Appropos of Nothing
Matt Mullenweg posted on Twitter on August 21st that updates to the WordPress mobile app have “been absent” because “we were locked by App Store.” The reason: Apple wanted in-app purchases to be available, although the app itself does not sell anything. 🤷
Matt told The Verge and commented on Twitter that he “wasn't going to fight it anymore” and would add brand-new in-app purchases for WordPress.com’s paid tiers, which include domain names, within 30 days.
Fast forward to the next day, and Apple was backing off. The company provided a rare on-the-record apology. Here’s Apple’s full statement:
We believe the issue with the WordPress app has been resolved. Since the developer removed the display of their service payment options from the app, it is now a free stand-alone app and does not have to offer in-app purchases. We have informed the developer and apologize for any confusion that we have caused.
Apparently, this was news to Matt who posted his surprise on Twitter:
I am very grateful that folks at Apple re-reviewed @WordPressiOS and have let us know we do not need to implement in-app purchases to be able to continue to update the app. Bad news travels faster than good, usually, so please consider sharing that they reversed course.
There have been some other conversations asking if in-app purchases were intended all along or if very recent changes to the mobile codebase sparked confusion on Apple's part.
It was a brief yet wild ride… and it comes at a bad time for Apple as they are dealing with potential investigations into anti-trust violations and activity regarding their mobile app store along with legal action from Epic Games. ⚖️
On August 25th Dave Rodenbaugh completed the sale of two WordPress plugins: Business Directory Plugin and Another Classified WordPress Plugin. The buyers belong to Strategy11 — Stephanie Wells and Syed Balkhi. Strategy11 is part of WPBeginner Growth Accelerator companies. 🤝
If you would like more background on the sale, check out the podcast recommendations below. 👇
With the sale of his plugins, Dave is now free to “focus more” on his Recapture.io SaaS, which helps store owners on many eCommerce platforms bring customers back to abandoned carts. Dave says Recapture.io “is still experiencing strong growth and has massive potential to become a strong 6 or 7 figure business.” 🛒
According to this recent update, a WordPress 5.5.1 short-cycle maintenance release may appear on September 1st to deal with some “particularly inconvenient” bugs. 🐛
StudioPress recently announced it is rebranding the popular Atomic Blocks plugin it acquired from Mike McAlister in 2018 as Genesis Blocks. There is a free version still, and the pro version of Genesis Blocks is available in the Genesis Pro package. ⚛️
Piotr Gaczkowski has offered a crash course on the bare essentials in command line developer tools for developers who want to get more comfortable in them. He also recommends checking the Awesome Shell curated list of some of the best command-line tools available. 🧰
Several WordPress companies continue to offer paid positions for those wanting to work on WordPress core fulltime. Recently Syed Balkhi and WPBeginner announced their search for a qualified developer to take on this role. 👍
Collis Ta'eed has announced he is stepping down as CEO of Envato after 14 years.
A replacement hasn't been announced yet, but Collis notes, “I think we’ve found someone really great, with just the right mix of global outlook, community ethos, marketing at scale background, and humility to take it further than I can.”
Collis will still be involved with Envato and is staying on as Chairperson of the Board. 🪑
FooEvents recently hit a milestone of 1 million attendee check-ins. ✔️
It seems the pandemic this year played a big part:
“Check-ins that were performed using our apps have increased by more than 50% this year and account for close to a third of the total check-ins ever performed using the apps.”
Joe Casabona is working on a fantastic content project called WordPress: Year in Review “to help put out more WordPress content in lieu of WordCamp talks.”🏕️
The whole Year in Review package will include “an eBook that goes over how WordPress and the WordPress Ecosystem has changed in the last year” as well as “an interview series with WordCamp speakers on the How I Built It podcast.” Finally, there will be “a video tutorial series focused on things you can do with WordPress thanks to changes made in 2020.”
Joe is looking for some help via a generously priced crowdfunding campaign you won't want to miss. 👈
I learned a lot from this post by Chris Weigman on how he went back to WordPress after a year with Hugo. Other technologies may be attractive, but WordPress still pays the bills.
Chris also mentions that “the block editor has come a long way in the past year.” When he switched to Hugo he “found it almost unusable.” Now, he sees it as “a solid tool for writing and blogging.”
I tend to agree with that statement — Gutenberg is still rough around some of its edges, but it's vastly improved and improving all the time.
Marius Jensen offers an introduction to updating jQuery code in an unmaintained WordPress plugin or theme. 🔌
Marius covers jQuery functions that are deprecated and the most common problems that have emerged after the upgrade to WordPress 5.5, which dropped support for jQuery Migrate.
🎂 Congrats to Linux which turns 29 this month, or in October, depending on how you look at it:
“Not everyone in the Linux community is celebrating Linux’s birthday on August 25th, as some believe we should celebrate it on October 5th, when the first public release was made, but Linus Torvalds thinks both of them are valid.”
Here's an interesting read about a Google Chrome feature that is nice to have, but it's creating enormous load on global root DNS servers. 🏋️♀️
Tom MacWright makes a case for a “clean start for the web,” spurred at least in part by the monoculture in browser engines and Mozilla's recent layoffs. 🧼
What made me think and look more deeply into his proposals (which you'll have to read for yourself) was this setup:
“Not only is it nearly impossible to build a new browser from scratch, once you have one the ongoing cost of keeping up with standards requires a full team of experts.”
At the same time, for creators, “The web has gotten much harder to develop for.” 😖
Justin Sainton explains in this case study how to power BuddyPress with WebDevStudios‘ Algolia search-as-a-service engine. He shares a bootstrap file, walks through several code snippets, and offers a video at the end.
In addition to BuddyPress and the Algolia, Justin credits “the expert partnership of the good folks at Mission Lab and Sales Hacker” for making it possible to build a “super-charged social network.”
Alain Schlesser documents the best ways of setting up exceptions and using them in PHP — and “how to avoid creating a mess while doing so.” 👌
🆕 Commerce Journey 🛒
Learn how to choose the right domain name and get your WooCommerce store set up by listening to Cory and GoDaddy Pro’s Justin Neely at Commerce Journey! 🛒
- Join the discussion in our Facebook group 👥
- Follow the Commerce Journey blog. 📝
- And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter! ✉️
📅 Conference and Event Updates
- Google Open Source Live is a new monthly recurring event “focused on different open source technologies.” The kickoff event theme is “The new open source: Leadership, contributions and sustainability.”
- WordSesh is happening on September 2nd. Registration is free! Take a close look at the schedule — it might start very early if you live in North America. This time around there will be thirteen sessions that touch on topics like plugin development, static WordPress, business development, and leveraging WordPress for growth. 📈
- 💼 WPMRR Virtual Summit (September 23rd and 24th.) Free, online. The focus will be “100% focused on helping you make monthly recurring revenue work for your WordPress business.” Scroll down the homepage where they publicly list the MRR (monthly recurring revenue) numbers from the speakers who will be participating! 💸
📹 Here's the video pick of the week:
- The first of a two-part video series from Freemius explores the pros and cons of distributing your plugins or themes through the WordPress.org repository.
🎙️ Here are some good podcasts I've enjoyed this week:
- Voices Of The ElePHPant: A discussion between Cal Evans and Larry Garfield on pre-loading in PHP 8 and functional programming.
- Women in WP: A talk with Rachel Di Martino about building a WordPress business that elevates women-led businesses and the changes involved in running an online business during a global pandemic.
- RogueStartups: Dave Rodenbaugh and Craig Hewitt discuss recent sales of WordPress plugins and talk through the process: where (and how) to list a plugin for sale, and what working with a buyer looks like.