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

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

September was a busy month in terms of changes and turnarounds in the WordPress community, changes that will involve most of us sooner or later.

The breaking news revolves around Gutenberg (again), but also expect some other great stories about Jetpack, the WordPress.org directory, recent releases, and a ton of awesome resources we found on the web and wanted to share with you.

So, welcome to another edition of “This Month in WordPress with CodeinWP”, the one that opens up the fall season for us. Buckle up and get yourself up to date with the latest news related to your favorite CMS!

September 2017 in WordPress


On React and WordPress

Some of the biggest news this month was the decision to shift away from the React framework, the one on which Gutenberg editor was built until now. The reason? BSD and patents clause licensing issues. This forces Gutenberg developers to move on to another JavaScript platform, which implies the rewriting of the current editor using a different library. Given the situation, Calypso must face the same changes.

The unpleasant call came after Apache Software Foundation’s decision to add Facebook’s BSD + Patents license to its Category X of disallowed licenses, an event which stirred things up among the WordPress developers back in July. While Facebook made an about face and is changing their decision, we’re still not sure how that will play out with WordPress.

September 2017 WordPress News: React not in Gutenberg

WordPress 4.8.2
WordPress 4.8.2 Security and Maintenance Release

The WordPress core team recently delivered the 4.8.2 release, another security and maintenance bundle that solved some issues that were affecting the earlier versions. While the majority consists of cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities, there are a few other improvements as well:

  • The $wpdb->prepare() file as a potential threat in creating unsafe and unexpected queries.
  • A path traversal vulnerability in the unzipping code and in the customizer.
  • An open redirect observed on the user and term edit screens.

As usual, we encourage you to update your site as soon as possible!


WordPress.org Adds New Support Rep Role for Plugin Pages

WordPress.org added a new functionality to the plugin pages that will direct people to the official support team of a product.

The feature puts a label reading “Plugin Support” above each member who is listed by the plugin authors as an official support representative of the tool. The label will show up under Advanced View in the right sidebar of the plugin’s page. The option is already available and everybody can start using it on their WordPress.org profiles.

Support Rep Role for Plugin Pages

Specify a Minimum PHP Version Requirement
WordPress.org Now Allows Plugin Authors to Specify a Minimum PHP Version Requirement

In other WordPress.org news, plugin authors are now allowed to specify the PHP version requirement in their products’ readme.txt files. As with the official support role, the PHP-related information will appear in the right sidebar of a plugin’s page.

The change came about as a result of developers’ concerns about breaking user sites or causing severe issues each time they added features that required the latest PHP versions installed.


Jetpack 5.3: PHP 7.1 Compatibility, Ad Placement Control, and Visual Editor Improvements

Following a series of user reports on the plugin’s failure with PHP when opcache was enabled, Jetpack now has PHP 7.1 full compatibility. The feature came out together with the 5.3 release in early September.

The Jetpack team was working on the PHP compatibility issue since January 2017, the same month they introduced the integration with WordAds, the Google AdSense equivalent of WordPress.com’s. In the latest version, the advertising system was also improved for the Premium and Professional plans members, adding new options regarding the ads’ placement and number.

Jetpack 5.3

Great Articles From Around The Web

How Wapuu Created A Cultural Center for WordPress

It all started with one universal Wapuu, in a limited number. Now, every country has its own toy designed to reflect the nation’s cultural symbol. Is Wapuu creating bonds between the WordPress community? The folks at Torque think it does.

4 Tricks to Make Load Times Feel Faster

When your site takes a long time to load, people eventually give up. But what if you’re adding some smart tricks to make the wait feel less onerous? Like an hourglass, timers, loading spinners… or maybe a kitten. Webdesigner Depot has some great advice in this regard.

A Customer Picks Up Your WordPress Plugin Or Theme & Ditches It: How To Handle Cart Abandonment?

What do you do when a customer puts your WordPress theme or plugin in the cart but doesn’t proceed with the payment? You were so close to scoring a purchase, but it didn’t happen. The guys at Freemius say that there’s still hope in such cases. There are methods to make people come back.

The Best Ways to Make Images Retina-Ready for Your WordPress Site

If you have a modern site that meets the latest design trends, you should optimize its content to match the general appearance, and the images should be a priority on your list. Here are some tips on how to make them Retina-ready without much effort.

The Top 25 All-Time Best-Selling Website Admin/Dashboard Templates on ThemeForest (2017)

Did you know that you can change your admin panel’s design? And that there are even templates for sale on ThemeForest for this very purpose? Here are some of the most popular ones that could help you give your dashboard a fresh look.

How to Protect Images On Your Site (+ What To Do After Theft)

I’ve always wondered what happens if somebody uses one of my images for their own purpose. How can I find out that they stole it in the first place? Then, if I detect them, what’s the next step? Kinsta explains all these uncertainties and advises you how to prevent theft.

10 Ways to Monetize a Directory Website

A directory website requires different monetization than a regular site. It comes with different sections, a different business approach, a different audience, and it takes extra steps to get the process to an end. Here’s how to sell via your directory site in Templatic’s opinion.

How to Create a Pay-Per-View Site with WordPress

Speaking of monetizing your site, there’s this method called pay-per-view, used mostly by publishers to sell content directly to readers by asking them to pay before they get access to the full resource. You can use this method in many different ways to make it fit your profile better. But first, here’s how to add it to your site.

How to Create Your Own Custom WordPress Shortcode

Plugins come with shortcodes, themes come with shortcodes, and shortcodes also come separately if you need them. A shortcode is very practical because it saves repetitive work or simply turns a longer activity into a much shorter and simpler one. And you can create one yourself by taking WPLift’s advice.

WordPress user roles explained

If you just landed to the WordPress world and most of the things are still a bit unclear to you, ManageWP made this post in which they explain very beautifully what’s the difference between admin, editor, author, contributor, and subscriber user roles.

That’s it for September. Anything we missed?

Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%:

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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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