Newspack: Automattic, Google, and the SaaSification of WordPress

Earlier today Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com headed by WordPress co-founder and project lead Matt Mullenweg) announced Newspack by WordPress.com, a “next-generation publishing platform” “aimed at small- and medium-sized news organizations”. The new platform is funded in part by Google, through the Google News Initiative, and other companies. Here are my preliminary thoughts. A missed opportunity…

Gutenberg and the Future of WordPress: Conditions for Success

NB: This article is part of a series on the new WordPress editing experience called "Gutenberg". If you are not familiar with Gutenberg, check out the first article in the series. As the Gutenberg project moves ever closer to merging with WordPress, users, administrators, designers, developers, and core contributors are raising concerns about timelines and what…

WordPress is Changing. Here are 3 Things You Need to Know About Gutenberg

Everything you know about WordPress is about to change. The project codenamed "Gutenberg" is reimagining what content creation and editing on the web should look like and how it should work. Some time in 2018 the way WordPress works and the way you work with WordPress will change in a fundamental way, whether you are a visitor,…

The Case for Telemetry in WordPress

Update August 10, 2017: After publishing this article I reopened the Trac ticket arguing the reason for closing it was no longer valid in lieu of Gutenberg’s collection of telemetry. A few hours later it was announced that usage tracking will be removed from Gutenberg and the ticket was closed as the original argument for closing it is once again accurate.…

On Trust and Opacity

Yesterday Tom McFarlin published an important article titled The WordPress Community (A Comedy of Drama, Ego, Oligarchies, and More). If you work with WordPress or the WordPress community, it is mandatory reading and worth some serious reflection. Tom shines a light on some of the darker parts of flat-structure communities and asks poignant questions about communication, language,…

WordPress, Responsive Images, and Dynamic Image Sizes

This is an addendum to my article WordPress Image Handling in a Responsive Images World. If you haven’t done so already you should read it to get the background. Responsive Images in WordPress Core opens up a previously unattainable opportunity for the application to allow theme (and plugin) designers and developers to take control over image…