Sudden WordPress pricing change sparks confusion and outrage

WordPress.com has introduced major price changes without warning, replacing all of its paid plans with a single ‘Pro’ plan.

The Automattic-owned website builder has also reduced the storage on its free plan significantly, from 3GB to 500MB.

In a WordPress forum thread, some users of the platform expressed their frustration with the new Pro plan, which costs $ 180 a year with no option to spread costs out monthly, a facility previously available with the old plans. 

Website builder price change

WordPress.com price plan change screenshot

WordPress.com now just offers two plans (Image credit: WordPress.com)

In response to complaints made on the WordPress forum, a spokesperson for the company said the goal with these pricing changes is to make the benefits of WordPress.com available to more people, describing the old plans as “overcomplicated” and “confusing”.

“This presently does not affect free sites prior to the new plan updates. We’ve slashed the price of our older Business plan from $ 25/mo to just $ 15/mo (paid annually),” they added.

However, despite the fact that WordPress says the changes to storage space would only affect new websites created on or after March 31, some WordPress users complained that their old sites have had the media storage space slashed to 500 MB.

The previous Business plan referenced by the spokesperson used to come with up to 200GB of storage, while the new Pro plan caps storage space at 50GB.

After a weekend of users complaining of the changes, WordPress set up a thread to collect feedback and provide clarity on new pricing changes. In the FAQ section, it acknowledged that the gap between a free plan and a $ 15 a month plan was large, and the company is therefore working on more “flexible à la carte options”.

TechRadar Pro reached out to WordPress.com for a comment on the changes and the rationale behind removing the option to pay monthly for services, but the company has not yet returned a response. 

 Via WPTavern 

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Sudden WordPress pricing change sparks confusion and outrage

WordPress.com has introduced major price changes without warning, replacing all of its paid plans with a single ‘Pro’ plan.

The Automattic-owned website builder has also reduced the storage on its free plan significantly, from 3GB to 500MB.

In a WordPress forum thread, some users of the platform expressed their frustration with the new Pro plan, which costs $ 180 a year with no option to spread costs out monthly, a facility previously available with the old plans. 

Website builder price change

WordPress.com price plan change screenshot

WordPress.com now just offers two plans (Image credit: WordPress.com)

In response to complaints made on the WordPress forum, a spokesperson for the company said the goal with these pricing changes is to make the benefits of WordPress.com available to more people, describing the old plans as “overcomplicated” and “confusing”.

“This presently does not affect free sites prior to the new plan updates. We’ve slashed the price of our older Business plan from $ 25/mo to just $ 15/mo (paid annually),” they added.

However, despite the fact that WordPress says the changes to storage space would only affect new websites created on or after March 31, some WordPress users complained that their old sites have had the media storage space slashed to 500 MB.

The previous Business plan referenced by the spokesperson used to come with up to 200GB of storage, while the new Pro plan caps storage space at 50GB.

After a weekend of users complaining of the changes, WordPress set up a thread to collect feedback and provide clarity on new pricing changes. In the FAQ section, it acknowledged that the gap between a free plan and a $ 15 a month plan was large, and the company is therefore working on more “flexible à la carte options”.

TechRadar Pro reached out to WordPress.com for a comment on the changes and the rationale behind removing the option to pay monthly for services, but the company has not yet returned a response. 

 Via WPTavern 

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Google Chrome 100 won’t break the internet – but could change how you search it

Searching for a query in Google Chrome could soon get much easier, thanks to an upcoming feature that adds a sidebar as you browse the web.

With Google's Chrome web browser approaching version 100, we're already seeing some features that can help change the way you use the browser, such as improvements to closing tabs in Android, and it's likely that we may see other features appear as we approach the big release.

If you have multiple tabs open at once, this could be a great feature for searching as you browse. However, it looks like the sidebar will only show in one tab – it won't stay in the same place as you switch between different tabs.

However, this is still a feature in testing, so the sidebar could change before it appears in a final version of Google Chrome.


How do you enable the side search bar?

Google Chrome Canary showing how to enable Side Search

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As it stands, the sidebar isn't available in Google Chrome 99, but it is in the test version of Chrome, called Canary.

Go to chrome://flags when running Google Chrome Canary version 100, and you'll be brought to the flag page, where you can enable many features in testing.

In the search bar, type in 'Sidebar' and you'll be greeted with three options. Enable all of these, then close and open up the browser.

Search for a query and select the first result. A 'G' icon will appear alongside the address bar. Click on this, which will make the sidebar appear. You can then use this to search for anything else while you browse in the main window.

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Google Chrome 100 won’t break the internet – but could change how you search it

Searching for a query in Google Chrome could soon get much easier, thanks to an upcoming feature that adds a sidebar as you browse the web.

With Google's Chrome web browser approaching version 100, we're already seeing some features that can help change the way you use the browser, such as improvements to closing tabs in Android, and it's likely that we may see other features appear as we approach the big release.

If you have multiple tabs open at once, this could be a great feature for searching as you browse. However, it looks like the sidebar will only show in one tab – it won't stay in the same place as you switch between different tabs.

However, this is still a feature in testing, so the sidebar could change before it appears in a final version of Google Chrome.


How do you enable the side search bar?

Google Chrome Canary showing how to enable Side Search

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As it stands, the sidebar isn't available in Google Chrome 99, but it is in the test version of Chrome, called Canary.

Go to chrome://flags when running Google Chrome Canary version 100, and you'll be brought to the flag page, where you can enable many features in testing.

In the search bar, type in 'Sidebar' and you'll be greeted with three options. Enable all of these, then close and open up the browser.

Search for a query and select the first result. A 'G' icon will appear alongside the address bar. Click on this, which will make the sidebar appear. You can then use this to search for anything else while you browse in the main window.

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Microsoft wants to make a potentially huge change to JavaScript

Microsoft has backed a proposal to bring optional and erasable type syntax to JavaScript in an effort to make its TypeScript language both faster and easier to use.

In a new blog post, the software giant provided further insight on the proposal and what it aims to do. Essentially, the proposal is calling for type annotations to be added to JavaScript code that can be checked by external type checkers and treated as comments by a JavaScript engine at runtime.

A set of syntax for types that engines would ignore but TypeScript, Flow and other tools could use would also need to be created as part of the proposal.

If the proposal is approved, developers would be able to run programs in TypeScript, Flow and other static typing supersets of JavaScript without the need for transpilation according to InfoWorld.

Type syntax in JavaScript

The new Stage 0 proposal was written and put forth by Gil Tayar, Microsoft's Daniel Rosenwasser, Igalia's Romulo Cintra and Bloomberg's Rob Palmer and is available to read in its entirety on GitHub.

The reason behind the proposal is that over the past decade, static type checking has proven to be fairly successful. In addition to Microsoft's TypeScript, Google created its Closure Compiler while Facebook built Flow to provide syntax for declaring and using types in JavaScript.

At the same time, 69 percent of respondents in the 2021 State of JavaScript survey said that they use TypeScript to compile JavaScript and static typing was voted as the number one feature missing from the programming language.

It's worth noting that Microsoft isn't calling for TypeScript's type checking to be added to every browser and JavaScript runtime. Instead, the company has proposed a JavaScript syntax compatible with TypeScript that could be used by any type checker while being ignored by JavaScript engines.

Via InfoWorld

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Twitter just made a big change to our timelines, and I hate it

It appears Twitter has just flicked a switch to let you slide between two feeds on iOS, where you can decide between a feed of top tweets or chronological tweets.

However, this feature has been available for a while, thanks to the star icon on the top-right corner of your screen. You could switch between the feeds through here, and one feed would display on the app instead.

But there's now an additional swipe required to go to your profile if you're on the 'Latest Tweets', and none of this makes sense. While it's rolling out to iOS for now, Twitter has said that it's soon coming to Android and the web in the coming weeks, but I'm hoping this change is rolled back and forgotten about as soon as possible.

An additional swipe is an additional annoyance

Twitter is the social platform I use the most. Granted, there's some tweets that are written just to drum up pointless discussion, or as an attempted joke to try and go viral, but in the majority of my time there, I've found it to be a good place, and I've met a lot of great people through it.

Toward the end of 2021, the company brought out a feature to display your top tweets – this meant that any tweets with the most interaction at that time, whether it was likes or replies, would be shown at the top of your feed. But Twitter was adamant that the choice between this and a chronological feed would remain.

Overnight, it looks as though that train of thought has gone off the rails.

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Not only does it add an additional step to decide between two feeds, but I've already found myself to be confused as to which feed I'm looking at.

Not being able to unpin the algorithmic timeline feels backward, and puts the user into a corner, where you have to abide by Twitter's design, whether you like it or not.

The company has been trying different features and refinements in the last 18 months, with Fleets being a great example of something that didn't work, and it was soon scrapped.

I'm hoping the same repeats here, where Twitter will soon realize how irritating this change is, as I don't see how this benefits the user when the choice was already there, and had been designed in a better way for months anyway.

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Microsoft Excel is making a big change to protect against malware

Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros are now disabled by default, Microsoft has confirmed. In a Tech Community blog post, the company revealed that the change has been made to better protect users against “related security threats” coming through spreadsheets.

Back in July 2021, the company released a new Excel Trust Center setting option, allowing administrators to restrict the usage of Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros. It has now made this option default for everyone.

Administrators can use existing Microsoft 365 applications policy control to configure this setting, the announcement reads. The Group Policy setting “Macro Notification Settings” for Excel can be found in the following path and registry key:

Group Policy Path: User configuration > Administrative templates > Microsoft Excel 2016 > Excel Options > Security > Trust Center.

Registry Key Path: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Office.0\excel\security

Malicious actors often abuse macros

Furthermore, administrators can manage this policy setting with both cloud policies, and ADMX policies. They can also completely block all XLM macro usage, including in new user-created files, by enabling the Group Policy, “Prevent Excel from running XLM macros”, Microsoft added. 

Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros were the default format until 1993, and even though they’ve since been discontinued, they can still be run by the latest versions of the Office program. That makes them ideal for threat actors, who’ve been abusing them to push malware such as TrickBot, Zloader, Qbot, Dridex, ransomware, and many other malicious programs, BleepingComputer reminds. 

The publication also reminds that in October 2019, Microsoft added a new Group Policy, allowing administrators to block Excel users from opening untrusted Microsoft query files with IQY, OQY, DQY and RQY extensions. It claims that these files have been weaponized in “numerous malicious attacks”, to deliver remote access Trojans and malware, for years. 

XLM is disabled by default in version 16.0.14527.20000+, current Channel builds 2110 or greater, monthly Enterprise Channel builds 2110 or greater, semi-annual Enterprise Channel (Preview) builds 2201 or greater, and semi-annual Enterprise Channel builds 2201 or greater (coming this July).

Via: BleepingComputer

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Microsoft is making another big change to Windows 11

It appears Microsoft is making a big change to one of Windows 11’s most useful features, with a redesigned Task Manager appearing in a new preview build.

Preview builds of Windows 11 are made available to select users who have signed up to be ‘Windows Insiders’. They can check out new and upcoming features, while pointing out any issues or bugs, giving Microsoft a good idea of the kind of reception the new feature will get, while also having any problems pointed out and fixed, before it gets rolled out to all Windows 11 users.

As Windows Central reports, the latest build, 22538, comes with a tweaked Task Manager with a new design that’s more in keeping with the rest of Windows 11’s look. Not only does it now look more like it belongs in Windows 11, the tabs for switching between views are no longer at the top of the app. Instead, they run down the left-hand side as a menu, much like most modern Windows 11 apps.

Microsoft hasn’t mentioned any tweaks to the Task Manager, and it appears that the version in build 22538 is extremely early, as it’s not fully functional. If you rely on Task Manager, as many of us do (it’s a handy tool for closing unresponsive programs or checking how your system is running), then give Windows 11 build 22538 a miss for now.

Still, it gives us an idea of what Microsoft is planning for the iconic Task Manager.


Analysis: tweak carefully

We’re always pleased to hear that Microsoft is working on improving its legacy apps and bringing them in line with Windows 11. Many of the apps that come with Windows 11, such as Paint, have appearing in various versions of Windows for decades now, so many of them are well overdue a facelift, while also getting added features to make them more useful.

Task Manager is one such tool. It’s been a staple of Windows releases since Windows NT 4.0 back in 1996, and it’s one of the most useful tools included in the operating system. When you press Ctrl + Shift + Esc, Task Manager will appear and show all the apps, services and processes that are currently running on your PC.

If your PC is running slowly, checking Task Manager is a good way to see if there’s a particular app that’s causing issues. Also, if an app crashes and becomes unresponsive, opening up Task Manager allows you to close it.

It’s packed with handy features, many which haven’t changed in years, and while Microsoft’s moves to make it fit in more with Windows 11’s overall look is to be welcomed, we’d also urge caution. When tweaking such a useful legacy app, Microsoft needs to be careful not to drop handy features or simply the app too much – as it could frustrate users who have come to depend on Task Manager.

Microsoft does need to ensure that the look and feel of Windows 11 remains consistent over both new apps and older ones as well, but it also needs to make sure that doesn’t come at the cost of usability.

Hopefully, we’ll get a clearer idea of what Microsoft is planning to do with Task manager in Windows 11 in upcoming Insider builds.

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