Figma Partners with WordPress to Improve Design Collaboration

Figma logo

Figma, an online collaborative interface design tool, has donated an organizational membership to the WordPress project. The browser-based application helps designers and developers collaborate more efficiently and is used by organizations like Microsoft, Slack, and Uber. It provides design tools, prototyping, previews, and real-time feedback, all in the same place, and is often described as the “Google Docs for designing apps.”

Figma aims to match the way designers work today in collaborative roles, with features like shared component libraries, versioning, live device preview, and Sketch import. It was created to offer “one single source of truth for design files.”

“Where we may have used multiple tools in order to support all the parts of the design process, Figma incorporates many of the core features of other tools all in one product for a more efficient and powerful workflow,” Alexis Lloyd, Head of Design Innovation at Automattic, said in the announcement on the make.wordpress design blog. “I’m excited about the possibilities for how Figma can make the WordPress design process more collaborative, robust, and efficient.”

Figma launched in 2016 but has quickly gained popularity due to its seamless developer handoff exports and cross-platform compatibility. Many teams inside the WordPress community are already big fans of using Figma. 10up has been using the tool as part of the company’s design process. The SketchPress library that 10up created, a collection of WordPress admin interfaces, symbols, and icons, is in the process of being converted into a shared team library for Figma so that WordPress contributors can take advantage of it.

If you have held back on getting involved in designing for the WordPress project because of archaic collaboration tools, working with Figma may improve your contribution experience. Designers can get access to the Figma team by signing in with a Slack account using the invitation link. New users can upgrade their default “view” capabilities and get access to edit files by requesting permission in WordPress’ #design Slack channel.

Contextual Related Posts v2.5.0

I’ve just released Contextual Related Posts v2.5.0 and existing users can update the plugin as usual from within their WordPress install. This release adds a few minor features as well as a few bug fixes that were reported by users.

Disable on AMP pages and mobile devices

One feature requested by a lot of users is to disable the related posts display on mobile devices and AMP pages. With the inbuilt cache, the display of the related posts is super fast. However, you do need to write some custom styles in order to make the display work on both mobile and AMP pages particularly because of the screen size.

As a result, some users requested an option to disable the display of the posts. Previously you could use filters to override the display, but now you have two options to disable related posts on mobile devices and pages that have the AMP endpoint. I’ve tested this with AMP for WordPress.

You can find the settings under the General tab.

New filters

I’ve also added two new filters crp_thumb_alt and crp_thumb_title. These allow you to override the alt and title tags of the post thumbnail. By default, these are alt="{post title}" and title="{post title}".

Additionally, v2.5.0 also introduces a new function and filter crp_permalink. This allows you to override the permalink of each post item e.g. add a query string for tracking purposes.

Detailed changelog in Contextual Related Posts v2.5.0

  • Features:
    • New option to disable related posts on mobile devices
    • New option to disable related posts on AMP pages
  • Enhancements:
    • New filters crp_thumb_alt and crp_thumb_title to edit the post thumbnail alt and title tags. Use this to remove/replace the tags
    • New function and filter crp_permalink
    • Saving a post will delete its cache
  • Bug fixes:
    • Fixed CSS validation errors
    • Removed conversion of table schema from/to InnoDB. If you are using a version of mySQL above v5.6, you can alter the table engine to use InnoDB with a FULLTEXT index
    • Prevent errors from non-existent post id (virtual post). Contributed by @jnorell

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Contextual Related Posts v2.5.0 was first posted on November 18, 2018 at 8:01 pm.
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Block Context for Gutenberg

Block Context for WordPress Gutenberg Editor

I’ve started working on the Block Context plugin for Gutenberg — a companion to my Widget Context plugin which has around 70,000 active users. You’ll be able to show and hide content blocks for certain users, user roles, etc.

Sign up for the email updates on the plugin homepage if you would like to get notified when it’s ready.

Use Contact Form 7 to collect business leads and enquiries? I created Storage for Contact Form 7 plugin which stores them safely in WordPress database.

Get it now for only $19 →

WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg, WooCommerce updates and a bonus!

This week’s roundup focuses on what’s new in Gutenberg, WordPress 5.0, (of course!) but we also discuss WooCommerce’s upgrade instructions and we have a cool bonus for you! Let’s get to it!

It’s been a bit of a slow week when it comes to news in general. Well, that is, if we ignore the usual suspects: Gutenberg & WordPress 5.0 😉.

Last week’s big announcement was that WordPress 5.0 would be postponed to the 27th of November. This pushes the release date back until after the most intense e-commerce weekend online: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Postponing the release for roughly two weeks addresses only some of the arguments out there, but it’s good to see the Core team is listening to outside input.

The last Gutenberg beta

Gutenberg had its last beta release with the release of Gutenberg 4.4, yesterday. Next up are the Release Candidates. The most important updates in 4.4 are:

Some long-standing usability issues were improved around image uploads, permalinks, columns, video backgrounds, etc. It’s now also possible for plugins to remove core panels from the Document sidebar.

Per usual, you can read the rest in the release post over at Make WordPress Core: there are quite a lot of improvement and bug fixes. Furthermore, this release saw a decent amount of refinements with regards to Accessibility and Performance. Two topics we at Yoast hold very dear to our heart.

WordPress 5.0 beta 5

You could easily be fooled thinking the upcoming WordPress 5.0 release is all about integrating the Gutenberg editor, but there’s more!

PHP 7.3 compatibility

WordPress 5.0 also introduces full compatibility with PHP 7.3. The last known PHP 7.3 compatibility issue has been fixed with the release of WordPress 5.0 beta 5. If you’re curious to find out what you should know about PHP 7.3 and WordPress, check out the developer note on the Make WordPress Core blog.

Twenty Nineteen

I’ve mentioned before that WordPress 5.0 will ship with a new default WordPress theme. This beta release saw a lot of small but important improvements for Twenty Nineteen.

WooCommerce & WordPress 5.0

Usually, when there’s an update to any WordPress plugin, it can be processed fairly smoothly. However, in some cases, you should test updates in a staging environment first, before you do this on the live site. And in some cases, you should test in a staging environment and follow a specific sequence of steps.

With the upcoming WordPress 5.0 release and WooCommerce, this is the case. The tl;dr is that, before you update to WordPress 5.0, you first need to update WooCommerce to the 3.5.1 version. If you’re running WooCommerce, as we do, make sure you read their announcement first.


If you have many different types of content on your site, you’ll know it can get a little bit confusing at times. This week, I saw an interesting new product trying to tackle exactly that problem. OrganizeWP aims to provide a new and improved way for editors to manage their content. Learn more about their features here.

The post WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg, WooCommerce updates and a bonus! appeared first on Yoast.

How to Use User Generated Content in WordPress to Grow Your Business

Did you know that user-generated content can tremendously help you grow your business? User generated content is both relatable and authentic, that’s why it’s a big winner with millennials and Gen Z. In this article, we will show you how to easily use user-generated content in WordPress to grow your business.

How to use user-generated content in WordPress

What is User-Generated Content?

User generated content (UGC) is the content generated by user activities on your website. This includes comments, testimonials, guest blog posts, user reviews, or any other user submitted content that is publicly visible and was a direct result of user action.

Why is user generated content important?

User generated content is important because it enables your users to directly take part in activities on your website. This boosts user engagement as users spend more time on your website.

Engaged users are more likely to subscribe to your website and buy what you’re selling.

High-quality and useful user-generated content can help you plan an effective content marketing strategy. You can get more traffic, more affiliate sales, and more social reach to a wider audience.

That being said, let’s take a look at different ways to use user-generated content in WordPress. You can use all of them or just the ones that works best for you.



Comments are the easiest kind of user-generated content that every blog can have. WordPress comes with a built-in commenting system that is enabled on all your blog posts by default.

If you run a business website with no blog, then perhaps you should think of adding a blog. You can keep your existing website design and just add a separate blog page to it.

The tricky part is to get your users to comment. Most users usually leave without writing a comment. However, the good news is that there are a lot of ways to encourage more comments. See our article on how to get more comments on your blog posts.

2. Testimonials

Testimonials preview

Testimonials not only help generate content, but they also add social proof to your website which helps new users into buying.

For a small business website, testimonials have proven to be a very effective marketing strategy. This is why you see them all around the web.

There are several great testimonials plugins that help you easily add testimonials to your site. You can collect user testimonials using a simple form and display them in a slider, sidebar widget, or on a testimonials page.

Our team behind WPForms has done an excellent job in creating a WPForms review page that shows over 2500+ user testimonials.

For detailed instructions, see our tutorial on how to easily add rotating testimonials to your WordPress site.

3. User Submitted Reviews

User reviews site

If you sell or recommend products/services on your website, then user reviews offer a great opportunity to add more user-generated content to your website.

Reviews not only help you keep users engaged, but they also help other users make buying decisions on your website. That’s why you see many niche reviews sites that heavily rely on user submitted reviews to make money online.

Search engines also love reviews and often highlight them differently in search results. This makes the item more noticeable in search results and brings more traffic to your site.

Reviews in search results

There are several WordPress product review plugins that you can use. You can also create a separate page for customer reviews or display your Google, Facebook, and Yelp reviews to get the ball rolling.

4. Guest Posts

Guest posts

Guest blogging is a popular content marketing strategy that helps both the blog owner and the guest author. The guest post author gets exposure and backlinks while you get high-quality content.

The easiest way to do that would be to create a new user account for the guest author. However, this would give the guest author access to your WordPress admin area which many site owners don’t feel comfortable with.

In that case, you’ll need the front-end post submission plugin by WPForms. It allows you to easily accept user submitted posts on your website. These posts are then stored as drafts, which you can then review and publish.

You can also use it to create other types of user-generated blog content such as image submissions (memes, photo contests, etc).

For detailed instructions, see our article on how to allow users to submit posts to your WordPress site.

5. Build a Community


Human beings are social, and we like to interact with each other. You can provide your visitors a chance to do that on your own site by building a membership community.

You can make some of your content members-only to encourage new sign-ups. After that you can encourage discussions, reward users for participation, and even create membership levels with paid subscriptions.

The easiest way to do all that is by using MemberPress. It is the best WordPress membership plugin that allows you to build online communities with powerful controls and great flexibility. You can even add it to an existing site without affecting any of your existing content.

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to make a membership website in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn how to use user-generated content in WordPress to grow your business. Now that you have users spending more time on your website, see how to easily track user engagement on your website with Google Analytics.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Use User Generated Content in WordPress to Grow Your Business appeared first on WPBeginner.

About the “Warning! WordPress Encrypts User Cookies” Error

Upgrading from older versions of WordPress is designed to go without a hitch, but depending on the setup and the two versions involved, you may encounter some hangups along the way. For example, if you are upgrading from a version of WordPress older than 3.0, eventually you may encounter the dreaded "Warning! WordPress Encrypts User Cookies" error. This quick DigWP tutorial explains what it is, why it happens, and how to fix the problem asap.


Day 11 of NaNoWriMo

A coffee cup sitting on a desk next to a blank sheet of paper with a pen on top of it.

I just wrapped up 1,726 words for the day. I produced this in a 35-minute writing sprint and a later 45-minute sprint. Not bad for Day 11 of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

I’ve had two solid days in a row, which has given me hope that I may damn well finish this thing.

As a writer, you always have doubts. Half the initial battle is simply pushing those doubts aside and doing the work. Each day that you put in the work, you gain a bit more confidence that you’ll reach whatever goal you’re aiming for.

My manuscript is shit right now. But, it’s better shit than I had 11 days ago. First drafts are not meant to be Nobel-worthy prose. They’re brain dumps. You get the ideas out. You doubt yourself some more. Then, you put more words out.

Here’s my NaNoWriMo 2018 stats for the moment:

  • Total Words: 17,826
  • Words Remaining: 32,174
  • Average Words/Day: 1,620

NaNoWriMo is all about hitting the 50,000-word goal before the clock ticks 12 on December 1. Thirty days of dumping everything you can get onto the page.

More than that, it’s about building habits. I’m still struggling a bit with fitting things perfectly in my schedule. I’m getting better, but I still have a ways to go. I’ve written every day for 11 days now. That’s the big positive. Right now, I need to find the ideal time each day to write and stick to a schedule.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve started to find a bit more of a groove. I grew tired of the first character that I was following in my story. I found that I loved another character more. Then, I fell in love with a third character. It’s a good thing I’m writing in third person. I’ve hit a point where I can see some pieces coming together.

I have glaring plot holes. I’ve changed backstory from one chapter to another. But, I’m keeping my inner editor at bay. At the moment, it’s about telling the story. The other stuff can be addressed during the editing phase if/when I get there.

If there’s one piece of writing wisdom I’ve learned working on such a large project, it’s that I wish I would have made a basic outline of the story. Just having some idea of what should happen next would help me flow from scene to scene with less trouble. It’s something I’ll definitely do in future projects. I may try my hand at outlining some of the later stuff as I move along in this project.

Overall, I’m enjoying this challenge. Last week was tough after getting sick. There were certainly times when I thought of throwing in the towel, but I’m happy I pushed through. My energy levels have returned. I’m feeling much better. Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to sitting down once again and seeing where my story goes.

Matt Mullenweg Addresses Controversies Surrounding Gutenberg at WordCamp Portland Q&A

Matt Mullenweg joined attendees at WordCamp Portland, OR, for a Q&A session last weekend and the recording is now available on

The first question came from a user who tried Gutenberg and turned it off because of a plugin conflict. She asked if users will have to use Gutenberg when 5.0 is released. Mullenweg said one of the reasons Gutenberg has been tested so early is to give plugin developers time to get their products compatible. He also said that it has been the fastest growing plugin in WordPress’ history, with more than 600,000 installations since it was first made available.

In response to her question he said users will have the option to use the Classic Editor and that the team is considering updating it to include per-user controls and the possibility to turn it on/off for different post types.

Subsequent questions went deeper into recent controversies surrounding Gutenberg, which Mullenweg addressed more in depth.

“The tough part of any open source project – there’s kind of a crucible of open source development which can sometimes be more adversarial and sometimes even acrimonious,” he said. “Working within the same company, you can kind of assume everyone is rowing in the same direction. In a wide open source ecosystem, some people might actually want the opposite of what you’re doing, because it might be in their own economic self-interest, or for any number of reasons.

“I liken it much more to being a mayor of a city than being a CEO of a company. I’ve done WordPress now for 15 years so I’m pretty used to it. It might seem kind of controversial if you’re just coming in, but this is not the most controversial thing we have ever brought into WordPress. The last time we had a big fork of WordPress was actually when we brought in WYSIWYG the first time. Maybe there’s something about messing with the editor that sets people off.”

Mullenweg commented on how polarizing Twitter can be as a medium and how that can impact conversations in negatives ways. He said people tend to read the worst into things that have been said and that has been a new challenge during this particular time in WordPress’ history. WordPress tweets are sprinkled into timelines along with politics and current events in a way that can cause people to react differently than if the discussion was held in a trac ticket, for example.

One attendee asked, “With Gutenberg there’s a lot of uncertainty. Where do you see the tipping point where you see people become more favorable to Gutenberg than the Classic Editor?”

“Part of getting these two plugins, Gutenberg and Classic Editor, out early, was that it could remove uncertainty for people,” Mullenweg said. “Months before they were released you could kind of choose your path. The hope is that the 5.0 release day is the most anti-climactic thing ever. Because we have over a million sites that have either chosen to not use Gutenberg, which is totally ok, or have already opted in and have been getting these sometimes weekly updates. We have hosts that have been actually been pre-installing, pre-activating Gutenberg with all of their sites.”

Mullenweg said hosts that have pre-installed Gutenberg have not reported a higher than normal support load and that it has basically been “a non-event.” It’s the users who are updating to 5.0 after many years of using WordPress who will have the most to learn.

“Gutenberg does by some measures five or ten measures more than what you could really accomplish in the classic editor,” Mullenweg said. “That also means there’s more buttons, there’s more blocks. That is part of the idea – to open up people’s flexibility and creativity to do things they would either need code or a crazy theme to do in the past. And now we’re going to open that up to do WordPress’ mission, which is to democratize publishing and make it accessible to everyone.”

Gutenberg’s current state of accessibility has been a hot topic lately and one attendee asked for his thoughts about the recent discussions. Mullenweg said there is room for improvement in how this aspect of the project was handled and that WordPress can work better across teams in the future:

Accessibility has been core to WordPress from the very beginning. It’s part of why we started – adoption of web standards and accessibility things. We’ve been a member of the web standards project for many many years. We did kind of have some project management fails in this process where we had a team of volunteers that felt like they were disconnected from the rapid development that was happening with Gutenberg. Definitely there were some things we could do better there. In the future I think that we need – I don’t know if it makes sense to have separate accessibility as a separate kind of process from the core development. It really needs to be integrated at every single stage. We did do a lot, as Matias did a big long post on it. We’ve done a ton of keyboard accessibility stuff, there’s ARIA elements on everything. One of their feedbacks was that we did it wrong, but we did it the best that we knew how to and it’s been in there for awhile. There’s been over 200 closed issues from really the very beginning. We also took the opportunity to fix some things that had been poorly accessible in WordPress from the beginning. It’s not that WordPress is perfectly accessible and all WCAG AA and it’s reverting. It’s actually that huge swaths of WP are inaccessible – they just might not be considered core paths from the current accessibility team but I consider them core.

In response to a question about the future of React in WordPress, Mullenweg went more in depth on the vision he had when he urged the WordPress community to learn JavaScript deeply in 2015. At that time he said “it is the future of the web.” He described how each block can be a launching point for something else – via a modal, such as updating settings, doing advanced things with an e-commerce store, zooming in and out of those screens from the editor. This was perhaps the most inspirational part of the Q&A where the potential of Gutenberg shines as bright as it did in the early demos.

“The other beautiful thing is that because Gutenberg essentially allows for translation into many different formats,” Mullenweg said. “It can publish to your web page, your RSS feed, AMP, blocks can be translated into email for newsletters, there’s so much that the structured nature of Gutenberg and the semantic HTML it creates and the grammar that’s used to parse it, can enable for other applications. It becomes a little bit like a lingua franca that perhaps even crosses CMS’s. There’s now these new cross-CMS Gutenberg blocks will be possible. It’s not just WordPress anymore. It may be a JavaScript block that was written for Drupal that you install on your WordPress site. I mean, hot diggity! How would that have ever happened before? That’s why we took two years off; it’s why we’ve had everyone in the world working on this thing.”

JavaScript is what makes this cross-platform collaboration possible and it’s already evident in the work the Drupal Gutenberg contributors are doing, as well as the platform-agnostic Gutenberg Cloud project. When Gutenberg is released in 5.0, it will enable more for WordPress and the web than we can predict right now.

“This is not the finish line,” Mullenweg said. “5.0 is almost like the starting point. Expect just as much time invested into Gutenberg after the 5.0 release as before – to get it to that place where we don’t think it’s just better than what we have today but it’s actually like a world-class web-defining experience, which is what we want to create and what you all deserve.”

WordPress 5.0 Release Date Update to November 27

The WordPress 5.0 release date has been pushed back to November 27. The previous schedule outlined the possibility of a slip date where the first target date could slip by up to eight days if necessary.

“As discussed during the Core devchat this week, the initial November 19th target date is looking a bit too soon for a release date,” Gutenberg technical lead Matias Ventura said in today’s announcement on the blog. “After listening to a lot of feedback — as well as looking at current issues, ongoing pull requests, and general progress — we’re going to take an extra week to make sure everything is fully dialed in and the release date is now targeted for November 27th.”

Ventura outlined a new plan where beta 4 and beta 5 releases will coincide with Gutenberg 4.3 and 4.4 releases. RC1 is expected to be released November 19. He said contributors will be posting daily high level updates on the current status of the release, including things like open pull requests to be reviewed and outstanding bugs, to the #core-editor channel.

The announcement also includes a short video demonstration of Gutenberg fully integrated with the new default Twenty Nineteen theme.

Given the recent pushback on the timeline from prominent WordPress developers and business owners, the updated November 27 timeline may still not offer enough time to resolve the issues remaining and allow the ecosystem to prepare training materials that accurately reflect late stage UI changes.

At a spontaneous Q&A session at WordCamp Portland this weekend, Matt Mullenweg said WordPress 5.0 was branched from 4.9.8 so this release has been tightly wound to the previous one to allow for a more seamless transition.

The next targeted release day falls on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday, which should be a relief to anyone running a WordPress-powered e-commerce site. If WordPress misses the updated November 27 release date, it will be pushed back to the secondary target date of January 22, 2019.

WordPress 5.0 is postponed, Gutenberg site building tips and more!

It’s been a busy week! With the focus fully on getting WordPress 5.0 ready, we’ve seen a lot of news around the Gutenberg integration in the past few days. So let’s dive right in!

Release date concerns

There’s isn’t much time left until the planned release of WordPress 5.0. With the WordPress 5.0 beta 3 still not being stable enough with the inclusion of Gutenberg, there has been a lot of concern about the release date.

Of most note, our CEO, Joost de Valk raised some hefty concerns in a personal blog post where he calls for WordPress 5.0 needing a different timeline. Now, this may seem odd to you given the fact that we as a company have invested so heavily into Gutenberg this past year. Ten people, including the only real accessibility developer for most of the time, to be exact. However, Joost raises two really good reasons for not sticking to the current timeline:

For the full reasoning, do check out his post in full.

Similar concerns are voiced by, for instance, Mark Root-Wiley where he states WordPress 5.0 isn’t ready. Additionally, there are folks like Ned Zimmerman over at Pressbooks, for instance, that don’t see enough parity in Gutenberg features for them to integrate into yet.

Matt Mullenweg, the WordPress 5.0 release lead said after yesterday’s Core chat:

I am luke-warm on the 19th, but not because of the number of open issues (which isn’t a good measure or target) — more that we’ve been a day or two behind a few times now.

Matt Mullenweg

There is another reason why releasing WordPress 5.0 next Friday is not favorable and that’s Black Friday. There have been many voices arguing that releasing such an impactful WordPress upgrade right before, arguably, the busiest weekend for is bringing too much risk. Especially e-commerce sites.

WordPress 5.0 is postponed!

So, ultimately all the issues outlined above have made the Core team make the decision to postpone the 5.0 release. The new release date is set at the 27th of November. Matias Venture says the following:

After listening to a lot of feedback — as well as looking at current issues, ongoing pull requests, and general progress — we’re going to take an extra week to make sure everything is fully dialed in and the release date is now targeted for November 27th.

More information can be found on the Make WordPress Core blog.

WordPress 5.0 beta 3 has been released

WordPress 5.0 Beta 3 has been officially released, and it includes an updated version of the Twenty Nineteen theme. Of course, it also includes the latest version of Gutenberg, 4.2. The previous default themes were updated as well.

Building sites with Gutenberg

Yes, there may be reasons to postpone WordPress 5.0, but that doesn’t mean you can’t already build great things with Gutenberg. Bill Erickson published an interesting post yesterday. In it, he explains how he’s already built sites integrating with Gutenberg. From simple to more complex sites, Bill has some solid advice for those of you building websites.

What if you’re not ready for Gutenberg?

So, you don’t think your site(s) are ready for Gutenberg yet yourself? Well, then it’s good to know that the WordPress Core team has committed itself to officially supporting The Classic Editor plugin until the 31st of December, 2021. You can read more about that in Gary Pendergast post over at Make WordPress Core.

JavaScript Language packs have landed in WordPress

Fresh off the press: JavaScript Language packs have finally been merged into WordPress. Our CTO, Omar Reiss explains on the Make WordPress Core blog:

We can now translate strings in JavaScript files and distribute them via This functionality will soon be expanded to also work for plugins and themes. This is a major milestone for JavaScript development in WordPress and completes the JavaScript package inclusion focus.

– Omar Reiss

One more step into making sure WordPress is as inclusive as possible when it comes to translations. And a great one at that!


If using one of the available WordPress hosting companies isn’t hardcore enough for you, then maybe SpinupWP is! It’s a new service released by Delicious Brains Inc. and it looks like a very neat solution for self-managed WordPress servers.

The post WordPress 5.0 is postponed, Gutenberg site building tips and more! appeared first on Yoast.

Open source: reducing boundaries and creating opportunities

“I love that WordPress allows you to raise your voice, no matter who you are, and where you are located.” That’s just one of the many inspiring quotes of Carole Olinger, our third interviewee in this series on open source. Carole is Community Manager at Plesk, and a true WordPress Community junkie. Learn why she feels every single contribution matters!

Q. Why is open source so important to you?

So far, I’ve only been in touch with the WordPress project and its inspiring community. The contribution of all the fellow open source contributors allows to grow and to maintain projects like WordPress which today covers one third of the internet.

I love that WordPress allows you to raise your voice, no matter who you are, and where you are located. This is true when it comes to spread a message that is important to you, but also, it gives everybody incredible opportunities to run their own businesses, get hired remotely by companies all around the globe and make a living. Open source projects help to reduce boundaries like the local economy, limited travel opportunities and disabilities, to name only a few.

I’m convinced that open source communities, in general, share values that I would consider important to myself, as the WordPress community does.

Carole Olinger at WordCamp Utrecht

Q. In what way do you contribute to open source projects?

Since I joined my very first WordCamp two years ago, I consider myself a WordPress community junkie. I wanted to get more involved with the inspiring people that make WordPress so I started to volunteer at WordCamps very soon. In the meantime, I’m a triple WordCamp organizer myself, I continue to volunteer and I speak at multiple conferences. Since August 2017, I am the WordPress Community Manager for (WebOps and hosting platform) Plesk, which allows me to contribute a considerable amount of my work time to the open source project. Also, I arrange sponsorships for WordCamps, which allows me to act as an enabler, always on the lookout for win-win situations.

WordCamps would not be as affordable as they are right now (average is 20€ per conference day), without the help of all the sponsors. On the other hand, getting involved with the community in person during an event allows sponsors to find out about the needs of actual and potential customers and to collect valuable feedback about their own product.

Q. Who is your open source hero?

There are for sure some people that come to my mind, but I think it would be unfair to name only a few, just because it happens that I know more about them and their individual contributions.

I’m deeply convinced that every single contribution matters, independent of the amount of time (or money) they spend or the impact they might have. I’m aware that I’m in a very privileged situation as I can partly contribute to open source projects during paid work time. Other people have to make choices, because contributing time equals unpaid hours and/or less time with their families. I see people getting into trouble, because they are so passionate about open source, that they don’t put themselves first anymore. And I think, it’s also our duty as a community to have an eye on these people.

Therefore, everybody who manages to contribute to an open source project in a healthy way is my open source super hero.

Q. Does your company encourage people to be involved with open source?

The company I work with allows me to contribute a considerable amount of my work time to the organization of WordCamps. Also, some of my colleagues are regularly contributing to WordPress and other open source projects inside and outside their work time. In my opinion, it’s important to understand that it is necessary to give something back to open source projects, if your business is mainly or partly running on these. I’m happy to be able to work with a company who shares these values.

Carole Olinger presenting

Q. When and what was your first open source contribution?

I remember that pretty well. I volunteered in autumn 2016 at 2 German WordCamps. During the second one, WordCamp Cologne, people convinced me to attend the Contributor Day. I was totally scared, that it wouldn’t be the right place for me, as a non-technical person. I joined the Polyglots team. At the end of the day, I had localized a theme into German, which got committed the same day. This made me very proud and empowered me to get more involved into the community. Only a few days later, I got involved into the organization of a WordCamp.

Q. Do you have to be a developer to be involved with open source? How about diversity within the open source community?

That’s what probably most people think and that’s what I thought as well. But from my own experience in the WordPress project, I can tell that it’s not true. You can get involved in many ways. You can translate plugins or themes, write documentation, help to organize events or the community itself, to name only a few possibilities.

The community I belong to has strong values, also when it comes to strive for more diversity. As a non-technical woman, I totally appreciate the efforts and the Code of Conduct, which in my eyes is the reason why WordCamps are mostly welcoming, inclusive and safe events.

But there are still things that can be improved. Representation matters and I personally don’t see enough women and other underrepresented minorities as team leads, part of event organizer teams or speakers. I’m convinced that this has an impact on the repartition of people. Whether they’re willing to contribute to the different teams of open source projects, to speak up in general and to attend events. And diversity does not just increase because we call for it. Proactive initiatives are the way to go!

Q. I want to contribute to open source! Where do I start?

Get involved with the community, online and in person. Attend meetups, conferences, online meetings. Talk about what you like about your open source project but also about what you want to see improved. Find out, how you can help with your own skills. In the end, you could be the one to initiate the change that you need to move forward.

Read more: 3 reasons why open source is awesome »

The post Open source: reducing boundaries and creating opportunities appeared first on Yoast.

Calls to Delay WordPress 5.0 Increase, Developers Cite Usability Concerns and Numerous Bugs in Gutenberg

Developers and business owners are waiting anxiously in the wings, as Gutenberg is 11 days away from its debut in WordPress 5.0. There is still a chance that the release could be delayed to the secondary date (January 22, 2019), but the decision has not yet been announced.

“I am lukewarm on the 19th, but not because of the number of open issues (which isn’t a good measure or target) — more that we’ve been a day or two behind a few times now,” 5.0 release lead Matt Mullenweg said during yesterday’s dev chat. He said that reports “from the field” continue to be good and companies that have already installed and activated the plugin haven’t reported a higher than normal support burden.

“My concern can be summed up as this,” Aaron Jorbin said. “There are approximately 400 issues that need either code or a decision to punt. Assuming five minutes per issue, that means there are about 33 hours worth of bug scrubs that need to take place between now and RC.”

“I don’t think we can make a decision on moving the date in the next 45 minutes,” Gary Pendergast said in response to concerns raised at the meeting. “I do think it’s fair to say that the Gutenberg and 5.0 leadership teams are hearing all the feedback, and are actively looking whether the timeline is still correct.”

Mullenweg said open issues are not a good measure of whether the release is on target but the numerous bugs the community is encountering has precipitated a flurry of posts advocating for the release to be delayed.

In a post titled “WordPress 5.0 needs a different timeline,” Joost de Valk, author of Yoast SEO, cites accessibility concerns and the stability of the project as reasons for a delay. de Valk identifies himself a strong supporter of Gutenberg and his team has already built compatibility and Gutenberg-first features into their plugin, which has more than 5 million active installs.

“It’s arguably one of the biggest leaps forward in WordPress’ editing experience and its developer experience in this decade,” de Valk said. “It’s also not done yet, and if we keep striving for its planned November 19th release date, we are setting ourselves up for failure.”

de Valk gave two reasons for why he believes the November 19th timeline to be untenable:

There are some severe accessibility concerns. While these aren’t new and a few people are working hard on them, I actually think we can get a better handle on fixing them if we push the release back. Right now it looks to me as though keyboard accessibility has regressed in the last few releases of Gutenberg.

The most important reason: the overall stability of the project isn’t where it needs to be yet. There are so many open issues for the 5.0 milestone that even fixing all the blockers before we’d get to Release Candidate stage next week is going to prove impossible. We have, at time of writing 212 untriaged bugs and 165 issues on the WordPress 5.0 milestone.

WordPress developer Mark Root-Wiley published a post the same day titled “WordPress 5.0 is Not Ready.” He outlined why he believes the release needs to be delayed and suggested the project pursue more auditing and quality assurance testing before shipping it out.

“WordPress 5.0 can and should be a positive change to WordPress, but if it is released in late November as planned, it won’t be,” Root-Wiley said. “There are simply too many bugs in the editor, and the experience is not polished enough. This is because the rate of development has prevented systematic quality assurance (QA) and user testing. Both types of testing are required to ensure the editor is ready and to increase the community’s confidence in the update.”

Root-Wiley describes a buggy experience when attempting to write blog posts with the new editor, which echoes many others’ recent experiences.

“I’m doing my best to give feedback, but it’s exhausting and there are so many little bugs that I struggle to isolate and replicate the one I’m reporting without running into another,” Root-Wiley said. “How is it possible for me to find so many bugs without trying from just writing 1.5 blog posts?”

Root-Wiley also suggested removing what he deemed to be unnecessary features in order to streamline the editing experience and focus on the fundamentals. These features include the tables block, paragraph background colors, spotlight and fullscreen mode, dropcaps, verse block, among others. The current feature set

“The pace of development has been blistering,” Root-Wiley said. “That speed has been great for developing a lot of features and iterating on those features quickly, but it hasn’t allowed for sufficient testing. What’s needed now is more time for people to find and report bugs with the editor features in their proposed final state.”

Gutenberg criticism is often characterized as coming from people who are resistant to change, but these strong messages about delaying the release come from developers who believe the new editor is the future and have heavily invested in contributing to its success.

Both de Valk and Root-Wiley’s posts seem to have resonated with many who have had similar experiences with the editor. Other core developers and committers have also publicly lent their voices to the call to delay the release.

Opinions on Gutenberg’s readiness vary wildly depending on the person’s perspective and involvement in the project. Those who are working on it full-time have not publicly offered opinions indicating that it might not be ready for the November 19 timeline.

“The 5.0 milestone is in a very manageable place, but if the volume becomes more worrying in the next couple days or it becomes clear milestones won’t be made, we’ll revise as needed,” Gutenberg technical lead Matias Ventura Ventura said during yesterday’s dev chat. He confirmed that the fast pace of development will continue.

Regardless of when 5.0 is released, users can count on getting minor releases every two weeks to address bugs and issues that pop up after Gutenberg is in the hands of millions more users.

“Hopefully as people get used to the more regular cadence they can plan around it, much like they used to complain a ton about, but then got used to, 3 major releases a year,” Mullenweg said during the dev chat.

In 2016, Mullenweg began describing how WordPress could become “the operating system of the web,” with open APIs that others can build on. While that idea encompasses a lot more than just release schedules, WordPress seems to be moving in the direction of shipping updates that come more frequently and eventually more invisibly in the background, similar to how users update their browsers. Releasing Gutenberg in its current state, with frequent updates following, could prove to be a major testing ground to see if greater world of WordPress users are ready to embrace this new era of rapid iteration.

Classic Editor Plugin May Be Included with 5.0 Updates, Support Window Set to End in 2021

Gary Pendergast announced this morning that the Classic Editor plugin will be officially supported until December 31, 2021. The plugin eases the transition for sites where plugins or themes are not yet compatible with Gutenberg and gives users the opportunity to preserve their existing workflows.

“Since the Classic Editor plugin is central in this transition, we are considering including it with upgrades to WordPress 5.0,” Pendergast said. “New WordPress installs would still add it manually, and we’ve included it in the Featured Plugins list to increase visibility. If you have thoughts on this idea, please leave a comment.”

Pendergast clarified that “officially supported” means that the plugin “will be guaranteed to work as expected in the most recent major release of WordPress, and the major release before it.” He also said the project will evaluate the continuing maintenance of the plugin in 2021 and may possibly extend the date.

The post has already received quite a bit of feedback and generally positive reactions to the prospect of including the Classic Editor along with 5.0 updates for existing sites.

WordPress Core Committer Pascal Birchler asked for a clarification on what “we” referred to in Pendergast’s post, and Pendergast clarified that he is speaking on behalf of the WordPress project. Other commenters pressed for more information, as the announcement was delivered as something that had already been decided and the conversation surrounding the decision was not public.

“I’m grateful for the communication on a hard date for support of the classic editor,” Darren Ethier commented on the post. “It helps many people depending on WordPress for their livelihood to make plans surrounding things depending on it. But for volunteers who ‘show up’ at meetings and in contributing, the process for arriving at these kinds of decisions in an open source project is very opaque and seems to be increasingly so.”

This announcement highlights a trend in recent decision making for the project where decisions on important items appear to have been made behind closed doors without community input. Matthew MacPherson’s proposal for an independent accessibility audit, which had broad support from the community, was shut down in a similar way. MacPherson was named WordPress 5.0’s accessibility lead but didn’t seem to be fully vested with the power to lead that aspect of the release in the community’s best interests. I asked MacPherson if he could further clarify how the decision to forego the audit was reached, as it seemed even a surprise to him in the GitHub issue thread. He said he had “no comment” on how the decision came about.

WPCampus is now pursuing an accessibility audit in order to better serve its community of more than 800 web professionals, educators, and others who work with WordPress in higher education.

“We’re receiving a lot of interest and I’m holding meetings with potential vendors to answer their questions,” WPCampus director Rachel Cherry said. “We’ve received a lot of messages from individuals and organizations wanting to contribute financially.”

The recent report from the accessibility team demonstrates critical issues that prevent the team from recommending Gutenberg to users of assistive technology. These issues also have a major impact on those using WordPress for higher education, as the law requires them to meet certain standards. Several in this particular industry commented on Pendergast’s post to advocate for shipping the Classic Editor plugin with new installs as well.

“Many organizations who use WordPress are required by law to provide accessible software under Section 508,” Rachel Cherry said. “Until such a time when the accessibility of Gutenberg has been improved, and Section 508 compliance is clear, these organizations will require use of the Classic Editor.

“Not to mention the users who will be dependent upon the Classic Editor to have an accessible publishing experience.

“Please consider bundling Classic Editor with all versions of core, new and updated, going forward so that every end user has the easy and inclusive option of using it from day one.”

Elaine Shannon, another WordPress user who works in academia, also commented on the Pendergast’s post to recommend having the Classic Editor bundled with new versions of WordPress, due to many education sites running on multisite installations.

“Some institutions are on managed hosts, where they’ll receive 5.0 without initiating the update themselves,” Shannon said. “Others are managed by on-campus IT services, where one campus admin will push the update and affect thousands of users. In many cases, these are MultiSites where end users – the ones who need the choice of whether to use Gutenberg or Classic Editor – do not have the ability to add a plugin. So regardless of whether these users are in a brand-new shiny install or just an updated existing one, many users are going to need to fall back to the Classic Editor, and if it’s not bundled with Core there will be some folks left having to contact their administrator.”

Pendergast’s post said the WordPress project is considering including the plugin with upgrades to 5.0 but did not identify where or when that decision will be made. However, users who depend on the plugin now have a clear idea of how long it will be supported.

“As for the EOL on Classic Editor support, that’s probably more clarity than [the core team] has ever really given on a feature-to-plugin transition and I’m in favor of having that hard date,” WordPress core developer Drew Jaynes said. “It sets the right tone that the plugin is not intended as a long-term solution, rather a stopgap with a definitive EOL.”

Election day and writing

Decorative solid blue image.

Today is election day in the U.S. I get to take my 19-year-old sister to vote for the first time. My faith in humanity and fellow countrymen makes me believe that our system will work. Checks and balances. That’s the intention of our three branches of government. In reality, the true check, the true balance, is the people.

As an Alabamian, I must come back down to reality. I have little hope that we’ll be anything but status quo. While there’s beauty in a place that’s holding on with all it’s got to remain unchanged, there’s a great sadness when underneath it all, so many must live with the boot of their own people firmly pressed to their necks.

I returned home several years to “get back in touch with my roots” and become a better writer. That means understanding the politics of this place. Maybe some of those will work their way into my novel. Maybe not. While I haven’t written much over the past few years, I have gained a greater understanding of the injustices that exist here that I wasn’t able to comprehend as a schoolkid. Those things stick with you. And, I should be doing more to make real changes. Perhaps one path toward that is to use whatever skills I may possess as a writer to shine a light on injustices in a mostly-forgotten place in the Deep South.

Today, I’ll vote.

Then, I’ll return home to my regular work, writing code and tutorials. I’ll spend some time working on my novel entry for the 2018 National Novel Writing Month. After 5 days, I’m up to 7,875 words of my 50,000-word goal. That’s about 1,575 words/day, which is a bit shy of my 1,667-word target.

I have a good excuse for being a few words behind. I only managed a bit over 700 on Saturday when I was practically on my deathbed. Through all of Friday night, I was up with stomach issues, hunkered over the toilet about once every hour. I’m not sure if it was some virus or something bad I ate, but it was the type of thing to make anyone come face to face with their own mortality. The human body can be wrecked in a matter of hours. Going from thinking you’re a healthy young man with the whole world in front of you to wishing for some temporary relief from it all is nothing to scoff at.

With no sleep or fuel in my body, Saturday was rough. But, I managed. I slowly reintroduced liquid and some solid food into my diet. I pulled an afternoon nap. Then, I used what energy I had to push through those 700+ words.

Frankly, I’m determined to finish NaNoWriMo this year. Deathbed or not, I was going to write some words. If nothing more than some scribblings on my notepad, pen would be put to paper.

I’m still weakened, but most of my strength has returned. My appetite is not what it was a few days ago, which may not be such a bad thing. I can afford to shed a few pounds.

I’m looking forward to finding out where my novel’s story goes. Maybe politics ends up playing some role. Maybe the events of today will shape how I view the world, and in turn, shape the stories that I tell.

WordPress 5.0 Beta 3 Released, RC 1 Expected November 12

WordPress 5.0 Beta 3 was released this morning. This beta incorporates all the changes from Gutenberg 4.2 RC1, which was released last week. It fixes a bug with the display of the custom fields meta box and also improves REST API requests.

Gutenberg has undergone a few UI tweaks and introduces a Formatting API for adding new RichText components. The inserter between blocks was updated to provide a more consistent experience that matches the other “add block” buttons. Version 4.2 also adds support for displaying icons in new block categories to better organize groups of blocks. The example pictured in the release post shows the Jetpack icon. The Jetpack team has been working on a number of blocks for existing features and is expected to release those soon.

WordPress 5.0 Beta 3 brings in updates from Twenty Nineteen’s GitHub repository, including support for selective refresh widgets in the customizer, support for responsive embeds, and tweaks to improve the experience on mobile devices.

Updates to WordPress 5.0 Schedule: More Beta Releases and a Shortened RC Period

WordPress 5.0 is now two weeks away from its projected release date of November 19. Last week Gary Pendergast announced some updates to the 5.0 release schedule that build in extra time for betas. After pushing out Beta 3 Pendergast said he expects to release Beta 4 later this week. He also offered an explanation for why RC1 is scheduled for release on November 12, allowing for just one week of last-minute testing following RC.

“The block editor has been available for over a year,” Pendergast said. “It’s already had a longer testing period, with 30 times the number of sites using it, than any previous WordPress release. The primary purpose of the beta and release candidate periods is to ensure that it’s been correctly merged into Core.”

Initial feedback on the schedule changes indicate that some user would appreciate a longer RC period, since the code being tested has changed so often.

“The API freeze just happened in version 4.2, so saying the editor has been available for over a year in anywhere near its current state doesn’t make sense for a 7-day RC period on such a major change,” WordPress trainer and developer Brian Hogg said.

“As an example, just in the last version or two the hover-over menu to remove a block has been taken out and tucked away at the top menu (which was available as shown in, with little time for anyone to provide usability feedback on changes like this.”

Those who are creating training materials and videos have been waiting for a bit of a reprieve in Gutenberg development to make sure their materials are accurate and ready for 5.0.

“Knowing it’s an RC means we can assume a level of ‘this is how it will be’ that just isn’t necessarily with pre-RC versions,” Modern Tribe developer George Gecewicz commented on the post. “That relative certainty is useful for testing aggressively, finalizing design/UI stuff, and revealing post-merge bugs.”

Gutenberg 4.1 was supposed to be the “UI freeze” milestone, but that hasn’t happened yet with several changes introduced in 4.2.

There should be short window of time before 5.0 is released where training materials can be finalized. However, the Gutenberg team plans to continue on from there with its same pace of development.

“Over the past six months, there has been a release every two weeks,” Pendergast said. “We’ll plan to continue that over the first few WordPress 5.0.x releases, to ensure that bug fixes are available as quickly as possible. How soon should we expect WordPress 5.0.1? Approximately two weeks after WordPress 5.0, unless we see bug reports that indicate a need for a faster release.”

WordPress 5.0 is on schedule for its original release date, but there is still a possibility for the the release to be delayed. Matt Mullenweg, commenting on responses to the accessibility team’s assessment of Gutenberg, said that delaying the release has “definitely been considered” and that it may still happen. His response also indicates that WordPress users can expect the pace of core development to continue along the path Gutenberg has carved.

“Despite some differences that still need be resolved, there’s general consensus that the long-term way to create the best WP experience for all types of users is not something you can tack on with 5-6 weeks at the end, but will be the result of continuing the continuous iteration we’ve had with the 42 public releases of Gutenberg so far,” Mullenweg said. “It means we can get improvements into the hands of users within weeks following a release, not months (or years) as was the old model with WordPress.”

How to Test a WordPress Site in Different Browsers (Cross Browser Testing Made Easy)

Do you want to test your WordPress site in different browsers? Cross Browser Testing is extremely important when changing WordPress themes or implementing a new design because it helps you make sure that your website looks good on all different browsers, screen sizes, operating systems, and mobile devices. In this article, we will show you how to easily test a WordPress site in different browsers.

Testing your WordPress site in different browsers

What is Cross Browser Testing?

Cross Browser Testing is a process of testing websites across multiple browsers, operating systems, screen sizes, and mobile devices to ensure that your website works correctly on all different web browsers.

Why Test a WordPress Site in Different Browsers?

Google Chrome is the most popular web browser in the world with 65% market share on desktop computers and 57% on mobile devices. However, other browsers like Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Opera are still widely used by hundreds of millions of users across the world.

Due to a wide range of browsers, operating systems, and devices, cross browser testing has become an important part of building a website. Cross-browser testing helps you provide a consistent web experience to all your users across different browsers, devices, and platforms.

While all popular browsers behave nearly identical when rendering web pages, they all use different code which means they may handle website elements differently from time to time.

As a website owner, this means that your website may look different across browsers. Since these are not common WordPress errors that are visible to everyone, you may go months without ever knowing about the issue until someone reports it.

This is why it’s considered best practice to test your WordPress site across different browsers on multiple platforms and screen sizes, so you can make sure that your website offers the same user experience to all your users.

Now most people do not have access wide range of devices to test a website. Even if you manage to borrow multiple devices from friends, it will be a lot of work to manually switch back and forth. Luckily there are cross browser testing tools that can help automate the process with just one-click.

But before we share the list of best cross browser testing tools for WordPress, it’s important to know which browsers are popular among your users, so you can direct your focus accordingly.

How to Find Which Browsers Your Website Visitors Use?

Considering the number of available operating systems, browsers, and browser version combinations, cross browser testing can be a tedious task for small business owners.

However if you know the popular browsers, operating systems, and devices that your website visitors use, then you can make the process considerably easier on yourself. Depending on your specific stats, you may be able to get away with testing only few popular combinations.

You can find out which browsers, operating systems, and devices are popular among your users by using Google Analytics.

Simply login to your Google Analytics account and go to Audience » Technology report. From here you can find out information about browsers, OS, screen sizes, used by your website visitors.

Google Analytics technology overview

Once you have this list, you can focus on the top combinations and avoid the rest.

If you are just starting a blog or do not have Google Analytics, then we recommend that you install MonsterInsights immediately to properly setup Google Analytics. Once installed, you can either choose to wait a few weeks to collect data or proceed with testing your website across all browsers.

Best Cross Browser Testing Tools for WordPress

Cross browser testing tools make it easy for you to test your WordPress site across multiple browsers, operating systems, and devices. With just a few clicks, you can automatically test your website across different browsers.

Below is the list of top cross browser testing tools for WordPress sites:

1. Browsershots


Browsershots is an open source tool that allows you to test your website with several browsers on different operating systems. The best part about this tool is that it’s free. The down-side is that it does not include Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer. It also does not include mobile device support.

To use Browsershots, simply enter your website URL and then select the browsers you want to test. Browsers are listed in three columns for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.

After submitting your request, you will have to wait a while as it runs the tests and generates a screenshot. Once finished, you’ll be able to see the screenshots on the same page. You can now go ahead and click on a screenshot to expand it.

Note: BrowserShots takes screenshots of a website which means it is not live-testing. You may not be able to see if your website works as intended during the tests. For that, you’ll need tools that run live tests in actual browsers.

2. CrossBrowserTesting


CrossBrowserTesting is an easy to use and highly powerful cross-browser testing tool with both live testing and screenshots features. This is the tool that we use here at Awesome Motive to test our websites like WPBeginner and our premium WordPress plugins.

It is a paid service, but they do offer a free trial account with 100 minutes to test out the product.

After creating your trial account, go to the ‘Live Test’ tab where you can select an operating system and browser. It will load your website URL in the actual browser appearing live on your screen.

If you’d like to quickly get multiple screen grabs at once, then click on the ‘Screenshots’ tab and run a new screenshots test. CrossBrowserTesting tool will automatically fetch screenshots on Mac, Windows, iPad, and Nexus 6P mobile phone running Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge web browsers.

It also mentions layout differences below each screenshot which you can click to compare the layout with the base layout. You can also compare different layouts side-by-side or download all screenshots to your computer.

The free account is a bit limited in terms of browsers and operating systems combinations that you can run. However, it covers most popular browsers on top mobile and desktop platforms.

Pricing: Starts from $29 per month billed annually.

3. BrowserStack


BrowserStack is a paid cross-browser and cross-platform testing tool for mobile apps and websites. They also offer a limited free trial account which gives you a 30-minute access to test their platform.

It comes with both live testing and screenshots features. You can select the platform you want to test and then select a browser. BrowserStack will load the virtual emulator with an actual browser window. You can simply enter the URL you want to test to start the test.

The results are pretty accurate and the speed is quite satisfying. However, you will have to still perform the tests manually by opening up each browser.

Pricing: Starts from $29 / month billed annually.

How to Analyze Cross Browser Test Screenshots?

Now that you have learned the easiest way to test your WordPress site in different browsers, the next part is to analyze your results and see if there is something broken that needs fixing.

If you are running a responsive WordPress theme with good quality code behind it, then most of your screenshots will look pretty much the same.

However, in some cases, website elements may look slightly different from one browser to another. If this difference is minor and doesn’t impact user experience, aesthetics, or functionality, then you can ignore it.

On the other hand, if a difference is too noticeable, affects user experience, looks unpleasant, or prevents users from using your website as intended, then it needs your attention.

In most cross-browser tests, you will discover CSS issues with your theme. This can be fixed using Inspect Tool to find out which CSS rules need to be updated. After that, you can add custom CSS to fix those issues.

If you’re unable to fix the issues, then you can always hire a WordPress developer to help you fix them.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily test a WordPress site in different browsers. You may also want to see our ultimate step by step guide on improving WordPress speed and performance.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Test a WordPress Site in Different Browsers (Cross Browser Testing Made Easy) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Day 2 of NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month banner image.

It only took two days for me to start wandering around like a zombie. At 3,393 words, I’m barely out of the gates.

I knew today was going to be rough. The 2nd day of a 30-day challenge and it just so happened to be “shopping” day. I knew this beforehand. I knew I needed to buy groceries, cat food, and enough chicken feed to last a bit.

I’d prepared for this. I’d made a list of things to get me through at least another 2-3 weeks so that I didn’t have to waste precious time later in the month resupplying.

Yet, I overslept.

I rarely oversleep. I have cats who generally see that I’m up before the sun peaks above the pine trees in the morning. My “wake the fuck up” alarm, which I keep set for 7:30 a.m., was blaring.

Not a good way to start the day.

I lose a contact lens. I had one left to spare. I need to set an eye appointment at some point to re-up my prescription.

I didn’t sit down for my writing session until 1 p.m. I’ve never been a great afternoon, evening, or night writer. I do my best work early in the day, a few hours after I’ve allowed my body to slowly and naturally wake up.

But, I managed to haphazardly put words to screen, attempting to mine some gold from the long lost memories of my teen years as I jotted down prose of lust, love, and rebellion. Had I forgotten all I’d known? How can I describe those experiences?

Tomorrow, I should push beyond the 5,000-word mark and earn a new NaNoWriMo writing badge.

Maybe the weekend will be kind.

Remkus’ Roundup: Genesis, Gutenberg, WordPress 5.0

This week, we talk about the updates in the Genesis Framework. Also, learn what StudioPress is planning to do with it. Of course, we have some Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0 news as well. Let’s dive in!

Genesis Framework receiving love again

One of the oldest WordPress theme frameworks out there is the Genesis Framework by StudioPress. In fact, it’s been around for almost 9 years now! A couple of months ago, WP Engine acquired StudioPress and with that, the Genesis Framework started receiving much-needed attention again.

This week, the 2.7 beta was released which prepares it for the future, for the most part. Additionally, they announced that the framework will get an overhaul from an SEO point of view. Something we applaud, of course.

In related news, Array Themes is now part of StudioPress as well. Or WP Engine, depending on how you look at it. This is great news for StudioPress’s portfolio with both Mike McAllister (the owner of Array Themes) and the themes themselves.

And, as I understand it, most of the Array themes will be ported over to a Genesis Child theme as well. You can read more about that in Mike’s announcement post. As an early adopter of, and contributor to the Genesis Framework, I’m very excited to see where this is going.

A large portion of improving Genesis will go into integrating it with the Gutenberg editor. Both internally in Genesis as well as with the Atomic Blocks plugin that came over from Array Themes to StudioPress.

Gutenberg updates

My roundup wouldn’t be complete – as we’re ramping up to the release of WordPress 5.0 – without mentioning Gutenberg’s latest updates. One of my favorite improvements is this one:

The inserter between blocks has been tweaked so that the experience is consistent with all “add block” buttons — it opens the full inserter now.

For a full overview, read the release post here.

WordPress 5.0 schedule

Just as Gutenberg is being updated and refined, so is WordPress 5.0. Here you’ll find the release schedule for WordPress 5.0. The release is still being slated for November 19. Which is in 17 days!

The post Remkus’ Roundup: Genesis, Gutenberg, WordPress 5.0 appeared first on Yoast.

Day 1 of NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month banner image.

David Chandra, a friend I know from the WordPress community, said he was looking forward to reading my Day 1 post after hearing about my attempt to finish a novel for National Novel Writing Month.

I hadn’t planned to write a Day 1 post because I figured I wouldn’t have much time for anything after adding my novel-writing endeavor to my full schedule.

But, here we are.

The first day had its high and low points. I managed to fumble through 1,681 words in my first two-hour writing session. When the day began, I wasn’t overly confident about my chances of getting off to a solid start. I had no plot ideas. I hadn’t thought of a single character. I didn’t have a clue about the world that my story would be taking place in.

It wasn’t until after breakfast that I started formulating some idea of a character I wanted to write about. A memory from last year popped into my mind for potential storyline. I had something to build from.

Typing those first words on the screen was a struggle. Where do I start? What should my characters say? I hadn’t flexed my fiction-writing muscles in a long while and stared at a blank screen for minutes.

After knocking out the first few paragraphs, I was a bit looser but still struggling.

I was around 800 words into my story when I checked in at the 1-hour mark. Things had picked up a bit. After a 15-minute break, I popped in Volume 1 of the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack and started pounding the keys. I found some rhythm. It wasn’t pretty, but the story was flowing. Things were starting to happen. Two characters had come to life. I had a bit of a vision of this world that they inhabited.

I stopped.

When I hit the 2-hour mark, I shut things down. I left the story to stand as it was. As much as I hate to cut off the creative flow, I know that I need to maintain a relatively steady pace for the next 29 days. Overdoing it too much on Day 1 could spell disaster down the road.

I tapped out at about 1,681 words for my first session. That’s just over my goal of 1,667 words/day to hit the 50,000-word mark at the end of the month.

I don’t plan to blog about this experience every day of the month. I need to save some of my creative juices for my design and development work. Blogging about it every day will likely contribute to burnout. I’ll at least try to periodically update the blog here with my progress. We’ll see how it goes.

The NaNoWriMo Web site has badges for various goals, so I may update based on some of those. Thus far, I’ve earned the following “writing” badges:

  • You’ve got a novel (for starting).
  • You’re on your way (for my first word count update).
  • You hit the 1,667 mark (for passing that word count goal).

They have several other writing badges alongside participation and personal achievement badges. A mini reward system like that should help keep me motivated.

Overall, I’m just happy I made it through the first day. Even though I struggled a bit getting started, I forgot how much I enjoyed the challenge of fiction writing.

One day, I'll write a novel

A wood table with an open notebook set in the background with a plain white coffee mug in the foreground.

As I struggled to write my About page a few days ago, I realized that I’ve always had one unchanging goal in life. This is a goal that I’ve had since I was a schoolboy. It hit me that I’m not any closer to achieving this goal than I was 10 or 15 years ago. I didn’t want to update that page with the same unaccomplished goal and have it sitting there for more years to come.

One day, I’ll write a novel.

Like many things that I thought I would have accomplished by now, “life” has gotten in the way. There’s always something else to do. I’m too tired after work. I’ve got an errand to run. I’ve got dinner to cook.

Thirteen years ago, I attempted to write a novel in one month following the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. This was arguably the busiest time of my life. I was taking several writing and literature courses, working two jobs, and trying to keep pace with all my party-going college friends. To make matters worse, I had to prep for semester finals and spend time with family for Thanksgiving. The most insane thing I could add to my schedule was attempting to write a novel within a month.

However, I still knocked out around 25,000 words of the 50,000-word goal before the month was out.

Today, I can’t say that I have the same excuses. Yes, I run my own business. Yes, paying bills and taxes is stressful. Yes, there’s a whole slew of other excuses that accompany adulthood. But, I’ll never be as busy as I was in college. I’m just a bit lazier and more stressed out with “adult” stuff.

What I’ve found to be the greatest motivator through my 30-something years is that nothing beats a good deadline. When I was writing Professional WordPress Plugin Development, I wouldn’t have finished a single chapter without a deadline (my co-authors and I had two chapters each per month). Having an editor awaiting an email with your chapters and an advance of a few 1,000 dollars helps, but deadlines are where the magic happens.

That’s why I’ve decided to hop on the NaNoWriMo train again this year. It will provide me with a solid deadline for the month.

Shooting for 50,000 words also breaks down to roughly 1,667 words every day. That’s an easy goal for someone who tends to be as long-winded as I am.

Some of you who have read my WordPress tutorials are now shaking your heads in agreement. Justin, cut some of the talk out and just show me the code!

I don’t have any characters in mind. I have no plot points scribbled on notepaper. I’m starting from zero. It’s only today that I decided to take the plunge after a few days of questioning whether I was mentally prepared for such an undertaking.

I’ll just write and see what happens. One massive brain dump.

I tend to wing things anyway. That’s when I do some of my best work in any field. I’ve written term papers in the hours prior to placing them in my professors’ hands. I’ve given presentations with only a couple of index cards worth of notes. I’ve built fully-functioning WordPress plugins on the fly. Perhaps my first novel should be no different.

I’m only posting this on my blog to make it a permanent goal that I’m not allowed to wiggle my way out of. If no one knows about it, is it really a goal?

This should be a fun, stressful, insane month. Let’s see where it goes. Feel free to join the adventure if you dare.

WordPress Accessibility Team Delivers Sobering Assessment of Gutenberg: “We have to draw a line.”

Shoes on the street
photo credit: classroomcamera DSC03657(license)

WordPress’ accessibility team has published a statement on the level of overall accessibility of Gutenberg. The team, largely a group of unpaid volunteers, collaborated on a detailed assessment that publicly challenges Gutenberg’s readiness for core in a way that no other WordPress team has done through official channels to date. After a week of testing the most recent version of the plugin, the team concluded that they cannot recommend Gutenberg to be used by anyone who relies on assistive technology.

The Accessibility team – like any team in WordPress – has no specific authority over the project. Because we’re a small team of volunteers, we’ve been pragmatic in how we apply the guidelines. We have made tradeoffs in prioritization. Gutenberg is a place where we feel it is necessary to draw a line. The ability to author, edit, and publish posts is the primary purpose of WordPress.

Accessibility team rep Joe Dolson, speaking on behalf of the team, cited cognitive load and complexity, inconsistent user interface behavior, heavy reliance on keyboard shortcuts, and difficulties with keyboard navigation through blocks, among other concerns about Gutenberg. He outlined an example of the keyboard sequence required to do something as simple as change the font size in a paragraph block. It currently requires 34 separate keyboard stops, and even more if the tester doesn’t have prior knowledge of how to navigate Gutenberg.

“Because the complexity of interaction with Gutenberg is an order of magnitude greater than in the classic editor, we believe that Gutenberg is less accessible than the existing classic editor, though it offers many great features that are not available in the current editor,” Dolson said.

This assessment echoes many of the common themes found in Gutenberg’s reviews on, even among the most recent reviews of the latest version. Ratings are currently hovering at 2.3 out of 5 stars. Users have repeatedly said the interface is “far too heavily reliant on hover based functionality.” Even those without accessibility needs find it confusing, unintuitive, and difficult to navigate content. Some testers find it nearly impossible to do what they want to do with it.

The positive reviews recognize the software as a work in progress and testers seem more aware of the overall vision for the plugin. They are excited about some of the more advanced features that blocks offer, but many positive reviewers urge WordPress to give it more time before making it the default editor.

The accessibility team is convinced that the main accessibility issues in Gutenberg stem from design issues.

“Gutenberg is the way of the future in WordPress, but the direction it has taken so far has been worrying,” Dolson said. “We do not want to miss the opportunity to build a modern and inclusive application for WordPress, but in order to achieve that goal, accessibility needs to incorporated in all design processes in the project.

“These problems are solvable. Retrofitting accessibility is not an effective process. It is costly in terms of time and resources.”

In a recent post titled Iterating on Merge Proposals, Gary Pendergast, who is leading the merge of Gutenberg into core, acknowledged that they could have asked for the accessibility team’s help much earlier in the process.

“The Accessibility team should’ve been consulted more closely, much earlier in the process, and that’s a mistake I expect to see rectified as the Gutenberg project moves into its next phase after WordPress 5.0,” Pendergast said. “While Gutenberg has always aimed to prioritize accessibility, both providing tools to make the block editor more accessible, as well as encouraging authors to publish accessible content, there are still areas where we can improve.”

At this time there has been no official response to the accessibility team’s assessment. It does not look like it will meaningfully impact the release date, as Beta 2 went out last night and RC 1 is planned for release today. If the core dev chats are any indication, contributors involved in 5.0 seem to be on board with the ambitious timeline for its release.

In a post titled “Accessibility in Gutenberg is not a one-more feature,” core developer Drew Jaynes urges the project’s leadership and contributors not to compromise core accessibility standards for the sake of an expedited timeline.

“Please let’s not make the ‘new standard’ be that we’re willing to ship technically accessible but perhaps not entirely usable-for-all features; let’s not define it as one that sacrifices standards core to the WordPress experience in the name of perceived expediency; let’s not define it as the new default authoring experience for all users when not all users can use it well,” Jaynes said.

WordPress 5.0 release lead Matt Mullenweg has frequently said the release will ship when it’s ready. He contends that the interface has been continually modified for accessibility needs throughout the process of developing Gutenberg.

Matthew MacPherson, Gutenberg’s accessibility lead, was not immediately available for comment on the team’s assessment. Ultimately, the decision to delay the release will fall to Mullenweg and his leadership team. The accessibility team, however, will not lend its endorsement of Gutenberg at this time:

The accessibility team will continue to work to support Gutenberg to the best of our ability. However, based on its current status, we cannot recommend that anybody who has a need for assistive technology allow it to be in use on any sites they need to use at this time.

Gutenberg is now 20 days away from landing in WordPress 5.0, but this does not leave enough time to solve the design and architectural issues the accessibility team has identified. They have proposed a notice on the 5.0 release to inform administrators of Gutenberg’s inadequacy for users of assistive technology, with a prompt to install the Classic Editor plugin. Many people with accessibility needs depend on the WordPress editor in order to do their work and will need to stick with the old interface. The proposal has been closed with a note indicating that 5.0 will point users to the Classic Editor plugin if they need it.

The mistake of not having consulted accessibility experts in the design phase cannot be easily rectified at this point, but the Classic Editor is still available for those who need to preserve their same workflow. The conflict lies in whether WordPress should ship a new editor that those with accessibility needs cannot immediately use. It is a somewhat painful and frustrating outcome for those users when the entire ecosystem is rapidly moving towards Gutenberg as the standard.

Either the accessibility and usability issues the team identified are not as bad as they purport or this document is a last-minute clarion call that could prevent WordPress from shipping an editor that excludes users who rely on assistive technology. Due to the gravity of their claims, the accessibility team’s statement on Gutenberg demands an official response.

About Page 2018

A bit over 5 years ago I made a promise to not make the updating of my about page a quinquennial event. I didn’t quite live up to that promise.

Time passes by quickly. It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years.

I wasn’t much in the mood to create a new about page today. However, I had “Update About Page” listed as my most important task on the schedule. Because I’ve been attempting to stay on track and always complete the tasks I’ve assigned myself every day, I had no choice but to muddle through.

Therefore, the new and improved (?) about page is essentially a brain dump. I will definitely, absolutely, assuredly update it within the next half decade.

Remkus’ Roundup: Twenty Nineteen, GlotPress & ACF Gutenberg integration

As we’re getting closer to the release of WordPress 5.0, the amount of WordPress 5.0 related news is increasing. Today, we have news for you on the new Default WordPress Theme, the Gutenberg integration of Advanced Custom Fields and GlotPress. Welcome to the third edition of my roundup!

New Default WordPress Theme is here:

Since the release of WordPress 3.0 – hello 2010! – WordPress shipped with a new default theme. We started with Twenty Ten as we’re approaching 2019, WordPress is getting ready to ship the next default theme with WordPress 5.0.

Twenty Nineteen will be a theme that focuses on writing great content for both bloggers and small businesses. And, as you may have been suspecting already, Twenty Nineteen will fully support the new Gutenberg editor. If you’re already curious to see what Twenty Nineteen will look like, do check out the introduction post.

ACF Gutenberg integration

If you’ve been building content-rich WordPress websites, there’s a good chance you’ve been doing this by using the Advanced Custom Fields plugin, or ACF for short. It allows you to easily add all kinds of metaboxes for all types of content. Given the fact that the Gutenberg editing experience changes the way metaboxes look and work, the team behind ACF decided to find a way to integrate ACF with the Gutenberg blocks. And they’ve succeeded.

Our friends at Delicious Brains have written a great post on how ACF lets you create easily create beautiful rich content Gutenberg blocks. I highly encourage you to check it out. It does get a little technical, but ACF’s solution is by far the easiest way to create Gutenberg blocks right now.

By the way, if you are using ACF, have you seen our ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin?

WordPress 5.0 Beta 1 has been released

Slightly behind schedule, WordPress 5.0 Beta 1 has been released. From the release post:

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.0 beta 1: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”), or you can download the beta here (zip).

It’s important to mention that this software is still in development. So we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version. And if you are using an existing test site be sure to update the Gutenberg plugin to v4.1.1.

If you’re curious about the planning for the release of WordPress 5.0, do check out the granular timeline that’s available.

GlotPress 3.0

There’s a good chance, if English isn’t your first language, that you’re using an internationalized version of WordPress. In other words, WordPress is fully translated in your language. The software that powers the translation of WordPress, but also themes, plugins and more, is called GlotPress.

Greg Ross, who recently took over the lead-developer role from Dominik Schilling, has announced what needs to happen for the next big version of GlotPress. My favorite new feature is for GlotPress to support locale versions. What’s yours?


The post Remkus’ Roundup: Twenty Nineteen, GlotPress & ACF Gutenberg integration appeared first on Yoast.

WPCampus is Pursuing an Independent Accessibility Audit of Gutenberg

WPCampus is looking to hire a company to perform an accessibility audit of the Gutenberg editor. The organization is a community of more than 800 web professionals, educators, and others who work with WordPress in higher education. WPCampus director Rachel Cherry published a request for proposals detailing the organization’s specific concerns:

Our organization is sensitive to the legal requirements set by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The recent 508 refresh brought these requirements in line with WCAG 2.0 level AA, an industry standard that helps ensure accessibility. WCAG 2.0 is also commonly used as a baseline for policies governing many WPCampus participants outside the United States, with the European Union already moving to WCAG 2.1.

The audit is aimed at determining potential legal risk for institutions upgrading to WordPress 5.0 and will also identify specific challenges that Gutenberg introduces for assistive technology users and others with accessibility needs.

WPCampus is funding the audit and is not soliciting contributions from the community at this time. However, Pagely has offered to donate $1,000 to the organization in order to offset the costs of the audit.

“Contributions wise, at this point, we’d love for folks to share to help ensure we receive a wide variety of proposals,” Cherry said. WPCampus will publish the results of the audit to share with the greater WordPress community.

“Beyond our institutions’ legal obligations, colleges and universities worldwide have committed to providing an accessible digital experience to their diverse communities,” Cherry said. “This is consistent with the broader culture of higher education, which values inclusivity and an exchange of ideas free from artificial barriers.

“While the WordPress accessibility coding standards require new code to meet WCAG 2.0 AA, the new editor has not received a full accessibility audit. Lacking such an audit, the overall accessibility of Gutenberg is unclear. This makes it difficult for colleges and universities to determine the best course of action once WordPress 5.0 is released with Gutenberg as the default editor.”

The Accessibility Team is Preparing a Statement on Gutenberg’s Current Level of Accessibility

Accessibility has been one of the most pressing concerns regarding Gutenberg’s readiness for the world. The accessibility team met Monday and established a new weekly meeting time: 15:00 UTC on Fridays. They discussed a communication plan for Gutenberg accessibility feedback, particularly in regards to Matthew MacPherson’s call for accessibility testing on the plugin. User testing was conducted in March but a lot has changed since then. MacPherson has called for another round of tests from the community after Automattic decided to forego his proposed independent audit on Gutenberg.

The discussion became somewhat contentious after Gutenberg phase 2 lead Riad Benguella urged the accessibility team not to make its assessment in comparison to the classic editor but instead look at the larger picture.

“Gutenberg is meant for the whole site editing (even if it’s not at the moment) which means it’s the customizer + editor + menus + widgets at the same time,” Benguella said. “Just compare apples to apples, please, and if you see Gutenberg as an editor, you missed it. For the sake of iteration, it’s being shipped as an editor for now.”

Several members of the accessibility team took issue with statement because Gutenberg will replace the classic editor in WordPress 5.0 (even if users can bring it back with a plugin).

“It is crucial we compare these two experiences, because the one completely replaces the other,” Joe Dolson said. “It doesn’t matter that the new editor aims to do a lot more, it still must accomplish the same tasks effectively.”

Amanda Rush, a blind WordPress user and accessibility specialist, concurred with Dolson’s assessment.

“As someone trying to use Gutenberg as it currently stands with a screen reader, I promise you that future goals for the project are the absolute furthest thing away from my brain at the time,” Rush said.

“Let’s put it this way. Imagine that you are someone who must use assistive technology, or is otherwise reliant on something to do with Accessibility, and you have Gutenberg in front of you and you are trying to accomplish a task. Right now, the only task you can accomplish is writing or editing a post. So, as you are becoming more and more frustrated with the state of things, and trying to get your work done at the same time, imagine what it would be like if someone walked up to you in the middle of this frustrating experience and said well, if you’re calling as an editor you’ve missed it. Because this is going to be so much more than that. That is completely useless, doesn’t have any bearing on what you were trying to accomplish at the time, and promises, whether fairly or not, just more frustration down the road.”

Beta 1 has arrived before the next round of accessibility testing has been completed, and Gutenberg has only recently arrived at UI freeze within the last week. The accessibility team is collaborating on a detailed article with a general and professional statement on the level of overall accessibility in Gutenberg. They plan to publish the statement on Friday.

In the meantime, WPCampus has taken it upon themselves to spearhead an independent audit to determine if Gutenberg is in compliance with the industry standard WCAG 2.0 level AA, a standard which the accessibility team adopted as a requirement for all new or updated code released in WordPress. WPCampus’ submission deadline for proposals is November 7, and the organization will select a vendor by November 30. The goal is to release the audit no later than January 17, 2019.

The timeline WPCampus has identified would not deliver results in time to meaningfully impact WordPress 5.0’s release date. As Gutenberg has already been merged into core, it seems neither the accessibility team’s assessment nor an independent third-party audit would be considered a factor in delaying the release.

“The goal with the timeline is to allow adequate time to do it right,” Cherry said.

The WordPress community has responded positively to this independent effort to get more information on Gutenberg’s accessibility issues.

“I’m excited for this process as an example of how the community can tackle large tasks like this in creative ways,” Jeremy Felt said in response to WPCampus’ taking the initiative to get an audit. “It also has an opportunity to provide great insight and instruction on the accessibility of a complex React application with many interacting pieces.”

Accessibility is part of WordPress’ stated mission: “WordPress is software designed for everyone, emphasizing accessibility, performance, security, and ease of use.” The accessibility pages on the project’s website advertise WordPress as committed to ensuring all new and updated code conforms with WordPress Accessibility Coding Standards. Many in the community have expressed concern that if WordPress 5.0 ships a critically inaccessible new editor, it will be violating both its stated mission and its standards.

A great deal of friction has surrounded Gutenberg’s journey towards becoming an accessible tool for millions of users. The struggle has highlighted areas where the WordPress project can improve its collaboration across teams. It has inspired many to share their personal stories and some have even pledged to ramp up their accessibility contributions.

Many contributors were disappointed after Automattic decided to forego the independent accessibility audit on Gutenberg, given the company’s strong messaging about their passion for inclusive design. However, one positive outcome is that the company is now looking to hire a product designer who specializes in accessibility.

Rian Rietveld’s resignation from the accessibility team was a great loss for the project but it served as a catalyst to bring more visibility to the efforts of WordPress’ accessibility contributors. WPCampus’ initiative to get an accessibility audit for Gutenberg is one example of how the community is rallying around the accessibility team and working to help make the new editor a success for all users, including those with accessibility needs.

WordPress 5.0 Beta 1 Now Available for Testing

WordPress 5.0 is marching forward with beta 1 released this evening. Major items that need testing include the Gutenberg editor, the new Twenty Nineteen default theme, and all previous default themes, which have been updated to be compatible with the new editor.

You’ll want to make sure you are using Gutenberg version 4.1 before updating your site to WordPress 5.0 beta 1. Gutenberg is now considered feature complete as of the 4.1 release. It is active on more than 580,000 installations.

WordPress 5.0 beta 1 has arrived five days after its expected release on October 19. Contributors expressed concern in today’s dev chat over the large number of issues on GitHub in milestones related to 5.0.

Gary Pendergast, who is responsible for leading the merge, said the dates for RC can be changed if necessary.

“We can shift RC if we need to, which won’t necessarily affect the final release date,” Pendergast said. “If we have to shift RC a long way, that would be a good time to have another look at the release date.”

The Gutenberg team has not published a merge proposal to date. In September, Pendergast said “the Gutenberg leads are ultimately responsible for the merge proposal” but the timeline was still to be determined. Unless a proposal is forthcoming, the project seems to have bypassed this stage, which has frequently been a requirement for new themes, APIs, and feature plugins in the past.

Volunteers contributing to the Gutenberg handbook met for the first time today in the #core-docs channel. Chris Van Patten is coordinating the documentation effort to clean up and prepare Gutenberg-related docs for 5.0 over the next  five weeks.

Testers are advised to consult the list of known bugs before reporting to the Alpha/Beta forum or filing a bug on trac.

If this release stays on schedule, Gutenberg is now 26 days away from shipping in WordPress 5.0.