The Month in WordPress: July 2021

WordPress is global in reach and open source in nature. And you would assume that what allows the software to be used by anyone would also enable it to be built by anyone. After all, your location doesn’t matter, and who employs you also doesn’t matter. And your relative social standing certainly shouldn’t matter. As long as you can communicate with the others contributing to the project, there should be no obstacle to your participation.

That was Josepha Haden on the “Cherishing WordPress Diversity” episode of the WP Briefing Podcast, speaking about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fabric of the WordPress project. Her statement captures the spirit of the WordPress open source project, and we hope it resonates with you. Now, let’s dive in!

Say hello to WordPress 5.8

WordPress version 5.8, “Tatum,” came out on July 20. Version 5.8 is a major release that offers features like block-based widgets, a host of new blocks and patterns, a template editor, a duotone feature to stylize images, theme.json, and support for webP images, to name a few. Read more in the release post, the field guide, and the talking points post for meetup groups.

Want to contribute to WordPress core? 

Join the  #core channel, follow the Core Team blog, and check out the team handbook. Don’t miss the Core Team chats on Wednesdays at 5 AM and 8 PM UTC.Translate WordPress to your local language – here’s the latest translation status.Contact the Marketing Team in the #marketing slack channel, if you wish to support social media engagement around WordPress 5.8.

Gutenberg Version 11.0 is released

Contributor teams released the 11th version of Gutenberg on July 9. Version 11.0, which focuses heavily on backports and bug fixes, showcases some cool features such as an editing overlay for template parts and reusable blocks, and support for CSS shorthand properties in theme.json and block attributes. Version 11.1 was also shipped this month, on July 21. The release adds custom block borders as block supports and adds “drag and drop” to the list view. 

Want to get involved in building Gutenberg? Follow the Core Team blog, contribute to Gutenberg on GitHub, and join the #core-editor channel in the Make WordPress Slack. The “What’s next in Gutenberg” post offers more details on the latest updates. 

Returning to in-person WordPress events

The Community Team kicked off work to bring back in-person WordPress events. The team recently announced that in-person WordPress meetups can be organized in a region if the local public health authority allows in-person events and if the region passes the in-person safety checklist. If the region does not meet guidelines on page one of the safety checklist, organizers can plan events for fully vaccinated, recently tested (negative), or recently recovered community members. Subsequently, the team also shared a proposal for the return to in-person WordCamps in places that meet the safety guidelines and the vaccination/testing requirements. Please share your feedback on the post if you have any thoughts. For more context, check out the “In Person!” episode of the WP Briefing Podcast

Want to contribute to the Community Team? Follow the Community Team blog, or join them in the #community channel in the Make WordPress Slack. 

BuddyPress 9.0 is out

The BuddyPress team is busy! Within barely a month of their last major release (version 8.0), the team shipped version 9.0 on July 19. Key features of the release include widget blocks and updates to the BP REST API.  Download it from the plugin directory or check it out from its subversion repository. Want to help build BuddyPress? Follow their developer relations blog, check out their handbook page, or join them in the #buddypress channel in the Make WordPress Slack.

WordPress Event updates

WordCamp US is coming back on October 1, 2021, as a daylong online event!Free tickets for WordCamp Florianopolis (August 11-12) are now available.The Diverse Speaker Training group of the Community Team announced three new programs for Meetup and WordCamp organizers. Sign up for the inaugural allyship program for event organizers on August 19, 2021, at 5:007:00 pm UTC!The Polyglots Team is planning a month-long translation day celebration in September 2021, with two weeks of “core events” from September 17 to 30. The team will announce more details on the event shortly, and you can follow all the latest updates on their P2. Stay updated on online WordPress meetups around the world by following the Marketing Team’s WordPress Meetup roundup every Monday. WordCamp Santa Clarita 2021 was held online on July 17-18, 2021. The highlight of the event, which had 41 speakers, 19 sponsors, and 672 attendees, was a dedicated track for WordPress accessibility. Videos of the event will soon be posted on Hosting Team organized their first meetup in June. Check out the event recording.

Feedback requests from WordPress contributor teams

Please help these WordPress contributor teams by answering their research requests:

The Core Team has published a WordPress 5.8 release retrospective. Share your release feedback as comments on the post or by filling out this form before August 15. The team is also requesting feedback on a “proof of concept” for the new WordPress updater. The Training Team wishes to find what learners and potential learners would like to see in the platform. To contribute, please fill out an anonymous survey (by August 13) OR join a short video call to share feedback (on the week of August 2-6).The Polyglots Team announced that “Polyglots Training” (a course to help WordPress translators and communities) is now available for testing. Sign up now!The Test Team wants to hear from theme authors on how they use theme.json in order to shape its future. Help them by filling out this survey on or before August 13.The Marketing Team is doing research on building engagement around WordPress releases. Please help the team by filling out this quick, two-question survey on how you search for release information. If you have any favorite features from the latest release (WordPress 5.8) let the team know by completing this short form.

Further reading

The Meta Team launched the new WordPress Pattern Directory alongside the 5.8 release. The Design Team also contributed to this project, working with contributors on launching around 85 block patterns in the directory.Check out the following blog posts from the Design Team: A Walk Around: The Search Block and Widgets on 5.8 and beyond. Join their Show and Tell meetings on the last Wednesday of each month to learn about updates on their latest projects and new ideas.Check out this blog post to learn how to configure theme design with theme.json. The Test Team has put out a call for team-rep nominations.The Themes Team is in the process of discussing updated theme directory guidelines.Version 17.9 of WordPress for Android and iOS are now available for testing.

Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it using this form

The following folks contributed to July’s Month in WordPress:  @webcommsat @chaion07 @jillbinder @lmurillom @meher

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