WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg delivered his 10th annual State of the Word Address on Saturday during the inaugural WordCamp US at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in the heart of Philadelphia. With 1,800-plus tickets sold for this event, a crowd from all over the world was in attendance to watch one of the most anticipated speeches at WordCamp US.

Matt Mullenweg’s State Of The Word Address
Over a thousand attendees gathered in the main conference room to listen to the State of the Word speech.

The State of the Word began with the City of Philadelphia officially recognizing December 5 as “WordPress Day” in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia city councilman David Oh recognizes December 5 as “WordPress Day”.
Philadelphia city councilman David Oh recognizes December 5 as “WordPress Day”.

Matt Mullenweg’s State Of The Word AddressHere are some other highlights from The State of the Word address:

Looking Back

Matt Mullenweg’s State Of The Word Address
The first WordCamp ever in 2006.

Mullenweg reflected on how WordCamp has grown since its birth. This year there were 89 WordCamps all around the world, totalling over 21,000 attendees, 600 organizers, and over 16,000 speakers. In addition, he highlighted WordPress’ major improvements and milestones, including:

  • The adoption of Slack
  • WordPress.tv code is now open source
  • The Twenty Fifteen theme is now the most popular WordPress theme in history with 1.6 million active sites
  • All themes and plugins now support language packs

WordPress also now powers a quarter of all websites, another major milestone.

WordPress 4.4 to be released Tuesday, December 8

Scott Taylor was invited to the stage to announce the WordPress 4.4 release.
Scott Taylor was invited to the stage to announce the WordPress 4.4 release.

“When WordPress adopts modern technologies, the Internet adopts modern technologies,” said Scott Taylor, Senior Software Engineer at the New York Times, who has lead the 4.4 release of WordPress and was invited on stage to talk about the release.

The anticipated release of WordPress 4.4 is Tuesday, December 8. The release will include the first half of the WordPress REST API, responsive images, term meta, a new default theme called Twenty Sixteen, oEmbed for WordPress, and many small updates.

The leads for the next WordPress updates are as follows: Mike Schroder for 4.5, Dominik Schilling for 4.6, and Mullenweg for 4.7.

The WordPress REST API

Mullenweg discussed examples of projects that have done awesome things with the REST API:

  • Microsoft’s new ERP solution and Microsoft Dynamics AX use WordPress REST API for moving content within the application.
  • Nomadbase, a tool built by Human Made that allows you to check-in and update your location all over the world, uses the REST API as a back-end solution.
  • StoryCorps, an application that lets you record and upload interviews, uses the REST API to be the connecting piece between a mobile app and the website.

Calypso

Matt Mullenweg’s State Of The Word AddressMullenweg spent some time discussing Calypso, the codename for WordPress’s new architecture, which is 100 percent JavaScript. It is fully responsive, more social, facilitates great multisite management and works with both WordPress.com and WordPress.org sites. While only on version 1.0, expect more to come.

PHP 7

Recently launched, Mullenweg called PHP 7 the most important version of PHP that has been released since the start of WordPress, as it is faster than any other PHP versions to date and offers better stability.

JavaScript Interfaces and PHP APIs are the Future of WordPress

Matt Mullenweg’s State Of The Word Address“I believe quite strongly that JavaScript and API-driven interfaces are the future of not just WordPress but the web,” Mullenweg said. The best way to build a plugin is with this combination. He stressed the importance of customization, as it’ll help to improve the new user experience.

https://twitter.com/Taylor4484/status/673276598766972928

He added that WordPress will reverse the trend of closed APIs.

Homework Assignment – Learn Javascript

Mullenweg gave the audience a homework assignment to “learn Javascript deeply,” adding, “It’s what’s going to allow WordPress to thrive for the next 13 years.”.

“I think we can use this opening up, API-driven development to actually open up more of the web,” Mullenweg said. “We have a very exciting year ahead of us making the web a more open place.”

WordCamp US 2016: December 2 through December 4

Mullenweg wrapped up his State of the Word address by announcing next year’s WordCamp US. It will be hosted again in Philadelphia, December 2 through December 4 2016.

Following the address, Mullenweg held a Q&A.

The questions and Mullenweg’s responses can be read here:
2015.us.wordcamp.org/2015/12/05/state-of-the-word-live-blog