WordPress 6 is here!

WordPress 6 was released on May 24th. The release name is “Arturo”, named after Arturo O’Farrill – a Mexican Grammy-wining jazz musician.

What’s New?

The release contains over 500 enhancements and over 400 bug fixes.  Some of the major enhancements are covered below.

Full site editing

This is a feature that has been available on certain themes for a while and the WordPress developers have been slowly working towards integrating it into WordPress core for block based themes. Essentially full site editing allows you to modify your entire site look and feel through the block editor page – rather than going into specific ‘Appearance’ pages for the theme. Useful for those with block based themes.

Switch theme styles easily

This is another theme based enhancement. Theme developers will now be able to create style presets that can be modified through a new style button on the block editor.

Export theme options, templates and styles

This new feature allows you to easily export theme options from one site to another. So let’s say you created beautiful styles and modules in a website – and some of these elements might work on another project – WordPress now allows for easy export and import of these options.

Block editor enhancements

Most releases in the last 2 years featured enhancements to the Gutenberg block editor. Release 6 introduces new blocks such as comments, read more, author biography & avatar. Also introduced in release 6 are enhancements to editor to allow for easier text selection, the ability to lock reusable blocks, and the ability to select multiple blocks in the list view amongst other enhancements.

Accessibility changes

WordPress 6.0 introduces many accessibility improvements that will greatly enhance the experience for those with accessibility needs.

Under the hood improvements

As with every WordPress release, the developers have made enhancements to the WordPress core to make it easy for third party theme and plugin developers to integrate and extend their capabilities of the platform.

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Wexford ‘.IE’ Domain Registrations On The Rise

According to the latest report from .IE, Ireland’s country domain manager, Co. Wexford based businesses, organisations, clubs and individuals registered 1,678 .ie domains in 2021. This is a whopping 32% increase on pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Two of the most frequently used keywords for domain registration were ‘cleaning’ and ‘roofing’. On a wider level, 36,875 new .ie domains were registered in Leinster and 57,530 nationwide.

Government lockdown policies in 2021 and business adaptation are the chief drivers for this increase according to David Curtin – chief executive of .IE.

“Businesses in Wexford and across Ireland are investing in new websites, integrating e-commerce technology, and making use of productivity-enhancing tools all year round because they now recognise the huge role they play in profitability and customer acquisition,”

Cybersecurity was also mentioned in the report and it states that 54% of all .ie websites are secured with SSL / TLS.

Mr Curtin acknowledged that this figure was “encouraging” but stressed the importance for .ie domain holders to do as much as possible to protect their site visitors from cyberattacks.

“We urge all businesses in Wexford to review their cybersecurity in 2022.”

Sources : –
https://www.weare.ie/ie-domain-profile-report/
https://www.independent.ie/regionals/wexford/business/1678-new-ie-domains-in-wexford-last-year-growth-of-32-on-2019-41299731.html Continue Reading


Do you feel the need …. the need for speed?

Page speed has always been important in web design. Back in the days of dial up, developers had to be very careful about how they laid out pages and used media, CSS and JavaScript. With the introduction of broadband over the last 20 years, internet speeds have increased to astronomical levels allowing developers to create more complex, media rich and engaging web pages.

However in that process, certain principles and disciplines were lost. It became acceptable to write inefficient & sloppy code. This went largely unpunished until recent times, but Google and other search engines are now placing much more emphasis on page speed in how it ranks your site in it’s search results.

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WordPress 5.9 “Joséphine” Released

WordPress 5.9 was released on January 25th. The release name is “Joséphine”, named after Joséphine Baker – an acclaimed jazz singer.

What’s New?

Following on from the recent trend of WordPress updates, Gutenberg blocks are up front and central in this release. Gutenberg is the advanced editor within WordPress that was launched a couple of years ago and is improving with every release as new features are added. It’s built with blocks of functionality that you can drag and drop within your pages.

Release 5.9 brings improvements to styling block themes (you’ll no longer need to use the Theme Customizer). The navigation block has been enhanced to give you the power to choose menu styles and preferences based on your screen size. There are new typography tools and layout controls to help you control the look and feel of your site easier. Other improvements include revamped list views within the editor and improved gallery blocks.

A new year also means a new WordPress theme and Twenty Twenty-Two is the the first default block theme in the history of WordPress.

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10 Common Website Mistakes

It used to be a case that simply having a website for your business was enough to give you a competitive advantage. This is no longer the case as now the vast majority of Irish businesses have a website – so to gain competitive advantage, your site needs to be better than your competition. We see a lot of good websites and a lot of bad websites and while this can be subjective, below are the top 10 common mistakes we see on business websites.
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WordPress 5.8 “Tatum” Released

WordPress 5.8 was released on July 20th. The release name is “Tatum”, named after Art Tatum – a legendary jazz pianist.

What’s New?

Gutenberg blocks are key to this release. Gutenberg is the advanced editor within WordPress that was launched a couple of years ago. At ClearSoft we’re not huge fans of Gutenberg to be honest. There are better page editors available for WordPress and we just find it a bit clunky. That said, it is powerful in the right hands and it is free.

Gutenberg blocks are blocks of content that can be grouped and moved around your pages – an easier way to manage page construction than just raw code. This release makes improvements to blocks around widget integration, content looping and template integration. As I said we’re not huge users of Gutenberg blocks in ClearSoft so we don’t see any huge benefits in 5.8 to our customers from a functionality perspective.

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The 10 questions you need to ask your web designer

If you’re in the market for a new website one of the initial steps will be to shop around for quotes. There is no standard template for web design agencies to respond to quotes so it can be difficult for you to understand what the quote entails. The quote itself will show you the estimated price, but that doesn’t tell you what you’re getting for that price.

With this in mind we have created a list of questions that you should ask as part of your quote request. This should help you identify how much bang you’re getting for your buck.

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WordPress – the importance of staying current

WordPress is the most popular website content management system in the world and powers a reported 34% of all the worlds websites – that’s over 75 million sites! So it should come as no surprise that here at ClearSoft, we have a number of WordPress sites in that 75 million.

WordPress is robust, extendable, usable and has a vibrant community constantly working on enhancements and new features. Many of the top websites in the world such as TED, CNN, People Magazine, UPS amongst others use it as their chosen platform.

With great popularity comes great threats. Given the scale of its user base, it can be very attractive for hackers to probe for back doors into this system – and they succeed regularly. And when they succeed once, it’s very easy for them to propagate an attack to hit millions of WordPress installations around the world. The WordPress development community is in a constant ongoing battle to stay one step ahead of the bad guys.

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WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza” is here

WordPress 5.7 was released on March 9th. The release name is “Esperanza”, named after Esperanza Spalding – a musical prodigy who has had an inspiring journey.

What’s New?

As with all recent releases, much of the development is around the Gutenberg editor. It’s now more powerful and easier to use. The editor now allows novice users achieve professional results without having to hire a professional. This is especially useful for those clients who make regular changes to their pages and layouts.

Some improvements have been made to Gutenberg blocks. There is now drag-and-drop functionality incorporated within Gutenberg that allows you easily drag blocks of functionality right into your pages and posts. This has been around in different commercial page builders over the years – but certain implementations have been clumsy in this regard – creating some bad HTML which impacts on site speed scoring. WordPress claim that their native drag and drop functionality is farm more efficient and generates cleaner front end HTML code.

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LEO Trading Online Voucher Wexford 2022

The LEO Trading Online Voucher is a scheme administered by the Wexford LEO (Local Enterprise Office) and their counterparts throughout the country. It’s a hugely popular scheme that many small businesses from Wexford  have benefitted from over the years.

If you’re thinking of setting up a website for your business, and you meet the criteria, the Trading Online Voucher scheme could benefit your business greatly.

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