August Setlist: the future of WordPress, remember Bing, and a handy screenshot tool

The Setlist

Around the bend, we are headed for August. I’m not quite sure what the rest of 2020 will reveal.

So many questions remain. One thing that remains is how we feel when we hear stories.

Stories and music make life easier.

So today’s setlist includes some oldies, one of which goes back to the early 1960s.

We are talking about the future of WordPress, the re-emergence of Bing, and a handy tool to capture screenshots.

The times they are a-changin.’

There is a classic song from Bob Dylan that I often think of when I think about change. The song is called “The Times They Are a-Changin.'”

Perhaps Dylan’s song can be used to talk about the WordPress ecosystem.

It is safe to say that WordPress is changing. Is it for the better? That depends on who you ask.

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There are things you can do easier for businesses using WordPress.

I am working with a local non-profit to find them a solution. The organization is on a budget, of course, and would like to have a simple directory for its members.

I started thinking about hosting. I can put the organization on the host where I usually send people and then use my maintenance plan to help with updates and management, but I worry the price tag is too much.

So I looked at using WordPress.com, and the starting price for what they need is $25 per month.

I think in the future, there may be more managed hosting options at budget prices. Certainly, there may be some options to compete with the parent company.

I found this article about the future of WordPress for freelancers.

Freelancers Risk Missing Out on the Future of WordPress

The author brings up some excellent points as the average user will find WordPress more comfortable to use because of Gutenberg.

Some of the needs of the future, according to this article, are things we are already doing. We are in good shape.

Nothing stays the same. There are always changes. Trust me. I have seen tons of things change in 30 years (what is the internet, anyway?).

It is our job as business owners to pivot and adjust to help our customers.

Don’t you forget about me.

Do you remember the old song by Simple Minds, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”? That’s a great song from the 80s movie The Breakfast Club.

It sounds like Bing is channeling their inner Simple Minds as they try to make it easier to submit websites to their search engine.

If you are like me, you don’t even think about submitting anything to Bing. You know it will just show up, and it isn’t as important as Google.

I remember the days when we would submit websites to dozens of search engines. We usually used some kind of website app.

Then, the major search engines started sending out crawlers. We simply raised the flag to let them know we were up and running.

Nice.

Also, the landscape dramatically shifted, and we only really had to worry about two. However, Google dwarfed the other.

It sounds like the old normal may be the new normal, according to Bing.

In an article at WP Tavern,

“‘Bing believes that the future for search engines is less about crawling to discover content and more about sharing new and updated content across the web, a fundamental shift in the way that search engines handle web sites,’ Bing Product Manager Fabrice Canel said. ‘Instead of monitoring RSS, sitemaps and HTML pages to check for new pages, discover content changes and/or new outbound links, websites will notify search engines directly about relevant URLs changing on their website.'”
Source: WP Tavern

Bing Launches URL Submissions Plugin for WordPress

I have no idea if this is true. It sounds like posturing to get a share of the market back.

Nevertheless, they have created an API to handle this and a new WordPress plugin for, you know, a third of the internet using WordPress.

I will say we probably should pay more attention to Bing, especially if our products and services depend on a broader distribution.

The plugin can only help with that.

Freeze frame the screenshot

As a kid, the J. Geils Band became huge with some of their songs. They were barely PG 13, but us kids didn’t care.

They had a catchy beat and memorable lyrics. The legendary guitarist and founder of the band, John Warren Geils Jr., passed away just a few years ago. I still remember those songs like yesterday.

One of the band’s biggest hits was called “Freeze Frame.”

Well, in this day and time, as website designers, a freeze-frame is a screenshot. We use them often.

We used them to create tutorials for clients, blog posts, and to showcase our designs.

They are vital to our daily workflows. I have a couple I use regularly.

Add Screenshot.Rocks to your list of tools to try for screenshots.

Ben Townsend does one of his standard thorough reviews of the product at his blog this month.

How To Take Screenshots For Blog Posts. In Seconds. For Free.

Here is one I did of the landing page for my product Website Copy Framework.

Screenshot: Screenshot.rocks
Screenshot: Screenshot.rocks of my Website Copy Framework landing page

As I am writing this, it only took the above the old area. However, you can add your own screenshot and make your adjustments. That may be a good option.

Further, it is an open-source project, which means you can look at the inner workings.

Take a look at Ben’s review and then check out the app. It’s definitely fun to play with.

WCUS officially canceled

If you, like me, have never been to a WordCamp US, this year will not be your first.

It is sad, but during this time, the event has been canceled.

Aside from the pandemic, the cancellation stems from online event fatigue and the need for a traditional WordCamp.

Perhaps this is a great year to take a breather in all matters. We owe it to ourselves to take a break.

WP Tavern’s Sarah Gooding has an excellent discussion of the cancellation.

Hopefully, WordCamp US will be back up and running in 2021.

Wrapping it up

The summer is almost over for many of us, but it just seems like the heat won’t go away. We always have fun tools to play with, like Screenshot.Rocks.

There is always the future to think about. What will things be like in ten years? We don’t know.

Maybe we will return to something old in the future. Nevertheless, we are doing the best that we can to get to a new day.

What do you think about these articles? Let’s discuss at the MainWP Users Facebook Group.

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