Monthly Archives: January 2019

WPWeekly Episode 344 – Introduction to the WordPress Governance Project

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Morten Rand-Hendriksen and Rachel Cherry to discuss the WordPress Governance project. We discover why it was created, its goals, and how it aims to help govern the systems and processes that make up the WordPress project.

Stories Discussed:

WPML Alleges Former Employee Breached Website and Took Customer Emails

The Era of “Move Fast and Break Things” Is Over

WPWeekly Meta:

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

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Listen To Episode #344:

Source: WP Tavern

WordPress Names Josepha Haden New Executive Director, Joost de Valk Marketing and Communications Lead

During the 2018 State of the Word address, Matt Mullenweg acknowledged lessons learned in the process of releasing WordPress 5.0. One of those was the need for various teams across the project to work together better. The friction during the 5.0 development cycle was beneficial in that it surfaced areas where the project can grow and sparked conversations that are already leading to improvements.

Last week Mullenweg announced that WordPress is expanding its leadership team to include Josepha Haden in a new Executive Director role and Joost de Valk as the Marketing and Communications Lead. These new roles better distribute project leadership to more individuals who have demonstrated the ability and judiciousness to guide large, diverse teams towards success. Haden will be overseeing WordPress’ contributor teams and de Valk is leading the marketing team and overseeing improvements to WordPress’ websites and other outlets.

The Executive Director role is particularly critical for the health of the project, as contributor and community feedback pours in across so many different mediums. Tracking all of this information and taking it into consideration amounts to a full-time job. In her first week in the new role, Haden is seeking feedback regarding the challenges contributors face when working on the project. She identified seven challenges which seem to resonate with many who have commented:

  • Coordinating on collaborative work between teams
  • Aligning our work better to project goals/values
  • Understanding team roles, leadership structures, and decision making
  • Clarifying the differences between open source and open commit
  • Tracking conversations and progress across the project
  • Raising project-wide concerns more easily
  • Improving how we recognize and celebrate success

Responses from contributors have so far revolved around a similar theme – the desire for more clearly-defined projects and goals for teams, along with more communication from leadership.

“Define goals and deliverables for each project deliverable,” Daniel Bachhuber suggested. “Once these are defined, it’s much easier to estimate the level of effort and resources required. Distinguish between full-time sponsored, part-time sponsored, and completely volunteer labor. Each of these three do not work at the same pace. It’ll be much easier to estimate a team’s velocity if you know what type of labor you have to work with.”

Meagen Voss offered some valuable insight from a newer contributor’s perspective. She said the leadership of the project is very unclear and that people could benefit from that information being more prominently published. She also suggested that WordPress explore the idea of having ambassadors for each team to facilitate communication and collaboration across projects.

You get to know your team very well, but no so much other teams. I’ve met some great folks in Slack and am getting to know the two groups I’m involved in super well. But if I have an issue or a question that needs to be addressed to another group, then I would have to hang out in that team’s channel for a while to figure out who the right person is to get in touch with. Identifying “ambassadors” or points of contact for each group could be a quick and helpful way to address that.

The conversation is still open for contributors to jump in and share their own challenges and suggestions. Haden plans to follow up with the next steps after gathering more feedback. Action born out of these conversations has the potential to greatly improve contributors’ experiences working together, resulting in fewer people burning out on communication struggles or losing momentum from lack of clearly defined objectives.

Source: WP Tavern

WooCommerce Launches New Mobile Apps for iOS and Android

This week marks the first public release of WooCommerce’s new mobile app for Android and the improved version for iOS. WooCommerce began beta testing the Android app late last year and the original iOS app has been updated to offer the same features.

This first release should be considered a basic start that is mostly useful for tracking store performance with detailed stats and getting alerts for new orders and product reviews. Users cannot add or edit products and the app does not yet allow for switching between stores. The first release offers basic order management and fulfillment but does not include the ability to change order status. The mobile apps don’t yet live up to their tagline of “Your store in your pocket,” but it’s a good starting place.

According to the Google Play Store, the WooCommerce app has been installed more than 10,000 times and the response from users has been mixed. The app is averaging a 2.5-star rating after early reviews from 45 users. The iOS app has received similar responses. Many of the negative reviews are due to connection/login issues and the requirement for stores to use Jetpack.

“This has promise, but get rid of the need for Jetpack,” one reviewer wrote. “There are other secure ways of syncing up. Other apps have done it for years. This app has been long overdue, but is poor in execution when you need to install a plugin that tends to bog down your site and that most don’t need. Give an alternative means of syncing and allow us to edit at least the basics of a product on the go.”

WooCommerce marketing representative Marina Pape explained the Jetpack requirement in a post announcing the mobile apps’ launch:

The Jetpack plugin connects your self-hosted site to a WordPress.com account and provides a common authentication interface across lots of server configurations and architectures.

Both Apple and Google only allow a single trusted sender for pushes for security reasons (read more), making Jetpack the best way for us to give you modern mobile app features like push notifications.

In order to connect sites with the app, Jetpack creates a shadow site on WordPress.com’s servers and syncs quite a bit of data. Although this list of data is transparently outlined, the Jetpack requirement is a deal breaker for some users. They either object to sharing their data or believe the plugin will slow down their stores. Until the app’s features are more compelling than the detriments users perceive in Jetpack, it may lose a few users based on this requirement.

According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce is now the most popular shopping cart technology used by 22% of the top 1 million websites, with competitors Shopify and Magento not too far behind at 17% and 13% respectively. Having a new mobile app should help WooCommerce remain competitive, but the team needs to keep iterating on the app to make it more useful for those managing stores on the go.

Source: WP Tavern

Gutenberg Phase 2 to Update Core Widgets to Blocks, Classic Widget in Development

Gutenberg phase 2 development is underway and one of the first orders of business is porting all existing core widgets to blocks. This task is one of the nine projects that Matt Mullenweg outlined for 2019, along with upgrading the widgets-editing areas in wp-admin/widgets.php and adding support for blocks in the Customizer.

Contributors on phase 2 are also developing a Classic Widget, which would function as a sort of “legacy widget block” for third-party widgets that haven’t yet been converted to blocks. There may be many instances where plugin developers have not updated their widgets for Gutenberg and in these cases their plugins would be unusable in the new interface without the option of a Classic Widget. This block is still in the design stage.

The widgets.php admin page will need to be completely reimagined as part of this process. Mark Uraine, a designer who works at Automattic, created some mockups to kick off the discussion about what this screen might look like.

Widgets as blocks

These mockups are just explorations of where widgets may be headed next, and they do not take into account everything that will be required of this screen.

Nick Halsey, one of the maintainers for WordPress’ Customize component recommended abandoning this screen altogether in favor of showing widget block areas in the Customizer:

The widgets admin screen has a fundamental disconnect with the way that widget areas actually work – with different areas showing in different parts of the screen and potentially on different parts of the site. It will be very difficult to clearly reflect the frontend page structure on this screen in a way that users will be able to understand. Experimenting with contextual approaches to this experience in the customizer offers numerous opportunities for this fundamental problem to be solved. Starting with the visible edit shortcuts that are already in core, revamped widgets could be edited directly on the frontend (of the customize preview) or in an overlay that is more directly related to the display on a particular screen. The ability to navigate to different parts of the site within the customize preview solves a problem that this screen will never be able to address.

Getting blocks to work in the Customizer is also part of phase 2, but conversation on the ticket related to wp-admin/widgets.php indicates the team is not going to abandon this screen just yet.

“While this screen will eventually be deprecated in the future, especially as more of the site is built in Gutenberg, it’s a necessary “baby step” to get us all there together,” Uraine said. “Maybe the best thing is to keep the existing layout, but just allow the use of all blocks within the accordion content areas? This will keep our resources and investment minimal on this particular piece with just a few suggested tweaks to the mockup in the initial post. It will also allow us to move to the Customizer more quickly.”

Gutenberg accessibility contributor Andrea Fercia encouraged contributors to address accessibility before creating visual mockups by designing the information architecture first. He encouraged them to organize the required information and controls while thinking about how someone might navigate them in a linear way.

“The customizer is not fully accessible,” Fercia said. “The admin widgets screen is the only place where persons with accessibility needs have a chance to manage widgets without having to face big accessibility barriers.”

Discussion on the future of the widget management screen continues in the ticket and contributors are looking to get more input during this exploration stage. There’s also a project board where anyone can share a blog post with their own explorations.

Porting widgets to blocks has its own project board if you want to follow along or jump in on an issue. Most of the core blocks are already finished and a handful are still in progress.

Updating the widgets management page and bringing blocks into the Customizer is a major overhaul but will further unify WordPress’ interface for editing and previewing content. Widgets have served WordPress well over the years, making it easy for users to customize their websites without having to know how to code. The feature has also survived many evolutions, eventually making its way into the Customizer five years ago in WordPress 3.9. One of the limitations with widgets is that they can only be used in “widgetized” areas. Transforming widgets into blocks removes that limitation and makes it possible to use widgets in posts and pages as well.

Source: WP Tavern

WPML Alleges Former Employee Breached Website and Took Customer Emails

Over the weekend, many WPML customers received an unauthorized email from someone who claimed to have hacked the company’s website and gained access to customer emails. WPML founder Amir Helzer suspects that the attacker is a former employee.

“The customer is an ex-employee who left an exploit on the server (not WPML plugin) before leaving. Besides fixing the damage, we’ll also be taking legal actions,” Helzer said Saturday night.

The WPML team worked around the clock over the weekend to secure their systems and sent out an email informing customers of the incident. They also assured customers that the WPML plugin does not contain an exploit and that payment information was not compromised. The company published an announcement to their website, detailing the incident and their response:

We updated wpml.org, rebuilt everything and reinstalled everything. We secured access to the admin use 2-factor authentication and minimized the access that the web server has to the file system.

These are more precautions than actual response to the hack. Our data shows that the hacker used inside information (an old SSH password) and a hole that he left for himself while he was our employee.

This hack was not done via an exploit in WordPress, WPML or another plugin, but using this inside information. In any case, the damage is great and it’s done already.

WPML urges customers not to click on any links in the email the attacker sent out and recommends they change their passwords for wpml.org. The attacker has customer names, emails, and sitekeys, but WPML said the sitekeys cannot be used to push changes to customer websites.

Helzer is convinced that the attack was an inside job and suspects two former employees. He and his team are working to provide evidence to the authorities. He said the the nature of the attack demonstrates that it was likely not an outside hacker:

  • The first time our site was breached was on the day we fired an employee, who had access to our servers. We didn’t identify the breach at that time. However, once we got hacked, we analyzed the original hole and we found in our log when it was placed (yup, he deleted the log, but he didn’t delete the backup). Now that we finished cleaning up the mess, we’re going through all logs and collecting the full evidence.
  • The attacker targeted specific code and database tables that are unique to our site and not generic WordPress or WPML tables.
  • The attacker crafted the attack so that it would cause us long term damage and not be apparent in first sight. That long-term damage is very difficult to guess without knowing our business objectives and challenges. This is information that our employees have, but we don’t disclose.

The idea that a former employee who is known to the company would risk performing these illegal actions is difficult to grasp, even in the case of someone who was fired and may have been acting in retaliation. The risks of being caught seem too great.

“In many jurisdictions including the USA, this is jail time,” Wordfence CEO Mark Maunder said. “So I find it quite incredible that an employee would leave a backdoor, use it to deface their site, steal their data and email all subscribers. This is the infosec equivalent of walking into a police precinct and tagging the wall while the cops watch.”

Helzer said the incident should serve as a wakeup call for companies that employ remote workers. It highlights the importance of having procedures in place for revoking employee access to all systems used as part of day to day operations.

“We have to admit that our site was not secured well enough,” Helzer said. “If someone previously had admin access and stopped working for us, we should have been more careful and avoided this situation.

“This can be a wakeup call for others. We talk a lot about the benefits or remote work and most of the WordPress industry works remotely. This made us realize that we need to be a lot more pessimistic when we allow any access to our system.

“For example, the fact that we’re now coding for ourselves a requirement to login with 2fa, means that we’re not alone in this exposed situation.”

The attacker’s unauthorized email and WPML’s response email went out over the weekend, so many customers will be learning of the incident today when they return to work. Helzer said customers have been supportive so far.

“I think that customers appreciate the fact that we contacted them as fast as we could and we dropped everything and ran to handle this,” he said. “I think that we’ll still have damage. Clients did not run away from us right now but a good reputation is something that you build over years. A nasty incident like this stays ‘on your record.’ This is our livelihood and we take it seriously.”

Source: WP Tavern

WPML Website Hacked, Customer Emails Compromised

On Saturday, January 19, WPML customers started reporting having received an email from someone who seems to have hacked the plugin’s website and gained access to customer information.

The hacker claims to be a disgruntled customer who had two websites hacked due to vulnerabilities in the WPML plugin:

WPML came with a bunch of ridiculous security holes which, despite my efforts to keep everything up to date, allowed the most important two of my websites to be hacked.

WPML exposed sensitive information to someone with very little coding skills but merely with access to the WPML code and some interest in seeing how easy is to break it.

I’m able to write this here because of the very same WPML flaws as this plugin is used on wpml.org too.

The hacker also claims to have exploited the same vulnerabilities in order to send the email to WPML’s customers and has published the same message to the plugin’s website. The text is still live at this time and product pages have also been defaced.

The commercial multilingual plugin has been in business since 2009 and is active on more than 600,000 WordPress sites. It is a popular plugin for business sites in Europe, North America, Asia, and South America, especially those with a global audience. Customers are still waiting for an official explanation from WPML.

We contacted the company for comment but have not yet received a response. If you are using the plugin, you should deactivate it until the company pushes an update to patch the security vulnerabilities. This story is developing and we will publish new information as it becomes available.

Update from WPML founder Amir Helzer: “The customer is an ex-employee who left an exploit on the server (not WPML plugin) before leaving. Besides fixing the damage, we’ll also be taking legal actions.”

Source: WP Tavern

WPWeekly Episode 343 – Newspack, Expanding Leadership, and Cory Miller

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I discuss Automattic’s quest to create a new service tailored to journalists. We discuss what’s next for Cory Miller as his chapter at iThemes ends later this month. Near the end of the show, we talk about recent leadership changes in the WordPress project and share our opinions of Slack’s new logo.

Stories Discussed:

Thirty-Five

Journalism and Newspack

Embarking On My Next Adventure

WordPress 5.1 Schedule Updates

Expanding WordPress Leadership

Slack’s New Logo

How WordPress Knows What Page You’re On

WPWeekly Meta:

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

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Listen To Episode #343:

Source: WP Tavern

WordPress.com Secures $2.4 Million in Funding from Google and Partners to Build a Publishing Platform for News Organizations

WordPress.com has announced plans to create a new, open source publishing platform that caters to small and medium-sized news organizations. The Google News Initiative has contributed $1.2 million towards the development of “Newspack” on top of WordPress.com’s infrastructure.

Automattic and Google have joined with other contributing partners from the broader world of journalism for a total of $2.4 million in funding for the first year of the project. These partners include The Lenfest Institute for Journalism ($400K), ConsenSys, the venture studio behind Civil Media ($350K), The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation ($250K), and an additional partner who will join later this month. Spirited Media and News Revenue Hub will also contribute to the creation of the platform.

Local news organizations are critical for a healthy democratic society, keeping the public informed about things happening close to home. The move to digital news consumption has forced consolidation in the news industry where larger players have come out ahead while smaller publications struggle to stay above water.

In a report called “The Expanding News Desert,” published in 2018, researchers at the University of North Carolina found that nearly one in five newspapers has disappeared during the past 15 years. Many others have become “ghost newspapers,” shells of what they once were – either absorbed by larger dailies that purchased them or suffering from a severely pared back newsroom that is unable to adequately cover local events.

WordPress.com has amassed an expert team to address this crisis in local news. The Newspack platform will cater to the technological and editorial needs of smaller newsrooms, with the monetization tools to make their work sustainable. WordPress.com is currently accepting applications for charter participants and plans to launch in beta near the end of July 2019.

Open Source Newspack Platform to Offer an Alternative to Expensive Proprietary CMS’s

The WordPress community has speculated widely about what shape Newspack will take, whether it will be like WordPress.com VIP tailored to publications or something similar to Jetpack with a curated set of tools that could be used by self-hosted sites through SaaS upgrades. According to WordPress.com president Kinsey Wilson, a former executive for NPR and The New York Times who joined Automattic in 2018, the platform may end up being a hybrid of approaches.

“It’s still very early in the process, but I expect elements of both VIP and Jetpack to inform this,” Kinsey said. “Newspack will be part of the WordPress.com platform, but we’re going to be working on a highly curated experience tailored to these news organizations, with individualized support available across editorial and business.”

The platform will support plugins that solve problems publishers experience at the local level and will also include Gutenberg-specific editorial tools.

“It will leverage Gutenberg,” Kinsey said. “A few examples of the tools that might be launched with Newspack include email integration for marketing and editorial; programmatic ad integration, analytics, real-time backups, and revenue generating tools for subscriptions and e-commerce. We hope to work closely with partners across the WordPress ecosystem for potential ways to work with services that are beneficial to news organizations.”

The most important distinction of the Newspack platform is that it will be open source. That also puts it directly in competition with proprietary CMS’s like Arc, Vox Media’s Chorus CMS, and MediaOS, that are prominent in the news industry right now. Instead of working together, larger media companies have opted to build their own CMS’s and many of them are also licensing enterprise versions to publishers or offering them as SaaS solutions.

I asked Kinsey if Newspack will be something news organizations could self-host or if it will be inextricably tied to WordPress.com’s infrastructure. WordPress.com is making it open in the sense that publishers will not be tied to using it forever if they want to their information and copy the same setup somewhere else.

“It is not only open source, it will be designed so that at any point in time any individual site or even a commercial competitor could capture an image of the setup and port it to another platform,” Kinsey said. “The value we offer is our knowledge of the news industry, our ability to keep pace with new requirements, and our ability to vet various plug-ins and open-source contributions to the project for security and interoperability — all at an attractive operating cost of between $1,000 and $2,000 per month. In addition, we hope to expose news organizations to a wider community of like-minded developers and to create an on-boarding system that simplifies the setup.”

Operating costs on proprietary platforms are much higher than what WordPress.com is planning for Newspack. Arc costs smaller publishers $10,000 per month in software licensing fees and can cost up to $150,000 monthly for larger publications. Vox media executives told the Wall Street Journal that the company “plans to sell Chorus at different pricing tiers depending on the demands of each customer with fees in the six and seven-figure ranges.” Small local news publications are often priced out of using a publishing platform like this.

“It breaks my heart how much of their limited resources these organizations still sink into closed-source or dead-end technology,” Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg said in a post introducing Newspack on his blog. “Open source is clearly the future, and if we do this right Newspack can be the technology choice that lasts with them through the decades, and hopefully our 15 years of growth lends some credibility to our orientation to build things for the long term.”

Google’s support of Newspack is in line with its history of building with and supporting open source projects. When asked for clarification on Google’s investment in the project, Kinsey said, “It is a donation that is intended to support work that otherwise would not likely find commercial support because of the relatively modest means of small digital publishers.”

WordPress.com’s Newspack announcement comes on the heels of the news of Digital First Media’s unsolicited $1.36 billion bid for Gannett. The future of local news is tenuous, as larger players in the industry press for more consolidation and cost-cutting journalism. In the same week, Facebook, who has had a hot and cold relationship with publishers, announced the company is investing $300 million to support local news.

In recognition of the dire situation facing many local newsrooms, the largest companies on the web are committing funds to help them find a sustainable business model. WordPress.com’s Newspack platform, with its affordable, open source alternative to proprietary systems, is positioned to make a strong impact during this seminal time in the evolution of the news industry.

“By itself, an open source CMS is not going to help news organizations remain independent,” Kinsey said. “However, by helping new, emerging organizations overcome the complexity and cost typically associated with technology deployment and instead allowing them to focus resources on journalism and smart business practices, we think we can help them become more sustainable.”

Source: WP Tavern

WooCommerce Blocks is Now a Feature Plugin, Version 1.3.0 Introduces 6 New Blocks

WooCommerce Blocks 1.3.0 was released yesterday with six new blocks. Previously, the plugin allowed users to display a grid of products by category. The new version introduces a Featured Product Block with design options for customizing nearly everything about the display, including color overlay, price and description, text alignment, call-to-action button, and the product photo.

Version 1.3.0 also introduces a Hand-Picked Products block that displays a grid of manual selections that can be ordered in different ways. Other new blocks include the following, which display as a grid and can be filtered by category:

  • Best Selling Products block
  • Top Rated Products block
  • Newest Products block
  • On Sale Products block

WooCommerce Blocks is also now a feature plugin, which means that after it is more polished and tested, the plugin can be considered for merge into WooCommerce core. WooCommerce Blocks 1.4 is expected the last week in January with improvements to the Featured Product block and a new Products by Attribute block.

In December 2018, WooCommerce published usage data that indicates 40% of users who could be considered “established business owners” also have a brick-and-mortar location, and 27% host events in physical locations. This means that many WooCommerce store owners have multiple channels for selling their products. The data also showed that large stores don’t always turn to big companies to handle their website development needs.

Based on that usage data, blocks have the potential to greatly improve the site management experience for many WooCommerce store owners who want to market to different audiences beyond their physical stores. Blocks enable them to easily swap out featured products and customize promotions on products that are selling well in their stores. All of these actions are quick to configure inside the new editor with a live preview. The sooner this feature plugin lands in WooCommerce core, the easier it will be to make these kinds of quick updates. Store owners with sites running on WordPress 5.0+ can take advantage of these blocks now by installing the plugin.

Source: WP Tavern

CoBlocks Adds Row and Columns Page Building Blocks for Gutenberg

CoBlocks, one of the earliest block collections for Gutenberg, has added new page building blocks and tools in the latest 1.6 release. ThemeBeans founder Rich Tabor and plugin developer Jeffrey Carandang partnered together on this iteration of CoBlocks to bring users new Row and Columns blocks and a Typography Control Panel.

The Row and Column blocks are resizable and can be dragged to new positions.

After selecting the Row block, users can choose the number of columns and then a layout for the row.

These row layouts can also be adjusted from inside the row toolbar or inspector sidebar panel, which includes responsive media query controls.

The Row and Column blocks also come with fine-grained controls for adjusting background and text color, width, margin, and padding.

Version 1.6 also includes a new Typography Control Panel with support for Google fonts. Users can customize the fonts with built-in controls for line-height, letter-spacing, font-weight, and text-transform properties. It also supports customizing fonts for the core heading, paragraph, and button blocks.

The video below shows a quick demo of column layouts and nested row blocks in action, as well as a few other blocks in the collection. Tabor said the team has more blocks in development that are geared towards full page layout and design. They are also working on a more advanced Google Maps block, feature blocks, and image cards.

The Gutenberg team has been discussing a “section” block since February 2018, where columns blocks could be placed inside the more generic section container. It’s on the roadmap for Phase 2 but contributors are taking their time to carefully define how this block will work. In the meantime, plugin developers have created their own versions of sections.

CoBlocks is currently setting the bar for Gutenberg-powered layouts. When WordPress core gets deeper into site building, this plugin’s user-friendly approach to rows and columns should provide some inspiration for creating an intuitive page building experience.

Source: WP Tavern

WordPress Support Forums Add @mentions with Auto-complete

The WordPress Support forums have been updated to include Twitter/GitHub style auto-completion for usernames. As users begin typing @username in the forum’s TinyMCE editor, it will begin to suggest usernames, narrowed further by characters typed. Hitting tab or enter will complete the username and link it to the user’s profiles.wordpress.org page. This will trigger a notification for the user.

A similar feature was implemented on WordPress trac three years ago. This initial version of @mention auto-complete for the support forums works in a similar way in that it completes a partial search query from a known set of usernames. In this case it only includes thread participants. In order to make the auto-complete scale for WordPress.org’s 10+ million registered users, it does not perform site-wide username lookups or include moderators, plugin reps, or theme reps who have not yet commented on the thread.

The @mentions have been implemented across all WordPress.org forums. Any issues with the feature can be reported on trac by re-opening the original ticket or creating a new one. Daniel Iser commented on the ticket that he is working on getting this feature working for bbPress during the first half of this year.

Source: WP Tavern

WPCampus Selects Tenon LLC for Gutenberg Accessibility Audit, Completed Report Expected in February

WPCampus announced that Tenon LLC, a leading accessibility firm founded by Karl Groves, has been selected to perform its Gutenberg accessibility audit. More than $10,000 has come in through WPCamps’ crowdfunding campaign. Shortly before WordCamp US 2018, Automattic pledged to fund the remainder of the audit. The final cost for the chosen vendor is $31,200.

A diverse committee of WordPress, accessibility, and higher education professionals evaluated seven proposals before selecting Tenon LLC. The company’s Tenon API delivers advanced reporting that assists clients in understanding which issues to prioritize first in the process of building more accessible experiences. The Access Monitor plugin for WordPress is an example of a tool built using this API. Site administrators can use it to identify and tackle accessibility issues with the help of automated testing.

WPCampus will leave its crowdfunding campaign open until Friday, February 8 to allow more community participation. The organization plans to deliver a progress update on Thursday, January 31, and is aiming to complete the audit by late February. A public report of the findings will be published as a resource that anyone can access.

Source: WP Tavern