March 2017 WordPress News – This Month in WordPress w/ CodeinWP

 This is the March 2017 edition of “This Month in WordPress with CodeinWP.” 

Let me tell you something in honesty … March of 2017 was a very eventful month. But in a good way (although a fair share of uncertainty is always there when dealing with big changes; but I’m getting ahead of myself).

So without much ado, let’s jump right in and summarize all those big WordPress stories from March 2017 that everybody was talking about in the community. Many of them are sure to impact the course of the whole platform and what it’s about to become.

This month we have security releases, a fresh new plugins repo, new acquisitions, themes, Jetpack news, and as always, some great content from around the web. This is the March 2017 edition of “This Month in WordPress with CodeinWP.”

March 2017 in WordPress


WordPress 4.7.3 Security and Maintenance Release

Another round of updates has been made to the current main WordPress version! The 4.7.3 is a classic security and maintenance release, fixing a handful of issues and optimizing the platform.

Things taken care of: three XSS vulnerabilities, a cross-site request forgery in Press This, a gate allowing unintended files to be deleted by admins, a possibility for control characters to trick redirect URL validation.

As always, be sure to update soon as possible if you haven’t done so yet.

March 2017 WordPress news: new version of WordPress

New WordPress Plugin Directory
WordPress Relaunches Plugin Directory with New Design and Improved Search Algorithm

We have a new WordPress plugin directory! It’s been a year since the team of contributors has started working on it and now it’s finally live! There are still a lot of improvements to be made, but the step forward has been taken and the repo has been reinvented with this new look.

What’s changed? First, the design is more user-friendly and modern. But that’s only on the surface. The search system was also improved with better search capabilities meant to deliver more relevant results. The first thing you’ll notice is the prominent search bar at the top of the main page; then the Featured Plugins, Popular Plugins, and Beta Plugins sections, which weren’t there in the old design.

What’s your take on the new repo’s interface?


Sucuri and GoDaddy team up to protect more websites

The partnerships in the WordPress community never cease to surprise us. The main actor here is GoDaddy again, which seems to be expanding their business towards a new direction. Back in September 2016, the hosting company acquired ManageWP, then a couple of months later they announced their acquisition of WP Curve.

It only took three months for GoDaddy to strike again with another big name: Sucuri. The popular security platform for WordPress will be, from now on, one of GoDaddy’s brands. What’s the goal of this agreement? Daniel Cid, Sucuri’s founder, explains:

“Since our inception, we have always had a single goal of protecting our customers’ websites. Now we have the opportunity to take this same philosophy from a few hundred thousand sites to millions of sites.”
Sucuri and GoDaddy team up

Jetpack Introduces Theme Installation
Jetpack Introduces Theme Installation from WordPress.com, Sparks Controversy with Alternative Marketplace for Free Themes

If you are a Jetpack user, you can now get your hands on a lot of additional free WordPress themes – apart from those in the official repository. The popular plugin now allows you to have access to a collection of 165 free themes from WordPress.com – no matter that your site is built on WordPress.org.

You can preview and activate the themes from the WordPress.com Theme Showcase without leaving your platform.

The announcement spread fear among theme authors from WordPress.org, who believe that Jetpack is growing too fast, which will eventually lead to it taking over the official directory and affecting all the theme and plugin developers. Jetpack team member Richard Muscat replied promptly:

“WordPress.com has no immediate plans to sell themes at this time. We have no plans to stop releasing themes into the .org directory.”

Chat with Matt about the future of theme repo

Speaking of the theme repo, the Theme Review Team and Matt Mullenweg had a meeting about the future of the WordPress.org marketplace. The talk covered both the current and the must-take actions that will ease reviewers’ and users’ experience with the platform.

Here’s a brief agenda from the meeting with a few aspects that were taken into consideration:

  • The idea of naming a few people to represent the team and take the most important decisions. Also, they will be in charge of offering/receiving feedback to/from the users.
  • A list of blockers and resources needed to improve the theme repository.
  • A cheat-sheet with things that can improve the workflow: multiple screenshots, SVN access, a better search system meant to return results related to the searched query, the option to let the theme authors show the original demo too and not just the basic one, more information about themes (changelogs and readmes), the allowance of custom post types and taxonomies, and users’ possibility to report a certain theme.
the future of theme repo

Great Articles From Around The Web

WordPress Collaborative Editing

WordPress admins and contributors always try to make things easier for their users. This time, they created an extension through which you can import your Google Docs directly to the WordPress editor without losing any formatting or images. (Here’s how to actually use this feature – a tutorial.)

Where to Put Your Logo? What the Research Says

Is there a strategy as to where to place your logo on a website? Will its position influence users’ next actions? Most people place the logo based on how it looks on the page, but have you ever thought that there’s actually a recommended space for it?

6 Online Traffic Sources You Are Probably Not Taking Advantage of

Over time, webmasters have come up with lots of opportunities and ways to bring more traffic to their websites. Some are already the pillars of good online marketing and everybody applies them in their business. But some are not so known (yet), which might be the case of these six too.

Conversion Rate Optimization Tips – 12 Easy Ways to Boost Sales

After you managed to establish good traffic on your site, it’s time to get to the next level and work on ways to bring you some money. Selling online is tricky and it won’t happen just like that unless you learn how to optimize your pages and products as well as you can.

How to Display the Total Number of Comments in WordPress

Are you interested in showing the total number of comments people have submitted to all your articles? WPBeginner presents you two easy methods to do that.

Getting The Most Out of a Freemium WordPress Business Model

What’s the point of having free products? How can you earn back all the money that you invested in building them? This is not an entirely black and white process. You need to consider lots of things so that your work can be rewarded.

12 Resources for Building an Illustration-Inspired WordPress Site

Interfaces with illustrations and colors get a lot of attention from people and they are very likely to convert. But, of course, making such pages requires extra work and patience. And, most important, imagination. WPMU DEV brings you 12 great resources to get you started.

Free Versions of Top Premium WordPress Plugins: for Easier Maintenance, SEO and Marketing

Free plugins are one of these aspects that make WordPress so great and loved by so many. But what about their paid counterparts? Should you even bother getting the free version; isn’t it just a toned down version of the pro? Let’s see.

Morning Routines of 11 Successful WordPress Business Owners

What does it take to be a successful WordPress business owner? Do you need to plan your day out in a different way than everybody else? Not entirely. Successful WordPress business owners do mostly the same things we all do, and like the same things we all like. But there’s more.

The Ultimate Knowledge Base Article Template (Infographic)

Formatting and content presentation makes a huge difference. Do it well, and you’ll keep your users reading from top to bottom. Do it badly, and … you know the story. Here’s HeroThemes’ take on how to build an effective “knowledge base” article.

That’s it for March 2017. Anything we missed?

 

 
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Adelina Tuca

Writer and WordPress blogger at ThemeIsle, CodeinWP, and Revive Social. When I'm not creating content, I'm either hiking, attending a metal concert, reading a book, or watching tennis.
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