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WordPress 6.4 RC 2 is out, and it’s feeling like a bit of a calm before the storm.

For me, all eyes are on the Twenty Twenty-Four theme — will this be the theme that changes it all?

And by changes it all, I mean, will users look at this default theme and want to use this for their business? Let’s take it a step further and ask the WordPress Professionals in the crowd: Will you implement this theme on client websites?

I’ve only spotted a glimmer of hope amongst the plethora of Site Editor frustrations. I get it, baby steps, but how much can we slow walk this 47% of the internet over the finish line before something else comes along?

AI builders, AI designers, AI copywriters…AI AI AI. Are you sick of it yet?

When I’m logged into The WP Minute YouTube channel and spot an ad from Squarespace or Wix, I can’t help but think we’re the old people in the room. Like, damn, that looks good — or at least the ad does.

Classified Listing (Purchase Yours)

The good news is that the 3rd party theme market still has a chance to innovate, even if their code like Ollie Dash, can only live in a plugin. Though I can’t shake the feeling that the same storm hovers over the heads of indie developers like Mike from Ollie.

How can you compete with complete theme toolsets like Kadence or GeneratePress, Elementor or Divi? Then throw the pace of WordPress core development into the mix — you probably should have just started a form plugin. Just kidding, Gravity Forms is still the best (Note: I work for Gravity Forms.)

And that storm doesn’t stop at just product owners. Last week, I reported on Rodolfo Melogli’s nearly 40% decline in WooCommerce business.

While I can’t point to another public blog post, I chatted with many agency owners at WordCamp US that told me business was down. Hop on X and search for WordPress freelancer to read some of the sad state of affairs. See also: Last week’s episode where I highlighted web hosts getting into he services game.

Which brings me to WordPress media: You guessed it, down too.

It’s hard to earn sponsorship.

Underscore ‘earn’ because I work hard. So do some of my competitors. Many of us that have poured a decade into this arena are seeing a decline in ad/sponsorship dollars. And we shouldn’t, you product people need us, believe me. Markets shift, competitors come in, social media traffic dries up — you want a personality that knows the WordPress space to lean on.

But I get it, business is business.

While I’m bullish on where WordPress is headed, its importance in the open source publishing ecosystem, what I’m getting at is: Yeah WordPress 6.4 is important for a lot of reasons.

Reasons I don’t think developers and contributors are really thinking about. Iterate and build a better version than the last: Yes. Fully comprehend the WordPress Professional market and the perception of WordPress to the enduser? I’m not so sure.

Anyway, I’ll be readying the champagne for a virtual send off of WordPress 6.4 and the Twenty Twenty-Four theme in a few weeks.

Important links this week

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