Automattic Acquires Frontity

Automattic has acquired WordPress-focused React framework Frontity for an undisclosed amount. Frontity is an open-source React framework that aims to make developing headless WordPress sites easier. Last year, the project raised €1M in funding from Automattic and K Fund to increase sustainability without relying on a business model. This funding paved the way for acquisition conversations between Automattic and the Frontity team. This is a good example of the sponsorship to acquisition pipeline that can sometimes take place in the WordPress ecosystem.

Automattic’s 2020 investment in Frontity opened the doors for discussions about Frontity joining Automattic. They have always understood our ambitions with Frontity and the more we talked with them, the more we realized our visions and values aligned.

After a series of conversations, Automattic offered to sponsor our team to work directly on the WordPress open source project. In particular, to contribute our expertise in developer experience, frontend tooling, performance, and UX to the WordPress core itself, instead of doing so only for an external tool.

Frontity Team

The Frontity framework will not be rolled into WordPress core. Instead, the team will evaluate Gutenberg and the Full Site Editing experience and apply their work to those parts of WordPress where it makes sense. As for the framework itself, the Frontity team says that it will transition into a more broadly managed project with an emphasis on community contributions and direction.

In order to facilitate the continuity of the project, we are helping transition it to a community-driven endeavor. We believe this is an opportunity to make the project better than we, as a single organization could, by inviting more discussions, driving greater participation, and encouraging the community at large to contribute their particular expertise.

Frontity Team

The Frontity team says that the framework is currently in a stable, bug-free state with extensive documentation on features they’re working on. They also mention that it’s safe for companies and agencies to use for new projects.

I’ve never heard of Frontity until today but considering I’m not a developer and not actively building sites for clients, that’s to be expected. I checked out their showcase page and I must say, the sites that are using the framework appear to be snappy, performance-wise. I would have figured that in all of the recent conversations that have taken place around the barriers to entry for WordPress development, that Frontity would have been mentioned as an easier path towards contributing.

Have you built sites with Frontity? If so, what do you think of this news and of the framework? By the way, the PostStatus counter has been reset to zero.