Issue #12
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This week in WordPress

Awesome Motive acquires All in One SEO Pack

WordPress SEO is about to get a BIG shake up. "Got some exciting news to share 😀 All in One SEO is now part of the Awesome Motive (@awesomemotive) Family," tweets Syed Balkhi.

Launched in 2007, All in One SEO Pack was the first SEO plugin for WordPress (Yoast SEO came three years later). With 2+ million active installs, it's still a popular plugin with an active community. In All in One SEO is now part of the Awesome Motive Family, Syed reveals the entire All in One SEO team has joined Awesome Motive, with the exception of founder Michael Torbert who has decided to pursue the next chapter in his life.

The Awesome Motive team is behind a suite of popular plugins for WordPress—OptinMonster, WPForms, and MonsterInsights, to name a few. So it's fitting that Syed, a long-time figure in the WordPress community who started WPBeginner in 2009 and has years of SEO experience, has not only acquired the oldest SEO plugin for WordPress, but Yoast SEO's biggest direct competitor.

Should the Yoast SEO team be worried? In 2016, Syed acquired Google Analytics by Yoast and renamed it MonsterInsights, as reported by WP Tavern. In his announcement post, Syed hints that he's friends with some big names in SEO, including Neil Patel, Eric Siu, Harsh Agrawal, and others. He writes:
"We will be bringing the best of their knowledge along with several of their internal tools into the All in One SEO plugin, so you can literally have the BEST SEO tool in the industry."
Michael Torbert is the first to comment on the announcement post: "Great post my friend. I'm confident in handing over the reins to such a great organization in Awesome Motive, and excited to see what the next chapter brings for AIOSEOP under your leadership." Mike Zielonka, Co-founder and Director of Web Strategy at Tuna Traffic adds: "This is awesome news! I think the competition between Yoast and AISEO is going to generate lots of great new features on both products for users! 😀"

For more on this story, Brian Krogsgard from Post Status interviews Syed Balkhi on Awesome Motive's acquisition of All In One SEO on the Draft podcast.

What's the game plan?

Justin Tadlock covers the first of many biweekly meetings that will decide the future of themes for WP Tavern, Key Takeaways From the First 'Future of Themes' Meeting. If the meeting name—New Bi-weekly Block-based Themes Meeting—is anything to go by, the future of themes is block-based.

Justin predicts "a major split in types of themes: block-based vs. traditional with perhaps some block elements. Only time will tell whether this becomes an insurmountable rift or whether there is a place for both concepts."

He reports that Theme Review Team representative Ari Stathopoulos ended the Slack meeting on a high note, saying, "... The tools we're currently using and the way we're currently building themes is not the way themes will be built next year. But they will still exist, and the new way is neither better nor worse. It's just different. If we embrace that and open up our imagination, there's lots of amazing things we — as theme authors — can build."

But not all users are happy with the direction themes are going. Goose Studio owner and developer Andreas Nurbo tweets: "So @automattic is running the show based on this recap… I guess @mattreport was wrong. JetPack is not a trojan horse, the people are already inside the walls, there is no need for the horse."

Mind Blown

In other theme news, Elegant Themes continues to operate in its own universe. This week, saw the launch of Divi Scroll Effects. In A Stunning New Animation Builder, Elegant Themes CEO Nick Roach says his team has streamlined the complexity of web-based animations to make them accessible to anyone.
Designer, developer, internet marketer, and entrepreneur Tim Strifler kicks off the 145 overwhelmingly positive comments with "Mind Blown 🤯." Meanwhile, Jeremy Hall tweets: "This is amazing. WordPress's new builder has nothing on Divi."

WooCommerce 4.0 is coming

Starting backing up your online stores because WooCommerce 4.0 is just weeks away. Scheduled to ship in early March, this major release will include breaking changes. And as WebDevStudios CEO Brad Williams tweets, "WooCommerce 4.0 will include the new #WooCommerce Admin interface. Exciting news!"

WooCommerce software engineer Peter Fabian explains in WooCommerce 4.0 is coming!, that the release is the first step towards a modern, JavaScript-driven commerce experience for merchants and includes a new dashboard, new and improved reports, an improved notification experience, and new store management tools.
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In other news...

  • - Justin Tadlock from WP Tavern reports Ahmad Awais Launches Script to Automatically Deploy WordPress Plugin Updates. WordPress Continuous Deployment offers a pipeline for updating plugins hosted on WordPress.org via GitHub actions. It's a Node.js-based CLI script that simplifies the process of keeping plugins updated.
  • - The new block editor makes creating content easier—if you know how to use it. In Webinar recording: Upgrading to Gutenberg, Reaktiv Studios walks through how to move an enterprise WordPress site to the block editor using real-life examples from Microsoft, Atlassian, and more.
  • - Creating a truly fluid interface with consistent typography and a seamless user experience across any device continues to pose many challenges for designers and developers alike. On the Pixelgrade blog, front-end developer Razvan Onofrei explains how he found a solution in Creating true fluid web typography to improve our processes. Sponsored link.
  • - Salesforce and WordPress VIP have launched a new season of the Blazing Trails podcast. The 10-part series recaps and shares insights from Dreamforce 2019, including conversations with Apple SEO Tim Cook and Thrive CEO Arianna Huffington.
  • - CodeInWP founder Ionut Neagu recaps his team's 2019, covering everything from settings goals and hiring missteps to building relationships with users and publishing epic content in 2019: The Year in Review – The Highs, Lows, and In-Betweens.
  • - The WPShout team is looking for Tech-Tutorial Authors.
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