Frontity has closed a €1M funding round led by Automattic. Frontity promotes its framework as “the easiest way to create lightning-fast websites using WordPress and React.” ⚡
Reyes Martínez said the company is not developing a business model now but is focusing on making the project sustainable. The Frontity framework will “always remain open source” with “possible monetizations to generate revenue in the future and add value to the community.”
Possibilities they're thinking about include “a hosting solution, premium support, or a marketplace of paid themes.”
Dave Ryan has started a project called Chatterbox that lets you use WordPress blocks to show conversations from chat threads inside app and device wrappers. 🔌
Chatterbox can be used for “demos of chatbots, publishing chat records in news stories, and it could be a fun way to add a striking visual display to conversations.”
Channing Allen has an interesting post at Indie Hackers about the ways businesses and founders are figuring out how to build and ship products for the quarantined market. 🔐
“Conditions of life are quickly changing. And with each change, new problems arise. Every problem, in turn, is a lock waiting for some entrepreneur's key. Founders who pay close attention and move fast will capitalize.”
Dashicons — which currently weigh in at 303 icons in a single, compiled sprite — may be nearing the end of their useful life. As Joen notes, “The block editor uses SVG icons directly, and the rest of WordPress uses the Dashicons icon font.”
Moving forward, an “ultimate” (as in final) release has been proposed. It will “wrap up existing requests (adding 36 new icons),” stop taking new requests, and “focus future efforts on the new Icon component.” ⚙️
In case you missed it in March, I highly recommend your read Josepha Haden‘s post on the value of a leader who is open and always looking to improve. 👍
Ryan McCue mentioned on Twitter that he built an Unsplash integration with the WordPress Media Library in a couple of hours using the Asset Manager Framework.
The AMF provides a framework for replacing the contents of the core media library with assets from an external provider. 🗄️
The Block Lab team behind the Block Lab plugin will be joining WP Engine. The plugin itself is not going over to WP Engine, but the plan is to build something new there and give Block Lab users the option to migrate down the road. The team will continue to support and maintain Block Lab Pro “on their own time.” 🧪
WooGraphQL adds WooCommerce support and functionality to your WPGraphQL server. You can query products, product variations, customers, coupons, orders, and refunds in addition to manipulating customer session data. Future features will include payment processing and “administrator mutations.” 🧟
StarterBlocks is a recently released WordPress plugin that provides “700+ pre-made templates” in the editor. 🏁
Anne Martinez wrote a quickstart guide for speeding up WordPress. It's intended for your clients or WordPress users who are not developers. It covers the basics — things that commonly slow down a WordPress site, along with topics like caching, optimization, CDNs, and making an action plan. 💨
Brandon Ernst at Freemius looks at trends and data to get an idea of how the Coronavirus might be affecting WordPress plugin and theme shops.
Brandon notes “there was a 19.84% growth in plugin downloads on the WordPress.org repository from February to March 2020.” 📉
There is a lot here that will be of interest to developers and business owners.
Michael Lynch warns that Stripe might be “silently recording your movements on its customers' websites.” 🕵️
Stripe has publicly stated that they use your customer data exclusively for fraud protection and diagnostics, and Stripe co-founder Patrick Collison responded to Michael's article. This might be a case where things should have been spelled out earlier, but there's still a lot to learn from their exchange.
I learned about the
input type="color" interface element from Christian Heilmann in this post where he talks limiting the colors available in a color picker to a palette taken from an image. Front-end developers or UI builders, this is worth a read. 🎨
Likely in response to Amazon and the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has now made it free to list and sell products. Of course, ads are still not free. 🛒
98.css is a library for building interfaces that look like Windows 98. Just what you always wanted, right? 🙈
Maybe a little more useful: pattern.css is a library to fill your empty background with beautiful patterns.
Video and Podcast Picks of the Week
📹 Here is my video pick of the week:
- An informative talk from Victor Ramirez at WordCamp Atlanta 2019 about managing many custom Enterprise plugins in the “Age of Gutenberg.” Victor also takes a peek at pitfalls to avoid when you're trying to work within an organization that never did remote work before but worked with multiple outside agencies.
🎙️ Here are some podcasts I've listened to recently that are worth your time:
- The Matt Report: I enjoyed this interview with Dan Cameron about the process of selling his plugin business Sprout Invoices. Dan's highs and lows were especially interesting. 🌱
- Syntax Podcast: This is a shorter podcast episode about the causes of slow websites. 🐢
- Ladybug Podcast: Here's a nice discussion of the different paths you can take to learn web development. 🐞
- ShopTalk Show: Great discussion here with Brian Kardell — how new features get into browsers and “the fun and challenging journey it takes to get there.” 🆕
- Smashing Podcast: Drew McLellan talks to Rachel Andrew to find out how a traditional in-person event adapts to have a workshop online when participants can’t attend in person.
- How I Built It: Brian Cassel shares how you can productize your services and “make your business more predictable.”