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State of the Word 2021

A glance again and ahead in the WordPress mission

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

Whereas this occasion is normally live-streamed, this yr welcomed a hybrid strategy at the workplaces of Tumblr. Adam Warner, GoDaddy Professional Subject 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 mission, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, kicked off the occasion with a brief introduction.

2021 Yr 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 yr.

Nonetheless, this yr 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 vigorous dialogue in the feedback of Anne McCarthy’s put up “Why I voted to delay WordPress 5.9” sheds mild on why this transfer was made.

Core committers

This yr, 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.

Advertisement 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 employees in Serbia serving to subtitle the content material on Study WordPress.
  • Diversity in WordPress 135 individuals in 66 cities in 16 international locations 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 couple 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 yr as effectively. Content material Administration Programs don’t seem like taking market share away from one another, however in years previous the prime CMS included all open-source software program.
  • Safety efforts to the WordPress mission noticed elevated progress this yr. 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. At any time when 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 knowledge heart 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 just a few demos about the options coming to WordPress 5.9.

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

The longer term of WordPress

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

Web3 and WordPress

Is Web3 only a buzzword? Matt centered 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, typically, encourage participation from wherever. You’re only restricted by time and creativity.
  2. Particular person possession you personal the content material and may transfer it wherever you’d like, with none cost to WordPress. You may fork the mission and make it your personal. You even have the four freedoms of open source and the GPL

Matt did ponder if every thing 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 yr, 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 business, the quantity of acquisitions has noticeably risen, in the tech business typically, that is extra frequent. The worldwide mergers and acquisitions are up yr over yr.

5 minutes on 5 for the Future

Matt shared that it’s a delusion that “The bigger the firm, the larger the affect”. The affect that an organization has in the future of WordPress will not be associated to the dimension of the firm. As a substitute, Matt envisions a future of what contributing to the mission 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 p.c of their sources to WordPress growth. WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg proposed this benchmark to keep up a “golden ratio” of contributors to customers.

In the international economic system, having just a few of us to keep up the work will be a precarious situation. The way in which to keep away from that in WordPress is to make sure extra contributors can be found to keep up the mission. For comparability, this might appear like 2 hours given again to the mission per week.

Thinking about alternatives to take part? Take a look at 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 every other. It’s made obtainable globally, in as many languages as potential, regardless of financial exercise, and as accessible as potential.

4 phases of Gutenberg


We are actually virtually midway via the Gutenberg Mission rollout. Matt shared that we’ll stay in the customization part for a while but, as we create extra themes and patterns. Per the WordPress Roadmap:

  1. Simpler Enhancing — Already obtainable in WordPress, with ongoing enhancements
  2. Customization — Full Website modifying, Block Patterns, Block Listing, Block based mostly themes
  3. Collaboration — A extra intuitive technique 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.

Reside 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 issues 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 might 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 broaden upon WooCommerce

Bob Dunn, of DoTheWoo, had a novel journey to attend this occasion. Bob organized a sponsored practice trip throughout the nation to be in particular person for this occasion, and alongside the means has been podcasting and connecting with WordPress neighborhood 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 how you can use Gutenberg. It is a crucial notice for third celebration plugins to contemplate how WooCommerce will shift in the yr 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 growing CC0 media in the type of photographs, movies, and typography. Themes evolving is usually a bit of a thriller. Finally, 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

Every thing 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 find out about just about any space you’re obsessed with. 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 growing 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. Make sure you catch the replay hyperlinks under to get to every query.

Timestamps of the replay


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