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Issue #127
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This week in WordPress

Elementor sacks 15% of its workforce, cites impending recession

Elementor is laying off 50-60 of its employees, mostly from its marketing department. And as CTech’s Meir Orbach reports, Yoni Luksenberg, the company’s co-founder and CEO, has blamed the “… changing global situation with rising inflation and a pending recession” for the decision.

Among those ousted is former VP of Marketing Yam Regev, who shared on LinkedIn that “Me and Elementor are splitting our ways 💕👋💕.”

Founded in 2016, Elementor employs around 400 people and—according to the company—powers 7.4% of all global websites. The news comes just a week after the company announced it had acquired static WordPress hosting platform Strattic.

“This is the first WordPress company I've heard of citing the current economic climate for layoffs,” tweets WP Engine Engineering Manager Chris Wiegman. “This is pretty new territory for the WordPress industry. Thoughts are with people who've been made redundant,” adds Ellipsis Marketing Managing Director Alex Denning.

In Post Status Slack, Yoast founder Joost de Valk notes, “growth and profit are distinctly different things, and with raising capital becoming (much) harder, [Elementor are] lengthening their runway and tightening their belt.” Patchstack co-founder and CEO, Oliver Slid, adds, “Everyone trying to bring their burn down because it's better to go through the potential recession with slower growth and better stability than raising money on shitty terms.”

The news also comes after the Australian Financial Review reported on June 6 that Envato has laid off 100 staff and rejigged its product focus. Or as puts it, Aussie company sacks 100 after record profit.

James Giroux, StellarWP’s Director of Brand & Product Marketing, tweets, “Both @envato and @elemntor have announced significant redundancies in the last few weeks. My thoughts are with all those impacted by these changes. My take is that this is not a reflection of the #WordPress ecosystem but of individual business needs.” Awesome Motive founder and CEO Syed Balkhi adds, “Definitely not a reflection of the #WordPress ecosystem. We're hiring @AwesomeMotive.”

Tumblr and Day One are now using Gutenberg blocks

The Gutenberg editor is now available to Tumblr users and will soon be rolled out for beta testing on Day One, reports Sarah Gooding at WPTavern.

WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg shared the news at WordCamp Europe where he also started his belief that “Gutenberg can be a bigger contribution to the world than WordPress itself.”
Following the announcement, Gutenberg lead architect Matías Ventura tweeted screenshots of what the Gutenberg editor looks like in the Tumblr and Day One web apps, adding “I’m personally looking forward to when you could just copy and paste blocks between platforms like you do with patterns!”
GiveWP founder Matt Cromwell tweets, “It feels a lot like what Classic Editor folks ACTUALLY wanted instead of full-fledged Gutes. I had to login to see it myself, and yes, it looks exactly like what you see…”

“If anyone needs me, I'll be over here, waiting for someone to put Tumblr in my Gutenberg,” tweets Jason Cosper, a WordPress Product Advocate at Dreamhost.

Gooding also reports that HASH, the venture-based startup developing the Block Protocol (read more in issue #109), is looking to hire a WordPress plugin developer. She notes, “When the Block Protocol project was announced, it didn't seem likely that it would use Gutenberg as the basis for its spec. However, the wide usage of Gutenberg across the web cannot be ignored. This forthcoming plugin appears to be more like a bridge or connector that ensures Gutenberg is still relevant in the Block Protocol ecosystem.” Where will we see Gutenberg turn up next? It seems we’ll soon find out.

Gutenberg lead architect reveals what WordPress admin could look like in future

Speaking of Matías Ventura, he has shared some “very early” concepts of what the admin interface could look like as the WordPress project edges closer to entering the third phase of Gutenberg, collaboration.
In Thinking Through the WordPress Admin Experience at, Ventura notes, “Given the third phase of the current WordPress roadmap has a focus around workflows and multiplayer, considerations around the various admin flows become all the more important.”
GiveWP co-founder Devin Walker tweets, “Nice preview of what could be coming next for the WP-Admin interface by @matias_ventura 👏 My first impressions are positive. I like the "drawer" style sliding effect. Makes it more seamless between frontend and backend.” Matt Cromwell, who also co-founded GiveWP, adds, “So nice. I remember my excitement when MP6 was released (the current admin scheme). This new refresh is also super exciting. Let's do it @matias_ventura!"

James Giroux tweets, “I had the chance to hang out with @matias_ventura at #WCEU and it was such a great conversation about WordPress and Gutenberg. He's one of those people who we are extremely lucky to have leading and influencing the project."

MasterWP Editor Brian Coords tweets, "Great post and also great to see the WordPress is moving away from trying to look like Medium and moving towards trying to look like Squarespace."

Business Spotlight: LearnDash

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LearnDash is taking cutting-edge e-learning methodology and infusing it into WordPress. We're trusted to power the learning programs for major universities, small to mid-size companies, startups, entrepreneurs, and bloggers worldwide.

Gutenberg 13.4 features support for button elements in theme.json, axial spacing, and sidebar design updates

Gutenberg 13.4 is now available. Highlights in this version include support for button elements in theme.json, axial spacing in the Gallery Block, sidebar design updates, Search Block variations that now support query vars, and performance improvements.

Automattic-sponsored core contributor Héctor Prieto says the latest release features 25 enhancements and nearly 30 bug fixes. He also reminds folks how to keep up with Gutenberg and the Full Site Editing project.

For a deep dive into Gutenberg 13.4, Dave Smith, a JavaScript developer at Automattic who contributes to Gutenberg, joined co-hosts Birgit Pauli-Haack and Mary Job on the latest episode of the Gutenberg Changelog podcast.

Meanwhile, the WordPress Meta Team has launched a redesign of the Gutenberg landing page. According to Automattic-sponsored contributor Steve Dufresne, “Apart from Editor modifications to make the Block Editor accessible on the front page, it was built almost entirely with Gutenberg 🥳.”

Matt Report: What's up with the WordPress vibe?

“If you’re up for a good rant, this is the episode for you,” says Matt Medeiros, who flies solo in the latest episode of the Matt Report podcast and asks What’s with the WordPress vibe?

He covers the rollercoaster of change that has been happening of late in the WordPress space. Or as co-founder Andrew Palmer succinctly sums up, “Current vibe: funding, acquisition, sponsorship, online/offline summits, funding, acquisition, sponsorships. Layoffs.”

Medeiros also delves into a favorite topic of WordPress media types: how to secure funding when no one wants to pay for news. He heaps praise on Howard Development & Consulting for leveling up MasterWP as a media brand since acquiring the business in February.
“Thanks for the plug @mattmedeiros — we are honored to be part of your rant (in a good way!) 😂” tweets MasterWP.

Meanwhile, do WordPress business owners feel like they are in—or moving towards—a recession? Not really, according to WPMinute Twitter poll. Of the 38 respondents, most business owners are doing just fine (55.3% answered “no”), some are worried (15.8% answered “yes”), and almost a third say “it’s complicated” (15.8%).

BlackPress at WordCamp Europe

Destiny Fox Kanno, a co-organizer of the BlackPress Slack group, hosted a small meetup for Black WordPressers at WordCamp Europe this year. We wanted to hear how it went.
Give us a brief summary of the meetup. The who, what, when, where and why?

With WordCamp Europe being the first in-real-life WordCamp event since Covid, we were eager to take advantage of this to meet and connect with fellow BlackPress members. It was also a large opportunity to bring more folks into BlackPress who may not have known it existed.
The first event ended with us changing venues, but a total of four BlackPressers attended; Destiny Kanno, Santana Innis, Gina Innocent, and Thelma Mutete.

We had a follow up lunch event the next day that was attended by 5 BlackPresses: Destiny Kanno, Gina Innocent, Kevin Simpson, Rachel Winchester, and Rich Tabor.

What was the organization process like for getting people to that event?

We had this event page set up here on Meetup to bring visibility in the group and advertised within the BlackPress Slack. Our space was limited, so our first priority was to ensure current BlackPress members could attend. In the end, there weren’t many current BlackPress members able to go to WCEU, so the signup for the event was low. However, due to being on location and networking efforts, we were able to bring new folks into the fold.

What was discussed during the meetup? Were there any highlights to the conversation you’d like to share?

We discussed the very real need for a group like this to help connect other BlackPressers across the globe, delved into ideas for future speaker events and shared our own personal experiences working with WordPress.

It was a couple of folks’ first WordCamp, so we were so excited to be able to make BlackPress a part of their first WordCamp experience as well.

When do you think the next in person event will be?

We encourage members to arrange for local meetups when able, but we are currently hoping to have another local meetup during WordCamp US this September. This is still in the planning stage, but the event will be posted on our Meetup just as with WordCamp EU.

Accessible Website Architecture and UX

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Headshots of Lazar, Andrija, and Anne-Mieke against a yellow background. On the left is text about GoDaddy Pro's Accessible Website Architecture chat on June 20.
When we speak about website design, we primarily talk about the aesthetics: color schemes, images, layout, text size, and fonts. But there is so much more going on behind the scenes that determines whether the design is user-friendly, inclusive, and accessible!

Website content architecture improvements—such as consistent navigation and clear sitemaps—are features that can improve the browsing experience, especially for those relying on assistive technologies.

Next week, join our panelists Lazar Bulatovic, Andrija Radojev, and Anne-Mieke Bovelett and prepare for an interesting journey of website tours from the perspective of users with visual impairment.

This free virtual event is presented by GoDaddy Pro and will take place on Monday, June 20, 2022 at 1pm EDT.

Read more and register here.
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In other WordPress news...

  • Search Engine Journal Director Vahan Petrosyan had the chance to interview Josepha Haden Chomphosy, executive director of WordPress, in Porto earlier this month. Chomphosy offered her musings on the present and future of WordPress, including how WordPress will continue to rise above the competition.
  • Matt Cromwell and Newsletter Glue co-founder Lesley Sim have joined forces for a new video series they’re calling Glam That Plugin! The pair will be auditing free plugins and suggesting ways to improve their marketability. Go to to submit a plugin.
  • MasterWP Editorial Director Nyasha Green (who we heard from in issue #125) sat down with Robert DeVore of CannaBiz Software to discuss the impact of cannabis e-commerce on local communities. They discuss the stark contrast between states with and without legal cannabis, the future of “cannatech” businesses, and why DeVore built the WP Dispensary plugin back in 2015.
  • Are WordPress developers real developers? Rob Howard and Nyasha Green get to the bottom of this assumption on the latest episode of the Press The Issue podcast. Green also recently joined Torque News Drop and co-hosts Doc Pop and Chris Wiegman to discuss bringing new developers into WordPress.
  • Just because you missed WordCamp Europe doesn’t mean you missed all that mental stimulation! In the latest episode of the WordPress Briefing, Josepha Haden Chomphosy recaps key questions from WCEU and highlights a few Contributor Day interviews.
  • Automattic and Prime Strategy Co. are preparing to offer WPScan as a part of Prime Strategy’s KUSANAGI managed service. Jetpack announced in November 2021 that it had acquired WPScan, a 10-year-old WordPress vulnerability database that Automattic had already been sponsoring for several years. WPScan includes more than 28,000 vulnerability fixes for WordPress Core, plugins, and themes.
  • With the polarization of WordPress consultants in recent years, where will the WordPress middle class go? Capping off his second post at the WP Minute, Brian Coords reboots a concept that Matt Medeiros from the Matt Report wrote about a while back about the blue-collar digital worker.
  • The latest episode of WP Tavern’s Jukebox is a conversation with Matt Mullenweg during a free moment at WCEU. Mullenweg offers some reflections on WordPress when he co-founded it at age 19, as well as COVID-19’s impact on the project and which aspects of the project would he change if he could do it all again.
  • As creative, supportive, and boundless as the WordPress community is, there are some “shockers” to consider before moving over from a SaaS tool or site builder, according to Kim Coleman. Among them is constant decision-making, conducting your own maintenance, and learning to say “no” to upselling—three of Coleman’s list items that WPShout’s David Hayes wholeheartedly agrees on.
  • “What is the WordPress project?” asks Brian Coords, who continues to challenge the WordPress status quo with his writing at MasterWP. He documents his journey—and frustrations—contributing to WordPress in When the Cathedral Owns the Bazaar and raises existential questions about the project’s leadership and decision-making.
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