6 Surprising Things You Can Do on WordPress.com Without a Plugin 

Posted by download in Software on 26-06-2024

“WordPress” and “plugins” are often thought to be synonymous. The two go together like peanut butter and jam, like summer and watermelon, like yin and yang . . . you get the idea. It often seems like you can’t have one without the other. While plugins are indeed one way to supercharge your WordPress.com site, the truth is that there’s a lot you can do without ever installing a plugin. In fact, I can almost guarantee that our out-of-the-box WordPress.com experience is more powerful than you think.

(Quick reminder: WordPress plugins are available and installable on our Creator and Entrepreneur plans.) 

Today, we’d like to highlight six surprising things you can do with WordPress.com from the moment you start building a website. 

Sell digital products and accept donations 

There’s no plugin needed to make a living or earn some cash on the side by selling digital products like ebooks, songs, or photographs on WordPress.com. With our built-in payment blocks Payment Buttons, Pay with PayPal, and Donations Form, you’re one click away from collecting money on your website. Best of all? Most of these blocks can be used on any plan, including Free, the exception being the PayPal block, which requires the Explorer plan or above. 

Simply connect your Stripe account to get started selling today.

Prevent spam 

Just like the spam comments and messages you’re trying to block, the number of anti-spam plugins has proliferated in recent years. Luckily, you don’t need any of them, because Akismet, an Automattic product, is baked into every WordPress.com website and provided at no extra cost. With advanced filtering that blocks 99.99% of spam, you’ll never have to worry about unwanted visitors again.  

Install SSL certificates 

On WordPress.com websites, SSL certificates are provided free of charge and automatically installed for you. This feature provides important security against hackers and other malicious actors, particularly if your website collects user information of any kind. At other hosts, you’ll often have to either pay extra or install your own (expensive) plugin in order to add an SSL certificate. Not at WordPress.com. Learn more about our SSL process here.  

Send newsletters 

Since 2009 WordPress.com has had the built-in functionality of sending new posts as emails. That’s right, you don’t need a third-party service or platform (like Mailchimp or Substack) to send newsletter emails to your audience. Using a Subscribe block gives visitors a simple and convenient way to enter their email and get your posts right to their inbox. 

You can also set up paywalls (with the Paywall block) and paid content tiers, allowing for multiple subscription levels. Additionally, you can view and manage subscriber details from the Subscribers page (found under “Jetpack” on the left-side menu). Learn more at WordPress.com/newsletters

Embed videos 

Videos can be a vitally important part of your website and content flow, but uploading them can be a pain in the neck—if you’re not using WordPress, that is. If you’re embedding a video from another source, like Vimeo or YouTube, use our built-in blocks of the same name. And here’s a helpful tip: you don’t even need to select the block first. Simply copy and paste the video link right into the editor, and WordPress will automagically do the rest. 

For embedding your original video files (.mov, .mp4, .mwv, etc.), Automattic’s very own VideoPress block offers a straightforward and robust solution. With caption and chapter support, as well as detailed data and insights on views, once you try out VideoPress you won’t look back. This feature is available on Explorer plans and above. 

Insert impressive image galleries 

Well-done imagery on a website can mean the difference between an engaged visitor and a bounced visitor. Rather than experimenting with overly complicated plugins, use the various image blocks that come with WordPress. Our Gallery, Slideshow, and Image Compare blocks are especially fun and offer a range of easy-to-use customizations that don’t overwhelm. Plus, these blocks are always optimized for mobile.   

Start building today 

This is just a sampling of what you can do with WordPress.com. We didn’t even mention some of our favorite blocks, including: table of contents, music/podcast player, countdown timer, tables, and so much more. 

Ready to explore these powerful built-ins? Get started today:  

You may still find that using plugins solves your specific needs a bit better than what’s already built into the editor. If that’s the case, consider our world-class Creator or Entrepreneur plan. 

WordPress 6.6 RC1

Posted by download in Software on 25-06-2024

The first release candidate (RC1) for WordPress 6.6 is ready for download and testing!

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, please evaluate RC1 on a test server or a local environment.

Reaching this phase of the release cycle is a worthy achievement. Release candidates are considered ready for release, testing is still vital to make sure everything in WordPress 6.6 is the best it can be.

You can test WordPress 6.6 RC1 in four ways:

PluginInstall and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin on a WordPress install. (Select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).
Direct DownloadDownload the RC1 version (zip) and install it on a WordPress website.
Command LineUse the this WP-CLI command:
wp core update --version=6.6-RC1
WordPress PlaygroundUse the 6.6 RC1 WordPress Playground instance (available within 35 minutes after the release is ready) to test the software directly in your browser without the need for a separate site or setup.
Please test WordPress 6.6 RC1 in one or more of these four ways.

The current target for the WordPress 6.6 release is July 16, 2024. Get an overview of the 6.6 release cycle, and check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.6-related posts in the next few weeks for further details.

Two notes about changes in the RC period

Hard string freeze: From now until July 16, there is a hard string freeze in place—no strings may change, and no new strings may be committed. That’s to give the Polyglots team time to translate WordPress 6.6 into as many languages as possible before final release.

Two-committer signoff: Commits in the RC period also require two Core committers to sign off on every merge. Since release candidates are supposed to be ready to go, only major fixes and blessed tasks should merge at this late date.

What’s in WordPress 6.6 RC1?

Thanks to your testing and many other contributors‘ up to now, this release includes more than 40 bug fixes for the Editor and more than 40 tickets for WordPress Core.

Get a recap of WordPress 6.6’s highlighted features in the Beta 1 announcement. For more technical information related to issues addressed since Beta 3, you can browse the following links:

Want to look deeper into the details and technical notes for this release? These recent posts cover some of the latest updates:

How you can contribute

WordPress is open source software made possible by a passionate community of people who collaborate on and contribute to to its development. The resources below outline a wide variety of ways you can help the world’s most popular open source web platform, whether or not you have any technical expertise.

Get involved in testing

Testing for issues is critical to making sure WordPress is speedy and stable. It’s also a vital way for anyone to contribute. This detailed guide will walk you through testing features in WordPress 6.6. If you’re new to testing, follow this general testing guide for more details on getting set up.

If you encounter an issue, please report it to the Alpha/Beta area of the support forums. If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, you can also report it on WordPress Trac. Before you do either, you may want to 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

From now until the final release candidate of WordPress 6.6 (scheduled for July 16), the monetary reward for reporting new, unreleased security vulnerabilities doubles. 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

If you build themes, plugins, blocks or patterns, your products play an integral role in extending the functionality and value of WordPress for all users. 

Thanks for continuing to test your themes and plugins with the WordPress 6.6 beta releases. With RC1, you’ll want to finish your testing and update the “Tested up to” version in your plugin’s readme file to 6.6.

If you find compatibility issues, please post detailed information to the support forum.

Help translate WordPress

Do you speak a language other than English? ¿Español? Français? Русский? 日本? हिन्दी? বাংলা? You can help translate WordPress into more than 100 languages.

Release the haiku

We’re here already?
RC1 means three weeks left.
Have some fun—come test!

Props to @meher, @audrasjb for collaborating on this post.

WordPress 6.5.5

Posted by download in Software on 24-06-2024

WordPress 6.5.5 is now available!

This release features three security fixes. Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. This minor release also includes 3 bug fixes in Core.

You can download WordPress 6.5.5 from WordPress.org, or visit your WordPress Dashboard, click “Updates”, and then click “Update Now”. If you have sites that support automatic background updates, the update process will begin automatically.

WordPress 6.5.5 is a short-cycle release. The next major release will be version 6.6 which is scheduled for July 16, 2024.

For more information on WordPress 6.5.5, please visit the HelpHub site.

Security updates included in this release

The security team would like to thank the following people for responsibly reporting vulnerabilities, and allowing them to be fixed in this release:

  • A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability affecting the HTML API reported by Dennis Snell of the WordPress Core Team, along with Alex Concha and Grzegorz (Greg) Ziółkowski of the WordPress security team.
  • A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability affecting the Template Part block reported independently by Rafie Muhammad of Patchstack and during a third party security audit.
  • A path traversal issue affecting sites hosted on Windows reported independently by Rafie M & Edouard L of Patchstack, David Fifield, x89, apple502j, and mishre.

Thank you to these WordPress contributors

This release was led by Aaron Jorbin.

WordPress 6.5.5 would not have been possible without the contributions of the following people. Their asynchronous coordination to deliver maintenance and security fixes into a stable release is a testament to the power and capability of the WordPress community.

Aaron Jorbin, Alex Concha, Andrew Ozz, bernhard-reiter, Colin Stewart, David Baumwald, Dennis Snell, Grant M. Kinney, Greg Ziółkowski, Jb Audras, Jonathan Desrosiers, Matias Ventura, Miguel Fonseca, Peter Wilson, Rajin Sharwar, Scott Reilly, Tonya Mork

How to contribute

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

Already testing WordPress 6.6? The fourth beta is now available (zip) and it contains these security fixes. For more on 6.6, see the beta 3 announcement post. Learn more about testing WordPress 6.6 here.

Props to Paul Kevan, Ehtisham Siddiqui, Alex Concha, Tonya Mork, and Angela Jin for reviewing.

Hot Off the Press: New WordPress.com Themes for June 2024

Posted by download in Software on 24-06-2024

The WordPress.com team is always working on new design ideas to bring your website to life. Check out the latest themes in our library, including great options for crafters, legal firms, and artists.


Craftfully is a magazine-style WordPress theme designed for all things homemade, DIY, crafts, and hobbies. Utilizing plenty of white pace, lighter colors, and playful fonts, this theme delightfully evokes a sense of playfulness and DIY creativity. Below a prominent featured section and newsletter sign-up box, a two-column layout displays the “Latest Posts” as well as a short bio and social links. Craftfully is more than just a theme, it’s a canvas for your imagination.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Though Portia is simple in its design and layout, it sends a powerful message: your firm is the best in the industry. With a focus on conveying professionalism, stability, and dependability, Portia is built with legal firms in mind, but is versatile enough to work for any business that relies on trustworthiness and respectability. You won’t find any rock-the-boat design elements here. It’s all about communicating the right information at the right time.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Kiosko is a sleek and modern WooCommerce theme tailored for online stores specializing in art prints and home goods. With its high contrast black and white design, Kiosko offers a minimalist aesthetic that puts the spotlight on your products. It’s straightforward and effective, meaning you can focus on your art and your sales rather than your infrastructure.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.

Dark Academia

Our newest collection of beautiful, opinionated themes for bloggers, businesses, and creatives.

Dark Academia is a blog theme with a dark, moody aesthetic. Its sophisticated layout will especially stand out to visitors. The sticky left half features your site’s name and the primary navigation menu, while the right half scrolls through your latest posts. This style is perfect for blogs focused on literature, history, and fashion, and it’s naturally deal for those who appreciate the Dark Academia vibe. The elegant and immersive reading experience will make your site memorable for anyone who happens by it.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


OnyxPulse is a sleek WordPress theme with a modern, minimalist design, perfect for blogs about design, future trends, and innovation. Its grid layout and high-contrast visuals are ideal for showcasing cutting-edge content and engaging a tech-savvy audience. The striking black-and-white color palette and sharp design elements are sure to catch your visitors’ eye. For the typography, we’ve opted for Chakra Petch, a square sans-serif font; its sharply tapered corners are a perfect match for this theme.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.

To install any of the above themes, click the name of the theme you like, which brings you right to the installation page. Then click the “Activate this design” button. You can also click “Open live demo,” which brings up a clickable, scrollable version of the theme for you to preview.

Premium themes are available to use at no extra charge for customers on the Explorer plan or above. Partner themes are third-party products that can be purchased for $99/year each on the Creator plan and above.

You can explore all of our themes by navigating to the “Themes” page, which is found under “Appearance” in the left-side menu of your WordPress.com dashboard. Or you can click below:

WP Briefing: Episode 82: WCEU Hallway Track

Posted by download in Software on 24-06-2024

Big events create big moments, and WordCamp Europe 2024 was no exception. Join host Josepha Haden Chomphosy on this episode of the WordPress Briefing as she shares her top insights and favorite highlights from the event. Discover what the WordPress community focused on during this exciting three-day gathering.


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: My friends, another WordCamp Europe is in the books. We had the second-highest number of tickets sold in the history of our event series, with the first being WordCamp Europe in Berlin. But even with that number of tickets sold, that number of people gathering together to talk about WordPress and related things, there were still a lot of people who didn’t get to join us.

[00:01:01] Josepha: For some, that came with experiencing FOMO, but some of you embraced the JOMO of it all. Either way, at this point, there are a good collection of wrap-ups and round-ups going around, so I’m here to tell you a bit about what was buzzing in the hallway track. 

Firstly, everyone was so excited to see old friends and make new ones. Everywhere I turned, I saw WordPressers in clusters catching up, most included new to the crew faces. So we know that we were using the Pac-Man rule that we love so much. But even while they were catching up on the last two, three, four years, they were also talking to each other about how to get more folks to things like this.

Since we all generally agree that your first time meeting other WordPressers can be a truly pivotal moment in your WordPress journey, it was a delight to hear so much brainstorming focused on that. From mentorship to community introduction and the future of our events, the question of how to keep our ecosystem healthy and thriving was a big topic. Does any one of us have all the answers to this? No, but fortunately, we’ve got a global set of thinkers working on this global question. So, together, I’m sure we can come up with some good guesses to try out.

[00:02:21] Josepha: Secondly, I saw a ton of talks and discussions about career development, not only about how to learn more but also how to be a champion for open source in your company, how to advocate for contribution as a best business practice. And what other communities can teach us about how they commit to their user’s continuing education, for lack of a friendlier term.

And boy, do I love a good conversation about how to make working in open source easier, make it more meaningful, and more impactful. I’m in favor of anything that helps to dignify our profession. The front-facing, easy-to-use experience of WordPress, in particular, has been misunderstood to mean that we are a simple piece of software for simple tasks. And that is the way with our mission really. If we succeed at democratizing publishing or learning or commerce for that matter, we are taking the arcane and making it mundane. But simple to use doesn’t mean simple to create. And I want all of our future employers and clients to see that.

[00:03:24] Josepha: And then the final thing that I saw lighting up the hallway track was the idea of bringing life and excitement back to the web. WordPress has been fighting against closed systems for a long time, but as Matt alluded to in his keynote, merely having an open web is still not quite as fun as having an active and dynamic one. And we saw that both in general desire to bring fun back to being online, but also in the fresh variety of demos and workshops that we saw in the fun that was brought to the event. There were new and shocking implementations of Playground, I must say. Which, as far as I can tell, will basically be able to run everything one day.

[00:04:03] Josepha: But at WordCamp Europe, it ran; it powered our second massive hybrid translation event, where we translated something like 50,000 strings. We also had an amazing speed-building duel with an accepted future challenge between Jessica Lychik and Matt Mullenweg. And not for nothing; the way we designed; the way the event area was put together included ways to stop and just have fun.

There was a little grassy area with yard games and smaller pods of chairs for those quick hallway catch-ups that you just don’t get anywhere else. And for me, it was simply lovely to see everyone embracing the fun that was there, but also hearing about how much they wanted to help the web embrace the fun that could be.

[00:04:48] (Music interlude) 

[00:04:55] Josepha: Thanks for listening to my hallway track recap. Hopefully, it caused JOMO, not FOMO. And now, let’s turn our attention to the small list of big things.

[00:05:05] Josepha: First thing on my list is WordPress 6.6 update. So we are reaching the release candidate phase tomorrow. WordPress 6.6 RC1 will be released, so download and join the community helping us to get this release out the door. It is scheduled for July 16th. If you have plugins or themes or any sort of business that uses WordPress, now is the time to get in and test it on a test site. I don’t recommend putting it in production at any point, but come and test it. Help us break it so that we can make sure that it doesn’t break for other people, for the, you know, 43% of the web that uses it when we get it out the door on the 16th. 

The second thing on the list is that we have a WordPress Project Contributor Handbook V2 out there. It aims to be the quintessential resource for everyone in our community. And it will provide a bird’s eye view of where to find key information and different aspects of our community. How it all kind of connects together. And, just like a release, we really need some feedback from you. There is the repo on GitHub where you can go and kind of make inline comments, join the discussion about it. It can be a go-to resource if we look at it together and make sure that it has as much information as clearly stated as you wished you had when you were learning your way around WordPress for the first time. 

[00:06:27] Josepha: The third thing on the list is actually another handbook. So, the Sustainability Team has put together a handbook specifically for events. It’s their first version, and over the past few months, members of that team have been sharing their ideas and experiences on how WordPress community events can be held more sustainably. All this input created a first draft, which eventually became this first version. And so we’ll put a link in the show notes, wander over there, take a look at it, see what some best practices for sustainable events are in the WordPress ecosystem. 

[00:07:02] Josepha: And then the final thing on my list is about WordCamp US. I realize this is a podcast about WordCamp Europe right now. And so it’s odd to think that I’m moving right along into WordCamp US. However, there is a deadline coming up. July 1st is the last day to sign up to be a volunteer at this event. It’s taking place this year in Portland, Oregon, on the west side of the US. And it should be a really fun time. It’s middle of September. Come on out there. Learn about WordPress. Learn about contribution. Maybe get some voodoo donuts. You know, the important things. 

And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. 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 had questions about what you heard, you can share those with me at WPBriefing@WordPress.org. I am 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. 

[00:08:06] (Music outro) 

Five Takeaways from WordCamp Europe 2024 (From a First-Time WordCamp Attendee)

Posted by download in Software on 20-06-2024

This year’s WordCamp Europe was held in Torino, Italy, the capital city of the Piedmont region in northern Italy. Torino is known for its rich automotive history, beautiful architecture, and, of course, incredible food.

From June 13-15, 2024, over 2,500 folks from the WordPress community, including many of us from the WordPress.com team, came together to learn, connect, and give back to the WordPress project that powers over 43% of the entire internet.

I joined the WordPress.com team back in January of this year, so WordCamp Europe 2024 was my first WordCamp experience. In today’s post, I thought it might be interesting to hear about the conference from a first-timer, especially if you’re considering attending a WordCamp or WordPress meetup in the future. 

Here are my top five takeaways from my very first WordCamp:

1. In-person connection is powerful.

If your typical workday looks similar to mine––sitting at a desk at your house all day by yourself––going to a conference as large as WordCamp Europe may be a wee bit out of your comfort zone. It certainly was out of mine.

That said, I’ve recently found myself craving in-person connection after the pandemic and working almost exclusively from home for over eight years. Not only did attending this conference just get me out of my normal routine, it allowed me to connect with folks who love the tool I’ve used personally and professionally for over a decade: WordPress.

folks talking around a stand at the WordPress.com booth at WordCamp Europe 2024 with blue and green walls and the WordPress logo

I staffed the WordPress.com booth, so I had a ton of opportunities to chat with other business owners, developers, creators, and makers over the course of the conference. I actually talked with a few fellow self-taught women developers like me, and I walked away feeling inspired, motivated, and just really thankful to be a part of this community.

But the best conversations happened in places I wouldn’t have expected: over spritzes, grabbing a cafe at the venue, or just walking around the city.

Embracing connection was a big focus of Matt’s final keynote speech during the event, and I couldn’t agree more. Events like WordCamps allow for swapping ideas, collaborating and troubleshooting, and experiencing a sense of community that you just don’t get while sitting behind a computer. 

That said, if large-scale conferences like a flagship WordCamp just aren’t for you, try checking out a local WordPress meetup to connect with other like-minded folks in your community.

2. It takes a ton of people to make WordCamps great.

One of the most moving parts of WordCamp Europe was at the very end when all of the volunteers and organizers were called to the stage; it’s truly amazing just how many people need to be involved to make an event like WordCamp actually happen.

People in black tshirts on a stage with a blue background and other people sitting in chairs facing the stage
Screenshot from the WordCamp Europe 2024 livestream on YouTube

Everything was smooth and well-organized, and the volunteers and organizers could not have been more helpful. Their enthusiasm about the event, WordPress, and community in general throughout the conference was infectious.

WordCamps and local WordPress meetups are always looking for volunteers; donating your time and expertise for events and meetups like this are a great way to give back to the WordPress project and community.

And if you’re an organizer of your local WordPress meetup, check out this post for information on how you can get a free WordPress.com website for your local meetup.

3. Contributor Day isn’t intimidating for a first-timer.

I’ve never contributed to WordPress core, but it was one of my goals for this year. That’s why I was so excited to participate in Contributor Day at WordCamp Europe.

If you’re unfamiliar with Contributor Day, it’s an event that usually kicks off a WordCamp. Teams focus on contributing to the WordPress open source project, with groups focused on code, support, translations, sustainability, inclusion, and more.

After listening to all of the team presentations, I decided to join the Accessibility team. Accessibility is something that has always interested me, but it’s also something I don’t have a ton of experience with.

That said, my inexperience wasn’t just accepted, it was actively welcomed.

people sitting around circular tables and #wceu on a wall

Once I got to the Accessibility team table, I was immediately greeted and welcomed. Then I paired with a fellow contributor, Marco Acato from Acato Digital Agency, to test the accessibility of a new theme for the WordPress theme repository.

I learned so much, asked a ton of questions, and felt surprisingly accomplished after just a few hours of testing this theme. We were actually able to publish feedback for the theme developer at the end of the day as well. 

Contributor Day gave me an even deeper appreciation for the entire community that supports the WordPress project every single day. So much work and effort goes into maintaining and improving this tool that millions of websites across the world rely on to run their businesses, amplify their messages, and stay in touch with others. I felt so grateful to have been a part of it during Contributor Day and would encourage any other first-timers to attend a Contributor Day in the future as well.

Luckily, WordPress core is always looking for volunteers and contributors; check out this guide or the new Contributor Mentorship Program if you’re interested in becoming a contributor yourself.

4. Torino was a great host city, and the WordCamp team made navigating a new city easy.

Between attending Contributor Day and sessions, to checking out sponsor booths and attending side events, I didn’t think we’d have a ton of time to actually see the city or Torino.

I actually had plenty of time to explore with my coworkers, eat pizza every single day, and scope out the best gelato spots outside of conference hours. 

a gelato cup filled with two different colors of gelato with a spoon sticking out of it

The WordCamp Europe team did a great job preparing attendees to make the most of our time in the city as well; their travel guides helped me feel confident navigating the city and finding some of the foods that come from this area in Italy.

As a first-timer in Torino, I really appreciated the extra work that the WordCamp team did to ensure everyone had a chance to explore and experience the city.

5. Pizza really is poetry.

I would be remiss to not mention the food that we ate during our time in our host city! While we like to say that “Code is poetry” around here, so is pizza. 

One of my very favorite memories from the event was the branding. The design team for WordCamp Europe 2024 added subtle nods to our host country throughout the venue, which was incredibly clever and well-done.

a sign that says 'Code is Poetry (...but so is pizza)' and #wceu

And while pizza is indeed poetry, it’s even better when shared amongst coworkers, friends, and people who get excited about the same things that excite you.

five people sitting at a table with three large pizzas on top

Wrapping up

I loved my time at WordCamp Europe, and I’m already looking forward to the next time I can connect face-to-face with the WordPress community. 

Were you at WordCamp Europe this year? Leave a comment with your favorite memory from the event below.

WordPress 6.6 Beta 3

Posted by download in Software on 18-06-2024

WordPress 6.6 Beta 3 is here! Please download and test it.

This beta 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—you risk unexpected results if you do.

Instead, test Beta 3 on a local site or a testing environment in any of these four ways:

PluginInstall and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin on a WordPress install. (Select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).
Direct DownloadDownload the Beta 3 version (zip) and install it on a WordPress website.
Command LineUse this WP-CLI command:
wp core update --version=6.6-beta3
WordPress PlaygroundUse a 6.6 Beta 3 WordPress Playground instance to test the software directly in your browser. This might be the easiest way ever—no separate sites, no setup. Just click and go! 
Four ways to test WordPress Beta 3.

The target release date for WordPress 6.6 is July 16, 2024. Your help testing Beta and RC versions over the next four weeks is vital to making sure the final release is everything it should be: stable, powerful, and intuitive.

If you find an issue

If you run into an issue, please share it in the Alpha/Beta area of the support forums. If you are comfortable submitting a reproducible bug report, you can do so via WordPress Trac. You can also check your issue against a list of known bugs.

The bug bounty doubles in the beta period

The WordPress community sponsors a financial reward for reporting new, unreleased security vulnerabilities. That reward doubles between Beta 1, which landed June 4, and the final Release Candidate (RC), which will happen July 9. Please follow the project’s responsible-disclosure practices detailed on this HackerOne page and in this security white paper.

The work continues

Catch up with what’s new in 6.6: check out the Beta 1 announcement for the highlights.

Beta 3 packs in more than 50 updates to the Editor since the Beta 2 release, including 39 tickets for WordPress core:

The beta cycle is all about fixing the bugs you find in testing.

Do you build themes? Feedback from testing has already prompted a change in the way you offer style variations to your users.

In Beta 1, if you made preset style variations for your theme, it automatically generated a full set of color-only and type-only options your users could mix and match across the different variations.

In Beta 3, your theme no longer generates those options automatically—you do. So you can present a simpler set of choices, curated to guide users’ efforts to more pleasing results. For more insight into the rationale, see this discussion.

Thanks again for this all-important contribution to WordPress!

Props to @meher, @rmartinezduque, @atachibana, and @mobarak for collaboration and review.

A Beta 3 haiku

Beta ends at 3
One more week, then comes RC
When we freeze the strings!

Host Your WordPress Meetup Site for Free on WordPress.com

Posted by download in Software on 16-06-2024

WordPress has always been built around its community, and local meetups are a huge part of it.

To encourage even more in-person connection, we’re happy to let you know that you can now host your WordPress meetup for free on WordPress.com and access all of the benefits of our popular Creator plan. You’ll get a free domain name, unlimited bandwidth, and the web’s best spam and security protection so you can focus on the real magic of WordPress: the community. 

At WordCamp Europe 2024 yesterday, Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of the WordPress project, gave a keynote where he talked about 11 important opinions to keep in mind while working on WordPress. Unsurprisingly, most of these opinions revolve around the craving for human connection. So when Matteo Spirandelli, co-organizer of WordPress Meetup Milano, asked in the Q&A whether their meetup could have a complimentary WordPress.com site, my answer was an emphatic “yes!”

Connecting with your local WordPress community is a great way to foster those connections, and WordPress.com wants to help by offering free websites on our Creator plan for local WordPress meetups.

If you are an organizer of an existing WordPress meetup, here’s how you can redeem your complimentary website:

  1. Create a free account and site on WordPress.com (if you don’t have one already).
  2. Send an email to help@wordpress.com and mention that you’d like a free Creator plan for your WordPress meetup. Please include the following information:
    1. The email address for your WordPress.com account.
    2. The city and state where you hold your local meetup.
    3. The link to your current meetup website (if you already have one).
    4. Whether you’d like help migrating your existing site (if you have one).

Ready to get involved with your local WordPress meetup?

Ready to join your local WordPress community? Find a WordPress meetup in your area to connect with other writers, business owners, developers, and folks from all walks of life. Here are a few of the upcoming events around the globe:

The WordPress project also has a great guide to starting your own WordPress meetup.

It was truly a pleasure to connect so many of you at WordCamp Europe 2024. We’ll see you at WordCamp US in Portland, Oregon in September!

The WordPress.com booth at the 2024 WordCamp Europe with staff speaking to attendees

Highlights from WordCamp Europe 2024

Posted by download in Software on 15-06-2024

2,584 attendees participated in the 12th annual WordPress event in Europe, held at the Lingotto Conference and Exhibition Centre in Torino, Italy.

The Mole Antonelliana in Torino, illuminated to celebrate WordCamp Europe 2024

From June 13-15, 2024, WordPress enthusiasts from across the globe gathered in Torino to explore and celebrate the world’s most popular web platform. A dedicated team of 250 volunteers, led by WordCamp veterans Wendie Huis in ‘t Veld, Juan Hernando, and Takis Bouyouris, organized and produced the event.

Impact in Action on Contributor Day

Contributor Day brought together 726 contributors working across 25 teams to support the WordPress project. Their accomplishments included translating 79,059 “strings” for the WordPress user interface across 29 languages, updating documentation for the forthcoming 6.6 release, onboarding new contributors for the support forums and testing teams, and identifying ways to improve plugin security.

Contributors gathering during WCEU 2024 Contributor Day

Sustainable open source is the future

Keynote presenters, Joost de Valk and Juliette Reinders Folmer

Joost de Valk and Juliette Reinders Folmer delivered the event’s opening keynote address on sustaining open source software projects. Their keynote covered funding open source, contributing beyond code, and convincing buyers in commercial enterprises that open source is a viable alternative to proprietary platforms.

Two days of engaging sessions

Friday and Saturday saw 60 presentations and workshops held across three tracks. Topics included WordPress development, accessibility, design, business, community, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.

Speed Build Session
Connect Series

A youth workshop gave younger attendees hands-on opportunities to build WordPress websites, explore new tech, and learn about internet safety. Meanwhile, a wellness-themed track included yoga lessons and walking tours of Torino, encouraging attendees to step away from their screens and explore the beauty of this year’s host city.

Mid-year project update

WordPress Cofounder Matt Mullenweg shared a mid-year project update on WordPress and concluded by fielding questions from the audience on various topics, from Gutenberg Phases to the WordPress Playground, and acknowledging a request to escalate a bug fix.

Matt’s presentation highlighted the success of the contributor mentorship program and WCEU Contributor Day, demoed Translate Live, and shared an update on the Data Liberation initiative. 

Matt also covered the latest innovations with WordPress Playground, highlighted performance gains, and previewed features anticipated in 6.6, like rollbacks and zoomed-out view.

WordPress Cofounder Matt Mullenweg

Acknowledging an exciting new trend in the WordPress community, Mullenweg discussed “speed build challenges,” where onlookers watch WordPress experts build websites in real-time, showcasing tips, shortcuts, and best practices. One such event took place during a WCEU session, and in the Q&A portion of Matt’s presentation, he was invited to participate in one–an invitation he accepted!

Matt reflected on WordPress reaching its 21st anniversary since he and Mike Little launched the first version in 2003. He shared 11 things to ensure that WordPress remains sustainable for decades to come:

  1. Simple things should be easy and intuitive, and complex things possible.
  2. Blogs and dynamic sites are better.
  3. Documentation should be wiki-easy to edit.
  4. Forums should be front and center.
  5. Plugins and themes with community infrastructure.
  6. Great theme previews and diverse aesthetics.
  7. We can’t over-index for guidelines and requirements.
  8. Feedback loops are so important.
  9. Core should be opinionated and quirky.
  10. If you make WordPress, use WordPress.
  11. Stay close to our end-users
Watch Matt’s project update on the WordPress YouTube channel

Closing remarks

In their closing remarks, the event organizers expressed gratitude for the endorsements of the European Parliament, the city of Torino, and Turismo Torino, the regional tourism board. The volunteer team was celebrated for their hard work in producing the event. 

Closing out a robust three days of programming, the organizing team announced that WordCamp Europe 2025 would be held in Basel, Switzerland, from June 5 to 7, 2025. The announcement was met with hearty applause and plans to meet in a year’s time.

Attendees gather for a photo at WCEU in Torino

Stay connected

WordPress events enable technologists, open source enthusiasts, and community members around the globe to meet, share ideas, and collaborate to drive WordPress and the open web forward.

Mark your calendars for WordCamp US (Portland, Oregon, United States), State of the Word (Tokyo), and next year’s WordCamp Asia in Manila!

This post is a collaboration between the contributors who produce content for wordpress.org/news and the WordCamp Europe Communications team.

WordPress.com Partner Spotlight: Do the Woo 4.0

Posted by download in Software on 14-06-2024

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Bob Dunn, founder of Do the Woo, a podcast channel elevating voices of the WooCommerce and WordPress community.

It was early 2023, and I’d been searching for the perfect direction for Do the Woo, the podcast and site we first launched in 2016. I’d made some small steps, but I hadn’t yet found the grand recipe. I just knew that with the shows changing format, the site needed to as well.

Finally, it came to me, as clear as day. 

If I was going to do a major site redesign, I wanted it to be built on blocks. I wanted a full-site editor. And I wanted a hosting platform that would take care of things so I could focus on the content. That meant WordPress.com. 

So that fall, around the time of WordCamp US, I sent Matt Mullenweg a message. Just as I’d shared ideas with Matt in the past, I did so now—except now was my vision for the next Do the Woo, and the platform I thought it should be built upon. Incredibly, he saw what I saw, and not long after a dream partnership formed: I began working with WordPress.com’s special projects team on the next version of Do the Woo. 

Between then and now, a lot has happened. A lot of wireframes, a lot of discussion, a lot of iteration. The WordPress.com team has done incredible work throughout. During my visit to CloudFest in Germany, we even soft-launched the new site. But now it’s official. Today, on the first day of WordCamp Europe, I’m excited to announce Do the Woo 4.0: the podcast by WordPress and WooCommerce builder and business community, for the community. 

There are so many things I could tell you about the new site, but it’s all right there on DotheWoo.io, so head over there to learn about our launch. And stay tuned—there’s lots of exciting stuff in the works. 

This wouldn’t have happened without the folks from WordPress.com, WooCommerce, and Jetpack. I’m thrilled with what they’ve done with the site, and even more thrilled that my new home is on WordPress.com. I can’t wait for you to join our journey. Let’s do the Woo!