The September 2019 edition of the World of WordPress including Automattic and much more

World of WordPress

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In this month’s World of WordPress we talk about the latest acquisitions by Automattic, Jeff Chandler’s move away from WP Tavern, the new Yoast Care program, development environments, and WP Beginner’s accelerator.

Just like WordPress news, the summer has been hot!

Let’s ride.

Automattic acquires two companies

Automattic continues to expand its influence by acquiring two companies in the past month. First, they acquired Tumblr in a move that got a lot of attention. I’m sure they have something in mind for the “micro” blogging platform.

In recent years, Tumblr has bounced around first to Yahoo! then to Verizon who agreed to sell to Automattic.

The next acquisition was the Zero BS CRM. For co-founders Mike Stott and Woody Hayday, this is no doubt an excellent way to exit.

Depending on how you look at it, it is either good news or bad news that the product will be tied to Jetpack.

“ZBS CRM will get a new name — Jetpack CRM — in the near future, but will continue to provide entrepreneurs and small businesses with a no-nonsense contact-management system delivered through the WordPress platform.”

Jeff Chandler leaves the WP Tavern

WP Tavern, the leading news source for WordPress, has lost founder Jeff Chandler. Chandler announced on his blog that he is moving on to other projects.

On his blog, he wrote,

“It is weird to be closing this chapter of my career as the Tavern has only been my second place of employment and WordPress has been part of my daily routine for 12 years. At the same time, I’m hopeful for a fresh start, something new where I feel like I’m performing purposeful work.”

Chandler visited with Bob Dunn of BobWP on his podcast to discuss his WP Tavern journey.

Chandler talks about how he started WP Tavern and some of the changes over the 10 years it has existed. WP Tavern was acquired by Matt Mullenweg’s angel investment company, Audrey, back in 2013.

Yoast launches Yoast Care

With an announcement on its website, Yoast launched Yoast Care. The company plans to give $500 to a deserving WordPress volunteer to help reward them for their efforts.

Yoast CEO Marieke van de Rakt explains more,

“The Yoast Care fund contains money. You can nominate a person who is active in the WordPress community as a volunteer, and if we reward a person with a Yoast Care, they will receive $500.”

Additionally, the reward winner will have an interview to be published on highlighting their work.

A third party must nominate recipients.

The company explains how Yoast Care works along with the conditions on their application page. Yoast plans to have 50 winners each year.

Development environments. Which one do you use?

What is your favorite development environment? I’ve worked with several both local and on a server.

Tom Rankin talks about 5 environments at Torquemag. He starts the article by talking about 3 different kinds, including the local sandboxes, the online sandboxes, and the multi-solution stacks.

Rankin writes,

“Like a fitted suit or a comfortable pair of shoes, your primary WordPress development environment is a personal choice. However, all of the popular options do different things well. Therefore, you may need to mix and match your chosen development environment to the situation and project.”

Check out the different environments that Rankin mentions. Is he using one that you use? I found two that I use.

WP Beginner continues to help small businesses grow

With the help of the WP Beginner team, Rafflepress launched last month. If you have ever used giveaway software (I have) you will know that it can be costly.

So, when the WP Beginner team did its 10th Anniversary including giveaways, they rolled out Rafflepress to handle the prizes.

According to WP Beginner founder Syed Balkhi,

“So I worked with John Turner from SeedProd (one of our portfolio companies) to finally build a WordPress giveaway plugin that’s easy, powerful, and most importantly affordable for small business owners.”

The result is Rafflepress. It has a lite version and a pro version. There is a limited time special on a lifetime version, but I’m not sure how long it will last.

WP Beginner has several portfolio clients such as SeedProd because they have created an accelerator. This year they announced their second cohort.

Balkhi wrote,

“Last year, I decided to do something that was never done before in the WordPress community. I created the WPBeginner Growth Accelerator, first-ever growth fund focused entirely on WordPress businesses. Today, I want to take the exciting steps and open up the second round of applications as well as share the results from last year.”

Some of the companies they helped the first year include SeedProd, MemberPress, Pretty Links, and Formidable Forms.

Having seen first hand how accelerators can help companies become better and grow, I think this is a positive move for companies in the WordPress ecosystem.

Learn more about how your company can be involved or apply at WP Beginner.

Wrapping it up

Certainly there were lots and lots of activity in the past month in the World of WordPress. Every month it seems Automattic is making an acquisition. What do you think that will do for the future of WordPress.

The WP Tavern makes a significant change without Jeff Chandler. It will be interesting to see how that affects the publication.

The continued support of WP Beginner for many WordPress companies is positive for their future. Have you ever used a giveaway program?

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Donata Stroink-Skillrud
Donata Stroink-Skillrud
President of Agency Attorneys