People of WordPress: Bud Kraus

Posted by download in Software on 31-08-2022

This month, as we approach WordCamp US, we feature Bud Kraus, a WordPress trainer who has made a career in helping others learn about software. He also shares how he has developed an approach to using technology in order to overcome longstanding difficulties with his eyesight.

In this People of WordPress 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.

Bud Kraus playing the guitar
Bud Kraus with his guitar

Teaching WordPress strengthens your understanding

Bud has taught web design since 1998, with students from more than 80 countries online or in person. He was determined not to let his sight difficulties stop him from his wish to help others learn website building and maintenance skills.

As WordPress evolves and new features release, Bud decided to extend his training services around helping new and existing users improve and practice their skills. He supports others in open source through volunteering to speak at WordPress events, and encourages others to do so too. He also gives time to help produce material for the free-to-access resource Learn WordPress, which is part of the project. 

As a contributor to the Test and Training teams, Bud is keen for others to try contributing to these areas and help support the project’s future development. One of his current training priorities is to help people with using the block editor and Full Site Editing. He is an advocate for the usability of WordPress today, saying: “I can design all aspects of a website now with a block.”

Using WordPress as a traditional developer

Bud’s WordPress journey began with a lunch at Grand Central Station in New York in 2009. A friend and former client was promoting the idea of using WordPress, which Bud initially resisted.

“I’m a code guy…,” he told his friend at the time. “I will never use anything like that.”

However, the friend persisted. Eventually, Bud gave it a try and found a new approach with things called themes and plugins. His first encounter was with WordPress 2.6. Bud signed up with a hosting company and found a theme where he could learn to edit and understand child themes.

He said: “Once I saw that you could edit anything and make it yours, I was hooked. The endorphins were freely coursing through my veins.” Bud was hooked.

Teaching WordPress strengthens your own understanding of the software

There’s an old saying that the best way to learn something new is to turn around and teach someone else.

Bud was already an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology when he thought, “I could teach WordPress!”

And so he did, packing classrooms all through those first years of WordPress as it swept through the design world and further.

But Bud had more to discover. He said: “Two big things were about to happen that were really going to change my life. They would show me the way to the WordPress community – not that I even knew what that was.”

Sharing lessons learnt with the WordPress community

In 2014, one of his students suggested he start going to the New York WordPress Meetup. 

As he started going to WordCamps in New York City, he realized that WordPress was getting very large. What’s more, it had a community of people with whom he felt at home and could learn alongside.

Bud gave a talk for the first time in 2016 at the only WordCamp to this day that has been held at the United Nations. He shared his knowledge of “Lessons Learned: Considerations For Teaching Your Clients WordPress.” 

Bud Kraus talking at a WordCamp
Bud Kraus speaks at WordCamps to help people use the software even more effectively

From there, Bud went on to speak at other WordCamps in the US. He also volunteered as a speaker wrangler for his home camp in New York City in 2018 and 2019.

From speaking to writing about WordPress

At some point before the Covid-19 lockdown, Bud found another outlet, this time in writing. 

Bud heard a magazine was advertising for submissions related to WordPress. His first attempted article did not make the cut.

So in his second submission, Bud took the risk of writing about something deeply personal – a topic he really didn’t want to write about at all.

He gathered his courage and revealed to the entire web design world that he was legally blind.

The article appeared as  Using Low Vision As My Tool To Help Me Teach WordPress”.

Since the age of 37, Bud has had macular degeneration in both eyes, which affects his central vision. It is a leading cause of legal blindness in the United States and many other countries. 

He relies on his peripheral vision and finding ways to compensate. He also tends to see things in a flat dimension and has a difficulty discerning contrast  – he  is glad there are starting to be improvements in color contrasts in web design!

He uses tools like Speech to Text, larger sized cursors and bigger font sizes, and heavily uses zooming back in and out when working with WordPress. He is able to recognize patterns but has to rely on detailed preparation and memorizing materials. 

In his first magazine article acknowledging this situation, he shared the added difficulties that technology creates for people with visual conditions, and tips that he had found to try and find alternative routes around them. He uses the technique of finding alternatives in his training work to help people learn and understand, realizing that all people have different ways of reading and understanding. His words and subsequent stories have inspired others and enabled more people to highlight accessibility. He describes himself as a ‘stakeholder in ensuring that the WordPress admin is accessible.’

A year after its first publication, the piece became a WordCamp talk, ‘My Way with WordPress.’ The talk was a hit and started many conversations about accessibility and the importance of raising awareness.

A few months later, he gave a Gutenberg talk at the first WordCamp Montclair. There was no way he could have done it from a laptop, so instead, he did it from his 27” desktop computer.

Bud said: “It was a presentation on Gutenberg plugins. Since I couldn’t do this from a notebook screen (the screen is too small and the keyboard is hard for me to manipulate), it was decided that I would bring in my 27″ desktop machine to a WordCamp. I’m probably the first person to ever have done this. It was good thing I only lived a few miles away.”

He added: “I sat behind my computer, did my thing, and every once in a while peered out to make sure people were still there.”

Different ways of contributing to WordPress

One of the main ways Bud supported the community around the software was through talks at WordCamps and helping others to speak.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, he was keen to continue contributing when WordCamps were no longer meeting in person. He turned greater attention to supporting the Learn WordPress resource, a free to use learning platform made by and for the community itself. 

More training materials on the block editor can be found on Learn WordPress and his WordCamp talks are available on

Global reach and meaning through WordPress

Bud Kraus with Josepha
Bud Kraus with Josepha Haden Chomphosy at WordCamp Montclair, NJ 2022

Bud’s training materials and willingness to talk about accessibility have helped so many people find their way with WordPress. He in turn is an advocate for the community around open source.

He said: “The software is really good, and the people are even better.”  

He added: “I get a sense of accomplishment whenever I launch a new or redesigned site. It’s also given me a great feeling to know that many people have learned WordPress around the world from my talks and presentations. This might just be the most gratifying thing of all.”

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), Mary Baum (@marybaum) , Surendra Thakor (@sthakor), @Meher Bala (@meher), @Larissa Murillo (@lmurillom), and Chloe Bringmann (@cbringmann), for work on this feature. Thank you too to Bud Kraus (@trynet) for sharing his experiences.

Thank you to Josepha Haden (@chantaboune) and Topher DeRosia (@topher1kenobe) for their support of the People of WordPress 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

Need a Website Fast? Let Us Do It For You

Posted by download in Software on 30-08-2022

We get it. Life’s to-do list seems bottomless, and maybe building your own website isn’t anywhere near the top of it. And yet your business needs it. Yesterday, if possible. Your audience, your customers, are waiting. 

If you’re in need of a professionally designed, budget-friendly, mobile-optimized website to showcase your business, product, or service, consider Built By Express

  1. Click here to get started.
  2. Tell us a little bit about your business.
  3. Select a design from our catalog of themes (or let us choose the right one for you!).
  4. Provide your content, including your logo and any images. 
  5. Sit back and relax!

Our in-house experts will build the site for you, all in four business days or less. The cost is $499, plus an additional purchase of the Premium plan. 

We’ve built sites for professional bloggers, local service professionals such as roofers, a surfing school, consultants, attorneys, nonprofits, churches, restaurants, even an online sports streaming network. If your primary goal is to tell the world about your project or business, or maybe you have a long wish list of things you’d like your website to do and just need a head start, Built By Express was created just for you. 

We can’t wait to delight you.

WordPress 6.0.2 Security and Maintenance Release

Posted by download in Software on 30-08-2022

WordPress 6.0.2 is now available!

This security and maintenance release features 12 bug fixes on Core, 5 bug fixes for the Block Editor, and 3 security fixes. Because this is a security release, it is recommended that you update your sites immediately. All versions since WordPress 3.7 have also been updated.

WordPress 6.0.2 is a short-cycle release. You can review a summary of the main updates in this release by reading the RC1 announcement.

The next major release will be version 6.1 planned for November 1, 2022.

If you have sites that support automatic background updates, the update process will begin automatically.

You can download WordPress 6.0.2 from, or visit your WordPress Dashboard, click “Updates”, and then click “Update Now”.

For more information on this release, please visit the HelpHub site.

Security updates included in this release

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

  • FVD for finding a possible SQL injection within the Link API.
  • Khalilov Moe for finding an XSS vulnerability on the Plugins screen.
  • John Blackbourn of the WordPress security team, for finding an output escaping issue within the_meta().

Thank you to these WordPress contributors

The WordPress 6.0.2 release was led by @sergeybiryukov and @gziolo.

WordPress 6.0.2 would not have been possible without the contributions of more than 50 people. Their asynchronous coordination to deliver several enhancements and fixes into a stable release is a testament to the power and capability of the WordPress community.

Alex ConchaAndrei DraganescuannezazuAnton VlasenkoAri StathopoulosBen DwyerCarolina NymarkColin StewartDarren CouttsDilip BhedaDion HulseeMKeyFabian KägyGeorge MamadashviliGreg ZiółkowskihuublironprogrammerJb AudrasJohn BlackbournJonathan DesrosiersjonmackintoshJonny Harris, Kelly Choyce-DwanLena MoritaLinkon MiyanLovro HrustmarybaumNick DiegoNik Tsekouras, Olga GlecklerPascal BirchlerpaulkevanPeter WilsonSergey BiryukovStephen BernhardtTeddy PatriarcaTimothy JacobstommusrhodusTomoki Shimomura, Tonya Morkwebcommsat AbhaNonStopNewsUK, and zieladam.

Here’s a Look at Our Favorite New Patterns

Posted by download in Software on 18-08-2022

Since we launched Patterns in 2020, we’ve been steadily adding to our library of prebuilt Block templates for you to easily make your site stand out even more. There are now over 260 Patterns that can be inserted into your pages and posts in just seconds.

If you’ve never used Patterns before, you can access them by hitting the “+” button at the top left of any page or post you’re working on. From there, you can do a few things:

  • Use the search box to search for a term like “Header,” “Subscription,” or “Link in Bio” and select from the results
  • Or click on the “Patterns” tab and use the drop down menu to explore the top results across various categories
  • Or click on the “Explore” button to bring up our entire library of Patterns, organized by category

Here’s a quick demo that shows how to add an image gallery using the new Pattern explorer:

We’re always adding more Patterns, month by month — we’ve added over 45 new ones since July! — and we can’t wait for you to see some of the fun designs coming up. Think of them as an ever-growing library of sophisticated slices of web design you can customize and add to your posts, pages, and Block themes.

Below is a quick look at some of our favorites from the year so far.

If you use a lot of images in your posts, we have numerous options for you. There are some great Patterns for galleries, portfolios, and even product listings.

You can find these in the “Gallery” category.

The adage “good things come in small packages” holds true with some of our smaller Patterns that take up less real estate. It all depends on the nature of your website, but a Pattern for donations on a non-profit site or call to subscribe on almost any blog can make a great end for a post or page.

Find these in the “Subscribe” and “Earn” categories, respectively.

And finally, simply exploring some of our bolder Patterns can provide inspiration on working with color, type, and images on your site!

Patterns are an incredibly useful resource in your website design toolbox. Customize, experiment, and take advantage of them whenever you can.

If you need help with Patterns, click here for a more detailed guide.

And be sure to let us know in the comments how you’ve used Patterns on your site and any ideas you have for new ones. We’re always working on more!

A New Homepage and Download Page

Posted by download in Software on 15-08-2022

The WordPress experience has significantly evolved in the past few years. In order to highlight the power of WordPress on, the last few weeks have seen a homepage and download page redesign kickoff and shared mockups. Today, these new designs are going live! Like the News pages before them, these refreshed pages are inspired by the jazzy look & feel WordPress is known for.

The new homepage brings more attention to the benefits and experience of using WordPress, while also highlighting the community and resources to get started. 

The new download page greets visitors with a new layout that makes getting started with WordPress even easier by presenting both the download and hosting options right at the top.

This redesign was made possible through great collaboration between Design, Marketing, and Meta teams. Thank you to everyone involved throughout this update:

@abuzon @adamwood @adeebmalik @alexandreb3 @alipawp @angelasjin @aniash_29 @annezazu @beafialho @bjmcsherry @chanthaboune @colinchadwick @crevilaro @critterverse @dansoschin @dd32 @dufresnesteven @eboxnet @eidolonnight @elmastudio @fernandot @geoffgraham @iandunn @javiarce @joedolson @jpantani @kellychoffman @laurlittle @marybaum @matt @maurodf @melchoyce @mikachan @nikhilgandal @pablohoneyhoney @peakzebra @poliuk @priethor @psmits1567 @renyot @rmartinezduque @ryelle @santanainniss @sereedmedia @sippis @tellyworth @tobifjellner @webdados @willmot

Your comments, including some feedback from the 2016 redesign, were taken into consideration with this work. Expect more updates to come as efforts to jazz up continue.

Grow Your Audience with Microsoft Start

Posted by download in Software on 15-08-2022

We’re all looking for ways to grow our audiences for our sites. Sometimes, we change our content to optimize it for search engines (here’s a shameless plug for our new SEO course). Other times, we find ways to reach new people, such as using tags so our blog posts show up in the Reader

Now, creators are getting access to an all-new tool to increase their audience. 

Originally released as Microsoft News, the revamped Microsoft Start is a global news and information feed that currently syndicates content from over 4,500 premium publishers to about a billion people! In an effort to expand and diversify this network, Microsoft has started an exclusive pilot program — and is looking for 500 highly qualified, independent creators in the U.S. to apply. 

Yes, this means you.

Using the Microsoft Start plugin to connect your site to the platform, you’ll be able to build your brand and gain exposure by delivering your content throughout Microsoft Start’s ecosystem, which includes MSN, Bing, and Microsoft Edge. Additionally, you’ll be able to earn ad-sharing revenue via the platform, as well as 100% direct support through readers and your affinity links. Creators on the Microsoft Start platform act as their own syndicator and will maintain 100% ownership of their content. Even better, previously published posts can be repurposed as evergreen content using the built-in feed functionality. 

Do you qualify?

Desired applicants are reputable topic specialists publishing content at least 5 times per month. Priority will be given to the following genres: food and drink; travel; health and wellness (which includes nutrition and fitness); relationships; parenting; demystifying science and tech; career and personal finance; the craft of writing; and DIY how-tos. Ideally, you also have an archive of at least 25 blog posts.

If you’re interested in applying, Microsoft will sweeten the deal by paying 500 accepted candidates a $100 bonus upon publishing regularly for 60 days. (To qualify, candidates must submit their application by 11:59pm PDT on Sunday August 28, 2022 and enter “WordPress” as your referral.) Please note that there are terms and conditions all participating publishers must agree to in order to work directly with Microsoft Start. This opportunity is not an affiliate program between Microsoft Start and; it’s simply a special, limited-time opportunity we’ve helped to leverage for creators.

New Design Superpowers for You to Leverage

Posted by download in Software on 08-08-2022

One of the most exciting things about WordPress is that it’s constantly improving. In fact, did you know that Gutenberg releases new functionality and improvements every two weeks?! There have been a number of really cool and powerful capabilities rolled out over the last few months that give you even more control over the design of your site and your content. We wanted to take a minute to highlight some that we’re especially excited about.

Note: These updates are most relevant to those of you who have a block theme activated.

  1. Use Your Featured Image in the Cover Block
  2. Patterns Are Easier to Find and More Convenient to Use
  3. Borders in Layout Blocks
  4. See What Margin vs Padding Actually Does
  5. Patterns Are Easier to Find and More Convenient to Use
  6. Leveling Up the Query Block
  7. Notable Mentions

Over the last few months the Gutenberg team has really powered up the cover block and its ability to leverage the featured image set in your post/page. Not only can you do that when creating new content, you can use it in your templates too, making it easier than ever to make your featured image a bigger part of every post.

Patterns Are Easier to Find and More Convenient to Use

Gutenberg 12.7 brings patterns front and center to help save you time and energy. Why recreate a layout block by block when you can start with something more complete? Take advantage of all of the great patterns the designers put together for our customers or maybe consider adding a pattern of your own to the pattern directory.

Borders in Layout Blocks

You now have the ability to add and customize borders in the columns, row, stack, and group blocks. Use them for subtle dividers or go nuts to create some fun retro drop-shadows. This is a great way to make different sections on your site stand out!

See What Margin vs Padding Actually Does

I’ve been working in the web space for a long time and I still get confused with how padding and margin will impact my layout — especially when there are multiple layers of blocks involved! You will now see exactly where the change is being applied as you adjust your settings.

Patterns Are Easier to Find and More Convenient to Use

Gutenberg 12.7 brings patterns front and center to help save you time and energy. Why recreate a layout block by block when you can start with something more complete? Take advantage of all of the great patterns the designers put together for our customers or maybe consider adding a pattern of your own to the pattern directory.

Leveling Up the Query Block

The Query Loop has grown a lot over the past few months. Not only can you filter by different authors or taxonomies, but you can now filter to show all content under a parent category. This is perfect for creators who create different types of content or jump between drastically different subject matters. It’s really the ultimate block for displaying a collection of posts and it just keeps getting better.

Notable Mentions

This is just a small subset of new features released over the last few months. Let us know what you think in the comments and feel free to share your favorites!

The Month in WordPress – July 2022

Posted by download in Software on 05-08-2022

July 2022 brought a lot of exciting announcements and proposals for the WordPress project, from an updated timeline for the WordPress 6.1 release, to design updates on Read on to learn more about the latest news from the community.

WordPress 6.1 development cycle is now published

Mark your calendars! The WordPress 6.1 development cycle has been published along with its release team. The expected release date has been updated to November 1, 2022, to incorporate feedback received on the first proposed schedule.

In the meantime, you can upgrade WordPress to version 6.0.1. This maintenance release became available for download on July 12, 2022, and includes several updates since WordPress 6.0 in May 2022.

Want to get more involved with WordPress? Join Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy, as she guides you through the five stages of contribution in a recent episode of WP Briefing.

A new look for the WordPress Homepage and Download page

Following the revamp of and the Gutenberg page, further design updates are coming to to create a fresh and modern user experience that reflects the future of WordPress.

The home and download pages will be the next pieces to get a refreshed look and feel. The redesign project kicked off on July 8, 2022, and the development work is already underway.

Take a look at the design mockups and join the conversation.

Gutenberg versions 13.6, 13.7, and 13.8 are here

Three new versions of Gutenberg have been released since last month’s edition of The Month in WordPress:

  • Gutenberg 13.6 shipped on July 6, 2022. It includes 26 bug fixes and accessibility enhancements. This release also builds on previous work to expand theme.json and to allow you to create a cohesive design across blocks.
  • Gutenberg 13.7 brings an updated modal design, the ability to apply block locking to inner blocks, and new template types, to name a few highlights. It was released on July 20, 2022.
  • The latest Gutenberg release, version 13.8, went live on August 3, 2022. It comes with ​​fluid typography support among other enhancements, a new feature that will allow you to define text size that can scale and adapt to changes in screen size.

Follow the “What’s new in Gutenberg” posts to stay on top of the latest updates.

Team updates: WordPress mobile app changes, pattern previews, Five for the Future improvements

WP Briefing celebrated World Wide Web Day 2022 with a special episode! Tune in to hear contributors from the community reflect on how WordPress impacts their world.

Feedback & testing requests

The Community Team is calling on all meetup members and organizers to complete the 2021-2022 Annual Meetup Survey. Your feedback will help strengthen the WordPress meetup program for years to come. Please respond and help spread the word.

WordCamp updates

Join #WPDiversity with a free, online speaker workshop for Indian women in the WordPress community. The event will take place on September 24-25, 2022. Sign up now!

Have a story that we should include in the next issue of The Month in WordPress? Let us know by filling out this form.

The following folks contributed to this edition of The Month in WordPress: @chaion07, @laurlittle, @mysweetcate, @sereedmedia, @dansoschin, @rmartinezduque.

New Tools for More Successful Editing Adventures

Posted by download in Software on 02-08-2022

  1. Spacing in Galleries
  2. Lock Those Blocks
  3. Did You Notice the Table of Contents on This Post?

Spacing in Galleries

You now have the power to control how much space lives between your images at the horizontal and vertical level. This allows you to create a variety ways to present a collection of photos. You can even eliminate all ofd the space to give it a collage effect.

Lock Those Blocks

Have you ever accidentally messed up a block or pattern? While there’s always some comfort in knowing you can “undo” most accidents, there’s a new/better way to prevent them from happening in the first place.

You can now lock blocks from within the editor or the list view. This makes it easier than ever to protect components, sections, or even full layouts.

Within locking you can choose to prevent them from being moved or to prevent them from being removed. You can also look forward to the ability to lock “inner blocks” which would make it easier to lock any number of blocks you have set up within a layout block like the group, row, or stack blocks.

Did You Notice the Table of Contents on This Post?

That’s right, it’s finally here. The table of contents block automatically updates as you edit your content, giving your users a direct path to the content they are most interested in.

What other features have you discovered that make creating and editing content easier for you? Share your tips and tricks in the comments.

WP Briefing: Episode 37: The World of WordPress on World Wide Web Day

Posted by download in Software on 02-08-2022

In the thirty-seventh episode of the WordPress Briefing, WordPress users and contributors reflect on how WordPress has changed their understanding of the web as we celebrate World Wide Web Day.

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: Santana Inniss & Chloé Bringmann
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod



Diverse Speaker Training Group

Support Underrepresented Speakers at WordCamp US

Call of Speakers – WordCamp Asia 2023

Refocusing the WordPress App on Core Features Homepage and Download Redesign


[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] 

Today is one of my favorite niche holidays – World Wide Web Day – which serves to raise awareness about the origins of the World Wide Web project. WordPress, as part of Web 2.0, only ever had a chance to exist because the web, as we have come to know it exists. So in order to mark this nerdy day on the WP Briefing, I invited a number of community members to share a bit about how WordPress has been a part of their lives.

But first, let’s do some introductions. 

[Adam Warner 00:01:07]

My name is Adam Warner, and I’m originally from a small town in west Michigan, now residing in Orlando, Florida. 

[Alice Orrù 00:01:15] 

My name is Alicia Orrù. I’m Italian. I was born in the beautiful island of Sardinia, but I’ve been living in Spain in the province of Barcelona for 10 years.

[Dee Teal 00:01:26]

My name is Dee Teal; Dee is short for Denise. I’m from New Zealand, but I live In Melbourne.

[Femy Praseeth 00:01:33]

Yeah, my name is Femy Praseeth. I was born and raised in India and now live in San Jose, California, with my family and cuddly Doodle.

[Jill Binder 00:01:41] 

My name is Jill Binder, and I’ve just moved back to Vancouver, Canada. 

[Mary Job 00:01:47] 

My name is Mary Job. I’ve been using WordPress since 2015, and I’m from Nigeria. I’m from the Western part of Nigeria. Ijebu precisely. 

[Oneal Rosero 00:01:57]

Yes. My name is Oneal Rosero. I am from the Philippines and I’ve been using WordPress since 2007. 

[Theophilus Adegbohungbe 00:02:06] 

Thank you. My name is Theophilus Adegbohungbe . And I’m from Lagos, in Nigeria. 

[Ugyen Dorji 00:02:14]

My name is Ugyen Dorji and I’m from Bhutan. And I’m working with WordPress for more than five years. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:02:22] 

One of the things I enjoy the most about being part of any community is being able to see how people change and grow over time as they learn and gain confidence in their own expertise. So a favorite early question is naturally, ‘How has WordPress changed your World?’

[Alice Orrù 00:02:37] 

WordPress changed my world in many ways. But, uh, starting from the moment, it allowed me to become part of a global connected and welcome community. I started using WordPress as a blogger many, many years ago, but it was in 2015 that I started working behind the scenes of WordPress with a plugin company.

And that was the moment when everything changed, basically, because I realized that WordPress was much more than a CMS for creating websites. It was a world full of opportunities for networking, making new friends and walking a new professional path as well. 

[Ugyen Dorji 00:03:15] 

During one interview, I was asked many questions about WordPress and although I had a basic understanding of WordPress, I struggled to give detailed answers.

After that interview, I resolved to develop my skills and learn as much about WordPress as possible. A few months passed and I received a call from ServeMask In, [who] had developed a plugin called All-in-One WP Migration plugin. They offered me a position which fulfilled my wish to work with WordPress full time.

And because of that, I am now an active contributor to the WordPress community as bread and butter, with the best career in the world.

[Theophilus Adegbohungbe 00:04:03] 

If you are very familiar with my country, Nigeria things here, it’s not as smooth as it is in other parts of the world. That is, when you are done in school in my university, you have to find means of surviving yourself.  There is nothing like the government have work for you. There is nothing like you finish our institution and you get job instantly. So it’s very tough here. And, year by year, schools keep producing graduates with no companies to employ them and no government job again as well.

So I personally, I was able to gain freedom from this with the help of WordPress.

[Femy Praseeth 00:04:51]

WordPress completely changed my work life. I started working independently. I started freelancing with agencies and designers and, uh, building websites from their web designs. And this was around the time my son was born. Actually, he was in elementary school and I think this was around 2014 or so. I started working remotely when remote was not even a thing.

And there were very few companies that let you work from home and remote was not a mainstream thing at all, but with WordPress, I could set my own working hours while my son was in school.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:05:29] 

And of course, my preferred follow-up question of, ‘How did you hear about us?’ or ‘How did you connect to this global community?’

[Oneal Rosero 00:05:36] 

Yes, actually what I love about WordPress is that it’s a community. It’s not a business. It’s not a company. It’s a community. It’s a community that’s always ready to help support, teach and encourage people. That’s how I felt when I joined the community. There’s always somebody who has your back.

There’s always somebody who’s going to guide you. There’s always an expert who will take your hand and lead you into the beauty that is WordPress. 

[Adam Warner 00:06:05] 

The way that I connect with the global community these days are one, of course, is .org Slack. Another of course is Twitter as there’s a very active WordPress community there.

And then with WordCamps all over the globe. I’m lucky enough to have been able to travel to several hundred WordCamps through the years in the US and abroad. And that’s one of the most rewarding parts is meeting people from all over the world and you see really how small and the world really is and how similar we really all are.

[Theophilus Adegbohungbe 00:06:39] 

So, not until 2020. I don’t know if you know this lady, a very vibrant lady in WordPress. She’s from Nigeria; her name is Mary Job, and she’s really promoting WordPress here. So it was through her that I got to know about the community. Yes.

[Jill Binder 00:06:54]

My work is the global WordPress community. So we hold our three programs for the global WordPress community, and we are always trying to reach more and more countries. For quite a while, it was very North America-heavy, and then I made some efforts to expand. And it’s very exciting that this year, some contributors in our team have actually launched an Asia Pacific branch of our group. 

And so we have two meetings every other week where we have the America/Europe and the APAC, and we’ve also been able to reach other countries as well, but we typically reach something like between 20 and 50 countries a year, depending on the year. So a hundred percent global. Yes.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:07:39] 

How has WordPress, either the CMS or the project, made you feel more connected? And are there any surprising connections that came from WordPress?

[Dee Teal  00:07:47] 

I guess the surprising connections I think that have come from WordPress have been the fact that I feel like I’ve got friends all over the world. And a lot of those have come out of community involvement and from contributing. That I could go to a, a meetup pretty much anywhere in the world and probably find somebody I know, or at least a second degree connection of somebody that I haven’t, you know, that I might not have met, but know somebody that I know. And certainly that happens fairly regularly. 

[Mary Job 00:08:13]

WordPress. The WordPress project, the community, has made me feel connected in a huge way, because I am literally surrounded by everything WordPress. So I like how, when you meet somebody who does WordPress, there’s this instant, ‘Oh, we’re brothers,’ or  ‘Oh, we’re sisters!’ You know? There’s that feeling? That’s how I feel. 

So when I see somebody who does WordPress, as I do, I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re, kin.’ You know? We are family. That’s how I feel when I meet people who do WordPress. And I’ve met quite a number of people who do WordPress from like around the world. Like I have a friend here, he’s from the Benin Republic, and we host started a dinner on Friday night and one of my guests was asking me, ‘How did you guys meet?’

I was like, ‘Oh yeah, we work in the same WordPress ecosystem.’ He attended our WordCamp, we became friends, and we just literally became really good friends. So I have tons of people that I’ve met like that I hold in high esteem.

[Ugyen Dorji 00:09:12] 

WordPress Meetups are the seeds that lead to the growth of WordPress communities. WordCamp is a platform for plugin and theme developers to meet WordPress users and website developers. It’s a great environment where many incredible discussions about WordPress takes place. With each WordCamp there is a “tribe” meeting, where I think people [can] get more connected. It’s a fantastic opportunity for aspiring computer engineers, generators and get to showcase their talent and meet each other.

[Alice Orrù 00:09:51] 

On the project level, it has given me the opportunity to feel like an active part of a global project. The idea that I can give my contribution to making the web a better place – it’s amazing. And I do so with the Translation team, so making WordPress accessible to all the people that use the core plugins and themes in Italian, and prefer to do that in Italian.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:10:18] 

What area of the WordPress world is most important to you?

[Jill Binder 00:10:21]

I have a little bit of a passion for diversity in tech and diversity in WordPress, specifically around events. And so, here’s a chance to name the three programs that we’ve been working on this year. So as mentioned a few times, we have our Diverse Speaker Workshop that helps people go from not even having the thought that people could step up on stage.

And then the second program is because of the pandemic. There was no longer the straight path from taking our workshop to speaking, because we used to hold them or people used to hold them for their WordCamps and meetups. And so it was like, okay, you’ve taken. Apply for our next WordCamp or meetup. But during the pandemic, that wasn’t a thing.

So we have this amazing channel that we welcome everyone to join, allies and people from underrepresented groups who are interested in speaking or interested in supporting people and speaking. And that’s the Diverse Speaker channel diverse-speaker-support channel on the Make WordPress slack.

And the third program is, and we, we went through a name change recently. So I’ll try to remember the new change it’s Organizing Inclusive and Diverse WordPress Events. And this is for WordCamp and meetup organizers to learn. We’ve learned over the last couple years, how important it is to create inclusive spaces and be good allies.

But how do we actually do that? And a few of us created a very action oriented workshop in 2019 for WCUS, and that is now the basis of the work that we are bringing to people and people are loving it.. We’ve had people report a 40%, self-report 40%, increase in feeling prepared to create an inclusive event from before and after taking that workshop, which is super cool.

Yeah. So, that’s my passion. 

[Oneal Rosero 00:12:13] 

I really love helping the WP Diversity team. I love running the workshops. I love running the workshops for myself, because I used to do training for software back before the pandemic. I used to train up to a thousand people a year in person, sometimes like 500 people in a room at once.

But of course I had to shift. I had to pivot to online training, which is what the training team has brought for me. And the focus on the diversity. I like running the workshops. I like running workshops for different groups, different countries, because it’s nice to meet new people. It’s nice to hear about their culture, about the limitations that people have in Africa with connectivity.

So they, they resort to using WhatsApp on their phone in order to do a meetup. That’s how they do their, their meetings, their discussions. It’s unlike other countries where we can do video calls. They have to use their mobile phones because connectivity isn’t accessible. 

Places like in the Philippines that get affected when it starts to rain a little bit, we lose our internet. So we have backups and our backups have backups. So there are many things that you learn that are different when you’re living in the city, when you’re living in the provinces, in the country. So it’s so many things that you learn about people and how they’re able to adapt. 

[Adam Warner 00:13:35] 

Enabling end users to reach their goals. And whether that means participating in contributing to the software, to the Core software itself, in terms of UI/UX usability. That can include participating in the community and sharing your knowledge proactively with users who may be new to the platform, or have used WordPress for a while, but now want to step up their game, get a little deeper into using their websites as a tool for growth, for whatever business that they’re in. So, I mean, overall, the, the most important part of the WordPress world to me are the end users. And, you know, there, there is this quote unquote inner circle of WordPress community people. People who are involved in .org, people who contribute to the software, people who contribute to the 20 plus teams.

Those we have to keep in mind, are not the average user by and far. They are not the typical user that hears the word WordPress and then goes out and searches it and then has to figure out how to use it. So I think user experience is probably the most important part for me and making sure that any of that innate knowledge that we have in that inner circle of WordPress because many of us have been using it for so long, keeping in mind that is not the norm. And it’s not the scale at which WordPress is used and, and making sure we translate complex concepts down to a layperson’s terms that might not be as familiar. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:15:17] 

One of the things that I have always found so fascinating about the web and WordPress’ role in it is how it has made the world simultaneously smaller and bigger. By giving voices to the voiceless we help each other find our community niches regardless of where they are in the world. Some of your closest friends could be people you would never meet in your own neighborhood. Well, let’s hear what some of our community members had to say about that.

[Dee Tea 00:15:42]

I think the thing that has been most empowering is, is coming into the project either in terms of contributing time and efforts to the community, which is where most of my contribution has been – has always been about this is a really cool thing, and I really want to build this.

And so I’ll put my time and efforts into building WordPress. Not for me, but because I see its value and I see its community and I see that the contribution that it’s making to the world and I, and that’s really important. But finding that on the other side of that was a huge amount of personal benefit for me in my career, in the friendships that I’ve made.

But I feel like if I had been approaching the community with, I want a better career, I wanna meet all of these people and I want, and I want all of this. From, “I want” for me, instead of, I want for this project, for the community and effectively for the world with that, you know, that whole democratized, the democratizing of publishing is this thing that serves the world.

I think that’s been the key for me is that I absolutely have reaped amazing benefits from it, but it came out of that sense of, I see this value here and I want to contribute to that because it’s gonna have value, not just for me, but for a whole slew of people. And so, uh, you know, for much, much bigger impact than just on me.

And so I think that’s the important thing for me is that sense of, if you approach it with that attitude of what can I do to help? It’s amazing what you will find yourself helped with in return.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:17:24] 

I hope that you enjoyed this tour of WordPress in the World Wide Web. I want to share a big thank you to all of the folks who contributed to our little WordPress Briefing celebration of World Wide Web Day today.

And that brings us now to our small list of big things. So firstly, we’ve got a couple of updates from our upcoming flagship events. WordCamp US has announced a speaker support fund specifically for historically underrepresented speakers at the event. You can donate to the fund on the page if you’d like, and there are also directions on how to request support, if you are part of an underrepresented group. 

From the folks over at WordCamp Asia, the call for speakers is live. That’s taking place in February, 2023. But it’s never too early to brush up those presentations and get them submitted. 

Next big thing is that there are some changes coming to the WordPress mobile app. A lot of the Jetpack functionality will be removed from it, so this is going to have a little bit of an effect on daily users of the app, but it will also have an effect on regular contributors. I’ll have a link to the full write up in the show notes so that you don’t have to guess or hold it all in your memory. 

And finally, this excellent design that you see on is finally making its way out to the next parts of the website. Before you know, it, there will be a fresh looking homepage as well as few other pages and then… to infinity and beyond (or something like that). 

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 next up I’ll be taking just a mid-year break from the podcast. And so the next time that I actually see you again, will be in September.