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WordPress Releases Gutenberg 11.2 – Why this is a Winner

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WordPress Releases Gutenberg 11.2 – Why this is a Winner

WordPress announced the release of the newest version of Gutenberg which is now at 11.2. This is an incremental update in that it’s not a major upgrade. Nevertheless it does contain a slight performance improvement to the editor as well as numerous bug fixes and feature additions that makes version 11.2 a notable upgrade.

Gutenberg WordPress Editor

Gutenberg is an official WordPress editing experience. It’s an updated way to create websites using a visual drag and drop editing interface.

The goal for Gutenberg is to make creating websites easier for all publishers.

The advantage of using Gutenberg instead of a third party website building plugin is that the code is embedded directly into the WordPress core. Many publishers have reported that this can result in a faster website.

Gutenberg uses a design paradigm of a “block,” like building blocks.

There are blocks for paragraphs, headings, columns, quotes and so on. Each of the blocks can be customized to the publisher’s needs in an easy interface that makes customizing the look of a website within reach of a non-coding publisher.

WordPress describes the purpose of Gutenberg like this:

“With blocks, you can insert, rearrange, and style multimedia content with very little technical knowledge. Instead of using custom code, you can add a block and focus on your content.

Without being an expert developer, you can build your own custom posts and pages.”

To make it easy, each section of a site, from the search box to the widget area, is created with blocks, building blocks.

All of the blocks that can be used to build a web page are contained in a Block Library.

Changes to Gutenberg 11.2

One of the changes is an update to the search block.

The search block contains the search box that allows site visitors to search a website.

WordPress updated the Gutenberg search block so that it now offers more design customization options.

Specifically, the search button now has more color options for the search button and for the search box border.

These are important improvements that are more than incremental.

Screenshot of Search Block Design Examples

Examples of Gutenberg Search Block

More Pullquote Design Options

Similar to the search box update Gutenberg 11.2 adds more color and border options to the pullquote box.

A pullquote is a design feature that consists of a quote, sometimes in larger font, designed to give prominence to important text.

This is a design feature carried over from print media.

According to WordPress:

“The pullquote block’s color options have also expanded. There are now more distinct options for setting background, text and link colors. Border support has been expanded to allow selection of a border style, color and width.”

Updated Gutenberg Pullquote User Interface (UI)

WordPress Gutenberg Pullquote UI

Additional Improvements

Gutenberg 11.2 ships with numerous bug fixes. Just a few examples of the bug fixes are:

  • Allowing authors to select images that were uploaded by other authors
  • Fixing the code to prevent layout shift
  • Fixed theme and plugin incompatibility bugs in the Widget Editor
  • Removed an outdated reference to Instagram from an embed bloc
  • Improved the code quality

Performance Improvement

As mentioned earlier, this update is an incremental improvement and the performance improvement for site visitors is also modest.

Gutenberg 11.1 loading time is 8.54 seconds versus Gutenberg 11.2 which is 8.48 seconds.

The keypress event metric, how long before a keypress registers, also improved.

Gutenberg 11.1 had a score of 38.17ms versus the improved score of Gutenberg 11.2 of 37.89ms.

Those are modest gains but they are gains nonetheless.

Should You Update to Gutenberg 11.2?

Publishers already using the Gutenberg editor may want to back up their website first before updating to the newest version.

Although the chances of an incompatibility issue happening from upgrading is remove, it’s always prudent to back up a website before making a change in case that some of the changes are not compatible with installed themes and plugins.

Publishers who do not currently use Gutenberg may wish to export a version of the site to a desktop or online staging area in order to familiarize themselves with the Gutenberg editing experience.

Citations

Official WordPress Gutenberg 11.2 Announcement
What’s new in Gutenberg 11.2.0?

Search Block: Add color support to search button

Search Block: Add border color support

Editor Performance: Drag and Drop
Set passive listener option for use popover scroll to avoid affecting scrolling performance

Drag items via transform property to avoid layout and re-paint

Pullquote: add block support

Widgets Editor: Fix plugin/theme incompatibility, call onChangeSectionExpanded conditionally

I18n: Fix broken loop in WP_Theme_JSON_Resolver

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Shopmatey – Create a web store on your phone. Built on WooCommerce

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Shopmatey - Create a web store on your phone. Built on WooCommerce

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Shopmatey is a social commerce platform that combines shopping and social media. Discover new products, sell your own, or combine your products sold on other marketplaces into a single link. Join the future of shopping with Shopmatey today.

Launched in Android, iOS, E-Commerce by

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How to Prevent Fraud and Fake Orders in WooCommerce

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How to Prevent Fraud and Fake Orders in WooCommerce

Do you want to prevent fraud and fake orders on your WooCommerce store? Fraud and fake orders can cause serious losses for an online store. Luckily, …

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If Shopify Passes This Test, the Stock Could Soar

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If Shopify Passes This Test, the Stock Could Soar

For the first time in 12 years, Shopify (SHOP -4.37%) is raising prices.

The e-commerce software peddler hiked rates on its Basic, Shopify, and Advanced tiers by about 33%, leaving the most expensive Shopify Plus plan untouched at $2,000 a month.

The move comes after Shopify has been rocked by the pandemic hangover as e-commerce growth slowed dramatically last year after booming in 2020 and 2021. That was true not just for Shopify, but also peers like Amazon and Etsy.

The company has taken steps to reel in costs, issuing layoffs and finding other ways to trim expenses. As it looks for ways to grow and reinvest in the business, raising prices seems to make sense.

At a time when the stock is still down roughly 70% from the 2021 peak, the price hikes pose a major test for Shopify — one investors should pay close attention to.

Image source: Getty Images.

How wide is your moat?

Shopify has been a top-performing stock for most of its history thanks to its turbocharged revenue growth, but the company has also earned a high valuation from the market because of its perceived economic moat.

The company dominates the e-commerce software sector, serving a wide range of businesses from sole proprietors to Fortune 500 enterprises, and its customers generate roughly $200 billion in gross merchandise volume on its platform. The company fended off a challenge from Amazon, which closed its competing Amazon Webstore product several years ago, and is much larger than direct competitors like BigCommerce and WooCommerce.

That large base of customers and significant lead over its competition offers evidence for the company’s competitive advantage, and its product comes with high switching costs. Once you get set up selling, it’s costly, both in time and money, to switch to another provider.

Another way Shopify can demonstrate its competitive advantage is with pricing power. Great companies often have the ability to raise prices without significant customer loss. This might be due to a powerful brand or the sense among customers that there’s no equal substitute for the original company’s product or service. So, they simply accent a higher price when it gets passed down to them. 

Shopify was a much smaller company 12 years ago, and therefore has never really tested its pricing power before.

What Shopify merchants are saying

Unsurprisingly, the Shopify price hike sparked a lively debate on Reddit’s Shopify channel, with merchants airing different opinions on the matter. Some were frustrated with the price hike, especially coming at a time when online retailers are already struggling and facing higher costs through inflation.

However, others dismissed those concerns, essentially saying that the value of Shopify was worth paying an extra $10 or $20 a month. One commenter said, “As a web dev myself with years of experience in e-commerce, I can tell you there are so many Shopify features I take for granted now as a store owner that I know were mammoth tasks in our own platforms. You won’t get a shop for that price with the same functionality and ease of use.” They also added, “I do agree the app subscriptions are a bloody rip-off though!”

A handful of commenters said they planned to switch to Block‘s Square, and others discussed alternatives like BigCommerce and WooCommerce, but most didn’t seem to consider switching in response to the price hikes. A number of commenters also seemed to defend the move, saying that Shopify’s business has been struggling and it needs more money.

Will the price hikes pay off?

It’s unclear how much Shopify’s revenue stands to increase from the move. Subscriptions made up 28% of revenue in the most recent quarter, but close to half of its gross profit. However, this isn’t a straight 33% price increase as current merchants can keep the old monthly rate by switching to a yearly plan, and they also have three months before the price hikes are implemented. New merchants will have to pay the higher prices immediately.

Still, these price increases could add at least a mid-single-digit bump to revenue, but more important is that that extra income will flow straight to the bottom line since there are no extra costs associated with it.

That will give Shopify more money to reinvest in the business and could also give the stock a boost by padding the bottom line. 

Investors will learn more about the price hike’s impact over the coming quarters, but if the move is successful, Shopify could start increasing prices more regularly, possibly every few years, giving it an additional lever to pull as it grows the bottom line.

If the company can clearly demonstrate its pricing power and give a jolt to the bottom line at the same time, the stock could soar in response.

John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Jeremy Bowman has positions in Amazon.com, Block, Etsy, and Shopify. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon.com, BigCommerce, Block, Etsy, and Shopify. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2023 $1,140 calls on Shopify and short January 2023 $1,160 calls on Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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