13 May 2021

feedWordPress Planet

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.7.2 Security Release

WordPress 5.7.2 is now available.

This security release features one security fix. Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. All versions since WordPress 3.7 have also been updated.

WordPress 5.7.2 is a short-cycle security release. The next major release will be version 5.8.

You can update to WordPress 5.7.2 by downloading from WordPress.org, or visit your Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now.

If you have sites that support automatic background updates, they've already started the update process.

Security Updates

One security issue affecting WordPress versions between 3.7 and 5.7. If you haven't yet updated to 5.7, all WordPress versions since 3.7 have also been updated to fix the following security issue:

Thank you to the members of the WordPress security team for implementing these fixes in WordPress.

For more information refer to the version 5.7.2 HelpHub documentation page.

Thanks and props!

The 5.7.2 release was led by @peterwilsoncc and @audrasjb.

Thank you to everyone who helped make WordPress 5.7.2 happen: @audrasjb, @ayeshrajans, @desrosj, @dd32, @peterwilsoncc, @SergeyBiryukov, and @xknown.

13 May 2021 1:04am GMT

WPTavern: Genesis Framework To Become Free, StudioPress Announces Changes

Yesterday, StudioPress announced several changes to its themes and marketplace coming on or around June 8. For those outside its community, the company will be making its Genesis Framework available for free. The company is overhauling its marketplace, no longer selling individual themes.

StudioPress's selection of themes will soon be available only through a Genesis Pro, WP Engine hosting, or Flywheel hosting account. The company's ProPlus customers will gain access to the Genesis Blocks Pro and Genesis Custom Blocks Pro plugins.

The theme shop has been shifting gears since its acquisition in 2018 by WP Engine. While it still caters to freelancers and agencies, its audience has grown to include a more diverse user base. One year ago, WP Engine launched a Genesis Pro Add-On, offering a suite of StudioPress's Genesis products to its customers.

Chris Garret, the StudioPress Marketing Director at WP Engine, wrote in the article that one of the reasons for these changes was aimed at "focusing our product and engineering efforts on preparing the Genesis community for Full Site Editing with the Gutenberg block editor in WordPress Core."

Last fall, StudioPress launched an open beta of its upcoming Genesis Block Theme. While there has been little news of it lately, it is expected to land sometime this year alongside WordPress's block-based theming system. In 2020, the company also rebranded an earlier plugin acquisition, Atomic Blocks, to Genesis Blocks. It later released a developer-centric Genesis Custom Blocks plugin.

The company is also retiring all but its top 10 most popular child themes. Retired themes will be archived and still available to existing customers, and the development team will issue security updates if and when necessary.

"As we have discussed in the past, there are big changes coming to WordPress with the introduction of Full Site Editing themes," wrote Garret. "While this new way of building themes will be optional (especially at first), we've decided to focus most of our product and engineering efforts for Genesis related products on preparing to take advantage of these new capabilities."

Releasing the Genesis theme for free will open a larger audience for StudioPress and ease some friction points.

"This has been one of the biggest asks in all of Genesis and beyond," wrote Garret. "Gating Genesis Framework and Sample Theme behind a pay-wall causes confusion for people buying Genesis [child] themes from 3rd party theme providers and limits the number of people who can build with Genesis Framework."

The team is also dropping its marketplace fees for third-party creators. Vendors, while still being listed, will need to handle payment processing on their own. The "buy" button on StudioPress will redirect customers to the vendor sites.

In the past, the Genesis community has been a bit of a walled garden. While there are still commercial plans, these changes can potentially bring in fresh creative talent who might not have chosen to build on top of Genesis in the past - payments are always barriers to entry for some. Genesis has always been the foundation, but the value non-developer customers will see is in the child themes and plugin add-ons.

With the loosening of the review guidelines in the coming months, I would like to see Genesis land in the free theme directory. It would not pass the current rules, but there may not be any holdups a bit down the road. If it will be free anyway, why not? It would be a gesture of goodwill toward the community while offering a robust and mature product into the directory. From the business end, it is sure to drive more customers to the StudioPress commercial offerings. It could be a win for everyone.

13 May 2021 12:02am GMT

11 May 2021

feedWordPress Planet

WPTavern: ‘Universal’ WordPress Themes Virtual Hallway Hangout Planned for May 14

Core contributor Jeff Ong announced an upcoming virtual hangout around the concept of universal themes. The meeting could cover much ground for theme authors learning how new and upcoming tools will fit into their workflows, businesses, and more. For an invitation, attendees should leave a comment on the announcement post or message Ong directly.

The hangout is slated for May 14 at 14:00 UTC.

The meeting agenda is loose, and the conversation could venture into various theme-related topics. However, the shortlist of possible discussion points covers:

The first order of business should be to define what a "universal" theme is. The terminology is new to the WordPress space, and it could change as the future of theming starts taking a more coherent shape.

Ong left a short description in the announcement. "A theme that aims to work in either classic (customizer) or FSE contexts," he called it.

The definition seems to have been born out of GitHub ticket around "hybrid" themes - yet another new term. The goal was to discuss paths for any user to use the site or template editor to override traditional theme templates. For example, if a user wanted to create a block-based category archive template, they could do so without affecting their overall theme structure.

WordPress users will get a sampling of this idea in version 5.8. The post-editing screen has a new template-editing mode. Users will be able to switch to this mode to create a top-level template for that single post/page. It will live outside their theme structure, so it won't matter if the theme supports blocks.

The Gutenberg development team and theme authors will be grappling with such questions in the coming months. Nothing is ever a perfect process. And, the transition to block-based theme templates is an overhaul unlike any we have seen in WordPress's history. So, we need new paths and terms for them.

"I've been thinking about the notion of universal themes rather than hybrid," wrote Matías Ventura, the Gutenberg project lead, in the ticket. "Universal themes would be themes that can be loaded in a classic context or block editor context without a problem. As a user, if I'm running a WordPress capable of understanding block themes, that's the interface I get (and the one I can customize), otherwise, the regular theme files are used with its customizer integration. Hybrid would then be a tool for theme developers to gradually become universal themes if they want to."

Hybrid themes seem to be designed to work with bits and pieces of FSE, giving developers time to move toward full support. However, universal themes cover everything from the traditional to the new era. They are meant to allow users to choose which bits of FSE to use.

All this new terminology could muddy the waters a bit, and if that happens, users are the ones to lose out. There will potentially be four types of themes:

Most themes that have landed in the official directory over the past few months lack basic block-editor styles. It is hard to imagine too many universal themes - which will require far more of a time investment - in the next year or so. It is more likely that we will see a split between new block themes and a mashup of classic/hybrid themes making the rounds. Only the most dedicated or those who can foot the bill will go the universal route.

For now, developers need to continue having these types of conversations and ironing out the details.

11 May 2021 11:26pm GMT