A live studio audience in New York City heard Matt Mullenweg deliver his annual State of the Word address last week. Thousands of WordPress enthusiasts watched the livestream on YouTube. Meetups were held around the world – in places like Detroit, Singapore, Pakistan, and Medellin, among others.

Mullenweg started by reviewing the growth of WordPress during the past year, beginning with the Polyglots’ continued efforts to make WordPress accessible to those who do not speak English. As of 2021, language packs and active translations have provided significant access to WordPress for translators:

  • There are 13,659 language packs in the core (up 76%)
  • There are 15,900 translations in progress (+28%)

In addition, WordPress expanded its Diverse Speaker Training program, gaining 135 participants across 66 cities in 16 countries.

Mullenweg said that Learn.Wordpress.org is now available in 21 languages, and that the site is going to be a more prominent part of what visitors see when they visit the WordPress website. 186 learning spaces have been created within the platform, which he says is essentially cohorts of people going through various courses. There are currently 73 workshops and 70 different lesson plans available on Learn.WordPress.org. In addition, two new courses have just been released, which include collections of lesson plans.

“I think this is actually one of our biggest opportunities to expand the knowledge of what WordPress is, and also define it to a new audience through these courses,” Mullenweg said.

From the presentation, W3Techs noted that WordPress is now used on 43.1% of websites, up from 39.1% last year.

As proprietary systems overtake Drupal and Joomla, open source CMS’s are disappearing from the top five competitors. In general, Mullenweg says, the CMS’s aren’t competing for market share with each other, rather they are taking it from websites without a detectable CMS.

“We actually grew two entire Wix’s this year, which is a new unit of measurement,” Mullenweg joked.

“And to put that in perspective, we’re still 10 times larger than number two out there, but this doesn’t happen for free. And we shouldn’t take any of this for granted. There are in the history of software, and certainly the internet, many services that were once dominant that now we need museums to remember what they were there to maintain.

“We really need to stay humble and stay close to users and iterate the software as quickly as possible.”

Mullenweg suggested that WordPress might have four releases in 2022 instead of three.

“I’m proud to say it was a good year for WordPress security,” he said. More than 30 people contributed to security patches, and 1/3 of those were first-time contributors.

“Security is a process,” Mullenweg said. “Anyone who says they are perfectly secure is tempting fate.

“Our ability to be one of the most secure platforms in the world is one hundred percent a result of how much we’re going to be able to update sites because humans are fallible sometimes.”

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