WordPress 5.6 Released, Led by 10up’s Helen Hou-Sandi

10up Contributors For WordPress 5.6 Simone

WordPress 5.6, released on Tuesday, features expanded auto-update capabilities, further updates to jQuery, the initial groundwork for PHP 8 support, and REST API authentication with Application Passwords to help third-party apps connect with sites securely and help site owners see what connected apps are doing.

It also delivers new block patterns available in all default themes and a brand-new default theme built for the block editor. Twenty Twenty-One prioritizes accessibility, conforming to the WordPress accessibility-ready guidelines and addressing several specialized standards from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 at level AAA.

This release, with an all-women and non-binary release squad, was led by 10up’s own Director of Open Source Initiatives Helen Hou-Sandì as Core Tech Lead. Nine other 10uppers helped make this release possible, including myself, who along with Helen, was recognized as a Noteworthy Contributor. Thank you for helping make WordPress: Asvin Balloo, Darin Kotter, Evan Mullins, Fabian Kaegy, Felipe Elia, Helen Hou-Sandí, Jeffrey Paul, Junaid Bhura, Ryan Welcher, and Tung Du!

Search Term Highlighting, New Synonym Dashboard introduced in ElasticPress 3.5

ElasticPress 3.5 delivers two new features that uplevel onsite search capabilities and improve user experience: a synonym dashboard and search term result highlighting.

This release follows several smaller updates that introduced a sticky post filter that displays specified posts atop search results, improved support for searching terms (like tags), a related posts block for the WordPress block editor, and a widget for filtering WooCommerce results by price.

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ClassifAI Adds Image OCR, Easing Facebook And Instagram Embeds

ClassifAI — our free, open-source plugin that augments WordPress-powered websites with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology — is taking another step forward in support of content creators and digital publishers. Our newest release, ClassifAI 1.6, integrates Optical Character Recognition (OCR) scanning of screenshots and other imagery.

ClassifAI 1.6 launches on the heels of Facebook and Instagram dropping support for open embeds, which prevents platforms like WordPress from easily displaying original social posts by dropping a link into the editor. The OCR technology in ClassifAI 1.6 arrives at an opportune moment, making it easier to display social media posts on a WordPress site without compromising accessibility.

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10up’s New Design Shopping Exercise Featured On Smashing Magazine

Design Shopping Exercise

Working with large stakeholder groups can present challenges when working to reach a unified consensus on the design vision for a project. To encourage collaboration and ensure everyone feels confident and comfortable sharing ideas and opinions without judgment, 10up uses an exercise called Design Shopping.

In my recent article Design Shopping: Get A Faster Client Buy-In Through A Guided Design Showcase, published by Smashing Magazine, I explain our Design Shopping workflow and how it was used to gain client buy-in and facilitate swift design decisions when redesigning the California DMV website.

Design Shopping helps stakeholder groups quickly align around a shared design vocabulary and foundational design principles in a deliberate, meaningful way by removing the pressure of being right or wrong. When done right, this exercise turns big picture possibilities into a tangible design direction.

If you’d like your next design and UX project driven by a creative team that prioritizes collaboration, clear communication, and caring client services, get in touch.

10up formalizes partnership with Frontity

10up + Frontity Partnership

At 10up, we are always looking for innovative solutions that help us make a better web while adding value for our clients. Today, we are delighted to announce a partnership with Frontity — a next-generation JavaScript framework for creating headless WordPress experiences.

Using WordPress as a headless CMS empowers website owners to benefit from the superior editing experience WordPress is known for while also delivering the advantages of a decoupled front-end. Those advantages include the performant, app-like consumer experience popularized by frameworks like React.js.

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Avoid Assumptions: Using Research To Define Audiences In Their Own Words

Amy Grace Wells

We hear about audiences from stakeholders. We learn about audiences from analytics, demographics, and surveys. But hearing their feelings, hopes for your product, and motivations is an invaluable tool in shaping content, calls to action, and platform strategies. By exploring audiences in-depth, you can better, and more accurately, define segments.

On October 15, 2020, in partnership with GatherContent, I am presenting the webinar, Avoid assumptions: Using research to define audiences in their own words.

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Increase ad impressions with 10up’s Ad Refresh Control plugin for WordPress

Ad Refresh Control WordPress Plugin

Over the past year, in partnership with Google News Initiative (GNI), 10up has been working with hyperlocal publishers like Long Beach Post, VT Digger, Oil City News, and BK Reader to drive digital strategies for audience and revenue growth.

One strategy — refreshing ad slots after a set amount of time — successfully leveraged existing web traffic to increase ad impressions. This revenue-boosting strategy typically requires an ad-savvy web engineer for implementation.

Ad Refresh Control for WordPress

In keeping with the vision of our GNI partnership — providing widely applicable solutions that are relatively easy to implement — 10up created Ad Refresh Control, a free, open source, WordPress plugin that empowers publishers to easily control the refreshing of ads.

Ad Refresh Control works immediately upon activation, enabling active view refresh for Google Ad Manager ad units without needing to modify any code. Active view refresh helps publishers recoup lost impressions by reloading a visible ad unit after a set amount of time.

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Distributor 1.6 Introduces New Setup Wizard, Improved Tooling, and Official Hook Documentation

Distributor is our free WordPress plugin that empowers content managers to safely reuse and syndicate content across websites within a WordPress multisite network or across the web using the REST API. Designed with an intuitive user experience, Distributor integrates both “push” and “pull” use cases for sharing content and media between sites.

The release of Distributor 1.6 — with a new setup wizard, improved push/pull management, clearer warnings to facilitate swift troubleshooting when issues arise, and Site Health Info integration, as well as added developer hooks — exemplifies our continued investment in making the plugin easier to use and empowering developers to tailor it to fit even the most complicated workflows.

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