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Hey <<First Name>>—

The recent discussions around the Active Installs data being removed from the WordPress Repo prompted two questions I think we need to answer as a bigger WP community and particularly our members at Post Status.

As someone who lived in the WordPress product space for 10+ years and owned free and commercial plugins, I resonate with the issues and concerns being brought up today by plugin developers. (Here I am in 2010, writing Why We Need a Premium WordPress Plugin Market.)

I'll try to offer as limited a commentary as I can here because I'd like your comments and responses to these questions:

1. Are plugins essential to WordPress?

My answer is YES — absolutely!

If your answer to my first question is a solid yes too — and I hope it is — then my next question is:

2. What can we do to create a more sustainable model and environment for WP plugin developers? 

THIS is where we need to start the conversation, in my view.

Let's agree we're all in this together.

Let's be open to the conversation.

And let's try to embody the other person's perspective we don't share.

Let's acknowledge that we need to talk … together.

– Cory

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BUSINESS

Over, Under, Around, and Through
 

Why the WordPress.org Growth Charts Don't Matter

Alex Denning pointed out in the Ellipsis newsletter that in 2019-20, only four plugins entered the space and broke into the upper tiers. These were Site Kit for Google, Facebook for WooCommerce, Creative Mail for WordPress and WooCommerce, and Google Ads and Marketing by Kliken.

Has the WordPress.org repository become a closed shop, a tapped-out ecosystem where the winners have taken all? Here are some suggestions about how to break in or changes that could be proposed to open and diversify the repository. Until that happens, do growth charts matter? (Expect an article from Alex on this soon.)
 

Quick links


Does WordPress.org Data Belong to the WordPress Community? Should It?

Today WP Watercooler sought Solutions to the Active Growth Problem. They got one new detail from Otto about the decision to remove the active install charts: it was made months ago. How should the data collected by WordPress.org be understood, as a basis for reaching a solution? A consensus understanding seems to be emerging that the data is not open-source and community-owned. Uncommunicated expectations, misunderstandings, distrust, and even suspicion of malfeasance have arisen from the lack of a shared understanding about who owns what.
 

Till Krüss on Object Cache Pro, WordPress, Plugins, Testing, Performance, and the Solo Devpreneur Life — Post Status Draft 126

This episode of Post Status Draft offers some fascinating lessons on winning in the WordPress space with a high performance, low support, well-tested, dual-market, mixed license, plugin+SaaS product. That's a mouthful but a quick way to describe the many facets of Till Krüss's business built around Object Cache Pro, “a business class Redis object cache backend for WordPress.” OCP offers a unique and highly successful model for partnerships between a WordPress plugin product business and two valuable niche markets: hosting companies (B2B) for $1,950/month and anyone running WordPress sites at scale (D2C) for $95/month. Nexcess is the latest host to adopt OCP, which they announced earlier this week.

Till’s particular niche is not for everyone, but some of his ideas and achievements are very portable. For one thing, what plugin owner has not felt the pain of an extraordinarily busy support forum? Till is up to (wait for it…) 10 minutes a day on support — which he aims to decrease to five minutes. How? End-to-end unit testing to ensure the highest code quality. It’s an idea that needs to become a reality and a habit in the third-party WordPress product ecosystem, Till believes — and I think he’s right about that.
 

Quick links

  • Object Cache Pro is a (closed-source) commercial product that grew out of and is developed alongside Redis Object Cache. (100k+ installs on WordPress.org, numerous forks and stars on GitHub.) Redis Object Cache is a fork of an unmaintained precursor Erick Hitter and Eric Mann launched in 2014.
  • Relay looks like it will be a successor to OCP as it's capable of speeds up to 100 times faster than Redis. It's a PHP extension developed in C that is both a Redis client and a shared in-memory cache." There is a free Community version.
  • Felipe Elia recently wrote a great explainer on WordPress, Object Cache, and Redis. Felipe is right that understanding key performance concepts and tools should matter in developer interviews — so if you're hiring developers you might want to brush up with Felipe's article.
  • Do the_Woo recently recorded a very insightful open discussion on the Future of Hosting (and WordPress plugin business opportunities) where Till, Carl Alexander, and Zach Stepek trade insights and stories from their work with enterprise class WordPress and WooCommerce.
  • From the Post Status Archive: Scaling WordPress (Post Status Draft #51) remains one of our all-time most listened to podcast episodes, from 2016. Brian Krogsgard and Joe Hoyle took a pretty comprehensive look at WordPress performance and caching, including Redis.

CURATED BY DAN KNAUSS. Have business news to share? Get in touch.
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TECH

A Definitive Guide to WP-Config, the WordPress 6.1 Field Guide, and Twenty Twenty-Three

 

Serve Up a Delicious WP-Config

The folks at Delicious Brains have put out the ultimate Developer’s Advanced Guide to the wp-config.php file. I sure wish I had this years ago when I was starting out! Already found a few new tricks in here for this old dog to try out. Like did you know you could rotate keys/salts?!!?!
 

Keep This Guide Handy

I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz in Post Status Slack and on Twitter about WordPress 6.1, and for good reason! Milana Cap breaks down everything that is coming and what changes we can expect in the WordPress 6.1 Field Guide. I’m very excited about the accessibility and performance improvements, but honestly everything looks really impressive!
 

Digesting Twenty Twenty-Three

Another major inclusion in 6.1 is going to be the new Twenty Twenty-Three theme with style variations, page layouts, fluid typography, and more. Kinsta gives us a deep dive into what all of the features are and how we can use them as developers.
 

Keep Your Powder DRY

Brian Gardner released another amazing block theme for full-site editing with one-click layout patterns included. It's called Powder and is intended as a base for child themes and custom sites. Check out the demo. Powder scores a perfect 100 in Google Pagespeed Insights for both mobile and desktop. Get it on GitHub.
 

Cool Tool

Each week we feature one cool tool that can help make your life easier as a WordPress builder.

Lorem Picsum

When making a new site I’m always struggling for imagery. This site makes it so easy to plop in some photos and move on. It’s the lorem ipsum for photos, like literally! Thanks to David Marby and Nijiko Yonskai for gifting this to the world.


CURATED BY DANIEL SCHUTZSMITH. Have tech news to share? Get in touch.
▲ MAKE WORDPRESS

Priority topics and issues inside the WordPress project from its contributors and teams.

WORDPRESS 6.1 RC1
  • ⏳ WordPress 6.1 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) Now Available
  • 🧪 Help Test WordPress 6.1
  • 🔎 WordPress 6.1 DevNotes, Field Guides, and Team Updates
  • 🧑‍🎓 New course on LearnWP: Using the WordPress Data Layer

CURATED BY COURTNEY ROBERTSON. Have Make news to share? Get in touch. 
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