Category: Blog

The New Major Release Is Here

WordPress 6.0 “Arturo” has finally launched. This second major release of 2022 brings many improvements, including 400+ updates and 500+ bug fixes.

Many improvements refine the block site editor, a prominent feature introduced in WordPress 5.9. WordPress 6.0 builds on the block editor by adding the global styles switcher, block style retaining, and container block transformation.

Let’s look at the new features you’ll see in WordPress 6.0.

Block Editor Improvements

When it was introduced in WordPress 5.9, the block editor brought a new site customization experience. WordPress 6.0 delivers many upgrades to enhance its usability.

Global Styles Switcher

The block editor’s global styles switcher is one of the most anticipated features of WordPress 6.0. It lets theme builders use style variations and switch between them with a single click.

The default Twenty Twenty-Two theme now has four style variations. To access the switcher, open the global styles panel and click Browse styles.

Browse styles button to show the available theme variations.

You should see the available style variations. Click on any of them to switch styles easily.

Using the theme variation options to change the global styles.

Note that the Browse styles button will only appear when style variations are available in the theme folder.

To add a style variation to the Twenty Twenty Two theme, you need to add a new JSON file in the /wp-content/themes/twentytwentytwo directory.

For example, follow these steps to add a dark style variation to the Twenty Twenty-Two theme.

  1. Use the file manager or an FTP client and open /wp-content/themes/twentytwentytwo folder on your WordPress installation directory.
  2. Create a new file named Dark.json.
  3. Insert the code snippet from this GitHub gist to the Dark.json file.
  4. Save the file.

Go back to your WordPress dashboard and open the block editor. You should see the newly added dark theme variation in the global styles switcher.

The global style variation panel, showing the new Dark theme style in the options.

Webfonts API

The Webfonts API aims to streamline registering local web fonts to the global styles settings. It standardizes the process, ensuring consistency across sites and themes.

In WordPress 6.0, you can add new web fonts via the theme.json file and make them appear on the global styles typography panel.

In the following example, we’ll add the Montserrat font to the Twenty Twenty-Two theme. You can download the font from the Google Fonts directory.

  1. Use the file manager or an FTP client to upload the Montserrat font file to the /wp-content/themes/twentytwentytwo/assets/fonts/montserrat directory.
  2. Open the theme.json file in the theme’s directory and add the following code snippet into the typography section:
{
	"fontFamily": ""Montserrat", sans-serif",
	"name": "Montserrat",
	"slug": "Montserrat",
	"fontFace": [
		{
			"fontFamily": "Monserrat",
			"fontWeight": "200 900",
			"fontStyle": "normal",
			"fontStretch": "normal",
			"src": [ "file:./assets/fonts/montserrat/Montserrat.ttf" ]   
		}
	]
}
  1. Save and close the theme.json file.

Go to the block editor and open the global styles panel. Open the typography section and use the drop-down menu to browse installed fonts. You should now see the Monserrat font as an option.

Font family drop-down menu, showing the new Montserrat typography option.

Code Editor

The block editor now has a code editor, allowing users to edit the HTML of a theme.

To access the code editor, click on the three dots icon on the top-right corner of the screen and select Code editor.

Code editor in the site editor.

Theme Export Tool

WordPress 6.0 introduces the theme export tool. It lets you download your current theme and its customizations as a .zip file.

Click on the three dots icon on the top-right corner of the screen and select Export. The theme and its current customizations will then be downloaded to your computer.

WordPress site editor options menu, highlighting the theme export feature.

This is an easier way to save all your customizations and reuse them for other websites. Instead of customizing two websites separately, simply export a website’s theme and upload it to the other website.

New Template Types

WordPress 6.0 adds five new template types – author, category, date, tag, and taxonomy. You can access them when adding a new template in the block editor.

Open the Templates panel on the editor’s left sidebar and click Add New on the top-right corner of the screen. It will show six templates to choose from.

New template options in WordPress 6.0 site editor.

The new template types streamline the site editing process as you no longer need to create custom page templates for these purposes.

Block Patterns

Block patterns play a more significant role in WordPress 6.0, with new upgrades for the block editor’s quick inserter.

When opening it at the root level and outside of any block, the quick inserter now recommends patterns instead of blocks.

Block quick inserter, showing the pattern options.

This upgrade makes it easier to construct a specific section.

For example, you want to add a subscription call-to-action section before the footer. Instead of inserting the text and the button blocks manually, use the quick inserter to add a subscription block pattern to speed up the process.

New Blocks

WordPress developers improved the full site editing capability by adding more core blocks. Let’s look at the five new core blocks in WordPress 6.0.

The comments query loop block replaces the deprecated post comments block. It comprises several child blocks like comment title, comment author, and comment content that you can customize individually.

Comments query loop block on the site editor.

No Results in Query Loop

No results is a new container block that shows a specific text or other blocks when there are no query results to display.

No results block on the site editor.

Since it’s a container block, you can use paragraphs, links, or images to inform visitors that the site doesn’t have a post yet. Note that you can only insert the no results block inside the query loop block.

A homepage with a no results block showing a customized message.

Read More

Previously, the read more link in the query loop was integrated with the post excerpt block, reducing its customizability.

WordPress 6.0 fixes this by introducing the read more block, making it independent from the post excerpt. This lets you get creative by applying a different color, border style, and typography to the read more link.

Read more block on the site editor.

Post Author Biography and Avatar Blocks

WordPress 6.0 adds two new blocks to split the content of the post author block. The post author biography block shows the author’s profile description, while the avatar block displays the author’s picture.

This way, you get more options when displaying author information. For example, you can use the row block to contain the avatar and the post author biography block to display them side by side.

Avatar and author biography blocks on the site editor.

Block Improvements

Besides adding new blocks, WordPress 6.0 also introduces several improvements to existing ones. Let’s look at some of the upgrades and see how they provide better user experience and customization options.

WordPress 6.0 adds a new feature for the cover block. With a single click on the block toolbar, you can connect the cover block to the featured image and use it as the background.

Using a featured image for the cover block.

With this integration, the cover block will change accordingly when updating the featured image.

A drop-down size selector is added to the featured image block’s design tools. This feature is only accessible when adding a featured image block on a post or page.

To enable it, open the block settings panel by clicking Settings at the top-right corner of the editor. Then, click the three dots icon on the Dimensions section and select Image size.

The image size selector for the featured image block.

Block Transformation Options

WordPress 6.0 adds more block transformation options. A significant improvement is the option to easily transform container blocks – group, row, and stack – into each other.

When selecting a group, row, or stack block, open the block settings panel. You should see the three icons at the top representing each block. Click on any of them to transform the block into the one you want.

Layout transformer for container blocks in the block settings panel.

You can now also group multiple blocks into a container block. For example, you want to group several paragraphs and image blocks. Simply click and drag to select these blocks. Then, click on one of the container block icons in the toolbar.

Demonstration of transforming multiple blocks into a group block.

Additionally, WordPress 6.0 also adds the following block transformation options:

  • Logo to Title
  • Excerpt to Content
  • Tag Cloud to Categories
  • Calendar to Archives
  • Paragraph to Code
  • Group to Row

Navigation Block Improvements

The navigation block got a rich preview feature for the page link block. When you link the navigation to a public page, the preview will appear on the toolbar.

Although this is not a major update, a rich preview can be very useful to ensure that you added the correct link.

A rich preview for a navigation link.

Another improvement is the ability to set the navigation block to the only available menu. In the previous version, you had to select the menu or start from scratch when you only had one menu. This upgrade speeds up workflow.

It’s also worth mentioning that you can have a Navigation Menus panel on the block editor if you activate the Gutenberg plugin. Once activated, access the Navigation Menus panel by clicking Navigation on the top-right corner of the editor screen.

Navigation menu panel on the site editor.

In this panel, you can select and configure any navigation menu. For example, you can remove or lock any navigation item or create a nested navigation structure.

Navigation menu panel, showing a nested navigation structure.

WordPress 6.0 adds block spacing control for the gallery block, allowing for more flexibility when designing a gallery layout. You can now specify the spaces between images.

Open the block settings panel. You should see the Block spacing field in the Dimensions section. Define how many pixels you want for the spaces between images.

The block spacing feature for the gallery block.

Combine this feature with the border control tool for individual image blocks to create a unique layout.

A gallery block using a customized border, block spacing, and radius settings.

Column Border and Layout Settings

WordPress 6.0 adds border settings for the columns block. You can now change the border’s color, thickness, and radius.

This feature is available for the column container, but you can add one for individual column blocks by activating the Gutenberg plugin. As such, you can be creative with the column-based content section.

The border settings for column block.

Another improvement for the column block is the layout settings. You can now define the content width for individual column blocks. This setting works for content inside the column with center or wide alignment.

For example, you may want to set a paragraph block in a column with center alignment. If you define the maximum width, the text won’t exceed the limit, and the border will wrap around it.

The layout settings for column block.

Usability Improvements

WordPress 6.0 enhances the user experience to provide better usability and smoother workflow. It’s worth mentioning that this version aims to improve accessibility as well.

Let’s look at the significant usability improvements in WordPress 6.0.

List View Enhancement

The new list view enhancements make working with a complex page structure easier.

The list view panel will now show a collapsed view for all blocks by default. This way, you can find relevant blocks easier. It’s especially helpful when working with a complex structure that has many nested blocks.

Default collapsed list view.

When selecting a block and opening the list view panel, you will see the relevant block nest and the selected block in the structure.

Demonstration of opening the list view while a block is selected.

The enhanced list view also lets you select multiple blocks using Shift + click. You can perform bulk actions like moving, deleting, or duplicating numerous blocks.

Demonstration of selecting and removing multiple blocks in the list view.

Text Selection Across Blocks

The block editor now lets you select text across multiple blocks, including paragraphs, headings, and quotes. You can then delete, replace, or copy the selected text.

Selecting text across multiple blocks in the site editor.

This is considered a significant improvement in WordPress 6.0 as it makes text editing much easier. On the previous WordPress version, attempting this will automatically select the entire block.

Block Locking User Interface

WordPress 5.9 introduced the block locking attribute to prevent any block from being moved or deleted. However, editing code was required to lock a block. WordPress 6.0 solves this issue by adding the block locking user interface in the block editor.

There are two ways to lock a block. The first method is from the block toolbar. Select a block and click on the three dots icon on the block toolbar. Then, select Lock.

The lock option in the block toolbar menu.

The block lock attribute pop-up will appear. You can choose to Disable movement, Prevent removal, or both.

The pop-up for choosing the block locking attributes.

The second method is using the list view panel. Find the block you want to lock and click on the three dots icon. Select Lock, and the same pop-up will appear.

Block lock option in the list view

Unlocking the block involves similar steps. However, a locked block will have a lock icon on the block toolbar. Click it to open the pop-up and unlock the block.

Block lock icon on a locked block's toolbar

Block Style Retaining

Block style retaining keeps the block’s customized styles to save time.

The first one is regarding block transformation. For example, you may have a heading block with customized typography and color. When you transform it into a paragraph block, the typography and the color will remain the same.

Block style retaining when transforming a block.

The second case is for adding another button inside a button block. For example, you may have customized the button with a custom color and border style. When you add another button, it will have the same style.

Adding a new button in a buttons block with retained block styles.

This feature saves you from redoing customization work when transforming a block or adding buttons on your page.

Block Style Preview

The block style preview is changed to a pop-up when hovering on a style option. This provides a better visual because the preview appears larger.

The preview pop-up for the block style options.

Post Category Reminder

When publishing a post without selecting a category, the post editor will now suggest adding one. Although this seems like a minor improvement, it can prevent you from accidentally publishing an uncategorized post.

Category suggestion on the post editor's pre-publish checks.

How to Update to WordPress 6.0

Be sure to create a WordPress backup before updating. This way, you can recover your site if something goes wrong during the update. We also recommend using a staging environment to test the new version before implementing it on the live website.

Once you’ve done preparing, use one of the following ways to update WordPress:

  • WordPress dashboard – Log in to your WordPress dashboard. Then, navigate to Dashboard -> Updates or click the Please update now button on the notification banner. On the update page, click Update to version 6.0.
  • hPanel – This method is available for Hostinger WordPress, Cloud, and Shared web hosting clients. Go to WordPress -> Dashboard and find the WordPress version section. Click Update to 6.0 to update your WordPress site.
  • Manual update using an FTP client – This manual installation method involves downloading the WordPress 6.0 files from WordPress.org. Extract the .zip file and delete the wp-content folder and wp-config-sample.php file to prevent data and configuration loss. Then, use an FTP client to overwrite the WordPress core files and folders, except the wp-content folder and wp-config-sample.php file.
  • WordPress command-line interface (WP-CLI) – Use SSH to access your website’s root public_html directory. Once the command-line interface is connected, enter the wp core update command to perform the update.

Conclusion

WordPress 6.0 enhances the full site editing experience with various improvements to blocks and user interface. With this new version, users can be more creative and have more control over their website’s design.

We recommend updating your site to WordPress 6.0 as soon as possible to access its benefits and protect yourself from potential vulnerabilities.

Before updating your site, perform a backup and check your theme and plugin compatibility. If necessary, use a WordPress staging environment to test WordPress 6.0 safely.


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wpadmin May 24, 2022 0 Comments

A more secure web with password managers

Odds are you have a lot of passwords. Your password for Namecheap. A password for your bank. A password for your email. And on and on and on…

According to studies, the average person has between 50-100 logins and passwords to remember. That’s a lot!

Security hygiene

Having so many logins leads to a problem: poor online security hygiene.

The safest way to store passwords is in your head. But there’s no way the typical person can remember so many passwords, so most people resort to lax security practices.

For example, you might reuse the same password at multiple sites. Once one of those sites is compromised, the hackers may try the username and password combos at other sites, so if your hobby account uses the same credentials as your important accounts, someone could break into your bank account or take over your email.

Or you might create really simple passwords, like “password”. “Password,” along with “123456,” “abc123”, and “qwerty” are some of the most used passwords. Hackers use these common passwords to try to crack into accounts.

It’s easy to understand why people take these shortcuts. But this bad security hygiene leads to intrusions, which leads to potentially catastrophic results.

chicken trying to find the right key for a lock

A better way to manage your passwords

Password managers were created to solve these issues. A password manager stores all of your passwords for you so you just need to remember a single master password.

The password manager saves usernames and passwords for you and enters them into the login spaces on websites when you want to log in. You just need to log into the password manager with your master password first.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But you’re probably wondering how secure password managers are.

The companies that sell password managers talk up their security. The basic premise is that, even if the password manager’s servers get hacked, your passwords are safe. That’s because they operate on a “Zero Knowledge” system. The passwords are encrypted and cannot be decoded without your master password.

Technically, a password manager might not be as safe as remembering passwords in your head. But when you consider the shortcuts people take with passwords, a password manager ends up being the safer bet.

Once you install a password manager, you can use stronger passwords that are harder to guess. You can use unique passwords for each site without worrying about forgetting them. Password managers also alert users if one of their passwords has been compromised.

Password managers also reduce the chance that you will fall victim to a phishing scam. The password manager will only offer to fill in your login credentials if it recognizes the URL of the site. If it’s a phishing site, it won’t prompt you to fill in the saved password.

The end result is that most people who use password managers end up being safer than those who don’t.

graphic showing different password managers

Choosing a password manager

There are lots of password managers out there, and the two most popular are LastPass and 1Password.

Both of these password managers offer similar services. You create an account and then download an extension for your browser or similar software. Whenever you log into a site, the password manager asks you if you want to save the password. When you return to the site, it asks if you want to fill in the login credentials.

Both also offer apps for iOS and Android devices. With cross-device password management, you can use a password on your phone that you saved on your laptop and vice-versa.

There is very little difference in pricing between the services. LastPass charges $ 36 per year, or you can opt for the family plan for $ 48 per year. The family plan lets up to six people use the subscription, so this is a great deal. LastPass also has a free plan, but it’s limited to one device so you lose the feature that lets you log into your phone and laptop.

1password also charges $ 36 per year. Its family plan is slightly more expensive at $ 60 and has a limit of five users.

With similar core features and pricing, how should you choose?

First, consider if you care about any of the edge-case features the services offer. I recommend doing your research, and maybe taking them for a test drive (both offer free trials) to see how you feel about the user interfaces.

I tested both and found a couple of key differences. First, 1password nags you to re-enter your master password a lot more often than LastPass. While you can adjust the master password timeout, some people might like being prompted because it increases security in case someone gets ahold of your laptop. Others will find it annoying.

The other difference I found is in how they prompt you to save passwords. With LastPass, it asks if you want to save the password after you complete the login to a site. 1password requires you to save it before you click the submit button on a site’s password form. The difference is subtle but important. In many cases, I’m guessing what my password is when I enter it. With LastPass, I know if the password worked before saving. With 1password I don’t.

And 1password has a cool travel mode that lets you remove sensitive data from your devices when you cross borders and restore it when you arrive. This might be helpful for people who travel globally.

Ultimately, I chose to go with LastPass. While it also has some usability issues, I found it worked much better for me. I also like that the family plan was slightly less expensive.

Be safe online

Staying safe online starts with you. Using weak passwords or reusing them across sites opens you up to hackers who might steal your domains or your money.

Level up your security game with stronger passwords.


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wpadmin May 24, 2022 0 Comments

How Mohamed Was Persuaded To Relocate His Clients’ Websites To Hostinger

Rising costs, malware issues, and inconsistent customer support prompted Mohamed, a branding consultant and web strategist, to look for a new hosting provider. Convinced to migrate his websites after coming across Hostinger on YouTube, Mohamed tells us about his experience so far.

The Background

Mohamed Yassen Sattar, a freelance designer and web developer, currently manages 35 websites. He often manages all aspects of the websites and turns his talents to everything from website development to branding consultancy.

Mohamed’s a professional web developer with a wealth of experience working with hosting providers. With the prices increasing and the memory of a shaky migration from a previous provider to SiteGround fresh in his mind, Mohamed began searching for a new web hosting provider.

The Challenge

Mohamed’s frustrations with his previous provider were because his clients’ websites weren’t performing as well as they should have. Speed ​​was an issue, with web pages loading slowly due to an insufficient server.

The security of his clients’ websites has always been a priority for Mohamed.

He was looking for a hosting provider that took security and malware issues seriously. With his previous providers, he got the impression protecting websites from attacks was not prioritized, and often they weren’t available for support when he needed it. Concerned about future security issues, he started to look for a hosting provider elsewhere.

The Solution

Mohamed needed to make some changes.

Stumbling across Hostinger Academy on YouTube, he became interested in what Hostinger could offer him. He immediately got the impression that Hostinger placed a lot of importance on good customer service, which appealed to him. Researching the cost of Hostinger’s services, and finding them to be significantly lower, convinced Mohamed that he deserved a better provider.

Hostinger’s hPanel impressed Mohamed. He found the control panel’s user-friendly interface and clear sections easy to navigate. Hostinger’s hPanel allows users to manage their hosting account efficiently without logging into the server. It boasts an intuitive and minimalist design, unlike SiteGround’s hard-to-use control panel.

With hPanel everything is accessible in just a few clicks. hPanel is a custom-built hosting control panel created by Hostinger’s developers, UX engineers, and researchers. It boasts an intuitive interface that is designed to make running a website as easy as possible. hPanel allows you to manage hosting and email accounts, monitor bandwidth, and install software such as WordPress or Joomla.

What Mohamed needed badly for his websites was speed.

Hostinger’s LiteSpeed ​​web server, the best server to use in 2022, impressed Mohamed immediately. The LiteSpeed ​​server can handle more requests per second than other servers, crucial for image-heavy websites.

According to LiteSpeed’s test, LiteSpeed ​​performs better than nginx, the server used by many different web hosting companies. LiteSpeed ​​helps to transfer files faster and, at the same time, uses less CPU and memory.

What is more, nginx never reaches TCP-level throughout at low bandwidth. As a result, Hostinger can host Mohamed’s 35 websites without compromise.

Hostinger’s new Malware Scanner feature gave Mohamed peace of mind on the subject of malware. It secures Hostinger websites against both outside attacks and ones that originate internally. Users such as Mohamed can see exactly how many suspicious files are detected and the actions taken to remove them.

Moreover, Malware Scanner runs automatically, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to turn it on. It’s this kind of level of security that impressed Mohammed.

The technical advantages to switching to Hostinger were clear to Mohamed. But what set Hostinger apart from competitors was the level of support he received.

Hostinger’s Customer Success team is available 24/7 and offers support in various languages. Customers feel fully supported with their website endeavors. Mohamed never had to wait longer than four minutes for a Customer Success specialist’s help when struggling with migrating his clients’ domains or accessing the backend of his website.

The Conclusion

“Hostinger is a great place for me,” says Mohamed, who has been with us for over a year.

With his websites performing at a much higher level, Mohamed sets himself apart from his competitors. He offers his clients speedy websites that work to a high standard and is confident that he can deliver on his promises. Furthermore, the user-friendly hPanel and Malware Scanner are the features that enable Mohamed to work confidently.

Our Customer Success Stories shine the spotlight on Hostinger customers and their experience using our services.

Recently we heard from Jake about his experience migrating his Websites to Hostinger.


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wpadmin May 24, 2022 0 Comments