WPTavern: WordPress Will Only Recommend Hosting Companies Offering SSL by Default in 2017

In October, Let’s Encrypt was managing more than 10 million active SSL certificates. That number doubled to 20 million in November as large  providers continue to partner with the organization to manage their customers’ certificates.

In 2014, Google announced that HTTPS is a ranking factor. Earlier this year, the Google Chrome security team announced that Chrome 56 will mark HTTP sites that transmit passwords or credit cards as insecure.

chrome-http-warning

In 2017, managed WordPress hosting companies will have one more reason to enable SSL by default for new accounts. In a post on the WordPress.org blog, Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of the open source WordPress project, explains what the project is going to do to encourage HTTPS by default across the web.

“Early in 2017, we will only promote hosting partners that provide a SSL certificate by default in their accounts,” Mullenweg said.

“Later we will begin to assess which features, such as API authentication, would benefit the most from SSL and make them only enabled when SSL is there.”

Unrelated to SSL, Mullenweg also commented on the significant performance improvements in PHP7 and will consider whether hosting partners use PHP7 by default for new accounts in 2017.

These moves are a continued effort by Mullenweg to secure and encrypt as much of the web as possible. Earlier this year, WordPress.com encrypted all of its sites using Let’s Encrypt.

Let’s Encrypt is an initiative which aims to encrypt 100% of the web by making trusted certificates available to everyone at no cost. It’s a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the cost of one month of operations totaling $200K.

Josh Aas, ISRG Executive Director, explains the reasons behind the crowdfunding campaign, “First, there is a gap between the funds we’ve raised and what we need for next year,” Aas said.

“Second, we believe individual supporters from our community can come to represent a significant diversification of our annual revenue sources, in addition to corporate sponsorship and grants.”

To learn more about the campaign and to contribute, visit Let’s Encrypt’s Indiegogo page.


Source: planet

Dev Blog: Moving Toward SSL

We’re at a turning point: 2017 is going to be the year that we’re going to see features in WordPress which require hosts to have HTTPS available. Just as JavaScript is a near necessity for smoother user experiences and more modern PHP versions are critical for performance, SSL just makes sense as the next hurdle our users are going to face.

SSL basically means the link between your browser and the server is encrypted. SSL used to be difficult to implement, and often expensive or slow. Modern browsers, and the incredible success of projects like Let’s Encrypt have made getting a certificate to secure your site fast, free, and something we think every host should support by default, especially in a post-Snowden era. Google also weighs SSL as a search engine ranking factor and will begin flagging unencrypted sites in Chrome.

First, early in 2017, we will only promote hosting partners that provide a SSL certificate by default in their accounts. Later we will begin to assess which features, such as API authentication, would benefit the most from SSL and make them only enabled when SSL is there.

Separately, I also think the performance improvements in PHP7 are particularly impressive, and major kudos to everyone who worked on that. We will consider whether hosts use PHP7 by default for new accounts next year as well.

 


Source: planet

WPTavern: Flywheel Acquires WordPress Local Development Tool Pressmatic

Flywheel has acquired Pressmatic, a local WordPress development application for OS X. The application was created by Clay Griffiths, who will be joining Flywheel to support the product as part of the acquisition.

Pressmatic launched in July 2016 with a $129 price tag but Flywheel is opening it up for free for all users. The company is rebranding the product as “Local by Flywheel” and plans to create a Windows application, add off-site backups for local sites, and sell premium support.

“From the start, the application encompassed so many of Flywheel’s core values: speed, simplicity, and allowing designers and developers the freedom to do what they love,” Flywheel CEO and co-founder Dusty Davidson said. “It’s a perfect fit.”

Griffiths told the Tavern that he is excited for the opportunities that Flywheel can provide for Local going forward. “I originally built Pressmatic because I saw the gap that existed for a truly great local WordPress development experience, and now with the resources and team at Flywheel we’re set to really build something great,” Griffiths said. “I certainly could have continued to go at it alone, but after meeting the team it became clear that the right answer was to partner up and really go big.”

Griffiths Plans to Continue Headway Themes Support and Development in his Spare Time

The acquisition comes just months after Griffiths, who is also the co-founder of Headway Themes, was embroiled in the controversy surrounding the company’s lack of communication and decline in support. Many potential customers were turned off to Pressmatic as the result of Griffith’s lack of support for Headway Themes’ customers and its mistreatment of employees. They company publicly confirmed its financial troubles and apologized to customers after a former employee went public about not having been paid and customers not receiving support.

When asked how the Pressmattic acquisition affects Headway Themes customers, Griffiths confirmed that he will continue to be involved with support and development of Headway.

“This acquisition and employment will provide myself and my family much more stability than we’ve had in a long time, and will allow me to better focus on Headway in my spare time,” Griffiths said. “This includes rolling out the upcoming 4.1 release, and working hard to make sure the support and other outstanding issues are resolved for all our customers.”

Pressmatic is used by hundreds of WordPress developers and is Flywheel’s first acquisition. The application was built on top of Electron, an app framework that enables developers to build cross-platform desktop apps with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. It allows users to run apache or nginx, switch between PHP versions for any site, create multisite installations (including subdomain setups), and create remote tunnels to share local development. Mac users can download the new Local by Flywheel application at local.getflywheel.com.


Source: planet

HeroPress: WordPressing The Hard Way In Malawi

Pull Quote: WordPress has allowed me to find income I otherwise would not have any way in hopes of earning.

I am a self-taught graphic designer/ motion designer turned web designer and aspiring web developer from Malawi, Africa. I am a digital tinkerer who has fallen in love with and currently gone steady with WordPress. Still, the journey is rough.

A little about my home country before you hear my story…

Malawi

Gif of guy reading book, another guy slapping it away, saying Google ItMalawi, is at the time of my writing, the poorest country in the world. A tiny land locked country with a population of 17 million, AND still largely rural (about 75%) and struggling to develop.

The average entry level monthly pay for skilled jobs is about $110.

You are really fortunate if you are employed, young, working in the creative industry and earning somewhere near $300 a month. I doubt if anybody actually employed by someone in the design, creative and web services industry earns this much.

That being said, I have been a freelance graphic designer since about 2011, doing gigs from my dorm room in college and my bedroom at home. Earnings from my freelance gigs increased my interest in entrepreneurship and I soon started entertaining the thought of starting my own creative agency or media powerhouse.

HOW I FIRST CAME INTO CONTACT WITH WORDPRESS

I first came into contact with WordPress in 2014 when a friend of mine from University were planning to start a local tech blog. Before WordPress, all I had was basic and outdated HTML knowledge I learned from high school and some knowledge in Adobe Dreamweaver.

In 2014 very few websites in Malawi actually ran on WordPress as far as I remember. Most of the websites made in Malawi looked pretty archaic. With what to me was my partners expertise with WordPress Our blog looked like it came from the future. My partner knew where to get the themes (I did not know how he did it then, and still understood very little about WordPress).

In a little while, ecstatic from the praise and positive feedback from the blog we decided to pursue the idea of opening our own content and media publishing outfit.

Because our blog looked spectacular we got a few web redesign jobs thanks to the exposure the blog brought. We were ecstatic.

Unfortunately, we both had very little administrative and business skills we could not maintain the business and we ended up going our separate ways.

Fast forward post college, out of my first real job that I got in the TV industry ( terrible pay, overworked, and not being paid for about 5 months!) and failing to get more rewarding gigs as my creative agency start up side was cash strapped.

Rowan Atkinson looking shockedI finally took it upon myself to learn the ins and outs of WordPress. I learned how to install WordPress on a server and did some research on customising Themes. That knowledge alone and presto: I got my first web design clients and started making earning nearly as much as I did at my first job, sometimes a little more, when I get fortunate  some times I even earn three times as much as I used to in a month.

It only took a very short while for me to realise that free WordPress themes can only go so far, especially with my limited code skills.

For most WordPress designers in Malawi, all we did was get nulled themes and customise them. This is the way most WordPress designers in developing countries survive. This is also why I would like to build my own themes from scratch, to avoid the situation where I have to use pirated themes that are not only unsafe for clients but unethical. In addition, I know learning to code will also set me apart from my competition.

Which leads me to the next bit….

HOW THE LACK OF AN ONLINE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS AFFECTS DESIGNERS/DEVELOPERS IN COUNTRIES LIKE MINE

My country apparently has PayPal “available”, but the truth is you cannot get yourself a credit card to be able to join creative markets, and do online courses in order to improve your WP skills. The banks here only issue out credit cards to people who travel overseas or apparently have millions in their bank account.

City Street in Malawi

Even so, most of the bank personnel themselves know very little about credit cards and let alone online payment solutions. It is often very frustrating to talk to bank personnel concerning this. Wire transfer and Western Union is still the most popular way to make transactions for goods and services. So many services that we would like to access: plugins, features, etc related to the WP community are far from our reach. The learning and growth often stops the moment you see the “$” sign on websites offering WP solutions and themes.

THE CHALLENGES OF BEING SELF TAUGHT IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD

As I mentioned earlier, I do not have any programming background, I have always been more of a creative and artsy kind of person. Sure I have an eye for design but in order to grow, I need to learn to code PHP, and PHP hard and it is not easy to do so as premium online courses are inaccessible.

When you are in a position like mine, you are already deep in freelancing and getting a job is currently not the best option because the pay is terrible for people in your industry, and you have to keep on earning, plus make time to learn code. Getting to actually code well is a chore as you have to mind all the other obligations.

Between the time to make pitches to clients, finish up graphic design projects, deal with our current load shedding program (we only have about 5 hours of power a day on average now! ) is something I am barely managing.

Teaching myself code, HTML, CSS,  JavaScript, and PHP for WordPress is something I am determined to do and always in the process of. I try my best to make time to learn. I reckon this would have been easier if I studied a programming course in college but well, here I am.

WHAT THE WORDPRESS COMMUNITY LOOKS LIKE TO ME

I will be honest, I have only gotten in touch with the actual WordPress community only very recently. Of course I search for solutions from blogs about WordPress but never actually talked to or asked anyone from the community for a solution. The most personal interaction I have ever had with anyone from the WordPress community is when I talked to Topher when I applied to write a post for HeroPress.

I often just isolated myself from any attempt to interact at all because of the glass ceiling. There are these feelings you get; these things you tell yourself when you know you can never truly harness the power of WordPress because of your lack of a way to pay for stuff online: You could never be half as good as anyone in developed countries, you will never ever get premium support, you can never be eligible for premium support. I reckon these feelings are worse for people teaching them self how to code like me.

So when I came across a tweet from @HeroPress about a post that talked about how WordPress marginalises some, it piqued my interest. It was a post from a WordPress developer in India, and it detailed how people from developing countries could never paid the same way someone from the developed countries would for the same skills or services. I totally relate and knew right away I need to sign up to tell my story.

WordPress designers and wanna-be developers like me (who cannot access online pay systems) often feel side lined.

When it comes to classes, we stop at the freebies portion, often than not our Google Searches look like this

“Free image slider plugins for WordPress” “Free WordPress tutorials”

I wish more developers, or people with more global privilege would consider alternate ways for users who cannot pay for courses, themes, or plugins would make. We may not seem to be present, but we are there. I would love to see more WordPress tutors and developers open up ways to accommodate aspiring learners like me who cannot access plugins, courses and themes, to be able to give back and to participate at another level.

Many wannabe developers who come from situations similar to mine often shy away from participating with the WordPress community or getting deeper with WordPress because in the ways I have mentioned above, the WordPress community feels like it belongs to those only privileged enough on the internet.

WordPress has allowed me to find income I otherwise would not have any way in hopes of earning. Sure it is lower by global standards, but it makes a huge difference where I live. This is about to be my second year with WordPress, and coming across members of the community with varying backgrounds through HeroPress’ stories tells me there is hope for WordPress users like me.

I believe through sharing stories like these not only will WordPress products/services be more accessible but aspiring self-taught developers like me will also find more courage in reaching out to connect with others out there.

The post WordPressing The Hard Way In Malawi appeared first on HeroPress.


Source: planet

WPTavern: Elizabeth Shilling Awarded the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship

The WordPress Foundation has announced that Elizabeth Shilling, one of three co-founders of the Women Who WP meetup group, is the second recipient of the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship was created in 2015 to remember Kim Parsell and provide an opportunity for a woman who may not have the financial means to attend the largest WordCamp in the US.

Bridget Willard on the left with Elizabeth Shilling on the rightBridget Willard on the left with Elizabeth Shilling on the right

Shilling is a former biology teacher, business owner, plugin developer, and feminist leader. According to the announcement, Shilling was chosen for her dedication to open source and being a champion for women in leadership. The scholarship covers the cost of a WordCamp ticket, flight, and lodging. If you see Shilling at WordCamp US this weekend, be sure to congratulate her.


Source: planet

WPTavern: PDF Image Previews Among the Improvements to Media in WordPress 4.7

Among the many enhancements in WordPress 4.7 are improvements to the media component. Previous to 4.7, users who uploaded files to the media library and changed the title could not search for them by file name. Four years since the ticket was created, users will be able to search for media by filename.

PDFs are easier to preview as the media library will create an image preview of the first page. This image is used throughout the library and media attachment screens.

PDF Preview Images in the WordPress Media LibraryPDF Preview Images in the WordPress Media Library

In order to generate the previews, the webhosting server needs to support Imagick, ImageMagick, and Ghostscript. If support is not detected, WordPress will fall back and save the attachment without adding a preview image.

WordPress 4.7 also removes the caption text and the image title fallbacks to generate alternative text. Developers are encouraged to read the detailed notes surrounding PDF previews to ensure compatibility with WordPress 4.7. There’s also a handful of other changes to media that users and developers can read here.


Source: planet

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.7 Release Candidate

The release candidate for WordPress 4.7 is now available.

RC means we think we’re done, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible we’ve missed something. We hope to ship WordPress 4.7 on Tuesday, December 6, but we need your help to get there. If you haven’t tested 4.7 yet, now is the time! To test WordPress 4.7, you can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

WordPress 4.7 is a jam-packed release, with a number of features focused on getting a theme set up for the first time. Highlights include a new default theme, video headers, custom CSS, customizer edit shortcuts, PDF thumbnail previews, user admin languages, REST API content endpoints, post type templates, and more.

We’ve made quite a few refinements since releasing Beta 4 a week ago, including usability and accessibility enhancements for video headers, media and page template support in starter content, and polishing of how custom CSS can be migrated to and extended by plugins and themes. The REST API endpoints saw a number of bugfixes and notably now have anonymous comment off by default.

Not sure where to start with testing? Try setting up a fresh site on a new installation with Twenty Seventeen (hint: head into customizing your site before touching any pages or widgets) and taking notes on what you enjoyed and what got you stuck. For more details about what’s new in version 4.7, check out the Beta 1Beta 2, Beta 3, and Beta 4 blog posts.

Think you’ve found a bug? Please post to the Alpha/Beta support forum. If any known issues come up, you’ll be able to find them here.

Developers, please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 4.7 and update your plugin’s Tested up to version in the readme to 4.7. If you find compatibility problems please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release – we work hard to avoid breaking things. An in-depth field guide to developer-focused changes is coming soon on the core development blog.

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! And if you haven’t yet done so, now is a great time to take the Annual WordPress Survey and send it on to your friends.

Happy testing! And now for another Rami Abraham haiku break.

Select your language
Then let your users choose theirs
get_user_locale()

Theme authors rejoice
Any option may employ
Selective refresh

Custom header video
Make sure to add_theme_support
Bling above the fold

A new template dawns
A hierarchy member
Post-type templates live

PDF updates
Pack a parade of polish
Prettier previews

Template Post Type: New
Template Post Type: And Useful
Template Post Type: Thing

Let lists live lively
Laud wp_list_sort()
Less laconic lists


Source: planet

WPTavern: Why Are You Thankful for WordPress?

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US. It’s a time of reflection and an opportunity to express gratitude for the good things in life. In episode 143 of the KitchensinkWP podcast, host Adam Silver asked his two sons why they’re grateful for WordPress.

“I am thankful for WordPress because it gives you a job for the household that we live in and it makes you happy which also makes me happy and smile,” Parker said. “I am thankful for WordPress because it makes you happy and it makes me happy and it provides a roof over our heads,” Carson said.

Inspired by the episode, Josh Eby created the #Thankful4WP hashtag on Twitter. Here are a few reasons why people are thankful for WordPress.

I’m thankful for WordPress because of the opportunities it has provided me and I’ve met some amazing people because of it. If you’re thankful for WordPress please let us know why in the comments. From all of us at the Tavern, have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy – Fred De Witt Van Amburgh


Source: planet

HeroPress: Building Confidence

Pull Quote: The WordPress community give me confidence to talk to people & in front of people.

I can clearly divide my life in two parts before and after marriage. Before I got married, I was staying in Chapra, a small city in Bihar. I had graduated in Botany, we only had electricity for 5-6 hours a day and no easy access to internet or computers.

After my marriage, I came to Pune, a bigger city compared to Chapra and things changed for me. I was exposed to exciting world of technology, thanks to my husband who was then working at a startup. I had lot of free time so I decided to learn as much as I could just to see what I can do and started by learning MS Office, then Photoshop a bit and in the process I also learned HTML, CSS. I tried but couldn’t get much hang of JavaScript.

Once I got confident that I can write decent HTML, I switched to learning CMS and first one I tried was Joomla, and for me it was very hard to understand, I had more question then I could find answers to. So on suggestion of my husband I switched to WordPress. I was able to quickly figure things out with WordPress and set up a blog for myself.

In 2010, I joined WPoets as QA. In those days I had some free time.

To improve my skills I started looking into old reviews of the themes that were approved on WordPress themes repository.

This helped me understand theme file structures and various criteria to check themes for, I used skills acquired to ensure themes built by WPoets were also following these guidelines.

Sometime in 2011, once I was confident that I have understood the process I joined the ‘Theme Review Team’ and started officially reviewing themes in the repository. This was a proud moment for me.  During my journey as theme reviewer I was helped and guided by Emil Uzelac, Chip Bennett & Edward Caissie.

In 2013, very first WordCamp was organised in Pune and I got a chance to talk about theme review process, this was my first ever public talk, and not being very good with English I choose to speak in Hindi. It was well received and many people wanted to know how they can get their themes approved. Again in 2015, I talked about what makes themes good in WordCamp Pune. Thanks to WordCamps, I got to meet Topher, Mahangu & Raghvendra.

Now a days, as I get less time between work and kids, instead of doing theme reviews I answer questions on WordPress.org support forum.

I’m an introvert and came from a small city so I’m always hesitant to talk to new people but the WordPress community give me confidence to talk with new people and in front of people.

This is a big achievement for me and my family feels proud of it.

In WP community every one ready to support and help to move forward because of this nature I love to this community. I want to emphasize the support that I have received from WordPress community in general and members of theme review team in specific who helped me gain the knowledge necessary to do my work better. I also want to thank all the organisers of Pune WordPress Knowledge Exchange meetup group, and specially Saurabh Shukla who helped in improving my presentation skills for WordCamp Pune.

All these happened because of WordPress community and via HeroPress platform I would like to thank everyone who makes this community rock.

The post Building Confidence appeared first on HeroPress.


Source: planet

WPTavern: Automattic Clarifies .blog Landrush Process After Bait and Switch Allegations

Earlier this year, Knock Knock Whois There LLC, an Automattic subsidiary in partnership with Primer Nivel, won an auction for around $19 million dollars to offer top-level .blog domains. On August 18th, an email was sent to users who signed up to Dotblog.WordPress.com notifying them that they could apply and secure a .blog domain name before November 21st.

Applying For a Domain NameApplying For a Domain Name

Chris Schidle took advantage of the opportunity and secured chris.blog for $30 per year with a $220 application fee. People who apply for a domain only receive it if no one else applies for it. If there are multiple applications, the domain goes through an auction process between November 14-17.

As the auction dates drew nearer and Schidle didn’t receive any information concerning the auction, he contacted support. Support confirmed that his application was not successful and he received a refund on November 15th. After asking support about the auction process, Schidle was informed that chris.blog ended up on a list of reserved domains that were not available for registration.

In a blog post entitled “The .blog Bait and Switch”, Schidle expressed disappointment in Automattic’s lack of communication. “Perhaps it’s not fair to call this bait and switch,” Schidle said.

“Really it was bait and refund, and certainly the situation would be far worse had they chosen to not make the application fee refundable. But still, I thought I had a chance at securing the domain. That was the logical conclusion given the terms they outlined via a successful application or winning an auction.”

Other applicants shared similar experiences on Twitter.

In response to Schidel’s post, Paolo Belcastro published an explanation of the process behind activating some domains in the Founder’s Program while reserving others. Belcastro says that as a registrar, they’re able to activate up to 100 domain names. Some of the domains were given to third-parties and 25 generic domains were given to WordPress.com to be shared for free with millions of users.

The registrar reserved all one, two, and three-character domains from being registered. They also allowed Automattic employees to reserve a single domain each, some of which were first names.

On behalf of .blog, Belcastro apologized to those who filed applications in August and later discovered the domains were not available.

Many registrars started taking pre-registrations for the Landrush period as early as last August. We do realize that some users were disappointed when they discovered that the domain names they had applied for were in fact attributed as part of the Founder’s program, or reserved, and wouldn’t be possible to register or auction at the end of Landrush.

We would like to apologize to these users, but as the lists of Founder domains and Reserved ones weren’t final until just before Landrush, we couldn’t communicate them to registrars in advance (there is nothing registrars hate more than ever-changing lists of reserved domains).

In addition, domains were removed as well as added to the lists, and we didn’t want to take the risk for registrars to refuse applications in September for domains that would be released in October.

To mitigate the uncertainty surrounding domain availability, fees were set up in a way so that only successful registrations would be charged. This provided a way to give full refunds to those with failed applications.

Schidle appreciates the company’s apology, “It’s unfortunate that their reserved domain list wasn’t finalized prior to accepting applications, and that affected applicants like myself weren’t notified sooner (auctions were scheduled to begin on November 14th),” he said. “But I think they realize their mistake in handling that communication and their apology is appreciated.”


Source: planet