May 2024

Web Technology, WordPress News

Studio: Now Available for Windows

We recently launched Studio, our free and open source local WordPress development environment, for MacOS, and we’re happy to share that the Windows version of Studio is now available!

As a reminder, we’ve built Studio to be the fastest and simplest way to build WordPress sites locally.

A new default local WordPress development environment

In less than one month, Studio has thousands of active users, and those users have created hundreds of demo sites. Plus, since Studio is open source, we’ve received and merged bug fixes and enhancements from community users over on GitHub.

It has been so exciting to see the WordPress community embrace a better local development setup with Studio:

Last week I streamed creating a To-do app with the Interactivity API and I tried Studio by @wordpressdotcom.

Not only was it rock solid, but it has this REALLY COOL feature to host your local site.

— Ryan Welcher (@ryanwelcher) April 29, 2024

Wow! Local WordPress development 2.0 – install, work, and go straight into Visual Studio if you need to. Mac for now, but a Windows version is on its way.
PS Studio is open source, it can be forked. https://t.co/k5jaklVHIx

— Anne Bovelett (@Bovelett) April 24, 2024

Of course, we knew that a Windows version of Studio was also needed, as over 25% of WordPress developers develop on a Windows machine. We worked on a Windows version alongside the Mac version, but the Windows version required us to solve some additional challenges before making it widely available. 

Plus, developers started requesting it immediately:

Comments on our Studio announcement video

Download Studio for Windows for free today

Our free Windows version of Studio is now available, and you can get up and running with a local site on your Windows computer in just a few clicks:

Download Studio for Windows.

Install and open Studio.

Click Add site, and you’re done!

Note: If you use an early version of Studio for Windows (downloaded before May 29, 2024), please follow the steps above to install the latest version to ensure you receive updates when available.

Just like in our Mac version of Studio, Studio for Windows allows you to access WP Admin, the Site Editor, global styles, and patterns, all with just one click—and without needing to remember and enter a username or password. You can also easily open your site code in File Explorer, PhpStorm, VS Code, or your terminal for easy editing and shipping.

You can also effortlessly create demo sites on the Windows version of Studio so you can share your local work with your clients, teams, and colleagues.

Development on Studio is fast and quick thanks to our use of WordPress Playground helping us run the app behind the scenes. 

Ready to get building?

Download Studio for Windows today to start creating and running WordPress sites directly on your local Windows machine.

You can also explore the Studio documentation for more step-by-step instructions for using Studio, and if you have any thoughts, feedback, or enhancement requests, submit an issue over on GitHub.

Web Technology, WordPress News

Introducing Scheduled Updates: Tailored Plugin Management for Your Website

In recent weeks, we’ve announced a few new tools for developers that make WordPress.com the best place to build any WordPress site: Studio local dev app, GitHub Deployments, improved navigation and user interface, and more. 

Today, we’re continuing the streak with our latest feature: scheduled updates for plugins. 

Say goodbye to the hassle of manual updates because streamlined plugin management tools are here and designed to elevate your site’s reliability and performance.

Plugin updates on your terms 

With our newly launched scheduled updates, you can set the exact time and day for updates to occur, ensuring they happen when it’s most convenient for you and your clients. Best of all, this feature is free to use on our Creator and Entrepreneur plans. We won’t name names, but update scheduling is often a paid add-on at other hosts. 

At the selected time, our system automatically checks for available updates for the plugins included in your schedule. If updates are available, the system initiates the process, starting with a health check to ensure your site’s stability. Each plugin is updated individually, with another health check performed after each update to verify everything is functioning as expected.

Should a health check fail, our system will automatically roll back the update and restore the previous version. In the rare event that a rollback is unsuccessful, our dedicated Happiness Engineers are standing by to manually restore your site and assist you further.

To stay on top of what’s running in the background, you can opt to receive an email notification after each scheduled update summarizing the plugins that were updated as well as any update or health check failures. (These emails aren’t sent if no updates are found.) Additionally, you can easily monitor the results of the most recent schedule run on the Scheduled Updates screen under Plugins → Scheduled Updates.

Why does it matter?

Let’s say you run an ecommerce store on WordPress.com. Your site relies on key plugins for inventory management and payment processing. In the past, updating plugins during business hours could lead to downtime and potentially lost sales. With scheduled updates, you can now plan updates for off-peak hours, when you’re at home restfully sleeping, ensuring essential functionality remains intact during busy periods while keeping your site secure and up-to-date. Scheduling updates for your payment processing plugin to occur every Sunday at 2:00 AM will greatly minimize shoppers’ disruptions.

Why our scheduled updates are better

No additional charge: Scheduled updates are included with our Creator and Entrepreneur plans at no extra cost. 

Multiple schedules: Create separate schedules for different plugins, offering greater flexibility and control compared to competitors.

Specific scheduling: Schedule updates at a specific hour for precise timing control.

Customizable health check paths: Specify custom paths for health checks and testing on a per-site basis, providing unparalleled flexibility. 

Granular schedule pausing: Pause individual update schedules for targeted control, a feature not offered by other hosts.

Detailed logging: Comprehensive logging of update activities, including successes, failures, and rollbacks, ensures transparency and accountability.

Faster setup: Our setup process is lightning-fast, with no need for extra information collection or onboarding.

How to get started

Creating a schedule for plugin updates is fast and convenient:

Install your desired plugins on a Creator or Entrepreneur site. (Plugins included in our plan offerings or purchased through the WordPress.com Marketplace are kept up-to-date by WordPress.com and do not need to be scheduled.)

Navigate to the Updates Manager: Plugins → Scheduled Updates. (Click here to visit the multisite update manager.)

Click “Add new schedule” and select your desired update frequency.

Choose the plugins you’d like to include in the schedule.

Click “Create” to activate your schedule.

For more details, visit our Update a Plugin or Theme support page.

Take control of your plugin updates 

Click here to get started with a free hosting trial and experience the peace of mind that comes with scheduled updates.

Stay tuned for more enhancements coming soon, including the ability to create update schedules for multiple sites at once and many more features.

Web Technology, WordPress News

How to Add Smooth Scrolling Anchor Links to Your Website

An “anchor” link is a link that takes readers to a specific spot on the same page (rather than taking them to a new page altogether). It’s like a shortcut. In most cases, clicking that link brings readers to the desired place with an abrupt jump. In today’s Build and Beyond video, Jamie Marsland shows you how to make that transition a smooth scroll instead of a jump, making for a more pleasant reading and browsing experience.

Ready to get going? Start your free trial today:

Web Technology, WordPress News

5 Time-Saving WordPress Block Editor Tips and Tricks

From List View to keyboard shortcuts to the powerful Command Palette, the WordPress Block Editor is loaded with time-saving tricks that will streamline your workflows and ensure that you’re operating at peak efficiency. In this Build and Beyond video, Jamie Marsland shows us his five favorite WordPress Block Editor time savers.

Ready to get going? Start your free trial today:

Joomla.org Community, Web Technology

How to add an icon to the article title

A while ago someone asked in a Mattermost channel how to add an icon to the article titles in a blog layout. My first impulse was “with CSS of course!”. But the requirement was extended with “each article should have an individual icon”. That’s a nice challenge, and one that can be done with an override that makes adding icons easy for content managers.

Joomla.org Community, Web Technology

Safeguarding Your Joomla Content Against AI Crawlers

Joomla is no exception to the trend towards artificial intelligence, and there are extensions that allow you to link up with it and use it to create content, but it may also be that you don’t want your content to be used to feed this enormous knowledge base.

Ask yourself if your site has been used to train artificial intelligence. You can do the test at this site: https://haveibeentrained.com/ and decide whether you want to leave your site to the AIs.

Joomla.org Community, Web Technology

Smooth operators. A thank you to the Release Managers of 5.0

Stability and reliability are keywords when it comes to any software release. Only hindsight shows whether such was achieved. Yet Joomla 5.0 hit these two requirements and many more, nailing that many have said is the best release of a major to date. Yes, we need to celebrate the features, but often all the hard work can be eclipsed by the issues that follow. 

Joomla.org Community, Web Technology

Templates for Joomla – Episode 1: Templates, Frameworks & Clubs or not…

In less than 4 months, Joomla will turn 19 – and boy has it evolved into a truly powerful, very capable, yet easy to use solid and accessible young adult (and platform). Thanks to not just its vibrant community of promoters, testers, developers, documenters, marketers and helpers but also our component, module, and plugin builders that are all around – and a very appreciated part of the Joomla project. 

Web Technology, WordPress News

3 Ways for WordPress Devs, Agencies, and Freelancers to Prepare for 2025 

It may be hard to believe, but we’re nearly halfway through 2024, which means it’s not too early to start thinking ahead to next year. In this Build and Beyond video, Jamie Marsland speaks with Nick Diego, a Developer Relations Advocate and Core Contributor at WordPress.org, about ensuring you’re prepared for the exciting developments in store for WordPress in 2025. 

Ready to get going? Click below to embark on your free trial today:

Best Free themses for Wordpress
WordPress News

Hot Off the Press: New WordPress.com Themes for May 2024

The WordPress.com team is always working on new design ideas to bring your website to life. Check out the latest themes in our library, including great options for bloggers, visual designers, and art aficionados.

Fewer

Fewer is perfect for showcasing portfolios and blogs. With a clean, minimalist design, it offers excellent typography and style variations that make it easy to present your work or business. Fewer is highly versatile, offering a range of customizable options that allow you to tailor your site to your exact needs.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.

Ron

Ron is a theme that’s laser-focused on delivering an exceptional reading experience. It’s set apart by its offset post layout and sticky navigation. We’ve also intentionally omitted a header, allowing readers to dive straight into the content without distractions.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.

Texty

Texty isn’t just another blog theme, it’s a celebration of pure, unadulterated storytelling. This theme dances to its own beat by relying entirely on post excerpts on the homepage to captivate and intrigue. A remix of the beloved Issue theme, Texty can also bring a burst of color to your blogging with its vibrant variations in blue, maroon, burgundy, and neon green. Whether you’re sharing tales of adventure, pouring out your thoughts, or spinning poetry, this theme provides the perfect backdrop for your journey. Let your creativity run wild and let your words shine, because with Texty, your stories are the stars of the show.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.

Fontaine

Fontaine is a dynamic portfolio and personal profile theme that celebrates minimalist design and Brutalist aesthetics. Created especially with visual designers in mind, Fontaine gracefully steps back, allowing your work to shine and captivate your audience. With a strikingly simple yet dynamically elegant design, Fontaine’s dramatic font scale and transparent header (check out the demo to see this in action!) blend seamlessly to create compelling contrasts and modern sophistication. At its heart, Fontaine invites you to showcase your work and share your story with confidence.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.

Surrealist

Inspired by the iconic art movement, Surrealist merges clarity with a touch of whimsy, capturing the essence of Surrealism in every pixel. In our font pairing of PT Sans with Kame, we’ve set the tone for an immersive, delight-inducing experience.

As you navigate the front page, you’ll encounter the statement-making site title, inviting you to explore further into the quirky atmosphere of Surrealist. With distinctive design treatments and blocks that spark the imagination, Surrealist invites you to unleash your creativity and embark on a journey of self-expression.

Click here to view a demo of this theme.

To install any of the above themes, click the name of the theme you like, which brings you right to the installation page. Then click the “Activate this design” button. You can also click “Open live demo,” which brings up a clickable, scrollable version of the theme for you to preview.

Premium themes are available to use at no extra charge for customers on the Explorer plan or above. Partner themes are third-party products that can be purchased for $99/year each on the Creator plan and above.

You can explore all of our themes by navigating to the “Themes” page, which is found under “Appearance” in the left-side menu of your WordPress.com dashboard. Or you can click below:

WordPress News, Web Technology

How to Build Man. United’s Grid Layout Homepage

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<p>Manchester United currently stand eighth in the table, but at least they have a beautiful card layout on their website. In today’s Build and Beyond video, <a href="https://www.pootlepress.com/about-pootlepress/">Jamie Marsland</a> attempts to build this unique layout using WordPress.com. </p>
<p>Grid functionality is coming to <a href="https://make.wordpress.org/core/2024/05/03/roadmap-to-6-6/">WordPress 6.6</a>, but it’s actually available on WordPress.com right now. Test it out, and let us know what you think.</p>
<p>Ready to get going? Click below to embark on your free trial today:</p>
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<div class="wp-block-button btn-primary"><a class="wp-block-button__link has-white-color has-text-color has-link-color wp-element-button" href="http://wordpress.com/jamie">WordPress.com/Jamie</a></div>
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Web Technology, WordPress News

The Best Way to Quickly Build a Beautiful WordPress Website

There’s no better way to quickly build a WordPress website than with patterns, whether you’re a seasoned pro using patterns to quickly mock up wireframes or a dabbling hobbyist using them for your finished product. In today’s Build and Beyond video, Jamie Marsland shows you how to use patterns to build your site with WordPress blocks.

Ready to get going? Click below to embark on your free trial today:

Web Technology, WordPress News

Font Freedom: Unleash Creative Typography on Your WordPress.com Site

A website speaks to its visitors not only through its content and imagery, but also with its typography. A carefully selected font can set the site’s tone, convey emotion, and leave a lasting impression. 

With the new Font Library on WordPress.com, you can now upload custom typography without the hassle of coding or the limitations of plugins. It’s not just about choosing fonts; it’s about effortlessly crafting an experience for your visitors. 

Available on WordPress.com sites with the Creator or Entrepreneur plan, the Font Library allows you to manage your site’s typography in one place. Installing, removing, and activating or deactivating fonts across your entire site is a breeze. 

To access the Font Library, head to the Site Editor and open the “Styles” side panel. Once there, select “Typography” and select the settings icon next to the “Fonts” heading.

Once in the Font Library, you will see the list of available fonts for your site: those that come with your theme, as well as any custom fonts you have installed. 

There are two ways to install fonts: 

Manually upload the font files from the “Upload” tab

Connect to Google Fonts on the “Install Fonts” tab, then download any selected fonts to your site

In addition to this high-level customization, the Font Library also provides granular control of the font weights that you’d like to enable, minimizing the effects on site speed because it’s only what you need that’s being loaded. 

Level up your site by adding that extra touch of typography personality by using the Font Library, no code or plugins needed. To learn more, check out the support article

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