Top WordPress blog posts from March 2020
We hope you’re all staying safe and enjoying your (for some) new-found work from home experience. If you’re looking for some good WordPress-related reads while you’re stuck at home, here’s a recap of some of last month’s top WordPress blog posts.
The International WordPress Community and WordCamps Amid COVID-19
We’re kicking things off with a blog post majorly relevant to the current global crisis which has caused the mass cancellation of tech conferences all over the world, with one of the first victims being what was to be the inaugural WordCamp Asia.
WordPress Tavern’s Justin Tadlock begins with a brief description of the situation and the ramifications of WordCamp Asia getting cancelled. He then gives an update on the status of some other events, including WordCamp Europe which has since also been postponed until 2021 (but, as announced just a few days ago, will be moving online!).
The post concludes with some considerations for how to deal with this unprecedented situation and some resources for staying informed.
How 20 Popular WordPress Theme Providers Websites Looked in the Past
We continue with something less serious - a look at how the website design of a number of popular WordPress theme providers has evolved over the years, by Peter Nilsson of WP Pluginsify.
Peter takes 20 of these theme provider websites and compares how they initially looked to what they look like now in 2020, with all of them capitalizing on the more modern trends and featuring slicker designs (very fitting, we’d say, as we are after all talking about theme providers!).
The post is definitely a great blast from the past, serving as a reminder of how quickly digital trends change - something that will likely continue to be even more prominent.
All the Digital Marketing Tools You Need to Get the Job Done
This next post is not exactly a WordPress-specific one, but we felt it deserved to be included as it acknowledges the CMS as one of the essential tools for digital marketing - a definition that may seem obvious, but one that we nevertheless don’t encounter that often.
Beside WordPress, author of the post Michael Brenner lists the other top tools his team at Marketing Insider Group relies on: DivvyHQ; Mailchimp; Hootsuite; Buzzsumo; and SEMRush, taking a closer look at each of them.
Among the top reasons for including WordPress, Michael points out the CMS’s high extendability in the form of various free and premium plugins, and its ability to integrate seamlessly with other technologies in one’s marketing arsenal.
WooCommerce 4.0 is here!
Fourth on our list for March is the announcement of the release of WooCommerce 4.0 by Peter Fabian. One of the major features of this release is the greatly improved WooCommerce admin plugin, which is now a part of WooCommerce core thanks to its smoother user experience.
Other improvements include version 3.1 of Action Scheduler and a new onboarding experience. Peter also includes some instructions for upgrading to WooCommerce 4.0, lists deprecated functions/methods and template file changes, then finishes with an insight into the testing process and a shout out to everyone who has contributed to this version.
Gutenberg Block Patterns: The Future of Page Building in WordPress
Next up, this post by Rich Tabor dives into Gutenberg Block Patterns and what they mean for WordPress page building going forward. Block patterns are essentially prebuilt sections of a page which simplify the page building and editing experience. A lot of the most widely used website building tools, e.g. Wix and Squarespace, employ a similar approach.
The goal is to make adding block patterns to themes or plugins possible both through an API and programmatically with PHP, and users would be able to install them from wordpress.org. As Rich points out, patterns will likely improve the user experience of the Gutenberg editor and help with its adoption.
People of WordPress: Mary Job
We always enjoy reading inspiring stories of members of open-source communities. Last month’s edition of the People of WordPress series, published by Yvette Sonneveld, Alison Rothwell, Abha Takor and Josepha Haden, features Nigerian WordPress enthusiast Mary Job.
Mary was fascinated by technology early on and, despite not exactly loving her first interaction with WordPress, immediately grew to it after rediscovering it in 2015. She committed to learning as well as giving back to the community, and now plays an important role in the Nigerian WordPress community.
The post concludes with a great piece of advice by Mary: when learning something new, get a good grasp on the basics first rather than getting overwhelmed with learning too complex things or too much at once.
Migrate Your WordPress Site to the Jamstack
Another post from March that we enjoyed was Jason Lengstorf’s guide to migrating a WordPress website to the Jamstack. The static site generator used is Gatsby, which is powered by React and GraphQL.
First, you need to have a WordPress site and activate the two GraphQL plugins. Then you install and configure the Gatsby site, then create pages in Gatsby for the content from WordPress.
The post also covers adding shared layout and styles, creating pages from WordPress posts, adding support for block styles, creating a page for blog previews, making the new site configurable with WordPress settings, creating navigation from WordPress menus, and deploying to Netlify.
WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”
We’re topping off this month’s list with Matt Mullenweg’s announcement of WordPress 5.4. dubbed “Adderley” in honor of jazz trumpeter Nat Adderley. The new features of this version are mostly improvements to the Gutenberg block editor, i.e. streamlined multimedia handling in blocks, clearer block navigation, and speed improvements.
Other updates include optimizations to privacy and handling user data, and boosts to the development experience with features such as simpler block styling and two new APIs. As is tradition, Matt finishes the post by listing and thanking everyone who has participated in the development of WordPress 5.4., as well as the community translators thanks to whom it is now available in 46 languages.
Hopefully, you were able to find some interesting and/or useful posts to pass the time. Stay tuned for more!