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Technology Video World

Happy New Year! the 2020 edition

2020 begins today, so it’s a great time to start using some basic privacy toolsmake sure your browser is up to dateupdate all of your passwords, and setup two factor authentication wherever you can.

The theme this year was apparently themes, since the top two posts were Twenty Nineteen Tweaks and A Search Shortcut For Any Theme, the only two posts about themes. I guess I’ll need to get to work on some tweaks for the Twenty Twenty theme.

We’ll need more people sharing their voices and experiences this year, so please considering launching your own site with WordPress (and Jetpack) or WordPress.com, or start posting again if you already have one!

Now, let’s all have a great 2020!

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Technology

WordPress 5.3 Released

WordPress 5.3 has been released! Along with new features, refinements, and accessibility improvements in the editor, this release introduces the new Twenty Twenty default theme, Health Check improvements, verification for admin email changes, PHP 7.4 compatibility, and 387 bug fixes. For specifics, check out the changelog.

645 volunteers contributed to this release, lead by Matt Mullenweg, Francesca Marano, and David Baumwald. At the time of writing this, WordPress 5.3 has been out for about 1 hour, and has already been downloaded 290,235 times!

All users can safely update from Dashboard -> Updates or download and update manually, though you should probably backup first just in case, unless you’re already using VaultPress, which you really should be.

If you run into any problems, stop by the known issues first, and please let us know if it’s not covered there!

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Colleagues Photo

Automattic Meetup 2019

I just got back from our annual Automattic Grand Meetup in Orlando, Florida. We had over 800 employees from across the globe, suddenly filling 1 hotel for the week. I love building things in person with people I usually only communicate with via text (and the occasional GIF). It can be a bit overwhelming, but I always walk away with a few new friends.

Speaking of that, this was my first time working closely with my new team. I used to only support Jetpack, but now I participate in public support for Jetpack, WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Akismet, VaultPress, Gravatar, WordAds, Crowdsignal, and Simplenote! Our team is almost evenly spread across timezones, so we don’t often get a chance to be online together, much less in the same room for a week. 🙂

We built and learned quite a bit, and though we have no specific announcements yet, please watch the blogs of the above products for exciting news. Oh, and did you know we acquired Tumblr? So, the Tumblr Blog too! As for myself, I have a few photos to share:

In case you’re wondering, that last photo is of our very talented band of Automatticians.

For more photos, stop by the a8cgm tag on WordPress.com and on Instagram too.

If any of this looks interesting to you, we’re always hiring!

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Technology

WordPress 5.2 Released

WordPress 5.2 has been released! Along with accessibility and privacy updates, and new blocks for the editor, this release introduces a new Site Health system, which will help you debug common issues and help you collect crucial information for support requests. PHP Error Protection joins the party to help you fix or manage fatal errors, such as those caused by plugin or theme installations and updates. As of this release, WordPress now requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher. This is a big leap from the old PHP 5.2 requirement, but considering that even PHP 5.6 reached its end of life 4 months ago, it’s definitely a necessary move.

327 volunteers contributed to this release, lead by Matt Mullenweg, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and Gary Pendergast. At the time of writing this, WordPress 5.2 has been out for about 1 hour, and has already been downloaded 147,717 times!

All users can safely update from Dashboard -> Updates or download and update manually, though you should probably backup first just in case, unless you’re already using VaultPress, which you really should be.

If you run into any problems, stop by the known issues first, and please let us know if it’s not covered there!

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Technology

A Search Shortcut For Any Theme

Sometimes you find a WordPress theme you love, like Twenty Nineteen, but it’s just missing something you really want, like a search bar at the top. I’ve covered my other Twenty Nineteen tweaks in an earlier post, but folks have asked about this too. Since it works for pretty much any theme, I figured a separate post would be more appropriate.

Since you don’t have a search bar in at the top of your site, you’re probably using WordPress’s built-in Search widget. The first thing you’ll want to do is right-click the widget’s title, choose Inspect Element (or similar, it depends on your browser) and copy its section ID. In my case, that is:

<section id="search-3" class="widget widget_search">

so, the section ID is search-3.

Now, edit your site’s menu. Here you’ll add a Custom Link to your menu, enter only # followed by the section ID as the URL, in my case #search-3 and enter whatever you’d like for the Navigation Label. I went with a magnifying glass emoji 🔍 , and if you choose an emoji too, please enter “Search” in the Title Attribute field so folks with Screen Readers know what the link is for.

(Photo by Francesca Tirico on Unsplash)