An App Store for WordPress.com? Performance Team Gathers Steam. WP Notify. FSE Beta. Block is Beautiful. Security, Plugin, Dev, Acquisitions.
An App Store for WordPress — .com?
Donna Cavalier recently announced on the WordPress.com blog that “instant purchases of plugins, themes, and even services” are “coming soon” to WordPress.com. In fact, they are coming “right within” the WordPress.com dashboard.
The new App Store-like experience is described as providing an integrated and “curated selection” of the “best” plugins, “premium” themes, and services. “Professional help” is mentioned too, along with “managed” plugins and themes.
WordPress plugin and theme developers can fill out a form within the announcement to get on an “early access list.” We signed up and will share what we learn in the future.
Some of our members in Post Status Slack feel like this is indeed an “App Store for WordPress.” Notably, Matt Mullenweg is quoted in the announcement:
And of course, we will prioritize working with developers and companies who participate in Five for the Future and contribute back to the WP community.
Scott Murcott asks on the Freemius blog: Is the WooCommerce Marketplace a good platform for selling your WooCommerce extensions? — especially if you want greater control and share of revenues? It’s a take from a competing marketplace but a question in every Woo or WordPress product owner’s mind.
Getting Up to Speed with the Performance Team
The Performance Lab plugin has been released!
As Felix Arntz from the core Performance Team explains, this plugin is a collection of performance-related “feature projects” for WordPress core. This “beta” plugin includes several modules including WebP Uploads (which creates a WebP version for new JPEG image uploads), WebP Support (which adds a check to Site Health), Persistent Object Cache Health Check, and Audit Enqueued Assets, which adds a CSS and JS resource check to the Site Health status.
It’s exciting to see progress from this new team that came together about six months ago in October 2021. If you want to learn more about the team’s active progress, check out this recent episode of Post Status Excerpt with Felix Arntz and Thierry Muller.
Take Note of WP Notify
Jonathan Bossenger, fresh from appearances on a recent Post Status Comments episode and the WP Tavern Jukebox dives even deeper into WP Notify on his own site. WP Notify aims to create a new and better way to manage and deliver notifications in the WordPress admin interface:
The site user can choose which notifications they wish to receive, from which source (WordPress core, plugins, theme), and via which channel (if multiple channels are available).”
Fixing — or actually having a proper system for — Admin Notifications is really important. WP Notify is surely going to be the fix, thanks to community contributors. Check it out and pitch in if you can lend a hand. 🛠️
When Will FSE Come out of Beta?
There is a discussion unfolding around the question, “When is it time to remove the beta label from Appearance > Edit for Full Site Editing in the WordPress 5.9 admin area?” So far the popular opinion is that FSE is not ready yet, and some things should be established before it matures out of beta. We agree with that position.
For a digest of everything happening to make and maintain WordPress this week, see This Week at WordPess.org for March 7.
Block is Beautiful
The Museum of Block Art is a recently launched project that hopes to inspire creativity and push the limits of art with WordPress. Each piece featured on the site was constructed using the block editor.
This is wild, beautiful work — check out this image by Tammie Lister.
According to its origin story, the Museum site was designed and built by Beatriz Fialho, Product Designer at Automattic. Here’s why:
Anything that would enable both artful and practical inspiration for using the block editor and related tools I believe is very much needed especially for those exposed to the block editor (and now Full Site Editing) for the first time.
WordPress Security Issues Up 150% in 2021
Patchstack has released a State of WordPress Security report for 2021, and it’s a doozy. Some highlights:
- 29% of plugins with critical vulnerabilities, received no public patch.
- 2021 saw a 150% rise in security bugs reported in the WordPress ecosystem.
- 42% of WordPress sites ran at least one vulnerable component.
- 99.31% of all security bugs were in components.
- WordPress core had 4 security releases. One was critical but involved a dependency, not WordPress core itself.
Plugin Notes and Changelogs
If you use BuddyBoss, you might be interested in a newly released integration with WP Offload Media — which also has an update for WordPress 5.9 compatibility.
Joost de Valk explains how the Yoast development team built a “pretty cool” feature for Yoast SEO but had to remove it. Why? There were unintended side effects discovered just before its release.
The big takeaway: “you need to think about crawlers when building web functionality.”
Joost notes how this story demonstrates the importance of testing, but knowing what to test for is even more important.
David Bisset asks on Twitter what was the FIRST WordPress plugin you (not a client or employer) paid for? Over 100 replies came in, and it looks like Gravity Forms and Advanced Custom Fields are the most common answers. This thread is worth a read for the unexpected history and insights, like Marc Benzakein‘s tweet:
“It’s the plugin that got me into WordPress in the first place. It was called phpBayPro and it allowed you to bring in a feed from eBay. To this day, best $49 I ever spent.”
Acquisition News: WPExperts
After their recent acquisition of the Post SMTP plugin, WPExperts has also acquired Ben Huson‘s Password Protected plugin. It currently has over 300,000 installs. Some goals for the plugin’s future development include making it “more developer-friendly.”
Sarah Gooding over at WP Tavern notes that “WPExperts founder Saad Iqbal said he plans to introduce some updates with an aim to produce a commercial version in a few months.”
The WordPress marketplace is up to a total of eight acquisitions on the year.
Congrats to WPExperts for becoming a WordPress VIP Silver Agency Partner this week too.
Dev Notes and Tips
Developers concerned with accessibility will want to read this note from Steve Faulkner on
aria-owns which allows developers to restructure parent-child relationships in the accessibility tree.
Sam Julien offers advice for developers who are introverts. Introverts need to network to build their careers just like everyone else.
Anyone can benefit from these tips on making others feel welcome, giving first (then giving some more), showing genuine gratitude, finding common ground with people, and following up the right way.
Cloudways has recommended fifteen Full Site Editing themes. Most of them are getting 50-100 downloads a day with a few notable exceptions. Twenty Twenty-Two gets 7,500 downloads per day and is the most popular.
If you’re starting down the FSE road this is a nice “best of” list to inspire you and set a standard.