Site-Building Made Simple: Introducing the Public Pattern Library 

Posted by download in Software on 10-04-2024

When it comes to website-building, WordPress themes set your site up for success by providing stylish, preselected options for fonts, colors, and layouts. Even though themes provide the overall aesthetic, you still need to build out the posts, pages, and templates on your site. That’s where block patterns come in!

The WordPress.com Pattern Library is your new go-to resource for finding any kind of pattern for your beautiful WordPress website. With hundreds of pre-built patterns to choose from across over a dozen categories, you’ll be covered no matter your website’s specific needs. 

What are patterns?

Block patterns are collections of blocks made to work seamlessly with our modern themes. Need an “About” page? Check. A gallery? Check. A testimonial? Check. How about a newsletter? Check. We have just about anything you’ll need. 

Best of all: for each pattern, the fonts, colors, and spacing will adapt to your theme’s settings, making for a cohesive look. Still, patterns aren’t locked or static either—after you’ve added the pattern to your post, page, or template, you can tweak it however you like. 

A tour of the Pattern Library 

This new public Pattern Library allows you to browse, preview, and easily share or implement whichever design speaks your tastes. Let’s take a look around. 

Browse all categories 

A screenshot of the "Categories" section on the WordPress.com Pattern Library.

If you want to explore the Pattern Library and don’t have anything in particular that you’re looking for, click through each category to spark some ideas. 

Search for what you need 

At the top, you’ll find a fast and easy-to-use search box, allowing you to find exactly what you need. This is a great option if you don’t feel like browsing and want to jump right into a solution for your specific needs. 

Explore page layouts 

Sometimes you just need the components of a post, page, or template: a header, a “Subscribe” box, a store module, etc. Other times, you want to be able to copy and paste an entire page into existence. Scroll down past the categories and you’ll find our full-page patterns for whole pages: About, Blog, Contact, Store, and more. 

Test the mobile responsiveness for each pattern

When looking through the library on a desktop or laptop device, you’ll see a gray vertical bar next to each pattern. That’s a nifty little slider that we’ve built into the library which allows you to see how each pattern responds to different screen sizes. Using your cursor to move the bar to the left, you’ll see what that design looks like on a mobile device; in the middle is where most tablets fall; and scroll back all the way to the right for the desktop/laptop version. 

Copy and paste to your website 

Like what you see? Simply click the blue “Copy pattern” button, open the WordPress.com editor to the post, page, or template you’re working on, and paste the design. It’s that easy. Once inserted, you can customize each block as needed using the right sidebar. 

Your new favorite page-building tool

The Pattern Library is especially useful if you build websites for clients. Each pattern is built to work with any theme that follows our technical standards, speeding up page-building not just for you but also for your clients—all while maintaining the overall style of your theme. 

In concrete terms, this means that our patterns take font, color, and spacing settings from the theme itself rather than using standard presets. This makes it far less likely for a site to break (or just look off) when you—or a client—experiment and make updates. 

Our goal is always to make your life both easier and more beautiful. This new resource does just that. Check out the WordPress.com Pattern Library today to enhance your website-building experience! 

WordPress 6.5.2 Maintenance and Security Release

Posted by download in Software on 10-04-2024

Note: Due to an issue with the initial package, WordPress 6.5.1 was not released. 6.5.2 is the first minor release for WordPress 6.5.

This security and maintenance release features 2 bug fixes on Core, 12 bug fixes for the Block Editor, and 1 security fix.

Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. Backports are also available for other major WordPress releases, 6.1 and later.

You can download WordPress 6.5.2 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 6.5.2 is a short-cycle release. The next major release will be version 6.6 and is currently planned for 16 July 2024.

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 Avatar block type; reported by John Blackbourn of the WordPress security team. Many thanks to Mat Rollings for assisting with the research.

Thank you to these WordPress contributors

This release was led by John Blackbourn, Isabel Brison, and Aaron Jorbin.

WordPress 6.5.2 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, Aki Hamano, Andrei Draganescu, Artemio Morales, Caleb Burks, colind, Daniel Richards, Dominik Schilling, Fabian Kägy, George Mamadashvili, Greg Ziółkowski, Isabel Brison, Jb Audras, Joe McGill, John Blackbourn, Jonathan Desrosiers, Lovekesh Kumar, Matias Benedetto, Mukesh Panchal, Pascal Birchler, Peter Wilson, Sean Fisher, Sergey Biryukov, Scott Reilly

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 John Blackbourn, Ehtisham S., Jb Audras, and Angela Jin for proofreading.

10 WordPress Influencers to Follow in 2024  

Posted by download in Software on 09-04-2024

In this “Build and Beyond” video, Jamie Marsland highlights 10 WordPressers to keep an eye on in 2024. 

A couple of weeks ago, we shared a list of 15 WordPress developers you should follow to stay on top of WordPress development news and tips. This video broadens the scope and features folks worth following, regardless of your role or experience with WordPress. If you’re at all interested in or curious about WordPress, these are folks to pay attention to.

Interested in a free trial that allows you to test our all that WordPress.com has to offer? Click below:

Remkus de Vries

Remkus is a well-known figure in the WordPress community, recognized for his contributions to WordPress development and his overall expertise in web technology.

Website | YouTube

Kevin Geary

Kevin helps digital agency owners, freelancers, and web designers to learn best practices for UX/UI design, development, and CSS.

Website | YouTube

Tyler Moore

Tyler has free video lessons on YouTube that teach people how to create their own professional website without any coding experience.

Website | YouTube

Sabrina Zeidan

Sabrina is a WordPress performance engineer, who’s daily work is to speed up WordPress websites, plugins, and themes.

YouTube

Mike McAlister

Mike is a designer and principal software engineer from the USA. He builds killer products and brands that people love, including the fantastic Ollie WordPress theme.

Website | X (Twitter)

Jonathan Jernigan

Jonathan runs a small web development agency, creates courses, and makes YouTube videos. He started is WordPress-focused YouTube channel in late 2018.

Website | YouTube

Birgit Pauli-Haack

Birgit works as developer advocate for WordPress, curates community voices on Gutenberg Times, and co-hosts the Gutenberg Changelog podcast.

Website | X (Twitter)

David McCan

For the past 20 years David has worked professionally developing websites and in IT management.

Website | Facebook

Paul Charlton

Paul has over 15 years of commercial web design and development experience working on a large range of diverse projects, with clients ranging from start-ups to blue-chip companies.

Website | YouTube

Matt Medeiros

The WP Minute, founded by Matt, is a website dedicated to delivering the most important news and topics from the WordPress ecosystem, keeping WordPress professionals informed, educated, and entertained.

Website | Podcast

Imran Sadiq

Imran has 17+ years of web design and marketing experience. His YouTube channel has over 55k YouTube subscribers.

Website | YouTube

Rich Tabor

Rich describes himself as a multidisciplinary maker specializing in the intersection of product, design, and engineering.

Website | X (Twitter)

Jamie Marsland

Jamie has trained over 5,000 people on WordPress in the past 10 years, and he also makes WordPress plugins. His YouTube channel is dedicated to helping people with WordPress Blocks.

Website | YouTube

Streamlining Your Content Creation: Adding Images From Your Phone With Ease

Posted by download in Software on 04-04-2024

The internet is rife with small annoyances, which often lead to breakthroughs in user experience. For example, needing to hit “refresh” or “next page” led to infinite scroll, which is now baked into our media consumption habits. 

Today, we’re excited to share a new feature in the desktop editor and Jetpack mobile app that eliminates one of those small annoyances and makes it a breeze to upload media to your WordPress posts and pages.   

While working in the editor on your laptop or desktop device, you can now seamlessly add photos directly from your phone. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Insert an “Image” or “Gallery” Block on your post/page. 
  2. Click “Select Image”: From the dropdown menu, select “Your Phone.”
  1. Use your phone to scan the QR code: This will automatically open the Jetpack app and then your photo library. 
  2. Choose your image(s): From there, simply click the image or images you wish to add to your post/page.
  3. Click “Add”: Watch your image(s) automagically appear in your desktop editor.

Check it out in action below:

We hope this will inspire you to snap even more photos and share them with the world. 

WP Briefing: Episode 76: A WordPress 6.5 Sneak Peek

Posted by download in Software on 02-04-2024

Join WordPress Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, as she offers an exclusive preview of the upcoming WordPress 6.5 release, accompanied by special guest Dave Smith, one of the Editor Tech leads for this release. Don’t miss this opportunity for an insider’s look!

Credits

Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Guest: Dave Smith
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry and Nicholas Garofalo
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes

Transcript

[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) 

[00:00:39] Josepha: Dave, I’m so excited to have you here with us today. Welcome.

[00:00:42] Dave: Thank you. I’m really excited to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me on.

[00:00:46] Josepha: Yeah. So before we get much further, how about you tell us a little bit about what you do on the WordPress project? And if I recall correctly, that you have a role on the release squad. So just let us know a bit about what that role is and what that looks like.

[00:01:00] Dave: Sure. Absolutely. Well, obviously said I’m Dave Smith. I’m from England in the United Kingdom, and I am full-time contributor to WordPress. I’ve focused primarily on the Block Editor during that time. And I’ve been doing it for about three years now. And fortunately for me, I am sponsored by Automattic, so that allows me to contribute full-time to the project, which is fantastic.

But my history of WordPress goes back a fair way longer than that, and I used to work in agency land, and so I used WordPress for making things for a living before I worked in WordPress if you see what I mean. 

[00:01:35] Josepha: I, no, I definitely understand. I also was agency before WordPress. 

[00:01:40] Dave: I think it’s a common origin story, if you see what I mean. And yes, you’re absolutely right. I’ve been fortunate enough in this release, WordPress 6.5, to be the Co-editor Tech Lead. Obviously alongside my colleague which is Riad Benguella. Some of you may know him. He is the lead architect of Gutenberg. So yeah, it’s been fantastic to work alongside him.

[00:02:00] Josepha: Yeah, excellent. One of these days, I’m going to get Riad on here. I think I’ve never had him on.

[00:02:05] Dave: Oh, you should definitely. 

[00:02:06] Josepha: He’s so kind and reasonable. And I was just gonna tell a personal anecdote about Riad, and I don’t know that it makes any sense, but I’m gonna do it anyway. I’m gonna do it anyway. I saw him at an event like right after he came back from his most recent sabbatical, and he was like, it was great being away, but also like, I had forgotten what kind of energy events like this really bring in.

And he has always struck me as an introvert, but I think maybe he’s like an outgoing introvert or something. Cause normally, like, introvert introverts are not like, this gives me so much energy. They’re like, I know that this is important work, and I’m here. And so that’s my personal anecdote about Riad, I am, gonna get him on here someday, but be that as it may, we’re delighted to have you.

So, 6.5 is coming out are you excited, number one?

[00:02:54] Dave: I am very excited. Yeah, it’s been a long road into this release. As you may know, well, as you do know, it’s, it was delayed by one week. That was actually, I think was, was a good decision. We’ve had a lot of work needing to go into the Font Library feature. I’ve seen a few posts saying there were bugs.

[00:03:09] Dave: I think mainly it was a decision about where to upload fonts to, which seems quite amazing when you think about it. I was talking to my wife about it the other day, and she said, really, you’re delaying a release because of where to upload things. But, yeah, this is software that runs a considerable part of the web.

So when we make these decisions about where things uploaded, we’ve got to be really confident that they are the right decisions. And so, yeah, that decision to delay the release has been good. And we’ve had an opportunity to make sure the release is fully robust and ready to go out. So yeah, I’m super excited to see it land.

[00:03:40] Josepha: Yeah. I have some follow up questions about just like, how doing all of that work in public feels. But probably, we should get through the bulk of the sorts of things that people tune into this episode for, so like, let’s talk about some of the big features that are going into 6.5 so that folks have a sense for that.

And then we’ll take a look at just like things that you’re excited to get in, things that I’m excited to get in. And maybe like if there’s a hidden surprise for users, things that will be really beneficial to users, but they don’t quite see it yet. We can maybe cover that too, but like, what are the big things going into this release from your perspective?

[00:04:17] Dave: Sure. There’s some highlights, I think that the key highlights, and we should probably cover them. So the first one we’ve already touched on it is the Fonts Library. And this has been brewing for a while now, and it’s finally come to fruition. And it basically allows you to manage, install, and upload custom fonts for use on your website. And it’s really, really powerful. It’s, I think it’s going to really change the way people create themes and create their websites. It is unlocking a lot of power for users.

[00:04:46] Josepha: And for folks who’ve been listening to this podcast for a long time, you have heard me say for, I think, like a year, basically every release podcast where we’re looking at what’s coming up. I’m like, and this time it’s fonts. I’m so excited. And so I’m saying it again this time, ’cause it’s really happening this time.

[00:05:03] Dave: It’s finally here. Yeah, it’s a great feature. There’s a lot of work gone into it. It’s really, really good.

[00:05:07] Josepha: So much work. We’ve been working on it for like two or three years. And it’s at the point where like getting it out in front of people is the only way to figure out where the remaining problems will be. And it is the most scary part of any software release, I assume, the things where you’re like, this is time for people to tell us how it’s broken. Please look at it and break it for a while.

[00:05:29] Dave: Yeah, absolutely. We’ve been working on resolving any bugs that we could find, but there’s always going to be things we haven’t noticed. So yeah, we can’t wait for users to get their hands on it. Exactly. Other than fonts, we’ve also got revisions that are now in place in the Site Editor. And this is more than just undo, redo that people may be already familiar with in the editor.

It actually gives you the ability to fully revert your site back to any state that you previously had it. So you could make some changes in the editor. You could completely close down your computer, go away for a week, come back. And you’ve still got the opportunity to say, “Ah, do you know what? I don’t like the way that looks. I’m just gonna; I’m gonna roll that back.” And there’s a nice UI that shows you what it will affect. And you can even roll back styles, you know, like style changes. So it’s, it’s super, super powerful. And it’s just something we’ve been waiting for for such a long time. Just, it’s fantastic to see it land.

[00:06:17] Josepha: I’m really excited about this one personally because I have been to so many meetup events with like new users being taught how to do things with WordPress. And invariably, in the last two or three years, the people who are presenting to new users are saying consistently like, “You can do any experimental thing that you feel like you need to do with your sites because there’s an undo button. WordPress wouldn’t let you do things that fully break your site.”

Like there is a lot of trust in our kind of like time machine, roll-it-back kind of implementations. And so I’m really excited about this one. I think that for all of our new and mid-level users. Who like, have a little bit of fear, but mostly joy around it. Like, this will only increase that and so I’m super excited for this one to go in there.

[00:07:09] Dave: Yeah, it’s really nice. Other than that, the two things I wanted to touch on as well, which is we’ve got these new views now for key objects in WordPress. So things like pages, patterns, templates, and template parts in the Site Editor. You can now view these in a sort of a table layout or in a grid layout. So it gives you a much easier way to sort them, find them, filter them. And I think it points us forward to the possibilities we’ve got in the future for the editor sort of taking some parts of WP Admin and making them more accessible without having to leave the Site Editor. And it’s extremely powerful; you can search in real-time, find things very, very quickly, do all the things you’re used to from the post listing screen, but all within the Site Editor. And it’s for these key objects that you use quite a lot of the time. So I think it’s going to be really, a really great thing for users to get hold of.

[00:07:55] Josepha: Is this related to the Data Views work that we’ve been doing in the first part of the year here?

[00:08:00] Dave: Exactly that exactly. The Data Views work has been a major feed into this, and this is where we see the fruits of all that work coming to the fore for the first time. And I expect to see more of that in future releases as well.

[00:08:12] Josepha: Yeah. For folks who are really, really watching, like, our administrative side of things, you probably are aware that we, I don’t know, I wouldn’t say that we paused the phase three roadmap for this, but I do think that we made a clear choice to get this Data Views work done first so that we could, in parallel with phase three, do a bit of work on the WP Admin redesign, the dashboard redesign, which we all know, like, we love this dashboard, but also this dashboard, it needs a sprucing up, it needs a little bit of, of polish and a little bit of 2024 style I was going to say design. I don’t know if the design folks would love if I just was like, it needs to be modernized that way, but also like it, it does, right?

[00:09:00] Dave: Yeah, and I mean, you know, we all know that the Site Editor is being used more and more. If you’ve got a Block theme, you’re using the Site Editor increasingly, and you’re spending less and less time sort of going between screens in WP Admin. So it makes sense that, you know, these things are accessible within that one interface of the Site Editor. So, yeah, it’s only going to be a good thing for users going forward.

[00:09:20] Josepha: Yeah, absolutely. I probably should have like a whole episode about Data Views and what it’s intending to do, what it’s actually doing, what it’s going to look like as it goes because that’s such a big project. And so many things rely on it. And so, note to self and all listeners, that’s the thing that you should keep an eye out for. We’re going to get it done. But you said you had a final thing also.

[00:09:40] Dave: Yeah, I’ve got one more which is this is for our users of classic themes. We haven’t forgotten about you. Basically, we now have support for appearance tools. So in prior releases, the Block themes have got these really cool design tools like ability to set border colors, border radius, link colors, you name it. We’ve got all these tools, but they haven’t been always available to classic themes. And classic themes can use the Block Editor; they may not be using the Site Editor in the same way, but they can use the Block Editor. And we’ve not made those things available in the same way, but there’s been work going into this release to allow that to happen.

[00:10:11] Dave: So now you can opt into those if you so wish. And it is an opt-in basis. So none your themes will break out of the box if you’ve got classic theme or classic site. But it is a powerful tool to those people who are using classic themes, and that’s completely legitimate.

[00:10:26] Josepha: And so is the opt in like something that you can do for yourself or something that your developer needs to do?

[00:10:32] Dave: You would need to do it in your theme code. So you’d need to do that with PHP. So, your theme developer, if they choose to update their theme and provide support for these things. Then, they would obviously need to test their theme works with those new tools, make sure it’s ready, and then they would ship that update.

And so maybe after 6.5 is released, you may see some themes incrementally adding support. My understanding at the moment is that the core themes, the Block themes, will not automatically add those straight away. I think they need more time to allow them to bed in and more time to get them ready for prime time if you see what I mean, but you know the fact that they’re there and ready means that the wider theme audience and theme developers can start taking advantage of them.

[00:11:15] Josepha: Nice, nice. I have been wondering lately, this is only marginally related, but I’m gonna wonder it out loud anyway. I’ve been wondering lately if like, our classic themes, our most favorite, our most loved classic themes do need a little bit of help moving into a Block theme future. And I think that this will help. I think, on the one hand this will help, and on the other hand, like, what would it take for us to just say, and you’re not the theme person I know, but like, what would it take for us to just say, “These are our top five most favorite, most used, classic themes that we’ve got in WordPress. Let’s rebuild it in blocks and just ship the block version of it and help the classic themes users that love the design, love the look, love the features get introduced to this new block territory so that they can see that not only do they have the look, the feel, the features, but also the flexibility that comes with that and a little bit more feeling of safety as they wander around modifying themes.”

[00:12:18] Josepha: I have no fear of any code changes and didn’t when I started working with WordPress, as opposed to working in WordPress, but I think that that’s not the way that that works right now. Like there’s a whole lot of like, I need to get it right-ish with folks who are using our software. And so I just wonder if that will help everybody feel a little more confident in what they’re doing, knowing they’re not going to break things because we’ve built it so you can’t.

[00:12:45] Dave: It could do, it could do. And I was just thinking as you were talking, like, do we have any themes that already do that? And, of course, we do have 2021. If you can think back that far into the mists of time, we had 2021 classic, which is that it’s called 2021, but we also 2021 blocks, which is doing very much what you’ve just described.

[00:13:03] Dave: So we haven’t pursued that for the new default themes or block themes, but, you know, it might be something to look at for onboarding if there are any of classic themes from the more distant past, you know, maybe some of those could do with a block theme equivalent just to let people on board to that experience and just feel comfortable. Yeah, interesting, interesting. You should definitely talk to the theme people about that.

[00:13:23] Josepha: I’m going to. They’re going to love it. They’re going to be like, Yay! Of course! Of course! I don’t know, actually. I don’t know if anyone ever loves the things that I suggest, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not going to get suggested. I have all these ideas, and they got to come out somewhere. Okay. So do you have something that you worked on that’s not in this big list of features or that you helped people to really shepherd into the release that you think is really cool? Like, maybe it’s not going to be super visible or something, but like that you’ve personally felt was like a cool feature, excited for it to get into the release.

[00:13:53] Dave: Yeah, there are a couple of things, a couple of things at the top of mind. One of them is user-facing and one of them is more developer-facing features. So, I’ll start with the developer feature first. And this one is a change to an API. Now, that API is always a slightly intimidating word, I think, but it just means a set of tools, a standardized set of tools that developers can use to do something. And in this case, it’s the allowed blocks API. 

[00:14:20] Josepha: Sounds so fun. 

[00:14:21] Dave: Yeah, I know it’s riveting, isn’t it? But trust me, it does come with some benefits. So the Navigation block is a good example. It’s a block that acts as a container and it’s got child blocks. Okay. But you can only insert certain blocks. You can insert links, you can insert social icons, you can insert search. But if you want to insert, I don’t know, an Icon block, for example. You can’t do that, but you can with WordPress 6.5 because of the change to the allow box API. And what it allows you to do is say, “I want to additionally allow the following blocks to be inserted as well.”

So as a developer, you can hook into this filter and change those blocks. Now, okay, so far, so good. “What’s the big deal?” you might say, well, it’s open the door, is open the door to some very, very interesting explorations. Some of which I’ve no doubt that you and your listeners would have already encountered. And one is by a colleague of mine called Nick Diego. And I think it’s on the WordPress Developer blog right now. I think he’s done a fantastic inspiration into mega menus in the navigation block. I’m someone who’s worked on the Navigation block extensively in the past, and I’m very aware of how much users want mega menus to be a part of the Navigation block.

[00:15:30] Dave: I was never convinced it was going to be something we were going to do in core, because it requires so many different things. But Nick has actually managed with this allow blocks API and some other tweaks as well to build a mega menu as a plugin for WordPress using the standard Navigation block.

And I think that’s just one example of the utility of this API. But for example, I mentioned that you could add icons to your Navigation block and you can’t really do that at the moment. It’s pretty powerful. It’s kind of hidden away. It’s in the release notes, but it’s not massively clear, but it does open some pretty big doors. And I think if you’re a developer or a theme author, indeed, you should you should definitely be looking into that and see what it enables for you.

[00:16:06] Josepha: Yeah, we’ll put a link to Nick’s post in the show notes, and we’ll share it around the social spaces. So like, I hear you saying it’s buried, it’s hard to see, it won’t necessarily be exciting now, but will be exciting later, but like mega menus and sliders, those are the most contested things that people want to put on sites all the time. Like from my agency days, like when I was thinking in the mindset of a strategist, a data person, that’s what I was doing. Like, I never wanted sliders. I never wanted mega menus because it just implied that we didn’t have a decision about the sites we were making, like we had not decided the primary purpose, and also it was just hard to track, but it was always literally every single time people are like well if Amazon has it why can’t we have it? You’re like, yeah, I know, but they’re Amazon. They’re not the same like mega menus sliders. I know that from a project perspective that we’re like, that should be a theme thing. That should be in theme territory. But I think it makes sense to have in core because so many people want to be able to do it.

[00:17:14] Josepha: And just because like someone like me feels like it’s not the right call for your business doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to make that decision for yourself, you know, I think that’s a, I think that’s a great, a great feature to call out.

[00:17:28] Dave: Yeah, absolutely. I completely agree. I can look for my agency days. I can exactly imagine that sort of thing. We have a lot of people, a problem that a lot of people are facing. So it’s really important that we provide the tools to allow people to do that now. And we can always look at if it’s valid to include it in core later, then we can look at that as well.

Yeah. So that’s, that’s the first one I had. The second one is a little bit more user-facing. I would say it’s hidden away. But I’m not 100 percent sure it is. I mean, Josepha, how often do you create links when you’re working with WordPress?

[00:17:58] Josepha: Like every time that I’m in WordPress.

[00:18:00] Dave: Yeah, exactly. Same here. I do it all the time, right? And a lot of people do. And for a long while, contributors to the editor have been sort of collecting and collating the feedback that’s come in from people about their frustrations with the built in link interface in the Block Editor. So if you’re creating a hyperlink to, you know, hyperlink to another page or, you know, you’re going to link to Nick’s mega menu article, you’re going to be doing that a lot, right?

That’s something that people do when they’re creating content in WordPress. And so we worked a lot to refine that with a contributor who, who you may know, Rich Tabor. Who’s also, I think, on the release squad as well. An influencer in the WordPress space as well. He spent a lot of time looking at the UX and myself and a number of other contributors have spent a lot of time in this release refining that. And I think it’s surprisingly difficult to get right, but I think we’ve, I think we’ve made some nice improvements to that will be nice quality of life for people who, to do this sort of content creation quite a lot.

So there’s things like now when you create the link for the first time, it remains open on the initial creation of the link. So that means you can quickly then easily adjust the link. I mean, it seems obvious, doesn’t it? Yeah, but it’s not happening. It just used to just automatically close, and the people are like, “Hey, I wanted to make more adjustments. “

[00:19:08] Josepha: I wasn’t done yet. 

[00:19:10] Dave: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. We’ve, we’ve streamlined the UI. We’ve removed a lot of clutter, but we’ve also added some useful tools, like ability to copy a link and remove the link directly from the control itself. And lastly along with lots of other accessibility changes in this release. We have worked a lot on refining the implementation.

So that is discoverable for, for users of assistive tech because we spent a lot of time talking to core accessibility team and other people, and they were finding it very hard to perceive that the UI was there because of the way that keyboard interactions work and you’ve got the block toolbar in the way and things like that.

We think we’ve nailed on a really good solution now that works for, not only uses assistive tech, but actually provides benefits for sighted users as well. It’s kind of difficult to talk about. I mean, I have got a video covering this on my YouTube channel, which kind of shows it in a bit more detail, but we’re happy it’s in a much better place.

[00:20:02] Dave: And yeah if people have got feedback about it, and when, when 6.5 comes out, we’re always happy to hear that. And you can go to the WordPress GitHub repository and raise an issue. And one of us will jump on it and see what we can do.

[00:20:13] Josepha: And we can include a link to that video also. So like, for folks where this sounded intriguing, but they don’t quite get the concept, like video content all day, let’s pop it into our show notes. And everybody can take a look at it there. I think that’s a great idea.

[00:20:28] Dave: Great. Yeah, I appreciate that.

[00:20:30] Josepha: So final question, maybe, maybe final question, final planned question. Is there anything from a user-facing perspective again that you feel has not really gotten the airtime that it needs so far? 

[00:20:44] Dave: I think there’s a lot of technical changes that have happened in this release. So it’s easy to look at those. I mean, we’ve covered quite a lot of the key ones that will be user-facing in terms of Font Library and Revisions. We’ve got things that are going to this release that enable things a lot for people to experience in the future, I think, so underlying changes like the Interactivity API becoming public. Now that’s public, plugin developers can start to make sites much more interactive on the front of the site rather than just in the editor. So I think that once 6.5 has gone in, and people have started to explore the Interactivity API in more detail, we might see more plugins offering sort of interactivity on the fronts of their sites. An example is obviously the lightbox you’ve got with images in core, but I can; there’s way more stuff that you can do with that. So we’re going to see more of that. 

[00:21:28] Dave: We’ve got Block Hooks that have landed in 6.5, and this is going to open for things like ecommerce plugins and to be able to add, you know, cart blocks or log in, log out blocks to things like navigation, for example, or you might want a ability to like all your comments, and you can do that with Block Hooks and then a plugin developer can just, you know, when the plugin is enabled, they can just make it so that those things just appear on your site, but you still got control over the design.

So there’s a lot of like hidden things I think are going to uncover new features for users over time as a result of the community getting involved and changing their plugins and themes to do these take advantage of these new tools. 

[00:22:07] Josepha: Yeah, so the Interactivity API, obviously it has “API” on it. And so no one’s thinking, well, this is a user-facing thing. And while the API is not a user facing thing, like, I think that you’re right. That what it enables absolutely is going to be really useful and hopefully really engaging for like end-to-end users, like the users that are not listening to this podcast and they don’t know we exist, like they don’t know that WordPress has a community building it, they’re just like, it exists, there’s a software that came out of nowhere, like, I’m really excited to see how our developers in the community start to use that in their plugins and themes and get that out to end users. I’m really, really excited to see how creative they get with it.

Did you have a final thing?

[00:22:51] Dave: There’s a lot of design changes, I think. I mean, we can’t cover them all, obviously, in verbal form in this podcast, but some things that are just standing out to me if we look at the source of truth for, for WordPress 6.5, it is, it is big. There’s a lot in this release. But there’s some very cool things for, I don’t know, quality. I like to see them as like quality of life design design changes. Things like, if you drop an image, as a background image of a cover block, it automatically sets the overlay color for that cover block to match the most prominent color of the background image. Like things like that, they seem small, but over time, they just, you just drop that thing, and it just does it. And it’s like, this is nice. And it feels like a nice tool to use that just is intuitive. And I think there’s, we’ll see a lot of those things landing in this release that can just make the experience of working with WordPress and working in the Site Editor much, much nicer.

[00:23:41] Josepha: Yeah. I remember when I first ran into that particular thing, it was on the Showcase, our most recent redesign of it. We’re using that functionality in there before it was available in core. Obviously, I know, but it was really fascinating. I’m not great with color combinations. Like, I don’t have a sense for, like, oh, that’s the primary thing. That’s not. And so having that being done kind of automatically so that my stuff looks good anyway, despite what my color sense said to do or not. I thought it was great. Makes you look good as somebody who’s running a business. You don’t have to know how things work in order to have excellently functional, really beautiful things.

[00:24:21] Josepha: And I think that’s a great thing about all of our releases. Obviously, everything is supposed to work that way, but like this one has a lot of really cool things like that available. I think those are really the questions that I had. Is there anything you want to make sure to share before we kind of give last thoughts and head out?

[00:24:39] Dave: Yeah, I was, I was thinking a lot about, you know, the community we’ve got with WordPress, and I think that people outside of WordPress may not really understand that how amazing this community is that we’ve got here, but I wanted to say to people like don’t shy away from contributing to WordPress. I get that, you know, people like myself are fortunate enough to be sponsored to do it. But there’s always something that people can do, even if that’s just spending like 30 minutes testing a release or donating some of your time to run one of the meetings. It can really make a difference overall. Even just filing a bug report for something you see in WordPress 6.5 or testing 6.5 before it goes out, those little things do make a big difference. And if you’re not sure where to go, then we can signpost you with links, no doubt in this, in the podcast description with where where’s to go. But yeah, I just want to encourage people to get involved, basically.

[00:25:27] Josepha: Yeah. And it’s all working out in public, like we’ve got developers, designers, marketing folks, community folks like all doing this work out where everybody can see it. And so that, I know, can look really kind of overwhelming. But I want to just highlight, like, you don’t have to know everything about what’s happening in the project in order to get involved in the project. Like every small bit of contribution toward like finding a new bug or confirming that a bug happens across other devices, other setups, things like that, like those all help make things better and keep things moving as quickly as we are able to make them move. And so, yeah, I’ll second that every little thing that you think like that won’t make a difference. It does. We can’t tell that things are broken or things are working or things are in need of some care unless you highlight those for us. And this is the best way to do it is to show up and give 30 minutes to send out a group testing invite to your meetup group or whatever it is that you all have been thinking you should do, like, this is your sign. You can do it.

[00:26:34] Dave: Everyone should get involved if they can.

[00:26:37] Josepha: I agree. I agree. Dave, this has been such an excellent conversation. Thank you so much for joining me today.

[00:26:42] Dave: Oh, thank you very much. It’s a pleasure.

[00:26:43] (Music interlude) 

[00:26:49] Josepha: What an interesting release we’ve got coming out this week. I’m so glad you all made it this far in the pod, and now it’s time for our small list of big things.

[00:27:00] Josepha: First up, following up on the WordPress meetup reactivation project that we had in 2022, we aim to revive some meetup groups in big cities that are inactive or help the local WordPress community that are not yet part of our meetup chapter program to join our program. There is a post out on the community P2 on the community site. That is titled Asia Meetup Revival Project 2024. I’ll leave a link to that in the show notes if you want to read more about that and figure out how to get involved.

And speaking of getting involved, we have roughly a million meetings. Because it’s a new month, we’re in April now. New month, new opportunities. There are a lot of things happening in April. We will be coming out of a major release, obviously, and so there will be some minor release follow up to do. There will be a lot of discussion about what’s coming next, what’s in trunk, what’s not in trunk. But also a lot of work being done around our next big major events, our next big major training initiatives. There’s just so much happening. Spring is a time when we are looking at stuff that’s new, what we want to invest in, what we want to grow. And so if you have not attended one in a while or even at all if you’ve never attended a meeting in the community, then this is a great time to start and join your fellow community members trying to make WordPress better every day.

[00:28:23] Josepha: And then the final thing on our small list of big things is I am looking at helping to shift the focus of our WordPress marketing community. We’ve had a bit of a struggle over the years to figure out what our primary focus and our primary impact can be. So there’s a post up called ‘Making a WordPress Media Corps’. It’s gotten quite a bit of attention, and I do really think that it has a lot of potential for solving some of the issues that we have and kind of getting some quick wins into our recent history of that team so that we can move forward confidently together. So pop on over, give it a read, share your thoughts. And if you are one of these qualified media partners, also let us know. 

[00:29:08] Josepha: 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. And 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. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. 

WordPress 6.5 “Regina”

Posted by download in Software on 02-04-2024

WordPress 6.5 "Regina"

Say hello to WordPress 6.5 “Regina,” inspired by the dynamic versatility of renowned jazz violinist Regina Carter. An award-winning artist and storied jazz educator known for transcending genre, Regina’s technical foundations in classical music and deep understanding of jazz have earned her the reputation of boldly going beyond what’s possible with the violin. 

Let the stunning twists and subtle turns of Regina’s genre-bending sound surprise you as you explore everything 6.5 offers.

This latest version of WordPress puts more power into the details. It offers new and improved ways to fine-tune and enhance your site-building experience, letting you take control in ways that make it your own. You’ll find new ways to manage your site’s typography, more comprehensive revisions available in more places, and a collection of Site Editor updates paired with impressive performance gains to help you get things done smoother and faster.

“Regina” also marks the introduction of some breakthrough developer tools that will start transforming how you use and extend blocks to craft engaging experiences. The Interactivity API opens up a world of creative front-end possibilities, while the Block Bindings API makes dynamic connections between blocks and data seamless. These, among other developer-focused improvements and updates, are ready to help you evolve how you build with WordPress.

What’s inside 6.5

Add and manage fonts across your site

The new Font Library puts you in control of an essential piece of your site’s design—typography—without coding or extra steps. Effortlessly install, remove, and activate local and Google Fonts across your site for any Block theme. The ability to include custom typography collections gives site creators and publishers more options when it comes to styling content.

Get more from your revisions—including revisions for templates and template parts

Work through creative projects with a more comprehensive picture of what’s been done—and what you can fall back on. Get details like time stamps, quick summaries, and a paginated list of all revisions. View revisions from the Style Book to see how changes impact every block. Revisions are also now available for templates and template parts.

Play with enhanced background and shadow tools

  • Control the size, repeat, and focal point options for background images in Group blocks so you can explore subtle or splashy ways to add visual interest to layouts. 
  • Set aspect ratios for Cover block images and easily add color overlays that automatically source color from your chosen image. 
  • Add box shadow support to more block types and create layouts with visual depth, or throw a little personality into your design.

Discover new Data Views

Every piece of your site comes with a library of information and data—now, you can find what you need quickly and organize it however you like. Data views for pages, templates, patterns, and template parts let you see data in a table or grid view, with the option to toggle fields and make bulk changes.

Smoother drag-and-drop

Feel the difference when you move things around, with helpful visual cues like displaced items in List View or frictionless dragging to anywhere in your workspace—from beginning to end.

Improved link controls

Create and manage links easily with a more intuitive link-building experience, like a streamlined UI and a shortcut for copying links.

What’s fresh for developers in 6.5

Bring interactions to blocks with the Interactivity API

The Interactivity API offers developers a standardized method for building interactive front-end experiences with blocks. It simplifies the process, with fewer dependencies on external tooling, while maintaining optimal performance. Use it to create memorable user experiences, like fetching search results instantly or letting visitors interact with content in real time.

Connect blocks to custom fields or other dynamic content

Link core block attributes to custom fields and use the value of custom fields without creating custom blocks. Powered by the Block Bindings API, developers can extend this capability further to connect blocks to any dynamic content—even beyond custom fields. If there’s data stored elsewhere, easily point blocks to that new source with only a few lines of code.

Add appearance tools to Classic themes

Give designers and creators using Classic themes access to an upgraded design experience. Opt in to support for spacing, border, typography, and color options, even without using theme.json. Once support is enabled, more tools will be automatically added as they become available.

Explore improvements to the plugin experience

There’s now an easier way to manage plugin dependencies. Plugin authors can supply a new Requires Plugins header with a comma-separated list of required plugin slugs, presenting users with links to install and activate those plugins first.

From fast to faster: Performance updates

This release includes 110+ performance updates, resulting in an impressive increase in speed and efficiency across the Post Editor and Site Editor. Loading is over two times faster than in 6.4, with input processing speed up to five times faster than the previous release.

 Translated sites see up to 25% improvement in load time for this release courtesy of Performant Translations. Additional performance highlights include AVIF image support and improvements for registering block variations with callbacks.

A tradition of inclusion

This release includes more than 65 accessibility improvements across the platform, making it more accessible than ever. It contains an important fix that unblocks access to the admin submenus for screen reader users and others who navigate by keyboard. This release also adds fixes to color contrast in admin focus states, positioning of elements, and cursor focus, among many others, that help improve the WordPress experience for everyone.

Learn more about WordPress 6.5

Check out the new WordPress 6.5 page to learn more about the numerous enhancements and features of this release—including short demos of some of the highlighted features.

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

Check out the WordPress 6.5 Field Guide for detailed technical information and developer notes to help you build with WordPress and get the most out of this release. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Developer Blog for developer updates, feature tutorials, and other helpful WordPress content from a developer perspective.

For more information about installation, file changes, fixes, and other updates, read the 6.5 release notes.

The 6.5 release squad

Every release has many moving parts with its own triumphs and challenges. It takes a dedicated team of enthusiastic contributors to help keep things on track and moving smoothly. 6.5 is made possible by a cross-functional group of contributors, always ready to champion ideas, remove blockers, and resolve issues.

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 collaborating to strengthen the software. 

WordPress 6.5 reflects the countless efforts and passion of around 700 contributors in at least 57 countries. This release also welcomed over 150 first-time contributors!

Their collaboration delivered more than 2,500 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 70 locales have translated 90 percent or more of WordPress 6.5 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 and contribute

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.

One more haiku

6.5 is here!
Play, interact, build better,
Stronger and faster.

A Visit to Where the Cloud Touches the Ground

Posted by download in Software on 01-04-2024

Hi there! I’m Zander Rose and I’ve recently started at Automattic to work on long-term data preservation and the evolution of our 100-Year Plan. Previously, I directed The Long Now Foundation and have worked on long-term archival projects like The Rosetta Project, as well as advised/partnered with organizations such as The Internet Archive, Archmission Foundation, GitHub Archive, Permanent, and Stanford Digital Repository. More broadly, I see the content of the Internet, and the open web in particular, as an irreplaceable cultural resource that should be able to last into the deep future—and my main task is to make sure that happens. 

I recently took a trip to one of Automattic’s data centers to get a peek at what “the cloud” really looks like. As I was telling my family about what I was doing, it was interesting to note their perception of “the cloud” as a completely ephemeral thing. In reality, the cloud has a massive physical and energy presence, even if most people don’t see it on a day-to-day basis. 

map of the world with various points marked as data center locations, and lines between to show the connections
Automattic’s data center network. You can see a real-time traffic map right here.

A trip to the cloud

Given the millions of sites hosted by Automattic, figuring out how all that data is currently served and stored was one of the first elements I wanted to understand. I believe that the preservation of as many of these websites as possible will someday be seen as a massive historic and cultural benefit. For this reason, I was thankful to be included on a recent meetup for WordPres.com’s Explorers engineering team, which included a tour of one of Automattic’s data centers. 

The tour began with a taco lunch where we met amazing Automatticians and data center hosts Barry and Eugene, from our world-class systems and operations team. These guys are data center ninjas and are deeply knowledgeable, humble, and clearly exactly who you would want caring about your data.

The data center we visited was built out in 2013 and was the first one in which Automattic owned and operated its servers and equipment, rather than farming it out. By building out our own infrastructure, it gives us full control over every bit of data that comes in and out, as well as reduces costs given the large amount of data stored and served. Automattic now has a worldwide network of 27 data centers that provide both proximity and redundancy of content to the users and the company itself. 

The physical building we visited is run by a contracted provider, and after passing through many layers of security both inside and outside, we began the tour with the facility manager showing us the physical infrastructure. This building has multiple customers paying for server space, with Automattic being just one of them. They keep technical staff on site that can help with maintenance or updates to the equipment, but, in general, the preference is for Automattic’s staff to be the only ones who touch the equipment, both for cost and security purposes.

The four primary things any data center provider needs to guarantee are uninterruptible power, cooling, data connectivity, and physical security/fire protection. The customer, such as Automattic, sets up racks of servers in the building and is responsible for that equipment, including how it ties into the power, cooling, and internet. This report is thus organized in that order.

Power

On our drive in, we saw the large power substation positioned right on campus (which includes many data center buildings, not just Automattic’s). Barry pointed out this not only means there is a massive amount of power available to the campus, but it also gets electrical feeds from both the east and west power grids, making for redundant power even at the utility level coming into the buildings.

two large generators outside a data center
The data center’s massive generators.

One of the more unique things about this facility is that instead of battery-based instant backup power, it uses flywheel storage by Active Power. This is basically a series of refrigerator-sized boxes with 600-pound flywheels spinning at 10,000 RPM in a vacuum chamber on precision ceramic bearings. The flywheel acts as a motor most of the time, getting fed power from the network to keep it spinning. Then if the power fails, it switches to generator mode, pulling energy out of the flywheel to keep the power on for the 5-30 seconds it takes for the giant diesel generators outside to kick in.

flywheel energy storage device
Flywheel energy storage diagram.

Those generators are the size of semi-truck trailers and supply four megawatts each, fueled by 4,500-gallon diesel tanks. That may sound like a lot, but that basically gives them 48 hours of run time before needing more fuel. In the midst of a large disaster, there could be issues with road access and fuel shortages limiting the ability to refuel the generators, but in cases like that, our network of multiple data centers with redundant capabilities will still keep the data flowing.

Cooling

Depending on outside ambient temperatures, cooling is typically around 30% of the power consumption of a data center. The air chilling is done through a series of cooling units supplied by a system of saline water tanks out by the generators. 

Barry and Eugene pointed out that without cooling, the equipment will very quickly (in less than an hour) try to lower their power consumption in response to the heat, causing a loss of performance. Barry also said that when they start dropping performance radically, it makes it more difficult to manage than if the equipment simply shut off. But if the cooling comes back soon enough, it allows for faster recovery than if hardware was fully shut off. 

Handling the cooling in a data center is a complicated task, but this is one of the core responsibilities of the facility, which they handle very well and with a fair amount of redundancy.

Data connectivity

Data centers can vary in terms of how they connect to the internet. This center allows for multiple providers to come into a main point of entry for the building.

Automattic brings in at least two providers to create redundancy, so every piece of equipment should be able to get power and internet from two or more sources at all times. This connectivity comes into Automattic’s equipment over fiber via overhead raceways that are separate from the power and cooling in the floor. From there it goes into two routers, each connected to all the cabinets in that row.

Server area

As mentioned earlier, this data center is shared among several tenants. This means that each one sets up their own last line of physical security. Some lease an entire data hall to themselves, or use a cage around their equipment; some take it even further by obscuring the equipment so you cannot see it, as well as extending the cage through the subfloor another three feet down so that no one could get in by crawling through that space.

server closet in a data center

Automattic’s machines took up the central portion of the data hall we were in, with some room to grow. We started this portion of the tour in the “office” that Automattic also rents to both store spare parts and equipment, as well as provide a quiet place to work. On this tour it became apparent that working in the actual server rooms is far from ideal. With all the fans and cooling, the rooms are both loud and cold, so in general you want to do as much work outside of there as possible.

What was also interesting about this space is that it showed all the generations of equipment and hard drives that have to be kept up simultaneously. It is not practical to assume that a given generation of hard drives or even connection cables will be available for more than a few years. In general, the plan is to keep all hardware using identical memory, drives, and cables, but that is not always possible. As we saw in the server racks, there is equipment still running from 2013, but these will likely have to be completely swapped in the near future.

Barry also pointed out that different drive tech is used for different types of data. Images are stored on spinning hard drives (which are the cheapest by size, but have moving parts so need more replacement), and the longer lasting solid state disk (SSD) and non-volatile memory (NVMe) technology are used for other roles like caching and databases, where speed and performance are most important.

Hardware closet for a data center.
Barry showing us all the bins of hardware they use to maintain the servers.

Barry explained that data at Automattic is stored in multiple places in the same data center, and redundantly again at several other data centers. Even with that much redundancy, a further copy is stored on an outside backup. Each one of the centers Automattic uses has a method of separation, so it is difficult for a single bug to propagate between different facilities. In the last decade, there’s only been one instance where the outside backup had to come into play, and it was for six images. Still, Barry noted that there can never be too many backups.

An infrastructure for the future 

And with that, we concluded the tour and I would soon head off to the airport to fly home. The last question Barry asked me was if I thought this would all be around in 100 years. My answer was that something like it most certainly will, but that it would look radically different, and may be situated in parts of the world with more sustainable cooling and energy, as more of the world gets large bandwidth connections.

As I thought about the project of getting all this data to last into the deep future, I was very impressed by what Automattic has built, and believe that as long as business continues as normal, the data is incredibly safe. However, on the chance that things do change, I think developing partnerships with organizations like The Internet Archive, Permanent.org, and perhaps national libraries or large universities will be critically important to help make sure the content of the open web survives well into the future. We could also look at some of the long-term storage systems that store data without the need for power, as well as systems that cannot be changed in the future (as we wonder if AI and censorship may alter what we know to be “facts”). For this, we could look at stable optical systems like Piql, Project Silica, and Stampertech. It breaks my heart to think the world would have created all this, only for it to be lost. I think we owe it to the future to make sure as much of it as possible has a path to survive.

Group of Automattic employees taking a group picture at a data center.
Our group of Automatticians enjoyed the tour—thank you Barry and Eugene!

5 Hidden Features of WordPress.com

Posted by download in Software on 28-03-2024

Isn’t it amazing how you can learn new things about someone, even after years of knowing them? That’s how Jamie Marsland has felt in the last few weeks while diving deeper into WordPress.com’s capabilities. In today’s Build and Beyond video, he shares five incredible features built right into the platform that aren’t as well known as they should be. Whether you’re a blogger, a developer, or fall somewhere between, you’re likely to discover something new and useful. 

Ready to build on WordPress.com? Start a free trial today:

WordPress 6.5 Release Candidate 4

Posted by download in Software on 28-03-2024

The latest release candidate (RC4) for WordPress 6.5 is ready! 

This release candidate is an addition to the existing WordPress 6.5 release cycle. It allows more time for testing to ensure every feature and improvement is in the best shape possible. 

The updated target for the WordPress 6.5 release is April 2, 2024. Get an overview of the 6.5 release cycle, and check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.5-related posts for further details. If you’re looking for more detailed technical notes on new features and improvements, the WordPress 6.5 Field Guide is for you.

What to expect in WordPress 6.5 RC4

There’s been a lot of helpful feedback regarding one of this release’s highlighted features: the Font Library. This has resulted in some additional improvements needed to make sure the greatest number of sites possible can benefit from this anticipated new feature. 

This release also includes six bug fixes for the Editor and 10+ tickets for WordPress Core. For more technical information related to issues addressed since RC3, you can browse the following links: 

How to test

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 RC4 on a test server and site.

While release candidates are considered ready for release, testing remains crucial to ensure that everything in WordPress 6.5 is the best it can be.

You can test WordPress 6.5 RC4 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 RC4 version (zip) and install it on a WordPress website.
Command LineUse the following WP-CLI command:
wp core update --version=6.5-RC4
WordPress PlaygroundUse the 6.5 RC4 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.

Here comes the haiku

With some extra time
Test, rinse, repeat, and refresh
WordPress will really shine

Thank you to the following contributors for collaborating on this post: @dansoschin.

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

Posted by download in Software on 27-03-2024

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 small businesses, sports fan, nostalgic bloggers, and more.


Feelin’ Good

Feelin’ Good is a vibrant (to say the least!) blog theme with a bold vaporwave aesthetic. Its nostalgic atmosphere pays homage to the daring, over-the-top visual art and advertisements of the ’80s and early ’90s. We’ve combined a lot of elements that shouldn’t work together, but do. If you’re looking for a dynamic, attention-grabbing, eye-popping visual feast of a theme, try Feelin’ Good.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Low Fi

Low Fi is a simple blog theme featuring a narrow column layout that’s optimized for seamless browsing on mobile devices. With six style variations, you’re sure to find a palette you’re drawn to. Taking inspiration from the lo-fi beats music scene, the theme’s design cues, such as the square header image, offer a nod to album artwork.

The overall aesthetic is deliberately understated, with each element—from the muted color schemes to the textured background—crafted to evoke a sense of nostalgia and warmth.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Cakely

Cakely is the ultimate WordPress theme designed specifically for passionate bakers, cake enthusiasts, and dessert lovers. Tailored for small businesses aiming to shine in the world of sweets, Cakely effortlessly combines style and functionality to showcase mouthwatering creations. Its vibrant pink color scheme exudes joy while maintaining a classy, clean layout with easy navigation. This theme ultimately strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and playfulness, making it an ideal choice for showcasing your delicious masterpieces.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Treehouse

Treehouse is a carefree, fun, and friendly theme ideal for Woo stores selling children’s products. With its unlimited customization options, Treehouse enables you to set up an online shop with just a few clicks. Utilizing a soft color palette, playful design details, and simplified layouts, your site will attract a wide range of customers, from young parents to over-the-moon grandparents. This theme is fully responsive and cross-browser compatible.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Infield

Major League Baseball’s 2024 season kicks off on Thursday, March 28. What better way to show your home team the love it deserves than with a baseball-themed fan site! With a somewhat old-school layout, this theme evokes some of the classic sports sites of the ’90s, back before fantasy leagues took over. The header and accent colors are customizable, ensuring that your favorite crew is properly saluted.

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 $79/year each.

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: