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Issue #94
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

This week in WordPress

WordCamp US 2021 is today!

Like many, I'm sitting here in a post-acquisition tsunami coma hoping some company somewhere doesn't acquire some other WordPress business before I hit send. So I'd better get right to it.

WordCamp US 2021 is today. And as the organizing team tweets, "Tickets are FREE and you can attend from anywhere you have internet." So if you haven't already got your ticket, it's not too late to register now.

The single-day virtual event will include sessions, workshops, networking events, sponsor booths, and musical interlude. There'll be two tracks: Columbia will focus on development and Yukon will feature less-technical topics.

At WPTavern, Sarah Gooding notes that, unlike pre-pandemic years, this year's event will not include WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg's annual State of the Word address. Instead, this year's event will conclude with a presentation from WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy.

While folks can't be at WordCamp US 2021 in person, Post Status' David Bisset and WP Mainline's Jeff Chandler aren't letting that tiny detail hold them back from enjoying the full experience.

The Repository is a proud media partner of WordCamp US 2021.

WooCommerce celebrates 10th birthday

WooCommerce, the world's most popular ecommerce solution, turned 10 this week. CEO Paul Maiorana marked the occasion with a trip down memory lane, sharing a brief history of the ecommerce plugin. Among the highlights: the team celebrating 500,000 downloads after just 16 months, hitting 5 million the night before WooConf in 2014, and Automattic's acquisition of the plugin in 2015. According to WordPress.org, WooCommerce has 5+ million active installations.

At WPTavern, Sarah Gooding notes that Maiorana glosses over the ecommerce plugin's "chequered original story," neglecting to mention the controversy surrounding the Jigoshop fork back in 2011. As Gravity Forms CEO and founder Carl Hancock tweets, "The birth of WooCommerce wasn't pretty. It was ugly and controversial." Developer Ryan Hellyer adds, "There was so much anger over that little event. The rest of us were just sitting there with popcorn watching from the sidelines."

Meanwhile, WooCommerce released a security patch last week to address a broken access control vulnerability. Sarah Gooding has more at WPTavern: WooCommerce 5.7.0 Patches Security Issue that Could Potentially Leak Analytics Reports.

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Awesome Motive, Syed Balkhi's marketing prowess, and controversy about data

Following last week's news that Awesome Motive has acquired all of Sandhills Development's products, Ellipsis Marketing founder Alex Denning takes a look Inside Awesome Motive's self-perpetuating marketing machine.

It's a fascinating read because, as Denning explains, CEO Syed Balkhi is extremely good at marketing and deploys his talents to "devastating effect across a suite of products." Denning explores how every company Awesome Motive adds to its portfolio is both an opportunity to grow that company and every other company in the network. He describes the acquisition as "an extremely important moment in WordPress."

Balkhi, who doesn't do many interviews, shares his perspective on the acquisition with Matt Medeiros in the latest episode of The Matt Report podcast. He addresses controversy about Awesome Motive's data reach, telling Medeiros, "Data is not our business and our customers are not our product. We sell software." He adds, "Lately I feel there is a double standard in the community. When you're saying you're rooting for independent companies, we are one of the only independent, bootstrapped companies at our scale."

In related news, Eric Karkovack at speckyboy explores the impact of acquisitions in Changing Hands: Should You Worry When a WordPress Plugin Has a New Owner?

Wapuu art project now available to mint as NFT

Web3 WP has opened the minting process for its Wapuu NFT Collection, reports Jeff Chandler at WP Mainline, who says The WP Mainline Wapuu Has Been Minted but Not by Me.

The generative art project features 2,222 unique Wapuus that can be minted as an NFT, collected, and traded by the WordPress community on the Ethereum blockchain.

Web3 WP co-founder Joshua Dailey tells The Repository, "We see this as the perfect on-ramp for people new to this technology because it's fun and combines existing concepts they already understand – art, collecting, trading, and Wapuus. It's the first truly digital swag."

Every Wapuu is one-of-a-kind and has traits that give them various levels of rarity with cryptographic provenance on the Ethereum blockchain. Dailey says owners lucky enough to mint a branded Wapuu will be given secret content, such as free or discounted access to their WordPress products.

Web3 WP launched in September and its main focus is projects exploring blockchain and what is possible with WordPress integration. "Hopefully the Wapuu project opens more curiosity to these fringe technologies and we can build some really practical use cases," says Dailey.

Is WordPress news media biase

Justin Ferriman, whose Twitter bio now reads "The guys who started @LearnDashLMS", has raised concerns this week about WordPress news media ownership, tweeting: "I still find it weird that the #WordPress community is pretty chill that its most popular news publication is owned by the corporate entity with the greatest financial interest in WP. Can't hate on wanting to persuade the dominant narrative though, there's a lot at stake."

Of course, Ferriman is referring to WPTavern, which is owned by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg's angel investment and research company Audrey Capital.

WPTavern Editor Sarah Gooding was quick to reply: "After 8 yrs @wptavern I continue to have no agenda other than to write what is newsworthy. I want to thank all of you who have been willing to speak to the press, both on and off record, as watchful guardians of your communities. It's your stories I am privileged to tell.❤️"

While podcaster Matt Medeiros, who runs The Matt Report and The WP Minute, tweets that "While I think it's important to have the watchful eye, I trust @pollyplummer to get it right," Equal Made Director of Tech/Design Rachel Cherry makes a valid point: "I hope folks understand that the concerns @JustinFerriman is expressing and the fact that @pollyplummer is great at her job are two things that can be true and valid at the same time."

Jeff Chandler, who originally started WPTavern and now runs WP Mainline, adds "Matt is pretty hands off and only makes suggestions to stories and stuff."

Editor: For the record, The Repository is kindly sponsored by Elementor and GoDaddy Pro. They are not involved in the creation of the newsletter and I would 100% write about them, good or bad, if they were involved in anything newsworthy (and I have!). That's what good, ethical journalism is all about.


Photo of Dee Teal.
Dee Teal is Senior Project Manager and PM Discipline Lead at Human Made, makers of Altis DXP.
A podcast worth listening to:
We Can Do Hard Things by Glennon Doyle. The tagline is "Life is hard. Let's do it together." It's really refreshing to listen to authentic people like Glennon and her sister Amanda navigate life in all its messiness without a social media veneer.

A concept worth understanding:
That disappointment, disagreement, and disharmony are generally rooted in mismatched or misaligned expectation. Addressing and moving on requires self-examination of your expectations, empathy for those who haven't met them, and adjusting them accordingly.

A Twitter account worth following:
@olgatuleninova, because a daily timeline cleanse with beautiful art is an excellent antidote to doom scrolling.

An article worth reading:
You are Not Lazy or Undisciplined. You Have Internal Resistance is the first in a series of really interesting reads that are helpful for whenever you're feeling stuck between what you know you should do and the self-loathing that comes from never actually doing it.

A habit worth forming:
Using Bullet Journal techniques to manage your to-do list. I wrote about it here, and it's served me well.

Getting WooCommerce ready for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Just about everyone on WooCommerce knows Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the biggest retail sales events of the year. We still see headlines showing customers lined up outside of brick-and-mortar retail outlets hoping for a chance to get inside to scoop up the best deals before they're all sold out.

Cyber Monday was intended to extend the frenzied buying to online retailers on the Monday following Black Friday.

These days it is becoming more common for online retailers to simply have a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale that extends all weekend.

The key takeaway here being customers are expecting a deal during that time.

Whether we're talking about a brick-and-mortar operation or online-only, you'll want to have your website or your client's website ready to cash in on potential extra sales.

Need to get your website ready for holiday shopping? The Holiday Shopping Readiness series is happening throughout October:
  • Ecommerce Store Essentials
  • Payments and Transactional Emails in WooCommerce
  • Ready Your Sites for Holiday Security
  • Take Advantage of Email Marketing Season
  • Ready Your Sites for Holiday Traffic with Google Analytics
Here are a few tips: Getting WooCommerce ready for Black Friday & Cyber Monday.

In other WordPress news...

  • "Hey folks, today we're proud to release the next thing in the HeroPress Network. WPPodcasts allows you to do topical searches across #WordPress podcasts and find the episodes you need to hear. Please spread the word!" And with that tweet, HeroPress launched WPPodcasts, the latest addition to its expanding network. "This is an incredible win, Topher. Mad props to you and your team. 🎉🎉🎉" tweets DevRel Open-Source Engineer Maedah Batool. Saturday Drive Senior Content Marketing and SEO Specialist Kathy Zant adds, "…all of the #WordPress podcasts in one place. Something you never thought you needed, but once you find it you're using it all the time." At WP Mainline, Jeff Chandler has more: HeroPress Launches WP Podcasts on International Podcast Day.
  • Gutenberg 11.6 Improves the Global Styles UI, Adds Child Theme Support is the headline at WPTavern following this week's release. Not enough to impress resident Gutenberg writer Justin Tadlock who writes, "For the most part, the release felt like a slew of routine enhancements that have been in the pipeline for those of us closely following the plugin's development. Almost boring." In other Gutenberg-related news, Automattic-sponsored designer Kelly Hoffman shares upcoming Gallery Block improvements, and UXL Themes owner Andrew Starr has launched WP Block Patterns, a new project that allows users to preview any WordPress.org-hosted block themes and patterns together.
  • The Hub by GoDaddy Pro was created to streamline your workflow and save time on tasks that typically eat up a workday. But we aren't done yet. See the latest Hub updates and changelog here, and then explore the Hub by GoDaddy Pro – it's free! Sponsored link
  • What keeps people working in WordPress? According to software engineer Chris Wiegman, people are either in WordPress for the community or the money. He explains The Many Communities of WordPress and how together they make up the global WordPress community. "@andmiddleton and myself had many conversations about this. It's a term we tend to throw around, yet everyone has a different perspective when talking about the ‘community'," tweets Do the Woo's Bob Dunn.
  • Yoast-sponsored core contributor and WordPress Themes Team rep Ari Stathopoulos has published a proposal for implementing a web fonts API in WordPress core. WPTavern's Justin Tadlock reports the goal is to standardize how theme authors register and enqueue font styles, and may also serve as the foundation of other features down the road.
  • Ben Townsend has launched WPHunts, an alternative to Product Hunt that's just for WordPress products, themes and plugins. Townsend tells Jeff Chandler at WP Mainline he launched WPHunt to help independent developers get exposure and compete with bigger, more established WordPress products.
  • Andrea Middleton, who wraps up 10 years at Automattic as a community organizer this month, has shared her thoughts on advancing the Five for the Future program in her final post at WordPress.org. She addresses spam or dormant pledges and the disconnect between contributor teams and pledged contributors.
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

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