Issue #27
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This week in WordPress

Technology is at its best when it brings people together

"The main feedback we got at the time was that the blogging software market was saturated and there wasn't room or need for anything new," writes WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg in his post Celebrate Seventeen, celebrating 17 years of the world's most popular website platform.

"We have relentlessly iterated across 38 major releases since then, and here we are," Matt notes, adding: "If you'd like to celebrate with me, put on some jazz, eat some BBQ, light a candle for the contributors who have passed on, help a friend or stranger less technical than you build a home online, and remember that technology is at its best when it brings people together."
In Happy 17th, WordPress, Justin Tadlock at WP Tavern likens WordPress's birthday to that of a rebellious teenager, adding: "By its next birthday, we should expect to see a much different WordPress. It will have grown from a simple blogging platform to nearly a full site builder."
WordPress development agency DevriX tweets, "Happy Birthday, @WordPress πŸ’š It's been 17 years, and we would like to thank everybody who helped making WordPress a global leader β€” from Core Contributors to enthusiasts, and of course, all the people who put their trust into the platform πŸŽ‰ It's great to be part of this community."

"WordPress is 17 today and I am here to remind you that I am only 10 years older than WordPress and you are an old," tweets Christie Chirinos, product lead for managed WooCommerce at Nexcess by LiquidWeb, while Michelle Frechette, Head of Customer Success at GiveWP tweets: "I love the #WordPress community. It's not just a software. It's not just a career. It's friends. It's family."


While there was a lot of love for WordPress this week, Stack Overflow was quick to burst the birthday bubble. The community-powered Q&A site released the results of its 2020 Developer survey, which found 67% of developers dread using WordPress.

Stack Overflow's annual developer survey is the largest survey of people who code around the world. This year 65,000 people took part.

Virtual conference fatigue?

WordCamp Europe. WordCamp US. JavaScript for WordPress. WPCampus 2020. There are lots of virtual events coming up. But as Covid-19 forces in-person events online, WP Tavern's Sarah Gooding asks, "How common is this sentiment? Anyone experiencing virtual conference fatigue?" Sarah's tweet was in response to a now-deleted tweet, which we can only assume was a gripe about online events.

"It's not so much fatigue as just... nope. I haven't participated in any of the virtual conferences simply because it doesn't appeal to me in any way. There's nothing that replaces in-person events. Webinars have their place in general, but not as an in-person event replacement," replies Impress partner and COO Matt Cromwell.

While Amplify Plugins founder Scott DeLuzio tweets, "I don't go to the conferences for the talks for the most part. I go to network and meet people I wouldn't otherwise get to meet. The online conferences just don't seem to replicate the in person experience very well to me (hallway track, after parties, handshakes, etc.)."

Have you been attending virtual events? If yes, why? And if no, why not? Let us know, tweet @therespositorywp.
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Meanwhile, Meet Okaeri Wapuu, the mascot for WCEU 2020 Online. "Okaeri" is the informal way of welcoming people into your home in Japan.

According to the organizing committee, Okaeri Wapuu represents "the essence of the event: of connecting, sharing and learning with the WordPress community from the comfort of our homes."

Automattic + Matrix

Automattic is hiring a Matrix.org/WordPress Integrations Engineer after investing $4.6 million in Matrix and its parent company New Vector, reports Brian Krogsgard from Post Status in his recent newsletter. Matrix is an open, decentralized communications standard that New Vector uses for its chat app, Riot, a Slack rival.

In the job ad, Automattic describes why WordPress and Matrix make a good fit: "One thing WordPress and Matrix.org have in common is a strong, abiding belief in the open web, a rare thing in a world that is dangerously moving towards walled gardens. Instead, both projects give users the freedom to build a website or to communicate on their own terms."

On the Matrix blog, technical co-founder Matthew Hodgson describes the potential for the investment in Welcoming Automattic to Matrix!: "This is huge news, not least because WordPress literally runs over 36% of the websites on today's web β€” and the potential of bringing Matrix to all those users is incredible. Imagine if every WP site automatically came with its own Matrix room or community? Imagine if all content in WP automatically was published into Matrix as well as the Web? … Imagine there was an excellent Matrix client available as a WordPress plugin for embedding realtime chat into your site?"

TechCrunch journalist Natasha Lomas explores the partership in-depth in Automattic pumps $4.6M into New Vector to help grow Matrix, an open, decentralized comms ecosystem. As Post Status' Brian Krogsgard highlights from the article, Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg was an early supporter of Matrix via Patreon in 2017.

Meanwhile, Matt Mullenweg talks to TechCrunch's Connie Loizos about How Automattic pays its remote employees across different geographies. He reveals that among the biggest obstacles to keeping pay in sync is paying employees' compensation in their local currency, which "can have wide swings, which creates imbalances."

Block-based cart and checkout

"I spent last year working as a designer @WooCommerce β€” yesterday I published the release post on one of the projects I worked on: https://woocommerce.wordpress.com/2020/05/27/available-for-testing-a-block-based-woocommerce-cart-and-checkout/ If you use WooCommerce and want to test our new cart and checkout, have a look," tweets Gary Murray, product and focus lead for WooCommerce at Automattic.

Following up in WooCommerce Is Testing a Block-based Cart and Checkout Sarah Gooding writes for WP Tavern that this major architectural change has also been redesigned to improve conversion rates for stores.

"This is a breakthrough in cart and checkout design management. Congratulations!" tweets Venezuelan WordPress community organizer Yordan Soares.

In other news, WooCommerce recently launched its WooCommerce Payment feature, a native solution powered by Stripe. With it, you can control payments directly in the WordPress backend. According to Post Status's Brian Krogsgard, "This is a big advance for WooCommerce, even if it isn't something you quickly notice, store owners will. I am excited to see what new store adoption looks like."
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One of the lucky ones

When weeks-long public transport strikes disrupted life in France in December, Weglot employees were forced to work from home. It was a taste of what was to come in March when Covid-19 gave the company no choice but to close its Parisian headquarters indefinitely.
Co-founder and CTO RΓ©my Berda says as an online company that deals with many types of websites in regions all over the world, Weglot has been one of the lucky ones. It hasn't been impacted by the pandemic like many physical businesses have been. In fact, the past six months have been Weglot's best in terms of growth β€” RΓ©my details how the translation company has grown from €240,000 to €330,000 monthly while working in uncertain times.

He shares how the company's employees have worked from home, the release of a new major version of Weglot, and taking part in a "new era of marketing events."
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