Issue #185

Happy Friday! It's September 1 and this week we're covering's new 100-year plan, post-WordCamp US news, WordPress LMS, and more.

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This week in WordPress

1. launches unprecedented 100-Year Plan

We kick things off today with the news that is now selling a 100-year plan for a one-time payment of $38,000.

As Sarah Gooding at WP Tavern reports, the plan includes managed WordPress hosting (whatever that looks like in 100 years), multiple backups across geographically distributed data centers, submission to the Internet Archive if the site is public, 24/7 dedicated support, and a domain that doesn't need to be renewed by the customer for a century.

Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg says the plan was inspired by The Long Now Foundation and The Internet Archive.

TechCrunch reporter Ivan Mehta says tech companies such as IBM, AT&T and Siemens have lasted for more than 100 years, but their offerings have changed drastically over time.

Entrepreneur Arvid Kahl posts, "Do you think charging for yearly subscriptions is asking a lot? @wordpressdotcom: โ€˜hold my beer' and introduces a 100-year plan. It includes redundancy, backups, archival, and multigenerational ownership. Pretty amazing experiment."

Ken Experiences GmbH CEO Michael Audfeiter did the math, posting, "$38,000, that's $31.67/month for 100 years. That seems like a fair price, considering all the version upgrades that need to be applied and tested until then. ๐Ÿ˜›"

Entrepreneur Daniel Tenner adds, "I'll buy it if it includes post-AI-apocalypse insurance. If the robots kill us all at least I want them to have to keep my blog around."

2. WordCamp US 2023 wraps up with record attendance

It's been a relatively quiet news week since WordCamp US 2023 wrapped last Saturday โ€” with folks recovering this week from exhaustion, COVID-19, or both.

Nearly 2,000 attendees gathered for two days of keynotes, sessions, and community-building conversations at National Harbor for the largest attended WordCamp US ever.

Saturday's sessions concluded with back-to-back keynotes by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg and Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy. WP Tavern's Sarah Gooding has more: WordPress Leaders Discuss Project's Future at WordCamp US 2023.

Here's a post-WordCamp US round-up:
We'll give the final word to Elementor's Miriam Schwab: "โ€ฆ. I'm always a bit sad when we have to say goodbye, but it's comforting knowing other WordCamps are ahead. I loved every minute. Thank you to everyone involved for making it an awesome conference โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™"

3. WordPress LMS companies join forces for user-friendly solutions

During his keynote at WCUS, Matt Mullenweg announced a new WordPress LMS (Learning Management System) working group had met for the first time during the conference to discuss establishing industry standards to allows users to easily switch between solutions.

As WP Tavern's Sarah Gooding reports, the working group includes representatives from Tutor LMS, LearnDash, LifterLMS and Sensei. They are now working in a new #LMS channel on Slack set up by Mullenweg with the description, "Working group to allow LMS plugins for WordPress to use a common SQL data storage and make sure we integrate with industry standards for educational content."

The news sparked discussion on Post Status Slack, with some folks questioning why LMS companies would want to make it easy for a customer to switch to a competitor. As iThemes/SolidWP Developer Timothy Jacobs points out, "If you think you have the best product, you're removing a major barrier from customers switching to you."

Emilia Capital co-founder Joost de Valk adds, "If I owned an LMS plugin, I'd have a team building importers."
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In other news

WordPress project

> Gutenberg 16.5 was released last week with the biggest changes landing in the Command Palette. Users now have access to more block-related commands for block transforms and block actions (WP Tavern) | Birgit Pauli-Haack and Elma Studio co-founder Ellen Bauer discuss Gutenberg 16.4 and 16.5 on the latest episode of the Gutenberg Changelog podcast (Gutenberg Times)

> Performant Translations, a project by the WordPress Performance Team, is now available in the plugin repository. It incorporates some of the solutions proposed by the team in July to improve performance for the ~56% of sites that use translations (WP Tavern) | Pascal Birchler, a Developer Relations Engineer at Google and a member of the Performance team posted, "Installing this plugin instantly improves the speed of your website." He says it's hoped the plugin will be eventually merged into WordPress core (Twitter)

> Matt Medeiros picks apart the upcoming Twenty Twenty-Four theme, even digging into the Figma design files. The highly anticipated multi-purpose theme is being designed for use on any type of website (WP Tavern)

> Automattic-sponsored contributor Justin Tadlock's August update on the WordPress Developer Blog covers Phase 3: Collaboration updates (including the block library, admin design, and real-time collaboration architecture), extendable media inserter, and vertical text orientation support, as well as updates for plugins, tools, and themes (WordPress Developer Blog)

> Dennis Snell, a sponsored Software Design Engineer at Automattic, has published a very detailed progress Report on the HTML API explaining why and how it came to be and what the future will hold (Make WordPress Core)

WordPress Community

> Discussion notes are filtering through to following last week's Community Summit in National Harbor. Among them are notes on how to make WordPress a household name, refreshing the contributor pipeline, DEIB, bolstering "behind the scenes" contributions, PHP version support, and aligning WordPress enterprise with the WordPress community (WordPress Community Summit) | On episode 167 of WPpodcast, host Javier Casares summarises the Community Summit sessions that have available notes (WPpodcast)

> Michelle Frechette had over 100 photos taken with folks at WordCamp US 2023, raising $5,500 to send an underrepresented organizer to WordCamp US, and underrepresented speakers to WordCamp Nairobi, WordCamp Finland and WordCamp Rochester. A total of $1,250 has also been donated to Big Orange Heart (Post Status)

Business, enterprise & acquisitions

> Will there ever be a market for commercial block themes? Eric Karkovack, Editor at The WP Minute, interviewed Brian Gardner, an OG premium WordPress themes pioneer and creator of the Frost theme and Powder Studio, to get his take on why commercial block themes haven't taken off yet (The WP Minute)

> Enterprise agency Big Byte shared a talk from BigWP earlier this year featuring Luke Sikkema, Newsroom Product Editor at The Times, speaking about how and why Times Media moved away from using a proprietary CMS and is embracing headless WordPress (Big Bite)

Products & platforms

> On the 20th episode of Launching a WordPress Product in Public, Post Status CEO Cory Miller and full-stack web developer Corey Maass demonstrate and discuss the features of their OMG IMG plugin (Post Status)

Conferences & events

> Human Made will be hosting AI: The Next Chapter, the second installment of its AI for WordPress event series, on September 14. Confirmed speakers so far include Dr. Eleanor Drage, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and co-host of The Good Robot podcast, Pootlepress founder Jamie Marsland, Human Made fo-founder Joe Hoyle, and WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg. Registration is free (Human Made)

> Post Status will host the second annual WP Career Summit on October 20. Aimed at job seekers and hiring managers, the virtual event is the only one of its kind focused on careers for WordPress. Registration is free (WP Career Summit)


> Patchstack's Darius Sveikauskas has warned that a "zombie" plugin pandemic caused by unreachable developers has contributed to an increase in vulnerabilities that are disclosed but not immediately patched in the plugin repository. Sveikauskas says since January, 70% of the vulnerable plugins the security company has disclosed to the WordPress Plugin Review Team have been removed from the repository because they had been abandoned (Patchstack)

> Patchstack is urging Forminator users to update to the latest version after disclosing an unauthenticated arbitrary file upload vulnerability in the forms plugin. The developer, WPMU DEV, was quick to act, releasing patches for both the premium and free versions of the plugin the same day (Patchstack)

#WPCommunityFeels: Mike Demo

A photo of Mike Demo holding up a drawing of Pac Mac drinking what looks like a cocktail.
This week, whatโ€™s inspiring Mike "Demo" Demopoulos, Head of Partners at Codeable. Mike put together the Layoff Kit.
A podcast worth listening to: Creating Disney Magic by Lee Cockerell. Lee has significantly impacted my life and career, and his knowledge is worthwhile for everyone in any field.

A concept worth understanding: Growth Driven Design, take your clients out of the new site every few years cycle and earn more money. My friend Luke Summerfield wrote this content and it helped me in agency life.

A Twitter account worth following: WomenHack (@womenhack) holds inclusive developer hire events around the world. Also check out their other account, HackerX (@HackerX)

An article worth reading: 6 LGBTQ+ Figures Who Shaped Tech's History. OUT in Tech, in general, is a great resource, but this post has some people you may not have known about.

A habit worth forming: Collaborating with others. Web development is often a team effort, so it's important to be able to work well with others. This includes communication, sharing ideas, and being open to feedback.


๐Ÿ—๏ธ YouTuber Jamie Marsland rebuilt TechCrunch in just 30 minutes with Gutenberg.

๐Ÿ”ฎ Mike Demo shares what he thinks will be the big trends in WordPress in 2024.

๐Ÿš€ Nine WordPress themes from 2007 that still work.

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