WordPress Digest #54: WP 4.9, Yoast Disses Gutenberg, Disqus Breaches Your Data, and More!

This bi-weekly serves to inform and enlighten our minds on latest happenings in the sprawling countryside we call WordPress Land.

Release News

  • WordPress 4.9 Beta 1 is now available for testing. Or you could install it on a production site and really show the world you play by your own rules. Up to you! 4.9 is scheduled to drop on November 14 and the contributors have a decent amount of work ahead of them to get there.
  • I keep talking about Gutenberg. You’d think I was obsessed or something, but it’s not just me, I swear. Everyone in the WordPress ecosystem is talking about what it means: the good, the bad, and the ugly. One of the latest analyses on the topic comes from Yoast, and covers a lot of the concerns I’ve been having myself: new editor = good! Killing metaboxes = bad!

Extending WordPress

  • One of the most useful plugins I’ve ever used is Regenerate Thumbnails, which recreates all sizes for images in your media library. Super helpful when migrating themes or building a new one. The plugin is currently in the process of getting a total makeover by it’s creator, Alex Mills, as it approaches 6 million downloads. I’m looking forward to seeing the next version.
  • Soon, WordPress sites running on servers with older versions of PHP will give admin notifications informing users that they should upgrade to PHP 7. The folks behind this effort are coming up with ways to assist users in this process and are looking to leverage WPEngine’s PHP Compatibility Checker plugin. The plugin currently has a sales funnel for WPEngine’s hosting services and the core team cannot officially endorse the plugin in its current state. It sounds like WPEngine is on board to release a more vanilla version without the sales message, which points to WPEngine being a solid partner in the open source ecosystem.

Grab Bag

  • I mentioned in previous installments the trends around WordPress and tech related meet ups and events that focused on the idea of unplugging, and it sounds like Camp Press was a success. As attendee Brad Williams describes, it provided a means of creating deeper connections among attendees than the standard speaker/panel/sponsor/after-party setup everyone is so familiar with.
  • My favorite-named WordPress service, poopy.life, has launched a premium version of their plugin and theme demo product. Disappointingly, it’s named WP Sandbox.
  • Because we live in a terrible world and everyone is awful, there’s another data breach to be aware of. Disqus, the popular commenting platform, was compromised and data on 17.5 million users was breached. While not nearly as crappy as some other recent breaches, it does contain some password data combined with usernames and email addresses. So if you share passwords and have a Disqus account, it’s time to do the password rotation shuffle.

“My whole thing is loyalty. Loyalty over royalty; word is bond.” -Fetty Wap