Footnotes #382

The biggest news this week was the cancellation of WordCamp Asia due to recent COVID-19 concerns. An official post on the conference site provides guidance for registration and travel refunds. 😷

Naoko Takano, one of the organizers, notes that the decision was sad, but at least the event has helped people connect. 1,500 participants were expected to attend.

The community has been showing its support. WordFence created a fund of $10,000 to assist with airline and hotel change fees. Yoast, GoDaddy, and ServMask all contributed $10,000 each to this fund as well.

Although many people were involved in this decision, ultimately it fell to Matt Mullenweg to make it. I can personally relate to the stress of having to cancel large conferences, and I think in this case it was justified. Matt said they're exploring whether speakers can still give their presentations online, although the organizing team stated later that they were not planning an online event.

πŸ•οΈ WordCamp websites now have more “app-like” PWA (“Progressive Web App”) features. This means cached pages and assets are available offline, so if someone visits the schedule page and loses their internet connection they’ll still be able to load the schedule. πŸ“±

Zac Gordon announced the new site, which is devoted to Gatsby themes for use with WordPress. You can preview some of the themes and plugins now, and there will be more to come.

Sarah Drasner over at Smashing Magazine documents how to create a headless WordPress Site “on the JAMstack.” She sets up a Vue application with Nuxt and pulls posts via the WordPress API. A demo with source code is provided. πŸ—£οΈ

Genesis is celebrating its tenth anniversary! πŸŽ‚ Chris Garrett, Marketing Director for StudioPress at WP Engine, briefly reflected on the global Genesis community and the ways you can get involved in it.

Like WP Engine, Flywheel is now offering its customers free access to Genesis themes.

Rich Tabor has posted his reflections on 2019, which included joining GoDaddy and selling CoBlocks and ThemeBeans. His goals for 2020 are “to simply read more,” “produce music,” and “get involved with core Gutenberg on a deeper level.” Rich predicts this is going to be “an even bigger year for the block editor” than 2018 and 2019, and he describes what is probably the only way to make WordPress “future proof:”

“I want to build a WordPress that my children will fall in love with. Will share their adventures with. Will make their mark with.”

In another post, Rich outlines a new look for the Login Designer website. He used the Twenty Twenty theme and Tailwind CSS, noting he “wanted to experiment with a fully utility-based framework and better understand both shortcomings and opportunities with this flavor of site building in WordPress.” It looks nice; you should check it out.

Karolina Szczur explains how to get started with web performance by breaking down the most important performance metrics. πŸš„

JavaScript is one of the main obstacles, according to Karolina:

“Avoiding long-running tasks and blocking the JavaScript main thread is one of the most critical performance strategies to employ.”

The Daily Stoic chronicles the “timeless art” of journaling. They offer practical tips on how to begin journaling: start small, use your journal to review your day, and use the bullet journal method. Perhaps most importantly they explain why a journal matters: it's a place to bring your thoughts and keep them for your future self and maybe people close to you. “There’s no right way or wrong way. The point is just to do it.”


I've done some form of journaling on and off my entire life, recently returning to a paper journal, although I keep one on Evernote as well. In this season of life, it's even more critical for me. I firmly believe it's a best practice for leaders for clarity on the here-and-now. Keeping journals also lets you reflect and remember things later that you'd otherwise forget. I recently did that with my journals from right before I started iThemes.

The scale of online media markets and their leaders' profits are enormous. Instagram brings in more than a quarter of Facebook's sales. YouTube brings in $15 billion in revenue β€” more than all of the ABC, NBC, and Fox networks combined and just $5 billion short of Netflix's overall 2019 revenue. πŸ’Έ

Joost de Valk took another look at CMS market share via W3Techs. He notes that WordPress and WooCommerce are growing, but Joomla and Drupal are losing market share. Currently, “Shopify is set to overtake Joomla as the #2 CMS in approximately 7-8 months.” πŸ›οΈ

WordPress developer Jonathan Bossenger shares his 2020 web development setup. He uses Firefox and Chrome along with PHPStorm and a wide selection of GUI and CLI tools. Some may be new to you. πŸ› οΈ

Francesca Marano wrote aΒ refresher on what it means to be a component maintainer and who qualifies. (Being a maintainer and a committer are two separate things.) Francesca says “a passion for your component” is “the most important thing” β€” and making sure you have the time available.

If you passionately believe something should be in core, check out this post. πŸ‘·β€β™€οΈ

For those who wanted a full list of private functions and classes in WordPress core, Jonny Harris has provided one. He notes: “I created the list to add it to the WP coding standards, to highlight to developers that they should not be using these functions/classes in their plugins.”

Carl Alexander explains why raising the minimum PHP version in WordPress doesn't make it a “modern PHP project.” The also lists the steps that could be taken now to close that gap.

In a follow-up tweet, Carl added, “I think the larger issue is that there's no real desire to make these changes in the first place. There are plenty of people with experience that would gladly help if that was a priority.

Claire Brotherton analyzed the accessibility of two WordPress page builders side by side: Beaver Builder and Elementor. Claire's tests are extensive; they include widgets and UI. Results appear to be a mixed bag, with both plugins still having more work to do. 🚧

In another accessibility comparison, Scott Vinkle looked at keyboard and screen readers in native video players. Scott “found most video players have poor keyboard and screen reader support,” so he recommends using them only “with caution.” πŸ“Ί

If you ever wanted to develop expertise in browsers, Eric Law has put together an impressive list, from books to tools. πŸ“š

If you were looking forward to seeing the navigation block in the upcoming WordPress 5.4 release… sorry, it's not going to happen. Mark Uraine explains why, and I agree it makes sense to wait until more full site editing features emerge. 🧭

Looks like some folks (Nick Hamze and Aajit Bohra perhaps) created a plugin that lets you create memes using the block editor in WordPress. πŸ™€

If you or your clients are using the Event Manager Plugin, make sure you update to the latest version as soon as possible. A CSV injection vulnerability was discovered in version πŸ’‰

Jon Christopher teased SearchWP 4.0 β€” a major rewrite that's no longer limited to WP_Posts.Β πŸ”Ž

Scott Bolinger announced AppPresser 4. It's a major release with a completely modernized, native build process for backend apps. This will make your apps “faster and … up to date.” New pricing and beta releases are coming soon. πŸ”˜

πŸŽ“ WPCampus‘ call for speakers is now open through March 10th. The event is set for July 15-17 in New Orleans. πŸ“…


Video and Podcast Picks of the Week

πŸ“Ή Here's my video pick of the week:

  • There's an interesting discussion at the Gutenberg Times between Enrique Piqueras and Birgit Pauli-Haack about the highlights of a full-site editing experience and how block-based themes could work.
  • Francesca Marano has two videos (part 1 and part 2 + slides) from the last WordCamp US on how to create a plan that properly represents you and your business. At WCUS she provided some handy worksheets with this talk.
  • The videos from last month's WP Engine DE{CODE} 2020 conference are now available if you register.

πŸŽ™οΈ Here are some podcasts I've listened to recently that are worth your time: