Updated: 28th Jul 2017
WPTavern: Customize Snapshots 0.6.0 Adds the Ability to Name and Merge Changesets
photo credit: Freestocks.org
Contributors to the Customize Snapshots feature plugin are steadily building a UI for managing Customizer changesets using the changesets infrastructure added in WordPress 4.7. Version 0.6.0 of the plugin was released this month with an expanded interface for managing the complexities of multi-user editing in the Customizer.
The previous version of Customize Snapshots already supported scheduling but this release introduces a new multi-select save button that allows users to publish, save draft, save as pending, or schedule changes.
Version 0.6.0 adds the ability to name changesets, which is especially helpful for site owners who are sorting and previewing changes submitted by multiple editors. The list of changesets has links for previewing on the frontend, editing in the Customizer, or inspecting the changesetâ€™s content on the edit post screen.
This release introduces the ability to merge multiple changesets into a single changeset, which users can then preview and publish all at once.
Contributors have not yet worked out how this feature will handle conflicting changes submitted by multiple users. It currently accepts whatever change was made more recently, but this isnâ€™t ideal in certain situations. Conflict resolution is on the teamâ€™s radar to address in future iterations of the plugin and they are discussing several different approaches.
â€śMerging changesets would definitely lie in the realm of a power user feature,â€ť Customize component co-maintainer Weston Ruter said. â€śIt would probably not be proposed for core. Nevertheless, the existence of the feature is a demonstration of the kinds of things that can be possible when working with changesets.â€ť
In addition to co-leading WordPressâ€™ Customizer team, Ruter is also the CTO at XWP, where several of the agencyâ€™s clients are actively using the Customize Snapshots plugin. News Corp Australia and Beachbody are two companies that have invested in the pluginâ€™s development and are successfully using it at scale on their network of sites.
â€śWhen paired with the Customize Posts plugin, it gets really powerful because you can edit multiple posts and pages, along with any of their postmeta, while also editing widgets, nav menus, and any other settings, and all of these changes are all bundled together in a single changeset,â€ť Ruter said. â€śThis changeset can then be previewed on the frontend, including by sharing the URL with an unauthenticated user (like a 3rd party who canâ€™t even access the Customizer), and they can click around the site with all of the customizations applied as if they had been published.â€ť
Ruter said the Customizer team isnâ€™t currently targeting a WordPress release for getting these new UI additions added to core but rather view the progress as â€śprototypes for what could be merged into core, bit by bit.â€ť He identified several tickets that the plugin provides prototype interfaces for:
- #28721: Scheduled changes for the customizer
- #31089: Add revisions and statuses for changesets
- #21666: Customizer reset/undo/revert
- #39896: Customizer: Allow users to Draft changes before Publishing
â€śCore development is still very much focused on the editor â€” Gutenberg â€” so the far-reaching Customizer changes are not being emphasized yet,â€ť Ruter said. Meanwhile progress continues on the Customize Snapshots plugin, which was completely rewritten for the 0.6.0 release after most of its infrastructure was merged into WordPress 4.7. Ruterâ€™s team is not sure which features will eventually land in core, but the various Customizer feature plugins give users an idea of the power of the changesets infrastructure that is already included in WordPress.
Updated: 27th Jul 2017
WPTavern: .blog Passes 100,000 Registrations, 66.5% of Purchased Domains are in Use
The .blog domain extension, managed by Automattic subsidiary Knock Knock WHOIS There (KKWT), opened registration to the public in November 2016 and has just passed the 100,000 registration milestone. The extension is averaging 300 new .blog domains registered per day and is quickly gaining popularity among new generic TLDs. According to the most recent stats available at nTLDStats, .blog registrations have climbed steadily and predictably every month since its public launch.
Automattic, which operates independently from KKWT as a registrar, currently has the largest market share of .blog domain registrars at 62.8%. Other smaller pieces of the pie continue to see increasing numbers of registrations.
â€śWhen a .blog domain is sold through any .blog registrar, it operates like all other top-level domains (TLDs),â€ť .blog representative Erica Varlese said. â€śThis means that the registry, in this case Knock Knock WHOIS There, receives the wholesale cost, ICANN receives their fees, and the registrar retains the rest.â€ť
The .blog team has started experimenting with different marketing programs to promote the extension among registrars and launched its first campaigns last month.
â€śThese programs are available to any .blog accredited registrar and, through participation, allows them to provide .blog domains to their customers at a discounted rate,â€ť Varlese said. â€śIt is designed to test price elasticity and various end-user marketing techniques that best fit each registrarsâ€™ unique customer-base.â€ť
Registration for .blog domains is fully integrated into WordPress.comâ€™s domain offerings, but Varlese said that Knock Knock WHOIS There, as a separate company, is not informed of the specific details of their domain roadmap. The subsidiary also does not track how many of the .blog domains are running WordPress, as the extension is platform agnostic and in use across many different blogging services.
So far .blog domain customers include both individuals and businesses, including some e-commerce and community sites. Varlese said the main benefit to acquiring a .blog domain is that customers are more likely to get and use a name they always wanted (example.blog), versus settling for a more complicated variation, such as blog.example.com.
â€śUsing a blog domain is also a great way to embrace engagement with your community,â€ť Varlese said. â€śIn addition to individual and personal bloggers, we also see larger brands using blogs to engage with their customers. Visiting stackoverflow.blog, for example, is intuitive. The domain lets me know right away what type of content and interaction to expect versus what my expectations would be when prompted to visit stackoverflow.com. Both are equally important and both add value to the customerâ€™s online experience.â€ť
Many people purchase a domain just to sit on it for the right time to use it or sell. Greater usage of .blog domains promotes visibility on the web, which is why registrars place value on how many have launched websites using the extension.
â€śOur goal is steady, long-term growth while continuing to increase our usage rates,â€ť Varlese said. â€śWe want every .blog domain to resolve to a unique content site or blog. Usage is an important metric for us. It positively contributes to help the new TLD marketplace thrive and grow organically. It is at the forefront of every decision we make, including marketing and rebate programs for our registrars, as well as our dotblogger program, which gives online influencers easy access to all .blog domains, including premium and reserved domains.â€ť
The .blog teamâ€™s 100,000 registrations milestone post cites usage stats from Pandalytics, a domains data service, that are not publicly available.
â€ś66.5% of .blog domains have a unique website associated with them, compared to an average of 39.3% for both new and legacy TLDs, according to recent research by Daniel Ruzzini-Mejia (co-founder and CSO of DomainsBot Srl, the company behind big-data analysis platform Pandalytics),â€ť Varlese said. â€śRuzzini-Mejia also found more than 250 .blog domains that use an eCommerce platform.â€ť
This is an interesting find in an era where many have claimed that blogs are dead. If the indie web proponents have their way, blogs may have another renaissance yet, and could become the anchors of commerce and identity online. The healthy usage numbers the .blog extension has posted in its first year are a strong indicator that the concept of blogging still holds an important place on the web.
Updated: 26th Jul 2017
WPTavern: Adobe to Discontinue Flash Support and Updates in 2020
Adobe announced today that it will discontinue Flash support and updates at the end of 2020. Flash played an important part in the history of the web, inspiring many of the open standards and formats that the web has moved on to embrace.
Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners â€“ including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla â€“ Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.
Last year most major browsers moved to block Flash, requiring users to enable it manually for sites where they wish to view Flash content. Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla were on deck today with announcements of their own regarding future Flash support. Firefox is the most aggressive with its plan to disable Flash for most users in 2019. Only those running an Extended Support Release will be able to continue using it through the end of 2020 and no version of Firefox will load the plugin after Adobe discontinues security patches.
Chrome is also phasing out support for Flash and plans to remove it completely from the browser toward the end of 2020.
â€śThree years ago, 80 percent of desktop Chrome users visited a site with Flash each day,â€ť Google Chrome Product Manager Anthony Laforge said. â€śToday usage is only 17 percent and continues to decline.
â€śThis trend reveals that sites are migrating to open web technologies, which are faster and more power-efficient than Flash. Theyâ€™re also more secure, so you can be safer while shopping, banking, or reading sensitive documents.â€ť
The Microsoft Edge team also announced its plans to phase out Flash from both Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer with complete removal from all supported versions of Microsoft Windows by the end of 2020.
Although HTML5 adoption is growing among game developers, Adobeâ€™s announcement means major changes for segments of the the gaming, education, and video industries that have not yet migrated to newer, open formats. This news will also make obsolete dozens of WordPress plugins that were created to upload and display Flash content.
Adobeâ€™s announcement was met with thanks and â€śgood riddance,â€ť with many calling for an even speedier timeline. Many are also concerned about all the orphaned content and .swf games on the web that Flashâ€™s disappearance will create. Adobe has received many requests on Twitter for the company to consider open sourcing the old Flash Player codebase for the sake of compatibility and archiving content. Adobe has not officially replied to any of these requests.
Updated: 26th Jul 2017
HeroPress: Random Diary Chapters
There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
I have no idea what Iâ€™m going to write about. How about people? Ordinary people are heroes to me. People who are willing to help one another. People just like you and me.
Well, at least like you â€“ if youâ€™re for some reason reading my diary.
Whoâ€™s teaching who
I still remember when I build my first website with table layouts while studying math in the University of JyvĂ¤skylĂ¤. Those were the days! But it doesnâ€™t feel like yesterday anymore. More like day before.
Nevertheless being a math teacher has been the perfect choice for me. Itâ€™s been fun, challenging, and rewarding. Iâ€™ve probably learnt lot more from students than they have from me.
Heck, they even got me into WordPress when I was taking my ex-students short film course. Was it 2008? Something like that. We needed a website for our short film and had only 1-2 days. Students gave me link to WordPress.com and I was sold. Getting site up and running was easy and fast.
â€śWell come here and do it yourself!!â€ť â€“ drama class student shouted.
Thatâ€™s another good lesson Iâ€™ve learnt.
Itâ€™s so easy to give negative feedback (donâ€™t do it like that) without doing anything yourself or giving constructive feedback.
Oh boy I still feel ashamed when I judged a book by itâ€™s cover. This time the book cover was a blonde girl asking weird questions with high voice. I was a prison of my prejudice and instantly assumed she must be bad at math. How wrong was I. She was brilliant.
At least the prison gate is now open if I just understand to walk out.
Who am I
Sometimes I wonder what other people think of me? Do they think Iâ€™m open minded teacher, or front-developer who cares about accessibility. But does any of that matter? Job title really doesnâ€™t tell anything who I am. Or anybody else.
But who am I? Iâ€™m not sure how to define me. Iâ€™m no dad or husband. I do have several good traits but there are also demons inside me. Lack of empathy is one of them. And that comes down to this:
In the end Iâ€™m a selfish asshole.
Itâ€™s okay to be selfish from time to time but itâ€™s not okay to let people down big time when they need me most. Being an ordinary human being is not one of my strengths but Iâ€™ll promise to work on it.
Friends will be friends
I consider myself lucky. I have lovely parents and two crazy big brothers. And over the years I have made friendships that last forever.
I hope everybody have a friend who is like a bridge between other friends. Someone who is always organizing something fun: bowling, music gigs, dinners, sports. Someone who is always nice to others and would never hurt a fly.
I had a friend like that.
But as a return I couldnâ€™t help him enough. Shadows of life had taken over him. He could not see the light anymore. He died by suicide before christmas 2015.
Now he canâ€™t fall anymore. He will always be our beloved one and weâ€™ll miss him more than words can express. So many songs reflects to memories we have. For example this Finnish song that I heard exactly one year after his death. (Lyrics in english).
Why is it so much easier to talk about other problems but not your own. Why is it so hard to ask help when you really need it.
Life goes on
Do I need to say anything. No I donâ€™t.
WordPress is not important
WordPress is not important. People behind it are, they have feelings. I wish more people would remember that when commenting on blog posts, Slack, or other online tools with shitty attitudes.
Being nice and constructive goes a long way.
AtÂ the same time itâ€™s amazing to notice how WordPress combines people together from all over the world. In WordCamps and meetups I have found new friends that really matter. That feels good.
Maybe WordPress is important after all.
WPTavern: SiteLock Acquires Patchmanâ€™s Malware and Vulnerability Detection Technology, Expands WordPress Customer Base to 4 Million
Updated: 25th Jul 2017
WPTavern: SiteLock Acquires Patchmanâ€™s Malware and Vulnerability Detection Technology, Expands WordPress Customer Base to 4 Million
SiteLock, a website security company, has acquired Patchman, a Dutch security startup that offers automated vulnerability patching and malware removal for hosting providers. Prior to the acquisition SiteLock protected 6 million sites, with 2.2 million of them running on WordPress. The addition of Patchman extends SiteLockâ€™s customer base to 12 million sites and more than 4 million of those are powered by WordPress.
Patchman detects vulnerabilities in a wide range of popular applications and quarantines and patches threats automatically. The quarantine feature neutralizes malicious files by removing them from public access. Patchman supports detection and patching for WordPress 3.x and later.
Historically, the service has not included patches for plugins but it has applied them on a case-by-case basis for high impact vulnerabilities, including a few found in WP Super Cache, MailPoet, and the open source Genericons font project. The Patchman dashboard allows users to easily track files where vulnerabilities have been detected, view status, and revert patches if necessary.
Patchmanâ€™s single focus on hosting providers gives SiteLock the opportunity to offer more options to its hosting partners. With the acquisition, the company is now partering with more than 500 hosting providers, including BlueHost, 1&1, Web.com, InMotion, Melbourne IT, GMO (NTT), and many others.
â€śDuring our early talks, Patchman was not looking to be acquired and SiteLock wasnâ€™t looking to acquire,â€ť SiteLock President Neill Feather said. After meeting at the WorldHostingDays show in Rust, Germany in late March this year and at another show in Los Angeles, the companies found they shared similar goals and would be in a better position working together.
â€śIt truly was a matter of 1+1=3,â€ť Feather said. â€śTraditionally, SiteLock is very strong in detecting and removing malware for end users. Patchman offers a service tailored specifically to hosting providers and aimed at fixing the security vulnerabilities that hackers exploit to infect websites with malware. By working together we are able to address a wider market and offer a broader solution to the problems that we solve for our customers. We can now attack the problem from multiple angles.â€ť
Patchmanâ€™s technology will compliment SiteLockâ€™s existing security features but the company has not yet decided how it will be incorporated into its security plans for customers. Feather said the team is still jointly building out its future roadmap to give hosts and end customers access to a wider range of products. They are also considering making Patchmanâ€™s detection technology compatible with more products in the WordPress ecosystem.
Feather could not disclose any specifics on revenue generated by SiteLockâ€™s WordPress security products but approximately 30% of its newly expanded customer base is running on WordPress.
â€śWhat we can say is that weâ€™re heavily invested in the WordPress community and plan on continuing to do so,â€ť Feather said.
â€śIâ€™m excited that the increased number of sites we now protect across multiple platforms means weâ€™ll be able to identify malware and malicious trends more efficiently than weâ€™ve been able to already, and thatâ€™s good for every end user,â€ť SiteLockâ€™s WordPress Evangelist Adam Warner said. â€śSecondly, although we already have solutions for our partners, Patchman allows web hosts to offer increased security options for advanced users of their platforms. Being a WordPress guy, Iâ€™m excited about the possibility we now have to extend the capabilities of Patchman to plugins and other WordPress-specific software.â€ť
Updated: 25th Jul 2017
WPTavern: Watch WordCamp Varna Wapuus Get Designed in Real Time
The very first WordCamp Varna will be held September 2-3 at the University of Economics. Varna is a beautiful city in Bulgaria on the Black Sea and a popular spot for summer holidays. It is the first Bulgarian WordCamp to be held outside of Sofia.
Tickets are on sale for EUR 10 (BGN 20) and include all the sessions, lunch, a #WCVAR 2017 T-shirt, and a few drinks at the after party. There are 102 remaining for the conference and 14 remaining tickets for the kidsâ€™ workshop (ages 7-14).
The location naturally inspired a maritime sticker pack collection for attendees, featuring four new wapuu designs. The collection was designed by the vector graphic illustrators at GraphicMama, a design partner for the WordCamp. Ever wonder how much effort goes into designing all the individualized creations in the world of wapuus? Check out the video below to see how WordCamp Varnaâ€™s wapuu designs were brought to life.