Hello friends, welcome to our April 2019 WordPress news roundup! I don’t know about you but, at least in Romania, everyone is enjoying Spring. Things are looking bright in our WordPress community, too.
WordPress 5.2 is ready for testing, the contributors formed a Triage Team to watch over all the issues in the Core Trac, the next Global Translation Day is coming, and a new plugin brings you pre-built templates entirely made of blocks.
But this is just the warm-up. A lot of other catchy news is waiting for you to take a look at. For example, the Dark Mode plugin needs a new owner, which could be you.
Read further for even more stories involving security, Google, Automattic, WordCamp, Elementor and a few great articles on how to get the most out of our CMS.
April 2019 WordPress News with CodeinWP
WordPress 5.2 beta is out and ready for you to test. The software is still in development, so do not install it on your production website yet. The official release is scheduled for April 30th, which means that you have one month left to report potential bugs or issues.
In WordPress 5.2, the block editor is getting huge performance improvements (aka it runs faster) and a better accessibility strategy. Moreover, the upcoming release will come with five new blocks. Site Health Check and a new threshold for the PHP minimum supported version are also on the priorities list.
One of Matt Mullenweg’s focus projects for this year was forming a team to monitor the 6,500+ open issues in the Core Trac. This month, he addressed this item by introducing the WordPress Triage Team, which will dedicate its time to Trac.
The initial team structure was decided based on the interest the contributors had in this topic and on the nominations in the comments of Make WordPress Core posts. Each current member has a strong experience in contributing to WordPress, but more people are expected to join.
Check out the post to see who’s part of the team right now.
The fourth edition of WordPress Translation Day will take place on May 11th, 2019. This is a 24-hour event that will gather all the polyglots from all around the world to help translate WordPress into their native languages. The event is both virtual and in-person (in the last edition, people met in 71 places across 29 countries).
At this moment, WordPress is translated into 186 languages. If you want to contribute with your own language, you can join the Polyglots team this year via #polyglots-events Slack channel. More information on the official website and blog!
The most popular plugin that makes your dashboard dark is up for grabs. Its author, Daniel James, is stepping back from plugin development and wants to leave his nice product in good hands. In 2018, James proposed that Dark Mode should be merged into the WordPress core, but it got rejected soon after.
Having his idea rejected after spending much time on developing it for free, along with the direction WordPress is going with Gutenberg, didn’t give James another choice than giving up on further plugin updates. So if you want to continue his work, contact him for more details.
This is an interesting new plugin that provides pre-made page templates created out of the default core blocks in Gutenberg. This means that you can use templates made entirely of blocks, so you don’t have to build them on your own from scratch.
The free version of Gutenberg Blocks Design Library offers you 50 different designs that you can simply import to your site. The templates are diverse and include all kinds of sections such as call-to-action, testimonials, team members, text with images, contact pages, and more.
Great Articles From Around The Web
This month, two popular plugins were ‘diagnosed’ with zero-day vulnerabilities which give access to unauthenticated people to make changes on a site. The plugins in question are Easy WP SMTP and Social Warfare, both impacting thousands of WordPress sites.
Both plugins have been patched by the developers, but you need to update to keep your site secure.
If you are a technical writer who knows how to create good documentation, you can apply to Google’s new ‘Season of Docs’ program by the end of April. You’ll have the chance to collaborate with great open source projects and make extra money.
An interesting animation made by Automattic, which points out the differences between WordPress and the big Facebook-Instagram social duo. The video presents WordPress as the solution for escaping the superficiality that you get daily on social media. WordPress sets you free. A good topic to reflect on.
Apparently, the WordPress community will have a new event dedicated to kids. This year’s WordCamp Miami held a successful Kid’s Panel with learning stories where 100+ kids attended. This turnout inspired the organizers to host another one-day event for kids and teachers/educators in Miami this summer.
There are two new tools that the WordPress core team has been preparing for developers, in order to ease their crowded workflow. Theme Sniffer tells you when a theme does not meet the WordPress coding standards, while WP Theme Auditor provides automated accessibility feedback.
If you want to learn PHP, Codecademy just launched a new course that’s completely free. The course is for beginners and takes around three hours to complete. You can also take quizzes.
Elementor also made its users happy by releasing a new version with an improved design experience including side-by-side widgets, Flexbox distribution, performance enhancements, and complete control over your elements’ position across a page. The feature is called Flexible Layout.
A great read on who is keeping WordPress alive: from contributors to business owners, hobbyists, customers and consumers, volunteers, educators, and a few more categories. Hats off to everyone in either category for making WordPress what it is now. Which one are you?
What happens when your WordPress site goes down, a page is not working, or you lost your data? You are not technical and don’t know what to do. Maybe call a friend? This article brings you the emergency measures for desperate times.
What does it take to start a business by yourself without the help of the bigger fish, sponsors or external investors? It’s hard, of course, but not impossible. Hear it from people who actually did it and are now successful.
Do you want to show up first in Google as a featured snippet? All you need to do is to create quality content, that’s the first rule. But then, there are still some small tricks that would also help. iThemes shares them in their article.
If you want to host a giveaway on your website, Torque tells you how to do it. But first, make sure to ask yourself if doing it is helping your business at all.
How to develop a plugin while maintaining costs at a decent scale? This is the take of a developer on this matter. You can either find sponsorship or implement some mild payment methods in order to keep your head above water while owning a product.
That’s it for April 2019. 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%: