Doc Pop’s News Drop: Plugin Madness 2018 Recap

Doc Pop’s News Drop: Plugin Madness 2018 Recap

Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.

Congrats to Smush Image Compression for winning Torque’s 2018 Plugin Madness competition! Thanks to everyone who nominated and voted this year, it was a huge success.

You can read more about the results here.
You can also learn more about WordCamp Europe here.

Love WordPress news but hate reading? My name is Doc and this is Doc Pop’s News Drop!

We’ll talk about how events like WordCamp Europe can afford to keep tickets affordable, but first let’s talk about Plugin Madness!

This was the 3rd year of our Plugin Madness tournament, where users nominated their 64 favorite WordPress plugins and we set them up in a bracket style competition.

We started with 64 plugins which we split up into 4 main brackets: ecommerce, marketing, maintenance, and optimization.

Ecommerce started off with some heavy hitters like WooCommerce and the Event Tickets plugin, but this year’s hot new eCommerce plugin was Restrict Content: a simple membership plugin that enables you to put your content behind a wall so only logged-in users can access it.

Over in Marketing we had some more familiar faces like Popups by Optin Monster, a popular plugin that allows you to increase newsletter sign ups with a simple pop up feature, but the winner for this division was the Custom Sidebars plugin.

Maintenance was a really heated division with many popular plugins like WordFence and Updraft Plus going head to head, but the final winner of this round was Duplicate Post, a plugin that allows you to copy older posts and… well… duplicate them. I use this all the time.

And over in the Optimization bracket, we started off with plugins like Advanced Custom Fields, Contact Form 7, and Yoast SEO, but we managed to shrink them down to just one winner: Smush Image Compression, a plugin that allows you to reduce image file sizes for faster page loading.

So after 4 weeks, we had Smush vs Custom Sidebars and Restrict Content vs Duplicate Post.

Then it was Restrict Content vs Smush in the semi-final round and finally…

Smush Image Compression was the winner! Congrats to Smush on winning Torque’s Plugin Madness competition for two years in a row!

Thanks to everyone who nominated plugins and voted and a big thanks to all of the great developers who help create these amazing plugins.

Now, let’s check in with Jenny Beaumont, the lead organizer of WordCamp Europe:

Thanks Jenny! We really enjoy these weekly updates.

Thats it for this week’s news drop, thanks for liking and subscribing to our channel, we’ll see you next week for more WordPress news.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

The post Doc Pop’s News Drop: Plugin Madness 2018 Recap appeared first on Torque.



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Doc Pop’s News Drop: Are Developers Responsible When a Plugin Breaks a Site?

Doc Pop’s News Drop: Google Dives Into WordPress, 4.9.4 Update, and Plugin Madness!

Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.

There’s a great conversation on r/Wordpress (lowercasing is their theirs) about what happens when a plugin update breaks a clients site. Is it the developers job to fix it for free or should they include a monthly maintenance fee in their contract?

We also share some news on the semi-semi-final round of Plugin Madness and hear some great news about WordCamp Europe.

Love WordPress news but hate reading? My name is Doc and this is Doc Pop’s News Drop.

When a plugin breaks a site, is the site developer beholden to fix it?

That is the question asked by cag8f on r/WordPress, Reddit’s popular WordPress forum.

The original poster says that six months after developing and launching a site for a client, a plugin accidentally broke the sites functionality after a change made remotely by the plugin’s developer. Obviously the website owner wasn’t happy about having a broken site and expected the website developer to fix it for free.

The developer fixed the issue for free, but asks reddit users for advice on how to handle this situation in advance.

A user named MyWorkAccountIsThis suggested adding a monthly maintenance contract to your contract. This addendum would say there is an agreed amount due open completion of the project, and any additional work down the line would be an extra expense. Although there are some great ready made contracts for free online, MyWorkAccountIsThis says the contract text can be a straightforward paragraph such as

“In the event a third party plugin causes an issue after deployment – from updates or otherwise – the time required to fix the issue will be deducted from your monthly allotment of support time or you will be billed $X per hour in no less that 15 minute increments with a one hour minimum.

Another great resource fro web designers is webdesignlaw.com, which offers free and ready made contracts for freelance developers. These contracts include that monthly maintenance fee clause.

One of the things the developer was struggling with was finding a similar analogy to help the client understand that the deal was for the delivery of a working product and that also relies on some 3rd party content that may at some point break or need to be updated.

On commenter offered auto-mechanics as a good analogy. “You can install a new part from a manufacturer, but you cannot guarantee the life span of that product yourself. A paid or custom built plugin can be more reliable, like a car part with a warrantee. A free plugin will save them money, or speed up deployment, but all web sites will need maintenance at some point, and no auto mechanic does maintenance for free.”

I’ll share a link to the full reddit thread in the comments below, there’s lots of great advice in there, but beware, Reddit is a not our own software, and we are not responsible for any broken or asinine comments found within.

It is week 4 of our Annual Plugin Madness Tournament and this is the most exciting year yet. Last week we officially broke all of our previous records and are well on tract to have more voters this year, than our previous two years combined!

It’s the semi-semi final round with 8 plugins in 4 brackets. One of those brackets pitches two of our previous Plugin Madness winners against each other which is amazing. WPMUDev’s Smush plugin, which won our 2017 tournament, is up against Advance Custom Fields, Elliot Condon’s popular plugin that won our 2016 tournament. Last week, Smush was paired up against Hummingbird, which was another one of WPMUDevs plugins, leaving only one of their plugins in this round of the tournament. And now Smush is facing off against ACF. No matter what happens this round, one of these two previous champions will not make it to the next round.

To vote for your favorite WordPress plugins, go to PluginMadness.com today!

And finally, WordCamp Europe is just 3 months away and I’m excited to announce that Emily, the editor of Torque, and myself will both be in attendance. Each week before then, Jenny Beaumont, WCEU’s lead orgainizer, is sharing a behind the scenes video about the event.

video

Thanks Jenny, we’ll see you in three months.

That’s it for this week’s News Drop. What are your predictions for the next few rounds of Plugin Madness? Share your bracketology in the comments below and stay tuned next week for more on WordCamp Europe, Plugin Madness, and the latest WordPress news.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

The post Doc Pop’s News Drop: Are Developers Responsible When a Plugin Breaks a Site? appeared first on Torque.



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Doc Pop’s News Drop: Yoast’s €25,000 Diversity Fund

Doc Pop’s News Drop: Google Dives Into WordPress, 4.9.4 Update, and Plugin Madness!

Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.

In this week’s News Drop we talk about Yoast SEO’s €25,000 Diversity Fund to help underrepresented speakers attend WordCamps, plus we recap some highlights from this week’s Plugin Madness competition, and check in with Jenny Beaumont for some behind the scenes info about WordCamp Europe.

Love WordPress news but hate reading? My name is Doc and this is Doc Pop’s News Drop:

Willing to put their money where their mouth is, Yoast SEO has launched a diversity fund to help increase speaker diversity at WordCamps and open source conferences around the world. YOAST, who are best known for their WordPress SEO plugin, have pledged  a minimum of 25,000 euros each year as part of their Yoast Diversity Fund.

In a recent post, Joost De Valk, states that WordCamps have efforts in place to be more inclusive and diverse, but their budgets often fail to cover the travel expenses for most speakers. The Yoast Diversity Fund aims to fund up to 1,000 euros per event for travel and accomendation.

Stating further “At Yoast, we’ve been thinking about what we can do to improve the inclusivity of conferences. One of the things we can do is remove hurdles, and specifically, the hurdle of costs. Costs for speakers from a diverse background to come and speak.”

If you are interested in applying to the Yoast Diversity Fund, you send an email to diversity-fund at yoast.com. Applicants need to identify as part of an underrepresented group and needs to already have been accepted as a speaker at the conference. These conferences need to be non-commercial and related to either WordPress, Magento, or TYPO3.

It is week two of our 2018 Plugin Madness competition. Last week we weeded the tournament down from 64 to 32 plugins, and this week it’s bumped it down to just 16.

One of the biggest surprises on our side was seeing YOAST get bumped out in the second round.

Which breaks my heart considering that whole thing I just got talking about before…

WPMU Dev supporters came out in full force last week, helping secure round 3 slots for two of their WordPress plugins: Smush Image Compression and Hummingbird Page Speed Optimization. Smush, which was the winner of last year’s Plugin Madness competition, smashed ShortPixel Image Optimizer with 86% of the vote. There were 4 image compression plugins in the beginning of the tournament, and Smush is the last one to remain.

The contest is getting more and more heated, so don’t wait, go to PluginMadness.com to vote for your favorite plugins. A new round begins Monday March 26th, so get your votes in now.

WordCamp Europe is quickly approaching and each week we are lucky enough to have WordCamp Europe updates from Jenny Beaumont, the lead organizer from this year’s event. We’ll let her take it from here:

That’s it for this week’s News Drop. What are your predictions for the next few rounds of Plugin Madness? Share your bracketology in the comments below and stay tuned next week for more on WordCamp Europe, Plugin Madness, and the latest WordPress news.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

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Doc Pop’s News Drop: 4.9.3 Breaks Auto-Updates, Browsealoud Breaks Government Websites, and WCEU Call For Volunteers

Doc Pop’s News Drop: Google Dives Into WordPress, 4.9.4 Update, and Plugin Madness!

Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.

This week Doc talks about how WordPress version 4.9.3 breaks the auto-update feature and how 4.9.4 fixes it.

Doc also covers the recent Browsealoud plugin hack, which used a supply chain attack to take advantage of site visitor traffic for cryptomining purposes.

WordCamp Europe is looking for volunteers.

Don’t forget to nominate your favorite plugins for our Plugin Madness competition.

Love WordPress News, but hate reading? My name is Doc and this is Doc Pop’s News Drop.

If you watched last week’s News Drop then you may have noticed that as I was talking about WordPress version 4.9.3, an even newer version of WordPress came out. So I had to awkwardly add a note about the new version as I was editing the video. WordPress 4.9.4 only fixed one bug, so why was it so important that it was released within 24 hours of the previous update.

While WordPress 4.9.3 fixed 34 bugs, it ended up breaking the automatic update feature that many sites rely on to keep on the current WordPress version.

I’m a big fan of this auto-update feature and highly recommend most people leave it on. This feature only updates minor versions of WordPress by default, so if you had the feature on, it would have auto-updated from 4.9.2 to 4.9.3 last week, but that’s the version that broke auto-updates. Because of that, many users will need go in and manually update to version 4.9.4 to restore the auto-update functionality. Luckily, most WordPress sites may not be affected. If you are running a managed WordPress hosting for instance, there’s a good chance that your host would have manually updated your site to 4.9.4 for you.

If you aren’t sure if you were affected, I’d recommend simply opening your WP Dashboard and confirming you are on 4.9.4 or higher.

Speaking of updates, WordCamp Europe is looking for volunteers.
This year’s WordCamp Europe will be hosted in Belgrade Serbia on June 14th through the 16th. Last year’s event had 1,900 attendees, which is even more than WordCamp US, so it’s safe to say this is going to be the largest WordPress meetup in the world. In a recent post, the organizers put out a call for photographers to volunteer to document the event. If you are interested, you can go to 2018.europe.wordcamp.org for more info.
Our website, Torque Magazine, is actually a media partner for this event, so I’m hoping to visit Belgrade myself and share as many video interviews as I possibly can. I shot 8 interviews at WordCamp US last year.

In security news, cryptomining attacks are on the rise. On Sunday, researchers discovered that Browsealoud, a popular accessibility plugin, was compromised in a Supply Chain Attack. When installed, Browsealoud could read or translate text on your site out loud for site visitors, but the site relied on a Content Delivery System to do all the processing so your site didn’t have to. When visitors came to an affected site, the malware would use that visitors CPU to mine for cryptocurrency.

Luckily all that would have been affected is a slower computer and a higher energy bill, but apparently the hack could have been much worse. For example, it could have been collecting highly sensitive personal information.
Over 4,000 sites were affected by this hack, including the UK National Healthcare service and several Australian Provencial Government websites. Once a CDN host is compromised in a supply chain attack, sites reliant on that host, like the Browsealoud plugin, would have been affected immediately, but in this particular case the malware was detected and fixed within 4 hours of being compromised.

And just a final reminder that plugin madness is just around the corner, voting starts on March 5th, but if you haven’t yet, please be sure to visit PluginMadness.com and nominate your favorite WordPress plugins.

That’s it for this week’s News Drop, as always, I wanted to say thanks to all of you who have liked and subscribed to our videos. It’s great to see those numbers on the rise.

You can get more WordPress news from our website, Torquemag.io and stay tuned next week for more WordPress news.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

The post Doc Pop’s News Drop: 4.9.3 Breaks Auto-Updates, Browsealoud Breaks Government Websites, and WCEU Call For Volunteers appeared first on Torque.



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Doc Pop’s News Drop: Google Dives Into WordPress, 4.9.4 Update, and Plugin Madness!

Doc Pop’s News Drop: Google Dives Into WordPress, 4.9.4 Update, and Plugin Madness!

Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.

On this week’s News Drop, Doc talks about Google’s move into open source CMSs, the WordPress 4.9.4 (and 4.9.3) update and… something else.. I can’t remember… PLUGIN MADNESS!!!

Love WordPress News, but hate reading? My name is Doc and this is Doc Pop’s News Drop.

March is a month away, which means it’s almost time for Plugin Madness.

Plugin Madness is our bracket style competition where we pit 64 WordPress plugins against each other in a battle to see who’s probably the most favorite plugin of the average WordPress user.

But before we do that, we need your nominations. Throughout February, you can go to PluginMadness.com to nominate your favorite plugins. Each year we start off with 4 main categories, ecommerce, marketing, maintenance, and blogging. So pick your favorite plugins in each category then type it into the custom form.

Voting is important, but if you don’t nominate your favorite plugin, you might not even get to vote for them when the competition begins. So remember to go to PluginMadness.com

Speaking of today, WordPress version 4.9.3 has just been released. Here’s where you can find the newest update in your WordPress dashboard… and here’s a clip of me showing you where to find the update in your WP dashboard.

This maintenance release fixes 34 bugs in 4.9, including some fixes for widgets, the Customizer, and PHP 7.2 compatibility.

Now, it’s not a security update, but I’d still say today [is the greatest audio clip] day to update your WordPress.

Looking for a job? Google is hiring a Developer Programs Engineer for their Web Content Ecosystem. The position involves working with open-source CMS platforms to accelerate the adoption of web-best practices. Contributing code to and particapating in technical discussions in open-source CMS projects.

Considering that WordPress has 60% of the market share in open-source CMSs, it sounds like they are basically looking to hire a WordPress liason.

Not a surprise really, considering Google’s increased presence at WordPress events, including a large booth at last year’s WordCamp US.

In a recent article on our website, TorqueMag.io, Alberto Medina, a developer advocate at Google, states “Our goal was to engage with the WordPress community and start a discussion around the performance of the WordPress ecosystem”.

I’m guessing a big part of Google’s WordPress is going to be speeding up WordPress loading times and pushing for a wider adoption of the AMP plugin, Google’s tool for creating “accelerated mobile pages” which can be seen in Mobile search results.

Keep in mind that Google formally announced a “Speed Update”, coming in July, which will use mobile page speed as a big factor in mobile search results.

And that’s it for this week’s news drop. Don’t worry about our usual call to action, this week you need to go to PluginMadness.com to nominate your favorite plugins.

I’d say to share your nominees on Twitter afterwards, but they say Call to Actions are more effective when you only have one.

Plugin Madness.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

The post Doc Pop’s News Drop: Google Dives Into WordPress, 4.9.4 Update, and Plugin Madness! appeared first on Torque.



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Nominate Your Favorite Plugins for Plugin Madness 2018!

Is there a WordPress plugin you can’t live without? An awesome tool that helps you promote your site or optimize images? Perhaps there’s an administrative plugin that’s saved you hours of work? Now is the time to say thanks! Torque’s Plugin Madness 2018 is taking nominations from now until February 23rd. Nominate your favorite plugins by going to PluginMadness.com.

Plugins will be divided into four categories:

  • Marketing
  • Maintenance
  • Optimization
  • eCommerce.

We’ll take each of your top nominations and put them through a bracket-style competition throughout March until we’ve landed on the ultimate plugin!

Voting in March is important, but if your favorite plugins don’t get nominated, then you might not even have the chance. So nominate your favorite plugins today!

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

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