Big Picture Goals 2024

It’s been exciting to see how this community of contributors has come together in the past year to rebuild so much of what we lost in the wake of covid. It has not been an easy journey, but it has certainly been rewarding. With this renewed foundation, I invite you all to join me in focusing our energy on engaging and attracting users of closed-source products.

A Quick Caveat

There are always unexpected projects that arise over the course of the year. And there are big projects to move forward over multiple years. This project is too big for me to see everything all the time, and I rely on the information from team reps and the vision from both Matt as project lead and Matías as technical architect to help navigate any surprises.

Keep in mind that even if a project isn’t listed here, many unmentioned ones still contribute significantly to the overall success of our work.

The Top Focuses

Projects

There are three focuses for our projects this year:

  • CMS: Test, iterate, and ship Phase 3 of the 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/ project
  • Community: Continue to support the community through learning, events, and mentorship of current and future contributors
  • Ecosystem: Address the difficulty in moving platforms through the Data Liberation project as well as streamline existing review processes across repositories

Obstacles

  • Growth: Our new installations are stagnant year over year. The time to encourage the use of open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. software solutions like WordPress is now. Our project is pro-business and pro-commerce, and we’re committed to aiding in our users’ success by providing access and opportunities to those who might not have them otherwise.
  • Differentiation: Our event series needs to grow past a “one size fits all” strategy. With more advanced topics and more focused events, we can meet our community where it is—in a moment where time is valuable and joining an event should clearly help them reach their goals.

I believe that the WordPress software, ecosystem, and project can be the open source alternative of choice to any proprietary system you need to get your business going. And I need your help to get us there.

How Can You Help?

Code isn’t the only indicator of our achievement. If you already know what type of contribution you’d like to make, you can check out this list of teams (with links to their community sites) and team reps. If you’re not yet sure, here are a few teams and the areas they fall into:

  • Development, Technology, Code: CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress./Editor, Mobile, CLICLI Command Line Interface. Terminal (Bash) in Mac, Command Prompt in Windows, or WP-CLI for WordPress./Tide, Security, Performance
  • Design, Product, UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it./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.: Design, 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), Test, Triage
  • Community, Extending WP, Education: Community, Themes, Plugins, Polyglots, Training
  • Contributor Experience: 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., Docs, Hosting, Privacy
  • Communications: Marketing, Support, WPTV
#goals, #planning

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

Congratulations!

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:

Embracing Matrix for Enhanced Communication

As WordPress continues to evolve, so do the tools the community uses to connect, collaborate, and contribute. The shift from IRC to Slack in 2014 was an important transition, making 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/. one of the primary tools for contributors’ communications and chats. For over a year now, in the spirit of the project’s continuous improvement, we (Matrix and WordPress contributors) have been actively exploring Matrix as a possible replacement for Slack, providing regular updates, and listening to feedback.

The work done so far represents an effort to bring in a new open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. chat system that meets WordPress’ evolving needs and aligns with the project and community’s ethos. We need your help to see this next transition happen.

Progress and achievements thus far

As a first step in getting the community to test and use Matrix earlier this year, a Matrix server went live at community.wordpress.org. We enabled a bridge that allows you to follow chats and participate from either Matrix or Slack, with real-time messages showing up.

Since then, Matrix has been used by several Make WordPress teams for discussions and contributions, including successful meetings with a significant percentage of participants joining via Matrix. During this phase, insights continued to be gathered from contributors, and more enhancements were made.

Here’s what’s been achieved as part of the ongoing explorations.

Better contributor onboarding

A significant amount of time is spent on helping new and casual contributors get onboarded to Slack. At the beginning of the year, we successfully implemented a Single-Sign-On (SSO) flow to streamline the Matrix login process.

This approach provides a straightforward and convenient onboarding for contributors compared to Slack for several reasons. First, it allows them easy access to Matrix chats with their 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/ credentials, eliminating the need for invitations and going through several steps required to join Slack. Second, it reduces the need to remember and manage multiple passwords.

More ways to join Make team chats

Each Make team now has its own Matrix chat page integrated into their respective Make WordPress blogs. For example, make.wordpress.org/test/chat/. This method leverages the SSO login experience to access chats. It facilitates a simpler, direct avenue for contributors to attend meetings, collaborate, or participate in conversations with other community members—directly within the familiar WordPress.org interface.

Moreover, Make teams can create dedicated chat pages with different rooms depending on their needs. This is made possible through Chatrix’s integration, which allows embedding a Matrix chat as a 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/ 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. into any WordPress post or page.

Preserved chat history

All Making WordPress Slack chat history in public channels has been migrated to Matrix, ensuring no past conversations are lost. While the search functionality is not (yet) as powerful as Slack’s, efforts are ongoing to improve this aspect.

Room joining

Questions about re-joining or looking for your existing channels (called “rooms” in Matrix) have been resolved. When joining Matrix, you will automatically be in all the rooms you were part of in the Making WordPress Slack.

Additional opportunities

The open (source) advantage

Matrix provides a secure, decentralized, and real-time communication platform, encouraging a better collaboration and communication system for WordPress contributors without relying on a proprietary platform.

As an open source protocol, it aligns closely with the principles of the WordPress project and supports community-driven development, allowing anyone to contribute and fostering innovation and improvement. Consequently, this can lead to the development of new features and enhancements around Matrix and WordPress that benefit the entire user community and ecosystem.

While the WordPress project provides a homeserver for its community members, Matrix’s decentralized nature allows individuals to use the homeserver of their choice, empowering them with control over their communication environment and identity.

Bringing local communities into a unified platform

Currently, there are different Slack workspaces for local WordPress communities. Matrix has the potential to bridge this gap and allow these communities to coexist within a unified platform for better collaboration. By integrating them into Matrix at the community.wordpress.org server, the project encourages broader participation and a more connected WordPress community.

Interoperability and client flexibility

Matrix clients are applications or software that allow you to interact with the Matrix communication protocol. We have streamlined joining Matrix through the browser or chat pages, lowering the entry barrier by using pre-configured clients. This means that many contributors won’t need to start a dedicated client.

However, for those who prefer to join from a desktop/mobile app or upgrade their experience, Matrix supports a diverse variety of clients to choose from, catering to the different preferences and needs of contributors. These include feature-rich clients like Element (recommended), FluffyChat (similar to Telegram), and Hydrogen (a minimal Matrix chat client).

Known challenges

During the testing and exploration phase, we encountered and heard about a few challenges that may affect your experience. For transparency, the following are some known concerns the team is working on or has already reported to the Element client community:

  • 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): The Accessibility team tried Matrix and identified some barriers to usability in the Element client, as detailed in this post. While we’ve tracked down and flagged these areas for improvement with Element, not all have been addressed yet. Further community explorations, testing, and feedback about alternative clients will be helpful in identifying opportunities to ensure an inclusive and positive experience for all.
  • Direct Messages (DMs): Exporting data from a proprietary platform like Slack is difficult because of the lock-in. And, unfortunately, Making WordPress Slack private messages cannot be directly transferred to the Matrix chat. As a workaround to save your DMs, you can use a browser extension to export them, as explained in this guide.
  • Slack-Matrix feature parity: Common Slack features and integrations are available in Matrix, such as channels, direct messages, file sharing, and search. However, others don’t have a direct counterpart or work differently, such as notification handling or group pings. Matrix presents an opportunity to work on a collaborative roadmap and contribute to enhancements that help meet the community’s needs. So, if there are specific features from Slack that you find essential and would like to add, please share them.

What’s next?

Progress so far has been communicated and shared with project leaders Matt and Josepha, who encourage the community to actively switch to Matrix in replacement of the Making WordPress Slack by the end of this year.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean Slack will go away overnight. The Slack-Matrix bridge will remain active until the community has migrated to help ease the transition and minimize disruption. All Making WordPress Slack public channels and content are accessible through Matrix, where you can follow and participate in existing conversations. Toward the end of December, posting to Slack will become more limited, though the history and chats will still be readable.

We will evaluate progress over the next month and expect to complete 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. early next year.

How you can help

The best way to prepare for the transition is to start using the Matrix chat and get acquainted with it and its features.

We recommend using the pre-configured instance of the Element Web client by visiting matrix.wordpress.net from your browser. However, as mentioned above, there are more ways to get started. Please visit this page to learn more and choose your preferred method.

If you’re familiar with Matrix, help support fellow community members in switching. Another great way to collaborate, especially if you are a Make team repTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts., is to spread the word about the transition within your teams and invite them to start running the contributor meetings from Matrix.

Your input matters

As you or your teams explore Matrix, please share your feedback, questions, and suggestions in the #matrixhelp room (available from Matrix and Slack) or on this Matrix GitHub repo.

Your input and engagement are instrumental in shaping the Matrix experience to meet WordPress’ collaborative needs. Together, we can contribute to making a powerful communication platform for WordPress and the open source community.


We know this move means changing how we chat and collaborate, so it’s natural to feel a mix of emotions, from excitement to concerns about stepping away from a familiar tool. Recognizing these feelings, we want to ensure we’re here to support and guide each other through this transition.

Thank you for your collaboration and continued support as WordPress embraces the opportunities Matrix brings to the project! Stay tuned for updates as we continue to work on the migration.

#matrix

WordCamp US 2023 Q&A

WordCamp US 2023 convened from August 24 to 26 in Washington, D.C. Nearly 2,000 attendees gathered for two days of engaging sessions, learning, and community-building. Saturday’s agenda concluded with back-to-back keynotes by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg and Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy and a subsequent Q&A session. Read more about the event and watch recordings of the keynotes.

Watch the recording of the Q&A session from the WCUS keynotes by Matt & Josepha

As with past events, this post collects questions from in-person and online WCUS attendees that could not be addressed live—with answers from Josepha Haden Chomphosy and Matt Mullenweg. The community submitted some wonderful questions about all things WordPress and beyond. Due to the large volume of inquiries submitted, please note that a compilation of the list’s seven most representative and highly voted questions has been made. Tune in to the WordPress Briefing Podcast’s future episodes for answers to additional questions and discussion on related topics.

Let’s dig in!

Q. How do we ensure web 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) remains at the forefront of design innovation?

One of the things we learned in the Accessibility conversation during the Community Summit is that checklists and blocking requirements (while a great starting point) can only do so much. Accessibility requirements are more nuanced than that and require a fair amount of collective judgment. It was noted that there needs to be awareness and training of foundational concepts, like defining DOM order before visual order, defining desired functions before scoping projects, and generally being more intentional about testing things with users. This all, of course, has to happen in concert with contributors throughout the product development timeline so that what starts with our designers carries on through the development process as well.

Q. How can we better reach users/audiences unaware of WordPress or who looked at it five years ago but not recently?

The tactical answer here is that we need a couple of different brand campaigns: conquest and re-introduction. But since WordPress has overwhelmingly always relied on word of mouth marketing, it can be hard to coordinate that sort of effort. What we would have to do in order to accomplish this would be a grassroots drive for testimonials and such, then hope that we can generate a viral pattern in social media platforms. 

Q. How can we encourage developers to learn WordPress?

There are a few tactical answers that are always worth pursuing. We should find a way to partner with schools (especially at earlier ages) to introduce what WordPress can do. We should collaborate with organizations that already work directly with the groups of learners and developers we feel would benefit most from WordPress. And finally, we should invest in our self-serve learning platforms and event series. 

It also might be worth thinking through a shift in our mindset. It’s hard to predict the future, but we do know that there are skills and values that are useful for anyone early in their career. Advanced 21st century skills (esp critical thinking, cross-cultural communication, and time management) are going to be vital as more companies and opportunities are distributed, as well as an enterprising spirit to see and adapt to challenges as they arise; all of which you can learn in the WordPress project.

Q. As AI gets better with written/spoken language translation, how might that affect the direction of Multilingual WordPress support?

For starters, I want to be clear that I think applications of AI should always be guided by the question “how can we streamline or reduce menial tasks for people” and never by the question “how can we replace this person”. That being said, I think that any value of AI to multilingual activity in WordPress will primarily be on the Polyglot team side. I don’t think we can overstate the importance of having both a well-translated CMS and the opportunity for that CMS to natively host well-translated content as our world gets more connected. I do hope that we are able to take full advantage of the potential for shortened workflows in the work of translating elements inside the WordPress project. Between Translate Live and the opportunity to have human moderation of AI suggested translations, I hope to make WordPress more available across the world, but especially for locales that represent at-risk languages and therefore have no GTEs.

Q. How do you envision WordPress integrating with the Fediverse in the Future?

I love the idea of a bespoke, hyper-local social network that can take the place of group texts or any number of “friends only” implementations in current social media platforms—just you and your book club friends bloomscrolling through your latest gardening experiments!

I also think we have a handful of plugins and solo projects in the ecosystem that, with a little collaboration, could offer that to WordPress out of the box through a canonical/community 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.

Q. 1,000 plugins in the queue; is the Plugin Review team still growing?

It is! And if you want to learn more about contributing to the WordPress project in that way, you can apply to join us!

Q. What is the biggest opportunity for WordPress in the next decade?

I think the popular answer here is “Artificial Intelligence,” and of course, that is certainly an opportunity. But I think if we look at “opportunity” in the sense of “where we can grow the most” I will always say connecting to the communities we currently have the least connection to. More connections mean more knowledge shared, more skills honed, and more economic opportunities for this world (and web) that we hope to make into a better place.

Do you have a question? Comment below, and join one of the many teams making WordPress for answers.

#qa, #wcus2023

Revitalizing the Showcase

Showcase Content Moderation Efforts

The Showcase aims to show the world what can be done with WordPress and help demonstrate the capabilities of WordPress as a publishing platform with a vast array of use cases of sites for personal bloggers and small businesses to enterprise companies and national governments.

With efforts made throughout 2022 to highlight the incredible capabilities of the WordPress platform, solidifying its values and identity, many eyes have been drawn to the opportunity that it presents. 

WordPress is a brand that many people are unaware of, but interact with daily. Within the WordPress ecosystem, it’s known for its flexibility, popularity, and freedom to own one’s content. From personal blogs to enterprise websites, millions of sites are powered by WordPress. To highlight the power and breadth of the CMS, the project ought to showcase stunning and unique sites from all across the open web. What better way for WordPress to become a household name than to share and celebrate some of those stories? 

The showcase represents the best of what’s possible with WordPress. Infinite possibilities of what you can create on the platform. Millions of sites could make it. Great, right? There are already some guidelines in place for submissions. A little more polish through a few updates could have added benefits to the collection. There are lessons from the guidelines for Moderating Photos that can serve as a beneficial example. First, remember that keeping the guidelines flexible and short can encourage people to submit. Second, it would be overly prescriptive to say things ought to be from specific categories or regions. By design, the Showcase should be diverse in every sense. 

Knowing what’s worked well for the Project in the past, like the WP Photo Directory, while aligning it to WordPress brand values will make the Showcase one of WordPress’s most valuable marketing and communications assets.

History

Despite this goal, the existing WordPress.org Showcase has faced long-standing technical and moderation hurdles which made it difficult to keep updated. A variety of discussions about the Showcase’s purpose, design, and moderation are cataloged in Github.

The moderation process is cumbersome, relying heavily on a fragile automation process that has had issues over the years. Editing has been very manual, and elevated editor privileges have created bottlenecks over the years. Revisiting the showcase now should help alleviate some of the issues. 

The Showcase receives hundreds of new submissions every year, about a third of which are spam/broken, and many more which do not meet the submission guidelines. Note too that current submission guidelines are open to a lot of interpretation, thus making the entire process of moderating Showcase far more complex than it needs to be. 

The Showcase is a valuable asset for the WordPress project and re-starting efforts to keep it current and fresh will surely inspire others of the infinite possibilities of a WordPress-powered website.

Coming up

A companion post outlining the proposed guidelines for the WordPress Showcase has been posted to the Make Marketing blog. If you want to weigh in and get more involved in revitalizing the showcase, the Make Marketing team looks forward to hearing community voices!

#showcase

Building Blocks: The Evolution of WordPress 2013-2023

Provide feedback 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. https://github.com/ with first-look access to the upcoming WP20 Book.

20 years — a new milestone

On May 27, 2023, WordPress celebrates a significant milestone in its journey as the project reaches its 20th anniversary. As part of the planned activities to mark this achievement, project leadership commissioned a book last year to document the years since its first commissioned work, Milestones – The Story of WordPress (2003-2013.)

The next volume, Building Blocks: The Evolution of WordPress, spans the history of WordPress from 2013-2023 and catalogs its wins, learnings, and everything in between. From changes to how users engage with the platform to confronting a worldwide pandemic, the book reflects on the most impactful moments over the last decade.

As the book gets ready for general release on the anniversary of WordPress, you, the community, have a role to play in ensuring that the story comes to life.

How you can help

You’re invited to play the role of editor by reviewing one or all of the 16 chapters. The book’s chapters are available on GitHub; each chapter has its own markdown file and is immediately available for download.

As you get started, a very important resource that can prove helpful is The WordPress Writing Style Guide

Please focus on the content in your review rather than syntax, for instance. Here are some tips for what helpful feedback will look like providing additional source materials, including helpful links, offering potential images, spotting potential grammatical issues or typos, as well as any contextual documentation. Unhelpful feedback looks like offering a total rewrite or critique of the writing style.

To log a suggested edit, please create a new GitHub issue (one issue per ticket, please) and assign it to jpantani, who is assisting with this project’s wrangling.

Quick steps to take action

Please share your feedback by April 30, 2023.

#wp20

Discussion: Ending the Eternal September

As part of our ongoing discussion around improving the contributor journey, I recently asked a few folks their thoughts on Eternal September in open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL.. More specifically, I wondered:

  1. What makes it difficult for our seasoned contributors to mentor new contributors in the open source project?
  2. What happens for existing contributors when we have an influx of new contributors?
  3. Where are the pain points for existing contributors when we bring in new contributors?

Some Initial Thoughts

There were a lot of interesting responses, but there we a few common threads I heard:

Lack of Clarity

It’s hard for existing contributors don’t know a new contributor is in their onboarding, and therefore also hard to see if they are stuck or what could get them unstuck.

Lack of Skills

The primary work for teams is focused, i.e., marketing, coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress., etc. Welcoming and teaching new contributors is a different skill set from those specific focuses. And ever after accounting for that skills gap, there are unspoken cultural norms to get work looked at and moved forward which takes time and observation to learn, rather than task-oriented training.

Lack of Certainty

No matter whether a new contributor makes a single contribution or returns regularly over the coming months, the time required to make sure they have their bearings is the same. This creates tension among team members/existing contributors—they wonder whether they should prioritize existing work (new contributions) or training/support for new contributors.

What do you think?

I’d like your thoughts on the questions I posed above, but I’d also like you to consider this:

If we believe that speed of feedback on a contribution is key to helping a casual contributor become a regular contributor, then what would a good first contribution experience look like for a mentor?

#5ftf, #discussion, #five-for-the-future

Big Picture Goals 2023

To round out the excellent vision-setting done in both the State of the Word and Letter to WordPress, here are some goals and projects that we can anticipate in the WordPress project this year.

A Quick Caveat

There are always unexpected projects that arise over the course of the year. And there are big projects to move forward in pieces over the course of multiple years. This project is too big for me to see everything all the time, and I rely on the information from team reps and the vision from project leadership to help navigate any surprises.

If you don’t see a project here, keep in mind that many are still valuable to the overall success of our work. 

From 10,000 Feet

There are three pillars that the year’s projects are focused on:

  1. CMS: Complete the Main Tasks for Phase 2 and begin explorations for Phase 3.
  2. Community: Re-engage our community through learning, events, and celebrating our 20th year as a project.
  3. Ecosystem: Update distribution methods and mechanisms for extenders and CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. itself.

I’ve compiled a preliminary list of individual projects that support one of the above goals and are planned for 2023. This list will be updated throughout the year.

CMS

  • APIs:
    • All those related to Phase 3 of the 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/ project
    • Fonts 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
    • 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. API
  • Openverse search in Core
  • Navigation block
  • Media management
  • Simplify the release process
  • 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. 8.2 compatibility (Core and Gutenberg)
  • Block theme dev tools

Community

  • Community Summit planning and coordination
  • Holistic contributor onboarding
  • Refinement of Polyglot tools
  • Maintain learning content speed to ship Continue to ship learning content at the current pace
  • Update content and refresh design across 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/
  • Establish contributor and mentor programs
  • Develop a canonical 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 program

Ecosystem

  • WordPress Playground
  • Explore improvements to our contributor tools
  • Create a WordPress brand discipline
  • Simplify the release process (also in CMS)
  • Refinement of Polyglot tools (also in Community)
  • Develop a canonical plugin program (also in Community)

How Can You Help?

I know that our code isn’t the only measure of our success. If you already know what type of contribution you’d like to make, you can check out this list of teams (with links to their community sites) and team reps. If you’re not yet sure, here are the areas that each team falls into:

  • Development, Technology, Code: Core/Editor, Mobile, CLICLI Command Line Interface. Terminal (Bash) in Mac, Command Prompt in Windows, or WP-CLI for WordPress./Tide, Security, Performance
  • Design, Product, UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it./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.: Design, 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), Test, Triage
  • Community, Extending WP, Education: Community, Themes, Plugins, Polyglots, Training
  • Contributor Experience: 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., Docs, Hosting, Privacy
  • Communications: Marketing, Support, WPTV

A Note on Specialized Groups

A couple of coordinated efforts provide essential support to the progress of multiple teams.

  • Triage: The triage effort happens across multiple teams and has two purposes. One purpose is to ensure tickets are sorted and have all the elements needed for someone to work on them. The second purpose is to determine priority. Not everyone has the information to set priority, but anyone can help sort and replicate reported bugs!
  • Test: The testing effort also happens across multiple teams and has multiple purposes. One purpose is to validate bugs, bug fixes, and new features before they go to users. The second purpose is to bring continuous, high-quality feedback throughout the release cycle. A lot of that coordination happens on make.wordpress.org/test, but there are also calls to test during various points of the release process in the Core channel.

#goals, #planning