Preparing the About Page

Every WordPress release has an About page. It is shown to users after they finish updating to the new version and includes what the new features are and who contributed to making them.

This is a great marketing opportunity as lots of people get to see this page. It would be fun to have each major About page customized by one of the designers in the WordPress community (otherwise, we fall back on an existing design).

This trend started with WordPress 4.7, you can view the previous designs on Figma:

If you want to create a page like this, here are the steps to follow:


  • Know your deadline: Work on the About page starts once the release reaches BetaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. 1 and should be complete by RC1.
  • Create a ticketticket Created for both bug reports and feature development on the bug tracker. for the About page kick-off, like this:
  • Clearly state what steps are:
    • Coordinate between release leads and either marketing or a copywriter to draft initial page copy
      • Draft in a google doc so multiple people can write and suggest edits
      • Check-in with release leads about headline features
      • Check-in with any feature leads if you’re unclear about details
      • Go through Beta posts on /news/ to populate features and find copy inspiration
      • Go through dev notesdev note Each important change in WordPress Core is documented in a developers note, (usually called dev note). Good dev notes generally include a description of the change, the decision that led to this change, and a description of how developers are supposed to work with that change. Dev notes are published on Make/Core blog during the beta phase of WordPress release cycle. Publishing dev notes is particularly important when plugin/theme authors and WordPress developers need to be aware of those changes.In general, all dev notes are compiled into a Field Guide at the beginning of the release candidate phase. on make/coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. to populate developer happiness section
      • Make sure to go through the features of GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. and create a section to call it out with “new editor feature this release.”
    • Create images — could be illustrations, icons, or screenshots
    • Finalize copy (after the release leadRelease Lead The community member ultimately responsible for the Release.’s last review)
    • Finalize design
    • Get the page made up
    • Test the page in various browsers, checking for image quality
  • Release Post (for those leading a release)
    • Draft new post on The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization.
    • Copy content over from the About page
    • Add images, changing size, alignment, or positioning to fit the blogblog (versus network, site) layout
    • Pass off to release lead to include credits shortcodeShortcode A shortcode is a placeholder used within a WordPress post, page, or widget to insert a form or function generated by a plugin in a specific location on your site. and release name
    • Get the musician’s name from the release squad lead.
    • Post slug should be
    • Keep the post with an “album cover” feel.

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  • Audience: WordPress users and practitioners who are not active in contributing. Assume non-technical.
  • Purpose: To highlight the immediately interesting things and inspire people to experiment and/or learn more. Assume no need to sell WordPress to them.
  • Property: WordPress software
  • Assets: Assume that the copy flow will follow the design flow.
  • Voice: Aim for the positive side of neutral, though you can go all the way to cheerfully American Southern. Not a sales-y voice, since these are people already using WordPress.

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The About Page has a set framework and it is not meant to be redesigned from scratch each release.

The layout should be considered a stack of containers, which can be 1-4 columns. The content in the columns can be anything — text, video, images, embeds, etc. These containers can have no background color, a “subtle” background color, or “accent” background color (these change with each About page using colors from the headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes. feature). Columns can also have one of these background colors. Containers are stacked on top of each other to create the page.

Wondering why the About Page is not done in the blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. editor? The biggest blockerblocker A bug which is so severe that it blocks a release. is translations. Every string on the page is wrapped in a translationtranslation The process (or result) of changing text, words, and display formatting to support another language. Also see localization, internationalization. function, with additional translation notes as needed. We’d need to find a way to do that with Gutenberg as well. 

Some items to watch for:

  • The header has the most freedom. It can have a design element background or text effect. Check that it is accessible.
  • Images, illustrations, and videos are allowed in the content.
  • There can be 1, 2, 3, or 4 columns and have a colored background.
  • For technical documentation, see the about patterns demo plugin.
  • Talk to @ryelle about it. She is in charge of coding and committing the About Page.

Examples of how the boxes can look like:

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For better understanding see the image above. Some things to consider:

  • Images can be edge-to-edge or have a 32px padding on all four sides.
  • Images and videos resize a bit on mobile.
  • Images should be decorative, just illustrating the content they’re next to — if an image conveys meaning, it needs to have alt text.
  • Images should limit or avoid English text, including UIUI User interface text, because we don’t currently have a method for translating screenshots.
  • Use icons to accent smaller columns/content

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For accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (, if the video has voice audio, a text equivalent needs to be provided. If the video shows a flow or action being performed, then the process needs to be described in the text. The key thing is remembering the audience for the text description need to get the same level of information as a sighted audience gets from watching.

What matters is that it’s clear that the video’s description is associated with the video, use figure and figcaption for this.

Tech reqs

  • Videos must be 480px wide (in general, most users will see this video at 436px wide, large phone sizes might see it up to 488px)
  • The space for a full-width video is 1000px wide, and for a wider 2 column layout is 536px.
  • Record using Kap (this is different than the recommendation in the post but @joen recommended this instead of Screeny)
  • Convert .mov files to .mp4 using FFMPEG. Kap does appear to have the ability to export as MP4 and WebM though. Using that is preferable to converting if it works well.
  • How to: Good UI demo videos

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While the “About page” typically means /wp-admin/about.php, the updates in this ticket usually also apply to the whole section, /wp-admin/contribute.php, /wp-admin/credits.php, /wp-admin/freedoms.php, and /wp-admin/privacy.php. The content on the other pages rarely changes.

Once a content draft & layout have been signed off by the marketing & design teams, the page can begin in code.

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Copy content from the doc

Lay the content out in sections & columns to match the design. Make sure to wrap content in translation functions. If there are links, use printf and placeholders, and maybe translate the destination link too.

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Update the color custom properties

If the colors have changed, update these in /css/about.css. Sometimes some color properties are not used, you can leave them alone — some are used on other pages (for example, contribute uses has-subtle-background-color). Use the about-patterns plugin to help test out your CSSCSS Cascading Style Sheets. changes.

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Export assets from Figma

The following are exported as SVG and saved locally. Use something like svgomgui to optimize SVGs before saving them in /wp-admin/images/.

  • Page headers, export without the text, about-header-*.svg
  • Illustrations on freedoms, privacy, and contribute, freedom-1.svg, freedom-2.svg, etc; privacy.svg, contribute-1.svg, etc.
  • Release badge, about-release-badge.svg

The icons in the About page content are SVGs used inline, so export those and make sure aria-hidden="true" focusable="false" are on the svg tagtag A directory in Subversion. WordPress uses tags to store a single snapshot of a version (3.6, 3.6.1, etc.), the common convention of tags in version control systems. (Not to be confused with post tags.).

The feature screenshots are raster images, export these at 2x and convert to webp. They’re added to the page from external links, so use if they’re still in flux. When finalized, upload to the CDN (needs dotorg committercommitter A developer with commit access. WordPress has five lead developers and four permanent core developers with commit access. Additionally, the project usually has a few guest or component committers - a developer receiving commit access, generally for a single release cycle (sometimes renewed) and/or for a specific component.).

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Update URLs in the content

Local images usually use a query string to break caching, so update the version before release. For example, see this line in freedoms.php. This is not necessary for CDN images since those URLs change each release.

The field guide URL in about.php should also be updated when that post is published (usually around RCrelease candidate One of the final stages in the version release cycle, this version signals the potential to be a final release to the public. Also see alpha (beta).). The release notes URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL is generated and should work once that page is published, but the version number should be updated here.

If any content in the page had links using placeholders, update those.

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Development timeline

The timeline for this page depends on multiple teams, and there are a lot of things to wrangle, so the timeline needs to be flexible.

  • beta3 (or the last beta before release): Commit the first-final draft of the page, basic layout and design.
  • RC1: Commit the final draft of the page, update any finalized assets.
  • During RC: Upload and commit the feature screenshots, update any URLs, update finalized assets.

No string changes should happen after RC1, but exceptions are made, for example if something is technically inaccurate.

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The props (or credits) within a release are collected by the Release Squad, and embedded in the About Page (and Release Announcement Post) via a shortcode. Gutenberg credits are collected via GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. and added to the Credits APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. via a MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. TracTrac An open source project by Edgewall Software that serves as a bug tracker and project management tool for WordPress. ticket (e.g., 5.7). All non-code contributions are gathered by the Release Squad focus leads and also added to the Credits API. Finally the list of Noteworthy Contributors is assembled by the Release Squad and submitted as a Credits API update (e.g., 5.7).

When working to match GitHub usernames to usernames you can use where putting the GitHub username at the end of that URL will translate to the respective profile. This will work for any user who has associated their GitHub account with their profile. There is a similar method for converting a SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at username to a username by using$slack_id where the Slack ID comes from a Slack user’s details (Click and avatarAvatar An avatar is an image or illustration that specifically refers to a character that represents an online user. It’s usually a square box that appears next to the user’s name. > View full profile > More […] > Copy ID).

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