Updates Incoming on November 11th

The updates originally scheduled for today will be rolled out on Monday, November 15th.

Starting at 9am EST on November 11th we’ll be updating the Commons to WordPress 5.8 along with updating a number of core themes and plugins. This might cause some instability, though the site will remain up for use. If you experience some odd behavior try again later in the day. Email us at hello[at]hcommons.org if it does not resolve, or if you experience any errors after 2pm EST. 

What’s new in WordPress 5.8? 

WordPress 5.8 brings big updates to the way sites can be edited. This includes:

  • Template editing: You can now edit templates by page, similar to the way SiteOrigin and Elementor works. For those of you with existing sites, you’ll need to turn on this new functionality in settings. For new sites this will be turned on by default. 
  • Blocks as widgets: You can add blocks in widget areas and view them in the live preview through the customizer. 
  • Block patterns: If you search for blocks, WordPress will suggest existing patterns created for specific uses.

WPBeginner has a good writeup of the new features on their website along with an explainer video embedded below.

Site administrators, you may see a popup when you log into your site that looks like this:

Classic Widget popup

The “Classic Widgets” plugin is not required, and we are not enabling it on the network. Your widgets should continue to work as expected after the update. If you do run into issues please email us at hello[at]hcommons.org.

Theme and Plugin Updates

We’re also rolling out updates to themes and plugins. For those of you who use SimpleMag, there may be layout challenges. We’re doing our best to mitigate them, but if you do have questions please let us know. Other themes being updated include 15Zine and Eduma.

We are updating many plugins including: CommentPress, Elementor, NinjaForms, PressForward, and TimelineJS. If you use any of those plugins and experience issues please let us know.

We’re Growing our Team

You’ll be seeing more frequent updates as we continue to grow our team. We’re currently looking for a Systems Administrator with experience in AWS. For more information and to apply visit https://careers.msu.edu/en-us/job/508452/information-technologist-ii.