MasterWP Weekly, Issue 44 - Gutenberg, WooCommerce Marketplace, and Alibaba
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Hope you're having a good week, and had a restful Thanksgiving if you celebrate it :)

This week we’re sharing some positive Gutenberg news, some insights from the WooCommerce Marketplace, and getting totally out of the bubble (WordPress or otherwise) with a bit of perspective from Alibaba’s Singles Day.

As always, if you have any feedback or questions then just hit reply. Enjoy the newsletter!

- Alex and Ben

Coming up in this issue

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The Gutenberg Handbook


One of the most common complains about Gutenberg is that people don’t know what is happening with it, or what it’s for, or how to use it, or what the future holds.

Finally, some of this has been answered. There are still questions, but if you’re a developer, there’s now a handbook that has lots of content on how you can get started with implementing and developing for Gutenberg. I think this will help a lot with increasing adoption.

A lot of people I have spoken to about Gutenberg have been wary of doing any significant development with it since it’s a moving target. Now that the documentation is being written we can hopefully consider some of it static enough to at least start planning. I just hope they keep updating and improving it as Gutenberg develops. - Ben

Insights from the WooCommerce Marketplace

Successful extensions are built on understanding customers

WooCommerce is opening up its marketplace in early 2018, in a move which one presumes is designed to ensure the plugin’s ecosystem can produce innovative solutions at a much larger scale than is possible with individual stores.

For plugin developers, let’s be honest, this also seems an obvious revenue opportunity. We mentioned Barn2 Media making the transition from digital agency to a WooCommerce plugin developer a couple of weeks ago, and presumably they won’t be the only ones.

This post on is packed with insights from WooCommerce users, on what they want from the plugin, and in turn, what they want from extensions. For plugin developers, this is an invaluable list of insights. It’ll be really interesting to watch the Marketplace space over the next couple of months. - Alex and Ben (FYI: Barn2 are one of my marketing clients - Alex).

Alibaba’s Singles Day Sales Hit New Record of $25.3 Billion

Getting totally out of the bubble

There’s been a lot of talk in the WordPress space recently about “getting out of the bubble”, and talking to and learning from other ecosystems and platforms. How’s this for getting outside the bubble, hot on the heels of Black Friday: Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce giant, did twenty five billion dollars of sales for its “Singles Day” at the start of the month.

To put that number in perspective, Amazon’s Prime Day this year was its “biggest day ever”, with $1 billion in sales. A billion dollars is a lot of money. Twenty five billion dollars is a heck of a lot more. Alibaba says it matched Amazon’s total sales for Prime Day within two minutes.

This is admittedly a fairly brief write-up from the New York Times, but speaks to a serious shift outside of our Western bubble. - Alex.

Human Day

A day for loved ones

I started working for myself in 2015, and if I can help it I’ll never get a ‘real’ job again. But, if I do, it’ll be for someone like Human Made. They’ve shown time and again that they care for their staff, and this latest innovation is a lovely addition.

Human Day, was a day to celebrate the family. When working remotely it can be hard on those closest to you. Especially if your job entails traveling a lot. I think this is a great addition to a company that already offers a lot of perks. It’s a shame more companies don’t think like this. - Ben

WordPress Plugin Banned for Crypto Mining

Who knew that was possible? It’s hard to say.

Crypto-mining is the act of digitally mining crypto-currencies (the best known of which is Bitcoin). The mining takes place on your computer/ electronic devices and involves performing complex calculations for which you get credit for. Essentially you (your computer) do work and get paid for it.

I find this article fascinating. Not just because the plugin was banned for adding crypto-mining api into their plugin so that their users earnt them money, but because I didn’t even know this was possible. I must admit I did temporarily consider using the api on my own site so that I can earn some crypto currency.

However there is a big downside. The mining is very resource intensive and so has a negative effect on your users experience of your site. That alone is enough to put me off. Not to mention the fact that javascript in the browser isn’t the fastest language so the amount of visitors you would need to make it worthwhile is massive. - Ben

If you fence-sit just because you are scared to make an error, then you are definitely making one.

- Sarah Bakewell

About the authors

MasterWP Weekly is brought to you by Alex Denning and Ben Gillbanks.

Alex does marketing for people who don't like marketing, working almost exclusively with WordPress businesses. You can follow @AlexDenning.

Ben is a WordPress theme developer who runs leading theme shop Pro Theme Design. You can follow @BinaryMoon.

Interested in sponsoring MasterWP Weekly? Email us for details.
Copyright © 2017 MasterWP Weekly, a Pro Theme Design and Ellipsis Marketing LTD collaboration, All rights reserved.

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