On Eater check out the story of how a video game mogul, an airplane engineer, a scientist, a designer, and a bunch of chefs developed a new immersion circulator they named Joule. I’m a big fan of the Chefsteps team.
On Eater check out the story of how a video game mogul, an airplane engineer, a scientist, a designer, and a bunch of chefs developed a new immersion circulator they named Joule. I’m a big fan of the Chefsteps team.
Last week Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic and co-creator of WordPress, joined Robert Scoble, John Borthwick, and Steve Gillmor to discuss Calypso on an episode of the Gillmor Gang. The video was recorded Tuesday, November 24 and published over the weekend.
Mullenweg offers a hands-on tour of the new reader, notifications, and editor and explains WordPress.com’s new architecture for audience members who are not development-oriented. He also explains how the desktop client and browser version were developed simultaneously so that WordPress.com can continue to iterate just as quickly as it has in the past, with developers committing new code 140+ times per day.
If you can’t get enough of WordPress vs. Medium comparisons, then this episode is for you. When asked if he sees Medium as a competitor to WordPress, Mullenweg replied, “In some ways we compete with every place that people publish online, even Twitter or Facebook, but in day to day, that competition doesn’t really drive product decisions and for most people what we provide is pretty distinct from what these other platforms have.”
Later in the episode Mullenweg is asked, “What are the holes still left unfilled in publishing?”
“Publishing is still so mediocre,” he replied. “Some of the best stuff Medium did is around their editor. I think the whole writing/collaboration experience can be significantly better than it is today.”
Mullenweg elaborates on the differences between WordPress.com and Medium’s user base and his vision for where Automattic will take Calypso in the future. Unfortunately, we can’t embed the episode here, but you can check it out on TechCrunch.
photo credit: [17:38] idee? – (license)Later this week, nearly 2,000 people will be in Philadelphia, PA to attend WordCamp US, the annual conference devoted to WordPress. One of the event’s highlights is Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word presentation. In it, Mullenweg shares data on WordPress’ growth throughout the year and gives insight to where the project is heading.
About a week before his presentation, Mullenweg asks members of the WordPress community for feedback. Questions include:
This year, the most important question he asks is number five. Each year during the State of the Word, Mullenweg highlights new and existing contributors and we as a community cheer and celebrate them. This year, we’ve lost some incredibly talented and important people in the community.
I suggest that Mullenweg adds one slide to his presentation that remembers the lives of those lost in the community this year. The slide should have Gravatars or photos and the names of those who passed away. Here are a few people who would be on the slide.
If you’re in favor of this idea and know someone in the WordPress community who passed away this year, please leave a comment with their name and if possible, a link to their obituary.
WordPress is a 12-year-old open source software project that will likely survive long after the people who help maintain it pass on. Adding a slide to the State of the Word that remembers contributors who passed away during the year is a small price to pay. It also humanizes the software and serves as a reminder that without contributors, WordPress wouldn’t exist.
Last week Automattic unveiled Project Calypso, a brand new architecture for WordPress.com and a Mac app that mirrors the experience on desktop. The overhaul was nearly two years in the making, a risky bet for Automattic but one that shows a glimpse of what the future of WordPress could be.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Matt Mullenweg answers a burning question that the community wants to know – What does Calypso mean for WordPress core? Will core adopt a similar technology stack? Mullenweg sees Calypso as just one example of what is possible with WordPress.
So I think what might happen is that the technology that drives the server side of WordPress and what drives the client side can diverge. Again, this is really up to the community, so we’ll see where it takes us. This thing we released has only been out there one day. Maybe someone will make something much better?
WordPress.com’s new architecture isn’t the first case of “headless WordPress,” though it is one of the most prominent and easiest examples for users to demo. Many other WordPress-powered sites have already adopted an approach that decouples the interface using the new WP REST API. Apps like StoryCorps, Nomadbase, the New York Times, and the Wired.com liveblog are a few early pioneers using the API to deliver content.
Another example offered in the comments on the WordPress.com developer blog cites ustwo.com (the makers of Monument Valley, Dice, and other popular apps) as using a similar setup. The site is a React.js single-page application that serves WordPress content via the WP REST API using custom endpoints. Like WordPress.com, the code for this site is also open source on GitHub.
Despite the risk of sharing the large innovative codebase with competitors, Automattic opted to keep Calypso open and available for anyone in the WordPress community to learn from and build upon.
“A lot of people thought we should keep this proprietary, but throughout my life I’ve learned that the more you give away, the more you get back,” Mullenweg said in his announcement.
Within the first 24 hours the repo was already trending on GitHub, with developers eagerly reviewing the code. ManageWP, a competitor to Jetpack Manage, praised Calypso as an important tool to help drive up WordPress marketshare and move the platform forward:
That’s the beauty of WordPress – the Foundation is not looking to put us under Automattic’s thumb; Matt and his team are actively encouraging the WordPress community, through open source policy, to keep building, innovating, making lives easier for everyone, and find their own place in the ecosystem.
Automattic’s commitment to open sourcing its code demonstrates that any innovations they release are not designed to eclipse competitors’ efforts but rather to add to the shared knowledge bank that drives WordPress improvements.
Mullenweg, in a roundup of press on Calypso, brings it back to the core value of democratizing publishing.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about technology for technology’s sake, it’s about technology at the service of human voices,” he said. “Embracing change to support the free, open web where everyone has a voice.”
On December 18th, fans across the U.S. will flock to movie theaters to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you’d like to get your site in the spirit of the movie, check out The Force, a new plugin created by Rohit Motwani who lives in India.
The Force replaces lyrics from the Hello Dolly plugin with random quotes from Star Wars characters. Quotes include:
My favorite quote is from Chewbacca, “AAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhh AAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”Quote from Chewbacca
I discovered typos in some of the quotes but Motwani is already in the process of fixing them. The Force works as expected in WordPress 4.4 and is available for free from the WordPress plugin directory. Last but not least, I hear that Wookies are great Christmas gifts.
Last week I did two podcasts around the Calypso news that are both now up, and show very different sides of the announcement. The first was with Brian Krogsgard of the WordPress-focused site Post Status and we talked a lot about the Calypso launch in the context of the WordPress community. The second was the always-fun video group the Gillmor Gang which ranged quite a bit but mostly focused on Calypso in the context of the wider tech world and where we’re going.
In this episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I are joined by Chris Lema to discuss WordPress in the enterprise, the on boarding experience, and Calypso. Lema shares his experience beta testing a Windows version of Automattic’s new desktop application. We discuss how WordPress is going to grow its market share from 25% to 50% and how important Jetpack is to reaching that goal. Near the end of the interview, Lema shares what he’s most thankful for as it relates to WordPress.
WP TAO by Michal Jaworski and Damian Gora from Poland, is a free powerful WordPress plugin for tracking website visitors. It allows you to identify your users and keep track of their activities in an easy to read digital dashboard and log format.
Cool Timeline is Narinder Singh’s first plugin in the repository. It creates responsive, vertical story lines in chronological order based on the year and date of your posts.
The Force created by Rohit Motwani from India, is a Hello Dolly clone that when activated, replaces music lyrics with random quotes from Star Wars characters.
This has been a rough year for me. I’m struggling with my health and maintaining a schedule as a distributed worker. A dear WordPress friend of mine (Kim Parsell) passed away at the beginning of the year. My grandma was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and I’ve been dealing with wild swings between feeling positive and downright depressed.
The thing I’m most thankful for this year as it relates to WordPress are the people who make up the community. Some are personal friends, others live on the other side of the world. Their consistent reinforcement of positive vibes has helped me get through some turbulent times in my life this year. To everyone who has and continues to give me encouragement, advice, and positive reinforcement, thank you.
This year was one of the hardest years for me in terms of professional struggles and hardships. I lost relatives and friends, a job, and had to start from square one. I had a lot of support from within the WordPress community coming really close to working with a few people directly. In the end, it was my WordPress skills that landed me a new gig, which I now call The Dream Gig.
I’m thankful for the opportunities to meet people from within the WordPress community in real life. From Chris Lema and Cory Miller to Jeff Chandler and beyond. Every time I meet someone, they not only share their successes, but their struggles. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one and be able to use their strength and perseverance to fuel my drive and passion for WordPress.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to share what I know to thousands of people around the world. I feel the best sense of accomplishment when I receive an email from someone that’s stuck on a particular problem and discovers a solution after they hear me talk about a plugin or technique on a podcast. It’s a great outlet for me personally that I hope to continue for many more years to come. Thanks to all who are listening and to those who are listening for the first time.
Next Episode: Wednesday, December 2nd 9:30 P.M. Eastern
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Listen To Episode #214:
This is an oldie but a goodie, Dan Gilbert’s TED talk on the Surprising Science of Happiness.
I had the opportunity to interview Matt Mullenweg about an ambitious project that included more than a year and a half of development to create an all new WordPress.com interface, both for the web and a desktop app. The project was codenamed Calypso, and we talked about many aspects of Calypso, as well as a variety of subjects that relate to it.https://audio.simplecast.fm/21252.mp3
Matt has talked for a while now about his vision that WordPress can become an “app platform,” and this is an example of what that meant to him.
He also notes how he’s always looking for things that will “move the needle” for greater WordPress adoption. We were both thinking about the same statistic: that roughly 96% of WordPress.com users (and probably a high number of WordPress.org users too) essentially abandon their websites after a short tenure. So anything that can increase that number, to say 8% or 15% of folks that stick with it long term, can make a huge difference.
When Matt considers where he wants to invest Automattic developer and designer time, he says he thinks of WordPress as a whole first, before considering specifics for WordPress.com. He’d rather see WordPress.com as a gateway to a self-hosted install. And whether someone stays on .com or moves to a self-hosted install, he wants to help ensure that their problems are solved.
It’s new to me, but Matt says he’s been saying it for years, that he calls WordPress websites “WordPresses,” after a long time internal debate about whether to call WordPress.com websites sites or blogs.
The new homepage for logged in users, or users in the WordPress.com app, defaults to the Reader view of the interface, versus the writing view. This intrigued me, as I don’t personally think of WordPress.com as a read-first ecosystem, but rather a place to write. I think more of Tumblr or Medium when I think of a destination for reading, where I may also write.
Matt and I talked about the merits of WordPress as a network versus a platform. He thinks it can be both. And I think this touches on one of the big goals for Calypso that we haven’t discussed yet: to make WordPress a better network.
To me, WordPress.com is a platform, but WordPress (both .com and Jetpack enabled sites) are ripe to be a hugely successful network, through the huge number of websites and independent publishers that are interconnected via WordPress.com.
There is more evidence that this is a goal for them too, with the launch of Discover WordPress along with the release of the new interface. Discover WordPress is a project by the editorial team to surface the best writing across WordPress.com and Jetpack enabled websites.
Furthermore, beyond the human curated content, much could be done in the future algorithmically. We didn’t get as much into this stuff as I would’ve liked, but I think it’s an enormous growth area for Automattic.
The Calypso project code is fully open source, and is a top trending project on Github right now. There are few requirements to run the code locally, so you can pretty quickly get a working web view.
As WordPress projects continue to use REST APIs to create fully custom frontends, backends, and inbetweens, I was curious what Matt thinks the community can do to anticipate and educate users on how to deal with these scenarios, that may fragment WordPress and be confusing for people who expect WordPress plugins and code to interact well with one another.
He doesn’t think it’s too much of a problem, but says it’s important that we experiment and learn from our experiments; he was hesitant to call the potential for confusion fragmentation as much as experimentation. Either way, I do think education and documentation will be important as other folks continue to use parts of WordPress to make impressive things, without supporting every specific thing that can also run on WordPress.
An example of this is the WordPress.com app itself. You can manage Jetpack enabled sites through it, but that doesn’t mean you get everything in the editor you’d get with a WordPress.org site, like custom fields and other plugin functionality that the desktop app doesn’t support.
I wanted to know what Automattic’s differentiating factor is, in Matt’s mind. He defaulted, I guess unsurprisingly, to “everything,” but as I pushed him a little further, he dug a bit more into some of the things that make Automattic interesting.
From a self-hosted perspective, WordPress.com integrated tools like Stats, VaultPress, and Akismet are difficult to match with other tools.
For WordPress.com, he thinks the potential power of the Reader and network can be compelling. I agree there that the diversity of the WordPress.com and Jetpack author audience could make for a compelling Reading product, that has more potential than I see right now in a competitor like Medium, which is quite tech heavy.
Matt says, “We’ve built up a lot of trust in the community, and that goodwill definitely pays back.” Part of what makes it hard to identify Automattic’s specific differentiator is that they do a lot of things. Matt acknowledged this, but counters by saying that they work hard on user experience and being a good community citizen.
Automattic scales by splitting teams when they get too big. Today, there are 46 teams. Some of those teams are embedded in larger teams and have some hierarchy, but the company is still quite flat for a company of 400 people.
The rule of thumb Matt wants to maintain is that someone should have no more than 10 people that report directly to them, though he has around 23.
According to the standards of the tech world, Automattic’s scale in terms of the number of employees may be somewhat ordinary, but they have still had massive and consistent change over the decade of the company’s existence. And they are hiring as fast as they can to this day.
A couple of years ago, someone from Automattic told me how concerned they were about the WordPress customizer’s ability to scale, both for use on mobile devices, and as a utility that could manage a lot of features. And I wanted to know how Matt thinks that has evolved, now that the customizer is in such significant use on both WordPress.com and for self-hosted websites.
As he notes, the customizer has undergone a lot of positive iteration over the last several releases, and today the WordPress.com and WordPress.org customizers are using the same base code; whereas for a while WordPress.com had their own custom implementation.
But he still says that, “If we’re candid with ourselves, … customization is still the worst part of WordPress, you know? It’s the hardest. It’s where people get stuck. It’s where there’s a real gap between the promise and what people are able to realize and create when they get started using WordPress.”
It’s not as much a problem with the use of themes, or if you can code, but for new users, “it’s their biggest struggle.”
One idea that I have is to have a more Medium-like interface be the “default” view, versus a changing default theme. That way, WordPress.com could be more opinionated about the default view, and change the theme at will, or along with trends, versus giving new users the default theme of a particular year and then that theme is untouched unless the user decides to switch.
Matt said they have that a bit on the Reader view, but that is what someone in the WordPress.com network would see, versus what an outside website visitor would see.
Anyway, there are definitely challenges ahead for enabling customizations and, more importantly, just ensuring sites look good for users. I think that this is an area where other platforms — like Medium and Squarespace, though in different ways — are doing a good job.
Additionally to the natural desires that Automattic employees should have to learn, they created internal resources for helping people, and are considering releasing some of that material, maybe in the form of webinars or an online conference.
Matt said Automatticians will also be sharing what they learn at other conferences, like the upcoming A Day of REST, where two Automatticians will be speaking.
Did you know all Automattic properties are on Hacker One, the bug bounty community? If you find a security bug, you can get a bounty if you report it. I didn’t know this until the Calypso launch.
With my napkin math and a few small things I know about Automattic, I’d guesstimate they are somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million in annual revenue. I didn’t even attempt to get confirmation of this, because I know they don’t reveal this kind of information. So instead I wanted to get more insights of how Matt thinks about revenue at Automattic.
Generally, he says they put their focus in, “three main buckets.” They use that focus both for revenue purposes and product purposes. Those areas are WordPress.com, Jetpack, and WooCommerce.
They group things like VaultPress and Akismet under Jetpack; so it’s basically their WordPress.org SaaS revenue stream. Those are paid subscription products. They have been transitioning that offering, as Matt shared, “a big trend over the past few years, has been to move away from a la carte upgrades, and have more bundles.”
They’ve discovered that bundled plans of $100 per year and $300 per year have been successful. Here are those plans, for both WordPress.com and WordPress.org, as shown in the new WordPress.com/Calypso interface:
It appears they get most of their revenue from this stream. I do know, and have previously reported, that at least at one point, WordPress.com VIP accounted for upwards of 25% of overall revenue, and though that gross number has gone up over the years, its percentage of overall revenue has gone down, meaning that these paid plans have outpaced VIP, growth-wise. I’d guess VIP revenue is now less than half of that 25% number now, but can’t confirm it.
There are a lot of WordPress.com websites, but as Matt noted, it’s a vanity metric due to the fact that such a small percentage are active, engaged users. So they are trying more to track engagement versus total sites.
I tried to get him to share the number of active websites, but that’s not something he could share.
I talked about the roadmap some, and asked Matt about what they may offer in the future to help authors monetize their sites. They currently have a WordAds program, but that is a pageview driven strategy, and I’d love to see them introduce a way for authors to get paid via a tip jar, private paid posts, or subscription system like I’ve heard Medium is investigating. It’s not on their current roadmap, but he says he’d be open to it.
He also noted that since WooCommerce is now “part of the family,” that there may be future monetization opportunities through that, though he said they don’t have current plans for a hosted version of WooCommerce on WordPress.com. I was honestly pretty surprised by this:
In the beginning, our focus is really going to be on people hosting their stores, you know, with web hosts. Because, part of the beauty of why WooCommerce is so popular is the flexibility, and I don’t think the usability is there — yet — to be competitive with, like, a Shopify, or a BigCommerce. So, it’s just a lot of work to do there.
Matt said he thinks of WooCommerce as how WordPress was around version 1.5. He called it, “very early days”, in that people are using it and see the potential, but says, “there’s just so much to work on and improve to make it accessible to a wider audience.”
He says the Woo team is now 63 people, and a number of Automatticians are doing “Wootations,” or rotations with the Woo team.
They are still working on a lot of things for the new interface. There are certain things that aren’t there yet. For instance, showing and hiding your sites you are personally attached to still requires the regular admin. I actually experienced this myself. Some parts of the interface are pretty circular and confusing.
But they plan to do more going forward; their values on the project state that, “we are here for the long haul.” They want to see what there is demand for, and what other people do with the open source nature of the project.
Matt also noted that he’d like to “loop back” to content blocks (code named CEUX) — the project that stalled last year. And he’s like to see what can be done around collaboration, editing, and the suggestion process.
One of the biggest challenges for WordPress is to continue to get easier to use, as other avenues for sharing information have gotten easier and easier, while continuing to enable powerful, feature rich implementations of WordPress.
Matt thinks this balance is important, and that we must continue to improve in both directions to continue WordPress’s growth.
I really enjoyed my first audio interview with Matt. He says we can expect more announcements around WordCamp US, which starts next week.
The Calypso project is a fascinating one, and it’s a great example of what we should continue to expect: powerful, catered tools that run on a RESTful API. They aren’t always going to be tools for use everywhere, but we can expect to continue to see WordPress used in innovative ways, and be an exceptional platform for all kinds of applications.
And finally, at the end of the interview, I pitched Matt on one of my most harebrained ideas. The naming conflict between WordPress.com and WordPress was really bad with this project, as nearly everyone not deeply embedded within the WordPress world got it wrong, and conflated Automattic’s WordPress.com with WordPress the software.
And I think Jetpack’s brand has really blossomed. I think there is an argument to be made that Automattic could change the name of WordPress.com to Jetpack, and both Automattic and WordPress would win from the change. It wouldn’t be easy, but all I asked from him, is whether he’d read my post if I wrote one to give the pitch. He said he would, so expect that sometime soon.
Thanks to Matt for the interview, and thanks to Mark Armstrong for helping me get going with the new WordPress.com app and arranging the interview.
Earlier this year, the WordPress plugin directory was redesigned. As part of the redesign, download counts were replaced with the number of Active Installs to reflect more accurate data. The WordPress theme directory has finally followed suit by replacing download counts with the number of Active Installs.Active Installs of Twenty Fifteen
As you can see from the above screenshot, the Twenty Fifteen default theme included in WordPress 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3, is active on more than one million sites. Active themes are those that are activated and in use on a site. Themes that are installed and not activated are not counted, neither are child themes.
In the Themereview Slack Channel, Tom Usborne explains why active installs for child themes should be counted.
I think an argument for child themes to be included in the active installs count can be made. For example, we offer a completely blank child theme for our customers so they can make CSS and PHP adjustments. This means our install count isn’t accurate on w.org, even though those people are using the theme actively.
Dion Hulse, WordPress lead developer, agrees that child themes should be counted but the team doesn’t have the data yet. Some theme authors are concerned that new themes will have a tough time making it on the popular themes page.
Originally, the popular themes page was determined by the number of downloads over the previous week, which led to some authors to try to game the system. Hulse says, “The actual comparison between active installs and the previous week’s downloads were very similar, except for a handful of themes that had a lot more downloads than installs.”
Hulse plans to experiment with the algorithms to give newer themes a chance, “I’m also looking at ranking popular themes based on the age of the theme and installs, which will help promote some of the newer themes,” he said.
Thanks to active install counts for themes, we can see which default WordPress theme is the most popular.
Download counts are a terrible way to determine a theme or plugin’s popularity which is why I support this change. It’s more accurate and helps to further level the playing field for authors. Are you a fan of the change and if you’re a theme author, what other stats would you like to see?
Justin Tadlock, founder of Theme Hybrid, is looking for beta testers for a new plugin aimed at theme developers. The plugin is called Theme Designer and allows authors to manage themes in the WordPress backend. It also displays them on the frontend similar to WordPress.com and WordPress.org’s theme pages.
Tadlock has moved beyond using WordPress pages to display and manage themes, “I’m not sure what everyone else is doing, but I’ve been building and tweaking a custom solution for a number of years. I’ve just never packaged it up and made it useful for others,” he said.Manage Themes in the WordPress Backend
Under the hood, it uses a custom post type, taxonomies, custom metadata, and a number of hooks. Theme Designer can pull data from the WordPress.org theme directory API and store it on your site. There’s also a built-in feature set for adding custom meta fields to the edit theme screen.
In addition to managing themes, Tadlock plans to create add-ons and integrate Theme Designer with other plugins. He’s already created an add-on for Easy Digital Downloads and it’s possible he’ll create one for WooCommerce.
During the beta testing period, Theme Designer will be free of charge. When the beta is complete, Tadlock will charge for access making it his first major commercial plugin. Theme Designer will come in two flavors, a supported and non-supported version.
The supported version gives customers a developer level membership to Theme Hybrid which is currently $35 a year. The non-supported version contains the plugin only. Both versions will have free lifetime updates.
To participate in the beta testing process, grab the free plugin from GitHub. Pull requests and reporting issues are welcomed. It’s important to note that Theme Designer is only compatible with WordPress 4.4 and is a work in progress so it should not be used on a live site.
Stanko Metodiev, project manager for Devrix, shares his experience contributing a patch to WordPress core for the first time. While browsing Trac, Metodiev discovered a bug report with the menu customizer.
Although a patch was already attached to the ticket, it didn’t work, “The change didn’t fix the issue for me, so I submitted a new patch to adjust the size by a few more pixels,” Metodiev said.
The change was merged into core by WordPress lead developer, Helen Hou-Sandí.Merged into Core
It’s a small change but as I learned from my experience contributing to core, every merged patch is important no matter how small it is. Metodiev offers the following advice to new contributors, “Don’t be scared and don’t be shy. The core team is hospitable, especially for first timers and they will give guidance and advice if needed, so feel free to contribute patches!”
Since his experience with WordPress 4.3, Metodiev continues to contribute to core and has seven merged patches in WordPress 4.4. If you’re thinking about contributing patches to core but don’t know where to start, I highly encourage you to read the Core Contributor Handbook. In it you’ll find best practices, testing techniques, and how to submit patches to Trac.
The reaction to yesterday’s Calypso announcement has really blown me away.Here’s a tiny selection of of the coverage, analysis, and reactions to Calypso and the new WordPress.com:
“…I am personally extremely excited about this. Not only because the new UI is really nice and pleasant to use but also because this finally shows the modern side of WordPress, or at least starts to…” VersionPress
— Craig Mod (@craigmod) November 24, 2015
“What I love most about the whole project is the lessons it has for everyone regarding innovation.” Chris Lema
“So why did Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, go through this painful rewriting process? WordPress.com now feels and works like a modern web app. It’s back in the game against newcomers, such as Medium.” TechCrunch
“Calypso looks like a huge leap forward for a project that seemed to stagnate for many years.” The Next Web
“Clean, responsive, faster than ever… WordPress is such a great success story. I’m very happy I chose to use it over six years ago.” Mac Stories
— ? Chris Messina ? (@chrismessina) November 23, 2015
“Calypso is a great example of what’s possible with the WordPress REST API.” WP Tavern
“I think the new WordPress.com editor, and the corresponding WordPress.com app, are a great improvement to the writing experience… [T]he investment they’ve made is a smart one.” Post Status
— Owen Williams (@ow) November 23, 2015
“… the fastest and most streamlined WordPress experience so far.” 9 to 5 Mac
— Mikeal Rogers (@mikeal) November 24, 2015
So far, we’ve seen articles in French, Indonesian, German, Spanish, and Russian. Calypso is a trending repo on GitHub. The news was on top of TechMeme, and voted to the top of Product Hunt, and even Hacker News.
One of my favorite takes was from Om Malik, in “Some Thoughts on the New WordPress.com and Mac App”:
I view the shift to this newer, more flexible model as a way for WordPress.com to adapt to become a growing part of the open web. Blogging has always been mistaken for its containers, tools, the length of the posts or just a replacement for the rapid-fire publishing of old-fashioned news. In reality, blogging is essentially a philosophy built on the ethos of sharing.
Today sharing on the internet is a major social behavior: We share photos, links, videos, thoughts, opinions, news. Except instead of sharing on a blog, we do the sharing in increasingly proprietary and corporate silos: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Periscope and LinkedIn. You see, the blogging ethos is alive and well. However, the old blogging tools have to embrace change.
At the end of the day, it’s not about technology for technology’s sake, it’s about technology at the service of human voices. Embracing change to support the free, open web where everyone has a voice.
Finally, it was a weird coincidence we didn’t even notice, but the Calypso announcement was ten years to the day after we opened up WordPress.com.
In the last two years, Automattic has made significant improvements to WordPress.com and Jetpack. From managing plugins, themes, and other updates to New Dash and a revamped post editor. The individual changes represent iteration but when seen as a whole, show off an entirely new WordPress.com.
Automattic has announced that the improvements its made in the last two years are part of an internal project named Calypso. The company also released a WordPress.com desktop application for the Mac and open sourced the code on GitHub.
Over the weekend, I tested the application on my Macbook Pro. I initially thought it was inconsistent as there were many instances where a button opened a browser and took me outside the app. However, Calypso has gone through a number of updates and most of the inconsistencies have disappeared.Calypso
Most of what you’re able to accomplish in the WordPress backend you can do in the app including, editing posts, creating drafts, and moderating comments.
Although there is the occasional Beep….Beep….Boop, the application is fast. Some of the pages within the app feel like they load faster than their browser counterparts. Some things still require action from within a browser such as applying updates. This doesn’t make sense considering the Jetpack Manage module is enabled.
When managing themes, I noticed at least two of the them don’t include the white bottom bar making the titles difficult to read. Also, the details link loads a browser window to the backend of the site I’m managing. It feels like an interruption instead of a seamless experience. There should be no reason to load a browser window except for previewing a post.Managing Themes in Calypso
If you’re familiar with or use the WordPress.com post editor, the editor in Calypso is pretty much the same.
For years I’ve written posts with meta boxes on the right and getting used to them on the left will take a while. The editor has most of the features available in WordPress. For example, oEmbed support which many other third-party WordPress apps don’t have.
When the application is in full-screen mode, it looks great and blocks out distractions. In the most recent update however, the Preview button acts like a Save button and doesn’t show a preview of the post. This is likely a bug and will be fixed in a later version.
Overall, it’s convenient to have access to most of WordPress’ features without interacting with a browser. For those who use a Mac, I can easily see Calypso being the preferred way to interact and manage WordPress sites.
As Matt Mullenweg mentions in his post, there’s still a lot of work left to do, “This is a beginning, not an ending. (1.0 is the loneliest.) Better things are yet to come, as all of you dig in.” Calypso is available for free but you’ll need a WordPress.com account which is also free.
If you own a Mac and test drive Calypso, please share your experience with us in the comments.
Today, Automattic released their official WordPress.com Mac app, that was codenamed Calypso during development, that allows users to manage both WordPress.com and Jetpack enabled websites using a desktop interface. The code behind the app is also the foundation for a new version of the WordPress.com browser editor.
Here’s a quick video walkthrough:
The new WordPress.com app development occurred over the course of at least 18 months, according to the press release, with input from more than 140 Automatticians. Andy Peatling, who has been at Automattic since 2008, was the project lead.
Matt Mullenweg said that Automattic wanted to completely rethink the WordPress admin experience, without the burden of backward compatibility that WordPress core must hold sacred:
What would we build if we were starting from scratch today, knowing all we’ve learned over the past 13 years of building WordPress? At the beginning of last year, we decided to start experimenting and see.
Calypso was an ambitious project. Not only does it bring the WordPress editing and publishing experience to a Mac app, but pretty much the entire WordPress.com admin experience is now available on the desktop, from stats to theme shopping.
While the app is definitely geared toward the experience one would expect on a WordPress.com website, you can also manage Jetpack enabled websites with it. The Jetpack Manage feature must be enabled for it to work, and I admit I struggled to get it to function with my own (personal) website. However, I’m sure it’ll get any kinks worked out, and anyone looking for basic website management, but are on WordPress.org, may enjoy the experience.
The most important part of the announcement is that Automattic is open sourcing Calypso and the many APIs that help drive it.
I’m really glad they chose to open source it. I agree with Matt that both the app and the broader community will benefit from the decision; though I don’t doubt it may have been a tough sell to investors.
I also agree with Ben Thompson (a former Automattician, by chance), who once said that proprietary software itself isn’t necessarily what makes a company successful, but rather, “companies that are built on software but differentiated by a difficult-to-replicate complement to said software.”
In Automattic’s case, open sourcing the techniques to build the app isn’t giving away what is most valuable. What is most valuable to them is what they gain from the open source nature of the software, that will allow them to improve the experience for their vast WordPress.com user base.
I’ve worried for a while now that Automattic may be letting their audience slip, by falling behind the ease of use of other tools, like Medium. I think the new WordPress.com editor, and the corresponding WordPress.com app, are a great improvement to the writing experience, and I think that the investment they’ve made is a smart one.
I’ll be digging more into the code and developer components of the new APIs and the Mac app soon. I didn’t have access to that data prior to launch.
The new app is available for download from WordPress.com now, or you can of course test drive the browser version directly on WordPress.com. You can also see the developer features, code on Github, the backstory from Andy Peatling, and see both WordPress.com’s announcement, as well as Matt’s.
One of the hardest things to do in technology is disrupt yourself.
But we’re trying our darndest, and have some cool news to introduce today. When I took on the responsibility of CEO of Automattic January of last year, we faced two huge problems: our growth was constrained by lack of capital, and the technological foundations of the past decade weren’t strong enough for the demands of next one.
The first has a relatively straightforward answer. We found some fantastic partners, agreed on a fair price, issued new equity in the company to raise $160M, and started investing in areas we felt were high potential, like this year’s WooCommerce acquisition. This “war chest” gives us a huge array of options, especially given our fairly flat burn rate — we don’t need to raise money again to keep the company going, and any capital we raise in the future will be purely discretionary. (Since last May when the round happened we’ve only spent $3M of the investment on opex.)
The second is much harder to address. The WordPress codebase is actually incredible in many ways — the result of many thousands of people collaborating over 13 years — but some of WordPress’ greatest strengths were also holding it back.
The WordPress codebase contains a sea of institutional knowledge and countless bug fixes. It handles hundreds of edge cases. Integrates constant security improvements. Is coded to scale. Development moves at a fast clip, with six major releases over the past two years and more around the corner. Its power and flexibility is undeniable: WordPress just passed a huge milestone, and now powers 25% of the web. You can run it on a $5-a-month web host, or scale it up to serve billions of pageviews on one of the largest sites on the web, WordPress.com.
The basic paradigms of wp-admin are largely the same as they were five years ago. Working within them had become limiting. The time seemed ripe for something new, something big… but if you’re going to break back compat, it needs to be for a really good reason. A 20x improvement, not a 2x. Most open source projects fade away rather than make evolutionary jumps.
So we asked ourselves a big question. What would we build if we were starting from scratch today, knowing all we’ve learned over the past 13 years of building WordPress? At the beginning of last year, we decided to start experimenting and see.
Today we’re announcing something brand new, a new approach to WordPress, and open sourcing the code behind it. The project, codenamed Calypso, is the culmination of more than 20 months of work by dozens of the most talented engineers and designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with (127 contributors with over 26,000 commits!).
This is a beginning, not an ending. (1.0 is the loneliest.) Better things are yet to come, as all of you dig in. Check out these links to read more about Calypso from different perpsectives:
This was a huge bet, incredibly risky, and difficult to execute, but it paid off. Like any disruption it is uncomfortable, and I’m sure will be controversial in some circles. What the team has accomplished in such a short time is amazing, and I’m incredibly proud of everyone who has contributed and will contribute in the future. This is the most exciting project I’ve been involved with in my career.
With core WordPress on the server and Calypso as a client I think we have a good chance to bring another 25% of the web onto open source, making the web a more open place, and people’s lives more free.
If you’re curious more about the before and after, what’s changed, here’s a chart:
Luca Fracassi, founder of Addendio, an alternative search engine for the WordPress plugin and theme directories published an in-depth look at the WordPress plugin directory. The post includes data that shows the number of plugins added to the directory per year, what year the plugins were last updated, and other metrics.
My favorite data point is the number of plugins approved per year. Based on this data, it looks like it’s going to be another record year for the directory. The five active team members including, Mika Epstein, Pippin Williamson, and Samuel Wood have their work cut out for them.Number of Plugins Added Per Year
According to the data, about 22K plugins have been updated in the last 24 months representing a little more than half the directory. This means that approximately half of the plugins in the directory are displaying a notice that the plugin hasn’t been updated in two years.Update Notice After Two Years of No Updates
Fracassi says that based on the data, “Two out of ten plugins are updated after three years. If you pick a free plugin that is released today, there’s a 80-90% chance that in three years time you won’t have any more updates.”
There are a number of possibilities as to why a plugin doesn’t get updated for two years or more.
The data doesn’t spell doom and gloom for users but it clearly shows that many plugins within the directory don’t have a long shelf life. I encourage you to read Fracassi’s post and review the data he’s collected. Also check out our guide on how to choose a WordPress plugin.
Now that the WordPress plugin directory is using language packs, translated plugins will start to show up in international directories. For some plugin banners however, this is a problem. For Right to Left languages, the icons and titles are displayed on the opposite side of the banner.Old Ninja Forms Plugin Header in the Hebrew Plugin Directory
To fix this issue, plugin directories have implemented Right to Left support for plugin banners. To take advantage of RTL support, create a new banner and add -rtl to the end of the file name. Banner images live in the assets directory.
Here’s an example of a plugin banner on the Hebrew directory that has RTL support.English Plugin Banner Hebrew Plugin Banner
Although RTL banners are active on WordPress.org, they are not available in core. Banners won’t display properly but the team is working on adding it in time for a WordPress 4.4.1 release.
In this short and sweet episode of WordPress Weekly, Marcus Couch and I discuss the news of the week including, WordCamp Europe 2016, a credit card scam hitting freelancers, and Envato Sites. We also unmask the anonymous buyer who purchased Aesop Interactive.
PayPal Multiple Emails for WooCommerce allows you to set up a second PayPal email address so you can use a different PayPal account to process payments in WooCommerce when a product in a specific product category is added to the customer’s shopping cart
WP Video Floater allows you to insert a video to a page and as the user scrolls down, the video is pushed to the bottom-right.
Customize Submit Button for Gravity Forms lets you customize the submit button in Gravity Forms by switching it to a button element and changing its CSS classes
Next Episode: Wednesday, November 25th 9:30 P.M. Eastern
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Listen To Episode #213:
What’s the coolest uses and applications built on top of WordPress APIs that you’ve seen? I’m looking for some examples to highlight in the State of the Word next month.
Out of the box, WordPress allows you to configure the default avatar that displays for commenters that don’t have one. The choices leave a lot to be desired. Thanks to a new plugin created by Lee Willis, called Wapuuvatar, you can replace default avatars with images of Wapuu.Settings for Wapuuavatar
If you’re not familiar with Wapuu, it’s the official, GPL Licensed mascot of the WordPress project. Throughout the year, a number of WordCamps and local communities across the world have created local versions of the character. In fact, the Tavern has its own Wapuu.WP Tavern Wapuu
The plugin has two settings. You can either replace the default avatar with random Wapuus or replace all Gravatars with Wapuu. Wapuuavatar uses a library of images from the official Wapuu GitHub repository and art work created by Michelle Schulp. Here’s how it looks in action on WP Tavern.Wapuuavatar on the Tavern
Wapuuavatar is an easy way to replace boring avatars with works of art. The plugin works without issue on WordPress 4.4 beta 4 and is available for free on WordPress.org.
Within the last few weeks, we’ve received emails from readers wanting to know why it’s taking so long for new themes to be reviewed on WordPress.org. Some theme authors are having to wait two months or more for their first review.
Ashley Evans submitted her theme in June and she’s yet to complete the review process. Throughout that time period, both Evans and the reviewer experienced delays in responding to each other. A few months into the review, the reviewer disappeared and Evans was assigned a new reviewer two days ago.
Understandably, the experience has discouraged Evan’s from submitting anymore themes to the directory:
Back in August, I said, ‘Screw it’ and released the theme as a free download on my blog. This process has basically made me vow to stick to adding plugins to the repo and stop adding any more themes.
I’m not blaming the theme review team since I can only imagine how much stuff they have to wade through. It’s just sad that the process has discouraged me from ever doing it again.
Members of the WordPress Theme Review team agree that the system is broken. In June, the team published its suggested roadmap to improve multiple facets of the review process. One of the items on the list to help cut down the review queue is the auto-approval of theme updates. However, the team is still hard at work trying to code and implement changes to improve the system.
One of the items high on the team’s to-do list is to put more effort towards education. In order to do that, Justin Tadlock says the team has to free up resources, “We need to free up our biggest resources, which are the team members themselves. However, we can’t free up those people when they’re spending 100% of their time doing reviews.”
The most important thing theme authors can do to speed up the review process is to check that your theme meets the Theme Review Requirements. According to Tadlock, “The majority of themes submitted don’t follow the guidelines which considerably slows down the process. Themes will often have 20-30 issues or more. If we can get to a point to where the majority of submissions only have a few minor issues, we really wouldn’t have a queue.”
Theme authors who test their themes against Theme Unit Test Data and the Theme Check Plugin substantially improve the system for everyone. What the team needs most is help. Tadlock offers three ways contributors can get involved to improve the situation.
Tadlock isn’t sure how to get theme authors to raise the quality of their themes before the initial review, “That’s the sort of feedback I want to see from fellow theme authors. What do we need to do to help them get their themes ready before submission?”
The team is always in need of more theme reviewers. Reviewing themes is a great way to learn theme development and what not to do. If you’re interested in reviewing themes, read the following document from the Theme Review Handbook. It explains how to set up a testing environment with an example of a testing workflow.
Exercising patience is a difficult thing to do if you’ve already waited eight weeks or more for the first review. However, fixing the system is going to take time. If you want to know about the status of your theme and it has an assigned reviewer, you should ask for a status update within the ticket. If your theme doesn’t have an assigned reviewer, you can ask about its status in the Theme Review Team Slack channel with a link to the theme.
Imperva, an international cyber security company founded in 2002, published its 2015 web application attack report. The report includes a thorough analysis of attack data obtained through its WAF or Web Application Firewall.
In the report, Imperva’s application defense center group analyzed 297,954 attacks and 22,850,023 alerts on 198 of the applications it protects behind its WAF. The data is from January 1st, 2015 – June 30th, 2015 and provides a solid overview of the number and types of attacks web applications are experiencing.
The report covers a lot of ground but for the purpose of this site, I’m focusing on WordPress.
Automated tools recorded the web applications’ traffic and malicious events were documented in log files. Imperva’s application defense center group analyzed the data using special-purpose software and its knowledge base.
You can find more information that explains how the data was analyzed on page seven of the report.
Out of the 198 applications protected, Imperva identified 55 that are CMS-based, 20 WordPress applications, 11 Drupal, and 24 that are based on 11 other CMS frameworks.Average Number of Incidents per Applications CMS Slice
According to the report, CMS applications suffered an average of three times more attacks than non-CMS applications. WordPress applications suffered from 3,497 attacks in the reported period which is 250% more than non-CMS Applications. Note from the above image that spam attacks against WordPress outnumber all other types of attacks.
Imperva says the attraction to CMS applications, especially WordPress is not new.
CMS frameworks have an open nature, with open developer communities that generate a never-ending sequence of plug-ins and add-ons, with varying levels of security. This situation has led to corresponding never-ending flow of CMS vulnerabilities, with WordPress as the leading CMS taking the lead also in the amount of published attacks.
Furthermore, the fact that WordPress and other CMS applications resemble each other facilitates automated scanning attacks that work effectively on all applications of this type with only minimal adjustments.
Varying levels of security in plugins have led to many vulnerabilities making WordPress the leader in the amount of published attacks.
Taking spam attacks out of the equation, the most popular attack type against WordPress applications is (RCE) Remote Command Execution with (RFI) Remote File Inclusion taking second place.Proportion of Attack Types
Even though the other monitored CMS applications are written in PHP, RFI attacks on WordPress are significantly higher than all other applications. Imperva offers one possible explanation:
Attackers don’t target a specific application, but start with scanning the Internet for vulnerable applications. A Low Hanging Fruit approach that is simple and effective for the detection of potential RFI targets, would be to run a WordPress test and mount an RFI attack in case of success.
The report goes on to show geographic attack trends, PHP vs non-PHP attack incidents, traffic volume, case studies, and more.
Even though it’s only six months of data, the results don’t surprise me. WordPress is used on a quarter of the top 10 million websites ranked by Alexa so of course its going to be the most attacked CMS.
The data in the report reinforces my belief that every public site online is likely being scanned or attacked multiple times a day. Unless you’re using a service or plugin that logs these types of attacks, its hard to know how popular of a target a site is.
If you’re aware of a plugin or service that provides a user-friendly interface that shows and explains the attacks it’s protecting against a site, please send me a link in the comments.
It’s imperative that you use a strong password and two-factor authentication. Consider using a service like Clef that allows you to login to WordPress without a password. I also highly encourage you to read the WordPress security whitepaper to learn how WordPress protects itself against common attacks mentioned in Imperva’s report and how to responsibly disclose a WordPress security vulnerability.
If you’re running or opening a new WordPress business, you should read Adam Soucie’s warning on the dangers of accepting credit cards. Soucie, a WordPress Developer based in Orlando, Florida describes what happened after working with a client that claimed to be hearing disabled.
Soucie went through the usual process of sending over a contract, bringing in a designer, discussing scope, and sending over an invoice. The client then claimed to be in the hospital and requested help to pay for one of the contractors involved in the project because he didn’t accept credit cards. According to Soucie, this should have been the red flag:
But I ignored it because I’ve also been a trusting person who is sympathetic to people with disabilities. Plus I figured I had proof of everything, so I’d be protected. I was so wrong.
To make a long story short, the ‘client’ was paying with stolen credit cards and the other contractor was in on the scam. I discovered the scam when they started getting pushy about the contractor receiving his payments. When leaving to make the final payment, I got a call from the person whose credit card info was stolen. I reached out to my ‘client’ and she had disappeared.
As the merchant, Soucie was liable for the transaction. After not receiving help from the FBI Cyber Crimes division and the credit card companies, QuickBooks, Soucie’s payment processor, went after him for the total amount of $10,000. He was able to get the amount slightly reduced after working with QuickBooks. What looked like an awesome project quickly turned into a nightmare.
I highly encourage you to read his article as it includes tips to protect yourself and why you shouldn’t be too trusting. What advice do you have for freelancers who accept credit card payments? What signs should freelancers look for to avoid fraudulent scams like this one?
Earlier this year, Nick Haskins, founder of Aesop Interactive LLC, announced he was selling the company. Haskins was initially going to list the company on Flippa but after receiving advice from Syed Balkhi, used FE International to facilitate the sale. FE International is composed of website brokers that do the heavy lifting to help businesses find buyers.
An anonymous company based on the US East Coast without ties to the WordPress community is the new owner of Aesop Interactive LLC. Although terms of the deal are not public, Haskins confirms that he received close to his asking price of $100K.
When Haskins put the company up for sale, he specified two conditions the new owner must follow.
It’s unclear what the new owner’s plans are for Aesop Story Engine, Editus, and Story.AM.
The WordPress ecosystem is filled with thousands of companies from individuals to 50+ person agencies. Haskins offers the following advice for those thinking about selling their business, “Make sure that the books are buttoned up tight, because every check, every payment, every expense will be scrutinized and will ultimately determine what the appraisal price will be. Run a lean ship as the less overhead you have, the better.”
During the appraisal process, Haskins had to account for and explain every check number written during the last few months. Although it was a lot of work on his end, he highly recommends using FE International as they manage the negotiating, contract writing, and appraisal processes.
Haskins isn’t giving up WordPress development as he continues to work with the software on a daily basis managing CGCookie. When I asked what’s next in his WordPress journey, he replied, “Overall, there will be another project. It’s just that this chapter of the story is finished. I want to eventually write and publish an eBook on my experiences of starting, running, and selling a business.”
Who do you think the buyer is and what do you think will happen to Aesop Story Engine, Editus, and Story.AM?
Nearly seven months before the event takes place, tickets for WordCamp Europe 2016 in Vienna, Austria on June 24-26 are on sale. There are two types of tickets available, General admission and Microsponsor.
General admission tickets are € 40.00 each and cover both days to the event, access to all sessions, lunch, coffee breaks, warm up events, and the after party. It also includes a WCEU 2016 t-shirt, stickers and other swag.
Microsponsor tickets are € 150.00 and includes everything the general admission ticket offers. The major difference between the two besides cost, is that the microsponsor ticket is a great way to support the European WordPress community. Microsponsorships shows appreciation of the event and grants you a special mention on the sponsorship page.
Before you purchase tickets, it’s important to note that due to Paypal’s 60 day refund policy, the event is not issuing refunds. If you buy a ticket and want to give it away as a gift, or sell it to someone, you’ll need to edit the details using the link in your ticket purchase confirmation email.
Although the schedule is not yet posted, WordCamp Europe has an established history of being one of the best WordPress events of the year. Let us know if you plan on attending.
BuddyPress 2.4.0 “Pietro” named after an authentic Italian restaurant in Paris, France is available for download. This release includes support for cover photos that users can add to their profile or a group.BuddyPress Cover Photos
Cover photos are built on top of the BuddyPress Attachments API meaning they should seamlessly integrate into themes. If you need to fine-tune the output for your site, check out the following Codex article.
Initially added in BuddyPress 2.2.0, Member Types allows developers to categorize the members of their community in a variety of ways. If you use this feature in your community, you can now specify that profile fields be made available to either one, some, or none of the registered Member Types.Member Type Fields
Two companion stylesheets are included with 2.4.0 to make sure content looks great on both the TwentySixteen and TwentyThirteen themes.Companion StyleSheets
This release also includes major accessibility improvements to front-end templates and the Dashboard screens. According to BuddyPress developers, accessibility is a major focus of the project and there is a concentrated, ongoing effort to make the software more accessible to users of all abilities.
Thanks to a new template hierarchy, groups can now have unique header images and layouts. Simply use the new
front.php template inside the single groups templates directory.
In addition to all of the improvements listed above, 2.4.0 has over 100 bug fixes. It also contains the security patch applied in 2.3.5. BuddyPress is available for free from the WordPress plugin directory and if you run into any issues, you’re encouraged to report them in the support forums.
The WordPress 4.4 field guide is available and covers all of the major features in WordPress 4.4. The guide explains what the features are and more specifically, links to posts that explain how they work.
While it doesn’t cover every single change, it gives developers and site maintainers an opportunity to learn and understand the major features before WordPress 4.4’s release.
If you haven’t tested your plugins and themes with WordPress 4.4, now is a great time to do so. In testing WordPress 4.4 betas on WP Tavern, I discovered two broken plugins. I notified the developers and they quickly released an update addressing the issues.
WordPress 4.4 is scheduled for release in December.
In this episode, Marcus Couch and I discuss the last two weeks of WordPress news. We go in-depth on what’s coming in WordPress 4.4 and I share a story of how upgrading WP Tavern to WordPress 4.4 beta 4 generated a white screen of death.
We cover what’s new in BuddyPress 2.4 and celebrate the milestone that WordPress is used on 25% of the top 10 million sites ranked by Alexa. Last but not least, we discuss how WordPress may reach 50% and what it means for the web.
WordPress 4.4 Beta 4 Released
WP Remote Is Up for Sale
Pro Plugin Directory Is Seeking a New Owner
BuddyPress 2.4.0 – “Pietro”
More Than 250 Tickets Still Available for WordCamp US
A Quarter of the Top 10 Million Sites Ranked by Alexa Use WordPress
Ad Blocking Advisor adds a simple and elegant notification bar to your site that only displays to visitors who are using ad blocking software. The purpose of the notification is to ask (or advise) visitors to whitelist your site.
MatchHeight adds the MatchHeight jQuery plugin to make the height of all selected elements exactly equal.
Next Episode: Wednesday, November 18th 9:30 P.M. Eastern
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Listen To Episode #212:
Human Made LTD is selling its WordPress remote management service WP Remote. Launched in 2009 as a plugin called Site Monitor, the service has evolved over time to allow users to upgrade themes, plugins, and WordPress remotely. The service allows an unlimited amount of sites to be tracked for free.
Human Made is not able to devote the time and resources necessary to maintain the service, even as it continues to do well. According to Tom Willmot, Co-founder and CEO of Human Made, the team backed out of the premium version of the service due to a lack of resources:
We had ambitious plans for a version 2, we introduced a premium version that we backed out of because we didn’t have the resources to run and grow it, and we’ve got lots of great ideas both from its users and ourselves that we haven’t been able to act on. We’re too busy with other things, including Happytables, our client work, events, and more.
WP Remote has over 18K users with more than 96K sites monitored. Here are some other notable statistics:
Although WP Remote converted 60 free users to its premium service, the company eliminated it due to the lack of internal resources to support, develop, and market it. WP Remote also has key relationships with web hosting companies such as, Pressable, BlueHost, and SiteGround.
Before inquiring about purchasing the service, I recommend that you read the history on how it was created. If you’re interested in acquiring WP Remote or have questions, contact Tom at email@example.com. The company plans to decide who the buyer is by the end of February 2016 and is in early discussions with a few interested parties.
This is an aggregation of blogs talking about WordPress from around the world. If you think your blog should be part of this send an email to Matt.
For official WP news, check out the WordPress Dev Blog.
December 01, 2015 08:00 PM
All times are UTC.