WordPress Update 101: WordPress 4.8 “Evans”

It is time again for a WordPress Update, as the WordPress development team has released WordPress 4.8 on June 8, 2017. This is the first Major WordPress Release of 2017 which has new features and enhancements. In this article, we will show what new features were added.

This version most previous versions are named after Jazz composers. This Edition is nicknamed “Evans” in honor of the Jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans.

WordPress 4.8 Update alert
WordPress 4.8 Update alert
WordPress 4.8 Updates menu
WordPress 4.8 Updates menu

If you have auto-update enabled via softaculous, you should have received an email alerting you of your website is updated.

If not, then you should be able to enable the updates by visiting the “Update” section withing your menu highlighted in the screenshot or see an alert within your WordPress Admin area.

NB. Create a Complete WordPress Backup before making an update.

Three New Media Widgets

  • Image Widget – this widget enables you to add an image to the sidebar/widget area by selecting and/or uploading it to your media library with options for title and whether you want the image to have a link to a URL.
  • Video Widget – similar to the image widget, this enables you to embed a video within your sidebar/widget area. You can either select/upload to your WordPress media library or use videos from YouTube, Vimeo and other oEmbed providers.
  • Audio Widget – like the Image and video widgets, This widget enables you to easily add audio files to the sidebar/widget area. It uses an HTML5 audio player and supports MP3, OGG, and WAV audio file formats
  • Rich Text Widget – in previous editions, The Text widget area didn’t include a much needed visual editor. This edition gives you an improved visual editor like the one used to composed blog entries.

Nearby WordPress Events

This New Dashboard widget displays news as well as events near your location. If you have multiple users of your website dashboard, each user will see events near their location.

This widget uses an IP at api.wordpress.org to guess the user’s location based on the IP address hence if you are using a VPN, events near your server will be prominent.  You can also manually change the location to see events near your from around the world.

Link Boundaries

Have you ever tried updating a link, or the text around a link, and found you can’t seem to edit it correctly? When you edit the text after the link, your new text also ends up linked. Or you edit the text in the link, but your text ends up outside of it. This can be frustrating! With link boundaries, a great new feature, the process is streamlined and your links will work well.

Other Updates for WordPress 4.8

If you are a WordPress Developer then the following updates will be of interest. If you are not a developer, feel free to skip to the conclusion of this article.

  • changes in editor API –  a new editor API for TinyMCE which is initiated by JavaScript.
  • variable customizer width –  If you have used the live customizer large screens,  You may have noticed the sidebar looking narrow. This update makes the sidebar proportionate to the screen within the live customizer.
  • username prominently displayed on edit user screen
  • Tag cloud widget will not use title tag – the title tag is now replaced with the easily accessible aria-label attribute
  • More Accessible Admin Panel Headings – New CSS rules mean extraneous content (like “Add New” links) no longer need to be included in admin area headings.
  • Removal of Core Support for WMV and WMA Files – As fewer and fewer browsers support Silverlight, file formats which require the presence of the Silverlight plugin are being removed from core support. Files will still display as a download link, but will no longer be embedded automatically.
  • Multisite Updates – New capabilities have been introduced to 4.8 with an eye towards removing calls tois_super_admin() Additionally, new hooks and tweaks to more granularly control site and user counts per network have been added.
  • Media Widgets API – The introduction of a new base media widget REST API schema to 4.8 opens up possibilities for even more media widgets (like galleries or playlists) in the future. The three new media widgets are powered by a shared base class that covers most of the interactions with the media modal. That class also makes it easier to create new media widgets and paves the way for more to come.

Conclusion

So those are the latest features and enhancements which were added to the latest version of WordPress. Feel Free to email us at support[at]internetsolutions[dot]hk if you run into any issues while making your update.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest tips, tricks, deals, and updates on how to improve your website,  SEO, Business and More.

 

Source: WordPress.org Blog WordPress.org CodexWordPress Changelog WPBeginners

FACEBOOK REPORTEDLY PREPARES TO ENTER GREATER CHINA

(Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc. is so keen to return to China that it built a tool that would geographically censor information in the country, according to the New York Times.

While that may help the Chinese government get comfortable with Facebook, the company’s re-entry may not happen for years, if at all, given licensing restrictions and other regulations that favor locally owned companies. China, which blocked the world’s largest social network in 2009, has few incentives to allow the social network in.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg visits China frequently, and yet the company is no closer to putting employees in a downtown Beijing office it leased in 2014, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company hasn’t been able to get a license to put workers there, even though they would be selling ads shown outside the country, not running a domestic social network, the person said. The ad sales work is currently done in Hong Kong. The person asked not to be identified discussing private matters.

“We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement. “However, we have not made any decision on our approach to China. Our focus right now is on helping Chinese businesses and developers expand to new markets outside China by using our ad platform.” The company declined to comment on the New York Times report or its real estate interests.

Stripe Now Available for Hong Kong Merchants

We received an invitation from the Stripe guys to join the Private Beta version. We recommend this great platform to manage payments through credit cards. Here I copy paste the original message:

Good news: we are up and running in private beta, and we're excited to invite you to take part. All of our standard docs and features apply — learn more here: https://stripe.com/docs

You can get started right away:

https://stripe.com/welcome/fdRobY

As of today, you can accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express transactions in any of our 100+ supported currencies and be paid out in HKD.

We'd love to hear your feedback, either on using Stripe as a whole, or on Hong Kong-specific details. We'd especially like to hear about any glitches so we can fix them as soon as possible — you can reach our Hong Kong team at support+hk@stripe.com, or get help anytime at https://support.stripe.com/.

Let us know if we can help with anything at all as you're getting started with Stripe.

 

Stripe Helps 440 Global Tech Startups Offshore to Delaware

(Bloomberg) — When global companies think about incorporating offshore, they typically look to places such as Bermuda, Ireland, or the Netherlands. Kenyan entrepreneur Trevor Kimenye decided to go with Delaware.

Kimenye co-founded his digital marketing startup Ongair Inc. in Nairobi two years ago. He said companies around the world use Ongair’s tools to help them communicate with customers through WhatsApp and other messaging apps. Ongair has the look and feel of Silicon Valley software, but whenever it tried to collect payment from companies using its services, there would be an inevitable moment of confusion. “Everyone thought we were from the Valley, and now we’re, like, ‘OK, send this money to a Kenyan bank account,’” Kimenye said. “They were, like: ‘Are you Nigerian princes?’”

Ongair employees hacked together a system of wire-transfer services and web payments tools from PayPal Holdings Inc. to facilitate transactions from around the globe. But Kimenye said he was spending way too much time studying the complexities of foreign-exchange currency markets: “I was becoming a forex guru.” He considered switching to Stripe Inc., but the San Francisco startup, which makes payments tools that are popular with coders in the Valley, doesn’t service Kenya.

So Stripe helped him incorporate in the U.S. through a new program called Atlas. “When we automatically took money for the first time from a credit card, everyone in the office was like, ‘Wow,’” Kimenye said. “We felt it had leveled the playing field for us with other companies in the Valley or in Europe. It was no longer holding us back.”

Stripe has been slowly rolling out Atlas over the last three months, pitching it as a startup in a box. For a $500 fee, an aspiring entrepreneur can get the paperwork needed to incorporate in Delaware, a business account with Silicon Valley Bank, connections to American law and consulting firms, and a Stripe account to accept payments online. So far, Stripe has welcomed 440 startups from 91 countries into Atlas. Stripe said it has received applications from entrepreneurs in just about every country in the world but declined to disclose the number of applicants.

Atlas provides a way for Stripe to make customers come to its home country, instead of having to go to them. Stripe works only with businesses based in 25 countries, mostly developed economies, because establishing operations in a new place can involve coordination with local banks, custom technical work, and language localization. Atlas helps Stripe reach developing markets without having to go through the costly process of opening in each one. While Atlas startups aren’t required to use Stripe to process payments, most likely will. Stripe, a venture-backed startup valued at $5 billion, will take a cut of each transaction—which could grow to become a big revenue stream if the companies take off.

Patrick Collison, chief executive officer and co-founder of Stripe, said Atlas can help his company gain the loyalty of a growing set of global entrepreneurs. Their governments should like Atlas, too, he said. The program serves as an alternative to sucking entrepreneurial talent away from emerging markets. “When you discover it’s extremely difficult to start a business or gain access to Stripe in your home country, for many people the easiest response to that is to leave and move to where it is,” Collison said. Stripe said most Atlas participants plan to stay in their home countries.

Stripe surveyed Atlas companies and found that 42 percent were incorporating as a business for the first time, while 20 percent had previously tried unsuccessfully to incorporate in the U.S. They said Atlas simplifies a complicated procedure that otherwise would involve flying to the U.S. to meet with banks and lawyers.

As the wait list for Atlas grows, Stripe declined to say when it plans to open the floodgates. The company said it’s still refining the application process. Stripe underestimated how many questions startups would have when signing up. Several applicants found a phone number listed in some of Stripe’s automated e-mails, which belonged to a leader on the Atlas project, and sent him a barrage of messages through WhatsApp: Do we need a U.S. business address? How many shares should we issue through our new company? What do the different roles on a board of directors do?

To address common issues, Stripe added suggestions inside the sign-up form and to an ever-growing list of frequently asked questions. The goal is to help a startup fill out the form and submit electronically signed documents over the course of a few days. Eventually, any company should be able to join Atlas as long as it doesn’t violate Stripe’s rules prohibiting activities such as drug paraphernalia, gambling, pornography, and pyramid schemes. “There are enough gatekeepers and sources of requisite permission in the world,” Collison said. “We don’t want to introduce more.”

Atlas startups are also hoping their presence in the U.S. will help them attract venture capital. Most said they plan to seek funding in the next year, according to Stripe’s study. Paulo Tenorio, who started Brazilian marketing company Trakto, is hoping Atlas will make his startup more desirable to American venture capitalists after getting turned away in the past. “I’m going to say, ‘I have the legal presence you need here. I can be here in a day. I can spend months here,’” Tenorio said. “I’m going to try it out.”

Internet Solutions HK becomes CloudFlare partner

This is a guest post written and contributed by CloudFlare.

CloudFlare, a web performance and security company, is excited to announce our partnership with Internet Solutions HK! If you haven’t heard about CloudFlare before, our value proposition is simple: we’ll make any website twice as fast and protect it from a broad range of web threats.

We power more than 400 billion monthly page views – more than Amazon, Wikipedia, Twitter, Zynga, AOL, Apple, Bing, eBay, PayPal and Instagram combined – and over 1.2 billion monthly users regularly pass through our network. We’re really glad Internet Solutions HK has partnered with CloudFlare – said Michael Nelson from CloudFlare.

Faster web performance
CloudFlare is designed to take a great hosting platform like Internet Solutions HK and make it even better.

We run 69 data centers strategically located around the world. When you sign up for CloudFlare, we begin routing your traffic to the nearest data center.

As your traffic passes through the data centers, we intelligently determine what parts of your website are static versus dynamic. The static portions are cached on our servers for a short period of time, typically less than 2 hours before we check to see if they’ve been updated. By automatically moving the static parts of your site closer to your visitors, the overall performance of your site improves significantly.

CloudFlare’s intelligent caching system also means you save bandwidth, which means saving money, and decreases the load on your servers, which means your web application will run faster and more efficiently than ever. On average, CloudFlare customers see a 60% decrease in bandwidth usage, and a 65% in total requests to their servers. The overall effect is that CloudFlare will typically cut the load time for pages on your site by 50% which means higher engagement and happier visitors.

Broad web security
Over the course of 2011, CloudFlare identified a 700% increase in the number of distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) we track on the Internet (see the chart below). As attacks like these increase, CloudFlare is stepping up to protect sites.

CloudFlare’s security protections offer a broad range of protections against attacks such as DDoS, hacking or spam submitted to a blog or comment form. What is powerful about our approach is that the system gets smarter the more sites that are part of the CloudFlare community. We analyze the traffic patterns of hundreds of millions of visitors in real time and adapt the security systems to ensure good traffic gets through and bad traffic is stopped.

In time, our goal is nothing short of making attacks against websites a relic of history. And, given our scale and the billions of different attacks we see and adapt to every year, we’re well on our way to achieving that for sites on the CloudFlare network.

Signing up
Any website can deploy CloudFlare, regardless of your underlying platform. By integrating closely with Internet Solutions HK, we make the process of setting up CloudFlare “1 click easy” through your existing Internet Solutions HK [control panel] dashboard. Just look for the CloudFlare icon, choose the domain you want to enable, and click the orange cloud. That’s it!

We’ve kept the price as low as possible and plans offered through Internet Solutions HK are free. Moreover, we never charge you for bandwidth or storage, therefore saving you tons via reduced bandwidth costs.

For site owners who would like to take advantage of CloudFlare’s advanced offerings, we also offer a ‘Pro’ tier of service for $20/month . The ‘Pro’ tier includes all of the ‘Free’ tier’s offerings, as well as extra features like SSL, full web application firewall and faster analytics.

We’re proud that every day more than a thousand new sites, including some of the largest on the web, join the CloudFlare community. If you’re looking for a faster, safer website, you’ve got a good start with Internet Solutions HK, but the next step is to join the CloudFlare community.

Job Opportunities

SEO Specialist (1)

Internet Solutions HK is looking for a SEO Specialist with 2-3 years of SEO experience. In this role, the specialist will take the lead on technical analysis, keyword research, on-page optimization, competitive analysis, reporting and general deliverable management for assigned accounts.

Tech Support Staff (2)

  • Provide superb technical system and user support by responding to calls, email, and personal requests for technical support.
  • Establish, maintain, and increase client satisfaction through professional, courteous, and caring service.
  • Document, track, and monitor problems to ensure a timely resolution.
  • Offer guidance and help users solve common IT problems. 

Please send your updated CV to: info(a)internetsolutions.hk

UPDATE YOUR WORDPRESS TODAY

WordPress 4.3.1 is now available. This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

wordpress

This release addresses three issues, including two cross-site scripting vulnerabilities and a potential privilege escalation.

WordPress versions 4.3 and earlier are vulnerable to a cross-site scripting vulnerability when processing shortcode tags (CVE-2015-5714). Reported by Shahar Tal and Netanel Rubin of Check Point.
A separate cross-site scripting vulnerability was found in the user list table. Reported by Ben Bidner of the WordPress security team.
Finally, in certain cases, users without proper permissions could publish private posts and make them sticky (CVE-2015-5715). Reported by Shahar Tal and Netanel Rubin of Check Point.
Our thanks to those who have practiced responsible disclosure of security issues.

WordPress 4.3.1 also fixes twenty-six bugs. For more information, see the release notes or consult the list of changes.

Download WordPress 4.3.1 or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and simply click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update to WordPress 4.3.1.

BUSINESS EMAIL SERVICE IS OVER, NEW ENTERPRISE EMAIL IS ON

Since February we have been announcing the end of the “BUSINESS” email to introduce the new, more powerful and reliable “ENTERPRISE” email service. However, the improvements generate new costs that we need to pass to our users. But have you compared our email service to others like Google Apps for Business, Sina.com.cn or Tencent (qq.com) Enterprise email service? We are on average 50% cheaper than them! And we offer the same Enterprise grade service!

BUT WHAT IF I FEEL IS TOO EXPENSIVE?

freakout

Sure no problem, you have the following options:
1. Start using the *FREE cPanel email service (contact us to update the DNS settings) remember that we do not offer technical support or any guarantee.
2. Use another email service provider like Google Apps, Sina, Tencent.
3. Delete accounts that you are not using so you only pay for the ones really important.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused! Remember that this change was made to improve the email experience quality.

Any question please write to us: support(a)internetsolutions.hk

* Available only for Web Hosting clients.

HOW TO FIX REDIRECTION TO WPKG.ORG

In mainland China, since yesterday (26th of April, 2015) some websites with the Facebook login plugin are been redirected to the site wpkg.org. A solution for Windows systems is this:

1. Copy the following line in a txt editor: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

2. Paste it on the search box of your Windows system:

hosts

3. Open it with Notepad.

4. Add the following line at the bottom: 127.0.0.1 wpkg.org

add

 

then save it.

5. Clear your browser’s cache.

That it. Another more way is to just download this file: hosts

then unzip the file and paste it inside the following directory: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\

 

PREPARE YOUR WEBSITE FOR THE “MOBILE FRIENDLY” ALGORITHM

  1. Google officially recommends responsive design for your website, more information is here. Be sure that your pages are available from the same URL to all devices.
  2. Test your website for mobile-friendliness using Google’s free tool. You want the green with “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly” message.
  3. If you don’t have the green bar from Google, you have to change your website soon.
  4. Track positions for mobile rankings. Now you can choose from multiple tools that you can use and track your positions and competitors mobile rankings.

Avoid “Mobile Friendly” Mistakes

  1. Don’t block JavaScript, CSS and image files: the Googlebot needs easy access to your website files.
  2. 404 Mobile Error: Don’t redirect the desktop version of the page to 404 error if it not available for mobile.
  3. Media content: Keep media to be played on every device, which includes video and audio files that are not unplayable on smartphones, for example if they require Flash.
  4. Mobile page speed: Page load is an important user experience factor and you have to optimize the loading process. You can use the Google’s Page Speedtest tool.
  5. Avoid duplicate content: Don’t duplicate content on desktop and mobile versions. (That’s why Google recommends a responsive design solution.) Don’t use different URLs and redirects between the desktop and mobile versions.
  6. Don’t implement the mobile site on a different domain, subdomain, or subdirectory from the desktop site.