Hi <<First Name>>—
Cory and Lindsey are traveling in wine country, taking the long way to WCUS I suppose. 😊
Many of us will meet there in San Diego — less than two weeks to go. Before the conference gets started, we’re having an in-person Post Status Member Huddle on Thursday September 8 at Riverwalk Golf Club (1150 Fashion Valley Rd.) — right across the street from the conference site.
Please RVSP here if you plan to join us.
We hope to see you there!
A glimpse of what’s going on in the world of development and design in the WordPress space by Post Status Tech Curator Daniel Schutzsmith.
Huge news in the hosting space! DigitalOcean is set to acquire Cloudways for $350 million (USD). From a development perspective I hope this enables Cloudways to innovate even more in the coming years, but it does immediately pose the question: will DigitalOcean keep their competitors' hosting services available on Cloudways. All signs point to the same business-as-usual, but only time will truly tell. Regardless, big congrats to Post Status members over there, Robert Jacobi and Zach Stepek.
Fränk Klein over at WordPress agency Human Made is asking us to stop saying ‘Gutenberg’. This makes sense. We need to have a consistent vocabulary on how we talk about these things to each other and to stakeholders so we all understand what we’re discussing. I’ve gotten into the habit of saying “the Block Editor” when talking about the new interface for page building in core, but I never thought that we could also break down explaining the various parts to full site editing as well. Human Made does a good job of clarifying all of this, and it might even be a great addition to the WordPress documentation to have all these defined right up front somewhere.
Speaking of hosting companies, Post Status members Sam Munoz and Brian Gardner from WPEngine have started a regular Zoom meeting called Build Mode Live. It’s intended for anyone who has questions about full site editing, the block editor, WordPress, and how it all impacts business owners. They’re bringing a design, development, builder, and business owner perspective to an area where we haven’t seen much open discussion. You can sign up to participate right now!
On the Make WordPress Design blog Channing Ritter, Design Director at Automattic, shared an important reminder. There is only one week left to submit a variation to be included in the new Twenty Twenty Three theme (TT3). There’s a Figma file attached to Channing's kickoff post you can use for the variations. This builds on the tools I shared last week that reinforce the importance of a build flow from Figma to WordPress. All of it is very encouraging! It's great to see this process improving.
Each week we’ll feature one cool tool that can help make your life easier as a WordPress builder. And this week that cool tool is…
Have you been struggling with the lack of features in the block editor that you’ve grown accustomed to having in a page builder? That is where Editor Plus comes in! It helps you set background, margin, padding, icons, tabs, accordions, ratings, and even animation. What I like most is that Editor Plus works with any theme, and its settings stay in place even when you switch themes. That keeps you from being locked into a specific theme forever. The plugin is led by serial developer Munir Kamal, who also runs Editors Kit and Gutenberg Hub. A bonus for Editor Plus users: there are a ton of great video tutorials on how to extend Editor Plus to do almost anything.
Covering business happenings and events that affect our pros, entrepreneurs and business leaders.
DigitalOcean buys Cloudways for $350 million in cash
“Is this a WordPress acquisition?”
That question led to some discussion in Post Status Slack this week.
The consensus was “yes it is,” although we’ve certainly included many WordPress-adjacent or partnered companies on our (updated) Acquisitions page. The number-filled announcement to investors (and infographic) from DigitalOcean makes it clear they know they are buying into the WordPress ecosystem by acquiring Cloudways:
“The acquisition of Cloudways expands DigitalOcean’s serviceable market within global SMBs and increases options for digital agencies, eCommerce sites, bloggers, freelance developers and builders hosting on WordPress, PHP and Magento. WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) and, according to W3Techs, it powers 43% of all websites on the internet.”
DigitalOcean is embracing its role as a WordPress host and pivoting to define its market as, well, us. The bold text above highlights a large part of our membership and the WordPress community.
Big emphasis on SMBs. DigitalOcean sees itself expanding to gain small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMBs) in its customer demographic, and acquiring Cloudways with its WordPress and other open source eCommerce customers achieves that.
Cloudways fill a big gap. There’s no easy button within DigitalOcean itself for setting up a WordPress site or anything else, but their 1-click apps are the latest progression toward something like that. It’s just not likely to appeal to most people in the low-end market in its current state. DigitalOcean marketing is still locked onto startups and developers too. I imagine all this will change if Cloudways is brought in as a SMB customer-facing easy-button.
New Competition. Focusing on less-technical end users and the people who build their sites will put DigitalOcean in direct competition with other WordPress-focused Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers or hosting panel middleware like ServerPilot — which only works with DigitalOcean — and SpinupWP. Even more so than Cloudways, SpinupWP is host-agnostic — any server with a public IP and (currently) Ubuntu 20.04 or 22.04 will work with SpinupWP.
Will DigitalOcean drop Cloudways’ support for competitors? In addition to DigitalOcean, Cloudways can be used with Google, AWS, Vultr, and Linode. Many of us wonder if that flexibility might go away now. If it does, that’s a wasted opportunity. Post Status Member Kevin Ohashi optimistically (and I hope rightly) opined nothing will be changed: “If the customer isn't going to choose you, might as well still make money off them.”
The terms “Build” and “Builder” are a large part of DigitalOcean’s messaging about the acquisition. In fact, the company’s mission is defined this way: “DigitalOcean simplifies cloud computing so builders can spend more time creating software that changes the world.” This sounds a lot like WordPress’s mission updated for the era of (increasingly low/no-code) website builders (the software and the people). It’s also rather different from DigitalOcean’s main public-facing messaging which is still focused on startups and developers.
Some interesting numbers from DigitalOcean:
DigitalOcean and Cloudways have been close partners since 2014.
Cloudways has approximately 50% of its customers on DigitalOcean servers.
This acquisition increases DigitalOcean’s high spend customers by 18%. They will come away from the deal with a total of 124,000+ (new and existing) customers paying $50+ per month, which is 84% of DigitalOcean’s total revenue.
Cloudways is projected to contribute between $13 and $15 million of revenue to DigitalOcean’s bottom line in the remaining months of FY2022 after the deal closes in September.
The acquisition of Cloudways will expand DigitalOcean’s global employee base by 30%. A good deal of those jobs are in Pakistan, and the sale represents the "Pakistan tech sector's largest exit to date,” according to Jawwad Farid. (Thanks to Rae Morey at The Repository for picking up on this.)
Starting and growing great careers in WordPress.
James Giroux writes so much good stuff on his own blog, I can’t keep up. I am accumulating a list of things he’s tackled that are unusual to see written about in any depth in the WordPress community.
Now James has a good post over at MasterWP about the learning and growth he went through as he learned the difference between managing work and leading people. Instead of trying to do — and add to — the work of the team, James writes:
“Today, when I manage a team, I’m looking to understand what it is my team is responsible for, what the business expects from them and how I can help them grow and deliver meaningful results without losing their souls.”
My other favorite workplace blogger (also named James) who cares deeply about people is the semi-anonymous Misanthropic Developer. Like me, I suppose he’s skeptical about our capacity to treat each other well in groups, in hierarchies, and at scale. But obviously it’s not misanthropy to be concerned with the human spirit and its health in potentially dehumanizing workplaces. In the Misanthropic Developer’s latest post he points out the importance of setting up your team for wins. If that never happens, they may never gel as a team at all:
“One of the worst bosses I’ve ever had never celebrated any of the victories that his team achieved (no matter how big they were) and paid zero attention to the morale of the team. It was no surprise to anyone except him when basically the entire team left within the span of about a month or so.” [dk]
There’s lots more where this came from… at poststatus.com/news.
It's not a bad thing if pushback on some concepts like “tragedy of the commons” and “free riders” drives us to find better ones.
The Creator Economy owes a lot to WordPress. That doesn't mean WordPress is valued or even understood by Creators as an open source project and community. Are the stories we tell and the words we use compelling to newcomers and the younger generations we need to succeed us? Is the story and language that got WordPress where it is adequate to take it where it wants to go? READ MORE →
Post Status Notes ›
Two Big Tweets on Ways to Give Back • A WordPress mentorship program is in the works, and so is a way to thank your favorite volunteers with Google Pay. READ MORE →
WordPress.com has changed a lot • This is managed WordPress hosting — and has been all along. Some notes on recently getting back into my .blog blog after a year away. READ MORE →
Winning Together in a Decentralizing Plugin Ecosystem • Are OrganizeWP (and Newsletter Glue) leading indicators for trends and opportunities in the plugin space? READ MORE →
Local Development Tools and the Open Web • Who is not using Local? Is it an Open Web tool? Let's review some “Local history” and consider where WP Engine's popular developer tools could be headed. READ MORE →
Freelancers: What are your rates? • Mailchimp & Co’s 2021 Benchmark Report on freelancers using Mailchimp says “the top 10% charge $197 per hour.” The 2022 Report did not post data about rates but indicated they had generally gone up. The same was true in the agency benchmark report. READ MORE →
When the Free Rider is Government • Chinmayi Sharma argues our digital infrastructure is built on open source, and it cannot provide adequate security so governments should help out. READ MORE →
How do we give back? We all want a community of creativity, cooperation, and contribution — how do we get there?
In this episode, Dan and Ny talk about WordPress and giving back. Giving, making, creating… Looking at the search results for “Make WordPress” and “the firehose” of Make WordPress Slack where the #docs channel was having their weekly meeting, Dan and Ny look at the wide range of options there are for new contributors.
Mentoring and organizing Meetups is a topic that comes up again. That's where Ny feels she has been given the most and most enjoys giving back. However, there are barriers to getting people engaged with the WordPress project — and to work for free.
Dan asks what needs to be done to reach younger people. Ny talks about the barriers from a BIPOC perspective, where sensitivity to history and personal stories matters. Dan relates that to an inner city gardening project he volunteered with that had an all-white leadership team. If contributing is a privilege, how can we help elevate more people to that level of privilege? LISTEN NOW →
WordPress 6.0.2 is coming soon! Join the next Call for Testing and give your feedback on HTML block markup and increasing the WP_MEMORY_LIMIT variable in wp-config.php.
Post Status Sponsor: GoDaddy Pro ›
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A Senior Digital Marketing Manager is needed at Pressable.
Multiple WordPress Positions are open at GoDaddy.
WP White Security is looking for a Quality Assurance and Support Engineer.
Are you a Freelance WordPress Developer? Apply to Codeable.io for work on interesting projects with nice clients where you set your own rates $70-120+ USD.
A WordPress Technical Support Engineer is needed at LevelUp to provide customer support for WordPress themes and plugins.
A Senior WordPress Developer is needed at YIKES, Inc. to help build smart, effective, creative web solutions.
A Customer Success Manager is wanted at NitroPack along with a WordPress Developer.
iThemes needs a WordPress Developer.
Kadence needs a WordPress Support Technician to help people create beautiful, effective websites with their themes and plugins.
A Marketing and Web Operations Manager role is waiting to be filled at Nexcess.
A Senior WordPress Developer is wanted at Kalamuna.
💼 Check out all the live listings on the Post Status Job Board ›
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