Industry Analyst & Strategist

Rich Hill Predicts State of the Word 2020

This is an absolute first, and maybe the start of a trend, Rich Hill, Founder of FortressDB has submitted his predictions for the State of the Word 2020. You can catch up with Rich and almost 100 other viewers at Steak of the Word, December 17 2020 at 15:30 UTC. I made some edits for clarity.

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These are just guesses, I have no prior knowledge, but thought it would be fun to look into my crystal ball and predict what Matt Mullenweg will discuss.


It’s been a year like no other. COVID and Black Lives Matter have dominated. Both have implications for the WordPress community.  Reflecting on 2020, lessons learned, praise for adapting to such difficult circumstances are bound to feature, along with a pause for those who have lost their lives or loved ones.


This is a no brainer. Stats always feature. Growth of WordPress itself, probably Gutenberg adoption, but also communities such as MeetUps, WordCamps, and the parts of the world, and languages, which have seen the biggest changes. Especially within the context of 2020.

WordPress 5.6 Simone, 2021 theme

This speaks for itself. There are new features in the latest release, and the theme will be previewed. However, the most encouraging point comes next …

All female lead team

WordPress democratizes publishing. This is not just WordPress itself, but also the community that builds it. By focusing on a female team of leaders, and predominantly female contributors, WordPress has sent out a message. Tech isn’t just for men, everyone is welcome. Diversity is important, not just for moral reasons or social mobility, but because diverse teams build better products.  The proactive approach taken by Josepha Haden Chomphosy – Executive Director of WordPress – is to be applauded. Bravo.

2021 and beyond

New initiatives

There will be many. This week “Learn WordPress” was announced. I’d be very surprised if this is not discussed. Maybe there will be a few more announcements.


Gutenberg is no longer new. I’m very happy with it now, and use it for my sites. It’s not complete yet. At some point, widgets, menus, etc will be blocks. What are the plans for 2021? I suspect we will find out.


WordCamp US didn’t happen this year, Asia was cancelled for the 2nd year running, and Europe will again be online in 2021. No complaints. This is an inevitable consequence of the pandemic. However, with vaccinations having now started, will there be a message for the future.  The continental WordCamps are much larger, and harder to cancel, so I suspect there will be no WordCamp US in 2021. 

Will there be a message of support for local WordCamps? Perhaps some sort of communal platform or tool for online broadcasting? Not a strong prediction this time, just musings and questions.

Steak of the word

Want to watch along in the company of other members of the WordPress community? Then sign up to Steak of the Word. Afterwards there will be a discussion, so we’ll find out how accurate these predictions are, and generally reflect on what Matt actually talks about.

There you have it! Thank you Rich!

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