The Month in WordPress: June 2020

June was an exciting month for WordPress! Major changes are coming to the Gutenberg plugin, and WordCamp Europe brought the WordPress community closer together. Read on to learn more and to get all the latest updates. 


WordPress 5.4.2 released

We said hello to WordPress 5.4.2 on June 10. This security and maintenance release features 17 fixes and 4 enhancements, so we recommend that you update your sites immediately. To download WordPress 5.4.2, visit your Dashboard, click on Updates, then Update Now, or download the latest version directly from WordPress.org. For more information, visit this post, review the full list of changes on Trac, or check out the HelpHub documentation page for version 5.4.2. WordPress 5.4.2 is a short-cycle maintenance release. The next major release will be version 5.5, planned for August 2020

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

Gutenberg 8.3 and 8.4

The core team launched Gutenberg 8.3 and 8.4 this month, paving the way for some exciting block editor features. Version 8.3 introduced enhancements like a reorganized, more intuitive set of block categories, a parent block selector, an experimental spacing control, and user-controlled link color options. Version 8.4 comes with new image-editing tools and the ability to edit options for multiple blocks.  The block directory search feature that was previously available as an experimental feature, is now enabled for all Gutenberg installations. For full details on the latest versions on these Gutenberg releases, visit these posts about 8.3 and 8.4.

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.

WordPress Bumps Minimum Recommended PHP Version to 7.2

In a major update, WordPress has bumped the minimum PHP recommendation to 7.2. The ServeHappy API has been updated to set the minimum acceptable PHP version to 7.2, while the WordPress downloads page recommends 7.3 or newer. Previously, the ServeHappy dashboard widget was showing the upgrade notice to users of PHP 5.6 or lower. This decision comes after discussions with the core Site Health team and the Hosting team, both of which recommended that the upgrade notice be shown to users of PHP <=7.1.

WordCamp Europe 2020 Moved Online

Following the success of a remote WordCamp Spain, WordCamp Europe was held fully online from June 4 to 6. The event drew a record 8,600 signups from people based in 138 countries, along with 2,500 signups for contributor day. WCEU Online also showcased 33 speakers and 40 sponsors, in addition to a Q&A with Matt Mullenweg. You can find the videos of the event in WordPress.tv by following this link, or you can catch the live stream recording of the entire event from the WP Europe YouTube Channel.

Want to get involved with the Community team? Follow the Community blog here, or join them in the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. To organize a Meetup or WordCamp, visit the handbook page


Further Reading:

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

The Month in WordPress: May 2020

May was an action-packed month for WordPress! WordPress organizers are increasingly moving WordCamps online, and contributors are taking big steps towards Full Site Editing with Gutenberg. To learn more and get all the latest updates, read on. 


Gutenberg 8.1 and 8.2

Gutenberg 8.1 was released on May 13, followed quickly by Gutenberg 8.2 on May 27. 

  • 8.1 added new block pattern features making it easier to insert desired patterns, along with a new pattern. It also added a button to  collapsed block actions for copying the selected block, which will help touchscreen users or users who don’t use keyboard shortcuts. 
  • 8.2 introduced block pattern categories and a `viewportWidth` property that will be particularly useful for large block patterns. There is also a new content alignment feature, and enhancements to improve the writing experience. 

Both releases include a number of new APIs, enhancements, bug fixes, experiments, new documentation, improvement to code quality, and more! To learn the latest, visit the announcement posts for Gutenberg 8.1 and Gutenberg 8.2.

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.

Gutenberg Phase 2: Steps Towards Full Site Editing

Contributors are currently working hard on Phase 2 of Gutenberg! Where Phase 1 introduced the new block editor with WordPress 5.0, Phase 2 sees more customization and includes one of the biggest Gutenberg projects: Full Site Editing (FSE). At the moment, work on WordPress 5.5 has been initiated and contributors decided to include basic functionality for Full sSte Editing in this release. FSE hopes to streamline the site creation and building process in WordPress using a block-based approach. There’s a lot of conversation and new information about FSE, so communication around the project is very important. On May 28th, a conversation was held in the #core-customize channel to discuss FSE and the future of the Customizer. To help everyone track the latest information, this post summarizes ways to keep up with FSE.

Want to get involved with Gutenberg and FSE?  Follow the Core team blog and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. You can also check the FSE pull requests and issues on GitHub.

Theme Review Team Rebranding

Representatives of the Themes Review Team have decided to update their team name to “Themes Team.” This decision reflects changes that the block editor brings to the landscape of themes with the Full Site Editing project. The team has always been involved in projects beyond reviewing WordPress.org themes and lately, the team has been contributing more to themes in general — including open-source packages, contributions to Full Site Editing, the Twenty Twenty theme, and more. You can read more about the name change in the team’s meeting notes.

Want to get involved with the Themes Team? Follow the Themes blog here, or join them in the #themereview channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Online WordCamp Program Announced

To assist organizers with moving their WordCamps online, the WordPress Community team has prepared a new set of guidelines for online WordCamps. The Community Team will cover online production and captioning costs associated with any online WordCamp without the need for local sponsorship. The team also updated its guidelines to cover the regional focus of online events, and modified the code of conduct to cater to the new format. The WordCamp schedule has also been updated to indicate whether an event is taking place online or not. You can find resources, tools, and information about online WordPress events in our Online Events Handbook. They have also prepared a new set of guidelines for in-person events taking place in 2020, in the light of COVID-19 challenges. 

Want to get involved with the Community team? Follow the Community blog here, or join them in the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. To organize a Meetup or WordCamp, visit the handbook page

BuddyPress 6.0.0 “iovine’s”

On May 13th, BuddyPress 6.0.0, known as “iovine’s,” was released. This release includes two new blocks for the WordPress Editor: Members and Groups. It also saw the completion of the BP REST API, adding the six remaining endpoints, and the move or local avatar management to the Members component. Beyond that, 6.0.0 includes more than 80 changes, made possible by 42 contributors. 

Want to download this latest version of BuddyPress? Get it here.  You can also help by translating BuddyPress into another language or letting the team know of any issues you find in the support forums.

WordCamp Spain Online Concludes Successfully

WordPress Meetup organizers in Spain joined hands to organize WordCamp Spain online from May 6 to 9, which proved to be a huge success. The event had more than 5,500 attendees, 60 speakers, and 16 sponsors. Over 200 people from around the world participated in the Contributor Day. Matt Mullenweg hosted an AMA for the participants, facilitated by Mattias Ventura’s on-the-spot Spanish translation. 

If you missed the event, you can watch videos from WordCamp Spain online at WordPress.TV. Want to organize a regional WordCamp? Learn more about that here!


Further Reading:

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

The Month in WordPress: April 2020

April continued to be a challenging time for the WordPress community, with many under stay-at-home recommendations. However, it was also an exciting month in which we created new ways to connect with and inspire each other! This month, amazing contributors moved more WordCamps online and shipped new releases for WordPress and Gutenberg. For the latest, read on. 


WordPress 5.4.1 released

On April 24th,  WordPress 5.4.1 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) was released for testing, quickly followed by the official release of WordPress 5.4.1 on April 29th. This security release features 17 bug fixes and seven security fixes, so we recommend updating your sites immediately. To download WordPress 5.4.1, visit your Dashboard, click on Updates, then Update Now, or download the latest version directly from WordPress.org. For more information, visit this post, review the full list of changes on Trac, or check out the version 5.4.1 HelpHub documentation page.

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

Gutenberg 7.9 and 8.0 released

It was another exciting month for Gutenberg, with the release of 7.9 and 8.0! Version 7.9 brought new block design tools, three new patterns, and improved block markup. Gutenberg 8.0 continued to refine the new block patterns feature, with additional options for inline formatting, and extending the functionality of the Code Editor. In addition to these new features, both releases included new enhancements and APIs, along with a number of bug fixes, performance improvements, some experiments, and more! You can read all the details about the latest Gutenberg releases in the announcement posts for 7.9 and 8.0

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.

BuddyPress 6.0.0

BuddyPress 6.0.0-beta2 was released for testing in mid-April, leading to the BuddyPress 6.0.0 Release Candidate, announced on April 29. This is an important step before  the final release of BuddyPress 6.0.0, which is slated for Thursday, May 14. Changes and new features in this release include moving the profile photo and user cover image under the BP Members component, and a new BP Rest API. Additionally, this release will introduce the first round of BuddyPress Blocks! Last, but not least, BuddyPress 6.0.0 will require at least PHP 5.6 and WordPress 4.8. 

Want to get involved? Test the 6.0.0-RC here! You can also help by translating BuddyPress into another language, or let the team know of any issues you find, either in the support forums and/or in their development tracker

WordCamp US goes online, apply to speak!

WordCamp US will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event still runs from October 27-29, 2020, and will be free to anyone who wishes to attend. The team plans to offer  what WCUS has historically brought to the community in person: sessions and workshops, Contributor Day, a hallway track, and of course, State of the Word. 

Interested in speaking at WCUS? The Call for Speakers is still open! You can apply to speak on the speaker application site until May 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm CDT (UTC-5). 

Additionally, the Call for Cities is also open. If your community is interested in hosting WordCamp US in 2021 & 2022, please fill out this application

For the latest information about WordCamp US, sign up for updates on the website, or follow Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

WordCamp Europe 2020 goes virtual 

Last month, WordCamp Europe decided to postpone its Porto event to 2021. This April, the WCEU organizing team announced that the 2020 WordCamp will be online! WordCamp Europe 2020 Online will take place from June 4-6, 2020, and tickets will be free. There will be a virtual Contributor Day on June 4, and then two half days of live-streamed talks and workshops. To participate, get your free ticket here

To get the latest news for WordCamp Europe 2020 Online, follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or on Instagram


Further Reading

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

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.

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.

The Month in WordPress: January 2020

Following an action-packed December, 2020 is off to a fine start with some new releases and announcements. Read on to find out what happened in the WordPress project in January.


Release of Gutenberg 7.2 & 7.3

Gutenberg 7.2, the first Gutenberg release of 2020, was deployed on January 8th and included over 180 pull requests from more than 56 contributors. This was followed soon after by Gutenberg 7.3. New features include a new Buttons block, support in adding links to Media & Text block images, improvements to the Navigation and Gallery blocks, performance improvements, and accessibility enhancements. These releases also included many additional enhancements, 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.

Proposal for an XML Sitemaps Feature Plugin

In June last year, a team of contributors proposed a feature plugin that would bring standardized XML sitemaps to WordPress Core. Since then, the team has been working to bring this to reality and have now published a working plugin to demonstrate this new capability.

The plugin is still in development, but the included features already provide much-needed functionality from which all WordPress sites can benefit. You can install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard or download it here.

Want to get involved in bringing this feature to Core? Follow the Core team blog, report any issues you find on GitHub, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

A New Block-Based Themes Meeting

The Theme Review Team has announced that they will be holding bi-weekly meetings in the #themereview channel focused on discussing block-based themes. If you are interested in discussing themes within the context of Gutenberg’s full-site editing framework, this will be the place to do so! The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 5, at 16:00 UTC.

Want to get involved with the Theme Review Team or become a reviewer? Follow their blog, and join the #themereview channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.


Further Reading

  • The Core team has started work on WordPress 5.4 and kicked off their planning with a summary post. You can follow all the v5.4 updates by watching the version tag on the Core team blog.
  • The inaugural WordCamp Asia event is taking place in February. This will be the largest WordPress event in the region, bringing together around 1,500 WordPress enthusiasts from around the world.
  • Two WordPress community leaders, @chanthaboune and @andreamiddleton, were nominated for CMX awards due to their work on the WordPress project, with @andreamiddleton winning the award for Executive Leader of a Community Team.
  • A feature plugin has been proposed that introduces lazy-loading images to WordPress Core, which will be a huge step forward in improving performance all across the web.
  • The Core team has put together an extensive and informative FAQ to help new contributors get involved in contributing to the project.
  • One key priority for Gutenberg is the ability to control the block editor. There are already a number of APIs that control the experience, but there is a lack of consistency and missing APIs. A method to address this has been proposed.
  • The Design team published detailed information on the recent design improvements in Gutenberg.

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

The Month in WordPress: December 2019

As 2019 draws to a close and we look ahead to another exciting year let’s take a moment to review what the WordPress community achieved in December.


WordPress 5.3.1 and 5.3.2 Releases

The WordPress 5.3.1 security and maintenance release was announced on December 13. It features 46 fixes and enhancements. This version corrects four security issues in WordPress versions 5.3 and earlier. Shortly afterwards, WordPress 5.3.2 was released, addressing a couple high severity Trac tickets, and includes 5 fixes and enhancements, so you’ll want to upgrade. You can read more about these releases in the announcements for 5.3.1 and 5.3.2.

Update on the Nine Core Projects for 2019

At the end of 2018, @matt announced the nine projects that would be the main focus areas for Core development in the next year. Have we made progress? Yes! @chanthaboune posted a full update on the team’s work. In brief, two of the projects have been completed and shipped in major releases, four are targeted for release in versions 5.4 and 5.5 of WordPress, and the remaining three have seen significant progress but are not yet slated for completion. These will continue to see progress throughout 2020.

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

WordPress Major Release Calendar

The Core team has published a tentative release calendar for 2020 and 2021. This is intended to provide the community with more information about what lies ahead.

The schedule is considered tentative because there are always variables that could affect these plans — not least that the Core team may need more time to finish the work planned for a release.

Initial Documentation for Block-Based WordPress Themes

The Gutenberg team has started working on the initial documentation for what block-based themes might look like, marking a significant change in the way themes are conceptualized. With full-site editing now a realistic goal for WordPress, themes will certainly look different in the future.

Want to help shape the future of block-based themes in WordPress Core? Following the Core team blog is a good start! You can also join in on the discussion on this blog post, or help out with the work to create a demo space for experimentation with the future of themes. As always, contribution to Gutenberg on GitHub is open to everyone! Join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group to see what other people are saying, and contribute your own thoughts.

Gutenberg Updates Abound

It’s been a busy month for Gutenberg! Version 7.0, including a new navigation block, was announced on November 27. This was followed by version 7.1, announced on December 11; it includes 161 merged pull requests that offer a fresh UI to new users, an option to switch between edit and navigation modes, captions for the table block, and many other enhancements.

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.

Arrival of the BuddyPress Beta Tester Plugin

On December 2, the BuddyPress Beta Tester plugin was added to the WordPress.org plugins directory. This feature is a great way for the WordPress community to provide early feedback on releases.

You can download the plugin now. If you find that something is not working as expected during your beta tests, let the BuddyPress team know by submitting a ticket on the Development Tracker or posting a new topic in the BuddyPress support forums.​​

An Update on the Block Directory in the WordPress Editor 

The Design team received lots of excellent feedback on the early concepts for the Block Directory. This feedback was incorporated into a Version 1 update to the #block-directory project. The Block Directory is to be included in WordPress 5.5, which is slated for August 2020. To learn more about the Block Directory, check out this announcement post and help out by sharing your feedback. 

Want to get involved in building the Block Directory? Follow the Design team blog. If you have a block you’d like to include in the directory you can submit it following the information here


Further Reading:

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

The Month in WordPress: November 2019

November has been a big month in the WordPress community. New releases, big events, and a push for more contributors have characterized the work being done across the project — read on to find out more!


The release of WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”

WordPress 5.3 was released on November 12, and is available for download or update in your dashboard! Named “Kirk,” after jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 5.3 enhances the block editor with new APIs and theme-related features, adds more intuitive interactions, and improves accessibility in a number of areas — including CSS in the dashboard, the media manager, core widgets, and dozens of other areas.

You can read the full details of all the included enhancements in the 5.3 Field Guide.

Along with 5.3 came the new Twenty Twenty theme, which gives users more design flexibility and integrates with the block editor. For more information about the improvements to the block editor, expanded design flexibility, the Twenty Twenty theme, and to see the huge list of amazing contributors who made this release possible, read the full announcement.

Want to get involved in building WordPress Core? Follow the Core team blog and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. You can also provide feedback on the 5.3 release process.

At Last! bbPress 2.6!

bbPress 2.6 was released on November 12 after a little over six years in development. This new release includes per-forum moderation, new platforms to import from, and an extensible engagements API. You can read more about all of this in the bbPress codex.

Version 2.6.1 and 2.6.2 quickly followed, both of which fixed a number of bugs that required immediate attention.

Want to get involved in building bbPress? Follow the bbPress blog and join the #bbpress channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

State of the Word

WordCamp US 2019 was held in St. Louis, MO this year on November 1-3. At the event, @matt gave his annual State of the Word address, during which he shared what had been accomplished in the past year, announced what is coming next, and shared several ways to get involved.

You can watch the State of the Word as well as the Q&A session at the end, and read Matt’s recap of the address. If you didn’t make it to St. Louis, you can still watch all the sessions at your leisure.

Five for the Future

During the State of the Word, Matt announced that there is now a dedicated landing page for Five for the Future, which features the people and organizations that commit at least it 5% of their resources to the WordPress open source project. There are many ways to contribute to WordPress, such as core development, marketing, translation, training, and community organizing, among many other important paths to contribution.

Five for the Future welcomes individuals and organizations, and highlights all the incredible ways we build WordPress together. For more information, visit the Five for the Future page.


Further Reading:

  • After releasing WordPress 5.3, the Core team announced a tentative release schedule for 2020 and 2021.
  • The Core team has announced a new CSS focus to complement the existing ones for PHP and JavaScript — this focus comes with dedicated tags, targeted work, and a new #core-css Slack channel.
  • Version 2.2 of the WordPress Coding Standards has been released — this new release is ready for WordPress 5.3, includes five brand new sniffs, and plenty of new command-line documentation.
  • The latest update to the Theme Review Coding Standards, v0.2.1, is compatible with v2.2 of the WordPress Coding Standards, and helps authors to build more standards-compatible themes.
  • The WordCamp US team has announced the dates for next year’s event in St. Louis, MO — WordCamp US 2020 will be held on October 27-29. This will be the first time that the event will be held during the week and not on a weekend. The team has also announced a Call for Organizers. If you are interested in joining the team, learn more
  • The WP Notify project, which is building a unified notification system for WordPress Core, is on hiatus until January 2020.
  • A working group on the Community Team has updated their Handbook to help organizers create more diverse events.
  • The WP-CLI team released v2.4.0 of the WordPress command-line tool. This release includes support for WordPress 5.3 and PHP 7.4.
  • Gutenberg development continues rapidly with the latest 7.0 release including an early version of the navigation menus block, among other enhancements and fixes.

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

The Month in WordPress: October 2019

October has been a busy month with preparations for WordCamp US as well as the next major release of WordPress. Read on to find out about all that work and more.


WordPress 5.2.4

On October 14, WordPress 5.2.4 was released as a security release fixing 6 security issues. The fixes were backported to earlier versions of WordPress as well, so they’re available for sites not yet upgraded to 5.2.

This kind of release is only possible because people report security issues responsibly so that the Core team can address them. You can find out more specific information about the fixes on the release documentation page.

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

WordPress Style Guide Proposal

Early in the month, the Design team proposed adding a style guide for the WordPress brand that can be used across all of WordPress.org and anywhere the brand is represented. Work then began on putting the style guide together, and the current iteration is now available for viewing.

Work on this style guide is ongoing, and the latest update allows it to support multiple languages so that it can be used by more people.

Want to get involved in contributing to this style guide? You can do so via the GitHub repo, as well as follow the Design team blog, and join the #design channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

WordPress 5.3

WordPress 5.3 has seen active development over the past month, with a release date set for November 12. You can download and test the release candidate to get a taste of what to expect—this is largely what final release will look like.

This is a big release with a number of exciting and important updates. Among them are significant changes to the look of the admin interface, enhancements to the block editor that will affect developers of themes and plugins, large improvements to the way that Core processes images, updates to cater for some functions specific to PHP 7.4, improvements to the Site Health feature, and many more improvements that are all documented in the WordPress 5.3 Field Guide.

In addition to these Core updates, the upcoming major release will also include the new default theme, Twenty Twenty.

Want to get involved in building WordPress Core? You can contribute by testing the upcoming release, as well as follow the Core team blog, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

New Core Committers

Three new committers have been added to the WordPress Core organizational structure. Core committers are individuals who have direct access to the Core development code repositories in order to publish updates to the software.

The new committers are Ian Belanger (@ianbelanger), Timothy Jacobs (@timothyblynjacobs), and Joe Dolson (@joedolson). While Ian’s commit access is specifically for Core themes, both Timothy and Joe have full access to Core. This type of access is only given to individuals who have proved themselves with high-quality contributions and a deep understanding of how the WordPress project works.


Further Reading:

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

The Month in WordPress: September 2019

September has been a particularly busy month in the WordPress community—a lot of important work has been done as everyone in the project works towards an upcoming major release. Read on to find out more about this and everything else that has been going on over the past month.


WordPress 5.2.3 Security and Maintenance Release

Early in September, version 5.2.3 of WordPress was released as a security and maintenance release. Sixty-two individuals contributed to its 29 fixes and enhancements.

The security issues fixed in this release owe thanks to numerous people who disclosed them responsibly. You can read more about the vulnerability reporting process in the Core handbook.

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

WordPress 5.3 Enters Beta

WhileWordPress 5.3 is slated for release on November 12, it has already entered the beta phase with the second beta release being made available at the end of September. As this is a major release, it will feature a number of new features and enhancements, including significant improvements to the block editor, updates to the Site Health component, new block APIs, accessibility updates, and much more.

You can test the 5.3 beta release by installing the WordPress Beta Tester plugin on any WordPress site, although as this is software that is currently in development, we don’t recommend installing it on a live site.

Want to get involved in building this release? Test the beta, follow the Core team blog, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Date/Time Component Improvements

For over a year, contributors involved in the Date/Time component of WordPress Core have been working hard on the “wp_date” project. The goal of this project is to fix and streamline the way that Core handles times and dates throughout the platform.

This ambitious project has seen incremental changes over the last few Core releases. The upcoming 5.3 release will include the final and most significant changes to the component, bringing much-needed stability to time handling in WordPress Core.

Want to get involved in the Date/Time component of WordPress Core? Learn more about it, follow the Core team blog, and join the #core-datetime channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

New Theme Review Team Structure

After recent discussions around the goals of the Theme Review team, some changes have been made to the leadership structure of the team. The team leads are now ‘representatives’ of different areas of the work that they do. This flat structure allows for representatives to work in more loosely defined areas so they contribute to the team in more diverse ways, and helps the team to be more focused on setting and achieving their goals. The new structure is outlined in the team handbook.

Want to get involved in reviewing themes for WordPress? Follow the Theme Review team blog, and join the #themereview channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

New Default Theme: Twenty Twenty

The upcoming 5.3 release will also include a new default theme for WordPress, Twenty Twenty. This theme will have a strong focus on readability and accessibility while being optimized for the block editor that first shipped with WordPress 5.0.

Development of Twenty Twenty has been going quickly, with a recent update showing more of the design and layouts that you can expect when the theme is released with WordPress 5.3 in November.

Want to get involved in building Twenty Twenty? You can contribute on GitHub, follow the Core team blog, and join the #core 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.