WordPress 4.1 has been released! This release brings with it a new distraction-free writing mode, the new Twenty Fifteen theme, a new simple language chooser in the general settings, the ability to log out of your account everywhere you may have left it logged in, plugin recommendations based on the plugins you’re already using, and more!
283 volunteers contributed to this release, led by John Blackbourn. At the time of writing this, WordPress 4.1 has been out for less than an hour and has already been downloaded 37,298 times!
All users can now safely update from Dashboard -> Updates or download and update manually, though you should probably backup first just in case, unless you’re already using VaultPress, which you really should be.
Sweet puff crust, black tea ice cream, dehydrated persimmon, cider poached apple, and Grand Marnier whipped cream, on a bed of pecan streusel, at Newhall Refinery in Newhall, California.
I usually refresh the design around here by the end of year, and this one comes with some big news, and a little tweak. So, the big news, for the first time in over 10 years, MacManX.com has a logo! Sure, I had a favicon ever since this site started, but it was really just a scaled version of what my header image was when I started out. It was old, low-res, and irrelevant today, which brings me to the new logo, courtesy of friend and co-worker José Marques. The new logo incorporates my favorite shades of blue, along with two M’s and an X (MMX = MacManX), plus it kind of looks like a falcon, and it’s totally awesome.
The small tweak was to the fonts. After being on very slow wi-fi last month, I realized that web fonts are actually kind of lame. If you’re on a slow connection, you sit there looking at a site completely devoid of content while the fonts are downloaded on demand. They look beautiful, and there’s really something to be said about finding the perfect font for your site out of thousands, but the functional tradeoff just isn’t worth it, plus there are some sketchy things to be said about Google Fonts. I went with the Arial family, a font family which is installed by default on over 95% of desktop and mobile devices, and I’d like to give a special shout out to CSS Font Stack for making that choice easy.
I’m very happy with Sorbet, so nothing else has changed. The site should load quicker now without the web fonts (except Genericons, which I’m keeping, because it’s still lighter than using images for the icons), and there’s a great new logo to tie everything together. A huge thanks again to José Marques for the logo, and to friends and colleagues Kathryn Presner and Richard Spees, for always being there to help out when styles misbehave!
Last week, Team Rads of Automattic got together in Cairns to work on improvements to WordAds along with a few other surprises. We are a globally distributed team with three in various California locations, one in Iceland, one in Portugal, and our newest team member in Australia, so it’s nice to get together in person a few times each year.
Cairns was lovely in November, and we managed to swim at the Great Barrier Reef, explore a few of Australia’s rainforests including the Daintree Rainforest, and visit a wildlife sanctuary in Kuranda. I also managed to save a few photos from the trip.
Does any of this look interesting to you? Well, if you want to work at Automattic, we’re hiring!
Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress, recently mentioned that it would be awesome if everyone profiting from WordPress could give back 5% of their time to the free and open source blogging platform. There are many ways to contribute to WordPress, and not all of them require coding skills. Sure, the WordPress community is always looking for more developers to bring their ideas to WordPress, WordPress 4.0 was brought to us by 275 volunteers after all, but the community is also looking for more folks to help in support and documentation too.
The documentation is editable by anyone with an account, so please feel free to edit or add information wherever you feel it’s necessary. There’s even a handbook if you’re just getting started. The support forums are also open to anyone with an account. Topics without replies are easy to find, and no matter your experience level, you’ll find that there’s always someone you can help. Ten years ago, I got involved in the WordPress Support Forums while waiting for a reply to my own support thread. I figured that I might as well see if I could help out in the Installation section since I had just successfully installed WordPress a few hours earlier, and after helping a few people, I was hooked.
We recently completed the first phase of a Support Handbook for anyone eager to dive into WordPress support. Within the handbook, you’ll find some recommendations on how to support WordPress users, ways to troubleshoot common problems, philosophical bits, code examples, and even some replies to frequent issues which you are more than welcome to copy and paste as your own. Though the content is mostly complete, the Support Handbook is still a work in progress and we have some great things planned for it in the future. If you see any problems there, please do let us know in the comments on the specific page with the problem.
WordPress is open source, which means that it’s grown by the strength of its community, not the power and wealth of a single company. If you rely on WordPress, you can give back by joining the community. Whether it’s in a development role or helping out in support and documentation, every contribution will help WordPress grow into a better platform for us all.
This year, the Automattic company meetup was in Park City, Utah. We are a globally distributed company with almost 300 employees, so we pretty much have to get together annually to see faces, hear voices, and build great things. We’re putting the finishing touches on many of the things we build last week, so keep your eyes on the WordPress.com Blog for announcements. Some are actually already live now on WordPress.com, but since they haven’t been officially announced yet, I won’t spoil the surprise.
Here are a few more photos from the meetup. The majority are a from a short hike on the mountain high above our hotel.
Now that you’ve seen all of this, make sure that you apply, and maybe we’ll see you here with us next year!
Getting ready for the 2014 Automattic company photo in Park City, Utah.