Podcast Episode

366 – State of the Word 2017

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State of the Word 2017 Recap

  • 128 WordCamps in 48 countries that’s an increase of 11.3% and 11.6% respectively
  • 39,625 tickets sold
  • 1,008 organizers, 2.310 speakers, 1,091 sponsors
  • 4,379 meetups in 73 countries
  • Brief mention of wework purchasing meetup
  • 99,301 attendees of Meetups, which is up 64.9%
  • Monthly attendance is up 31.6% since 4.8
  • $45,000 was donated to hack the hood, internet archive, black girls code
  • 4 do_action events took place
  • Since May 2017: 52 bugs, 46 hackers thanked, 39 rewards reported through hackerone
  • es.wordpress.org and 26 more countries got translated
  • 47.350 active plugins with 633,274,305 downloads
  • 1,166 themes and 2,023 plugins include language packs
  • Tide is new in 2018, which is an automated test for every plugin and theme in the repository
  • 36.28% of sites are using https (up from 14% last year)
  • Talked about two releases this year: 4.8 and 4.9
  • No default theme was worked on this year
  • Bonus focus: wp-cli
  • Then a big section and live demo of Gutenberg

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Full Transcript

Business Transcription is provided by GMR Transcription.

On today's episode, we do a recap of the State of the Word address by Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp US 2017 right here on Your Website Engineer podcast episode number 366. Hello, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Your Website Engineer podcast. My name is Dustin Hartzler and I am back in the state of Ohio after a wonderful trip to Nashville. I was able to go to my very first WordCamp US. It was a lot of fun and we'll get to that in just a second. Also, other things I wanna share with you this week is yourwebsiteengineer.com has celebrated its eighth anniversary. It looks like the first post that I ever made was way, way, way back on December 3r 2010. We got a link in the show notes, in case you wanna go back and listen to that embarrassing episode.

But just wanna say how thankful I am for the continued just opportunity for me to share WordPress knowledge each and every week, and for you to come, and listen, and just spend some time hanging out with me each week as I just teach you and just talk about WordPress because that's one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. So let's move on to the next piece of news, which is WordPress 4.9.1 security and maintenance release. This came out last week and it is a security and maintenance release for all versions since WordPress 3.7. So, all of the versions got a point release up from 3.7 to 3.8 to 4.0, yada, yada, yada. This basically fixes four security issues which potentially could be exploited as part of a multi-vendor attack. I'm not gonna go into all the details but your website should have updated itself if you have enabled auto updates or if your web hosting will update your sites for you as well.

So go ahead and check that out. If you haven't, update to WordPress 4.9.1. Alright, another thing that I wanna share in the news and this is something that I found from over at the folks at Flatiron School. This isn't necessarily a WordPress thing but they are doing a code drive in 2017. For each lesson that's completed, they'll donate $1.00 towards scholarships for refugees. This is a seven-day coding marathon from 12/11 to 12/17 and each lesson that's completed, $1.00 will go towards full scholarships for refugees. And you can use any of the Flatiron School curriculum including the free bootcamp, 75-hour bootcamp, which I'm currently going through. So lots of questions and FAQs to be answered and that's over on the page, so if you're interested in diving into code just a little bit more, you wanna learn about a little bit more code, and give back, and generate some money for scholarships, then this is a perfect opportunity for you.

I'm working through the JavaScript portion of the 75-hour bootstrap course. I picked it up again last night. It's been a few weeks since I had worked on it last, and just working through creating functions, and creating all kinds of things in JavaScript, which is extremely frustrating, extremely challenging, and is a lot of fun as well. So if you're interested in that, go ahead and check out the link in the show notes for that. And then the plugin of the week that I wanna share with you this week is called WordPress Copy Content. This is a brand new plugin. It's very basic, and it allows you to copy parts of the content from existing posts or pages, or you can add some extra content from existing posts. This is a simple plugin. It doesn't do a whole lot but what it says that you can search for posts and page by its title, and then you can select the results from the search results, and then fetch the content on the post or the page.

It allows you to search your website, find the content that you need, and then you can copy that, and put it on new posts or pages. It only works on the content and not any of the meta boxes or whatnot but this is a great way to make some copies on across your WordPress website. Alright, let's get to the main part of the show. Today, I want to talk about just a recap of what happened at WordCamp US and the State of the Word address by Matt Mullenweg. It was really exciting to be in the crowd. Ever since I started watching the State of the Word, it's always been recorded a few days later. I've never actually been able to live stream it or even watch the questions online. This was just really neat to be in the studio audience. It was a giant place. The WordCamp organizers, there was 19 of them for WordCamp US and they did a phenomenal job. They picked a venue called The Music City Center and it was this giant, giant, giant building.

It was big enough for the 1,500+ people that were there. It was so big that one morning we were walking in a different way than we normally did, and we walked in a different exit, and we went up another floor, and then we just walked, and walked, and walked. We walked probably for five or ten minutes and we still hadn't got to our part of the convention center, which was crazy. It was so incredibly big. It was a beautiful place and the sessions were amazing; the topics were great. One of the cool things that I learned later that was pulled out of information from the speakers was all of the speakers submitted their sessions. The only thing the organizers saw were the title and the description of the sessions. That's how they got picked. This is probably a great piece of information for other WordCamp organizers out there to just pick based on the topic, not based on the people.

They had no idea; they saw no names. Then that's how they picked the people that got to speak. All of the sessions I went to were phenomenal. I was a volunteer and was able to help out in several of the rooms; help the speakers get from point A to point B to make sure they were there on time. It was just an overall great event. There was a social gathering afterwards and that was held at a science museum, which was really cool. I think it was mainly for kids, sometimes adults. But it was just really neat to have fun. They had hors d'oeuvres, and desserts, and then they had drinks, and then they had just time to go and play. You could be inside the human body; there was a life-size thing where you could go through the human body through the intestines and whatnot. So that was pretty cool. They had all kinds of other different events and activities to do. And then it was just a great place you could socialize, you could play, you could hang out.

It was, in overall, just a wonderful time and it was so much fun. If you are thinking or if you're on the fence about next year and, again, we'll talk about this in months, and months, and months. But I highly recommend going to WordCamp US. You'll learn a lot, and you'll see some amazing, incredible people, and you'll get to meet a lot of cool people as well. Let's go ahead and recap. What I like to do after the State of the Word is just bring you some of the stats and statistics that Matt talked about that's happened over the year of 2017. In 2017, there were 128 WordCamps in 48 countries and this is up 11 percent in each of those categories. Every one of these stats have went up. WordCamps, there was 39,000 tickets sold, so almost 40,000 tickets. This is up 7 percent from last year. There were 1,008 organizers, 2,300 speakers, and a little over 1,000 sponsors. It's up 33.9 percent for organizers.

So a ton more organizers have helped put on WordCamps all over the globe in this past year. In 2017, there were 4,300 meetups in 73 countries. These are also both significant jumps in meetups based on previous years, based on last year's results. Since meetup.com has now been purchased by WeWork, there was a little bit of conversation about how WeWork will allow maybe some of their spaces available for meetups. But what they saw and Matt was bummed they couldn't get the number up just a little higher, but there were 99,301 attendees to meetups in 2017. And again, there's a little bit of time left in 2017 for the December holiday meetups, but that attendance has gone up 64.9 percent. This is largely in contribution to the WordPress 4.8. When that came out, there was a new area – there's events widget that shows up by default on your WordPress installation on that home dashboard.

That is the events widget that pulls in the information for local events happening towards you. So if you happen to be in Nashville, the screenshot shows that WordCamp US is happening in Nashville. It also shows some other events that are happening in the current month of December for Nashville. This has increased attendance by 31 percent, which is huge. It's a small, little change that came in the dashboard and that's how we find a lot of people join our meetup. It's like, "Oh, I saw about it in the dashboard." So it's pulling information from meetup.com and the WordCamp org site to make sure that you know what local events are happening in your area. One other interesting thing that was in the keynote was talking about the WordPress Foundation, and how it has partnered up, and donated $15,000 to three different organizations. It is the Hack the Hood, the Internet Archive, and Black Girls Code.

Those three organizations are supported by the WordPress Foundation and they've been donated $15,000 each for a total of $45,000. There were also four events in this past year called do_action events. They were in Johannesburg, Beirut, Cape Town, and Montreal. These are events that give business owners the opportunity to work on their websites, and fix things, and just an overall cool event. I think mainly the first one is started in Cape Town and then they've spread to four different cities around the world. Another thing that was mentioned by Matt in the State of the Word is, since May of 2017, they started to partner with HackerOne and this is helping to resolve some bugs and figure out some issues that may have happened. Since May 2017, so just in the last few months, there were 52 bugs resolved, and 46 different people thanked or hackers thanked, and 39 reports rewarded.

That's making WordPress more safe and more secure all with the help of HackerOne. Talked a little bit about wordpress.org and how if you head on over to es.wordpress.org, that is now fully translated in Spanish. So you can see the Spanish version of wordpress.org. It also talked about that it's not just in Spanish, but they have 26 more languages. This is allowing people to do a search, find information about WordPress, and go to that specific language site on wordpress.org. And then from there, they can navigate, and they can start getting that whole experience inside the wordpress.org; they're getting that experience in their native tongue. Matt talked about the 47,350 active plugins and it has 633 billion plugin downloads, which is an awful lot. These numbers are beginning to be as silly as the App Store for Apple. They talk how many billions, and billions, and billions of downloads.

Well, we're getting to that point with WordPress. Another thing they talked about was the themes and the plugins that include language packs now and language packs allow themes and plugins to be translated. But there's a 1,100+ themes and just a few over 2,000 plugins that have language packs built in, ready to be translated. They showed a statistic of the top ten plugins in the WordPress repository and how many languages they've been translated into. The All in One SEO Pack has been the one that's been translated the most with 56, and then Contact Form 7, Yoast, Akismet, Jetpack, WordPress Importer, WooCommerce, Google XML Sitemaps, Limit Login Attempts, and TinyMCE Advanced. Those round out the top ten and the lowest one is Google XLM Sitemaps at 19. All the rest of them have 20 or more different languages that are fully customized and fully able to be used right out of the box.

Another thing new in 2018 is a thing called Tide. This is a series of automated tests run against every plugin and theme in the directory. This is another way that they're making WordPress plugins and themes in that repository, making them more secure, and making sure they pass some of these automated tests before they can be download to our websites. Talked about a time how the percentages went up 14 percent from last year but we're now sitting at 36.28 percent of WordPress sites are now using HTTPS. So a lot of websites are starting to adapt that standard of using the secure version of their website. And then we talked about the two different releases where they focus once on customization and that was in 4.8 and 4.9. Talked about the new widgets and the update to widgets, the Rich Text Formatting, how the linking works a lot better than it did before, the events widget that we mentioned before.

Then in 4.9, they talked about scheduling customization drafts, how to share a live link in the customizer, and customizer locking. So, if you're in the customizer and somebody else is in the customizer, it will let the second person know that somebody's already in there. You can either take over or you can wait, and you can preview, and watch what they're doing. There's also restore and auto saves in the customizer. And there's better native code editing in WordPress 4.9. There was no default theme this year. That was something else that was a shock and Matt stumbled upon that. He said that there was gonna be no 2017 theme or no 2016 theme. I think he meant no 2018 theme because we already have 2016 and 2017. There's still a lot of room to improve the API, so that's gonna be one of the focuses and then a bonus focus in the next year, and we've been focusing on it quite a while is WP-CLI.

It's now managed under the WordPress Foundation and it is a specific area that you can contribute to on the wordpress.org site. It is something that if you're interested in controlling your website via the command line, that's what WP-CLI is. In the last few months, we've had four releases of WP-CLI with 124 contributors and there's been 46 WP-CLI talks at WordCamps. And then we ran into the longest section of the keynote. This was talking about the longest running major feature development that we've ever had and that is for editing with Gutenberg. It is just an effort to simplify into one elegant concept blocks. That's the main thing. It's been 11 months since kick off. It kicked off about last year, about this time. It has over 4,000 commits, over 100 people contributed, and there's been 1,700 issues either started or resolved over these last 11 months.

There's been 18 major revisions and they're estimating about 12 more iterations left, which will get us to about April of next year, so about four more months left. In the meantime, they're gonna be releasing 4.9.2, 4.9.3, 4.9.4. All of the different versions out there are continuing to inch their way towards WordPress 5.0 which will be Gutenberg. So what needs to happen in this amount of time? There needs to be tons of documentation, there needs to be continued conversations, there needs to be plugin developers fix, and it needs testing. There are lots and lots of things to do. You can contribute to Gutenberg if you go to wordpress.org/gutenberg or you can find it on GitHub by searching github.com/wordpress/gutenburg. Forget 280 characters, Matt said. How about let's have 280 blocks; a play on the new Twitter thing. Now there are 280 characters instead of 140.

Then he also talked about there's a new classic editor and I believe I talked about this as a plugin of the week one week. And this basically allows you to turn off Gutenberg when it comes out and you can go to the classic editor, especially if some of the plugins haven't fully adopted the new version quite yet. So that's a little bit of a recap. It was a very different approach in 2017. They didn't have three standard releases every four months and, “the world didn't end,” Matt said. The market share is now at 29.0 a little bit a percent. It went up 2 percentage points in 2017. So we're slowly, slowly, slowly creeping to them; that one third percentage mark. Matt's gonna keep on the lead hat through 2018 and they're just gonna continue focusing on site customization with Gutenberg. Right now, it's really the content areas, so anything that you would do in a post or pages section.

But they really want to be able to add blocks to themes and be able to, "Oh, I wanna be able to change the header image." That's a block. "I wanna change my sidebar." That's a block. "I wanna change my social icons." That's a block. So those are some things that they're working for. They're working at customizations that's just faster, easier, and better, and more intuitive. Those are some of the key points. Matt seems to think that most of the hard stuff is out of the way and he said that he also had been wrong about some of these things before in the past. Then he closed with a little bit of Q&A. That was the recap. It's about a two hour presentation. I've embedded it in the show notes for episode number 366. If you wanna take a chance to watch it, it was really good. It was the first keynote that's ever been done that's had other people talk besides Matt.

They brought up a couple of the leads from WordPress 4.8 and 4.9 and then they had somebody do a live demo in the middle of the presentation. The live demo was funny because it was Matias and he is one of the lead developers in the Gutenberg area. He kept saying, "Oh, and there's one more thing," and, "I wanna show you this one more thing." And then he did about eight more "one more things" before he was finally done with his preview but it was really cool. I think you could tell the energy in the room got really excited about what's to come in WordPress, and how great WordPress is going to continue to evolve, and get better and better. So that was the State of the Word; 1,500 people packed into one room in this giant room that probably could've held two, three, 4,000 people. It was very, very big. It could've had a lot more chairs in. It was really cool to be there live in person as Matt gave the State of the Word.

Then on Sunday, it was contributor day. They had just long, long tables broken down with little table tents with different sections that you wanna contribute to, whether it be community, or customizations, or supports, or documentation, or core, or design, and marketing, and all these different things. I spent some time with the meta team and that's the team that's responsible for the wordcamp.org site. They do a lot of other miscellaneous things like the plugin sites, and wordpress.org, wordcamp.org, all of those cool things. I got some tips and some tricks in, and learned how to contribute there, and spend some time just figuring out what that looks like, and how I can give back in that way, shape, or form. It's a little bit different than my normal role doing support or creating podcast episodes. So I thought, "Hey, maybe I can go in there and at least troubleshoot and figure out some bugs.

Maybe do some testing." If I'm not writing any code, that's one thing, but that would be a great start for me. So I got some action items. I've got some tabs still open on my computer that I'm working through, and just trying to figure out how I can contribute back to WordPress, and how I can continue just helping this community evolve. I'm starting to plan the WordCamp Dayton now. After seeing this gigantic event, it was so much fun, so cool, and just some of the ideas are like, "Oh, we can do this at Dayton. We can do this at Dayton." Obviously, we can't do a lot of the things that were made for a mass, mass, mass amount of people because we'll have 200 people versus 1,500. But some of the little, elegant things that they did at WordCamp US were really cool and I really appreciated that. So that's my recap of State of the Word address.

Again, it was in Nashville 2017; beautiful venue, beautiful city, lots of fun hanging out with some old friends, and made some new friends. So that's my recap from State of the Word 2017 with Matt Mullenweg. Until next week, take care, and we'll talk again soon. Bye-bye.

    • Joey Reply

      Congrats on the 8th anniversary! It’s such a milestone! I’ve been listening every single week since 2010 or 11. I’ve learned a ton, thank you for doing what you’ve been doing. 😉

      Dec 17, 2017
      • Dustin Hartzler Reply

        Thanks Joey! Glad you’ve been on this journey with me 🙂

        Dec 21, 2017

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