If you know WordPress, you certainly know CMB2. CMB2 is a developer’s toolkit for building metaboxes, custom fields, and forms for WordPress. It’s a thriving plugin, with over 100K active installs and a five star rating on WordPress.org and over 1500 stars on Github. CMB2 also happens to be flexible enough to be bundled in other projects (plugins/themes), and those installation numbers are unaccounted for. If you account for the plugins and themes which bundle CMB2, this number is truly astounding.
After a long history of many contributors and iterations, three WordPress web development companies, Human Made, Zao, and WebDevStudios, are coming together to work on CMB2 and create its own Github organization.
Before we get into the details of that, though, let’s talk a little bit about where CMB2 came from and why we’re so excited about this development.
A brief WordPress plugin history
Jared Atkinson, Bill Erickson, and Andrew Norcross built Custom Metaboxes and Fields for WordPress. Our own JT took over from Jared a few years back. After working on it for awhile at WebDevStudios, WDS requested taking over the plugin. Version 1.0.0 was released not long after that, and WDS continued to maintain it for another year or so.
At that point, JT and the WDS team decided there were a lot of things they wanted to re-do without worrying about backwards compatibility. JT forked the original plugin, called it CMB2, and now it’s the incredibly popular plugin we all know and love today.
Collaborating in the present
Awhile back, Chris Reynolds reached out to JT and said Human Made was interested in collaborating on CMB2. Human Made has their own version of CMB that they’ve been maintaining for some time. They forked the original CMB for the same reasons JT did: they wanted a fresh start using many of the same tools, but with added functionality and freedom of development. Chris and Mike Selander were working on Human Made’s CMB, and Brad Williams, Chris, and JT have all been involved with CMB2, with JT still maintaining it at Zao.
As a result, there are two stable versions of what is essentially the same plugin: they both do a lot of the same things in a slightly different style.
After much discussion, the group collectively decided to move CMB2 to its own organization, rather than having management fall individually on one team. At this point, WebDevStudios, Zao, and Human Made are all actively contributing to its development and success (and that’s not even mentioning the many amazing individual contributors as well). It makes sense for CMB2 to have its own organization on Github and its own world.
JT approached Brad about the idea, and he liked it. So here we are!
The CMB2 universe
CMB2 is not just a plugin, but so much more. There’s the CMB2 snippet library, as well as several CMB related custom field repos. You can do so much with CMB2, and this multifaceted tool is extremely beneficial to the WordPress community.
Moving forward, the plugin related resources will be centralized, making it easier to use. We also hope that this collaboration inspires other agencies to get involved, especially since an individual company’s management of a plugin may have previously deterred that.
Open source collaboration wins again
One of the most incredible things about open source software and specifically, the WordPress community, is the constant collaboration. While in other industries, competing companies may balk at working together, the WordPress industry has sprung up from shared values, which include a core commitment to open source and to the community.
We’re honored to work with Human Made and WebDevStudios and make CMB2 the best it can be.
If you’d like to join us in our efforts, hit the CMB2 crew up. This is a group effort, and we’d love to have your brilliant brain on it too!