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Issue #85
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

This week in WordPress

WordCamp US to return on October 1

After its cancellation last year, WordCamp US is set to go ahead on October 1. According to organizers, it'll be a free one-day event with networking opportunities, speaker sessions, workshops, and more. Oh, and it’ll be virtual.

As Sarah Gooding reminds readers at WPTavern, planning for the 2020 virtual WCUS ended up as somewhat of a debacle after organizers decided to cancel due to pandemic stress and online event fatigue.

Meanwhile, the WordPress Community Team is weighing up whether to restart in-person WordCamps. In her proposal, Automattic-sponsored community contributor Rocio Valdivia says it's "unrealistic to immediately go back to how WordCamps were in 2019. Resetting expectations for WordCamps may be necessary, as the world has changed significantly."

After 18 months of virtual events, Malcolm Peralty at WP Mainline sums up how a lot of folks are feeling: "I was super interested in some of the topics for WordFest Live but I didn't watch any of them because guess what? They're streaming. If I'm going to do these kinds of events, I kind of want to be in the same physical space. It's like the difference between, you know, listening to a song on YouTube and going to the concert live.”

Plugins experiencing big drops in active installs

Popular plugins in the WordPress.org repository, including Jetpack and Yoast SEO, are experiencing a significant drop in active install growth this year, observes David Bisset at Post Status.

Iain Poulson, who publishes WP Trends and recently sold his plugin tracking platform Plugin Rank to Awesome Motive, offers his explanation: "… growth was higher when everyone was building sites and taking everything online during the pandemic, and this is the inevitable decline in growth." Bisset adds, "There's no reason to panic but plugin authors and business owners should be aware of the trend and keep an eye on it."

The decline in plugin growth may also be impacting theme authors. As if to support Bisset's findings, the Pixelgrade team share that they "made little progress" in the first half of 2021 and experienced a drop in revenue in their latest transparency report.

Theme creation is/getting easier

Could Pixelgrade's problem also be the Gutenberg effect? Extendify's Head of Design Tammie Lister says Theme creation is now easier, especially for designers: "Themes are now open again and that couldn't be more exciting for someone like me that felt it was closing, losing the creativity that once drew me to the form."

But WPTavern's Justin Tadlock argues Theme Creation Will Be Easier, But We Are Not There Yet. He thinks Lister is getting ahead of herself, looking into the future where "… there is something magical brewing. WordPress is lowering the barrier to entry to almost nothing for the ‘regular' folks" who have never written a line of code before.

Meanwhile, at Speckyboy, Erik Karkovack asks Will Full Site Editing Help WordPress Themes Finally Reach Their Potential? "Once a few popular FSE-capable themes prove themselves on the market, you can expect other developers to join in the fun. Until then, we can dream about what WordPress themes can and should be. Maybe this will be a major turning point."

Want to join in some other FSE fun? Anne McCarthy, the program manager for the FSE outreach experiment, has released a video about the FSE program to help inspire more folks to participate.

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PublishPress adopts the Organize Series Plugin

It's been three days since the last WordPress acquisition, according to Post Status' acquisition tracker. The latest deal, or in this case "donacquisition": PublishPress has adopted Organize Series, a plugin that helps users group content together into a series.

In A new season for Organize Series, Darren Ethier says after 15 years of developing of Organize Series and gradually losing interest in maintaining the plugin, it was time to hand over the reins.

PublishPress founder Steve Burge says Ethier asked him to make a charitable donation as part of the handover and has given an undisclosed sum to the American Journalism Project to support local news.

Colorado becomes first state to mandate accessibility for government websites

Colorado has become the first US state to require state and local government websites to meet accessibility standards, reports Colorado Newsline. State and local agencies have until July 1, 2024, to comply with a set of yet-to-be-determined accessibility standards.

Sarah Gooding at WPTavern notes that all of Colorado's state agency websites are currently running Drupal 7, but many of the 4,268 active local governments use WordPress.

"This is huge!" comments Dr G. "While we've had this as law across Europe for well over a decade, many sites (and CMSs) don't do things until it's an issue State-side. Well done Colorado for driving the web forward 🙂"

Does WordPress need another podcast hosted by a white guy?

Jeff Chandler at WP Mainline wants to start a new podcast like his old one, WP Weekly. But when he tweeted about it, Liquid Web Senior Performance Engineer Jason Cosper, who's also been thinking about starting a podcast, put this to him: "Does WordPress need another podcast hosted by a white guy?

Chandler unpacks his thoughts in Error: Maximum Number of White Male WordPress Podcast Hosts Exceeded.

Meanwhile, HeroPress founder Topher DeRosia shares: "Someone wise I've talked to about it named @allie_nimmons said one of the best way to be an ally in that particular space is to support or facilitate someone who ISN'T a white dude. So you could still have the junction, and have it be part of mainline, but don't be the host."

As Chandler wrestles with his decision, Allie Nimmons has highlighted the lack of diversity in the writing team at WPTavern, Chandler's former project. The Underrepresented in Tech co-founder tweeted earlier this month that she'd like to see WPTavern welcome a more diverse set of writers to the platform."

"It's incredibly draining to always have to be the person who reaches out for diversity. It's not Allie's responsibility to fix their problem (and yes, I do see it as a problem)," adds Dreamhost developer and WordPress Plugins Team rep Mika Epstein.

WordFest Live 2021 raises over $11,000 to support remote workers' mental health

"Hello sleep... goodbye #WordFestLive 👋🏼 What a journey 🧡" tweets Big Orange Heart founder Dan Maby, wrapping up another successful WordFest Live.

More than 1,000 people registered for this year's event, held on July 22 (or July 23, depending on your timezone). Over two tracks and 48 sessions, more than 60 presenters covered a diverse range of topics from managing work/life balance and meditation to PHP namespaces and static WordPress.

The event raised $11,580 for Big Orange Heart and its vital work supporting and promoting positive well-being and mental health within remote working communities.

WordFest Live 2021 was live-streamed but all sessions are available to playback if you registered to attend. Attendees are also encouraged to fill out a feedback survey. And if you want to donate to support Big Orange Heart's work, head over to their website.

The Repository is a proud media sponsor of WordFest Live 2021.

How to migrate a WordPress site to a new host

There are times when you will need to migrate a WordPress website to a new host or a different server. Perhaps you want to change a website’s structure, optimize it for mobile or you may just be dissatisfied with your current server’s service and performance.
YouTube video titled How to migrate a WordPress website by GoDaddy Pro.
Migrating can solve your problem and go smoothly – as long as you take the necessary steps to avoid data loss and downtime. Like any project, understanding what to do before jumping in is key.

What to do before you migrate a website

As with any web project, success starts with advance prep. So, what should you do before you migrate a website? Before you roll up your sleeves and get started, follow these steps:

The size of your database will determine how quickly your migration will happen. No matter if you have a mega ecommerce site or a site with only a few plugins, take the time to make your file and database size as small as possible. You can do that by removing all backups, cache directories from old plugins, unused themes, plugins and videos.

See the full tutorial on how to migrate a WordPress website here.

In other WordPress news...

MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

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