This is the April 2018 edition of “This Month in WordPress with CodeinWP.”
Hey! The sun is shining and this is finally the first real month of spring (as March was almost entirely covered in snow here in Romania). The news matches this newfound warm weather with some similarly positive topics. WordPress’ market share hit a neat milestone over the past few weeks. We also saw Gutenberg progress and compatibility tests, free Let’s Encrypt wildcard certificates, the implementation of two-factor authentication on WordPress.org, and plenty more.
While there was one small dip in the fact that Stack Overflow developers aren’t huge fans of WordPress, it was generally a pretty good month!
Keep reading for the April 2018 edition of “This Month in WordPress with CodeinWP.”
This Month in #WordPress With CodeinWP – April 2018
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April 2018 WordPress News
According to W3Techs, WordPress now powers over 30% of all the top 10 million websites in the world, increasing its market share by 0.6% since February 1st and 13.1% in the past seven years. The statistics were obtained by counting both the sub-domains built on WordPress.com and WordPress.org, together and not separately – as W3Techs confirmed. So the 30% usage includes WordPress as a whole, with all of its versions registered as one.
Matt Mullenweg was the first to spread the news on his Twitter account at the beginning of the month, and people reacted right away. When it comes to market share among known content management systems, WordPress has surpassed 60%, further consolidating its top position in front of the other content management systems.
Plugin compatibility is obviously going to be huge on everyone’s minds as Gutenberg gets closer to the core. We already saw how frustrating widespread compatibility issues can be when WooCommerce 3.3 was removed from the repo last month after causing a significant number of theme conflicts.
In order to avoid such issues, Daniel Bachhuber created the Gutenberg Plugin Compatibility Database containing 5,000 plugins (which is more than 90% of the total active install count). How to tell if a plugin is compatible with Gutenberg or not? There are two conditions that your plugin needs to pass:
- WordPress users can perform the same functional task when Gutenberg is active.
- There are no major errors when the two tested plugins are active at the same time.
The database is crowd-sourced, so you can contribute your own data to help make a better resource for everyone.
If you haven’t switched to HTTPS yet, now it’s even easier to do it for free. Let’s Encrypt just started to offer free wildcard certificates (initially, the project was supposed to start in January, but got postponed) to everyone who claims them via ACME v2 API Endpoint. The main goal of this initiative is to support base domain validation via DNS for wildcard certificates, but Let’s Encrypt is taking into consideration extra validation options over time.
The project is available for securing all the sub-domains of a website with only one single certificate. In addition, the company has improved its initial ACME protocol to version 2.0 and aims to further accelerate the web’s adoption of HTTPS. Currently, Let’s Encrypt is securing around 70 million domains with 54 million certificates.
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Gutenberg gets updated every day. And this month, it reached version 2.5, which brings new interesting features for you to explore. Here are some notable changes for this latest release:
- Add support for sharing nested blocks.
- Add predefined sets of font sizes and corresponding UI controls.
- Introduce menu item and related components to handle entry point for editor plugin operations.
- Add block template validation and ability to reset a template.
- Add new abstracted data querying interface that provides better handling of declarative data needs and side effects.
Moreover, Gutenberg is getting prepared for mobile and the process is being overviewed by the mobile team on WordPress.org.
Last but not least, the core team is thinking of implementing a two-factor authentication system on WordPress.org; which is being tested as we speak, as the first beta version is out. The 2FA project is not reliable yet and it’s not functional on the entire WordPress.org network. For now, it is only available to a few users assigned to do this work, aka Core Committers and Super Admins.
The Two-Factor Authentication login will consist of a time-based one-time password algorithm as the primary method, followed by secondary methods of authentication such as phone, email, Slack, or printable backup codes. Once the system is live, users will be able to enable and disable it via their WordPress.org support forum’s profile page.
Great Articles From Around The Web
The results of the Stack Overflow developer survey are out and WordPress seems to be the sixth most dreadful platform, with SharePoint, Drupal, Salesforce, Mainframe, and Windows Phone leading the rankings. But here’s the silver lining: last year, WordPress was the third most dreaded platform. So things have actually gotten better! Read more about the survey policy and what “dreadful” actually means.
Apart from Google Analytics, which works with numbers and stats, heatmaps show people’s behavior in a visual way. It means that you can see the hot spots on a page and know how many visitors went below the fold or even reached the footer of your site. Actually, you can find out a lot more about your audience if you use this method.
Schema Markup is good for SEO. It brings your website optimization to the next level and helps you appear in the rich search results, such as rich snippets, rich cards, knowledge graph, featured snippets etc. If you want to improve the way Google displays your content, read WPLift’s tutorial on how to implement Schema Markup on your site.
When your website doesn’t display correctly, it’s the cache (even when it’s not). But the cache is important to your site because it makes it load faster and reduces the work that your server has to do to read all your files. Here’s how to configure WordPress browser caching manually.
If you were the client, would you care who did your work as long as it was done the way you wanted? Perhaps not, but agencies live with this dilemma all the time. Here’s Codeable’s take on the issue.
Gutenberg is not yet a part of the core, but rehearsing a bit will prepare you for when WordPress 5.0 ships. If you’re curious about how the designing process will look when done via the Gutenberg platform, ThemeShaper has a demonstration for you. How different is it from the way you design a theme now? Check and compare.
Optimizing a photography website is slightly different from optimizing any other website. The technique is the same, but there are a few extra adjustments that you need to make. Informative filenames, image optimization, ALT tags and titles, formats, galleries… you need to keep all these in mind when optimizing your SEO. Read MotoPress’ post for more details.
The first thing that comes to mind when you hear about a private blog is “why do I need one?”. Well, this is exactly what Barn2 Media explains in their article. More than that, they will tell you how to make your WordPress blog private (if that’s something you intend to).
Do you know those backgrounds that change their color automatically when you’re browsing a site? If you like this effect and want to use the ‘color shifter’ method too, WPBeginner has some advice on how to make it work. But this is a technical approach, as the author mentions from the start: “This tutorial requires you to add code in your WordPress files”.
What brings you more money: an entirely premium theme or a free one that comes with premium add-ons? Nicolas from OceanWP shares his own experience with the paid add-ons model and its pros and cons on the Freemius blog.
And since the GDPR was the topic of the month (or of the last months – in plural), let’s have a look at what it means, what its implications will be, when the law will be official, and why you should comply with these regulations.
If you’re running a local business with a local audience only, you should translate your site into your native language to make sure your purpose is clear to your visitors and potential clients, respectively. CollectiveRay explains the perks of localizing your WordPress site and what’s the best way to do it.
That’s it for April 2018. Anything we missed?
This Month in #WordPress With CodeinWP – April 2018
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