State of the Word 2021
The WordPress community looks forward to the State of the Word every year. Hosted by co-founder Matt Mullenweg, a small audience in New York City was invited to gather in-person to hear him speak about the big changes coming to WordPress. These in-person audience members traveled by automobile, train, and plane; a big change from last year’s State of the Word which took place entirely online. Our State of the Word recap will cover the major changes experienced by the WordPress community in 2021 and what we have to look forward to in 2022.
A Look Back at WordPress in 2021
Distribution of WordPress
Websites leveraging WordPress have continued to see consistent growth over the years. Matt Mullenweg was pleased to announce WordPress is currently being used on 43.1% of the world’s websites as reported by W3Techs. Second to WordPress in the open-source competition was Shopify, which saw an increase to 4.4%. This year also saw the most downloads of WordPress than any other year.
To maintain and accelerate this [WordPress] growth, we really need to stay humble and stay close to users and interating the software as quickly as possible.Matt Mullenweg, State of the Word 2021
The big news for us at Honors WP was our acquisition of Immerseus this past year. Our team was delighted to see our name show up on the screen during the State of the Word while highlighting WordPress acquisitions.
Other major acquisitions in WordPress:
- LearnDash and more were acquired by Liquid Web
- Yoast was acquired by Newfold Digital
- Layers WP was acquired by Elementor
There were many more but these are just some of the big acquisitions that took place in 2021.
Updates and Changes to WordPress in 2021
Mullenweg touched on the security of WordPress and commented it is a process, not an endpoint. He went on to state investments made when updating WordPress including partnerships with hosts and CDNs to ensure websites are protected.
Block themes are another major upgrade in the WordPress community. The end of this year saw thirty block themes added to the repo; a major increase from just two the previous year.
Last year we had two or three, now we’re up to thirty. That’s 10x, but this is nothing compared to what it will be in the future.Matt Mullenweg, State of the Word 2021
The addition of these block themes to use with Gutenberg opens the door for more WordPress users to utilize the block editor on their website. To have further customization options for Gutenberg, we also offer a Block Styles add-on that allows unique styling options. Leveraging our plugin gives the user Gutenberg block controls never experienced before. As a result, you are able to create stunning, unique websites in far less time.
Core updates are what make WordPress possible. The releases of 5.7 and 5.8 this year saw new features such as enhancements for reusable blocks and the template editor.
What’s Coming in 2022
The anticipated release of WordPress 5.9 is January 2022. A few of the big features Mullenweg mentions include:
- Drag-and-drop gallery
- Block spacing single controls
- Flexible layouts
- List view
Moreover, WordPress 5.9 will see a new set of themes that allow easy block building, styling, and improved block patterns.
Full Site Editing
The major development in the next WordPress update is the capability of full site editing. Originally set for a December 2021 release, the date has been pushed back to January 25, 2022. Full site editing will allow users to build complete WordPress websites using only the native installation. Therefore, leveraging WordPress and Gutenberg blocks will save users time and money creating complete websites.
Some of the key components to full site editing include:
- Blocks for site building, including site title and logo
- Theme configuration file with default for global styles
- An advanced site editor where you can create, preview, and edit templates.
Enhancements to Gutenberg Blocks
Gutenberg started in 2018 and separated into four phases. We are currently in the middle of phase two of the four-phase process. Phase two centers around customization. In 2019,
The third phase of Gutenberg is going to be collaboration. Mullenweg hopes to reach five-thousand block themes during this phase. The fourth phase will center around multi-lingual and publishing sites in multiple languages.
WordPress and Honors WP in 2022
The team behind Honors WP has worked in the WordPress LMS space since 2013. Honors WP was established to help people create stunning websites using our premium WordPress solutions. We were excited to tune in to hear what the new year will bring to WordPress and the learning management systems market. The new year will see our marketplace expand with new plugins and offerings as we continue to progress with the WordPress community.