WordPress Digest #64: Developing a Guten-Intolerance

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

I think I’m developing a Guten-intolerance.

Release News

  • There has been a ton of discussion on the last few weeks about the accessibility (or lack thereof) of Gutenberg. The Gutenberg team has recently made a case for Gutenberg being more accessible than the classic editor, while accessibility folks counter that the overall complexity hinders any real accessibility gains. WPCampus is in the process of pursuing an independent audit of Gutenberg’s accessibility, with one focus being the potential legal liability of upgrading. On a personal note, despite a lot of really great features coming with Gutenberg, if they don’t get the accessibility right, I can’t in good conscience advocate for its usage.
  • The next release of WordPress is aiming to be fully PHP 7.3 compatible.
  • WordPress 5.0 Beta 1 is out. I pretty much stopped mentioning beta releases in these digests because for the majority of WP users, they are irrelevant, but in the case of 5.0 it makes sense. It’s such a big update that I believe more people may be interested in trying it out in testing environments that is typically the case. Or, if you like to live dangerously for no good reason, install it on your production site!

Extending WordPress

  • WooCommerce 3.5 is out and includes V3 of the WooCommerce REST API, improvements to transactional emails, and a slew of other features and improvements.
  • Elementor, a popular WP page builder plugin plans to be fully Gutenpatible®™ by it’s version 2.0 release. It’s an interesting development as many speculated that Gutenberg would be the death knell of page builder plugins…which, in a way, I think it should be. I mean, it’s practically a page builder already, it seems silly to tag on another page builder on top of it.
  • ACF is gearing up for releasing its new block creation feature, which will go a long way to maintaining its status as my favorite plugin into the age of Gutenberg. Currently in beta, the 5.8 release is looking very exciting.
  • Jetpack 6.6 is out and the big improvement being touted is better Google site verification as well as a new asset CDN.

Grab Bag

  • WordPress global usage tops 32% of the internet with a marketshare of almost 60%. So to all the haters: it’s still a good time to be a WordPress dev and there are no signs of that changing soon.
  • WPTavern took a first look at the Twenty Nineteen WP theme which is slated to ship with WP 5.0.
  • WPEngine, my managed WordPress hosting drug of choice, was named a “Best Place to Work” by Fortune Magazine. That’s pretty cool. So hey, WPEngine, uh…I know a developer currently in the market for new work

“Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” -Charles de Gaulle