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The First Release of WordPress Turns 15 Years Old

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This Sunday, May 27th, marks the 15th anniversary of the first release of WordPress. Users are celebrating the occasion across the world with huge cakes, cupcakes, memorable photos, parties, and meetups.

To see if there is an event near you, visit the official WordPress 15th anniversary site and type your city into the search box. You can also follow the festivities on Twitter by browsing the #WP15 hashtag.

If you’re thinking about hosting a party and want to use the WordPress logo on a cake or other bakery items, you’re in luck. The WordPress Foundation has amended the WordPress Trademark Policy to allow people to put the logo on baked goods.

*** Attention: If you’re interested in putting the WordPress logo on a cake, cookie, cupcake, babka, or other celebratory food in honor of the WordPress 15th Anniversary… yes, this is OK under the Trademark policy. ***

WordPress Trademark Policy

In 2015, we highlighted 93Digital‘s WordPress Time Machine. The company has continued to update the timeline with images of the WordPress 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, and 4.9 backends along with their default themes. The timeline is a quick way to see how WordPress has evolved over 15 years.

93Digital WordPress Time Machine

Don’t forget that you can use the coupon code CELEBRATEWP15 to take 15% off any swag you purchase on the WordPress Swag store. The coupon code is good through the end of the year.

Will you be celebrating WordPress’ birthday this weekend? If so, how and where? Let us know!

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Marcel Schmitz Releases Unofficial WordCamp for iOS App

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Marcel Schmitz, founder of hellodev, has released WordCamp for iOS for free on the App Store. The app utilizes the WordPress REST API endpoints from WordCamp Central and hellodev to display sessions, speakers, and news from an event’s official site.

Schmitz used WordCamp Porto to test features within the app. Sessions are displayed in a timeline and if you give the app permission to access your device’s calendar, you can add sessions to it and create reminders.

Session Timeline

When viewing a session in the app, the screen displays the time the session takes place, name of the speaker with a quick link to a bio, session description, and a section at the bottom to write notes.

There’s also an option on the top-right corner to mark sessions as favorites. However, during testing, marking a session as a favorite would crash the app.

Take Notes While Watching a Session

The app displays all of the necessary information concerning the event without the need to browse to the actual site. Schmitz says he plans to add more information about the city, venue, and the ability to call an UBER in future updates.

WordCamp is a trademark of the WordPress Foundation. Although Schmitz clearly states that WordCamp for iOS is not the official app for all WordCamps, he does not mention receiving permission from the Foundation to use WordCamp in the name. Unless his app is adopted to be the official App for iOS devices, it’s likely he will need to change the name.

Searching the App Store for WordCamp only produces two results. Schmitz’s app and a WordCamp EU Paris Guide. There’s an official WordCamp App for Android available on Google Play and GitHub but the project has seen little activity in the last three years.

WordCamp for iOS fills a void and gives users convenient access to a lot of relevant WordCamp information. To check it out for yourself, you can download it for free from the App Store.

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WordPress 4.9.6 Privacy and Maintenance Release

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WordPress 4.9.6 is now available. This is a privacy and maintenance release. We encourage you to update your sites to take advantage of the new privacy features.

A decorative header featuring the text "GDPR" and a lock inside of a blue shield, on multicolor green background.


The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on May 25. The GDPR requires companies and site owners to be transparent about how they collect, use, and share personal data. It also gives individuals more access and choice when it comes to how their own personal data is collected, used, and shared.

It’s important to understand that while the GDPR is a European regulation, its requirements apply to all sites and online businesses that collect, store, and process personal data about EU residents no matter where the business is located.

You can learn more about the GDPR from the European Commission’s Data Protection page.

We’re committed to supporting site owners around the world in their work to comply with this important law. As part of that effort, we’ve added a number of new privacy features in this release.


A screenshot of a comment form, where the new "Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment" checkbox is featured.

Logged-out commenters will be given a choice on whether their name, email address, and website are saved in a cookie on their browser.

Privacy Policy Page

A screenshot of the new Privacy Settings page.

Site owners can now designate a privacy policy page. This page will be shown on your login and registration pages. You should manually add a link to your policy to every page on your website. If you have a footer menu, that’s a great place to include your privacy policy.

In addition, we’ve created a guide that includes insights from WordPress and participating plugins on how they handle personal data. These insights can be copied and pasted into your site’s privacy policy to help you get started.

If you maintain a plugin that collects data, we recommend including that information in WordPress’ privacy policy guide. Learn more in our Privacy section of the Plugin Handbook.

Data Handling

A screenshot of the new Export Personal Data tools page. Several export requests are listed on the page, to demonstrate how the new feature will work.

Data Export

Site owners can export a ZIP file containing a user’s personal data, using data gathered by WordPress and participating plugins.

Data Erasure

Site owners can erase a user’s personal data, including data collected by participating plugins.


A request has been made to perform the following action on your account:

Export Personal Data

To confirm this, please click on the following link:

You can safely ignore and delete this email if you do not want to
take this action.

This email has been sent to you@example.com.

Your friends at WordPress

Site owners have a new email-based method that they can use to confirm personal data requests. This request confirmation tool works for both export and erasure requests, and for both registered users and commenters.


95 updates were made in WordPress 4.9.6. In addition to the above, particularly of note were:

  • “Mine” has been added as a filter in the media library.
  • When viewing a plugin in the admin, it will now tell you the minimum PHP version required.
  • We’ve added new PHP polyfills for forwards-compatibility and proper variable validation.
  • TinyMCE was updated to the latest version (4.7.11).

This post has more information about all of the issues fixed in 4.9.6 if you’d like to learn more.

Download WordPress 4.9.6 or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and click “Update Now.” Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update automatically.

Please note that if you’re currently on WordPress 4.9.3, you should manually update your site immediately.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to WordPress 4.9.6:
Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, abdullahramzan, Adam Silverstein, Alain Schlesser, allendav, Andrea Fercia, Andrea Middleton, Andrew Ozz, Ayesh Karunaratne, Birgir Erlendsson (birgire), bridgetwillard, Burlington Bytes, Chetan Prajapati, claudiu, Corey McKrill, Daniel Bachhuber, David Herrera, Dominik Schilling (ocean90), Ella Van Dorpe, Eric Daams, Fernando Claussen, Garrett Hyder, Gary Pendergast, Heather Burns, Helen Hou-Sandi, herregroen, Ian Dunn, ibelanger, imath, Jb Audras, Jeffrey Paul, Jeremy Felt, Jesper V Nielsen, JJJ, Joe McGill, John Blackbourn, Jonathan Desrosiers, Josepha, jrf, Kåre Mulvad Steffensen, Laken Hafner, laurelfulford, lbenicio, macbookandrew, Marius L. J., Mel Choyce, Michael Nelson, Mike Jolley, Pascal Casier, pbrocks, postphotos, Prashant Baldha, PressTigers, programmin, Robin Cornett, Sergey Biryukov, Stefano Lissa, Stephane Daury (stephdau), Subrata Sarkar, Tammie Lister, teddytime, thomasplevy, Timothy Jacobs, Tobias Zimpel, Tom J Nowell, Tor-Bjorn Fjellner, Towhidul Islam, voneff, William Earnhardt, and Xenos (xkon) Konstantinos.

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WordPress 4.9.6 Release Candidate 2

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second release candidate package for 4.9.6 has been released and is now available for testing. Please help test this release candidate version to ensure everything works as expected.

This package contains 20 bug fixes since the first release candidate. This brings the total number of bug fixes in 4.9.6 to 60 while the number of enhancements/feature requests remains at 34.

Note: With the introduction of #44091, any existing data export requests will need to be removed by an admin and resubmitted.

Even more than usual, we need testers to help polish this release. This version (4.9.6) introduces the first round of tools that help WordPress site owners and admins meet the new requirements for user privacy regulations.

The official 4.9.6 release is scheduled for Thursday, May 17th.

Bug Fixes

A full list of bugs fixed in the 4.9.6 Release Candidate can be found on Trac. The tickets listed below are only those committed since RC1 was released.


  • #44064 – Define $title and $parent_file in privacy.php
  • #44045 – GDPR WP Pointer dismiss link can be unreachable
  • #44050 – Privacy: Abandoned heading in WP_Privacy_Policy_Content::get_default_content()
  • #44048 – Privacy: exclude the wrapper from the default policy content
  • #44075 – GDPR inline documentation improvements
  • #44062 – Don’t show privacy feature pointer to new users
  • #44065 – Remove is-dismissible class from notice when privacy info has changed
  • #44057 – It’s not obvious what to do if menu bubble for policy update appears
  • #44056 – Fix markup for table of contents on privacy policy guide
  • #44076 – Add wp_page_for_privacy_policy to populate_options()
  • #44026 – Export and Erase Personal Data tables misaligned under 782px
  • #43491 – Automatically create a Privacy Policy page when installing WordPress
  • #44063 – Privacy policy guide: do not remove the “Suggested text has changed” bubble on saving the policy page
  • #44046 – GDPR Privacy Policy Link in wp-login.php page can overflow other links
  • #44055 – Don’t show notice to the privacy policy guide when user cannot view the guide
  • #44054 – Escape the comment link output in the wp_comments_personal_data_exporter() function.
  • #44093 – Proposed Adjustment to Privacy Settings buttons
  • #44092 – Export/Erase tools: CSS issues with next_steps buttons with some locales
  • #44091 – Rename exports folder to avoid deleting other files
  • #44079 – Require `manage_privacy_options` capability to edit the privacy policy page

A full list of all changes in 4.9.6 can also be found on Trac.

#4-9-6 #maintenance #release

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The festering realities of Bluehost: In which I learn about “unifiedlayer.com”

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Sometimes my outgoing email bounces for reasons I don’t understand from a variety of recipients. I usually try to contact the postmaster to find out why. This weekend, I actually got a response from one:

My apologies for the delay in replying.  Your email went into the gmail spam folder and so was not forwarded out to where I could respond immediately.

Going directly to “spam”? That’s not good.

The postmaster continued:

The reason that your email is blocked is because it originated at unifiedlayer.com. Unifiedlayer is one of the worst spam originators. They host spammers and they really don’t care, so I don’t have much choice but to block many of their mail servers.

Finally, some concrete information. I searched for “unifiedlayer”, finding common searches like “is unifiedlayer unsafe” and “unifiedlayer spam”. Go ahead and do those searches yourself. You’ll find that overall trust in unifiedlayer-originated mail is somewhere up there with body cavity searches, STDs, and politicians.

So I did what pretty much anyone would, I called my service provider. Bluehost told me that unifiedlayer was an in-house product, that they were well aware of the spam problem, that they worked on it really really hard (that’s a paraphrase, not a quote), and like every other thing that Bluehost gets wrong (and gets wrong repeatedly), that if I were just willing to pay a tiny bit more per month (five bucks in this case), they’d allow my “ericasadun” domain email to go through a different originator.

I am so sick of Bluehost.

If you have any advice on how I can transfer my web site and my email away from this festering heap, please drop me an email (I’ll probably get yours even if you don’t get my reply) and help me find an alternate home. I’ve heard good things about Digital Ocean, for example, but I don’t even know where to start in terms of moving over ten years worth of email.

At least I’ve been through the process of reinstalling WordPress and have my backups.

Thanks in advance.

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WordPress 4.9.6 RC1 Released

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WordPress 4.9.6 Release Candidate 1 is available for download and addresses some of the issues that have been reported in beta 1. Since the beta’s release, there have been 30 bugs fixed.

Many of the fixes in this release are focused on the new privacy tools that help with GDPR compliance. The verbiage has been changed in multiple areas to make explanations and actions clearer. For example, the Privacy Policy introduction text has been shortened and more user friendly.

One notable bug fix is that site administrators now receive an email when a Personal Data Export/Removal request is confirmed. In a future version of WordPress, it’s possible that the notification bubbles will be extended to display confirmed requests.

A full list of changes in this release can be found on Trac. This minor release needs more testing than usual due to the privacy tools and enhancements introduced. Please test 4.9.6 on staging site or local server and if you encounter any issues, report them on the Alpha/Beta/Release Candidate section of the forums.

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