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 > 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 download the PDF!
Interested to learn what positions are currently open at Automattic? We’re always hiring.
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.
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…
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.
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.
Are you ready to sign up? Just click below:
We have 20 slots for this cohort on a first come, first serve basis.
We will get in touch with you via email if you are selected for the course. If you know anyone who might be a good fit, feel free to share this post with them!
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:
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.
If you’re like me, Stats is one of your most-visited screens in your WordPress app — we all want to know people are reading! Whether you use iOS or Android, the latest versions have Stat updates that bring you more useful data, faster. Updates to the layout, available statistics, and how they’re handled behind the scenes mean you can hone in what’s most important to you and to your site’s growth.
Stats got a facelift!. The numbers are easier to read, easier to compare, and easier to track over time.
Blogger who wants to keep an eye on your follower count, a business owner who wants a quick update on daily views? Insights Management lets you choose what stats to include so your at-a-glance updates include what’s most important to you. (This feature is only available on Android at the moment, and is coming soon to iOS.)
Use the new dedicated date bar on the days, weeks, months and years tabs, to explore date ranges.
Your Insights tab is now optimised for quick updates so you can get key information about your site’s performance all on one screen.
Update your app to the latest version. You can find them here, or in your Apple Store or Google Play. And that’s it! Head to Stats for any of your site for a new and improved analytics experience.
We understand how important stats are — we run websites, too! — so we’re always working to develop and improve them. We’d love to hear about your experience with the latest and greatest!
The mission of WordPress is to democratize publishing: to make it possible for anyone — no matter their background, location, or identity — to bring their ideas to life on the internet. This mission inspires thousands of volunteers all over the world to contribute to the WordPress open source project, building and supporting the software that makes this possible.
But as in most technology organizations, the people who work on WordPress aren’t always representative of all the people who use WordPress. The majority of WordPress core developers, conference speakers, and other volunteers are young men. That’s where the WordPress Diverse Speaker Training Working Group comes in.
A group of WordPress community organizers and volunteers, led by freelance developer Jill Binder, is working to change this. They’ve developed a workshop that trains women and other people from traditionally underrepresented groups in technology who’d like to present at conferences and WordCamps. These training events are organized by local WordPress meetup groups, and are always completely free of charge.
The workshops help attendees address some of the common barriers and fears underrepresented people have around public speaking: “I don’t know what I could speak about.” “I’m not an expert.” “I don’t know how to write a proposal.” “I don’t know how to create a presentation.” “I don’t have any experience speaking in front of groups.”
In 2018, the group supported and advised 55 WordPress communities in 26 different countries. New speakers were trained in 12 different WordPress meetup groups in the US, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, and Venezuela.
All of the communities that held this workshop experienced a real change in the speaker roster for their annual conferences; many of their WordCamps went from having 10% women speakers to having 50% or more women speakers in less than a year. In 2017, Seattle had 60% women speakers and in 2018, Vancouver had 63%.
Speaking at WordCamps is a consistent path to leadership in the WordPress community, so having more diverse speakers directly supports the goal of more diverse leadership in the WordPress open source project. WordCamps are where many WordPress enthusiasts choose to become professionals. When more people see speakers like them on stage and feel welcome in the community, a more diverse group of people participate in the WordPress project.
When WordPress events are more diverse, the WordPress project gets more diverse — which makes WordPress better for more people.
Jill kicked off the Diverse Speaker Training Working Group at the beginning of 2018, and dedicated a year to it training facilitators and supporting organizers as an unpaid volunteer.
This year, Automattic has signed on as a 50% sponsor of Jill Binder’s diverse speaker outreach and training work. Her work is already making a noticeable impact on the WordPress project, and we want to make this training as accessible as possible to WordCamps globally. Like anything worth doing, this is a marathon and not a sprint — it’ll take time to see a more diverse contributor pool — but we’re dedicated to making sure this necessary groundwork happens.
Would you like to help foster diversity across the WordPress project? Automattic invites interested partners to pick up the other 50% of this project’s costs. Get in touch with Jill today!
Happy Pride Month! My favorite parts about celebrating this month are the stories shared from LGBTQ+ folks, their loved ones, and organizations looking to show support. At WordPress.com, we strive to be a platform that democratizes publishing so that anyone can share their stories regardless of income, gender, politics, language, or where they live in the world. This month is a great reminder for why we work hard to expand the open web.
For me, democratizing publishing means more than just my ability to publish my own story. It’s about being able to share, but also being able to receive. As I celebrate Pride Month as a young, queer person, I think back to early online communities on which I found other LGBTQ+ people and how much I resonated with their stories. I feel lucky to be able to share my own story, but there are many LGBTQ+ folks who can’t.
To this end, we wanted to provide resources, inspire, and highlight organizations to support as you celebrate Pride Month in your own way, whether that’s seeking out stories or writing your own.
The LGBTQ+ community is vast — I’m part of it, but I’m still learning new things daily. Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or not, make sure you properly represent the community at large when you share your story with the help of these resources:
We know how important it is to find an image that perfectly fits your writing and, since stock-image libraries have historically struggled to represent all experiences, we wanted to share some free image options to ease your search this month:
Have any resources to recommend? Please share them in the comments below! Part of our company creed is to never stop learning, and I’d love to learn what resources you all have found useful.
If you want to write but are feeling stuck trying to find the words, take some inspiration this month from these writers with strong voices and varied perspectives:
Tip: Make sure to follow these sites so you don’t miss any future posts.
In partnership with Out in Tech, volunteers, including some of my awesome colleagues, have worked together over the last few years to create websites for LGBTQ+ organizations around the world. As you look to find organizations to support, remember to think globally, especially considering there are still 73 nations with laws against being LGBTQ+. We hope this list gives you a great place to start:
For those of you sharing your own stories of being LGBTQ+ in this world, thank you for your bravery and vulnerability.
For those of you who can’t share your story, please know that it gets better and that you aren’t alone this month.
For those of you seeking out other people’s stories, thank you for being supportive, being open, and seeking to expand your perspective.
Sharing is a core part of the iOS experience, and WordPress is committed to helping people share their stories, products, or services freely and widely. So when the fine folks at Shiny Frog—makers of the excellent writing app Bear—asked for an easier way turn Bear notes into WordPress posts, we enthusiastically said yes. We’ve been working together to create a great publishing experience, and today Bear and WordPress both have app updates that incorporate this latest and greatest integration.
Go ahead, give it a try!
The Bear and WordPress apps work together seamlessly to turn your note into a fully-formatted blog post.
To automatically give your blog post a title, make sure your Bear note begins with an H1. You’re all set—the only thing left to do is publish.
How we did it
If you’re curious about the technical details: our mobile team updated the app to support TextBundle files shared from other apps. On Bear’s end, the app now knows WordPress for iOS supports TextBundle, and automatically shares notes in that format.
TextBundle is made for sharing plain text files that include attachments like photos, and since it’s built on an open standard, other developers can integrate their apps with it. If you’re an app developer looking to improve your WordPress publishing experience, you can start with Shiny Frog’s open source TextBundle library, the same one that’s used in WordPress for iOS.
Finally, if you try out this new integration, let us know what you think! Download the WordPress mobile app for iOS and Android.