Issue #59
grey 2
yellow 1@2x
orange 2@2x

This week in WordPress

Plugin Review Team members subjected to death threats

We'll kick off this week with the shocking news that reviewers on the Plugin Review Team have "found themselves targeted in rather terrifying ways," including doxxing, threats (against themselves, their families, and their jobs), and even death threats. Long-time core contributor and Dreamhost WordPress developer Mika Epstein explains in Why the Plugin Emails are ‘Anonymous'.

For Timi Wahalahti, a partner at Dude, "It's so disheartening that in the community that is mostly warm, welcoming and collaborative something like this can happen on regular basis. Our community should be better than this." "The WordPress plugin review team is a small group of dedicated folks who manage probably the largest repository of open source products out there. So next time you get some feedback from them you weren't expecting, put on your adult pants, be polite, and accept the outcome," adds Castos Development Lead Jonathan Bossenger.

Mika Epstein has been busy this week. In other plugin news, she published a reminder this week that Plugins Must Not Interfere with Updates. As WPTavern's Sarah Gooding explains further in Plugin Team Draws a Line: Plugins Must Not Change WordPress' Default Automatic Update Settings, the statement was prompted by plugins overstepping this boundary, which, up until recently, wasn't explicitly forbidden. The news comes after the All in One SEO plugin turned on automatic updates without explicitly notifying its users, impacting more than 2 million WordPress sites during the holidays.

Full site editing planned for Gutenberg by June

Meanwhile, WordPress core contributors are pushing ahead with an ambitious plan to land full-site editing (FSE) in core before the end of the year, Sarah Gooding also reports for WPTavern. WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy has published an updated roadmap for 2021 that aims to get an MVP of FSE in the Gutenberg plugin by April. A first version of FSE would then be on track to ship with WordPress 5.8 in June.

"WordPress full-site editing might be coming sooner than we expected," tweets P-TECH People & Tech, while Square One Development and Interface Engineer Elliott Richmond tweets, "Gosh! Did someone mention we'll have WordPress Full Site Editing in Gutenberg by June!!"

For more on FSE, Gutenberg Times curator Birgit Pauli-Haack will be hosting a live Q&A today (29 January at 4 pm UTC) with FSE expert Carolina Nymark and Ari Stathopoulos, who created the block-based theme. They'll be joined by Anne McCarthy, a developer relations wrangler at Automattic and program manager for the FSE outreach experiment.

Andrew Nacin recruits long-time core contributors to build WhiteHouse.gov

"Some professional news… I spent the last few months working on the Biden-Harris Transition Team. It was an incredible and humbling experience helping to prepare an administration inheriting many dire crises," tweets Andrew Nacin, confirming what we all knew.

The OG lead developer for WordPress, who joined the U.S. Digital Service and has since left, reveals he teamed up with web development firm 10up, including Director of Open Source Initiatives Helen Hou-Sandí (who's also an OG lead developer), Open Source Practice Manager Jeffrey Paul (a long time core contributor who leads the Tide project) and Open Source Practice Support Engineer Tung Du (also a core contributor), with assistance from Penske Media Senior Director of Editorial Technology Aaron Jorbin (a WordPress Core Committer).

Nacin says the team "built a truly innovative editing experience in Gutenberg to drive the site. It's mind-boggling good." 10up VP Phil Crumm adds, "Props to @helenhousandi for the absolute masterclass on block editor components. What a way to set the bar."

Ben Ostrower, founder and Creative Director at Wide Eye Co, the creative agency behind the project, also gives credit where credit's due, tweeting, "None of this would have been possible without BuildBackBetter.gov's and WH.gov's fearless leader Andrew Nacin (@nacin) who was the ringleader behind these crazy projects."

For more behind-the-scenes details, Nacin speaks to Fast Company: President Joe Biden's team revamped WhiteHouse.gov in just six weeks.

Meanwhile, on the WordPress VIP blog, Peter Slutsky, Director of Business Development and Partnerships at Automattic, shares details of How WordPress VIP Powered the Biden-Harris Transition Website, BuildBackBetter.gov.

WP Buffs acquires WP EZI

This week in acquisition news, WP Buffs has bought out WP EZI, a WordPress maintenance and support service. As part of the five-figure deal, WP Buffs has acquired 64 active subscriptions and 343 customers. Paul Tselekidis, WP EZI's former owner, is stepping away from the business.

WP Buffs CEO Joe Howard tells The Repository WP EZI represents what his own business was three of four years ago. "I remember at that point it was pretty hard to get past $10-$15k MRR (monthly recurring revenue)… He [Paul] was looking to move into other things… It was a benefit for him tangibly because he was able to hand off the business to a company who really knows this kind of business."

Elsewhere, Restrict Content Pro has acquired Skillful Plugins, along with several other plugins Mission Lab owner Tanner Moushey has developed for the membership plugin. AJ Morris, who leads product and marketing for Restrict Content Pro (which is owned by iThemes and sits under the Liquid Web umbrella) says the plugins will add features to Restrict Content Pro that it needs to grow in the WordPress membership market.

WordFest expected to become regular event

WordFest is set to become an annual event, with talk it may be held more often and even become a hybrid event A total of 2,271 people registered for last week's successful 24-hour event. It featured 48 international speakers covering everything from design and development to business, SEO, mental health, working remotely, contributing to WordPress, and more.

Importantly, the virtual event raised $40,610 for Big Orange Heart, the charity behind the event that supports and promotes the positive wellbeing and mental health of remote workers. All funds raised will be used to develop a dedicated Support Hub, Big Orange Heart founder Dan Maby tells open source industry analyst and strategist Robert Jacobi in BetweenSessions at WordFest 2021. Dan adds, "the current most popular request from the community" is to run WordFest twice a year.

Paul Lacey, co-host for the This Week in WordPress Show, sums up the community's general sentiment about the event on Twitter: "Well done to the team and all involved with #wordfest by @aBigOrangeHeart What a huge success for the charity and all who attended and were involved."

If you missed WordFest, the recorded video for each session is available for catch-up on the WordFest.live site for free. And if you haven't filled it out already, here's the post-WordFest Live survey.

Local development made easy: Kinsta launches DevKinsta, a free local development software for Windows and Mac

As a company full of developers, we have a high standard for our hosting services, technical support, and the software we release to the world. And this was no different when tackling the task of creating desktop software for local WordPress development. DevKinsta, our latest product, was born from a desire to offer an intuitive and feature-rich tool for developers and agencies to create, test, and debug websites quickly and easily.
Built on the speed, security, and flexibility of Docker, DevKinsta has powerful tools like a built-in database manager, SMTP server, WP_DEBUG toggle, and more. Use DevKinsta to test your site with the latest version of PHP in a safe environment supporting PHP 7.2-8.0.

DevKinsta is available as a free download for macOS and Windows, with a Linux version coming soon. In addition to English, it also supports French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Swedish, and Danish.

Try DevKinsta today.
yellow 2@2x

In other WordPress news...

  • Gutenberg 9.8 Brings Rounded Borders To the Group Block and Moves the Site Editor Canvas Into an Inline Frame is the headline at WPTavern. Justin Tadlock walks readers through the last updates in his typically in-depth style.
  • WordPress 5.6.1 RC1 is available for testing. It features 20 bug fixes and small enhancements, as well as 7 bug fixes for the block editor.
  • Life interrupts work and work interrupts life, writes Sandhills Development founder and Managing Director Pippin Williamson in Giving Back Time. After sharing his company's values in his recent 2020 Year in Review, Pippin goes deep, sharing more about how time has impacted himself and members of his team.
  • How big is the market for your premium plugin in 2021? asks Chris Lema, VP of Product at Liquid Web. He spent some time sizing the premium WordPress plugin market and gives plugin authors hope with his answer: $1.6 billion. He offers this food for thought: "When you take away hosts from the WordPress ecosystem, the largest premium plugins are making millions, some even tens of millions. But not hundreds of millions. Which means there's still a lot of money on the table."
  • More WordPress businesses have shared their reflections on 2020: WebDevStudios put in 1400+ hours for Five for the Future and Kinsta achieved a 74% increase in revenue. To put the web host's success into perspective, by the end of 202, the company's recurring revenue was approximately 39 times what it was at the end of 2015.
  • Wordfence has published its 2020 WordPress Threat Report, sharing insights from the raw data the security company collected while protecting 4 million WordPress sites last year. Over the course of 2020, the company blocked 90 billion malicious WordPress login attempts and 4.3 billion vulnerability exploit attempts targeting WordPress. Threat analyst Ram Gall also shares that malware from nulled plugins and themes is the most widespread threat to WordPress security.
orange 2@2x

Not subscribed? Join the most conversational weekly email
in the WordPress community!