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The Block Editor is Now Supported on the WordPress Native Apps

Part of what helps WordPress power 35% of the web is language: WordPress is fully translated into 68 languages. Pair that with the WordPress native apps, which make WordPress available across devices, and you have a globally accessible tool.

Today we’re announcing app updates that bring the new Block editor to mobile devices, so on-the-go publishing is even easier for that 35%.

At Automattic, we speak 88 different languages, so we thought: why not use some of them to tell you about the editor updates? Instead of a few screenshots and bullet points, here are some of the people who build the editor and apps sharing their favorite tools and tricks for the mobile Block editor. To make it more accessible, we’ve also included English translations. 

(And for those who want more detail — yes, there are still screenshots and bullet points!)

Rafael, Brazilian Portuguese

Com o novo editor, a criação de conteúdo é mais intuitiva por que as opções de formatação de texto e inserção de arquivos são exibidas de uma forma bem simples.

Toque no ícone ⊕ enquanto estiver editando um post ou página para ver os blocos disponíveis como Parágrafo, Título, Imagem, Vídeo, Lista, Galeria, Mídia e texto, Espaçador e muitos outros.

Translation

With the new editor, creating content is more intuitive because the options to format text and add media are displayed in a simple way. Tap on the ⊕ icon when editing whether a post or page to see all the available blocks like Paragraph, Heading, Image, Video, List, Gallery, Media & Text, Spacer and more.

Anitaa, Tamil

பயணங்களில் மிகவும் விருப்பமுள்ள எனக்கு, பயண குறிப்புகளை பயண நேரத்திலேயே எழுதுவது வழக்கம். இந்தப் புதிய கைபேசி செயலி என் வேலையே மிகவும் எளிதாக்குகிறது. எனக்குப் பிடித்த சில அம்சவ்கள்:  

  • கி போர்ட்டில் உள்ள நேக்ஸ்ட் பொத்தானை அழுத்துவதன் மூலமே புதிய பத்தியை தொடங்க முடிவது.
  • பட்டியல் தொகுதியைப் பயன்படுத்தி எனது சொந்த பட்டியலை உருவாக்க முடியும்.

பட்டியலின் உள்ளெ பட்டியலை சரிபார்க்கும், அல்லது, துணை பட்டியலை உள்ளடக்கும் பட்டியல் பத்தியை ஆவலுடன் எதிர்பார்க்கிறேன். எனவே அடுத்த புதுப்பிப்பைப் பற்றி நான் மகிழ்ச்சியடைகிறேன்.

Translation

I love travelling and I spend a lot of time on my blog writing travel tips while on the go. My favorite features in the Block editor include:

  • Creating a new paragraph block by pressing the RETURN button on the keypad.
  • Adding a List block to create my own lists.
    • You can even add sub-lists!

I look forward to seeing what’s coming next!

Mario, Spanish

Cuando escribo, doy mil vueltas sobre qué palabras utilizar y me cuesta decidirme. Uso mi móvil porque me da la posibilidad de capturar mis ideas justo en el momento que se me ocurren. Es por eso que de las cosas que más me gustan del Editor es que puedo moverme de un bloque de texto a otro con facilidad y también cambiarlos de lugar. Además, se puede hacer/deshacer muy fácilmente, y siempre se mantiene el historial de edición lo que me da mayor seguridad a la hora de cambiar incluso sólo pequeñas partes del contenido que voy escribiendo.

Translation

When I write, I walk around in circles and can never decide which words to use. So I use my mobile phone, which lets me capture ideas right when they occur to me. That’s why the things I appreciate in the new Editor are the abilities to move from block to block with ease and to change their order and since you can undo/redo quite easily and can see your editing history, I have confidence when I change even small bits of the post I’m writing.

Jaclyn, Chinese

用過 Gutenberg 古騰堡後網誌效率高很多!因為寫旅行文章,很多時候是在旅途中或是平日空擋等候時間紀錄和寫下想法,行動 app 讓我隨時隨地都可以編輯文章。行動古騰堡簡化了移動文章段落重新排序的步驟,讓文章的架構變得很清楚,也更容易管理。

Translation

The new block editor truly makes a difference in my blogging efficiency and experience. Since my blog is about traveling, I often scribble notes and thoughts during my trips. The block editor on mobile simplifies the process of moving paragraphs around and organizing content, so the architecture of the post becomes clearer and easier to reorganize.

To start using the block editor on your app, make sure to update to the latest version, and then opt in to using it! To opt in, navigate to My Site Settings and toggle on Use Block Editor.

We hope you give the latest release a try; tell us about your favorite part of the mobile block editor once you’ve had a chance to try it.

We’d also love to know your thoughts on the general writing flow and on some of the newer blocks like video, list, and quote blocks. For specific feedback, you can reach out to us from within the app by going to Me Help and Support, then selecting Contact Us.

Power Users Rejoice: You've Got SFTP and Database Access

Three new hosting management tools give you direct access to your site’s files and data.

Have a site on a Business or eCommerce plan? Now you have three new ways to customize your WordPress.com site: SFTP access, database access, and PHP version switching give you behind-the-scenes access to the nuts and bolts of your site, which means more freedom and flexibility than ever before. If you’ve ever gotten stuck trying to modify your WordPress.com site because you couldn’t manually upload file changes or delete something from your database, website management is about to get a lot easier.

You’ll find all these features in a new section of your dashboard: Manage > Hosting Configuration.

The Hosting Configuration Screen

SFTP credentials

SFTP is a secure way to access the files and folders on your WordPress.com site using a program on your local computer like Filezilla. Some custom plugins and themes ask you to create specific folders or add files via SFTP. While many of those tasks can be accomplished with tools already built into your WordPress.com dashboard, folks who like using SFTP can now have SFTP access so they can make these changes directly. Check out our step-by-step guide to get started.

Database access

At WordPress.com, we regularly optimize your database so you don’t have to, but there might still be times when you need an efficient way to modify data, like purging all the tables created by a plugin you’ve decided to delete. Accessing your site’s database is an effective way to do this. 

Database access is a powerful tool, so if you’re at all unsure about working with a database, reach out to our Happiness Engineers! If you’re unfamiliar with databases, you can also find information on getting started in our help documentation.

PHP version switching

PHP is still one of the key languages used to build the web, and a new version, PHP 7.4, was recently released. WordPress.com sites currently run PHP 7.3, which has been tested extensively across all of WordPress.com, but sites on Business or eCommerce plans can switch to version 7.4 immediately. Learn more.

Since these new tools let you dig into some of the code and data the powers your site, you’ll find a link for our support team right from the dashboard so you can get help if you need it. Have fun getting under the hood, power users!

New Theme: Twenty Twenty

We’re pleased to announce that Twenty Twenty — the new WordPress default theme designed by Anders Norén— is available to all WordPress.com sites.

Twenty Twenty was designed with the flexibility of the new WordPress Editor at its core. If you want to use it for an organization or a business, you can combine columns, groups, and media to create dynamic layouts that show off your services or products. If you want to use it for a traditional blog, the centered content column and considered typography makes it perfect for that as well.

It also has been designed and developed to take maximum advantage of the creative freedom enabled by the block editor. Extra care has been given to the Columns and Group blocks, which can be combined into impressive landing pages with intricate blocks layouts. Twenty Twenty includes full editor styles for the block editor, so what you see in the editor will almost exactly match the end result.

Learn more about WordPress’s latest default theme here, or check out the demo site!

PHP 7.4 Just Came Out, and So Did Our PHP Version Switcher

PHP is still one of the most popular languages used to build the web. The newest version, PHP 7.4, was released today — and Business and eCommerce plan customers can opt to start using it immediately.

WordPress.com sites run PHP 7.3 by default — it’s still our recommended version, since it’s been stress-tested across all of WordPress.com — but if you have a site on the Business or eCommerce plan and want to be on the leading technological edge, you can opt to switch to version 7.4 immediately.

Head to My Site > Manage > Hosting Configuration to find the new PHP Version Switcher:

Choose which version of PHP you want your site to run on, click the “Update PHP version” button, and voilà.

(Note: All sites with eCommerce plans can make the switch right now. Sites on the Business plan need to have either an active plugin or a custom theme to use the PHP Version Switcher.)

PHP’s evolved with each version 7 release, and PHP 7.4 promises to have the strongest performance yet. It will eventually power all WordPress.com sites, but Business and eCommerce customers can take advantage of the update today!

A New Way to Earn Money on WordPress.com

It’s hard to be creative when you’re worried about money. Running ads on your site helps, but for many creators, ad revenue isn’t enough. Top publishers and creators sustain their businesses by building reliable income streams through ongoing contributions.

Our new Recurring Payments feature for WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites lets you do just that: it’s a monetization tool for content creators who want to collect repeat contributions from their supporters, and it’s available with any paid plan on WordPress.com.

Let your followers support you with periodic, scheduled payments. Charge for your weekly newsletter, accept monthly donations, sell yearly access to exclusive content — and do it all with an automated payment system.

With recurring payments, you can:

  • Accept ongoing payments from visitors directly on your site.
  • Bill supporters automatically, on a set schedule. Subscribers can cancel anytime from their WordPress.com account.
  • Offer ongoing subscriptions, site memberships, monthly donations, and more, growing your fan base with exclusive content.
  • Integrate your site with Stripe to process payments and collect funds.

Enable Recurring Payments in three steps

Start accepting ongoing payments in just five minutes, without any technical background. 

1. Connect (or create) a Stripe account

WordPress.com partners with Stripe, one of the internet’s biggest payment processors, to make sure transactions are fast and secure. You’ll need a Stripe account to use Recurring Payments. 

Head to your Earn page and click Connect Stripe to Get Started — we’ll walk you through the setup and help you create a Stripe account if you don’t have one.

2. Put a Recurring Payments button on your site

Recurring Payments takes advantage of the powerful block editor. To start collecting revenue, open a post or page, click the (+) to add a new block, and insert a Recurring Payments button.

3. Customize the details of the recurring payment

You can create as many payment plans for your site as you’d like—different currencies, amounts, payment frequencies, and names, so you can offer different tiers or subscriptions.

You can also choose one of your previously created plans when you insert a new button.

Bravo!

You just set up Recurring Payments for your site. Now your fans can support you, just like they do on Longreads.com and around the web.

For more detailed setup instructions, visit the Recurring Payments support page.

So many options to grow your supporter base

With Recurring Payments, you can turn your content into revenue, accept donations, or fund your next big idea. 

  • Sell access to members-only newsletters.
  • Collect club membership dues automatically.
  • Let fans fund your next art project.

Some people even collect rent with recurring payments!

It’s easier than ever for your visitors to support your site

Recurring Payments make it easy to purchase a subscription or become a supporter on any WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected site — your subscribers will be able to use the same payment information and manage all their subscriptions in one place. To do that, they’ll just need a WordPress.com account.

During the checkout process, they will enter their email address. If they already have a WordPress.com account linked to that address, we will associate the purchase with that account. If they don’t, we’ll create an account for them. When they complete the purchase, they’ll receive an email with more info and login instructions for their new account.

The transaction is between you and your subscriber. WordPress.com only facilitates the processing and management of the subscription. We don’t save your subscribers’ credit card information, either — it’s stored by Stripe, the payment processor, so that the charge can renew automatically. Your subscribers can manage, edit, or cancel their recurring payments on their own, without your intervention, by visiting Me > Manage Purchases > Other sites.

A competitive fee structure helps you share your work far and wide

Recurring Payments is available on all paid plans, for both WordPress.com and Jetpack-connected sites. You pay a percentage of the revenue your site generates through Recurring Payments, which varies depending on your plan. As you collect more subscribers, you might consider switching to a different plan in order to retain more revenue.

WordPress.com Plan Jetpack plan Related Fees
WordPress.com eCommerce  — None
WordPress.com Business Jetpack Professional 2%
WordPress.com Premium Jetpack Premium 4%
WordPress.com Personal Jetpack Personal  8%

In addition to the fees you pay us, Stripe collects 2.9% + $0.30 for each payment made to your Stripe account.

Make the most of our collection of monetizing tools

Recurring payments is the latest addition to the monetizing tools available on WordPress.com. Here are the other tools you can find by visiting WordPress.com/earn.

  • Use Simple Payments to take one-time payments, or to sell digital or physical products with minimal configuration.
  • Add WordAds to run advertisements on your site, and earn revenue from your traffic.
  • Move to WooCommerce when you’re ready to create a full shopping experience for visitors — it’s the most customizable online-store platform on the web, with thousands of extensions.

Ready to add Recurring Payments? Head to your site’s Earn section right now.

Join us in a Digital Climate Strike

With fires raging in the Amazon, hurricanes ripping across the Atlantic, and typhoons flooding Japan, our planet and our climate are sending us a message: We can no longer continue with business as usual.

The week starting September 20th, 350.org is organizing a Global Climate Strike, in association with Fridays For Future, to show global leaders that the time to act is now. Alongside the people walking out of workplaces, schools, and homes around the world, 350.org is organizing a digital climate strike. Websites participating in the digital strike will promote the physical strikes in the lead-up to the date, and partially block themselves to users on September 20th itself. That is where you come in!

Starting today, you can opt into the digital climate strike with your WordPress.com site, showing your commitment to this critical topic and spreading the word about the event. Between now and September 20th, your site will display a small climate strike banner. On the 20th, it will transform into a dismissible full-screen overlay.

WordPress.com site owners can head to My Site > Manage > Settings. At the top of the Settings menu, you will see a toggle switch — flip it on to join the digital climate strike.

Other WordPress sites can also join the movement by installing the Digital Climate Strike plugin from the WordPress.org plugin repository.

After the day of action, the banner will automatically disappear (or if you’ve installed the plugin, it will automatically disable) and your site will return to normal.

Together we can make a difference, and we hope you’ll join us in supporting this movement.

WordPress.com and Fiverr Partner to Launch “WordPress.com Fundamentals” Course

Getting your new business website ready for launch? Want a little hand-holding — a step-by-step tutorial on setting up a WordPress.com site from start to finish, that you can work on at your own pace and on your own time? “WordPress.com Fundamentals,” a comprehensive video course created with our friends over at Fiverr, walks you through all the fundamentals in 90 minutes.

The course covers the basics of setting up a business website, but anyone new to WordPress.com can benefit from lessons on how to create an account, set up a site, customize a theme, publish content, and share it on social media. It was developed by WordPress.com Happiness Engineers with years of experience guiding thousands of new WordPress.com customers in chat, email, forums, and concierge sessions, so you know you’re getting expert guidance from people who know every WordPress.com tip and trick.

The entire course is just $31, which includes unlimited access to all the course materials, quizzes, and downloadable resources. Take it all at once, or learn at the pace that works for you — the course is divided into bite-sized chapters that you can refer to as many times as you need.

Students are also eligible for a discount of 25% on WordPress.com plan upgrades! So if you’ve been hesitating to explore the advanced features in the Premium, Business, or eCommerce plans, the course gives you both a great introduction to the ease and power of WordPress.com and a lower-cost way to try them out.

To get started, head over to the course page on the Learn from Fiverr website. Click on the green “Buy Course” button, and follow the prompts to create an account and purchase the course. And until the end of September, get 30% off the course fee by entering coupon code learnwordpress at checkout.

And if you do take the class, let us know what you think. Fiverr will send out a survey to all students after completing the class, so be sure to fill it out. We want to know what works for you, what you’d like to see more of, and where we can improve.

When Experienced Women Engineers Look for New Jobs, They Prioritize Trust and Growth

How can we increase gender representation in software engineering?

Our Developer Hiring Experience team analyzed this topic in a recent user-research study. The issue resonated with women engineers and a strong response enabled the team to gain deeper insight than is currently available from online research projects.

Seventy-one engineers who identified as women or non-binary responded to our request for feedback. Out of that pool, 24 answered a follow-up survey, and we carried out in-depth interviews with 14 people. This was a highly skilled group, with the majority having worked in software development for over 10 years. 

While some findings aligned with our expectations, we still uncovered a few surprises. 

The Job Hunt

In initial job hunts, respondents were found to rely heavily on their existing networks and on personal outreach from companies.

If they do not have a pre-existing connection with a company, they’ll likely scrutinize it for red flags before they submit an application. Job descriptions are searched for any discouraging language — for example, if parental leave descriptions only refer to mothers. Information — about the job, salary, team, and hiring process — is key for encouraging applications.

Stack Overflow is a popular resource for job hunting; whereas Glassdoor is viewed as less useful, and more as a venting forum for former employees or unsuccessful candidates. 

The Hiring Process

The most favorable hiring processes represent a growth opportunity, rather than being purely evaluative. Communication and responsiveness are important, as is the visibility of other women within the team. For some participants, interviewing is seen as a skill to maintain. These developers are continually keeping an eye on job listings to stay abreast of their options. However, the chance for growth was the most widespread reason for actually leaving a current position. 

Job Satisfaction 

Consistently being able to have an impact, including leadership opportunities, stood out as important; if this is lacking, experienced women engineers are likely to seek new employment. Dissatisfaction can also be caused by being pushed onto the management track and having to fight to continue to focus on technical work. 

The data showed women are looking for more communities focused on connecting to other senior-level women, and around more technical topics. Concerns around online harassment can put women off trying to build their network online. 

Changes at Automattic 

We are working on Automattic’s employment branding to reflect our findings. We are in the process of gathering resources to better describe work at Automattic, and we’re encouraging existing developers to increase their visibility outside of the company — whether through writing or engaging in their communities. 

In job postings, we have removed any gameplay or language that emphasizes hiring as a competitive process — for instance, we no longer mention application volume. Instead, job postings highlight learning and career opportunities for the candidate. Adding the term “Senior” to postings is also being tested. Although this implies a job ladder that does not necessarily exist here, the research clarified that its absence sent the message that all positions are mid-level roles, without the path to growth that women candidates tend to look for. 

We are also managing candidates’ expectations by making the whole hiring process more transparent, and have created a public page outlining the hiring process.

We’ve made it easier for interested applicants to have casual chats with other women at Automattic. We also offer candidates the opportunity for one-on-one calls with a member of the Developer Experience team during the final stages of hiring; this has started with under-indexed candidates but with a view to rolling it out to everyone. These chats take place outside of the formal hiring process to provide an opportunity for the applicant to ask any questions they have and for the company to better understand their career goals and motivation. 

We are tracking the progress made and are excited to be able to contribute data to the field of gender representation in engineering. If you’d like to take a more in-depth look at our study, please do read the more detailed write up on our developer blog, or download the PDF!

Interested to learn what positions are currently open at Automattic? We’re always hiring

The Second Edition of Our “Learn User Support” Workshop Is Open for Signups

Back in January, we partnered with Support Driven and launched the first version of the Learn User Support Workshop, which helps women in the Asia-Pacific region develop the skills they need to succeed in a technical support role. We had 24 students enrolled in our first cohort.

Today, we’re happy to share that the next edition of the Learn User Support Workshop will launch on August 19, 2019. The course is entirely web-based — there’s no need to travel anywhere to attend — and completely free. So if you identify as a woman, are based in the Asia-Pacific region, and are serious about a career in user support, this might be a perfect match for you.

Building a better, bigger workshop

The strong positive feedback we received from our students earlier this year, as well as the increasingly long waitlist, inspired us to improve the course content and to design it to accommodate more learners. 

What topics will we cover? As a participant, expect to learn how to…

  • Develop your own support philosophy.
  • Build successful troubleshooting strategies.
  • Manage challenging interactions.
  • Implement productivity tools.
  • Optimize your approach to applying and interviewing for jobs in support.

This six-module course will start on August 19 and will run through September 29. We will publish a new module every Monday, and each learner will have one week to complete it. We’ll include lots of hands-on work, and by the end of the course, each participant will also develop a résumé and portfolio site on WordPress that they can then share with potential employers.

Meet your friendly organizers

As for your teachers, the people who lead this workshop are Automattic Happiness Engineers — master communicators with deep, wide-ranging experience in distributed technical support. 

Automattic, which offers the workshop, is a fully-distributed company — there are more than 930 full-time Automatticians spread across 70 countries and speaking 88 languages. We serve users from every corner of the world via products like WordPress.com, Jetpack, and WooCommerce, among others

As people who believe in the benefits of distributed work, we love helping remote professionals level up their skills. Our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion leads us to look for ways to make the tech sector more representative of the wide and varied world it serves. As a result, this virtual workshop will equip Asia-Pacific-based women who are — or want to become — support professionals with skills that are specifically tailored to the demands of remote work.  


Registration for this cohort is now closed.

Make sure to sign up to be notified about future course offerings from Automattic.

CLICK HERE TO GET NOTIFIED!


Four New WordPress.com Color Schemes

We heard you: You want bolder and brighter colors on WordPress.com. Today we’re bringing your WordPress.com dashboard to life with four new color schemes: introducing Midnight, Sunset, Ocean, and Contrast.

You may recognize some of these colors as old friends. Midnight, Sunset, and Ocean are based on early versions of WordPress — a nod to our roots as we evolve:

If bright and bold isn’t your jam, you might prefer Contrast, a black-and-white scheme meant to bring your WordPress.com dashboard into sharp focus:

Screenshot of the WordPress.com dashboard with Contrast color scheme applied.

As part of our commitment to inclusive design, the new palettes are optimized for contrast and increased legibility. Whichever color scheme you choose, your dashboard remains stylish and readable.

Here’s how to customize your color scheme:

  1. On your desktop, sign in to the WordPress.com account that you’d like to customize.
  2. Click your account avatar in the upper right corner.
  3. Select Account Settings
  4. Select one of the options under Dashboard Color Scheme
  5. Click Save Account Settings to apply the change
Screenshot of the WordPress.com Account Settings.