Automattic announced today the company is bringing WP Job Manager back to life. The plugin became an Auttomattic project after the company acquired WooCommerce and its employees in 2015 but it has not been actively developed since then. Today’s announcement also requests feedback from WP Job Manager users who want to help shape future development:
After assembling a team of people who will actively work on WP Job Manager as part of their main role, we decided that the first step we need to take is to patch the most annoying bugs, ask you, our customers, what you’d like to see in our product, and create a clear roadmap about what we think WP Job Manager should become in the next couple of years.
The WP Job Manager team launched a demo site today, which allows potential customers to test drive commercial add-ons and create new accounts, job listings, and applications.
The announcement promises regular releases of the open source plugin in the future. A maintenance release (1.25.1) was shipped at the end of August, and the development team is currently working on version 1.25.2.
During the time that WP Job Manager was dormant, The Look and Feel, a team led by Scott Basgaard and Coen Jacobs, forked the plugin to create the Listings platform. Listings was designed to be a generic plugin with niche extensions for things like creating a job board, selling real estate or cars, and other commercial listings.
After learning that Automattic is reviving WP Job Manager, Coen Jacobs published a post about how the Listings team plans to navigate the new competition.
“The lack of updates and support since the Automattic acquisition made the WP Job Manager a rather stale project,” Jacobs said, reiterating why his team decided to fork it. He said they are happy the plugin will now receive the attention it deserves but are also prepared to embrace the competition.
“This means that our Listings Jobs extension has a big competitor again,” Jacobs said. “WP Job Manager has always been the biggest job board plugin on the market and its revival has been something we’ve seen coming for a long time.
“All of this doesn’t mean anything will change for Listings though. We’re confident that our more universal and versatile approach has plenty of advantages for a bunch of developers and users who are looking for something more generic than a niche specific plugin.”
Listings is still in public beta, along with its jobs board extension. The platform is not yet ready to support features that would allow users to monetize a job board but Coen said the team’s focus “has been on the jobs niche from day one.” The core plugin is still under active development as it approaches a 1.0 release and may break backwards compatibility during the open beta.
Automattic’s challenge with WP Job Manager is tackling the backlog of bugs in the core plugin and reviving its user base after allowing the project to go dormant for a year. The Listings platform, on the other hand, will need to enter the market with a solid Jobs extension in order to match up to its newly revived competition.