2013 State of the Word with Matt Mullenweg

state of the word
Matt Mullenweg giving the 2013 State of the Word

The 2013 State of the Word was recently presented at WordCamp San Fransisco.  State of the Word is an annual presentation given by Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress.  He talks about the developments and progress WordPress has made in the past year and the future plans and hopes for the platform.

Even if you don't personally use WordPress and use another content management system (Joomla, Drupal, etc) it is still good to watch the State of the Word's to know what is going on with WordPress. Keep in mind WordPress is the largest content management system (CMS) out there and is getting more popular and more powerful everyday.  I don't see this trend changing anytime soon and I don't think any other CMS can catch-up with it's rapid development.

So what is new with WordPress?  Apparently the Automattic team has reworked the plugin review system.  “Now all ratings are attached to reviews.” commented Mullenweg.  Essentially this means nobody can give you 1-star without saying why they think it deserves that rating.  Also the plugin author can now respond in a thread to a negative review.  If the plugin improves a reviewer can change it.  Matt Mullenweg did many 1-star reviews have been changed to 5-star reviews.

Another interesting development is that there will be a WordPress book coming out soon.  According to Matt Mullenweg it will the first book to be written on Github, which is for sharing coding databases.

There was also talk about the fact that WordPress will start to become not just a blog/CMS platform but an application platform.  Automattic will be focusing more on becoming a developer resource (developer.wordpress.org). Mullenweg thinks of WordPress as a platform that with different building blocks such as a CMS, blog, or e-commerce blocks you can build in or take out as you need.

Matt also talked about the MP6 plugin project within Automattic.  I have never heard of this but apparently it changes the user interface administration in the backend of WordPress.   You can change colors, it is responsive, and it looks pretty slick from what I could tell.

WordPress 3.8 apparently will feature Luke Skywalker and Automattic hopes to release it sometime in December this year (I think).  Mullenweg also said he would like to start releasing the default WordPress theme like automakers.  (Automakers release the new model before the year even starts often.)

At the time WordCamp San Francisco took place WordPress 3.6 was not released but was on August 1st, 2013.  WordPress 3.6 “Oscar” was named after Oscar Peterson, the great Jazz pianist.  In State of the Word 2013 Matt Mulleweg highlighted some of the rising “WordPress rockstars” as he called it that have helped with it's continued development.  They did show the video for WordPress 3.6 (which I am running now) and it is sweet!

“Be the change with WordPress.” said Mullwenweg at the end of the presentation.  He really encourages people to get involved with helping out in the WordPress community.

You can watch the State of the Word right here or by visiting WordPress.TV.  There was also a Q&A session after the State of the Word presentation.

Some of the most interesting parts of Matt's State of the Word presentations is when he mentions the growth of WordPress along with some WordPress Stats and numbers. I've tried to organize them here;

WordPress Stats

  • 18.9% of the web now runs on the WordPress platform.  This is a 2.2% increase from last year.  (Matt mention it should be as popular as Justin Bieber.)
  • 46 million WordPress downloads from (46,355,774) in the last year.  175,000 everyday.  (That number does not include automatic scripts installations only downloads from WordPress.org.)
  • In a WPEngine survey they asked US adults, “Have you heard of WordPress?” 29.7% of survey respondents said “Yes.”
  • 336 WordPress Themes were added to the directory this year.  That is 2.3 as many as last year. Impressive considering each theme goes through a theme review process.
  • 1,500 people were active in WordPress Core development over the past year.
  • 30,000 respondents from 178 different countries took part in the WordPress survey.  “Community” and “ease-of-use” are what people like the best about WordPress.  The least?  “Plugins” are the least favorite along with “updates” and “security.”
  • 15 updates for the WordPress mobile apps were released.  There were 3 updates for iOS, 6 for Android, and 6 for Windows phones.  (Who wants a Windows phone?)
  • Make.wordpress.org blogs have received 10,945 posts and comments in 2012, which is double the amount since last year.
  • 50,000 blogs that were created 7 days ago on WordPress.com will be active today.  That is only a 96% rate of attrition rate of bloggers.  They believe this number is higher for WordPress.org users because of the extra steps.  Since you have to buy a domain, hosting, and setup a few things yourself.

WordPress Plugin States

  • Over 40,000 plugins have been relaunched.
  • 9,334 plugins requested to be reviewed in the past year and 6,758 were approved for the WordPress plugin directory by Automattic.
  • There are now 26,000 WordPress plugins in the directory.

WordPress Usage

  • 98% of people use WordPress on web.
  • 31% use WordPress on an iPad or iPhone
  • 30% use Android mobile phones
  • 18% Android tablets
  • 13% Desktop Apps

What do you use WordPress for?

  • 69% use WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS)
  • 20% Blog/CMS
  • 6% as a Blog
  • 7% as an App platform (new entry this year)

WordCamp Stats

  • 314 WordCamps have been held to date
  • 72 WordCamps have taken place in the past year.
  • 1,026 people have given talks at WordCamp over the past year.
  • Videos of WordCamp presentations on WordPress.TV have been viewed 1.4 million times.  So you better prepare a good talk at WordCamp! 🙂

WordPress 10th Anniversary

8 WordPress Plugins you needed Yesterday

wordpress plugins

If you use WordPress for your blog software or content management system (CMS) than I am pretty sure that you use a lot of WordPress Plugins to improve the functionality of your website.  There are tens of thousands of useful WordPress Plugins available and tons of great developers, but how do you know which ones are useful for you and which ones are not?

While you will find tons of different opinions and lists of useful WordPress Plugins all around the internet here are some plugins that I have found that are useful for a wide range of bloggers and webmasters.

8 WordPress Plugins you needed Yesterday

  1. AkismetGetting hit with spam comments really sucks but Akismet makes having to delete and sort though spam comments a thing of the past.  Akismet monitors millions of blogs and forums and will decided whether a pingback or comment is good or bad.  While a spam comment is going to get through here and there for the most part it should take care of most spam comments.  Since the service is run by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, the spam filtering and blacking capabilites is one of the best I've seen.  I use Akismet even on a MyBB forum I run.  The best part about Akismet it is free for personal bloggers and there are reasonable plans for businesses with multiple WordPress sites. I haven't found any other spam plugin that is efficient and accurate as Akismet.
  2. Cookies for Comments:  This plugin, like Akismet, should help you reduce the amount of spam comments you are getting.  When a user visits your site a cookie will be dropped and it will check the cookie if they leave a comment.  If there is no cookie it's probably a spambot trying to get a link from your blog.  Cookies for Comments also checks how long it takes for a user to enter their information which also helps stop spammers.  This is plugin is co-authored by Automattic.
  3. WordPress SEO by Yoast:  I've been using this plugin since before it was even popular and it's the best thing to happen to happen to WordPress ever.  (Since Matt Mullenweg invented WordPress of course.)  Joost de Valk made this plugin so you can format all your articles to be written so that search engines will like your articles.  You get a green dot if they are formatted correctly for a certain keyword but you can also get a yellow, orange, or a red dot if your articles are not good for SEO (search engine optimization).  Wordpress SEO has a bit of a high learning curve though so be aware of that when you install it and start using it.  It is not going to be straightforward and you will have to learn how to format articles properly for the best SEO.  Wordpress SEO has a lot of other features which I have to even really use to it's full extent.
  4. Digg Digg:  See that floating sharing bar that follows you as you scroll down (or up) on this post?  That is Digg Digg and it's a great plugin to encourage social media sharing.  If you have't shared this article yet, you know you should with Digg Digg by the way!
  5. SexyBookmarks by Shareaholic:  Another great social media sharing plugin.  This places icons on the bottom of your posts and you choose from a wide variety of different social networks and social boomarking websites to display.  I wouldn't overload your WordPress blog with too many social media sharing buttons but it doesn't hurt to have them a few places on the posts to encourage more sharing.
  6. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin:  This plugin displays related posts on the bottom of articles so that a visitor might read more of your articles and posts.  It even grades the relevance of other articles you have written to what the user is currently reading.  It shows text links as well as picture links to other posts.
  7. Schema Creator:  I recently found out about this plugin during BlogPaws 2013 and I really wish I knew about it sooner.  Schema markup helps you add more meta data to Google search results.  For instance when you see a movie review on Google and there are stars rating the movie that is Schema markup.  This plugin lets you automatically add that markup without having to manually insert code yourself.  The plugin has several different categories and types of Schema markup you can use.
  8. Broken Link Checker:  This plugin checks your WordPress site for broken and dead links.  A post your wrote a year ago about a cool website may no longer be active and Broken Link Checker will send you an email to let you know.  It's great for SEO too as too many dead links on a website will tell search engines your site hasn't been updated in awhile.  The plugin is not perfect as it will send false positives once in awhile. I do recommend it since it has been helpful catching dead links as I can't recheck ever link on all my WordPress blogs.

While there are literally thousands of other useful WordPress plugins out there available, these are just some I have found useful for myself and my own Worpdress blogs.  

If I you think I forgot to include any useful WordPress plugins please leave a comment below and suggest a cool plugin to others. I always love discovering and hearing about new and fun plugins and what developers are doing.

WordPress Auto Formatting Bug

 wordpress auto formatting bug

Even though I love WordPress, the entire community behind it, the functionality, and ease-of-use of the content management system it is not always perfect. Recently I have been having issues with an odd WordPress auto-formatting bug.

What happens is when I am writing posts I will cut and paste blocks of text to different parts of the article to make it flow better. Most of the time I don't have any issues with formatting in WordPress when I publish posts. However, once in awhile I will notice after the article is published some words are smaller than the rest of the words in the post. Most of the time these are blocks of text I moved around. I then go back and check “Text” mode where I can see the HTML code and how the article is formatted and I see there have been div and span tags generated making the wording for certain parts of the article smaller. Even though I will “Preview” articles to see what it will look like before it goes live on a site it wont' show me these odd WordPress autoformatting changes. WordPress for the most part is a pretty good What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor and you don't need to worry it making funny formatting mistakes.

This WordPress auto-formatting bug with small letters is really starting to annoy me though. At first I thought this was just happening on my own blogs but that isn't that case. I've noticed this happens on several other websites I contribute to which leaves me to conclude that it is a WordPress bug or maybe this is an issue with one of my installed plugins.

Usually for WordPress bugs and issues the best thing to do is check to see if there is a plugin issue. You can systematically disable each plugin and check if the problem continues. While this a is a bit tedious and time consuming it's a good way to narrow down the problem. The issue is since this happens once in awhile it is hard to pinpoint which plugin might be causing this issue. I can't leave all the plugins disabled all the time also since I need a lot of these to make my websites function properly. For websites I an joint developing or contribute to with others we definitely can't disable key plugins which make the sites work.

So if WordPress experts or gurus know what is causing this WordPress auto-formatting bug or issue please leave a comment and let me know. I would be very appreciative of your help. If you are having similar issue with WordPress formattting also leave a comment. I'd be curios to hear if other people are having this problem too. It is possible this might be a WordPress core issue.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!