WP Web Wizards http://wpwebwizards.com WordPress Hosting and Web Development Fri, 06 Jun 2014 05:12:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 WordPress hosting and development focus with new branding http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/wordpress-hosting-development-focus-new-branding/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-hosting-development-focus-new-branding http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/wordpress-hosting-development-focus-new-branding/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 01:01:57 +0000 http://webwizards.net/?p=6086

It’s been 11 years since our last rebrand, and so it’s about time… we’re pleased to announce that in a few short days, we’ll be going live with a new web site, and a new brand logo. Our new website will be lighter and brighter, with a new brand color palette, and a more emphasized focus on providing performance WordPress web hosting and WordPress web services,...

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It’s been 11 years since our last rebrand, and so it’s about time… we’re pleased to announce that in a few short days, we’ll be going live with a new web site, and a new brand logo. Our new website will be lighter and brighter, with a new brand color palette, and a more emphasized focus on providing performance WordPress web hosting and WordPress web services, while still offering our continued high-speed web hosting for web sites of any type or size.

WordPress is what we’ve been developing with over the last 4 years, so it makes sense to promote a WordPress focus in our brand. We’re still Web Wizards, but soon, we’ll be WP Web Wizards, with a new matching .com domain (check out http://wpwebwizards.com), to emphasize our WordPress focus. Nothing will change regarding our existing customer sites or configuration, so no worries there. Our priority is our amazing loyal customers, some that have been with us since the beginning in 1997, while we also market to new potential customers looking for WordPress hosting and development services.

Here’s a preview of the new logo, let me know what you think of it! The new website will go live in the coming days.

 

WPWebWizardsLogo-Long_480px

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Improved Outgoing Email Delivery http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/improved-outgoing-email-delivery/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=improved-outgoing-email-delivery http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/improved-outgoing-email-delivery/#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 17:12:29 +0000 http://webwizards.net/?p=6036 We’re happy to announce we’ve improved outgoing email delivery from all our servers for everyone. Prior to this weekend, our email servers would accept external email for your domains, or from your web site contact forms, and based on your email address settings, would do basic scans for spam and virus, then store it in your mailbox, or forward it to your Internet Service Provider...

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We’re happy to announce we’ve improved outgoing email delivery from all our servers for everyone. Prior to this weekend, our email servers would accept external email for your domains, or from your web site contact forms, and based on your email address settings, would do basic scans for spam and virus, then store it in your mailbox, or forward it to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or other outside email address you specified. The spam filtering is simple keyword scanning and score based (more spammy words equals a higher score), so worked well for most kinds of spam, but not as good when compared to commercial solutions like Postini or Google Apps (Gmail) spam filtering.

The ongoing problem was, certain ISPs would detect that spam and incorrectly block our email servers thinking we were the actual source of the spam, versus relaying it for you as they were configured.

Starting this last weekend, we’re now passing all outgoing email through an external commercial solution for spam filtering, which stops our email servers from being blocked by any ISP, ensure much more reliable email delivery, and should also result in near-zero spam emails being sent to your external email mailboxes.

This does not block spam that is stored in your mailbox, but if you’d like this level of spam filtering added to your mailbox, we’ve secured a rate of $5 per month per mailbox for incoming spam filtering. You could also just forward your email out to a free gmail account, or sign up for Google Apps for your domain, which is also $5 per user per month. We’re happy to answer any questions on which options are best for you.

We strive to offer the best performance-based web hosting, and now the best in email delivery as well.

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Web Wizards is not affected by #Heartbleed SSL Encryption Bug http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/web-wizards-not-affected-heartbleed/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=web-wizards-not-affected-heartbleed http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/web-wizards-not-affected-heartbleed/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:12:40 +0000 http://webwizards.net/?p=5531 I’m pleased to announce that Web Wizards and all our customer web sites are not affected by the Heartbleed SSL encryption bug, we never ran the affected version of the OpenSSL library that included the data leak bug. For more details on Heartbleed and what it is, read this article: http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/04/critical-crypto-bug-in-openssl-opens-two-thirds-of-the-web-to-eavesdropping/ For a quick summary of how the Heartbleed bug works, view this xkcd comic:...

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I’m pleased to announce that Web Wizards and all our customer web sites are not affected by the Heartbleed SSL encryption bug, we never ran the affected version of the OpenSSL library that included the data leak bug.

For more details on Heartbleed and what it is, read this article:
http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/04/critical-crypto-bug-in-openssl-opens-two-thirds-of-the-web-to-eavesdropping/

For a quick summary of how the Heartbleed bug works, view this xkcd comic:
http://xkcd.com/1354/

 

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WordPress v3.9 in Beta, released soon http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/wordpress-v3-9-beta-3-released-soon/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-v3-9-beta-3-released-soon http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/wordpress-v3-9-beta-3-released-soon/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 05:31:08 +0000 http://webwizards.net/?p=5480 WordPress v3.9 is due to be released in April, and we’re bringing you a preview of the improvements and changes coming your way very soon. It includes a few major updates to the editor and media library, as well as the Customizer. Details on the improvements to the admin dashboard include: Adding an updated TinyMCE, the software powering the visual editor, to the latest version....

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WordPress v3.9 is due to be released in April, and we’re bringing you a preview of the improvements and changes coming your way very soon. It includes a few major updates to the editor and media library, as well as the Customizer.

Details on the improvements to the admin dashboard include:

  • Adding an updated TinyMCE, the software powering the visual editor, to the latest version. Be on the lookout for cleaner markup. Also, new paste handling — if you paste in a block of text from Microsoft Word, for example, it will no longer come out terrible. (The “Paste from Word” button you probably never noticed has been removed.)
  • Adding widget management to live previews (the customizer). Also adding the ability to upload, crop, and manage header images, without needing to leave the preview.
  •  Adding 3.8′s beautiful new theme browsing experience to the theme installer.
  • Galleries will receive a live preview in the editor.
  • Adding the ability to drag-and-drop images directly onto the editor to upload them.
  • Some things will get improved around editing images. It’ll be a lot easier to make changes to an image after you insert it into a post, and you’ll no longer get kicked to a new window when you need to crop or rotate an image.
  • New audio/video playlists.

Here are a few screenshots we have of the new features.

WordPress 3.9 New Image Editing WordPress 3.9 New Gallery Preview WordPress 3.9 New TinyMCE Version WordPress 3.9 New Theme Uploader

There are new behind-the-scene things for developers, too:

  • The load process in multisite getting rewritten.
  • Will now use the MySQL Improved (mysqli) database extension if you’re running a recent version of PHP.
  • Autosave will be refactored.
  • Library updates, in particular Backbone 1.1 and Underscore 1.6. Also Masonry 3, PHPMailer, and Plupload.

Contact us if you have any WordPress questions, or want us to help you migrate your web site to WordPress.

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Security and Spam Announcements http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/security-and-spam-announcements/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=security-and-spam-announcements http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/security-and-spam-announcements/#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 20:05:56 +0000 http://webwizards.net/?p=5312 We’ve been working hard on different service areas to improve security, prevent spam, upgrade our systems, and offer more value to our customers. Here’s a summary of all the recent efforts for you to review. Secure Control Panel Access To improve security, our hosting Control Panel now forces you to use encrypted SSL for all visits, at /cp.yourserver.net/ and all bookmarks with the old unencrypted...

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We’ve been working hard on different service areas to improve security, prevent spam, upgrade our systems, and offer more value to our customers. Here’s a summary of all the recent efforts for you to review.

  • Secure Control Panel Access

To improve security, our hosting Control Panel now forces you to use encrypted SSL for all visits, at /cp.yourserver.net/ and all bookmarks with the old unencrypted URL will redirect to the new encrypted URL.

  • Spam Prevention

Please update your scripts and WordPress installations (use http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smtp/) to use an authenticated mailbox or 3rd party service like Mandrill (free up to 12K emails a month, see /mandrill.com/pricing/), as web scripts sending email to our mail servers rejects mail relaying unless it’s a mailbox on that mail server. It’s just too easy for spammers to inject code into a web site via automated scripts that blast our email server with millions of spam emails, and the mail server gets blacklisted, your emails are delayed or blocked, and it’s a huge amount of work to clean it all up. Sending using authentication is the only way to send out email to external servers.

  • Do Email Right

We strongly recommend using Google Apps (http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/) or another 3rd party service like Outlook.com (http://zd.net/1bsSy2C) for domain name email, as they offer amazing spam blocking and filtering built in to their platforms. Google has also recently announced they are now displaying images for emails in a safe way. We use Google Apps for all email hosting, but it’s especially recommended for business or e-commerce sites. Our email servers work well too if configured correctly (as discussed above), but they are no match for the global protection that these services bring you, and Outlook.com still offers free domain name hosting, so why not take advantage of that. We’d love to stick to offering the best hosting for WordPress, PHP, MySQL, and of course HTML sites, and email is something we’d love to get away from, considering the great alternatives out there.

  • Hire Us for Your Web Site Needs

We’re finding that many customers don’t know we offer full WordPress and web services and consulting, including Managed Maintenance (site and plugin updates, managing site and database backups, & security hardening with malware scanning), site migrations from HTML, Drupal, Joomla, and others into WordPress, theme customizations, e-commerce consulting with WooCommerce, as well as email marketing and CRM integration. Contact us today to discuss further.

  • Developers: PHP version 5.4 is an available option under Web Options – but update your MySQL passwords before you switch

PHP v5.4 will not connect to databases using users that have the old short (now considered insecure) password hashing/storing method, so you should look into changing your MySQL user’s password first, before switching to PHP v5.4. Be sure you know where to update your script’s stored password before using the MySQL tool in the Control Panel to reset the user’s password, selecting the “Long, PHP5.x-only” hash length. Then you’ll have no problems with v5.4. More technical info here.

If you’ve got any questions or concerns on any of the above, feel free to reach out to us by submitting a Trouble Ticket through the Control Panel, or contact us here.

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Care to share the Web Wizards love? http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/care-to-share-the-love/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=care-to-share-the-love http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/care-to-share-the-love/#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 06:29:09 +0000 http://webwizards.net/?p=5252 We’ve always loved the testimonials received from customers via email. Now, we’re using a new platform that lets us receive video testimonials, using either a web site or an iPhone app, making it quick and easy, and the best part is, we get to see your smiling faces! We’d love to see and hear from our customers. Care to share your love? Follow the link...

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We’ve always loved the testimonials received from customers via email. Now, we’re using a new platform that lets us receive video testimonials, using either a web site or an iPhone app, making it quick and easy, and the best part is, we get to see your smiling faces! We’d love to see and hear from our customers.

Care to share your love? Follow the link below to post your testimonial and we’ll credit your account $10, and enter you in a giveaway for a year of free hosting, as a credit on your account:

Submit your testimonial here: http://www.postkudos.com/site/kudos/WebWiz

or download the Kudos iPhone app, and type in “webwiz” when prompted.

Your chances of winning the free hosting are pretty good, it may be you!

We’ve already got one submission, from San Diego’s own Tenley Molzahn, view it on our Testimonials page.

Submit your own testimonial today, and share the love!

p.s. Perhaps you’d like to earn commissions from new hosting customers you send us? Join our affiliate program, where we pay 25% every month per new account, for the life of the account.

 

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WordPress 3.7 adds auto-update capability http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/wordpress-3-7-adds-auto-update-capability/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-3-7-adds-auto-update-capability http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/wordpress-3-7-adds-auto-update-capability/#comments Fri, 25 Oct 2013 06:40:04 +0000 http://webwizards.net/?p=5183 Maintaining the WordPress core updates just became a little easier, thanks to the latest version of WordPress, v3.7, released October 24th. It adds quite a bit of functionality under the hood, most you won’t notice, but one big feature is automatic minor updates. While that makes keeping the core platform up-to-date with the latest security and bug fix updates (i.e. going from 3.7 to 3.7.1), it...

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Maintaining the WordPress core updates just became a little easier, thanks to the latest version of WordPress, v3.7, released October 24th. It adds quite a bit of functionality under the hood, most you won’t notice, but one big feature is automatic minor updates. While that makes keeping the core platform up-to-date with the latest security and bug fix updates (i.e. going from 3.7 to 3.7.1), it also adds the option for auto-updating plugins and themes, which may make maintenance tons easier, as plugins and themes can have updates on an almost daily basis.

There’s even an option to allow WordPress to update it’s core files to the latest major version updates (i.e. updating from 3.7.x to 3.8), but I’d strongly recommend not doing that unless all your plugins are strongly supported and have a good chance of continuing to work across all major version updates.

Highlights of v3.7

Background Updates: Automatic updates for maintenance and security updates. Daily updates for developers using nightly builds.

Stronger Password Meter: New password meter to encourage users to choose stronger passwords.

Improved Search: More relevant search results.

Better Global Support: Localized versions will receive faster and more complete translations. Background updates will include translations.

For a detailed list of all the changes, bug fixes, and updates, visit the v3.7 Codex page.

For developers that know how to customize their WordPress configuration, here’s the list of constants and filters you can use to control the automatic updating. For everyone else, please contact us to inquire about our WordPress consulting.

The WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE constant is added with v3.7, and you can add these to your wp-config.php file to control what updates are automatically installed. I’d recommend not using any of these, as they are either already set (minor), enable development versions (true), or disable all core updates (false). Instead, use the filters discussed after these values.

To enable only minor core updates, the default setting in v3.7:
define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, minor );

To enable development, minor and major core updates (development updates are bleeding edge, not recommended for production sites!):
define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, true );

To disable development, minor and major core updates:
define( ‘WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE’, false );

There are also filters you can add to your site to enable specific updates. These would typically go into your theme’s functions.php file, or to survive theme changes, into a custom plugin folder in a .php file you’ve created.

To specifically disable minor updates, use the following:
add_filter( ‘allow_minor_auto_core_updates’, ‘__return_false’ );

To specifically enable major updates, use the following:
add_filter( ‘allow_major_auto_core_updates’, ‘__return_true’ );

To specifically enable development (nightly) updates, use the following:
add_filter( ‘allow_dev_auto_core_updates’, ‘__return_true’ );

There are also filters for plugin and theme updates.

To enable automatic updates for plugins, use the following:
add_filter( ‘auto_update_plugin’, ‘__return_true’ );

To enable automatic updates for themes, use the following:
add_filter( ‘auto_update_theme’, ‘__return_true’ );

To disable the automatic update functionality completely, use this:
define( ‘AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED’, true );

 

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Requesting Your Review http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/requesting-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=requesting-review http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/requesting-review/#comments Mon, 14 Oct 2013 00:56:41 +0000 http://webwizards.net/?p=5165 To our valued customers, We’re listed on quite a few web sites, but there’s one that does a good job of categorizing us well, and we’d like to ask you to give Web Wizards a review on the site to boost our exposure in the WordPress Hosting category… simply click this link, http://www.serchen.com/company/web-wizards/ and then click Review. You can log in using Facebook, or choose to remain...

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To our valued customers,

We’re listed on quite a few web sites, but there’s one that does a good job of categorizing us well, and we’d like to ask you to give Web Wizards a review on the site to boost our exposure in the WordPress Hosting category… simply click this link, http://www.serchen.com/company/web-wizards/ and then click Review. You can log in using Facebook, or choose to remain anonymous. We’d appreciate your help in making us look good!

For everyone that leaves a review, we’ll add a $5 credit to your account, simply contact us letting us know you submitted a review, and we’ll confirm the review was posted, and apply the credit right away.

Thanks for being a loyal customer, many of you for many years, and we’d appreciate you helping us grow even stronger.

 

 

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Announcing the WordPress Featured Images in RSS plugin http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/wordpress-featured-images-in-rss-plugin/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-featured-images-in-rss-plugin http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/wordpress-featured-images-in-rss-plugin/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 19:38:46 +0000 http://webwizards.net/?p=2061 I’m excited to announce the new WordPress Featured Images In RSS plugin. It adds a site’s blog post featured images to the RSS feed of the site, with options for image size and positioning. I’ve seen lots of blog posts cover how to add this functionality to a theme by editing the theme’s functions file and manually adding the code (including one I wrote for Fandom...

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I’m excited to announce the new WordPress Featured Images In RSS plugin. It adds a site’s blog post featured images to the RSS feed of the site, with options for image size and positioning. I’ve seen lots of blog posts cover how to add this functionality to a theme by editing the theme’s functions file and manually adding the code (including one I wrote for Fandom Marketing), but 99% of the folks I talk to don’t understand how to do that. So, this plugin was born. I’ve also seen a few other plugins that do the same thing, but none with the size and positioning options, instead asking you to edit the plugin directly to make those changes (which is a terrible idea – it’ll get overwritten with any update).

Once the plugin is installed, and then activated, you can view and change the two options under Settings. The first option is the size of the featured image to be included in the RSS feed: thumbnail (default), medium, large, or full size. These sizes are references to actual media pixel dimensions that are set and can be customized under your Media Options. The second option is the position of the image, either on the left above the text (default), centered above the text, or left with the text wrap to the right of the image. For RSS-to-email campaigns in Mailchimp or other email marketing providers, I recommend the default settings.

The options page links to the Media Options page to raise awareness of those settings, and also conveniently links to Feedburner’s ping page, which refreshes the feed, if that service is being used.

I’d love to have you try the plugin on your site, and leave a comment with your thoughts.

The plugin is not available in the WordPress plugin repository (yet), but can be installed by downloading it using the link below, and then uploading it through the Plugin -> Add New -> Upload interface in your WordPress dashboard.

You can download the plugin here. (Once it’s in the repository, I’ll update this post.)

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WordPress v3.6 Released With Cool New Features http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/wordpress-v3-6-released-with-cool-new-features/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wordpress-v3-6-released-with-cool-new-features http://wpwebwizards.com/blog/wordpress-v3-6-released-with-cool-new-features/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 20:44:35 +0000 http://webwizards.net/?p=1880 WordPress 3.6 makes your writing experience even better. The latest and greatest WordPress, version 3.6, is now live to the world and includes a beautiful new blog-centric theme, bullet-proof autosave and post locking, a revamped revision browser, native support for audio and video embeds, and improved integrations with Spotify, Rdio, and SoundCloud. Write with Confidence Explore Revisions It’s easy to compare two revisions from any point in...

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WordPress 3.6 makes your writing experience even better.

The latest and greatest WordPress, version 3.6, is now live to the world and includes a beautiful new blog-centric theme, bullet-proof autosave and post locking, a revamped revision browser, native support for audio and video embeds, and improved integrations with Spotify, Rdio, and SoundCloud.

Write with Confidence

Explore Revisions

It’s easy to compare two revisions from any point in time, and to restore a revision and go back to writing. Now you can be confident that no mistake is permanent.From the first word you write, WordPress saves every change. Each revision is always at your fingertips. Text is highlighted as you scroll through revisions at lightning speed, so you can see what changes have been made along the way.

New Revisions Comparison Interface

You can drag the slider back and forth to easily see what was added (green) or removed (red).

Improved Autosaves

Never lose a word you’ve written. Autosaving is now even better; whether your power goes out, your browser crashes, or you lose your internet connection, your content is safe.

Better Post Locking

Always know who’s editing with live updates that appear in the list of posts. And if someone leaves for lunch with a post open, you can take over where they left off.

Support for Audio and Video

New Media Player

Share your audio and video with the new built-in HTML5 media player. Upload files using the media manager and embed them in your posts.

Embed Music from Spotify, Rdio, and SoundCloud

Embed songs and albums from your favorite artists, or playlists you’ve mixed yourself. It’s as simple as pasting a URL into a post on its own line.

[wpvideo UmhwbWJH]

(Love another service? Check out all of the embeds that WordPress supports.)

Under the Hood

Audio/Video API

The new audio/video APIs give developers access to powerful media metadata, like ID3 tags.

Semantic Markup

Themes can now choose improved HTML5 markup for comment forms, search forms, and comment lists.

JavaScript Utilities

Handy JavaScript utilities ease common tasks like Ajax requests, templating, and Backbone view management.

Shortcode Improvements

Search content for shortcodes withhas_shortcode() and adjust shortcode attributes with a new filter.

Revision Control

Fine-grained revision controls allow you to keep a different number of revisions for each post type.

External Libraries

New and updated libraries: MediaElement.js, jQuery 1.10.2, jQuery UI 1.10.3, jQuery Migrate, Backbone 1.0.

From the WordPress Codex, here’s their more detailed hightlights:

Highlights

  • Admin Enhancements
    • Menus UI improvements
    • Revisions revised to be more dynamic and scalable
    • Autosave and Post Locking
    • Preview Audio and Video on Media Edit Screen
    • In-line login following expired sessions
  • For Developers
    • External Libraries have been updated. More Info
    • New audio/video APIs give developers access to powerful media metadata, like ID3 tags.
    • Filters for revisions, allowing you to set the number of revisions ad hoc instead of only via a define. More Info
    • Semantic Markup allows themes to chose improved HTML5 markup for comment forms, search forms, and comment lists.
    • Search content for shortcodes with has_shortcode() and adjust shortcode attributes with a new filter.

Along with tons of bug fixes, some highlighted here:

Bug Fixes

  • Strip slashes from passwords sent to new users by email
  • Make sure the url returned by post_preview() is filterable with preview_post_link
  • Fix handling of ’0′ as meta_value argument in get_pages()
  • Correctly print ‘after’ data when scripts are concatenated in WP_Styles class
  • Properly truncate UTF-8 post slugs in wp_unique_post_slug()
  • Avoid PHP notices in Media Library if an attachment parent does not exist
  • Fix some tabbing issues on the post editing screen
  • Avoid notice by checking for user agent in wp_new_comment()
  • Avoid notice in parent_dropdown() by checking if post exists before testing post id
  • Prevent an unintended visibility change from “Password protected” to “Public” when updating the post
  • Avoid a warning in mb_internal_encoding by making sure we have a charset first
  • Fix unnecessarily persistent “pending email change” admin message
  • Ensure we strictly compare ‘all options’ and ‘not options’ when protecting these special options
  • Make sure to reset the modal after gallery insertion
  • Add sanity checks on image metadata to avoid warnings
  • Avoid an undefined index notice in get_post_type_archive_feed_link()
  • Avoid notices when array args are missing in WP_Image_Editor::multi_resize()
  • Fix notice in wp_generate_attachment_metadata()
  • Avoid PHP notices when deleting or restoring an item that no longer exists

That’s not all the changes, either… there are a total of over over 700 issues closed out in their tracking system with this release. Go ahead and back up your database, then upgrade now, then test your plugins and make sure there are no issues. If you run into any issues, reach out to me on Twitter using @WebWizards for some guidance.

 

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