Welcome to the third installment of the SMF WP Digest. This is the blog version of our internal bi-weekly email which we use to inform, enlighten, and titillate our minds on some of the latest happenings in WordPress-land.
Not much to say in release news regarding impending or recent WP Core releases. 4.3 released two weeks ago and is trucking along, no minor or security updates to it yet. The various WordPress teams are in the midst of compiling their 4.4 wish lists and have already gotten deep into dev. Definitely check out that second link – a rundown of lots of the stuff being worked on and discussed…there’s a lot in there and not all of it will make it out into the wild, but I’ll keep an eye on new features as they are rolled out. After using multisite during the past couple weeks, I am psyched about some of those changes being discussed. AND… All Praise the Flying Spaghetti Monster – they are finally going to make images inserting into the WYSIWYG editor default to NOT linking. BOUT DAMN TIME.
The WordPress folks have announced the NEW 2016 theme which I’m sure we will all have to delete from WP installs for the next 6 years. They are super psyched about it, but honestly I haven’t really looked at it too much because I don’t see a reason for me to use it. If you are interested in checking it out, it’s up on GitHub.
In WPE release news, they have rolled out a one-click upgrade button in the WPE Admin. This is better than upgrading from the wp-admin because it runs all the processes that WPE runs when upgrading your site for you:
- Pre-upgrade site test
- Post-upgrade test
- If test fails, rolls back to previous version
- Email confirmation of success or fail with any additional steps that need to be taken
- Rest API News
Still no official word if 4.4 will have the Rest API moved into core, but there’s lots of discussion about it and lots of people requesting it. They posted up a request for people to submit any apps they have built using V2 of the API and there’s some cool stuff. Notable: Wired and New York Times use V1 of the API…so it’s not just being used on small or fringe projects.
- Responsive Image Support
This is a big one – responsive image support is going to be coming to the wp core. It looks like it’s slated for 4.4 release, so we’ll absolutely need to keep this on the radar since we pretty much only make responsive sites now. Depending how this is implemented out of the gate, it could either make our lives easier or more difficult. Their initial plan is to make it seamless with no addition WP admin interfaces for users to deal with…which kind of scares me.
- Taxonomy Roadmap
This is a more suited to the “Release News” section, but that section was getting long so I’m putting it here.
Now that 4.3 has officially done away with shared term IDs once and for all, the WP folks are now figuring out new features to roll out to take advantage of this simplification…as well as cleaning up existing function and database structure that will now be unneccesary – such as having two separate tables for wp_terms and wp_term_taxonomy and all the JOINs those tables require. That’s pretty cool. Lots more in there. Check it out.
- Two-Factory Auth
The WP folks are currently working on two-factor auth and seeing how that can roll into WP core. Good for security, good for us.
- Shortcodes Roadmap
Shortcodes are going to get more secure, better documented. With a less permissive API and better docs, they will become much more usable. WP folks are currently working out the details of a shortcodes roadmap, that we should keep an eye on.
The dirty side of dev.
Step Up Your Game: How to Work With Successful WordPress Clients
Mario Peshev contributed this article to WPTavern. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in here about the devaluing of WordPress and how to combat that. The section that I enjoyed the most was about supposed “WordPress experts” and “WordPress developers” (The Indecent World of WordPress Experts). The gist being that so many people self identify as WordPress experts and developers with no actual coding skill or knowledge that it undermines the value of actual developers who really can build solid WordPress implementations.
Some boards or blogs list specific skills that let you filter by programming language or a separate tool. My latest research with 200 contractors with WordPress developer titles led to 170 people who rate themselves with 4 or 5 out of 5 stars in PHP proficiency, and 30 with 3 stars.
Out of the 170 people in the first group, 150 were college students, Internet marketers, VAs, and people who have substituted strings in WordPress themes thanks to support forums or help from the Codex. Not a single line of code was written from scratch, let alone building anything, and 4 out of 5 or higher self-assessed their level of PHP experience.
I don’t know where to file this crap.
- An Akismet dev created Free Reddit Check, a site that “a site which attempts to quantify the terribleness of Reddit users based on their public comment content and subreddit participatio.” FANTASTIC.
- WordPress 2015 Survey – take it if you want!
More to come.