Update to WordPress 4.8.3 Now

WordPress 4.8.3 has just been released and if you haven’t upgraded your WordPress website yet, then you should do so as soon as possible.

Version 4.8.3 is an important security update that will fix a serious programming flaw that can potentially expose WordPress-powered websites to the possibility of being attacked and hijacked by hackers by means of injecting malicious SQL database commands.

The bug, CVE-2017-14723, was discovered and reported by security researcher Anthony Ferrara in September. The WordPress core is not affected, the vulnerability lies in WPDB, a set of functions used to talk to the WordPress database, and its ability to include sprint tokens.

The vulnerable functionality was first found in version 4.8.1. WordPress version 4.8.2, which included fixes for many bugs, was supposed to address this flaw. However, according to Ferrara, version 4.8.2 only dealt with “a narrow subset of the potential exploits” and didn’t actually fix the root issue.

In version 4.8.2 and earlier, the buggy code, $wpdb->prepare(), can create unexpected and unsafe queries and potentially allow malicious SQL injection. The newly-released WordPress 4.8.3 security update addresses this flaw by changing the behavior of the esc_sql() function and hardening it to protect it from attacks via plugins and themes.

How to Update to WordPress 4.8.3

If you are a client of Ezone, you needn’t do anything as we have already upgraded you to WordPress version 4.8.3. You can log in to your website as you normally do and be assured that your website is protected from this security threat.

If you wish to upgrade to WordPress 4.83 yourself, follow these steps:

    1. Check first what version of WordPress your site is using. Go to the Dashboard, look in the ‘At a Glance’ panel:
    2. Download the latest version of WordPress 4.83 from the WordPress website, or go to Updates in the Dashboard and choose “Update now.”

Basic Image Editing in WordPress

One of the things many WordPress beginners often wonder about is if it is possible to edit an image after it has been inserted into a post or page. Yes, WordPress users may do some simple image editing and also edit image properties once the image is already uploaded.

Here’s how this can be done: Continue reading “Basic Image Editing in WordPress”

An Overview of WordPress 4.8

This week we are doing an overview of WordPress 4.8 (named Evans in honor of the Jazz musician William John Evans) which was just released at the end of last week. Some updates primarily fix or add features that you only really notice as a developer, but WordPress 4.8 brings a load of great updates that will be appreciated by both developers and users.

So what’s new?

New and Improved Widgets:

WordPress 4.8 adds a number of widgets as well as massively improving the text widget. Let’s start by looking at the new widgets:

Image Widget:

WordPress 4.8 introduces an image widget that allows you to easily add images to your widget areas by selecting the image from the media library. Image widgets were not native to WordPress before (although the Jetpack plugin did add one, it wasn’t as intuitive, since it didn’t use the media library), so this is a welcome addition.

Audio Widget:

The new audio widget lets you select a audio file from the media library and it will be embedded in a player in your page. This is a great feature for podcasters and musicians alike.

Video Widget:

Similar to the audio widget this widget lets you select your video file from the media library and embed it in your widget area making it super easy to add video to your website.

The Text Widget:

This update is one that I have wanted for a long time as from a usability perspective the text widget was very difficult to use without knowing html. WordPress 4.8 adds a rich text editor to the text widget, making it easy to add links, make text bold, format lists and more making it a great improvement for end users.


Link Boundaries:

Another interesting feature of WordPress 4.8 is an improvement to links in the rich text editor. Your link is now highlighted in blue and you can adjust the text that your link covers, making it much easier to edit text in and around links without linking the wrong part of the text.

As you can see from the above screenshot the linked text is surrounded by a blue background. As you edit the text that is linked the background expands around it, making it really easy to tell where your link starts and ends.

Events and News in Dashboard:

WordPress 4.8 also introduces a new panel in the WordPress cms dashboard (the page you land on when you login) that tells you about upcoming events near you and also news relating to WordPress. This feature is probably most useful to those working with WordPress and that want to get involved in the WordPress community. It also tells you about meetups in your area – these are a great way to get involved with the community regardless of what you do with WordPress, be it design, development or as an end user working with it every day.

Improvements for Developers:

There are a number of improvements for developers working with WordPress in this release. This includes improvement of accessibility, the removal of core support for WMA and WMV videos files, a text editor javascript api and a number of other updates that you can read about in more detail here: https://wordpress.org/news/2017/06/evans/.


Do I have WordPress 4.8?

If you are one of our clients you needn’t do anything, we have already upgraded you to WordPress version 4.8 so you can log in and start enjoying the benefits straight away.

If you are not sure what version of WordPress your site is using you can easily check by going to the WordPress dashboard in the content management system and looking in the ‘At a Glance’ panel:


Right to Left Websites in WordPress

While translating your website can be tricky, translating it into a language that is read from right to left can seem even more daunting. The good news is that the WordPress cms has excellent built in support for different languages as well there being a number of excellent plugins to help.

In this post we are going to look at how to create right to left websites in WordPress, covering both the use of existing themes and those that are created from scratch.

To make your website read coherently from right to left you will usually find that simply switching the direction of the text is not sufficient, you will want to switch the entire layout of the website so that those viewing the site from right to left have the equivalent experience of those viewing from left to right. .

Using a Theme in Right to Left Layout

If your website is built on a pre-built theme then it may have built in support for right to left, or rtl, layouts. There are a couple of ways that you can check this:

  1. Go to Settings > General and select an rtl language from the Site Language dropdown and click Save Changes.

You will see that the WordPress dashboard will now display right to left:

If you now go to your live site it will display with a reversed layout if it supports rtl languages and even if it doesn’t it will change your text to read from right to left.

2. If you are a little more technical you can quickly check if your theme supports rtl by looking to see if there is a rtl.css stylesheet. This will be contained in the root of the theme (usually located in /wp-content/themes/theme-name/ ).

3. There is also a plugin called RTL Tester which you can use to test your site in rtl layout without having your visitors see it on the live site. It is available in the WordPress Plugin Repository.


Converting Your Website to Right to Left Layout

If your website uses a custom theme that doesn’t have rtl functionality you will need to add it to the site. This is not a difficult process, although it can be time consuming:

  1. If your theme doesn’t have an rtl.css stylesheet the first thing you will need to do is to create one. To do this you should copy your themes main stylesheet (usually called style.css).
  2. Under the body attribute add direction:rtl; and unicode-bidi:embed;
  3. Save the file as rtl.css
  4. You will then need to go through your stylesheet and make the following changes:
    1. Remove any unnecessary attributes – anything that is not related to the positioning of elements.
    2. Reverse the values of floats, text alignments and clears so that, for example, float:left; becomes float:right;
    3. Mirror the values of any paddings, margins and positionings so that, for example, padding-right:20px; becomes padding-left:20px; but also remember that you will need to zero the original value so you would also need to include padding-right:0px;
    4. You may also need to add reversed versions of your images if they are direction specific.
  5. Save your stylesheet and upload it to the root directory of your theme.
  6. Follow the above procedure in WordPress to change the language to an rtl language.

There is some really useful information and examples about the above procedure here: https://codex.wordpress.org/Right-to-Left_Language_Support

If Your Website is Multilingual

If your website is in several different languages then you probably use a plugin such as WPML (which is the standard plugin that we use for multilingual websites). In this case you obviously don’t want to change the site language in your WordPress settings as the site will not always be using just one language. So long as you have an rtl.css stylesheet you shouldn’t need to make any other changes, selecting the country from your language selector will add the rtl declaration to your page header prompting the site to use your rtl css.



Ezone at WordCamp Europe 2016

Here at Ezone Interactive one of the reasons that we use the WordPress platform is because it is open source, meaning that there are millions of people working and contributing to improving it all the time. This means that any security problems, or compatibility issues are usually fixed extremely quickly after being identified and, just as importantly, keeps WordPress on the leading edge of content management systems. Continue reading “Ezone at WordCamp Europe 2016”

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