Footnotes #409

WordPress 5.6 planning is underway, and, notably, this release will feature an all-women release squad. Josepha Haden hopes this experience will make it more likely that those who are involved will “return as contributors to Core and elsewhere.” πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»

Meanwhile, there have been some snags reported by people upgrading to WordPress 5.5 that has to do with themes and plugins that have outdated JavaScript dependencies. I appreciated this simple and easy to understand post by Kristen Wright from iThemes explaining the problem and how to deal with it.

If you have a broken site after updating to WordPress 5.5, install the jQuery Migrate Helper plugin on your site. It will re-enable the jQuery Migrate tool that was removed from core with WordPress 5.5.


Matt Mullenweg closed a ticket opened by Juliette Reinders Folmer about four days ago. The ticket had to do with ending support for PHP 5.6, which was a milestone within the original release scope and is currently the minimum required by WordPress.Β  Juliette proposed ‘bump[ing] the minimum supported PHP version to PHP 7.1.26.” In the comments, Matt explained:

“Just so we don't cherry-pick stats to make a point, it's worth noting that the PHP distribution across all WP sites we track is the same as … in 2018: 85% are 5.6 or above. Only about 66% are 7.1 and above.”

There has been some discussion of this on Twitter, with Andrew Nacin commenting:

“This is _obviously_ a key philosophical decision that should be made by the project lead. And for what it's worth, our philosophies and standards on this have been consistent for more than a decade. The numbers strongly suggest it’s too early to drop PHP 5.6… Last I checked: 25% of sites running WP 5.5 were < PHP 7.1. Way too early to do this.”


Gravity View recently announced Gravity.guide, a new website dedicated to providing courses and other helpful materials for users of Gravity Forms.

Gravity.guide is launching with courses created by Michelle Hayes, a Gravity Forms power-user and creator of BuiltWithGravity.com. Additional instructional content is coming from others too, including the authors of Gravity View and Gravity Form plugins and addons.

Congrats to Zack Katz for the launch. πŸš€


Lindsey Miller has announced a new endeavor called Content Journey which “provides high-quality, search engine optimized content for small businesses” and aims to be β€œan extension of your marketing team.” As Lindsey states on the homepage, “We spend a lot of time getting to know you, your business, and your goals so we can create custom content that gets results and best represents your brand.”

I know quite a few people who find it harder to create content than develop highly custom features for their sites. I imagine this service will be invaluable to you if you struggle with content too.

Congrats to Lindsey on the launch.Β πŸ‘©β€πŸš€


SpinupWP recently added a useful page about troubleshooting situations where WordPress won't load β€” perhaps a β€œ504 Gateway Timeout” or a β€œ403 Forbidden” error β€” due to a DNS or server issue. πŸ”§


Last week, the Community and Training teams went live with Learn WordPress. Now the discussion is focused on the full launch of the website and growth of its workshops. Some suggested ideas include full courses and non-English content. πŸŽ’


If you want to get a fundamental understanding of SEO but don't know where to start, then this recent guide to “The World Of Search Engine Optimization” from Frederick O’Brien might be worth a look. πŸ”


I recently stumbled on this JavaScript library called handwritten.js that converts typed text to “realistic handwriting.” Then there's this Python script from Tristan Hume that does it with OpenType fonts, nicely explained by Julia Evans. ✍️


If you are a designer, front-end developer, or just someone looking for some design ideas, ColorDoo is a tool site that shows β€œtrending” color collections and gradients. 🎨


SEJ notes that Google Chrome 86 will show two warnings to users submitting insecure forms over the HTTPS protocol. ⚠️

Users who ignore an initial warning and then try to submit the form will receive a final warning that blocks them from submitting the form unless they take action to enable the submission. Will Safari, Firefox, and Edge follow suit?

In related news, it appears that Google is experimenting with hiding its browser's URL bar, something I am not crazy about. πŸ™β€β™‚οΈ


Justin Ahinon has a proposal for a new approach to Gutenberg developer documentation. Justin recently volunteered to be the Gutenberg developer documentation team representative. In his proposal, he asks for feedback in the comments.

I have heard from several developers that the Gutenberg documentation is lacking in some areas, so it's good that this is getting the attention it's due. πŸ‘


Timi Wahalahti reviewed some of the changes and improvements that have been happening at WordCamp.org over the past half-year. πŸ•οΈ


Ellen Bauer, a front-end developer at Elmastudio, announced the release of Aino Blocks.

This plugin brings you a collection of page building blocks for the Gutenberg editor that can optionally work with a free Aino theme. Ellen is looking for feedback; she writes “It would be amazing if you try it out and let us know what you think.” πŸ“£


πŸ“… Conference and Event Updates

  • WordSesh is back and happening on September 2nd. Registration is free! Take a close look at the schedule β€” it might start very early if you live in North America. This time around there will be thirteen sessions that touch on topics like plugin development, static WordPress, business development, and leveraging WordPress for growth.
  • πŸ’Ό WPMRR Virtual Summit (September 23rd and 24th.) Free, online. The focus will be “100% focused on helping you make monthly recurring revenue work for your WordPress business.” Scroll down the homepage where they publicly list the MRR (monthly recurring revenue) numbers from the speakers who will be participating! πŸ’Έ

DAVID'S PICKS πŸ“¬

Video Picks

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

  • Fabio Pacifici has a series on How To Install WordPress using WP-CLI, starting with this video on the first steps, including how to download WordPress using the wp core download command. This series looks great for beginners or those new to WP-CLI.

Podcast Picks

πŸŽ™οΈ Here are some good podcasts I've enjoyed this week:

  • Voices Of The ElePHPant: If you are a developer wondering what lies ahead with PHP 8, I can't recommend this episode enough! It features Cal Evans, Sara Golemon, and Gabriel Caruso.
  • Unplug Tech: Learn from Michelle Frechette how she started her WP Coffee Talk podcast. Michelle has some suggestions for you if you're getting into podcast production.
  • WomenWP: I enjoyed this episode with Meg Phillips discussing how education is changing with COVID-19 and how WordPress as a product and a community can help people who might otherwise be left behind.
  • Mac Power Users Not directly WordPress related, but if you wanted to get into Markdown through a good podcast try this episode.