Quarterly Updates | Q4 2020

To keep all aware of big projects and efforts across WordPress volunteer teams, each team’s listed representative has shared an update from the start of the year. Listed below are their top priorities, as well as their biggest Wins and Challenges. Have questions? I’ve included a link to each team’s site in the headings.


  • Contacted: @sarahricker
  • Priority: The team’s focus is media; docs and 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) patterns; prepare for phasing out the accessible view in the widgets screen; increased accessibility-ready tag reviewers for the themes team.
  • Previous Priority: The main focuses of the Accessibility Team for WordPress 5.6 were:
    • Moving the WordPress Accessibility Coding Standards from WCAGWCAG WCAG is an acronym for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines are helping make sure the internet is accessible to all people no matter how they would need to access the internet (screen-reader, keyboard only, etc) https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/. 2.0 to WCAG 2.1 and improving the documentation to include more resources and describe patterns and antipatterns;
    • Making the new default theme (Twenty Twenty-One) ready for WCAG AAA;
    • Creating a feature pluginFeature Plugin A plugin that was created with the intention of eventually being proposed for inclusion in WordPress Core. See Features as Plugins. to add a tool to generate an Accessibility Statement, as was done with Privacy Policy;
    • Checking the accessibility of the new widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. screen in 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/.
  • Challenge: There are limited team members available for the release, which contributes to the minimum number of tickets completed.
  • Big Wins
    • WordPress Accessibility Coding Standards from WCAG 2.0 to WCAG 2.1 have been updated in the handbook + the pattern library is well underway! We expect to continue contributing to the library throughout 2021.
    • The Twenty Twenty-One theme is not only beautiful but is also the most accessibility-ready theme ever delivered thanks to great inter-team efforts and communications. 
    • Accessibility Statement Feature plugin is out in the wild for volunteer testing and an advanced version of the 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 is also underway. This will eventually be included in the WordPress plugin repository and coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress..


  • Contacted: @schlessera
  • Priority: Migrating the requests library to the WordPress 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/ repository.
  • Previous Priority: Resolution of one outstanding bug for v2.5.0.
  • Challenge: Contributions are low compared to pre-COVID levels; 2021 will see some experimental formats to find new ways to attract contributors. 
  • Big Win: All critical bugs have been resolved for the 5.7 release, PHP8 compatibility has been tested and fixed for all breaking bugs that have been found, testing and deployments have been transitioned from Travis CI to GitHubs Actions. 


  • Contacted: @camikaos, @mariaojob
  • Priority: To define 2021 team goals.
  • Previous Goal: The team’s previous priority was engagement with WordPress users and community members through continued education and connection with Learn WordPress while continuing to support WordPress MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. and WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. organizers with online events.
  • Challenges:  As we continue into a year of uncertainty for in-person gatherings, we need to find greater ways to support WordPress contributors and users online.
  • Big win: Two new team reps were elected and have begun their term: Welcome to Kevin Cristiano (@kcristiano) and Timi Wahalahti (@sippis)!


  • Contacted: @francina, @audrasjb
  • Priority: Set-up and ship WordPress 5.7.
  • Previous Priority: Complete and ship WordPress 5.6.
  • Challenge: The team struggles with working with a small number of core committer and component maintainers. 
  • Big Win: Shipped WordPress 5.6! Another win is the revival of the Week in Core blog.


  • Contacted: @estelaris
  • Priority: The team is focused on moving old TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub.https://core.trac.wordpress.org/. tickets and PRs forward.
  • Previous Priority: Reviewed tracking systems for design tickets, supported the release and design cohort with focused work, and iterated on the process to support the diverse contributing designers.
  • Challenge: It is still a challenge to engage new design contributors. 
  • Big Win: With @chaion07 joining as a 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., APAC meetings are now happening.


  • Contacted: @amykamala
  • Priority: The team’s priority is to support Hosts in transitioning infrastructure to WordPress 5.6, with a focus on 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 compatibility, test reporting and Hosting team infrastructure.
  • Previous Priority: Priorities included PHP 8 Compatibility for distributed hosting tests, helping inactive test reporters start reporting again, and improving the process.
  • Challenge: It has been a challenge to update the PHP Runner and Reporter to support PHP 8 Compatibility.
  • Big Win: Q4 saw expansive Handbook additions and improvements to facilitate better communication between WordPress and Hosts.


  • Contacted: @webcommsat, @yvettesonneveld, @meher, @maedahbatool, @harryjackson1221, @mikerbg, @OGlekler, @lmurillom, @nalininonstopnewsuk
  • Priority: Continue to support the Learn WordPress resource; assisting Polyglots with materials to encourage and sustain contributions; establish a series of contributor introductory training sessions and ongoing work on contributor event marcomms materials; and training for team members.
  • Previous Priority: Supported the 5.6 release marcomms, scheduling of internal requests, ongoing communications-related onboarding tasks to support teams, and WordPress events. 
  • Challenge: Encountered challenges included helping contributors deliver and plan their promised contributions to be sustainable and communicate more with others for collaborative tasks; assisting new contributors who may get stuck due to unfamiliarity with the WordPress, 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., and/or marketing techniques.
  • Big Win: Supported greater cross-team collaboration and delivery on multiple projects through focusing on developing internal communications, Learn WordPress for example; consistent WordPress Meetup promotions and assistance to organizers; further additions to contributor onboarding information and videos; co-ran WordPress Translation four week celebration; and continuing cross-team collaborations for release promotional materials.


  • Contacted: @tellyworth @coffee2code
  • Priority: Focus on handling incoming tickets faster, and maintain the overall level of open tickets.
  • Previous Priority: Reduced the volume of open tickets and supported the released 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. Directory.
  • Challenge: There are many open tickets, often old, comprising mainly esoteric requests and feature requests for large and medium projects.
  • Big Win: Launched the Release Confirmation feature for plugin developers.


  • Contacted: Matt Bumgardner (@bummytime
  • Priority: Port core blocks to reach 100% coverage on non-FSE blocks.
  • Previous Priority: Port more core blocks, improve 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. and performance, and introduce block transformations before the end of 2020.
  • Challenge: Multiple subprojects run in parallel, delaying each other.
  • Big Win: Huge performance improvements, automation improvements, and more blocks ported!


  • Contacted: @nao, @ocean90, @casiepa, @tobifjellner, @evarlese
  • Priority: Based on the data we obtained through our recent survey (Polyglots Translation Research), identify areas where we can optimize contributor workflow.
  • Previous Priority: The team’s priority was core translation for WordPress 5.6 release. The secondary priority was to help inactive & under-resourced teams find new contributors and set attainable goals.
  • Challenge: Translation and review workload continue to be a big struggle for teams, as well as confusion for the process & communication method to ask/receive translation feedback. 
  • Big win: The team completed its first Polyglots Translator Research to help with identifying struggles and prioritizing solutions for current locales; wins for locales in 2020 were shared in the end-of-year recap, including 57 locale packages released for WP 5.6.


  • Contacted: Jake Spurlock (@whyisjake)
  • Priority: There is ongoing work related to migrating older branches of WordPress to Github Actions for automated testing, as Travis is no longer available. The team also has a proposal out to drop support for older versions of WordPress.
  • Previous Priority: The team prepared for the security release associated with 5.6.
  • Challenge: Balancing security needs against user experience.
  • Big Win: Core now supports auto-updates!


  • Contacted: Marius Jensen (@Clorith)
  • Priority: To land actionable plans for forums landing page (done :tada:).
  • Previous Priority: Retention of volunteers across international forums. 
  • Challenge: Handling increased public scrutiny from having challenging discussions in the spotlight, and user experiences from the past set of core updates and JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript or JS is an object-oriented computer programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers. WordPress makes extensive use of JS for a better user experience. While PHP is executed on the server, JS executes within a user’s browser. https://www.javascript.com/. related issues.
  • Big Win: Continued good collaboration with the team.


  • Contacted: @williampatton @kafleg @acosmin @acalfieri @aristath @poena
  • Priority: Helping theme authors transition to more block-based themes.
  • Previous Priority: The team focused on helping theme authors transition to more block-based themes.
  • Challenge: Lack of reviewers for accessible themes. The delisting functionality for the theme directory is not complete.
  • Big Win: Completed the work on the new process for themes that already are in the theme directory, that does not follow requirements.


  • Contacted: Derek Herman (@derekherman) and Jeffrey Paul (@jeffpaul)
  • Priority: Our goal is to provide automated PHP Compatibility reports for every theme and plugin in the WordPress.org repository and the infrastructure needed to create other types of reports once we have a stable version 1.0 of the Tide 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..
  • Previous Priority:  To update the underlying infrastructure from Golang to Node.js, allowing for broader contributions and make maintenance more feasible.
  • Challenge: The last quarter of the year was focused on removing technical debt from the team’s path. The decaying infrastructure, documentation, audit servers, and API all needed to be rebuilt from the ground up in order to ensure the components’ likelihood of being useful. There were many challenges, but arguably the lack of time was the hardest challenge to overcome with such an ambitious rebuild.
  • Big Win: Wins include a new automated staging environmentStaging Environment A staging environment is a non-production copy of your site. This is a private place to build the site -- design, copy, and code -- until your client approves it for production or live. Sometimes used in addition to, or as a Development Environment., replacement of the underlying infrastructure, rewriting the codebase, API, and documentation to an almost complete state before the end of the year, replacement of the documentation generator, and public release target of the 1.0 version before the end of January for testing with a plan to release a stable version 1.0 before the end of Q1.


  • Contacted: @courane01 and @azhiyadev
  • Priority: The team is introducing a sprint approach for 2021. Priorities for the first sprint include revising all team procedures/handbooks as a solid foundation, documenting how brands are represented on Learn, and evaluating options for slide presentations.
  • Previous Priority: The training team looked to resume the regular meeting. 
  • Challenge: Inviting the informal community/ecosystem to participate and advise, finding comparable open-source training resources delivered in a similar format for each of the languages or pre-requisite skills needed for those receiving training.
  • Big win: We are blending with Workshops and unifying our deliverables, Learn launched, and the team is active and motivated.


  • Contacted: Jonathan Desrosiers (@desrosj) & Sergey Biryukov (@sergey)
  • Priority: Limit the total number of tickets in Trac, and ensure that every ticket is accurate and actionable. 
  • Previous Priority: Continue to bring the total number of tickets in Trac down to a more reasonable number, and/or ensure that every ticket is accurate and actionable (especially really old and really new tickets).
  • Challenge: The main team members have had their resources consumed by a combination of various active roles in recent releases, overarching project tasks (migrating automated testing to GitHub Actions, etc.), and new contributor mentoring.
  • Big Wins: The team is proud of the mentoring efforts during the 5.6 release cycle, educating release squad members about ticket lifecycles and good triaging practices. This has resulted in the addition of a new regularly participating team member, @hellofromtonya. The team has also managed to slightly decrease the overall number of open tickets in the last quarter of 2020: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticketgraph

With thanks to team reps for their quarterly updates.