WordPress Roundup: February 2022 including Full Site Editing and more

WordPress Roundup February 2022

February is the month of love, hearts, and valentines, but for me, it is mostly just cold.

As I write this our ground is covered with sleet. Yuck. And it’s cold.

February in 2021 brought us the biggest snow total in one week I’ve ever seen.

But in the world of WordPress, it is anything but cold, it’s red hot.

WordPress 5.9 was released in January 2022. This was a major event and with it comes access to Full Site Editing.

We take a look at Full Site Editing, Twitter Spaces, Google Font, FLoC, and more in the WordPress roundup for February.

WordPress News upcoming conferences

Two events in the WordPress space will be coming up very soon. The first of these two is the WP Career Summit.

Hosted by Post Status, the event takes place on April 8, 2022, from 9-5 CDT.

The event is an opportunity to match job candidates with companies looking for talent.

The second of these events is WordFest Live. That takes place on March 4, 2020.

This is the second year of the WordFest Live event that is hosted by the Big Orange Heart team.

In some ways, WordFest Live has helped fill the gaps left by no in-person WordCamps and it raises money and awareness for Big Orange Heart.

WordPress Photo Gallery

One of the new features I am most looking forward to in the future of WordPress is the photo gallery. Right now it contains over 900 free photos. You can download them and use them now, but at some point, there will be a media migration.

Justin Tadlock explains more about the initiative in this article at WP Tavern.

You can see the current gallery here and if you want to contribute to the development and submit photos, you can learn more about that here. I have not seen any word on the expected launch.

Row of colorful hanging guitars
Row of colorful hanging guitars (from the WordPress Photo Gallery) by Jennifer Bourn

LinkedIn WordPress Product Group

The LinkedIn WordPress Product Community launched the second week of November 2021. The group is moderated by Rob Cairns and Courtney.

To date, the community has almost 8500 members. The community is fairly active and the moderators work hard to keep SPAM out of the group.

If you are on LinkedIn, check it out.

Court ruling against using Google Fonts… wait, what?

Person taking notes on a laptop at a WordCamp.
Person taking notes on a laptop at a WordCamp. Photographer, Pablo Moratinos

Who knows that the Google Fonts library would be so controversial? it is one of the many ways that we add fonts to our websites.

Now, we have to rethink some of these.

According to The Hacker News,

“A regional court in the German city of Munich has ordered a website operator to pay €100 in damages for transferring a user’s personal data — i.e., IP address — to Google via the search giant’s Fonts library without the individual’s consent.”

Because a link to the library creates a connection or a call, it is considered personal information.

“Under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data points such as IP addresses, advertising IDs, and cookies are counted as personal identifiable information (PII), making it mandatory for businesses to seek users’ explicit permission before processing such information.”

In other words, this ruling violates the GDPR. I’m not sure this was something we were thinking about once the GDPR rolled out.

Personal information and privacy is a hot topic right now, and it stands to reason that some things may change moving forward.

So, what are we as web consultants supposed to do?

Screenshot: www.termageddon.com
Screenshot: www.termageddon.com

Donata Stroink-Skillrud of Termageddon has already written a response.

She writes,

“The German court’s decision makes it clear that the use of Google Fonts is possible if such fonts are hosted locally and thus are not connected to Google’s servers. In this case, if fonts are hosted locally, the personal data is not shared with Google and thus would also circumvent the recent decision made by the Austrian Data Protection Authority regarding the use of Google Analytics and such data being shared with Google Analytics in contravention of GDPR.”

So, now we have to think about hosting font libraries locally.

And, as Donata says, don’t forget to update your privacy policies if you choose to embed them locally.

I suspect that theme makers will make this an option in their functions moving forward.

Ding Dong FLoC is dead!

Screenshot: https://www.howtogeek.com/781793/everyone-hated-googles-floc-and-now-its-dead/
Screenshot: https://www.howtogeek.com/781793/everyone-hated-googles-floc-and-now-its-dead/

The early days of monetizing via the internet are in trouble. Privacy concerns and personal data are a hot topic right now (see above, Google Fonts).

One of the ways to make money had always been to track users and serve them ads. That is getting harder to do.

Google tried to change the words a bit with FLoC or the Federated Learning of Cohorts. It was an effort to steer clear of cookies.

However, FLoC didn’t work. People did not like it and there is still steam rising from privacy concerns.

As such, Google has ditched FLoC.

David LeClair explains the new plan at How-to Geek,

“Instead of FLoC, Google has introduced a new interest-based targeting proposal called Topics, which will select topics of interest based on your browsing history. It doesn’t introduce external servers to share those topics with participating sites.”

Time will tell if this works. In the article, LeClair says that these Topics are deleted after three weeks.

I guess we will keep our collective eyes on the updates of Topics.

Have you used Twitter Spaces yet?

Screenshot: https://media.twitter.com/en/articles/products/2021/twitter-spaces
Screenshot: https://media.twitter.com/en/articles/products/2021/twitter-spaces

Have you joined a Twitter Space yet? I have gotten on a couple of times, but both times, they were not WordPress-related.

These days, WordPress Twitter Spaces are starting to pop up.

I am not sure we have a database of various Twitter spaces that are available, but I do know of a couple.

The first one is hosted by WP Minute. The other one is NoFilterFM hosted by Justin Ferriman and Ross Johnson.

NoFilterFM holds its meetings every other week. You can learn more about NoFilterFM here. WP Minute hopes to have one once per month according to a Direct Message with its Twitter account.

It is going to be interesting who starts these spaces going forward and what is discussed and how much drama may be found.

Getting started with Full Site Editing

Screenshot: https://gutena.io/ a FSE Blockbased theme
Screenshot: www.gutena.io an FSE Blockbased theme

Now with WordPress 5.9 released, there is an opportunity to learn how to complete Full Site Editing (FSE) websites.

With that being an option, resources for getting started are starting to pop up.

Full Site Editing is undoubtedly a different way to design and build websites, therefore you will want to experiment in a demo environment.

To use build a Full Site Editing site, you will need a theme that is FSE ready. The Gutenberg Times has a list of those things that you can use to get started.

Below are a few resources that you can use to get started with Full Site Editing.

Full Site Editing Resources:

Wrapping up the WordPress Roundup Feb 2022

We have entered a new era of WordPress. The era of Gutenberg, blocks and Full Site Editing is here. The biggest question is, “will developers embrace and deploy these sources?”

Many developers will. Most may embrace the new era, but there will be some developers who do not wish to.

Have you started working with Full Site Editing? Let us know in the MainWP Users Facebook Group.

Looking for something?

Privacy laws apply to businesses that collect personal information. Since no personal information is collected by the MainWP plugins, no privacy laws apply to the MainWP plugins. This includes GDPR, UK DPA 2018, PIPEDA, Australia Privacy Act 1988, LGPD, PIPL, and other privacy laws.
Donata Stroink-Skillrud
Donata Stroink-Skillrud
President of Agency Attorneys