Matt Mullenweg has taken a sabbatical and will only return in May 2024 and in his absence Toni Schneider will be the CEO at Automattic. The schedule for WordPress 6.5, the first major release of this year has been published. We can expect the Beta 1 next week. The call for nominations to join the Incident Response Team is now open.
Don’t forget to subscribe and listen to the podcast version of this newsletter on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, where you can hear more details and discussions about these topics and more.
See you next week!
📰 WORDPRESS & AROUND
All the updates around WordPress and its closely related technologies
- Matt Mullenweg taking a three-month sabbatical from being Automattic’s CEO: Matt Mullenweg has announced that he is taking a sabbatical for three months and is only set to return in May 2024. Till then Toni Schneider will hold the reins at Automattic.
- WordPress 6.4.3 – Maintenance and Security release: This security and maintenance release features 5 fixes on Core, 16 fixes for the Block Editor, and 2 security fixes. However, after this release users soon reported issues in uploading zip files created in MacOS, and a fix is expected in 6.4.4.
- What’s new in Gutenberg 17.6: The latest version brings new interactivity API directives, footnotes available for custom post types, and more.
- New commit message requirements in Git: Hello props bot: Props Bot is a new GitHub Action that will compile a list of contributors for a given pull request. The bot will leave a comment with a list of contributors formatted for use in both Trac SVN and GitHub.
- Proposal: Implement a PHP autoloader in WordPress Core: The proposal seeks to implement a PHP autoloader for Core classes and initial tests show an improvement in loading time, CPU resources, and memory consumption.
- Call for Mentees & Mentors: Contributor Mentorship Program Cohort #2 (2024 Q1): The application for mentees and mentors for the second WordPress Contributor Mentorship Program cohort for the first quarter of 2024 is still open. The deadline for the submission is February 7, 2024.
- Incident Response Team: Call for nominations: The nominations to join the team are open till February 14, 2024.
- Faculty survey results – Q1 2024: The post provides an update on the survey conducted among the Training Team Faculty members to gain insights into their experiences and perspectives.
- Reflecting on the NextGen Events Pilot project and looking ahead: The post provides an update from the Community Team regarding their learnings, reflections, and a vision for the future of innovative WordPress events.
- Hallway Hangout: Intrinsic design: The upcoming hallway hangout on February 8th will discuss solving design problems using Intrinsic design and discuss ways to solve adjacent problems, where more granular controls and tools are needed.
- HTTP/3 is now enabled for all Automattic services: This new improvement will result in reduced latency, improved multiplexing, improved security, and reliability.
- Google boss addresses concerns of AI replacing advertising staff post layoffs: Google officially clarified that it has no plans to replace its advertising sales staff with AI. Philipp Schindler, Google’s senior vice president, explains AI is being utilized to deliver ROI at scale more efficiently.
- Google investigating widespread issue impacting Ad Manager: Affected users can access Google Ad Manager but are seeing error messages, high latency, and/or unexpected behavior.
- Google retires cached site links, pushing users towards internet archive: Google has officially retired the “cached” link feature that allowed users to access archived backups of websites. The cached links were a longtime staple of Google Search, functioning as a way to view unavailable or changed webpages.
- Google confirms indexing delay affecting ‘small number of sites’: Google has acknowledged an ongoing problem with its search engine indexing that is slowing down the indexing process for “some” websites.
🚨 WEB SECURITY & VULNERABILITIES
A collection of web security and vulnerability news and updates for the past week
- Local file inclusion vulnerability patched in Shield Security WordPress plugin: All users are advised to update to the latest version immediately.
- Mastodon vulnerability allows hackers to hijack any decentralized account: The decentralized social network Mastodon has disclosed a critical security flaw that enables malicious actors to impersonate and take over any account.
- Wordfence Intelligence Weekly WordPress Vulnerability Report (January 22, 2024 to January 28, 2024): There were 52 vulnerabilities disclosed in 42 plugins.
- WordPress vulnerability report — January 31, 2024: Weekly vulnerability report from SolidWP.
- Vulnerability & Patch Roundup January 2024: Monthly vulnerability round-up report from Sucuri
🔌 NEW PLUGINS & THEMES
Be one of the first ones to explore some fresh plugins and themes
- One Business Blocks theme: A theme suitable for business websites.
- Quantumshop theme: A theme well suited for online shopping websites.
- WooCommerce discount manager plugin: The plugin allows users to easily create and display flexible WooCommerce discount rules.
- WebToffee gift cards for WooCommerce plugin: The plugin allows users to create digital gift cards on their WooCommerce store and can also allow customers to purchase, redeem, and share gift cards from the store.
💵 INVESTMENTS, ACQUISITIONS & PARTNERSHIPS
- Updraft WP Software Ltd. acquires WPGetAPI: WPGetAPI that allows users to connect to virtually any REST API, format, and display the returned data on the WordPress website without writing a single line of code has been acquired by Updraft WP Software Ltd.
- Welcome GrooveHQ to the WPBeginner Growth Fund: WPBeginner Growth Fund has taken an investment stake in GrooveHQ, a top-rated customer support help desk software.
- WPPluginsPlus acquired by Our Web Services Ltd: Andrew Palmer on X announced the acquisition of WPPlugins Plus by Dave Grey and in the coming months the plugins will be rebranded, and have their licensing & updates migrated to Freemius, and be ready to be relaunched on their new home at Our WP Plugins.
- Nexcess and Liquid Web: One brand to redefine web hosting: Nexcess is now becoming one brand with Liquid Web, marking a new chapter in the realm of web hosting services.
👥 COMMUNITY NEWS
Updates and News from the WordPress Community
- All new WPML Export and Import 1.0: This new add-on plugin introduces a better way to export and import multilingual WordPress content.
- Introducing new WooCommerce developer documentation: The new WooCommerce Developer Documentation site is designed to assist developers in building powerful e-commerce stores, crafting unique extensions or themes, and contributing directly to enhancing WooCommerce itself.
- New in Brizy Cloud: Language Localisation: This new functionality allows the Brizy Cloud dashboard and the website builder interface to be displayed in 14 different languages and is meant to make the process of building sites easier and more comfortable for all users.
- FrankenPHP 1.1 released: The latest version brings Brotli compression, custom php.ini, and Caddyfile for standalone apps and more improvements.
- Shahjahan Jewel has invested in xCloud: xCloud is a cloud hosting and server management solution designed to simplify how users host, deploy, and manage WordPress websites. This is his second investment, with the first being WPManageNinja.
- Playground now supports multisites: Adam Zieliński on X has announced that Playground now supports multisites.
- 8G firewall addon: Protect against rogue PHP file attacks: This addon for the 8G Firewall protects against the new rogue-PHP-files attack.
- The Wordfence 2023 State of WordPress Security Report: The security report is now available and explores the changes in the threat landscape, analyze impactful trends, and provide recommendations based on their findings.
- Reintroducing Shiny New Plugins: A blog series from Matt Cromwell in which he will be covering some of the newest plugins on the WordPress Plugin Directory.
- Feedback wanted: WooCommerce’s new “Coming Soon” mode: James Kemp, the Product Lead at WooCommerce is looking for feedback from the community on new features set to arrive in WooCommerce shortly.
- Dreb Bitanghol receives the Yoast Care fund for his contribution to the WordPress community: Dreb Bitanghol an active member of the WordPress community team is the latest recipient of the Yoast Care fund.
🔖 INTERESTING READS & PODCASTS
More blog posts and podcasts from WordPress Community you don’t want to miss
- CAPTCHA vs. reCAPTCHA: 7 Key differences and how to choose: From MelaPress
- Mike Auteri on using GatherPress to organise WordPress events: From WP Tavern Jukebox
- Why your website matters: From WordPress Briefing
- Plugins: From banned to back: From Half-Elf on Tech
- The importance of accessibility in WordPress: From Yoast
- A primer on autoloading in WordPress: From Tanner Record
- What is credential stuffing & How can you prevent account takeovers?: From Jetpack
- A big change is coming to Advanced Custom Fields. Are you prepared?: From The WP Minute
- Experience the power and versatility of WordPress Twenty Twenty-Four Theme: From A Bright Clear Web
- The future of WordPress themes: Trends to watch in 2024: From WP Reset
- The infamous Repository Pattern in PHP: From Doeke Norg
- Research: WordPress publications misuse tags: From Fewer Tags
- xCloud control panel for VPS and WordPress sites: From David McCan
- Software developers and technical articles in the era of AI: Tom McFarlin
🛠 GUIDE ZONE – HOWTO’S and MORE
Handpicked fresh guides from WordPress circle
- Adding starter patterns to your WordPress themes: From WordPress Developer Blog
- Creating an about page using patterns: From WordPress TV
- How to reinstall WordPress: 6 Methods explained: From Jetpack
- How to integrate a payment gateway and checkout with your static site: From Kinsta
- How to add custom fonts to WordPress: From RankMath
- How to enable two-factor authentication on your WordPress site: From WPMarmite
📆 SAVE THE DATES
Do not miss a WordPress event ever again
- WordPress Photo Festival 2024 on February 3rd – 10th 2024: The online event is organized by the Kerala WordPress community. Submit your photos with the hashtag #WPKeralaPhotos to win $100.
- WordCamp Pune on February 17th, 2024: WordCamp Pune 2024 is looking for sponsors.
- WordCamp Asia on March 7-9, 2024: The organizers are on the lookout for passionate individuals to lead the Community Team Table during the Contributor Day.
- WPEngine Decode 2024: The registrations are now open and the event will take place on March 19 in the U.S. and March 21 in EMEA.
- WordCamp Europe on 13-15 June 2024: The call for speakers, volunteers and sponsors is live.
- WordCamp Canada on July 11-13, 2024: The call for speakers is out.
🎁 WORDPRESS DEALS OF THE WEEK
Just the best deals of the week, again, handpicked by yours truly!
- 4 Months free offer on hosting plans of WP Engine (Coupon Code- FREEDOMTOCREATE)
- 15% off yearly plans at Videvo (Coupon Code – WPV15)
- 40% off for 4 months on all hosting plans + 40 free migrations at Cloudways (Coupon Code – BFCM4040)
- 53% off for NordLocker
- Up to 75% off on plugins, themes and hosting at WP Hive
- 50% off Web Hosting Packages at StableHost (Coupon Code – 50OFFYEAR1)
- 80% off for plugins at WPPool
- Up to 77% off hosting plans at HostPapa
- 60% off for Advanced Giftcards for WooCommerce plugin
- Upto 55% off hosting plans at Nexcess
- 86% off at AtlasVPN
- 30% off for Fluent Forms plugin
- 50% off at Formidable Forms
- 30% off for FluentCRM plugin
- 50% off for WP Social Ninja plugin
- Upto 95% off for PitchGround products
- Upto 75% off WordPress Hosting plans at InMotion Hosting
- 83% off hosting plans at SiteGround
- 75% off at Hostgator India (Coupon Code- HGOFFER)
- Up to 74% off at Liquid Web
- 52% off on Managed Dedicated Server Hosting at Liquid Web
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