The Month in WordPress: June 2017
We’re starting a new regular feature on this blog today. We’d like to keep everyone up-to-date about the happenings all across the WordPress open source project and highlight how you can get involved, so we’ll be posting a roundup of all the major WordPress news at the end of every month.
Aside from other general news, the three big events in June were the release of WordPress 4.8, WordCamp Europe 2017, and the WordPress Community Summit. Read on to hear more about these as well as other interesting stories from around the WordPress world.
On June 8, a week before the Community Summit and WordCamp Europe, WordPress 4.8 was released.You can read the Field Guide for a comprehensive overview of all the features of this release (the News and Events widget in the dashboard is one of the major highlights).
Most people would either have their version auto-updated, or their hosts would have updated it for them. For the rest, the updates have gone smoothly with no major issues reported so far.
This WordPress release saw contributions from 346 individuals; you can find their names in the announcement post. To get involved in building WordPress core, jump into the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group, and follow the Core team blog.
WordCamp Europe 2017
WordCamp Europe 2017 was held in Paris between June 15-17. The event began with a Contributor Day, followed by two days of talks and community goodness. The talks were live-streamed, but you can still catch all the recordings on WordPress.tv. The organisers also published a handy wrap-up of the event.
WordCamp Europe exists to bring together the WordPress community from all over the continent, as well as to inspire local communities everywhere to get their own events going — to that end, the event was a great success, as a host of new meetup groups have popped up in the weeks following WordCamp Europe.
The work that Contributor Day participants accomplished was both varied and valuable, covering all aspects of the WordPress project — have a look through the Make blogs for updates from each team.
Finally, we also learned during the event that WordCamp Europe 2018 will be held in Belgrade, Serbia, continuing the tradition of exploring locations and communities across the continent.
WordPress Community Summit
The fourth WordPress Community Summit took place during the two days leading up to WordCamp Europe 2017. This event is an invite-only unconference where people from all over the WordPress community come together to discuss some of the more difficult issues in the community, as well as to make plans for the year ahead in each of the contribution teams.
As the Summit is designed to be a safe space for all attendees, the notes from each discussion are in the process of being anonymized before we publish them on the Summit blog (so stay tuned – they’ll show up there over the next few weeks).
You can already see the final list of topics that were proposed for the event here (although a few more were added during the course of the two day Summit).
WordPress marketing push continues apace
As part of the push to be more intentional in marketing WordPress (as per Matt Mullenweg’s 2016 State of the Word), the Marketing team has launched two significant drives to obtain more information about who uses WordPress and how that information can shape their outreach and messaging efforts.
The team is looking for WordPress case studies and is asking users, agencies, and freelancers to take a WordPress usage survey. This will go a long way towards establishing a marketing base for WordPress as a platform and as a community — and many people in the community are looking forward to seeing this area develop further.
To get involved in the WordPress Marketing team, you can visit their team blog.
New Gutenberg editor available for testing
For some time now, the Core team has been hard at work on a brand-new text editor for WordPress — this project has been dubbed “Gutenberg.” The project’s ultimate goal is to replace the existing TinyMCE editor, but for now it is in beta and available for public testing — you can download it here as a plugin and install it on any WordPress site.
This feature is still in beta, so we don’t recommend using it on a production site. If you test it out, though, you’ll find that it is a wholly different experience to what you are used to in WordPress. It’s a more streamlined, altogether cleaner approach to the text-editing experience than we’ve had before, and something that many people are understandably excited about. Matt Mullenweg discussed the purpose of Gutenberg in more detail during his Q&A at WordCamp Europe.
There are already a few reviews out from Brian Jackson at Kinsta, Aaron Jorbin, and Matt Cromwell (among many others). Keep in mind that the project is in constant evolution at this stage; when it eventually lands in WordPress core (probably in v5.0), it could look very different from its current iteration — that’s what makes this beta stage and user testing so important.
To get involved with shaping the future of Gutenberg, please test it out, and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. You can also visit the project’s GitHub repository to report issues and contribute to the codebase.
- Bridget Willard has proposed an editorial calendar to assist WordCamp organizers with publishing content for their event.
- A new kind of niche WordCamp, WordCamp for Publishers in Denver, has opened ticket sales.
- The WordPress iOS app was updated with a fresh, new media library this month.
- It looks like Underscores, the popular WordPress starter theme, has a bright future ahead of it, with a renewed vision and new committer.
- The always-inspiring Tom McFarlin has released a simple autoloader for WordPress that looks very useful indeed.
- After a bit of a discussion on Twitter regarding the differences between WordPress.org, WordPress.com, and Jetpack, Helen Hou-Sandí came up with a great analogy and an interesting post about it all.
If you have a story we should consider including in the next “Month in WordPress” post, please submit it here.