25 Apr 2017

feedWordPress Planet

WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2017 Introduces Small Business Sponsorships

WordCamp Europe 2017 organizers are counting down 50 days until the largest planned WordPress event to date. Speaker announcements continue to roll out and the recommended hotels are getting booked up at the height of tourist season. As of yesterday, more than 300 of the 500 tickets for Contributor Day have been claimed.

This year organizers are experimenting with sponsor workshops, a perk targeted at the highest levels of sponsorship, which includes Administrator (€ 38,000) and Super Admin (€ 75,000) tiers. This new item in the sponsor's package is described as a "sponsor "track" in the sponsorship kit brochure and allows sponsors to hold a talk or a workshop in a dedicated space that accommodates approximately 200 people.

In an effort to prevent the event from disproportionately focusing on mega sponsors, the organizing team has created a new sponsorship package exclusively for small businesses.

"We recognized that our sponsorship tiers were more geared towards larger WordPress businesses and felt we were not giving small businesses enough opportunity to showcase their products and services and allow them to connect to attendees," WCEU Sponsorship co-organizer Remkus de Vries said. "This is why we created the SMB tier and we hope many see this as a wonderful chance to show off their products and services for what's shaping up to be more than 3,000 attendees."

The Small Business sponsorship level is priced at € 2,500 and is available to companies that generate the majority of their revenue from WordPress and made less than 1 million euro in revenue in 2016. It qualifies the sponsor for a booth in the middle of the event. The table, banner printing, and setup are all handled by the WCEU Sponsor Team.

"Similar to TechCrunch's Startup Alley, we want to help highlight smaller companies or ones that have just started out," WCEU Sponsorship co-organizer Noel Tock said. "Simply seeking out sponsorship funds the fastest way possible would not be fair to attendees. This helps makes the conversations and experiences a lot more diverse and balanced."

There are 10 remaining Small Business sponsorship slots, along with 288 micro-sponsorships (€ 150.00). Potential sponsors can apply on the WCEU website.

25 Apr 2017 6:33pm GMT

24 Apr 2017

feedWordPress Planet

WPTavern: WordPress 4.8 Will End Support for Internet Explorer Versions 8, 9, and 10

Over the weekend, Matt Mullenweg announced that the upcoming WordPress 4.8 release will drop support for IE versions 8, 9, and 10. Core contributors have been discussing browser support for the past two months in relationship to setting technical requirements for the new editor.

Microsoft discontinued support for IE 8, 9, and 10 in January 2016, which means these versions no longer receive security updates. Mullenweg said that attempting to continue supporting these browsers is holding back WordPress development.

"I realize that folks still running these browsers are probably stuck with them because of something out of their control, like being at a library or something," Mullenweg said. "Depending on how you count it, those browsers combined are either around 3% or under 1% of total users, but either way they've fallen below the threshold where it's helpful for WordPress to continue testing and developing against."

In an effort to determine how many people are still using these insecure and obsolete browsers, Jonathan Desrosiers collected data from three different sources. The following are numbers for global IE usage published by StatCounter's GlobalStats, which Desrosiers said are nearly identical to WordPress.com's numbers:

WordPress will not stop working entirely in these browsers, but after the 4.8 release contributors will no longer test new features against older versions of IE. Some capabilities in wp-admin may be more limited. Mullenweg confirmed that the next versions of TinyMCE will no support older IE versions.

Global IE usage has declined from 7.44% in March 2016 to 4.18% in March 2017. IE marketshare has been shrinking as mobile device usage has gone up. October 2016 marked the first month in history that mobile and tablet traffic exceeded desktop usage worldwide. As this trend of declining desktop usage continues, IE will likely be buried within a couple of years.

"I have been hard pressed to find a U.S. government agency running a version of IE less than 11," WordPress lead developer Andrew Nacin commented on the announcement. "Government agency websites similarly see negligible traffic from IE < 11."

The decision to drop support for IE 8, 9, and 10 was met with celebration from the WordPress developer community. Focusing on browsers that still receive security updates is a better use of open source contributors' time and resources. Developers who do client work can also refer to WordPress' IE support policy when pressured by clients to support insecure browsers.

Naturally, the topic of raising minimum browser requirements resulted in developers lobbying to drop support for PHP 5.2, which reached end of life more than six years ago. In March 2015, WordPress stats estimated PHP 5.2 usage at 16.6%, but that number has dropped steadily to 5.1% today. The task of updating a browser to the latest version was designed to be easy for users, but upgrading PHP versions is still somewhat complicated for those who are not receiving help from their hosting companies. The 5.1% on PHP 5.2 represents millions of users who would need to cross a significant hurdle into order to stay current with the latest version of WordPress.

24 Apr 2017 9:18pm GMT

Post Status: Breaking into and building community, with WordPress and beyond — Draft podcast

Welcome to the Post Status Draft podcast, which you can find on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and via RSS for your favorite podcatcher. Post Status Draft is hosted by Brian Krogsgard.

Brian is joined by guest-host Matt Medeiros - host of the Matt Report podcast, and many other ventures in the WordPress ecosystem. They discuss community building, their experiences building community in the WordPress world, and the challenges of getting involved in a new community.

Direct Download


Sponsor: Prospress

Prospress makes the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin, that enables you to turn your online business into a recurring revenue business. Whether you want to ship a box or setup digital subscriptions like I have on Post Status, Prospress has you covered. Check out Prospress.com for more, and thanks to Prospress for being a Post Status partner.

24 Apr 2017 7:13pm GMT

WPTavern: New Plugin Offers Better Plugin Recommendations in the WordPress Admin

If you work with WordPress every day you may have learned to tune out the recommended plugins in the admin by now, but the "Add Plugins" screen is an important part of the new user experience. WordPress developers Joey Kudish and Nick Hamze have released a plugin that brings better recommendations to the admin.

Hamze contends that the first plugins that appear in the featured section have a smaller, niche audience, and are unlikely to be useful to the majority of new users.

The recommended plugins are slightly better, as they are based on plugins that the user and other users have installed. However, Hamze believes they could be tweaked even further to display plugins that specifically benefit new users. The Recommended tab was introduced two years ago to display results based on plugins that are commonly used together. It excludes plugins that users already have installed.

"I really want to help WordPress but I think what is most needed isn't a new editor or more guidelines but rather someone to take all the stuff in this fractured ecosystem and bring it together," Hamze said. "Get rid of all the crap and only show people the stuff worth using."

Hamze said he doesn't know if WordPress can solve this problem diplomatically with code. He believes manual curation is required to deliver the best new user experience. A ticket for re-thinking the default 'Add Plugins' tabs/filters was is open on WordPress trac, as the plugins that appear in these screens have remained unchanged for some time. The ticket hasn't received much discussion yet.

The Better Plugin Recommendations plugin removes the default and featured recommendations tabs and includes a new recommendations tab curated by Hamze to appeal to new users. Below is an example of the first 10 recommendations the plugin includes:

Hamze uses the following criteria to select the recommended plugins:

When asked why the recommendations don't include Jetpack, Hamze said it didn't seem necessary, given its high position in the popular tab and the fact that it already comes pre-installed with many hosts.

@jeherve @jkudish @jetpack Haha, I actually like jetpack but since it's already at the top of the popular tab and preinstalled almost everywhere, didn't seem necessary

- Nick Hamze (@NickHamze) April 21, 2017

Hamze and Kudish created a web service that delivers the recommendations to sites where the plugin is installed. The node server is powered by hapi.js and is open source on GitHub

"If the idea is well received in the community, I'd love to expand on it further and include some plugins from outside the WordPress.org plugin repository in our recommendations, as I think there's some great third-party plugins that new users should definitely know about," collaborator Joey Kudish said.

Hamze said he doesn't expect there to be many regular users who will find and install the plugin but hopes that hosting companies will integrate it by default for their WordPress customers.

"What I'm hoping is that I can convince the hosting companies to preinstall this (maybe in the MU folder) for their customers," Hamze said. "The app blends in seamlessly with WordPress. There are no ads or branding. The plugin is designed solely to help new users find great plugins to help them on their WordPress journey."

24 Apr 2017 2:11pm GMT

22 Apr 2017

feedWordPress Planet

Matt: Songs for My Father

One of the things that surprised me most about when my Dad was sick last year was that while he was in the hospital over about 5 weeks he lost any interest in music, TV, movies, anything on a screen. Music was particularly surprising given that he had music on at his desk pretty much all the time, and really enjoyed loading a new CD or record into the media library he had set up at home. One of the songs I remember playing for him was from a band, Manhattan Transfer, that we used to listen to a lot when I was younger and just learning about jazz, I chose Tuxedo Junction because it might cheer him up.

I remember him smiling faintly. (I wish I had played him more music. I wish I had recorded more of his stories, ideally before he got sick. I wish I had figured out how to navigate the hospital and health care system better.)

What I didn't anticipate was how after his death there would be aftershocks of grief that would hit me over and over again, especially while driving or in a plane. I went from crying maybe three times in the past decade to breaking down at the end of a company town hall, when talking to family, when my Mom found out about the anniversary present my Dad had been looking at, and with any number of songs that unexpectedly took on a new meaning.

Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth's See You Again, is obvious, and was in heavy rotation every public place I went; Lukas Graham's 7 Years completely broke me down when it talked about children - if I ever have any my father will never meet them; Kayne & Paul McCartney's Only One, the tribute to Kanye's daughter and passed mother and I think perhaps his best song; Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud, about growing old together, turning 70 as he was so close to doing; Kanye's Ultralight Beam snuck up on me, I didn't expect it, but the questioning and gospel and anger and hope in it captured something I didn't even realize I was feeling. Even jazz wasn't safe, Horace Silver's lyric-less Song for My Father had the same effect.

John Mayer's Stop This Train is a song I've probably heard a hundred times since it came out in 2006, but all of sudden these words meant something completely different:

So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game
To find a way to say that life has just begun

Had a talk with my old man
Said, "Help me understand"
He said, "Turn sixty-eight
You'll renegotiate"

I almost had to pull the car over: he was sixty-eight. What I would give for just one more conversation with him like the one the day before he passed. I wish I had written more down, recorded more of his stories, learned more about his journey.

As the year has passed, the surprise crying is much less common even when one of these songs comes on the radio. Usually when I think of my father it's with a smile. I've even had a few treasured dreams where we've been able to talk, nothing that made much sense (it was a dream) but I remember waking up with an overwhelming feeling of enveloping love. While the "new normal" is different, I can't say it's better - he's still gone.

22 Apr 2017 5:12am GMT

WPTavern: Embed Mastodon Statuses in WordPress

After the controversial changes to Twitter's @reply feature, which no longer counts usernames towards the 140-character limit, Mastodon registrations rose sharply. Mastodon is a free, open source, decentralized network that has many similarities to Twitter. The software, named in honor of its creator's favorite metal band, was launched in October and registered 24,000 users in the first six months. A strong negative reaction to Twitter's changes has fueled a spike in Mastodon registrations. In the last week alone, the software's user base has grown from 237,000 users on April 15 to more than 414,000 users today.

Mastodon is different from Twitter in that it is broken up into different independently-hosted instances. Whereas Twitter has struggled to combat trolls and abuse on its platform, Mastodon instances can each declare and enforce their own rules. For example, the flagship Mastodon.social instance bans content that is illegal in Germany or France, such as Nazi symbolism and Holocaust denial, excessive advertising, racism, sexism, and other undesirable posts.

Mastodon's Tweetdeck-style interface allows users to post "toots" with a 500-word character limit. Toots can also be published with a content warning so that users can choose whether to view it.

With all the increased activity around Mastodon this week, there was bound to be someone with the desire to display toots on their website. The first plugin for bringing Mastodon content into WordPress has landed in the plugin directory. Embed Mastodon was created by David Libeau, a French developer and Mastodon enthusiast. It allows users to embed toots using a shortcode.

"I created this plugin because Numerama, a french tech website, was saying that it could be cool to embed Mastodon statuses, like with Twitter, in WordPress," Libeau said. "I was thinking the same when I wrote a small article on my personal blog. I am using both Twitter and Mastodon but want to progressively leave Twitter."

Libeau said he is not a WordPress developer and Mastodon Embed is his first plugin. He does not know if it's coded well but said users may be interested in an alternative plugin on GitHub that is a complete rewrite of his effort. The rewrite includes multiple embeds, caching, proper shortcode initialization, and fallback to "direct" embeds if embed via iframe is forbidden.

Libeau said he doesn't know what will happen to his plugin in light of the rewrite, but he is continuing to develop small tools for Mastodon users. Mastodon has an open API for apps and services, which makes it easy for developers to build things that integrate with it.

After testing the Mastodon Embed plugin I found that it works but may have a couple of styling issues with the link display. If you find that it's not working, it's possible that your particular Mastodon instance configuration does not allow embedding via iFrame. To resolve this you may need to contact the admin of the instance or use the fork of the plugin that has a fallback for this scenario. If you find a bug with the Mastodon Embed plugin hosted on WordPress.org, you can log an issue on Libeau's Mastodon Tools repository.

22 Apr 2017 3:18am GMT

WPTavern: Headway Themes Appears to be Dying a Slow Death

It's been seven months since Grant and Clay Griffiths, founders of Headway Themes, apologized to customers for failing to communicate on a regular basis and provide adequate customer support. In the apology, the founders admit that the company was experiencing financial difficulties and noted that competition in the WordPress drag-and-drop page-builder space was tough. The duo vowed to communicate more, provide better customer support, and continue to develop Headway 4.0. Has anything changed since the apology was published?

Headway Themes Migrates to FlyWheel Hosting

In December of 2016, Flywheel hosting acquired Pressmatic, created by Clay Griffiths. Soon after, Headway Themes migrated to Flywheel hosting which caused a few hiccups such as site downtime due to DNS propagation, login issues, and an issue with the Headway Dashboard. The acquisition raised questions on how it would affect Clay's ability to work on 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."

Influx Confirms Communication Issues With Founders

Soon after the apology, Headway Themes began to use Influx to provide first-tier customer support. Influx provides customer support for companies, including those in the WordPress ecosystem such as Advanced Custom Fields. Any issues that Influx couldn't solve are escalated to Clay and Grant. In February, Gary Bairéad, a former Headway Themes employee, contacted Headway Themes support about the status of Headway 4.0 and received the following response.

Influx couldn't answer the question because Headway developers had not informed them of its progress despite inquiring about it. Influx notes that there may be a beta released in the near future but not to be quoted on it because a similar promise was made five months prior. In January, the official Headway Themes Twitter account confirmed that Headway was being supported and that 4.0 would be released soon.

@3BugMedia we are fully supporting Headway. 4.0 update coming soon. ^gg

- Headway Themes (@headwaythemes) January 4, 2017

Around the same time period, another Headway Themes customer submitted a support request asking about the status of a longstanding issue they were having. Influx explained that there was a lull because the main developers were failing to communicate. The support representative also pointed out that it seemed the only way for customers to get information about Headway Themes was by emailing support.

Influx says it tried multiple times to contact Headway Themes developers about the issue and said it was lobbying hard to get it rectified.

Payments Stop for Third-Party Block Developers

In February, Bairéad published a request to third-party block customers to not renew through Headway Themes.com and to instead, purchase and renew directly from the developer's sites. Chris Howard, founder of Pizazz WP, and Chris Rault, co-founder of HeadwayRocket, confirmed they are owed money from customers who purchased and renewed blocks through Headway Themes.com.

I reached out to both developers to see if they've been paid since February.

"I've sent Clay a bunch of messages, but he's completely ignoring me and hasn't paid over another cent since the last long delay," Rault said.

"It's down to only 2 or 3 renewals a month, but I'm not receiving anything still. I'd estimate they still owe me around $2,000," Howard said.

For Howard, the issue of not receiving payments has been going on for months.

Former Support Staff Still Owed Money

Headway Themes' apology does not mention the former support team who the company failed to pay on time for months. Since the apology, members of the team have received small payments but are still owed thousands of dollars. Receiving payments from Headway Themes is often a difficult process.

After not receiving a payment in February, a former team member sent a flurry of emails to Grant and Clay Griffiths inquiring about the payment. Clay eventually responded that they would send out payments when they're able too. After a week of questioning when that would be with no response, the team member received a payment.

Influx Says Headway Themes is Restructuring

A Headway Themes customer recently contacted support to ask about the status of Headway and published Influx's response to the company's support forums. Here's their response:

Hi [Redacted],

Thanks for reaching out.

Currently, Headway is going through a restructuring phase to resolve the challenges being faced at this time. We do not have the full details here at support but the main stakeholders are working to return Headway to its rightful mode of operations.

Please let me know if there are any more questions that I can answer for you. Kind Regards.

To learn more about the restructuring process and what's going on with Headway development, I reached out to Grant and Clay Griffiths. Both have not responded to my request for comment.

Blox Picks Up Where Headway Left Off

Last year, when it appeared the future of Headway Themes was in jeopardy, Maarten Schraven forked the Headway 3.8.8 codebase and named it Blox Builder. Blox Builder is 100% GPL Licensed and is a direct replacement for Headway. Schraven recently answered a number of questions related to the project, one of which is how easy is it to transfer from Headway to Blox.

There are different ways to convert your Headway Theme to Blox Theme. The best way is to export your template, you get an .json file. In this file you have to change hw to bt and headway to blox. If you have a large website you also can change the database tables. Some of our users have Blox Theme and Headway Themes side by side and switch between them. The last way (not yet available) is our conversion script. This script can do two things, change the database or do the same search and replace. This script will work automatic or as standalone.

Or, if you think this is to difficult, you always can ask us for the conversion, we can discuss this on e-mail or skype

There's no time frame on when the conversion script will be available. If you're a fan of the way Headway Themes works and are looking for a similar replacement, check out Blox Builder.

Many in the Headway Themes Community Have Moved On

A number of devoted fans and customers of Headway have switched to other page builders like Divi, Elementor, and Beaver Builder. What was once a vibrant community-run Slack channel for Headway Themes enthusiasts has turned into a ghost town. There is little hope among them that the company will be able to rebound.

Not Much Has Changed

Unfortunately, the issues that prompted Headway Themes' founders to issue an apology are still present. There is a lack of communication on the company's blog, social media accounts, and to Influx, the company it has outsourced customer support to. The apology dated Sept 13, 2016, was the last post published to the company's blog. Former employees and third-party developers are still owed considerable amounts of money and there has been little if any development on the Headway code base.

22 Apr 2017 2:00am GMT

21 Apr 2017

feedWordPress Planet

WPTavern: HeroPress Partners With WPShout to Offer WordPress Education Scholarships

HeroPress has teamed up with Alex Denning, Fred Meyer, and David Hayes of WPShout to offer 10 copies of Up and Running Second Edition at the deluxe tier. The deluxe tier is valued at $249 and includes everything the course has to offer including video tutorials, creating a theme and child theme, screencast series, creating a WordPress plugin, and more.

The scholarship applications are geared towards three groups of people:

Those who qualify have until May 9th to fill out the application. Five members of the WordPress community make up a panel that will review the applications and choose 10 recipients who they feel are deserving of the award. HeroPress will then tally the selections and those with the most votes will be awarded a scholarship. In case of a tie, HeroPress will be the deciding vote. The five panelists are:

Pippin Williamson, founder of Easy Digital Downloads, says he accepted the panelist role because it's an opportunity to make a significant difference in someone's life.

HeroPress, founded by Topher DeRosia in 2015, publishes an essay every Wednesday from members of the community on how WordPress has positively impacted their lives. HeroPress has published essays from people in the Middle East, Oceania, Central and South America, and other parts of the world.

To learn the HeroPress story, listen to our interview with DeRosia. In it, he explains his motivation for creating the site and shares a personal story of someone who couldn't write an essay because they were spending all of their time trying to stay alive.

To learn more about Up and Running Second Edition, listen to our interview with the founders where they explain how and why they created the course.

21 Apr 2017 7:05pm GMT

WPTavern: Checathlon: A Free WordPress Business Theme with Support for Easy Digital Downloads

Checathlon is new business theme on WordPress.org that was designed to seamlessly integrate with Easy Digital Downloads. The name is a combination of the words checkout and decathlon, according to its creator Sami Keijonen.

Checathlon combines elegant typography with a bold, pink accent color to showcase products and services on a business or e-commerce website. The theme was designed by Finnish designer Toni Suni and is Keijonen's 13th theme to be listed in the directory.

"I had some kind of vision of what I wanted and Toni created a pixel perfect design based on our discussion," Keijonen said. "I'm super happy about the end result. Unfortunately, the design and the theme was not good enough for WordPress.com and the theme was rejected from there." Keijonen opted to create a Checathlon Plus plugin as an alternative way to monetize the theme.

Checathlon has an intuitive way of organizing the content featured on the front page. Unlike many other themes, the front page is not controlled by a custom page template. Once you set the front page as a static page, the Customizer will give access to the service/pricing, products, testimonial, and blog sections.

The theme includes support for a Pricing page template and a Team Page template. These features make Checathlon more flexible for use on a business, agency, non-profit, or e-commerce website.

The pricing template has a "Service and Pricing widget" area where users can drop in the custom widgets available in the Checathlon Plus plugin. The widgets make it easy for users to set an icon, title, content, price, and a link for each pricing tier, as well as the ability to highlight one tier as featured.

Checathlon was built to support several plugins, including Easy Digital Downloads, Custom Content Portfolio, and Jetpack (testimonials and portfolio). The theme includes styles for the Jetpack email subscription widget and EDD downloads and account pages. It's also tagged as accessibility-ready, which means that it has successfully passed an accessibility audit. Check out the live demo to see Checathlon in action.

Keijonen is taking a unique approach by creating a Checathlon Plus plugin as an alternative to offering a "pro version" of the theme. It extends the theme to include more customizer capabilities, additional widgets, cart customization features for EDD, and two child themes. The free theme is available on WordPress.org and documentation can be found on the theme's website.

21 Apr 2017 4:25pm GMT

20 Apr 2017

feedWordPress Planet

WPTavern: WordPress Plugin Directory Restores Tabbed Interface

photo credit: Jeffrey Betts

Last month the WordPress Plugin Directory relaunched with a new design and improvements to the search algorithm. The new design replaced the plugin pages' previous tabbed interface with a wall of text, truncated by numerous "read more" links.

The outpouring of negative community feedback on the new design overshadowed many of the helpful improvements. Removal of the tabs was by far the most unpopular design choice in this iteration, as many found it to be confusing and inferior in terms of navigating the information efficiently. Users, developers, and contributors on the redesign felt their feedback was roundly ignored throughout all phases of the design's beta and testing period.

Four months ago, contributor Jon Ang (@kenshino) opened a ticket regarding the "read more" links, which he described as "a usability nightmare." The ticket was closed as a duplicate of another ticket which received very little discussion. Today, Otto marked the ticket as fixed, announcing the return of tabs in the commit message:

Change single-plugin view to have tabbed design. Eliminates read-more on all sections except developers and changelog, adds tabs back to interface using CSS to switch between them. Tabs control both main display as well as widgets.

Known issues: Changelog read-more not working (js issue), developers section is currently split using CSS, future change will split this section into two separate sections.

Members of the Advanced WordPress Facebook (AWP) community, who were among the most critical of the new design, are pleased with the change. The new tabs are subtle, tasteful, and in line with the overall design. They eliminate the clutter that the expanded "read more" links created.

The Reviews tab now displays six of the most recent reviews, as opposed the the previous two most recent. This makes it not as easy to destroy a plugin's reputation with poor reviews timed to always be visible on the main plugin page. Otto replied to comments on the AWP community, saying that these numbers are not set in stone and that there are good arguments for displaying different sets of reviews, as opposed to simply the most recent ones.

Two weeks ago the meta team brought back stats and older versions of plugins, a couple of features that were removed in the first iteration of the new directory. Screenshot display is still somewhat clunky, requiring users to click on their browsers' back button in order to return to the plugin details. Future iterations of the design are expected to address the remaining quirks and issues that users and contributors have raised since the relaunch.

20 Apr 2017 9:46pm GMT

WPTavern: WordPress 4.7.4 Fixes 47 Issues

WordPress 4.7.4 is available and is a maintenance release that fixes 47 issues reported against 4.7. This update includes a visual editor compatibility fix for an upcoming version of Chrome.

Uploading video and audio files no longer result in broken thumbnails and the REST API received a few enhancements related to data handling. WordPress 4.7.4 also restores the ability to Shift-click a range of checkboxes.

Auto updates are rolling out but if you'd like to update immediately, browse to Dashboard > Updates and click the update button.

To see a full list of changes visit the release notes page on the Codex. Since December, WordPress 4.7 has been downloaded more than 60 million times.

20 Apr 2017 6:39pm GMT

Dev Blog: WordPress 4.7.4 Maintenance Release

After almost sixty million downloads of WordPress 4.7, we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of WordPress 4.7.4, a maintenance release.

This release contains 47 maintenance fixes and enhancements, chief among them an incompatibility between the upcoming Chrome version and the visual editor, inconsistencies in media handling, and further improvements to the REST API. For a full list of changes, consult the release notes and the list of changes.

Download WordPress 4.7.4 or visit Dashboard → Updates and simply click "Update Now." Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update to WordPress 4.7.4.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to 4.7.4:
Aaron Jorbin, Adam Silverstein, Andrea Fercia, Andrew Ozz, aussieguy123, Blobfolio, boldwater, Boone Gorges, Boro Sitnikovski, chesio, Curdin Krummenacher, Daniel Bachhuber, Darren Ethier (nerrad), David A. Kennedy, davidbenton, David Herrera, Dion Hulse, Dominik Schilling (ocean90), eclev91, Ella Van Dorpe, Gustave F. Gerhardt, ig_communitysites, James Nylen, Joe Dolson, John Blackbourn, karinedo, lukasbesch, maguiar, MatheusGimenez, Matthew Boynes, Matt Wiebe, Mayur Keshwani, Mel Choyce, Nick Halsey, Pascal Birchler, Peter Wilson, Piotr Delawski, Pratik Shrestha, programmin, Rachel Baker, sagarkbhatt, Sagar Prajapati, sboisvert, Scott Taylor, Sergey Biryukov, Stephen Edgar, Sybre Waaijer, Timmy Crawford, vortfu, and Weston Ruter.

20 Apr 2017 5:54pm GMT

Post Status: Introducing a new way to find high quality WordPress jobs

It's my pleasure to formally introduce the Post Status WordPress job board. It actually went live two weeks ago, but I wanted to give it time to work out any kinks before broadly promoting it.

Now, I think we're ready for prime time. So, why do we need another place to list WordPress jobs?

The signal to noise ratio - both for employers seeking qualified candidates, and for candidates finding quality job listings - is pretty low across the board in the job market. Most people who hire technical professionals will tell you that it's very difficult to find good candidates. And anyone seeking great job opportunities knows how hard it can be to find out the best opportunities, especially at the times you're actually looking.

The goal for the Post Status WordPress job board is to take advantage of both sides of this equation.

Post Status isn't a huge website with tons of traffic. But the traffic I do get is from a highly targeted audience of primarily WordPress professionals, or web professionals who use WordPress as a primary tool.

By creating a highly targeted job board, I'm able to increase the signal on both sides; employers can get quality applications, and applicants can find quality employers.

Furthermore, our team - meaning Katie Richards, and myself - go through each employer's listing to confirm that it's a qualified listing of someone actually hiring, provides relevant information, and is properly described for the available position.

We've already got 20+ jobs and counting, and I know many of them have had applications start to roll in, even without public announcement yet.

If you'd like to submit a job, the process is currently only for Post Status members. We may open that up in the coming weeks, but for now, you can join and post, or if someone from your organization is a member, they can post it.

Listings last for 45 days (the first listings are being extended out starting today), and will be marketed to the Post Status Club - now over 900 WordPress professionals - as well as the free Post Status newsletter, where we'll send digests of new jobs.

In the future, we may create new features for job seekers to keep an even closer eye on available jobs, but for now, the email and listing page are the place to go. And we may build new tools for employers as we get feedback and see demand for them.

I look forward to this being a valuable resource for the WordPress community. We're dedicated to making it work well for a long haul, and we expect general activity to increase as the word gets out that it's there.

So, if you don't mind, we'd love your help to promote this job board, both now and when you hear of companies hiring and people seeking positions. It is a truly great feeling to know that you helped someone find their next workplace.

So, check out some WordPress jobs!

20 Apr 2017 1:35pm GMT

WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2017 Announces Speakers, Opens Registration for Contributor Day

WordCamp Europe 2017 has been rolling out speaker announcements over the past week, slowly building what appears to be a strong lineup of both European and international WordPress experts. Speaker names are being released in thematic groups, the first dedicated to development topics, followed by business and content/marketing groups.

Registration for Contributor Day, which will be held the day before the conference on Thursday, June 15th, is now open. Organizers are expecting more than 3,000 attendees for the WordCamp, but Contributor Day is limited to 500 registrants. The signup form allows attendees to select up to two different contributor teams they would like to participate in.

In addition to the traditional contribution activities, Thursday's event will also feature workshops and talks for beginners and those who want to learn more about topics such as JavaScript, Vagrant, internationalization, security, accessibility, and plugins. The workshops will be announced at a later date.

WP Tavern will be on the ground in Paris to cover WordCamp Europe as an official media partner. We're looking forward to connecting with the European WordPress community and finding the stories that might otherwise go untold. The last remaining tickets are selling quickly. There are 288 micro-sponsor tickets left and just 308 general admission tickets remaining before the event is sold out.

20 Apr 2017 3:29am GMT

HeroPress: Announcing the Up and Running Scholarship, from HeroPress and WPShout

Two hands holding an ipad so we can see the screen.

For the first time ever, HeroPress is taking part in offering a scholarship! The good folks over at WPShout are soon releasing some great new WordPress training material called Up and Running. As part of that release they'd like to offer ten copies for free to those who fit the application qualifications.

How do I apply?

Visit the Up and Running Scholarship Application page, read the rules, and fill out the form.

The post Announcing the Up and Running Scholarship, from HeroPress and WPShout appeared first on HeroPress.

20 Apr 2017 12:07am GMT

19 Apr 2017

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WPTavern: BuddyPress 2016 Survey Results Show 54% of Respondents are on PHP 7.0+

The results of the BuddyPress 2016 survey have been published. This year the survey received feedback from 302 respondents in 61 different countries, a 43% increase in responses from 2015. The top five countries represented in the survey include the United States (27.15%), India (7.62%), United Kingdom (6.95%), Germany (6.29%), and Canada (3.64%). English remains the most popular language for BuddyPress sites at nearly 70% and this year Spanish (10.7%) replaced French for the #2 spot, followed by German (9.96%).

A new question in the 2016 survey asked users what PHP versions their sites are on. More than 53% of respondents report having sites on PHP 7.0+ and 63% are using a version higher than 5.6+.

Lead developer Paul Gibbs sees these results as an affirmation that the BuddyPress core leadership made the right decision when dropping support for PHP 5.2 nine months ago.

We (@buddypress) made the right call 9 months ago to drop support for PHP 5.2 in our last major release.

- Paul Gibbs (@pgibbs) April 4, 2017

In fact, our 2016 users survey https://t.co/1LClEoOr38 suggests 88% of respondents use PHP >5.6, maybe we can be more aggressive this year.

- Paul Gibbs (@pgibbs) April 4, 2017

Gibbs is currently on a sabbatical from BuddyPress and was not available for comment. Project lead John James Jacoby said that the decision to drop support for PHP 5.2 may not be a direct corollary to its usage falling below 1%, but the core team will continue to bump the minimum version in the future with consideration for user happiness.

"It's hard to know whether increasing our minimum PHP version made any direct difference," Jacoby said. "My hunch is most users do not care very much, and the ones that do, care greatly. It's all about keeping users happy - sometimes that means maintaining compatibility with old dependencies; other times it means kindly motivating users to upgrade things maybe they haven't thought about in a while."

The 2016 results show that 45% of respondents have been using BuddyPress for a year or less. While this isn't necessarily an indication of users' ability, it is interesting in light of the project's recent shift to focus on developers and site builders. The survey results indicate that more users identify themselves as a beginner when it comes to knowledge of BuddyPress themes and hooks.

BuddyPress core developers made the decision to focus on site builders and developers based on how they saw the project's user base changing over time. Making the software 100% turnkey is no longer one of their chief objectives. With the high percentage of users who identify as beginners, the project will need to find a way to get them connected and advancing in their BuddyPress knowledge.

"The BuddyPress.org community forums continue to be the best place to get connected with other users to talk about what they're working on," Jacoby said. "Our documentation coverage in the codex is constantly being maintained, and we're still working behind the scenes on a developer site ala developer.wordpress.org. Nothing will ever beat reading the code from inside a quality code-editor, but having public visibility into the codebase is good for everyone, too."

April 30, 2017, marks the 8th anniversary of the first stable release of BuddyPress. Version 3.0 will be released this year and contributors are working towards adding a new template pack and improving the BP REST API, in addition to other new features based on comments from the survey.

"The primary focus of BuddyPress for 3.0 and beyond (in addition to being a great foundation for developers) should be to improve member management and communications inside your WordPress," Jacoby said. "The latest and greatest versions of PHP don't necessarily help us with those things directly, but the performance improvements of running BuddyPress on PHP 7.0 or 7.1 are impressive, enough to continue aggressively bumping our minimum required and recommended versions to keep users happy and safe."

A summary of the 2016 survey results was published to the BuddyPress.org blog and the full results are available on GitHub, along with comments from respondents.

19 Apr 2017 7:43pm GMT