State of the Word 2023 Recap

State of the Word 2023 Recap

On an exciting day on December 11, co-founder of WordPress “Matt Mullenweg” delivered his annual State of Word from Madrid, Span. This was the first time the event took place outside the United States. He shared the annual insights into the WordPress project, celebrating its remarkable 20-year journey. And, also expresses his heartfelt gratitude to the diverse community that propels it forward. There were nearly 200 contributors, developers, extenders, and friends of the project came together to hear from Matt, with millions more joining online.

Introduction from the Executive Director

Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Executive Director of the WordPress project, spoke about the community’s what are the hope for the future, ensuring the freedoms of the open web for all. After that she invited Matt on stage with a closing statement of confidence that such values and characteristics will move the project forward into the next 20 years as it has for the last 20 years.

Looking Back at 2023

In the event, Matt shared his excitement about the first international State of the Word. He appreciated the Spanish WordPress community for hosting, and citing their past WordCamp accomplishments. He also shared the reflection of this year’s notable moments where he recalled the project’s 20th-anniversary celebrations, how it has evolved, and how much more the community came together this year—doubling the number of WordCamps to 70, taking place in 33 countries.

Matt continued with callouts to several resources on the all-new Events page, the redesigned Showcase, a new WordPress Remembers memorial, and the award-winning Openverse. He also demoed WordPress Playground, a tool allowing users to experiment with WordPress directly in their browsers, as well as the versatile Twenty Twenty-Four default theme.

Collaborative Editing and more

Matt recapped the four phases of the Gutenberg project, noting that work has begun on Phase 3: Collaboration before passing the microphone to Matías Ventura, Lead Architect of Gutenberg.

Mattias Ventura unveiled the plans for the Site Editor, aiming to enhance the experience for both designers and writers. The focus is now shifting towards collaboration and workflow environments (Phase 3 of the project), 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 adaptable
  2. Customs-the best of both (developer and user) worlds
  3. Performance-for both creators and visitors
  4. Admin design-your own WordPress

AI and Data Liberation

Here, Matt explored the opportunities of AI tools where he introduced Playground blueprints on the WordPress site. This feature enables the creation of playground sites using natural language. He encouraged the community members to commit to using AI to expand their knowledge.

After that Matt introduced an additional focus for the project in 2024: Data Liberation, with the goal to make importing from other platforms into WordPress as frictionless as possible. He also spoke about the tendency of content management systems to keep users locked in as part of his motivation to unlock digital barriers. The Data Liberation initiative will work on one-click migration and the export format from WordPress.

Following the presentation, Matt fielded questions from the live-stream and in-person audiences during an interactive question-and-answer session hosted by Jose Ramón Padrón (Moncho).

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