Ionut tells the whole story of how the company retreats started, why they're doing them, what they're doing during the retreat, what the value is, and more.
Welcome to the 31st edition of the monthly transparency report (for August 2017). This series is all about sharing what’s been going on in the company from an organizational and business point of view. Click here to see the previous reports. I want to touch upon a lot of things in this report, so here’s a quick TOC just to keep things organized (and in case you’re not interested in all of it, which is fine):
1. On being transparent | 2. Why you need company retreats | 3. Working from home and the problems with it | 4. The value in vacation days for all team members | 5. How we’re improving team management and performance | 6. Auto-renewals and how they’ve been working for us | 7. Conferences coming up – let’s meet!
Overall, we experiment quite a lot as an organization. We try to learn from other business in the same niche and outside of it, and then fit new methods and approaches into our own workflows, mission, etc. Sometimes, this leads to reinventing the wheel (unfortunately), but, other times, it leads to innovation and making our work a lot easier and effective on a daily basis.
Below, I want to share a couple of such things that we tried
Is WordPress easy to use for everyone? Scott shares his experience from an eCom conference about how UI/UX can make a lot of difference for the users!
I just got back from an eCommerce conference called Content and Commmerce Summit. It was very different from the WordPress conferences I usually go to, and it gave me a lot of perspective.
I go to the same events every year, and talk to the same type of people. I love WordPress, and so do everyone at these events. We do things a certain way in the open source tech community, and we think our way is the best way.
We get into this echo chamber about how WordPress is used way more than any other publishing platform, open source is the greatest, and let’s sell more plugins and themes. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s important to get out of the bubble once in a while.
It really opened my eyes going to an event where no one even said the word WordPress once. The audience at this conference was non-technical, mostly marketers selling stuff online. I watched a presentation where the presenter had slides with 20+ different recommended tools on them, and not a single mention of WordPress.
This is an eCommerce conference, WooCommerce is 41% of all eCommerce stores, and not a single person said the word WooCommerce. All I heard about was Shopify
Interview with Augustin Prot CEO of the Weglot plugin. Earlier this year they've raised VC money which is not a common thing in the WordPress ecosystem.
You can find Augustin on LinkedIn or Twitter. This is our recent interview with him, as part of our Kinsta Kingpin series. Q1: What is your background, & how did you first get involved with WordPress?
I have very complementary backgrounds with Rémy (co-founder and CTO of Weglot). He’s an engineer, graduated from Supéléc (French) and Columbia (US) with a background in software (financial and online ad) and a first startup experience as a co-founder and CTO. I graduated in Economics (from Dauphine) and spent 3 years in the financial services (Merger and acquisition advisory).
We first got involved with WordPress in the end of 2015/early 2016 when we were trying to find users to test Weglot. Some of the people we contacted asked us if we had a WordPress plugin. We did not know WordPress at this time. But as we heard the questions several times, we thought we should definitely try to do a plugin. Then, one month later we were at the Paris WordCamp 2016 to officially launch Weglot and meet the community, such a great time and amazing people!
That’s how we entered the WordPress world.
Q2: What should readers know about all the stuff you’re doing
Scott Bolinger's piece on why you should set up your own site to sell your products and avoid marketplaces. Interesting figures on what authors can expect to earn from Envato and others.
If you are thinking of selling WordPress products, you have two options: list on a marketplace, or sell through your own site. I’d highly encourage you to sell on your own site, here’s why. Giving Up Control
Listing on a marketplace means that you are totally dependent on them for your traffic and sales.
This is tempting in the beginning because if you don’t have any traffic they can provide it for a fee. 50 percent of a few sales is better than 100 percent of no sales, right? This is short-term thinking.
Consider three years from now when you’ve built your brand on their platform, and sales are coming in regularly. You’ve hired a team to help you with support and development.
Now you and several others are depending on this revenue for their livelihood, which can be taken away at any minute. If the marketplace changes their rules, which happens all the time, your livelihood is at risk. For example, Envato recently changed their rules so that exclusive authors cannot sell related products on their own site.
If you are an exclusive author, you have no choice but to comply, giving up, even more, control over your brand. What if they decide to change the way
Getting the view on Gutenberg from Andrew Roberts, CEO of Ephox and member of the development team.
As you may have heard, WordPress is currently working on a brand new content editor named Gutenberg. Currently available as a plugin and set to ship with WordPress 5.0, the editor is radically different from what WordPress users are accustomed to. The changes it brings go beyond just adding and editing standard post content, though. Gutenberg presents challenges to theme and plugin developers, as it affects Custom Meta Boxes. This means that utilizing WordPress Custom Fields, for example, may look and function differently than expected. Or, at least that’s the fear many have expressed.
This project has produced an incredible amount of debate within the WordPress community. And, with recent news that WordPress has scrapped the idea of using the React library with Gutenberg because of potential licensing issues, there’s now even more uncertainty surrounding the editor.
With all of the confusion and controversy swirling about, we wanted to hear from someone on the inside of the Gutenberg project. Thankfully, Andrew Roberts stepped up and agreed to answer a few questions for us. Mr. Roberts is the CEO of Ephox – the company behind the TinyMCE Editor.
Of course, TinyMCE
Elementor now adds another functionality to fully customize quote boxes that have a click to tweet button.
Introducing Blockquote - the easiest way to get your readers to click to tweet and share your best lines on Twitter. Two weeks ago we introduced several new Facebook widgets dedicated to boost your site social engagement.
Now, it's Twitter's turn to get a dedicated widget.
Introducing Blockquote, a highly customizable quote box that comes with Click to Tweet functionality.
If you're a blogger, or you publish content on a regular basis, this is a great tool to let your readers share your best lines with a simple Click to Tweet.
The Blockquote widget allows you to add quotes to your site. Each Blockquote can be set to include the content of the quote, the author name and the 'Click to tweet' button.
When you drag and drop the Blockquote widget you'll notice 4 skins that are available for the initial Blockquote design. You might remember the skin option from the Posts widget Cards skin release a few months ago. With regards to Blockquote, these are the skins that are available:
We release a new feature on an almost weekly basis, but it's always thrilling to read the positive feedback from our users. What do you think of our Blockquote widget?
We release a new feature on an almost weekly
Edwin on the choice of next WP JS framework, now that React is abandoned. Interestingly the only one that stood the test of time is jQuery.
If you haven't heard the news already, Matt has decided to move Gutenberg, the new WordPress editor, off of React, over people's reaction to the recent response from Facebook's legal team. Some parts of Facebook's response seem odd, but I also have no idea what the legal landscape is like for one of the largest most publicly visible companies in the world. I don't think there is malicious intent in React's licensing, but at the same time I think it is a wise decision from Matt to ease growing tension in the WordPress space over the use of React in Gutenberg. Any company, organization, or project that feels wary of taking on the legal uncertainty surrounding React, is a project that would no longer be able to use WordPress; an unfortunate price to pay for using React.
It is not clear what will be chosen as the replacement for React, and in many ways I wish React did not need to be replaced, because it is awesome. Vue seems to be the chant ringing through all channels of the WordPress community. I have been meaning to learn Vue. The recent news was the final push. After I finished up my tasks Friday, I jumped straight into Vue. It took me very little time to get Vue running,
Matt Mullenweg announces that they are dropping development with React.
Big companies like to bury unpleasant news on Fridays: A few weeks ago, Facebook announced they have decided to dig in on their patent clause addition to the React license, even after Apache had said it’s no longer allowed for Apache.org projects. In their words, removing the patent clause would "increase the amount of time and money we have to spend fighting meritless lawsuits." I'm not judging Facebook or saying they're wrong, it's not my place. They have decided it's right for them — it's their work and they can decide to license it however they wish. I appreciate that they've made their intentions going forward clear.
A few years ago, Automattic used React as the basis for the ground-up rewrite of WordPress.com we called Calypso, I believe it's one of the larger React-based open source projects. As our general counsel wrote, we made the decision that we'd never run into the patent issue. That is still true today as it was then, and overall, we’ve been really happy with React. More recently, the WordPress community started to use React for Gutenberg, the largest core project we've taken on in many years. People's experience with React and the size of the
Giving a great talk at an event like a WordCamp is not easy. As someone who's been speaking in front of people for 10+ years, I have some advice on what to do to give a good conference talk.
When Steve Jobs presented the iPhone for the first time, he didn’t get up on stage and say, “Hey this is an iPhone.” Instead, he told a story – specifically the story of Apple. He built up the iPhone in terms that people understood. This made for an excellent presentation. It sucked people in, it made them invested in what it was talking about, and ultimately, he announced the iPhone to huge cheers. Steve Jobs knew how to give a great presentation. Now, I’ve been speaking in front of people for a long time. My first on stage performance was at 7 years old, when I was in 2nd grade. I love being in front of people, whether I’m acting, teaching, or just talking. But giving a good conference presentation takes practice. After professionally speaking for almost 10 years, I know what works and what needs work. Here are my 5 steps to putting together a good conference talk.
Step 1: Tell a Story
My friend Chris Lema knows how to give a good conference talk. He also starts of most of what he says with, “Let me tell you a story.” He then regales us with an interesting, relatable story that grabs our attention. That’s your goal too: start off
Since I believe the community is moving in the right direction here — this issue is where one could...
I shared my views on VueJS and Preact with WordPress core — this also includes the links to resources and threads where the community is voting for and discussing different JS frameworks.
IMHO there are two prominent contenders here.
Just to kick-start the discussion, here’re a few thoughts from the top of my head.
PRO: Beginner friendly.
PRO: Proven track-record of success with Laravel.
PRO: Way more popular as compared to Preact with a great amount of community support.
PRO: More contributors than Preact.
CONS: Key person dependency.
MONETARY BACKING: At the time of writing, VueJS OpenCollective ($9,895) and Evan You’s Patreon page ($8,815) sums up to USD 18,710 monetary backing from the community.
I truly believe that WordPress can do a lot
Mr. Schoppe's recent commentary has created a bit of a stir. He was kind enough to speak with me about Gutenberg (he actually likes the idea).
Within the WordPress community, it’s been hard to ignore all of the hype surrounding Gutenberg – the new content editor being developed for the world’s most used CMS. Currently available in plugin form and scheduled for inclusion in WordPress 5.0, the first thing you notice about this newfangled way of creating a page or post is that it provides a very different experience from what we’re used to. Needless to say, the reaction has been mixed. That’s to be expected whenever such a dramatic change is made to a venerable piece of software like WordPress. With so many designers and developers making a living off of working their magic with it, there’s no way something this big was going to go unnoticed.
The whole situation has already been written about ad nauseam, but we wanted to bring the perspective of someone who brings specific concerns to the table. Today, we’ll introduce you to one developer whose commentary touched a nerve within the community, along with some within the WordPress development team.
His name is Greg Schoppe, a Vermont-based WordPress developer. His post, entitled “You called it Gutenberg for a Reason.. That Doesn’t
Now you can add support reps to your WordPress.org Plugins. It's great.
Some of the larger plugin shops have a support team to help out on the forums. It would be useful to be able to give those people a special “support rep” role on the forums so they could be recognized as such. Support representatives can mark forum topics as resolved or sticky (same as plugin authors and contributors), but don’t have commit access to the plugin.
The UI for managing plugin support reps can be found in Advanced View on the plugin page, next to managing committers:
Once someone is added as a support rep, they will get a Plugin Support badge when replying to the plugin support topics or reviews:
Various aspect of a Dynamic Pricing and Discounts plugin and how it can help your store.
Dynamic pricing is an increasingly popular pricing strategy that is used by a lot of eCommerce store owners to stay ahead of competition. The strategy is to offer compelling prices based on parameters such as product types, product categories, bulk orders, or customer roles. There are quite a lot of WooCommerce dynamic pricing plugins, free and premium, that you can consider to add to your store. This article should give you an overview on the features of some free and premium dynamic pricing plugins of WooCommerce. Dynamic pricing adjustments based on different approaches
Setting dynamic pricing and discounts on your WooCommerce store requires you to consider several factors. A broad categorization of these factors would be based primarily on four aspects – products, categories, order value and roles. Let’s look into each of these in more detail.
Product-based dynamic pricing
Product-based pricing helps when you need to offer a discount according to the number of units a customer is purchasing. Here, the pricing strategy you use for your store is based on individual products. Build your dynamic pricing strategy on a few conditions such as the number of products in cart,
This article is about the usage of two significant features of Dynamic Pricing and Discounts plugin.
Once you start an WooCommerce store and orders starts pouring in, what would you want to do next? Increasing the sales would be the first thing on your mind. So, how do you plan to do that? There are a number of ways to achieve the targeted sales. In this article, we would be talking about one such way of increasing sales. This strategy is to use a popular product in order to increase the sales of a non-selling product. When you find a potential link between two or more products and one of them is performing significantly better than the others, then congrats, you have found the right bundle.
In this article we would show you how to increase sales in your shop by creating product bundles using the Dynamic Pricing and Discounts plugin by XAdapter. Let’s explore the various ways of creating product bundles with this plugin.
By creating Combinational Rules
With the Dynamic Pricing and Discounts plugin you can create combinations of products or of categories.
Take the following example –
In the above case, the shop owner wants to provide a flat discount of $10 when both the Sketch Book and the Drawing Pencils are purchased together. The discount type chosen here is flat discount.
WordPress.org is adding a new role to make it easier for teams providing support to manage plugin support issues. Previously, only authors could mark tickets as resolved or mark them as sticky.
WordPress.org introduced a new feature for plugin pages this week that highlights official support representatives. Plugin authors can now find the UI for adding support reps under the Advanced View on the plugin page. Unlike the contributors and developers role, individual support reps do not have commit access and do not appear on the plugin details page. The new “support rep” role is especially useful for larger plugins that have a support team managing the forum. It includes the ability to mark forum topics as resolved or sticky. Previously, only plugin authors were able to do this, which made it difficult for support teams to fully manage forum topics. Support reps will now have their interactions highlighted in the forum:
Adding these official indicators to support reps’ replies puts them in context within the thread and lends more authority to their answers. It is a small addition that will allow plugin shops to provide better support to their users. The feature is already active on WordPress.org and available for any plugin author to use.
Paolo shared his thoughts about all the Gutenberg Drama going on in the WordPress community. Worth a read.
The Gutenberg drama started on June 22nd. On that day, the Gutenberg Team released the Gutenberg plugin in beta for testing. The drama is not over yet, but we are confident it will be soon enough.
If you use WordPress for work or hobby, you must have heard about this new editor called Gutenberg. A team of contributors is working on it right now.
If you haven’t, let me explain what it is in few easy points:
This is the old editor
This is Gutenberg
1) It aims to improve how we generate content with WordPress.
2) It’ll use Content Blocks (sections) and replace the existing post editor screen.
3) It will be included in WordPress core, starting from version 5.0. (later this year).
4) It is one of the the biggest change in WordPress in a long long time.
5) It is a big deal. Many think it’ll allow WordPress to shine for many more years (us included), others that it’ll sink the project.
If you want to know more about it, feel free to download it and test it. Or you can read one of the many reviews that popped up since its release.
Gutenberg Drama, before the beta release
There has been no Drama before the beta release. But it’s worth reporting what happened.
In case you missed one or looking for a specific one:
That is a lot of posts. Interestingly every single one received at least 18 votes. If you want guaranteed first spot you know what you need to do :)
Check out this interview with Peter Nilsson, founder of WP Newsify. He's definitely been around the block when it comes to WordPress and shares some great advice: "One thing I know with conviction is never be afraid of failure. Learn from the mistakes. Roll up your sleeves and keep working."
You can find Peter on LinkedIn or Twitter. This is our recent interview with him, as part of our Kinsta Kingpin series. Q1: What is your background, & how did you first get involved with WordPress?
My background before WordPress is a bit different from what I do today. Before I stumbled across WordPress, I worked as a construction worker and network technician.
I discovered WordPress in 2008 and quickly realized the potential of blogging and WordPress. A new world really opened up. For me, who had previously just tweaked HTML templates and used Google’s blogging platform, Blogger, discovering WordPress was really a step in the right direction.
I started by setting up a couple of blogs in Swedish, and things started to move fast. One of the blogs became one of the largest WordPress-oriented blogs in Sweden, and I really found my focus.
In 2011, I wanted to go international and sold all my Swedish blogs. I started a couple of new websites in English. Most people probably know me from my site WP Daily Themes, which I ran for five years. In 2016, WP Daily Themes were acquired. I also sold my other websites to start fresh again.
Today, I have four new blogs, but the main site is
A compilation of interviews with WordPress pros at WordCamp Montreal 2017.
This is a fun post that has a long list of WordPress related statistics. For example, Genesis and Divi each have a 10% share of the theme market. Another one is that Akismet catches 7,500,000 pieces of spam per hour. Can you find the one that is not true?
WordPress has come a long way since it first launched back in 2003. It’s now the most popular content management system and has become a become a dominant force online, now powering 28.6% of all websites. What follows is a huge round-up of some of the most interesting stats and facts about WordPress divided into the following categories:
General WordPress Stats and Facts
Here are some general WordPress stats regarding usage, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg’s company Automattic, which runs WordPress.com, and other quirks:
#1. WordPress was first released in 2003. It’s now 15 years old. – WordPress.org
#2. Only 39% of WordPress websites are running the most current version of the software (4.8). – WordPress.org
#3. Major core updates of WordPress are released about every 152 days on the average. – CodeinWP
#4. There are a total of 98 versions of WordPress that have been released to date. – ManageWP
#5. WordPress.com (and self-hosted WordPress websites running Jetpack) get an average 22,000,000,000+ pageviews per month, and growing. – WordPress.com
#6. The same websites post an average 80,000,000 blogs and counting…
Joshua Wold shares his thoughts / experience and lessons learned on contributing to WordPress as a non-developer.
What is Core contributing? Contributing to WordPress core as a non-developer can feel a little confusing. After 10 years of benefitting from the efforts of WordPress Core contributors, I was finally able to find a path toward giving back and making a meaningful impact.
WordPress is an Open Source project. It’s maintained by folks around the world who care about its future and believe in a product that can be used and tweaked to meet the needs of countless individuals and organizations.
The beautiful thing about WordPress is we can help make it better. We’ve previously written about ways you can contribute to WordPress.
Barriers to contributing
In the past I tried to find ways to contribute. I even created an account for Trac, a place where much of the discussion and management of the WordPress project occurs, and wrote my first ticket.
But I felt blocked from going further by:
Time – It didn’t make sense to try and figure out how to contribute to WordPress, since I didn’t have a great starting point. There was no obvious path for digging in.
Experience – While I have experience as a designer, I wasn’t sure how this could translate to working
Matt speaks out on his personal blog about motivations behind Gutenberg and how it is supposed to push WordPress forward. It's quite a lengthy post for Matt. Dig in.
Movable type was about books, but it wasn’t just about books. Ideas spread. Literacy spiked. The elite monopoly on education and government started to crack. Luther’s 95 Theses were printed and circulated on a press, rocking Europe and he issued "broadsheets." Broadsheets became newspapers; newspapers enabled democracy. The printing press ushered in social, political, economic sea changes. Gutenberg changed everything. WordPress has always been about websites, but it’s not just about websites. It’s about freedom, about possibility, about carving out your own livelihood, whether it’s by making a living through your site, or by working in the WordPress ecosystem itself. We’re democratizing publishing — and democratizing work — for everyone, regardless of language, ability, or economic wherewithal.
WordPress’s growth is impressive (28.5% and counting) but it’s not limitless — at least not in its current state. We have challenges (user frustrations with publishing and customizing, competition from site builders like Squarespace and Wix) and opportunities (the 157 million small businesses without sites, aka the next
In this interview, Dre Armeda offers his thoughts on securing WordPress and managing Sucuri, The World renowned WordPress security firm.
WordPress Security expert Dre Armeda of Sucuri lives in Los Angeles. He was an Informational Technologist at US Navy for more than 11 years. He left the US Navy and co-founded Sucuri, a well-known WordPress security firm. Later on, joined WebDevStudios, where he played a role of CMO. After 2 years of working at WD3, he joined back Sucuri as the co-founder and director of business development. His expertise includes entrepreneurship, marketing, branding, and everything that relates to WordPress and its security.
Without any further ado, let’s dive into his career transformation from a navy officer to the entrepreneurship.
Cloudways: Dre, would you start by letting us know a bit about yourself? Who were your mentors or inspirations during your early career stages?
Dre: Sure. I am a geek at heart. I have been since I can remember. It probably really started when I got my first computer when I was younger. It was a Tandy 1000 and I couldn’t get enough of it.
By the time I finished high school I knew I wanted to be in the technology space and I ended up spending 12 years in the U. S. Navy as an Information Technologist working on networks, satellite communications, encryption