Hi everyone, welcome to a fresh edition of our monthly WordPress news series!
As has often been the case these past few months, much of the biggest WordPress news focused on the upcoming Gutenberg editor. But it’s not all Gutenberg – there were also some other noteworthy news items like WordPress.com’s Sandy Hook conspiracy dilemma, Yoast SEO 8.0, takeaways from the most recent WordCamps, and another WordPress.com partnership made by Automattic.
But that’s not all. A bunch of great articles from around the WordPress world are also waiting for you on the list.
We have our first official WordPress fork over Gutenberg! This one comes from Scott Bowler. Scott’s frustration regarding the decision of the WordPress team to force Gutenberg into WordPress led him to create his own fork named ClassicPress – the “WordPress without Gutenberg” project.
ClassicPress is a completely free tool that plans to borrow the open-source code from the last WordPress version before Gutenberg gets merged, thereby creating a version of WordPress with no Gutenberg/React.js.
Scott will have his work cut out for him with maintaining compatibility with the latest WordPress changes, doing constant updates, keeping a harsh eye on security, and staying away from any Gutenberg-related features. We’ll see if Scott and the other ClassicPress contributors are up to the task.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting took place in December 2012, resulting in the death of 20 children and six adults. Six years later, a website with conspiracy theories about the incident put the guys at Automattic in front of a dilemma: is it their job to take the site down or not?
The website in question – where the shooting was claimed to be a hoax and where fake content was being posted on a regular basis – didn’t seem to be the only one of this kind. This reason, together with the pressure received from various publications for not taking any action, led Automattic to remove all the sites and blogs that were posting lies about the victims on the web, even though these sites did not violate any of Automattic’s previous user guidelines or copyright law.
After this episode, WordPress.com updated their privacy policies involving unauthorized images of minors, which are now banned from the platform.
Gutenberg is being developed on a larger scale so that it can be ready for the final integration in WordPress 5.0. The update from August 17th brings a series of significant user experience improvements, as follows:
- The inserter now allows new icons for all core blocks, more visual breathing room, and a better handling of searching with diacritics.
- The publishing flow has been updated to show the tag input panel and post format selector before publishing.
- A new help modal—showing all available keyboard shortcuts—has also been added.
- A lot more fixes and improvements.
The new Gutenberg homepage also lets you test the plugin and play with it without any installs needed. Pretty cool.
Everyone using Yoast, did you notice the revamp? The classic editor meta box now looks more modern and friendlier. One of the big changes is Gutenberg compatibility for most features, but these also bled into a revamp for the current editor as well.
If you’re using the classic editor, Yoast SEO 8.0 improved the meta box’s UI with collapsible panels and some other design changes (you might have noticed the smileys).
And if you’re using Gutenberg, you probably noticed that much of Yoast SEO’s functionality now sits in the Gutenberg editor sidebar.
After the WordPress 4.9.8 release, another round of testing was done, which was followed by another round of complaints addressed to Gutenberg, be it on social media, WordPress.org, developers’ official websites, or in the comments sections. One thing is clear: a lot of people do not like the Gutenberg editor being forced into the core.
Even the article above has over 100 comments, most of them showing frustration. The “Try Gutenberg” callout had a positive note, though: it managed to bring more testers, feedback, and awareness towards the editor, whose downloads increased considerably.
On the other side, the Classic Editor plugin – which lets people use the traditional WordPress editor – also increased in downloads. The Gutenberg plugin is now active on over 300,000+ sites, with the Classic Editor plugin active on 200,000+ sites.
Great Articles From All Around The Web
If you missed the most popular talks from WordCamp Europe 2018, here’s the top 10. It’s not the organizers who made the rankings, but the users by taking the official survey that was published after the event.
WordCamp for Publishers was also a hot event in the WordPress space. It took place early in August, in Chicago, and seemed to have been a success. Or at least this is what the participants said. Here’s what went down at the publishers’ conference.
WordPress.com struck a partnership with Pexels, a popular provider of free photography resources. WordPress.com users will now be able to insert images from Pexels right from the editor. Jetpack users can also get this, but only if you use the WordPress.com editing interface.
This summer, our blog ‘suffered’ a complete revamp, and our team in charge of this project used Elementor to put their plans into practice. The guys at Elementor were happy about the news and thought it would be a great idea to publish our case study on their blog. Maybe you noticed our site’s redesign, maybe you didn’t. But you can read more about it now.
I know that paying for stuff doesn’t seem like a natural thing to do. We all love free products and our first reaction when we see something paid is to check for a free version out there. We even make compromises and download tools from suspicious sites without thinking that this might affect the security of our computer or website. Here are several reasons why you should stop using nulled WordPress plugins.
Hosting WordPress by yourself really sounds like a complicated thing to do. I mean, it’s clearly not something that anyone could handle. It requires a solid technical and WordPress background (and no other activities on your to-do list either if you ask me). But this task can be manually managed by individuals too, not only by hosting companies. Check how it’s done.
Is conversational design the new thing? It certainly looks great, convincing, and leads to conversions. This article introduces you to this relatively new concept and shows you how three nice websites adopt it successfully. They have the power to make you scroll more, in the most part for admiring the concept and design.
When was the last time you saw a pop-up on mobile? Because I personally don’t remember. Smashing Magazine investigates the phenomenon of dying mobile pop-ups.
Aren’t you annoyed by the cookie disclaimers and consent bars every time you enter a website? Did you notice that this thing started, in most of the cases, after the GDPR was officially adopted in EU? Torque tells you what’s the story behind those cookies and their connection (if there is one) with the General Data Protection Regulation law.
The same applies to Instagram. But in this case, it really depends on your business’ nature because not every business can benefit from advertising on this network. This post is not about marketing your brand on Instagram, but more about what kind of business/company can benefit from using Instagram.
Last, but not least, Hestia – one of the most popular free themes on WordPress.org – has a new package of awesome and modern features. Not only the free version got improved, but also its premium alternative. Since Hestia is multipurpose (as in “a theme good at everything”), we recommend you to have a look at how it can help your business grow.
That’s it for September 2018. Anything we missed?