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March 13, 2024: Woo Wednesday

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Woo Wednesday Online Meetup at Noon Pacific Time

Join Up At: Meetup.com

Other Upcoming Meetups (Pacific Time)

Dallas/Fort Worth WordPress: Event PageFeaturing Eric L.

WORDPRESS HELP-DESK SUPPORT: List of WP Meetup Groups – By Eagle

S.C.C. WP – Take Your WordPress Site to the Next Level: March 13th @ 7:00 pm

Spokane/C d’A WP – Monthly News, Updates & Discussion: March 14th @ 6:00 pm

Inland Empire WP – Monthly Help Desk, Featuring Steve K: March 14th @ 7:00 pm

Denton WP – WordPress Tools We Love: March 15th @ 5:00 pm

Cincinnati WP – Monthly Virtual Group: March 18th @ 9:00 am

Accessibility WP – Sunshine Photo Cart Accessibility Audit: March 18th @ 5:00 pm

Houston Woo – Unleashing Power of Checkout Customization: March 18th @ 5:00 pm

Hartford WP – What’s New In WordPress 6.5: March 19th @ 3:00 pm

Toronto WP – Let’s fix your site: March 19th @ 3:30 pm

Woo News

WooCommerce Logo

WooCommerce 8.6.1: Fixes to issues introduced in 8.6.0

From the Woo Developer Blog

This release includes these fixes for issues in 8.6.0:

  • Prevent script caching by using the WC core version to hash WC blocks assets instead of old WC Blocks version #44676
  • Don’t render attribution metabox for non-supported order types #44680
  • Move condition to check post status before rendering product #44698
  • Add default values for admin address filters #44704

WooCommerce 8.7 Is Delayed

From the Woo Developer Blog

“Given the difficulties of our last release, we are being extra diligent so nothing is left to chance in 8.7. Currently, there is no specific bug holding up the release, however, we are reviewing flags in our final automated testing process to ensure no failures slip through. We greatly appreciate your patience while we work through the final details!”

Store Editing Snaps: Product Display Options, Accessibility, and More

From the Woo Developer Blog

Product Collection Block

This project aims to create a Product Collection block with the functionality of Products (Beta) block but as an improved experience for displaying your products. It includes foundational work to cover the current Products block functionalities, improvements around Inspector Controls, and a set of basic patterns for a new block.

Product Collection: disable “Sync with current query” option for 2nd+ block in product archive (#44577)

Here, we’ve introduced the logic that the “Sync with current query” option is enabled ONLY IF there’s no other Product Collection block that already syncs with the query. Previously, the option was enabled by default on product archives.

Improve Accessibility in Product Collection Navigation (#44599)

We have introduced improvements to enhance accessibility and user experience of the Product Collection navigation. Specifically, we’ve added new context properties to manage accessibility messages during the navigation process, including messages for loading and when a page has loaded. These changes ensure that screen reader users receive appropriate feedback during navigation.

Store Customization

The goal of this project is to prepare the Customize Your Store (CYS) onboarding flow for usage outside of the context of WooExpress, ensuring all eligible features are available for use in the core of WooCommerce.

Note that this project covers all of the essential features, with the exception of AI.

CYS: Override header and footer template parts (#45196)

Here, we transform the header and footer sections into template parts. This adjustment ensures that any changes applied via the assembler to the header and footer will propagate to other pages, ensuring consistent updates across the entire site.

[CYS] Fetch the activeThemeHasMods right before is used to improve intro loading time (#44647)

In order to help reduce the loading time of the Intro step, we’ve moved fetching the activeThemeHasMods flag to the assembler-hub step (where it’s first used).

Templating logic update

We are making some improvements to the logic that handles WooCommerce templates, those are Product Catalog, Products by Category, Single Product, Cart, Checkout.

The goal of this project is to improve test coverage, modernize the code and, with it, fix some long-standing bugs which affect some edge cases.

Refactor BlockTemplatesController (#44537)

In this PR, we’ve refactored BlockTemplatesController.php with the goal to extract all the logic which is specific to certain templates to their own files.

Now, every template and template part now has its own class, where the slug, title, description and fallback template are defined, as well as any custom logic needed for the template to work.

Other Notable PRs / Issues ✅

  • Improve the Compatibility Layer docs to minimise confusion (#44924)
  • Update blocks build message (#44811)
  • Prevent script caching by using the WC core version to hash Interactivity API assets instead of old WC Blocks version (#44806)

Boost your conversions with AI-powered marketing

From the General Woo Blog & CoSpark

This article was contributed by CoSpark, an award-winning WooCommerce agency. CoSpark specializes in enterprise-level development exclusively on WordPress and WooCommerce platforms.

SEO checklist for ecommerce, blogs, and online businesses 

From the General Woo Blog, by Kevin Bates

“This SEO checklist covers what you need to be doing to have robust search engine optimization. Some of it you only have to do once, or check up on once or twice a year. Other items are ongoing — things you should do consistently for the most effective, traffic-generating content on your website.”

Social selling 101: A complete guide to social sales success

From the General Woo Blog, by Vanessa Petersen

“Social selling is the art of using social networks to find, connect with, engage, and nurture sales prospects. It’s the modern way to develop meaningful relationships with potential buyers, so you’re the first person they think of when they’re ready to buy. 

By using your social network to share positive news, post valuable content, answer questions, and interact genuinely with prospects, you build trust and increase sales opportunities. It’s like networking, but you’re swapping business cards for likes, comments, and shares.”

SheerID and Payment Plugins Partner to Provide Groundbreaking Gated Offer Solution for WooCommerce Merchants Globally

From TMCNET

“SheerID announced SheerID for WooCommerce, allowing WooCommerce merchants to instantly verify consumer eligibility for gated offers and discounts to communities such as students, teachers, healthcare workers, military service members, and many more worldwide. SheerID for WooCommerce is a no-code, turnkey solution for merchants to launch a gated offer program rapidly. SheerID’s research has found that more than 80% of consumers within these communities buy from brands with a gated offer and more than 90% would share an offer with fellow community members.”

Word News

WordPress 6.4 Shirely Horn

Current Version of WordPress is 6.4.3 – Maintenance and Security release

From WordPress.org

“This security and maintenance release features 5 bug fixes on Core, 16 bug fixes for the Block Editor, and 2 security fixes.

Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. Backports are also available for other major WordPress releases, 4.1 and later.

Roadmap to WordPress 6.5

From WordPress.Org

“WordPress 6.5 is set to be released on March 26th, 2024. This release brings greater design control and optionality, more robust block capabilities with new APIs, access to current block theme functionality to classic themes, and the start of the new admin redesign. More specifically, these significant features include the Font Library for easy global font management, support for Appearance Tools in Classic Themes for more expansive design options, and more robust revisions across the editing experience (including revisions for template parts and templates). New APIs like Interactivity, Custom Fields, and Block Binding expand block capabilities and underpin features like partial sync patterns, and PHP compatibility work ensures alignment with PHP versions. Rollback for plugin and theme updates enhances safety, and bug fixes address various components for an improved user experience. The first taste of the admin redesign as part of phase 3 efforts are planned for this release in an iterative and contained way by bringing a new experience to the template, template part, and pattern lists within the Site Editor.”

WordPress 6.5 Release Candidate 2

From WordPress.org, by Lauren Stein

“The second release candidate (RC2) for WordPress 6.5 is ready! 

This version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, or test this version of WordPress on production or mission-critical websites. Instead, it’s recommended that you evaluate RC2 on a test server and site.

While release candidates are considered ready for release, testing remains crucial to ensure that everything in WordPress 6.5 is the best it can be.”

The WordPress Training Team’s Big Changes: Learning Pathways and Website Redesign

From WP Tavern, by Brian Coords

“Knowledge and training for WordPress has traditionally been very decentralized. There’s the official documentation, the developer documentation, the support forums, WordPress.tv, and then the wide array of community blogs, tutorials, and YouTube videos. Resources like documentation and support forums exist to answer questions and explain features, but their purpose is not to teach a person what it means to use WordPress. That’s the goal of Learn WordPress, managed by the WordPress Training team and living at the easy-to-remember URL learn.wordpress.org

Learn WordPress has existed in some form for the last decade, but the current iteration was launched by the training team in 2020, with free workshops and courses offering guided instruction through a number of topics, from basic site customization to block development. Now that three more years of educational content has been published, the team has been revisiting the structure of the website itself.”

Surprising Tech Trends in WordPress and Beyond

From WP Tavern, by Toby Cryns

“As you likely know, WordPress software powers 46% of all websites on the Internet.  I thought it would be fun to dive a bit deeper and note some trends that affect the WP community.”

A pie chart showing WordPress has a 46% cms usage on the internet, Wix has 11%, Squarespace has 4%, and "other" has 38%
WordPress powers 46% of all websites on the Internet
  1. WordPress usage remains dominant and steady
  2. Antiquated software is still used quite a bit in the WP community
    1. Antiquated WordPress Core Installs
    2. Antiquated PHP
  3. jQuery is still riding high! 
  4. React usage is up for the top 1 million sites but way down overall
  5. WordPress’ competitors are rocking!
  6. What about e-commerce?
  7. Mailchimp is down; Zoho Mail and Google Business are up.
  8. How is our old friend, PHP, doing?
  9. About the Data
  10. Related Historical Links
  11. What do you think?
  12. Comments ↓

WordPress Site Builder Plugin Accused Of Adding A “Backdoor”

From Search Engine Journal, by Roger Montti

“WordPress developer of a Bricks site builder add-on accused of inserting a “backdoor” that blocks posts created with pirated versions”

Hacked WordPress sites use visitors’ browsers to hack other sites

From Bleeping Computer, by Lawrence Abrams

“Hackers are conducting widescale attacks on WordPress sites to inject scripts that force visitors’ browsers to bruteforce passwords for other sites. 

The campaign was first spotted by website cybersecurity firm Sucuri, which has been tracking a threat actor known for breaching sites to inject crypto wallet drainer scripts.

When people visit these compromised sites, the scripts display misleading messages to convince users to connect their wallets to the site. However, once they do so, the scripts steal all the contained assets.

These scripts have become very common over the past year, with threat actors creating fake Web3 sites with wallet drainers. They then hack X accounts, create YouTube videos, or take out Google and X advertisements to promote the sites and steal visitor’s cryptocurrency.”

WCAG 2.2 Explained & How to Test for It

From Equalize Digital, by Amber Hinds

“Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have provided a technical standard for web accessibility since May 1999. WCAG 2.2, published in October 2023, extends previous versions of WCAG to provide additional criteria for testing if a website is accessible.

Many organizations around the world are still measuring accessibility compliance against previous versions of WCAG, such as WCAG 2.0 or 2.1. However, if you want your website to stay ahead of website accessibility laws and best practices, now is the time to familiarize yourself with WCAG 2.2 and start meeting it.”

Free Resources

XCloner

XCloner is a free WordPress backup plugin that all”ows you to safely back up and restore your WordPress sites. You can send your site backups to SFTP, Dropbox, Amazon, Google Drive, Backblaze and other locations. You can create backups manually or automatically with XCloner’s built-in scheduler.

XCloner allows you to generate custom backups of any WordPress site, and then restore the backup on any other location with the help of the automatic restore script we provide!

XCloner is a great choice for people who care about security and privacy with their backups. XCloner uses open source standards like TAR, MySQL and CSV formats so you can be sure that your backups can be restored in a variety of ways, giving you more flexibility and full control.”