WordPress News: WordPress 5.8 Beta Released + 4 More Updates | June 2021

As of 2021, WordPress powers almost 40% of the internet, including nearly 28% of all e-commerce through WooCommerce. As WordPress approaches the final stages of accessible website building and Full Site Editing, the value of WordPress companies is rising. 

This summer saw numerous acquisitions and shifts in the WordPress ecosystem and highly anticipated new block features released in preparation for WordPress 5.8.

Keep reading to learn:

WordPress Releases Beta Version of 5.8

WordPress Businesses Can Sell on New FlipWP Marketplace

Automattic Buys Journaling App Day One

LiquidWeb Acquires IconicWP

New Stories Block Drops With JetPack 9.8

WordPress Releases Beta Version of 5.8

WordPress 5.8 is the second major release of 2021, and it’s launching on July 20. Version 5.8 includes the new template editor, which brings WordPress closer to its goal of Full Site Editing (FSE). 

The template editor on WordPress 5.8 lets users create and save templates for any page or post. It also lets website owners use site editing blocks containing site logos, site taglines, and post titles. 

Screenshot of WordPress 5.8 Beta test

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Users can test these features through WordPress Beta 3, released on June 23, 2021. To do so, they must install the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or download the ZIP file. WordPress does not recommend testing the features on live websites. 

Other WordPress 5.8 highlights include blocks as widgets, the addition of WebP images, and updates to several blocks.

View WordPress 5.8 Beta 3 full details on the WordPress news website.

WordPress Businesses Can Sell on New FlipWP Marketplace

In 2021, Alex Denning of Ellipsis Marketing noticed an increase in WordPress company acquisitions. However, while the interest in buying these companies had grown, figuring out how to do so wasn’t straightforward. 

So, Denning teamed up with Iain Poulson of Plugin Rank to launch a private marketplace called FlipWP, which simplifies the buying and selling of WordPress companies.

Buyers can join FlipWP for $299/year and view all listings on the platform, while sellers can list companies for free. In addition, the company will standardize the listing formats and share them with buyers.  

Denning says FlipWP may explore listing charges or commissions in the future, but selling remains free as of June 2021.

Learn more about why Denning and Poulson started FlipWP on their website.

Automattic Buys Journaling App Day One

With over 50 million downloads, Day One is one of the most popular journaling apps available. The simple journal app is available on iOS and Android devices, and users rate it high for its pleasing and user-friendly design. 

Day One app on mobile, desktop, and Apple Watch

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On June 14, 2021, Day One confirmed it had been acquired by Automattic, the company that owns WordPress.com and Tumblr. Day One CEO and founder Paul Mayne will still lead the company, but the announcement confirms plans to integrate the app with Tumblr and WordPress.com. 

Day One is now part of Automattic’s built-in apps. Users can also download the free app on the iOS, macOS, and Google Play App Stores.

LiquidWeb Acquires IconicWP

In other acquisition news, Liquid Web has confirmed its purchase of the IconicWP plugin. IconicWP will join as part of StellarWP, Liquid Web’s division for all WordPress products. 

The acquisition is a part of StellarWP’s strategy to continue investing in WordPress products that support entrepreneurs and businesses. 

IconicWP is known for its WooCommerce-compatible plugins that help users optimize their stores and boost sales. The suite of plugins includes Image Swap, WooThumbs, and Iconic Sales Booster. 

New Stories Block Drops With JetPack 9.8

JetPack released version 9.8 early in June 2021 and introduced the Story block as the latest addition to its bag of tricks. Previously, the interactive stories function was only available on mobile, but now WordPress users can use the Story block on the web editor.

Stories feature on Jetpack plugin

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JetPack released patches for all versions of the plugin containing the Carousel feature and the new Story feature. The patches fix a security vulnerability that gave hackers access to comments on non-published pages and posts.

Given the nature of the security threat, JetPack used a forced update on all websites, including those that had disabled auto-updates. Unlike auto-updates, forced updates are used sparingly and usually only for security purposes.

Final Thoughts: WordPress News Roundup June 2021

Significant shifts are coming in the world of WordPress, in business, and the website building experience. Users can expect more block features and page templates in WordPress 5.8 and more app integrations as acquisitions pick up. 
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Machielle Thomas
Machielle Thomas | Content Manager
Machielle Thomas writes and curates web and email content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.

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