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Issue #161
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This week in WordPress

WordPress Professionals Survey Reveals Insights into Page Builder Preferences, Revenue, and Working Capacity

Kyle Van Deusen from The Admin Bar got folks talking this week with the release of his WordPress Professionals Survey.

He surveyed 667 WordPress pros to probe working capacity (full-time vs side hustle), years in business (33.38% responded '1-5 years'), team size (59% responded '1'), feelings about WordPress's current state (67% responded 'positive), and agency trajectory (65% said their business was growing). Other juicy insights include total revenue for 2022, profit margins, and average hourly rate.

"The Admin Bar really knocked it out of the park with their huge #wordpress Survey. The results are eye-opening :)" tweets Web Squadron's Imran Siddiq who links to his take on YouTube.

Elementor claimed the top spot as 'page builder of choice' with 27.6% of respondents indicating it's the page builder they prefer, down from 33.2% last year. A total of 23.4% of respondents said they preferred Gutenberg.

"Probably one of the more important slides from the 2023 WordPress Professionals report by @kylevandeusen, tweets Luehrsen // Heinrich CEO Hendrik Luehrsen, adding, "Despite being 5 years old now, despite being the default experience, and despite all efforts of core, the Block Editor is just second place, well after @elemntor."

Conversely, full stack developer Colby Taylor tweets, "… my favorite bit was seeing the rise of the built-in builder [Gutenberg] increase in use. It is insanely efficient…" Gutenberg was not listed as a page builder option in last year's survey.

Later today, Van Deusen will be hosting a live panel with GoWP CCO Emily Hunkler, MonsterContracts creator Nathan Ingram, and GeekPack founder and CEO Julia Taylor to discuss the survey results.

328% Increase in Reported Plugin Vulnerabilities but WordPress Ecosystem Becoming Safer, According to Patchstack Report

In 2022, Patchstack added 4,528 security bugs reported in WordPress plugins, up from just 1,382 in 2021, according to the security company's State of WordPress Security In 2022 whitepaper, released this week. But according to the report's authors, it doesn't mean WordPress is unsafe or that plugin developers are getting sloppier – rather, that security researchers are looking harder and farther, and WordPress is becoming safer as a result.

Writer Dan Knauss has shared his analysis of the white paper at iThemes, The State of WordPress Security: Community and Collaboration Help Us All Win.

MasterWP Editorial Director Nyasha Green has also shared her key takeaways and an overview of the stats and successes noted in Patchstack's report. She tweets, "Side note: Patchstack really makes me want to get into ethical hacking. That's something I'm going to add to my list a little down the line."
Agency owner Phill Savage tweets, "Full credit to Patchstack who are proving to be a invaluable in their quest to discover unknown security vulnerabilities."

Kathy Zant, a former security analyst and marketer at Defiant (the company behind Wordfence) and currently Director of Product Marketing at StellarWP, tweets, "If you're really looking to understand the landscape of WordPress security, the team at @patchstackapp has an exceptional report here. I have always been impressed with the focus on collaboration and community; a great team and initiative."

WordPress 6.2 RC 1 Now Available After Bug Fixed in Beta 5

The first release candidate for WordPress 6.2 was released today, marking the hard string freeze and readiness for translation ahead of the official release on March 28, reports WP Tavern's Sarah Gooding.

As Gooding reports, a bug that was introduced in 6.2 Beta 1, which showed a white screen when using the browser's back button inside the Site Editor, was fixed earlier this week in the 6.2 Beta 5 release. "This is a major issue that would likely affect millions of users, and it underscores the fact that testing at this phase is still important," writes Gooding.

Also: "WordPress 6.2 field guide! 🤩" tweets WPGO Plugins founder David Gwyer, linking to the release team's in-depth WordPress 6.2 Field Guide.

Meanwhile, ICYMI, release squad members Anne McCarthy (Editor Triage Co-Lead) and Rich Tabor (Design Lead), also both Automattic-sponsored contributors, presented a live product demo of WordPress 6.2 last week. It's now available to watch at

WordPress Roadmap Updated with Major Releases Scheduled for 2023

The WordPress roadmap was updated last week with new details on the project's major releases for 2023. WordPress 6.3 is scheduled to be released in August, and WordPress 6.4 in November.

"ということは、今年もメジャーアプデートが3回ありそうですね。たのしみ!(That means there will be three major updates this year as well. Enjoy!)" tweets Olein Design's Koji Kuno.

In February, WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy teased the prospect of another all-women and nonbinary release squad for WordPress 6.4, but it's yet to be confirmed.

CloudFest 2023 Set to Kick Off with First-Ever WordPress Day

Is CloudFest the biggest WordPress event in 2023? "This year marks a well thought out plan to bring WordPress to more business masses than ever (at least at a conference level)," writes Robert Jacobi, the Director of WordPress at Cloudways, in Biggest WordPress Event? on his recently resurrected blog.

As Jacobi highlights, more than 6,000 people are expected to attend CloudFest at Europa-Park in Germany from March 20-23, and for the first time, the conference will kick off with a WordPress Day. Speakers include Jonathan Wold (CEO of Guildenberg), Joost de Valk (Head of WordPress Strategy at Newfold Digital), Oliver Sild (co-founder and CEO of Patchstack), Vito Peleg (co-founder and CEO at, and Matt Cromwell (CEO of GiveWP).

Jacobi will be moderating separate panels focusing on generosity and performance. The conference will also feature a fireside chat with WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy.
"This is a ton of WordPress content and shows a maturity in the ecosystem that most would not have foreseen even just a few years ago," writes Jacobi.

This year's conference will also feature the sixth edition of CloudFest Hackathon, with a majority of the project WordPress-related – MariaDB health checks in WordPress, Statify, docs_dangit, Wapuugotchi, an eco-mode to reduce outgoing network traffic for WordPress servers, WordPress runtime vulnerability analysis, and an in-browser WordPress development environment.

"Imagine you type in a couple of keywords and search results return all relevant WP-CLI examples and WordPress code reference examples 🥹 We plan to build it at @cloudfest #Hackathon 🤫 Join us 🍪," tweets XWP WordPress Engineer Milana Cap, the project lead for docs_dangit.

Could AI One Day Help Improve WordPress Documentation?

Artificial intelligence continues to be a hot topic in the WordPress ecosystem. Press This host Doc Pop brought on Aaron Edwards, CTO at WPMU DEV, to talk about how AI might someday help improve WordPress documentation. Edwards discusses his experience founding Infinite Uploads, Imajinn AI, and AI Image Generator, segueing into a conversation about ChatWP, his new AI-based WordPress docs chatbot.

Other WordPressers have been mulling this topic, too. Writer Nathaniel Fakes recently shared How AI Will Affect the WordPress Industry on the WPMU DEV blog, touching on site building, human error reduction, and, of course, job security.

"At this point the only #WordPress plugin that won't have some 'AI' in it by the end of the week will be Hello Dolly," tweets Awesome Motive Project Manager David Bisset.

Agency Owner Critical of WordPress Plugin Review Process in Open Letter

ThemeKraft CEO Sven Lehnert has published an open letter to the WordPress plugin review team detailing efficiency and communication issues he's experienced firsthand. According to the letter, Lehnert claims he was attempting to resolve a security issue with one of his plugins when he faced a highly disorganized review process and jarring language from the review team.

Eric Karkovack at the WPMinute highlights, "… it's also worth mentioning that the plugin review team consists of volunteers and has noted a backlog of work. This letter details one developer's view…"

But as Freemius founder and CEO Vova Feldman tweets, "Strong points from @themekraft about the plugin repo & the review process. As an ex-plugin developer, I can relate to the pain as I encountered similar incidents myself."

Business Spotlight: Infinite Uploads

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#WPCommunityFeels: Aurelio Volle

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This week, what's inspiring Aurelio Volle, founder of WP Umbrella, an all in one solution for managing multiple WordPress sites.
A podcast worth listening to: Podcasts are one of my preferred ways of learning. While I love French podcasts like Growthmakers and Generation Do It Yourself, my go-to English podcast is HBR IdeaCast. The insights shared by business leaders and experts in this podcast are truly valuable, but they also provide a sense of community and connection, helping me feel less isolated when making tough choices as a CEO.

A concept worth understanding: The Toltec Agreements, also known as the Four Agreements, offer powerful guidance on breaking free from limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors. These agreements can help you create a more authentic and fulfilling life. I try to apply them every day, and they've been the foundation of my personal growth.

A Twitter account worth following: While Twitter isn't my favorite social media platform, I find posts by @tibo_maker and @GuillaumeMbh to be particularly insightful. I also follow @jb_ma, one of the most inspiring people I know.

An article worth reading: Shameless promotion aside, I've written an article that explains how we created and scaled WP Umbrella. If you're interested in starting a SaaS business around WordPress, give it a read! Additionally, I highly recommend the book The One Thing by Gary Keller. This book offers practical advice on becoming more productive and happier in both your personal and professional life.

A habit worth forming: Let's face it, sitting all day in front of a computer with bad posture is a recipe for aches, pains, and a foggy mind. That's why I make it a priority to get moving every day. Whether it's a quick yoga session or walking at least 10,000 steps, my daily physical activity helps me stay in shape and clear-headed. Plus, it's a great excuse to take a break from work and get some fresh air (and some sun, depending on the weather).

What's New in WordPress 6.2?

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Join us for an exciting virtual event featuring WordPress expert Courtney Robertson as she talks about the latest and greatest features coming to WordPress 6.2.

During this informative and engaging session, Courtney will discuss the newest updates and enhancements that WordPress users can expect in the near future—from an updated Site Editor interface to custom CSS to the block pattern inserter.

Whether you are a seasoned WordPress user or just getting started, this event is perfect for anyone who wants to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in web development. You will come away with a greater understanding of how WordPress can help you create stunning, high-performance websites that will impress your clients and visitors alike.

So mark your calendars and join us for an inspiring conversation with Courtney on the future of WordPress!

This free virtual event is presented by GoDaddy Pro and will take place on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 1pm EST (new time!).

Learn more and register here: What's New in WordPress 6.2?
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In other WordPress news...

  • Thomas Maier, founder of Advanced Ads, announced this week that the plugin was acquired by ad revenue optimization service MonitizeMore. He says the acquisition will allow new features and options to be added to help users increase revenue, as well as to help the plugin itself improve its data transparency.
  • Post Status' Michelle Frechette has shared a collection of resources to help people in WordPress who've been affected by layoffs. Her guide includes a handful of job boards, resume-building resources, networking opportunities, and more.
  • WordPress' legacy default themes have been updated to bundle Google fonts locally in the theme folder, addressing privacy concerns highlighted by a German court case involving GDPR violations. The default themes from Twenty Twelve through to Twenty Seventeen have now been updated.
  • WP Engine Ireland is racking up awards! In the span of three days, WP Engine Ireland was recognized as a 2023 Best Workplace for Women and given a Stewie Award for Excellence in Service.
  • The first-ever WordCamp Asia has left a lasting impression on attendees. Hidekazu Ishikawa, who spoke at the event, launched a website detailing his experience. XWP shared a WordCamp Asia 2023 Roundup, as did the Freemius team and Human Made.
  • Developer Sé Reed and open source developer advocate Courtney Robertson joined the latest episode of WP Tavern's Jukebox podcast to chat about how the WP Community Collective (WPCC) is uplifting WordPress contributors. They discussed the WPCC's upcoming fellowships, which will ideally unlock contribution opportunities for people who otherwise wouldn't be able to access them.
  • Post Status Draft host Cory Miller brought on WP Engine's Brian Gardner to discuss how WordPress might expand into the future. After touching on his experience founding Studio Press, Gardner chatted about workflow education, site scaling, and competition versus cooperation.
  • Developer Ben Word has published a rebuttal in response to web designer Chris Coyier's recent claim that 'PHP themes are dead.' Word makes a strong case for adapting to the block editor, saying modern PHP developers will have a harder time developing FSE themes over building hybrid themes that combines PHP with the block editor.
  • For WordPress' 20th birthday, contributor Julia Golomb has curated a special playlist with 46 tracks from the jazz artists selected to represent WordPress releases. You can listen to the playlist now on Spotify and Apple Music.
  • The Wordpress Themes team has proposed a Community Themes initiative that would "bring together a squad of people to build block themes all year around the same way the default themes are built." The idea is an extension of the launch of Twenty Twenty-Three, which shipped 10 additional contributor-made style variations with the theme itself.
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