Podcast Episode

316 – State of the Word Recap 2016


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State of the Word Recap 2016

  • Next year Nashville
  • 115 WordCamps in 2016 up from 89 last year in 41 countries, up from 34
  • 36,000 tickets sold
  • 750 Organizers, 2,056 Speakers, 1,036 Sponsors
  • 3,193 Meetups up from 2,016 in 58 countries up from 38, with 62,500 attendees
  • 150 videos on YouTube back to 2006
  • The WordPress Foundation will be changing it’s structure a bit. Instead of solely focused on WordCamps, it will now be supporting like minded non-profits like hack the hood and Internet Archive.
  • Also will be running educational workshops in underdeveloped countries and promote hackathons to help build websites for non-profits.
  • BuddyPress and bbPress have been updated
  • Partnering with Hacker1 to provide monetary benefits for notifying WordPress team about security vulnerabilities.
  • GlotPress got updated as well. It’s the software that powers translations
  • WordPress.org got an overhaul / refresh this year.
  • New plugins directory is almost ready. It’s running WordPress now. Found at http://wordpress.org/plugins-wp
  • Plugin usage is up 20% and plugin downloads is up 34% to 1.48 Billion
  • A big reason for this is translations. Went from 5,000 contributors in 2015 to 17,000 this year
  • 2/3rds of the world, speaks one of twelve languages: Chinese, English, Hindu, Arabic, Spanish, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese, French, Japanese, German
  • On release day, WordPress was available in 50 languages
  • Top 10 WordPress plugins are 82% complete in Top 12 Languages
  • Added Language packs which help plugins to be translated more easily
  • Last year, Matt requested us to “Learn Javascript Deeply” Today 28% or WordPress is Javascript, but it was about 28% last year
  • WordPress Growth Council, $320 million will be spent against WordPress in advertising
  • 11.45% HTTPS
  • WordPress.com is 100% on PHP7
  • On WordPress.org, PHP7 is recommended and HTTPS support
  • Calypso: in the last month 68% of posts were made thru the new interface for WordPress.com sites; with 17% on mobile and 15% in wp-admn
  • Calypso is now plugin aware and you can work with your plugin settings inside of your WordPress app. Starting with plugins that have more than 1 million active installs
  • WordPress 4.4, 4.5, and 4.6 have happened in the last year
  • In the last 5 years, WordPress market share has wen from 13.1% to 27.2%
  • No set releases in 2017: Rest API, the Editor (unify widgets, shortcakes, etc), the Customizer (instant editing)

Full Transcript

Business Transcription is provided by GMR Transcription.

Hello everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Your Website and Engineer Podcast. My name is Dustin Hartzler and today is all about updates and we’re going to talk a little bit about kind of the year in review from both automatics side of view, and from the WordPress side of view; what the community has been up to, what's WordPress the software been up to over the last 365 days or so. Let’s go ahead and just dive right in.

The reason I wanted to start with the automatic side of things is 1) because it’s the company that I work for empowers WordPress.com, and Jetpack and now woocommerce and all of the things that we talk about here on the show but they just recently released a year in review on their website. There’s a link to it in the show notes for episode No. 316 and it’s basically a year in review; things done in 2016 to empower you, and that’s the haiku from the year.

This website is really kind of amazing. It’s a full page, very beautiful-looking website. But basically I’m going to just kind of highlight just a few of the things. This show is going to be mainly highlights from different sides of things. So first let’s start with Automatic. The team is now spread across the world. There are, let’s see; it’s the team that’s building WordPress.com, Jetpack, woocommerce and a bunch of other things like Simplenote, and I’m trying to think of all the things – Polldaddy; there’s tons of different products that we work on. But there’s 510 automaticians now. We speak 69 different languages and the employees are in 51 different countries, which I think is crazy.

It talks about the meet-ups, of places we’ve been; just kind of a neat page to go and look at all the stats of everything. I’m not going to highlight everything here because it would take way too long to read all of the things. But it talks about how our communication is oxygen, how we have 793 Slack channels; there’s 441 unique, individual blog channels and we’ve had 4,628 Zoom chats in the last year. Giving back – as a company we give back. We’ve had 95 employees have been speakers. We’ve presented in 71 different WordCamps. We’ve made 350 commitments to Core and all of these things; just tons and tons of things. We’ve got 87 percent of the country prefers Coke versus Pepsi and like I said, there’s a lot of cool information there.

We’ve got highlights for some of the neat WordPress.com website; some of the ones that are out there that are just doing really amazing things with using WordPress.com. It talks about how there have been 595 billion posts written in the last year. There’s been 112 million likes, 8 billion emails have been sent from publishing on WordPress.com.

Up next is woocommerce. There are 39 percent of all online stores are running woocommerce. Mainly woocommerce is used on business websites or shopping, entertainment, technology, sports, social and health. There’s some highlights of some really great woocommerce sites if you’re looking for some inspiration for woocommerce sites.

There are 1.5 million active stores using WordPress. We as a support team have solved almost 120,000 support tickets this year. There have been 913 cat gifs shared on Slack because everybody needs to share some cat gifs, right?

Then moving onto Jetpack, in 2016 there are 2.1 million WordPress sites using Jetpack in 2016. There have been 374 million posts publicized onto different networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and things like that. The images served by Photon, the plug-in that I always recommend to turn on to help caching your images on your website has served 29 million images per day. 80 billion spam comments were blocked by Kismet and brute force attacks were prevented have been 23 billion, and that’s all with Jetpack.

On the VIP side of things, another brand underneath WordPress – or another brand underneath Automatic kind of highlights some of the highest profile, highest trafficked website that are running WordPress.com, our VIP version of WordPress and some of the sites that were launched in 2016 were People, LaRossa, Siliconvalley.com, the New York Times Journey, Harvard Gazette. And the single page day record was 187 million page views on one single day, and that was on Election Day. The average response time for a WordPress VIP site is 349 milliseconds. That is very, very quick.

Then there’s a bunch of – as you scroll down the page there are a lot more of kind of here are some great websites that are built on all of these platforms which are really nice. There’s a few more projects that we’re involved with and just a lot of stats there that you can go ahead and take a look at. It even shows that WordPress.org has been downloaded 196 million times in 2016. So that is kind of the update from Automatic. It’s got a cool video of the company photo and how that was happening in Whistler, Canada. So if you’re interested in and you want to see all those stats, and honestly if you just want to see a beautifully designed web page, head on over to Automatic.com/year-in-review-2017 or find the link in the show notes for episode No. 316.

Along with updates we’ve got a new update we talked about a few weeks ago; WordPress 4.7 and today’s plug-in that I want to share with you is a neat idea, and I’ve never really thought of this before but it’s a plug-in called WPCore update cleaner. This plug-in will automatically remove WP-config-sample.php, readme.html, and license files both in default and in localized versions when WordPress is updated. So you may remove these files when you install WordPress for the first time but they may come back once you update. I never thought of this before but you can get rid of these sites – or you can get rid of these files that aren’t really needed. You don’t need the readme.html in your WordPress site and so you can go ahead and get rid of those.

This will automatically do this as you install this. It is a brand-new plug-in. It’s version 1.0 and it has more than 600 active installs. And so if this is something that’s interesting to you and you want to keep your WordPress installation updated – not updated but like nice and clean and tidy, you’ll want to definitely install this plug-in called WPCore update leaner. You can find it in the WordPress Repository.

Alright, moving onto the State of the Word recap, I’ve just got a bunch of notes here; I’m just gonna kind of spew them out and it’s a bunch of fact and things that have changed over the last year and some of the updates, and where we’ve been. This is a keynote address given at the end of WordCamp US by Matt Mullenweg himself, the cofounder of WordPress. He just takes some time and goes through like a bunch of stats. He’s got some really beautiful images and the presentation deck that was put together was just really amazing. I'll put a link to both that and the video. The video is about an hour and 45 minutes so if you really want to spend some time and just watch the whole thing, feel free to do that. But this is just going to be a recap so if you don’t want to dedicate that kind of time, I’ve basically pulled out the big snippets and the big pieces that I felt may be most interesting to you.

So let’s go ahead and talk about it. Some of the stuff we’ve talked about in previous episodes leading up to this one but let’s just go ahead and roll. Next year, WordCamp in Nashville after two successful years in Philadelphia, we’ll be moving to Nashville and so look forward to that. It’s going to be about the same weekend it sounds like, so that first weekend in December. So that’s something to think about. I’m excited because Nashville is a lot closer to my house than Philadelphia is so there’s a good chance that I may go to WordCamp US next year.

In the past year there have been 115 WordCamps and that is up from 89 WordCamps in 2015. It was in 41 different countries and that’s up from 34 from the previous year. Across the board of all WordCamps there was 36,000 tickets sold. There have been 750 organizers, 2,056 speakers and 1,036 sponsors. Now, that’s all WordCamp-related. Moving onto meet-ups, there were 3,193 meet-ups from 2016 – that’s up from 2016 in 2015; that’s confusing to say. In 58 countries, up from 38 countries with 62,000 attendees across worldwide.

There are WordPress.tv has a YouTube channel now; there’s more than 150 videos there that date back to 2006. They’ve got all of the State of the Words are updated there now. So if you would rather watch on YouTube or put together a playlist to watch on YouTube so you can watch it on your Apple TV or on your Amazon Fire Stick, you can go ahead and do that versus WordPress.tv. So there’s tons and tons and tons of videos that you can watch; hours that you can learn about WordPress.

Another interesting tidbit that was shared in the State of the Word was WordPress Foundation will be changing its structure just a bit. Instead of solely focusing on WordCamps which is primarily what it does now, it will be supporting like-minded nonprofits like Hack the Hood and Internet Archive. They’re setting up an additional entity underneath the – I didn’t quite understand the whole thing but there’s going to be a separate entity that deals with WordCamps and is kind of the behind-the-scenes of running and organizing the WordCamps. Because it was a nonprofit 5013C, breaking away from that is going to give some more flexibility to organizers of WordCamps and just give them a little bit more power to do some things that were previously restricted because of the 5013C thing.

Let’s see. The WordPress Foundation will also be running educational workshops in underdeveloped countries and promote Hackathons to help build websites for nonprofits. This was a really cool initiative, as well. Thinking about a Hackathon and having ten local businesses from the area come in and bring 100 people together, and we build ten websites and then they’re all done by the end of the day and then people know how to use WordPress and run their website. It’s just kind of a cool idea and something that the WordPress Foundation is going to look at running for next year.

BuddyPress and bbPress have both been updated. They’re now talking about some of the updates that came to WordPress this year. Now another thing that’s happening is they’ve been partnering the WordPress.org Core has now partnered with HackerOne to provide monetary benefits for notifying WordPress teams about security vulnerabilities and so if there is a vulnerability that has been found by a WordPress – by somebody in the community, like affixing those – if somebody will fix those and there’s monetary value in there. Again, this was something that was kind of over my head and I was trying to jot notes really, really quick but that’s something else that’s going on.

GlotPress got updated as well and it’s the software that powers translations. And so that’s really a big deal because it makes it easier to translate even themes, plug-ins, and WordPress Core into native languages. Matt was saying how the plug-ins, you can see the rate of increase for plug-in downloads have been going up a lot in other countries outside of English speaking countries. This is because a lot of the functionality of WordPress comes in these plug-ins and now they’re starting to be translated into those native languages. It just makes that experience really, really nice. Before, you know, you might have set your dashboard to run in Spanish and then you’ve downloaded a plug-in and now all of a sudden it’s in English and that’s not a very cohesive experience. So I think there’s a little bit more about translations that we’ll talk about in just a second.

WordPress.org got an overhaul. They got a refresh and some of the things they’re working on look really nice. The new plug-ins directory is almost ready; you can see that – and I mentioned this in a previous episode – if you go to WordPress.org/plugins-workplace, you can see that new, revised look. Plug-in usage is up 20 percent and plug-in download is up 34 percent to 1.48 billion downloads for plug-ins in this past year. Like I said, Matt said that was part of seeing a lot of more downloads in those international areas.

A big reason for this – and I guess that’s my next point – the big reason for this is translations. They went from 5,000 contributors in 2015 for translating different pieces of WordPress into – just translating them into different languages and now it’s up to 17,000 this year; so from 5,000 to 17,000. And I think one of the other pieces, if I understand this correctly, GlotPress allows you to just translate strings themselves and then WordPress developers and plug-in developers can just – they can use the English strings and then GlotPress looks at this whole library and can use this information to translate their plug-ins. So plug-in developers don’t even need to learn how to translate; they can use GlotPress to do it, somehow along those lines.

The translation thing just kind of blows my mind because I don’t quite understand how it all works. But then on the other hand, it’s like it just blows my mind that it’s so easy to translate WordPress into so many different languages. Two-thirds of the world speaks one of 12 languages; Chinese, English, Hindu, Arabic, Spanish, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese, French, Japanese, and German. So those are the main target languages that are always trying to be 100 percent translating. It says on WordPress – on release day, WordPress was available in 50 languages and I think that was for version 4.6 as that was the last version before the State of the Word happened. So that’s really huge that on release day WordPress was available in 50 different languages 100 percent out of the board; no strings were un-translated, if you will.

So that’s really nice. It makes that – just the 27 percent of the websites that are using WordPress, that’s going to help us gain market share because so many people from other parts of the world that don’t natively speak English will be able to use WordPress in their own native tongue. The other thing that really is going to work out well with 4.7; now you can change that dashboard and not affect the outside of your website, or the front end of your website if you will. So if your website is in Spanish but you would rather speak Portuguese, in the WordPress dashboard you can change that and not affect what the outside, the front end of your website looks like.

Language packs have been added to help plug-ins be translated more easily. I think that kind of works with GlotPress in some way, shape or form to make sure that things are translated much easier. Last year Matt requested us all to learn JavaScript deeply. Today, 28 percent of WordPress is JavaScript. And then you follow that up with saying that it was about 28 percent last year so there hasn’t been a lot of change. Matt, actually the day before, put his first poll request in so he hasn’t himself been learning as much as he’d like to. But still, the way of the future in WordPress is learning about JavaScript and making JavaScript work better and make that interaction with your website much, much quicker and you can do that with JavaScript.

Let’s see. Another thing that was kind of born in the last year is the WordPress Growth Council. And it’s astounding that there’s going to be $320 million spent on advertising from other companies that are not WordPress. Some of those directly – those advertising dollars will go directly towards WordPress. And you probably see this if you search for something WordPress, you may see why Shopify is better than WordPress. I see that sometimes with woocommerce; why Shopify is better than woocommerce and it’s a sponsored post right there on the top of Google.

So those are ads being targeted at WordPress and at woocommerce. It’s just crazy that $320 million are spent against us, and WordPress itself is still 27 percent of the internet, which is really cool. Matt also said that Drupal was at 3.3 percent or something like that; 3.2 percent and Joomla was at 2.2 percent. And so there’s a big difference and they are second and third in line. So it’s like WordPress, and then this big gap and then Drupal and then Joomla. So those are the big three CMSs, if you will.

11.45 percent of WordPress sites are using HTTPS. That’s something that we’re talking about. They’ve changed the recommendations that on WordPress.org now, the recommendation is that PHP7 is now recommended and HTTPS support is supported, especially with Let’s Encrypt; it’s now free to get SSL certificates so that shouldn’t be a problem; that should be definitely on your to-do list to do in 2017, to update all of your websites to be compliant with HTTPS. WordPress.com is 100 percent on PHP; that is something that was a huge project that overtook lots of engineers quite a while to figure out.

And now, like I said, that is the recommended version. So if you are running your website and it may be using PHP 5.5 or 5.6, definitely recommend updating to version 7. I heard this and then instantly opened my to-do list and said update all my websites; make sure they’re all running PHP 7. There’s so much you can do. He showed a chart with performance increases. You basically will cut your load time in half just by updating to PHP 7, which is really, really nice.

Calypso, that was a project that was worked on for the last few years, is now – let’s see. In the last month, 68 percent of posts were made via the new interface for WordPress.com'; 70 percent on mobile and 15 percent in WP Admin. And so WP Admin – this was all for WordPress.com. But WP Admin is not going anywhere; that’s the familiar dashboard that we’re all used to seeing. But this new interface, the desktop app, I’ve been using the desktop app a lot mainly for catching up, using the reader to keep up with P2 posts and different bloggers that I tend to follow. I’m getting all that information through that but I'm really going to start expanding blogging and different things in the new year and using the WordPress.com app to do all of this stuff.

Calypso is now plug-in ware and you can tart adding your plug-in settings inside of the WordPress app. This is starting with plug-ins that have more than 1 million active installs. This is mainly just because they don’t want to overload the system with 47,000 requests to make plug-ins work within the WordPress app or within Calypso itself, and so that’s something that is going to be rolling out slowly over the next year.

Alright, in 2016 we got three new releases, or I guess since the last State of the Word. We got 4.4 which was December of last year, and we got 4.5 and 4.6; they all happened within the last year. And in the last five years, the WordPress market share has gone from 13 percent to 27 percent so it’s more than doubled in five years, which is really, really crazy. And then Matt also talked about – and I highlighted this in the last show, just a little bit about – there’s no set releases in 2017. There’s not going to be a three-month cycle or a four-month cycle that we get a WordPress version. It’s going to focus on the rest API, the Editor, and that’s like unifying widgets, short codes, things like that and the customizer is the third, and that’s all about instant editing.

There was a brief question and answer session after the State of the Word, as these are all of the notes that I had from the State of the Word. And the one that really stuck out with me was just an idea. I think that when you think about WordPress and you’re like oh, this is the way it’s always been, like this one guy stood up and he had a question. He’s like: is there any way that we can, when you switch from the visual mode to the code view inside of a post or page, can we do some syntax highlighting to make it easier to see? And Matt’s like: well, now that you’ve mentioned it, sure. And then it’ll be something that will just make it so much easier that we’ve never thought about and never tried to implement before.

That’s kind of a recap of the State of the Word in 15 minutes or so versus the hour and 45 minutes that it took to watch the thing. If you are interested in any way of just hearing Matt and hearing how he communicates and just kind of sets the vision and the goals for the next year, I highly recommend watching the video. It will be embedded on the show notes page for this episode at episode No. 316. That’s all I want to share with you this week. Next week, like I said, we’re going to talk about the new Flywheel plug-in and kind of be a little bit more of a Christmassy episode as we’re getting close to the holidays here in the United States.

Alright, scratch that. I thought I had one more week until Christmas but that’s not the case. So next week we’ll talk about how we can prepare for the New Year using a local development with either Local by Flywheel or Desktop Server by the folks over at ServerPress. So that will be the episode next week. Until then, take care and we’ll talk again soon. Bye-bye.

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