WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”

Album cover for WordPress 5.3 Kirk, showcasing a duotone red/cream Rahsaan Roland Kirk playing the saxophone on a red background.

Introducing our most refined user experience with the improved block editor in WordPress 5.3! Named “Kirk” in honour of jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the latest and greatest version of WordPress is available for download or update in your dashboard.

5.3 expands and refines the block editor with more intuitive interactions and improved accessibility. New features in the editor increase design freedoms, provide additional layout options and style variations to allow designers more control over the look of a site.

This release also introduces the Twenty Twenty theme giving the user more design flexibility and integration with the block editor. Creating beautiful web pages and advanced layouts has never been easier.


Block Editor Improvements

This enhancement-focused update introduces over 150 new features and usability improvements, including improved large image support for uploading non-optimized, high-resolution pictures taken from your smartphone or other high-quality cameras. Combined with larger default image sizes, pictures always look their best.

Accessibility improvements include the integration of block editor styles in the admin interface. These improved styles fix many accessibility issues: color contrast on form fields and buttons, consistency between editor and admin interfaces, new snackbar notices, standardizing to the default WordPress color scheme, and the introduction of Motion to make interacting with your blocks feel swift and natural.

For people who use a keyboard to navigate the dashboard, the block editor now has a Navigation mode. This lets you jump from block to block without tabbing through every part of the block controls.


Expanded Design Flexibility

WordPress 5.3 adds even more robust tools for creating amazing designs.

  • The new Group block lets you easily divide your page into colorful sections.
  • The Columns block now supports fixed column widths.
  • The new predefined layouts make it a cinch to arrange content into advanced designs.
  • Heading blocks now offer controls for text and background color.
  • Additional style options allow you to set your preferred style for any block that supports this feature.

Introducing Twenty Twenty

A desktop preview of the Twenty Twenty theme, showing both the front-end and the editor view.
A mobile image of the Twenty Twenty theme, over a decorative backgorund of brown-grey bars.

As the block editor celebrates its first birthday, we are proud that Twenty Twenty is designed with flexibility at its core. Show off your services or products with a combination of columns, groups, and media blocks. Set your content to wide or full alignment for dynamic and engaging layouts. Or let your thoughts be the star with a centered content column!

As befits a theme called Twenty Twenty, clarity and readability is also a big focus. The theme includes the typeface Inter, designed by Rasmus Andersson. Inter comes in a Variable Font version, a first for default themes, which keeps load times short by containing all weights and styles of Inter in just two font files.


Improvements for Everyone

An icon showing an arrow rotating a square.

Automatic Image Rotation

Your images will be correctly rotated upon upload according to the embedded orientation data. This feature was first proposed nine years ago and made possible through the perseverance of many dedicated contributors.

A plus in a square, indicating health.

Improved Site Health Checks

The improvements introduced in 5.3 make it even easier to identify issues. Expanded recommendations highlight areas that may need troubleshooting on your site from the Health Check screen.

A email icon.

Admin Email Verification

You’ll now be periodically asked to confirm that your admin email address is up to date when you log in as an administrator. This reduces the chance of getting locked out of your site if you change your email address.


For Developers

Date/Time Component Fixes

Developers can now work with dates and timezones in a more reliable way. Date and time functionality has received a number of new API functions for unified timezone retrieval and PHP interoperability, as well as many bug fixes.

PHP 7.4 Compatibility

WordPress 5.3 aims to fully support PHP 7.4. This release contains multiple changes to remove deprecated functionality and ensure compatibility. WordPress continues to encourage all users to run the latest and greatest versions of PHP.

The Squad

This release was led by Matt MullenwegFrancesca Marano, and David Baumwald. They were enthusiastically supported by a large release squad:

The squad was joined throughout the twelve week release cycle by 645 generous volunteer contributors (our largest group of contributors to date) who collectively fixed 658 bugs.

Put on a Rahsaan Roland Kirk playlist, click that update button (or download it directly), and check the profiles of the fine folks that helped:

123host, 1994rstefan, 5hel2l2y, @irsdl, Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, Aashish S, Abhijit Rakas, abrightclearweb, acalfieri, acosmin, Adam Silverstein, Adam Soucie, Adhitya Rachman, ahdeubzer, Ahmad Awais, Ajay Ghaghretiya, Ajit Bohra, ajlende, Akira Tachibana, albertomake, Alex Concha, Alex Dimitrov, Alex Lion, Alex Sanford, Alexander Botteram, Alexandre D’Eschambeault, Alexandru Vornicescu, alexeyskr, alextran, Ali Ayubi, allancole, Allen Snook, Alvaro Gois dos Santos, Amanda Rush, Amol Vhankalas, Anders Norén, Andrea Fercia, Andrea Gandino, Andrea Grillo, Andrea Middleton, Andreas Brain, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Nevins, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Taylor, Andrey Savchenko, Andrés Maneiro, Andy Fragen, Andy Meerwaldt, Angela Gibson, Anh Tran, anischarolia, Anthony Burchell, Anton Timmermans, Apermo, Arafat Rahman, arena, Ari Stathopoulos, Arun Sathiya, Asad, asadkn, Ashar Irfan, ashwinpc, Aslam Shekh, atlasmahesh, au87, Aubrey Portwood, augustuswm, Aurooba Ahmed, Avina Patel, Axel DUCORON, Ayesh Karunaratne, backermann1978, Bappi, Bartosz Romanowski, Bego Mario Garde, Benjamin Intal, Benjamin Zekavica, bennemann, bgermann, Bhaktii Rajdev, bibliofille, Biranit, Birgir Erlendsson, bitcomplex, BjornW, boblinthorst, Boone Gorges, Boro Sitnikovski, Bradley Jacobs, Bradley Taylor, Brandon Kraft, Brent Swisher, Bronson Quick, bsetiawan88, Burhan Nasir, Carlos Bravo, Carolina Nymark, Catalin Dogaru, Cathi Bosco, Chandra Patel, Charlie Merland, Chetan Prajapati, Chetan Satasiya, Chico, Chintan hingrajiya, ChriCo, Chris Aprea, Chris Van Patten, Christian Chung, Christian Wach, christianoliff, Christoph Herr, cleancoded, cmagrin, codesue, CompileNix, Corey Salzano, courtney0burton, Cristiano Zanca, Csaba (LittleBigThings), D.S. Webster, daleharrison, Dan Foley, Dan Jones, DanBUK, Daniel Bachhuber, Daniel Jalkut (Red Sweater), Daniel James, Daniel Llewellyn, Daniel Richards, danieliser, daniloercoli, Danny van Kooten, Darren Ethier, darthhexx, Dave Parker, Dave Smith, Dave Whitley, davetgreen, David Aguilera, David Anderson, David Binovec, David Binovec, David Decker, David Herrera, David Rozando, David Shanske, daxelrod, Debabrata Karfa, Deni, Denis Cherniavsky, Denis Yanchevskiy, Dennis, Dennis Hipp, Dennis Snell, Derek Sifford, derweili, dfangstrom, Dharmin Shah, Dhaval kasavala, dhuyvetter, Diane Co, DiedeExterkate, Diego La Monica, digitalapps, Dilip Bheda, Dima, dingo-d, Dion Hulse, Dixita Dusara, Dominik Schilling, Drew Jaynes, Dukex, dushanthi, EcoTechie, Edi Amin, Eduardo Toledo, Ella van Durpe, Elliot Condon, Emerson Maningo, Emil Dotsev, Emil Uzelac, Enrique Piqueras, Enrique Sánchez, erikkroes, estelaris, evalarumbe, faazshift, Fabian Kägy, fblaser, Felipe Elia, Felix Arntz, Fencer04, flipkeijzer, Florian TIAR, Foysal Remon, Gal Baras, Garrett Hyder, Garth Mortensen, Gary Jones, Gary Pendergast, Gaurang Dabhi, gchtr, Gennady Kovshenin, Gesundheit Bewegt GmbH, ghoul, girlieworks, glauberglauber, Glenn, GravityView, gregsullivan, Grzegorz Ziółkowski, gwwar, Hardeep Asrani, Hardik Thakkar, hardipparmar, Hareesh Pillai, Hareesh Pillai, harryfear, harshbarach, haszari, He Yifei, Helen Hou-Sandi, Henry Wright, herbmiller, herregroen, hirofumi2012, HKandulla, Howdy_McGee, hoythan, Hugh Lashbrooke, Ian Belanger, Ian Dunn, ianmjones, Igor Zinovyev, imath, Imran Sayed, intimez, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), iqbalbary, Irene Strikkers, Isabel Brison, Ismail El Korchi, J.D. Grimes, jagirbaheshwp, Jake Spurlock, Jalpa Panchal, James Nylen, jameslnewell, janak Kaneriya, Janki Moradiya, janw.oostendorp, jared_smith, jarocks, Jarret, jave.web, javorszky, Jay Swadas, Jaydip, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jeff Farthing, Jeff Paul, jeichorn, Jen Miller, jenkoian, Jeremy Felt, Jesper van Engelen, Jessica Lyschik, jffng, jikamens, jitendrabanjara1991, jkitchen, jmmathc, joakimsilfverberg, Job, jodamo5, Joe Dolson, Joe Hoyle, Joe McGill, Joen Asmussen, John Blackbourn, John James Jacoby, John Regan, jojotjebaby, Jonathan Champ, Jonathan Davis, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonathan Goldford, Jonny Harris, Jono Alderson, Joost de Valk, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, Joseph Scott, Josepha Haden, Josh Pollock, Joshua Noyce, JoshuaWold, Joy, jsnajdr, Juanfra Aldasoro, Juhi Patel, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Julio Potier, junktrunk, Justin Ahinon, Justin Tadlock, K. Adam White, kafleg, Kailey (trepmal), Kakshak Kalaria, Kamran Khorsandi, Kantari Samy, karlgroves, katielgc, kbrownkd, Kelly Dwan, Kelly Hoffman, Kerfred, kero, ketanumretiya030, kevIN kovaDIA, killerbishop, killua99, Kjell Reigstad, Knut Sparhell, kokers, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, kuus, laurelfulford, lbenicio, leogermani, leonblade, lessbloat, Lindstromer, lllor, lordlod, LoreleiAurora, Luan Ramos, luciano-croce, luigipulcini, luisherranz, Luke, Luke Carbis, Luke Cavanagh, m1tk00, maartenleenders, Maciej Palmowski, Mahesh Waghmare, Maje Media LLC, malthert, manooweb, Manuel Augustin, Manzoor Wani, MarcGuay, Marcin Pietrzak, Marco Martins, MarcosAlexandre, Marcus Kazmierczak, Marek Hrabe, Marie Comet, Mario Aguiar, Mario Peshev, Marius Jensen, Mark D Wolinski, Mark Jaquith, Mark Uraine, Marko Heijnen, Martin Spatovaliyski, Martin Splitt, Marty Helmick, Mary Baum, masummdar, Mat Gargano, Mat Lipe, Mathieu Sarrasin, Matt Chowning, Matthew Boynes, Matthew Haines-Young, matthias.thiel, mattyrob, Matías Ventura, Maxime Culea, Maxime Jobin, maxme, mchavezi, Meet Makadia, Mehidi Hassan, Mehul Kaklotar, Mel Choyce, Melin Edomwonyi, meloniq, Michael Arestad, Michael Babker, Michael Nelson, Michael Panaga, michel.weimerskirch, Michiel Heijmans, Miguel Fonseca, Miguel Vieira, mihaiiceyro, Miina Sikk, Mikael Korpela, Mike Auteri, Mike Glendinning, Mike Hansen, Mike Jolley, Mike Reid, Mike Schroder, MikeNGarrett, Milan Dinić, Mobeen Abdullah, Mohsin Rasool, Monika Rao, Monique Dubbelman, Morgan Kay, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, Morteza Geransayeh, moto hachi ( mt8.biz ), mppfeiffer, mrmadhat, msaggiorato, mtias, Muhammad Afzal, Mukesh Panchal, munyagu, mzorz, nadir, Nahid Ferdous Mohit, Naveen Kharwar, Nayana Maradia, Ned Zimmerman, Neel Patel, Nextendweb, Niall Kennedy, Nick Daugherty, Nick Halsey, Nicky Lim, nicolad, Nicolas Juen, Niels de Blaauw, Niels Lange, Nikhil Chavan, nikolastoqnow, Niku Hietanen, Nilambar Sharma, Nishit Langaliya, Nitish Kaila, nmenescardi, noahtallen, notnownikki, Okamoto Hidetaka, Omaar Osmaan, Omar Reiss, onlanka, oxyc, ozmatflc, Paal Joachim Romdahl, Paragon Initiative Enterprises, Paresh Shinde, Pascal Birchler, Pascal Casier, patilvikasj, Patrick Baldwin, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Paul Schreiber, Paul Vincent Beigang, Pedro Mendonça, pepe, Peter Wilson, PhillipJohn, Pierre Gordon, pikamander2, Pilar Mera, Pinar Olguc, powerbuoy, Pramod Jodhani, Pratik, Pratik K. Yadav, Prem Tiwari, Presskopp, Priyank Patel, Quantumstate, Raaj Trambadia, Raam Dev, raboodesign, Rahul Vaza, Ramanan, Rami Yushuvaev, ramon fincken, RC Lations, rebasaurus, ReikoDD, Remco Tolsma, retrofox, Riad Benguella, Richard Korthuis, Riddhi Mehta, Rishabh Budhiraja, Robert Anderson, Robert Chapin, Robert Ivanov, rogueresearch, Roi Conde, Ronak Ganatra, Ronny Harbich, Roy Randolph, Roy Tanck, Ryan Boren, Ryan Kienstra, Ryan McCue, Ryan Welcher, Sébastien SERRE, samgordondev, Sami Ahmed Siddiqui, Samir Shah, Samuel Wood (Otto), Sanket Mehta, sarah semark, sarath.ar, saskak, sbardian, Scott Reilly, Sebastian Pisula, Seghir Nadir, Sergey Biryukov, Sergey Predvoditelev, sergiomdgomes, seuser, sgastard, Shady Sharaf, Shamim Hasan, Sharaz Shahid, Shashank Panchal, shawfactor, Shital Marakana, siliconforks, simono, sirreal, Sixes, Slava Abakumov, Slobodan Manic, smerriman, snapfractalpop, socalchristina, Soren Wrede, Spectacula, spenserhale, spuds10, Stanimir Stoyanov, Stefano Minoia, Stefanos Togoulidis, Stephen Bernhardt, Stephen Edgar, Steven Word, studyboi, Subrata Sarkar, Sudhir Yadav, Sultan Nasir Uddin, sun, svanhal, Swapnil V. Patil, swapnild, Sybre Waaijer, Sérgio Estêvão, Takayuki Miyauchi, Takis, Tammie Lister, tazotodua, technote, Tellyworth, Tessa Kriesel, them.es, Themezly, Thijs Hulshof, Thomas Kräftner, thomaswm, Thord D. Hedengren, Thorsten Frommen, Thrijith Thankachan, tigertech, Tim Carr, Tim Havinga, Tim Hengeveld, Timothy Jacobs, timph, tmatsuur, tmdesigned, TobiasBg, tobifjellner (Tor-Bjorn Fjellner), toddhalfpenny, Todor Gaidarov, Tom J Nowell, Tommy Ferry, Toni Viemerö, tonybogdanov, torres126, Torsten Landsiedel, Towhidul Islam, trasweb, Travis Northcutt, travisseitler, triplejumper12, truchot, truongwp, Tugdual de Kerviler, Tung Du, Udit Desai, Ulrich, Utsav tilava, Vaishali Panchal, vbaimas, Venutius, Viktor Veljanovski, Vishal Kakadiya, vishitshah, vladlu, Vladut Ilie, vortfu, Vova Feldman, vrimill, w3rkjana, Webdados (Marco Almeida), WebMan Design | Oliver Juhas, Weston Ruter, William Earnhardt, William P. Davis, William Patton, withinboredom, worldweb, yanngarcia, Yannicki, yarnboy, yashar_hv, Yoav Farhi, yodiyo, Yui, Yvette Sonneveld, zaantar, zalak151291, Zebulan Stanphill, Česlav Przywara, Айрат Халитов 🔥, and 水野史土.

Also, many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They answer questions from people across the world, whether they are using WordPress for the first time or since the first release. These releases are more successful for their efforts!

If you want learn more about volunteering with WordPress, check out Make WordPress or the core development blog.


Thanks for choosing WordPress!

Source

People of WordPress: Kim Parsell

You’ve probably heard that WordPress is open-source software, and may know that it’s created and run by volunteers. WordPress enthusiasts share many examples of how WordPress changed people’s lives for the better. This monthly series shares some of those lesser-known, amazing stories.

Meet Kim Parsell

We’d like to introduce you to Kim Parsell. Kim was an active and well-loved member of the WordPress community. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2015. Lovingly referred to as #wpmom, she leaves behind a legacy of service. 

Kim Parsell

How Kim became #wpmom

In order to understand how highly valued the WordPress community was to Kim Parsell, you have to know a bit about her environment.

Kim was a middle-aged woman who lived off a dirt road, on top of a hill, in Southern rural Ohio. She was often by herself, taking care of the property with only a few neighbors up and down the road.

She received internet access from towers that broadcast wireless signals, similar to cell phones but at lower speeds.

Connecting through attending live podcast recordings

By listening to the regular podcast, WordPress Weekly, Kim met members of the WordPress community and was able to talk to them on a weekly basis. The show and its after-hours sessions provided Kim a chance to mingle with the who’s who of WordPress at the time. It helped establish long-lasting relationships that would open up future opportunities for her.

Since she lived in a location where few around her used or had even heard of WordPress, the community was an opportunity for her to be with like-minded people. Kim enjoyed interacting with the community, both online and at WordCamp events, and many community members became her second family, a responsibility she took very seriously.

“Many members of the WordPress community became her second family, a responsibility she took very seriously.”

Jeff Chandler

One of the first women of WordPress

Kim is regarded as one of the first “women of WordPress,” investing a lot of her time in women who wanted to break into tech. She worked hard to create a safe environment sharing herself and her knowledge and was affectionately called #wpmom.

She contributed countless hours of volunteer time, receiving “props” for 5 major releases of WordPress, and was active on the documentation team. 

“Affectionately called #wpmom, Kim was an investor. She invested countless hours into the WordPress project and in women who wanted to break into tech.”

Carrie Dils

Kim at WordCamp San Francisco

Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship

In 2014, she received a travel stipend offered by the WordPress Foundation that enabled her to attend the WordPress community summit, held in conjunction with WordCamp San Francisco. She shared with anyone who would listen, that this was a life-changing event for her. 

The WordPress Foundation now offers that scholarship in her memory. The Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship provides funding annually for a woman who contributes to WordPress to attend WordCamp US, a flagship event for the WordPress community.

This scholarship truly is a fitting memorial. Her contributions have been vital to the project. Moreover, the way she treated and encouraged the people around her has been an inspiration to many.  

Her spirit lives on in the people she knew and inspired. Here’s hoping that the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship will serve to further inspire those who follow in her footsteps.

Drew Jaynes

Kim is missed, but her spirit continues to live on

Sadly Kim died just a few short months later. But her spirit lives on in the people she knew and inspired within her communities. The Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship will serve to further inspire those who follow in her footsteps.

Contributors

@wpfiddlybits, @yvettesonneveld, @josephahaden, Topher Derosia, Jeff Chandler, Carrie Dils, Jayvee Arrellano, Jan Dembowski, Drew Jaynes

Source

2019 Annual Survey

It’s time for our annual user and developer survey! If you’re a WordPress user or professional, we want your feedback.

It only takes a few minutes to fill out the survey, which will provide an overview of how people use WordPress. We’re excited to announce that this year, for the first time, the survey is also available in 5 additional languages: French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Many thanks to the community volunteers who helped with the translation effort!

The survey will be open for 4 weeks, and results will be published on this blog. All data will be anonymized: no email addresses or IP addresses will be associated with published results. To learn more about WordPress.org’s privacy practices, check out the privacy policy.

Source

Empowering Generations of Digital Natives

Technology is changing faster each year. Digital literacy can vary between ages but there are lots of ways different generations can work together and empower each as digital citizens.

No matter whether you’re a parent or caregiver, teacher or mentor, it’s hard to know the best way to teach younger generations the skills needed to be an excellent digital citizen. If you’re not confident about your own tech skills, you may wonder how you can help younger generations become savvy digital citizens. But using technology responsibly is about more than just technical skills. By collaborating across generations, you can also strengthen all your family members’ skills, and offer a shared understanding of what the internet can provide and how to use it to help your neighborhoods and wider society. 

Taking Gen Z Beyond Digital Savvy

Open up the dialogue

Even if you’re not fully confident in your own tech skills, you can help develop digital citizenship skills in others. If you feel comfortable during everyday conversation, you could describe a tech situation you have come across and ask family members if they have ever experienced something similar. You can give them a chance to share how they handled it or how it made them feel. This can help encourage them to think critically and to react with empathy. And being asked for advice can make them feel appreciated and empowered. But opening up the conversation can also be as simple as asking if they’ve seen anything online lately that they found interesting or wanted to talk about.

Share access to free and affordable training

Open source content management systems have made online publishing accessible to a more diverse group of people. Dozens of content platforms offer hands-on training at no or low cost. WordPress.tv, LinkedIn Learning, and others have low-cost video libraries with thousands of recorded talks and workshops and the WordPress Training team have excellent downloadable lesson plans and materials. These platforms not only feature content that helps develop tech and content creation skills but also content around ethics, diversity and community building.  

Find a sense of community and belonging

One of the disadvantages of increased digitalization is that younger generations and us all may spend less time hanging out in-person. Digital time spent with others is no replacement for in-person interactions. The awareness and mutual understanding which comes from back and forth interaction is needed for positive interpersonal skills. This is hard to replace in digital communities and those skills can only be learned with lots of hands-on practice. 

Learn the many benefits of volunteering 

There are WordPress events across the world that provide a great place to learn new skills to share with your families and friends. Some work with schools and colleges to offer special events which are open to all ages. There are also plenty of small ways to volunteer with the WordPress project that can be done at home to practice new skills.

In addition to attending events where you can learn skills and hang out with others with similar interests, the WordPress ecosystem offers countless opportunities to be actively involved. Professionals, hobbyists, and learners all make a difference by contributing to the ongoing creation of the WordPress platform. Together these people, who are known as contributors, form the WordPress open source community. 

WordPress is created by volunteer contributors

Not only are these contributors creating an amazingly flexible platform for all to use, it is an environment where you can continue to improve your skills, both technical and interpersonal. Open-source software projects can introduce you to people you would otherwise not get the chance to meet, locally and internationally. If you have a zest for learning, and for finding others to connect with, WordPress has many ways to meet contributors in person!

WordPress events are organized by volunteers

WordPress community events are volunteer-run. This can be a great way to give back to the project and practice all sorts of skills. Talk to your local event about how you could get involved and if you would like to bring older teenagers and young adults with you. You will not need any pre-existing tech skills to attend these events but they are a great way to discover areas you might want to learn more about. 

Contributor days offer a great opportunity to get involved

These events are specially designed to help you get involved in building the open-source WordPress platform. You can collaborate with other members of its community and find areas that are right for you to use and grow your skills. All of the tasks you will discover at an event can be continued at home and some are easy to get other family members involved in learning and adding in ideas. 

Contributors come from all sorts of backgrounds and locations, some may live near you and others thousands of miles away. Working alongside lots of different cultures and countries can open up new ideas for young people letting them learn new ways of doing things and discover different perspectives. All those different perspectives can cause misunderstandings. But being involved in a global learning community is a great way to practice communicating across cultural boundaries. 

Getting involved can be rewarding in many (unexpected) ways

The most rewarding part of actively taking part in WordPress events is making budding friendships. New connections often turn into long-lasting friendships that are likely to continue for years to come, both online and offline. With a global community, these friendships can potentially lead to lots of international adventures too!

Make our digital world safer and more inclusive

Befriending people from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds can be an enriching experience in itself. It can also help you make us make more informed decisions. The more we interact with a diverse range of people, the more empathic we become. Some of the most valuable learning that can be offered to Gen Z (and probably to all of us at times) is that what we come across in fast-moving digital communities isn’t always the entire view. 

All things considered….

Anyone who is a digital native may not need encouragement to obtain tech skills. But they may not be aware that digital communities are still communities and we need to use the same sorts of people skills for both offline and online locations. Opening up conversations about situations they may experience online that may require them to (re)act responsibly, can encourage them to think critically and act with empathy. Compared to previous generations, digital natives spend substantially more time by themselves while using devices, so encouraging them to join real-life communities, such as WordPress, could be the first step to learning what it means to be a good digital citizen! 

Source

People of WordPress: Alice Orru

You’ve probably heard that WordPress is open-source software, and may know that it’s created and run by volunteers. WordPress enthusiasts share many examples of how WordPress changed people’s lives for the better. This monthly series shares some of those lesser-known, amazing stories.

Meet Alice Orru, from Sardinia, Italy.

Alice Orru was born in Sardinia, an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. As a child, she dreamt of becoming a flight attendant, traveling the world, and speaking many foreign languages.

Unable to meet the height requirements of her chosen profession, Orru ended up choosing a different path in life, following the Italian mantra: “You have to study something that will guarantee a stable and secure job for life.”

The unemployment rate in Sardinia is very high, a challenge shared throughout the surrounding islands. In addition to that, Alice wasn’t that keen on having the same job all her life, as her parents had.

When Orru was 22 she moved to Siena, Tuscany, to finish her studies. That is when she created her first personal blog. The website was built on an Italian platform named Tiscali, which she later migrated to WordPress.com.

After 2 years in Tuscany Orru moved to Strasbourg, France. She studied French and worked several jobs while living there. Her first serious job was in Milan – working 40 hours/week in the marketing department of a large, international company. She found herself surrounded by ambitious colleagues and a boss who constantly requested extra —unpaid— working hours per day.

Alice Orru
Alice Orru

Choices, choices, choices…

Alice gave up blogging because she wasn’t feeling inspired enough to write. She questioned whether she really wanted to do that job forever; working 10 hours per day under the neon lights of an office. It forced her to set aside her dreams for the time being, and for a while, she mainly lived for the weekends.

Alice decided to leave the job and moved to Barcelona, Spain, all by herself, in 2012.

After a few months of intense Spanish learning at the university, she found a job in an international clinic as a “Patient Coordinator.” Orru assisted international patients coming to Barcelona for their treatments. She acted as their translator, interpreter and administrative consultant. 

Patients came from Italy, France, England, Morocco, Senegal, and several other countries. Alice was so inspired by some of their stories, that she started to write again: She dusted off her WordPress blog and filled it with stories about her new life in Barcelona and some of the women she met at the clinic. “I was feeling stronger and more independent than ever,” Orru expressed.

Technical issues led to unexpected opportunities

In the summer of 2015, Alice was writing on her blog and got stuck with a technical problem. While she was searching through the WordPress.com documentation, she saw a pop-up in the bottom right corner of her screen. It was a staff member of Automattic, checking if she needed help. They chatted for a few minutes and the problem was solved. Alice left the chat with one question, though: how did that person on chat find a support job with WordPress?

Alice found the official WordPress job page: jobs.wordpress.net and noticed a job offer that caught her attention: WP Media, a French startup, was looking for a polyglot and remote customer service teammate for one of their plugins, WP Rocket. She read their requirements: fluency in English, French and possibly other languages, excellent experience with WordPress, and some coding skills.

She knew she didn’t meet all the requirements, but could speak 4 languages, and she had a WordPress blog. She didn’t know anything about PHP, though. Orru had been a WordPress.com user for years and knew she was ready to learn more.

Orru wrote a cover letter and sent her CV. A Skype interview was conducted and several days later she received the news that she had gotten the job! 

A steep learning curve

The early days in her new job were intense. Alice felt inexperienced but was supported by her teammates. She started studying and reading everything about WordPress for beginners. Initially, she answered easy tickets from customers. All the while her teammates were sending useful material to read, setting up video-calls for 1 to 1 training, and encouraging her the entire time.

Soon, Orru was replying to customers whose first language was either Spanish or Italian in their native language. This was much appreciated and resulted in several happy comments. Until that moment the plugin’s support had been offered only in English and French.

Finding her way in the WordPress community

At WordCamp Paris 2016, one of Alice’s teammates introduced her to how the WordPress community collaborated and kept in contact through Slack.

“You speak multiple languages, why don’t you try to contribute to the polyglots team?” he asked.

Alice knew very little about contributing to WordPress. She had only been working for WP Media for 6 months and didn’t feel ready to dive into a new challenge and start also contributing to WordPress.

Yet, curiosity led her to join both the local Italian and the global WordPress Community on Slack. For the first few months, she mainly observed what was happening the channels. Then, she attended WordCamp Milan and met some members of the Italian Polyglots team.

It was love at first string! Laura, one of the General Translation Editors (GTE) for Italy, taught her how to start contributing and translating, following the polyglots guidelines. She also told her about the Italian community’s big efforts to work together, consistently, to boost and grow WordPress related events in Italy.

With her teammates’ encouragement, Orru applied to WordCamps as a speaker and gave her first talk in December 2016 at WordCamp Barcelona. After that, she both spoke at WordCamp Torino on April 2017 and at WordCamp Europe in 2017.

Alice Orru speaking at WordCamp Europe, in Paris, in 2017

Dreams evolve, all the time!

Orru knows that her experiences are not just due to luck. She used her previous skills and passions and adapted them to a new career and life path.

“We all have some skills; and if we don’t know which they are exactly, we should take some time to make a list of the things we’re really good at. With that in mind, just try. Apply. Get involved. Don’t get stuck in the feeling of ‘I can’t do it because I don’t know enough’. So that’s what I did. Without even realizing it, I started putting into reality the dream of the little girl who was born on an island and wanted to travel and speak different languages.WordPress made this possible. I’m now part of a big community, and I am proud of it.”

Alice Orru


This post is based on an article originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. HeroPress highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

Meet more WordPress community members over at HeroPress.com!

Source

People of WordPress: Abdullah Ramzan

You’ve probably heard that WordPress is open-source software, and may know that it’s created and run by volunteers. WordPress enthusiasts share many examples of how WordPress changed people’s lives for the better. This monthly series shares some of those lesser-known, amazing stories.

Meet Abdullah Ramzan, from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.

Abdullah Ramzan was born and brought up in the under-developed city of ​Layyah​, which is situated in Southern Punjab, Pakistan and surrounded by desert and the river ​Sindh​.

He graduated from college in his home town and started using a computer in ​2010​ when he joined ​Government College University Faisalabad​. Abdullah’s introduction to WordPress happened while he was finishing the last semester of his degree. His final project was based in WordPress.

Ramzan’s late mother was the real hero in his life, helping him with his Kindergarten homework and seeing him off to school every day. 

Before her heart surgery, Ramzan visited her in the hospital ICU, where she hugged him and said: ​“Don’t worry, everything will be good.” Sadly, his mother died during her surgery. However, her influence on Ramzan’s life continues.

Start of Ramzan’s Career:

After graduation, Ramzan struggled to get his first job. He first joined PressTigers as a Software Engineer and met Khawaja Fahad Shakeel, his first mentor. Shakeel provided Ramzan with endless support. Something had always felt missing in his life, but he felt like he was on the right track for the first time in his life when he joined the WordPress community. 

Community – WordCamps and Meetups:

Although Ramzan had used WordPress since ​2015​, attending WordPress meetups and open source contributions turned out to be a game-changer for him. He learned a lot from the WordPress community and platform, and developed strong relationships with several individuals. One of them is Nidhi Jain​ from Udaipur India who he works with on WordPress development. The second is Jonathan Desrosiers​ who he continues to learn a lot from.

In addition, Usman Khalid, the lead organizer of WC Karachi, mentored Ramzan, helping him to develop his community skills. 

With the mentorship of these contributors, Ramzan is confident supporting local WordPress groups and helped to organize ​WordCamp Karachi​, where he spoke for the first time at an international level event. He believes that WordPress has contributed much to his personal identity. 

Abdullah Ramzan among a group of community members at WordCamp Karachi 2018
Abdullah Ramzan at WordCamp Karachi 2018

WordPress and the Future:

As a ​co-organizer of WordPress Meetup Lahore,​ he would love to involve more people in the community leadership team, to provide a platform for people to gather under one roof, to learn and share something with each other.

But he has loftier ambitions. Impressed by Walk to WordCamp Europe, Abdullah is seriously considering walking to WordCamp Asia. He also one day hopes for the opportunity to serve his country as a senator of Pakistan and intends to enter the next senate election.

Words of Encouragement

Abdullah Ramzan knows there is no shortcut to success. “You have to work hard to achieve your goals,” explained Ramzan. He still has much he wishes to accomplish and hopes to be remembered for his impact on the project.

Abdullah believes WordPress can never die as long as people don’t stop innovating to meet new demands. The beauty of WordPress is that it is made for everyone.

Ramzan encouraged, “If you seriously want to do something for yourself, do something for others first. Go for open source, you’ll surely learn how to code. You’ll learn how to work in a team. Join local meetups, meet with the folks: help them, learn from them, and share ideas.”


This post is based on an article originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. HeroPress highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

Meet more WordPress community members over at HeroPress.com!

Source

People of WordPress: Ugyen Dorji

You’ve probably heard that WordPress is open source software, and may know that it’s created and run by volunteers. WordPress enthusiasts share many examples of how WordPress changed people’s lives for the better. This monthly series shares some of those lesser-known, amazing stories.

Meet Ugyen Dorji from Bhutan

Ugyen lives in Bhutan, a landlocked country situated between two giant neighbors, India to the south and China to the north. He works for ServMask Inc and is responsible for the Quality Assurance process for All-in-One WP Migration plugin.

He believes in the Buddhist teaching that “the most valuable service is one rendered to our fellow humans,” and his contributions demonstrates this through his WordPress translation work and multi-lingual support projects for WordPress.

Bhutanese contributors to the Dzongkha locale on WordPress Translation Day

How Ugyen started his career with WordPress

Back in 2016, Ugyen was looking for a new job after his former cloud company ran into financial difficulties.

During one interview he was asked many questions about WordPress and, although he had a basic understanding of WordPress, he struggled to give detailed answers. After that interview he resolved to develop his skills and learn as much about WordPress as he could. 

A few months passed and he received a call from ServMask Inc, who had developed a plugin called All-in-One WP Migration. They offered him a position, fulfilling his wish to work with WordPress full-time. And because of that, Ugyen is now an active contributor to the WordPress community.

WordCamp Bangkok 2018

WordCamp Bangkok 2018 was a turning point event for Ugyen. WordCamps are a great opportunity to meet WordPress community members you don’t otherwise get to know, and he was able to attend his first WordCamp through the sponsorship of his company.

The first day of WordCamp Bangkok was a Contributor Day, where people volunteer to work together to contribute to the development of WordPress. Ugyen joined the Community team to have conversations with WordPress users from all over the world. He was able to share his ideas for supporting new speakers, events and organizers to help build the WordPress community in places where it is not yet booming.

During the main day of the event, Ugyen managed a photo booth for speakers, organizers, and attendees to capture their memories of WordCamp. He also got to take some time out to attend several presentations during the conference. What particularly stuck in Ugyen’s mind was learning that having a website content plan has been shown to lead to 100% growth in business development.

Co-Organizing Thimphu‘s WordPress Meetup

After attending WordCamp Bangkok 2018 as well as a local Meetup event, Ugyen decided to introduce WordPress to his home country and cities. 

As one of the WordPress Translation Day organizers, he realized that his local language, Dzongkha, was not as fully translated as other languages in the WordPress Core Translation. That is when Ugyen knew that he wanted to help build his local community. He organized Thimphu’s first WordPress Meetup to coincide with WordPress Translation Day 4, and it was a huge success!

Like all WordPress Meetups, the Thimpu WordPress Meetup is an easygoing, volunteer-organized, non-profit meetup which covers everything related to WordPress. But it also keeps in mind the Bhutanese Gross National Happiness four pillars by aiming to preserve and promote their unique culture and national language. 

Big dreams get accomplished one step at a time

Ugyen has taken an active role in preserving his national language by encouraging his community to use WordPress, including Dzongkha bloggers, online Dzongkha news outlets, and government websites.

And while Ugyen has only been actively involved in the community for a short period, he has contributed much to the WordPress community, including:

  • becoming a Translation Contributor for WordPress Core Translation for Dzongkha;
  • participating in the Global WordPress Translation Day 4 Livestream and organizing team;
  • inviting WordPress Meetup Thimphu members and WordPress experts from other countries to join the local Slack instance;
  • encouraging ServMask Inc. to become an event sponsor;
  • providing the Dzongkha Development Commission the opportunity to involve their language experts.

When it comes to WordPress, Ugyen particularly focuses on encouraging local and international language WordPress bloggers; helping startups succeed with WordPress; and sharing what he has learned from WordPress with his Bhutanese WordPress community.

As a contributor, Ugyen hopes to accomplish even more for the Bhutan and Asian WordPress Communities. His dreams for his local community are big, including teaching more people about open source, hosting a local WordCamp, and helping to organize WordCamp Asia in 2020 — all while raising awareness of his community.


This post is based on an article originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. HeroPress highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

Meet more WordPress community members over at HeroPress.com!

Source

WordPress 5.2 “Jaco”

Keeping Sites Safer

Version 5.2 of WordPress, named “Jaco” in honor of renowned and revolutionary jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. New features in this update make it easier than ever to fix your site if something goes wrong.

There are even more robust tools for identifying and fixing configuration issues and fatal errors. Whether you are a developer helping clients or you manage your site solo, these tools can help get you the right information when you need it.


Site Health Check

Building on the Site Health features introduced in 5.1, this release adds two new pages to help debug common configuration issues. It also adds space where developers can include debugging information for site maintainers.

PHP Error Protection

This administrator-focused update will let you safely fix or manage fatal errors without requiring developer time. It features better handling of the so-called “white screen of death,” and a way to enter recovery mode,  which pauses error-causing plugins or themes.


Improvements for Everyone

Accessibility Updates

A number of changes work together to improve contextual awareness and keyboard navigation flow for those using screen readers and other assistive technologies.

New Dashboard Icons

Thirteen new icons including Instagram, a suite of icons for BuddyPress, and rotated Earth icons for global inclusion. Find them in the Dashboard and have some fun!

Plugin Compatibility Checks

WordPress will now automatically determine if your site’s version of PHP is compatible with installed plugins. If the plugin requires a higher version of PHP than your site currently uses, WordPress will not allow you to activate it, preventing potential compatibility errors.


Developer Happiness

PHP Version Bump

The minimum supported PHP version is now 5.6.20. As of WordPress 5.2*, themes and plugins can safely take advantage of namespaces, anonymous functions, and more!

Privacy Updates

A new theme page template, a conditional function, and two CSS classes make designing and customizing the Privacy Policy page easier.

New Body Hook

5.2 introduces a wp_body_open hook, which lets themes support injecting code right at the beginning of the <body> element.

Building JavaScript

With the addition of webpack and Babel configurations in the wordpress/scripts package, developers won’t have to worry about setting up complex build tools to write modern JavaScript.

*If you are running an old version of PHP (less than 5.6.20), update your PHP before installing 5.2.


The Squad

This release was led by Matt Mullenweg, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and Gary Pendergast. They were graciously supported by 327 generous volunteer contributors. Load a Jaco Pastorius playlist on your favorite music service and check out some of their profiles:

aandrewdixon, Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, Adam Silverstein, Adam Soucie, Adil Öztaşer, Ajit Bohra, Alain Schlesser, aldavigdis, Alex Denning, Alex Kirk, Alex Mills, Alex Shiels, Alexis, Alexis Lloyd, allancole, Allen Snook, André, Andrés, andraganescu, Andrea Fercia, Andrea Middleton, Andrei Lupu, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Ozz, Andrey “Rarst” Savchenko, Andy Fragen, Andy Meerwaldt, Aniket Patel, Anton Timmermans, Anton Vanyukov, Antonio Villegas, antonypuckey, Aristeides Stathopoulos, Aslam Shekh, axaak, Bego Mario Garde, Ben Dunkle, Ben Ritner – Kadence Themes, Benjamin Intal, Bill Erickson, Birgir Erlendsson, Bodo (Hugo) Barwich, bonger, Boone Gorges, Bradley Taylor, Brandon Kraft, Brent Swisher, bulletdigital, Burhan Nasir, Cathi Bosco, Chetan Prajapati, Chiara Magnani, Chouby, Chris Van Patten, D.S. Webster, Damon Cook, Daniel Bachhuber, Daniel James, Daniel Llewellyn, Daniel Richards, Daniele Scasciafratte, Darren Ethier (nerrad), Dave Whitley, DaveFX, davetgreen, David Binovec, David Binovec, David Herrera, David Roddick, David Smith, davidb, Davide ‘Folletto’ Casali, dekervit, Denis de Bernardy, Dennis Snell, Derek Herman, Derrick Hammer, designsimply, Dhanukanuwan, Dharmesh Patel, Diane, diegoreymendez, Dilip Bheda, Dima, Dion Hulse, Dixita Dusara, Dmitry Mayorov, Dominik Schilling, Drew Jaynes, dsifford, Ella van Durpe, etoledom, fabiankaegy, Faisal Alvi, Farhad Sakhaei, Felix Arntz, Franklin Tse, Fuegas, Garrett Hyder, Gary Jones, Gennady Kovshenin, Grzegorz (Greg) Ziółkowski, Guido Scialfa, GutenDev ✍㊙, Hannah Malcolm, Hardik Amipara, Hardik Thakkar, Hendrik Luehrsen, Henry, Henry Wright, Hoover, Ian Belanger, Ian Dunn, ice9js, Igor Zinovyev, imath, Ixium, J.D. Grimes, jakeparis, James, janak Kaneriya, Jarred Kennedy, Javier Villanueva, Jay Upadhyay, Jaydip Rami, Jayman Pandya, jdeeburke, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jeff Paul, Jeffrey de Wit, Jenny, Jeremy Felt, Jeremy Green, Jeremy Herve, jitendrabanjara1991, JJJ, Joe Dolson, Joe McGill, Joen Asmussen, Johan Falk, Johanna de Vos, John Blackbourn, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonathandejong, Jonny Harris, jonnybojangles, Joost de Valk, jordesign, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, Jory Hogeveen, Jose Castaneda, josephwa, Josh Feck, JoshuaWold, Joy, jplo, JR Tashjian, jrf, Juhi Patel, juliarrr, K. Adam White, KamataRyo, Karine Do, Katyatina, Kelin Chauhan, Kelly Dwan, Khokan Sardar, killua99, Kite, Kjell Reigstad, Knut Sparhell, Koji Kuno, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, Kʜᴀɴ (ಠ_ಠ), laurelfulford, lkraav, Luke Carbis, Luke Gedeon, Luke Pettway, Maedah Batool, Maja Benke, Malae, Manzoor Wani, Marcin, Marcin Pietrzak, Marco Peralta, marcofernandes, Marcus Kazmierczak, marekhrabe, Marius Jensen, Mariyan Belchev, Mark Uraine, markcallen, Markus Echterhoff, Marty Helmick, marybaum, mattnyeus, mdwolinski, Meet Makadia, Mel Choyce, mheikkila, Micah Wood, michelleweber, Miguel Fonseca, Miguel Torres, Mikael Korpela, Mike Auteri, Mike Schinkel [WPLib Box project lead], Mike Schroder, Mike Selander, MikeNGarrett, Milan Dinić, mirka, Mobin Ghasempoor, Mohadese Ghasemi, Mohammed Saimon, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, Morteza Geransayeh, Muhammad Muhsin, Mukesh Panchal, Mustafa Uysal, mzorz, Nahid F. Mohit, Naoki Ohashi, Nate Allen, Ned Zimmerman, Neokazis Charalampos, Nick Cernis, Nick Diego, Nick Halsey, Nidhi Jain, Niels Lange, nielsdeblaauw, Nikolay Nikolov, Nilambar Sharma, ninio, notnownikki, pandelisz, paragoninitiativeenterprises, Pascal Birchler, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Pedro Mendonça, Peter Booker, Peter Wilson, pfiled, pilou69, Pranali Patel, Pratik K. Yadav, Presskopp, psealock, Rachel Cherry, Rahmon, Ramanan, Rami Yushuvaev, Ramiz Manked, ramonopoly, Riad Benguella, Rinat Khaziev, Robert Anderson, Rudy Susanto, Ryan Boren, Ryan Welcher, Saeed Fard, Sal Ferrarello, Samaneh Mirrajabi, Sami Keijonen, Samuel Elh, Santiago Garza, Sara Cope, saracup, sarah semark, Sebastian Pisula, Sekineh Ebrahimzadeh, Sergey Biryukov, SergioEstevao, sgastard, sharifkiberu, shazdeh, Shital Marakana, sky_76, Soren Wrede, Stephen Edgar, Steven Word, Subrata Sarkar, Sudar Muthu, Sudhir Yadav, szepe.viktor, Takayuki Miyauchi, Tammie Lister, Themonic, thomstark, Thorsten Frommen, Thrijith Thankachan, Tim Hedgefield, Tim Wright, Timothy Jacobs, timph, tmatsuur, tmdesigned, tmdesigned, Tobias Zimpel, TomHarrigan, Tor-Bjorn Fjellner, Toro_Unit (Hiroshi Urabe), torres126, Torsten Landsiedel, Towhidul Islam, Tracy Levesque, Umang Bhanvadia, Vaishali Panchal, WebFactory, Weston Ruter, William ‘Bahia’ Bay, William Earnhardt, williampatton, Willscrlt, Wolly aka Paolo Valenti, wrwrwr0, Yoav Farhi, Yui, and zebulan.

Also, many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They answer questions from people across the world, whether they are using WordPress for the first time or since the first release. These releases are more successful for their efforts!

If you want learn more about volunteering with WordPress, check out Make WordPress or the core development blog.

Thanks for choosing WordPress!

Source

Taking Charge of Your Own PR Can Lead to More Business, and It’s Easy To Do With This 1 Trick

Taking Charge of Your Own PR Can Lead to More Business, and It’s Easy To Do With This 1 Trick

Public relations can seem out of reach for smaller or fledgling firms. However, PR as a way to raise your profile and that of your business is always a good idea.

If hiring a PR agency isn’t in your budget, it simply means you must do your own PR, and one way to do that is by creating your editorial content. You must, in one word, write. Write blog posts. Write and post articles to LinkedIn. It’s called owned content — as in you own it, so do it.

Of course, if you aren’t a writer this can seem daunting. How do you even get started creating your own content?

Here are four ideas for churning out blog posts or LinkedIn articles. Lately I’ve had to remind myself of them, because even professional writers can get out of the writing habit– although hopefully not for long.

1. Make writing a priority.

Put writing time on the calendar and hold yourself accountable for producing content. For this given time every day or every week you let yourself just write. Maybe you start out with a word goal or a time goal. You can stop as soon as you’ve hit 200 words or 15 minutes or whatever else you want.

By the way, if you’ve made it this far (thank you for that), you’ve read just over 200 words– more than a third of this column. Nobody’s suggesting you to write a novel.

2. Mine for ideas.

If you are lacking for ideas, read more. Maybe it’s general news or a trade magazine for your industry. Maybe it’s a memoir or a business book. Just read.

I recently resubscribed to the New Yorker magazine for a change of pace. Harvard Business Review has provided writing ideas for me and my clients. 

Reading sparks ideas — ideas for topics or how to turn a phrase. You should also peruse your social media feeds, especially LinkedIn, to find out what other professionals in your industry are sharing, writing and thinking about. Full-time writers have to do this all the time. 

3. Create an editorial calendar.

To make sure you always have ideas at the ready, plot them out in an editorial calendar. It’s a good way to organize a topic for every month or week, depending on your desired frequency for posting your articles. A natural place to start is to think seasonally.

For example, May marks National Small Business Week, Mother’s Day and graduation season. In June, you have Father’s Day, Pride Month and the start of Summer. Additionally, what conferences are happening or are you attending? What’s happening in your industry or at your company? Use these events to inspire content ideas.

4. Start with your headline.

Now that you have some topics you want to write about, think about how you want to structure your article. Think about your headline. If you’ve been mining for ideas then perhaps you have noticed which headlines pique your interest.

What was it about the headline that got you to read someone else’s story? Did it offer 10 things to know about a topic you wanted to know more about? Did it include the name of someone you admire? Did it offer answers to a problem you’ve pondered? Once you have your headline, you’re halfway there — figuratively speaking. Good job.

Bonus encouragement: When you are writing more regularly and know you have things to say, the writing gets easier. Your writing gets stronger, too. It’s called writing muscle for a reason.

Published on: Apr 17, 2019
More from Inc.
Sponsored Business ContentDianomi

via Inc.com

April 17, 2019 at 06:34AM

Default WordPress Image Sizes and How to add Custom Sizes

Default WordPress Image Sizes and How to add Custom Sizes

When you upload an image, WordPress does a lot of work behind-the-scenes so you can serve the image to your visitors. You can piggyback on this process and add custom image sizes to save yourself from having to resize images manually.

In this post, I’ll explain how and why WordPress creates different image sizes. Then I’ll teach you how to add your own image sizes by modifying the functions.php file, regenerate thumbnails and add your new image sizes to the Gutenberg image block and/or the WordPress loop.

WordPress Image Sizes Explained

Every time you upload an image into the WordPress media library, these are the additional image size options WordPress creates by default:

  • Thumbnail
  • Medium
  • Medium Large
  • Large

If your theme specifies additional image sizes, WordPress creates those as well.

WordPress also preserves the original size you upload and names it Full as in full-size.

You can see all of these (with the exception of Medium_Large) in the Gutenberg image block Image Size drop down when inserting an image into a page or post.

Why does WordPress create so many images?

Images are like pants. You want to make sure you get the right size. Pants and images that are too small look silly and it’s painfully obvious to you and everyone else that they don’t fit right. Too small images on your site will look stretched out or pixellated.

By contrast, if they’re too large, that’s super wasteful. You wouldn’t put a pair of pants made for a man on a baby, right? It’s so much extra fabric that isn’t even necessary. That baby is going to get lost in a pant leg 😉

Images are the same. If your image is too large for the container, you’re wasting bandwidth and time downloading it to serve on your page. And for what? For nothing.

Ideally, the full-size images you upload should be big enough to fit the largest image container on your site, but no larger. Then when you use images on your site, you should use the exact size image you need.

Since scaling images to create the right size in Photoshop or other image editor takes valuable time, WordPress takes on this task and does it for you. Thanks, WordPress!

All you need to do is choose the appropriate size when inserting an image into your site to get the performance benefits of using an image that is just right.

If the WordPress default image sizes aren’t perfectly sized for your theme, you can adjust the defaults in the Media > Settings section or add custom sizes so you’ll have more options to choose from.

Screenshot of WordPress Media settings
The WordPress default image sizes, except for medium_large which is hidden by default

The default image sizes are as follows:

  • 150px square for thumbnails
  • 300px width for medium images
  • 768px max width for medium_large images
  • 1024px max width for large images.

Medium_large was added to take advantage of responsive image support, which is why it isn’t included in the settings page. Speaking of responsive images…

Responsive Images

All of these images in various sizes serve another purpose, so you shouldn’t set the defaults to zero to keep WordPress from creating them, as some tutorials suggest.

WordPress added responsive images to core in version 4.4. Instead of populating image src attributes with the URL for just one image, WordPress also added srcset (set of sources) which is a list of URLs of images of various sizes.

Guess what images it uses to create that list? Yup, WordPress uses the same images at different sizes it creates when you upload an image.

It offers this list to the browser so it can select an image that is appropriate for the visitor’s device. If the visitor is using a mobile device, they’ll receive a smaller image in the srcset. If they’re visiting your site on a desktop Retina device, then they’ll receive the full-size Retina-ready image file you uploaded. Again, this is why you should upload an image big enough to fill that need.

When you add a custom image size, WordPress will add it to the srcset as long as it has the same aspect ratio. If the custom image size crops the image into a different shape then it will be omitted from the set.

WordPress Thumbnails and Featured Image Size

We’ve now reached the part of our tutorial where we will unravel the whole thumbnail/featured image mess. Basically, the problem boils down to this; because WordPress maintains backward compatibility as it evolves, the names of things change, but the functions still refer to things by their old names.

The WordPress Thumbnails image size was introduced in version 2.9 but was quickly changed to Featured Images in version 3.0, but alas, the name stuck. So you’ll often hear featured images referred to as thumbnails in tutorials and even in the function names.

Screenshot of Featured Image Metabox
If you don’t have the featured image meta box, paste add_theme_support( ‘post-thumbnails’ ); into your functions.php file

Here are some examples:

  • If your theme doesn’t have featured images and you want to enable that feature, you’ll add add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' ); to your functions file.
  • To display the WordPress featured image size in a theme, you’ll use the_post_thumbnail() function.

Thumbnails and featured images share a default size of 150px by 150px. If you use the_post_thumbnail() function without an argument to specify the size, it will use the default 150px square size.

To make this less confusing for yourself so you can actually use the right size, I suggest creating a custom image size and naming it featured-large or something similar. Then, when you want to use that image in you’re the loop, you’ll use the_post_thumbnail('featured-large').

Before You Start Creating Custom Image Sizes in WordPress

As you start creating custom image sizes, avoid going overboard and creating images for every conceivable purpose. Otherwise, you’ll burn through space on your hosting and if you’re using an image optimization service that charges you per image, you’re going to go through your image allowance a whole lot faster.

If your plan allows you to optimize 100 images but every upload generates 9 additional sizes that also need to be optimized, you’ll hit your limit once you upload 10 images. Keep this in mind when adding custom sizes and choosing image optimization plans.

Smush Pro doesn’t have image optimization limits and comes with a CDN so you can keep your server storage space clear. You’ll be able to add more custom image sizes than you normally would. Think of it as the equivalent of putting flowy MC Hammer pants instead of little skinny jeans on those babies because the fabric is cheap 🙂

Try Smush Pro free for 30 days.

How to Add Custom Image Sizes in WordPress

Here is the code we’re going to be adding to our functions file to add image sizes:

add_image_size( 'the-name-for-custom-image-size', 600, 400, true );

This function accepts 4 parameters in this order:

  1. The name you give your custom image size
  2. The image width in pixels
  3. The image height in pixels
  4. Should the image be cropped to fit the width and height you specified above

Cropping

The cropping parameter is a boolean, so you’ll use true or false. If you leave it out entirely, then it will default to false.

If you set the cropping parameter to true, then WordPress will crop your image to fit the dimensions you specify when it creates the custom image.

For example, if your custom image size is a 600px by 600px square and you set cropping to true, then if you upload a 600px by 800px rectangular image, 200px will get chopped off to make the image square.

add_image_size( 'custom-image-square', 600, 600, true );

Setting the cropping parameter to true is helpful for image sizes that have to be exact, like featured images or post archive images that have to fit a certain dimension perfectly.

For images that can have more wiggle room, such as the WordPress post image size and images on pages that tend to have variable heights and widths, then you can set cropping to false. This will resize the images, but it won’t change the shape of the image or cut off any pixels.

Take a look at our image SEO guide if you’re trying to drive traffic to your sites with your images.

Regenerating Thumbnails

One of the most important steps when either:

  1. modifying the WordPress default image sizes
  2. adding custom image sizes or
  3. switching over to a new theme that has different custom sizes

is regenerating thumbnails.

In this context, thumbnails refers to all the additional images WordPress creates, including the custom image sizes that are included in your theme and the ones that you create via your functions file.

When you make a change to the way that WordPress creates additional images, then it will only affect the images you upload going forward. It doesn’t update the images that are already in your media library.

To change the images you’ve already uploaded, you’ll have to use the popular Regenerate Thumbnails plugin.

After you install it, you’ll find it in the Tools section.

Screenshot regenerate thumbnails settings
Just push the button to create new image sizes

When you regenerate your thumbnails in your new sizes, you’ll have the option to delete old unused image sizes to free up server space.

How to Add Custom Image Sizes to the drop-down in the Gutenberg image block

You only need to add the code below to your functions file if you want your custom image sizes to appear in the drop-down in the Gutenberg image block. If you created a custom image size to use behind-the-scenes for your theme, you can skip this step.

Screenshot Gutenberg Image Block Sizes Dropdown
Here’s the custom image size I’m adding with the code below

We’re going to be hooking onto the image_size_names_choose filter.

In the array, I’ll add the name of the custom size that I specified in the add_image_size function and the name that I want to appear in the drop-down within the parentheses.

As I learned when doing this tutorial, you’ll have to regenerate thumbnails before the image appears in the drop down.

WordPress Add Image Size Full Code Snippet

Next, we’ll combine everything we learned into one code block with a real-world example.

Let’s say you want to add custom image sizes to your blog.

Here are the image sizes you want to add:

  • A 1600px by 400px featured image
  • An 800px size that spans the width of your blog’s content section

Since our theme doesn’t currently support featured images, we’ll start with that.

You’ll then see my custom sizes. Notice that I didn’t crop the images that are going to span the width of the blog content. I will hard crop my featured images since I want them to line up just right.

The only image I want to add to the Gutenberg drop down is the blog image since I’ll be using the WordPress featured image size in my theme.

After I add this code to my functions.php file, the next step is to regenerate thumbnails.

To use my custom featured image for my posts in the loop, I’ll add the following to single.php or index.php

See how I added 'featured-large' in the_post_thumbnail() function? That will display my featured image below my blog posts titles, above my content.

Custom Image Sizes Best Practices

Here are a few more tips so you don’t run into trouble creating custom images in WordPress.

  1. Always upload the largest file you can. If your image size is too small, WordPress won’t be able to create all the sizes it needs to serve your images properly on a variety of devices.
  2. If you need to resize the medium_large default size, use the update_option() function. You can use this same function to update any other WordPress default image size.
  3. If you’re outside the WordPress loop, you can use the function get_the_post_thumbnail() to use one of your custom images.
  4. Here’s more on soft cropping and hard cropping when creating custom images sizes in case you run into trouble.

That’s All There is to Adding Custom Image Sizes

Once you understand how custom image sizes in WordPress work, you can modify them to fit your needs and save a lot of time. Getting your image sizes right also helps you improve your site performance and search engine rankings, so it is an important thing to get right.

If you really want to take your image optimization to another level, check out Smush. We’ve added an amazing CDN to Smush Pro that has automatic image resizing, which will help you avoid dealing with modifying your functions file to add custom image sizes.

There are also other great image optimization features that come built-in, like lazy loading and converting images to next-gen formats. Try Smush Pro free for 30 days and see how the image optimization features can improve your site.

Related posts:

  1. How to Properly Resize and Serve Scaled Images with WordPress Serving scaled images is one of the most overlooked ways…
  2. Best Image Formats for Websites Compared! PNG, JPG, GIF, and WebP Image Optimization begins with choosing the best file format for…
  3. How to Make Retina-Ready Images That Don’t Slow Down WordPress The images on my site looked decent and loaded quickly….
  4. 6 Lazy Load Plugins to Make Your WordPress Site Faster Sites with a ton of images can take forever to…

WordPress

via WPMU DEV Blog

April 11, 2019 at 06:22AM