The Month in WordPress: March 2019
WordPress reached a significant milestone this month. With some exciting developments in Core, an interesting new proposal, and the return of a valuable global event, March was certainly an interesting time.
WordPress Now Powers One-Third of the Web
WordPress’ market share has been steadily increasing, and as of halfway through this month, it powers over one-third of the top 10 million sites on the web (according to W3Techs, which tracks usage statistics for all major web platforms).
This growth of WordPress is only made possible by the large team of volunteers working to build the project and community. If you would like to get involved in building the future of WordPress, then check out the Make network for a contributor team that fits your skill set.
WordPress 5.2 is on the Way
WordPress 5.1.1 was released this month, with 14 fixes and enhancements, and the Core team is now focusing on the next major release, version 5.2. This release will include some great new features, along with the latest updates to the block editor.
One of the most anticipated new features is the improved fatal error detection – this was removed from v5.1 shortly before release so that it could be improved and made more secure for this release. Along with that, PHP 5.6 is going to become the minimum required PHP version for WordPress, a significant step towards a more modern web and updated coding standards.
Proposal for a Central Block Directory
With blocks becoming the new way to manage content in WordPress, more and more types of blocks are being developed to cater for different use cases and content types. In an effort to make it easier for content creators to find these block types, there is a proposal for a new type of plugin and a directory to handle it.
The proposal outlines a new type of WordPress plugin that provides blocks and nothing else, named Single Block Plugins. The primary benefit would be to provide content creators with individual pieces of functionality and new types of blocks without the need to search for and install new plugins.
Global WordPress Translation Day is Back
On 11 May 2019, the fourth Global WordPress Translation Day will take place. This is a 24-hour global event dedicated to the translation of all things WordPress, from core to themes, plugins to marketing.
Over the course of 24 hours, WordPress communities will meet to translate WordPress into their local languages and watch talks and sessions broadcast on wptranslationday.org. During the last Global WordPress Translation Day, 71 local events took place in 29 countries, and even more communities are expected to take part this time.
Want to get involved in the Global WordPress Translation Day? Find out how to organize a local event, apply to be a speaker, follow the updates on the Polyglots team blog, and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.
Gutenberg Development Continues
With the block editor in WordPress Core, the team has been able to focus on adding some frequently requested features. Version 5.3 of Gutenberg, released this month, includes a new block manager modal, the ability to nest different elements in the cover block, and some UI tweaks to improve the hover state of blocks.
- The PHP upgrade notice in WordPress 5.1 has already had a hugely positive effect on thousands of websites.
- The Theme Review Team has released their useful Theme Sniffer plugin on the Plugin Directory to help theme developers build more standards-compliant themes.
- The Polyglots team has started a discussion about the best way to localize WordPress user documentation.
- The schedule for WordCamp Europe 2019 has been published – the event takes place on June 20-22.
- A new `wp_body_open` hook has been added to Core in version 5.2, providing more power and flexibility for theme developers.
- The dates and location of WordCamp for Publishers 2019 have been announced.
- In a milestone achievement for inclusivity, more than 50% of all speakers at WordCamp Miami were women.
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