People of WordPress: Meher Bala

Posted by download in Software on 30-04-2022

In this series, we share some of the inspiring stories of how WordPress and its global network of contributors can change people’s lives for the better. This month we feature a Indian-based WordPress developer and long term contributor on how it helped her find a career and a local and global community to belong to.

Meher pictured against the backdrop of a window overlooking trees

WordPress is an inspiration to Meher Bala, a frontend web developer and community builder from India. From using the software as a basic website tool to helping entrepreneurs and good causes around the world fulfill their aspirations, she has overcome personal barriers and now aims to inspire others.

Meher found her vocation and learned new skills through WordPress. She also discovered a way to encourage other women to consider careers in IT. 

Opening the doors to a career in technology

As a child, Meher was diagnosed with dyslexia (difficulty in reading the written word) and dyscalculia (difficulty in comprehending numbers and mathematical functions). With the support of her parents and a tutor, she was able to overcome this learning obstacle. She developed coping techniques and a determination to work to overcome challenges as they appeared later in life.

In school, she got an opportunity to replace one subject with computer studies as an alternative. This proved to be an eye-opener to future career possibilities. 

She began to research not only what the internet had to offer but also how it worked, including the new and fascinating concepts of email and websites. Her father bought the family’s first desktop computer so she could do her research at home.

Meher’s father wanted to turn her love for computers into something that would serve her well in the future. In 2005, he enrolled her in a short computer course from a global IT training provider. The course tutor was so impressed with her performance, she was advised to enroll in a four year software development course.

That meant she had studied the software development course alongside her higher education college course. Looking back, she enjoyed the dual challenge of the degree course in commerce, and the experience prepared her well to keep learning software while working as a developer. Within three years, she had learned C#, C, C++, HTML, Java, and .NET.

After graduation, she was in a dilemma to choose between commerce and IT. What to choose? She had a compulsory one-year technology internship to complete, and her choice of focus for that year would prove to be a defining moment.

In 2009, on her birthday, Meher was offered an internship. On the first day of the internship, she was introduced to WordPress. Her initial assignment was to change the look and feel of the WordPress dashboard — in just six hours. But there was a problem – she had never worked with WordPress before!

“I stared at the whiteboard and thought that task given was impossible and difficult to meet the deadline. I wondered if my boss was joking and did not know then what you could do with WordPress as a developer and how it could slot into your toolbox. It opened my eyes.” 

Meher Bala

Meher used her research skills to know more about using WordPress. She found a plugin that would help her achieve her task. She met the deadline and it ingrained an interest that she would never lose.

Re-discovering WordPress

Five years after her initial WordPress experience, Meher was assigned to lead an international project in WordPress. She was hesitant — she had lost touch with the CMS during that five years, but the project was a great opportunity to become a team leader and lead from the front. 

She decided to update her WordPress skills, relying again on the strength of her research skills and determination. In the process, she also taught her team all about WordPress, inspiring many of those members to continue to develop their WordPress skill set.

The success of that project was a pivotal moment for Meher and a new dawn as a developer specializing in WordPress.

As a team lead, Meher soon found it was not possible to always have all the answers straight away. She found internet searches gave practical solutions—but rarely explained the theory behind it.

So she went looking for a WordPress group to help her expand the scope and depth of her knowledge.

Finding the community and its developer learning opportunities

Meher at WordCamp Nagpur in 2017
Meher enjoying being part of WordCamp Nagpur in 2017

In 2015, while browsing Facebook, Meher came across an advertisement for something called WordCamp Mumbai, an event that had taken two days before. She did a little digging to learn what a WordCamp was, and about the people behind it. She took the plunge and joined the WordPress Mumbai Meetup group.

Her first Meetup experience was not love at first sight. She felt the topics were for advanced users, and the timing late in the evening made it difficult to attend.

But a few months later, the Meetup addressed a topic that could help her resolve an issue in one of her current projects. She made the effort to show up and came away with a number of important tips. The speaker had taken the time to speak to individual attendees. When he came to Meher, she took the opportunity to ask a couple of questions about her project issues.

Thereafter she went to more Meetups and got to know the people behind this group, just as they started talking about WordCamp Mumbai 2016.

A WordCamp adventure

Meher pictured with the WordCamp Mumbai 2016 sign
Meher discovering WordCamps in Mumbai in 2016

Meher expressed interest in being a part of the coming  WordCamp Mumbai and started in an entry-level role with basic responsibilities.

At first, she thought WordCamp was a formal conference with about 100 people. So on the first day of WordCamp Mumbai 2016, she was surprised to see so many WordCamp enthusiasts attending and enjoying such a relaxed and friendly conference.

After that great experience, Meher went to many more meetups and did more volunteering. She started taking on responsibilities in the coming WordCamps and getting to know the different aspects of the camp. 

In the following years, at each WordPress, she took up a new role like speaker vetting, sponsors, and volunteer coordination. This allowed her to know more about what an organizer needs to do, from planning to execution, to make WordCamp a successful event.

WordCamp Mumbai 2017 group photo of the team
With the team at WordCamp Mumbai in 2017

Meher is grateful for her WordPress journey which was fostered in the Mumbai community. It has been filled with beautiful surprises. 

When people ask why she’s chosen to specialize professionally in WordPress, Meher says WordPress is easy to teach a non-technical person, yet it is still highly customizable. Being a WordPress developer has given her the opportunity to work  remotely for global web development companies that let her think out of the box. And she learns new skills with every release.

The community makes WordPress special

Meher says that some of her most memorable WordPress moments have revolved around special friendships, trying new things, and participating in community building. 

WordPress has let her explore different parts of India, make new friends locally and internationally, and encourage women to be a part of meetup groups and events across India. 

One of Meher’s biggest dreams was to lead WordCamp Mumbai as a lead organizer and show others what could be achieved by working together in open source. In 2019, she did just that and has volunteered at international WordCamps and meetups since.

Meher speaking at WordCamp Mumbai 2019
Taking to the stage at WordCamp Mumbai in 2019

As part of her enthusiasm for sharing the opportunities WordPress can give people, especially women, she has given time to co-organize two global WordPress Translation month long events and contributor events in India.   

Meher said: “I was first introduced to translation at one of the meetups which was organised to support the WordPress Translation Day. I realized this was another way to support my local communities and bring the power of WordPress to them by contributing in Gujarati and Hindi. I did not imagine I would a few years later be a global organizer for the event itself!”

With her commitment to ongoing learning as a developer and to model what she believes about the value and community growth opportunities of open source, Meher has given time and energy to the Marketing Team, where she has been a Team Rep, to the Training Team, and to the Core Team contributing to multiple releases. 

The developer adventure with WordPress is unlimited

At the start of my software developer journey, I always thought the C++ and Java were the only skills you required to excel in your career. From the time I started exploring WordPress in depth, I realized the potential and the power of WordPress in web development.

Meher Bala

Being a part of the WordPress community, Meher learned that there is so much more than just building blogs on WordPress. She started exploring different features of WordPress, created her first theme, and eventually specialized as a frontend specialist.

Meher now works as a consultant and front end developer with an international agency specializing in WordPress. Asked what she thought was the best thing about being a WordPress developer, Meher replied: “Through WordPress, I have an opportunity to build unique out of the box websites and work remotely for global web development companies that encourages you to think out of the box. There is always opportunity to continuously advance my coding skills and learn new techniques with every release.”

She believes that there is no limit to where using the software can take you and what you can combine it with to find solutions to projects big and small.

If you earn a living from WordPress, her advice is from the heart: try to give back to the WordPress community.

“I am sure you will learn or teach something new and definitely make friends across the world. There is no shame in making mistakes, as you can learn from them and develop your skills further. You can also help others as they build their skills.”

Meher added: “Don’t let the things you find difficult get in the way of your success.”

Share the stories

Help share these stories of open source contributors and continue to grow the community. Meet more WordPressers in the People of WordPress series.


Thanks to Abha Thakor (@webcommsat), Larissa Murillo (@lmurillom), Mary Baum (@marybaum), Chloé Bringmann (@cbringmann), and Meg Phillips (@megphillips91) for interviews, writing and image work on this story. Thank you to Meher Bala (@meher) for sharing her experiences and to Josepha Haden Chomphosy (@chanthaboune) and Topher DeRosia (@topher1kenobe) for their support of the series.

HeroPress logo

This People of WordPress feature is inspired by an essay originally published on, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. It highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories might otherwise go unheard. #HeroPress Favorites: The Pelikan’s Perch

Posted by download in Software on 29-04-2022

Welcome back to our “ Favorites” series! In these interviews, we’ll be highlighting bloggers about their passion project. Caution: contents guaranteed to be inspiring.  

Today’s featured blog, The Pelikan’s Perch, dives deeply into a niche of a niche: proprietor Joshua Danley writes solely about Pelikan-brand fountain pens. 

Even if you’ve never written with a fountain pen and know nothing about this graphological hobby, you’ll be captivated by Joshua’s interview below. 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What do you write about? How long have you been blogging?

First and foremost, I am a father to two sweet and rambunctious little boys and a husband to an amazing wife. Most of the time, you can find me working at a community hospital in the Philadelphia suburbs. I am a pulmonary and critical care physician by trade, working in both in-patient and out-patient settings as well as serving as the medical director of my hospital’s ICU. As you can imagine, my days can be long and intense, never more so than since COVID-19 landed on our doorstep. 

It might surprise some, then, to learn that my blog has nothing to do with medicine or family. Instead, I write exclusively about the Pelikan brand of fountain pens, a brand that is nearly 184 years old. 

I launched my blog, The Pelikan’s Perch, on September 1, 2014, but I’ve been collecting fountain pens since 2012. While studying for my internal medicine boards, I would take breaks from studying by researching my small but growing collection of pens. It was a great way to decompress. I found a lot of great information, but it was fragmented and widely distributed across the varied corners of the internet. I spent a lot of time piecing it all together, really for nothing more than my own edification. 

At some point, it struck me that others might enjoy and benefit from the information that I was gathering for myself. That was the catalyst for the blog. I have no formal writing experience, though I always excelled in my English classes. I sought to combine a colloquial, conversational language that was easy to access while still applying a more rigorous scientific approach to the research behind each piece.

2. Why Pelikan specifically? What makes the brand so special? Why not write about fountain pens more broadly?

I received my first fountain pen in 2009 but have only been collecting them in earnest since 2012. I first collected a broad swath of brands and experienced many unique filling systems, dabbling in anything that caught my eye. It was a great education in the history and design of fountain pens. 

It wasn’t until 2013 that I acquired my first Pelikan, a lightly used white M205. It was love at first sight. The M205 was my first higher-end, piston-filled fountain pen and it stood out for its clean design and perfect balance when posted. It was enough to make me start seeking out other Pelikans. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I made a snap decision on the spot to dedicate myself solely to one brand, but as I began to gravitate more and more towards Pelikan, I started to forsake all of the others. 

My collection of Pelikans would grow with the addition of an old-style Black/Green M600 and then an M400 Tortoiseshell White. A medical resident’s salary isn’t much to speak about, so I started selling off my earlier non-Pelikan acquisitions to fund my new addiction, a decision that I have yet to regret all these years later. 

What makes the brand so special is that Pelikan pens have an indescribable quality, a character and a discipline, that makes owning and using them a joy that transcends the sum of their parts. There is a rich history and heritage behind the brand that really captivates the imagination when you start digging into it. I don’t write about fountain pens more broadly simply because there are a lot of amazing people already working in that space and putting out great content. I wanted my voice to be unique, so I sought out a niche within a niche. I think that laser focus has allowed me to bring high-quality content to the blog that might not otherwise be possible if I was more broadly focused.

3. You write within a niche of a niche. Do you ever feel constrained or like you might run out of ideas? Is it easy to come up with new content ideas?

Time. Time is what I’m constrained by, specifically the woeful lack of it. My day job keeps me very busy, so my blogging is shoehorned into the odd hours of the night, at least when I’m able to stay awake. A lot of research goes into many of my pieces, and it is time-consuming to try and get things right. It’s not the subject matter that constrains, at least not yet. The Pelikan brand traces its roots back to 1838 and they have been making fountain pens since 1929. That’s 184 years of company heritage and 93 years of pen making, which means that there is plenty of fodder there to write about — if only my time and imagination were equally expansive. It has been a real blast being able to bring some of the more esoteric and buried information about the brand and its pens to the surface. I have a lot more ideas that I’m just waiting to be able to explore.

4. What are the benefits of writing with a fountain pen? What would you say to someone who’s never written with one in order to get them to try?

First, I find the act of using a fountain pen somewhat cathartic. We are so connected and device-oriented these days. There is something special about unplugging and putting pen to paper. That tactile feedback, the nib gliding on a smooth line of ink, seeing your words come to life, that is something very rewarding. It can really unlock your creativity in a way our digital devices can’t. 

It also connects us to the past. While there are plenty of new, modern pens to be had, there are just as many vintage models out there. Picking one up can’t help but evoke images of who might have owned it and what might they have written with it. It’s a fun exercise of the imagination. 

The abstract aside, I think using a fountain pen helps improve retention and can be a stress reliever. Also, it can be very rewarding for those that like to write and send letters. When so much of our mail is junk, receiving a handwritten letter from someone is a rare treat and a special gift that anyone can give. That’s not a fountain pen–specific activity, but the exercise is more satisfying than when using a ballpoint.

5. There’s a robust community of fountain pen enthusiasts out there. What are some of your favorite resources, for folks who might be interested in exploring this vast world?

When I was given my first fountain pen in 2009, I crashed and burned. I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn’t know where to look. That lesson in frustration turned me off to the concept and it took three years before I’d find my way back. The second go-round was much more successful, largely thanks to sites like The Fountain Pen Network and Fountain Pen Geeks which were very influential for me in my early days. I think they are still great repositories of information and there is a lot there for a novice to explore and unpack. 

Other sites are great too, such as r/fountainpens over on Reddit. Those are just some of the bigger forums and discussion boards. It would take way too much space to list all of the other great bloggers and other resources out there that also have great information. The forums make for a good starting point though.

6. Do you have any tips for aspiring bloggers, writers, and/or hobbyists? What has kept you going all these years?

Find your own niche within a niche. Write about something you love, something close to the heart. That will keep you going. 

Keep at it but don’t sweat posting every day or every week. Do what you can, when you can. When it starts to feel like work and you begin to struggle, step away from it. It shouldn’t be a chore. 

For me, the blog has been a therapy of sorts. It’s a refuge where I can go to unplug from the stress of my day job and get lost in a world that has nothing to do with medicine. That stress reliever has been invaluable to my mental health.

If you think you’ve discovered your own niche within a niche, but are a little stuck in getting your site off the ground, check out our free, self-paced Intro to Blogging course.

Also be sure to read the first two features in this Favorites series: The Travel Architect writes all about traveling and doesn’t narrow in on a single geographic area or travel topic; Empish Thomas writes about all kinds of things, from disability advocacy, to book/podcast reviews, to why she loves writing. 

Editor’s note: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

WordPress 6.0 Beta 3

Posted by download in Software on 26-04-2022

WordPress 6.0 Beta 3 is now available for testing!

This version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, or test this version of WordPress production or mission-critical websites. Instead, it is recommended that you test Beta 3 on a test server and site. 

You can test WordPress 6.0 Beta 3 in three ways:

Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).

Option 2: Direct download the beta version here (zip).

Option 3: Use WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=6.0-beta3.
Do not use this option if your filesystem is case-insensitive.

The current target for the final 6.0 release is May 24, 2022, which is in less than a month! 

Additional information on the full 6.0 release cycle is available here.

Check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.0-related developer notes in the coming weeks which will detail all upcoming changes.

See What’s in Beta 3

Since Beta 2, various items have been addressed, including (but not limited to): 

  • Twenty Twenty-Two: Implement alternate json files #55433
  • Fix duotone rendering in site editor #37727 
  • Create Comments Title block with simple styling #40419 
  • Navigation block: After choosing an option from Select Menu, focus after block render #40390
  • Add comment id to all comments inside comments query loop #40268
  • Add post-comments-form block to comments template #40256
  • Elements: Add styles to the footer before the block is rendered #37728
  • Add default comment status to discussion settings  #55567
  • Fix styles for nested elements (link color) #55567
  • Move wp_enqueue_block_style() to wp-includes/script-loader.php, for better consistency #55182, #55148
  • Move administration related hooks to admin-filters.php #54795

Update on the Webfonts API and Style Variations in Twenty Twenty-Two

A prior announcement for WordPress 6.0 Beta 1 included a reference to “Webfonts API: Manage local fonts with PHP or theme.json”, as a feature that would be included in the release. WordPress 6.0 Beta 3 will allow theme authors to use webfonts in theme.json, with a public API for plugins to register and enqueue webfonts available in a future version for WordPress. Beta 3 will also include three style new variations to the Twenty Twenty-Two default theme.

How to Help

Testing for issues is critical for stabilizing a release throughout its development. Testing is also a great way to contribute to WordPress. If you are new to testing, check out this detailed guide that will walk you through how to get started.

If you think you have run into an issue, please report it to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, you can file one on WordPress Trac. This is also where you can find a list of known bugs.

Thank you to the following contributors for collaborating on this post: @dansoschin  @webcommsat, @audrasjb

And now another WordPress haiku:

Release day is near
6.0 abounds with joy
New features soon here

VideoPress, Take 3

Posted by download in Software on 20-04-2022

We promised you “more is coming” in our latest update—and now more is here. More features that make the finest video service for WordPress even more powerful. You can upload more content with less effort, reach more audiences, and keep sharing more of what inspires you. In this video, we’ll show you what’s new in VideoPress.

Let’s dive deeper into five of the new features that make VideoPress more powerful than ever:

  • Higher Resolution Videos up to 4K – Watch crisp images on any display and screen size. We’ve added support for displaying your videos in 1440p and 4K formats. 
  • Adaptive Streaming – Videos now play back much faster by automatically adjusting video quality based on bandwidth and display size. The viewer can still choose the quality they’d like in the menu.
  • Progress Bar Color Match – The VideoPress seekbar now adapts its color to match the scenes in your videos. This makes your content really pop.
  • Resumable Video Uploads – You no longer have to restart your uploads if they get cut off for some reason. Simply drag your video into the editor, and the resumable uploader will take it from there, even if a network error occurs.
  • Subtitles, Captions, and Chapters Support – Simply upload your text tracks via the VideoPress block and they will be available on the video as soon as you publish your post.

The most exciting times for video are yet to come. We are committed to keep evolving VideoPress so that you can keep delivering high-quality content, flawlessly and ad-free, to millions of users around the globe.

VideoPress is included in our WordPress Pro Plan on And if you have a self-hosted site, you can get VideoPress through Jetpack as a standalone product.

WordPress 6.0 Beta 2

Posted by download in Software on 19-04-2022

WordPress 6.0 Beta 2 is now available for testing!

This version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, and test this version of WordPress on a production or mission-critical website. Instead, it is recommended that you test Beta 2 on a test server and site. 

You can test the WordPress 6.0 Beta 2 in three ways:

Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).

Option 2: Direct download the beta version here (zip).

Option 3: Use WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=6.0-beta2
Do not use this option if your filesystem is case-insensitive.

The current target for the final release is May 24, 2022, which is about five weeks away. 

Additional information on the full 6.0 release cycle is available.

Check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.0-related developer notes in the coming weeks, which will detail all upcoming changes.

What’s New In Beta 2

Since Beta 1, contributors have fixed 209 tickets in WordPress 6.0, including 110 new features and enhancements. More bug fixes are on the way with your help through testing. Here are a few of the changes you will find in Beta 2: 

  • Block Editor: Prevent styles from being added to the site editor (#55567)
  • Patterns REST API: Add ‘inserter’ to the schema  (#55567)
  • Don’t load remote patterns twice in WP_REST_Block_Patterns_Controller::get_items (#55567)
  • Add the ability to filter the whole notification email in retrieve_password (#54690)
  • Avoid translating empty plugin headers (#54586)

Note on Webfonts API

Last week’s announcement for WordPress 6.0 Beta 1 includes a reference to “Webfonts API: Manage local fonts with PHP or theme.json,” as a feature that would be included in the release. This specific functionality was not included in Beta 2 but may be available at RC.

How to Help

Testing for issues is critical for stabilizing a release throughout its development. Testing is also a great way to contribute to WordPress. If you are new to testing, check out this detailed guide that will walk you through how to get started.

If you think you have run into an issue, please report it to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, you can file one on WordPress Trac. This is also where you can find a list of known bugs.

Thank you to the following contributors for collaborating on this post: @dansoschin, @annezazu, @costdev, @priethor

And now a WordPress Haiku:

We code fervently

A breathless pause for the test

‘Collaborative community’ to the rescue

Key tapping resumes

WP Briefing: Episode 29: How to Make a WordPress Blog

Posted by download in Software on 18-04-2022

In the twenty-ninth episode of the WordPress Briefing, Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy reminds us of our WordPress roots — blogging — and discusses the basics of starting your first blog on WordPress.

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




Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:00:00]  

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.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:00:39]  

All right. So you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while. You may be one of these contributors I keep mentioning; you may be an agency owner or freelancer. Maybe you’ve wondered how to make a WordPress blog for your big idea. Or, maybe you’re one of the many people who use WordPress for their project or business. Before WordPress was known as a content management system, as a way to get sites online fast, it was a blogging tool.

We have long since outgrown that, but even 19 years into our journey, blogging is still a key part of what WordPress enables you to do. That’s because even after those 19 years, the mission of WordPress is still the same. And that is to democratize publishing, to help people have a place online where they can tell their stories or share their projects or set up their businesses.

If you’ve ever tried to set up a blog, you know that there isn’t a lot of information about what to know before you get going at all. So I’m going to talk about that a little bit today. And just by the way, if you heard the word blog right now and thought, oh, Josepha, how old fashioned? I think it’s important to remember that there’s a business advantage to having well-written, relevant content on your website.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:01:59]

And if you’re not blogging for business, because not all of us are, then the benefits are a little different but still important to my mind. Things like the cathartic benefits of journaling, a chance to build community, and the general importance of preserving wisdom for the ages. Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Before we can get to any of the fancy things that WordPress can do nowadays, it’s important to know a few things as you get ready to set up your first ever website.  

So let’s dive in. Here is how you need to get yourself started. First, have an idea and a plan. So have an idea for what you’re doing, the concept of your content, who you want to reach, and some concept of a domain name. I would encourage you to not necessarily get your heart set on a domain name at first. Cause, like, if you want the domain name,, like we own that, you can have that! But if you know that you want a domain like, like that one might be more available. And if you know the kind of words you want in your domain, you can be a bit flexible about what is there. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:03:09]

The second thing that you need to do is that if you are just getting started, ask yourself the question, what sort of host do I want? We kind of mentioned all along the WordPress process that, like, you need a good host, but it’s not always clear where that decision has to happen. It happens right here at the start, before you even know what WordPress is most of the time.

So, the earliest question that you have to answer for yourself is what sort of host do I want? Where do I want my site to live? So ask yourself how much you want to get into the maintenance and configuration of your website and the hardware that it lives on versus creating content or keeping your shop up to date. 

There’s this whole spectrum of hosting options, and they range from full service where they will keep your WordPress software up to date, provide daily backups, and have customer support if something goes really wrong. So it ranges all the way from full service like that all the way down to essentially zero services, just kind of hands-off.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:04:11] 

They give you a space to keep your WordPress software, to keep your WordPress site. But they leave everything else up to you. They leave the backups up to you. They leave updating up to you, things like. So that’s the first thing you have to ask yourself. And the first question you have to be able to answer. Most of the time, you will want to start with one of the full-service options. That way, you know that your software is set up correctly and safely from the start. And as you learn more about the software and what you want and what you need, and you have the ability to learn in the time that you have, the more that you can add on either service with the existing hosts that you chose or moving to a different host; however that works out for you.

So if that one sounds like the right option, then you choose a host, go to their site, and actually most of them will have a way to walk you through how to set up a WordPress site inside their system. Most of the time, it’s just one click and then they ask you some questions to get some configurations right.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:05:10] 

The other option that on the like zero, zero service side, that’s not quite fair, but you know, the other side of that spectrum that probably will be appealing to you if you are already familiar with code or already know how to manage a server or, or you know how to work in this thing called c-panel, et cetera.

So if you already have a lot of information on how all of that works, you can, if you want to, head over to, and you can download a zip file of the WordPress software and set that up in your own environment. 

Okay, quick check here. If this all sounds roughly doable to you, or at least it feels like we’re in the right starting point, but you find yourself thinking, gosh, I just wish she would slow down a little.

I’ve got you covered. In the show notes, you’ll find a link to one of the Learn WP courses for getting started with WordPress. There’s a section on choosing a host as well as various other early steps of this process. So if you felt like I blazed through all of that, which honestly I kind of did, you can work through those lessons in that course, at your own pace, and it’s, and it’s really a very good guide.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:06:24] 

All right. Let’s pretend we did all of that. Now you’ve got yourself a website. The thing that you will want to do next, or rather the first thing that you’ll notice once you get your site up and running, is that there’s this ‘Hello World’ post– there’s a post that already exists in there. The Hello World post is a placeholder for the common features of a blog post.

There, you can find your featured image, your title, your content, and even some fake comments. You can either edit this post so that you can see how your writing will look from the start, and you can kind of compare like, okay, the Hello World part over here on this page, exists in this field over here on this page. So you can kind of see where everything works, how it all looks together. Or, if you’re more familiar with WordPress or CMS in general, you can simply remove that and start fresh. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:07:17]

So we’ve got now a website, we know, kind of, how to look at our posts and create posts, where comments are, where they can kind of be moderated and stuff. And so, the most fun task for everyone is choosing a theme. But if it’s not a fun task, if it doesn’t sound like a fun task to you, I can help you kind of do some, choose your own adventure guiding questions here. 

Firstly, you can ask yourself how you want the site to look. Do you want it to mostly be a lot of photos or entirely words, mostly animations? You can head to the theme directory and search for a theme with most of the features that you want. There’s like a filtering system where you can put in, like, you want three columns so that you can have three columns of text if you want it to look kind of like an old school newspaper kind of layout and things like.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:08:12]

There’s also a way to look for themes inside your instance, your WordPress site, but like, if you haven’t set that up yet, but you do still want to see kind of what your theme options are, you can go to and and take a look at what’s out there. Just as a quick side note, if you get to that theme directory, if you get to, and it feels overwhelming, which I can understand, I recommend starting with a theme that is designed for blogging specifically so that you can see how things look right away.

And there’s actually a theme that does come with every WordPress site. So if you’re not ready, you can skip this thing entirely and just work with the theme that’s already there. Every word, press instance ships with a theme and it is fully functional when you, when you get your site up and running. So you don’t need to choose a theme right now if you don’t feel ready.

And then the other very fun thing that people do with their WordPress sites is to add plugins to them. So plugins are these little pieces of software that you add on to the WordPress software that lets it do additional things. It adds additional functionality. The questions that you can ask to kind of guide yourself through what sorts of plugins you might want, what sorts of functionality you might want to add to your site are a little similar to the ones that you want to ask for figuring out which theme. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:09:36]

So figure out if there are tasks that you need visitors to do. Do you need them to contact you? Do you want them to watch a video? Should they review and respond to questions?

If you have a concept of the things that you want users to do on your website, then you can head to the plugin directory and search for a plugin with features that you need. Also, there are just endless lists of recommended plugins out there; if that is something that you find valuable as part of your research, those are also easy to find.

And as a general side note here, there are even more plugins than there are themes. So if you have gotten to this point and feel like you don’t quite know the answers to the questions that I shared, and, and it’s going to be a while until you feel like you can know what those answers are. That’s totally fine.

I’ll tell you this. I have never seen a site without a contact form. So feel free to begin your journey there. There are a lot of great plugins for contact forms and it can kind of help you figure out how to work with plugins in that way. So yeah, I made it sound like you can get a WordPress website built in like seven minutes and on the one hand you definitely can.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:09:36]

And on the other hand, it’s still a little bit more complicated. So here I have a final note for everyone. You will hear around the WordPress ecosystem. And obviously, here, are some things that could make you feel a little nervous about doing this for the first time. Things like the five-second installation, which WordPress has been famous for years.

But also about how easy and simple it all is. And as somebody who was once in the position of learning WordPress for the first time, like I first encountered a WordPress site in 2009 and I started learning how to use WordPress in 2010. So I can say with confidence that once you learn it, it’s easy.

We are the easiest of the hard options for CMS. Like content management systems are just complicated, but we are the easiest one out there. And so, as you’re learning, I want to just remind you to celebrate your small wins along the way. If you feel like you’re late to this blogging game, like you should have had a website for years. I mean, sure that could be true. And yes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. But the second-best time to plant that tree is today. 

WordPress didn’t start out powering over 40% of the web, and your first site can’t be immediately measured in the millions of readers. So, what will your small beginning lead you to? 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:12:25]

And now that brings us to our small list of big things. 

The first one, the next release of WordPress, WordPress 6.0, has reached its beta phase. That means the full focus is on finding and fixing the bugs we accidentally created during this development cycle. Beta two comes out tomorrow and you can follow along in the core channel in the Making WordPress Slack.

If you’ve never seen how those releases get packaged, and if you just want to keep an eye on what everybody’s doing so that you can be the first to know, yeah, Making WordPress Slack is the way to go. 

The second thing on our small list is that speaking of WordPress 6.0, we had the public walk through a couple of weeks ago, which means that in a few weeks, I’ll do a WordPress 6.0 sneak peek. I’ll share some highlights of the release features and why I think they are super important for you to take a look. Sooner rather than later. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy [00:13:22]

And then the final, big thing, if you are new to WordPress and this episode has you all fired up to start your blog, we have a bunch of contributors over on the Learn WP team that have just the thing for you.

You can join the online social learning space called How to Make a WordPress Blog. It’s a free online event that will help you get started. I’ll link the information in the show notes below. And I’ll also share in the show notes, a list of WordPress Meetup groups, where you can find more opportunities to learn and get support from other people locally who are also doing things with WordPress. 

But you can also find a list in the dashboard of your newly installed WordPress blog you no doubt have after this podcast.  

And that my friends is your small list of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

WordPress 6.0 Beta 1

Posted by download in Software on 12-04-2022

WordPress 6.0 Beta 1 is now available for download and testing.

This version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, and test this version of WordPress on a production or mission-critical website. Instead, it is recommended that you test Beta 1 on a test server and site. 

You can test the WordPress 6.0 Beta 1 in three ways:

  • Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).
  • Option 2: Direct download the beta version here (zip).
  • Option 3: Use WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=6.0-beta1.
    Do not use this option if your filesystem is case-insensitive.

The current target for the final release is May 24, 2022, which is about six weeks away. 

Additional information on the full 6.0 release cycle is available.

Check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.0-related developer notes in the coming weeks which will detail all upcoming changes.

Keep WordPress Bug Free – Help with Testing

Testing for issues is critical for stabilizing a release throughout its development. Testing is also a great way to contribute. If you have never tested a beta release before, this detailed guide will walk you through how to get started.

Testing helps make sure that this and future releases of WordPress are as stable and issue-free as possible. And anyone can do it – especially great WordPress community members just like you.

Want to know more about testing releases like this one? Read about the testing initiatives that happen in Make Core. You can also join a publicly-accessible channel on the Making WordPress Slack workspace.

If you think you have run into an issue, please report it to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, you can file one on WordPress Trac. This is also where you can find a list of known bugs.

To review features in the Gutenberg releases since WordPress 5.9 (the most recent major release of WordPress), access the What’s New In Gutenberg posts for 13.0 (release pending), 12.9, 12.8, 12.7, 12.6, 12.5, 12.4, 12.3, 12.2, 12.1, and 12.0.  

Beyond the noted changes, which include more than 400 updates and 500 bug fixes for the editor, contributors have fixed 189 tickets for the WordPress 6.0 core, including 91 new features and enhancements. More fixes are on the way.

Some Highlights

Want to know what’s new in version 6.0? Read on for some highlights.

The WordPress 6.0 release will be packed with all kinds of improvements. Here are just a few:

  • Style Switching: switch up the look and feel of your site, all in one block theme. No need to change themes!
  • More template options: use blocks to edit five more templates (author, date, categories, tag, and taxonomy).
  • Multi-select: Easily select text across multiple blocks. Edit to your liking.
  • Retain Styles: Keep your custom styles in place, whether transforming between blocks or creating new buttons. 
  • More patterns in more places: the Quick Inserter surfaces patterns that might work well for the condition you’re in, baking in relevant patterns for template parts and pages you’re working on. 
  • List View improvements: New keyboard shortcuts (shift + click) let you select multiple blocks to modify in bulk (reposition, delete, etc.), see your content at a glance with a collapsed by default view, and more.
  • Refined design tools: Explore a new color panel, transparency options, more group block variations to create new layout options (Stack, Row), the ability to set your featured image in a Cover block, control the exact size of your featured image, gap support for the Gallery block, and more.
  • New blocks: Comments, Read More, No results in Query Loop, Post Author biography, Avatar blocks. 
  • Limit block changes: Choose to disable the option to remove a block, move it, or both. 
  • Export block themes: Explore the improved block theme export tool, as WordPress heads closer to codeless visual block theme building.
  • Webfonts API: Manage local fonts with PHP or theme.json. 

Thank you to the following contributors for collaborating on this post: @annezazu, @chanthaboune, @marybaum, @priethor, and @webcommsat.

WordPress 5.9.3 Maintenance Release

Posted by download in Software on 05-04-2022

WordPress 5.9.3 is now available!

This maintenance release features 9 bug fixes in Core and 10 bug fixes in the block editor.

WordPress 5.9.3 is a short-cycle maintenance release. The next major release will be version 6.0.

You can download WordPress 5.9.3 from, or visit your Dashboard → Updates and click “Update Now”.

If you have sites that support automatic background updates, they’ve already started the update process.

For more information, browse the full list of both Trac and GitHub changes in the release candidate post, or check out the changelog of version 5.9.3 on HelpHub.

Thanks and props!

The 5.9.3 release was led by Jb Audras and George Mamadashvili.

Special props to Sergey Biryukov for running mission control.

Thank you to everyone who helped make WordPress 5.9.3 happen:

Aki Hamano, Alex Stine, aliakseyenkaihar, Anton Vlasenko, binarymoon, Carlos Bravo, Colin Stewart, David Baumwald, Dion Hulse, George Mamadashvili, glendaviesnz, Greg Ziółkowski, ironprogrammer, Iulia Cazan, Jb Audras, Joe Dolson, Joen A., Jorge Costa, jsnajdr, Marius L. J., Nick Diego, Paul Biron, Peter Smits, pgpagely, Rafi Ahmed, Richard B. Kreckel, Robert Anderson, Rufus87, Sergey Biryukov, Tor-Bjorn Fjellner, Tonya Mork, Abha Thakor, Oliver Juhas, and Weston Ruter.

Say Hello to WordPrompts!

Posted by download in Software on 05-04-2022

Earlier this year, we kicked off 2022 with Bloganuary, a daily blogging challenge during the month of January. The feedback we received about the challenge was overwhelmingly positive, and it’s clear that prompts serve as a helpful way to inspire people to write and to connect with other bloggers.

We want to keep that momentum going, so we’re excited to introduce a new set of prompts for creators of all types — whether they participated in Bloganuary or not. Meet WordPrompt, a single-word monthly exercise that aims to inspire you to create new posts, regardless of what or how you publish.

Are you a food blogger sharing recipes? We challenge you to cook up something interesting based on an individual word. 

Are you a photographer with an online portfolio? Show us how the prompt is represented in picture form.

Do you host a podcast or a vlog? We’d love to witness how a single word inspires an episode.

Whatever you publish, we hope you find inspiration in WordPrompts. To join in on the fun, add “WordPrompt” as a tag to your post, allowing your content to be discovered more easily in the Reader, and use the hashtag #WordPrompt when you share your post on social media.

This month’s WordPrompt is:


You can find new WordPrompts on our social channels and in our newsletter each month, so be sure to follow us and/or enable the newsletter emails in your account to participate!

Introducing WordPress Pro: One Plan, Infinite Possibilities

Posted by download in Software on 05-04-2022

Our mission has always been to democratize publishing, one website at a time. Now we’re making all the benefits of WordPress available to more people, with one simple pricing plan.

Hello, Pro

One thing we heard over the years was how hard it can be to choose the right upgrade plan when you’re ready to scale up from Free. 

WordPress Pro radically simplifies that decision by rolling the very best of managed WordPress hosting into a single, affordable plan at just $15/month (paid annually).

50,000+ Plugins in Your Pocket

Plugins are powerful add-ons that make it simple to add limitless functionality to your website in just a few clicks. No coding necessary. With WordPress Pro we’re opening the doors to this unlimited array of extra features at half the price of our previous Business plan.

A Universe of Beautifully Designed Themes

With Pro, you’ll also unlock a range of beautiful, Premium themes. Whatever your goals, you’ll find a hand-crafted, flexible theme to transform your design in minutes, not months. No designer necessary.

From Site to Store in a Couple of Clicks

If you’re ready to start selling, WordPress Pro includes everything from simple payments, donations, and subscriptions, to full-blown stores. 

WooCommerce – one of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the planet – is baked into your Pro plan. Not only does that bring raw, almost infinitely expandable options to your store, it also means you’ll pay significantly less than those other e-commerce options you see in ads everywhere.

Anytime Support, Any Time You Need It

Sometimes you need a little extra help getting it done. WordPress Pro customers can get a helping, human hand with Premium Support over live chat and email. If you’re stuck, we’re here to get you unstuck.

Managed WordPress Hosting For the Rest of Us

WordPress is all about the right to do it yourself. 

With cheap hosting, or even a Raspberry Pi on your counter, you can put up a site in minutes for pocket change. But you’ll run into hours of hands-on maintenance, quickly hit speed, security, and hosting limits, and spend a significant amount of your time keeping it running. Managed Hosting takes away that pain, but often at a significantly higher price. and the new WordPress Pro plan aim to give you the raw power, flexibility, and hassle-free experience of Managed Hosting, without the huge price tag that usually comes with it. 

In addition to the headline features of Pro, you’ll get:

  • Custom domain names without a separate subscription
  • SEO features that make your site easy to find.
  • Social media tools to promote your website.
  • Hyper-secure protection from DDOS, brute force, and other attacks that could take your site down overnight
  • Super-strong, real-time, automated backups spanning multiple locations, so if the worst ever happens, you’re covered
  • The fastest site speeds of any managed hosting on the planet
  • SFTP access to your files
  • And much more

That means you’ll enjoy a fast, secure, search optimized site, without having to spend countless hours on updates, fixes, and technical maintenance.

What About Free?

Our Free plan isn’t going away.

It’s important to that anyone, anywhere can put up a blog or a site, whatever their situation. With the Free plan you’ll still be able to get the word out, create a beautiful site, and take advantage of the fastest WordPress managed hosting on the planet. And when you’re ready to scale up your ambitions, WordPress Pro will be waiting in the wings.

How This Affects Your Current Plan

While we’re making a few changes to the Free plan, rest assured that if you’re already signed up, nothing will change for you. Ditto, if you’re on one of our legacy plans, nothing will change unless you want it to.

Going forward, signups and sites will integrate smoothly into our new Free and Pro plans.

Your Money Goes Further. And Further.

WordPress Pro is more than just a simple, competitive way to enjoy rock-solid, super-fast, hyper secure WordPress hosting without the hassle.

Every dollar you spend on your plan helps us to:

  • Support Free plan users around the world, whatever their circumstances. This is more important than ever in 2022.
  • Sponsor the work of 90+ dedicated developers working on the free, open source WordPress project as part of the Five for the Future initiative. That helps to ensure that WordPress will always be free, open, hackable, and hostable by anyone.

We’re Here For You

We’re listening to your feedback, and want to be clear that it will, as always, shape the future of 

With that in mind, we’re committing to:

  • No traffic limits on either the Free or Pro plan. You’ll enjoy the same unlimited traffic you’ve always had.
  • The new Free plan storage limit will include 1GB of Free storage, and existing Free users will keep the 3GB they already have on hand.
  • Additional storage will be available for purchase at a very reasonable price, very soon.
  • As-you-need them add-ons for both plans, to give you a la carte upgrades. Coming soon. 

It’s important that we keep things simple, honest, and clear in everything we do, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you about your plans, feedback, and ideas!

More Questions?

We totally understand that you might have additional questions about the changes. We’ve answered more of your questions in our FAQ here.