Design and Development News for the Week of November 7
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Design and Development News for the Week of November 7

A new way to keep up with that fast-moving project we all rely on, PHP. • Making wordpress/wordpress-develop usable in GitHub Codespaces. • Help count WordPress contributors and sponsors • Directory Serve is our cool tool of the week — a way to serve files to and from your phone.

Learning and Pulling Together
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Learning and Pulling Together

This week was all about revisiting and continuing conversations that have special value and maybe for that reason tend to continue on with a life of their own. Tom Willmot dropped a fine Twitter thread about the challenge all enterprise WordPress agencies face. This came in response to Magne Ilsas‘ featured post here last week, The WordPress Enterprise Paradox. In a similar theme of industry peer cooperation, Eric Karkovack asks if WordPress product owners and developers can see a common interest in “voluntary standards.” Could this clean up the plugin market? James Farmer thinks the WordPress business community can do more for itself too — by sharing data. In Post Status Slack we’re learning the tricks and trials of ranking in the WordPress.org plugin repository. How about plugin telemetry? Learn from the voices of experience.

Who’s Going to Pay for All This?
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Who’s Going to Pay for All This?

Magne Ilsaas wants WordPress to be more than the pragmatic choice for enterprise clients. He wants WordPress agencies to be known for a distinct WordPress culture and mindset. Alain Schlesser, Carole Olinger, Carl Alexander, and Zach Stepek have a frank talk with Bob Dunn about the costs of not supporting WordPress contributors. Post Status members including Dave Loodts, Marius Jensen, Jeremy Ward, and Chris Reynolds discuss the looming PHP 7.4 EOL. Plus Jb Audras‘ breakdown of contributions to the WordPress 6.1 release. For your weekend reading, some news and insights from business, workplace, webtech, and govtech writers beyond the WordPress bubble.

InstaWP: A Conversation and Tour with Founder Vikas Singhal — Post Status Draft 128
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InstaWP: A Conversation and Tour with Founder Vikas Singhal — Post Status Draft 128

InstaWP is about a year old now — let’s take a tour of it and catch up with Vikas Singhal to see how he hopes it will evolve. Currently, it’s a testing, demonstration, training, and marketing tool for WordPress product owners and agencies. Next, Vikas aims for InstaWP to support a marketplace for developers and agencies launching WordPress sites. Finally, he envisions it becoming a platform of platforms — WordPress-as-a-Service for people building their own WPaaS

The WordPress Enterprise Paradox
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The WordPress Enterprise Paradox

“WordPress as a platform is putting us on the enterprise path. But what got us here is what makes us irrelevant,” says Magne Ilsaas, CEO and Founding Partner of Dekode. Magne wants to start an overdue conversation about three big risks — and opportunities — for WordPress agencies: 1) A lack of spaces for professional conversations and knowledge-sharing, including professional events, meetups, and mastermind groups catering to enterprise WordPress. 2) Successful agencies that use WordPress extensively with little or no community involvement whose work would benefit from enterprise WordPress peer networks. 3) An over-emphasis in WordPress agencies on short-term engineering solutions to the exclusion of long-term business solutions. What’s often left out is design, user experience, and most of all the capacity to play a strategic advisory role in partnership with clients.

WordPress 6.1 RC5 • WP-CLI 2.7.1 • Help Test Plugin Dependencies Feature Plugin
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WordPress 6.1 RC5 • WP-CLI 2.7.1 • Help Test Plugin Dependencies Feature Plugin

WordPress 6.1 rolls out on November 1. Help test 6.1 Release Candidate 3 — and the Rollback feature plugin. Be sure to look over the 6.1 DevNotes, Field Guides, and Team Updates.

A Visit from the Good Idea Fairy
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A Visit from the Good Idea Fairy

Building, Supporting, and Selling a Winning Product — With or Without WordPress.org • Are Active Install Counts Relevant to Your Business’s Success? (Even if they are accurate? And they haven’t been.) • Let’s Fix What’s Broken (The Plugin Repo) Not What Isn’t (The Freemium Model) • Follow Leaders, Adopt Standards • Tools and expertise from rtCamp • Some great and “doable” ideas for the future of plugin business metrics on the .org repo. Could some of them help put an end to intrusive and manipulative dark patterns in the WordPress Admin dashboard and notifications?

Post Status Excerpt (No. 71) — Building, Supporting, and Selling a Winning Product — With or Without WordPress.org
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Post Status Excerpt (No. 71) — Building, Supporting, and Selling a Winning Product — With or Without WordPress.org

This week I sat down again with Eric Karkovack to talk about the WordPress stories and topics that are on the top of our minds. Independently, we made nearly the same selections. There’s a single throughline in this episode — what works, what doesn’t, and what will take WordPress businesses forward in the product, agency, and hosting spaces.

WordPress 6.1 RC2 • 6.1 Sneak Peek with Nick Diego • WP-CLI 2.7.1 • Help Test Plugin Dependencies Feature Plugin
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WordPress 6.1 RC2 • 6.1 Sneak Peek with Nick Diego • WP-CLI 2.7.1 • Help Test Plugin Dependencies Feature Plugin

Get a sneak peek at WordPress 6.1 with Nick Diego. Help test 6.1 Release Candidate 2 — and the Plugin Dependencies feature plugin. Be sure to browse the 6.1 DevNotes, Field Guides, and Team Updates. WP-CLI 2.7.1 is available now.

Five takes on helpful plugin stats and insights
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Five takes on helpful plugin stats and insights

Good ideas for the future of data disclosed to plugin authors using the wordpress.org repository:

1) Identify surges of unhappy users reacting to a bad release — and the opposite, happier outcome.

2) Use pageview analytics to estimate total potential user interest and conversion rates.

3) Assess a plugin’s performance with the .org search algorithm, the quality of releases, and plugin incompatibility as well as PHP compatibility issues.

4) Collect significant user behavior data anonymously without phoning home.

5) Just reveal all the raw data with privacy options for individual authors — no interpretive analysis on wordpress.org.

BONUS: Let’s take this discussion somewhere else!

Over, Under, Around, and Through
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Over, Under, Around, and Through

This week Alex Denning (Ellipsis) draws on Iain Poulson‘s historical, high-level plugin data at WP Trends to offer some thoughtful, somewhat contrary, but practical and grounded perspectives on the value of Active Install Data. At the WP Watercooler and elsewhere, a realization seems to be setting in that the data is not open source and not the property of the WordPress community. Like last week’s episode of Post Status Draft with Katie Keith of Barn2 Plugins, Till Krüss (Object Cache Pro, Relay) offers a lot of lessons this week about less travelled paths to success in the plugin business even as a very small company or company of one. Performance, testing, and support are key, interrelated parts of Till’s success and probably the most important ones to borrow in your own life and work if they resonate.

Till Krüss on Object Cache Pro, WordPress, Plugins, Testing, and Performance — Post Status Draft 126
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Till Krüss on Object Cache Pro, WordPress, Plugins, Testing, and Performance — Post Status Draft 126

Till Krüss explains how he found his way into WordPress and a successful business that’s solving the hard problems of caching and performance optimization. His work and business model suggest several areas of opportunity for developers and founders working in the WordPress plugin market today.

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