Footnotes #420

πŸ“£ If you'd like your discount sale promotion to be included in our Black Friday and Cyber Monday WordPress Deals for 2020, please submit the details here by Nov. 11, 2020. 🎁


WordPress 5.6 Beta 3 is available for testing. It includes newly added block patterns for the Twenty Twenty and Twenty Nineteen themes. WordPress 5.6 is still slated for release on December 8. πŸ“…

Speaking of core updates, something unusual happened last Friday. The auto-update system for WordPress updated some sites from version 5.5.2 to version 5.5.3-alpha due to an error in the Updates API caused by the 5.5.3 release preparations. Fortunately, the 5.5.3-alpha version was “functionally identical” to 5.5.2 since no development work had been started on 5.5.3.

Jake Spurlock goes into more detail about the error. 😯

If your site was auto-updated, the default β€œTwenty” themes and the Akismet plugin may have been installed. πŸ‘€

All current WordPress sites should be updated to the proper 5.5.3 version. ⬆️


bbPress 2.6.6 is a minor release that's available now.

It fixes some PHP warnings and notices, “some output formatting bugs and improves a few different moderator experiences,” according to John James Jacoby. πŸ›


The WordCamp.org URL migration is complete and should help address some “significant SEO problems.” πŸ”§

The structure has changed from year.city.wordcamp.org to city.wordcamp.org/year.


Some very good news from Maarten Botterman, ICANN‘s Board Chair: ICANN has voted to reject the sale of the .ORG registry to private equity firm Ethos Capital.

This is a major victory for the millions of nonprofits, civil society organizations, and individuals who use the .ORG extension for their sites. πŸ˜€


Uncanny Owl, the Toronto-based parent company for the Uncanny Automator plugin, has joined the WPBeginner Growth Fund. 🀝

Syed Balkhi details how the plugin works β€” “Zapier for WordPress” β€” and explains why he felt it was wise to take an investment stake and partner with the Uncanny Owl team. πŸ¦‰


What is the most effective way to reuse code within a single or multi-block plugin? Leonardo Losoviz has the answer. πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»


Spearhead is a beautiful “blank canvas” WordPress theme that was originally developed for the Spearhead podcast. Designed by Cece Yu and others, it is the first theme on WordPress.com to support dark mode. πŸ•ΆοΈ

The theme should be coming soon to WordPress.org. πŸ‘


Suzanne Scacca offers suggestions for designers to get some value out of designs “that didn't make the cut.” Suzanne's advice:

Try putting them aside in “a dedicated folder” to use for another project. You could even “templatize your unused designs… to exponentially increase your profits by selling them over and over again.” 🎨


DAVID'S PICKS πŸ“¬

Video Picks

πŸ“Ή Here is my video pick of the week:

  • WPMRR: Joe Howard interviewed Ahmed Khalif of Hear Me Out! β€” a place where hearing people can learn how to connect and engage with deaf people better.Β  Joe and Ahmed discuss the level of accessibility needed for content in the deaf community and ask what makes a website more accessible. They get into the importance of alt text and descriptions in images, how to possibly improve WordCamp conferences, and the value of optimizing podcast websites with good transcripts. A podcast version is available too.

Podcast Picks

πŸŽ™οΈ Here are a few podcasts to listen to this week:

  • React Podcast: In this episode teacher and accessibility advocate Marcy Sutton illuminates the value of accessibility on the web, describes her favorite tools and services, and explains our need to “shift left” β€” ensuring that accessibility becomes a part of the planning phase instead of a “nice to have” item tacked onto the development phase.
  • Indie Hackers: Rob Walling and Courtland Allen discuss the state of SaaS in October 2020, and they do mention WordPress and certain plugins several times in the discussion.
  • Voices of the ElePHPant: Consultant CTO, software engineer, and community advocate Steve McDougall and Michael Lochemem are interviewed on two interesting episodes. Michael has some worthwhile takes on functional programming in PHP.
  • Billable Hours: Welcome this new podcast “for WordPress agencies and freelance shops covering business, workflow, and the tech behind it,” started by Peter Suhm. The latest episode is a talk with Joe Howard on recurring revenue and how you might be able to implement a plan to achieve regular income.