Springtime for WordPress

Happy new season: spring if, like me, you’re in the northern hemisphere; autumn if you’re in the southern. Here are some thoughts about WordPress, the platform on which ChangingWay is published.

Three things:

  • Jetpack, important feature of the WordPress landscape.
  • HTTPS, increasingly important to how the web, including WordPress, works.
  • SASS, tool for managing the “Style” of web sites, potentially including WordPress sites.

Jetpack is a plugin by Automattic. Automattic is the for-profit organization founded by Matt Mullenweg, Mr WordPress. Jetpack is free, in two ways: it is available at zero cost (free as in free beer); it is free/open source software (free as in free speech, as in freedom).

Jetpack provides a bridge between WordPress.com, the WordPress host run by Automattic, and the rest of the WordPress ecosystem. If you move a site from WordPress.com to another host, the Jetpack plugin will provide you with some of the functions you got used to at WordPress.com.

Jetpack, like WordPress.com and other Automattic products, uses the freemium pricing strategy. The basic layer is free, then there are premium layers involving a fee. The Jetpack bridge is one of the routes along which money flows to Automattic from the rest of the WordPress ecosystem.

HTTPS is the second thing I’ll cover. I can cover it rather quickly, mainly by quoting Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress and of Automattic.

2017 is going to be the year that we’re going to see features in WordPress which require hosts to have HTTPS available… SSL basically means the link between your browser and the server is encrypted.

You don’t need to digest the alphabet soup (but yes, the S in HTTPS and in SSL denotes “secure”) to get the message. WordPress hosts should support HTTPS/SSL, and should do so now, if they haven’t already.

SASS is… more alphabet soup, and more Ss. It is a way of writing and maintaining CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). A WordPress theme includes a CSS file, which specifies fonts, colors, and many more aspects of site appearance.

There are a few articles about using SASS with WordPress themes. This one provides a pretty good introduction. Like the author of the article, I find the idea of combining SASS and WordPress interesting.

I don’t know whether Matt and other WordPress developers find the idea of combining SASS and WordPress interesting. Do you?


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