The Month in WordPress: January 2021

The Month in WordPress: January 2021

For WordPress, 2021 started on a high note. Read on to learn about updates from last month. 


WordPress release updates

WordPress project executive director — Josepha Haden (@chanthaboune) shared big picture goals for WordPress in 2021. Highlights include shipping  Full Site Editing  — first on the Gutenberg plugin in April 2021  and later in core (with WordPress 5.8), improved learning opportunities on learn.wordpress.org, and better tooling for contributors. As per the updated WordPress roadmap, WordPress version 5.7 is planned to launch in March 2021 and WordPress 5.8 in June 2021. Some related updates:

Want to be involved in the next release? You can help build WordPress Core by following the Core team blog and joining the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

Proposal to return to in-person WordPress events in safe locations

The Community team is discussing an updated proposal to create a decision-making checklist for meetup organizers. The proposal is aimed at locations that have more effectively contained COVID-19 (such as New Zealand and Taiwan, for instance) so that local meetup groups in these areas can organize safe, in-person events. According to the proposal, in-person meetup organizers should review local/global health instructions based on resources and complete a checklist — which recommends whether to organize an event or not based on the organizer’s inputs and other factors. Compulsory safety precautions should be taken for any in-person meetup, and participants/organizers can share event feedback with WordCamp Central. The proposal is still being discussed, so if you have any thoughts, please share them in the comments. Please note: WordPress meetups and WordCamps are still online at this time and will continue to remain online until further notice.

Want to get involved with the Community team? Follow the Community blog, or join them in the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. To organize a local WordPress community event, visit the handbook page

Gutenberg 9.7 and 9.8

Contributor teams released Gutenberg Version 9.7 on January 6th and Version 9.8 on January 20th. Version 9.7 allows users to drag block patterns from the inserter right into a desired position within the editor. It also has a new block variations feature and several improvements to reusable blocks. Version 9.6 makes the spacer block semi-transparent, adds a variation icon to the block switcher, adds site editor content to an iframe, and stabilizes Full Site Editing (FSE) by removing the auto drafts feature.

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 Making WordPress Slack group. You can find out more about the Gutenberg roadmap in the latest What’s next in Gutenberg blog post.

Inviting Learn WordPress Contributors

Contributor teams working on the Learn WordPress initiative are asking for new workshop presenters and discussion group facilitators. The Training Team is recruiting volunteers for the Learn WordPress handbook and has put up a call for testing for the slides plugin to identify a simplified way to present slides. The Polyglots Team has floated a proposal to translate Learn WordPress. The Meta Team is exploring the possibility of making Learn WordPress (and wordpress.org) COPPA-compliant to host workshops aimed at kids.

Want to contribute to the Training team? Follow the Training team blog, or join them in the #training channel in the Make WordPress Slack. 


Further Reading

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This post is also available in: The Month in WordPress: January 2021English