Top WordPress blog posts from July 2020

Published by Tim
on 14 August 2020
Outline of windmill in the sunset

We’re back with an overview of some of our favorite WordPress reads from last month. We hope you enjoy July’s recap and find some useful insights in it.  

 

The Complete Guide to WordPress Custom Fields

The first post we’re including this time is Colin Newcomer’s complete guide to custom fields in WordPress, published on the Elementor blog. It starts off with an introduction to custom fields and usage examples, then continues with presenting different ways of adding custom fields, i.e. with the manual method or with a plugin (Colin recommends the latter).

Configuring custom fields, however, is just one part of the task; you still need to display them on the front end. Colin presents three ways of doing so: using Elementor Pro, PHP or shortcodes. He continues with a comparison of custom fields, custom post types and taxonomies, then finishes by taking a look at the three best custom fields plugins.

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Better Gradient Presets in the WordPress Block Editor

Moving on, we have a post by Rich Tabor about improving the block editor’s gradient styles, which are somewhat lacking out of the box, by using the color palette in the editor. As he points out, adding gradient presets to the editor is very similar to the way themes provide color palettes

Next, Rich focuses on mapping the theme’s color palette to the now added gradient presets. There are four steps to this: adding an array of colors, registering an editor color palette with that array, converting the colors to RGB(A) from HEX, and, lastly, registering the gradient presets. 

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Bing WordPress Plugin Indexes Content Immediately

We continue with an announcement by Search Engine Journal’s Matt Southern about Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, releasing a new WordPress plugin that indexes content in search results immediately after it gets published, completely automatically

Setting it up is pretty straightforward: you simply need to download the Bing URL Submissions plugin for WordPress, and provide the API key obtained from the Bing Webmaster portal to activate it. 

Once the plugin is activated, the URLs of newly published or updated pages are submitted to the Bing Webmaster Tools which indexes them immediately, with up to 10,000 unique URLs able to be submitted each day. While the plugin is currently still only for WordPress, Bing is releasing it as open source, so developers can use its code as the basis for their own solutions.

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Getting Started with WordPress Static Site Generators

Another post from July that we really enjoyed reading is this next one by Mathieu Dionne of Snipcart, in which he talks about using WordPress and the Jamstack together, despite them being on kind of the opposite sides of the spectrum.

Mathieu provides a short definition of modern static sites and how they differ from the traditional approach. The main benefits of static sites over ones based only on WordPress are enhanced speed and security, and reliability and low maintenance

The post also lists the main benefits of using static site generators together with WordPress, as well as some of the drawbacks. It finishes with a list of the most popular static site generators for WordPress (e.g. Strattic, Shifter) and some other options, including using WordPress as a headless CMS

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Second Chances: How A Trip Back Into The WordPress Community Saved My Life

Time for one of our favorite posts in this month’s recap: Joe Simpson Jr’s HeroPress story (we just love reading these - you may have noticed that we tend to include one almost every month!).

After a (literally) life-changing event, Joe decided to dedicate his time and energy to the things he loved doing, which included giving back as part of the WordPress community. At the first official meetup he attended, he volunteered to help the organizers of WordCamp LA and went on to organize meetups and WordCamps of his own, also speaking at many of these.

Big thanks to Joe for sharing such a personal and inspirational story, and to HeroPress for providing a platform for the community to share such stories!

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Setup a local & free WordPress environment in under 10 minutes.

Next up we have a post more oriented towards people starting out with WordPress who want to get to building their site as soon as possible. Its author Kyle Shook provides an 8-step approach for the very first stages of setting up a WordPress site, i.e. installing WordPress, choosing the website’s name, selecting the desired environment, etc.

This approach is free and very straightforward, and produces a basic WordPress website. To further customize it and tailor it to your needs, the community has an abundance of available themes and plugins to help you out; if you’re a developer, however, you can of course make changes programmatically. 

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Introducing Headless WordPress with Gatsby Cloud (Live Preview, Incremental Builds, and more!)

We’ve already included a post about WordPress and static site generators on this month’s recap; this next post by Hashim Warren is a bit more specific, introducing the beta launch of a new plugin for using WordPress as a headless CMS together with the most popular SSG, Gatsby

Hashim highlights the improvements that this release makes to both the editor and developer experience; the former especially benefit from live content previews and Incremental Builds available in Gatsby Cloud, which streamline content updating and publication. 

The post even contains a demo video of the plugin, in which Tyler Barnes and Jason Bahl showcase some of the new capabilities. 

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Unsplash Launches Official Plugin for WordPress

We’re rounding it up with another plugin announcement, this time the official Unsplash plugin for WordPress which enables excellent integration of one of the most popular stock photo platforms with the WordPress editor.

As Unsplash co-founder Luke Chesser states, the plugin is best suited for large publishers, allowing for easy searching and handling of images right in the block editor, and making sure the authors’ attributions don’t get lost while uploading the images. 

By improving the experience of WordPress users, Unsplash also benefits from the plugin and the potential it offers in the future, e.g. with “Unsplash for Brands” being able to reach a larger audience now with more people searching for images right within WordPress. 

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Magenta colored quill pen in inkpot with light green background

 

That’s it for July’s recap. If you enjoyed it and want more good WordPress-related content, make sure to check out some of our other recaps and interviews.