Better Search v2.2.4 – security fix

I have released version 2.2.4 of Better Search (v2.2.3 was a short release) which fixes one very important security issue that was reported by Ryan Dewhurst. Another key change in this release is the use of query variables and ajax to track the searches as well as some hardening across all PHP files. If you’re running v2.2.2, please upgrade to this release now. Searches are now tracked using Query...

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Better Search v2.2.4 – security fix was first posted on March 21, 2019 at 5:11 pm.
©2003-2018 "Ajay on the Road called Life". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at https://ajaydsouza.com/contact/

WordPress Ends Support for PHP 5.2 – 5.5, Bumps Minimum Required PHP Version to 5.6

WordPress has officially ended support for PHP 5.2 – 5.5 and bumped its minimum required PHP version to 5.6. The plan announced last December was to bump the minimum required version in early 2019 and, depending on the results, bump it again to PHP 7 in December 2019. Sites on PHP 5.5 or earlier can still get security updates but will not be able to upgrade to the latest major WordPress version.

Today only 2% of WordPress sites remain on PHP 5.2. Roughly 20% are on versions 5.5 or earlier. Nearly half of WordPress installs are on PHP 7.0+.

One might wonder why WordPress’ approach isn’t to just bump it all the way up to PHP 7. With its influence and dominant market share, this requirement would inevitably force users to get on board. However, WordPress contributors believe in supporting users who, for whatever reason, need more help upgrading PHP. Steamrolling this requirement has not been the WordPress way, despite years of immense pressure from the developer community.

“Leaving users behind for technical reasons creates a two-folded web with only few being able to leverage its power,” WordPress Core Committer Felix Arntz said. “Collaborating with and supporting these users gives that power to everyone in the long run.”

Gary Pendergast shared a few stats about how effective WordPress 5.1’s PHP update notice has been in prodding site owners to get on newer versions of PHP:

For WordPress 5.0, sites updated their PHP version from PHP <= 5.6 to PHP 7+ at the rate of 1 basis point per day. That is, the percentage of WordPress 5.0 sites using PHP <= 5.6 dropped by 0.01 every day, prior to the release of WordPress 5.1.

For WordPress 5.1 (after adding the update notice), that has increased to a steady 5 basis points per day. Doesn’t sounds like much? Every day, that’s hundreds of extra site owners choosing to go through the (frankly, terrifying) process of updating their PHP version. All they needed was a little extra nudge, and a little bit of information.

Scary EOL notices and attitudes of “well, we’re just bumping our supported PHP version, too bad if you don’t know what to do next” don’t help. Giving people the information they need to help themselves works.

WordPress folks are doing our part to help clean up the ancient PHP installs that are still running a large percentage of the internet, and we’re find that this isn’t an insurmountable problem. It just requires a bit of patience and empathy to solve.

WordPress developers around the web sent out celebration tweets after the news was announced. Although PHP 5.6 is the new minimum required version for running WordPress, the project’s technical requirements page recommends users ask their hosts for PHP version 7.3 or greater. PHP 7+ offers massive performance gains for users and developers will be able to update their plugins to use more modern syntax.

Gutenberg 5.3 Introduces Block Management, Adds Nesting to the Cover Block

Gutenberg 5.3 was released today with basic block management, a feature that will be included in WordPress 5.2. It is a new modal that can be launched from the vertical ellipses menu, inspired by Rich Tabor’s CoBlocks implementation. Users can turn individual blocks on/off or even entire sections, such as Common Blocks, Formatting, and Embeds. Block management should help users avoid the bloat that happens when installing block collections with more blocks than they need.

This version’s updates to the Cover Block make it possible to nest other blocks inside of it. Users can now add buttons, paragraphs, and headers to easily create a call to action. It’s not immediately evident that nesting blocks is possible, despite the floating inserter. It takes a little bit of time to discover that it is available. There are still some quirks with this feature, but overall it makes the Cover Block much more useful than previous versions.

A few contributors commenting on the Cover Block’s nesting PR said that it seems like the work on this iteration is essentially a light version of a section block. They questioned if it might be better to finish the work on the Section block (#4900) and build from there. Many developers and designers are eagerly awaiting the addition of a Section block to core, which will provide a standard for the plugin and theme industries to build on.

“I think the cover block has very specific functionality that the section may not have like the focal point selector,” Automattic JavaScript engineer Jorge Costa said. “It is also important to note that the adjustments we make here to the way nesting works will also benefit a future section. This also allows us to test nesting a little bit more, before going to the section block. I expect the section block to be widely used in the community and will probably serve as a basis for many things being built in the future so it is important that we get it right. Exploring in cover will contribute to that.”

Gutenberg 5.3 adds an experimental Legacy Widget Block that allows existing WordPress widgets to be added as Gutenberg blocks. It offers a dropdown of available widgets. After selecting one, the block populates that area with the widget’s settings.

This version also improves block outlines for the hover and selected states for a more accessible UI with less distraction. Performance benchmarks show a slight decrease in performance with Gutenberg 5.3. Check out the release post for a full list of enhancements and bug fixes. This is the last plugin release that will be rolled into the upcoming WordPress 5.2 release.

A Quick Introduction to WordPress’ Date/Time Component

At WordCamp Nordic’s contributor day I had the opportunity to chat with Andrey “Rarst” Savchenko about WordPress’ Date/Time component, the code that manages date, time, and timezone functionality. Savchenko is one of the maintainers of this lesser-known component, which includes code that dates back to PHP 4 times. After volunteering for years in the WordPress Stack Exchange forums, he encountered some of the worst Date/Time bugs, eventually spurring him on to get involved improving the code.

“From there it was a slow descent into the madness of the component,” Savchenko said. “Much of my experience ended up in my WpDateTime library. By last year I was, at last, confident I had a good grasp on the extent of the problem and a way forward for core.”

Date/Time issues affect both developers and users. Savchenko said most of the problems, by volume, are related to an incorrect output of localized time by `date_i18n()`. These things can trickle down to users and affect post scheduling, querying, and other operations.

“Some of them are outright bugs and some are easy to break due to incompatibility with Unix timestamps,” Savchenko said. “But many other parts of the core have problems related to time – most often around time zones and daylight savings time. Posts can end up with the wrong time, not published when needed, sorted in the wrong order, and so on.”

The requirement for backwards compatibility makes progress slow but Savchenko and fellow contributors shipped some of their work in the most recent release of WordPress. They will have more solutions available to pursue when the minimum required PHP version is bumped.

“In WordPress 5.1 we had shipped a set of important fixes for documentation and some of the worst bugs in `date_i18n()`.

“At the moment we continue to work on outstanding issues and get ready to implement a set of major new API functions. The work on the component has also revitalized the discussion of introducing user timezones. However I think those need a lot of UX work to reach workable proposal.”

Check out the video below for a quick overview of the work being done on the Date/Time component and find out how you can get involved at the #core-datetime channel in WordPress Slack.

Gutenberg tips

Another week, another roundup! We saw WordPress’ growth hit an important milestone last week, and an interesting proposal was made concerning available blocks in the editor. Let’s see what that’s all about! In this edition of my roundup, I also share a few more tricks about the Block Editor itself. And, last but not least, I have a bonus link for you again. Of course I do!

WordPress now powers one-third of the web!

Last week, Joost published an article on the WordPress.org site about WordPress now powering ⅓ of the web. Well, technically it’s ⅓ of the top 10 million sites, but still, that’s a staggering amount of WordPress sites out there now. Go check out his post to learn more.

Block Directory

An interesting proposal for a Block Directory was published on the Make WordPress Core blog that has the potential of being big:

A new type of WordPress plugin that provides blocks and nothing else: Single Block Plugins. These will be hosted in a separate Block Directory section of the Plugin Directory. They will be JavaScript-based, and each plugin will register a single Block. And they will be searchable and installable from within the Gutenberg editor itself.

Alex Shiels

If you’d like to find out more about what this proposal is about, go on and read Alex’ post.

Gutenberg tips and tricks

In a previous roundup, I shared some tips on using Gutenberg. Today I have a few more tips to share on how to best make use of the new Block Editor.

Reusable blocks

The WordPress Block Editor comes with a feature that’s called ‘Reusable block’. This feature allows you to define one specific block or a combination of blocks to be saved and reused anywhere else on the site.

When would you use that, you ask? Maybe you want to highlight one of your products on several pages. Or you have certain posts that need some sort of disclaimer at the bottom. Instead of having to write that same paragraph from scratch every single time, you write it once, save it as a reusable block and select it where needed.

You can save a block to your reusable blocks by clicking ‘More options’ (the icon with three dots in the bar directly above your block) then ‘Add to reusable blocks’. Once you’ve done that, you can find the reusable block when adding a new block. It’ll be at the end of the list under the tab, ‘Reusable’, with the name you gave it.

Use your reusable blocks on other sites

Now that you know how to create reusable blocks, it’s time we make this a bit more exciting! Did you know you can export your reusable blocks from one site and import them on another? Yes, you can! This is how: to access your blocks, click on the icon with the three dots in the top-right corner. Then, select Manage All Reusable Blocks and you’ll be taken to an admin interface where you can export your blocks into a JSON file.

You can import that same JSON file in another site via the same admin interface screen. Isn’t that neat?

Line break, but no new paragraph in Gutenberg?

Here’s a complaint I hear a lot: “Whatever I do, I can’t add a line break without creating a new block”.
Sometimes you just want to go to a new line without creating an entirely new block. Just like I did at the beginning of the previous sentence. It may feel like that’s impossible, but it isn’t. Hitting Shift+Enter creates a line break without a new block. It’s that simple.

Bonus link

Maybe I’m talking to the wrong crowd here, but even if I’m helping just one of you out there, I’m a happy man :)

So, this one is for those of you who develop plugins on Github, but have to jump through all kinds of fancy hoops to have those plugins committed to the WordPress.org repo. Our friends at 10Up have released a wonderful solution that allows you to publish your code on Github and only Github.

Their solution makes use of Github’s Action. Once you’ve set up your action and added your WordPress.org credentials, it will actually publish your newly created tag to the WordPress repo. I call that a win! So, if this is for you, go and check out Github Actions for WordPress.

The post Gutenberg tips appeared first on Yoast.

Add to All v1.4.0

I’ve updated my handy plugin Add to All in the WordPress.org repository and existing users should be able to update this plugin from within the dashboards. Placeholders In the latest version of the plugin, I have included a few placeholders for more dynamic texts. %home_url% – This will add the link to your site or the current site for multisite. You can wrap this text in an anchor tag...

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Add to All v1.4.0 was first posted on March 16, 2019 at 10:29 am.
©2003-2018 "Ajay on the Road called Life". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at https://ajaydsouza.com/contact/

I've been in the lab

Screenshot of an upcoming WordPress theme.

It’s been two years since I’ve built a new WordPress theme. That’s assuming we’re not counting starter themes.

I was uninspired.

It wasn’t until I launched the redesign of this blog that I found my muse once again. I had the beginning of an idea. I had a starting point for building something actually useful.

What inspired me the most is that I’d finally figured out the secret to building great themes. I’d known this secret all along, but I didn’t truly understand it.

What makes me happy as a blogger, a Web site owner, is when I can simply share what I have to say on a subject. I don’t want the design getting in the way. The design should be about wrangling the content on the front end in a fashion that visitors can dive directly in and find what they’re looking for.

Spreading myself too thin

Theme Hybrid, my theme and plugin site, was the most successful when I was able to concentrate on a handful of projects that I was truly passionate about. Over the years, I’ve created dozens of themes and plugins. But, outside of those first couple of years, I’ve spread my talents too thin and have been constantly bouncing from project to project.

Not anymore.

I’m hyper-focused on building the best damn theme in the WordPress ecosystem. Giving it continual improvements. And making life easier for what I hope is many 1,000s of users to come.

Suffice it to say, the OJT is back in town.

Exhale

I’ve named this new theme Exhale because it felt like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders as I was building it. I could finally breathe again. I want others to come along this journey with me and have that same feeling.

A two-year break from building themes for end users has given me some perspective. The things that actually matter are:

  • Content: Your content is front and center. No fancy gizmos to distract your visitors.
  • Speed: This theme is much faster than the vast majority of themes you’ll find available.

Everything else is about getting out of the way so that the user can say what they have to say. Whether this is via Gutenberg or the Classic editor doesn’t matter (both are supported).

Note: I’m working on getting things together like a demo, promotional material, and such.

Early-bird discount and beta

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be launching the official beta release of Exhale on Monday, March 18.

I feel so confident in this new theme that I’m giving out an early-bird discount. If you purchase the “Premium Membership” at Theme Hybrid in the next couple of weeks, you can get $10 off using the EXHALEBETA discount code at checkout.

You’ll be able to test-drive the beta version next Monday and have a year’s worth of support and updates already taken care of.

WordPress 5.1.1 Patches Critical Vulnerability

WordPress 5.1.1 was released yesterday evening with an important security update for a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability found in 5.1 and prior versions. The release post credited Simon Scannell of RIPS Technologies for discovering and reporting the vulnerability. Scannell published a post summarizing how an unauthenticated attacker could take over any WordPress site that has comments enabled:

An attacker can take over any WordPress site that has comments enabled by tricking an administrator of a target blog to visit a website set up by the attacker. As soon as the victim administrator visits the malicious website, a cross-site request forgery (CSRF) exploit is run against the target WordPress blog in the background, without the victim noticing. The CSRF exploit abuses multiple logic flaws and sanitization errors that when combined lead to Remote Code Execution and a full site takeover.

Since WordPress ships with comments enabled by default, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability on any site with the default settings. Auto-updates went out yesterday but administrators who have background updates disabled are advised to update immediately.

The maintenance release also includes the ability for hosts to offer a button to prompt their users to update PHP ahead of WordPress’ planned minimum PHP version bump in 5.2. The “Update PHP” notice can be filtered to change the recommended version.

Version 5.1.2 is expected to follow in two weeks.

New commenting plugin option, a book release, and a WordPress milestone

It’s time* again for a new roundup of WordPress news! Today I’m sharing a new commenting plugin for WordPress, the release of a new book about Object Oriented Programming in WordPress. The WordPress Project also crossed an imported milestone this week. Keep on reading and you’ll learn all about it!

New commenting plugin option

For a very long time when you, for whatever reason, wanted to replace the default WordPress commenting you basically only had Disqus as an option. We used to have IntenseDebate as well, but even though the site is still up, that really doesn’t look like a modern and solid solution.

Luckily, we have a new option again in the shape of ReplyBox. It’s a super lightweight solution and does a wonderful job delivering a robust commenting system. How lightweight you ask?

I’d say that’s quite impressive, right?

If you’re in the market for a smarter commenting system, you should definitely check them out!

Gutenberg expands on block editor location

Gutenberg 5.2 was released last week and it introduces a new @wordpress/block-editor module that allows building block editors to live outside the post editor context and even outside the WordPress Admin context. Meaning, we’ll be able to use the Gutenberg editor interface in other places besides the actual place where you craft your content. You can read more about in the release post for Gutenberg 5.2.

WordPress book on object-oriented programming

One of the advantages of WordPress moves towards updating its minimum PHP requirement is the opportunity to make better use of smarter coding. Object-oriented programming (OOP) is one of those things. To help you learn OOP, Carl Alexander published a book last week that will teach you the fundamentals of object-oriented programming using WordPress concepts, as well as getting familiar with the terminology.

200 Languages!

During WordCamp Nordic’s Contributor Day, 16 new languages were added to translate.wordpress.org according to Petya Raykovska. With those 16 extra languages, WordPress can now be translated into 200 languages! That’s an amazing milestone.

That’s if for me for this roundup. Hope you enjoyed it!


*WordPress 5.1 actually released the first improvements to the Date/Time functions in WordPress, so technically, we’re better at handling dates and time now! Well, WordPress is, that is.

The post New commenting plugin option, a book release, and a WordPress milestone appeared first on Yoast.

AutoClose v2.0.0

I’ve released a major update to Auto-Close Comments, Pingbacks and Trackbacks a.k.a AutoClose v2.0.0. The last update to this plugin was in 2015 and this has continued to work with the newer versions of WordPress. Autoclose is an easy to use WordPress plugin that allows you to automatically close comments, pingbacks and trackbacks on your posts. You also have some buttons that let you delete...

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AutoClose v2.0.0 was first posted on March 10, 2019 at 6:32 pm.
©2003-2018 "Ajay on the Road called Life". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at https://ajaydsouza.com/contact/

Release schedules, selling digital downloads, and some bonus links

In this roundup, I’ll discuss what’s going on with the WordPress release schedule. I’m also highlighting a new e-commerce solution for selling downloadable items in WordPress. And of course, I carefully selected some bonus links for your reading pleasure. Let’s dive in!

WordPress Release Schedules

WordPress has typically seen three to four releases per year for the last couple of years. Last year, we saw a bit of change in this, with a whole bunch of point releases leading up to the big 5.0 release. But, as things are settling down again, there’s been discussions on what the future of release schedules should look like.

The Core team is asking for feedback and I would highly recommend you to weigh in if you have an opinion in the matter. The post already lists some pros and cons, but more input is always better!

Selling digital downloads

You can tell that e-commerce is getting more and more important for people with WordPress websites. My favorite plugin for managing downloads in WordPress, Download Monitor, recently saw the addition of a highly requested feature. Namely, the ability to sell downloads. They also recently added full support for the Gutenberg editor, btw!

It’s great to see more lightweight e-commerce solutions coming to WordPress. Of course, we already have plugins like Easy Digital Downloads, but it’s not that lightweight anymore. And there’s nothing wrong with that! But having more options to choose from makes for a thriving ecosphere.

Bonus links

An interesting article I came across, in the shape of a long read, discusses the fact that the Internet was built on the free labor of Open Source developers. And, it asks the question of whether that is sustainable. This quote, in particular, stood out for me:

“I’m looking at you, Fortune 1000 companies, the ones who have never lifted a finger to contribute to the open source community that gave you this gift.”

– Steve Marquess

The article gives a very good insight into the ideas behind Open Source, the principle and license WordPress and many other great software solutions are built on. The article raises a lot of great, critical questions that may help you get a better understanding of the underlying principles. Highly recommend reading!

One more link

One more link I’d like to share with you, in case you’re curious about the progress the new Marketing Lead for the WordPress Project, our founder Joost, has been making in the last month or so. Go check out Joost’s post and see for yourself what’s been done.

The post Release schedules, selling digital downloads, and some bonus links appeared first on Yoast.

How to Install WordPress – Complete WordPress Installation Tutorial

WordPress is known as the most popular website builder in the world. It powers over 33% of all websites on the internet. The main reason for that is because WordPress is easy to install which makes it easy for anyone to create a website.

All best WordPress web hosting companies allow you to install WordPress with just few clicks. In most circumstances, installing WordPress is a simple process that takes less than five minutes to complete.

In this tutorial, our goal is to offer a complete WordPress installation tutorial for beginners and advanced users alike.

For beginners, we will show you how to install WordPress on all top hosting platforms by using 1-click install scripts like Fantastico, Softaculous, and QuickInstall.

We will also explain how to install WordPress manually using FTP for our intermediate users.

Lastly, for our beginner developer and designers, we will show you how to install WordPress on a local computer (Windows, Mac, and Linux).

Apart from showing you how to install WordPress, we will also give you tips on things to do after you install WordPress.

How to easily install WordPress

Things You Need Before Installing WordPress

Before you install WordPress, first you will need a domain name and a good web hosting company that knows WordPress.

We highly recommend that you use Bluehost because they will give you a free domain and 60% off their hosting plan (special for WPBeginner users).

The reason we recommend Bluehost is because they are one of the largest hosting companies in the world. They are also an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

Since this is a very long and detailed tutorial, please use the navigation below to get to the appropriate section.

How to Install WordPress on Bluehost

Bluehost is an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider and one of the largest hosting companies in the world. They know WordPress inside out and have the most beginner friendly WordPress installation process.

Bluehost automatically installs WordPress on your domain name when you sign up. Once you login to your Bluehost account, you’ll find your WordPress site under ‘My Sites’ tab.

Bluehost login to your WordPress site

You can simply click on ‘Log into WordPress’ button, and it will take you directly to the WordPress admin area.

Except for their ‘Basic’ plan, Bluehost also allows you to install WordPress on unlimited sites with all their hosting plans.

Simply click on the ‘Create Site’ button under ‘My Sites’ tab to get started.

Installing new WordPress site in Bluehost

This will launch the Bluehost guided WordPress installation wizard. First, it will ask you to provide a site title and optionally a tagline.

Provide a site title for your new WordPress site

Click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.

After which, you will be asked to select a domain name and path for your website. If you have already purchased a domain name, then you can select it from the dropdown menu. You can always purchase and add new domain names to your account by visiting the ‘Domains’ page from the hosting dashboard.

Select domain name and essential plugins

After selecting your domain name, you can leave the directory path blank and let Bluehost choose it for you. The installer will also show a few essential plugins that you can install.

You can now click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.

The installer will set up your WordPress site, which may take a few moments. After that, you will see a success message with your WordPress site details.

Successfully installed WordPress on Bluehost

You will also receive these details via email. You can now click on the login to WordPress button to enter your new site’s admin area.

Congratulations, you have installed WordPress on your Bluehost hosting account. That wasn’t too bad right.

How to Install WordPress on HostGator

HostGator is another popular shared WordPress hosting provider among beginners. They also make it super easy to install WordPress with just a few clicks.

First, you need to login to your HostGator hosting account’s dashboard. From here, you need to click on the ‘QuickInstall’ icon under the ‘Software’ section.

Installing WordPress on HostGator

On the next screen, you need to click on ‘WordPress’ to launch the installer wizard.

Run WordPress installer on HostGator

Now, you will be asked to select the domain name where you want to install WordPress and enter a directory path.

Most beginners want to install WordPress in the root of their domain name (for example, wpbeginner.com). In that case, you need to leave the directory field blank.

Select your domain name

Click on the next button to continue.

The installer will now ask you to enter WordPress site details. You will need to provide a site title, admin username, first and last name, and an admin email address. Make sure that you have access to that email address because this is where you will get your WordPress password reset email.

HostGator WordPress install settings

After entering all the information, click on the ‘Install’ button to continue.

The installer will now run in the background to install WordPress for you. Once finished, you will see a success message with your admin user name and password.

HostGator WordPress installation finished

You can now click on the ‘Login’ button to access the WordPress admin area.

Congratulations, you have successfully installed WordPress on your HostGator account.

How to Install WordPress on SiteGround

SiteGround is a popular choice among WordPress beginners. They are known for their excellent support and highly optimized WordPress hosting plans.

SiteGround offers quick and pain-free WordPress installers with all their plans. You can install WordPress directly from your hosting dashboard.

We will show you two different methods for installing WordPress on SiteGround. You can choose one that works for you.

1. Installing WordPress on SiteGround as a New User

If you just signed up with SiteGround, then you will be greeted by a welcome popup upon your first login. It will ask if you would want to set up your website now.

SiteGround new user WordPress installation wizard

You need to select ‘Start a new website’ and then click on WordPress.

The installer wizard will now ask for WordPress installation details. You need to provide an email address, an admin username, and password for your new WordPress site.

Enter WordPress login details for your installation

Click on the ‘Confirm’ button to continue.

On the next screen, you will see details of your selection. You can also select additional website enhancements but we will skip them for now, you can add them later if needed.

Finish WordPress installation on new SiteGround account

Go ahead and click on the complete setup button. The installer will now install WordPress for you in the background and you will see a success message when it is finished.

Successfully installed WordPress on new SiteGround account

You can now click on the ‘proceed to the customer area’ button. From here, you’ll find your new website under the ‘My Accounts’ tab.

Visit WordPress admin panel

You can click on ‘Visit admin panel’ to enter WordPress admin area.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed WordPress on your new SiteGround account.

2. Installing WordPress on SiteGround as Existing Customer

SiteGround makes it extremely easy to install WordPress from your hosting account at anytime. Simply login to your hosting account and visit the cPanel dashboard.

Visit cPanel dashboard in SiteGround

This will load the cPanel dashboard, which is basically a web-based interface to manage your hosting account.

From here you need to scroll down to the ‘Auto Installers’ section and click on WordPress.

Launch WordPress installer in SiteGround

This will launch the auto-installer script with WordPress pre-selected. You need to click on the install button and then select a website protocol http or https and domain name.

Now if you have enabled SSL Certificate on the domain name, then you can select https as your protocol, otherwise select http. You can later switch WordPress to HTTPS/SSL.

SiteGround WordPress installer

Below that, you need to enter your site title, admin username, password, and email address.

WordPress site settings

You will also see other options to select language, install plugins, and more. You can change these options or leave them unchecked.

Lastly, you will see the WordPress Starter option. You need to keep it checked as it will walk you through post-installation steps to set up your site.

Optional settings

Now, click on the ‘Install’ button to continue.

The installer will now run in the background and set up a WordPress install. Once finished, you will see a success message with a link to your WordPress site’s admin area.

WordPress installation finished

Clicking on the admin area link will take you to your website and launch the site set up wizard. This step by step wizard will help you get started with WordPress. Click on the ‘Start Now’ button to continue.

SiteGround WordPress starter

First, the starter wizard will ask you to choose a design for your WordPress site. It will show you hand-picked design templates organized in various categories.

SiteGround WordPress starter design option

We recommend choosing a simple design that resembles what you have in mind. Remember each theme comes with customization options and you can change how it looks to your own taste.

Next, you will be asked to select functionalities you want to add to your website. It will automatically select ‘Contact Form’ for you because every website needs a contact form.

Choose functionality

Optionally, you can choose Shop (to create an online store), calendar, or JetPack.

Click on the next button to continue.

Now you will be asked to select marketing options to promote your new website. It will show you MonsterInsights for Google Analytics, Yoast SEO, and OptinMonster for lead generation.

We recommend selecting all three of them as they will help you grow your website.

After that, click on the complete button and the starter wizard will complete the installation for you. You will now see a success message with a link to enter the WordPress dashboard.

Finished setting up your website

You will now see the WordPress admin dashboard with custom shortcuts to create content, customize design, and start working on your website.

SiteGround custom WordPress admin dashboard

That’s all. You have successfully installed WordPress on your SiteGround hosting account.

How to Install WordPress on WP Engine

WP Engine is the best managed WordPress hosting provider. A managed hosting account is basically a concierge service for your WordPress website.

They take care of managing your WordPress site updates, installation, and performance optimization while you focus on growing your business.

As a managed WordPress hosting company, WP Engine automatically installs WordPress when you sign up. Depending on your hosting plan, you can also create additional websites whenever you need them.

Simply, login to your WP Engine dashboard and visit the ‘Sites’ page. You will see a list of all your WordPress sites. Click on the ‘Create Site’ button to add a new WordPress install.

WP Engine create new site

On the next screen, you will be asked to provide a name for your production environment. Enter a name that helps you easily identify this website and then click on ‘Create Environment’ button.

Add a production environment WordPress site

WP Engine will now install your WordPress environment. It will take some time for DNS changes to propagate.

After that you will be able to access the WordPress admin area by clicking on the link in the sidebar. You will also be able to see your login credentials on the same page.

Login to your WordPress environment in WPEngine

To add a domain to your website, you need to click on the add domain link. Since WP Engine is not a domain registrar, you will need to point your domain’s DNS settings to WP Engine.

To do this, you will need your site’s IP Address and CNAME. You can find this information on the overview page of your site.

Copy the DNS information

Now we will show you how to enter this information in Domain.com. The basic settings are the same for all domain registrars, you just need to find the DNS settings.

Login to your Domain.com account dashboard and click on DNS and Nameserver settings for your domain name.

Domain DNS and nameserver settings

On the next screen, first, you need to change the A record with the @ sign as its name. Click on the Edit button to change its settings.

Changing A record settings

After that, you need to enter the IP address provided by WP Engine as this record’s value and then click on Update DNS button.

Replacing A record value

Next, you need to see if you have a CNAME record with www as its name. If you do, then you will need to edit that CNAME record. Otherwise, go ahead and click on the ‘Add DNS Record’ button.

Adding CNAME record

Add the CNAME subdomain provided by WPEngine in the Value field and then click on the Add DNS button.

That’s all you have successfully pointed your domain name to your WordPress site hosted on WP Engine.

How to Install WordPress from cPanel

Cpanel is a popular software used by many web hosting companies. It provides website owners with a simple web-based interface to manage their hosting account.

It is a one-stop access to several useful utilities including auto-installer scripts that help you install WordPress.

Hosting companies select which auto-installer script they want to use. Generally, Softaculous, QuickInstall, and Fantastico are the most popular options.

We will show you how to install WordPress using all three auto-installers. You can follow the instructions, based on the installer you see on your cPanel dashboard.

How to Install WordPress using Softaculous

Softaculous is a popular auto-installer script. It allows you to easily install popular web applications like WordPress with just a few clicks. Hosting companies like SiteGround and InMotion Hosting use Softaculous in their control panel.

Simply login to your cPanel account and look for Softaculous or WordPress installer icon. You will find them under Auto Installers section.

Softaculous icon

Clicking on any of these icons will launch Softaculous auto-installer for WordPress. First, you will see an overview of WordPress. You need to click on the Install tab to continue.

Click on the install tab to continue installing WordPress using Softaculous

Softaculous will now ask you where you want to install WordPress. You need to choose http:// or http://www. as protocol.

If your site has SSL and HTTPS, then you can select https:// or https://www. as protocol.

After that, you need to choose the domain name where you want to install WordPress. Most users want to install WordPress in their domain’s root directory, like example.com. In that case, you need to make sure that the ‘In Directory’ field is blank.

Scroll down a little, and you will see the site settings section.

Softaculous WordPress site settings

Under this section, first you need to provide a title and description for your WordPress site. Don’t worry you can easily change them from your WordPress admin area after installation.

Next, you need to choose an admin username, password, and email address. Softaculous will automatically fill in the username and password fields for you. It will use a non-dictionary word for username and a strong password.

You can change them if you want so that they are easy to remember for you. However, we strongly urge you to always use a strong password. See our guide on the best way to manage passwords for WordPress beginners to learn how you can manage strong passwords easily.

Make sure that you enter correct email address in the admin email field. This is where WordPress will send notifications and password reset link if you ever forgot your password.

Rest of the options on the screen are optional. You can now click on the install button to run the installer.

Optional WordPress settings in Softaculous

Softaculous will run the installer using the settings you provided. You will see a progress bar with installation status. It will take a couple of minutes. Do not close the window until the progress bar reaches 100% otherwise, this may affect your WordPress installation.

Softaculous WordPress installation progress

You will see a success message after the installation is finished. It will also show you links to your website and to your WordPress admin area.

Softaculous WordPress installation finished

How to Install WordPress using QuickInstall

QuickInstall is another popular auto-installer used by many hosting companies like HostGator and others. We will be using HostGator’s cPanel dashboard in the screenshots here, but it wouldn’t be much different if you are using some other host that has QuickInstall.

First, you need to login to your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard. Scroll down to the Software section and then click on the QuickInstall icon.

QuickInstall icon in cPanel dashboard

This will take you to the 1-Click Installers page on QuickInstall. You will see that it offers installations for most popular web applications including WordPress. You need to click on WordPress to launch the WordPress installer.

Select WordPress to begin installation

The installer will now show you the WordPress overview. You will be asked to select your domain name from the drop-down menu.

Most beginners want to install WordPress on the root of their website, for example, wpbeginner.com. In that case, you need to leave the directory field blank.

Launch WordPress installer in QuickInstall

Now click on the next button to continue. The installer will now ask you to enter WordPress details like username, email address, and site title.

QuickInstall WordPress site settings

After filling in all the information, click on the Install button.

QuickInstall will now install WordPress for you. After that, you will see a success message with your login details like username and password.

WordPress successfully installed using QuickInstall

You can now click on the ‘Login’ button to enter the WordPress admin area.

That’s all, you have successfully installed WordPress using QuickInstall.

How to Install WordPress using Fantastico

Fantastico is an auto-installer script used by several WordPress hosting providers. It is similar to the other installer scripts in this guide and offers an easier way to quickly install WordPress.

First, you need to login to your cPanel dashboard and scroll down to software and services section, and there you will find the Fantastico icon.

Fantastico icon in cPanel dashboard

Clicking on Fantastico icon will launch the auto-installer script.

Some hosting providers are still using an older version of Fantastico. In this tutorial we will be showing you screenshots from Fantastico F3 version.

If Fantastico on your host looks different, then don’t worry. Basic installation steps are the same, and you should be able to easily follow them.

On the main Fantastico screen, you will see a list of web applications on your left. You need to click on Blogs, and there you will find WordPress listed among many other applications.

Clicking on WordPress will show you an overview of the application with the ‘Install’ button.

Fantastico WordPress installer

Simply click on the ‘Click here to install WordPress’ button to continue.

Fantastico auto-installer for WordPress will now ask you to fill in your installation settings. First, you need to choose the domain where you want to install WordPress.

Fantastico WordPress install settings

If you want to install WordPress in a sub-directory then you can enter the sub-directory name in the field below. Otherwise, make sure that this field is empty.

Under ‘Administrator Details’ section, you need to provide admin user account information. Enter a username, password, and email address for your WordPress admin account.

Click on the Submit button to continue.

Fantastico will now install WordPress for you. Once it has finished installing WordPress you will see a success message.

How to Install WordPress using FTP

Manually installing WordPress is also known as the famous 5 minute install. It requires few added steps, and you will need an FTP client to manually install WordPress.

Take a look at our beginner’s guide on how to use FTP to upload WordPress files.

First thing you need to do is download the latest version of WordPress.

WordPress package comes as a Zip file. You need to unzip the file and inside it, you will find a WordPress folder. This folder contains all the WordPress files you need to upload to your web server.

WordPress files

Now go ahead and connect the FTP client to your hosting server. Once connected, use the FTP client to upload the WordPress files from your computer to your website server.

uploading WordPress files using an FTP client

If you want to install WordPress on your root domain name (like example.com), then you need to upload WordPress files to your website’s root directory. Usually this directory is called /public_html/.

On the other hand, If you want to install WordPress in a subfolder (like example.com/blog), then upload it in a folder /public_html/blog/.

Once you are done uploading WordPress, go to your hosting control panel to create a database. We will be showing you how to do that using the cPanel. If your hosting provider has a different control panel then you just need to look for MySQL databases. Rest of the settings will be quite similar.

From your cPanel dashboard, click on the ‘MySQL Databases’ icon.

MySQL database icon in cPanel

You will see a field to create a new database. Enter a name for your database, and click ‘Create Database’.

Create database

Now that you have created your database, MySQL still needs a username. This username will have access to perform actions on the database.

On the MySQL Databases page in your cPanel account, scroll down to MySQL Users section. Simply provide a username and password for your new user and click on the ‘Create a user’ button.

Add a MySQL user

This new user still does not have access to the database you created earlier. For that, you will need to add the user to the database and give them permissions to perform all actions.

On the same MySQL Databases page in your cPanel account, scroll down to ‘Add User to a Database’ section. Select the database user you created from the dropdown menu next to user, then select the database, and click on the add button.

Add user to database

You will be now asked for the privileges you want to allow this user. Select all privileges and click on the Make changes button.

Your MySQL database and user are now ready, note down your database name and MySQL username and password. You will need that information later.

Simply go to to the URL where you uploaded WordPress. If it is in the main domain, then enter your domain name in the browser window, like yoursite.com or www.yoursite.com.

You will see the language selection page. You can choose a language here so that the rest of the installation is displayed in your own language. You can also use English for now and then later change the language.

Select WordPress language

Click on the continue button to proceed.

You will now see some installation instructions. Basically, WordPress will now tell you that it will need your database name, password, and MySQL host information.

WordPress installation requirements

Click on the ‘Let’s go’ button to continue.

WordPress will now show you a form. You need to enter the database information you created earlier.

Enter database information for WordPress installation

Fill in the information and then click on the ‘Submit’ button. WordPress will connect to your database and show you a success message.

WordPress can now connect to your database

Click on ‘Run the Install’ button to continue.

WordPress will now create tables in your database and then send you to the next step of the installation.

Now you need to provide some information for WordPress to set up your site. This includes site title, username, password, and admin email address.

If you do not want your website to be visible to search engines, then you can check the box next to search engine visibility. Later when you are ready you can change this from WordPress settings. If you are unsure about what to do, then simply leave it unchecked.

Setting up your website during WordPress install

Click on the Install WordPress button to continue. WordPress will set up your website and finish the installation.

You will see a success message showing your username. You can now click on the Log in button to sign in to your WordPress site.

Manual WordPress installation finished

How to Install WordPress in your Computer

Many of our beginner level users often ask us if they could try WordPress on their computer? The answer is yes, but most beginners should not do that.

The reason why some folks install WordPress in a local server environment is to build themes, plugins, or to test things out.

If you want to run a blog for other people to see, then you do not need to install WordPress on your computer. If you install WordPress locally on your computer, then the only person who can see the site is you.

If you want to make your WordPress site available to the internet (rest of the world), then you need to get a web hosting account and install WordPress by using one of the methods we showed above.

Having that said, if you are really interested in installing WordPress locally on your computer to learn more about theme development, test plugins etc, then we highly encourage you to do so.

If you are using a Windows computer, then we recommend that you download and setup WAMP. If you are using a Mac, then you need to download and setup Mamp.

After you have played around with WordPress on your computer you may want to move your local install to an actual live website. We have a step by step tutorial on how to move WordPress from local server to a live site.

How to Install WordPress in your Language

Just like Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android, you can use WordPress in your own language.

WordPress is available in many languages including English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Korean, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese (Han), Portuguese, and many others.

You can choose a language during the WordPress installation or change it by visiting Settings » General page in the WordPress admin area.

Changing language in WordPress settings

For more details, see our article on how to install WordPress in other languages.

WordPress is also used widely to create bilingual and multilingual websites. See our tutorial on how to easily create a multilingual WordPress site with TranslatePress.

How to Install a WordPress Multisite Network

WordPress comes with multisite functionality built-in. The multisite network allows you to create multiple WordPress sites using the same WordPress install. It can automatically create new sites on sub-domains or in sub-folders.

This makes sense for businesses, non-profits, governments with sub-sites for different locations or regions. Many educational institutes also use WordPress multisite network to allow students to create their own blogs.

The setup for a multisite is a bit complex, but we have created a complete step-by-step tutorial on how to install and setup WordPress multisite network.

Things to do After Installing WordPress

Now that you have successfully installed WordPress, here are a few things to get started with your new WordPress site.

Choosing a Theme

The visual appearance of your WordPress powered website is controlled by Themes. There are thousands of WordPress themes available for you to choose from. With so many choices, it can become a little confusing for beginners. This is why we have put together a guide on selecting the perfect theme for WordPress.

We regularly publish lists of WordPress themes that we like in our Showcase section. Following are some of our popular theme showcases.

Installing and Using WordPress Plugins

The real power of WordPress comes from the massive collection of plugins. They are like apps for your WordPress site, allowing you to extend functionality and add new features to your site.

There are more than 54,000 free plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory alone. More plugins are available from third party websites as paid plugins.

If you are wondering which plugins to install, then take a look at our expert pick of the essential WordPress plugins for all websites. You may also want to check out the plugins we are using on this site by looking at our WPBeginner’s blueprint.

We have a beginner’s step by step guide on how to install WordPress plugins.

Start Learning WordPress

WordPress is the easiest to use CMS in the market. Millions of people from all over the world use it every day. However, from time to time you may need a little help.

This is where WPBeginner can help. We are the largest free WordPress resource site in the world, regularly publishing tutorials and guides written specifically for bloggers and small businesses.

Here are some of the useful resources that you will find on WPBeginner (all of them are totally free).

  • WPBeginner Blog – The central place for all our WordPress tutorials and guides.
  • WPBeginner Dictionary – Our WordPress glossary is the best place to familiarize yourself with the WordPress lingo
  • WPBeginner Videos – New WordPress users can start with these 23 videos to master WordPress.
  • WPBeginner on YouTube – Need more video instructions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel with more than 128,000 subscribers and 12 Million+ views.
  • WPBeginner Blueprint – Check out plugins, tools, and services we use on WPBeginner.
  • WPBeginner Deals – Exclusive discounts on WordPress products and services for WPBeginner users.

Conclusion

We hope this WordPress installation tutorial helped you learn how to easily install WordPress. You may want to check out our list of these 40 useful tools to help you manage and grow your WordPress site.

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 Install WordPress – Complete WordPress Installation Tutorial appeared first on WPBeginner.

How To Fix ‘Failed To Load Resource’ Error In WordPress

The “Failed To Load Resource” error is one of the most frustrating issues many WordPress users have been encountering lately. This error is quite hard to fix since it can be caused by several different issues like plugin compatibility issues and HTTPS URL issues and more. In this post, we take a look at some of the causes behind this.... Continue Reading

The post How To Fix ‘Failed To Load Resource’ Error In WordPress is written by Editorial Staff and appeared first on WPKube.

Migrated to The SEO Framework

I’ve been running Yoast SEO on this site for a very long time. It is a feature rich and powerful plugin and has been one of the first I’ve installed on all my blogs. Besides allowing me to configure the SEO settings, one feature I enjoyed is the readability analysis. But, over the years, the plugin has it has also grown in size and included ads and notifications. I have generally not...

Source


Migrated to The SEO Framework was first posted on March 3, 2019 at 12:47 am.
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Global WordPress Translation Day Set for May 11, 2019

One of the the most important factors in WordPress’ growth is the software’s availability in 186 languages. Its vibrant community of translation volunteers, known as the Polyglots team, continually update the translations to ensure access for millions of non-English speakers around the world. In 2016, the team began hosting their own events dedicated to educational sessions and topics that affect the translation community, along with coordinated translation sprints.

The 4th edition of the Global WordPress Translation Day (GWTD) has been set for Saturday, May 11, 2019. It is a 24-hour virtual and in-person event that brings together new and experienced translators. The most recent event was held in 2017 with 71 local events in 29 countries. More than 1,300 people RSVP’d for local events and volunteers around the world translated 93,179 strings in core, themes, and plugins. The event was also successful at growing the local translation communities, adding 217 new translators to the project.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of events like this that support and grow WordPress’ vital translation community. This colorful chart shows the percentage of users running the software in different locales. WordPress has a diverse global user base, thanks in large part to the efforts of volunteer translators.

If you want to get involved in the next Global WordPress Translation Day, mark your calendar for May 11, 2019. For more information, check out the #GWTD4 tag on the Polyglots blog and join in on the #polyglots-events Slack channel.

Changing your WordPress theme

Picking a theme for your WordPress website can be hard. You want something that looks nice, meets your needs and won’t slow down your website. If you don’t invest some time into picking a theme, you could end up with a theme that only allows you to use <h2> headings, for example. Or you might be forced to think of a workaround to generate category pages the way you want.

If your site has been around for a while and is doing well, it can feel like a big step to switch to another theme. Still, there are many good reasons to change your theme: whether you picked something that turned out not to fit your needs after all, or just want to change the look of your website. So, let’s take a moment to discuss the SEO-implications of changing your WordPress theme and how to go about it.

Consultoria Passaporto emailed us her question on the subject:

I want to change my WordPress theme without altering my content. Could changing my theme harm my rankings?

Check out the video or read the answer below!

Changing your WordPress theme and SEO

“Yes, because changing your theme changes all the code on your site. At the same time, if the theme that you’re switching to is well coded, there is nothing to worry about.

The problem is that defining ‘well coded’ is pretty hard. What I would do is switch the theme, do a fetch & render in Google Search Console, see if everything turns out right and if it says everything’s okay, then you’re good to go. Good luck.”

The post Changing your WordPress theme appeared first on Yoast.

WordPress Designers Seek Feedback on Navigation Menu Block Prototype

Creating a block for navigation menus is one of the nine projects Matt Mullenweg identified as a priority for 2019, and the future of WordPress menus is starting to take shape. Designers working on the new Navigation Menu block have published a prototype this week with detailed notes on how users will interact with the block.

The proposed solution would automatically generate a menu and users would able to delete menu items using the keyboard or block settings ellipsis menu. Individual menu items can be moved right or left and more advanced options for reordering or nesting would be hidden behind the block inspector.

Adding a menu item opens a search bar that would give quick access to all the content in the site. From here users can create a new page or use advanced mode to bulk add more pages. The designs aim to hide most of the more complex tasks behind the block inspector.

Reading through the list of interactions this design is expected to cover, it’s clear that navigation menus are one of the most challenging interfaces to bring into the block editor. One of the principles the designs are based on is that “The editing state of the block itself should mimic as closely as possible the front-end output.” However, it’s difficult to fully visualize how this will work. Navigation menus are most likely to be used in the header and/or footer of a website, but it’s not yet clear how themes will reveal a navigation area to Gutenberg.

There are still many questions to be answered and the design team is seeking feedback on the prototype. Comments are open on the post and feedback on more specific interactions can be left on the relevant GitHub tickets or in Figma. The tickets related to the navigation block discussion are listed in the proposal. The design team is currently working on usability testing and aims to have a final design by the end of March.

WordPress Contributors Propose Shorter, Time-based Release Cycles

WordPress release cycles may soon take a more predictable cadence, as contributors are considering moving to a time-based approach. The discussion began during a recent core dev chat in mid-February when Gutenberg phase 2 lead Riad Benguella proposed the project move to shorter, automated release cycles.

The Gutenberg team has successfully been releasing a new version of the plugin every two weeks on schedule and any features that aren’t ready are postponed to the next releases automatically. Benguella contends that this type of release schedule has the potential to bring several benefits to WordPress:

  • Less stress for contributors
  • Predictability: People can plan around the release timelines easily
  • No delays as releases are not feature-based

Shortening major releases may prove more challenging for WordPress, which is at a much larger scale than the Gutenberg plugin. The plugin also has the added advantage of being able to manage releases and development on GitHub.

“I think there are a lot of infrastructure problems that need to be solved for WordPress before we could move to a fast, automated release cycle,” Gary Pendergast said.

“Having a major release once a month is achievable, it’s something I’d like us to get to, but the release process is too manual to have multiple releases running at the same time at the moment.”

Jonathan Desrosiers drafted a proposal that summarizes this discussion and outlines some of the manual tasks required for getting a major release out the door. These include time-consuming tasks like Trac gardening, creating a Field Guide, blog posts for the betas, RCs, and official release, documentation updates, videos, dev notes, and other items that are often completed by volunteers.

The 3-4 month release cycles that WordPress had from versions 3.9 – 4.7 allowed for all of the administrative overhead outlined above to be completed in a reasonable amount of time, but the general consensus is that some of these tasks could be more simplified and/or automated.

Desrosiers highlighted several benefits of moving to a shorter major release cycle, including less drastic change for users that might ultimately result in more users being comfortable enabling automatic updates for major releases. Detriments to shortening the release cycle are the increased burden it puts on volunteers as well as theme and plugin developers who need to push compatibility releases. It would also introduce more backporting work for security releases.

Several contributors have left feedback on the post with insight gleaned from other projects’ release scheduling. Jeremy Felt reviewed Firefox’s release owner table that assigns leadership and dates for several releases in advance.

“I think getting to a shorter release cycle in general will involve scheduling multiple releases and assigning their release leads in advance,” Felt said. “So far most of our scheduling is done as soon as the last release has been shipped.”

Joe McGill examined VS Code’s development process and found several similarities to the process he thinks WordPress could adopt in the future:

  1. A long term roadmap (theirs is 6–12 months) outlining major themes and features.
  2. A monthly release cadence based on 4 week sprints which begin with milestone planning and always results in a release of whatever was completed in that monthly iteration.
  3. Regular project triage, with release priorities managed at the team (i.e. Component) level.
  4. Documentation integrated into the development process.
  5. Automated testing of releases and upgrades.
  6. Only important regressions and security issues are handled in minor releases between monthly milestones, everything else is moved forward to the next release (or reprioritized in the backlog).

Several of these points echo feedback from other contributors who have identified documentation integrated into development and automated testing as ways to speed up major release cycles.

“If we don’t have the infrastructure and tooling to support a 1 month cycle, then I think we could attempt a 2 month cycle with a goal towards moving to shorter cycles,” McGill said.

The Gutenberg plugin’s relentless pace of iteration and predictable release cycles have opened up a world of new ideas for improving the process for WordPress core. Discussion around moving the project to shorter, time-based release cycles is still in the preliminary stages. No major changes have been agreed upon yet, but the process of exploring different ideas has put the spotlight on tasks that could afford to be tightened up in the release process. This falls in line with WordPress’ 2019 theme of “tightening up.”

Block Editor Now in Beta for WordPress Mobile Apps

The new Gutenberg block editor that arrived in WordPress 5.0 is now in beta testing on the mobile apps. The editor will be available in version 11.9, which is planned to be released to the public on March 11.

“For this first version, our main focus was to build a pleasant writing experience with support for the most basic types of content,” WordPress mobile engineer Jorge Bernal said.

“Our data showed that 90%+ of the posts created on the mobile apps consisted of basic text and images, so we decided to focus on supporting the Paragraph, Image, and Heading blocks on this version.”

The interface looks similar to using Gutenberg on desktop, but it has been pared back to allow for only the most commonly used blocks and access to simple block settings.

Block editor v1 0 demo FINAL 2019 02 26 08 29 03

The block editor in the Android app feels noticeably slower on mobile than the previous editor. It’s not yet an improvement on the existing mobile editor but it’s still in beta. Even though it’s still rough around the edges, the posting interface is more consistent with what users experience on the desktop. During this transition time, users will retain the ability to use either editor, since the Gutenberg implementation just provides the basics for now.

After version 11.9 rolls out to the apps, users can choose if they want to use the block editor. The app detects which editor a post was created with and will automatically open it when a user attempts to edit a post. Users can manually switch back to the old editor for posts that have blocks by selecting “Switch to Classic Editor” under the ellipses menu. New posts will still use the Classic Editor by default but users can change the default to the block editor by going to Me > App Settings and enabling the “Use Block Editor” option.

After 11.9 is released the team plans to work on UX improvements and bug fixes before moving on to add support for the most common blocks and use cases.

Early 2019 planting

Rows of potatoes planted in a field.

I had a busy three-day weekend, mostly devoted to gardening. Today, Tuesday, my body is wrecked. There’s not a gym workout in the world that compares to getting potatoes planted.

I started the weekend with a trip to the annual Swamp Supper a few miles down the road. It’s an event held by local churches for boys and men with live music and lots of wild-caught/hunted foods. A few of the things I ate this time were:

  • Grilled deer burgers
  • Fried alligator tail
  • Salt pork
  • Fresh-cut french fries
  • Barbecue (two different kinds)
  • Buffalo wings
  • Fried quail

It’s always a fun event. There are other things that I didn’t get around to like frog legs, rabbit, gumbo, and more this year.

After resting for a couple of hours, I planted out a bed of onions and cabbage. To be honest, after eating all that meat, it’s probably a good thing I switched my focus to some veggies.

On Sunday and Monday, I completed the process of planting 12 rows of potatoes from a 50 lb. sack. I was actually a couple of weeks behind on this, but I was sick when I wanted to plant. Then, the following week, it was too wet and rainy.

This year, I’m cutting my gardening way back so that I can focus more on work. Potatoes are my main calorie crop though and last into the winter. All it takes is about $35 worth of seed potatoes and fertilizer to make sure there’s enough food to eat most of the year. The harvest from this planting should yield 6-8 months worth of potatoes for 4-6 people eating 3-4 days each week. Of course, that will vary from household to household, but it should give you an idea of the importance of this planting for me.

Perhaps Mother Nature will be kind this year and provide a bountiful harvest.

Block Management Features Proposed for WordPress 5.2

WordPress 5.1 has been downloaded more than 3.6 million times since its release last week and work on 5.2 is now underway. The upcoming release will be led by Matt Mullenweg with Josepha Haden acting as Release Coordinator. Gary Pendergast posted a proposed scope and schedule that would have 5.2 arriving April 23, 2019.

One of the proposed features is block management, the ability for users to hide or turn off blocks that they are not using. An avalanche of blocks is pouring into the WordPress ecosystem, especially with the push to convert core widgets to blocks. Users’ expectations will soon become firmly rooted in the concept of the block interface as widgets slowly become a relic of the past. It’s also quite common for users to install block collections that introduce a dozen or more new blocks when they really only have use for a handful of blocks.

Several standalone plugins already provide block management features, such as Gutenberg Manager and Disable Gutenberg Blocks. They all have different UI’s and approaches to letting users turn off blocks. For example, Gutenberg Manager uses a tabbed interface with checkboxes for disabling core blocks. The Disable Gutenberg Blocks plugin offers an admin screen that is similar to plugin management:

A few block collections have also implemented their own block management features, including Advanced Gutenberg Blocks and CoBlocks. Advanced Gutenberg Blocks adds a screen under its own top level menu for disabling blocks.

CoBlocks recently introduced a block management feature that is one of the more elegant implementations currently available. It adds the block management interface inline with the editor in a modal window, instead of relegating it to its own admin page. It also offers the ability to turn entire categories on/off.

After CoBlocks announced its block management feature, Nick Hamze contended that this should be replicated for WordPress core. His comments received a bit of pushback from Gutenberg technical lead Riad Benguella who sees it as a feature for more advanced users.

“The ability to disable blocks seems pretty basic,” Hamze responded. “Rich didn’t make this feature for fun. Regular users (not advanced ones or developers) asked for this. He made it to solve a problem that real users are having. You are telling me that more regular users will use the Amazon Kindle Embed Block (that is being baking into 5.1) than would like the ability to turn off blocks they don’t want to use.”

Last week when I spoke to Benguella about the possibility of block management capabilities being included in core sometime in the future, he said it wasn’t an immediate priority for the project.

“Block management is not an immediate focus in the Gutenberg roadmap and is considered plugin territory, but we keep close attention to the work done in the community and adapt in case user research and suggestions that bring value for the majority of users,” Benguella said. “My personal opinion for the moment is that, these are advanced features not required by every user of WordPress.

“That said, it’s important to enable plugin developers to implement more block management features, and one important piece of the puzzle here is the work we’re doing right now to improve the block registration and discovery both using REST APIs, PHP helpers and JavaScript APIs.”

The project’s priorities seem to have changed since that time, as block management is now a strong consideration for WordPress 5.2. Thousands of users have already installed a plugin that includes these kinds of capabilities, a good indication that there is a demand for this. As everything in the plugin ecosystem gradually moves towards blocks, it will be easy for users to get inundated by the many blocks available in the editor. Plugins are currently answering users’ needs with many different UI’s for turning blocks on/off. It’s clear that WordPress core needs to lead the way by providing a standard UI for block management.

In recent #core-editor chats Benguella said he has some concerns regarding the short time frame for the newly proposed block management feature, but is starting initial explorations of what the first iteration may look like in WordPress 5.2.

“So in addition to the currently shipped enhancements and the work done on the widget blocks, there has been a bunch of requests and feedback suggesting the need for a block management solution and block directory work,” Benguella said. “This is actually proposed for 5.2 and something we need to start thinking about and exploring the existing possibilities.”

Pendergast referenced CoBolocks’ implementation in his 5.2 scope and schedule post as an example of how plugin developers have approached block management.

“We weren’t the first by far, but I’d argue it’s clearly the best experience,” CoBlocks author Rich Tabor said. “I built it because folks have been asking for just that, and I wanted to deliver a much better experience than asking them to go to a WP admin page elsewhere. I’d love to see something like the Block Manager in core and am available to help out in any way I can.”

Other proposed features for WordPress 5.2 include the Site Health Check plugin, PHP error protection, and package signing for updates. The first beta is expected March 14, 2019, and RC 1 is slated for April 10, 2019.

Don’t Get Scammed

There’s a company who regularly emails people telling them that for $50 or $100 they’ll review your plugin or theme and you’ll get 5 star ratings on WordPress.org. They’ll tell you that doing this will get you SEO and traffic and they’ll link to their domain as proof of their success.

They’re lying.

Don’t fall for this. Never pay anyone for a review, it’s all a scam and the worst case scenario is that they actually do write a review. Why is that worst? Because if we find out you paid for reviews, we remove your plugins from hosting.

If you got a mail from a certain company offering a Valentine’s sale, know that we already know about them. They’ve been banned from here for years but we’ll be monitoring reviews just in case they slip through.

#reminder

WordPress 5.1 Improves Editor Performance, Encourages Users to Update Outdated PHP Versions

image credit: National Jazz Museum in Harlem

WordPress 5.1 “Betty” was released today, honoring American jazz singer Betty Carter. This is the first major release since Gutenberg came into core. As part of WordPress’ 2019 “tighten up” theme, this release was focused on improving performance in the editor and helping users update outdated versions of PHP.

WordPress 5.0 had been downloaded more than 35 million times prior to 5.1’s release. Users who have adopted the block editor will notice that it is much more responsive and writing posts should feel smoother. WordPress 5.1 includes the performance improvements from Gutenberg 4.8 – faster page initialization time, improved typing performance, and optimization of various background processes.

This release introduces new features from the Site Health project. WordPress will now detect if a site is running on an insecure, outdated version of PHP and display a notice in the dashboard with information about how to update PHP. It also includes checks for PHP version compatibility with plugins. WordPress 5.1+ will prevent users from installing plugins that require newer versions of PHP than they have running.

This release also introduces a medley of miscellaneous improvements under the hood for developers, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • New database table to store metadata associated with multisite networks
  • Updated Cron API with new functions to assist with returning data, new filters for modifying cron storage
  • New JavaScript build processes
  • Updates to values for the WP_DEBUG_LOG constant
  • Improved taxonomy metabox sanitization

WordPress 5.1 was led by Matt Mullenweg with help from Gary Pendergast and 561 contributors. Approximately 41% (231 people) were new contributors to the project.