Footnotes #421

🎁 Our big list of Black Friday & Cyber Monday WordPress Deals is back β€” and bigger than ever!

Check out the long list of hosting, deployment tools, SaaS, themes, and plugins. πŸ”ŒπŸ”ŒπŸ”Œ


Request for Comment on Comments

Previously we've mentioned Jeremy Felt‘s ideas for how WordPress comments should work. They're really good, simple steps forward, and this is how we should be thinking about a core feature that ought to make WordPress shine.β˜€οΈ

Now Chris Coyier has shared his comment wishlist for WordPress, and the top items are the following:

  • a logged-in user should own (or edit) their own comment,
  • there should be a “social auth for comments” so you don't have to enter a name/email all the time,
  • an HTML tag whitelist,
  • previewable comments,
  • an overall better visual appearance,
  • and replies should show parent comment(s) by default.

I had my own recommendations for comments back in 2014. Last year I was on the hunt for a way to make live conversations well-integrated into WordPress. Think P2/O2 style setup but integrated into an existing site.

If anything, this kind of functionality has become more important to have while WordPress has drifted away from it as a former core competency. πŸ’¬

When John Blackbourn made a semi-tongue-in-cheek suggestion for a plugin that will email you regularly about draft posts you haven't published, David Artiss took him seriously and built a plugin that does exactly that. Draft Concluder (what a great name!) will send an email to every user who has outstanding drafts. πŸ“βœ‰οΈ

David says his work on this plugin led him so deep into WordPress, he's probably the only person to know some of the things he learned. He is already planning his next project, to revisit one of his existing plugins and rewrite it. πŸ‘

Leonardo Losoviz has written a step-by-step guide on using Rector and GitHub Actions to downgrade a WordPress plugin by coding it with PHP 7.4 and deploying it to PHP 7.1. πŸ‘‡

The 2020 Web Almanac’s Markup chapter is available now with some interesting statistics based on the analysis of over 7 million web pages. Find out what HTML elements and markup are being used the most, and which aren't. πŸ“Š

You may be surprised to learn script is #6, and there is a lot of obvious waste. Mathias Bynens points out “many bytes are being collectively wasted just by writing unnecessary HTML.”

I tend to think overall the quality of HTML is improving, although the size of web pages themselves is another matter. πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ

Google has provided a target date in May 2021 for when “Core Web Vitals” will be an official ranking factor in Google search results. 🎯

They recommend doing a sitewide audit of your pages. Identify where there is room for improvement, and then use tools like Page Speed Insights and Lighthouse to help fix improve the page experience.

This is certainly an important search algorithm update, so if you rely on SEO, take a close look at this. Sarah Gooding‘s article on this at the Tavern is a good place to start. 🍻

10up has announced some updates to its ClassifAI plugin, which augments WordPress sites with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology. πŸ§ πŸ€–

The new release adds automated text scanning of uploaded images, including screenshots, using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. By storing scanned text in WordPress, content editors can search the contents of screenshots and other images to add that plain text into the main content of a post.

According to Jeff Paul at 10up, this technology might come in handy if you were affected byΒ  Facebook and Instagram dropping support for open embeds.

I've received a lot of pings on Post Status Slack about the Biden-Harris Transition Website. It uses WordPress and is hosted by Automattic. WPTavern noticed as well. πŸ™Œ

🧑 There is a call for speakers for WordFest Live 2021 which happens online on January 22, 2021. πŸ“…

Scott Bolinger explains the difference between WordPress options and transients, which is useful to understand if you are a WordPress developer:

“Transients expire, options don’t. Use transients for a single value you only need temporarily, use options for persistent values that can change.”


Video Picks

πŸ“Ή Here are my video picks of the week:

Podcast Picks

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

  • Women in WP: This episode features an interview with Dee Teal, project manager with Human Made. Part of the discussion gets into how to work with large global teams. 🌐
  • Syntax: I enjoyed this particular episode where Scott Tolinski and Wes Bos talk with Josh Comeau about coding with your voice. πŸ—£οΈ
  • Gutenberg Changelog: Birgit Pauli-Haack and Mark Uraine discuss what’s new with Gutenberg in Gutenberg 9.3. They also review the upcoming Block Editor in WordPress 5.6. πŸ“¦
  • Billable Hours: This episode has Peter Suhm talking with Birgit Pauli-Haack about Gutenberg and agencies β€” how they should think about Gutenberg and what the future of the project will look like for them. πŸ”­