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Issue #87
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

This week in WordPress

Yoast acquired by Newfold Digital

The big (huge?) news this week is that Newfold Digital has acquired Yoast. In her announcement, CEO Marieke van de Rakt says the entire Yoast team, including herself and founder Joost de Valk, are joining Newfold Digital.

At WPTavern, Sarah Gooding says the global web solutions provider counts Network Solutions and Bluehost amongst its many brands.

"Boom! That was the sound of millions of websites wondering what it means to have their Yoast services being run by Bluehost, I mean HostGator, I mean Endurance, I mean Web.com, darn it … Newfold Digital! There we go," writes industry analyst and strategist Robert Jacobi in Breaking: Newfold Digital Acquires Yoast.

van de Rakt and de Valk each share their perspectives on their blogs. van de Rakt says the pandemic has been one of the scariest things she's had to deal with as the CEO of a bootstrapped business. The constant worry about the Euro/Dollar exchange rate throughout 2020 ultimately led the pair to decide in early 2021 to sell Yoast.

de Valk also admits that after starting the company in 2010, he was getting bored: "I wanted to go faster, do more, do new stuff, but couldn't anymore. I was trapped in our success."

van de Rakt tells The Repository the acquisition will allow the pair to spend less time running the business (e.g. HR, finance and taxes) and more time on product development. While there are no immediate plans to "hire many more people all of a sudden," she hints at "some exciting stuff coming up." She says her immediate focus will be ensuring Yoast finds its place within Newfold Digital.

"Yoast SEO has been acquired. Bought. Purchased. Attained. Procured. Picked Up. Obtained. Paid For. Financed. Gobbled Up. Random search term here," tweets Post Status's David Bisset. Yoast Community Manager Taco Verdo replies: "Boosted. Empowered. Enlightened. Supported. Loved. Wanted. Lifted up. Strengthened. Enabled. The fact your SEO strategy is flawed doesn't mean I don't want to help you get at least the right keywords. 😉"

So how much is Yoast worth? WPMU DEV CTO Aaron Edwards takes a shot, tweeting: "I'm a beginner at this but will give it a shot. 12mill installs, 140 employees. I'd estimate around $15 million ARR. Low CAC as they're bootstrapped and top brand. Probably 10% YoY growth. WP world has a discounted multiple, maybe 2-3x? So $30-50 million?"

And for those playing along, "You know who didn't acquire Yoast? Awesome Motive," tweets WP Mainline's Jeff Chandler.

What even is WordPress development?

Chris Weigman's recent tweet about the apparent high barrier to getting started with WordPress nowadays has really hit a nerve with developers.

Is WordPress development really all that hard to get into today? asks Justin Tadlock at WPTavern, answering his own question: "I am ever the optimist, hoping that in another 15 years' time, we are having these same discussions about the new technology stack that WordPress 10.0 has introduced."

"Nail on the head," comments anonymous Nick, "I often think things are harder and overly complicated now, but I'm probably just an old curmudgeon. Just gotta evolve or get out of the way."

At Speckyboy, Eric Karkovack points out that Gutenberg, block-based widgets, and Full Site Editing represent a fundamental shift in how we build websites with WordPress and "Even more stunning is that this has taken place within 2 1/2 years."

Meanwhile, the latest episode of Post Status Excerpt is worth a listen if you need a Friday pick-me-up. Hosts Cory Miller and David Bisset talk about why WordPress has evolved (Miller: "WordPress has gotten so big and complex because it's evolved to where the web has gone.") and how new developers might be able to get a footing with a career in WordPress (Bisset: "If you're not a jerk, the WordPress community is a very good one to exist in.").

And let's not forget WordPress isn't just about development. Yoast-sponsored contributor Francesca Marano shares the self-growth opportunities that are available with WordPress.

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2021 on track to be a record-breaking year for WordPress vulnerabilities, according to security whitepaper

WPScan is on track to post a record-breaking year for vulnerabilities submitted to its database, according to a joint mid-year review of the state of WordPress security the company released this week in collaboration with Wordfence. But it's not all bad news — the rise in reported vulnerabilities indicates a positive trend in ethical hackers looking out for the security of WordPress.

As Wordfence Threat Analyst Chloe Chamberland, who co-authored the whitepaper, tweets, "TL;DR attacks on WordPress are (expectedly) on the rise, while (fortunately) the security posture of the ecosystem is as well!"

The report is based on attack data from Wordfence's platform and data from WPScan's vulnerability database, providing a more comprehensive picture of the current state of WordPress security than either company could present alone.

Sarah Gooding, covering the story for WPTavern, provides a nice summary of the data, noting that one of the trends highlighted is the increase in password attacks: Wordfence blocked more than 86 million password attack attempts in the first half of 2021.

New Gutenberg release shipped, and Automattic releases podcasting theme

Moving on. Gutenberg 11.2.0 shipped last week and includes expanded color support for the Search and Pullquote blocks, a new layout option is being tested for parent blocks, and there's now an option for creating a new post after publishing. Automattic-sponsored contributor Daniel Richards details the latest changes. For something completely different, Sarah Gooding runs through the latest Gutenberg updates at WPTavern.

In related news, WPTavern also reports that Automattic has released Quadrat, a block-based podcasting WordPress theme.

Meanwhile, Anne McCarthy, the program manager for the FSE outreach experiment, has put out a ninth call for FSE testing. This round is higher education-themed, with volunteers asked to recreate a customized header for a hypothetical university.

How to Create a Landing Page Without a Plugin

Are you creating landing pages for your clients' websites? The good news is that with WordPress 5.8, you can now create a landing page template without a plugin.

A landing page is a page where website visitors land when they click a link to your website. Visitors may reach your landing page by clicking through ads, social media, or newsletters. Landing pages are optimized to focus the visitor on only the most important thing, like signing up for a newsletter or getting a coupon code.
Enable the WordPress Template Editor

The WordPress Template Editor is an opt-in for most sites. This means it is a feature that site administrators will need to use the Gutenberg plugin and enable access by adding this filter: add_theme_support( 'block-templates' );

Please see the posts Creating Your First WordPress Child Theme for help adding filters to your site and Become an Early Adopter of the Gutenberg Plugin to decide if this is a good use on your website.

Learn how to create a landing page with the WordPress Template Editor right here.

In other WordPress news...

  • Google has published an update to its Site Kit plugin for WordPress with a hotfix for a critical issue affecting an unknown number of users, reports WPTavern's Sarah Gooding. Affected users have reported critical errors on their sites, which forced deactivation of the plugin in recovery mode, and in some cases prevented access to the dashboard.
  • The Diverse Speaker Training group of the WordPress Community Team is running a free two-hour interactive watch party to help participants learn how to create a welcoming and diverse WordPress Meetup or WordCamp. Group lead Jill Binder tweets the Allyship for WordPress event on August 20 will cover mindset shift, community, environment, speakers and leaders, and allyship.
  • We built the Hub by GoDaddy Pro to streamline workflows and shave time off tasks that typically eat up a workday. But we aren't done yet. See the latest Hub updates and changelog here, and then explore the Hub by GoDaddy Pro – it's free! Sponsored link
  • If you've miss-typed "WordPress" on Twitter lately, you've no doubt fallen victim to @capitalp_dangit like Awesome Motive-sponsored contributor Peter Wilson, who tweets, "Stop @capitalp_dangit, just stop. The Wordpress ecosystem's obsession with case is one of the ugliest things about it. It's unhelpful and unwelcoming and simply needs to stop." Human Made Director of Product Ryan McCue tweets his two cents, "Capital P in Wordpress is the dumbest thing to care about, and is extremely off-putting to newcomers."
  • The last Friday of every month, the team at WebDevStudios dedicate their time to Five for the Future, an initiative designed to encourage companies and individuals to spend 5% of their time contributing to WordPress. After the agency recently shared how it makes the initiative part of its company culture at WordFest Live 2021, Marketing Strategist Laura Coronado published the formula on the company blog. WebDevStudios shares its contributions using the #5FTF hashtag if you want to follow along.
MailPoet - Zeplin 2019-10-25 17-00-44

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