Simpler On-the-Go Publishing: Background Media Uploading for Android

Version 8.1 of the WordPress for Android app is now available, with some great enhancements to publishing: background media uploading.

Adding images to a post or page? Now, you can publish — and move on to other things — while your media uploads. No more waiting inside the editor while images gradually upload! Tap the Publish button and the app takes care of finishing the uploads and publishing, leaving you free to leave the post editor and get on with other things.

You can do the same thing while saving drafts. And yes, you can have multiple posts uploading media in the background at once.

We’ve also spruced up the interface, adding notifications so you always know the status of your posts and uploads. Visit your post list at any time for a progress report on all your uploads.

These features work best with the new Beta editor, codenamed “Aztec,” so be sure to enable it in your app for the full experience — check out the details and get instructions on enabling it.

If you haven’t already, download WordPress for Android from the Play Store, give it a try and let us know what you think!

Filed under: Mobile, New Features, Photos, Posting, Video
Source: 38

Add A Simple Payment Button To Your WordPress.com Premium Or Business Site

May 2016: Hajj Flemings, CEO of Rebrand Cities with renowned photographer, Shawn Lee, in a redesigned school bus en route to working with small business owners in Detroit.

Earlier this year, while working in Detroit with small business owners and the Rebrand Cities team, it became clear that entrepreneurs and publishers are looking for a simpler way to accept digital payments on their sites.

Our Happiness Engineering team — the guardians of our customers — also weighed in, and we knew that we wanted to make an existing process simpler. So we set a design goal of bringing a 15-minute-long process to under a minute — especially for a customer that has never used PayPal before.

So a small team of engineers and designers came together to solve that problem with the intent of releasing a “Version One” with which we could start to understand how a simpler payment button could be used by our customers. It’s currently limited to our Premium and Business Plan members while we tune and refine how it can work best.

Here’s how it works: Open a new post, select “Insert Content,” then choose “Add Payment Button.” You’ll fill out the details for what you’re selling, add the email address for your PayPal account (where the money will be sent), and that’s it! 

Read more about how to get started with the new Simple Payments feature for Premium and Business Plans on WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites.

***

It’s easy to think that making simple things is, well, simple. But that’s never the case. Austin, Texas-based engineering leader Bob Ralian led the product team that pulled this live, working prototype together in record time. I had the opportunity to observe the design team in action working with the engineers, and the following is a brief interview with Bob on how all the pieces came together.

JM: So tell me a little about yourself, Bob!

BR: I’ve been building websites and web applications for the better part of 20 years, and I’ve worked at Automattic for four years. I’ve done a mix of engineering, team management, and project management. I live in Austin, Texas, with my wife, three kids, and two dogs.

JM: How does an engineer think versus how a designer thinks?

BR: As an engineer I usually think in terms of what I have and what I know. I can work within a system, take different pieces and turn them into something new. Take duct tape, dental floss, and a rubber band, and turn it into a bicycle. Or I can look at a process and think through how I can make it better. But I’ve found that designers are able to create something totally new out of nothing. They’re not intimidated by a completely blank slate. It’s a superpower that I greatly admire!

JM: They sound very similar!

BR: I think we’re motivated by the same things. We want to make something that people like and appreciate and makes their days a little better. Really, we just want our users to be happy and enjoy what we’re building.

JM: An unusual amount of planning went into this little button — it started in Detroit with a group of designers and then was packaged into a variety of concept sketches and little movies. Does all that up front work really pay off? If so, how?

BR: We spent a lot of time with customers, particularly small business owners, to learn about what they need from their websites. We learned that many of them just want a simple way to take payments. So we used that as our guiding principle, make it as simple as possible for these business owners to add a payment button to their site.

JM: What’s an “MVLP”? I heard the designers use that term with the engineers.

BR: MVLP stands for “minimum viable lovable product.” It means that rather than taking a long time to build a complicated product behind a curtain, we try to build small, simple features and launch them early. It’s ready when it solves a real user need and we can feel proud of it – something we can love. Then we let our customers tell us what they want next and how to make it better. This keeps us focused on building for real user needs.

JM: As an accomplished musical artist yourself, how does “love” play into the engineering of products?

BR: To me it’s all the same; composing a song, writing a blog post, building a new feature, or making something with my hands. I just really love the process of “making things.” Bringing something new into the world is an act of love. It’s an act of vulnerability and generosity. It’s saying to the world “I did my best, and I really hope this makes your life a little better.”

JM: Thanks Bob! Our huge thanks to the engineers who built it; Jason Johnston (who led the project), Artur Piszek, Damián Suárez, Don Park, Jarda Šnajdr, Payton Swick, and Rastia Lamoš! And special thanks to designers Takashi Irie and Dave Whitley for thoughtfully crafting the experience design for this very first MLVP of the Simple Payment button.

Filed under: Admin Bar
Source: 38

Better Blogging Through Podcasts: Announcing RadioPublic Embeds

We love podcasts: they’re like the blogging version of radio, a medium anyone can jump into and use to share their story. They introduce us to new voices and give us glimpses into new perspectives… and they pair perfectly with blogs and websites, where they can add more texture and interest to what you’re already publishing.

Thanks to a new partnership with RadioPublic, you can choose from a quarter of a million podcasts to embed into your posts and pages on WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered websites. Whether you produce a podcast yourself, write about them, or just like to listen, you can share podcasts with your visitors, no matter where the podcasts are hosted.

What Can a Podcast Add to My Site?

Use a RadioPublic embed to share and promote your own podcast !  But even if you’ve never even listened to a podcast before, there are ways you can use them:

  • Round up your favorites: everybody loves a good top-ten list, especially when includes a few surprises. Recommend some sports shows that break the mold (like 30 for 30 and The Rematch), podcasts about art (try A Piece of Work or The Lonely Palette), or amazing audio fiction. By embedding the shows right into your post, you make it easy for readers to sample, listen, and add the shows to their own listening list.
  • Add a relevant episode to a post to give readers more to chew on. Writing about architecture? There’s probably a 99% Invisible episode that you could tie in. Pop culture? Check out Still Processing.
  • Not everything has to be heavy: maybe your readers could just use a few minutes of cats purring — there’s a podcast for that, too!

With over 250,000 podcasts out there, there’s probably a show on whatever you’ve writing about.

Howdy, RadioPublic!

We’ve partnered with RadioPublic,  one of the leading podcast technology providers. They share our commitment to an open web, using open protocols to deliver free audio on demand, across all platforms — their founders have been innovating for years when it comes to the delivery of rich, immersive podcasts. Their technology makes sharing podcasts easier on all WordPress.com sites, opening up a world of opportunities for discovery, curation, and new voices.

The How-To

As with other kinds of media, you can embed a podcast with a few clicks:

  1. Head to search.radiopublic.com to find a show.

  2. Click on the name of a show. If you’d like to embed a specific episode, click the title of the episode.

  3. Ta-da! The URL of that page is your embed link. Select it, copy the full link, and paste it right into your post editor, on its own line.

So for example, this URL:

https://play.radiopublic.com/song-exploder-yWw069

…will display this embed player:

(For more detail, head to our RadioPublic embed support doc.)

Did we mention that if you embed a show (rather than a specific episode), the player will automatically display and play the most recent episode? It’ll keep your site fresh without you having to lift a finger.

Start embedding right now by visiting search.radiopublic.com. Enjoy!

Filed under: Embeds
Source: 38

An Updated Login Coming to the WordPress Mobile Apps

Over the past few months the Mobile team has been thinking a lot about the login experience in the WordPress apps and how we could make it better — we’re never satisfied, you know, so we’re always trying to improve things. After much thought, and even more work, we’re very happy to unveil a new login experience in the WordPress apps.

The WordPress apps are all free and available here.  

Building a better login

As we reimagined the login experience, there were a few key principles guiding us: keep it simple, minimize the distinction between a site hosted at WordPress.com versus somewhere else, and avoid anything that might be too clever. You see, the mechanisms for logging in to a site at WordPress.com are different from those at other WordPress sites. In the past, the apps have had two different login forms to handle the difference, but having two separate login forms meant it wasn’t always clear which form should be used. If the wrong form was used the apps had to try and guess what was really intended. This didn’t always work and could end in frustration. In the new login experience, we’ve done away with separate login forms and clever guesswork in favor of a simple, step-by-step flow that works with any WordPress site.

We’re also adding more emphasis to logging in with magic links for WordPress.com users. A magic link is a special authentication link the apps send you via email, and which logs you in once you click it. Magic links are pretty handy and they can’t be accidentally misspelled like a password.

What’s new

The first thing you’ll see when logging in is a brief introduction to the app. We realize not everyone who installs the WordPress apps has a blog of their own, and some might not have even heard of WordPress. This screen is our way of saying “Welcome, let us give you a quick tour!” before logging in.

Screenshot of prologue on iPhone

The next screens ask for credentials, one piece of information at a time. This keeps the screen uncluttered and makes it easy to focus on a single task.

Screenshot of magic links on Android device

Some screens provide alternate login options. For example, if you do not have an account at WordPress.com you can instead enter your site address, or If you don’t have email configured on your phone to receive a magic link you can choose to enter your password instead.

Screenshot of alternative login options on Android devices

Finally, once logged in, a new screen shows your gravatar and the sites you have, with an option to log in to another site if you so desire.

Screenshot of epilogue on iPhone

Cheers

To everyone who is already using the WordPress apps, you may never see the new login experience, and that’s okay! We’re happy you’re already enjoying WordPress on your mobile device. To everyone who is thinking about trying out the apps, we hope you’ll be delighted with a quick and easy login experience. You can download them right here.

Filed under: Applications, Mobile, WordPress, WordPress.com
Source: 38

El plan WordPress.com Business ahora admite plugins y temas de terceros

Durante muchos años, WordPress.com ha permitido a los usuarios crear sitios web de WordPress increíbles de forma sencilla y en cuestión de minutos.

Sin embargo, para ofrecer esa sencillez, WordPress.com ha tenido que sacrificar algo: el soporte integrado en los miles de plugins y temas de terceros que han contribuido a convertir esta plataforma de publicación web en la más grande y abierta de todo el mundo.

Es por eso que hemos introducido un cambio importante en el plan WordPress.com Business: ahora podrás ver y añadir  plugins y temas de terceros creados por la comunidad de WordPress. Tendrás la sencillez, la velocidad y el soporte de expertos que siempre te han encantado de WordPress.com en un solo lugar.

A la gente le encanta WordPress porque se puede personalizar completamente. Gracias al soporte para plugins y temas de terceros, los usuarios del plan WordPress.com Business podrán conectar sus sitios con fantásticas herramientas de correo electrónico y redes sociales, soluciones de comercio electrónico, servicios de publicación y suscripción, y mucho más.

Representa un gran paso para nosotros, pero todavía queda mucho camino por recorrer; durante los próximos meses y semanas, trabajaremos con nuestros partners y desarrolladores para facilitar aún más la instalación y el uso de estos plugins y temas en WordPress.com.

Y cada usuario del plan WordPress.com Business dispondrá de soporte en tiempo real: chatea en vivo con uno de nuestros Happiness Engineers y te ayudaremos a sacar el máximo partido a estas nuevas funciones.

WordPress es la plataforma web más popular del mundo, y es todo un orgullo ver como crece y prospera esta comunidad. Gracias por tu apoyo constante.

wordpress_business_wide4-half


Source: 15

WordPress.com Business Now Supports Plugins and Third-Party Themes

For many years, WordPress.com has been a simple way for people to create their own beautiful WordPress website in minutes.

But that simplicity came with a tradeoff — WordPress.com did not offer built-in support for the thousands of third-party plugins and themes that helped make WordPress the world’s largest and most open web publishing platform.

Now, we’ve made a significant change to the WordPress.com Business plan: you can access and add third-party plugins and themes built by the WordPress community. It’s the simplicity, speed, and expert support that you’ve always loved about WordPress.com, plugged in.

People love WordPress because it is totally customizable. With support for plugins and third-party themes, WordPress.com Business users will be able to connect their sites to great email and social media tools, ecommerce solutions, publishing and subscription services, and more.

This is a big step for us, and there’s a lot more work to do — over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be working with partners and developers to help make the experience even easier for you to install and use these plugins and themes on WordPress.com.

And every WordPress.com Business user gets real-time concierge support – live chat with one of our Happiness Engineers and we can help you make the most of these new features.

WordPress is the world’s most popular web platform, and we’re proud to keep this community growing and thriving. Thanks for your continued support.

wordpress_business_wide4-half

Filed under: Community, Customization, Themes, WordPress, WordPress.com
Source: 38

A Brand New Editor for the WordPress Mobile Apps

Now that so many of us carry around tiny pocket-size computers, more and more of our internet time happens on phones and tablets — not just browsing, but creating. You’ve been asking for a better publishing experience in the WordPress app to make mobile publishing smoother. Today we’re introducing a new editor for iOS and Android, codenamed “Aztec.” It’s speedy and reliable, works with posts and pages, and is ready for beta testing!

What’s New?

At first glance, the Aztec editor might look like the old editor — which means you already know how to use it, with no learning curve.

What’s different, exactly? A lot:

  • The overall user experience is smoother and snappier, with improved scrolling and faster image insertion.
  • Spellcheck now works reliably.
  • The addition of Undo and Redo tools means you can easily fix mistakes or move between different versions of your text when writing (and re-writing!).
  • Dictation! Now, you can draft your thoughts without typing.
  • Full support for accessibility technologies like iOS’ VoiceOver and Android’s TalkBack.

It’s not just better for people on phones: Tablet users will feel more at home, too. We designed Aztec with external keyboards in mind, making it feel almost like a word processor.

Interested in the full list of features and improvements? Here you go.

Side-by-Side Snappiness

We ran a copy and paste test on iOS with 500 paragraphs of text on an iPhone 6s. The pasted text appears instantaneously in the beta Aztec editor, while the current editor takes two minutes to render it:

Next, we edited an image-heavy post using WordPress for Android to see the scrolling speed improvement — there’s no contest. The current editor is on the left, the beta Aztec editor on the right:

Can I Try It?

Please do! The Aztec editor is a beta version, which means we’re eager for your feedback so we can improve any weak spots before the official launch. When you install the latest WordPress update (8.0 for iOS, 7.8 for Android), you’ll see a pop-up window inviting you to try it out the first time you head to your site — tap “Try It” to activate the new editor. If you missed the popup, tap on Me and then App Settings to switch to the beta editor.

“Beta” means “not 100% ready for everyone;” there are a some things we’re still working on, and others we really want your opinions on. You can see what elements we’re focused on by tapping Me, then App Settings, and tapping the info circle button next to “Editor beta release notes & bug reporting.”

What’s Under the Hood?

The current editor uses a technology called a “web view” which got us 70% of the way to a great editor — but the last 30% of the experience was less than ideal. Aztec brings us closer to the 100% mark. It’s designed using technologies provided by Apple and Google, so it feels like part of the operating system: seamless.

(For more nitty-gritty: the iOS app uses TextKit and NSAttributedStrings, while the Android app uses android.text.Spannable. If you’re a developer — or are just curious — and want to know about the work going into Aztec, we’ve written about it on Make WordPress Mobile.)

All of the code is open-sourced and you can use it in your own application. Contributors are very welcome, and we look forward to any feedback on the project via GitHub or on Make WordPress Slack.

Feedback, Please!

You can give us feedback about the new editing experience in the editor window itself, so you can share your thoughts as they come to you. Tap on the Beta button in the post title area and then tap the Bug button in the navigation bar.

We’re standing by for your thoughts!

Filed under: Mobile, Posting, WordPress

visual vs aztec editor
hybrid-vs-aztec-android

Source: 38

You Can Now Schedule Your Social Media Posts from WordPress.com

Keeping up with social media can feel like a full-time job these days — and for many it is. Posting your content on Twitter and Facebook during specific hours, and keeping things evenly spaced out, means that you need to tend to your profiles pretty often.

We wanted to make it easier for WordPress.com users to create great content on their websites — and share it across different social media networks.

The new Advanced Social Media feature for Business and Premium plan users (and for Jetpack Professional and Premium users) lets you schedule specific times that your content will be automatically shared on places like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can also preview your social updates before sending them, so you know exactly how it will look when it goes out.

With Advanced Social Media, you can:

  • Resurface older “evergreen” posts to share them to your newer followers.
  • Plan your social media posts in bulk to save time.
  • Craft messages specifically to fit the profile or network where you are posting.
  • Preview upcoming tweets, Facebook posts, or LinkedIn updates.
  • See the previous shares of the post.

You can access all of these features by selecting the “Share” button under a post in your posts list.

Share Tab Open

When you select “Share” you can share a post immediately or select the calendar to pick a future time:

Share Calendar Open

To make sure you get the best result, use the “Preview” button:

This is just one of the many social media features we’ve built into WordPress.com to help you share your best work with others. We hope you enjoy, and happy tweeting!

Filed under: Jetpack, Social, WordPress.com
Source: 38

WordPress.com Teams Up with Rebrand Cities to Bring Local Businesses Online

Cities are collections of neighborhoods — and neighborhoods are powered by small business. From coffee shop owners to fitness instructors, therapists to thrift stores, it’s the people we see in the storefronts next door who build and reinforce the unique character of our cities.

At WordPress.com, we want to support local businesses as they grow their own communities (and their revenue!) on the open web. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Rebrand Cities, a project founded by Hajj Flemings to bring small businesses online, in pursuit of an audacious goal: 10,000 new websites for 10,000 small businesses and to tell their stories.

Eighty-one percent of people research a business online before making a purchase — but of the 28 million small businesses that drive the American economy, 46 percent still operate without a website. We want to change that.

Rebrand Cities, a national civic design and brand project, is a multi-disciplinary collaboration with residents, community stakeholders, and local governments to strengthen the fabric — both concrete and virtual — of our cities. We’re starting with Detroit, Miami, Newark, and Philadelphia.

Our collaboration kicked off in Detroit, where we hosted a hackathon to work with local entrepreneurs. You can see the results of that collaboration here:

We’ll be announcing more cities soon. For more information on how your business can participate, go to Rebrand.city.

Upcoming City Info Sessions and Exploratory Events

  • Detroit, MI: July 12, 2017
  • Newark, NJ: July 14, 2017
  • Portland, OR: July 17- 20, 2017
  • Philadelphia, PA: July 25, 2017

Filed under: Community, WordPress.com
Source: 38

Join Us in the Fight for Net Neutrality

Automattic strongly believes in a free and open Internet and it’s hard to imagine a truly open Internet without Net Neutrality.

What Is Net Neutrality?

“Net Neutrality” is the simple but very powerful principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. Whether you’re reading a blog post on WordPress.com, streaming Game of Thrones on HBO GO, or browsing handcrafted tea cozies on Etsy, your Internet service provider delivers the Internet to you at the same speed, without blocking, throttling, or charging extra tolls based on the content you’re viewing. You can learn more about Net Neutrality and why it’s important by visiting battleforthenet.com.

Net Neutrality gives all online businesses, large and small, a chance to reach customers and succeed. It also protects important free speech rights online by prohibiting Internet providers from slowing or blocking sites or messages they don’t agree with.

Net Neutrality means an Internet where businesses, products, and ideas thrive or fail based on their own merit — not on whether they have a preferred deal in place with a broadband service provider.

We think this is the way the Internet should work, and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agreed when they adopted their landmark Open Internet Order in 2015, enshrining Net Neutrality into law.

The debate leading up to the Order’s adoption saw scores of Internet companies (like Automattic) and millions of Internet users – including the President of the United States – stand up against powerful cable monopolies, and in support of strong Net Neutrality protections. Our voices won an important victory for the open Internet.

But…

Net Neutrality is Under Attack, Again

In May 2017, under the very misleading moniker: “Restoring Internet Freedom,” the FCC, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, proposed to repeal the popular Net Neutrality rules. Though millions of Internet users support the rules, powerful cable and Internet providers would like nothing more than to repeal them, so that they can act as paid gatekeepers of what we see online. Indeed, without Net Neutrality, the Internet would look a lot more like cable TV, where the content you see is what your cable provider is paid to put in front of you.

We have to stop that from happening.

Take Action to Protect Net Neutrality

July 12 is an Internet-wide day of action in support of Net Neutrality. If you share our love of the free and open Internet and want to join the fight to preserve it, please join in!

Please take a moment today to help by:

(1) sending a message of support to the FCC, which you can do by visiting battleforthenet.com and

(2) enabling the Fight for Net Neutrality Plugin on your WordPress site, to show your support and encourage others to take action, too. Instructions for installing the plugin on your site are below.

Fight for Net Neutrality on Your WordPress Site

For this day of action, we’ve built a “Fight for Net Neutrality” plugin that you can enable now on your WordPress site to show support for this important cause.

For WordPress.com sites:

Turn the plugin on by going to your Settings tab on your dashboard. At the top of the Settings menu, you will see a toggle switch – flip it to on (blue) to enable the Net Neutrality plugin:

Screen Shot

For WordPress sites (not hosted on WordPress.com):

First, visit the WordPress.org plugin directory to download and install the Net Neutrality Plugin – here.

Then, once installed on your site, go to your wp-admin, Settings > Fight for Net Neutrality, and enable the plugin, like so:

Regardless of where you host your WordPress – enabling the plugin will replace a few of the posts on your site with a “Still Loading” spinner…to show what life will be like on an Internet without Net Neutrality, that features dreaded slow lanes.

The plugin will also display a banner that shows your support for Net Neutrality, and links to battleforthenet.com, where visitors to your site can send a letter to the FCC about this important issue.

After the day of action, the plugin will automatically disable, and your site will return to normal.

Together we can make a difference, and we hope you’ll join us in this important battle for the open Internet!

Filed under: Admin Bar
Source: 38