WP Briefing: Episode 67: Openverse & Photo Directory Rewind

WordPress Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, returns to a recent episode of the WordPress Briefing, which discussed two resources for openly licensed media in the WordPress project– Openverse and Photo Directory– and how they differ from one another!

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@WordPress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes


[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello everyone. And welcome to the WordPress Briefing. The podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks.

I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[00:00:28] (Intro music)

[00:00:40] Josepha: Today, we’re going to take a listen to last year’s episode about Openverse and the Photo Directory. A lot has changed in that project, well in, in both of those projects since then. For instance, the Photo Directory just passed a 10,000 photo milestone. And Openverse, in the past year, got their own URL and have been hard at work strengthening the reliability of their APIs.

[00:01:03] Josepha: But for some folks, it might still be a little unclear just what the difference is between these two projects. So let’s take a listen, and don’t forget to catch the updated small list of big things at the end of the episode. 

[00:01:13] (Music interlude)

[00:01:21] Josepha: About 18 months ago, the Openverse project became part of the WordPress open source project, and at roughly the same time, we also welcomed in the Photo Directory.

Since that time, we’ve seen growth of teams supporting both of these initiatives. But if you’re not involved in the day-to-day, it can be hard to know how those two things fit together or if they fit together at all.

[00:01:41] Josepha: Today, let’s take a brief tour of those two projects and why they came to be. In my timeline, work on the Photo Directory started before the work on Openverse, so that’s where we’ll start.

For as long as I can remember, the WordPress community has raised the need for WordPress-first ways to have and host GPL-compatible photos for use in themes, site builds, and marketing efforts as a whole. As recently as 2016, that was still coming up as a question at various flagship events and among the career photographers that contribute their time to WordPress.

[00:02:13] Josepha: So, in 2017 and 2018, as attention started to turn toward rebuilding the CMS using blocks, it dropped down the list of priority items. But it never really went away as a thing that people were hoping we could do for the project as a whole. So in 2019, it was becoming clear that having open source-first tools of all varieties for people whose businesses were built on our software would help broaden the availability of the open source freedoms we believe in.

This began the work on the Photo Directory with the intention of providing a GPL-friendly, community-driven repository of images. It has since launched, and we have photos in it now. We have a whole team around it. It’s wonderful. But that is how that all kind of came to be. 

[00:02:58] Josepha: Openverse, on the other hand, was launched as CC Search in 2019 with the laudable mandate to increase the discoverability and accessibility of open access media.

Late in 2020, while work on the Photo Directory was underway, Matt shared with me that the team was looking for a new project home. When I first met with them, they shared an overview of the product, which they shorthanded as an open source search engine that searches openly licensed images. We were working on a repo of openly licensed images, so clearly, this was all written in the stars. And so you might be asking yourself at this point, great, how does it work together?

I think for most of us, the timeline there kind of covers the question of what is the difference between these two things. 

But because I never know which of you will want to strike up a conversation about open source on an elevator, I’ve also got the elevator pitch version as well. 

[00:03:52] Josepha: Openverse is an open source search engine that searches, indexes, and aggregates copy left media from across the web using sources such as WordPress’s Photo Directory, Flickr’s CC Tagged Media, and Wikimedia, to name just a few. 

Another key difference between the Photo Directory and Openverse is that in order to contribute to the Photo Directory, now that it’s all built, that’s mostly done by submitting photos or reviewing photos. So, you don’t really need to be a developer to join in. 

Openverse not only is a developer-centric contribution opportunity, but it also uses a different tech stack than WordPress as a whole. So, it’s a good place for folks to go if they’re looking to broaden their horizons.

[00:04:37] Josepha: So that’s your elevator pitch of what is Openverse and how does it use the Photo Directory. 

You have a couple of ways that you can get involved with these two projects. For the Photo Directory, as I mentioned at the start, you can always contribute photos, and they could always use more photo contributions.

I’ll include a link to the submission guidelines in the show notes below, and as I mentioned, it is a no-code way to give back to the WordPress project. So, no code is required, no development environments, no testing skills. The Photo Directory team also could always use more contributors to help with the moderating of photo submissions.

And so I’ll link to their making WordPress page in the show notes as well so that you can get started there. 

[00:05:22] Josepha: And as I mentioned before, Openverse is an aggregator, so it doesn’t host any media itself, but it is always accepting suggestions for new GPL-compatible media providers. I’ll link the area where you can leave suggestions in the show notes as well.

And if you are more code-inclined, there’s an open issue for adding Openverse browsing to the block editor right now.  

So I’ll link that issue in the show notes in case you thought to yourself, gosh, that sounds like my most favorite thing to do. That is where you can go. 

[00:05:53] (Music interlude) 

[00:06:01] Josepha: And that brings us now to our November 2023 small list of big things.

[00:06:07] Josepha: The first thing that’s on the small list of big things this week is that the countdown is on for this year’s State of the Word. If you missed the initial announcement a few weeks ago, you’ll want to mark your calendars for December 11th, 2023. State of the Word will include a Q&A session, and if you want to participate, you can send your question to ask-matt@wordcamp.org. Or, ask during the event via the Q&A app Slido. A QR code for your submission will be provided during the event live stream, so if you’re choosing that option, don’t worry; there’s not anything to do right this second. 

[00:06:40] Josepha: The second thing on the list is that WordCamp Asia has extended their call for sponsors for the conference that is slated to take place in Taipei, Taiwan, March 7th through 9th, 2024. The new deadline has been extended to November 30th, 2023, and so if you have been on the fence about whether to sponsor that event or not, for one, please do sponsor it, and for two, you still have a little bit of time to get over there and show your support.

[00:07:05] Josepha: And then the last thing on the small list of big things is that the documentation team now has a new GitHub repo created for end-user documentation and its translations into all locales. For more information about this, come check out the show notes. I will have a link right there for you. And that, my friends, is your small list of big things.

[00:07:26] Josepha: Don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcast app or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever there’s a new episode. If you liked what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser. Or, if you have questions about what you heard, you can share those with me at wpbriefing@WordPress.org. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Thanks for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. 

[00:07:51] (Music outro)

State of the Word 2023 – Madrid, Spain

State of the Word

The countdown is on for this year’s State of the Word! If you missed the initial announcement a few weeks ago, you’ll want to mark your calendars for December 11, 2023.

State of the Word is the annual keynote in which WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg celebrates the progress of the open source project and offers a glimpse into its future.

For the first time, State of the Word ventures beyond North America, bringing the WordPress community to a new and vibrant city that plays a vital role in the WordPress project — Madrid, Spain! The event will be live-streamed to WordPress enthusiasts and newcomers around the globe via the WordPress YouTube channel.

Please visit the event website for more event details and live-streaming information.

What: State of the Word 2023
When: December 11, 2023, 15:00 UTC (Start of live stream)
Where: Palacio Neptuno, Madrid, Spain
Streaming: Watch the live stream on the WordPress YouTube channel.
Tickets: Request a ticket to attend in person.
Please note that the venue’s capacity is limited; therefore, not all ticket requests will be granted. 
Meetups: The community will sponsor several local watch parties globally, both in
person and online. Find one near you or organize one.

Have a question for Matt?

State of the Word will include a Q&A session. If you want to participate, you can send your question to ask-matt@wordcamp.org or ask during the event via the Q&A app Slido. A QR code for your submission will be provided during the event live stream.

Given the volume of questions usually submitted, only some will be answered live, while others will be covered in a follow-up post published after the event on make.wordpress.org/project.

Is this your first State of the Word? Check out prior events on WordPress.tv for an introduction to the format.

See you in person and online on December 11!

Thank you to Reyes Martínez and Chloé Bringmann for reviewing this post.

Introducing Twenty Twenty-Four

When it comes to designing a website, one size doesn’t fit all. We understand that every WordPress user has unique needs and goals, whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a passionate photographer, a prolific writer, or a bit of them all. That’s why we are thrilled to introduce Twenty Twenty-Four, the most versatile default theme yet—bundled with WordPress 6.4 and ready to make it uniquely yours.

A theme for every style

Unlike past default themes, Twenty Twenty-Four breaks away from the tradition of focusing on a specific topic or style. Instead, this theme has been thoughtfully crafted to cater to any type of website, regardless of its focus. The theme explores three different use cases: one designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses, another for photographers and artists, and a third tailored for writers and bloggers. Thanks to its multi-faceted nature and adaptability, Twenty Twenty-Four emerges as the perfect fit for any of your projects.

As you dive into its templates and patterns, you will notice how the new Site Editor functionality opens up different pathways for building your site seamlessly.

Patterns at every step

Whether you’re looking to craft an About page, showcase your work, handle RSVPs, or design captivating landing pages, Twenty Twenty-Four has got you covered. Choose from an extensive collection of over 35 beautiful patterns to customize and suit your needs.

For the first time, this theme features full-page patterns for templates like homepage, archive, search, single pages, and posts. Some are exclusively available during the template-switching and creation process, ensuring you have the right options when you need them.

Moreover, you can take advantage of a variety of patterns for page sections, such as FAQs, testimonials, or pricing, to meet your site’s most specific requirements.

With this diverse pattern library, Twenty Twenty-Four offers a flexible canvas to quickly assemble pages without having to start from scratch—saving you time and energy in the creation process. Just let your creativity flow and explore the possibilities!

Screenshots of Twenty Twenty-Four patterns.

Site editing in its finest form

Twenty Twenty-Four ushers in a new era of block themes by bringing together the latest WordPress site editing capabilities. Discover newer design tools such as background image support in Group blocks and vertical text, providing an intuitive and efficient way to create compelling, interactive content.

Find image placeholders with predefined aspect ratio settings within patterns, allowing you to drop images that perfectly fill the space. To go one step further, make your visuals interactive by enabling lightboxes. Ideal for showcasing galleries or portfolio images, this feature allows your visitors to expand and engage with them in full-screen mode. Activate it globally for all images throughout your site or for specific ones.

For a smoother browsing experience on your site, you can disable the “Force page reload” setting in the Query Loop block. This allows the necessary content to be loaded dynamically when switching between different pages without needing a full-page refresh.

Elegance with purpose

Twenty Twenty-Four goes beyond versatility with a beautiful aesthetic inspired by contemporary design trends, giving your website a sleek and modern look. Key design elements include:

  • Cardo font for headlines: The Cardo font adds a touch of elegance to your site, creating a sophisticated visual experience.
  • Sans-serif system font for paragraphs: The sans-serif font ensures that your texts are cleaner and easier to read, enhancing overall readability.
  • Eight style variations: Twenty Twenty-Four presents a light color palette for a fresh and inviting appearance out-of-the-box, but you can customize it with seven additional style variations. Each includes fonts and colors carefully curated to work beautifully alongside the patterns and templates.
  • Sans-serif variations: Besides the default styles, the theme offers two additional sans-serif variations, providing more choices for your site’s typography.

Along with its design, Twenty Twenty-Four has been meticulously optimized for performance. This ensures that your website not only looks great but also delivers a fast and efficient user experience.

More information can be found in the following links:

The Twenty Twenty-Four theme was designed by Beatriz Fialho and made possible thanks to the passion and tireless work of more than 120 contributors.

WP Briefing: Episode 66: Advocating Open Source Solutions

WordPress Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, speaks to the strategic approach to integrating open source solutions within your company and offers insight into initiating open source advocacy conversations. Tune in for a session that could redefine your company’s technological approach.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@WordPress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes

  • Small List of Big Things
    • WordPress 6.4 “Shirley” – The final major release of 2023 launched on November 7 – WordPress 6.4 “Shirley.” Download and check out this empowering release.
    • The Training Team recently published several new Learn resources for training guides to support Meetup Organizers. From lesson plans to online workshops, there are several ways to help you in your goals as a contributor to WordPress.
    • The Diversity Team recently published a new Diverse Speaker Training page, providing resources for new and experienced contributors to bring more diverse speaker lineups and inclusive, diverse WP events for official WordPress Meetups and WordCamps.
    • If you have a story showing how WordPress has impacted what you are doing or what people you know have done, record something and send it to wpbriefing@WordPress.org. We’d love to hear from you.


[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello everyone. And welcome to the WordPress Briefing. The podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[00:00:28] (Intro music) 

[00:00:40] Josepha: Today, we’re talking about something I used to have a lot of experience with in my career before WordPress. I worked at a marketing agency. I wasn’t a developer. I was in data and strategy sorts of things. But part of the work heading into every project was an evaluation of what software was best. There were always a variety being considered, but WordPress was frequently one of them.

Now, I don’t know if any of you have had that moment where you’re having to talk open source with a CTO or a CEO, but it can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. And it makes sense, right? Open source has a PR problem, especially when you’re speaking to leadership inside a business. And it doesn’t really matter the size, right?

You’re advocating for something that requires a completely different mental model. It doesn’t fit into accepted concepts of what makes a business thrive or what makes a bet a sure thing. There were three, maybe four, concerns that came up every time I had this conversation. So, I’m going to share those concerns with you and a few possible counterpoints to get you started.

[00:01:48] Josepha: First and always is the concern around security. I believe that this particular mismatch is rooted in an idea that controlled equals secure, which isn’t always the case. So the talking point is this. Since open source has a transparent development process, it is often more secure than proprietary software, contrary to what you might hear.

That transparency allows vulnerabilities to be identified by independent researchers and community members and then patched quickly because you aren’t limited by who or what you know personally.

And if you’re not having a conversation where you’re having to defend the security in open source and you just want to bring it up yourself, here is a conversation opener for that. Security is a top concern for all of us. Surprisingly, open source solutions often have stronger security measures due to the collaborative nature of their development. It’s a proactive approach to minimizing risks. 

[00:02:43] Josepha: A second thing that frequently came up was questions around innovation and future proofing of open source products. I think this mismatch is fully rooted in the Cathedral and the Bazaar methods of advancement. So the talking point for that one is this. Embracing open source fosters innovation. We can tap into the latest technologies and stay ahead of industry trends that way. It is specifically because we have a diverse set of viewpoints that we can make sure to quickly account for future risks, along with taking advantage of future opportunities. And by our organization being more active, we can potentially get exactly the solutions we need for our clients long term.

And the conversation opener for this, if you are the one bringing up the topic, is I’ve been thinking about our long-term goals and how to keep our technology stack relevant. Open source not only keeps us current but also positions us as innovators in our field.

[00:03:40] Josepha: And finally, the thing that seems to make or break the decision is the concept of independence. Part of any good business decision, especially around software, is determining upfront costs to getting started, long-term effectiveness of the chosen solution, and long-term mobility should circumstances change. Open source can address these from multiple vantage points.

So here’s a good talking point for that one. Open source liberates us from vendor lock-in. We’re not tied to a single vendor’s roadmap or pricing changes, providing us with more options that suit our needs our clients’ needs. Also, given how ubiquitous WordPress is in particular, there will always be a disaster recovery option should a senior developer leave.

And beyond all of that, clients can own all of the content, audience attention, and clientele that we have all worked so hard to help them earn. And again, if you’re not defending things and instead choosing to bring them up as somebody who is trying to affect change in your own organization, here is a good place to start for that.

Considering the dynamic nature of our industry, having the freedom to choose solutions independent of a specific vendor makes sure that we are always in control of our destiny.

[00:04:59] Josepha: So, those are the three most frequent things I encountered when I was having conversations about which software to choose and what software was the best choice long term for both our organization and our client’s organizations.

If you have been in the midst of this type of conversation and have been longing for some counterpoints, I hope this helps. But if you have been feeling in your heart of hearts that your company or organization would be better off using open source software, and of course, in my context, particularly WordPress as that software, but you’ve been worried about bringing it up, I hope this gives you the courage to get out there and be an agent of change in your organization. You can do it, and I know you can.

[00:05:44] (Music interlude) 

[00:05:51] Josepha: All right, my friends, that brings us now to our small list of big things. 

[00:05:57] Josepha: First on the list, big, big thing. We launched WordPress 6.4 on November 7th, about a week ago. Be sure to download and check out the latest update on this monumental release. And while you’re doing it. Be sure to check out the new default theme that came out with it. It has a lot of patterns in it. I know I’ve talked about it quite a bit over the course of the year, but it’s really beautiful, and I think that it’s worth a good, strong highlight. So WordPress 6.4, you can get it on WordPress.org/download or inside your own host, probably. 

[00:06:29] Josepha: The second thing that we have is that the training team recently published several new Learn resources to support meetup organizers. So we’ve got over there some lesson plans, tutorials, online workshops. And there are also new materials that help you figure out how to accomplish your goals as a contributor to the WordPress project.

[00:06:49] Josepha: And we also have a recently published new diverse speaker training page. It provides incredible resources for new and experienced contributors to bring more diverse speaker lineups and inclusive, diverse WordPress events for official WordPress meetups and WordCamps. 

[00:07:06] Josepha: And the fourth thing on our small list of big things today is that I would love to get a few voice recordings from you all, from folks who are listening to the WordPress Briefing, or folks that you know, to learn more about how WordPress has impacted you. 

One of the things that I miss the most from my days as a WordCamp organizer is that annually, I got to see people who had shown up, once at a meetup, you know, to learn what WordPress was, and then came back year after year to our WordCamp with these new goals and new successes and I got to watch their businesses change over time. And so if you have a story like that where WordPress impacted what you are doing or what people that you know have done, record something and send it to wpbriefing@WordPress.org.

So that, my friends, is your small list of big things.

[00:08:04] Josepha: Don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcasting app or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever there is a new episode. If you liked what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser. Or, if you had questions about what you heard, you can share those with me at wpbriefing@WordPress.org. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Thanks for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. 

[00:08:31] (Music outro)

The Month in WordPress – October 2023

September-October 2023 was yet another fun and eventful chapter in WordPress, with more WordCamps hosting exciting discussions, knowledge sharing, and learning. This month also welcomed the release of WordPress 6.4 and the Twenty Twenty-Four theme. Let’s check it out.

Shirley WordPress 6.4

Meet WordPress 6.4 “Shirley”

WordPress 6.4 “Shirley” was released on November 7, 2023, and named after the iconic jazz artist Shirley Horn. With the release of WordPress 6.4 comes the new Twenty Twenty-Four theme, a multi-faceted, highly flexible default theme pre-loaded with more than 35 templates and patterns. 

This release includes more than 100 performance-related updates for a faster and more efficient experience. There’s also a host of new features and enhancements that help improve the content creation process and streamline site editing. 

WordPress 6.4 was made possible by more than 600 contributors in at least 56 countries. 

State of the Word 2023 in Madrid Spain on December 11, 2023 at 15:00 UTC

State of the Word 2023

Mark your calendars for State of the Word! The annual keynote address delivered by the WordPress project’s co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, will be held on December 11, 2023. For the first time, the event will take place outside North America—this time with the Spanish community in Madrid, Spain.

A live stream will be available for WordPress enthusiasts who will not be able to attend in person. Stay tuned for more information, including how to reserve a ticket, soon!

New in the Gutenberg plugin

Two new versions of Gutenberg shipped in October:

  • Gutenberg 16.8 was released on October 11, 2023. It introduced enhancements to the Cover block and Font Library, and added the option to view the active template when editing pages.
  • Gutenberg 16.9 was released on October 25, 2023. This update lets you rename nearly every block from within the editor, as well as duplicate or rename individual patterns. 

October’s Core Editor Improvement post dives into all the writing enhancements expected in the latest WordPress 6.4 release.


Team updates

Requests for feedback & testing

  • Version 23.6 of the WordPress mobile app for iOS and Android is ready for testing.

WordPress events updates

Have a story we should include in the next issue of The Month in WordPress? Fill out this quick form to let us know.

Thank you to Bernard Meyer and Reyes Martínez for their contributions to this edition of The Month in WordPress.

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WordPress 6.4.1 Maintenance Release

WordPress 6.4.1 is now available!

This minor release features four bug fixes. You can review a summary of the maintenance updates in this release by reading the Release Candidate announcement or view the list of tickets on Trac.

WordPress 6.4.1 is a short-cycle release. If you have sites that support automatic background updates, the update process will begin automatically. If your site does not update automatically, you can also update from your Dashboard.

You can download WordPress 6.4.1 from WordPress.org, or visit your WordPress Dashboard, click “Updates”, and then click “Update Now”.

For more information on this release, please visit the HelpHub site.

Thank you to these WordPress contributors

This release was led by Aaron Jorbin and Tonya Mork. Thank you to everyone who tested the RC and 6.4.1, and raised reports.

WordPress 6.4.1 would not have been possible without the contributions of the following people. Their quick and concerted coordination to deliver maintenance fixes into a stable release is a testament to the power and capability of the WordPress community.

@afragen @clorith @desrosj @pbiron @schlessera @azaozz @davidbaumwald @tomsommer @nexflaszlo @howdy_mcgee @baxbridge @earnjam @timothyblynjacobs @johnbillion @flixos90 @joedolson @jeffpaul @zunaid321 @courane01 @audrasjb @tacoverdo @ironprogrammer @webcommsat @otto42 @barry @chanthaboune @rajinsharwar @aaroncampbell @peterwilsoncc @anandau14 @iandunn @matthewjho @coffee2code @boogah @jason_the_adams @joemcgill @johnjamesjacoby @jrf @renehermi @dlh @mukesh27 @sumitbagthariya16 @starbuck @sergeybiryukov @ravipatel

How to contribute

To get involved in WordPress core development, head over to Trac, pick a ticket, and join the conversation in the #core channel. Need help? Check out the Core Contributor Handbook.

Thanks to @jeffpaul and @webcommsat for proofreading.

WordPress 6.4 “Shirley”

Record cover with an image of Shirley Horn, a record sliding down the right side, and the words Shirley WordPress 6.4.

Say hello to WordPress 6.4 “Shirley,” named after the iconic jazz artist Shirley Horn. Her distinctive voice and extraordinary connection to the piano established her as one of the leading jazz musicians of her generation. Horn’s journey from the Washington D.C. jazz scene to the international stage is a testament to her dedication and perseverance. Her influence reached far beyond the confines of traditional jazz, breaking boundaries and inspiring audiences worldwide.

Enjoy the easy pace of Shirley Horn’s music as you take in all that 6.4 offers.

This latest version of WordPress introduces a new, versatile default theme and a suite of upgrades to empower every step of your creative journey. Craft your content seamlessly with further writing improvements. Explore more ways to bring your vision to life and streamline site editing with enhanced tools. Whether you’re new to WordPress or an experienced creator, “Shirley” has something for you. Discover the unmatched flexibility of building with blocks and let your ideas take flight.

Many of the features and enhancements in WordPress 6.4 fall in the “small but mighty” category. Along with the adaptable beauty of the Twenty Twenty-Four theme, these updates help content creators and site developers alike save time and effort while delivering the high value, low hassle WordPress experience the world has grown to expect.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Executive Director of WordPress

What’s inside 6.4

Meet Twenty Twenty-Four

Experience site editing at its finest with Twenty Twenty-Four. This new multi-faceted default theme has been thoughtfully crafted with three distinct use cases in mind, from writers and artists to entrepreneurs. Save time and effort with its extensive collection of over 35 templates and patterns—and unlock a world of creative possibilities with a few tweaks. Twenty Twenty-Four’s remarkable flexibility ensures an ideal fit for almost any type of site. Check it out in this demo.

Cropped screenshots of the Twenty Twenty-Four theme, showing its diverse use cases for photographers, bloggers, and small businesses.

Let your writing flow

New enhancements ensure your content creation journey is smooth. Find new keyboard shortcuts in List View, smarter list merging, and enhanced control over link settings. A cohesive toolbar experience for the Navigation, List, and Quote blocks lets you work efficiently with the tooling options you need.

Screenshot of a Quote block showing its improved toolbar and the text "Études has saved us thousands of hours of work and has unlock insights we never thought possible."

The Command Palette just got better

First introduced in WordPress 6.3, the Command Palette is a powerful tool to quickly find what you need, perform tasks efficiently, and speed up your building workflow. Enjoy a refreshed design and new commands to perform block-specific actions in this release.

Screenshot of the refreshed UI of the Command Palette. It displays a search bar with the words "Search for commands" and a variety of shortcuts listed below, including "Add new page," "Preview in a new tab," and "Patterns."

Categorize and filter patterns

Patterns are an excellent way to leverage the potential of blocks and simplify your site-building process. WordPress 6.4 allows you to organize them with custom categories. Plus, new advanced filtering in the Patterns section of the inserter makes finding all your patterns more intuitive.

Screenshot of the Site Editor's patterns view which shows a list of patterns with custom categories, such as "About," "Banners," and "Call to Action," patterns.

Get creative with more design tools

Build beautiful and functional layouts with an expanded set of design tools. Play with background images in Group blocks for unique designs and maintain image dimensions consistent with placeholder aspect ratios. Do you want to add buttons to your Navigation block? Now you can do it conveniently without a line of code.

Decorative image with text "Background images in Group blocks."

Make your images stand out

Enable lightbox functionality to let your site visitors enjoy full-screen, interactive images on click. Apply it globally or to specific images to customize the viewing experience.

Decorative photo of a triangular building structure with a "click to expand" icon on the right top corner.

Rename Group blocks

Set custom names for Group blocks to organize and distinguish areas of your content easily. These names will be visible in List View.

Screenshot of the List View tool. It shows a Group block renamed as "Hero Area" with inner Group blocks also with custom names, such as "Content," "Images," and "Call to action."

Preview images in List View

New previews for Gallery and Image blocks in List View let you visualize and locate where images on your content are at a glance.

Screenshot of the List View tool, showing the new image previews for the Image and Gallery blocks.

Share patterns across sites

Need to use your custom patterns on another site? Import and export them as JSON files from the Site Editor’s patterns view.

Screenshot showing the "Import pattern from JSON files" option from the Site Editor's patterns view.

Introducing Block Hooks

Block Hooks enables developers to automatically insert dynamic blocks at specific content locations, enriching the extensibility of block themes through plugins. While considered a developer tool, this feature is geared to respect your preferences and gives you complete control to add, dismiss, and customize auto-inserted blocks to your needs.

Cropped screenshot showing a mini shopping cart (in a red dotted circle) inserted into a navigation menu by Block Hooks.

Performance wins

This release includes more than 100 performance-related updates for a faster and more efficient experience. Notable enhancements focus on template loading performance for themes (including Twenty Twenty-Four), usage of the script loading strategies “defer” and “async” in core, blocks, and themes, and optimization of autoloaded options.

Accessibility highlights

Every release is committed to making WordPress accessible to everyone. WordPress 6.4 brings several List View improvements and aria-label support for the Navigation block, among other highlights. The admin user interface includes enhancements to button placements, “Add New” menu items context, and Site Health spoken messages. Learn more about all the updates aimed at improving accessibility.

Other notes of interest

Learn more about WordPress 6.4

Check out the new WordPress 6.4 page to learn more about the numerous enhancements and features of this release.

Explore Learn WordPress for quick how-to videos, online workshops, and other free resources to level up your WordPress knowledge and skills.

If you are looking for detailed technical notes on new changes, the WordPress 6.4 Field Guide is for you. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Developer Blog to stay on top of the latest development updates, tutorials, and more.

For more information on installation, fixes, and file changes, visit the 6.4 release notes.

The 6.4 release squad

​​The WordPress 6.4 release comes to you from an underrepresented gender release squad to welcome and empower diverse voices in the WordPress open source project.

Being part of the 6.4 release coordination team has allowed me to closely observe the intricate release process, where every detail, no matter how minor, is meticulously addressed—taking into account various factors like performance and backward compatibility. There’s still much to learn, but I feel fortunate to have had the chance to contribute to WordPress 6.4.

Akshaya Rane, 6.4 release coordinator team member

Over several weeks, the 6.4 release squad kept the release on track and moving forward by leading collective work, connecting ideas, and removing roadblocks.

Thank you, contributors

WordPress believes in democratizing publishing and the freedoms that come with open source. Supporting this idea is a global and diverse community of people working together to strengthen the software.

WordPress 6.4 reflects the countless efforts and passion of more than 600 contributors in at least 56 countries. This release also welcomed over 170 first-time contributors!

Their collaboration delivered more than 1150 enhancements and fixes, ensuring a stable release for all—a testament to the power and capability of the WordPress open source community.

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Over 60 locales have translated 90 percent or more of WordPress 6.4 into their language. Community translators are working hard to ensure more translations are on their way. Thank you to everyone who helps make WordPress available in 200 languages.

Last but not least, thanks to the volunteers who contribute to the support forums by answering questions from WordPress users worldwide.

Get involved

Participation in WordPress is not limited to coding. If contributing appeals to you, learning more and getting involved is easy. Discover the teams that come together to Make WordPress, and use this interactive tool to help you decide which is right for you.

Looking ahead

Over the past two decades, WordPress has transformed the digital publishing landscape and empowered anyone to create and share, from handcrafted personal stories to world-changing movements.

The present and future of WordPress hold exciting opportunities for everyone, builders and enterprises alike. The foundational work for Phase 3 of the roadmap continues, with efforts focused on fostering real-time collaboration and streamlining publishing flows to improve how creators and teams work together in WordPress.

Stay on top of the latest news and contributing opportunities by subscribing to WordPress News and the WP Briefing podcast.

A release haiku

The smooth feel of jazz
The cutting-edge of the web
Install 6.4

WordPress 6.4 Release Candidate 3

The third release candidate (RC3) for WordPress 6.4 is ready to download!

This version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, or test this version of WordPress on production or mission-critical websites. Instead, it’s recommended that you evaluate RC3 on a test server and site.

WordPress 6.4 is slated for release on November 7, 2023—less than a week away. If you haven’t tried it, now is the time.

You can test WordPress 6.4 RC3 in three ways:

  1. Plugin: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin on a WordPress install (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).
  2. Direct download: Download the RC3 version (zip) and install it on a WordPress site.
  3. Command line: Use the following WP-CLI command:
    wp core update --version=6.4-RC3

Read the RC1 announcement for featured highlights, and check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.4-related posts. If you are looking for detailed technical notes on new features and improvements, the WordPress 6.4 Field Guide is for you.

The WordPress 6.4 release is brought to you by an underrepresented gender release squad to welcome the participation and partnership of those who identify as gender-underrepresented in the WordPress open source project.

What’s in WordPress 6.4 RC3?

Thanks to everyone who has tested the beta and RC releases. Since RC2 was released on October 24, there have been more than 25 issues resolved. You can browse the technical details for all recent updates using these links:

PHP compatibility update

It’s recommended to use PHP 8.1 or 8.2 with the upcoming 6.4 release. Refer to WordPress 6.4’s PHP compatibility post for more details.

Contributing to 6.4

WordPress is open source software made possible by a community of people collaborating on and contributing to its development. The resources below outline various ways you can help, regardless of your technical expertise.

Get involved in testing

Your feedback and help in testing are vital to developing the WordPress software and ensuring its quality. It’s also a meaningful way for anyone to contribute. Check out this guide for instructions on testing WordPress 6.4 features.

The core Query block requires more testing and feedback to ensure the latest changes to prevent full page reloads work smoothly. Please note that this setting was called “Enhanced pagination” but has recently been renamed, and it’s now referred to as “Force page reload” instead.

If you encounter an issue, please report it to the Alpha/Beta area of the support forums or directly to WordPress Trac if you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report. You can also check your issue against a list of known bugs.

Curious about testing releases in general? Follow along with the testing initiatives in Make Core and join the #core-test channel on Making WordPress Slack.

Search for vulnerabilities

During the release candidate phase of WordPress 6.4, the monetary reward for reporting new, unreleased security vulnerabilities is doubled. Please follow responsible disclosure practices as detailed in the project’s security practices and policies outlined on the HackerOne page and in the security white paper.

Update your theme or plugin

Do you build themes and plugins? Your products play an integral role in extending the functionality and value of WordPress for users worldwide.

Hopefully, you have already tested your themes and plugins with WordPress 6.4 betas. With RC3, you will want to continue your testing and update the “Tested up to” version in your plugin’s readme file to 6.4.

Please post detailed information to the support forums if you find compatibility issues.


Help the Docs team put the finishing touches on end-user documentation in time for the 6.4 release. Find out what’s needed and how you can help in this post.

Help translate WordPress

Do you speak a language other than English? ¿Español? Français? Português? Русский? 日本? Help translate WordPress into more than 100 languages.

A RC3 haiku

One more week of prep
One more week to test the code
One more week til launch

Thank you to the following contributors for collaborating on this post: @meher, @rmartinezduque, @sereedmedia, @jorbin, @luisherranz, @marybaum.

WP Briefing: Episode 65: Little Sun Success

Join WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy as she looks at a recent WordPress success story, the clean energy solution Little Sun, and learns about their WordPress story.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Special Guest: Romane Guégan
Special Guest: Ashley Mrozek
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes

  • Website: Little Sun
  • Small List of Big Things
    • State of the Word – This year’s annual keynote, State of the Word, will be on December 11. Save the date to hear the WordPress project’s co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, share reflections on the project’s progress and aspirations for the future of open source.
    • Celebrating 10,000 Photos in the WordPress Photo Directory – On October 11, the 10,000th photo was approved! The Photo Team is one of the newest ways to contribute to the WordPress open source project.
    • Community Team Training #11: Using the Translate Live tool – Uncover the potential of the “Translate Live” tool, which is ideal for presenting at local meetups to engage and onboard new translators for your native language. If you’re organizing a WordCamp, consider introducing this tool during your Contributor Day.
    • A New WordPress Showcase – The journey to update WordPress.org continues with the launch of a new Showcase design. The Showcase is a natural starting point for visitors arriving on WordPress.org, and it both inspires creativity and demonstrates what’s possible with WordPress.


[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing. The podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[00:00:28] (Intro music) 

[00:00:40] Josepha: Today, I’ve got a special guest with me. I have here a couple of folks from Little Sun, a nonprofit organization that recently moved its entire online presence to WordPress. And we’re talking everything from their mission statement and donations all the way to their blog and shop.

Welcome both to the WordPress Briefing. 

[00:00:59] Ashley: Thank you.

[00:01:00] Romane: Thank you. 

[00:01:01] Josepha: We have with us Little Sun today. Can you start by introducing yourselves and your organization? Just tell us a little bit about what you all do. 

[00:01:08] Romane: Hi, my name is Romane Guégan. I’m a Senior Press and Communications Manager at Little Sun. 

[00:01:14] Ashley: And I am Ashley Mrozek. I’m the Senior Digital Manager. 

[00:01:17] Josepha: So what does Little Sun do for the folks who are listening and maybe don’t know about it yet? 

[00:01:22] Romane: Little Sun brings full power and light to communities that live off the grid, with the focus on sub-Saharan Africa because most of the people who lack access to electricity and need them. And we also inspire people to take climate action globally. 

[00:01:39] Ashley: So access to solar energy helps kids who don’t have electricity and study at night. They can complete their homework at night. If their schools are in a more rural area, they will have a light to kind of guide them back home.

We also work on a lot of electric vocation projects and hospitals. So we’re, we’re kind of supporting labors that are, are taking place in the evening, after the sun goes down, among other things. 

[00:02:07] Josepha: Yeah. It’s, I, I think that that is one of the things that folks, probably most of my listeners, probably take for granted, like the easy access to light. And as we all know, the sun is around a lot. And so that is one of our most readily available resources other than potentially wind power. But I think that that is a great mission. And I really think that that’s wonderful work that y’all are doing.

So, is there a particular reason that you focus on sub-Saharan Africa? Is that where you find a majority of people who don’t have access to that kind of resource are? 

[00:02:43] Romane: Yeah. 70% of those people actually need in sub-Saharan Africa, where solar is actually a viable source of energy. Actually, it’s only 1% of solar, of the solar capital of the generation when we actually deliver solar energy there because there is so much potential.

[00:03:04] Josepha: That’s amazing. So you said that you all were funded in 2012. I imagine that your business has evolved over time. So, obviously, you all are WordPress users. That’s why we have you here with us today. But before we get into the questions about WordPress itself. Why don’t you tell us a bit about how your business needs evolved over time and how you wound up needing a solution that did use WordPress?

[00:03:31] Ashley: So I would say our focus and kind of the different initiatives that we’ve taken on since 2012 have shifted a lot based on various reasons, where our donors are, where we’ve kind of found the most need, and where we can be the most impactful.

And I think as we go into those new geographies, our online presence has become more and more important. 

[00:03:55] Josepha: So, before you all switched to WordPress, I understand that you had several sites that you had to merge into one. And so I assume that as you evolved the business and your focus has changed, you realized you needed something a bit more streamlined. So, how was that transition, that migration from a lot of different sites to one big site? 

[00:04:17] Romane: Yeah, because we started as a global project. And then, with the time, we evolved, actually also getting new donations. And in the past, we used to have one website where we have our webshop and our mission, our vision, all of our project descriptions.

But then we had another website only for the foundation. And then you had another foundation in the U.S. So it was the question, okay, how do we put everything together? So we actually switched from littlesun.com to littlesun.org with WordPress, and it was amazing to see how we managed with the team to create an ecosystem approach, including impact, but also sales, and fundraising. 

[00:05:02] Josepha: That was a big footprint that you all had, and you kind of consolidated it into one. And for all of our folks listening on the podcast, I’m going to include some links, not only to their site but then also to a few other things that we’ve mentioned in here today. So, since you made that change, how has it, how has that impacted the way that you all work with your site or with your online presence?

[00:05:27] Ashley: Yeah, I think using WordPress and having access to WordPress has been hugely valuable for us. We’re a small team, we’re a nonprofit, so it is pretty scrappy. Everyone is kind of doing a lot of different things. We don’t have a dedicated development team. And so being able to easily customize our pages and create new landing pages or make adjustments on the site without that development help has been valuable.

[00:05:55] Josepha: Yeah, so you don’t have a developer team now. Did you have a developer team when you had all the sites? 

[00:06:01] Romane: We just still work with freelancers. 

[00:06:03] Josepha: Okay, yeah. I am also not a developer, for what it’s worth, and have been working with nonprofits for a while. And I understand that problem where you have all these things you need to do and want to do, but there are also things you absolutely have to focus on in order to make your mission possible and your vision come true.

[00:06:23] Ashley: Yeah, and I think, I think WordPress has given us a lot more, like a lot more flexibility to kind of produce new content quickly. And because of that, it’s just been a lot more efficient, too, for us, you know. 

[00:06:38] Josepha: And you all are using Blocks? Are you, like, the best Block builders?

[00:06:42] Romane: Yeah, I love Blocks. 

[00:06:43] Josepha: Blocks are a fairly new innovation for the history of WordPress. WordPress has been around for 20 years, so we’re a nice, mature project. And we’ve really only had blocks as a functional part of the CMS for probably the last five or so. We’ve been working on the project a little bit longer. And it has been fascinating to me, like, in my own work that I have done with WordPress, kind of outside of my work with the project, to see, like, how much autonomy you get to have back as somebody who is not a developer, maybe isn’t a designer, but you do know exactly what you need to have on your site today, right?

And having to stop and find a freelancer or stop and find some set of developers who can make those changes. For me, when I was specifically working on nonprofit stuff. That was always kind of a moment where I was like, well, I guess I’ll just go to Facebook and put that on there or something because I was faster than trying to find someone to come help you. And so, I’m so glad you love the block.

[00:07:48] Ashley: We’ve created many a landing page. 

[00:07:50] Josepha: Also, your site is adorable, and your brand is adorable, in case no one’s mentioned that lately. Super cute. Super cute.

[00:07:58] Josepha: So, we’ve talked about how you kind of took a bunch of stuff and made it into one big thing and how that’s been easier for you all to manage it. But from the standpoint of just, like, somebody who’s running a nonprofit, someone who’s running an organization, how has that transition been for your team? I know you said you don’t have a huge team, but was the move toward WordPress a net benefit over time, or was it immediately beneficial? Like, how has that been for your team? 

[00:08:27] Romane: So what’s interesting actually is that we have a team that is spread also all over the world. And so we have teams in Berlin and in U.S., and New York. In Zambia, too. What was really interesting was how people identify to the new website because now we have to really think, okay, what is the content we want people to see, but also we want our critics to see. And so it kind of unified all of our content at Little Sun. And it was much more like much easier to understand afterwards. 

[00:09:03] Josepha: Yeah. 

[00:09:04] Romane: And it was because we also work at the intersection of creative communications, impacts, fundraising, technology, and to be able to put everything and have it on the front. And then have the stories to tell the stories from sub-Saharan Africa, from universities who got either a Little Sun lamps or solar systems, and then we have the donation page, so basically everything could be integrated in a super easy way, and it could target different audiences easily, either it’s someone who wants to partner with us, or a donor, or just someone who wants to be part of our solar training.

[00:09:46] Josepha: Yeah, and I mean, I think that no one will be surprised to hear that if you have multiple things that you have to get everybody to, it really increases the amount of marketing that you have to accomplish, rather than having one place for everyone to go too, and they can see everything that they might want once they arrive. So, that’s wonderful.

[00:10:06] Ashley: I think I was just going to say, or kind of echo what Romane said about the fact that we have so many different audiences, we have partners, we have donors, we have people who are just coming to learn about solar energy, or who are interested in purchasing a lamp. I think prior to this, it was a little bit confusing for those different audiences to kind of navigate to where they were intended to go to on the site, and now it’s much more cohesive. And we often hear that from people where it’s like, it’s quite easy to, to kind to find what they need to find on the site. 

[00:10:39] Josepha: I define the WordPress community as anyone who is using WordPress, regardless of whether they know it or not. And so you all, in my mind, are part of the WordPress Community. And I just wondered if being part of that community has changed your approach to the way that you manage your content online or the way that you have chosen work with your business as like an online entity that also does on-the-ground, in-person thing?

[00:11:06] Ashley: I think definitely. I think we’re kind of going back to what I said before. I think we’re much more efficient now. I think in the past, it’s the idea of, like, well, getting this web page live or publishing this is going to be, you know, we have to think about a huge timeline, that’s, is going to require a lot of resourcing, a lot of different types of expertise and people, and everything now feels like something that we can, we can launch pretty immediately, which is really wonderful too.

I would also say just like being a part of the WordPress community too. It’s the sort of support that we’ve gotten from your team. It’s always really tailored. And I think as a nonprofit working with a, like, a much bigger business, you can be apprehensive sometimes, feeling like you won’t really get that personalized support. 

And I think that’s something that’s been so nice with WordPress. Is really feeling like the people we’re working with are understanding our business and taking the time to understand our needs. And I think that makes us think differently about our online presence as well because then we feel like we have that additional support, which is great.

[00:12:12] Josepha: I’m always a fan of hearing that people who are passionate about WordPress are also passionate about helping others with WordPress. That’s one of my favorite things about us. That’s not true. I have like 25 favorite things about us. And so I need to stop saying that I have one favorite, but I never will.

Okay, well, do you all have any last thoughts that you just want to share with me or podcast listeners that we have? 

[00:12:36] Ashley: Yeah, I think the, the plugins and integrations have been really useful for us. I think it can be really intimidating to bring on, like, a new tech solution or tool and feel like everything that you are already working with or have is going to become outdated or obsolete in some way. And I think it’s just been really nice to work with WordPress and have all of those transitions be really seamless for everything to connect really well. Yeah, I think that’s been. That’s hugely helpful too. 

[00:13:07] Josepha: So, was that part of the decision-making process? Like, do I know that this software will be around in the future so that you’re making an investment in the site now and know that it’s going to hang around now you can find people help? Like, was that part of the decision-making process?

[00:13:21] Ashley: I think so. I mean, I guess I wasn’t completely around during the time, but I would say, like, that’s definitely something that we’re considering in any kind of tech that we’re thinking about is it can require so much work to, to kind of bring something on with such a small team. So we want to ensure that, yeah, it’s going to last, it has longevity, and it’s going to work with the tools that we already have. So I think all of that is really important for sure. 

[00:13:48] Josepha: Well, thank you both so much for joining me. Like I said, we’ll have a link to littlesun.org in the notes so that you all can learn more about their project and see their beautiful site with their beautiful little solar sunflowers.

Thank you both for being with me today. 

[00:14:04] Romane: Thank you so much. 

[00:14:05] Ashley: Thank you so much for having us.

[00:14:07] (Music interlude)

[00:14:11] Josepha: What a wonderful organization. I’m so glad that they found WordPress and that it works for them. Let’s continue our tour today with the small list of big things.

Item number one, it’s time to save the date: December 11th, 2023, for this year’s State of the Word. State of the Word is the annual keynote address delivered by the WordPress Project co-founder Matt Mullenweg. Every year, the event shares reflections on the project’s progress and aspirations for the future of open source. And so, if that is something that you like to tune into, December 11th is your day. 

Second thing on our list is that we are celebrating our 10,000th photo submission. So, on October 11th, the 10,000th photo was approved. The Photo Team is one of the newest ways to contribute to the WordPress open source project, and it feeds all of those photos into Openverse as well.

The third thing on our list today is that I want to tell you about a community team training module that just came out. It’s specifically about the Translate Live tool, and it is ideal for presenting at your local meetups to engage and onboard new translators for your native language. If you’re organizing a WordCamp, consider introducing this tool during your Contributor Day. I will leave a link for this in the show notes so that it is easy to find. 

And item number four, the journey to update WordPress.org, continues with the launch of a new Showcase design. The Showcase is a natural starting point for a lot of visitors who are on WordPress.org. It inspires creativity and also demonstrates what’s possible with WordPress. So, stop on by there, it’s WordPress.org/showcase, and give it a bit of a look.

[00:15:58] Josepha: And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. And don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcast app or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever a new episode drops. And if you like what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser. Or, if you had questions about what you heard today, you can share those with me at wprebriefing@WordPress.org.

I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. 

[00:16:24] (Music outro)