The WordPress project recently released WordPress 4.9, “Tipton” — a new major release named in honor of musician and band leader Billy Tipton. Read on to find out more about this and other interesting news from around the WordPress world in November.


WordPress 4.9 “Tipton”

On November 16, WordPress 4.9 was released with new features for publishers and developers alike. Release highlights include design locking, scheduling, and previews in the Customizer, an even more secure and usable code editing experience, a new gallery widget, and text widget improvements.

The follow up security and maintenance, v4.9.1, has now been released to tighten up the security of WordPress as a whole.

To get involved in building WordPress Core, jump into the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Core team blog.

Apply to Speak At WordCamp Europe 2018

The next edition of WordCamp Europe takes place in June, 2018. While the organizing team is still in the early stages of planning, they are accepting speaker applications.

WordCamp Europe is the largest WordCamp in the world and, along with WordCamp US, one of the flagship events of the WordCamp program — speaking at this event is a great way to give back to the global WordPress community by sharing your knowledge and expertise with thousands of WordPress enthusiasts.

Diversity Outreach Speaker Training Initiative

To help WordPress community organizers offer diverse speaker lineups, a new community initiative has kicked off to use existing speaker training workshops to demystify speaking requirements and help participants gain confidence in their ability to share their WordPress knowledge in a WordCamp session.

The working group behind this initiative will be meeting regularly to discuss and plan how they can help local communities to train speakers for WordCamps and other events.

To get involved in this initiative, you can join the meetings at 5pm UTC every other Wednesday in the #community-team channel of the Making WordPress Slack group.


Further Reading:

If you have a story we should consider including in the next “Month in WordPress” post, please submit it here.

While this month we focused on building new features for WordPress core, we advanced other areas of the project too. Read on to learn more about what the WordPress project accomplished during the month of October.


Take the 2017 Annual WordPress User Survey

The annual WordPress User Survey is a great opportunity for you to provide your feedback about how you use WordPress. This year is no exception, as the 2017 WordPress User Survey is out now.

The information collected in the survey is used to make informed decisions about improvements across the WordPress project, so your answers are incredibly valuable and help shape the future of the platform.

WordPress 4.8.3 Security Release

At the end of October, WordPress 4.8.3 was released containing an important security fix for all previous versions of WordPress. If your WordPress installation has not updated automatically, please update it now to protect your site.

This security issue was brought to light by a community member, so if you ever discover a security vulnerability in WordPress core, please do the same and disclose it responsibly.

WordPress 4.9 Nearly Ready for Release

WordPress 4.9 was in rapid development this month. We released four beta versions and published a release candidate. The target for shipping WordPress 4.9 is November 14 — just two short weeks away. With many new features, this is a hugely exciting release that improves WordPress’ user experience considerably. Notably, you’ll see improvements to the theme selection experience, plenty of widget enhancements, drastically improved code editing, and much better user role management.

To get involved in building WordPress Core, jump into the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Core team blog.

WordPress Charity Hackathons are Growing

For the last few years, the number of do_action series of WordPress charity hackathons has grown around the world. What started as a community event to assist local nonprofit organizations, has become something many WordPress communities are replicating in an increasing number of cities.

As of this month, do_action events have been hosted in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, Beirut, Lebanon, Austin, Texas, and Montréal, Canada. In addition, events are now scheduled for Bristol, England and Zurich, Switzerland in 2018.

To get involved in organizing a do_action event locally, read the do_action organizer’s handbook and join the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Gutenberg Development Advances

While work steadily continues on Gutenberg — the new editor for WordPress core — one update from this month addresses one of the primary concerns that some people shared about the project.

Up until the release on October 24, Gutenberg did not support the meta boxes that so many WordPress content creators rely on. The new editor now has initial support for meta boxes as well as a host of other critical features for content creation in WordPress.

Test out Gutenberg right now and help develop it by joining the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group and following the Core team blog.


Further Reading:

If you have a story we should consider including in the next “Month in WordPress” post, please submit it here.

This has been an interesting month for WordPress, as a bold move on the JavaScript front brought the WordPress project to the forefront of many discussions across the development world. There have also been some intriguing changes in the WordCamp program, so read on to learn more about the WordPress community during the month of September.


JavaScript Frameworks in WordPress

Early in the month, Matt Mullenweg announced that WordPress will be switching away from React as the JavaScript library WordPress Core might use — this was in response to Facebook’s decision to keep a controversial patent clause in the library’s license, making many WordPress users uncomfortable.

A few days later, Facebook reverted the decision, making React a viable option for WordPress once more. Still, the WordPress Core team is exploring a move to make WordPress framework-agnostic, so that the framework being used could be replaced by any other framework without affecting the rest of the project.

This is a bold move that will ultimately make WordPress core a lot more flexible, and will also protect it from potential license changes in the future.

You can get involved in the JavaScript discussion by joining the #core-js channel in the Making WordPress Slack group and following the WordPress Core development blog.

Community Initiative to Make WordCamps More Accessible

A WordPress community member, Ines van Essen, started a new nonprofit initiative to offer financial assistance to community members to attend WordCamps. DonateWC launched with a crowdsourced funding campaign to cover the costs of getting things up and running.

Now that she’s raised the initial funds, Ines plans to set up a nonprofit organization and use donations from sponsors to help people all over the world attend and speak at WordCamps.

If you would like to support the initiative, you can do so by donating through their website.

The WordCamp Incubator Program Returns

Following the success of the first WordCamp Incubator Program, the Community Team is bringing the program back to assist more underserved cities in kick-starting their WordPress communities.

The program’s first phase aims to find community members who will volunteer to mentor, assist, and work alongside local leaders in the incubator communities — this is a time-intensive volunteer role that would need to be filled by experienced WordCamp organizers.

If you would like to be a part of this valuable initiative, join the #community-team channel in the Making WordPress Slack group and follow the Community Team blog for updates.

WordPress 4.8.2 Security Release

On September 19, WordPress 4.8.2 was released to the world — this was a security release that fixed nine issues in WordPress Core, making the platform more stable and secure for everyone.

To get involved in building WordPress Core, jump into the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Core team blog.


Further Reading:

If you have a story we should consider including in the next “Month in WordPress” post, please submit it here.

On September 30 2017, the WordPress Polyglots Team – whose mission is to translate WordPress into as many languages as possible – will hold its third Global WordPress Translation Day, a 24-hour, round-the-clock, digital and physical global marathon dedicated to the localisation and internationalisation of the WordPress platform and ecosystem, a structure that powers, today, over 28% of all existing websites.

The localisation process allows for WordPress and for all WordPress-related products (themes and plugins) to be available in local languages, so to improve their accessibility and usage and to allow as many people as possible to take advantage of the free platform and services available.

In a (not completely) serendipitous coincidence, September 30 has also been declared by the United Nations “International Translation Day”, to pay homage to the great services of translators everywhere, one that allows communication and exchange.

The event will feature a series of multi-language live speeches (training sessions, tutorials, case histories, etc.) that will be screen-casted in streaming, starting from Australia and the Far East and ending in the Western parts of the United States.

In that same 24-hour time frame, Polyglots worldwide will gather physically in local events, for dedicated training and translations sprints (and for some fun and socializing as well), while those unable to physically join their teams will do so remotely.

A big, fun, useful and enlightening party and a lovely mix of growing, giving, learning and teaching, to empower, and cultivate, and shine.

Here are some stats about the first two events:

Global WordPress Translation Day 1

  •   448 translators worldwide
  •   50 local events worldwide
  •   54 locales involved
  •   40350 strings translated, in
  •   597 projects

Global WordPress Translation Day 2

  •   780 translators worldwide
  •   67 local events worldwide
  •   133 locales involved
  •   60426 strings translated, in
  •   590 projects

We would like your help in spreading this news and in reaching out to all four corners of the world to make the third #WPTranslationDay a truly amazing one and to help celebrate the unique and fundamental role that translators have in the Community but also in all aspects of life.

A full press release is available, along with more information and visual assets at wptranslationday.org/press.

For any additional information please don’t hesitate to contact the event team on press@wptranslationday.org.

While there haven’t been any major events or big new developments in the WordPress world this past month, a lot of work has gone into developing a sustainable future for the project. Read on to find out more about this and other interesting news from around the WordPress world in August.


The Global WordPress Translation Day Returns

On September 30, the WordPress Polyglots team will be holding the third Global WordPress Translation Day. This is a 24-hour global event dedicated to the translation of the WordPress ecosystem (core, themes, plugins), and is a mix of physical, in-person translation work with online streaming of talks from WordPress translators all over the world.

Meetup groups will be holding events where community members will come together to translate WordPress. To get involved in this worldwide event, join your local meetup group or, if one is not already taking place in your area, organize one for your community.

You can find out more information on the Translation Day blog and in the #polyglots-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

WordPress Foundation to Run Open Source Training Worldwide

The WordPress Foundation is a non-profit organization that exists to provide educational events and resources for hackathons, support of the open web, and promotion of diversity in the global open source community.

In an effort to push these goals forward, the Foundation is going to be offering assistance to communities who would like to run local open source training workshops. A number of organizers have applied to be a part of this initiative, and the Foundation will be selecting two communities in the coming weeks.

Follow the WordPress Foundation blog for updates.

Next Steps in WordPress Core’s PHP Focus

After last month’s push to focus on WordPress core’s PHP development, a number of new initiatives have been proposed and implemented. The first of these initiatives is a page on WordPress.org that will educate users on the benefits of upgrading PHP. The page and its implementation are still in development, so you can follow and contribute on GitHub.

Along with this, plugin developers are now able to specify the minimum required PHP version for their plugins. This version will then be displayed on the Plugin Directory page, but it will not (yet) prevent users from installing it.

The next evolution of this is for the minimum PHP requirement to be enforced so that plugins will only work if that requirement is met. You can assist with this implementation by contributing your input or a patch on the open ticket.

As always, discussions around the implementation of PHP in WordPress core are done in the #core-php channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

New Editor Development Continues

For a few months now, the core team has been steadily working on Gutenberg, the new editor for WordPress core. While Gutenberg is still in development and is some time away from being ready, a huge amount of progress has already been made. In fact, v1.0.0 of Gutenberg was released this week.

The new editor is available as a plugin for testing and the proposed roadmap is for it to be merged into core in early 2018. You can get involved in the development of Gutenberg by joining the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group and following the WordPress Core development blog.


Further reading:

  • On the topic of Gutenberg, Matt Mullenweg wrote a post to address some of the concerns that the community has expressed about the new editor.
  • A new movement has started in the Indian WordPress community named JaiWP — the organizers are seeking to unite and motivate the country’s many local communities.
  • Merlin WP is a new plugin offering theme developers an easy way to onboard their users.
  • Ryan McCue posted an ambitious roadmap for the future of the WordPress REST API — many contributions from the community will be needed in order to reach these goals.
  • Want to know what you can expect in the next major release of WordPress? Here’s a look at what the core team is planning for v4.9.
  • To help combat the difficulties that Trac presents to WordPress Core contributors, Ryan McCue built an alternative platform dubbed Not Trac.
  • v1.3.0 of WP-CLI was released earlier in the month, adding a whole lot of great new features to the useful tool.

If you have a story we should consider including in the next “Month in WordPress” post, please submit it here.

After a particularly busy month in June, things settled down a bit in the WordPress world — WordPress 4.8’s release went very smoothly, allowing the Core team to build up some of the community infrastructure around development. Read on for more interesting news from around the WordPress world in July.


Weekly meeting for new core contributors

Onboarding new contributors is a persistent issue for most WordPress contribution teams. While every team welcomes any new contributors, the path to getting deeply involved can be tricky to find at times.

This month, the Core team implemented a fantastic new initiative: weekly meetings for new core contributors as a way to encourage involvement and foster fresh contributions. The meetings not only focus on bugs suited to first-time contributors, they also make space for experienced contributors to help out individuals who may be new to developing WordPress core.

The meetings are held every Wednesday at 19:00 UTC in the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Increased focus on PHP practices in WordPress core

In bringing people together to improve WordPress core, a new channel in the Making WordPress Slack group named #core-php is designed to focus on PHP development in the project.

Along with this increased concentration on PHP, a new weekly meeting is now taking place every Monday at 18:00 UTC in #core-php to improve WordPress core’s PHP practices.

Sharp rise in meetup group growth

The dashboard events widget in WordPress 4.8 displays local, upcoming WordPress events for the logged in user. The events listed in this widget are pulled from the meetup chapter program, as well as the WordCamp schedule.

This widget provides greater visibility of official WordPress events, and encourages community involvement in these events. It’s safe to say that the widget has achieved its goals admirably — since WordPress 4.8 was released a little over a month ago, 31 new meetup groups have been formed with 15,647 new members across the whole program. This is compared to 19 new groups and only 7,071 new members in the same time period last year.

You can find a local meetup group to join on meetup.com, and if you would like to get involved in organizing events for your community, you can find out more about the inner workings of the program on the Community Team site or by joining the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

WordPress 4.8.1 due for imminent release

WordPress 4.8 cycle’s first maintenance release will be published in the coming week, more than a month after 4.8 was released. This release fix some important issues in WordPress core and the majority of users will find that their sites will update to this new version automatically.

If you would like to help out by testing this release before it goes live, you can follow the beta testing guide for WordPress core. To get further involved in building WordPress core, jump into the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Core team blog.


Further reading:

If you have a story we should consider including in the next “Month in WordPress” post, please submit it here.

We’re starting a new regular feature on this blog today. We’d like to keep everyone up-to-date about the happenings all across the WordPress open source project and highlight how you can get involved, so we’ll be posting a roundup of all the major WordPress news at the end of every month.

Aside from other general news, the three big events in June were the release of WordPress 4.8, WordCamp Europe 2017, and the WordPress Community Summit. Read on to hear more about these as well as other interesting stories from around the WordPress world.


WordPress 4.8

On June 8, a week before the Community Summit and WordCamp Europe, WordPress 4.8 was released.You can read the Field Guide for a comprehensive overview of all the features of this release (the News and Events widget in the dashboard is one of the major highlights).

Most people would either have their version auto-updated, or their hosts would have updated it for them. For the rest, the updates have gone smoothly with no major issues reported so far.

This WordPress release saw contributions from 346 individuals; you can find their names in the announcement post. To get involved in building WordPress core, jump into the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Core team blog.

WordCamp Europe 2017

WordCamp Europe 2017 was held in Paris between June 15-17. The event began with a Contributor Day, followed by two days of talks and community goodness. The talks were live-streamed, but you can still catch all the recordings on WordPress.tv. The organisers also published a handy wrap-up of the event.

WordCamp Europe exists to bring together the WordPress community from all over the continent, as well as to inspire local communities everywhere to get their own events going — to that end, the event was a great success, as a host of new meetup groups have popped up in the weeks following WordCamp Europe.

The work that Contributor Day participants accomplished was both varied and valuable, covering all aspects of the WordPress project — have a look through the Make blogs for updates from each team.

Finally, we also learned during the event that WordCamp Europe 2018 will be held in Belgrade, Serbia, continuing the tradition of exploring locations and communities across the continent.

WordPress Community Summit

The fourth WordPress Community Summit took place during the two days leading up to WordCamp Europe 2017. This event is an invite-only unconference where people from all over the WordPress community come together to discuss some of the more difficult issues in the community, as well as to make plans for the year ahead in each of the contribution teams.

As the Summit is designed to be a safe space for all attendees, the notes from each discussion are in the process of being anonymized before we publish them on the Summit blog (so stay tuned – they’ll show up there over the next few weeks).

You can already see the final list of topics that were proposed for the event here (although a few more were added during the course of the two day Summit).

WordPress marketing push continues apace

As part of the push to be more intentional in marketing WordPress (as per Matt Mullenweg’s 2016 State of the Word), the Marketing team has launched two significant drives to obtain more information about who uses WordPress and how that information can shape their outreach and messaging efforts.

The team is looking for WordPress case studies and is asking users, agencies, and freelancers to take a WordPress usage survey. This will go a long way towards establishing a marketing base for WordPress as a platform and as a community — and many people in the community are looking forward to seeing this area develop further.

To get involved in the WordPress Marketing team, you can visit their team blog.

New Gutenberg editor available for testing

For some time now, the Core team has been hard at work on a brand-new text editor for WordPress — this project has been dubbed “Gutenberg.” The project’s ultimate goal is to replace the existing TinyMCE editor, but for now it is in beta and available for public testing — you can download it here as a plugin and install it on any WordPress site.

This feature is still in beta, so we don’t recommend using it on a production site. If you test it out, though, you’ll find that it is a wholly different experience to what you are used to in WordPress. It’s a more streamlined, altogether cleaner approach to the text-editing experience than we’ve had before, and something that many people are understandably excited about. Matt Mullenweg discussed the purpose of Gutenberg in more detail during his Q&A at WordCamp Europe.

There are already a few reviews out from Brian Jackson at Kinsta, Aaron Jorbin, and Matt Cromwell (among many others). Keep in mind that the project is in constant evolution at this stage; when it eventually lands in WordPress core (probably in v5.0), it could look very different from its current iteration — that’s what makes this beta stage and user testing so important.

To get involved with shaping the future of Gutenberg, please test it out, and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. You can also visit the project’s GitHub repository to report issues and contribute to the codebase.


Further reading:

If you have a story we should consider including in the next “Month in WordPress” post, please submit it here.