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State of the Word 2021

A glance again and ahead in the WordPress challenge

Every year the WordPress challenge’s co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, delivers an annual keynote deal with. State of the Word 2021 permits us to replicate on the challenge’s progress and the future of open supply.

Whereas this occasion is normally live-streamed, this 12 months welcomed a hybrid method at the places of work of Tumblr. Adam Warner, GoDaddy Professional Area Advertising and marketing Director, was invited to attend in particular person.

Michelle Freschette, woman, Allie Nimmons, Adam Warner, and Bob Dunn fill seats in the front row for State of the Word.
Entrance row attendees for State of the Word 2021

Missed the dwell stream? For a transcript of the replay, see The WP Minute. You may leap to the timestamps under or watch the replay at:




Josepha Haden Chomphosy gestures toward the tv in the background that reads State of the Word 2021

Government director of the WordPress open supply challenge, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, kicked off the occasion with a brief introduction.

2021 12 months in evaluation

Matt Mullenweg presenting at State of the Word 2021

Matt shared that he had simply returned from a visit to Antarctica. He likened the endurance journey of Ernest Shackleton, south pole explorer, to the WordPress 5.9 launch.

In 2021, WordPress had simply 2 main releases ship, with WordPress 5.7 in March and WordPress 5.8 in July. Historically, WordPress has 4 main updates per 12 months.

Nevertheless, this 12 months noticed simply three variations deliberate to launch, and WordPress 5.9 launch date has been postponed till January 2022. This was an uncommon transfer, as deadlines are not arbitrary. But a energetic dialogue in the feedback of Anne McCarthy’s submit “Why I voted to delay WordPress 5.9” sheds gentle on why this transfer was made.

Core committers

This 12 months, eight new core committers had been added: Kelly Choyce-Dwan, David Baumwald, William Patton, Isabel Brison, Jonny Harris, Jeff Ong, JB Audras, and Tonya Mork.

Advertisements in 2021

Make WordPress tasks

  • Polyglots had 13,659 language packs in core and 15,900 energetic translators, making WordPress extra accessible to the total globe. 4 new tasks had been added to GlotPress: Openverse, Learn WordPress, Patterns, and the Pattern Directory. GoDaddy was proud to help this work with a contingent of workers in Serbia serving to subtitle the content material on Study WordPress.
  • Diversity in WordPress 135 individuals in 66 cities in 16 nations attended this program as WordPress seeks to extend variety, allyship, and new speaker help.
  • Learn WordPress noticed 186 social studying areas, 73 workshops, 70 lesson plans, and a pair of programs, in 21 totally different languages. Contributors welcome

WordPress and the Web

  • WordPress now powers 43.1% of the web, according to W3Techs, together with extra downloads of the software program and themes to make use of with the software program in comparison with 2020. Shopify has seen positive aspects this 12 months as effectively. Content material Administration Methods don’t seem like taking market share away from one another, however in years previous the high CMS included all open-source software program.
  • Safety efforts to the WordPress challenge noticed elevated development this 12 months. 30 folks contributed safety patches to the software program. Matt shared that

    Safety is a course of. Anybody who says they’re completely safe is tempting destiny, however as a course of and the investments that we’ve put into partnerships with the host the place we work with hosts, CDNs, and Cloudflare. Every time we’re conscious of one thing, we truly work with them first to guard WordPress websites usually at the community edge or at the host or information middle edge.

New options in WordPress

a row of 3 post previews using the query block. Displayed are featured images, titles, and excerpts.

WordPress 5.9

Tiled gallery demonstrating features of WordPress

Matt shared a number of demos about the options coming to WordPress 5.9.

  • Themes created and edited with blocks
  • Types allow customers to alter all the visible components of a website in a single location
  • Patterns create totally different appears in areas like headers and footers

The longer term of WordPress

As WordPress appears again on 18 years of development and appears to the highway forward, Matt shared a renewed dedication to the open internet.

Web3 and WordPress

Is Web3 only a buzzword? Matt targeted Web3 down to 2 matters, decentralization and particular person possession. WordPress is effectively poised to already be doing and proceed doing for a while to come back.

  1. Decentralized: WordPress and open supply, normally, encourage participation from wherever. You’re only restricted by time and creativity.
  2. Particular person possession you personal the content material and might transfer it wherever you’d like, with none fee to WordPress. You may fork the challenge and make it your individual. You even have the four freedoms of open source and the GPL

Matt did ponder if all the pieces in Web3 and NFT adhere to the similar freedoms as WP, encouraging us to consider how the freedoms are utilized.


logos of 42 companies acquired this calendar year

In the previous 12 months, 42 acquisitions have occurred in WordPress. You may get a take a look at the longer historical past of WordPress acquisitions in the Post Status Acquisition Counter.

Whereas in the WordPress trade, the quantity of acquisitions has noticeably risen, in the tech trade normally, that is extra frequent. The worldwide mergers and acquisitions are up 12 months over 12 months.

5 minutes on 5 for the Future

Matt shared that it’s a delusion that “The bigger the firm, the better the affect”. The affect that an organization has in the future of WordPress isn’t associated to the dimension of the firm. As an alternative, Matt envisions a future of what contributing to the challenge might appear like.

What contribution to the WordPress project could look like: many large circles representing companies and many more smaller circles representing individual contributors

Launched in 2014, Five for the Future encourages organizations to contribute 5 % of their sources to WordPress improvement. WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg proposed this benchmark to take care of a “golden ratio” of contributors to customers.

In the world financial system, having only some of us to take care of the work could be a precarious situation. The best way to keep away from that in WordPress is to make sure extra contributors can be found to take care of the challenge. For comparability, this is able to appear like 2 hours given again to the challenge per week.

Concerned about alternatives to take part? Try these Five Ways to Participate in Five for the Future.

Democratizing publishing

democratize publishing text on slide

The software program that makes WordPress belongs to every of us as a lot as some other. It’s made accessible globally, in as many languages as potential, regardless of financial exercise, and as accessible as potential.

4 phases of Gutenberg


We at the moment are nearly midway by the Gutenberg Challenge rollout. Matt shared that we’ll stay in the customization section for a while but, as we create extra themes and patterns. Per the WordPress Roadmap:

  1. Simpler Enhancing — Already accessible in WordPress, with ongoing enhancements
  2. Customization — Full Website modifying, Block Patterns, Block Listing, Block primarily based themes
  3. Collaboration — A extra intuitive solution to co-author content material
  4. Multi-lingual — Core implementation for Multi-lingual websites

How has WordPress helped develop your story?

text reads how has wordpress helped grow your story #ilovewp

The WordPress Testimonials page is being revamped, and searching for social posts sharing the #ILOVEWP hashtag to incorporate. Share your story to submit one thing to the web page.

Moreover, Matt shared the useful resource, HeroPress, which options tales of WordPress contributors round the globe.

WordCamp US 2022

WordCamps are coming again in particular person. WordCamp US will occur in San Diego, CA in September.

Dwell questions and solutions

Adam Warner asking a question during State of the Word
Adam Warner asking Matt a query

Adam requested Matt to talk about privateness concerns deliberate for Openverse. Matt clarified that there are two directories.

  1. Openverse is sort of a search engine
  2. WordPress Photos is a separate listing and will probably be moderated to make sure it has no human faces or copyrighted materials.
Bob Dunn at microphone during State of the Word 2021
Bob Dunn requested Matt to increase upon WooCommerce

Bob Dunn, of DoTheWoo, had a novel journey to attend this occasion. Bob organized a sponsored prepare trip throughout the nation to be in particular person for this occasion, and alongside the manner has been podcasting and connecting with WordPress group members.

Bob requested Matt to share extra information about the future of WooCommerce. Largely the takeaway is that Matt needs it to be one of the greatest examples of methods to use Gutenberg. It is a crucial observe for third get together plugins to contemplate how WooCommerce will shift in the 12 months forward, and the way that may affect extensions.

Rich Tabor asks a question at State of the Word 2021
Wealthy Tabor asks about types

Wealthy Tabor requested Matt about having a Types listing in WordPress.  Matt cited constructing out theme.json extra after which rising CC0 media in the kind of photographs, movies, and typography. Themes evolving could be a bit of a thriller. Ultimately, Matt sees an API open to any platform of these types.

Alli Nimmons inquires about the youth of WordPress during State of the Word 2021
Alli Nimmons inquires about the youth of WordPress

Allie inquired about the future of WordPress and the way we improve a youthful contributor viewers. Matt shared

All the pieces I used to be utilizing was created by someone who wasn’t that a lot totally different from me or folks I knew. There are crafts that may be developed once you concentrate on an space.  There’s a lot you’ll be able to study just about any space you might be keen about. The issues I exploit and love had been created by folks not that a lot totally different than me.   

Michelle Frechette asking Matt a question at State of the Word 2021
Michelle Frechette follows up with one other query about reaching youth with WordPress

When Michelle Frechette requested Matt to talk about rising youthful contributors and youth in WordPress, Matt inspired serving to youth to make use of the instruments and discover ways to construct the internet. He inspired adults to mentor youth in these areas.

Different questions had been requested as effectively. Be sure you catch the replay hyperlinks under to get to every query.

Timestamps of the replay

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