10 Master WordPress Developers that use WordPress Default Themes

Quite often people ask me why this website looks plain. People often harangue me, “Why don’t you have this featured or that design?” For people in the know about WordPress they usually say, “Why are you using a default theme?”

The answers to these questions is simple, I don’t like spending time solving WordPress theme and plugin issues. On several of my websites I’ve solved a whole lot of problems with custom themes, themes bought from 3rd party vendors, and themes I’ve tweaked myself over the years.  There are a range of issues you can encounter using a plethora of plugins and WordPress theme tweaks. On a lot of my websites I’ve left some of these issues just sit there for months as I’ve wracked my brain trying to fix them.  One example is a news site I help run still has a broken RSS feed because we haven’t gotten any help from the theme developers and we can’t fix it ourselves.

I’d like to think I can hang with serious WordPress developers, although I have solved a fair number of WordPress issues, I can’t really. So for some of my websites I just opt to use the default Twenty Fifteen theme. For the time being I want sites up with as little hassle as possible. Using a default theme provides that for the most part.

To people who think using a WordPress default theme is lame I usually point out many WordPress developers and leaders utilize default themes. Often the reply is, “Who?” and I have to list of some names I can’t always remember.

To combat this and show the world that master WordPress developers can use default themes too I’ve compiled this list. The majority of people on this list work for Automattic, the company behind WordPress, in some capacity.

Next time people want to question me, or you, here is the proof that default themes are perfectly fine.

wordpress developers matt mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg

The guy that founded and coded the most popular content management system (CMS), WordPress, on the web today uses a default WordPress theme.  Matt Mullenweg uses the Twenty Thirteen for his personal blog Ma.TT with some color and design tweaks. I can only assume that he had a lot to do with the design and layout of Twenty Thirteen and therefore likes using it himself. Why not use what you built for WordPress?

While building the most popular CMS is pretty cool, what’s even cooler about Matt is that he plays saxophone. We all know people who play saxophone are incredibly cool. Especially when your band consists of singing dogs. :)

Andrew Nacin

Andrew Nacin is a lead developer of WordPress and one of only a handful of people with full commitment access to the WordPress core.  In laymen’s terms this means he is pretty damn good with PHP, the programming language that Wordpress is built on.

For quite a long time Andrew Nacin used the default Twenty Ten WordPress theme on his blog. I assume Andrew was too busy working with PHP code and WordPress core to worry about designing his own website. Recently though it seems Andrew decided to update to the Twenty Fifteen default theme for his personal site.

Unfortunately for the WordPress community Andrew has “gone to the dark side”, he now works for a government agency. He does not contribute to the Wordpress core code as much as he has taken a job with the US Digital Service. I guess this is some new government agency within the White House to that aims to solve issues with  digital and web services that agencies offer.  I hope for everyone’s sake it is not just another way for a government bureaucracy to burn more taxpayer money.

Since the White House still uses the the vomit inducing CMS Drupal, I’d say the US Digital Service has not done it’s job.  We shouldn’t blame the people that work there though, we all know Washington DC bureaucrats love things that don’t work properly.

Mark Forrester

Mark Forrester is the founder of WooThemes and the most popular ecommerce WordPress plugin, WooCommerce. Forrester’s company, based in South Africa, was acquired by Automattic in May of 2015.

Mark uses the Twenty Fifteen theme with a couple of color and design tweaks. He even states on his Bio page;

This site uses the Twenty Fifteen WordPress theme with some minor customizations made via a child theme.

Why isn’t Mark Forrester using a WordPress theme from WooThemes? I have no idea. I’m sure Mark Forrester doesn’t care as he made plenty of dough, and probably continues to make plenty of dough, for Automattic via WooThemes and WooCommerce. Why make things complicated?

Forrester rocks South Africa’s country code top level domain (ccTLD) .ZA for his personal website too.

Donnacha O Caoimh

Don’t ask me how to pronounce his Irish name but Donncha O Caoimh was the first Automattic employee.  He has worked on numerous WordPress plugins and current helps with PollDaddy, which helps a webmaster manage polls and surveys within WordPress.

For his personal website he also the Twenty Fifteen theme. The background is tweaked and in the footer I noticed it’s called “Z9 Twenty Fifteen” as his website is Z9.IO.  I’m unsure of what Z9 is but it seems that Donncha switched to using a .IO domain now instead of .IE domain, which is the ccTLD for Ireland. Personally I’d rather use a .IE as people who read my articles know I am not a .IO domain fan.

Takashi Irie

It is unsurprising to see Takashi Irie using the Twenty Fifteen theme. Why? He was the lead designer/developer for it.  Since he works for Automattic as Theme Generator it must be pretty pleasing to see so many people use Twenty Fifteen. Especially a lot of his Automattcian colleagues. Doesn’t look like he has even made any tweaks or upgrades to it. Why mess with theme perfection? Obviously Japanese people design and build the best stuff. :)

Ian Daniel Stewart

Ian Daniel Stewart was a project lead for Twenty Fifteen along with Takashi Irie. He uses the WordPress default theme along with Irie.  Unfortunatley he CSS’ed his background and sidebar into a mustard yellow. Can some Automatticians convince him to switch color schemes?

David A Kennedy

David A. Kennedy works a Theme Wrangler and Theminator for Automattic. He wrangles themes for WordPress.com, is part of the WordPress Accessibility team, and contributes to the Underscores Theme. Underscores is specifically for hacking and making awesome tweaks. Kennedy uses the default Twenty Fifteen theme with a sparkly background.

Jack Lenox

Jack Lenox is a Design Engineer at Automattic.  Like many of his WordPress colleagues he uses the Twenty Fifteen default theme with a black background but keeps the blog posts white. He also lives in the United Kingdom where he can enjoy unfettered access to Top Gear, the greatest car show of all time.

Daniel W Robert

Daniel W. Robert is a Theme Wrangler, at you guessed it, Automattic. For his personal site he uses Twenty Fifteen with a gray background and a black sidebar.  lives in Greenville, South Carolina.

Kirk Wight

Kirk Wight is another Theme Developer for Automattic. He helps make WordPress.com as awesome as it can be. Wight uses the Twenty Fifteen theme and I don’t see many tweaks accept the sidebar has a widgets to his social profile.

Wight is Canadian and helps organize Wordcamp Vancouver. He is original from Montreal though. Kirk Wight likes rocking Canada’s ccTLD, .CA, much like Mark Forrester likes using .ZA for his country, South Africa.

Sooo… Why do so many top WordPress Developers use WordPress Default Themes?

You’ll have to ask these Automatticians and WordPress Developers. I assume the reason is because the are so busy designing and building themes for the entire world and working on WordPress, they don’t have much time to worry about designing their personal websites.  As you can see though using the Twenty Fifteen theme is fine as it is slick, fast, and looks good.

Even this whole article shows using default themes if fine, I should let people know I will be redesigning AdamYamada.com and Singing Dogs in the coming months.  They need more than what Twenty Fifteen can provide I just need to decided on what design and platform to use. Have any suggestions? Feel free to let me know with a comment below.

Also, do you know of anyone else who works at Automattic that uses a WordPress default theme? Do you know anyone that has a high traffic website with a default theme? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Interserver Review – The Best Unlimited Hostgator Alternative

I know it’s been awhile since my last article on here, so I thought I’d try to get back into the groove with this Interserver Review.  Haven’t heard of Inteserver? Well this outfit is truly a gem in the crowded field of web hosting and a great Hostgator alternative, Bluehost alternative, or other Endurance International Group (EIG) alternative if you are looking for “unlimited” shared web hosting. Anyway let’s get started with this review shall we.

Adam’s Interserver Review

interserver review

Interserver has been in the web hosting business for quite a long time, even if they are not that well known. The company was started back in 1999 by two friends, Michael Lavrik and John Quaglieri.  Pretty interesting story as Lavrik and Quaglieri started this web hosting company when they were just 15 years old. They rented out server space and grew their customer base from there.  A few years later they decided to construct their own datacenter and they are still in business today. I don’t know about you but back when I was 15 I was more interested in looking at scantily glad girls then worrying about starting a web hosting business. (This might still be true today.)

I found Interserver when I was researching Litespeed web hosting companies. Litespeed is is a server operating system which supposedly helps manage system resources better than what the majority of web hosting companies use, Apache. Interserver is listed as a hosting partner on Litespeed’s website.  I noticed some good reviews of them, mainly for VPS (virtual private servers), on a few places and thought I’d give them a shot for one of my websites which is news and review based. We migrated to Interserver from Siteground, while a good web hosting company, sometimes just felt a little slow and overpriced for what you got.

What type of service does Interserver provide? Read on my friend.


Many webmasters, bloggers, etc. are concerned with site speed. People don’t like waiting around for sites to load and studies have shown people bounce if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to display in a browser. Siteground had some built-in caching tools you could utilize in the backend dashboard, but typically I found for my news site these never worked to speed things up as expected.  Sometimes Siteground caching conflicted with the caching plugin we already had installed.  Google also takes speed as a factor in SEO (search engine optimization) and SERP (search engine results pages) these days.

When we moved the site we had with to Interserver, I noticed our average load times dropped from 10 seconds to 2 seconds.  I used WebPageTest.org and Google’s Speed tool and both showed a noticably improvement. We didn’t touch or change anything else except move the site to Interserver. Server pings generally average less than 100ms, they usually are around 70ms. As a comparison I know with a few EIG hosts these days if you ping the server you can expect responses in the 500ms range.

There are certain times of the day I’ve noticed where speed fluctuates, but this is to be expected with shared web hosting. Bottom line slower sites means less visitors, and less revenue. With Interserver we’ve generally been happy with the speeds for this WordPress website.

Customer Support

How is Interserver customer support? Absolutely incredible! The customer support team is knowledgeable and always willing to help solve even complex problems. John Quaglieri, who is a co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO), often answers tickets and helps work through issues. I’ve been impressed with his dedication to support.

Most of the Interserver support team is outsourced with most of the technical people in India. Some people may have a problem with outsourcing support but I’ve found this hasn’t been an issue. All the support I’ve received from the Indian technical support team has been top notch.

I did call Interserver once and I thought I’d get a support person based in India. It was actually someone at their New Jersey datacetner facility, at least I assume.  The guy had a Northeast accent. So not everything is outsourced.

What about ticket response time? I’ve experienced responses that are immediate. Longest I’ve waited is probably over a hour and that was usually for an issue that needed to be looked into.  Generally you’ll wait a few minutes to 30 minutes. In my book that is a great response time for tickets for a web hosting company.

Interserver offers ticket, chat, and phone support.  A lot of companies only do ticket support these days.  If you need help or have questions you can reach them 24/7.

Pricing – Interserver Hosting Plans

Interserver only offers one shared hosting plan which offers Unlimited domains, bandwidth, databases, email accounts, etc. Pricing for month to month for the shared web hosting plan is $4.95 with options to pay in 6 months, yearly, 2 years upfront, or even 3 years upfront.  The longer you sign-up for the greater your discount is. I have two shared hosting plans with Interserver.

If you ever need to upgrade your hosting plan from shared web hosting Interserver offers a nice amount of options.  Specifically the VPS and dedicated hosting plans.

For Cloud VPS hosting the plans start at $6 for 25 gigabytes of space and 1,000 gigabytes of bandwidth transfer. That’s a pretty damn good deal. If you want extras like cPanel it is $10 per month, Softaculous $2, and extra IPs $1.  That means to get a managed VPS with cPanel you could get for $16 a month.  If you check around most managed Cloud VPS plans, with cPanel, are going to cost you $30 you or more a month.

If I was going to upgrade to VPS hosting, I would definitely go with an Interserver plan.  It is reasonable priced and easy to add more slices, ie capacity, as needed which is always a plus in my book. Extra Interserver VPS slices are an extra $6 per month which won’t break the bank if I needed to upgrade too. Also they just added a nice iPhone app for managing a Cloud VPS from your smartphone. I have an Android but I still think that’s a nice feature for Interserver VPS customers.

If you are interested in dedicated servers they have great pricing on those as well.  The dedicated servers plans start at $59 per month, which is another great deal if you check around for dedicated server prices.

Interserver also offers reseller hosting plans and colocation, which means that you own the server hardware and they just host it in their datacenter.  They also have Quick Servers plans which are slightly above their Cloud VPS web hosting options.  These plans are faster to deploy ,compared to their dedicated servers, since they utilize cloud virtualization but come with the power and capacity of a dedicated server.  Interserver Quick Servers start at $95 a month.  If I had high traffic sites, I would definitely consider one of these Quick Server plans.

Another nice thing is that the price you pay when you sign-up is locked for the life of the account. They have a “Price Lock Guarantee” which is nice. I’ve been with some web hosting companies that do not grandfather pricing.

Use coupon code – SAVEINTER – and only pay 1 cent your first month with Interserver

Final Thoughts on Interserver

How can Interserver offer such competitive and low pricing or shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated web hosting? It’s simple, they own and operate their own datacenter in Seacus, New Jersey.  What a lot of web hosting companies do is rent out servers from datacenters around the United States and other countries.  Since Intserver operates their own datacenter, and does not rent, they pass on the savings to customers.

The pricing for shared, VPS, and dedicated server plans is kind of unbeatable considering everything you get.  Support, speed, knowledge, and hardware are just all incredible. I’ve looked around and used many different hosting companies and Interserver is extremely competitive in the hosting marketplace.

Since the company has been in business awhile you know you are in good hands and I’ve been recommending Interserver for awhile now. I have not heard any complaints and really only hear good experiences from people I refer.  If you are looking for a HostGator alternative, BlueGost alternative, HostMonster alternative, JustHost alternative or pretty much any Endurance International Group web host company I think you should definitely switch to Interserver. Especially if you want to get an “unlimited” web hosting plan.

Site5 used to be be good EIG alternative host for unlimited shared web hosting.  However they were recently bought out. I have not heard complaints about the server and I still recommend Site5, you can read my Site5 Review too, but Interserver is the best alternative from what I’ve seen.

Do you have any questions, concerns or comments about Interserver? Do you like, or dislike, my Interserver Review?  Leave a comment below and let me know. I always enjoy hearing comments and questions from readers.

Editors’ Note – I have included affiliate links in this Interserver Review.  That means if you use the link, or coupon code SAVEINTER, I get a commission. If you have received benefit from this review I’d apprecaite if you use the affiliate links. It helps keep things running around here and makes me continue to write helpful web hosting reviews like this one.

Subdomains and SEO

Subdomains and SEO, this is a hotly debated topic in webmaster and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) circles when you are setting up a new site or reconfiguring one for yourself, someone else, or a company or organization. Should you use subdomains or subdirectories? Do Google and other search engines treat them differently? Read on to find out the differences of subdomains vs subdirectories as seen through the eyes of someone that’s actually built sites.


For those reading this that may not be sure what a subdomain is basically it would something like – news.AdamYamada.com – which might be a news portal separate from this site about internet marketing, SEO, and other web topics.  (That subdomain will just forward here.)

Why would people use subdomains?  Basically it allows for maximum flexibility when working with different types of content management systems and allows you to separate your site into different areas and make it clear for a visitor.  Perhaps I might want to start a forum and use different web hosting than I’m currently using on my main site, AdamYamda.com.  The forum could take more resources than a simple WordPress blog.  By using a subdomain I could point – News.AdamYamada.com – subdomain to another web hosting company if needed.


Basically this just means that you install a content management system (CMS) or software into a folder on the domain you are already using. For instance – AdamYamada.com/blog – would be a subdirectory.  Usually subdirectories are more popular than subdomains as the majority of CMS scripts support using subdirectories instead of subdomains.  This site might be harder to navigate if all the URLs were subdomains.

Subdomains and SEO

Most webmasters will tell you subdomains will show up differently in SERPS (search engine results pages) and there is a big difference when building sites on subdomains.  Google and other search engines tend to treat sites that are built with subdomains as different types of sites, even if that was not the webmasters original intention.  Often it just works out that if you build a site using subdomains you’ll have a hard time getting a search engine to think it’s “Ok” to be that way.

This is why blogging services like Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, etc. use subdomains instead of subdirectories when giving you a free URL.  It doesn’t usually pass pagerank or link juice your way and Google knows to treat that subdomain differently than a page.

Below is a explanation from Google’s Matt Cutts about Subdomains and Subdirectories.  As usual with Google advice it’s not that clear but it’s good to watch.

Subdomains and Subdirectories – Matt Cutts

I’m interested in finding out how Google currently views subdomains — whether there’s any difference between a site structured as a group of subdomains and one structured as a group of subdirectories.
Bob, Somerville, MA

Have an opinion about subdomains and SEO? Let me know with a comment below.

Wells Fargo Phising Scam

Thought I would let my readers know of a Wells Fargo Phishing Scam text I got on my phone this morning.  I knew immediately it was fake as I do not have an account with Wells Fargo but I know a lot of people that do.  It came from the email address – xitidj@wells1.com – and this was the text.

[Wells Fargo Bank] We regret to inform you that your Wells Fargo account is suspended. Update Your Personal information at: http://wellsfargoalert.net/login

I did not click on the link but I assume it takes you to a page and asks you to enter in your Wells Fargo account login information or other sensitive bank data.  Obviously if you are reading this post right now and are a Wells Fargo banking customer DO NOT click on the link and enter your account or login information.  It’s clearly a phishing scam designed to prey on the unsuspecting.

With regards to the domain name – wellsfargoalert.net – it was registered just yesterday.  I can’t seem to find out who owns it but the domain isn’t even 24 hours old at the time of this writing.  Probably even in that short amount of time I bet many people have fallen for this Wells Fargo Phishing scam, unfortunately.

The Wells1.com domain name seems to be a legitimate business, Wells Printing Company, that’s been in operation since 1997 and the website doesn’t seem to be anything malicious, at least from what I can tell.  Likely the scammer gained access to the hosting account or domain name registrar for Wells Printing and can control the email of this domain.  They could also be using a dead end domain coming from another server but I didn’t research it enough to figure it out.  I mean… Wells Fargo doesn’t pay my bills. :)

While I don’t like phishing scams this is a pretty smart honestly.  The Verizon “Your Past Due”  I wrote about was better constructed but I imagine a lot of people think this is real anyway.  Just a good reminder to be aware, careful, and cautious online.

If you got this Wells Fargo Phishing Scam and this article helped you realize what it was, please leave a comment below.

Also Read

Apple “Verify Your Account” Phishing Scam Email

Twitter Invitation Email Scam

Text Spam? No, Just a Really Bad Domain Name


The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg

The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg is a book that examines what makes millionaires, well rich people vs. the rest of us… you know poor and unsuccessful people.

All I can say about the book is I thought it was an amazing book that changed my life.  I actually read it twice.  Not for the reason you might imagine though.  See the picture below.

the education of millionairesWhat’s that?  It’s a jury summon!.  Argh, jury duty well I guess it’s a civil duty. :)

I read the majority of The Education of Millionaires when I had to do jury duty.  When you are serving your time in jury duty it’s always a good idea to bring a book.  The day I went to jury duty I decided to take Michael Ellsberg’s book from a pile of books which are in the “I’d like to read it but when will I have time?” category.  Well, you’ll have a lot of waiting around time in jury duty so it wasn’t a problem.

So I reread, well skimmed, the book again just to see if it was as good as I original thought in a non jury duty state of mind.  Was it?  Not really.

While I enjoyed The Education of Millionaires Ellsberg has a tendency to ramble on in parts of the book.  Sometimes you say, “Ok, yeah I get it.  Can you talk about something else?”  This is probably due to the fact Ellsberg is used to write articles instead of books.  He mentioned he used to do a lot of writing for SEO (search engine optimization) for people in Australia which I can certainly understand.  Google doesn’t actually appreciate a good writing, just a lot of text.  Hence why this is review is longer than it probably needs to be. :)

Publishers usually require that books be a minimum number of pages on a shelf so that they don’t disappear among other books in the bookstore as well.  Yes, I believe some of these are still around.

Also what annoyed me while rereading the book is when Ellsberg drops lines like this;

“We Americans are obsessed with success, and we readily snap up books promising insight into the lives of successful people and how to emulate them.”

Ok well… no shit you did title your book “The Education of Millionaires” so who do you think is going to read this book?  He also makes recommendations in the book about the importance of learning marketing and specifically direct response marking.   This basically means email marketing and ironically when I was on Ellberg’s email list he did little of it.  I’m pretty sure he doesn’t do much list segmentation.

In The Education of Millionaires Ellsberg also makes some recommendations. I took him up on one of them and read Spin Selling by Neil Rackham which he claims is an incredible sales book. I read Spin Selling and honestly it is a really poorly written book by a scientist/researcher that should not be writing, period.   For the several chapters Spin Selling is mindless drivel and word diarrhea.  I’m surprised a publisher even released this garbage onto bookshelves since it is so poorly written.  I guess McGraw-Hill forgot to have editorial oversight on this book and must have not even hired editor.  The way I see it is Neil Rackham needs Ellsberg’s advice on writing, Ellsberg does not need to take Rackham’s advice on selling.  Luckily I didn’t spend any money on the copy of Spin Selling I have but if I did I would have been pissed, like when I dropped money on Breakthrough Blogging.

Neil Rackham needed to write a book because there is no f$%&@ way this guy ever got any science grants approved.  A scientist with shit writing doesn’t get funded.  A scientist with good sales skills can get a book deal though.

The Education of Millionaires is much more amazing when you read it during jury duty.  Reading any book during jury duty makes me believe that you could read anything and think it is incredible.  I could have read a Spot books or Where is Waldo and said to myself, “This book has changed my life.”

Ellsberg does have good messages and points out that most people are not successful because of where they want to school.  They took risk and action and used what talent they had to make something of themselves.  He gives many examples, perhaps a few too many, of unusual paths to financial and business success.

What I like about Ellsberg’s writing is that is is simple and straightforward.  You have the feeling that you he is your friend and he is having a casual conversation with you.  His copy-writing skill show through in the book.

The Education of Millionaires – Key Takeaways

  •  Learn Marketing, it is very important.
  • Email Marketing is good to use.
  • Rich people don’t think like poor people.
  • Learn dancing, then teach it where beautiful “loose” women congregate.
  • You can read a lot during jury duty.
  • Any book read during jury duty you will think is incredible (even if it is not).

Considering that Michael Ellsberg talked with a lot of millionaires, and probably still has access to them, I think a more interesting project would have been to record audio interviews.  He then could post them on his website as a weekly podcast.  Since everybody loves  hearing successful people talk and he seems to like doing interviews and meeting people.

Would I read Michael Ellsberg’s next book?  Yeah, if I was stuck in jury duty. :)

2014 State of the Word with Matt Mullenweg

state of the word

What’s more important than the State of the Union address?  The annual State of the Word address given by Matt Mullenweg, created of WordPress, at WordCamp San Francisco.  This is if you like open source software and are a fan and user of WordPress. :)

You might have read my 2013 State of the Word round-up last year or my WordPress 10th Anniversary post which summarized the 2012 State of the Word.  Well since WordPress gets better each year so will this State of the Word summary.

2014 State of the Word


Notably for this year’s State of the Word Mullenweg is wearing tie and plaid jacket perhaps showing that him and WordPress are growing up?  Also he has cut his hair.

Whether or not Automattic is “growing up” WordCamp San Francisco is getting bigger and better too.  The last year WordCamp San Francisco is going to be held at the Mission Bay conference center since the venue is too small, “We are literally bursting at the seems here.” said Mullenweg.  For next year’s WordCamp they will move to a new location and rename it.  A date, time, and location will be announced but they are going to do something along the lines of WordCamp Europe.

One of the things Mullenweg talked about during the 2014 State of the Word was making WordPress more internationalized for users who do no speak English. Language Packs will be coming in 2015 which will allow plugin and theme developers to automatically get their WP products translated.  This means you do not have to speak other languages to make a WP contribution available to the world.  This is potentially a huge development with the introduction of full International Domain Names (IDNs) this year. I assume these IDNs will have a much wider adoption worldwide if WordPress can be easily used in non-English and Roman based languages.

Automattic is working on making searches within WordPress more localized experience for those that speak other languages as well.  What does that mean?  If you speak Spanish you can see plugin and theme reviews in Spanish and search in Spanish in addition to other languages.  This will make it easier for non-native English speakers to use WordPress.

Mullenweg also talked about how people making a living with WordPress.  “People pay their mortgages, feed their families, send their kids to school with WordPress.” he commented proudly.

Something Mullenweg attempted was to get a new post for 39 days everyday.  I’ve wanted to do this too… but failed… life. :)

Better Stats for plugin and theme authors will be introduced.  I assume these improved stats will help authors figure out and understand who actually uses their plugins rather than who just downloads it.

Updates  will be getting major improvements soon.   “Work like Chrome” is something Mullenweg said this year and he even said he was “Jealous” of the way Chrome worked at the 2013 State of the Word.  Basically they want to make updates more of a backend thing rather than attaching numeric versions to them.  He mentioned competitors, if you can even call them that, such as SquareSpace, Wix, and Weebly.  (You should definitely switch from Blogger to WordPress by the way.)

“The hosts have been pioneers at this.” said Mullenweg regarding automatic WordPress updates.  He emphasized help keep web hosting companies servers secure and make it so that less WordPress sites can get hacked.  Mullenweg pointed out it is a PIA if you do get hacked and that you need coding skills to really clean it up.  Automattic is going to use their relationship with hosts to get more people upgraded to the latest version of PHP, the coding language WordPress is written in, which will help with compatibility.

The new default Worpdress theme, 2015, looks pretty slick. “Book like typographer, book like feel.” commented Mullenweg about the themes look and feel.

Automattic will not be using Internet Relay Chat (IRC) as a primary communication method.  They are moving to using Slack since it is easier to search old conversations and it works on multiple devices.  Also anyone will be able to sign-up to Slack and see what’s going on with WordPress chats.  Visit – chat.wordpress.org – to get an idea of what’s happening with Slack and WordPress .

Mullenweg is encouraging “Five for the Future” which means they are encouraging 5% of their time to the core WordPress community.  This means Wordcamps, meetups, or contributing in the forum.

There was a lot of discussion about mobile developments.  Mullenweg pointed out that there are more mobile phones on the planet now than people.  Kind of scary but show you just how much people love their phones.  “The web capabilites of these devices are getting better, and better, and better each year.”  He believes WordPress not only need to ride the wave but be active contributing to mobile.

There were 33,378 responses to the WordPress survey this year from 179 countries. “We don’t promote it that much, we just put a link to it on WordPress.org” said Mullenweg at the beginning of the 2014 State of the Word.

For those that don’t want to spend the 45 minutes watching the State of the Word address I’ve summarized some important stats.  (You should watch the State of the Word if you are interested in WordPress or web development though.)

2014 WordPress Stats

  • 23% of respondents from US
  • 77% of respondents from outside the US
  • 2014 – first year that non English downloads surpassed English downloads of WordPress.
  • 87% of people said that used WordPress “Mostly as a CMS”
  • WordPress usage as a Content Management System (CMS) has declined since 2012.
  • 20% of respondents said they used WordPress “Mostly as a blog”
  • 6% stated they used WordPress “Mostly as an Application Framework”
  • 25% of respondents to the survey make a full-time living from WordPress.  That is 7,539 people.
  • Those who make a living from WordPress make up over 1 billion dollars in economic activity per year.
  • The Good about WP – 1. Easy 2. Plugin 3. Community
  • The Bad about WP – 1. Plugins 2. Themes 3. Updates
  • Almost 1,100,000 sites have been built on WordPress from survey respondents
  • 6% said they had only built 1 site with WordPress
  • 91% of these sites took less than 200 hours (4-5 weeks) to build
  • Since the last Wordcamp San Francisco there have been 5 major WordPress releases (3.6 Oscar3.7 Basie – , 3.8 Parker – 3.9 Smith – 4.0 Benny)
  • 785 contributors over the 5 major WordPress releases
  • 23% of the Web runs on WordPress
  • 6,459 plugins were added to the WordPress plugin repository, a 26.5% increase since last year.
  • There are now 34,061 available WordPress plugins in the repository.
  • 684 themes were added, a 36.5% increase
  • 2,781 themes are now available for free on WordPress.org
  • 1,000,000 WordPress VIP commits
  • The WordPress Android app received 2 updates
  • The iOS app received 5 updates
  • 100 meetup and Wordcamp organizers at Wordcamp San Francisco, 21 different countries represented, 105 meetup groups active
  • Only 25% of people are currently using the latest version of WordPress, 4.0
  • All mobile apps are developed on GitHub now

Pretty impressive huh?  The WordPress goal to “Democratize Publishing” becomes more of a reality each year.

Also watch this Question and Answer session that Matt Mullenweg conducted after his State of the Word address.

WordCamp San Francisco Q&A – Matt Mullenweg


If you have any opinions about these WordPress stats, the 2014 State of the Word, or WordPress in general please leave a comment below.  Answer this, how has WordPress changed your life and made it better?  I’d love to hear answers to this as I know it’s made my web experience better.