It’s been 6 months since we released Frontity 1.0 to the world but it feels like this happened yesterday. Seriously... time flies!
As we wind down 2019 and look forward to the new decade, we wanted to recap what brought us here and what we accomplished together this year, which has been a really exciting one for us.
The whole idea of this project really began in late 2017, when we started working with big Spanish WordPress publishers who wanted to improve the performance of their mobile sites. Despite their best efforts, their WordPress sites on mobile devices were slow and sluggish.
We got down to work and developed a mobile WordPress theme for them, called Frontity PRO. Our goal was to make this theme as performant as possible while delivering a great user experience. To achieve that, we built an internal React framework which used the REST API to fetch the content of their WordPress sites, and spent the whole year optimizing it.
During that time, we faced a lot of challenges and realized that combining WordPress and React wasn’t easy at all. This combination has plenty of benefits but the steps necessary to create a working decoupled WordPress site are not straightforward. Good news is that after all the work, the theme was a success and it was used by more than 20 million readers!
In February of 2019 we decided to set aside the development of this theme for publishers to place all our focus on Frontity.org. We wanted to use all the acquired knowledge to launch an open source framework, so anyone facing the same challenges with WordPress and React could benefit. You can read more about our history and background in this Post Status interview.
At that time, we were also selected to join the third edition of the Google for Startups Residency program in Spain. Being accelerated by Google and count on their support has certainly been an amazing opportunity for us this year.
Many things have happened since we made that decision in February. Here are some big milestones and other great moments that shaped 2019.
- May 16, 2019: Frontity's beta version is released.
- June 6: Frontity 1.0 Release Candidate is launched. The same day, we published the Learning Frontity docs, which aim to explain all the concepts around the framework to help understand how it all works.
- June 20: Frontity 1.0 is released. This was a huge milestone for us but also for all the community, which hasn't stopped growing since then.
- July 1: we announced new improvements like the
npx frontity infocommand to get environment information for debugging purposes.
- July 30: the Twenty Nineteen WordPress theme is ported over to Frontity by Imran Sayed and Smit Patadiya. We also added support for CodeSandbox so that you can try Frontity directly from your browser without having to install anything.
- August 5: we created a Frontity builder for Zeit Now hosting to make the deployment process simpler.
- October 10: we released a new version of Frontity with support for custom post types and custom taxonomies and added the
create-packagecommand to our CLI.
- October 31: contributors Imran Sayed and Smit Patadiya released an external package for Frontity that adds support for the Contact Form 7 WordPress plugin.
- November 4: new Frontity improvements are announced, native support for fonts and source maps for styled components, among others.
- December 12: we released the beta version of Frontity’s Twenty Twenty theme port made by Segun Adebayo.
We are proud to have contributed in different ways to WordPress and other open source communities this year.
- In 2019 we could attended both the WordCamp Europe and the WordCamp US for the first time. As usual, these were a great opportunity to learn, connect, and build meaningful relationships with members of the WordPress community.
- We launched the first WordPress Meetup for Devs in Madrid (which is part of the WordPress Madrid group).
- We hosted a few workshops at Open Source Weekends and WordCamp Sevilla - the first WordCamp for Developers that took place in Spain.
- The dev team participated as Teaching Assistants at WordCamp Europe and we gave a talk on SEO for headless WordPress at the JS for WP Conference.
- Other members of the team contributed with code and got involved at local WordPress meetups as speakers and volunteers.
We love seeing how the Frontity community keeps growing each day. During these months, many of you contributed to code, gave us feedback in different ways, helped answer questions about Frontity, wrote posts, made video tutorials, and helped spread the word about the framework around the globe.
So far, we have seen talks about Frontity on four different continents! Isn't it amazing? These are some of the them (if we’ve missed anything, feel free to chime in):
- Jesús Olazagoitia talked about Frontity at the Amurrio WordPress Meetup (Spain).
- Brandon Dove gave a demo of the framework at the OC WordPress Dev Meetup (USA).
- Anna Branco gave an online talk on how to create a React theme using Frontity at the JS for WP Conference.
- Uche Jude delivered a session on headless WordPress and Frontity at DevFest Ikorodu (Nigeria).
- Imran Sayed hosted a workshop on how to build a WordPress site with React and Frontity at WordCamp Kochi (India).
We feel truly grateful for all of this and want to say, one more time, a huge thank you for being part of Frontity.
We are excited to kick off this new year and can’t wait to share with you all what's next for Frontity.
Stay tuned as we have big news to share with you in 2020!
Happy New Year from all of us at Frontity! 🎊