WordPress 6.3 has arrived, and we’re starting to actively test it. We anticipate maintaining WordPress 6.2.2 for a few months in any case as it is stable and the changes in 6.3 appear to mostly be around WordPress’ native builder, which we don’t use in Greenleaf ONE. Still, we’ll be rolling this out as soon as we’ve tested it on various development sites.
Changelog Category: Upgraded
The latest stable version of CiviCRM (at least as of this writing) is version 5.63.x. It ships with lots of nice improvements, and we’re anxious to deploy it. That said, we’re working through several upgrades (such as adoption of PHP8) and enhancements, so we’re taking a conservative approach to this version. We plan to adopt it around the time that CiviCRM version 5.64 or 5.65 is released. Stay tuned!
We’re actively upgrading all sites to version 5.61.4. Ordinarily we stay closer to the latest stable version, however due to some bugs introduced in various extensions, as well as our ongoing adoption of PHP8, we’re taking a more conservative approach in performing upgrades. Version 5.61.4 ships with several improvements in SearchKit and FormBuilder, the the big improvement (mapping to saved searches in SearchKit) will not come until the next upgrade of CiviCRM. We estimate this to be within 90 days.
Greenleaf ONE ships with a newer SEO plugin called WP Meta SEO. It’s a bit more lightweight than many older, more known plugins such as Yoast, Rank Math, etc. In our experience, WP Meta SEO gets the job done in an all-around easier manner without some of the performance issues that we’ve seen with the older, legacy plugins.
For organizations with complex content, multiple custom post types, etc., the pro version is likely to be a big benefit when it comes to managing your organic rankings. Likewise, it supports direct integration into Google Search Console and Google Analytics 4, so accessing your site performance data is fast and easy.
Optimization is a complex topic and it’s only getting more so with the adoption of AI-based tools. This plugin is no silver bullet as search optimization requires much more than just tweaking content. That said, it is one more tool in your toolbox and, if used properly, can help you optimize the content and pages on your website such that they are properly indexed and positioned to be found in organic searches.
The latest version of the page builder ships with several very nice performance enhancements, the big one being that you can now set a “parent” source for dynamic content at the section and row level. This means that, for example, if you establish a parent source for your dynamic content within a section, ALL rows and ALL elements within that section will be able to automatically inherit the source. This is really significant from a performance standpoint as 1) it reduce your design legwork and 2) it reduces the number of queries the site has to run.
To make it even more awesome, the latest upgrade also allows these rows and sections to repeat automatically based on the number of items within the source. This means that you can create a complex layout within a section and it will automatically replicate based on the amount of content in the source. Really, this is huge. This allows you to create virtually unlimited layouts and have them automatically build based on your content.
In addition, the update improves upon the already awesome sublayout element, adds new content sources and improves accessibility by present ARIA labels throughout. These updates can all seem very technical, however there is a fantastic introductory blog post that we encourage you to review here.
Finally, the upgrade to Yootheme Pro 4.0 coincides with an update to the Essentials Plugin, to version 2.0. This upgrade is mostly performance related, improving upon the ability to quickly access custom sources and data as well as in refining many of the settings associated with various elements, such as graphs, social icons, etc.
We’ll definitely be putting together a video on this, so stay tuned. We’re actively testing the upgrade across various development sites now.
For organizations with lots of media or with high media management needs, the WordPress media manager is, how shall we say, a bit of a mess. Fortunately, there are several plugins that allow for greater management and control over media files within WordPress.
We’re rolling out one such media manager that allows you to organize and manage your media files in a much more logical manner. What’s more, this media manager doesn’t just mask the underlying structure in WordPress, it allows you to completely change the structure via its “physical folders” feature. A word of caution though, enabling this feature on sites that already have a lot of images runs the risk breaking image paths. For new sites, this feature makes more sense and not only enables you to organize you media files into a more logical structure, it allows you to present a cleaner, more optimized URL for search engines.
Again, we’ll be putting together a video on using the media manager shortly.
A fairly major upgrade to WordPress is out and we’re currently rolling updates to select installations. While WordPress has historically been very focused on backward compatibility, we tend to adopt new major releases slowly and only after thorough testing.
Again, in this instance, we’ve been conservative in upgrading to WordPress 6.2 but now feel like it’s stable enough. Most of the improvements are performance related or focused on its own block editor, Gutenberg, which we don’t actively support. Don’t expect to notice anything too dramatic on the WordPress side of things.
We’ve taken a conservative approach to upgrading sites to PHP 8 or higher. Many sites are currently running PHP 7.4 which, while stable and performant, is no longer receiving security upgrades. Because PHP 8 introduces breaking changes, we are testing each upgrade individually to ensure there are no issues whatsoever. This is a rather lengthy process, however we believe it’s the best approach.
If you see any alerts related to your version of PHP, you may disregard them. We are actively working through the upgrades, which by and large should be transparent to your users.
February witnessed another security release for CiviCRM, which we’re actively testing and rolling out. Like all releases, there are new features and improvements introduced as well as the ocassional change. We like to sort through these in advance, particularly on legacy installations that have more complex plugins and requirements. This combined with the fact that the security issues reported a very edge case is allowing us to deploy the release over more time.
We’ve integrated the ONE Library into the element library of the page builder. This is a remote library that allows us to upload custom layouts, elements, etc. that are then accessible by all Greenleaf ONE users. The ONE Library allows us to provide additional functionality that will be accessible directly in the builder and at your fingertips.
If you’re looking for a particular design or element configuration, shoot us an email and we’ll be glad to take a look. Everything that we deploy to the library is available to all users, so if you have a common use case, then we’re happy to work something up and share it.