WordPress 5.3.2 dropped right before Christmas with five bugfixes and enhancements. ๐ŸŽ…

It follows so quickly on the heels of 5.3.1 because it was a short-cycle maintenance release. (The next planned release will be 5.4.)

WordPress 5.3.1 rolled out with 46 bug fixes ๐Ÿ› and enhancements โœจ that touch the block editor, the Twenty Twenty bundled theme, accessibility, and the back-end interface CSS.


Matt Mullenweg shared a fascinating story about how a comment on a blog led to a mathematical breakthrough. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿซ

Matt commented, “Iโ€™ve always said that comments are the best part of blogging, but this is a particularly cool example.” ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Speaking of Matt, Ella van Durpe, Tammie Lister, and a few others who were involved shared the story of how Gutenberg was used to make Matt's slides for the WordCamp US 2019 State of the Word presentation.

This nifty use of Gutenberg started with Ella using an early prototype at JSConf and ReactEurope. The plugin she created registers a custom post type called โ€œpresentationโ€ and a new โ€œslideโ€ block.

Ella offers some tips on how to use her plugin to make better slides. ๐Ÿ”Œ

Mel Choyce over at 24ways explores how the block editor can be used to create art-directed posts. ๐ŸŽจ

Mel's post shows how to use a number of blocks to build a site, and she also shows how similar results could be achieved (with greater downsides) using the Classic Editor.

Michelle Frechette explains that WordPress, as an open-source project, goes well beyond coding.

“It's about meetups, WordCamps, Contributor Days, and other events that bring WordPress users together.” ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ

Alex Denning takes on the topic of “Risk and reward at Black Friday with WordPress products” by drawing on this yearโ€™s round of holiday sales to “pull out some key insights for the future.” ๐Ÿ›๏ธ

I ran across recently โ€” and it has some interesting statistics about domain names:

Cรฉdric Fabianski covers ways to make remote work a success โ€” like good communication and making everyone feel connected.

Juan Pablo Buriticรก and Katie Womersley offer a guide for distributed teams with a focus on communication, coordination, collaboration, organization, operations, and culture. ๐Ÿค—

Addy Osmani explains one approach to loading web pages quickly on a $20 feature phone:

“Building a fast, core foundation for your site gives everyone a good experience, whether they're on a low-cost feature phone or the latest high-end smartphone.”๐Ÿ“ต๐Ÿ’จ

What can be done to block a specific customer from an eCommerce site? ๐Ÿ™…

I'm not sure if that problem has been solved by the time of this writing, but there is some help here โ€” thanks to Mika Epstein.

If you happen to know of any WooCommerce plugins that can block individuals effectively, please chime in on the forum. ๐Ÿšซ

Video and Podcast Picks of the Week

๐Ÿ“น More video watching to unwind with over the holidays: ๐ŸŽ„

  • The backendlessConf_ was online last weekend and had some interesting talks around static sites, JavaScript, and headless CMSes. Videos will appear soon on the Zeithq YouTube channel.
  • Take a peek at Newspack Homepage Blocks, which are being used by publications in Automatic's Newspack pilot program to build their homepage layouts. ๐Ÿ“ฐ

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Here are some podcasts worth listening to:

  • John O'Nolan of Ghost was interviewed on a recent episode of Indie Hackers talking about Ghost 3.0, how WordPress influenced Ghost, and some mistakes the Ghost team has learned from. ๐Ÿ‘ป
  • The Pressing Matters podcast examines GPL clubs, inspired by a Q&A question for Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp US.
  • The Pressnomics Podcast talks with Francisco Dao about his entrepreneurial journey and the current challenges he has experienced while founding a consumer product goods company.
  • Cory Miller opens up to Scott Bolinger about the experience of selling iThemes and what he would recommend to other entrepreneurs in a similar situation.