WordPress End of Year Celebrations!

Amidst the myriad events and releases that get highlighted during the course of a year in WordPress, countless other projects and contributions quietly move us ever closer to our goals. The items listed below were submitted by team reps and are just a selection of the projects that their teams are proud of. Give it a read to see a few hidden projects and celebrate how much we did together in 2023!

  • Training
  • Openverse
  • Themes
    • Themes waiting queue is so short!
    • Provided ideas and support for 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. theme authors and encourage them to develop more block themes.
    • Super props for the work @greenshady did on the Theme Handbook Overhaul. It will help other block theme authors to create more powerful block themes.
    • Create Block Theme pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party: improvements to site editor integration, font management, export options, theme 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. data management, asset management and improvements to the UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing.
  • CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.
    • As of Oct 9th, 304 new Core contributorsCore Contributors Core contributors are those who have worked on a release of WordPress, by creating the functions or finding and patching bugs. These contributions are done through Trac. https://core.trac.wordpress.org. got commit props (In 2022, there were 269 new contributors by Oct 1, 2022)
    • Shipped releases:
      • 3 major releases: 6.2, 6.3, 6.4
      • 6 minors: 6.4.1, 6.3.2, 6.3.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.2, 6.2.1 (+ security releases)
    • Core Editor
      • Phase 3 Collaboration foundational early work underway in Gutenberg
      • Phase 2, Finale: this year saw big improvements in the writing and styling and customization experience including Do everything in the Site Editor (content, templates, and patterns together in the Site Editor), Openverse in the editor, distraction free mode, fonts management, block theme previewer, and more
      • Greatly enhanced performance in both the front end and the editor
      • Global styles, Footnotes, Real-time editing/sync engine, Enhanced writing flow, Data Views
      • HTMLHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. tag processor and 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., Interactivity API and Lightbox, Custom Fields and Block Bindings, Partially Synced Patterns, Layout API
      • PHP:
        • Got PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php. 8.0 and 8.1 out of “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. support”
        • Dropped PHP 5.6 support
      • Focus to triage and resolve old tickets
      • New Features such as the plugin/theme update rollbackframework for storing revisions in post meta, etc.
      • 5,761 = TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub.https://core.trac.wordpress.org/. tickets + 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. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ PRs
  • Community
  • Polyglots
    • Launched Translate Live using the WordPress playground, this vastly lowers the barrier for translating plugins with inline translation
    • Launched the Tour plugin, which was first created for GlotPress, and made it available on all Make P2s
  • Five for the Future program
    • Ended the year with a 45% increase in companies pledging to 5ftF and 24.53% increase in confirmed contributors
    • Launched the contributor working group and the pilot edition of the mentorship program, where 11/13 mentees graduated, with at least 7 continuing to make ongoing contributions to the project as active contributors, and with an 89% course completion rate!
  • Meta
  • Design
    • WordPress 6.3 – The release introduced a refreshed site editor focused around letting you build and deployDeploy Launching code from a local development environment to the production web server, so that it's available to visitors. your entire website from that one section alone. It also introduced a new process of WordPress release micro-sites, already on top of Google’s search results for the keyword WordPress 6.3, and we are continuing this release microsite tradition for subsequent releases. WordPress 6.3
    • Block themes – These themes are 100% pure block editor and uses core blocks only, making them incredibly compatible, fully editable in every aspect by users, and trivial to switch to and from.
    • WordPress.orgWordPress.org 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. https://wordpress.org/ – Launched a refreshed WordPress.org Showcase, a solid and evolving design system, and numerous other sections of the site, including WordPress Remembers & Memorial Profiles, WordPress 20th Anniversary, Documentation, Developer Resources, Developer Blog, Blocks, Playground, and Events.
  • Extenders
    • Developer Blog – the Developer Blog has settled as a great and official reference for extenders to complement the info provided by the handbooks and to help extenders navigate through the news in the WordPress project relevant to them
    • Better onboarding experience for block developers (Block Editor Handbook) – The Getting Started chapter has been completely revamped, providing a better learning path for newcomers. This new content has been complemented with a new hub of examples for block development block-development-examples (with live previews and downloads) referenced in the handbook.
    • Theme Handbook Overhaul – The first five chapters have been completely rewritten and published (Getting StartedCore ConceptsGlobal Settings and Styles (theme.json)TemplatesFeatures). A new hub of examples for theme development block-theme-examples (with live previews and downloads) has also been shaped to complement the info of the Theme Handbook.
  • Marketing
    • Expanded live event coverage for the three major WordCamps and SotW, streaming live to 4 platforms, live-posting, publishing numerous supporting materials, and netting millions of views. Fun fact: Our video content has roughly 7.5M views this year.
    • Published over 3k posts across 8 platforms, including Tumblr (new this year), and grew our audience by over 100k followers.
    • Promoted all releases and 22 episodes of the WordPress Briefing
    • From Blogs to Blocks campaign for the WordPress 20th Anniversary
    • The Contribute page and the brand new Join page as part of our work to refine the Contributor onboarding process
    • The Get Involved tab in the Admin Dashboard driven by @OGlekler that launched in WordPress 6.3
  • Playground
    • Adoption
      • Calls for testing, like this one for Font library
      • ~60k users visited the Playground website, ~13k downloaded wp-now and the VS Code extension.
    • Integrations
      • Live previews in the WordPress plugin directory
      • Live demos in the Block Editor Handbook
      • Live Translations enable instant translation contributions
      • All WordPress core PRs now get a Playground-powered live preview link
      • Plugin Editor Block for Gutenberg was proposed by a community contributor
      • wp-now and the VS Code extension provide a single-click local WordPress dev env
      • Local directory sync turns the in-browser Playground into a development environment. Built a WordPress plugin with no local WordPress and just Playground
      • 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. https://github.com/ integration – submit PRs directly from Playground, “host” it in a repo, share a live preview link to the Playground you’ve built
    • Explorations started


I said it at State of the WordState of the Word This is the annual report given by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress at WordCamp US. It looks at what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and the future of WordPress. https://wordpress.tv/tag/state-of-the-word/., and it’s worth repeating here—what a time to part of the WordPress project! We have built so many foundations and processes, and battled our way through twists and turns in the road. And yet, we find ourselves poised for an incredibly exciting year in 2024. The work you do, unseen as it feels, makes possible the powerful and abundant ecosystem that has grown around this CMS we all love.

I look forward to seeing what else we can do from here. Cheers to 2023, and welcome to 2024!

Update on Matrix Migration: Pausing the Transition

In recent days, we (Matrix contributors @ashfame, @psrpinto, and myself) have been closely evaluating and engaging with testing, feedback, and discussions stemming from this recent post about the transition to Matrix by the end of the year.

First, I would like to acknowledge the great work Matrix and WordPress contributors did this past year. The explorations and progress made have been admirable, and I appreciate all the community collaboration and participation in testing and providing valuable questions and feedback.

As you may have heard during yesterday’s State of the Word Q&A, the migrationMigration Moving the code, database and media files for a website site from one server to another. Most typically done when changing hosting companies. from SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. to Matrix is being put on hold after careful consideration. Several factors, as mentioned by Matt, have contributed to this decision:

We, both Matrix contributors and project leadership, have listened and taken into account the concerns shared regarding 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). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) and usability. While significant progress and efforts have been made to address issues during the past few weeks, especially around accessibility, we understand that the current experience provided by Matrix clients is not yet where the WordPress project and community expect for their communication and collaborative needs.

On the other hand, we are concerned about the recent developments and license changes announced in the Matrix ecosystem. WordPress prioritizes tools and platforms that align with the project’s principles and values, and this includes considerations around licensing implications when it comes to choosing or contributing to software. In this case, the switch to the Affero General Public License (AGPL) and the requirement of signing a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) to contribute.

This decision allows for reassessing the current situation and ensuring that any transition aligns with WordPress’ standards.

Moving forward

As a result, Slack will remain the primary chat platform for the WordPress community, with no changes expected by the end of the year.

We found that the Slack-Matrix bridge and integrations, such as Chatrix, are still valuable for contributors and will keep working. This allows for flexibility and the continued use of the achievements made so far, especially to help onboard new contributors. We encourage Make teams to further explore and take advantage of all the opportunities that Make team chat pages have to offer.

Thank you for your support and understanding while we navigated to this decision. If you have any further thoughts or questions, please share them in the comments.

Overflow Questions from State of the Word 2023 in Madrid, Spain

Will put them in comments. We need something like Tumblr’s Ask feature. We had tens of thousands of streamers across Facebook and Youtube! Here’s the cleaned-up video with chapters: