WordPress.com’s Year in Review

Posted by download in Software on 29-12-2023

Our team here at WordPress.com, comprised of hundreds of people spread across the entire globe, accomplished a lot in 2023. On the blog, we published over 90 posts, from product upgrades, to brand new features, and even new additions to the Automattic family of products.

If you missed anything, here’s a recap of this year’s most important launches, announcements, and new features.

Table of Contents

  1. 2023 Video Recap
  2. An all-new mobile experience
  3. Launch your newsletter, from any plan
  4. Ignite your growth with Blaze
  5. ActivityPub for WordPress joins the Automattic family
  6. Happy 20th anniversary, WordPress!
  7. Revamp your site seamlessly with staging sites
  8. A tour of the all-new Stats page
  9. Custom theme designs just got easier
  10. Managing and purchasing domains on WordPress.com has never been better
  11. One inbox to rule them all
  12. The all-new WordPress.com learning hub
  13. Jetpack’s AI Assistant is here to help
  14. Continuous site editing, writing, and design improvements
  15. All. The. Themes.

2023 Video Recap

An all-new mobile experience

This year the Jetpack mobile app has made huge strides as the preferred mobile experience for WordPress.com customers. The team is continuously improving the app, making publishing, reading, and monitoring engagement easier than ever. If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time!

Launch your newsletter, from any plan

Newsletters on WordPress.com have seen a huge number of improvements in 2023—from features like paid subscriptions on any plan and the introduction of a Paywall Block, to fresh resources like our Newsletters 101 course. No matter how you want to reach your audience, WordPress.com has you covered. Get started here.

Ignite your growth with Blaze

Early in the year, we launched Blaze—our self-serve advertising tool. This cool new feature allows anyone with a WordPress blog to advertise on WordPress.com and Tumblr in just a few clicks. How? By turning your site content into clean, compelling ads that run across our millions-strong network of blogs. Here are 5 tips for making the most of your ads.

ActivityPub for WordPress joins the Automattic family

This innovative plugin brings a whole new level of social networking to your website by integrating it with the wider federated social web. When installed, the plugin allows you to easily share your content and interact with users on Mastodon and other platforms that also support the ActivityPub protocol. Just as Automattic aims to do with all of our products, this plugin helps to decentralize the web, break down silos, and foster a more connected online ecosystem. Click here to learn more about getting started with ActivityPub for WordPress.

Happy 20th anniversary, WordPress!

On May 27, 2003, co-founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little announced that WordPress was available to the public. Their vision, as you can still read in their original post on WordPress.org, was to foster a means by which anyone could easily share and discuss their ideas with the world. What started as a humble open-source blogging platform is now the driving force behind over one-third of the internet’s most popular websites, including The New York Times, Salesforce, and Disney. 

Revamp your site seamlessly with staging sites

In May, we announced the availability of staging sites, which made it easy to experiment with changes to your site. A few months later, we added to its capabilities with a synchronization feature that allows you to push changes from your staging site to your live, or “production,” site. You can now fearlessly try out new ideas and designs before publishing them to the world.

For all the developers and professional site creators out there, we’ve also launched SSH and WP-CLI accesssite preview links, and global edge caching. Be sure to stay up to date with these technical tools at our WordPress.com Develop Blog.

A tour of the all-new Stats page

In addition to launching a new and improved mobile app, our intrepid Jetpack team also made significant changes to the Stats page. This all-new experience enhances your ability to analyze and optimize your site’s content. We’ve restructured the layout in a friendlier way, introduced new modules that reveal crucial data points, and revamped the overall look of this powerful analytics tool. Check it out for yourself.

Custom theme designs just got easier

Whether you want a simple blog that highlights recent posts, a visually stunning portfolio, or an online home for your small business, your website should be just as unique as you are. Our new site design tool guides you through the process of creating a memorable custom homepage, utilizing a library of hundreds of patterns, colors, and fonts that you can mix and match for whichever distinctive vibe you’re going for. Try it out for yourself right here.

Managing and purchasing domains on WordPress.com has never been better

Your domain is the lifeblood of your online presence. This year, we’ve been hard at work building a number of exciting features to ensure a world-class domain name experience on WordPress.com whether you have one domain or one hundred. We’ve introduced an all-new domains-focused dashboard, multi-year registrations, domain forwarding, convenient transfer, simple DNS imports, and more. Oh, by the way, if you’re coming from Google Domains, we’ll cover your transfer fees. Grab your piece of online real estate today.

One inbox to rule them all

In October, Automattic welcomed Texts.com to our growing family. This handy app brings all your chats into a single dashboard: iMessage, Slack, WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram, Messenger, LinkedIn, Signal, Discord, and X, with more services on the way.  Beyond the unmatched convenience, Texts.com also offers end-to-end encryption, as well as some delightful features that other messaging apps can’t seem to figure out, like scheduling messages to send when your recipient is awake, or the ability to mark as unread on services that still don’t have it. Sign up today. (Psst, be sure to check back for news on the iOS app!)

The all-new WordPress.com learning hub

Our incredible design and education teams moved all of our learning resources—courses, webinars, tutorials, forums, and more—into one convenient and beautifully-designed place at WordPress.com/learn. Our mission with the learning hub is to have one spot for all your WordPress.com questions and learning opportunities. Spend some time with this resource center and come away more confident than ever.

Jetpack’s AI Assistant is here to help

Jetpack AI Assistant is seamlessly integrated as a block within the WordPress.com editor. Whether you’re checking your spelling and grammar, need ideas for better titles or headings, or simply in need of an outline for your great idea, this incredible feature can help jumpstart your creativity. Give it a shot in the editor today by using the AI Assistant Block.

Continuous site editing, writing, and design improvements

WordPress is constantly improving and making it easier than ever to write, publish, and design your site. This year, we’ve seen the addition of the Details Block, footnotes, distraction-free mode, a style book (which lets you preview design variations), customizable button styles, sticky headers, Openverse integration, the Time to Read Block, and so much more.

All. The. Themes.

Our amazing themes design team released more themes in 2023 than any previous year in our history. Whether you’re a business owner, a community leader, a hobbyist, a blogger, or anything in between, you’re guaranteed to find a theme that matches the vision you have for your website. Check out the entire theme showcase to get a peek at the incredible variety of our design offerings. And there’s plenty more to come in 2024 and beyond; if you’re looking for something specific and can’t find it, let us know in the comments.

Leap into 2024 with these Site Editor Tools

Posted by download in Software on 28-12-2023

The Site Editor gives you a powerful way to visually create every part of your site and tell your story. It lets you handle everything from big stylistic changes to simple copy updates all in a single place. To help you make the most of this new way to WordPress, here are a few standout tools and features you’ll want to try. 

Command Palette

Think of the Command Palette as the ultimate shortcut tool, letting you do more with less clicks and without needing to remember where each option might be. It’s available across the editing experience, whether you’re switching between templates in the Site Editor or toggling open settings in the Post Editor, with specific contextual options depending on where you are. You can use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+K on Mac or Ctrl+K on Windows to activate it and get started. 

If you think of a command that doesn’t exist yet that would help with your workflow, open a feature request issue so we can consider adding it.

Read more about everything you can do with the Command Palette, including a list of available commands

Style Book

The Style Book helps you see all the blocks on your site as you style them. It’s built into the Styles section and can be toggled on/off as you’d like. This is especially useful when you’re aiming for design consistency for a client, trying to see how a change might impact a block that might not be visible, or wanting to get a different look at how a style variation will switch things up.

Work is also underway for the next WordPress release to integrate the Style Book into Style revisions to allow for an at-a-glance view of changes made. 

Learn more about how best to use the Style Book.

Styling shortcuts

Sometimes you get a design just right—the color contrast, the perfect padding, the exact font size. Instead of needing to manually recreate the design or copy/paste the block to fill in with new content, you have two powerful options built into the editing experience: copy/paste styles and apply styles globally for all instances of the desired block. 

Copying and pasting styles is perfect for more nuanced and smaller changes, like headings on a landing page that you intentionally want to be distinct. Applying changes globally is best for blocks like buttons and for changes that are likely to work well across layouts, like setting a specific border radius and color. This helps keep the creativity flowing and makes achieving design consistency across your site much easier.

Read more about the various styling options available. 

Distraction free mode

Just like an artist might need to take a few steps back to view their in-progress artwork, sometimes we need to get a different view of our site before diving back in. Distraction free offers you that alternate perspective with a pared-down experience that lets you focus purely on creating, like:

  • Hiding the top toolbar until one intentionally hovers over where it typically sits.
  • Removing many of the top toolbar buttons.
  • Automatically closing any open sidebars, like block settings and list view. 
  • Hiding the insertion point indicator, reducing visual clutter. 
  • Hiding the block toolbar for individual blocks.

It’s worth noting that this mode can be used when writing posts and pages too! For an added bonus and more views of your site, you can use the preview options to see how your site might look across different devices.

Learn more about making the most out of Distraction free mode. 


Patterns are a collection of blocks that make it simple to add complex layouts and designs to any WordPress site without starting from scratch. They save time by reducing duplication and ensuring consistency. You can create your own, use theme-provided patterns, or lean on the Pattern Directory

You can also specify whether to sync your patterns so that one change applies to all parts of your site, or to keep them unsynced so you can customize each instance. For any patterns you create, you can assign categories to make them easy to find and organize. Use the Inserter with easy filtering options to add patterns to your content, and head to the dedicated Patterns section in the Site Editor to create or edit patterns to your liking. 

Learn more about creating patterns. 

List View

List View is the go-to tool for navigating between layers of your content, selecting exactly what you need, and getting a sense of how everything fits together. Similar to the Style Book and Distraction free mode, you can toggle it on/off as you’d like. It’s currently visible in the Top Toolbar and will remain open as you navigate through your site. Beyond providing a simple view of the layers of your site, there are more recent additions to List View that makes the tool even more powerful:

  • See previews of your images for Image and Gallery blocks reflected in List View to make it easier to find what you need.
  • The Escape key deselects blocks to make it easier to purely preview your content without any blocks selected. 
  • Lean on a keyboard shortcut for duplicating blocks quickly: CMD+Shift+D for Mac or Control + Shift + D for Windows. 
  • Drag and drop blocks at any level directly within List View.
  • Rename Group blocks and have the custom name reflected in List View for improved organization.

Here’s how a few of these improvements come together:

Learn more about using List View. 

As you explore these tools, remember that, except for the Style Book, you can use these features when writing posts and pages too. Expect the Site Editor and other tools to evolve with each release. To get a sneak peek at what’s planned for the next major WordPress release in March, check out the roadmap and stay tuned. 

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Thank you to the contributors who collaborated on this post: Nicholas Garofalo, Lauren Stein, Joen Asmussen.

WordPress.com + Your New Year’s Resolutions = 25% Off All Paid Plans

Posted by download in Software on 27-12-2023

With just one week left in 2023, time’s running out to lock in a 25% savings on making those New Year’s resolutions happen for your site in 2024. If you saw our last announcement, you’ll know that we’re offering 25% off all annual paid plans until the end of year. So now’s the time—as soon as the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, this deal will be as done as 2023.

As always, your domain name is free for the first year too.

Whether you’re starting your first blog or launching an ecommerce empire, there’s a plan that will help you make it happen. Our upgraded plans are designed to help you take your site to the next level, opening up features that let you:

  • Give your visitors an ad-free experience
  • Reach new audiences around the world with unlimited social sharing
  • Give your site some extra style with expanded customization options and third-party themes
  • Open up new ways to earn with our exclusive ad network, WordAds, and advanced but intuitive commerce and payment features
  • Add superpowers to your site by unlocking access to 55,000+ plugins that handle everything from next-level SEO to interactive forms and integrations with the tools you already use

Need a little inspiration for that resolution? How about:

  • Writing a blog post every week for an entire year
  • Starting a newsletter to share your passion, hobby, or cause
  • Launching that new business website or portfolio you’ve been thinking about

Wherever you want to take your site in 2024, we want to help you get there, and save some cash along the way. Lock in your savings now before this deal expires on December 31st.

We’d love to hear what you have planned for 2024 in the comments below.

WP Briefing: Episode 69: Reflections on State of the Word

Posted by download in Software on 26-12-2023

In this episode, WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy reflects on the recent 2023 State of the Word, which took place in Madrid, Spain, and some of the highlights of the work across the WordPress open source project.

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


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes


[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing. The podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[00:00:28] (Intro music) 

[00:00:40] Josepha: We wrapped up State of the Word earlier this month, and while I was sitting there being the only person to clap for the love of cake, I realized just how much we have been able to accomplish this year. And on the one hand, I shouldn’t be surprised.

After all, progress is radical over time yet incremental in time. But all told, 2023 has been a big year for WordPress. There’s been some radical progress in a few places. There are the things you know because you’ve heard them all year. You heard them in State of the Word.

We turned 20, for instance. We shipped three on-time releases. We had three well-organized flagship events, and we prototyped essential parts of phase 3. But there’s a lot of work that happens outside of flagship events and software releases, and I’d like to highlight a few examples of operational excellence in our community and ecosystem.

[00:01:31] Josepha: First highlight goes to the contributors who are building community. Going back to 2021, we’ve been working to bring people back together in person.

And in that year, we had 19 events. In 2022, we had 24 events, so a modest increase of just over 30%. But then, in 2023, the WordPress community banded together on a campaign to reignite passion in our Meetup groups and encourage playfulness in our WordCamp planning. And not only did we see a 57% increase in active Meetup groups, But we also saw a 116% increase in WordCamps, 54 WordCamps in all. That’s about a third of the way to our all-time annual high of 142.

And to complement these in-person opportunities, Learn also shipped 104 pieces of new content and hosted 258 online workshops because location should never be a barrier to entry for joining WordPress. 

[00:02:32] Josepha: Second highlight goes to the contributors who are managing our directories. We do have a lot of directories. We have Plugins, Themes, Photos, Block plugins. We got a lot.

And I’m sure that everyone saw the consistent and borderline pleading calls to join the Plugin team this year. And for folks who’ve been around a bit, you probably recall a similar set of consistent and pleading calls to join the Theme team a few years back. Concurrent with the work to refill that contribution pipeline, folks over in Meta and across the project generally, were working on automating as many checks as possible, loosening guidelines where it was reasonable, and modernizing as many processes as we could.

I’m happy to share that the theme wait time is at a historic low, with their longest wait sometimes just at a week. And as anxious as I am about the plugin wait times, we’re actually seeing a lot of progress there as well. As we follow a process similar to the one that we did on themes, I imagine it’s only gonna get better. So, in 2023, we’ve onboarded six new team members. And since September, the number of plugins awaiting initial review has been cut in half.

And then coming up in Q1 of 2024, we’ll have a project focused entirely on automating as many checks as possible. So I still need you, but I also need you to know that your work there matters and is having an impact.

[00:03:55] Josepha: The third highlight goes to the contributors who are doing outreach. This year, we launched a mentorship program with an 89% completion rate because we’ve seen time and again that our most prolific contributors had someone at the start that they felt safe asking dumb questions with. We launched and nurtured the developer blog, which was a need identified by the community because there was no place for intermediate and advanced developers to get excited about their cool explorations. And there were 53 posts there this year with thirteen thousand views, which is a 251% increase for the record, which is a ridiculous increase, but it’s a lot. Thirteen thousand views is a lot.

We have focused on documentation as we suggested in Porto of 2022. And marketing, I know not always our favorite topic, but marketing, our ability to talk about ourselves to more than just ourselves, has increased dramatically this year. 

Not only have we started rolling out a modern design across our website, but we also are present and engaged on eight different platforms with 20-plus episodes of this very podcast and also video content that netted us seven and a half million views this year. That’s a lot of numbers, and there’s a post that goes with it.

[00:05:10] Josepha: Check out the show notes. But if you’re not gonna check out the show notes because you listen to this on Pocket Casts or Google or something, go to make.WordPress.org/project, and it’ll be over there. But the point is, it’s been a banner year for the software, and I am grateful for every tester, designer, and developer that showed up for it. But I also know that what makes WordPress truly irreplaceable is our ecosystem, and it’s contributions like this and the contributors who do them that make our ecosystem vibrant and responsive and thriving on into the future.

So, thank you all for the contributions you make to WordPress. Thank you for the shining example of how to do open source at scale, and thank you for another great year together. 

[00:06:04] Josepha: Which brings us now to our small list of big things. It is indeed a small this time. First up, I would like to introduce our enhanced content safety features on Openverse. By default, search results now exclude openly licensed media containing sensitive textual content. But this new feature adds additional filtering based on titles, tags, and descriptions of the work as well.

[00:06:27] Josepha: The second thing on our small list of big things is that there is just a general alert. There’s a WordPress security team impersonation scam that’s going on out there. The team is aware of multiple ongoing phishing scams impersonating both the WordPress team and the WordPress security team in an attempt to convince administrators to install a plugin on their website which contains malware. I’ll include a link to that post just in case you have anyone that you think might need to be aware of that, but also all of our site administrators know. Like, WordPress is not gonna email you asking for passwords or anything ever. 

[00:07:02] Josepha: And item number three, I would like you to join the Plugin review team. I know I just said it in the body of the episode. But, the Plugin review team is looking for new members still who believe in our mission of guiding plugin authors in responsibly transforming their innovative ideas into reality and ensuring a great WordPress plugin experience for end users. There is a deadline to apply; it’s December 31st. And so you can get that done over the holidays, over a glass of eggnog if that’s how you choose to celebrate whatever it is that you do. 

And that’s it for your small list of big things. 

Don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcast app or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever there’s a new episode. If you liked what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser. Or, if you had questions about what you heard, you can share those with me at wpbriefing@WordPress.org. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. See you again in a couple of weeks. 

Do More in 2024: 25% Off All Annual Plans Until the End of 2023

Posted by download in Software on 20-12-2023

As you look ahead to 2024, if you’ve been thinking about launching a new business, sharing your passion with a blog, or building an audience with a newsletter, now’s the perfect time to get started. 

To give you a jump start on your goals for the new year, we’re offering 25% off every annual paid plan when you create any new site or upgrade an existing free site before Dec. 31, 2023. Whatever you’re planning to build, there’s a plan that will help you go further, faster—from adding a personal touch with a custom domain to taking your monetization options and site design to the next level.

Your custom domain name is free for the first year too.

We’re all about making WordPress.com the best platform to launch and grow your projects on the web. Whatever plan you’re on, with WordPress.com you get:

  • Intuitive design and publishing tools so you can go from idea to launch in no time
  • Unmatched performance so your site is blazing fast and always available
  • Fully managed hosting so you can focus on your goals instead of maintaining your site 

And when you choose a paid plan, new opportunities open up, too:

  • Give your visitors an ad-free experience and set your site apart with a custom domain
  • Take monetizing your content further with our ads program and range of payment and shipping features
  • Or unlock a universe of 55,000+ plugins and themes that cover everything from ecommerce to advanced SEO

Whether you’re ready to start a new website, migrate a site from elsewhere, or upgrade a free site you’ve already been working on, we can’t wait to see what you’ll make happen with WordPress.com in 2024. We’d love to hear what you’re planning to build in 2024 in the comments.

And be sure to grab your 25% discount any time from now until the end of year to make it happen for less. Pick your plan and get started now.

Official Country-Code Domains for .com.br and .de Now Available on WordPress.com

Posted by download in Software on 19-12-2023

This year has been a big year for domains on WordPress.com, from offering free transfers for Google customers to an all-new dashboard for managing your domains. We have one more bit of good cheer to spread before the year is through: today we’re excited to share the addition of two new country-specific domain extensions to our domain offerings on WordPress.com. 

Now, you can elevate your online presence with the official domain extensions of two of the most important and influential countries in the world: Brazil’s .com.br and Germany’s .de. Country-code domains like .com.br and .de resonate with local consumers, bringing both authenticity and authority to your online presence. 

For both of these newly available extensions, we provide our own trustee, so you don’t need to be physically located in Brazil or Germany to register either of these country-level domain names. 

Unlock your potential in Brazil with .com.br

The official .com.br domain extension is now available for purchase on WordPress.com for just R$ 99 a year (US$20). Business owners, students, artists, and bloggers alike can harness the power of .com.br to connect directly with Brazilian consumers in one of the Americas’ fastest-growing economies.

With millions of .com.br domains already registered, it’s one of the booming country-level domain extensions in the Western hemisphere. 

Make your mark in Germany with .de

Let’s depart Brazil for now and head north and east across the Atlantic. The official .de domain extension is now available on WordPress.com for just 8€ a year (US$8). Whether you’re a business owner or a content creator, a .de domain is the perfect choice to appeal to German consumers in one of Europe’s strongest economies.

With tens of millions of .de domains already in use, it stands as one of the most popular and respected domain extensions in the world. 

Why you should choose WordPress.com for your domains 

Every single day, our team is working hard to ensure that there’s no better place on the internet to purchase and manage your domain(s). Here are a few reasons to choose us: 

  • First Year Free: Secure your domain for free for the first year with the purchase of any annual plan.
  • Geographic Convenience: Own a .com.br or .de domain without being physically located in Brazil or Germany, thanks to our trustee service.
  • Powerful & Convenient Domain Management: Enjoy features like domain forwarding, multi-year registrations, lightning-fast DNS speeds, and free SSL protection.

Elevate your online presence with these impactful domain extensions. Register your new .com.br and .de domain names at WordPress.com today. 

Hot Off the Press: New WordPress.com Themes for December 2023

Posted by download in Software on 18-12-2023

The WordPress.com team is always working on new design ideas to bring your website to life. Check out the latest themes in our library, including new release Twenty Twenty-Four, as well as a number of other beautiful and versatile designs.

Twenty Twenty-Four

Twenty Twenty-Four (aka TT4), WordPress’s brand new default theme, is now available! TT4 is designed to be flexible, versatile, and applicable to any website—whether running a business, writing a blog, or showcasing work.

This beautiful theme comes with a number of style variations and full-page patterns to help speed up the site-building process; it is fully compatible with the Site Editor and takes advantage of all the new design tools introduced in WordPress 6.4.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Issue is a magazine-style theme designed to make blog content more inviting. Its simple homepage displays large featured images and post titles only, with sticky menu navigation that allows users to access pages (or lists of posts) independently. The minimalist layout and generous white space on individual posts gives this theme a modern feel, while still being visually striking.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.

Carnation (Premium)

Carnation is a minimalist blog theme featuring a classic two-column layout, designed to showcase your content with understated elegance. The homepage emphasizes big featured images to draw in visitors. In the single post/page view, we decided to do something different and not include the featured images at all. Large images often take over the most valuable space near the top of the post/page, which we really wanted to dedicate to content alone in this theme. For any writers tackling Bloganuary this year, Carnation is a great option for your site.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Ritratto, Italian for “portrait,” offers the perfect design for any kind of showcase, be it for yourself or your favorite historical figure. The prominent header area offers a headshot, large title, brief description, and links. Below that is a grid of posts that’s especially noticeable for its lack of featured image; perhaps counterintuitively, the text-heavy layout helps this theme stand out.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.


Sunderland is a simple theme designed for announcing upcoming events in a visually captivating way. Sunderland’s character lies in its immersive landing page, with an easily replaceable full-width background image. Sunderland is the ideal choice for bands, musicians, artists, or event organizers who want a sleek and eye-catching website to inform and engage their audience.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.

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

Premium themes are available to use at no extra charge for customers on the Premium plan or above. Partner themes are third-party products that can be purchased for $79/year each.

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

Bloganuary Is Just Around the Corner!

Posted by download in Software on 15-12-2023

It’s hard to fathom, but we’re just a couple of weeks from 2024. It’s been a big year! WordPress celebrated its 20th birthday, “Barbenheimer” won big at the global box office, and generative AI tools for text and video broke through to the mainstream spotlight.

On WordPress.com, we’ve seen a good share of change, too. We launched a new education hub for our free courses and webinars. We made vast improvements to our domain offerings, such as multi-year registration, domain forwarding, and bulk updates. We also continue to regularly release beautifully designed themes and patterns, making it easier for you to create the site of your dreams.

Peering into the very near future, we’re thrilled to announce the return of Bloganuary for its third consecutive year! In January 2024, we’re inviting YOU to join the thousands of bloggers who have previously participated in this month-long writing challenge. 

Participating in Bloganuary is a breeze. Each day in January offers a unique writing prompt, which will be displayed on your WordPress.com dashboard. Click “Post answer” to start a new post, which will automatically include the #bloganuary tag. Let these prompts inspire you to publish blog posts in whatever format you choose. Wordsmiths can write, artists can share their creations, photographers can post photographs–you get the gist.

In a world inundated with digital noise, blogging provides a sanctuary for authentic voices to emerge. Your own blog gives you the space to connect with your readers on a more genuine, human level, which is something that’s often hard to find on ad-filled, algorithmically-driven social media platforms.

To get the most out of this challenge and connect with other writers, follow the #bloganuary tag in the Reader and join the community site.  

If you’ve been considering starting a new blog, take this as your sign that now is the write time! Bloganuary will not only be the perfect kickoff to establish a strong publishing habit, but it’ll also help you connect with a new audience and a global community of bloggers.

Use coupon code bloganuary2024 for 25% off new annual plans. Visit WordPress.com/start or click below to get started:

If you’d prefer to journal privately instead of blog publicly, check out the Day One app.

State of the Word 2023 Video + Recap

Posted by download in Software on 12-12-2023

Yesterday, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg and Gutenberg Lead Architect Matías Ventura took the stage in Madrid, Spain and offered the WordPress community a recap of 2023’s progress as well as a look ahead to what’s coming in 2024 and beyond. If you missed the livestream, it’s well worth watching.

Below, you’ll find the State of the Word video, a short recap of the keynote address, and finally the Q&A session video.

Watch State of the Word 2023

Highlights from 2023

Before getting into the future of the WordPress project, Matt and Matías shared a bit about the progress made in 2023. The high points, especially as they relate to WordPress.com:

  • On May 27th, WordPress turned 20. What a milestone to celebrate! How rare it is to find something that has lasted on the internet for 20 years.
  • The WordPress community hosted 70 WordCamps in 33 countries. WordCamps are events for anyone using or building with WordPress—which includes you! Read our team’s recap of WordCamp US.
  • Openverse won the Open Education Award for Excellence. Openverse is an open-source media library where you can easily access free-to-use images, audio, and more. This library is available right from WordPress.com whenever you insert an image.
  • WordPress launched its incredible Playground tool. This feature allows you to deploy a WordPress environment right within your browser. This is a game-changer for developers and in the future may help beginner WordPress users test new plugins or features. Learn more about WordPress Playground here.
  • Twenty-Twenty Four, WordPress’s new default theme, is now available. Fully customizable, this theme was designed to be flexible, versatile, and applicable to any website. 
  • The Site Editor’s capabilities soared this year. On the writing front, we saw the addition of footnotes, distraction free writing mode, and much more. On the design front, we saw more intuitive styling, easier customizations, and a huge number of new themes available. Scroll through our blog archives to explore these various updates.

Where WordPress is headed next

  • Seamless migration. In 2024, WordPress will seek to “unlock the web” with a focus on migration tools. Whether coming from another WordPress host or another platform altogether (like Wix or Squarespace), WordPress is working to make those transitions as painless as possible. Learn more about the Data Liberation project here.
  • Real-time collaboration. Multiple users will be able to edit content and design at the same time, with changes synced in real-time.
  • Next-level patterns. The work on patterns accelerated in 2023 and will grow to new heights in 2024, which includes features like more powerful syncing, more customization, and improvements to the site-wide implementation of patterns.
  • Performance improvements. Typing, uploading media, publishing—all of these actions will happen 2-3 times faster in the upcoming WordPress releases.
  • Dashboard/admin refresh. The backend of your site will get a makeover, taking on more of the look and feel of the Site Editor throughout the course of 2024.

Q&A session

After the main presentation, Matt took a number of questions about WordPress and the open source project as a whole:

There were a number of questions that came in during the Q&A portion that Matt wasn’t able to address due to time constraints. Matt instead answered those in a blog post yesterday, which you can check out here.

State of the Word 2023 Recap

Posted by download in Software on 12-12-2023

On December 11, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg traveled to beautiful Madrid, Spain, to deliver his annual State of the Word keynote. It was the first time this event took place outside the United States. Against the backdrop of Palacio Neptuno—an iconic architectural gem and UNESCO World Heritage site—nearly 200 contributors, developers, extenders, and friends of the project came together to hear from Matt, with millions more joining online.

An introduction from the Executive Director

Kicking off the event, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Executive Director of the WordPress project, spoke about the community’s heart and spirit as what fuels hope for the future, ensuring the freedoms of the open web for all. She invited Matt on stage with a closing statement of confidence that such values and characteristics will move the project forward into the next 20 as it has for the last 20.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Executive Director of the WordPress project, speaking at a podium

Looking back at 2023

Taking the stage, Matt shared his excitement about the event being the first international State of the Word. He honored the Spanish WordPress community for hosting, citing their past WordCamp accomplishments. From there, Matt jumped right into a reflection of this year’s notable moments. He recalled the project’s 20th-anniversary celebrations, how the software has evolved, and how much more the community came together this year—doubling the number of WordCamps to 70, taking place in 33 countries.

We’re always aiming to learn and improve. Tell us how to make meetups better.

Matt continued with callouts to several resources on WordPress.org: the all-new Events page, the redesigned Showcase, a new WordPress Remembers memorial, and the award-winning Openverse. He also demoed WordPress Playground, a tool allowing users to experiment with WordPress directly in their browsers, as well as the versatile Twenty Twenty-Four default theme.

Matías Ventura, Lead Architect of Gutenberg, speaking on stage at State of the Word

Collaborative editing and more

Matt recapped the four phases of the Gutenberg project, noting that work has begun on Phase 3: Collaboration before passing the microphone to Matías Ventura, Lead Architect of Gutenberg. 

After a quick interlude in Spanish, Matías acknowledged how much progress had been made on the software this year. He spoke about the aim of the Site Editor to become both an exemplary writing environment and a superior design tool while noting improvements to the Footnotes Block and the ease of Distraction Free mode.

While there was no set timeline for collaboration and workflows, Matías was excited to share a working prototype in the Editor. He showcased some of the most interesting aspects of collaborative editing, including establishing a sync engine that allows real-time edits to be visible across sessions. He invited contributors to test the prototype in the Gutenberg plugin and share their feedback in Github.

From there, Matías highlighted other exciting developments, including the emphasis on Patterns and their continued evolution as a powerful tool for workflows, and the ability to connect blocks to custom fields. He was thrilled to speak about performance improvements, noting that work is in progress to make the Editor at least twice as fast. Speaking about front-end performance, he shared what’s to come with a demo of the Interactivity API, showcasing how it can make transitions, search, and other interactions instant—all with standard WordPress blocks and features. 

Matías concluded with a look at how the Admin redesign will take cues from the Site Editor, eventually allowing users to shape their WordPress Admin experience based on their unique needs.

WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg speaking at a podium

AI and Data Liberation

Matt returned to the stage to expand on the future of WordPress, reinforcing his past advice to learn AI deeply. He expressed his excitement about what can be accomplished with the wealth of AI tools available, how contributors are already experimenting with natural language processing and WordPress Playground to create and build.

Finally, Matt introduced an additional focus for the project in 2024: Data Liberation, with the goal to make importing from other platforms into WordPress as frictionless as possible. He spoke about the tendency of content management systems to keep users locked in as part of his motivation to unlock digital barriers. The Data Liberation initiative will work on one-click migration and the export format from WordPress. 

More than just tools, Data Liberation reflects the project’s ethos to allow seamless contributions. With that, Matt invited anyone interested to jump into the action, noting a new Data Liberation GitHub repository and forthcoming Making WordPress Slack channels as places to get started.

Questions and answers

Following the presentation, Matt fielded questions from the live-stream and in-person audiences during an interactive question-and-answer session hosted by Jose Ramón Padrón (Moncho).

Additional questions from the live session will be answered in a follow-up post on make.WordPress.org/project. Subscribe to our blog notifications to be sure you don’t miss it. And don’t forget to mark your calendars for next year’s WordCamp Asia (Taipei, Taiwan), WordCamp Europe (Torino, Italy), and WordCamp US (Portland, Oregon, United States).

Thank you to @laurlittle, @eidolonnight, @nilovelez, @fepr, @cbringmann, and the many others who made this event and post possible.