnerabilities and what to do if you run one of the vulnerable plugins or themes on your website."
Multiple Vulnerabilities Patched in Orbit Fox by ThemeIsle Plugin
The 16-Step Checklist for Securing Your WordPress Site
"We can’t stress enough the importance of having robust site security. When you’re rushing to meet a deadline, properly securing your WordPress site might not be your biggest priority, so we’ve put together a checklist to make sure you don’t miss any of the essentials."
'B' is for Backups - WP Builds Weekly WordPress Podcast #210
"It’s the 2nd in our series of chats called the ‘A-Z of WordPress’ where we attempt to cover all the major aspects to building and maintaining sites with WordPress. Today, it’s the letter B and it stands for Backups."
Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
I just found sea shanty TikTok and it’s the best thing so far in 2021
The reason that the internet was invented? Collaborating on sea shanties using TikTok!
Facebook Advertisers Brace for iOS 14 Tracking Prompt Fallout
"The roll-out of iOS 14 includes a tracking prompt set to disrupt Facebook Ads targeting. Here are the details & how to prepare for the change."
Latest Google Updates Q4 2020
"Google surprised a lot of SEOs by releasing a core update between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Let us have a look back at this update and some other important news from Google in the last quarter of a year that we may otherwise want to forget."
Unclack for macOS
"Unclack is the small but mighty Mac utility that mutes your microphone while you type. No more getting called out for clacking your way through a Zoom meeting on your clicky keyboard!"
What I Use Now Instead Of Google
"I made a goal for myself in January 2020 to stop using Google products by the end of the year. That might sound like way too generous a timeline, but Google owned pretty much all of my data at that point, so it was a fairly large project."
Google Introduces Performance Report for Google News Publishers
"Google has launched a new Search Console performance report for sites that appear in Google News. Publishers can now track clicks, impressions, and CTR for traffic coming from news.google.com and the Google News apps for Android and iOS."
6 Web Design and Development Trends for 2021
"Few landscapes change as fast as web development. Languages evolve, design directions change, and consumer preferences are fickle, to say the least. Staying on top of the latest trends can be a challenge, especially if you want to start 2021 off strong."