For small business owners that have a WordPress site, some of you would have noticed a lot of activity in the WordPress community during February and in Early March 2020. I can honestly say that some of the news/events have impacted all of my sites and I would be surprised if it did not impact every single site at some level or another.
It is important that you are at least abreast of the issues and if you are not sure you can talk to your developer or us. Here are some of the highlights that you need to take note:
WordCamp Asia 2020
WordCamp Asia is the biggest WordPress conference in the Asia region with many leading figures part taking in the conference such as Matt Mullenweg the creator of WordPress. On February 12th, WordCamp Asia was cancelled due to concern and uncertainty around COVID-19. The WordPress community takes the health of its community seriously and was quick act responsably.
WordPress Security Issues
This last month we seen a number of securty flaws discovered and fixed on some of the major plugins. Remember that updates are a crucial part of keeping WordPress sites secure. 98% of the hacking incidents happen to WordPress sites because of outdated plugins or themes.
Here is a digest of the plugins and themes with the version affected:
- Testimonial v2.1.7
- Booked v2.2.6
- Duplicator v1.3.24 & v1.3.26
- 10Web Map Builder for Google Maps v5.1.7
- Modern Events Calendar Lite v5.1.7
- CardGate fixed in version 3.1.16
- Hero Maps Premium fixed in version 2.2.3
- Export Users to CSV v1.4.2 (no known fix)
- Flexible Checkout Fields for WooCommerce fixed in version 2.3.2
- Pricing Table by Supsystic fixed in version 1.8.2
- Envira Photo Gallery Plugin fixed in version 1.7.7
- Photo Gallery fixed in version 1.4.46
- Ultimate Membership Pro fixed in version 8.7
- Registration Magic Plugin fixed in version 184.108.40.206
- Ninja Forms Plugin fixed in version 3.4.23
- ThemeREX Addons is a plugin
- ThemeGrill Demo Importer fixed in version 1.6.2
- GDPR Cookie Consent fixed in version 1.8.3
- Events Manager & Events Manager PRO fixed in version 220.127.116.11 & version 18.104.22.168
There are other plugins and themes affect which are not listed here but these are more popular plugins and themes used by small business users websites.
Remember to please keep your site updated. If you are not too sure how to do this or need some help then give us a call.
Things coming up
WooCommerce 4.0 is expected to be released in March of 2020 and is currently in Release Candidate testing. This is going to be a major release, which means that there will be some breaking changes as well as lots of new features.
The main feature coming into WooCommerce 4.0 is the inclusion of the new WooCommerce Admin interface. The main aim is to future proof the product and modernise the ecommerce experience for merchants and it includes:
- New dashboard
- New and improved reports
- Improved notification experience
- New store management tools
The main breaking chnage is going to be the upgrade of Action Scheduler library to Action Scheduler 3.0. This release brings new database structure and custom tables for scheduled actions but remains compatible with the previous releases on the level of PHP code. This should considerably reduce the load on the standard WordPress database tables while enabling advanced analytics to run even on large stores.
WordPress 5.4 is due to be released late this month is March 31st. This release contains several new features that are mainly focused around block editor improvements. One of those features is the new welcome guide popup to introduce new users with the block editor. It is a simple slide-show that explains blocks, points users to the block library, and a link to block editor tutorial.
Other Block Editor improvements include:
- More Color Options for Blocks
- Drag and Drop to Upload Featured Image
- Change Text Color Inside Paragraph Block
- Caption Below Table
- Fixed Block Toolbar on Mobile
- Improved Latest Posts Block
- Easily Select Gallery Image Size
So watch this space for more updates