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Automattic acquires Day One
Automattic has acquired Day One, a free journaling app that has won multiple Apple design awards and is available for most major devices, systems, and browsers. According to Paul Mayne, founder and CEO, work on the app started 10 years ago, and since then it has been downloaded over 15 million times in 225 different countries/territories. Paul and his team will be joining Automattic as part of the sale. 🤝
Matt Mullenweg notes he is impressed with the app’s infrastructure and fully encrypted sync mechanism.
I’ll be honest and say I didn’t know Day One existed, but I do plan to download it and give it a test drive. I doubt this is the last acquisition in this space for the Automattic, but it does seem they now have all forms of blogging covered: WordPress.com for public, long-form writing; Day One for private, short-form writing; and Tumblr is somewhere in between.
On a side note, in Post Status Slack Matt offered some advice for those being approached by potential acquirers:
“If a potential acquirer tries to get you to not talk to anyone else in the market, especially saying to not talk to Automattic, you should definitely talk to Automattic. The deal team can get you an ‘interested’ or ‘no’ very quickly… even if you end up somewhere else, we can at least help you get a better price.”
If you aren’t in the Post Status Slack #club channel when acquisitions are announced in the WordPress space, you are missing out on some great conversations.
Extendify acquires EditorsKit
Another acquisition was announced this week: Extendify is adopting Jeffrey Carandang‘s EditorsKit plugin. EditorsKit provides a set of advanced typographical tools for the WordPress block editor. 🧰
As a “first step,” Extendify has made the EditorsKit Typography and Google Fonts Add-On free. Additionally, the Extendify library of Gutenberg patterns and templates is available directly in EditorsKit. The acquisition announcement states that “during the beta launch the full library is available for users at no cost.”
Jeffrey thanks “all for your continued love and support for these amazing tools that I’ve created for the Gutenberg editor.” 🙏
FlipWP: A marketplace for acquisitions
Alex Denning and Iain Poulson have officially launched FlipWP, which is being labeled as a “new private acquisition marketplace for WordPress.” 💸
“Every week I was hearing about another acquisition, getting an email from someone looking to buy a plugin business, or emails from developers asking the best way to sell. The need for a WordPress specific acquisition marketplace became more and more apparent. The more I chatted to my friend Alex, from Ellipsis Marketing, the more and more we knew what we were going to build next.”
Alex also shares his take on why they started FlipWP on the site’s new blog.
Membership is $299/year, which gets you access to listings of WordPress businesses for sale. (Listings include information such as ARR, asking price, commentary, and owner/seller contact information.) Members get summaries emailed to them.
I’m excited to see how this progresses moving forward — the number of acquisitions in the past year in the WordPress space hasn’t been hard to count, but it’s the acquisitions involving small to mid-sized businesses (especially when the buyer isn’t a hosting company) that pique my interest.
Iain notes on Post Status Slack that “we got some deals lined up for the 28th of this month.”
WordPress 5.8 Beta 2 is now available for testing, and the current target for the final release is July 20, 2021. 📅
🐛 26 bugs have been fixed since the previous beta.
Third Time's the Charm
Chris Lema shares why he’s fully committed to Gutenberg now. First and foremost, the answer is “speed.” 🐎
But it’s also “the way page builders allow you to do all the magic they do” without any cruft. Builders produce “a lot of extra container structure.” And Google decided they didn’t like it.”
Chris outlines his observations about Gutenberg, and he some good and some critical points. The kicker is how he ends his post: “This was my third effort at learning it. And this time it really stuck.”
Three tries is a lot — and this is from a receptive, highly invested, and very experienced member of the WordPress community.
There are probably many people out there who tried Gutenberg in WordPress 5.0, decided they hated it, and haven’t revisited it. Some likely never will, but I wonder how many could adapt to it with another pass. If your first-time experience with Gutenberg was its initial launch in WordPress 5.0, I can’t blame you for resisting change.
Eric Karkovack opined in Post Status Slack:
“The early versions were a big turn-off to a lot of people. And it’s going to be hard to get them back. It takes an open mind and probably some unhappiness with whatever editing experience they currently use.”
I tend to agree — either a negative experience with a page builder or frustration with the Classic Editor can drive people away from WordPress. Or, it might push them to the block editor. Another possible path to win back Gutenberg skeptics is a “cool” feature‚ like the collaborative editing slated for Phase 3.
Even if there aren’t a lot of huge Gutenberg fans, I believe the vast majority of WordPress users agree that the block editor and full-site editing are the future of WordPress. For that reason, we’re due for some critical thinking in the community — about what is possible to do now with Gutenberg and how to move the needle on wider adoption of it.
As Joost de Valk stated this week in Post Status Slack:
“[C]onvince people stuck on [the] classic [editor] and people [who] work with page builders that it truly is worth another try.”
📆 Upcoming Events
- Gutenberg Times Live Q & A — Theme.json for Theme Authors: Learn how to get started with building themes for Full-site editing. Join Daisy Olson, Tammie Lister, and Jeff Ong to learn more about the theme.json file and other tools on June 24, 2021. Register for free.
- WP Engine Summit 2021 will happen on June 24 with industry leaders, CEOs, and speakers from inside and outside the WordPress space talking about trends. The keynote speaker is Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code. This is a free event.
- BigWP EMEA: BigWP EMEA will be hosted by WordPress VIP on June 24th featuring Matías Ventura speaking about the Gutenberg project. It's free to signup.
Rich Tabor asks on Twitter, “What do you need Gutenberg to do, to enable you further?” There’s a variety of interesting and well-thought-out responses in the replies that followed. 🐦
Riad Benguella explains one of the Full Site Editing tools being introduced in WordPress 5.8 — the template editor. This allows you to create, assign, and edit block templates for specific posts and pages. ✨
The templates are saved as a Custom Post Type named
wp_template, and a REST API endpoint is available to fetch them. By default, the new template editor is enabled for all themes, but themes can opt-out of this feature with one line of code in
In related WordPress 5.8 block editor development news, Greg Ziółkowski explains some block editor API changes to support multiple admin screens.
Chris Coyier wonders where headless WordPress will land. 🛬
After acknowledging some of the benefits and how different groups are approaching it, he reaches this conclusion:
“There’s just a heck of a lot more WordPress site owners who aren’t developers than those who are, I reckon, so that alone will keep headless WordPress from being anything more than a relatively niche concept for some time.”
Alex Barashkov explains on Twitter that you can connect your Gutenberg blocks to React components with Gatsby and “get crazy flexibility in terms of content editing driven by CMS.”
Congrats to WebDevStudios for becoming the newest agency partner for WordPress VIP and one of only 13 Gold Partners.
CEO Brad Williams and COO Lisa Sabin-Wilson lead a great team at one of the longest-running WordPress agencies. This is a good fit for both WebDevStudios and WP VIP. I can’t wait to see what grows from this partnership.
Anne McCarthy shares how WordPress fundamentally changed her:
“I found the world… myself… and my joy. To have the chance to give back to something that has given me so much is something I wake up every day thankful for, even on the tough days.”
The Codeable editorial team shares some tips on making your WordPress website more accessible:
- Pick the right page builder.
- Run an automatic or manual accessibility audit.
- Use an accessible WordPress Theme.
This is a basic introduction to a11y. If you are already familiar with the basics, this would be a good post to share with clients early in the process of building or redeveloping a site. It will help site owners appreciate the amount of thought that should go into making their site accessible at launch. 🚀
Corey Maass shares how to generate a large number of discount codes in Easy Digital Downloads. Corey needed to figure out how to do this when he put his Social Link Pages plugin on the AppSumo marketplace. 👍
🤝 WordPress Jobs: The Post Status Job Board
☀️ Employers: Get your job opening in front of many of the best and brightest members of the WordPress community. List your job opening with Post Status today. (Get a 20% discount as a Post Status Club Member!) »
- XWP wants a Senior WordPress Developer in a full-time, remote role building a better web at an enterprise scale.
- Yoast is hiring for four full-time, remote roles: a UX Designer, a QA Automation Engineer, a QA Engineer, and a Senior Developer. 4️⃣
- Reaktiv Studios needs a Senior Full Stack WordPress Developer in a full-time, remote role within their WP VIP agency. ⭐
- FreshySites needs a WordPress Project Manager in a full-time, remote role at their web design agency. 🥝
- LevelUp is looking for a Head of Customer Support in a full-time, remote role.
- InMotion Hosting is searching for an experienced HubSpot Marketing Administrator and a Channel Marketing Specialist in two full-time, remote or Virginia Beach-based roles.
- Constructive has a remote or New York-based, full-time or role (EST hours) for a Senior WordPress Developer based in North America and legally able to work in the US. 🏗️
- Great Believer is searching for a full-time Full Stack WordPress Developer who can be New York-based or work during EST hours remotely. 🚀
- Kinsta is looking for a full-time, remote Key Account Manager. 🔑
- Happy Prime needs a full-time, remote WordPress Developer.
- LionSher Technologies wants a WordPress Plugin Developer. 🦁
- WP Engine is looking for a Senior Web Developer and a Lead Software Engineer, both based in the United States.
- WebDevStudios wants to fill several Engineering Positions.
- Delicious Brains is searching for a Senior WordPress Plugin Developer. 🧠
If you use Sugar Calendar, then you might be interested to know its Advanced Recurring add-on has been released. This has been the “most asked for” feature. 🗓️
John James Jacoby explains the addon “took almost an entire year to invent, test, and deploy… We ported the RRULE spec directly to PHP from the iCalendar RFC, because nothing existed to do what we needed.”
HeroThemes has released Heroic Inbox which “manages multiple business emails from different sources and from one powerful, shared mailbox inside WordPress.” 📨
It’s good to see Jeff Chandler back in the WordPress news and blogging space with his new website WP Mainline. 🚆
If you’ve done any testing or optimization with your site with Google in mind you’ve likely heard of Lighthouse — a popular open-source tool for auditing performance.
Karolina Szczur describes what has changed between Lighthouse 7 and 8 — and what you might notice in your site speed tracking that’s new. 💨
Lesley Sim takes us step-by-step through your first 20 newsletters if you’re starting from scratch — from thinking about what email provider to use, to deciding what you want to write about. 📧
“Write about something you’re interested in, and resist the urge to follow trends” is good advice. Although newsletters should follow a theme, Lesley suggests that once you’ve picked a theme, pick a subset of that theme. “Niche down.”
With the popularity of newsletters increasing over the last year, this is a good read to get your head in the game. 👍
If you want a sneak peek into the design overhaul of the WordPress.org blog, check out the public Figma design board. Looking good! 🎨
Jim Nielsen offers some opinions on code comments. 🗯️
On the subject of “useless” or obvious comments, Jim writes:
“…if writing ‘useless’ code comments helps you, then they are not useless. They’re the opposite: useful.”
Today WPScan, sponsored by Automattic, has over 22,000 vulnerabilities in its database. 🔎
Wordfence has been authorized by the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE®) program as a CNA, or CVE Numbering Authority. 👏🔒
📺 Here are my video picks for the week:
- WordCamp Europe 2021: The video feeds from all three days of WCEUE are available on YouTube, with individual videos to be published in the coming weeks on WordPress.tv.
- Wordfence Live: Scott Miller explains how Wordfence recently became a CVE Numbering Authority. The video dives into what the CVE Program is, what exactly a CNA is, and how this development will benefit the WordPress community.
- Joe Casabona: Learn how you can create block patterns for Gutenberg.
🎙️ Here are my top podcast picks:
- Matt Report: Matt Medeiros talks to Lindsay Halsey about her “guided productized service,” Pathfinder SEO. I think Lindsay has a great product there, and the effort she's put into it shows.
- Women in WP: The spotlight rightly shines on Vanessa Martínez Hernández, a highly experienced marketer. Vanessa credits her project management and team leadership skills to her experiences as a WordPress Community volunteer.
- How I Built It: Matt DeFeo offers advice on improving your email copy and selling more without annoying your existing subscribers.
- Front End Nerdery Podcast: If you're a designer and haven't heard of Mike Monteiro, this podcast interview with Todd Libby is worth a listen — especially if you feel, as Mike does, that design is in a troubling spot today. 🤬
- The Knowledge Project: Matt Mullenweg talks with Shane Parrish about social networks at work and blending the cultures of different business units within a fully distributed company like Automattic.
- Gutenberg Changelog: Birgit Pauli-Haack and Grzegorz Ziółkowski discuss WordPress 5.8, the Upcoming Live Q&A, and Gutenberg 10.7 and 10.8.
— #451 —
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