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Issue #208
Happy Friday! It's April 19 and we're covering WP Includes' gender equality in businesses survey, WordCamp Europe 2024's diverse speaker line-up, the 2024 WordPress Professionals Survey, and much more.

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Three big headlines

1. WP Includes launches gender equality survey

WP Includes has launched the first survey aimed at understanding the experiences of women and gender-diverse people who work at WordPress companies.

The Gender Equality in WordPress Businesses Survey will gain critical insights into the gender composition of leadership teams, the experiences of women and gender-diverse leaders and employees, and the challenges and barriers to their career success, according to co-founder Siobhan McKeown.

To participate in the survey, visit Gender Equality in WordPress Businesses Survey.

"Our hypothesis is that WordPress business leadership is generally male dominated. This is our experience of working within the ecosystem," says Siobhan, who's also COO at enterprise agency Human Made. "We want to both validate this and learn more about the experience of women and gender-diverse individuals who are working in WordPress businesses, especially when it comes to support at work and opportunities for progression."

The survey results will inform the upcoming Gender Equality in WordPress Businesses 2024 report, set to be published later this year. The report will provide a snapshot of the current gender equality landscape in the WordPress business community and provide recommendations to help companies both improve workforce participation amongst women and gender-diverse people and diversify their leadership teams.

"This initiative not only aims to create a better working experience for women but also contributes to a healthier, more inclusive WordPress ecosystem," says Siobhan. "We invite everyone, regardless of gender, to join us in this important endeavor."

The survey has been backed by some heavy-hitters in the WordPress space โ€“ Crowd Favorite, Human Made and XWP are funding the survey and the resulting report, which will be written by Rae Morey (Editor: me!).

2. WordCamp Europe 2024 full speaker line-up embraces diversity

WordCamp Europe 2024 organizers have dropped the full schedule and speaker line-up ahead of this year's June 7-9 event in Torino, Italy, ditching the usual drip-feeding of speaker announcements that has sparked criticism in previous years. And so far, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with one diversity advocate calling it "one hell of a schedule."

Twenty-six of the 51 speakers are women, with diverse topics covering everything from how Uganda's teachers are nurturing a young WordPress community to practical techniques for sustainable web development, WordPress as an empowerment tool for young activists, and digital and linguistic accessibility techniques and strategies for deaf people.

There are loads of technical talks on offer, too, covering the Interactivity API, Block API, HTML, API, WordPress-CLI, and testing and automation.

"This is one hell of a schedule part II! I'm thrilled to see so many women on stage! I can't remember a #WCEU with such diversity in stage. And shout out to all the Italian ladies who will be on stage! Avanti sorelle!" posted XWP Director of Engineering Learning and Growth Francesca Marano.

Francesca, together with Human Made COO Siobhan McKeown, will be giving a talk on getting more women into leadership at WordPress businesses. Francesca and Siobhan, co-founded WP Includes and will share early insights from their Gender Equality in WordPress Businesses Survey.

According to WCEU content team lead Piermario Orecchioni, "We worked hard to create a schedule with a wide variety of topics that can suit a broad range of attendees at all levels and did our best to have a varied pool of speakers representing the whole WordPress community."

Other changes this year include multiple keynote talks from big names within the WordPress community, including Yoast founder Joost de Valk and long-time maintainer Juliette Reinders Folmer. The pair will deliver a joint keynote, "Sustainable open source is the future."

Piermario says there's also a reduced number of sessions to create more time for valuable networking and "hall tracks" โ€“ talks with sponsors, contributors and the wider community.

Tickets are still on sale, with 397 still available at the time this email was sent to inboxes.

The Repository is a proud media partner of WordCamp Europe 2024.

3. WordPress Professionals Survey reveals low pricing trends

Kyle Van Deusen from The Admin Bar got folks thinking hard about how much they charge their clients with the release of the 2024 WordPress Professionals Survey this week.

A total of 1,144 freelancers and agency owners with an average of 11 years of experience took part in the survey, sharing information about how much they charge, how many years they've been in business, how much they pay themselves, and how they run their businesses.

The results are eye-opening, revealing:
  • 72% of people charge less than $5,000 (on average) for a website.
  • 68% of businesses surveyed had a gross revenue of less than $100,000 USD in 2023.
  • Less than 10% of freelancers/agency owners make $100,000 or more per year.
  • Despite 26% claiming to struggle with not having enough work, only 16% of freelancers & agency owners are doing any outbound marketing.
  • 53% of the people we surveyed said they are now using Artificial Intelligence for work they used to pay a human to do.
  • 7% of agency owners and freelancers don't expect to be in business in the next five years.
"I think the thing that really got me is the average of 11 years of experience," says Web Designer Pro founder Josh Hall, who joined a live stream to discuss the survey results with Kyle, GeekPack founder Julia Taylor and Elementor Head of WordPress Relations Miriam Schwab.

"So if there is on average a decade of web design experience and you're still averaging less than $5000, it's very unlikely that you're on six figures," Josh says. "This is a crying shame for a decade of experience. I want to see this triple on average."
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In other news

WordPress project

> The Pattern Directory has been given a refreshed design and is now powered by blocks. Automattic-sponsored design contributor Nick Diego says the directory's new theme uses the Interactivity API for many user interactions, such as favoriting a pattern, and performance is improved. The design update is part of a broader effort to establish a consistent design language across WordPress.org (Make WordPress.org)

> Data liberation is the focus of this week's WP Briefing episode featuring Jordan Gillman, an Automattic-sponsored contributor who's been tasked with shepherding the project through 2024. In the podcast's longest episode yet, he talks about his recent efforts at community consultation and how data liberation will develop alongside work on Gutenberg and WordPress Playground (WP Briefing)

> WordPress is creating a faster web, according to WordPress Performance Team co-rep Felix Arntz. In a rare performance update at WordPress.org News, the Google-sponsored core committer says that compared to a year ago, 8% more WordPress sites deliver good load time performance at scaleโ€”significantly better than the overall web's 5.5% load time improvement. "The web is getting more performant, and WordPress is leading the way," he writes (WordPress.org News)

> WordPress Accessibility Team contributors are pushing back against a plan to remove the opt-out option for the non-block editor in the WordPress Support Forums. Automattic-sponsored core contributor Dion Hulse proposed the change this week, arguing that the vast majority of forum posts (96.06%) are created using the block editor. But accessibility consultant Joe Dolson says the low usage data is disingenuous given that the availability of the simpler editor has not been widely advertised and is difficult to enable (Trac)

> On the WordPress Developer Blog, Automattic-sponsored contributor Justin Tadlock covers interactive grid layouts, color and typography presets in global styles and root support for background images. He also calls for feedback on major changes that are coming to meta boxes (WordPress Developer Blog)

> ICYMI, word engineer Ronny Shani has published a comprehensive introduction to WordPress Playground on the WordPress Developer Blog and a Blueprints 101 crash course at GitHub. Folks might recall that Ronny recently completed a trial at WP Tavern (WordPress Developer Blog | GitHub)

> The WordPress Performance Team has published a comprehensive guide for developers who want to carry out WordPress performance research based on how users of real production sites experience performance. The guide was produced in collaboration with BigQuery, HTTP Archive and CrUX (Make WordPress Core)

WordPress community

> Pascal Birchler has developed a WordPressers on GitHub browser extension that displays WordPress.org profiles for users on GitHub โ€” even those who use different usernames on the two platforms. The Google-sponsored core committer says the extension came in handy when he was the core tech lead for WordPress 6.5 and was reviewing lots of pull requests (Pascal Birchler)

> SEO consultant Jono Alderson was named "Digital superstar" at last week's inaugural inOrbit Awards. On X/Twitter, he said he was "Humbled, blessed, confused, delighted" to win the award. Jono was previously Head of SEO at Yoast until August 2023, when he left to work as an independent consultant (X/Twitter)

> The WordPress Asia 2024 organizing team has uploaded thousands of official photos from the event to Flickr. WordCamp Asia was held from March 7-9 in Taipei, Taiwan (Flickr)

> Matt Medeiros challenged Webflow consultant Sam Harrison to a WordPress vs Webflow debate and says WordPress is by far the better platform. "I'll admit, the odds were stacked against Sam (and Webflow) seeing that he was on my podcast, but WordPress comes out the winner in most areas, so long as you're siding with the advantages of open source. The ecosystem, the community, the ability to customize the platform โ€” it's a hard sell to get me to use Webflow," says Matt (The WP Minute)

Business, enterprise & acquisitions

> The new WordPress VIP-powered NASA.gov website is among the dozens of sites shortlisted in this year's 28th Annual Webby Awards. Other nominated sites include Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Rollingstone (all WordPress.com VIP sites) and Harvard Law Review and CIC (developed by 10up and Fueled). 10up and Fueled, who joined forces in September 2023, have also been shortlisted in the "Apps & Software" category for their work with DIME Beauty Co and immi. The annual Webby Awards honor excellence on the Internet (Webby Awards | 10up) | Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg shared a fun fact from the recent eclipse: WordPress VIP handled more than 1 billion requests for NASA.gov during a 4.5-hour span, with the large majority of those served in under 400ms (X/Twitter)

> Automattic has launched an affiliate program. Announcing the program on LinkedIn, Stacey L. Carlson, the company's Director of Global Affiliate Marketing, said the program included WordPress.com hosting, domain registrations, Sensei, Woo Marketplace featuring over 1000 WordPress plugins, and the full suite of Jetpack products like VaultPress Backup and Akismet (LinkedIn | Automattic)

> Tammie Lister has launched Press Navigator, an innovative new service aimed at supporting WordPress businesses in navigating how they work with WordPress. The self-described fractional product lead's offering includes everything from product-market fit research and analysis to block themes and site editing workshops and creating a design system (Press Navigator)

> GoDaddy has joined Upwork's new Partner program to help increase work opportunities for GoDaddy-vetted web designers and developers. According to Upwork, website design and development as well as graphic design are among the most in-demand services on its work marketplace (Upwork)

> Elementor now powers over 16.3 million websites, or 10.3% of the internet, according to data shared during the company's quarterly roadmap event, hosted on YouTube this week. The slick event covered updates to Elementor's design tools and performance, new AI features, and new hosting plans and bundles (Elementor)

Plugins, products & themes

> Advanced Custom Fields is this year's 2024 Plugin Madness Champion. According to Torque's editorial team, ACF "outmaneuvered other formidable competitors" including TablePress, Wordfence and previous champion Smush, "underscoring ACF's enduring relevance and widespread popularity within the WordPress community." The back-to-back win is ACF's third since Plugin Madness started in 2016 (Torque)

> Omnisend has surpassed 30,000 active installs in the WordPress.org plugin repository, a stat plugin readme glam-mer (Editor: fixer-upper?) Matt Cromwell says is "no surprise" in his latest Shiny New Plugins update. "A giant corp that launched a free plugin that integrates your website with their services and they already have over 100K customers?" he writes, adding, "they were set for success before they hit Publish." (Matt Cromwell)

> WordPress.com's new local development environment, Studio, is "a real shot across the bow of [WP Engine-owned] Local,โ€master says CSS-Tricks founder Chris Coyier, who shared his take on the platform's recent focus on deploying features aimed at developers. "It's bananas to me how WordPress has become as dominant as it has without any real solid answer or help on how to run it locally. This is the answer to that," he says (Chris Coyier)

Conferences, events & awards

> Page Builder Summit 7.0 will be held from May 20-24. This year's speaker line-up includes WPTuts owner Paul Charlton ("Rapid Website Development With Bricks Builder") and PootlePress owner Jamie Marsland ("What WordPress can learn from Wix"). Organizer Nathan Wrigley says the event isn't just about page building โ€” there will be talks on marketing, design, WordPress customization, full site editing blocks, business management and more. The event is also seeking sponsors (Page Builder Summit)

> WordPress community organizers in the UK are working to revive in-person events following the pandemic. The upcoming WordPress London Meetup on April 25 will feature guest speakers from Amnesty International and Indigo Tree, a local WordPress agency. Organizers are on the lookout for more guest speakers (Meetup)

> WordCamp Sydney 2024 has been announced for 2-3 November at the University of Technology, Sydney. The event is still in the early planning stages with speakers and a schedule yet to be announced (WordCamp Sydney)


Help diverse voices in WordPress be heard! Support Inclusion in Tech removes barriers for speakers at WordCamps. Donate and empower SiNC.

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๐Ÿ”๏ธ Jonathan Desrosiers on the challenges that come with contributing (WP Tavern Jukebox)
๐Ÿ’ธ Joost de Valk talks about raising funds in bootstrapping ecosystems (plugin.fm)
๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Courtney Robertson and Robert Jacobi launch "Open Talk on Open Source" (Do the Woo)
๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ Alexander Gilmanov onthe changing expectations around UX in WordPress (Do the Woo)
โ˜• Nathan Wrigley has a delightful chat with Michelle Frechette (WPCoffeeTalk)
๐Ÿ—๏ธ Anne McCarthy and Bud Kraus talk about all things WordPress 6.5 (Do the Woo)

๐Ÿค” Daniel Bachhuber asks: What if you could register custom post types and custom fields directly in the WordPress admin? (WordPress.com)
๐Ÿ’ผ Joost de Valk says he didn't feel like a founder until he left Yoast (Post Status)
๐Ÿ“ข Eric Karkovack explores marketing WordPress to the masses (The WP Minute)

๐ŸŒ๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ Jamie Marsland recreates the Masters Golf website (WordPress.com)
๐Ÿค— Corey Maass and Michelle Frechette discuss managing online communities (Post Status)

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