State of the Word 2020

Posted by download | Posted in Software | Posted on 05-12-2020

State of the Word is an annual keynote address delivered by the project co-founder, Matt Mullenweg. This year’s keynote will be streamed on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter on Thursday, Dec 17th, 2020  at 1600 UTC.

Have a question?

A Question and Answer period with pre-recorded videos will follow State of the Word. To take part, record a video of you asking your question to Matt on your computer or phone (landscape format, please). Don’t forget to include your name and how you use WordPress! Try to keep your video to under a minute so Matt can answer as many questions as possible.

To submit your question, upload it as an unlisted video (YouTube works great for this) and send a link to ask-matt@wordcamp.org.

New to State of the Word?

If this is your first time hearing of this talk, you’re in luck! Check out previous recordings below.

Recommended Reads for International Day of Disabled Persons

Posted by download | Posted in Software | Posted on 03-12-2020

WordPress.com, as my colleague Anne recently wrote, continues to be a space for people to tell their personal stories and amplify their voices. Today, International Day of Disabled Persons, we’d like to highlight a few perspectives and thoughtful reads to raise awareness of the myriad experiences of disabled people.

This reading list is merely a starting point — be sure to explore more posts tagged with “disability” in the WordPress.com Reader, for example. We hope it introduces you to writers and disability rights advocates whose work you may not be familiar with.


“How to Properly Celebrate a Civil Rights Law During a Pandemic in Which Its Subjects Were Left to Die” at Crutches and Spice

Imani Barbarin at Crutches and Spice writes about life, current events, entertainment, and politics from the perspective of a Black woman with cerebral palsy. Read her reflections on the death of actor Chadwick Boseman, or the anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (which turned 30 this year), excerpted below.

Prior to the pandemic, disabled people were told that the accessibility we needed was cost-prohibitive and unlikely to be implemented only to watch as the institutions that barred our inclusion make those tools available now that nondisabled people needed them. We called for polling places and voting procedures to be made accessible only to watch as politicians shut down polling places in predominantly black neighborhoods. We begged for businesses to be inclusive and accessible to disabled customers only for accessibility to be pitted against small businesses and workers’ rights.

And now, unironically, they celebrate.

They celebrate not weighed down by their own words calculating the amount of acceptable death it would take to reopen the economy. They post our pictures celebrating their own “diversity and inclusion” without confronting the fact they only became accessible because of a pandemic and as they loudly push to reopen, they amplify our voices for now with no plan to continue to include the disability community as businesses start to reopen.

I’m angry.

But I am also filled with love and gratitude for my community.

#ADA30InColor at Disability Visibility Project

Founded by Alice Wong, The Disability Visibility Project is a community focused on creating and sharing disability media and culture. You’ll find a range of content, including oral histories, guest blog posts, and a podcast hosted by Wong and featuring conversations with disabled people.

If you’re not sure where to start, dive into the 13 posts in the #ADA30InColor series — it includes essays on the past, present, and future of disability rights and justice by disabled BIPOC writers. Here are excerpts from two pieces.

More than anything, however, it was my blindness that allowed me to experience perhaps the biggest impact of this transition. Being able to attend a “regular” school as opposed to the school for the blind and take classes with sighted peers every day, becoming friends with classmates who have different types of disabilities, having Braille placards by every classroom door at a school not intended solely for only blind students, meeting blind adults with various jobs — ranging from chemist to statistician to lawyer — was my new reality. Even as a teenager, I knew it was a great privilege to be in this new reality — America, where there were laws in place to protect the rights of disabled people to live, study, play, and work alongside the nondisabled. At the same time, this reality began to feel like a multi-layered burden as I began to form and understand different elements of who I am: a disabled, 1.5 generation Korean-American immigrant. 

“Building Bridges as a Disabled Korean Immigrant” by Miso Kwak

Even with medical documentation on file, disabled BIPOC face added suspicion, resistance, and stigma from instructors, particularly for invisible disabilities. We are also stereotyped in racially coded ways as unreasonable, aggressive, and “angry” when we self-advocate. We are especially heavily policed in graduate and professional programs, and this is apparent in our representation — while 26 percent of adults in the US have a disability, only 12 percent of post-baccalaureate students are students with disabilities. This is even lower among some ethnicities — only 6 percent of post-baccalaureate Asian American students have a disability.  

“The Burden and Consequences of Self-Advocacy for Disabled BIPOC” by Aparna R.

“My Favorite Wheelchair Dances” at Alizabeth Worley

Alizabeth Worley is a writer and artist with moderate chronic fatigue syndrome. She writes about topics like health and interabled marriage (her husband has cerebral palsy). In a recent post, Alizabeth compiles YouTube clips of beautiful and inspiring wheelchair dances, some of which are from Infinite Flow, an inclusive dance company. Here’s one of the dances she includes in her list, featuring Julius Jun Obero and Rhea Marquez.

“The Intersection of Queerness and Disability” at Autistic Science Person

Ira, the writer at Autistic Science Person, explores the parallels between queerness and disability, and the way other people make assumptions about their body.

I often put down Female for medical appointments even if there’s a Nonbinary option, as I don’t want to “confuse” them. It’s just easier for everyone, I think. I worry about backlash I would receive, or the confused looks I would get if I put down Nonbinary. I think about people tiptoeing around my gender. I can’t deal with even more self-advocacy in a medical visit as an autistic person, so it’s just not worth it, I think. I’m reminded of the time I carried folding crutches to my unrelated medical appointment. Both the staff and doctor asked me why I brought crutches when I was “walking normally.” I had to explain that I needed them on my walk back for my foot pain. Both explaining my disability and explaining my gender — explaining the assumptions around my body is exhausting.

No matter what, people will make assumptions. Both ableism and cisnormativity are baked into our brains and our society. The things people have to do to accommodate us and acknowledge us involves unlearning their preconceptions. Society really doesn’t want us to do that. This is why there is so much defensiveness for both providing accommodations and acknowledging someone’s gender, pronouns, and name. People don’t want to do that work. They don’t want to be confronted with structural changes, the issue of gender norms, and the problems that disabled people face every day. They just want to go on with their lives because it’s easier to them. It’s easier for them to ignore our identities.

“The Last Halloween, The First Halloween” at Help Codi Heal

“The first Halloween my daughter could walk was the last Halloween that I could,” writes Codi Darnell, the blogger at Help Codi Heal. In a post reflecting on her fifth Halloween in a wheelchair, Codi reflects on change, pain, and the firsts and lasts in her life.

It was all automatic — all done without realizing the ways these simple acts of motherhood were deeply engrained in my identity. All done with zero understanding that something so simple could be snatched away — and how painful it would be when it was.

Because a year later I would not hold her hand up the stairs or scoop her up and onto my hip. I wouldn’t stand beside her at the door or see her face light up when — in her big two-year-old voice — she managed all three words “trick-or-treat”. A year later, I would understand the fragility of our being and know intimately the pain of things taken away. But I would still be there. 

“Even If You Can’t See It: Invisible Disability and Neurodiversity” at Kenyon Review

At Kenyon Review, author Sejal A. Shah writes a personal essay on neurodiversity, depression, academia, and the writing life.

Maybe things would have turned out differently had I requested accommodations, had I known about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990), had I understood my “situation,” as my aunt calls it, counted as a disability. The ADA law was amended in 2008 to include bipolar disorder. I began my job in 2005 and finished in 2011. It would have been helpful to know about the law and my rights under it.

I didn’t know the laws then; I didn’t know them until writing this essay. I looked normal; I passed. Would my career have turned out differently had I been willing to come out (for that’s what it felt like, an emergence into a world that might not accept me)? I was certain the stigma of having a major mood disorder would have hurt me professionally. Even had I disclosed my disorder, HR and my supervisors may not have agreed to modifications in my work responsibilities. I would still have needed to advocate for myself — would still have needed the energy to provide documentation and persist. For years, I had been ashamed, alarmed, and exhausted from trying to keep my head above water.

“The Outside Looking In” at Project Me

Project Me is the blog of Hannah Rose Higdon, a Deaf Lakota woman who grew up on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. In “The Outside Looking In,” Higdon offers a glimpse into her experience as a child who was born hard of hearing, and whose family had very little access to the support she needed. (Higdon is now profoundly Deaf.)

I look up as my uncle talks to me. I nod. I smile. And I pretend I know just exactly what is going on. The truth is I have no clue what he’s saying or why he’s laughing, but I laugh too and mimic his facial expressions. I would never want to draw any more attention to myself than necessary. You see, I might only be 5 years old, but I know just how important it is to pretend.

“How to Center Disability in the Tech Response to COVID-19” at Brookings TechStream

Organizer, attorney, and disability justice advocate Lydia X.Z. Brown calls on the tech industry to carefully consider how policy affects marginalized communities, looking at algorithmic modeling in hospitals, contract tracing and surveillance, and web inaccessibility.

For disabled people who are also queer, trans, or people of color, the deployment of algorithmic modeling increases the risk of compounded medical discrimination. All marginalized communities have long histories and ongoing legacies of surviving involuntary medical experimentation, coercive treatment, invasive and irreversible procedures, and lower quality of care — often justified by harmful beliefs about the ability to feel pain and quality of life. These health care disparities are exacerbated for people who experience multiple forms of marginalization.

Spoonie Authors Network

The Spoonie Authors Network features work from authors and writers about how they manage their disabilities or chronic illnesses and conditions. Managed by Cait Gordon and Dianna Gunn, the community site also publishes resources and produces a podcast. Explore posts in the Featured Author or Internalized Ableism categories, like the piece below, to sample some of the writing.

When my neurologist suggested that I get a parking pass, I turned it down.

“I’d rather that go to someone more deserving,” I said. “There are people out there who are far more disabled than I am. Let the pass go to one of them.”

“You have difficulty walking. What would happen if it was icy or there were other difficult walking conditions?” she said kindly. “This is for your safety.”

I nodded and accepted the parking pass, even though I felt it made me look weak. I wasn’t disabled enough to warrant a parking pass. I can walk. I didn’t need it, I told myself.

“Not Disabled Enough” by Jamieson Wolf

More recommended sites:

Note on header image: Six disabled people of color smile and pose in front of a concrete wall. Five people stand in the back, with the Black woman in the center holding up a chalkboard sign that reads, “disabled and HERE.” A South Asian person in a wheelchair sits in front. Photo by Chona Kasinger | Disabled and Here (CC BY 4.0)

The Month in WordPress: November 2020

Posted by download | Posted in Software | Posted on 02-12-2020

November 2020 saw several updates to the WordPress 5.6 release. Read on to follow all the latest news from the WordPress world!


WordPress 5.6 updates

The Core team released WordPress 5.6 Beta 3 on Nov. 2, Beta 4 on Nov. 12, release candidate 1 on Nov. 17, and release candidate 2 on Dec. 1. You can test the Beta versions and the release candidates by downloading them from WordPress.org or by using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. Check out the WordPress 5.6 field guide to understand the features of WordPress 5.6 and learn how you can incorporate them into your websites. WordPress 5.6 will be out by Dec. 9, 2020.

But our work is never done: You can submit feature suggestions for WordPress 5.7 by Dec. 15. 

Want to contribute to upcoming WordPress releases? Join the WordPress Core dev chats on Wednesdays at 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. UTC in the #core channel on the Make WordPress Slack, and catch up with recaps on the Core team blog. If you would like to help with WordPress 5.6 outreach, contact the WordPress Marketing team on the #marketing channel.

Gutenberg 9.3 and 9.4 are out

Contributor teams released Gutenberg Version 9.3 on Nov. 4 and Version 9.4 on Nov. 18. Both versions include  several improvements to Full Site Editing (FSE) flows, in addition to bug fixes and feature upgrades. Version 9.3 is the first release that isn’t included entirely in WordPress 5.6; the version automatically enables FSE experiments when a block-based theme is active. Version 9.4 introduces some new features like percentage width for button blocks, block variation transformations, social icon support, and font size support for the list block. You can find out more about the Gutenberg roadmap in the What’s next in Gutenberg blog post.

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.

Learn WordPress updates

WordPress contributor teams are all set to launch Learn WordPress in December. Community members can now watch video workshops to learn about various WordPress topics, participate in discussion groups, and use lesson plans for organizing their own workshops. Contributor teams have launched quizzes and are also working on setting standards for workshops.

Want to contribute to Learn WordPress? You can now submit a workshop application (submissions in languages other than English are welcome!), apply to become a discussion group leader, organize discussions for your local WordPress meetup group, or help fix issues with existing lesson plans.

WordPress 5.6 Translations and Polyglots survey

WordPress 5.6 is ready to be translated and is now at hard string freeze. If you would like to contribute, check out these instructions and ensure that your locale is ready for an automated release. The Polyglots team has also kicked off its translator research survey. Please participate in the survey, share the survey link with members of your locale, and help amplify the Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn posts about it.

Want to help WordPress speak your language? Follow the Polyglots team blog and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group


Further Reading:

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

WordPress 5.6 Release Candidate 2

Posted by download | Posted in Software | Posted on 02-12-2020

The second release candidate for WordPress 5.6 is here!

WordPress 5.6 is slated for release on December 8, 2020, and we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.6 yet, now is the time!

You can test WordPress 5.6 release candidate 2 in two ways:

Thank you to all of the contributors who tested the Beta releases and gave feedback. Testing for bugs is a critical part of polishing every release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.6 and update the Tested up to version in the readme file to 5.6. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums. That way, those can be figured out before the final release.

For a more detailed breakdown of the changes included in WordPress 5.6, check out the WordPress 5.6 beta 1 post. The WordPress 5.6 Field Guide is also out! It’s your source for details on all the major changes.

How to Help

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

Think you found a bug? Post it to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We would love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report you can file one on WordPress Trac. Don’t forget to check the list of known bugs!

Run With Us! Join the 2020 wwwp5K Movement

Posted by download | Posted in Software | Posted on 30-11-2020

If you’re like us, you’re eager to send 2020 off to the dustbin of history. So grab your running/walking/yoga shoes and join us as we resurrect the historic #wwwp5K and celebrate reaching the 2020 finish line! As an added incentive and in the spirit of the season, we’ve also created a special wwwp5K Givz page, where participants can make a donation to three of our favorite charities: Black Girls Code, Internet Archive, and the WordPress Foundation. Automattic will match every dollar donated to any organization through the Givz page, up to $50,000.

What’s a 5K?

A 5K is the equivalent of about 3.1 miles. The virtual run will work on the honor system, but if you want to be accurate, apps like Strava, Garmin Connect, Runkeeper, Fitbit, and many others can help you measure the right distance.

Sounds awesome! How do I participate?

The virtual wwwp5K officially kicks off tomorrow, December 1, and will be open through December 31st. You can run, skip, walk, hop, walk backwards, or even swim the equivalent distance in an indoor pool — as long as you’re practicing appropriate safety precautions given local conditions and staying healthy, your activity counts.

Everyone is welcome! WordPress fans, friends, and family, as well as Automatticians around the world.

When you’re done, don’t forget to post a selfie on your WordPress site and tag it with “wwwp5k” so that we can share the love and others can read about your experience. Of course, you can also blog about your journey preparing for the wwwp5K, but most of all, we’d love to see your smiling face and happy shoes as you complete the 5K.

Is there swag?

What would a virtual run be without swag with a custom logo? To commemorate the 2020 run, we’ve created a limited edition technical shirt featuring the official wwwp5K Wapuu!

They’ll be available for purchase in the WordPress Swag Store starting tomorrow until supplies last, so don’t forget to place your order.

Will you be joining us? Let us know in the comments!

Join Us in Honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance

Posted by download | Posted in Software | Posted on 20-11-2020

Today, November 20th, people around the world pause to bear witness to Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day dedicated to honoring the memory of those murdered because of anti-transgender prejudice. Transgender Day of Remembrance reminds us to fight against forces that devalue transgender lives every day. To bring awareness to this important day, we want to pause to share a few stories of transgender people who have found their voice on WordPress.com. We posed a question: “What does Transgender Day of Remembrance mean to you?” Below, we’ve shared a few responses from creators on our platform.

We welcome you to share your own response on your site. In the meantime, read slowly and soak in the hard-fought words of the brave voices who are willing to share their experiences. 


Dr. SA Smythe (They/Them) of essaysmythe.com:

Some of us have been counted, but most of us are counted out—unthought and unthinkable. And so we do it ourselves. We account for Tony McDade. We are accountable to Muhlaysia Booker. We recall Riah Milton. We recollect the fierce life of one of our greatest contemporary remembrancers, the trans griot Monica Roberts. We name the nonbinary people who continue to be treated as unnameable as we slip through the matrix of binary gender. The competing racialized pandemics of our time continues to be intensified for trans people, especially Black trans women, in this year as with any other. We live with that reality and demand non-trans people do the same because our resilience is nothing without their reckoning for the violence they allow to continue against us. Trans Day of Remembrance is not only about how trans people have been stolen from us too soon, but how we continue to survive and thrive and persist against all odds. Has there ever been anything as beautiful as that?

Read more


Laura Kate Dale (She/Her) of laurakbuzz.com:

Going and spending some time in the company of other trans people was wonderful. I got to see trans people from a variety of backgrounds, some who had grown old and found love, and see proof that I could live a long and happy life as a trans woman. But the tone of the evening was contrasted by sitting with the knowledge of why we were all gathered, the knowledge of far too many lives cut far too short. I was surrounded by the trans people who had survived and thrived, as well as the memories of those who had not.

Read more


Nicole Eldridge (She/Her) of transgendersupport.org:

My name is Nicole Eldridge. I’ve been transgender since third grade. As I started to transition, I would read stories online about transgender people dying. This is absolutely terrifying if you want to do what they did. I never gave up and transitioned. Transgender Day of Remembrance means to me that we remember the transgender people that have died and carry out their goal of an equal future for all transgender people. Every time I listen to a Transgender Day of Remembrance speech, it brings me back to Martin Luther King’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” What King said about everyone being equal and having equal opportunities is so true when I hear the transgender people’s names who have died. It breaks my heart to hear all of the transgender people that died for the year. In spite of the hatred toward transgender people, I rise above it all and help transgender people all over the world with my website transgendersupport.org. This is what Transgender Day of Remembrance means to me.


Tallulah Ker-Oldfield (She/Her) of transrites.wordpress.com

Trans people are nothing new. Gender and its expressions have been changing throughout cultures, and trans people have existed throughout history with notable examples in the many ancient pantheons, including deities. There’s nothing new to consider, no trans question – we’ve been here all along, and the only terrible things that happened because of it happened to us

***

And so I’m remembering trans lives lost this year, and trans lives filled with trauma, and everything that trans people have to do to simply… be. If you ever thought this year was scary, oppressive, isolating, challenging to get through and potentially fatal to be around people… you’ve been living a lot of the worst parts of the trans experience. Yet I’m remembering the powerful joy of my community, how our bonds through the pandemic have been strong, how well accustomed we immediately became to 2020, having lived our own version of it for most of our lives, creating found families, love, laughter, understanding and sometimes rainbows out of the unforgiving raw material of compromise.

Read more


To read more writing by transgender people, explore these sites on WordPress.com:

We pride ourselves on being a platform where anyone can share their perspective, and we’re honored to be able to create a space for the personal stories of transgender-identifying individuals. Take the time to read their words and remember that it’s not enough to honor transgender people just one day each year. What we do matters every day. Follow these sites and others you come upon and, as a result, show your support in the days to come. 

WordPress 5.6 Release Candidate

Posted by download | Posted in Software | Posted on 18-11-2020

The first release candidate for WordPress 5.6 is now available!

This is an important milestone in the community’s progress toward the final release of WordPress 5.6.

“Release Candidate” means that the new version is ready for release, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible something was missed. WordPress 5.6 is slated for release on December 8, 2020, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.6 yet, now is the time!

You can test the WordPress 5.6 release candidate in two ways:

Thank you to all of the contributors who tested the Beta releases and gave feedback. Testing for bugs is a critical part of polishing every release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

What’s in WordPress 5.6?

The final release of 2020 continues the annual tradition of a new default theme that is custom built to showcase the new features and functionality of the software. Continued progress on the block editor is especially clear in this release, which brings more blocks to more places, and fewer clicks to implement your layouts.

WordPress 5.6 also has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To learn more, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developer notes tag for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.6 and update the Tested up to version in the readme file to 5.6. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums, so those can be figured out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.6 Field Guide, due very shortly, will give you a more detailed dive into the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 5.6 release schedule.

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

WordPress 5.6 Beta 4

Posted by download | Posted in Software | Posted on 13-11-2020

WordPress 5.6 Beta 4 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so we recommend that you run this version on a test site.

You can test the WordPress 5.6 beta in two ways:

The current target for the final release is December 8, 2020. This is just over three weeks away, so your help is needed to ensure this release is tested properly.

Thank you to all of the contributors that tested the beta 3 development release and provided feedback. Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing each release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

Some Highlights

Since beta 3, 42 bugs have been fixed. Here is a summary of a few changes included in beta 4:

To see all of the features for each Gutenberg release in detail, check out the release posts: 8.68.78.88.99.09.19.2, and 9.3.

Developer notes

WordPress 5.6 has lots of refinements to the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developers’ notes for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you!

If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Props to @tonyamork, @audrasjb for technical notes and @angelasjin, @yvettesonneveld@cguntur, @cbringmann for final review.

WordPress 5.6 Beta 3

Posted by download | Posted in Software | Posted on 02-11-2020

WordPress 5.6 Beta 3 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so we recommend that you run this version on a test site.

You can test the WordPress 5.6 beta in two ways:

The current target for the final release is December 8, 2020. This is just five weeks away, so your help is needed to ensure this release is tested properly.

Thank you to all of the contributors that tested the beta 2 development release and provided feedback. Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing each release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

Some Highlights

Since beta 2, 20 bugs have been fixed. Here is a summary of a few changes included in beta 3:

  • Added block patterns for Twenty Twenty (see #51098) and Twenty Nineteen (see #51099) themes.
  • Added theme support for navigation-widgets (see #51445).
  • Fixed incorrect slashes in the URL if the parent is empty for REST API (see #44745).
  • Added a test to Site Health to verify that the Authorization header is working as expected for Application Passwords (see #51638).
  • 10 additional bugs fixed in the block editor (see #26588).

To see all of the features for each Gutenberg release in detail, check out the release posts: 8.68.78.88.99.09.1, 9.2, and 9.3.

Developer notes

WordPress 5.6 has lots of refinements to the developer experience as well. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developers’ notes for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you!

If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

Props to @hellofromtonya, @davidbaumwald for help and @chanthaboune  for final review.

The Month in WordPress: October 2020

Posted by download | Posted in Software | Posted on 02-11-2020

October 2020 was a notable month for WordPress lovers, thanks to the release of several products and updates. Read on to keep up with all the latest news!


The 2020 WordPress Annual Survey is out

The team published the 2020 WordPress Annual survey —  to help those who build WordPress to understand more about our software usage and our contributors’ experience. The Annual Survey will be open for at least 6 weeks and is available in French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. The survey results (once complete) will be posted on WordPress.org/news. The 2019 survey results have also been released and can now be viewed as slides or downloaded in PDF format

WordPress Translation celebrations spanned four weeks

The last week of September and most of October were focused on recruiting and encouraging polyglot contributors to the WordPress translation project. What was originally envisioned as a single-day event lasted 24 days! The Polyglots and Marketing Teams are exploring how future mini-events can be supported to continue building the momentum. Recordings of the live talks and interviews with contributors are available on YouTube. Write-ups from the different events are on the WPTranslationDay website.  The Polyglots team is also working on its 2020 survey and is requesting feedback on the questions.

Want to help WordPress speak your own language? Follow the Polyglots team blog and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group

WordPress maintenance and beta releases

The Core team released WordPress 5.5.3 on Oct. 31, following the release of Version 5.5.2 on Oct. 29. Both releases fix several bugs and security issues with WordPress. You can update to the latest version directly from your WordPress dashboard or download it now from WordPress.org.  The team also released WordPress 5.6 Beta 1 on Oct. 20, followed by Beta 2 on Oct. 27. When ready, the final release will include improvements to the editor, auto-updates for major releases, PHP 8 support, and the Twenty Twenty One theme. You can test the Beta versions by downloading them from WordPress.org or using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

Want to be involved in the next release? Follow WordPress 5.6 updates on the development cycle and sign-up for the code review/commit office hours. You can help build WordPress Core by following the Core team blog and joining the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. If you would like to help out with WordPress 5.6 outreach, contact the WordPress Marketing team on the #marketing channel.

Gutenberg 9.2 is released

Version 9.2 of the Gutenberg plugin came out on Oct. 21. This release offers support for video subtitles, the ability to transform selected blocks into the columns block, background patterns in cover blocks, along with several exciting features such as improvements to the widget screen, as well as bug fixes. You can find out more about the Gutenberg roadmap in the What’s next in Gutenberg blog post.

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.

Learn WordPress is gearing up for launch

The Learn WordPress initiative, which offers WordPress video workshops followed by interactive discussions, is aiming to put out two courses by the end of the year as part of its full launch. The team is working on creating courses and is requesting feedback from community members on the planned list of courses.

Want to contribute to Learn WordPress? You can now submit a workshop application (submissions in non-English languages are welcome), apply to become a discussion group leader, organize discussions for your local WordPress meetup group, or update screenshots on existing lesson plans.


Further Reading:

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