An interesting read about how the WordPress ecosystem is changing and companies such as WooCommerce and EDD are raising prices. How does this affect the consumer? Are they being left out of these decisions?
I have been reviewing WordPress themes and plugins actively since 2007 and have always been aware of all the major players in the industry; however my experience at WordCamp Europe last month in Paris opened my eyes to so many WordPress companies I was never been aware of. There are so many new companies fighting for a piece of the WordPress pie.
One way to look at it is that the WordPress market is much more competitive today than it was just a few years ago. Others would argue that the market has become saturated.
With more people fighting for a share of the premium WordPress market, we are seeing many companies change the structure of their business in order to survive. Along the way, I believe many companies are forgetting about the customer.
Watch my video below to hear my thoughts on this issue.
Prefer to read my thoughts? Keep reading on
Back in mid-June, I joined a number of discussions regarding the WordPress 4.8 text widget debacle. One such discussion...
https://wordpress.org/support/t... - HackRepair.com | We Fix Hacked Websites - Google+
I only see doom and gloom resulting from Gutenberg. This won't be good.
Have you played around with the beta Gutenberg plugin yet? If you haven’t heard of Gutenberg yet, it’s the new WordPress editor that will replace the current one. I won’t spend a ton of time describing it because there are lots of places you can find that information, like here, here, and pretty much everywhere that might be related to WordPress. But the gist of it is that WordPress is running a little scared (in my opinion) of becoming irrelevant and old-school, so maybe 6 months or so ago, Matt Mullenweg basically said to update the editor to something modern or else. Ok, he didn’t use those exact words, and I don’t remember the exact time frame, but basically, that’s pretty much what went down. Little Blocks (Are we on the playground?)
From what I’ve seen, it looks like someone said, hey, make the WP editor work just like the Medium editor. And there are plenty of “first impression” posts that will give you a look into all the pros and cons of the new “little blocks” editor. “Little blocks”? Really? I won’t comment further on that.
Those little blocks aren’t completely horrible upon first use.
I decided to take a deep-dive into what Gutenberg might mean for the broader WP ecosystem. Content authors, plugin authors, and page builders all have different ways they may have to pivot once its in Core.
I chatted with some prominent plugin authors, page builder authors, and Gutenberg contributors to understand how Gutenberg could impact the broader WordPress ecosystem. This article discusses how it can impact content authors, plugin authors, and page builder plugins in the near future. Gutenberg is the proposed new content editor for WordPress Core. It is currently in beta development. It is a radical departure from the simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) approach WordPress has traditionally had for content creation. As with any major change in WordPress, this will inevitably have ripple effects throughout the WordPress marketplace. With that in mind, here’s my take on how Gutenberg will affect the broader WordPress ecosystem.
The Awesome for WordPress Content Creators
From everything I’ve seen, the main motivation — primarily from WordPress co-creator Matt Mullenweg — is to dramatically improve end users’ experience with content creation in WordPress. With the advent of website builders like Squarespace and Wix, a cleaner WYSIWYG in Medium, and the plethora of full-featured page building WordPress plugins, the simple post editor has started
I've been doing my podcast for almost a year and it's been sponsored for pretty much the whole time. I write about my experience and how both the sponsor and the podcaster can help make the most of the sponsorship.
It was around this time a year ago that I decided to start my podcast, How I Built It. I started it as a way to generate buzz around building things so I could send people over to my online courses, where you learn how to build things. But a funny thing happened. Thanks to Rebecca Gill (Season 1, Episode 2) I reached out to Justin Ferriman of LearnDash about sponsoring her episode and he said yes! Since then, basically all of my episodes have had at least one sponsor, Season 2 was sold out, and Season 3 is on its way to selling out. In that time I’ve picked up a few things that I feel can help anyone who is thinking about Podcast Sponsorship. Preamble: Find the Right Show
Before we get into the nitty gritty, I should say that if you’re going to do a podcast sponsorship, find the right show. As a relatively new podcaster, I can tell you that knowing who my audience is with hard stats is tough (I’m trying) but I can take pretty good guesses based on who’s sharing it, my subject matter, and the stats Libsyn & Google provide me.
I try not to accept just anyone who wants to sponsor my show. My reputation is at stake, from both sides, so I need to believe in the
GoDaddy and WP Elevation have teamed up to give you a new tutorial each month, all for free! This month it's all about scope creep. This webinar teaches you that by building and selling website prototypes you will be able to communicate your solutions more effectively and avoid scope creep in the future.
Have you ever had clients ask you to add features half way through a project? If so, how did you cope with it? The next webinar that GoDaddy and WP Elevation have prepared for you tackles exactly this. How to avoid scope creep with your clients. Knowing how to do this will help you keep your project on track and keep it profitable. What is scope creep?
Scope creep (also called requirement creep, function creep, or kitchen sink syndrome) refers to changes that are made after the beginning of the project. To avoid this you need to make sure that the project is properly defined, and documented before you dive into it.
A lot of clients will be familiar with scope creep, and will have clear goals for you to work with, but often clients don’t understand what they want right from the beginning. Only once they see their websites coming to life they want to add new features and make changes. In those occasions what is very useful to do is create a prototype as a ‘proof of concept’, which can be a very valuable part of your discovery process.
What you will learn?
The webinar will show you:
How and when to price a prototype into your proposal.
How to build a prototype in WordPress
While onsite and backend optimizations such as image optimization and faster hosting are crucial for success, 3rd-party performance is not something to ignore. Check out some examples in this teardown. One FB like box was a whopping 700 MB alone!
A lot of optimization articles focus on how you can speed up your WordPress site, such as optimizing your images or moving to a faster host. While those are all important, today we want to discuss with you the impact of third-party performance and how it affects your WordPress site. Basically, anything you call externally from your site has load time consequences. What makes this problem even worse is that some of them are only slow intermittently, making identification of the issue even more difficult. Today we’ll explore ways to identify and analyze third-party services and performance problems. What Are Third-Party External Services?
A third-party external service could be considered anything that communicates with your WordPress site from outside your own server. Here are a few common examples we encounter on a regular basis:
Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (widgets or conversion pixels)
3rd-party advertising networks like Google Adsense, Media.net, BuySellAds, Amazon Associates
Website analytics like Google Analytics, Crazy Egg, Hotjar
A/B testing tools such as Optimizely, VWO, Unbounce
WordPress comment systems such as Disqus, Jetpack, Facebook
A good high-level review looking at Gutenberg from the perspective of a blog, themer, etc.
The WordPress content editor has been, for a long time, the biggest achilles heel in regards to new WordPress users. I’m a huge fan of ambitiously designed articles, like the infamous NYTimes Greenland piece, which is now two years old. To achieve that effect in WordPress now is no easy feat, but the current focus of development aims to change that. I’ve spent some time eagerly testing the new Gutenberg editor. Let’s note upfront that this is beta software. It isn’t perfect yet, far from it. It’d be easy to get caught up in the numerous bugs, glitches, and inconsistencies, but I don’t think that’s as important. Those issues will get reported and ironed out as needed. As I write this, there are approximately 300 open issues on the official Github repo. Taking a look at the open pull requests, we can see plenty of fixes and enhancements moving forward.
Instead, I’m trying to think about Gutenberg from a few other vantage points.
First, as a blogger. How practical are these tools? How seamlessly do they inject themselves into my writing experience? It’s no secret that Medium is a much nicer writing experience, but then again Calypso
Nice analogy. Both the short version and the longer explanation helps clarify the situation.
Explain to me in two paragraphs or less the delineation between https://t.co/shm7MBBfUi, Jetpack, and https://t.co/w3VOMjx5s9. — Ryan D. Sullivan (@ryandonsullivan) June 21, 2017
Ryan Sullivan posed a challenge/trick question that got me interested because I like trying to come up with compact plain language explanations. So here’s mine:
Restaurant vs. meal kit vs. grocery shopping. https://t.co/RkKp2ooK07
— Helen 侯-Sandí (@helenhousandi) June 21, 2017
This is, of course, not a complete analogy for all aspects of all of the above. It’s all of seven words, come on. It also assumes cultural knowledge of these methods of having a meal, which seems fairly likely for people looking for this delineation. But I think it’s a solid way to start understanding what these three entities are and what they aim to provide you. It does not explain where your stuff lives or how you pay for it (people use rent vs. buy sometimes for this), and I don’t intend for it to do so. Analogies are helpful in providing understanding where knowledge is still considered specialized. They also center references in ways a given person might understand – this analogy
Why You Should Encourage User Generated Content. Content marketing is currently a top marketing strategy for most businesses. A report by Demand Gen shows that 47% of customers surveyed will read about three to five pieces of content prior before they consider reaching out to a company to get its products or services.
First off, what exactly is user generated content (UGC)? This is content that is created by your customers. It can be anything from a blog post, product reviews, photos, videos or comments. Content marketing is currently a top marketing strategy for most businesses. A report by Demand Gen shows that 47% of customers surveyed will read about three to five pieces of content prior before they consider reaching out to a company to get its products or services.
Creating content is time consuming and not every business owner has the time to create so much content to keep their customers happy. But you know what? Many of your customers are actually more than willing to create content for you. All you have to do is ask :)
Why You Should Encourage User Generated Content
There are a few other good reasons to encourage user generated posts including:
UGC will keep your website content relevant. People will only find your content useful if it’s relevant to them. Who knows what they want more than your customers? So listen to them.
2. Increased User Engagement
By allowing people to contribute to your website you make them feel important and a part of your website. In return, they
I didn't like the end of the story. It felt incomplete. But it held my interest for a bit. :)
In January of 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a shiny piece of metal in his Sacramento lumber mill. He showed the metal to his boss John Sutter, and the two discovered that it was gold. Sutter tried to keep the discovery a secret in order to avoid endangering his agriculture business. He failed.
In the coming years about 300,000 forty niners came to California with high hopes of finding gold in the American River. One of the places they came was a small settlement called San Francisco, which at the time had less than 1,000 residents. Within 2 years it would have 25 times that.
Fast forward 150 years or so, and that small settlement now has over 830,000 residents. One of those residents is named Matt Mullenweg.
In 2003, this San Francisco resident, along with Mike Little, forked a piece of software called b2. In doing so, they created their own little nugget of gold that would be called WordPress. Little did they know they were laying the foundations for another gold rush, a digital, open-source kind of gold rush.
When WordPress first started gaining traction, the only people making money from it were in consulting work. Custom websites, and general web related services.
The lessons Rebecca Gill learned from running a WordPress themes shop. Rebecca has recently sold her Genesis Theme store to 9seeds. There's some good pointers for anyone thinking about starting a business selling WordPress products. The lessons work equally well for plugins - or even online courses.
This post was contributed by Rebecca Gill. Rebecca is the founder of Web Savvy Marketing, a web development, design, maintenance, and SEO consulting company based in Michigan and host of the SEO Bits podcast. Rebecca recently sold her Genesis Theme store to 9seeds, a store she managed and maintained for five years. In this post, she shares ten lessons learned from selling WordPress products.
When Jon Brown and I started talking about Web Savvy Marketing selling its theme store to 9seeds, it became abundantly clear that I wasn’t just selling him a portfolio of Genesis child themes. Anybody can do that. What I was really selling him was an established process and five long years of making mistakes and creating solutions.
When I launched our theme store and stepped into the world of developing WordPress products, I was beyond naïve. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I didn’t know how to run a successful e-commerce business.
But after a lot of mistakes and course corrections, I found stability, a lot of great customers, and more revenue than I expected.
Today, I’m sharing my top 10 lessons learned with you, so I can spare you from falling down the same
Alex Denning wrote an in-depth article about the evolution of WordPress magazine themes starting with first attempts of selling WordPress premium themes back in 2007-2008.
We recently updated our WordPress magazine theme Domino Magazine, adding in a new layout, new colour schemes and some of the most-requested features from our customers. The updated theme now reflects the latest trends in WordPress magazine themes, which begs the question: how have trends in magazine themes changed since they first appeared roughly a decade ago?
We’ve dug into our archives to find out how the WordPress magazine themes has evolved in the last decade – and looked at some of the most innovative trend-setting magazine sites around to see where things are going next.
Let’s start with the very beginning: the very first WordPress magazine themes.
Magazine themes were the evolution of simple blogging themes
Magazine themes first evolved out of a desire to evolve the blog layout from a simple offering of blog posts listed in reverse-chronological order to something which would display a lot more posts on the homepage, letting the visitor choose what they wanted to read from a selection of stories in different categories.
The “magazine style” monicker was coined to describe the rough similarity to a magazine’s contents page. A lot of themes
Skip to the section "WordPress is not WordPress" -- that's the most important read. A controversial opinion but a conversation worth having.
A story I enjoy retelling is how a friend of mine tricked me into using WordPress. At the time, I was working with him on a career mentorship project. He’d written a book that I was publishing, and we wanted to add a premium video series to go along with it. We just needed a way to host those videos online.
I was still very new to web development. I had built my own portfolio site in PHP, having learned PHP through a series of emails from a good friend in Arizona. My business partner was excited about the prospect of a dynamic website and turned me loose to find the right tool.
I settled on … not WordPress.
A few days later, he invited me to lunch downtown. Having no real job and, since our project wouldn’t be launched or profitable for a few months, I had no money and was thrilled at the thought of a free lunch. I parked downtown and met at an obscure office building … where the first ever WordCamp Portland was being held.
Spending the day with a bunch of WordPress geeks was fun and excited me about the tool. I switched gears and rebuilt our site on WordPress. I rebuilt my own site on WordPress. I started publishing plugins and a few themes for WordPress.
39% of all eCommerce sites are powered by WooCommerce and WordPress: here's a list you can use w/ clients to show the advantages of going with this large crowd.
According to the most recent report from BuiltWith, 39% of all eCommerce sites are powered by WooCommerce and WordPress — over 1.5 million active stores. Add in the usage of additional eCommerce platforms powered by WordPress and the CMS’s own 17.6 million live sites (over 26% of the entire internet!), and, well… that’s a lot of sites. Developers and store builders don’t just choose to work with WordPress because it’s free (although it is) or because “everyone else is using it” (although they are). There are some pretty convincing reasons why WordPress has climbed to the top of the charts, and why WooCommerce has soared in popularity right along with it.
Stores backed by WordPress have multiple advantages over those on other platforms. And these advantages allow them to work faster, spend less money, and ultimately become more successful than their counterparts.
Let’s take a look at a few convincing reasons why shops running on WordPress have a competitive edge — and why you should join their ranks, if you’re not already among them.
From hosting to plugins, the entire store is 100% under your control
When you set up
Another contribution to the list of people sharing their first reactions to the most recent version of Gutenberg. Highlights: ENTER behavior. Floating toolbars. Accessibility. Current editor feature parity?
The future of WordPress is coming, and it’s called Gutenberg. What is it? It’s a brand new editor being developed by a huge group of people who seeks to enable “rich formatting” options in WordPress. Think: more complex layouts (columns, text over image, etc.), easier content embeds (e.g. a YouTube video), and including dynamic content (e.g. list of Recent Posts) in any page you make.
It’s ambitious and many view it as necessary to keep up with Squarespace, Wix, Medium, and other popular hosted publishing tools. I prefer to think of as an overhaul of the editor that can address the shortcomings that people face with the current one.
I’ve followed the project closely since it’s conception, and it has progressed quite quickly in the last six months. With the newly-released plugin version that anyone can install to test—though it’s not intended for use on a live site!!!—I’m writing this post in the current version (0.2.0) and publishing some first thoughts.1
Things To Help You Understand Gutenberg
As noted above, this is a super-early stage public release. It’s so early that you can’t even save posts and come
Open Sourcing Mental Illness (OSMI), a non-profit organization that raises mental health awareness raised over $50k fundraising goal, and companies like Github, Digital Ocean, and Laravel help, and WebDevStudios & WP Elevation helped from WP Community as well.
Open Sourcing Mental Illness (OSMI), a non-profit organization that raises mental health awareness in the tech community, has surpassed its $50K fundraising goal for 2017. Ed Finkler, who founded OSMI in 2013, left his position as CTO of Graph Story to work full-time on speaking, educating, and providing resources to support mental wellness in the tech and open source communities. As of today, the campaign has raised more than $58,000. In addition to donations from individuals, OSMI has added several corporate sponsors, including CakeDC, Github, Digital Ocean, and Laravel. CakeDC has designated $1,000/month for 12 months to support Finkler’s salary. Finkler works together with a board of directors and a team of volunteers who also speak at conferences about mental health in tech. Several WordPress companies have also been involved in raising support for OSMI, including WebDevStudios and WP Elevation.
OSMI conducts an annual Mental Health in Tech survey as part of ongoing research. Last year’s survey received more than 1,500 responses and the results underscore the great need for removing the stigma surrounding mental illness in the tech industry. A few examples Finkler highlighted
Gutenberg is supposed to make WordPress easier. But is WordPress difficult and do we really need to reinvent the wheel?
WordPress has been praised for years as an easy to use content management system. This was not only because of its famous 5-Minute Install marketing slogan. However, currently there are voices expressing that WordPress is rather difficult. It’s even getting to a point where major parts of WordPress are being reinvented. But is WordPress difficult to use? Let’s try to find out! Gutenberg – an approach to make WordPress easier
WordPress 5.0 will possibly include the new Gutenberg editor (currently available as a plugin). The Gutenberg editor claims to make WordPress easier and more beginner friendly, while making WordPress future proof and ready to compete with Wix, Medium, Squarespace or else.
At the moment Gutenberg is being discussed rather controversial, since it will heavily change the way WordPress is used today. Gutenberg may possibly even replace widgets or shortcodes, features that are being used on millions of WordPress sites. Instead the new editor provides a way to place and arrange blocks of content through a single interface. It’s hard to describe, you need to test it yourself.
Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of the WordPress project and CEO of Auttomattic,
Morten describes what a path forward WITHOUT the 80/20 Rule might look like. Really important discussion and great read.
I find this fascinating. The fact that one plugin can have such power. If only WordPress would do something similar.
Less than three weeks ago Yoast SEO version 4.5 was released with an ugly, non-dismissible notice for sites on PHP 5.2. The notice encourages the user to upgrade to PHP 7, explaining that it is faster and more secure. It includes links for getting started and example emails that users can send to their hosting companies. In the 18 days since shipping the plugin with the upgrade nag, Yoast SEO creator Joost de Valk has seen a dramatic uptick in sites moving from old, unsupported versions to PHP 7. From December to March, PHP 5.2 usage among Yoast SEO users decreased from 1.9% to 1.7%, a modest drop over three months. After adding the nag on March 21, PHP 5.2 usage dropped from 1.7% to 1.3% for those using Yoast SEO version 4.5. PHP 5.3 usage is also steadily decreasing since de Valk began the campaign to educate his plugin’s users about the benefits of upgrading.
According to de Valk’s stats, 22.2% of Yoast SEO users are on version 4.5 of the plugin. He estimates 1,443,000 sites on 4.5 out of 6.5 million users.
“Assuming 0.5% updated their PHP versions, that’s 7K sites,” de Valk said. “And another 14-20k that updated from 5.3 to something more decent.”
People often ask for a "copy" of a site or assume if a site was built on WordPress their site can do all the same things on the cheap. Not so fast!
When you start planning your next WordPress website, you should take stock of what your peers are doing. Reviewing example sites will help identify nonprofit website trends, common navigation and layout patters, and inspire us to aim high! Since I build WordPress websites for lots of nonprofits, I hear what sites people like and want to emulate. It’s surprising how often the same few, big-budget sites come up. Reacting to these websites will always be a critical part of planning a site, but it’s also a process that can lead people astray.
When looking at sites, don’t just take in the visuals. Make sure to consider the audience, goals, and budget of the sites. Choose your role models wisely!
Does your nonprofit website serve the same audience?
The needs of your visitors should drive your website’s design and content. So if you’re an association of trial lawyers, will the design of a site targeting young environmentalists make sense for your organization? Probably not.
That’s an extreme example, but it’s surprisingly easy to look past important differences between your organization and another when you’ve come to review a homepage layout.
React is a great framework for building a heavy UI-focused app. It has a lot more built out of the box that lends itself fundamentally to the “action/hook” mentality that WordPress has. When Automattic released Calypso, built in React, and even used React in the newest JetPack plugin. As is the case, most of the community will also follow in line as soon as the leads have picked something, so many people adopted React.
React isn’t horrible, its a great, and very powerful framework. It has a lot to offer to build complex UI’s and many people even like the syntax. The reactive state makes it easy to easily modify the view as data changes, and with the build tools out now, it isn’t even as hard to get up and running as it used to be. I am not a React hater, I have projects I work on that are React, I even have (although needs an update) a boilerplate I built with it.
Angular has had
After many years on WP it looks like the "Next Smashing Magazine" will be run by a different platform, actually a mix of different platforms!