By Dan Knauss and David Bisset ️ June 3, 2022

WP Engine acquires Delicious Brains’ plugins 🧠 • Jetpack decouples • Tadlock exits Tavern • InstaWP gets seed funding from Automattic • World-class FSE, how? • Weglot gives back — and enjoys it 🫶 • Why ‘why’ matters most • The Big 2-0 next year • All there is to know about core WordPress email notifications, documented ️ • System font stack check • Do not follow by default • Museum of Block Art opens • Meet Yvonne Doll • How to do well in a downturn • Some things we don’t — but ought to — talk about.

WP Engine acquires Delicious Brains

With our attention diverted to the start of WordCamp Europe, the WordPress community was surprised by the announcement that WP Engine has acquired Delicious Brains‘ full portfolio of plugins: Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), WP Migrate, WP Offload Media, WP Offload SES, and Better Search Replace.

WP Engine’s press release notes these plugins are collectively used by more than four million sites globally.

“I wasn’t spending nearly as much time on SpinupWP as I would have liked.”

Brad Touesnard

Delicious Brains’ founder and CEO Brad Touesnard noted this sale will allow the company to focus on SpinupWP, which he has wanted to give greater focus and attention. SpinupWP has expanded over the past few years from 10 employees to 34.

Iain Poulson still appears to be involved, but sadly this acquisition has caused at least one layoff.

The date of this acquisition came exactly one year to the day after Advanced Custom Fields was acquired by Delicious Brains.

Jetpack decouples major features as standalone plugins

Jetpack announced this week the launch of six individual plugins containing many of Jetpack’s major features, with more to follow this year. While it’s still possible to install and use all these features within Jetpack, Backup, Protect, Boost, Social, Search, and CRM can now be installed individually.

For performance (and sustainability) less is always more. But a more decentralized architecture could help fan growth in a way agreeable to Automattic, agencies, developers, and experienced as well as new users.

For years, Automattic was criticized for bundling so many features together in one plugin that’s largely dependent on Many of these features were originally developed as standalone plugins by Automattic or acquired and absorbed by Jetpack. The modularity of these features has varied over time, but it’s always been possible (with effort) to turn many Jetpack features on or off.

For performance (and sustainability) less is always more. But a more decentralized architecture could help fan growth in a way agreeable to Automattic, agencies, developers, and experienced as well as new users.

A new era and big shoes to fill at the Tavern

All the best to Justin Tadlock who has left WP Tavern. He’s now a member of the division at Automattic, fulfilling part of its Five for the Future commitment.

WP Tavern is looking for new writers now — as in more than one. For years the Tavern has published daily at high volume with only two writers. It would be great to see a bigger and more diverse crew there at WordPress’s “newspaper of record.”

InstaWP gets Automattic seed funding

As WP Minute reported on Tuesday with guest Vikas Singhal of InstaWP, Vikas’ company has landed a seed funding round from Automattic.

Getting to a world-class full-site editing experience

Anne McCarthy (via Post Status Slack) shared a Github conversation about Full Site Editing and agencies in the hope of getting more feedback:

“As FSE matures, what needs to happen so it becomes a world-class tool for both DIY website builders and agencies that craft custom sites with more explicit design constraints?”

That’s a key question stated simply but a hard one to answer. Take some time to give Anne a well-considered reply if you have insight in this area.

Weglot, WCEU, and the WordPress Community

Thomas Fanchin has shared event, sponsor, and Five For The Future information from his team at Weglot. You should be spotting the Weglot at WordCamp Europe if you’re there.

It’s great to see WordCamp sponsors putting an accent on their part in the community and how they personally value and enjoy it.

It’s the ‘why’ that matters

Jason McCreary explains why good commit messages communicate “why” a change was made, not “what” change was made. While Jason is writing for developers, his point also applies more broadly — for example, companies explaining recent pricing or design changes in blog posts.

Looking forward to 20

Matt Mullenweg wrote a brief post celebrating WordPress’s 19th anniversary. This year the festivities were a bit quiet, but we can expect big celebrations for the 20th. You can see Matt’s video along with co-founder Mike Little’s message on

Speaking of WordPress 6.0, if you’re ever up for jazz, Joe Simpson Jr. has a Spotify playlist that features the artists in major WordPress releases.

All core email notifications documented

John Blackbourn has written and shared documentation for all the situations when WordPress core sends an email. He covers how and when they’re sent, and how to filter or disable each one. Newly updated for WordPress 6.0.

System font stack check

Need to quickly confirm the basic system font stacks? There’s a site for that.

Do not follow by default

Joost de Valk continues his dive into web crawling, this time talking about XML sitemaps and IndexNow while proposing a change to how we approach indexing:

“What if search engines only crawled URLs that we explicitly allowed?”

The Museum of Block Art is open

The Museum of Block Art is now open for submissions. The site accepts art created using the block editor with core blocks with very limited custom CSS. You should be using the latest version of WordPress — as of now, 6.0 — for any work you submit.

Automattic Women: Yvonne Doll

On the Automattic design blog, Jeffrey Zeldman featured Yvonne Doll, an oil painter, musician, and the Design Director for Jetpack. Yvonne also fronts an alt-pop, indie-rock band in Chicago called The Locals. (You’ll probably like them if you enjoy powerful vocalists like Neko Case.)

How to do well in a downturn

Pete Flint has some suggestions for surviving and thriving in an economic downturn. His three part framework: manage loss, gain ground, and manage psychology.

Know this — crises always end. We have seen repeatedly how economic shocks drive efficiency and accelerate automation, which in turn drives tech adoption. They are a cyclical part of our market economy and there are black swans that inevitably occur.

Some things we don’t — but ought — to talk about

PHP conferences put an emphasis on celebrating experts and leaders. WordCamps try to make all attendees feel welcomed, valued, and entertained. Each could use a little more of what the other does well, writes Milana Cap in a thought-provoking post.

Does the WordPress community value the advice and recommendations of its own experts and mentors enough? She feels some “elephants in the room” aren’t being discussed or are being ignored, specifically PHP and the WordPress back end.

Focusing on Full Site Editing and Gutenberg at the expense of other core areas has been a growing criticism in the community, especially as fears about possible market contraction increase.

There are other areas suffering from neglect as well. Milana has commented on a Post Status Excerpt episode about having only four sponsored volunteers and fewer than 10 volunteers making up the Docs team — a team that is assigned to manage documentation for software that powers over 43% of the web.

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