In this episode, John James Jacoby joins me live from Hutchinson, KS, to talk about the news of the week. We started off the show discussing the GDPR and the number of things that need to be considered surrounding the right to be forgotten.
We also have a lengthy conversation about AMP, the open web, and Automattic’s relationship with Google. Last but not least, we discussed Automattic’s recent hiring of Kinsey Wilson to be president of the company.
Next Episode: Wednesday, March 7th 3:00 P.M. Eastern
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Listen To Episode #306:
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Of course everybody is talking about this year’s Plugin Madness competition, which kicks off on Monday March 5th, but the big question is: What WordCamp swag will the nominees be wearing as they walk the red carpet?
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This article is a high-level overview of how the WordPress REST API is used by Gutenberg. I will provide links to where you can learn more about each concept.
The WordPress REST API is used by Gutenberg to create and update posts. The REST API uses wp_update_post() to update the post, so all hooks you’d expect to fire will still fire.
The documentation on metaboxes gives a detailed overview of the lengths that have been taken to ensure that all of the same hooks fire during rendering the post editor and saving data from it as we had in the older versions of WordPress.
The Schema Of Posts
You shouldn’t access the variable Gutenberg creates. Instead, you can access the current post — in it’s most up to date state — using wp.data.
What’s important here is that WordPress posts in the context conform to the schema defined by the WordPress REST API. The way the REST API formats posts, that’s what posts look like.
Version 2 of the WordPress REST API represents many items, such as post title, post excerpt and post content with an object that has at least one index “rendered”. Rendered as the rendered HTML of the post.
With Gutenberg, if the current user has the edit_posts capability there will also be a “raw” index, that has the unparsed markup. This information is only shown to those who could see the post editor as post content may contain sensitive information. For example, a block may have logic to display different information based on user role. This new feature may be useful for fragment caching or building alternative parsers.
It’s also worth noting that the schema for a REST API route’s endpoint arguments crosses over with the schema you use when registering a Gutenberg block attribute.
Meta Data In Blocks
There are ways you can store block attribute data in a variety of ways, including saving the data as post meta. When you register a block attribute that uses meta storage, you will need to specify what meta key to use. That key should be registered using register_meta.
I recently covered using register_meta and other topics related to using metadata and other types of custom fields with the WordPress REST API. Once a meta field and block attribute are registered with the same field, the rest is handled automatically.
One of the most out of date parts of WordPress has been how meta box data is saved. There is a very detailed explanation of how it works now in the handbook. Previously developers of custom metaboxes were responsible for authorizing, sanitizing, and validating the metadata on read and write. Now a declarative API causes the rest of it to happen in the background. This means a lot less repetitive work is going to be needed to be done by developers. This task that’s handled in core is in an area that mistakes leave to security and privacy issues.
If you’re feeling like learning all of the new stuff in Gutenberg is a lot, keep in mind everything you know about the REST API is even more important because of Gutenberg. Gutenberg is largely a client-side application. It doesn’t need too much server-side code for interacting with that client because the REST API is already there.
If you want to change the data during creation, reading, updating or deleting of a post by Gutenberg, use what you already know about the REST API.
This also makes a huge difference in how you work with data in the front-end. As we’ve seen, WordPress posts now “look like” how the REST API represents it we can use the same data structure for front-end and admin display of an interface or the information it shows. Or we can use the same code in both places or part of it. There are a lot of new possibilities that come with upgrading our tooling to use modern tools including a REST API.
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Site usability should be one of your top considerations when building or maintaining a website. If your website is difficult to use, people will be discouraged from using it—or ever coming back. Furthermore, in many cases, good usability directly translates to better results when it comes to SEO. Some of the hallmarks of good website […]
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Need to create a private WooCommerce category that only authorized users have access to? With the right tools, you can make one or more categories on your store completely private.
Then, you can either give automatic access to certain user roles that you specify or give users a password that they can use to access the private category.
This comes in handy if you need to create a:
- Separate category of wholesale products that only certain users have access to.
- Private category that’s just for members, like if you’re running a membership site and want to offer a special set of products to just those members.
- Your own niche use. I’m sure you can think up lots of other site-specific uses!
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As May 25th, the enforcement date for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) draws near, individuals and businesses are scrambling to make sure they’re compliant. I’ve read a number of blog posts throughout the WordPress community explaining the GDPR and what needs to be done for compliance and it’s a tough thing to grasp.
The EU GDPR was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, protect and empower European citizens data privacy, and reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. In reading the regulation and various blog posts, the terminology makes it appear that the changes are geared towards large, international businesses that process personal data.
However, according to Heather Burns, a digital law specialist in Glasgow, Scotland, the GDPR affects sites large and small.
GDPR applies to all businesses, organizations, sectors, situations, and scenarios, regardless of a business’s size, head count, or financial turnover. A small app studio is every bit as beholden to these rules as a large corporation.
Determining if your site needs to be compliant and how to accomplish it can be overwhelming. If you do business in Europe or collect data from European users, you must protect that data in accordance with the GDPR as if you were in Europe. For example, if you operate a blog with a contact form that saves entries to the database from people who live in Europe, you must make your site GDPR compliant.
There are a lot of aspects to the GDPR and while an excerpt can not fully explain it at a glance, there are a few themes that stick out to me.
- Be upfront and concise about what data is stored, sent, and used on the site or form.
- Give the user a chance to consent without automatically opting them in.
- Collect the least amount of data possible for legitimate business purposes.
- Provide a way for users to download or access their data and remove it.
Many of these are common sense practices that are not implemented on many sites, WP Tavern included. How often do you visit a site’s contact form and see an explanation as to why those fields are required, where the data is stored, where it goes, and what is done with it? This is something I’ll be working on in the next few weeks.
Making WordPress Core GDPR Compliant
Earlier this month, a number of volunteers gathered to discuss GDPR compliance in WordPress core. The meeting took place in a newly created channel #gdpr-compliance that’s accessible to anyone with a SlackHQ account.
The team created a proposed roadmap to add privacy tools to core. The plan includes the following ideas:
- Add notices for registered users and commenters on what data is collected in core by default and explain why.
- Create guidelines for plugins on how to become GDPR compliant.
- Create and add tools to facilitate compliance and privacy in general.
- Add documentation and help for site owners to learn how to use these tools.
Earlier today, the team met and created a GitHub folder that houses the roadmap, knowledge base, trac ticket list, and other items associated with the project. There was also some discussion on whether the interface provided by the GDPR for WordPress project is a good foundation for core and plugins to report personal data. The GDPR Compliance Slack channel is also a good place to ask questions and discuss data privacy in general.
Popular form plugins such as GravityForms and NinjaForms have documentation available that explains GDPR compliance and how it applies to their products. For those who use the Contact Form module in Jetpack which saves entries to the database by default, you’ll need to wait for further updates. WooCommerce and Automattic have announced that they expect their products will be GDPR compliant by the time it goes into effect later this year.
If you’re like me, reading about the GDPR and its policies can make your head spin. It’s important to keep in mind that at the heart of the GDPR are common sense behaviors for handling personal data. If you’d like to learn more about the GDPR, check out the following resources.
- How GDPR Will Change The Way You Develop
- Heather Burns: Get To Grips With GDPR
- Data protection (GDPR)
- WPWeekly Episode 298 – GDPR, User Privacy, and More With Heather Burns
- GDPR FAQs
- Is Your Website GDPR Compliant? How to Get Ready for the General Data Protection Regulations
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Quality content is incredibly important for any website whether you’re a travel blogger or a large enterprise company. To grow your brand, you need a way to connect with your audience on a deeper level. This is where a blog comes in. If you don’t have a blog, you are doing something wrong. In order to create a complete digital experience for your viewers, you’ll need to create many touch points by which to reach them.
However, once someone comes to your blog they better be reached with really good, quality content, otherwise, they may not take you seriously as an expert in your field and move on.
When your blog’s content is better, the results will be better. Therefore, pay attention, take notes, and make sure you implement everything you’ve learned here.
Always Know and Understand the Audience You Address
Every blogger needs to understand his target audience. The audience you’re writing for should be specifically defined and understood. By knowing what your customers think and do, by understanding their biggest issues and challenges, and by studying their desires and dreams, you will only then be able to bring relevancy into their lives.
Your content is designed to be useful. Therefore, you have to know your audience inside and out before even attempting to distribute anything online!
Be Relevant, Concise, and Easily Digestible
For content to be highly efficient, it needs to be relevant, concise, and easy-to-digest. Any writer needs to understand the art of transforming complicated concepts, details, and information into simple words and sentences, in a way that anyone could understand.
Moreover, every time you’re writing a post, you need to consider whether it’s relevant to your target persona (create one if you haven’t yet). Don’t write unnecessary words unless you want to bore your readers and witness a high bounce rate!
Have a Clear Objective
Effective content can only be called effective once it delivers certain benefits. Your business and blog’s objectives might be varied. Through amazing content, you can:
- Improve your brand awareness
- Generate leads
- Improve website traffic
- Pitch a sale
- Acquire clients and contacts
- Get high search engine rankings
Depending on what you want to achieve, you should plan and write your content in such a way that it will naturally lead the reader toward your desired destination. Never develop content without knowing its primary objective.
Develop and Perfect Your Unique Voice
Every writer has a unique voice. Once you become accustomed to the grammar and spelling issues and with the way you organize your sentences, you can finally start working on your writer’s voice. When we start writing, we always tend to copy other people. And it’s good – it helps us write correctly.
However, correct content is merely enough to attract remarkable results. You’ll need more than that, and one of the things you can initially focus on is your writer’s voice. This voice of yours will constantly be optimized throughout your writing journey, so don’t worry, as long as you stay consistent, you’ll define it better and better.
Craft Great Headlines
Your headlines are as important as your content. Without the initial impact of a well-written headline, your blog posts will rarely benefit from a lot of traffic. To improve your marketing campaign’s CTR’s and also to decrease your marketing costs, you should focus on your titles.
Think of it this way: in a sea of information, you need to stand out and the best way to do that is with your headline. If you see 10 white cows and one green cow on a field, you’ll probably note that green cow. It will become your main focus of attention for a while. Making your titles interesting and informative is a quick way to get noticed and stand out.
Pay Close Attention to Editing and Proofreading
If you expect impeccable results, you must deliver impeccable content. There’s no doubt that careless mistakes such as grammar and spelling errors throughout your texts will lead to negative effects. Besides the fact that your brand’s reputation will be under attack, you’ll also lose a lot of potential leads and sales.
Charles Carrey is the CEO of one of the best essay writing service reviews platform on the web. I asked for his opinion as a CEO of a service that deals with editing and proofreading, here’s what he suggests:
“Web readers never like to read text that is poorly edited and proofread. One mistake could be enough for some to simply stop trusting your authority. If you can’t handle it, take advantage of tools like Grammarly, or perhaps leverage the help of a professional editor/proofreader.”
Engage with your Readers
When you write something, try not to be boring. As you read through this article, you can probably notice that I’m talking directly to you, using a lot of “you,” “your,” and so on. Moreover, I’m also interrupting my sentences every now and then. I’m underlining the important words whenever I want to emphasize something or to capture your attention.
The reason for all this is simple: the more I engage the more you’ll stay with me. To engage with your readers means to address them like if you were talking to a friend. Make it a discussion, not a report!
Align Your Content’s Message with Your Marketing and Sales Message
Your content should have the same message as your marketing and sales material. This concept is in a close relationship with your branding. Basically, if you want to be a blog that is tough with its customers, you need to be tough throughout all your content. On the other hand, if you have a blog that speaks to people with medical issues, for instance, your message must be milder and smoother.
You don’t want people who visit your website because they’ve clicked on a relevant ad to be shocked by the differences between your ad and your actual content.
Take Advantage of Writing Tools and Outsourcing (When Needed)
Taking advantage of digital tools that are addressed specifically to writers is a smart move. For example, you can use grammar and spelling tools, SEO writing tools, and general content writing tools. Skip through these tools and see which of them would fit your business needs the best.
Considering that your blog is growing and you need help, building a professional relationship with a freelance content creator is yet another good decision that you can make. As long as your outsourcing delivers a visible ROI, you’re on the right path towards progress.
Analyze, Measure, Optimize
Lastly yet most importantly, you should consistently analyze, measure, and optimize your content development process and your content marketing strategies. The more content you create and measure the better you’ll know what works best and what doesn’t.
Testing is the key to great marketing. Now, if you can create terrific content and promote it in the most efficient way, your blogging performance will skyrocket in no time. Remember to stay consistent. You can’t become an amazing writer overnight. It takes practice, repetition, and true commitment. There are really no shortcuts to becoming a better writer, so start grinding!
Content writing is both skill and art. You first learn the ropes, practice for a while, test, optimize, observe, and when you’re ready, when you got it all covered, you can begin making art. There are lots of ways to develop extremely powerful content marketing campaigns that will not only make your target audience more emotional but also more prone to take action and follow your directions. That usually means that you end up with leads and customers. It’s all linked. Better content, better business!
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WordPress Users Warned of Malware Masquerading as ionCube Files
Security researchers are warning WordPress and Joomla admins of a sneaky new malware strain masquerading as legitimate ionCube files. The malware, dubbed ionCube Malware, is used by cybercriminals to create backdoors on vulnerable websites allowing …