Footnotes #431

๐Ÿ—“๏ธ WordPress 5.6.1 maintenance release has a release schedule:

  • Release Candidate: Available Now.
  • Final release: Wednesday 3 February 2021.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy shares the big picture goals for the year, which include Full Site Editing in Core.

Referring to the overall roadmap for Gutenberg, Josepha noted “Much of that roadmap is on a multi-year timeline, and it can be hard to know whatโ€™s next with such a distant North Star.” As near-star goals, she highlighted Full Site Editing, LearnWP, and contributor tools.”

Josepha also stressed these are broad, incomplete targets with lots of supporting pieces, like translations and accessibility. ๐ŸŒŸ


The WP Buffs has made its first acquisition: WP EZI. ๐Ÿ‘

Allie Nimmons explains how this came about and what's next:

“…WP Buffs purchased WP EZI for 5-figures. This included 65 active subscriptions and 343 total customers… WP Buffs wonโ€™t be making any changes to WP EZIโ€™s services or branding at all, at least not right now. The only change thatโ€™s being made: WP EZI will stop selling new care plans.”

Joe Howard commented: โ€œJust from a financial standpoint, we had bandwidth to be able to afford a purchase that will pay us back within 9-12 months.”

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ There is also a WPMRR podcast episode with Joe and WP EZI founder Paul Tselekidis.

The WordPress maintenance space isn't something that comes to mind often when I'm thinking of business acquisitions, so it's good to see it growing in value. ๐Ÿ“ˆ


๐Ÿšซ Mika Epstein reminds WordPress plugin developers they must not interfere with or change the defaults of WordPress's update settings:

“You may offer a feature to auto-update, but it has to honor the core settings. This means if someone has set their site to โ€œNever update any of my plugins or themesโ€ you are not to change those for them unless they opt-in and request it.”

Exception: Plugins that have the express purpose of managing updates are allowed to do that. ๐Ÿ”Œ


๐Ÿ—๏ธ Steve Benjamins from SiteBuilderReport shares some trends and market share data from 2020 for web builders.

  • Market Share: Wix and Squarespace continue to be the market leaders, although their share of the market fell to 53% from 56% in 2019. ๐Ÿ“‰
  • While Wix has the highest total market share, Squarespace has the highest market share of the top 1 million websites. Impressively, 2.5% of Webflow websites are in the top 1 million.
  • Shopify has the largest app store, and in 2020 it grew faster (46%) than any other eCommerce builder. ๐Ÿ“ˆ

Steve's definition of a website builder is a no-code, drag-and-drop tool with hosting baked into it. By that definition, “WordPress is not a website builder, it's a CMS.”

With full-site editing in place as early as this June, WP.com and many managed WordPress hosts should fit the definition of a builder for many of its users โ€” without being contained by it.


๐Ÿ›’ Commerce Journey

Check out our latest Webinar Replay featuring Patrick Rauland: Tips for Building Cost-Effective Ecommerce Sites with WooCommerce. And if you missed it, here's the video with Ana Nunez explaining How Vida Bars Hit 6 Figures in 9 Months … in a Pandemic. โœจ

๐Ÿ“ง Be sure to subscribe to the Commerce Journey newsletter for our latest content and a roundup of the best eCommerce reading from around the web.


Terence Eden tells a story that shows how simple HTML can be quite effective.ย  If you want to connect people to vital information even if the technology they're using is terrible, less is definitely more. ๐Ÿค”


Eric Karkovack asks if high-quality and free WordPress themes are a thing of the past:

“Right now, the WordPress theme landscape is so filled with bloat and obnoxious sales pitches that itโ€™s hard to see how anyone benefits… Free themes have a role to play. While a new user could certainly opt for one of the default themes that come bundled with WordPress, itโ€™s also crucial to offer choice. Unfortunately, the amount of quality free options is lacking.”

Eric has another good post that explains why Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) can fall short along with some suggested alternatives:

“2FA Doesnโ€™t necessarily need to be a requirement… but for most sites, you may consider going with stringent password requirements instead. Also [offering choice allows users] to choose the flavor that works best for them.”


Twitter has acquired Revue, a small company whose service lets you build newsletters from your social media, RSS feeds, and other sources. Matt Mullenweg noted that Automattic was the largest investor in Revue. ๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ


Isobel Weston revisits the accomplishments of EasyWP, Namecheap‘s managed WordPress hosting service that launched in 2017.

It's great to see how they're giving back to the community. EasyWP is active as a sponsor of WordCamps all over the world. ๐Ÿ•๏ธ


Leonardo Losoviz describes how to implement a GraphQL server with components in PHP.

He starts by defining components, and then he describes “the architectural design of the GraphQL server in PHP GraphQL by PoP, which uses components as a data structure instead of graphs.”


I've always enjoyed a developer's take on key subjects, and Tom McFarlin is an old pro at dispensing this type of wisdom. Tom recently compiled a rundown of material regarding privacy he has covered in both 2019 and 2020 that is worth a look. ๐Ÿ”’


๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Peter Slutsky over at WordPress VIP tells the story of their involvement in the Biden-Harris transition website and who they worked with:

“In the weeks leading up to the election, WordPress VIP joined forces with Wide Eye Creative and the transitionโ€™s digital team led by Andrew Nacin. Everyone recognized the siteโ€™s pivotal role on the global stage which created enormous pressure to get every detail exactly right.”

Speaking of government sites, we shared the news last week about the new WhiteHouse.gov using WordPress. On Twitter, Andrew Nacin recently confirmed his involvement, which shouldn't come as a surprise to some in the WordPress community.

Fast Company‘s Lilly Smith told the story in detail with Nacin as a source. Among the many revelations in this article, we learn the “team built the site in six weeks, a process which Nacin says would normally take six months.” โฉ


๐Ÿ› ๏ธ Kat Shaw has compiled a super list of accessibility tools:

“They are not replacements for manual a11y reviews, though some will guide you through a manual a11y audit.”

It's an impressive list and worth bookmarking. ๐Ÿ“‘


๐Ÿ”ˆ Elisa Edelberg reminds us that audio descriptions are required by law in certain industries, like higher education in the United States:

“Private and public colleges that receive federal funding must comply with the Rehabilitation Act. Colleges that receive state funding must comply with local state laws, too (often called mini-508s). All colleges provide a public accommodation and must comply with ADA requirements.”


Google claims they have found a privacy-friendly substitute for cookies, although there is reason to doubt it will ever be implemented. ๐Ÿช


Wordfence has published its 2020 WordPress Threat Report. ๐Ÿ˜จ

Last year Wordfence blocked “90 billion malicious login attempts from over 57 million unique IP addresses” and “4.3 billion attempts to exploit vulnerabilities from over 9.7 million unique IP addresses.” ๐Ÿ›ก๏ธ


Jamie Indigo has written a technical SEO guide to Lighthouse performance metrics. Jamie offers some instructions for testing your performance and understanding the metrics behind Lighthouse's Performance score.


jpeg.rocks is a nice tool if you need to optimize JPEGs in a pinch. Your images don't leave your device โ€” it's all done in the browser. ๐Ÿ‘


Unless you were living under a rock this week, you probably know there was a significant event involving hedge funds, Reddit, and Gamestop. ๐Ÿคฏ

It's an ongoing story, and I won't even begin to try to explain it, but Ian Welsh has an opinionated overview, and so does Akash Painuly with this tweet. Akash gets right to explaining what a short trade is if you're not familiar with the concept.

Read this tweet from Josh Gross for the backstory โ€” it goes back about a year! ๐Ÿฆ


Upcoming Events ๐Ÿ“†

  • There is a free webinar today (January 29th) on the subject of WordPress's Full Site Editor and themes. It will be hosted by Carolina Nymark, Ari Stathopoulos, Anne McCarthy, and Birgit Pauli-Haack.
  • WordCamp India 2021 will take place over three weekends from January 30 to February 14, 2021!
  • Coming up on March 4th is DE{CODE} โ€” WP Engine‘s virtual developer conference.

DAVID'S PICKS ๐Ÿ“ฌ

Video Picks

๐Ÿ“น Here are my video picks of the week:

Podcast Picks

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ Here are a few podcasts to listen to that I heartily recommend:

  • How I Built It: Joe Casabona talks to Alex Price about pitching yourself or your agency โ€” especially during a pandemic when you likely aren't in the same room with your potential client. โšพ
  • WomenInWP: An excellent conversation with Lisa Sabin-Wilson (Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder of WebDevStudios). On leading a company during the pandemic: “The most important thing when you are leading a group of people is to try to put yourself in their position.” ๐Ÿงก
  • Do The Woo: “Ten Things I Wish I Knew When Starting My eCommerce Business” features Christine Chirinos from Nexcess/Liquid Web and Dave Rodenbaugh from Recapture.io dropping many knowledge bombs in this episode. ๐Ÿ’ฃ