Issue #61
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This week in WordPress

WordPress passes 40%

Well, another milestone this week as W3Techs tweets, "40% of the web uses WordPress." The web technology surveys company links to Matthias Gelbmann's post (he's the CEO of W3Techs's parent company Q-Success) about how the incredible success story of WordPress continues by reaching another milestone: 2 out of every 5 websites use it now.

Sarah Gooding at WPTavern digs into the details of Matthias's post, sharing W3Techs's methodology and this feat: roughly every two minutes, another top 10m site starts using WordPress.

"The only thing that grows faster than #Bitcoin is the % of @WordPress websites on the Internet 💚" tweets WordPress retainers agency DevriX. WebDevStudios CEO Brad Williams adds, "WordPress growth in 2020 is INSANE! +4.3% market share in a year and 40% market share overall! 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼 …but yeah, it's only good for blogs 🤪 KIDDING!!!"

Meanwhile, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, a senior staff author at lynda.com at LinkedIn, warns, "As #WordPress reaches 40% market share of websites running a CMS, the web faces the risk of monopolization and monoculture. For the open source CMS landscape to thrive, we need healthy competition. Overspecialize, and you breed in weakness."

We'll give the last word to web consultant Groei Genoten: "Looks like W3Techs can use a new fresh responsive #WordPress website too 😉"

Elementor price hike

Everyone's talking about Elementor's price hike. ICYMI this week, the team behind the popular website builder announced a new pricing model and plans for Elementor Pro will come into effect in March.

Sarah Gooding has more at WPTavern: Elementor to Roll Out Significant Pricing Hike for New Customers. She says the most "radical" change will be to the Expert plan, which offers 1,000 sites for $199 per year, and will be scaled down to 25 sites.

While the Elementor team has tried to make it clear that existing customers will not be affected, there's still a lot of anger amongst the 269 comments beneath the announcement post.

On Twitter, Ellipsis Marketing founder Alex Denning says, "Tough spot for Elementor: previously the max order value for their plugin customers was $199, and they realise they're providing significantly more value for some customers and need to get this higher. Higher prices make sense and will probably work out, but tough short term."

"Elementor announced a new pricing structure this week and the internet overreactions are borderline hilarious," tweets Augie De Blieck Jr, creator and writer of PipelineComics.com. 'Capitalism is broken,' claims one pundit, because Elementor is now charging the breathless amount of $1 per site for the power users. Those greedy bastards…."

Automattic acquires Parse.ly

In this week's acquisition news, WordPress VIP Buying Content Analytics Firm Parse.ly. That's Allison Prang's headline at The Wall Street Journal. It is parent company Automattic's first large enterprise software acquisition. The deal will give WordPress VIP's enterprise customers access to Parse.ly's insights to measure and in turn improve their content.

When asked about the terms of the deal, Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg said it's the company's largest by cost and revenue. Sara Fischer at Axios breaks down what's in it for WordPress VIP and Parse.ly. WordPress VIP CEO Nick Gernert shares what's in it for enterprise customers in Better, smarter together: WPVIP welcomes Parse.ly, leading analytics platform.

On his blog, Matt shares a comment Parse.ly co-founder Andrew Montalenti posted back in 2012 about distributed companies. This week, Andrew tweets, "It's a big day at @parsely. But an even bigger day for the open web. We're joining @WordPressVIP & @Automattic to bring content analytics to every company. A shared fully distributed team culture. A shared focus on innovation. This is gonna be fun. 🚀""

Also, "@WordPressVIP is acquiring content analytics company @parsely, changing its name to WordParseVIPly*," tweets Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab, adding, "*second part not technically true."

Matt Medeiros vs Matt Mullenweg

"For WordPress people feeling the ‘existential crisis,' I really recommend listening to the latest @mattreport podcast with @mattmedeiros and @photomatt," is how High Rise Digital co-founder Keith Devon sums up The Matt Report's recent episode with WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg.

After Matt Medeiros took aim at Matt Mullenweg in January over WordPress.com's custom website service in his YouTube video #ispellitwordpressnow, the pair chatted it out this week. During their hour-long discussion, Matt Mullenweg defended Automattic's decision to make $4,900 websites, saying "Automattic entering a place generally grows the market." He cites WordPress VIP as an example where its presence has "been a big contributor" to the growth and scale of enterprise businesses like 10up.

The pair also cover "blue collar digital workers" — aka implementors or website builders — who Matt Medeiros believes control the undercurrent of WordPress' adoption but "don't seem to be very valuable in this community." Matt Mullenweg says implementors aren't prominent in core discussions and he feels a personal responsibility to represent them, adding "Gutenberg itself was largely in response to what I was hearing from" freelance web developers and agencies.

What's new in Gutenberg

The WordPress Core Team has released version 9.9 of Gutenberg. It's the 99th release of the plugin and will be the latest version bundled into WordPress 5.7. Automattic JavaScript engineer and core contributor Robert Anderson says the team has been hard at work implementing Full Site Editing (FSE), Global Styles, the Navigation block, and the Widgets screen, along with plenty of bug fixes and enhancements.

Gutenberg aficionado Justin Tadlock at WPTavern says while this version includes several minor UI improvements, the biggest user-facing change is the inclusion of icon and background color options for the Social Links block.
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