This month saw two significant milestones in the WordPress community — the 15th anniversary of the project, and GDPR-related privacy tools coming to WordPress Core. Read on to find out more about this and everything else that happened in the WordPress community in May.


Local Communities Celebrate the 15th Anniversary of WordPress

Last Sunday, May 27, WordPress turned 15 years old. This is a noteworthy occasion for an open-source project like WordPress and one well worth celebrating. To mark the occasion, WordPress communities across the world gathered for parties and meetups in honor of the milestone.

Altogether, there were 224 events globally, with a few more of those still scheduled to take place in some communities — attend one in your area if you can.

If your city doesn’t have a WordPress meetup group, this is a great opportunity to start one! Learn how with the Meetup Organizer Handbook, and join the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Privacy Tools added to WordPress core

In light of recent changes to data privacy regulations in the EU, WordPress Core shipped important updates in the v4.9.6 release, giving site owners tools to help them comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It is worth noting, however, that WordPress cannot ensure you are compliant — this is still a site owner’s responsibility.

The new privacy tools include a number of features focused on providing privacy and personal data management to all site users — asking commenters for explicit consent to store their details in a cookie, providing site owners with an easy way to publish a Privacy Policy, and providing data export and erasure tools to all site users that can be extended by plugins to allow the handling of data that they introduce.

To find out more about these features and the other updates, read the 4.9.6 update guide. You can also get involved in contributing to this part of WordPress Core by jumping into the #core-privacy channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and following the Core team blog.

Updates to the WordPress.org Privacy Policy

In a similar vein, WordPress.org itself has received an updated Privacy Policy to make clear what is being tracked and how your data is handled. Along with that, a Cookie Policy has also been added to explain just what is collected and stored in your browser when using the site.

These policies cover all sites on the WordPress.org network — including WordPress.org, WordPress.net, WordCamp.org, BuddyPress.org, bbPress.org, and other related domains and subdomains. It’s important to note that this does not mean that anything has changed in terms of data storage; rather that these documents clarify what data is stored and how it is handled.


Further Reading:

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

This past month saw a lot of preparation for upcoming events and releases across the WordPress project. Read on to find out more about these plans, and everything else that happened around the community in April.


The WordPress 15th Anniversary is Coming

On May 27 2018, WordPress will turn 15 years old — this is a huge milestone for the project, or, indeed, for any open-source platform. The Community Team has been hard at work helping communities around the world plan local anniversary parties.

Check the central anniversary website to see if there’s already a party being planned near you. These parties are all organized by local communities — if there’s no local community in your area, you can start one today and host a party yourself.

Work has Started on a Gutenberg Migration Guide

With Gutenberg, the upcoming WordPress content editor, in rapid development, a lot of people have been wondering how they will convert their existing plugins to work with the new features. To mitigate the issues here and help people overcome any migration hurdles, a Gutenberg Migration Guide is underway to assist developers with making their code Gutenberg-compatible.

If you’d like to contribute to this guide, you can review the existing documentation on GitHub and open a new issue if you find something to add.

Theme Review Team Launches Trusted Authors Program

Reviews of themes submitted to the Theme Directory can take quite a while to complete. In order to combat this issue and to make the theme submission process smoother for everyone, the Theme Review Team is introducing a Trusted Authors Program.

This program will allow frequent and reliable theme authors to apply for trusted status, allowing them to upload themes more frequently and to have their themes automatically approved. This will allow more high-quality themes to be added to the directory, as well as recognize the hard work that authors put in to build their themes.

If you would like to get involved with reviewing themes, you can read their getting started guide, follow the team blog and join the #themereview channel in 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.

With a significant new milestone and some great improvements to WordPress as a platform, this month has been an important one for the project. Read on to find out more about what happened during the month of March.


WordPress Now Powers 30% of the Internet

Over the last 15 years, the popularity and usage of WordPress has been steadily growing. That growth hit a significant milestone this month when W3Techs reported that WordPress now powers over 30% of sites on the web.

The percentage is determined based on W3Techs’ review of the top 10 million sites on the web, and it’s a strong indicator of the popularity and flexibility of WordPress as a platform.

If you would like to have hand in helping to grow WordPress even further, you can get involved today.

WordPress Jargon Glossary Goes Live

The WordPress Marketing Team has been hard at work lately putting together a comprehensive glossary of WordPress jargon to help newcomers to the project become more easily acquainted with things.

The glossary is available here along with a downloadable PDF to make it simpler to reference offline.

Publishing this resource is part of an overall effort to make WordPress more easily accessible for people who are not so familiar with the project. If you would like to assist the Marketing Team with this, you can follow the team blog and join the #marketing channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Focusing on Privacy in WordPress

Online privacy has been in the news this month for all the wrong reasons. It has reinforced the commitment of the GDPR Compliance Team to continue working on enhancements to WordPress core that allow site owners to improve privacy standards.

The team's work, and the wider privacy project, spans four areas: Adding tools which will allow site administrators to collect the information they need about their sites, examining the plugin guidelines with privacy in mind, enhancing privacy standards in WordPress core, and creating documentation focused on best practices in online privacy.

To get involved with the project, you can view the roadmap, follow the updates, submit patches, and join the #gdpr-compliance channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. Office hours are 15:00 UTC on Wednesdays.


Further Reading:

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

Judging by the flurry of activity across the WordPress project throughout February, it looks like everyone is really getting into the swing of things for 2018. There have been a lot of interesting new developments, so read on to see what the community has been up to for the past month.


WordPress 4.9.3 & 4.9.4

Early in the month, version 4.9.3 of WordPress was released, including a number of important bug fixes. Unfortunately it introduced a bug that prevented many sites from automatically updating to future releases. To remedy this issue, version 4.9.4 was released the following day requiring many people to manually update their sites.

While this kind of issue is always regrettable, the good thing is that it was fixed quickly, and that not all sites had updated to 4.9.3 yet, which meant they bypassed the bug in that version.

You can find out more technical information about this issue on the Core development blog.

The WordCamp Incubator is Back

In 2016, the Global Community Team ran an experimental program to help spread WordPress to underserved areas by providing more significant organizing support for their first WordCamp event. This program was dubbed the WordCamp Incubator, and it was so successful in the three cities where it ran that the program is back for 2018.

Right now, the Community Team is looking for cities to be a part of this year’s incubator by taking applications. Additionally, each incubator community will need an experienced WordCamp organizer to assist them as a co-lead organizer for their event — if that sounds interesting to you, then you can fill in the application form for co-leads.

You can find out further information about the WordCamp Incubator on the Community Team blog.

WordPress Meetup Roundtables scheduled for March

In order to assist local WordPress meetup organizers with running their meetup groups, some members of the Community Team have organized weekly meetup roundtable discussions through the month of March.

These will be run as video chats at 16:00 UTC every Wednesday this month and will be a great place for meetup organizers to come together and help each other out with practical ideas and advice.

If you are not already in the WordPress meetup program and would like to join, you can find out more information in the WordPress Meetup Organizer Handbook.

GDPR Compliance in WordPress Core

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an upcoming regulation that will affect all online services across Europe. In order to prepare for this, a working group has been formed to make sure that WordPress is compliant with the GDPR regulations.

Aside from the fact that this will be a requirement for the project going forward, it will also have an important and significant impact on the privacy and security of WordPress as a whole. The working group has posted their proposed roadmap for this project and it looks very promising.

To get involved in building WordPress Core, jump into the #gdpr-compliance 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.

Things got off to a gradual start in 2018 with momentum starting to pick up over the course of the month. There were some notable developments in January, including a new point release and work being done on other important areas of the WordPress project.


WordPress 4.9.2 Security and Maintenance Release

On January 16, WordPress 4.9.2 was released to fix an important security issue with the media player, as well as a number of other smaller bugs. This release goes a long way to smoothing out the 4.9 release cycle with the next point release, v4.9.3, due in early February.

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

Updated Plugin Directory Guidelines

At the end of 2017, the guidelines for the Plugin Directory received a significant update to make them clearer and expanded to address certain situations. This does not necessarily make these guidelines complete, but rather more user-friendly and practical; they govern how developers build plugins for the Plugin Directory, so they need to evolve with the global community that the Directory serves.

If you would like to contribute to these guidelines, you can make a pull request to the GitHub repository or email plugins@wordpress.org. You can also jump into the #pluginreview channel in 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.

Activity slowed down in December in the WordPress community, particularly in the last two weeks. However, the month started off with a big event and work still pushed forward in a number of key areas of the project. Read on to find out more about what transpired in the WordPress community as 2017 came to a close.


WordCamp US 2017 Brings the Community Together

The latest edition of WordCamp US took place last month in Nashville on December 1-3. The event brought together over 1,400 WordPress enthusiasts from around the world, fostering a deeper, more engaged global community.

While attending a WordCamp is always a unique experience, you can catch up on the sessions on WordPress.tv and look through the event photos on Facebook to get a feel for how it all happened. Of course, Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word talk is always one of the highlights at this event.

The next WordCamp US will be held in Nashville again in 2018, but if you would like to see it hosted in your city in 2019 and 2020, then you have until February 2 to apply.

WordPress User Survey Data Is Published

Over the last few years, tens of thousands of WordPress users all over the world have filled out the annual WordPress user survey. The results of that survey are used to improve the WordPress project, but that data has mostly remained private. This has changed now and the results from the last three surveys are now publicly available for everyone to analyze.

The data will be useful to anyone involved in WordPress since it provides a detailed look at who uses WordPress and what they do with it — information that can help inform product development decisions across the board.

New WordPress.org Team for the Tide Project

As announced at WordCamp US, the Tide project is being brought under the WordPress.org umbrella to be managed and developed by the community.

Tide is a series of automated tests run against every plugin and theme in the directory to help WordPress users make informed decisions about the plugins and themes that they choose to install.

To get involved in developing Tide, jump into the #tide channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Tide team blog.


Further Reading:

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

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.

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.