In this report, I talk about affiliate marketing tactics, a special launch that I’m very excited about, July’s revenue, and more.
Welcome to the 42nd edition of the monthly transparency report (for July 2018). In this series, I dissect what’s been going on in the business and present it to you the best way I can, along with learnings and lessons that you can apply in your own business. Click here to see the previous reports. This month’s report is going to be predominantly positive … like 95% positive! Which is a nice change from my usual outlook on things going on around me.
We’re back with another roundup of news and stories from across the WordPress community. As we’re nearing the most anticipated WordPress release of the year, I’m starting to wonder, “Is this post slowly turning into an all-Gutenberg news report?"
This is the August 2018 edition of “This Month in WordPress with CodeinWP.” Hello, fellow WordPress-ers! We’re back with another roundup of news and stories from across the WordPress community. As we’re nearing the most anticipated WordPress release of the year, I’m starting to wonder, “Is this post slowly turning into an all-Gutenberg news report?”
Some of you might love reading about Gutenberg, some might not. But we cannot help it since so much that’s happening in the WordPress world lately is tightly tied to Gutenberg. The truth is, companies and developers are all focusing on the ‘revolutionary’ editor at the moment, whether you like it or not.
But, apart from Gutenberg news, we still have some other topics and resources that will help you improve your overall WordPress experience.
August 2018 WordPress News with CodeinWP
WordPress 4.9.8 Out
Beware WordPress-ers, the WordPress 4.9.8 official release is out! I’m saying “beware” because this version is the first to introduce the Try Gutenberg Callout that will appear in users’ dashboards. The callout’s goal is to urge people to test and read
June is traditionally the “WordCamp Europe month” for us. The 2018 conference was our third one in a row that we attended as a team. I’ll talk some about that and then move onto other topics related to our latest product releases, decision making, and other fun stuff.
Welcome to the 41st edition of the monthly transparency report (for June 2018). In this series, I do my best to share what’s been going on in the company, what we’ve learned, and how you can apply it to your business, too. Click here to see the previous reports. June is traditionally the “WordCamp Europe month” for us. The 2018 conference was our third one in a row that we attended as a team. I’ll talk some about that and then move onto other topics related to our latest product releases, decision making, and other fun stuff.
After WCEU 2018
Okay, so the event was fun, even despite the fact that my speaking application was rejected (bummer).
It was probably the year that we were the most involved as a team nonetheless. More on that in a minute.
But … was it worth it?
Well, it’s hard to say, actually.
I personally took a very relaxed approach towards this year’s event. I was there mostly to meet the team, volunteer, and just enjoy the event without anything specific on the agenda. Unlike the previous years, where I was usually all over the place talking to people and networking. I was also not as excited about the event as I was the last
If you ever wondered how to start a blog then this is the guide for you. We go through every crucial step on your way from blank screen to a lively blog that gets read. We tell it all without pulling any punches!
But first, why listen to us if you want to learn how to start a blog?
The inside scoop on the CodeinWP redesign and strategy, what the deal is with AMP and mobile, plus a case of entrepreneurial struggles and learnings (as mysterious as it might sound right now). And, a wedding :)
Welcome to the 40th(!) edition of the monthly transparency report (for May 2018). This is a series where I go through everything that’s been going on in the business. And I don’t hold back! Whether it’s good or bad, it’s all here. Click here to see the previous reports. May was a fun month for me. More or less, I took the whole month off to take better care of myself and … prepare for the wedding (read: my wedding … two of them actually, long story).
This doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to share with you here.
Chiefly, I want to talk about a few things: the CodeinWP redesign and strategy, what the deal is with AMP and mobile, plus a case of entrepreneurial struggles and learnings (as mysterious as it might sound right now).
The third annual survey of WordPress hosting reveals: - the top rated WordPress hosting companies - best managed hosting companies - companies who offer the best support - best pro hosting solutions - the cheapest hosts out there & much more interesting data.
What you’re about to read are the results of our 2018 WordPress hosting survey – aka. “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of WordPress Hosting.” Yep, we have good, we have bad, and we indeed do have ugly. This is our third annual WordPress hosting survey, and the more we do these, the more interesting things get and the more insights we discover!
But hold off on that for a minute, let’s start somewhere else…
First, we want to thank everybody who took a couple of minutes out of their busy daily schedules to complete the survey and review their current hosting providers. We got 830 valid responses in total, which makes this one of the biggest WordPress hosting surveys to date! It’s because of you that this was possible!
A hands-on guide on how to actually use Gutenberg, its strong and weak points, and what's to expect in the future.
Instead, this post recognizes the inevitability of Gutenberg and aims to provide you with a comprehensive resource on how to use the WordPress Gutenberg editor on your site so that you can continue to churn out awesome content when Gutenberg goes public. Whether this is the first time you’re hearing about the WordPress Gutenberg editor or you’re already somewhat familiar with it, this post will help you learn how you can use the new editor to build layouts for your WordPress content.
As a quick refresher, here’s what the WordPress TinyMCE editor looks like:
And here’s what things look like in the new WordPress Gutenberg editor:
It’s more than an aesthetic update, though. Gutenberg is going to completely change the editing experience by moving to a block-based approach to content (more on exactly what blocks are in a second!).
While the current focus is on content creation, the eventual goal is to have Gutenberg “go beyond the post into page templates and ultimately, full site customization.”
That means eventually you’ll be able to build your whole site using Gutenberg, including landing pages and other important content.
When will Gutenberg
A comprehensive analysis of what Shared and Managed WordPress hosting is, Pros and Cons, and hands-on examples.
Managed WordPress hosting is like a concierge service for your WordPress site, whereas regular shared hosting leaves much of the work to you when it comes to backups, WordPress optimization, and more. However…
Shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting aren’t inherently different things
When people talk about shared hosting, they’re usually using the phrase interchangeably with “generic cheap hosting.”
But here’s the thing:
You’ll actually find plenty of shared hosts offering a “managed platform” or “managed services”, and these hosts are often counted among the list of managed WordPress hosts.
Shared hosting is just a type of hosting plan where your site “shares” resources with other sites on the same server.
Managed WordPress hosting is a set of added services and performance tweaks that sits on top of regular hosting.
That’s why you can have cheap shared managed WordPress hosting – like SiteGround at ~$4 per month – and expensive dedicated managed WordPress hosts – like Pagely starting at $499 per month.
In fact, you’ll find managed WordPress hosts powered by all types of
Ionut Neagu, CEO ThemeIsle, talks about their recent problems with a major affiliate partner and a fake DMCA affecting their SEO.
Welcome to the 38th edition of the monthly transparency report (for March 2018). In this series, I talk about the latest goings-on in the business, our plans, challenges, and what’s on the agenda for the next couple of months. Click here to see the previous reports. As I might have already mentioned once or twice in these reports, one of my main goals right now is to introduce more clarity into my planning, and especially when it comes to figuring out the direction the business is heading.
I’m making an effort to maintain a clear picture and think more strategically – not only on an annual basis like before, but rather on a weekly/monthly basis.
While this sounds all fine and dandy, it’s not exactly that easy to execute. In order to achieve that, first I’m trying to disconnect more from the day-to-day tasks and get more rest. This feels kind of bad and I feel lazy for not being as active as I used to be – working on multiple things at once. But I guess I’ll see how it plays out over time.
(Un)Happy with your hosting? Answer the 2018 WordPress hosting survey.
WordPress hosting – collectively the favorite topic to talk about when you meet some fellow WordPress people at a conference. Or is it just me? Anyway, the web is chock full of WordPress hosting reviews, comparisons, recommendations and whatnots. Everyone seems to have their favorite provider … as well as their least favorite one.
And that’s probably the main problem with hosting reviews. I mean, a piece of advice like, “hey, this hosting platform works for me, and therefore you should use it too” perhaps isn’t the most useful advice imaginable. And it’s surely not advice that is most likely to work for the majority of people.
So, even though we indeed have our favorites when it comes to WordPress hosting, and even more so, each individual member of our team has their own favorites too, we’ve decided to take a different path and give you – our readers – the spotlight:
TL;DR This is our third annual WordPress hosting survey. Scroll down to take part, as well as find out why we’re running it, why you should participate, and what’s the big idea anyway.
Curated WordPress news and articles from the month of February 2018.
Hi everybody, ready for some cool WordPress news? I monitored what happened in the last month and picked the most interesting stories and articles from around the web, which I hope you’ll enjoy. In January, there was a lot of stuff going on and I had to narrow down the list a ton to end up with our usual 5-item format. So what are you going to read today? Birthday wishes for WordPress, a new security release and another one to come out very soon, a new bizarre tech-related newsletter, a toolkit that simplifies developers’ hassles with Gutenberg, users’ feedback about WordPress, plus many more interesting tutorials, guides, and tips from WordPress specialists in our community.
Welcome to the February 2018 edition of “This Month in WordPress with CodeinWP.”
WordPress Turns 15 Years Old
On January 25th, WordPress turned 15! Which is a lot if you look back and reflect on this from an outside perspective. It’s been 15 years of continuous evolution in terms of technology and community. And things keep moving fast, in a consistent way: the development goes on daily and people work hard to keep the adventure alive.
Let’s wish WordPress a happy birthday,
A fine selection of newsletters, with a sneak peek that will help you choose which ones suite your style.
Searching for the best tech newsletters to subscribe to in 2018? The pace of technological development can make it very hard to stay up to date (as well as time-consuming). Throw in the tremendous amounts of great content produced every day, and you can really struggle to keep abreast of everything. That’s why the curated newsletter is making a comeback and is so popular now! The concept itself is pretty simple – curated newsletters are just emails that contain a selection of popular, interesting or noteworthy content. Many of the best tech newsletters out there will help you separate the wheat from the chaff while also saving you some precious hours (immediately cutting down your search and scan time).
With that in mind, we have compiled the following list of the 11 best tech newsletters (and web culture newsletters) around. The topics covered in them range from A.I., to the death of blogging (again!). Some of the newsletters provide roundups, whereas others go in-depth on particular subjects. One notable example even takes you outside the Valley bubble to see what is happening in tech in less represented areas of the globe.
Let’s check them out (no particular order):
Codeinwp's latest transparency report on what happened with them in the last 30 days.
Welcome to the 39th edition of the monthly transparency report (for April 2018). In this series, I share everything that’s been going on in the company that’s also worth discussing.
In this report, Ionut talks about the results of the Black Friday sale, a new plugin repurposed to offer free templates and Gutenberg's impact on the theme & plugin industry.
Welcome to the 34th edition of the monthly transparency report (for November 2017). This is a series where I share and discuss the more interesting events, projects, and learnings from the company’s day to day. Click here to see the previous reports. First up, Black Friday… is it something you should participate in? Both from a customer’s point of view and also from the merchant’s?
Well, the former comes down to your personal preference and the way you do your shopping for the year, but the latter is a bit more complicated thing. On the one hand, if you have a product and you’re willing to provide a discount, you can probably make some good sales.
But does the math on that check out in practice? I hope to provide you with some details on that today.
Just to remind you, we took part in this year’s Black Friday in two distinct ways: (1) we had a Black Friday sale at ThemeIsle, and (2) we compiled a really detailed list of the best Black Friday deals for WordPress and “web things” right here on the blog.
I finally have some data on how it all went:
Results of our Black Friday sale at ThemeIsle
This year was the first time when we actually
Ionut wraps up 2017 and shares information on their changes to content and products. He also shares the details on a couple of side projects launched in December. ThemeIsle looks forward to 2018 with a few ideas about growing the team and experimenting with the services part of the business.
Welcome to the 35th edition of the monthly transparency report (for December 2017). This series is where I try to share everything that’s going on in our business behind the scenes (at least the most interesting stuff) plus some of my personal thoughts and learnings. Click here to see the previous reports. Despite being a shorter month, we still had quite a few things happen in December. Here’s a rundown through everything, plus my review of 2017 and the plans moving forward:
Getting new side projects off the ground
We launched two small side projects last month, with one more in the pipeline. The main goal is the same as ever – to experiment and learn. We basically want to test out other types of content and see how they can work within our existing offerings.
(1) Our free icon pack – now available to download
We now have our own free icon pack – available at ThemeIsle!
We’re taking things slowly, releasing just 100 icons for now. Since the pack is not that huge, we were able spend more time on making sure that the icons are of really high quality.
The pack is completely free. The icons come in different formats: AI, Sketch, PNG, and
CodeinWP has analyzed the WordPress theme market - see who the top WordPress theme shops are, by Alexa rank.
TL;DR: What you’re about to read is our list of 80 93 100 WordPress theme shops currently in the market, and their rank relative to one another. In other words, you can see who’s on top of the game, who’s growing, who’s declining. The WordPress theme shop directory 2017 edition. This is embarrassing, but I still remember the talks we used to have back in the day (circa 2009-10) when I was part of a design/dev company. We were brainstorming different ideas, and one of them was to transition to building WordPress themes exclusively. I was the one to veto … saying that the market probably isn’t big enough to make it profitable long term.
Yep, that was me.
Anyway, here we are, some years later. WordPress now powers nearly 30 percent of the entire web, and the theme business is booming…
…or is it?
As you can see in the TL;DR note, this is about all the theme shops in the market currently, and the differences in their (estimated) performances.
A while ago, we stumbled upon a really cool post over at WPTheming, which inspired us to create this very resource here. Actually, it’s a continuation of WPTheming’s original list. In it,
The monthly Transparency Report from ThemeIsle, with lessons from the recent Google indexing overthrow that made their blog invisible overnight.
Welcome to the 30th edition of the monthly transparency report (for July 2017). In this series, I do my best to share with you everything that’s been going on at CodeinWP and ThemeIsle – from a business point of view. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And we have a lot of the latter this time. Click here to see the previous reports. First off, no click bait with the title. I mean it, but more on that later in this report.
You might have noticed that the previous report was a bit different – instead of focusing on the usual set of thoughts and takeaways, I showcased a timeline of our WordPress experience so far, plus some of the most notable milestones for the company.This month we’re back to the standard format, so get yourself prepared for twice the learnings!
1. Payments, tax, and other “fun things”
Last month, we finally managed to integrate FastSpring fully as our main shopping cart software. This means that from now on, all our sales go through them.
Now, why is this a big deal and especially for EU countries? A couple of reasons:
a) VAT/tax handling
Something I learned rather recently was that 5+ countries introduced kind of a new taxation on
WordPress was a lot more modest in its early days. Do you even know what WordPress 0.7 used to look like? Let's take a walk down the memory lane today and take a look at how the WordPress UI has been evolving since its very beginning in 2003.
It’s difficult not to be amazed at how significantly WordPress has evolved since its humble beginnings in 2003. What once started as a simple blogging platform is now the most popular website management system of them all, running nearly 30% of the entire web. What’s more, it is used not only by small business owners, bloggers and people in the web development ecosystem, but also by some of the biggest celebrities and brands out there. Though, I’m not entirely sure Beyonce is actually aware that she has WordPress running her site, but I digress! Back on topic:
We all know what WordPress is capable of today. But what about those early versions? Do you even know what WordPress 0.7 used to look like? Or, when WordPress actually started looking like the WordPress we know now?
Let’s answer these questions today. Here’s a rundown through all of the major versions of WordPress to see how the WordPress UI has been evolving over the years.
The evolution of WordPress UI – 2003 to now
I tried getting and installing every version of WordPress from the official archive, but that turned out much more difficult than it might at first seem. Long story short, modern
The new features of WordPress 4.9 with demos and what the community is saying.
WordPress 4.9 is like every major WordPress update, in that the community has been circling it since the announcement was made. The list of potential enhancements and features has got everyone buzzing again! It was made clear early that there wouldn’t be a focus on Gutenberg for this release – Gutenberg will be the driver behind WordPress 5.0 next year. However, WordPress 4.9 is one for the loyalists with a couple of additions that have been waiting eight years for inclusion. This WordPress 4.9 release is an opportunity to clear the decks in preparation for Gutenberg watershed sometime next year. In that light, the changes that we see here are overwhelmingly user oriented. With a strong desire to help users with editing and management.
Does it succeed? Should you update immediately? Well, we have been running the rule over 4.9 for months now, and this article will show you its best features in detail, plus the best of the rest:
Here’s what’s new in WordPress 4.9 – the most exciting stuff
1. The Scheduler and Draft Saver
The Customizer was always great for going through with big changes. But those changes had to be done en masse, and they went live as soon
The builder wars are over for many of us but I still see people asking questions and researching builder options, so the topic is very much alive. This is the most in-depth comparison I've seen and would be useful for someone trying to choose between the 3 most popular page builders.
TL;DR: This post is a detailed comparison of Elementor vs Divi Builder vs Beaver Builder. We’ll give you both an easy-to-scan overview, as well as a much more in-depth look at various areas of each page builder. While page builders might be a divisive topic among hardcore WordPress users, there’s no denying the massive effect they’ve had on the WordPress ecosystem when it comes to making design accessible to regular users.
Beyond that, sometimes it seems like every single WordPress company has dipped their toes into creating a page builder at some point. OK – slight hyperbole…but there are a lot of page builders out there.
In this post, we want to dig into three of your most popular options: Elementor vs Divi Builder vs Beaver Builder
Beyond giving you a look at the basics of how each page builder functions, we want to go beneath the surface level. For that reason, we’re also going to dig into things like advanced styling options, responsive design functionality, code lock-in, real-world performance, ease of use, and more.
By the time that you’re finished reading this comparison, we hope that you have a deep understanding of each plugin and,
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
The most comprehensive WordPress hosting survey up to date - 4,750 end users chip in
That being said, the way we host our sites and the way most “WordPress insiders” host theirs, isn’t at all what casual users do. As it turns out, most people host with GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator. And you know what? … They’re loving it!
(At least that’s what they say.)
We’ve just concluded our 2017 WordPress hosting survey (a much larger survey than last year’s), and the results are quite stunning, or highly interesting, to say the least.
2017 WordPress hosting survey results:
Here’s what people say when asked two simple questions: “What hosting company do you use?” and “How likely are you to recommend it?”
Top rated mainstream WordPress hosting companies
8.02 / 10
7.93 / 10
7.64 / 10
We’ve had more than 4,750 valid answers in this 2017 WordPress hosting survey, and these three companies have gathered the most votes by far. And, as you can see, the people using these platforms seem to be very happy with what they’re getting.
Of course, the survey wasn’t only about GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator. The respondents actually mentioned
A massive list of 120+ great WordPress cheat sheets, web development cheat sheets, design cheat sheets, and more.
To make this easier on everybody, we’ve gathered a rather massive list of 120+ great WordPress cheat sheets, web development cheat sheets, design cheat sheets, and more. I’m sure you’ll find at least a couple of them here that you’ll end up using regularly. Note; Sorry, but we couldn’t find the authors of some of these cheat sheets. For most of them, though, you can find the author’s copyright clause + a link to their site at the bottom of the cheat sheet.
WordPress cheat sheets
“Coolness”? This is our own rating to indicate how cool we think these cheat sheets are.
WordPress Plugin API Cheatsheet
WordPress CSS Cheatsheet
WordPress Visual Cheatsheet
The Loop: Visual Model
The Loop Code Snippet
Intro to WordPress Cheatsheet
Complete WordPress Cheatsheet
WordPress Theme Hierarchy Map Cheatsheet
WordPress Theme Anatomy Model Cheatsheet
Cheatsheet SEO for WordPress
WordPress Template Designer Cheatsheet
Advanced WordPress Help Sheet
WordPress Help Sheet
The monthly Transparency Report for CodeinWP and ThemeIsle WordPress businesses.
Welcome to the 26th edition of the monthly transparency report (for March 2017). In this series, I do my best to cover everything that’s been going on here at CodeinWP and ThemeIsle. We talk business, development, marketing, productivity and other fun stuff. Click here to see the previous reports. How often people change their (free) WordPress theme?
Something that I talked about in the previous report was for how long people tend to stick with our free themes after they first install and activate them – aka. our theme retention, or stick rate.
What I wasn’t able to do at that time, though, was split those retention rates by time period and also exclude localhost installs from the calculation. I finally have this data now.
Here’s the breakdown for Hestia – one of our top free themes:
How to read this:
For example, for the first chart, out of all the domains/websites where the theme was installed within the last 3 days, 93.2% are still active.
Of course, this is just one theme, and I do realize that it probably doesn’t represent the market to a huge extent, but it’s still an interesting