Newfold acquires YITH, Hostopia. Wordfence stops DigitalOcean acquires CSS-tricks. Tips and tricks for WordPress devs.

Courtney has the week’s news from the people making WordPress at .org. ️ Check out David‘s podcast and video picks for the week. ️ Have you found greater benefits or costs from being assertive in your workplace? Would WordPress benefit from public relations messaging around security issues? 🤔 Tell us what you think! We want to hear your take.

Joost Exploring Projects Beyond Yoast

Joost de Valk is transitioning to a different role at Yoast. He says he is “spreading his wings” in anticipation of pursuing other dreams “outside of Yoast.” He states he’s not leaving Yoast but possibly devoting attention to other companies he’s invested in:

My ambitions outside of Yoast were my main personal reason for selling Yoast. I really was getting bored. After our sale to Newfold, Yoast is running rather smoothly without me interfering on a daily basis.

Newfold Acquires YITH and Australian Hostopia

This week, Newfold Digital announced it has acquired YITH and their team. YITH bills itself as the “#1 Independent Seller of WooCommerce Plugins.” It is the biggest WooCommerce marketplace alternative and competitor to

Last week, Newfold expanded its portfolio by acquiring Hostopia Australia for $23 Million (USD). Hostopia was founded in 1999 and acquired by Deluxe in 2008; it acquired another Australian host, Digital Pacific, for $52 Million (USD) in 2017. (Digital Pacific was itself a consolidator of other regional hosting companies.) Only the Australian arm of Hostopia is being acquired by Newfold.

Hostopia’s website describes it as “delivering a white-label platform for Deluxe’s suite of small business solutions.” Deluxe (NYSEDLX) is a US-based publicly-traded international company focused on small business needs. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Deluxe dates back to the origins of the personal checkbook and adapted in the digital era to payment processing and fintech.

There have been nine acquisitions in 2022 within the WordPress space to date.

DigitalOcean Acquires CSS-Tricks

This was a bit of a surprise: CSS-Tricks is being acquired by DigitalOcean. CSS-Tricks (currently running on WordPress) has been a popular source of CSS (and at times WordPress) information for 15 years. Founder Chris Coyier said he “will be working with the DigitalOcean team as an advisor as we transition CSS-Tricks to DigitalOcean’s management,” but then he will “step back to focus on my other projects.”

Maybe it’s not so surprising. This week, I received an email from Digital Ocean announcing, “Your personal account is now a team.” (Teams are a relatively new feature for collaboration at Digital Ocean that’s included with all new accounts — and now apparently all old accounts.) Digital Ocean is emphasizing its value for agencies, freelancers, and solo developers. As Digital Ocean CEO Yancey Spruill says in his blog post about the CSS-Tricks acquisition:

“CSS-Tricks will broaden and complement our existing library of content, furthering DigitalOcean’s reach with both frontend and full-stack developers, and supports our community strategy, a key differentiator for DigitalOcean in the cloud computing space.”

— Dan Knauss

Fast, Slow, and Stop

Mark Maunder, Founder & CEO of Wordfence, recently informed users the service is shutting down on March 31st.

As a lesser-known Wordfence property, Mark noted, “FastOrSlow never really gained much traction as a product… the total number of users we gained was just over 7,000… it isn’t showing growth, and it is a burden on our operations team to operate. It’s also outside our core business, which is cybersecurity.”

This is a shame. FastOrSlow developed into quite a beautifully designed and useful service I’ve certainly taken for granted. I’m not sure I even knew it belonged to WordFence. Rather than shut it down, I wonder if someone else might be interested in acquiring it?

— Dan Knauss

How Page Experience Ranking Works

If SEO is important to you, then check out Search Engine Journal‘s Roger Montti summarizing the key details in a talk with Google‘s Search Advocate, John Mueller: “How Page Experience Ranking Factors Actually Work.”

Mueller addresses Core Web Vitals and says their “ranking signal might account for small changes, but it’s not the kind of signal that would result in a huge change” in a site’s position in search results.

Registering a Custom Font in the WordPress Editor for Block or Classic Themes

Geoff Graham demonstrates two ways to register a custom font with the WordPress editor: the “future friendly” theme.json way and a PHP alternative for those working in classic themes.

Don’t Peeve the Plugin Team: A Guide to Successful Plugin Submission at

If you’re a plugin developer or aiming to be one, then you might enjoy Ronald Huereca‘s new guide through a series of workflows and tips for a successful plugin submission to the plugin repo. An example:

WordPress “hosts” your plugin. It isn’t a dev environment.

Excessive plugin commits will peeve the plugin review team. Do your development somewhere else.

This is not a pipe, it’s Pipe Viewer

Tom McFarlin shares how developers can use Pipe Viewer to see what’s happening between two applications. His use case is a database migration. If you are importing the contents of a very large SQL file into MySQL, then you want to know its progress as the import is happening. Pipe Viewer can do that.

Just Cargo Cult and Paste

Mitchell Hashimoto, the founder of HashiCorp and creator of Vagrant, writes and shares his processes for learning and contributing to complex software projects: “The first step to understanding the internals of any project is to become a user of the project.”

Next, you need to learn how to build the project, and you don’t have to know a great deal about it: “Don’t bother with understanding the build system, the dependencies, etc. Just cargo cult guides, websites, whatever you need to reliably and repeatedly go from source code to runnable binary on your system.”