The State of Shifter 2020

Hey, everyone!

This post is the last in our annual advent calendar schedule. I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to our community, contributors, and partners. We always appreciated your feedback and collaboration, and we look forward to having more of those conversations next year.

This post is going to be different from last year’s. We’ll still cover the numbers on things like commits, feature releases, and meetups. But I also wanted to add a more personal note about something I’ve learned. It’s something that helped reintroduce me to our very own product, Shifter.

You may have followed the Jamstack versus WordPress debate that unfolded in blogs and on the stages of virtual tech conferences this year. At its height, it was a noisy discussion. I started drafting a response too and eventually decided not to publish it. After reading Chris Coyier’s blog post on the topic, I didn’t think there was much to add. I agreed with Chris about using both WordPress and Jamstack together. What I realize now is that this approach is a category all its own. I’m calling it Jamstack WordPress, and it’s a third category that combines the best of both.

We’ve used other terms in the past to describe Shifter, such as Serverless WordPress and Static WordPress. While these terms are accurate on their own, they are just parts of the platform. Neither provides a complete description of Shifter’s possibilities or vision.

The term Serverless WordPress comes from how we decided to build the platform from the beginning. Serverless reduced complexity and improved operational maintenance within our team. It also gives us flexibility during feature development and adapting to the latest technological changes. Serverless helps our customers differently. It offers a complete solution for developers and DevOps maintaining WordPress sites without provisioning or managing servers.

The term Static WordPress comes from the static site that Shifter creates using WordPress. It describes the core function of Shifter, which is generating a static site using WordPress. It doesn’t provide context that static pages can also be the foundation for the most lively dynamic sites.

The term Jamstack WordPress is where we are at now, and I believe we’re here to stay. Jamstack WordPress is the combination of WordPress and Jamstack best practices. You don’t need to choose one or the other, and there should be well-documented best practices when using both. We are making it our mission to do just that. We want to educate WordPress users about getting started with Jamstack and demonstrate to Jamstack developers that WordPress is a viable CMS. Sometimes that involves leaving behind doing things the “WordPress way” and adopting a new tool.

I have more to say about Jamstack WordPress, and I look forward to sharing more ideas about it. Welcome to the Jamstack WordPress community.


Shifter by the Numbers

  • 11 Generator Update Releases: 2.0.25 => 2.3.2
  • 85 WordPress Container Update Releases
  • Over 80,000 times of Generator Action (approximately)
  • About 900,000 Minutes of WordPress Containers running time (approximately)
  • 78 Shifter Headless Container Updates
  • 5 Example Jamstack Applications
  • 2 New npm packages
  • 1207 Total commits to GitHub
    • Shifter Base: 435 commits
    • Shifter Static Site Generator: 107 commits
    • Headless Base: 317 commits
    • Headless Plugins: 348 commits
  • 2 Events Sponsored (WordCamp Europe & do_action Japan 2020)
  • 8 speakers across 7 WordPress events
  • 20 community meetups hosted
  • 114 blog posts published (English & Japanese)
  • 4 Team Members Contributing to WordPress Core

Growing our team

We welcomed three new members to the team!

Hiromi Ito as Customer Marketing Manager, Junko Onda as Director of Client Services, and Shusei Toda leading to Product Marketing and Sales.


What to expect next year

We are looking forward to helping our customers solve technical challanges using WordPress and Jamstack. Are you working on a WordPress project where you think Jamstack can help? Our team is here to help architect a solution for the most secure, scalable, and performance WordPress environments available.