Webmaster News

WordPress local development tool ‘Local’ now works with WP Engine

Eight months after WP Engine acquired Flywheel, they are launching a new version of Flywheel's local WordPress development tool, Local, with full support for WP Engine. The latest version of Local seamlessly integrates DevKit, making it possible to develop sites locally and to push changes live to WP Engine with the click of a button.

Local

ICANN allows Verisign to start increasing .com prices indefinitely

ICANN announced that Verisign can start increasing .com wholesale domain pricing 7% every year for four years, with a two-year break, indefinitely. Verisign will increase its revenue by at least 70% over ten years (an additional $800m) in exchange for giving ICANN $20m.

Rising cost of domains

Modern Tribe launches major upgrade of its WordPress event calendar plugin

The best calendar plugin for WordPress, The Events Calendar, released a new version that was rebuilt from the ground up. The new plugin, version 5, includes a completely redesigned calendar view and experience.

The Event Calendar

WP Engine will no longer support .htaccess with release of PHP 7.4

The popular WordPress hosting platform, WP Engine, is removing the ability to use .htaccess files when sites upgrade to PHP 7.4. They claim the deprecation results in a performance increase of up to 10%, and they are providing .htaccess alternatives.

WP Engine PHP

Domain prices are unregulated and rising at an alarming rate

The days of enjoying reasonably priced domain names may be coming to an end. Generic top-level domain (gTLD) owners have been significantly raising their annual fees as their extensions gain in popularity.

Rising cost of domains

Fathom Analytics adds single page application (SPA) tracking

The privacy-focused web analytics service, Fathom, added the ability to track page views on sites that use SPA frameworks like Ember, React, and Angular.

Fathomo

Firefox 70 shows inactive CSS and how to fix it

The Developer Tools in the latest version of the Firefox browser can now highlight Cascading Stylesheet properties and values that are not properly implemented, and provide details on how to fix them

Firefox

Vimeo updates video player to be more accessible

The popular video service for creators and brands updated its video player to support the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines’ Level AA compliance.

Vimeo Accessibility

Chrome, Firefox, and Safari now support dark mode for websites

Websites can now add support for native dark mode for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android by using the prefers-color-scheme CSS media query.

Prefers Color Scheme

You can now host static sites on Cloudflare

Cloudflare has leveraged its Workers platform to host static sites on its Edge caching servers, removing the need for a web hosting service.

Cloudflare

Chrome to block images, audio, and video that aren’t secure

To increase privacy and security, and to improve the user experience when people visit sites with mixed content (sites that serve assets with http and https), Google is transitioning Chrome to block all non-secure assets.

Chrome

Google testing native contact picker in Chrome 77 for Android

In an attempt to bring more native app functionality to PWAs, Google has created a Contact Picker API to allow websites to access contact details.

Chrome PWA

WP Engine removes a popular plugin from their disallowed list

WP Engine worked with Wordfence to make their security plugin compatible with its hosting service and to remove it from WP Engine’s infamous Disallowed Plugins list

WP Engine Wordfence

DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) coming to Chrome and Firefox browsers

In a move to force mass adoption of DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH), Mozilla and Google are adding DoH to their browsers, and they plan to turn it on by default for all users.

Chrome and Firefox

Google releases official ‘Native Lazyload’ plugin for WordPress

Sites using WordPress can now take advantage of Chrome’s new native lazy-loading support with Google’s new Native Lazyload plugin. The plugin uses a JavaScript fallback for lazy-loading if a browser doesn’t support it natively.

Lazyload

WordPress releases version 5.2.3 with several security fixes

The latest security and maintenance release of WordPress includes eight security updates, including several cross-site scripting vulnerabilities.

WordPress

Google’s ‘Polymer Project’ could replace PHP templates with their ‘lit’ library and web components

PHP templating engines like Twig are popular among web developers but Google is working on JavaScript solutions that have the potential to replace them. Google's Polymer Project created the JavaScript-based 'lit-html' templating library and more recently released LitElement, a solution for creating fast and lightweight web components.

Polymer Project

AMP adds support for custom JavaScript

Web developers can now add custom JavaScript, including frameworks like React, to AMP pages using the new amp-script component.

AMP

Chrome web browser now supports native lazy-loading

Lazy-loading is a common practice used to defer the display of images below the fold of a browser window and has always required JavaScript. The latest version of Chrome removes the requirement to use JavaScript.

Chrome

Google updates its webmaster tools with evergreen Chromium

Three months after Google switched to using evergreen Chromium for their Googlebot crawler, they are now updating their search tools to also use evergreen Chromium to render pages.

Google