Configuring Theme Design with theme.json

Posted by download in Software on 30-07-2021

Starting in WordPress 5.8, a new tool — “theme.json” — is available to use in your theme. Maybe you’re hearing about it for the first time, or maybe you’re testing and developing themes with it already. Either way, I’m glad you’re here because it’s an exciting time for WordPress themes.

This post provides a quick introduction to this new framework, and describes what’s possible by sharing a few practical tips and examples.

What’s theme.json?

Technically, theme.json is just a file that lives at the top-level of a theme’s directory. 

Conceptually, it’s a major shift in how themes can be developed. Theme authors now have a centralized mechanism to tailor the WordPress experience for site authors and visitors. Theme.json provides theme authors fine-grained control over global styles, block styles, and the block editor settings.

By providing these settings and controls in a single file, theme.json provides a powerful framework that brings together many aspects of theme design and development. And as the block editor matures and adds more features, theme.json will shine as the backbone for themes and the editor to work together 💪

Why Use it?

It’s the future! But if you’re like me, you might need something more tangible to be convinced. Here are a few reasons why you might use theme.json today:

  • Control editor settings like color, typography, spacing, and layout, and consolidate where these settings are managed.
  • Guarantee that styles apply correctly to blocks and elements across your site.
  • Reduce the amount of boilerplate CSS a theme used to provide. Theme.json won’t replace your stylesheet completely — there will be instances where CSS is needed to give your theme that extra flare (transitions, animations, etc.). But it can greatly reduce the base CSS needed from the theme.

How do I use it?

The rest of this post demonstrates a few theme.json configurations you can try out. The examples use the tt1-blocks theme.jsonthe block-based version of this year’s default theme

If you’re starting with an existing theme, you might try copying a theme.json from the WordPress/theme-experiments repository (for example, the fse-tutorial theme by @poena) and adding it to the root of your theme’s directory.

Change the typography settings of your site globally

"settings": {
	"typography": {
		"fontSize": "30px",

Making the change above in theme.json would result in the following updates to your theme’s body typography styles (before and after):

Changing the base color settings of your site globally

"styles": {
	"color": {
		"background": "#ffc0cb",
		"text": "#6A1515"

Changing spacing / padding settings on specific blocks

"styles": {
	"blocks": {
		"core/code": {
			"spacing": {
				"padding": {
					"top": "3em",
					"bottom": "3em",
					"left": "3em",
					"right": "3em"

Set a custom color palette in the editor for specific blocks like a button

"settings": {
    "blocks": {
		"core/button": {
			"color": {
				"palette": [ 
						"name": "Maroon",
						"color": "#6A1515",
						"slug": "maroon"
						"name": "Strawberry Ice Cream",
						"color": "#FFC0CB",
						"slug": "strawberry-ice-cream"

Enable and disable typography controls

In the following example, the ability to supply a custom font size and line height for all heading blocks is disabled:

	"settings": {
		"blocks": {
			"core/heading": {
				"typography": {
					"customFontSize": false,
					"customLineHeight": false

What’s Next?

I hope this gives you a sense of what’s possible and where themes are going. The above examples just scratch the surface of what kinds of theme design configurations are possible, and I’m very excited to see what theme authors create.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the developer note on theme.json, and here’s the documentation for theme.json in the handbook.

Thanks to @kjellr, @chanthaboune, @priethor, @annezazu for helping with and peer-reviewing this post.

Heading Font Weights and List View Toggles Arrive in Block Editor and WordPress 5.8

Posted by download in Software on 27-07-2021

Let’s dive into some recent block updates meant to improve your efficiency and spice up the look of your blog or website.

Stylish Heading Font Weights

Headings not only draw your audience in, they help get your message across. Now you can enhance the font weight of headings with the click of a dropdown menu. Between the options for font size and font weight, you’ll be able to create the perfect look you’ve been aiming for.

To start experimenting, select the Heading block you want to edit, then head to the right-side block menu. Under Typography, change the Font weight. When you select a new option in the menu, you’ll see your heading font change on the left.

Persistent List View Toggles

As we mentioned last month, the List View button acts as a table of contents and outlines all the blocks in use on your page or post. And most importantly, this outline is persistent — meaning it won’t disappear as you edit your content so you can quickly find and edit any block on the list.

The List View just leveled up: you can now expand and collapse nested blocks in the list.

Deeply nested layouts will benefit from this feature. But even for straightforward layouts, certain elements such as content in columns can make the List View a little daunting. Less searching + more focus = improved editing.

WordPress 5.8 updated to WordPress 5.8 on July 20. This release starts the wave of functionality centered around Full Site Editing.

Full Site Editing aims to bring blocks to every aspect of the WordPress experience, including navigation menus, site logos, templated content, global styles affecting your site’s overall look, and much more. Between adding functionality to your site or editing what’s already there, Full Site Editing will allow you to do it with a visual editing experience — without the need to learn code.

Learn more about Full Site Editing here.

Keep Building, Keep Exploring

Your feedback is crucial to expanding the block editor’s capabilities, so keep it coming. Watch here for more updates, and in the meantime, have fun experimenting!

The Second Annual Official Growth Summit Is Coming, and You Won’t Want to Miss It

Posted by download in Software on 26-07-2021

You’ve got an idea; let’s get it online.

Join us online for the second Official Growth Summit being held on August 17 in the Americas + EMEA and August 18 in Asia Pacific. 

Calling all creators, small businesses, and publishers!  Are you a blogger looking for ways to drive traffic and get more visitors? Are you a small business that would like to start selling more products and services on your site? Are you an artist or creator who would like to learn how to share your work? The Growth Summit will cover these topics (and many more) and provide indispensable advice to help you succeed.

Speakers include:

Gain direct access with our Happiness Engineers, where you will be able to ask your most pressing support questions, as well as on demand product demos. 

Enjoy social networking with your fellow attendees, use this time to connect and grow your community connections.

To stay accessible to a global audience, we’ll hold the event twice.

Americas + EMEA — August 17, 2021

Asia Pacific — August 18, 2021

Register today to take advantage of the special rate of $25 USD at checkout. Special pricing ends July 31!

Make Your Best Photos Shine

Posted by download in Software on 22-07-2021

We’ve recently launched an upgraded photo carousel experience that takes photo viewing to the next level on mobile devices. Now your visitors can swipe, zoom, and double-tap with ease and get the best look at those beautiful snaps!

Video Overview

Here’s a short video overview of using the photo carousel on a mobile device and the upgrades we’ve introduced:

What’s New

Smooth, Hands-on, High Resolution Photo Viewing

  • Full-width photos expand to the display of your device
  • Swift, smooth pinch-to-zoom, and double-tap-to-zoom through your photos
  • New, higher resolution images that stay crisp and clear however far you zoom
  • A simpler, faster tap-to-close button to move back into the thumbnail gallery view

Faster, Clearer Navigation Between Photos

  • Responsive, fast swiping between your photos
  • Clear photo numbering navigation to show where you are in your gallery
  • With 5 or less photos, a dot navigation system you can tap to jump to any photo in the sequence

Easy Access Metadata and Comments for Every Photo

  • One-tap metadata for every photo
  • Per-photo comment notifications, with a single tap to view comments

Getting Started

If you’ve previously used our image carousel feature, your site has been upgraded automatically so your visitors will get the new experience starting right now.

If you haven’t added a carousel to your site so far, now’s a great time to give it a try. Simply insert a gallery block using our editor and your photos will show using the carousel whenever your visitors click or tap an image.

WordPress 5.8 Tatum

Posted by download in Software on 20-07-2021

Introducing 5.8 “Tatum”, our latest and greatest release now available for download or update in your dashboard. Named in honor of Art Tatum, the legendary Jazz pianist. His formidable technique and willingness to push boundaries inspired musicians and changed what people thought could be done. 

So fire up your music service of choice and enjoy Tatum’s famous recordings of ‘Tea for Two’, ‘Tiger Rag’, ‘Begin the Beguine’, and ‘Night and Day’ as you read about what the latest WordPress version brings to you.

Three Essential Powerhouses

Manage Widgets with Blocks

After months of hard work, the power of blocks has come to both the Block Widgets Editor and the Customizer. Now you can add blocks both in widget areas across your site and with live preview through the Customizer. This opens up new possibilities to create content: from no-code mini layouts to the vast library of core and third-party blocks. For our developers, you can find more details in the Widgets dev note.

Display Posts with New Blocks and Patterns

The Query Loop Block makes it possible to display posts based on specified parameters; like a PHP loop without the code. Easily display posts from a specific category, to do things like create a portfolio or a page full of your favorite recipes. Think of it as a more complex and powerful Latest Posts Block! Plus, pattern suggestions make it easier than ever to create a list of posts with the design you want.

Edit the Templates Around Posts

You can use the familiar block editor to edit templates that hold your content—simply activate a block theme or a theme that has opted in for this feature. Switch from editing your posts to editing your pages and back again, all while using a familiar block editor. There are more than 20 new blocks available within compatible themes. Read more about this feature and how to experiment with it in the release notes.

Three Workflow Helpers

Overview of the Page Structure

Sometimes you need a simple landing page, but sometimes you need something a little more robust. As blocks increase, patterns emerge, and content creation gets easier, new solutions are needed to make complex content easy to navigate. List View is the best way to jump between layers of content and nested blocks. Since the List View gives you an overview of all the blocks in your content, you can now navigate quickly to the precise block you need. Ready to focus completely on your content? Toggle it on or off to suit your workflow.

Suggested Patterns for Blocks

Starting in this release the Pattern Transformations tool will suggest block patterns based on the block you are using. Right now, you can give it a try in the Query Block and Social Icon Block. As more patterns are added, you will be able to get inspiration for how to style your site without ever leaving the editor!

Style and Colorize Images

Colorize your image and cover blocks with duotone filters! Duotone can add a pop of color to your designs and style your images (or videos in the cover block) to integrate well with your themes. You can think of the duotone effect as a black and white filter, but instead of the shadows being black and the highlights being white, you pick your own colors for the shadows and highlights. There’s more to learn about how it works in the documentation.

For Developers to Explore


Introducing the Global Styles and Global Settings APIs: control the editor settings, available customization tools, and style blocks using a theme.json file in the active theme. This configuration file enables or disables features and sets default styles for both a website and blocks. If you build themes, you can experiment with this early iteration of a useful new feature. For more about what is currently available and how it works, check out this dev note.

Dropping support for IE11

Support for Internet Explorer 11 has been dropped as of this release. This means you may have issues managing your site that will not be fixed in the future. If you are currently using IE11, it is strongly recommended that you switch to a more modern browser.

Adding support for WebP

WebP is a modern image format that provides improved lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. WebP images are around 30% smaller on average than their JPEG or PNG equivalents, resulting in sites that are faster and use less bandwidth.

Adding Additional Block Supports

Expanding on previously implemented block supports in WordPress 5.6 and 5.7, WordPress 5.8 introduces several new block support flags and new options to customize your registered blocks. More information is available in the block supports dev note.

Check the Field Guide for more!

Check out the latest version of the WordPress Field Guide. It highlights developer notes for each change you may want to be aware of: WordPress 5.8 Field Guide.

The Squad

The WordPress 5.8 release was lead by Matt Mullenweg, and supported by this highly enthusiastic release squad:

This release is the reflection of the hard work of 530 generous volunteer contributors. Collaboration occurred on over 320 tickets on Trac and over 1,500 pull requests on GitHub.

5ubliminal, 99w, 9primus, Aaron Jorbin, aaronrobertshaw, abderrahman, Abha Thakor, Abhijit Rakas, achbed, Adam Silverstein, Adam Zielinski, Addie, aduth, Ahmed Chaion, Ahmed Saeed, Ajit Bohra, Alain Schlesser, Alan Jacob Mathew, Albert Juhé Lluveras, Alejandro Perez, Alex Concha, Alex Kirk, Alex Lende, alexstine, allilevine, Amanda Riu, amarinediary, Amogh Harish, Andrea Fercia, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Serong, Andrey "Rarst" Savchenko, André Maneiro, Andy Fragen, Andy Peatling, Andy Skelton, Ankit Gade, annalamprou, Anne McCarthy, anotherdave, anotia, Anthony Burchell, Anton Lukin, Anton Vanyukov, Antonis Lilis, apedog, apokalyptik, arena, Argyris Margaritis, Ari Stathopoulos, ariskataoka, arkrs, Armand, ArnaudBan, Arthur Chu, Arun a11n, Aspexi, atjn, Aurooba Ahmed, Austin Matzko, Ayesh Karunaratne, Barry, bartkalisz, Beatriz Fialho, Bego Mario Garde, Benachi, Benoit Chantre, Bernhard Reiter, Bernhard Reiter, Birgir Erlendsson (birgire), Birgit Pauli-Haack, Blobfolio, bmcculley, Bob Linthorst, bobbingwide, Bogdan Preda, bonger, Boone Gorges, Brad Touesnard, Brandon Kraft, Brecht, Brent Swisher, Brett Shumaker, Bruno Ribaric, Burhan Nasir, Cameron Jones, Cameron Voell, Carike, Carl Alexander, carlomanf, carlosgprim, Carolina Nymark, Casey Milne, Cenay Nailor, Ceyhun Ozugur, Chandra M, Chetan Prajapati, Chintan hingrajiya, Chip Snyder, Chloé Bringmann, Chouby, Chris Van Patten, chriscct7, Christopher Churchill, Chuck Reynolds, Clayton Collie, Code Amp, CodePoet, Colin Stewart, Collins Agbonghama, Copons, Corey McKrill, Cory Hughart, Courtney Engle Robertson, crazycoders, critterverse, czapla, Dávid Szabó, Daisy Olsen, damonganto, Dan Farrow, Daniel Llewellyn, Daniel Richards, danieldudzic, Daniele Scasciafratte, Danny, David Aguilera, David Anderson, David Artiss, David Baumwald, David Biňovec, David Calhoun, David Herrera, David Kryzaniak, David Smith, dekervit, devfle, devrekli, dhruvkb, Diane Co, dingdang, Dion Hulse, djbu, Dominik Schilling, donmhico, Donna Peplinskie, Doug Wollison, dpik, dragongate, Dreb Bits, Drew Jaynes, eatsleepcode, Ebonie Butler, Edi Amin, Eileen Violini, Ella van Durpe, Emil E, Emilio Martinez, Emmanuel Hesry, empatogen, Enej Bajgorić, Enrique Sánchez, epiqueras, Erik, etoledom, Fabian Kägy, Fabian Pimminger, Fabian Todt, Felipe Elia, Felix Arntz, felixbaumgaertner, Femy Praseeth, fijisunshine, Florian Brinkmann, Florian TIAR, Francesca Marano, Frank Bueltge, frosso1 (a11n), fullofcaffeine, gab81, Gal Baras, Garrett Hyder, Gary Jones, Gary Pendergast, GeekPress, Gennady Kovshenin, Geoffrey, George Hotelling, George Mamadashvili, George Stephanis, geriux, glendaviesnz, Grant M. Kinney, Greg Ziółkowski, gRegor Morrill, Héctor Prieto, Hannah Malcolm, happiryu, Hareesh, Haz, hedgefield, Helen Hou-Sandí, Herm Martini, Herre Groen, herrvigg, htmgarcia, Ian Dunn, ianmjones, icopydoc, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), Isabel Brison, Ivaylo Draganov, Ivete Tecedor, J.D. Grimes, Jack Lenox, Jake Spurlock, James Bonham, James Koster, James Nylen, James Richards, James Rosado, jamil95, janak Kaneriya, janw.oostendorp, Jason Johnston, Javier Arce, Jayman Pandya, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jeff Ong, Jeff Paul, Jeffrey Pearce, Jenny Dupuy, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Herve, Jeremy Yip, jeremy80, JeroenReumkens, jeryj, jillebehm, Jip Moors, Joe Bailey-Roberts, Joe Dolson, Joe McGill, Joen Asmussen, Johan Jonk Stenström, Johannes Kinast, John Blackbourn, John Godley, John James Jacoby, John Sundberg, Jon Brown, Jon Surrell, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonny Harris, Jono Alderson, Joost de Valk, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, Josee Wouters, Josepha Haden, JoshuaDoshua, Joy, jsnajdr, Juan Aldasoro, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Julio Potier, Justin Ahinon, k3nsai, kaavyaiyer, kafleg, Kai Hao, Kalpesh Akabari, Karolina Vyskocilova, Kelly Choyce-Dwan, Kelly Hoffman, Kerry Liu, Kishan Jasani, Kite, KittMedia, Kjell Reigstad, klevyke, Knut Sparhell, Koen Van den Wijngaert, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, Kyle Nel, lakrisgubben, Lara Schenck, Larissa Murillo, Laxman Prajapati, LewisCowles, lifeforceinst, linux4me2, Lovro Hrust, Luis Sacristán, Luiz Araújo, Luke Carbis, m0ze, Maedah Batool, Maggie Cabrera, Maja Benke, Marco Ciampini, Marcus Kazmierczak, Marek Hrabe, Marin Atanasov, Marius L. J., Mark Jaquith, Mark Parnell, Marko Heijnen, Marty Helmick, Mary Baum, Mary Job, marylauc, Mathieu Viet, Matias Ventura, Matt Chowning, Matt Mullenweg, Maxime Pertici, mblach, Meet Makadia, Meher Bala, Mel Choyce-Dwan, meloniq, mensmaximus, Michael Babker, Michael Beckwith, Miguel Fonseca, Mikael Korpela, Mike Hansen, Mike Jolley, Mike Martel, Mike Schroder, Mikhail Kobzarev, Milan Dinić, Milana Cap, mkdgs, mmuyskens, mmxxi, Mohamed El Amine DADDOU, Mohammed Faragallah, Monika Rao, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, mrjoeldean, Mukesh Panchal, munyagu, Mustafa Uysal, mweichert, Nadir Seghir, Nalini Thakor, Naoki Ohashi, Naoko Takano, Nazrul Islam Nayan, nderambure, net, nicegamer7, Nicholas Garofalo, Nick Halsey, Nik Tsekouras, ninanmnm, Noah Allen, nvartolomei, oguzkocer, olafklejnstrupjensen, Olga Bulat, Olga Gleckler, Otshelnik-Fm, oxyrealm, Ozh, Paal Joachim Romdahl, palmiak, Panagiotis Angelidis, Paragon Initiative Enterprises, Pascal Birchler, Pascal Knecht, Pat, patricklindsay, Paul, Paul Biron, Paul Bunkham, Paul Schreiber, Paul Stonier, Paul Von Schrottky, Paulo Pinto, Pavel I, Paweł, Peter Wilson, Petter Walbø Johnsgård, phena109, Philip Jackson, Pinar, Piotrek Boniu, Pippin Williamson, Pirate Dunbar, Pramod Jodhani, Presskopp, presstoke, pwallner, pyronaur, Q, Rachel Baker, rafhun, Rajesh Radadiya, Rami Yushuvaev, Ramon Ahnert, ramonopoly, Ravi Vaghela, ravipatel, Refael Iliaguyev, Rene Hermenau, retrofox, reynhartono, Riad Benguella, Rian Rietveld, Rima Prajapati, Rinat, Rnaby, robdxw, Robert Anderson, Robert Chapin, Roger Theriault, rogerlos, roo2, Roy, Russell Aaron, Ryan McCue, Ryan Welcher, Sören Wrede, Saša, Sabrina Zeidan, Sahil Mepani, Samir Shah, Samuel Wood (Otto), Sandip Mondal, Sanne van der Meulen, sarahricker, sarayourfriend, SASAPIYO, satrancali, savicmarko1985, Scott Lesovic, Scott Reilly, scottconnerly, scruffian, Sean Fisher, Sean Hayes, sebbb, Sergey Biryukov, Sergey Yakimov, SergioEstevao, sergiomdgomes, shaunandrews, Shital Marakana, silb3r, Siobhan, SirStuey, snapfractalpop, spikeuk1, spytzo, stacimc, Stanislav Khromov, Stefan Hüsges, stefanjoebstl, Stefano Minoia, Stefanos Togoulidis, Stephen Bernhardt, Stephen Edgar, Steve Dufresne, Steve Grunwell, Steve Henty, Steven Word, strategio, Subrata Sarkar, Sumaiya Siddika, Suman, Sumit Singh, Sumit Singh, sushmak, Sybre Waaijer, Synchro, szaqal21, tamlyn, Tammie Lister, Tellyworth, Terri Ann, Tetsuaki Hamano,, Thomas Kräftner, Thomas Patrick Levy, Thomas Vitale, tigertech, Timothy Jacobs, TimoTijhof, Tkama, tmatsuur, tmdk, Tobias Zimpel, TobiasBg, tobifjellner (Tor-Bjorn Fjellner), Tom J Nowell, Toni Viemerö, Tonya Mork, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), torres126, Torsten Landsiedel, Toru Miki, Travis Northcutt, trejder, Udit Desai, Ulrich, Utsav tilava, Vicente Canales, Vipul Chandel, Vlad T, wangql, WebDragon, Wendy Chen, Weston Ruter, William Earnhardt, williampatton, Xavi Ivars, Xristopher Anderton, Y_Kolev, Yan Sern, Yui, yuliyan, Yvette Sonneveld, Zack Krida, Zebulan Stanphill, zkancs, and 孙锡源.

In addition to these contributors, many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They answer questions from people across the world, whether they are using WordPress for the first time, or they’ve been around since the first release all the way back in 2003. These releases are as successful as they are because of their efforts!

Finally, thanks to all the community translators who help make WordPress available in over 200 languages for every release. 80 languages have translated 80% or more WordPress 5.8 and our community translators are hard at work ensuring more languages are on their way. If contributing to WordPress appeals to you, it’s easy to learn more. Check out Make WordPress or the core development blog. Managed Hosting Webinar with Rudy Faile, Automattic Systems

Posted by download in Software on 20-07-2021

On June 16, 2021, presented a live webinar focused on Managed Hosting with The topic expert was Rudy Faile, Automattic Systems Engineer. Hosting the webinar was Sam Vaidya, Automattic Happiness Engineer. If you missed the live event, don’t worry. You can watch the recording at your convenience on Youtube or view it right here.

What Does the Managed Hosting Webinar Cover?

In this webinar, you’ll learn from Happiness Engineers and product experts how to build a fast, secure, and scalable website using WordPress – the publishing platform that now powers over 41% of the web. 

Managed hosting is a convenient service offered by, which is 100% dedicated to hosting the open-source WordPress software. Managed hosting is an excellent option for people who don’t want to deal with running a website’s back-end technical operations. You get all of the freedom of WordPress, with none of the hassles. 

Here’s what you get with managed hosting: 

  • A faster website. 
  • Powerful, built-in SEO. 
  • Security and systems experts. 
  • Scalability and uptime you can depend on. 
  • Automatic WordPress Updates. 
  • Real-time backups.

Watched the Webinar but Still Have Questions?

Attendees at the live event asked great questions throughout the presentation. We’ve created an FAQ that answers many of them, along with other questions you might have. If you want to know more about’s managed hosting, the FAQ is a great place to start.

WP Briefing: Episode 13: Cherishing WordPress Diversity

Posted by download in Software on 19-07-2021

In this episode, Josepha Haden Chomphosy discusses the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to the fabric of the WordPress project and how we can move from a place of welcoming it to cherishing it.

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


Editor: Dustin Hartzler

Logo: Beatriz Fialho

Production: Chloé Bringmann

Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod


Diversity Speaker Training Workshop

A WordPress Dinner Party

The Burden of Proof

Leadership At Any Level

Building a Culture of Safety

Leadership Basics: Ethics in Communication

WordPress 5.6


Josepha Haden Chomphosy  00:10

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, Joseph Haden Chomphosy. And before we get started, I have to be honest with you all, this episode and the next one have made me feel really anxious. This one is about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in open source, and especially in WordPress. And the next one is about accessibility in WordPress. And I feel like there’s just so much to do, and we don’t do enough, but we do what we can. And still, we will never be done with that work. And if you don’t know what I mean by Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, you can kind of think of it this way. Diversity is bringing in people with different viewpoints and lived experiences. Equity is making sure everyone has what they need to get a fair chance of success, which is different from equality. And Inclusion is making sure that the environment is built to not only tolerate diverse groups but to celebrate them as well. So remember this as you listen to what I have to say here. We are never where we want to be in either of those spaces. But that shouldn’t stop us from looking at the things we have done to get us in the right direction. All right. Here we go.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  01:54

I say a lot that we are a project that serves a majority collection of minority voices. WordPress is global in reach and open source in nature. And you would assume that what allows the software to be used by anyone would also enable it to be built by anyone. After all, your location doesn’t matter, and who employs you also doesn’t matter. And your relative social standing certainly shouldn’t matter. As long as you can communicate with the others contributing to the project, there should be no obstacle to your participation. The mission of the WordPress project is to democratize publishing, right? It’s to get the ability to have a website tap into passive income on your web presence. I mean, the job is to level the playing field for everyone. However, it’s my experience that bringing in new voices takes a lot of proactive work on behalf of leaders and contributors. It’s not enough to say, “Hey, I’m having a party,” you also have to say, “I’m having a party, and I’d like you to be there.” It’s not enough to think people will make their own space at this table. You have to make sure that you have table settings for everyone. And even beyond the basics of directing people to you. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  03:12

And on toward the next steps, you have to be honest about the fact that open source contribution requires a fair amount of privilege. By privilege, I mean the luxury of extra time or extra funding or just an understanding employer. WordPress supports 41% of the web. I think it’s 42% of the web right now. But less than 1% of people who use WordPress show up to help maintain it. And that 1% that does show up skews toward people who already have a pretty high level of representation and technology. And so, when you look at who is building it versus who is using it, it doesn’t always match. And since what we build so frequently reflects who we are, sometimes what we build doesn’t match the needs of the people who are using what we have.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  04:10

So what has WordPress done to be proactive on the question of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? There are quite a few unseen things that have gone into this over the years and a few pretty visible things. This is a very long list. And it has a whole lot of just reference material. And so the show notes today will come in handy for people, and there will be just a laundry list of linked resources for everyone. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  04:39

But the first thing that WordPress has done is that we have accepted the burden of proof. I’m going to share a post about this in the show notes. That means we accept that it’s not the job of underrepresented folks to figure out if they are welcome. It’s up to us to make it clear that they are. So, there are three big little things that the community has done over the years. One is that many teams open their text-based meetings with an explanation of what is done in the meeting, who comes to the meetings, where to find help if you’re lost in the meeting, and for teams that have a specific type of requests that comes into those channels that aren’t handled in those channels. They also will share where people can go to get those requests taken care of. Many teams have also updated their team handbooks to have good beginner docs, limited use of inside jokes or jargon, and good first bugs. And also, there is a code of conduct in the community declaring that everyone is welcome and clarifies what to do if you see folks being unwelcoming. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  05:51

A second big thing that folks in the WordPress community have done is written down what was unwritten. Having things clearly documented unlocks institutional knowledge that you’d otherwise have to know someone to get. Clarity and process and the structure help anyone engage with your organization, not just the people who have extra time to figure things out. What that looks like in the WordPress project is that many teams have documented their workflows and their working spaces and just their general team norms. Many teams have also started defining what it means to be a team rep and holding open processes to choose those team reps. Many other community leaders and I have written down countless unspoken rules, guidelines, and philosophical underpinnings so that people don’t have to guess what we’re doing or why we’re doing things, or where we want to do them.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  06:46

And the more visible thing that the WordPress project has been doing is that we found ways to invite people in, and they’re not failsafe; they’re not foolproof, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. The first one is an ongoing, diverse speaker training initiative. And I’ll include a link to that in the show notes as well. It is run by Jill Binder and a fantastic group of contributors that collaborate with her. And I really have loved watching that particular program grow and flourish and help WordPress make a difference where we absolutely can. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  07:27

The second thing that was pretty visible about how we invited people in was at the end of 2020, and we had an all-women and nonbinary release squad for our biggest release of the year; WordPress 5.6. I had a group of probably 70 women and nonbinary identifying folx who joined in the process and joined in learning more about the process. Some of them have continued in the project. Others have stepped away for various reasons. But all of them are welcome to return. And I encourage everyone to return to contribution when time and resources make that possible for you. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  08:09

And then the third thing that we’ve done, which I have talked about a lot, is the revival of the testing and triage practices. That has been work that’s been ongoing for a number of years. And it happens across multiple teams. It is not always immediately clear to people why the testing work. And the triage work is identifiable for me as a way to invite people into this process. And so I’ll be briefly clear about it right now. So testing as a practice brings in the users that otherwise don’t have a lot of spare time and that extra privilege to like, figure out what’s going on with WordPress, and contribute their own fixes to problems. They can give back to this project by being co-developers with us, co-creators with our entire process of making WordPress real and usable for the largest number of people that we can because we now support 42% of the web. And then, the triage practice invites in a diverse voice of people. Because you don’t necessarily always need to know everything about a project to help with triage. And when you’re helping with triage, you get active learning through participating in the process. But you also get passive learning from the people who already know huge amounts about the project and the process and everything that goes into it. And so it’s a low key low stress way to get your feet wet and start building that knowledge that sometimes is hard to come by unless you are actively working in it. So the testing practices, the triage practices, I really to the core of my being believe that those are active and ongoing ways for us to invite people who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to get their voices heard in an open source project. And y’all, as I said at the start, y’all, there’s nothing about this list that I just shared, which makes me feel like our work on this is done. Just like any muscle, you don’t fight to peak fitness, and then hit the big stop button on time and say, “Now, I never have to work out again.” If we did, the world would be a very different place probably. But it does then lead us to the next steps for fostering a community culture that’s as broad as the people who use this software. If you believe in leadership at any level, as I do, there are a ton of things that you can do right now. But I’ll boil them down into three big chunks of things.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  10:54

First, check your community area, or whatever community you want to apply this to, for things that need a little more proactive work. I will share a post called Building A Culture of Safety that will take you through a list of good first steps. And it is not as hard as it looks. When you say build a culture of safety, there are many really clear-cut minor changes that you can ask people to make and, in like, four or five different areas that can help your community be more welcoming and more open. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  11:30

The second thing that you can do is know that small changes add up over time and commit to making those changes where you can. If you are elite at any level, you know that supporting people and processes is the responsibility of everyone in the group. And if you can make your own autonomous decisions and commit to making small changes that make a big difference over time, you will be part of that solution. And that is not specific to any one group that we have in our communities. You can be an ally for anyone, whether they look like you, whether they have your same experiences, or not. And sometimes, it’s as easy as just holding space for the people who haven’t had a chance to talk yet. And on the subject of holding space and the way that we communicate. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  12:22

The third thing that I think is incredibly important is that you can take on as a foundational personal practice the concept of ethical communication. I’ll share a post about that as well in the show notes, but the core of it is that you have to know that what you say and don’t say what you do and don’t do has an impact on others and embrace that responsibility. All right, so you made it all the way through, and I am so proud of you. I’m sure you have questions about this. And I encourage you to share those. You can email them to me at wp

Josepha Haden Chomphosy  13:10

This brings us to our small list of big things. I’ve got two things for you today. First and foremost, WordPress 5.8 gets released tomorrow. It’s a big release, and lots of people have been working on it. So get your update processes ready and keep an eye on for the announcement post. Second, and still pretty important, team reps have been working on their quarterly check-ins so that all other teams can get an idea of what’s happening around the WordPress office. Keep an eye out for that post on And that is your smallest of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host Joseph Hayden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

Popular Podcast App Pocket Casts Joins Automattic

Posted by download in Software on 16-07-2021

We’re excited to announce that Pocket Casts will be joining Automattic, the parent company of More than 80M people in the US listen to a podcast weekly, and this critically acclaimed podcast app makes it easier for fans to discover podcasts and customize their listening experience. Pocket Casts has been recognized by The New York Times, WIRED, The Verge, and other top publications for its exquisite design and user-friendly features.

Pocket Casts should be the podcast app you listen to and through which you distribute your content. Here’s why:

  1. Discover hidden gems with powerful search tools and human-curated recommendations. Pocket Casts helps you discover premium content with next-level search and discovery tools. You can use the episode search feature to look for a topic or special guest you want to learn more about or rely on the advice of human curators to help you find new podcasts that you’ll enjoy.
  1. Easily navigate with a beautifully designed interface. Pocket Casts is a thoughtfully designed app built by podcast listeners for podcast listeners. Easily follow and find your favorite podcasts and build a playback queue for a seamless listening experience.
  1. Personalize how you listen. With built-in features like variable speed playback, trim silence option, volume boost, a sleep timer, personal media storage, and standalone playback for Apple Watch, Pocket Casts delivers a streamlined and customized listening experience that users love.
  1. Listen on the go across all of your devices. Once you are ready to hit play on your next podcast, Pocket Casts allows you to listen anywhere across platforms, including iOS, Android, Web, Windows, macOS, CarPlay, Android Auto, watchOS, Alexa, and Sonos.

As part of Automattic, Pocket Casts will continue to provide you with the features needed to enjoy your favorite podcasts (or find something new). We will explore building deep integrations with and Pocket Casts, making it easier to distribute and listen to podcasts. We’re thrilled that we can continue to give our users a multitude of ways to tell and engage with stories that matter.

Co-founders Russell Ivanovic and Philip Simpson will continue to lead Pocket Casts as part of Automattic. 

6 Ways Courses Help You Grow

Posted by download in Software on 15-07-2021 experts invite you to join our community-driven courses to get your blog or podcast started, launched, or taken to the next level. Join today for on-demand content, access to a course community of peers, weekly office hours with our dedicated experts, and virtual meet-ups to connect with other learners like you. Start learning here

Overheard on our Blogging for Beginners Course Community: “Taking this course has pushed me to think beyond my comfort zone and take a step back in my journey to become a better blogger and focus on what I truly want to write about.

Join the Course Communities here.

WordPress 5.8 Release Candidate 3

Posted by download in Software on 14-07-2021

The third release candidate for WordPress 5.8 is now available!

WordPress 5.8 is slated for release on July 20, 2021, and we need your help to get there—if you have not tried 5.8 yet, now is the time!

You can test the WordPress 5.8 release candidate 3 in any of these three ways:

  • Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the Bleeding edge channel and then Beta/RC Only stream)
  • Directly download the release candidate version (zip)
  • Use WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=5.8-RC3

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

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.8 and update the Tested up to version in the readme file to 5.8. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can work to solve them in time for the final release.

For a more detailed breakdown of the changes included in WordPress 5.8, check out the WordPress 5.8 beta 1 post. The WordPress 5.8 Field Guide, which is particularly useful for developers, has all the info and further links to help you get comfortable with the major changes.

How to Help

Can you speak and write in a language other than English?  Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

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

Props to @cbringmann, @chanthaboune, and @marybaum for peer-reviewing!

Code is poetry
Jazz is improvisation
Both are forms of art