Gutenberg refinement, Block Directory Concept, and MailPoet

It was another full week with lots of WordPress news. Today, we’re highlighting a cool WordPress newsletter plugin that had a big update. We’ll also see that Gutenberg got yet another polish and we’ll have a bunch of bonus links for you. Let’s check it out!

More Gutenberg refinement

The latest release of Gutenberg, version 6.1, added a lot of refinement to the editor. The two most noticeable changes are animations for when you move blocks, create a new block, delete them or remove them entirely. The second one is a speed optimization for when you’re typing long posts. Making typing 30% faster on long posts!

Block Directory Concept

In a previous roundup, I’ve mentioned work being underway to add an interface to the WordPress Dashboard to add and manage Blocks. Blocks being plugins that add specific functionality to the Block Editor. It was mentioned by Matt Mullenweg during his WordCamp Europe presentation as well. Mel Choyce has now published a lot more details into what this Block Directory could look like over at Make WordPress Core blog. Detailing with lots of screenshots, she demonstrates what the flow of managing blocks on your site could look like. Mind you, they’re still concepts, but you get a good of idea of where this is going!

MailPoet, a second start

Mailpoet is a plugin that allows you to send a newsletter from your WordPress sites. It was quite popular back in the days and disappeared a little bit off our radar. After a long rewrite, their new version seems to be getting traction again. They recently announced a new free plan that includes their in-house sending service. According to Kim Gjerstad, the co-founder, they want to grow their active websites faster. Also noteworthy, 25% of their users are using WooCommerce. Check it out if you’re in the market for a WordPress native newsletter option.

Bonus Links

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How to add HowTo Schema to your how-to article

You might know that structured data in the form of Schema.org can do wonders for your search results. It also forms the basis for an ever-increasing amount of new and exciting developments on the search engine front. Google has said many times that structured data is beneficial. Today, we’re going to look at a relatively new and exciting piece of structured data: the HowTo Schema. This is a how-to about a how-to on HowTo: HowToCeption!

Did you know Yoast SEO now comes with structured data content blocks for the WordPress block editor? You can automatically add HowTo and FAQ structured data to your content! »

What is structured data?

Structured data is a sort of translator for search engines — it adds context to code. Schema.org is a so-called vocabulary, in other words, a dictionary. By adding Schema.org search engines can instantly figure out what every piece of content means, semantically speaking. This gives search engines the power to do cool stuff with your content, like highlighted snippets in search results, the Knowledge Graph or the carousel. There’s structured data for books, articles, courses, events, jobs, local businesses, music, recipes, products, reviews et cetera. Structured data is getting more important by the day and we’ll see more types emerge in the coming years.

If you want to learn more about structured data and find out how to implement it yourself so you can win those coveted rich results, you can enroll in our Structured data training!

What is HowTo structured data?

According to Schema.org, a HowTo is “an instruction that explains how to achieve a result by performing a sequence of steps.” You can use HowTo structured data to mark up articles that come in a how-to form, but that are not recipes. If there is an element of consumption, it should be a recipe.

HowTo Schema.org was introduced in April 2017 and has now made its way to Google’s search engine. Google is always looking at structured data to do cool stuff with, so it’s easy to see why HowTo is an awesome addition to the roster. How about this, since your Google Home can now read your structured data powered recipes out loud, why shouldn’t it be able to read that how-to on how to fix a leaky faucet or change the busted lights in your kitchen cabinet? Google already has an action that works with smart displays. Google has confirmed that it supports new forms of search results snippets, like FAQs or frequently asked questions, Q&As and How-Tos.

That’s cool and all, but isn’t there a lot of code involved in building a how-to page with valid structured data? Yes, but Yoast SEO has an answer to that. Read on, my friend!

How to add HowTo structured data using the WordPress content block in Yoast SEO

Looking for an easy way to add it HowTo structured data to your WordPress site? Well, you’re in luck as we have one! In Yoast SEO, we’ve introduced the concept of structured data content blocks for WordPress’ new block editor. These blocks, including one for HowTo and FAQ structured data, automatically add the necessary code to the pieces of content that you add to this block. Of course, it validates perfectly in Google’s Structured Data Testing tool. Now adding structured data to your how-to article is as easy as filling in the fields!

Here’s how to add a how-to to your site:

  1. Open a post in the block editor or add a new one

    The HowTo content block only works in the WordPress block editor.

  2. Hit the + button and pick the Yoast SEO HowTo content block

    You can add your how-to anywhere you want.

  3. The HowTo content block appears on your screen

    In the block, you’ll find a way to add a total time it takes to do this how-to (optional), a description field, a first step and a step description. You can also add an image per step, delete it and move it up and down the list.

  4. Add the first step

    Give it a relevant, descriptive title and fill in more details for the step, if necessary. Determine if you can make the how-to step made more understandable by adding a relevant image. Sometimes, it might be better to add an image to every step.

  5. Add a second step, a third step and a fourth step

    Add as many steps as you need to get this how-to task done. Need to switch steps around? Use the little up and down arrows next to the Add image button. To delete one, simply hit the trashcan button.

  6. And the structured data? It’s added automatically!

    Really? Yup! You can test it in the Structured Data Testing Tool.

  7. Ready? Check and publish!

    Once you are done, re-read the how-to and publish when ready. Check it to see if everything is in order and easy to understand for your user. If not, make improvements.

  8. Test the how-to in Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool

    You can use Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool to see how your how-to might look in the search results. Here’s an example for our article on How to build an FAQ page.

Testing in the Structured Data Testing Tool

Here you see the result in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Of course, this screenshot is truncated, as the HowTo part of the structured data is fully integrated in the graph Yoast SEO renders. This makes for a beautifully interconnected piece of code, but also very long:

A truncated screencap of the steps in the how-to

Adding structured data to your site with WordPress or Google Tag Manager

In general, adding structured data requires you to edit the code of your pages. For most people, that requires help of their developers. As you see, there is an easier way. Yoast SEO adds a lot of structured data by itself, but you can also add structured data via the dedicated Yoast SEO structured data content blocks for the block editor.

In addition, or if you don’t use WordPress, you can add structured data via the tags, triggers and variables available in Google Tag manager. What’s more, this way of adding your data gives you an extra amount of flexibility as you can save your variables and reuse them or even dynamically fill them. There are loads of options to explore. Annelieke wrote a post on how to add structured data to your site with Google Tag Manager.

Read our Yoast SEO Schema documentation to see how we work with structured data and how you can extend this.

It’s easy to build a how-to with valid structured data

This was cool, right? Well, you can use this for yourself, but keep in mind that it might take a while for search engines to pick this up. Even then, it’s hard to predict if search engines will do anything at all with your structured data. Using the various testing tools give you a good idea of validity of your structured data, but if it leads rich results is up to search engines!

Read more: Structured data: the ultimate guide »

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Gutenberg 6.0, WPGraphQL, and WP Engine news

WordPress 5.2.2 launched last week, but of course, that wasn’t the only news happening. There was a lot going on in the world of WordPress as it was the week of the largest WordCamp Europe (over 2800 attended!). Let’s see what happened this last week!

Gutenberg 6.0

The Gutenberg project kept publishing improvement after improvement and it saw the release of version 6.0 last week. The most important new features are the polished Widgets screen and an improved Group block. This release also features a layout picker for the Columns block, allowing the user to choose from pre-defined layouts or to start from scratch.

Diving deeper into WPGraphQL

A couple of months ago, in a previous roundup, I mentioned the WPGraphQL project. And, a few of you reached out to me privately about that. Particularly about what the project aims to do and how to use it with WordPress. Now, I could, of course, write out an extensive explanation of what the possibilities are, but why bother if there’s a great video that does all the explaining for me:

To demonstrate that the WPGraphQL project is getting a lot of traction, Jason Bahl, the lead developer working on the project, announced that he’ll be joining the Gatsby team to work on the WPGraphQL project full-time.

Post Status Online event

Post Status, of PostStatus fame, has announced their first online conference. They’re going to stream 14 presentations which will also be downloadable. It’s also a great opportunity to chat with like-minded folks. Post Status Publish focuses on web professionals and will take place on July 8 & 9. You can learn more about the event here.

WP Engine news

One of the most prominent managed WordPress hosting companies out there, WP Engine, had a lot to share over the last couple of weeks. First, they launched DevKit, a WordPress local development environment and build toolkit, that seamlessly works with WP Engine and encourages better and faster code. Go check it out if you haven’t yet. It’s a pretty cool tool.

They also announced them acquiring another respected WordPress hosting company called Flywheel. Pretty big news in the world of WordPress hosting companies.

Bonus links

The post Gutenberg 6.0, WPGraphQL, and WP Engine news appeared first on Yoast.

WordProof, CoBlocks update, Genesis framework 3.0 beta and more

Another week, another news roundup! In this edition, we’ll cover an interesting solution to really authenticate your content. I’d also like to highlight a tutorial on how to add AMP to your site and a cool gallery block enhancing plugin. And there’s more, so let’s get started…

Time-stamping your content with WordProof

In this day and age where #fakenews is rampant, proving the authenticity and integrity of your content has become paramount. In some cases, you may even need to comply with privacy policy laws. Up until now, setting this up for your WordPress blog was extremely laborious and difficult to do.

WordProof solves exactly this problem by time-stamping your WordPress content to the Blockchain. And yes, this is the first real-life application with the blockchain that actually makes sense to me. All you need to do is install their plugin and follow the instructions to connect your site with the blockchain.

CoBlocks update

If you hadn’t noticed before, I’m a big fan of what Rich Tabor, now at GoDaddy, has done with the Block Editor enhancing CoBlocks plugin. Especially their galleries solutions are aces.

Yes, you read that correctly, the CoBlocks plugin comes with several variations, with different types of enhancements to the gallery block. They released their 1.10 version, which polishes the blocks even more, has easier maps, Form Block Spam Protection, and more. So, check out the plugin if you haven’t yet.

AMP your site up the right way

Bill Erickson walks us through building a Native AMP site. His tutorial takes the perspective of doing this in the Genesis Framework. But, don’t let that stop you from learning from it.

Genesis Framework 3.0 beta released

Genesis 3.0 will be the first big release in years. Since Genesis is already 9 years old, there were definitely things that could be removed and improved. The entire theme has been overhauled and, for instance, the blog template will be removed entirely.

One of the things which will be added to Genesis 3.0 is the integration with AMP. Which means that Bill’s above-mentioned AMP tutorial is actually easier to do with Genesis 3.0. You can try out the 3.0 beta and see for yourself.

Bonus links

  • WP Engine released a beta package of curated development tools. It’s called the DevKit and includes a local development environment, Genesis-specific functionality, and a wealth of other inclusions. It’s all geared towards helping you create and debug WordPress projects.
  • Gutenberg 5.9 was released and it adds a new type of notices called ‘Snackbars’. A ‘Snackbar’ displays a succinct message that is cleared out after a small delay.
  • The XML Sitemaps Feature Project Proposal was published. It’s a joint effort between us (Yoast), Google and various other contributors to get the sitemaps into WordPress Core.

The post WordProof, CoBlocks update, Genesis framework 3.0 beta and more appeared first on Yoast.

How to build a structured data-powered FAQ page using Yoast SEO

Many, many sites have an FAQ page. This is a page where a lot of frequently asked questions get the appropriate answer. It is often a single page filled to the brim with questions and answers. While it’s easy to add one, it’s good to keep in mind that not all sites need an FAQ. Most of the times all you need is good content targeted at the users’ needs. Here, I’ll discuss the use of FAQ pages and show you how to make one yourself with Yoast SEOs new structured data content blocks for the WordPress block editor. You won’t believe how easy it is.

For more information on our Schema structured data implementation, please read our Schema documentation.

What is an FAQ?

FAQ stands for frequently asked questions. It is a single page collecting a series of question and its answers on a specific subject, product or company. An FAQ is often seen as a tool to reduce the workload of the customer support team. It is also used to show that you are aware of the issues a customer might have and to provide an answer to that.

But first: Do you really, really, really need an FAQ?

Usually, if you need to answer a lot of questions from users in an FAQ, that means that your content is not providing these answers and that you should work on that. Or maybe it is your product or service itself that’s not clear enough? One of the main criticisms of FAQs is that they hardly ever answer the questions consumers really have. They are also lazy: instead of figuring out how to truly answer a question with formidable content — using content design, for instance –, people rather throw some random stuff on a page and call it an FAQ.

That’s not to say you should never use an FAQ. Numerous sites successfully apply them — even we use them sparingly. In some cases, they do provide value. Users understand how an FAQ works and are quick to find what they are looking for — if the makers of the page know what they are doing. So don’t make endless lists of loosely related ‘How can I…’ or ‘How to…’ questions, because people will struggle to filter out what they need.

It has to be a page that’s easy to digest and has to have real answers to real questions by users. You can find scores of these if you search for them: ask your support team for instance! Collect and analyze the issues that come up frequently to see if you’re not missing some pain points in your products or if your content is targeting the wrong questions.

So don’t hide answers to pressings questions away on an FAQ page if you want to answer these in-depth: make an article out of it. This is what SEO deals with: provide an answer that matches your content to the search intent.

Questions and answers spoken out loud?

Google is trying to match a question from a searcher to an answer from a source. If you mark up your questions and answers with FAQ structured data, you tell search engines that this little sentence is a question and that this paragraph is its answer. And all these questions and answers are related to the main topic of the page.

Paragraph-based content is all the rage. One of the reasons? The advent of voice search. Google is looking for easy to understand, block-based content that it can use to answer searchers questions right in the search engine — or by speaking it out loud. Using the Schema property speakable might even speed up this content discovery by determining which part of the content is fit for text-to-speech conversion.

How to build an FAQ page in WordPress via Yoast SEO content blocks

The best way to set up a findable, readable and understandable FAQ page on a WordPress site is by using the structured data content blocks in Yoast SEO. These blocks for the new block editor — formally known as Gutenberg –, make building an FAQ page a piece of cake.

All the generated structured data for the FAQ will be added to the graph Yoast SEO generates for every page. This makes it even easier for search engines to understand your content. Yoast SEO automatically adds the necessary structured data so search engines like Google can do cool stuff with it. But, if nothing else, it might even give you an edge over your competitor. So, let’s get to it!

  1. Open WordPress’ new block editor

    Make a page in WordPress, add a title and an introductory paragraph. Now add the FAQ structured data content block. You can find the Yoast SEO structured data content blocks inside the Add Block modal. Scroll all the way down to find them or type ‘FAQ’ in the search bar, which I’ve highlighted in the screenshot below.yoast seo structured data content blocks FAQ

  2. Add questions and answers

    After you’ve added the FAQ block, you can start to add questions and answers to it. Keep in mind that these questions live inside the FAQ block. It’s advisable to keep the content related to each other so you can keep the page clean and focused. So no throwing in random questions.yoast seo structured data content blocks faq add question

  3. Keep filling, check and publish

    After adding the first question and answering it well, keep adding the rest of your questions and answers until you’ve filled your FAQ page. In the screenshot below you see two questions filled in. I’ve highlighted two buttons, the Add Image button and the Add Question. These speak for themselves.

    Once you are done, you’ll have a well-structured FAQ page with valid structured data. Go to the front-end of your site and check if everything is in order. If not, make the necessary changes.

What does an FAQ rich result look like?

We have an FAQ page for our Yoast Diversity Fund and that page was awarded an FAQ rich result by Google after we added an FAQ structured data content block. So, wondering what an FAQ looks like in Google? Wonder no more:

An example FAQ rich result for a Yoast page

Keep in mind that an FAQ rich result like this might influence the CTR to that page. It might even lead to a decrease in traffic to your site since you are giving away answers instantly. It is a good idea, therefore, to use it only for information that you don’t mind giving away like this. Or you have to find a way to make people click to your site. Do experiment with it, of course, to see the effects. Maybe it works brilliantly for you, who knows?

What does this look like under the hood?

Run your new FAQ page through Structured Data Testing Tool to see what it looks like for Google. Yoast SEO automatically generates valid structured data for your FAQ page. Here’s a piece of the Yoast Diversity Fund page, showing one particular question and its answer:

The first question and answer from the structured data graph

It’s basically built up like this. The context surrounding the questions is an FAQPage Schema graph. Every question gets a Question type and an acceptedAnswer with an answer type. That sounds hard, but it’s not. All you have to do is fill in the Question and the Answer and you’re good to go!

This translates to the code below as generated automatically by the Yoast SEO structured data content blocks. Now, Google will immediately see that this piece of content contains a question with an accepted answer. It will also see how this FAQ fits in with the rest of the page and the entities within your site. If you’re lucky, this might eventually lead to a featured snippet or another type of rich result.

<script type='application/ld+json' class='yoast-schema-graph yoast-schema-graph--main'> {
    "@context":"https://schema.org",
    "@graph":[ {
        "@type": "Organization", "@id": "https://yoast.com/#organization", "name": "Yoast", "url": "https://yoast.com/", "sameAs": ["https://www.facebook.com/yoast", "https://www.instagram.com/yoast/", "https://www.linkedin.com/company/1414157/", "https://www.youtube.com/yoast", "https://www.pinterest.com/yoast/", "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoast", "https://twitter.com/yoast"]
    }
    ,
    {
        "@type":"WebSite",
        "@id":"https://yoast.com/#website",
        "url":"https://yoast.com/",
        "name":"Yoast",
        "publisher": {
            "@id": "https://yoast.com/#organization"
        }
        ,
        "potentialAction": {
            "@type":"SearchAction",
            "target":"https://yoast.com/?s={search_term_string}",
            "query-input": "required name=search_term_string"
        }
    }
    ,
    {
        "@type": ["WebPage", "FAQPage"], "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#webpage", "url": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/", "inLanguage": "en-US", "name": "How to Apply for the Yoast Diversity Fund • Yoast", "isPartOf": {
            "@id": "https://yoast.com/#website"
        }
        ,
        "image": {
            "@type": "ImageObject", "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#primaryimage", "url": "https://yoast.com/app/uploads/2018/03/Yoast_diversity_fund_FI__1_-1.jpg", "width": 1200, "height": 628
        }
        ,
        "primaryImageOfPage": {
            "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#primaryimage"
        }
        ,
        "datePublished":"2019-05-03T11:12:29+00:00",
        "dateModified":"2019-06-07T09:51:36+00:00",
        "breadcrumb": {
            "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#breadcrumb"
        }
    }
    ,
    {
        "@type":"BreadcrumbList",
        "@id":"https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#breadcrumb",
        "itemListElement":[ {
            "@type":"ListItem",
            "position":1,
            "item": {
                "@type": "WebPage", "@id": "https://yoast.com/", "url": "https://yoast.com/", "name": "Home"
            }
        }
        ,
        {
            "@type":"ListItem",
            "position":2,
            "item": {
                "@type": "WebPage", "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/", "url": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/", "name": "Yoast Diversity Fund"
            }
        }
        ,
        {
            "@type":"ListItem",
            "position":3,
            "item": {
                "@type": "WebPage", "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/", "url": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/", "name": "How to Apply for the Yoast Diversity Fund"
            }
        }
        ]
    }
    ,
    [ {
        "@type":"ItemList",
        "mainEntityOfPage": {
            "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#webpage"
        }
        ,
        "numberOfItems":5,
        "itemListElement":[ {
            "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800785311"
        }
        ,
        {
            "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800831879"
        }
        ,
        {
            "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800847830"
        }
        ,
        {
            "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800862202"
        }
        ]
    }
    ],
    {
        "@type":"Question",
        "@id":"https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800785311",
        "position":0,
        "url":"https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800785311",
        "name":"What type of costs are reimbursed?",
        "answerCount":1,
        "acceptedAnswer": {
            "@type": "Answer", "text": "Our goal is to reimburse those costs that would keep you from speaking at tech conferences. If you, for whatever reason, have costs, such as child-care or specialized transport, for example, we invite you to share those with us and we'll look at those on a per-case scenario. Examples of costs we're happy to reimburse are:\u2013 Travel and transportation, e.g. gas, car rental, taxis or flights.\u2013 Accommodation, hotel, AirBNB or similar. \u2013 Child-care costs.\u2013 Sign language interpreter.\u2013 Visa costs."
        }
    }
    ,
    {
        "@type":"Question",
        "@id":"https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800831879",
        "position":1,
        "url":"https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800831879",
        "name":"How many times can I apply for the Yoast Diversity Fund?",
        "answerCount":1,
        "acceptedAnswer": {
            "@type": "Answer", "text": "Our goal is to assist in increasing speaker diversity as much as possible. This means we'll focus on first-time applications mostly. However, there is no limit to the number of times you can apply."
        }
    }
    ,
    {
        "@type":"Question",
        "@id":"https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800847830",
        "position":2,
        "url":"https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800847830",
        "name":"Is the fund available to all?",
        "answerCount":1,
        "acceptedAnswer": {
            "@type": "Answer", "text": "Yes. With the exception of Yoast employees, former Yoast employees, and contractors."
        }
    }
    ,
    {
        "@type":"Question",
        "@id":"https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800862202",
        "position":3,
        "url":"https://yoast.com/yoast-diversity-fund/apply/#faq-question-1556800862202",
        "name":"When should I apply?",
        "answerCount":1,
        "acceptedAnswer": {
            "@type": "Answer", "text": "Applicants should apply at least one month before the event."
        }
    }
    ]
}

</script>

Structured data is so cool

Structured data is hot. It is one of the foundations on which the web is built today and its importance will only increase with time. In this post, I’ve shown you one of the newest Schema additions, and you’ll increasingly see this pop up in the search results.

For more information on our Schema structured data implementation, please read our Schema documentation.

The post How to build a structured data-powered FAQ page using Yoast SEO appeared first on Yoast.

Sign in with Apple ID, full site editing plugin and bonus links

We had a lot going on this past week in the world of WordPress. Lots of interesting plugins and tutorials and general WordPress news. WordPress 5.2.2 is still slated for this week, but don’t let that stop you from catching up first! Let’s dive in!

New Wordfence Login Security Plugin

Wordfence, a Firewall & Malware Scan plugin that protects your websites has announced a new plugin called the Wordfence Login Security Plugin. It’s a plugin that is designed to secure your login and authentication system.

It does this by providing a robust two-factor authentication that is not vulnerable to cellphone SIM porting attacks, a login page CAPTCHA that protects you from sophisticated credential stuffing attacks, and it also includes XML-RPC protection. You can read all about in their release post.

Joost stepped down as WordPress marketing lead

Joost, our CPO, announced he’s stepped down from his role as Marketing Lead for WordPress. In Joost’s own words:

My experience over the last few months made me feel that while I was doing things and getting things done, I certainly wasn’t leadership. Which is why I want to step away from my role: I don’t want to pretend I have a say in things I don’t have a say in.

– Joost de Valk

You can read more about the full reasoning on his post on his personal blog.

Full site editing plugin

Automattic releases a Full Site Editing plugin that takes Gutenberg to the next level when it comes to building your site. I really love the idea, but I’d love it even more if this was a community plugin instead of just an Automattic one.

I’m assuming (hoping, really) something like this gets added to Gutenberg with plenty of hooks and filters, so theme developers can easily add custom templates.

Sign in with Apple in WordPress

If you’ve seen last week’s WWDC, you may have noticed Apple is providing a new way to create login credentials for apps and sites. Sign In with Apple makes it easy for users to sign in to your apps and websites using their Apple ID. Instead of filling out forms, verifying email addresses, and choosing new passwords, they can use Sign In with Apple to set up an account and start using your app right away. 

Now, it was only a matter of time before someone brought this idea to WordPress and as it turns out, the time needed for that was less than a week. Kaspars Dambis created a proof of concept that bridges WordPress to this new Sign In with Apple functionality. Pretty cool, right?

Pantheon acquires StagingPilot

Pantheon acquires StagingPilot, a WebOps tooling service that automates over two million test steps a month that would otherwise be done by humans.

Bonus links

The post Sign in with Apple ID, full site editing plugin and bonus links appeared first on Yoast.

Block Editor news and plugin tips

While we’re getting ready to see WordPress 5.2.2 released next week, today’s roundup focuses partly on the Block Editor. I’m also highlighting two plugins that work wonderfully with the Block Editor. One is for creating creative grid layouts and one is for ad management. Let’s dive in!

Block Library Project

The project for the Block Library in the Gutenberg editor, which allows for installing Blocks from within Gutenberg, is well underway. The end goal of the project is to have the WordPress.org API provide an endpoint for searching for blocks by name and description, and return metadata similar to that of plugins. Making it super easy to install blocks from within the Gutenberg editor.

Mel Choyce published an update on the Make WordPress Design blog outlining a workflow. Well worth checking out. Especially if you’ve already spent a lot of time in the new Block Editor.

Grids for the Block Editor

Speaking of the Block Editor, there’s a cool plugin I stumbled upon called Grids. It’s a sort of layout builder that helps you create visual structures in your page. From a simple layout made by adjacent columns, to more complex compositions.

Grids is entirely based on the Block Editor, which means you’ll be able to use it together with the big collection of content blocks that have already been created. It’s a pretty nifty plugin, if you ask me.

Site Health Manager

WordPress 5.2 introduced the ‘Site Health’ section in your ‘Tools’ menu. As is the case with all new features WordPress adds, soon, a new plugin will start playing with that :) Just like in this case. If you’d like more granular control over what is shown in the ‘Site Health’ section, then the Site Health Manager plugin is for you.

Adsanity

One of the very few plugins I recommend for managing advertisements on your site is Adsanity. It’s a premium plugin, but it’s one well worth paying for in my opinion. The plugin works as a light ad rotator plugin. It allows you, as the user, to create and manage ads shown on a website as well as keep statistics on views and clicks.

They recently released their 1.6 version, which makes the plugin integrate perfectly with the Block Editor as well as Beaver Builder, for instance. If you’re in the market for an ad manager, do check them out.

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Theme news, tutorials, ACF, and WordPress update

Today’s roundup focuses on some theme related news items, as well as some tutorials and a lot of ACF goodies. But, don’t worry, I’m also bringing you up to speed on WordPress 5.2 and the new Gutenberg update. Would be weird if I didn’t, right? 😏

Genesis 2.10

The Genesis framework saw a nice update to version 2.10 last week. The most important features that were added in this update were WP-CLI commands, improved navigation, increased visibility into Genesis plugins, and easier access to the settings and features. Check out the 2.10 release post for more in-depth information about this release.

Disable Genesis schema markup

If you’ve been using Genesis because of its rich schema markup alongside our Yoast SEO plugin, you may now want to disable Genesis’ schema markup altogether so Yoast SEO can provide everything instead (see the Yoast SEO 11.0 update post for more information about why). To disable Genesis schema, Bill Erickson released a small but effective plugin that does exactly this for you. You can learn all about it in Bill’s post.

Exhale with Justin Tadlock

Justin Tadlock is probably the one I learned from the most about building themes. He’s been around since 2008 and has always produced solid content in the shape of tutorials. Justin recently released a new theme called Exhale which he is using to base a couple of child themes on.

What I really like about Justin’s approach is that he immediately teaches you what he has learned through his blog posts. He has already posted a couple of tutorials on ThemeHybrid’s blog that show you what you can do with a theme that’s making good use of Gutenberg. For instance, how to create an app sales landing page, a cafe landing page, or a business landing page.

Justin’s looking for inspiration to create more of these kinds of landing pages, so if you have an idea, go and respond to his tweet:

ACF and flexible content

Speaking of landing pages. Bill Erickson, yes, the same guy I mentioned earlier in this post, wrote a nice tutorial on how to use ACF to create more flexible landing pages when Gutenberg blocks just don’t cut it.

Bill does a great job explaining in great detail how to approach this. I’m a big fan of Bill’s tutorials as he (just like Justin Tadlock) really takes the time to explain everything step by step.

But there are even more options with ACF.

ACF Blocks

ACF makes it super easy for you to create blocks, and if you prefer not to touch code, you’re in luck. ACF just released ACF Blocks, which is a collection of Gutenberg Blocks. It helps you speed up website creation in the Gutenberg editor. ACF Blocks is built on-top of Advanced Custom Fields Pro. Do note, that this plugin requires the ACF Pro version of the ACF plugin to function correctly.

WordPress 5.2 RC2

If everything goes according to plan, the WordPress Core Team will release WordPress 5.2 this week. They’ve already released the second Release Candidate, so if there are no more blockers, it will be released this week.

Gutenberg 5.6

The work on improving the Gutenberg editor is continuing relentlessly. We saw the release of version 5.6 last week. With the most important updates being a number of improvements, including to the button block focus states, theming, and block mover controls with full- and wide-aligned blocks. Per usual, you can learn more about it here.

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WooCommerce 3.6, AMP plugin update, WPGraphQL and WordPress news

It’s time for another roundup, packed with updates. Today’s headlines: WooCommerce finally embracing the Gutenberg editor fully, AMP for WordPress delivering great improvements with their new update and an introduction to WPGraphQL. So much WordPress news to cover!

WooCommerce 3.6 Loves Gutenberg

WooCommerce saw an update that delivers much better integration with the new Block Editor. This update introduces blocks for Products by Category, Best Selling Products, Hand-picked Products, Newest Products, On Sale Products, Top-Rated Products, Products by Attribute and Featured Product. And I’ve got to say, having these blocks available is a huge improvement in this Gutenberg-powered era.

It’s also really good to see WooCommerce working hard on improving performance. That’s something we at Yoast are big fans of, and highly recommend all developers to have a strong focus on. You can learn more about WooCommerce 3.6 in their introductory post.

Big update for the AMP plugin

The AMP project aims to make the web faster. And that’s exactly what the new 1.1 release does. The WordPress AMP plugin saw some nice new features and bug fixes. I’m especially happy that the image rendering bug has been fixed.

WPGraphQL making strides!

If you haven’t yet heard of GraphQL, or its WordPress equivalent, WPGraphQL, I encourage you to check out this data query solution. It’s a very performant way to work with WordPress data.

With GraphQL, the client makes declarative queries, asking for the exact data needed, and in exactly what was asked for is given in response, nothing more. This allows the client to have control over their application and allows the GraphQL server to perform more efficiently by only fetching the resources requested.

WPGraphQL

They released a WPGraphQL integration plugin with ACF last week. This plugin makes working with custom data provided by ACF a very smooth experience, with a lot of potential.

WordPress and mental health

There’s a project growing inside the WordPress Community that deserves a bit more exposure: WP&UP. It aims to support and promote positive mental health within the WordPress community. From their website:

WP&UP recognizes that members of the WordPress community can potentially manifest mental health issues from a variety of pressures. The WP&UP Health Hubs are designed to provide holistic support for the individual.

WP&UP website

During WordCamp London, I met the team recently and learned more about their mission and goal. If mental health is (or should be) a focus of yours, do check out their website and see how they can help you.

WordPress 5.2 postponed for one week

Looks like the Release Candidate for WordPress 5.2 is going to be delayed for a week. And this invariably means the release itself is going to be postponed as well. So, what to do with all this extra time?! Well, you can start reading up on the Block Editor changes in WordPress 5.2 or a good summary of the new Fatal Error Recovery Mode in 5.2.

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Tips to enhance your experience with the Block Editor

Today I’d like to highlight two plugins that supercharge the new Block Editor experience. They’re very different in nature, but I find them both equally impressive. There’s some news about the upcoming WordPress 5.2 release, and there might be mention of a bonus link. Come and find out.

Gutenberg on steroids

We’re four, five months into using the new Block Editor and by now, I’m sure, you’ve started to get the hang of it. I mean, I sure have. I love how I can easily play around with rich media in new, exciting ways with just a couple of clicks.

Having said that, there are times when I wish I had a bit more control over a certain block. So, I looked around and found two wonderful plugins that enhance my Gutenberg experience.

Advanced Rich Text Tools for Gutenberg

This is the most lightweight of the two, but a sweet one at that. It only does three things at the moment, but it does them perfectly:

  • It adds code, subscript (sub), and superscript (sup) buttons to the formatting toolbar.
  • It also adds inline text and a background color panel.
  • And, it adds a “Remove formatting” button.

Like I said, only three things, but it gets a lot of joy out of these three little options. Find out more information here.

Advanced Gutenberg

The second plugin I found is a bit more complicated. It adds a plethora of options to existing Gutenberg blocks. I choose it for wanting a smarter way to display Gutenberg gallery images on one of my playground sites, a site about old German cars. Specifically, I wanted them to show in a lightbox pop-up when clicked on.

However, that’s only one small thing this plugin does. For example, it also allows you to configure:

  • Default block configuration.
  • Advanced Gutenberg icons block color.

And, you’re going to love this if options is your thing, it adds more than 20 different blocks to do all kinds of fancy things. Find out more at the WordPress.org plugin page.

WordPress 5.2, beta 3

WordPress 5.2 keeps being refined and improved. We’re currently already at beta 3. This beta release also marks the soft string freeze point of the 5.2 release schedule. If you speak additional languages besides English, now’s a great time to help to make sure WordPress 5.2 is properly translated in your language. WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need all the testers we can get. Head over if you’d like to help out.

Bonus link

If you’ve ever needed to limit access your site to visitors who are logged in or accessing the site from a set of specified IP addresses, Restricted Site Access is the plugin you’re looking for. It’s a great solution for extranets, publicly hosted intranets or heck, you can even use it for your staging sites.

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