Howdy, WordPress friends. We are back with yet another edition of The WordPress Update for November 2018.
If you’re not already familiar with The WordPress Update, it’s our monthly WordPress news roundup where we share everything that’s happening in the WordPress community, as well as our thoughts on the latest stories. Then, we post it here on the blog and send it out to our newsletter subscribers.
If you want to stay on top of the latest WordPress news and make sure you get all the future versions of The WordPress Update, the best thing to do is to sign up for the newsletter.
This month, the big news is WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg block editor, so expect plenty of news stories on what’s happening there, and why we still don’t have a full WordPress 5.0 release.
Beyond the bevy of WordPress 5.0 news, there are also some people doing neat things with Gutenberg blocks, as well as a couple behind-the-scenes looks at running theme and plugin shops.
Keep reading for all the WordPress news from November.
WordPress 5.0 release date pushed back…then pushed back again
The last time I checked in with you, I told you that WordPress 5.0 was tentatively scheduled for release on November 19, though there was some wiggle room built into that date.
Well, the targeted release date has officially “wiggled”.
First, the WordPress core team pushed back the release date to November 27, in line with the “8 days of wiggle room” from the schedule.
But…November 27 has now passed with no release, though the core team did push out the WordPress 5.0 Release Candidate 1 on November 23, which is a test version that has all the features of the eventual WordPress 5.0 release.
In the news post for the Release Candidate, the core team only said that “A final release date will be announced soon, based on feedback on the RC.”
So when might that release date be? Well, if the core team follows the guidelines from their initial “WordPress 5.0 Scope and Schedule” post, it shouldn’t be before January 8, 2019.
The plan was that, if WordPress 5.0 couldn’t be released on November 27 or before, the whole thing would just be pushed back to January to avoid shipping a major release over the holidays.
So…that’s what should happen. But, some people seem determined to release WordPress 5.0 before the WordCamp US event in Nashville from December 7-9, so there are no assurances that they stick with that initial January approach.
Either way, keep an eye on your update notifications and give the Classic Editor plugin a look if you’re not quite ready to start using the new Gutenberg block editor.
Gutenberg blocks go to the Cloud
One of the things that makes the Gutenberg block editor so flexible is that third-party developers can create their own blocks that you can use in your designs.
But…finding those blocks is tough, and you probably don’t want to install 15 different Gutenberg block plugins just to get the blocks that you want.
The Gutenberg Cloud plugin aims to change that in a really interesting way.
Basically, it lets developers host their blocks in “the cloud”. Then, the Gutenberg Cloud plugin acts as a single connector between all those blocks and your WordPress site.
It’s all modular, too. So you can browse all of the available blocks and then install only the blocks that you want to use.
Gutenberg Cloud is still new, but if enough third-party block developers buy into the idea, it could be a really helpful tool.
You can learn more at this WP Tavern post. Make sure to check out the comments section, too, where Carl Hancock of Gravity Forms and others point out some potential flaws with listing the plugin at WordPress.org (and then other people explain why it might be ok).
Jetpack 6.8 is out with new Gutenberg blocks
To take advantage of the new features in WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg, Jetpack just released version 6.8 which adds a bunch of new Gutenberg blocks that you’ll be able to use in your content once WordPress 5.0 ships.
You get new blocks for:
- Form – Embed a contact form without the need for shortcodes.
- Simple Payments – Accept simple credit and debit card payments via a block (only available as part of the Premium Jetpack plan)
- Map – Embed Google Maps, including a few different style themes and options to customize the marker color.
- Markdown – This lets you use raw markdown in a self-contained block – really helpful for writers who don’t like how Gutenberg creates separate blocks for each paragraph.
You can read this post for more information and previews of all the new blocks.
A live demo of the new Twenty Nineteen theme
Last month, I shared a first look at the new Twenty Nineteen default theme that will come along with WordPress 5.0. Now, the new theme is officially out in beta status, which let MotoPress do something really cool:
They installed the new theme on a public site and created a live demo that you can play around with. They’ve also added real content so that you can see how it looks in a real usage scenario.
The result? Well, at least personally, this is by far my favorite default theme. You can check out the live demo here.
The Gutenberg Editor is coming to mobile WordPress apps (but not until 2019)
While the Gutenberg Editor is on the brink of release in WordPress 5.0, you won’t be able to use it in the WordPress mobile apps quite yet.
Ok, it does kind of work according to Jorge Bernal, a mobile engineer at Automattic. But there are still some issues and the support isn’t fully there yet.
Currently, the mobile team is hoping to have a beta out in February 2019, with a full release hopefully not too long after.
Until then, mobile app users will be stuck in this kind of awkward limbo where they can use Gutenberg on their desktops, but not on their mobile devices.
WordCamp US live stream tickets are available
Even if you can’t make it to Nashville for this year’s WordCamp US, that doesn’t mean you can’t take part in the talks.
Like past years, all of the talks will be available via live stream for free. However, you do need a “ticket” if you want to watch the live stream (the ticket is free, though).
You can grab your live stream ticket here.
Speaking of WordCamp tickets, ticket prices for physical attendees will go up next year. For the past seven years, the ticket prices were capped at a maximum of $20 per day. To account for inflation, that maximum will go up to $25 per day starting in 2019.
The ups and downs of submitting a theme to ThemeForest
If you’re a casual WordPress user, you probably know that you can purchase thousands of premium themes from the ThemeForest marketplace.
But what you might not know is how those themes actually end up on ThemeForest in the first place.
See, developers can’t just throw up any old theme and start selling it right away. Instead, there’s an approval process to make sure themes are up to standards.
For consumers, this is a great thing because it means that there’s at least some baseline quality level that all themes need to adhere to.
But…for developers, it can be a frustrating process, which Daniel Carcamo explains in this interesting narrative at Freemius.
If you’re a theme developer, or if you just want to know how the sausage is made, this one is a good read.
Behind the scenes at WP Migrate DB
Speaking of behind-the-scenes development, Delicious Brains also posted a look at how they’re planning the future for their popular WP Migrate DB Pro plugin.
Again, if you want to know what goes into making your favorite themes and plugins, this one is a fun read, where you’ll also get a look at how Delicious Brains uses wireframes to plan out the revamped interface.
Some interesting WordPress interviews and podcasts
Finally, if your thirst for WordPress news and knowledge still isn’t sated, we’ve collected a few interesting WordPress interviews and podcasts from November.
First, the new WP Builds podcast interviewed Matt Mullenweg about Gutenberg.
Beyond that, Kinsta interviewed Jean Galea and Mark Zahra (they run WP Mayor, as well as some other WordPress products) and Matt Medeiros hosted a good roundtable on “finding opportunity while WordPress is changing”.
And that wraps up all of the most important WordPress news and articles from November 2018.
Make sure to subscribe to the newsletter by using the box below. And also check back next month for all the exciting news that’s bound to drop in December.