After a time formatting bug caused a 24-hour delay, WordPress 6.2, code-named “Dolphy”, was released on March 29th. According to core contributor Jean-Baptiste Audras, 607 people from at least 50 countries were part of the release squad.
Perhaps the biggest development in 6.2 is that the “beta” label has been removed from the Site Editor. The feature was first added in WordPress 5.9 and has undergone steady improvements. A new interface has been implemented this time around.
Other enhancements include a revamped UI for both the Block Inserter and individual block controls. Direct access to Openverse media has also been added, allowing users to search, download, and insert openly-licensed content into their sites.
For a rundown of key features, check out a handy guide from GoDaddy’s Courtney Robertson.
Next up (listen to the podcast for more): StellarWP’s Matt Cromwell takes a look at marketing tactics in the WordPress ecosystem.
Matt Cromwell WordPress Marketing segment
Here’s a hot-take: A lot of the WordPress people who are bothered by the marketing tactics at Awesome Motive aren’t really what most would consider to be experts in marketing.
Look, I’ve done a lot of marketing over the years and still wouldn’t consider myself an “expert” — that’s because the range of strategies and tactics available are immense.
Syed Balkhi, founder of Awesome Motive, happens to be one of the few in the WordPress space who not only is highly experienced in marketing, but also is well-known and highly respected in the broader field of content and content marketing outside of the WordPress space.
This doesn’t mean I’m justifying his tactics here at all. What I’m saying is that before everyone screams “foul”, they need to push the limits of what they know about how marketing works a lot harder.
For example, I personally — like many of you — hated the whole experience of cancelling an Awesome Motive subscription recently. They went to the far extremes of subscription cancellation. But I also took notes along the way because there’s some research and experience in there that I’ve never touched personally.
In another example, I’ll be extremely direct: last year Awesome Motive acquired the far-distant-second largest WordPress donation plugin called Charitable. Soon after that, any and all mentions of GiveWP in WP Beginner articles sank several steps further down the list of recommendations. We literally saw a 5-figure revenue dip in our referral traffic as a result. Naturally, I don’t love this tactic — but can they demote their competitor in those articles and give preference to their own? They can, and if I were in their shoes I’d do the same — but of course with more transparent messaging about ownership. Just as Medeiros said in his piece that stirred this kettle again: “Awesome Motive isn’t the company you want it to be, it’s the company they want it to be.”
I’d go a step further and add “If you don’t like it, do better.” Easier said than done, but I’m in this space to do better and do it my way, not their way.
And now, it’s the Community Minute with Raquel Landefeld.
Raquel Landefeld talks about the return of WordCamp Phoenix
Hey everybody! This is Raquel with an update on events in our WordPress community.
Just over a week ago, a super WordCamp finally returned. As we all know, the pandemic torpedoed our in-person events and they have been slow to return, especially in North America. Well, through blood, sweat, & tears, the team that organizes WordCamp Phoenix made this happen!
WCPHX took place in downtown Phoenix, and, as expected, it came with all of the feels!
The weather was a gorgeous high-60°s-clear-sky’d perfection. The venue was perfectly located in downtown with easy accessibility to the airport and walkable to everything. And the people, oh the humans of WordPress showed up and showed up big and this is huge and much needed for local camps.
2022 brought WCUS & WCEU back and the inaugural WCAsia just commenced last February; these are regional events. Yet, the local camp scene has been extremely lacking.
The WCPHX team was ecstatic to, despite all of the obstacles, bring a super camp back. Our hope is that others follow suit. So whether a small local camp or a bit larger, super camp, let’s get our WordPress events back, Fam.
I am Raquel and you can reach me on Twitter @raquel__karina and @raquel in Slack. DMs are always open. Let’s be friends!
Links You Shouldn’t Miss
WordPress.com alerted users that its access to the Twitter API was suspended on April 4. No specific reason was provided by Twitter. As Sarah Gooding of WP Tavern reports, the API powers Jetpack’s Social Sharing feature. The situation was in limbo for a few hours, but service was eventually restored. During the outage, users couldn’t automatically tweet out new content from their websites. Ironically (or not), Twitter recently announced a “new era of transparency” at the company.
WordPress core contributor Mario Santos recently posted a proposal outlining the Interactivity API. This would enable developers to build blocks that are interactive on the front end. Santos notes examples including the ability to “heart” a post and performing an instant search. The project is currently experimental. A plugin is available for testing.
The makers of Beaver Builder have announced the launch of Assistant Pro. It’s a cloud storage and community template platform. Free page builder templates available for download. In addition, a marketplace allows users to both buy and sell. Templates can also be stored in the cloud and shared with team members.
A couple of popular commercial plugins have released critical security fixes. Elementor Pro patched a vulnerability that impacted sites running the page builder in conjunction with WooCommerce. Meanwhile, Advanced Custom Fields PRO patched a PHP object injection vulnerability. If you use either plugin, be sure to update to the latest version.
The name iThemes has long been recognizable in the WordPress ecosystem. The maker of popular plugins like BackupBuddy and iThemes Security Pro has undergone a name change. In order to better reflect their products, the company has announced a rebrand to SolidWP. iThemes customers shouldn’t notice any pricing changes or support disruption during the transition.
Classifieds listings buy yours
From the Grab Bag
Now it’s time to take a look at some other interesting topics shared by our contributors.
- Over on the members-only Post Status Slack server, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg encouraged the community to “spend as much time leveraging AI as possible”. WPFront.page has more details.
- WordPress LMS provider LearnDash announced that it has acquired developer Real Big Plugins. This brings several third-party add-ons in house.
- The WordPress Training Team has released an Introduction to WordPress Development syllabus. The aim is to create a logical path for learning how to build for the CMS.
- Justin Tadlock has published a proposal to overhaul the WordPress Theme Handbook.
- Joshua Strebel, co-founder of Pagely managed hosting, tweeted that he’s retiring from the company. Pagely was founded in 2009 and acquired by GoDaddy in 2021.
- WooCommerce will hold a 24-hour virtual contributor day on April 19. Both the core plugin and WooCommerce Blocks will be the focus of the event.
- Can you build an educational WordPress website in 15 minutes? CodeInWP is sponsoring a contest and is giving away $1,000 to the winner.
- Awesome Motive CEO Syed Balkhi tweeted that the company’s software can be found on over 25 million websites. A celebratory graphic was displayed outside the Nasdaq headquarters in New York City.
Thanks to all of the members who shared these links today:
- Anne-Mieke Bovelett
- Michelle Frechette
- Lawrence Ladomery
- Courtney Robertson
- Daniel Schutzsmith