Monthly Archives: May 2018

One Way to Whitelist and Blacklist Blocks in Gutenberg

Gutenberg ships with a number of blocks but what if your client or project doesn’t need most of them? The Gutenberg Handbook explains how to create a whitelist and a blacklist for blocks but in some circumstances, Gutenberg does not respect the allowed_block_types filter.

Jason Bahl, a WordPress Engineer at Digital First Media, published a tutorial that explains how to whitelist and blacklist blocks using a filterable, localized array.

One thing to keep in mind is that Gutenberg development is in a high state of flux and Bahl warns that his technique is fragile and will likely cause things to break over time. He suggests keeping a close eye on Gutenberg development to see how blacklisting/whitelisting evolves in the plugin.

Source: WP Tavern

WordCamp US 2018 is Accepting Speaker Proposals Until July 1st

WordCamp US has announced it is accepting speaker proposals until July 1st, 11:59p.m. CDT. The event takes place December 7-9, 2018, in Nashville, TN.

Those interested in speaking can submit an application through the Call for Speakers site. The site contains session ideas, a list of speaker benefits, and tips for submissions.

To see a list of sessions and speakers from last year’s event, check out the 2017 WordCamp US website.

Source: WP Tavern

The First Release of WordPress Turns 15 Years Old

This Sunday, May 27th, marks the 15th anniversary of the first release of WordPress. Users are celebrating the occasion across the world with huge cakes, cupcakes, memorable photos, parties, and meetups.

To see if there is an event near you, visit the official WordPress 15th anniversary site and type your city into the search box. You can also follow the festivities on Twitter by browsing the #WP15 hashtag.

If you’re thinking about hosting a party and want to use the WordPress logo on a cake or other bakery items, you’re in luck. The WordPress Foundation has amended the WordPress Trademark Policy to allow people to put the logo on baked goods.

*** Attention: If you’re interested in putting the WordPress logo on a cake, cookie, cupcake, babka, or other celebratory food in honor of the WordPress 15th Anniversary… yes, this is OK under the Trademark policy. ***

WordPress Trademark Policy

In 2015, we highlighted 93Digital‘s WordPress Time Machine. The company has continued to update the timeline with images of the WordPress 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, and 4.9 backends along with their default themes. The timeline is a quick way to see how WordPress has evolved over 15 years.

93Digital WordPress Time Machine

Don’t forget that you can use the coupon code CELEBRATEWP15 to take 15% off any swag you purchase on the WordPress Swag store. The coupon code is good through the end of the year.

Will you be celebrating WordPress’ birthday this weekend? If so, how and where? Let us know!

Source: WP Tavern

WPWeekly Episode 317 – Minor Major Major Minor Release

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I discuss Adobe’s acquisition of Magento, feedback regarding WordPress 4.9.6, when 4.9.7 might ship, an unofficial WordCamp app for iOS, and whether or not it’s time for WordPress auto updates to occur for every version. I describe what it’s like having poison ivy on my face and my continuing woes with lawn care equipment.

Stories Discussed:

Adobe to acquire Magento for $1.68B
WordPress 4.9.7 will include patch to fix an issue that caused fatal 500 errors
You can use the WordPress logo on bakery goods to celebrate WordPress’ birthday
Marcel Schmitz Releases Unofficial WordCamp for iOS App
Music: A Gutenberg-Powered Theme
GDPR for WordPress Developers: Announcing the (Free) Anonymization Addon   
BuddyPress 3.0.0 “Apollo”

Picks of the Week:

Panic Mode the card game. A cooperative card game of office politics during Disaster Recovery for up to 8 players.

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, May 30th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Source: WP Tavern

Why Sites Didn’t Automatically Update to WordPress 4.9.6

WordPress 4.9.6 was released last week and was labeled a minor release. Minor releases trigger WordPress’ automatic update system. Shortly after its release, some users began questioning why their sites were not automatically updating to 4.9.6. I wondered the same thing after logging into a site I maintain and discovering it had not updated.

It turns out that the WordPress Development team disabled the auto update system after discovering that a few plugins were incorrectly loading the new privacy features and triggering fatal 500 errors on the frontend of user’s sites.

The issue stems from privacy code that includes a file that was not expected to be loaded without the rest of the WordPress admin. Mika Epstein, a volunteer member of the plugin review team, personally contacted the affected plugin developers last weekend to help rectify the issue.

A recent scan of the WordPress plugin directory shows that there are no other plugins incorrectly loading the privacy code. However, automatic updates for WordPress 4.9.6 remain disabled until the release of WordPress 4.9.7.

WordPress 4.9.7 will fix the issue described above and include a few other bug fixes. Since auto updates will be enabled for 4.9.7, sites running on 4.9.5 should auto update to 4.9.7 when it’s released. WordPress 4.9.7 is expected to be released sometime after the Memorial Day holiday (Monday, May 28th). Until then, users will need to manually update to 4.9.6.

*Updated 5/23/2018 9:28 PM EST*

Earlier this evening, Gary Pendergast enabled auto updates for WordPress 4.9.6 and the team is monitoring for any new errors that are triggered. So far, 20K sites have updated without any notable problems.

Source: WP Tavern

Marcel Schmitz Releases Unofficial WordCamp for iOS App

Marcel Schmitz, founder of hellodev, has released WordCamp for iOS for free on the App Store. The app utilizes the WordPress REST API endpoints from WordCamp Central and hellodev to display sessions, speakers, and news from an event’s official site.

Schmitz used WordCamp Porto to test features within the app. Sessions are displayed in a timeline and if you give the app permission to access your device’s calendar, you can add sessions to it and create reminders.

Session Timeline

When viewing a session in the app, the screen displays the time the session takes place, name of the speaker with a quick link to a bio, session description, and a section at the bottom to write notes.

There’s also an option on the top-right corner to mark sessions as favorites. However, during testing, marking a session as a favorite would crash the app.

Take Notes While Watching a Session

The app displays all of the necessary information concerning the event without the need to browse to the actual site. Schmitz says he plans to add more information about the city, venue, and the ability to call an UBER in future updates.

WordCamp is a trademark of the WordPress Foundation. Although Schmitz clearly states that WordCamp for iOS is not the official app for all WordCamps, he does not mention receiving permission from the Foundation to use WordCamp in the name. Unless his app is adopted to be the official App for iOS devices, it’s likely he will need to change the name.

Searching the App Store for WordCamp only produces two results. Schmitz’s app and a WordCamp EU Paris Guide. There’s an official WordCamp App for Android available on Google Play and GitHub but the project has seen little activity in the last three years.

WordCamp for iOS fills a void and gives users convenient access to a lot of relevant WordCamp information. To check it out for yourself, you can download it for free from the App Store.

Source: WP Tavern

WordPress 4.9.6 Released With User Data Export and Removal Tools

WordPress 4.9.6 has been released and is considered a privacy and maintenance release. Traditionally, minor versions contain security and bug fixes. This release is different as it includes a number of privacy related features such as:

  • Privacy Policy page template/creation
  • User Data Request Handling
  • User Data Export and Removal tools
  • Cookie Opt-in for Comments
  • Other features related to GDPR Compliance

Earlier this month, I reviewed the privacy features in 4.9.6 and since that post was published, the team has made a number of adjustments. For example, site admins will receive an email when a user confirms a personal data export or removal request and the text on the privacy policy template page has been simplified. 

The privacy features in WordPress 4.9.6 are largely the result of a new team of volunteers that was formed earlier this year. The team is already hard at work on improving these features for future versions of WordPress.

In addition to privacy enhancements, more than 50 bugs have been fixed. ‘Mine’ has been added as a filter in the WordPress Media Library and when viewing a plugin in the backend, it will display the minimum PHP version that’s required.

The WordPress Development team has published an update guide that provides links to technical information related to features in 4.9.6. In addition, there’s a guide available for Theme Authors as styling adjustments may be necessary.

As this is a minor release, sites are in the process of updating automatically. If you encounter an issue with 4.9.6, please report it on the Support Forums.

Source: WP Tavern

WPWeekly Episode 316 – Stone Cold WordPress

While editing this episode, I noticed that my voice routinely goes from quiet to loud. I’m not sure why this is and suspect it has something to do with Windows 10. I apologize for the audio quality and will try to have it fixed by next week’s show.

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I discuss the recent acquisition of the Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress plugin, rebuilding the WordPress edit screen, and an in-depth conversation on the concerns expressed surrounding WordPress 4.9.6. We send a shout out to Alex Mills, get an update on John’s stolen goats, and rant about lawn care power equipment.

Stories Discussed:

Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress (GADWP) is Now ExactMetrics
Warning: WordPress 4.9.6 Really is a Major Update
Rebuilding the WordPress Edit Screen
Medium’s latest pivot leaves some independent media in the lurch
Vision Update: Better Than Expected But Serious Damage Was Done

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Next Episode: Wednesday, May 23rd 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #316:

Source: WP Tavern

To Free Up Resources, WordPress.org Plugin Review Team Begins Closing Unused Plugins

In an effort to free up resources on WordPress.org, the WordPress Plugin Review Team is closing unused plugins. An unused plugin is one that has been approved for the directory but no code was uploaded by the developer in six months or more.

An unused plugin reserves a URL slug on WordPress.org and prevents others from using it. It also takes resources away from active plugins. In addition, if plugin authors are submitting multiple plugins without taking advantage of the resources WordPress.org offers, submissions from that author will be suspended.

WordPress.org provides plugin authors free hosting as a convenience and is not a listing service. Mika Epstein, a member of the plugin review team, says that some people have taken advantage of the submission process to receive a code audit, “We’ve found out some people like to get a review as a ‘free’ security review instead of hiring people for that work.”

To find out what happens when a plugin is closed and how to close a plugin you maintain, check out this guide in the Plugin Developer FAQ. Also, if you want to use a plugin name that’s currently held by a closed, unused plugin, you can request to take over the slug by contacting the review team.

Source: WP Tavern

WordPress 4.9.6 RC1 Released

WordPress 4.9.6 Release Candidate 1 is available for download and addresses some of the issues that have been reported in beta 1. Since the beta’s release, there have been 30 bugs fixed.

Many of the fixes in this release are focused on the new privacy tools that help with GDPR compliance. The verbiage has been changed in multiple areas to make explanations and actions clearer. For example, the Privacy Policy introduction text has been shortened and more user friendly.

One notable bug fix is that site administrators now receive an email when a Personal Data Export/Removal request is confirmed. In a future version of WordPress, it’s possible that the notification bubbles will be extended to display confirmed requests.

A full list of changes in this release can be found on Trac. This minor release needs more testing than usual due to the privacy tools and enhancements introduced. Please test 4.9.6 on staging site or local server and if you encounter any issues, report them on the Alpha/Beta/Release Candidate section of the forums.

Source: WP Tavern

WPWeekly Episode 315 – WordPress 4.9.6, Gutenberg, and Stolen Goats

In this episode, John James Jacoby starts the show by giving everyone a status update on bbPress 2.6. We review the new privacy features in WordPress 4.9.6 Beta 1 and provide feedback. We tell you what’s new in Gutenberg 2.8 and comment on WooCommerce’s new Products insertion block. Last but not least, John describes watching security footage of a woman stealing metal goats off his property at 4:30 AM.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress 4.9.6 Beta 1 Adds Tools for GDPR Compliance
4.9.6 Schedule Changes
What’s new in Gutenberg? (May the 4th)
Making it easier to add products to posts and pages with the Products block for Gutenberg
WooCommerce 3.4 RC1
Recap of Attending the First WordCamp Retreat

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, May 16th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

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Listen To Episode #315:

Source: WP Tavern

Recap of Attending the First WordCamp Retreat

The first WordCamp Retreat was held this past weekend in Soltau, Germany and by all accounts, it was a very successful event. The following is a guest post by Remkus de Vries who recaps his experience attending the event.

Remkus is from Fryslân, the Netherlands and is Manager Partnerships at Yoast. He’s been active in the WordPress Community since 2006 and co-founded WordCamp Netherlands and WordCamp Europe.


As some of you know, I’ve been active in the WordPress Community for over a decade and in that time, I’ve attended many WordPress related events. From Meetups to WordCamps. I get so excited about WordCamps, I’ve even co-founded a few.

However, in all those years, the format of a WordCamp has been relatively consistent. One or two days, multiple tracks and, in the last five years, a Contributor Day. Perhaps the biggest difference has been the city + location combination. WordCamp Europe started shaking this up with us opting for a rotating city and country principle (you should totally come to this year’s edition btw), but the main format has relatively remained the same.

This past weekend, I attended a WordCamp with my colleagues from Yoast with quite a different format though. Yes, there were still presentations, different tracks, a Contributor Day, and an after party. So what was different about this one? The short answer: a lot.

WordCamp Retreat in Soltau, Germany was the first of its kind. One of the primary goals of WordCamps is to benefit the local community and #WCRetreat took a very different approach.

Here are a couple of things that set it apart from a typical WordCamp:

  • The location was exclusive for the WordCamp attendees.
  • Indoor and outdoor activities.
  • Work on your personal development/strengths.
  • Enjoy co-working under ideal conditions.
  • Alternate between valuable input and relaxation.
  • Benefit from previously unknown networking opportunities.

Exclusive Location

Most of this was made possible by the location. Hotel Park Soltau is located in the North of Germany surrounded by woods and heath. The hotel was reserved for WordCamp attendees only. Everyone stayed there, ate there, and networked there. It was an incredibly immersive experience on a different level than any of the other WordCamps I’ve attended.

WordCamp Retreat Venue

Immersive Activities

In addition to the regular WordCamp presentations you might be familiar with, were non-tech related workshops and activities. From mindfulness, yoga, boot camps, to jam sessions and just playing sports outside (like football – not egg hand – and basketball). The goal being to interact with fellow attendees on a different level. And it worked. I saw much more networking and getting to know one another happening.

A Schedule Built Around Social Interaction

The day started with some of the above-mentioned activities, then breakfast for all, followed by the first regular sessions. There was plenty of time between the sessions as well as morning, lunch and afternoon breaks that allowed for a lot of hallway tracks. Before the end of the afternoon, we switched back to other activities again like playing sports or jam sessions.

Contributor Day on Day 2 of 3

One of the things I enjoyed a lot is the fact that the Contributor Day was organized the second day of the three. This meant that everyone attending was kinda ‘locked into’ attending the Contributor Day.  I’m not a big fan of forcing people to do anything, but this was a nice way of integrating the giving back part of a WordCamp.

WordCamp Retreat Contributor Day

I Want to See More of These Types of WordCamps

Sunday afternoon, as the attendees were getting ready to head home, you could see how much everyone had enjoyed these three immersive days. The relaxed schedule, the different approach to what came when,  the fact of us all sharing the same rooms for 72 hours, the activities before, between and after the presentations, they all made this concept an extremely pleasant and relaxed one.

This first edition had about 180 attendees and all of their feedback will determine the fine tuning of what this WordCamp can be, but I’m very enthusiastic about this first edition.

I hope to see this type of WordCamp happen a lot more. It adds value to the format as we know it.

Source: WP Tavern