Welcome to WP Review. A show that provides an analysis of what’s happening in WordPress, what it means for users and business owners in the ecosystem, and where you can learn about helpful tools to help you build better WordPress websites.
I’m your host, Joe Casabona. And today’s episode is brought to you by Creator Courses.
Now, I am hard at work on lots of great learning material, including an update to my block editor course, and an update that’s going to include information on full site editing, which we’ll be talking about later today. And if you want to pick up any of those courses early and at a discount, the price will be going up when the courses come out. But people who buy it today, get lifetime updates for free. And you can get an even bigger discount at 10% off whatever the current price is when you use the code ‘WPREVIEW’ at checkout. And it’s not just the block editor courses. It is the how to create an online course, Course. It’s the BeaverBuilder course. And it’s the Podcast Liftoff, and podcast website course. So, if you’re interested, head on over there, [courses.com]. Use the code ‘WPREVIEW’ at checkout for 10% off.
Okay. Now let’s get to the review. When I last left you a fortnight ago, we talked about acquisitions and what that could mean in the WordPress space. And since then, there have been even more acquisitions in the WordPress space. So before we talk about the acquisition-related tools, and of course, all of these links will be in the show notes at [wpreview.io].
But I want to share a thread that Chris Lema tweeted earlier, this week. I won’t read it verbatim, but it’s a short seven-tweet thread, where he starts off by saying there are lots of discussions about companies and hosts acquiring folks in the WordPress space. Now new marketplaces are getting created to help you sell your company. Talk about that in a minute. All of this is great. But not all buyers are the same and it’s not always about the money. And then he goes into detail about why acquisitions might happen, and what he has seen as both four times seller and a 16-time buyer. So super interesting stuff from Chris as usual. I would encourage you to check that out. If you go to twitter.com/chrislema, you can find his tweets. But again, I’ll link this tweet directly in the show notes over at [wpreview.io].
So with that, first of all, some news about Jilt. Jilt is shutting down. I really liked Jilt as a tool. They sponsored How I Built It a while back. The Skyverge team decided to put their focus elsewhere. And I will say that after speaking to some folks over at Jilt, a lot of people are saying, this is because of the acquisition from GoDaddy, which was over a year ago. But my understanding is that the Skyverge team decided this independently. And so, you know, full disclosure. GoDaddy will be sponsoring, GoDaddy Pro will be sponsoring this podcast in the near future. But from what I understand, this was not a decision that was handed down from GoDaddy. This was something that the Skyverge team decided so they could put their focus is elsewhere. I told them that I called dibs on talking about that with them when they are ready to announce it. So stay tuned here on WP Review sometime in the future for that.
But other big, big news, here in the WordPress space, Day One, an apple, I believe it’s an Apple design award winner, an app, store app of the year, and app store editor’s choice. It’s a journaling app. It was acquired by Automattic. I think that this is a big deal because so far we’ve seen…well, you know, I mean, Automattic acquired simple note some time ago. But I think this is really the first time we’re seeing, let’s say across ecosystem acquisition, Automattic, perhaps, you know, obviously one of the biggest WordPress hosts, they own [WordPress.com], and Day One, an extremely popular app in the apple space. And so iOS Mac OS and Automattic have snatched it up.
Now, I don’t, I used Day One a little bit, but, and I really liked it, but I just, I didn’t think I used it consistently enough. What Automattic says is, you know, privacy is at the heart of Day One. Thanks to full end-to-end encryption. Journaling is one of the great habits that can change your life, and they talk about the beautiful experience, and that it will remain under the leadership of Paul Mayne, who is the Founder and CEO.
So this is, I think, big news because again, it’s kind of a cross-ecosystem move. Matt Mullenweg wrote about it on his blog and talked about how much he liked it. I’m going to nitpick this cause this is, this drives me a little bit crazy. He says Day One, not only nails the experience of a local blog or journal as they call it in an app. And I hate somebody, I hate to break it here but journal was that term, was first. And blog is short for web blog. Now, of course, this is all part of the branding, right? This is how they are going to position Day One probably if these are tea leaves, right? If this is the Canary in the coal mine to use a bunch of different (this is a mixed analogy, I guess.), they’re going to say use WordPress for your online blog and Day One for your local blog. Automattic is the blog blog blog, but it’s just still, I feel like that’s like a really, I read it in a couple of other places and I think that’s just a silly thing to be like, “Oh yes. They, this local blog?” which they have called a journal. Right. Very Apple move really where they act like they invented something when they’re only just introducing it to their ecosystem. But again, that’s neither here nor there. I think that this is, I think it’s exciting. I think Automattic has maybe a mixed track record with acquisitions, you know, from what I understand, like simple note continues to be updated, but maybe development was stagnated for a while. But obviously, like WooCommerce, you know, Automattic acquired WooCommerce and WooCommerce has been a big deal.
So we’ll see if it is going to remain, you know, there’s nothing that makes me think that Paul Mayne won’t be at the home based on what I’ve read here. So, perhaps this will be an acquisition similar to what we’ve been seeing a lot lately which is where a company snatches up a smaller company and just continues to have them be autonomous. And so they kind of, they run the day to day and essentially somebody else signs their paycheck and they have a bigger budget, but ultimately the parent company is hands-off and they let the acquired company continue business as much as usual as possible. So we’ll see. Hopefully, that’s the case because Day One has just been doing a bang-up job. Maybe Automattic did this so that they can learn from Day One, as far as good iOS design goes. I’m not, that’s not a knock or anything. I don’t use the iOS apps myself, but, you know, I know that with the block editor rolling out Day One probably does this extremely well and, Automattic liked what they saw there. So, we’ll see. I will see. I think I’ll say I’m excited about both teams. I don’t want to be one of these people who’s like, “Oh, they got acquired. So it’s going to get bad.” But we’ll, this is, again, I think this is maybe one of the first types of acquisitions, right, where it’s, like I said, an interrelated and an ecosystem swap sort of thing.
Okay. So continuing the acquisition news, our main segments not going to be an acquisition today. But I do want to mention FlipWP, which was launched by Iain Poulson (I think, I hope I’m saying your name right) Iain Poulson and Alex Denning. Alex Denning is WP mastery. That newsletter, that’s how I’m familiar with him, but he’s also the founder of Ellipse.
Iain Poulson, developer, product manager. He also has the WP trends newsletter, which covers acquisitions. And FlipWP is a WordPress acquisition marketplace of sorts. The first private marketplace for buying and selling WordPress businesses. The founders deeply understand the WordPress ecosystem and says it here on their site. Absolutely true so buyers can choose to access the best WordPress-focused opportunities. Sellers choose them for their focus on the WordPress ecosystem. So two people who know WordPress really well offer a place to broker the buying and selling of WordPress businesses. I think that this was timed extremely well. I don’t know how quickly they put this together, but time to really well because we’ve been seeing a lot of acquisitions in the WordPress space lately. So check out [flipwp.co]. You know this is, I’ll just say one more thing, this is kind of an interesting business model. The buyers can sign up for $300 a year as membership and they will get access to new acquisition opportunities, direct access to the sellers. Sellers can list for free. I guess the idea here is you want to incentivize the sellers to list their website or their business on the site, so you’re not going to get dinged for just listing your business. And the value is added to the buyers who are getting a curated list of businesses that they can acquire. And I mean, ultimately probably 299 is not a lot of money in the context of buying and selling businesses. So looks like an interesting model. I really hope it works out for them. And I hope that “Oh. They got some templates here too. they’re working on it. Very cool.” So yeah. This is, this looks like a really neat resource. And yeah. If you’re interested, [flipwp.co].
All right. So that is the WordPress news. There’s a lot of WordPress news this week. But the main segment I want to talk about is 5.8 Beta 2 came out this week, and a lot of changes happened. I didn’t cover Beta 1 last week. I did a live stream recently. If you want access to that live stream, all of my live streams are removed once the live stream is over. But members of the Build Something Club can access them. Head over to [buildsomething.club] and for five bucks a month, you can access add free extended episodes of my main podcast, How I Built It. You can access the live stream archive and a lot more. And you are directly supporting me with all of the content that I am creating. And hopefully, I am creating a lot of value for you as well.
Okay. So let’s talk about 5.8. The Beta is out. July 20th is the target date for 5.8, so we’re about five weeks out from that. Actually, well, I guess we’re about a month out from that now. And so the first Beta highlights everything that 5.8 is bringing, right. Hand-picked patterns. We’ll talk about that in a minute. More powerful blocks like the query block and site information blocks. The ability to create templates for pages using blocks with the new template editor themes can control and configure styling with the theme .Json. The design tools end of support for 11 is happening. New sidebar, widgets, widgets being managed by the block editor.
Block patterns. So the block pattern thing is interesting. And what Beta 2, what was happening was WordPress core had some default block patterns bundled in with them. So, when you install WordPress core and you look at the patterns, those are added essentially as a file in the core. With 5.2, that’s getting removed, that’s getting removed and support for a new pattern directory is being added. So now, well, in Beta 2, and with 5.8, when you look at the block patterns, these will be patterns that are pulled in from the block pattern directory via an API. And you can go to [wordpress.org/pattern] to see the current pattern directory, and to copy patterns that you like. So this is a really cool idea. I’ll be interested to see how well it works. All of the screenshots are from the 2021 theme. So I’ll be curious to see how this works in the bigger context of other themes. But I mean, really, if you’re using blocks to create block patterns, the themes should have those blocks styled. And in the instance where, you know, your block maybe has a dependency on other blocks that aren’t bundled in the core, well, that’s probably, those are probably blocks that don’t belong in the block pattern directory. So really excited to see that.
Along with that, this is a shout-out once again to Anne McCarthy, for doing great work for the block editor block patterns. She made me aware of an open invitation to contribute to the block pattern directory. So you, if you want to contribute in such a way, then you can create patterns without code. You can do it directly in the editor. Design, copy, and submit. I do have a video on my YouTube channel on how to create block patterns with code. This is putting them in a plugin, but you don’t need to do that If you are submitting patterns. this is a GitHub form for pattern submission. So you can add this information commented, and then just copy. So perhaps, I should do a video on this as well. So you can go to [wpreview.io/youtube] to get to my YouTube channel. And hopefully, by the time you’re hearing this, I’ll have a little video on how to issue, not issue, how to add a block pattern to the block pattern directory.
Again, WordPress 5.8 is out. They need testers. So what I would recommend that you do for testing is set up a staging site or a local site. Try to make it a site, like a site that is actually in use and not just a fresh install, right? Make a copy of your live site. Most hosts should support that. And Install the Beta tester plugin. This will allow you to get the latest Beta and just have that. Try things. Submit feedback. And if you’re feeling adventurous and you want to contribute to WordPress in such a way that doesn’t necessarily require code, make some block patterns. Copy them, and submit them. All of these things will be linked in the show notes over at [wpreview.io].
Perhaps I should start doing episode links, right? So, this, I suppose would be [wpreview.io/018]. Probably make a note to do that (thinking out loud here) and then this will redirect you to the appropriate show notes page.
Okay. So things to look for in those show notes, all of the things I talked about with the acquisition stuff, a link to the 5.8 Beta posts, an open invitation to submit to the block pattern directory, hopefully, a video. If I don’t do it at publish, you can head over to [wpreview.io/youtube], and it’ll be there in the next couple of days. At least a video on how to submit block patterns so that you know how to do that Step-by-step.
And for the recommendation for this week, I want to tell you about WordFest. I got to participate in WordFest last year. Gave a talk. It is July 23rd this year. It’s a 24 hour festival of WordPress. So 24 hours online conference, lots of WordPress-related talks. I don’t think the schedule has been announced yet as I record this, but you can go to (Oh, how about that? it has) And their schedule, very cleverly has everything in your local time. So they’ll grab your local time and show it to you, and you can select the time zone if that’s incorrect.
So anyway, go to [WordFest.live]. Check it out. Register. If you’re not registered, it’s a free event. It’s a free event, but it is volunteer-driven so you can optionally make a $10 donation. And the people who are working on WordFest, several of whom I know personally are working very hard to put together this fantastic and informative event. So it is free. If you can’t pay the $10, it’s understandable. But I reckon for the value you’re getting from WordFest. You probably can. So I would strongly encourage you to head over to [wordfest.live], click on that register button, fill out the form, donate 10 bucks to a hardworking team. And, you know, it supports Big Orange Heart. The Big Orange Heart Foundation is focused on well-being support for remote workers. Right. And so I think mental health is a really important thing. Anyway, that’s another conversation. But a WordFest, check it out. 24-hour live event on the internet. Wherever you can access the internet is where you can attend this event.
Okay. That’s it for this episode. Thanks so much for listening.
To get even more WordPress insights and to subscribe to the show, you can head over to [wpreview.io/subscribe]. You can find all of the show notes at [wpreview.io/018].
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Thanks so much to Creator courses for sponsoring. Be sure to head over there. [creatorcourses.com], and use the code ‘WPREVIEW’ and checkout for 10% off.
Until next time. I’m Joe Casabona, and I’ll see you out there.