It's your fave WordPress weekly email, now at issue 169!

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Laura, hello!

Welcome back to MasterWP Weekly, your weekly newsletter for WordPress professionals 👋

Hello from Alex and Ben.

We’ve got another great issue lined up this week, and we’re going to be taking a back seat for a couple of weeks: starting next week we have our 2020 season of MasterWP guest editors, and we have a phenomenal lineup for the next six weeks or so :)

We do this every year to bring fresh voices and angles to the newsletter and hope you’ll enjoy the insights. We’ll still be here to do the intros, copy edit, and put the newsletter together, so as always do send us your feedback by replying to the email. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks!

Thanks also to everyone who has responded to our 2020 Reader Survey. If you haven’t already, the link is here. There’s a $20 ManageWP credit as a thank you :)
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What it’s really like to be people of color in the WordPress community

Christie and Joe on their background, discrimination, and POC in WordPress

I’m a little conscious this newsletter is becoming the WPMRR podcast distribution platform, but this is another excellent episode that you should listen to. Christie and Joe talk about their experience as people of colour in the WordPress space. It’s a thoughtful and timely episode on race and WordPress – but also an episode on why you need to do more than listen to a WordPress podcast to be fully educated here. Highly recommend WPRR in general, and the link to this episode is above. - Alex.

Full Site Editing

Start Preparing Now!

Full site editing is coming to WordPress through the Gutenberg editor, and Carolina Nymark has made this fantastic course to help you get started.

Documentation for Gutenberg has been a sore point for a while now. I know the docs team work really hard to make it as good as possible, but with a project as fast moving as Gutenberg it’s hard to keep up to date and, frankly, the current documentation is not good enough.

Full site editing in particular is coming relatively soon: it should be with us before the end of the year. There’s plans for the docs, but the content currently available is very limited, and there’s not been much movement so far. Fortunately Carolina has stepped in and made an entire website dedicated to explaining how to build things the ‘new’ way and this will help you to get a headstart.

If you build public themes then I would suggest you definitely need to look into full site editing now. If you build sites for clients then it may not be so important, but actually in the longer term I think this will make website development easier and quicker so it’s probably worth learning the fundamentals.

Personally I wish Gutenberg was a documentation lead project. I think if the docs were written before the code (at a high level) then it would be easier to design features and decide how things would work. It would also be easier to get developers onside since the documentation would already be up to date.

The WordPress Codex is a large part of why WordPress is as popular as it is, and currently there is no equivalent for the new editor.

Carolina is looking for sponsors for the course so that she can finish writing it, and continue updating it. If she can’t find enough sponsors to fund it then she will look to make the course a premium one. If anyone reading this can help then please do, there’s info how on the sponsors page. - Ben.

Mental Health and Remote Work

Months into lockdown, remote work is hard

This is a very good post from Alex Juchniewicz from WebDevStudios, who also volunteers with Big Orange Heart (formerly WP&UP) on mental health and remote work. Alex talks about his experience, how Big Orange Heart helps people with mental health, and some practical tips you can follow. Whether you’ve been working from home for years or are new to it, I recommend having a read. - Alex.


A Designer’s Life with Color Vision Deficiency

Accessibility 101

Since I am “red-green” colour blind [Alex - me too! What are the chances!] I found this article really interesting. Seeing things from the perspective of someone who has a more severe colour blindness is really interesting to me, and hopefully it is to you as well.

I’m fortunate that my colour blindness is not that serious and doesn’t affect me much day to day, but there is so much I can relate to. In particular when I tell people I’m colour blind and they then start asking me what colours things are. Mostly I can see colours fine (or well enough), but there are certain colours and combinations I struggle with.

My preference when designing is for high contrast designs with minimal (often bold) colours, this is great for accessibility and makes colour choices a lot easier. I used to think this was my design style but thinking about it now I wonder if it has evolved because of how I see colours.

When I was little (about 5) we got a new carpet in the living room. For years I thought it was different shades of grey, it was only when I was in my teens that my Mum told me it was green.

Most recently I had to ask my 4 year old son what colour something was in the Lego instructions when we were building something. I couldn’t tell if it was green or brown; thankfully he can see colours just fine.

The easiest way to tell if I can see colours is to show me an Ishihara test (the coloured circles that make up numbers). At best I get about 20% of them right.

How does this manifest on the web? Mostly I have problems reading things when certain colour combinations are used. Maybe links won’t stand out in a block of text, or a button won’t contrast with the background. This can be anything from confusing through to frustrating depending upon what I am trying to do. It’s one of the reasons I started taking accessibility more seriously, especially when it comes to colour.

When playing games, such as the mobile games series Dots, there are some levels I can’t play because the colours look so alike. Fortunately these games often have a colour blind mode which changes the shape of each item to make them easier to differentiate. My 4 year old takes great joy in turning this mode off.

If you want to know more then there’s loads of links and resources and tips in the article, but mostly I’d like people to pay more attention to colour and clarity in their designs to help make the web a more accessible place. - Ben.

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MasterWP weekly continues below!

WP Cafe

Developing Themes with Gutenberg

Last week I took part in a roundtable hosted by Keith and Mark from Highrise Digital all about Gutenberg. Before the event I wrote some notes based on the topics they had suggested. Since we didn’t cover all the questions I thought I would publish them on my blog.

The video is an hour long so you might want to install an extension to speed it up a bit. I use the video speed controller extension suggested to me by Ahmad Awais.

I do not consider myself a natural speaker/ presenter so this was a strange experience for me but I think it went ok. I certainly enjoyed seeing things from the perspectives of people who are doing similar things but in a different environment (client work/ agency work).

The WP Cafe is going to be an ongoing series so it should be an interesting show to follow. - Ben.
MasterWP is a free weekly newsletter for WordPress professionals, written by Ben Gillbanks and Alex Denning. Thank you to our newsletter provider, MailPoet, for sending the email. Thank you also to the people who make it happen: Peta Armstrong formats the newsletter, and Barbara Saul, Monique Dubbelman, and Laura Nelson kindly copy-check for us.

You can get in touch with us – send us your thoughts, comments, or a story – by replying directly to this newsletter.

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