The Month in WordPress: March 2020

The month of March was both a tough and exciting time for the WordPress open-source project. With COVID-19 declared a pandemic, in-person events have had to adapt quickly – a challenge for any community. March culminated with the release of WordPress 5.4, an exhilarating milestone only made possible by dedicated contributors. For all the latest, read on. 


WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”

WordPress 5.4 “Adderley” was released on March 31 and includes a robust list of new blocks, enhancements, and new features for both users and developers. The primary focus areas of this release included the block editor, privacy, accessibility, and developer improvements, with the full list of enhancements covered in the 5.4 field guide.

Want to get involved in building WordPress Core? Follow the Core team blog, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Releases of Gutenberg 7.7 and 7.8

It’s been another busy month for Gutenberg, this time with the release of Gutenberg 7.7 and 7.8. Gutenberg 7.7 introduced block patterns – predefined block layouts that are ready to use and tweak. This is an important step towards Full Site Editing, which is currently targeted for inclusion in WordPress 5.6. As a first iteration, you can pick and insert patterns from the Block Patterns UI, which has been added as a sidebar plugin.

Gutenberg 7.7 also includes a refresh of the Block UI, which better responds to the ways users interact with the editor. For more information on the User UI and Block Patterns, read this summary of the most recent Block-Based Themes meeting. Gutenberg 7.8, introduced on March 25, further enhanced this Block UI redesign. Both releases also included a suite of improvements, bug fixes, new APIs, documentation, and more!

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

WordCamp cancellations and shift to online events

In early March, the Community team issued new recommendations for event organizers in light of growing concerns around COVID-19. Following this guidance, and with COVID-19 declared a pandemic, WordPress community organizers reluctantly but responsibly postponed or canceled their upcoming WordCamps and meetups.

As community events are an important part of the WordPress open-source project, the Community team made suggestions for taking charity hackathons online, proposed interim adjustments to existing community event guidelines, and provided training for online conference organizing with Crowdcast. The team is currently working on building a Virtual Events Handbook that will continue to support WordPress community organizers at this time. 

Want to get involved with the WordPress Community team, host your own virtual WordPress event, or help improve the documentation for all of this? Follow the Community team blog, learn more about virtual events, and join the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Link your GitHub profile to WordPress.org

Last month, an experimental feature was added to Trac, WordPress Core’s bug-tracking system, to improve collaboration between Trac and GitHub. This month, to help make tracking contributions to the WordPress project across multiple locations easier, there is a new option to connect your GitHub account to your WordPress.org profile. This connection allows for more accurate acknowledgement and recognition of contributors. You can connect your GitHub account to your WordPress.org account by editing your WordPress.org profile.

For more information and instructions on how to connect your accounts, read the announcement post.

Modernizing WordPress coding standards

Defined coding standards is an important step in creating the consistent codebase needed to prepare for requiring PHP 7.x for WordPress Core. As such, coding standards have been proposed for implementation in WordPress Coding Standards 3.0.0. This includes new proposed standards for namespace declarations, import use statements, fully qualified names in inline code, traits and interfaces, type declarations, declare statements/strict typing, the ::class constant, operators, and more. 

Want to get involved or view the full list of currently proposed new coding standards? Visit and add your feedback to the post on updating the Coding standards for modern PHP and follow the Core team blog.


Further Reading:

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it here.

WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”

Here it is! Named “Adderley” in honor of Nat Adderley, the latest and greatest version of WordPress is available for download or update in your dashboard.

Say hello to more and better.

More ways to make your pages come alive. With easier ways to get it all done and looking better than ever—and boosts in speed you can feel.

Welcome to WordPress 5.4

Every major release adds more to the block editor.

More ways to make posts and pages come alive with your best images. More ways to bring your visitors in, and keep them engaged, with the richness of embedded media from the web’s top services.

More ways to make your vision real, and put blocks in the perfect place—even if a particular kind of block is new to you. More efficient processes.

And more speed everywhere, so as you build sections or galleries, or just type in a line of prose, you can feel how much faster your work flows.

Two new blocks. And better blocks overall.

  • Two brand-new blocks: Social Icons and Buttons make adding interactive features fast and easy.
  • New ways with color: Gradients in the Buttons and Cover block, toolbar access to color options in Rich Text blocks, and for the first time, color options in the Group and Columns blocks.
  • Guess a whole lot less! Version 5.4 streamlines the whole process for placing and replacing multimedia in every block. Now it works the same way in almost every block!
  • And if you’ve ever thought your image in the Media+Text block should link to something else—perhaps a picture of a brochure should download that brochure as a document? Well, now it can.

Cleaner UI, clearer navigation—and easier tabbing!

  • Clearer block navigation with block breadcrumbs. And easier selection once you get there.
  • For when you need to navigate with the keyboard, better tabbing and focus. Plus, you can tab over to the sidebar of nearly any block.
  • Speed! 14% faster loading of the editor, 51% faster time-to-type!
  • Tips are gone. In their place, a Welcome Guide window you can bring up when you need it—and only when you need it—again and again.
  • Know at a glance whether you’re in a block’s Edit or Navigation mode. Or, if you have restricted vision, your screen reader will tell you which mode you’re in.

Of course, if you want to work with the very latest tools and features, install the Gutenberg plugin. You’ll get to be the first to use new and exciting features in the block editor before anyone else has seen them!

Your fundamental right: privacy

5.4 helps with a variety of privacy issues around the world. So when users and stakeholders ask about regulatory compliance, or how your team handles user data, the answers should be a lot easier to get right.

Take a look:

  • Now personal data exports include users session information and users location data from the community events widget. Plus, a table of contents!
  • See progress as you process export and erasure requests through the privacy tools.
  • Plus, little enhancements throughout give the privacy tools a little cleaner look. Your eyes will thank you!

Just for developers

Add custom fields to menu items—natively

Two new actions let you add custom fields to menu items—without a plugin and without writing custom walkers.

On the Menus admin screen, wp_nav_menu_item_custom_fields fires just before the move buttons of a nav menu item in the menu editor.

In the Customizer, wp_nav_menu_item_custom_fields_customize_template fires at the end of the menu-items form-fields template.

Check your code and see where these new actions can replace your custom code, and if you’re concerned about duplication, add a check for the WordPress version.

Blocks! Simpler styling, new APIs and embeds

  • Radically simpler block styling. Negative margins and default padding are gone! Now you can style blocks the way you need them. And, a refactor got rid of four redundant wrapper divs.
  • If you build plugins, now you can register collections of your blocks by namespace across categories—a great way to get more brand visibility.
  • Let users do more with two new APIs: block variations and gradients.
  • In embeds, now the block editor supports TikTok—and CollegeHumor is gone.

There’s lots more for developers to love in WordPress 5.4. To discover more and learn how to make these changes shine on your sites, themes, plugins and more, check the WordPress 5.4 Field Guide.

The Squad

This release was led by Matt MullenwegFrancesca Marano, and David Baumwald. They were enthusiastically supported by a release squad:

The squad was joined throughout the release cycle by 552 generous volunteer contributors who collectively worked on 361 tickets on Trac and 1226 pull requests on GitHub.

Put on a Nat Adderley playlist, click that update button (or download it directly), and check the profiles of the fine folks that helped:

0v3rth3d4wn, 123host, 1naveengiri, @dd32, Aaron Jorbin, Abhijit Rakas, abrightclearweb, acosmin, Adam Silverstein, adamboro, Addie, adnan.limdi, Aezaz Shaikh, Aftab Ali Muni, Aki Björklund, Akib, Akira Tachibana, akshayar, Alain Schlesser, Albert Juhé Lluveras, Alex Concha, Alex Mills, AlexHolsgrove, alexischenal, alextran, alishankhan, allancole, Allen Snook, alpipego, Amir Seljubac, Amit Dudhat, Amol Vhankalas, Amr Gawish, Amy Kamala, Anantajit JG, Anders Norén, Andrés, Andrea Fercia, Andrea Tarantini, andreaitm, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Dixon, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Serong, Andrew Wilder, Andrey Savchenko, Andy Fragen, Andy Meerwaldt, Andy Peatling, Angelika Reisiger, Ankit Panchal, Anthony Burchell, Anthony Ledesma, apedog, Apermo, apieschel, Aravind Ajith, archon810, arenddeboer, Ari Stathopoulos, Arslan Ahmed, ashokrd2013, Ataur R, Ate Up With Motor, autotutorial, Ayesh Karunaratne, BackuPs, bahia0019, Bappi, Bart Czyz, Ben Greeley, benedictsinger, Benjamin Intal, bibliofille, bilgilabs, Birgir Erlendsson, Birgit Pauli-Haack, BMO, Boga86, Boone Gorges, Brad Markle, Brandon Kraft, Brent Swisher, Cameron Voell, Carolina Nymark, ceyhun0, Chetan Prajapati, Chetan Satasiya, Chintesh Prajapati, Chip Snyder, Chris Klosowski, Chris Trynkiewicz (Sukces Strony), Chris Van Patten, Christian Sabo, Christiana Mohr, clayisland, Copons, Corey McKrill, crdunst, Csaba (LittleBigThings), Dademaru, Damián Suárez, Daniel Bachhuber, Daniel James, Daniel Llewellyn, Daniel Richards, Daniele Scasciafratte, daniloercoli, Darren Ethier (nerrad), darrenlambert, Dave Mackey, Dave Smith, daveslaughter, DaveWP196, David Artiss, David Binovec, David Herrera, David Ryan, David Shanske, David Stone, Debabrata Karfa, dekervit, Delowar Hossain, Denis Yanchevskiy, Dhaval kasavala, dhurlburtusa, Dilip Bheda, dingo-d, dipeshkakadiya, djp424, dominic_ks, Dominik Schilling, Dotan Cohen, dphiffer, dragosh635, Drew Jaynes, eclev91, ecotechie, eden159, Edi Amin, edmundcwm, Eduardo Toledo, Ella van Durpe, Ellen Bauer, Emil E, Enrique Piqueras, Enrique Sánchez, equin0x80, erikkroes, Estela Rueda, Fabian, Fabian Kägy, Fahim Murshed, Faisal Alvi, Felipe Elia, Felipe Santos, Felix Arntz, Fernando Souza, fervillz, fgiannar, flaviozavan, Florian TIAR, Fotis Pastrakis, Frank Martin, Gal Baras, Garrett Hyder, Gary Jones, Gary Pendergast, Gaurang Dabhi, George Stephanis, geriux, Girish Panchal, Gleb Kemarsky, Glenn, Goto Hayato, grafruessel, Greg Rickaby, Grzegorz Ziółkowski, Grzegorz.Janoszka, Gustavo Bordoni, gwwar, hamedmoodi, hAmpzter, happiryu, Hareesh Pillai, Harry Milatz, Haz, helgatheviking, Henry Holtgeerts, Himani Lotia, Hubert Kubiak, i3anaan, Ian Belanger, Ian Dunn, ianatkins, ianmjones, IdeaBox Creations, Ihtisham Zahoor, intimez, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), Isabel Brison, ispreview, Jake Spurlock, Jakub Binda, James Huff, James Koster, James Nylen, jameslnewell, Janki Moradiya, Jarret, Jasper van der Meer, jaydeep23290, jdy68, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jean-David Daviet, Jeff Bowen, Jeff Ong, Jeff Paul, Jeffrey Carandang, jeichorn, Jenil Kanani, Jenny Wong, jepperask, Jer Clarke, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Herve, Jeroen Rotty, Jerry Jones, Jessica Lyschik, Jip Moors, Joe Dolson, Joe Hoyle, Joe McGill, Joen Asmussen, John Blackbourn, John James Jacoby, johnwatkins0, Jon, Jon Quach, Jon Surrell, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonathan Goldford, Jonny Harris, Jono Alderson, Joonas Vanhatapio, Joost de Valk, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, Josepha Haden, JoshuaWold, Joy, jqz, jsnajdr, Juanfra Aldasoro, Julian Weiland, julian.kimmig, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Julio Potier, Junko Nukaga, jurgen, justdaiv, Justin Ahinon, K. Adam White, kaggdesign, KalpShit Akabari, Kantari Samy, Kaspars, Kelly Dwan, Kennith Nichol, Kevin Hagerty, Kharis Sulistiyono, Khushbu Modi, killerbishop, kinjaldalwadi, kitchin, Kite, Kjell Reigstad, kkarpieszuk, Knut Sparhell, KokkieH, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, Krystyna, kubiq, kuflievskiy, Kukhyeon Heo, kyliesabra, Laken Hafner, leandroalonso, leogermani, lgrev01, linuxologos, lisota, Lorenzo Fracassi, luisherranz, luisrivera, lukaswaudentio, Lukasz Jasinski, Luke Cavanagh, Lydia Wodarek, M A Vinoth Kumar, maciejmackowiak, Mahesh Waghmare, Manzoor Wani, marcelo2605, Marcio Zebedeu, MarcoZ, Marcus Kazmierczak, Marek Dědič, Marius Jensen, Marius84, Mark Jaquith, Mark Marzeotti, Mark Uraine, Martin Stehle, Marty Helmick, Mary Baum, Mat Gargano, Mat Lipe, Mathieu Viet, Matt Keys, Matt van Andel, mattchowning, Matthew Kevins, mattnyeus, maxme, mayanksonawat, mbrailer, Mehidi Hassan, Mel Choyce-Dwan, mensmaximus, Michael Arestad, Michael Ecklund, Michael Panaga, Michelle Schulp, miette49, Miguel Fonseca, Miguel Torres, mihdan, Miina Sikk, Mikael Korpela, Mike Auteri, Mike Hansen, Mike Schinkel [WPLib Box project lead], Mike Schroder, mikejdent, Mikko Saari, Milan Patel, Milan Petrovic, mimi, mircoraffinetti, mjnewman, mlbrgl, Morgan Estes, Morteza Geransayeh, mppfeiffer, mryoga, mtias, Muhammad Usama Masood, mujuonly, Mukesh Panchal, Nadir Seghir, nagoke, Nahid Ferdous Mohit, Nate Finch, Nazmul Ahsan, nekomajin, NextScripts, Nick Daugherty, Nick Halsey, Nicklas Sundberg, Nicky Lim, nicolad, Nicolas Juen, nicole2292, Niels Lange, nikhilgupte, nilamacharya, noahtallen, noyle, nsubugak, oakesjosh, oldenburg, Omar Alshaker, Otto Kekäläinen, Ov3rfly, page-carbajal, pagewidth, Paragon Initiative Enterprises, Pascal Birchler, Pascal Casier, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Paul Kevin, Paul Schreiber, pcarvalho, Pedro Mendonça, perrywagle, Peter Wilson, Philip Jackson, Pierre Gordon, Pierre Lannoy, pikamander2, Prashant Singh, Pratik Jain, Presskopp, Priyanka Behera, Raam Dev, Rachel Cherry, Rachel Peter, ragnarokatz, Rami Yushuvaev, raoulunger, razamalik, Remco Tolsma, rephotsirch, rheinardkorf, Riad Benguella, Ricard Torres, Rich Tabor, rimadoshi, Rinku Y, Rob Cutmore, rob006, Robert Anderson, Roi Conde, Roland Murg, Rostislav Wolný, Roy Tanck, Russell Heimlich, Ryan, Ryan Fredlund, Ryan McCue, Ryan Welcher, Ryo, Sébastien SERRE, sablednah, Sampat Viral, Samuel Wood (Otto), SamuelFernandez, Sander, santilinwp, Sathiyamoorthy V, Schuhwerk, Scott Reilly, Scott Taylor, scruffian, scvleon, Sebastian Pisula, Sergey Biryukov, Sergio de Falco, sergiomdgomes, sgastard, sgoen, Shaharia Azam, Shannon Smith, shariqkhan2012, Shawntelle Coker, sheparddw, Shital Marakana, Shizumi Yoshiaki, simonjanin, sinatrateam, sirreal, skorasaurus, smerriman, socalchristina, Soren Wrede, spenserhale, sproutchris, squarecandy, starvoters1, SteelWagstaff, steevithak, Stefano Minoia, Stefanos Togoulidis, steffanhalv, Stephen Bernhardt, Stephen Edgar, Steve Dufresne, Steve Grunwell, stevenlinx, Stiofan, straightvisions GmbH, stroona.com, Subrata Mal, Subrata Sarkar, Sultan Nasir Uddin, swapnild, Sybre Waaijer, Sérgio Estêvão, Takayuki Miyauchi, Takeshi Furusato, Tammie Lister, Tanvirul Haque, TBschen, tdlewis77, Tellyworth, Thamaraiselvam, thefarlilacfield, ThemeZee, Tim Havinga, Tim Hengeveld, timon33, Timothée Brosille, Timothy Jacobs, Tkama, tmanoilov, tmatsuur, tobifjellner (Tor-Bjorn Fjellner), Tom Greer, Tom J Nowell, tommix, Toni Viemerö, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), torres126, Torsten Landsiedel, Towhidul Islam, tristangemus, tristanleboss, tsuyoring, Tung Du, Udit Desai, Ulrich, upadalavipul, Utsav tilava, Vaishali Panchal, Valentin Bora, varunshanbhag, Veminom, Vinita Tandulkar, virgodesign, Vlad. S., vortfu, waleedt93, WebMan Design | Oliver Juhas, websupporter, Weston Ruter, William Earnhardt, William Patton, wpgurudev, WPMarmite, wptoolsdev, xedinunknown-1, yale01, Yannicki, Yordan Soares, Yui, zachflauaus, Zack Tollman, Zebulan Stanphill, Zee, and zsusag.

WordPress 5.4 RC5


The fifth release candidate for WordPress 5.4 is live!

WordPress 5.4 is currently scheduled to land on March 31 2020, and we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.4 yet, now is the time!

You can test the WordPress 5.4 release candidate in two ways:

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.4, please see the first release candidate post.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.4 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.4. The priority in testing is compatibility. If you find issues, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure them out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.4 Field Guide is also out! It’s your source for details on all the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language besides English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.4 RC4

The fourth release candidate for WordPress 5.4 is live!

WordPress 5.4 is currently scheduled to land on March 31 2020, and we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.4 yet, now is the time!

You can test the WordPress 5.4 release candidate in two ways:

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.4, please see the first release candidate post.

RC4 commits the new About page and updates the editor packages.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.4 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.4. The priority in testing is compatibility. If you find issues, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure them out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.4 Field Guide is also out! It’s your source for details on all the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language besides English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.4 RC3

The third release candidate for WordPress 5.4 is now available!

WordPress 5.4 is currently scheduled to be released on March 31 2020, and we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.4 yet, now is the time!

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.4 release candidate:

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.4, please see the first release candidate post.

RC3 addresses improvements to the new About page and 8 fixes for the following bugs and regressions:

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.4 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.4. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.4 Field Guide has also been published, which details the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.4 RC2

The second release candidate for WordPress 5.4 is now available!

WordPress 5.4 is currently scheduled to be released on March 31 2020, and we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.4 yet, now is the time!

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.4 release candidate:

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.4, please see the first release candidate post.

RC2 addresses improvements to the new About page and 5 fixes for the following bugs and regressions:

  • 49611 – Block Editor: Update WordPress Packages WordPress 5.4 RC 2
  • 49318 – Bundled Themes: Twenty Twenty content font CSS selector is too important
  • 49585 – REST API: Fix typo in disable-custom-gradients theme feature description
  • 49568 – Block Editor: Fix visual regression in editor’s color picker
  • 49549 – Bundled Themes: Calendar widget CSS fixes on various Bundled themes

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.4 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.4. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.4 Field Guide has also been published, which details the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

People of WordPress: Mary Job

You’ve probably heard that WordPress is open-source software, and may know that it’s created and run by volunteers. WordPress enthusiasts share many examples of how WordPress changed people’s lives for the better. This monthly series shares some of those lesser-known, amazing stories. 

How it all began

Mary Job at WordCamp Kampala 2020
Mary Job at WordCamp Kampala 2020

Mary remembers when cybercafés started trending in Nigeria. She had just finished high school and was awaiting her results for admission to university. She spent all of her time (10 hours a day) and all of her pocket money buying bulk time online at cafes. All the way through university that was true, until in 2008 she graduated with a degree in philosophy and bought her own computer and modem.

She started blogging in 2009. Initially, she tried out Blogger, Hubpages, and WordPress—but found WordPress too complicated. 

Growing up as a timid but curious cat

Mary is one of four kids, and the only girl among her siblings. Throughout her childhood she felt shy, even though others didn’t always see her that way.

When she first started her personal blog, it was mostly an opportunity for her to speak her mind where she was comfortable. Blogging gave her a medium to express her thoughts and with every new post she became a better writer.

Rediscovering WordPress

After completing a postgraduate diploma in mass communication, Mary started a Masters degree in Information Management. This required a three month internship. She decided to volunteer in Ghana in 2015 at the headquarters of the Salesians of Don Bosco in West Africa (SDBAFW) where her uncle was based.

While she was there, her uncle asked Mary why she was not blogging on WordPress, which also happened to be the software the organisation used. She explained how difficult and complicated it was so he shared a group of beginner-level tutorial videos with her.

After two weeks of watching those videos, she started to realize she could have a full-time career doing this. So she immediately joined a number of online training groups so she could learn everything.

I saw a lot of people earning an income from things I knew and did for the fun of it. I found myself asking why I had not turned my passion into a business.

Mary Job

Not long after that, she was contacted by a website editor who was impressed by her blog. With the information available online for WordPress, she was able to learn everything she needed to improve and redesign a site for what turned into her first client.

Mary’s home office in 2016

I visited the WordPress.org showcase and was wowed with all the good things I could do with WordPress.

Mary Job

In 2016 after a year of deep WordPress learning, she had fallen in love with the CMS and wanted to give back to the WordPress open source project

She volunteered to help the Community team. And when she moved to Lagos later that year, she discovered there was an active WordPress Meetup community. This started her journey toward becoming a WordPress Meetup Co-organizer and a Global Community Team Deputy.

Today the Nigerian WordPress community continues to grow, as has the Lagos WordPress Meetup group. The first Nigerian WordCamp took place in Lagos in 2018 and a 2020 event is being planned. A local WordPress community also developed in Mary’s hometown in Ijebu.

I have made great friends and met co-organizers in the community who are dedicated to building and sharing their WordPress knowledge with the community like I am.

Mary Job

What did Mary gain from using and contributing to WordPress?

  • She overcame her stage fright by getting up in front of an audience at her local Meetup to introduce speakers and to talk about the WordPress community. 
  • She attended her first of many African WordCamps in Cape Town, South Africa. Coincidentally this was also her first time outside West Africa. Before that, she had not been in an aircraft for more than one hour.
  • She earned money from WordPress web design projects to sustain her during her learning period. Mary continues to use WordPress in her work and says she is still learning every day!
  • She got to jump off Signal Hill in Cape Town when visiting a WordCamp! 
Mary moderating a panel at WordCamp Lagos in 2019

Essentially, the community has taught me to be a better communicator, and a better person. I’ve made friends across the world that have become like a family to me.

Mary Job

She now runs a village hub in Ijebu,  where she teaches girls digital skills and WordPress as a way of giving back to her town.

Since she started on this journey, Mary has gotten a fulltime job supporting a WordPress plugin. She’s also become a Community Team Rep and continues to build and foster communities.

Mary’s advice to others

Always seek to understand the basics of whatever knowledge you seek. Never jump in too fast, wanting to spiral to the top while ignoring the learning curve. You will likely crash down effortlessly if you do so, and would have learned nothing.

Mary Job

Contributors

Thanks to Alison Rothwell (@wpfiddlybits), Yvette Sonneveld (@yvettesonneveld), Abha Thakor (@webcommsat), Josepha Haden (@chanthaboune), Topher DeRosia (@topher1kenobe). Thank you to Mary Job (@maryojob) for sharing her #ContributorStory.

This post is based on an article originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. HeroPress highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

Meet more WordPress community members over at HeroPress.com!

WordPress 5.4 Release Candidate

The first release candidate for WordPress 5.4 is now available!

This is an important milestone as we progress toward the WordPress 5.4 release date. “Release Candidate” means that the new version is ready for release, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible something was missed. WordPress 5.4 is currently scheduled to be released on March 31, 2020, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.4 yet, now is the time!

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.4 release candidate:

What’s in WordPress 5.4?

WordPress 5.4 has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developer notes tag for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.4 and update the Tested up to version in the readme file to 5.4. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.4 Field Guide will be published within the next 24 hours with a more detailed dive into the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 5.4 release schedule.

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

The Month in WordPress: February 2020

February 2020 was a busy month in the WordPress project! Most notably, there was an outpouring of sentiment in response to the unfortunate cancellation of WordCamp Asia. However, the team continues to work hard in the hopes of making WordCamp Asia 2021 happen. In addition, there were a number of releases and some exciting new news during the month of February. Read on for more information!


WordCamp Asia 2020 Cancelled & Pop-up Livestream

There was a ton of excitement around WordCamp Asia, not to mention all the effort from organizers, speakers, sponsors and volunteers. Unfortunately, on February 12th, WordCamp Asia was cancelled due to concern and uncertainty around COVID-19. Since then, the organizing team has worked to refund tickets and to support hotel and air refunds. In addition, a pop-up livestream featuring some WordCamp Asia speakers and a Fireside Chat and Q&A with Matt Mullenweg took place on February 22nd.

For a personal take on the cancellation of WordCamp Asia, read this post from Naoko Takano, the global lead organizer. Many thanks to the volunteers who worked hard to deliver WordCamp Asia. They’ve not only handled logistics associated with cancellation but have also announced that they’ve started working on WordCamp Asia 2021 with some January dates in mind! To get the latest on WordCamp Asia, subscribe to updates here

WordPress 5.4 Beta is Now Available

WordPress 5.4 Beta 1 was released on February 11 and quickly followed by Beta 2 on February 18 and Beta 3 on February 25. These two releases get us closer to our primary goal for 2020: full-site editing with blocks. WordPress 5.4 will merge ten releases of the Gutenberg plugin and is scheduled to be released on March 31, 2020. It will come with many new features, such as two new blocks for social links and buttons, and easier navigation in the block breadcrumbs. There are also a number of accessibility improvements, such as easier multi-block selection and easier tabbing, one of the editor’s biggest accessibility issues. 5.4 will also include many developer-focused changes, such as improved favicon handling and many new hooks and filters.

Want to get involved in building WordPress? There are a number of ways to help right now! If you speak a language other than English, help us translate WordPress. Found a bug? Post it to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. You can also help us test the current beta by installing the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. Just remember that the software is still in development, so we recommend against running it on a production site. 

WordCamp Centroamérica is Looking for Speakers and Sponsors!

WordCamp Centroamérica is the first regional WordCamp for Central America and will be held on September 17-19, 2020, in Managua, Nicaragua. The Call for Speakers and Call for Sponsors are now open, so if you’re interested in speaking at or sponsoring WordCamp Centroamérica, now is your chance! To learn more about the eent, visit and subscribe to updates on their website, or follow their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.  

Want to get involved in the Community team and help make more amazing WordCamps happen? Follow the blog and join the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group! You can also find out about other upcoming WordCamps here.

Contribute to WordPress Core via GitHub

An experimental feature has been added to Trac to help improve collaboration between Trac and GitHub. This feature allows contributors to link GitHub pull requests opened against the official WordPress Develop Git mirror to tickets, which will make GitHub contributions more visible in the related Trac ticket. To learn all the details and to see how it works, read this post.

Gutenberg Development Continues

There are many new exciting additions to Gutenberg! On February 5, Gutenberg 7.4 saw two new features added, including background color support to the Columns block and text color support for the Group block. Many enhancements were made, including a number of improvements to the Navigation Block.

Gutenberg 7.5 was released on February 12, with 7.6 following on February 27. They introduced even more features, including the Social Links block as a stable block and a number of additional blocks for full-site editing, not to mention the many enhancements, new APIs, bug fixes, documentation, and updates.

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.


Further Reading:

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it here.

WordPress 5.4 Beta 3

WordPress 5.4 Beta 3 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

You can test the WordPress 5.4 beta in two ways:

  • Try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (choose “bleeding edge nightlies” or “Beta/RC – Bleeding edge” option in version 2.2.0 or later of the plugin) * you must already have updated to your site to “bleeding edge nightlies” for the “Beta/RC – Bleeding edge” option to be available
  • Or download the beta here (zip).

WordPress 5.4 is slated for release on March 31st, 2020, and we need your help to get there.

Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tested beta 2 (and beta 1) over 24 tickets have been closed in the past week.

Some highlights

Developer notes

WordPress 5.4 has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developer notes tag for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac where you can also find a list of known bugs.