Issue 2: Sitecore, Gatsby, Liquid Web, and more

January 10, 2021

This week (another) WordPress host buys (another) WordPress plugin, a headless CMS polishes their relational content management experience, and a serverless front-end framework adopts a next-gen image format.

But we begin with…

Sitecore goes headless

Sitecore is the super enterprise-y CMS that C# and .NET Developers love. They recently announced Sitecore Experience Edge, which makes Sitecore content available through a GraphQL API.

To complement the launch, they invested in SEO content with a robust, well-designed page that answers the question, “What is a headless CMS“. They added a link to that page on the footer of their website to maximize internal linking.

This launch signals that the decoupled CMS / serverless front-end architecture is mainstream now.

Read: Announcing Sitecore Experience Edge

Liquid Web acquires The Events Calendar for WordPress

When Chris Lema, the VP of Product at Liquid Web published his year-in-review on his personal site, he casually mentioned:

“This year we acquired Restrict Content ProWPComplete, and another that you’ll hear about soon.”

That tease perked up my ears. What would the next acquisition be?

This week the other shoe dropped. Liquid Web acquired The Events Calendar, one of the most polished products in the entire WordPress ecosystem. I built a local events site powered exclusively with The Events Calendar’s powerful syndication features. I love that product!

This is a real get for Liquid Web. The Events Calendar has almost 900,000 websites using it, according to Builtwith.

The Events Calendar has grown at a high rate
Rocket ship growth that hasn’t abated. Source: Builtwith

If The Events Calendar were counted as its own CMS, it would be the 8th most popular used by the top 1 million websites!

My guess at the economic of this buying spree WordPress hosts are on:

  • WordPress hosting is a high margin business
  • WordPress plugins are a low margin business because of the customer service costs
  • So WordPress hosts can buy plugin companies, immediately reduce the cost of dedicated customer service, and turn the product into an ad for hosting.

In any case, I’m glad to see a great product get a healthy home.

Read: The Events Calendar Joins the Liquid Web Family

Strapi’s update to Relational Fields

Strapi announced that in version 3.4, “you can see the content type relational fields in the list view.”. This makes it faster and easier for content editors to manage a project that has content with a lot of relational pieces.

Read: Relational fields now displayed in the list view

Gatsby Image with Remote Image and AVIF support

Let’s hear it for the home team! My colleagues at Gatsby launched version 2.30 this week. Along with that version is a super-powerful update to the beta of Gatsby Image – remote image support and AVIF image format processing.

Gatsby Engineer Matt Kane wrote an article on Using AVIF with Gatsby that explains:

[AVIF] is a next generation image format that can give considerably better compression than JPEG or WebP

Matt uses a ton of images in that article so you can compare the difference between JPEG, WebP, and the new AVIF format.

Also, another Gatsby Engineer, Kyle Gill has a Twitter thread on how this new Gatsby Image feature makes using AVIF so easy.

Read: Gatsby v.2.30 Release Notes

Photo by Michal Matlon on Unsplash