MattNote From WordCamp San Francisco

Beginning of the keynote, Matt reflects on the beginning of WordPress and how it came about from b2.

How WordPress has grown is far from what it was in the beginning.

10% Rule. Everyone only uses 10% of the features in software but everyone has a different 10% Plugins turn this idea around. Hello Dolly is the 11th most activated plugin across all WordPress installs.

Customization is the improvisation for web publishers.

Thanks to the UI introduced in 2.7, everyone has the ability to create their own workflow in the back-end of WordPress.

Because of all the plugins that exist for WordPress, chances are good that no two WordPress users are using the same WordPress.

Spent 4 or 5 months merging the code bases of WordPress MU with WordPress.

Matt is most excited about the new default theme, 2010. Which received an applause. It’s been 5 years since Kubrick was introduced to the world as the default theme. A new default theme will be created every year. That is the goal. Matt then goes on to show off the custom post header feature of 2010. New to 2010 is the custom background feature. Inspired by Twitter and so many people who customized their backgrounds on the service. 2010 also has drop down menus.

Most exciting feature in 3.0 is the menu navigation system. Matt displayed the menu system in action complete with smaller tabs. Matt stated this menu system is a big step towards WordPress becoming a full fledged CMS.

Matt then went on to talk about custom taxonomies. These are being taken to the next level with Custom Post Types. In Matt’s opinion any plugin should be able to function within the WordPress data structure instead of adding additional custom tables.

Roughly 74% of WordPress sites are being used as blogs and content management systems. This is up from about 40% last year. It’s the fastest growing use case of the software. About 80% of people are making money from WordPress. 22% WordPress is their day job. 18% from custom development and hosting, 12%.

Matt is talking about who owns your data. Even if they wanted to, they can not change the license of WordPress. There are 20 or 30 different ways to get in and out of WordPress. Glocal – Act Global. Last year, 48 WordCamps all around the world. So far, 45 are scheduled for this year and it’s only May. Matt then talks about how WordPress helps with the democratization of publishing.

Blog anywhere. The next topic talks about the mobile space and WordPress. Being able to blog from anywhere. For every platform out there, Matt wants WordPress to be accessible on it. Another popular feature launched on is the Post By Email feature. Post by email will be turned into a canonical plugin. Matt would love for someone to write a feature for Thunderbird where you can schedule when emails can be sent.

Your blog, your code. State of engagement with WordPress is indicative of the future of WordPress. When Matt thinks of WordPress, he doesn’t think of it as a software project, he thinks about it as a creative artwork project. Matt then talks about the recent project on with the Surprise Me feature. 64,000 people have checkmarked the box. Right now, it adds a box to the post creation screen that says the post is super awesome. After the post is published, the author will see an encouraging video and then it will present a box that asks how the author is feeling and what else they can show. Matt would like the mobile applications and WordPress itself to be a lot more fun to use. More humanized.

WordPress Foundation: redesign in the works. Hard core four, Mark Jaquith, Ryan Boren, Andrew Ozz, and Peter Westwood. Matt then introduced Andrew Nacin to the crowd as the newest committer. He did the same thing for Ben Dunkle, Ron Rennick, Jane Wells, and Dion Hulse. These are the people that time and time again, these folks are involved with core releases. Matt then showed off a new stat, the total number of core contributors. 1,400 unique users on Trac

They are going to take a major release cycle out. Used to be three major releases a year. Now it will be two per year. The reasons for this are historical. This year, they are going to try a 3-4 month cycle and focus just on plugins,, and the API. He then talked about the core plugin idea by replicating the model for all the different plugins. If they were able to accomplish this for the top 10-15 plugins it would instill confidence for all of the sites using them.

21 million downloads of WordPress last year. 70 million plugin and themes downloaded this year. 35 Billion pageviews between .com and .org in 1 year. 8.5% of the sites the creator of Drupal crawled were running WordPress. The state of the word is STRONG.

WordPress Security. When asked about security, Matt responded that all code will always have bugs. Some of those will have security implications. The key is to make it as easy as possible to allow upgrading. In the coming year one of the things that will happen that will increase security for WordPress, a lot more hosts will focus on how to keep their customers more secure at the server level which can do more to protect WordPress than WordPress can do itself.

An actual webhosting representative asked about if Matt knows any specific webhosting user groups to help out with setting up servers to harden WordPress. Soon, will perform an audit on the webhosts they recommend from the website to see if they do specific things that will protect WordPress users. Matt said they may start a mailing list specifically for Webhosting providers to talk about WordPress. He would love to see a list of best practices created at some point for WordPress to share with hosting providers.

Someone asked Matt about bbPress. Matt confessed that he dove into bbPress. He admitted that he became a little burnt out on it. bbPress will undoubtedly be tied closer to WordPress. The future of bbPress will be a really awesome plugin. He even admitted that right now, it would be better off to use another plugin rather than bbPress. Matt said he just needs a little more time before he dives into bbPress again. The bbPress community was a bit rough around the edges and the flame war that ensued forced Matt to break away for a bit.


15 responses to “MattNote From WordCamp San Francisco”

  1. @James – Let me know when it’s online so I can link to it. Couldn’t pass up the awesome stream they had going :) Will you be able to call in next week from home to talk about your over all experience at the event? I hope to get others to call in as well.

  2. Let’s be clear: bbPress was a perfectly fine product with 0.9 – it is a fairly efficient forum framework.

    Matt can only blame himself for changing course and steering it in the wrong direction with 1.0 – massively bloating the code by having it converted to use “backPress”.

    But then backPress was never folded back into WordPress so the whole extreme effort became pointless. bbPress was left bloated and broke many existing plugins, resetting the whole community’s progress.

    bbPress will never work as designed as a plugin for WordPress because the WordPress plugin structure has become far too outdated and inefficient. You can’t have a competitive forum product with over a megabyte of code loading and several dozen queries for every page render. This is why existing forum plugins for WordPress are not popular.

    But bbPress 0.9 by itself works wonderfully as a standalone or in pair with WordPress.

    Sam Bauers worked damn hard to make Matt’s bbPress 1.0 directive come true and it’s practically a crime that his work on 2.0 will never see the light of day because it was also a very fine effort that could have really grown and solidified the community.

    Automattic should not be a “one-hit wonder” with WordPress – bbPress 0.9 should have been finished as originally designed.

  3. @_ck_ — 2.0 is under way and should be live within a week or two — we kicked off the project after we got the design source files from Sam.

    Forum plugins for WP are popular, and would be more so if they were as powerful as bbPress already is. With better integration with WordPress tens of millions of users will be one-click away from having a forum perfectly integrated with their design and user system.

    This is sort of possible today, but it’s too hard right now. Themes don’t really mesh. BuddyPress does some juggling to make integration easier but it has too much overhead.

  4. @Matt – Great to hear!

    bbPress integrates perfectly with my site. (Of course, I had to develop a custom theme in order to accomplish that integration, but what I learned about bbPress in that theme-development process more than made up for the time I invested.)

    I’m excited to hear of bbPress’ continued development!


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