📆 This is the September 2022 edition of “This Month in WordPress with CodeinWP.”
Hey, WordPress fans. We are back with another batch of WordPress news, covering everything notable that happened in the last 30 days in the world of WordPress.
In the largest bit of news last month, WordPress.org got a big redesign of its homepage and download page. Love it? Hate it? “Meh” it? Let us know in the comments below…
Beyond that, you might be surprised by just how big Cloudways was, as it just got acquired for not that far off half a billion dollars.
DesktopServer is also saying goodbye and shutting down for good, while we have a few other news pieces related to WordPress itself and the broader WordPress business space.
Let’s get to the news:
September 2022 WordPress News with CodeinWP
WordPress.org gets a new homepage and download page
In one of the biggest bits of news this month, WordPress.org finally got its new homepage and download page.
As we’ve documented over our news posts, WordPress.org has slowly been getting a facelift, starting with the header and now moving on to some of the core pages.
It doesn’t get much more “core” than the homepage and download page, as these are probably the two most important pages for people looking into self-hosting WordPress.
In terms of the design itself…well, I don’t love it, especially the copy that they’ve chosen to go with it. “Publish your passion” seems quite vague and like it misses out on the true benefit of using WordPress (WordPress.com seems to be able to capture the value of WordPress a lot better).
There are also some other quirks, such as the copy assuming that the visitor already has a solid understanding of how WordPress works and what blocks are.
What’s more interesting, however, is the behind-the-scenes of how these pages got updated.
It seemed like it took quite a bit of time, mostly because the team couldn’t get it done with the native block editor experience…which maybe isn’t the best look given how much the new design promotes the block editor.
Things got a bit testy when Matt Mullenweg essentially suggested it was a waste of time to create a block-based theme for the redesign when they could code it faster by implementing the design directly.
While I don’t disagree, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the block editor when other WordPress users are supposed to do everything using block-based themes.
To prove that the block editor could get the job done, Jamie Marsland spent 20 minutes recreating the homepage in the block editor. You can watch it in real-time in this YouTube video or check out the finished product on Twitter.
It’s not perfect and it would still require some cleaning up, but it is an interesting take on the saga.
What do you think of the new design? Let us know in the comments!
DigitalOcean acquires Cloudways for $350 million
This one isn’t WordPress-specific, but it is a massive acquisition that will touch a lot of WordPress users.
In August, DigitalOcean announced that it was acquiring Cloudways in a massive $350 million cash deal.
First: wow. I knew that Cloudways was doing well, but I didn’t know that it was doing $350 million in cash well.
Second, I, and a lot of other people, will be interested in seeing how this affects Cloudways’ offerings.
If you’re not familiar with Cloudways, it’s essentially a mix between a traditional managed hosting service and a server control panel.
Rather than offering its own infrastructure, Cloudways lets users choose their preferred setup from five different cloud hosting providers – DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, Google Cloud, and AWS. From there, Cloudways handles provisioning and maintaining the server and it works pretty much the same as traditional website hosting.
Now that DigitalOcean owns Cloudways, the big question is what happens to the integrations with those other cloud hosting providers:
- Will everything stay the same?
- Will DigitalOcean start promoting its own products even more? I say “even more” because DigitalOcean was always listed first on Cloudways’ pricing pages, which suggests some type of partnership.
- Will DigitalOcean move away from offering integrations with competing products?
Based on early statements, DigitalOcean seems to be suggesting that they’ll go with the “everything stay the same” approach:
However, it’s worth pointing out the “for now” part of that statement.
Overall, it will be interesting to see how this acquisition unfolds going forward.
If you’re worried and interested in some alternatives, I’d recommend looking at tools like RunCloud, SpinupWP, and GridPane. While they’re not exactly the same as Cloudways because they don’t bundle in the cloud hosting, they do use the approach at a basic level.
You may also be interested in:
- WordPress 5.8 Is Here, Block Pattern Directory Now Live, Automattic Goes Podcast 🗞️ August 2021 WordPress News w/ CodeinWP
- Takeaways From #WCUS, Block-Enabled Plugins Highlighted in Plugin Repository 🗞️ January 2019 WordPress News w/ CodeinWP
- WordPress 5.9, Yoast SEO for Shopify, WooCommerce Custom Tables, and More 🗞️ February 2022 WordPress News w/ CodeinWP
That sums up our September 2022 WordPress news roundup. Anything we missed?
Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%: