WordPress.org account problem & lack of appeals process

It started because I had the personal account I had recently created restricted and I couldn’t log into it. So I reached out to see why it said it was restricted as I hadn’t been sent any kind of email or notification. I had three accounts (one was an older mistake) but only the most recent one had been restricted and wouldn’t let me log in.

Created in 2008 and had forgotten it until recently. I think I stumbled on it trying to use the same email address for the personal account (and I wasn’t trying to keep this one but I’m disclosing that it existed and that it was a mistake account with nothing on it):
https://profiles.wordpress.org/fascination-design/

Correct business account (created 2010):
https://profiles.wordpress.org/fascinationdesign

Personal account (created 2023):
https://wordpress.org/support/users/hilarybaumann/

I created the personal account because I wanted to get more involved in the WordPress community and wanted to access the WordPress Slack account as myself.

But I wanted to keep my main business brand account in case I ever created any plugins and wanted my business to support that and have more flexibility to scale.

The response to asking why the personal account was restricted was: https://wordpress.org/support/guidelines/#do-not-create-multiple-accounts

I was then point blank told I wasn’t allowed to have both a business and personal account.

Screen shot of an email that says:
"> Seeing as it looks like personal accounts and business accounts are
allowed,
No, they are not. There is a very limited use case for that and this case does not qualify. Just pick one account and we will unban that account.
Going forward just use the one."

And things did not get better from here.

What this has made me very aware of is that:

There is also no obvious appeals process in this type of situation.

It appears to allow judge and jury by one volunteer.

IF a WordPress.org volunteer deleted my account entirely…

The Good:

Deletion of my WordPress.org account would not prevent me from using WordPress or the plugins for my site or client sites. Which is good and really vital for an open-source project in my opinion.

The Bad:

IF I had plugins or themes on WordPress.org I would however lose something if I were banned. Anyone using those would lose the ability to autoupdate via the normal methods. THIS is deeply troubling.

Get on the wrong person’s side while you have a plugin or theme on the wordpress.org directory and it could look like you’ve abandoned a project.

I really do not like single points of failure and I see the lack of appeals process as a single point of failure with regards to the WordPress.org plugins and theme directories.

This is a serious flaw in WordPress.org in my opinion and needs to be looked into.

Summary of where my account stands if you don’t want to read the lengthy timeline:

  • I was initially told I could not have a company account.
  • I deleted all other accounts in order to prevent the volunteer from deleting the one that was important to me.
  • As of Feb 18 2024 the anonymous volunteer has now just contradicted what they said claiming my accounts were personal accounts and told me that what I have left IS a company account. I’m not allowed to post as a company in the forums (not what I was requesting in the email but apparently they didn’t want to read what I wrote.)
  • So I’m going to attempt to set up a new personal account since my company account is not allowed to post in the forums. I’m not up for that tonight but I will update here if more changes happen.

Key points from the WordPress.org website that I brought up repeatedly:

https://wordpress.org/support/guidelines/#do-not-create-multiple-accounts
“A company may register a brand account with a verifiable company email.”

https://wordpress.org/support/forum-user-guide/faq/#can-i-have-multiple-accounts
“Individuals are not permitted to have and use more than one account on WordPress.org, in order to maintain accountability for actions and to prevent anonymous abuse.

Companies are permitted to have a separate account to own and manage their plugins and/or themes.”

Past this point my formatting needs some work but it’s a full timeline of what happened AND the thoughts I had as this nightmare correspondence unfolded

Read the full thing after the break…

Continue reading WordPress.org account problem & lack of appeals process

A SHORT overview of the advances in WordPress: Gutenberg (the block editor) & full site editing (block themes) + a Drupal extra

I’m writing this because I haven’t been following WordPress development closely for the last 3 years (hello 2020 pandemic & aftermath.) There is so much content out there for the classic templates & theme builders like Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder etc. that it’s REALLY hard to get a grip on the new direction that WordPress is headed especially since it’s still in the midst of development.

I initially couldn’t even find a good CLEAR & simple breakdown of the terminology I needed to know so writing this was partially in order for me to process and better understand what I was consuming and pull out some key things. My own Quickstart guide if you will but for the folks who have been using WordPress for over a decade.

Keep in mind that this is still evolving and the date I’m writing this is June 20, 2023. WordPress is currently 6.2.2. Things will likely change again for WordPress 6.3 which will likely be August 2023 based on the linked video & WordPress roadmap.


WordPress Editor

Gutenberg is the block editor for pages and posts. It is apparently no longer exclusive to WordPress and is also available for Drupal.

This link has the visual breakdown & screenshots: https://developer.wordpress.org/block-editor/

And this is the deeper dive: https://developer.wordpress.org/block-editor/explanations/faq/

But why is there a Gutenberg Plugin if it’s now built into WordPress?
The Gutenberg plugin is now early access to what’s coming to block and full site editing. Current version of the plugin is 16.0.0. Do not use this if you aren’t ok with beta testing.


WordPress Theme

Full site editor (FSE) is another name for WordPress block themes in WordPress. “Full Site Editing” is sometimes used as a verb.

Handy chart for Classic Theme vs Block Theme if you’re transitioning: https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/block-themes/#differences-and-similarities-between-classic-themes-and-block-themes

And crash course if you’re switching from a Classic Theme to Block Theme: https://learn.wordpress.org/tutorial/how-to-switch-from-a-classic-to-a-block-theme/

Good screen shot breakdowns of the full site editor (FSE) from Oct 17, 2022: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2022/10/wordpress-full-site-editing/

I highly recommend just diving in on a sandboxed / staging environment or demo site using Automattic’s blockbase so you familiarize yourself using a theme created as WordPress / Automattic intended:

And/or one of Automattic’s Blockbase child themes:
Linked them because they are harder to search for.

When do I need to create my own child themes?
(if I’m not building a theme from scratch)

An excellent short summary from https://fullsiteediting.com/lessons/child-themes/

“If you change theme.json, HTML, CSS, PHP, or JavaScript files directly, you still need to create a child theme because these files are not protected when you install a theme update. There are also settings and styles in theme.json that you can not remove through the global styles interface. In this case, you also want to create a child theme and add your custom theme.json.”

But really when might I change these files? This video is about theme creation HOWEVER it’s the shortest video I found that helped me understand how themes are now being built:

Reusable Blocks, Block Patterns, Templates and Template Parts & Synced Patterns:

Except this appears to be in flux & currently changing:

Query loop blocks!

https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/wordpress/wordpress-query-loop-block

What if I want to create my own WordPress Block Theme that can be used with the Full Site Editor … OR learn more?

These are some of the best resources I came across (this is also about where it becomes overkill):


And now for something completely different: Gutenberg block editor for Drupal

https://drupalgutenberg.org/https://www.drupal.org/project/gutenberg

WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg editor – first impression

WordPress 5.0 is getting a new WYSIWYG editor. And it’s VERY different from what you are used to…
DEMO as a plugin (recommended not to do it on a live site): https://wordpress.org/plugins/gutenberg/

I’m going to be the person who likes the new editor in WordPress when they take it live in WP 5.0. Right now it’s available to demo but it’s a bit buggy and the reviews are people hate it and say it’s a UX fail.

 
I don’t think it’s a UX fail – it just takes a bit of tinkering to learn something new.
I AM worried about client choosing really REALLY bad color combos for their text and I want a way to lock that down but I do think with some tutorials this will actually be easier for clients to use.
 
It wouldn’t save my post on the site I installed it on but based on what I’m reading it might be an “issue not specific to Gutenberg, it’s global to any WP REST API usage, I don’t know if your webserver is Nginx”…
 

So next I’ll be trying it on a base install to see if it was a plugin conflict or something server based. Actually it says to not use it on a live site yet but I’ve got a site that’s a play site that I use for this type of thing (I want to see where things break on a real server with real plugins and real content.)

It’s not ready for prime time because of some things it still breaks (settings overlapping for example) but I look forward to using it once it’s ready.


Edit:

Save Draft & Publish work on a site without a lot of plugins.
Found a few more issues:
  • Editable permalink is something that seems to be on the list of things they are aware of.
  • It seems that Gutenberg won’t update once the post is saved. Going to test that now. Or there’s a problem with taking it to a private post and back to public. Need to search a bit more on Git because I’m not seeing this one.
  • Versioning… where is that going to live? I like having the ability to roll back posts to a previous version in case someone really mucks something upand I’m not seeing that in the current version of Gutenberg.