Issue #72
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This week in WordPress

Creative Commons Search is joining the WordPress project

Matt Mullenweg tweeted the unexpected yet widely welcomed news this week that "Creative Commons search will be re-launching on WordPress.org, the first step of several cool things we have coming around media."

The WordPress co-founder shares more on his blog: The CC0 image search engine will join the WordPress project, bringing with it over 500 million openly licensed and public domain images discoverable from over 50 sources, and audio and video to come soon. Automattic has also hired key members of the CC Search team and will sponsor their contributions as part of the company's Five for the Future commitment.

Marcus Kazmierczak, a core contributor and principal engineer for special projects at Automattic, revealed on the Make WordPress.org blog that CC Search will be renamed Openverse. He also outlines next steps for the New WordPress Make Team that will work on the product.

"When I started CC Search, I always hoped it would become part of the infrastructure of the Internet. @photomatt and I first talked about CC Search in 2018, and he immediately saw the potential. I'm so happy to see this happen. It's great for WordPress, and great for the Commons," tweets former Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley.

Industry analyst and strategist Robert Jacobi shares, "This is both a pleasant surprise and awesome show of how a major open source project can extend the benefits of open source in new directions."

As Sarah Gooding reports at WPTavern, the acquisition of sorts follows Unsplash's controversial decision to abandon CC0 licensing in 2017, and its subsequent sale to Getty Images this year.

WooCommerce invests in one-click checkout plugin

WooCommerce announced this week it's investing an undisclosed sum in one-click checkout plugin PeachPay. Robert Jacobi does the math, estimating WooCommerce's investment is no more than $450,000.

Robert also speaks to PeachPay's co-founder and Chief Growth Officer David Mainayar in an insightful Q&A, where David reveals the investment came about after Matt Mullenweg messaged him on Post Status Slack.

In a press release, WooCommerce CEO Paul Maiorana says: "We're excited to invest in the future of PeachPay and see them realize their growth potential. One-click checkout is a great way for online stores to improve the experience for their customers while simultaneously improving conversion rates."

Aaryaman Anerao, CEO of PeachPay, adds, "We're starting out with WooCommerce not just because it's the biggest eCommerce platform by market share, but because we've been members of the community for years and there is [close] alignment between our mission and the WooCommerce team's mission [to democratize commerce]."

For more, Business Insider journalist Shannen Balogh has this story: PeachPay, a one-click checkout startup created by recent college grads, is looking to compete with red-hot startups Bolt and Fast as e-commerce booms.

In other WooCommerce-related news, WooCommerce bought woo.com. After speculating about why, Robert Jacobi says according to Matt Mullenweg, Automattic is excited to have the domain name and hasn't decided the best way to use it yet.

Block Pattern Directory set to launch with WordPress 5.8

The core team working on the new Block Pattern Directory is aiming to have an initial version launched with WordPress 5.8, shares Automattic code wrangler and core contributor Kelly Choyce-Dwan on the Make WordPress.org blog. A live prototype of the work in progress is available at wordpress.org/patterns.

"This is going to be awesome 🎉" tweets Yoast-sponsored core contributor and WordPress Themes Team rep Carolina Nymark.

Features planned for the first version, according to WPTavern's Sarah Gooding in Pattern Directory Targeted to Launch with WordPress 5.8, include browsing and searching patterns, live preview of patterns, and the ability to copy the block code.

WordPress 5.8 is expected to ship in July with the new Query, Site Logo, and Navigation blocks, template-editing mode, and the block-based widgets screen and Customizer integration.

Should companies that compete against WordPress be banned from sponsoring WordCamps?

The WordPress Community Team has been discussing whether to ban companies from sponsoring WordCamps if they advertise competitively against WordPress, reports Sarah Gooding at WPTavern.

In her post, Discussion: Companies who run competitive ads against WordPress and apply to sponsor WordCamps, core contributor and Automattic Dot Organizer Cami Kaos poses two questions to the community: Should the WordCamp and meetup programs accept sponsors, speakers and organizers who engage in competitive marketing against WordPress? And how should competitive advertising be defined in the WordPress space?

While she doesn't explicitly mention Elementor, it's obvious the discussion is about the page building company. Elementor was criticized in March for using the term "Full Site Editing" and also undermining the WordPress project in its advertising. Hosting company Bluehost was also recently panned for its apparent misuse of the WordPress trademark.

The comments below both the discussion post and the WPTavern article are extensive and worth reading. Generally, commenters support healthy competition in the WordPress ecosystem and want clarification on what the problem is that the discussion is attempting to solve.

Will in-person events resume in 2021?

Automattic-sponsored community organizer Angela Jin has started a discussion on the path to in-person WordCamps. Currently, all WordPress events are online, with the exception of Meetup communities that meet the requirements of an in-person meetup decision checklist.

"I don't see why this is so complicated. If large, indoor gatherings are legal in the host country, then WordCamps should go ahead with no extra restrictions beyond those prescribed by the local law. People can then decide to attend or not," comments aThemes founder Charlie Livingston beneath Justin Tadlock's story Will We See In-Person WordCamps in 2021? An Open Discussion on a Path Forward. Matt Mullenweg agrees, replying "This is a good way to approach it."

Expand 2021 Recap

More than 5,000 web designers and developers signed up to attend Expand 2021 from GoDaddy Pro, a live virtual event focused on starting and growing a digital business. Speakers at the event included highly regarded freelancers and agency owners, as well as representatives from industry leaders like Google.

To better fit the busy schedule of attendees, Expand 2021 featured a compact two-day schedule, with three hours of programming on each day. One of the biggest highlights of the events was the live chat, as attendees introduced themselves, shared insights and offered support for one another.

Sessions covered the finer points of operating a thriving operation online:

Tuesday, April 27
  • Keynote with Aman Bhutani, GoDaddy CEO
  • Creating long-term client relationships with Cliff Almeida
  • Building the perfect project stack with Jean Perpillant
  • Building profitable online stores using WooCommerce with Sam Greenspan
  • Ecommerce opportunities for pros in 2021 with Jonathan Wold
Wednesday, April 28
  • Maximizing your website security with Victor Santoyo
  • How to streamline and scale your business using care plans with Kristina Romero
  • User-centric design practices you'll use every day with Cathi Bosco
  • Creating a quality user experience using Core Web Vitals with Salvatore Denaro and Katherine Rudik
Although the dates for Expand 2021 have passed, recordings are available online. You can also access the free "leave-behind" resources created by speakers.

To stay on top of news like Expand 2021, sign up for GoDaddy Pro and join discussions on the GoDaddy Pro Community. It's free to join GoDaddy Pro and includes an array of benefits, including events like Expand 2021.

The centerpiece of the program is the Hub by GoDaddy Pro, a single interface for managing multiple websites, projects and clients. Users of the Hub report saving an average of three hours each month for every client website they manage.
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In other WordPress news...

  • Gravity Forms 2.5 has launched with an overhauled UI and a focus on accessibility is Sarah Gooding's story at WPTavern. "Congrats to our long time customer and BFF's on shipping this new version of this amazing forms plugin," tweets hosting company Pagely, while Whodunit CTO and WordPress Core Team rep Jb Audras tweets, "Amazing work for the version 2.5 @gravityforms!💥 Thanks for all the #accessibility enhancements♥️ and kudos for the new block-editor styled interface😎" In other news in the Gravity Forms ecosystem, Robert Jacobi shares that GravityView has acquired Gravity Forms Entries in Excel.
  • Gutenberg 10.5 Embeds PDFs, Adds Verse Block Color Options, and Introduces New Patterns, is Justin Tadlock's typically detailed headline at WPTavern, which this week goes into how this version broke the news site. "Sometimes, Gutenberg, you break my heart. You will find few enthusiastic cheerleaders more loyal than me. I believe in the project, but some days, you try your best to make it rough," Justin writes.
  • In security news this week, Wordfence is reporting that severe unpatched vulnerabilities in the Store Locator Plus Plugin led to its closure. Threat Analyst Chloe Chamberland says after unsuccessful attempts to contact the plugin's developer, Wordfence reached out to the WordPress Plugins Team, who were able to successfully reach the developer. After an insufficient patch was released, the plugin was temporarily closed and is currently pending a review. Meanwhile, iThemes has published part four of its WordPress Vulnerability Report for April 2021.
  • More than 5,000 web designers and developers signed up to attend Expand 2021 from GoDaddy Pro, a live virtual event focused on starting and growing a digital business. Although the dates for Expand 2021 have passed, recordings for the sessions are available online. To stay on top of news like Expand 2021, sign up for GoDaddy Pro. Sponsored link
  • WordCamp Europe 2021 will be held from June 7-9, rather than the 4 days originally planned. Announcing the Changing Event Duration, the organizing team — who was unveiled this week — say the three-day format will "pack a punch." Speaker and workshop applications are currently being reviewed, and sponsorship packages are still available.
  • A second WordFest Live has been announced for July 23, six months after the first successful 24-hour "festival of WordPress." Organizers have put out a call for speakers and sponsors. "I am so blown away by the flood of positivity that's coming this week with the launch of the next #WordFestLive. Speaker and sponsors are rolling in. Media partners are reaching out to come on board. Warms this volunteer's big orange heart 🧡" tweets Marketing Lead Cate DeRosia.
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