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WordPress Notes and Links: February 2018

February’s meetup proved to be a packed house as John Hawkins (aka VegasGeek) resumed his previous role as the lead organizer of the Las Vegas WordPress Meetup group, which he founded in September 2011 when WordPress was running version 3.2.1 and the group was no more than John, his non-tech wife, and his friend (and a few beers).

Today, there are over 1500 people who have joined the group. And not only do we have our original Meetup group, but we also have a Facebook group, this website, and now a Slack channel. Can’t wait until the next meeting to ask a pertinent WordPress question? Post it in the Facebook group (questions and comments only, please; no advertising). Interested in joining the Slack channel (both John and Russell Aaron are active there)? Send John a request at [email protected]. Now, there is no reason to not stay active, engaged, and informed.

The February 21st meeting agenda basically consisted of John introducing us to WordPress Gutenberg and what to expect and Robert Gillmer doling out some impressive security advice. If the recent hacks at Equifax, Wells Fargo, and Uber have got you nervous, then heed Robert’s advice and change your online habits today. But before we begin there, let’s start with what’s happened in WordPress lately.

WordPress News

It’s been a confusing month. TWO WordPress releases occurred back-to-back, within minutes of each other. First, WordPress released 4.9.3, but immediately afterward, 4.9.4 was required to repair a bug in the previous version. If you, like many, depend on auto updates for WordPress, 4.9.3 eliminated that feature. Version 4.9.4 fixes that, however, you may have to manually update to 4.9.4. Check your site and see what version you’re running. Once you update to 4.9.4, you won’t need to worry about future auto updates.

Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of WordPress

John recommends the following resources to keep you in the know:

New Content Editor Coming to WordPress: Gutenberg

Here’s what you need to know: Gutenberg is coming beginning with WordPress 5.0. There’s nothing you can do about it. People hate change, but it’s still coming. So get to know it now, but don’t fear. It’s not as bad as some people are lamenting. However, the better prepared you are, the easier it will be to adapt.

  • Will not adversely affect your current content
  • Active with WordPress version 5.0
  • Your current text editor (Tiny MCE) will remain active so that you can continue to use it, but it will go away permanently, eventually
  • Gutenberg works in blocks
    • Content is broken into blocks—text, images, video, etc.
    • Takes place in backend only; does not affect frontend
    • Not a drag-and-drop, but still user-friendly and easy experience
  • Right now, it will only affect pages and blog posts
  • But John believes it will eventually take over your entire website
  • If you’re using a page builder (i.e., Beaver Builder, Divi, Visual Composer), stay updated with them on how they plan to address and work with Gutenberg
  • Gutenberg Resources:

Security and Passwords

Your passwords suck, but there are things you can do to fix that. First off, why do hackings occur?

  • You don’t know for sure that the site you’re visiting is properly hashing passwords.
  • You could be visiting a phishing site
  • You may be visiting the website of an owner who unknowingly installed a shady plugin that’s scraping visitor passwords
  • Passwords could come under attack by brute force
  • Databases are compromised

So what do you do?

  • Use a different password for every site you visit, every profile you have
  • Use “more betterer” passwords (Robert’s passwords are 20 characters, no special characters because he likes something he can easily copy and paste)
  • Use two-factor-authentication (2FA)

How are you supposed to remember all these different, complex passwords??? Use 1Password. While, yes, it’s a paid service, it’s well worth the annual fee to protect yourself from hacking. Plus, it has smooth integration with your smartphone. Other options include Last Pass and RoboForm.

Bonus tip: when in public, use a VPN. Your internet provider may offer such a service, but there are other options, such as the thumb drive Butterfly VPN and Express VPN.

Question of the Night

Does John have a list of favorite plugins? Go to his WordPress.org profile and see them.

Next Meeting

Las Vegas WordPress Meetup meets every third Wednesday of the month. All levels of WordPress users and developers are invited to attend. Our next meeting is Wednesday, March 21, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. at InNEVation Center (third floor), 6795 Edmond Street. RSVP here.

5 replies on “WordPress Notes and Links: February 2018”

Thank you, Kim. It was my pleasure and glad the post could help you. You won’t be the only Gutenberg fan, I’m sure. I, myself, am embracing the change.

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