Issue #15
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This week in WordPress

"It's a good day for Israeli WordPress startups ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ˜Ž"

"Iโ€™m thrilled to announce that Elementor has closed a $15M round of funding from @lightspeedvp. This is a special day for Elementor, our community and myself personally." - Yoni Luksenberg, Co-Founder & CEO of Elementor.
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The popular page builder, launched in 2016, has gone from strength to strength over the past few years amassing over 4 million installs of their free version. And on Tuesday, Post Status announced that Elementor has raised a $15m Series A, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Brian Krogsgard comments "Elementor has an opportunity to do a lot of interesting stuff with these funds โ€” inside the WordPress experience, and I suspect independent of WordPress as well." We'll be keeping our eyes peeled ๐Ÿ‘€

And Elementor aren't the only ones with reason to celebrate. Headless WordPress hosting platform, Strattic, has raised a $6.5million seed round led by SignalFire and TenOneTen Ventures, with participation from Accel, Automattic, Seneca VC, Eric Ries and Village Global VC - as reported by TechCrunch.
When announcing the news, Strattic Founder & CEO, Miriam Schwab tweeted "And then this happened...sometimes I really have to pinch myself so I remember this is all for real!! Thank you to all the amazing investors, friends, advisors, supporters, and our incredible team for making Strattic what it is today!!" Fellow funding recipients Elementor responds "Better believe it's real! Congrats!" ... "It's a good day for Israeli WordPress Startups ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ˜Ž".

A new way to pay with WooCommerce

WooCommerce has just released the beta version of 'WooCommerce Payments', which will allow merchants to manage deposits, transactions, refunds, and disputes directly from the WordPress dashboard.

Access to the beta is currently by invitation only, and you can register your interest over on the official WooCommerce Payments page.

Understandably, with this being such a new release and access being limited to invitees, there currently aren't any reviews out yet! But BobWP has commented "I am holding my own thoughts and opinions as we move deeper into this and will revisit once itโ€™s out of beta and we can give it a fair evaluation. But initially, I feel this is a great move and option for WooCommerce."

Automattic's General Manager of WooCommerce, Paul Maiorana, will be joining BobWP on the Do the Woo Podcast in a couple of weeks to discuss the release in more detail.

"I hereby declare 2020 the year of virtual conferences."

Says GoDaddy's Field Marketing Manager, Adam W. Warner, over on Twitter. The conversation has been sparked following concerns over the COVD-19 outbreak, which caused WordCamp Asia to be cancelled.
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Russell Aaron responds "Technically we should just create a website called the hallway camp. charge a monthly membership and you can just go kick it with people on video. Also, patent pending."

It's an interesting consideration for WordPress event organisers and attendees. What should happen to our community events in exceptional circumstances like the COVD-19 virus? WordCamp Asia brought a portion of their schedule online in the form of a virtual conference last weekend - you can watch the recordings here.

Speaking of virtual conferences, Automattic has announced the first WPBlockTalk event, scheduled for April 2nd. It's described as "a live, virtual event with speakers whoโ€™ve been key to designing and developing the block editor ... learn [how] to make the most of the block editor โ€“ build more engaging layouts, create your own custom blocks, and understand the inspiration and code driving the whole project."

Three speakers have been confirmed so far - Matรญas Ventura, Mel Choyce-Dwan and Rich Tabor, with more to be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Countdown to WordCamp Europe

The countdown to what will (hopefully) be a less virtual event, WordCamp Europe, is on. There are less than 100 days to go, and another 250 tickets were released early this week.
"Like all WordCamps, #WCEU can only happen with the help of community volunteers ๐Ÿค" tweets the official WCEU account. If you're thinking of applying to volunteer, today is your last chance to do so! And if you need any more convincing to attend, we recommend giving Pedro Fonseca a follow on Twitter. Pedro has been sharing his recommedations on what to eat, drink, and visit whilst in Porto ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น
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In other news...

  • โ€“ How do you maximize the ROI of new integrations with 3rd party WordPress products? Should you recommend or bundle other products? Jump into Freemius' latest post to find out! - Sponsored link
  • โ€“ Should MAGA hats be allowed at WordCamps? Aaron Jorbin sparked an interesting discussion on 'Symbols of Hate at WordCamps' on his blog, which was picked up and continued by Justin Tadlock in his post 'On MAGA hats and WordCamps' for WP Tavern.
  • โ€“ Michelle Frechette has built a nifty WP Careers Page which links to businesses hiring in the WordPress space.
  • โ€“ Ever wondered how to make your WooCommerce transactional emails less... purple, and more on brand? Check out MailPoet's guide to customizing your WooCommerce email templates. - Sponsored link
  • โ€“ The deadline to apply for WordCamp Europe 2021 to be held in your city is tomorrow. If you're interested in putting an application in, Jenny Wong has shared the proposal she helped work on to bring it to Manchester, UK last year.
  • โ€“ WordPress 5.4 Beta 3 is now available! David Baumwald has shared details of the release on WordPress.org, citing highlights as being a round-up of Gutenberg fixes and site health score to be displayed on the dashboard.
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