WordPress News Roundup (August 2022)
5:30PM Aug 16, 2022
Good afternoon, everybody and welcome to another live AI iThemes Training event. My name is Nathan Ingram. I am the host here at iThemes Training and that should be sounding a lot better than it was just a minute ago because I had the wrong mic selected so it is news roundup here on AI iThemes Training, glad you've all joined us. And yeah, we have a lot of news to talk about. It's August 2022. And once a month we take a look at the news across the WordPress ecosystem and bring together you know several of the headlines that I think pertain particularly to those of us who build and manage WordPress sites for clients. I'm glad you're all here with us. If you're just joining us, let me drop in the slides into the Zoom chat. That'll be the last time I paste those probably. If you're watching this on the replay, just click the Download handout button right below the video here. And you'll have all the slides and it's particularly important in the news roundup, because there are links to resources and so forth that I'll share throughout the webinar today. And you'll have access to those with the clickable links in the PDF. So let's get started shall we? As we usually begin with news from core WordPress and seeing what's going on in the world of core we did have a another minor release of WordPress six that is scheduled for August the 30th. This is a six dot O dot two. It's a minor release. Typical bug fixes. This is the sort of release that your WordPress should automatically just update to unless you've specifically opted out of minor releases. So the default behavior of core WordPress is to go ahead and install these minor releases. That's usually a good idea. Virtually any circumstance I can imagine you want to have that option. All of our sites that we manage automatically update it's just a good idea. Aug. 30. Is that release date but it's pending approval from the WordPress security team. But you can pretty well count on that it's going to be out 602 On August the 30th so expect a lot of emails that day. I WordPress 6.1 is on track for late October October 25 is the date that is scheduled for the next major version of WordPress. Most of the work in six one is going to be around the block editor and refining that full site editing experience, specifically improving the template editor which is the part that allows you to build page templates for custom post types and category archives and those sorts of things. They're also focused on improving the pattern directory and making that easier to use, as well as the global styling features that are all part of that full side editing suite. So good stuff is happening. All that development is happening in the Gutenberg plugin which we'll talk about in just a little bit. And as usual, every two weeks Gutenberg is releasing more and more updates that are periodically merged into core at these major version releases. Now there are at least a couple of things that are also being worked on that are interesting to me. Both of these things come out of the performance team and their work. So you may remember that several months ago, we talked about the fact that there is a new team that is been created underneath the core team called the core performance team and the the mission of this team is to make WordPress faster. And so WordPress as a whole just core WordPress has been starting to slow down over recent years especially with the addition of the block editor. And so there's a team now that's paying specific attention to things that are going to speed up WordPress in general. So one of those things that we've been talking about, really for a couple of months now is the web p by default. So the core performance teams merge request for web p by default has been committed to core for WordPress 6.1. So in WordPress six, all the images you upload will be automatically converted to web P and that will be used as a default unless some things are true. For example, if the the the automatic generation of the web P version of the image is only going to happen for core image sizes so it's not going to automatically create it for other image sizes other plugins generate unless the plugin allows that also it's only going to keep the web P version if the web P version is smaller than the original JPEG or ping file that was uploaded. Also, it's only going to generate web P for image sizes that are intended for front end use. I mean that's kind of a no brainer. So I know a lot of you are using other image software like Sue was mentioning ie dub. You may be using short pixel or smashed or something to do this as well. My guess is you'll probably still want to do that because you like there's a lot of really granular settings in those plugins that allow you to specify for example, the how you know how compressed Do you want your webpage and things like that. So those plugins I think are still going to be necessary or preferable if when you're managing sites especially then just the core option here but by default, this is good for WordPress as a whole. It's going to speed things up as a whole because generally speaking, web P images are much smaller than their JPEG or ping equivalents. So this is a good thing all the way around. You're probably going to want to keep using your image optimization plugins. Anyway, we'll cover that more when it comes out and we actually see how the feature lands in core. So here's a roadmap for the 6.1 release. The Alpha has been out since May the beta one comes out on September 20. That's when the feature freeze occurs. In other words, no more new features added to this core release after September 20. That's usually about 30 days. Prior to release beta two on the 27th. Or pardon me RC one on October 4, two on the 11th. Three on the 18th and the dry run on the 24th and then the full release there on October 25. So I generally I'll wait a couple of weeks before a major core version comes out unless there's a good reason not to before I update all the sites that we manage. So that's generally what I think a lot of you folks do as well. Probably good idea. So here's something else from the core performance team that I alluded to earlier. They are suggesting adding a caching benchmark to the site health check. So site health has been in WordPress for a while it's under Tools and site health. They propose that the site health check, look for the existence of caching and report on it. So does your site cache its assets or not? So this is a feature that's been added tested in the Performance Lab feature plugin by the way, all the work of the performance team is done in this plugin right here. You'll see that the bottom of the screen in the green footer it's called the Performance Lab plugin. You can download it that's just like Gutenberg is the plugin in which the development for the block editor occurs and full site editing Performance Lab is the plugin in which all these improvements that performance team is doing. That's where those features are added and improved and tested. And then every now and then just like Gutenberg features and performance lab plugin will roll into core. So one of these new features they're testing is this addition to site health check. And it's oh they're also targeting 6.1 for merging this into core. So that could be you know, it's basically just another side health item. It will look something like this. So underneath status, recommended improvements that will show up here it'll also be there under info as to whether or not you have caching involved on the site or not. So that's a good thing. Anything that the core team does to bring performance, give more light to performance is a good thing for all of us.
Now something else the performance team is working on is bringing SVG uploads to core now, SVG has been an image standard that's been around for a long time. It's a vectored image format. It's generally very fast for vectored images and allows scaling to infinity with no quality loss. The problem with SB GS though, is that they are a text file. It's not like a binary image file like a JPEG or a ping, where you know, there's pixels of it's not like that and an SVG. If you've ever opened one in a text editor. You'll see it's a series of mathematical expressions. And it is possible to add malicious code right into the file of an SVG and it's because of that and, you know, a potential security vulnerability that SVG has have not been added to core up to this point. Now, there have been a number of plugins that are out there safe SVG or enable SVG. Like that's what it's called. There's there's a number of plugins that are out there that allow you to use SVGs in WordPress, and we use those as an agency as part of our base site. But now this ability is going to come into core. Now people have been talking about this for nine years and one of the developers commented on the thread where this announcement was made that it's a blankety blank tragedy that WordPress doesn't support this yet. And yeah, maybe. Yeah, maybe so. So they're not allowed in core because they can potentially be a security risk. They are essentially text files, like I mentioned. So what the performance team is doing is working on a way to sanitize the content of the SVG file to try to deal with any inserted malicious code. Now, that won't always be 100%. That's part of the risk of an SVG, it's just inherent in the SVG itself. So this feature is being again developed in the Performance Lab feature plugin, and they've targeted WordPress 6.2 for this edition, so that means it's going to be out. I believe six two is first of the year. So yeah. Something else going on. It's interesting. Somebody commented, there's something useful happening with SVGs here's something else that's useful. You may remember that over the last several months, we've been talking about the discussion that's been occurring in the MC WordPress slack about my goodness, the admin spam that plugins put out there and all those ridiculous notices, and you log in sometimes to a site that you hadn't been actually physically logged into for several months. And it's like three quarters of your viewport is full of just ads and spam and this and that it just ridiculous how plugins completely fill up the the admin. So that's an issue. It's identified as an issue. And there is a team that is put in place for this now, Brian Cordes is speaking for them. After approximately three years of discussion, scaffolding and design. The WordPress notifications feature project is ready to begin collecting feedback on a static demo of the previously reviewed designs. We're inviting users to install the feature plug in on a test environment, view the static mockups and provide feedback to the team. So you can go today onto GitHub and download the plugin right here. It's not in the WordPress plug in directory yet. This is the very first shot at this work for a Notification Center. You can download it it'll upload just like any other WordPress plugin and will install and they suggests they suggest a testing process, which is available right here on this core blog post. This is really good. And I would encourage all of us to take a look at this and provide feedback because it's this is something that could be merged into core and it will make things very helpful. So for example, on there will be on page notifications that appear at the top of the dashboard. There's also going to be a hub, which will be a little bell icon up in the admin bar where notifications are stored until you drop them down. And then there'll be additional notification settings that allow you to specify what's what so this is looks like a good approach to me. And if you are vested in WordPress, I would suggest that you stick this plug in on a dev site and play around with it and offer some feedback. They're looking for feedback not only from developers but from users. So you can do that right there on their GitHub page. For this plugin, there's a comments feature where you can add your two cents. Okay, let's move on to our next block of news and that is news from Gutenberg and take a look at the development that's happened in the block editor over the last month or so, if you're just joining us, I'm going to drop in the slides. Once again. They're in the chat. You can follow along with us there.
All right. On July the 20th, Gutenberg 13.7 was released lots of bug fixes some improvements and accessibility work. That pretty much describes every Gutenberg release, but there you have it. They've done some neat stuff here. Though, they have added block and group locking. So look at this. You can choose in the sidebar options for a block or a group of blocks to disable movement and prevent deletion. Look at that. So you can lock a block in place. This is really really good. So this is the group interface where you toggle on apply this lock setting to all the blocks inside as well. So this is great, super helpful for those of you who are building block based sites and working with clients. They've also done a little bit of a UX thing where when a modal pops up it kind of blurs behind it. I like this UI. It's not a huge improvement over what was there, but it's kind of nice. You'll probably see this UI popping up throughout the block editor. Or they've also set up this option now to create templates for specific pages and categories. So this is in the side editor where now you can add a new template and what is it going to be author category front page cetera. So that is that is now added in June as of the June end of July release. They've also changed the cover block so that the first option that you see starts with a featured image so you can start right here with a featured image. If you add a cover block onto a page or a post, for example, click the button and it'll use the featured image for that page or post. It's good stuff. They've also added right up here in the top in the little information panel that you get by clicking that little eye icon. They've added a time to read which is a very small addition but nice right so you can kind of see right there the reading time that's involved on a page or a post they've also improved the document settings. Just changing up the way the sidebar looks here just a little bit. moving this around a bit. Just some basic changes there that they think is going to clear it up make a little bit easier. So that was Gutenberg 13 Seven a couple of weeks ago, Gutenberg 13 Eight released back on August the third. Again, lots of bug fixes improvements accessibility work. One of the cool things that was added in 13.8 is the support for fluid typography that lets the text scale dynamically based on the screen size, so no more is it you know, this viewport, it's this many pixels or rims or EMS and this one is it's a dynamic fluid changing, which I think is super cool. So that is that they're calling it fluid typography that is in this latest version of the block editor. So kind of cool. They've also changed up the UX for template parts. Choosing a template part out of the inserter brings these up. They've also added border control for image blocks and other Kadence blocks. I've had this for some time. This is now part of the core image block where you can change the width and even the color of each of the various borders of an image. Something else that is happening this is not in the Gutenberg plugin yet, but it's something that rich Tabor just tweeted out Rich is of course one of the longtime WordPress developer, major block contributor and part of the Gutenberg contribute team. And they brought block labeling. He's developed this is kind of the proof of concept and it'll be rolled into the Gutenberg plugin eventually. But right here you see hey, let's rename this group of blocks something meaningful, like hero area, and now that sticks so that's pretty cool. I here's how it would look on a page like here's the footer and there's a column. And this is not just a paragraph block, it's a copyright line and the footer menu and so forth. So this is how that's going to look. I think it's great. Should make the block editor a lot more easy to use in that list view. I find the list view really helpful when I'm playing with the block editor. Just being able to select which blocks we're talking about and drag and move those around. It's really, really helpful. And one of the ways I'm most likely to interact with a page full of blocks.
Something else going on in the block editor discussion is a post from the executive director of the WordPress project. Just FYI Hayden Shambo see, I just FYI has suggested that we give full site editing a more user friendly name, which makes sense. So originally, the term full site editing was coined to differentiate the Phase One Project Gutenberg, which was the block editor from Phase Two moving blocks into the full site editing experience. So they incensed that now phase two is just called poolside editor. So what Josepha has said, as we continue to move toward full featured true WYSIWYG experience for WordPress, first of all skill levels, we should have a way to refer to it that is immediately meaningful for new users of our software. So full side editing, if you think about it, if you've never heard anything, and you don't have any knowledge about WordPress, what does that even mean? I mean, should not just be able to edit my website anyway. And so maybe there's a better more on the nose term that could be used for moving the block editor into headers and footers and templates and all of those things. So that's the discussion that's happening. She's asked for input in into in three separate areas. How do we tackle the renaming of FSC? What should that process be? Since this term is in the code base? How do we make sure that people who don't contribute regularly are informed of the changes? And then what other areas does this renaming affect? She solicited comments at the blog post below. And some folks have suggested options like template editor or site designer and just keeping full site editing. So you know, if you have an opinion, you're welcome to add your comment to the discussion. There. It is open for comments. All right, let's move on into news on security. Several things to talk about starting out, of course, as we usually do with this month's vulnerability report, I'm changing the way that I'm doing this because I kind of decided after last month of reading, you know, five pages of plugins that were already patched that didn't want to do that anymore. So what we're showing you now on the vulnerability report are plugins that are closed or there is no patch available at the time of the report. So once a week, if you're subscribed to the i iThemes emails once a week, we send out a vulnerability report of plugins that have come have popped a warning that these plugins are vulnerable. Some of them may be patched some of them may be not yet patched. Some may be closed and not available. For download anymore in the WordPress plugin directory. So the ones that I'm showing you here are those that are closed or were not patched at the time the report was made. So if you had any of these plugins you'll want to take note, they are allowed SVG files any mind widget auto more tag auto hyperlink URLs better tagcloud BX slider the Coming Soon under construction pages this is not the normal one people use this was has a very small install base. Copyright proof duplicate page plug in. DW promo bar II unlocked easy student results Elementor contact form, enable SVG Web P and Ico event timeline Flexi quote rotator floating div three mine browser gallery for social photo Google Maps anywhere GS testimonial homepage product organizer for WooCommerce that ran over image slider invitation based restrictions login with phone number M touch quiz progressive license project source download Request a Quote ref chart shortcode for current date SP met project and Document Manager stockless manager for WooCommerce testimonials Thank you pick up loader trans flash VR calendar WordPress pop up WP DS blog map there'll be edit menu dating they'll be Graph QL for WooCommerce WSN downloader, and yacht po reviews for WooCommerce. Simply deactivating these plugins is not enough the code is still on your site if the plugin is uploaded. So you want to make sure these plugins are deleted completely from your site. Now as always, we remind you to keep your site secure with theme security Pro. I think security pro by the way, I think security even in the free version now scans your site twice a day, both in the free and Pro versions. But the beauty of the pro version is that with the version management feature, when I think security scans your site and finds a vulnerability that has been patched it automatically applies that patch for you so you don't have to worry about it. And so all those plugins that we didn't mention there were several 100 this month in total that are vulnerable or had been patched all those that have been patched I think security would have already applied that patch for you and you wouldn't have to worry about it
at all. All right. Now another little bit
of vulnerability news that came throughout the last month was vulnerability in Gutenberg question mark. So if you know anything about security, the developers that are in the security field are very, how shall we say detailed? We'll go with that. And so a researcher suggested that there was a vulnerability in the Gutenberg plugin and it got published to the US government's National Vulnerability Database at this link right here. Actually, there's the NIS T link, and it doesn't have a CVE number. So it's a really weird little quirky thing that this researcher identified. The Gutenberg plugin allows stored cross site scripting by the contributor role through an SVG document now, this is another instance of somebody could add malicious code to the SVG. Now, this wouldn't be a problem if it was uploaded through the normal drag and drop or browse out. It's only from the Insert from URL feature. So it's a really edge case, odd thing. And it's called vulnerability and Gutenberg question, Mark. Because the Gutenberg team has an issue to fix because they don't I think it's just they haven't even talked about this like it doesn't, then apparently they don't believe it's a problem. And I think probably it I mean, maybe it's not, I don't know, I'm not a security expert. This is a weird thing. It's been known for several weeks now. And there's just no movement at all from the Gutenberg team on this. It could be that their core performance team is going to address this issue if there even really is one in their work to move SVG to Corbin who knows vulnerability and Gutenberg question mark, you make up your own mind. This, by the way, isn't the Gutenberg plugin, not core WordPress, not the block editor in core WordPress, it's the Gutenberg plugin itself. So I don't know make up your mind on that.
All right, another little
vulnerability of little that occurred over the last month is that Twitter had a major some exposure on 5.4 million user accounts. Now this is interesting because they were released for sale on a dark web, you know, sales site. This vulnerability allows you to for example, to type in a phone number and or an email address and see which Twitter accounts match that phone number or email address. Now, that's a big deal for people who have a pseudonymous accounts. Like for example, some celebrities have their main brand, their name, celebrity account or some companies have a brand account but then also additional user accounts or you know, other people tweet as somebody else, right, this other pseudonym type account, and if they use the same email address or phone number to set up these other accounts, this exposure allows somebody to tie those things together. A Twitter said fix the bug back in January six months after it was introduced. The bug was said to pose a serious threat to users who had those private or pseudonymous accounts. The seller of the information who goes by the name of devil says the dataset includes celebrities to companies to just random people and Oh, geez, et cetera. Devil is asking for at least $30,000 for the information, which they say is available due to Twitter's incompetence, which is just a normal that's a typical hacker thing to say. But there's the there's the post, you know, 5.485 that it ended I have million users. Lots of folks. Yeah. So if you got 30 grand and you want to buy it. I mean, I don't think I would, but it's out there. And interesting. Vulnerability is patched but that data is still around. All right. Well, let's move into their next set of news which is our news from I themes. If you missed the webinar last week, we had a fantastic webinar with Timothy Jacobs, the lead developer of I think security, all about past keys and biometric logins for WordPress. This is a fantastic addition that is coming to I think security pro in the next version, probably this month. We're still still can't say exactly when that's going to release but it's very soon. Timothy demonstrated how super cool it is to be able to log into WordPress securely without a password using either pass keys through your browser and operating system and that that little marriage or biometric logins like face ID. All of this is coming and this is going to be a solution, especially for those of us that work with clients where the client says but I have my one favorite password I like to use on all my sites with past keys. What will happen is that as long as they are authenticated on their computer, then the computer in the browser work together to create a unique ID that can be used to log into the website. It's really, really great. And it's it's going to be helpful. I think, for people being more secure about how they log into their WordPress site. I think security is the first WordPress security plugin to bring past keys into WordPress and replace the password some other security plugins have it as like a two factor method. This is actually going to replace the the password all together so it's really good stuff. He missed that replay. You can catch it at the link below. It was really a great demo of what past keys are and how they work. Oh, and we will be working on some educational videos for those of you with clients as well. So we'll be doing some training. Also, once this feature rolls out from those of us that work with clients, I'll be doing some training on how we might introduce this to our clients and just improve their experience overall with logging into WordPress more securely. So that's coming, and we'll have more information about that once the feature is actually released. And I think security is out and we start to make those plans. Alright, another great bit of news from the Kadence team Kadence of course part of iThemes Kadence shop get 2.0 is here. So we actually did a shop kit preview webinar a couple of months ago and wow, it was fantastic. It is now live and able to be downloaded if you're an i iThemes toolkit member. You have that in your downloads area now. Your Kadence member it's there in your downloads now 15 powerful modules to customize the WooCommerce experience from product page layouts to checkout flow really, really great. They did do another live stream that is available here on the Kadence blog post linked below, where Ben was walking through all the features and how they actually landed in Shotcut 2.0. So a few little changes since last time we did an eye iThemes Training webinar. But wow, it's a great plugin if you do WooCommerce with Kadence. It is an incredible tool to use alongside your development.
Team more additions are coming soon to Kadence blocks and that is the integration of Active Campaign and Convert Kit into probably I'm gonna get some of the Kadence conversions blocks. I don't know that for sure. But there is integration coming for those two CMS platforms. That should be really great as well. Our customer spotlight this month is Danelle Dallas Danelle is on webinars from time to time I don't think she's here to day. But no, it's got a great story and you can read about her here at I ithemes.com/customer-spotlights and her side is very interesting.com We're still always looking for more participants for our customer spotlights. You can sign up with this questionnaire right there takes about 45 minutes to do the call we give you $100 In swag Plus, you get a backlink to your site from i think.com, which has a really good page ranking with Google so that could certainly help your SEO. All right, while talking about SEO, our premium event this month is coming up in a couple of weeks with David Zimmerman of curious ants. David is doing our Google Analytics boot camp for 2022. This is specifically focused on Google Analytics for it is coming. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and stick with Universal Analytics. They are going away next year. The future is all GA four. And we're gonna take you through setting up GA four to navigating your way around it to just understanding how Google Analytics four works. That is a total of four hours August 30 and 31st one to three central time each day. If you're a member, you can sign up right there and join us for that. One. We did announce last month and we haven't firmed up that our September event is with De nada and Hans from term again, talking about what web professionals need to know about privacy. So that's coming up the end of September September 27 28th. We don't have the sign up yet. But that is coming up and privacy huge topic that if you're building sites today, you need to have a conversant knowledge of privacy and help you help your clients to understand those things. And so de nada who is an attorney, and as part of the American Bar Association's II Privacy Committee. She isn't an expert like She's the real deal. And Hans is an ex agency owner in the WordPress space. They are a great partnership to be able to talk about this subject with us who build and manage WordPress sites for clients. So join us for that in September. The calendar for the rest of the premium events this year for I iThemes Training. We're doing the Kadence Developer course with the Kadence team, not quite sure who that's going to be it's going to be been at least a little bit in that hopefully the whole time. We'll see but that'll be four hours of deep dev level Kadence work. That should be a lot of fun. November I'll be doing our annual Starter Site in November and December. Our annual Starter Site webinars creating your starting site Starter Site in November, optimizing your starter site in December and that will round out our premium events for the year. webinars coming up on iThemes Training we got problem clients and fly 2022 coming tomorrow office hours on Thursday. If you haven't signed up for these next to the week of the 23rd I do that if you've never looked at LearnDash before we have someone from LearnDash team is coming to Carmen is coming to talk about LearnDash and how it works. So that's a LearnDash 101 On Tuesday the 23rd of August and then we have Amanda from the gift WP team talking about preparing nonprofit websites for the giving season. So if you serve nonprofits, you definitely want to sign up for this free webinar with Amanda from the gift web team talking about best practices for holiday giving and your nonprofit website office hours and of course Google Analytics boot camp that we mentioned these events that are highlighted are premium events that are only available to our members. I think training or I think toolkit members you can get a free 30 day trial of I iThemes Training and ithemes.com/training so if you want to learn GA for Google Analytics for you can sign up today. Get a month free and sign up and get that course at no charge at all.
Okay, let's move to some news on plugins. Quite a few things are happening in the plugin space. The first comes from our events calendar, which is one of our sister brands under the stellar WP brand the events calendar is rolling out the new 6.0 release. They have completely rebuilt the recurring events and also a new event series option. So if you are doing the events calendar with clients, you may want to sign up for testing and they're actually soliciting people to come and help them test beta test this plugin. So if you have a vested interest in events calendar, like I know some of you use it quite a bit. Go to the events calendar.com/recurring events beta right there sign up and you can actually spin up a sandbox right there on their site. And they give you some a testing protocol to walk through this is how you do these certain things. Do them give us your feedback. They're looking for feedback before they make these new features live in the next version of the events calendar. Yeah. So sign up and be part of that if you do a lot with events. Another interesting bit of news I found interesting not only because this is a cool plugin, but because of the way that their pricing model is working out. So organized WP is a plugin that collects all of your content types and makes them searchable in a single interface. So if you like me build custom sites where you're frequently adding multiple custom post types because of the various types of information that are contained on the site. And then you look at your admin bar and there's all these different custom post types that down it can be really difficult, especially for clients to deal with that. much information. So that's where organized WP comes in. They actually remove all the custom post type items and just pull it into a Content menu item that then contains all the different types of contents look at the app services fact team locations, pulls it out. That's That's very cool. It's an interesting approach to better organizing content. But the reason this is news is that organized WP is rolling back to what I'm calling an old school pricing model. So $29 users get access to updates and support for version two, no recurring subscriptions. Okay. When they released version three, you can decide if you want to upgrade to that or not and pay more you know pay to buy the next version license. A lot of plugins used to do things this way more have moved to an annual pricing model. The developer of the plugin says they plan to support version two indefinitely for compatibility with WordPress and plugin fixes now, you know, the big question mark is is this going to be you know, a a worth is is it going to support the developers continuing work? That's the big question. Many of these plugin companies move to annual models and subscriptions because you know, they're paying support people they're paying for current and future development and by paying the annual license you're really helping to ensure that plugin is gonna stay around for the long term. So the organized WP folks talked about that they're very transparent about that on their their website and say, Look, this is a back end plugin. It's not really front end. We don't expect a ton of support for this. So it kind of works with this sort of pricing model. So it's interesting. It's really, really interesting. And so yeah, I thought I'd mention it. So the $29 licenses for two sites. To accommodate a live and staging environment. The developer I talked with him he's considering how to offer a bundle of licenses for an agency model. Like if you've got 10 sites you want to put this on. How's that going to work? So there you go.
Interesting, I thought I'd just let's take a look at that. Okay, another big plug in
you may have heard of it is called WooCommerce WooCommerce. The latest version dropped on August the ninth that was version 6.8. It is backwards compatible with 6.7. So you shouldn't have issues updating. I don't believe we had any problems updating to 6.8 on the sites that we manage. The biggest addition to 6.8 is what's called Smart shipping. Now smart shipping affects new sites. So you'll see this the next time you go to set up WooCommerce on a site. If you already have a site running WooCommerce you're not going to see any of this, but it's really a better onboarding flow into shipping and WooCommerce. Which I mean y'all let's face it, shipping in any e commerce platform WooCommerce included. Shipping is hard to set up, isn't it? It's really, really hard. So four new sites selling physical products free shipping is enabled by default. With review shipping options added under the things to do next. It kind of looks like this. So as part of the ongoing the ongoing development of the onboarding wizard, they've added this so review my shipping options so it comes in with free shipping, which that's really a good way to go if you can make all the pricing work, but then they give you the option to review my shipping options. Once we go into that they begin to be gotten the user is guided through a spotlight tour of the shipping area look here. So here's the shipping zones, you can set that up, hit next. Here's our shipping methods that are contained in that zone hit Next. And here's our different shipping solutions that you can use. Done Right so it just steps people through how the shipping works. This makes a ton of sense for the way they've done it. So kudos to the WooCommerce team. I think that's pretty smart. The WooCommerce team has also made a decision to stop registering the customizer on block themes now right out of the gate Kadence is not a block theme that's a technical term in the WordPress space for a theme that is built on built for full site editing. Kadence is taking a different approach to full site editing, as you've seen on various training webinars. So this doesn't affect Kadence users but there are a number of block themes that are out there that are built kind of after full site editing started development to make use of all those features. And so they've stopped registering the customizer if you're using a block theme, so if you happen to be tinkering around and you wonder where the customizer went, that's why it got to be kind of a complicated situation where you try to go into the site editor versus the customizer, and that's been something that's come up actually in previous webinars that we've talked about, what's the future of the customizer? And where's that gonna go and so forth. So this doesn't affect Kadence once again, I Kadence in we've been has mentioned this on several different webinars that until the all the dust from full site editing settles, and we really see where core is going with full site editing. Kadence is not going to be moving around and wiggling around with every full site develop full site editing change, and Kadence actually does all the things that full site editing does already and it's pretty nice. So pretty cool. All right. Ah, yeah, some problems with the Yoast plugin last month are a couple of weeks ago, Yoast 19. Five was released on August the eighth and it triggered fatal errors on sites. Some sites that were running both the free version and the paid version of Yoast SEO. So you can do that. You can have both the free version and the paid version on a site you're not supposed to but there's not a warning that says turn one off. Sometimes when you activate a paid plugin, it goes in and automatically disables the free version. Yoast doesn't do that for some reason. But that caused a conflict because they they updated the free version but not the paid version. And there are bumping heads and then it fatal error the site out Yoast released a fix the next day, but it provoked a pretty good discussion in the SEO community. Yeah, I can understand that. So Yoast coming into Search Engine Journal a patch was quickly created by the team. And most sites that resulted entirely for some sites, the auto update mechanism failed to properly run and they didn't fix themselves. We've been discussing this a lot. We weren't happy that it happened. We weren't happy with how we handled it. And we're really bummed and feel sorry for the size we broken. Yeah, hopefully they learned from this and I mean, it would seem to make sense that if you activate the paid version, that should disable the free version. I'm not sure why you need both of those running. It would be an issue. Yeah, if you're running both versions, you don't need to.
All right, let's pivot to some news on SEO. This is some pretty cool news, actually Google business profile, which used to be called Google My Business, which used to be called something else, and it used to be called something else. They've changed the name of this thing forever. This is your little Google listing in the side. You know, when you google your business name and it pops up in the little pack on the side. Google business profile is allowing you now to set up something like a chat bot, where you can type in 10 various questions that someone could select and receive an immediate answer like it was from a chatbot pretty cool. They've not really made an official announcement about this. You can see some nice screenshots at the article that I linked but you can set it up at business profile customers messages, manage frequently asked questions and then add a question you can create up to 10 questions for your profile questions can be 40 characters long answers up to 500 characters pretty cool. I mean, it's free part of your Google business profile. Oh Ben is correct me the free version is required. Is that right? Well, that's interesting. That's different than what the story said that Yeah, so there's there's some confusion there and I may very well be wrong about that. Ben. Yeah, if it if, if the free version is required. I'm not sure why it didn't cause errors when everybody saw it. It only affected a certain number of people. I don't know. Interesting. Okay, so I'm wrong that they're not both required. Sorry about that folks. Which makes me want to investigate further why this bug occurred. So you can do that if you'd like to. That is interesting. It would seem then to have affected all of the Yoast installs, which it did not. So that's weird. All right. But anyway, if your Yoast died about a week ago, that's what happened. Okay, let's, let's do another little bit of news. Here from Google Analytics. Speaking of bugs, if you notice weirdness in your Google Analytics numbers last month, you certainly weren't alone. July the 15th was a weird day where Google didn't really release any information about what happened. But all your metrics went to zero. So if you happen to see something odd on July the 15th, or there abouts last month, yeah, everybody else did, too. So it affected Google Analytics, both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics for an affected AdSense ad manager and a number of their other products. They supposedly backported all of the data there should be no lingering effects, but yeah, weirdness in Google Analytics, as well, last month.
Many many weird things happening recently.
All right. Let's move into some other news. These are things that didn't fit anywhere else. Server press is shutting down. So the makers of desktop server that was one of the early early local development environments that you could set up that was specifically made for the WordPress community. They were you know, they started back in 2010. And they've announced last week they are closing after 12 years in business. Steve carnem is the founder said the WordPress development tool landscape has grown and diversified greatly. This has diluted desktop servers overall market share and the time effort cost to bring in new users would be too much overhead for server press to be sustainable. There's no plans for the future of the software. There might be an acquisition who knows there's lots of acquisitions happening. Yeah, so class is saying he won't be renewing desktop server again. Now what they've said is that the premium subscribers like you class will continue to receive support until the end of their subscriptions. There's a great recap. Interview with Mark benzocaine, one of the leaders there in Server press on the mat report. Take a look at that. 12 years in the WordPress business. It's just a great interview altogether. These are good folks that ran server press. I'm sorry to see it go. Maybe Maybe somebody will pick it up. Maybe somebody will pick it up and make it available again. Who knows or maybe it'll be open source you never know. Alright, another big bit of news is that Yoast Volk did his sick every six month annual analyzation analysis of the CMS market share he does this twice a year where he takes a look at the stats and looks at all the CMS is out there and what their market share is. In the past he was using numbers from one source that you may you may remember this back from February. The numbers were a little weird because the source for the numbers had to change because one of the sources shut down. Anyway, he's now using numbers from W three texts and corroborating them with the built with metrics. Yo says because the data is so vague, I've decided to leave forecasting out of this analysis, but for the longest time it looked like WordPress would just always continue growing and then for a brief time it looked like its market share was actually in decline. I think the best conclusion we can draw based on W three text data is that WordPress market share is stabilizing. Its remaining about 43% It's been that way for a number of months now with Shopify a distant second at 4.2%. So less than 10% of WordPress is market share there with Wix Squarespace Joomla all bringing up the rear. So here's our CMS market share over time. In the last year WordPress started out at 42 trickled upwards trickled upwards and still maintaining about 43% that's been pretty consistent over the last nine months. Here's the other competitors down below. None is we don't know what's powering this website. It could be a bespoke, you know, app or something like that. Now, what's interesting is when you pull WordPress and none out of this graph, here's what the others look like. So Shopify, grew a bit and has sort of maintained Wix is actually the one that seems to be growing among these other competitors, along with Squarespace Joomla is on a decline as is Drupal. So that's pretty interesting. You pull Wix out and just look at it in just by itself. Wow, lots of growth is 2011. Look at that. Look at that trajectory especially right in here. And this is where the graphic on Yoast website is a little wonky right there. So I'm not quite sure what's going on. But you see that growth. Shopify has a similar hockey stick kind of growth during the timeframe. Now when you start to look at WooCommerce versus Shopify, look at this Shopify is kind of starting to maintain, while WooCommerce continues to grow about point 1% a month. So WooCommerce continues to grow. Shopify seems to have sort of leveled out as far as their growth so pretty interesting. If you're a statistics nerd, you will enjoy this CMS market share post at Yoast dot blog. There's a lot more there I just pulled some of the pretty pictures out for you to see interesting stuff there that he does twice a year.
Alright, another bit of other news is just a reminder that PHP 7.4 is reaching end of life on November 28. Now in November, it was released in November 2019. They stopped active support for PHP seven four in other words, ongoing development for seven for stopped last November. They are not going to support its end of life no more security patches even as of November the 28th of this year. So if your server is running PHP seven, four, it's time to start thinking about an upgrade strategy. So you want to talk to your host. If you're not sure what version of PHP you're running, you can find that out in site health at tools site health info and server, you will see something that looks something like this. It'll show you under server, the PHP version that you're running. If you're running back up on it, you can also just go into the diagnostic area and see what version you're running there as well. This is probably something we'll talk about in office hours as far as an upgrade strategy. Because what you do have to realize is that PHP eight is the most breaking release of PHP and yours breaking meaning it breaks things. So you want to make sure that your plugins are ready for PHP eight. You know big plugins generally have been ready for PHP eight for some time. It's the more obscure little ones that may not be ready for PHP eight. So that actually sounds like a good webinar topic. We need to look into that. So make sure you talk to your support for plugins loops, as well as your server support just because it's coming. It's happening in November. We're just a few months away. When PHP. PHP, like your server is not going to stop working. But at that point it becomes if there's a security risk, for example, is exposed and 7.4. They're not going to fix it. It's end of life there they've stopped applying patches to it. So probably need to be looking into an upgrade strategy. All right. And like Melanie's saying it's another great reason for using a plugin stack where you're building your sites out of a common theme and plugin stack so you don't have to look up 1000 different plugins you have just kind of a handful that you're using for every site for sure. Okie dokie Yeah, if you're a Gmail user you may have noticed that the new material redesign is live. Now they started talking about it back in February. It's a new UI. It's really pretty. It uses the material UI colors and shapes and sorts of things. It integrates Google meet Google Chat Google Spaces right into the Gmail interface pretty nicely actually, if you have already opted into Google Chat with your Google account, this update is rolled in. Otherwise you can opt in at the little settings at the top right, the gear and then quick settings and try out the new Gmail view. You can have a look it looks something like this. I don't know whose inbox This is. There's lots of email and it was on the article right here. So somebody at Gizmodo, you're looking at their email. There it is.
Pretty nice UI.
All right, just one acquisition to report this month and that is that maintain which was the WordPress management side of web dev Studios, which web dev Studios is a big WordPress agency that works with enterprise level clients. They have sold their maintain division over to site care, which was a competitor. So hopefully that's good for everybody involved. Alright, a few other things that are worth a look these are things that we ran across preparing for the news today, and weren't really necessarily full news items, but just wanted to mention, the first is a really great article on TV explore.com Comparing stripe versus square. If you've not looked at Square lately, like I hadn't you really might want to it's especially good. If you have a client for example, who needs to do in person and online sales stripe doesn't do that very well. Square does it really well. And it integrates with all the things it integrates with Gravity Forms integrates with many form plugins WooCommerce it works great. So if you have a client that does both, if you just have online payments and you like to do invoicing and that sort of thing, Stripe wins really well. It's a great article that unpacks all of these things and you haven't looked at Square for a while and you work with clients who do any kind of purchasing online. I would strongly recommend you read this article and checkouts square, just to be aware of that is an alternative. Also, if you've never looked at the WooCommerce mobile app, there's a great article on the Elegant Themes blog talking about the WooCommerce mobile app. It's really great. It's a free app from automatic and that lets you manage all the things in your shop right from a really nicely designed app on your iPhone or Android. Let's see great article on code in wp.com about the impact of the pandemic on the WordPress community two years later. Great article and then P Mayer about some ways to generate more traffic to your sites and things you might not have thought of. They're pretty good stuff. Um, if you are a whatsapp user, you might want to look at this article from Digital trends.com about the essential new privacy features that allow you to lurk in groups without being seen or leave groups silently and decide who gets to see you online. So those privacy features have been added into WhatsApp. And this is a good article that explains those. And last of all comparing automatic translation solutions for WordPress. So here's a good comparison of two free live translation options from Yandex and Google Translate and the translate press.com gives you a good overview of both of those and what might be right for you.
All right, we're gonna wrap up today with what
we used to call word camp news and I'm expanding that to call WordPress community events because we got a lot to talk about. The WordPress community is waking back up again after three years in the pandemic, and I could not be happier. We're gonna start off first of all with the 2021 to 22 WordPress meetup survey. They do this once a year. If you attend an official WordPress meetup, either virtually or in person. The WordPress community team wants your feedback. It's less than five minutes. It's a quick survey. On this link right here are two surveys actually, it's a little confusing, not quite sure why they did it this way. But they did. There's a survey for event organizers and then directly under that is a link to start the survey for meetup participants. So if you fit into either of those or both of those categories, take that survey. It's quick to do and it will help the meetup the community team to evaluate meetups and make things better on that end. WordPress accessibility Day is coming November 2, and third. It's a free 24 hour virtual event. It's being led by Joe Dawson. He's the developer of the WP accessibility plugin and Amber Hines. He was just with us for our accessibility bootcamp. i It's really about promoting and learning best practices for accessibility and WordPress. So previous accessibility days were run by the core team, but this year I think they're like it's too hard to run through course. So we're going to just do this herself. It's just Joe and Amber running it in order to be great. Call for speakers call for sponsors is open and you can get more information at WP accessibility.de. about that for a URL. You can sign up there for conference news as well. WordCamp us is less than a month away September 9 through 11th 2022. In San Diego. The speakers have been announced the schedule is live. They're at us at word camp.org. There are no more tickets currently available for the live event but there is a free live stream that will be available you can find out about that at this link right there. I will be at WordCamp us so make sure that you look me up. I'll be there tweet at me. I'll be there for that full event looking forward to it. We're camp Asia is also coming in February the first ever word camp Asia February 17. And I paint in Bangkok Thailand. A call for speakers is open tickets are available if you want to go to Bangkok Hey, sounds like fun to me. It will also be live streamed as all these major word camps. Our word fest is also coming back in November. It is planned for Friday, November 28 November 18. It also is a 24 hour virtual event designed to reach remote workers sponsored by big orange heart a great organization in the WordPress space that supports and promotes positive well being and mental health within the remote working community. You can sign up free at the link below. WordPress is always great. All right, a few word camps coming up for September most are not in the US. This is word camp jinga city, UVA Uganda WordCamp. Us. I'll see you there in San Diego, California word camp in the Netherlands in September 14 word camp Ponte Vedra in Spain, and many more word camps are now scheduled and in the planning stage, you can see those at Central dot word camp.org/shedule. And one more bit of news before we wrap it up today and that is a new project from the folks at the events calendar. Really the brainchild of Michelle Ames, Michelle fourchette actually thrown name sorry about that. Michelle, if you're watching wrong name, Michelle Frechette, who saw the need for a single place to find where to find WordPress events. So there is now a new website at WP dot events. That's for any WordPress related event like all those we just mentioned, you can find there and so you can submit your WordPress related event to the WP dot events website and see it there. So their goal is to make this one central place to find out about all kinds of WordPress events all the way around questions in the chat about WP y'all looks like February don't have a date. I can't announce yet but we are on the books. We have a signed venue contract. And we're word camp Birmingham I think is going to be the first word camp in the US in 2023. Looking at February, so there's that. All right with that we will end today's news roundup lot of stuff we talked about today. If you missed the slides, I am going to drop the link once more in the chat. Thanks for hanging out me for the last hour. We are back tomorrow for members that fly 2022 talking about problem clients and also office hours on Thursday for members. Thanks for hanging out me for the last hour. Hope you have a great rest of the day. See you next time on iThemes Training where we go further together.