WordPress News and Links — April 3, 2021

Here is our update on the latest WordPress news and recommended reads for Outcome Labs WordPress Care Plan customers and our newsletter subscribers.  We provide this so you are current on things that may impact your site and to highlight opportunities to enhance your site to support your business goals. You can see other WordPress-related posts here.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us.

WordPress 5.8 Pre-planning Announced

Francesca Marano announced the pre-planning phase of WordPress 5.8 which is targeted for release in July 2021. The plan for WordPress 5.8 is to merge and release the “minimum viable product (MVP)” of full site editing (FSE). The WordPress core team clearly recognizes the challenges in this:

“This makes this release particularly complex to handle. It’s a new, exciting change, and it needs the appropriate time to marinate in Core for contributors with enough time to work on it.”

Francesca Marano, WordPress Core Team Lead at Yoast

You can read the entire announcement here.

Enhanced Version of the Core Gallery Block

The Gutenberg team announced a call for testing for a refactored version of the core Gallery Block. This refactor will move it from a list of image tags within the block content to nested Image blocks using InnerBlocks. This improvement will make images behave the same in the editor whether they are used as single blocks or as part of a gallery. You will now be able to add links directly to an image, use the standard move and drag and drop controls, and directly replace a single image.

Our best practice recommendation is to use core blocks whenever possible.  The limitations of the current core Gallery Block have meant that we often deployed a plugin that provided blocks with enhanced gallery features.  FooGallery has been our recommended solution. While we still think the core Gallery block will be missing some features that some of our projects require, we think we will be able to use it more often with these improvements.

Justin Tadlock wrote a good assessment on the update at WordPress Tavern.  You can read that here.

WooCommerce Updates

The WooCommerce team made a couple of recent announcements.   They have posted a new index that includes all WooComnerce releases. You can access it here.

They also announced that the release candidate for WooCommerce 5.2 is available. This is a minor release focusing on bug fixes and performance improvements. It is expected to be released on April 13, 2021.  You can read the post here.

Chris Lema shared his perspectives on recent announcements from leading companies in the WooCommerce ecosystem.  He also identified four key shifts in the WooComnerce ecosystem that you should be aware of. These are:

  • The shift from developer-focus to merchant-focus
  • The shift from plugins to solutions
  • The shift from “only small stores” to “serious stores”
  • The shift from simple to complex architectures

You can read the entire post here.

Facebook for WordPress Plugin Vulnerability

The Facebook for WordPress plugin is a site visitor tracking plugin for advertisers that use Facebook ads. It allows advertisers to track the visitor journey and optimize their ad campaigns. It is currently used on over 500,0000 sites. Two vulnerabilities were recently patched in the Facebook for WordPress plugin. The exploits could allow a malicious attacker to install backdoors, create administrator-level accounts and stage a complete site takeover.

If you have the plugin installed, you should update to the latest version as soon as possible. If you are on an Outcome Labs Care Plan and you use this plugin, our security team has already updated and verified your site.

Full Site Editing Updates

The fourth round of testing for the Full Site Editing (FSE) Outreach program is in process. This test is focused on building a restaurant-themed header using the new Site Editor. The test is broken down into 24 steps with both setup and testing instructions. You can get the details about the test here.  Justin Tadlock gave his assessment after doing the test on a recent post.  You can read that here.

If you don’t know much about Full Site Editing yet, the latest WordPress Briefing podcast which is hosted by Josepha Haden, the WordPress project’s executive director, is a great introduction. In this episode, Josepha is joined by Matías Ventura, also known as “the spark behind the vision of Gutenberg.” Josepha and Matías discuss full site editing and answer your questions, from “is full site editing a standalone plugin?” to “will full site editing break my current site?” You can listen to the podcast here,

WordPress Tallahassee Meetup Reminder

The Tallahassee WordPress Meetup has its next meetup scheduled for Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at 6:30 p.m.   This will be a virtual session on Google meet. You can get more details and register here.

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