Coders, Designers & Bloggers Collide
Massimo and I spent the entire weekend immersed in one of our favorite tools… WordPress. Since a large percentage of our working day involves working on websites, we were happy to spend 16+ hours networking with and learning from other WP enthusiasts including coders, designers and content creators. In case you didn’t know, WordPress now has more than 20% market share after only 11 years. The event was sold out (twice) so we felt really lucky to attend and hear directly from co-founder Matt Mullenweg.
Bittersweet News at State of the Word
Last weekend was the annual WordCamp SF. According to Matt it was the largest turnout and the conference facility was bursting at the seams. During his State of the Word address he announced the bittersweet news that it was our last year at the Mission Bay UCSF complex. Next year they are planning on a WordPress US event, similar to what they do in other countries. So in essence that means WordCamp SF… the gathering that got things started… will be no more. On the plus side, the conference will draw from WordPressers from across the country. Actually this last WordCamp had representatives from 21 countries. On the downside, it may not be local to the SF Bay Area which is a bummer for those with tight marketing/travel budgets (although we suspect there will be scholarship opportunities).
WP 2014 Stats
In his trademark laid-back style, Matt shared these WP 2014 stats based upon a survey to users and developers across the community:
- This year was the first time where non-English downloads surpassed English downloads, an indication that WordPress usage is now an international powerhouse.
- CMS usage is down white it has made significant strides as an app framework.
- 25% of survey respondents make their living from WordPress. There are 7,500+ people responsible for anywhere between 542K to 1.1 million websites.
- 23% of the worlds websites are powered by WordPress (he joked that WP grew 2 Drupal market shares)
- 6,458 new plugins were added & 684 new themes were approved
- 16 mobile apps for android & iOS were added
Upcoming WP Release Highlights
Since the last WordCamp SF there have been five major releases; this is an indication that the software releases are smaller and more nimble. Release 4.1 is expected to launch on December 10 and will contain these items:
- Internationalization is the theme. Offering language choices, time zones, time format and locale as a wide concept. That means there’s continued focus on serving an international audience. Expanding language packs so searches in the plugin repository provides results (and reviews) in your native tongue.
- One of the biggest challenges for WordPress are the number of old websites running old, out of date versions. Only 25% of sites are running on the latest WP version (4.0). They are working with hosting companies to reach out to these sites as they represent a ticking time bomb for their servers. In case you didn’t know, each new WP version contains security patches. That’s why keeping current with new releases reduces security threats not only to the website itself but to those sharing the server. Matt’s vision is to be like Google Chrome with regard to version control. It’s automatic and built into its very nature.
- Experimentation with pull requests with GitHub. They anticipate accepting pull request before year’s end.
- Better stats for plugins as this information is important for users and developers.
- Renewed emphasis on donating 5% of company resources to WordPress community. As an open-source application, users band together to make improvements to the software. Automattic, Matt’s company, commits 5% (14 FTE) of its employees to the effort.
- Expect to see more about WordPress API and REST.
- Embracing accessibility, and making WordPress websites more inclusive to everyone including those with vision, hearing and motor challenges.
WordCamp Sessions Available on WordPress.tv
It was a whirlwind two days of sessions, lightning talks and networking. All sessions were recorded and will eventually be available through WordPress.tv. You can see Matt answering questions after his State of Word address already. I’m really looking forward to re-watching the sessions led by Chris Lema (Strengthening your Brand with a Blog) and Jeff Veen (Momentum). They are definitely worth the time.
Did you attend WordCamp SF 2014? What was your favorite part?
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