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#WCEU Canceled, WordPress 5.4 Out, WooCommerce 4.0, Remote Work ๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ April 2020 WordPress News w/ CodeinWP

๐Ÿ“†  This is the April 2020 edition of “This Month in WordPress with CodeinWP.” 

Hello everyone! This is for sure not the best context to meet again, we can just hope you guys are safe and healthy. We relate to each other now since most of us are in the same situation, trying to cope with sudden changes and new daily routines. I personally see it as a lesson that will teach us many positive things by the end of this unpleasant period.

If we do our jobs, stay home, and take the precautions the experts recommend, we can contribute together to making this end come sooner than expected.

While taking care of our own duties, we found the time to create this roundup of the most impactful news and guides from our community. It’s a handy way to get yourself up to speed with the latest happenings in WordPress in just a few minutes. Hope you’ll find it useful.

Take care! See you next month in, hopefully, better circumstances! ๐Ÿ™‚

April 2020 WordPress News with CodeinWP

Important notice: WordCamp Europe postponed

Following WordCamp Asia’s pattern, WordCamp Europe is the second big conference to announce its cancellation due to the coronavirus outbreak. At least for this year, because the dates for 2021 were already set.

If you bought a ticket to the conference, you probably received a refund already. As for the hotels and flights, the WCEU organizers wrote an official letter that will help you justify your refund requests for the bookings you’ve made.

Luckily, we will see each other again next year – same month, same city, same venue.

WordCamp Europe 2020 Coronavirus Update
WordPress 5.4 release in April 2020 WordPress news

WordPress 5.4 โ€œAdderleyโ€

WordPress 5.4 is officially out after quite a few betas and release candidates. What should you expect when you update?

A new social icons block, a multiple buttons block, full-screen mode as the default display when entering the editor, a Welcome slideshow with basic information on the block editor, more color options for certain blocks, featured images in the Latest Posts block, and a load of other changes for developers.

The anticipated native lazy loading feature that was supposed to land with WordPress 5.4 was postponed for the next major release, together with the Navigation block (one of the priority projects for 2019).

WooCommerce 4.0 is here!

WooCommerce has new exciting features coming as a part of its latest major release. It brings a new Javascript-powered dashboard with advanced reports, analytics, and an activity panel that you can monitor from your admin page.

Other cool features in WooCommerce 4.0 include a more performant Action Scheduler, a friendly onboarding process, an improved Order Edit screen, some tweaks on the WooCommerce Blocks package, and a few more enhancements.

Important: make sure to back up your site before upgrading to this latest release or, better, test it on a staging site before upgrading on the live site.

WooCommerce
Remote work guide during COVID-19 - April 2020 WordPress news

COVID-19 And The New Remote Work Community

Some people enjoy working from home, some don’t. It depends on whom you ask. Probably the whole WordPress community is remote right now and it takes time to adapt. Guys at WP&UP, a company that offers support to people looking for mental health advice, created this comprehensive guide on how to not get overwhelmed by changing the work environment.

Have a read and maybe you will find useful tips that will improve your productivity and keep your sanity at bay during these difficult isolation times.

Call for experimental themes

A cool announcement worth featuring in our April 2020 WordPress news roundup.

Do you have a unique idea of a WordPress theme model but putting it into practice won’t fit the current guidelines of the theme directory? This is a good time to get creative and bring your extravagant works to light. The Theme Review Team is encouraging this kind of initiative by giving a few examples of special case themes and a few requirements for the authors.

Before submitting the experimental theme to WordPress.org, you need to present it to the Themes team first either by leaving a comment via the link above or by using the #themereview Slack channel.

Experimental themes allowed on WordPress.org

Great Articles From Around The Web

Call for Speakers Is Now Open

The WCUS organizers keep the optimistic mindset that, in October, WordPress people from around the world will be able to finally get together. Therefore, their call for speakers is now open until April 17th. Let’s just hope they’re right.

Virtual Meetups & Events

But hey, you can still attend meetups if you miss them. Here’s a list of all the WordPress events that went full digital instead of canceling. The nice part is that you can now attend any event no matter the continent it’s being held on. Also, check out these updates on the status of each local WordCamp.

Is Open Source recession-proof?

Given the context of a global economic crisis, when many industries and businesses are being closed and people are losing their jobs, is the open-source market bulletproof in this regard? Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, says yes.

How to stay connected and still offer value to your event attendees

Nowadays, social distancing is the key. But that doesn’t mean we can’t use video conferencing for meetings and for official events. We still have this alternative. Here’s how to remain connected by hosting virtual social gatherings.

Free plugin for those helping with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic

A nice gesture from the folks at Barn2, who are offering free plugins to those struggling with the COVID-19 crisis. The company wants to help bring online those small businesses that didn’t sell products online before but could do so in order to provide supplies of any kind to the people isolated at their homes. Apply using the link above.

Strattic raises $6.5M to bring static WordPress to the masses

More investments in promising WordPress projects! Strattic, a company that aims to make WordPress sites static (aka database-free), has raised $6.5M this month at an auction led by SignalFire and TenOneTen Ventures. Strattic declared that they are planning to use the funding in developing the team and adding new features to the product.

ThemeForest vs. WordPress.org Theme Review Process

That’s an interesting comparison between how the theme review process is being handled on ThemeForest versus how it’s handled on WordPress.org. Are the rules harsher for premium themes or is it the opposite? Read more to find out.

Introducing Gutenberg Templates Library

No April 2020 WordPress news post would be complete without Gutenberg! The hub dedicated to the block editor launched a library of 100 block templates, that make the contents of 12 popular website sections. To use a template, just copy-paste it in the block editor and you’re ready to go.

BracketSpace Releases Library of Reusable Code for Plugin and Theme Development

Good news for developers! BracketSpace released Micropackage, a GitHub library where you can find reusable code to paste into your plugin and theme back-end. Have a look, maybe it’s a resource worth bookmarking.

Should maintained plugins be suspended from the WordPress repository when there is a security issue?

And here’s your up-to-debate topic that Robert Abela from WP WhiteSecurity is bringing to discussion on his blog. After experiencing plugin suspension problems on WordPress.org recently, he’s addressing this issue to the community. What do you think?

COVID-19 Awareness Icons

Font Awesome is supporting all the websites from around the world that want to raise awareness around coronavirus. In this regard, the team released a new set of icons that everyone can use for free, ranging from medical themes to hygiene practices, viruses, and social distancing.

17 Powerful Ways to Speed Up Your WooCommerce Store (2020 Ultimate Guide)

Since many businesses (and customers) went fully online this month, here’s how to speed up your WooCommerce store so it can handle more traffic and bring more sales/orders.

That sums up our April 2020 WordPress news roundup. 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%:

 

Layout and presentation by Karol K.

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