WordPress Digest #51

This bi-weekly serves to inform and enlighten our minds on latest happenings in the sprawling countryside we call WordPress Land. The president of WordPressLand has declared the sun a coward for hiding behind the moon and has begun a staring contest with the glowing orb to prove who is more powerful.

Release News

  • Developers breathed a collective sigh of relief when it was clarified that the Project Gutenberg editor would not herald the deprecation of the metabox API. How the project will affect metaboxes or whether it will integrate with them is still in discussion and could still lead to significant work on the part of developers to prepare their sites for WordPress 5.0 compatibility. The discussions have been a little tense at times, which is surprising, since I can’t think of anything developers love more than unnecessary work being created for them.
  • Speaking of Gutenberg, version 0.8.0 released the other day and includes 5 new blocks, various improvements to existing blocks, and a slew of performance enhancements.
  • An official list of goals for the WordPress 4.9 release has been published. As mentioned previously, the release will focus on code editing and customizations and is slated for release November 14.

Extending WordPress

  • Not a fan of Project Gutenberg? Not relishing the thought of having to switch over wholesale soon? Well there’s a plugin for that. The Gutenberg Free plugin will maintain the editor interface from WP 4.8 for all us crotchety old bastards who hate and fear change.
  • Automattic’s mobile team has build a new login experience in the mobile apps, aimed at reducing the confusion around logging into WordPress.com hosted sites and self-hosted WP sites.
  • Gravity Forms is arguably the best form building plugin in the WordPress ecosystem, but lacks the ability to create forms that simply email the entries and do not save them in the database. This is problematic for companies that need to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. There is now a very new plugin called Wider Gravity Forms Stop Entries that takes aim at solving this problem.

Grab Bag

  • WordPress.com Business Plans now supports plugins and third-party themes, positioning the site as a new challenger to existing managed WP hosting companies.
  • NRKbeta, the company that made news by adding a quiz to articles intended to first make readers prove comprehension of the article before posting released their findings on the experiment. They determined that most users who took the quiz treated it more like a game to see how much they could remember from the articles, and many did not comment on the article afterwards.
  • There’s a lot…A LOT…of resources out there about WordPress security and how to properly lock down your WordPress site, but the Bloggers Guide to WordPress Security from BestVPN.org is by far the most exhaustive resource I’ve seen to date. Now I suggest you pour yourself your favorite beverage, sit back, and read all the ways you have left your WordPress site open to attack.
  • WP Remote, a popular service for monitoring WordPress sites has been purchased by maekit. The company has some big plans for the service, including adding cloud-based backups.

“We’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks.” -Bonnie Tyler