WordPress enthusiasts around the world tuned into Matt Mullenweg’s annual State of the Word address this week, delivered virtually for the first time. Mullenweg recognized the community’s efforts in working together during a global pandemic, without the benefit of periodic in-person events that have traditionally re-energized collaboration on the project.
During a most unusual year that has warped the passage of time and slowed it to the speed of molasses, WordPress’ release schedule kept a steady, reassuring pace in contrast. The first part of the State of the Word highlighted the three major releases shipped in 2020, which introduced improvements to the block editor, a new default theme, application passwords for the REST API, and new, game-changing features like block patterns, to name just a few.
WordPress continues to grow its dominant market share and is currently sitting at 39.3% of the Alexa top 10 million sites. Mullenweg attributed that growth to three major contributing factors: the lockdown, e-commerce, and economic uncertainty. The lockdowns put in place to mitigate the virus’ spread had the effect of giving people the space and time to connect online. It also drove an uptick in entrepreneurship and e-commerce. Mullenweg reported that WooCommerce facilitated more than $20 billion in sales.
Site Editor Beta Demo Shows Progress on Full Site Editing Project
Gutenberg design contributor Joen Asmussen joined by video to unveil a sneak peek of the progress on the Full Site Editing (FSE) project with a demo of the Site Editor beta. The Site Editor allows users to edit a theme’s template outside of the post’s content. It introduces new blocks for things like the query loop, navigation, site title, tagline, and other aspects of editing templates.
The block list view shows all the different areas of the page, such as the header, footer, columns, and site title, so the user can jump to the section for quick access. Block patterns can also be used within template designs to speed up page layout or match a demo design. Given the current complexity of creating a template design from a blank canvas, block patterns have the potential to become even more indispensable when WordPress users finally get the reins for editing theme templates.