Footnotes #385

The latest beta of WordPress 5.4 has been released, and more information is being shared about developer-focused changes. This version will introduce new hooks to add custom fields to menu items. ๐Ÿ†•

Also, auto-update functionality for themes and plugins may be coming in WordPress 5.5. There's much work still to do, but the animations and screenshots in this post by Jean-Baptiste Audras indicate how it may work in the theme and plugin admin screens.


Ryan McCue shared this paper about Let's Encrypt SSL ๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ usage that has some interesting figures:

  • Squarespace has 4.9M sites using Let's Encrypt for SSL (97% of their customers) and Automattic has 4.3M sites, or 96% of the total.
  • Both are significantly ahead of Wix (3.9M sites, 85%) in their Let's Encrypt deployments.

We often share items about accessibility, which has been a consistent effort for WordPress, but if you wonder how Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly are faring with it, read this review from Terrill Thompson.

Carolina Nymark noted only 11 themes in the theme directory add custom block styles. No themes use the server-side rendering for block styles added in 5.3. Carolina is right: “theme authors need to adopt this faster.”

Riad Benguella presents some performance improvement and monitoring techniques that can be used in any React/Redux application, based on his work and observations with Gutenberg. ๐Ÿ’จ

Suzanne Scacca shows how to create booking widgets that collect appointments (and revenue) for your clients using the Amelia booking plugin. Her tips about automation are quite insightful too. ๐Ÿ“…

If you attended WordCamp US last year, please fill out this survey to let them know about your experience and what you want to see this year in St. Louis. ๐Ÿ•๏ธ

A critical security update was recently issued for Duplicator that Wordfence reported as affecting over a million WordPress sites. ๐Ÿ”“

Duplicator users should update to version 1.3.28 as soon as possible.

Are you working in a โ€œfeature factory?โ€ โ€œJust sitting in the factory, cranking out features, and sending them down the line?โ€ ๐Ÿญ

John Cutler explained what signs to look out for three years ago, and now he's reprising that post with the lessons he has learned since then.

The Smithsonian has released 2.8 million images into the public domain with the launch of a new open-source platform called Open Access. ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ

It appears Google users in the UK will be losing EU data protection

Here is a Chrome and Firefox extension that โ€œcleansโ€ URLs by removing parameters such as Google AnalyticsUTM parameters. ๐Ÿšฟ

I forgot how UTM refers to Urchin โ€” Analytics' predecessor, acquired by Google in 2005.

If you try to keep up with podcasting, then this article from Tom Webster is a must-read. Tom talks about the newly formed Podcast Academy and shares some market survey data.

Notably, Americans over the age of 12 who listen to podcasts each month grew from 17% in 2015 to 32% in 2019. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ


Video and Podcast Picks of the Week

๐Ÿ“น Here's the video pick of the week:

  • Beth Livingston, Jessi Gurr, Mickey Mellen, and Nathan Ingram led an interesting discussion on the business panel at WordCamp Birmingham 2019.

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Here are some podcasts I've listened to recently that are worth your time:

  • Mixergy interviewed Pagely co-founder Sally Strebel about “the crazy hours” it took in the early days “to make this business happen.”
  • Bill Jones shares his knowledge about user-centric data, privacy strategies, the GDPR, and more on the Press This podcast.