PHP 7.4 is scheduled to be released on November 21, 2019. It’s the next PHP 7 minor release and should significantly boost performance and increase code readability.
PHP 7.4, the next PHP 7 minor release, is expected to be released to the General Availability on November 21st, 2019. So it’s time for us to dive into some of the most exciting additions and new features that will make PHP faster and more reliable. Actually, even if PHP 7.4 should significantly boost performance and increase code readability, PHP 8 will be the real milestone for PHP performance, as the proposal for JIT inclusion has already been approved.
Anyway, today we’re going through some of the most interesting features and changes we’re expecting with PHP 7.4. So, before you read over this post, make sure to save the following dates:
June 6th: PHP 7.4 Alpha 1
July 18th: PHP 7.4 Beta 1 – Feature freeze
November 21st: PHP 7.4 GA Release
You can check out the full list of features and additions on the official RFC page.
PHP 7.4 Release Date:
PHP 7.4 is scheduled to be released on November 21, 2019. It’s the next PHP 7 minor release and should significantly boost performance and increase code readability.
What’s New in PHP with PHP 7.4?
In this post we’re covering several changes and features that should be added to the language with the
Last year Matt wrote a bit about his local development setup on Microsoft Windows. Since then he's changed almost everything in that setup, and thought it’d be good to cover that in this weeks article.
Last year when I wrote about switching to Windows for local WordPress development, I hadn’t anticipated how much I would change in the weeks/months to follow. There were several things I wasn’t happy with in my development environment and general workflow – Local by Flywheel was slow, the command line wasn’t quite up to par with what I was used to, and I just felt that there had to be a better way to do things. In this week’s article, I take a look at some of the changes I’ve made to my Windows development and how they’ve upped my WordPress development game.
What’s Changed in the Last Year?
I originally switched from Mac to Windows because I wasn’t happy with the state of Mac. Macs have always been expensive, but I feel that the quality and bang for your buck has been on a decline in recent years. While they have started improving the quality control issues, for example with the recent improvements to the keyboard on MacBook Pros, they are still very expensive compared to a similarly-equipped Windows machine.
At the same time, Windows has continued making improvements that make life easier for the average developer. Windows Subsystem
It's very exciting to have the very developer-friendly and Elementor-focused Hello theme in the WordPress repository now. So much easier for users now.
Many of you already know, love and use Elementor’s Hello theme, but this week, our starter theme was officially added to the WordPress repository, so we figured our baby deserves a formal baby shower.
Progress Milestone. We've moved the stack into prod and letting more folks in.
We know how excited you are to start building masterpieces on a true serverless hosting solution. We can’t wait to see the amazing apps and sites you make out in the wild. Today, we’ve got huge news for the hundreds of people on our beta list: your highly anticipated wait for the NorthStack Beta is (almost) over.
We’re proud to announce that we’re opening up the NorthStack Beta!
Even bigger news for those of you chomping at the bit: if you’re able to work closely with us during the closed beta and provide feedback, you can skip the wait and jump to the front of the line. Details on how the Beta will play out below.
The State of the Stack: June 2019
First, a quick update on our progress. Thanks to the hard work and long hours of our amazing development team, we just finished moving NorthStack over to our production servers. This was an enormous milestone.
With that behind us, we’re ready to bring in beta users to experience the unique benefits of NorthStack Serverless:
NorthStack sends WordPress’ famous 5-minute install into hyperdrive. Easily deploy scalable WordPress sites on a true serverless solution with a single command. No prep or configuration
Updating a plugin can quickly become a nightmare for both the users and developers. Discover how we proceeded to make a smooth transition from Weglot v1 to v2.
Why did we need a new version? Before explaining how we proceeded with a new version, it’s important to understand “why” we had to make a new version of Weglot. The main reasons were to improve the “adaptability” of our plugin and to reduce our technical debt.
An increasingly long and difficult support
The first version of Weglot did not contain any WordPress filters or actions: the so-called hooks. It was thus very difficult to change the default behavior of our plugin and adapt it to specific customer needs. We had to provide custom patches to our customers while taking into account the changes for our next updates. It was quite tedious and delicate. The more customers we had, the longer the technical support was. Of course, we could have simply added some filters and actions as we went along, but we were faced with other problems.
A growing technical debt
Here is the quality score of the Weglot WordPress plugin code at the time of the last update of version 1 (v1.13.1): 6.53 / 10
Generally speaking, we can’t say that it’s a terrible score but it’s clearly not great either. The mediocre score was partly due to some of the dependencies
Using Git is great for version control for your various projects, but sometimes your repositories become bloated. That's where .gitignore comes into place.
Using Git is great for version control for your various projects, but sometimes your repositories become so bloated with testing and development tools that the project becomes difficult to navigate. Not to mention how much more bandwidth is needed to pull and push updates to your code base each time you work on a new feature. Meet .gitignore
Git gives us a great utility to help us control what we want to track using version control and what we don’t want to include. The .gitignore file specifies the files that you do not want to track. This is useful when you use other processes, such as Composer, to add or compile files for your final project that are not necessary to be tracked for changes.
Using the .gitignore file alone to just arbitrarily specify files that you don’t want to track works okay, if you are the only one working in the project. However, when you start including more and more contributors to the project, that file can get out of control without sticking to a standard.
What I have found helpful is to have commented sections to specify specific tools or directories that I don’t want to track in my repository. This keeps my ignore file better organized
When building a #WordPress theme in 2019, there are certain things to consider. Learn what's required, what's new, and some ways to clean up WordPress for the frontend and for users.
WebDevStudios (WDS) is working to improve our theme framework wd_s based on Automattic’s _s; although at this point, it’s resemblance is only vaguely similar. WDS is dedicated to keeping up to date with the web development industry and making educated decisions about which new things to pursue and which to ignore (for now). In my private time, I’ve been building a starter theme from scratch to better educate myself about what is required by WordPress to build a theme-repo-approved theme but also to make my own informed decisions based on what others are doing, how people typically use the internet, and what of WordPress core feels antiquated.
I started writing this blog post to try and build a custom theme from scratch, but that proved too problematic for a few reasons. The time commitment wasn’t small. Any theme I built would require more than just one blog post and there’s a world of information out there to help you on your way already. Also, before any opinionated decisions had been made, the outcome was essentially any other theme out there already. The biggest reasons I thought I’d circle back and rethink this post was because a lot of those
If you work remotely or manage a team of remote workers, these are the tools that we use and/or recommend. Check them out and boost your productivity!
Any job requires planning, organization and communication, but remote work needs all of those things ten-fold. Working remotely comes with its own set of distractions, depending on how and where you work. Distractions might happen in the form of the hustle and bustle from your favorite coffee shop or the attention needed by your pets or young children. In my experience, working from a home office tends to have a series of challenges to overcome day-to-day problems that could prevent me from getting work done, if I wasn’t otherwise prepared to handle it. It’s important to get yourself working in a way that makes sense for you so that you remain organized, working efficiently and well-connected. Here are a set of recommended tools doing just that, while you work remotely. These are, admittedly, the ones we use or that I like best, but I’ll list a few alternatives with each, too.
This recommended tool is probably not a surprise. Communication, in my book, is the most critical aspect of any successful relationship—work or personal—it makes no difference. Slack is an excellent chat-like environment for teams. It permanently removes the needs for email
A presentation and a hands-on demo for working with the open-source and elastic Presslabs Stack, at WordCamp London 2019. Composer for dependency management, Skaffold for automated Docker images build and deployment on Kubernetes for the curious.
Our next generation WordPress hosting infrastructure based on Kubernetes is reaching beta, and we’re excited at the thought of being so close to officially launching the Stack. Although we started spreading the news about the Stack last year at WordCamp Vienna, it’s only now we’re getting closer to our mission to democratize the WordPress hosting infrastructure.
This year, we went one step forward. We applied to speak at WordCamp London — a new milestone for us and a great opportunity to gather feedback from highly skilled professionals that have a genuine interest in WordPress. My theme was ‘Developing locally, deploying globally using the Presslabs Stack‘ — a 40-minute presentation and demo aimed at developers who want to get things done without sacrificing the quality of their work, all the while applying a set of good practices.
If you’re too busy to read, you can watch
So let’s dive into the juicy part of the presentation.
We started building the Stack because we identified a real need. We wanted to develop our new version of the product in order to truly scale our managed hosting platform and also to better manage operations
We analyzed 13 billion log entries. Here's what we learned about the WordPress hosting industry.
If you are used to and like to work with WP CLI, this plugin does provide you a command list for this plugin. Or you can reset your entire site by clicking a button.
When developing solutions such as themes, plugins or a custom solution, the database tends to get bigger and also with the defaults already saved. When adding new and complex features, to test them, databases should be empty. WP Reset is a free WordPress plugin that has a lot of features that you might have used through different plugins.
This plugin is focused on resetting data so any files that you have, will always be there (be it plugins, themes or uploads). But if you want to completely remove them, which does come in handy when testing uploads, you can.
If you are used to and like to work with WP CLI, this plugin does provide you a command list for this plugin.
So what does this plugin reset?
All default WordPress tables,
All custom tables with the same prefix.
But, before resetting the tables, you might want to save the current state of your database.
Snapshots are a really handy tool which is going to save a copy of your database, so you can then review what has changed in a recent update or a new feature. You can then also restore that snapshot if you want to get to a prior database state.
Each snapshot can be downloaded, deleted, restored and previewed. The preview
Takes a look at Amazon Aurora to speed up WP Database activity and increase data durability.
This is a guest blog post by Arman Zakaryan (Director of Hosting Operations) and Michael Martin (Software Engineer) from Pagely. Pagely, in their own words, “provides a massively-scalable managed hosting solution for WordPress. They work with the largest and most innovative brands in the world to create tailor-made WordPress hosting solutions. Clients enjoy service and support from an all-star team of veteran DevOps engineers who prioritize customer happiness above all else. Pagely is Enterprise WordPress hosting at its finest.” WordPress powers 30 percent of all websites. It is the content management system that we’ve built our business on at Pagely. Our managed WordPress hosting runs entirely on Amazon Web Services. In the same way that Amazon has freed customers from the worries of managing physical hardware and data centers, Pagely enables clients to stop worrying about managing WordPress and instead focus on their mission. Pagely’s dedicated support and experience with successfully running WordPress at scale pairs nicely with Amazon’s technology offerings.
One of the most crucial aspects of running WordPress is the MySQL database. Amazon empowers companies
The proposed changes are already stirring up considerable discussion in the Genesis Slack group, but I do think the resulting leaner, meaner Genesis is a good thing. And why do we have a Plugins category but not a Themes category?
This release has been months in the making, and we're thrilled to share with you some details about the release, what you can do
This... this is absolutely the right solution. Hope it happens.
Over the past week, developments which I predicted back in December last year have come to fore, and I am deeply concerned about the effects they will have on WordPress (the application) and the community unless we take decisive action. Short version: For various reasons, many WordPress users will be faced with a complex dilemma when 5.0 and Gutenberg comes out:
a) Get the latest version of WordPress and risk compatibility issues / costly retraining, redesign, or entire rebuilds, and/or other problems, or b) choose not to upgrade and end up running an old and eventually insecure version of the content management system.
So far, the response from WordPress leadership has been to install the “Classic Editor” plugin which as the name suggests reintroduces the classic WYSIWYG editor once the Gutenberg Block Editor becomes the default. This is, in my opinion, a dangerous road to go down both for the end-user and WordPress itself.
Classic Editor as a permanent solution won’t work
Classic Editor is a bit like using a band-aid to plug a hole in a ballon as you are inflating it. It may work right now, but as the balloon continues to grow, the band-aid not only won’t do
Face 2019 with some new knowledge of your website. Read over these design and development myths and learn what you can do right in the new year.
I’ve written about New Year website prep before and how this is a popular time to give your website a good once-over for the new year. You can read Get Your WordPress Site Ready for the New Year: What to do Now! for some helpful ideas on getting things running smoothly. Every client that I work with has ideas about what their new or existing website needs without really thinking about what it means for their website in the long term. New or potential clients have their own misconceptions around their potential websites as well, so I thought it might be helpful to talk about some design and development myths or misconceptions and address them so you can face 2019 with some new knowledge. Myth: Sliders and Hidden Content Are a Must
Let’s make a resolution right now: no more carousels, sliders, modals or accordions.
Deadlines are important. But unreasonably tight deadlines that encourage clients and their developers to cut corners and skip steps could be detrimental to the success of your WordPress website. Here's why it's a bad idea to rush your website project.
It’s no secret that website project timelines can sometimes be unreasonable. Clients have many different reasons behind the timeline goals set for projects. It could be anything from the release of a new product, a big marketing campaign, or an event. The target date is almost always important and firm. In managing website design and development projects for over half of my career, I have become very familiar with timelines that clients desire, especially tight timelines. As an agency, we’re always doing our best to hit and exceed client goals, but there are times when it’s a bad idea to rush your website project.
A website design and development project typically takes 12 weeks (or more) from initiation to completion. There are various phases throughout a project life cycle that are critical in ensuring a performant and secure website that delivers what the client is expecting. When you rush a website project to hit a particular goal date, you risk a lot.
Discovery is so important.
Rushing a website project typically means starting the development phase ASAP. This is a huge mistake.
The discovery phase of a project provides time for the Engineering Team to explore
We recently discovered a situation where we were able to find some fun and interesting ways to extend our standard ACF Flexible Content Blocks. Let's dig in and find out what we did!
Here at WebDevStudios, we do quite a bit with Flexible Content Blocks in Advanced Custom Fields (ACF). If you aren’t familiar with the plugin, ACF allows for the creation of a multitude of custom meta field types using a graphical user interface (GUI) in the WordPress Dashboard. You can do almost anything with these fields—from simple text and URL inputs to searching for posts and pages and building image galleries. ACF allows you to power your site with robust customization options, which you can use to create and manage dynamic pages. Instead of being locked into a set of page templates where the functionality and layout are tied directly to the theme’s files, building pages with ACF Flexible Content Blocks puts the power of customization into your hands as a site manager and editor. You can add, remove, and rearrange blocks as needed and have full control over the content within each of those blocks.
Sometimes, though, simply customizing the content within those blocks isn’t enough. Sure, it’s nice enough to be able to edit the title of a block or select a different set of Featured Posts to display. But, what if you don’t want to have to get that
A good comparison of 6 popular WordPress MVC frameworks from Joe at Rareloop (makers of Lumberjack, one of the frameworks compared which is built on top of Bedrock and Timber)
It’s an exciting time for the WordPress community, with an ever increasing interest in modern programming practices and more people becoming familiar with frameworks such as Laravel. In response, a number of MVC frameworks for WordPress have sprung up to help make it more powerful, extensible and maintainable. Want to know how some of these frameworks stack up? So did we! We’ve compared 6 MVC frameworks/plugins/starter themes for WordPress and put together a handy feature comparison table.
Full Disclosure: We have skin in the game, one of the frameworks below is our very own Lumberjack (which has dramatically impacted the way we’ve developed sites over the last few years – for the better).
The frameworks we looked at, in alphabetical order, are:
TypeRocket – a framework with some additional Admin UI/feature enhancements
Laravel has clearly had a large influence across the board, with almost all frameworks being inspired either in their API design or wholesale using Laravel packages to add features.
Blade and Twig both have a fairly even coverage, with a couple of frameworks providing support for both.
Approaches to Routing
Learn about the benefits of Headless WordPress with React and NextJS from a Senior Frontend Developer at WordPress development agency WebDevStudios.
PHP 7.3 is knocking on our door and with it comes new useful features, functionalities, deprecations, and a good number of bug fixes. This release is definitely all about developers!
PHP 7.3 is knocking on our door and with it comes new useful features, functionalities, deprecations, and a good number of bug fixes. This release is all about web developers. The current Beta 2 version was released on August 16, coming perfectly on time with the PHP 7.3 timetable. You can download the current PHP 7.3 version for your development and testing, but keep in mind that, this shouldn’t currently be used in production environments.
In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the features and changes that we personally consider most relevant. But you can always check the full list of features, changes and bug fixes in PHP 7.3 upgrade notes and PHP 7.3 Requests For Comments.
What’s new in PHP with PHP 7.3?
In this post we’re covering the following PHP 7.3 changes:
Flexible Heredoc and Nowdoc Syntaxes
This is probably one of the most relevant improvements coming with PHP 7.3, and we think it deserves a little more attention. So, before diving into PHP 7.3 heredoc/nowdoc changes, we’ll provide a quick overview of this useful core feature. If you are already confident with nowdoc and heredoc, feel free to jump to the PHP 7.3 changes.
An overview of
There are plenty of ways you can rely on reusable code snippets to save time and provide you with the best possible work and turnaround.
When was the last time you started a project from scratch? I mean literally from scratch—not using a framework, a parent/child theme, or any plugins. Maybe never? One could argue that as long as you’re using WordPress that you’re not necessarily creating anything from scratch since the CMS offers so much functionality out of the box already. What you do, though, is iterate on that functionality and build upon the tools provided to you or the tools you have built for yourself in the past. After all, if you’re doing work around the house and need to hammer some nails into the wall, you’re not going to head into your garage to carve the wood and forge the steel to make a new hammer every single time (unless you’re our very own builder and wood magician Will Schmierer). You’ll use the same hammer to do the same job until the hammer is no longer useful or you find a new tool with which to replace it.
Why then would you not develop a site in the same way? Granted, most projects are going to require distinct sets of functionality unique to the projects themselves but there are plenty of ways you can reuse code to save time so you can truly focus on
WDS Senior Frontend Engineer, Jo Murgel, presents a better process for styling websites. Keep things clean, organized, reusable, and readable.
One thing I’ve noticed a lot lately with websites is that no matter how it looks, the style sheet is full of redundant, duplicate, or unnecessary styles. A lot of that, I imagine, comes from updates after a website goes live, where engineers that weren’t initially involved in its development are coming in blind. Another part of that might revolve around planning or distribution of tasks for a website’s construction. Truth be told, there are probably dozens of reasons that the styles may not be as organized or clean as they could be. We can’t see the future and we can’t always be in constant communication with one another, but I’ve learned a thing or two over the last decade that I think might help keep things clean, organized, reusable, and readable.
Before We Start
A few setup notes here: I write my styles with SCSS. This is my preference. There are many other options out there—Less or Sass to name a couple—which will work in more or less the same way. I also typically use webpack or Gulp on older projects to compile and minify, auto-prefix, and concatenate my style sheets.
Organization and Breakdown
The organization is really up to the
Creating a fresh website is exciting, but there are certain things to consider. These are the rules of a redesign. Follow them and reach success.
There are a large number of considerations that need to be addressed before you redesign or rebuild your website. I’ve written many things on the subject in long form, but I thought it might be helpful to break these down into a quick-to-absorb “Dev Shortie.” None of these considerations are outside the realm of common sense, but the excitement of redesign opportunities that become available when building a fresh website can make us tend to forget why we need something new or who we’re doing it for. So, let’s get into it. These are the rules for your redesign.
Rule 1: Have a Reason.
Have a valid reason for your redesign. “I want something new,” isn’t a valid reason. “Our current website is not accessible,” and, “We don’t have a mobile responsive design,” are valid reasons.
Keep in mind that the level of redesign should be in line with the weight of the reason. For example, “We’ve completely changed our identity and branding,” would carry more thought, weight, and work compared to, “We have accessibility contrast issue on our current site.” You must address accordingly.
Meet SpinupWP, the modern server control panel designed for WordPress. It's out of beta, take a look at what we’ve been working on. Do you have any questions about SpinupWP? Let us know in the comments on the post.
Today is launch day for our latest product, SpinupWP. SpinupWP has been in beta since November, so you may have known this was coming. And if you did, you might be as excited as we are. Or at least as excited as Ryan is:
I took @spinupwp for a SPIN and I'm trying to figure out how to pay them more than $15 a month now…
Get your account here: https://t.co/KqRGeHC06l pic.twitter.com/xZWCmuTTnX
— Ryan Sullivan (@ryandonsullivan) February 20, 2019
If you’re new to the SpinupWP party, then welcome. Let’s take a look at what you’re in for.
What exactly is SpinupWP?
Great question. SpinupWP is an app that makes it so much easier to host WordPress sites yourself. Technically, you can use it to host any PHP site but we’re focused on making the WordPress experience the best.
Think of it like a control panel for your servers, but modern & with a ton of helpful guidance along the way, much of it specific to hosting WordPress sites.
I mentioned in an earlier post that SpinupWP belongs to a new-ish category of hosting options that gives you the DIY option without feeling so much on your own. But with SpinupWP, our focus is literally in the name: WP. We’re