Matt: Peak Tea Demand

I found this funny anecdote from a CNET article about the future of power:

Power and utility companies must exactly balance supply with what people consume at any given moment. UK grid operators famously must cope with a demand surge after the TV soap opera “EastEnders” ends, when thousands of people start boiling water for tea.


Source: planet

WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2017 Draws 1900 Attendees from 79 Countries

photo credit: WP Tavern

WordCamp Europe was held this weekend in Paris, bringing together 1,900 attendees from 79 countries. Another 1,000 people joined via livestream from 77 countries to make a total audience of 2,900 participants from 92 countries. The number of attendees on the ground was about one third less than original estimates of 3,000, but everyone who wanted a ticket was able to get one. A team of 221 volunteers communicated on Slack behind the scenes to make the event run as smoothly as possible.

The event’s 45 organizers made the presentations more accessible to speakers of different languages with live captioning and real-time audio translation.

photo credit: WP Tavern

WordCamp Europe is the leading WordPress event for catching presentations about the ongoing efforts to bring the software to all the languages of the world. A large percentage of attendees were multi-lingual leaders in WordPress’ translation community, resulting in many presentations and lightning talks focused on topics like communication, internationalization, organizing translation sprints, and using inclusive language for interfaces.

photo credit: WordCamp Europe 2017 Photography Team

Matt Mullenweg and Om Malik joined the event for a casual Q&A session with attendees wherein Mullenweg showed a demo of the new Gutenberg editor and announced its availability as a plugin on WordPress.org. We’ll cover their comments on the future of the editor and the open web more in-depth in another post.

This year’s WordCamp Europe sponsors had space for large 360° booths and the opportunity to be featured in 30-second advertisements between sessions. Organizers also arranged for sponsor workshops with a dedicated space for those who purchased the highest sponsorship levels. These workshops included topics like Creating a WordPress Theme for the Masses, Intro to WooCommerce, Jetpack tips, and hosting product demos.

photo credit: WP Tavern

WordCamp Europe had no shortage of swag unique to the event, including a limited edition French plush Wapuu, posters, postcards, socks, stickers for European WordCamps, and other items for sale in the traveling Swag Store. A giant, stuffed French Wapuu made the rounds, appearing in pictures with attendees.

Contributor Day kicked off the event on Thursday with a strong turnout of 473 attendees. Traditionally, WordCamp contributor days are held on Sunday after the main event, the day following the after party when many who signed up struggle to make it on time – or at all. WordCamp Europe attendees generally appreciated having the contributor day scheduled before the main conference and the higher attendance numbers demonstrate the success of this arrangement.

The after party featured a 1930’s theme at the Pavillon d’Armenonville. Attendees dressed the part and enjoyed a relaxing end to the WordCamp with an evening of dancing and meeting new and old friends.

Organizers anticipate that videos of the presentations will be available next week. We will also be rolling out video interviews with interesting people from the European and global WordPress community in the coming days.


Source: planet

WPTavern: 10 Lessons Learned From Five Years of Selling WordPress Products

This post was contributed by Rebecca Gill. Rebecca is the founder of Web Savvy Marketing, a web development, design, maintenance, and SEO consulting company based in Michigan and host of the SEO Bits podcast.

Rebecca recently sold her Genesis Theme store to 9seeds, a store she managed and maintained for five years. In this post, she shares ten lessons learned from selling WordPress products.


When Jon Brown and I started talking about Web Savvy Marketing selling its theme store to 9seeds, it became abundantly clear that I wasn’t just selling him a portfolio of Genesis child themes. Anybody can do that. What I was really selling him was an established process and five long years of making mistakes and creating solutions.

When I launched our theme store and stepped into the world of developing WordPress products, I was beyond naïve. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I didn’t know how to run a successful e-commerce business.

But after a lot of mistakes and course corrections, I found stability, a lot of great customers, and more revenue than I expected.

Today, I’m sharing my top 10 lessons learned with you, so I can spare you from falling down the same rabbit holes and pitfalls.

My 10 Lessons Learned

Reputation Is Everything

I didn’t set up out to create a strong reputation and I honestly didn’t know I was doing it. I was just following the rules given to me by my Grandmother and the basics of business I learned while working for my prior employers.

What I realized was this – having a strong reputation helps you sell, but it also helps keep you out of hot water when things don’t go as you plan. People are more willing to buy from you, become your brand advocates, and forgive you when you make a mistake.

A Strong FAQ Page Is Worth Its Weight in Gold

I didn’t see this as a necessary page at first, but once I had the same question asked 100 times, I realized I needed to have an easily accessible page that answered common questions. Our comprehensive FAQ page has saved me time, but it also aided in sales. Visitors receive immediate answers to their questions and they are more inclined to hit the buy button while you still have their attention and interest.

Thorough Post-sale Communication Is a Requirement

During the first year of our store opening, I was flooded with post-sale emails and inquiries. No one was using our support forum and the option of self-service. I was so annoyed and frustrated it wasn’t even funny. And then something happened.

I realized it wasn’t the buyers’ fault. I realized it was my fault. I had failed to communicate, provide next steps, and set expectations. Once I took ownership over this issue, I created a follow-up sequence that provided post-purchase instructions on where to go and what to do.

A magical thing happened – or many things actually. I freed up my time because people stopped emailing me and I had happy customers who actually thanked me for all the great follow-up information. That was a win/win if there ever was one.

Email Templates Save Oodles of Time

Even with my stellar FAQ page and follow-up emails, I still received inquiries from people who asked similar questions. I learned to create email templates for anything I had to answer more than five times. This reduced my response time from five minutes to thirty seconds. This freed up my time and more importantly, it gave faster responses to my customers, so they were happy.

Create Systems to Save Sanity

I’m slightly obsessive-compulsive and I used this to our advantage with the theme store. I created project templates for any new theme launch and I mimicked the same type of tight structure I have with large custom website builds.

We had a template full of to-do items, ownership of tasks, and expected turn around times. This made the design, coding, and launch of a theme very systematic. This in turn translated to faster product launches, fewer mistakes, and a reduction in development costs.

Strong SEO Is Your Friend

I could not have been successful without search engine optimization. I let SEO lead the way for what we would sell, who we would sell it to, and how we would market the final product. Strong SEO helped me select the right themes to develop, get quick sales, and cover my development costs within a few months of each launch.

Social Media Is a Time Suck but Worth Every Minute Invested

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I hate that it takes so much time and it can be so emotionally draining. At the same time, I love that it helps you reach customers around the world and it supports the SEO process. Social media was a life raft in many ways and I don’t think the store or sales would have grown without it.

If Things Can Go Wrong, They Will Go Wrong

I have felt like this has been the norm for us this last year. Hosting, plugins, payment gateways, and third-party software sites have worn me out. And I’ve had a team to fix everything. You have to expect things to fail and you must have a plan to fix them quickly. It’s the nature of life and business. Learn to deal with issues quickly and to address one thing at a time.

Grace Goes a Long Way in Diffusing Bad Situations

No matter how hard you try and how hard you work, your customers will have bad days. When that happens you might receive the brunt of their emotions. This is called ‘transference’ and in most cases it has nothing to do with you or your product.

You have to recognize this for what it is and handle it with grace. Close your email, walk away from your desk, or do whatever you have to do to not reply in anger. Instead, you need to let the moment pass so you can reply calmly and with grace. In each situation where I’ve used this tactic, I’ve had the crazy person reply with an apology, tell me they were having a really bad day, and then thank me for keeping my calm.

People Will Steal Your Products, So Try Not to Take It Personally

People will steal your work and your products. You’ll find your premium digital products sitting for download on forums and it will break your heart. Don’t let it. Address the situation and move on. Don’t let someone else’s bad juju ruin your mood, day, or momentum. It won’t help the situation and it will drive you crazy if you let it.

In Hindsight

I loved launching and owning our theme store. I didn’t sell it because I hated it or because it wasn’t profitable. I sold it because it was no longer the best fit for our company and me personally, which meant it wasn’t going to service our customers as it should.

If I had the opportunity to do things over, I would still launch and I’d follow the same path I did over the last five years.

The theme store brought me some wonderful employees, great online friends, and it brought me deeper into the WordPress community.

Selling the store was a hard decision, but the right one. In my heart, I knew I wanted to focus the company more on custom development and I wanted to spend more time with my SEO courses and my new podcast.

If you’re new to WordPress products and you’re considering launching a new product offering, I encourage you to jump in. Learn from my mistakes, but hold on, because you’re in for a wild ride.


Source: planet

Matt: 4.8 and What’s Coming

Last week we released version 4.8 “Evans” of WordPress, as I write this it has had about 4.8 million downloads already. The release was stable and has been received well, and we were able do the merge and beta a bit faster than we have before.

When I originally wrote about the three focuses for the year (and in the State of the Word) I said releases would be driven by improvements in those three areas, and people in particular are anticipating the new Gutenberg editor, so I wanted to talk a bit about what’s changed and what I’ve learned in the past few months that caused us to course correct and do an intermediate 4.8 release, and why there will likely be a 4.9 before Gutenberg comes in.

Right now the vast majority of effort is going into the new editing experience, and the progress has been great, but because we’re going to use the new editor as the basis for our new customization experience it means that the leads for the customization focus have to wait for Gutenberg to get a bit further along before we can build on that foundation. Mel and Weston took this as an opportunity to think about not just the “Customizer”, which is a screen and code base within WP, but really thinking in a user-centric way about what it means to customize a site and they identified a number of low-hanging fruits, areas like widgets where we could have a big user impact with relatively little effort.

WordPress is littered with little inconsistencies and gaps in the user experience that aren’t hard to fix, but are hard to notice the 500th time you’re looking at a screen.

I didn’t think we’d be able to sustain the effort on the editor and still do a meaningful user release in the meantime, but we did, and I think we can do it again.

4.8 also brought in a number of developer and accessibility improvements, including dropping support for old IE versions, but as I mentioned (too harshly) in my first quarter check-in there hasn’t been as much happening on the REST API side of things, but after talking to some folks at WordCamp EU and the community summit before I’m optimistic about that improving. Something else I didn’t anticipate was wp-cli coming under the wing of WP.org as an official project, which is huge for developers and people building on WP. (It’s worth mentioning wp-cli and REST API work great together.)

To summarize: The main focus of the editor is going great, customization has been getting improvements shipped to users, the wp-cli has become like the third focus, and I’m optimistic about REST-based development the remainder of the year.

I’ll be on stage at WordCamp Europe in Paris tomorrow afternoon doing a Q&A with Om Malik and taking audience questions, will also have a few announcements. You can get to the livestream tomorrow on the WordCamp EU homepage.


Source: planet

WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2017 Kicks Off with Contributor Day Focused on Growing WordPress through Inclusion

photo credit: WP Tavern

Hundreds of WordPress contributors gathered today with space for each team to have its own dedicated room. The Community Summit was held earlier in the week, lending a strong contingent of veteran contributors to this event, ready to use the short time they had together.

With a high concentration of WordPress expertise gathered in Paris, WCEU organizers were able to include 13 talks and workshops aimed at enriching contributors. For an event that has always focused on serving diverse communities, it’s no surprise that many of the contributor projects were focused on growing and improving WordPress through accessibility, internationalization, documentation, and inclusion.

WP REST API Team is Writing Docs to Make the API More Approachable to New Users and Contributors

WP REST API project co-lead Ryan McCue said their team was concentrated on improving documentation to give developers a better understanding of the REST API infrastructure and how it integrates with the rest of WordPress.

“The main thing we’re trying to work on is documentation for this sort of stuff, because we’re lacking a lot of documentation around the infrastructure,” McCue said. “One of the things we don’t do well is having a way to go from ‘I know nothing’ to ‘I know this stuff.’ A lot our documentation describes solutions without describing the problem and how you pick a solution.” Contributors are working on a new set of user guides, which are currently on GitHub, that will eventually be included in the developer handbook.

McCue said the next major project is completing work on OAuth 2, the new authentication method that will allow users to authorize applications to access data on their sites. He anticipates the team will have a “very workable plugin” that could be ready for testing within the next six months.

“We need to get this sorted if any of the mobile apps are going to use the REST API,” McCue said. These apps currently use the existing XML-RPC and WordPress.com APIs. Although OAuth hasn’t been a major focus so far this year, McCue said the team is looking at changing that going forward.

Documentation Team is Working Towards Making HelpHub the Go-To Resource for WordPress Support

photo credit: WordCamp Europe 2017 Photography Team

John Ang, who helped lead the Documentation team, said they have been focused on writing documentation for new contributors, as well as ensuring current docs are gender neutral and not overly technical so that content writers can understand them.

“Helping with the project has traditionally been tough, because we don’t explain how you can get started,” Ang said. “We realized this across the entire documentation team. We are great at writing end-user documentation but not great at writing contributor documentation.”

One of the major documentation projects they have been working on for the past few years is HelpHub, a companion resource to DevHub that will eventually hold all end-user documentation for WordPress. Migration from the codex is complete and the goal is to retire the codex once the project launches. Docs contributors are working towards making HelpHub the first place that users search for assistance before taking to the forums, lifting some of the burden from support volunteers. HelpHub is being designed to be easily searchable, possibly powered by elasticsearch, with inter-connected articles that focus on a single topic with bite-sized content.

Ang estimates HelpHub is 30% complete in terms of content and 50% in terms of development. The backend is mostly finished and contributors are now working on the frontend. They are also bringing in content experts to write articles on critical topics, such as security. Ang hopes the team can deliver an MVP by the end of this year and finish the project within the next year.

Community Team is Working on Redesigning Central.WordCamp.org to be More Useful to the Wider WordPress Community

Community Team Contributors – photo credit: WordCamp Europe 2017 Photography Team

A segment of Community Team contributors are working on marketing events better to the wider WordPress community that is not as well-connected with news about the project. As redesign of central.wordcamp.org is part of this effort.

“Overall, the feeling is that we are not getting in front of the people who need our information the most,” Global Community Team member Josepha Hayden said. “Most WordCamps are educational. There is an aspirational aspect to all of them, of course. But the people who could use the information the most are, for example, the people who inherited a WordPress site and don’t know what to do about that.”

After reviewing Google Trends to see what people are actually looking for when they get to a WordCamp site, the Community Team found that most visitors are searching for a WordCamp and the year. The only reason they get to the site is because they already know the event is happening.

“The deputies we’ve spoken to in the last year or so have been echoing this feedback that the problem our WordCamp organizers have is they don’t have any way to get the information out to attendees better,” Hayden said. “If you already know about WordCamps, it’s easy to find your local WordCamp but if you don’t, then it’s not.”

The Community Team has begun working on a communication and marketing plan that may include things like automated emails or social media campaigns but their first priority is redesigning central.wordCamp.org.

“We realized the first place we need to start is to have a canonical place for them to go,” Hayden said. “Central.WordCamp.org was always supposed to be that place but for awhile it had kind of a hybrid audience. We’re working on identifying the content, who the correct audience is, and what we’re missing if we want to help somebody who has never heard about any WordPress events.”

The discussion around redesigning central.wordcamp.org discussion has been happening for a few years and the team already has a design that was donated. They have the homepage and several other pages complete and hope to have the new site launched by the end of the year.


Source: planet

WPTavern: WordCamp for Publishers Opens Up Ticket Sales, 50% Sold in the First Day

WordCamp for Publishers, the first niche WordCamp to be focused around a specific industry, opened up ticket sales today. The event will take place in Denver, Colorado, August 17-19, and organizers have planned for just 230 attendees, due to venue constraints. In less than 24 hours since tickets went on sale, the event is already 50% sold out.

Speakers and workshop facilitators have already been selected and published to the event’s website, featuring publication directors, developers, product managers, and other industry experts.

The tentative schedule for the WordCamp includes a mixture of presentations, hands-on workshops, and social events to encourage networking and collaboration among publishers.

  • Thursday, August 17: Presentations and workshops, followed by a brewery tour
  • Friday, August 18: Presentations and workshops, followed by an after party
  • Saturday, August 19: Publisher plugin contributor day, followed by a Rockies baseball game

One of the goals for the event is to encourage those who are maintaining open source tools for publishers to work together towards ensuring a strong future for those projects. Contributing is an important part of the event, as many of the organizers have experience working at or with publishing organizations that heavily rely on open source tools.

The Denver Post has donated the venue for the event as an official sponsor and the official hotel is a five-minute walk from there. After purchasing a ticket online, attendees will receive an email with a link to make a reservation at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, which has a designated block of rooms for WordCampers.

Organizers expect the event to sell out quickly, so if you’re thinking of attending, don’t wait to buy your ticket.


Source: planet

WPTavern: Unsplash Updates its License, Raises GPL Compatibility Concerns

Unsplash.com, a site that provides high-resolution photos for free, updated its license and the change has people in the WordPress community concerned.

Prior to the change, Unsplash’s license stated the following:

All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.

According to GNU.org, the CC0 or Creative Commons Zero license is compatible with the GPL.

CC0 is a public domain dedication from Creative Commons. A work released under CC0 is dedicated to the public domain to the fullest extent permitted by law. If that is not possible for any reason, CC0 also provides a lax, permissive license as a fallback. Both public domain works and the lax license provided by CC0 are compatible with the GNU GPL.

If you want to release your work to the public domain, we recommend you use CC0.

Unsplash’s new license states (emphasis mine):

All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.

More precisely, Unsplash grants you a nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service. 

The inability to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service is a restriction on how the photos can be used, calling into question its compatibility with the GPL.

Luke Chesser, co-founder of Unsplash, explained on Twitter that individual photos are still CC0-licensed and therefor GPL compatible.

“The Unsplash license doesn’t violate GPL and can still be used in WordPress themes,” Chesser said. “There are no restrictions on the individual photos.

“There is only a restriction on the collection of photos, which doesn’t even apply unless your intent is to create a similar service.”

For example, it’s ok if someone creates a site that displays the best photos of bridges from Unsplash. But if the site makes those photos available for download, it would violate the license.

On its FAQ page, Unsplash explains why the restriction was put in place:

The fuel that drives Unsplash is the exceptional images that are generously contributed by people from all over the world. Without them, none of this would work. Unsplash would be nothing. We owe everyone who’s contributed a photo not only a thank you but support and empowerment for the gifts they’ve given us.

Out of respect for our contributors and our ability to uphold our value of empowering creativity, we added this sentence to the Unsplash License.

We don’t support the mass duplication of Unsplash photos with the purpose of replicating a similar or competing service because it leads to confusion which negatively impacts both the spirit of open creative use and the celebration of Unsplash contributors.

Mass compiling of photos from Unsplash to distribute on other sites has created legal issues in the past. “Sites that mass duplicate and compile Unsplash photos point support and legal issues back to Unsplash, while continuing to redistribute photos that may be removed on Unsplash,” the company said.

The reasons cited by Unsplash for putting the restriction in place are some of the same reasons WordPress plugin developers register trademarks. The GPL allows the following freedoms.

  1. The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
  2. The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish.
  3. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
  4. The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions, giving the community a chance to benefit from your changes.

Over the years, there have been many instances in the WordPress community where businesses have taken advantage of these freedoms merely to profit from the work of others.

The reselling of commercial plugins causes confusion in the market and resellers typically point support and other inquiries back to the plugin’s developers.

Trademarks give commercial plugin authors measures to protect their brand without violating the GPL. A good example is the GravityForms Trademark page which clearly outlines how its brand can be used and displayed.

For now, it appears that most people who use Unsplash will be unaffected by the licensing change. However, as long as there is one license that governs the use of images and it has at least one restriction, its compatibility with the GPL will remain in doubt.


Source: planet

WPTavern: Major Update Coming to WP Super Cache: New REST API, User-Friendly Settings Page, and Improvements to Legacy File Storage

WP Super Cache, a WordPress caching plugin maintained by Donncha Ó Caoimh and Automattic, is looking for users to help test the plugin ahead of the next major update. Ó Caoimh said the upcoming release is in a “stable and usable” state, but with the unusually large number of bug fixes and new features, it could use some testing in different environments.

WP Super Cache is set to introduce a REST API, which will be useful for situations where administrators are not using wp-admin to manage their sites. The plugin is also changing the location for storing legacy cache files to the supercache directory.

“This makes it easier to manage these files,” Ó Caoimh said. “The plugin doesn’t have to search through potentially hundreds of cache files for those that need to be deleted if a page updates or someone leaves a comment. Now all those files will be in the same directory structure the anonymous “supercache” files will be. I’m really excited about this feature as it makes caching for logged-in users/users who comment and caching of pages with parameters so much faster now.”

Ó Caoimh is also updating the settings page to make it easier for new users to understand the options. Currently it asks the user to select from mod_rewrite, PHP, or Legacy page caching with little explanation for why a user might opt for a certain delivery method. The new settings page simplifies the language used to describe the caching types.

The upcoming release will also fix nearly 100 bugs. As WP Super Cache is one of the most popular WordPress caching solutions and is active on more than a million sites, any problems with a major release will have a far-reaching impact. The latest changes to the plugin are available on GitHub for anyone who wants to help test.


Source: planet

WPTavern: Harare, Zimbabwe to Host Its 2nd WordCamp November 4, 2017

photo credit: Lonely Planet

Harare, Zimbabwe will be hosting its second WordCamp on November 4, 2017, at Hellenic Academy. The city was one of three selected to be part of the WordCamp Incubator Program in 2016. Harare’s first WordCamp was successful in connecting the local WordPress community and inspiring local leaders to carry on with organizing future events.

Last year the Harare WordPress Meetup had 82 members and the group has nearly doubled in size with 142 members today. Members meet every month and communicate outside of meetings via an active WhatsApp group. The current venue they use was donated by Moto Republik, thanks to one of the members Munya Bloggo, who works there.

“It was always the goal of the WordCamp Incubator program to organize an easily-reproducible event that we could organize independently in the years to come,” 2017 lead organizer Thabo Tswana said. “We expected it of ourselves. Some attendees and organizers actually approached me about the next WordCamp during WordCamp Harare 2016.”

Tswana said the turnout at last year’s event was larger than he expected, because very few attendees booked tickets online. The majority ended up buying tickets at the door on the day of the event, a fairly uncommon scenario for most WordCamps that makes it somewhat difficult to estimate total attendees.

“One of the biggest impacts that WordCamp had was introducing us to the WordPress Community,” Tswana said. “There are so many WordPress users in Zimbabwe (bloggers, designers, developers) but hardly anyone knew about the WordPress Community or how to contribute to WordPress. We now have a growing meetup group and the local community is starting to become more aware of what WordPress has to offer.”

The local community consists primarily of developers and advanced WordPress users and Tswana said he would like see more of them getting involved with contributing. As the majority of meetup members are new to the larger WordPress community, they are still learning about the many ways users can contribute back to the project.

Two Harare WordPress Meetup members, Kudakwashe Zafevere and Rima Trew, arranged for Hellenic Academy to donate a venue for WordCamp Harare 2017. The facilities are well-suited to hosting a tech event with wifi available.

“This year, some local companies and organizations expressed interest in helping us out,” Tswana said. “We definitely expect more attendees due to the buzz that was created by last year’s WordCamp. To sum it all up, more people and organizations are getting involved this year.”


Source: planet

WPTavern: WordPress 4.8 “Evans” Released Featuring Nearby WordPress Events, New Media Widgets, and Link Boundaries

WordPress 4.8 “Evans” is available for download and is the first major release of the year under the new release cycle. WordPress 4.8 is named after William John “Bill” Evans, an American jazz pianist.

New Image, Video, and Audio Widgets

WordPress 4.8 includes three new widgets. All three widgets make it easier to display images, video, or audio  without using HTML. The Text widget now has support for TinyMCE providing rich-text functionality. Similar to the post editor, users have a choice between using a Visual or Text editor with limited formatting options.

Image, Video, and Enhanced Text Widget

Because the Text widget uses TinyMCE, it inherits its nuances when it comes to pasting and displaying code. In a dev note that explains how TinyMCE was added to the Text Widget, Weston Ruter offers the following notice.

When pasting HTML into the ‘Text’ (HTML) tab of the Text widget, any extraneous line breaks should be removed or else unwanted paragraphs and line beaks may result. This is particularly important when you paste in script or style tags (as in the case of 3rd-party JavaScript embeds), since auto-inserted paragraphs will cause script errors; this will be fixed in #2833.

This behavior aligns with longstanding behavior in the post editor, so it is not new, although it does differ from how the Text widget has previously behaved. As noted above, for previously existing Text widgets that had the auto-add paragraphs’ checkbox unchecked (and thus the filter instance prop set to false), the previous behavior of not doing wpautop will be maintained: only once the widgets are modified will any extraneous line breaks need to be removed.

Link Boundaries

Adding and editing links in the visual editor is more intuitive thanks to link boundaries. Link boundaries provide a visual representation of where a link begins and ends. This helps prevent adding unnecessary text to the beginning or end of a link.

See Nearby WordPress Events in the Dashboard

One of the pillars of WordPress’ ecosystem is its community of meetups and WordCamps. In 2016, more than 62,566 people attended a local meetup in 58 countries. About a third of those were new members.

WordPress 4.8 draws attention to these events by enhancing the News Dashboard widget. The widget will try to automatically guess your location and display meetups and WordCamps that are nearby.

News Widget Shows Upcoming Meetups and WordCamps

If the location is incorrect, clicking the Pencil button opens a box where you can type in your city. The bottom of the widget includes links to the WordPress Meetup landing page, WordCamp Central Schedule, and the WordPress.org news blog.

Responsive Customizer Sidebar

In previous versions of WordPress, the Customizer Sidebar had a maximum width of 300 pixels. In WordPress 4.8, the Customizer Sidebar is responsive and its width will automatically increase based on the size of the screen up to a maximum of 600 pixels.

Customizer Sidebar 345 Pixels Wide

More Accessible Admin Pages

The headers on admin screens are now separate elements making it easier for assistive technologies to help people navigate pages.

Support Dropped for Internet Explorer Versions 8, 9, and 10

WordPress 4.8 drops support for Internet Explorer versions 8, 9, and 10 as these versions no longer receive security updates and are used by a small percentage of people. WordPress 4.8 will work in these browsers but some features related to TinyMCE will be limited. New features will no longer be tested against these older versions of IE.

Noteworthy Changes

This release was led by Matt Mullenweg and Jeff Paul. 346 people contributed to WordPress 4.8 and 106 of them were first time contributors.

If you think you’ve discovered a bug in WordPress 4.8, read this support thread first to see if it’s a common issue that’s already been reported. If not, describe your issue in as much detail as possible and publish it to the Troubleshooting section on the support forums.

As you upgrade your sites today, enjoy Time Remembered by Bill Evans, released in 1983.


Source: planet