Welcome to the eleventh 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.
As is usually the case with the holiday season, the last two weeks were a bit slow in the world of WordPress, so this will be a quick update.
- For people who just can’t stand WordPress removing features, there’s a plugin: Restore Lost Functionality. Kinda silly. WordPress folks don’t remove things all willy nilly – there’s usually a very good reason and the decision is reached after much debate and discussion. Seems to me that it makes more sense to evolve your techniques rather than cling to outdated methods.
- “Shiny Updates”, the faster plugin updating interface that came out in WordPress 4.2 is being explored for theme updates. There’s a feature plugin that devs are using to test this and get it ready for core inclusion if you want to check it out. It’s experimental so don’t install it in a production site, duh.
- Lots of lively discussion on the WordPress 4.5 Wishlist thread: many great requests, some silly, some trolling. So far no movement on my request that WordPress be able to prepare burritos for me while I work.
- Mailbag is another plugin for adding subscription forms connected to MailChimp or Campaign Monitor. I mean, it’s pretty easy to roll one of these by hand but this one seems pretty legit if you want to save a few minutes.
- Automattic has opened up its WordAds advertising network to self-hosted WordPress sites through JetPack and the AdControl plugin. You still have to apply to be added to the network and live with the fact that you are serving ads on your site, but hey, it’s a thing that you can do now.
- Microsoft added WordPress as a data source and template to Windows App Studio Beta. Makes sense with the RestAPI out that this is popping up. I’m sure we’ll see a lot more app building tools adding this support soon, if they haven’t already.
The dirty side of dev.
- People have been discussing the issue of banner ads in free plugins and whether or not this breaks WordPress plugin guidelines. I’m torn on it because hey, the plugin is free…the plugin dev should be able to get something back for it. On the other hand, banner ads are awful and anyone who willfully forces them upon others is a real jabroni.
I don’t know where to file this crap.
- Hossein Derakhshan was jailed for 6 years by the government of Iran for his blogging activities. He was released in late 2014 to a vastly different digital climate. He wrote up an article about his experience. It’s an interesting read and really shows how quickly trends change online and how Hossein Derakhshan concludes that social media, clickbait, and branded content have killed substantive content.
That’s all for now. Check back in two weeks for another rundown.