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Sanborn WP Digest #27

This bi-weekly serves to inform and enlighten our minds on latest happenings in the sprawling countryside we call WordPress-land. Though not lacking in heart, WordPress-land’s diving team sadly did not qualify for the Olympics.

Release News

  • WP 4.6 “Pepper” released last week. Check out the rundown of feature additions and performance improvements here and WordPress Tavern’s analysis here.
  • WP 4.7 officially kicks off tomorrow, with an anticipated release date of December 6. In the meantime, the call for feature requests for 4.7 has gone out with some interesting ideas being thrown in the mix, like better storage of widget data, fields api, and lots of arguments about 2 factor authentication.

Extending WordPress

  • wA11y is a new plugin that provides site admins with a slew of tools to help improve their site’s accessibility. Highly recommended for any business and especially any site that provides a public service.
  • Personally, I prefer to manually migrate WordPress sites. I don’t find it to be a particularly complicated or difficult task, but lots of people do, and that’s cool too. For those people, there are lots of plugins to help migrating a site, and here’s another one, WPSiteSync, that has some solid reviews and the added bonus of not needing access to the database.
  • Plugins often need admin notices which need to be dismissable by the user. This seemingly mundane thing gets messed up alot users and end up with notices that keep coming back no matter how many times they close them. This leads to sadness. Thankfully some intrepid developers have created a library to help plugin developers with just this problem, the clinically named, Persist Admin Notice Dismissals framework.

WP Drama

The dirty side of dev.

  • One of my least favorite aspects of WordPress has always been the Gravatar implementation for user avatars. Not a big deal on content sites, but on blogs with active user communities, it’s super unintuitive and hacky feeling. Apparently, I’m not the only one.
  • Because I’m a dirty leech and have never tried to contribute to the WordPress Core project, I guess I missed out on a lot of drama regarding the WordPress leadership. Thankfully, someone else had the wherewithal to drag this malarky kicking and screaming into the light. So grab your popcorn and read through the comments of “US vs THEM.”

Misc

I don’t know where to file this crap.

  • WordCamp US organizers are estimating 3,000 attendees and have issued a call for volunteers to help out with the daunting task of herding that many kittens.
  • WPEngine wrote up a blog post recently outlining some of the “hidden” features of the admin that are handy and often overlooked by those not super familiar with the platform…which is bound to be lots of people given WP’s commanding chunk of CMS market share.
  • Evidently, “PHP 7 Is Now More Widely Used than PHP 4.” I’ll file this info with other relevant articles such as “OSX is Now More Widely Used than MS-DOS” and “Cars are Now More Widely Used than Horse-Drawn Carriages.”

That’s all for now. Check back in two weeks for another rundown.