The Month in WordPress: September 2021

There’s a lot of tolerance in open source software for shipping slightly imperfect work. And that’s good. When we ship software that’s a little bit imperfect, it makes it clear how everyone can participate, how everyone could participate, if they could find this WordPress community that supports the CMS.

That was Josepha Haden on the “A Sneak Peek at WordPress 5.9” episode of the WP Briefing Podcast, talking about what goes into a WordPress release like version 5.9. Read on to find out more about updates on the latest release and the latest WordPress news from September 2021.

WordPress Translation Day 2021 Celebrations ran for 30 days

WordPress Contributor teams, led by the Polyglots and Marketing teams, organized WordPress Translation Day celebrations for the entire month of September. Contributors from across the world joined the celebrations by translating WordPress into their own languages. Additionally, the team organized a host of global and local events. Translation sprints were organized by the Community and Training teams, as well as local groups.

As part of the celebrations, nominations were invited for contributors who had made a significant impact on the translation of WordPress and its availability in so many languages worldwide. More than 30 notable polyglot contributors were nominated for their contributions. They will be featured in the coming month on the WP Translation Day website, together with event recaps and more news.

Read the latest People of WordPress feature on polyglots contributor Yordan Soares, from South America.

WordPress Release updates

WordPress security and maintenance release – Version 5.8.1 came out on September 9, 2021. The release fixes three major issues and includes 60 bug fixes. You can update to the latest version directly from your WordPress dashboard or by downloading it from The 5.8.2 release has been deferred and if needed a minor release will be added before 5.9. Work is progressing towards WordPress 5.9, and the team released a planning round-up along with a call for release leads. October 14 is the go/no-go date of the release, which is planned to be launched on December 14, 2021.

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. 

Say hi to Gutenberg Versions 11.4 and 11.5

We launched Gutenberg version 11.4 and version 11.5 this month. Version 11.4 adds image blocks to the gallery block, duotone filters for featured images, and padding support for Button Blocks. Version 11.5 adds flex layout support to the group and social icon blocks along with widget group blocks. It will support the addition of a site logo or title directly into menus.

Want to get involved in developing 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 gives details on the latest updates.

New Guidelines for in-person WordCamps

The Community Team published new guidelines for returning to in-person WordCamps in regions where in-person events are allowed by the local public health authorities. 

Community members can now organize in-person WordCamps for fully vaccinated, recently tested negative, or recently recovered folks (in the last three months) — provided their region passes the in-person safety checklist OR if vaccines and/or COVID testing are accessible to all. Organizers can continue to plan online WordCamps if their region does not meet the guideline. 

New guidelines are also available on the return of in-person do_action hackathons.

Want to get involved in the Community Team and help bring back in-person WordPress events? Follow the Community Team blog and join the #community-events channel in the Make WordPress Slack! Check out the following upcoming WordCamps and meetups.

Important Team announcements/updates

The Polyglots Team opened sign-ups for their new monthly newsletter. The first edition goes out on October 15!The Five for the Future program is being revisited to identify opportunities for growth. The Docs Team formally launched a new repository for tracking issues with WordPress documentation: Plugins Team reduced the time period to complete active review requests for plugins from six to three months.The Community Team started work on the 2022 Global Sponsorship program.The Design Team is working on a redesign proposal of the Inspector sidebar in the WordPress post/page editor.The Themes Team announced the results of the six-week Theme author survey.The Training Team also shared results of a third-party needs assessment exercise for Learn WordPress which offers some excellent insights. 

Feedback/Testing requests from Contributor Teams

Version 18.3 of WordPress for iOS and Android are now available for testing!Join the 10th challenge of the Full Site Editing (FSE) Outreach program – “Pattern Party”. Check out the announcement post for testing instructions and join the fun in the #fse-outreach-experiment Slack channel. Deadline: October 13, 2021The Training Team is requesting feedback on:Strategies to ensure high-quality video contributions for Learn WordPress. Deadline: October 6, 2021Learner achievements on profiles: no current deadlineHelp the Test Team reach out to extenders to check if their test suites are compatible with the modernization of the WordPress Core PHP Test Suites. Information on what the changes mean and step-by-step instructions are available over in the following post: Changes to the WordPress Core PHP Test Suite.The Polyglots Team is exploring two different mechanisms on translating user-submitted block patterns: GlotPress v/s forking patterns to locales and is requesting feedback from community members.

WordPress Events updates

WordCamp Galicia 2021 was held from September 30 – October 2, 2021 and WordCamp US 2021 ran on October 1.Don’t miss these upcoming WordCamps: WordCamp Nicaragua 2021 (October 8-9, 2021) and WordCamp Italia 2021 (October 22-23, 2021) The Diverse Speakers Training group (#WPDiversity) of the Community Team organized an allyship workshop, along with dedicated workshops focused on India in September.The Test Team organized a Hallway Hangout on adoption pathways for Full Site Editing where attendees mentioned how they use FSE and shared ideas for improvement. 

Further reading

The Hosting Team recommended that all web hosts test and push the WordPress 5.8.1 security update through to their users as soon as possible.The Training Team clarified GPL compliance guidelines for Learn WordPress contributions, and the guidelines for workshop presenters are available in the handbook.The codebase for Openverse, a search engine for openly-licensed media,  is now available for translation.The Core Team implemented a Webfonts API in WordPress core for simplifying the process of enqueuing external fonts on WordPress sites. The Test Team rescheduled the End-to-End (e2e) Test working strategy session to October 6. More details in the announcement post.

Have a story that we could include in the next ‘Month in WordPress’ post? Please submit it using this form

The following folks contributed to September’s Month in WordPress: @webcommsat, @chaion07, @dansoschin, @harishanker, @meher, and @tobifjellner

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