WordPress Watch:

New roles in the WordPress project, blocks and WordPress 5.1

Today’s roundup is a nice collection of interesting things that happened in the WordPress Community in the last couple of weeks. There’s some very exciting news about expanding the WordPress leadership team and I’ll discuss a couple of new features of the next version of WordPress.

Expanding WordPress Leadership

Matt Mullenweg published a post this week on the Make WordPress site where he announced two new roles to be added to the WordPress Leadership team. The first new role is that of Executive Director and will be taken on by Josepha Haden. The second role is that of Marketing & Communications Lead and our very own Joost de Valk will be taking on that role. This is what Joost had to say about it:

WordPress is paving the cowpaths for the web with projects like Gutenberg, I’m looking forward to leading marketing & comms for WordPress and working with everybody to tell the story of this awesome project and community.

Both new roles combined mark a great step forward for the growth of the WordPress Project as a whole. Read more about this change on Joost’s blog.

Genesis 2.8 introduces Gutenberg based onboarding feature

Genesis, the leading theme framework, has introduced an onboarding feature that is based on Gutenberg. Basically, a set of preformatted and configured blocks (called Block Templates) are made available when you activate a Genesis Child Theme. This is what they had to say about it in the Genesis 2.8 announcement post:

Genesis 2.8 includes a new onboarding feature theme that authors can use to define which demo content is loaded when a user installs a new theme. One-Click Demo Install makes it easy for theme authors to load in plugins and perfectly-designed Gutenberg blocks onto the home page of a new site using that theme.

The Gutenberg project may have had some people doubting over the need for a new editor, but integrations like this – alongside an improved editing experience – that make it awesome. And this is only the beginning: it’s one of the first types of integrations like this.

Block plugins

In fact, there are already a couple of really interesting plugins out there that provide for extra custom blocks. We, of course, have our own Yoast SEO How-To and FAQ block (and there are many more on their way), but here are six interesting block providing plugins you should definitely check out:

As I’ve mentioned in a previous roundup, WordPress.org has a dedicated view for plugins that provide blocks as a library or as an enhancement to their already existing core functionality. You should definitely check that out if you haven’t already.

What next for WordPress 5.1

The next WordPress release is called 5.1 and is scheduled for the 21st of February 2019. The work for 5.1 began long before the launch of WordPress 5.0 and therefore it’ll have two very interesting features:

Fatal Error Protection

WordPress 5.1 will introduce a so-called WSOD protection (white-screen-of-death protection). This feature will recognize when a fatal error occurs, and which plugin or theme is causing it. With this new feature, you’ll still be able to access the WordPress Dashboard and the respective plugin or theme will be paused. This allows users to still log in to their site so that they can at least temporarily fix the problem.

PHP upgrade notice

If your site is still running on an old and insecure version of PHP, WordPress 5.1 will let you know after the upgrade. The lowest PHP version still receiving security updates is currently 7.1. This means all the PHP 5.x versions are outdated and insecure and the PHP upgrade notice is intended to get people to have their hosting companies change the PHP version. With the latest PHP versions seriously boosting your performance as well, trust me, you want to be on the latest and greatest, as it will make your site faster.

You can read more about these features in Felix Arntz’s introduction post on the Make WordPress Core blog. And that’s it for this roundup. What are you most excited about?

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12 Responses to New roles in the WordPress project, blocks and WordPress 5.1

  1. the wordpress
    the wordpress  • 2 years ago

    the version has slow down my website
    score from 100 to 85
    what to do

    • Remkus de Vries

      Which version of what are you referring to exactly?

  2. Frank Edens
    Frank Edens  • 2 years ago

    2 Things to mention here

    1. Fatal Error Protection
    This is an HUGE and very practical time saver, for a lot of website owners. 2. Joost for President, sorry. :) Marketing & Communications Lead is awesome for everybody, WordPress and the right person on the right spot. Congratulations!

    • Remkus de Vries

      Thanks, Frank!

  3. Andrew Lopez
    Andrew Lopez  • 2 years ago

    The Fatal Error Protection feature will be a welcomed one. The ability to determine which component is causing the WSOD will be more efficient then deactivating each component and reactivating one by one to determine the issue.

    Looking forward to seeing this feature in action!

    • Remkus de Vries

      I’m pretty sure a lot of people are going to be very happy about this feature. It solves so many headaches!

  4. John Givens
    John Givens  • 2 years ago

    I’m totally lost as I consider moving to the Gutenberg Editor… why is it in my best interest to do so? why? Why? What happens if I don’t switch?

    I’m using a theme I like (Impreza) and WP Bakery page builder and find them very solid, fairly intuitive, easy enough to use. I constantly change pages, fix glitches, tweak this and that. And it WORKS FINE.

    Please show me how Gutenberg will be easier, more flexible, more powerful… What will I do differently with Gutenberg than with my current environment?

    I’ve yet to see and understand any tutorial that shows me how editing my site, adding new pages, fixing content, etc. will make my life better.

    All I hear is BLOCKS, BLOCKS, BLOCKS… so what? I’m not the quickest learner. But I just need to be shown.

    Can you show me some meaningful examples?

    • Remkus de Vries

      Hi John,

      Whereas page builders, such as WP Bakery, all have their own way of implementing flexibility into the editor (and more), the Gutenberg editor provides a solid framework of handling flexible content (aka blocks). And with it being part of WordPress Core, it’s also future proof and easy for others to extend to.

      Not sure how to point you to meaningful examples exactly, but a wonderful way to play around with Gutenberg is by using the demo: https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/

  5. kenny
    kenny  • 2 years ago

    Congrats to Joost. He will definitely do the WordPress community proud… as he has been doing.

    • Remkus de Vries

      Yeah, we’re pretty excited about it what is next!

  6. Frits Mulder
    Frits Mulder  • 2 years ago

    “A while ago, we gave the advice not to upgrade to WordPress 5.0 as it was nearing release. I’m happy to say that as of about a week ago, we feel we’re happy for everyone to move to WordPress 5.0 and start using Gutenberg.”

    What a coincidence! The moment Yoast (aka Joost) was embedded in the WordPress ‘community’ he publishes the above. Of course the 2 are not related…

    • Joost de Valk
      Joost de Valk  • 2 years ago

      Honestly Frits, no. This post has been pending for a week or two, which is due to us being busy with other stuff. We’ve always been embedded in the WordPress community. Also, Joost !== Yoast. In fact, as of yesterday, we have a new CEO :)