2020 was incredibly difficult, but one thing that remained consistent is the power of the WordPress community. In the face of so many challenges, WordPress users around the world came together to create virtual events, move small businesses online, and put out three major Core releases.
Like everything else this year, Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word looked a little different. As always, he looked at the year’s successes and outlined what’s to come, but the whole event was held virtually. It was streamed live across three channels and people were encouraged to submit questions ahead of time.
If you missed the stream, you can watch the archived video here.
Let’s dive into specifics.
This year, we saw three major Core releases. 5.4 had over 554 contributors. It included design tools around colors as well as blocks for social icons. Most importantly, it got a 14% increase in speed.
The next release, 5.5, was created by over 800 contributors, which is the largest team ever. It included the distraction-free editor, and the block directory.
And finally, 5.6 was released just this month. This update was created by over 600 women or non-binary members of the community. We have a full breakdown here.
You don’t have to have coding experience to contribute to Core. If you want to give back but don’t know how, Mullenweg announced the creation of learn.wordpress.org. The site is full of free workshops and information on how to get more involved with WordPress.
“If WordPress has ever helped you or allowed you to help others, I urge you to learn about the WordPress project,” Mullenweg said.
In spite of everything that happened this year, WordPress now powers 39 percent of the web. That number grew 5% just this year. According to Mullenweg, Three things contributed to that growth.
Because people were stuck at home, many had more time to work on WordPress projects. With that, more and more businesses needed to move online, and chose WordPress as their CMS. Finally, many people lost their jobs and were forced to build WordPress sites to either supplement their income or as a way to work for themselves.
The year ahead is incredibly exciting, especially when it comes to Gutenberg. 2021 will be a big year for Full Site Editing. Users will be able to edit anything on the front end with blocks.
The experience will be extremely similar to the editor experience and will make using WordPress much more accessible. Anyone can jump in and customize everything with just a few clicks.
This will be huge going into 2021 where more and more businesses will see the importance of moving online.
Working Together, Being Apart
There is still a lot of uncertainty going into 2021, and it looks like we will all be at home awhile longer. If we’ve learned anything from this year, it’s that WordPress will continue to persist no matter what.
As Mullenweg said, “A lot of the success is due to our cultural generosity.”
This community is incredibly resilient and is ready to reach out and help people in need. As long as we stay open and accepting of each other, we will succeed.
Here’s to 2021!