This Week in WordPress: Upping the Stakes and Pushing PHP

This week’s round-up of WordPress news, views and reviews summarized in our daily email newsletter, The WhiP.

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Far Flung Places

(WordPress News)

Automattic has pocketed $25,000 after winning a court battle against a man who abused the DMCA to censor written by a student journalist.

From Serbia and Croatia to Ireland and Argentina, there are hundreds of growing WordPress communities around the world. Web host Kinsta has put together a guide to WordPress in far flung places.

Qards looks cool. Have you tried it yet? Version 1.1 of the drag and drop editor is now available.

Did you know WIRED is powered by WordPress? The site’s Director of Engineering explains how 17 active blogs were migrated into one install and developers created a custom plugin to give the final site artificial intelligence.

More than one-third of WordPress sites are running version 4.1, according to the latest stats.

WooThemes co-founder Adii Pienaar has bought a 30% stake in theme shop Obox. The South African-based agency recently released Layers, a page builder. Adii left WooThemes in 2013 and has been working on Receiptful, a new eCommerce receipts product.

WordPress.com VIP has released a WordPress security white paper to help the public learn more about the core software security. It’s available on the WordPress GitHub repository for any updates and/or additions.

The first version of Siobhan McKeown’s WordPress history book is out. The book, which Siobhan has been working on for two years, is expected to be produced sometime next month.

WordCamp Europe is now accepting applications for the 2016 host city and apparently it’s like applying to host the Olympic Games.

ThemeConf is a new UK-based conference for designers, themes, and front-end developers. It will be held in Keswick, England on June 18-19.

The WordPress Plugin Directory has been given a makeover and features a new design similar to the recently updated WordPress Themes Directory.

On the latest episode of WPWeekly, John James Jacoby talks about BuddyPress, bbPress, and GlotPress.

Pixel Jar co-founder Jeffrey Zinn features on the DradCast podcast.

The KitchenSinkWP podcast takes a look at Multisite and what’s it’s good for.

And on WPwatercooler, the discussion focuses on backlash and how to deal with it when it comes to your business, themes and plugins.

Update All the Things

(Opinion)

“… the only way to keep as many sites as possible updated is to forcefully turn on automatic updates for major releases, minor releases, plugins, and themes… the numbers indicate that millions of sites are running outdated code by choice which is unacceptable.” Jeff Chandler at WP Tavern says its time to autoupdate all the things.Should you go with VPS or dedicated hosting? WinningWP looks at the pros and cons of both options.

“Imagine not being allowed to buy a gallon of milk because you’re color blind. What a ridiculous scenario right!? But the reality is: Grocery stores don’t discriminate against those with disabilities…but your website (probably) does.” WebDevStudios explores the basics of developing accessible websites.

Tom McFarlin, who developed the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate, is handing over the project’s reins to Devin Vinson, a developer at Range. After four years working on the boilerplate, Tom has transferred ownership so he can focus on other projects.

Is Upfront a game changer? WebDesignerDepot takes a closer look at our new theme platform and what it has to offer.

Wocker is a new Docker-based WordPress development environment by WordCamp Kansai organizer Kite Koga.

Get the Drift

(Plugins and Themes)

We’ve released version 2.1 of Support System with a bunch of great new features, including new admin styling, shortcodes and performance improvements.

If you haven’t yet tried our new Upfront theme platform, check out our series on how it works and you’ll get the drift.

Pickle is a restaurant theme developed by Jason Schuller, who used to run Press75. The theme is packaged with a custom admin design to provide a seamless content-editing experience.

Elegant Themes offers a sneak peak at its new email opt-in plugin, Bloom.

Ninja Forms 2.9 is out and comes with user experience and performance improvements.

If You Build It…

(Tutorials, Tips and Tricks)

A Simple Guide to the WordPress Quicktags API (tuts+).

15 WordPress Hacks Busy Bloggers Will Love (Torque).

How to Add an Audio Music Player Widget in WordPress (WP Beginner).

How to Easily Create a Multilingual WordPress Site (WP Beginner).

Custom WP-API Authentication (WebDevStudios).

Build Your Own Online Marketplace Using WordPress (Elegant Themes).

How to Create Custom, Trackable, Short URLs For All Your WordPress Posts and Pages (Elegant Themes).

All the best for a thoughtful and productive Monday.
The WhiP took an unexpected break last week but we’re back! Today’s edition contains the best of the best of what we missed in recent days. Enjoy!


Bump It Up

(WordPress News)

WordPress can’t bump up the minimum PHP requirement for core withoutstranding 16.4% of sites on older versions of the software. That’s millions of sites. To help educate users on outdated versions of PHP, developer Coen Jacobs has launched WPupdatePHP.The WP Summit starts next Monday. WP Mayor takes a look at each of the online conference’s speakers and their credentials.

On the latest episode of WPwatercooler, the usual suspects discuss different ways to go about analyzing the stats for your site.

WebDevStudios and Maintainn are hiring for new front-end and backend developers.

Sucuri is urging MainWP Child WordPress users to update to the latest version. According to the security company, there’s a vulnerability in older versions of the plugins that allows anyone to login as an administrator only by knowing the target user’s handle.

bbPress 2.5.5 has been released and fixes three potential security vulnerabilities.

Werk It Out

(Opinion)

When you get custom work done on your site using a third-party service like Envato Studio or WerkPress, do you think twice before signing the dotted line? Lawyer Richard Best explores intellectual property and who own what.

Contracts are a vital part of the web design project. They keep everyone on the same page and they help ensure you get paid for the services you provide. Brenda Barron offers some advice on the Elegant Themes blog.

Under the Boardwalk

(Plugins and Themes)

Lovecraft is a new, free theme by theme author Anders Norén that’s inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft, an American horror fiction author known for his “weird realism.”

Boardwalk and Cubic, both by Automattic’s Thomas Guillot, are now available to download in the WordPress Theme Directory.

If you’re looking for a theme to promote a new product, check out our latest round-up of themes for showcasing apps and other cool stuff.

WP Engine’s GeoIP plugin has been made available to download for free in the WordPress Plugin Directory. The plugin allows sites to use a visitor’s location to serve them relevant, targeted content based on their country, state, city, and even zipcode.

Sticky Notes

(Tutorials, Tips and Tricks)

A Quick Overview of HTTP/2: What It Is, What to Expect, and What it Means for You (Torque).

How to Display the Latest Sticky Posts in WordPress (WP Beginner).

Shutting Up Shop

(Off-Topic, Random Stuff)

Tech blog GigaOm is shutting down because it’s run out of money and can’t pay its creditors. One would assume this includes Automattic since GigaOm is a WordPress.com VIP site.
All the best for a thoughtful and productive Tuesday.

Yes, The WhiP went on an unexpected break last week but it’s definitely not going away for good. Sorry if you missed your daily lashings of WordPress goodness!


White Screen of Death

(WordPress News)

More than a fifth of WordPress users have “no idea” how to backup their site or have “very little training” in how to use the software, according to a CodeGuard survey. Interestingly, 24% of those surveyed said their site was their livelihood and they would “pay almost anything for a complete restore.”

Spell It Out

(Opinion)

If you haven’t given a second thought to the terms and conditions you publish on your site, lawyer Richard Best offers three stories that spell out how important they actually are.

Is CSS Hero the best plugin for WordPress customization?

Over at WebDevStudios, developer Jay Wood offers some tips and tricks onhow to deal with brute force attacks by yourself on your own server.

Cool Bananas

(Plugins and Themes)

Whether you run a busy forum with hundreds of users or simply want to connect site owners in your Multisite network, our new plugin Private Messaging will help you build a more engaged and friendly community.

With Upfront you can customize your site with CSS, all with live preview. It really is cool to play around with.

Mentionable is a free, new plugin that brings the power of @mention inside TinyMCE.

Version 2.6.5 of the popular Antispam Bee plugin is now available with a new feature that allows administrators to trust commenters with a Gravatar.

Tour the Sites

(Tutorials, Tips and Tricks)

WordPress Multisite Database Tour (Delicious Brains).

Some Of The Best UX And UI Tools And Resources That You Can Use(WebDesignLedger).

Display the Most Recent Post in Each Category (tuts+).

5 Best Contact Form Plugins for WordPress Compared (WP Beginner).

Making an Admin Options Page With the WordPress Settings API(WPShout).

The Mesh of Information Mine?

(Off-Topic, Random Stuff)

xkcd on predicting the success or failure of a new product.

The best $10,000 you’ll ever spend… for at least two years when you need to get a new Apple Watch.

Mine of Information, The Information Mine, and The Mesh were other names Tim Berners-Lee considered when naming the World Wide Web, according to his Reddit AMA.

Chronus is a Chrome extension that helps you track how much time you waste on sites like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter.

All the best for a thoughtful and productive Wednesday.


Paint Job

(WordPress News)

WordPress SEO users are being urged to update to the latest version after a blind SQL injection vulnerability was discovered in the popular plugin.The WordPress Foundation website has been given a makeover and now uses the Twenty Fifteen theme. Sarah Gooding at WP Tavern takes a look at other sites that are using the default theme.

Snakes in a Plugin

(Opinion)

On the Sucuri blog, Senior Malware Researcher Denis Sinegubko dissects an inverted trojan – malware that adds useful features to WordPress.

Snakes in a plugin? Duncan Stuart from agency dxw in London demonstrates the most common vulnerability his company finds when conducting security reviews of WordPress plugins.

Engaging your visitors is vital to growing your site’s audience, and enabling comments is one way to help you achieve this. Our review of the free version of Disqus has certainly stirred a few reactions.

Jennifer Bourn can’t say enough nice things about the recent Prestige Conference in Las Vegas. It was the second Prestige event and unlike WordCamps the speakers get paid.

If you get a bit anxious when tax time rolls around, check out iThemes’ tips on how to survive and thrive during the tax season.

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? Developer Josh Pollock applies it to WordPress.

Spam Sandwich

(Plugins and Themes)

Akismet 3.1 is out and includes a bug fix that prevents it from inadvertently modifying a comment’s content during the spam filtering process.

Easy Digital Downloads 2.3 is also out and comes with a new customer management interface, performance improvements, and new APIs that allow developers to interact with customer data behind the scenes.

Know Your Limits

(Tutorials, Tips and Tricks)

How to Limit Authors to their Own Posts in WordPress Admin (WP Beginner).
How To: Update Old Posts Correctly to Help Your Visitors & Boost Your SEO (WP Lift).
How to Restore Your WordPress Website With CodeGuard (tuts+).
Create a Simple CRM in WordPress: Creating Custom Fields (tuts+).

Choosing The Best Permalink Structure For WordPress (Pagely).

Cheap?

(Off-Topic, Random Stuff)

Have you ever wondered how much it costs people to visit your site? It costs users in Germany 10 cents to access WordPress.org, while users in Sri Lanka can visit the site for free.
All the best for a thoughtful and productive Thursday.