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: 

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

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. 🙂


Daylight Saving Time Meeting Planning

In a few weeks, the first of many parts of the world will start or stop the observance of Daylight Saving Time.

  • March 8 – US/CA starts DST
  • March 29 – UK/EU starts DST
  • April 5 – AU ends DST

Team reps, during your next meeting please discuss how and when you will adjust the meeting times. In the past, many teams have kept the current UTC time until the UK started DST, then moved the meeting forward. That might be different for you depending on where your contributors are.

If I’ve missed a DST change, please let me know in the comments!

WCEU 2020 – Leave no Contributor Behind

The organising team for Contributor Day at WordCamp Europe in June this year needs your help. The team would like to do two things:

  1. Increase the value that new attendees get from Contributor Day
  2. Increase the long term benefit to the WordPress project from onboarding new contributors

What’s the Problem We Are Trying to Solve?

Many teams see a good start first thing in the morning on Contributor Day, with an introduction and lots of enthusiasm. Sometimes this can tail off as new contributors get stuck, can’t find relevant tasks to get involved with, or can’t get help because experienced contributors have moved on to working on their own tasks.

Contributor Day presents huge potential but often the number of returning contributors isn’t as high as it could be. Although we don’t have numbers for this, that’s the feeling that experienced contributors have communicated in the past.

It would be great for the WordPress project to gain more regular contributors as a result of attending a Contributor Day.

Let’s Plan for Long Lasting Contribution

There are three aspects to improving the retention rate of new contributors on a Contributor Day:

  1. Better planning prior to the event
  2. Better support during the day for new contributors
  3. Better follow-ups in the days after the event

The organising team is planning to contact the team reps from each of the teams that make up WordPress and ask them to help facilitate this plan. WCEU Contributor Day is a great opportunity to do this at the team levels due to the high number of experienced contributors in attendance.

1. Better planning prior to the event

An example of a problem that can be reduced with some prior planning is the fact that all the “good first bugs” often get taken within a short period of time, leaving new contributors struggling to find tasks to work on. With a small amount of planning in the weeks prior to WCEU, it should be possible to get a higher number of good first tasks lined up and ready to be worked on by new contributors at Contributor Day.

Team reps

  1. Please ensure the content of your “Getting Started at a Contributor Day” handbook page is up to date (example from the Polyglots). This page should give an idea of what the team works on during Contributor Days. If you don’t have such a page, please create one. These links will be published on a specific page for attendees, so the sooner you can confirm you have it, the better. 
  2. To maximize the value for new contributors, please collate tasks that both new and existing contributors can work on during the day (for example your “good first tasks” list). This list needs to be fairly detailed and be published on the WCEU website a week prior to the event.
    Example of how the Community team does this:
    Call for ideas
    Plans for the day

2. Better support during the day for new contributors

Some teams run short introductory sessions on Contributor Day and it would be great to have more of these in 2020. This could be a session repeated a few times during the day to reach as many new contributors as possible.

Team reps

If your team needs it, can you plan an introductory session to help onboard new contributors to your team? It doesn’t need to be long, around 10 minutes with a few slides is ideal.

In addition, it would be great for existing contributors to help out new contributors who may get stuck or run out of tasks on the day. Identifying existing contributors who will be in attendance and happy to do this should make the day more valuable for everyone.

The WCEU 2020 contributing team wants to move away from having one or two team leads and instead having a team of experienced contributors functioning as mentors to help and guide new contributors.

3. Better follow-ups in the days after the event

During Contributor Day and the days immediately following it, the project sees contributions from new contributors that typically need some guidance. For example, patches that need testing and feedback, translations that need approval, or just a general check-in to see how a new contributor is getting on.

Team reps

In order to help maintain enthusiasm, it would be great to have a plan to ensure new contributors get feedback on their initial contributions. This takes different forms depending on the team, so please think about how you can support new contributors in the days after the event.

There will be a room available for use as a Contributing Area during the main WordCamp event. All teams are welcome to share this room in order to carry on contributing or helping out new contributors.

Thank You

Thank you for helping increase the value of WCEU Contributor Day for everyone!

If anyone (existing or new contributors) has any other ideas about making the event more valuable, please leave a comment.

The WCEU 2020 Contributing Team
Abha, Aleksandar, Francesca, John, Laetitia, Michael


Community Conduct Project – Kick off meeting scheduled for 17:00 UTC on the 5th September 2017

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for everyone who replied to the proposal for the WordPress Community Conduct Project. We have recieved lots of great feedback and positivity towards the project both in person at WordCamp Europe and online.

We’re kicking off the project on the 5th September 2017 17:00 UTC on the WordPress Slack #community channel

Please see update post for more details..

We will spend some of the time during the meeting to discuss when the best time to meet will be for everyone who wants to participate in the project.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Plugin Review Team Status: 25 November 2019

Plugin Status Change Stats

  • Plugins requested : 176 
  • Plugins rejected : 48
  • Plugins closed : 52
  • Plugins approved : 85

Plugin Queue Stats (current)

  • Plugins in the queue (new and pending)* : 689 
  • → (older than 7 days ago)** : 607
  • → (2019-11-11 – 2019-11-18) : 66
  • → (new; not processed or replied to yet)* : 17
  • → (pending; replied to)* : 672

HelpScout Stats

  • Total Conversations: 315 (-0.3%)
  • New Conversations: 252 (+13%)
  • Customers: 285 (+3%)
  • Conversations per Day: 39 (+0%)
  • Busiest Day: Monday
  • Email Conversations: 252 (+13%)
  • Messages Received: 415 (+14%)
  • Replies Sent: 498 (+14%)
  • Emails Created: 153 (+20%)
  • Resolved: 195 (+8%)
  • Resolved on First Reply: 31% (-1%)
  • Customers Helped: 283 (+8%)
  • Replies per Day: 36 (+13%)
  • Closed: 280 (+17%)


Five for the Future: Open for Pledges

I’m very proud to announce that the first iteration of the Five for the Future pledge program is open for pledges! Individuals and organizations can now publicly pledge their time to contribute to WordPress in a centralized place that is public and transparent.

The intent of this program is to acknowledge the organizations and individuals who contribute regularly to WordPress, helping to sustain the project and work on ongoing initiatives. My hope is that this will encourage contributions from the wider WordPress community. Naturally, the same expectations for promotion on WordPress.org also applies to this program.

This program wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and hard work of some amazing contributors! Props to all the people who designed, developed, gave feedback, and tested:

@ryelle, @mrwweb,@miss_jwo, @melchoyce, @liljimmi, @jorbin, @jeffpaul, @imath, @iandunn, @hristo-sg, @hlashbrooke, @earnjam, @courtneypk, @coreymckrill, @clorith, @chanthaboune, @camikaos, @angelasjin, @andreamiddleton, @adityakane, @aaroncampbell, @_dorsvenabili

If you have questions, find issues, have suggestions for future iterations, or think of improvements we could make to the program in the coming months, please comment on this post!

Five for the Future: proposed scope and mockups

Last year I posted a proposal for a Five for the Future acknowledgement page, which discussed multiple approaches for how to achieve the goal of acknowledging companies that pay contributors to work on the WordPress project as well as motivating more companies to sponsor more contributors. My recommendation was to create a tool companies could use to publicly pledge employee time, with pledges that would link to the WordPress contributor profiles of those employees. Promotion of the program would guide potential participants to a landing page that describes and explains the benefits of the program, featuring contributor case studies.

In June, WordPress.org Profiles and jobs.wordpress.net were updated to help with transparency, and make it easier for companies to find and hire people who wish to become sponsored contributors.

Based on public feedback and technical considerations, I think the proposed approach from last year is viable, and worth a try.

This post includes a more granular description on how the project could work, including some mockups for easier visualization. Below the slideshow of mockups, you will find explanations and more details.

View the prototype or see additional states in Figma.

Landing Page

This page explains the Five for the Future program, outlines the benefits to companies and contributors, and helps individual contributors or companies find their next steps. The marketing team and I collaborated on the spec copy for this mockup.


For freelancers or micro-agencies that would like to participate, there are two options. The simplest is by filling out the Contributor tab on your profile with the number of hours per week you wish to pledge, and the teams you plan to contribute to. Once you click “save,” an automated notification will go to the team’s Slack channel, announcing (for example):

“@julialopez just pledged 5 hours a month to work on Core and Documentation! 🎉 Please reach out and help them get involved in a cool project!”

We’d add another field to the Contributor tab of the WordPress.org Profile, to make it easier for people who currently contribute to a team on a volunteer basis, and are interested in being hired to contribute to WordPress. If a contributor clicks the “I’m interested in being hired to contribute” box, then some kind of “Hire me!” graphic element will appear on the front end of the contributor’s profile. There will be no messaging capability; we’ll assume that contributors looking for WordPress work have included ways to contact them on their WordPress profile page.

Another method for freelancers or micro-agencies to participate, would be to follow the company prompt; which I’ll describe next.


If, when a pledge is submitted, the organization names one or many contributors, each contributor will receive this email from WordPress.org, asking whether the contributor would like to accept the invitation to link their profile to a pledge.

Email Preview

A company does not have to name contributors to pledge time, and can edit their pledge to add or remove contributors. Every 6 months, the company will be prompted to update their pledge.

Pledges will be displayed (in random order by default) on a Five for the Future page that can be filtered alphabetically, by number of contributors, and number of pledged hours per week.

Feedback time!

Based on these descriptions and mockups…

  1. Do you have any concerns about what you’re seeing?
  2. Do you have any suggestions based on what I’ve written about this already?


Plugin Review Team: 28 Oct 2019

The higher numbers of closures are related to bounced emails. PLEASE check your email addresses in your profile. If they bounce, we can’t get in touch with you to tell you WHY we closed your plugins.

Plugin Status Change Stats

  • Plugins requested : 159 
  • Plugins rejected : 43
  • Plugins closed : 362
  • Plugins approved : 72

Plugin Queue Stats (current)

  • Plugins in the queue (new and pending)* : 664
  • → (older than 7 days ago)** : 579
  • → (2019-10-14 – 2019-10-21) : 66
  • → (new; not processed or replied to yet)* : 19
  • → (pending; replied to)* : 645

Help Scout Queue Stats

  • Total Conversations: 1250 (+285%)
  • New Conversations: 1167 (+345%)
  • Messages Received: 1215 (+305%)
  • Customers: 402 (+43%)
  • Conversations per Day: 156 (+290%)
  • Busiest Day: Sunday
  • Replies Sent: 501 (+13%)
  • Resolved on First Reply: 40% (+6%)
  • Resolved: 244 (+69%)
  • Resolution Time: 4d 1h (-30%)
  • Customers Helped: 344 (+23%)
  • Replies per Day: 72 (+13%)
  • Closed: 575 (+123%)