Notes from Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word 2012

Awesome Update: You can now watch his talk and download the slides over at his blog.

AT WordCamp San Francisco on Saturday, Matt Mullenweg gave his annual State of the Word talk, where he talked about some notable WordPress news, as well as what we can expect in the future. Here are my notes from the live stream.

Year in Review:

  • There were 52 WordCamps in all of 2011. So far in 2012 there have been 31, with another 44 scheduled or planned.
  • In the past year there have been some improvements to the dotorg site, including plugin headers, favorite plugins (coming soon to the Dashboard), and better support for plugins.
  • They are working to make the reviews more like Amazon, with a breakdown of ratings. It will also be easier for authors to respond to specific ratings.
  • They made a bunch of Core changes, including the ability to embed tweets in posts, improved NUX (New User Experience) through tips and a welcome screen, a better, drag-and-drop media uploader, and the live theme customizer.
  • Last year there were 44 Million downloads of WordPress, bringing the total to 145 Million. This does not include 1-Click installs from hosting providers. Because more hosts are integrating 1-click, this number will likely decrease next year.

WordPress 3.5 Preview:

  • Twenty Twelve is almost done! (actually you can download the current version of it from Github)
  • 3.5 will have full Retina support
  • Possible new Welcome Screen/Dashboard improvements. View wireframes here.
  • Better Media Uploader that lets you do multiple uploads at once, select any images for a gallery, and more. View wireframes here.
  • You can see everything going on with WordPress at make.wordpress.org
  • 3.5 is set to release on December 5th, 2012.

2011 Predictions:

  • Better parity between .com and .org happened with the introduction of Jetpack. All of the .com plugins readily available for .org (or self-hosted) sites.
  • Better relationship between reading and writing. Now when you post something on WordPress.com, you’re taken to a screen that allows you to find new things to read.
  • Matt also  mentioned how Facebook pretty much has a walled garden and Twitter is on it’s way; he wants WordPress to be different; a more open way of getting information.
  • Mobile has been going super well. 5 Million mobile app downloads.
  • WordPress iOS app is getting gesture-based controls/panels. It is also coming to the iPad.
  • “If you’re a web developer, you should definitely get into mobile.”

2012 WordPress Survey:

  • 27,000 respondents. 2/3s of them from outside the USA.
  • 66% of respondents use WordPress as a CMS as opposed to just a blog.
  • Clients consist of mostly small businesses and individuals; there were a lot more non-profit/government than expected.
  • Average site prices: $2,500 for small biz, $2,000 for non-profit, $4,200 for large biz
  • 20,000 respondents make a considerable amount of money off WordPress. this is up from 13,000 last year (which is both a whole number increase and a percentage increase).

The Future:

  • 16.7% of the web uses WordPress.
  • Progression is moving from Blog -> CMS -> the next stage, App Engine.
  • People are using WordPress for more than just sites; gave examples of interactive campus maps and 2nd screen experiences for TV
  • He wants to improve several aspects of WordPress including more timely releases, better testing, and better media support.
  • Looking towards the future, he wants to: Improve international support, become better at updating, increase engagement, and add more features.
  • He wants updating to be seamless, where the user doesn’t even know it’s happening. This is difficult to do in core, but easier to do through hosting companies. They also want (and need) better plugin compatibility.
  • “Don’t dumb down the interface. Embrace your intelligent users.”
  • Wants to add real time editing like Google Docs (note: this suggests a BIG shift in what WordPress could become).