Exciting day for the WordPress community! In a groundbreaking move, Matt Mullenweg delivered the first-ever State of the Word address from the charming city of Madrid, Spain. Live from this vibrant location, he shared annual insights into the WordPress project, celebrating its remarkable journey and expressing heartfelt gratitude for the diverse community that propels it forward.

Unveiling the Year’s Triumphs: a Testament to the Spirit of Innovation in the Community

Mullenweg took a moment to reflect on the pivotal achievements within the WordPress ecosystem over the past year. From its humble beginnings as a blogging tool to evolving into a robust website-building platform and now a powerful application framework, WordPress has reached its 20-year milestone (woo-hoo!) with resounding success.

  • Noteworthy mentions include WordPress’s prowess in scalability (as witnessed during Taylor Swift’s Time person of the year announcement – with 100k requests / second) and security, demonstrated by sites like WhiteHouse.gov and Nasa.gov.
  • The WordPress Playground continues to astonish, allowing users to set up a fully functional WordPress site in the browser in a matter of seconds. A true testament to the community’s spirit of innovation, as described by Matt himself.

    Here’s a brief demo narrated by Adam Zielinski:

That will never cease to amaze me. […] It’s a testament to the spirit of innovation in the community and the closest thing to sci-fi we have going on right now in WordPress.
Matt

  • Introducing the Twenty Twenty Four theme, a masterpiece with 35 built-in patterns catering to artists, entrepreneurs, and anyone seeking the full potential of Gutenberg. Explore the theme’s highlights in the image below.
Highlights of the Twenty Twenty Four theme - State of the Word 2023 Madrid
Highlights of the Twenty Twenty Four theme

Other highlights included 70 WordCamps in 33 countries, 1339 new contributors in 2023, and the upcoming WordCamp Asia in Taipei, Taiwan as well as Openverse being awarded the Open Education Award for Excellence in Education Infrastructure.

Peering into the Future: Collaboration and Workflow Environments

Mattias Ventura, WordPress Lead Architect, unveiled exciting plans for the Site Editor, aiming to enhance the experience for writers and designers. The focus is now shifting towards collaboration and workflow environments, with a working prototype already available. While there’s no concrete timeline, you can dive into the Gutenberg plugin to test these developments and share your feedback on GitHub.

Ventura showcased the prototype’s main features, emphasizing:

1. Patterns: becoming more versatile

Explore a new era of patterns, allowing users to:

a. Swap related patterns:

b. Apply theme JSON to specific pattern:

And created a hybrid type of pattern, offering text editing while maintaining control of the global design:

2. Custom fields: the best of both worlds

Witness the ability to connect blocks to custom fields seamlessly, offering the best of both developer-friendly and user-friendly capabilities:

3. Performance: for both creators and visitors

From a new dashboard tracking Gutenberg commits to editor performance improvements, WordPress is gearing up for version 6.5, promising significant speed enhancements.

WP 6.5 faster that WP 6.4 State of the Word Madrid 2023
WordPress 6.5 expected to be significantly faster than WordPress 5.4

On the front end performance, Mattias shared the team’s focus is on the Interactivity API and demo-ed the improvements – instant transitions and instant search. You can check it out on https://wpmovies.dev/.

4. Admin design: your own WordPress

Empowering users to customize their admin area to fit their unique needs:

AI in WordPress: Playground Blueprints

In a nod to the future, Matt explored the realm of AI tools, introducing Playground blueprints on the WordPress site. This pioneering feature enables the creation of playground sites using natural language, pushing the boundaries of access to technology. He enthusiastically encouraged community members to commit to using AI to expand their knowledge.

our growth and development will only be limited by our curiosity.
Matt

To enhance accessibility, the State of the Word video will soon be available in five languages, thanks to AI tools skillfully lipsync-ing addresses in Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Japanese. Available over the coming few days!

Charting the Course for 2024: Data Liberation

Looking ahead, Matt emphasized a new focus on unlocking the web’s full potential, particularly in data migration. Efforts are underway to simplify the migration process through a one-click option, eliminating digital barriers and fostering a more connected community. He invited community members to join the initiative, and shared that the teams will have all necessary tools at their disposal to deliver on this priority.

SOTW Reveal: WordCamp US Heading to…

In an exciting revelation, WordCamp US is set to unfold its magic in Portland, Oregon, for the next two years. Matt describes the city as ‘super fun and weird in amazing ways.’

For a deeper dive into the State of the Word address, including a glimpse into the progress and exciting features, including the Q&A section, check out the recording below.


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