The first-ever core preview walkthru with contribs for WP 6.0. Lots of Gutenberg news, big WordCamp comebacks, and other cool things!

Core and Block Editor Updates

Join contributors to WordPress core and other teams on April 5th for a first-of-it’s-kind video product walk-through of the major features coming in WordPress 6.0.

The newly released Gutenberg 12.9 has a new block locking UI. It’s also easier as of this release to build block themes, and manage deeply nested block structures. There are performance improvements and several more goodies.

It’s time! The WordPress pattern directory is live. Now you can log into your user account to build, edit, and submit block patterns to the Pattern Directory. Justin Tadlock shares his day one experience.

According to Matías Ventura, soon you’ll be able to select text across blocks in the WordPress editor while retaining the fundamental mechanics of content blocks.

Proposal for WebP by Default

Adam Silverstein has proposed adopting WebP as the default image format in WordPress core for uploads in the Media Library. If Adam’s proposal is adopted as he describes, “WebP images [would be] generated by default for new JPEG uploads” and “used by default for the website content.”

You can test this proposed feature with the Performance Lab plugin‘s WebP Uploads module.  Developers can review code and give technical feedback on the latest patch on the associated Trac ticket or Pull Request

Big WordCamp Comebacks!

Large WordCamps are making their return. In addition to WordCamp Europe on June 2-4, WordCamp US is happening on September 9-1. The call for speakers closes on April 17th.) WordCamp Asia has recently announced it’s going to take place early next year on February 17-19, 2023, in Bangkok, Thailand.

Shiny New Things Shared

Rich Tabor has placed all his blocks on Github, including a new Share to Twitter block. He also explains in another post why the “new era” of WordPress themes is finally here. The future of publishing happens in a block editor, not a code editor. Rich also shares an important block development tip:

An important concept to grasp is that when you do make changes to a template, or part, within the Template editor, those changes will immediately take precedence over the theme’s bundled template files.

Brian Gardner shows a simple way of adding “a bit of pizzazz” to images in the block editor.

Here’s a brilliant WordPress plugin from Brian Henry that creates single-use passwords in the URLs in WordPress login emails for a “frictionless login” experience.

Developer Happiness ‍️

Tech has one of the highest resignation rates in any industry. Why? David Gibson at Stack Overflow examines survey results to find out what makes developers happy at work. While about 70% say they are happy, 20% of developers are looking for new opportunities. On a global scale that adds up.

John Hughes from CodeInWP looks at the average wages for web developers across different development fields. From the data, John concludes that backend developers should expect $67k-$116k with frontend developers making a bit less. Of course, location and experience are big factors, so the details in this post are worth digging into.

Good to Know

Eric Karkovack examines some pain points when it comes to selling WooCommerce, like the dizzying array of features and extensions available. Eric has some good advice for getting past that potential barrier by accurately assessing project needs and communicating them to clients.

I liked this review of the history of the UA string from Brian Kardell. It’s amazing how complex it is with the “lies” and workarounds — not to mention the money and time — that have gone into the evolution of a string.

If you’re looking for an educational Twitter thread, the responses to Joe Howard’s questions about a minimalist WordPress blog are worth a look.

Upgrades 🆙

If you use PHPStorm, check out its latest improvements for WordPress development.

WP Migrate DB Pro has been capable of migrating much more than databases for quite some time. Understandably, they’ve shortened this indispensable plugin’s name to WP Migrate. The simpler brand is official as of the latest 2.3 version. This release also offers a UI for including or excluding the database in a migration, making version comparisons, and some other enhancements.

Support Ukraine! 🇺🇦

Tetiana Pryhorovska from Crocoblock offers a perspective as an employee of a WordPress company based in Ukraine. Learn how some members of the WordPress community are offering support.