In this monthly episode we will discuss about the Thrive Automator Launch, WordPress 5.9 development and Divi latest update for speed optimization.
Blogging Monthly 008 Episode
Hey everyone, welcome to yet another episode of Blogging Monthly podcast. I know it’s been sometime that we have done an episode of this podcast. There were some personal issues due to which I was not able to focus on this podcast in the last few months.
My father suffered a stroke and needed a lot of personal attention to manage his health. For last few months, my full focus was towards his health. Since most of it is sorted out now, I am planning to be more consistent with the updates going forward.
We are coming to the last quarter of 2021 which is scheduled to bring some of the exciting updates for webmasters. So, let’s start and check what’s in store for us.
WordPress 5.9 Development
Let’s start with the WordPress next update which hopefully will be the last major update for this year – WordPress 5.9. WordPress 5.9 will take the full site editing capabilities forward and will provide many updates to Gutenberg editor.
Gutenberg is always scheduled to get some of the updates since all the major releases of WordPress includes months of work done for Gutenberg plugin. This release is no different and will include some regular incremental update.
Some of the key features coming to Gutenberg blocks are Intrinsic web design. The responsive controls for the WordPress themes are not available on the block level which creates problem when you try to use multiple different blocks together. This update is planning to solve this problem by providing the responsive controls on the block level.
This is more important as you can now use same block at many separate places including at widget locations. So, their ability to take any shape and size in any place becomes increasingly important. This update will provide more controls in the hands of Block creators so that they can define the responsive controls for each block.
Another update will be the user interface to edit the theme.json. In 5.8, developer got the ability to define the theme.json which contains the block features and display controls. In the next update, WordPress will introduce a user interface to edit the theme.json right from the WordPress dashboard. This way users can define the global styles for all the blocks.
Gallery block in the WordPress is also getting an update. Currently, the Gallery block combines images but does not provide similar customization as Image block. With the new refactor Gallery block, it will combine image block and provide customization for individual images.
If you want to know more about the WordPress 5.9 Gutenberg Update, you can check the detail article about the work on this.
WordPress 5.9 will also enable the Full Site Editing across site. With the last update, full site editing was already included in certain parts like Widgets. Personally, I do not use the Widget editing screen much as most of my blogs are not using sidebars and remaining widget areas are updated using Elements in GeneratePress Theme. But with the last update we can create any blocks in those widget areas and edit them with the Gutenberg editor.
Now with the upcoming update, these should be extended to other areas of WordPress editing like Header, Footer, etc. So, it will be easy to design and manage most of the site layout from the known editing interface.
Core Web Vital Update – LCP Improvement
Another small update which will have significant impact on the site loading speed is how WordPress handles lazy loading of images.
Currently WordPress lazy loads all the images on the page which impacts the LCP (Largest Contentful Paint). Since images above the fold will also lazy load, it increases the time to load those elements.
I personally manage the LCP with the help of WP-Rocket. I use WP-Rocket to add the lazy loading for the images and adds skip-lazy class for above the fold images. This way above the fold images loads on time and LCP is managed.
With the new update, WordPress will stop adding the lazy load tag for above the fold images. So, blogs which are not using any techniques to manage the LCP will see huge improvement in their LCP score after this update.
It’s good to see that WordPress looking into site loading speeds and making improvement to core web vitals which can increase user experience out of the box.
Divi Major Speed Boost
So, let’s come to our second topic of discussion – Latest update to Divi Builder and Theme from Elegant Themes. Divi from Elegant Themes has received a major update last month with a big performance boost.
One of the major problems with any of the WordPress page builders are resource consumption. Since Google is focusing increasingly on the page speed optimization, extra resources always add more burden.
For example, previously Divi used to load an 800kb CSS on every page. It didn’t matter if you are using that CSS or not, it will be loaded on each and every page of your site. Now Divi has divided the CSS into multiple small CSS parts and dynamically combine the CSS needed for the page which will reduce the overall size of the resource loaded on the page.
It’s new dynamic PHP and CSS modules only process what is needed and keep the page size small. Also, if the CSS snippets are small enough, it will keep them in-line so that there are no render blocking requests.
Their test site gives a near perfect score for the Divi Theme, but we will need to see how it performs in the real-world scenario. Overall, it’s a good update and in line with what Google is asking for the page experience from the webmasters.
You can check the details on the update in the article.
Thrive Automator Plugin Launch
Thrive Themes has also launched a new plugin called Thrive Automator which is part of thrive suite membership. The plugin will allow to setup backend automation between WordPress plugins by providing triggers and actions. Currently, the plugin is launched in the Open BETA and would play nice with Thrive Suite plugins.
On a long run, Thrive Themes want to open the plugin to third-party vendors so that they can also contribute towards triggers and actions. If you have a Thrive Suite membership which allows you to manage your WordPress site in one low-cost membership, you can use this plugin to create additional automated workflows on your site.
For example, if your users have completed specific chapter in a course in Thrive Apprentice, you can plan to send them an automated note or extra reading material. Or decide to enroll them in specific quiz from Thrive Quiz Builder to take advanced quizzes.
It has some triggers for basic WordPress or WooCommerce actions. For example, you can add a customer to specific email list once they purchase any product on the WooCommerce store. You can also send a copy of your eBook or any other goodies once the user signed up on your site.
So go ahead and check out Thrive Automator WordPress Plugin and have fun creating new workflows – Check It Out.
StudioCart WordPress Plugin LTD
StudioCart is one of the cart funnel software for WordPress which can create automated upsell or downhill funnels on your site. It’s an easy software which can allow you to sell ebooks or digital goods on your site while easily creating upsell opportunities.
You don’t need any external software to create upsell offers. This will allow to create upsell pages from the WordPress dashboard and will show it to the customers when they will try to buy your product. The cart is responsive and can be easily designed with the help of StudioCart.
You can design most of the funnel as you are writing your post or pages on WordPress. Easy thing is that it integrates with all the design tools available on your site. So, you can use any page builder to build your sale and checkout pages.
Currently, they are running an LTD (Lifetime Deal) at AppSumo. So, if you are interested in this kind of a software – Check the LTD.
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