Tech Roundup for the Week of September 12

WordPress Design & Development Around the Web

Fresh off the heels of WordCamp US, here’s a glimpse of what’s going on in the world of design and development in the WordPress space. There were several fantastic talks about design, accessibility, WP-CLI, blocks, and FSE at the event. We’re looking forward to highlighting some videos once they’re online.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Who Put Block-Based Template Parts in my Classic Theme?

At the WP TavernSarah Gooding breaks down the importance of having classic theme authors try out block-based template parts “without breaking their whole site design.” This is pretty exciting to be getting this functionality for Classic themes. It will open the door for old custom themes to modernize a little bit and have the best of both worlds. Some people aren’t as ecstatic and have good reasons to be cautious. Like with all things, change is hard, but it is constant.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Adobe in Talks To Acquire Figma

In a move that literally no one saw coming and that many designers will groan about, Adobe is in talks to acquire Figma while still letting the company run autonomously. Figma CEO Dylan Field wrote an informative tweet thread providing insight into the deal and how the companies will move forward together. The irony is not lost that Figma was created out of frustration with big box design companies moving too slowly with innovative tools. So now it appears a big box company will buy the rebels.

Hosting Companies Embrace WooCommerce

Some may see them as existential threats, but several hosting companies announced their own WooCommerce solutions in the past week, notably to gain buzz around WordCamp US. Pagely / GoDaddy started off with the first announcement last week, debuting Managed WooCommerce Stores. Followed by Bluehost unveiling an easier interface to launch a WooCommerce store. And rounding out this list, although perhaps with an asterisk, WPEngine “re-announced” their WooCommerce offering and debuted a new addition to it called LiveCart. We’ll be watching to see how these solutions compare and if they can be long-term investments for these companies.

Hunting For The Perfect Local Dev Environment, So He Rolled His Own

We’ve all been there. You set up your local dev environment and everything goes well until you get a few use cases where it cannot do what you need, or it has little quirks that annoy you, or it just feels slow and stale. So Chris Wiegman set out to make one he would enjoy. For those that don’t know, Chris actually joined WPEngine a few years ago to help build a local dev tool, but long story short, he has moved on to other things in the company. So having him come out with a local dev environment isn’t terribly offbeat. For those of us who loved the high days of Vagrant then you’ll most likely enjoy the setup that he has put together. Check it out on Github and please do provide feedback as this is a work in progress.

Cool Tool

Each week we’ll feature one cool tool that can help make your life easier as a WordPress builder.

WebPageTest

Are you always going to GTMetrix or Google Page Speed Insights to test your web pages? There is a better way. WebPageTest provides one place to test Core Web VitalsLighthouse, or even compare the differences between two pages. WebPageTest feels a bit more maintained with current testing standards than GTMetrix, and it provides better explanations of the errors that come up than Google’s testing solutions.

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