WP Weekly 30 – Free System

Is the free system within the WordPress ecosystem shrinking, especially for high-quality free WordPress themes? This issue covers a lot of new updates for users of the Gutenberg blocks editor, the launch of new Elementor themes, various product updates, and business in the WordPress world.

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What’s Buzzing in WordPress 💖

  • Design Bliss… Melissa Love has launched 8 elegant looking Elementor themes and layouts ideal for creative artists, bloggers, planners, and photographers. While Thrive Themes has launched another set of smart landing page for online course creators.
  • Brand New… The new Elementor 3.1 is here with performance features like DOM improvements (which removes up to 3 HTML wrappers). Bridget Willard has launched a new WordPress plugin Launch with Words with blogging prompts to encourage you to publish once a month (plugin backstory with Ronald Huereca).
  • WP in Business… Thrive Themes is changing the business model of selling individual plugins and thrive membership to only one price membership called Thrive Suit from Feb 01, 2021. While WP Buffs shared how their first acquisition of WP EZI was done to buff up their WordPress websites care business.

Extended WordPress Buzz 🔥

  1. Core Updates… Yoast’s team members who work full time on WordPress core improvement has a new blog now. WordPress 5.6.1 final release with 20+ bug fixes is scheduled for Feb 03, 2021.
  2. Blocks Life… full site editing expected to drop in WP 5.6 around June 2021, but is it a good idea to have this so early? WordPress DOT com has launched a blank canvas theme for single page websites.
  3. Blocks Advanced… Genesis Custom Blocks has been updated with all new blocks building experience. While Toolset has added cool dynamic data output support for other popular block plugins.
  4. Interesting… the backstory of WordPress VIP powering the Biden-Harris transition website. Want to read ‘Year in Review’ roundups from people in the WordPress ecosystem? Igor Benić has created a special website for the same.

Quick Bits 👍

  • New MetaBox 4.0 is a complete rewrite in React & new UI.
  • New free GiveWP donation module for Divi websites.
  • Kadence shared about their new child theme builder tool.
  • Newsletter Glue has added Active Campaign integration.
  • Fluent SMTP plugin crossed 1000+ installs in 6 days!
  • Plugins should NOT change default auto-update settings.
  • How to reduce carbon footprint of WordPress websites!
  • Dev Focus… how to implement a GraphQL Server in PHP.
  • Pirated themes & plugins accounted for 17% infected sites.

WordPress Ecosystem: Quality Free Themes 💭

Is there still a place for high quality ‘free’ WordPress themes in the official directory? Interesting insights as in contrast, free plugins market is still holding up. Justin Tadlock expanded further on this topic, “WordPress theme directory is becoming little more than a crippleware distributor”. A simple upsell system standardized for everyone might bring back glory (and money interest in this free market).

Upcoming Events 💬

May 16, 2022: GenerateWay, with Tom Usborne of GenerateBlocks.
Jun 20, 2022: 4th edition of the Page Builder Summit is here.

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