Happy New Year! Important WordPress News to Welcome 2022

In case you missed it, 2021 ended with a bang for WordPress. A major jump in its market share, receiving the torch from Creative Commons, and surmounting negative press from Wix’s marketing foundry.

Let’s jump into the great news for WordPress, shall we?

Before we go on, though, we here at CLDY just want to share why we so love WordPress: It’s stable, constantly updated, secure, fast (speedy!), and most of all, it’s free. It also embodies 3 of the 5 Pillars that CLDY lives by, so you can imagine why we’re such fans.

So yes. Let’s jump right into the coolest news for WordPress that opens 2022.


WordPress Market Share Jump

In 2021, W3Techs, the leading source for CMS stats, logged WordPress installation and usage at 39.1% of all the websites live and available online.

By the end of 2021, the number jumped to 43.2% of all websites, with or without Content Management Systems (CMS). In terms of the websites that use CMS, WordPress still has the lion’s share of the market, racking up 65.2%, besting Shopify, Wix, Joomla, Drupal, and the rest of the CMS’s.

Tech pundits have entertained fears that WordPress is cannibalizing platforms like Drupal and Joomla, but Automattic Inc. (WordPress’ parent company) CEO Matt Mullenweg dispels apprehensions by saying that the CMS’s are not cannibalizing each other’s market share. Rather, the sites that used to have no discernible CMS are moving over to WordPress, choosing it more often than the competition.

Time for Wix, Shopify, Joomla, and Drupal to breathe easy?

With WordPress aiming to release 4 versions this 2022, though, that’s pretty debatable.


WordPress Saves Creative Commons

WordPress is inherently Open Source software, and all Automattic and WordPress ventures are basically odes to Open Source. If there’s another epitome of Open Source available on the web, it’s the Creative Commons Search Engine.

If you’ve ever had to do creative work, especially work published online, you probably had the need to find images and other forms of media that you can use with your work without being sued for it. You may have had to buy stock photos or media, or used Creative Commons as a free alternative.

For the uninitiated, Creative Commons is a database of creative work legally available for use and remixing, for completely free. Those who generously want to share their work can do so for others to use.

The network was run as a non-profit by volunteers. All that changed after Creative Commons changed hands and came under WordPress’ umbrella.

Being a bastion of Open Source, it isn’t a surprise that WordPress took Creative Commons under its suite of ventures after talks between WordPress CEO Matt Mullenweg and Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley were finalized.

Aside from acquiring and moving Creative Commons’ tech infrastructure, Matt Mullenweg also hired Creative Commons staff, and for the first time, the volunteers are now under a payroll.

In December 2021, the transition was made complete, and Creative Commons officially launched as WordPress’ Openverse.

Same 100% free content, now made more sustainable, thanks to WordPress’ wealth of resources.


WordPress Does A Soft Launch Of The WordPress Photo Directory

Any creative of any form, blogger, vlogger, ad creative, graphic designer, and anyone else who needs a constant supply of images knows the pain and cost of this need. This is why free photo sites like Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay, and their likes became popular.

Most of all, the go-to for 100% free photos was Creative Commons. However, as we laid out in the previous section, Creative Commons’ costs to operate started to become unsustainable for the nonprofit that WordPress had to step in.

WordPress took the venture further and created a separate project, the WordPress Photos directory. It is definitely an acknowledgement of the need for free-to-use, fully-free photos.

It’s still in its barely-there earliest stages, but as it is, the WordPress Developer and Open Source community are already excited about its full launch, so good things are on the horizon for WordPress Photos in 2022.


Wix Launched A Negative Marketing Campaign Against WordPress; WordPress Devs & Fans Pushed Back

In case you missed it, too, back in mid-2021, Wix sent expensive Bose noise-cancelling headphones to popular WordPress Developers and noteworthy WordPress users. It caused ripples in the tech, CMS, web hosting, and online community. Ripples of bewilderment, that is.

At first, the recipients and everyone who read their tweets and posts about the shipments thought that the headphones were from WordPress, as they were signed “From WP,” or “Yours, WP.”

Then an even more puzzling video ad campaign was launched, and the general consensus was that the whole campaign was “tasteless.”

It’s not for us to judge, really. You can see the video for yourself to make your own conclusions; it’s readily available for watching online. However, what is clear is the truth that WordPress has its own market, and so does Wix.

Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller participated in a great discussion about the pros and cons of using Wix or self-hosted WordPress. Given that he knows the inner workings of Google’s algorithm itself, he certainly knows his stuff about which types of website and business owners each platform is suited for: Wix for the busy business people who don’t have a dedicated web team and no time to fiddle with the platform, and WordPress for those who need greater control over their websites, want the flexibility of WordPress’ customizability, and the cost-effectiveness of free plugins, themes, and the like, and who have the manpower or technical skills to manage WordPress.

Matt Mullenweg kept his cool throughout the whole campaign, and the most that the campaign provoked out of him was:

“I guess they’re trying to provoke us into responding? I agree it comes off as creepy and misleading to impersonate ‘WordPress’ this way.

I can’t tell if trying to get a cease and desist letter is part of their strategy to try and drum up press. Unethical, tacky behaviour from an unethical, tacky company. Good reminder: I really appreciate the integrity, principles, and ethics of WordPress ecosystem companies.”

WP Tavern accurately points out exactly why the campaign fell flat across the web: WordPress already has a dedicated community of people who actually know how to use it, and need its features.

WP Tavern pointed out that the core difference between Wix and WordPress is that Wix has locked its users’ content within its own servers, essentially turning user-generated content into Wix-owned content. Whereas WordPress allows data import and export, giving its users power and flexibility to do whatever they want with their websites. Whether website owners change hosts, build new websites, or just move things around within their own hosting account, WordPress’ flexibility allows all of that. Wix, sadly, does not.

This is why a gimmicky, even tasteless, campaign, fell flat. Not even the concept of “bad press is good press” could save it.

This is ultimately why, at the end of 2021, WordPress still came out on top with 65.2% market share in all the websites that use a CMS, and 43.2% market share in all the websites across the globe.

Every bit of the reason why CLDY believes in and raves about WordPress.


Learn WordPress, From WordPress

If you have yet to hear about it, well, you’re about to. WordPress’ Learn WordPress hub launched in December 2020, and a year into its existence, it has turned into a thriving centre for people who want to learn how to create with and use the platform. Learn WordPress is not just a static knowledgebase of how-to articles. It actually has a Social Learning space where people can gather to learn topics on how to use, create, or develop with WordPress, LIVE.

The events happen on Meetup.com, and WordPress even has a handbook on how to conduct events on Learn WordPress’ Social Learning space.

Whether you’re new to WordPress or you’re a WordPress whiz, great things are in store for the platform in 2022. Quite a cool way to kick off the new year!

Share This Post