WordCamp Travel and COVID-19

Over the past few months, the Global Community team and I have gotten many messages asking about COVID-19 and what it means for WordCamps. We’ve all been doing our best to be knowledgeable about the virus while responding in a level-headed way. Now seems like the right time to share some guidance on what to do next.

WordCamp Travel and Contingency Planning

We should do our part, as members of a highly connected global community, to limit the spread of the virus while there are still so many unknowns.

TLDR: Current guidance advises that if you are planning an event scheduled between now and June 1, and there is any evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in your area, we strongly recommend that you postpone the event until later in the year or 2021 and/or adapt to an online event.

  • As always, WordCamps are encouraged to embrace their local nature, showcasing the WordPress enthusiasts in your own area.
  • I’ve asked some experienced global community team deputies to research ways to support community-organized livestream events. Not to replace all WordCamps, but to offer an alternative for any that decide to cancel.

For the remaining 2020 WordCamps designed to gather international attendees (WordCamp Europe, WordCamp Centroamerica, WordCamp US), I’ll assist the global community team as they continue monitoring the situation while gathering information from organizing teams and providing the same support provided to WordCamp Asia.

Epidemics like COVID-19 are unpredictable and I’d rather err on the side of caution. I recognize “caution” is a subjective term, but here it means making decisions that align with the efforts of the world to contain the impact of this virus.

Resources and Kudos

Huge thank you to the members of the Global Community team who have been monitoring this evolving situation. Here are a few of the resources and metrics they’ve been using: 

Mobile Team Update – March 23th

WordPress iOS and Android version 14.5 is available for testing. Sign up here to join the beta program on iOS or follow this link on your Android device, tap on Become a beta tester.

Highlights for the last two weeks:

  • Block Editor: Improvements in “Add block here” indicator, the e2e tests execution and iOS autoscroll behaviour.
  • Full Site Editing: SPTs 1st iteration and Latest-Posts block shipped. Bug fixing done for sanity tests findings. Refactoring of inner blocks mechanism started.
  • Other Projects: On Android, worked on media editing functionality and offline support for Pages. On iOS, updating app navigation, moving Me and Create items.
  • Infrastructure: We continued to add more features to our release tooling like builds on CI and encrypted logging.


Plugin Team Update: 23 March 2020

All plugins with bounced emails have been closed at this point.

Any plugin that wants to be restored is being required to meet current security and guideline standards, as well as bring their readme up to date. Remember, if your readme doesn’t indicate your plugin works with the latest version of WordPress, then it will eventually drop off the search lists. Best to fix that now.

Plugin Status Change Stats

  • Plugins requested : 221
  • Plugins rejected : 11
  • Plugins closed : 89
  • Plugins approved : 65

Plugin Queue Stats (current)

  • Plugins in the queue (new and pending)* : 800
  • → (older than 7 days ago)** : 649
  • → (2020-01-20 – 2020-01-27) : 117
  • → (new; not processed or replied to yet)* : 48
  • → (pending; replied to)* : 752

HelpScout Stats

  • Total Conversations: 397
  • New Conversations: 243
  • Customers: 303
  • Conversations per Day: 49
  • Busiest Day: Friday
  • Email Conversations: 243
  • Messages Received: 423
  • Replies Sent: 518
  • Emails Created: 167
  • Resolved: 199
  • Resolved on First Reply: 31%
  • Customers Helped: 290
  • Replies per Day: 35
  • Closed: 323


March 12th Support Team Meeting Summary

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

General announcements

Many countries are starting to experience the Daylight Savings Time (DST) changes these days, and although a lot of teams change their meeting time when this happens, the support team hasn’t done so for many years, and will keep it’s 17:00 UTC time slot.

Adjusting the meeting format a little

Although a pre-existing weekly time slot, we had no published agenda this week, and just winged it. This turned out to be a popular format, as it allowed for more users to get a word in that would normally feel compelled to sit idle by when an agenda existed.

In light of this, we’ll be looking to do an informal agenda-less meeting regularly, likely once a month, to help spur further such good conversations.

Upcoming changes to WordPress 5.4

The newly introduced full screen editing by default that’s slated for WordPress 5.4 was discussed at length, and although it’s inclusion in the release is still up for debate, we will plan for a scenario where it is included.

The primary concern is users feeling lost, how do we help them find their way back to their usual flow, and the desire for a simple solution to users.

It was mentioned, but has since been discovered to be incorrect, that a keyboard shortcut would let you toggle the mode, this is not the case as of this writing.

Pre-defined replies

The support team has a list of pre-defined replies for regularly occurring scenarios (available at https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/contributing-to-the-wordpress-forums/stock-answers/) which got updated this past week to allow for easy copy-pasting, and also got expanded with a new entry.

Old topic notifications

Discussions about how to handle older topics which may or may not be relevant followed suit, and one of the better ideas that came forth from this discussion was to add a notice, much like plugins does for older plugins, that information in this topic is more than X times old, and may not be accurate any more.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members of our broader community from Sweden, Russia, Bangladesh, and India took part in the lively discussions this week, and a thank you for that, as broader views are unimaginably valuable!

One who smiles
rather than rages
is always the stronger.


Plugin Team Update: 16 March 2020

Closures continue. As expected, a small number of people are noticing when their plugins are closed. We’ve reopened less than 20 at this point.

Plugin Status Change Stats

  • Plugins requested : 163
  • Plugins rejected : 5
  • Plugins closed : 380
  • Plugins approved : 66

Plugin Queue Stats (current)

  • Plugins in the queue (new and pending)* : 724
  • → (older than 7 days ago)** : 627
  • → (2020-01-20 – 2020-01-27) : 73
  • → (new; not processed or replied to yet)* : 57
  • → (pending; replied to)* : 667

HelpScout Stats

  • Total Conversations: 542
  • New Conversations: 314
  • Customers: 286
  • Conversations per Day: 67
  • Busiest Day: Wednesday
  • Email Conversations: 314
  • Messages Received: 482
  • Replies Sent: 397
  • Emails Created: 102
  • Resolved: 156
  • Resolved on First Reply: 31%
  • Customers Helped: 220
  • Replies per Day: 45
  • Closed: 470


Mobile Team Update – March 10th

WordPress iOS and Android version 14.4 is available for testing. Sign up here to join the beta program on iOS or follow this link on your Android device, tap on Become a beta tester.

Highlights for the last two weeks:

  • Block Editor: Fixed Quote block border color on Dark Mode. Verse block added to editor debug mode.
  • Full Site Editing: Progress on Column, Cover, Buttons, and Latest Posts blocks.
  • Other Projects: On Android, worked on media editing functionality and offline support for Pages. On iOS, updating app navigation, moving Me and Create items.
  • Infrastructure: New release builds on continuous integration for WordPress for iOS and Android.


Sabbatical Planning

In three months, I will be taking a planned sabbatical which will be a chance for me to refocus and practice a new skill or two. It is also a chance for the WordPress project to identify tasks and processes for which I am a single point of failure. My sabbatical will begin on June 8, 2020 and I will resume work with the project on September 21, 2020.

Fortunately, there are a lot of amazing contributors in the project who have agreed to offer their support for our ongoing efforts:

  • Andrea: Community, Polyglots, Training, Marketing
  • Mark: Design, Accessibility, Test, TRT?
  • Alex: Meta, Docs, Hosting, Privacy, PRT?
  • Jonathan: Core, Triage, Security, Support
  • Jeff: Core, Mobile, CLI/Tide, WPTV
  • TBD: Marketing, Support, WPTV

Between now and June 8, I will spend a lot of time making sure that these good people have the tools and knowledge they need while I’m out.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do share them in the comments below. 🙂


Plugin Team Update: 09 March 2020

At the end of last week, we emailed all plugin owners and committers with information about the upcoming WordPress 5.4. This resulted in just over 320 potentially bounced emails. Of those emails, we have 198 left to process.

For those keeping track, we had around 800 for WP 5.2 and the same for 5.3. This is a massive improvement.

For plugin owners, please check the email address on your forum accounts. Remember these emails are meant to be your developer contact email. They must not auto-reply, and they should not be sent to support staff, only developers who have the ability to action on the email.

If your plugins were closed from March 6th through the end of the month without any notification, your email did bounce.

Plugin Status Change Stats

  • Plugins requested : 142
  • Plugins rejected : 24
  • Plugins closed : 150
  • Plugins approved : 47

Plugin Queue Stats (current)

  • Plugins in the queue (new and pending)* : 699
  • → (older than 7 days ago)** : 606
  • → (2020-01-20 – 2020-01-27) : 74
  • → (new; not processed or replied to yet)* : 34
  • → (pending; replied to)* : 665

HelpScout Stats

  • Total Conversations: 688
  • New Conversations: 603
  • Customers: 432
  • Conversations per Day: 86
  • Busiest Day: Friday
  • Email Conversations: 603
  • Messages Received: 734
  • Replies Sent: 460
  • Emails Created: 116
  • Resolved: 228
  • Resolved on First Reply: 45%
  • Customers Helped: 295
  • Replies per Day: 86
  • Closed: 449


Update: Progress on Goals

At the end of last year, I posted an update on the goals we had for 2019. While I mentioned that most of those goals will continue into 2020, I didn’t have a full concept of what we should target and when. I have a better idea now that everyone has started working on things.

WordPress Core

I’ve organized our remaining projects around our remaining releases for the year. In each group below, there are three different states of readiness: Feature Plugin for things that are still in testing, Complete for things that are stable and ready to merge, Ship for things that are final and being packed in the release.

These are educated guesses. For most of them the sooner we can get them ready for testing the better!

WP5.4 – March Release

WP5.5 – August Release

WP5.6 – December Release

  • Ship: Automatic updates for major WordPress Core releases (opt-in).
  • Ship: Update WordPress Core to include current releases of the Gutenberg plugin.
  • Ship: Navigation menus block in Core.
  • Ship: Widgets-editing and Customizer support in Core.
  • Ship: Full site editing in Core.
  • Ship: Global styles in Core.
  • Ship: Default theme.

WordPress Programs

These goals don’t depend on the Core release cycle, so it’s harder to assign dates to them. My best guess is around our major regional events, but I’m open to suggestions.

Contributor Experience

  • Reduce number of open issues in Trac.
  • Updates to the theme directory.
  • Speaker feedback tool.
  • SEO updates to WordCamp network.

User Experience

  • Block patterns
  • Block-based themes

Where We Collaborate

Coordination of work on WordPress Core can be found in #core and #core-editor (though there are a lot of feature-specific channels as well). Much of the contributor experience coordination is done in #meta and #meta-wordcamp. User experience coodrination happens in #design and #themes. All contributor teams document their efforts on their team sites. 🙂

For a concept of the long term roadmap, keep an eye on the Roadmap page; it’s updated frequently.

#planning #goals #updates

Design team update March 6th

On Wednesday the team met at the usual time of 19:00 UTC. Tuesday saw triage run also in #design. The week before saw 2 triages and a weekly meeting.

This coming week will see both triage sessions trying something a little different. Each will have a ‘live’ zoom link, also recorded for viewing later. The idea is that they will be teaching sessions so others can learn how to run triages.

  • Core triage: Monday 17:30 UTC
  • Gutenberg triage: Tuesday 17:00 UTC


  • Catch up with the latest in Gutenberg design here.
  • There is a point for feedback on this week’s notes about shifting the time for daylight saving. Have your say in the comments.

Calls for involvement

  • Gutenberg continues to need people to give feedback and create designs.
  • The about page needs help iterating.
  • A call has been made for volunteers to run triage sessions.

If you are having a WordCamp that has a design contribution table, please reach out in #design so you can be added in future updates.