If you’ve been following the WordPress products space, it’s hard to ignore all the plugin and theme acquisitions going around. While it’s a common thing, surprisingly, there’s almost no public information on the topic. In the past few months alone I was contacted by 4 different developers who were interested in selling their plugin/theme business and didn’t know where/how to start the process. So, since M&A (mergers and acquisitions) are an integral part of a healthy and maturing ecosystem, I thought we should host a series of posts, shedding some light on the topic through guidelines and best practices, based on the acquired experience of people who have done it. To kick this series off, we asked Phil Derksen to share his vast experience here, so others interested in selling can get an idea of what steps to take and what the process might look like.
Take it away, Phil:
I’m the founder of WP Simple Pay, a WordPress plugin that lets you accept one-time and recurring payments using Stripe. I formerly acquired, re-built, and eventually sold Simple Calendar, a Google Calendar events plugin, in June 2017. I also built and sold a Pinterest sharing plugin
GitLab, a collaboration and DevOps platform for developers that’s currently in use by more than 100,000 organizations, today announced that it has raised a $20 million Series C round led by GV (the fund you may still remember under its former name of Google Ventures). This brings GitLab’s total funding to date to just over $45.5 million. In addition to the new funding, the company also today said that WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg is joining the company’s board.
As its name implies, GitLab started out as a git-based open source tool for self-hosting code repositories. Since its launch in 2014, the company has branched out, though, and added a number of more DevOps-centric services to its lineup. This includes a number of workflow tools, but also features that easily enable code review/test/release automation and even application monitoring.
It’s maybe no surprise then that the company now sees it as its mission to “develop a seamless, integrated product for modern software developers and become the application for software development in Kubernetes” (yes — even GitLab now wants to get deeper into the Kubernetes game).
“The Fortune 500
Caching is a complex technology that does one simple thing really well: it makes your website really fast. And speed is critical to the success of your site because people don’t like waiting around for web pages to load. In fact, a study by CDN service Akamai found that 47% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. So you’d think that in response websites are shrinking in file size, right? Not so. Today’s average web page requires users to download 2.2MB worth of data compared to just 702KB in 2010. That’s a 317% increase in size thanks to things like images, videos, scripts and fonts.
Fortunately, installing a caching plugin can load your site faster – extra files and all. In this article, I’ll cover what caching is and explain the different kinds of caching, but mostly focus on caching plugins and why you need to install one ASAP if you haven’t already.
What is Caching?
Caching is the process of storing frequently-accessed data temporarily in a cache. To explain it properly, let’s first look at what happens when you don’t use caching:
With this release Gutenberg allows you to make edits and tweaks to the HTML of individual blocks, without having to hunt for the relevant code in the full document view. Redesigned the header area of the editor for clarity—groups content actions in the left, and post action in the right.
Group block settings (delete, inspector, edit HTML) on an ellipsis button.
Added new reusable Dropdown component.
Show frequently used blocks in the inserter shortcuts (at the bottom of the post).
Offer option for the button block to clear content.
Refactor block toolbar component in preparation for some iterations (docked toolbar, for example).
Allow partial URLs in link input.
Avoid using state for tracking arrow key navigation in WritingFlow to prevent re-renders.
Improve mobile header after design cleanup.
Add focusReturn for Dropdown component.
Updated Audio block markup to use figure element.
Removed transition on multi-select affecting the perception of speed of the interaction.
Show Gallery block description even if there are no images.
Persist custom class names.
Merge initialization actions into a single action.
Fix scroll position when reordering blocks.
Fix case where
In a post titled Gutenberg, or the Ship of Theseus, Matías Ventura breaks down the vision for how the project will transform WordPress’ content creation experience and the decisions the team has made along the way. Ventura describes how WordPress has become difficult to customize, as online publishing has embraced rich media and web design has evolved in complexity over the years. “WordPress can build incredible sites, yet the usability and clarity that used to be a driving force for its adoption has been fading away,” Ventura said. “The present reality is that many people struggle using WordPress as a tool for expression.”
Ventura’s words hint at the growing threats from competitors whose interfaces define users’ current expectations for a front-end editing experience. If WordPress is to stay afloat in a sea of competitors, it can no longer continue expanding its capabilities while leaving a disconnect between what users see while editing in the admin versus what is displayed on the frontend.
“WordPress has always been about the user experience, and that needs to continue to evolve under newer demands,” Ventura said. “Gutenberg
Are you building a WordPress theme? Perhaps you are extending a theme by working on a child theme? Or maybe, you are building a WordPress plugin that has something to do with the site’s presentation. Chances are, you need to add options into the WordPress Customizer. Options in the customizer are added as controls. A “control” in the case of the WordPress customizer, can be loosely defined as “a reusable UI component” that can either be simple (e.g. a title and an input box) or more complex (e.g. a title, a group of checkboxes and a dropdown). Fortunately, WordPress itself provides some customizer controls that can be used without much effort. Unfortunately, the selection of controls it provides is quite limited, leaving a lot to be desired.
One big omission (in my opinion) is the lack of a categories dropdown selection control. You know, the one where all categories are listed hierarchically (perhaps even with post counts) and you can select just one. Most probably you’ve seen this in Settings → Writing, where you can select the default category your posts will be assigned to.
Now, WordPress already provides a ‘select‘ control which
This is the last episode before we retire the podcast. Many people have enjoyed the podcast and we’ve had a lot of great feedback and a lot of fun, so we’ve been asked why we’re retiring. Ultimately, we just needed to make a change and it’s time to move on. Be sure to listen to hear about how things have changed over the past couple of years and why those changes have led to us retiring the show. For our last episode, we’ve decided to answer some of our listeners’ questions. Some of the highlights of the show include:
Regrets that Brad and Pippin have had regarding not building a plugin they’ve had an idea for.
Why it’s important for companies to start new projects frequently.
Advice Brad and Pippin wish they could give their younger selves when it comes to development, projects, and processes.
Some thoughts on pricing: How data, psychology, and strategy play into it.
Takeaways Brad and Pippin have learned that have come about by sharing business ideas with others.
Thoughts on hiring developers and setting salaries.
Links and Resources: