WordPress News Roundup – January 2020

>>> Shared from Original Post iThemes

Here’s a recap of the latest developments in the WordPress ecosystem, from WordPress core updates and Gutenberg news to more plugin news.

This post is from the recent WordPress News Roundup – January 2020 webinar hosted by Nathan Ingram. In this webinar, Nathan walks through each of these news items in more depth. Register for the next WordPress News Roundup webinar here.

News from WordPress Core

WordPress 5.3 Development Cycle Ended

  • Current version is WordPress 5.3.2
  • No more minor releases planned for WordPress 5.3
  • Of course, any major security issues will be patched with a short-cycle release
  • Follow the WordPress Core Blog

5.3 Release Cycle Post-mortem

WordPress 5.4 is Coming

  • 5.4 is tentatively scheduled for a March 31 release date.
  • 2020-2021 release calendar can be found here.
  • Not much currently available on 5.4 features.
  • Certainly, we will see improvements to the block editor, including the Nav menu block.
  • WordPress 5.5 scheduled for August 2020.
  • WordPress 5.6 scheduled for December 2020.

The Month in WordPress: December 2019

Gutenberg News

Gutenberg 7.2

  • Released January 22
  • Site Editor Beta Enable under Gutenberg > Experiments
  • You must have the Gutenberg plugin installed

What’s new in Gutenberg? (22 January)

Gutenberg 7.3

    • Layout Element Blocks
    • Support the templating feature for site editing
      • Title
      • Content
      • Author
    • Navigation block supports text and background colors
    • Many speed improvements, bug fixes, and accessibility tweaks

What’s Coming in Gutenberg?

  • Block Content Areas
  • Edit Site UI with front page template and ability to switch templates
  • More full-site editing blocks
  • Updated block UI design is being explored

What’s next in Gutenberg? (January)

Other Gutenberg News


  • Share and download block and template designs

Introducing ShareABlock: Brand New Way to Share and Download Free Gutenberg Block & Template Designs

No Promotions in Block Directory

  • Prototype discussed in December
  • Current rules state that blocks in the directory ”must not include advertisements, prompts, or promotional messages.”
  • How this (de?)motivates developers is yet to be seen

Can the Block Directory and Business Interests Coexist?

WordPress Security News

WordPress Vulnerability Roundup

  • Twice monthly on the iThemes blog

WordPress Vulnerability Roundup: January 2020, Part 2

WordPress Vulnerability Roundup: January 2020, Part 1

Other Security News

NSA Finds Dangerous Flaw in Windows 10

  • Vulnerability related to the crypt32.dll file
  • This file helps Windows handle certificates and encryption
  • Patched in recent Windows security release
  • Good news – rather than weaponizing the flaw as it had in the past, the NSA disclosed it to Microsoft

News From iThemes

iThemes Training Membership returns!

  • Get access to all the premium training we offer for a low monthly or annual price
  • Join here now:

Introducing Freelance Leap Year & iThemes Training!

Freelance Leap Year

  • Started last week: Productivity
  • Next Month: Confidence

Freelance Leap Year

Digital Marketing Summit

  • with AJ Morris
  • Email Marketing, Lead Generation, Social Ads, Writing Content, Using Video, Publishing Content
  • An all-day event on Friday, February 28 (8a-5p CT)

Digital Marketing Summit 2020

iThemes Hosting Multiple Site Plans

  • Hosting designed specifically for WordPress
  • Each plan comes with iThemes Sync Pro, iThemes Security Pro and BackupBuddy & SSL Certificate
  • You can take advantage of the Hosting Buyback Program

New! iThemes Hosting Now with Multiple Site Plans

WordPress Plugin News

Pods Loses Primary Sponsor

  • January 2, Scott Clark, lead developer of the Pods Framework announced that Automattic would no longer be sponsoring their project.
  • Automattic was providing about 90% of their funding.
  • They are focusing future funding on Gutenberg projects.
  • Various revenue models are being explored
  • Pods still has Optinmonster and GravityForms as major sponsors
  • Paid add-ons are one consideration for future funding.
  • Users are also being asked to support Pods through donations in the Friends of Pods program
  • Pods has 80,000+ active installs
  • If only 1% of these donated $5 a month, more than enough funding would be in place to continue
  • If you use Pods, join me in sponsoring them with a monthly, annual or one-time gift

Pods needs your help in 2020

Become a Friend of Pods

Some Code Canyon Plugins Changing Update Policy

  • CodeCanyon promises “access to updates” not automatic updates
  • Although automatic updates have been expected for years, some plugin authors are changing this
  • One in particular requires an active support license for automatic updates
  • Otherwise, you must download and update manually.
  • CodeCanyon has not responded to my inquiry about this at the time of broadcast
  • Speaking for myself here, not iThemes
    • I’m all for plugin authors being supported by support contracts – I advocate for it…But changing the rules after the fact seems a little shady
    • I believe CodeCanyon should stop this practice, grandfather existing license holders, or make it clear on each item what the update policy is


WooCommerce Usage Stats

How Many Websites Use WooCommerce? Usage Stats + Infographic 2020

WooCommerce 3.9 Update Requires Manual Setting Change

  • MaxMind, which provides the geolocation services used in WooCommerce checkout process, now requires an API key
  • Signing up is free, but very (very) clunky
  • It can take a few minutes for the key to become active (so you have to wait to enter it successfully)
  • This is rather a mess when you’re managing many WooCommerce sites. Each must be touched by hand in a process that takes a little while.

MaxMind Geolocation Integration

Matt Mullenweg and the power of comments

Comments and Collatz Conundrum


  • An anonymous comment on a log led to a mathematical breakthrough
  • “I’ve always said that comments are the best part of blogging.”
  • “If you want great comments, you as the author, have to participate in them.”

For Typography Nerds…

  • Adventures in Typography with Robin Rendle


  • The Font of the Month Club from David Jonathan Ross


A Couple of Others…

Sharpen Your Axe

  • Some great productivity tools in this post


Up Your Writing Game (excellent posts and newsletter from Chip Scanlan)

Other News

Cory Miller Joins Post Status as Co-Owner

Introducing a new chapter, with Cory Miller as Post Status partner

Microsoft Releases New Chromium Based Edge Browser

https://www.neowin.net/news/microsofts-new- chromium-based-edge-browser-is-now-generally- available

Download Link

WordCamp News

Upcoming WordCamps in US & Canada

  • Feb 7-8 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • Feb 28-Mar 1 Miami, Florida
  • March 7 Greenville, South Carolina
  • March 14 Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • March 20-21 Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • March 27-29 Washington DC, Jacksonville, Florida & San Antonio, Texas
  • April 18-19 Atlanta, Georgia

Full Schedule:


Can’t attend? Don’t forget wordpress.tv!

Download the Slides: WordPress News Roundup – January 2020

This post is from the recent WordPress News Roundup – January 2020 webinar hosted by Nathan Ingram. In this webinar, Nathan walks through each of these news items in more depth. Register for the next WordPress News Roundup webinar here.

The post WordPress News Roundup – January 2020 appeared first on iThemes.

>>> Read the Full Story at iThemes