WPWeekly Episode 360 – CBD and E-Commerce With Javier Cano

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by Javier Cano, Director of Marketing for Liquid Web. We discuss the challenges people are facing selling CBD products on e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce and what Liquid Web is doing to be an ally to the industry. We also talk about high-risk payment processors and the brick and mortar approach versus selling high-risk products online. Cano also shares his experiences from attending and speaking at recent CBD expos.

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Newspack Opens Up Application Process for Phase Two

Earlier this year, Newspack chose twelve publications to take part in the initial rollout phase of the platform. Newspack is a collection of themes, plugins, and features geared towards newsrooms such as revenue generation wizards, mobile delivery, and search engine optimization.

Steve Beatty, head of Newspack Communication says they’re seeking up to 50 newsrooms to be part of phase two which lasts from September 1st – February 29th, 2020.

“What you’ll get: a new Newspack website, including the migration of your existing site; free hosting, security, updates, backups and support on WordPress.com through February 2020; membership in the Newspack community of users; access to Newspack developers; exclusive performance benchmarking against your peers; and more,” Beatty said.

Organizations that are selected are expected to provide feedback, test new features, and help shape the overall direction of the platform.

Free hosting for charter members will expire on February 29th, 2020. News organizations with revenue under $500K can expect to pay $1,000 per month and organizations that generate revenue of over $500K will pay $2,000 per month. Newspack is currently in negotiations to provide subsidies for organizations that encounter difficulties with the pricing structure.

Those interested in participating in the charter program have until August 15th to fill out the application.

In Case You Missed It – Issue 28

In Case You Missed It Featured Image
photo credit: Night Moves(license)

There’s a lot of great WordPress content published in the community but not all of it is featured on the Tavern. This post is an assortment of items related to WordPress that caught my eye but didn’t make it into a full post.

Changes to WordPress PHP Coding Standards

Based on changes that were proposed back in March, the PHP Coding Standards for WordPress have been altered. Note that these changes apply to WordPress core only and Gary Pendergast recommends that developers can and should choose practices that best suit your needs for plugins and themes.

Excluding Remote Employee Job Applicants Based on the State They Live In

Like Brad, the topic of not hiring job applicants for a remote company based on the state they live in because of tax laws is not something I’ve seen discussed.

In certain situations, companies that go the extra mile to hire a remote worker can also turn that person into an advocate.

If you’re involved in the hiring process for a remote company, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic in the comments.

Would You Like to See A Product Hunt for WordPress Products?

Once you create something awesome in the WordPress ecosystem, it’s tough to get the word out. Ben from LyrWP wants to know if anyone is interested in a Product Hunt website for Themes, Plugins, and Services.

I think it’s a great idea and something I’d like to see become a reality. There are probably a ton of great products in the WordPress space that go unseen because there’s no easy way to reach a large mass of people outside of sites like the Tavern.

However, Mario Peshev is concerned that such a site may end up posting infrequently or promote mediocre products.

If Peshev’s concern became a reality, there wouldn’t be much of a point to continue with the site and developers would be back to square one.

Speaking of learning about new products, who remembers the Plugin Release posts on WeblogToolsCollection.com?

Early Look at What A Block Directory in WP-Admin Could Look Like

Mel Choyce has shared a collection of concept images that depict what a Block Directory could look like inside of WP-Admin. She describes the inspiration for each image and how each screen would work.

What I find interesting is that users will be able to try out new blocks before installing them. “Inside the modal, you’d also be able to demo a block before installing. @ck3lee has figured out how to make this possible,” Choyce said.

It’s also great to see that the tech behind Shiny Updates will be used for quickly installing and activating new blocks. If you have feedback regarding the conceptual designs, please leave a comment on her post.

Notes From Lead Developer Conference

More than 20 Automatticians are attending the Lead Developer Conference in London, England, and are publishing notes from each day. You can check out Day 1 here.

WPCampus 2019 Will Be LiveStreamed

Thanks to Pantheon, all sessions excluding workshops at WPCampus will be livestreamed with captioning and available to watch for free. Simply visit the livestream page on Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27.

Apply for a DonateWC WordCamp Sponsorship

DonateWC is looking for applicants for its sponsorship program. DonateWC provides underrepresented and minority groups within the WordPress community with the means to attend a WordCamp.

That’s it for issue twenty-eight. If you recently discovered a cool resource or post related to WordPress, please share it with us in the comments.

Experimental Block Areas Plugin Allows for Editing Content Sitewide with Gutenberg

WordPress core committer Felix Arntz is working on an experimental Block Areas plugin that would enable users to create and edit content sitewide using the Gutenberg editor. Inspired by a conversation with Morten Rand-Hendriksen at WordCamp Europe, Arntz created the plugin to “explore what the theming of tomorrow could look like already today.”

Block Areas allows users to define specific areas where they want to use the block editor (outside of regular posts). The block areas function similar to widget areas, but are created using a custom post type with a familiar admin UI.

“They are implemented as a post type – with the key aspect that they can’t be accessed in the frontend via a certain URL, but your theme has to render them via a block_areas()->render( $slug ) method that the plugin exposes,” Arntz said. “The slug you pass to the method should match the block area slug (i.e. post slug) of one of the areas you have created in the admin.”

The plugin comes with block areas for site header and footer to provide a starting point. However, adding the block areas to a theme is one technical hurdle that currently limits this experimental plugin to developers.

The concept is reminiscent of the now seemingly abandoned Buckets plugin that aimed to provide an alternative to WordPress widgets. It allows admins to create reusable pieces of content and place them anywhere on their sites. Reusable buckets can be created with the same UI as the legacy post editor and then placed anywhere using a shortcode or via a button in the TinyMCE editor.

In the case of Buckets, the idea was to preserve the users’ ability to create content using the visual editor and media manager. Block Areas seems to have a similar aim – to preserve users’ ability to use the block editor anywhere they want throughout the site. That is part of the general goal of Gutenberg Phase 2, which includes migrating widgets and menus to use the block editor.

Block Areas is just one idea for providing a unified approach to reusable content inside WordPress. It is not an official project and may not be the approach that the Gutenberg team settles on for core. However, it offers a good opportunity for discussion and collaboration about the possibilities of taking the editor sitewide. This will open up a whole new genre of blocks for plugin developers.

“Think about a block that renders the site title, the custom header, a menu, the copyright information – taking Gutenberg to the site level opens up a whole new set of typical blocks that would be required,” Arntz said. “Start thinking about which blocks you would need outside of your post content bubble today.”

The Block Areas plugin is available on GitHub if you want to experiment with it. Check out Arntz’s introduction post for more implementation details.