Hi everyone, we are happy to welcome you back to another roundup of WordPress news featuring the biggest headlines from the past few weeks. In today’s post, you’ll learn about WordPress 5.1, trends in CMS market share statistics, the Google E-A-T algorithm, and a new Amazon release – Alexa Skills Blueprint – that involves blogs. Last but not least, another #wpdrama kept everyone busy for a few days, but it seems to have ceased as quickly as it started.
Anyway, those are just the big topics because we still have a lot more to share with you in this March edition. So, we hope you’ll enjoy your reading and we wish you a productive month ahead!
March 2019 WordPress News with CodeinWP
This month, we have a new major WordPress release named “Betty”. WordPress 5.1 is the first major release since the integration of Gutenberg and comes with a handful of features and improvements as follows:
- Enhanced editor performance (faster page initialization time, improved typing performance, and optimization of various background processes).
- new features for the Site Health project (raising awareness of outdated PHP versions and pushing users to update).
On March 4th, we will have the first WordPress 5.1.1 release candidate, followed by the final version on March 7th.
Joost de Valk, the new leader of the WordPress marketing department, posted a CMS market share analysis on his personal blog to begin his WordPress growth campaign. The numbers are an interesting way to start the new year, to see where we’re at right now and how much our CMS can improve from here.
According to the W3Techs data that Joost features, WordPress is now powering 33% of the top 10 million sites, an increase compared to last year (29,2%). He also noticed that WordPress’ new competitors are Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly (which all grew significantly in the past months) and he even made a forecast for the next two years, predicting how CMS rankings will change.
The new Executive Director of WordPress, Josepha Haden, has also created a roadmap for 2019 involving the contributor teams that build and maintain WordPress.
Alexa Skill Blueprints is a recent Amazon invention that lets anyone add new skills to the Alexa Skills Store without needing coding experience. One of the blueprints involves blogs and publishing websites, including a whole category only for storytellers.
How is all this connected to WordPress? Well, Amazon also created a blueprint specifically for WordPress blogs. By installing the Amazon AI Plugin for WordPress, you will be able to ask Alexa to read blog posts out loud for you. This blog blueprint will give you the option to turn text into speech and build audio RSS feeds.
To set everything up, you need to install the plugin and follow the steps on the Blog blueprint page.
A Google update that might be important for your site! Two weeks ago, Google introduced a new search engine algorithm that can impact the way your website ranks. This update is called E-A-T and brings a couple of worth-mentioning changes:
- It focuses on expertise, authority, and trust (hence the name E-A-T).
- It ranks YMYL pages differently (YMYL stands for “your money or your life”). The sites that fall into this category are those related to health, fitness, medical, nutrition etc.
Make sure to work more around your website optimization, so you don’t have any surprises when checking the search engine results pages.
Following the inauguration of Joost de Valk as the leader of the Marketing & Communications department, the former Yoast CEO couldn’t enjoy this happy news for long. Prior to YoastCon, a two-day SEO conference held in The Netherlands, a few Twitter posts from 10 years ago were brought to light by various Twitter users.
A new #wpdrama kicked off soon after, with people taking sides and commenting a lot on the topic. David Cohen accused de Valk of online sexual harassment towards several women involved in the SEO industry. Joost’s reaction was to delete those old tweets from the archive and publicly apologize for his improper behavior in the past.
Great Articles From Around The Web
Are you wondering what is the color of this year? The color experts from Pantone designated it: it’s Living Coral. What’s the purpose of knowing that? Their choice seems to predict the trends in design for the upcoming months. By the way, last year it was Ultra Violet.
A few years ago (say two), only a few people were listening to podcasts. The exclusivists. Now, you can hardly find someone who’s not listening to at least one. The guys at Chartable think that we are witnessing the Golden Age of Podcasts. Here’s how they came to this conclusion.
The Site Health project was introduced in WordPress 5.0. Wapuu Dashboard Pet is a plugin that tells how healthy (or sick) your WordPress site is… in a cute way. The plugin checks your site and displays a Wapuu face corresponding to its status. Dead, happy, sad, sick, and very sick are the five states of welfare.
Very soon, you will be able to write and edit posts via blocks on your mobile, too. On March 11th you can test the app yourself and report potential errors. This is the first public version of the block editor in the apps. So, the block editor will be on our phones in just a few days.
Did you know that you can actually build web apps with WordPress (and not only sites)? The team at WPMU DEV are vouching that something good is gonna come out if you try it.
If it’s called a ‘starter theme’, shouldn’t it be simple? This is the concern that Justin Tadlock is addressing on his blog. Developers tend to make everything advanced, even the basics. How simple should a starter theme be? Read this post to learn more.
It’s okay to use affiliate links in your content but it’s not okay when you’re hiding this fact. Or when you’re just omitting it. Revealing your affiliate links won’t chase people away, not being transparent will. Bon Dunn shares more on this topic.
Ever wondered how developers know when a theme is good or bad? It turns out that there are so many aspects they’re looking into before giving the verdict. There are lots of factors and models that you can base your theme review on, as presented in this article.
The guys at Beaver Builder have some updates for you. Apart from preparing the page builder for the block editor, they also created a feedback form for their users, planned their WordCamps in 2019, partnered with Envato Elements, built conceptual brainstorms for Gutenberg, and more.
If you have in mind hiring someone with expertise in web development but you don’t know where to start or who to choose (since the internet is full of devs), guys at MailPoet show you how to find the right person for your project. And where.
It seems that there are people who translate WordPress themes with Google Translate. To avoid that, Chris Trynkiewicz (the locale manager) created an option to block translators who don’t edit their docs manually. The message: stop using robots to translate WordPress themes or you will be rejected!
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%: