WordPress Digest #44

This bi-weekly serves to inform and enlighten our minds on latest happenings in the sprawling countryside we call WordPress Land. After 100 days in office, the president of WordPressLand has proven definitively that he can, in fact, count to 100.

Release News

  • I take great, great joy in writing this next sentence. Starting with version 4.8, WordPress will be ending support for Internet Explorer versions 8, 9, and 10. Read that again. Swish it around. Let it breath. Smell the bottlecap.
  • WordPress 4.7.4 was on the verge of releasing at the time of writing the last issue of this digest, and now it is out. Here are the release notes on the 47 issues this version has fixed.

Extending WordPress

  • WooCommerce 3.0 has released. It’s a major release so obviously make sure to test it before updating a production site. There are lots of changes and performance improvements in this release. One of the major improvements comes to the image galleries, which will now feature magnification and zooming features (with touch compatibility) right out of the box.
  • One thing constantly on the radar for site performance improvements is better ways to compress images. Smush Image Compression and Optimization is the gold standard among plugins that do this, and recently won Torque Magazine’s annual Plugin Madness bracket.
  • I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve installed a plugin then spent precious minutes of my life trying to figure out where the settings page is for said plugin. Well now there’s a plugin for that. And this, naturally, sends me down a spiral of hatred thinking about how there are so many plugins with this seemingly obvious UX problem that someone else made a plugin dedicated to fixing just this one thing.
  • Watsonfinds is a new WordPress plugin that uses IBM’s Watson AI to determine the most likely emotional response users will feel when reading content. Well all I have to say is: no unfeeling robot tells me how to feel, dammit.
    Shopify has discontinued support for the Shopify eCommerce Plugin and the plugin has been removed from the WP plugin directory.

Grab Bag

  • In the last issue I discussed unplugged WordPress meetup and boon to allergy medicine stockholders CampPress, and now I have learned of a similar event taking place in November: CabinPress. Same basic premise: staying in the wilderness, unplugging and bonding with other WordPress folks. But this one happens in cabins in the wilderness of Florida, so I imagine it will also involve gators, meth, and a guest appearance by Florida Man.
  • Automattic is closing their San Francisco office which I didn’t even realize they still had.
  • When the WordPress plugin directory recently launched a redesigned interface, people seriously had a cow at the removal of the tabbed interface in favor of expanding links on one page. So they brought back the tabs and the WordPress community rejoiced.

“The thread of culture that runs through the entire history of punk is also a dedication to challenging the authoritarian.” – Greg Graffin