This Week in WordPress – July 28 to August 4

Posted on August 4, 2017 by in General News | 17 comments

This Week in WordPress – July 28 to August 4

Welcome, Divi Nation, to our new weekly feature, This Week in WordPress. Every Friday, we’ll have a round-up of the top news, tutorials, and resources that you should check out.

Starting next week, myself and a member of either the Elegant Themes staff (like Nathan B. Weller) or a community member or two will do a live-stream of This Week in WordPress, where we will discuss that week’s topics in-depth, answer your questions, and seek out community opinion. You can catch the live-stream of the cast at either our YouTube channel or Facebook page each and every Friday afternoon at 3pm Eastern (starting August 25th). In the meantime we’ll be getting our content curation and collaboration down by publishing these purely written roundups each Friday from now until then.

So let’s get into it!

News

The Next Chapter for Themes

The folks over at ThemeShaper bring up a very interesting point about how themes are being packaged an used these days. They say that users want to focus on the look of their site, not learning a new piece of software, that the focus should change from the functionality of the theme to design and UX.

Do We Really Even Need Gutenberg?

If there’s one thing that’s hot this week in WordPress, it’s Gutenberg. If you ask anyone in the WP community what they think about the up-and-coming text editor, they’ve got an opinion (if they’ve tried the plugin, that is). And Sunflower Child Themes is asking a question that echoes what a lot of people are saying about the much-discussed text editor. This article has a thorough look at the current version of Gutenberg so readers can see just what’s coming and how it compares to what we are currently used to. In the end, the consensus among WP users is “wait and see” because the software is so new. The question that SCT asks is still valid: are we waiting and seeing about something we even need in the first place?

The Missing Advice I Needed When Starting My Career

Basically, Smashing Magazine goes through, point-by-point what many of us need to hear. Specifically, they discuss the idea that you should stop obsessing over which tools you use (such as programming languages, themes, page builders…Gutenberg) and focus on the things that matter in the job itself.

How a VC-Funded Company is Undermining the Open-Source Community

The Outline discusses how a for-profit company went into multiple pieces of open-source software and inserted ads for their products as functionality. As the WordPress community is based on collaboration and trust, this topic could impact us in the future. Fear is growing among some open-sourcers that these actions may influence other bad apples to act similarly.

WordPress 4.8.1 Released

The first maintenance update for the “Bill” build has been released. Among the updates is yet another text-editing feature: an HTML-specific widget that works like the pre-4.8 text widget. So if you have code that needs to be put into widgets without the TinyMCE (and I assume that most of us do), that’s an option once again. And there was much rejoicing.

And there were, you know, other updates you can check out, too, that are just as awesome as the HTML widget.

The Future of the WordPress Economy

I am truly amazed articles like this still pop up, but they’re definitely still worth talking about. Every so often, there are people who cry doom for WordPress because of a new, shiny something that comes out. At this point, it’s page-builders (like our own Divi!), Squarespace, Wix, Gutenberg (see a trend?) and so on. WPShout’s article here tackles exactly why we all shouldn’t be worried: things change, so be good at what you do and ready to adapt if you have to.

Asides and Resources

Hacked and Corrupted Sites

These two articles 12 Signs That Your WordPress Site is Hacked and What is Cross-Site Contamination and How to Prevent It are super-mega-ultra important to understand. Two of the past three freelance clients I took on were because of these. Either shared server had been attacked or their WordPress site was hacked and taken over.

I made some pretty good money getting things back on track, recreating sites, setting up new hosting and security measures, etc. The flip-side is that they had to pay me some pretty good money to do all that, too. So read these articles please.

Snopes Got Held Hostage

It’s amazing to me how much trust people put in web professionals. I know that all of y’all are awesome and trustworthy. But not everyone is. The folks at Snopes learned that the hard way. They didn’t have full access to their accounts, hosting, or servers, and they basically got held hostage because of it. It’s a bad situation for them, but if anything good can come of it, it will be you taking a careful look at who you trust and what information and access you will be sure to keep.

Volunteer at WordCamp US

You should totally volunteer at WordCamp US this year. It’s in Nashville, TN this December, and it’s a pretty awesome city. And WordCamp itself is pretty awesome, too. And so are volunteers. There’s a whole lot of awesome going around, and you should be part of it.

Regional WordCamps Under Discussion

Turns out, the folks who oversee WordCamps are talking about making them regional, rather than just national or city-specific. The details are still being worked out, but now would be a good time to speak up if you’re interested in taking part in the discussion. I know I’d personally love a WordCamp South.

Social Media for Small Business

Strangely enough, even though I’m on social media constantly, when it is part of my paid work, I find of the hardest aspects of the job to keep up with and do well. Yoast recognizes that is true for people who aren’t me, too. They’ve put together a guide to making sure you put your best face forward to the people who follow you.

Tutorials of the Week

Catch Us Next Friday on This Week in WordPress

We’ll be back next week, same elegant time, same elegant channel. We will have more news, tutorials, and resources for you when This Week in WordPress returns next Friday.

17 Comments

  1. The link for the “12 Signs That Your WordPress Site is Hacked” article is not correct.

  2. Everyone seems to be putting out “this week in WordPress” posts lately, and most of them are “good” or at least “OK”…but I have to say this is one of the best I’ve seen. All useful information, and the intros you wrote are great. Thank you.

    • B.J. Keeton

      That’s what I’m going for! Thank you, Christian–glad it’s useful. πŸ™‚

  3. This “new feature” would be more readable and accessible if a proofreader or editor could review and correct Keeton’s writing.

    UX? SCT? New concept: Not all readers are “hip” to these insider acronyms and buzzwords. What does the School of Corporate Training or the Stem Cell Transplantation Committee have to do with WordPress? Defining your terms (yes, even the beloved “VC”) only adds a few words to your article, and gives you the opportunity to link to even more possibly helpful articles.

    Omitted words that make your sentences lose their flow and meaning:
    – “Either shared server had been attacked” => missing word: “Either *their* shared server…”?
    – “I find of the hardest aspects of the job to keep up with” => missing word: “I find *it* one of the…”?

    You’ve clearly got knowledge, enthusiasm, and eagerness to share, please add some proofreading. Temper your “I’m just talking here” style with some consideration for your readers, otherwise this mostly comes off as something that was written in a hurry and never edited for publication.

    • SCT = Sunflower Child Themes

      • Thanks for explaining that. I infer that you find the rest of what I’ve pointed out to be unworthy of response or article correction.

  4. I see since the article I did on Gutenberg that has been released a new version of the Gutenberg plugin has been released. A so called version 0.6.0

    Mainly a bug fix, but it does add yet another text block which too me just seems redundant.

    Nice to see the button block get background color options, but most of the blocks could get it.

    They are starting to do keyboard shortcuts.

    This is the MOST important thing in WordPress this year and needs to be fully discussed. This change can totally ruin WordPress if implemented poorly.

    • B.J. Keeton

      I’m glad there are going to be keyboard shortcuts added in, too, Richard. I know that helps so much when I am working.

      One of my big irks in using Gutenberg has been that there doesn’t seem to be a good way to write for it. Writing in the editor is a pain because they haven’t figured out a good workflow yet, and if you’re not writing in the editor and pasting in–even in the text-only mode–it breaks. The loss of even line-breaks and markup flags is a killer for me right now to even try to use it as a production tool (which it isn’t trying to be at the moment).

      Unless it’s an auto-saving document system like Google Docs, I am not going to compose in the browser. (Not even the TinyMCE’s autosave has prevented me from losing tons of work).

      There’s a lot of promise in the tool, but it needs far more testing and development than where it is right now in 0.6.0 to be included in anything but the repo as a beta, like it is right now.

      • I know they say this is a BETA software, but this software is more of a HOT mess alpha than it is beta.

        I can agree with you on the workflow thing. Parts of the User Interface looks nice, but still a mess to work with.

        Too many unknowns still remain. They are possibly months away still from really figuring out how shortcodes and plugins like ACF, Shortcodes Ultimate, and Yoast SEO even work with Gutenburg.

        I could see another 50 updates to the plugin and still not worth a recommendation from me.

        • B.J. Keeton

          Hah! Kindred spirits, you and I, Richard. That’s exactly what I told Nathan the other day: even though it’s .6, it feels like an early alpha test.

          There’s a lot of potential in the software, and I am trying to look at it from the prospective user’s eyes (I am not the ideal user by any means for this product), but it feels like it needs years-worth of development rather than months to me before it will be at the point where I can tell an uneasy client, “Here use this–it’s simple. You’ll be fine.”

          • B.J. Keeton

            That said, I *want* this project to succeed, which is why I want it to get that dev time instead of being released to the public too quickly and being written off.

            • I would not mind seeing it succeed. It does needs a whole load of DEV time and quite possibly a year plus like you stated.

              Now they are up to version 0.7.1 which looks to be way more of a bug fix version. They did a couple updates this afternoon/evening.

              I will say if you look at the one star reviews for the Gutenberg plugin this one is just must see:

              A Visit from St. Gutenberg

              • B.J. Keeton

                Wow, that’s a lot of updates in a short amount of time–especially pushing from 0.6.0 to 0.7.1 that fast. 1.0 won’t be far off…which is interesting.

                I almost included the Visit from St. Gutenberg in the post, but had other stuff to include, too. But I think it’s brilliant, personally. (And I was an English instructor for years and years, so it hits a great middle ground for me, haha)

                • They will have to do version 0.10.0

                  No way in three more updates is this even worthy of a 1.0

  5. Good updates from you Keetoon. I pick one or two pieces here to run with πŸ™‚

  6. This is awesome

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