Hey everyone, we have plenty of WordPress news to share with you this month. First up, Gutenberg is entering the final development phase and is almost ready for its first release candidate version. Beyond that, the official AMP plugin was upgraded and optimized towards a more user-friendly interface, while our own Pirate Forms moved on to become part of WPForms. And if you like dark interfaces, “dark mode” might be coming to WordPress!
But that’s not all. We collected even more awesome resources and in-depth pieces on interesting topics; so do not miss the October 2018 WordPress news with CodeinWP.#Gutenberg is closer, #AMP gets better, PirateForms joins WPForms - Oct 2018 #WordPress news Click To Tweet
October 2018 WordPress News with CodeinWP
Let’s start the October edition with a short recap of the most recent changes to Gutenberg. The new WordPress editor reached version 3.9, which comes with:
- the ability to create reusable templates by selecting multiple blocks in the editor, then import/export them via a JSON file.
- a visual mechanism for comparing options when a block was detected as invalid.
- a much clearer drag handle for drag-and-drop block operations next to the block arrow controls.
- the possibility to convert an image into a cover image (and back again).
Current Version: 2.0.11
Last Updated: March 9, 202176%Ratings 500,000+Installs WP 4.9+Requires AMP for WordPress Plugin to Introduce User-Friendly Theme Support Settings in Upcoming 1.0 Release
Google’s open-source project AMP (as in Accelerated Mobile Pages) will get significant improvements in the upcoming release. This should be great news because the official WordPress plugin is used on more than 300,000 websites. The new features AMP for WordPress aims to introduce are extended theme support and a more user-friendly settings approach. This re-orientation is essential since, in the first stages, the tool was primarily built for developers, and hence required non-intuitive actions from regulars users.
In the forthcoming version, users can enable native AMP or Paired mode on the settings page; moreover, the beta release adds granular controls for selecting supported templates. And these are not the only changes in the plugin’s functionality.
The 3-year-old tool aims to improve your website’s mobile performance and is used on 25 million domains worldwide (beyond WordPress). We’re using it on this very blog too.
WordPress 4.9.9 Minor Release Roadmap
We have some news about the next WordPress release as well, as the devs in charge of the project published a roadmap for what’s coming soon. While the official launch is set to happen in early November, the beta and release candidate will be out by the end of this month.
WordPress 4.9.9 is the last minor release before the most anticipated of the year, aka the ‘Gutenberg version’. That’s why this next minor release will focus on Gutenberg preparation along with a few other improvements such as bug fixes, better accessibility, internalization, and the Site Health Project. The latter involves “investigating the work remaining for the Serverhappy project and determining how to get it in people’s hands as soon as possible”. Plugin version requirements, WSOD protection, and update dashboard notice are the hot subjects in the pipeline that need to be implemented.
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Dark Mode is Possibly Coming to a WordPress Dashboard Near You
In case you weren’t aware, there’s this plugin on WordPress.org called Dark Mode, that makes your dashboard black. WordPress has eight default color schemes, but none of them actually make your admin page completely dark. So if you want to try this new look, you might enjoy this free plugin.
Dark Mode plugin has been developed by Daniel James for over a year now and is currently active on 1,000+ sites. But he didn’t only create this version for enthusiasts, he even proposed the idea of merging the dark mode into future core releases. No one in the WordPress core team approved it yet, nor did they officially announce it, but don’t be surprised if this happens sooner rather than later. By the way, Dark Mode – in its current state – is not compatible with Gutenberg. Just sayin’.
Pirate Forms Is Now WPForms
And finally, some news from inside the house. Our Pirate Forms plugin, a popular and minimalist contact form plugin, won’t be available for download anymore. After long discussions and hard decisions, we thought that letting it go would be the best direction for us.
The plugin isn’t getting abandoned, though. We entered a partnership with WPForms, and they took Pirate Forms under their protective wing.
We felt that we reached the top of the bar in terms of improvement (since it is a minimalist plugin) and also couldn’t invest additional resources to get it to the next level. It was about time to let other developers in and allow them to take the lead, so we can focus on other projects in our timeline. Contact Form by WPForms – Drag & Drop Form Builder for WordPress
Current Version: 1.6.6
Last Updated: April 1, 202198%Ratings 4,000,000+Installs WP 4.9+Requires
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That’s it for October 2018. Anything we missed?#Gutenberg is closer, #AMP gets better, PirateForms joins WPForms - Oct 2018 #WordPress news Click To Tweet Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%: