WordPress is 19! • WP 6.0 news and Beta 4 release. • JetPack 10.9 • BuddyPress Rewrites 1.1.0 • Simple Local Avatars 2.3.0 • InMotion funds WCUS scholaships • RSS and Blogging FTW • Wishlist Member acquired • New leadership team at Yoast • and the rest of your weekly WP news roundup!
WordPress 6.0 News
WordPress 6.0 Beta 4 is available for testing with the final release still planned for May 24, 2022.
With the release of WordPress 6.0 fast approaching, developers should bookmark and examine the newly released WordPress 6.0 Field Guide — a summary of the enhancements and additions coming to core. The 6.0 release includes 131 bug fixes and 97 enhancements or feature requests. Two items of note:
The April 2022 PHP Foundation Update is available now. It always has lots of PHP news important to WordPress but outside the community’s often too-narrow “bubble” of concern. If you’d like to get up to speed, Tonya Mork and Carl Alexander recently sat down with David Bisset to cover the major PHP news you need to know.
Giving Back Big!
Kudos to InMotion Hosting for committing to five travel scholarships of $1500 for WordCamp US. Two are reserved for the diversity speaker program, and three are for people who have never attended a WordCamp.
Olivia Bisset (with David Bisset) has launched wp19day — a celebration the 19th anniversary of WordPress which is happening on May 27th. Post Status is helping out — and you can too by submitting your words, short videos, or photos to be displayed on the site and tweeted by @wp19day. The site will also monitor Twitter for activity as the date gets closer. Use the hashtags #wp19 and #wp19day.
Notable Plugin Updates
This week saw another WordPress acquisition. The Wishlist Member plugin and its team are being acquired by Micah Mitchell and brought under the Membershipper brand. Also recently James Kemp, founder of Iconic, acquired ReplyBox which a privacy-focused comment system that has a WordPress plugin.
The latest version of JetPack (10.9) will allow you to share private videos with your site members.
The first maintenance release of BP Rewrites (1.1.0) — the BuddyPress add-on that gives you the power to control every BuddyPress–generated URL — is now ready for download.
Here’s the 2.3.0 release for Simple Local Avatars from 10up that adds an avatar upload field to user profiles. It’s new to Github but has been available in the .org repo for over a decade as one of 10up’s very useful, very small, very free plugins originally created by Jake Goldman.
The latest release adds a lot of nice fixes and enhancements contributed by Faisal Alvi and many othe 10up team members.
Yoast has a new leadership team: Thijs de Valk (CEO), Chaya Oosterbroek (COO), Marieke van de Rakt (Head of Strategy), Inge Ariëns (Head of Marketing), Taco Verdonschot (Head of Relations), Irene Strikkers (Head of Research & Development) and Herre Groen (Head of Technology).
Worthy Projects, Maintainers Needed
Here’s a nice reminder from WP Rig that they are still on the lookout for more maintainers to join the team. The WP Rig project is a progressive theme development rig for WordPress that was started nearly two years ago. Morten Rand-Hendriksen has more details on this Github ticket.
Tom Critchlow has some good thoughts on how we can increase the “surface area” of blogging from OPML and RSS to personal feeds. Chris Coyier also shared his thoughts on RSS and how we can support a “slow social network” with personal sites.
How is all this social? It’s just slow social. If you want to respond to me, publish something linking to what I said. If I want to respond to you, I publish something linking to what you wrote. Old school. Good school. It’s high-effort, but I think the required effort is a positive thing for a social network. Forces you to think more. I do kinda like the low-effort-ness of just a quick “like”, but hey, RSS readers support that in the form of stars, and mine are even also syndicated.
Good Things Shared
We’re loving this new black and white Noto emoji font from Google.
Alex Denning notes that searches for WordPress keywords are up 7.4% year on year, and WooCommerce searches are up 12.0%. 2021 Q4 “rallied significantly” and brought “the largest volume of search traffic for WordPress we’ve seen yet.” Interest “in themes has found its middle ground.”
Going by search traffic alone isn’t a perfect metric —like market share numbers from W3C Techs — but it’s another indicator to keep an eye on.
WPCampus now has a Learning Library — a growing collection of slides, videos, and discussions of WPCampus conference sessions. Thanks to the members of the WPCampus community for sharing this valuable resource!